Originally Posted by NoahJ
I don't understand why they don't just rig them for full remote and then leave the trucks there spraying.
Your reports are so much appreciated. The information that I see in them is much more interesting and relevant than most news outlets here. Hope you are staying generally warm. Are you also turning your heat off during this, or are you in a region affected by the blackouts?
I was wondering the same about remote control and hope that they are working on various methods that may or may not be needed if others work.
I would hope, for example, that there is a team already designing some kind of containment building that could be built around the plant. My idea would be to use helicopters to lower wall sections that would then be stitched together by a robot or a docking mechanism with no need for humans to risk their lives. Hopefully this would never be needed, but I would hope they are already working on it in case it is. Interesting tidbit: I believe the sarcophagus that covers Chernobyl was designed by a Japanese nuclear specialist who is still alive.
Glad to report what I can and do. It helps to get it off my chest.
We have a satellite TV system that has several news channels (including CNN and BBC) in addition to the local (national) digital channels. Various channels do better with covering for example the news conferences in their entirety or in having better experts, so we switch around and often use the double screen function to allow us to listen to one program and read another's ticker. We have occasionally switched to BBC and CNN but more out of interest in how they are covering the topic. We never last very long because of the antics of the announcers (Jim Clancy comes to mind). The stark difference to some of the Japanese announcers is shocking. Also, CNN the other day was carrying an interview with Adam (American Idol fame) during a very important stage in the disaster. BBC was discussing cricket. Both these channels have tons of commercials (usually promoting themselves) which also makes it hard to watch.
On the topic of the media here, they are beginning to really complain about lack of info from the government. NHK ripped them tonight. This morning's helicopter dumps began with no word from the current cabinet, but shortly after a press meeting started with the nuclear safety board. The Primer Minister has not been seen today, but we were told of his phone call with Obama. There is very little information getting to people near the plants, leading to lots of anxiety.
Japan doesn't usually use the spokesman system like the US does. So, if the ministers are busy (as they likely are) nothing gets out. Also, there are several locations where info is coming from, no single command office, which is confusing. Today, one came from the nuclear safety admin's offices, one from wherever Edano is, one from the ministry of defense and one from the TEPCO office. This evening, there were two conferences going on at the same time preventing us from watching one.
Anderson Cooper did some interviews and hasn't found anyone who trusts the info coming from the government. That is easy to imagine. My wife started watching his show during the Egypt crisis but hasn't been able to make it through an entire program this week.
As for us, we are way to the south on another island and therefore are not included in the rolling blackout program. (BTW, it only affects northern Japan as the country has two systems: 60Hz and 50Hz due to the history of electrical power here - the first two generators came from the US and Germany and the system has remained that way ever since. The south cannot supply power to the north). It turned colder for us and very windy from yesterday, but nothing like what the people up in the disaster area have to put up with so we cannot complain. There are also no worries about radiation or supply shortages here. If you hadn't watched the news at all and went around town, you possibly wouldn't know that anything had happened.