PDA

View Full Version : Major Quake, Tsunami hit Pacific Rim


Pages : [1] 2

nobby
March 11th, 2011, 09:01 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12709598

The initial quake has just been upgraded to 8.9 on the3 Richter scale.

Watching live footage of a tsunami hitting Tokyo. Incredible, not in a good way.

Philippines, Indonesia, coastal Russia Guam, Hawaii, etc. are all under a tsunami warning.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc0001xgp.php

J.G.
March 11th, 2011, 10:51 AM
HOLY. "Each cubic meter of water weighs one ton..."

Hopefully the waves that hits the other coastal countries will be minimal by the time it arrives.

Holy ripple effect with all the damages across Japan and Christ was the quake close to Honshu and huge.

Whoa.

G. Hoffman
March 11th, 2011, 10:53 AM
I'm looking at these videos on the BBC, and it is just terrifying. Even if you know - intellectually - how destructive water can be, you just can't imagine water doing THAT.

There is a picture they keep showing of the water, I THINK, flowing out, and taking boats, buildings, cars, and trucks all being pulled out with it. And the picture of the wave going over that farm land is deeply disturbing.

They are saying it will be hitting Hawaii in about 4 hours, so right about 3:00 A.M. Thankfully, they will have had enough warning (well, hopefully) to get people out of the way, and hopefully it will have slowed down a bit, but I can't even imagine what this is going to do to the Philippines.


Gabriel

eagan
March 11th, 2011, 11:01 AM
Big.

I sure hope the tsunami doesn't cause the problems of the severity I've just been watching as it spreads. Warnings up for Oz, NZ, and Hawaii. As everybody will probably be seeing replayed in endless loop mode, some of the footage of water rolling across the land is stunning.

My eyes went big when they showed a shot where several LARGE boats.. maybe more fair to classify them as ships, were left sitting well inland.

Big ugly refinery fire going.


JLE

TSTW
March 11th, 2011, 11:05 AM
Crazy. CRAZY. It's going to hit Hawaii in 4hrs. I can't imagine what it's like to have a countdown to destruction in this form. knowing and waiting for it.

Be safe.

G. Hoffman
March 11th, 2011, 11:10 AM
Google has it on their front page now.


Gabriel

eagan
March 11th, 2011, 11:13 AM
An irony is that a friend's eldest son is just in the process of moving to Hawaii. His wife has been there a while (she got a job there, the impetus for this) while he's been here dealing with their house. I'm not sure, but if I remember correctly the last thing my friend mentioned about it, Junior was catching a plane this past weekend to finally take him and the kid to Hawaii to complete the move.

I wonder what they think now. I hope they're away from the danger zone.


JLE

plughead
March 11th, 2011, 07:18 PM
My thoughts are with all those affected by this horrible disaster. Incredible to have so many major earthquakes this past year.

I'm glad to hear/read the nuclear reactor that earlier today was unable to pump coolant is now cooling down and remains a non-threat to the population of Japan and abroad...

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE72A1US20110311

People in the affected zone, please chime in and let us know you're OK and how things have been affected.

Hopeful from Canuckistan.

weedywet
March 11th, 2011, 08:03 PM
My flight to Tokyo tomorrow morning has been cancelled, but apparently as soon as we can rebook we're still going.

I'll let you know from there how it looks on the ground... but from what they're telling us, the bulk of the damage is up north.

Apparently the U.S. and Russia have sent coolant and assistance to the nuclear power plant.
If I come back glowing, you will know why.


Seriously though, the level of destruction up north is pretty terrifying.

Wide-O
March 11th, 2011, 08:09 PM
My flight to Tokyo tomorrow morning has been cancelled, but apparently as soon as we can rebook we're still going.


You were/are to play there?


Seriously though, the level of destruction up north is pretty terrifying.

Indeed. I think I need to turn off the TV, it just looks too horrific.

weedywet
March 11th, 2011, 08:12 PM
You were/are to play there?




Yes.
first show in Nagoya on Monday

allegedly

weedywet
March 11th, 2011, 08:35 PM
"

Expert: Threat of Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan -- "Could Be Worse Than Chernobyl"


The Associated Press reports: “Japan ordered thousands of residents near a northeastern nuclear power plant to evacuate today following a massive earthquake that caused a problem in the plant’s cooling system.”

The Institute for Public Accuracy issued the following release:

Kamps is a specialist in nuclear waste at Beyond Nuclear. Last year he was in Japan assessing the state of nuclear facilities there. He said today: “The electrical grid is down. The emergency diesel generators have been damaged. The multi-reactor Fukushima atomic power plant is now relying on battery power, which will only last around eight hours. The danger is, the very thermally hot reactor cores at the plant must be continuously cooled for 24 to 48 hours. Without any electricity, the pumps won’t be able to pump water through the hot reactor cores to cool them. Once electricity is lost, the irradiated nuclear fuel could begin to melt down. If the containment systems fail, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur.


“In addition to the reactor cores, the storage pool for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel is also at risk. The pool cooling water must be continuously circulated. Without circulation, the still thermally hot irradiated nuclear fuel in the storage pools will begin to boil off the cooling water. Within a day or two, the pool’s water could completely boil away. Without cooling water, the irradiated nuclear fuel could spontaneously combust in an exothermic reaction. Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.”

Japanese officials say that everything has been contained so far.

Obviously, our thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this disaster.


..."

nobby
March 11th, 2011, 11:07 PM
Seriously though, the level of destruction up north is pretty terrifying.

What's particularly horrifying to me is that the people in the communities by the shore in that area didn't have much of a chance if they weren't at work somewhere away from the coast at the time.

Unless I have something wrong, an earthquake is 80 miles out to sea. The same quake that is making the ground shake too much for you to stand up is simultaneously creating a tsunami which is now heading in your direction @ 500MPH.

You have about 15 minutes to get yourself the better part of a kilometer away just to have enough of a head start.

The wave hits the shoreline and goes from being a shallow wave travelling @ 500MPH to a 25' wall of water going at highway speed and not stopping for traffic signals, pedestrians, or anything else.

Followed a little later by the same thing, but this time a 33' wall of water.

I hope I'm wrong but I think the death toll is going to be in the thousands if not tens of thousands.

G. Hoffman
March 12th, 2011, 01:05 AM
Has anyone heard anything about what happened in Guam or the Philippines? Or anywhere else other than Japan? The news is getting rather repeatative, and I'd like to know about the rest of the world too.


Gabriel

Darth_Fader
March 12th, 2011, 01:29 AM
"

Expert: Threat of Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan -- "Could Be Worse Than Chernobyl"

..."

While anything is possible, you should probably know that that article is credited to an anti-nuke author and is associated with a "progressive" web site that has been, well, selectively alarmist about any number of things.

More likely some water will get washed out of the storage pool by the tsunami and THAT will cause a small release. Still not good, but given the magnitude of the catstrophe, not so bad either.

Bear in mind that if the same wave washed over a coal yard and a coal plant ash field, the heavy metal pollution would be enormous, and just as persistent.

Aardvark
March 12th, 2011, 01:43 AM
...I hope I'm wrong but I think the death toll is going to be in the thousands if not tens of thousands.

Having seen first-hand the effects of this kind of natural disaster I can't imagine you are anything but correct.



:Confused:

Darth_Fader
March 12th, 2011, 01:59 AM
Having seen first-hand the effects of this kind of natural disaster I can't imagine you are anything but correct.



:Confused:

All you have to consider is the wave of houses that were seen washing inland along with a couple of yachts and a smallish container ship. I'm trying not to think how many people were in the houses when it hit. Probably a huge loss of family members with salarymen finding themselves suddenly homeless and single, which is really ugly. :(

Also, they've just enlarged the evacuation zone around that nuke plant to 10km. Hopefully the guys telling the Chernobyl stories aren't right. :(

AND: The claim of the increased evacuation zone has just been removed from the news site. So who knows.

Wide-O
March 12th, 2011, 06:02 AM
FWIW it seems to be about 2 nuclear plants now. (BBC, Al Jazeera), national emergency declared.

G. Hoffman
March 12th, 2011, 11:07 AM
Also, they've just enlarged the evacuation zone around that nuke plant to 10km. Hopefully the guys telling the Chernobyl stories aren't right. :(


The idea the stations in Japan could be even 10% as bad as Chernobyl, much less "worse than Chernobyl" is idiotic. Chernobyl was designed with practically NO safety precautions in place. As near as I can tell, the Red Party leaders must have felt that designing for the real world was unpatriotic or something - not unusual for politicians of any color - because there is no way any half-way competent design engineer would design based on the assumption that nothing would ever go wrong, ever - which seems to have been the design brief for Chernobyl. The Japanese are not that stupid, and have a better understanding of the dangers of radiation than any other nation (for obvious reasons).

The amount of coverage being given to this nuclear power station has more to do with the media's fear mongering than any real threat. People have an - understandable - fear of radiation, but even if there is some release (as there has, in fact, been), it would need to be massive before it becomes dangerous. Well designed nuclear plants have multiple safety procedures in place. The first back-up failed at this place. They will have several more to work through before things get serious. The evacuations are simply a precaution, much like the evacuations at Three Mile Island - an event where not one person was exposed to a dangerous dose of radiation. Frankly, the evacuations are more political than practical, though if something DIDI go wrong, you're going to be happy you did it!

The anti-nuclear activists are almost as foolish as the people pushing for large amounts of nuclear power generation. Nuclear could provide all of our power in the US - for about 20 years, when the world completely ran out of fuel. And of course, the amount of really horrible nuclear waste is a bit of a problem, too! Not really a viable form of power, in the long term!


Gabriel

tannoy
March 12th, 2011, 11:11 AM
Seems to get more worse...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12720219


Marco

Darth_Fader
March 12th, 2011, 12:48 PM
Chernobyl was designed with practically NO safety precautions in place.


It's even worse than that. Graphite piles have been known since the 1940's to be uncontrollable at anything other than maximum output, hard to shut down safely, and absolutely insanely unstable at low power densities.

So what did they do? They tried a "low power test". On a graphite pile reactor (which nobody in their right mind who's even read the open literature from 1950 would ever consider building if they were in their right mind, did I mention being in their right mind?) a "low power test" is just plain nuts.

Note, I wasn't suggesting that the doomsayers at that progressive site were wrong, I was attempting to be a bit sarcastic.


The evacuations are simply a precaution, much like the evacuations at Three Mile Island - an event where not one person was exposed to a dangerous dose of radiation.


In fact, the total radiation release from TMI during the accident was less than a modest sized coal plant, burning standard appalachian coal, would release via smokestack in a year, due to the radium/radon and thorium in the coal. One of those facts that a lot of people seem to, well, ignore.


The anti-nuclear activists are almost as foolish as the people pushing for large amounts of nuclear power generation. Nuclear could provide all of our power in the US - for about 20 years, when the world completely ran out of fuel. And of course, the amount of really horrible nuclear waste is a bit of a problem, too! Not really a viable form of power, in the long term!


Gabriel

Well, the problem with the US's situation is that we have banned reprocessing. In present reactors, you can "burn" about 5% of the fuel before you have to pull it from the reactor due to the contamination with light, fast-fissioning elements. What we do, then, is to vitrify the stuff and bury it.

On-site reprocessing would separate out the light stuff, put it in a safe storage pool, and let it sit for two years, at which time it would be pretty much "burnt" out. The rest of the stuff, the longer halflife stuff, is called "fuel" and could go right back into a U238 breeder blanket reactor, or a thorium reactor, or even better, a pebble-bed reactor whose default when coolant is lost is "cool down".

Then there is the thorium reactor technology. Thorium is interesting in that there is quite a bit more of it than there is of U235 or 238, it provides as much energy, but a reactor with only Thorium in it will not reach criticality. Quite. So you inject neutrons, and it runs. Kill the neutron input, and it just goes to sleep. There's still the same problem with fission products, but it's again solvable in the same way. The best part of all this is that chemical reprocessing does not provide weapons-grade anything, rather a messy, ugly heap of isotopes that work in the reactor, but wouldn't do squat in an explosive weapon.

So, you're a bit off on the "all nuclear" option, we have about 20 times the fuel, minimum, that you think we do, and that's without resorting to breeding or thorium. There is a LOT of U238 in the world, and 3 times as much thorium, and it's all useless unless put into a breeder situation. U238 is as much a chemical poison as it is a radiation problem. Thorium is even less radioactive, your gas lamp mantles are 2% thorium. That ash that is left when you burn the mantle that makes all the light? Thorium oxide. Yes. Really. One of the most refractory materials around.

But, sorry, don't want to derail, I agree, the scare-press is quite off on the Chernobyl stuff, and the ravings about 100 times worse? With a reactor that has no graphite to burn for days (although uranium burns nicely, too, there isn't nearly as much of it), ...

But there is now video of a nasty steam explosion at one of the plants. I'm hoping that wasn't the primary coolant. :(

meLoCo_go
March 12th, 2011, 03:30 PM
Nuclear power plants can be made safe and safer than coal plants.
The worrying fact is that instead of all the precautionary measures it appears that there was not enough cooling capacity in the event of quake/tsunami and its dependence on outside power.
IMO there should be a system that could completely shut off reactor (even making it a write off) that can be initiated without any external power.

Keks
March 12th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Nuclear power plants can be made safe and safer than coal plants.


This might possibly true in standard operation,
but if the shit hits the fan, the risks of a coal plant melting are pretty neat.
And I believe that it is hybris to believe that humans can take into account and calculate every potential danger situation that our earth has in stock.
I've seen enough about risk management to think that save nuclear power is a mere chimera.
In the expected value every plant will blow up.

All the best,
the keks

Wide-O
March 12th, 2011, 07:45 PM
Does this count as shit hitting the fan?

I hope this is done by some sick fuck with Photoshop.

Aardvark
March 12th, 2011, 07:55 PM
Does this count as shit hitting the fan?

I hope this is done by some sick fuck with Photoshop.

Not a fake.

Here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/).


Watch the film.


But the Japanese are saying it is just a flesh wound.


No worries.


:Confused:



.

Carlo
March 12th, 2011, 08:17 PM
No worries.


:Confused:

Just swallow your Iodine pill and see me in the morning...

Johnny
March 12th, 2011, 08:21 PM
What killed me was watching the footage and seeing cars on the road as the wave approached, then the camera panning away. You're aching for the guy to make it while knowing he probably didn't.

We've seen so much CGI in superhero movies and stuff that it's hard to believe those are really burning houses and cars getting pushed that fast for that far.
:Sad:

Wide-O
March 12th, 2011, 08:24 PM
But the Japanese are saying it is just a flesh wound.


A small crack. Gotit.

It's just that ... you can even see the roof of that building floating in the air.

No words for this. :Sad:

Aardvark
March 12th, 2011, 11:13 PM
A small crack. Gotit.

It's just that ... you can even see the roof of that building floating in the air.

No words for this. :Sad:

I have read a credible report that the building that blew up housed the turbine and not the reactor and that the explosion was fueled by excess hydrogen engineers likely diverted from the reactor building to the turbine building.




.

Aardvark
March 12th, 2011, 11:43 PM
Or perhaps not (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8378631/Japan-earthquake-tens-of-thousands-missing-as-full-devastation-emerges.html).




Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary, said:


“The nuclear reactor is surrounded by a steel reactor container, which is then surrounded by a concrete building,” he said. “The concrete building collapsed. We found out that the reactor container inside didn’t explode.

“We’ve confirmed that the reactor container was not damaged. The explosion didn’t occur inside the reactor container. As such there was no large amount of radiation leakage outside.”

Spock
March 13th, 2011, 02:47 AM
In fact, the total radiation release from TMI during the accident was less than a modest sized coal plant, burning standard appalachian coal, would release via smokestack in a year, due to the radium/radon and thorium in the coal. One of those facts that a lot of people seem to, well, ignore.


Very little goes up the stack, EPA regs. The fly ash is pulled out by large electrostatic precipitators. The collected fly ash is then sold to make concrete, or used is clean fill. It was used as fill in the switch yard area of nuke plant under construction, until it raised the background radiation levels so much it was setting off the plant radiation alarms before an fuel was ever on site.

Dangers of coal plants, plenty of them. Too many to tell you about. We were always more worried about the Du Pount plant next door with the large tank of anhydrous ammonium.

Anyway... Keeping an eye on the news about the nuke plants.


Just saw Aardy's posts. Crap. They released hot H2 and didn't expect it to explode?

dwoz
March 13th, 2011, 02:50 AM
"the reactor was not damaged"

um....you do not drop a concrete building on something, ANYTHING, without there being some damage.

Personally, I do not believe for even one second, any of the official reports prepared by power companies. The only thing worse than a radioactive containment breach would be a radioactive information breach, in terms of it's economic effect on the company. And yes, I do believe that "company men" will make the decision to protect the company at the expense of the populace.

This is not to say that they do or have lied, but rather that I have ZERO expectation that what I'm hearing is the whole truth.

Cary Chilton
March 13th, 2011, 04:20 AM
Man, this is getting scary! A member on my forum is IN Toyko and giving day to day updates.
http://carychiltonforums.yuku.com/topic/68/JAPAN-EARTHQUAKE-AND-TSUNAMI

Wide-O
March 13th, 2011, 04:29 AM
Just saw Aardy's posts. Crap. They released hot H2 and didn't expect it to explode?

Get with the program Spock, that was a, um, controlled explosion.

:headpalm:

What dwoz said... I'm not a fan of "conspiracy theories", but I don't think the information out there is reliable.

Darth_Fader
March 13th, 2011, 04:49 AM
Very little goes up the stack, EPA regs. The fly ash is pulled out by large electrostatic precipitators. The collected fly ash is then sold to make concrete, or used is clean fill. It was used as fill in the switch yard area of nuke plant under construction, until it raised the background radiation levels so much it was setting off the plant radiation alarms before an fuel was ever on site.


Which tells you how sensitive the alarms are, if nothing else. But it's hard to precipitate Radon :)


Dangers of coal plants, plenty of them. Too many to tell you about. We were always more worried about the Du Pount plant next door with the large tank of anhydrous ammonium.


Ulp. Yeah.


Anyway... Keeping an eye on the news about the nuke plants.


Just saw Aardy's posts. Crap. They released hot H2 and didn't expect it to explode?

That does seem, err, surprising.

Wide-O
March 13th, 2011, 05:09 AM
News about a "partial meltdown" in reactor n° 3. (AP quoting the Japanese government)

Unconfirmed news about the fuel rods now being 3 meters above the cooling fluids.

gonzo-x
March 13th, 2011, 05:40 AM
some Utard politicians here want to build a nuclear power plant....


down in the desert.

where there is no water.

go figure.

i imagine, they'd like to tap Glen canyon, or flaming gorge.
:Thumbdown:

Johnny
March 13th, 2011, 06:11 AM
Beats building it in a tsunami zone?

dwoz
March 13th, 2011, 08:31 AM
While statistics will tell us that the chance of a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami hitting at the same time is pretty much nil...

...I'm of the mind that if that's what it takes to bust a nuke, that's what is going to happen, plan on it.

I'm actually surprised that a friggin' airliner or oil supertanker didn't hit it at the same time. The fact that it's MORE improbable just seems to make it MORE likely.

meLoCo_go
March 13th, 2011, 11:05 AM
Things look grim ATM.

weedywet
March 13th, 2011, 11:12 AM
On the ground at tokyo airport

Getting my free ct scan

tannoy
March 13th, 2011, 01:11 PM
On the ground at tokyo airport

Getting my free ct scan

The show hasn't been cancelled ? How are things in that area ?


Marco

weedywet
March 13th, 2011, 04:28 PM
Apparently a big rock band is playIng Tokyo tonight,Sunday, already.
Our first show is Nagoya tues and things are definitely getting back to normal.

except travel is pretty delayed and screwed up.

I arrived at my Nagoya hotel 26 hours after leaving home in ny

dwoz
March 13th, 2011, 06:18 PM
It's getting difficult to figure out just exactly how many reactors in how many ruined buildings are or are not spewing radioactive or non-radioactive materials in a controlled or uncontrolled way.

Depending on how you read the news, there may be as many as six cores in three facilities experiencing trouble of one sort or another.

G. Hoffman
March 13th, 2011, 11:45 PM
I found THIS (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12726628) on the BBC website. It seems a pretty even-handed overview of the reactor situation.

I am a bit amused by this:

In Germany, scene of a big anti-nuclear protest on Saturday, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen suggested that safety systems at nuclear plants would be analysed anew in the light of the Fukushima incident.


Yeah, because Germany is in so much danger of being washed over by a 30 foot wall of water.



Gabriel

CloseToTheEdge
March 13th, 2011, 11:48 PM
Atomic energy seems like a good idea on paper, which is were it should stay.

meLoCo_go
March 14th, 2011, 12:34 AM
Atomic energy seems like a good idea on paper, which is were it should stay.
Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CO2%26NPPs.png

dwoz
March 14th, 2011, 02:28 AM
Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CO2%26NPPs.png


SO MANY bad assumptions and false choices presented in that graph.


So, maybe you're right. Maybe the problem ISN'T nuclear.


Maybe the REAL problem is Large Scale Centralized Power (LSCP).


Coal plants...nuke plants...all these seem to suffer the same kinds of problems.


Maybe now that we have a high degree of network connectivity, and the ability to do distributed real time data acquisition and analysis, we can have small scale widely distributed power generation AND have well-balanced grids.

Maybe we don't need power plants that require billions of dollars of capital and billions of dollars of government guarantees and indemnification, with 300 hectare ash/slurry pools or on-site storage of "forever" radioactive waste (I'm sorry...but 1000 years is FOREVER.)

Maybe we can have power generation that is neighborhood-sized in infrastructure and capital investment scale.

weedywet
March 14th, 2011, 03:44 AM
Small earthquake this morn.
Actually it was re announcement in the hotel that woke us up. Then turn on the tv to watch them talking about meltdowns

weedywet
March 14th, 2011, 03:47 AM
Thy are pumping sea water into one reactor desperately trying to keep it from COMPLETELY melting down

That's an instant billion dollar right off

Get over the nuclear industry press releases and propganda

It's a BAD expensive dirty dangerous idea

Darth_Fader
March 14th, 2011, 03:54 AM
Thy are pumping sea water into one reactor desperately trying to keep it from COMPLETELY melting down

That's an instant billion dollar right off

Get over the nuclear industry press releases and propganda

It's a BAD expensive dirty dangerous idea

Ok, let's say the tsunami ran over a coal plant ash dump. How much radiation release from that, now? Then there's the heavy metals, and the sulphur...

By the way, the reactor that's having problems was scheduled for decommission later this month, it was one of the oldest reactors still running. Anywhere.

Aardvark
March 14th, 2011, 04:23 AM
...By the way, the reactor that's having problems was scheduled for decommission later this month, it was one of the oldest reactors still running. Anywhere.

Which reactor?

More than one having serious problems and frankly who cares what year they were due to be moth-balled?

Did someone forget tell the tsunami schedulers to hold off a few years?



.

iCombs
March 14th, 2011, 04:50 AM
NY Times Interactive Satellite Photos (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/satellite-photos-japan-before-and-after-tsunami.html?hp)

This is pretty amazing and horrifying all at the same time.

dwoz
March 14th, 2011, 06:07 AM
Ok, let's say the tsunami ran over a coal plant ash dump. How much radiation release from that, now?

care to take a stab at the enrichment level of the uranium 235 and 238 in that fly ash?

The half-life of that fly ash is pretty similar to, say, a random lump of granite? perhaps?


If a tsunami ran over an ash dump, we're talking about a couple square miles of land that are out of commission for about 10 years, right? (that is, above and beyond the devastation from the tsunami itself).

If the containment of that reactor fails during a meltdown, we're talking about what, 250 square miles of land out of commission for 10 generations, a spike in birth defects and still-births across all species, a spike in premature deaths due to cancers.

If that reactor goes, then Japan either says goodbye to rice, goodbye to sushi, or goodbye to both, depending on the fickle wind.

Which isn't to say that coal is good, but fuck me, what are you saying?

Darth_Fader
March 14th, 2011, 06:26 AM
care to take a stab at the enrichment level of the uranium 235 and 238 in that fly ash?

The half-life of that fly ash is pretty similar to, say, a random lump of granite? perhaps?


No. Rather enriched in Thorium to start with. Then there's the radon that escapes during burning, and the radium that falls apart in the fly ash.


If the containment of that reactor fails during a meltdown, we're talking about what, 250 square miles of land out of commission for 10 generations, a spike in birth defects and still-births across all species, a spike in premature deaths due to cancers.


That's a bit of an overstatement. Don't forget that Chernobyl wasn't anything like a meltdown, it was an explosion brought about by a design of reactor that was banned by agreement (even before law) in the USA in the 1940s because it was so unstable.

dwoz
March 14th, 2011, 06:32 AM
Not to put too fine a point on it, but a second containment building has blown up.

We now have two reactors in a non-controlled situation, and they're measuring radiation 60 miles away.

I think we can safely dispense with the apologists at this juncture. Hopefully, the engineers get lucky and they manage to stop this thing at the level of National Disaster.

dwoz
March 14th, 2011, 06:36 AM
You know, I'm sure that a 9mm bullet fired out of a Glock at me has radioactive partials too. Somehow, I don't think that changes my views about Nuke power.

qharley
March 14th, 2011, 07:11 AM
I think it should be clear that our hunger for power has (as always) put us in a bit of a predicament. It does not matter which kind of power, but power corrupts.

The only problem is that we have allowed ourselves to adjust and adapt to the new norm, and created a habitat for ourselves that would not be sustainable should we remove these large power stations from the equation.

Radiation is frightening, in a way that is really strange. I see it daily as an service engineer working for a German X-ray service provider. People are just not aware of the real dangers of radiation. The problem is, of course that we are not able to sense radiation in any way, except if you start getting radiation burns, in which case you almost certainly only have 3 to 7 days to live...

I see radiation workers (x-ray technologists) NOT wearing the prescribed screened jackets, glasses or other protection when they are in a room where an examination is performed. People think that you can get a radiation "tan" it seems.

On the other side of the coin, it is quite impossible to stop radiation. We speak of radiation attenuators. There are no barriers. The reason why they can now measure something is that the concrete layer, that is a good attenuator of radiation is now gone. The fact that the level of radiation may still be lower than what you accumulate on your transatlantic flight, or while digging a big hole for a tree you are planting is of course not newsworthy.

Keks
March 14th, 2011, 09:26 AM
I found
Yeah, because Germany is in so much danger of being washed over by a 30 foot wall of water.



That is because of the special political situation in Germany.
The end of nuclear power plants in the near future was already a done deal,
when the now (neo-)liberall/conservative administration enlongened the running time of the german nuke plants generally for a heap of years, with proceddings that are now are a case for the constitutional court, and against the majority of the people.

Now this year, there are a bunch of elections in the Bundesländern (states), which could really shift the power in the Bundesrat (senate),
the next three elections coming in the next two weeks,
one of them in a Bundesland which just bought a power company that owns four nuclear power plants,
and, ironically, one of the oldest and most shaky ones here in Germany.

So, basically, this disaster took place in the high activity campaigning time,
and the recent nuclear power politics will probably have a massive impact on the election results map.
The CDU/FDP-coalition is in deep trouble and they are panicking.

All the best,
the keks

meLoCo_go
March 14th, 2011, 09:36 AM
You know, I'm sure that a 9mm bullet fired out of a Glock at me has radioactive partials too. Somehow, I don't think that changes my views about Nuke power.
If a drunk driver crashes at people, would you blame the car?

How many CO/CO2/SO2 would a coal plant of the same output release during the 40 years Fukushima plant worked?

And there are a lot of questions to be asked about that particular plant — for once, who allowed to build a Nuke station at the sea shore? Remember, it was under control after the quake! What about supposedly falsified safety records?

And what you wrote about decentralized power grids is also true, and we also have to take measures to cap the consumption.

John Eppstein
March 14th, 2011, 09:40 AM
Atomic energy seems like a good idea on paper, which is were it should stay.

Absolutely not. Nuclear power is a relatively safe and viable energy source. We just need a law requiring every designer and contractor who builds them to live within a mile radius of their plant.....

TSTW
March 14th, 2011, 09:56 AM
Another explosion. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12729138

DeyBwah
March 14th, 2011, 11:30 AM
There's a lot of talk regarding the jet stream and fallout reaching North America and Canada.

And Potassium Iodide is already sold out everywhere.

At least I'm Asian and have a nice stock of seaweed.(natural source)

Needless to say, having little ones, I'm really shaken by all of this.

And I was also shocked to find the number of deaths jump from 1800, to over 10,000 estimated.

The things I was stressing over pale in comparison to this event. Who knows what kind of cascading effect all these nuclear incidents are causing...? This is a show stopper.

G. Hoffman
March 14th, 2011, 12:20 PM
...Maybe the REAL problem is Large Scale Centralized Power (LSCP).

Maybe now that we have a high degree of network connectivity, and the ability to do distributed real time data acquisition and analysis, we can have small scale widely distributed power generation AND have well-balanced grids.

...




In the long run, yeah. In the short run, however, distributed generation has its own problems. Not all areas have a reasonable source of production. Six months out of the year, we don't get shit for sunlight, and we seldom have enough wind to discuss (at least, here in the city). I suppose everyone in Minnesota could hook up small generators to our furnaces. :Confused: If they could get solar generation up to 50% or better efficiency, maybe we could talk, but at 20% (much less the 10-15% you get from most panels these days!), you just can't really do it around here.

The major problem with distributed generation is the intermittent nature of the production (mostly, though not solely, wind and solar). The wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. The only way around that (short of large scale power generation) is batteries. And there are issues with the batteries. If you think the waste from a coal plant is bad, you should see what happens around a battery factory. It is not attractive.

I'm quite sure we will get there eventually. The only other alternative is the collapse of civilization (not overnight, but eventually). But I'm also quite sure that we aren't there yet, technologically. And then, of course, there is the political and economic difficulties with building new infrastructure right now.

Of course, they say Fusion power is 25 years away, so maybe that will save us. Mind you, they've been saying the same thing for at least the last 25 years, and I don't see any facilities producing power for less than $100 Billion a Kilowatt/hour. That you can't actually use, because hooking up any kind of cable would cause the reactor to destabilize and create a crater the size of, well, Los Angeles.


Gabriel

DPower
March 14th, 2011, 02:24 PM
Yeah, because Germany is in so much danger of being washed over by a 30 foot wall of water.

Gabriel

Well, obviously no tsunami risk, but the region where the the particular plant being protested is a seismological active zone that is overdue for a major earthquake.

MacGregor
March 14th, 2011, 03:01 PM
Well, obviously no tsunami risk, but the region where the the particular plant being protested is a seismological active zone that is overdue for a major earthquake.

Ahem, a major earthquake here in Germanistan is something Joe Beachsurfer from LaLa-land wouldn't even call an earthquake.

If he notices it at all.

I mean, how many earthquake-related deaths did Germania had during the last, lets say, 10.000 years?

Mac
.

DPower
March 14th, 2011, 03:42 PM
Ahem, a major earthquake here in Germanistan is something Joe Beachsurfer from LaLa-land wouldn't even call an earthquake.

If he notices it at all.

I mean, how many earthquake-related deaths did Germania had during the last, lets say, 10.000 years?

Mac
.

http://nadine.helmholtz-eos.de/risks/earthquake/info/eq_seism_en.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquakes_in_Germany

Obviously the earthquakes are not as severe here, though it is important to remember that they have the potential to destroy cities (Basel 1356) when the epicentre is close enough even with less than magnitude 7 (the recent quake in Christchurch was only 6.3).

Obviously the risk is much lower than somewhere like Japan, but given the long periods between significant quakes, have earthquakes been considered in the designs of these plants (especially the older ones rushed into commission in the post war period), and is it wise to build akw's in unstable areas at all?

Johnny
March 14th, 2011, 05:02 PM
Decentralized power is what was exciting about the bloom box. I'd like to see it work.

This is kind of unremarkable (if you know Japanese people) and remarkable at the same time: no looting to speak of.

nobby
March 14th, 2011, 08:41 PM
I don't think decentralized power would work for a nuke plant.

I could see a lot of small solar panel and/or wind farms.

Of course, there'd probably be NIMBY protests no matter how small the facility.

They seem to have pretty much identical problems at 3 reactors and are trying to avert having partial core meltdowns a la TMI happen at any of the plants, although it isn't clear that that hasn't already happened.

The good news is that the wind is blowing out to sea.

diagrams and pics:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/12/world/asia/the-explosion-at-the-japanese-reactor.html?ref=earth

gonzo-x
March 14th, 2011, 08:54 PM
they say Fusion power is 25 years away

LOL, they say that every 25 years.

gonzo-x
March 14th, 2011, 08:55 PM
oh, by the way.....




there are two plants in California built on the Pacific coast near the San Andreas fault.
Those plants were built to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake.
The San Francisco quake of 1906 measured 8.3.

do you think we should renew those operating licenses?

G. Hoffman
March 14th, 2011, 09:14 PM
I don't think decentralized power would work for a nuke plant.

I could see a lot of small solar panel and/or wind farms.

Of course, there'd probably be NIMBY protests no matter how small the facility.

Solar and wind are the typical mainstays, although there are also things like co-generation for larger facilities, where (for instance) a hospitals HVAC will vent its waste heat to a generator system. So, basically, your large buildings become natural gas generator stations.

And the NIMBY stuff is amazing. I'm on the board of an organization that is fighting a set of transmission lines right now (not so much having them go in, but fighting to keep them out of the air above a scenic bicycle route, and having them buried under a street which is in dire need of being repaved), and the NIMBY people drive me nuts.



The good news is that the wind is blowing out to sea.



Given the state of the Pacific, I'm afraid that I can't call that good news.


Gabriel

eagan
March 14th, 2011, 09:54 PM
Some stuff (http://ourfiniteworld.com/2011/03/14/what-would-happen-if-we-discontinued-nuclear-electricity/).


JLE

Aardvark
March 14th, 2011, 10:04 PM
Various reports say that those flesh wound explosions at reactor three knocked out all but one of the six emergency pumps and the remaining pump ran out of water... or something to that effect.(edit: it was fuel it ran out of)


Hence the loss of fuel coverage.


Also appears that somebody mistakenly closed a critical valve along the way for good measure.


All under control though.


No need to worry.


.

gonzo-x
March 14th, 2011, 10:20 PM
hope it doesn't end up like this:


Chernobyl
The fallout, 400 times more radioactivity than was released at Hiroshima, drove a third of a million people from their homes and triggered an epidemic of thyroid cancer in children. Over the years, the economic losses—health and cleanup costs, compensation, lost productivity—have mounted into the hundreds of billions of dollars.
As evidence of government bungling and secrecy emerged in its wake, Chernobyl (or Chornobyl, as it is now known in independent Ukraine) even sped the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Early estimates that tens or hundreds of thousands of people would die from Chernobyl have been discredited. But genetic damage done 20 years ago is slowly taking a toll. No one can be sure of the ultimate impact, but an authoritative report estimated last year (2005) that the cancer fuse lit by Chernobyl will claim 4,000 lives.

The two most pervasive radionuclides from Chernobyl, cesium 137 and strontium 90, will remain in the environment for decades.

At the center of this accidental wilderness stands the sarcophagus, naval gray and malignant, and rustier than I remember. Built in six months, it was planned to last at most 20 years.
One beam supporting the corrugated steel roof rests precariously on a severely damaged wall of the reactor hall, while the western side of the structure has bulged several inches.
None of the joints were welded: Workers couldn't get close enough. Any of a number of freak scenarios—an earthquake, a tornado, a heavy snow—could bring it crashing down. Or the sarcophagus, also known as the shelter, could simply collapse on its own.

This fragile shelter holds an estimated 200 tons of nuclear fuel, some of it in the reactor core and some in an unearthly radioactive "lava"—fuel rods, concrete, and metal that melted together in the inferno and oozed into the warren of rooms beneath the reactor. There's enough enriched uranium and plutonium in the hulk for dozens of atomic bombs.

But the immediate threat is water. A few years ago workers measured more than a thousand square yards of cracks and holes in the sarcophagus, which were allowing rain and melted snow to pool in its bowels.
The water further weakens the structure, and it seeps out into the environment, carrying radioactive contaminants. Water can also act as a nuclear moderator: a substance that aids a chain reaction.

Though the risk is deemed minute, a renewed chain reaction could trigger another steam explosion, blowing open the sarcophagus, scattering chunks of fuel, and releasing tons of fine radioactive dust.


-national geographic, 2006

Aardvark
March 15th, 2011, 01:59 AM
So we now have an explosion at number two.
(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8382139/Japan-crisis-third-explosion-raises-spectre-of-nuclear-nightmare.html)
Three for three so far.

And NOW they finally request help from American experts in these hugely critical matters?


.

DPower
March 15th, 2011, 02:01 AM
Not good:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12740843

New explosion at reactor 2. "highly likely" that the rods might melt.

Edit 1 Damn Aardy beat me to it.

Edit 2 Really not good news: BBC LIve feed

#
2344: Tokyo Electric says that 50 employees are still staying at the Fukushima plant.
#
2340: Tokyo Electric officials are now holding a news briefing. They say the blast at reactor 2 happened "near the pressure vessel". They also confirm that some staff at the nuclear power plant are being evacuated.
#
2333: More details on the reported blast at Fukushima's reactor 2. The explosion is feared to have damaged the reactor's pressure-suppression system, Kyodo says. It adds that "radiation tops legal limit" after the explosion.
#
2320: A spokesperson from Tokyo Electric says said some staff have been evacuated from the site.
#
2316: Kyodo now says that the suppression pool may have been damaged at reactor 2.

dwoz
March 15th, 2011, 02:43 AM
In the long run, yeah. In the short run, however, distributed generation has its own problems. Not all areas have a reasonable source of production. Six months out of the year, we don't get shit for sunlight, and we seldom have enough wind to discuss (at least, here in the city).


Gabriel


Well, definitely.

I'm not saying we're ready TODAY. I'm saying we have the information management ability TODAY that we did not have 20 years ago.

The main reasons for large centralized power generation are:

1) Economy: there is an economy of scale that makes it incrementally cheaper per kwH to generate it in a big turbine. However, it is cheaper up front to make 10 small turbines that have the same capacity as one big one.

2) Balancing the Grid: The power grid has to be balanced, both across the three phases, and in the sense of matching the generation to the demand load. Also, the duty cycle and voltage have to be carefully managed.

3) Economics: it is much easier to arrange the capital, AND aggregate the profit, to a single central entity.


For the most part, we're discovering that these legacy reasons for doing power the way we do it, are becoming less relevant. We can now create small, connected generating units that can be controlled in a distributed collaborative bid system, where a multitude of small generators bid to cover generation capacity, without people intervening.

They do EGGZACTLY the same thing in shipping logistics today, where a huge network of loads meet a huge network of haulers, and it all works out.

we can do this, and change the way the world looks...



...for the better.



and WHEN the tsunami hits, it's "who cares?"

John Eppstein
March 15th, 2011, 03:24 AM
Of course, they say Fusion power is 25 years away, so maybe that will save us. Mind you, they've been saying the same thing for at least the last 25 years, and I don't see any facilities producing power for less than $100 Billion a Kilowatt/hour. That you can't actually use, because hooking up any kind of cable would cause the reactor to destabilize and create a crater the size of, well, Los Angeles.


Gabriel

We could have functioning commercial fusion power within 5 years if the government would get their heads out of their asses and quit sucking up to the scientists who are heavily vested in Tokamak research. Tokamaks don't work, can't work, and never will work. Some people have suggested that the reason that the Russians shared the initial research with us was to divert our research into unproductive areas. If that's true it certainly worked well because it has resulted in billions of wasted dollars while practical approaches remain ignored.

Check out this talk by Robert Bussard:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1996321846673788606#

John Eppstein
March 15th, 2011, 03:31 AM
I don't think decentralized power would work for a nuke plant.

I could see a lot of small solar panel and/or wind farms.

Of course, there'd probably be NIMBY protests no matter how small the facility.

They seem to have pretty much identical problems at 3 reactors and are trying to avert having partial core meltdowns a la TMI happen at any of the plants, although it isn't clear that that hasn't already happened.

The good news is that the wind is blowing out to sea.

diagrams and pics:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/12/world/asia/the-explosion-at-the-japanese-reactor.html?ref=earth

You could have a practical fusion plant in your garage. Check out the Bussard video.

As I understand it, the Navy has taken over the technology to power warships.

PRobb
March 15th, 2011, 03:36 AM
oh, by the way.....




there are two plants in California built on the Pacific coast near the San Andreas fault.
Those plants were built to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake.
The San Francisco quake of 1906 measured 8.3.

do you think we should renew those operating licenses?

That's a very good question.

Aardvark
March 15th, 2011, 05:33 AM
Reactors 1,2,3 are officially fucked and now 4 is on fire.

But seriously... just a flesh wound.





.

G. Hoffman
March 15th, 2011, 06:15 AM
Reactors 1,2,3 are officially fucked and now 4 is on fire.

But seriously... just a flesh wound.





.


Oh, much more than a flesh wound, though the fire at reactor 4 has been put out, but to suggest "worse than Chernobyl" is still vastly overstating the case.


Gabriel

weedywet
March 15th, 2011, 06:27 AM
It's not worse than Chernobyl and because of reactor design it's not likely to be.
On the other hand, as i sit 150 miles from it, it's a lot nearer some seriously populated areas should the wind blow our way.

Big surprise? The plant with the most safety citations in the big scandal a few years ago is THIS one that's now burning exploding and maybe melting down.

Spock
March 15th, 2011, 03:34 PM
They do EGGZACTLY the same thing in shipping logistics today, where a huge network of loads meet a huge network of haulers, and it all works out.



They are not the same, not even close. The power grid is like balancing a 50 foot pole with a 100 pound weight on top of it on the tip of your finger. Working out the math of the power grid you get a set differential equations that cannot be solved in a closed form. So yes the faster you make what you the think are the right corrections, you can keep the system stable. Math PhDs have been working on the problem for long time.... Now answers yet.

The problem is a bunch of smaller generators will never be as efficient as one larger unit. You will end up using more fuel to make the same amount of power.

dwoz
March 15th, 2011, 05:11 PM
They are not the same, not even close. The power grid is like balancing a 50 foot pole with a 100 pound weight on top of it on the tip of your finger. Working out the math of the power grid you get a set differential equations that cannot be solved in a closed form. So yes the faster you make what you the think are the right corrections, you can keep the system stable. Math PhDs have been working on the problem for long time.... Now answers yet.

The problem is a bunch of smaller generators will never be as efficient as one larger unit. You will end up using more fuel to make the same amount of power.

but the essential problem is maintaining generation capacity within a certain range, right? i.e. within the range of your voltage regulation capability?

And our grids are of sufficient size that the aggregate load is pretty stable, moment to moment?

Also, if you could, discuss the issue of threshold loads, where you reach the point of having to bring a new generating unit online. I would think that having 1000 VSIGs (very small integrated generation) units would virtually eliminate the problem of threshold loads, and save as much money in that one event to offset the efficiency deficit of the small scale generators.

I think the efficiency argument is being framed wrong too. Efficiency (i.e. capital investment and running cost per kwH of generating capacity) is very important when you're spending 4 billion dollars to build a plant...but when you're spending $5000 to put up a VSIG, you can tolerate a much "worse" efficiency, because first of all, the price you have to beat in the VSIG is the RETAIL price of the kwH, not the large scale generation unit cost.

nobby
March 15th, 2011, 09:15 PM
The two critical questions over the next day or so are how much radioactive material is spewed into the atmosphere, and where the winds carry it. Readings reported on Tuesday showed a spike of radioactivity around the plant that made the leakage categorically worse than in had been, with radiation levels measured at one point as high as 400 millisieverts an hour. Even 7 minutes of exposure at that level will reach the maximum annual dose that a worker at an American nuclear plant is allowed. And exposure for 75 minutes would likely lead to acute radiation sickness.

The extent of the public health risk depends on how long such elevated levels persist — they may have declined after the fire at No. 4 reactor was extinguished — as well as how far and fast the radioactive materials spread, and whether the limited evacuation plan announced by the government proves sufficient.

The succession of problems at Daiichi was initially difficult to interpret — with confusion compounded by incomplete and inconsistent information provided by government officials and executives of the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power.

But industry executives in close contact with officials in Japan expressed extreme concern that the authorities were close to losing control over the fuel melting that has been ongoing in three reactors at Daiichi, especially at the crippled No. 2 reactor where the containment has been damaged.
<snip>
“It’s way past Three Mile Island already,” said Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.”

The sharp deterioration came after a frantic day and night of rescue efforts focused largely on the No. 2 reactor. There, a malfunctioning valve prevented workers from manually venting the containment vessel to release pressure and allow fresh seawater to be injected into it. That meant that the extraordinary remedy emergency workers had jury-rigged to keep the nuclear fuel from overheating no longer worked.

As a result, the nuclear fuel in that reactor was exposed for many hours, increasing the risk of a breach of the container vessel and more dangerous emissions of radioactive particles.

By Tuesday morning, Tokyo Electric Power said that it had fixed the valve and resumed seawater injections, but that it had detected possible leaks in the containment vessel that prevented water from fully covering the fuel rods.

Then an explosion hit that reactor. After a series of conflicting reports about what level of damage was inflicted on the reactor after that blast, Mr. Edano said, “there is a very high probability that a portion of the container vessel was damaged.”

The steel container vessels that protect nuclear fuel in reactors are considered crucial to maintain the integrity of the reactor and the safety of the fuel.

Mr. Edano, however, said that the level of leaking at the No. 2 reactor remained small, raising the prospect that the container was sufficiently intact to protect the nuclear fuel inside.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html?pagewanted=2&adxnnl=1&ref=todayspaper&adxnnlx=1300215615-z68UpUz6iCQl4rse6GizBA

I find that hard to believe. If they can't keep the fuel rods covered because the containment vessel is leaking...

the situation is ominous.

DPower
March 15th, 2011, 09:44 PM
I have several issues with what's been reported so far, and am surprised that these issues haven't been brought up yet by the so called expert advisers to the press.

1) How the hell does a spent fuel containment pool catch fire? To the best of my knowledge, the containment pool is a pool of WATER with spent fuel in it.

2) How did these hydrogen explosions occur after venting the reactor? Hydrogen is a lighter than air gas, so build up can only occur within an enclosed space with no access to the outside atmosphere. I would have assumed when venting pressure from the reactor that they would have done so directly to the outside atmosphere, therefore any hydrogen would be quickly on its way to the stratosphere. The only conclusion I can draw is that the hydrogen buildups and explosions occurred within the cooling systems or reactors.

I'm not sure what we can trust with the reports anymore.

Aardvark
March 15th, 2011, 09:56 PM
I have several issues with what's been reported so far, and am surprised that these issues haven't been brought up yet by the so called expert advisers to the press.

1) How the hell does a spent fuel containment pool catch fire? To the best of my knowledge, the containment pool is a pool of WATER with spent fuel in it.

2) How did these hydrogen explosions occur after venting the reactor? Hydrogen is a lighter than air gas, so build up can only occur within an enclosed space with no access to the outside atmosphere. I would have assumed when venting pressure from the reactor that they would have done so directly to the outside atmosphere, therefore any hydrogen would be quickly on its way to the stratosphere. The only conclusion I can draw is that the hydrogen buildups and explosions occurred within the cooling systems or reactors.

I'm not sure what we can trust with the reports anymore.

No trust here either.

For good measure the containment pool in question doesn't have any spent fuel in it from what I have read.


It has real fuel pulled from the reactor for maintenance reasons.:headpalm:



.

G. Hoffman
March 15th, 2011, 10:09 PM
I could be entirely wrong, but right now the whole thing smells of management overriding the advice of engineers to me. It just kind of reminds me of the management stonewalling after the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up.


Gabriel

qharley
March 15th, 2011, 10:28 PM
All the really big historical disasters came with forewarning, usually ignored.

Human nature.
:headpalm:

dwoz
March 15th, 2011, 11:49 PM
by the way, there are SIX reactors in that complex, four of which are now in a state of emergency.

matz
March 15th, 2011, 11:58 PM
if i would be in tokyo right now, i would try hard to get my ass on the next airplaine a.s.a.p. seems like the situation is completely out of control.

MacGregor
March 16th, 2011, 12:03 AM
At this point I would just like to thank those people who still work in those plants, fully knowing that they risk their life, to save the life of others.

You're all fucking heros :Thumbsup:

Mac
.

G. Hoffman
March 16th, 2011, 12:05 AM
At this point I would just like to thank those people who still work in those plants, fully knowing that they risk their life, to save the life of others.

You're all fucking heros :Thumbsup:

Mac
.

Yeah.


Gabriel

Aardvark
March 16th, 2011, 12:52 AM
by the way, there are SIX reactors in that complex, four of which are now in a state of emergency.

Correction.

They are reporting a heating problem with the spent rods in reactors five and six.

At this point I would just like to thank those people who still work in those plants, fully knowing that they risk their life, to save the life of others.

You're all fucking heros :Thumbsup:


Yes they are and so are the many others who will have to follow their lead (lead?) and take up a battle that is only getting harder.

I certainly hope that the Japanese have already called for every heaving lifting capacity that China, Russia and the States have at their disposal... India, Korea... this problem is soon going to be fought from the air if this deterioration continues.


.

Wide-O
March 16th, 2011, 02:36 AM
It just kind of reminds me of the management stonewalling after the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up.


Except they probably don't have a Feynman on board. Nor have the time to find one...

FWIW, the "spent" rods threw me off. I thought the other 3 reactors (all in trouble now) were down for maintenance? (and thus loaded with perfectly intact (well...) fuel rods)

nobby
March 16th, 2011, 03:38 AM
1) How the hell does a spent fuel containment pool catch fire? To the best of my knowledge, the containment pool is a pool of WATER with spent fuel in it.

I'm not an expert, but I spent the night at a Holidaze In Express...

The pump stops circulating water to the pool or the pool is leaking from earthquake damage, the water heats up and evaporates/boils off or just leaks out.

The fuel rods have zircaloy casings that can catch fire. Eventually the uranium oxide pellets can become volatilized. This is what they are trying to prevent at reactor #4, which went on fire again (or were -- last I heard people could not safely approach it.)

I heard that the second fire was out, but I don't know what to believe from the Japanese authorities either. They are in a tough position, not wanting to panic people but @ the same time trying to keep them safe.

2) How did these hydrogen explosions occur after venting the reactor? Hydrogen is a lighter than air gas, so build up can only occur within an enclosed space with no access to the outside atmosphere. I would have assumed when venting pressure from the reactor that they would have done so directly to the outside atmosphere, therefore any hydrogen would be quickly on its way to the stratosphere. The only conclusion I can draw is that the hydrogen buildups and explosions occurred within the cooling systems or reactors.


What I heard was that after the fuel rods became partially exposed, they became super hot. When the cold, corrosive seawater hit the fuel rods, the zircaloy casing oxidized, giving off zircon oxide and hydrogen. The idea, I think, is to keep the contamination within the building as much as possible to keep it out of the environment, not to release it directly into the atmosphere.

But the hydrogen build up was likely faster that what they could deal with and it blew the top of the building off. If you look at the damage at reactor #1, it looks like the damage destroyed everything down to the top of the storage pool on the 4th floor :Confused:

I wouldn't be surprised if some or all of the contents of the storage pool got scattered, due to the size of the explosion. That, they wouldn't tell us about.

And someone on the news said each pool can hold 60-70 tons of fuel rods :Uh oh:

For a better understanding of the layout of the joint, RTFM. Mark I containment is on page 3-16.

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers/03.pdf

weedywet
March 16th, 2011, 03:54 AM
Just to clarify.
The earthquake itself did no real damage that far away.
Due to building codes and planning it barely bothered even Sendai.
It was the TSUNAMI that, like in New Orleans, over ran the walls and did all the damage.including the damage to the cooling mechanisms of the reactors
Of course it's up for questioning whether they were lieing about the readiness of the cooling systems anyway.

But it's a typical case of 'who would had thought there would be a wave THAT big?' thinking.

It's why when the same type of moron now says 'well it's very UNLIKELY' that the containment vessels will fail, it isn't terribly comforting

As we move to Tokyo today, CLOSER to the accidents and closer to the more severe aftershocks and into the electrical brown and black out areas.
Fun fun fun till your daddy takes your thyroid away...

Wide-O
March 16th, 2011, 03:59 AM
Fun fun fun till your daddy takes your thyroid away...

Yeah. You guys DID take them iodine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_iodide#Thyroid_protection_due_to_nuclear _accidents_and_emergencies) pills, right?

Johnny
March 16th, 2011, 04:17 AM
Y'all stay cool, Weedy, in every way.

nobby
March 16th, 2011, 04:59 AM
Just watching CNN. Anderson Cooper in Japan and some nuclear expert from MIT.

They got an announcement from the Japanese government.

I think it's a mistake. Anderson Cooper thinks it must be a mistake. And the dude from MIT appears to be utterly flabbergasted.

The announcement is that they have ceased operations.

The area has become too radioactive for anyone to be near.

Again I think and sincerely hope that it was a miscommunication, like they're rotating out a crew or something.

It would be DISASTROUS to throw in the towel on 6 failing nukes.

P.S. you don't want to take the iodine pills until you know you need to, because it only gives you a 48 hour window.

weedywet
March 16th, 2011, 08:35 AM
That's what we hear here as well. That they pulled the crews for their safety.
No one is saying what cones next

radiation levels in here in Tokyo 150 miles south are 10-30 times higher than usual.
They keep saying 'no danger to health'

How long do i believe them?

CaptainHook
March 16th, 2011, 09:14 AM
Why are you still there? Seriously? What's worth the risk to stay?

meLoCo_go
March 16th, 2011, 09:18 AM
I have the impression that TEPCO did everything to soothe the government for a first few days.
So they rightfully focused on rescue operations.
The time when it was possible to work around Fukushima in relative safety to restore electricity and infrastructure was lost.

weedywet
March 16th, 2011, 10:28 AM
From what I hear we are the only act to not cancel

We are either the most caring or the most stupid

Or both

Wide-O
March 16th, 2011, 11:38 AM
Well, Nile Rodgers/Chic are still planning to go to Tokyo, but that's in two weeks. 15 years after Bernard Edwards passed away there.

I think it's brave you guys didn't cancel. (easy to say from the other side of the world of course...)

dnafe
March 16th, 2011, 12:07 PM
No offence to the caring nature of your group Weedy but I'd be hightailing my ass outta there...I mean it's not like there's gonna be a gig or anything you can do to help the situation.

Err on the side of caution.

Please

John Eppstein
March 16th, 2011, 12:25 PM
Weedy, I am really proud of you guys. Just don't get hurt, OK?

qharley
March 16th, 2011, 12:40 PM
Well, aparently not all hope it lost. Heard over the news that South-Korea is sending 50 ton Boron coolant to Japan to cool those suckers down. Hope it works.

nobby
March 16th, 2011, 03:55 PM
That's what we hear here as well. That they pulled the crews for their safety.
No one is saying what cones next

radiation levels in here in Tokyo 150 miles south are 10-30 times higher than usual.
They keep saying 'no danger to health'

How long do i believe them?

The latest story is that the government translator left the word "temporary" out of a sentence and that they've replaced the 50 workers with 180. They abandoned the idea of dropping water into the fuel rod pools by helicopter because radiation levels are too high to get close enough.

I hope I'm wrong, but if you cross reference photos of the damage with diagrams of the plants, the parts of the buildings housing the reactors 3 & 4 that would have the storage pools seemed to be damaged or blown away completely.

People have to navigate through radioactive debris fields with fire hoses to try to cool that stuff down?

The weather reports say that the wind, which is blowing the radiation out to sea will shift by Saturday.

The Tokyo airport is jammed with people trying to get out.

Weedy, it's great that you and Cyndi & co were able to show solidarity with the Japanese people.

Now get the hell out of there!

The latest on the situation:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/world/asia/17nuclear.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

Aardvark
March 16th, 2011, 09:00 PM
From the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/world/asia/17nuclear.html?ref=world):

There are six reactors at the plant, all of which have pools holding spent fuel rods at the top level of the reactor building. Reactors 4, 5 and 6 were out of service when the earthquake and tsunami struck, and there were concerns about the pools at 5 and 6 as well, and possibly those at the other reactors.


____________


So when the hydrogen explosions tore the roofs off of reactor buildings 1 and 3 what happened to those holding pools and the spent fuel inside them?



.

gonzo-x
March 16th, 2011, 10:34 PM
WASHINGTON March 16, 2011, 03:57 pm ET
The chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that all the water is gone from one of the spent fuel pools at Japan's most troubled nuclear plant, but Japanese officials denied it.

If NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko is correct, this would mean there's nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down. The outer shell of the rods could also ignite with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area.

Jaczko did not say Wednesday how the information was obtained, but the NRC and U.S. Department of Energy both have experts on site at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex of six reactors. He said the spent fuel pool of the complex's Unit 4 reactor has lost water.

Jaczko said officials believe radiation levels are extremely high, and that could affect workers' ability to stop temperatures from escalating.

Japan's nuclear safety agency and Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the complex, deny water is gone from the pool. Utility spokesman Hajime Motojuku said the "condition is stable" at Unit 4.

gonzo-x
March 16th, 2011, 11:41 PM
which reminds me of a joke




A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when
the stranger turned to her and said,
‘Let’s talk. I’ve heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a
conversation with your fellow passenger.’

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and
said to the stranger, ‘What would you like to talk about?’

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ said the stranger. ‘How about nuclear power?’
and he smiles.

OK, ‘she said. ‘That could be an interesting topic.
But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all
eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets,
while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of
dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?’

The stranger, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence,
thinks about it and says, ‘Hmmm, I have no idea.’

To which the little girl replies, ‘Do you really feel qualified to
discuss nuclear power when you don’t know shit?

dwoz
March 17th, 2011, 12:12 AM
if you know the difference between a ruminant and a monogastric large cecum animal, you know your shit.

gonzo-x
March 17th, 2011, 12:19 AM
what about ungulates?

Fearnloathing
March 17th, 2011, 12:26 AM
if you know the difference between a ruminant and a monogastric large cecum animal, you know your shit.
Any rancher or dairymen knows the difference but then I guess they are elbow deep in knowing their shit!
:grin:

dwoz
March 17th, 2011, 03:27 AM
what about ungulates?

even, or odd?

clicktrack
March 17th, 2011, 11:18 AM
No offence to the caring nature of your group Weedy but I'd be hightailing my ass outta there...I mean it's not like there's gonna be a gig or anything you can do to help the situation.

Err on the side of caution.

Please

I'm sure it's crossed your mind, but here's a thought, Weedy...when you DO decide to leave (whether you do the date or not) will you be able to get out?

It's been reported that members of Canada's Medical Assistance Team returned home only after being in Japan for 4 days. The reason being that the team isn't prepared for a nuclear incident and had a window to leave and had to take it.

Be careful, man...

weedywet
March 17th, 2011, 11:34 AM
Well the us officials now suggest a 50 mile radius

We are 150 away in Tokyo but trying to move a day early to Osaka, even further south

Then we leave for Australia next week and that's already booked.

Of course should things get much worse it would still get sticky quickly.

Spock
March 17th, 2011, 02:52 PM
but the essential problem is maintaining generation capacity within a certain range, right? i.e. within the range of your voltage regulation capability?

And our grids are of sufficient size that the aggregate load is pretty stable, moment to moment?



Sorry to be so late getting back to you. Two things, I really don't want to start going that far off topic, and I've been very busy. I know what I want to say, I just don't have the time to type it all up right now. I'll PM you later with details.

The quick answers to those questions are....
No, not really. Capacity close to load is not the same as far away. The reason, you are talking AC and that size and scale, the lines must be treated as transmition lines/wave guides, and reactive loading and power. This is where the nasty math comes in. Think of gravity and a two body problem, it can be completely solved. Three bodies, kind of solved in some cases. N body, nope. Think of each generator and each reactive load as "body" I the problem.

No not all, voltage regulation is not how power loading is done. The regulation is a local thing done at sub stations. A generator always at 22k no matter the load, even if it is acting as a large AC motor, which it also is. All generators in the system are phase locked together.

No, the load changes greatly over the day. Just trying to figure out how much fuel to buy and when requires knowing the phase of moon..... Why the moon is part of it is left as a exercise for the reader. :)

ella
March 18th, 2011, 02:24 AM
Because it just may be a lunatic they're fueling for?

gonzo-x
March 18th, 2011, 08:00 PM
The moment nuclear plant chief WEPT as Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/18/article-1367684-0B3BF1E700000578-880_472x491.jpg

Officials admit they may have to bury reactors under concrete - as happened at Chernobyl

Darth_Fader
March 18th, 2011, 09:37 PM
Officials admit they may have to bury reactors under concrete - as happened at Chernobyl

Please don't confute that with this being a Chernobyl level accident.

If we are to criticize this plant design, it would be for a failure to accomodate the idea that the tsunami would wipe out the backup power. The reactors survived the shake just fine, but having the backup generator and fuel washed literally up the valley a few miles was something that might have been expected, but wasn't.

As usual, it's not the nuclear aspect that's the problem. If this was a coal plant, you'd have heavy metal poisoning all the way up the tsunami path, lots of heavy metals in the ocean, and thorium contamination all over the place, too.

Caesium isotopes, however, are worse than thorium, but they don't last nearly as long.

The plutonium reactor is an issue, plutonium is also a nasty, nasty chemical poison as well as a persistant radioisotope. :(

dwoz
March 18th, 2011, 09:52 PM
I'm having trouble understanding how you can design something like a POOL, where the pump failure mode is that the pool empties itself.

I'm like, thinking, like, that water has a pretty predictable response to, you know, like, that whole gravity thing. And that putting the holding pool on the third or fourth floor of the building, is , you know, like, kinda, like, sorta, not exactly what I would have taken as a FIRST choice?

dwoz
March 18th, 2011, 09:57 PM
I have to think that if I were in engineering school, and I was tasked with designing a nuke plant as a class project, I would get a FAIL if I didn't plan that the nuke had to rely on it's own power.

i.e. if power fails, then valves that need to be open would fail OPEN, and the control rod harness would DROP into shutoff mode under it's own weight.

It's like designing brakes on trucks. The air brakes on 18 wheelers are ENGAGED in their zero-energy state. The compressed air keeps them open, if the air fails the brakes lock up.

gonzo-x
March 18th, 2011, 09:58 PM
If we are to criticize this plant design, it would be for a failure to accomodate the idea that the tsunami would wipe out the backup power
:headpalm:



tsunami (plural: tsunamis or tsunami; from Japanese: 津波, lit. "harbor wave"

meLoCo_go
March 18th, 2011, 10:21 PM
The part I don;t understand is why they only managed to get a power line there today. Apparently they started on Wednesday/Thursday. Why didn't they started immediately after the tsunami hit?
Now they only hope to get cooling back in the R2, and prevent R5/6 from boiling out. 1 and 3 seem to be left on their own.
Also, it looks like everything that was stored in the pool in R3 is out in the air.

eagan
March 18th, 2011, 10:27 PM
It's easy, of course, to play critic from the sidelines. Especially if it's a case of me, for example, where your <ahem> "knowledge" of nuclear reactor power plants is around the level resulting from grade school science class coverage and watching an episode or two of "Nova".

Which is to say, basically, I don't know shit, and at least understand that I basically don't know shit, so I have little to no comment on the current drama.

That said, though, I do believe that dwoz is most definitely on the right track there. In this, or anything else where consequences of an oops or malfunction are serious, one concept makes basic sense. I'm familiar with the concept in other things I know a bit more about than nuclear reactor power generation plants.

Design so that a malfunction causes any relevant components and systems to go to a default "safe/stop/hold" condition.


JLE

gonzo-x
March 18th, 2011, 10:46 PM
i already covered the knowing 'shit' part.
:grin:

Darth_Fader
March 18th, 2011, 11:20 PM
:headpalm:



tsunami (plural: tsunamis or tsunami; from Japanese: 津波, lit. "harbor wave"

No kidding. That's the part that astonishes me.

Darth_Fader
March 18th, 2011, 11:22 PM
I have to think that if I were in engineering school, and I was tasked with designing a nuke plant as a class project, I would get a FAIL if I didn't plan that the nuke had to rely on it's own power.

i.e. if power fails, then valves that need to be open would fail OPEN, and the control rod harness would DROP into shutoff mode under it's own weight.

It's like designing brakes on trucks. The air brakes on 18 wheelers are ENGAGED in their zero-energy state. The compressed air keeps them open, if the air fails the brakes lock up.

Well, it's more than just keep valves open, you need circulation pumps that are powered to keep the reactor cool for a week after a scram. That's where things failed.

I don't think it's physically possible to make that work via convection.

T.Bay
March 18th, 2011, 11:28 PM
It must suck for WW to be stuck in Japan right now, but the last time we talked about this scenario 9 months ago I mentioned this little device.

http://www.nukalert.com/

so I hope it has now come in handy ;).

I cant remember exactly, as it was ten years ago, but I think I was getting exposed to about 25 milli-Sieverts a month (1mS a day) working with radioactive isotopes in NDT.

Double the distance is a quarter of the exposure, so 150 or 180 miles is a pretty safe distance from the current 50 mile 'exclusion' zone.

dwoz
March 18th, 2011, 11:52 PM
Well, it's more than just keep valves open, you need circulation pumps that are powered to keep the reactor cool for a week after a scram. That's where things failed.

I don't think it's physically possible to make that work via convection.

Absolutely, clearly it's slightly more complex than I've laid it out. Maybe it could keep itself circulating by convection for a while, not adequate, but buys enough to get something else going.

Basically, I'm saying the primary design consideration should be, what is the safest possible position to be in if we have absolutely no inputs available to us? Not, "the likelihood of losing backup generators is only .005% so we're good".

i.e. "we have no water, no power, and no other supplies beyond what's already in the building hooked up. What is the theoretical best case status for us to be in given that scenario?" and I want that to be the default shutdown scenario.

I'm certain some of that kind of design does go into the things. but maybe not enough.

meLoCo_go
March 19th, 2011, 12:26 AM
There were some projects, where the core would melt and fall into a trap that prevents creation of the local critical masses. The reactor would be a writeoff but it should not explode under any circumstances.

Spock
March 19th, 2011, 01:17 AM
Yes, it's a mess.

I have to admit, only been in a one nuke plant for a few hours, but worked along side a few guys that transferred from a nuke plant to a coal plant. Learned a lot of stuff from. Coal plants, I have way too much first hand knowledge, lots of stuff can hurt or kill you. (I still have a shirt with holes in it from a spray of sulfuric acid)

Anyway...

Things are designed to fail in the right/safe condition. In most plants, if you lose power, or the motor on the valve burns out, someone can walk out of the control room got to the right place and close the valve by hand. In a nuke plant, with the reactor hot, you can't enter the containment area, so all kinds of things are done, like large springs that require power to hold a valve in certain state.

Dark starts of a unit are never fun. The way things are wired up, a unit, coal or nuke gets it's Aux power, (this is what powers the pumps, motors, fan, etc to keep a unit running) off of at least 2 22kV to 4160V transformers that sit between the generator and the main power transformer (22 to 354kV). If a unit trips off, and the generator breaker is open, then power will flow back into the Aux busses from gird via the main power transformer. If the main transformer goes out, the you have buss ties you can close that connect your Aux busses to those of another unit at the plant. If all of that is down, all the units are tripped and the main power gird is down, then you have diesel generators for each unit to power the Aux busses. And even with that you have a battery UPS for the controls needed to get things going. And batteries and DC pumps to keep cooling oil flowing to turbine bearings and turning gear. (You trip any type of unit and you must keep the turbine moving at a few RPM and lube hot bearings or you will weld steel and never use that turbine again)

From my reading of what happen... The quake caused all the units to trip off, that was automatic, considered a safe thing to do. The rods go in, no more chain reaction, however the daughter products of fission will continue to decay and produce about 3% of the total capacity in heat for a few days. So you must keep cooling going over that time. Whoops all the units are tripped in the plant, get your Aux power from the grid. Whoops, quake killed the grid. No problem, fire up the generators just for this condition. Whoops here comes a 30 foot wave, higher than all the sea walls around the plant, diesel generators are now flooded. No problem, 8 hours of battery power for the cooling pumps, and they sent in generators on trucks. Whoops, switch gear connections to get power where needed are in the basement, still flooded, and pumps to clear it out are not buss the batteries feed.

So yes some design issues that they never thought of. First mistake was thinking nothing will get over the sea walls. The spent fuel pools draining... I'd have to do more research, but on the surface, it sounds like boneheaded design.

I also don't get the way they were venting the H2. Power plants, all types have large amounts of H2. It is standard that the inside of the generator is cooled by over 95% pure H2. If you have to open to generator up, you have a special vent system to prevent problems. And you always are topping a generator off, it's such a small atom, it can find ways out of otherwise gas tight seals. (Lots of fun with bottles of He and portable mass spectrometers to find leaks). I do understand why they had to vent the pressure from the system.

Things can sure get worse, but like Darth said, don't compare this to Russia. They, in a few milliseconds turned a third of the fuel and radioactive graphite into fine dust and blew it over 30,000 feet up, into the jet stream.

G. Hoffman
March 19th, 2011, 01:46 AM
Bare with me for a few moments. This is pertinent. At least a little.

Being a bit of a space geek, and fond of NASA, I read a fair number of NASA documents. One of the ones I've recently read, at least in part, is Frank Borman's testimony to the House of Representatives regarding the Apollo 1 disaster. One of the things which is striking about it is how frequently he repeats the phrase, or a variation on the phrase, "we just didn't think of it."

The Apollo spacecraft were, at the time, probably the most complicated things ever made. There were so many parts and pieces, and most of them were still developing technology - if not down right experimental technology! They had thousands of people working on the project, and no one ever thought how dangerous it was to have 16+ PSI of pure oxygen in the cabin, or that the capsule's hatch should be easier to open. In hind site, those are obviously bad choices, but if you understand the way they arrived at them, it looks a lot different.

Look at the hatch design. It was a direct response to an earlier accident, in which the second Mercury capsule (Liberty Bell 7) was lost - and Gus Grissom nearly lost his life - due to the explosive bolts on the hatch blowing unexpectedly. (Contrary to the movie, there is no real reason to believe that Gus Grissom was in any way responsible for this!) So, they decide to make sure that couldn't happen again. And imagine if that had happened in space! So they changed the design of the hatch, and that design was at least partially responsible for the Apollo 1 astronauts losing their lives. It is too sad an incident to call it irony that Gus Grissom was one of them.

Which leads us back to the nuclear power stations in Japan. I don't have NEARLY the understanding of these stations I have of the Apollo spacecraft - and even on those I'm no expert - but I can say this; engineering decisions, when they are at their best, take into account designs that have come before them, including the ones that have gone wrong. This helps to avoid past problems. And you try to imagine future problems that could arise. But you can't foresee everything. As they say, hindsight is 20/20, but even very smart people, sometimes just don't think of things. In this case, on the whole, I'd have to say the plant design wasn't really the problem. It survived the Earthquake, and while I'm sure they would have had some work to get things up and running, if it weren't for the 30' wall of water, none of us would have ever heard of the place. The plant's LOCATION, on the other hand, is certainly something to learn from, and is a thing to be avoided in the future. (Hint to the California Public Utilities Commission!)


Gabriel

Darth_Fader
March 19th, 2011, 03:29 AM
There were some projects, where the core would melt and fall into a trap that prevents creation of the local critical masses. The reactor would be a writeoff but it should not explode under any circumstances.

Actually, melting is the danger here. There is no real danger of a nuclear explosion, because there is no way to hold the reaction together long enough. It's actually hard to create an explosion, but easy to create a fire and a big mess, which is the problem here.

That is, if it's not an imbicilic graphite pile reactor. Those were known to be dangerous, and taken out of service, in the USA, long, long ago.

By the way, Chernobyl was a generation facility. It wasn't the question of making nuclear fuel that was the problem, it was an imbicilic design, known to be unstable for decades, coupled with an experiment that did EXACTLY what it takes to deliberately explode the sucker.

The levels of stupidity there are mind-blowing.

dwoz
March 19th, 2011, 04:09 AM
I'm sitting here, high-fiving myself, that I managed to pull spock out and get him to post some real info. I learn more from that guy than almost anyone.

He's a real ladies man, too.

Carlo
March 19th, 2011, 05:58 AM
Each time I see the video of the helicopters dropping water on the reactors, it reminds me of all the old movies where the Japanese Army would be trying to battle Godzilla, Or Mothra, or some other God-forsaken creature, using totally out-sized weapons and strategy...

Maybe cause it was always happening on the beach, but it looks the same...and the same results.

weedywet
March 19th, 2011, 09:38 AM
Maybe for starters, if you actually even invented the WORD tsunami, maybe, maybe?, the biggest fucking seawall you can think of is a better idea than "this is PROBABLY big enough"?

It isn't that no one thought a bigger than 30 ft wave was possible.
They just deemed it not LIKELY enough to be cost effective.
And that's the part that is maddening.

My right wing loonie friends are saying the same things NOW

How LIKELY is a tsunami on the east coast of the US?
How LIKELY is an earthquake in New York?

Well I live a mile or so from Indian Point reactor, which STILL, illegally, has no evacuation plan at ALL for the area and frankly, sitting here in Japan, "how likely?" sounds pretty fucking STUPID to me now

I shall say it again
If you cannot guarantee safety to 100% certainty, then scrap nuclear power completely.

iCombs
March 19th, 2011, 11:37 AM
I shall say it again
If you cannot guarantee safety to 100% certainty, then scrap nuclear power completely.

That's kind of like saying, "if you can't guarantee air travel's safety to 100% certainty, then scrap air travel altogether."

It seems a bit hyperbolic. I don't think that you can EVER guarantee ANYTHING to 100% certainty. Some how, shit eventually finds a way of happening.

Wide-O
March 19th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Not that it matters much, but I just read that in some places, the waves were actually 70 ft. Which is less than in 1896, when 100 ft was reported. Not sure how accurate this is, obviously.

Oh, and Spock, nice one. Very insightful! :Thumbsup:

G cubed
March 19th, 2011, 12:46 PM
A friend of mine who spent most of the 1990's working with the NRC sent me this.

Fukushima: Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Design Caused GE Scientist To Quit In Protest.....

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/fukushima-mark-nuclear-reactor-design-caused-ge-scientist/story?id=13141287

Pimp-X
March 19th, 2011, 12:57 PM
I shall say it again
If you cannot guarantee safety to 100% certainty, then scrap nuclear power completely.

And as a citizen of a country that desperately requires non carbon producing energy, I entirely agree with this statement.

While most of the NZ sheeple are hung up on the 80's-90's posturing of the 'nuclear free' stance, the rest of us are WISHING for an all-problems-solving-thing alternative. Nuclear it would be, but for that one thing. Certainty.

Tim Halligan
March 19th, 2011, 01:06 PM
That's kind of like saying, "if you can't guarantee air travel's safety to 100% certainty, then scrap air travel altogether."

It seems a bit hyperbolic. I don't think that you can EVER guarantee ANYTHING to 100% certainty. Some how, shit eventually finds a way of happening.

Bingo.

There is - in all large engineering projects - a point at which additional certainty becomes economically unfeasible.

Let's assume in this instance that the engineering was designed for a once in 500 year event...and it got clobbered by a once in a thousand year event.

Cheers,
Tim

Keks
March 19th, 2011, 03:53 PM
That's kind of like saying, "if you can't guarantee air travel's safety to 100% certainty, then scrap air travel altogether."

It seems a bit hyperbolic. I don't think that you can EVER guarantee ANYTHING to 100% certainty. Some how, shit eventually finds a way of happening.

If you have a plane going down, then the damage is, in comparison with a nuke plant going wild, neglectable.
You have to take into account what a unparalleld clusterfuck a nuke plant going up really is.

All the best,
the keks

weedywet
March 19th, 2011, 04:22 PM
Exactly

The 'Ooops it happened' downside here could be disastrous on a huge scale.

Unacceptable.

dwoz
March 19th, 2011, 04:36 PM
The great part of the pro-nuke response right now, is the "well, WE didn't forsee this, and WE conducted reasonable planning, and WE decided that the risk was too small to deal with."

NO.

YOU rolled the fucking dice,

and I am going to pay the price.

because in spite of the math, SNAKE EYES come up all-too-often. and YOU know it.

AND also, the "plane crash analogy".

Sure. Plane crashes are terrible tragedies. People die, and it's just awful.

BUT.

When that plane goes down, it isn't going to hit my house. even if it does, It isn't going to force me to abandon my entire way of life, along with the rest of the COUNTY. Forever. (and forever means, never again in my lifetime.)

nobby
March 19th, 2011, 05:49 PM
TEPCO is Japan's answer to Halliburton.

They hire former government regulators and pay them to bribe the current ones... sound familiar?

So the regulators are in bed with the industry.

Numerous safety violations, falsifying records, lying to regulators, lying to the government, lying to the people, all in the name of maximizing profits. After all, safety is expensive.

So you have reactors whose design was questioned from the start, and this design was from the 1960s.

They were retrofitted with add'l valves but the reactors were designed to have a life of 25 years and were in operation for nearly 40.

The assertion by some that the plants withstood the quake are probably erroneous.

They were not designed to withstand a 9.0 quake.

The fuel storage pools are not covered. They are 4 stories up from the ground. In the same way the towers were swaying wildly during the quake, experts say the water was likely sloshing out of the pools. They found a tear in the 3/8" thick stainless steel liner of one of the pools that they believe was a result of the quake.

After the tsunami the 13 diesel backup generators failed. There were backup steam driven pumps, but those failed also. It's possible that pipes and/or electrical conduits were damaged as well.

And that was before the explosions.

And for me, this is the kicker:

Plants #5 & 6 aren't in use mainly because they are just used for storage of spent fuel rod ass'ys.

All of the fuel rods that have been used at the plant over the past nearly 40 years are still on the site.

Have a nice day.

Keks
March 20th, 2011, 11:08 AM
YOU rolled the fucking dice,


Yep, this is important.
Nuclear power is gambling.

Let's do the math.
The German Wikipedia (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicherheit_von_Kernkraftwerken#Die_Wahrscheinlichk eit_eines_schweren_Unfalls) states that the risk of a major incident for German nuclear plants is given from different organisations between 1/33.000 to 1/100.000
Now, in germany there are 17 nuclear power plants.
If we asssume a livecycle of 35 years, we get 595 years of running plants,
and a risk of 595/33.000=1.8% to 595/100.000=0.6% of blowing one plant in this time.

So, we can play a game.
We have a lottery with 50 lottery tickets.
49 tickets are winning, one of them (2% chance) blows a nuke plant next door.
Or let's have the other one, the better prognosis,
199 Tickets are winners, one (0.5% chance) melts a kernel right there.

I give you a dollar for a win.
Are you in?
Five dollars?
A million?
A billion?

All the best,
the keks

Juha
March 20th, 2011, 02:40 PM
Ok. Nuclear power is bad mm'kaay.. Where do you get the electricity from to power your fancy a-class analog gear then? There isn't really much option.

DPower
March 20th, 2011, 03:10 PM
Bingo.

There is - in all large engineering projects - a point at which additional certainty becomes economically unfeasible.

Let's assume in this instance that the engineering was designed for a once in 500 year event...and it got clobbered by a once in a thousand year event.

Cheers,
Tim

Well in this instance the once in a thousand year event could have been negated had they not built the reactor directly on the shoreline of a country known to have these kinds of events at all.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

It was a stroke of luck that the whole building and it's radioactive contents weren't washed inland like so many others.

Seriously...

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 03:25 PM
It was a stroke of luck that the whole building and it's radioactive contents weren't washed inland like so many others.

You think it was a stroke of luck that the thing was built stronger than your average drywall house?

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 03:45 PM
A pretty good conversation (http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11551) about... nucular... power in general, of course in lieu of what just happened in Japan, and without the general hysteria that seems to be running amok everywhere including the forum here. Funny that the guys that actually know what they are talking about here are the ones that are the least fear-riddled.

dwoz
March 20th, 2011, 06:10 PM
Holm, it's not fear, and it's not hysteria.

It's just good old fashioned yankee pragmatism.

Nuclear is an INTERESTING IDEA, because it jumps completely outside the whole solar-carbon cycle.

Instead of dirt-stuff, it's star-stuff.

And at this juncture, we just haven't figured out how to manage star-stuff effectively, over the long term.

Plus, I'm basically swimming in carbon-dirt-stuff, all day every day, but if I breathe even one little particle of star-stuff (plutonium) I am going to be killed by it, sooner or later.

Yes, industrial carbon-based energy processes do produce toxic products, and do add to global warming.

But to tout nuclear as a surprise answer to the problem of global warming is false. It's a surprise gift of political talking points, not a surprise gift of a solution.

However, maybe I've got it all wrong. Maybe Nuclear, paired with our crippled and deregulated oversight regime, is the way to go? It will, eventually, create an event that will make thousands of square miles of land uninabitable for humans...a sort of automatic wilderness preserve. In a thousand years, that land will become a place for whatever humans are around, to grow into.

All sarcasm aside, I've seen one interesting suggestion. That if we continue with nuclear, we set up an agency, pseudo-military, that is like the army corps of engineers, but entirely and completely outside the profit structure, and completely outside the political structure. Today, the nuclear calculus is conducted within the conceptual framework of the acceptable economic value of a human death, where the proximate cause of that death is the nuclear operation. That conceptual framework would need to be religiously, fanatically, ideologically rejected as a core tenet...that the only acceptable calculus is zero.

Impossible, you say. Sure. It is impossible.

If every household had a solar panel on the roof, it would also be "impossible" because you will always have the guy that falls off the roof to his death trying to install the solar panel. But that's a different thing. You can never factor away individual stupidity and incompetence...but you CAN factor away institutional stupidity and incompetence, if your premise is that stupidity and incompetence is a steady, pervasive presence requiring constant vigilance and contravening action.

Juha
March 20th, 2011, 06:59 PM
Holm, it's not fear, and it's not hysteria.

It's just good old fashioned yankee pragmatism.

Ok. Let me jump in here.

http://www.tuberose.com/Depleted_Uranium.html

Have a nice day.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 07:25 PM
Holm, it's not fear, and it's not hysteria
No. It's hysteria, when people are saying that it's worse than Chernobyl. It's hysteria when people are saying that Germany is going to be the next one because it is in a seismically active zone (back at 13th century there was ONE earthquake of magnitude 6.3). It's hysteria when people are saying that we simply got damn lucky that the reactors did not get washed inland by the tsunami waves similar to how drywall apartment buildings did. And it is hysteria when local press is starting to report earthquakes by a magnitude 2.2 that were happening 1000 miles from the place I live. ALL this happened last week, and most of it in this thread.

I am surprised that no-one has yet brought up that they have measured radiation that is higher than the allowed norm by Japanese health standards in milk produced near the Fukushima plant. It's a nice little stat. People providing these stats generally forget to mention that you would have to drink a year's worth of that milk for it to compare with one CT scan.

It is okay to question it, but fear mongering isn't, even if fear mongering is a result of ingorance derived from fundamental misunderstanding of the laws of physics.
but if I breathe even one little particle of star-stuff (plutonium) I am going to be killed by it, sooner or later.
And if you come to my country and walk the streets in winter you could just aswell get killed by a three feet long icicle that is falling from a roof 30 feet above you. This is more likely.

You can never factor away individual stupidity and incompetence...but you CAN factor away institutional stupidity and incompetence, if your premise is that stupidity and incompetence is a steady, pervasive presence requiring constant vigilance and contravening action.

Indeed and institutional stupidity and ignorance was in the DNA of the country that gave us Chernobyl. It still required a healthy dosage of individual stupidity and incompetence adding to that to make it really happen. Nothing in Japan compares except the word "nuclear".

I am just wondering, when we are all out of coal, natural gas and oil - what are we going to burn then to keep all these plants going that are making us IPods and making our rooms cool during summertime? And are we really so incapable of learning that, armed with knowledge we got from these three incidents, that we are not able to design next generation plants that are an order of magnitude safer than the old ones?

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 07:44 PM
When did Noah build the ark?

BEFORE THE FLOOD.......In faith that one day he would need it......everyone laughed and ridiculed him.....Yeah it's a parable and whether you believe what's written in the bible or not, it make sense, just as Weedy says in his post.

I don't think it's just about the money. I think it's about public opinion and the fact that Government don't want to be ridiculed and lose political weight by building something people will see as a waste of taxpayers money.

Thing is they will be singing a different tune if the big one does happen. The California coast where it hit this time, should heed the warning. Next time it might not be such a minimal impact.

nobby
March 20th, 2011, 07:45 PM
You think it was a stroke of luck that the thing was built stronger than your average drywall house?

Do you think that luck would have held if the plant recieved a direct hit from an oil tanker?

That "Chernobyl was much worse" is a ringing endorsement of the safety of nuclear power?

We're saddled with nuclear energy whether we like it or not as long as there are too many people on this planet using too much energy with clean energy sources unable to pick up the slack.

And not all scientists are dead set on the safety and well-being of the planet's denizens.

Remember, these are the people that invented intercontinental missiles, nuclear warheads, cluster bombs...


MP3 files :vuvu:



Tell me that this is NOT the plan for dealing with nuclear waste going forward into the future:

"We just have to hope that future generations are smarter than we are and can figure it out..."

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 08:11 PM
BTW what's wrong with a combination of Solar, Wind and Hydro Electricity? What is wrong with switching people over to Gas hot water systems and stoves and while your at it LPG in CARS AND BUSES...

They are a hell of a lot safer....

Huh. Maybe that only works in my country...(maybe a population thing?) Although America is a big country, I am sure they could build facilities big enough... and don't they already have Gas deposits out the wazoo?

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 08:13 PM
Do you think that luck would have held if the plant recieved a direct hit from an oil tanker?
Even worse if the terrorists would have detonated an actual nuke in Times Square. And pretty much as likely, if we are already bordering on ridiculous.

That "Chernobyl was much worse" is a ringing endorsement of the safety of nuclear power?
Again. The Chernobyl thing. I was in the same country back then. It was much closer to me than it is to you. I know of people that were sent to clean the fallout at gunpoint. And I know of the culture what was prevalent in that country, I know of work ethics that were in that country and I know of a value that human beings had during the time of that regime. This does not compare. This does not belong to the same timezone to "compare" and every single time the thing in Japan is compared to the thing in Chernobyl I want to physically hurt people. I LIVED Chernobyl.

And not all scientists are dead set on the safety and well-being of the planets denizens.

Remember, there are the people that invented intercontinental missiles, nuclear warheads, cluster bombs...


MP3 files :vuvu:
I am pretty sure that almost every invention in human history can be traced back to having some rather close relations to some particular military needs. I'm pretty sure even vuvuzelas.

Our job as people is to keep them honest but we can't keep them honest if our stance is going to be ignorant to the core. I.e. you want to send Spock or JJ there to represent the "common man" not the actual common man. Sadly what Spock and JJ has been saying here has been largely ignored by "all nuclear is satanic" majority.

Tell me that this is NOT the plan for dealing with nuclear waste going forward into the future:

"We just have to hope that future generations are smarter than we are and can figure it out..."
It aparently is not the only plan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing)

Goes211
March 20th, 2011, 08:19 PM
BTW what's wrong with a combination of Solar, Wind and Hydro Electricity? What is wrong with switching people over to Gas hot water systems and stoves and while your at it LPG in CARS AND BUSES...

They are a hell of a lot safer....

Huh. Maybe that only works in my country...(maybe a population thing?) Although America is a big country, I am sure they could build facilities big enough... and don't they already have Gas deposits out the wazoo?

With gas currently at 8,40 $ a gallon in my neck of the woods (yes, you read that right : 1,5 Euro a liter, that's 6 Euros a gallon), it makes a whole lot of sense to explore alternatives.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 08:20 PM
BTW what's wrong with a combination of Solar, Wind and Hydro Electricity? What is wrong with switching people over to Gas hot water systems and stoves and while your at it LPG in CARS AND BUSES...

They are a hell of a lot safer....
Solar and wind are ridiculously low in cost effectiveness area. Also. Wind turbines are so damn noisy, that nobody wants them anywhere near where people are living, so that kinda facilitates building them into the open sea. And it is expensive to build them into open sea and again, they don't produce that much of power to begin with.

Huh. Maybe that only works in my country...(maybe a population thing?) Although America is a big country, I am sure they could build facilities big enough... and don't they already have Gas deposits out the wazoo?
Gas again is of course fossil fuel and acts only as a stopgap on a leaking hole. Not a real answer either.

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 08:23 PM
See people, there is a lesson to be learned here. When all your digital operations fail, thank god for analog......hehehe If half of these fail safes had a manually operated backup, would we be in the position we are today? Too many people rely on computers, hard drive storage and the electricity to run them.

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 08:28 PM
With gas currently at 8,40 $ a gallon in my neck of the woods (yes, you read that right : 1,5 Euro a liter, that's 6 Euros a gallon), it makes a whole lot of sense to explore alternatives.

My bad GOES....... GAS in my country refers to Liquid Propane not Gasoline.....sorry I always forget the terminology difference over here.

nobby
March 20th, 2011, 08:32 PM
This does not compare.

Which is why I didn't make the comparison.

Do me a favor and stop putting words in my mouth, mkay?

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Gas again is of course fossil fuel and acts only as a stopgap on a leaking hole. Not a real answer either.

Liquid propane is safe and burns clean with little emissions. Public transport and cars in Australia have been running on it for more than 10 years now.

LPG is cheaper than Gasoline and is way more cost effective for the average household. There are huge gas deposits all over the world and the USA have massive ones.

The problem is the oil companies greed and the power they hold with the US government.

DPower
March 20th, 2011, 08:40 PM
No. It's hysteria, when people are saying that it's worse than Chernobyl. It's hysteria when people are saying that Germany is going to be the next one because it is in a seismically active zone (back at 13th century there was ONE earthquake of magnitude 6.3). It's hysteria when people are saying that we simply got damn lucky that the reactors did not get washed inland by the tsunami waves similar to how drywall apartment buildings did.

Dude, it seems that you're the one reacting hysterically to all this. No one said that Germany is going to be the next one. I simply pointed out that given the risks of nuclear power that it doesn't make sense to build them in seismologically sensitive areas. Just like it doesn't make sense to build them on the shore in tsunami prone areas. This is just common sense, not hysteria.

I don't think it's hysterical to say we're lucky that material didn't get washed inshore. Watching the footage of the tsunami pouring through the lower floors of buildings and taking down more than just flimsy drywall structures, we can be thankful that for whatever reason the containment pools in these reactor buildings were above ground level.

It's also not hysterical to recognize that corruption and safety violations plague this industry, and that if we're going to utilize this form of energy, then we'd better minimise risk by all means necessary.


I am just wondering, when we are all out of coal, natural gas and oil - what are we going to burn then to keep all these plants going that are making us IPods and making our rooms cool during summertime? And are we really so incapable of learning that, armed with knowledge we got from these three incidents, that we are not able to design next generation plants that are an order of magnitude safer than the old ones?

Maybe we'll discover that we don't need all these iPods and air conditioning. Maybe the people who converted their energy sectors over to renewables early enough will do just fine.

MacGregor
March 20th, 2011, 08:43 PM
BTW what's wrong with a combination of Solar, Wind and Hydro Electricity?

You won't believe me, but over here in Krautistan almost 100% are PRO those energies...





...as long as the plants are somewhere else :headpalm:





When you try to get the allowance to build a solar plant, the environmentalists (who you think should LOVE alternatives) start whining about the nasty looks of such a plant, plans for some wind generators in northern Germany were stopped because some rare birds could die when they hit the wheel and they are too loud anyway, and for the water, well, we don't got much of it.

Environmentalists against wind energy...you've seen it here first :headpalm:


Mac
.

meLoCo_go
March 20th, 2011, 08:46 PM
Liquid propane is safe and burns clean with little emissions.
It's still emitting CO2 and uses O2.

The were a clear problems with the plant design.
There are much more advanced reactors now.

What I really hope is that we'd have enough time to develop fusion plants.

MKZ
March 20th, 2011, 08:57 PM
Wouldn't it be funny if Mr. Tesla actually had the answer way back when

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 09:03 PM
You won't believe me, but over here in Krautistan almost 100% are PRO those energies...





...as long as the plants are somewhere else :headpalm:





When you try to get the allowance to build a solar plant, the environmentalists (who you think should LOVE alternatives) start whining about the nasty looks of such a plant, plans for some wind generators in northern Germany were stopped because some rare birds could die when they hit the wheel and they are too loud anyway, and for the water, well, we don't got much of it.

Environmentalists against wind energy...you've seen it here first :headpalm:


Mac
.

Do what they did in Ho Ho Kus, NJ. The rich people all complained of the ugly looking Cell towers. So they painted em green, put some fake green branches on em and now they blend right in...... it's hilarious. Can you believe that shit?

At the end of the day, it's put up with an ugly building or live in a potential radiation dump....it's their choice.

I have been inside Australia's one and only Nuclear Reactor. Had the fortune of having an Uncle that was a friend of one of the scientists there. This reactor is used for Nuclear Medicine and Research only. It generates no electricity.

For a teenager of 17, it was interesting but scary at the same time. We had to carry a pen that was a Geiger Counter with us at all times on the tour and we had to wear the suits and booties as well. And then our tour guide, the scientist dude, thought it would be funny to play a joke on us, by asking us to discard our suits in the linen cart when we were done. He then picked up one of the suits and ran the counter over it, the thing went crazy, and then he said, who was wearing this suit? We all freaked out and started looking at each other because you couldn't tell them apart.....and then he started laughing....apparently he had planted a suit in the basket that one of the other scientist had been wearing earlier..... He thought it was hilarious....they don't get visitors often.

By the way just a note of interest.... Australia currently has no nuclear facilities generating electricity; however, Australia has 23% of the world's uranium deposits and is the world's second largest producer of uranium after Canada.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 09:23 PM
Dude, it seems that you're the one reacting hysterically to all this. No one said that Germany is going to be the next one. I simply pointed out that given the risks of nuclear power that it doesn't make sense to build them in seismologically sensitive areas.
Germany is not a seismologically sensitive area by any stretch of the imagination. And that you did imply in one of your posts.

Just like it doesn't make sense to build them on the shore in tsunami prone areas. This is just common sense, not hysteria.
No, this is everyone being an expert after the event has been already played through.

I don't think it's hysterical to say we're lucky that material didn't get washed inshore. Watching the footage of the tsunami pouring through the lower floors of buildings and taking down more than just flimsy drywall structures, we can be thankful that for whatever reason the containment pools in these reactor buildings were above ground level.
So we are facepalming that the containment pools were above the ground level and we are at the same time saying that we were lucky that the containment pools were above ground level?

Two things. The megaquake did jack to the actual reactor. Absolutely jack. The reactor held. And the quake was 1 000 times stronger than the strongest earthquake in the recorded history of Germany, one that happened almost 1000 years ago.

The tsunami did NOT do any damage to the structures of the reactors that is even comparable to what it did to the regular buildings. The reactors housings blew after the fact because the tsunami killed the cooling of the reactors. Again, the tsunami ITSELF did not have a DIRECT effect of any contamination whatsoever.

It's also not hysterical to recognize that corruption and safety violations plague this industry, and that if we're going to utilize this form of energy, then we'd better minimise risk by all means necessary.
And it's our job to make sure as best as we can that those designated to policy these things do as best job as they can. It is best done with informed opinions.

Maybe we'll discover that we don't need all these iPods and air conditioning. Maybe the people who converted their energy sectors over to renewables early enough will do just fine.
No. WE need them. Our next door neighbours don't, and the people across the street need them even less. I'm not even going to say anything about people in adjacent towns, they have no use for these things and should be ashamed for craving them.

Now, me, I want me Ipod, and I want my loft to be cool and cozy during the summer hot streak... WE always do. It's always someone other that should do the environmentally conscious thing. Ahh and I don't want that noisy windmill in my neighbourhood and I want my electricity to be cheap!

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 09:27 PM
The problem is the oil companies greed and the power they hold with the US government.
If you watch the Charlie Rose roundtable I posted earlier, funny things come up. Apparently, of the whole American oil consumption only 2% goes to power plants. Most of it goes to transport. So, it is still mostly coal.

Smileyblue
March 20th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Apparently, of the whole American oil consumption only 2% goes to power plants. Most of it goes to transport. So, it is still mostly coal.

Actually Holm, I think you have taken me out of context here.

If you re-read my post you will see that quote relates to liquid propane and using it as fuel for cars and buses instead of gasoline, not electricity, although as mentioned in one of my other posts, you can also use it for your stove and hot water in place of electricity also. You are making my point for me.

All bus companies in Australia's major cities are Mercedes buses that run on LPG which costs less than Gasoline and is more friendly to the environment.

Aardvark
March 20th, 2011, 10:18 PM
...The megaquake did jack to the actual reactor. Absolutely jack. The reactor held.

I certainly hope you are right but I have not seen a credible report that states this categorically. Also, if the reactor itself is not damaged but the containment beneath it is damaged you effectively have the same thing in strict terms of rendering the operation useless irrespective of Tsunami cause and effects.

...Again, the tsunami ITSELF did not have a DIRECT effect of any contamination whatsoever.

Parse it anyway you like but consider the obvious.

No Tsunami, no subsequent failure of redundancy systems and no radioactive leakage.

Call it indirect if you like but call it part of a predictable and proven design and implementation failure for which there is no easy fix.



.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 10:28 PM
Actually Holm, I think you have taken me out of context here.

If you re-read my post you will see that quote relates to liquid propane and using it as fuel for cars and buses instead of gasoline, not electricity, although as mentioned in one of my other posts, you can also use it for your stove and hot water in place of electricity also. You are making my point for me.

All bus companies in Australia's major cities are Mercedes buses that run on LPG which costs less than Gasoline and is more friendly to the environment.

No, no, I understand you and it is in fact perplexing that the Americans are so averse to using Natural Gas as a substitute to oil. My point was, that it's not the oil companies that are holding the government hostage, at least regarding power plants, as oil usage is neglible there. They are still apparently mostly burning coal.

Natural Gas is used everywhere in Europe and Russia, one of the biggest exporters in the world, is using it as political leverage to make various countries do what is useful to Russia at any given time. We are quite familiar with the concept here.

DPower
March 20th, 2011, 10:34 PM
Germany is not a seismologically sensitive area by any stretch of the imagination. And that you did imply in one of your posts.


Wow, you have a real talent for taking things out of context. I never implied that Germany as a whole is a seismically active country. I did say, and stand by my statement that this particular region in which I live where Germany, France and Switzerland meet IS an area that has seen devastating earthquakes, is considered a seismological risk area, and is long overdue for another strong earthquake. Here in Basel, new buildings have to meet strenuous regulations for earthquake resistance. The plant I was referring to that lies in this region is over 40 years old, designed for a lifespan of 25 years, and I'm damn sure given the post-war rush to rebuild Germany's infrastructure did not take one iota of consideration to the possibility of earthquakes as a risk. The same as you are now.


No, this is everyone being an expert after the event has been already played through.


Well had anyone consulted me before building the plant, I would have mentioned the issue, expert or not.


So we are facepalming that the containment pools were above the ground level and we are at the same time saying that we were lucky that the containment pools were above ground level?


You seem either to think I'm someone else, or that all people who have issues with Nuclear power or the crisis at Fukushimi Daiichi are all working together from the same play sheet. Jesus, get a grip. I never said shit about the pools being above ground. I'm actually thankful they were given the circumstances that this nuclear power station was built directly on the shore!


Two things. The megaquake did jack to the actual reactor. Absolutely jack. The reactor held. And the quake was 1 000 times stronger than the strongest earthquake in the recorded history of Germany, one that happened almost 1000 years ago.


First off, we don't have that information yet, and we won't until all is investigated after this crisis is over. The core seems to have held, but there does appear to have been breaches in other parts of the containment system which would account for the radiation spikes. I'm not saying that is a definite, but we don't have all the information yet.

Second, this plant was designed to withstand a high magnitude earthquake. Let me reiterate: If you are so secure in the knowledge that there is no risk of earthquake in Germany, what makes you think that any consideration to earthquakes was built into the reactor to which I was referring?


The tsunami did NOT do any damage to the structures of the reactors that is even comparable to what it did to the regular buildings. The reactors housings blew after the fact because the tsunami killed the cooling of the reactors. Again, the tsunami ITSELF did not have a DIRECT effect of any contamination whatsoever.


Again, too early to tell. The only pictures we got of the Fukushima Daiichi plant came with the first explosion, and were too far away to see what damage was done to the buildings by the tsunami. Obviously there was enough damage to take out all mains power, all the backup generators, and generally create enough chaos to make it impossible to bring in new diesel generators or fuel.


And it's our job to make sure as best as we can that those designated to policy these things do as best job as they can. It is best done with informed opinions.


Well, I'm never a fan of the deference to authority where corruption, profit over people, and a total lack of common sense seems to be the normal modus operandi.


No. WE need them. Our next door neighbours don't, and the people across the street need them even less. I'm not even going to say anything about people in adjacent towns, they have no use for these things and should be ashamed for craving them.

Now, me, I want me Ipod, and I want my loft to be cool and cozy during the summer hot streak... WE always do. It's always someone other that should do the environmentally conscious thing. Ahh and I don't want that noisy windmill in my neighbourhood and I want my electricity to be cheap!

You can want whatever the fuck you want. I want clean water, healthy living spaces and food that doesn't give me cancer. I'm happy to be living somewhere that takes these things seriously and is working towards making the city 100% green energy, even if they do cause the few accidental earthquakes along the way.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 10:36 PM
Parse it anyway you like but consider the obvious.

No Tsunami, no subsequent failure of redundancy systems and no radioactive leakage.

Call it indirect if you like but call it part of a predictable and proven design and implementation failure for which there is no easy fix.
.

Of course, and I don't object to that. What I am objecting to is the picture that is painted at places, that we were saved by something slightly short of a miracle that the tsunami waves flushed through the containment buildings, tearing them down and taking all the used fuel from their containment vessels and carrying them merrily inland whilst happily spreading deadly dosages of radiation everywhere. It did not happen and it was not even close to being happening.

Also, they got power back at reactors 1, 2, 5 and 6, apparently. Funny how, when it's apparent that we in fact are all NOT going to die , at least immediately, all news agencies are finding it increasingly hard to find a timeslot for this particular news anymore.

It was Libya, Libya, Libya, then quake, quake, tsunami, tsunami, tsunami, tsunami, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, disaster, radiation, no-fly-zone, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya again. I guess, news have to be made somehow.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 10:39 PM
You can want whatever the fuck you want. I want clean water, healthy living spaces and food that doesn't give me cancer. I'm happy to be living somewhere that takes these things seriously and is working towards making the city 100% green energy, even if they do cause the few accidental earthquakes along the way.

Sarcasm. A good thing to know of. Apparently comes off poorly in written form at times. And you did post a link where it listed a bunch of quakes ranging from 4 to 5.7 at one of your posts.

DPower
March 20th, 2011, 10:53 PM
Sarcasm. A good thing to know of. Apparently comes off poorly in written form at times. And you did post a link where it listed a bunch of quakes ranging from 4 to 5.7 at one of your posts.

Have you ever felt a richter 4 earthquake?

I felt a 3.4 here in Basel back when the geothermal project was on, and it wasn't something I'd like to repeat. It was enough of a concern to the chemical and nuclear facilities in the area that the geothermal project was shut down to prevent any further quakes.

Here's an article about it:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/geothermal_powe.php

Residents fears are also compounded by the fact that Basel sits directly over a fault to which the worst earthquake ever to hit Europe is attributed. The quake, estimated to have been about a 6.5 on the Richter scale, occurred in 1356, toppling medieval castles and church towers. Experts indicate that a similar quake today would bring down about 4% of existing buildings, cause SFf80 billion ($66.3 billion) in damages, and threaten public safety due to the chemical and nuclear industries active in the area.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 11:02 PM
Have you ever felt a richter 4 earthquake?

No - my mother apparently felt a 4.7 one and she has talked about it ONCE. Ever. Apparently it was not that big of a deal and the only thing that made it newsworthy was that it was in Tallinn - that is seismically pretty much dead. But in the large scheme of things it doesn't matter. I am not the one that is going to crumble and release radiation anyway and my particular comfort zone doesn't matter in that context at all.

The plants, the buildings, the bridges have to endure this and these things are built to withstand more and they have. Constantly. Richter 4 earthquake is 100 000 times less powerful earthquake than the one that created the tsunami that took out the Fukushima plant. Yes, that is the correct amount of zeros. One hundred thousand times less powerful. And that plant was 40 years old, designed and built with engineering knowledge we had back then.

The constant ignoring of physics and math (dunno if it is not understanding or plain ignoring) is what creates blind fear. And it is again the same that we are all going to die because they measured radiation levels higher in the milk that was inside the 30k radius than what is allowed by Japanese health and safety standards. This is again scary if you conviniently ignore the fact that you would have to drink a years worth of it for it to compare one, ONE CT scan.

You have some seismical activity near where you live there. Okay. Well then anything that is built over there should take this into account then.

nobby
March 20th, 2011, 11:04 PM
BTW what's wrong with a combination of Solar, Wind and Hydro Electricity? What is wrong with switching people over to Gas hot water systems and stoves and while your at it LPG in CARS AND BUSES...

They are a hell of a lot safer....

Huh. Maybe that only works in my country...(maybe a population thing?) Although America is a big country, I am sure they could build facilities big enough... and don't they already have Gas deposits out the wazoo?

The buses in NYC all run on propane or natural gas.

It's a great idea, because the old diesel buses used to put out a lot of particulate matter (soot) which is bad for people who have respiratory ailments or people who don't and would like to keep it that way.

But the extraction of gas from the earth, mostly done by hydrofracking, creates a significant amount of air and water pollution in areas in which drilling takes place.

So energy companies are clamoring to drill. And they are getting rare support from their usual sparring partners. Environmentalists say using natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. Lawmakers hail the gas as a source of jobs. They also see it as a way to wean the United States from its dependency on other countries for oil.

But the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas.

With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27gas.html?scp=4&sq=natural%20gas%20and%20pollution%20in%20colorado&st=cse

This looks familiar:

The fate of more of the wastewater is unknown because of industry lobbying. In 2009, when regulators tried to strengthen oversight of the industry’s methods for disposing of its waste, the Marcellus Shale Coalition staunchly opposed the effort.

“There is no other industry in Pennsylvania that is required to have a manifest system for residual waste,” industry officials argued, according to notes from a meeting on March 11, 2009, with state regulators and officials from the governor’s office. Under the proposed system, a manifest would have been required so that each load of wastewater was tracked from the well to its disposal, to verify that it was not dumped at the side of the road.

After initially resisting, state officials agreed, adding that they would try to persuade the secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to agree, according to the notes. In the end, the state’s proposed manifest system for tracking was not carried out.

Three of the top state officials in the meeting — K. Scott Roy, Barbara Sexton and J. Scott Roberts — have since left their posts for jobs in the natural-gas industry.
<snip>
“The wastewater that comes up from the well will likely increase to some degree in many contaminants such as salts and possibly radium and other radionuclides with each new fracking, but the data is very limited on this issue so not much is known,” said Radisav Vidic, an environmental engineering professor and drilling expert at the University of Pittsburgh. “There needs to be more data on this.”
<snip>
West Virginia’s water and waste management director, Scott Mandirola, has said that he recognized that some Marcellus waste may have radioactive contaminants and that some of the waste could find its way to the state’s waters.

But he added that it would be highly diluted by rain or snow and that de-icing the roads was important. State officials also said that only wastewater from shallow wells would be used, thereby reducing levels of radioactivity.

Pennsylvania also allows salty brine produced from the wastewater to be spread on roads for dust suppression or de-icing.

More than 155,000 gallons of this wastewater was sent by a drilling company called Ultra Resources to nine towns for dust suppression in 2009, state records show. The water came from two gas wells in Tioga County and contained radium at almost 700 times the levels allowed in drinking water.

“I was told nothing about frack water or any gas-well brines or anything else,” said Deborah Kotulka, the secretary of Richmond Township, in Tioga County, whose name appears on the state record. Her township received 101,640 gallons of the water from wells with high radioactivity, those records show.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/us/02gas.html?pagewanted=3&sq=natural%20gas%20drilling&st=cse&scp=10



http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/02/26/us/100000000650773/natgas.html?scp=5&sq=natural%20gas&st=cse

.

DPower
March 20th, 2011, 11:14 PM
No, but in the large scheme of things it doesn't matter. These things are built to withstand more and they have. Constantly. Richter 4 earthquake is 100 000 times less powerful earthquake than the one that created the tsunami that took out the Fukushima plant. Yes, that is the correct amount of zeros. One hundred thousand times less powerful. And that plant was 40 years old, designed and built with engineering knowledge we had back then.

Well great! That plant was built to withstand earthquakes up to 8 and it survived a 9. Good job! Oh, except that it didn't take into consideration the wall of water wiping out it's backup generators.

The constant ignoring of physics and math (dunno if it is not understanding or plain ignoring) is what creates blind fear. And it is again the same that we are all going to die because they measured radiation levels higher in the milk that was inside the 30k radius than what is allowed by Japanese health and safety standards. This is again scary if you conviniently ignore the fact that you would have to drink a years worth of it for it to compare one, ONE CT scan.


Again, you seem to have me confused with someone else.


You have some seismical activity near where you live there. Okay. Well then anything that is built over there should take this into account then.

Well that's what I've been trying to say over and over. The plant in Japan: Taken into account, and built to withstand earthquakes.

The plant just north of Basel in Germany: Earthquakes? We don't have earthquakes here.

Holm
March 20th, 2011, 11:34 PM
Well great! That plant was built to withstand earthquakes up to 8 and it survived a 9. Good job! Oh, except that it didn't take into consideration the wall of water wiping out it's backup generators.
Again, 9 is 10 times more than 8, so it's not a small deal. Anyhow, I have not been able to find the actual specs to what the Fukushima plant was built to withstand. I kinda remember a number that was between 6,4 to 7,2. If so they indeed did an admirable job. Regarding the tsunami... well shit happens. Can't forsee everything.

And now, to put all this to context:
Reported injuries: 37 (none reported as due to radiation contamination)

"Radiation leaks beyond the plant's boundaries have not been high enough to constitute any significant danger to the public"

That means that between Fukushima and Three Mile Island nuclear disasters we have sum total of zero death incidents so far.

Well that's what I've been trying to say over and over. The plant in Japan: Taken into account, and built to withstand earthquakes.
Well that part did work, so it apparently is possible to build a plant to withstand earthquakes.

The plant just north of Basel in Germany: Earthquakes? We don't have earthquakes here.
Is it built already? If not you can be pretty sure, after what happened in Japan, that it WILL be built to withstand earthquakes.

Goes211
March 20th, 2011, 11:42 PM
My bad GOES....... GAS in my country refers to Liquid Propane not Gasoline.....sorry I always forget the terminology difference over here.

Well I meant LPG as an alternative.

DPower
March 20th, 2011, 11:56 PM
Again, 9 is 10 times more than 8, so it's not a small deal. Anyhow, I have not been able to find the actual specs to what the Fukushima plant was built to withstand. I kinda remember a number that was between 6,4 to 7,2. If so they indeed did an admirable job. Regarding the tsunami... well shit happens. Can't forsee everything.


Well call me a cynic but building a plant directly on the shore of a KNOWN earthquake and tsunami threatened region is pretty forseeable.


And now, to put all this to context:
Reported injuries: 37 (none reported as due to radiation contamination)

"Radiation leaks beyond the plant's boundaries have not been high enough to constitute any significant danger to the public"

That means that between Fukushima and Three Mile Island nuclear disasters we have sum total of zero death incidents so far.


Well thank god for luck and the bravery of the engineers who stayed behind working in shifts to keep the reactors cool. As for deaths, well that's a tough one to calculate. Let's see in 30 years how many of those workers at Fukushima end up with cancer.

Is it built already? If not you can be pretty sure, after what happened in Japan, that it WILL be built to withstand earthquakes.

Yeah, it was built in the early fifties and was set to be decommissioned until Merkel's government decided to extend it's lifespan. The protests against the plant were planned well before the Japanese earthquake. This event just highlights the reasons that the safety issues surrounding nuclear power generation need to be examined and addressed because even in what could be considered the most technologically advanced country in the world, there come events that can threaten the safety of thousands, if not millions of people. Events that were it not for bureaucratic ignorance and blind greed should have been eminently foreseeable.

Holm
March 21st, 2011, 12:15 AM
Well call me a cynic but building a plant directly on the shore of a KNOWN earthquake and tsunami threatened region is pretty forseeable.
Everything was always forseeable after it had already happened. Perhaps you can also forsee the next big accident/thing then? Doesn't have to be nuclear. Anything? Besides Gadhafi, which, if any, arabic dictator falls next?

Well thank god for luck and the bravery of the engineers who stayed behind working in shifts to keep the reactors cool.
This is what they signed up for. And the firefighters volunteered.

As for deaths, well that's a tough one to calculate. Let's see in 30 years how many of those workers at Fukushima end up with cancer.
And while we are at it, why don't we ban all mines everywhere? In Chile, if I remember correctly, there are around 30 deaths on mining related incidents yearly. Add to that that mining is a seriously hazardous job to one's health to boot.

I'm simply astonished how lucky we must have been. 50 or more years of nuclear power, and besides Chernobyl, not a single fatal incident. Can't be because these things are, in fact, designed and built reasonably well! Must be a blind luck. Because once something happens, we of course are entirely clueless how to fix these things.

nobby
March 21st, 2011, 12:50 AM
Yeah, it was built in the early fifties and was set to be decommissioned until Merkel's government decided to extend it's lifespan.

I find that hard to believe. Got documentation?

Wikipedia is hardly infallible but this would seem to be a more typical timeline since I've never heard of a dedicated nuclear power plant existing in the '50s.

West Germany

As in many industrialized countries, nuclear power in Germany was first developed in the late 1950s. Only a few experimental reactors went online before 1960, and an experimental nuclear power station in Kahl am Main opened in 1960. All of the German nuclear power plants that opened between 1960 and 1970 had a power output of less than 1,000 MW and have now all closed down. The first commercial nuclear power plant started operating in 1969.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Germany

DPower
March 21st, 2011, 12:58 AM
Everything was always forseeable after it had already happened. Perhaps you can also forsee the next big accident/thing then? Doesn't have to be nuclear. Anything? Besides Gadhafi, which, if any, arabic dictator falls next?

Jebus... I just said that building a reactor on the shoreline of a well known and established earthquake and tsunami zone was a totally foreseeable risk. I don't understand how you can't see that.
I (and I'd hazard to guess most people in the world) didn't personally know at the time that it was a risk, simply because we didn't know that a reactor was built there!

You want me to play Cleo the psychic hotline? Sure... There will be a plane crash somewhere in the world killing hundreds of people, most likely somewhere in Africa, Eastern Europe, or Asia. Somewhere that safety regulations have been overlooked in the name of profit.

There will be a major major mudslide, most likely somewhere in Central or South America that will wipe out huge sections of Barrio built illegally or with the permission of corrupt bureaucrats on unstable hillsides.

There will be a hurricane that strikes in the Gulf of Mexico causing a huge amount of property damage and some loss of life to one of the following countries: Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, United States.

I can predict that there will be other major earthquakes, volcano eruptions and subsequent tsunamis in the pacific basin.

Al these things are predictable because they happen almost yearly.


I'm simply astonished how lucky we must have been. 50 or more years of nuclear power, and besides Chernobyl, not a single fatal incident. Can't be because these things are, in fact, designed and built reasonably well! Must be a blind luck. Because once something happens, we of course are entirely clueless how to fix these things.

It is blind luck because 50 years is a blink of the eye geologically and politically, and with due consideration of the 1000 year impact when something going devastatingly wrong.

Despite your sarcasm, we are entirely clueless how to fix radioactive contamination other than containment and avoidance.

nobby
March 21st, 2011, 01:03 AM
Everything was always forseeable after it had already happened. Perhaps you can also forsee the next big accident/thing then? Doesn't have to be nuclear. Anything? Besides Gadhafi, which, if any, arabic dictator falls next?


I can predict with 100% accuracy that after the next big thing happens, it will be discovered by "scholars" that Nostradamus predicted it in 1550.

:vuvu::weedstore:

DPower
March 21st, 2011, 01:11 AM
I find that hard to believe. Got documentation?

Wikipedia is hardly infallible but this would seem to be a more typical timeline since I've never heard of a dedicated nuclear power plant existing in the '50s.

You're right, sorry. This plant was actually finished in 76, started in 71. I'm way off on the timeline.

Keks
March 21st, 2011, 01:37 AM
No. It's hysteria, when people are saying that it's worse than Chernobyl. It's hysteria when people are saying that Germany is going to be the next one because it is in a seismically active zone (back at 13th century there was ONE earthquake of magnitude 6.3).

I'm with you on that one.
And I'm fucking furious that the same politicians over here in Krautistan, that said three weeks ago that our nuke plants were save and completely indispensable are now "reevaluating the security", making "stress tests", and shorthandedly shut down seven (7)! of our 17 nuke plants over here.
No one has the fucking balls or ovaries to maintain his or her opinion.
Fucking pathetic.

:headpalm:

Nonetheless I don't think that nuclear power is a good idea to cling to.

All the best,
the keks

Spock
March 21st, 2011, 01:48 AM
Well thank god for luck and the bravery of the engineers who stayed behind working in shifts to keep the reactors cool. As for deaths, well that's a tough one to calculate. Let's see in 30 years how many of those workers at Fukushima end up with cancer.

The wife works for part of CDC and deals with public health issues. Lately she has been taking some classes in epidemiology and and also genetics. Chernobyl has come up and the stats are real clear not just on deaths but on cancer. It seems like those those workers that were not killed within a few years from the massive exposure to direct radiation from the plant had a much lower level of cancer than those further away. It makes sense with that disaster, they pumped tons of radio-hot particles into the air, and the hot fires of graphite lifted even more, and they fell down later much later.

This is the real problem with using sea water, not the corrosion that it can cause to the pipes. You have 4 types of radiation, Alpha, Beta Gamma rays and neutrons. Alpha is He atom striped of electrons. The dead layer of your skin can stop it, or a sheet of paper. Beta is an electron, Al foil will stop that. Gamma is nasty stuff and takes more to shield from it. Neutrons take layers of lead the big problem is when they hit other atoms, they can get captured and turned into something else, and made radioactive. A lot of work is done in BWRs (boiling water reactors, which if I remember right are what we are talking about in Japan) to keep the feed water as pure water, removing even parts per billion of metals. (called a feed water polisher and is a bunch of ion exchange resins) This way they don't get activated and carry that into the turbine, making it "hot" over time.

Releasing steam to lower pressure shouldn't carry much radiation with it. (I'm ignoring I131, and I123 which are fission byproducts and even at slightly above room temp will be a gas. They have half lives from hours to about a week) Hitting H with a neutron can turn it into Deuterium which is stable and not radioactive. You would have to hit that same D with another very high energy neutron to make Tritium. Very little is made in power reactors, lower neutron flux. Oxygen, O17 and O18 are stable, so no problem with it. Sea water is going to have of course Na, Cl, Ca, Mg, C, K, S, Br. These will get activated, now later releases of steam will be carrying more radiation.

On to other things....

Just to be clear I'm not pro-nuke, or even anti-nuke from that matter. I think it can be made safe, however it is still very young technology compared to other things we have. It also requires a larger initial investment. 100% safe, is just not going to happen in anything. All four tires can hit nails and go flat at the same time on a ice cover road in the mountains, and over the side you go. I can't make driving, gasoline refineries, or LPG pipelines, or flying 100% safe. I feel a lot safer flying, I'm more likely to get hit and killed driving to the airport than flying. Can you engineer things safer, sure, but you run in to limitation. The limit has a symbol in the US.

$

How much more do you want to pay for a car or for building that mountain road to take care of the 4 tire blowout probability? What probability is just so low you don't even try to figure out a way around it?

Just don't go smacking engineers around unless you know for sure who made the the final call. He may have thought of it, but was told management to not worry about that probability.


The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope that the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny that he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned. That is the phantasmagoria that haunts his nights and dogs his days. He comes from the job at the end of the day resolved to calculate it again. He wakes in the night in a cold sweat and puts something on paper that looks silly in the morning. All day he shivers at the thought of the bugs which will inevitably appear to jolt its smooth consummation.

DPower
March 21st, 2011, 02:16 AM
Just don't go smacking engineers around unless you know for sure who made the the final call. He may have thought of it, but was told management to not worry about that probability.

In no way am I smacking the engineers on this one. Sorry if that's not clear enough. My issue is the bottom line determination of what constitutes "safe enough" which is as you put it, money. This, a young technology fraught with risk and potentially cataclysmic (even if only locally) consequences, has to date been too often shown to be managed by short sighted, bottom line focused and profit driven businesses. This in and of itself is nothing unusual. Holm's examples of mines is to the point.

Now, normally when a mining disaster occurs, a few people die. Sometimes when there is a flood or a breach of a waste containment pond, some thousands may be affected. Then we all make a bunch of noise, and the regulators insist they will impose more strict regulations until we forget, and the next accident occurs. It doesn't mean we need to stop our industrial activities outright. It does mean that we need to remain vigilant and not let greed and corruption once again undermine safety.

Another thing to remember is that most industrial accidents have a shelf life of decades, not centuries or millenia as is the potential impact of a nuclear accident.

Tim Halligan
March 21st, 2011, 05:07 AM
Can you engineer things safer, sure, but you run in to limitation. The limit has a symbol in the US.

$

How much more do you want to pay for a car or for building that mountain road to take care of the 4 tire blowout probability? What probability is just so low you don't even try to figure out a way around it?

Just don't go smacking engineers around unless you know for sure who made the the final call. He may have thought of it, but was told management to not worry about that probability.


Indeed.

Apparently one of the great quotes from the very first Space Shuttle flight was something along the lines of:

"Just remember...this thing (the Shuttle) was built by the lowest bidder."

Cheers,
Tim

weedywet
March 21st, 2011, 05:18 AM
Someone tells the engineers 'we decided a thirty foot wall is high enough. Forty is too expensive for our bottom line'

I don't want the smallpox weapons lab in the manhattan office tower not because engineers can't design good doors and airlocks and air purifying systems.
I don't want it there because no one will THINK it's reasonable someone will fly a jet into the building and MAYBE spray it around on 8 million new yorkers

It's the incredibly unlikely that matters when the downside is catastrophic.

There is a nuclear INDUSTRY.
They lobby hard to find more uses. Food irradiation, power plants. Whatever.
Their motive is profit. They WANT more

After three mile island they were very much focused on other areas in the US than power stations. Public opinion being against them
But they I've been lobbying hard for years to get a foot back in that door and Obama (the alleged socialist! Ha!) is bought in.

It has to be stopped.


You know. The way the winds are blowing they say it's prob not a good idea to walk around in the rain in Osaka today.

I probably will need a ct scan this year. And maybe a chest x ray.
And i will take 20-30 long flights.
It isn't isolated. Whateve exposure I am getting in Japan is ON TOP OF my annual exposure. It's CUMULATIVE.

it's a lot easier to pontificate from a few thousand miles away from where it's spewing into the air.
I'm less than 200.

T.Bay
March 21st, 2011, 05:39 AM
I probably will need a ct scan this year. And maybe a chest x ray.



Prob a good idea to get ultrasound instead if possible...& avoid bananas, brazil nuts & cigarettes (all sources of radiation).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose

Strat+AC30
March 21st, 2011, 07:28 PM
Can I just say how awesome it is to have guys like Spock contribute here? I don't think I've ever seen the guy write one word that isn't intelligent, well thought out, perceptive and relevant.

DPower
March 21st, 2011, 08:34 PM
Can I just say how awesome it is to have guys like Spock contribute here? I don't think I've ever seen the guy write one word that isn't intelligent, well thought out, perceptive and relevant.

Seconded.

Strat+AC30
March 21st, 2011, 10:39 PM
Saw this, made me think of this thread.

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

Aardvark
March 21st, 2011, 11:29 PM
Can I just say how awesome it is to have guys like Spock contribute here?

Yes you can and yes it is.:vuvu:

I don't think I've ever seen the guy write one word that isn't intelligent, well thought out, perceptive and relevant.

And a nicer guy you won't meet.


Cheers,
Aardvark



.

weedywet
March 22nd, 2011, 04:22 AM
Not even me?

Slipperman
March 22nd, 2011, 04:42 AM
Can I just say how awesome it is to have guys like Spock contribute here? I don't think I've ever seen the guy write one word that isn't intelligent, well thought out, perceptive and relevant.

I say we kill him before it becomes an epidemic.

SM.

Slipperman
March 22nd, 2011, 04:43 AM
Not even me?

He said NICE.

Not LICE.

SM.

weedywet
March 22nd, 2011, 08:07 AM
I'm still in Japan

I'm probably the ricest guy here

Goes211
March 22nd, 2011, 12:59 PM
Interesting radiation dose chart HERE (http://xkcd.com/radiation/).

eagan
March 22nd, 2011, 10:48 PM
Some general food for thought. (http://ourfiniteworld.com/2011/03/21/nuclear-options-going-forward/)



JLE

johnnywellas
March 23rd, 2011, 04:02 PM
It seems that more smoke is coming out of reactor #3, and tap water is contaminated with radiation... :Confused:

(CBS) - Blackish-gray smoke is rising from the building housing the No. 3 reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. That's according to the Tokyo electric power company.

They say they don't know what is causing the smoke, which was first detected around 2:20 this morning, Texas time. A power company spokesperson says operation workers have been evacuated.

Also in Japan, radioactive material exceeding legal limits for infants is detected in tap water. Now the Japanese government is urging people in the nation's capital not to hoard bottled water.

Tap water tests at a water purification plant that surround Tokyo and several surrounding cities revealed higher levels of radioactive iodine than government standards. They are advising people living in the area to stop giving tap water to infants.

They don't know what caused the increase, but assume it is connected to problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, located 150 miles away.

ivmike
March 23rd, 2011, 06:44 PM
I suspect that more people got sick or died from atomic bomb testing in Nevada ("downwinders") than what will happen from this incident in Japan. In fact, I'd wager that that you get more radiation living in North America, due to the 1950s testing.

From the National Geographic:

Anyone who has lived in the contiguous United States since 1951 has been exposed to radiation, according to a CDC report. Fallout from the Nevada Test Site, combined with nuclear tests conducted overseas by the U.S. and other countries, could ultimately be responsible for an additional 17,000 cancer deaths. The National Cancer Institute also estimates that the Nevada Test Site alone may be responsible for up to 212,000 cases of thyroid cancer. - source (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0211/feature1/online_extra.html)

Iodine 131 Fallout Map (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0211/feature1/online_extra_map.html).

I spent my younger years living between the two largest nuclear power plants in Canada (they might even be the largest in the world) and I do not fear nuclear power. In fact, I'd prefer well-run nuclear power plants to the alternative of pollution belching coal plants, shale gas drilling that ruins and poisons water tables, dams that destroy Native lands (look at La grande in Quebec) or dams that ruin town and neighbourhoods (look at the Lost Villages in Ontario). Solar is an option; so is wind, but most people want that stuff built elsewhere (NIMBY!!).

And to the person that posted about feeling an earthquake of 4.7 or something like that; we just had an earthquake of that size last week; it sounded and felt like a train going by... hardly something that would shake a power plant to the ground.

PRobb
March 23rd, 2011, 09:47 PM
I spent my younger years living between the two largest nuclear power plants in Canada (they might even be the largest in the world) and I do not fear nuclear power. In fact, I'd prefer well-run nuclear power plants to the alternative of pollution belching coal plants, shale gas drilling that ruins and poisons water tables, dams that destroy Native lands (look at La grande in Quebec) or dams that ruin town and neighbourhoods (look at the Lost Villages in Ontario). Solar is an option; so is wind, but most people want that stuff built elsewhere (NIMBY!!).
.
When they're working properly, absolutely. The problem is the big "if". If the coal or shale plant goes kaflooey, it's not going to render your house uninhabitable for generations.

ivmike
March 24th, 2011, 12:44 AM
When they're working properly, absolutely. The problem is the big "if". If the coal or shale plant goes kaflooey, it's not going to render your house uninhabitable for generations.

The same holds true for this big old star that we orbit....we're kinda sure that it won't blow up and eat the Earth in our lifetime.


In any event, I would love something perfect to meet our energy needs as well. Something that gives us hundreds of megawatts of power with no CO, CO2, NO2, SO2 or other deadly nasties. All I'm trying to say is that this "nuclear threat" from Japan is being overplayed.

And it's really easy to say, "What? They only built it to withstand a 30 foot wave? Bunch of fucking BASTARDS!" when in fact, it's taken more punishment than the specs said that it could and, it hasn't turned into a steaming mess like that graphite disaster in the Ukraine simply because it was designed better (i.e., properly).

And if you're worried about radiation in the USA...well, you're kind of screwed. You've been getting blasted daily since 1951.

nobby
March 24th, 2011, 03:50 AM
I suspect that more people got sick or died from atomic bomb testing in Nevada ("downwinders") than what will happen from this incident in Japan.

That's why the practice has been banned for several decades.


In fact, I'd wager that that you get more radiation living in North America, due to the 1950s testing.

You'd lose.


And if you're worried about radiation in the USA...well, you're kind of screwed. You've been getting blasted daily since 1951.

No I haven't. Attempt to get your "facts" straight. The entire country has not been blasted by radiation for 60 years.

Above ground testing of thermonuclear weapons caused a lot of cancer and birth defects in the surrounding areas, but that has nothing to do with nuclear power plants in Japan.

The Japanese are well known for NOT conducting nuclear weapons tests.

dwoz
March 24th, 2011, 06:17 AM
The Japanese are well known for NOT conducting nuclear weapons tests.

Sadly, there are approximately two weapons tests that they were rather well known to have participated in.

qharley
March 24th, 2011, 06:59 AM
Sadly, there are approximately two weapons tests that they were rather well known to have participated in.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Rather unwillingly I would say...

Smileyblue
March 24th, 2011, 09:00 AM
Something the media are not even addressing, which is quite worrying to me, is yeah, due to off shore winds the radiation is being blown out to sea. Problem is that radiation doesn't just go away once it gets out there. It has to get blown somewhere. Could the media be ignoring this because they don't want to cause panic? It will eventually be in the air over some country....dare we ask which one?

Holm
March 24th, 2011, 10:03 AM
Something the media are not even addressing, which is quite worrying to me, is yeah, due to off shore winds the radiation is being blown out to sea. Problem is that radiation doesn't just go away once it gets out there. It has to get blown somewhere. Could the media be ignoring this because they don't want to cause panic?
Media is doing their very best to both cultivate and spread panic at this very instance. "There is elevated levels of radiation found on Japanese ground water" - they won't say by how much. After yapping about this for three days someone at CNN finally managed to utter that it was a whopping TWO times the legal limit. Funny how hard it is to get exact figures, but once you get you understand the ridiculousness of it.

According to Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, 210 becquerels of iodine-131 per kiloliter of water was found in water at a purification plant in downtown Tokyo.

Doesn't say much, does it? Well, For practical application, 1 Bq is a small unit; therefore, the prefixes are common. For example, natural potassium (40K) in a typical human body produces 4,000 disintegrations per second, 4 kBq of activity.[1] The nuclear explosion in Hiroshima (14 kt or 59 TJ) is estimated to have produced 8×1024
Bq (8 YBq, 8 yottabecquerel)

So there we are. The contamination that you get from drinking a TON of water is found in the purification plant is less, THIRTY TIMES less than you get from your own body. But if actually explain all this to the viewers they get bored quite quickly and you have no more news to make. And folks here at The Womb can't post things like "tap water in Tokyo is contaminated by radiation".

It will eventually be in the air over some country....dare we ask which one?
This is panic at it's very very best. Please, just please look at Goes211-s chart. It's an eye opening experience.

At the two places with the highest levels they have measured it has been 3,6mSv. At 2 days. Peak levels. This is 2 isolated incidents with the highest radiation elevation, other sites saw barely elevated doses. These sites would have to sustain these levels as such for 30 days for it to be directly and measurably linked to any kinds of cancer risks. So, yes those 2 sites 50km NW of Fukushima got the short end of the stick. Now for USA...

First of all, you folks dropped 2 nukes on japan back at 1945. They both created levels of 30 000 mSv/h and you all apparently lived to tell the tale in America.

BTW. Chernobyl core explosion created radiation of 100 000 mSv-s - that's about three nukes combined. Because the Russians kept their mouth shot about it it was first discovered in Arctic Norway. You see, the radioactive cloud was travelling by wind straight up north from Chernobyl. Guess where I was at the time? Yes, at home 600 miles north of Chernobyl, exactly between Chernobyl and Arctic Norway.

I think your lives are not yet in immediate danger.

Another good chart to put things into perspective (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fd/Fukushima_map.png)

PRobb
March 24th, 2011, 04:48 PM
The same holds true for this big old star that we orbit....we're kinda sure that it won't blow up and eat the Earth in our lifetime.


That's a joke, right?
Well, of course it's a joke.
But you meant it as a joke, right? RIGHT?

nobby
March 24th, 2011, 06:38 PM
As far as I can tell from the various reports the radiation concerns are local.

Any radiation that was to be vented should have gone to those 350 foot high towers you see next to the reactor buildings in order to allow it to disperse as opposed to being concentrated locally. Instead, it has been vented lower to the ground. A lot of farmland lies up to the north and they've taken 11 kinds of crops off the market for elevated radiation levels. They may be erring on the side of caution (I think the radiation was only twice the normal level) but that must have been a tough decision considering a lot of farmland was wiped out by the tsunami and Japan imports food during the best of times. Then there's the economic impact on the farmers, grocers, etc.

The government saying that the tap water is unsafe one day and safe the next is a source of worry and confusion.

A couple of workers hooking up power cables in the basement of one of the reactors got water splashed on their legs and had to be hospitalized for radiation burns. Word is they received about the maximum one year exposure for nuke plant workers and should be alright as long as they are treated promptly.

nobby
March 24th, 2011, 06:57 PM
Seconded.

Spock's a jolly good fellow.

Speaking of which, that made me think of something.


It occurred to me that there are people here who don't realize that during the aftermath of the Boxing Day (12-26-'04) tsunami, our own Aardvark spent -- I forgot how long, a month? -- in the Sri Lanka area at great personal risk (including just being in areas controlled by Tamil Tigers) and considerable personal expen$e helping the locals with such things as setting up potable water facilities.

He kept a journal but I don't have it and am going by memory.

So, props to Aardvark! :Thumbsup:

ivmike
March 24th, 2011, 07:42 PM
That's why the practice has been banned for several decades.


You'd lose.



No I haven't. Attempt to get your "facts" straight. The entire country has not been blasted by radiation for 60 years.

Above ground testing of thermonuclear weapons caused a lot of cancer and birth defects in the surrounding areas, but that has nothing to do with nuclear power plants in Japan.

The Japanese are well known for NOT conducting nuclear weapons tests.

My facts are straight; feel free to take it up with the sources that I cited.

ivmike
March 24th, 2011, 07:43 PM
Spock's a jolly good fellow.

Speaking of which, that made me think of something.


It occurred to me that there are people here who don't realize that during the aftermath of the Boxing Day (12-26-'04) tsunami, our own Aardvark spent -- I forgot how long, a month? -- in the Sri Lanka area at great personal risk (including just being in areas controlled by Tamil Tigers) and considerable personal expen$e helping the locals with such things as setting up potable water facilities.

He kept a journal but I don't have it and am going by memory.

So, props to Aardvark! :Thumbsup:

That is spectacular. Big, big love to Aardy for doing that (and other things).

Holm
March 24th, 2011, 07:58 PM
A couple of workers hooking up power cables in the basement of one of the reactors got water splashed on their legs and had to be hospitalized for radiation burns. Word is they received about the maximum one year exposure for nuke plant workers and should be alright as long as they are treated promptly.

Well, the only thing I can say to it is... whenever there's a major disaster... disasterous stuff tends to happen. In 9/11 the biggest casualty rate was amongst firefighters AFAIK.

And indeed, props to Aardvark!

nobby
March 24th, 2011, 09:17 PM
My facts are straight; feel free to take it up with the sources that I cited.

You said the entire country has been "blasted by radiation since 1951". That's not what the article says. The radiation fallout was concentrated in Utah, Nevada and Arizona. By the time it got to where I live, it was dispersed. Look at your iodine chart. Alberta got much more fallout than my area.

And it still has nothing to do with power plants in Japan.

gonzo-x
March 24th, 2011, 09:36 PM
some info about the contaminants they'll be dealing with:


Experts are most worried about three radioactive substances -- iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137 -- all of which can cause various types of cancer years later.

Caesium-137 is of particular concern as it can stay in the environment and potentially cause havoc for hundreds of years. It takes 30 years for this contaminant to lose its power by half -- what experts refer to as a "half life."

At this rate, it would take at least 240 years for the contaminant to exhaust all its radioactivity.

"Caesium-137 can last for hundreds of years. If exposed, one can get spasms, involuntary muscular contractions and may lose the ability to walk. It also causes infertility. High doses will also damage a person's DNA and cause cancer later," said Lee Tin-lap, an associate professor at the Chinese University's School of Biomedical Sciences in Hong Kong.

ivmike
March 24th, 2011, 10:10 PM
You said the entire country has been "blasted by radiation since 1951". That's not what the article says. The radiation fallout was concentrated in Utah, Nevada and Arizona. By the time it got to where I live, it was dispersed. Look at your iodine chart. Alberta got much more fallout than my area.

And it still has nothing to do with power plants in Japan.

I was comparing it to the hysteria over the power plants in Japan; nobody talks about the ongoing radiation issues on mainland US due to the mainland testing versus a wee puff of steam from a Japanese Nuclear power plant; that's what I was getting at.

Holm
March 24th, 2011, 11:04 PM
some info about the contaminants they'll be dealing with:


Experts are most worried about three radioactive substances -- iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137 -- all of which can cause various types of cancer years later.

Caesium-137 is of particular concern as it can stay in the environment and potentially cause havoc for hundreds of years. It takes 30 years for this contaminant to lose its power by half -- what experts refer to as a "half life."

At this rate, it would take at least 240 years for the contaminant to exhaust all its radioactivity.

"Caesium-137 can last for hundreds of years. If exposed, one can get spasms, involuntary muscular contractions and may lose the ability to walk. It also causes infertility. High doses will also damage a person's DNA and cause cancer later," said Lee Tin-lap, an associate professor at the Chinese University's School of Biomedical Sciences in Hong Kong.

Yes, I get it. Radioactive materials are really bad. Really really really bad. I think everyone gets it.

There are two questions that the people that can quote endlessly about how bad radiation is usually fail to answer in this type of juncture: how much is deemed health threatening and how much is there actually out there? Can you?

Darth_Fader
March 24th, 2011, 11:05 PM
Anyone who is concerned about the radiation from Japan in the USA needs to compare the level of radiation with either one plane flight from east to west coasts, or with the amount of radiation one receives driving over roads built with coal-plant slag as a basement. Or compare it with an afternoon visiting the top of Rocky Mountain National Park, or living in Boulder for a week.

After that, get back to us, m'kay?

dwoz
March 24th, 2011, 11:43 PM
That would be absolutely true for airbourne contamination.

It will be interesting to find out in about, oh, 5 years, how this has affected all the pacific fish stocks. The factory ships that can tuna will be able to save BIG on packing costs, because the fish will already be irradiated.

gonzo-x
March 25th, 2011, 12:04 AM
it's just general information there, guys, not panty bunching time!

gonzo-x
March 25th, 2011, 12:04 AM
i mean, hell, maybe your cel phone will kill you.

that's really not the point, now, is it?

Holm
March 25th, 2011, 12:32 AM
U
It will be interesting to find out in about, oh, 5 years, how this has affected all the pacific fish stocks. The factory ships that can tuna will be able to save BIG on packing costs, because the fish will already be irradiated.
Somehow I find it all infinitely amusing. 10 days ago, according to some, everybody everywhere on the same continent of a nuke plant was going to die. Sooner or later. Now... we are talking about the declining stock value of the local fish industry. Yes, I know I'm exaggerating but the irony factor is there.

The BP oil spill probably did a hell of a lot more damage to that fish industry yet nobody is out there calling bans on all cars everywhere.

Oberlehrer
March 25th, 2011, 01:06 AM
I find it quite interesting how the "line of defense" has moved: Previously it was "such a situation is unlikely to happen EVER" and now it's "yes, it has happened, but it's not that dangerous".

dwoz
March 25th, 2011, 02:55 AM
U
Somehow I find it all infinitely amusing. 10 days ago, according to some, everybody everywhere on the same continent of a nuke plant was going to die. Sooner or later. Now... we are talking about the declining stock value of the local fish industry. Yes, I know I'm exaggerating but the irony factor is there.

The BP oil spill probably did a hell of a lot more damage to that fish industry yet nobody is out there calling bans on all cars everywhere.

well, I'm happy to supply entertainment value, that's my job around here.

One of the very interesting things about the US radiation spread pattern during the above-ground testing days, is that the concentrations of cesium isotopes of interest followed two patterns: the prevailing winds, and the prevailing shipping routes of processed dairy products. i.e. radiation falls on cattle and dairy feedlots in the midwest, enters the food supply, and is TRUCKED to the east coast.

And exactly the same thing will happen in the pacific. The airborne plume will drop it's payload on the pacific plankton fields, where it will wend it's way up the predator chain and end up in the fucking tuna, like all the fucking mercury. Maybe the cesium and the mercury will have a heavy metal sushi party, originally made famous by Cheap Trick in the "Live at Budokkan" after-gig party.

Estonia, eh? what are you doing pooh-poohing this? Either you were born after 1986 or...you were born in 1987.

nobby
March 25th, 2011, 03:19 PM
The latest news is that the water in the basement of reactor #3, the one in which the 3 workers were exposed, is 10,000 what it would normally be. There is concern that the reactor vessel itself has been breached and that's a major cause of concern, especially since that unit contains MOX. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOX_fuel)

There is also a huge build up of salt in the reactors, and tankers are being sent with distilled water so they can try to clear them out.

And, especially since humans were in danger of depleting the oceans of fish through over-fishing, I would be concerned about the impact of the radioactive seawater on the environment.

ivmike
March 25th, 2011, 04:07 PM
The latest news is that the water in the basement of reactor #3, the one in which the 3 workers were exposed, is 10,000 what it would normally be. There is concern that the reactor vessel itself has been breached and that's a major cause of concern, especially since that unit contains MOX. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOX_fuel)

There is also a huge build up of salt in the reactors, and tankers are being sent with distilled water so they can try to clear them out.

And, especially since humans were in danger of depleting the oceans of fish through over-fishing, I would be concerned about the impact of the radioactive seawater on the environment.

This might sound strange, but if the general worry is that the fish are too radioactive to eat (I suspect "too radioactive" if you eat many of them, not that each fish itself is glowing brightly underwater and is like having twelve chest x-rays) then could this potentially give the fish stocks a chance to replenish?

Or more likely, this is forgotten in a couple of years and intense fishing resumes.

I wonder what the radioactive seawater does to marine life over time. I'll have to look about for any studies done on Enewetak Atoll since the H-Bomb testing there.

nobby
March 25th, 2011, 05:08 PM
Funny you should mention that. I was just thinking of the test at Bikini Atoll.

The one they set off underwater :headpalm:

But I guess when you're worried about being annihilated by the Soviet Union, who cares about a lousy couple of billion fish :Uh oh:

Fast forward to today, after the world population has more than doubled and there really aren't any fish to spare.

ivmike
March 25th, 2011, 10:21 PM
Funny you should mention that. I was just thinking of the test at Bikini Atoll.

The one they set off underwater :headpalm:

But I guess when you're worried about being annihilated by the Soviet Union, who cares about a lousy couple of billion fish :Uh oh:

Fast forward to today, after the world population has more than doubled and there really aren't any fish to spare.

And there's another underwater blast, Operation Wigwam, some 400 -500 miles off the coast of San Diego, as well.

Here's a picture:

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Wigwambig.jpg

Darth_Fader
March 26th, 2011, 01:55 AM
This might sound strange, but if the general worry is that the fish are too radioactive to eat (I suspect "too radioactive" if you eat many of them, not that each fish itself is glowing brightly underwater and is like having twelve chest x-rays) then could this potentially give the fish stocks a chance to replenish?

Hard to say, but in the red forest area near Chernobyl, which has 'n' times the radiation level (for disturbingly large 'n', too), the wildlife is moving back in and breeding successfully. There are in fact issues with development in some of the critters, and it's clear that the area is not "healthy" for them, but they are living, breeding, and managing to make new generations sufficiently healthy enough to continue to the next, and that at radiation levels far, far beyond the issues in Japan thus far.

This is not to say that the Japan issue is good, but the effect on the wildlife has been surprisingly mild near Chernobyl. Still, people, who live a lot longer, would not be well-advised to move back into the Red Forest.

I also note that in recent satellite shots, the red forest has returned to vivid green status.

nobby
March 26th, 2011, 02:30 AM
A civil defense film from 1965 shows how to keep marionettes safe from radiation:

n2djuNBHwrg

dwoz
March 26th, 2011, 02:59 AM
This stuff is so depressing to watch.

I had a very sobering experience vis a vis cold war stuff...I was at the Perkins School for the Blind in Newton, MA. They have (or, had) at the school, a full scale underground bomb shelter, built during the early sixties. The shelter was intended to house the school's pupils in the case of a nuclear attack.

Deep underground, the facility consisted of a large dormitory, a large storage area, an equipment room with diesel generators, a large cistern setup and a deep artesian water well. But the most interesting feature was the entrances. They were of course massive and lead-lined to keep out radiation, but more importantly, they were designed specifically to make them defensible against mob attack, with a switchback narrow staircase that would only allow two-by-two entrance-egress, and anti-personnel features (such as the ability to pipe gas into the entry foyer, etc.

brutal stuff. survival calculus.

nobby
March 26th, 2011, 03:13 AM
This is one of those times that I hope that in getting the story out in a timely manner the story is wrong. But I don't think so.

:headpalm:

Two workers were exposed to radiation and burned when water poured over the top of their boots and down around their feet and ankles, officials said. A third worker was wearing higher boots and did not suffer the same exposure.

Like the injured workers, many of those risking their lives are subcontractors of Tokyo Electric, who are paid a small daily wage for hours of work in dangerous conditions. In some cases they are poorly equipped and trained for their task.

The National Institute of Radiological Sciences said that the radioactivity of the water that the three workers had stepped into was 10,000 times the level normally seen in coolant water at the plant. It said that the amount of radiation the workers were thought to have been exposed to in the water was two to six sieverts.

Even two sieverts is eight times the new 250-millisievert annual exposure limit set for workers at Daiichi in the days after the disaster; the previous limit was 100. Tokyo Electric officials said that water with an equally high radiation level had been found in the Reactor No. 1 building, The Associated Press reported.

Skin exposures of two to six sieverts will cause severe burns, according to Dr. David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. But if those doses reach the whole body and not just the skin “you’re at a very high risk of dying,” he said.

At a dose of four sieverts, half of the people exposed will die, Dr. Brenner said. But he said that from the information that had been provided, it was not clear whether the dose to the workers reached their skin only, or penetrated their bodies.

Concerns about Reactor No. 3 have surfaced before. Japanese officials said nine days ago that the reactor vessel might have been damaged.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, mentioned damage to the reactor vessel on Friday as a possible explanation of how water in the adjacent containment building had become so radioactive.

Michael Friedlander, a former nuclear power plant operator in the United States, said that the presence of radioactive cobalt and molybdenum in water samples taken from the basement of the turbine building raised the possibility of corrosion as a cause.

Both materials typically occur not because of fission, but because of routine corrosion in a reactor and its associated piping over the course of many years of use, he said.



The National Institute of Radiological Sciences said that the radioactivity of the water that the three workers had stepped into was 10,000 times the level normally seen in coolant water at the plant. It said that the amount of radiation the workers were thought to have been exposed to in the water was two to six sieverts.

Even two sieverts is eight times the new 250-millisievert annual exposure limit set for workers at Daiichi in the days after the disaster; the previous limit was 100. Tokyo Electric officials said that water with an equally high radiation level had been found in the Reactor No. 1 building, The Associated Press reported.

Skin exposures of two to six sieverts will cause severe burns, according to Dr. David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. But if those doses reach the whole body and not just the skin “you’re at a very high risk of dying,” he said.

At a dose of four sieverts, half of the people exposed will die, Dr. Brenner said. But he said that from the information that had been provided, it was not clear whether the dose to the workers reached their skin only, or penetrated their bodies.

Concerns about Reactor No. 3 have surfaced before. Japanese officials said nine days ago that the reactor vessel might have been damaged.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, mentioned damage to the reactor vessel on Friday as a possible explanation of how water in the adjacent containment building had become so radioactive.

Michael Friedlander, a former nuclear power plant operator in the United States, said that the presence of radioactive cobalt and molybdenum in water samples taken from the basement of the turbine building raised the possibility of corrosion as a cause.

Both materials typically occur not because of fission, but because of routine corrosion in a reactor and its associated piping over the course of many years of use, he said.

The aggressive use of salt water to cool the reactor and its storage pool for spent fuel may mean that more of these highly radioactive corrosion materials will be dislodged and contaminate the area in the days to come, posing further hazards to repair workers, Mr. Friedlander added.

The contamination of the water in the basement of the turbine building poses a real challenge for efforts to bring crucial cooling pumps and other equipment back into use.

One other major worry about Reactor No. 3 is the mox, or mixed oxide, fuel it uses. It is an especially dangerous blend of reprocessed fuel and can be more radioactive when melted than the pure uranium fuel used in other reactors, experts say.

The news on Friday and the discovery this week of a radioactive isotope in the water supplies of Tokyo and neighboring prefectures punctured the mood of optimism with which the week began, leaving a sense that the battle to fix the damaged plant will be a long one.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/world/asia/26japan.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=world

nobby
March 26th, 2011, 03:56 AM
Regulators approved the 10-year extension even though aging reactors at Tokyo Electric, as well as those at other power companies, had suffered a series of problems as far back as a decade ago. Attempts to cover them up and manipulate data, particularly by Tokyo Electric, the country’s biggest utility, underscored not only the problems of the nuclear industry but also Japan’s weakness in regulating it. The company has admitted wrongdoing.

A Tokyo Electric spokesman, Naoki Tsunoda, said: “We are committed to carrying out proper inspections in the future.

How do you say, "Hindsight is 20-20" in Japanese?

In 2000, a whistle-blower at a separate company that was contracted to inspect the reactors told regulators about cracks in the stainless steel shrouds that cover reactor cores at Fukushima’s Daiichi plant. But regulators simply told the company to look into the issue, allowing the reactors to keep operating.

Nuclear regulators effectively sat on the information about the cracks in the shrouds, said Eisaku Sato, the governor of Fukushima Prefecture at the time and an opponent of nuclear power. He said the prefecture itself and the communities hosting the nuclear plants did not learn about the cracks until regulators publicized them in 2002, more than two years after the whistle-blower reported the cracks.

In 2003, regulators forced Tokyo Electric to suspend operations at its 10 reactors at two plants in Fukushima and 7 reactors in Niigata Prefecture after whistle-blowers gave information to Fukushima Prefecture showing that the company had falsified inspection records and hid flaws over 16 years to save on repair costs. In the most serious incident, Tokyo Electric hid the large cracks in the shrouds.

“An organization that is inherently untrustworthy is charged with ensuring the safety of Japan’s nuclear plants,” said Mr. Sato, governor from 1988 to 2006. “So the problem is not limited to Tokyo Electric, which has a long history of cover-ups, but it’s the whole system that is flawed. That’s frightening.”

Like many critics of Japan’s nuclear industry, Mr. Sato attributed weak oversight to a conflict of interest that he said essentially stripped the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of its effectiveness. The agency, which is supposed to act as a watchdog, is under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which has a general policy of encouraging the development of Japan’s nuclear industry.

The ministry and the agency, in turn, share cozy ties with Tokyo Electric and other operators — some of which offer lucrative jobs to former ministry officials in a practice known as “amakudari,” or descent from heaven.

I call it bribery.

The Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, which is supposed to provide a second layer of scrutiny, is understaffed and largely an advisory group. Masatoshi Toyoda, a former vice president at Tokyo Electric who, among other jobs, ran the company’s nuclear safety division, said the organization should be strengthened. The United States had a similar setup until the 1970s, when Congress broke up the old Atomic Energy Commission into the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“Like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the United States, they should have full-time engineers who should check the safety of power plants,” Mr. Toyoda said. “I’ve been telling the government that the system should be changed, but any changes to Japan’s nuclear policy take a long time.”

Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said that “there are no problems with the current safety setup.” He added that the extension of the life of Reactor No. 1 “was approved on the understanding that any problems found would be fixed by Tokyo Electric.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/world/asia/22nuclear.html?pagewanted=2&sq=fukushima&st=cse&scp=2

In America we have a saying: The fox is guarding the hen house.


:Confused:
The blasts cracked the containment vessel at one reactor and may have cracked another. A fire broke out in the storage pool holding spent fuel rods at a fourth, and temperatures increased dangerously in the pools in the complex's final two reactors. As the danger and radioactivity levels rose, tens of thousands of residents were evacuated or told to stay inside. Efforts began to focus on the spent fuel rods in Reactors No. 3 and 4, but the work was hindered by high levels of radioactivity.

On March 18, Japan's nuclear safety agency raised the assessment of its severity to 5 from 4 on a 7-level international scale retroactive to March 15. The accident at Three Mile Island was rated a 5, but far more radiation has already been released in the Fukushima plant. The I.A.E.A. has detected radiation levels 1,600 times above normal about 12 miles from the plant

Reactor No. 3: On March 14, an explosion damaged the building surrounding the containment vessel. On March 15, officials made conflicting statements that suggested that the containment vessel had cracked and was releasing radioactive steam. On March 17, efforts focused on its storage pool, where the spent rods may have become uncovered. Water continues to be sprayed by fire cannons. This reactor used a mixture of uranium and plutonium, known as mox, which produces more toxic radioactivity. Power has been turned on, but only for lights, not for the cooling system. On March 22, black smoke belched from the reactor for an hour, forcing a temporary evacuation of workers. On March 25, officials said that there was evidence that the reactor's containment vessel may have been breached; a senior nuclear executive said there was a long crack down one side.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/energy-environment/atomic-energy/index.html?scp=2&sq=reactor%20vessel&st=cse

otek
March 26th, 2011, 04:05 AM
I'll have to look about for any studies done on Enewetak Atoll since the H-Bomb testing there.

Somehow, given your forum handle, I kind of figured you might be interested in this sort of thing. :D


otek

nobby
March 26th, 2011, 05:07 AM
Somehow, given your forum handle, I kind of figured you might be interested in this sort of thing. :D


otek

I thought it had something to do with a syringe. IV being short for intravenous.

Now, ICBMike OTOH...

meLoCo_go
March 26th, 2011, 09:41 AM
I thought it had something to do with a syringe. IV being short for intravenous.

Now, ICBMike OTOH...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQkERBM_gBk

nobby
March 26th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the clarification.

Wide-O
March 26th, 2011, 07:48 PM
Don't want to add to the hype, but - as a completely non-informed person - I don't think nuclear buildings should look like this.

http://www.standaard.be/Assets/Images_Upload/2011/03/26/600854-01-08.jpg.h513.jpg.767.jpg

Still hope I'm wrong.

meLoCo_go
March 26th, 2011, 08:03 PM
That one is in pretty good shape compared to R3