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Thread: Nuclear plants in Japan risk meltdown

  1. #76

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    Yuk. . .

  2. #77
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Interesting....
    Samantha Joye seems to have found what the Bacteria Missed....
    http://gulfblog.uga.edu/

    Interesting article about hypersaturated brines, but she did not determine the oil was from BP.

    The gulf is a region of massive natural and now unnatural seeps, and it is well equipped to dispense of either type. The disperants kept it out of the marsh [and opening the gates of the Mississippi] and broke it up into smaller particles that allowed the bacteria to feed happily.

    Corexit seems to be well proven even by the enviro's as better than crude oil, and without any DNA changing effects on life, or less than oil.

    Not to say we should not take BP's billions for their f-up, or continue to study and make better dispersants.

    New Yorker magazine. Latest one I think. The author started out as a mission to impeach BP, but learned that they did a good job after all the hype.

    If we do not build more nuclear, better start drilling like wild today in the gulf.

  3. #78
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    He was referring I think to his own battles during the war, and seeing the concentration camp suvivors. He would sit and sob, and say, " they should had fought, they should had fought..." He never got over the horror that man can inflict on another.
    He should have read the book "Defiance", which is now a movie. Some fought.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defiance_(2008_film)

    Or "I survived [and escaped] Auswitzch" by a Slovak Jew. Rudolf Vrba, from my families hometown.

    Probably the best is "Maus", done in cartoon format, by a son that was trying to figure out how his father did not end up with PTSS, or go insane after his suffering.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-18-2011 at 10:44 PM.

  4. #79

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    Fact is: Not enough did fight. The amount which died sustantiates that fact. Fear freezes some folks. Denial is another great contributor to folks doing nothing, sometimes, the mind cannot fathom such things can happen. Sad fact about PTSS is so many times it is not recognized as such. Some folks are never diagnosed with it therefore, never treated for it. They might be treated for addictions, rehabiliated over and over, with everyone wondering why it never works. They are reprimanded for not being able to hold a job, for drinking too much, for doing nothing seemingly, with their lives, but some are never treated for the real illness. Not even diagnosed. Then, when they start talking about some trauma you can hear they do not use the first person, they distant theirselves from it, like they are talking about someone else, and it is then, they will say, " I don't know why I didn't go insane." Truth is, they did. For a split second long enough to isolate themselves from the horror of the trauma. Just long enough that in their mind, they find a way to control the pain, the horror the mind cannot sustain, and make it like a movie instead of the real thing. I have volunteered for years working with the veteran's at the VA. Kids especially, will not see it in their fathers or mom's, kids only sees what hurts them. You will hear a kid say, " my dad ( or mom) was never there for me, he never was a "real" dad." Or you will hear a son or daughter, never acknowledge the parent's PTSS, for they see it ( if they even see it) as a weakness, a son will especially, do this and with it, coupled a whole lot of anger. Because it wasn't what they wanted in life, or in a parent to look up to, or be like.
    Last edited by Cookie; 03-19-2011 at 07:01 AM.

  5. #80

    Default The "products pose no immediate health risk" ? are they serious?

    By SHINO YUASA and ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Shino Yuasa And Eric Talmadge, Associated Press 1 hr 4 mins ago

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan Japan said radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near its tsunami-crippled nuclear complex exceeded government safety limits, as emergency teams scrambled Saturday to restore power to the plant so it could cool dangerously overheated fuel.

    The food was taken from farms as far as 65 miles (100 kilometers) from the stricken plants, suggesting a wide area of nuclear contamination.

    While the radiation levels exceeded the limits allowed by the government, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano insisted the products "pose no immediate health risk."

    Firefighters also pumped tons of water directly from the ocean into one of the most troubled areas of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex the cooling pool for used fuel rods at the plant's Unit 3. The rods are at risk of burning up and sending radioactive material into the environment.

    The news of contaminated food came as Japan continued to grapple with the overwhelming consequences of the cascade of disasters unleashed by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11. The quake spawned a tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeastern coast, killing more than 7,300 people and knocking out backup cooling systems at the nuclear plant, which has been leaking radiation.

    Nearly 11,000 people are still missing.

    The tainted milk was found 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant, a local official said. The spinach was collected from six farms between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the south of the reactors.

    Those areas are rich farm country known for melons, rice and peaches, so the contamination could affect food supplies for large parts of Japan.

    More testing was being done on other foods, Edano said in Tokyo, and if tests show further contamination then food shipments from the area would be halted.

    Officials said it was too early to know if the nuclear crisis caused the contamination, but Edano said air sampling done near the dairy showed higher radiation levels.

    Iodine levels in the spinach exceeded safety limits by three to seven times, a food safety official said. Tests on the milk done Wednesday detected small amounts of iodine 131 and cesium 137, the latter being a longer lasting element and can cause more types of cancer. But only iodine was detected Thursday and Friday, a Health Ministry official said.

    Officials from Edano on down tried to calm public jitters, saying the amounts detected were so small that people would have to consume unimaginable amounts to endanger their health.

    Edano said someone drinking the tainted milk for one year would consume as much radiation as in a CT scan; for the spinach, it would be one-fifth of a CT scan. A CT scan is a compressed series of X-rays used for medical tests.

    "Can you imagine eating one kilogram of spinach every day for one year?" State Secretary of Health Minister Yoko Komiyama said. One kilogram is a little over two pounds.

    Meanwhile, just outside the bustling disaster response center in the city of Fukushima, 40 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of the plant, government nuclear specialist Kazuya Konno was able to take only a three-minute break for his first meeting since the quake with his wife, Junko, and their children.

    "It's very nerve-racking. We really don't know what is going to become of our city," said Junko Konno, 35. "Like most other people, we have been staying indoors unless we have to go out."

    She brought her husband a small backpack with a change of clothes and snacks. The girls aged 4 and 6 and wearing pink surgical masks decorated with Mickey Mouse gave their father hugs.

    Low levels of radiation have been detected well beyond Tokyo, which is 140 miles (220 kilometers) south of the plant, but hazardous levels have been limited to the plant itself.

    Nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant began overheating and leaking radiation into the atmosphere in the days after the March 11 quake and the subsequent tsunami overwhelmed its cooling systems. The government admitted it was slow to respond to the nuclear troubles, which added another crisis on top of natural disasters, which officials believe killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 400,000 others.

    There were signs of progress in bringing the overheating reactors and fuel storage pools under control.

    A fire truck with a high-pressure cannon was parked outside the plant's Unit 3, about 300 meters (yards) from the Pacific coast, and began shooting a stream of water nonstop into the pool for seven straight hours, said Kenji Kawasaki, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency.

    A separate pumping vehicle will keep the fire truck's water tank refilled. Because of high radiation levels, firefighters will only go to the truck every three hours when it needs to be refueled. They expect to pump about 1,400 tons of water, nearly the capacity of the pool.

    Edano said conditions at the reactors in units 1, 2 and 3 all of which have been rocked by explosions in the past eight days had "stabilized."

    Holes were punched in the roofs of units 5 and 6 to vent buildups of hydrogen gas, and the temperature in Unit 5's fuel storage pool dropped after new water was pumped in, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

    "We more or less do not expect to see anything worse than what we are seeing now," said Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

    Although a replacement power line reached the complex Friday, workers had to methodically work through badly damaged and deeply complex electrical systems to make the final linkups without setting off a spark and potentially an explosion. Company officials hoped to be able to switch on the all the reactors' power on Sunday.

    Even once the power is reconnected, it is not clear if the cooling systems will still work.

    The storage pools need a constant source of cooling water. When removed from reactors, uranium rods are still very hot and must be cooled for months, possibly longer, to prevent them from heating up again and emitting radioactivity.

    More workers were thrown into the effort bringing the total at the complex to 500 and the safety threshold for radiation exposure for them was raised two-and-a-half times so that they could keep working.

    Officials insisted that would cause no health damage.

    Nishiyama also said backup power systems at the plant had been improperly protected, leaving them vulnerable to the tsunami.

    The failure of Fukushima's backup power systems, which were supposed to keep cooling systems going in the aftermath of the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake, let uranium fuel overheat and were a "main cause" of the crisis, Nishiyama said.

    "I cannot say whether it was a human error, but we should examine the case closely," he told reporters.

    A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns and runs the plants, said that while the generators themselves were not directly exposed to the waves, some electrical support equipment was outside. The complex was protected against tsunamis of up to 5 meters (16 feet), he said. Media reports say the tsunami was at least 6 meters (20 feet) high when it struck Fukushima.

    Spokesman Motoyasu Tamaki also acknowledged that the complex was old, and might not have been as well-equipped as newer facilities.

    People evacuated from around the plant, along with some emergency workers, have tested positive for radiation exposure. Three firefighters needed to be decontaminated with showers, while among the 18 plant workers who tested positive, one absorbed about one-tenth tenth of the amount that might induce radiation poisoning.

    As Japan crossed the one-week mark since the cascade of disasters began, the government conceded Friday it was slow to respond and welcomed ever-growing help from the U.S. in hopes of preventing a complete meltdown.

    The United States has loaned military firefighting trucks to the Japanese, and has conducted overflights of the reactor site, strapping sophisticated pods onto aircraft to measure radiation aloft. Two tests conducted Thursday gave readings that U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel B. Poneman said reinforced the U.S. recommendation that people stay 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from the Fukushima plant. Japan has ordered only a 12-mile (20-kilometer) evacuation zone around the plant.

    The government on Friday raised the accident classification for the nuclear crisis, putting it on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, and signifying that its consequences went beyond the local area.

    This crisis has led to power shortages and factory closures, hurt global manufacturing and triggered a plunge in Japanese stock prices.

    Police said more than 452,000 people made homeless by the quake and tsunami were staying in schools and other shelters, as supplies of fuel, medicine and other necessities ran short.

    On Saturday evening, Japan was rattled by 6.1-magnitude aftershock, with an epicenter just south of the troubled nuclear plants. The temblor, centered 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Tokyo, caused buildings in the capital to shake.

  6. #81

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    I say, let's build more of these. ( cookie snickers)
    So, we can do this every hundred years or so.

  7. #82
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    This, I hope is a wake up call to america to re-open strategic metal stockpiles and bring home its lost manufacturing base.

    And to restrict the crazy international flow of food back and forth that wastes so much fuel. Buy locally.

    And keep electricity out of the ocean and basements of power plants. And open Yucca mountain tomorrow.

  8. #83

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    Sometimes to go forward, we need to take a few steps backward. If nuclear power is the wave of the future, God helps us all and this planet.

  9. #84
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    These plants have held up pretty well considering. They withstood a 9.0 quake, eventhough they were designed for less. The tsunami is what caused the problems. In addition, the hydrogen explosions wouldn't have happened if the plants would have been here either. After TMI, there was an extensive review of the current plants. In these BWRs, they moved the venting path that originally went from primary to secondary containment to the outside. Obviously, the Japanese plants did not do this. The hydrogen continued to build up in the buildings (venting by procedure) and caused those explosions. The typical containment designs found in the US are filled with watertight doors. There are constant inspections where these are checked to make sure they are closed and that the seal is good.

    The wave flooded the switchgear room and wiped out many of the diesel tanks. It was a common-cause failure since these plants all shared the same basic design (same weakness).

    If you worry that much about radiation, you might as well live in a lead room and never leave (eventhough that still wouldn't keep all radiation out). Radiation is everywhere. Everytime you fly or go to higher elevations, you get a larger dose from space. Certain soil types are going to release more radiation, not to mention many stones. You may not know this, but coal plants release much more radiation than any nuke plant (traces of uranium and other products in the coal and goes into the air as it burns).

    What bothers me is the focus on these plants when how many people have been killed by the disaster??? Why don't people say "Hey, why didn't they design their buildings to withstand a 9.0 quake and a 30' wave??" Many of these people would still be alive if normal constuction was designed/built like a nuke plant.

    People have asked about the CA plants being in a earthquake area. The quake wasn't the problem (the water was). There has been questions about MOX fuel and that it is "bad" becuase it contains plutonium. The fact is that ALL fuel (after used) contains plutonium. It is a byproduct of the reaction and a good portion of the energy that is released as the fuel gets older is due to using plutonium.

    There has been a ton of bad info in the NEWS (especially early on, but it continues).

  10. #85
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Default is the mass evacuation from japan a possibility

    someone on U-tube recently stated that this disaster will eventually
    play out like the mass ecavuation of a million people from Vietnam after
    the end of that war..in 74.. they all came over here by the boatloads and became model citizens.

    Actually, the only place they can come if it is intolerable to live there is going to be canada and the west coast of the united states..... perhaps Australia.

    Japan is only about the size of California so they all cant cram into one end of the isalnd
    so we could get a huge influx of refugees from japan

    the only question is how many ?????

    and considering everything,
    they are a better calss of people than the mexican drug invasion..
    we are dealing with on the southern border...

  11. #86

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    I don't think it will matter much to those caught up into it (the destruction & contamination) that the tsunami caused it, contaminating their food and water supply, and making things much worse than needed to be. Nuclear power is not all that is it cracked up to be, when you are the one caught up in the contamination, or your loved ones. We made those power plants not the tsunami, we haven't the controls over something which occurs naturally, but man-made we certainty, do. Our world isn't capable of controlling that kind of power, not yet, anyways, maybe, never. We need to look to other options.
    Last edited by Cookie; 03-20-2011 at 07:19 AM.

  12. #87
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    One small, 'fail safe' nuclear plant should be in every third county in the US. Jobs for the locals and jobs to build a standardized plant like a volkwagen beetle on an assembly line. And no 'smart' meters that will be shut off from hong kong by a hacker.

    Now we can save our oil and coal for plastics and hybrids, and snub our collective noses at the mideast that will be the ruin of us.

    Until we get smart enough to occupy a few and stay there forever.

  13. #88
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Interesting article about hypersaturated brines, but she did not determine the oil was from BP.

    The gulf is a region of massive natural and now unnatural seeps, and it is well equipped to dispense of either type. The disperants kept it out of the marsh [and opening the gates of the Mississippi] and broke it up into smaller particles that allowed the bacteria to feed happily.

    Corexit seems to be well proven even by the enviro's as better than crude oil, and without any DNA changing effects on life, or less than oil.

    Not to say we should not take BP's billions for their f-up, or continue to study and make better dispersants.

    New Yorker magazine. Latest one I think. The author started out as a mission to impeach BP, but learned that they did a good job after all the hype.

    If we do not build more nuclear, better start drilling like wild today in the gulf.
    Yes, Ballvalve we'd all like to be optimists and believe that the oil has simply disappeared into the gullet of hungry microbes....
    The Corexit Dispersants sure did a good job of making sure that it didn't get to the surface...

    Say could I interest you in a plate of gulf shrimp?



    It smells good go ahead and eat it!

  14. #89
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    If this happened in my area, I wouldn't be worried about it. I understand the difference between measured radiation/contaimination and the levels that are required to actually hurt you. The fact is that the only significant releases were at the site and most was "shine" from the fuel pools when the level got low. "Shine" is when you have a direct path with no shielding from typically a gamma source.

    If any other type of plant were there, I think we would have seen even more destruction. Think of what a natural gas plant would have done or an oil burner. Coal can make quite a mess too. Look at this fly ash mess that happened awhile back:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/de...-covers-acres/

    It's not nuclear, so it doesn't get near the coverage. The fact is that things can go wrong at any plant and many more people have died from any of the other sources of power than they have from nuclear (coal, natural gas, oil, etc.). Nuclear is tops in terms of safety (especially in the US). When things like this happens, we go back and take what can be learned and implement it into the designs.

  15. #90
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Yes, Ballvalve we'd all like to be optimists and believe that the oil has simply disappeared into the gullet of hungry microbes....
    The Corexit Dispersants sure did a good job of making sure that it didn't get to the surface...
    Didnt go to the bottom either. Sorry, no oil or corexit found in any shrimp yet. Just got a 25# bag of them, heads on. The heads are the best part. Probably filled with oil processing bacteria. From 3 million years ago.


    A team of federal scientists had estimated that the total amount of oil that came from the well was 4.9 million barrels. Writer accompanies NOAA scientists on board a ship looking for oil plumes beneath the surface of the Gulf. Research in the Gulf has in many ways been encouraging. At the shoreline, pockets of oil will certainly linger. Although certain species may be at severe risk from the remaining oil, many others, such as sea turtles, do not seem to be under great threat, and the marsh as a whole does not appear to be ecologically devastated. All told, the spill killed fifty-six hundred birds, a dismaying number, but a small fraction of the quarter million that died in the Exxon Valdez spill. Oysters have suffered gravely, though this appears to be from the change in salinity caused by allowing the Mississippi to flow more forcefully into the Gulf. Luck certainly played a role in sparing large portions of the coast—a turn in the weather could have made the impact much worse—but a strategy based on dispersing the oil offshore appears to have helped prevent a great deal of crude from hitting land.
    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...#ixzz1HCAwc3UZ

    The Itaxca spill, several times larger and more south, that no one noticed, used several times more corexit, and older more toxic version. No one is finding any corexit there also. Its the same stuff thats in your toothpaste, shampoo and soap anyway. Makes PVC primer look like plutonium.

    Much safer than the Indonesian toxic farm raised-antibiotic filled shrimp.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 03-20-2011 at 07:09 PM.

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