Thursday, July 19, 2007

Update And Correction

I realize I've mindlessly misstated the date of the earthquake which recently damaged a nuclear reactor in the north-west of Japan. The day was Monday, not Sunday.

Today's newspaper reports that lids came off some barrels containing low-level nuclear waste. And I learnt that the local mayor did not actually have the authority to close down the nuclear power plant. What he did have, under fire safety regulations, was the power to order a halt to activities which might constitute a fire hazard, and by invoking this power he, in effect, forced the reactor facility to shut down.

In other news, last night I briefly saw, on TV, a guy I recognized as the president of Hope Meat, the disgraced Hokkaido meat company. I thought he might commit suicide, but evidently he hasn't. Perhaps he's shameless.

More news about Hope Meat has been oozing out over the last few weeks. They economized, apparently, by using rain water rather than tap water to defrost some frozen meat they were going to process into food. Assuming the rain water comes from the roof, and it's hard to see where else it would come from, it's it's axiomatically going to be contaminated by bird poop, since birds are in the habit of pooping on any roof they find under their wingspan.

Additionally, if I followed a Japanese-language news broadcast correctly, some years back the company abandoned the practice of having the legally mandated tests for salmonella performed. Instead, it simply forged paperwork which said that its bacon and sausages were salmonella-free.

I assume that by now the whole Hope Meat scandal has been dragged out into the open, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong.


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