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Thread: Nuclear plants in Japan risk meltdown

  1. #31
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Mark,
    It does get a little silly sometimes the bickering. This is truly a tragedy and it is far, far from being over.
    Arguing over which nation can help the most? This is a time when whoever can help, should help. More power to them. As far as fixing blame for something of this magnitude, it's easy to see after the fact, that things went badly. But is there really anyone of us that would have guessed that a wave would do that much damage?
    Until St Helen's blew in the state of Washington, experts said that type of destruction would take millions of years. And after the mountain blew, textbooks were changed to read; It happens in seconds.

    My Japanese sister in-law used to live in Hilo, on the big Island of Hawaii. They had Tsunami's there too.



    The West Coast of the United States is well aware that we too can suffer the same fate. And we have nuclear plants pretty close to our coast line. Like anything that happens, and remember, this is the worst occurance in our recorded history. Sure it may have happened before, but I don't think anyone really believed it until now.
    Now we in Seattle, now we know.

    Last edited by Terry; 03-16-2011 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #32
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    There's been a third reactor blast. These are all old GE reactors.

    We still have lots of those on the East Coast. But then we don't get quakes here often.

    This is all pointing to a California quake soon. These fractures are all related, or so I fear.

    One thing I don't get is if powering the cooling pumps was the problem then why wasn't a line run to link up to one of the American carriers off the coast? The last time I looked, these plants were located on the coast, so distance shouldn't have been a problem.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 03-14-2011 at 06:12 PM.

  3. #33
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    There's been a third reactor blast.
    Wow!
    That's horrible!

    Here are before and after the tsunami arial photos of the plant.
    As you can see a lot of the equipment surrounding the plant was wiped out.

    Before...



    After...


    It's no wonder they had problems keeping things going....

    Ian I don't think it matters what kind of reactor was installed or how old they are...

    It's that same as what would happen with any car if you drained the radiator and went on a long drive....

    Something is gonna get hot and nothing good will come from it....
    Last edited by Redwood; 03-14-2011 at 08:34 PM.

  4. #34
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Terry, you must be referring to my reply to Ians and redwoods play about darwin and natural selection. Its not about Japanese, its about the thin veneer of civilization we live under and what would happen ANYWHERE on earth when the power goes out and the MRE's stop arriving.

    Japanese in our family too, and very fond memories of my ex-Japanese fiancee. We were well taught by our parents to know and tolerate all races, but to seperate out the morons on an individual basis. Dad watched all his buddies die by the hands of the japanese, but never had a harsh word for the people as a whole.

    4" of containment or 400" do not matter when you put the back-up generators on a beach instead of those big flat, unused roofs. And forgot to store enough fuel anyway.

    It's all about design, and the willingness to spend enough money for higher levels of redundancy. Considering our devotion and awe of japanese cars, I find it highly ironic that a country that has engineers that can make the Prius cannot notice that for the cost of a few, their generators could have been protected.

    The Russians had an excuse for Chernobyl [and I have been there] ; A society beaten down into a bottle of vodka by a monstrous socialist system creating "5 year plans"

    If you didnt meet the "plan" your life went into the toilet. So every shortcut possible was taken to meet absurd goals. A quick way for a reactor to get built is to not bother with a containment structure. Then, because jobs were often dispensed not by performance and merit, but rather by a communist party buddy system, incompetents often ran them. Recipe for disaster.

    The Japanese don't have those excuses and could have done a better job.

    BV wrote;

    And all horseplay aside, no humans should face this three punch knockout they have suffered. If these plants melt down, japan will lose about half of its real estate. At least we have places to move people to.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-15-2011 at 09:51 AM.

  5. #35
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    They don't need an aircraft carrier or even two right now.
    So Ian, I notice your opinion of the American aircraft carriers has adjusted upwards a bit since that statement.

    One thing I don't get is if powering the cooling pumps was the problem then why wasn't a line run to link up to one of the American carriers off the coast? The last time I looked, these plants were located on the coast, so distance shouldn't have been a problem
    .

    If anyone knows japanese culture, they are an intensely proud and "do for ourself" nation. Often to the point of very bad decisions. In an airplane crash some years a go, the Americans found the site, and were landing men there when the Japanese rescue forces forbid them to help.

    The japanese did not get there until the next morning, and 30 or 40 people perished in that night. I have a feeling that some of that pride will be found to have contributed to the meltdown.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-15-2011 at 09:50 AM.

  6. #36
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I notice your opinion of the American aircraft carriers has adjusted upwards a bit since that statement.
    Not really. I think they will come into play once the search and rescue stage has ended. They will be an intgeral part of feeding and watering the population affected, now the infrastructure has been destroyed. But they were never needed in the early stages of this catastrophe. They look good to the American media and a public eager to see what America is "doing". But are of little use in pulling survivors from the rubble. The British have just sent a second search and rescue team, which is great.

    But my hunch is that the US military could have done more regarding the nuclear issue and were either: a) too scared to assist due to fears over radiation and the health of US servicemen; or, b) the Japanese did not want their help. We will find out the truth in the years to come.

    But keep this in mind. Of anything, or anyone, a US carrier is probably best equipped to deal with the problems these nuclear plants experienced. They are designed to work in radioactive environments (think Cold War), they are equipped to do this and they have lots of power on tap. Why was more not done to get power to those pumps? Somebody is not telling us the whole facts.

    Those carriers certainly starting running away like scared rabbits when the radiation levels went up a *little*, so you'll know where to look first. Makes you wonder how they could have survived the Cold War, were it to have turned hot. Any navyman will tell you the safest place to be in times of radiation is on a boat or sub. I think someone got the jitters.

    Let's see if the Americans are brave enough to do some water drops from the air on the plants now things seem to have progressed too far. Their decision will be telling.

    I certainly have admiration for those few Japanese workers left at the plants trying their best to keep things stable. They are heros.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 03-15-2011 at 10:10 AM.

  7. #37
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Carriers are not floating radiation shields. And the Military likely knows what the japanese are afraid to say, that its melting now. Prudent move.

    The japanese have many of their own large ships, and they can run an extension cord to shore on their own if they so wish.

    I can't find any reason for the American navy to commit Hari-Kari over a non American civillian crisis. Food, fuel, shelter yes. But I see no evidence that the Japanese have requested their help - except today, finally they accepted a team of US nuclear SWAT guys in.

    Read the Chernobyl book. The air drops only managed to kill the pilots. Ask Nukeman what he thinks of dropping water from a helicopter on a melting containiment vessel.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-15-2011 at 10:20 AM.

  8. #38

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    The "real" heros are the people who speak out against building more nuclear power plants.

  9. #39
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Carriers are not floating radiation shields.
    Yes they are. It doesn't get much better than being in a ship at this time.

    Everything is shielded; stuff is lead lined; they have clean-up apparatus and the suits.

    The only place you can't go is the deck. These were built to survive a nuclear attack from Russia for heaven's sake, or at least long enough to retaliate!

    Every navy man on that boat will have done nuclear training, the first part of which is probably shutting the doors.

    When this crisis unfolded there was no radiation. Just a couple of aircraft carrier powerplants sitting off the coast doing nothing. Well played everyone.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 03-15-2011 at 10:32 AM.

  10. #40
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The "real" heros are the people who speak out against building more nuclear power plants
    .

    Funny how we are all happily willing to drive on a 2 lane highway full of drunks and sharp curves with half bald tires in the snow, but fear a nuclear power plant.

    More people will die TODAY in auto accidents worldwide than have been killed by nuclear power plant accidents since their inception.

    Safe designs exist, but the public does not read blueprints, so its back to enviromental disaster fuels.

    We will be laughed at one day at how we squandered oil by burning it in our primitive 8% to 15% efficient engines. To go get a big Mac.

    Just a couple of aircraft carrier powerplants sitting off the coast doing nothing. Well played everyone
    .

    Surely you jest about running a power line from an aircraft carrier? Even redwood can explain that away to you.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-15-2011 at 10:47 AM.

  11. #41
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I agree Ballvalve, but the situation in Japan is getting out of control now and needlessly so.

    There have clearly been failures and mistakes. And we will need to learn from those.

    But nuclear power is our only future, if global warming does not kill us first.

  12. #42

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    Funny, I don't fear them, I just think they are an unnecessary evil. There are clearly, other options.

  13. #43
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I would rather see more use of nuclear and less oil being used.
    We could be plugging in our cars at night, instead of using up all of the oil reserves. What happens when those are gone?
    Like Ballvalve says, how many deaths from cars, how many from power generation?
    Have we already forgotten the gulf mess with the oil platform?

  14. #44
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Here is quite a revealing news bit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...72E5MV20110315

  15. #45
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I think there has been another fire at the plant.

    This is very sad news.

    Just what are those carriers doing?

    Come on boys. Use your mobile city to fix this one.

    You have the suits.

    You have the clean-up facilities.

    You have the pumps.

    You have the power.

    Heck, you even have the brains.

    Moor up and use them.

    Better to lose a few American lives to save others than many from fighting wars.

    Your pride of the fleet currently sits 175 miles away.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 03-15-2011 at 04:12 PM.

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