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Donger
03-15-2011, 02:24 PM
Gotcha. So basically, they're just trying to keep it cool until it settles down on its own?

Yes.

Donger
03-15-2011, 02:24 PM
So what happens if they don't remove the heat? Just curious as I don my lead underwear.

Either a partial or complete melt of the core.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 02:24 PM
The worst case scenario is any type of explosion which is not contained by a containment core. Given that there IS no containment core around the pool, any type of explosion there is very bad as it means radioactive fallout over a wide area. All that can be said there is a hope the wind is blowing eastward.

Absent fire/explosion, you have containment breach due to superheated spent fuel, which then puddles at the bottom of the pool. I'm uncertain what the result there is. Clearly radioactive particles are being released into the atmosphere, though at what rate and over what radius I don't know.

Note also that any event (meltdown here) that results in radioactive material leaking into water supplies is very, very bad.


All this is subject to the massive caveat that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but I'm trying to get up to speed rapidly. ;)

Pants
03-15-2011, 02:25 PM
Yes.

Oh. I thought they were trying to keep it cool till they could restore the power to the cooling mechanisms.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 02:28 PM
Oh. I thought they were trying to keep it cool till they could restore the power to the cooling mechanisms.

This makes sense, as it will take years for some of the spent fuel to be reduced to dry storage safe.

Who knows, however, given the explosions, what damage has been done to the piping, heat exchange systems, etc. It may not be feasible to repair.

Donger
03-15-2011, 02:30 PM
Oh. I thought they were trying to keep it cool till they could restore the power to the cooling mechanisms.

That's pretty much the same thing. I'm sure that they'd love to get the normal cooling system working. That's one thing that puzzles me. This plant apparently had a primary power source for the pumps (the plant itself) that they obviously lost when the earthquake hit and the reactors SCRAMed. The second power source for the pumps were diesel generators that were taken out by the tsunami. The final power source were batteries, which apparently only lasted a few hours. I just wonder why they can't fly in more batteries. The pumps are massive and draw a tremendous amount of power, but...

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 02:36 PM
Further to Donger's point regarding smaller timeframes than the YEARS I posted about, the decay heat -- which is the only heat at issue here, is a small residual value compared to the heat of an operating nuclear reactor.

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

For this reason, at the moment of reactor shutdown, decay heat will be about 7% of the previous core power if the reactor has had a long and steady power history (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Power_history). About 1 hour after shutdown, the decay heat will be about 1.5% of the previous core power. After a day, the decay heat falls to 0.4%, and after a week it will be only 0.2%.

The spent fuel in the pool is only producing decay heat, obviously. Unless I'm wrong of course. :D

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 02:40 PM
That's pretty much the same thing. I'm sure that they'd love to get the normal cooling system working. That's one thing that puzzles me. This plant apparently had a primary power source for the pumps (the plant itself) that they obviously lost when the earthquake hit and the reactors SCRAMed. The second power source for the pumps were diesel generators that were taken out by the tsunami. The final power source were batteries, which apparently only lasted a few hours. I just wonder why they can't fly in more batteries. The pumps are massive and draw a tremendous amount of power, but...

I suspect there's not a big supply of these batteries sitting around. The power needed must be astronomical. I don't know, but I find it hard to believe that you could run the cooling system off battery power for very long. I assume it's a stop gap measure to fix diesel power or get back on the grid, not even considered or intended as a long-term solution.

Pants
03-15-2011, 02:41 PM
Further to Donger's point regarding smaller timeframes than the YEARS I posted about, the decay heat -- which is the only heat at issue here, is a small residual value compared to the heat of an operating nuclear reactor.

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

For this reason, at the moment of reactor shutdown, decay heat will be about 7% of the previous core power if the reactor has had a long and steady power history (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Power_history). About 1 hour after shutdown, the decay heat will be about 1.5% of the previous core power. After a day, the decay heat falls to 0.4%, and after a week it will be only 0.2%.

The spent fuel in the pool is only producing decay heat, obviously. Unless I'm wrong of course. :D

That is just crazy. One fifth's of a percent is enough to boil water and melt through shit.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 02:51 PM
That is just crazy. One fifth's of a percent is enough to boil water and melt through shit.

No idea how this works as I just read that a reactor doesn't want to operate much at even 2,200 degrees fahrenheit, as that may have negative consequences . 0.2% of that is, umm, not a dangerous number. Not at all.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 02:52 PM
All this is subject to the massive caveat that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but I'm trying to get up to speed rapidly. ;)
I must say that you are coming up to speed very well. :thumb: This from someone who was a Nuclear Power Plant Reactor Operator from many years - well done. And, Donger is spot on. The only problem with our knowledge of mitigating this event is no one outside of Miyagi prefecture and the Japanese government have a clue as to what the damage to the cooling system actually is so we are all speculating. But, the name of the game is keep 'em covered with wa-wa

mlyonsd
03-15-2011, 02:53 PM
Note to self:

Don't place backup power generators next to an ocean, especially if they are necessary to cool down a nuclear reactor.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 02:55 PM
That's pretty much the same thing. I'm sure that they'd love to get the normal cooling system working. That's one thing that puzzles me. This plant apparently had a primary power source for the pumps (the plant itself) that they obviously lost when the earthquake hit and the reactors SCRAMed. The second power source for the pumps were diesel generators that were taken out by the tsunami. The final power source were batteries, which apparently only lasted a few hours. I just wonder why they can't fly in more batteries. The pumps are massive and draw a tremendous amount of power, but...

Is SCRAMing the SOURCE of all the trouble? In other words, had they not SCRAMed, would they have been fine?

What a kick in the pants that would be if true. :shake: :(

Pants
03-15-2011, 02:56 PM
I must say that you are coming up to speed very well. :thumb: This from someone who was a Nuclear Power Plant Reactor Operator from many years - well done. And, Donger is spot on. The only problem with our knowledge of mitigating this event is no one outside of Miyagi prefecture and the Japanese government have a clue as to what the damage to the cooling system actually is so we are all speculating. But, the name of the game is keep 'em covered with wa-wa

Did you retire? The reason I ask is that you guys make fucking bank. I don't think I would want to change careers.

Donger
03-15-2011, 02:57 PM
Is SCRAMing the SOURCE of all the trouble? In other words, had they not SCRAMed, would they have been fine?

What a kick in the pants that would be if true. :shake: :(

No, it would have been much, much worse if they hadn't SCRAMed. That's more or less what happened at Chernobyl. That reactor was still active when it went "Boom!"

Donger
03-15-2011, 02:59 PM
But, the name of the game is keep 'em covered with wa-wa

LMAO

I don't mean to laugh, but I couldn't help but think of the following line from War Games when I read that:

"I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do some good!"

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:00 PM
Did you retire? The reason I ask is that you guys make ****ing bank. I don't think I would want to change careers.I got into the semiconductor industry and it has been much more interesting. Power plant jobs are boring until they go "boom" and then you have to run...I'm am getting too old to run (well at least fast)

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:01 PM
I suspect there's not a big supply of these batteries sitting around. The power needed must be astronomical. I don't know, but I find it hard to believe that you could run the cooling system off battery power for very long. I assume it's a stop gap measure to fix diesel power or get back on the grid, not even considered or intended as a long-term solution.

Yeah, it's something like 6MW just to run them, IIRC. I just can't help but think, "JFC people, bring us your AAA batteries. Something. Anything."

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:02 PM
No, it would have been much, much worse if they hadn't SCRAMed. That's more or less what happened at Chernobyl. That reactor was still active when it went "Boom!"That and it wasn't water cooled and had no real containment to speak of...

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:02 PM
That and it wasn't water cooled and had no real containment to speak of...

Don't confuse the lawyer with details, umkay?

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:03 PM
Is SCRAMing the SOURCE of all the trouble? In other words, had they not SCRAMed, would they have been fine?

What a kick in the pants that would be if true. :shake: :(SCRAMming is the act of dropping the control rods into the core to stop the fission activity. It is a good thing and necessary to shutdown the Reactor

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 03:04 PM
No, it would have been much, much worse if they hadn't SCRAMed. That's more or less what happened at Chernobyl. That reactor was still active when it went "Boom!"

Well, the question becomes would they have had a problem absent SCRAMming. I agree that perhaps you SCRAM out of precaution regardless, because if you're going to have an event, it's best to have it after full SCRAM. The partial scram they had at Chernobyl didn't exactly do the job.

But the problems at Daiichi all seem to relate to coolant issues, which seem to have as their source a failure of power. If there were mechanical failures as a result of the earthquake and/or tsunami, then I agree that SCRAMming saved the day.

If all these problems are solely as a result of power failures, when they took their primary power supply offline, then that's horribly ironic and unfortunate (althoguh, again, it's almost without question the "right" move, as the risk of a worse alternative is too high to bear).

teedubya
03-15-2011, 03:05 PM
I'm reading that one of the 7 pools of rods has rods from the last 20 years there. Wouldn't you want to separate them? If you put them in one confined area, stacked, it seems it would take longer for the heat to dissipate. This seems like a matter of convenience more than a matter of safety.

Plus, when a reactor starts to leak, they seal the containment area... which gets full of hydrogen, which eventually blows, if not cooled... then all of the stored stacked pools of rods, stored near the roof, are exposed.

Is this a flaw in design or negligence?

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 03:05 PM
Don't confuse the lawyer with details, umkay?

Hey, I actually knew that. Well, the no containment part. Fricking Russians.

Pants
03-15-2011, 03:05 PM
Yeah, it's something like 6MW just to run them, IIRC. I just can't help but think, "JFC people, bring us your AAA batteries. Something. Anything."

:eek:

I wonder what those generators look like to be capable of outputting that much power... is it just a huge farm of them?

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:06 PM
Well, the question becomes would they have had a problem absent SCRAMming. I agree that perhaps you SCRAM out of precaution regardless, because if you're going to have an event, it's best to have it after full SCRAM. The partial scram they had at Chernobyl didn't exactly do the job.

But the problems at Daiichi all seem to relate to coolant issues, which seem to have as their source a failure of power. If there were mechanical failures as a result of the earthquake and/or tsunami, then I agree that SCRAMming saved the day.

If all these problems are solely as a result of power failures, when they took their primary power supply offline, then that's horribly ironic and unfortunate (althoguh, again, it's almost without question the "right" move, as the risk of a worse alternative is too high to bear).I think that the main understanding is that the Tsunami took out the cooling system thus SCRAMming had to happen otherwise you'd be fissioning, creating mass heat with no way to remove it -> thus BOOM.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:07 PM
Well, the question becomes would they have had a problem absent SCRAMming. I agree that perhaps you SCRAM out of precaution regardless, because if you're going to have an event, it's best to have it after full SCRAM. The partial scram they had at Chernobyl didn't exactly do the job.

But the problems at Daiichi all seem to relate to coolant issues, which seem to have as their source a failure of power. If there were mechanical failures as a result of the earthquake and/or tsunami, then I agree that SCRAMming saved the day.

If all these problems are solely as a result of power failures, when they took their primary power supply offline, then that's horribly ironic and unfortunate (althoguh, again, it's almost without question the "right" move, as the risk of a worse alternative is too high to bear).

If they hadn't SCRAMed, the control rods would have been outside the core, allowing the fission reaction to occur. So, when the tsunami hit and knocked out the diesels (and then the battery backup dried up), they would have had a core that was still critical with no water to cool it.

That's bad.

Since they DID SCRAM, the core was no longer critical.

A critical core makes a LOT more heat than a non-critical one (just decay heat).

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:09 PM
Hey, I actually knew that. Well, the no containment part. Fricking Russians.

LMAO

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:10 PM
I think that the main understanding is that the Tsunami took out the cooling system thus SCRAMming had to happen otherwise you'd be fissioning, creating mass heat with no way to remove it -> thus BOOM.

Let's qualify the "Boom!" though. These reactors do not contain WG uranium or plutonium. They can't create a "nuclear explosion." A big ass dirty bomb, yes, but not Hiroshima.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 03:11 PM
If they hadn't SCRAMed, the control rods would have been outside the core, allowing the fission reaction to occur. So, when the tsunami hit and knocked out the diesels (and then the battery backup dried up), they would have had a core that was still critical with no water to cool it.

That's bad.

Since they DID SCRAM, the core was no longer critical.

A critical core makes a LOT more heat than a non-critical one (just decay heat).


(to both you and KC Dan):

Right, I get all that.

My only point, and I think I'm talking past you guys, is that if the only reason the plant is having trouble is because it lacks POWER to operate the cooling system -- and it would have power if it hadn't SCRAMed -- then the problem is (inadvertently of course) self-induced to a degree.

But I agree that (1) you have to SCRAM, as the risk for the alternative worse case scenario is massively worse, and (2) that if ANYTHING at else threw the cooling system off kilter -- mechanical failures or whatever, then SCRAMming saved the day.

I ntoe also that even if the tsunami ONLY affected the deisel backups, that running a nuclear power plant fully operational without any backup system in place is, ummm, not so bright to say the least.

Mr. Plow
03-15-2011, 03:12 PM
After reading through a couple pages of this thread, I quickly realize that I'm a lot dumber than I originally thought.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:14 PM
(to both you and KC Dan):

Right, I get all that.

My only point, and I think I'm talking past you guys, is that if the only reason the plant is having trouble is because it lacks POWER to operate the cooling system -- and it would have power if it hadn't SCRAMed -- then the problem is (inadvertently of course) self-induced to a degree.

But I agree that (1) you have to SCRAM, as the risk for the alternative worse case scenario is massively worse, and (2) that if ANYTHING at else threw the cooling system off kilter -- mechanical failures or whatever, then SCRAMming saved the day.

I ntoe also that even if the tsunami ONLY affected the deisel backups, that running a nuclear power plant fully operational without any backup system in place is, ummm, not so bright to say the least.

Oh, I see what you are saying. I guess it's the nuclear power plant equivalent of a NASCAR driver flooring it when he see a wreck in front of him.

Pants
03-15-2011, 03:19 PM
After reading through a couple pages of this thread, I quickly realize that I'm a lot dumber than I originally thought.

Shit, I could have told you that without this thread.

:D

teedubya
03-15-2011, 03:19 PM
This is part of the problem of having 55 nuclear power plants on the "Ring of Fire" fault... or however many there are. Sure, nuclear is safe... until it isn't. Then it's potentially devastating.

Eventually an earthquake will happen... most likely triggering a tsunami. Plus, these plants are 40 years old. A newer plant probably would have been able to better handle this scenario, most likely.

They were decommissioning this plant on March 26th, 2011. So, the timing on this is extra ****ed.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:20 PM
Let's qualify the "Boom!" though. These reactors do not contain WG uranium or plutonium. They can't create a "nuclear explosion." A big ass dirty bomb, yes, but not Hiroshima.I know...a poor attempt at a joke

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:21 PM
I know...a poor attempt at a joke

I knew that you knew, but I didn't want other people to think that such a scenario was even possible.

Like Mr. Plow...

teedubya
03-15-2011, 03:21 PM
Donger, what are your thoughts on MOX fuel?

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 03:22 PM
This is part of the problem of having 55 nuclear power plants on the "Ring of Fire" fault... or however many there are. Sure, nuclear is safe... until it isn't. Then it's potentially devastating.

Eventually an earthquake will happen... most likely triggering a tsunami. Plus, these plants are 40 years old. A newer plant probably would have been able to better handle this scenario, most likely.

They were decommissioning this plant on March 26th, 2011. So, the timing on this is extra ****ed.

"They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them."

Pants
03-15-2011, 03:24 PM
I think we can all agree that it's about time we discover a way to make cold fusion work.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:25 PM
Donger, what are your thoughts on MOX fuel?

We never should have stopped reprocessing.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:26 PM
Donger, what are your thoughts on MOX fuel?I would only say that it is risky due to the proliferation risk. And, some plant mods have to be done to allow its use (cost issue). Some countries like France and Russia are already using MOX fuel

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:29 PM
Ick. Good luck, fellas:

The beleaguered crew had to abandon the plant control room Tuesday night because of high radiation levels, Kyodo News reported, citing plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company.

"Their situation is not great," said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. "It's pretty clear that they will be getting very high doses of radiation. There's certainly the potential for lethal doses of radiation. They know it, and I think you have to call these people heroes."

DaFace
03-15-2011, 03:30 PM
Well people are evacuating Tokyo last I read.

Sometimes I think stuff like this should be a bannable offense. Link or STFU.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:31 PM
Sometimes I think stuff like this should be a bannable offense. Link or STFU.

Not a mandated evac, mind you.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/15/us-japan-quake-tokyo-idUSTRE72E0ZR20110315

(Reuters) - Scores of people fled Tokyo on Tuesday and residents stayed indoors over fears that radiation from an earthquake-stricken nuclear plant could waft over one of the world's biggest and most densely populated cities.

Despite assurances from the city government that low levels of radioactivity detected in Tokyo were for now "not a problem," residents, expatriates and tourists decided staying in Japan's capital was simply too risky.

Several companies evacuated staff. Visitors cut short vacations. Some airlines canceled flights and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it was preparing to possibly reroute flights if the nuclear crisis worsened.

Those who remained in Tokyo hoarded food and supplies, fearing the worst from the radiation threat that spread panic in this bustling, ultra-modern and hyper-efficient metropolis of 12 million people.

At the city's main airports, hundreds of people lined up, many with children, boarding flights out.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 03:32 PM
Heroes, indeed. It takes a brave soul to know that you are gonna get blasted by potentially lethal doses of radiation, in the attempt to save 1000s or millions of lives. The ultimate sacrifice. Kudos and Godspeed to them.

Pants
03-15-2011, 03:33 PM
:(

DaFace
03-15-2011, 03:33 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/15/us-japan-quake-tokyo-idUSTRE72E0ZR20110315

Clear evidence of why the link is important. There is a HUGE difference between people panicking and running on their own compared to a government-mandated evacuation.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:34 PM
Clear evidence of why the link is important. There is a HUGE difference between people panicking and running on their own compared to a government-mandated evacuation.

Yep.

Rain Man
03-15-2011, 03:35 PM
So I'm still not clear. Did googlegoogle evacuate this thread on his own, or was he mandated to evacuate?

DMAC
03-15-2011, 03:37 PM
Not a mandated evac, mind you.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/15/us-japan-quake-tokyo-idUSTRE72E0ZR20110315

(Reuters) - Scores of people fled Tokyo

Scores? So like 80 people?

MOhillbilly
03-15-2011, 03:37 PM
So I'm still not clear. Did googlegoogle evacuate this thread on his own, or was he mandated to evacuate?

sofa king put the ban hammer on him.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 03:40 PM
sofa king put the ban hammer on him.

ROFL ROFL ROFL


What thread did that happen in? Couldn't happen to a bigger pinhead...

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 03:41 PM
We just cancelled our semi-annual W-W Service Meeting in Toyama city because of having to travel through Tokyo and the bad but real possibilities regarding radiation exposure of a one-night stay near Haneda airport. We were supposed to leave on April 4th. I am glad of course.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:43 PM
ROFL ROFL ROFL


What thread did that happen in? Couldn't happen to a bigger pinhead...

You are in it. This thread.

DaFace
03-15-2011, 03:47 PM
You are in it. This thread.

This has been an impressively epic thread (in the purest sense of the term). In the end, this result will be closer to what googlegoogle titled the thread than anyone expected at first, though that doesn't excuse the misrepresentation from the beginning.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 03:48 PM
You are in it. This thread.

Yeah, I found it. :banghead:

Anyway, I'll really miss him. I suppose it's too much to hope that it's permanent.

mlyonsd
03-15-2011, 03:50 PM
Yeah, I found it. :banghead:

Anyway, I'll really miss him. I suppose it's too much to hope that it's permanent.

I think it's two days in the box.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:50 PM
This has been an impressively epic thread (in the purest sense of the term). In the end, this result will be closer to what googlegoogle titled the thread than anyone expected at first, though that doesn't excuse the misrepresentation from the beginning.

I don't understand why he didn't just issue a mea cupla and have a good laugh. He just kept going like an unstoppable rebel force, even though he was stripped naked and peed on. And, finally crushed under the density which is Sofa King.

Quite impressive, really.

DaFace
03-15-2011, 03:50 PM
I think it's two days in the box.

Yeah. He's still not getting his thread starting privs back though.

mlyonsd
03-15-2011, 03:52 PM
Yeah. He's still not getting his thread starting privs back though.

I hope I never p*** you off.

Donger
03-15-2011, 03:52 PM
Yeah. He's still not getting his thread starting privs back though.

Is that what Sofa King told you, Loveseat King?

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 03:54 PM
And to think I almost was going to go to Japan in the summer.

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 03:58 PM
Reuters just flashed awhile ago that the roof of reactor of #4 is cracked (it's also shutdown, correct?), and that two workers are missing after the explosion at #4 earlier.


It's going to be fascinating to get the full breakdown of wtf is going on there when this is all finally finished.

gblowfish
03-15-2011, 03:59 PM
I'll bet a lot of good men will die trying to cool this SOB down, just like the Russian firemen died at Chernobyl. Radiation is nothing to play around with.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:01 PM
I don't understand why he didn't just issue a mea cupla and have a good laugh. He just kept going like an unstoppable rebel force, even though he was stripped naked and peed on. And, finally crushed under the density which is Sofa King.

Quite impressive, really.

Who says you dont have a sense of humor? ROFL hilarious

DaFace
03-15-2011, 04:02 PM
I hope I never p*** you off.

It's quite simple to avoid, really: don't be a dumbass.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:05 PM
Reuters just flashed awhile ago that the roof of reactor of #4 is cracked (it's also shutdown, correct?), and that two workers are missing after the explosion at #4 earlier.


It's going to be fascinating to get the full breakdown of wtf is going on there when this is all finally finished.


Yes, 4 is shut down. Only 1, 2 and 3 were operating at the time of the earthquake. They successfully SCRAMmed. 4, 5 and 6 were offline. 4 was down for maintenance. I don't know specifically why 5 and 6 were down.

4 is where the spent fuel is stored, apparently, or at least some of it.

My assumption is that a crack in the roof of reactor 4 isn't particularly dangerous/problematic at this point, but I could be wrong, especially since there was a vague reference to problems with the cooling systems at 5 and 6.

Seriously, the whole plant is f'ed. I don't know how 50 guys can keep up with the cascading failures...

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 04:06 PM
The workers that are at the plant right now should receive a ton of awards, whether they are dead or not, and their families should get some money, too.

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:07 PM
I'll bet a lot of good men will die trying to cool this SOB down, just like the Russian firemen died at Chernobyl. Radiation is nothing to play around with.

No, it isn't. One of the first men to die of radiation poisoning, a guy named Slotin who worked on the Manhattan Project, reported that he tasted metal in his mouth and felt "pins and needles" all over his body. The body responds in a strange (almost instant severe vomiting) and then the body fills with fluid. Not a pleasant way to go.

Slotin was actually performing criticality experiments at the time. Two sub-critical pieces that he was keeping apart with a f*cking screwdriver. Something happened and the two pieces got too close and went prompt critical. Believe or not, he removed the two pieces with his bare hands. He died a week later.

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:08 PM
Who says you dont have a sense of humor? ROFL hilarious

I don't know.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:09 PM
This is a bit interesting to monitor...

Tokyo Geiger counters... yesterday this was under 11. Currently 18.54
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/geiger-counter-tokyo

Yesterday this one was under 12. Currently 28.27
http://goo.gl/cSDdh

Detoxing
03-15-2011, 04:10 PM
Mexican News station reporting that two more explosions just occurred right now. Haven't found anything on it yet.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:11 PM
reported that he tasted metal in his mouth and felt "pins and needles" all over his body.
Wierd, that is exactly what I felt like when I had a the dye during an MRI. Thought I had peed myself as well. Not a pleasant experience

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:11 PM
No, it isn't. One of the first men to die of radiation poisoning, a guy named Slotin who worked on the Manhattan Project, reported that he tasted metal in his mouth and felt "pins and needles" all over his body. The body responds in a strange (almost instant severe vomiting) and then the body fills with fluid. Not a pleasant way to go.

Slotin was actually performing criticality experiments at the time. Two sub-critical pieces that he was keeping apart with a f*cking screwdriver. Something happened and the two pieces got too close and went prompt critical. Believe or not, he removed the two pieces with his bare hands. He died a week later.

Bit amazing that we didn't blow ourselves up, really...

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 04:12 PM
Mexican News station reporting that two more explosions just occurred right now. Haven't found anything on it yet.

Not good.

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:14 PM
Bit amazing that we didn't blow ourselves up, really...

You probably know this, but Enrico Fermi was taking bets before Trinity, about whether the test would set fire to the atmosphere and destroy just New Mexico or the entire world.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:15 PM
Here is the NHK world broadcast: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

DJ's left nut
03-15-2011, 04:19 PM
(to both you and KC Dan):

Right, I get all that.

My only point, and I think I'm talking past you guys, is that if the only reason the plant is having trouble is because it lacks POWER to operate the cooling system -- and it would have power if it hadn't SCRAMed -- then the problem is (inadvertently of course) self-induced to a degree.

But I agree that (1) you have to SCRAM, as the risk for the alternative worse case scenario is massively worse, and (2) that if ANYTHING at else threw the cooling system off kilter -- mechanical failures or whatever, then SCRAMming saved the day.

I ntoe also that even if the tsunami ONLY affected the deisel backups, that running a nuclear power plant fully operational without any backup system in place is, ummm, not so bright to say the least.

That's been my thought all along.

If they don't SCRAM, do they still have the power necessary to run the coolant system? Or did the earthquake and resulting tsunami do enough on its own that the coolant system would've still been knocked out due to mechanical faults, thus leaving a 'live' reactor unchecked?

It's less like the NASCAR analogy and more like a wave-runner. If anyone's ever driven one, they know that the things are essentially run and steered by a ram-jet for water. Now, if you get yourself into a perilous situation your first instinct is to come off the throttle. Unfortunately, you lose the ability to steer when you have no throttle and you end up coasting onto the shore and hurting yourself.

So the question is: Would you have hit the shore anyway had you kept the throttle down and steered away from the beach? By shutting the throttle down, you lessened the speed you hit the dirt in and may have made the damage less extensive. However, had you kept in the throttle and turned away from it, maybe you don't even hit the beach at all.

It sounds to me like the SCRAM took the best (missing the beach) and worst (hitting it at 60 mph) case scenarios out of the equation and just left you with a guaranteed pretty lousy scenario (hitting it at 30 mph).

Then again, my guess is the policy of SCRAMing in the event of a major natural disaster will yield positive results over large numbers, so I can't really fault them for the decision.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:20 PM
You probably know this, but Enrico Fermi was taking bets before Trinity, about whether the test would set fire to the atmosphere and destroy just New Mexico or the entire world.

Yeah, I remember that.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:24 PM
Then again, my guess is the policy of SCRAMing in the event of a major natural disaster will yield positive results over large numbers, so I can't really fault them for the decision.


I agree with your post, but I agree with THIS times the proverbial eleventy billion.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:26 PM
US surgeon general states that those on the US West Coast buying iodine tablets is a "worthy precaution".

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Surgeon-General-Buying-Iodine-Appropriate-118031559.html

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:27 PM
Yeah, I'd say the slim chance of completely avoiding disaster was so small that the best case solution would be to SCRAM, because if they hadn't the worst case scenario would have been far worse.

I wonder did they SCRAM all of the reactors? Or just the active ones 1,2 & 3?

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:28 PM
US surgeon general states that those on the US West Coast buying iodine tablets is a "worthy precaution".

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Surgeon-General-Buying-Iodine-Appropriate-118031559.html

What a f*cking ignorant turd.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:28 PM
Nothing I read is every remotely good.

I now see that they believe that reactor 5 may have boiling water. Which suggests cooling problems, the potential for exposure, and meltdown, blah, blah, blah.

So even the reactors that were inactive at the time of the quake are in serious danger, apparently.

As far as I can tell, there are SEVEN potential problems -- Reactors 1-6 and the spent fuel pool near/in Reactor 4. Christ.

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:29 PM
Yeah, I'd say the slim chance of completely avoiding disaster was so small that the best case solution would be to SCRAM, because if they hadn't the worst case scenario would have been far worse.

I wonder did they SCRAM all of the reactors? Or just the active ones 1,2 & 3?

Just the active ones. SCRAM is an emergency shutdown.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:29 PM
Yeah, I'd say the slim chance of completely avoiding disaster was so small that the best case solution would be to SCRAM, because if they hadn't the worst case scenario would have been far worse.

I wonder did they SCRAM all of the reactors? Or just the active ones 1,2 & 3?The others were supposedly already shutdown (hence scrammed)

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:30 PM
Yeah, I'd say the slim chance of completely avoiding disaster was so small that the best case solution would be to SCRAM, because if they hadn't the worst case scenario would have been far worse.

I wonder did they SCRAM all of the reactors? Or just the active ones 1,2 & 3?

By definition, you don't SCRAM an inactive reactor, as I understand it. SCRAM is equivalent to turning off the switch. When the switch is already off, it's unnecessary.

rrl308
03-15-2011, 04:31 PM
Thanks to Donger for helping us understand the situation a little better. It's nice to hear a unbiased description of what is happening for a change.

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:33 PM
By definition, you don't SCRAM an inactive reactor, as I understand it. SCRAM is equivalent to turning off the switch. When the switch is already off, it's unnecessary.

SCRAM is just a very rapid insertion of the control rods into the core. So, the end result is the same with a non-SCRAM shutdown or the "slow" insertion of the control rods (the end of fission).

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:34 PM
Radiation levels in Tokyo 23 times normal according to this one link at .802 microsieverts which is pretty low considering 1 millirem = 10 microsieverts.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tokyo-radiation-levels-23-times-normal-officials-2011-03-15-04540

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:34 PM
Nothing I read is every remotely good.

I now see that they believe that reactor 5 may have boiling water. Which suggests cooling problems, the potential for exposure, and meltdown, blah, blah, blah.

So even the reactors that were inactive at the time of the quake are in serious danger, apparently.

As far as I can tell, there are SEVEN potential problems -- Reactors 1-6 and the spent fuel pool near/in Reactor 4. Christ.

How long have the inactive reactors been that way?

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 04:35 PM
How long have the inactive reactors been that way?

I assume they're talking about the spent fuel pools in "reactors" 4-6, and not the actual reactors.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:39 PM
Yikes, look at the radiation in the Ibaraki Prefecture that is currently downwind of the failed plant.

http://www.connormcarthur.net/aggnuke/ibaraki1d.php

Donger
03-15-2011, 04:40 PM
Huh.

The IAEA can confirm the following information about the status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant:

Unit 4 was shut down for a routine, planned maintenance outage on 30 November 2010. After the outage, all fuel from the reactor was transferred to the spent fuel pool.

Units 5 and 6 were shut down at the time of the earthquake. Unit 5 was shut down as of 3 January 2011. Unit 6 was shut down as of 14 August 2010. Both reactors are currently loaded with fuel.

As of 00:16 UTC on 15 March, plant operators were considering the removal of panels from Units 5 and 6 reactor buildings to prevent a possible build-up of hydrogen in the future. It was a build-up of hydrogen at Units 1, 2 and 3 that led to explosions at the Daiichi facilities in recent days.

The IAEA continues to monitor and seek information on the status of plant workers, reactor conditions, and spent nuclear fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:41 PM
How long have the inactive reactors been that way?

Don't know. I've seen numerous references to 4 being down for maintenance. I have no idea why 5 and 6 were down, but now read that 5 may have boiling water.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:42 PM
Right, you found it. Well done.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:42 PM
Yikes, look at the radiation in the Ibaraki Prefecture that is currently downwind of the failed plant.

http://www.connormcarthur.net/aggnuke/ibaraki1d.php
1 micro rad = 10 nanogray (nGy)
The chart looks worse than it is though the spike certainly sucks from the normal

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:44 PM
1 micro rad = 10 nanogray (nGy)
The chart looks worse than it is though the spike certainly sucks from the normal

Right. Thanks for clarification... if you look at the week view... there was NO radiation. It spiked about 2 hours ago, due to the winds shifting. :doh!:

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 04:45 PM
REUTERS FLASH: Fire breaks out at Japan Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor -NHK quotes Tokyo Electric Power

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:46 PM
Right. Thanks for clarification... if you look at the week view... there was NO radiation. It spiked about 2 hours ago, due to the winds shifting. :doh!:For general reference:

"Generally it would take much higher levels of outside exposure to cause health problems in humans. Radiation exposure is often measured in units called “millirem,” which is 1/1000 of a rem. The average American is exposed to about 620 millirem each year, with about half from natural sources and half from manmade sources, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

This is from MSNBC so I am assuming its correct from the NRC

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42025882/ns/world_news-asia-pacific/

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:47 PM
REUTERS FLASH: Fire breaks out at Japan Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor -NHK quotes Tokyo Electric PowerThat could be the worst news yet due to atmospheric carryover of radioactive dust from a fire getting it into the atmosphere nice and high....

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 04:49 PM
That could be the worst news yet due to atmospheric carryover of radioactive dust from a fire getting it into the atmosphere nice and high....

And surely it would effect the ability of onsite staff to work on the other reactors, assuming it's bad.

Anyway, let's wait for better information. Hopefully it can be quickly controlled, or even better, it's inaccurate.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 04:51 PM
Here is a German site, showing the radiation ALREADY hitting the west coast.

Take it for what it's worth.

http://www.zamg.ac.at/aktuell/index.php?seite=1&artikel=ZAMG_2011-03-15GMT08%3A26

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:51 PM
JFC. In all seriousness can they not just use electric pumps hooked up to gasoline powered generators? You'd think the entire nation of Japan, along with US Navy help, could put enough euiqpment on the ground within five DAYS to move a helluva lot of water from the ocean that is RIGHT THERE.

I'm absolutely sure that I know jack shit about this, and that people 1,000 times smarter than me are working on this, but if it's just a question of moving water... Moving it and letting it boil off is better than all these fires/explosions...

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 04:52 PM
That could be the worst news yet due to atmospheric carryover of radioactive dust from a fire getting it into the atmosphere nice and high....

right, the plume spreading radiation far and wide is the worst case scenario. That MUST be avoided. Hopefully they put it out quick.

KC Dan
03-15-2011, 04:54 PM
JFC. In all seriousness can they not just use electric pumps hooked up to gasoline powered generators? You'd think the entire nation of Japan, along with US Navy help, could put enough euiqpment on the ground within five DAYS to move a helluva lot of water from the ocean that is RIGHT THERE.

I'm absolutely sure that I know jack shit about this, and that people 1,000 times smarter than me are working on this, but if it's just a question of moving water... Moving it and letting it boil off is better than all these fires/explosions...I agree with you but I gotta believe that the cooling water system internal to the containment is fubar. And any of the explosions that opened up the outer containment probably screwed any external connectivity. Otherwise, I would think you'd be spot on with what to do and I'm sure they would have done so already.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 05:04 PM
CNN Blog confirming fire at Reactor 4

[6 p.m. ET Tuesday, 5 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] Fire has been discovered in the northeastern corner of the building of reactor No. 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, the power company says.

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 05:07 PM
CNN Blog confirming fire at Reactor 4

[6 p.m. ET Tuesday, 5 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] Fire has been discovered in the northeastern corner of the building of reactor No. 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, the power company says.


****

DJ's left nut
03-15-2011, 05:09 PM
I agree with you but I gotta believe that the cooling water system internal to the containment is fubar. And any of the explosions that opened up the outer containment probably screwed any external connectivity. Otherwise, I would think you'd be spot on with what to do and I'm sure they would have done so already.

Then isn't this all delaying the inevitable?

If that cooling system is fucked and the mechanics of simply building a new one seem prohibitive, it's not like they're going to be able to keep a bucket brigade running for the next 4 years.

How can this have any other possible conclusion but a melt-down?

BucEyedPea
03-15-2011, 05:12 PM
Here is a German site, showing the radiation ALREADY hitting the west coast.

Take it for what it's worth.

http://www.zamg.ac.at/aktuell/index.php?seite=1&artikel=ZAMG_2011-03-15GMT08%3A26

Yikes. I heard there's been a run on Potassium Iodide.

Donger
03-15-2011, 05:15 PM
Then isn't this all delaying the inevitable?

If that cooling system is ****ed and the mechanics of simply building a new one seem prohibitive, it's not like they're going to be able to keep a bucket brigade running for the next 4 years.

How can this have any other possible conclusion but a melt-down?

No.

If the reactors SCRAMed successfully and the fission was stopped, the decay heat generated rather quickly decreases. But, unless you have water constantly surrounding the core AND being circulated AND being replaced with cool water, there is no where for the heat to go.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 05:15 PM
Then isn't this all delaying the inevitable?

If that cooling system is fucked and the mechanics of simply building a new one seem prohibitive, it's not like they're going to be able to keep a bucket brigade running for the next 4 years.

How can this have any other possible conclusion but a melt-down?

The issue, as far as I can tell, is that there is the potential for SEVEN meltdowns. My assumption is that some reactors are in better/worse shape than others, and the spent fuel pool is in yet another category of good/bad.

And the game is to minimize the number of meltdowns and the amount of fallout.

Because walking away isn't really an option.

Bwana
03-15-2011, 05:17 PM
Yikes. I heard there's been a run on Potassium Iodide.

There has......

http://www.naturalnews.com/031708_iodine_radiation.html

BucEyedPea
03-15-2011, 05:17 PM
No.

If the reactors SCRAMed successfully and the fission was stopped, the decay heat generated rather quickly decreases. But, unless you have water constantly surrounding the core AND being circulated AND being replaced with cool water, there is no where for the heat to go.

Do you work in nuclear power? If so, as an engineer?

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 05:18 PM
No.

If the reactors SCRAMed successfully and the fission was stopped, the decay heat generated rather quickly decreases. But, unless you have water constantly surrounding the core AND being circulated AND being replaced with cool water, there is no where for the heat to go.

I wish I had a better idea of what the temperature of the spent fuel was in the reactors and the pool.

0.2% of what I understood the operating reactor temperature to be would not be a significant number.

I guess it's enough to know "too hot", and therefore enough to achieve a meltdown, or partial meltdown, to create steam and potentially so much steam that explosions may occur if pressure isn't released or the material isn't otherwise cooled.

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 05:18 PM
Then isn't this all delaying the inevitable?

If that cooling system is fucked and the mechanics of simply building a new one seem prohibitive, it's not like they're going to be able to keep a bucket brigade running for the next 4 years.

How can this have any other possible conclusion but a melt-down?

It's really a matter of days. If they can keep water flowing for a few more days, the risk will fall rapidly. For better or worse, this will all be over within a week.

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 05:20 PM
Something random I found out today:

3/10/11(Day the Earthquake/Tsunami happened in Japan)
+ 9/11/01
_____________________________________
12/21/12

Phobia
03-15-2011, 05:21 PM
CNN Blog confirming fire at Reactor 4

[6 p.m. ET Tuesday, 5 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] Fire has been discovered in the northeastern corner of the building of reactor No. 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, the power company says.

Fire has been discovered.... strange way of putting that, I think.

Donger
03-15-2011, 05:22 PM
Do you work in nuclear power? If so, as an engineer?

No.

Discuss Thrower
03-15-2011, 05:23 PM
Something random I found out today:

3/10/11(Day the Earthquake/Tsunami happened in Japan)
+ 9/11/01
_____________________________________
12/21/12 /teetubya

FYP

DJ's left nut
03-15-2011, 05:23 PM
No.

If the reactors SCRAMed successfully and the fission was stopped, the decay heat generated rather quickly decreases. But, unless you have water constantly surrounding the core AND being circulated AND being replaced with cool water, there is no where for the heat to go.

Right, but doesn't that get back to the crux of it?

If the cooling system is fried and nobody seems capable of keeping this water running, what's the end game? They're not going to be able to keep that water constantly surrounding the core, etc, etc...

This seems to be a losing battle they're waging here.

Phobia
03-15-2011, 05:23 PM
I think that now would be the perfect time to take over Japan if one were so inclined. Do they have anything we want - like besides their nuclear power capabilities?

DJ's left nut
03-15-2011, 05:24 PM
It's really a matter of days. If they can keep water flowing for a few more days, the risk will fall rapidly. For better or worse, this will all be over within a week.

Fair enough.

The impression I was getting was that even in a few days/weeks, these were all still going to be putting off enough heat to make this entire affair impossible to contain.

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 05:25 PM
I know this has probably been said before, but this helped me have a better understanding about why and how the nuclear reactors failed to cool down:

After the earthquake hit, the first safety system to prevent a melt-down was activated. Control rods rose into the nuclear reactor to stop the nuclear fission— but the fuel rods were still hot. Because of the power outage that occurred after the earthquake, water was not circulated to cool down the rods.

The second safety system turned on, and the generator began spraying the rods with coolant. An hour later, that emergency generator stopped— possibly because the tsunami hit the country at that time.

The third safety system then turned on. This system converts steam traveling through the pipes into water. But the water level dropped, and temperatures continued to rise.

All thee safety measures failed.

A professor from Japan's Atomic Energy Commission, whom was involved in the construction of the Fukushima plants, said he thinks the cooling water somehow leaked from the reactor.

“The reactor's coolants must have leaked somewhere in the building,” he said Tuesday. “We thought we had taken adequate precautions for a tsunami, but what happened was beyond our expectations.”

The Japanese government warned 140,000 people to stay within their homes on Tuesday, and an estimated 70,000 people have been evacuated from a 12-mile area around the nuclear plant.

http://www.ktsm.com/news/breakdown-how-and-why-japans-nuclear-reactors-failed-to-cool-down

Donger
03-15-2011, 05:27 PM
I wish I had a better idea of what the temperature of the spent fuel was in the reactors and the pool.

0.2% of what I understood the operating reactor temperature to be would not be a significant number.

I guess it's enough to know "too hot", and therefore enough to achieve a meltdown, or partial meltdown, to create steam and potentially so much steam that explosions may occur if pressure isn't released or the material isn't otherwise cooled.

A critical core temperature with nominal coolant in around 500F. Without coolant, she'll go very quickly to 2000F+ Spent fuel? I don't know.

Donger
03-15-2011, 05:28 PM
Right, but doesn't that get back to the crux of it?

If the cooling system is fried and nobody seems capable of keeping this water running, what's the end game? They're not going to be able to keep that water constantly surrounding the core, etc, etc...

This seems to be a losing battle they're waging here.

Keeping enough water on the cores to prevent them from becoming exposed until they cool enough so that is no longer a threat.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 05:30 PM
Good article explaining radiation etc.

http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/radiation.html

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 05:32 PM
CNN update. Not much "new" news.

[6:24 p.m. ET Tuesday, 5:24 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] Some context for the new fire in the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear power plant's Reactor 4 building: This is that building's second fire in two days.

The first fire, discovered Tuesday in a cooling pond used for nuclear fuel, coupled with Tuesday's explosion at the plant's No. 2 reactor, briefly pushed radiation levels at the plant to about 167 times the average annual dose of radiation, according to details released by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This chased all but a handful of workers from the site and raised fears of a far more dangerous radiation threat (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/15/japan.nuclear.reactors/index.html).

Tuesday's dose would quickly dissipate with distance from the plant, and radiation quickly fell back to levels where it posed no immediate public health threat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

The affect that Wednesday's fire was having on radiation levels and information about the fire's cause weren't immediately available. About 200,000 people living within a 12.4-mile radius of the plant have long been evacuated.

Three explosions and two fires have now been reported in various reactor buildings in the past five days.

Donger
03-15-2011, 05:40 PM
For the truly panic-stricken, you can always check out Radnet:

http://www.epa.gov/narel/radnet/pdf/How_to_Access_RadNet_Data.pdf

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 05:41 PM
Fire has been discovered.... strange way of putting that, I think.

"Around 5:45 a.m., a worker at the plant saw flames on the fourth floor of the reactor's building, believed to be the same spot where an apparent hydrogen explosion caused a fire Tuesday morning in the wake of last Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake." - Kyodo reporting: english.kyodonews.jp

Fairly accurate, apparently... :spock:


There's some speculation that they can't fight the fire due to radiation levels, so they're bringing in helicopters. That's not confirmed by anyone though.

Deberg_1990
03-15-2011, 06:19 PM
Nuclear Overreactions??


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576198723013907008.html?mod=rss_opinion_main


After a once-in-300-years earthquake, the Japanese have been keeping cool amid the chaos, organizing an enormous relief and rescue operation, and generally earning the world's admiration. We wish we could say the same for the reaction in the U.S., where the troubles at Japan's nuclear reactors have produced an overreaction about the risks of modern life and technology.

Part of the problem is the lack of media proportion about the disaster itself. The quake and tsunami have killed hundreds, and probably thousands, with tens of billions of dollars in damage. The energy released by the quake off Sendei is equivalent to about 336 megatons of TNT, or 100 more megatons than last year's quake in Chile and thousands of times the yield of the nuclear explosion at Hiroshima. The scale of the tragedy is epic.

Yet the bulk of U.S. media coverage has focused on a nuclear accident whose damage has so far been limited and contained to the plant sites. In simple human terms, the natural destruction of Earth and sea have far surpassed any errors committed by man.

Given the incomplete news reports, it is impossible to say how much worse the nuclear damage will be. Unlike the Soviets at Chernobyl, the Japanese have been taking sensible precautions like evacuating people near the plants and handing out iodine pills even if they may never be needed. These precautions increase public worry, but better to take them even if they prove to be unnecessary.

We will have plenty of time to dissect events at the reactors and the safety lessons going forward. William Tucker provides some useful context nearby, and one crucial point is that the containment walls seem to have held. These walls are designed to withstand quakes and explosions, and it is good news if they have done so. The crisis seems to have been triggered by the failure of diesel generators that provided electricity to cool the reactors once they were shut down. Mr. Tucker explains that this weakness has been corrected in new nuclear plant designs.

We have no special brief for nuclear power over any other energy source. Our view is that it should compete with other sources on a market basis, without subsidies or government loan guarantees. Every energy source has risks and economic externalities, whether they are noise and bird kills (wind), huge land requirements (solar), rig explosions and tanker spills (oil), or mining accidents (coal).

But more than other energy sources, nuclear plants have had their costs increased by artificial political obstacles and delay. The U.S. hasn't built a new nuclear plant since 1979, after the Three Mile Island meltdown, even as older nuclear plants continue to provide 20% of the nation's electricity.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a couple of years away from completing a reactor at Watts Bar after years of effort. Proposals for 20 new reactors to be built over the next 15 to 20 years are in various stages of review in the multiyear approval process at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with two each in Georgia and South Carolina at the front of the line. But the much-ballyhooed "nuclear renaissance" is a long way off, and it will be longer after events in Japan.

Our larger point is less about nuclear power than how we react as a society to inevitable disasters, both natural and man-made. Because a plane crashes, we don't stop flying. Because an oil rig explodes in the Gulf, we don't (or at least we shouldn't) stop drilling for oil. And because the Challenger space shuttle blew up, we didn't stop shuttle flights—though we do seem to have lost much of our national will for further manned space exploration. We should learn from the Japanese nuclear crisis, not let it feed a political panic over nuclear power in general.

***
The paradox of material and technological progress is that we seem to become more risk-averse the safer it makes us. The more comfortable we become, the less eager we are to take the risks that are the only route to future progress. The irony is that one reason Japan has survived this catastrophic event as well as it has is its great material development and wealth.

Modern civilization is in the daily business of measuring and mitigating risk, but its advance requires that we continue to take risk. It would compound Japan's tragedy if the lesson America learns is that we should pursue the illusory and counterproductive goal of eliminating all risk.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 06:22 PM
In other news, the US Surgeon General is a complete and utter moron.

CaliforniaChief
03-15-2011, 06:30 PM
In other news, the US Surgeon General is a complete and utter moron.

Can I buy iodide with casino cash?

|Zach|
03-15-2011, 06:32 PM
Do you work in nuclear power? If so, as an engineer?

No, but he has a friend that does. That is all it takes for you to talk out of your ass isn't it honey?

Just Passin' By
03-15-2011, 06:59 PM
URGENT: Fuel rods damage at Fukushima's 2 reactors estimated at 70%, 33%

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/japan_nuclear_crisis/

alnorth
03-15-2011, 08:20 PM
Quick reality check, after some quick research. I'm not a nuclear expert, but this info is readily available through reliable sources.

First, radiation is usually measured in Sieverts (Sv) 1 full Sv = 1,000 mSv = 1 million microSv. Radiation exposure is also often measured in Sieverts per hour, or Sv/h, mSv/h, microSv/h

There are generally two hazards to radiation exposure. 1) Dying quickly due to acute radiation exposure 2) Dying within 5-30 years due to cancer caused by radiation.

Fatal acute radiation exposure (resulting in death within days or weeks) = roughly 1 full Sv/h for 5 hours, or more than 6 Sv/day. (Apparently the threshold for having any immediate symptoms at all is about 0.25 Sv/day. If you get less than 0.25 Sv/day, you wont even feel nausea, but might have some increased cancer risk)

Estimated cancer risk from radiation = about an extra 5% per full Sv per year, but if you pick up less than 100 mSv in a year, the research seems to indicate that doesn't increase your chances. (So, at 100 mSv in a year, you have about a half percent chance of getting cancer from that radiation exposure)

Exposure examples

Eating a banana = 0.1 microSv
chest CT scan = 6-18 mSv
background radiation most people experience just walking around = 3 mSv/year
Total exposure by the average American = about 6 mSv/year = 6,000 microSv/year

Total additional exposure that could be expected by people on the west coast if the reactors in Japan all dramatically explode in a firey ball of death (which is extremely unlikely): maybe another 1 or 2 microSv

Exposure faced by the workers currently risking their lives in the Japanese facility: well, the absolute peak was briefly about 400 mSv/h, but it seems to mostly be about 8 or 9 mSv/hr. Of course, if it melts down and if the concrete container also fails, those workers could get a fatal acute dose within minutes depending on where they are.

Current exposure at the gate to the facility at the Japanese reactors = 0.6 mSv/hr

Exposure in Tokyo = seems to be about 2 microSv/hr

Total exposure if you lived within the 30 km evacuation radius of Chernobyl when it blew up and didn't leave for a few weeks = varies depending on where in that radius you mostly lived, but the accumulated dose for people who were near but weren't at the disaster usually seemed to max out at about 150 mSv.

loochy
03-15-2011, 08:24 PM
Quick reality check, after some quick research. I'm not a nuclear expert, but this info is readily available through reliable sources.

First, radiation is usually measured in Sieverts (Sv) 1 full Sv = 1,000 mSv = 1 million microSv. Radiation exposure is also often measured in Sieverts per hour, or Sv/h, mSv/h, microSv/h

There are generally two hazards to radiation exposure. 1) Dying quickly due to acute radiation exposure 2) Dying within 5-30 years due to cancer caused by radiation.

Fatal acute radiation exposure (resulting in death within days or weeks) = roughly 1 full Sv/h for 5 hours, or more than 6 Sv/day. (Apparently the threshold for having any immediate symptoms at all is about 0.25 Sv/day. If you get less than 0.25 Sv/day, you wont even feel nausea, but might have some increased cancer risk)

Estimated cancer risk from radiation = about an extra 5% per full Sv per year, but if you pick up less than 100 mSv in a year, the research seems to indicate that doesn't increase your chances. (So, at 100 mSv in a year, you have about a half percent chance of getting cancer from that radiation exposure)

Exposure examples

Eating a banana = 0.1 microSv
chest CT scan = 6-18 mSv
background radiation most people experience just walking around = 3 mSv/year
Total exposure by the average American = about 6 mSv/year = 6,000 microSv/year

Total additional exposure that could be expected by people on the west coast if the reactors in Japan all dramatically explode in a firey ball of death (which is extremely unlikely): maybe another 1 or 2 microSv

Exposure faced by the workers currently risking their lives in the Japanese facility: well, the absolute peak was briefly about 400 mSv/h, but it seems to mostly be about 8 or 9 mSv/hr. Of course, if it melts down and if the concrete container also fails, those workers could get a fatal acute dose within minutes depending on where they are.

Current exposure at the gate to the facility at the Japanese reactors = 0.6 mSv/hr

Exposure in Tokyo = seems to be about 2 microSv/hr

Total exposure if you lived within the 30 km evacuation radius of Chernobyl when it blew up and didn't leave for a few weeks = varies depending on where in that radius you mostly lived, but the accumulated dose for people who were near but weren't at the disaster usually seemed to max out at about 150 mSv.

Cool. That makes me feel better about the world ending and all. I hate those stupid fear mongering news agencies.

Mr. Plow
03-15-2011, 08:24 PM
Shit, I could have told you that without this thread.

:D


I'm talking about being dumber on a higher level than thought. I thought there was a "max level" for me.....I've quickly learned otherwise.

loochy
03-15-2011, 08:30 PM
I'm talking about being dumber on a higher level than thought. I thought there was a "max level" for me.....I've quickly learned otherwise.

It doesn't take a genius to understand this stuff. Just read some books and watch some college lectures on google video.

Mr. Plow
03-15-2011, 08:33 PM
It doesn't take a genius to understand this stuff. Just read some books and watch some college lectures on google video.


Whoa....you lost me at "read some books".

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 08:37 PM
There's white smoke billowing from Daiichi. Some reports have it coming from reactor #3.


And Japan has increased the legal limit nuclear employees can be exposed to. That's one way to fix the problem, I suppose...

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 08:52 PM
I heard a pretty damn good exchange on NPR involving a nuclear physicist from MIT and a doctor who was an expert in fields of doctoring that I can't even pronounce which my puny brain translated to "bad things that happen to humans as a result of radioactive exposure and stuff".

It was, honestly, VERY encouraging.

The doctor, who is a professor at Vanderbilt, said that there were basically two groups of people who suffered from the no-containment full on disaster at Chernobyl: (1) the first responders and the people working at the plant, who basically were at ground zero for quite a while, and nearly all of whom died iwthin three months, and (2) about 8,000 kids who drank milk from cows who ate grass poisoned by radioactive fallout because the shitty Russian government did nothing to prevent it. Simple iodine tablets would've gone a long way toward preventing that.

AND THAT IS IT. He said everyone was surprised that 25 years after Chernobyl no evidence indicates higher levels of cancer in people etc. etc.

The MIT guy explained that the plant was designed to suffer an 8.0 magnitude quake, but that the 9.0 is of course (per the Richter scale) 10x more powerful than that, and it still withstood it very well. The double whammy of the tsunami has definitely impacted it negatively, however, and they're struggling with keeping things cool etc. He said for purposes of keepign things cool, saltwater is as good as fresh, it's just a matter of getting it there.

I missed a critical part of the discussion as I was transferring from car to house and dealing with kids, etc., but all in all I found it rather encouraging.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 08:56 PM
Oh --- I paid close attention to the MIT guy to see if our discussions here are materially off, and we do seem to be on target with what we've been saying.

One thing he said was that the superheated steam can interact with the [steel?] to create hydrogen, which if it finds an ignition source will explode. I don't believe I've seen anyone on here mention that specifically, but that explains the occassionally explosions we've been seeing.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 09:02 PM
Here's the NPR interview.

http://onpoint.wbur.org/media-player?url=http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/03/15/us-nuclear-industry/&title=Growing+Nuclear+Crisis+In+Japan&pubdate=2011-03-15&segment=1

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 09:05 PM
I heard a pretty damn good exchange on NPR involving a nuclear physicist from MIT and a doctor who was an expert in fields of doctoring that I can't even pronounce which my puny brain translated to "bad things that happen to humans as a result of radioactive exposure and stuff".

It was, honestly, VERY encouraging.

The doctor, who is a professor at Vanderbilt, said that there were basically two groups of people who suffered from the no-containment full on disaster at Chernobyl: (1) the first responders and the people working at the plant, who basically were at ground zero for quite a while, and nearly all of whom died iwthin three months, and (2) about 8,000 kids who drank milk from cows who ate grass poisoned by radioactive fallout because the shitty Russian government did nothing to prevent it. Simple iodine tablets would've gone a long way toward preventing that.

AND THAT IS IT. He said everyone was surprised that 25 years after Chernobyl no evidence indicates higher levels of cancer in people etc. etc.

The MIT guy explained that the plant was designed to suffer an 8.0 magnitude quake, but that the 9.0 is of course (per the Richter scale) 10x more powerful than that, and it still withstood it very well. The double whammy of the tsunami has definitely impacted it negatively, however, and they're struggling with keeping things cool etc. He said for purposes of keepign things cool, saltwater is as good as fresh, it's just a matter of getting it there.

I missed a critical part of the discussion as I was transferring from car to house and dealing with kids, etc., but all in all I found it rather encouraging.

Check out the cancer rates amongst workers at the Savannah River and Hanford Reactor Plants.

Amnorix
03-15-2011, 09:23 PM
Check out the cancer rates amongst workers at the Savannah River and Hanford Reactor Plants.

Sure, but there we're talking about people who had very prolonged exposure.

Apparently, Chernobyl, a nasty meltdown by all accounts, didn't result in the kind of widespread death/dismemberment/three-headed babies kind of thing that many feared.

kcpasco
03-15-2011, 09:24 PM
And Japan has increased the legal limit nuclear employees can be exposed to. That's one way to fix the problem, I suppose...

We do that here in the USA also, if incase of a nucleur emergency dose limits are increased for essential employees.

kcpasco
03-15-2011, 09:26 PM
I Work at the Hanford site, everything is so regulated around here you can't even sneeze without someone taking a survey.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 09:29 PM
Check out the cancer rates amongst workers at the Savannah River and Hanford Reactor Plants.

A few people drank slightly-radioactive water in the 40's and 50's back when the feds didn't know what the hell they were doing, and a few people may have experienced a greater risk of cancer.

Well, ignoring the fact that nuclear technology and safety has advanced over the last half century, you don't really want to compare this to the health impact of burning fossil fuels (which are the only alternative for base load power, don't even bother mentioning solar/wind). I'm not even talking about dubious global warming numbers, just simple air pollution and coal mining.

The hilarious thing about it, is for all that we freak out about it, nuclear is safer than burning coal. The only reason to burn coal is because we can do it cheaper. It is different psychologically, because we can understand the concept of burning something for power, and we can picture and accept the risk of air pollution, but nuclear reactions seem like voodoo magic to us, so its scary.

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 09:32 PM
Uhm, translations are still a bit unclear, but some are reporting that they've ordered Daiichi evacuated. If true, basically throwing the towel in...

Dylan
03-15-2011, 09:32 PM
Excerpts: The New York Times

First at Chernobyl, Burning Still Sign In to E-Mail This
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
Published: April 26, 2006

Chernobyl still haunts, 20 years after that morning, April 26, 1986, when something went wrong in Reactor No. 4 and it exploded, sending a plume of debris and radioactive particles across the Soviet Union and eventually far beyond.

"What they described in newspapers and magazines — it was all rubbish," said Anatoly Rasskazov, the station photographer who was there that day.

"The ruins that I photographed from the ground and the upper part were retouched so it couldn't be seen that there was a ray coming from there, that everything was glowing," he said. "Just a ruin. So as not to get the public up in arms."

Twenty years later, the anniversary has occasioned new debate among those who have studied its consequences and those who have wielded the results as evidence of what a world in urgent search of energy should do with nuclear power.

A committee of United Nations agencies released a study last fall concluding that the effects were not as dire as first feared. It suggested that only 4,000 would, in the end, die from diseases caused by direct exposure to the radiation. Greenpeace, the environmental group, released its own response last week, saying Chernobyl would kill at least 90,000.

The true number may never be known, but the lasting impacts, physical and psychological, are evident in those who came to be known as liquidators. They were the hundreds of thousands of firefighters, pilots, soldiers, scientists and experts sent to contain the damage, to evacuate the citizenry and ultimately to encase the deadly ruin in a concrete sarcophagus whose stability appears precarious.

A photographer for The New York Times sought out 27 of them in Moscow, Kiev and Minsk, photographing them as they recounted their experiences at the time and in the turbulent years that followed. What they described sounded very much like war. At least 47 workers and liquidators died almost immediately. Hundreds, perhaps thousands have died since; the records are unclear. The rest endure as veterans, many as invalids, sickly and unappreciated, if not entirely unrecognized by newly independent countries that wish to put the worst of Soviet history behind them.

"Just like the Germans had come, this enemy had arrived," said Arkady Rokhlin, an engineer, who was 58 at the time and so old enough to remember that war. "And we had to defend ourselves."

And like war, it was disorienting. Fear and heroism mingled with bureaucratic chaos and surrealistic calm. "In a real war shells explode, bullets fly, bodies fall, blood flows," he said. And then he remembered the summer of '86 in the most poisoned place on earth: sun, birds, gardens "bulging with fruit."

"You couldn't possibly have imagined that all this was death."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/26/world/europe/26chernobyl.html

alnorth
03-15-2011, 09:39 PM
A committee of United Nations agencies released a study last fall concluding that the effects were not as dire as first feared. It suggested that only 4,000 would, in the end, die from diseases caused by direct exposure to the radiation. Greenpeace, the environmental group, released its own response last week, saying Chernobyl would kill at least 90,000.

That UN speculated number still has not proven out all these years later. The greenpeace study was debunked long ago as a crap study which relied exclusively on non-peer-reviewed papers.

Even if 4,000 proves out, thats not bad as an absolute worst-case scenario, given that this kind of a spectacular explosion is all but impossible today.

Even in Japan, given that they managed to hold out several days without a meltdown, if a meltdown does occur and the fuel melts out of the reactor, it will no longer likely be hot enough to burn out of the floor of the concrete container.

kcpasco
03-15-2011, 09:47 PM
The biggest problem for me isn't the process of making nucleur power, it's what the **** do you do with the waste.

Take the Hanford site for instance, the underground storage tanks that held the waste from plutonium production are leaking and the waste is getting into the groundwater.

You can't really just go dig them things up and fix them.

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 09:48 PM
Uhm, translations are still a bit unclear, but some are reporting that they've ordered Daiichi evacuated. If true, basically throwing the towel in...

CNN and NYT have both kind of half reluctantly confirmed this, like they don't really believe it's true. Here's the quote from the NYT blog:

"Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, is holding a news conference that is being broadcast live on Japanese television. Mr. Edano said radiation readings started rising rapidly Wednesday morning outside the front gate of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. "All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have," he said, according to a translation by NHK television."

Dylan
03-15-2011, 09:50 PM
That UN speculated number still has not proven out all these years later. The greenpeace study was debunked long ago as a crap study which relied exclusively on non-peer-reviewed papers.

Even if 4,000 proves out, thats not bad as an absolute worst-case scenario, given that this kind of a spectacular explosion is all but impossible today.

Even in Japan, given that they managed to hold out several days without a meltdown, if a meltdown does occur and the fuel melts out of the reactor, it will no longer likely be hot enough to burn out of the floor of the concrete container.

On April 26, 2006, the New York Times published the story.

New York Times reporter Steven Lee Meyers said, "The true number may never be known, but the lasting impacts, physical and psychological, are evident in those who came to be known as liquidators."

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 09:52 PM
CNN and NYT have both kind of half reluctantly confirmed this, like they don't really believe it's true. Here's the quote from the NYT blog:

"Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, is holding a news conference that is being broadcast live on Japanese television. Mr. Edano said radiation readings started rising rapidly Wednesday morning outside the front gate of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. "All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have," he said, according to a translation by NHK television."

Oh. ****

tk13
03-15-2011, 09:54 PM
Yeah the expert on CNN said he hopes he just misinterpreted what they are saying, because it sounds like they are just walking away.

Dylan
03-15-2011, 09:55 PM
Oh. ****

http://www.underlinfamily.com/guestbook/smileys/happy.gif

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 10:00 PM
Yeah the expert on CNN said he hopes he just misinterpreted what they are saying, because it sounds like they are just walking away.

He's kind of bothering me. I'm not sure why you can expect these workers to stay and face certain illness or death, if things really have gotten so bad.


Reuters has reported that Japan might ask for direct US military support to cool the reactors.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:01 PM
If this was day one and there was any thought that the reactor could literally blow up near a major unevacuated city, some workers would still be there on a suicide mission if need be.

At this point, there's little to gain if the local radiation level has surged. You go out half a mile and its going to be next to nothing. The fuel has had several days to cool, so its not going to burn out of concrete containers that were built specifically to contain molten nuclear fuel.

There's really almost no risk to human life here at this point, so why would you ask some workers to potentially die to cool down some fuel a little quicker?

teedubya
03-15-2011, 10:05 PM
Don't know the validity of this... but:

@W7VOA: Kyodo: Smoke rising from Fukushima's No. 3 reactor: nuclear safety agency

Reactor #3 uses MOX fuel.

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 10:06 PM
Is it okay to be scared now?

Dave Lane
03-15-2011, 10:09 PM
Read Al North's fine post.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:09 PM
On April 26, 2006, the New York Times published the story.

New York Times reporter Steven Lee Meyers said, "The true number may never be known, but the lasting impacts, physical and psychological, are evident in those who came to be known as liquidators."

Over 5,000 coal miners die all over the world every year, which is high even accounting for the fact that coal power is a few times as much as nuclear power. That is ignoring all the however many tens or hundreds of thousands who die from air pollution. You've got what, a few thousand over several decades?

Nuclear power is a hell of a lot safer than coal power, we're just scared because our primitive caveman brains perceive nuclear power as confusing voodoo magic.

Dave Lane
03-15-2011, 10:10 PM
Can somebody please change Teedubya's name to Chicken Little.

Kthx

teedubya
03-15-2011, 10:12 PM
W7VOA Steve Herman Voice of America (VOA) Bureau Chief/Correspondent

Chief Cabinet Sect'y Edano announces that containment vessel of Reactor 3 at Fukushima-1 highly likely to be cause of white smoke venting.

Dave, the fact that it has MOX fuel, is quite relevant. kthx

Rams Fan
03-15-2011, 10:15 PM
Guess who's online right now?

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:16 PM
I don't want to be a completely unfair nuclear homer, so I will admit that the situation in these spent fuel rod pools is a concern. They have the potential to emit far less radiation than the troubled reactors, but they are more dangerous because at least the reactors are encased in concrete. If the water in these pools burn out, then you've got still-warm and still-dangerous fuel rods completely exposed to the environment. If the area is evacuated several kilometers that still wont mean anything to anyone, but they really need to get those pools under control.

WoodDraw
03-15-2011, 10:20 PM
Read Al North's fine post.

Eh, I agree that this is unlikely to cause widespread problems, but I wouldn't be that flippant. All of the spent fuel pools have no containment, and if they catch fire, they'll release straight into the atmosphere. There have also been questions raised about the integrity of the containment on at least one or two reactors.

Also, TEPCO just said earlier, "The possibility of recriticality is not zero," in reactor 4.

I wouldn't say "ho, hum", at least...

Dylan
03-15-2011, 10:21 PM
AP is reporting that workers have "suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility."

This is a disaster almost beyond comprehension.

There goes the food chain.

Japan exports greatly affected.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 10:26 PM
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=28211

Third Japanese reactor to load MOX
10 August 2010

Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco's) Fukushima I unit 3 is set to become the third Japanese nuclear reactor to load mixed oxide (MOX) fuel after receiving approval from the governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Yukei Sato. The unit follows Kyushu Electric's Genkai 3, which started using MOX fuel in November 2009, and Shikoku's Ikata 3, which was loaded with some MOX fuel in March 2010. According to the Denki Shimbun, the 760 MWe boiling water reactor will be loaded with MOX fuel by 21 August and the unit will restart in late September.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has so far approved the use of MOX fuel in ten reactors, but utilities must also secure approval from prefectural governments before they can go ahead and use the fuel, which contains plutonium recovered from spent nuclear fuel.

http://www10.antenna.nl/wise/index.html?http://www10.antenna.nl/wise/469-470/6.html#Chap_6_2

6. Proliferation and safety problems of MOX use

6.2.4 Accidents at MOX fabrication plants
Accidents at MOX fuel fabrication plants have occurred. In June 1991, the storage bunker of the MOX fuel fabrication plant in Hanau, Germany, was contaminated with MOX. It occurred after the rupture of a foil for container packaging in the course of an in-plant transportation process. Four workers were exposed to plutonium.29 This accident was the main reason the fabrication plant at Hanau was shut down.

In November 1992, a fuel rod was broken through a handling error, and MOX dust was released during the mounting of MOX fuel rods to fuel assemblies in the fuel fabrication facility adjoining the MOX facility in Dessel, Belgium. In the event of such accidents, if the ICRP recommendations for general public exposure were adhered to, only about one mg of plutonium may be released from a MOX facility to the environment. As a comparison, in uranium fabrication facility, 2kg (2,000,000mg) of uranium could be released in the same radiation exposure. A one mg release of plutonium can easily happen during various smaller incidents.30

Chicken Little or not... MOX could be a big problem and it's certainly worth discussion.

tk13
03-15-2011, 10:28 PM
My biggest concern is that they aren't necessarily being forthcoming with what's going down here. The information seems kinda muddled. They don't seem to be in control of this situation at all... and I hope we don't find out after the fact this situation was worse than they said it was.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 10:29 PM
A few people drank slightly-radioactive water in the 40's and 50's back when the feds didn't know what the hell they were doing, and a few people may have experienced a greater risk of cancer.

Well, ignoring the fact that nuclear technology and safety has advanced over the last half century, you don't really want to compare this to the health impact of burning fossil fuels (which are the only alternative for base load power, don't even bother mentioning solar/wind). I'm not even talking about dubious global warming numbers, just simple air pollution and coal mining.

The hilarious thing about it, is for all that we freak out about it, nuclear is safer than burning coal. The only reason to burn coal is because we can do it cheaper. It is different psychologically, because we can understand the concept of burning something for power, and we can picture and accept the risk of air pollution, but nuclear reactions seem like voodoo magic to us, so its scary.

That's a whole lot of words to put into my mouth. What I was speaking of was the long term effects of prolonged exposure, even a minuscule amount over a period of time.

There was a prolonged study done of over 300,000 workers at the Hanford site that was abruptly defunded whenever the initial results of the study were published. The reason was that the stated "safe doses" were anything but, and the DOE and the subcontractors who ran the facility, namely GE, didn't want to assume culpability for it.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 10:31 PM
I Work at the Hanford site, everything is so regulated around here you can't even sneeze without someone taking a survey.

As you know, it's no longer a functioning plant, hasn't been for many years, and is (or was) the largest Superfund site in the nation.

Apparently, dumping nuclear waste in cardboard boxes isn't a good longterm containment strategy. Who would have known?

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:33 PM
AP is reporting that workers have "suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility."

This is a disaster almost beyond comprehension.

There goes the food chain.

Japan exports greatly affected.

Those fuel rod pools aside (seriously, get some water-dropping helicopters if you have to, they aren't that hot and this shouldn't be hard), here's the likely worst-case scenario.

This one reactor melts down. The concrete container holds long enough for the nuclear fuel to be safely encased. Beyond a mile or so, the radiation is not much. After a few days, the radiation is next to nothing even when you stand right next to the facility. This company pays for an expensive cleanup operation. A few workers from the nuclear power plant get cancer and die after a few decades. The world moves on, no one is really hurt. Some silly americans continue to panic over something that isn't as dangerous as coal power.

Dylan
03-15-2011, 10:35 PM
I don't want to be a completely unfair nuclear homer, so I will admit that the situation in these spent fuel rod pools is a concern. They have the potential to emit far less radiation than the troubled reactors, but they are more dangerous because at least the reactors are encased in concrete. If the water in these pools burn out, then you've got still-warm and still-dangerous fuel rods completely exposed to the environment. If the area is evacuated several kilometers that still wont mean anything to anyone, but they really need to get those pools under control.

http://ts1.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=668161081780&id=d218a6ffd4badf318f64d3d709732388

Turn on CNN: Anderson Cooper got his finger on the pulse...

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:36 PM
That's a whole lot of words to put into my mouth. What I was speaking of was the long term effects of prolonged exposure, even a minuscule amount over a period of time.

There was a prolonged study done of over 300,000 workers at the Hanford site that was abruptly defunded whenever the initial results of the study were published. The reason was that the stated "safe doses" were anything but, and the DOE and the subcontractors who ran the facility, namely GE, didn't want to assume culpability for it.

fair enough, my apologies, but your intent wasn't clear. The damage was small and we've learned quite a bit since then.

Rain Man
03-15-2011, 10:38 PM
I bet the last step of every emergency manual on earth is "Run".

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:39 PM
Quick reality check, after some quick research. I'm not a nuclear expert, but this info is readily available through reliable sources.

First, radiation is usually measured in Sieverts (Sv) 1 full Sv = 1,000 mSv = 1 million microSv. Radiation exposure is also often measured in Sieverts per hour, or Sv/h, mSv/h, microSv/h

There are generally two hazards to radiation exposure. 1) Dying quickly due to acute radiation exposure 2) Dying within 5-30 years due to cancer caused by radiation.

Fatal acute radiation exposure (resulting in death within days or weeks) = roughly 1 full Sv/h for 5 hours, or more than 6 Sv/day. (Apparently the threshold for having any immediate symptoms at all is about 0.25 Sv/day. If you get less than 0.25 Sv/day, you wont even feel nausea, but might have some increased cancer risk)

Estimated cancer risk from radiation = about an extra 5% per full Sv per year, but if you pick up less than 100 mSv in a year, the research seems to indicate that doesn't increase your chances. (So, at 100 mSv in a year, you have about a half percent chance of getting cancer from that radiation exposure)

Exposure examples

Eating a banana = 0.1 microSv
chest CT scan = 6-18 mSv
background radiation most people experience just walking around = 3 mSv/year
Total exposure by the average American = about 6 mSv/year = 6,000 microSv/year

Total additional exposure that could be expected by people on the west coast if the reactors in Japan all dramatically explode in a firey ball of death (which is extremely unlikely): maybe another 1 or 2 microSv

Exposure faced by the workers currently risking their lives in the Japanese facility: well, the absolute peak was briefly about 400 mSv/h, but it seems to mostly be about 8 or 9 mSv/hr. Of course, if it melts down and if the concrete container also fails, those workers could get a fatal acute dose within minutes depending on where they are.

Current exposure at the gate to the facility at the Japanese reactors = 0.6 mSv/hr

Exposure in Tokyo = seems to be about 2 microSv/hr

Total exposure if you lived within the 30 km evacuation radius of Chernobyl when it blew up and didn't leave for a few weeks = varies depending on where in that radius you mostly lived, but the accumulated dose for people who were near but weren't at the disaster usually seemed to max out at about 150 mSv.

utterly shameless self-bump

teedubya
03-15-2011, 10:44 PM
@W7VOA Steve Herman

Based on what Edano and NISA have said... there shouldn't be any workers remaining now at entire Fukushima-1 plant.

DTLB58
03-15-2011, 10:45 PM
Those fuel rod pools aside (seriously, get some water-dropping helicopters if you have to, they aren't that hot and this shouldn't be hard), here's the likely worst-case scenario.

This one reactor melts down. The concrete container holds long enough for the nuclear fuel to be safely encased. Beyond a mile or so, the radiation is not much. After a few days, the radiation is next to nothing even when you stand right next to the facility. This company pays for an expensive cleanup operation. A few workers from the nuclear power plant get cancer and die after a few decades. The world moves on, no one is really hurt. Some silly americans continue to panic over something that isn't as dangerous as coal power.

:doh!:

thecoffeeguy
03-15-2011, 10:46 PM
Makes me nervous, being here on the west coast. I am already making contingency plans to leave if I have to. Little nerve racking right now.

orange
03-15-2011, 10:47 PM
we've learned quite a bit since then.

Yes, we have:

HAZARDS OF BOILING WATER REACTORS IN THE UNITED STATES
BACKGROUND

Of the 110 operational nuclear power reactors in the United States, thirty-five are boiling water reactors (BWR). General Electric is the sole designer and manufacturer of BWRs in the United States. The BWR's distinguishing feature is that the reactor vessel serves as the boiler for the nuclear steam supply system. The steam is generated in the reactor vessel by the controlled fissioning of enriched uranium fuel which passes directly to the turbogenerator to generate electricity.


LACK OF CONTAINMENT INTEGRITY DURING A NUCLEAR ACCIDENT

The purpose of a reactor containment system is to create a barrier against the release of radioactivity generated during nuclear power operations from certain "design basis" accidents, such as increased pressure from a single pipe break. It is important to understand that nuclear power plants are not required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to remain intact as a barrier to all possible accidents or "non-design basis" accidents, such as the melting of reactor fuel. All nuclear reactors can have accidents which can exceed the design basis of their containment.

But even basic questions about the the GE containment design remain unanswered and its integrity in serious doubt. For example, eighteen of these BWRs use a smaller GE Mark I pressure suppression containment conceived as a cost-saving alternative to the larger reinforced concrete containments marketed by competitors. A large inverted light-bulb-shaped steel structure called "the drywell" is constructed of a steel liner and a concrete drywell shield wall enclosing the reactor vessel. The atmosphere of the drywell is connected through large diameter pipes to a large hollow doughnut-shaped pressure suppression pool called "the torus", or wetwell, which is half-filled with water. In the event of a loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA), steam would be released into the drywell and directed underwater in the torus where it is supposed to condense, thus suppressing a pressure buildup in the containment.

However, as early as 1972, Dr. Stephen Hanuaer, an Atomic Energy Commission safety official, recommended that the pressure suppression system be discontinued and any further designs not be accepted for construction permits. Shortly thereafter, three General Electric nuclear engineers publicly resigned their prestigious positions citing dangerous shortcomings in the GE design.

An NRC analysis of the potential failure of the Mark I under accident conditions concluded in a 1985 report that Mark I failure within the first few hours following core melt would appear rather likely."

In 1986, Harold Denton, then the NRC's top safety official, told an industry trade group that the "Mark I containment, especially being smaller with lower design pressure, in spite of the suppression pool, if you look at the WASH 1400 safety study, you'll find something like a 90% probability of that containment failing." In order to protect the Mark I containment from a total rupture it was determined necessary to vent any high pressure buildup. As a result, an industry workgroup designed and installed the "direct torus vent system" at all Mark I reactors. Operated from the control room, the vent is a reinforced pipe installed in the torus and designed to release radioactive high pressure steam generated in a severe accident by allowing the unfiltered release directly to the atmosphere through the 300 foot vent stack. Reactor operators now have the option by direct action to expose the public and the environment to unknown amounts of harmful radiation in order to "save containment." As a result of GE's design deficiency, the original idea for a passive containment system has been dangerously compromised and given over to human control with all its associated risks of error and technical failure.

DETERIORATION OF BWR SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS

It is becoming increasingly clear that the aging of reactor components poses serious economic and safety risks at BWRs. A report by NRC published in 1993 confirmed that age-related degradation in BWRs will damage or destroy many vital safety-related components inside the reactor vessel before the forty year license expires. The NRC report states "Failure of internals could create conditions that may challenge the integrity the reactor primary containment systems." The study looked at major components in the reactor vessel and found that safety-related parts were vulnerable to failure as the result of the deterioration of susceptible materials (Type 304 stainless steel ) due to chronic radiation exposure, heat, fatigue, and corrosive chemistry. One such safety-related component is the core shroud and it is also an indicator of cracking in other vital components through the reactor made of the same material.

Core Shroud Cracking

The core shroud is a large stainless steel cylinder of circumferentially welded plates surrounding the reactor fuel core. The shroud provides for the core geometry of the fuel bundles. It is integral to providing a refloodable compartment in the event of a loss-of-coolant-accident. Extensive cracking of circumferential welds on the core shroud has been discovered in a growing number of U.S. and foreign BWRs. A lateral shift along circumferential cracks at the welds by as little as 1/8 inch can result in the misalignment of the fuel and the inability to insert the control rods coupled with loss of fuel core cooling capability. This scenario can result in a core melt accident. A German utility operating a GE BWR where extensive core shroud cracking was identified estimated the cost of replacement at $65 million dollars. The Wuergassen reactor, Germany's oldest boiling water reactor, was closed in 1995 after wary German nuclear regulators rejected a plan to repair rather than replace the reactor's cracked core shroud.

Rather than address the central issue of age related deterioration, U.S. BWR operators now opt for a dangerous piecemeal approach of patching cracking parts at least cost but increased risk.

Paul Gunter, NIRS, March, 1996

http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/bwrfact.htm

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 10:47 PM
fair enough, my apologies, but your intent wasn't clear. The damage was small and we've learned quite a bit since then.

This study was done in the 1980s, not the 1950's.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:48 PM
:doh!:

"no one" meaning "more than a couple hapless people who died of thyroid cancer or leukemia after 15 more years."

obviously

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:50 PM
This study was done in the 1980s, not the 1950's.

The incompetent water pollution from the government was done in the 50's. At least according to my quick research, I remembered seeing that it peaked in 1954 or something like that. I presumed that the study focused on people.

Either way, it remains that we've learned a thing or two since the 50's and the 80's, and the fatality scoreboard is still a few thousand for nuclear and a hell of a lot more for coal.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-15-2011, 10:50 PM
Those fuel rod pools aside (seriously, get some water-dropping helicopters if you have to, they aren't that hot and this shouldn't be hard), here's the likely worst-case scenario.

This one reactor melts down. The concrete container holds long enough for the nuclear fuel to be safely encased. Beyond a mile or so, the radiation is not much. After a few days, the radiation is next to nothing even when you stand right next to the facility. This company pays for an expensive cleanup operation. A few workers from the nuclear power plant get cancer and die after a few decades. The world moves on, no one is really hurt. Some silly americans continue to panic over something that isn't as dangerous as coal power.

the fuel rod pools are not open to the atmosphere, they are in a containment area, and therefore cannot be replenished by helicopter.

And concrete or not, if those reactors melt down, they will LITERALLY melt through anything in the way - steel, concrete, kryptonite. That is the real hazard.

teedubya
03-15-2011, 10:51 PM
This is a great link to watch the press conferences and shit. There are 3 screens and one Japanese doing translating everything.

http://www.ustwrap.info/multi/yokosonews::nhk-world-tv::tbstv

orange
03-15-2011, 10:52 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/23/Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg/568px-Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg.png


Could someone superimpose this to scale over a map of Japan?

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:53 PM
Yes, we have:

It will never stop being hilarious to me that we demand absolute zero-death perfection but we blithely shrug our shoulders when tens or hundreds of thousands die due to coal power.

It all comes back to our caveman brain. We can understand rocks burning and we can accept the harm of dirty air, but nuclear power is frightening voodoo magic.

thecoffeeguy
03-15-2011, 10:54 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/23/Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg/568px-Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg.png


Could someone superimpose this to scale over a map of Japan?

Interesting. The fallout is not what i thought.
Wasn't it Sweden that reported the accident, since Russa never did?

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:55 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/23/Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg/568px-Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg.png


Could someone superimpose this to scale over a map of Japan?

feel free to. It wont mean a damned thing. People who lived within a few god-damned kilos did not get more than a hundred or so mSv the weeks after the blast, and after a few months, almost everything in the entire freaking map outside the plant was basically free of radiation.

Dylan
03-15-2011, 10:56 PM
Those fuel rod pools aside (seriously, get some water-dropping helicopters if you have to, they aren't that hot and this shouldn't be hard), here's the likely worst-case scenario.

This one reactor melts down. The concrete container holds long enough for the nuclear fuel to be safely encased. Beyond a mile or so, the radiation is not much. After a few days, the radiation is next to nothing even when you stand right next to the facility. This company pays for an expensive cleanup operation. A few workers from the nuclear power plant get cancer and die after a few decades. The world moves on, no one is really hurt. Some silly americans continue to panic over something that isn't as dangerous as coal power.

Breaking News: Japan unveils a new high-level advisory.

Japan suspends work at stricken nuclear plant

By ERIC TALMADGE and SHINO YUASA
Associated Press
Mar 15, 11:18 PM EDT

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) -- Japan suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said work on dousing reactors with water was disrupted by the need to withdraw.

The level of radiation at the plant surged to 1,000 millisieverts early Wednesday before coming down to 800-600 millisieverts. Still, that was far more than the average




http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_JAPAN_EARTHQUAKE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-15-23-18-17

orange
03-15-2011, 10:57 PM
feel free to. It wont mean a damned thing.


Those red and pink zones - they're PERMANENTLY EVACUATED.

Does THAT "mean a damned thing?"

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:58 PM
And concrete or not, if those reactors melt down, they will LITERALLY melt through anything in the way - steel, concrete, kryptonite. That is the real hazard.

Its been several days. After about a week, they would have been shutdown cold. Chernobyl was bad primarily because it blew up almost instantly after a problem was detected. At this point in time, after many days of being sprayed and dunked in water, its doubtful that they will burn through several feet of concrete.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 10:59 PM
Breaking News: Japan unveils a new high-level advisory.

Japan suspends work at stricken nuclear plant

By ERIC TALMADGE and SHINO YUASA
Associated Press
Mar 15, 11:18 PM EDT

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) -- Japan suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility.



http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_JAPAN_EARTHQUAKE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-15-23-18-17

you are 1 or two pages behind, this is old news. and also not indicative of a crisis. There would have been plenty of workers who were willing to risk their lives if it meant people were in harm's way.

They aren't. In a few days this media-hyped panic in Japan will look utterly retarded.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-15-2011, 11:00 PM
feel free to. It wont mean a damned thing. People who lived within a few god-damned kilos did not get more than a hundred or so mSv the weeks after the blast, and after a few months, almost everything in the entire freaking map outside the plant was basically free of radiation.

you are either sadly mistaken or a fool. Much of the area around Chernobyl is still contaminated and uninhabitable and will be for hundreds of years.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 11:02 PM
Those red and pink zones - they're PERMANENTLY EVACUATED.

Does THAT "mean a damned thing?"

yes, it does. Because politicians are stupid, and people are ignorant of radiation, which to our primitive caveman brains looks like voodoo magic.

Stop hyperventalating and look at the cold hard facts on what amount of radiation is, or is not, present in those areas, right now, compared to what the sun blasts you with everyday and what it takes to be harmed.

People are stupid. If the government tells them they can move back into Chernobyl, a lot of them would scream, and if anyone can make up a BS story that they got cancer after being told it was now safe, they'd sue. Russia is big, might as well fence it off.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:03 PM
The incompetent water pollution from the government was done in the 50's. At least according to my quick research, I remembered seeing that it peaked in 1954 or something like that. I presumed that the study focused on people.

Either way, it remains that we've learned a thing or two since the 50's and the 80's, and the fatality scoreboard is still a few thousand for nuclear and a hell of a lot more for coal.

I'm not speaking of water pollution, I'm speaking of a systematic study of the long term health effects of nuclear workers conducted by Thomas Mancuso and Alice Stewart that determined even low-level exposure at weapons plants and reactors increased the risk of cancer in individuals greatly. At Hanford it was 20 times the national average.

FWIW, when talking about safety, you should consult the supralinear hypothesis of Karl Z. Morgan, who was a pioneer in the field of health physics.

It was assumed for many years that you could predict the rate of malignancy per the total amount of radiation that people were exposed to. Basically, for every 1,000 person-rems (old terminology) of exposure, you would get one cancer. It didn't matter how evenly it was spread, whether 500 person-rems to two people or 1 to 1000, you would get an equivalent number of cancers Well, in fact this is incorrect. The supralinear hypothesis suggests that the wider you spread out of the dose the more cancers you will have at those lower levels, even if each individual is getting a smaller total dose.

In essence, there is no safe, sub-clinical dose of radiation, and while your rate of cancer goes up with the amount of exposure, those small exposures are actually more dangerous per unit dose.

Dylan
03-15-2011, 11:04 PM
you are 1 or two pages behind, this is old news. and also not indicative of a crisis. There would have been plenty of workers who were willing to risk their lives if it meant people were in harm's way.

They aren't. In a few days this media-hyped panic in Japan will look utterly retarded.

:facepalm:


o:-) hope you're right...

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:05 PM
For anyone who is interested in how "overwrought" Chernobyl was, look up Becquerel Reindeer.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-15-2011, 11:06 PM
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/asia-pacific/area-around-chernobyl-remains-uninhabitable-25-years-later/article1943614/

mikeyis4dcats.
03-15-2011, 11:10 PM
a rare picture of alnorth at work.

http://blog.rypple.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Homer-Simpson.jpg

Phobia
03-15-2011, 11:16 PM
So you're telling me I'm not going to be glowing by the weekend?

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:18 PM
yes, it does. Because politicians are stupid, and people are ignorant of radiation, which to our primitive caveman brains looks like voodoo magic.

Stop hyperventalating and look at the cold hard facts on what amount of radiation is, or is not, present in those areas, right now, compared to what the sun blasts you with everyday and what it takes to be harmed.

People are stupid. If the government tells them they can move back into Chernobyl, a lot of them would scream, and if anyone can make up a BS story that they got cancer after being told it was now safe, they'd sue. Russia is big, might as well fence it off.

That's stupid as hell. .04 microcuries was the dose set by the government as the absolute maximum for workers to receive, and that was 240 times too high. Now, those areas, 10 years after the meltdown, had 40 curies per square km of Cesium 137 alone. That's not counting the residual strontium-90 (almost equivalent half life) or plutonium 239, which has a much, much longer half life.

You ingest a particle of plutonium, you're dead. Do not cross Go, do not collect $200. You will get cancer, and you will die. You ingest strontium 90 and you can expect an awesome case of bone cancer or leukemia.

Those areas are now, due to decay, safe for short term exposures, but only the stupidest of fools would live anywhere near there.

Dave Lane
03-15-2011, 11:24 PM
Makes me nervous, being here on the west coast. I am already making contingency plans to leave if I have to. Little nerve racking right now.

hOLY SHIT ROFL

alnorth
03-15-2011, 11:26 PM
you are either sadly mistaken or a fool. Much of the area around Chernobyl is still contaminated and uninhabitable and will be for hundreds of years.

It is so uninhabitable that it is now a tourist trap. You can get a day pass to visit the nuclear reactor. (no, you cant go inside, but you'll be able to take a picture)

If you stand outside the chernobyl plant, you will apparently be exposed to about 15 microSv/hr. That is about 131 mSv/yr, presuming you build a house right next to the deadly nuclear reactor and live there. Obviously you wouldn't do that since you'd be about 7% more likely to get cancer each year, but go out a few more miles and the radiation drops closer to 1-2 microSv/hr. 30km is just overkill, and the map is silly.

Chernobyl is more valuable to Russia as a wildlife preserve and a tourist destination than a town that no one wants to move to.

FAX
03-15-2011, 11:31 PM
Here's something to panic over a little.

The beautiful and witty Mrs. FAX is a co-chair of a THYCA group (Thyroid Cancer Survivors). She has told me that many of the people in the group (if not most of them) have been exposed to radiation in the past ... before they contracted thyroid cancer. Apparently, back in the old days, they used to use radiation as a treatment for juvenile acne among other things. Crazy.

Regardless of how proud you are of your macho balls, radiation isn't something to screw around with. Else, your balls may no longer function as balls, but more like little, shriveled, rear-view-mirror charms.

FAX

FAX
03-15-2011, 11:32 PM
We scientists like to say, "You take some rads, you lose your nads."

FAX

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:33 PM
Here's something to panic over a little.

The beautiful and witty Mrs. FAX is a co-chair of a THYCA group (Thyroid Cancer Survivors). She has told me that many of the people in the group (if not most of them) have been exposed to radiation in the past ... before they contracted thyroid cancer. Apparently, back in the old days, they used to use radiation as a treatment for juvenile acne among other things. Crazy.

Regardless of how proud you are of your macho balls, radiation isn't something to screw around with. Else, your balls may no longer function as balls, but more like little, shriveled, rear-view-mirror charms.

FAX

Radium used to be a treatment for arthritis, and it fetched insane sums from afflicted individuals. In fact, the world's first true Uranium mine was located at a place called St. Joachamsthal, a resort town where people would go to bathe in the heated springs of radioactive water to soothe their aches and pains.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:35 PM
Here's something to panic over a little.

The beautiful and witty Mrs. FAX is a co-chair of a THYCA group (Thyroid Cancer Survivors). She has told me that many of the people in the group (if not most of them) have been exposed to radiation in the past ... before they contracted thyroid cancer. Apparently, back in the old days, they used to use radiation as a treatment for juvenile acne among other things. Crazy.

Regardless of how proud you are of your macho balls, radiation isn't something to screw around with. Else, your balls may no longer function as balls, but more like little, shriveled, rear-view-mirror charms.

FAX

You live in Tennessee, right? It's more than likely that a lot of individuals affiliated with your wife worked in or around the Oak Ridge complex

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:37 PM
It is so uninhabitable that it is now a tourist trap. You can get a day pass to visit the nuclear reactor. (no, you cant go inside, but you'll be able to take a picture)

If you stand outside the chernobyl plant, you will apparently be exposed to about 15 microSv/hr. That is about 131 mSv/yr, presuming you build a house right next to the deadly nuclear reactor and live there. Obviously you wouldn't do that since you'd be about 7% more likely to get cancer each year, but go out a few more miles and the radiation drops closer to 1-2 microSv/hr. 30km is just overkill, and the map is silly.

Chernobyl is more valuable to Russia as a wildlife preserve and a tourist destination than a town that no one wants to move to.

You can visit the Nevada test site, too. It doesn't mean that you should live there.

FAX
03-15-2011, 11:39 PM
Radium used to be a treatment for arthritis, and it fetched insane sums from afflicted individuals. In fact, the world's first true Uranium mine was located at a place called St. Joachamsthal, a resort town where people would go to bathe in the heated springs of radioactive water to soothe their aches and pains.

I'm unsurprised. But a little disappointed. Still, we scientists have to adapt to new facts as they're discovered. You can't expect us to know everything about stuff.

I was watching this program on the television thing one time about old-time inventions. They talked a lot about the use of x-rays for a variety of things like shoe-fitting in shoe stores and relieving headaches and stuff like that.

The x-rays were completely unshielded and, apparently, the shoe salesmen were always getting sick. I guess it's better to have a good-fitting pair of loafers than to feel good, though.

FAX

orange
03-15-2011, 11:39 PM
It is so uninhabitable that it is now a tourist trap.

Sure, it's not uninhabitable - if you consider a "community" where you can live for an hour or two before being forced to leave "inhabitable" (but be sure not to drink the water, touch the vegetation, or go anywhere near the Radiation signs).

alnorth
03-15-2011, 11:41 PM
It is so uninhabitable that it is now a tourist trap. You can get a day pass to visit the nuclear reactor. (no, you cant go inside, but you'll be able to take a picture)

If you stand outside the chernobyl plant, you will apparently be exposed to about 15 microSv/hr. That is about 131 mSv/yr, presuming you build a house right next to the deadly nuclear reactor and live there. Obviously you wouldn't do that since you'd be about 7% more likely to get cancer each year, but go out a few more miles and the radiation drops closer to 1-2 microSv/hr. 30km is just overkill, and the map is silly.

Chernobyl is more valuable to Russia as a wildlife preserve and a tourist destination than a town that no one wants to move to.

woops, made a calculation mistake.

If you build a house right next to the chernobyl nuclear plant and freaking live there, you will be 0.65% more likely to get cancer per year. Yes, that is zero point six five percent. (Those odds drastically go down if you are a few miles out)

Wow, deadly stuff, man.

That said, I dont blame russians for wanting to live somewhere else in their vast, vast nation, but chernobyl is NOT uninhabitable by any stretch of the imagination.

Seriously, abandon your primitive "I fear the unknown" caveman emotions and look at the cold, hard science.

alnorth
03-15-2011, 11:43 PM
Sure, it's not uninhabitable - if you consider a "community" where you can live for an hour or two before being forced to leave "inhabitable" (but be sure not to drink the water, touch the vegetation, or go anywhere near the Radiation signs).

you literally do not know what you are talking about

FAX
03-15-2011, 11:43 PM
I have to agree with Mr. alnorth.

The cold, hard science proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that two-headed babies grow up to make excellent security guards.

FAX

FAX
03-15-2011, 11:45 PM
In all seriousness, though ... 0.65% may not seem like a lot, but I'll pass.

I prefer my chances of contracting cancer to be 0.00%, if you don't mind.

FAX

BIG_DADDY
03-15-2011, 11:45 PM
woops, made a calculation mistake.

If you build a house right next to the chernobyl nuclear plant and freaking live there, you will be 0.65% more likely to get cancer per year. Yes, that is zero point six five percent. (Those odds drastically go down if you are a few miles out)

Wow, deadly stuff, man.

That said, I dont blame russians for wanting to live somewhere else in their vast, vast nation, but chernobyl is NOT uninhabitable by any stretch of the imagination.

Seriously, abandon your primitive "I fear the unknown" caveman emotions and look at the cold, hard science.

I'm thinking you should should build your next house there. I'm sure you could get one hell of a deal and you would really be showing us. Might even be able to get you some of that tourist tang too. Don't worry though I will send you the most recent vaccines so you stay on schedule and plenty GMO foods.

orange
03-15-2011, 11:49 PM
you literally do not know what you are talking about

You literally are a moron.

Vehicle scrap yard: Important - Passage to "Rossokha" village, cemetery of military machineries - ACCESS FORBIDDEN BY THE GOVERNMENT STARTING APRIL 2008! The scrap yard contains the irradiated emergency vehicles which tended the disaster. There are a number of fire tenders, ambulances, trucks and helicopters in the vehicle graveyard, although some of the vehicles are now being sold as scrap metal. You will no longer be able to gain entry there, but as some of the vehicles are still carrying lethal doses of radiation, this isn't a bad thing.

...

Tap water in the area remains unsafe for drinking or washing because of the radiation that leaked into surrounding dams, lakes and rivers, so stick to bottled water or mineral water - which in Ukraine is predominantly sparkling.

...

Stay on roads, the radiation levels on areas covered by vegetation are significantly higher. Even more important, the risk for contamination when walking amongst vegetation is higher because it is more difficult to avoid touching or inhaling anything. Radiation ends when you leave the place, but you don't want radioactive elements inside your body. Follow common sense if you are on your own; if you see an area marked with a radiation sign, the meaning is clear: DON'T GO THERE.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Chernobyl

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:53 PM
Let's just say, hypothetically, that you were foolish enough to live in Pripyat. The atmospheric radiation isn't going to be what gets you, it's going to be the particles you ingest from the water you drink, particles that are still radioactive, and have long ago infiltrated the water table.

Ebolapox
03-15-2011, 11:53 PM
I'm thinking you should should build your next house there. I'm sure you could get one hell of a deal and you would really be showing us. Might even be able to get you some of that tourist tang too. Don't worry though I will send you the most recent vaccines so you stay on schedule and plenty GMO foods.

hell, he should make sure not to vaccinate his kids either AMIRITE?!?

:p

BIG_DADDY
03-15-2011, 11:54 PM
You literally are a moron.

Vehicle scrap yard: Important - Passage to "Rossokha" village, cemetery of military machineries - ACCESS FORBIDDEN BY THE GOVERNMENT STARTING APRIL 2008! The scrap yard contains the irradiated emergency vehicles which tended the disaster. There are a number of fire tenders, ambulances, trucks and helicopters in the vehicle graveyard, although some of the vehicles are now being sold as scrap metal. You will no longer be able to gain entry there, but as some of the vehicles are still carrying lethal doses of radiation, this isn't a bad thing.

...

Tap water in the area remains unsafe for drinking or washing because of the radiation that leaked into surrounding dams, lakes and rivers, so stick to bottled water or mineral water - which in Ukraine is predominantly sparkling.

...

Stay on roads, the radiation levels on areas covered by vegetation are significantly higher. Even more important, the risk for contamination when walking amongst vegetation is higher because it is more difficult to avoid touching or inhaling anything. Radiation ends when you leave the place, but you don't want radioactive elements inside your body. Follow common sense if you are on your own; if you see an area marked with a radiation sign, the meaning is clear: DON'T GO THERE.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Chernobyl

Don't be a dumb ass chicken. I would grow my own food out there no problem. Hell, I'm thinking tourist guide might be in my future so I can teach the uninformed morons like you.

Ebolapox
03-15-2011, 11:55 PM
Let's just say, hypothetically, that you were foolish enough to live in Pripyat. The atmospheric radiation isn't going to be what gets you, it's going to be the particles you ingest from the water you drink, particles that are still radioactive, and have long ago infiltrated the water table.

and according to wiki, some people STILL live there and the town of chernobyl. apparently, they used the other reactors of chernobyl until 2000 or so. granted, consider the source... but shocking nonetheless.

Ebolapox
03-15-2011, 11:56 PM
Don't be a dumb ass chicken. I would grow my own food out there no problem. Hell, I'm thinking tourist guide might be in my future so I can teach the uninformed morons like you.

shit, I'm not touching this one. o:-):thumb:

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-15-2011, 11:57 PM
and according to wiki, some people STILL live there and the town of chernobyl. apparently, they used the other reactors of chernobyl until 2000 or so. granted, consider the source... but shocking nonetheless.

Sounds like the poor bastards who inhabited St. George, Utah. Downwind for all the fallout from the Nevada Test Site :facepalm:

orange
03-15-2011, 11:59 PM
and according to wiki, some people STILL live there and the town of chernobyl. apparently, they used the other reactors of chernobyl until 2000 or so. granted, consider the source... but shocking nonetheless.

Squatters*. Haven't you seen enough sci-fi to know there are always some of those?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-SRYPec0ur0/TI4RtNx2ZJI/AAAAAAAALp0/TK4N_lC0KmA/s1600/the_omega_man_large_02.jpg



* and people as muleheaded as alnorth.

BIG_DADDY
03-16-2011, 12:01 AM
Squatters. Haven't you seen enough sci-fi to know there are always some of those?

So that's where you have been getting all your information.

orange
03-16-2011, 12:04 AM
So that's where you have been getting all your information.

Only the sci. I get my poli from poli-fi, of course.

WoodDraw
03-16-2011, 12:04 AM
So I was just searching youtube for some videos on nuclear power, and this one had gotten a lot of hits over the past few days obviously. People are posting all sorts of critiques and bs that you'd expect. The author replies:

"haha im no nuclear physicist, i just get stoned and make videos!! haha either way 122,000 hits is awesome"


I don't think I've ever found a better definition of the internet.

alnorth
03-16-2011, 12:06 AM
You literally are a moron.

Vehicle scrap yard: Important - Passage to "Rossokha" village, cemetery of military machineries - ACCESS FORBIDDEN BY THE GOVERNMENT STARTING APRIL 2008! The scrap yard contains the irradiated emergency vehicles which tended the disaster. There are a number of fire tenders, ambulances, trucks and helicopters in the vehicle graveyard, although some of the vehicles are now being sold as scrap metal. You will no longer be able to gain entry there, but as some of the vehicles are still carrying lethal doses of radiation, this isn't a bad thing.

...

Tap water in the area remains unsafe for drinking or washing because of the radiation that leaked into surrounding dams, lakes and rivers, so stick to bottled water or mineral water - which in Ukraine is predominantly sparkling.

...

Stay on roads, the radiation levels on areas covered by vegetation are significantly higher. Even more important, the risk for contamination when walking amongst vegetation is higher because it is more difficult to avoid touching or inhaling anything. Radiation ends when you leave the place, but you don't want radioactive elements inside your body. Follow common sense if you are on your own; if you see an area marked with a radiation sign, the meaning is clear: DON'T GO THERE.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Chernobyl

yes, because obviously you should believe everything the Russian government says, for whatever political reasons they have to say it, and COMPLETELY IGNORE the cold, hard reality that a few microSv/hr is not much more than what you get from sunlight. But you refuse to see any of that or understand, because you are still trapped in that caveman brain which is utterly terrified of this voodoo magic known as nuclear radiation. Screw understanding it, nuclear radiation = bad!

Those seriously responding to my 0.7%/year cancer risk seriously, that was an absolute extreme example. If you go out a few miles, that background radiation cancer risk drops close to zero.

My point is not that you should build a house right next to the chernobyl plant. (building next to an industrial wasteland is bad for property values anyway) my point is that living a few miles away from chernobyl is not much worse than living in kansas city.

alnorth
03-16-2011, 12:08 AM
Let's just say, hypothetically, that you were foolish enough to live in Pripyat. The atmospheric radiation isn't going to be what gets you, it's going to be the particles you ingest from the water you drink, particles that are still radioactive, and have long ago infiltrated the water table.

prove it

orange
03-16-2011, 12:10 AM
yes, because obviously you should believe everything the Russian government says


Is the Ukrainian government a little more credible?

Chocolate Hog
03-16-2011, 12:15 AM
I bet Orange is one of those little weasel liberals that drives around neighborhoods in his soccer van stealing others wifi.

BIG_DADDY
03-16-2011, 12:17 AM
I bet Orange is one of those little weasel liberals that drives around neighborhoods in his soccer van stealing others wifi.

You even read the thread?

alnorth
03-16-2011, 12:21 AM
Lets not lose sight of the fact that a chernobyl-like explosion within the middle of a reactor has been rendered virtually impossible today.

All these downside risks and long-term catastrophes I'm downplaying? I'm downplaying something that wont ever f*cking happen!

We, collectively as humans, are so god damn stupid that we easily accept huge health impacts from coal power but demand absolute zero-risk perfection from nuclear, without the slightest regard for common sense or logic, and when the least little accident happens we point to something decades ago from the infancy of our understanding of nuclear power safety, as if that would ever happen again.

Chernobyl: "woops, we did something dumb and now we have a problem" to total disaster within a few hours.

Japan, one in a f**king hundred year 9.0 earthquake and 30-foot tsunami, in a place where the plant probably should not have been built, still using old technology, and several days later a disaster still has not happened and they still might get away with no one ever actually dying from the incident.

Regardless, we might use this event to stop the building of nuclear plants in freaking Iowa, far from any fault or ocean. But coal power plants? Feel free to spew away without the slightest question about health impacts. Are we just god-damn stupid, or what?

WoodDraw
03-16-2011, 12:24 AM
Dude, I think you're arguing with yourself. Has anyone here even brought up energy policy? Maybe I missed it...

BIG_DADDY
03-16-2011, 12:25 AM
Lets not lose sight of the fact that a chernobyl-like explosion within the middle of a reactor has been rendered virtually impossible today.

All these downside risks and long-term catastrophes I'm downplaying? I'm downplaying something that wont ever f*cking happen!

We, collectively as humans, are so god damn stupid that we easily accept huge health impacts from coal power but demand absolute zero-risk perfection from nuclear, without the slightest regard for common sense or logic, and when the least little accident happens we point to something decades ago from the infancy of our understanding of nuclear power safety, as if that would ever happen again.

Chernobyl: "woops, we did something dumb and now we have a problem" to total disaster within a few hours.

Japan, one in a f**king hundred year 9.0 earthquake and 30-foot tsunami, in a place where the plant probably should not have been built, still using old technology, and several days later a disaster still has not happened and they still might get away with no one ever actually dying from the incident.

Regardless, we might use this event to stop the building of nuclear plants in freaking Iowa, far from any fault or ocean. But coal power plants? Feel free to spew away without the slightest question about health impacts. Are we just god-damn stupid, or what?

I must have missed the part where everyone wanted to shut down all nuclear power plants, my apologies.

With all the x-rays I have had in life I am probably a dead man walking anyway.

orange
03-16-2011, 12:26 AM
The burning of the spent fuel rods could produce a Chernobyl-like radiation zone. And the leaking of the melted rods into the water supply if the containment is breached could be even worse.

These expert analyses have been posted here, feel free to look at them.

LOL

Okay, that's absurd. Feel free to continue to ignore them.

alnorth
03-16-2011, 12:28 AM
Dude, I think you're arguing with yourself. Has anyone here even brought up energy policy? Maybe I missed it...

Well, either I'm addressing serious substantive concerns about the use of nuclear power in the USA, or people are engaging in stupid nit-picking. If I'm talking to a bunch of nit-pickers then we're just being silly in this "debate".

Either way, it should be full steam ahead for approval of US nuclear power plants, if any investors want to use the latest technology and safe practices.

alnorth
03-16-2011, 12:29 AM
The burning of the spent fuel rods could produce a Chernobyl-like radiation zone. And the leaking of the melted rods into the water supply if the containment is breached could be even worse.

These expert analyses have been posted here, feel free to look at them.

LOL

Okay, that's absurd. Feel free to continue to ignore them.

yeah, because obviously this is a permanant situation. If you go out a few miles, the radiation is freaking small, in an area that has been evacuated.

Deberg_1990
03-16-2011, 12:30 AM
Maybe we need to revisit the thread from last year about the Gulf Oil Spill to see how much kneejerk and overreaction came true....

BIG_DADDY
03-16-2011, 12:33 AM
Well, either I'm addressing serious substantive concerns about the use of nuclear power in the USA, or people are engaging in stupid nit-picking. If I'm talking to a bunch of nit-pickers then we're just being silly in this "debate".

Either way, it should be full steam ahead for approval of US nuclear power plants, if any investors want to use the latest technology and safe practices.

Oh I get it, what your trying to say now is that nobody ever even said that. You're crafty dude, I gotta hand it to you. You slipped that in there real nice like.

alnorth
03-16-2011, 12:34 AM
oh, and if it means anything in the "nuclear power is bad" narrative, the radiation has apparently fallen enough for workers to return to the plants in Japan. That was quick. Apparently this was another temporary local little spike.

Dylan
03-16-2011, 12:45 AM
alnorth: I was wondering if you could talk about kind of longer-term expectations for operating Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant?

Seriously. New York has its own nuclear power plant apocalypse to think about.

Thanks

alnorth
03-16-2011, 01:06 AM
alnorth: I was wondering if you could talk about kind of longer-term expectations for operating Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant?

Seriously. New York has its own nuclear power plant apocalypse to think about.

Thanks

quickly looked into it, and not sure what there is to say? This plant was designed to withstand an earthquake 10 times stronger than any earthquake that has ever been recorded in that region. Above and beyond even that, a similar plant built elsewhere was able to withstand a quake that was over *ONE HUNDRED* time stronger than any quake this plant would ever face, according to the experts.

This plant is also apparently able to withstand a direct impact from a jet, which is just amazing to me.

Even freaking greenpeace, which is normally an irrationally insane organization regarding nuclear power, is fine with indian point.

teedubya
03-16-2011, 02:29 AM
This geologist, Jim Berkland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Berkland), predicted the 1989 World Series earthquake a few days before the quake hit... he said that those same "ideal conditions" are ripe for an earthquake on the West Coast on March 19th, due to the position of the moon and the tide.

Plus, those millions of dead fish that popped up on the shore in Redondo Beach a week or so ago are a telling sign.

Talks about the Ring of Fire... How it hit Chile first... then New Zealand... then Japan... next the West Coast.

Interesting research, none the less... states that the pressure relieved in Chile, added more pressure to the New Zealand... which then added more pressure to Japan... and now the west coast will need to relieve the pressure.

Anyway, here is his prediction, and why...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-vZkPP1RfQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=17s

Here is a second interview:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xQXDt4VdS0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

teedubya
03-16-2011, 02:43 AM
Here is what the plant looks like currently, with the latest satellite picture.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/full/258574137.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0ZRYP5X5F6FSMBCCSE82&Expires=1300262296&Signature=JuXwTdTx1oQYbCOQEgV4fajuyvI%3D

rrl308
03-16-2011, 04:14 AM
This geologist, Jim Berkland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Berkland), predicted the 1989 World Series earthquake a few days before the quake hit... he said that those same "ideal conditions" are ripe for an earthquake on the West Coast on March 19th, due to the position of the moon and the tide.

Plus, those millions of dead fish that popped up on the shore in Redondo Beach a week or so ago are a telling sign.

Talks about the Ring of Fire... How it hit Chile first... then New Zealand... then Japan... next the West Coast.

Interesting research, none the less... states that the pressure relieved in Chile, added more pressure to the New Zealand... which then added more pressure to Japan... and now the west coast will need to relieve the pressure.

Anyway, here is his prediction, and why...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-vZkPP1RfQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=17s

Here is a second interview:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xQXDt4VdS0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

If one hits in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, it's not going to be good.

rrl308
03-16-2011, 04:18 AM
by Kerry Sheridan – Tue Mar 15, 3:35 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The western United States is overdue for a huge earthquake and tsunami much like the one that devastated Japan last week, and is nowhere near ready to cope with the disaster, experts say.

A volatile, horseshoe-shaped area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire has recently erupted with quakes in Chile, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand, and seismologists say it is just a matter of time before the next big one hits.

Twin fault lines place the US west at risk: the San Andreas fault that scars the length of California and the lesser-known but more potent Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Coast.

A 9.0 quake in this underwater fault that stretches from the northern tip of California all the way to Canada's British Columbia could simultaneously rattle major port cities of Vancouver, Portland and Seattle, unleash a massive tsunami and kill thousands of people.

"From the geological standpoint, this earthquake occurs very regularly," said geotechnical engineer Yumei Wang, who is the geohazards team leader at the Oregon Department of Geology.

"With the Cascadia fault, we have records of 41 earthquakes in the last 10,000 years with an average of 240 years apart. Our last one was 311 years ago so we are overdue," she said.


Rest of Article
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110315/ts_alt_afp/japanquakeriskus_20110315193603