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ET Stays On The Reactor Case...

by Crazy Horse Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:01:05 AM EST

... even if the media is getting tired of it (and its repercussions.)

To sum up, we've got:

  •  Stray neutron beams unaccounted for, what?
  •  How did such hot water get in the turbine halls?
  •  The situation in Japan seems to highlight the many loose threads left over from Chernobyl, which had of course fallen under the radar.
  •  A growing understanding that this is a very big deal, about which we have very little understanding.

We are just beginning to fathom what this means to Japan, and the rest of us. But here's a place to continue to report and dissect news as it happens.

Put this here because the other thread is getting filled.

Front-paged by afew


Japan threads (h/t ceebs):

Display:
Spiegel Thread (middle) on 'Schland's preparedness here.


One year after 9/11, the International Committee on Nuclear Technology (ILK), an investigative body set up by the German states of Bavaria, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg, reached a devastating conclusion. According to the classified ILK study, "severe to catastrophic releases of radioactive materials could be expected in the event of a crash against the reactor building" in all but three nuclear power plants.

And even for the three most sophisticated power plants that stood a chance of surviving the crash of a jumbo jet, the ILK experts speculated that a crash under unfavorable conditions, such as "a direct hit on the control room," could also lead to a major accident.

Containment vessel designed to withstand the unfathomable, but not the control room. carry on.

Oh yes, latest from NISA Here.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 03:59:38 PM EST
without forgetting, there are hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, who might not get home again. Not to mention Tuna.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The airplane risk was discussed a lot in the past, so was earthquake risk. Less well-known issues mentioned in the article are the limestone holes under Neckarwestheim 2, the state of implementation of the safety recommendations after the 1987 accident at Biblis (the plan was do do them all in two years from 1991, now they had 20 years for it, really...), and the deficiencies even compared to the Fukushima reactors.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:21:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't even had a chance to finish it yet. But i wasn't around for the past 20 years discussions. I did read about the limestone gaps, and the shock subsidence which occurs, several times in the past few years if i recall.

But it's the administrative fail that nerves me the most.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:41:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one thing that was really new to me was this:

Some regulatory officials are so apathetic that they don't even react when a plant's operator proposes fixing an urgent safety problem. For example, in a letter dated Sept. 5, 2007, the energy provider EnBW applied for permission to construct new buildings for backup generators and install a so-called emergency boration system, which provides a tool that was used last week to fight the impending meltdown in Fukushima.

The officials still haven't responded to the EnBW letter. Oskar Grözinger, the head of the state regulatory agency, now says that the cost of the new buildings would be out of proportion with the remaining life of the plant -- as if he were the electric utility's chief accountant.

However, the level of 'debate' I am referring to is the more popular "Plants are unsafe against airplanes!" vs. "What unrealistic danger, you scaremongers!" or the "Plants are unsafe against earthquakes!" vs. "No, we fulfil going rules!" soundbite level of debate that's re-hashed countless times.

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

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Less well-known issues mentioned in the article are the limestone holes under Neckarwestheim 2

They built a nuclear reactor over a limestone karst??!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shush, bitte.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like the nukes in Florida and many others I'm sure. Carbonates on the surface usually mean the water moves down below and hence holes down there. Not something I would consider at all uncommon.
by Jace on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 08:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The characteristic feature of a karst is the likelihood  of caves and caverns. It is not that one cannot build on it, but it is prudent to see if there is a big cavern beneath your building site, especially if it is a nuclear reactor. If you have solid limestone all the way down to shale or granite you would be good to go. But if there is a big cavern or water filled void 500 feet down, not so much. And I was referring to Germany, but the same kind of geology in Florida gives rise to sinkholes, which would also be highly undesirable as a feature under a nuclear reactor.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 11:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree in that it all depends on the details. You obviously can build on it, since, as an example, all of Florida, except for the panhandle, is karst. And building over holes in the ground is not necessarily a bad thing (otherwise subways and the like wouldn't make much sense).
by Jace on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A subway train falling into a hole isn't going to contaminate the sub-surface water supply of the city for tens of thousands of years.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant that we build quite a bit on top of things like subways, which are nothing more than holes in the ground.
by Jace on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Subways are more than just holes through the ground. They have structure to prevent collapse. The inadequacy of such structures was vividly on display in Hollywood, CA during the last phase of construction for The Red Line back in the late '90s. Existing buildings were put at risk.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:48:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If a hole doesn't have structure, it wouldn't be a hole.
by Jace on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 08:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but that doesn't mean it is nearly as strong as a purpose built structure.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I call your reactor built on karst and raise you nine US sea shore reactors, one of which, the aptly named Turkey Point Reactor in Dade County, Florida also relies on its diesel generators when hurricanes come ashore!

How the U.S. narrowly avoided its own Fukushima-style disaster in 1992

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is refusing to update its worst case scenario models for the flooding of coastal U.S. nuclear power plants. Potentially, this puts the backup safety systems at reactors like the Turkey Point plant in Miami-Dade county, Florida, at risk of damage or destruction by hurricanes.

That's the bombshell buried in a piece by Alyson Kenward of Climate Central:

   The extent of sea level rise that [utility company Florida Power and Light] has incorporated into their estimates of the maximum possible storm surge has already become a point of contention in the safety assessment for the new Turkey Point reactors. The Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force (CCATF) has called for the NRC to request that a much higher level of sea level rise be included in the assessment.

....

Potentially the most hazardous incident was a loss of access to external power for five days. Engineers at Turkey Point were forced to rely on the on-site diesel generators to maintain cooling of the reactors' cores. Fortunately, this back-up system was enough to keep everything operating safely. In Japan, however, an equivalent back-up system was wiped out by the tsunami.


But that's OK, says the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, because their model of the worst case scenario at Turkey Point puts the plant's safety systems a healthy 1.2 feet above the highest-possible storm-whipped surge.

Can't beat the ocean for a heat sink -- or a radiation sink either, for that matter. Guess the designers really had to sharpen their pencils to get that 1.2 feet.

And then there is this, also from the same piece by Alyson Kenward:

In a 2008 study with graduate student Natalie Kopytko, Perkins specifically assessed what risks sea level rise posed for nine reactors along the East and West Coasts. Their findings, Perkins says, show that sea level rise isn't only important in terms of long term changes at the shoreline adjacent to nuclear plants. "[Kopytko] showed it was storms that were really behind the risk. These are U.S. coastal reactors, and hurricanes can pile an awful lot of water in front of them."

In their study, Perkins and Kopytko used estimates of future sea level to calculate how much water might encroach upon nuclear plants. They found that the plants in the U.S. were all built high enough to withstand sea level rise alone over the next 50 years (which goes beyond the expected operating lifetime of the current plants). But they also discovered that with the IPCC's expected rate of sea level rise, storm surges from Category 4 or 5 hurricanes will completely inundate the nuclear plants within their projected lifetimes. Their findings were published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Energy Policy.

As sea levels continue to rise, scientists say the storm surges of these hurricanes will get even larger. Worse yet, climate scientists now believe that while Atlantic hurricanes may become less frequent later this century, they're likely to get more powerful on average.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 10:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beat me to it :)

Heres links to all the old ones

Japan threads:




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 25th, 2011 at 04:00:29 PM EST
Quake affects Japan's domestic output of 356,600 cars | Kyodo News

The recent devastating earthquake has prevented eight major Japanese automakers from producing a total of 356,600 vehicles amid substantially curtailed operations, according to figures released by the companies by Friday.

As many remain uncertain about when their plants will resume full-fledged operations due largely to parts shortages, the figure is likely to increase.

The impact of the March 11 9.0-magnitude quake could eventually be smaller as some manufacturers are expected to raise output once full-fledged operations resume.



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 25th, 2011 at 04:00:52 PM EST
Japan Raises Possibility of Breach in Reactor Vessel - NYTimes.com

Concerns about Reactor No. 3 have surfaced before. Japanese officials said nine days ago that the reactor vessel may have been damaged.

A senior nuclear executive who insisted on anonymity but has broad contacts in Japan said that there was a long vertical crack running down the side of the reactor vessel itself. The crack runs down below the water level in the reactor and has been leaking fluids and gases, he said.

The severity of the radiation burns to the injured workers are consistent with contamination by water that had been in contact with damaged fuel rods, the executive said.

"There is a definite, definite crack in the vessel -- it's up and down and it's large," he said. "The problem with cracks is they do not get smaller."



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 25th, 2011 at 04:01:13 PM EST
2 of 3 radiation-exposed workers suffer internal exposure | Kyodo News

Two of the three workers who were exposed to high-level radiation and sustained possible burns at a crisis-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture have likely suffered ''internal exposure'' in which radioactive substances have entered their bodies, but they are not showing early symptoms and do not require treatment, a national radiation research center said Friday.

The National Institute of Radiological Sciences, where the three arrived earlier in the day for highly specialized treatment, said the two were exposed to 2 to 6 sieverts of radiation below their ankles, whereas exposure to 250 millisieverts is the limit set for workers dealing with the ongoing crisis, the worst in Japan's history.

While the two in their late 20s and early 30s may develop symptoms of burns later, all three can walk without assistance and are expected to leave the institute as early as Monday, it said, adding it will continue monitoring them over time.



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 25th, 2011 at 04:04:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The report is that two of the workers were wearing short boots, and the water lapped over the top. The third worker was wearing longer boots so had much less trouble. The workers ignored their dosimeter alarms thinking them faulty, as the room had been checked earlier and was found to be OK, at that point however there was reportedly no water in the room.

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 25th, 2011 at 04:08:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2 to 6 sieverts of radiation below their ankles

Huh...

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

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:27:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And they sent them home?

I expect they forgot to mention that's potentially a lethal dose.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:34:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it hit the ankles only, then it's a potential amputation only.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They have beta burns on their feet. and the doctor says they have some internal radiation.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, are we talking about beta radiation itself shielded by the water to a large extent?

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 Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:49:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, just quoting from something read, second, emitters suspended near the surface? (You're the physicist.) whether the burns were from beta sources, or the burn classification was medically beta, i can't say.

though i suspect they were severe.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 06:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we're talking about beta radiation, I'm thinking the top few millimetres of water would be the ones emitting outside the water.

But if the water got into the workers' boots, then we're talking a thin layer of radioactive water close to the skin anyway.

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 Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 07:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in a pool--which I admit was some years ago--the blue glow of Cherenkov radiation (that's the radiation due to beta particles traveling faster than the speed of light in water) extended out at least one half meter from the rods.  

(It was  very beautiful, by the way.)  

The safe distance will obviously be very sensitive to your personal level of machismo.  

It occurred to me later that standing near the edge of that pool was not the brightest thing I have ever done in my life.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:36:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The blue glow of Cherenkov radiation doesn't mark the beta particle penetration depth. It marks the distance at which the Cherenkov radiation remains strong enough for the dipole scattering off the water to be visible. Which is rather a lot farther than the beta particles will ever go (incidentally, this is what allows you to detect neutrinos - if you had to rely on the radioactive emissions from neutrino decay you wouldn't have a prayer).

Of course the halving depth for gamma radiation is on the order of 20 cm, so safe distance is on the order of 2 m of water. And if the water had been exposed for a while, it would itself be slightly radioactive.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in there.  

Cherenkov radiation is fairly directional--lying entirely in the forward direction of the electron.  The diffuse glow that I was seeing implies the electrons were not directional--but moving in all directions.  

Scattering?  Shine a flashlight into clean water.  How much of the beam is scattered?  Some, but not much.  

So:  Wherever I see the glow there is an electron moving rapidly more or less toward me.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scattering?  Shine a flashlight into clean water.  How much of the beam is scattered?

Most of Cherenkov radiation is UV, so there is bound to be inelastic scattering.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Best of ET discussion,or why i stand on ET.

As one never having experience with Cherenkov radiation eye defer. (Eye am amazed that someone here has such experience.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:43:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was deep blue--which would scatter as blue light scatters.  

Or are you asserting I was seeing scattered--and down shifted into blue--UV light?  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:07:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the scattering is inelastic, it should reduce the frequency.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, inelastic scattering means that the wavelength changes. That is, the UV photon gives kinetic energy to the particle it scatters on, and turns into a blue photon.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(wikipedia)

Here beta is the fraction of the vacuum speed of light at which the electron is travelling, and n is the refractive index (4/3 in the case of water). For highly energetic electrons, we get

cos θ = 3/4

That means θ is up a 41-degree angle so that cerenkov radiation propagates at between 0 and 41 degrees away from the direction of propagation of the beta radiation.

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 26th, 2011 at 07:15:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, the more intense, the less "directional".

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 26th, 2011 at 07:54:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's shielded by the water, would it be detectable? how much water do you need to shield beta radiation?

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 25th, 2011 at 06:28:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A few mm should be enough. 1cm would be plenty.

It's difficult to imagine beta radiation being energetic enough to penetrate an ankle-deep pool of water.

I think it's more likely the water was heavily contaminated with dissolved Caesium-137, and that's where the beta counts were coming from. (And some gamma.)

Beta has a reasonable range in air, so it probably also caused the dosimeter alarms.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 06:49:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if 1 cm is plenty, then whats the point in quoting per cubic centimetre?

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 25th, 2011 at 07:37:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is gamma, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 07:47:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But then they wouldn't be "beta burns".

What's the most likely candidate for a beta emitter here?

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 Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 07:49:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The beta burns are beta burns. The Becquerels per cubic centimetre cebs asked about include both beta and gamma.

Both Iodine-131 and Caesium-137 beta-decay.

Iodine-131 - Wikipedia

The primary emissions of 131I decay are 364 keV gamma rays (81% abundance) and beta particles with a maximal energy of 606 keV (89% abundance).[3]

The beta particles, due to their high mean energy (190 keV; 606 kev is the maximum, but a typical beta-decay spectrum is present) have a tissue penetration of 0.6 to 2 mm.[4]



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

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 07:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then again, who knows what products this water included, it could have been heavier elements.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 07:58:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Technetium 99, Strontium 90, Iodine 129 and Caesium 137 are all beta emitters. They are listed as the main long-lived fission products of uranium.

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 Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 08:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would there be any major noticeable detectable differences that would tell us that this was the MOX fuel in reactor 3  coming apart because of the Plutonium concentration? so is there a question or test that could be asked that would tell us it was or wasnt that reactor  just down to the detected  products?

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 25th, 2011 at 08:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't this in the turbine room of No. 2?

At any rate, the increased seawater pollution would point at Iodine as the main radioactive contamination (no surprise there given half-lifes):

NHK WORLD English

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Saturday that iodine 131 in excess of 1,250 times regulated standards was found in seawater collected 330 meters south of a plant water outlet at 8:30 AM on Friday.

The agency says there is no immediate threat to people within the 20-kilometer evacuation zone. The agency adds that as seawater is dispersed by ocean currents the contamination level will decline.

Iodine 131 at146.9 times regulated standards was detected in seawater in the area on Wednesday.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:06:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kyodo: Fears of radioactive seawater grow near nuke plant despite efforts (March 27)
On Thursday, three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level at the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor building.

On Friday, a pool of water with a similarly high concentration of radioactive materials was found in the No. 1 reactor's turbine building, causing some restoration work to be suspended.

Similar pools of water were also found in the turbine buildings of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, measuring up to 1 meter and 80 centimeters deep, respectively. Those near the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors were up to 40 cm and 1.5 meters deep, respectively.



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 26th, 2011 at 07:36:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this mean the workers were wading in 1.5m of radioactive water from a MOX 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 26th, 2011 at 07:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One does not wade in 1.5m water! Are there any radiation wet suits?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is that the "water lapped over the edge of the boots" story may well be weapons-grade bullshit.

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 27th, 2011 at 06:05:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm right at 6' tall and have plenty of experience "standing" in water ~ 5' deep. I use quote marks around the word standing because I have little stability at that height, being so close to neutral buoyancy. I might charitably presume that these workers confined their activities to ankle deep water, but the risk of puncture of those crude plastic bag shoe covers is extreme and calls into question the judgment of those in charge. Foot high galoshes, or overshoes, would be appropriate for depths up to about 4" and hip boots up to perhaps 18". Above that the danger of slip and fall becomes too great, given the consequences. IMO. And the wet suit comment was sarcasm, but not directed towards you.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 06:53:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't take it as sarcasm. I wonder if anyone had thought that radiation suits would need to be used for immersion in radioactive water...

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 27th, 2011 at 11:46:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Check this out:


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 27th, 2011 at 06:25:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume those are workers leaving the site of work. if you look at the ones at the back they dont have plastic bags over their feet. I think what has happened is theyve come straight from the site and on leaving the most controlled zone, theyve been made to step into bags and had them taped onto their legs while they walk to a point where more thorough decontamination is to occur so they don't leave radioactive footprints all over the site that also have to be cleaned up.

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 27th, 2011 at 08:01:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes more sense than my guess that the bags were a quick and dirty improvised measure for walking in pools of contaminated water.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:54:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I thought at first, too.

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 27th, 2011 at 01:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has it been determined that the photo is of workers leaving the facility for decontamination?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.

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 27th, 2011 at 04:51:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't look like it:

These guys don't look like they're coming out and on their way to decontamination.

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 27th, 2011 at 05:13:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your theory makes sense, however:

One subcontracted worker who laid cables for new electrical lines March 19 described chaotic conditions and lax supervision that made him nervous. Masataka Hishida said neither he nor the workers around him were given a dosimeter, a device used to measure one's exposure to radiation. He was surprised that workers were not given special shoes; rather, they were told to put plastic bags over their street shoes. When he was trying on the gas mask for the first time, he said the supervisor told him and other subcontractors, "Listen carefully, I'm only going to say this one time" while explaining how to use it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/radiation-levels-reach-new-highs-as-conditions-worsen-for-worker s/2011/03/27/AFsMLFiB_story.html

by asdf on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also:



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 27th, 2011 at 05:14:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two of the three workers.... have likely suffered ''internal exposure'' in which radioactive substances have entered their bodies, but they are not showing early symptoms and do not require treatment...

??!! If "radioactive substances have entered their bodies" it would seem to be a good idea to get them out via chelation therapy. EDTA or other chelates, depending on what entered their bodies. If it was only alpha rays from particles that were in water in their boots, and if none of that water got into their bodies, then there would be little to treat at present. Perhaps this is just bad writing and reporting.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As with many stories here you hope that somewhere in translation something has been lost.  One of the most obvious ones is that in English news programs they're reporting radiation in the water being 10,000 times normal.  The Japanese news is reporting it as 10,000 times the normal radiation in circulating inside of a nuclear reactor. Now who is translating the Japanese correctly is an exercise for the reader.

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 25th, 2011 at 05:39:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
3.7 GBq/kg divided by 10,000 is 0.37 MBq/kg, still a high level - it must be normal reactor water level.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 06:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's immensely disturbing, because it suggests they're trying to deal with an ultra-radioactive soup full of who knows what. (To use the official industry term.)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 06:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And under the existing circumstances the literal best thing they can do with the radioactive water is likely to be to dump it into the ocean so they can get on with trying to save the reactors from releasing even worse contamination.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 10:27:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good thing the ocean is big... On a more general level, my scientific and professional view on this is: wow, this sucks. And here I thought they were getting their shit together. Seems like * drumroll * those Mark I containments were as bad as some people claimed.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.N. agencies hold meeting to discuss Japan's nuclear crisis | Kyodo News

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Friday held a teleconference with senior members of U.N. agencies to respond to the ongoing crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Participants of the conference, the first of its kind, included Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Tibor Toth, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

Also represented at the meeting were organizations involved in providing aid to the Japanese government, such as the U.N. Development Program, the World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization.

The participants discussed topics including extraordinary information-sharing measures, according to the United Nations.



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 25th, 2011 at 04:02:19 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 25th, 2011 at 04:11:21 PM EST
Three increasingly higher waves...

...after watching this, I can't help wondering how many of the victims were filming or taking pictures from a height they believed to be safe.

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

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:38:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, the video is 9 minutes, but if you really want to get a feel of it, don't fast-forward.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a person who has a compulsion to film everything, that was my first thought, too, followed by "RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNN!!!!"

Karen in Bischofswiesen

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:49:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They do run upstairs three times in the course of the filming.

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 26th, 2011 at 06:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austrian weather service weather service Plume prediction/Analysis (I only have links to the Gifs, and haven't seen whether this is results or predictions). Links only as they're too big to put up in the diary

http://www.zamg.ac.at/pict/aktuell/20110325_Reanalyse-I131-Period1.gif

http://www.zamg.ac.at/pict/aktuell/20110325_Reanalyse-I131-Period2.gif

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 25th, 2011 at 04:16:02 PM EST
It's measured data. Here is the English text.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks


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 25th, 2011 at 04:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Japan's Self-Defense Forces have released the latest aerial images of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The footage was shot from a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter about mid-day Wednesday. Roughly one hour of video was edited into a 5-minute clip showing reactors No. 1 to No. 4.

Footage of the No. 3 reactor building shows its roof and the upper section of the building's southern wall blown away by a hydrogen blast.

Vapor can be seen wafting from gaps in the wreckage near a pool for spent nuclear fuel rods. Faint steam can be seen rising from twisted steel framework over what could be the upper part of the containment vessel.
The footage shows the No. 4 reactor building, which has been reduced to steel framework near the top, with a wall on the upper part of the building's southern side torn away.

Light apparently reflected by water can be seen from openings in the roof's frame. An inside view from the southern side shows a green object that is most likely a fallen crane.


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 25th, 2011 at 04:19:32 PM EST
Reported to me but not seen, German TV main station ARD reported that experts suspect some core melt has already occurred, and are particularly concerned with #3. Of course, here on ET, we already knew that.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:36:57 PM EST
I saw a similar report on ZDF, but it was full of imprecise stuff. Meltdown happened over a week ago, since then temperatures cooled down. What's a question is the level and nature of meltdown, given the extremely high level of radioactivity in the water. Even if stuff collected at the bottom of the reactor and that's what escaped across cracks or broken pipes on untight vents and got under the feet of the workers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:43:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the technical inaccuracy that got me, it's that it's being reported at all.

At the same time the Bild is reporting that former PM Cabbage Helmet says that Germany needs nukes now more than ever. (one thing good about a crisis, the propaganda becomes completely self-evident.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See Salon I am about to post now.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
links to updates regarding nuclear powerplants in Japan
Some Links to Sites with Current Information on
the Status of Nuclear Powerplants in Japan


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 25th, 2011 at 04:44:32 PM EST
Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Worst That Could Happen | TomDispatch

Not to put too fine a point on it, as an unfolding nightmare Fukushima already inhabits territory perilously close to those irradiated landscapes of the pulp fantasies of my childhood -- only you wouldn't know it.  As "not as bad as Chernobyl" slips into the fog, it might be better to describe the situation at Fukushima as "remarkably unlike Chernobyl" in rural Ukraine, where almost 25 years ago, a single uncontained nuclear reactor with a graphite core blew. 

We now contemplate the possibility of multiple reactors accompanied by multiple containment pools for what is euphemistically called "spent" fuel (when it isn't "spent" at all) -- at least 11,195 such rods, 1760 metric tons of them -- self-destructing in a highly industrialized country smaller than California with the third largest economy on the planet.  In a situation we've never faced before, except perhaps in fiction, to talk about "safety" and offer "reassurance" should ring oddly indeed.

H/T ARGeezer

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 25th, 2011 at 04:50:16 PM EST
Against Monbiot - against nuclear love | Presseurop (English)

The summit in the art of self-deception has now been scaled by the British journalist George Monbiot, who wrote a rather predictable text for the Guardian in London under the title: "Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power". His reasoning is simple: "A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation." A longing for Apocalypse

How cynical. Monbiot wrote this while fire-fighters were risking their health and possibly their lives to protect Tokyo. He wrote this while the nuclear plant was radiating, the levels climbing around it, and still no prospect of an end to the leaks. He wrote this while the people of Fukushima looked on from emergency shelters as their livelihoods were destroyed, possibly for generations, and while tap water in Tokyo was forbidden to babies. Meanwhile, the plutonium threat in reactor number three is still not under control.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:00:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(I am quoting this; but I realise that the German author is probably unfamiliar with Monbiot and his extensive work, and suspect that Monbiot's motivation is probably more a spiteful reaction to some cruder replies he surely got for his earlier piece about coal being the worse danger.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
coal being the worse danger

Obviously not an idea one should express at the moment without diving for shelter. ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear can, though, become a coal-level danger if a massive expansion in nuclear power results in a massive expansion of lower concentration uranium ore mining. (Australia is mining both.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having watched Navajo children playing on unmarked uranium tailings piles, i know this is so.

(yes, grabbed them by the hand and led them away.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly that previous experience of the Dine with Peabody Coal Company Peabody Energy Corporation¹ is why the uranium mines are closed and will, one hopes, never be re-opened.

As of yet, there's been no public announcement of plans to re-open New Mexico thorium mines.  I expect a popular uprising if they try.

Even some conservative wing-nut types hate the mining companies.

¹  name changes but the sociopathy goes on

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. But I think one can be against any expansion (rather be for reduction) of nuclear power, in favour of energy demand destruction and renewables, and rate coal as the worst possible electricity generation source. The problem is that's a very theoretical point of view. I see no sign our governments intend to give up on nukes (and I include Germany).

Seen this evening on FR TV, the Environment Minister Kosciusko-Morizet in "sincere dialogue" with a Green-type person, stressing the talking point that we should decide nothing in the heat of a crisis (whether she supported Sarko's bomb Gaddafi "crusade" decision in the heat of a crisis wasn't asked). This is the polite version of the immediate reaction of the heavies (Claude Allègre for example) who ran out ten days ago to yell it was "indecent" to want to discuss nuclear energy while the poor Japanese people were suffering. The problem there being that when there isn't a crisis the media don't cover the non-event and those in power go ahead with nuclear plans in hush-hush while no one but the crazies are trying to talk about it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I very much question this idea. Even if we would get all our uranium needs from low grade uranium mines (like Rössing, 8 % of world uranium output in 2005), there would be remarkably few mines compared to the number of coal mines operating today. Furthermore, many low grade deposits would be exploited through in situ leaching, which has a very low localized environmental impact, much like Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage used for "mining" deep tar sands (not the moon-scape ones).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dont know if this is live or recorded but http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13556497

Saying that at 280 degrees C the gaskets on the charging lid will have a good chance of giving way, temperature is more of a risk than pressure, These Gaskets are an extra safety feature that dont exist on the US version.

temperature on one of the pressure vessels reached 400 degrees which is to the right of the line where they had 100% gasket failure at all temperatures.

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 25th, 2011 at 06:13:07 PM EST
leaks around the gasket occur at any point above 300. He also said that one possible cause of the black smoke is ignition of the organic sealant around the cable entries for the control electonics

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 25th, 2011 at 06:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A containment vessel is only as strong as its weakest component and can only withstand temperatures to the point that the most vulnerable component fails, in this case various gaskets.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 10:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High radiation levels at Japanese plant raise new worry | Reuters

(Reuters) - Highly radioactive water has been found at a second reactor at a crippled nuclear power station in Japan, the plant's operator said, as fears of contamination escalated two weeks after a huge earthquake and tsunami battered the complex.

Underscoring growing international concern about nuclear power raised by the accident in northeast Japan, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement it was time to reassess the international nuclear safety regime.

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, making his first public statement on the crisis in a week, said the situation at the Fukushima nuclear complex, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, was "nowhere near" being resolved.



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 25th, 2011 at 07:28:12 PM EST
FOCUS: Nuclear plant workers have option to quit but not many doing so | Kyodo News

Since the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began, triggered by the massive March 11 earthquake, 17 workers have suffered radiation of more than 100 millisieverts, the maximum level to which nuclear plant workers may be exposed per year.

They were among those engaged in critical work to lift the stricken six-reactor plant out of what has become for Japan an unprecedented nuclear disaster, amid high risks of exposure to radiation.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator and the nation's biggest utility, says it is ''up to each individual to decide whether or not to continue'' working at the plant.

But an expert familiar with working conditions said that in the case of subcontractors, ''The reality is that they are not in a position to decline job offers that they may not like, because they know that would affect orders in the future.''

At Fukushima Daiichi, efforts to restore power and other facilities are underpinned by workers facing radiation exposure risks.



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 25th, 2011 at 07:46:48 PM EST
Japan Times: Kan breaks silence, vows to help locals rebuild lives (Saturday, March 26, 2011)
"The current situation at the Fukushima No. 1 plant is unpredictable and we are trying to prevent it from deteriorating," Kan told a news conference at the Prime Minister's Official Residence. "I believe we need to continue dealing with each problem with a strong sense of urgency."

...

"From now on, we need to begin preparing for a full-scale reconstruction . . . of the region, as well as people's lives," Kan said.

"We shall not burden individuals or each household with the damages of the disaster -- society and Japan as a whole will share the burden equally."

...

... "I think every country has their own way of thinking and is setting their own standards. We have been providing information with transparency to all nations and international organizations."



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 Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 08:26:45 PM EST
Most disaster victims elderly / Unlike younger people, seniors unable to move fast enough to escape : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Most victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami were seniors who were unable to move with the agility needed to escape the twin disaster.

Of 2,853 victims in five prefectures, whose identities and ages have been confirmed as of Wednesday, 65.1 percent were 60 years old or older, according to Yomiuri Shimbun calculations.

The calculations, based on the number of casualties identified by Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba prefectural police headquarters, also show that 46.1 percent of the casualties were 70 years old or older.

Younger people evidently were much more likely to escape the tsunami that followed the powerful earthquake that devastated the coastal areas of the Tohoku and Kanto regions.

In Iwate Prefecture, 457 of 721 victims, or 63.3 percent of the total, were 60 years old or older while 44 percent were 70 or older.

Of 1,579 identified victims in Miyagi Prefecture, 63.1 percent were 60 years old or older and 44.9 percent were 70 or older.

Last year, people aged 60 in Iwate Prefecture accounted for 34.9 percent of the total prefectural population, while 20.8 percent were aged 70 or older.

This shows the ratios of the total number of identified elderly victims were almost double that of the prefecture's aged population.



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 25th, 2011 at 09:06:57 PM EST
Kyodo - Fresh coolant to be injected into Fukushima No. 2 reactor

On Thursday, three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level at the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor building. On Friday, a pool of water with similarly highly concentrated radioactive materials was found in the No. 1 reactor's turbine building, causing some restoration work to be suspended.

Similar pools of water were also found in the turbine buildings of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, measuring up to 1 meter and 80 centimeters deep, respectively. Those near the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors were up to 40 cm and 1.5 meters deep.

While it will try to analyze the levels of radioactivity of the pools of water found in the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, TEPCO will remove such water in all of four reactor units to reduce the risk of more workers being exposed to radioactive substances, it said. The risk hinders their efforts to restore the plant's crippled cooling functions, which are crucial to overcoming the crisis, it 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 25th, 2011 at 10:11:27 PM EST
TEPCO forced to change strategy at plant  NHK World  Saturday, March 26, 2011 08:45

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been forced to change its strategy at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant due to high radiation levels at the site. The plant's nuclear reactors 1 through 4 have all lost their cooling capabilities as both external and backup power supplies failed after the quake and tsunami.

TEPCO has been working to restore the external power supply while trying to cool the reactors and spent fuel storage pools by using pump trucks to secure water levels. However, 3 workers were exposed to highly radioactive water in the basement of the turbine building of the No.3 reactor on Thursday. The radiation level there was 200 millisieverts per hour at one time.

This led to a change in plans. In an effort to continually cool the reactors, TEPCO has started to pump fresh water instead of seawater into the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors on Friday. With this strategy in mind, the company first intended to use the reactors' water pumps. But they were forced to use pump trucks instead from a distance, after high radiation levels were detected near the reactors' pumps.

The company plans to switch on lights in the No.2 reactor's control room on Saturday through an external power supply. Meanwhile, they will also continue to use trucks to pump fresh water into the reactor.




"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 10:51:47 PM EST
I wonder when "the authorities" are going to realize that there could be another tsunami at any time, and that they should be working to protect their extremely fragile ex-reactors and their very crude replacement cooling systems from an even worse situation.

How about a little 8 magnitude aftershock, with a subsequent tsunami spreading the reactor mess all over the countryside?

I hear that the US Corps of Engineers is good at building sea walls, maybe they should deploy to Japan.

by asdf on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 11:37:24 PM EST
Well, we know how well they build and maintain levees.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:34:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder when "the authorities" are going to realize that there could be another tsunami at any time...

Or a spike in radiation releases from #3 just when there was a brisk wind from the north-north east.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably the Japanese build good seawalls, too.

The sea defences for Fukishima were designed for a 5m tsunami.

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 26th, 2011 at 06:39:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Workers trying to pump radioactive water from Japan reactors  Reuters

Radioactive water has been found in buildings of three of the six reactors at the power complex 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo. On Thursday, three workers sustained burns at reactor No. 3 after being exposed to radiation levels 10,000 times higher than usually found in a reactor.

"Bailing out accumulated water from the turbine housing units before radiation levels rise further is becoming very important," said Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency senior official Hidehiko Nishiyama.

....

With elevated radiation levels around the plant triggering fears across the nation, storage of the contaminated water has to be handled carefully.

"We are working out ways of safely bailing out the water so that it does not get out into the environment, and we are making preparations," Nishiyama said.


Perhaps we can hope that the "ways" of "safely bailing out the water" will involve pumping it into containers or tankers, rather than into the ocean. In this case it would be very good if the solution to pollution was not dilution.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:41:13 AM EST
Kyodo - Levels of radioactive materials soaring in sea near nuke plant  

Levels of radioactive materials are skyrocketing in the sea near the crisis-hit nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture, the government's nuclear safety agency said Saturday, while the plant's operator has started injecting fresh water into the No. 2 reactor core to enhance cooling efficiency.

According to the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,250.8 times the legal limit was detected Friday morning in a seawater sample taken around 330 meters south of the plant, near the drain outlets of its troubled four reactors.

The level rose to its highest so far in the survey begun this week, after staying around levels 100 times over the legal limit. It is highly likely that radioactive water in the plant has disembogued into the sea, Tokyo Electric Power Co said.

The result could fan concerns over fishery products in northeastern Japan as highly radioactive water has been found leaking near all four troubled reactor units at the plant.

Radioactive materials ''will significantly dilute'' by the time they are consumed by marine species, the agency said, adding, it will not have a significant impact on fishery products as fishing is not conducted in the area within 20 kilometers of the plant as the government has issued a directive for residents in the area to evacuate.



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 26th, 2011 at 05:24:33 AM EST
For a civilization with only the beginnings of understanding the relationship that is the circle of life, this is very disturbing news.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:01:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"radioactive water in the plant has disembogued into the sea"

now theres an interesting word, suggests more than just a minor leak.

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 26th, 2011 at 06:31:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At a more practical level, I was thinking that since alpha and beta radiation is shielded effectively by living tissue, seafood that may contain nuclides that will kill you if you ingest them may appear "safe" from the outside, even with a radiation meter.

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 26th, 2011 at 06:36:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's order sushi!
by asdf on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:50:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there alfa/beta radiation without gamma radiation?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strontium-90

I prefer alfalfa emitters better.

by njh on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FOCUS: Radiation-free 'certificates' in Fukushima get unexpected, moot role | Kyodo News

At the entrance of a sports gymnasium in Fukushima city earlier this month, a doctor wearing a white hat, mask and gloves was seen holding a radiation monitor over the hands of a visiting resident.

The doctor then held it over the person's forehead, abdomen and back. The resident was then asked to raise their heels to check the back of the shoes at the end of the procedure to get a reading on the monitor.

After the series of problems at one of the country's largest nuclear power plant, these radiation screenings have been conducted at the entrance of shelters in Fukushima Prefecture since March 13, two days after the devastating quake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. They are intended to check if a resident has been exposed to radiation.

''Certificates'' are then issued by the doctors to those who have been declared free of any abnormality.

But these certificates have come to be an unexpected function in the community that has become nervous about anything radioactive. Some shelters have started demanding that certificates be presented before any residents evacuating from the nuclear disaster are admitted.



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 26th, 2011 at 06:39:17 AM EST
What is the risk to others from people who are contaminated by radiation?

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 26th, 2011 at 06:42:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can still walk to the shelter, you're not a radiation hazard. At least not after you get a shower and a change of clothes.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 09:57:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what can be an issue: what may come off your shoe or clothes or skin.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please tell me they decontaminate people before letting them into the radiation shelters...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They just send them away instead.

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 26th, 2011 at 06:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That reminds me of an old BBC movie, "The War game" ... Quite creepy !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 08:30:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 09:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not a radiation but a refugee shelter, and mandatory decontamination of 150,000 refugees would be even more of a hassle than just mandatory screening.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some ships avoid Tokyo Bay ports on radiation fear | Reuters

(Reuters) - German shipping companies are avoiding Tokyo Bay area ports due to radiation fears and Japan could face severe supply chain bottlenecks as vessels get diverted, ship industry officials said on Thursday.

Any logistical setbacks could mean major delays and seaborne congestion at Japan's terminals including Tokyo, hindering recovery efforts in the wake of the March 11 earthquake.

"The last thing Japan needs right now is for people to abandon them," said Tim Wickmann, chief executive of MCC Transport a unit of Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO).

Among those that have stopped going to Tokyo for the time being are Hapag-Lloyd HPLG.UL -- the world's fifth-biggest container shipper part-owned by tour operator TUI AG (TUIGn.DE) -- and container ship operator Claus-Peter Offen.



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 26th, 2011 at 06:53:07 AM EST
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and slow burning issues

Tangently related to MSM brown outs. Maybe it's just me but... these sensors took a very interesting time to 'malfunction'.

Glitches hamper radiation warning system in California

The federal government's radiation alert network in California is not fully functional, leaving the stretch of coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco without the crucial real-time warning system in the event of a nuclear emergency.

Six of the Environmental Protection Agency's 12 California sensors -- including the three closest to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo -- are sending data with "anomalies" to the agency's laboratory in Montgomery, Ala., said Mike Bandrowski, manager of the EPA's radiation program.



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 26th, 2011 at 06:54:45 AM EST
New footage shows tsunami wave and damage to Fukushima plant - Channel 4 News

Nearly two hours of footage was taken from the air immediately after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck Japan on March 11.

Travelling from the Miyagi prefecture to the Fukushima nuclear plant, the footage, released by the Japanese government, shows the extent of the damage inflicted on the nuclear plant from the earthquake.

Fires in buildings and structural damage to the plant is evident. And whilst in the air the camera crew also capture the first terrifying tsunami waves heading to Japan.



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 26th, 2011 at 10:36:06 AM EST
NRC: Nuke Plants Aren't Reporting Safety Defects In Equipment | Crooks and Liars

Conservatives really do live in the land of wishful thinking. Yes, of course you can give away tax dollars that are supposed to be used for enforcement and use them for tax breaks! Of course you can cut funding for air traffic controllers without putting air travelers at risk, of course you can stop inspecting pharmaceutical factories and food processing plants, and expect them to just tell you if there's a problem. After all, who would risk their company just to make a buck?

All of the above, but especially the nuclear power industry:

More than a quarter of U.S. nuclear plant operators have failed to properly tell regulators about equipment defects that could imperil reactor safety, according to a report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's inspector general.

Operators of U.S. nuclear power plants are supposed to tell the NRC when pieces of equipment "contain defects that could create a substantial safety hazard," regulations say.

Although the report doesn't assert that any imminent danger resulted from the lapses, many experts said the lack of communication could make it harder for other nuclear reactor operators to learn about flaws in their own equipment, because many similar parts are used in other 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 Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:49:44 AM EST
The only way to stop this nonsense is to break the corporate shield and make the owners of the nuclear plants (shareholders) fiscally responsible for the dangers caused to the public by their malfeasance.

IANAL, so don't ask me how to do it.  :-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Showings of criminality by corporate officers tends to make corporations vulnerable to loss of liability limitation and loss of their veil.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:51:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This would be more likely were criminal prosecutions possible with private citizens bringing the actions. It will never be a criminal case unless someone prosecutes.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:53:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Holding the corporate officers criminally liable should plenty suffice. The shareholders probably didn't have a clue, and not much of a chance to get one ahead of time either.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:31:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Top officers of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US Pacific Fleet have agreed to share information on the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and cooperate in solving the problem.

The head of the SDF Joint Staff Office, General Ryoichi Oriki, and Admiral Patrick Walsh met at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon.

Walsh commands all the US units working for relief operations in the quake-hit area in northeastern Japan.

He told reporters after the meeting that some of his senior staff in charge of communication with SDF officers have specific knowledge and technical skills relating to nuclear power.


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 26th, 2011 at 10:51:21 AM EST
Interesting reality check of what it's like to work in a nuclear power plant...

by asdf on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:00:45 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
Japanese electric power companies that operate nuclear power plants are facing difficulty in either restarting nuclear reactors in their checkups or transporting nuclear fuel to the power plants.

Municipal governments that host nuclear power plants are urging plant operators to freeze expansion projects and to review safety measures.

Hokuriku Electric Power Company has indicated that the firm has difficulty in rebooting two reactors at its Shika plant in Ishikawa Prefecture without the understanding of the prefectural government and residents. The reactors were taken out of operation for either mechanical trouble or regular inspection.

In western Japan, Kansai Electric Power Company has decided to postpone transporting nuclear fuel to one reactor at its Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture from France.

The company cites difficulty in ensuring the fuel's safe delivery because the government is busy handling the aftermath of the March 11th disasters and can't provide the necessary safeguards for transport.


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 26th, 2011 at 11:08:20 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
Municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture are relocating residents and administrative functions to remote areas. Many of them are located within the evacuation zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

On March 19th, Futaba Town moved its functions and the entire community to Saitama City in Saitama Prefecture.

Two other municipalities have also decided on collective relocation of administration and residents. Okuma Town plans to move to Aizu-Wakamatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture, and Naraha Town, to Aizu-Misato Town in the same 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 26th, 2011 at 03:12:24 PM EST
Researcher warned 2 yrs ago of massive tsunami striking nuke plant Kyodo News

A researcher said Saturday he had warned two years ago about the possible risk of a massive tsunami hitting a nuclear power plant in Japan, but Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, had brushed off the warning.

According to the researcher, Yukinobu Okamura, and the records of a government council where he made the warning, TEPCO asserted that there was flexibility in the quake resistance design of its plants and expressed reluctance to raise the assumption of possible quake damage citing a lack of sufficient information.

''There should be ample flexibility in the safety of a nuclear power plant,'' said Okamura, head of the Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. ''It is odd to have an attitude of not taking into consideration indeterminate aspects.''

Okamura had warned in 2009 of massive tsunami based on his study since around 2004 of the traces of a major tsunami believed to have swept away about a thousand people in the year 869 after a magnitude 8.3 quake off northeastern Japan.

He had found in his research that tsunami from the ancient quake had hit a wide range of the coastal regions of northeastern Japan, at least as far north as Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture and as far south as the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture -- close to the Fukushima Daiichi plant -- penetrating as much as 3 to 4 kilometers inland.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:38:20 PM EST
Fault line shifted up to 30m  NHK World  March 26, 2011 04:22

Japan's Meteorological Agency says the recent massive earthquake off the Pacific coast of Northeastern Japan occurred due to a fault line shift of up to 30 meters. The agency said at a news conference on Friday that it discovered this while analyzing how the quake occurred based on seismometer data it obtained in Japan and abroad.

....

All this shows that the 450-kilometer fault line shifted a distance of up to 30 meters in just 3 minutes. This caused a massive quake with a magnitude of 9.0 and a tsunami 10 meters high which hit the Pacific coast of Japan.

The meteorological agency says it will continue its analysis of huge earthquakes and aftershocks to help improve disaster response.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:45:06 PM EST
Fresh water injected into No. 2 reactor  NHK World  March 26, 2011 12:30

Workers at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are now pumping fresh water instead of seawater into the No. 2 reactor. The measure was taken to prevent salt from building up inside the reactor and affecting its cooling capability. Seawater was used to cool reactors and spent fuel storage pools at the plant as an emergency measure following the tsunami.

A similar measure was taken at the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors on Friday. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it hopes to complete the switchover at spent fuel storage pools of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors on Sunday.

The agency says fresh water has helped to stabilize the condition of the No. 1 reactor and accordingly wants to accelerate the process. It adds that further use of seawater could hamper temperature and pressure control.

Saturday,  +0900 (JST)


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:51:51 PM EST
Chinese man turns himself in seeking deportation over nuclear fears | Kyodo News

Police on Saturday arrested a 48-year-old Chinese man, who turned himself in to Nagasaki prefectural police seeking deportation due to his fears about the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power station, for illegally staying in Japan, police officials said.

Lin Jian Ming is suspected of remaining in Japan beyond the allowed period of 90 days after arriving on June 8, 2000, the officials said.

The man came to the Nagasaki prefectural police headquarters on Saturday afternoon, telling them that he lived in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, but had fled to Nagasaki to escape the nuclear power plant crisis and wanted to return to China, the officials said.

Lin has told police he arrived in Nagasaki a week ago.



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 26th, 2011 at 03:56:30 PM EST
Ford to idle Belgian plant to conserve parts | Reuters

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) will idle its auto plant in Genk, Belgium, for five days starting April 4, to conserve parts following the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan that has disrupted supplies for numerous automakers.

The shutdown had been set for May but the automaker chose to idle the plant sooner "to ensure we have sufficient parts availability," Ford spokesman Todd Nissen said on Saturday.

"Given the current situation in Japan, we took this as a precautionary measure. To be clear, we haven't experienced any plant disruptions as a result of a parts shortage at this point," he said.



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 26th, 2011 at 03:57:46 PM EST
Ah, the wonders of Just-In-Time-Logistics.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:36:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and slow burning issues

Taking your calculation a little farther.

A yield of 2.878% would amount to a related fission of 1.31 Kg of uranium 235

If fuel rods are enriched apprx 3% U235. Then 1.31 Kg U235 becomes apprx 43 Kg of fuel pellets (or apprx 100 lb)

Assume shore current is conservatively 2 mi/hr then the isotopic product of the fuel pellets passing the collection point would have to be replaced 10 times per hour.

This would mean that the fission products of half a ton of fuel pellets/hr (1000 lb/hr) are being swept past that collection point.

That translates into the product of 12 tons of fuel pellets/day flushing into the sea.

*Please excuse the rounding errors - I didn't use a conversion table



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 26th, 2011 at 04:06:20 PM EST
Latest casualty figures for March 11 quake, tsunami | Kyodo News

The following are the latest casualty figures related to the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan on March 11, according to the National Police Agency as of 9 p.m. Saturday:

 Number of people killed 10,489 Number of people missing 16,621


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 26th, 2011 at 04:15:30 PM EST
Now (6 pm local time) 10,668 confirmed dead, 16,574 registered missing. First time I see the latter number reduce... Also 2,777 injured, 18,649 buildings found completely destroyed, 146 found burned down.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:11:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kyodo News: Fears of radioactive seawater grow near nuke plant despite efforts
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., was able to turn on the lights in the control room for the No. 2 reactor the same day, leaving only the No. 4 reactor at the six-reactor plant without lighting in its control room.
Which is just as well, since reactor 4 has no fuel in it.
According to the government's nuclear safety agency, evidence of water having flowed through an ordinary drainage outlet has been found at the No. 2 reactor building, with a radiation level of about 15 millisieverts per hour detected. The outlet is believed to lead to the sea.
The government continues to refuse to give people false assurances, which in my opinion is both honest and commendable:
Japan's top government spokesman Yukio Edano said at a press conference Saturday that it was difficult to predict when the ongoing crisis at the plant -- triggered by the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami -- would end.

Asked about the prospects for the crisis, Edano described the current situation as ''preventing it from worsening,'' adding that ''an enormous amount of work'' is required before it will settle down.



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 26th, 2011 at 07:32:43 PM EST
Fukushima Slow Burning Issues  Euan Mearns The Oil Drum

Heat accumulation

The normal way to dispose of heat is to pump it away in circulating cooling water (see the massive flows of water either side of the seawall in the picture below). With the cooling pumps out of action due to loss of power, the only way to remove heat is by conduction through water. With the reactors shut down, the rate of heat production will now be much less than 1% of that produced by fission power, but the heat still needs to be removed. The following statement from this report is revealing:

   A similar operation is planned for later today at unit 4 and the surface temperatures of the buildings appear to be below 100ºC.

This suggests that the reactor buildings are essentially the heat sinks being used to absorb much of the heat being produced. For fuel rods cooled by water emersion at atmospheric pressure, the maximum temperature the coolant can reach is 100˚C (or it will boil) and since heat is always transferred from higher to lower temperatures, the maximum temperature the buildings can reach is 100˚C by conduction through water at atmospheric pressure. When they reach this temperature there is no where for the radiation heat produced to go and the source temperatures may continue to rise. I'm not sure what the exact outcome might be, but fuel rods catching fire or melting are two possible outcomes.

The following statement from this report gives further cause for concern:

   Tepco noted that the temperature of the containment vessel of unit 1 had built to some 400ºC, compared to a design value of only 138ºC. However, the strength of the component is such that it can withstand the stresses this imposes, said Tepco, and its structural integrity is expected to be maintained. "There is no substantial problem regarding the containment vessel's structural soundness under conditions of pressure 300 kPa and temperature 400ºC."

If the reactor steel pressure vessel and the concrete containment are still pressurised then it is possible to raise the temperature of water above 100˚C, but a temperature of 400˚C still signals a serious heat dissipation issue at Unit 1. If either the pressure vessel or containment system are at atmospheric pressure then it suggests that the reactor pressure vessel is ruptured and nuclear fuel is in contact with the concrete containment system.

It is quite clear that Tepco is aware of this problem hence the race to restore mains AC power to see if the pumping system works which will allow heat to be pumped away using the reactor's and cooling pond's water cooling systems. How much of this is going to work?

For unit #s 1, 2 & 3 the cores could be at or below 100C because the containment has failed and they are therefore unable to keep water in the liquid state above 100C, so reports of temperatures below 100C are, potentially, a mixed blessing. The only effective means of removing heat that remains is circulating cold water into the reactor vessel and building and that water either evaporating as steam, carrying away the latent heat of vaporization, or heated and now contaminated water being pumped to storage tanks or the ocean. Spraying fresh water on the building would help remove heat from the concrete, which is functioning as a heat sink, but at the cost of providing additional contaminated water to be dealt with.

In order to stabilize the the reactors without further polluting the ocean it would be necessary to have two barges on site at all times: one for fresh water; one for contaminated water. The fresh water barge could turn into a contaminated water barge when empty of fresh water. This would also provide a way of dealing with water that has been sprayed on spent fuel pools and leaked onto the rest of the facility and the water that needs to be pumped out of the reactor and turbine buildings.

Up-thread it was noted that some of the black smoke seen coming out of #s 1, 2 & 3 at various times may have been seals and gaskets that had been heated to decomposition. Add to that the stainless steel piping that has been seriously weakened by the presence of high temperature salt water and we have a very leaky system.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:29:28 PM EST
Mearns' conclusion: IT IS TOO EARLY TO CALL THIS CRISIS OVER.  Euan Mearns The Oil Drum
Summing up

Fukushima is like a cancer eating away at the habitat of the east coast of Japan. Whilst the situation appears to be stable, a number of slow burning processes must inevitably be eating away at the heart of these reactors. The solution to a number of these problems is to restore fresh water circulation to each of the cores and the spent fuel ponds. Whether or not the pumping systems work remains to be seen. Disposing of the salty radioactive sludge from inside the reactor vessels presents another major challenge.

It seems possible that the current meta stable condition may persist for many more weeks, and all the while the release and accumulation of radioactive isotopes in the environment will continue. And there is still risk of a catastrophic failure due to heat or corrosion that would result in the status degrading rapidly. It is too early to call this crisis over.

Fresh water from a barge is on site, but it has to be injected via fire truck pumps, as it has not been possible to get the pumps in the reactor working. These pumps have been described as being the size of a compact car stood on its rear bumper, so there is likely a considerable reduction in capacity from them to a fire truck pump.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The wikipedia article on steel strength says that Japanese fire codes use 400 C as the limit. That number might be quoted for that reason, because the onset of reduced strength is quite a bit higher...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_steel#Thermal_properties

by asdf on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having a barge to collect all the contaminated water is a great idea, but not something done with the flick of the wrist. Anyway, you could have filters installed, and then get highly contaminated filters and clean water. Cast the filters into concrete blocks and dump them into the Marianas trench and you'll be fine. Not perfect, not pretty, but not worse than all those nuclear subs lying crushed on the deep ocean plains here and there.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Easier than my solution: vitrify them and use a mass accelerator to launch them onto a trajectory that would end with an impact on the sun. :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 11:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Japan nuclear: Workers evacuated as radiation soars  

Radioactivity in water at reactor 2 at the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has reached 10 million times the usual level, company officials say.

Workers trying to cool the reactor core to avoid a meltdown have been evacuated.

Earlier, Japan's nuclear agency said that levels of radioactive iodine in the sea near the plant had risen to 1,850 times the usual level.

The UN's nuclear agency has warned the crisis could go on for months.  



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 27th, 2011 at 03:31:56 AM EST
KYODO -   Woes deepen over radioactive waters at nuke plant, sea contamination

Highly radioactive pools of water found inside buildings near some troubled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant highlighted the deepening seriousness of the nuclear crisis in Japan on Sunday, with the radiation level of the surface of the water in the basement of the No. 2 reactor's turbine building found to be over 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the government's nuclear safety agency, said, ''This is quite a high figure...and it is likely to be coming from the reactor.''

Adding to woes is the increasing level of contamination in the sea near the plant. Radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,850 times the legal limit was detected from water extracted Saturday, compared with the 1,250.8 times the limit found Friday, the agency said.

The pools of water containing radioactive substances have drawn attention after three workers who were engaging in work to restore the No. 3 reactor at its turbine building on Friday were exposed to radiation amounting to 173 to 180 millisieverts. Two of them had their feet in water without noticing then that it was highly contaminated.  



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 27th, 2011 at 03:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The plant operator, known as TEPCO, says it measured 2.9-billion becquerels of radiation per one cubic centimeter of water from the basement of the turbine building attached to the Number 2 reactor.

The level of contamination is about 1,000 times that of the leaked water already found in the basements of the Number 1 and 3 reactor turbine buildings.

The company says the latest reading is 10-million times the usual radioactivity of water circulating within a normally operating reactor.
TEPCO says the radioactive materials include 2.9-billion becquerels of iodine-134, 13-million becquerels of iodine-131, and 2.3-million becquerels each for cesium 134 and 137.

So the main beta emitter is neither Iodine-131 or Caesium-137, but Iodine-134. According to this and this, it's rather energetic: 4 MeV. Should have centimetre range penetration.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well not quibbling over details but, the pools that wre stepped in were 1000 tomes  stronger than reactor contents, the current pools are talked about being 10,000,000 times stronger, so must be 10,000 not 1000 times stronger than yesterday.

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 27th, 2011 at 04:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either way, we're beginning to see a situation spin out of control, especially with higher readings now at a distance.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:13:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the pools that were stepped in were 10,000 stronger, specifically 3.7 million Bq/cm³.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
α, β, γ Penetration and Shielding
A useful rule-of-thumb for the maximum range of electrons is that the range (in gm/cm2) is half the maximum energy (in Mev).

So 2 cm penetration for I-134 beta emissions in water as well as soft tissue in the human body.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK - Extreme radiation detected at No.2 reactor  

The level of contamination is about 1,000 times that of the leaked water already found in the basements of the Number 1 and 3 reactor turbine buildings.

The company says the latest reading is 10-million times the usual radioactivity of water circulating within a normally operating reactor.
TEPCO says the radioactive materials include 2.9-billion becquerels of iodine-134, 13-million becquerels of iodine-131, and 2.3-million becquerels each for cesium 134 and 137.  



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 27th, 2011 at 03:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so the old water people got a semi lethal dose in 50 minutes? this would give you the same in 1/3 of a second!

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 27th, 2011 at 03:57:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ah if its only 1,000 times the old water then its 3 seconds

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 27th, 2011 at 04:40:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English

High radiation detected 30 km from Fukushima plant

Radiation levels 40 percent higher than the yearly limit for the general public has been detected just over 30 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The Science Ministry says a reading of 1.4 millisieverts was taken on Wednesday morning in Namie Town northwest of the plant.

Ow shit. That's an order of magnitude higher than previous values at the same town.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:39:30 AM EST
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Radiation from Fukushima exceeds Three Mile Island - English

Meanwhile, calculations of soil contamination by experts have already produced results that are at the same level as for Chernobyl.

Cesium-137 levels of 163,000 becquerels per kilogram of soil was detected in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, about 40 kilometers northwest of the Fukushima plant, on March 20. That was the highest figure in the prefecture.

According to Tetsuji Imanaka, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, if the Iitate figure was converted to one square meter, the figure would be 3.26 million becquerels.

After the Chernobyl accident, residents who lived in regions with cesium levels of 550,000 becquerels ore more per square meter were forcibly moved elsewhere.

"Iitate has reached a contamination level in which evacuation is necessary," Imanaka said. "Radiation is still being released from the Fukushima plant. The areas of high contamination can be considered to be on par with Chernobyl."

Residents who were forced to move after the Chernobyl accident were believed to have been exposed to an average of about 50 millisieverts of radiation.

However, a study of the health of residents who lived for many years on contaminated land found that the incidence of leukemia among adults did not increase.



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 27th, 2011 at 05:31:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Radiation from Fukushima exceeds Three Mile Island - English

To calculate the spread of radiation using the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan estimates the discharge rate for radioactive iodine per hour from the Fukushima plant based on radiation measurements taken at various locations.

Using those figures to make a simple calculation of the amount of discharge between 6 a.m. March 12 and midnight Wednesday results in figures between 30,000 and 110,000 terabecquerels. Tera is a prefix meaning 1 trillion.

The INES defines a level 7 major accident such as Chernobyl as one in which radiation of more than several tens of thousands of terabecquerels is released.



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 27th, 2011 at 05:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation levels 40 percent higher than the yearly limit

Do they mean radiation levels per hour, or what? Taken literally, they are comparing apples and oranges (or apples per unit time, and apples)

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 27th, 2011 at 06:03:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stupid translator syndrome. Checking Japanese news, the reading was precisely 1,437 μSv for the period from 23:00 to 24:00 local time - but already on 25 March, apparently. Maybe this was a new measuring location. I didn't find the actual government release so far.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 06:24:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After further research, it appears that the original news reports in Japanese were even more stupid newsie syndrome. The 1437 μSv value is contained in this release, and it's a cumulative value.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 06:33:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cumulative over 24 hours 8 minutes, to be precise.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:01:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters - Britain looks a safe haven for nuclear power  

LONDON -- The UK is starting to look like a safe haven for nuclear power. Britain's decision to set a floor price for electricity generated from fossil fuels is not an explicit endorsement of new reactors. But it may help tip the balance for companies contemplating investment in new capacity. It's not obvious that Japan's disaster has set back Britain's nuclear ambitions very far.

In the wake of the leak at the Fukushima plant, Western governments have been quick to placate public concerns about nuclear power. At the extreme end of the scale, Germany suspended operations at some ageing reactors. But the UK has been more measured, saying that while there will be lessons from Japan, there should be no rush to judgment.

The UK's chief nuclear inspector is due to report to the government on those possible lessons in May. But it's already clear that the UK is keeping a very open mind. The proposal to enforce a minimum price for carbon is designed to push up the cost of electricity from non-renewable sources, thereby encouraging the 110 billion pounds of investment in low-carbon electricity the government says is needed by 2020. While the floor benefits all forms of renewable energy, it makes a particular difference to near-term investment decisions in nuclear.  



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 27th, 2011 at 03:41:18 AM EST
Didn't we recently hear that the UK is the only country where you still have plant desings older than Fukishima operating?

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 27th, 2011 at 06:20:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well we haven't heard that on any UK news site, but seen it internationally. Have seen UK news reporters saying how New UK reactors  will be  safe because they are more modern designs, but with no comment about how old current ones are.

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 27th, 2011 at 06:46:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain has two plants with generation I reactors, Wylfa and Oldbury. Commisioned in 1969 and 1971. Both plants (4 reactors totaling 1500 MW) are due to be decomissioned and replaced by about 6500 MW of new plants (Westinghouse AP1000 or Areva EPR), by Horizon Nuclear Power (an EON+RWE joint venture).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 09:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English

Record 16-meter tsunami hit Minami-sanriku

Scientists say a record 16-meter tsunami hit a coastal town in Miyagi Prefecture on March 11th.

Researchers at the Port and Airport Research Institute released the finding after inspecting buildings in Minami-sanriku Town, which was devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami.

They determined that tsunami as high as 12 to 14 meters hit hospitals and the town hall in the center of the town.

A 4-story public apartment building in the coastal area was almost completely inundated, suggesting that tsunami up to 16 meters reached the building.

The waves were about 4 times as high as those that hit the region in 1960 following a powerful earthquake in Chile.

The researchers estimate that tsunami with a maximum power of 40 tons per square meter destroyed concrete pillars and walls in the coastal area.

A chief researcher at the institute, Taro Arikawa, says that he believes tsunami directly hit the town's coastline, which is open to the fault that caused the quake.

Arikawa added that tsunami could have been amplified in the bay where the seabed becomes much shallower toward the coast.

He stressed the need to review measures to protect concrete buildings, which were thought to be highly resistant to tsunami.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 08:53 +0900 (JST)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:56:40 AM EST
Small amounts of radioactive substances found in Nevada but safe: AP | Kyodo News

Minuscule amounts of radioactive substances believed to have come from Japan's crippled nuclear power plant have been detected in Las Vegas but the readings pose no health risk, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

The report said extremely small amounts of iodine-131 and xenon-133, both of which are not usually found in Nevada, were detected at a monitoring station near the Atomic Testing Museum in the city following a series of radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi 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 Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:44:32 AM EST
Higher Radiation Levels Found at Japanese Reactor  NYT

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that water seeping out of the crippled No. 2 reactor building into the adjacent turbine building contained levels of radioactive iodine 134 that were about 10 million times the level normally found in water used inside nuclear power plants.

The higher levels may suggest a leak from the reactor's fuel rods -- from either the suppression chamber under the rods or various piping -- or even a breach in the pressure vessel that houses the rods, the Japanese nuclear regulator said.

Sunday's developments came after the world's chief nuclear inspector said that Japan was "still far from the end of the accident" that struck the plant. Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, acknowledged that the authorities were still unsure about whether the reactor cores and spent fuel were covered with the water needed to cool them and end the crisis.

....

Hidehiko Nishiyama, the deputy director-general of the Japanese nuclear safety agency, said that it was likely that radiation was leaking from the pipes or the suppression chamber, and not directly from the pressure vessel, because water levels and pressure in the vessel were relatively stable.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said its analysis of the water in the No. 2 unit had identified radioactive isotopes of cesium, iodine, cobalt, molybdenum, technetium, barium and lanthanum. The company has not yet been able to determine the source of the leak. (Bold added)


Let us hope they are off a couple of decimal places on the "10 million times the level normally found in water used inside nuclear power plants" claim. Were "normal" levels a tenth of a micro sievert that would translate into levels of over a sievert! And to which water body do they refer? The water in the supression pool or the water in the heat exchanger?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 07:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See discussion upthread and again. There is no decimal point error...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:06:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had missed most of that discussion. I had posted while up for a half hour with insomnia.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and slow burning issues

Reactor 3 radioactives in water pools:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11032503-e.html

Co60,Tc99,I131,Cs134,Cs136,Cs137,Ba140,La140,Ce144

Reactor 1:
http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/files/en20110325-6.pdf

Cl38,As74,Y91,I131,Cs134,Cs136,Cs137,La140

Cl38 has a half life of 37 minutes, not a decay product. Maybe from neutron irradiation of salt ? Something is still fizzing in reactor 1. No Na isotopes are seen, perhaps immobilized in comparison to the chlorine.

It seems that all the reactors have pools of radioactive water around them. I have not seen an analysis yet of pools around reactors 2) and 4), it may be that the plumbing is leaking in those as well.

There are also these readings:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11032605-e.html

I find it troubling that I-132, Ru-105, Te-129 are detected. These have very short half lives, and must have been recently created. Daini is seeing I-132 as well.



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 27th, 2011 at 09:16:50 AM EST
BBC - Tepco spokesman saying that huge spike in radiation was a mistaken reading

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 27th, 2011 at 09:51:57 AM EST
NHK WORLD English

TEPCO retracts radioactivity test result

Tokyo Electric Power Company has retracted its announcement that 10 million times the normal density of radioactive materials had been detected in water at the Number 2 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The utility says it will conduct another test of the leaked water at the reactor's turbine building.

The company said on Sunday evening that the data for iodine-134 announced earlier in the day was actually for another substance that has a longer half-life.

The plant operator said earlier on Sunday that 2.9 billion becquerels per cubic centimeter had been detected in the leaked water.

It said although the initial figure was wrong, the water still has a high level of radioactivity of 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 22:02 +0900 (JST)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 10:12:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1,000 millisieverts, thats a whole Sievert, wording it that way to make it sound less scary?

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 27th, 2011 at 10:34:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japanese nuclear firm admits error on radiation reading | World news | guardian.co.uk

Fresh doubt was cast on a Japanese firm's handling of the Fukushima nuclear crisis after officials admitted overstating high levels of radiation that prompted an evacuation.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said initial reports of levels 10m times higher than normal in parts of the No 2 reactor were inaccurate, although it was unable to say by how much. The initial report said the worker who made the measurement, in a pool of water in the reactor's basement turbine building, had fled before taking a second reading.

The worker's discovery prompted another evacuation at the site, halting work to pump and store radioactive water that has built up in the turbine buildings of three of the plant's six reactors.

Tepco said later that the pool of water had been contaminated with radiation but the extremely high reading was a mistake. "The number is not credible," said a spokesman, Takashi Kurita. "We are very sorry." Kurita said officials were taking another sample to get accurate levels, but did not know when the results would be announced.



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 27th, 2011 at 10:36:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan says very high radiation reading at reactor was wrong | Reuters

(Reuters) - The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said on Monday a very high radiation reading that had sent workers fleeing the No. 2 reactor was erroneous.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) vice-president Sakae Muto apologized for Sunday's error, which added to alarm inside and outside Japan over the impact of contamination from the complex which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Radiation in the water was a still worrying 100,000 times higher than normal, rather than 10 million times higher as originally stated, Muto said.



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 27th, 2011 at 01:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading not credible, eh? "It can't possibly be that high!"
by asdf on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a test run to see how the public will react, or another surreal example of incompetence?

oh well, give or take a few zeros, close enough for rock and roll.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 11:00:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well we do keep having mistakes, and things always turn out to be better than the mistake after an hour or two, Im vaguely suspicious this is a corporate PR strategy, If so management and PR firm need encasing in concrete and dropping into the deep ocean along with the waste.

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 28th, 2011 at 06:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it smells fishy to me too.

not very encouraging...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 01:51:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate * The Register

The situation at the quake- and tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in Japan was brought under control days ago. It remains the case as this is written that there have been no measurable radiological health consequences among workers at the plant or anybody else, and all indications are that this will remain the case. And yet media outlets around the world continue with desperate, increasingly hysterical and unscrupulous attempts to frame the situation as a crisis.

Here's a roundup of the latest facts, accompanied by highlights of the most egregious misreporting

First up, three technicians working to restore electrical power in the plant's No 3 reactor building stood in some water while doing so. Their personal dosimetry equipment later showed that they had sustained radiation doses up to 170 millisievert. Under normal rules when dealing with nuclear powerplant incidents, workers at the site are permitted to sustain up to 250 millisievert before being withdrawn. If necessary, this can be extended to 500 millisievert according to World Health Organisation guidance.

None of this involves significant health hazards: actual radiation sickness is not normally seen until a dose of 1,000 millisievert and is not common until 2,000. Additional cancer risk is tiny: huge numbers of people must be subjected to such doses in order to see any measurable health consequences. In decades to come, future investigators will almost certainly be unable to attribute any cases of cancer to service at Fukushima.



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 27th, 2011 at 10:40:02 AM EST
LOL... This was obviously written before the 2-6 Sv on feet was discovered, I wonder what will be the next excuse...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 11:01:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kyodo: 58% do not approve of gov't handling of nuclear power plant crisis
On the other hand, 57.9 percent said they approve of the way the state has dealt with disaster victim support in northeastern and eastern Japan hit by the catastrophic earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11.

The nationwide telephone survey conducted Saturday and Sunday also found that the approval rate for Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet came to 28.3 percent, up 8.4 percentage points from the previous survey in mid-February.

...

As for the government's response to the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture which was severely damaged by the quake and tsunami, 19.6 percent said they do not approve of it at all and 38.6 percent said they do not approve of it very much.



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 27th, 2011 at 02:01:20 PM EST
U.S. nuke plant says shielded against Japan emergency | Reuters

(Reuters) - A U.S. nuclear plant in Alabama similar in design to the earthquake-hit Fukushima facility in Japan has multiple defenses to prevent and tackle the same kind of emergency, its operator said.

Safety features at the Browns Ferry plant in northern Alabama are so superior to those at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant that even in the event of massive flooding the chances of a crisis were negligible, officials from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) told reporters.

"What we have here is defense in depth, multiple levels of redundancy, backup to the backup to the backup," TVA communications consultant Jim Nesbitt told journalists who toured the facility on Friday as he explained the plant's elaborate safety systems.

The emergency at the Japanese plant has escalated since March 11 when a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake, knocked out power.



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 27th, 2011 at 03:47:23 PM EST
LOL. Fukushima also had "defense in depth, multiple levels of redundancy, backup to the backup to the backup", precisely. But the simultaneous shutdowns knocked out backup electricity, then the tsunami knocked out the diesel generator backup of the backup, then some unidentified glitch knocked out the steam-powered cooling system backup of the backup of the backup, then falling debris and seawater salt proved problems for the improvised fire truck pumping backup of the backup of the backup of the backup...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was an article about this in the NYT today, accompanied by a photo:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/us/27reactor.html

So, Mr. Nuclear Power Plant Manager, if your practices are so well-planned and mindful, and "ready for a one-in-a-million-year flood," why do you have electrical cables and air hoses (?) draped haphazardly from the ceiling???

by asdf on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 11:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what exactly is the point of having a machine gun in a power plant???
by asdf on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 11:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For creating unplanned emergency situations by shooting up pipes and cable bundles?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:42:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ou question his Right to bear arms? Its in the Constitoootion <stamps feet>


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 28th, 2011 at 06:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More from the same NYT article:
Inside the reactor building, near the entrance to the primary containment structure, are carefully marked spaces with two lime green carts about the size of hand trucks that a supermarket worker might use to roll cases of soda cans to the proper aisle. Each is loaded with batteries.

One cart could power the instruments that measure the water level in the reactor vessel, an ability that Japanese operators lost a few hours after the tsunami hit. Another could operate critical valves that failed early at Fukushima.
....

Deeper into the building, in an odd-shaped space in the basement between a corner of the square reactor building and the round containment shell is a steam-driven pump. This is something that the designer, General Electric, intended to be available to deliver up to 600 gallons per minute of cooling water into the reactor core even if the electrically driven pumps failed for want of power. An overheating reactor would be likely to have ample supplies of steam to run it.

That worked at Fukushima for a while but appears to have stopped functioning later; the Japanese plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, has not provided an explanation. Again, the T.V.A. suggests that it has backup tools that the Japanese utility, known as Tepco, probably lacked: a battery-powered strobe light stored in a nearby cabinet, and a valve that usually runs on electricity but also has a hand crank.


They obviously have backup for the bullshit.

The only significant item, really, is the steam driven pump, which Fukushima also had. It possibly failed at Fukushima or would fail elsewhere because of loss of pressurization inside the reactor, possibly due to thermal failure of gaskets. Now if they had on site natural gas powered electrical generators capable of powering the heat exchanger pumps and hardened CNG storage adequate for a month's operation, I would say they had some significant backup to their diesel backup generators.

It is nice to be able to see just how high the temperatures and pressures are getting via battery power. It would be much better to be certain of being able to do something about it. But that might cost more money.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The steam-driven pump is mentioned in
a Powerpoint presentation of the analysis of the Fukushima fuk-up by Areva specialist Dr Matthias Braun, in English and some German, here.
(h/t afew)

The presentation also mentions the failure modes of each of the pumps: in the case of reactors 1 and 3, the batteries ran out. For reactor 2, the pump itself failed.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 04:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
why do you have electrical cables and air hoses (?) draped haphazardly from the ceiling???

Maintenance operations during a planned shut down? But what would they do during an emergency shutdown when they might want the entryway through which they are passing to be sealed?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:45:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure if this has been referred to yet, but there's a Powerpoint presentation of the analysis of the Fukushima fuk-up by Areva specialist Dr Matthias Braun, in English and some German, here.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:04:18 PM EST
That document does a good job of clarifying some of the processes that took place, and the design of the reactor 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 Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kyodo: Woes deepen over radioactive water at nuke plant, sea contamination (March 28)
Japan on Sunday faced an increasing challenge of removing highly radioactive water found inside buildings near some troubled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, with the radiation level of the surface of the pool in the basement of the No. 2 reactor's turbine building found to be more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Exposure to such an environment for four hours would raise the risk of dying in 30 days. Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the government's nuclear safety agency, said the figure is ''quite high'' but authorities must find a way to pump out the water without sending workers too close to push ahead with the restoration work.

...

Adding to the woes is the increasing level of contamination in the sea near the plant, although Nishiyama reiterated there is no need for health concerns so far because fishing would not be conducted in the evacuation-designated area within 20 kilometers of the plant and radioactive materials ''will be significantly diluted'' by the time they are consumed by marine species and then by people.



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 27th, 2011 at 05:24:01 PM EST
TEPCO president fell sick amid troubles at its nuke plant | Kyodo News

Masataka Shimizu, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, fell sick March 16 and took some days off from the liaison office between the government and the utility firm, TEPCO officials said Sunday.

While Shimizu was away from the office set up at the firm's headquarters, he collected information and issued instructions from a different room of the headquarters building to address the troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station hit by the March 11 quake and subsequent tsunami, the officials said. He has already recovered and come back to work at the liaison office, they said.



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 27th, 2011 at 05:31:12 PM EST
While Shimizu was away from the office set up at the firm's headquarters, he collected information and issued instructions from a different room of the headquarters building to address the troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station...

?! Translation snarl? What is this "from a different room"? Are they saying he was telecommuting via a different office?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 09:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan says no problem with Tokyo Electric CEO's health | Reuters
(Reuters) - Japan's nuclear safety agency said on Monday there was no problem with the health of the chief executive of Tokyo Electric Power Co , Masataka Shimizu, whose absence for a couple of days during the crisis at one of the firm's plants was reported widely in the media.


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 28th, 2011 at 08:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was probably so shoked by the Prime Minister's "What the heck is going on here?" on the Tuesday after the tsunami that he had to pull himself together for two days...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it took him two days to find the "face", which he had lost when PM Kan moved in to TEPCO HQ.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:11:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Low-level radiation found in Massachusetts rainwater | Reuters

(Reuters) - Trace amounts of radioactive iodine linked to Japan's crippled nuclear power station have turned up in rainwater samples as far away as Massachusetts during the past week, state officials said on Sunday.

The low level of radioiodine-131 detected in precipitation at a sample location in Massachusetts is comparable to findings in California, Washington state and Pennsylvania and poses no impact to drinking supplies, public health officials said.

Air samples from the same location in Massachusetts have shown no detectable radiation.

The samples are being collected from more than 100 sites around the country that are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Radiation Network monitoring 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 Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:57:24 PM EST
it's a hard rain...gonna fall

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 10:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company has asked independent research centers to check if radioactive substances from the Fukushima plant contain highly toxic plutonium.

The company says it expects the results will be available within several days.

The nuclear power plant continues to emit radioactive materials that may include plutonium.
Plutonium is a radioactive element that is produced when uranium fission occurs in a reactor core.

So far, the utility firm has not detected plutonium through its own methods.


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 27th, 2011 at 06:23:14 PM EST
Plutonium is a radioactive element that is produced when uranium fission occurs in a reactor core.

!!? True, but misleading. The VAST majority of plutonium present in reactor 3 would come from the 7% of the MOX fuel comprising recycled plutonium. Reading this would lead one to believe that TEPCO is systematically eliding the most serious problems and minimizing dangers.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 09:11:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This was not a TEPCO release, this was likely another over-eager journo (also see the case of the 1437 μSv reading).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:56:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks! Glad of that.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:08:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
In order to resolve the problem of the contaminated water, the utility says it is trying to accelerate work at the Number-one reactor to pump the water from the basement into the turbine condenser for storage by increasing the number of pumps from one to 3.

The company says although it had planned to take similar steps to remove the water from the Number-2 and -3 reactors, their turbine condensers were found to have been almost full and unable to contain any more water.

The company says it is considering pumping that water from the condensers into adjacent pools and then filling them with the contaminated water.

Regarding spent fuel rods in the storage pools, the company told reporters early Monday morning that the pools in the Number-2 and -4 reactors appear to be filled with water, with the rods submerged.


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 27th, 2011 at 06:24:51 PM EST
What about the water levels in spent fuel pools in reactors 1 & 3?

They should be able to use a barge similar to the ones bringing in fresh water to receive contaminated water from reactors 2 and 3 turbine condensers. That would certainly beat dumping it into the ocean.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 09:17:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where are you going to send the (glowing?) barges ~and happy sailors? to loop the planet like that garba(r)ge which forlornly circumnavigated the globe a few years ago?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 10:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are means for separating the radioactive components from the water so that the portion needing to be stored is much less. The problem is collecting it and holding it until you can perform that separation.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 11:27:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watching NHK and theres another  earthquake with a 50cm Tsunami, dont know how regular something like this is.

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 27th, 2011 at 06:30:22 PM EST
Japan Meteorological Agency | Tsunami Warnings/Advisories, Tsunami Information
Occurred at 07:24 JST 28 Mar 2011
Region name Miyagi-ken Oki
Depth Very Shallow
Magnitude 6.5


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 27th, 2011 at 06:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU summit agrees on nuclear stress tests | EurActiv
European leaders agreed on Friday (25 March) to set the "highest standards" of nuclear safety and submit all plants to "stress tests", in the wake of the unfolding crisis at Japan's stricken Fukushima plant.

...

France, Germany and Spain raised the possibility of closing any of Europe's 143 reactors that fail stress tests to be held this year. Leaders at a summit in Brussels also called for Europe's neighbours to follow suit.

...

France, which hopes to turn the clampdown to its advantage as it tries to sell its nuclear technology overseas, sought to set an example by saying it would close reactors that failed.



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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:19:10 AM EST
This is a great idea! And I feel that doing this more often would be a good idea. Maybe once every five years.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calls to shut down 'Europe's Fukushima' | EurActiv
A 40-year old Spanish nuclear power plant built to the same design model as Fukushima's disaster-struck reactor number one has become engulfed by calls for it to be shut down, while Brussels is questioning the safety of EU installations and has pushed for stress tests of nuclear power plants.

Antonio Cornado, communications manager for Spain's Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (Nuclear Safety Council) regulator, confirmed to EurActiv that the Santa Maria de Garona plant, about 70 miles south of Bilbao, contains a General Electric Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) system, of a similar variety to that in Fukushima's reactor number one.

"It's the same type," he said. "It is a Mark 1, but there are several performance [enhancements] that are better than the original design. There have been a lot of safety modifications."

Questions about the model's safety were "closed" 20 years ago, he added.



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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:20:24 AM EST
It's Garoña, not Garona.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:03:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hazardous Radiation Detected Outside Damaged Japanese Reactor - Bloomberg

Radiation levels that can prove fatal were detected outside reactor buildings at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant for the first time, complicating efforts to contain the worst disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Water in an underground trench outside the No. 2 reactor had levels exceeding 1 sievert an hour, a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. told reporters in the capital today. Thirty minutes of exposure to that dose would trigger nausea and four hours might lead to death within two months, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Preventing the most-contaminated water from leaking into the ground or air is key to containing the spread of radiation beyond the plant. A partial meltdown of fuel rods in the No. 2 reactor probably caused a jump in the readings, Japan's chief government spokesman said today.



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 28th, 2011 at 07:03:05 AM EST
BBC News - Radiation leak found outside Japan nuclear reactor

The water was found in an underground maintenance tunnel, with one end located about 55m (180ft) from the shore.

However, Tepco said there was no evidence that the contaminated water had reached the sea.

The discovery comes as Japan's chief cabinet secretary said that the priority at the plant was to ensure that contaminated water did not leak into the soil or the sea.



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 28th, 2011 at 07:31:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Highly radioactive water leaks from Japanese | Reuters

Greenpeace said its experts had confirmed radiation levels of up to 10 microsieverts per hour in a village 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the plant. It called for the extension of a 20-km (12-mile) evacuation zone.

"It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days," Greenpeace said in a statement, referring to the village where the radiation reading was taken.

More than 70,000 people have been evacuated from an area within 20 km (12 miles) of the plant and another 130,000 people within a zone extending a further 10 km are recommended to stay indoors. They have been encouraged 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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's like 3-4 cigarettes per day.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan rejects Greenpeace argument for expanding evacuation zone | Reuters

(Reuters) - Japan's nuclear safety agency on Monday rebuffed a call by Greenpeace to extend an evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima power plant.

An agency official told a news briefing that the measurements of high radiation the group said it had found at 40 km from the facility could not be considered reliable.

He added that most residents in the area concerned had left and hardly anyone was living there anymore.



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 28th, 2011 at 08:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh!? The government measured levels even higher than Greenpeace's 10 μSv/h in that zone... we have been discussing the area around Namie for a week.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 10:11:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women
Starvid:
That's like 3-4 cigarettes per day.
Well, clearly...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Open Thread

Eric Shidler on March 27, 2011, 4:04 PM

The readings being retracted are not due to miscalculation. If you will check the tides for the last 24hrs you will see that the initial VERY HIGH reading was @ high tide. The second re-reading was taken @ low tide. This style reactor uses a single cooling loop and appears to have a leak in the turbine room. The tides coming in puts positive pressure in this loop and radiation collects. When the tide goes out it places a vaccume on the system pulling vast amounts out to sea.
Tepco will publish samples taken @ low tide from now on it seems.



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 28th, 2011 at 09:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly not good for children or pregnant women to smoke 3-4 cigarettes a day.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These people have a complete loss of "wet containment" in their hands...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:38:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found this totally cool filter for Google Earth, which shows all the reactors in the world, including output, type, start year etc etc.

Check it out here.


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

by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:37:56 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says he has strongly instructed Tokyo Electric Power Company to avoid the release of erroneous data on radiation leaks at its troubled nuclear power plant.

TEPCO on Sunday corrected an earlier announcement about the radiation levels in water leaking from the Number 2 reactor's turbine building, saying a water analysis had been incorrect.

Edano said radiation analyses serve as the basis for ensuring safety at the plant, where workers are struggling to safely cool the reactors and other machinery.

He said he also urged TEPCO to secure adequate back-up personnel for the workers.


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 28th, 2011 at 07:56:44 AM EST
What is essential, in the eyes of the government, is that inaccurately HIGH readings not be released. For fear of panic in the population, perhaps.

Conservatively LOW estimates are indications of careful thinking and methodical analysis, however...

by asdf on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Japan's nuclear safety watchdog says it believes radioactive elements from melted nuclear fuel have found their way from one of the reactors at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant to a turbine building here.

Radiation levels 100,000 times that found in water in an normally operating reactor were detected in water puddles in the Number 2 reactor's turbine building on Sunday. High radiation figures were earlier recorded at similar locations at the Number 1 and 3 reactors.

The Nuclear Safety Commission, an independent body, says the radiation level at the Number 2 reactor was dozens of times that of the other two reactors.

The commission says that radioactive substances from temporarily melted fuel rods at the Number 2 reactor had made their way into water in the containment vessel and then somehow leaked out.


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 28th, 2011 at 07:57:46 AM EST
ceebs:
believes radioactive elements from melted nuclear fuel have found their way
What obfuscation...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:37:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I particularly like the line about "temporarily melted" fuel rods.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When they cool down they solidify...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:56:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corium?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:05:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose the
radioactive substances from temporarily melted fuel rods at the Number 2 reactor had made their way into water in the containment
is meant to indicate that the fuel rods did melt at some point, releaseing radioactive substances, but have since cooled down so no more radionuclides are being added to the water.

The real problem here is that radioactive water outside the reactor indicates both 1) a meltdown; 2) a failure of "wet containment" (the "torus" in a Mark I design).

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:15:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but by then they hardly qualify as "fuel rods" any more.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:44:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok so reactors more complex than BWR's have their control rods held up by electromagnets, so if power fails, the rods fall into the rod assemblys and reaction is shut down, With BWR's they are forced up from the bottom. So say your fuel melts in a PWR reactor, then as the fuel melts into a puddle your control rods collapse into the mix as they are unsupported.and so continue to a degree to moderate the reaction. You would assume that the control rods in a BWR have to be held fairly rigidly to enable fuel loading, its not like you can go in and shake the control rods so that you can fit the gaps in the fuel assembly if one isnt ligned up properly.

If it works then like I think, then the more the fuel has melted, then the less moderation will occur, its like the control rods have been pulled back out of the reactor, and all of the  fuel rods have been pressed together.

If so I just don't see how this situation can ever be brought back under control.

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 28th, 2011 at 10:54:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the control rods melt along with the fuel rods.

What are the control rods made of?

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:03:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boron Carbide apparently, Melts at 2763 °C

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 28th, 2011 at 11:06:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, Zirconium melts at 1855C...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:10:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats what I was thinking

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 28th, 2011 at 11:11:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
High-level radiation in trench water may have come from reactor core | Kyodo News

The electric power company, known as TEPCO, said the high radiation level in water in the trench connected to the No. 2 complex was detected Sunday, adding the radiation level in the air of the trench stood at 100 to 300 millisieverts.

TEPCO also found a trench connected to the No. 1 reactor building was filled with radioactive water on Sunday afternoon.

The radiation level at the surface of the trench water adjacent to the No. 1 complex was 0.4 millisievert per hour but the level could not be measured at the gutter linked to the No. 3 unit as rubble prevented the firm from checking it, the company added.

Although it remains unknown whether the contaminated water has flowed into the sea from the trenches that are 55 to 70 meters away from the shore, TEPCO suspects the high concentration of radioactive substances found in seawater near the plant reactors' drainage outlets may be linked to the trench water.



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 28th, 2011 at 09:53:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
More than 28,000 people have died or are missing following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast on March 11th.

The National Police Agency says that as of 6 PM on Monday, 10,901 people had been confirmed dead and 17,621 listed as missing. Police have identified 8,030 of the bodies.

The largest number of deaths --- 6,627 --- has been reported in Miyagi Prefecture, with 3,242 dead in Iwate and 974 in Fukushima.

Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima are the prefectures hardest-hit by the quake and tsunami.


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 28th, 2011 at 08:02:46 AM EST
Latest casualty figures for March 11 quake, tsunami | Kyodo News

The following are the latest casualty figures related to the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan on March 11, according to the National Police Agency as of 10 a.m. Tuesday:

 Number of people killed 11,063 Number of people missing 17,258


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 08:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest casualty figures for March 11 quake, tsunami | Kyodo News

The following are the latest casualty figures related to the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan on March 11, according to the National Police Agency as of 9 p.m. Tuesday:

 Number of people killed 11,168 Number of people missing 16,407

That's a sharp drop in missing.

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 11:46:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UPDATE 3-Japan business lobby gives OK to scrap corp tax cut | Reuters

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) - Japan's top business lobby gave the government the green light to scrap a planned cut in the corporate tax rate and urged firms to look at shifting production to western Japan as the nation grapples with its worst crisis since World War Two.

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, said the influential lobby would not fight the government if it decided to shelve a plan to lower the corporate tax rate, which at around 40 percent is among the highest in the industrialised world.

Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano suggested last week the government should reconsider the planned tax cut of 5 percentage points from April to prioritise spending on reconstruction and prevent the country's already massive debt pile from growing. [ID:nL3E7EP06B]

"I don't mind if the government skips cutting the corporate tax rate," Yonekura, who is also chairman of Sumitomo Chemical , told a regular briefing in Tokyo. "Instead I want the

government to move swiftly in its recovery efforts."



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 28th, 2011 at 08:24:29 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The effort to cool reactors at the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, northern Japan, is facing the risk of leaking highly radioactive substances.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, raised water pumping power on Sunday to cool the No. 2 reactor in a stable manner. On Monday, the company cut back on the amount of injected water.

The move followed the Nuclear Safety Commission's announcement that highly radioactive substances detected in puddles of water in the basement of the reactor's turbine building may have come directly from the vessel containing the reactor.

16 tons of water was being injected into the reactor every hour but TEPCO now says it wants to reduce the amount to 7 tons. This would be enough to replace the amount that is evaporating.

If the injected water level is reduced, temperatures may increase in 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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 10:15:44 AM EST
Quick back of an envelope calculation, thats 5.2 Mw to evaporate 7 tons of water, thats more evaporating than we calculated out the other day.

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 28th, 2011 at 11:31:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are supposed to be just topping it up, right? Unless it's a "flo-thru" cooling system like the radiator of my brother's Corolla...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's a flo-thru, it's extremely dirty in case the reactor fuel rods are damaged.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They were pushing an extra 9 tons through as flow through, because theyve cut it back to purely the amount that will replace evaporated, that makes me think that one of the outflow pipes has failed, having hot saturated salt solution pushed into the outflow must have caused  one of the welds or joints to fail, which is why we're getting radioactive water pouring into other buildings.

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 28th, 2011 at 12:26:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have suspected that the pipes, the gaskets, or both were the source since reading the TOD article. This tends to confirm that possibility. The other possible sources of radioactive water could well be worse.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 01:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where was that? I remember calculating the evaporation in the No. 4 spent fuel pool only.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:14:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes you're right, that makes more sense

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 28th, 2011 at 03:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ford Limits Orders on Black and Red Paint Colors - KickingTires

Since Japan's earthquake and tsunami, we've learned a little more each day about where many of the materials for our cars come from. Even the paint that coats cars and trucks is impacted, at least on Ford and Nissan vehicles.

Ford is telling its dealers not to order vehicles in Tuxedo Black paint or in three variations of red, according to USA Today.

The pigments for those paints come from a Japanese supplier.



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 28th, 2011 at 10:41:43 AM EST
Ford: from "you can have you car in any color as long as it's black" to "as long as it's not black" in less than 100 years.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 10:44:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
URGENT: Plutonium detected in soil at Fukushima nuke plant: TEPCO | Kyodo News

Plutonium has been detected in soil at five locations at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.

The operator of the nuclear complex said that the plutonium is believed to have been discharged from nuclear fuel at the plant, which was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami



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 28th, 2011 at 11:38:28 AM EST
Radioactive substance detected over southeast China coast | Kyodo News
  • NEWS ADVISORY: Not known which reactor plutonium came from: agency (00:36)
  • NEWS ADVISORY: Monitoring to be strengthened after plutonium detected at Fukushima plant: agency (00:34)


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 28th, 2011 at 11:44:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
Not known which reactor plutonium came from: agency
Spent "regular" fuel will contain plutonium as conversion of U-238 to Pu-239 is a relatively common side-process of fission reactions. In fact, that's how it is possible for reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to produce MOX fuel containing Plutonium in quantity.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
would have thought you'd have also had Uranium as well as Plutonium, and the proportions would be much higher from Number 3. wouldnt have thought you'd just have one without the other.

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 28th, 2011 at 11:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the point is that finding uranium is not considered such a health hazard, not unexpected (the fuel rods are about 95% U238 whether they're fresh or spent). Plutonium is the newsworthy (and worrisome) atom.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the theory in the last few days was that the escaping contamination is the volatile gases only, as the partial meltdowns damaged the zirconium cladding only and there was no release of the solid material of the pellets themselves. So both uranium and plutonium would be a surprise.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The TEPCO report probably has a longer list of isotopes than just "yes, we found plutonium", but that's the one people will report for shock value.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess: core starts melting -> fuel particles become suspended in water -> water is dumped into torus -> hydrogen/steam explosion damages torus -> activated water released from the containment via the broken torus -> heat -> steam -> plutonium etc fallout.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:41:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, steam from still hot reactor cores could leak out through damaged gaskets or pipes and condense into radioactive water which flows to the lowest available point. We really do not have adequate information on the construction of the plants. We would need a full set of plans, sections and elevations to start to get an idea. All we have are simplified diagrams.

How many here have seen typical paper based drawings of construction plans from the '70s? There may not really be a complete set of plans. It depends on how TEPCO has dealt with legacy drawings and how well the "as built" modifications were reflected back into the record drawings.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:08:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ceebs posted a diagram elsewhere on this thread.

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:32:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that is about as good as it gets as to actual information. It is all highly schematic. It looks like you know something until you want to use the information as the basis for some action, then you realize that it has all turned to shit in your hands and you don't know anything practical. Been there too many times on old school sites with fragmentary documentation.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:50:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess this was to be expected given the explosions in the #3 reactor building, the radioactive water in its turbine building, and so on...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:52:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well watching the explosion of number three at the time, it was three separate explosions over a second or two, since then its only been pictures, not pictures and sound.

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 28th, 2011 at 11:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japanese DRAM makers' woes echo rest of industry after quake - Computerworld

IDG News Service - Japanese DRAM maker Elpida Memory on Monday said its factories are operating "at close to normal levels" two weeks after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake in Japan, and that it has "sufficient parts and materials to continue supplying out customers as usual until the end of July."

Although the company said it is in discussions to secure further materials after July and doesn't expect any interruption to its business, Elpida will find itself competing against a growing number of chip makers seeking the same materials, 300-millimeter (12-inch) silicon wafers. The earthquake and resulting tsunami have affected production at key factories making these wafers, the raw materials that chips are etched onto.

Market researcher IHS iSuppli estimates that damage to these factories could reduce the supply of silicon wafers globally by 25%, which "could have a major effect on worldwide semiconductor production," particularly DRAM chips. Compounding earthquake and tsunami damage, other chip factories are being hurt by rolling blackouts meant to share electricity made scarce because several power plants were knocked offline in the disaster.



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 28th, 2011 at 12:17:28 PM EST
U.N. atom agency calls nuclear safety summit | Reuters

(Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog's chief on Monday called for a summit to strengthen nuclear safety and improve disaster management following Japan's crisis.

Japan is struggling to avert a severe meltdown at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and officials said on Monday highly radioactive water had been leaking from the site, hit by an earthquake and tsunami two weeks ago.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said he wanted ministers from the International Atomic Energy Agency's 151 member states to attend the summit in Vienna, possibly to be held in June.

"(The) political level is needed, this is a very important issue, this is not only for experts or technical people," he told a news conference.

He described the situation at the site as "very serious."



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 28th, 2011 at 12:21:44 PM EST
UN atom agency calls damage limitation exercise</cynical>

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:22:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed I strongly doubt that consequences will include significant new investment into safety in places like China, India, Russia, Iran, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, or Brazil...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't think the EU will bring pressure to bear on (and subsidize) Romania, Hungary or the Czech Republic?

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:25:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that brought a smile to my face.

Subsidise Romania? Heh. Good joke. Don't you know that subsidies are only for Deutche Bank? In this time of national stringency, we have to limit our expenses to the ones that are truly necessary.

Besides, the market will provide.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:38:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then just bring pressure to bear and force to close 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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:40:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU can't even decide if it should have anything to do with the intervention in Libya weeks and weeks after it's started, and probably not until after it's over either. I don't think we're going to see any reasonable EU "pressure" unless it's accompanied by big sacks of cash.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even at the EU level, do you think Romania, Hungary or the Czech Republic will vote for really strict and externally controlled tests, rather than a similar stamp-of-approval process as was applied during EU expansion? As for the IAEA, methinks there is a clear majority for business as usual.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:43:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is get the ministers to agree to a levy, in dollars per megawatt, that it will collect on all the nuclear generation capacity in the world, and which it will distribute in order to shut down all the first-gen nuclear plants in the world. Plus pay for extra safety on the rest out of the change.

You may say that I'm a dreamer...

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

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh

Containment building - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From a distance, the BWR design looks very different from PWR designs because usually a square building is used for containment. Also, because there is only one loop through the turbines and reactor, and the steam going through the turbines is also slightly radioactive, the turbine building has to be considerably shielded as well. This leads to two buildings of similar construction with the taller one housing the reactor and the short long one housing the turbine hall and supporting structures.
That explains a lot. As soon as the fuel rods are compromised the turbine building becomes radioactive. But presumably containment in the turbine building is rather poorer than in the reactor. Also, it may not be rated for the temperatures and pressures of steam coming from the reactor in the event of a 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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:32:27 PM EST
from the earlier diagrams, there are two steam shutoff valves, one inside the containment, and one inside the turbine room, which should stop water flowing out through the turbine, when both are closed, another pipe should push steam down into the wet tank inside the containment.

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 28th, 2011 at 01:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And they could close these valves if they had another way to remove heat from the core.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IAEA chief says Japan's nuke plant needs some time to stabilize | Kyodo News

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said Monday that he believes it will take some time before the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan to stabilize.

Speaking at a press conference, Amano also repeatedly emphasized that the situation at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture is still serious. But he also said he believes that the problem will be solved through the efforts of those at the site.



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 28th, 2011 at 01:03:01 PM EST
Why you don't build a nuclear reactor in a region subject to earthquakes and tsumani's.

(H/T to Booman)

Think of what the world would be facing if this had hit the Fukushima reactors.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 02:20:23 PM EST
And I thought when we were reading about "entire towns washed out to sea" it was a way of speaking...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 02:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First they get washed up the river. Then, what doesn't stick gets washed back out to sea.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:43:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Open Thread

The French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety provided some pretty interesting simulations on anticipated nuclide concentrations and impacts to Fukushima and surrounding area for first seven days of accident. The one thing they don't look at is topography, and that this is a mountainous region with weather and radiation concentrated in river valleys (as shown in DOE results).

- Atmospheric dispersion analysis and animation.

- Whole body doses (in milliseiverts).

- Iodine-131 dose levels.

- Global dispersion analysis and animation.

Their update for March 22 includes estimates for rare gases, iodine, cesium, and tellurium, and suggests 10% "the releases estimated during the Chernobyl accident."



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 28th, 2011 at 02:28:36 PM EST
Please notice the global dispersion simulation, and add that to their report that Caesium-137 from Chernobyl is still measurable in today's former atmosphere. And this is the French source which denied there was any radiation from Chernobyl in France then. Wait, not true, it was the government which denied. But was the institute then feeding the real info to the gov?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 04:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
their report that Caesium-137 from Chernobyl is still measurable in today's former atmosphere

Do you have a link for that?

I find it hard to believe that measurable amounts of Caesium would remain suspended in the atmosphere after 25 years.

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 05:56:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation sensors are extremely sensitive, which usually spooks people who have the usual: "radiation? aarrrrgh runforthehills!!!!111one" mentality.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:48:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the IRSN paper above:


This simulation was applied to caesium-137, used as a tracer in the radioactive plume during this
period. From the first day on (12 March) this simulation has been continuously carried out every
other hour and the results of this simulation are given in becquerels of caesium-137 per cubic metre
of air (Bq/m3). In addition the results are compared to the values measured in the vicinity of the
Chernobyl plant, just after the accident that occurred on 26 April 1986. The values exceeded
100,000 Bq/m and they were around 100 to 1000 Bq/m3 in countries seriously affected by the
radioactive plume (Ukraine and Belarus) in France, the values measured in the east were around 1
to 10 Bq/m3 (on 1 May 1986). A very low level of radioactive caesium-137 still remains in the air,
around 0.000001 Bq/m3.

Starvid, given the professional debates over the effects of low-level radiation, and the strong possibility that there remains much to learn, all in a climate of hiding data historically, it would be less arrogant of your position if you wouldn't deride people who may have differing views than you on the subject. I found your "run for the hills" comment full of hubris, given the circumstance, or perhaps damn insensitive.

Regarding the 0.000001 Bq/m3 still flying around, yes of course it's miniscule, but it's completely spread out around the entire globe, to a layer how high? Every single cubic meter, everywhere.

One thing is certain, it may take another 50 years before there's a real understanding of biological effects of radiation. did one ever consider that there are different effects from naturally occurring background than from what's cumulatively produced in a nuclear disaster. Could the disaster effects possibly differ from the carefully controlled medical versions?

Aside: it's the hubris that really gets me from so many participants in the nuclear debate. I really get irked when people cite that the technology has evolved so, that accidents which happen to archaic technology would never happen with the new technology.

Given that the exact same words were used when those plants were built.

You can criticize beliefs based upon false science, but you can't criticize fear of the unknown, especially when the history of the entire industry is one of deception.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However in the case of caesium, the radiation is less energetic than the K-40 background (both are made up of beta and gamma), and one microbequerel is well within the natural background variability. So there are excellent reasons to believe that any effect is orders of magnitude less than the noise in the background.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 03:13:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, but the caesium isn't alone. What's K-40?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naturally occurring radioactive Potassium-40.

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:40:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Potassium-40 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Potassium-40 is the largest source of natural radioactivity in animals and people. An adult human body contains about 160 grams of potassium, of which a small fraction is potassium-40. From the isotope abundance and half-life it can be calculated that this produces about 300,000 disintegrations per minute continuously throughout the life of the body.

That's 5,000 Bq of K-40.

By comparison,

As Jake says, both the bata and the gamma decays of Caesium 137 are less energetic than those of Potassium 40. And we're talking about 5 billion times more decays from K-40 in a human body than from Cs-137 in a cubic metre of 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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:49:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dear Crazy Horse, I wasn't reffering in any way to you. You certainly know what radiation means and just happen to disagree over the dangers of low-level radiation. I was reffering to the people who don't know what radiation is, think all radiation is lethal, and don't even understand that rocks, bananas or even themselves are radioactive. I did not mean to insult you in any way.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Accepted (though i wish i knew more)... but the hubris about the state of current knowledge of radiation is out of place. It's an science in its infancy, especially with regard to long-term effects. Much of the data we have comes from weapon effects, which may or may not have complete relevance.

The dialogue (between pro and anti) goes nowhere without respect.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 07:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company announced on Monday that a puddle of water was found in a trench outside the No. 2 reactor turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Sunday afternoon. It said the radiation reading on the puddle's surface indicated more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

The concrete trench is 4 meters high and 3 meters wide and houses power cables and pipes. It is located in the compound of the plant but outside the radiation control area.
TEPCO says the trench extends 76 meters toward the sea but does not reach the sea, and that the contaminated water was not flowing into the sea.

From an earlier report the water reached 1m from the top, so its a lot of highly radioactive water.

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 28th, 2011 at 05:30:05 PM EST
That could be loaded into a couple of hazardous waste tanker trailers. It is 912 cubic meters or 7,600 US liquid barrels. But a barge, say one of or one like the ones being used for fresh water could be used and would likely store all the radioactive water currently needing to be dealt with.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, a 3m-deep puddle? Potentially a 76x3x3m volume of water? That's some "puddle"...

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 Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and potentially 3 or 4 of those

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 28th, 2011 at 07:04:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
plus I suppose other 'puddles' inside the buildings

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 28th, 2011 at 07:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Take the dimensions lowest levels of the reactor and turbine buildings. Compute the footprint in square meters and multiply by 2 meters to get a first order approximation of the worst case volume of radioactive water. A significant portion of the interior volume will be concrete walls, etc.

Some of this ain't rocket science. Does TEPCO know how deep water was when the three waders got their feet burned? Do they know the depths of the water in those same areas are today? What is the rate of rise, by facility? Would that someone had the wit to ask those questions at a news briefing. Once asked they can't claim it never occurred to them to keep track, at least going forward. If they did this they would have an idea of the volume of storage they need.

It would probably be possible to lease, certainly possible to buy, an old oil tanker to anchor close by and shuttle barges back and forth. They might need two so they could shuttle them back and forth to an oil terminal where the contents could be pumped into an empty shore based oil storage tank. It may be that this would never occur to TEPCO because they don't own such ships or tanks -- an analog of the "not invented here" syndrome. I don't get the feeling that ANYONE is aggressively pursuing all necessary measures and this is starting to become maddening and could become catastrophic.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:25:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactors 2, 4 Also Have Water Puddles | EX-SKF

A bit more details from Asahi Shinbun about the depth of the radioactive water. It's not "puddles" any more, though TEPCO and the government have been calling it "puddle". They should have called it for what it is, a flood:

Maximum depth of radioactive water in each reactor:

Reactor 1: 40 centimeters (1.3 feet)

Reactor 2: 1 meter (3.28 feet)

Reactor 3: 1.5 meters (4.92 feet)

Reactor 4: 80 centimeters (2.62 feet)

The red dot apparently is where the workers became irradiated

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 28th, 2011 at 09:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And TEPCO or the Japanese Government need to deal with this aggressively and immediately or all three reactors that were active at the time of the quake could soon be flooded to the extent that further remediation is no longer possible.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could freeze the water with liquid nitrogen...

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:27:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you know that's what was done to enhance the earth structurally underneath Chernobyl? Mining equipment was used to pump liquid nitrogen to keep the earth at -100C, if i recall.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they built a big hole for the giant freezer, but the giant freezer was never installed - possibly on the grounds of utter impracticality.

So they filled the hole with concrete instead.

Is anyone at Fukushima wondering what's happening under the reactors?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:08:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, have read too much already, thought i'd read that they had gone so far as to inject it.

i should stick to windmills, that i know.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRCC, in the EE Times article linked to by ceebs I read that the Soviets brought in coal miners to dig beneath the Chernobyl plant and install a large, thick concrete "core catcher". If they used that term it might be one of the earliest instance. This is probably infeasible at Fukushima due to the water table from the adjacent ocean.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking they could pour the nitrogen into the water in the turbine buildings. This would freeze it instantly and hopefully the freeze would propagate back through the piping and into the reactor...

Of course, this needs to be done with care. You might get a "steam explosion" in the nitrogen by putting nitrogen at 200C below zero in contact with hor water...

Also, if you froze one end of the pipes solid, water coming out of the reactor at pressure might burst the pipes at the other end and cause another spill. In this case it's a good thing that they have reduced the water input to just the amount necessary to compensate for vaporization in the reactor. Excess water had been flooding the turbine rooms previously.

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:38:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emphasis on old oil tanker since it would have to be scrapped.

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The tanker market is extremely oversupplied at the moment. Finding a spare vessel should be no problem at all. And even if you bought a brand new one, the cost should be small compared to what dealing with the rest of this mess will cost.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK is reporting the geographic survey institute saying that in places off the coast a 6.7 metre wave was recorded when the initial Tsunami occurred. on top of that, in one river they recorded a 30cm wave, 49 km up a river, and another had a 1m 20 wave recorded 28 km up its length

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 28th, 2011 at 06:19:32 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
Japan's Land Ministry has found that the tsunami on March 11th ran more than 40 kilometers upstream from river mouths.

The ministry collected data of water levels from major rivers in the affected areas and calculated how far the waves traveled upstream.

The records show that the water of the Kitakami river in Miyagi Prefecture rose by 11 centimeters about 49 kilometers inland nearly 3 hours after the earthquake.

The Tone river rose by 30 centimeters at a point more than 44 kilometers from the estuary.

The ministry believes the waves would have reached further upstream if all the floodgates had been open. 6 of the 9 gates located 18 kilometers from the shore were closed when the tsunami hit one of Japan's longest rivers.


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 28th, 2011 at 06:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Digital edition: 'The day the lights went out in Japan'

EE Times presents a special digital edition, "The day the lights went out in Japan," a comprehensive examination of the global impact of the March 11 earthquake in northern Japan.

The special edition includes analysis of the consequences of Japan's historic, devastating earthquake and tsunami for the Japanese people and the global electronics industry. It also features reports from the ground in Tokyo.

We attempt to look beyond the crippled wafer fabs, auto plants and disrupted global supply chains to consider the lessons of the Great Japanese Quake 0f 2011.

Our intent is to show solidarity with the people of Japan, and understanding for all.

We also urge readers to join the sponsors of our digital edition on the Japan earthquake in contributing to relief efforts through the American Red Cross.

Click here to view our digital edition.



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 28th, 2011 at 07:07:43 PM EST
4,000 bodies still remain unidentified following quake | Kyodo News

The identities of around 4,000 bodies collected following the March 11 mega earthquake and ensuing tsunami still remain unconfirmed in severely-damaged Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, a local police tally showed Tuesday.

''They were collected at places far from their residential areas (due to being swept away by the tsunami), or their families as a whole must have been washed away by the tsunami,'' a senior official at the National Police Agency said, referring to the slow progress in identifying the bodies.



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 28th, 2011 at 09:12:00 PM EST
Radioactive material detected in air of 3 southern U.S. states | Kyodo News

Trace amounts of radioactive material believed to have come from Japan's quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been detected in the atmosphere in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida, Reuters news service reported Monday, citing officials.

There is no current threat to public safety, the report said, quoting Drew Elliot, a spokesman for the power generation and distribution company Progress Energy Inc., which operates some of the power plants in the southern states.

Monitors at several nuclear plants in the three states picked up low levels of radioactive iodine-131, the report said.



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 28th, 2011 at 09:13:03 PM EST
'Songs for Japan' album tops iTunes store charts in 18 nations | Kyodo News

''Songs for Japan,'' an album dedicated to supporting victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, is the top-selling album on Apple Inc.'s online shop in 18 countries.

According to the iTunes Store Top 10 Albums, the album, featuring 38 songs by artists and groups from Europe and the United States, tops the charts in such countries as Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland as well as in Japan and the United States.



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 28th, 2011 at 09:54:50 PM EST
Daily Yomuri - Plutonium has been measured in earth inside the Fukushima N-plant, TEPCO says, likely from partially melted fuel rods.

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 28th, 2011 at 10:30:24 PM EST
Plutonium comes from failure of primary containment subsequent to partial meltdown of fuel rods, probably those containing MOX.

Is this radioactive steam, precipitated by rain or snow, and infiltrating the soil, or is it in the water table from liquid leaks?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 05:02:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
Plutonium comes from failure of primary containment subsequent to partial meltdown of fuel rods, probably those containing MOX.
I suspect a bayesian analysis will show the plutonium is more likely to come from regular fuel rods, in which
About 1% of the mass is 239Pu and 240Pu resulting from conversion of 238U, which may be considered either as a useful byproduct, or as dangerous and inconvenient waste.
That's after 5 years of operation, so after 1 year of operation a regular fuel rod will contain 0.2% plutonium, etc.

For instance, the spent fuel pool at reactor number 4 contained the regular amount of spent fuel as well as the full complement of fuel in the reactor. On average, 0.6% of that fuel is Plutonium.

The same is true of all the other fuel in all the other reactor buildings, except for reactor 3 which has 1/5 MOX fuel in the reactor core and none in the pool (is that right?) for an average of 1% plutonium, half of that coming from the fresh MOX in the core.

So you have 3 reactors at 0.6% and one reactor at 1%, 0.5% of which being from MOX. So the MOX plutonium is 0.5% / 2.8% = 35% of the plutonium in buildings 1-4.

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 05:13:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK - TEPCO faces challenge in cooling reactor  

  Puddles of water were also found in the trenches of the No.1 and No.3 reactors.

The No.1 reactor's trench will overflow if the water rises by 10 centimeters. TEPCO has blocked the trench outlet with sandbags and concrete to prevent the water from reaching the ocean.

The water in the trenches of the No.2 and No.3 reactors is reportedly 1 meter from overflowing.

TEPCO said it hopes to swiftly find a way to remove the water from the trenches.

On Monday, The power company scaled back its operation to cool the No. 2 reactor, injecting 7 tons per hour, reduced from 16. The reactor's temperature rose by more than 20 degrees Celsius.



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 28th, 2011 at 10:43:46 PM EST
Jesus H. Christ! A few tanker trucks, at the very worst, would suffice to hold the water that is presently there. Pumping out the trenches would tell them if the trenches are connected by siphons to large pools of water inside the reactors or turbine plants. This is like watching a bad horror movie where the victims are too paralyzed by fear to even WALK away from approaching danger.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:58:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At 1Sv/h, handling that water is highly nontrivial.

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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:34:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that radioactivity drops rapidly with distance, does it not. Why cannot pumps be connected to hoses and tank trucks AND THEN drop the hose to the bottom of a trench with tongs, or the practical equivalent? Even better -- they have two barges for fresh water present or available, IIRCC. Connect the pumps to hoses floated out to an empty barge and pump the water there. Some contaminated water might leak but that is FAR better than just dumping it into the ocean or allowing it to leak into the ocean, as apparently they are planning to do.

As for the power they wanted to run through the trenches--why not just lay conduit on the surface, drive stakes beside it to tie it off and then run the cables through the conduit? No wading in radioactive water then, at least for the trenches. Better, support the conduit on concrete blocks or "chairs" similar to what would be used in a trench, only sturdier and with a broader base and use watertight rigid conduit. Two such conduits ~200mm Dia. separated by about a meter could support a wooden walk way on top. This would provide a path above the contaminated water.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:30:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The improvisation quality is appalling there. First they quickly gave up on connecting back-up generators. When things started to explode and heat, they contrived no way to cool anything. (Why not throw ice from helicopters?! Bring in some liquid nitrogen or CO2?) They appeared to be mindful or workers' exposure, then send them without proper boots. I don't know, are here cultural hurdles so strong to find "whatever it takes", or top managements are so clueless (or sinister?!).
by das monde on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:15:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they quickly gave up on connecting back-up generators

You don't mean back-up but mobile generators. Here my question remains, what was the cause? I saw no definite confirmation that it was a 50/60 Hz issue, while another source claimed that the problem was tsunami-damaged connectors/switch boxes.

When things started to explode and heat, they contrived no way to cool anything.

No, seawater cooling started up in all reactors independently of the explosions, the steam-powered cooling system failure and the start-up of seawater cooling in No. 2 even preceded the explosion. The problems were high pressure and unexplained water level loss. At No. 2, the falling debris of No. 3 was a problem, knocking out four of the five fire trucks pumping seawater. I don't see how others could have improvised around these problems better – or why it should come down to improvisation with such high-tech. What does seem to be a TEPCO omission is looking after the No. 4 spent fuel pond, which then produced its own hydrogen explosion.

Why not throw ice from helicopters?!

On one hand, what would that accomplish? Suppose it doesn't get stuck, cooling 400°C steam with overpressure or 100°C boiling water won't be much more efficient with -1°C ice than with 10°C seawater. On the other hand, before the hydrogen explosions blew up the external structure, helicopters wouldn't have been able to put anything in.

Bring in some liquid nitrogen or CO2?

On one hand, the pipes weren't designed for -200°C, and who knows what explosions you could have caused by getting it in contact with hot metal and water. On he other hand, getting lots of liquid nitrogen in sufficient quantities to the plant in the earthquake area wouldn't have been any less challenging than bringing freshwater trucks there; the seawater solution was the fastest (and yes it was good improvisation).

They appeared to be mindful or workers' exposure, then send them without proper boots.

Methinks the omission here was to think that the turbine building (which is a separate building from the reactor, but connected through the water circuit) is safe.

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 11:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't mean back-up but mobile generators. Here my question remains, what was the cause?

I have also questioned this. Could the power requirements of the pumps from the torus to the reactor vessel require too much power for portable generators? It also could be that they require 3 phase power and that the readily accessible power connections are to points where all the pumps in a given reactor are connected in parallel. These units have been described as being the size of a compact car. I don't know if a '70s vintage 100 hp electric motor would fit into such a package, but if it could that would require 75Kw per pump. These pumps and motors could be immersed in radioactive water, though they should have been designed to accommodate that.

As for availability of portable generators GE has 100kw 277/480V three phase generators that produce 150 Amps @ 480 Volts, weigh 2705 lbs and cost ~US$22,000. They are operated by 6.2L V10 diesel engines. And several suppliers offer units as large as 500KW. These units should have been able to be delivered by air and helicopter within three days and comparable units made in Japan should have been available on a day's notice. Then perhaps they could have prevented the meltdown.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:32:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would blame TEPCO more for its communication (which was as much chaotic and erratic as bent on obfuscation) and even more for what it did before the disaster (from running substandard old plants for the easy profit through sabotaging checks and lacking security upgrades to the hiring of barely qualified staff).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would blame TEPCO for being bastards about the emergency workers that are saving everyone's bacon here... Tough working conditions at Fukushima nuke plant to improve: Kaieda (March 29)
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected to improve the tough working environment of its employees and other workers who are trying to bring the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant under control, industry minister Banri Kaieda said Tuesday.

Kaieda, who serves as a deputy head of the nuclear disaster task force jointly set up by the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric, said around 500 to 600 people were at one point lodging in a building on the plant's premises and that was ''not a situation in which minimum sleep and food could be ensured.''

His remarks came after an official of the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported the actual working environment at the radiation-leaking plant, saying that workers were only eating two meals per day, such as crackers and dried rice, and sleeping in conference rooms and hallways in the building.



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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, they were cooling with sea water - I overstated. But the urgency was high to cool with whatever it takes.

Dropping ice on roofless buildings would be easier and more precise. The latent heat of the ice melting phase transition is equivalent to heating up the same mass water by 70-80 degrees C. So it would be a decent half-measure.

Liquid nitrogen was applied in Chernobyl directly tp the reactor. In Fukushima it would had been useful (at least) to chill spent fuel pools, or water input to the reactors. Frantic transportation by helicopters would not had been an encouraging (and cheap) sight, but if that slows down critical progressions...

by das monde on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The latent heat of the ice melting phase transition

OK, there is melting heat, but then there is the speed of the heat exchange. Water just mixes with the water already there: practically instant heat exchange. If you drop a block of ice into a pool: exchange only at the surface. And in practice, as I indicated, you could drop ice only at the spent fuel rod pools, but the problem there was that the top of the fuel rods got out of the water, so your ice blocks would have struck on top of them (and that's assuming the ice impact does no further damage to the heat-damaged fuel rods).

The whole helicopter idea fails on volumes. Wheher water or ice, pump trucks were just more efficient. (Also note that in CHernobyl, helicopters dropped sand to deplete graphite fire of oxygen, cooling wasn't the primary idea there.)

Liquid nitrogen was applied in Chernobyl directly tp the reactor.

Nope. It was supposed to be applied to the ground around it after the meltdown, but even that wasn't used in the end.

Adam Higginbotham: Chernobyl 20 years on | World news | The Observer

A plan was devised: to freeze the earth around the reactor with liquid nitrogen, and then build a heat exchanger in the ground beneath it to cool the core and prevent meltdown. Prianichnikov himself was sent in with temperature and radiation probes to discover how long they had before the core burned through the two metres of concrete foundations; meanwhile, miners were summoned from the coalfaces of Donetsk and the subway projects in Kiev to dig tunnels beneath the reactor. The scientists feared that pneumatic drills could disturb the foundations of the reactor, so they worked with hand tools, in conditions where wearing protective clothing was practically impossible, amid extraordinary fields of radioactivity. To freeze the ground, all the liquid nitrogen in the western Soviet Union was sent to Chernobyl: when it didn't arrive quickly enough, director Brukhanov received a late-night telephone call from the minister in charge of the operation. 'Find the nitrogen,' he was told, 'or you'll be shot.'

On 10 May, the fire finally subsided; it now seems possible that the graphite simply burnt itself out. The nitrogen was found, and the subterranean heat exchanger built, but by mid-May the temperature of the core had dropped to 270C; the exchanger was never even turned on. 'The miners died for nothing,' says Prianichnikov. 'Everything we did was a waste of time.'

Besides, it is one thing to risk explosions when applying liquid nitrogen to a wreck that was Chernobyl and another to risk them in a halfway intact structure.

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

by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:58:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's all we would need: heat exchange. Normally, there is no need of any exotic cooling means. The problem was that the cooling capacity got too low, and without doing anything the cooling deficit was going to increase. The "speed" of heat exchange does not have to be met at all the times: you may take drastic cooling measures from time to time, according to means, but trying to keep the temperature rise over a cycle as minimal as you can. And, say, you don't have to apply liquid nitrogen directly to the reactor. There must be ways to "take a way the heat" however indirectly.

The question is indeed, how much cooling volume can be provided. A reasonable way (as it looks to me now) was to bring a tanker (or other big ship) with refrigerating capacity close to the plant, serve helicopters from there, and provide supplies by sea. Of course, it is easy to ponder too late. But I would expect that they would do a wide-ranging brainstorming quickly.

As for liquid nitrogen in Chernobyl, the heat exchanger plan was indeed scrapped, but liquid nitrogen had been already applied to the reactor early. See the development descriptions here, here, here.

by das monde on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's all we would need: heat exchange.

Nope. Both in the reactors and the spent fuel pools, the problem was loss of water level which uncovered the fuel rods, so that they were 'cooled' by steam only. Heat exchange won't increase the water level.

There must be ways to "take a way the heat" however indirectly.

If taking the coolant to the reactors resp. the spent fuel pools was difficult, taking the pool water out and back in a closed circuit is even more difficult.

A reasonable way (as it looks to me now) was to bring a tanker (or other big ship) with refrigerating capacity close to the plant, serve helicopters from there, and provide supplies by sea

Refrigerating capacity? I don't follow you there, unless this is still the ice idea. At any rate, my idea of a reasonable way thought up too late is the US offer of barges with freshwater. Then again, that's in hindsight, because pressing time made seawater injection the only fast option when the steam pumps failed, and it wasn't obvious at the time that other systems won't be restored for weeks.

Regarding Chernobyl and liquid nitrogen, I have trouble trusting those sources. The first is speaking about application of nitrogen after the helicopters put out the fire, via pipes – what pipes? The second source is Wikipedia and unsourced. The third source is again unsourced student material. Meanwhile, the best I can find in any of the technical descriptions of the accident in authoritative sources is:

Chernobyl Appendix 1: Sequence of Events

A system was installed by 5 May to feed cold nitrogen to the reactor space, to provide cooling and to blanket against oxygen.

This is different from ground freezing, and the apparent origin of the unsourced claims. However, it is not about nitrogen in liquid form, and depleting the fire of oxygen is among the objectives (nitrogen is used for the same by reactor core safety systems). Also, it's unclear whether the system was actually used. I note the same info is in this contemporary New Scientist article, but it erroneously claims that the heat exchanger was taken into use.

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

by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:28:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you mean, water is not only coolant but a moderator as well? Then disappearing water is indeed bad. But to keep it from boiling away fast, any cooling measures can be considered.

I wonder how accessible were the spent fuel pools. How would they normally add water, or handle the rods? What manipulations they could have possibly done with them in the initial stages?

I checked Russian pages and they mention liquid nitrogen (жидкий азот) as well, though the quality of sources is very variable. The measure is criticized, as it only added a radioactive cloud for Belarus. Here is apparently "Tape No 5" of Valery Legasov speaking (taken by Russian legal investigators, they claim), in Google-assited translation:


   

Вот в отношении азота. Тут много путаницы в международной прессе, что там ВЕЛИХОВ где-то 26 по крышам там чёто такое измерял, например, Евгений Павлович, а он в то время пил водку у себя на даче 26-го и ни о чём не знал. (слова Адамовича А.: "А 26-го его не было?") Не было его там. Да, не было. По азоту. (это в СИЛАЕВСКИЙ период, когда СИЛАЕВ уже приехал) Это я предложил подать жидкий азот для охлаждения. Это моё предложение было глупым, как практика показала.So regarding nitrogen. There is much confusion in the international press that VELIKHOV around 26th had measured something on roofs, for example, E.P., but actually he was drinking vodka on his dacha on the 26th and knew nothing. ([Interviewer: "He was not there on the 26th?") He was not there. Right, he was not. On nitrogen. (This is on SILAEVSKY period, when he had already arrived.) It was my suggestion to submit the liquid nitrogen for cooling. This my suggestion was stupid, as experience has shown.
Но я исходил из чего? Я думал, что шахта реактора является цельной. Понимаете? И тогда если к воздуху подмешивать жидкий азот (а нам его очень быстро, я должен сказать, целый эшелон азота пригнали) и, значит, холодным воздухом мы будем интенсивнее охлаждать горячую зону. Но потом оказалось, что боковые стены реактора разрушены. Поэтому весь азот который (а мы нашли место куда его подавать) мы подавали он выходил наружу мимо зоны, ничего не охлаждал, а естественная циркуляция воздуха была такой мощной, что этот азот, как капля в море, как говориться.But what did I assume? I thought that the reactor pit is intact. You see? If you dash liquid nitrogen to the air (and they delivered it to us very fast, I must say, a train of nitrogen) then with the cold air we cool the hot zone more intensively. But it turned out that the side walls of the reactor were damaged. Therefore all the nitrogen (as we found the place to feed it) were served went outside of the zone, cooling nothing, and the natural circulation of air was so powerful that this nitrogen passed as a drop in the sea, as they say.
Поэтому мы очень быстро от этого мероприятия отказались. И вот в докладе когда я в Вену готовился (нам правда в ЦК и вычеркнули эту фразу, но она была в исходном варианте), что среди неэффективных мероприятий было мероприятие по задувке жидкого азота.Therefore we very quickly rejected this measure. And in the report that I was preparing for Vienna (actually, the Central Committee told us to struck out the phrase, but it was in the original version) that among the inefficient measures was blowing liquid nitrogen.
by das monde on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 07:16:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
So you mean, water is not only coolant but a moderator as well? Then disappearing water is indeed bad. But to keep it from boiling away fast, any cooling measures can be considered.
Water is a moderator but not a neutron absorber.
In nuclear engineering, a neutron moderator is a medium that reduces the speed of fast neutrons, thereby turning them into thermal neutrons capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction involving uranium-235.
So if water boils off the chain reaction slows down. However, you get more energetic neutrons radiating away from the fuel elements.

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 Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 08:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you mean, water is not only coolant but a moderator as well?

No, I mean it can cool only as long as it is in touch with the surface of the rods.

I wonder how accessible were the spent fuel pools.

After the explosions, not at all: that's hy they first tried helicopters, then water cannons, then fire trucks with telescopic arms, finally a concrete pump.

The measure is criticized, as it only added a radioactive cloud for Belarus.

Can you cite that source? The one you quoted is very interesting, though one crucial point is unclear: whether they actually used it or not. That is, is "Therefore we very quickly rejected this measure." a precise translation and the past tense in the paragraph before erroneous, or would "Therefore we very quickly abandoned this measure." be more correct?

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

by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 08:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A short Google search shows that "отказались" is indeed translated as "abandoned", too, among others.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 08:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would generally translate as "rejected" more frequently. But in the later part of the excerpt he does say that they tried. The translation

Therefore all the nitrogen ... were served went outside of the zone

should be

Therefore all the nitrogen ... we served went outside of the zone

by das monde on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note BTW: the details confirm that they wanted to use nitrogen in its evaporated form (spray the liquid into the air), which would not be applicable to Fukushima's open-air spent fuel pool problem. It would have have been applicable in the case of the water loss in the reactor cores problem, but the spraying within the high-pressure interior of the core would have been a technical problem to solve, and one to do quickly – seawater was faster.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 08:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is what they're not telling us.

They didn't just discover the flooded trenches. They know perfectly well the water level inside the reactor buildings, because they send people inside (or could send robots inside if they had to, surely).

No, I think they release this information because they absolutely have to. If water starts overflowing from the trenches, they can't keep it secret.

No, this looks like the inevitable consequence of the "flo-thru" cooling system, and the source of the decision to lower the volume of water injected.

Now, is the flo-thru aspect necessary for heat removal? i.e. will the water start boiling if it's uncirculated and doesn't have an outlet as a heat sink?

I haven't seen a recent update on the state of the pumps. Surely, if they can circulate water actively in the torus assemblies, this is sufficient to dissipate the heat?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 05:08:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
If water starts overflowing from the trenches

From Saturday 26, h/t ceebs:

Levels of radioactive materials soaring in sea near nuke plant | Kyodo News

It is highly likely that radioactive water in the plant has disembogued into the sea, Tokyo Electric Power Co said.

In other news conscientiously relayed by the media, workers are battling to mop up "puddles".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 05:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why oh why are the media not asking any of the obvious questions that we are asking?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 06:03:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Cultural reasons"? Gimme a break! We all breathe the same air and the ocean is world wide. The consequences of this disaster impact more than just Japan.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:33:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the journalists generally don't have the basic technical knowledge needed to ask the right questions.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is that, but nowadays it isn't that hard for them to find someone who does

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:25:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nationalization of Tokyo Electric Power an option: minister  TOKYO, March 29, Kyodo

Koichiro Gemba, minister of national policy, hinted Tuesday that nationalizing Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, may be an option when it comes to reviewing its handling of the crisis. ''It is naturally possible to hold various discussions on how TEPCO should function,'' Gemba told a news conference amid speculation that the government is considering putting the utility under state ownership.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, meanwhile, told a separate press conference that the government is ''not at the moment considering nationalization.'' What is important now, Edano said, is for TEPCO to give its full efforts to contain the ongoing nuclear crisis.

The March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant. The loss of cooling functions for the plant has caused radiation leaks and caused the country's worst ever nuclear crisis. TEPCO is expected to face an enormous damages bill in line with a law on compensation over nuclear power plant accidents, but it remains unclear whether it will have the financial capacity to pay it.

''Since the state has been promoting nuclear energy as its policy, it is necessary for the state to ultimately take responsibility,'' Gemba said, indicating the government will step in to cover expenses that cannot be handled by the utility.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 12:42:37 AM EST
Get your news early on European Tribune
TEPCO will be either taken over or bailed out by the state.
TEPCO probably cannot afford to pay for the liability from widespread radioactive contamination. We're not at the point where a spent fuel pool becomes a dirty bomb, but that cannot be ruled out any longer. In any case, that's probably not insured by private insurers, and who knowsthe extent to which insurance covers the damage so far. It might be that TEPCO has a waiver of liability or an explicit state guarantee. The implicit state guarantee always exists - decommissioning and decontamination must happen it technically possible and so the state will do it as a last resort.

In addition, TEPCO is going to have two write off at least 3 reactor cores due to seawater injections. The entire DaiIchi plant may be out of operation for years. It may never reopen or be expanded to add two new reactors as currently planned. In any case, this is a huge operating loss for TEPCO over and above the cleanup for the current disaster.

Either TEPCO will be bailed out with free money, or it will be split into a good firm and a bad firm with the government taking over the bad firm, or the government will take over the entirety of TEPCO.

A "Tokyo Electric Power Company" must exist as long as Tokyo exists. What needs to die is the idea that an electric utility can be run "for profit" with primary accountability to its shareholders as opposed to "in the public interest".



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 Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:24:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's see. How about this : the IAEA gifts radiation emission permits to all nuclear utilities, and these can be freely traded.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 05:12:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gov't to push for solar energy in quake reconstruction plan: Edano | Kyodo News

Pursuit of solar power, bioenergy and other clean energy sources will be a key pillar of the government's reconstruction strategy to be drawn up for areas hit by a massive quake and tsunami following the country's worst nuclear accident, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said Tuesday.

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, resulting in the nuclear crisis, the government has faced growing calls to review its policy of pursuing nuclear power. It is now working out a basic program on post-quake and post-tsunami reconstruction efforts to be unveiled in mid-April, government sources said.

Ten years ago, Japan was the unquestioned leader in photovoltaics worldwide. But while Germany, Spain, Italy (and producers in China, Taiwan) surged ahead, the Japanese effort faltered due to lack of serious new promotion policies. In the last two years, the market doubled twice, but that only got it into the one gigawatt region. Replacing the six Fukushima reactors in a few years would need new installations of solar at rates like in Germany and wind in the multi-gigawatts, too.

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:08:03 AM EST
And they can pay for all of the solar in Japanese Yen! What is not to like? They need to get all of their solar panel plants running at full capacity and ramp up similar capabilities for commercial and residential installation. It would add massive resiliency to their grid.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:37:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah: it may be intermittent, but it won't stop during an earthquake.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Solar would be vulnerable to a "nuclear winter", but so what?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 10:45:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if the semiconductor plants that make solar panels are in the affected region...
by asdf on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 07:37:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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