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Japanese Earthquake Diary

by ceebs Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:02:13 PM EST

Earthquake/Tsunami news appears to be all that exists tonight.So to save overwhelming every other diary, here's your single stop for everything related.

Massive quake unleashes tsunami on Japan

A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan on Friday, unleashing a monster 10-metre high tsunami that sent ships crashing into the shore and carried cars through the streets of coastal towns.

Many injuries were reported from Pacific coastal areas of the main Honshu island and the capital Tokyo, police said, while TV footage showed widespread flooding in the area. One person was confirmed dead.

A powerful 10-metre (33 feet) wall of water was reported in Sendai in northeastern Miyagi prefecture, media reported after a four-metre wave hit the coast earlier.

Helicopter footage showed massive inundation in northern coastal towns, where floods of black water sent shipping containers, cars and debris crashing through towns.

Mud waves were shown racing upstream along the Natori river in Sendai city, blanketing farm fields.


There are reports of up to 88,000 people missing, several hundred known dead, a boat swept away with 100 dockyard workers on board from a local harbour and one, possibly two passenger trains missing.

On top of that several nuclear power plants have been shut down, and at least one is in a fairly damaged state severe enough for the government to have called a nuclear emergency. A refinery is also extensively on fire.

Display:
Japanese Quake Forces Evacuation Near Nuclear Reactor; Oil Refinery Burns - Bloomberg

Residents near a Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear reactor were ordered to evacuate because of a possible radiation leak as Japan's strongest earthquake in a century shut power plants and oil refineries.

About 1,800 residents living within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 1 reactor were ordered to evacuate, said Ryohei Shiomi, spokesman at the Emergency Information Center of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Residents within 10 kilometers were told to stay indoors.

Firefighters continued to battle a blaze at Cosmo Oil Co.'s refinery, 40 kilometers east of Tokyo, said Seiichi Aso, a spokesman at the local fire department. The blaze started at the 220,000 barrel-a-day plant's storage tanks, Cosmo Oil spokesman Yusuke Kaneda said. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. said it shut its refineries in Sendai, Kashima, and Negishi.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:03:04 PM EST
Japan to release of radioactive vapor at nuke pant - Business - Oil & energy - msnbc.com

TOKYO -- Japanese authorities will release slightly radioactive vapor to ease pressure at nuclear reactor whose cooling system failed.

The failure occurred after a power outage caused by Friday's massive earthquake off northeastern Japan.

Japan's nuclear safety agency says pressure inside one of six boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant had risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:03:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters Top News (Reuters) on Twitter
FLASH: Japan's trade ministry says the pressure inside the Fukushima nuclear reactor may have risen to 2.1 times the designed capacity


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Earthquake and Tsunami Update

Vienna, 11 March 2011 (1245 CET) | The IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre has received information from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) that a heightened state of alert has been declared at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. NISA says the plant has been shut down and no release of radiation has been detected.

Japanese authorities have also reported a fire at the Onagawa nuclear power plant, which has been extinguished. They say Onagawa, Fukushima-Daini and Tokai nuclear power plants were also shut down automatically, and no radiation release has been detected.

The IAEA received information from its International Seismic Safety Centre that a second earthquake of magnitude 6.5 has struck Japan near the coast of Honshu, near the Tokai plant.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear safety lessons from Japan's summer earthquake | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

On July 16, 2007, an earthquake with a magnitude of somewhere between 6.6 and 6.8 struck Japan. Its epicenter was about 16 kilometers north of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), the biggest such plant in the world. The known results of the earthquake include a fire and leaks of radioactivity. However, news of damage to the reactors continues to emerge, the most recent being the discovery of a jammed control rod in Unit-7. Though there was no major release of radioactivity, the many failures and unanticipated events that occurred at the reactor after the earthquake have important implications for nuclear safety worldwide.

To start, the Japanese nuclear establishment never anticipated the magnitude of the earthquake. Under Japan's old guidelines, which formed the basis of the KKNPP design, the seismic hazard for each nuclear site is defined in terms of two intensities, termed S1 and S2. (See "Status Report on Seismic Re-Evaluation" PDF.) The S1 earthquake, referred to as the "maximum design earthquake," is less intense and determined by historical events and current and past fault activity. The S2 earthquake, called the "extreme design earthquake" and supposedly an impossibility, is derived from seismo-tectonic structures and active faults. These requirements were believed to provide a "sufficient range of earthquakes to assure reactor safety for any potential earthquake shaking." (See "A Developing Risk-Informed Design Basis Earthquake Ground Motion Methodology" PDF.) But clearly the S2 design earthquake wasn't extreme enough: The peak ground acceleration of the July 16 earthquake was two-and-a-half times greater than what was assumed for the S2 earthquake.

My Bold

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:14:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the peak ground acceleration for the Sendai earthquake wasn't all that large for its magnitude.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:43:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Insane. I'm reading that all the emergency generators for three reactors in the plant failed (remember Forsmark?), and they don't have the proper cable to connect their mobile generator trucks to the system...>


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All Things Nuclear * Nuclear Crisis at Fukushima

The massive earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan has caused a potentially catastrophic situation at one of Japan's nuclear power plants. The situation is still evolving, but here is a preliminary assessment based on the facts as we currently understand them.

The plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), reported that at 2:46 p.m. local time (12:46 a.m. EST) "turbines and reactors of Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 ... and Units 2 and 3 ... automatically shut down due to the Miyagiken-oki Earthquake."

These reactors are 3 of the 6 operating reactors at the Fukushima I nuclear facility. All are boiling water reactors. Unit 1 has a rated output of 460 megawatts, and Units 2 and 3 each have a rated output of 784 megawatts.

TEPCO went on to state the shutdowns were caused by the loss of off-site power "due to malfunction of one out of two off-site power systems." This loss of power triggered emergency diesel generators, which automatically started to provide backup power to the reactors.

However, at 3:41 p.m. local time (1:46 a.m. EST), the emergency diesel generators shut down "due to malfunction, resulting in the complete loss of alternating current for all three units," according to TEPCO.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Achilles heel of active nuclear safety systems: lack of proper maintenance.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yay for passive systems...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) are "passively safe" in the sense that they have a "negative void coefficient" - if they overheat the power generation goes down (unlike the reactor at Chernobyl). However, this doesn't preclude a meltdown since even a subcritical fuel mass will continue heating due to natural radioactive decay.

What really worries me about Fukushima is the apparent likely failure of the containment vessels.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just going to write that failure of the containment due to overpressure should be no problem as you can vent the containment (which shouldn't be that dangerous) - and then I read that the fucking plant just EXPLODED! What in the FUCK!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:50:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, seems to have been extensively video-ed as well



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:49:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
I have just posted a link to NHK in the Salon to the effect that the reason they're releasing radioactive gas is that the pressure readings are too high for the containment vessel (!)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:10:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

It's possible that radioactive material in the reactor vessel could leak outside but the amount is expected to be small and the wind blowing towards the sea will be considered.

Residents are safe, after those within a 3km radius were evacuated, and those within a 10km radius staying indoors - so we want people to be calm.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO says 2 staff missing at Fukushima nuke plant | Reuters
TEPCO says 2 staff missing at Fukushima nuke plant


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Japan earthquake
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has just announced that residents living within 10km (6.2 miles) of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station must evacuate their homes, according to the Kyodo news agency. Engineers are trying to fix the cooling system of one of the plant's reactors, which was damaged by the earthquake. The authorities had earlier told some 3,000 residents living within 3km (1.9 miles) to leave.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:33:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Japan earthquake
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has said radiation may already have been released at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:36:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ReutersBreakingNews (REUTERSFLASH) on Twitter
Radiation levels 8 times normal levels near main gate of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan - Kyodo


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:41:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Andy Carvin (acarvin) on Twitter
Dear God. RT @W7VOA: Officials now saying radiation at Fukushima nuke plant 1,000X normal level. #jpquake


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ReutersBreakingNews (REUTERSFLASH) on Twitter
Radiation level in Fukushima Daiichi plant central control unit 1,000 times normal - Kyodo


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientist on CNN saying 1000X is not enough to make health impact.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs
There may be some accuracy to these reports of increased danger at Fukushima nuclear power plant. AP is now reporting radiation levels have surged outside the facility, and Japanese officials have expanded the area subject to evacuation.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:07:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Japan earthquake
The Onagawa nuclear power plant also suffered a fire in a non-nuclear turbine building, which took eight hours to extinguish, according to the World Nuclear Association. A minor fire burned in a non-nuclear service building of the Fukushima-Daini plant, but this was extinguished within two hours, the WNA added.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ReutersBreakingNews (REUTERSFLASH) on Twitter
Japan trade ministry official: Radiation at Fukushima plant control unit not at level to require workers' evacuation


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:27:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

More reports from the Fukushima nuclear plant - radiation levels at a central control unit in the "No.1 reactor" have reached 1,000 times normal, a trade ministry official told Reuters. But that's not a level that would require workers to evacuate the plant, the official said.

Meanwhile, nuclear watcdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said that cooling systems at the "No.2 reactor" have also been damaged, and that work is underway to repair them.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:30:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tepco now says that the Fukushima No 2 plant has lost cooling to three of its reactors.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Japan earthquake
More from the Tokyo Electric Power Company: It says the ability to control pressure in some of the reactors at Fukushima-Daini has been lost. Pressure is stable inside the reactors, but rising in the containment vessels, a company spokesman says.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs
Dozens of troops trained for chemical disasters have been sent to the Fukushima nuclear plant in case of a radiation leak, along with four vehicles designed for use in atomic, biological and chemical warfare, says defence ministry official Ippo Maeyama.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it eventually stabilize in the vessel if it had stabilized in the reactor?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:19:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well one would think so, but you'd have to wonder where the equilibrium point was.

(And if the reactor is stable where's the extra pressure in the reactor coming from? unless its increasing because the reactor itself is getting hooter)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
reactor? i meant containment vessel

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:27:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the cooling is off the reactor will keep getting hotter. Even if all the control rods are in, it's still going to be producing heat.

The only way to turn off a reactor completely is to teleport all the fuel rods into deep space. And even then it will take a while for the residual heat to dissipate.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC are now saying 2 reactors at one plant and three at another are in a state of emergency, another separate plant is also being told to release some vapour to stop it going into an emergency status.

Not sure that there isnt some confusion there about extra plants and I'd say only two properly confirmed, but five reactors being fairly critical isnt good

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The longer this goes on the more reactors they declare in emergency.

Which makes me wonder if they went and did the inspections in order or something.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:17:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
arclight (arclight) on Twitter
It's pretty easy to shut down a reactor. Drop or push the control rods in. If that doesn't work, dump in a lot of boric acid.

arclight (arclight) on Twitter

@snowsunshine I don't want to whitewash anything. This is a bad situation. Not Chernobyl bad, not TMI-2 bad, but not what you want.

arclight (arclight) on Twitter

  1. @ShamelessGeek Likely yes. The BWRs have safety relief valves that vent underwater in containment (to condense steam & keep pressure down) about 1 hour ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to ShamelessGeek
    • @Erica_Jane_MP @xenijardin For reference, LD50/30 is 300-500 R; pointless to say 1000x if they don't tell us an absolute number. about 1 hour ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to Erica_Jane_MP
      • @Erica_Jane_MP @xenijardin Precisely! So let's say the normal level in containment is 10 mR/hr. 1000x that is max annual worker dose in 30m. about 1 hour ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to Erica_Jane_MP
        • @kweilo The resulting steam will vent into containment & pressurize it as has been happening so far; that's what they're venting now. about 1 hour ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to kweilo
          • @kweilo If they can't circulate water to cool the reactor, they'll try to put water in to keep the fuel covered.


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:18:41 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          The boric acid thing only works for PWRs when you have decent circulation, so the neutron quenching happens inside the core.

          You can't just dump it on top of an overheated core and expect it to do anything useful. (Assuming it's practical to do that without creating explosive decompression.)

          by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:28:29 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          If the water has boiled into steam and the fuel is uncovered, and you dump water onto it the fuel will break apart and play all kinds of hell with the plant. It will take months to decontaminate and get it back into operation.

          Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
          by Starvid on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:10:08 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          I assume that heat from exposure could lead to parts warping/being further damaged, apart from contamination.

          I also assume the reports that parts have been exposed to double their design pressures cant have been good for joins/welds/shapes of components etc.

          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 09:00:47 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          This event could be the death knell for nuclear plants with active back-up systems. At least there are containment vessels. I would hope that they could arrange a way to vent these enclosures through a series of water baths so as to turn the steam back into water and collect it and anything that contaminates it. But that may be asking too much.

          As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
          by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 11:32:18 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          This event could be the death knell for nuclear plants with active back-up systems.

          It should be, but it won't, because there are no commercial plants like that. Even the EPR has active systems.

          *Lunatic*, n.
          One whose delusions are out of fashion.

          by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:13:07 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          These plants are not getting back into operation.

          So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
          by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:16:56 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          The reactor itself can get hotter. Wikipedia claims a subcritical fuel mass may still heat up at 6% of peak power production due to background radioactive decay.

          So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
          by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:14:44 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Japan Reactor Rods May Have Started to Melt

          A nuclear reactor in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station about 220 kilometers (140 miles) north of Tokyo may be starting to meltdown after Japan's biggest earthquake on record hit the area yesterday.

          Fuel rods at the No. 1 reactor at the plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. may be melting after radioactive Cesium material left by atomic fission was detected near the site, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, spokesman Yuji Kakizaki said by phone today.

          "If the fuel rods are melting and this continues, a reactor meltdown is possible," Kakizaki said.

          Tokyo Electric, Asia's biggest power company, started releasing radioactive gas from the plant to try and reduce pressure in the reactor containment housing after yesterday's magnitude 8.9 earthquake, Akitsuka Kobayashi, a company spokesman, said by phone today.

          by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:17:53 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          BBC News - Japan earthquake
          Meanwhile, officials in Washington have said the US military did not provide any coolant to a nuclear plant in Japan. Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said US Air Force "assets" had been used to do so.


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:56:20 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Andy Carvin (acarvin) on Twitter
          2nd or 3rd plant? Anyone know? AP: Japan issues state of emergency at another nuclear power plant after cooling system failure.


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:34:50 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Breaking News (BreakingNews) on Twitter
          Correction: U.S. officials now say they offered to provide coolant to Japan for its nuclear plant, but nation declined


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:37:11 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Reuters Top News (Reuters) on Twitter
          FLASH: Contact has been lost with four trains along Japan's coastal area: report


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:05:08 PM EST
          Honshu, Japan Earthquake | Magnitude 8.9 | 11 March 2011 | British Geological Survey (BGS)

          'This is the sixth largest earthquake that's ever been recorded since seismographic records began in 1900.


          It's certainly the largest earthquake to have affected Japan in the last century and considerably larger than anything else in living memory in Japan.


          The largest previously was the 1923 Kanto earthquake, the one that caused so much damage in Tokyo, that was only 7.9. That's 30 times less powerful than this one.'



          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:07:09 PM EST


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:08:27 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          According to the largest earthquake list of the USGS, it would rate the fifth biggest recorded.
          by Nomad on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:27:39 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Their historical list has two more paleo-earthquakes estimated at 9.0 (1868 and 1700).

          *Lunatic*, n.
          One whose delusions are out of fashion.
          by DoDo on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:10:44 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Magnitude 8.9 - NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
          The 03/11/2011 earthquake (preliminary magnitude 8.9) near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, occurred as a result of thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone interface plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. At the latitude of this earthquake, the Pacific plate moves approximately westwards with respect to the North America plate at a velocity of 83 mm/yr. The Pacific plate thrusts underneath Japan at the Japan Trench, and dips to the west beneath Eurasia. The location, depth, and focal mechanism of the March 11 earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred as thrust faulting associated with subduction along this plate boundary. Note that some authors divide this region into several microplates that together define the relative motions between the larger Pacific, North America and Eurasia plates; these include the Okhotsk and Amur microplates that are respectively part of North America and Eurasia.

          In short: in character, this quake is very similar to the one that struck before the coast of Indonesia in 2004.

          by Nomad on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:02:39 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          The biggest earthquakes tend to be at subduction zones especially where the colliding plates have high relative velocities. They often tend to be quite deep (unlike the strike slip earthquakes on the San Andreas). This one fits the mold as it occurred 25 km down and had a 400-500 km long rupture zone. Like other collisional boundaries, the geology of Japan is quite the soup. This helps to localize the impact as the waves get damped out by the messy geometry.

          Hats off to the Japanese building codes. With the possible exception of the nuke plant(s), the damage I've seen seems to be more due to the tsunamis than the quake itself. No major building or structure collapses, no liquefaction. Truly remarkable. Had this happened in Seattle, where they're due for a big one, the damage would have been far far worse.

          by Jace (jace6315 at yahoo etc.) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:26:29 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          25 kms is not deep, it is actually relatively shallow for an earthquake. But if this one had happened underneath land, the devastation at the epicenter would simply have been colossal. (The more shallow the quake, the more concentrated the energy by the time it reaches the surface.)

          Again the comparison with the Indonesian quake is apt - that one was estimated at a depth of around 30 kms.

          I think a lot of the world's seismologists are now working at calculating the seismic moment and the displacement at the fault zone, which will tell us something about the energy release.

          by Nomad on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:09:09 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          "25 kms is not deep..."

          You're right - my soft rock background shows through!

          by Jace (jace6315 at yahoo etc.) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 09:03:55 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          You're another earth person? What's your background?
          by Nomad on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:20:50 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Sedimentology and stratigraphy. You?
          by Jace (jace6315 at yahoo etc.) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:41:03 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          In all honesty I consider myself a generalist when it comes to earth sciences (and life itself) although my academic pursuits in earth sciences have been with petrology and structural geology. Plus a blue Monday with medical geology.
          by Nomad on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:01:09 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Damn, ceebs.  I walk away for 15 minutes to get home and you've got all this up.

          Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
          by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:26:34 PM EST
          We're just getting started. I've done nothing else today than analyze this quake.
          by Nomad on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:28:28 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Thats just things that people have been posting today collated all into one place so we dont break other diaries

          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:29:35 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Short Sharp Science: Japan's quake updated to magnitude 9.0

          Seismologists at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, have just revised their calculations regarding the magnitude of today's quake. They now say it was magnitude 9.0. Already one of the top 10 recorded earthquakes in history, the revision suggests the quake was even more powerful than first thought.

          Harold Tobin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison told New Scientist that this figure will probably change again. This is typical in the hours after a large seismic event, as more information becomes available.

          Earlier today, it was suggested that the tremor may have occurred along a splay fault - a branch off the main megathrust fault which runs through this area of the Japan trench. If so, that could mean the fault was previously unknown to geologists.

          Splay faults tend to break at steeper angles than megathrust quakes, making them highly likely to lead to a large uplift of the seafloor that produces damaging tsunamis such as the one that crashed ashore in Sendai and the Honshu coast earlier today.

          But the new set of calculations indicate that the giant quake ruptured at an angle of 14 degrees below horizontal. Such a shallow slip suggests the earthquake did in fact occur along the main megathrust fault.



          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:28:35 PM EST
          With thank to The Atlantic

          by Nomad on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:34:04 PM EST
          BBC News - Japan earthquake: Tsunami surge destroys settlement
          Buildings in on the north-east coast of Japan have been destroyed by the tsunami wave that followed a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 04:49:50 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Seen from above, the awesome scale of Japan's destruction (big photo gallery) - Boing Boing
          Seen from above, the awesome scale of Japan's destruction (big photo gallery)


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:30:48 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Not only is your house washed ashore, it also cathches fire in the middle of the sea.

          Where does all the fire come from, gas stoves?

          Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

          by Starvid on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:16:11 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Perhaps liquefied natural gas is used by some in Japan. I also saw floating, burning vehicles in some shots. That would almost certainly be due to ruptured gas tanks.

          As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
          by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 11:45:01 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Ironically, I was reading this yesterday:
          http://hanlonsrzr.blogspot.com/2011/01/theyre-called-space-heaters-for-reason.html

          I don't enjoy breathing in kerosene fumes and am hoping the 'big one' happens after I leave, or in the summer, so I never learn how napalm feels.  I doubt that a Rube Goldberg contraption is going to vent the fumes, but don't doubt it would also vent the heat.  If I were a positive person...  If someone else were to be positive, they'd be pleased that fifteen-hundred years of Yamato occupation of these islands have allowed them to figure out you shouldn't use burning charcoal under a table, or in an enclosed room.  I suppose kerosene is a small improvement, though don't tell that to the hundreds killed by fire in Kobe.

          I wonder if he had left yet.

          by njh on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:54:59 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Chris Mason (ChrisMasonBBC) on Twitter
          Foreign Office: "We advise against all non-essential travel to Tokyo and the North-East of Japan." #japan #earthquake


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:06:03 PM EST
          Nice to see the Foreign Office making their bid for Mastermind : Specialist subject; the bleedin' obvious

          keep to the Fen Causeway
          by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:46:36 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Japan tsunami and earthquake - live coverage | World news | guardian.co.uk
          In one of the worst-hit residential areas, people buried under rubble could be heard calling out "help" and "when are we going to be rescued", Kyodo news agency reported.


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:18:35 PM EST
          Japan's Strict Building Codes Saved Lives - NYTimes.com
          From seawalls that line stretches of Japan's coastline, to skyscrapers that sway to absorb earthquakes, to building codes that are among the world's most rigorous, no country may be better prepared to withstand earthquakes than Japan.

          Had any other populous country suffered the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan on Friday, tens of thousands of people might already be counted among the dead. So far, Japan's death toll is in the hundreds, although it is certain to rise.

          Over the years, Japan has spent billions of dollars developing the most advanced technology against earthquakes and tsunamis. The Japanese, who regularly experience smaller earthquakes and have lived through major ones, know how to react to quakes and tsunamis because of regular drills -- unlike Southeast Asians, many of whom died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami because they lingered near the coast.



          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:46:34 PM EST
          This video is as amazing as scary.



          *Lunatic*, n.
          One whose delusions are out of fashion.

          by DoDo on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:03:24 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          I couldn't work in that.

          Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
          by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:16:27 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          that reminds me why I like rural living.

          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:29:07 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          I couldn't work in that.

          I don't think anyone was trying!  :-)

          As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
          by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 11:49:17 PM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Touché.  But I'd resign after experiencing that.  I'm terrified of heights anyway, but a building swaying after an earthquake would put me in the nuthouse.

          Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
          by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:23:07 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Skyscrapers sway noticeably in high winds, even...
          by asdf on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:46:00 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Building sway can also trigger nausea. I had to feel for those poor workers on video clips in high rises. At least there does not seem to have been a strong initial impulse, the sort that accompanies a local epicenter above a thrush type earthquake. The vertical impulse of such thrust quakes can be quite damaging, as most high rises were not designed with the thought in mind of >1G or greater vertical accelerations. I was right on top of the 6.7 thrust quake in Northridge, CA, but was asleep when it hit. That thrust caused Oat Mountain, on the north side of the San Fernando Valley to increase by more than a meter in height. This earthquake caused Honshu to move about two meters closer to China, according to one report I read.

          As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
          by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:09:50 AM EST
          [ Parent ]
          Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs
          Not all US military personnel in Japan have been accounted for, the Pentagon has just confirmed.


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:45:17 PM EST
          Japan earthquake live report - Time Out Tokyo
          An emergency line has been set up for non-Japanese speakers, on 050 5814 7230 and 03 5366 6001. English, Chinese, Korean are available 24 hours a day. Portuguese and Spanish between 9am-8pm.


          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:50:08 PM EST
          Thousands stranded in Tokyo Disneyland by earthquake-tsunami - International Business Times
          Reports are coming in of thousands of people trapped in Tokyo's Disneyland following the devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday.

          According to media reports, the quake and subsequent tsunami has forced the Tokyo Disney Resort to shut its gates with thousands of tourists still inside the park. The parking lot has been flooded, making it impossible for people to leave.

          According to TheDisneyBlog, 69,000 guests were evacuated to safe areas within the park and provided with supplies and temporary shelter. They are waiting for instructions on how to get home.



          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:56:15 PM EST
          BBC Fukushima etc summary (in which an expert uses the "m" word):

          1. More from the Tokyo Electric Power Company: It says the ability to control pressure in some of the reactors at Fukushima-Daini has been lost. Pressure is stable inside the reactors, but rising in the containment vessels, a company spokesman says.

          2. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has said the cooling systems of three reactors at second nuclear power plant, Fukushima-Daini, are malfunctioning, according to the Kyodo news agency. The plant is 11km (7 miles) to the south of Fukushima-Daiichi, where the cooling system one of its reactors is not working and pressure is rising.

          3. Japanese nuclear safety officials have said the problems at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant represent "no immediate health hazard" to people living nearby. Some 45,000 people living within a 10km (6-mile) radius of the plant were told to evacuate as radiation levels rose to 1,000 times above normal in one reactor.

          4. The Associated Press is also now citing Japanese nuclear safety agency officials as saying that radiation levels inside one of the reators at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant have surged to 1,000 times their normal levels after the cooling system failed. Pressure inside the reactor has risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal.

          5. The Onagawa nuclear power plant also suffered a fire in a non-nuclear turbine building, which took eight hours to extinguish, according to the World Nuclear Association. A minor fire burned in a non-nuclear service building of the Fukushima-Daini plant, but this was extinguished within two hours, the WNA added.

          6. The pressure inside one of the six Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant has built up because the cooling system was damaged by the earthquake. The heat produced by the nuclear reaction inside the core still needs to be dissipated even after a shutdown. If the outage in the cooling system persists, eventually radiation could leak out into the environment, and, in the worst case, could cause a reactor meltdown, experts say.

          7. The Kyodo news agency is now citing a safety panel as saying that the radiation level inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant is 1,000 times higher than normal.

          8. Meanwhile, officials in Washington have said the US military did not provide any coolant to a nuclear plant in Japan. Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said US Air Force "assets" had been used to do so.

          9. Radiation levels at the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant are continuing to rise. The Jiji Press news agency says the levels are eight times above normal. Its report also cites a ministry official as saying there is a "possibility of a radioactive leak".
          by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:06:13 PM EST
          arclight (arclight) on Twitter
          1. Those add water to the system & are there in case of pipe breaks, etc. The steam can be vented to the condenser, bypassing the turbine 3 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter
            • The only problem with RCIC is that it only works if the reactor is at high pressure. Then you need to use either high or low pressure pumps 4 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter
              • One way is RCIC (reactor core isolation cooling), a turbine-driven pump that uses reactor steam to pump water in. Good if you have no power 5 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter
                • Speaking only of Fukushima-type plants, there are a few ways to get the heat out of the core 6 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter
                  • @pyalot @thechaseguy I doubt seriously there's any visible sign of the problems they're facing at Fukushima I. 8 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to pyalot
                    • .@IHphoto Thanks so much for that link: http://bit.ly/gBjqLb 9 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to IHphoto
                      • .@AlexDaulby Full disclosure: I work for a consulting firm owned by a reactor vendor. They don't pay me enough to spin this. ;) 11 minutes ago via DestroyTwitter in reply to AlexDaulby
                        • (so) the biggest concern after a reactor shuts down is the removal of that residual heat, 10% of full power & dropping.


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:35:51 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Official TEPCO press release as of midnight UTC:

                        All 6 units of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been shut down.

                        Unit 1 (shut down due to earthquake)
                        Reactor was shut down and nuclear steam is cooled by the isolation condenser.
                        Currently, there is a possibility of a release of radioactive materials
                          due to decrease in reactor water level.  Therefore, the national government
                          has instructed evacuation for those local residents within 3km radius of
                          the periphery and indoor standby for those local residents between 3km and
                          10km radius of the periphery.

                        Unit 2 (shut down due to earthquake)
                        Reactor was shut down and although nuclear steam had been cooled by the
                          Reactor Core Isolation Cooling system, the current operating status is
                          unclear.  However, reactor coolant level can be monitored by a temporary
                          power supply and the level is stable.
                        Currently, there is a possibility of a release of radioactive materials
                          due to decrease in reactor water level.  Therefore, the national government
                          has instructed evacuation for those local residents within 3km radius of
                          the periphery and indoor standby for those local residents between 3km and
                          10km radius of the periphery.

                        Unit 3 (shut down due to earthquake)
                        Reactor was shut down and is cooled by the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling
                          system.
                        Currently, we do not believe there is any reactor coolant leakage inside
                          the reactor containment vessel.

                        (Ditto for 4, 5 and 6.)

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:46:34 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        arclight (arclight) on Twitter
                        (so) the issue here is that if the Fukushima reactor has depressurized, RCIC is not available anymore and without power there's no RHR


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:53:24 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        According to the WNO Reactor Database, the capacity factors for these plants are very low, which usually (but not always) translates to sucky management.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:25:58 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        This is much, much worse than they reported initially.

                        Tepco press releases: top page and latest releases for Ichi (#1) and Ni (#2):

                        • Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 1PM March 12th )
                          All 6 units of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been shut down.
                          
                          Unit 1(Shut down)
                          - Reactor has been shut down and steam in reactor has been cooled by 
                            isolation condenser, but it is now stopped. Because pressure level in 
                            reactor containment vessel is increasing, following the national 
                            government instruction, we are implementing a measure to reduce the 
                            pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure 
                            safety.
                            Reactor water level is decreasing, we will continue injecting water step 
                            by step.  
                          
                          Unit 2(Shut down)
                          - Reactor has been shut down and we continue injecting water by Reactor 
                            Core Isolation Cooling System. Current reactor water level is lower than 
                            normal level, but the water level is steady. Following the national 
                            government instruction, we are preparing to implement a measure to reduce 
                            the pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure 
                            safety.   
                          
                          Unit 3(Shut down)
                          - Reactor has been shut down and we continue injecting water by Reactor 
                            Core Isolation Cooling System. Following the national government 
                            instruction, we are preparing to implement a measure to reduce the 
                            pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure 
                            safety.
                          - Currently, we do not believe there is any reactor coolant leakage inside 
                            the reactor containment vessel.
                          
                          Unit 4 (shut down due to regular inspection)
                          - Reactor has been shut down and sufficient level of reactor coolant to 
                            ensure safety is maintained.
                          - Currently, we do not believe there is any reactor coolant leakage inside 
                            the reactor containment vessel.
                          

                          [Same for Units 5 and 6]
                        • Plant Status of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (as of 1PM March 12th )
                          Unit 1 (shut down at 2:48PM on March 11th)
                          
                          - Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.
                          - Offsite power is available.
                          - At 8:19am, there was an alarm indicating that one of the control rods 
                          was not properly inserted, however, at 10:43am the alarm was automatically
                          called off. Other control rods has been confirmed that they are fully
                          inserted (reactor is in subcritical status)
                          - Status of main steam isolation valve: closed
                          - Injection of water into the reactor had been done by the Reactor Core
                          Isolation Cooling System, but at 3:48AM, injection by Make-up Water
                          Condensate System begun.
                          - At 6:08PM, we announced the increase in reactor containment vessel
                          pressure, assumed to be due to leakage of reactor coolant. However, we
                          do not believe there is leakage of reactor coolant in the containment
                          vessel at this moment.
                          - At 5:22AM, the temperature of the suppression chamber exceeded 100
                          degrees. As the reactor pressure suppression function was lost, at 5:22AM,
                          it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in article 15,
                          clause 1 has occurred.
                          - We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of
                          the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing
                          radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. This preparation
                          work started at around 9:43am.
                          
                          Unit 2 (shut down at 2:48PM on March 11th)
                          - Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.
                          - Offsite power is available.
                          - Control rods are fully inserted (reactor is in subcritical status)
                          - Status of main steam isolation valve: closed
                          - Injection of water into the reactor had been done by the Reactor Core
                          Isolation Cooling System, but at 4:50AM, injection by Make-up Water
                          Condensate System begun.
                          - We do not believe there is leakage of reactor coolant in the containment
                          vessel.
                          - At 5:22AM, the temperature of the suppression chamber exceeded 100
                          degrees. As the reactor pressure suppression function was lost, at 5:22AM,
                          it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in article 15,
                          clause 1 has occurred.
                          - We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of
                          the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing
                          radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. This preparation
                          work commenced at around 10:33AM and completed at 10:58AM.
                          
                          Unit 3 (shut down at 2:48PM on March 11th)
                          - Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.
                          - Offsite power is available.
                          - Control rods are fully inserted (reactor is in subcritical status)
                          - Status of main steam isolation valve: closed
                          - Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System is turned off. Currently,
                          injection of water into the reactor is done by Make-up Water Condensate
                          System.
                          - We do not believe there is leakage of reactor coolant in the containment
                          vessel.
                          - We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of
                          the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing
                          radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. This preparation
                          work commenced at around 12:08PM and completed at 12:13AM.
                          - At 12:15PM, the reactor achieved cold shut down. 
                          
                          Unit 4 (shut down at 2:48PM on March 11th)
                          - Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.
                          - Offsite power is available.
                          - Control rods are fully inserted (reactor is in subcritical status)
                          - Status of main steam isolation valve: closed
                          - Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System is turned off. Currently,
                          injection of water into the reactor is done by Make-up Water Condensate
                          System.
                          - We do not believe there is leakage of reactor coolant in the containment
                          vessel.
                          - In order to cool down the reactor, injection of water into the reactor
                          had been done by the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System, however, 
                          At 6:07AM, the temperature of the suppression chamber exceeded 100
                          degrees. As the reactor pressure suppression function was lost, 
                          at 6:07AM, it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in 
                          article 15,clause 1 has occurred.
                          - We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of
                          the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing
                          radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. This preparation
                          work commenced at around 11:44AM and completed at 11:52AM.
                          

                        The initial press releases 13h prior only reported problems at Ichi-1,2 and Ni-1. In light of how the situation has progressed, I find we words "we believe" in the press releases not reassuring at all. Might it be that they have not yet fully inspected Ichi-4,5,6 ?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:03:24 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Latest BBC Tweets:

                        0810 Japanese media reports say that radioactivity has risen 20-fold outside the Fukushima-Daiichi plant.

                        0803 Japan's NHK TV also has that report of an explosion, which it says was "near" the Fukushima-Daiichi plant. The Tokyo Electric Power Company - which runs the plant - says some workers were injured, NHK reports.

                        0755 AFP says an explosion has been heard at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, and says Japanese TV is showing a white cloud above the plant.

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:20:19 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        0828: Japan's NHK TV showing before and after pictures of the Fukushima-Daiichi plant. It appears to show that the outer structure of one of four buildings at the plant is no longer there.
                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:33:24 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]


                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:36:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        This is NOT supposed to be able to happen! Don't these idiots plan for... gah. I have no words.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:57:19 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        What could this have been?

                        1. Steam explosion in the containment vessel?
                        2. More violent steam explosion in the reactor water/steam circuit, combined with some structural weakness related to venting?
                        3. Steam explosion or combined meltdown and steam explosion at the fuel rods?
                        4. Something involving hydrogen gas?


                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:02:24 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Basically all of them. All bets are off with this one. Who knows what these crazy crackers might have fucked up.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:04:27 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]


                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:11:20 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Having thought this over for a while now, I think the most likely cause is that the fuel became uncovered and then someone dumped cold water on the  hot fuel, leading to a massive steam explosion.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:28:00 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        For a massive hydrogen explosion, you need oxygen as well.
                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:30:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        This was supposed to end in a contained meltdown and a writeoff of the reactor, not a loss of containment.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:34:38 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        "The plant is experiencing a nuclear meltdown," Japanese nuclear scientists confirmed, after Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited the site in a helicopter early today.

                        Reports said the main building of the plant housing the reactor as well as the outer walls were blown away in the high intensity explosion which occurred at 3.30 pm local time (1200 IST) as the cooling water levels dropped alarmingly through evaporation after the quake had damaged the main plant.

                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:46:09 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:03:38 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Holy hell... can you tell the wind direction?

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:24:23 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        I think the far side of the plant is on the coast, so the wind is heading approx northwards.

                        Was that a reactor blowing up, or one of the support buildings?

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:30:12 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The reactor. Somewhere in das monde's links I saw a before-after photo, one of the four buildings is gone.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:40:38 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        0943: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has confirmed the explosion at Fukushima-Daiichi. "We are looking into the cause and the situation and we'll make that public when we have further information," he is quoted as saying by Reuters.

                        Good to see the explosion confirmed - because video of a gigantic plume of radioactive debris wouldn't be a problem otherwise.

                        I suppose ¨One of the reactors just vaporised itself - GTFO now!¨ would be too dramatic?

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:50:45 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        GTFO now!

                        They had already evacuated a 10km radius of Ichi and 3km radius of Ni. What's the plan now?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:53:13 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        20 km.
                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:00:35 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Currently north to north east, would turn southwards later - if I got it right.

                        An alternative video angle.

                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:34:02 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        North and south, that's along the coast, isn't it? When and if the wind turns, the question is if it will blow out to sea or towards the land.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:39:53 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        the prevailing winds are from the southwest, which would be carrying fallout seawards, barring local variations.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:30:59 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        At least that is very good. Fallout over the sea is not anything to worry about, due to the massive dilution you get in the ocean.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:37:16 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        At least that is very goodnot too bad. Fallout over the sea is not anything to worry too much about

                        More likely.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:59:39 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Huh. That doesn't appear to be a much different angle, but they show the explosion itself - quite violent, stuff flying.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:42:15 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        right, the explosion from different distance.
                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:56:14 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Did the turbine hall or the nuclear island blow up? I haven't dared watch yet.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:58:15 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        First there is a flash (from a shockwave?) above the reactor building, then it all disappears in smoke: it's as if there was first an explosion and then a collapse/implosion.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:04:46 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Looks more like a compression wave than a hydrogen flash to me.

                        And it looks semi-spherical, which suggests it came from inside the building - so it wasn't just the roof blowing off.

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:13:59 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        If it was inside the building (and a hydrogen explosion likely was), you don't see a hydrogen flash.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:17:22 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Why would there be hydrogen in a fission reactor?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:38:44 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Radiation breaks water molecules apart. Remember the 2001 and 2009 failures of the Brunsbüttel plant near Hamburg? (See Brunsbüttel, Krümmel (German nuclear controversy).) Hydrogen gas developed in the pipes in both cases, and exploded in the first case.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:54:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Could we be seeing a flat condensation cloud from the shock wave rather than the roof being thrown up in the air?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:36:30 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Let's hope you're right...

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:39:04 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        However, the roof would have to have collapsed inwards for the shock wave to come out so clean.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:43:03 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        When you have to hope the worst that has happened is a meltdown, I don't think hope is the right word any more.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:44:03 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The BBC is reporting the Japanese Government as saying it is only a steam explosion, however their reporter who attempted to go to the edge of the ten mile exclusion zone was stopped at the edge of a fifty mile exclusion zone.

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:59:49 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        BBC Global News (BBCWorld) on Twitter
                        Japan's Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency: serious damage to nuclear reactor is unlikely despite the large explosion - Kyodo/AFP agencies


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:01:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Oh, FFS, the reactor is going to be written off.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:03:08 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        It's not only a river in Egypt...

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:07:27 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        ...this is like a parody of Soviet news media...

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:16:27 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Everyone loves pink unicorns - especially two-headed ones.
                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:18:27 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Mile or km?

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:15:36 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        That's what it looked to me. However, in the following seconds you see lots of large stuff (metre-scale) flying  on the edge of the smoke to the right.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:46:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        you see lots of large stuff (metre-scale) flying  on the edge of the smoke to the

                        Left.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:14:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Looks like the roof flies up in one piece but maybe it's something else we're seeing.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:06:56 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        A roof weighing a few thousand tons being thrown 50 metres into the air tells us this is very bad.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:18:11 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        I find we words "we believe" in the press releases not reassuring at all.

                        You can say that... in the 3. p.m. (Japan Time) update, new elements:

                        TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 3PM)

                        * Reactor of Unit 1 has been shut down and steam in reactor has been cooled by isolation condenser, but it is now stopped. Because pressure level in reactor containment vessel is increasing, following the national government instruction, we have done the measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure safety and we understand that we have succeeded it at 2:30PM.

                        That was before the explosion...

                        As for the other reactors, one update:

                        ...Reactor Unit 3...
                        * We are implementing a measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels, but, one of our employees working in the Unit 1 was irradiated at over 100mSv level(106.3mSv). He received a medical treatment by a special physician.


                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:11:58 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        TEPCO : Press Room | Press Releases
                        1. (Mar 12,2011)Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 3PM)
                        2. (Mar 12,2011)Plant Status of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (as of 3PM arch 12th )
                        3. (Mar 12,2011)Plant Status of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (as of 1PM March 12th )
                        4. (Mar 12,2011)Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 1PM March 12th )
                        Note how the latest round of updates, 5 hours ago (its currently 20h30 in Tokyo), did not include a specific press release for Dai-Ichi, as was usual. Only for Dai-Ni.

                        TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 3PM)

                        Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: Units 1 to 3: shutdown due to earthquake Units 4 to 6: outage due to regular inspection
                        That explains why the units 4 and 6 were "believed" to be in stable condition: they were down for maintenance at the time of the quake.
                        * Reactor of Unit 1 has been shut down and steam in reactor has been cooled by isolation condenser, but it is now stopped. Because pressure level in reactor containment vessel is increasing, following the national government instruction, we have done the measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure safety and we understand that we have succeeded it at 2:30PM.
                        This was 6 hours ago. What local time was the reactor explosion?
                        We are implementing a measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels, but, one of our employees working in the Unit 1 was irradiated at over 100mSv level(106.3mSv). He received a medical treatment by a special physician.


                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:30:10 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        What local time was the reactor explosion?

                        3:30 pm.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:36:44 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        we have done the measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure safety and we understand that we have succeeded it at 2:30PM


                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:38:05 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        NHK WORLD English
                        Fukushima Prefecture says a high level of radiation has been measured near the Fukushima Number One nuclear power station.

                        The prefecture says the radiation level rose to 1,015 mircrosieverts per hour on Saturday.

                        One hour of exposure to this amount of radiation is equivalent to the permissible amount of radiation an ordinary person receives in one year. It is about twice the level that requires power companies to notify the government of an emergency situation.

                        The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the power station's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, observed the radiation level near a gate on the hillside of the plant at 3:29 PM on Saturday, before an explosion was reported at the nuclear plant.


                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:39:23 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        So let me get this straight.

                        They measured twice the emergency radiation level... near a gate on the hillside of the plant?

                        So, how long prior to that had they evacuated all the workers from the reactor?

                        And only 30 minutes earlier they were publishing a press release claiming that 1h earlier they believed they had succeeded in controlling the pressure buildup?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:45:26 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Take PR department translation time into account.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:49:53 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Associated Press

                        TOKYO (AP) -- Japan declared states of emergency for five nuclear reactors at two power plants after the units lost cooling ability in the aftermath of Friday's powerful earthquake. Thousands of residents were evacuated as workers struggled to get the reactors under control to prevent meltdowns.

                        A single reactor in northeastern Japan had been the focus of much of the concern in the initial hours after the 8.9 magnitude quake, but the government declared new states of emergency at four other reactors in the area Saturday morning.

                        The earthquake knocked out power at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and because a backup generator failed, the cooling system was unable to supply water to cool the 460-megawatt No. 1 reactor. Although a backup cooling system is being used, Japan's nuclear safety agency said pressure inside the reactor had risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal.

                        Authorities said radiation levels had jumped 1,000 times normal inside Unit 1 and were measured at eight times normal outside the plant. They expanded an earlier evacuation zone more than threefold, from 3 to 10 kilometers (2 miles to 6.2 miles). Some 3,000 people had been urged to leave their homes in the first announcement.

                        The government declared a state of emergency, its first ever at a nuclear plant. And plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. warned of power shortages and an "extremely challenging situation in power supply for a while."



                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:21:31 PM EST
                        Japan tsunami and earthquake - live coverage | World news | guardian.co.uk
                        The government has also just ordered the evacuation of a three kilometre radius around Fukushima Daini plant - following the previous evacuation order of a 10km radius around Fukushima Daiichi.


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:39:08 PM EST
                        I just heard in passing TV news that a town of 23,000 houses in Iwata prefecture has been reported destroyed,

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:44:25 PM EST
                        From the pictures and movies, first hand impressions over the social media and reports of the rescue operations underway, I'm going to stick my neck out and make a guess that the catastrophe in Japan will be mostly financial, barring nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. Although I expect the death toll to climb considerably, with a chance it will run in the thousands, right now I can't see it pass 10.000. It doesn't make it a lesser drama, though.

                        However, a chap of the Red Cross at Dutch television had the audacity to suggest the disaster was at par with the Indonesian quake of 2004. He's only right when it comes to the character of the earth quake, as I posted earlier, but on the scale of human catastrophe I feel such a statement is just another howler of Doom, considering we talk about Japan one of the world's richest and best prepared nations to withstand earthquakes.

                        But I can do sensationalist Doom too, and whats more I can do it a lot better too. The people in the news and the press that have begun correlating this quake to "The Big One" are not even wrong. Yes, the quake ranks in scale up to an historic record, one of the world's biggest ever recorded. But it it not the Big One. The earthquake's epicenter was situated  almost 100 kms off the shores of Honshu. Try to imagine what happens when a quake of this magnitude strikes below Tokyo - that city "waiting to die" as it sits on top of the convergence of three tectonic plates. It might not in happen our time, the earth is patient. But it will happen, one day. And no swaying skyscraper has ever been tested for an event like that, except in theory.

                        This is a catastrophe, no doubt about it, but it should also worsen the anxiety that the people living in Tokyo have about earthquakes and their fear for the Big One.

                        by Nomad on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 07:46:16 PM EST
                        I guess it is unreasonable to expect any discussion of shaking intensity, which is very different from seismic intensity. It depends on the local surface and sub-surface geology. Twenty years ago, when I was involved with earthquake safety for the PTA in Los Angeles Unified School District instructional sites The Modified Mercati Scale was used. It was helpful in understanding isolated cases of severe damage that often could be correlated with high water tables and soil subject to liquefaction. These were certainly problems in the recent Christchurch NZ quake, which was much smaller but very damaging. Video clips gave direct evidence of liquefaction in progress.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:04:31 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The ship that had been swept away has been found, and the 81 people on board have been rescued by helicopter

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:02:09 PM EST
                        Daily Kos: Oops! Republicans pick today to try and slash funding for tsunami monitoring

                        They do say that timing is everything--via a press release sent out today by House Republicans:

                        House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government at current rates for three weeks -until April 8 - while cutting $6 billion in spending.  [...]

                        -$99 million - NOAA - Operations, Research, and Facilities
                        -$18 million - NOAA - Procurement Acquisition and Construction

                        Yeah, that NOAA. The ones tasked with monitoring and warning Americans about natural disasters ... like tsunamis.



                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:05:51 PM EST
                        minamisoma - Google Search
                        CNN just aired footage w/ translation from NHK which basically showed that Minamisoma, pop 71k or so, was gone.


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:09:44 PM EST
                        The images of a seaside houses being engulfed by the tsunami and later on fire are from Natori (Miyagi Prefecture). Minamisoma (Fukushima Prefecture) is a mere 70 Km south of that.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:08:05 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        A blaze is reported at a nuclear plant at Miyagi -BBC

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:10:29 PM EST
                        Probably transformers gone to hell, maybe the turbine building as well.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 08:19:28 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Here's a report on the tsunami in the South Pacific. Wonder how the CMA-CGM Utrillo fared.
                        by Jace (jace6315 at yahoo etc.) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 09:08:57 PM EST
                        Yesterday I did not feel anything in Kobe, but noticed the news. This morning I'm getting picture watching continuous TV coverage. It's colossal. Strong tsunami warnings are along the whole coast. Whole buildings are floating along with cars life. Towns leveled, mountain roads wrecked. (I was just skiing the last weekend). The current casualty count is 1300 apparently.
                        by das monde on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 09:41:21 PM EST
                        Glad to see you're safe.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:08:53 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        :-)

                        Here is NHK live feed. A press conference on the Fukushima explosion is going on. Here are NHK English reports, quite lagging.

                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:12:49 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        I'm watching the NHK live feed for 45 minutes now, but they haven't returned to the issuer of the nuclear plant. They have repeatedly shown a spectacular take of the tsunami flooding a small town with multi-level concrete buildings, though.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:15:01 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        They have spoken about it in the past 10 minutes. Showing it on a map, they confirmed that it wa reactor block #1. It isn't smoking anymore, and it's visible that the naked structure of the reactor building still stands, but all the wall covers are gone.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:39:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        WTF?

                        1045: BBC environment correspondent Roger Harrabin says local officials believe the release of radiation following the nuclear plant explosion is likely to be small. He adds that nuclear incidents aren't always as serious as they may sound or appear, and actually, in terms of loss of life and destruction, accidents at hydroelectric plants are far more dangerous.

                        No, really - W.T.F.?

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:51:19 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        STFU

                        Just take your iodine pill and STFU.

                        </bbc>

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:54:30 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Yep.

                        1305: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Japanese authorities are making preparations to distribute iodine to residents in the area of both the Fukushima nuclear plants. The IAEA has reiterated its offer of technical assistance to Japan, should the government request this.
                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:14:09 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Iodine pill distribution would be part of the standard international protocol, given that radioactive Iodine has been detected outside the reactors.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:39:49 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well, they do have a point. The fear of nuclear accidents is very outsize. Even if it's highly dramatic, the tsunami and earthquake will create far more direct damage that the nuclear stuff.

                        But I suppose this is a way to try to keep the panic down.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:57:19 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        We're talking about coastal towns of 70 thousand being washed out to sea.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:01:28 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        When the dam breaks, you better not be living downstream. There hasn't been a nuclear accident which compares to the big hydro disasters.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:58:46 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Yea, but after the flood is gone, you can rebuild the town and start again. But Pripyat is still uninhabited and uninhabitable, 500 sq miles of agricultural land have been abandoned as unlikely to be safe for all probable values of the length of civilisation.

                        Oddly, nobody in their right mind would build a large dam in an earthquake zone, but apparently it's perfectly sensible to build nuclear reactors.

                        Some sensible people aren't safe with scissors

                        keep to the Fen Causeway

                        by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:17:18 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Define "safe" and "habitable."

                        The level of excess cancers and birth defects due to radioactive contamination is a political decision, and I have not seen anything to suggest that such political decisions are made in a coherent and consistent manner.

                        Personally, I'd rather live in the Chernobyl hot zone than - say - directly downwind from a major Chinese industrial zone.

                        - Jake

                        Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

                        by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:53:42 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        In 25 years, neither governmental or corporate official emergency response did not improve the Tchernobyl script that very much.
                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:10:23 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        In fairness to the Japanese government, they did start evacuating before things went boom.

                        - Jake

                        Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

                        by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:39:50 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        They appear to be following international emergency protocols closely.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:41:13 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        If stuff like this has to happen, it's fortunate that it happened in Japan, of all places. At least they seem capable of organising large-scale evacuations on short notice. Imagine if this had happened in Florida.

                        Oh, wait...

                        - Jake

                        Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

                        by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:46:45 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        It's hard to tell from the video, but it doesn't look like there's much left inside the steel frame.

                        If you watch the BBC video you can see something that looks to me like a large metal object a few seconds in. It drifts up and then falls back into the smoke.

                        If so, between that, the explosion and the plume, my guess is that the rest of the reactor is gone - drifting in a cloud northwards, or out over the sea.

                        BBC are saying TEPCO aren't releasing radiation readings. They were due at 6pm, it's now 8pm, and nothing.

                        Also:

                        1057: Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says serious damage to the nuclear reactor container is unlikely despite the explosion at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant - Kyodo news.

                        Does anyone think this is likely?

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:07:30 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        They show the soft porn people can relate to in order to distract from the hardcore technophobic porn taking place.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:41:47 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        PWR failure scenarios written by someone who sounds like he might know what he's talking about...

                        http://theenergycollective.com/nathantemple/53384/how-shutdown-and-core-cooling-japanese-reactors-li kely-functions

                        by asdf on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:16:38 AM EST
                        Boiling Water Reactor, BWR, I mean.
                        by asdf on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:17:04 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The guy may be an expert but he is basically incredulous; he can't believe that the pressure could have risen, can't believe that emergency generators didn't work, and can't believe that the containment could have failed.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:23:07 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        that the local prefecture has confirmed that the roof of one of the nuclear plants has collapsed. Not sure which one.

                        Wind power
                        by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:50:09 AM EST
                        0857 The BBC's Nick Ravenscroft was on his way towards Fukushima, but about 60km from the plant was stopped by the police and told it was too dangerous to proceed. He says there is lots of traffic coming in the other direction. Authorities in vehicles with sirens are making public announcements to the crowds.

                        0855 Some pictures have come through now on Japanese TV of that explosion. It looks very strong. You can see debris being blasted from the building, then a cloud of smoke mushrooming up from the plant.

                        0850 Japan's Kyodo news agency reporting that four people have been injured in an explosion at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant.

                        0847 NHK TV carrying advice to people to protect themselves against radiation. Experts say people should cover their mouths and noses with wet towels. Exposed skin should also be covered and people should wash after coming indoors. People should also avoid vegetables and other fresh food, as well as tap water, until authorities give the all-clear.

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:03:30 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Here we go!

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:49:54 AM EST
                        Of course it's the reactor: cooling stacks don't explode.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:32:21 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Theoretically, I suppose the turbine hall could explode due to some unlikely event.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:38:15 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        But the reactors shut down right after the quake, so the power generating equipment is not working.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:50:12 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Might still be pressurised steam in the pipes. Let's say the transformers catch fire and then someone fucks up, radioactive steam starts leaking in the turbine hall, someone panics and stuff explode. Unlikely yes, but so are meltdowns, and it seems we have one here.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:53:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The cooling system failed at three reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant Saturday, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

                        The company, which has already scrambled to deal with radiation leaks at its Fukushima No. 1 plant, notified the industry ministry that the failsafe system at the No. 2 plant stopped functioning as the temperature of coolant water has topped 100 C.

                        by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:16:54 AM EST
                        Not good for the nuclear industry globally....

                        • Immediate halt to new construction, for a start.
                        • Next step : abandonment of all reactor designs that rely on any form of active cooling.
                        • Meanwhile : China continues apace with their Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. If I have understood correctly, they are inherently safe from the point of view of passive cooling and the possibility of meltdown.
                        • In twenty years, when the rest of the world starts looking at nuclear again, China will have a complete lock on the technology.


                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:21:01 AM EST
                        Everyone can crack jokes about Soviet technology, but if this happens to the Japanese we can stop feeling all smug about French and Swedish reactors.

                        Not unlike the way the 1997/8 Asian/Russian financial crisis couldn't happen to the "sophisticated" West™, and look at the ongoing Global Financial Clusterfuck.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:48:44 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        France's commercial incompetence ensured that their 3rd generation reactors, the world's best, were hardly exported at all (a couple in South Africa, a couple in Brazil, one or two in China, can't think of any others)

                        The French 4G design turns out to be a complete bust, and won't be built anywhere else in the world (except for the Finnish one... if it ever gets ... finished)

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:03:03 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well, the last significant earthquake in France was in... 1755.

                        Its slightly odd actually how they seem to have stopped, whereas there used to be quite a few of them.

                        Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

                        by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:03:46 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well, just like the historic Lisbon Earthquake Voltaire wrote about.

                        The fact that Japan sees magnitude 7+ earthquakes with some regularity and 8+ every few decades means that they expect them and plan for them. The damage from this magnitude 9 earthquake is remarkably small, all things considered. If a repeat of the historic Lisbon quake took place, it's quite likely that Lisbon would be flattened.

                        So the fact that France hasn't had a big earthquake for 300 years probably means things are woefully underengineered for the next time it happens.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:09:07 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well, the last significant earthquake in France was in... 1755.

                        Huh?

                        1909 Lambesc earthquake - Wikipedia

                        The 1909 Lambesc earthquake occurred on June 11, 1909 in Provence. Measuring 6 on the Richter Scale, it is the largest ever recorded earthquake in metropolitan France.[2]

                        A total of 46 people died, another 250 were wounded, and approximately 2,000 buildings were damaged.



                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:23:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well, it did kill and destroy, but it was a mere 6.2 on the Richter scale.

                        Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
                        by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:39:03 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        1. And 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale (MW). But, even if a magnitude below Messina or Vrancea, it is still pretty big by European standards. The 1963 Skopje earthquake was barely stronger (6.1 MW), but hit a major city.
                        2. What magnitude are French nuclear plants designed for?
                        3. What magnitude was a 1755 earthquake in France? (I tried to look it up on the web, but all the hits were for the Lisbon earthquake.)


                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:00:50 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Estimated at 8-9 in 1755. 1855 is said to have been 8, the last one to be that strong.
                        1556 is estimated at 9-10
                        1227 at 10 (but that would rely on possibly very imprecise descriptions).

                        Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
                        by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:25:10 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        It seems that you are basing this on an erroneous source mixing up earthquakes worldwide with those in France and/or mixing up the Richter or moment scale with the Mercalli scale.

                        Estimated at 8-9 in 1755.

                        I'm fairly certain that that's the Lisbon earthquake (latest estimate: 8.5 +/-0.3 MW), not some earthquake in France.

                        1855 is said to have been 8

                        There was the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake in New Zealand, put between 8.1 and 8.3. I can't find anything in France at that date. The closest is one in Switzerland, the Visp earthquake, was 6.4 MW, but 9 on the Mercalli scale.

                        1556 is estimated at 9-10

                        That was most definitely the Shaanxi earthquake in China (likely the worst in history in terms of casualties), not in France. (Its modern magnitude estimate is only 8.)

                        1227 at 10

                        I can find one event in France for this date, albeit it is a severe translation mistake:

                        A classic example
                        of a problematic earthquake is the 1227
                        event. Due to a 16th century compiler's mistake
                        between the locality of Salins (Savoy)
                        and «Salviens», an antique tribe in Provence,
                        southeast France, a landslide that occurred in
                        Savoy at the end of 1248 became a major
                        1227 earthquake in Provence.


                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:17:57 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Seeing that there have been earthquakes over 8 in the past couple of hundred years, I would hope that the plants are designed to withstand something in that range at least!

                        Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
                        by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:26:07 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        See higher up the page

                        ceebs:

                        Re: Japanese Earthquake Diary (4.00 / 2)


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:38:43 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        they make arbitrary decisions about types of events considered likely, and design to withstand them.

                        A few years ago, I did some software maintenance on the simulator EDF uses to verify if an aeroplane crashing into a reactor could penetrate the concrete containment vessel.

                        The simulator was set up for only two models of aeroplane : a Cessna and a Mirage. On the basis that they were the most likely craft to crash accidentally into a reactor. I ran a few simulations at different speeds, and couldn't get them to penetrate, though sometimes it was a bit close. Conclusion: it's quite safe!

                        Of course, any type of aeroplane with considerably greater mass will indeed penetrate the concrete. No simulator is required to verify that.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:41:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Already heard in the last ten minutes that any reactors we will be building in the next few years will be much more modern and safer.

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:15:27 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well they would say that wouldn't they ? {/Mandy Rice-Davis}

                        The person who said that probably knows nothing about nuclear power, but plays an expert hand for equally clueless journos.

                        Just as there is always an excuse to do nothing if you don't want to do it, there are always good reasons to do things that you actually want done. Governments like nuclear, it's modern, it's clean (!), its popular with corporate sponsors and anything that could go wrong will happen long after you've retired. What's not to like ?

                        keep to the Fen Causeway

                        by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:30:49 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well, that "containment building above the reactor that blew Saturday left a steel I beam construction behind. From the pictures it appears that it may well not have been a continuous poured concrete construction. None of them are domes, and if you have a dome the steel is rebar inside the pour. So someone decided that a poured in place dome was not required. The Japanese government had to have signed off on that. Am I correct that the boiling water reactors are G.E.'s?

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:33:04 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        According to wikipedia
                        Fukushima I was the first nuclear plant to be constructed and run entirely by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

                        ...

                        The reactors for units 1, 2, and 6 were supplied by General Electric, those for units 3 and 5 by Toshiba, and unit 4 by Hitachi. Architectural design for General Electric's units was done by Ebasco. All construction was done by Kajima. From September 2010, unit 3 has been fueled by mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel. Units 1-5 had/have a Mark 1 type (light bulb torus) containment structure, unit 6 has Mark 2 type (over/under) containment structure.

                        Unit 1 is a 439 MW boiling water reactor (BWR3) constructed in July 1967. It commenced commercial electrical production on March 26, 1971, and was scheduled for shutdown in March, 2011. It was damaged during the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami. Unit 1 was designed for a peak ground acceleration of 0.18 g (1.74 m/s2) and a response spectrum based on the 1952 Kern County earthquake. All units were inspected after the 1978 Miyagi earthquake when the ground acceleration was 0.125 g (1.22 m/s2) for 30 seconds, but no damage to the critical parts of the reactor was discovered.



                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:19:10 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        BWR's usually don't have domes, especially not Mark I containments. The containment is situated immediately around the reactor, below the reactor hall floor. Mark III containments seem to have domes though.

                        Check this out for pretty pictures: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers/03.pdf

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

                        by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 06:57:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Presuming the Dry Well Torus diagram on 3-16 is representative of those that are melting down, the question comes to be: by what path did the hydrogen and steam get into the area above the concrete containment enclosure. One obvious possibility is through the massive circular plug above the reactor. It has to be removable so as to allow servicing of the core. Over 40 years of service it is possible that it will leak as some overpressure. If that is the path the steam and hydrogen could have leaked from the removable top of the reactor vessel and/or the pipes leading into or out of the vessel. It is also possible that those pipes which carry cooling water and steam to and from the reactor were damaged during the quake, despite the relatively low levels of shaking intensity. Such leaks could migrate under sufficient pressure to the upper structure via paths not shown.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:32:01 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Well Ive been thinking about this, I assume they've been loosening the plug to reduce the pressure, if you have  increased pressure in the top, then you've either got a build up of gas in the top, or you're pushing liquid through at much higher rate, and I think we can assume that the second option is unrealistic, although vaguely possible. If gas then as the pressure increases then the cooling fluid will be forced down the reactor, exposing the rods unless you have  pumps with lots of excess capacity to compress the gas in the top of the vessel. and the more the gas is compressed the warmer it will get, making it harder to dissipate heat from the reactor.

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:00:48 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The only way I have been able to figure how they could cool a core that is starting meltdown and is way above design temperatures and pressures would involve simultaneously pumping in water to the core and venting large volumes of steam and, possibly, hydrogen through a bath that would, hopefully, wash some of the radioactive particles out of the steam. But I doubt such a solution could be improvised easily. The existing steam paths through the turbines likely would not have sufficient volume to allow the needed volume of steam to be vented while injecting the needed volume of water at a rate sufficient to cool the reactor. But this would have to be done with control of the pressure on both the water and the steam. Just having the pump power, let alone the AC power to produce the needed pressure for input water might be a problem also.

                        It could be that such considerations and limits were more significant than the issue of the required AC power. If all that were needed was AC power, they should have been able to bring such power in by air or sea. After all, in Hawaii nuclear subs have been used to supply emergency power to islands that suffered power loss. So much of this does not make sense to me.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:28:05 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Boiling water reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                        Water exiting the fuel channels at the top guide is about 12 to 15% saturated steam (by mass), typical core flow may be 45,000,000 kg/h (100,000,000 lb/h) with 6,500,000 kg/h (14,500,000 lb/h) steam flow. However, core-average void fraction is a significantly higher fraction (~40%). These sort of values may be found in each plant's publicly available Technical Specifications, Final Safety Analysis Report, or Core Operating Limits Report.

                        Apparently normal operating pressure is around 75 Atmospheres, so running at over double normal pressure it must have been an adventure  to open any valves on the outside of the pressure vessel

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:56:56 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Venting should be doable: these valves are after all designed exactly for a situation where you fight a meltdown. IIRC these reactors have 11 specialised valves for this very purpose. The hydrogen likely escaped through these valves together with steam and short-lived radioactive noble gases.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 06:21:52 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Normal operating pressure is 75 atmospheres! I would think that this would push the boiling point up by several hundred degrees. Just going up to 9,000 ft. reduces the boiling point of water from 212F to below 200F, as I recall from camping at altitude. But this brings home the importance of maintaining pressure while introducing fresh water. As the pressure drops, the water boils at ever lower temperatures.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 11:58:48 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Its why you cant get decent tasting tea at altitude, as the water isn't hot enough to dissolve the most pleasant flavour molecules from the plant matter

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:35:05 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Boiling water reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                        he cooling water is maintained at about 75 atm (7.6 MPa, 1000-1100 psi) so that it boils in the core at about 285 °C (550 °F).


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:36:27 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        >360 degrees F qualifies as "several hundred".

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 02:02:00 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Ah those units :)

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 02:41:21 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        BTW, I appreciate the time you have taken to dig out specifics on these reactors and post them.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 04:31:40 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        It's normally only a matter of seconds and google-fu :)

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 04:38:24 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        • We need fiscal consolidation and budget austeriry, we can't afford to retrofit the existing plants to higher standards
                        • Japan cannot do without 30% of its electric power
                        • Nothing to see here, move along.


                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:16:11 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        much too close to plausibility for comfort...

                        Wind power
                        by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:24:07 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        URGENT: Cooling system fails at Fukushima No. 2 plant | Kyodo News

                        The cooling system failed at three reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant Saturday, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

                        The company, which has already scrambled to deal with radiation leaks at its Fukushima No. 1 plant, notified the industry ministry that the failsafe system at the No. 2 plant stopped functioning as the temperature of coolant water has topped 100 C.

                        by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:38:50 AM EST
                        Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says serious damage to the nuclear reactor container is unlikely despite the explosion at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant -

                        Kyodo news.

                        Yeah right -- the reactor building no longer exists (is it the rebar skeleton that survived the explosion, or what??) but we're confident there's no problem with containment.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:06:14 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        ... we're not sure yet... (BBC)

                        A full quote from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano's press conference: "As reported, we have been informed that there was some kind of an explosive phenomenon at Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant, although it has yet to be confirmed whether [the explosion] was that of a nuclear reactor itself. At present, after the talks among political party heads held a while ago, government officials including the prime minister and the minister of economy, trade, and industry, along with experts, are making all-out efforts to get hold of and analyse the situation, and to take measures."


                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:28:41 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Yeah, well, it can be pretty hard to tell.

                        This is bullshit, isn't? It happened more than three and a half hours ago, and there's no one at the plant who can look out of a window and say ¨Yep - it's a bit dented, but it looks okay¨?

                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:33:46 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The last press release from TEPCO is about conditions 6 hours ago.

                        Maybe

                        there's no one at the plant
                        any more.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:35:19 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        I'm now reading Japanese media via Google translate; they say four workers were injured in the explosion and are treated.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:44:11 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        non-critically at that, it sounds like they knew it was going to blow and got the fuck out of Dodge.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:46:03 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Yeah
                        we have done the measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels in order to fully secure safety and we understand that we have succeeded it at 2:30PM.


                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:47:53 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        And looked back like Lot's wife
                        Tokyo Electric Power Company, observed the radiation level near a gate on the hillside of the plant at 3:29 PM on Saturday, before an explosion


                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:51:53 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        TEPCO now admitted that there may have been a meltdown; they say they don't see exactly what happened and are currently focusing on cooling the reactors. (There are two more to keep from exploding, after all...)

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:46:14 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        In the reactor with the exploded containment dome, they say water level is still sinking, and half the height of the fuel rods was out of water at 17:28.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:51:21 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        How are they managing to look at the fuel rods 2 hours after the explosion?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:52:49 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Probably through the hole at the top.
                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:54:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        I hope they're paying them the risk bonus the helicopter pilots got at Chernobyl.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:55:23 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        As they say they can't see what's up, these must be instrumental readings.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:00:55 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        At present, after the talks among political party heads held a while ago, government officials including the prime minister and the minister of economy, trade, and industry, along with experts, are making all-out efforts to get hold of and analyse the situation, and to take measures."

                        I.e., they have no idea what's going on.

                        What use are talks among political party heads? They're probably all lawyers.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:36:56 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        but they need an all-party accord about who's to blame before they can tell the world.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:47:01 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Maybe they were drawing straws for seppuku.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:49:37 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Keeping the opposition informed of all developments that it might be able to discover on its own is a vital component of a modern managed democracy. It places the opposition in the unenviable situation of having no good ways to handle the information.

                        • If they refuse to accept it, they cannot criticise the government's handling of the situation after the fact. Should they do so, the government will respond that they offered to consult with the opposition at the time, but were turned down.

                        • If they accept it and publicly disagree with the government at the time of the crisis, the government will whine about revealing information that was given to them in confidence.

                        • If they accept it and keep silent during the crisis, the government can complain of Monday morning quarterbacking if they publicly complain about the handling of the crisis after the fact.

                        And best of all, you get to score points for reaching across political divides and sharing information in a non-partisan manner during a time of national crisis. What's not to like?

                        - Jake

                        Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

                        by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:56:12 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        the external structure is not the containment structure is not the reactor.
                        Let's not get too excited either way until there is more info.

                        Wind power
                        by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:09:15 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        True, but if the explosion originated in the core, we're kinda screwed anyway. And if it didn't originate in the core, where did it originate? The turbine building? Let's hope that's the case, because if it is it is very unlikely the nuclear island suffered any internal damage.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:20:57 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Has anyone seen a verified diagram showing the reactor vessel and all additional structure beyond it? What I saw showed an outer shell, possibly of concrete blocks or panels over steel girders, which was what blew away, leaving the girders behind in the sunlight. There was substantial structure between the reactor vessel and the outer shell. The diagram I saw indicated that this was used for servicing the reactor - removing and replacing rods, etc. There was no indication that this structure was airtight or what rating it might have.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:45:55 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        ReutersBreakingNews (REUTERSFLASH) on Twitter
                        Toyota says to suspend operations at all 12 factories in Japan on Monday


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:01:18 AM EST
                        I was joking with Miguel yesterday, when we thought a disaster unlikely, that comparing the Japanese plant with Chernobyl was probably like comparing Yugo with Honda.

                        Then things started to go to shit, and I corrected it to be a comparison between Yugo and Toyota.  And not the good Toyotas, but the ones with the accelerators that get stuck and kill people.

                        Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

                        by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:16:45 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        when we thought a disaster unlikely

                        If I remember correctly, I was saying this looked like a meltdown but wasn't expecting a loss of containment.

                        we have a loss of coolant incident
                        but the reactor is shut down

                        the problem is
                        even a subcritical fuel mass still heats up due to baseline decay

                        wiki sez something like 6% of peak power generation
                        so
                        without coolant, even if you won't have an explosion
                        you can still have a meltdown

                        a meltdown is irreversible heat damage to the reactor core
                        so then the question is containment
                        and the containment vessel could have cracked in the quake

                        assuming that's not the case there's still no reason to expect radioactive leaks
                        the thing won't blow up

                        Where did I go wrong?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:27:07 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Right, but aren't we now talking about a loss of containment?

                        Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
                        by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:31:10 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        The question is what we understand by disaster.

                        I was pretty sanguine about a contained meltdown.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:40:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Atomic Insights Blog: Nuclear plant issues in Japan are the least of their worries
                        My thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who are struggling to deal with one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. I have spent most of the past 24 hours trying to grasp the extent of the tragedy. It has been incredible to watch video replays that remind me of Hollywood movies that can best be enjoyed by employing the technique of "suspension of disbelief" that I learned while studying fiction story telling techniques. It is very difficult to imagine what it would be like to live in a comfortable, modern city one day and find it washed away within minutes. That wave could recede after having threatened your life, taken away all that you know and killed many people that you love.

                        There are fires at refineries, breaks in hydroelectric dams, explosions associated with natural gas systems, and massive quantities of contaminated land where the water overturned or damaged what were thousands of well designed containers full of hazardous materials. (For example, every automobile and truck that you see overturned by a wave contains a lead acid storage battery and tanks containing somewhere between 10-200 gallons of hydrocarbons. There is a 100% chance that some of that material has been released in an uncontrolled manner to the environment.)


                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:44:16 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        breaks in hydroelectric dams

                        From what  read, the dam that broke was an irrigation dam.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:48:49 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        If the politicians are telling the truth, apparently there is no loss of containment. They are sticking to the story that the explosion did not damage the reactor, and that its metal containment structure is intact.

                        This is difficult to comprehend when the building around it no longer exists. Need to look at the plans I suppose.

                        It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

                        by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:54:15 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        If you release flammable gases from the containment vessel to the building around it you can lose the building (and release radiation into the environment) without losing the containment.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:00:29 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Even if the main vessel is intact, are we really supposed to believe that all of the supporting pipes, sensors and valves survived an explosion that blew huge chunks of concrete hundreds of metres?
                        by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:01:43 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        It may be difficult to believe, but maybe they're hoping (!) to salvage the reactor and resume operation?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:10:24 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        At this point many of the people working this disaster are probably hoping to live out a normal life span. This should be the hope for their citizens as well. I will continue to doubt that there was a true concrete containment structure beyond the reactor vessel until shown otherwise. Certainly a containment dome would not have failed as the square structure on top of the reactor failed.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:53:28 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        We didn't consider the fact that someone might actually be stupid enough to dump cold water on a molten core. Murphy strikes back.

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:38:45 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Trying to avoid a meltdown they caused an explosion?

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:45:14 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Were there or had they made adequate provisions for venting overpressure from the outer containment structure, say by running it through water, they could have just kept adding water until the exterior of the vessel was below boiling. I don't know if they still have intact the means of introducing water into the reactor vessel, but suspect they do. The problem will possibly consist of being limited in the amount of water they can introduce into the vessel by the amount of steam they can vent.

                        As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                        by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:58:15 PM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        From the uncertain press releases, it doesn't appear as if they knew the temperature situation in the core enough to know whether there is a meltdown. Which would surprise me -- I'd think that if a water level gauge is working, temperature sensors should too, and there should be lots of them.

                        Now, about stupid enough: in Swedish or French reactors, can similar stupidity occur, or is such human error somehow contained?

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:47:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        You could hope that, as with airline safety, protocols will be updated after this thing is investigated to reduce the likelihood of a repeat.

                        So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                        by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:52:29 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        well Im sure they will have plenty to talk about here

                        Lessons from the Chernobyl Disaster - Safety for the Future

                        To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the IAEA, which has monitored radioactivity in the region and worked to reduce exposure to it since the accident, will participate in an international conference designed to ensure that the lessons learned from the accident will bring about lasting improvements in nuclear and radiation safety globally.

                        IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano will address the international conference,Chernobyl, 25 Years On: Safety for the Future, to be held in Kiev from 20-22 April 2011. The conference, hosted by the Ukrainian government, will focus on sustainable improvements in nuclear and radiation safety, remediation work undertaken in and around the Chernobyl site as well as commemorate the loss of life and suffering.

                        Experts, including the IAEA, will discuss the technical experience gained in the past quarter-century and strategies and safety procedures to ensure safe nuclear energy operations for the future.



                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:00:04 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        nuclear breakdown of water causes a buildup of hydrogen, and then a hydrogen explosion?

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:40:44 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Shouldn't we have seen a yellow flame then?

                        Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
                        by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:23:17 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        so you get a yellow flame if the explosion has happened in an enclosed space? or would the  yellow have dissipated before the  shock wave took the building shell apart?

                        Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                        by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:36:42 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        I wonder if pouring water at an on-going minor meltdown suffices as reason: both steam (leading to the rising pressure) and hydrogen is generated continuously. With hydrogen accumulating at the top of the dome, I can think of venting triggering the explosion.

                        *Lunatic*, n.
                        One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                        by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:43:04 AM EST
                        [ Parent ]
                        Noriyuki SHIKATA (norishikata) on Twitter
                        1. Trend of μ Sv/h of Unit 1 this afternoon. 1,015(at 15:29), blast (15:36), 860(15:40), 70.5 (18:58). After blast, radioactive level lowered. 9 minutes ago via web
                          • Blast was caused by accumulated hydrogen combined with oxygen in the space between container and outer structure. No damage to container.


                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:50:51 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations, Director of Global Communications at Prime Minister's Office of Japan. Worked for Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


                          *Lunatic*, n.
                          One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                          by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:54:32 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          In other words, the hydrogen that exploded (which must have been produced inside the vessel) was (in) the gas vented from the container to reduce pressure?

                          *Lunatic*, n.
                          One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                          by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:59:19 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          I Think thats what they are saying

                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:02:09 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          Nobuyuki Hayashi林信行 (nobi) on Twitter
                          JP govt said they'll cool reactor by sea water, Gotoh explains it but thinks it is the last resort, can't tell the outcome. #iwakamiyasumi

                          Nobuyuki Hayashi林信行 (nobi) on Twitter

                          Goth&Tanaka give very clear explanation on what might happen;but was too tired to translate. ( #iwakamiyasumi live at http://ustre.am/eOVh)


                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:07:21 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          Steve Nagata (stevenagata) on Twitter
                          considering that lies made by TEPCO caused a scandal closing 17 reactors in 2002? And the reactor they lied about was Fukushima 1


                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:12:45 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          Tepco wiki

                          On August 29, 2002, the government of Japan revealed that TEPCO was guilty of false reporting in routine governmental inspection of its nuclear plants and systematic concealment of plant safety incidents. All seventeen of its boiling-water reactors were shut down for inspection as a result. TEPCO's president, Nobuya Minami, was later forced to resign, and the utility "eventually admitted to two hundred occasions over more than two decades between 1977 and 2002, involving the submission of false technical data to authorities".[3] Upon taking over leadership responsibilities, TEPCO's new president issued a public commitment that the company would take all the countermeasures necessary to prevent fraud and restore the nation's confidence. By the end of 2005, generation at suspended plants had been restarted, with government approval.

                          In 2007, however, the company announced to the public that an internal investigation had revealed a large number of unreported incidents. These included an unexpected unit criticality in 1978 and additional systematic false reporting, which hadn't been uncovered during the 2002 inquiry. Along with scandals at other Japanese electric companies, this failure to ensure corporate compliance resulted in strong public criticism of Japan's electric power industry and the nation's nuclear energy policy. Again the company made no effort to identify those responsible.

                          sounds like the perfect company to be allowed to run nuclear power plants

                          keep to the Fen Causeway

                          by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:46:07 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          And the perfect government to regulate them. Right up there with the USA.

                          As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                          by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:01:04 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          Japan deploying another 50,000 troops for rescue operations

                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:21:46 AM EST
                          BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
                          Japan's Fuji TV has run a screen caption saying that as many as 10,000 people are missing in the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture.


                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:58:15 AM EST
                          Minamisanriku is about 90 km north of Natori

                          The inlet is about 3km wide. Imagine what the tsunami must have looked like as it flowed in.

                          So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                          by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:07:59 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          Apparently the town has a population of 17,000

                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:14:46 AM EST
                          [ Parent ]
                          This thread grew rather long; I posted a new Japan disasters open thread.

                          *Lunatic*, n.
                          One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                          by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:19:05 AM EST
                          Japan tsunami and nuclear alert - live coverage | World news | guardian.co.uk
                          Lufthansa is scanning aircraft that return to Germany from Japan for radioactivity - but has not detected any


                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:42:25 PM EST
                          Japan in crisis: Live blog | Al Jazeera Blogs

                          More business news: European shares have fallen to a three-month low following Japan's disaster.

                          One Tocqueville Finance fund manager said:

                          Anything related to the nuclear sector is under pressure as traders bet on tougher regulation. At the same time the renewable sector is in favour as the other side of the trade.



                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:43:32 PM EST
                          Japan in crisis: Live blog | Al Jazeera Blogs

                          As temperatures plummet, millions of people are spending a fourth night without foods, water or heating.

                          Overwhelmed shelters are housing 550,000 people along Japan's east coast after the earthquake and tsunami killed at least 10,000 people. Kyodo news agency reports that authorities have lost contact with a further 30,000 citizens.

                          In Ishinomaki, Patrick Fuller, of the International Federation of the Red Cross, says:

                          It is the elderly who have been hit the hardest.

                          The tsunami engulfed half the town and many lie shivering uncontrollably under blankets. They are suffering from hypothermia having been stranded in their homes without water or electricity.

                          Snow is expected within the next few days.



                          Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                          by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:53:39 PM EST


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