Wednesday, March 16, 2011

don't eat the bananas...

A summary of the reporting quality of the Japanese crisis as seen on CNN and Sky News...

Q: So, Professor Morkel, at this point in time what are the chances of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor turning into a Chernobyl-like disaster?
A: Almost zero. They are completely different breeds of reactors. This reactor is water-cooled whereas Chernobyl was water-cooled/graphite-moderated and it was the graphite which exploded and sent a radioactive plume into the atmosphere. That cannot happen here.
Q: So, you’re saying there’s no possibility of a huge nuclear explosion with hundreds of thousands of people killed and millions more left severely injured or possibly exposed to radiation and turned into giant mutant insects?
A: No. Not really.
Q: Can you completely guarantee that one hundred percent?
A: No. Not really.
Q: So, you’re saying there IS a possibility?
A: I’m saying there’s more likelihood of you getting fucked in the ass doggie style by Jesus this Easter.
Q: So, you can’t rule it out absolutely then?
A: I guess not.
Q: OK, now that we’ve established this looks like it could be a disaster similar to the one at Chernobyl, can you explain exactly what’s going on inside the core of the troubled reactor right now?
A: Well, without water to cool the core, the uranium fuel rods have been exposed, causing them to heat up and we have assumed they will have begun a partial melt-down.
Q: Can you be sure?
A: No, but the assumption is fairly obvious at this stage.
Q: Is there any way to be sure the fuel rods are melting down?
A: No. Not really.
Q: Why?
A: Because the rods are encased in a solid steel container with four-inch thick walls to keep them secure, so we can’t actually see them.
Q: So, you’re saying there’s no viewing window in the containment vessel?
A: Of course not.
Q: And is this lack of a viewing window in your opinion a design flaw in the reactor that set it on its inevitable course to become a Chernobyl-like disaster?
A: No, you cannot have viewing windows in a containment vessel.
Q: And why is that, Professor.
A: Because it’s a containment vessel for uranium fuel rods and it gets extremely hot in there…like 5000 degrees hot…and even the most heat resistant glass known to science melts at 2000 degrees…that’s why.
Q: Is it possible to send someone inside the core to have a look?
A: I wish it was…I’d send you in right now.
Q: What about an unmanned probe like the ones used to explore distant objects in space? Could a robot-drone similar to the ones used by the CIA to assassinate terrorists in Iraq be used to check inside the reactor core?
A: NO!!!
Q: What about a tiny submarine like in ‘Fantastic Voyage’? Could we shrink a nuclear sub and possibly send it into the core to check the damage and carry out repairs?
A: No!!!
Q: Why not? Is it because there's no water for the submarine to operate in?
A: No. It's because it’s a movie.
Q: ‘The China Syndrome’ was also a movie.
A: Yes.
Q: So are you suggesting we have a potential ‘China Syndrome’ event on our hands here then, Professor.
A: I said nothing of the sort.
Q: OK, can we talk about the massive explosions that have been occurring since last Friday that have convinced you we have a Chernobyl-like disaster reminiscent of ‘The China Syndrome’ on our hands?
A: What? These are just hydrogen explosions. Simple combustion. Nothing more at this stage.
Q: You mean a hydrogen explosion similar to ‘The Hindenburg’ catastrophe many years ago in which all those people died horribly on fire. Are you implying that in addition to a Chernobyl-like disaster similar to the one in ‘The China Syndrome’, that Japan could be engulfed in a catastrophic Hindenburg-like firestorm similar to the one that destroyed Tokyo towards the end of WW2 and killed tens of thousands of people?
A: Of course I’m not implying that, you stupid cunt. This is a nuclear reactor made from steel and concrete, not a balloon made from starched cotton sheets.
Q: I see. Now these apocalyptic hydrogen explosions we’re watching on the monitor; millions of viewers have tweeted their concern that these huge hydrogen explosions seem eerily reminiscent of the explosion caused when The United States dropped the second atomic bomb, a hydrogen bomb, on Nagasaki to end WW2, killing tens of thousands of people and severely injuring hundreds of thousands more and possibly exposing millions more to radiation which turned them into giant mutant insects. What can you say to these concerned viewers to alleviate their desperate fear?
A: I can say that the two are nothing alike; it’s preposterous.
Q: But we’re talking about nuclear hydrogen here, Professor.
A: No we’re not. There’s no such thing as nuclear hydrogen. This is a nuclear reactor which produces hydrogen as a by-product.
Q: Worst case scenario is there any way this potentially cataclysmic production of hydrogen could develop into an atomic bomb similar to the one that destroyed Nagasaki?
A: No, that’s absurd. It’s simple combustion, not a nuclear reaction.
Q: Under what circumstances could a simple case of hydrogen combustion escalate into a catastrophic nuclear event?
A: It can’t. Ever. Never. Never ever. Cannot happen. Unless you dropped a hydrogen-fuelled atomic weapon on top of the combustion event it cannot happen.
Q: So, you seem to be warning the viewers that given Japan’s history of having atomic weapons of mass-destruction dropped on it, the possibility cannot be dismissed lightly?
A: No, I’m doing nothing like that.
Q: Now, in relation to the processes occurring inside the reactor core; can you explain in layman’s terms to the viewers just exactly what is going on?
A: Probably not.
Q: Why?
A: Because it’s very complex and your viewers are almost certainly morons.
Q: So, does this beg the question of whether we should be using technologies that are well beyond our understanding?
A: They are not beyond our understanding. They are beyond yours. We know how this all works. You don’t need to know anything.
Q: Are you suggesting there’s some sort of cover-up going on here?
A: Of course not.
Q: Then why won’t you release the information concerning what’s really going on inside the reactor’s core?
A: Because you won’t understand it.
Q: OK, are you prepared to discuss the alarming levels of radiation that are being emitted from the reactors?
A: Yes, I would love to address this topic actually.
Q: We are receiving reports that radiation levels near the power plants have reached more that 1000 microSieverts…is this cause for blind panic?
A: No.
Q: What about mass hysteria?
A: No.
Q: Well many people are saying that 1000 microSieverts is an enormously scary level.
A: It’s not.
Q: 1000 would seem to be a very large number to many people.
A: It is…but a microSievert is a very small unit of measure.
Q: But if you have a lot of somethings that are very small, can’t that amount to a large thing at some point?
A: In theory I suppose…but it’s not a practical concern. You’re exposed to higher levels of radiation eating a banana than you would be standing outside the exclusion zone set up around the reactor.
Q: With all due respect, Professor…I don’t think you can compare eating a banana with eating uranium fuel rods.
A: I never mentioned anything about eating uranium fuel rods. That’s insane.
Q: Because of the danger?
A: Of course because of the danger.
Q: And what about these radioactive bananas? Should we be avoiding them?
A: What radioactive bananas?
Q: You just mentioned radioactive bananas a few seconds ago.
A: There’s no such thing as radioactive bananas. Bananas contain tiny amounts of radioactive material but not enough to harm you.
Q: How many of these radioactive bananas would someone have to eat before they ran the risk of a meltdown or of mutating into a giant insect?
A: I don’t know. Several trillion I suspect.
Q: The scientific community seems to just churn out these huge numbers glibly but can you put this into context for the average viewer? What might several trillion bananas look like?
A: It would be huge.
Q: Could you give the viewers an example that might be relevant to them?
A: Well, if the tennis-ball size chunk of coke they caught Charlie Sheen with was a banana, then he would have to have a coke-ball the size of the Earth to equate to several trillion bananas.
Q: I see…and at this stage are there any plans to bring Charlie Sheen to Japan to help with what looks like becoming the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl catastrophe nearly three decades ago which killed hundreds of thousands of people and left millions more severely injured or possibly exposed to radiation that turned them into giant mutant insects…