Links and Reading for March 22nd

Some of the more interesting and important items for March 22nd :

  • Japan Ignored Warning of Nuclear Vulnerability – – Japanese regulators discussed in recent months the use of new cooling technologies at nuclear plants that could have lessened or prevented the disaster that struck this month when a tsunami wiped out the electricity at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power facility.
  • Joseph Stiglitz on the U.S., Japan and Europe – – A Nobel Prize-winning economist says the West hasn't learned much from Japan's long slump or the struggles of Hoovernomics.
  • Fukushima Engineer Says He Covered Up Flaw at Shut Reactor – Bloomberg – Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. (6501) in 1974. The reactor, which Tanaka has called a “time bomb,” was shut for maintenance when the March 11 earthquake triggered a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that disabled cooling systems at the plant, leading to explosions and radiation leaks.
  • Japan supply paralysis spreads as firms cut output | Reuters – TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp cut output at five more plants and Toyota Motor Corp delayed restarting assembly lines, as the global supply of parts and products began to feel the full impact of Japan's catastrophic earthquake.
  • Fed Had Profit From Investments of $82 Billion Last Year – – The 12 regional banks that make up the Federal Reserve system held $2.4 trillion in government debt, mortgage-backed securities and other investments at the end of 2010, mostly amassed in an effort to backstop the financial system, according to a combined financial statement the Fed published Tuesday.
  • 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error
  • Another Hazard at Stricken Plant – Spent Fuel – – READ THIS: Figures provided by Tokyo Electric Power on Thursday show that most of the dangerous uranium at the power plant is actually in the spent fuel rods, not the reactor cores themselves. The electric utility said that a total of 11,195 spent fuel rod assemblies were stored at the site. That is about four times as much radioactive material as in the reactor cores combined.