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Old 06-18-2011, 11:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is the media trying to sway public opinion?



So, when do you think this picture was taken? Where do you think it is? What building do you think that is? Has the media where you live covered it at all?

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power station in Fort Calhoun, Neb., ... - Yahoo! News Photos

It appears that this nuclear power plant will survive the flood, that is right in the central part of the USA. I think it might be something worth mentioning to the rest of us downwind of it though.

Is the media trying to keep us from panicking about old nuclear power plants? Since the plant has prepared and not at a high risk of danger of melting down (at least from what they say), does it mean that we shouldn't hear about the close calls? Or is the building secure enough that a flood won't get in or prevent back-up power recirculators from functioning?

Is it because if the people were informed, that getting any new and better nuclear projects off the ground would be more difficult? Would they worry that people would want the existing plants to be shut down? Do some people worry more about producing power (and job stability & profits) than where it comes from and the damage that it causes?
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I contest your apparent assertion that the newsmedia as a whole are interested in representing nuclear power as a positive force. Fears of a nuclear disaster, substantiated or not, and misrepresentations of what situations like a meltdown actually are, draw in viewers, readers, and listeners, who will be served with the advertisements that pay for their existence.

Never forget that TV programming exists solely so that you can be shown advertising. Barring any overwhelmingly wealthy backers who see their political agendas as worth promoting, news is entertainment.
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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People, in general, should be informed about close calls. This just isn't one of them.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If there were ever a real danger related to nuclear technology on American soil, I'd bet my bottom dollar that it would become a media circus.

I don't care what kind of bias any particular media outlet has; one thing that seems to remain despite the shifts in technology is that if it bleeds it leads.

Even near misses at nuclear plants have dire consequences regarding those involved. I mean, the technology is so "safe," right?
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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if it bleeds it leads, sure...but what bleeds has to be an event of some kind. fukushima---which is really fucked up---has more or less disappeared from the american infotainment/opinion management system in part because the disaster stopped having the characteristics of an event and became a process of deterioration/intensification of bad things. processes don't play well. continuity doesn't play well. vital advertising is at stake, you see, so it's important to maintain a disconnected, factoid oriented approach to infotainment delivery. without that, you might not pay attention to the vital advertising.

this is not to say that there's no opinion management at play. in the main, i think chomsky and herman are right in books like manufacturing consent in that the terms of "legitimate debate" on a given issue are still---to my horror----set by teevee talking heads.

it may not be a coincidence that general electric is a major player in the "free" american corporate media-scape and that stories which damage their interests (which need not be direct) are less likely to get coverage than others---but i don't know that empirically (it's hard to prove a negative).
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
If there were ever a real danger related to nuclear technology on American soil, I'd bet my bottom dollar that it would become a media circus.
...
Even near misses at nuclear plants have dire consequences regarding those involved. I mean, the technology is so "safe," right?
Three Mile Island became a media circus after a "near miss." It's "The worst nuclear disaster in the US" despite the fact that an actual disaster was averted because when something went wrong, the safety systems worked.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/us/21flood.html

The NYT did a good story on it, with actual journalism.

It is still raining there, but it looks like the NRC had them upgrade their flood defenses last year. And they say that the buildings are waterproof, but I would have asked if the back-up power generators/transmission lines are needed if the reactor is in a cold shutdown mode.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Manufacturing Consent is still one of the best pieces of nonfiction I've ever had the pleasure of reading and rereading and rereading.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think they are definitely not giving the Fukushima meltdown enough coverage. From what I've read this disaster is dwarfing the Chernobyl incident, yet it isn't being talked about. Instead we have to hear about Weinergate and other stupid issues.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Flood berm bursts at Nebraska nuclear plant - CNN.com

Oops. Guess one inflatable berm didn't stay inflated. Didn't they think it was going to crest at 999 ft as well...

So, who do we trust to tell us if there is a problem there? The power company, the NRC, the media, some environmental agency? When do I have to worry about checking the jet stream and figuring out if I have to wear my radiation suit and take KI pills?

Last edited by ASU2003; 06-26-2011 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol View Post
I think they are definitely not giving the Fukushima meltdown enough coverage. From what I've read this disaster is dwarfing the Chernobyl incident, yet it isn't being talked about. Instead we have to hear about Weinergate and other stupid issues.
No, sorry, I don't know what you're reading but Fukushima is not remotely on par with Chernobyl in any way shape or form. In fact that comparison is SO absurd it is LITERALLY the equivalent of comparing a spill in the oil aisle at pep boys to the gulf oil spill. In chernobyl the reactor itself exploded and turned into a gigantic open-air geyser of radioactive material and massive numbers of people were sent in with negligible protection and knowledge of radiation hazards (if any at all) in a typical soviet "men are disposable" style solution.

Fukushima is, if anything, ENCOURAGING because it shows that even an ancient active-safety reactor that was scheduled to be decommissioned can stand up to not only one to an earthquake so absurdly powerful it moved the whole damn planet four inches off axis and their entire country eight feet to the side but also having a mass of water on par with the great lakes thrown at you at a couple hundred miles per hour and STILL not go full chernobyl and present a genuine threat to the surrounding public.

If that were a modern passive-safety reactor you could've just walked away from it and let the reaction die on its own. The problem isn't nuclear power, it's that we habitually underbuild and underregulate power plants and then once they ARE built every time an inspection comes up we just relax regulations rather than fix any problems and we never bother to retire old plants or upgrade to better and more safe reactor designs. We just throw it at the lowest bidder and then pretend it's not our problem when the thing crumbles from mistreatment over decades.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Back-up generators put to use at Nebraska nuclear plant - CNN.com

I guess they finally had nothing else like Weinergate to report on... And can you spot the error in this story? (The plant was shutdown in April, not yesterday).

------------------

The Fukushima disaster is pretty bad. It's not the same in terms of fallout maybe, but there is more nuclear material involved in this disaster. And this one isn't done yet.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
No, sorry, I don't know what you're reading but Fukushima is not remotely on par with Chernobyl in any way shape or form. In fact that comparison is SO absurd it is LITERALLY the equivalent of comparing a spill in the oil aisle at pep boys to the gulf oil spill. In chernobyl the reactor itself exploded and turned into a gigantic open-air geyser of radioactive material and massive numbers of people were sent in with negligible protection and knowledge of radiation hazards (if any at all) in a typical soviet "men are disposable" style solution.

Fukushima is, if anything, ENCOURAGING because it shows that even an ancient active-safety reactor that was scheduled to be decommissioned can stand up to not only one to an earthquake so absurdly powerful it moved the whole damn planet four inches off axis and their entire country eight feet to the side but also having a mass of water on par with the great lakes thrown at you at a couple hundred miles per hour and STILL not go full chernobyl and present a genuine threat to the surrounding public.

If that were a modern passive-safety reactor you could've just walked away from it and let the reaction die on its own. The problem isn't nuclear power, it's that we habitually underbuild and underregulate power plants and then once they ARE built every time an inspection comes up we just relax regulations rather than fix any problems and we never bother to retire old plants or upgrade to better and more safe reactor designs. We just throw it at the lowest bidder and then pretend it's not our problem when the thing crumbles from mistreatment over decades.
Both disasters received the highest level 7 rating for nuclear disasters. The Ocean contamination of Fukushima is already higher than Chernobyl. If it's not already worse the potential is defiently there due to the fact that there is no end in sight of getting this thing under control.

Also this:

Costs rise in 'worst industrial disaster'

Quote:
Gundersen, a senior former nuclear industry executive in the United States.

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Gundersen asserts. "We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl ... The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometers being found 60 to 70 kilometers away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up." [1]

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the operator of the crippled plant, now grudgingly acknowledge that their timeline for bringing the situation under control, by the end of the year, "may be" unrealistic. They also acknowledge that Fukushima has "probably" released more radiation than Chernobyl. Both have come under strong criticism in the past for withholding information and releasing overly optimistic estimates.
The US media seems to be portraying this as a 'nothing to see here, move along'.

There also seems to be a correlation between this disaster and the 35% increased infant mortality rate seen along the west coast.
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Last edited by samcol; 06-27-2011 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Every thread on nuclear power needs this clip from environmentalist David Suzuki, a personal hero of mine.

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Old 06-27-2011, 09:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol View Post
Both disasters received the highest level 7 rating for nuclear disasters. The Ocean contamination of Fukushima is already higher than Chernobyl. If it's not already worse the potential is defiently there due to the fact that there is no end in sight of getting this thing under control.

Also this:

Costs rise in 'worst industrial disaster'



The US media seems to be portraying this as a 'nothing to see here, move along'.

There also seems to be a correlation between this disaster and the 35% increased infant mortality rate seen along the west coast.

Really? My take was that the US media seems hell bent on portraying this as worse than getting bombed. That kind of alarmist reporting of infant mortality for example is not something that says "rational and empirical" to me. Chernobyl was putting out short-term lethal amounts of radiation, if this is as bad or worse wheres the evidence?
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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of course the media want to sway public opinion. that's why people go into media.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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shocking.

Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima | Environment | The Guardian

shocking i say.
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