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Fukushima: damage limitation

by Migeru Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 12:16:27 PM EST

Action needed to address nuclear fears: IAEA chief | Reuters

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency called on Monday for international action to prevent a repetition of Japan's nuclear disaster, saying the operator of the crippled plant failed to take sufficient safety measures.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a nuclear safety forum stricter standards and full transparency were vital to restoring public confidence in nuclear energy.

...

"The worries of millions of people throughout the world about whether nuclear energy is safe must be taken seriously."

Use this as an open thread on the ongoing Japan disaster.

Update [2011-4-4 18:53:7 by Migeru]: For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. — Richard Feynman.


Japan threads:

Display:
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a nuclear safety forum stricter standards and full transparency were vital to restoring public confidence in nuclear energy.

How many chances do they want ?

the statement above is simply not compatible with political or business reality. And he knows it. Which means that this is special pleading for a new pr campaign to sweep all the bad news under a different carpet to keep his job and his industry alive.

So meet the new lie, same as the old lie.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 12:28:17 PM EST
Chances? everything's running perfectly, there are no problems

reuters: quoting a GE spokesman

"But this is an industry that operated effectively for 40 years. And that's my expectation," he said.

A GE Japan spokeswoman later told Reuters that Immelt excluded the Chernobyl incident when referring to the industry's safety record over the past four decades because it did not involve facilities designed by Western or Japanese firms.



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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 12:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, what are they going to invent now to exclude Fukushima?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 12:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh now that's easy it's all down to the Tsunami and earthquake, nothing to do with the power station.

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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 01:14:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO and Japanese culture are possibilities, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 03:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same strategy as in the "Lost Decade." All their successes are based on copying western ideas and economic orthodoxies while all their failures are based on cultural idiosyncrasies.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm always entertained by the assumption in Western management literature that "face" is something only valued by weird Asians and other primitives. Western managers are, of course, far above such frivolities.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goes along with the "inscrutable orientals" prejudice...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:05:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's more that Eastern managers have a conscious awareness that face matters, and they understand that it plays a part in management dynamics.

It's a useful insight that Western managers don't have this awareness. They're sensitive to loss of face emotionally, but they lack the psychological and emotional maturity to realise it intellectually.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:56:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I just want my life back," anyone?
by Zwackus on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am actually more disturbed than amused by such claims. Imagine a person who cares nothing for his standing in the eyes of his peers, let alone the wider world...

As an aside:

US embassy cables: Mervyn King says in March 2008 bailout fund needed (via)

[British central bankster Mervyn] King said there are two imperatives. First to find ways for banks to avoid the stigma of selling unwanted paper at distressed prices or going to a central bank for assistance. Second to ensure there's a coordinated effort to possibly recapitalize the global banking system.

My emphasis.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about Santa Susana and Three Mile Island?

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:08:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well the last santa susana fire was in 1971, so with  a touch of wiggle room, just on the edge of that 40 year boundary.

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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liquid sodium coolant--experimental reactor which supplied commercial power--partial meltdown in 1959 seemingly due to failure of pump seals allowing pump lubricant to enter the cooling fluid.  

(Sodium is the wave of the future!)  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:22:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

(click for article)

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lead-Bismuth eutectic
Both lead and bismuth are also an excellent radiation shield, blocking gamma radiation while simultaneously being virtually transparent to neutrons. In contrast, sodium will form the potent gamma emitter sodium-24 (halflife 15 hours) following intense neutron radiation, requiring a large radiation shield for the primary cooling loop.

...

Lead and LBE coolant are more corrosive to steel than sodium, and this puts an upper limit on the velocity of coolant flow through the reactor due to safety considerations. Furthermore, the higher melting points of lead and LBE (327 °C and 123.5 °C respectively) may mean that solidification of the coolant may be a greater problem when the reactor is operated at lower temperatures. Finally, upon neutron radiation the bismuth in LBE coolant will undergo neutron capture and subsequent beta decay, forming polonium-210, a potent alpha emitter. The presence of radioactive polonium in the coolant would require special precautions during refueling of the reactor.

In case of an accident, instead of water being released, you'd have lead
Although lead poisoning is one of the oldest known work and environmental hazards, the modern understanding of the small amount of lead necessary to cause harm did not come about until the latter half of the 20th century. No safe threshold for lead exposure has been discovered--that is, there is no known amount of lead that is too small to cause the body harm.
Good thing that
In medical usage, heavy metals are loosely defined and include all toxic metals irrespective of their atomic weight: "heavy metal poisoning" can possibly include excessive amounts of iron, manganese, aluminium, mercury, cadmium, or beryllium (the fourth lightest element) or such a semimetal as arsenic. This definition excludes bismuth, the heaviest of approximately stable elements, because of its low toxicity.
Naturally, since
Bismuth poisoning exists and mostly affects the kidney and liver. Skin and respiratory irritation can also follow exposure to respective organs. As with lead, overexposure to bismuth can result in the formation of a black deposit on the gingiva, known as a bismuth line.
Wait, hadn't we agreed that
In the industry, it is considered as one of the least toxic heavy metals.
Must be because
Scientific literature concurs with the idea that bismuth and its compounds are less toxic than lead or its other periodic table neighbours (antimony, polonium) and that it is not bioaccumulative. Its biological half-life for whole-body retention is 5 days but it can remain in the kidney for years in patients treated with bismuth compounds.
Clearly
Bismuth's environmental impacts are not very well known. It is considered that its environmental impact is small, due in part to the low solubility of its compounds. Limited information however means that a close eye should be kept on its impact.
That which you don't know can't kill you, innit?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the industry, it is considered as one of the least toxic heavy metals.

This could mean that very high quantities are needed for poisoning. Sites I checked suggested that the effects of poisoning are usually mild, with the main exceptions being when large quantities were injected into the body.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, skin ... irritation can also follow exposure so I'm not sure it's that safe.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:02:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This site lists all that can go wrong, but lists inhalation and ingestion as serious, potentially fatal. All the other effects
May be a nuisance dust causing respiratory irritation. May cause foul breath, metallic taste and gingivitis.May cause nausea, loss of appetite and weight, malaise, albuminuria, diarrhea, skin reactions, stomatitis, headache, fever, sleeplessness, depression, rheumatic pain and a black line may form on gums in the mouth due to deposition of bismuth sulphide. Skin: May cause irritation. Eyes: May cause irritation.
seem to be regarded more as nuisances than as serious health risks. If you already have skin problems, you should certainly stay away from it.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that the LD50 of Bismuth is 5g/Kg in rats and 10g/Kg in mice. Compare:
Sr:    540mg/kg    some toxicity
Ba:    20mg/kg    high toxicity
That means Bismuth is 10 times less toxic to rats by weight than (non-radioactive)  Strontium.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5g/kg is quite non-toxic. The LD50 of NaCl for rats is 3g/kg, for ethanol it's 7g/kg. The main problem is accumulation -- both NaCl and ethanol are obviously easily disposed of by the body, how well is bismuth?

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.
by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 07:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bismuth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
it is not bioaccumulative. Its biological half-life for whole-body retention is 5 days but it can remain in the kidney for years in patients treated with bismuth compounds


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 08:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a nuclear safety forum stricter standards and full transparency were vital to restoring public confidence in nuclear energy.

How many chances do they want ?

the statement above is simply not compatible with political or business reality. And he knows it. Which means that this is special pleading for a new pr campaign to sweep all the bad news under a different carpet to keep his job and his industry alive.

So meet the new lie, same as the old lie.

IAEA making empty gestures in calling for transparency after an accident in Japan? Sounds familiar.

European Tribune - Terrorism, Nuclear power and Secrecy

Just heard (Wed. 7/18) swedish radio news about the earthquake and nuclear power plant accident in Japan. Apparently the spill was larger then first reported (no numbers) and IAEA has encouraged Japan to be more open about nuclear power. No surprises thus far.

Now comes the real news (to me anyway).

According to Jan-Olov Liljenzin, professor in nuclear chemistry at Chalmers university of technology (second largest technical college in Sweden) this is probably an empty gesture, and IAEA knows it. After september 11th 2001 nuclear companies has been ordered (by the governments) to keep secret anything that could help terrorists.

And that was four years ago.

Given that the existing nuclear powers ignore IAEA's advice, what are the chances that would-be nuclear powers will not ignore it?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 02:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and proceeds from the same fallacy that makes IT systems insecure, in the general case.

The idea is that if the system is obscure and undocumented, this keeps it secure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mainly, obfuscation keeps well-intentioned people from understanding the system, finding its faults, and making it better. Ill-intentioned people will always make the extra effort to see through the fug and find the weak points.

All nuclear power issues should go open-source, with monetary rewards offered for finding faults. This would improve security immensely, especially with respect to terrorism.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:01:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The political problem is that this would reveal that nuke plants are impossible to secure against any half-way determined terrorist with an IQ above room temperature.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:33:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asahi Shinbun: IAEA becomes minor player in nuclear crisis

Exasperated by inquiries and lacking authority, the International Atomic Energy Agency has taken a back seat in dealing with the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Although the IAEA has kept a sharp eye on nations developing nuclear weapons, it does not have the authority to become actively involved in accidents at nuclear plants.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 02:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stuff I still don't know:

Have the steel containment vessels of any of the reactors been breached?

Has the concrete containment around the vessels been breached?

Were any fuel rods scattered/lost during the hydrogen explosions?

Were any fuel rods exposed because cooling water boiled away?

Did the rods overheat or melt?

How many people remain in the exclusion zone?

What kind of dose have they received?

What kind of dose have people living outside the exclusion zone received?

What are the likely health effects of these doses?

Is the situation stable, is it improving, or is a further meltdown still likely?

It's nice that TEPCO has managed to find dosimeters for its workers and has been making some interesting home movies, but I'd rather have some direct answers to simple questions.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 01:28:01 PM EST
Theres a figure that around 100 people are still inside the exclusion zone apart from plant workers and refuse to leave, but that's the only one I think there's any kind of definitive answer to.

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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 01:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know these:

Were any fuel rods scattered/lost during the hydrogen explosions?

Heh no.

Were any fuel rods exposed because cooling water boiled away?

Yes.

Did the rods overheat or melt?

Yes, during the time without any cooling when water level dropped a lot (before the start of the seawater injection). the question is the extent of that melt.

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

by DoDo on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 03:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
You know these:

Were any fuel rods scattered/lost during the hydrogen explosions?

Heh no.

im not entirely convinced, over on physics review there is a deal of debate about the thermal image photos, especially the ones of reactor 4, the problem being some people think that the thermal camera pictures if overlaid with designs of the reactor spent fuel floor seem to show that the empty reactor is a bigger hotspot than the spent fuel pool. one argument is that the reactor top was open and spent fuel rods have been thrown into the reactor compartment, but there just isn't enough information to tell.

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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:00:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
spent fuel rods have been thrown into the reactor compartment

That should be impossible, as at the time the spent fuel rods should have been under at least 5 metres of water. They would have had to have been thrown upwards by an explosive force pushing from above, enter a ballistic orbit and hit the open reactor tank, given that it was open, which is impossible if the reactor was operating. Which it was (or rather had been before the SCRAM), as meltdown would otherwise have been impossible.

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

by Starvid on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:06:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats how the argument appears to be running, people not seeing how it can be occurring due to the explosion, vs people who wonder how the heat can be occurring otherwise.

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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:17:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Untitled Document
Images for reactor 4, questions regarding the heat in the building. #4 has the core removed and an open reactor well according to TEPCO


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:45:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hum... my first observation on that link is that the author 'evaluates' the colour coding, without noticing that the temperature scale changes... The second is that 'hot spot' locations don't seem to be fixed. The third is that according to the AREVA slides, the open reactor well is filled with water.

I also suspect that there is no direct temperature observation of the SFP on the thermograms (possibly due to the water vapour over it): the pond should be boiling or near boiling temperature, not 30-47°C.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 01:23:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be clear - those questions (and your answer) - are about the spent fuel rods.

The state of the active fuel rods seems to be somewhere between "toasty" and "slag."

I could also be wondering how exactly you can decommission a melted reactor core without entombment and lead-shielded robots.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 06:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seeing as the ones here, without the slag or fuel the approach seems to be give us thirty years for things to cool down and for us to think about it... and will still involve shielded robots....

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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:27:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In thirty years we could have radiation powered robots for clean-up. The wonders of nuclear energy!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:47:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lol

could be radiation powers EVERYTHING by then...
some lichens'll prolly make it ok

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 9th, 2011 at 06:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reactor rods blown outside?! (brown "rusty" things on the right?)

by das monde on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 10:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh. Would they be reactor rods, they would glow red, reactor rods aren't made of iron to rust like iron, and there were plenty of steel beams flying around...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 01:32:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who says they are of iron? How long reactor rods would glow red?
by das monde on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 01:45:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who says they are of iron?

"Rusty". Red coloured rust is the oxidation of iron. The oxides of other metals have different colours, for example, zirconium oxide (the oxide of zirconium, the material of the cladding of the fuel rods) is white. Zirconium itself and zircaloy is metallic (see photo in your link).

How long reactor rods would glow red?

They would glow red until short half-life breakdown products of uranium decay enough for surface temperatures to drop below c. 600°C. They would heat up way past that. For scale, according to slide 19 of the Mathias Braun/Areva presentation, the core of No. 3 reached 1,800°C when left exposed for 7 hours, and the core of No. 1, which was exposed for 27 hours, even reached 2,700°C.

The above is rods from the core; but I see now that your link hypothesizes rods from spent fuel pools, which is indeed more in line with the location of the photo next to No. 4. Those rods would likely not glow, but they would not be 'rusty' either. Also, I doubt that the fuel rod assemblies and the fuel rods themselves would stay intact upon impact after falling dozens of metres (again see the fuel rod photos in your link).

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

by DoDo on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 09:19:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By "rusty" I referred to the color.
by das monde on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 09:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot: even 200-300°C spent fuel rods that don't glow would have shown up as the hottest hot spots on the thermal images.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 02:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More likely to be beams from the reactor building structure. The red is also likely paint.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:08:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To boot, you can see that those rods aren't rods (square cross section) but I-beams.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 09:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 175
Years ago, the ALLOWED LIMIT was for normal operations. The limits were very restrictive. If any detected release exceeded the allowed limits, the Power Plant had to report itself to the Regulatory Agency along with recommendations to correct the problem that caused the high reading. Seeing how TEPCO was taking sea water samples where the readings would be low, (Incoming currents as opposed to outgoing currents from the shore near the effluent release) I can only guess that they had very little reporting to do in the past.

I do not know if the requirements have changed in the recent past.


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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 01:29:47 PM EST
Japan Releases Low-Level Radioactive Water Into Ocean - NYTimes.com

Tokyo Electric said it would dump about 4,800 tons of water a day for two days. An additional 1,500 tons will also be released from the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors, after runoff was found flooding parts of their turbine buildings.

The concern there is that the water could damage the backup diesel generators for the reactors' cooling systems, said Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary. That water will be released 300 tons at a time over five days.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 01:41:05 PM EST
... Fukushima Daiichi a "troubled," "stricken" or "crippled" nuclear plant?

It's not a nuclear power plant at this point. There is no realistic probability that it will ever be a nuclear power plant again within any culturally or economically interesting time frame. It's the site of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown - or "incident" if one is into that sort of euphemisms.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 03:37:09 PM EST
The "troubled" TMI 1 reactor...

I wonder if units 4-6 can be restarted eventually? They have after all not suffered meltdowns or explosions, and TMI 2 operates today. Some years ago it was named "safest operated plant of the year" in the US.

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

by Starvid on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:02:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan asks for Russian help in disposing of radioactive water: report | Kyodo News

Japan has asked Russia's state-controlled nuclear firm Rosatom to send a liquid radioactive waste disposal facility to the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.

The floating waste-disposal facility, designed for the disposal of waste from decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines, has been in use since 2001. Its construction, which cost around $35 million, was financed by Japan, 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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:15:45 PM EST
And they just forgot about this until now?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:33:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that they have fiddled around for two weeks deciding not to undertake any alternative to dumping water into the Pacific and, in fact, are starting to dump that water, perhaps they are concerned that this will cause such an outcry that they will have to have an alternative. If they are going to do this, why not transfer the radioactive water to a tanker and wait until the floating processing plant arrives. This is sickening.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 09:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"There is nothing like this, on this scale, that we have ever attempted to do before," says Robert Alvarez, a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Energy Department.

Japanese officials estimate that they already have accumulated about 15 million gallons of highly radioactive water. Hundreds of thousands of gallons are being added every day as the plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., continues to feed coolant into the leaky structures.

Ultimately, the high-level radioactive substances in the water will have to be safely stored, processed and solidified, a job that experts say will almost certainly have to be handled on a specially designed industrial complex. The process of cleaning up the water could take many years, even decades, to complete. The cost could run into the tens of billions of dollars.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 02:01:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Photo taken on April 2, 2011, shows an aerial view of an artificial floating island called the ''megafloat'' off the port of Shimizu in Shizuoka. Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering using a ''megafloat'' to store tainted water with high levels of radiation found at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Kyodo)
by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 06:50:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here are several large photos related to the Fukushima event, including the floating radiation treatment plant "Suzuran" on the way from Russia.
by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 06:56:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First, 4's for all the comments (though i might quibble with starvids desire to start up TMI, given the overarching superiority of amurkan technology... not including the very grid itself. Does anyone remember the winter snowstorm, just a winter snowstorm, which brought down some cables in "Schland?)

But for perspective's sake, i just spent the evening (when i should have been preparing for my trip to "don't call it Frisco") talking about the disaster with a very intelligent and verdammt talentiert young woman about what's happening in Japan.

First, she doesn't know anything about the fine points of external or internal microsieverts. Second, she doesn't quite understand the fine points of incident engineering from a control room perspective.

What she seems to understand is technological hubris. She seems to understand that this civilization is fucking with her womb. She admits that she doesn't know everything about low-level radiological effects, but she believes most science facts are framed around the beneficiary.

What she really got more than most of the discussion on ET is how many families are broken for decades (generations?). i didn't know how to answer her, because i haven't seen the data on what's projected... since no one's taking that data. (Of course, the data from Belorussia can't be accepted, because they're all itinerant criminals.)

She has not one line in her face, the beauty, but her brow wrinkled seriously when i asked her how this all would affect her. She looked really depressed, and her eyes soured... and then her back arched, and she said, "I don't know how it will affect me, but i make my stand here, i think i've had enough."

Eye think i've had enough too.

She looked at me like my experience would make it all go away, and we could live as humans. She said, "you've been through this before, what should we do?"

It was not the right time to be at a loss for words.

Since the most endangered intelligent species at the moment is dolphins, i can only quote somebody's post, "every time someone smiles a dolphin is released.:" OK, kids don't understand science completely exact. But you get my point.

Hubris and Blindness hand in hand, way to go, civilization. Side effect: destroy the ability to use facts. Or even debate.

The disaster in Fukushima is not about excessive stray radionucleides, it's about mind, in the wrong fucking place.

i'm crazy, but i'm a horse, and i'm going to fight for this girl's womb.

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

by Crazy Horse on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:17:31 PM EST
It was not the right time to be at a loss for words.
 

But what is there to say?  She understands the essence of the enterprise.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:24:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 178
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKFGavZ_rf4
(at time stamps about 10:13:27, and about 10:20:28)
those beams and with them the crane do indeed seem to have fallen flat on the floor -- smack on top of the lid, and with steam gushing out from under it.
@ MadderDoc, Fred, et. al.:

Re: New video. Attached is a screenshot from the viedo with and without annotations of what I think I see. As ever, I say the blast came out of the primary containment, through failed seals on the transfer ("cattle") chute gate. But then, it is all too easy to see what you expect to see and want to see. Comments?

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/n...4annotated.png

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/n...4at50940PM.png


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 Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:42:01 PM EST

Another vid. There's a small object around 30s in that looks like it's glowing red hot.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 09:51:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a bad video, but the red spot 30 s in is definitely on the south side of the collapsed top of the No. 1 reactor (you see the red top and white side girders and you can identify fallen girders on the last two photos here). It's hard to tell what it is, but would it be anything red hot, it would have shown as an extreme peak on the thermal images.

All this wild guesswork starts to remind me of 9/11 'theories'...

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 01:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories. Invisible particles that can kill you, government opaqueness, cracks in the future of industrial civilization...

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 05:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't see on the still image what on the bent girders he thinks indicates a blast out of the primary containment, so I watched the video. It's images of the No. 3 reactor, and I still have no clue what he means. The only bend I can see other than sagging is northwards, and that blast was clearly not from below. But girders were blown away on the southwest and southeast corners, too (detailed photo, another). Remember, this was the triple blast.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 02:11:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenpeace study ranks Fukushima as Chernobyl Level 7 incident

As new reports emerge of highly radioactive water leaks at Fukushima's reactor 3, a new analysis prepared for Greenpeace Germany by nuclear safety expert Dr Helmut Hirsch shows that Japan's nuclear crisis has already released enough radioactivity to be ranked at Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). This is the scale's highest level, and equal to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Dr. Hirsch's assessment, based on data published by the French government's radiation protection agency (IRSN) and the Austrian governments Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) found that the total amount of radionuclides iodine-131 and caesium-137 released between March 11 and March 23 has been so high that the Fukushima crisis already equates to three INES 7 incidents.

by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 11:29:47 PM EST
Not unsurprising, and not obviously wrong either.

I was talking of between level 5 and 6 for Fukushima when Japan was still saying level 4 and France level 5...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:15:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if this has been posted (connection problems since yesterday morning), but Jerome communicated this pdf (not being able to get into these long threads on a phone to post it himself).

It's something that was pointed out to him - it looks like a Powerpoint prezzie, in Japanese. Can anyone find anything of interest in it?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 06:12:17 AM EST
It contains the thermograms (also discussed upthread) for 3 April.

  • For No. 1, the containment and the spent fuel pool are highlighted, the first was hotter until the last two days.
  • For No. 2, the roof is warm, and the 'hot spot' is clearly the steam leaving the hole on the east side wall.
  • For No. 3, they have a big red blob for the exposed spent fuel pool and a 70°C hot spot that seems to be identical with the spot where steam is venting on the video stills.
  • For No. 4, they only identify the spent fuel pool, but when compared with No. 3, it's clearly at least partially covered by something insulating/blocking IR.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 02:26:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactive iodine 131 has been detected from samples of seawater near the plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, found on Saturday that contaminated water was leaking from a cracked concrete pit near the No. 2 reactor.

Experts say this makes it clear that highly radioactive substances from the reactor are flowing into the sea, and that the leak must be stopped as soon as possible.

The utility firm said samples of water taken near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor at 11:50 AM Saturday contained 300,000 becquerels of iodine 131 per cubic centimeter, or 7.5 million times the legal limit.
TEPCO said the figure had dropped to 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or 5 million times the legal limit, in samples taken at 9:00 AM Monday.

300 Mbq per Kg

or  300 Gbq per m cubed

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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 07:10:05 AM EST
TEPCO detects radioactive seawater 7.5 mln times the legal limit

The credibility of its radiation monitoring ability has been brought into question and the utility firm has since stepped up the level of its radiation-detecting activities, to ensure real- time, credible data is available.

As efforts to bring the nuclear crisis, which will enter its fourth week on Friday, under control continue, TEPCO said Tuesday that 60,000 tons of radioactive water is now believed to be flooding the basements of faltering reactor buildings and a labyrinth of underground trenches that connect them.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 08:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Small fish caught in waters off the coast of Ibaraki have been found to contain radioactive cesium above the legal limit.

Ibaraki is south of Fukushima prefecture, where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located.

Ibaraki Prefecture says 526 becquerels of radioactive cesium was detected in one kilogram of sand lances. The acceptable limit is 500 becquerels. It is the first time that higher-than-permitted levels of radioactive cesium have been found in fish.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 07:11:04 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The government has decided to suspend discussions on revising Japan's nuclear policy until the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is over.

The Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission met on Tuesday for the first time since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.

The commission said it is taking the accident at the nuclear plant under the gravest consideration and that it has shaken the country's basic confidence in atomic power generation.

Last year in December the commission launched discussions for revising the national outline on the use of nuclear energy.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 08:08:14 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
East Japan Railway says its Shinkansen bullet trains were able to put on their emergency brakes seconds before the March 11th earthquake, thanks to its early detection system.

JR East had 27 Shinkansen trains operating in northeastern Japan at the time of the quake, but all of them stopped without derailing.

The company had set up 9 seismographs along the Shinkansen tracks and the Pacific coast.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 08:26:01 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant has injected a hardening agent beneath a leaking concrete pit in a bid to stem the flow of highly radioactive water into the sea.

The firm says the leakage seems to be decreasing, following the infusion of the hardening agent.

The utility showed reporters a photo of the leak on Tuesday evening, saying it indicates such a decrease.

TEPCO said it will infuse another 1,500 liters of liquid glass.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 08:26:41 AM EST
Japan weather agency publicly releases tentative radiation projection | Kyodo News

The Japan Meteorological Agency released a tentative projection of the spread of radioactive substances Tuesday, saying materials of over a 10 trillionth of a becquerel per square meter may be found in a wide area from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The agency had not been publicly releasing projections out of fear of causing misunderstanding over the spread of radiation. It disclosed the projection at Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano's order but said that the data does not reflect the real concentration as it is tallied based on hypothetical figures set by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The agency said radioactive substances of more than a 10 trillionth of a becquerel per sq meter may spread from the plant to areas from the southern part of the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan to the Kanto region around Tokyo and the Tokai region in central Japan.

The reading could reach a 100 billionth of a becquerel at the highest point, it 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 Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 09:56:10 AM EST
Information about radiation in Japan, from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology:

Reading of environmental radioactivity level

Reading of environmental radioactivity level by prefecture, Time series data(Graph)

Reading of environmental radioactivity level by prefecture
April 7 (in mikroSv/h): Fukushima 2.4, Ibaraki 0.159, Miyagi 0.075, Tokyo 0.087, Osaka 0.042.

Reading of radioactivity level in drinking water and fallout by prefecture
April 6, I-131 (in Bq/kg): Ibaraki 1.9, Tochigi 5.8, Tokyo 1.63
Cs-134, Cs-137: Tochigi 4.0, Tokyo 0.5
Separate links to Japanese links on Miyagi (I131: 300 Bq/kg, Cs: 200 Bq/kg, background about 0.20 mikroSv/h?!) and Fukushima.

Readings at Monitoring Post out of 20 Km Zone of Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP
April 7, in mikroSv/h: up to 27.8 NW 30km, 58.5 NW 20km

Separately: Radiation at the Narita airport
April 7, 7pm: 0.130 mikroSv/h (declining from 0.154 on March 30)

by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 09:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan hastily sets seafood radioactivity limit amid overseas concern | Kyodo News

Japan hastily set a legal limit Tuesday for the permitted level of radioactive iodine in seafood as safety concerns spread overseas in the wake of continuing leaks contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The limit of 2,000 bequerels per kilogram set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for radioactive iodine in marine products such as fish and shellfish is the same as that already adopted for vegetables, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a press conference.

Concern is growing about seawater contamination and the safety of seafood as Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima power plant, has begun dumping water containing a relatively low level of radioactive materials into the sea as it struggles to contain highly contaminated water at the complex.



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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 09:56:38 AM EST
Japan defends radioactive water disposal, vows to fully inform world | Kyodo News

Japan defended Tuesday its dumping of massive low-level radioactive water from the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, saying the action does not violate international laws, and pledged to fully inform the international community of Tokyo's steps to tackle the ongoing emergency.

Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said at a press conference that Tokyo had briefed diplomatic corps in Japan on the start of radioactive water disposal hours before the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. began releasing the liquid into the Pacific Ocean on Monday evening.

South Korea has aired concern over the radioactive water release as a neighboring country and said Tuesday that Seoul will ask Tokyo to allow it to conduct on-the-spot radiation tests for seawater contamination if necessary.



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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 09:58:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
More than 27,000 people have been confirmed dead or missing in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

Japan's National Police Agency says the official death toll has risen to 12,431.

7,571 died in Miyagi prefecture alone, while 3,643 were killed in Iwate, 1,157 in Fukushima, 3 in Aomori and one in Yamagata prefecture.

About 81 percent of the bodies have been identified and are being handed over to relatives.

Police say 15,513 people are missing, based on reports filed by those who have lost contact with family members.

Authorities say the death toll could increase when some municipalities are able to determine the number of missing residents.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 01:28:52 PM EST
Pro digital video tape shortages expected



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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 02:39:35 PM EST
Analysis: New atomic risk strategy needed after Fukushima | Reuters

(Reuters) - New ways need be found to communicate to the public the true risks of radiation from crises like the one at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant without fanning overblown fears of an "apocalypse," scientists say.

Communication has to get across statistics about risks and at the same time address peoples' real fears, especially when they concern atomic power which has associations with the Cold War and the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Many experts say Japan's March 11 tsunami, which has so far left 28,000 people dead or missing, is likely to have a greater impact on public health in Japan than radiation leaking from the stricken 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 Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 02:42:27 PM EST
It's not the radiation, it's the heavy metals.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 02:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EPA to raise limits for radiation exposure while Canada turns off fallout detectors
Yes indeed, friends, we have reached a moment of comedic insanity at the EPA, where those in charge of protecting the environment are hastily rewriting the definition of "radioactive contamination" in order to make sure that whatever fallout reaches the United States falls under the new limits of "safe" radiation.

The EPA maintains a set of so-called "Protective Action Guides" (PAGs). These PAGs are being quickly revised to radically increase the allowable levels of iodine-131 (a radioactive isotope) to anywhere from 3,000 to 100,000 times the currently allowable levels.

The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is all over this issue, having obtained internal emails from a FOIA requests that reveal some truly shocking revelations of the level of back-stabbing betrayal happening inside the EPA. For example, under the newly-revised PAGs, drinking just one glass of water considered "safe" by the EPA could subject you to the lifetime limit of radiation. (http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.ph...)

"In addition," PEER goes on to say, "it would allow long-term cleanup limits thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These new limits would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed."


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 03:07:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NaturalNews is the green-ink website of a purveyor of fantasy-based medicine (the art form formerly known as quackery). If Mike Adams tells you that the sky is blue, you should look out your window before agreeing.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 07:38:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought so,

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 09:03:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Either EPA is raising limits post factum or not. Either Canadian authorities measuring or not. Who else is gonna tell us that beside crackpots?

Washington's blog reports that Radiation Standards Are Up to 1,000 Higher Than Is Safe for the Human Body, apparently because they don't differentiate external and internal emitters. Particularly, he points that Canadians are not testing milk and other food products even if radioactive particles are detected in rain water in North America, and in milk in the Washington state, US.And yes, he refers to Chris Busby and Helen Caldicott (among others). But when cold-blooded official priorities are evident, you take other sources with all the salt as well.

Other Wahington Blog's post is How High Are Radiation Levels in Japan?, with this video of Greenpeace measurements:

by das monde on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's pick apart what Washington's Blog is saying: Radiation Experts: Radiation Standards are up to 1000 times higher than is safe for the human body. It is true that internal emitters are more dangerous than external emitters. However, this doesn't mean that you can apply the standard for drinking water to rainwater.

Presumably, the standard for drinking water (3 picocuries per liter, or 0.1 Bq/l) is not unsafe. Let's take that at face value. Let's also take at face value the fact that levels of 200 times that have been found in rainwater. This means you shouldn't drink rainwater in those regions. However, that doesn't mean that the drinking water at the point of delivery is unsafe. What we should be asking is the level of radioactivity in water reservoirs and at the outgoing end of water purification plants, and in people's faucets.

So, there should be cause for concern but the EPA is not telling people it's safe to drink that rainwater.

Anyway, let's hear it from an actual expert from that hotbed of radical leftism called UC Santa Cruz Government Under Fire as Radiation Is Found in Milk, Rain (April 2, 2011). Note the anti-government editorializing by The Bay Citizen, by the way.

Government Under Fire as Radiation Is Found in Milk, Rain - The Bay CitizenThe EPA's tardy response to widespread alarm about radiation in rain and the air has been sharply criticized by Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
So that's our expert.
"It's troubling that the EPA has to date not provided any precipitation data of its own, while measurements that have been made by states and others across the country are indicating somewhat surprising elevations of iodine-131," Hirsch said Friday.
Now for the data:
As shown in the graph below, published by UC Berkeley, Iodine-131 peaked at 20.1 becquerels per liter, a measure of radioactivity, on the roof of Etcheverry Hall during heavy rains a week ago. The federal maximum level of iodine-131 allowed in drinking water is 0.111 becquerels per liter.

I would be much much more concerned about a sustained level of 5Bq/l (45 times not unsafe) than a peak of 20Bq/l, to be honest. Because a sustained level will not be diluted whereas a single rainfall will.
The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, by as much as 181 times. However, the material has a half-life of eight days, meaning it breaks down quickly, and it quickly dissipates in the environment. Drinking water safety standards are based on prolonged exposures.
There's a mistake here which is that the half-life has nothing to do with dissipation in the environment, just with "breaking down".

How bad is this? First, it takes 6 half-lives for a level of 50 times the not unsafe level to decay to below that threshold. So we're talking about waiting for up to seven weeks before being able to drink that rainwater if it were collected and not diluted. As for the 180-times level collected on a single day, you'd have to wait for 8 half-lives or two months before drinking. So that should be a cause for concern.

However, given dilution in existing reservoirs and streams, and so on, it may not be so much of a concern. Like I said, I'd be more concerned about the sustained level of 5 Bq/l because if there is no dilution of a sustained input.

Now for milk:

The UC Berkeley researchers also discovered trace levels of iodine-131 and other radioactive materials believed to have originated in Japan in commercially available milk and in a local stream.

Low levels of ioidine-131 were detected by state officials this week in milk harvested from San Luis Obispo. Milk from that region is tested frequently for radioactive material because its located near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

What is "trace quantities"?

Local News | Radiation likely from Japan found in Spokane milk | Seattle Times Newspaper

The sample, taken March 25, remained 5,000 times below levels of concern set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even for infants.
Nobody's giving an actual figure.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Berkeley Radiological Air and Water Dose Calculation | The Nuclear Engineering Department At UC Berkeley

The Dose calculation for water and air intake was performed based upon the annual limit on intake (ALI) for effluent release in table 2 from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations(10 CFR) part 20 appendix B. The NRC numbers are based on the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 30.

This annual limit corresponds to the limit of radiation in water and air being released from a site handling nuclear materials (i.e., hospitals, nuclear reactors, research laboratories, etc.). The "reference man" is assumed to drink 730 liters of water per year or breathe 2.4 million (2.4E6) liters of air per year, and if the person drinks water or breathes air at the stated limit for one year the person would would receive a total effective dose of 50 millirem. The total effective dose takes into consideration the method of intake (ingestion for water or inhalation for air) and the combined biological and radiological removal of the isotope from the human body.

These figures are conservative because any exposure to these radionuclides in California would be for a short time (days or weeks at most), while the NRC and ICRP numbers assume a yearlong constant exposure where the radionuclides reach equilibrium in the body.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Activity Correction Method | The Nuclear Engineering Department At UC Berkeley
Isotopes such as I-131 and Te-132 have half-lives of several days. This means that over a few days, these isotopes transform into other, non-radioactive isotopes. Since we want to know how much of these isotopes were present when the sample was collected, the constant decrease in their activity as time goes by must be corrected for in our calculations.

The radiation levels we have reported have now been corrected for this radioactive decay between sample collection and radiation detection, as well as the changing rate of decay during the long sample measurement. Reported numbers now correspond to the radiation levels in the sample at the time of collection. The corrected numbers are slightly higher than previous calculations because there is about one day delay before measurement due to three effects: the long sample collection time, any sample preparation time such as distilling rainwater to a smaller volume, and the long sample counting time.

(my emphasis)

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:46:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, there should be cause for concern but the EPA is not telling people it's safe to drink that rainwater.

The real concern (whether Busby or UC Santa Monica mean it or not) is how much of the rain radioactivity gets into the food chain. EPA (and the Canadians) are not concerned with researching that, apparently.

How does that rain compare with the Swedish rain from Chernobyl?

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:23:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France Detects Radioactive Iodine In Rainwater, Milk « Eurasia Review
A sample analysed on 28 March showed radioactivity levels of 8.5 becquerel [per litre?]

In parallel testing, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the national public institution monitoring nuclear and radiological risks, found iodine 131 in milk.

According to the institute, concentrations from a sample collected on 25 March showed levels of less than 0.11 becquerels per litre.

0.11 Bq/l being the not unsage level for drinking water according to the EPA.

8.5 bq/l is 80 times that level, and again would take 7 weeks to decay below the threshold assuming no dilution into uncontaminated water.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:03:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same wording on EurActiv.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:05:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
8 weeks, sssuming that most of the contamination is from Iodine.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 02:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are two competing processes here: dilution in the environment and bioaccumulation in the food chain.

Given the levels detected in rainwater I'd say there's risk for two months unless proven otherwise (by measurements at water purification plants, by estimates of dilution in reservoirs and streams, etc).

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also the decay between the time the radioactive elements enter the food chain and the time the food is consumed by humans. Since we don't care about thyroid cancers in cows and poultry. On the other hand, if there are nasty daughter elements from the decay, they have to be accounted for as well.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 01:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant there is risk to humans for two months, precisely because of that.

Bioaccumulation operates to lengthen the time, dilution to shorten it.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 01:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monitoring of 131I in milk and rain water in Japan... [Health Phys. 1988] - PubMed result
Iodine-131 in milk and in rain water in Nagoya, Japan, (a location 8,000 km from Chernobyl) was monitored between May and July 1986. The 131I concentration in rain water ranged from 43.1 Bq L-1 on 4 May to 15 mBq L-1 on 12 July, and that in milk ranged from 21.8 Bq L-1 on 19 May to 11 mBq L-1 on 14 July. Iodine-131 concentrations in milk were estimated to be 4 to 6 times greater than those in rain water during the first few weeks after the accident. Both concentrations decreased with approximately the same effective half-life of 5.9 +- 0.3 d for rain water and 5.0 +- 0.2 d for milk.
So we're talking twice as much peak concentrations of iodine in Japanese rainwater in Japan from Chernobyl as in Berkeley from Japan. Twice as much means an extra week to decay below threshold.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:19:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Air Monitoring Station | The Nuclear Engineering Department At UC Berkeley
Response to some misleading claims about our measurements

Some claims have been made recently that our data shows that Bay Area water exceeds EPA regulations by a factor of 181 -- sometimes this has been reported as 18,100% higher, or erroneously as a factor of 18,100 higher. This claim is misleading. Specifically, the reports refer to the I-131 activity of 20.1 Bq/L measured in rainwater on 3/23. The EPA limit for I-131 is 3 pCi/L, or 0.111 Bq/L. There are a number of things wrong with this claim.

First, the measurement we made was of rainwater, not drinking water, so the drinking water limit does not apply. We instead should be discussing tap water, in which we detected a small amount of I-131 (0.024 Bq/L). This is a factor of almost 1,000 below the rainwater measurement and a factor of 4.6 below the EPA limit.

It should also be noted that the EPA limit assumes the water is ingested over the course of an entire year. That is, someone drinking 3 pCi/L water for an entire year would reach the EPA dose limit of 4 millirem, which is a very small dose. The tap water measurement of 0.024 Bq/L on 3/29 is our only detection of I-131; on subsequent days it could not be detected, probably due to the radioactive decay of I-131. So this tap water could have been ingested for at most 1 day, giving the public a dose 365 times smaller than if one assumes an entire year of ingestion. That means the tap water is effectively a factor of 1,700 below the EPA limit.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Amount of radiation in Vancouver rainwater decreasing - scientist

VANCOUVER - Radiation in B.C. rain water is decreasing, a trend that could mean either the end of radiation emissions in Japan or just a change in the weather pattern, a nuclear scientist told The Vancouver Sun.

"We see a consistent decreasing trend. I looked into the sample for yesterday and I see very little iodine-131," Krzystof Starosta, a nuclear chemist and physicist and associate professor at Simon Fraser University, said in an email. "I am not sure if this is the end of the releases or a change in the weather pattern; the time will show."

A chart provided by Starosta shows that iodine-131 in Vancouver's rainwater peaked on March 20 at 12 becquerels (Bq) per litre. Levels were at zero up to March 18, 2011, and as of March 29 had fallen to just above three Bq per litre. (A becquerel is an international measurement of radioactivity related to radioactive decay per second.)

Meanwhile, seaweed samples were still showing increasing iodine-131 as of March 28, according to data provided by Starosta. In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:11:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The EPA limit for I-131 is 3 pCi/L, or 0.111 Bq/L
Note the following: the EPA's acceptable level of Iodine in drinking water equals the Minimum Detectable Activity. That is, statistical noise is of the same order as the EPA acceptable limit.

How we calculate Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA) | The Nuclear Engineering Department At UC Berkeley

The Minimum Detectable Activity, or MDA, represents the smallest quantity of a radioisotope which can be detected with 99.7% confidence in one of our systems (rainwater, or the various air sampling systems). It is fundamentally based on the statistical variation of detector counts in the region where a peak from the isotope would appear. If the statistical variation is greater than the counts from an actual amount of radioactivity of that isotope, it is not statistically significant and it is not detected.

...

As of 3/24/2011, the MDAs for our five measured isotopes in rainwater are:

Te-132 0.074 Bq/L
I-131 0.115 Bq/L
I-132 0.115 Bq/L
Cs-134 0.106 Bq/L
Cs-137 0.084 Bq/L


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exposure to Iodine 131 makes people vote Republican:



Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:47:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Due to its mode of beta decay, iodine-131 is notable for causing mutation and death in cells which it penetrates, and other cells up to several millimeters away. For this reason, high doses of the isotope are sometimes paradoxically less dangerous than low doses, since they tend to kill thyroid tissues which would otherwise become cancerous as a result of the radiation. For example, children treated with moderate dose of I-131 for thyroid adenomas had a detectable increase in thyroid cancer, but children treated with a much higher dose did not. Similarly most studies of very high dose I-131 for treatment of Graves disease have failed to find any increase in thyroid cancer, even though there is linear increase in thyroid cancer risk with I-131 absorption at moderate doses. Thus, iodine-131 is increasingly less employed in small doses in medical use (especially in children), but increasingly is used only in large and maximal treatment doses, as a way of killing targeted tissues. This is known as "therapeutic use."
by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:06:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:46:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you magnify it, there seems to be a vaguely red spot at NYC, which explains Giuliani and Bloomberg.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:07:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well im sure that democrats  drink 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 Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:20:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either EPA is raising limits post factum or not. Either Canadian authorities measuring or not. Who else is gonna tell us that beside crackpots?

There are Unserious people who are not crackpots.

The problem with Mike Adams is that he, well, lies a lot. If he says anything that looks interesting, you're better advised to go to the primary source.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 08:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, on a visit to their site, PEER (the org cited by the snake-oil salesman) doesn't look crackpot. (Unless being environmentally-focused is constitutive of crackpottery.) Its aim is to monitor the activities of public authorities with the help of public servant whistleblowers it can help to protect from retaliation.

From its press release on EPA radiation standards:

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: News Releases

The radiation arm of EPA, called the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA), has prepared an update of the 1992 "Protective Action Guides" (PAG) governing radiation protection decisions for both short-term and long-term cleanup standards. Other divisions within EPA contend the ORIA plan geometrically raises allowable exposure to the public. For example, as Charles Openchowski of EPA's Office of General Counsel wrote in a January 23, 2009 e-mail to ORIA:

"[T]his guidance would allow cleanup levels that exceed MCLs [Maximum Contamination Limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act] by a factor of 100, 1000, and in two instances 7 million and there is nothing to prevent those levels from being the final cleanup achieved (i.e., it's not confined to immediate response of emergency phase)."

Another EPA official, Stuart Walker of the Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, explains what the proposed new radiation limits in drinking water would mean:

"It also appears that drinking water at the PAG concentrations...may lead to subchronic (acute) effects following exposures of a day or a week. In a population, one should see some express acute effects...that is vomiting, fever, etc."

"This critical debate is taking place entirely behind closed doors because this plan is `guidance' and does not require public notice as a regulation would," stated PEER Counsel Christine Erickson. Today, PEER sent EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a letter calling for a more open and broader examination of the proposed radiation guidance. "We all deserve to know why some in the agency want to legitimize exposing the public to radiation at levels vastly higher than what EPA officially considers dangerous."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 01:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
417,000 cancers forecast for Fukushima 200 km contamination zone by 2061

Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), Professor Chris Busby, has released calculations of the cancer incidence to be expected in fallout areas of Japan. Using data from the International Atomic Energy Agency and official Japanese web sites he has used two methods to estimate the numbers of cancer cases. He compares these results with estimates derived from ICRP modelling [...]

The report with all methods, assumptions and data as a pdf.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:32:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Popping potassium iodide already? Really bad idea - Health - Health care - More health news - msnbc.com
He warned that the drug could cause serious reactions in some people and even backfire in the case of an actual emergency, putting people past a two-week window of safe dosage. After that period of time, the drug can induce severe hypothyroidism, a condition that essentially shuts down thyroid function.

...

In the event of a nuclear emergency, potassium iodide is most useful in protecting infants and children younger than 18, whose bodies are most vulnerable to the effects of radioactive iodine, according to the CDC.

Adults older than 40 are warned not to take KI unless contamination with a very large doses of radioactive iodine is expected. They're at the lowest risk for developing thyroid cancer after radiation exposure and at highest risk for having allergic reactions to KI.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:14:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the whole stinking mess.
Plutonium, a heavy metal, has been distributed worldwide since the bomb tests of the 1950's.
Cancer mortality is about 20 per 100 deaths now, compared with 3 per 100 a century ago.
As bad as it is for adults, children are at far greater risk. After Chernobyl, regional adult thyroid cancers shot up by a factor of 6, but for children the factor was 45. A cancer might not kill an adult too much ahead of one's normal life expectancy, but a child isn't so fortunate. Beyond that, there's a host of developmental risks foetuses, infants, and children face.
And then the assaults on immune systems are just anyone's guess. Do governments even want to know?
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 03:41:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last August, workers at Japan's now infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant loaded the first batch of mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX, into one of their reactors. The event went largely unnoticed in the United States; but in Japan it was deeply controversial. Unlike traditional nuclear fuel, which is pure uranium, MOX is a far more dangerous blend of both uranium and plutonium (the latter is among the most carcinogenic substances on Earth). Dogged by bitter public opposition, Fukushima's operators had spent a decade fighting for permission to deploy their MOX cache, which had been languishing at the plant ever since arriving by ship from Belgium in 1999. They finally won the battle, but only after a scandal toppled Fukushima's anti-MOX governor.

In a grim bit of foreshadowing, just after MOX was loaded into Fukushima's reactor no. 3, an alarm light flickered on, indicating a problem with the emergency core-cooling system. Operators decided it was just a glitch. Of course, no one knew then that Japan would be ravaged by an earthquake and a tsunami, knocking out the plant's main power supply--or that the back-up cooling would fail, leaving workers scrambling to cool Fukushima's reactors by any means possible.

by das monde on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 01:57:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has apologized to neighboring countries for causing concern over the release of contaminated water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

A senior official of the agency, Hidehiko Nishiyama, told a news conference on Tuesday that Japan failed to contact South Korea before taking the measure.

South Korea's foreign ministry expressed concern on Monday that Japan hadn't notified the country of the release in advance.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 02:46:00 PM EST
Japan to venture not to dump more radioactive water into Pacific

TOKYO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda said Tuesday that Japan would endeavor not to dump any more radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The trade minister's comments followed embattled plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) releasing a total of 11,500 tons of low-level radiated water into the ocean on Monday.

The releasing of water was aimed at freeing up more space to store highly-radioactive water from in and around the troubled No. 2 reactor at the plant, so as to ease restoration work at the radiation-leaking facility.

Kaieda also said that the estimated 20,000 tons of radioactive water, up to 500 times the legal limit, should be moved from the vicinity of the No. 2 reactor into the plant's proper storage facility where radioactive waste is usually treated.



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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:03:17 PM EST
TEPCO is smearing more and more shit on the government's face with every passing day...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:12:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
arbitrary units? Gimme a break!

FFS!

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It might mean that the assignment of colours to units is arbitrary, but it would be nice if they had said what the units mean....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:33:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course the assignment of colours is arbitrary, but without the units the map is useless!

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The colors are not arbitrary, as they give the radioactivity (?!) order in those units. Probably the radioactivity of the surrounding waters is modeled as 1 (or less), and they input the released data in multiples of background radiation or "legal limits". The map then does give information about modelled radioactivity levels, as the difference between 10^6 and 10^0 is significant and clear in whatever units. But of course, putting "Arbitrary units in the legend makes a silly impression.  
by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the quote I posted below:

ASR:

these models do not estimate levels of radioactivity in the surrounding waters
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:47:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I meant was that they may have been assigned automatically by the computer (based on some standard color sequence), hence "arbitrary". I was trying to come up with an explanation that would make the computer responsible for that comment, as I found it hard to imagine a human being writing something like that....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:38:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean? People in applied or experimental physics or in numerical simulation love "arbitrary units". It's much easier to not keep track of the units than to use log scale where changes of unit become just a shift of the zero of the scale.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:25:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But they hopefully knows what the units mean and could write them somewhere, it they were in the moot to do so. Or are the transformations too complicated for that?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:14:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess it that they are showing orders of magnitude of contamination with respect to the normal level of radioactivity in sea water. If so this would indicate that the worst contamination is >1x106 higher than ambient.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:03:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess would be that they're using arbitrary units because they're modelling concentration relative to emission concentration or -rate, and don't know the latter with enough confidence to calibrate their scale.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They appear to be modeling the concentration and drift of contaminated water from Fukushima, not the radioactivity level. The usefulness would be - if the model is right - showing that contaminated water doesn't just "dilute" vaguely in the surrounding sea.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Journal - ASR Limited: World leader in design and construction of Multi-Purpose Reefs & marine consulting
While these models do not estimate levels of radioactivity in the surrounding waters, the assumption that nearby currents will quickly dilute the radioactive material does not appear to be accurate.

The pic above dates from a week ago. They have April 5 drift estimates at the above link.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation-shielding sheets to be installed in Sept. at earliest | Kyodo News

A plan to cover damaged reactor buildings at the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant with special sheets to halt radiation leakage cannot offer a quick remedy, as the sheeting will be installed in September at the earliest due to high-level radioactivity hampering work at the site, government sources said Tuesday.

The government had asked Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power station crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami, to study the installment of radiation-shielding sheets, and a major construction firm commissioned to examine the idea said the construction will not start until June, the sources told Kyodo News.

They said workers need to wait until radiation levels drop at the site, where hydrogen explosions have blown away the roofs and upper walls of three reactor buildings.

Some nuclear experts have been skeptical about the feasibility of the plan as they believe the step would have only limited effects in blocking the release of radioactive substances into the environment.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:06:58 PM EST
India suspends food imports from Japan over radiation fears | Kyodo News

India said Tuesday it will suspend food imports from Japan for about three months to prevent food contaminated with radioactive substances leaked from the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant from entering the country, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Specific food items subject to the suspension were not immediately disclosed, but marine products and fresh fruits are expected to be among them.

India's health ministry said the import suspension will last until it can obtain reliable data proving that the levels of leaked radioactive substances are safe, according to PTI.



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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 04:21:43 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
A radiation monitor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers there are exposed to immeasurable levels of radiation.

The monitor told NHK that no one can enter the plant's No. 1 through 3 reactor buildings because radiation levels are so high that monitoring devices have been rendered useless. He said even levels outside the buildings exceed 100 millisieverts in some places.

Pools and streams of water contaminated by high-level radiation are being found throughout the facility.

The monitor said he takes measurements as soon as he finds water, because he can't determine whether it's contaminated just by looking at it. He said he's very worried about the safety of workers there.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 06:53:06 PM EST
Tepco: Radioactive Water Leak Into Sea Has Been Stopped -Kyodo - WSJ.com
Leakage of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has halted after Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501.TO) injected a chemical agent near the leak, the company said early Wednesday, according to Kyodo News.


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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 06:54:53 PM EST
Japan nuclear plant plugs highly radioactive leak
... on Wednesday morning, Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Naoki Tsunoda said the injection of 400 gallons (1,500 liters) of "water glass," or sodium silicate, and another agent near a seaside pit appeared to be successful.

It was a rare bit of good news for the utility that owns the crippled nuclear plant, located about 140 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. But highly contaminated water continues to pool around the complex. Tsunoda said officials were investigating whether the contaminated water is leaking from other places [...]

TEPCO's reputation has taken a serious hit in the crisis. On Tuesday, its stock dropped 80 yen -- the maximum daily limit, or 18 percent -- to just 362 yen ($4.30), falling below its previous all-time closing low of 393 yen from December 1951. Since the quake, the share price has plunged 80 percent.

In what could be an effort to counter the bad publicity, Takashi Fujimoto, TEPCO's vice president, said it was offering 20 million yen ($240,000) in "apology money" to each town or city affected by the mandatory evacuation zone around the plant.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 01:28:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Town near nuclear plant rejects Japanese utility's 'token' offer

Acknowledging the toll the unrelenting nuclear crisis has had on people's lives and livelihoods, the owner of Japan's stricken nuclear plant has offered money to some of those in the radiation's reach -- an offer that one city decided to refuse.

An official with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, said Tuesday that the utility made a "token" offer to residents in 10 communities near the plant.

Starting March 31, money began going out to those in nine of them. But the town of Namie rejected Tokyo Electric's offer, with a local official calling it too meager an attempt to make up for a drastically reduced quality of life and income [...]

Tokyo Electric says the amount is an initial token payment, not compensation for losses sustained as a result of the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi. They promise that will come later -- after they have assessed the damage from the accident, which has spread radioactive contamination across much of the surrounding area.

The company called the initial offer "payment for their troubles," and would not detail how much money is being offered to each community. But Kousei Negishi, who is the manager of general affairs for Namie, said that it was 20 million yen -- about $12 for each of Namie's roughly 20,000 residents.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 02:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You couldn't make this stuff up.
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 04:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Tsunoda said officials were investigating whether the contaminated water is leaking from other places
Reportedly they injected a dye in the water at the crack to see where it was going but the dye wasn't showing up in the "trenches".

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:24:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if i remembr right theyd poured the dye into the trench further back, and although it had gone from the trench it hadnt apoeared in the pit which had the hole that was leaking and has now been plugged

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they were running the experiment backwards?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 06:03:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it means they plugged the wrong whole.
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 04:24:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trouble at Fukushima reactors No. 5 and 6 -- Cracks are allowing in radioactive water that could destroy emergency generator and other vital equipment (VIDEO) « Energy News
Trouble at Fukushima reactors No. 5 and 6 -- Cracks are allowing in radioactive water that could destroy emergency generator and other vital equipment (VIDEO)



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 Apr 5th, 2011 at 09:06:17 PM EST
Why is this presented as a generator problem? I thought they had grid power connected to #5 & #6. If they have to pump intrusive ground water out the turbine building or the reactor building they should have pumps and power to do so. More "mistranslation"?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, this is ongoing? And where is that water coming from in 5 & 6?

Those are in a separate part of the plant from 1 - 4 and supposedly were not as damaged.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that was just my response

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:38:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington blog asks to watch the face expression of the TEPCO official between the 0:27-1:00 marks. Is he crying?
by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:09:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He is not complaining he "wants his life back" like some people we know.  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's young enough to be a mid-level engineer, not top management.

Also, I believe it's not only the facial expression but the way he bows his head that's significant.

You, Zwackus or tuasfait should be able to tell us more about Japanese body language.

This is about units number 5 and 6. They talk about groundwater and still being at risk of losing the energency generators due to flooding. What is going on at #5-6?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 02:10:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The guy is really uncomfortable; notice the deep breath at around 0:42. (Was he on the opposing team of the TEPCO debate on the release?)

Did not notice other news on 5 and 6 yet.

by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:36:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you get a feeling he's being made the fall guy for it?

Anyway, I'm reminded of this: The moment nuclear plant chief WEPT as Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people

After Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri cried as he left a conference to brief journalists on the situation at Fukushima, a senior Japanese minister also admitted that the country was overwhelmed by the scale of the tsunami and nuclear crisis.

I seem to recall a video where some TEPCO executive was seen apologizing profusely and deeply bowing his head repeatedly as he did. I can't find it and I'm not sure if it was the same executive or a different one.

Other people who have apologised include the Vicepresident and Executive Vicepresident. But the President of TEPCO remains AWOL.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a fall guy, just a messenger. Maybe TEPCO chose an an emotional presentation this time. The guy looked like he did not want to do the pronouncement, and bowed hastily at the end, then remembered to bow longer. I don't think he was supposed to look down so much during the presentation.
by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 06:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also plausible, he was the one to make the final decision to release the water in order to prevent a worse outcome. It you were sent out to communicate someone else's decision you are not fully on board with, you'd be angry, not sad.

Also, the explanation he gives is technical. He must be familiar with the details of the plant at a level that "political" cadres of TEPCO likely wouldn't be.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well one thing is they were saying that the switching gear in the other plants was in a basement below  the emergency generators. If they're worried about the generators being flooded, then what about the switchgear 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 Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 06:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But 5 & 6 are at a significant distance from 1-4 and were not considered seriously damaged, except for loss of emergency power. They were among the first put back on grid power as well, IIRCC. I had understood that their reactor cooling systems were intact and in use. Is it appropriate to call the water that is intruding "groundwater" if it is rising because it is leaking from the plants themselves but the water table is saturated? The lower levels of the plant were likely built below the usual level of the local water table, given the location, but was the aquifer significantly contaminated before the earthquake? I seriously doubt it was that bad and suspect that most of the radioactivity in the basement levels of 5 & 6 would have to come from leaks in the cooling water pipes that have no place to go but into water that is starting to seep into the basement from the aquifer via cracks in the concrete structure.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:59:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant

United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Among the new threats that were cited in the assessment, dated March 26, are the mounting stresses placed on the containment structures as they fill with radioactive cooling water, making them more vulnerable to rupture in one of the aftershocks rattling the site after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11. The document also cites the possibility of explosions inside the containment structures due to the release of hydrogen and oxygen from seawater pumped into the reactors, and offers new details on how semimolten fuel rods and salt buildup are impeding the flow of fresh water meant to cool the nuclear cores [...]

While the assessment does not speculate on the likelihood of new explosions or damage from an aftershock, either could lead to a breach of the containment structures in one or more of the crippled reactors, the last barriers that prevent a much more serious release of radiation from the nuclear core. If the fuel continues to heat and melt because of ineffective cooling, some nuclear experts say, that could also leave a radioactive mass that could stay molten for an extended period [...]

Among other problems, the document raises new questions about whether pouring water on nuclear fuel in the absence of functioning cooling systems can be sustained indefinitely. Experts have said the Japanese need to continue to keep the fuel cool for many months until the plant can be stabilized, but there is growing awareness that the risks of pumping water on the fuel present a whole new category of challenges that the nuclear industry is only beginning to comprehend.

The document also suggests that fragments or particles of nuclear fuel from spent fuel pools above the reactors were blown "up to one mile from the units," and that pieces of highly radioactive material fell between two units and had to be "bulldozed over," presumably to protect workers at the site. The ejection of nuclear material, which may have occurred during one of the earlier hydrogen explosions, may indicate more extensive damage to the extremely radioactive pools than previously disclosed [...]

The steps recommended by the nuclear commission include injecting nitrogen, an inert gas, into the containment structures in an attempt to purge them of hydrogen and oxygen, which could combine to produce explosions. The document also recommends that engineers continue adding boron to cooling water to help prevent the cores from restarting the nuclear reaction, a process known as criticality [...]

The assessment provides graphic new detail on the conditions of the damaged cores in reactors 1, 2 and 3. Because slumping fuel and salt from seawater that had been used as a coolant is probably blocking circulation pathways, the water flow in No. 1 "is severely restricted and likely blocked." Inside the core itself, "there is likely no water level," the assessment says, adding that as a result, "it is difficult to determine how much cooling is getting to the fuel." Similar problems exist in No. 2 and No. 3, although the blockage is probably less severe, the assessment says.


by das monde on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:59:00 PM EST
There isnt much thats even nutral let alone positive in that.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant - NYTimes.com

Nuclear engineers have warned in recent days that the pools outside the containment buildings that hold spent fuel rods could pose an even greater danger than the melted reactor cores. The pools, which sit atop the reactor buildings and are meant to keep spent fuel submerged in water, have lost their cooling systems.

The N.R.C. report suggests that the fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor suffered a hydrogen explosion early in the Japanese crisis and could have shed much radioactive material into the environment, what it calls "a major source term release."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:26:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FUKUSHIMAFAQ - Miscellaneous
OCR rendered document sourced from <http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2011/04/nrc-threat-assessment-of-fukushima.html>.
This is the (bitmap) PDF file of the NRC assessment obtained supposedly from a source outside the government. This material was cited by a New York Times report (U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant, By JAMES GLANZ and WILLIAM J. BROAD, Published: April 5, 2011 <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/world/asia/06nuclear.html?_r=1>) that referenced a March 26 "confidential" threat assessment by the Reactor Safety Team of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and warning that the crippled nuclear plant faces fresh threats that could persist indefinitely. Be worthwhile to compare what this material said and how NYT processed the information to yield its news report.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 06:32:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radioactive wastewater in the turbine buildings  TEPCO News Press Release (Apr 05,2011)

There is plenty of radioactive wastewater in the turbine buildings. Especially, Unit 2's wastewater is very highly radioactive. To store this stably, it was decided that this needed to be transferred to the Central Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility. However, within that facility, we are storing ten thousand tons of low level radioactive wastewater. In order to transfer more wastewater, we need to discharge the low level radioactive wastewater. In addition, as low radioactive subsurface water is piling up in sub-drain pits of Units 5 and 6 and a part of subsurface water is running into buildings. We are concerned that important equipment to secure the safety of reactors may be submerged.

Based on the Section 1 of the Article 64 of the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law, we have decided to discharge to the sea approximately ten thousand tons of the accumulated low level radioactive water and a total of fifteen hundred tons of the low level radioactive subsurface water stored in the sub drain pits of Unit 5 and 6 as soon as we get ready.




As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:09:13 AM EST
Amount of radiation in Vancouver rainwater decreasing - scientist

VANCOUVER - Radiation in B.C. rain water is decreasing, a trend that could mean either the end of radiation emissions in Japan or just a change in the weather pattern, a nuclear scientist told The Vancouver Sun.

"We see a consistent decreasing trend. I looked into the sample for yesterday and I see very little iodine-131," Krzystof Starosta, a nuclear chemist and physicist and associate professor at Simon Fraser University, said in an email. "I am not sure if this is the end of the releases or a change in the weather pattern; the time will show."

A chart provided by Starosta shows that iodine-131 in Vancouver's rainwater peaked on March 20 at 12 becquerels (Bq) per litre. Levels were at zero up to March 18, 2011, and as of March 29 had fallen to just above three Bq per litre. (A becquerel is an international measurement of radioactivity related to radioactive decay per second.)

Meanwhile, seaweed samples were still showing increasing iodine-131 as of March 28, according to data provided by Starosta. In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:20:24 AM EST
Schools and students face uncertain future in Japan

Students in many districts across Japan brushed off their uniforms and shouldered their bookbags for the first day of the new school year on Wednesday.

But while most were worried about meeting their new teachers or what their class schedules might be, some were facing the threat of nuclear contamination or the loss of former classmates.

In Tokyo, a group of students evacuated from the Fukushima area began the school year in a new city and a new classroom [...]

Up in northern Japan, where the worst devastation from last month's tsunami occurred, the new school year has been delayed several weeks. Dozens of schools were wiped out or too badly damaged to reopen in Miyagi prefecture.

Governments and educators are scrambling to repair schools, round up teachers and cope with the tens of thousands of displaced people.

A different set of problems in Fukushima, where authorities have begun testing schools, kindergartens and playgrounds across the prefecture after parents expressed worries about high levels of radiation.

Teams of researchers will monitor 1,428 locations over three days ending Thursday to try to reassure the public about safety outside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:46:19 AM EST
TEPCO to inject nitrogen into No. 1 reactor to prevent explosion | Kyodo News

Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday prepared to inject nitrogen into one of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex to reduce the potential risk of a hydrogen explosion, while it succeeded in stopping highly radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the plant.

The nitrogen, an inert gas, is expected to be injected into the No. 1 reactor's containment vessel, a process that could take several days. Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the government's nuclear agency, denied during a morning press conference that there is an ''immediate danger'' of explosion.

In addition to the task of maintaining the relative stability of all six reactors at the nuclear complex, the utility firm known as TEPCO has also been engaged in efforts to stop highly radioactive water from leaking into the sea and cleaning up contaminated water within the 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 Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 08:22:54 AM EST
If they put nitrogen in, what do they do with the steam and other gases currently inside? Remember, this is the one reactor still under pressure.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:22:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To my way of thinking, if you add more gas, it's going to push the water down the reactor vessel, exposing more of the rods, unless there's some kink that higher pressure will force the steam in the cylinder back into liquid and  somehow increases the depth of water  offsetting that problem in a way that I dont understand.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear crisis (now fully accessible) | Kyodo News
NEWS ADVISORY: Nitrogen injection not to cause significant rise in radioactive leaks (22:55)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Water is effectively incompressible, isn't it?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:22:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Properties of water - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The bulk modulus of water is 2.2 GPa.[28] The low compressibility of non-gases, and of water in particular, leads to their often being assumed as incompressible. The low compressibility of water means that even in the deep oceans at 4 km depth, where pressures are 40 MPa, there is only a 1.8% decrease in volume.[28]


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:23:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
erfectively, but the top layer of stem isn't is it?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:33:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but are the rods supposed to be cooled by water or steam?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
heat transfer is meant to be much larger with water, but steam still has some levels of cooling effect apparently, according to one of the earlier discussions on the exposure of 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 Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:48:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boiling water reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Water exiting the fuel channels at the top guide is about 12 to 15% saturated steam (by mass), typical core flow may be 45,000,000 kg/h (100,000,000 lb/h) with 6,500,000 kg/h (14,500,000 lb/h) steam flow. However, core-average void fraction is a significantly higher fraction (~40%).


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:50:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Get out your old steam tables book...  :-)
by asdf on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of the zirconium to burn.  

Not to be off topic, why aren't they feeding boron into the reactors?  Except for one story about a request for boron from South Korea, I am not aware of a word about it since.  

Given that we know for real that reactor no. 1 has gone critical several times since the accident (radioactive chlorine, the blue glow, heat spikes, and neutron episodes) they could actually be creating more heat than they are dissipating, as well as making the site more radioactive.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 03:09:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, how did you end up looking into a hot fuel pool?

The last time I saw fuel rods

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.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 03:28:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Had a friend in low-energy physics.  

(Low-energy means nuclear.)  

They had a research reactor for producing neutrons and such, studying energy levels in excited states in atomic nuclei, both stable and unstable.  

If I understood correctly, this was background to test models targeted at the Island of Stability--heavier elements that might exist or that might be created, beyond the existing elements and beyond the gap of impossible elements.  

They were pretty hands-on:  Technicians ran the reactor, but they set up their own equipment (lead bricks, detectors, computer cables)--which meant they were in and out of the reactor building more or less daily.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 08:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant (April 5, 2011)
The steps recommended by the nuclear commission include injecting nitrogen, an inert gas, into the containment structures in an attempt to purge them of hydrogen and oxygen, which could combine to produce explosions. On Wednesday, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the plant, said it was preparing to take such a step and to inject nitrogen into one of the reactor containment vessels.

The document also recommends that engineers continue adding boron to cooling water to help prevent the cores from restarting the nuclear reaction, a process known as criticality.

Even so, the engineers who prepared the document do not believe that a resumption of criticality is an immediate likelihood, Neil Wilmshurst, vice president of the nuclear sector at the Electric Power Research Institute, said when contacted about the document. "I have seen no data to suggest that there is criticality ongoing," said Mr. Wilmshurst, who was involved in the assessment.

It is implied that they're doing it already.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We saw that earlier. From the latest TEPCO status report:

TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 8:00 pm, April 6)

-We have been injecting seawater into the reactor, but from 10:10 am on
 March 26th, we started injecting freshwater (with boric acid).

This is for No. 2. The NISA status reports, however, for example the latest, mention "borated water" (sic!) for No. 1 (from 12 March) and No. 3 (from 13 March).

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

by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Increasing the pressure of steam will make some of it condense back to water.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:49:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru dealt with volumetric change; I note that the hydrogen won't go away because some steam turns back to water, and pressure would increase anyway.

By the way, in one of the earliest threads, there was some link which described the injection of nitrogen to create an oxygen-depleted atmosphere as a standard (and automatic) anti-hydrogen-explosion measure during SCRAMs in some power plant types –maybe including the Fukushima type, I don't remember well.

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

by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO release on nitrogen injection, with two attachments. One is in English so bad I couldn't make much sense of it (more below). The other is a diagram, showing the route for nitrogen, and the blocked path for nitrogen injection by design (so they indeed did have had this).

One thing transpiring from the first attachment that they do fear a breach of the core, but from the outside (the meltdown would be from the inside), and that's how new hydrogen gas can get into the dry well. Another is that pressure is a problem in a different way: it drops due to the cooling of the reactor at the containment wall which also makes the steam condense.

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

by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:00:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the injection is aimed at preventing hydrogen from exploding inside the containment vessel at the No. 1 reactor.

The fuel rods remain nearly half exposed as the coolant water inside the reactor has not yet risen high enough.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
TEPCO says the injection will continue for 6 days. The company is also considering making similar injections in the No 2 and No3 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 Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:34:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone seen this before?

Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 191

BTW, one of the earlier posts did confirm that the dozer work was to clear high level waste and another confirms that pieces of radioactive fuel rod have been found large distances from the pool.

Did those come from the core of the reactor or from the SFP? My vote is SFP and the only vertical blast out of the SFP would have to come from steam.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 08:40:47 AM EST
Regarding the fuel rods supposedly at a large distance from the pool, digging back two pages in that forum, they are discussing the same yellowish-red object seen for a moment in a video 30 seconds in linked above by ThatBritGuy... As for the dozer reference, I haven't found it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No I dont remember hearing anything about dozers anywhere.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 85
4) it was reported that military tanks with dozer blades were to be brought in to clear the radioactive debris so work could continue (no pictures of that I have seen, or confirmation that it actually happened as far as I know).

is the only comment I can see there that discusses anything other than deployment as speculation. Unfortunately its unsourced

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some posters on that forum are very much in Truther mode (but sometimes others counter those).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:01:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant (April 5, 2011)
United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

...

The document, which was obtained by The New York Times, provides a more detailed technical assessment than Japanese officials have provided of the conundrum facing the Japanese as they struggle to prevent more fuel from melting at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. But it appears to rely largely on data shared with American experts by the Japanese.

...

The document also suggests that fragments or particles of nuclear fuel from spent fuel pools above the reactors were blown "up to one mile from the units," and that pieces of highly radioactive material fell between two units and had to be "bulldozed over," presumably to protect workers at the site. The ejection of nuclear material, which may have occurred during one of the earlier hydrogen explosions, may indicate more extensive damage to the extremely radioactive pools than previously disclosed.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(h/t Jerome)

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 04:44:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French unmanned helicopters to be used to monitor Fukushima plant | Kyodo News

Three unmanned helicopters are set to be shipped to Japan from France shortly so that Japanese authorities can use them to monitor the unfolding crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the developer of the drones said Wednesday.

Helipse said it developed the helicopters equipped with radiation sensors, infrared thermometers and cameras in response to an order from Japanese authorities last Thursday.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:30:36 PM EST
How Cranky are IPPNW Germany? mainstream? or extreme?

25 years after Chernobyl - the ongoing health effects

The IPPNW/GfS Report "Health Effects of Chernobyl - 20 Years After the Reactor Disaster" documents the catastrophic dimensions of the reactor
accident, using scientific studies, expert estimates and official data:


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:37:13 PM EST
As far as I know, neither Nobel laureate IPPNW nor GfS is mainstream (by default as organisations being highly critical of the nuclear industry) but AFAIK both consist of radiation experts, and that particular study is a meta-study with focus on Russian-language studies not published before in English (or German). Their report is the main one I used five years ago as source for Chernobyl's Downplayed Victims. However, in the Russian-language studies meta-study category, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment (which I tracked down inspired by some link on ET recently, by das monde I think) is newer, deeper, more comprehensive and more detailed. It contains the 212,000 deaths estimate, but explains that even that is partial, and they add several more sub-sums, including statistical deaths in large populations across the world with low exposure, to arrive at a total of one million(!).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 01:05:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:30:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chernobyl Cleanup Survivor's Message for Japan: 'Run Away as Quickly as Possible'
Natalia Manzurova, one of the few survivors among those directly involved in the long cleanup of Chernobyl, was a 35-year-old engineer at a nuclear plant in Ozersk, Russia, in April 1986 when she and 13 other scientists were told to report to the wrecked, burning plant in the northern Ukraine.

[...]

She spent 4 1/2 years helping clean the abandoned town of Pripyat, which was less than two miles from the Chernobyl reactors. The plant workers lived there before they were abruptly evacuated.

Manzurova, now 59 and an advocate for radiation victims worldwide, has the "Chernobyl necklace" -- a scar on her throat from the removal of her thyroid -- and myriad health problems. But unlike the rest of her team members, who she said have all died from the results of radiation poisoning, and many other liquidators, she's alive.

[...]

But experts say Fukushima is not as bad as Chernobyl.
Every nuclear accident is different, and the impact cannot be truly measured for years. The government does not always tell the truth. Many will never return to their homes. Their lives will be divided into two parts: before and after Fukushima. They'll worry about their health and their children's health. The government will probably say there was not that much radiation and that it didn't harm them. And the government will probably not compensate them for all that they've lost. What they lost can't be calculated.

[...]

When you were called to go to Chernobyl, did you know how bad it was there?
I had no idea and never knew the true scope until much later. It was all covered in secrecy. I went there as a professional because I was told to -- but if I was asked to liquidate such an accident today, I'd never agree. The sacrifices the Fukushima workers are making are too high because the nuclear industry was developed in such a way that the executives don't hold themselves accountable to the human beings who have to clean up a disaster. It's like nuclear slavery.

[...]

Why did you go back to Chernobyl after getting a thyroid tumor?
Right around the time of my operation, the government passed a law saying the liquidators had to work for exactly 4 1/2 years to get our pension and retire. If you left even one day early, you would not get any benefits.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:55:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
A French nuclear safety institute is calling for long-term monitoring of the Pacific Ocean off northeastern Japan following leaks of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety has analyzed the impact on the sea of a recent leak of water with high levels of radiation at the No.2 reactor. The computer analysis was based on publicly available data.

The analysis showed that as of Monday, water contaminated with radioactive substances had spread to areas near the coasts of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

It also showed that airborne radioactive substances had mixed with seawater. The research projected that the contaminated water could be spread throughout the Pacific Ocean in 3 months by the Japan Current.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:39:30 PM EST
Gov't task force rewrites Fukushima crisis log | Kyodo News

A government task force on the Fukushima nuclear crisis was found Wednesday to have rewritten the starting time of venting radioactive vapor from a troubled reactor the day after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami without any clear explanation.

The change was made March 27 on the website of the prime minister's office to ''10:17 a.m.'' from ''2:30 p.m.''

Hironombu Unesaki, professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, said the change, without any adequate explanation to the public, poses a problem as information on venting is ''important in connection with residents' exposure to 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 Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:38:07 PM EST
I say "rewrites" you say "corrects" he says "sets straight".

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 02:30:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that was some minor mistake on the part of the prime minister's office. The releases of another government organ, NISA, contained the 12 March, 10:17 a.m. time (for the No. 1 reactor) long ago, for example in this 31 March report.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 04:07:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:54:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RENSE is anything but a reliable source... and the article is a load of conspiracy theory bullshit indeed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 01:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not as if they are reporting as something as sure. Should we be afraid of politically terribly incorrect implications?

The article did not originate in "Rense", and the author was actively commenting on Fukushima in the first days.

by das monde on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 10:14:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rense just reproduces any bullshit, and this is bullshit.

Unit 6 immediately disappeared from the list of operational reactors, as highly lethal particles of plutonium billowed out of Unit 3.

Huh!? Unit 6 was down like all others from the moment of the earthquake. As for which reactor was the source of plutonium in soil samples, I don't think that that was settled.

Plutonium is the stuff of smaller, more easily delivered warheads.

See, it is used in weapons, so it's evidence of a weapons program!!!! Except, Plutonium-239 is also the result of neutron capture by Uranium-238, the main component of reactor fuel... I think Migeru made the calculation in a previous thread that most of the plutonium at the site wasn't even in the MOX fuel but in the normal spent fuel.

A fire ignited inside the damaged housing of the Unit 4 reactor, reportedly due to overheating of spent uranium fuel rods in a dry cooling pool. But the size of the fire indicates that this reactor was running hot for some purpose other than electricity generation.

"The size of the fire"!? What size, compared to what, based on what? Meanwhile, what was reported was that there was a hydrogen explosion (hydrogen generated due to the spent fuel pond running dry) that caused the fire that then ran out all by itself, and was likely an oil fire. This was the point where I stopped reading this idiocy on the previous occasion, but it only gets worse from here:

Its omission from the list of electricity-generating operations raises the question of whether Unit 4 was being used to enrich uranium

Nice baseless speculation conspiracy theory alternative to the reactor being down for maintenance and empty as officially claimed. However, the officially claimed storage of the reactor's half-spent fuel rods in the spent fuel pool had one consequence implicitly recognised by the conspiracy theorist: it meant that the fuel rods in the No. 4 spent fuel pool had a much higher combined thermal power than those in the other ponds, thus water evaporated relatively fast, hence the pool running dry.

The bloom of irradiated seawater across the Pacific comprises another piece of the puzzle, because its underground source is untraceable (or, perhaps, unmentionable).

LOL. Because the lots of seawater sprayed to cool the cores aren't the obvious source... Of course, what was (is?) unknown wasn't really the source but the route of the water to the sea.

the bodies of two missing nuclear workers--never before disclosed to the press

This is again conspiracy bullshit; they were mentioned in TEPCO reports I read in one of the earlier threads, see f.e. here.

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

by DoDo on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also did a search for the author, and he seems heavily into conspiracy theory, be it about the Dalai Lama, the Shenyang Incident, or the sinking of the Cheonan. His creative credit line use makes me think that he is a Chinese government asset...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 07:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, Egypt, too. Compare his spin (which includes the presentation of an out of context quote as the supposed title of a WikiLeaks cable) to the original document. I am now convinced that he is no simple fool but spins on purpose.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 07:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.N. to study health effects of Fukushima nuclear accident | Kyodo News

The United Nations will look into health effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident in disaster-hit Japan, a senior official said Wednesday.

Within two years, the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation will compile a report on such key issues as environmental impact and health risks of the accident, Wolfgang Weiss, chair of the committee, said at a press conference.

The committee will also check the health of workers, who are currently fighting to solve the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and are exposed to high levels of radiation, Weiss said.

According to Weiss, details about the plan are currently being worked out and negotiations with the Japanese government on the issue have already started.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 05:43:00 PM EST
http://www.tec-sim.de/images/stories/severe-accident-phenomenology.pdf

(PDF warning)

Page 76 talking about cooling from the outside of reactor pressure vessels

In-vessel retention by ex-vessel cooling is feasible, if:
1. The vessel cavity can be flooded and sufficient water supply to the cavity
provided for days and weeks
  1. The steam produced in the cooling can escape the cavity
  2. The volumetric heat source is small
  3. The peak heat flux through the vessel wall does not melt the wall or lead to
substantial creep
5. The peak heat flux does not exceed external vessel cooling capabilities
  • Ex-vessel retrofitting has been done for the Finnish Loivisa plant
  • Ex-vessel cooling is planned for some new reactor
  • Ex-vessel cooling does not solve the problem of steam explosion and
recriticality

And page 77 talking about water cooling from inside

In-Vessel Cooling = Water supply from inside the vessel
Core Catcher required
Core Catcher = device for molten corium retention inside or outside the RPV
Tasks of in-vessel core catcher:
  1. Avoid steam explosion
  2. Avoid recriticality
  3. Reduce pool power density
  4. Provide engineered gap for gap cooling
Many interesting proposals have been made, but never one single proposal
has been built.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 07:56:08 PM EST
It would seem that a ribbed shallow cone bottom geometry with the high point at the center for the reactor pressure vessel could be designed so that, were the rods to melt, pellets would fall to the side to which they are nearest and be kept some distance from the closest adjacent channel and there would be a good chance of pellets from the same rod falling into different channels. Then, by adding boric acid to the water or pelletized boron carbides, the reaction rate could be moderated lower.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:39:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Der Spiegel: TEPCO Worker on Control Failures and the Culture of Silence
he nuclear department at TEPCO is already a very special group, forming a closed world. Some call it the "atomic village" -- a separate company within a company. On the practical level, there is almost no exchange between the "atomic village" and other TEPCO departments.

This closed village has until now been allowed to hide data and test reports from nuclear power plants; to falsify and invent. For that reason, the president and the vice director resigned in 2002. The new head of TEPCO tried to open up the "atomic village" through transfers and restructuring, but everything is basically just the same.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:59:03 PM EST
That's interesting.

Over here, one of the early problems was that nuclear power had been marketed as so safe and easy that the power companies just used their existing operating policies and procedures. In a coal fired plant, leaky steam pipes, puddles on the floor, and sloppy maintenance procedures are routine and acceptable (at least from a not-causing-a-global-scale-disaster viewpoint), but in a nuke, they are not exactly what you want.

Some relatives of mine (one a utility company manager, the other a nuclear scientist) went on a tour of the high temperature gas cooled reactor here in Colorado and came away quite distressed. It was shut down shortly thereafter as uneconomic.

Some of the blame for the corrosion debacle has to be laid on the owner of FSV, whose staff failed to respond to moisture alarms that had been going off for months in critical parts of the plant, instead assuming that the moisture alarms were defective...contractor personnel damaged hydraulic units, allowing hydraulic fluid to spray over reactor control cables. The same crew then performed welding operations to equipment located above the control cables. Hot slag fell onto the material used to contain the hydraulic fluid and ignited it, along with the fluid on the control cables. The fire involved the cables for five minutes, and 16 essential control cables were damaged. The contractor personnel then failed to inform plant personnel of the situation and the reactor was in operation for several hours in this condition...

-- From an unusually interesting article on the Fort Saint Vrain gas-cooled reactor, a design that had some advantages that the Japanese might be wishing for along about now...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_St._Vrain_Generating_Station

by asdf on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reactors I've visited looked really old and really tired. Even the concrete felt soft.
Nothing high-tech about them at all.
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 04:52:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima No. 1 plant designed on 'trial-and-error' basis
The difference in the safety designs was the main reason why the crisis continues to unfold at the Fukushima No. 1 plant--one of the oldest in Japan--while the No. 2 plant a few kilometers south remains relatively unscathed by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Officials at another Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear plant in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Niigata Prefecture, analyzed the differences in safety designs at the two Fukushima plants.

[...]

TEPCO documents show that the emergency diesel generators located in the turbine buildings at the Fukushima No. 1 plant were flooded by the tsunami and rendered inoperable, except for the one at the No. 6 reactor. This effectively disabled the cooling mechanisms.

[...]

The emergency generators at the No. 2 plant were in buildings housing the reactor cores. Because the reactor buildings are much more airtight, the generators at the No. 2 plant continued to function after the tsunami struck.

[...]

"...even if they wanted to move the generators, there was no space within the reactor building, so that would have meant a major revision in design" [ - ... a] former TEPCO engineer said. "It would have been a major project because various pipes are laid out under the pumps, and so all of that would also have had to be moved."

A midlevel TEPCO official also said money was a big reason why repairs and changes to the No. 1 plant were not made.

"The blueprints for the reactor cores at the No. 1 plant were bought 'as is' by Toshiba Corp. from General Electric Co., so the priority at that time was on constructing the reactors according to those blueprints," the official said.

[...]

The No. 1 plant was considered a "learning experience."

A former TEPCO executive said, "The Fukushima No. 1 plant was a practice course for Toshiba and Hitachi Ltd. to learn about GE's design on a trial-and-error basis."

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:44:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A former TEPCO executive said, "The Fukushima No. 1 plant was a practice course for Toshiba and Hitachi Ltd. to learn about GE's design on a trial-and-error basis."

Words fail.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 02:28:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Safety measures are left as an exercise for the students.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:09:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Duck and cover?
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 04:53:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Could you please watch the length of your quotes? In the NUG, under What are the rules for quoting off-site material? we have

...try to keep your quote as short and concise as possible, ideally 3 paragraphs per blockquote or less. If readers want to read the full article you quote from, they can do so by following your link. A quote should only incite interest, or show claims you react to/follow up with comments in your own words. The reason you quote a passage can be further emphasized by bolding key words or half-sentences.

The above guidelines are strongly recommended for quotes from anything published off ET, be it a newspaper article or a comment in a discussion forum; or indeed even for quotes from other diaries on ET. However, they should be followed stritly as rules for copyrighted material.

I don't think quoting releases by TEPCO or public authorities is much of a copyright problem, and summaries of videos on a public broadcaster or wire reports are borderline, but for example Asahi Shimbun displays a full copyright notice at the bottom of pages.

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

by DoDo on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 03:58:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. Thank you for warning.
by das monde on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yomuri - Police trying to crack case of safes found after tsunami  

 MORIOKA--Police in Iwate Prefecture are scratching their heads over how to return to their rightful owners safes and other valuable items recovered from the rubble left behind by last month's tsunami.

Safes swept out of houses destroyed when the earthquake-triggered tsunami inundated coastal areas of the prefecture have turned up in other locations, making it difficult to trace the owners.

"There are so many safes and most are either rusty or lost their original shape. I have no idea which one is ours," said a 55-year-old housewife who visited Miyako Police Station in the hope of finding her family's safe.

The woman gave up after trying her key in the locks of many of the nearly 200 safes kept at the police station. Many people visit the police station looking for their safes, a police officer 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 Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 09:59:22 PM EST
WSJ: Why Fukushima Won't Kill Nuclear Power
This year is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the atomic nucleus, and a little over 70 years since nuclear fission was first demonstrated. In historical terms, that puts the field of nuclear engineering today roughly where electrical engineering was in 1900. Consider what followed: the creation of the electric power grid, television and telecommunications, the revolutions in microelectronics and computation, and much more. None of it was anticipated by the electrical engineers of 1900.

Likewise, no one today can foresee the future of nuclear energy technology at the end of the 21st century [...]

New fuel "cladding" materials are being developed that don't react with high-temperature steam to produce hydrogen--the cause of the shocking explosions in Japan. Other new plant designs rely on natural heat conduction and convection rather than electric-powered pumps and valves and human intervention to cool the fuel in reactors that have shut down.

Today's most advanced designs go even further toward the goal of "walkaway safety," that is, reactors that can shut themselves down and cool themselves off without electric power or any human intervention at all. Longer-term possibilities include lifetime fueling, which would allow a single charge of fuel to power a reactor for its entire life - making it, in effect, a nuclear battery. Integrated power plant/waste disposal systems are another promising concept. Here, used fuel never leaves the site and is disposed of directly in stable, dry bedrock several kilometers below the earth's surface (more than 10 times as deep as the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada.)

Huge gains in computing power already enable far more precise simulations of nuclear-reactor behavior than ever before. Computational advances will also make it possible to design radiation-resistant materials literally atom by atom and, perhaps, specially tailored nanostructures that could store long-lived nuclear waste safely for tens of thousands of years. All of this can be foreseen today, and much greater advances surely lie over the horizon.

The innovators here will not be today's industry leaders or officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but rather the young men and women who for the last decade have been entering university nuclear engineering programs in growing numbers. They see great engineering challenges in designing new nuclear power systems that are safe and economical, and they see an opportunity to help ameliorate the grave threat of climate change.

by das monde on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:21:25 PM EST
The innovators here will not be today's industry leaders or officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but rather the young men and women who for the last decade have been entering university nuclear engineering programs in growing numbers.

The WSJ left out the old G.E. slogan:

"Progress is our most important product!"

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:15:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OPINION: Can there be a silver lining to Japan's nuclear crisis? | Kyodo News
The most remarkable thing about the response so far to the ''gempatsu shinsai'' (nuclear-earthquake disaster) that has engulfed Japan is that there are still people who think nuclear power has a future. Should this be attributed more to the dependence of modern industrialized societies on massive inputs of energy, or to a collective lack of imagination?

We do not yet know how this unfolding catastrophe will end, but we can be sure that if most of the radioactivity in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant remains on site, then the true believers will claim that this is as bad as it gets and that the risk is worth taking. The environmental damage of localized contamination and releases to sea will be discounted and long-term health impacts from exposure to low levels of radiation will be denied. Even those workers who suffer from acute radiation sickness will not find their way into the most commonly quoted statistics, unless they die promptly.

The truth is that even in the best-case scenario the environmental and human consequences of this disaster will be enormous. The potential impact of a worst-case scenario is beyond most people's comprehension. To give an indication of the amount of radioactive material involved, the total capacity of the three reactors that were operating at the time of the earthquake was double that of the Chernobyl number 4 reactor that exploded 25 years ago in the Ukraine. To this you have to add the radioactivity in the spent fuel pools of all 6 units and of the shared spent fuel pool.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The Government says it may order residents of some areas within 20 to 30 kilometers of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to evacuate.

Residents within 20 kilometers of the plant have been evacuated, while those living between 20 to 30 kilometers have been advised to remain indoors.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Thursday that existing evacuation guidelines assume large amounts of radiation being released over a short period of time and are not relevant in considering the impact of long-term exposure.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 04:58:03 AM EST
So, from quarantine to voluntary evacuation to compulsory evacuation in the 20-30km zone.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose it will go from some areas to the whole area as the weather changes and the season rolls around

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 06:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what will they do if the plant is still spewing when north winds and rain start to deposit more significant quantities of fallout on Tokyo?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:17:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the plant primarily releasing polluted steam or water?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question. We can see the steam but the radioactive water has to come from somewhere. Given re-condensation, it might be reasonable to expect the total mass released in liquid form to be thousands of times greater than the total released as gas.  But the contaminated steam released into the atmosphere has to be much more dangerous to the rest of Japan than the contaminated water. Almost all soil contamination to date has been from atmospheric fallout, excepting explosive debris.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
At the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, radiation in seawater near the Number 2 reactor remains high, even after the leakage of contaminated water into the sea was stopped.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said it had confirmed early Wednesday morning that highly contaminated water was no longer leaking from a concrete pit after workers injected a hardening agent beneath it.

The company says it detected 5,600 bequerels of radioactive iodine-131 per cubic centimeter in seawater samples collected around the water intake of the reactor at 7:40 AM local time on Wednesday.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 04:59:14 AM EST
Snapshot: Japan's nuclear crisis | Reuters
* Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) says its president, Masataka Shimizu, has left hospital and is back in the office. Shimizu was admitted to hospital late last month due to overwork.

<snip>

- TEPCO has said it will scrap at least four reactors once they are under control, but this could take years or even decades. The Fukushima Daiichi and nearby Fukushima Daini plants produce 4 percent of Japan's power and local politicians say reopening them will be politically difficult.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 07:32:35 AM EST
politically difficult.

Good to see they have such a firm grasp of the practicalities.

Does this mean they're expecting radioactive release to continue for "years or even decades"?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 07:39:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's weird.

What do they mean will take years or even decades? Scrapping the reactors decades after they are brought under control? Bringing them under control?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 08:53:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well I assume they're talking decades for everything to radioactively cool enough to dismantle.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 09:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scrapping the reactors decades after they are brought under control? Bringing them under control?

Removing and properly handling the remains of the rods in spent fuel pools would considerably reduce, but certainly not eliminate, the dangers of major atmospheric releases. This will almost certainly have to be done by specialized remotely controlled and/or robotic devices. Ideally, this should be done prior to them erecting new containment structures over the facilities, unless these structures are designed to accommodate such devices. I am not optimistic.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:25:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan seeks objective reporting of Fukushima nuclear crisis | Kyodo News

Japan has been asking foreign media to objectively report on the evolving crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday, as reports deemed sensationalist or based on incorrect information have fanned concern and led to import restrictions on Japanese products.

State Foreign Secretary Chiaki Takahashi told a press conference that Tokyo believes some reports by foreign media on the Fukushima crisis were ''excessive'' and has urged the organizations responsible for the stories through Japanese diplomatic missions abroad to correctly and objectively disseminate information.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 09:36:39 AM EST
"Objective" has apparently come to mean "best case estimate". Regardless of however many times "sensational reporting" turns out to be true while official "objective" information turns out to be utter crap, they know how to stick to the party line.
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 05:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Construction of nuclear fuel storage facility to be resumed | Kyodo News

Recyclable-Fuel Storage Co. said Thursday it will resume peripheral construction work Monday for a facility for intermediate storage of spent nuclear fuel in Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture.

The company, which is 80 percent owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co., has suspended the construction since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The company attributed the suspension to materials shortages after the disaster and noted that the resumption comes as materials distribution has been stabilized.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 09:37:51 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says pressure inside the containment vessel of the Number 1 reactor is rising following an injection of nitrogen gas.

Tokyo Electric Power Company started the injection early on Thursday to prevent a possible hydrogen explosion at the reactor.

Fuel rods inside the reactor are nearly half exposed after a loss of cooling water, creating a dangerous buildup of oxygen and hydrogen and fears of another explosion.

The company says that after injecting 413 cubic meters of nitrogen gas until 5 PM on Thursday, the pressure reading inside the vessel was 1.76, up 0.2 from before the injection started.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 09:39:11 AM EST
Looking at the radiation graphs, Number one is the one that looks least under control. Dry well radiation has been up and down over the last several days, whereas in 2 and 3 the radiation levels have been gradually decaying. The sensors inside the Torus appeared to be showing more expected decay, like the other two, but in the last 24 hours has suddenly peaked upwards, and this was I think from before the gas injection started.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SIROCCO - Coastal Ocean Modelling - Japan Model
   SIROCCO has performed, at the request of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), simulations using the 3D SIROCCO ocean circulation model to investigate the dispersion in seawater of radionuclides emitted by the Fukushima nuclear plant. The model uses a stretched horizontal grid with a variable horizontal resolution, from 600m x 600m at the nearest grid point from Fukushima, to 5km x 5km offshore. The initial fields (T,S,U,V,SSH) and the lateral open boundary conditions are provided by the Mercator Ocean PSY4V1R3 system (one field per day, horizontal resolution 1/12 ° x 1/12 °). At the sea surface, the ocean model is forced by the meteorological fluxes delivered every 3hours by ECMWF. The tidal forcing at the lateral open boundaries is provided by the T-UGO model , implemented for this purpose by the SIROCCO team on the Japanese Pacific coast.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:48:15 AM EST
Off the coast of Sendai.

Can someone take a screenshot of this US Geological Survey map?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:51:26 AM 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 Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:06:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Japan: Tsunami warning for north-east after earthquake

A tsunami warning has been issued for north-eastern Japan after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck off the east coast of Honshu.

The tsunami is predicted to have a wave 1m (3ft) high. Those in the warning zone should move to high ground, Japanese TV said.

The area was ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami last month which severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Thursday's quake was 118km (78 miles) north of Fukushima, 40km offshore.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:19:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Construction of nuclear fuel storage facility to be resumed | Kyodo News

  • BREAKING NEWS: No info on abnormality at Fukushima Daiichi, Daini plants: agency (23:55)
  • NEWS ADVISORY: All highways in Miyagi Pref. closed after quake: local police (23:53)
  • BREAKING NEWS: No abnormal data reported at Fukushima Daini nuclear plant after quake: TEPCO (23:47)
  • BREAKING NEWS: Ibaraki nuke power plants normally operating after quake: local gov't (23:44)
  • BREAKING NEWS: M-7.4 quake measuring upper 6 jolts Miyagi Pref. in northeastern Japan (23:39)
  • BREAKING NEWS: Powerful earthquake shakes northeastern Japan, tsunami alert issued (23:36)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:00:41 AM EST
Reuters - Tokyo Electric says its engineers at Fukushima Daiichi plant have evacuated after tsunami warning

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some external power sources at Onagawa plant, shut since March 11 quake, were cut after Thursday quake - JIJI

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
guardian - Onagawa nuclear power station, which was already stopped due to 3/11 quake, lost 2 of 3 external power connections

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 11:57:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The three units remain in cold shutdown since the earthquake of 11 March. Two hundred people who lost their homes to the tsunami took refuge in the plant.[


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 12:06:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters - Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary says conditions at Onagawa nuclear plant are safe

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 12:46:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nitrogen, coolant water injection unaffected by Miyagi quake | Kyodo News

An operation to reduce the risk of a hydrogen explosion at the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant by injecting nitrogen and pouring coolant water into reactors at the site was unaffected by a strong quake that hit northeastern Japan on Thursday night, the plant operator and the government's nuclear agency said.

A quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 caused engineers engaged in recovery work at the Fukushima Daiichi station to temporarily evacuate, but no one was injured and no abnormalities have so far been detected in radiation levels near the plant, they said.

The workers are expected to inspect the site, which was ravaged by a magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami on March 11, now that a tsunami warning issued for the area has been lifted.

Highly radioactive water that has been filling up underground trenches at the plant did not overflow, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency 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 Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 12:51:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quake knocked out power from several nuke plants, which are now using emergency power, Tokyo-based nuclear safety agency tells @breakingnews

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 12:05:33 PM EST
UPDATE 1-Toshiba proposes to scrap Fukushima nuclear plant-Nikkei | Reuters

(Reuters) - Toshiba Corp submitted a proposal to Tokyo Electric Power Co and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to dismantle the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by 2020, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The proposal was drawn up jointly by 3 U.S. firms -- Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric Co, Babcock & Wilcox Co and Shaw Group Inc -- which worked to clean the damaged reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in the U.S, the daily said.

Toshiba and its partners plan to revise the proposal as the situation unfolds, as conditions inside the reactors are still unclear, Nikkei reported.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 02:40:13 PM EST
Challenges Mount at Fukushima, But Threat To Human Health Remains Low - Ecocentric - TIME.com

Each day seems to bring more news of the huge challenges facing emergency workers at Fukushima. As if adding insult to injury, a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit the region on Thursday. Though Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) reported no serious incidents as a result of the quake, the tremor was a reminder--as if one was needed--of how perilous the situation remains at the stricken power plant. "The damage that has been done to date by the earthquake and tsunami has degraded the plant's ability to withstand ground motion, so you have more chance of a containment breach with the next earthquake," says Ed Lyman, a nuclear safety expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "The conditions at the plant are so fragile it can't really stand many more challenges,"

Four weeks after the earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima, emergency workers continue to struggle to keep multiple hazards from spiraling out of control. That effort will last months; eventual clean-up and decommissioning will take decades. Fukushima is already a messy, extremely costly nuclear disaster. But amid reports of cracked vessels and leaking radioactive water, it's worth remembering that it will not necessarily be a harmful one to human health.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 02:43:18 PM EST
Radioactive materials spread around northern hemisphere in 2 weeks | Kyodo News

Radioactive materials released from Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had spread around the entire northern hemisphere in the two weeks following the March 11 quake and tsunami disaster, a Vienna-based international nuclear watchdog said Thursday.

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization said minute traces of radioactive substances spread around the hemisphere by around March 25 after moving across the Pacific Ocean and other places. It said the amounts of such substances were far below levels that could affect human health.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:35:25 PM EST
'Early signs of recovery' at Fukushima nuke plant in Japan: IAEA | Kyodo News

The International Atomic Energy Agency has noticed ''early signs of recovery'' at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan despite the serious overall situation, a senior IAEA official said Thursday.

''There are early signs of recovery in some functions such as electrical power and instrumentation,''



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 05:38:04 PM EST
I would be much more reassured if, after admitting the level has been rising, they said they're doing all they can to ensure water doesn't overflow, rather than denying it's possible.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 05:03:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log

Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant
All reactors have been in cold shutdown since the 11 March earthquake.

NISA has confirmed that two out of the three lines supplying off-site power to the site were lost following the 7 April earthquake. Off-site power continues to be supplied through the third line.

Cooling of the spent fuel pool was temporarily lost, but has subsequently been restored.

No change has been observed in the readings from the on-site radiation monitoring post. The status of the plant is currently being checked.

Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Plant
Tokai Daini nuclear power plant remains in cold shutdown since the 11 March earthquake. No abnormality has been observed.

Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant
NISA has confirmed that the Higashidori NPP was shutdown and in a maintenance outage at the time of the 7 April earthquake. Off-site power has been lost. Emergency power supply to the site is operating. All the fuel had been removed from the reactor core and stored in the spent fuel pool. Cooling of the spent fuel pool is operational.

Tomari Nuclear Power Plant (in Hokkaido)
At the time of the 7 April earthquake Tomari Unit 1 and Unit 2 were in operation. Following the 7 April earthquake, the Hokkaido Electric Power Company reduced the generating power to 90% of capacity.

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant
NISA confirms that Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and uranium enrichment facility lost off-site power. Emergency power supply to the site is operating.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 07:39:17 PM EST
New cooling options being explored : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering alternative methods, including the construction of improvised systems, to cool reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Ongoing operations--which involve pouring water directly into the reactor cores to lower temperatures inside the pressure vessels of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors to below 100 C--have not worked as expected, and restoration of the reactors' existing cooling systems is not likely to happen soon.

The discouraging outlook has prompted TEPCO to begin exploring new options.

The original cooling systems worked by circulating water inside the pressure vessels. After absorbing heat in the pressure vessels, water was extracted and cooled by heat exchangers before being returned to the pressure vessels.

The damaged systems are now unable to circulate water, so new water must be continually added to the pressure vessels to control temperatures.

However, because the water sources used in the continual injections are positioned lower than those incorporated in the original systems, it is unclear whether fuel rods in the reactors are being entirely covered with 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 Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:36:09 PM EST
From personal correspondence (language not corrected):
Yesterday,  the technical advisor of the Tokyo electric power announced a load map:
(1) cooling by water will require about 10 years.
(2) they are planning to build new water cooling systems with heat exchange system in a year.
(3) they are also planning to build a cleaning plant for water with high radiation, which is now
the most serious problem.
(4) The situation will be unstable at least in a few months.
(5) They do not have enough data for the damaged reactors and their plan might be changed.
by das monde on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 05:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the "Have not worked as expected" in the statement that sounds ominous.

I wonder  how much radioactive water they will have generated in the time it takes to get a filtration system set 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 Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:12:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a drop in the ocean ... Bwa-ha-ha.
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 05:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO Damage Estimates  Kyodo News

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear regulatory body, said the agency will carefully examine conditions to allow the evacuees' temporary return with the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, to ensure their safety.

According to estimates by TEPCO, nuclear fuel rods in the No. 1 reactor core are the most damaged compared with those in the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors. The cooling functions of all three units were lost after a magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami ravaged the plant on March 11. The company estimates that 70 percent of the fuel rods in the No. 1 reactor core have been damaged, compared with 30 percent in the No. 2 and 25 percent in the No. 3 reactor cores.

Hydrogen explosions occurred at the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors days after the twin disasters hit the site, blowing away the roofs and upper walls of the two units plus the No. 4 reactor's building. Nishiyama said past explosions likely occurred due to hydrogen accumulation caused by the reaction of zirconium from melted fuel rods with steam from coolant water. But there is now concern that hydrogen could accumulate in the No. 1 reactor under a different process involving radiation-induced decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen, he added.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:59:24 PM EST
WP: U.S. health-care system unprepared for major nuclear emergency, officials say
U.S. officials say the nation's health system is ill-prepared to cope with a catastrophic release of radiation, despite years of focus on the possibility of a terrorist "dirty bomb" or an improvised nuclear device attack.

A blunt assessment circulating among American officials says, "Current capabilities can only handle a few radiation injuries at any one time." That assessment, prepared by the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 and stamped "for official use only,'' says "there is no strategy for notifying the public in real time of recommendations on shelter or evacuation priorities."

by das monde on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 05:28:46 AM EST
The first thing after Chernobyl the authorities told all the local women to get an abortion if they were pregnant. That should make all the right-wingers heads spin around a few times.
by Andhakari on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 05:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About a third of those should be late-term pregnancies. What happened in those cases?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 05:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radioactive water spilled at Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi | Kyodo News

Radioactive water spilled from pools holding spent nuclear fuel rods at the Onagawa power plant in Miyagi Prefecture following the strong earthquake late Thursday, the nuclear safety agency said Friday.

At the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant or at another plant in Fukushima Prefecture, meanwhile, no new problems have surfaced since the magnitude 7.1 aftershock of the deadly March 11 quake.

While the spent fuel pools at the Onagawa plant and the Higashidori nuclear power station in Aomori Prefecture, both operated by Tohoku Electric Power Co., lost their cooling functions for 20 to 80 minutes after the quake, the temperature hardly rose, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency 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 Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 06:52:23 AM EST
Radiation readings inside the dry well and wet wells since the 22nd of last month. as can be seen, the Nitrogen injection appears to be having an effect.



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 Apr 8th, 2011 at 08:25:02 AM EST
Thanks ceebs. Is the unit of the vertical axis mSv/hr?
by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 09:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scarily its centi not milli

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 Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:02:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was the report that TEPCO's dose calculation programme was erroneous, in particular for the levels in the dry well. I don't see any trace of a re-calculation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well all the graphs seem to show similar decay curves apart from the dry well of reactor one.  which has seemed to have basically flattened over the last few days. finally it had seemed to have started falling again when they started injected nitrogen and then the values suddenly shot up. Either theres something very wrong in there compared to the others, or the readings for that one are incredibly broken. But you would think they would be screaming about the faulty meter if that was the case.

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 Apr 8th, 2011 at 11:16:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much damaged fuel rod material would be needed to generate readings of 100 Sv/hr in the drywell? Grams? Kilograms?

(100 Sv/rh wis what the drywell of reactor 1 is at, if I'm reading that graph right, and if that graph's right)

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 01:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That depends on so many things I won't attempt an estimate: whether the detector is immersed in the water or not, volume (and speed of replacement) of water resp. steam, is it filtered, is the radioactivity uniform within the water, what kind of isotopes are involved, how the radionuclides can leave the damaged fuel rod (is one crack in the cladding enough for volatile breakdown products to leave entirely, resp. for water to enter and wash out more?), are meltdown products present.

In fact, I'm not sure how nitrogen injection is supposed to increase concentration, other than by increasing emission from the pressure chamber due to increased pressure.

(Minor note: that r in the unit made me scratch my head at first, until I realised that it may be part of a non-standard and in the second case typo-lade abbreviation of hour. The standard SI symbol of hour is h, "hr" is the same kind of imprecision like "kph" in place of km/h.)

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

by DoDo on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 03:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, sorry, didn't have time to remove the boxing gloves before typing.

"100 Sv/rh wis what the drywell of reactor 1 is at"
should have read:
"100 Sv/h is what the drywell of reactor 1 is at"

Point taken on hr vs h. I'll try to be more careful.

I'm not sure how nitrogen injection increases concentration either, unless there's a breach between reactor vessel (or its pipes) and the drywell.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 07:37:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How much damaged fuel rod material would be needed to generate readings of 100 Sv/hr

Enough to get near to re-criticality should do nicely. Intermittent re-criticality would also do the trick.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 9th, 2011 at 09:09:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In newer NISA releases, f.e. 10 April, they do write that the No. 1 dry well dosimeter malfunctioned.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 04:55:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.vgb.org/vgbmultimedia/News/Fukushimav15VGB.pdf

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 Apr 8th, 2011 at 03:33:33 PM EST
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/08_16.html

Unreleased data obtained by NHK suggest that the failure to maintain the cooling functions of the No. 1 reactor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant possibly triggered a hydrogen explosion at an early stage.

The data show that the water level inside the No. 1 reactor dropped to 45 centimeters above the fuel rods, or about one-tenth the normal level, nearly 7 hours after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. The fuel rods become exposed 11 hours later.

Water levels in the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors were kept at around 4 meters through the use of emergency generators despite the power outages. It was a day and a half to 3 days before their fuel rods were exposed.



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 Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:16:52 PM EST
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110408004590.htm

The U.S. Navy asked the Japanese government to hand over detailed data about the release of radiation-contaminated water into the sea from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, government sources said Friday.

After Tokyo Electric Power Co. began discharging the water with a relatively low level of radiation, the U.S. Navy asked the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces to provide the data, such as the schedule of water discharge, its extent and spread within the sea, as well as the density of radioactive substances.

The U.S. Navy said it made the request over concern that its vessels, which have equipment to desalinate seawater for drinking and other daily needs, could take in radioactive water and damage the health of its sailors.



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 Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:24:11 PM EST
TEPCO steps up effort to remove contaminated water - NHK WORLD English
The plant operator says a strong aftershock on Thursday night did not damage any facilities of the compound, but the surface temperature of the Number 1 reactor rose sharply immediately after the tremor that hit northeastern Japan minutes before midnight.

The reading stood at 223 degrees Celsius at 7 PM, but it rose nearly 40 degrees just after the quake. The temperature had fallen back to 240 degrees at 6 AM on Saturday.

TEPCO says it will continue close monitoring as what caused the sudden rise in temperature is not known.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 9th, 2011 at 05:48:37 AM EST
and from the current version of that story

Tokyo Electric Power Company says contaminated water in a concrete tunnel of the Number 2 reactor has risen 10 centimeters since leakage of the water into the ocean stopped on Wednesday.

The company says the gap between the surface of the waste water and the top of the tunnel was 94 centimeters as of 7 AM on Saturday. It denies any possibility that the water could overflow from the tunnel



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 06:52:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO contractors reject higher radiation dose limit for workers | Kyodo News

Companies dispatching workers to Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are refusing to adopt the government-imposed provisional limit on radiation exposure for those workers at the plant, saying it would not be accepted by those at the site, Kyodo News learned Saturday.

The limit was lifted from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts in an announcement made March 15 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare at the request of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which has the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under its wing, and other bodies.

The increase was requested to enable workers to engage in longer hours of assignments and to secure more workers who meet the restriction.

The advisability of the hastily decided limit may be called into question as workers have to handle a wider range of work over an extended period of time. They are now faced with tasks such as removing rubble and disposing of contaminated water in addition to their initial job of restoring the lost power sources at the plant that was crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

The contract companies say they are sticking to the previous limit.



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 08:51:44 AM EST
Workers begin installing enclosures to prevent sea contamination | Kyodo News

Workers trying to stabilize a crippled nuclear power plant started Saturday to install enclosing materials in the sea just outside the facility to prevent radioactive water from spreading further into the Pacific Ocean.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda, meanwhile, met with Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato in the city of Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture, in the morning, and plans to visit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station later in the day.

The visit, aimed at encouraging those engaged in stabilization efforts and checking on the plant's damaged reactors, would be the first by a Cabinet minister after the six-reactor plant was rocked by explosions and began spewing radioactive materials in mid-March.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., plans to enclose a seawater intake for the No. 2 reactor at the plant with seven steel sheets and a 120-meter-wide ''silt curtain'' near the intake and two other locations nearby.



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 08:54:57 AM EST
So they're going to dam a part of the sea off the shore to store the radioactive water. Desperate measures, indeed.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 05:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the facility was hit by a tsunami as high as 15 meters on March 11th.

Tokyo Electric Power Company was reporting on Saturday on its survey of high-water marks left on the plant's buildings.

It says it found that the tsunami reached up to 15 meters on the ocean side of the reactor and turbine buildings. The figure is far beyond the company's originally estimated height of 5.7 meters.

TEPCO confirmed that the 6 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi power plant had been under as much as 5 meters of 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 Sat Apr 9th, 2011 at 12:52:43 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
A survey has found that more than 500 square kilometers of land was ravaged by the tsunami triggered by the earthquake on March 11th.

The semi-public Geospatial Information Authority on Saturday announced its survey results based on aerial and satellite images.

It says the tsunami flooded a total of 507 square kilometers of land in the 4 prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. This is equivalent to almost a quarter of the entire Tokyo Metropolitan Area.


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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 12:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The figure is far beyond the company's originally estimated height of 5.7 meters.

I think by "originally estimated" they mean the tsunami height for which they designed the plant's tsunami defences.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 05:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the defences design height was 5.2 m, and the original estimated height was 5.7m to get over the top of the defences.

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 Apr 10th, 2011 at 07:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tsunami-hit towns forgot warnings from ancestors | The Associated Press | News | Washington Examiner

Modern sea walls failed to protect coastal towns from Japan's destructive tsunami last month. But in the hamlet of Aneyoshi, a single centuries-old tablet saved the day.

"High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants," the stone slab reads. "Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point."

It was advice the dozen or so households of Aneyoshi heeded, and their homes emerged unscathed from a disaster that flattened low-lying communities elsewhere and killed thousands along Japan's northeastern shore.

Hundreds of such markers dot the coastline, some more than 600 years old. Collectively they form a crude warning system for Japan, whose long coasts along major fault lines have made it a repeated target of earthquakes and tsunamis over the centuries.

The markers don't all indicate where it's safe to build. Some simply stand -- or stood, until they were washed away by the tsunami -- as daily reminders of the risk. "If an earthquake comes, beware of tsunamis," reads one. In the bustle of modern life, many forgot.



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 01:42:35 PM EST
Minamisoma Japan - high levels of contamination outside of Fukushima evacuation zone - :: Future of Journalism
Greenpeace Blog :: Greenpeace's radiation monitoring teams have discovered high levels of contamination in crops grown on the outskirts of Minamisoma city in Japan. The data was collected from the gardens of Minamisoma city residents, and registered well over the official limits for spinach and other vegetables. This is bad news amid already serious concerns over the health risks to residents and a lack of official information from Japanese government.


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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 02:32:33 PM EST
Fukushima Japan - TEPCO starts to pay partial (impressingly low) compensation - :: Future of Journalism

Let's have a look at what that compensation really means:

¥20 million = €163,337 or $235,760 - Let's take the example of the article in Japan Times. Namie (Fukushima Prefacture) has 26,000 inhabitants. A €163,337 | $235,760 (¥20m) compensation, when distributed equally among its residents, would result in €6.28 (or $9.07) per person.



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 03:18:01 PM EST
Massive pumps departing U.S. for Japan nuclear plant - CNN.com

Atlanta (CNN) -- Two of the world's largest concrete pumps will depart the United States later this week as part of the effort to resolve the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, officials said.

Each pump weighs 190,000 pounds and has a boom reach of over 227 feet, and can pump water and concrete at massive rates. They will be loaded aboard enormous Russian cargo jets Friday.

The pumps' manufacturer, Putzmeister, said in a release the devices are normally used to pour concrete for bridges and high-rise construction projects, but can offer pinpoint accuracy "to directly target hotspots within the reactors" and help with cooling.

There are only three such pumps in the world, said Putzmeister spokeswoman Mary Roberts.



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 04:53:03 PM EST
Tepco has released some film taken from an employees mobile phone of waves hitting the 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 Sat Apr 9th, 2011 at 04:57:58 PM EST
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Photos 5
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Photos 5

some fairly intense photos of water streaming past the plant in the middle of these

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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 05:01:12 PM EST
Special Report: Fuel storage, safety issues vexed Japan plant | Reuters

"When the plants were originally designed, it was thought that the spent fuel would remain on the sites only two or three months after they came out of the reactor during a refueling outage and then the fuel would be shipped offsite for reprocessing or disposal," said Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"When those plans changed, we just filled the pools up to capacity without ever rethinking whether we should provide better safety or barriers," he said.

The Japan nuclear crisis has raised concern for U.S. officials because of the areas where safety practices overlap. By contrast, Germany, for example, has relied more heavily on storage of spent fuel in casks that can be hardened against attack or accidents with concrete.

One of problems limiting the wider use of the dry storage units is their upfront costs: each cask costs about $1 million or more. Critics say the costs are roughly comparable with cooling pools over the long run but require initial capital spending that can be a tougher sell to management and shareholders.



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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 05:39:11 PM EST
Critics say the costs are roughly comparable with cooling pools over the long run but require initial capital spending that can be a tougher sell to management and shareholders.

Perhaps then a plan could be devised whereby management and the families of shareholders could be given rod assemblies to store in their swimming pools. That should be cheap enough.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 9th, 2011 at 11:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This cannot be done for profit. Who woulda thunk?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 04:58:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Work to dispose of highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is not proceeding smoothly as more time is needed for preparations.

Heavily contaminated water in turbine buildings and a concrete tunnel is hampering work to restore cooling functions in the troubled reactors. The total amount of water in question is estimated at more than 50,000 tons.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, plans to transfer the highly radioactive water to a nuclear waste processing facility and turbine condensers.


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 Apr 9th, 2011 at 09:29:04 PM EST
Fukushima gov. slams TEPCO, govt for 'betrayal'   The Yomiuri Shimbun

Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato has expressed anger at the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., saying both "betrayed" the people of Fukushima Prefecture with repeated assurances about the safety of nuclear power plants.

"We feel we were betrayed [by the central government and TEPCO]," Sato said during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Thursday, nearly a month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the outbreak of a series of accidents at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. "The central government and TEPCO repeatedly told us, 'Nuclear power plants are safe because they've got multiple protection systems,' and, 'Earthquake-proof measures have been taken,'" Sato said.

"TEPCO used the term 'beyond our expectations' [to describe the natural disaster], but they can't establish effective policies for nuclear energy safety unless they take into account things that are beyond their expectations," Sato said.

....

Asked about a plan to build a seventh and eighth reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Sato flatly rejected the idea, saying even to suggest it was "unforgivable."



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 12:15:28 AM EST
"The central government and TEPCO repeatedly told us, 'Nuclear power plants are safe because they've got multiple protection systems,' and, 'Earthquake-proof measures have been taken,'" Sato said.

Translation: "I'm not responsible myself".

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

by DoDo on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 02:45:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but who would envy him at this point? And he may well have been too young to vote when construction of the plants was commenced and was almost certainly too young to have any real voice.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 09:54:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The number of dead or missing in the March 11th disaster and aftershocks that hit northeastern Japan has reached nearly 28,000.

The National Police Agency announced on Sunday morning that 12,985 people have been confirmed dead and 14,809 are listed as missing, bringing the total to 27,794. The figure includes deaths reported after a major aftershock on Thursday night.


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 Apr 10th, 2011 at 03:59:06 AM EST
Osaka 'bike fixer' lends a hand : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

RIKUZEN-TAKATA, Iwate--The shout came out in Osaka dialect. "Bring your wheelchair, or any other wheeled item for fixing if it's broken!" said a man sitting in front of a shelter set up at Daiichi (No. 1) Middle School in Rikuzen-Takata.

A bicycle shop owner from Suminoe Ward, Osaka, Norio Eto, 66, was working as a volunteer at the shelter to repair bicycles and other wheeled devices in the quake- and tsunami-hit city.

He had traveled more than 1,000 kilometers by car to get there.

Much rubble and debris still litters the town and public transportation systems are yet to be fully restored. Bicycles are a vital means of transportation for people in the city.

This is not Eto's first visit to the disaster-stricken region. From March 19 to 22, he visited Sendai and repaired bicycles at shelters and other locations until gasoline shortages forced him back to Osaka. He then came to Rikuzen-Takata to help.



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 Apr 10th, 2011 at 05:32:42 AM EST
Soil cesium limit set for rice / Some farmers won't be allowed to plant this season, possibly longer : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

The crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has spurred the government to restrict rice planting in soil with more than 5,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, the first time maximum radiation levels have been set for soil.

Radioactive cesium levels exceeding 5,000 becquerels per kilogram have been detected in farmland close to the nuclear plant and farmers in these areas will likely be barred from growing rice this season, government sources said.

The Fukushima prefectural government announced Wednesday that rice paddies in Iitatemura have shown as much as 15,031 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium. Part of Iitatemura is within 20 kilometers to 30 kilometers of the plant, where residents have been instructed to stay indoors.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said it plans to decide on the rice planting restrictions after conducting soil inspections and consulting with the prefecture. According to the ministry, rice production in Fukushima is fourth in the nation at about 450,000 tons.



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 Apr 10th, 2011 at 05:35:59 AM EST
Gov't to make exclusion area around nuke plant off-limits | Kyodo News

The government will make the area within a 20-kilometer radius of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant covered by its evacuation directive into an off-limits zone before allowing residents to temporarily return home, senior officials said Sunday.

The step is aimed at enhancing its control of the area where residents are temporarily returning home on their own to take out belongings despite radiation fears, with a view to forcing them out in case they refuse to leave, the officials suggested.

The Fukushima prefectural government has already urged Tokyo to accept imposing such an area, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters Sunday that the government is making final arrangements for the step and will announce it in the near future.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 06:50:57 AM EST
Evacuees begin moving into provisional housing  Daily Yomiuri Online

The number of evacuees from coastal areas of Iwate Prefecture is about 47,000, and the prefectural government estimates about 18,000 makeshift houses will be needed. The government aims to complete construction by September.

The Miyagi prefectural government plans to construct 4,385 provisional houses in 13 cities and towns in about a month, including 2,455 houses it has already started building. It estimates about 30,000 houses will ultimately be needed.

....

On Saturday, evacuees began moving into 36 makeshift houses constructed on the premises of Rikuzen-Takata Daiichi (No. 1) Middle School, which is serving as an evacuation center. Each 29-square-meter prefabricated house has two rooms, a dining-kitchen area, a bath and a toilet, and is equipped with an air conditioner. Occupancy is limited to two years in principle.

The municipal government gave priority to single-mother families, those with elderly people aged 70 or older and those with disabled members. It accepted applications for 18 priority slots and 18 general slots, and the final 36 families were chosen from a total of 1,160 applicants. The municipal government selected a group leader and a person responsible for receiving aid supplies, to help ensure unity among the residents. Authorities also tried to place former neighbors close to each other.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 10:59:04 AM EST
Highly radioactive water in nuke plant set to be moved for storage

(TOKYO, April 10, Kyodo) Workers at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant prepared Sunday to start removing highly radioactive water in the plant that is hampering restoration efforts in the prolonged nuclear crisis, the government's nuclear agency said. Toxic water has been found in the basements of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings, as well as in nearby underground trenches connected to them. Transferring the water, totaling some 60,000 tons, to nearby tanks and other storage places is seen as vital to move ahead with the work to restore the key cooling functions for reactors damaged after the March 11 quake and tsunami.

The workers were to start soon with pumping out water filling a trench near the No. 2 reactor to a ''condenser'' inside the reactor's turbine building, as the level of the water is edging up, apparently because of steps taken to block the water from leaking into the Pacific Ocean, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. The condenser, where in normal operations steam created from the reactor is converted into water, has a capacity to store 3,000 tons of liquid and work to empty it finished Saturday.

The water inside the basement of the No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench connected to it is highly contaminated because it is believed to be originating from the No. 2 reactor core, where fuel rods have partially melted.....The nuclear regulator is asking the firm to check issues such as whether the condenser is sound enough to store the liquid and whether the workers' safety would be secured in the mission, agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama told an afternoon press conference.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 at 08:02:48 PM EST
Nuke crisis shows no signs of ebbing, stoking concerns abroad    Kyodo News

(TOKYO, April 11) While a month has passed since the March 11 killer earthquake and ensuing tsunami, prospects remain bleak that Japan's worst ever nuclear crisis will end any time soon amid a series of challenges left to regain control of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and to clean up radioactive contamination.

Japan also needs to restore confidence overseas by living up to its promise to provide sufficient information on the disaster, as concerns linger especially among neighboring countries over the impact of the recent disposal of low-level radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and the safety of Japanese products.

The plant's six nuclear reactors are in a relatively stable condition compared with before, and leakage of highly radioactive water into the sea has stopped, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. says. But the utility is still walking a tightrope in its efforts to contain the crisis as many of the units need to have coolant water pumped from outside and nitrogen injected to reduce the risks of hydrogen explosions.

''We are fighting against a monster named nuclear power with human wisdom,'' Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda told a press conference in late March, as the country grappled with a situation it had never previously faced with its nuclear reactors.


Two cheers for human wisdom!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 12:24:56 AM EST
ARGeezer:
''We are fighting against a monster named nuclear power with human wisdom,'' Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda told a press conference in late March
Hmm, an industry minister of a country with dozens of nuclear reactors and home to the Toshiba and Hitachi nuclear plant constructors and the famed Japan Steel Works foundry, referring to nuclear power as a monster...

There are other ways he could have described what they are fighting against, but he chose this one.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:18:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All Japanese know of Godzilla.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 09:59:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan to expand evacuation areas near crippled nuclear plant | Kyodo News

The government will expand evacuation districts near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its top spokesman said Monday.

With the crisis at the plant dragging on, some municipalities within a 20- to 30-kilometer radius of the power plant will now be designated as additional evacuation areas, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a news conference.

The government had earlier ordered residents within the 20-km radius of the power station to evacuate and those in the 20-30 km zone to stay indoors after the plant was hit by a deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

The government changed the radiation exposure level which had been used to determine the evacuation zone.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 05:51:07 AM EST
Martyn Williams (martyn_williams) on Twitter
5:16pm strong quake centered under eastern Fukushima. 6- on Japanese scale of 1-7. 1m tsunami warning for Ibaraki (south of Fukushima)

Martyn Williams (martyn_williams) on Twitter

5:16pm quake was M7.1 at 10kms - JMA and USGS under southeast Fukushima

Martyn Williams (martyn_williams) on Twitter

  1. External electricity supply connecting to pumps at Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1,2,3 cut in quake. Using back-up fire pump. - TEPCO

Martyn Williams (martyn_williams) on Twitter

RT @DailyYomiuri: TEPCO says external power restored to reactors at Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Martyn Williams (martyn_williams) on Twitter

5:16pm quake was aftershock to 3/11 quake. Revised magnitude to 7.0 at 6kms depth - JMA


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 Apr 11th, 2011 at 05:59:15 AM EST
No irregularities at Fukushima plant after quake: TEPCO | Reuters
(Reuters) - The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex said there were no irregularities at the plant following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit northeast Japan on Monday.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 06:00:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Restoration work at Fukushima plant suffers setback in Monday quake | Kyodo News

Restoration work at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered another setback as the area was hit by a strong earthquake Monday evening, but the government's nuclear safety agency said no major safety problem is believed to have occurred at the troubled reactors due to the latest quake.

Injection of coolant water to the already-troubled Nos. 1 to 3 reactors halted for about 50 minutes because external power was cut off, but injection resumed after the power was restored, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

The quake led to a delay in the work to remove highly radioactive water that is hampering restoration efforts in the nuclear crisis that has continued for one month since the March 11 killer earthquake and tsunami hit the six-reactor 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 Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 07:06:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's nuclear crisis: Blemishing "brand Japan" | The Economist

THE crisis in Japan has bruised the country's reputation for excellence. Its hyper-efficient supply chains were shown to have major vulnerabilities. Its prestigious nuclear technology companies look feeble. Its renown for food safety has been undermined by fears of radiation contamination.

At least one Western diplomat and economist believes that the stature of Japanese goods in the minds of consumers overseas may be severely damaged. "People buy 'brand Japan' because it implies a premium--that the quality will be better, or the product is more reliable--and now they don't have that," he says.

Fear of radiation has ruined the area around Fukushima and disrupted the flow of exports well beyond its perimeter, as a story in this week's newspaper explains. The worries overseas are largely irrational. Yet what might be the consequences to "made in Japan" as a brand? The Economist asked a number of firms to follow the data. 



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 Apr 11th, 2011 at 06:07:28 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun using unmanned heavy equipment to remove radioactive rubble at the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Hydrogen explosions blew off the ceilings and walls of the Number One and Number Three reactor buildings. The debris is emitting hundreds of millisieverts of radiation per hour in some places, hindering the restoration work.

The utility started using remote-controlled power shovels and bulldozers to remove the rubble on Sunday afternoon.

Operators are using cameras attached to the equipment as well as 6 fixed cameras at the site to carry out the work from hundreds of meters away.


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 Apr 11th, 2011 at 06:15:24 AM EST
Progress. Almost exactly a month after the quake.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 10:04:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima Gov. Sato rejects meeting with TEPCO president | Kyodo News
Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu visited the Fukushima prefectural government office Monday afternoon to apologize for the nuclear disaster at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but Gov. Yuhei Sato has declined to meet him, according to officials from the utility and the prefectural government.


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 Apr 11th, 2011 at 06:24:30 AM EST
Shimane gov. won't OK operations of 2 nuke reactors without safety steps | Kyodo News

Shimane Gov. Zembee Mizoguchi said Monday he will not approve the operations of two reactors at the Shimane nuclear power plant unless the central government comes up with new safety measures following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

''The existing (safety) standards will not be adequate,'' Mizoguchi said concerning whether he would authorize the Shimane plant's operator Chugoku Electric Power Co. to run the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors.

''Neither the government nor we would be able to say it is okay to operate (the reactors) unless it is confirmed that they would be able to handle (accidents) in light of the latest findings'' based on the troubles at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, he told a news conference.

Operations of the No. 1 reactor at the Shimane plant in Matsue have been suspended after the utility's failure to properly check the safety of equipment and components at the plant came to light in March last year.



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 Apr 11th, 2011 at 09:55:08 AM EST
Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5 | Kyodo News

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan released a preliminary calculation Monday saying that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.

The disclosure prompted the government to consider raising the accident's severity level to 7, the worst on an international scale, from the current 5, government sources said. The level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale has only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.

The current provisional evaluation of 5 is at the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.



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 Apr 11th, 2011 at 01:50:28 PM EST
Japan disaster to send sales of smartphones falling by up to 5% | Business | The Guardian

Smartphone sales could drop by up to 5% this year because the Japanese earthquake in March seriously affected supplies of key parts, industry sources say.

Among those affected in the £100bn industry are the world leader Nokia, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) and Sony Ericsson.

But other companies - including iPhone maker Apple, as well as Samsung, HTC and China's Huawei - are understood to have moved quickly after the quake hit to secure supplies from alternative locations in China, Taiwan and Korea, which could give them a substantial advantage as shortages hit rivals over the next three 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 Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:08:35 PM EST
As this one has exceeded 300 comments: Fukushima: now as bad as Chernobyl.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:14:14 PM EST


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