back to article Fukushima nuke plant owner told to upgrade from Windows XP

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy complex, has been told to migrate 48,000 internet-connected PCs off Windows XP sooner rather than later. TEPCO was recently probed by Japan's Board of Audit, an organisation that oversees the finances of Japan's government and …

  1. eJ2095

    Does this mean

    When you make the XP machines angry they turn into Vista....

  2. Ole Juul
    Linux

    Here's hoping

    that they'll upgrade to something cheaper.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's hoping

      Well… MacroView runs on Linux. There are a couple of open source SCADA packages out there too that support Linux too.

      It's really a question of what PLCs other kit they're running.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's hoping

        "It's really a question of what PLCs other kit they're running."

        And if their time is of no value. And if they don't need an office suite that actually woks...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Re: Here's hoping

          And if their time is of no value. And if they don't need an office suite that actually woks...

          What utter loony runs an office suite on a process plant controller?! You have the system export the data which you consume in whatever way you see fit.

          Most of them have an API for extracting data from the historian or grabbing real-time data. OPC-UA is one such interface for doing it. You'd set up a mirror of the data to shield your process computers from the Excel-wielding number crunchers. I see no good purpose for an office suite on an industrial computer.

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Here's hoping

      No thanks, we don't need another distro, "Linuxzilla"... due to the radiations while installing...

  3. Alister Silver badge
    Facepalm

    There's no suggestion that the accident was in any way related to XP

    Well, no, I shouldn't think there was, seeing as XP doesn't have built in planetary control, and the cause of the accident was a bloody big wave .

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Mushroom

      @ Alister

      It is the very clever way of blaming the company for the incident by 'not suggesting' it was this unfavourable thing that was under their control instead of the natural disasters.

      Radiation has a terrible effect on people. As soon as you mention radiation a lot of brains switch off and screams of terror become deafening.

      1. Ilsa Loving

        Re: @ Alister

        Wow... I can't believe how many people are nitpicking whether it was an earthquake or a wave or whatnot.

        The TRIGGER was the wave.

        The CAUSE, was the fact that TEPCO repeatedly did their best to cheap out. The most obvious being installing backup generators in an incredibly stupid location, basically guaranteeing their failure in a catastrophe.

        This audit is just more evidence of the lengths that TEPCO went to scrape 'savings' at the expense of responsible governance.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Alister wrote: "the cause of the accident was a bloody big wave "

      a) It wasn't an accident, it was a natural disaster known as a tsunami.

      b) The cause wasn't a bloody big wave, the cause was an undersea megathrust earthquake.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Alister wrote: "the cause of the accident was a bloody big wave "

        Incorrect, the cause of the disaster was not the earthquake. It wave.

        Taking your logic, the true cause was pressure from the earths core Of course you could take that further and say it was from the heat causing the expansion, taking ti further...you get the gist..."

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Alister wrote: "the cause of the accident was a bloody big wave "

          Fascinating, Lost all faith...

          So in your mind the "wave" appeared out of nowhere? In reality, water just sits there, finding it's own level (kind of like tea in a cup[0]), unless acted on by an outside event. The outside event in this case (cause) was the earthquake, the water was simply an actor, transmitting/reflecting the force.

          [0] Yes, I know, you can measure the tide in a tea cup. But it's hardly likely to slosh over onto your kitchen table, unless you're quite clumsy.

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Fascinating, Lost all faith...

            By this logic one could make a better case that the disaster was caused by all the gravity around of late.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: the cause was an undersea megathrust earthquake.

        Nonsense! I have proof, unassailable proof, that this accident was caused by the Big Bang.

    3. PNGuinn
      Mushroom

      @ Alister " a bloody big wave"

      Oh yes it was!

      A bloody big blue wave of death.

      Never underestimate the powers of the Beast to screw up your work.

    4. Fungus Bob Silver badge
      Windows

      seeing as XP doesn't have built in planetary control

      Actually, it does. Planetary Control has been built into all versions of Windows since Win 98SE. Its never been enabled as Microsoft hasn't figured out how to monetize it yet.

  4. Mike 125

    I'm suggesting it.

    >>There's no suggestion that the accident was in any way related to XP. ®

    I'm suggesting it. So now there is.

    The sort of mentality which thinks it's ok to use something like XP, (let's assume it's not actually controlling anything, which would be insane), in a nuclear installation, probably also thinks it's ok not to build a wall higher than 10m (or whatever it was), to protect the emergency backup generators for the nuclear core coolant system.

    1. John H Woods

      Re: I'm suggesting it.

      "... it's ok not to build a wall higher than 10m (or whatever it was), to protect the emergency backup generators for the nuclear core coolant system." --- MIke 125

      It's off topic, but I need to rant (again) ...

      This annoys me a bit, the idea that nukes can only be considered safe in they are protected from everything. The Tohoku earthquake was a 9.0 magnitude affair epicentered less than 100km offshore, and had an energy of not far off 10 Teratons of TNT --- five hundred million Hiroshimas. Relatively ancient nuclear plant was hit by a massive earthquake and a huge tsunami.

      The Tohoku earthquake caused at least 15,000 deaths, probably 20,000. The Fukushima nuclear "disaster" caused, erm, pretty much none. Even if you are pessimistic about long term effects, you cannot round up any realistic guess at the nuclear impact to a level where it even counts as a significant part of the tragedy.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: I'm suggesting it.

        @John H Woods, well said Sir. Well said. No one has, or provably will, die because of the Fukishima reactor accident. Yet the 15k+ deaths from the 'quake and the big wave were ignored by the media because "Oh noes!!! Nuclear!!! Radee-ayshun!!! We're all going to die from radiation levels lower than natural background levels in many inhabited parts of the planet!!!"

        Kent Brockman: So, professor. Would you say it's time to panic, to crack open people's skulls and feast on the goo inside?

        Professor: Yes. Yes I would, Kent.

        This to me sums up the mindless overreaction to the slightest mention of nuclear.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Downvoters...

          If you're going to downvote me, perhaps grow some cojones and do me the courtesy of explaining why.

          Perhaps you feel I have missed something vitally important which negatively affects my argument?

          Or do you perhaps align with the OMG it's less radiation than a dental X-ray we're all doomed!!! camp?

          I suspect you lack the capability, lack a solid argument, or simply lack the guts to engage in actual discussion? You clearly feel strongly enough about something to disagree via downvote, so come on, let's hear it.

          1. Lamont Cranston

            Re: Downvoters...

            I upvoted your earlier comment, Jimmy, but now you're just whining about people on an internet forum not agreeing with you, so you're second comment deserves downvoting.

          2. Big_Ted

            Re: Downvoters...

            Downvoted for coming across as a pompos MeMe

          3. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Downvoters...

            Take it as compliment that you made someone spit their dummy out.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm suggesting it.

          It's thought that the majority of deaths attributable to Chernobyl will come from famine and displaced populations due to sea level rises associated with the climate change that anti nuclear media and protestors hastened by preventing wide adoption of nuclear power in the developed world...

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Facepalm

          "The fear, confusion and conflicting information ..."

          And there you have it.

          The number of people contaminated was miniscule and so was the contamination.

          Yes it can't be ignored, the lesson to learn is that the designed operating parameters were not capable of taking a once in 1000 years (10,000 years?) event, putting the gennys on the roof would help, as would building a bigger storm wall.

          The other lesson is that anyone fostering panic for ideological ends should be beaten to death with their own pamphlets.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The 'tragedy' is caused by irrational anti-nuclear campaigners

          "The fear, confusion and conflicting information surrounding the nuclear threat has been a living hell for a lot of people in Japan."

          It was obvious from the start that there was no significnat risk associated with the plant, against the background of a major disaster cause by the Tsunami it was utterly irrelevant.

          The political and media response driven by anti-nuclear and enovronmental disasters are the cause of the fear confusion and worse. Unnecessary evacuation coupled to a distraction from the massive effort required to deal with the real disaster have undoubtedly have serious consequences up to death albiet consequences that will be very hard to estimate let alone measure.

          What is bizarre given the accident shows the incredible safety of even very old nuclear power plants faced with massive natural catastrophes is that the focus and message portrayed throughout the media is the lack of safety of nuclear power. Chernobyl shows that even poorly designed, badly maintained, old nuclear power plants which are used to perform irresponsible unapparoved experimenst and fail catastrophically in just about the worst way possible are nowhere near as dangerous as many civil engineering and industrial installations but we still have the endless propoganda about nuclear power despite it being by far the safest and most environmentally friendly option. It completely undermines that idea that humanity is in any way rational. One crashed airliner kills far more than the worst failure of a nuclear power plant and they crash quite regularily as oppsed to the one signifcnat failure in the history of nuclear power.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm suggesting it.

          "The word microsieverts... has now become a part of daily vocabulary for a generation."

          Err, really? Are you sure? Could you give us some evidence to support this?

          What about "banana-equivalent dose"?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. John H Woods

          Re: I'm suggesting it.

          "Even if you are pessimistic about long term effects, you cannot round up any realistic guess at the nuclear impact to a level where it even counts as a significant part of the tragedy." -- me

          "That's a very simplistic viewpoint, basically that tragedy equals death and nothing else." -- 1980s_coder

          I disagree. What it actually says is that NX << MY where

          N is the number of people living in (unnecessary) fear, and I accept your point that it may be large

          X is the tragedy of a person living in fear in some arbitrary unit

          (What is the El Reg unit of tragedy? Perhaps a 'Verdi')

          M is the number of people who actually died (~15,000 < M < ~20,000)

          Y is the tragedy of a person dying

          I'm not discounting the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of people living in fear, sucks for them, even if they are worried about basically nothing. But I am still saying it's insignificant compared to the tragedy of thousands of people dying.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. V 3

        Re: I'm suggesting it.

        [Background, I am a Brit, with no particular prejudices against nuclear power, living in Japan, about 50km from a large nuke power station - down in Kyushu. I took supplies up to the big Kobe quake, but Fukushima was simply too far away for it to be a sensible thing to do.]

        > The Fukushima nuclear "disaster" caused, erm, pretty much none.

        It depends what you factor in. If you are looking at death caused directly by radiation, then what you say is probably true. (You have to reach for statistics and a fair number of assumptions about the affect of low levels of radiation to believe the contrary.)

        But there is another question: how many deaths can reasonably be attributed by a rational person (attributed to - not "caused" - yes - there is a lot of wiggle room there - if you don't want to address the essence of the point, feel free to take it...) to it being a nuclear power station that was hit, rather than - say - a coal power station.

        And then the answer is less clear. A large number of people have to be moved out of the exclusion zone and housed in temporary accommodation, long term. They will never see their homes again. If you are old that is EXTREMELY stressful. If you have animals, you will be parted from them. Sometimes those animals - dogs, cats, are the only thing you had in the world left to love.

        There is an enormous cost to such stress - people die earlier than they would. I only have this from anecdotal evidence (I run a small animal rescue charity) - not a scientific study - but I have heard and seen enough to be persuaded that it is the case. (If the same thing happened in the UK, this would have been studied to within an inch of it life - but if there are Japanese studies I am not aware of them.)

        You also have to factor in deaths that can be attributed to accidents in the cleanup. These don't have to be accidents caused directly from radiation - they just have to be deaths attributable to it being a cleanup of a nuclear accident. There are a lot of storied about what goes on up in Fukushima, and the involvement of yakuza - enough to make me skeptical of any mortality figures from the Government about mortality amongst the cleanup workers.

        There is also the astronomical cost of the cleanup from the (nuclear) incident. Put that same money into hospitals or welfare - or even safety signs and speed bumps on roads - and you would save lives elsewhere. So the fact that you are cleaning up a nuclear incident, with the additional expense, has to be factored in.

        One objection to the above would be: the people did not have to be moved out of the zone - radiation levels were not so high that they were a danger to health...

        .. to which I would reply, that being rational and scientific about the radiation level of zone OTHER people are living in is fairly easy. But as soon as you factor in the opinions of your partner, and your kids - and your basic gut instincts as a parent, if you have sprogs, then you just consider the possibly that you might not be half so sanguine...

        So - yes, there is an awful lot of gut response that may not be backed up by the science. But in a democracy, where the n hundred thousand people directly affected are voters, - and n million more sympathise them, you can't just ignore it. It become just as much something you have to factor in as the raw science.

        Never underestimate the raw persuasive power on her partner of the gut instincts of a pregnant woman within 100 miles of any nuclear incident.

        .. and it aint over yet. No-one here thinks it will be over anytime soon - and no-one I personally have spoken to here believes in their heart (or at least, after 2 glasses of shochu) the government's claims that it is "under control"

        At the end of it all, I am gingerly in favour of nuclear power in countries in which the earth don't move, and which have robust, independent regulators. Japan has improved rather with the latter - but there is bugger all it can do about the former.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: I'm suggesting it.

          "to it being a nuclear power station that was hit, rather than - say - a coal power station."

          Ironically:

          http://www.sciencemag.org/content/202/4372/1045.short

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

          A coal fired plant could deposit way more radiation in its environment through normal operations than this plant did by accident, but since it's not nuclear powered, who cares?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re:"nukes can only be considered safe if ,,,"

        "This annoys me a bit, the idea that nukes can only be considered safe in they are protected from everything"

        Unfortunately, Fukushima wasn't even adequately protected from "known to be significant" risks. Is that a problem?

        Fukushima had already had a couple of unplanned life extensions.

        During the extended operating period, Tepco continued to break the regulatory rules in various ways (e.g failure to adequately maintain the standby generators) and as usual Tepco got away with it.It's no great surprise to now find that Tepco's IT is as badly managed as the rest of their stuff, but they probably have more pressing issues to think about.

        In addition, even before 2011, Fukushima had been identified as being at high risk of inundation if a large enough tsunami did occur, If I remember rightly, the chances were calculated as 50% during the planned remaining life of the station. IE not certain to happen but a very very long way from "as low as reasonably practical" risk.

        Even so, it was judged by Tepco and the regulatory authorities as not needing any particular mitigation measures (raising/extending the sea wall, moving the standby generators to somewhere higher, etc). Which was nice for them.

        The industry could have chosen to enhance the defence measures. They chose not to. You can work out why.

        Heads or tails? That's 50%.

        In the event, the 50% went the wrong way, on the day.

        Four years later, there's still no real info on what's inside the 'hot' remains. A remote controlled robotic camera was sent in earlier this month to see what's what (for the first time), and promptly failed within hours and after moving only a few metres, after producing unexpectedly interesting pictures:

        http://enenews.com/major-blow-fukushima-robot-loses-control-inside-reactor-moved-10-meters-before-failing-max-radiation-levels-doubled-2012-video

        (ENEnews is an aggregator; it links to lots of other people's reports).

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: nukes can only be considered safe if ,,,"

          @AC

          "In addition, even before 2011, Fukushima had been identified as being at high risk of inundation if a large enough tsunami did occur, If I remember rightly, the chances were calculated as 50% during the planned remaining life of the station. IE not certain to happen but a very very long way from "as low as reasonably practical" risk.

          Even so, it was judged by Tepco and the regulatory authorities as not needing any particular mitigation measures (raising/extending the sea wall, moving the standby generators to somewhere higher, etc). Which was nice for them."

          So Tepco nor regulators saw any need to prepare for natural disasters massively above the expected? And they didnt act! I wonder how that risk assessment went for the gov as to the risk to the population in the area of an oversized earthquake and tsunami and why the gov did nothing to protect the population from this theoretical event which then occurred?

          Of course if the nuclear industry is guilty of not protecting its facility then the gov/authorities are guilty of the thousands of deaths that did occur of which absolute zero can be attributed to nuclear.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: nukes can only be considered safe if ,,,"

            "I wonder how that risk assessment went for the gov as to the risk to the population in the area of an oversized earthquake and tsunami "

            You're obviously not familiar with the "as low as reasonably practical" concept of managing risk. Fair enough.

            It would have been entirely practical to move the standby generators, or maybe even just close the site down (it was already outside its planned lifetime).

            "the gov/authorities are guilty of the thousands of deaths that did occur"

            If you wish. You want to try permanently relocating the population of a large area in the space of a few months or years, even when the risk being mitigated is the risk of loss of tens of thousands of lives?

            And it wasn't particularly oversized. Just infrequent.

            "Once in (say) fifty years" doesn't mean "it'll be fifty years before it'll happen, so therefore we can ignore it".

            As you say, pieces of this picture are not particularly nuclear related. Just the usual corporate (and state) irresponsibility and pennypinching.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: nukes can only be considered safe if ,,,"

              @AC

              "You're obviously not familiar with the "as low as reasonably practical" concept of managing risk. Fair enough."

              Yes I am thanks, and it was deemed low as reasonably practical to build defences for such extreme natural disasters. Both for protecting the nuclear plant and for protecting the population. If the walls should have been better, then better defences must have been required to stop the thousands of deaths not just the zero nuclear deaths.

              "It would have been entirely practical to move the standby generators, or maybe even just close the site down (it was already outside its planned lifetime)."

              How much? Going back to your risk/cost understanding point, it was obviously not considered a big enough risk. As for shutting down the power plant, what was it to be replaced with? There is a reason to have a power plant, to decommission it usually requires the energy to come from somewhere. Again cost.

              I dont quite follow your second point. Tepco keep being blamed for not protecting the plant better. The plant that took a beating beyond its design years after its expected lifespan. And nobody died or will from the radiation. Thousands died due to the event. So if Tepco should have built better walls and expected this unexpected event, so should the gov.

              "As you say, pieces of this picture are not particularly nuclear related. Just the usual corporate (and state) irresponsibility and pennypinching."

              See your first remark and then come back.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm suggesting it.

      That's one way of looking at it I suppose. Another question to ask is why they feel they need 48k workstations to be able to see the Internet. I'll bet when the network was originally designed it was intended to be an intranet and only later did nat boxes get added. Who knows, perhaps it was seen partly as a less onerous way of applying patches. (Ironic if so.)

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Legacy

    The usual situation with some of these surviving XP boxes is that they're the only platform that will run some legacy process control stuff that nobody can afford to update. But you'd expect someone running nuclear installations wouldn't be in that position. Wouldn't you?

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Unhappy

      Re: Legacy

      Sadly true, then there is the issue of of the dongles which need a specific interface. Add in the fact that the code for the damned device has been lost. However, this does not really matter as it was written the computer equal of an unknown tribal language and the supplier has closed down anyway.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Legacy

      I would certainly hope that there was no overlap between the XP computers that were connected to the internet and the XP computers that were running legacy process control stuff.

  6. jake Silver badge

    For this kind of thing ...

    BSD on the servers & routers, Slackware on the desktops.

    It's not only a good idea, it should be the law.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: For this kind of thing ...

      BSD on the desktops as well?

      PS. Can we have a BSD icon as well as the penguin?

      1. Havin_it
        Devil

        Re: For this kind of thing ...

        There y'go.

  7. returnmyjedi

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy complex.

    As stricken appears to be a proper noun, does that mean that's its official moniker now?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It's a rough translation to English of a Japanese honorific which means the speaker is keeping a respectful distance between him or herself and the almighty fuckup.

    2. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      I get one lousy capital letter wrong and ... fixing it now

      1. PNGuinn
        Coat

        re "lousy capital letter"

        Have you tried sprinkling flea powder over your spell checker?

        What kind of louse? Enquiring...

        Ok I'm going. Mine's the one with the flit spray in the pocket.

      2. John H Woods

        "I get one lousy capital letter wrong and ... " -- Simon Sharwood

        file not found?

        tag not recognized?

        function not defined?

        password not correct?

        Probably not the right forum to expect any sympathy with case errors :-)

  8. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Hangon which version of XP?

    Its lame they have that many machines internet connected if they are running the outdated XP OS but XP Embedded is still supported for the next year.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Hangon which version of XP?

      Damn edit time has passed and just realised 48000 embedded machines is very very unlikely, I haven't been in such a Nuclear Plant before but assume there is no way it would need that many machines to run the equipment via specialist equipment. Therefore I think its an insane amount of outdated machines with internet connections.

  9. lisahhh

    Please come visit Fukushima

    I live in Japan. I went to the exclusion zone last year. 200,000 displaced people living in containers. They want to return to the land of the ancestors, but they will never be allowed to go back. Suicide rates among the survivors are dramatic (so much about 'nobody died') .

    The government gives a s&%t bout these people. Olympic Games is so much more important. Decontamination of the Daichi an Daini plant might not be completed for another 40 years. The site will need to be guarded for the next 300 years.

    Why the hell are people afraid of nuclear power?

    1. Chairo

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima

      I also live in Japan, recently I went to Hiroshima. It's quite a nice town, despite the fact that some 70 years ago roughly one kilo of plutonium blew up there and most of it was spread over the area. So much for the 300 years...

      The fuckup in Fukushima is mostly thanks to the Democratic party that tried to show they are doing something and stays so because the liberal democrats prefer to ignore bad history and signs of Japanese weakness. Judging if the area is safe would mean to take responsibility and decisive action and would bring the topic back on the table. Something Abe would never risk.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima

      They're displaced by fear, not radiation...

      The levels in Japan are higher than background - yes, but they still don't register as significant in health terms as measured across the world - bits of Iran have normal background levels of 250mSv/year

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima

      The situation in the Daini plant isn't that bad. The water remaining in the buildings there isn't badly enough contaminated for it to be a problem if released directly into the ocean (possibly after diluting it a bit). It's the radiophobic goverment thats stalling all efferts to get things cleaned there. (And the longer they keep stalling the more difficult things are going to get) The reactors themselves seem to have suffered no further damage.

      A lot of the displaced people left voluntarily but didn't have to and can return right now. The japanese culture is unfortunately one heavily suffering from "Hiroshima syndrome" where anything involving radioactivity (even at extremely low levels) is considered extremely dangerous and terifying. It's hard to blame the oldtimers for this, but the youth should be more educated about these matters. This radiophobia is actively hampering any efforts for cleanup and decontamination. There are several areas where people ARE allowed to return and which are perfectly safe, yet people stay away by choice.

      It's too early to say how long the site will remain "hot". The design of a BWR reactor and the nature of the incident mean it might be entirely possible to clean things up relatively fast.

    4. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima

      > Suicide rates among the survivors are dramatic (so much about 'nobody died')

      Yes, but as has been pointed out, this isn't actually **caused** by the radiation and safety issues - it's caused by the "OH MY GOD, IT'S RADIASHUN" brigade. ISTR that initially the government setup a fairly small exclusion zones, but then gave in to the "OH MY GOD" brigade, stoked up by irresponsible reporting (remember the "OH MY GOD, IT'S NUCLEAR EXPLOSION" reports ?) and extended it far beyond what was needed.

      So it is still true to say that very few died from any nuclear related cause. I can well accept that many will have died as a result of scaremongering, pandering to the anti-nukular brigade, and so on.

      What we do not hear about is what sort of exclusion zone (if any) has been applied to deal with the massive contamination by all sorts of crap set free by the tsunami. Oils, chemicals, rotting carcasses, you name it - it'll be there.

      The nuclear contamination can be found with a geiger counter. The chemical and other contamination can only be found visually and by analysis.

      > Why the hell are people afraid of nuclear power?

      Because too many have been brainwashed into associating any mention of the word nuclear with images of big mushroom clouds ? Certain groups have made a good business out of such tactics.

      And lets not forget that without demonising nuclear, the renewables lobby are really on a road to nowhere. Thankfully there is a glimmer that the tide may be turning (no pun intended) against wind. I have a screen dump here from a couple of weeks ago when the total output from all metered wind power in the UK dropped to just 68MW from a capacity of 8403MW - that's just 0.8% of the rated output. The peak forecast for the day was only 12.5% output !

      So even if we took all the windmills already there, and multiplied by 10 (dunno where we'd put them !), they still couldn't keep the lights on !

      Since investment in nuclear would massively reduce the carbon footprint of electricity generation, the renewables lobby have to work hard to keep it in the minds of the population as "something that makes mushroom clouds" so as to keep the government (and business) scared of the backlash from supporting nuclear.

      Fukushima is used (been on the receiving end) by the renewables lobby as "proof" that nuclear cannot ever be safe. I have seriously had someone drivel on (essentially) with an argument that Fukushima proves that a new design of nuclear cannot be safe. Somehow, the fact that it was designed (probably) 50-60 years ago is of no relevance - current designs must be equally unsafe (and as expensive to decommission) !

  10. Geoffrey Thomas

    Chernobyl fallout

    It's only fairly recently that Snowdonia's farmers have been allowed to resume selling their sheep for human consumption. Radiation levels were high in the area following the accident due to the high rainfall there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chernobyl fallout

      @GT

      There is a far worse killer that lurks everywhere but seems to get taken for granted:

      Asbestos

      DWP expects roughly 28,000 deaths from mesothelioma between July 2012 and March 2024.

      .

      1. Geoffrey Thomas

        Re: Chernobyl fallout

        I was merely stating a fact, one consequence of the accident situated far away from ground zero. Why it should attract a downvote is beyong me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chernobyl fallout

          "Why it should attract a downvote is beyong me."

          Because the nuclear boosters don't like facts, if the facts potentially paint their industy in a not particularly positive light?

          Thanks for pointing out the Snowdonia situation anway. Similar restrictions also applied in parts of Scotland if I remember rightly.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Chernobyl fallout

            The "nuclear boosters" are usually the only onces in these types of discussions that tend to use anything resembling facts and logic. It's the anti-nukes who stay as far away from facts as they can.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Chernobyl fallout

          I wasn't the downvoter - but maybe bercause "levels were high" says nothing..

          We've already established that the typical reaction to a geiger click is a massive overreaction - was the level higher than 250mSv/year? Do Iranian sheep glow? (Do the Iranians even farm sheep???)

          Levels ten times higher than berfore - when "before" was virtually nil then after is still virtually nil...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chernobyl fallout

      No downvote from me GT as I take industrial calamities seriously, I was the asbestos poster.

      I just wanted to highlight it's a perceived problem with distant Chernobyl radiation where as asbestos is killings tens of thousands of people world wide every year and it hardly gets a mention these days. One of my relatives passed away due to mesothelioma and a friends dad is slowly being killed by the disease. Asbestos is still in many places and hundreds of thousands of people have a ticking time bomb in their lungs. This stuff doesn't have a half life and just stays there.

      If you live in a building that was constructed between 1930 and 1980 there's a good chance that it contains asbestos, be very careful when renovating anything built in this time period as your health depends on it.

  11. lisahhh

    Please come visit Fukushima. Seriously.

    I live in Japan. I went to the exclusion zone last year. 200,000 displaced people living in containers. They want to return to their land, where the souls of their ancestors live, but they will never be allowed to go back. We Westerners cannot imagine what that means. Suicide rates among the survivors are sky high (so much about 'nobody died') .

    The government gives a s&%t bout these people. Olympic Games are so much more important. Decontamination of the Daiichi and Daini plant might not be completed for another 40 years. The site will need to be guarded for the next 300 years.

    Nuclear power. If it goes wrong, it really goes wrong.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima. Seriously.

      Nature. If it goes wrong, it really goes wrong.

      FTFY

    2. smartypants

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima. Seriously.

      It is very odd that the authorities across the world are happy to let people live in proven earthquake and tsunami areas, despite their well-documented ability to kill tens of thousands of people immediately and make hundreds of thousands of people homeless, yet they seem able to exclude populations for reasons relating to the much-less-serious consequences of a nuclear disaster.

      Does anyone know why this is?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please come visit Fukushima. Seriously.

        Radiation is much sneakier.

        You live in a tsunami, volcano, or earthquake prone area? You may die.

        You live in an irradiated area? It may not be you who dies. You might. Your children might. There may be some subtle genetic change which doesn't fully manifest for a few generations.

        It all comes down to the radioactive particulate interaction at a cellular level. The percentage of alteration can be measured (kills the cell, prevents the cell from preforming mitosis, upon mitosis the new cell is "born" dead, upon mitosis the new cell is "altered", or.. nothing consequential happens and the cell reproduces normally.. generally in that order) , but the effects of a "mutation" can vary wildly, from nothing significant, to altering the basic "job"/function of the cell.

        Now.. in this situation? No. There should be no fear to return. The levels aren't as high as some people would like us to believe. (I think people were supposed to be dropping dead off the west coast of Canada/US for radioactive fish by now right? :P )

        Immediate evacuation is good. Staying out/away for a while.. still good. It isn't as crazy dangerous as they make it all sound, unless you're planning to live in a constant influx of a high volume of radiation. People (in general) don't understand the science or numbers. They understand Hollywood and the Tele. So yeah.. You can pull a glowing green plutonium rod out of an operating reactor just fine... (so much is wrong in that sentence that it pained me to type it) but anything dealing with weaponry or power generation... Hooooly dogshit.

        IIRC, more deaths occur from mishandling of medical & industrial radiation sources than all nuclear power plant accidents. But I don't have a source atm.... so "Uhhh... Bonjour"

    3. Havin_it
      Trollface

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima. Seriously.

      Can we expect more than a dozen changed words in your third post?

    4. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Please come visit Fukushima. Seriously.

      I went to the exclusion zone last year. 200,000 displaced people living in containers. They want to return to their land, where the souls of their ancestors live, but they will never be allowed to go back.

      Ahuh. And this is all due to the Daiichi plant, and not, for instance, the fact that little of the towns and villages they lived in exist anymore, having been swept away or utterly destroyed by a Tsunami?

  12. Spaceman Spiff

    Time for a change?

    Why should Tepco pay a gazillion $$ (or Yen) to Microsoft for another crappy operating system, and have to replace all of their computers as well (48,000 x $1500 USD == $72M USD not including software)? Switch to Linux, and continue using that old hardware until it dies. Switch to LibreOffice - it supports just about every language known to humankind and old MS formats as well. All of that, AND it is more secure!

    1. beast666

      Re: Time for a change?

      I had to help an old guy the other day to convert .pdf files to 'Word'

      It turned out this guy needed to renew his certificates to be a captain of a large ship.

      There were many docs and certificates... Seriously, a lot....

      This guy has probably captained more tonnage than the Moon.

      And they wouldn't accept pdf!

      Anyhow... Jap nuke thing wasn't worth evacuating a squirrel for...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time for a change?

      "Why should Tepco pay a gazillion $$ (or Yen) to Microsoft for another crappy operating system, and have to replace all of their computers as well (48,000 x $1500 USD == $72M USD not including software)? Switch to Linux, and continue using that old hardware until it dies. "

      It's usually cheaper to run Microsoft in a business when you look at the long term total cost of ownership.

      "Switch to LibreOffice - it supports just about every language known to humankind and old MS formats as well."

      This is a business - they need a version of Office that actually works - and the documents look the same when they send them to other companies...And Libre Office doesn't replace Outlook either.

      "All of that, AND it is more secure!"

      The Linux kernel alone had more holes than the complete Windows OS last year. Linux also still doesn't have basic security features like constrained delegation.

  13. tiesx150
  14. kevin blanch

    Nice work

    Loved it great PC.,, keep up your fine work, this is so,so good, made my dad,,

  15. West Dakota Revolutionary

    Nuclear Power Plant Powered by Microsux???

    Sheez, if you can afford a nuclear power plant, you can surely afford to upgrade to a Mac. Anyone who uses Windows in this day and age has to be a retard. Then again, Bill Gates is a big nuclear energy promoter, so maybe has some commercial ties to Fukushima. Now go drink some sewage, Bill...

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