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I wonder how widespread the infrastructure damage is. Obviously places obliterated by a tsunami are going to be in trouble, but what about a few miles inland?

The loss of a significant fraction of the national power source seems to me to be a huge, long-term issue.

by asdf on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:58:21 PM EST
but this is more linked to the concentrated nature of big nuclear plants than to the technology.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when you've lost whole cities, you've lost a lot of infrastructure!

I'd add that the tsunami must have released massive pollution into the ground when it crashed cars (50 gallons of hydrocarbons each plus tons of metal), boats, houses, warehouses, etc...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:28:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The chemical pollution is almost certain to make the radiation problem seem like nothing when we look back on it. say 200,000 vehicles, at 30 litres of oils and fuels each, thats about 6 million  litres dropped onto your best agricultural land and city sites

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
The rolling, three-hour power outages scheduled to affect prefectures in Kanto and Chubu on Monday - the first in Japan's history - will take place between 0620 and 2200 local time on Monday, says the Japan Times online. "If we continue [using electricity at the current level], there is the possibility of an all-out blackout in the area," it quotes Prime Minister Naoto Kan as saying. "The impact of a sudden, large-scale blackout would be immense and we must prevent it at all costs."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:31:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With emphasis on long-term. Cleaning up the reactor cores after the partial meltdown, and thoroughly checking the containment vessels after they withstood more than the design pressure, may take years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:23:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
somewhere in the last two days diaries is something that says after the last major earthquake, where design tolerances weren't breached it took two years to check stations before they were considered safe to return online. with major plant replacements youve got to be looking way beyond that, if youre not looking at a complete teardown and replace.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:31:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another question is did the Tsunami affect the Muroran plant on Hokkaido.

Samurai-Sword Maker's Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival - Bloomberg

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- From a windswept corner of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Japan Steel Works Ltd. controls the fate of the global nuclear-energy renaissance.

There stands the only plant in the world, a survivor of Allied bombing in World War II, capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor's containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak.

(a link I remember from here a year or two ago)

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Steel Guru : Japanese steel mills assessing damage from earth quake - 195471 - 2011-03-12
Nippon Steel's Muroran and Kimitsu works are also reported to have suffered some damage.

Depending how severe, this might mean a re-design for any new containment components

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:44:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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