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Japan disasters open thread

by DoDo Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 06:10:27 AM EST

An earthquake estimated at between 8.8 and 9.0 and tsunamis it triggered hit northern Japan yesterday. Among the massive damage caused, given European Tribune's special attention to energy, those affecting installations of the energy industry are of special relevance here. In addition to major fires at LNG terminals, the quake damaged a number of nuclear reactors, and emergency cooling systems didn't work properly, leading to an explosion.

As the comments thread of the original Japanese Earthquake Diary grew rather long, here is a new one.

SNAPSHOT-Developments after major Japan earthquake | Reuters

(Reuters) - Following are main developments in the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck northeast Japan on Friday.

- Death toll expected to exceed 1,300, domestic media say, with most people appeared to have drowned.

* Chief Cabiet Secretary Yukio Edano says there was an explosion at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) Fukushima nuclear power plant after the quake but not at the reactor container. He added that no large amount of radiation leakage was expected.

- Fukushima prefecture says the ceiling of TEPCO's reactor has collapsed. NHK says the outer structure of the building that houses the reactor appeared to have blown off.


Display:
Chief Cabiet Secretary Yukio Edano says there was an explosion at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) Fukushima nuclear power plant after the quake but not at the reactor container.

To recap: with reports that the explosion was a hydrogen explosion outside the containment vessel but inside the external structure that was visibly heavily damaged, and falling radiation levels after the explosion, the one interpretation I see is that the exploding hydrogen was (in) the gas vented from the containment vessel to reduce pressure.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:21:57 AM EST
Noriyuki Shikata, from Japanese PM's office tweets: "TEPCO's [Tokyo Electric Power Company] efforts to depressurize the container was successful. Additional measures are now taken tonight using sea water and boric acid. "

This means they are still in big trouble trying to cool the core, and not out0 of danger of meltdown.

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

by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:02:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had no idea any of this was happening.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:07:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Check the previous thread.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:10:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm reading via Gogle translate that by midnight local time, pressure went down to 375 kPa (the design value is 400), but they still plan another venting (? not sure about this). They say the explosion was in the turbine house Here is a close-up photo of the damaged building:

Here is a cross-section:



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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:06:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, basically, the flimsy walls of the reactor hall were blown away. The concrete containment and the reactor vessel cap might well survive that, it is after all very robust.

Still, the reactor will never return to service again, not after they flood the core with seawater. Which by the way is not some ad-hoc solution, but in the emergency plans, at least in Sweden.

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

by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:24:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember reading in one of the Google translates that the power plant spokesman specifically said that they never planned for something like this and hope that everything will go right.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... be picked up in the process of learning how to quantify quantifiable risks, that risks that are hard to stick a number on are therefore risks with a weight of zero.

The same fallacy is endemic throughout mainstream economics.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 01:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Click to enlarge

Source : World Nuclear News - Battle to stabilise earthquake reactors

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet

by Melanchthon on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 01:45:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also a good presentation by the NYT: The Crippled Japanese Nuclear Reactors

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet
by Melanchthon on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't they have much less trouble to explain that scenario?

By the way, just a few minutes ago a new strong earthquake was announced, on the Nigata side.

by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:42:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there was an explosion...but not at the reactor container.

My fear is that "the reactor container" to which they refer is the steel vessel immediately surrounding the reactor. Unless they can get their emergency cooling working to some approximation of design intent this vessel is reliably going to melt....

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another reactor at Fukushima nuke plant loses cooling functions

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.

The utility supplier notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.

It was the sixth reactor overall at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to undergo cooling failure since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan on Friday.

by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the previous thread, we discussed the failure of the emergency diesel generators that would have been needed for the cooling system to work properly, and more broadly active safety systems and their vulnerability. One news channel's news crawler now says that the emergency generators were damaged by the tsunami. If so, this is a safe design rather than maintenance issue; but I don't know if I should trust the source.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had seen various reports that the generators operated for an hour after the earthquake.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ive read that the next round of upgrades to international safety standards was due to cover flooding from earthquakes, but it was always something that had been considered a low probability.

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 05:59:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The probaility is usually something like 1 to the power of minus 9... until it is 1. :p

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:01:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well
Note to self: don't build a nuclear reactor buy a wooden house on a coastal floodplain near a nuclear reactor on an island where they have a special word for 'a giant wave caused by earthquakes'.


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:13:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean 10 to the power of minus nine... otherwise it's always 1.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:24:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes of course, seems I lost a zero there.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:30:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what's a zero or nine among friends?

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:09:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. Years ago when ET had the big nuclear debates, I had a hard time getting across with an argument that risk/benefit assessments are based on the assumption that most risks of relevance are known enough to be quantified (f.e. here).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me the risks were known. Problem is that they were ignored.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 01:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or they gave their best-guess quantification ran the numbers and discovered using those figures gave them an answer they didn't like or want.  So they jiggered the figures until they got the answer they wanted.

Happens all the time.

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

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have some first hand experience with that process. Fortunately it only involved some else's money -- which ended up being tied up much longer than "estimated".

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least the magnitude 9 earthquake, the 10 m tsunami, the combination of the two, and incompatible sockets for mobile generators were among the unforeseen risks.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:35:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I fail to comprehend is why they couldn't just hard-wire past the connectors. Torch some silver on the connection. It is not a Cat6 circuit.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:44:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, it's as if people had no improvisation skills. Then again, we once had a similar problem that cost us half a day, and the makeshift solution was not something for occupational safety inspectors...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 03:30:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read that frequences (50 and 60) were not compatible, as different standards are used in Japanese industries.
by das monde on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 03:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Were the only portable generators available 60Hz US units? Does Japan not make diesel emergency generators?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 11:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read elsewhere that Japan is divided into two regions with incompatible 50Hz and 60Hz standards.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 11:28:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's in the TEPCO reports (which I can't access at the moment): 2:46 pm to 3:41 pm the generators worked. However, that doesn't exclude some unspecified damage to the generators as the cause for failure. Say, something was bent or there was oil loss and it took an hour for the bearings of the machines to jam or something.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:40:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, both of us ignored something: the tsunami didn't hit at the same time as the earthquake...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:38:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Tsunami, Japan's Seawalls Were No Security - NYTimes.com
Peter Yanev, one of the world's best-known consultants on designing nuclear plants to withstand earthquakes, said the seawalls at the Japanese plants could not handle tsunami waves of the height that struck them. But the diesel generators were situated in a low spot on the assumption that the walls were high enough to protect against any likely tsunami.

That turned out to be a fatal miscalculation. The tsunami walls either should have been built higher, or the generators should have been place on higher ground to withstand potential flooding, he said.

As one who used to be in charge of installing emergency diesel generators in industrial plants and oil/gas rigs (that was long ago!), I can say emergency diesel generators are highly vulnerable. They must be located in safe places and well protected, and that includes the diesel fuel storage tanks and supply lines, the air intake system, the electric and/or compressed air starting devices, the batteries, the engine cooling system as well as the electric and electronic devices that are supposed to automatically start them and connect them to the pumps whenever there is a power shortage and to pilot them. So if they were flooded, there was no chance they could run for long.

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet

by Melanchthon on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:03:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fairness to the Japanese, in the placement of generators, tsunamis aren't the only concern to take into account. There is the earthquake itself (generator atop a building that may collapse?), and there are typhoons.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:39:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but you can have a specific, earthquake-proof building for the emergency generators. Actually, it seems that few buildings did collapse following the earthquake. At least the nuclear power plants buildings did not.

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet
by Melanchthon on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention potential Godzillas, Mothras, etc. I mean, who the heck did the disaster probability calculations, anyway???
by asdf on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:57:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And they have to be regularly tested and maintained over the many, many years until they are needed.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If failing generators are the actual problem... it looks like shutting down all reactors immediately was not the best strategy in this particular case. The reactors themselves withstood the earthquake fine apparently. From today's point of view, keeping a reactor half-running and pumping cooling to the others looks less risky. But surely, that would make the design and the decision protocol so much more complicated.
by das monde on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the oil rigs/plants, the rule was to run the emergency generators everyday for half an hour.

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet
by Melanchthon on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 03:24:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would think that the emergency generators must be run at least once a week for a long enough time for the engines to get up to full working temperature.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 11:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldnt surprise me to find that in theory they have to have at least one of the emergency generators running at all time.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear Crisis in Japan | Union of Concerned Scientists

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

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

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



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:22:55 AM EST
Sadly, The Union of Concerned Scientists confirm my fears. From the article above:
This power failure resulted in one of the most serious conditions that can affect a nuclear plant--a "station blackout"--during which off-site power and on-site emergency alternating current (AC) power is lost. Nuclear plants generally need AC power to operate the motors, valves and instruments that control the systems that provide cooling water to the radioactive core. If all AC power is lost, the options to cool the core are limited.

The boiling water reactors at Fukushima are protected by a Reactor Core Isolation Cooling (RCIC) system, which can operate without AC power because it is steam-driven and therefore does not require electric pumps. However, it does require DC power from batteries for its valves and controls to function.

If battery power is depleted before AC power is restored, however, the RCIC will stop supplying water to the core and the water level in the reactor core could drop. If it drops far enough, the core would overheat and the fuel would become damaged. Ultimately, a "meltdown" could occur: the core could become so hot that it forms a molten mass that melts through the steel reactor vessel. This would release a large amount of radioactivity from the vessel into the containment building that surrounds the vessel.


It may well be that some very substantial AC generating capability is required. If the system is three phase that could complicate work-arounds.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:50:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know it's my birthday, and I'm involved in the wind power business, but really, there was no need to cast a shadow on nuclear power like this - I already have more work than I can cope with trying to get offshore wind farms built :)

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:27:22 AM EST
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:30:32 AM EST
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they can at least contain the LNG fire.



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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:18:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking to an ASPO friend who is an engineer and has done a lot of nuclear work, it seems that the explosions might have come from the condensation (blow-down) chambers heating to 100+ degrees Celsius, and not being designed for that, they failed catastrophically without badly denting the core. Which means this might not be worse than TMI. We might not even have a core meltdown, and the Cesium finds could instead be explained by fuel breakage and pressure venting to the atmosphere.

This theory would fit with the info that radiation levels spiked after the explosion, but then fell back.

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

by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:33:43 AM EST
Noriyuki SHIKATA (norishikata) on Twitter
Blast was caused by accumulated hydrogen combined with oxygen in the space between container and outer structure. No damage to container.

The large amount of hydrogen indicates sustained high radiation levels within the core. Partial meltdown or not? So we are back to square one: the thing still has to be cooled. They will now attempt seawater – they did openly admit that this is not something the plant was designed for, I wonder if the salt will be a problem.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh... the plant is on on the coast and is always cooled by seawater. Or are they going to introduce seawater into the primary circuit?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:18:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At this point they're probaby going to douse the outside of the vessel with seawater.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:28:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously. The water level in the primary system is low. As quoted in the previous thread, a few hours ago, water level was at half the height of the fuel rods. (I don't get however how seawater will work if water from other sources didn't.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The core is usually cooled by de-mineralised water.

It sounds like the plan is to start pumping in sea water mixed with boron to kill the reactor and write it off. (Wasn't it about to be decommissioned anyway?)

But if half the core is exposed, won't that just produce more hydrogen?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:57:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't it about to be decommissioned anyway?

Later this month it will be 40 years since it started operating.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:07:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

Japanese officials have denied the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant is as serious as either the 1979 Three Mile Island accident or the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

On the seven-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, Fukushima rates a four, said Japan's nuclear safety agency. Three Mile Island was a five, while Chernobyl was a seven.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:23:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The spinning begins
On the seven-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, Fukushima rates a four, said Japan's nuclear safety agency. Three Mile Island was a five, while Chernobyl was a seven.
Who cares about rankings in the INES scale? People who will be happy to defend themselves with Three Mile Island was worse"
Because of the difficulty of interpreting, the INES level of an incident is assigned well after the incident occurs. Therefore, the scale has a very limited ability to assist in disaster-aid deployment.

...

INES Level 5: Accident with wider consequences

Impact on People and Environment

Limited release of radioactive material likely to require i mplementation of some planned  countermeasures.
Several deaths from radiation.

...

Impact on Radiological Barriers and Control

Severe damage to reactor core.
Release of large quantities of radioactive material within an installation with a high probability of significant public exposure. This could arise from a major criticality accident or fire.

...

INES Level 4: Accident with local consequences

Impact on People and the Environment

Minor release of radioactive material unlikely to result in implementation of planned countermeasures other than local food controls.
At least one death from radiation.

Impact on Radiological Barriers and Control

Fuel melt or damage to fuel resulting in more than 0.1% release of core inventory.
Release of significant quantities of radioactive material within an installation with a high probability of significant public exposure.

I think we're well past unlikely to result in implementation of planned countermeasures other than local food controls and into Limited release of radioactive material likely to require i mplementation of some planned  countermeasures and Severe damage to reactor core; release of large quantities of radioactive material within an installation with a high probability of significant public exposure. This could arise from a major criticality accident or fire.

So the guy is probably full of shit about the level 4.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:32:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnitude 6 quake/aftershock in Fukashima close to Nuke plant site

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:33:45 AM EST
Apparently just off the coast, and another Tsunami warning in place

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Expert saying that as a rule of thumb you should expect at least one aftershock of one magnitude less than the original quake

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:58:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i.e. probably the world's second biggest earthquake of the year?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:12:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well bigger than everything in the last year apart from the Chile earthquake 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 Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:19:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Christchurch was just a couple weeks ago.

They announced 3 strong successive tremors in the last 15 minutes: near Nigata, Tokyo and closer to Hokkaido.

by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See here.

Yesterday's quake was the largest yet of this year, all other earthquakes were no bigger than 7.2 Richter scale - including two after shocks at Honshu.

by Nomad on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:25:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe this is a pre-shock of a magnitude 10 event.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:31:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me to ask Nomad. Are there any hypotheses about an upper limit for the energy of a tectonic earthquake (the same way there are for an upper limit for cyclone strength)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:37:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Richter scale has no theoretical upper limit, but I think there are some limitations lurking in the constraints that determine the seismic moment.

Probably the shear stress has an upper limit through the physical properties of the different types rock.

Area and displacement, are limited to the seize of the fault zone - in this case the subduction zone.

Whether there are hypotheses on what the extent is of what is deemed possible, I've never heard of them.

by Nomad on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:52:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Full of happy thoughts today, are we?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:24:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sky News Newsdesk (SkyNewsBreak) on Twitter
Local Government says 9,500 people are unaccounted for in Japanese port of Minamisanriku


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:34:19 AM EST
And we have too many idiots in the world.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:44:11 AM EST
Has Westboro Baptist Church come up with their God hates Japan campaign, yet?

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If so can we club together to buy them airline tickets to go there and do it properly?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:55:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is that a joke?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's humanity.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:00:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:54:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Celebrating their sore wealth ratings jumping up??
by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
YouTube - NOAAPMEL's Channel
Propagation of the March 11, 2011 Honshu tsunami was computed with the NOAA forecast method using MOST model with the tsunami source inferred from DART® data. From the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, located at NOAA PMEL in Seattle, WA. See http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:01:24 AM EST


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

Of 90 people from within the 10km exclusion zone around Fukushima nuclear power plant tested, three have given positive results for radiation exposure, says Japanese public broadcaster NHK. That's just over three per cent.

Some 45,000 people who live within the 10km radius were told to evacuate their homes in the early hours of this morning, when pressure inside reactors was building rapidly.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:09:35 AM EST
Massive earthquake hits Japan - The Big Picture - Boston.com
An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit off the east coast of Japan early today. The quake -- one of the largest in recorded history -- triggered a 23-foot tsunami that battered Japan's coast, killing hundreds and sweeping away cars, homes, buildings, and boats. Editors note: we'll post more as the story develops -- Lloyd Young (47 photos total)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:14:01 AM EST
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:59:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of the old joke "Mysterious hole appears in road, police are looking into it".

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of what happens when you build a road half on backfill and there is a quake with partial liquefaction.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:03:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't they have these at Land Rover dealerships?  It might not be the quake. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:21:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK; I understand faults and I understand roads, but how did they know to put the yellow line of the road exactly where the fault would be so they could take this picture 40 years later?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The road is in the middle of a slope. Perhaps half of the road was digged out, the other filled in. Or the road was along a horizontal slope feature that still needed fillment.
by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:09:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my thought, too.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:27:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was thinking that each carriageway may have been laid as a seperate strip of tarmac, and so the join might provide a point of weakness. but thats only a mental stab in the dark.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is very common to apply the asphalt one half at a time as the center line is the least likely place to be a problem if a separation develops and will, over time, have less traffic directly on it than any other part of the road. Separate applications a day apart makes for a natural separation division, especially when combined with the likelihood that half the road had material removed from the slope and half had material added to make a level road.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have seen more roads with gaps right between lanes. Driving pressure separation must be playing a role indeed.
by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obvious photoshop...
by asdf on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
At least 1.4m homes are without water following the quake, according to government officials. 59 water trucks have been sent to the worst-hit areas. Some 3m are without power and utility companies say it will take some time to restore supplies.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:20:37 AM EST
Japan Earthquake Update (1340 CET) : IAEA Alert Log

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) that there has been an explosion at the Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and that they are assessing the condition of the reactor core. The explosion was reported to NISA by the plant operator, TEPCO, at 0730 CET. Further details were not immediately available.

Japanese authorities have extended the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a 20-kilometre radius from the previous 10 kilometres. At the nearby Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, the evacuation zone has been extended to a 10-kilometre radius from the previous three kilometres.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:37:36 AM EST
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
More than 300,000 people have now been evacuated from homes in northern Japan and that number will rise as the government increases the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Kyodo reports


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:38:00 AM EST
From source of unknown reliability:

The Japanese are saying that this is a hydrogen explosion. It's possible: hydrogen is used extensively throughout nuke plants to aid in corrosion control, and is even used to cool the main generator windings. There are huge quantities of it stored and piped all throughout the facilities.

But hydrogen is also produced when fuel overheats. The Zircaloy used in the fuel cladding will react with water at temps of 2000 degrees or so (way past the core damage temps) and give off massive amounts of hydrogen in a process refered to as the zircaloy-water reaction. Regardless, looking at the video the explosion seems to originate in the containment building (big, square building on the left) which is where the reactor is housed.

In any respect, "it ain't good news", as the saying goes.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/03/12/134482611/explosion-at-japanese-nuclear-plant-not-nuc lear-no-meltdown

by asdf on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:52:03 AM EST
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs
Steff Gaulter, Al Jazeera's senior meteorologist, shows us satellite images of Japan's north-east coast, showing how the coastline has shifted significantly inland.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:15:15 AM EST
Some meta-meta-commentary:

  • CNN was just unwatchable last night. At one time, they want to discuss how this is the first earthquake/tsunami televised live; then how this is the Facebook earthquake...

  • In multiple reports in ARD's otherwise good half-hour segment, reporters use tired-tested phrases about 'people still being in shock' and such – while showing interviews of Japanese people not at all in shock...

  • BBC, to the contrary, asks local reporters/webcam interviewees about how Japanese people act differently from 'normal' panic.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Saw lots of people talking about MSNBC and complaining that their concentration appeared to ignore the human cost, and concentrate entirely on the cost to peoples stock portfolios.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is MSNBC.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:06:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

Vladimir Putin, Russian prime minister, says the Sakhalin II project - off the eastern coast of Russia - will increase supply of Liquified Natural Gas to Japan is needed.

LNG prices have spiked since the two disasters devastated north-east Japan, as investors eye opportunities to sell energy resources to Japan as rescue and recovery efforts continue.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:26:08 AM EST
Those two aflame LNG terminals were really good commercials for the technology... not.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:19:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be more concerned if they weren't burning - that would mean that they'd simply released the methane into the atmosphere...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO has updated their Press releases page. The latest is: White smoke around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1
Today at approximately 3:36PM, a big quake occurred and there was a big
sound around the Unit 1 and white smoke.
Our two employees and two subcontract workers working for the safety of
the plant were injured and transported to the hospital.

We are presently checking on the site situation of each plant and effect
of discharged radioactive materials.

This was probably written no less than an hour after the explosion. I wonder whether quake means they're blaming the explosion on an aftershock, or it's an ambiguous translation of "explosion" as in the reactor was shaken. See also: Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 5PM) (8 hours ago)
The value of radioactive material (iodine, etc) is increasing according
to the monitoring car at the site (outside of the site). One of the
monitoring posts is also indicating higher than normal level.
* Since the amount of radiation at the boundary of the site exceeds the
limits, we decide at 4:17PM and we have reported and/or noticed the
government agencies concerned to apply the clause 1 of the Article 15 of
the Radiation Disaster Measure at 5PM.
* In addition, a vertical earthquake hit the site and big explosion has
happened near the Unit 1 and smoke breaks out around 3:36PM.
Our two employees and two cooperation workers who had been working for
the foundation of safety are suffered and they are all sent to the
hospital.
Yep, there are blaming the explosion on an earthquake.
[Blackout in TEPCO's Service Area]
Total of about 0.54 million households are out of power.
Tokyo: 0
Kanagawa Pref.: 0
Tochigi Pref.: 12,204
Chiba Pref.: 18,080
Saitama Pref: 534
Gunma Pref.: 0
Ibaraki Pref: 505,072


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:42:38 AM EST
Maybe they are talking about this event.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:51:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At Fukushima Daiichi (the plant with the explosion):

TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 8PM March 12th )

Currently, we are implementing a measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels of Unit 1. We have confirmed that the radiation exposure of 1 TEPCO employee, who was working inside the reactor building, exceeded 100mSv (106.3mSv). Because of the absence of industrial physician, we were scheduling diagnosis later. However, we have transported him to the hospital because of the deconditioning.

At Fukushima Daini:

TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 7PM)

* The operator seriously injured in the operating room of tower crane of exhaust stack was transferred to the ground at 5:13PM and confirmed the death at 5:17PM.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
100 mSv is a lot. It is twice what a nuclear worker is allowed to recieve every year, and 20 times annual background. But it is only a tenth of what you need to be exposed to suffer mild radiation poisoning.

Given that the annual dosage limits are conservative, I wouldn't worry too much about increased risk of cancer either, though I'm not sure I'd be that cavalier if I were the one who'd received the exposure.

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

by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:19:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
twice what a nuclear worker is allowed to recieve every year

Twice what they are allowed to receive any year. There is a second rule that they should not receive more than 100 mSv every five years.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:31:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, you're right. I stand corrected.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been looking a bit more at radiation sickness. Seems you need to be exposed to 500-1000 mSv to develop acute mild radiation poisoning. Stuff like nausea and fatigue.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:46:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English

The government of quake-stricken Fukushima Prefecture says it has confirmed that an additional 19 people have been exposed to radiation from a nuclear power plant.

The 19 are among evacuees from Futaba Town located near the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.

The government says 133 people have had checkups.

The 19 will need to undergo decontamination to remove the radioactivity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:58 +0900 (JST)

Such 'selective' contamination, IMHO, implies contamination by particles flying in the air, rather than gas. How did it get out?

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:39:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Futaba is the town the power plant is in. It's alightly south of Minamisoma, a town reported destroyed by the tsunami (tens of thousands of people missing).

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:57:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe fuel particles escaped during the venting, due to core damage. Anyway, I feel that this is not a big problem at the moment. Let's recall that a standard x-ray gives you a 600 microSv exposure, and that the worst we've heard from the plant is 1000 microSv per hour.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was reading somewhere that one of the isotopes detected can only be the result of damaged 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:25:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, cesium and iodine.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It does make a difference whether the same level of radioactivity is concentrated or dispersed: radon gas in a cubic metre of inhaled gas is less likely to lead to cancer than one radioactive particle of similar radioactivity getting stuck in the lungs. That 1015 μSv reading was by a standard meter, which I imagine is not very useful to determine the localised radioactivity level of single particles. (This is something I read of in the literature on Chernobyl's damage.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:05:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English

The Japanese government rates the accident at the Fukushima Number One nuclear power plant at level 4 on an international scale of 0 to 7.

Two radioactive substances, cesium and radioactive iodine, were detected near the Number One reactor at the plant on Saturday. Their presence indicates nuclear fission of uranium.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that fuel in the reactor partially melted. It's the first such accident in Japan.

A level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiologocal Event Scale includes damage to fuel and release of significant quantities of radioactive material within an installation.
It's the same level as a criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant in Tokai Village in Ibaraki Prefecture, south of Fukushima, in 1999.

The agency called the accident very regrettable even though it was triggered by an earthquake.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 07:08 +0900 (JST)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So now we know: "Its OK if its the fault of an earthquake. Then there are no regrets."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:07:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those kind expressions may be hard to translate, or to understand their personal or cultural meaning. That may be called non-apology apology, but on other hand, the word "regret" may be appreciated already. What is clear now is that the plants were not ready for this earthquake and tsunami even by design. How do you ensure that backup generators would not be knocked out by the same calamity that endangers the plant?
by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

(US Geological Service)

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:47:46 AM EST
Looks like the parasites are already hard at work

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:55:32 AM EST
Can Sarah Palin see the fallout from her house yet ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:07:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a good Caribou Barbie-Godzilla joke in here somewhere....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenpeace Response to Radioactivity Release from Fukushima Reactor | Greenpeace International
Tokyo, 12 March, 2011 - Reacting to reports that radioactive materials including the isotope Cesium-137 have been released from the Fukushima power plant, and that increased levels of radiation have been detected in the immediate vicinity, Jan Beranek, Head of Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaign said:

"Our thoughts continue to be with the Japanese people as they face the threat of a nuclear disaster, following already devastating earthquake and tsunami. The authorities must focus on keeping people safe, and avoiding any further releases of radioactivity".


"The evolving situation at Fukushima remains far from clear, but what we do know is that contamination from the release of Cesium-137 poses a significant health risk to anyone exposed. Cesium-137 has been one if the isotopes causing the greatest health impacts following the Chernobyl disaster, because it can remain in the environment and food chain for 300 years."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 10:56:41 AM EST
Cesium-137 has been one if the isotopes causing the greatest health impacts following the Chernobyl disaster, because it can remain in the environment and food chain for 300 years.

This is because

It has a half-life of about 30.1 years
so in 300 years it decays to 1/1000 of its original concentration.
As of 2005, caesium-137 is the principal source of radiation in the zone of alienation around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

...

Caesium-137 is water-soluble and chemically toxic in small amounts. ... Experiments with dogs showed that a single dose of 3800 μCi/kg (approx. 44 μg/kg of caesium-137) is lethal within three weeks.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:14:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hence the importance of ingesting or inhaling particles containing short lived radioactive material. The shorter lived they are the hotter they are. But that is entirely separate from their chemical toxicity. Cesium does not naturally occur in environments used by humans and such contamination makes such environments uninhabitable for hundreds of years.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

taying with energy markets, Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador says it is lifting a precautionary force majeure it had declared on oil exports, after a tsunami warning on its west coast.

Yesterday, shares in Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas jumped - as speculators invested heavily with hopes of boosted exports as Japan looks to rebuild its shattered infrastructure.

After one steel mill owned by Sumitomo Metal caught fire, traders expect Sumitomo majority shaeholder Nippon Steel to import Usiminas products. Gustavo Brunetto, a trader with Solidus Corretora, said:

The event could leverage Usiminas' sales to Japan.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:21:08 AM EST
Japan confronts full scale of quake devastation - video | World news | guardian.co.uk
Up to 10,000 people are missing in the town of Minamisanriku, as rescue efforts continue along the devastated eastern coast of Japan


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:55:35 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 Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:57:09 AM EST


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would someone please post a few limited bandwith photos of the radiation leaking? . Some people on the train would like to see.

Oh wait.  This is just like the effect of tailpipe breathing, or living downwind from a coal plant. Of course if you can't find it on television it doesn't exist.

Reminds me that as a 14 yr old i was trained in using current meteorological conditions to estimate radiation doses from plant accidents, or then current megaton explosion. I used to make cool maps. At 15 i was asked to join some kind of Civil Defense team which would calculate how long emergency workers could be outside.

Thinking about what aaiiigh! was working on probably made me what i am today, crazy. at least about civilization and energy.

somebody look up Diablo Canyon, and the fault it's on. and the effect of building the piping backwards. Wheeeeeeeee! Let's build a nuke on Devil's Canyon with a fault.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:59:38 AM EST
here



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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation - Quantities and Units of Ionizing Radiation  Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

(I provided the orange box to highlight the portion directly related to human dose limits.)

What units are used for measuring radiation energy?

The energy of ionizing radiation is measured in electronvolts (eV). One electronvolt is an extremely small amount of energy. Commonly used multiple units are kiloelectron (keV) and megaelectronvolt (MeV).

6,200 billion MeV = 1 joule

1 joule per second = 1 watt

1 keV = 1000 eV, 1 MeV = 1000 keV

Watt is a unit of power, which is the equivalent of energy (or work) per unit time (e.g., minute, hour).

What units are used for measuring radiation exposure?

X-ray and gamma-ray exposure is often expressed in units of roentgen (R). The roentgen (R) unit refers to the amount of ionization present in the air. One roentgen of gamma- or x-ray exposure produces approximately 1 rad (0.01 gray) tissue dose (see next section for definitions of gray (Gy) and rad units of dose).

Another unit of measuring gamma ray intensity in the air is "air dose or absorbed dose rate in the air" in grays per hour (Gy/h) units. This unit is used to express gamma ray intensity in the air from radioactive materials in the earth and in the atmosphere.

What units are used for measuring radiation energy?

When ionizing radiation interacts with the human body, it gives its energy to the body tissues. The amount of energy absorbed per unit weight of the organ or tissue is called absorbed dose and is expressed in units of gray (Gy). One gray dose is equivalent to one joule radiation energy absorbed per kilogram of organ or tissue weight. Rad is the old and still used unit of absorbed dose. One gray is equivalent to 100 rads.

1 Gy = 100 rads

Equal doses of all types of ionizing radiation are not equally harmful. Alpha particles produce greater harm than do beta particles, gamma rays and x rays for a given absorbed dose. To account for this difference, radiation dose is expressed as equivalent dose in units of sievert (Sv). The dose in Sv is equal to "absorbed dose" multiplied by a "radiation weighting factor"

....

What is ionizing radiation?
What are some examples of ionizing radiation?
What properties are considered when ionizing radiation is measured?
What units are used for measuring radioactivity?
What does half-life mean when people talk about radioactivity?
What units are used for measuring radiation energy?
What units are used for measuring radiation exposure?
What units are used for measuring radiation dose?
What effects do different doses of radiation have on people?
What are the limits of exposure to radiation?
What is the relationship between SI units and non-SI units?
What is a "committed dose"?
What is an "effective dose"?
What are "working level" and "working level month"?

What is ionizing radiation?

Ionizing radiation is radiation that has enough energy to remove electrons from atoms or molecules (groups of atoms) when it passes through or collides with some material. The loss of an electron with its negative charge causes the atom (or molecule) to become positively charged. The loss (or gain) of an electron is called ionization and a charged atom (or molecule) is called an ion.

What are some examples of ionizing radiation?

Forms of ionizing radiation include:

    * Gamma rays
    * X rays
    * Alpha particles
    * Beta particles
    * Neutrons.

X rays refer to a kind of electromagnetic radiation generated when a strong electron beam bombards metal inside a glass tube. The frequency of this radiation is very high - 0.3 to 30 Ehz (exahertz or million gigahertz). By comparison FM radio stations transmit at frequencies around 100 MHz (megahertz) or 0.1 Ghz (gigahertz).

Some compounds like uranium are radioactive and give off radiation when the nucleus breaks down or disintegrates. The three kinds of radiation generated by radioactive materials or sources are alpha particle, beta particles and gamma-rays.

What properties are considered when ionizing radiation is measured?

Ionizing radiation is measured in terms of:

    * the strength or radioactivity of the radiation source,
    * the energy of the radiation,
    * the level of radiation in the environment, and
    * the radiation dose or the amount of radiation energy absorbed by the human body.

From the point of view of the occupational exposure, the radiation dose is the most important measure. Occupational exposure limits like the ACGIH TLVs are given in terms of the permitted maximum dose. The risk of radiation-induced diseases depends on the total radiation dose that a person receives over time.

What units are used for measuring radioactivity?

Radioactivity or the strength of radioactive source is measured in units of becquerel (Bq).

1 Bq = 1 event of radiation emission per second.

One becquerel is an extremely small amount of radioactivity. Commonly used multiples of the Bq unit are kBq (kilobecquerel), MBq (megabecquerel), and GBq (gigabecquerel).

1 kBq = 1000 Bq, 1 MBq = 1000 kBq, 1 GBq = 1000 MBq.

An old and still popular unit of measuring radioactivity is the curie (Ci).

1 Ci = 37 GBq = 37000 MBq.

One curie is a large amount of radioactivity. Commonly used subunits are mCi (millicurie), µCi (microcurie), nCi (nanocurie), and pCi (picocurie).

1 Ci = 1000 mCi; 1 mCi = 1000 µCi; 1 µCi = 1000 nCi; 1 nCi = 1000 pCi.

Another useful conversion formula is:

1 Bq = 27 pCi.

Becquerel (Bq) or Curie (Ci) is a measure of the rate (not energy) of radiation emission from a source.

What does half-life mean when people talk about radioactivity?

Radiation intensity from a radioactive source diminishes with time as more and more radioactive atoms decay and become stable atoms. Half-life is the time after which the radiation intensity is reduced by half. This happens because half of the radioactive atoms will have decayed in one half-life period. For example a 50 Bq radioactive source will become a 25 Bq radioactive source after one half-life.

Table 1
Radioactive Decay
Number of half-lives elapsed

Percent radioactivity remaining
0    100
1    50
2    25
3    12.55
4    6.25
5    3.125

Half-lives widely differ from one radioactive material to another and range from a fraction of a second to millions of years.....

What units are used for measuring radiation exposure?

X-ray and gamma-ray exposure is often expressed in units of roentgen (R). The roentgen (R) unit refers to the amount of ionization present in the air. One roentgen of gamma- or x-ray exposure produces approximately 1 rad (0.01 gray) tissue dose (see next section for definitions of gray (Gy) and rad units of dose).

Another unit of measuring gamma ray intensity in the air is "air dose or absorbed dose rate in the air" in grays per hour (Gy/h) units. This unit is used to express gamma ray intensity in the air from radioactive materials in the earth and in the atmosphere.

What units are used for measuring radiation dose?

When ionizing radiation interacts with the human body, it gives its energy to the body tissues. The amount of energy absorbed per unit weight of the organ or tissue is called absorbed dose and is expressed in units of gray (Gy). One gray dose is equivalent to one joule radiation energy absorbed per kilogram of organ or tissue weight. Rad is the old and still used unit of absorbed dose. One gray is equivalent to 100 rads.

1 Gy = 100 rads

Equal doses of all types of ionizing radiation are not equally harmful. Alpha particles produce greater harm than do beta particles, gamma rays and x rays for a given absorbed dose. To account for this difference, radiation dose is expressed as equivalent dose in units of sievert (Sv). The dose in Sv is equal to "absorbed dose" multiplied by a "radiation weighting factor" (WR - see Table 2 below). Prior to 1990, this weighting factor was referred to as Quality Factor (QF).

Table 2
Recommended Radiation Weighting Factors

Type and energy range

Radiation weighting factor, WR
Gamma rays and x rays    1
Beta particles    1
Neutrons, energy
< 10 keV
> 10 keV to 100 keV
> 100 keV to 2 MeV
> 2 MeV to 20 MeV
> 20 MeV   
5
10
20
10
5
Alpha particles    20

Equivalent dose is often referred to simply as "dose" in every day use of radiation terminology. The old unit of "dose equivalent" or "dose" was rem.

Dose in Sv = Absorbed Dose in Gy x radiation weighting factor (WR)

Dose in rem = Dose in rad x QF

1 Sv = 100 rem

1 rem = 10 mSv (millisievert = one thousandth of a sievert)

1 Gy air dose equivalent to 0.7 Sv tissue dose (UNSEAR 1988 Report p.57)

1 R (roentgen) exposure is approximately equivalent to 10 mSv tissue dose

What effects do different doses of radiation have on people?

One sievert is a large dose. The recommended TLV is average annual dose of 0.05 Sv (50 mSv).

The effects of being exposed to large doses of radiation at one time (acute exposure) vary with the dose. Here are some examples:

10 Sv - Risk of death within days or weeks

1 Sv - Risk of cancer later in life (5 in 100)

100 mSv - Risk of cancer later in life (5 in 1000)

50 mSv - TLV for annual dose for radiation workers in any one year

20 mSv - TLV for annual average dose, averaged over five years

What are the limits of exposure to radiation?

The Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) published by the ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) are used in many jurisdictions occupational exposure limits or guidelines:

20 mSv - TLV for average annual dose for radiation workers, averaged over five years

1 mSv - Recommended annual dose limit for general public (ICRP - International Commission on Radiological Protection).




"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope the estimated radiation on that map is off by orders of magnitude. If I read correctly the information I posted below the radiation map:

750 rad = 7.5 Sv X WR where all WRs are equal to or greater than 1.

Sv = sievert = "absorbed dose".  WR = weighting factor (different types of radiation are more or less damaging. A-Rays, Gamma rays and Beta particles have a WR of 1. Alpha particles have a WR of 20.)

But there is a .7 adjustment factor between air dose and body absorbed dose. But still:

10 Sv - Risk of death within days or weeks

1 Sv - Risk of cancer later in life (5 in 100)

750 Rad would equal about 5 Sv.  My instinct tells me this is way too high, possibly due to the assumptions behind the radiation map above. I certainly hope my instincts are right. Australian Radiation Services has been reported to be giving "no comment" answers to inquiries about the map. My guess is that the guy who uploaded the video from which the screen capture of the map was taken made a very worst case assumption about the nature of the release. Else it is time to watch On The Beach.

Were that level of radiation on the way to the USA urgent distribution of potassium iodide tablets and information on sealing one's house should be being distributed.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd put it down as an assumed scam

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed. Things are bad enough...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:55:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:42:51 PM EST
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

The Bank of Japan aims to "ease financial jitters" with a huge cash injection into the money markets - supplying 2trillion yen (US$24.4billion) a day, for two consecutive days.

The BoJ said it would "do its utmost to ensure financial market stability", smoothing the settlement of funds and providing liquidity.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 12:58:57 PM EST
by das monde on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK presser had a close-up of the post-explosion reactor.

The TV views are misleading. Close up it's obvious that while the roof blew off, at least two walls are still standing.

There wasn't a view from the other side, so there was no way to check the state of the other two walls.

Also, plenty of jaw-dropping footage showing entire towns washed away.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:01:32 PM EST
apparently this design is close to the internals of the exploded reactor

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live blog: Japan earthquake | Al Jazeera Blogs

Some 300 homes have been destroyed in the Peruvian port town of Pisco, when an ocean surge caused by tsunami waves flooded into the town's central square. About 400 people are spending tonight in tents after the destruction, the town's mayor said.

In the north of the country, the ocean withdrew as much as 200m, before returning in force and destroying several beachfront homes in Pueblo Nuevo de Colan.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:37:40 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: Satellite Photos
Incredible Satellite Photos Of Earthquake Damage In Japan


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 01:59:48 PM EST
Japan ministers ignored safety warnings over nuclear reactors | World news | guardian.co.uk

The timing of the near nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi could not have been more appropriate. In only a few weeks the world will mark the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear plant disaster ever to affect our planet - at Chernobyl in Ukraine. A major core meltdown released a deadly cloud of radioactive material over Europe and gave the name Chernobyl a terrible resonance.

This weekend it is clear that the name Fukushima came perilously close to achieving a similar notoriety. However, the real embarrassment for the Japanese government is not so much the nature of the accident but the fact it was warned long ago about the risks it faced in building nuclear plants in areas of intense seismic activity. Several years ago, the seismologist Ishibashi Katsuhiko stated, specifically, that such an accident was highly likely to occur. Nuclear power plants in Japan have a "fundamental vulnerability" to major earthquakes, Katsuhiko said in 2007. The government, the power industry and the academic community had seriously underestimated the potential risks posed by major quakes.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:43:09 PM EST


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 02:47:28 PM EST
I think I've been to that park.  As the narrator says, it's landfill.  A whole chunk of the Chiba area was built on ocean-side landfill.  I'm not quite sure why, maybe they had lots of dirt from project excavation to get rid of.

An associate of mine who has a kindergarten in that area reported similar problems, of ground cracks and water upwelling.  The building is likely a total loss.

Where I am, things are oddly normal.  The only sign that anything was amiss was the lack of bread in the market - everything else was fully stocked, and people were going about their daily business as usual.

by Zwackus on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:13:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC Global News (BBCWorld) on Twitter
  1. IAEA says also told by #Japan radiation levels near #nuclear plant have lessened; sea water injection procedure underway, from Reuters 4 minutes ago via TweetDeck
    • IAEA told by #Japan that #nuclear plant explosion happened outside primary containment vessel which remains intact, from Reuters

    IAEA says also told by #Japan radiation levels near #nuclear plant have lessened; sea water injection procedure underway, from Reuters

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

    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 03:31:46 PM EST
    Japan's twin disasters: March 13 liveblog | Al Jazeera Blogs

    Fukushima nuclear plant - where a huge explosion yesterday blew the outer walls and roof off the No.1 reactor building - faces a new problem.

    The emergency cooling system of No.3 reactor has now also stopped working, the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has announced.

    Sea water is being pumped into the No.1 reactor chamber to cool its fuel rods - and officials are scrambling to secure a means of of supplying water to the No.3 reactor.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:37:49 PM EST
    Sky News Newsdesk (SkyNewsBreak) on Twitter
    Reuters: Nine people already exposed to radiation from the nuclear power plant in Japan but total could reach up to 160, an official said


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:40:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This is something we can count on the media to misreport. Even how many engineers are dead sure on how grays relate to rads, Sieverts, Bequerels and so on?

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:44:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Any references to "radiation poisoning" and so on should probably be interpreted as "required decontamination", i.e. a shower with soap and cleaning of fingernails.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 04:45:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan's twin disasters: March 13 liveblog | Al Jazeera Blogs
    AFP says the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where a second reactor system is overheating, says there is a risk of a second explosion. We'll keep you updated right here.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:18:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    "All the functions to keep cooling water levels in No. 3 reactor have failed at the Fukushima No. 1 plant," a spokesman for the operator said.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:20:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    IAEA Alert Log

    Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that the explosion at Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred outside the primary containment vessel (PCV), not inside. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has confirmed that the integrity of the primary containment vessel remains intact.

    As a countermeasure to limit damage to the reactor core, TEPCO proposed that sea water mixed with boron be injected into the primary containment vessel. This measure was approved by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and the injection procedure began at 20:20 local Japan time.

    Japan has reported that four workers at Fukushima Daiichi were injured by the explosion.

    NISA have confirmed the presence of caesium-137 and iodine-131 in the vicinity of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1. NISA reported an initial increase in levels of radioactivity around the plant earlier today, but these levels have been observed to lessen in recent hours.

    Containment remains intact at Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2 and 3.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 05:29:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan - latest press release from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency - :: Future of Journalism - News3.0 ::

    Press release from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency | pdf download:

    The measurement of radioactive materials in the environmental monitoring area near the site (Fukushima Diichi, Unit 1) boundary by a monitoring car confirmed the increase in the radioactivity compared to the radioactivity at 04:00, March 12 now:

    MP4 (Monitoring car data at the site boundary, North-West of Unit1):
    1015 microSv/h (15:29, March 12)
    MP6 (at the main gate)
    0.07microSv/h => 3.25 micro Sv/h
    (04:00, March 12 -> 16:40, March 12)

    The radioactivity at the main gate seems to have slightly increased. Reuters reports: "The government insisted radiation levels were low, saying the blast had not affected the reactor core container, and the International Atomic Energy Agency said it had been told by Japan that levels 'have been observed to lessen in recent hours.'"



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:06:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There may be a misprint in the press release as the 1015 microSv/hr at the site boundary is three orders of magnitude higher than the value at the main gate. But even the higher value is three orders of magnitude lower than the values shown on the Australian Radiation Services distribution map. Mercifully. One has to wonder about that map.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:39:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    _But even the higher value is three orders of magnitude lower than the values shown on the Australian Radiation Services distribution map. Mercifully. One has to wonder about that map. _

    The map is probably assuming all nuclear fuel is released explosively to the atmosphere.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:51:15 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    at the site boundary is three orders of magnitude higher than the value at the main gate

    The "site" likely refers to Unit (reactor) 1, and the "gate" referst to the gate of the whole power plant (comprising 6 reactors).

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:10:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 8AM)
    * High Pressure Coolant Injection System of Unit 3 automatically stopped. We endeavored to restart the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System but failed. Also, we could not confirm the water inflow of Emergency Core Cooling System. As such, we decided at 5.10AM, Mar 12, and we reported and/or noticed the government agencies concerned to apply the clause 1 of the Article 15 of the Radiation Disaster Measure at 5:58AM, Mar 13. In order to fully secure safety, we operated the vent valve to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels (partial release of air containing radioactive materials) and completed the procedure at 8:41AM, Mar 13,

    Later:

    TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9am March 13th)

    Unit 3(Shut down) - Reactor has been shut down. However, High Pressure Core Injection System has been automatically shut down and water injection to the reactor is currently interrupted. We are examining alternative way to inject water. Also, following the instruction by the government and with fully securing safety, steps to lowering the pressure of reactor containment vessel has been taken. Spraying in order to lower pressure level within the reactor containment vessel has been cancelled.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:59:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    AP Partial nuclear meltdown likely underway at Japan plant: official

    A partial meltdown was likely under way at a second nuclear reactor, a top Japanese official said Sunday"


    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 11:41:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan's Nuclear Emergency | Mother Jones

    Fears of a potential nuclear catastrophe are high in northern Japan today, where an explosion has been reported at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The emergency at the plant comes on top of the devastation caused by an 8.9 earthquake and a 33-foot tsunami.

    Details are still emerging about what's happening at the plant. There was a blast on the site on Saturday afternoon, and the New York Times is reporting that Japanese officials have said it occurred in a turbine facility, not in the actual reactor container. But the International Atomic Energy Agency--the United Nation's arm that serves as watchdog on nuclear energy issues around the world--said on Saturday that Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency informed them that the explosion occurred at the Unit 1 reactor.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:29:07 PM EST
    Japanese PM says that more than 3000 people rescued from the debris

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:43:38 PM EST
    CNN reporting  two reactors at one site with cooling problems, they are reporting a second  set of reactors that also have a cooling problem, there are also  reports that the first reactor which has seawater added is not cooling as expected.

    They are also saying that they've had  contact with an official from the compay who says that one of the  reactors with cooling problems may be melting down.

    They have also had the Japanese ambassador get in touch to say categorically that there is not a meltdown occurring.

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

    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 06:57:26 PM EST
    Japanese Government Confirms Meltdown | STRATFOR

    Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12 that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano's comments earlier March 12, in which he said "the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode."

    NISA's statement is significant because it is the government agency that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission. Its role is to provide oversight to the industry and is responsible for signing off construction of new plants, among other things. It has been criticized for approving nuclear plants on geological fault lines and for an alleged conflict of interest in regulating the nuclear sector. It was NISA that issued the order for the opening of the valve to release pressure -- and thus allegedly some radiation -- from the Fukushima power 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 Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:01:15 PM EST
    This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano's comments earlier March 12, in which he said "the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode."

    Huh, so what? Meltdown is not something caused by external hydrogen explosion. Does STRATFOR employ such idiots?

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

    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:35:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:08:13 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Makes you wonder about the cluefulness of their other analysis.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:10:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    AFP is quoting a government figure anonymously that the number of troops involved in rescue activity is being doubled to 100,000

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:29:36 PM EST
    (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) , Japan's largest electric utility, said on Sunday it had started releasing air from a reactor container vessel at the No.3 reactor of its Fukushima Daiichi power 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 Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:31:11 PM EST
    BBC Timeline
    The Fukushima nuclear power station has been rocked by a huge explosion in one of its six reactor units. Amid growing concerns about radioactive material spreading into the surrounding environment, BBC News looks at the events that led to the blast.

    including one thing i think id missed, either one of the controll rods had jammed, or an alarm was going off incorrectly for over two hours prior to the explosion.

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

    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:44:36 PM EST
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_rod

    In most reactor designs, as a safety measure, control rods are attached to the lifting machinery by electromagnets, rather than direct mechanical linkage. This means that automatically in the event of power failure, or if manually invoked due to failure of the lifting machinery, the control rods will fall, under gravity, fully into the pile to stop the reaction. A notable exception to this fail-safe mode of operation is the BWR which requires the hydraulical insertion of control rods in the event of an emergency shut-down, using water from a special tank that is under high nitrogen pressure. Quickly shutting down a reactor in this way is called Scramming the reactor.

    Urban legend has it that the control rods hung above the reactor, suspended by a rope. In an emergency a person assigned to the job would take a fire axe and cut the rope, allowing the rods to fall into the reactor and stop the fission. At some point the title of the person assigned this duty was given as SCRAM, or Safety Control Rod Axe Man (although this may be a backronym). This term continues to be in use today for shutting down a reactor by dropping the control 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 Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:20:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Migeru posted it yesterday. This happened at reactor #1 of the second plant, not the one where there was an explosion.

    TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (as of 1PM March 12th )

    - At 8:19am, there was an alarm indicating that one of the control rods was not properly inserted, however, at 10:43am the alarm was automatically called off. Other control rods has been confirmed that they are fully inserted (reactor is in subcritical status)


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:43:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The legal limit for radioactivity has been passed at the Fukushima plant, AFP says, quoting Japan's Kyodo news agency.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 08:51:26 PM EST
    The Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has informed the government of an "emergency situation" but this does not mean an immediate threat to human health, the company adds. A similar rise in radiation levels occurred after the company released radioactive steam from another reactor to let go of pressure. On that occasion too, the company was obliged to inform the government of an "emergency situation".

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:12:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TEPCO : Press Release | Occurrence of a Specific Incident Stipulated in Article 15, Clause 1 of the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness (Extraordinary increase of radiation dose at site boundary)
    After that, the radiation dose at the monitoring post decreased once. Today, the measured value revamped and the radiation dose measured at site boundary exceeded the limiting value again. As such, at 8:56AM, today, it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in article 15, clause 1 occurred.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:37:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    IAEA Report

    0235 CET, 12 March 2011 Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that Units 1, 2, and 4 at the Fukushima Daini retain off-site power but are experiencing increased pressure in each reactor. Plant operators have vented the containment at each of the three units and are considering further venting to alleviate the increase in pressure.

    Daini Unit 3 is in a safe, cold shutdown, according to Japanese officials.

    Japanese authorities have reported some casualties to nuclear plant workers. At Fukushima Daichi, four workers were injured by the explosion at the Unit 1 reactor, and there are three other reported injuries in other incidents. In addition, one worker was exposed to higher-than-normal radiation levels that fall below the IAEA guidance for emergency situations. At Fukushima Daini, one worker has died in a crane operation accident and four others have been injured



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 09:29:47 PM EST
    • Another reactor reported loss of coolant on Sunday morning. They claim it is under control, Anyway 2 reactors are close to core meltdown.

    • Stores in Tokyo are running out of food stocks but things are calm.

    • They just revised the Richter scale upward to 9.0 Sunday afternoon.

    • A few towns have been completely wiped out. No reliable figure on loss of lives. Maybe tens of thousands.

    • Thank you everyone for thinking about us.


    I will become a patissier, God willing.
    by tuasfait on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:05:01 AM EST
    Good to hear from you.  I was starting to wonder if you were OK.

    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:16:41 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Good to hear from you!

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:46:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English
    Japan's Meteorological Agency says the magnitude of Friday's earthquake that hit the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan was 9.0 instead of 8.8 as earlier announced.

    The agency made the correction on Sunday morning after analyzing seismic waves and other data. The magnitude is equivalent to that of the 2004 earthquake off Sumatra, Indonesia, which triggered massive tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

    The agency says the focal zone of Friday's quake was about 500-kilometers long and 200-kilometers wide. Destructive movement along the fault continued for more than 5 minutes.

    The Meteorological Agency says only 4 other quakes in the world have recorded magnitudes of 9 or over.

    Now agreeing with the US Geological Service.

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

    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:46:41 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Death Toll Estimate in Japan Soars as Relief Efforts Intensify

    Japan faced mounting humanitarian and nuclear emergencies Sunday as the death toll climbed astronomically, partial meltdowns occurred at two crippled plants and cooling problems struck four more reactors. Military units and civilian search-and-rescue teams continued their grim and grinding work in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation's northern Pacific coast Friday.

    In one town alone, the port of Minamisanriku, a senior police official said the number of dead would "certainly be more than 10,000." That number is certain to climb as searchers began to reach coastal villages that had essentially vanished under the first muddy surge of the tsunami. The government ordered 100,000 troops into relief roles in the field -- nearly half the country's active military force and the largest mobilization in postwar Japan. An American naval strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan also arrived off Japan on Sunday to help with refueling, supply and rescue duties.

    Amid the despair and mourning, amid the worry over an unrelenting series of strong aftershocks, there was one bright moment on Sunday morning as Japanese naval forces rescued a 60-year-old man who had been riding the roof of his house for the past two days.

    by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:44:50 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Google LatLong: Post-earthquake images of Japan
    In response to the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan, we've worked with our satellite imagery providers to get the latest available data of the areas affected most.

    To view this high-resolution imagery, courtesy of our partners at GeoEye, download this KML file and explore it in Google Earth. You can also explore the imagery with Google Maps, or have a look at this Picasa album of before-and-after shots. Here's a sample


    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 06:28:08 AM EST
    Japan tsunami and earthquake - Live coverage | World news | guardian.co.uk

    Justin McCurry in Tokyo reports that Japan's meteorological agency on Sunday upgraded last Friday's earthquake from magnitude 8.8 to 9.0, although it is still referring to this estimate as an "interim value". It occurred 130km off the Pacific coast of Tokoku region at a depth of 24km. It is advising people to be vigilant for further tsunamis, landslides and further building collapses.

    It is also warning that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude-7 aftershock striking the country in the next three days.There will be a 50% risk over the three subsequent 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 06:38:04 AM EST
    ABC News - Japan Earthquake: before and after

    Aerial photos taken over Japan have revealed the scale of devastation across dozens of suburbs and tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

    Hover over each satellite photo to view the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 06:47:24 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan already had two aftershocks >7.0 the past days...

    And we've had discussions before at ET that aftershocks can occur even months after the first significant quake... From the top of my head I think the biggest aftershock for the 2004 Indonesia came 3 months later - although it has been debated whether it should be considered an aftershock or an entirely new quake. Still, it is becoming increasingly accepted that earthquakes, particularly bigger ones, can be correlated to each other - although proving this is the hard bit.

    by Nomad on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:56:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Evidently a large number of earthquakes can be part of the same geological event, though they are different historical events.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:53:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    talking of which

    Daily Kos :: State of the Nation

    "A rare fissure eruption began at Kilauea, Hawaii Saturday, fountaining lava up to 80 feet high. It was foreshadowed by  swarm of earthquakes (in yellow) near the caldera of the Kilauea volcano in late February and the first 4 days of March.  The earthquakes were caused by a series of shifts in the deep plumbing of the east rift zone that has been maintaining Kilauea's continuous eruption, centered at the Pu'u O'o crater, since 1983."

    OT?

    haven't had time to read all the japan threads, sorry if this had already been posted

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

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:53:00 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Kilauea is not even close to being on the same fault as Japan. If I am not mistaken, Hawaii is on an oceanic hot spot in the middle of a plate, while Japan is close to a plate subduction zone on the edge of the plate. And the Pacific plate is the largest plate in the world.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:57:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The first day headlines included: Japanese, Russian and Indonesian Volcanoes Erupt
    by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:08:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Volcanoes have reportedly erupted in Japan, Indonesia, and Kamchatka Russia today, presumably due to the massive Japanese earthquake. There have been no reports of damage from the eruptions.
    Some "presumption".

    However,at least the Kamchatka and Japan volcanoes would be on the same plate boundary as the earthquake epicentre.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:12:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There was a 6.6 earthuake in Bali, Indonesia just hours before Japan's. A distant pre-shock?
    by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:21:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Hardly. What one can say is that the tectonic plates are always on the move:

    (US Geological Survey)

    The Bali quake you refer to must be one of the yellow squares just Northwest of Australia. That's not even on the boundary of the Pacific plate, which by the way you can see is constantly on the move. I dout this picture is atypical for a random week, except for the large event cluster near Japan.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:28:18 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They don't call it the Ring of Fire for no reason.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:36:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A pre-shock means that another earthquake will occur at the same location.

    The question you probably mean is whether both earth quakes are correlated - I don't think it's likely in this case. Just the earth in motion at Bali.

    by Nomad on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:44:47 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Particularly with a quake like this that the tremors offset the stress situation at Hawaii...

    Compare it to a pressure cooker on the stove and you slamming a hammer onto the kitchen stove - if you didn't properly strap the lid of the cooker, it might pop off.

    by Nomad on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:10:50 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'm wondering about the 200x100-mile gash in the sea floor at the epicentre. You're potentially talking about shaking all kinds of structures at large distances...

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:15:55 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Any thoughts?

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:17:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This sort of thing has been done before generally by accident (caused by reservoirs built atop faults) and on a very small scale.

    Keep in mind that there isn't just one fault present as evidenced by the distribution of the aftershocks (here's an article about a recent earthquake in the same region). There are also shear zones present on some of the major faults, plus you've also got seamounts going down the trench.  Then there's the issue of fault segmentation where, in this case, unloading one segment will only load up the adjoining segments.

    These plates are already continuously moving, just at a rate that seems slow or stationary to us!

    by Jace on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:32:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    These plates are already continuously moving, just at a rate that seems slow or stationary to us!

    The point of plate boundary lubrication is, what do we prefer: a single magnitude 9 earthquake or 10 magnitude 7.5 earthquakes? I'll take 10 weaker earthquakes any day since it is actually possible to engineer stuff to withstand them.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:15:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't know, you're talking about somehow lubricating a plate boundary that's thousands of kilometers long, hundreds of kilometers deep, tens of kilometers wide (not including the mountains/thrust belts on the islands or continents themselves) with a very complex, heterogeneous mixture of structures and materials, not to mention forces that are strong enough to move continents and build mountains! Even if someone figured out how to do this, what's the point? It's clear from this earthquake that the building engineering and construction expertise already exists: the widespread destruction was due to the tsunami, not the ground movements. The clear solution to the tsunami threat is to get people off the coast and up onto higher ground. The problem of course is that due to Japan's topography, they made a trade off: keep people on the plains very close to the sea with a considerable, if infrequent, tsunami threat rather than move them up into the mountains with very significant land slide, and in some cases volcano threats. They've tried to mitigate the tsunami risk through training, warning systems and evacuation routes, but tsunamis can travel up to about 1,000 km/hr in deep oceans and it doesn't get much deeper than the ocean trenches just offshore. I have yet to see a detailed time line, but a quake 100 km offshore means there was in theory a mere 6 minutes to react. Given the damage, I'd say the actual time was far shorter than this.

    Like anyone else who manages to live in tectonically active areas, the Japanese have been at war with their own land for centuries. They're fared far better than most, winning a lot of the battles and making it almost as safe (geologically) as a tectonically quiet place like the east coast of the US. But in the end, Japan is an active island arc, a land that is and will continue to be very dynamic and consequently highly unstable. This is ultimately what they have to live with.

    by Jace on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:06:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Id say it was longer you get deceleration as the water shallows

    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 08:39:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Very true, but there's not much of a shelf in Japan - water depth goes from 0 to 9,000 meters in 100-200 km. Having said that,  I just found this on the Earthquake Research Institute of Japan website. It shows that the tsunami first reached shore in 30 minutes

    and that it took one hour and ten minutes for it to reach Sendai bay!

    Seismographs would have picked up this event pretty much instantaneously which makes me wonder why there seemed to be so little done to get away from the tsunami? How could entire trains, much less towns be swept away?

    by Jace on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:07:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Comment responses
    I don't know, you're talking about somehow lubricating a plate boundary that's thousands of kilometers long, hundreds of kilometers deep,

    ouch, maybe the oil we're sucking out was like synovial fluid for these plate boundaries.

    now they're getting arthritic without it!

    jes' kidding, i think, lol.

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

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:41:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Earth and the civilization may well lay a new KT boundary this century. That would not be extremely strange.

    Just in time for 2012?! That would be impressive for priests of the next cycle.

    Other diabolic possibility is scalar weapons or something.

    by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:00:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    One of my geology teachers always used to say that we're going to make a great marker bed.
    by Jace on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:35:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    One of those aftershocks is actually a pre-shock (two days earlier). Could it have been the trigger for the big one?

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:07:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As Migeru notes below there is a statistical chance of 1 in 20 that an earthquake is a precursor before a bigger quake. In other words, the first quake destabilizes or relocates the stress at the fault zone, which tips the balance between built-up stress and friction forces at a close-by location. The result is an even bigger quake.
    by Nomad on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:49:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Is that 1 in 20 figure well established, and what is the time frame within which "one earthquake follows another with 5% probability"?

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:55:46 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    e.g. christchurch 2010 and 2011.
    by njh on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:46:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


    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 06:56:22 AM EST
    It's as if they felt in Disneyland until they realised that their cars are swimming away...

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:09:50 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Slightly perplexing comments from Yukio Edano. He said that sea water is being pumped into the container of reactor No.3 to help lower the core temperature, but that the water gauge doesn't show the water level going up. He said that they don't know what to make of that. It could be a broken gauge.

    TMI all over again...

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:17:27 AM EST
    Wiki: Human factors in the Three Mile Island Accident
    The design of the PORV indicator light was fundamentally flawed, because it implied that the PORV was shut when it went dark. When everything was operating correctly this was true, and the operators became habituated to rely on it. However, when things went wrong and the main relief valve stuck open, the dark lamp was actually misleading the operators by implying that the valve was shut. This caused the operators considerable confusion, because the pressure, temperature and levels in the primary circuit, so far as they could observe them via their instruments, were not behaving as they would have done if the PORV was shut -- which they were convinced it was. This confusion contributed to the severity of the accident: because the operators were unable to break out of a cycle of assumptions which conflicted with what their instruments were telling them, it was not until a fresh shift came in who did not have the mind-set of the first set of operators that the problem was correctly diagnosed. But by then, major damage had been done.


    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:21:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Julian Rush (julianrush) on Twitter
    No. 3 reactor at #Fukushima "partial meltdown possible" says #japan cab sec. More serious than 1. No. 3 uses MOX fuel with plutonium in 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:27:35 AM EST
    Conventional uranium fuel also hs plutonium in it, due to transmutation.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:32:16 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    but at much lower concentration if I understand correctly?

    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 07:46:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I suppose so, but it probably depends on what part of the fuel burning you are, if the fuel is frsh compared to depleted etc. Though as you change out one fifth of the fuel every year, maybe it's not that important after all.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:50:10 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says that a hydrogen explosion may occur at the No.3 reactor building of No.1 power plant in Fukushima prefecture. But he emphasized that an explosion should not cause health problems for evacuated residents.

    He said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon that a large amount of hydrogen may have accumulated in the top portion of the No.3 reactor building because cooling of the reactor was insufficient at one point.

    Edano said a valve was opened to ease pressure in the reactor and fresh water was injected to cool it down. He said because of trouble with the pump, seawater was pumped in instead, but the flow became unstable, causing the water level to drop dramatically...

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 17:07 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:21:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    or some other knowledgable people, can you comment on this? It this possible and what would the consequences be?

    Japan Earthquake Shifted Coastline Maximum Of 8 Feet, Scientists Say

    NEW YORK -- The massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that shook Japan and triggered a powerful tsunami on Friday has had a profound effect on both the surrounding terrain and the planet as a whole.

    Dr. Daniel McNamara, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Huffington Post that the disaster left a gigantic rupture in the sea floor, 217-miles long and 50 miles wide. It also shifted Japan's coast by eight feet in some parts, though McNamara was quick to explain much of the coast likely didn't move as far.

    McNamara found the way in which the quake actually sunk the elevation of the country's terrain to be more troublesome than coastal shifting. "You see cities still underwater; the reason is subsidence," he said. "The land actually dropped, so when the tsunami came in, it's just staying.

    by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 07:44:17 AM EST
    And what is the significance of "shift of earth rotation by 10 cm"?? Anyone?
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:07:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The circumference of the earth is 4,000,000,000 cm.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:08:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Something similar happened during the 2004 Indonesian quake and the Chile quake of last year. A technical reading can be found here.

    In other words - this is common, logical effects by big quakes.

    by Nomad on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:04:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Such changes are of interest to radio astronomers: 10 cm shift, that's 3.24 milli-arcsecond, that's about the level of the best resolution optical interferometers achieve, only radio astronomers doing very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) get down to a resolution an order of a magnitude better than that.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:29:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth's axis - CNN.com

    (CNN) -- The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.

    "At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass," said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

    Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

    The temblor, which struck Friday afternoon near the east coast of Japan, killed hundreds of people, caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's east coast.

    Picture by NASA before and after the tsunami

    by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:33:23 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    One consequence would be a lot of work for surveyors.

    I don't know how they can know this within 48h

    the disaster left a gigantic rupture in the sea floor, 217-miles long and 50 miles wide


    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:52:06 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    From one of the links in the HuffPo story: Quake Is 5th Biggest, But Japan Best Prepared (NPR)
    Friday's quake caused a rupture 186 miles long and 93 miles wide in the sea floor 80 miles off the eastern coast of Japan. It happened 15 miles beneath the sea floor.

    ...

    The quake was caused when one giant tectonic plate was shoved under another, the type of movement that produces the biggest earthquakes. It's the same kind of quake that caused the devastating 2004 Indonesian tsunami.

    "You're looking at something that's rupturing a very significant patch of the Earth's crust," said David Applegate, senior science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey. "If anyone is in the position to ride this out, it is the Japanese."

    ...

    The force of the quake was so strong that it moved the island of Honshu 8 feet to the east, said USGS geophysicist Ken Hudnut. It sped up the Earth's rotation by 1.6 microseconds, according to NASA.

    Also interesting:
    In a sense, there was a warning that wasn't recognized.

    Two days earlier, the region was rattled by a 7.2 quake. Scientists now consider that a foreshock. Foreshocks are basically earthquakes and are identified as precursors only after another quake follows. After a foreshock, there is only a 5 percent chance of an even bigger quake coming later.

    "This was one of the rare instances where a big earthquake is followed by a bigger earthquake," said USGS geophysicist Doug Given.

    There's currently no way to know if a magnitude 7 earthquake is a foreshock of a Magnitude 9 earthquake.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:02:42 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Fran:
    left a gigantic rupture in the sea floor, 217-miles long and 50 miles wide. It also shifted Japan's coast by eight feet in some parts, though McNamara was quick to explain much of the coast likely didn't move as far.

    Both subsidence and uplift of coastlines as a result of massive quakes also have been observed before numerous times. Particularly in Chile they have been a subject of study to examine the historical seismic record. Here is a brief overview of the 1960 event, the biggest earthquake recorded.

    Largest Earthquake Recorded - World's Biggest Earthquake

    The United States Geological Survey reports that there was about five feet of subsidence along the Chilean coast from the south end of the Arauco Peninsula to Quellon on Chiloe Island. This left a number of buildings below waterlevel at high tide. As much as ten feet of uplift occurred at Isla Guafo.

    It also mention rupture formation of 100 kms long- a feature of which I confess I hadn't heard before!

    A PDF on the 2010 earthquake in Chile also shows both subsidence and uplift along the coastline. The presentation also explain why there is both subsidence and uplift at the same time, look at the schematic presentation in the PDF to show how this is possible. In brief: with the release of stress due to the earthquake, the earth's plate that used to be under stress undergoes a change in shape. Key clue: an earth's plate is not rigid, it has elastic properties.

    At the Japanese coastline subsidence is observed. If the same situation applies (and I suspect it is), it means that the ocean's floor east of the Japanese coastline will have undergone uplift.

    by Nomad on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:34:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Thanks for the links, they make understanding the phenomenon easier. :-)
    by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:24:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    correctly :

    The thermometer is broken, we're in uncharted territory. Conventional means have failed, we are now trying to cool the reactor with a direct injection of liquidity amounting to several trillion yen.

    This is an innovative move, not sanctioned by the IEA, but is seen as the best hope of avoiding a catastrophic meltdown.

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

    by eurogreen on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:01:48 AM EST
    Why I am not worried about Japan's nuclear reactors. | Morgsatlarge - blogorific.

    I know this is a fairly full on statement from someone posting his very first blog. It will also be far and away the most well written, intelligent post I ever make (I hope!) It also means I am not responsible for its content.

    This post is by Dr Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT, in Boston.

    He is a PhD Scientist, whose father has extensive experience in Germany's nuclear industry. I asked him to write this information to my family in Australia, who were being made sick with worry by the media reports coming from Japan. I am republishing it with his permission.

    It is a few hours old, so if any information is out of date, blame me for the delay in getting it published.

    If you would like to contact Josef, please email me at morgsatlarge@yahoo.com.au

    This is his text in full and unedited. It is very long, so get comfy.



    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 08:27:42 AM EST
    It fits with the data, sounds right, and is rather comprehensive.

    Wind power
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:32:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by das monde on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:05:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Groklaw - Digging for Truth
    I did not want to do this, because it is laborious, but here goes:
    He is a PhD Scientist, whose father has extensive experience in Germany's nuclear industry.
    No mention of HIS field of expertise, so we should immediately be suspicious.
    I should have though of this, and, Who Could Have Predicted?

    Oehmen, Josef - Lean Advancement Initiative

    The main research interest of Dr. Josef Oehmen is risk management in the value chain, with a special focus on lean product development. Risk management allows companies to design and achieve the optimal risk-return balance in their portfolio of activities, successfully take entrepreneurial risks, increase their performance, and focus their attention on where it is needed most.

    ...

    Josef worked as Assistant to the CTO of SIG Holding AG and in parallel pursued an international MBA at the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris. He was intensely involved in corporate-wide Technology and Innovation Management and was responsible for technology projects. He studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Munich, majoring in Product Development and Production Management. He wrote his diploma thesis at LAI on Risk Management in Product Development. Josef's list of publications can be found here.



    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 10:14:06 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This is reassuring. I needed this level of explanation to be satisfied that things will probably work out without any serious release of radiation. It would be nice if some of the other information on this type of reactor had details on the "core catcher" feature he describes. But, perhaps GE did not want to raise the issue of containment of a meltdown for fear that it would cause people to think about a meltdown. But when government officials are discussing meltdowns in process it is certainly time for such an explanation to be widely disseminated.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:10:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I bet these reactors don't have core catchers. The EPR has a core catcher, which it claims an innovation.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:12:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    alex thomson (alextomo) on Twitter
    Spent day in worst damaged tsunami town 97% obliyterated - just gone
    It looks like Hiroshima frankly - in the sense oif all gone. Bar odd concrete buildings
    Silence. Buzzards wheeling o verhead. Teams quiewtly pulling out the. Bodies
    English teacher says wqe looked down from school on high ground and watched our friends, our town disappear
    They say 10,000 missing in a town of just 17000
    You can see the height of the tsunami on the one b building still intact. - 4a floors - forty feet high
    You walk through it all one,m two, three miles to the wrecked port - the sheer scale is vast
    Cars, cranes, boats . Houses flung around. Har bours, rivers, canalsa completly relandscaped into silent chaos


    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 08:35:24 AM EST
    I saw takes of that building with 4th floor damage on TV. So it was indeed more than 10 metres there.

    I imagine evacuating 17,000 in a 20 minute warning timeframe would have been near impossible. I wonder how and if they will rebuild, or if there will be new building codes elsewhere that force minimal construction below 10–20 metres above the sea.

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

    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:46:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There are also reports that some parts of the coast have dropped so that where the water has come in, its not going back out in places.

    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 08:50:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English

    Miyagi prefectural police say the death toll in their prefecture alone is almost certain to exceed 10,000.

    Total confirmed deaths from the disaster now stand at 1,351. The number of people whose whereabouts are unknown exceeds 10,000.

    An NHK survey found that as of 1pm Sunday, more than 310,000 people had entered evacuation facilities in 6 prefectures in the Tohoku region.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 21:40 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:24:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Had an expert talking about the Japanese economy, said that initially the economy will shrink, but then over the long term, Government spending will increase the Growth in the Japanese economy. how come it works in Japan, but not anywhere else?

    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 08:53:27 AM EST
    It only works when there's a disaster.

    Oh - wait...

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 08:55:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I was a chart the other day that Japan spends 20% of its government revenue servicing debt already. Also, Japan has well over 100% private debt-to-GDP.

    Of course if there's work to do you can print the money to make it happen. Money is a political, not physical, constraint.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:05:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    bbc reports that japan will repatriate many investments in usa treasury bonds to finance the rebuilding.

    this will alter the global economy significantly, as many japanese insurance companies have invested like this.

    are japanese insurance companies exempted from having to pay for earthquakes/tsunamis/nuclear accidents?

    funny this is the first mention (on bbc) about the possibility of those displaced being paid by their insurance.

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

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:48:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    melo:
    bbc reports that japan will repatriate many investments in usa treasury bonds to finance the rebuilding.
    Put differently: Japan will turn from a net exporter to a net importer. They will shift from accumulating reserves to depleting them. They'll probably try to keep the exchange rate stable, which will also cost them foreign reserves.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:39:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan revises nuclear liability laws
    Plant operator liability is exclusive and absolute, and power plant operators must provide a 'financial security amount' of ¥60 billion ($600 million). From 2010, this doubles to ¥120 billion ($1.2 billion). Beyond that, the government provides coverage, and liability is unlimited. The revision to the law also increases penalties, including fines, for nuclear companies operating plants without financial security, from the current maximum of ¥500,000 ($5040) up to ¥1 million ($10,090).

    Currently, the deadline for nuclear companies to enter into nuclear damage compensation contracts, as well as for the government to provide financial support to a nuclear operator if the compensation the company will have to pay is more than the financial security amount, is 31 December 2009. That date will now be extended by ten years, to 31 December 2019.

    In addition, in order to increase underwriting by domestic insurance companies, the government may commission part of the administration to non-life insurance companies and others under indemnity agreements for compensation for nuclear damage.
    (h/t dvx)

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:43:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is preparing to put sea water into the No 2 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi, or Fukushima 1, power station, Reuters reports. It has already been pouring water into reactors No 1 and 3 to try to cool 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:21:47 AM EST
    So is there something lost in translation or do we still have major problems still to come at the other site that had three reactors overheating?

    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 09:29:56 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The situation at the second power plant (Dai-Ni) doesn't appear to be as dire as at Dai-Ichi.

    Again from TEPCO press releases:Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 1:00PM) (13 March)

    Unit 1: We started injection of sea water into the reactor core at 8:20PM,
    Mar 12 and then boric acid subsequently.

    Unit 2: Reactor has been shut down and Reactor Core Isolation Cooling
    System has been injecting water to the reactor. Current reactor water level
    is lower than normal level, but the water level is steady. After fully
    securing safety, we are preparing to implement a measure to reduce the
    pressure of the reactor containment vessels under the instruction of the
    national government.

    Unit 3: High Pressure Coolant Injection System automatically stopped. We
    endeavored to restart the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System but failed.
    Also, we could not confirm the water inflow of Emergency Core Cooling
    System. As such, we decided at 5.10AM, Mar 12, and we reported and/or
    noticed the government agencies concerned to apply the clause 1 of the
    Article 15 of the Radiation Disaster Measure at 5:58AM, Mar 13.
    In order to fully secure safety, we operated the vent valve to reduce the
    pressure of the reactor containment vessels (partial release of air
    containing radioactive materials) and completed the procedure at 8:41AM,
    Mar 13 (successfully completed at 09:20AM, Mar 13). After that, we began
    injecting water containing boric acid that absorbs neutron into the reactor
    by the fire pump from 09:25AM, Mar 13.

    So, unit 3 is following in the footsteps of Unit 1 - including the reported second explosion. Unit 2 appears to also be out of control since they are also relieving pressure by releasing radioactiva gas from the reactor. As for Plant #2 (Dai-Ni), reactor #3 appears to be in cold shutdown, but the other three are still not controlled.
    At present, we have decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce
    the pressure of the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air
    containing radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety.
    These measures are considered to be implemented in Units 1, 2 and 3 and
    accordingly, we have reported and/or noticed the government agencies
    concerned.
    I'm guessing that's a typo and they mean units 1, 2, 4.
    Unit 3 has been stopped and being "nuclear reactor cooling hot stop" at
    12:15PM.


    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:46:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Also note: Dai-Ni is about 10km south of Dai-Ichi, also on the coast, so the 20km exclusion zone around Dai-Ichi includes the 10km exclusion zone around Dai-Ni.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:51:04 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan Says Second Blast Possible at Plant; Radiation Falls

    Japanese officials battling to prevent a potential meltdown at a nuclear power station said an explosion was possible at a second reactor building after the plant's cooling system failed.

    Water levels temporarily fell at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant 135 miles north of Tokyo, raising the possibility of a hydrogen explosion, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said in Tokyo today.

    Japan to ration electricity with rolling blackouts

    Tokyo Electric Power says it will ration electricity with rolling blackouts in parts of Tokyo and other Japanese other cities.

    The planned blackouts of about three hours each will start Monday. They are meant to help make up for a severe shortfall after key nuclear plants were left inoperable due to the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

    Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said Sunday that the power utility expects a 25 percent shortfall in capacity. Officials appealed to Japanese for their understanding and support, saying it was the worst crisis the nation has faced since World War II.

    by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:41:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    that the quake happened at the beginning of a week-end, when consumption is lower, and in the spring, when the same is also likely true. This looks like a significant hit to the overall power system...

    Wind power
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:22:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A fire broke out at Tohoku Electric Power Co's (9506.T) Onagawa nuclear plant in northeastern Japan following Friday's major earthquake, Kyodo news agency said.

    Experts in the north-eastern Japanese prefecture of Miyagi Sunday measured radiation levels 400 times above normal...

    by das monde on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:40:25 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The fire you quote is old news from Friday, they stopped that fire.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:46:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    2000 MW down the drain, literally. Old plants yes, low capacity factors yes, but still. Ironically Fukushima Daiichi 1 was supposed to be decommisioned in Mars 2011...

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:03:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Happy 40th birthday, Fukushima Daiichi 1.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:27:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sumo stablemaster Tamanoi, formerly ozeki Tochiazuma, said Sunday the stable's training complex in Fukushima Prefecture had been washed away by the tsunami caused by Friday's deadly earthquake in northeastern Japan, Kyodo reports. ''This is very, very hard because Soma is a town we've spent considerable time in," he is quoted as saying. "One day I'd like to go with my wrestlers and encourage the people over 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 09:54:53 AM EST
    One I hadn't noticed

    (Reuters) - More than 2,500 people living near a volcano that has been spewing ash in southern Japan were advised to evacuate their homes Thursday after heavy rain threatened mudslides of accumulated ash, a local official said.

    Shinmoedake began erupting in late January, in its biggest activity in some 300 years. The volcanic activity has disrupted airline flights and blanketed nearby vegetable farms with ash, but there have been no reports of serious injury or deaths.

    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 10:18:14 AM EST
    ah that's a month 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 10:20:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    reports that a volcano has erupted, but thats the wrong link, so am unsure if its real or internet lunacy

    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 10:23:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    try link
    A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to four kilometres (two and a half miles) into the air, a local official says.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:28:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Official acknowledgment   NYT

    TOKYO -- Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were bracing for a second explosion, even as they faced serious cooling problems at four more reactors.

    The emergency appeared to be the worst involving a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. The developments at two separate nuclear plants prompted the evacuation of more than 200,000 people. Japanese officials said they had also ordered up the largest mobilization of their Self-Defense Forces since World War II to assist in the relief effort.

    On Saturday, Japanese officials took the extraordinary step of flooding the crippled No. 1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 170 miles north of Tokyo, with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown. That came after an explosion caused by hydrogen that tore the outer wall and roof off the building housing the reactor, although the steel containment of the reactor remained in place.

    Then on Sunday, cooling failed at a second reactor -- No. 3 -- and core melting was presumed at both, said the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. An explosion could also rock the No. 3 reactor, Mr. Edano warned, because of a buildup of hydrogen within the reactor.

    "The possibility that hydrogen is building up in the upper parts of the reactor building cannot be denied. There is a possibility of a hydrogen explosion," Mr. Edano said. He stressed that as in the No. 1 unit, the reactor's steel containment would withstand the explosion.


    Dominoes, anyone?

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:36:32 AM EST
    Illustrations of the reactor construction with some information here.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:44:03 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I took some Google maps satellite pictures:

    Fukushima Dai-Ichi:

    Fukushima Dai-Ni:

    It doesn't look like the plants were unprotected from the sea - of course the breakwaters may not have been designed for a 10-m tsunami.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:06:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Here are some remarkable, and very poignant before and after satellite photos.
    by Jace on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:45:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    From maps I saw on Japanese sites: In the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the two to the north are No. 5 and 6, then its No. 1 to No. 4 (your A is next to No 3).

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:50:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Seems to me that if you can afford a 10 billion euro power station, you could find some money to build a 15 metre high concrete wall. I suppose they'll put that down as lessons learned...

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:09:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Delphi Effect: a small group of people can convince themselves of anything given epistemic closure and sufficient motivation to actualize a goal.

    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:40:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So what if a meteorite strikes the Pacific and the tsunami is 17 m high?...

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:41:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Build it 20 metres high, and then put 10 metre high towers on top of the walls, and on top of the towers you place massive springs, and then on top of those, you put the fortified emergency diesel generator buildings.

    As an added bonus, it would look freaking awesome.

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

    by Starvid on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:08:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Don't forget to build the containment vessels out of cast unobtainium.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:12:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    so put off building plants till we can find a planet of blue aliens who live in trees to destroy to get at the stuff?

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:19:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, not dominoes. I don't think the various units could be affecting each other.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:48:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Agreed. But they do seem to be on a common path. But some were shut down for maintenance at the time of the quake and we can hope they are more stable in the face of lost AC power, shaking, etc.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:11:25 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The units are not likely affecting one another but several have design limitations in common and they shared the stressors that have lead to the first two meltdowns.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:29:15 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Clearly.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:33:58 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Plants shut down are vey likely cold and safe, as it only takes a few days after a scram until all activity has died down.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:11:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sky News Newsdesk (SkyNewsBreak) on Twitter
    IAEA: Japan declares state of emergency at second nuclear power facility after excessive radiation levels were detected at Onagawa plant.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:53:30 AM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Radiation levels at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi prefecture are about 700 times higher than normal but are still low, the Tohoku Electric Power Company has said, according to the Maichi Shinbum website. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency dismissed the possibility that the Onagawa plant was to blame, saying it was likely caused by the radioactive substances that scattered when a hydrogen explosion hit the troubled Fukushima plant on Saturday.


    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 11:00:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So radiation levels are 700 times higher 100 miles North of the damaged reactor, when the wind has apparently been blowing to the east?

    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 11:23:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The wind blew north-northeast, and the seashore curves out east at Onagawa.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:52:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sky News Newsdesk (SkyNewsBreak) on Twitter
    AP: French Embassy advises citizens to leave Tokyo in case a cloud of radiation reaches the 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:54:06 AM EST
    Insured losses from Japan quake could hit $35 billion | Reuters

    (Reuters) - This week's earthquake in Japan could lead to insured losses of nearly $35 billion, risk modeling company AIR Worldwide said, making it one of the most expensive catastrophes in history.

    That figure is nearly as much as the entire worldwide catastrophe loss to the global insurance industry in 2010, and could be the triggering event that forces higher prices in the insurance market after years of declines.



    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 11:05:39 AM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    A former nuclear power plant designer has said Japan is facing an extremely grave crisis and called on the government to release more information, which he said was being suppressed. Masashi Goto told a news conference in Tokyo that one of the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant was "highly unstable", and that if there was a meltdown the "consequences would be tremendous". He said such an event might be very likely indeed.


    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 11:47:39 AM EST
    Quake damaged the very top of Tokyo Tower. View from my apart... on Twitpic
    Quake damaged the very top of Tokyo Tower.


    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 11:55:10 AM EST
    Tokyo geiger counter on Ustream

    Currently showing 12.7cpm, which - guessing from the Japanese underneath it - is normal background.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 11:59:58 AM EST
    No surprise there: it's upwind from the damaged nuclear plants.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:54:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sky News Newsdesk (SkyNewsBreak) on Twitter
    Kyodo News Agency: Cooling system pump has stopped at Tokai no.2 nuclear plant in Japan.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:22:46 PM EST
    reports are it's one of two pumps, so not that big a crisis yet

    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 01:31:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They only have two pumps in the primary cooling system?! I hope they each can service 100 % of all cooling needs.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 02:14:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    reports vary on wether this is a second cooling pump on the main system, or wether all have failed and this is an emergency backup pump that has been brought in

    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 02:35:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The LA Times apparently is reporting that there are three cooling pumps on the reactor and that two have failed.

    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 04:23:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    "Fukushima, 12 March 2011, 15:36: The End of the Nuclear Age"

    The chief editor re-shuffle really does seem to bring some change: I doubt Merkel et al are amused. Then again, it's way too early to declare the end just because an INES-4 or -5 was televised...

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

    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 12:58:52 PM EST
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:24:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Tokyo Disneyland has apparently had problems with liquifaction and some of its rides according to a talking head on Sky

    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 02:38:09 PM EST
    Dave Ewing (daveewing) on Twitter
    The headline you won't be reading: "Millions saved in Japan by good engineering and government building codes". Buts it's the truth.


    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 03:05:27 PM EST
    But I thought government regulation wuz eeeeevul? Enlightened self interest will suffice every time. What company would like to lose a multibillion dollar asset? </snark>

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 03:12:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Also, government warning systems and evacuation plans. 300,000 lost their homes   but only a thirtieth of that died. This is an amazing number, too.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:44:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The time of day the earthquake and tsunami hit were also favorable to low loss of life. People were awake, dressed and able to respond quickly, for the most part.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 10:23:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Contamination checks on evacuated residents
    One person was measured to have an exposure of 18,000 counts per minute (cpm); another had a measurement of between 30,000 and 36,000 cpm; while a third evacuee had an exposure of 40,000 cpm. A fourth person initially gave a reading of over 100,000 cpm, but a second measurement taken after the person had removed their shoes was just under 40,000 cpm. Another five people were said to have "very small counts".


    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 04:22:09 PM EST
    18,000 cpm is 300 Bq. Without knowing the type of radiation, I can't even guess the dose in Sievert/hour units.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:56:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If the standard background is 10-20 cpm, those values are high enough to threaten radiation sickness.

    The highest value could potentially be fatal - although if the dose was concentrated around the feet, that would mitigate the effects.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:04:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: Leader calls for unity amid nuclear anxiety in Japan - latimes.com
    In Sendai, a city close to the epicenter, residents were charging their cellphones on a generator set up by the municipality for traffic lights.

    "We're stealing just a little electricity," said Sutomo Goto, 38. "Just enough for the cellphones. People were going crazy without phones. There is no information since we don't have TV. But we're OK here. Everything within five kilometers of the coast has been washed 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 04:26:29 PM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    A former adviser on radiation to the UK government, Dr Christopher Busby, has told the BBC the situation at the nuclear plants is extremely serious. "Particularly concerning is the [Fukushima] number three reactor which I understand is in trouble now, because... it runs on a different sort of fuel; it doesn't run on uranium, it runs on a mixed uranium plutonium fuel, and plutonium is an extremely serious hazard so if this stuff comes out then it's going to make what's happened so far, in terms of the tsunami damage, look a little bit like an entrée to the real course."


    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 04:28:54 PM EST
    According to German TV (ZDF)Japanese nuclear power plants use twenty to thirty times the nuclear material present in the Tschernobyl plant. And there's more than one plant in trouble.

    By Tuesday winds are thought to turn and take the cloud/nuclear fall-out to Tokyo.

    Europe wouldn't be affected if there'd be just the current low cloud. If however there'd be a massive explosion pushing the radioactive cloud 4 or 5 km high the cloud could reach Europe.

    BTW I believe it's naïve to expect to be able to control the dangers from nuclear power - even if the whole world ended their dependency on nuclear power NOW. The plants would still be there and cause trouble in case of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake plus Tsunami.

    (I have a comma key failure.)

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:12:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I saw somewhere, that the Chernobyl type failure wasn't possible, as there isn't a graphite core, which was what caught fire in that 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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:26:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Does this mean that there wouldn't be any possibility for burning/exploding [question mark] - Even if it's not the exact same type the material (manyfold more than Chernobyl) could get into the environment - not [question mark]
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:34:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Ceebs quotes elsewhere that the normal operating pressure of the reactor is 75 atmospheres. If in a meltdown the containment vessel is breached, the contents may be ejected in a jet at least at that pressure.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:41:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, a meltdown in this plant is supposed to result in the liquid flowing down to a concrete bed, and hydrogen explosion is supposed to be possible outside the containment vessel only. But I won't take anything for granted. What about a nice steam explosion during cooling attempts.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:42:08 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I've just listened to another expert who was speaking of the likely prospect of a "steam explosion" (caused by nuclear melt-down and cooling water) and massive release of radioactive material.

    At this point does it make any sense to discuss figures about pressure and other technical details [question mark]. -

    This is a first-time worst case scenario becoming reality; a human tragedy beyond words. I need to switch it off from time to time; ie the computer/TV. The Japanese cannot switch it off...

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:59:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You could also read this: Why I am not worried about Japan's nuclear reactors which ends (with my emphasis)
    If you want to stay informed, please forget the usual media outlets and consult the following websites:

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Battle_to_stabilise_earthquake_reactors_1203111.html
    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Venting_at_Fukushima_Daiichi_3_1303111.html
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/12/japan-nuclear-earthquake/
    http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/03/11/media-updates-on-nuclear-power-stations-in-japan/

    The reason to ignore the usual media is at the start of the text
    I have been reading every news release on the incident since the earthquake. There has not been one single (!) report that was accurate and free of errors (and part of that problem is also a weakness in the Japanese crisis communication). By "not free of errors" I do not refer to tendentious anti-nuclear journalism - that is quite normal these days. By "not free of errors" I mean blatant errors regarding physics and natural law, as well as gross misinterpretation of facts, due to an obvious lack of fundamental and basic understanding of the way nuclear reactors are build and operated. I have read a 3 page report on CNN where every single paragraph contained an error.
    The writer's executive summary is
    Up front, the situation is serious, but under control. And this text is long! But you will know more about nuclear power plants after reading it than all journalists on this planet put together.
    At the end of the text he speculates:
    Now, where does that leave us?

    The plant is safe now and will stay safe.

    ...

    The safety systems on all Japanese plants will be upgraded to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami (or worse)

    The article was written on the 12th, and on the 13th the following note was added
    This article refers mainly to the events of the Daiichi-1 reactor. The developments at Daiichi-3 seem to take a parallel course today.
    According to TEPCO's press release Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9pm March 13th)
    Unit 1(Shut down)
    - Reactor has been shut down. However, the unit is under inspection due
      to the explosive sound and white smoke that was confirmed after the big
      quake occurred at 3:36PM.
    - We have been injecting sea water and boric acid which absorbs neutron
      into the reactor pressure vessel.
    As explained in the why I am not worried article, injecting sea water and boric acid kills the reactor dead.
    Unit 2(Shut down)
    - Reactor has been shut down and Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System
      has been injecting water to the reactor. Current reactor water level is
      lower than normal level, but the water level is steady. After fully
      securing safety, measures to lowering the pressure of reactor
      containment vessel has been taken, under the instruction of
      the national government.
    They have managed to cool the second reactor, and are venting gases from the containment vessel. The why I am not worried writeup explains the extent to the contamination that is to be expected. The only concern would be if small amounts of Iodine or Cesium are not "blown out to sea" by the wind. As to unit 3, it is being killed just like unit 1
    Unit 3(Shut down)
    - Reactor has been shut down. However, as High Pressure Core Injection
      System has been automatically shut down and water injection to
      the reactor was interrupted, following the instruction by
      the government and with fully securing safety, steps to lowering
      the pressure of reactor containment vessel has been taken. Spraying
      in order to lower pressure level within the reactor containment vessel
      has been cancelled.
    - After that, safety relief valve has been opened manually, lowering
      the pressure level of the reactor, which was immediately followed
      by injection of boric acid water which absorbs neutron, into
      the reactor pressure vessel.
    Units 4-6 were down for maintenance at the time of the earthquake. The Dai-Ni plant is having less serious trouble with its reactors, See press release.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 06:16:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Flooding from Tsunami near Sendai, Japan : Image of the Day
    NASA's Terra satellite's first view of northeastern Japan in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami reveal extensive flooding along the coast. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired the top image of the Sendai region on March 12, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. The lower image, taken by Terra MODIS on February 26, 2011, is provided as a point of reference.


    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 05:46:37 PM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Winds in the area of the Fukushima nuclear plants were set to turn westerly on Sunday night, Japan's meteorological agency said according to Reuters. "The wind direction is right for people in Japan," it quotes Lennart Carlsson, director of the Nuclear Power Plant Safety in Sweden, as saying. "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 Sun Mar 13th, 2011 at 05:46:57 PM EST
    Total of Seven Japanese Reactors Now Face Coolant Problems, Core Damage Possible at Two (UPDATE 11) - Nuclear Power Industry News - Nuclear Power Industry News - Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Portal

    UPDATED 11:22 PM EST -- A second explosion has been reported at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, this time at the building containing unit 3. 

    Per Reuters:

    "A fresh explosion that rocked Japan's quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex on Monday has not damaged the plant's No.3 reactor vessel, news agency Jiji said, quoting the plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co ."

    Earlier on Sunday, officials warned such an explosion might occur as Tepco flooded the reactor with seawater and boric acid. Experts believe the unit 1 explosion likely was caused by vented hydrogen that formed when water contacted damaged fuel cladding in the core.

    ---------------

    The Kyodo News Agency Sunday reported coolant issues at a third Japanese nuclear plant, bringing the total number of reactors with electrical or cooling problems following Friday's earthquake to seven.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:19:57 PM EST
    Seven?

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:20:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Three of six at Fukushima Dai-Ichi, three of 4 at Fukushima Dai-Ni and one of three reactors at Onagawa. Onagawa is operated by the Tohoku Electric Power Company and Fukushima by the the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:40:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


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