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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:55 am 
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m0002a wrote:
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.


Yes and that picture is from AFTER the power was restored.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:06 am 
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m0002a wrote:
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.


Please modify your quote header in the future. I did not write the quoted block, I quoted an article. If you don't know the source just use quote="unknown source" or quote="quoted article" or some such. A quick google search shows the quoted block comes from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2 ... evels.html

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:12 am 
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edh wrote:
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.


edh, those are some interesting numbers but I keep seeing quotes like this

"Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday blamed inadequate tsunami defenses at the plant for the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986"

So if the Prime Minister actually made that comparison he is either wrong or maybe we should expect more than 200 people to die from the nuclear incident at Fukushima.

I suppose it's also possible that the Prime Minister made the first part of the quote and someone added the comparison in the process of translation or paraphrasing a translation that seemed poorly worded.

But we should also remember that the number of cancer deaths is not the total number of deaths from a incident like this. The workers who died in the first few days of Chernobyl didn't die from cancer. So looking at a table of cancer deaths doesn't tell the whole story.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:30 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
those are some interesting numbers but I keep seeing quotes like this

"Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday blamed inadequate tsunami defenses at the plant for the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986"

So if the Prime Minister actually made that comparison he is either wrong or maybe we should expect more than 200 people to die from the nuclear incident at Fukushima.

I suppose it's also possible that the Prime Minister made the first part of the quote and someone added the comparison in the process of translation or paraphrasing a translation that seemed poorly worded.

But we should also remember that the number of cancer deaths is not the total number of deaths from a incident like this. The workers who died in the first few days of Chernobyl didn't die from cancer. So looking at a table of cancer deaths doesn't tell the whole story.

Saying that the accident at Fukushima is the worst since Chernobyl does not necessarily mean he is saying that they are comparable. It means that Fukushima is the most serious since Chernobyl, even if Chernobyl may have been far worse (because there was no containment structure at all, whereas Fukushima apparently has a leak it its containment structure.

However, I do believe that Fukushima is a lot worse than the US media is reporting (rarely getting top billing on news broadcasts or web pages).


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:09 am 
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m0002a wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
those are some interesting numbers but I keep seeing quotes like this

"Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday blamed inadequate tsunami defenses at the plant for the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986"

So if the Prime Minister actually made that comparison he is either wrong or maybe we should expect more than 200 people to die from the nuclear incident at Fukushima.

I suppose it's also possible that the Prime Minister made the first part of the quote and someone added the comparison in the process of translation or paraphrasing a translation that seemed poorly worded.

But we should also remember that the number of cancer deaths is not the total number of deaths from a incident like this. The workers who died in the first few days of Chernobyl didn't die from cancer. So looking at a table of cancer deaths doesn't tell the whole story.

Saying that the accident at Fukushima is the worst since Chernobyl does not necessarily mean he is saying that they are comparable. It means that Fukushima is the most serious since Chernobyl, even if Chernobyl may have been far worse (because there was no containment structure at all, whereas Fukushima apparently has a leak it its containment structure.

However, I do believe that Fukushima is a lot worse than the US media is reporting (rarely getting top billing on news broadcasts or web pages).


Good point, "since" does not equal "second only to". I just keep thinking about how bad this is and how big the disconnect is between how bad it is and people saying "It isn't like Chernobyl so it must be more like 3 Mile Island".

This nuclear disaster is so bad no one has even laid eyes or camera lens on the containment vessels yet. Like this post says:

Bendal wrote:
I don't think anything with a camera or eyeball has actually "seen" the exterior of the reactor pressure vessels since the earthquake. The sensors aren't working and the void around the vessels themselves is highly radioactive now. I've not seen any reports saying robots are on the site yet.

Everyone's working off of other data; the presence of radiated water, low pressures in the vessels, etc, and are coming up with explanations as to what is causing these things to happen. The media tends to report people's opinions as hard facts, when no one really knows what the pressure vessel conditions are right now. I've seen both TEPCO and JAIA officials give different explanations as to why there's radiated water everywhere; leaking pipes, leaking pressure vessels, even leaking secondary containment structures. I don't think anyone knows for sure right now if they've got holes in them or not.


Quick summary from the current Wiki article

Quote:
Evidence arose of partial core meltdown in reactors 1, 2, and 3; hydrogen explosions destroyed the upper cladding of the buildings housing reactors 1, 3, and 4; an explosion damaged the containment inside reactor 2; and multiple fires broke out at reactor 4. In addition, spent fuel rods stored in spent fuel pools of units 1–4 began to overheat as water levels in the pools dropped.

On 25 March, Japan's nuclear regulator announced a likely breach and radiation leak in the containment vessel of the unit 3 reactor, the only one at the plant using MOX fuel.[7][8][9] New Scientist reported that measurements taken by the Japanese science ministry and MEXT in areas of northern Japan "far from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant" showed the radioactive caesium fallout levels rival those from the Chernobyl disaster. Previously the publication had reported that world wide measurements of radioactive fallout released from the reactors were "nearing Chernobyl levels". It reported that the preparatory commission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization had measured levels of iodine-131 at 73% and caesium-137 at 60% the levels released from Chernobyl

Accident rating
Radiation releases during the initial hydrogen explosions

The severity of a nuclear accident is rated on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). This scale runs from 0, indicating an abnormal situation with no safety consequences, to 7, indicating an accident causing widespread contamination with serious health and environmental effects. The Chernobyl disaster is the only level 7 accident on record, while the Three Mile Island accident was a level 5 accident.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency initially rated the situation at Unit 1 below both of these previous accidents; on 13 March it announced it was classifying the event at level 4, an "accident with local consequences".[34] On 18 March it raised its rating on Unit 1 to level 5, an "accident with wider consequences", and also assigned this rating to the accidents at Units 2 and 3. It classified the situation at Unit 4 as a level 3 "serious incident".[285]

The Wall Street Journal reported on 25 March that authorities were considering raising the event to level 6, a "serious accident," one level above the Three Mile Island accident, and second only to Chernobyl.[286] On the same day, Asahi Shimbun supported this upgrading, based on the amount of radioactive contamination.[279][287]

Several parties have disputed the Japanese classifications, arguing that the situation is more severe than they are admitting. On 14 March, three Russian experts stated that the nuclear accident should be classified at Level 5, perhaps even Level 6.[288] One day later, the French nuclear safety authority ASN said that the Fukushima plant could be classified as a Level 6.[289] As of 18 March 2011 (2011 -03-18)[update], the French nuclear authority—and as of 15 March 2011 (2011 -03-15)[update], the Finnish nuclear safety authority—estimated the accidents at Fukushima to be at Level 6 on the INES.[290][291] On 24 March, a scientific consultant for Greenpeace, a noted anti-nuclear environmental group, working with data from the Austrian ZAMG[292] and French IRSN, prepared an analysis in which he rated the total Fukushima I accident at INES level 7.[293]


The latest news doesn't make it sound like things are under control so I still expect the severity to increase at this point. I'm not suggesting it'll go critical and blow up, I'm just saying they don't have control of the situation and they haven't acknowledged how bad it was let alone how bad it will be nor do they have a solid plan for what to do next or how to wrap it all up.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:12 am 
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This may be semantics, but I would be absolutely astounded if the estimated deaths caused by this exceeds 2,000, or even 1,000. In my book, that makes this closer to no disaster at all than to Chernobyl.

Now if you take a logarithmic/geometric interpretation of "close" there may be an argument, but I'll stick with linear :)

I'm not arguing that it's not a disaster, but I really don't think Chernobyl comparisons are productive. Also, up until the water from the basement area was analyzed, it was not clear that there had been a vessel breech. In fact, there were indications that the vessels were in tact. So claiming that a vessel breech was obvious at the start is not accurate. Edit 2: I suppose this assumes that there was full disclosure, which may be a problem?

Edit: also, before anyone brings up the hydrogen explosions, it was evident that the explosions actually occurred outside the vessels. Which I suppose indicates a non-air-tight vessel, but nothing like what is now apparent.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:35 am 
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http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.sw ... start=true

Even if you want to consider the Nuclear situation a non issue. This video of the Tsunami is impressive.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:18 pm 
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New Management?

Japan Weighs Entombing Nuclear Plant in Bid to Halt Radiation
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-3 ... actor.html

"Tokyo Electric Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata apologized for the nuclear crisis yesterday and said the power company will do all it can to prevent the catastrophe from worsening. Katsumata took charge of the utility after President Masataka Shimizu, 66, was admitted to a hospital for high blood pressure."

High Blood pressure has no symptoms. The treatment is drugs that lower the pressure. Their effect is almost immediate. I have never heard of anyone being "hospitalized" for high blood pressure. Seems even more transparent than Charlie Sheen's hospitalization for his hernia. Looks like Shimizu San doesn't subscribe to Bushido tradition (seppuku and all)... instead he is following Western ways using a Western disease brought on by a Western diet.

Now why is it Mr. Shimizu had to be relieved of the tiller?

Is there anyone at this point who does not think that maybe it could have been handled better... maybe a lot better?

Is there anyone that doesn't believe perhaps Tokyo Electric Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata thinks so. What do you think?

EDIT: This looks like one of Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata's first acts:
Tzupy wrote:
Better later than never: Safety upgrades ordered at Japan nuclear plants.
Article at CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiap ... tml?hpt=T2

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Last edited by ces on Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:38 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Better later than never: Safety upgrades ordered at Japan nuclear plants.
Article at CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiap ... tml?hpt=T2


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:41 am 
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Fukushima Dai-ichi status and prognosis
Posted by Euan Mearns on March 31, 2011 - 1:13am wrote:
The disjointed news flow from Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) continues to provide a confusing picture of the status of the 4 crippled nuclear power stations at Fukushima Dai-ichi on the East coast of Japan. This is leading to a very broad spectrum of opinion on the actual status and future consequences. The spectrum of opinion ranges from those who argue that Fukushima Dai-ichi is on course to become a Chernobyl scale incident or worse, to those who argue this is a storm in a teacup, pointing out that reactors have been hit by a large earthquake, gigantic tsunami and survived with minimal casualties so far. So where does the truth lie?

What do we think we know for sure?

1) The Japanese government have warned of a grave nuclear incident on a number of occasions.

2) The status of the reactors, fuel pools and dispersion of radioactive materials continues to get worse, not better.

3) There are perhaps 7 or 8 reactor loads of fuel in play compared with a single load at Chernobyl and 4 or 5 of those are outside of containment in badly damaged spent fuel pools.

4) This report suggests that daily release of radioactive 131I and 137Cs is running at around 73% and 60% of Chernobyl respectively.

5) The Chernobyl fire burned for 8 to 10 days whilst Fukushima Dai-ichi has been emitting radioactive material for around 15 days with no end in sight.



Comparison of Fukushima Dai-ichi and Chernobyl

There are a number of key differences between Chernobyl and Fukushima Dai-ichi making comparisons of the incidents difficult:

1) The Chernobyl accident took place at fission power blowing the roof of the core and reactor building while Fukushima Dai-ichi was successfully shut down.

2) Chernobyl had a graphite core that burned, spreading radioactive material far and wide.

3) Chernobyl lacked a primary containment system.

4) Chernobyl involved a single reactor load of fuel while Fukushima Dai-ichi likely has 7 to 8 reactor loads spread between the cores of units 1, 2 and 3 and the spent fuel ponds of units 1 to 4.

5) Fukushima Dai-ichi unit 3 has MOX fuel loads containing plutonium in reactor and in spent fuel pool.

6) Fuel in pool of reactor 4 is not spent and is a 'hot' load outside of containment.

7) Fukushima Dai-ichi is located in the heart of Japan, the world's third largest economy whilst Chernobyl is located in Ukraine which has lower economic standing in the world.

In my estimation, the larger mass of fuel, much of it outside of containment, the geographic location and possible socio-economic impacts on Japan, longer duration and open-ended nature of this event and extant risk of explosion and fire will ultimately make Fukushima Dai-ichi the more serious incident.


If you decide to quote part of this post please modify the quote header. I did not write the quoted block, I quoted a portion of an article. If you don't know the source just use quote="unknown source" or quote="quoted article" or even quote="" so it's blank.

Oh, and if you haven't seen these Pics, they are good stills to look at. http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/20 ... om-the-air

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Radioactivity Now Found in Ground Water

"In a brief statement, Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, said a test of groundwater conducted the previous day at the site revealed radioactive iodine-131—a common isotope found there since it was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11—at levels 10,000 times the limit Japan sets for seawater."

Deserve to Exist / Unthinkable

"The prime minister raised the possibility that the government would take a greater role in nuclear-power operation. His comments, delivered in Tokyo at a press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, appeared to take direct aim at Tepco, the subject of recent speculation that it could be nationalized. "Once this crisis is brought under control, we need to have discussions on how our power companies should look, including whether they should continue to exist," he said.

Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal this week showed that Tepco had a bare-bones and apparently outdated plan in place to deal with disaster at the site, and that the plant's managers considered the possibility of a severe accident"sosmall that from an engineering standpoint, it is practically unthinkable.
"


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 05358.html

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:19 pm 
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This NOVA program is the most information about the earthquake in Japan that I have seen:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1863101157

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:02 pm 
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"a failure of human decision-making"

"The most serious public safety outcome of the March 11 Japan earthquake might have been avoided. But a government agency and Tokyo Electric Power officials who could have made a difference failed to accept the possibility of an event that they did not expect would happen."

"Analyst/consultant Nassim Nicholas Teleb calls it succumbing to a "black swan" - a failure of human decision-making that he labels "epistemic arrogance" of expertise that leads to self-delusion."

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.de ... tml?nav=16

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:41 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
This NOVA program is the most information about the earthquake in Japan that I have seen:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1863101157


I DVRed it last night and got the family together to watch it this afternoon. It was OK but not as good as the internet coverage I've seen. Definitely saw some new material in it that was worth watching though.

The talk on the drum lately that I thought about while watching that video is evacuation of Tokyo. In the NOVA special they discussed it in regards to a Tsunami, but on the drum they are discussing it in regards to winds blowing radiation in from Fukushima.

Of course both scenarios are far from certain, in fact they may never happen, but if they did evacuating 35 Million+ people from that area isn't likely to happen in a quick or orderly fashion.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:22 am 
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Hey, I found this post, it's a summary of a talk given by a guy who worked at a reactor in NJ that was the same model as the ones in Japan. Definitely an interesting perspective. Although it is about a week old, I'm not sure how much more is known now.

http://atomicinsights.com/2011/04/fukushima-nuclear-accident-exceptional-summary-by-murray-e-miles.html


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Right, the NOVA program was not as detailed on the nuclear part of this disaster, as it it was on the earthquake and tsunami.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:23 pm 
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I know there is nothing funny in Japan right now but I'm going to quote the funniest post I've read since the disaster.

Attachment:
300px-New_radiation_symbol_ISO_21482.svg_1.png


DIYer wrote:
It either means "run away from this hazard", or that you are about to be beamed up by space aliens. Which is also pretty scary, I suppose.



and after you stop laughing you can read the official usage description

"The symbol is intended for IAEA Category 1, 2 and 3 sources defined as dangerous sources capable of death or serious injury, including food irradiators, teletherapy machines for cancer treatment and industrial radiography units. The symbol is to be placed on the device housing the source, as a warning not to dismantle the device or to get any closer. It will not be visible under normal use, only if someone attempts to disassemble the device. The symbol will not be located on building access doors, transportation packages or containers."


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: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:03 pm 
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One of world's largest concrete pumps headed from U.S. to Japan

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... er/?hpt=T2

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 Post subject: High resolution pictures of failed nuclear plant
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:05 am 
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http://cryptome.org/eyeball/daiichi-npp/daiichi-photos.htm
http://cryptome.org/eyeball/daiichi-npp2/daiichi-photos2.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:25 am 
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ces wrote:
One of world's largest concrete pumps headed from U.S. to Japan
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... er/?hpt=T2
They could have staged that so it would have been there already. They could have staged a lot of things before they were needed. In my opinion, if the actions of the decision makers there aren't criminal, they should be made to be so.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:38 pm 
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I just saw this today, pretty interesting to watch the Geiger counter numbers as they travel the 15+ km towards Fukushima. I was surprised they went in with no protective gear but at least they gave up at 1.5km from the plant when radiation levels got too high for their comfort.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp9iJ3pP ... r_embedded

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:50 pm 
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The Man Who Predicted the Tsunami
After studying ancient rocks, a Japanese geologist warned that a disaster was imminent—to no avail
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... lenews_wsj

Dr. Shishikura had an appointment on March 23 to explain his research to officials in Fukushima. But they were basically pooh poohing him as they did his research and probably wouldn't have done much after the meeting.

"It's unfortunate that it wasn't in time," he said. But he also felt vindicated after past slights, remembering the local official who didn't want to help him dig holes in the earth for research and who called the endeavor a "nuisance."

"During the magnitude 9.0 quake on March 11, some people well inland, thinking themselves safe, took time to change clothes or to make phone calls. Others watched the disaster unfold instead of running to high ground. They proved what Dr. Shishikura's group wrote last year about local tsunamis: "It appears to be almost completely unknown among the general public that in the past great tsunamis have inundated areas as far as 3-4 kilometers inland as the result of earthquakes exceeding magnitude 8."

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake/Tsunami Disaster - Fukushima L7
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:38 am 
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Quote:
Japan on Tuesday raised the severity rating at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to level 7, the most serious on the international scale and the same rating that was given 25 years ago to Chernobyl, as aftershocks close to the facility heighten safety concerns.

Experts are not agreed, however, as to the extent of the radiation leaks and whether it can yet be said to be as bad as the 1986 disaster in Ukraine.

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan and the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) held a joint press conference today to announce they were raising the rating at Fukushima from its current level 5 to level 7. A little more than one month has passed since a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the northeast coast of Japan and triggered a 30-foot tsunami that first damaged the plant.

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale defines a level 7 accident as a "major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects."

Fukushima update: Major aftershock hits Japan; cash and safes are washing ashore
Severity rating raised

Shortly after Japan raised the crisis level, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told citizens in a televised address not to panic. "Right now, the situation of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant has been stabilizing step by step. The amount of radiation leaks is on the decline," he said. "But we are not at the stage yet where we can let our guards down."

Lauri Myllyvirta, who is working with Greenpeace Japan to assess the potential danger of the situation at the nuclear plant, says this is a wake-up call. “This is recognition of the reality of the situation that is finally being admitted to: that Fukushima is on a level that must be taken seriously,” he says.


Quote:
Japan raised the crisis level to a severity on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez said Tokyo raised the rating from 5 to 7, citing high overall radiation leaks that have contaminated the air, tap water, vegetables and seawater. Seven is the highest level on an international scale of nuclear accidents overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The new ranking came a day after the government added five communities to a list of places people should leave to avoid long-term radiation exposure. A 20-kilometer radius already had been cleared around the plant disabled by the March 11 tsunami.

Officials from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that the cumulative amount of radioactive particles released into the atmosphere since the incident had reached levels that apply to a Level 7 incident. Other factors included damage to the plant's buildings and accumulated radiation levels for its workers.

Japanese officials said the leaks from the Fukushima plant so far amount to a tenth of the radiation emitted in the Chernobyl disaster, but said they eventually could exceed Chernobyl's emissions if the crisis continues.

In Chernobyl, in the Ukraine, a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing a cloud of radiation over much of the Northern Hemisphere. A zone about 30 kilometers around the plant was declared uninhabitable, although some plant workers still live there for short periods and a few hundred other people have returned despite government encouragement to stay away.

In 2005, the Chernobyl Forum—a group comprising the International Atomic Energy Agency and several other UN groups—said fewer than 50 deaths could be confirmed as being connected to Chernobyl. It also said the number of radiation-related deaths among the 600,000 people who helped deal with the aftermath of the accident would ultimately be around 4,000.

The UN health agency, however, has said about 9,300 people are likely to die of cancers caused by radiation. Some groups, including Greenpeace, have put the numbers 10 times higher.

The Fukushima plant was damaged in a massive tsunami that knocked out cooling systems and backup diesel generators, leading to explosions at three reactors and a fire at a fourth that was undergoing regular maintenance and was empty of fuel.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake that caused the tsunami immediately stopped the three reactors, but overheated cores and a lack of cooling functions led to further damage.

Engineers have pumped water into the damaged reactors to cool them down, but leaks have resulted in the pooling of tons of contaminated, radioactive water that has prevented workers from conducting further repairs.

A month after the disaster, more than 145,000 people are still living in shelters. The quake and tsunami are believed to have killed more than 25,000 people, but many of those bodies were swept out to sea and more than half of those feared dead are still listed as missing.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:46 am 
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It doesn't have to be "as bad" as the Soviet nuclear disaster to be a '7'. The radiation released (so far) is about 10% as much as Chernobyl, which certainly is still a lot.

The previous rating of 5 was suspect -- wasn't it already "serious" at that point? So, I think it should have been a 6 before, and now they know that it has released a lot more radioactive material than they realized, so a rating of 7 is justified.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:22 pm 
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I liked this article at Dailytech, probably because it approximates well with my own opinions:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=21360


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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:12 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
It doesn't have to be "as bad" as the Soviet nuclear disaster to be a '7'. The radiation released (so far) is about 10% as much as Chernobyl, which certainly is still a lot.

The previous rating of 5 was suspect -- wasn't it already "serious" at that point? So, I think it should have been a 6 before, and now they know that it has released a lot more radioactive material than they realized, so a rating of 7 is justified.


It'll never be exactly the same even if it is as close as possible to equally bad. Trying to determine how close the two are is about as useful as comparing injures/deaths caused by

a single alligator attack on a man
a single elephant stomping on a man
a single man attacked by a swarm of killer bees

If I were exposed to any of the three or had a choice of which to choose I wouldn't be happy (assuming I was still alive). Any discussion of the attack by anyone that didn't experience it would likely piss me off. Any comparison of the three would be rife with pointless inaccuracies.

But it's human nature to want some sort of yardstick, some sort of milestone, some way to look at the big picture and ask what am I seeing here, please give me a comparison.

Nuclear deaths from Chernobyl were >0 (greater than zero). On that scale I expect the same from Fukushima. Unfortunately for anyone in Japan any comparison or evaluation of these events by outsiders...

Unfortunately for a significant >0 (greater than zero) portion of us outside of Japan there will be direct affects on us. Whether we directly ingest/inhale any particles from Fukushima, or are simply affected by shortages/price hikes of supplies due to the losses in Japan.

If there is any good news or silver lining in this story I blanked out and forgot it or I haven't come to recognize it. If your version of good news is "it could be worse" or "It could have been worse" please wait to say it. I don't think the full ramifications of Fukushima have been acknowledged yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:14 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
I liked this article at Dailytech, probably because it approximates well with my own opinions:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=21360

I agree with this article, this is a very good way of putting it:
Quote:
The Japanese nuclear disaster would never have happened, were it not for gross engineering negligence

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:13 pm 
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APRIL 23, 2011

Reactor Team Let Pressure Soar

By PHRED DVORAK

Quote:
TOKYO—The operator of Japan's stricken nuclear plant let pressure in one reactor climb far beyond the level the facility was designed to withstand, a decision that may have worsened the world's most serious nuclear accident in a quarter century.

Japanese nuclear-power companies are so leery of releasing radiation into the atmosphere that their rules call for waiting much longer and obtaining many more sign-offs than U.S. counterparts before venting the potentially dangerous steam that builds up as reactors overheat, a Wall Street Journal inquiry found.

Japan's venting policy got its first real-world test in the chaotic hours after March 11's earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power complex. By the first hours of March 12, an emergency was brewing inside the plant's No. 1 reactor.

By around 2:30 a.m., the pressure inside the vessel that forms a protective bulb around the reactor's core reached twice the level it was designed to withstand. Amid delays and technical difficulties, it was another 12 hours before workers finished releasing radioactive steam from this containment vessel, via reinforced pipes, to the air beyond the reactor building.

About an hour later, the reactor building itself exploded—a blast that Japanese and U.S. regulators have since said spread highly radioactive debris beyond the plant. The explosion, along with others amid overheating at reactors 2, 3 and 4, contributed to radiation levels that led to mandatory evacuations around the plant and the government's admission that the Fukushima Daiichi disaster ranks alongside Chernobyl at the top of the nuclear-disaster scale.


story continues at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 96182.html


oh and an interesting take on one small portion of this

wardsmith on theoildrum wrote:
The Japanese version of the NRC (nuclear regulatory commission) is very stringent on radiation releases. During a time of critical infrastructure outages including power and phone, TEPCO personnel were trying to FAX (because that is/was the required format) specific forms to their NRC. Imagine the difficulties in trying to use a fax machine when you don't have power and you don't have phone lines working, oh and the paper forms you're supposed to use are all wet and muddy?

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Here is a short video on Youtube about the nuclear fallout. Some may get a laugh out of it, some may find it informative.

There is a clear explanation in the video of some of what happened at Fukushima but she also says extreme things like don't eat food from Europe (because of Chernobyl fallout).

I'm not saying what percent of it is right or wrong just saying I found it interesting to watch. Take it with a large portion of iodized salt.

Helen Caldicott says we are Fukushima'd:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnVV9sq78Yg

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

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 Post subject: Re: Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 6:37 am 
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Just discovered an excellent hour-long radio show on ecoshock, by an independent local Vancouver eco journalist --
http://www.ecoshock.org/eshock11.html

Quote:
FUKUSHIMA DRAMA- Are You Safe? Can we believe the Japanese on Fukushima dangers? Could another big wave of radiation hit North America, Europe? A reactor by reactor report, plus geopolitics and your own preparation. The under-reported stories, what might blow up next, radiation to the sea, impacts on world economy & ideas for your personal responses. Ecoshock 110429 1 hour 14 MB


Complete text transcript also there.

Here's a tiny snippet, about mainstream media attention on Fukushima:

Quote:
WHY IS FUKUSHIMA DATA NOT ON NATIONAL TV IN THE U.S? OR CANADA?

Many people are asking, why doesn't the U.S. and Canadian media report what is going on? There are no updates or warnings about radiation being measured in North America. In fact, reporting about Fukushima has dropped off to nothing, outside the business press.

In a discussion thread in the nuclear department at UC Berkeley California, a person claiming to write for a Southern California news service claims he wrote two stories about Fukushima radiation reaching the coast, but both were turned down. I can't verify this.

News editors reportedly tell the few reporters who remain "the public isn't interested". The Fukushima disaster no longer shows up on Google News top stories columns. You need to search for it specifically to find anything.

The major fast-breaking news is now moving on the Net, with TV stations so far behind they prefer not to cover this story. Besides, they have slashed reporters, there is almost no one left to cover such a complex story.

Most Americans do not realize the full extent of media ownership by General Electric, the maker of the failed Mark I reactors at Fukushima. Beyond 49 percent ownership of the NBC TV network, and MSNBC the Net version, co-owned with Microsoft, GE owns television stations in most major markets, from New York through Chicago to Los Angeles, plus things like the Biography Channel, History Channel, the Weather Channel (which should be broadcasting the radiation levels along with winds) and so on. GE also owns Spanish language networks in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.

And what happened to one of the few independent voices, the Union of Concerned Scientists? They held daily press briefings until April 7th. The transcripts were loaded with details of similar failures at American reactors. Suddenly, the briefings stopped, and a week ago all that valuable material taken down from the web site. David Lockbaum, who was getting 135 article mentions in early April, got just 5 last week. He looks banished to a single blog on the UCS web site. Three reactors are still melting down. Who closed down the Union of Concerned Scientists on Fukushima? If you know more about this, please write me. The address is radio /AT/ ecoshock.org

Fukushima is disappearing down a mass media rabbit hole. The field has been left to a few business journalists, including a good blog at Forbes.com, and to the fringe bloggers. A major world-changing event, bringing radiation right into your food chain, and it isn't worth a top news story. That tells you a lot about what you can expect as Peak Oil and climate change keep smashing our civilization. Expectations and things will disappear, towns will be wrecked, and you know not to talk about it, if you want to keep your job. Hush!

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