Dienstag, März 15, 2011

Some Background on Josef Oehmen's Blogpost

Josef ist genauso wie ich kein Kerntechniker, sondern eigentlich Supply Chain Manager. Wir haben zusammen an der TU München Maschinenwesen studiert und daher ein fundiertes Grundwissen, wenn es um Technik geht. Vor einer Stunde hat Josef ein bisschen Hintergrundinformationen über sich und die Enstehung seines Artikels auf facebook gepostet, die ich Euch nicht vorenthalten möchte:

And here the background piece I just put online. I think I am now done with it and have to wait and see if I emerge as the visionary leader or - stupid.

Background to the original post here on Jason’s Blog and the current version at mitnse.com by Josef Oehmen, who really was the author

I am a mechanical engineer and research scientist at MIT. I am not a nuclear engineer or scientist, or affiliated with Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, so please feel free to question my competence. The text is based on an email that I send to family and friends in Japan the night of March 12. It was posted on this blog by my cousin Jason, went viral and has been equally popular with people who hate it and love it ever since. It aimed at explaining the events surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi-1 reactor. Great lengths of the text are dedicated to explaining how the reactor works, what the different types of radiation sources are, and what safety features have been implemented. I then continue to describe how these safety features were operated to secure the reactor. To the extent that I could, I have verified this information with experts in the field, while the responsibility for any errors remains with me. The version on mitnse.com is the most accurate, and as you can tell in many parts different to the version that appeared here on Jason’s blog. This post is not keeping track of or explaining events after Mar 12. Events kept developing, and many people keep sharing their discovery with me that one is always smarter after the fact.

In my email, preserved through various copies of Jason’s first post around the internet, I expressed my strong believe that my family and friends are safe. This keeps both annoying and reassuring a great many people. Whether my unwavering trust in my fellow engineers of 50 years ago who designed and build the plant, or my complete trust and admiration of my fellow engineers who are currently operating the reactors makes me a level-headed guy or right-out stupid is also hotly debated. Most people hope for the former, but some have decided for the latter.

As far as I am concerned, I was just doing my job. Fixing things. In this case, a complete lack of understandable context information that would have allowed my family and friends in Japan to make an informed assessment of their situation.

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