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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:18 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
All nuclear reactors are used to heat water to drive steam turbines.
Yes. My understanding though is that it makes a big difference on how the reactor goes about heating that water.

I don't have command of all the different variations, but I do remember from some source (magazines most likely) that a fairly large number of them do exist and the designers of reactors appear to have strong opinions about their various different advantages and disadvantages.

I read in some popular magazine that China, the biggest nuclear plant builder, was experimenting with some real innovative types of reactors. One of which was composed of a bunch of balls that somehow self regulated their nuclear reaction in a way that would not permit a melt down under any conditions.

Interestingly, China has abruptly put a freeze on all their reactors. They are going to reassess any lessons to be learned by Japan before continuing ahead.

There is a country with really smart leadership. 20 years ago they were a third world country. They are now the worlds second largest economy.... and rapidly evolving into the dominant super power. Smart Smart Smart. Even when they make a mistake, they very quickly adjust as it becomes evident.

I can't think of a single bad move I have seen them make. In the same 20 year period, I can't think of a single smart move I have seen US leadership make. This century clearly belongs to China... unless they do something to alter or unbalance the decision making mechanisms that are serving them so well.

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Last edited by ces on Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dr. Michio Kaku on Japanese Response to Reactor Meltdown
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:45 am 
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edh wrote:
I do not disagree with him on lack of disaster preparedness. However I am somewhat concerned that he sees this as an opportunity to sell his book....
His books are about the great future the human race is facing. His brand is a shock of white hair over a smiley face showing us what an uplifting and unimaginable future awaits us all... all through the benefits of science. He never has anything negative to say about anyone or any thing.

That streak of anger is way way way out of character for him.... and he seems to be actively attempting to reign it in. Whether he is right or wrong, it looks pretty sincere to me. Looks to me he is speaking from the heart.

You can never read another person's mind, but my guess is that he is angry that some fools with more power and authority than common sense are turning a piece of his homeland radioactive and uninhabitable... needlessly and without good cause. And that at every turn when the face a decision, they select the choice that does the most harm... yet all he can do is stand by and watch on helplessly:
ces wrote:
3. Dr. Michio Kaku on Japanese Reactor disaster on Mar 18, 2011 - calmed back down... but with no less contempt for Japanese leadership.
He seems to share my views on the need to stage things to be ready before you need, even if you don't know if you will need it, so you have it at hand just in case... and the continuing and cascading "to little, too late response" of applying tactics that might work, but only after waiting until it is too late for them to work.
Regarding Japanese Leadership: "They don't want to acknowledge how bad the situation is." "The leadership there is disconnected from reality" "They think its just going to go away" "They live in a fantasy world" (some of that anger is seeping back in around the edges)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DkCD5IInMY

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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:35 am 
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ces wrote:
There is a country with really smart leadership. 20 years ago they were a third world country. They are now the worlds second largest economy.... and rapidly evolving into the dominant super power. Smart Smart Smart. Even when they make a mistake, they very quickly adjust as it becomes evident.

I can't think of a single bad move I have seen them make. In the same 20 year period, I can't think of a single smart move I have seen US leadership make. This century clearly belongs to China... unless they do something to alter or unbalance the decision making mechanisms that are serving them so well.


I really don't know if I want to call this naive or outright stupid.

Smart government, ey?
Can't be that it's easier to go up, than to stay on top. If a US President would lower the minimum wage to 1$ per hour, a whole lot of jobs would still be in America. I don't know if the people would like it though. But that's the good thing about a dictatorship: you don't have to care about that. That is the decision making mechanism that serves them so well. Need a hydro power plant, wanna build a dam? What, there are 1 million people living in the area? Who cares - move them! What, they vocal there disapproval on twitter? Block twitter, arrest the activists!

And yes, this century will belong to China. They will be the #1 economic power, come whatever. They have 1.4 billion citizens. Can't beat that. Before long, India will surpass America too. There's no competing with those numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:12 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
They will be the #1 economic power, come whatever. They have 1.4 billion citizens.
It's not about numbers. China had that same advantage for 200 years. It didn't do them much good.

Taiwan and Singapore were holes in the wall... no resources no nothing. It was human decision making that turned them into what they became.

Japan, was on a run for a while. What do you think about a country with no energy, no steel and copy cat auto technology turning that around into the worlds auto production power house? Importing energy, importing steel and exporting cars to the US with abundant power and steel. What unfair advantage did they have then?

The Muslim world, over two or three hundred years the Muslims turned a bunch of desert nomads into the leading, most forward thinking, most innovative economic and military Juggernaut of the time. They occupied Spain. Their textiles were unsurpassed. They were the leading traders of the world. They protected Jews and other religious minorities. They saved and expanded most of the academic work of the Greeks. They once had the finest centers of learning in the world.

Today most people don't associate forward thinking and open minded with the Muslim religion. The dark hearted men leading the Muslim world today, stoning and oppressing women, aren't the same ones who created that world when Europe was in its dark ages... led by its brand of narrow minded men, selling indulgences, burning witches at the stake or dunking them to see if they float.

The difference is human leadership. Look at Apple. How well it did at first. Then they changed leadership... and went down the toilet. When Jobs was brought back, it was an act of desperation...Apple was not expected to survive. I think recently it became the most valuable corporation on the planet measured in terms of market valuation. That is a lesson in leadership.

The US is in sad shape. It has something to do with how the leaders are selected and who is doing the selecting. May I assume that you are a US citizen and a registered voter? Can you honestly say you are proud of the people whom you have elected to lead you? Are you proud that their gridlock has prevented the prosecution of people who violated Sarbanes Oxley as they sold and traded derivatives... or that the lack of the rolling of heads has prevented the emplacement of laws that will prevent a recurrence?

Can you truly tell me you are proud of that?

Germany is an export machine. How is it that they are able to do this and the US can't? The US has more resources, more people, more everything? Lower taxes. Far fewer unionized workers as % of the work force. Where do you place blame? If I were to start any place, I would start with the Texas driven textbook procurement system in the US... the one that rehabilitates Joseph McCarthy, supports creationism, disparages social security, and besmirches non-Christian religions. Dumb voters vote for "reglar" folks like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman.

For illustrative purposes only:
m0002a wrote:
Now whether that makes Obama a Muslim right now is a different matter, but anybody who thinks he is really a Christian (as the left-wing media also claims) is just plain stupid. As I said before, he is either an atheist (like his natural father) or an agnostic.
How about you, where would you start to place the blame? If Germany can compete against China, why can't the US? We have lower tax rates, fewer unionized workers. Our world renowned healthcare system... not that stinky EU stuff. Why con't we compete like Germany? Why can't we export like Germany?

What do you think is missing?

It was once that you were better off as a mediocre high school graduate in Philadelphia than the brightest kid in Shanghai. You faced a better, easier and more successful life. You can't say that any more.

What do you think is missing?

Somehow I don't think it is a lower minimum wage. I have been wrong on many things before, but I don't think I am wrong on this one.
tim851 wrote:
If a US President would lower the minimum wage to 1$ per hour, a whole lot of jobs would still be in America.
Yeah Sure.

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Last edited by ces on Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:58 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:22 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
I really don't know if I want to call this naive or outright stupid.
That is something we share. I don't have a lot of tolerance for naivety or stupidity either.

There are a lot of posts here and don't remember who was saying what... but I swear it was you who were defending or apologizing for the naivety and/or stupidity of Japanese energy executives?

Whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:58 pm 
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ces wrote:
It's not about numbers. China had that same advantage for 200 years. It didn't do them much good.

Of course it's about numbers. Per capita, the US would have to outperform China 5:1 to achieve the same GDP. As China is gaining entrance into the first world, that is just not possible anymore. The US doesn't outperform Belgium 5:1, why would it do it with China?

Quote:
The US is in sad shape.

How so? The US is leading China in just about every viable statistic there is: GDP per capita, average income, adult literacy, social security... not to speak of the various civil liberties and human rights. Yes, there is a downward trend with the US and an upwards trend in China, but it will still be a couple of decades before parity is achieved. The US might compare a little less favourable to some European countries but what the heck, those are nuances. The US is not in a sad shape.

Quote:
May I assume that you are a US citizen and a registered voter?

I'm a German citizen and I have voted.

Quote:
Can you honestly say you are proud of the people whom you have elected to lead you?

No. I didn't elect them to lead me, but to run the country. They could do a better job, they could do a worse job. Democracies are a bitch to govern.

Quote:
Germany is an export machine.

Let me tell you first hand that it isn't doing any wonders for us. Germany is doing fine, about the same as the US or France I suppose. Nuances, again. But it's not like the export monster is filling the streets with gold.

Tell me, what exactly do you think is better (or worse) over here than in the United States and how that ties to exports.

Quote:
It was once that you were better off as a mediocre high school graduate in Philadelphia than the brightest kid in Shanghai. You faced a better and easier life. You can't say that any more.

And that is a bad thing...?!

It's great that China is closing the gap! Shouldn't they? Do you see documentaries of the third world and think "Good, just as God intended!"
I think Western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and some of Southeast Asia have reached a peak. Until we invent a better system than capitalism, that's about as good as it gets. We can't stay ahead of developing countries, 'cause we have less to develop. I'm seriously not a winner of capitalism, no steady job and little money. Still, I have just about everything I could ask for: a nice home, reliable car that I can afford to fill up with gas, decent clothes on my back, never hungered a day in my life, never feared the cold. I got a TV, a smartphone, a computer. I am the envy of at least 5 billion people in the world who would kill for a life like mine. Yet I know people who are arguebly better off than I am and they bitch. And I think: what do you think you're owed in life?

So the world economy is going through a rough patch. I learned in school that recession is part of the deal. Can't be avoided. Until we invent that better system.
And China is catching up. That isn't bad at all. Nobody believes it would do the US any good if Canada performed poorly or if Australia got into trouble. No. That would be nonsense. By that logic: how is China not doing as good as Canada or Australia going to help? It isn't.

Quote:
I swear it was you who were defending or apologizing for the naivety and/or stupidity of Japanese energy executives?

I was not. I was challenging your assumption that Japan couldn't handle the situation and would need outside help. And that they were too stupid to ask for it. Which they aren't. I know that the German THW (disaster relief) was over there, as well as nuclear experts.

The Japanese energy executives aren't naive or stupid. If anything, they are greedy and wreckless. Completely different traits.


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:49 pm 
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ces wrote:
I read in some popular magazine that China, the biggest nuclear plant builder, was experimenting with some real innovative types of reactors. One of which was composed of a bunch of balls that somehow self regulated their nuclear reaction in a way that would not permit a melt down under any conditions.


Yes, that's the pebble bed reactor, it's a really interesting design, just a bunch of balls in reaction chamber cooled by helium. If it starts getting too hot, the first thing you can do is just dump the balls out into separate tanks, effectively dismantling the reactor. It's not perfect, helium isn't a renewable resource, so scarcity of that also makes it more expensive (although same have looked into using CO2 for cooling, but CO2 isn't radiation proof like helium), and the balls have to be made of fuel in hard ceramic shells, so reprocessing is very hard. For the once through cycle we've used in the US for a long time, reprocessing wouldn't be such a problem, but to make it a pragmatically limitless resource it's pretty essential. But ultimately, the helium loop passes through a heat exchanger to boil water for steam turbines. It's a more efficient loop because it can run at much higher temperatures than a standard PWR, but there's still a steam turbine in it. The difference between a PWR and a BWR is that in the BWR the steam turbine is in the main cooling loop, so there's a phase change for the water in the reactor. That phase change is what allows the pressure to build up so much when cooling flows stop. In a PWR, the main cooling loop stays liquid throughout, in higher pressure under normal operation, so rising pressures can be handled more easily.

But there are "reactor" types that don't boil water, they're the thermoelectric systems used mostly in space exploration, basically you take some radiactive material and slap some thermocouples on it to generate electricty from the heat. Great for deep space exploration, the probes furthest from the sun can't really use solar panels, and it generates electricity as long as the heat is above the thermocouple threshold, so if you pick the isotopes right you can keep them running a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Dr. Michio Kaku on Japanese Response to Reactor Meltdown
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:21 pm 
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ces wrote:
Edh, you seem to have a command of knowledge and detail that one could only get from military or civilian training and/or nuclear industry experience. May I ask what your training or experience was?

I used to work in the nuclear power industry doing radiological analysis. I am also from a 'nuclear family' in that my brother used to work on the UK nuclear weapons program and is cleared to a level that he is not allowed to disclose. I am also trained as a physicist so know various other people from the field. I even know someone who was in a radiation accident himself at Los Alomos.

ces wrote:
1. If a melt down (some form of self sustaining nuclear reaction?) were to look imminent, would some form of entombment be the right solution?

How do we mean by imminent? In the case of Fukushima meltdown has only become a possibility because loss of power to the coolant pumps. Getting the power back on to those pumps and getting the reactors back to a safe temperature would prevent meltdown anyway. That is still where we are now so meltdown is not imminent. Entombment is how you deal with a disaster to mitigate its impact, not how you avert it.

ces wrote:
2. If so what kind of entombment could be done quickly enough?

Use bulldozers to pile up debris from the containment and contaminated material around the core. Dig underneath and build some kind of break against the descending lava.

ces wrote:
4. If a melt down started before action were taken to prevent it, what would be the appropriate action to stop it or to otherwise diminish the harm that it does?

Entombment if structural integrity has failed.

ces wrote:
5. Is there a form of short term entombment that can be done quickly.... but which would also, at the same time, serve the role of a more permanent form of entombment as well, such as you indicate they are still working on at Chernobyl? Something you could just do once and not have to deal with again for another 50 years?

The current housing at Chenobyl took months to build in various stages. It has lasted for 25 years now but is showing its age. The New Safe Containment is being build onsite and may be finished in 2013 and will be slid on rails outside the whole of reactor 4. Once that is in place, the decommissioning can be considered over the coming decades.

An interesting article has come up today with the BBC saying that Fukushima probably sits between Three Mile Island and the earlier Windscale fire:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12789749

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:19 pm 
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ces wrote:
The US is in sad shape. It has something to do with how the leaders are selected and who is doing the selecting. May I assume that you are a US citizen and a registered voter? Can you honestly say you are proud of the people whom you have elected to lead you? Are you proud that their gridlock has prevented the prosecution of people who violated Sarbanes Oxley as they sold and traded derivatives... or that the lack of the rolling of heads has prevented the emplacement of laws that will prevent a recurrence?

Can you truly tell me you are proud of that?

You cannot blame that on gridlock. The Democrats controlled the Presidency, House, and Senate for 2 years and they could enact into law any legislation they wanted to. For the first year, the Democratic majority in the Senate was filibuster-proof (House does not allow filibusters). You are going to have look elsewhere to cast your stones.


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:05 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
Tell me, what exactly do you think is better (or worse) over here than in the United States and how that ties to exports
tim851, the point I was making is that the success of a country or company is not governed so much by what it has, but what it does with it. That "doing" is directed by its leadership.

For 200 years China did nothing, succeeded at nothing other than their failed 5 year plans. Without the change in leadership, they could easily have continued in that direction. Instead the Chinese Communist Party remade China into one of the most aggressive capitalistic economies in the world. Smarter and more agile than the US. In my opinion, the Chinese Communist are the best capitalists I am aware of. They did that, I think, in about 20 years. Not exactly the slow witted mopes running the Japanese recovery efforts that have now admitted that they did too little too late.

Around the turn of the century forwarding thinking Japanese leadership catapulted Japan to the leading power in Asia, even defeating Russia in a western style warfare. With its modest population and lack of resources it was the dominant Asian power until the end of WWII. It wasn't population. It wasn't resources.

I don't think it is either stupid or naive to recognize that China's is making all the right moves. Areas where they started out weak, they have rapidly increased in sophistication. They do things that I would rather not see them do, but they are the right things for China. In recent years they have even become more responsible in their foreign policy.

This US imports more than it exports. There is nothing good about that. It harms a lot of people and will ultimately do great injury to the people of the US in the future. There are a heck of a lot of people in the US that have or are losing their homes, their healthcare, and their self respect (unemployment and underemployment). A growing economy exports and in the process generates jobs. The US is devolving in the opposite direction.

In a country that once prided itself for its social mobility... (how often children are able to improve their station in life over that of their parents) the US now ranks below Scandinavia and Germany. The middle class is being decimated. Wealth is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Every year it is more and more taking on the attributes of a third world country.

China is smart, they are building up their middle class. One of their top priorities is to spread the benefits of growth to their inland populations. In the US people are starting to fight over the scraps left over as the wealth is concentrated. Do a search on Governor Walker and Teacher Unions.

The golden goose that generated that wealth is being left derelict.

To me that is not good stewardship or good leadership.

In my opinion Germany and China are much better run than the US. Japan over the last 10 years has headed in the direction of the US. They have a lot of disgruntled college graduates with no jobs. There is nothing good about that. When they don't get that first job out of school, they are basically thrown into the gutter for the rest of their productive lives. What kind of stewardship is that?

tim851 wrote:
The Japanese energy executives aren't naive or stupid. If anything, they are greedy and wreckless. Completely different traits.
I really must differ with you there. "Greedy" I suspect doesn't apply, that isn't how Japanese management is compensated. I doubt there was any personal economic benefit to their behavior. In my opinion, I believe Dr. Kaku hit it closer to the mark: "They don't want to acknowledge how bad the situation is." "The leadership there is disconnected from reality" "They think its just going to go away" "They live in a fantasy world"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DkCD5IInMY
I would label it mopery.

My posting was just focused on correcting your assertion that what I said was "stupid" or "naive". Your response took it off in so many other directions other than the above, it is sort of hard to respond to it all.

But I would like to correct one assumption you regarding my belief's. I always assumed Japan had the resources within its borders to respond, my many references to resources outside of Japan was to counter current of excuses about their alleged helplessness. The resources were always there... it was the "you can't get their from here" and "let's deny the facts" thinking that I suspected was the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:35 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
You cannot blame that on gridlock. The Democrats controlled the Presidency, House, and Senate for 2 years and they could enact into law any legislation they wanted to. For the first year, the Democratic majority in the Senate was filibuster-proof (House does not allow filibusters). You are going to have look elsewhere to cast your stones.
You missed my earlier corrections to your oversimplified analysis. It doesn't work that way... it isn't that simple. Here is the link to the original and below is the text (did you make that up on your own or did you get it from Fox or that Oxycontin drug addict mouthpiece?):
viewtopic.php?p=536822#p536822
ces wrote:
m0002a wrote:
So what did the Democrats do to hold the financial industry accountable? Almost nothing, even though they had carte blanche to do whatever they wanted
They didn't really have carte blanche. It was still a balancing act. Certainly the left wing of the Democratic party was ready and willing to kick butt.

Money talks on both sides of the aisle, but more so on one side than the other. Reachable put it fairly well:
Reachable wrote:
As for the financial industry reforms in the U.S., that is indeed sad. That sector is so integrated with the government (Republicans more so than Democrats, it appears) that not only were no individuals punished, but few changes with any real lasting teeth were put in place.
Basically the Republican leadership coupled with unwitting allies such as teabaggers and perhaps even you, provided sufficient counterbalance to prevent any attempt at accountability. If the Repubs would have supported it, or even been willing to not exploit it to their political benefit, it would have happened.

Money always gets a seat at the table, though a recent decision by a Republican packed Supreme Court has ratcheted up the number of seats (votes) money gets at the table. The nature of the opinion would reasonably lead one to believe that either Justice Roberts lied to congress at his nomination hearings or he has made very fundamental changes in his judicial philosophy in an unbelievably short period of time.

This same balancing act prevents even the consideration of impeachment proceedings against Justice Roberts as it has with respect for Justice Scalia's one time conversion away from states rights when he voted to abnegate Florida's states rights, only so long as it would throw an election to his presidential candidate... after which he promptly reconverted back to support for states rights. The Supreme Court, another place I would like to see some accountability for intellectual honesty. You will know the Democrats are truly in control when representative Kucinich starts surfacing the subject to impeachment proceedings for Roberts and/or Scalia.

And it took both parties joint efforts over 20 years to export most of the high paying manufacturing sector jobs out of the US... and to provide tax advantages to encourage corporations to do more of it.

Nothing binary here.

Messy and ugly stuff this politics. You just keep looking the other way, claim to be independent, and vote Republican. Rest assured they will continue to treat your interests the way they deserve to be treated... along with those of all the other little people who can't afford lobbyists and $10,000 a plate dinners.

Reachable wrote:
As for the financial industry reforms in the U.S., that is indeed sad. That sector is so integrated with the government (Republicans more so than Democrats, it appears) that not only were no individuals punished, but few changes with any real lasting teeth were put in place.
EDIT

m0002a, I just happened on a perfect example of the Repub's ceaseless efforts to look out for the interests of voters such as yourself:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=21161
Bless their sweet hearts.


Here I got more for you. It comes from the same people that run Fox. Read it and you can catch up on forward thinking International Diplomacy and the "Palin Doctrine":
Palin Doctrine Emerges as Arab League Echoes Her Demarche on Libya
http://www.nysun.com/opinion/palin-doct ... her/87263/
It's all so simple. Why can't that Kenyan get it? Especially the "Demarche" Who would have known that Sarah Palin was capable of "Demarche"... oh but you probably knew all along. A female George W. Bush with Mama Bear balls and even less respect for the facts. I hope you do all you can to encourage her to run for President in 2012. Why don't you go send her a contribution right now to put me in my place. Then report back that you did so that I know it.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:18 pm 
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ces wrote:
m0002a wrote:
You cannot blame that on gridlock. The Democrats controlled the Presidency, House, and Senate for 2 years and they could enact into law any legislation they wanted to. For the first year, the Democratic majority in the Senate was filibuster-proof (House does not allow filibusters). You are going to have look elsewhere to cast your stones.
You missed my earlier corrections to your oversimplified analysis. It doesn't work that way... it isn't that simple. Here is the link to the original and below is the text (did you make that up on your own or did you get it from Fox or that Oxycontin drug addict mouthpiece?):
viewtopic.php?p=536822#p536822

No, I did not make that up, nor did I get it from Fox News (which I don't watch). I majored in political science in college and have a pretty good understanding of how the US government works. The facts are that the Democrats could have passed any legislation they wanted to without any Republican support during the first year of Obama's term and Obama could have signed such legislation into law. Witness Obamacare.

I read your "corrections to your [my] oversimplified analysis," but it was lacking in factual information or rational argument, and is incorrect (to put it mildly).


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:38 pm 
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What is this thread about?

Please stay on topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:42 am 
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ces wrote:
I really must differ with you there. "Greedy" I suspect doesn't apply, that isn't how Japanese management is compensated. I doubt there was any personal economic benefit to their behavior. In my opinion, I believe Dr. Kaku hit it closer to the mark: "They don't want to acknowledge how bad the situation is." "The leadership there is disconnected from reality" "They think its just going to go away" "They live in a fantasy world"

That's the situation now. The child is burned and they are in a state of shock.

If the current crisis was really exacerbated by them neglecting things or falsifying reports, which are things being reported, I don't know how much is true, but if they are, this is criminal activity. And that wasn't naivety or stupidity, that was greed and wrecklessness. It's not that they didn't know better. Safety procedures were neglected, broken or cast aside, either for financial reasons (greed) or callousness (=wrecklessness).

I repeat my assertion that most likely no nuclear power plant in the world is going to be just fine and dandy when hit by a tsunami. It is one of the arguments against nuclear power, that nobody can guarantee flawless behavior once the s*** hits the fan.
So exactly how much of the current situation is a failure of response and how much is just bad things happening to good people, I don't know.
And your Dr. Kaku doesn't know either. He's ethnically Japanese, but from what I can gather, has never lived there. He's a theoretical physicist, I'm not sure that makes him any kind of expert on nuclear power plants and/or disaster relief. He's been known to seek media attention though...


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:45 am 
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I think you have to ask yourself whether the possibility of radioactive contamination outweighs the certainty of pushing an entire mountain into a stream, filling entire valleys with tar (with the possibility of it breaking free and drowning people), and sinking a significant fraction of our already limited land mass into the ocean.

Edit: PS I'm just being practical. I view nuclear as a stepping stone to truly clean energy, which is, at present, unavailable at the scale we need.

Edit2: Also, your answer may be "Yes, it does outweigh the downsides to the current energy landscape"!

Edit3: And really I'm just saying that, even if we do not improve the incident-per-operating-year numbers, nuclear seems cleaner than the alternative, and kills fewer people (especially if you avoid USSR-style suicide mission responses).

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:11 am 
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andymcca wrote:
I think you have to ask yourself whether the possibility of radioactive contamination outweighs the certainty of pushing an entire mountain into a stream, filling entire valleys with tar (with the possibility of it breaking free and drowning people), and sinking a significant fraction of our already limited land mass into the ocean.

Edit: PS I'm just being practical. I view nuclear as a stepping stone to truly clean energy, which is, at present, unavailable at the scale we need.

Edit2: Also, your answer may be "Yes, it does outweigh the downsides to the current energy landscape"!

Edit3: And really I'm just saying that, even if we do not improve the incident-per-operating-year numbers, nuclear seems cleaner than the alternative, and kills fewer people (especially if you avoid USSR-style suicide mission responses).

I agree completely.
The current nuclear crisis did not occur out of the blue or solely because of human failure, but because a historic natural disaster struck. One that has likely killed more than ten thousand people. How many people were killed when they were hit by things falling off roofs? Nobody blames that on lacking roof security. No special statistic will line these out as "shingle related deaths", they were victims of an earthquake. If a wind turbine gets felled by the tsunami and smashes somebody, it's not gonna be counted as a failure of wind energy.

In an earlier post I said something along the lines of: imagine they hadn't built a nuclear power plant at Fukushima in 1971, but four or five coal power plants (minimum) and those had released their smoke into the air for fourty years. How much damage to environment and human health would they have caused?

On the other hand, radioactive waste will have to be taken care of pretty much indefinitely. So even the next generations that will have clean energy sources (most likely fusion at that point), will have to pay significant amounts of money to take care of our nuclear waste. Seems very irresponsible.

Nuclear reactors have a potential to kill a lot of people a lot quicker than other forms of energy production, with the exception of a water dam breaking. But there are not that many nuclear power plants and they are generally very safe. It's like with an airplane crash. Everybody knows that statistically speaking, airplanes are the most secure method of transportation, but if one crashes, it usually kills a couple of hundred passengers and that makes airplanes seem much scarier for a lot of people than cars.


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:35 am 
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I really apologize for the off-topic, it will by my last post in this topic that doesn't include the words Japan, nuclear or tsunami, I swear!

ces wrote:
For 200 years China did nothing

The same can be said for most countries.
The economic boom of the last two centuries started when the Age of Industrializiation hit. And it hit China a lot later than Europe or America. Once it did, China benifitted from all the advancements made. The leadership's smart politics is that they largely ignore the humanitarian and social progress made in Europe and America and implemented a Capitalism of the 19th century. You call that smart, other people might call it ruthless. Yes, it helps the country as a whole and future generations might benefit greatly from it. I just wouldn't want to live there now.

Quote:
This US imports more than it exports.

And the German economy exports more than it imports. Live's not a wishing well.
China will ultimately run into the same problems that other rich countries run into. They're not doing anything special. And believe you me, the US is not looking any better or worse than any EU country.
The only country that comes to mind that really does something special is Norway, who have had their federalized oil industry and they've been spreading the wealth from that among the people and they're now putting a lot of money into a huge federal fund for the time after the oil runs out.


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:58 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:12 pm 
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smart or stupid, it is an extreme sprite.

the only famous extreme sprites in history are from the threat of death young.

live fast and die.

that is japan.
call it genious, call it what you will..

it is all so grotesquesly stupid, they are just gonna shrink like the land they are loving on. random sprites of desperation and quick change.. like every dainty product we get.

does this deserve a ban? "Ban". where have I heard that word before..

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:29 am 
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Don't drink and post, kids!


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:58 am 
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colm wrote:
smart or stupid, it is an extreme sprite.
Colm would you care to recast what you said into a paragraph with several sentences. I have to believe it contains unintended errors.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Hey, I just heard about some other destruction, although for a change it wasn't from the tsunami, just the quake. A dam failed and caused a flood away from the coast:

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


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:38 am 
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/ ... ZI20110325
Hat, meet stomach.

Looks like the reactor vessels are probably breached after all.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Fukushima Dai-ichi status and slow burning issues
Posted by Euan Mearns on March 25, 2011 - 10:00am

note the text below is not from the link above. I'm just commenting on the overall situation.


It might seem to some that this is happening in slow motion but to me it's as obvious as the Katrina flooding (which didn't happen immediately and wasn't covered well by the media until well under way). Studies were done decades before a major hurricane hit New Orleans and predictions were made clear to any that would listen. No reason to be surprised by the devastation of a disaster that obvious.

I tried to mention how bad this would be near the beginning of this thread but someone said that they didn't want to hear how bad it would be. As though me describing what is likely to happen would change the odds of it happening.

I'll refrain from describing in detail how things are progressing, go spend some time reading news from somewhere other than the MSM if you want to know how bad it really is over there. Or just wait until it becomes more obvious and the MSM decides to cover it again. I understand the activities in the Middle East are important and a understandable bit of news to distract people from following Fukushima.

If there is anyone that still thinks Fukushima is closer to 3 Mile Island than Chernobyl in terms of the severity of the accident or the lives lost due to radiation released into the environment outside the plant they just haven't looked at this enough. Hiding your head in the sand doesn't change the nature of the disaster.

Oh and for the record per the NRC there were 0 deaths directly attributed to 3 Mile Island.

Chernobyl has a more complicated tally: Thirty one deaths are directly attributed to the accident, all among the reactor staff and emergency workers. Estimates of the number of deaths potentially resulting from the accident vary enormously; the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest it could reach 4,000 while a Greenpeace report puts this figure at 200,000 or more.

I'm not predicting a number of deaths for Fukushima, I'm just saying it'll be greater than zero as in >0

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:25 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
I tried to mention how bad this would be near the beginning of this thread but someone said that they didn't want to hear how bad it would be. As though me describing what is likely to happen would change the odds of it happening.
Yeah. Why is that.

That same human mechanism seems to have been at work in Japan and seems to have impaired response to the disaster.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:51 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
The only country that comes to mind that really does something special is Norway, who have had their federalized oil industry and they've been spreading the wealth from that among the people and they're now putting a lot of money into a huge federal fund for the time after the oil runs out.
I don't quite understand what you mean by "federalized" when referring to the Norway oil industry. Most of the Norway oil and gas is produced offshore in the North Sea by private companies. Since it is in areas where the government of Norway owns the mineral rights, Norway gets the benefits of substantial lease and royalty payments, as well as production taxes.

But this is not much different than in the US. There is substantial oil and gas production in federal waters or land areas where the US government is the beneficiary of substantial payments from the private production companies. The main difference is that, since the US is a republic of states, a lot of the land is state owned, and state governments benefit. There is a reason why Texas and Alaska have no state income tax. Granted, in the US, in addition to federal and state lands, there are Native American lands, and private property (particularly farm land) where oil and gas is produced, and the government is not always the main beneficiary (although most state governments charge hefty production/extraction taxes).


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:49 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
Oh and for the record per the NRC there were 0 deaths directly attributed to 3 Mile Island.

Chernobyl has a more complicated tally: Thirty one deaths are directly attributed to the accident, all among the reactor staff and emergency workers. Estimates of the number of deaths potentially resulting from the accident vary enormously; the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest it could reach 4,000 while a Greenpeace report puts this figure at 200,000 or more.

I'm not predicting a number of deaths for Fukushima, I'm just saying it'll be greater than zero as in >0

It will be worse than Three Mile Island. We now have members of the cleanup crew getting large doses (150-200 mSv) which may have added 1% to the chance of them getting cancer.

TMI has been blown way out of context. The IAEA puts the number of cancer deaths at two thirds so it could be 0 or it could be 1. More people will have died from the stress of the event than anything else. News Flashes on TV do cause heart attacks!

Here's a list of IAEA cancer death estimates:

1986 Chenobyl 4000
1957 Kyshtym 150-200
1957 Windscale 33
1979 Three Mile Island 0-1

So TMI simply isn't a worthy comparison. I would say this is similar to Windscale however. As with Fukushima milk and other food products were prevented from entering the food chain for a certain amount of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Quote:
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitted to the possibility in its early March 28 press conference that the steel Reactor Pressure Vessels that hold nuclear fuel rods in the Reactors 1, 2, 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Plant may have broken. TEPCO explained the situation "Imagine there's a hole." Because of this "hole", contaminated water that's been poured into the Pressure Vessels to cool the fuel rods continues to leak, it is assumed...

...TEPCO also admitted to the possibility of the exposed nuclear fuel rods overheating and damaging the RPVs. According to the nuclear experts, if the fuel rods get damaged and start to melt, it will fall to the bottom of the RPVs and settle. It then becomes harder to cool with water effectively, because the surface area is smaller. It is possible that the melted fuel rods melted the wall of the RPVs with high temperature and created a hole.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:15 am 
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Fukushima radioactive fallout nears Chernobyl levels wrote:
Japan's damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodine and caesium at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Austrian researchers have used a worldwide network of radiation detectors – designed to spot clandestine nuclear bomb tests – to show that iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the 1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl.

The difference between this accident and Chernobyl, they say, is that at Chernobyl a huge fire released large amounts of many radioactive materials, including fuel particles, in smoke. At Fukushima Daiichi, only the volatile elements, such as iodine and caesium, are bubbling off the damaged fuel. But these substances could nevertheless pose a significant health risk outside the plant.


How Much Does Japan Know About the Status of its Reactors?
Attachment:
tumblr_liq5qdNjUD1qbnrqd.jpg


Quote:
A - Computer monitors are blank.

B - Clock out of service.

C - Annunciators seem to be de-energized: no alarms reported despite many plant parameters off-normal.

D - Equipment status indicator lights not available.

E - Instrument gauges all downscale (not reading parameter values).


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:08 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
The difference between this accident and Chernobyl, they say, is that at Chernobyl a huge fire released large amounts of many radioactive materials, including fuel particles, in smoke. At Fukushima Daiichi, only the volatile elements, such as iodine and caesium, are bubbling off the damaged fuel. But these substances could nevertheless pose a significant health risk outside the plant.
The difference between Chernobyl and Japan is that Chernobyl had no containment building around the reactor. Once the reactor blew at Chernobyl, there was no backup containment system. In Japan, the containment buildings are 4" of stainless steel. I believe that in the US they use very thick reinforced concrete. However, there does appear to be a leak in one of the containment buildings in Japan, which is the source of much of the radiation, but still nothing like Chernobyl.

It does seem like media is under-reporting the seriousness of the situation. If there was ever a leak like that in the US, we would be hearing about it 24x7 with massive evacuation, but the Japanese tend to follow instructions from their leaders and not complain too much.

Quote:
A - Computer monitors are blank.

B - Clock out of service.

C - Annunciators seem to be de-energized: no alarms reported despite many plant parameters off-normal.

D - Equipment status indicator lights not available.

E - Instrument gauges all downscale (not reading parameter values).
I believe that the control room had no power for quite a while, which is why all the equipment is off, except for some emergency lighting (or maybe those are skylights, can't tell). Power has been restored to the control room, which had to be brought in from a fairly long distance over new power wires.


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