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Another Japan News Thread

by afew Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 04:50:41 PM EST

The last one got past 300 comments. Here's a post by George Monbiot that might spark some discussion along with the events and analysis:

Japan nuclear crisis should not carry weight in atomic energy debate | George Monbiot | Environment | guardian.co.uk

I despise and fear the nuclear industry as much as any other green: all experience hath shown that, in most countries, the companies running it are a corner-cutting bunch of scumbags, whose business originated as a by-product of nuclear weapons manufacture. But, sound as the roots of the anti-nuclear movement are, we cannot allow historical sentiment to shield us from the bigger picture. Even when nuclear power plants go horribly wrong, they do less damage to the planet and its people than coal-burning stations operating normally.


[editor's note, by Migeru] Japan threads:

Display:
I almost choke on saying it, but I think he's right that coal is worse than anything.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 04:52:32 PM EST
Yes  I think he is

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 04:58:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thirded.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fourthed. Just had a spat with the originator of the Berkeley Nuclear Free Zone.

We have divergences of contextual interpretation. I can get a direct concession that coal kills, predictably and repeatably and continuously, but then in later discussions, it's right back to arguments based on the uniquity of nuclear deaths. (made-up word, combining sin with ubiquity)

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also agree, but it's also a sign we need to reduce energy consumption overall, barring the Chinese selling us their new fusion reactor technology in short order (wikileaks joke).

Also, sadly, we're going to burn the coal as long as it's available and the industrial era is still going.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely. A more sober use of energy, and energy efficiency, are necessary. And as much renewables as possible.

But it will look easier to governments to go with the "cheap" fix of coal and gas.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:15:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just put a cup of powdered MOX in each railroad car of coal entering Atlanta...

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:42:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, doofus.

The choice is NOT between nukes or coal.  The choices are ...

Until a proper ENGINEERING design, inclusive of ALL costs/risks/benefits, is conduct everybody is blowin' it out their ass.


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

by ATinNM on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
The choice is NOT between nukes or coal.

Japan nuclear crisis should not carry weight in atomic energy debate | George Monbiot | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Of course it's not a straight fight between coal and nuclear.

ATinNM:

Until a proper ENGINEERING design, inclusive of ALL costs/risks/benefits, is conduct everybody is blowin' it out their ass.

There's a risk, in the real world, then, of a great deal of ass-blowin' to come. We're unfortunately in a place where incumbent industries have an inordinate amount of influence and communicational power (on rigged externality-excluding cost-benefit analysis in particular). Political decisions are based on what is, not what should be. In that context, it's not unreasonable to say that coal is the last thing we want to see. (And not ass-blowin' either - your dismissive remark implies that no one knows anything about any energy source, which is all the same not true).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:07:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment was specifically directed at the coal/nukes false dichotomy.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it is a false dichotomy. But I don't think Monbiot fell into that trap.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The choice is simply not either or. The hard choice is to re-orient civilization towards long-term stability and sustainability, now.

What most pundits don't yet realize, because they keep swallowing the kool-aid that renewables will take time to mature, is that renewables are already mature. Mature in the sense that those technologies which may not have reached the maturity of windpower, have already shown they will meet and better the projected cost curves.

windpower is mature, period. There are now cost-effective solutions for even low to mid-strength wind sites. Offshore is not mature, but the entire history of the industry shows it will quickly and sensibly become mature, with proper lifetime cost-of-energy results.

PV is not yet mature, but the manufacturing costs have plummeted faster than anyone projected, particularly because Germany, Spain and China have made it a priority. (With the exception that most politicians in the West are controlled by conventional industry and theory, and have thus shafted PV and other solar technologies for specious arguments about cost.) And when one thinks particularly long-term, one now knows that PV will exceed its cost benefit projections, especially if other governments get with the program.

all the arguments about base load not being secure, simply bogus. All one must do is decide that's what sustainable civilization must look like, period. The engineering and power planning then evolves in tandem with the scale of a Manhattan Project. Solves energy issues and economic issues at the same time.

Monbiot might be right that coal is the real danger, but that's forgetting the long-term costs. Where he's wrong is thinking that some nuclear is necessary during the transition.

And that's the real point. Neither coal nor nuclear is needed, period. What's needed is the courage to make the obvious choice, the choice that's being hidden by the fact that dinosaurs remain in control of the energy debate,

If you want sustainable, renewables-based civilization, just fucking build it. But few see clearly enough to know that's the real choice, the only real choice.

And Stewart Brand can kiss my ass. There is nothing within the past several centuries which shows that civilization is capable of dealing with the results of splitting the atom.

and if i might be really bold, any civilization which justifies taking the tops of mountains off to provide a few decades of poison energy is clinically insane.

that's the real issue, getting people in power to agree with the obvious diagnosis. it's not between coal and nuclear.

it's about sanity.

so step up and prove that renewables can't get the job done, if you can.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Braodly speaking, what is maturity? Civilization's joy with cheap and quick energy does not look mature at all, when possible limitations are only laughed away.

I saw only (one) interesting argument as a potential for nuclear, that its technology evolution was impeded by the easier preference to prolong service of old plants rather than build new modernized ones. The age of the Fukushima plant makes a case. This preference may be partially attributed to the green pressure - but of course, it is also more convenient financially and from other political sides.

If the only point is to satisfy conspicuous and still growing energy demand most "efficiently", still with primary interest in profits, I do not see much encouraging prospects of improvement in nuclear and coal industry. But if energy demand were to turn slower and more patient, what about finding more creative means to use fission energy than boiling water and turning turbines? For example, we have vast amounts of "spent" fuel that still heats and needs to be stacked away for centuries. Aren't there any ideas how to use that energy, albeit slowly? What about throwing some bacteria and algae into a closed radioactive pool, and let some food chain evolve, possibly with oily products?

by das monde on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 11:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's about sanity.

Indeed it is, and also about insanity which has become culturally normative. When Atomic Energy Control Board of the USA publishes a letter in which it states that 600 grams of plutonium in the form of Multi-Oxide Fuel, MOX, if equally divided into 0.5 micro-gram doses and efficiently distributed as one dose per person, could kill six billion people it is insane that we are reprocessing plutonium from nuclear weapons into MOX fuel rods for nuclear reactors, including unit 5 at Fukushima. I can only hope that there is only one such fuel load on site, but it surely contains hundreds times more plutonium than the 600 grams they cite, which means that it does not have to be so precisely distributed.

Ain't it grand. We can kill the world's population several hundred times over without even detonating our nukes. Just distribute the plutonium.  

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:05:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
windpower is mature, period

As a technology relating to the system's components I agree, but I remain pessimistic that we really know what we're doing with this stuff (too). One of the reasons I say this is that there seems to be a feeling that wind is essentially free with almost no risk. That kind of attitude scares me because that's exactly how you get into trouble.

The way I see it, wind is a fundamental feature on the earth's surface. We're converting some of that energy to electricity for our use. Presumably there's a maximum amount of energy we can convert. Does anyone really know how to identify that limit?

by Jace on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

According to the Kyodo news agency, Japan's nuclear agency has said that the water level has been dropping in the No 5 reactor as well:

The agency said it will closely monitor data on the reactor to prevent the problems that occurred at other reactors.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 04:58:39 PM EST
If they cannot replenish the water the level is obviously going to drop.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeez.

They (whoever/whatever "they" are) seem hell-bent on refuting Monbiot's contention above.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:20:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that drives one crazy!  

If the water level is dropping, they ALREADY have a problem!  So monitor, fine, but what are they planning to do?  If there is anything at all to be done, they should be starting to do it now.  

My gloomy prediction:  Three reactor cores melt down; six spent-fuel pools burn.  The seventh pool ought to be salvageable.  That's the main--most likely--scenerio.  It would be good to get OUT of the main scenerio!  

One doesn't get the feeling that they understand this.  

Oh, yes:  It could take a long time to evacuate Tokyo.  They should be getting an early start.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:13:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For comparison, here you can find a radio broadcast (or a few in one audio file?) during the Chernobyl disaster.
by das monde on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
Japan's foreign ministry has asked foreign diplomats and government officials to remain calm and "accurately convey information provided by Japanese authorities concerning the plant", according to NHK television.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:02:00 PM EST
Is this partly a reaction to numerous nations advising their nationals to leave Japan or go to one of the southern islands?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:13:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's fair in the case of the German EU official who was talking about Armageddon.  But Japan can't blame countries for wanting to move their nationals out when they're not providing information that gives a clear picture of the situation.

And the only country that may have a clear picture, the US, is clearly being more aggressive about not exposing its people, given the 50-mile zone.  Can't fault others for seeing US action and thinking, "Uh, yeah, so clearly we shouldn't believe TEPCO or the Japanese."

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:21:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Harvard

Japan earthquake | Page 100 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com

Thompson and others were critical of the practice of discussing radiation levels at the microsievert level, which is 1/1000 of a millisievert, and a tiny, tiny fraction of a sievert. The median fatal dose for exposure to radiation is on the order of 3 to 4 sieverts within a period of hours, Dr Thompson said.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:21:16 PM EST
I agree.  It confuses people throwing these similar-sounding terms together.  Sticking with millisievert is probably the way to go.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:31:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and smoking inhales radioactive dust, and glowing watch dials have radium in them, and mining for geothermal throws off radon, which is also found in those nice yuppie granite countertops.

We're an easily panicked species, like a herd of wildebeest.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sky News Newsdesk (SkyNewsBreak) on Twitter
Reuters: G7 finance ministers will hold a conference call on Japan tomorrow


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 05:48:32 PM EST
Disaster in Japan: March 17 Live Blog  Al Jazeera

4:57am  More on that "US nuclear chair" - who has now been named as Gregory Jaczko, the chief of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, currently giving a report to Congress.

He says all the water has gone from the spent fuel pools at reactor No.4 in Fukushima No.1 facility, Japan's most troubled nuclear plant. This means there is nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down.

The outer shell of the rods could also ignite, with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area, he says.

Gregory Jaczko did not say how the information was obtained, but the NRC and US Department of Energy both have staff on site at the Fukushima complex of six reactors.

He says officials believe radiation levels are extremely high, and that could affect workers' ability to stop temperatures from escalating.

5:45am  More from US NRC boss Gregory Jaczko, who earlier spoke in near-apocalyptic tones, has told Congress that he "strongly believes" the United States could "mitigate" the impact of a nuclear crisis similar to the one unfolding in Japan, if it had occured in the US.

6:07am  IAEA officials warned Japan in December 2008 that nuclear safety rules were outdated and earthquakes could cause "serious problems" for nuclear power stations, according to a leaked US embassy cable, reports Britain's Daily Telegraph:

    The document states:

"He [the IAEA official] explained that safety guides for seismic safety have only been revised three times in the last 35 years and that the IAEA is now re-examining them.

    "Also, the presenter noted recent earthquakes in some cases have exceeded the design basis for some nuclear plants, and that this is a serious problem that is now driving seismic safety work."




"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:06:53 PM EST
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

Japanese authorities have denied the claim by Greg Jaczko, chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that the No 4 reactor at Fukushima may have lost all its coolant.

AP reports Hajime Motojuku, spokesman for plant operator Tepco, as saying the "condition is stable" at the No 4 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 Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the Japanese are truthful the chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is pretty irresponsible. In fact criminally so.
If not they're really not handling this with the proper frankness: if the coolant is really gone then things are rapidly going beyond anything that could be meaningfully covered-up.

Either way it's bad....

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

Greg Jaczko of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission was buttonholed by journalists in Congress and pressed on his claims of no water remaining in a No 4 reactor's spent fuel pool, subsequently denied by Japanese officials. Jaczko says:

The information I have is coming from staff people in Tokyo who are interfacing with their Japanese counterparts. They believe the information they have is reliable.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Japanese may be speaking from the position that if it has gone dry, it is only briefly and they are determined to get it covered. Greg Jaczko may be relying on the perspective of on ground observers who know that it has gone dry and fear that if will not get covered back up in time. The situation is dire and everyone is under lots of pressure.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:29:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FWIW, German radio WDR ran some excerpts of Jaczko's statement this morning. He speaks using the carefully precise and painfully qualified diction that I associate with expert knowledge.

He sounds credible to me.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did he mention any numbers? The part that disturbed me was the "extremely high" radiation levels.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg are reporting that according to one estimate, a worker standing next to the pool would receive a fatal dose in 16 seconds.

I make that equivalent to a few hundred sieverts - not milli or micro, but whole numbers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:56:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably this decays as the square of distance - how far is "next to the pool"?

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 08:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sievert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Above 10 Sv (10000 mSv): Incapacitation and death.
So of the order of 1 Sievert per second? That's thousands of Sievert per hour.

Single dose limits

  • US limit for volunteers averting major nuclear escalation: 500 mSv[6]
  • US limit for volunteers rescuing lives or preventing serious injuries: 1000 mSv[6]


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1Sv guarantees radiation sickness but isn't usually fatal.

2Sv will kill a small percentage of the population.

3Sv is estimated as a human LD50.

6Sv pretty much guarantees death.

>10Sv will cause a fast death. The lower doses cause a slow death which can take up to a month, during which there's a fake recovery for a couple of weeks after exposure where it's possible to appear fairly healthy (apart from the lost hair).

All doses are cumulative.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk
A Tepco official has told a press conference in Japan that radiation levels at the site soon after 9.30 am were at 3,750 millisieverts per 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:52:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That looks like another milli-micro confusion (or worse, a decimal point-comma confusion). Here you have the corresponding data, the 9:30 am reading was 3,786 μSv.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk
In our 12.14pm post we reported that a Tepco official said radiation levels at Fukushima Daiichi soon after 9.30 am "were at 3,750 millisieverts per hour".

This was wrong - the radiation level was actually 3,750 microsiverts per hour - equivalent to 3.75 millisieverts per hour. This has now been corrected, apologies.



"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He did not say that the reactor had lost coolant, he said that the spent fuel pool had lost coolant.

They are denying something different to what he said.

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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:37:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be amazing if reactor 4 had lost coolant, since reportedly 1) it was in a maintenance stop before the earthquake; and 2) the entire reactor fuel had been moved to the spent fuel pool in order to carry out maintenance inside the reactor.

The reason the fuel pool at #4 has been the fisrt to boil off is that all the other pools would have about 1/3 of a full reactor fuel load in 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to IRSN (quoting IAEA), there are 1500 fuel assemblies in the n°4 pool

"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember (h/t Starvid:) the number of zirconium fuel canisters in each fuel assembly is
About 100



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 06:08:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There were fewer fuel rods in the olden days, 64 was usual IIRC. This fuel element on the picture is the modern Svea 96, which I supposed went into production as recently as 15 years ago.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:49:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, if there are no fuel rods inside the No. 4 reactor, then it seems highly likely that the condition at the No. 4 reactor would be stable.

That would dramatically increase the appeal of addressing whether the No. 4 reactor is stable versus addressing the state of the fuel in the spent fuel pool located at Reactor No. 4.

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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday--Day 109 | The Nation
Jordan used Japan as good example when attempting to calm  Israel on idea of  builidng nuclear plant along fault line.  "According to the U.S. Embassy cable, Amman attempted to ease Israeli concerns about the reactor and its initially proposed location near the port city of Aqaba by inviting Israeli nuclear experts to meet their Jordanian counterparts."  The cable reveals that the Jordanians claimed that "Japan also has earthquake problems but still builds nuclear power plants, which the Israelis acknowledged as true but also extremely costly," the cable continued.  "The Jordanians then assured their Israeli counterparts that the winds blow southwest, not northwest towards Israel."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:10:59 PM EST
U.S. Calls Radiation `Extremely High' and Urges Deeper Caution in Japan   NYT

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave a significantly bleaker appraisal of the threat posed by Japan's nuclear crisis than the Japanese government, saying on Wednesday that the damage at one crippled reactor was much more serious than Japanese officials had acknowledged and advising Americans to evacuate a wider area around the plant than the perimeter established by Japan.

The announcement marked a new and ominous chapter in the five-day long effort by Japanese engineers to bring four side-by-side reactors under control after their cooling systems were knocked out by an earthquake and tsunami last Friday. It also suggested a serious split between Washington and Tokyo, after American officials concluded that the Japanese warnings were insufficient, and that, deliberately or not, they had understated the potential threat of what is taking place inside the nuclear facility.

Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the commission, said in Congressional testimony that the commission believed that all the water in the spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station had boiled dry, leaving fuel rods stored there exposed and bleeding radiation. As a result, he said, "We believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures."

If his analysis is accurate and Japanese workers have been unable to keep the spent fuel at that inoperative reactor properly cooled -- it needs to remain covered with water at all times -- radiation levels could make it difficult not only to fix the problem at reactor No. 4, but to keep workers at the Daiichi complex from servicing any of the other problem reactors at the plant.

....

Those emergency measures, implemented by a small squad of workers and firemen, are the main steps Japan is taking at Daiichi to forestall a full blown fuel meltdown that would lead to much higher releases of radioactive material.

 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:16:12 PM EST
Let us hope that the long term storage pool is stable. It may not be as hot, but it is likely very dirty.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On NHK

"We are going to use the Metropolitain polices Water Cannon to cool the reactor"
"Will that work"?
"Of Course, but it's never been tried before, and it is a last ditch attempt"

Boggles

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:18:06 PM EST
The obvious solution to the "Japanese Problem".

Nuff said.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:18:40 PM EST

Turn it UP!!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's cinema of disaster, from Godzilla to J-horror
The island nation's great and strange pop culture has been preparing for apocalypse ever since Hiroshima
by das monde on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:29:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake | Page 101 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
Ok, we have some news from the Japan Nuclear Agency that the radiation level has steadily decreased over the last 12 hours at Fukushima Daiichi


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:19:06 PM EST
Also in all prefectures except Fukushima (from where there is no data reported), see latest release. (up to 17:00 local time on 16 March only, though)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:05:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
There is some anxiety at US military bases in Japan about exposure to radiation, Reuters reports. On a Facebook page for US Naval Forces Japan, some Americans voiced concern. One living in Atsugi, Japan, where radiation was detected at a naval base, asked about a potential evacuation. "Having a toddler and being pregnant, I need to know if they can get us going," wrote 21-year-old Chelsea Origer.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:29:21 PM EST
live helicopter on NHK, reduced smoke from number 3 reactor, but smoke coming from 3 and 4

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:37:32 PM EST
Radiation plume diverts flights, validates severity of Fukushima crisis - Plane Talking

Qantas is now ensuring that its flight crews do not overnight in Tokyo by stopping all Narita flights in Hong Kong each way to rotate crews there rather than in Japan's largest city.

Jetstar is achieving the same result by routing its Tokyo flights through Osaka, which is it also serves directly.

While Qantas is at pains to stress that it is doing this for logistical reasons rather than radioactivity concerns, the Australian and International Pilots Association sees it somewhat differently.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:40:46 PM EST
My flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco went right up the coast on Monday night. Even then I was a little surprised we didn't take a bit of a right turn earlier.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably not part of the original job description...

Spent fuel rods in Unit 4 of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been exposed, resulting in the emission of "extremely high" levels of radiation, the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday.

"What we believe at this time is that there has been a hydrogen explosion in this unit due to an uncovering of the fuel in the fuel pool," Gregory Jaczko told a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing. "We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool, and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures."

The water served to both cool the uranium fuel and shield it. But once the uranium fuel was no longer covered by water, its zirconium cladding that encases the fuel rods heated, generating hydrogen, said Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former official with the Department of Energy.

That caught fire, resulting in a situation that is "very, very serious," he told CNN. He said the next solution may involve nuclear plant workers having to take heroic acts. Asked to be more specific, he said, "This is a situation where people may be called in to sacrifice their lives. ... It's very difficult for me to contemplate that but it's, it may have reached that point."

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/16/japan.nuclear.reactors/?hpt=T1

by asdf on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:45:55 PM EST
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
"More alarming warnings from embassies in Tokyo suggesting citizens leave. Not bc of radiation, but bc supplies of food, fuel running low."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 06:55:29 PM EST
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
An additional 28,000 people have been evacuated from areas near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant to avoid possible exposure to radiation, NHK television reports. But many temporary shelters in the 31 municipalities in Fukushima prefecture were too overcrowded to cope with the influx and had to turn them away. The displaced are now heading to neighbouring prefectures.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 07:10:32 PM EST
Japan nuclear plant: Just 48 hours to avoid 'another Chernobyl' - Telegraph

Nuclear safety officials in France said they were "pessimistic" about whether engineers could prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant after a pool containing spent fuel rods overheated and boiled dry.

Last night radiation levels were "extremely high" in the stricken building, which was breached by an earlier explosion, meaning that radiation could now escape into the atmosphere. Tokyo Electric, the owners of the plant, said five workers had been killed at the site, two were missing and 21 had been injured.

Last night a US nuclear safety chief said that the Japanese government had failed to acknowledge the full seriousness of the situation at the Fukushima plant and that warnings to citizens had been insufficient and understated.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:14:37 PM EST
Japan earthquake | Page 101 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
The water canons have arrived at Fukushima! NHK reports just now


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:35:52 PM EST
Japan earthquake | Page 101 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
Nikkei is plunging, down 4.37%


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:36:24 PM EST
Japan earthquake | Page 101 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
The Japan nuclear agency says they are planning to run electricity cable to crippled nuclear plant


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:36:44 PM EST
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

The operator of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it is trying to install new power lines to reactivate its cooling systems in a desperate effort to stop the ongoing radioactive leakage.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it wants to start the work to install the new lines as early as Thursday morning.

...

The top priority at the moment is restoring the functions of the cooling systems now that radiation is continuing to leak from the plant.

Tokyo Power Electric Company says it is considering laying new power lines into the plant directly from cables of another power company. The company says it hopes to reactivate the cooling systems by connecting the cables to a makeshift switchboard and using them as an emergency power source for the systems.

But the company says it was unable to carry out the work on Wednesday because of high readings of radiation in the compound.

The company says it will try to complete the installation as soon as possible after reviewing the procedures in order to keep the workers' radiation exposure to a minimum.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can only hope that some of the equipment responds to newly available power. I am still unable to understand why some portable source or sources of power could not have been brought in days ago. Even if a nuclear sub had to use it's power to run a motor or motors which in turn run generators compatible with the existing pumps.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just heard the power may be reactivated from outside sources today.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk

Asahi Shimbun's English language site on Facebook has a description of the grim conditions facing refugees in the icy north of Japan, at the centre of the earthquake's devastation:

In Morioka, the mercury hit a low of minus 1.4 degrees. Throughout wide areas of the Tohoku region heavy snow forced evacuees inside evacuation centers. Many had fled their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs after the March 11 M9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Evacuees in many shelters were crammed into cold, uncomfortably tight quarters, raising fears of flu outbreaks.

At municipal Daiichi Junior High School in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, about 20 residents huddled around a large drum where a bonfire was burning.

Here, at least, fuel was not a problem.

"We have all the lumber we need," said one evacuee who had been at the shelter since the the first day of the disaster. He said that the fires were kept burning around the clock. With the school surrounded by homes flattened by the quake, wood was plentiful.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:38:42 PM EST
U.S. Reactors Pose Risks | Friends of the Earth
As in Japan, American reactors are aging, and some sit precariously on fault lines and on beaches.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:40:24 PM EST
Spraying started,

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
helicopter circling testing radiation level, before they bring helicopters in to hopefully drop water into the number 3 reactor. Apparently the number 4 has too much top cover over number 4. now 2 helicopters dumping water into number 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 Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake | Page 101 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
Nuclear agency says getting water to reactor No. 3 is curent priority because of smoke/seam escaping


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
looked like about 1/3 of water hit the structure

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 08:58:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2nd drop appeared too high, and from the angle we can see it appeared to disperse before it hit the reactor and blew 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 Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
3rd load  aimed at number 4, was thought to be less useful as  partially covered by roof. unfortunately someone was typing rather than watching the video

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:06:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
think there was 4 loads, looks like only one was partially effective, other three look to have missed, but that may be a function of the view we are seeing the operation from. Helicopters apparently have had lead sheets put under the pilots, and theyre flying in NBC suits

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:13:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
11 water cannon trucks on the way

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:14:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
its thought that the radiation is too high to drop from a hover, so they are dropping on the move, this makes the dropping much less effective.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Limit for each helicopter of 40 minutes exposure.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
4 drops, started at 9:49 local time 10:15 operations suspended. dont know whether thats down to excess radiation, or wind making it too hard to hit the targets.

initial plans were for water cannons to deal with number 4, however TEPCO has asked for number 3 to be done first, makes it more important. 5 and 6 are apparently still 2 or 3 days away from boiling if nothing is done. so are not seen as a priority.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
depth decreasing in number 5, and pressure increasing

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:35:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Feds deploy more radiation monitors in western US - Yahoo! News

SAN FRANCISCO - More radiation monitors are being deployed in the western United States and Pacific territories, as officials seek to mollify public concern over exposure from damaged nuclear plants in Japan, federal environmental regulators said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already monitors radiation throughout the area as part of its RadNet system, which measures levels in air, drinking water, milk and rain.

The additional monitors are being deployed in response to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, where emergency workers are attempting to cool overheated reactors damaged by last week's magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said they do not expect harmful radiation levels to reach the U.S. from 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 Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:27:14 PM EST
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk
Yuli Andreyev, former head of the agency tasked with cleaning up after Chernobyl, told the Guardian that the Japanese had failed to grasp the scale of the disaster. He also said the authorities had to be willing to sacrifice nuclear response workers for the good of the greater public, and should not only be deploying a skeleton staff. "They don't know what to do," he said. "The personnel have been removed and those that remain are stretched."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:28:38 PM EST
Japan begins water drop on stricken reactor | World news | guardian.co.uk

The worsening situation prompted the US to ask citizens living within an 80-km radius to evacuate.

''We are recommending, as a precaution, that American citizens who live within 50 miles (80km) of the Fukushima nuclear power plant evacuate the area or to take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical,'' the US embassy said in a statement.

The British embassy has since issued similar advice, and asked citizens living in Tokyo and northern Japan to consider leaving



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:29:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether or not my outburst last night worked, now Army choppers dropped over 21 tons of water on No. 3. The riot squad is preparing to spray water now, at 11 am Tokyo time.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:37:18 PM EST
2 drops on 3, 1 on 4, and it looks like at least one load missed entirely

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no watching the replay, the reporters recon three, but im sure it's 4, one that they think is a replay, is a second run. Only one appeared to hit one of the targets effectively.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They said on TV that lead plates were installed under the pilots first.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard the metal was something else. Also, Defense Minister ordered the brass to drop water, telling "Make up your mind" this time. JSDF panicked and did the job.

I don't believe the myth that the military represents prowess or bravery.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm reading that the crew got a dose of 60 mSv.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:47:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently you need 250mSv to experience radiation sickness.

Sievert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

0.25 - 1 Sv (250 - 1000 mSv): Some people feel nausea and loss of appetite; bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen damaged.


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Less is enough to increase the probability of cancer. At any rate, the current limit set by the Japanese government for emergency workers is the lower limit of radiation sickness, 250 mSv.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sievert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Criterion for relocation after Chernobyl disaster: 350 mSv/lifetime


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 10:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sievert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • US limit for volunteers averting major nuclear escalation: 500 mSv[6]
  • US limit for volunteers rescuing lives or preventing serious injuries: 1000 mSv[6]


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In an earlier thread, I referred to the relevant international agreement. Its currently valid limits date from 1990, the US limits are set by those, Japan's limits are lower, and were still lower until days ago (100 mSv for emergency workers).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:14:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sievert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lowest clearly carcinogenic level (i.e. lowest level where the cancer rate can be clearly shown to differ from normal): 100 mSv/year
It's also the case that the same dose over a shorter period of time is more carcinogenic.

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 10:04:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More from ceeb's link downthread:

Radiation level rises after water shot at troubled reactor | Kyodo News

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said he had given the go-ahead for the helicopters to drop water as the radiation level was 4.13 millisievert per hour at an altitude of 1,000 feet and 87.7 millisievert at 300 feet.

The choppers actually did so at a height of less than 300 feet, but their 10 crew members suffered no health problems with less than 60 millisievert of radiation measured from them after decontamination, against 100 millisievert to which they can be exposed in an emergency mission, SDF generals said.

"After decontamination"? Huh!?

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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:59:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on NHK: press conference from japanese nuclear agency- they want to restore power but after that they have to bring in new pumps because the old ones are damaged by seawater

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 09:39:24 PM EST
press conference at defence ministry

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:03:36 PM EST
Fukushima prefecture is looking into the death of 14 hospital patients in the place they had been evacualted to.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:07:33 PM EST
Apparently two died in the bus on the way to the shelter, most were pensioners and some were entirely bedbound.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:22:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A TEPCO worker with 40 years in nuclear reactors and 6 months for retirement volunteered and joined the Fukushima team.

If he falls, we have TEPCO executives to throw in.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:52:38 PM EST
Actually, this is the first reassuring news I ever heard during the past 96 hours. The worker has a wife and a daughter who blessed his move despite everything.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bushido...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After all the Bullshido we've seen from the executives.

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 06:09:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The gentleman is not a TEPCO employee. He works for Chugoku Electric Power.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:20:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lets say pool size is 10 metres on a side, then if they land a full 7.5 tos, if the whole is inthe pool, then you'd get about 7cm of water.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 11:11:14 PM EST
ceebs:
Lochbaum, who formerly taught reactor operation for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the pools measured about 40 feet long, 40 feet wide and 45 feet deep. The spent fuel, he added, rested at the pool's bottom and rose no higher than 15 feet from the bottom. That means that in normal operations, the spent fuel is covered by about 30 feet of cooling water.
Assuming the bozos at TEPCO haven't stacked two rows of fuel on top of each other for a total height of 30 feet, one would need 40x40x15 feet of water to fill the space the fuel assemblies occupy (yeah, I know the assemblies take up some volume so less water will be needed to cover them, but let's be conservative and keep the math easy).

That's 24000 cubic feet of water times 27 litres per cubic foot gives 648,000 litres of water, or 648 tonnes of water.

tuasfait:

Whether or not my outburst last night worked, now Army choppers dropped over 21 tons of water on No. 3. The riot squad is preparing to spray water now, at 11 am Tokyo time.
21 tonnes of water is 21000/27 < 800 cubic feet. Since the pool has a 40x40 feet footprint, 800 cubic feet of water adds a half-foot or 15cm to the pool. Fuel assemblies are over 4m high (15 feet)

In addition, according to Gaianne:

At high temperature the oxide of zirconium flakes away and the zirconium keeps burning.  Also, the affinity of zirconium for oxygen is so fierce at high temperatures that zirconium will pull the oxygen out of steam (vaporized water) leaving hydrogen which will burn as soon as it meets more oxygen--which is presumably what fueled the several large explosions of reactor buildings.  
So throwing water onto a burning fuel assembly only makes matters worse.

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 06:03:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm I got about half that on a smaller pool, a tonne of water being a cubic metre and 10m by 10 m being 33 feet square (the tonne/ton conversion factor would take  the pool size to about 36 feet, so you'd still be looking at less than 7cm unless i made a mistake at three in the morning.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:35:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
the tonne/ton conversion factor
Gah, I ignored that. I just assumed a ton/tonne equals 1000 litres.

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 06:43:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well the problem is theyre used interchangeably, could be either, I assume its actually the smaller of the two, as it allows the helicopter salesman say their  helicopter is better, but calculated using the larger most optimistic to give the most positive result.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:12:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a tonne of water takes about 2 1/2 to 3 million kJ to take from just above freezing to steam, if I remember right, so how long will it take for spent fuel to  produce that much heat?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:35:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some estimates along those lines by nb41:
We now have TWO confirmed LOCA's and subsequent H2 explosions at the Fukushima complex. To make a big H2 boom, you have to make a lot of H2, which evidently comes from this reaction:

Zr + 2 H2O  -->  ZrO2 + 2 H2

So this means that lots of Zr fuel cladding has turned into zirconia and lots of H2, and that the really hot UO2 fuel pellets (self heating due to daughter products radioactive (via beta emission) decay) are now exposed to hot steam and some nasty "daughters" are puking out of the system via the steam vents. Just to add spice to the gumbo, Unit 3 has about 5% Mixed Oxide Fuel (plutonium 239 based, but also some Pu240).

Supposedly the daughters can provide 5 to 7% of the thermal energy of a fissioning facility, but since the Unit 1 was evidently about to get changed out, this could be more like 15%. For a 480 MW unit, this would mean that 36 to 72 MW of heat had to be removed, assuming that all fission reactions were stopped by the control rod insertion.

Well, that's a lot of heat. Translated, 7.5% residual heat generation is 36 MW is 122.8 MBtu/hr (millions of Btu/hr), and that is close to 126,000 lbs/hr of steam generation at atmospheric or 15,136 gallons/hr = 252 gpm water evaporation). For the metrically inclined, the 7.5% decay heat removal corresponds to an evaporation rate of 57 tonnes/hr of water. At 15%, you can double that. That's a lot of water buckets...... On the other hand, a gasoline powered water pump with a 2" pipe outlet (50 mm) might be able to do the trick, if they have them handy, and if they have a way to pump this water into the system. Power wise, they need about 25 kw engines to pump this water, or about 35 hp ones.

And that is needed for EACH active reactor.

Oh, BTW, they also need lots of cooling for those swimming pools where all those spent fuel rods are "cooling" off. While no where nearly as hot, take those out of water and they will also start glowing cherry red after a few minutes to a few hours. And when those catch on fire, well, that's just another massive load of stuff to hit the fan.



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 07:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so say the pools are running at the same rate, you'd need to add eight helicopters of water an hour, assuming you managed to drop all of the water on each load on target. and thats just to keep things level, not to refill the pool

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:48:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So throwing water onto a burning fuel assembly only makes matters worse.

So far only Robert Alvarez claims that the spent fuel rods caught fire, while Japanese sources imply an oil fire only. There is a wide range difference between boiling (greater than 100°C) and melting (2,200°C).

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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:54:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the rate of hydrogen production from Zr + H20 at 100C? Sufficient to cause a hydrogen explosion?

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:02:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. 4 exploded on 15 March at 6 am local time. The last recorded cooling pond temperature (see downthread), taken at 10 am GMT = 7 pm local time, was 84°C.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:27:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both Alzarez and Jaczko have voiced concerns about pool 4, but it is true only Alvarez is quoted as saying the zirconium caught fire.

Anderson Cooper 360: Blog Archive - Official: Spent fuel rods exposed, heightening concerns « - CNN.com Blogs

"What we believe at this time is that there has been a hydrogen explosion in this unit due to an uncovering of the fuel in the fuel pool," Gregory Jaczko told a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing. "We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool, and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures."

The water served to both cool the uranium fuel and shield it. But once the uranium fuel was no longer covered by water, its zirconium cladding that encases the fuel rods heated, generating hydrogen, said Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former official with the Department of Energy.

That caught fire, resulting in a situation that is "very, very serious," he told CNN. He said the next solution may involve nuclear plant workers having to take heroic acts. Asked to be more specific, he said, "This is a situation where people may be called in to sacrifice their lives. ... It's very difficult for me to contemplate that but it's, it may have reached that point."



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 10:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think this has been posted, but, to add to contributions from Gaianne this morning, also from nb41 and from Alvarez, there's a comment from Oil Drum contributor donshan cited by Euan Mearns in his latest article:

The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes

Like aluminum, zirconium and is alloys (Zircaloy-2) oxidize instantly in air. A thin film of ZrO2 is so impervious to oxygen diffusion that the reaction stops. Even in 300 C (572F) water or steam at over 1000 psi, the oxidation rate is extremely slow and corrosion properties of Zircaloy fuel cladding are outstanding and safe, AS LONG as they are not overheated and cooling water flow is maintained. In fact it is standard practice to autoclave fuel rods in hot-pressured water or steam to precoat these rods with the optimum coating of ZrO2.

But these fuel rods must NEVER be overheated. That is why multiple redundant cooling systems are required. All these backup-cooling systems failed in Japan. Even after reactor shutdown, if the fuel rods are uncovered cladding temperatures can rapidly rise to 800C , or higher, due to fission product decay heat. As in any chemical reaction the rate accelerates rapidly with temperature, but in the case of zirconium, the protective character of a thin ZrO2 film is destroyed by this high temperature and catastrophic oxidation occurs. However this catastrophic oxidation occurs below the melting point, so I object to the media using the common term "meltdown" which is misleading.

This loss of the last battery powered cooling, led to the fuel rods becoming uncovered in a manner similar that also occurred in the Three Mile Island accident (although due to different reasons). When overheated in steam the oxidation reaction above accelerates exponentially. As the zirconium oxidizes the coating thickens, cracks and turns white from internal fractures that increase the diffusion rate of steam to the metal. . It then has the look and mechanical properties of eggshells. Hydrogen from this process is released, but also is absorbed by the underlying metal cladding which causes embrittlement and metal fracture. Soon cracks form in the cladding releasing the trapped fission products inside. This is not "melting', but rather catastrophic disintegration of the cladding structural integrity and containment of fission products. If the process continues the cladding can fracture away exposing the fuel pellets which in the worst-case scenario can drop out and collect on the bottom of the reactor vessel. It is the worse case scenario that I believe is causing the Japanese to inject boric acid. Boron is a neutron absorber and will prevent any possibility of a pile of fuel pellets on the bottom of the vessel from going critical and restarting the chain reaction.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone is talking about zirconium. I recently found this

What's Behind the Two Fukushima Explosions? Does Zirconium Explode at 2,000 Degrees? | techyum ::

So...what's really behind the two Fukushima explosions? Were they hydrogen, or something else? You tell me, Dr. Fabulous. But here's what I know, and here's how an anti-nuclear activist just pissed me off by setting off my bullshit detector.

CommonDreams.org has a piece by Karl Grossman, journalism professor, anti-nuke activist and author of the 1980 book Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power, that is getting a lot of play in the wake of a second hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima I plant. It appears to have been written before the second explosion.

In this article, Grossman makes some claims about the element zirconium, used in the fuel cladding around the nuclear fuel, that set off my bullshit detector for no good reason. I don't, or didn't, know squat about zirconium or zircaloy. But his arguments sounded strange.

Behind the Hydrogen Explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant | Common Dreams

Eruption of hydrogen gas as a first reaction in a loss-of-coolant accident has been discussed with great worry in U.S. government and nuclear industry literature for decades.

That is because a highly volatile substance called zirconium was chosen back in the 1940's and 50's, when plans were first developed to build nuclear power plants, as the material to be used to make the rods into which radioactive fuel would be loaded.

There are 30,000 to 40,000 rods--composed of twenty tons of zirconium--in an average nuclear power plant. Many other substances were tried, particularly stainless steel, but only zirconium worked well. That's because zirconium, it was found, allows neutrons from the fuel pellets in the rods to pass freely between the rods and thus a nuclear chain reaction to be sustained.



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 12:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are 30,000 to 40,000 rods--composed of twenty tons of zirconium--in an average nuclear power plant.  (??)

From previous discussions and diagrams it appeared that a single reactor vessel had four assemblies of about 25 rods each. Treating all six reactors at Fukushima as "one plant" that gives 600 rods in the reactors at any one time. There may be a fraction of that number of new rods on site for replenishment at any given time. Even if these rods were changed every year for 40 years and were still on site that would only be 24,000 rods -- for six reactors.

However, those calculations are for the BWR designs by GE. Have any reactors been built that use substantially more rods per reactor, say 200 rods at any given time? If so, that should produce higher neutron flux densities and I don't know how that might impact the metallurgy, etc.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In boiling water reactors (BWR), the fuel is similar to PWR fuel except that the bundles are "canned"; that is, there is a thin tube surrounding each bundle. This is primarily done to prevent local density variations from affecting neutronics and thermal hydraulics of the reactor core. In modern BWR fuel bundles, there are either 91, 92, or 96 fuel rods per assembly depending on the manufacturer. A range between 368 assemblies for the smallest and 800 assemblies for the largest U.S. BWR forms the reactor core. Each BWR fuel rod is back filled with helium to a pressure of about three atmospheres (300 kPa).
So at a minimum there are 91 x 368 fuel rods per core, or no less than 33,500 rods per core.

For PWRs, the figures are similar so the 368 assemblies is not a typo of the kind that 4 assemblies of 92 adds up to 368 bundles.

There are about 179-264 fuel rods per fuel bundle and about 121 to 193 fuel bundles are loaded into a reactor core. Generally, the fuel bundles consist of fuel rods bundled 14x14 to 17x17.
That's at least 21,500 rods in a PWR.

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 01:05:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps this is terminology? Cut-away diagrams of a BWR showed four assemblies with each assembly consisting of what appeared to be 25 rods. Could there be a confusion between rods and pellets? Likewise, Arvid described 96 rods as comprising an assembly for a reactor. It is either terminology or I am misunderstanding something.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danger of Spent Fuel Outweighs Reactor Threat - NYTimes.com
Figures provided by Tokyo Electric Power on Thursday show that most of the dangerous uranium at the power plant is actually in the spent fuel rods, not the reactor cores themselves. The electric utility said that a total of 11,195 spent fuel rod assemblies were stored at the site.

That is in addition to 400 to 600 fuel rod assemblies that had been in active service in each of the three troubled reactors. In other words, the vast majority of the fuel assemblies at the troubled reactors are in the storage pools, not the 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Get your news early on European Tribune.

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 02:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
11,195 spent fuel rods is a lot more believable than 40,000.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:47:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
11,195 spent fuel rod assemblies

Danger of Spent Fuel Outweighs Reactor Threat - NYTimes.com

At Daiichi, each assembly has either 64 large fuel rods or 81 slightly smaller fuel rods, depending on the vendor who supplied it.


"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:51:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Fuel rod" seems to commonly be used for "fuel rod assembly". Am I correct that each assembly consists of the zirconium tube and the cylindrical pellets?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:39:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus the presurized helium inside and what ever attachments there are on the tube to allow it to fit into one of the four assemblies. Or are you saying that the core of a reactor consists of more than four assemblies, each containing ~25 tubes filled with pellets. I really don't know how schematic the diagrams are.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reactor core contains hundreds of assemblies, each of them containing about a hundred tubes, arranged in four bundles. Assemblies can be individually moved. About 1/5 of the fuel is replaced each year.

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 04:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, an assembly consists of 100-odd zirconium rods or canisters containing the fuel pellets.
The assembly is designed to be grabbed by a crane.

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 04:44:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Size of BWRs
A modern BWR fuel assembly comprises 74 to 100 fuel rods, and there are up to approximately 800 assemblies in a reactor core, holding up to approximately 140 tons[vague] of uranium. The number of fuel assemblies in a specific reactor is based on considerations of desired reactor power output, reactor core size and reactor power density.
That's 50 thousand to 80 thousand fuel rods, which means each rod is 2 to 3 tons of uranium. The density of uranium dioxide is about 11 tons per cubic metre.

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 03:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is confusing, especially in conjunction with the diagrams we have seen. I think we need to implement Migeru's new sig line on this issue. A diagram showing, in turn, a fuel rod, an assembly and a complete core would be helpful.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:55:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As fas as I can tell:

This is a diagram of a single fuel assembly consisting of 96 rods in 4 bundles of 24 with the corner rod of a 5x5 array missing. The cut in the middle is not really there, it's to show certain internal structures of the arrangement.

The fuel rods are 4m+ long and very thin.

There are hundreds or these hundred-rod assemblies in each reactor core. As you can see the assembly has a hole at the top through which a crane's hook could grab the assembly in order to lift it out of place or lower it down into place.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently here they call "rod" what I have been calling an "assembly". In that case the "rod" would actually contain of a hundred cylindrical canisters.

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 05:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try here. They talk of "pins", "assemblies" and "core".

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 05:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can see the square assemblages here

Nuclear Wasteland - IEEE Spectrum

BLUE GLOW OF SUCCESS: Fuel assemblies cool in a water pond at the French nuclear complex at La Hague. The blue light is generated by Cherenkov radiation, which arises from a particle's traveling through a medium faster than the speed of light in that medium


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. I clearly had mistaken an assembly of rods for the core.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:48:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That Euan Mearns article also has apparently good information on the water drops, too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:01:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe in the comments - the body just refers to Reuters: Japan dumps water on overheating reactor
Japanese military helicopters and fire trucks poured water on an overheating nuclear facility on Thursday and the plant operator said electricity to part of the crippled complex could be restored in a desperate bid to avert catastrophe.

Washington and other foreign capitals expressed growing alarm about radiation leaking from the earthquake-shattered plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo. The United States said it was sending aircraft to help Americans leave Japan.

...

Workers were trying to connect a 1-km (0.6-mile) long power cable from the main grid to restart water pumps to cool reactor No. 2, which does not house spent fuel rods considered the biggest risk of spewing radioactivity into 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes

I have been watching the NHK feed and grimly laughing at the helicopter operation. Here is some info:

Capacity of spent fuel pools: 1200-1500 tons water 15 meters deep
Needed to cover rods: 15 meters, 400-500 tons water

For reactor 3, they think there might be enough water that they only need < 100 tons, perhaps less

One helicopter can drop 7.5 tons/load. BUt it can't hover, due to the radiation level. If I heard right, those on board are limited to 100 mSieverts/hour (check the time units). They had measured 250/hr at 30 meters and 87/hr at 90 meters. They dumped from 90 meters. See image. Looks more like crop dusting. There was one drop which looked a little better, but at the speed they are going, hitting the building with much is not likely.

By email from Joules Burn to Euan Means.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
Needed to cover rods: 15 meters, 400-500 tons water
I thought that was 15 feet, not metres. Anyway, I estimated 650 tonnes of water upthread, but with the expected evaporation you'd probably need more water than for a cold pool.

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 12:28:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, units are the bugbear. But I found the observation of the likelihood of putting very much water in from a moving helicopter at 90 metres up sounded accurate (though may be just truthy).

Fighting forest fires with planes and choppers is not an exact science, at the best of times. But at least they can get in lower than 90m.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:40:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the more important observation is that even with a perfect hit you'd be adding 7.5 tonnes of water which would raise the water level by only 15 cm when the fuel assemblies are over 4m tall.

So dropping water from helicopters is just useless.

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 12:49:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd written it off as theatre.

I'm not sure for whose benefit.

And don't they have fireboats?

The range and flow of a fireboat must be an order of magnitude or two higher than a truck, surely?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a damn reckless form of Kabuki.

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 12:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politicians and Corporate Management seem to have convinced themselves pretending to do something about a situation is the same as doing something.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they do

(h/t DoDo)

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 12:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Addledum: I found the location of the above photo. I estimate the length of the longest water spray at about 130-140 m.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:37:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This may not be obvious from tele photos, but if you check on Google maps, any point a ship can stop at is at least 200 m away even from the center of No. 4 (to the south where the cooling water exits), and the more suitable location is 350-400 m away (east of the reservoir).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:28:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And 250 m even if you get a ship on the reservoir.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:33:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and it might be that theres no access to number 4 from the seaward side. That looks to be where the walls are still standing.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:41:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I numbered the reactors.

No way firefighting ships can get near enough.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:36:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't provide some protection from storm surges and tsunamis and remain accessible to waterships.

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 01:38:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assuming the breakwater is a temporary obstacle that could be removed, and there's no spent fuel in that pool - if that even makes a difference at this point - I make that a distance of around 200m. Which doesn't sound totally impractical.

There's also the advantage of at least some cover from the turbine buildings.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:48:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
250 m. Plus you need to calculate with more due to the height. I looked around and found no fireboat range above 400 feet.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:11:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nevertheless, Kyodo News reports Operation to pour water at Fukushima nuke plant said effective
An unprecedented attempt to douse an apparently overheating spent fuel pool with tons of coolant water at a stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima bore some fruit Thursday, but the emission of smoke newly confirmed at another pool suggests the difficulties that lie in the way of resolving the crisis triggered by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

Up to 64 tons of water were aimed by helicopters and fire trucks of the Self-Defense Forces as well as a water cannon truck of the Metropolitan Police Department into the pool at the No. 3 unit of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The utility said vapor rising from the partially destroyed No. 3 reactor building suggests the operation went some way toward cooling down the pool that could otherwise emit highly contaminated radioactive materials.



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 12:53:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't most of the fuel rods in the pools spent fuel? So the risk of criticality is much lower?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes
We have had much debate about whether or not it is possible for the fission chain reaction to re-start in a pile of reactor rubble. The consensus is that this is unlikely though possible.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:26:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just criticality, but there should be a difference in the rate of self-heating.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think spent fuel might heat up faster given that a lot of the fission products are a lot more radioactive than fissile Uranium-235.

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 12:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Got any idea of the non-linear affect?

My intuition, and it's only that, is the players in this are thinking they are in Landscape A when the thing has undergone a Thom Catastrophe.

but I know diddly about the science and engineering involved.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
the players in this are thinking they are in Landscape A when the thing has undergone a Thom Catastrophe
I'm wondering about the Prime Minister's physics background. I wonder who's actually in charge - presumably some TEPCO engineers since the management has been out of its depth since Saturday's explosion - and what ability the government has to provide them with resources.

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 02:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's clear everybody is operating outside existing emergency protocols.  They are making decisions on the fly with unknown follow-on affects and effects.  

Example: pumping sea water through pumps and lines not designed for sea water.  Did they screen the sea water?  If not, what else have they introduced to the system?  Clams?  Miscellaneous fish parts?

(And etc. & etc.)

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:59:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Areva supplied MOX fuel to Japanese reactor  DC Bureau, Natural Resources News Service  

The multi-billion dollar Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) program, under construction at the Savannah River Site, is supposed to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. But this very generous contract in the hands of the French company AREVA remains controversial.

A few years after ratification of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the United States and Russia committed to dispose of 34 metric tons of their surplus weapons plutonium in order to reduce the threat that this material could be stolen or diverted. The countries put in place a U.S.-Russian independent and scientific commission in 1996 to propose concrete options to dispose of the plutonium. Its report published in 1997 contained a two-approach proposal: mixing the plutonium with uranium to get MOX fuel for burning in currently operating civilian nuclear power reactors and/or vitrifying the plutonium in glass logs for burial.

Has the MOX Fuel Reactor Been Breached?

The plutonium-based mixed-oxide-fueled number three reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may have a break in its containment vessel, according to the Japanese government. If the reactor containment has been breached and the radioactive steam emerging from the plant is from the number three reactor core, it could mean that plutonium particles are being spread in the air over Japan.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano first told a press conference that smoke was seen Wednesday morning around the No.3 reactor. Later government spokesmen said they thought the chance the reactor had been breached was low and the steam may have been coming from the spent fuel pool on the roof of the damaged reactor. Edano said, ''As we saw in the No. 2 unit, steam has been released from the [No. 3] reactor's containment vessel."

Access second story from the top link. Be advised that the DC Bureau of The Natural Resources News Service appears to have a VERY slow server that is getting way more hits than it can handle expeditiously.

If one of the reactors has Mixed Oxide Fuel containing plutonium, and if there is any release of that fuel into the atmosphere this would be a very serious escalation of the scale of the catastrophe, given the lethality of even 0.5 micrograms of plutonium. According to a Letter from the Atomic Energy Control Board 600 gram of plutonium can overdose six billion civilians.

In my opinion, were so many of our various cultures not in the grip of centuries long love affairs with power and death we would never have allowed even a gram of plutonium to be brought into existence.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 11:41:31 PM EST
How much plutonium are we talking about here?

I found this:

Mixed oxide fuel (MOX)

The plutonium, as an oxide, is then mixed with depleted uranium left over from an enrichment plant to form fresh mixed oxide fuel (MOX, which is UO2+PuO2). MOX fuel, consisting of about 7-9% plutonium mixed with depleted uranium, is equivalent to uranium oxide>-->uranium oxide fuel enriched to about 4.5% 235U-->235U, assuming that the plutonium has about two-thirds fissile isotopes. If weapons-grade plutonium were used (>90% 239Pu-->239Pu), only about 5% plutonium would be needed in the mix.

but I can't seem to find any information as to how much spent fuel we're talking about here.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:26:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
information as to how much spent fuel we're talking about here.
Let's keep in mind that possibly only reactor and pool #3 contain MOX. In any case, here's from the comments to the earlier Continuing Japanese Disaster Open Thread by ceebs on March 16th, 2011.

das monde:

Fission Criticality In Cooling Ponds Threaten Explosion At Fukushima

Just how much danger the spent fuel pool raises is made clear in a November 2010 powerpoint presentation from the Tokyo Electric Company detailing how fuel storage works at the huge complex.

The fuel inventory in the pool is detailed on page 9. According to TEPCO, each reactor generates 700 "waste" fuel assemblies a year, and there are 3450 assemblies in each pool at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, plus another 6,291 in a common pool in a separate building.
As shown in slide 10, the common pool building sits at ground level, with the pool itself above ground.  The building also has windows on at least one side, and experts fear these were broken out by the tsunami which would have flooded the building.

According to Albert Donnay, a former nuclear engineer, "This means the common pool is now full of radioactive and corrosive seawater that will cause the fuel assemblies to fail and burst open, as they are doing inside the reactor cores that have been deliberately flooded with seawater. If the pool drains or boils away, the fuel will melt, burn and even possibly explode if the fuel collapses into a sufficiently critical mass."

This may explain why the Japanese government began adding boric acid to the reactor spent fuel pools at the facility shortly after the earthquake and tidal wave.

ceebs:

While looking at claims that reactor 3's explosion must have scattered fuel rods all over the site, I came across a pdf  talking about TEPCOs plan for future nuclear waste processing.

it says theyve increased the capacity of the spent fuel pools by "reracking" and have also installed a common spent fuel pool (page 5)

as of march 2010 there were 1,760 tons of spent fuel on site

then page 9 details storage at one plant and it's Fukashimi-daiichi it says that in total there are 3,450 fuel assemblies in the reactor storage pools, and 6,291 in the common pool (plus 408 in dry cask storage)for a total of 10,149) the plant has a capacity of 15,558 which is described as 450%of the total core capacity of 6 reactors. it also says that 700 fuel assemblies are generated every year

it also says the off site storage facility for long term is due to start building next year so we can assume that its all still there on site.

Each assembly contains about 100 zirconium fuel canisters.

eurogreen:

The off-site facility (Mutsu) is only for dry casks. i.e. all the spent fuel has to be cycled through the reactors' pools, then the common pool (?) before being eligible for dry storage.
Example of Fukushima-Daishi : they have 450% of the fuel capacity of the 6 reactors in storage, of which only 20% is in dry casks. With a five-year cycle to go through a full charge, add a year for downtime (?) and that's more than 25 years' worth of spent fuel.

The rest must be in dry casks elsewhere, I suppose.

They operate on the fiction that one day they will build a reprocessing plant for all this gunk. "In the meantime", they stock it on site. Since they are near capacity, they are adding the off-site facility, designed to stock 50 years' worth.

Then what? Either build the reprocessing plant, or pay Areva to reprocess it. Either way, I hope they've provisioned the financial charge...



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 06:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also Melanchthon:
According to IRSN (quoting IAEA), there are 1500 fuel assemblies in the n°4 pool


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 06:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tracked that down yesterday

In March last year there were 1760 tons of fuel on site  divided between 3450 fuel assemblies in pools at the reactors and 6699 in the common pool, since then there have been roughly 700 new assemblies created which will have  in theory displaced rods from reactor pools to the common pool.


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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:45:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From a PDF http://resources.nei.org/documents/japan/Used_Fuel_Pools_Key_Facts.pdf telling all about how safe the pools are

Exact evaporation rates would depend on the amount of used fuel in the pool and how long it has cooled. The rate at which the pool water level would decrease (due to evaporation or mild boiling) in the absence of cooling system function would not be expected to lower water levels by more than a few percent per day. Given that there is approximately 16 feet or more of water above the used fuel assemblies, operators would have ample time (days to weeks) to find another way to add water to the pools before the fuel would become exposed. For example, water could easily be added using a fire hose.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:01:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
How much plutonium are we talking about here?

From the article by "The DC Bureau" the use of MOX is relatively new and has been confined to reactor #5 at Fukushima. (It appears that it is processed at the Savannah River plant in Georgia. I have no information as to how many total plants worldwide are using MOX.)

As I was going to sleep last night I realized that the math cited in the Letter from the Atomic Energy Control Board didn't really quite add up. 600 grams of plutonium divided into 0.5 microgram doses would provide 1.2 billion doses, not 6 billion. But, still, there is likely more than one reactor load of MOX fuel on site, each of which likely contains well over 500kg of MOX which would contain about 35kg of plutonium.

Nature is unlikely to evenly distribute this just to humans and much could end up in the ocean, where it may find its way into sharks and fish that would end up on the dinner table somewhere. But even if only 10% of one load is released that is 3.5kg of plutonium, or 7 billion half micro-gram doses waiting for someone or some thing to ingest. Even if only a tenth of a percent of that eventually made its way to a human that would be 7.5 million eventual deaths.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:25:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should be #3 for the MOX.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that might explain why it was given priority.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plutonium in the environment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
According to one paper on marine sediments for plutonium in marine sediments, bomb fall out is responsible for the majority of the 239Pu and 240Pu (66% and 59% respectively of that found in the English Channel) while nuclear reprocessing is responsible for the majority of the 238Pu and 241Pu present in the sea (bomb tests are only responsible for 6.5 and 16.5% of these isotopes respectively).

...

About 3.5 tons of plutonium have been released into the environment by atomic bomb tests.

So 3.5Kg of Plutonium is 0.1% of the plutonium release by all nuclear weapons tests.

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 01:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danger of Spent Fuel Outweighs Reactor Threat - NYTimes.com
According to Tokyo Electric, 32 of the 514 fuel rod assemblies in the storage pond at reactor No. 3 contain mox


"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Detailed situation according to the French Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (pdf in French.

http://www.irsn.fr/FR/Actualites_presse/Actualites/Documents/IRSN_Seisme-Japon_Point-situation-17032 011-06h.pdf


"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:47:12 AM EST
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:48:01 AM EST
Watercannons withdrawn, excessive radiation levels

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:53:02 AM EST
They need to cool with something other than water.

asdf:

Sounds like a certain place in the USSR, dumping big piles of boron on top of something...no more of this fooling around with boric acid in 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:55:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Windscale fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The use of water

On the morning of Friday 11 October, when the fire was at its worst, eleven tons of uranium were ablaze. Temperatures were becoming extreme (one thermocouple registered 1,300°C) and the biological containment around the stricken reactor was now in severe danger of collapse. Faced with this crisis, the operators decided to use water. This was incredibly risky: molten metal oxidises in contact with water, stripping oxygen from the water molecules and leaving free hydrogen, which could mix with incoming air and explode, tearing open the weakened containment. Faced with a lack of other options, the operators decided to go ahead with the plan. About a dozen hoses were hauled to the charge face of the reactor; their nozzles were cut off and the lines themselves connected to scaffolding poles and fed into fuel channels about a metre above the heart of the fire.


...

The reactor tank itself has remained sealed since the accident and still contains about 15 tonnes of uranium fuel - which, due to the presence of pyrophoric uranium hydride formed in the original water dousing, could still reignite if disturbed. "Nobody has touched it for almost 50 years because of a fear that it could either catch fire again or go critical and explode."[6]  The pile is not scheduled for final decommissioning until 2037.

'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 07:10:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah the reason they withdrew according to the NHK feed is that they moved in to  the radiation limit and the hose streams still weren't reaching the buildings

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:14:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake | Page 110 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
NHK Japanese says that the military is now spraying with a truck that is provides more protection to the workers, as opposed to the police riot vehicles that tried to spray and were pulled back.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:15:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fire classes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Water and other common firefighting materials can excite metal fires and make them worse. The NFPA recommends that metal fires be fought with "dry powder" extinguishing agents. Dry powder agents work by smothering and heat absorption. The most common of these agents are sodium chloride granules and graphite powder. In recent years powdered copper has also come into use.


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 07:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Im sure that graphite powder isnt the chemical of choice 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The time for powdered boric acid has come.

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 07:48:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
South Korea says it will send some 50 tonnes of its boron reserves to Japan after a request from Tokyo, Reuters reports. The metalloid is vital for stopping fission nuclear reactions in nuclear reactors.
Come on, people, who else? Turkey, maybe?

Boron

Increasing demand for boric acid has led a number of producers to invest in additional capacity. Eti Mine Company of Turkey opened a new boric acid plant with the production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year at Emet in 2003. Rio Tinto Group increased the capacity of its boron plant from 260,000 tonnes per year in 2003 to 310,000 tonnes per year by May 2005, with plans to grow this to 366,000 tonnes per year in 2006. Chinese boron producers have been unable to meet rapidly growing demand for high quality borates. This has led to imports of sodium tetraborate (borax) growing by a hundredfold between 2000 and 2005 and boric acid imports increasing by 28% per year over the same period.
How much boron can be carried by a C130?

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 07:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The payload of a C130J Super Herciles is a little above 19,000 kg.

"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:50:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm assuming the fastest way to deliver largish payloads is a transport plane.

Obviously boats are larger and Fukushima has its own port, so in the medium term (a week) supplies would presumably come in by sea. But how long does it take a ship to go from Turkey to 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
roughly 6,000 miles so ten days plus a couple of days for loading/unloading

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So even if Japan had asked for boron on Friday it would have had to be flown over.

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 09:53:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you'd have to stop supplying Afghanistan to bring a meaningful amount over

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake | Page 110 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
Kyodo reports that TEPCO and Electric Power Development Co. (part-owned by TEPCO) will discontinue construction of new nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:15:32 AM EST
Is that what the deciders are busy deciding?

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 07:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well the shareholders need some good news

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On No. 3 (the one TEPCO saw as most critical):

TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Tohoku-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake (as of 10:00AM)

At 6:15 am Today, March 17th, the pressure of the Suppression Chamber temporally increased, but currently it is stable in a certain range. Monitoring will be continued. In order to cool spent fuel pool, water discharge by helicopters has been conducted today on March 17th with the cooperation of Self-Defense Force.

I repost an IMHO imortant bit of information, on the finding and replacement of faulty electrical equipment in the Fukushima Daini plant (maybe they failed to discover the same problem in the three Fukushima Daiichi reactors):

TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Tohoku-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake (as of 10:00AM)

* (Unit 1) As it is confirmed that the temperature of the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water System 1 has increased, at 3:20 pm, March 15th, we stopped the Residual Heat Removal System (B) for the inspection. Subsequently, failure was detected in the power supply facility associated with the pumps of the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water System. At 4:25 pm, March 15th, after replacing the power facility, the pumps and the Residual Heat Removal System (B) have been reactivated.

(Unit 4) As it is confirmed that the pressure at the outlet of the pumps of the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water System*1 has been decreased, at 8:05 pm, March 15th, we stopped the Residual Heat Removal System (B) for the inspection. Subsequently, failure was detected in the power supply facility associated with the pumps of the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water System. At 9:25 pm, March 15th, after replacing the relevant facility, the pumps and the Residual Heat Removal System (B) have been reactivated.

*1:emergency water system in which cooling water (pure water) circulates which exchanged the heat with sea water in order to cool down bearing pumps and/or heat exchangers etc.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:08:57 AM EST
Radiation levels in various prefectures minus Fukushima up to 9 am local time today: all but four prefectures are under 0.1 μSv/h, the highest is 0.222 μSv/h (tendency: slowly sinking) in Ibaraki (south of Fukushima). Not too surprising, with the wind currently blowing out to sea.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:16:42 AM EST
As for Fukushima prefecture:

NHK WORLD English

As of 9 AM Thursday, at Fukushima City, 65 kilometers northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, radiation level was 13.9 microsieverts per hour. This is more than 340 times the usual background level.

At Koriyama City located west of the plant, the reading was 2.71 microseiverts, 45 times the normal level.

South of the plant, in Iwaki City, radiation levels were as high as 20 times the usual level at 1.25 microseiverts.

At the Onagawa nuclear power plant 120 kilometers northeast of the Fukushima plant, radiation levels measured 3.2 microseiverts, 32 times the usual amount.

In Kitaibaraki City south of the Fukushima plant, radiation found to be 1.19 microseiverts, 23 times the normal figure.

But health authorities say one-hour of exposure to radiation at any of the observed levels would range between one 500th to one 40th of the amount of radiation the body would receive in a single stomach X-ray.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 13:57 +0900 (JST)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:24:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the afternoon, worse was measured. If I read it right and they didn't forget a decimal point, at Namie, 30 km NW of the plant, a maximum of 170 μSv(!) was measured at 2:00 pm.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel reports radiation levels at the No. 3 reactor via TEPCO which I can't find on TEPCO's own website. They write about a rise from 3.7 to 4 mSv.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Japanese police have so far confirmed 5,583 deaths in Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunamis that hit northeastern Japan. 9,594 people are still missing.

But the current number of missing people reflects only the number actually registered with the police. Police say the number may be in the tens of thousands.

(The number of missing dropped by a thousand in Miyagi, but increased elsewhere.)

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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:18:26 AM EST
Already outdated: 8:00 pm local time numbers are 5,692 confirmed dead, 9,506 registered missing. 2,409 wounded. The number of buildings identified as destroyed by quake & tsunami jumped to 17,844, buildings destroyed by fire: 137 (that's rather good in comparison to Kobe).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:32:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asahi Shimbun's earlier inofficial tally of city populations still unaccounted for was 17,000. (Of this, the missing of Minamisanriku still number 7,000.) So the final number of victims could climb well above 20,000...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Contradictory news posted in the same minute by NHK:

NHK WORLD English

Japanese police have failed in their attempt to use water canon to cool the No.3 reactor at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The high-pressure water did not reach the reactor and the police squad has now evacuated to a safety zone.

The operation on Thursday evening followed efforts by the Self-Defense Forces using helicopters earlier in the day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 20:06 +0900 (JST)

NHK WORLD English

Japan's Self-Defense Forces have started cooling operations from the ground at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The mission started on Thursday evening.

2 of 5 powerful fire engines launched the operation, in an effort to cool down a spent fuel storage pool at the Number Three reactor.

Self-Defense Forces had earlier used helicopters to drop tons of water on the plant.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 20:06 +0900 (JST)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:22:19 AM EST
From what I heard, they have some specialised firefighting equipment on site, but only five of them, and its a question of withdrawing, changing crews and refilling with water, which makes it seem that the firefighting mains are broken.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:53:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 9 pm NHK news just said 5 army firefighting vehicles sprayed 30 tons of water into No.3. The riot police failed, in the meantime.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sprayed into the spent fuel pool?

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 09:30:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes

I have been watching the NHK feed and grimly laughing at the helicopter operation. Here is some info:

Capacity of spent fuel pools: 1200-1500 tons water 15 meters deep
Needed to cover rods: 15 meters, 400-500 tons water

For reactor 3, they think there might be enough water that they only need < 100 tons, perhaps less



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:05:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it turns out the issue was that both the police and the army had water cannon trucks on site.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:18:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
White smoke or steam seen at Fukushima no.2 reactor - Tokyo elec power

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:54:12 AM EST
Japan nuclear agency: pool for cooling spent nuclear fuel at no.4 plant remains 'serious concern'

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Attempts to refill fuel ponds
Cooling pond temperatures

As reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency:

Unit 4

14 March, 10.08am GMT: 84 ˚C

15 March, 10.00am GMT: 84 ˚C

16 March, 05.00am GMT: no data
 

 

Unit 5

14 March, 10.08am GMT: 59.7 ˚C

15 March, 10.00am GMT: 60.4 ˚C

16 March, 05.00am GMT: 62.7 ˚C
 

 

Unit 6

14 March, 10.08am GMT: 58.0 ˚C

15 March, 10.00am GMT: 58.5 ˚C

16 March, 05.00am GMT: 60.0 ˚C
 
Neither the IAEA nor the Japan Atomic Industry Forum have data for 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:00:58 AM EST
Radiation level rises after water shot at troubled reactor | Kyodo News

The radiation level rose at the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant Thursday evening after the Self-Defense Forces' fire trucks began shooting high-pressure streams of water at its crisis-hit No. 3 reactor, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The level around the plant's administration building rose to 4,000 microsievert per hour from 3,700 after the trucks joined an unprecedented attempt to cool down the reactor's apparently overheating fuel pool, after SDF helicopters dropped tons of water earlier in the day.

It was unchanged after the choppers dumped seawater onto the reactor shortly before 10 a.m., the utility said earlier in the day.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:02:19 AM EST
Water used for cooling will damage the fuel canisters. It's a tradeoff.

If they manage to get enough water in they will cool down the plant and the water will eventually shield most of the radiation. However, in the process of filling the pool there will be higher radiatoin levels.

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 09:45:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
TepcoDisaster tweets: "Water shot from trucks effective in cooling fuel pool as steam rose at #Fukushima Daiichi No.1 Nuclear 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:06:21 AM EST
`Fukushima 50' risk lives to prevent meltdown

Five have been killed. Two are missing. Twenty-one have been injured in a struggle where, in the words of Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan, "retreat is unthinkable."

The men understand the stakes. They know there is no turning back. One worker told a departing colleague he was prepared to die -- that it was his job. Another informed his wife he wouldn't be coming home anytime soon.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:18:58 AM EST
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
French President Nicolas Sarkozy may consider visiting Japan during his Asian visit at the end of March. "There's no question of bothering the Japanese authorities," Mr Sarkozy said, according to AFP. "But, obviously, if the opportunity presented itself and if the Japanese authorities agreed, it goes without saying that during my Asia tour, I would go there to show our solidarity."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:27:11 AM EST
Japan earthquake | Page 112 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog would like to visit the site of a devastated nuclear plant in Japan, he said as he departed for Tokyo. "The situation continues to be very serious," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told reporters at Vienna airport as he left with a small group of nuclear experts.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:28:29 AM EST
Power line installation will take up till tomorrow,they had to stop while spraying took 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:30:52 AM EST
Japan earthquake | Page 112 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
Summary of Unit 3 water strategies from NHK news - First 4 buckets of water from helicopters with lead plates on the bottom to shield radiation, Second pumping from below (assume water canon) but too high radiation and water did not reach pool, Finally Japan SDF used pump trucks to spray 30 tons of water between 7:45pm and 8:09pm. Effect under evaluation.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:54:13 AM EST
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes

On Wednesday 16th March I sensed that the rate of official news flow from the Fukushima nuclear site declined leading to a number of conflicting reports and much speculation about what is going on and what might happen to the crippled reactors.

I am not a nuclear engineer and all should be wary of information reported by non-experts on the internet. Here I try to assemble information (not facts) gleaned from TheOilDrum comments, our email list, main stream media and news reports in an attempt to cast light on status and potential outcomes. This involves considerable speculation.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:04:19 AM EST
ceebs:
On Wednesday 16th March I sensed that the rate of official news flow from the Fukushima nuclear site declined
There were no press releases about Fukushima I (Dai-Ichi) on the 15th.

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 10:06:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK TV: High levels of radiation found 30km (18.6 miles) from damaged Fukushima 1 nuclear 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:07:51 AM EST
See upthread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:14:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All from 16 March, taken from helicopter. No. 4 closeup:

Roof of No. 4:

No. 3:



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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:08:29 AM EST
So the pool is open, that looks like  the charging crane in the top picture (the green thing in the middle).

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:12:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Open, but of difficult access.

It's not like you can drop stuff into it.

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 10:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, says so on the caption in the Asahi Shimbun article I took them from (it was the only detail).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here they say the green thing is the storage pool.
by das monde on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The top picture appears to have been taken at the SE corner of No. 4. The fire was at the opposite side. Looks like the hydrogen explosion at No. 4 was pretty heavy, too (even if weaker than at No. 1).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:22:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, if they could get a 10 -15cm pipe over the top or through the side of #4 they might have better luck than with helicopters.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

Kazuko Yamashita was five when the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. She now lives in Tokyo and she's sanguine about the risk from the Fukushima nuclear reactors.

I may be a bit too callous about this due to the fact that I was really heavily exposed to radiation, but I don't think this is anything to turn pale over.

People seem to be much too sensitive, though of course it's not really for me to say, and heavy radiation exposure is a serious thing. But I was 3.6km (2.2 miles) from the bomb, and they've evacuated for 20km. I really don't understand this kind of feeling.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:08:49 AM EST
Nuked in Nagasaki - and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:10:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
about TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9:00 am Mar 17th)
Unit 1(Shut down)
  • Reactor has been shut down. However, the explosive sound and white smoke were confirmed after the big quake occurred at 3:36PM Mar 12th. It was assumed to be hydrogen explosion and currently under the investigation.

  • We have been injecting sea water into the reactor pressure vessel.

Unit 2(Shut down)

  • Reactor has been shut down and Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System has been injecting water to the reactor. However, reactor pressure has increased because the system stopped, causing reactor water level to drop. Following the instruction by the government and with fully securing safety, measure to lower the pressure level within the reactor containment vessel and injection of sea water were taken, reactor pressure and water level resumed.

  • We are continuing the injection of sea water into the reactor.

  • At approximately 6:00am, an abnormal noise began emanating from nearby Pressure Suppression Chamber and the pressure within this chamber decreased.

  • While we continue sea water injection operations, the temporary transfer of TEPCO employees and workers from other companies not directly involved in this work has begun.

Unit 3 (Shut down)

  • Reactor has been shut down. However, the explosive sound and white smoke were confirmed at 11:01AM Mar 14th. It was assumed to be hydrogen explosion and currently under the investigation.

  • As fog like steam was confirmed from reactor building at 8:30AM on March 16th, we transferred the workers to safe area. After that, we decided to discharge water to the upper side of reactor building by helicopters, but could not do that because there was a trouble with implementation of work.

  • We plan to discharge water in order to cool spent fuel pool after we complete the preparations by confirming the process of discharging, personnel, and a situation of the site.

  • We continue monitoring as it was reported that the pressure of the Suppression Chamber temporally increased at around 6:15AM on March 17th.

  • We have been injecting sea water into the reactor pressure vessel.

Unit 4 (shut down due to regular inspection)

  • Reactor has been shut down. However, we have confirmed the sustained damage around the 5th floor rooftop area of the Nuclear Reactor Building.

  • Afterwards, we confirmed the outbreak of fire at the northwestern part of Nuclear Reactor Building. We immediately reported this matter to the fire department and the related authorities.

  • However, at approximately 11:00am, when TEPCO employee arrived at the seen to confirm, the fire had already died down. At 5:45AM on March 16th, we confirmed the outbreak of the fire again but could not confirm it at 6:15AM. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully.

Unit 5 (outage due to regular inspection)

  • Reactor has been shut down and sufficient level of reactor coolant to ensure safety is maintained.

  • Currently, we do not believe there is any reactor coolant leakage inside the reactor containment vessel.

Unit 6 (outage due to regular inspection)

  • Reactor has been shut down and sufficient level of reactor coolant to ensure safety is maintained.

  • Currently, we do not believe there is any reactor coolant leakage inside the reactor containment vessel.
No mention of the spent fuel pool at reactor 4, but the pool at reactor 3 is discussed.
Today, at approximately 10am, we observed 400mSv/h at the inland side of the Unit 3 reactor building and 100mSv/h at the inland side of the Unit 4 reactor building.


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:14:39 AM EST
Japan a robot power everywhere except at nuclear plant | Reuters

(Reuters) - Japan may build robots to play the violin, run marathons and preside over weddings, but it has not deployed any of the machines to help repair its crippled reactors.

While robots are commonplace in the nuclear power industry, with EU engineers building one that can climb walls through radioactive fields, the electric power company running Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has not deployed any for the nuclear emergency.

Instead, its skeleton team has been given the unenviable and perhaps deadly task of cooling reactors and spent nuclear fuel on their own, only taking breaks to avoid over-exposure.

A science ministry official said a robot used to detect radiation levels is at the site of the accident in Fukushima, north of Tokyo, but nuclear safety agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama said: "We have no reports of any robots being used."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:23:46 AM EST
Sounds like the wall climbing EU robot might be useful a Fukushima.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No doubt its not designed to climb broken walls

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly. But I cannot understand why remotely controlled vehicles cannot be created virtually on demand within a few days. Install controls in a fire truck with a ladder or in a truck with an extensible crane. An RC bulldozer could be used to clear a path if debris is an issue. I suspect the mindset is "We don't have time to think about such things." Surely people could be working on such things.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:14:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they wanted robots they should have started building them about 10 years ago.  

Existing robots fall far short of being general purpose machines.  The best, and I don't know of any outside research labs, are designed to operate with an Expert System only capable of responding "intelligently" (another whole can of worms) within a very narrow range of environment stimuli.  Robots can only do what they have been specifically told to do, based on what they have been specifically told to look for and how they have been specifically told to Information Process.  Sending them into a relatively unknown environment and expecting them to respond properly to that environment is problematical.

There is also the problem of the affect of high radiation levels and exposure on their digital electronics and circuits, a topic on which I am obsolete.  

If the owners of the plant had given a shit about emergency preparedness they could have constructed remote controlled sensor and tool platforms (high-tech waldos) and a means for them to gain access to the various reactors.  (Underground tunnels?)  Tho' given their inability to prepare even for the emergency scenarios they deigned to acknowledge they'd of fucked this up, as well.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:31:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The controls could be hardened and much of them kept out of the immediate area if the unit was operated via remote control by a wire which it spooled out behind itself. Gimme a break here. High School kids design and build robots for specific tasks in weeks at the local schools for robotics competitions. And there is a big difference between autonomous robots and remotely controlled devices. I suspect that, given the opportunity and resources there are numerous individuals and even teams around the world who could render almost any human operable piece of equipment remotely operable within a week.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not that simple.

Sending unshielded, non mil-spec, electric and electronic components into a radiation hostile environment is pointless.  They'll fry.  

Waldo movement over broken terrain is a non-trival task in locomotion.  Yes it can be done and there are all these neat videos showing them doing it; what you don't see are the 150 times it fell over.  These things aren't going to be running around on a gym floor; they will be facing rubble piles, fallen steel beams, & god knows what else obstructing movement.  

I assume you don't want to kill the humans controlling the thing(s) and you want to be able to maneuver them inside so we're talking (around) a kilometer of cable. Keeping the armored, shielded, fiber optic cable for information gathering, command, and control from breaking, flipping the waldo on its back, snagging, abrading, ripping free from its connection housing (at both ends,) & so on is a non-trival task in mechanical engineering.  

The same sorts of problems occur with the 'extension cord' to power the things since batteries won't cut it.

(And on and on and on.)

I've done this stuff.  It ain't easy.  

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which Waldo movement?

Unfortunately, moving in a blown power plant is just one of problems. It is hard to assume the circumstances, hence automatic or on-site flexibility is needed.

Or perhaps building robots to accomplish basic operations (or substitute potentially vulnerable machinery) on stressed nuclear plants is not commercially viable - neither for plant operators (expensive research for "once in centuries" events) nor independent teams - because of little and stingy demand normally.

How hard is it to ensure that basic circuitry would work under radiation? How much is it tried empirically?

by das monde on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 01:43:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They used robot tractors and other machines for several days. They eventually all broke down because they weren't radiation hardened.

That's when they started sending in battalions of army reservist liquidators, in quick rotation. These guys have been slowly dying ever since.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:48:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation suits from South Florida sent to help Japan - Business - MiamiHerald.com

As Japan's nuclear crisis escalates, emergency workers are finding protection in a unique safety suit created in South Florida.

More than 200 full-body nuclear radiation protection suits manufactured in Medley have been donated to aid power plant workers and rescue teams in Japan, and the company, Radiation Shield Technologies, is working full-time to keep up with orders from companies in Japan.

The suits are in high demand because of their unique material, called Demron, invented by Coral Gables anesthesiologist and pain-management specialist Dr. Ronald DeMeo. The radiation-blocking material offers protection against multiple threats, including infrared radiation, extreme heat, nuclear fallout, biological and chemical agents.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:24:34 AM EST
taz reports a press conference by ex-Toshiba engineer Goto Masashi, voicing criticisms of the design, both for the GE part and the Toshiba part. He says Toshiba saved on earthquake safety measures. One significant new point in it: Masashi says it is likely that already the earthquake damaged the plant, especially No. 2 reactor:
  • tubes that were too thin could have been broken in No. 2, preventing the pressure kill;
  • he suspects that in No. 4, a water tank with cooling water toppled and ran out, and the explosion was caused by hydrogen generated from that.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:41:02 AM EST
1245: Steve Herman, Voice of America Bureau Chief tweets: "Got rad tested in Koriyama: My body 1500cpm, my boots 3000 cpm. Another reporter: 10,000 cpm on her shoes."

Divide by 120 for uSv. So even the 10,000 cpm is still a fairly low dose.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:44:26 AM EST
Divide by 120 for uSv

What kind of radiation are you asuming?

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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the factor for Cesium-137.

There's no absolute way to convert cpm to uSv without a lot of guesswork, but it's near enough as a ball park figure.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:44:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For long-term contamination, Cs-137 is appropriate. For the first 10-days, apparently Iodine and Tecnetium.

(wiki)

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 11:51:19 AM 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:59:31 AM EST
was taken at 16 march 4pm

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why are they not using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the recon?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And publicly release the resolution specifications of on-board intelligence gathering instruments?

Don't be silly.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:44:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If that is their concern they could temporarily replace the cameras with the best commercially available units. And it doesn't have to be front line UAVs. Iraqis have made servicable UAVs and put cameras on them, IIRCC.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ack.

My comment stemmed from anger and disgust.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They did use them to photograph the tsunami damage. and handed over the photos directly to the Japanese government (presumably under confidentiality).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:48:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lowering Deaths per Terawatt Hour for Civilization
Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh) Coal - world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity) Coal - China 278 Coal - USA 15 Oil 36 (36% of world energy) Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy) Biofuel/Biomass 12 Peat 12 Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy) Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy) Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy) Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead) Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:01:32 AM EST
presentation is better at the link

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lowering Deaths per Terawatt Hour for Civilization
Energy SourceDeath Rate (deaths per TWh)
Coal - China278
Coal - world average161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Oil36 (36% of world energy)
Coal - USA15
Biofuel/Biomass12
Peat12
Natural Gas4 (21% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Solar (rooftop)0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Nuclear0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
(reordered)

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 11:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what number of Chernobyl dead they used in that calculation, though.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs tells me it appears they assumed 100 deaths for the nuclear industry. That means they're working on 2500 TWh.

If you divide by your favourite estimate of Chernobyl deaths, what's the result?

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 01:10:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well calculating it out  its actually 102 point something, but I assumed the extra bit was a rounding error.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:20:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But you did get 2500 TWh for nuclearpower production to date?

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 01:21:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chernobyl disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
More than fifty deaths are directly attributed to the accident, all among the reactor staff and emergency workers. Estimates of the total number of deaths attributable to the accident vary enormously, from possibly 4,000 to close to a million.
Let's assume that the estimate excludes Chernobyl entirely. Then, you get

Chernobyl Deaths     Total nuclear power deaths per TWh
50		     0.06
4000		     1.6
300000		     120
1000000 	     400


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 01:20:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see I forgot to reply to this: at the end of my onetime diary Chernobyl's Downplayed Victims, numbers range from 60,000 to 212,000.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The source seems to be Wind Energy Comes of Age, a book by Paul Gipe from 1995 that was updated in 2000. It's not clear what is or isn't in it, and dated (for all energy forms).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for coal.

And not for nuclear.
(because it doesn't exist of course. Statistics are studiously not collected.)

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

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tracking back the author's sources, I get to this, and this:



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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's possible the 100 deaths are for "normal operations", considering Chernobyl "an outlier".

After all, look at how they treat the Banqiao Dam accident separately.

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 01:13:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Thread: March 17, 2011
..NPR's Richard Harris, reporting from Tokyo, says it appears from what's being said by authorities that it's most likely that the water dropped from helicopters largely missed the mark and that the water cannons couldn't reach the reactors.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:04:58 AM EST
He is reporting old news, before the army took over from the police.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he's talking just the helicopters,  not the fire trucks.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the water cannons couldn't reach the reactors


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:55:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ah blindness or stupidity aflicts me.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:21:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
I feel bad that so many people are working in the danger zone to fix this terrible situation and I am running away after this country has been my home for 21 years, but I must make sure my children are safe. One thing that really upset me today is I called British Airways to book a flight having last week got a regular email from them on "Fly to London for 65,000 Yen" and the sales guy on the phone saying he was so sorry that the flight cost now was 10 times that! 700,000 yen! You want to leave Japan but can't afford to go home cause your own country's airline in this awful situation is charging 10 times regular fares!! But good old ANA (All Nippon Airways) still has flights at just over the regular fare for this time of year so again thank you Japan for being 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:50:07 AM EST
A BBC reporter was saying earlier that the FO was offering free flights home for hardship cases - "if someone has lost everything, obviously they're going to find it hard to pay" - but not for regular joes.

Apparently this would "undercut the airlines", and this would be a very bad thing.

700,000Y is more than £5000.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IAEA press conference on Now

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:52:58 AM EST
No significant worsening since yesterday, sea water injected into 1,2 and 3

No data has been recieved since march 14th on number 4s pool from its monitoring equipment

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:57:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK - The high voltage power restoration is to reactors 1 and 2, number 2 first as it has the least  elecrtrical damage, pumps may still need much work though.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:23:31 PM EST
  1. Select a place
  2. Select a weapon
  3. Nuke it

http://www.carloslabs.com/node/16


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 12:36:59 PM EST
Somewhere I saw a suggestion to drop a fusion bomb on Fukuhsima.
by das monde on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 09:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many people claim the only way to stop a metldown is a small nuke.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Click to enlarge

Source: NYT

"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:53:25 PM EST
That's a bad graph... the displayed data from Friday to Wednesday corresponds to the main gate, but the Thursday data mixes up data measured at various locations (I linked the TEPCO pdf with the original data upthread).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a story I heard in TV this morning but didn't see in the media so far: a group of journalists entered the 20 km exclusion zone, and found a hospital in which doctors and patients left behind in the evacuation sealed themselves off. Anyone seen this?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:15:19 PM EST
I've heard that vaguely, but it might have been you mentioning 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rings a bell. I think I saw it on BBC (RT programming feed) yesterday.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Japan in maps: The evacuation
Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from the areas worst affected by the earthquake and tsunami, with many now living in temporary shelters. The maps below show the extent of the evacuation.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 01:23:15 PM EST
Emma Alvarez Gibson (ealvarezgibson) on Twitter
Friend who works for Japanese car company is now fielding calls from American idiots who think the cars are radioactive. No words, people.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:04:51 PM EST
Driver films tsunami engulfing his car - Channel 4 News

Extraordinary footage filmed inside a car that was driving along the coast road shows the moment the tsunami hit. The car ploughs forward as what looks like a small wave turns into an enormous torrent, covering the car and leaving it bobbing in the water.

The driver told local media: "When I came to the fishing port and turned the corner I could see the wall of water. At that moment I could do nothing else but keep driving. In the middle of that situation my car was taken by the wave.

"Water came up and the car was floating in the water. I was panicked, the water was probably two metres high. If I came out of the car I thought I would be caught in the water as well so I thought I would wait until it had come down."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:16:40 PM EST
IAEA Update on Japan Earthquake
Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that engineers were able to lay an external grid power line cable to unit 2. The operation was completed at 08:30 UTC.

They plan to reconnect power to unit 2 once the spraying of water on the unit 3 reactor building is completed.

The spraying of water on the unit 3 reactor building was temporarily stopped at 11:09 UTC (20:09 local time) of 17 March.



"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:19:15 PM EST
Let's hope the water pumps that were working before the tsunami hit and maybe for some hours afterwards on battery power can be restarted.

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 02:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Japanese Nuke regulatory authorities scientists were saying that they wouldnt even bother checking, theyd fit new pumps, as the current pumps are probably damaged by sea water and being stationary. they'd check the state of the current pumps after the current problems were over

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, good.

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 03:34:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A friend has a friend who lives in Koriyama, a suburb of Fukushima city.

She says she has invited her friend and her family to come to Spain but they trust their government and don't want to flee. They're being tested for radiation exposure daily. They have no water or power.

The clueless coverage in the Spanish press had my friend worried, she said she had been reading the NY Times which she said is less catastrophist.

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 02:30:32 PM EST
This picture is from Koriyama



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 04:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake: For one quake survivor, self-help in the face of seeming helplessness - latimes.com
Reporting from Ishinomaki, Japan -- Most of the dozens of tsunami-battered towns along Japan's northeastern coast remain mired in mud, but the situation in Ishinomaki is a bit different. Nearly a week after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the city of 162,000, large portions remain underwater, an instant lake clearly visible on NASA satellite photographs.

Amid the aqueous landscape looms Hideaki Akaiwa, 43, in full battle gear.

In a nation of careful dressers, Akaiwa sports Rambo-style army pants, a blue sweatshirt, muddy sneakers, legs wrapped in plastic secured with orange duct tape, and three different backpacks, including an L.L. Bean fanny pack with a tiny plastic anime character affixed, a doctor that saves people.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:37:06 PM EST

Click to enlarge

"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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 02:47:50 PM EST
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
More from the US: CBS News reports that travellers from Japan have triggered the radiation detectors at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Though the report does stress the levels were very low.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:16:21 PM EST
People arriving from a location with higher than normal radiation exposure have a higher than normal radiation count.

Golly gee-whiz gosh.  Whoduhthunkit?

We really need to change the scientific name of our species to homo ignoranti ignoramous

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:25:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has anyone seen comments from Thomas in these Japan threads?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:31:58 PM EST
Edano says govt sure that water from water drop, cannon did enter spent fuel pool, but unable to say how much

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:00:38 PM EST
BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
Yukio Edano's news conference begins. He says officials are still working to evaluate the results of water spraying at the Fukushima Daiichi power station. He says operations to try to cool Reactor 3 will resume on Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which operates the plant, is still trying to restore power to the site, Mr Edano 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 Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:07:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan gov't spokesman: Work at Fukushima this morning centered on restoring power needed to cool crippled nuke plant.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:12:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Edano denies any lack of coolant for the time being (can use seawater).

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:13:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan earthquake | Page 123 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
Japan Defence Minister Kitazawa says fire trucks to spray water over reactor No. 3 Friday afternoon


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:06:23 PM EST


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