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Japan disasters thread - a week after

by DoDo Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:06:13 AM EST

Another day, another long thread, the crises in Japan are far from over, time to start a new thread. [Update: originally posted 16 hours ago - afew]

The Battle against Radiation: Nuclear Crisis Overshadows Tsunami Relief Efforts - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Japanese authorities struggled to ease suffering in three hard-hit prefectures on Thursday, as weather and shortages compounded the post-quake crisis. But the desperate battle to prevent massive amounts of radiation from pouring out of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has dominated official attention.


Japan threads:

Display:
JAPAN: Food and Gasoline Shortages Plague Nuclear Exclusion Zone - IPS ipsnews.net
TOKYO, Mar 17, 2011 (IPS) - For the past three days Hiroko Oogusa, 62 - following orders from the local authorities - has remained in her tightly shuttered home located 40 kilometres from the badly damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

"The local town council officials who drove past my house announced through loudspeakers that we must not go outside and not let air in to protect ourselves from radiation," Oogusa told IPS over an intermittent phone line. "I am trying hard not to lose hope for I am running out of food and wonder what is going to happen next."

Oogusa, who lives in Iwachiku village, weathered the massive quake that hit Fukushima on Mar. 11. It shook her house badly, cutting off the water supply and heat, but never did she expect to be faced with what she describes as a kind of "imprisonment."

"I am angry and sad at the same time over the horror we are facing. I have always been unhappy over the nuclear power plants in our area but I could do nothing about it," she said.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:49:59 PM EST
BBC News - Earthquake and tsunami test Japan's resilience

As he picked his way though the rubble trying to find any belongings he could salvage, he told me he would be moving back home as soon as he could.

"We can clean this up," he said. "The structure of the house is fine. We can rebuild it."

"But," he added thoughtfully, "I've never known anything like this before."

Keizo is 74 years old. A lot of terrible things have happened in Japan in his lifetime - the bombs that landed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the earthquake that destroyed large parts of the city of Kobe and now this, an earthquake and tsunami that have ravaged Keizo's homeland.

And yet he is counting his blessings. "It's much worse closer to the shoreline," he told me.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:52:57 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 03:51:47 PM EST
Dave Marcus (DaveMarcus) on Twitter
Careful out there! There is some nasty malware masquerading as Fukishima satellite images today.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 03:52:55 PM EST
Midnight local time (16h CET) releases:

TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 0:00 pm Mar 17th)

All 6 units of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been shut down.

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.
- We confirmed fog like steam from reactor building at 8:30AM on March 16th.
- As it was reported that the pressure of the Suppression Chamber temporally increased at around 6:15AM on March 17th, we will continue monitoring.
- In order to cool spent fuel pool of Unit 3 we conducted water spray by helicopters of Self-Defense Force at approximately 9:48 am. We are continuously monitoring the spent fuel pool and plan to conduct water spray to other Units.
- 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.

...

Others
- We are currently coordinating with the relevant authorities and departments as to how to secure the cooling water to cool down the water in the spent nuclear fuel pool of the plant.

...

- 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.

 

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:00:25 PM EST
Here are the latest reported radiation level figures. The latest figure at the administration building (closer to the plants) is for 7:10 pm local time, and shows 3626 μSv/h after a slow decline. At the West gate, the figure at 11:00 pm local time was 289 μSv/h.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In today's release, there is data up to midday local time at the West gate, showing a steady but slow decrease, the last value being 263.5 μSv/h. However, 'closer to the fire':

NHK WORLD English

The workers are carefully watching radiation levels, which remain high -- up to 20 millisieverts per hour at some points.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to highlight this one:

- We are currently coordinating with the relevant authorities and departments as to how to secure the cooling water to cool down the water in the spent nuclear fuel pool of the plant.

So now they are concerned about the separate spent fuel pool, too.

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

by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First time ive noticed that mentioned

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 04:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and if it's the only nuke stock on the site that doesn't have a problem i'd be mightily surprised.

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 04:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By convention, they underline new material in the press releases: Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 0:00 pm Mar 17th)
- We are currently coordinating with the relevant authorities and 
  departments as to how to secure the cooling water to cool down the water
  in the spent nuclear fuel pool of the plant.
The same text, however, is mentioned in the previous press release. Prior to that, there had been no press releases about Dai-Ichi in this full-length format for over 3 days.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the latest release (11:00 pm local time yesterday), that paragraph is one.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 11:00 PM Mar 17th)
Cooling spent fuel pools

  • On Unit 3, water discharge by Self-Defense Force's helicopters had been conducted since 9:48 AM in the morning on March 17th.

  • On Unit 3, water discharge by the riot police's high-pressure water cannon trucks and Self-Defense Force's fire engines had been conducted since approximately past 7PM on March 17th and they had finished water discharge at 8:09PM.

  • We are considering further water discharge at Unit 3 and others subject to the conditions of spent fuel pools when we get ready.
Good, this looks like TEPCO was running press releases normally until they got totally overwhelmed by events and after a few days with unstructured updates or no updates at all they're getting a grip again.

Or maybe they just want to give that impression...

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:22:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the japanese PM just came out on bbc and said there is no cause for optimism regarding the nuclear accident.

maybe that's 'getting a grip'.

'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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's 100% in character for Kan-San.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 06:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear Crisis Prompts Business Executives to Leave Tokyo - NYTimes.com

TOKYO -- The crisis at the nuclear power plant 140 miles north of here is leading to a steady but orderly departure of business executives from Tokyo. Foreigners in particular are among those leaving, as concerns grow about the possibility of a catastrophic release of radiation and governments urge their citizens to consider seeking safety elsewhere in Japan or overseas.

Much as in 2003, when the SARS virus slowed business around Asia, a peculiar psychology has taken hold in Tokyo, where businessmen with the wherewithal are weighing whether to decamp to cities south and west of Tokyo -- or wait and see whether the nuclear emergency escalates further.

In addition to the distraction of relocating employees, the confusion in some cases is preventing companies from addressing urgent problems in shattered plants and facilities along the northeastern coast of the main island, Honshu, which was ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami last week.

And the oppressive atmosphere of fear has made concentrating on even routine tasks difficult. Meetings are being canceled, salesmen have given up visiting clients and stores are cutting back hours or closing entirely. Getting a table in even the most popular restaurants has suddenly become easier.



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 04:05:20 PM EST
BritishEmbassy英国大使館 (UKinJapan) on Twitter
  1. To register your interest in this 18 March Narita #Tokyo flight please call +44 20 7008 6900. - http://ow.ly/4gKHr 25 minutes ago via HootSuite
    • UK has organised flight departing on 18 March from Narita #Tokyo to Hong Kong for Brits unable to get commercial flights. http://ow.ly/4gKBu


    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 04:09:19 PM EST
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    French Prime Minister Francois Fillon tells France 2 television says the country will tighten conditions for export of nuclear reactors:

    We will only export nuclear reactors to countries that have reached a level of development and handling of the technology and who have capacity to cope with crises like the one we are witnessing



    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 04:10:56 PM EST
    Steve Connor: The problem with the Fukushima reactors is their age - Commentators, Opinion - The Independent

    The Fukushima reactors were installed in the 1970s, but their design goes back to the 1960s, when the nuclear industry was still learning about the myriad of things that can go wrong when nuclear fission is used to generate electrical power. Since then, the industry has strived to make important safety improvements to lessen the risks of radioactive leaks, fires and meltdowns.

    All six reactors at Fukushima are boiling water reactors (BWRs), meaning that the flow of water used to cool the reactors is the same water used to turn the steam turbines of the electricity generators. In more modern pressurised water reactors (PWRs), the heat from the primary cooling circuit is transferred by a steam generator or heat exchanger to a secondary circuit of water used to turn the steam turbines.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:13:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Straw-man. PWR's are not by default more modern than BWR's. This Steve Connor fellow seems pretty clueless.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:59:20 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And there is nothing inherently safer about having the separate loop - if the coolant fails in the secondary system, the primary system can still meltdown or vent.
    by njh on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:26:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    than Japan...

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:09:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    We will only export nuclear reactors to countries that have reached a level of development and handling of the technology and who have capacity to cope with crises like the one we are witnessing

    ...and who will never cut safety corners, lie on TV, or pressure governments to shut down investment for renewables.

    Teh italians' new hospital in l'aquila fell down faster than some of the older buildings.

    and they're going to build these apocalypse-proof reactors, uh-huh.

    '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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:21:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Prefecture-level data is posted here. There is no data for the prefecture of the nuclear plant, Fukushima. The latest numbers are up to 5:00 pm local time on 17 March. Thanks to winds blowing out to sea, even the highest value reduced to 0.209 μSv/h.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:11:50 PM EST
    NHK is reporting that radiation is falling since they stopped spraying at the gate on the edge of the plant, but that could be down to wind changes etc.

    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 04:15:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I suspect that, if the fuel rods are exposed, adding water to the pool increases both the rate of burnoff of the zirconium cladding and hence hydrogen production, and the production of steam as some of the water boils off on hitting metal at higher than 100C, so then a plume of radioactive vapour is produced raising the radiation level measured outside.

    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 04:34:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They probably cannot get enough water applied for it to have any effect other than immediately turning to steam.  But turning that water to steam does remove large amounts of heat. If they could keep a continuous stream into the pools they might get the temperatures down below the boiling point of water. If not it will soon enough be time for boron or boric acid. Fortunately, boron melts at 2349 K, 2076 °C, 3769 °F and has a  boiling point of    4200 K, 3927 °C, 7101 °F

    "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 06:11:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Can anybody tell me where this radiation is going to end up?

    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
    by vbo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:58:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, actually.

    However, my understanding is that if there is no core or storage pool meltdown, the radioactivity will mostly stay in the plant area. Until now, that seems to be the mostly likely result, but it will take weeks before things are stable enough to be sure...

    by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 12:56:35 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    At 11:00 pm local time, Asahi Shimbun knew of 5,694 confirmed dead, and 18,000 unaccounted for by local authorities. An hour earlier, confirmed dead were two less, while those registered missing numbered 9,522, and 2,409 were wounded.

    17,844 buildings were found to have been destroyed by earthquake and tsunami, another 137 by fire.

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

    by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:24:18 PM EST
    On March 18, 9:00 pm local time, Asahi Shimbun knew of 6,911 confirmed dead, exceeding the Kobe earthquake. 10,754 are registered missing, 19,000 unaccounted for by local authorities. 2,356 wounded: that's a decrease by over 50: did so many people die in hospital? Building damage rose to 18,544 destroyed by earthquake and tsunami, another 137 by fire.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:29:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    that's a decrease by over 50: did so many people die in hospital?

    More like a typo. 11:00 pm local time update: 6,911 confirmed dead (unchanged), 10,692 registered missing, 2,611 wounded.

    Building damage was clarified, too: 14,456 buildings completely destroyed, 3,974 partially, 137 by fire.

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:36:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Ian Woolverton, from Save the Children, has said that access to clean water is a problem in the Japanese city of Sendai - one of the worst-hit areas. He told the BBC: "What parents and children are telling me is they're most concerned about the lack of clean drinking water for bathing their children in. They're saying to me that they haven't had a chance to give their children a bath since last Friday - so that's one of the biggest concerns."

    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake

    Japan's government orders radioactivity tests on food produced in the municipality near the Fukushima plant, which has not gone down well with everyone. Tatsuya Kakita, the head of a research institute on consumer issues, tells Kyodo news agency : "The decision makes it look as if contaminated food is already on the market."


    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 04:52:55 PM EST
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph
    shortage of car parts from Japan has forced General Motors to temporarily shutter one of its factories in the United States, the firm said. Production at an assembly plant in the southern state of Louisiana will halt for one week "due to a parts shortage resulting from the crisis in Japan," the Detroit, Michigan-based company said.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 04:56:56 PM EST
    'We're not running away': Fukushima worker

    ONE lone voice has emerged from the group of heroic workers at Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), which runs the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, where workers are scrambling to cool the nuclear plant and avoid a meltdown.

    Michiko Otsuki - a female worker at Tepco - has written on her blog, speaking up for her 'silent' colleagues who remained behind at the plant.

    She had been quoted a little in some overseas English reports but The Straits Times Online tracked and translated her blog to find out her full story when she first posted on popular Japanese social networking site Mixi.

    By Thursday however, her post had been taken down, but the entry had already been reproduced by several online blogs and in Japanese language forums.

    Ms Otsuki is one of the 800 employees evacuated from the plant on Monday, leaving 50 workers behind to battle the nuclear crisis.

    On Tuesday, she addressed the growing criticisms levelled at Tepco.

    'People have been flaming Tepco,' she said. 'But the staff of Tepco have refused to flee, and continue to work even at the peril of their own lives. Please stop attacking us.'



    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 05:02:39 PM EST
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph
    Japanese orphans would greatly benefit from visiting summer camps in Canada after losing parents in the recent quake and tsunami, Japan's envoy Kaoru Ishikawa said at a forum on international relations. The quake struck during the school day at 3pm so many children survived in school buildings designed to withstand seismic events while their parents did not.


    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 05:03:25 PM EST
    Thinking of writing the Japanese embassy in Spain about sponsoring a Japanese orphan...

    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 05:53:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    was going to run a camp in Japan in April, but they are reorganizing to bring Japanese kids to France instead.
    Objectif sciences

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:18:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC - Adam Curtis Blog: A IS FOR ATOM

    I am sorry I haven't put anything up recently. I have been busy finishing a new series of films for BBC-2

    As a background to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant I am putting up a film I made a while ago called A is for Atom. It was part of a series about politics and science called Pandora's Box.

    The film shows that from very early on - as early as 1964 - US government officials knew that there were serious potential dangers with the design of the type of reactor that was used to build the Fukushima Daiichi plant. But that their warnings were repeatedly ignored.

    <snip>

    In 1966 the US government Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards tried to force the industry to redesign their containment structures to make them safer. But the chairman of the committee claims in the film that General Electric in effect refused.

    And in 1971 the Atomic Energy Commission did a series of tests of Emergency Core Cooling systems. Accidents were simulated. In each case the emergency systems worked - but the water failed to fill the core. Often being forced out under pressure.

    As one of the AEC scientists says in the film:

    "We discovered that our theoretical calculations didn't have a strong correlation with reality. But we just couldn't admit to the public that all these safety systems we told you about might not do any good"

    And again the warnings were ignored by senior members of the Agency and the industry.



    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 05:17:57 PM EST
    In each case the emergency systems worked - but the water failed to fill the core. Often being forced out under pressure.

    WTF!? So now we have two possibilities: either the same electrical equipment failure that was discovered at the Fukushima Daini plant, or a really old crime of GE designers.

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

    by DoDo on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:25:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "We discovered that our theoretical calculations didn't have a strong correlation with reality. But we just couldn't admit to the public that all these safety systems we told you about might not do any good"

    Another bit of evidence for my contention the Nuclear Power Industry are a bunch of liars.  

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

    by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:36:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They had a public debate on nuclear energy organised by El Pais today. Apparently one of the people in attendance was a famous physicist and current director of CIEMAT, an energy research centre.

    Why the fuck did he have to reassure people nuclear power is safe as it is, as opposed to reassuring people that any technical flaws exposed by the current incident will be fixed by engineering?

    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 05:52:06 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    shrug

    Why does the computer software industry keep making insecure operating systems?

    Why is the preferred personal transportation device, i.e., a car, based on an engine with a maximum (IIRC) 17% fuel efficiency?

    Why do people in undeveloped countries with a population greater than the agricultural carrying capacity of the country and no money to buy foodstuffs keep having kids?

    My answer is: we, as a species, construct a Fairy Tale Reality and then live as if the FTR was Reality.


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

    by ATinNM on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:07:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "science, bitches" is the new self-referential truth.

    you are the media you consume.

    by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:08:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    But that is not science.

    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 06:09:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah. With the management class the narrative is power for power's sake and with analytically intelligent people it's this.

    you are the media you consume.

    by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:18:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Operation to pour water at Fukushima nuke plant said effective | Kyodo News

    The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said later in the day that white smoke was confirmed to be billowing from the nearby No. 2 unit at the power plant, suggesting that a spent nuclear fuel pool in the facility may also be boiling.

    A rise in the pool's water temperature, usually at 40 C, causes water to dissipate and expose the spent nuclear fuel rods, which could heat up further and melt, and, in the worst-case scenario, discharge highly radioactive materials, experts say.



    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 05:44:42 PM EST
    IAEA (iaeaorg) on Twitter
    AEA offers slide presentation on boiling water reactors (BWRs) and #Japan #earthquake nuclear emergency: http://slidesha.re/ft6oAI


    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 05:48:11 PM EST

    Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens

    WASHINGTON--Responding to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sought Thursday to reassure nervous Americans that U.S. reactors were 100 percent safe and posed absolutely no threat to the public health as long as no unforeseeable system failure or sudden accident were to occur. "With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down," said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s. "When you consider all of our backup cooling processes, containment vessels, and contingency plans, you realize that, barring the fact that all of those safety measures could be wiped away in an instant by a natural disaster or electrical error, our reactors are indestructible." Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks, except those no one could have predicted.

    Who Could Have Predicted?


    Wind power

    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 05:48:14 PM EST
    David Roberts (drgrist) on Twitter
    In their 1st 15 years, nuclear & wind produced comparable energy in US (2.6B kWh vs 1.9B kWh); nuke subsidies larger by a factor of over 40.


    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 06:26:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    When I saw his forthcoming testimony yesterday I thought he would soon be in trouble. One day of truth and then back to the lies of "market discipline". These reactors will undoubtedly be safe in the USA because they are operating on US soil. That is it!

    "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 07:32:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Why do you hate freedom?

    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 07:34:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Its not Freedom! Its the Freedom Fries that I hate! Stop libeling me.

    "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 08:56:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I hope you realised that Jérôme quoted The Onion :-)

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:31:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Didn't matter for my comment. :-)

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:50:53 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph
    Almost a quarter of Japan's population are 65 or over, and hypothermia, dehydration and respiratory diseases are taking hold among the elderly in shelters, many of whom lost their medication when the wave struck, according to Eric Ouannes, general director of Doctors Without Borders' Japan affiliate.


    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 06:16:53 PM EST
    Prime-time presence last night on French TV of Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross to invite donations and talk up working with the Japanese rather than "humanitarian intervention". But underlining exactly this kind of problem that will very soon cause deaths.
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:35:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph
    Japan turned down a US offer to provide technical support for cooling fuel rods at nuclear reactors hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday. The United States made the offer immediately after the disaster caused damage to Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, quoting a senior official of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 06:17:23 PM EST
    John V. Roos (AmbassadorRoos) on Twitter
    If we determine that radiation poses a threat to public health, we will share that information and provide relevant guidance immediately.


    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 06:17:57 PM EST
    JournalismJobs.com -- Job Listing

    Temporary full-time editor

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is looking for an organized, creative, and committed editor to help our team respond to the events in Japan, as well as maintain the daily editing tasks for additional projects. This is a temporary three-month position and is a full-time telecommuting position; this position does not include any benefits.



    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 06:57:43 PM EST
    That looks like a job for Starvid or Nomad.

    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 07:06:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This is not a job for an entry-level editor; do not respond unless you have at least 7 years of editing experience.


    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:34:42 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Seven years experience for a three month contract and a "negotiable" salary?

    Unless they're offering a giant pile of money, I suspect they could be erring on the side of optimism there.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:52:47 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That's normal for job postings these days. "Wanted, PhD in engineering with 20 years of experience and certifications in all known software and hardware systems, for temp job paying minimum wage."
    by asdf on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:31:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Have you learnt nothing from Googleburg and our own Littorin (though he just bought a master)? Honesty will get you no where.

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
    by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:46:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Reuters - NHK are showing Fukushima plant live..no2, no3 and no4 are emitting white steam. 2307 gmt

    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 07:11:44 PM EST
    More hydrogen explosions?

    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 07:12:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Finally seen it, almost nothing from 4 (although pic was small) Lots coming from 3 and what looked like a single stream from a train coming from the middle of the roof of 2

    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 07:32:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Hopefully it is from water dropped by helicopter trickling into the spent fuel pools and being vaporized.

    "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 07:38:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't think any closed rooms remained for hydrogen to collect in...

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:33:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan holds the line in nuclear plant crisis - CNN.com
    Meanwhile, engineers got an emergency diesel generator for Unit 6 running that was supplying energy to Units 5 and 6, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Friday. Water injection to the spent fuel pool was continuing.


    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 07:29:32 PM EST
    Tonight on The Evening News with Brian Williams there was discussion of the danger posed by the spent fuel pools boiling and going dry. But we still could have core meltdowns with fuel burning through the steel supression rings and even the concrete below, which is not extremely thick. Then, given the proximity to the ocean, there will be a new source of concern for the contamination of the adjacent coastal waters which would cause them to be closed to fishing.

    "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 07:42:43 PM EST
    Our discussions on ET seem to stay 24 to 48 hours ahead of the MSM, and that is without any on site reporters.

    "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 07:43:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    APFU

    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 07:46:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I saw a couple of minutes of swedish public service debate on the topic. Horrible. They had a nuclear engineer with twenty years job experience who tried to explain why the spent fuel is the real problem and who got scoffed at and shouted down by the nukes-can-do-no-wrong crowd.

    I could not stand it. As far as I saw the engineer underestimated the danger though as he - like me until the other day here at ET - thought that they kept just five years waste on site (like in Sweden).

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

    by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Almost all US nuke plants are in the same situation as are those in Japan: they have on site all fuel they have ever used. This is the result of proceeding with the plants on the ASSUMPTION that proper disposal sites would be created. 50 years of NIMBY later.... well, we are looking at creating an alternative to Yucca Mountain in Nevada in the south east corner of New Mexico. But then there will be the problems of interstate transport of spent nuclear fuel.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:44:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There is a (small) chance that the Yucca mountain project might be restarted after this. "My decisions will be based on scientific facts, not politics. -- B. Obama." Reid will holler, of course...but when people understand that our handling of spent fuel is much worse than Japan's is, maybe it will happen. Maybe. Possibly.
    by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:03:55 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Moving cool fuel assemblies to Yucca Mountain would be better than leaving them where they are. They pose no danger to their zirconium containers by themselves, but, in a metal fire from adjacent hot assemblies, they could fail and add to the mass of radioactive release.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:36:12 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    We do not have five years of spent fuel on station. After one year it is sent to Centralt mellanlager för använt kärnbränsle in Oskarshamn, were it is stored in a safe and secure way.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 07:31:55 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The US would be vastly better off to ONLY have five years of spent fuel on site.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:37:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Right you are. Confused it with the number of years it is used. Five years use - one year storage - CLAB and then eventually off to the final deposit.

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
    by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:05:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Forsmark will get the spent fuel repository, Barsebäck is closed down and Ringhals is a bit too close to Gothenburg. That leaves Oskarshamn as the site to deploy new reactors. Added to the fact that O1 and O2 are our smallest and oldest reactors and that the new Socdem party chairman Juholt is from Oskarshamn... who's up for two brand ne 1600 MW ESBWR's from General Electric Hitachi? Sovereign debt funded, of course. :)

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:27:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nah, if a molten blob of fuel gets down to the water table, the steam explosion will blow everything up in the air long before it gets a chance to mess up the seawater...
    by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:05:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Jeffrey Lewis * Another FEPC Statement

    FEPC has released another statement. Other regular sources of information are the IAEA and the Japan Atomic Industrial Form.

    This time there is no entry for Unit 4, which is the main source of debate between TEPCO and NRC Chairman Jazcko. I am told that is because there is no new information.

    Update | 12:08 pm FEPC has provided an update on Unit 4 that argues the helicopter team observed water in the cooling pool.

    I continue to be very worried about the possibility of the fire in the SNF cooling pools.

    Another colleague has argued that the current plan is to connect an interim power line to the reactor site; the current efforts that seem so feeble are just an attempt to buy enough time to restore power.  That is more or less the view articulated in this AP article by Eric Talmadge and Mari Yamagchi quoting a senior official at TEPCO.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:42:54 PM EST
    Jeffrey Lewis * Another FEPC Statement

    o At 9:20AM (JST) on March 17, radiation level at elevation of 1,000ft above Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: 4,130 micro sievert.

    o At 9:20AM on March 17, radiation level at elevation of 300ft above Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: 87,700 micro sievert.

    Crap. That is not a good slope of radiation vs. altitude, interpolating 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 07:43:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That's crap, but interpolating on two data points when the source is at high altitude and there is wind and convection is foolish.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:35:13 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TEPCO has noted that the spent fuel pools are a priority so I wonder if restoring power to the complex will facilitate pumping water into them. It would seem that reactor #3 should be a priority, as it has the MOX. (MOX and its associated dangers were also first discussed tonight on the NBC Evening News.

    "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 07:52:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Yes. The worry isn't the rods inside the reactor. The worry is the 514 spent fuel rods that are completely exposed and overheating right now. Some of those in pool 3 are MOX rods. They know MOX rods were put into the pool as recently as September 2010, but no one has published a number that I know of. I think that's the #1 concern. Burning plutonium rods would make the recovery efforts infinitely more difficult on-site.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 07:46:21 PM EST
    Japan earthquake LIVE   Reuters Blog

    @Paul 32 furl rod assemblies (bundles), each one comprised of about 90 individual fuel rods. So that makes 2,880 individual MOX rods in total.
    comment by jon at 3/17/2011 11:41:56 PM6:41 PM

    Even at 7% plutonium, that is a lot of 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 08:42:58 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) asked the Japanese government earlier this week to permit a full withdrawal of its employees from the Fukushima plant, a Japanese daily newspaper has said. TEPCO had first concluded that it would be "difficult" for its workers to continue to restore the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, where high levels of radiation have been monitored, the Mainichi Shimbun said.

    But Prime Minister Naoto Kan turned down the request, telling TEPCO: "Withdrawal is impossible. It's not a matter of whether TEPCO collapses. It's a matter of whether Japan goes wrong," according to Mainichi. An unnamed official related to TEPCO, however, was quoted by Mainichi as saying:

    If withdrawal is unacceptable, it's as if (Kan) said 'Do it until you are exposed to radiation and die.



    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 07:50:42 PM EST
    Well it's just plutonium escaping into the environment. Someone else can deal with it.

    you are the media you consume.

    by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:18:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps they should have accepted the US offer of technical assistance. (Bites tongue.)

    "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 09:00:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Cosmic Log - U.S. military detects more radiation

    U.S. officials have told NBC News that they're seeing a disparity between Japanese radiation readings and the readings they've been getting from military monitors.

    Concerns about the release of radiation from Japan's stricken nuclear plants at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex began with data collection on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. On Monday, the U.S. Seventh Fleet relocated its ships and aircraft out of the downwind direction after crew members returning to the carrier were found to have picked up low levels of radioactive contamination. The personnel were scrubbed down with soap and water, then declared contamination-free.

    Since then, the data on radiation releases suggest a range of outcomes, going all the way up to "dire," the officials said. They spoke with NBC on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the findings publicly.



    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 08:08:41 PM EST
    US military assets in user in Japan  Cosmic Log MSNBC

    NBC's sources said the Japan nuclear site and its surroundings are being monitored by a variety of U.S. aircraft, including:

        * U-2 spy planes. The U-2s, flying out of Okinawa, have "radiation suites" that can take readings at various altitudes.
        * Global Hawk drone.The Global Hawk remote-controlled plane, now on its second run, has multispectral imaging capabilities, including thermal infrared and synthetic aperture radar. Kyodo News Service quoted Japanese government sources as saying that the Global Hawk was taking images of the inside of the reactor buildings.
        * WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft. One radiation-sniffing WC-135, basically a converted Boeing 707 jet, is on its way from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to the area around Japan, where it will take atmospheric readings.


    The US Army has small tactical UAVs for battlefield use that would be valuable over the Fukushima reactors. Instead of exposing helicopter pilots to radiation just to find out the radiation above the reactor they should use a tactical UAV. Then, with fewer flights required, perhaps the helicopters could get closer and put more water into the spent fuel pools.


    "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 08:52:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    looking at the monitoring copter, its a Japanese Gazzelle style scout, whereas the ones being used are much larger heavy lift helicopters.  From What I remember It takes extensive training to move across from single rotor to twin rotor machines, so the pilots of one may not be much use for another.  (This is more speculative than most things I type)

    But I do agree that those small  camera crowd watching rc helicopter bots might be handy to look around up close. at worst you lose the remote unit,  although you might not get any pictures back if the radiation wipes your storage.

    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 08:59:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Good point. But, still, why put humans in harm's way when a robot could do the job better. They could probably put up web cams and broadcast wireless to a receiver mounted on one of the towers, and then hard-wire from there.

    "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 09:05:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    well it depends what the signal range is on those little remote things

    Draganflyer X6 Six Rotor UAV Helicopter Aerial Video Platform

    The Draganflyer X6 is a remotely operated, unmanned, miniature helicopter designed to carry wireless video cameras and still cameras.

    (20 minutes unloaded) you would have thought at least worth a try to see if you can see whats inside the pool halls

    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 09:22:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    whats inside the pool halls

    Delinquent adolescent isotopes playing billiards?

    "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 10:20:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nukeboy's stinky poo?

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:24:55 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    to split the atom

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:11:47 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    U.S. Sees `Weeks' of Struggle NYT

    On Thursday a Pentagon spokesman, Col. David Lapan, said the military expertise made available to the Japanese included a nine-person assessment team that has or will shortly arrive there to work with the Japanese military and government.

    The team members, Colonel Lapan said, will then recommend whether additional American military forces are needed to assist in the effort.

    The American military is also gathering information on the damaged nuclear power plant. Officials said that a Global Hawk drone was flying missions over the reactor. In addition, U-2 spy planes were providing images to help the Japanese government map out its response to the quake and tsunami.



    "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 10:25:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - Japan quake: Power line laid to Fukushima nuclear plant

    Engineers at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant have managed to lay a cable to reactor 2, the UN's nuclear watchdog reports.

    Restoring power should enable engineers to restart the pumps which send coolant over the reactor.

    Workers at Fukushima have been battling to prevent fuel in the reactors from overheating since Friday's magnitude 9.0 quake and subsequent tsunami.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:10:05 PM EST
    Anthony Painter (anthonypainter) on Twitter
    Just saw the headline 'Cable reaches Japanese nuclear plant' on BBC. My instant reaction was 'please God no, he's the last person they need'


    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 08:10:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It took me a while to realize it was Vince to whom he referred. :-)

    "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 09:01:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English

    The company says it has been working to lay a new power line to the plant since yesterday.

    It is aiming at restoring the cooling systems at the No. 1 and No.2 reactors. It has so far installed a distributor panel at an office next to the No. 1 reactor. It is now trying to connect the power line to a transformer at the No. 2 reactor via the No. 1 reactor.

    The workers are carefully watching radiation levels, which remain high -- up to 20 millisieverts per hour at some points.

    Tokyo Electric says it hopes to complete laying the cable on Friday afternoon and to connect power lines to the two reactors by Saturday.

    Friday, March 18, 2011 13:13 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:37:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    AFP: G7 agrees on joint intervention to stabilise currencies following Japan quake

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 08:10:52 PM EST
    Faisal Islam (faisalislam) on Twitter
    faisalislam Faisal Islam Off top of head: This is the first G7 coordinated currency intervention since 2000 effort to prop up euro. None on 9/11, none on Lehman etc


    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 08:35:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Gas, drivers scarce; quake aid piles up : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

    People around the country--and especially in disaster-hit areas--are demanding to know why so much of the emergency aid sent to survivors of last week's earthquake has not reached the people struggling to survive in shelters.

    At the scene of the tragedy, the problem has largely been due to fuel shortages, devastated roads and ports, and difficulty finding enough delivery truck drivers among other reasons.

    The public has called on the central and local governments to exercise better leadership to improve the situation.

    About 40,000 people are living in shelters in Sendai. Huge quantities of food and other daily necessities have been sent to the city from all over the nation, but most has been slow to reach the shelters due to the fuel shortages.



    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 08:43:13 PM EST
    "difficulty finding enough delivery truck drivers"???
    by asdf on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:40:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Temporarily conscript any of the thousands of Sand Truck drivers we have here in Chiba, and this problem would dissappear overnight.  Those things are still moving, day and night.
    by Zwackus on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 11:03:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And I thought Japan had chronic unemployment! Slackers?

    "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 11:30:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    YouTube - 日本以外全部沈没/Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu/The World Sinks Except Japan (2006)
    Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu is a 2006 Japanese black comedy film directed by Minoru Kawasaki. It is a parody of the 2006 film Japan Sinks.
    The original short novel written by Yasutaka Tsutsui criticizes nationalism and racism; and how wrong the notions are. It also describes human beings have no power against great nature.
    In the year 2011 the greatest tectonic disaster in the history of mankind has occurred. As a result of the catastrophic earthquakes North and South America, Eurasia, Africa and Australia have sunken underwater while the Japanese islands remain untouched.
    Japan suddenly discovers that it is the destination for all the world's surviving refugees. Consequently, they are all forced to make uncomfortable adjustments in order to share the world's last habitable landmass.


    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 09:03:59 PM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 123 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Nuclear safety agency says aiming to restore electricity to reactors 3-6 by March 20

    Japan earthquake | Page 123 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com

    The nuclear safety agency is correcting an earlier statement. They aim restore electricity to reactors No. 3 and 4 by March 20th. Not to reactors 5 and 6


    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 09:06:52 PM EST
    That does make a little more sense!

    "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 11:23:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake | Page 123 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Japan nuclear agency believes there is water in reactor 4 spent fuel pool because aerial video seemed to show water's surface


    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 09:23:45 PM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    apan's nuclear safety agency says smoke has been seen rising from reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. A spokesman says the agency does not know the cause, but an explosion occurred in the building earlier in the week.


    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 10:28:58 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    DailyYomiuri - The govt is considering using the fire dept's elite "Hyper Rescue" squads to take on the water spraying mission at the Fukushima N-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 09:57:34 PM EST
    DailyYomiuri - In response to a Japanese govt request, the US is dispatching a 450 member team of radiation damage management specialists.

    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 09:58:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    IAEA chief to meet Friday afternoon with Japan Prime Minister Kan to discuss nuclear crisis - Kyodo

    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 10:16:17 PM EST
    Edano -- Making utmost effort to restore power at nuclear plant but can't give time frame

    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 10:28:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Grim statistics from Japanese police - the official death toll as of Friday morning: 6,405 dead and 10,259 missing.


    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 10:26:35 PM EST
    by das monde on Thu Mar 17th, 2011 at 10:46:24 PM EST
    Speechless.  Just speechless!  

    The Fates are kind.
    by Gaianne on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:52:52 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Video: 5 Classic Nuclear Power Propaganda Films | Mother Jones
    Is the Japanese nuclear emergency freaking you out? Perhaps you don't appreciate just how cute and harmless the power of the atom can be--at least when it's in cartoon form. Below, a few gems of propaganda aimed at calming nuke skeptics, from the Cold War to the present 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:11:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They forget to mention the 25-year's worth of soiled diapers stored in malfunctioning fridges...

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:28:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    CNN reports on live TV that the radiation levels are higher now than they've been in the past. "Peaked" as they put it. 20 milliseverts/hr

    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 11:02:19 PM EST
    Guardian - The UK and the US are to pull government search and rescue teams out of Japan tomorrow. Some reports suggested it was due to the levels of radiation reported in the country.

    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 11:10:28 PM EST
    WSJ - US nuclear industry question scientific basis of 50 miles evacuation zone recommended by US govt.

    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 11:13:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    HuffPost: Michael Lewis' Prophetic 1989 Japan Disaster Piece

    Months before publishing 1989's Liar's Poker, the canonical account of life inside 1980s Wall Street, Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, wrote an article on the prospect of Japan being rocked by a large-scale earthquake -- and what it would mean for the global economy.

    ....

    The article, entitled "How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street and the World Economy" and appearing in now-defunct Manhattan Inc., contended not only that a large-scale Japanese earthquake was inevitable -- "A big quake has hit Tokyo roughly every 70 years for four centuries," he wrote -- but that the Japanese government wasn't taking adequate precautions against such a prospect. This decision, he believed, would have disastrous global consequences.

    ....

    Lewis' article ends on this chilling note:

    Today, when foreign journalists stumble into MITI and demand to know what will be done about Japan's trade surpluses, they sometimes get this strange answer: 'When the earthquake comes, the trade surplus will go away.' The good news from Oda is that it's probably true. The bad new is that we'll wish it wasn't.
    by das monde on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:06:01 AM EST
    NHK WORLD English
    The Self-Defense Forces have started the second day of their operation to cool down one of the spent-fuel storage pools at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    Seven high-capacity fire engines were dispatched to the plant on Friday, to inject a total of 50 tons of water into the storage pool of the No.3 reactor.

    NHK WORLD English

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the government plans to shoot water into the No.1 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in addition to the operation at the No.3 reactor.

    He said fire engines of the Tokyo Fire Department will shoot water into the spent-fuel storage pool of the No.1 reactor.

    Edano said there is no imminent danger at the No.1 reactor, unlike the No.3 and 4 reactors. But he said it is important to increase the amount of water in the
    spent-fuel storage pools to prevent a crisis.

    He said he wants water to be injected into the No.1 reactor as long as this does not hamper the operation at the No.3 reactor that is using pump trucks of the Self-Defense Forces.

    Friday, March 18, 2011 13:21 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:42:56 AM EST
    Reuters - Japan's nuclear safety agency says there has been a level 5 incident at reactors 1, 2 and 3, and a level 3 incident at reactor 4, of 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:39:28 AM EST
    Japan Sendai Earthquake Data Portal
    Click on the name of the webmap or website to open in your browser (sorted by latest entry first).


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:49:59 AM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Radiation levels drop slightly after water cannon. NE monitoring point: 3,339uSv/h at 1450 from 3,484uSV/h at 1350 - TEPCO via NHK


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 05:54:44 AM EST
    The NHK original: NHK WORLD English

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says radiation readings fell slightly after water was discharged at the No.3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The company's Fukushima office took measurements about 500 meters northwest of the reactor on Friday afternoon.

    The firm says that as of 1:50 PM, before the dousing operation began, the level of radiation stood at 3,484 microsieverts per hour, but dropped to 3,339 microsieverts by 2:50 PM, shortly after the operation.

    The office cautions that it must closely analyze the small decline before making any judgment.

    Friday, March 18, 2011 17:36 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:17:50 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So if you have 10/3 mSv/h at 500 metres, assuming an inverse-square law you get 10 mSv/h at 290m, and 1 Sv/h at 30m which covers anywhere within the 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If we calculate a strength at this range, does that give us a clue as to the amount of water in the tanks due to its shielding levels ( i know we a) dont know the ammount of material b) or its state c) or the amount of Boron in the pool 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:35:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The fact that the level dropped, or, at least, did not significantly increase, indicated that they might have gotten enough water in the pool so that what ever is added does not immediately turn to steam and carry off with itself some radioactive particles.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:13:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    assuming an inverse-square law

    With multiple sources of different strength a few hundred metres apart and changing wind directions, I wouldn't.

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:11:18 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Inverse square and log addition of levels from sources could be the first order approximation of levels, given steady and low wind direction and speed. But the effects of buildings and other turbulence plus the possibility of radiation flare-ups and wind gusts would likely swamp those levels intermittently. With those provisos, a first order estimate could be of real use.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:27:18 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Inverse square is a good first order approximation for point sources only.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:33:20 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Radiation follows inverse square, but radioactivity--the dispersion of radioactive particles--depends on venting or explosion characteristics and wind.  

    The Fates are kind.
    by Gaianne on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:39:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sorry for my little Input, but the units written in NHK World are in Microsievert. Your calculation is in Millisievert.
    by mupf on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:22:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The conversion is 1000, Migeru did that correctly.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:31:58 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If you go 100x nearer to a radioactive source, you will have 10'000x of the original dose. So if TEPCO measures around 3Microsievert/h in a distance of 500m, it would result a accumulation of 30mSv/h in a distance of 5m. But of course in Fukushima, there are different radioactive sources and some other parameters like shielding to consider, so if we only calculate with the square law, the real dose rates may be incorrectly.
    by mupf on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:01:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I realise I failed to say welcome to ET!

    If you go 100x nearer to a radioactive source, you will have 10'000x of the original dose

    It's not direct radiation from the plant that is detected (alfa and beta radiation doesn't get farther than a few metres in air, gamma radiation gets further but its intensity is also reduced faster than the square law via absorbtion), but the radioactivity of dust and soot emitted from the source, the distribution of which depends strongly on wind (though it should still decrease with distance as the material is spread out and heavier particles fall down closer to the source). In addition, in this case, there are four sources of radioactive material, all at a distance of a few hundred metres from the detection point but also a few hundred metres from each other.

    3Microsievert/h

    I's 3 milli-Sievert/h, or to be precise, 3.339 mSv/h, equals 3,339 μSv/h. Could it be that in your mother tongue, there is a decimal comma rather than decimal point as in English?

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:14:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    a comment on Reuters site, no definite information but.

    Japan earthquake | Page 133 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com

    I am not an engineer but i refueled boiling water reactors for 23 years. A bundle of fuel being removerd from the vessel to the spent fuel pool through a flooded canal emits roughly 25 Million roentgen per hour at a foot. The nrc max per person is one half roentgen per year.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:46:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You are right, the square law makes only sense for gamma emitters (at least after more than 8m).

    What I wanted to say is, if 1000uSv (Microsievert) = 1mSv (Millisievert) = 0.001Sv (Sievert), then a dose of 3.339 Microsievert (NHK WORLD) gamma radiation in 500m distance is, calculated only with the square law, around 1mSv/h in 30m and NOT 1Sv/h in 30m. But anyway, the dose is too high for people, who has to work there......

    And yes, it could be that I have a mess with a decimal comma in my mother tongue and a decimal point in English :-)

    by mupf on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:17:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    gamma radiation in 500m distance

    Let me give some numbers.

    1. Caesium-137 decays emitting a gamma-ray photon of 0.66 MeV.
    2. The absorption of gamma rays passing through material follows an exponential law, and the constant decreases with photon energy. In air, at 0.5 MeV, the function is exp(-x*0.0112), where x is linear distance in metres.
    3. Passing through a 500 metre column of air, 0.5 MeV gamma-ray intensity is reduced by a factor of 0.0037. The half intensity distance is 61.89 m.
    4. The above was for a column of air. Spreading out, you have to combine that with the square law. All in all, I don't think that much of the gamma emission of the core reaches the detectors 500 metres from reactor No. 1.

    3.339 Microsievert (NHK WORLD)

    Again, they used a comma in English, hence thousand group, not decimal marker :-) You also find the measured values in the TEPCO releases I linked upthread, it's definitely a bit over 3 mSv.

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:54:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    True, there's a factor of 1000 involved. Thanks.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 06:19:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    83-year-old Japanese woman escaped tsunami on bicycle | Raw Replay
    Japanese rice farmer Tsuna Kimura, 83, has an extraordinary story to tell: she escaped last week's massive tsunami on a bicycle. Speaking to reporters about her ordeal, she claimed that at the time, she truly believed "Japan would disappear underwater."


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:06:09 AM EST
    Japan Nuclear Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports - Bloomberg

    The unfolding disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant follows decades of falsified safety reports, fatal accidents and underestimated earthquake risk in Japan's atomic power industry.

    The destruction caused by last week's 9.0 earthquake and tsunami comes less than four years after a 6.8 quake shut the world's biggest atomic plant, also run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. In 2002 and 2007, revelations the utility had faked repair records forced the resignation of the company's chairman and president, and a three-week shutdown of all 17 of its reactors.

    With almost no oil or gas reserves of its own, nuclear power has been a national priority for Japan since the end of World War II, a conflict the country fought partly to secure oil supplies. Japan has 54 operating nuclear reactors -- more than any other country except the U.S. and France -- to power its industries, pitting economic demands against safety concerns in the world's most earthquake-prone country.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:36:11 AM EST
    IAEA Update on Japan Earthquake

    Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has reported increasing temperatures in the spent fuel ponds at Units 5 and 6 since 14 March. An emergency diesel generator at Unit 6 is now powering water injection into the ponds at those Units, according to NISA.

    The IAEA can confirm the following new information regarding the temperatures of the spent nuclear fuel pools at Units 4, 5 and 6 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant:

    Unit 4
    13 March, 19:08 UTC: 84 °C
    Unit 5
    17 March, 03:00 UTC: 64.2 °C
    17 March, 18:00 UTC: 65.5 °C
    Unit 6
    17 March, 03:00 UTC: 62.5 °C
    17 March, 18:00 UTC: 62.0 °C

    The IAEA is continuing to seek further information about the water levels, temperature and condition of all spent fuel pool facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:38:11 AM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    TEPCO says it may connect power to reactor 4 on Saturday.

    A few hours ago it said it expects electrical cables to be connected to the generators at reactors 1 and 2 by Saturday 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:50:33 AM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    electric power has never been lost in the common fuel 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:51:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    this may not be true, its a comment by someone who thinks the common pool is offsite

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:54:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Here is environmental radioactivity measurements of Fukushima prefecture (provisional) at 13:00 March 18, 2011 Unit: μGy / h μSv ≒ / h(Japaneese). www.pref.fukushima.jp


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:54:41 AM EST
    NHK WORLD English
    ...Radiation was measured for 2 hours from 10AM on Friday at 18 spots in areas 30 to 60 kilometers from the plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

    The highest reading of 150 microsieverts per hour was detected at around 1:30 PM local time, about 30 kilometers northwest of the plant. The location is within the zone where residents have been instructed to stay indoors.

    Readings of 170 microsieverts were recorded at the same location at 2 PM on the previous day, Thursday.

    Experts say exposure to this amount of radiation for 6 to 7 hours would result in absorption of the maximum level considered safe for one year.

    The ministry also observed radiation levels of 0.5 to 52 microsieverts per hour at other observation points within a 30 to 60 kilometer radius of the plant. It says these levels are all higher than normal, but not an immediate threat to health.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:25:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A map!

    The two spots marked with characters with black background are the leaking Fukushima Daiichi (northern one) and the saved Fukushima Daini (southern one) nuclear plants. Fukushima City proper is to the northwest with the 11.10 reading. East of it is Itate willage with the 20.90 reading (see downthread comment), and near it the village with the highest measured values, Namie (I think they mis-placed it, though, it should be much closer to the plant to the east).

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:38:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    9:00 am local time, the situation improved:



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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:18:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English
    The science ministry released the data on levels of outdoor radiation monitored at 28 locations in a 30 to 60-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from 7 AM to 3 PM local time on Saturday.

    It says the level at Namie Town, 30 kilometers northwest of the plant, marked the highest level of 136 microsieverts per hour around 10:20 AM.

    But the figure is slightly lower than the 140 microsieverts per hour that was detected in the same place at noon on Friday.
    Associate Professor Keiichi Nakagawa of the University of Tokyo's Medical School said that if a person is exposed to a level of outdoor radiation of 140 microsieverts per hour for one month, the accumulated dose of 100,000 microsieverts would be harmful.

    But he said that people need not worry too much as long as they stay indoors and avoid outdoor exposure.

    It's as if the wid carried some larger-size dust to one location.

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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:08:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    DoDo:
    It's as if the wid carried some larger-size dust to one location.

    Might have rained there, the rain drags in out of the air and down to the ground. After Chernobyl, the rain landed a lot of Cesium at Gävle, close to Forsmark.

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

    by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:09:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    In the prefecture's data, there is one location, Fukushima itself (60 km NW from the stricken plant), with double-digit readings, but it fell back from highs above 24 μSv/h to just above 10 μSv/h.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Without weather data (i.e., wind) one can't make much sense of comparable data. Or else you might be able to back out the wind direction if there was data in a complete radius from the plant.

    Plus, remember the high readings over the plant (i forget the altitude.)

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

    by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:46:25 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Actually, an update is up, and it kept fluctuating between 10 and 12 in the ten hours up to 18:00 local time (midday CET). And they also post results for the exclusion zones, but the peak for Itate village was 'only' 44.7 μSv/h (on Monday evening), and fluctuated between 20 and 25 μSv/h in the hours up to 18:00 local time, that's much less than at the apparently different measuring point the ministry used in the same region.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:05:59 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Looking for something to confirm my feelings about the position of the common pool, and it is the building I thought it was, directly behind reactors 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:04:18 AM EST
    According to NISA the temperature in the combined pool is 55 degrees

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:13:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ・ The water spray from the ground using 6 fire engines (6 tons of water
    per car) was carried out by the Self-Defence Force. (from before 14:00
    till 14:38 March 18th)
    ・ The water spray from the ground using a fire engine provided by the US
    Military was carried out. (finished at 14:45 March 18th)
    ・ Hyper rescue vehicles (30 cars) arrived at J village for the water spray
    from the ground. (14:45 March 18th)
    ・ Seawater is being injected to RPV. White Smoke continues to be
    generated. (As of 15:00 March 18th)

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:12:58 AM EST
    Same via NHK:

    NHK WORLD English

    On Friday afternoon, Self-Defense Force units sprayed water at the plant's No.3 reactor for roughly 40 minutes.
    The Defense Ministry says 6 special fire engines went near the reactor building one by one to carry out the operation.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company said separately that its support staff also released water at the reactor, using a fire engine lent by the US military.

    Altogether, 50 tons of water has been discharged, and the Defense Ministry says it believes the water has entered the reactor building.

    ...Later on Friday, elite units from the Tokyo Fire Department are to discharge more water at the plant.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:22:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    According to Asahi Shimbun, yesterday the five SDF fire trucks spewed 30 tons of water, today six trucks spewed 40 tons, and the Tokyo Fire Department another 2 tons.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:21:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Japan's nuclear safety agency says it cannot say yet if conditions at the Fukushima plant are under control.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:14:09 AM EST
    I've now heard several times that it will be decided Saturday weather this is a catastrophe or a worst case scenario catastrophe. I assume there is nothing to this since improvised cooling could continue until further notice - or not. No one knows.
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:33:59 AM EST
    Got any links to that?

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:38:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No. I just picked it up listening to different news channels but I heard this first from scientists (at least two); then journalists may have picked it up.
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:42:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    What news outlet?

    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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:56:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    n-tv.de

    Mr Pflugbeil - Gesellschaft fuer Strahlenforschung (or similar)
    and Carsten Loeb - live from Osaka - speaking of "knowledge" the Japanese in Osaka share

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:53:31 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    apan will evacuate hospital patients from an area of 20 to 30 kilometers around the crippled Fukushima plant, public broadcaster NHK television reported.

    Citing the country's health ministry, it said about 300 of the 1,100 patients in the area have been moved.

    The government will ask hospitals in Tokyo and Yamagata prefecture to accept the patients, it said.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:45:54 AM EST
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    Chinese President Hu Jintao has extended his "sincere sympathies" to disaster-hit Japan during a rare visit to the Japanese embassy in Beijing.

    China, which has often prickly relations with its neighbours, "deeply felt the pain that the Japanese people are suffering", President Hu told Japanese ambassador Uichiro Niwa.

    President Hu's visit to the embassy led China Central Television's evening news bulletin and came six months after a boat collision in disputed waters in the East China Sea triggered the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries in years.

    State-run television showed images of a sombre-looking Hu meeting with the Japanese ambassador and other officials.

    President Hu bowed his head to express his condolences to the victims of the devastating 9.0-magnitude quake.

    China, which has so far donated 20,000 tonnes of fuel and £2.78 million in other aid to its stricken Asian neighbour.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:46:40 AM EST
    à la Greece and Turkey after earthquakes in their countries. The good kind of meltdown, people getting off high horse and communicating.

    Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

    Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

    by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 01:08:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph
    The Telegraph's technology correspondent writes how the Japanese earthquake and tsunami are threatening supplies of iPad 2 components as Apple prepares to launch the device worldwide.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:47:34 AM EST
    Was told (can't give source) that several important electronics components are indeed either (i) in the evacuated zone or (ii) damaged by the earthquake/tsunami and serious supply chain disruptions could happen (look out for announcements re cameras, for instance)

    Wind power
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:15:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    EE Times news feed has a fair bit of info. Texas Instruments had a couple of fabs hit by the tsunami and without going into details I've seen an impact here (I work for a competitor).

    you are the media you consume.

    by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 01:10:05 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Also Shin-Etsu plants manufacturing 'blank' 300 mm wafers for chipmakers have been affected (Reuters); initial reports were "20% of global 300-mm wafer production down".

    Toshiba's production of NAND flash (used in memory cards, iPad, smartphones, etc...) has also been impacted.

    by Bernard on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 06:23:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    Prof Paddy Regan, Prof of Nuclear Physics at the University of Surrey, said many unanswered questions remain about the efforts at the Fukishama plant.

    There have been a lot of questions about the amount of radioactivity that those working at the nuclear plant are being exposed to and the effects of this exposure on those individuals.

    We know they are not being exposed to over 20 Sv of whole body gamma-ray dose because they would collapse due a breakdown of the central nervous system; if they were exposed to more than 1-2 Sv whole body gamma-ray dose they would be too sick to work.

    Reports say that on site workers are being exposed to up to 250 mSv (=0.25 Sv) of total additional radiation. Assuming this refers to 'whole body gamma-ray dose', the most recent International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) report, ICRP 103, suggests that this dose of radiation would constitute an increase in cancer risk over a lifetime of approximately one per cent.

    In the average population, risk of a terminal cancer over a lifetime is about 25 per cent, so the additional risk of getting a cancer induced from this level of radiation exposure would be expected to increase by around one per cent.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:49:06 AM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Last Friday's tsunami generated waves at least 23m (76ft) high, according to a study by the Port and Airport Research Institute in Ofunato, Iwate prefecture, the Yomiuri daily newspaper reports.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:40:43 AM EST
    The latest water spraying mission is using a fire truck with hose that can be raised to 22 meters above the ground - NHK

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:49:09 AM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    NEWS ADVISORY: Tokyo Fire Dept. begins dousing coolant water over Fukushima reactor (00:45)


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:51:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    Radioactive fallout from Japan's crippled nuclear plant has reached Southern California, US government diplomats have disclosed.

    The first readings were below levels that could pose a health hazard, they added.

    The diplomat, who has access to radiation tracking by the U.N.'s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation, cited readings from a California-based measuring station of the group.

    Initial readings are "about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening," the diplomat, who declined to be named, told the AP.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:53:20 AM EST
    Interview: Japan crisis is much worse than Three Mile | Reuters

    (Reuters) - The man who became the face of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in 1979 says he had it easy compared to those trying to regain control of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant this week.

    Harold Denton, a senior official with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the time, was picked by then-President Jimmy Carter to take charge at the Pennsylvania plant as operators were working to regain control of a reactor going into partial meltdown.

    He quickly became the face of the Three Mile Island crisis, holding daily news conferences and making regular appearances at the press center set up at the plant, located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    The incident terrified Americans and set back nuclear power plant developments in the United States for 30 years. Even so, Denton said conditions at the plant were far better than those at the plant at the center of the current crisis in Japan.

    "This is certainly far worse than Three Mile Island," Denton said in a phone interview.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:11:03 PM EST
    Japan has less than one-tenth of the installed windpower capacity as Germany (no.4 worldwide), a total of some 2,300 MW. But all of the windplant not affected by quake related grid outages are operating.

    HuffPo version HERE.

    i remember during one of the Cali quakes the power provided by the San Gorgonio windplant was enough to keep the grid up, as many of the turbines re-started on their own.


    Despite assertions by its detractors that wind energy would not survive an earthquake or tsunami the Japanese wind industry is still functioning and helping to keep the lights on during the Fuksuhima crisis.
    ....
    Colleagues and I have been directly corresponding with Yoshinori Ueda leader of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association & Japan Wind Energy Association, and according to Ueda there has been no wind facility damage reported by any association members, from either the earthquake or the tsunami. Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300km from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake "battle proof design" came through with flying colors.

    Mr. Ueda confirms that most Japanese wind turbines are fully operational. Indeed, he says that electric companies have asked wind farm owners to step up operations as much as possible in order to make up for shortages in the eastern part of the country:

    Eurus Energy Japan says that 174.9MW with eight wind farms (64% of their total capacity with 11 wind farms in eastern part of Japan) are in operation now. The residual three wind farms (Kamaishi 42.9MW, Takinekoshirai 46MW, Satomi 10.02MW) are stopped due to the grid failure caused by the earthquake and Tsunami. Satomi is to re-start operations in a few days. Kamaishi is notorious for tsunami disaster, but this wind farm is safe because it is locate in the mountains about 900m high from sea level.

    The largest wind farm operator in Japan, Eurus Energy with about 22% of all wind turbines in Japan, is a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) which operates the Fukushima nuclear facility.
    ....
    While shares in the Tokyo stock market have fallen during the crisis, the stock price of Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd. has risen from 31,500 yen on 11 March to 47,800 yen on 16 March.

    Having visited Eurus on several occasions, I knew they were related to serious Japanese capital entities, but I never knew they were a subsidiary of TEPCO.  another data point in the argument to keep windpower away from utility companies, especially those who have far bigger investment in conventional and nuclear technologies. RWE, E.on, Areva, Scottish and Southern, Edison Mission, et. al., are you listening?

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

    by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:31:16 PM EST
    Whoops, Germany is #3 worldwide. I thought because Spain had more last year they surpassed us... but that was only for last year.

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
    by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:52:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Big utilities need to spend all that revenue on something, and when your dividend is already 5 %, you don't like gas and can't build nukes, wind seems like an eminent idea. For example, Exelon just bought the entire wind portfolio of John Deere, which includes lots of as of yet unrealised projects.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:28:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Having reviewed the "Nothing Runs Like a Deere" portfolio, good luck, Exelon.

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
    by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:51:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Bad wind farms and projects, are they?

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 07:36:24 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Sites are not bad, but too clustered. Main problem is Suzlon turbines in many projects. One lost a rotor two days ago. No long term revenue security.

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
    by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:03:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Too clustered, as in "stealing" wind from each other?

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:21:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Depending on the strength of boundary layer mixing, there is less energy in the wake of a turbine, so yes, "stealing." But more important is the induced turbulence, the enemy of wind turbines. Tip vortices and other propagated turbulence cause higher loading on the rotor and power train.

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
    by Crazy Horse on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:20:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Satellite Photos - Japan Before and After Tsunami - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com
    UPDATED March 15, 2011 Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami Move the slider to compare satellite images from before and after the disaster.

    The Momcat just sent me this.

    We all bleed the same color.

    by budr on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:33:38 PM EST
    In some places it seems as though everything added in the last 40-50 years, including roads and beaches, was scoured away, One road goes from four lanes to two. In low lying areas the urban forest was swept away. In one photo the high water mark shows and building survival improved the closer to that mark, which appears to be on the up-slope of a hill.

    Former floodplains approaching the beach have reappeared, scoured of residential developments and seaside residential areas are gone. Everywhere the water reached has turned a gray-brown color. Interestingly, sea walls and barriers mostly remained, though many beaches did not. What a 75 foot high wall of water will do.

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

    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:11:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Asahi Shimbun reports that the first of the TEPCO workers fighting off the disaster are reaching cumulative doses above 100 mSv.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:17:19 PM EST
    TEPCO : Press Release | Stationing Vice President at Fukushima City and Managing Director at J Village
    Currently TEPCO has jointly established the Joint Headquarters for Response for the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyo-Oki Earthquake (Head: Prime Minister Naoto Kan) and endeavored to prevent further damages and secure the safety of our facilities as early as possible. In order to strengthen our response, we will appoint Vice President Norio Tuzumi and Manageing Director Akio Komori to station at Fukushima City and J Village respectively from March 22, 2011. Vice President Tuzumi will direct to collect voices from the people of living in the surrounding area of the power station and the people of Fukushima Prefecture regarding the incident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, etc. Managing Director Komori will direct to prevent further damages and secure the safety of Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Stations as early as possible.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:31:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The latest TEPCO release has this news on spent fuel storage facilities:

    TEPCO : Press Release | Status of TEPCO's Facilities and its services after Tohoku-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake (as of 6:00PM)


    • On March 18th, regarding the spent fuel in the common spent fuel pool, we have confirmed that the water level of the pool is secured. A detailed inspection is under preparation.
      * common spent fuel pool: a spent fuel pool for common use set in a separate building in a plant site in order to preserve spent fuel which are transferred from the spent fuel pool in each Unit building.

    • On March 17th, we patrolled buildings for dry casks and found no signs of abnormal situation for the casks by visual observation. A detailed inspection is under preparation.
      * dry cask: a measure to store spent fuel in a dry storage casks in storages. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station started to utilize the measure from August 1995.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:22:45 PM EST
    The latest radiation level data, all at the plants West gate from 0:00 to 24:00 local time today (16:00 CET), shows a steady and slow decline from 287 to 263.5 μSv/h. This looks like fallout decay with no new radioactive material adding to it. (Then again, wind direction.)

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:31:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Can this be true? from Platts - Fukushima releases one-tenth of those from Chernobyl: France's IRSN
    Chernobyl released about 6 Exabecquerels or 6 x 10 to the 18th becquerels of those elements [iodine, caesium and tellurium], according to IRSN [France's Institute of Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety]. Releases from Fukushima as of Thursday were a little under 7.5 x 10 to the 17th becquerels of those elements.
    That would be extremely high emissions from Fukushima, wouldn't it?
    by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:46:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That would be extreme. According to Wikipedia, radiation levels at the 'epicentre' were a thousand times of the highest figures reported from Fukushima Daiichi.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:14:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TEPCO released data for all spent fuel rods. Here is the diagram from Asahi Shimbun:

    The top row with numbers is the capacity of the spent fuel pools in cubic metres. The second the number of rods in them. In No. 4, the 1331 number includes 783 spent fuel rods and 548 half-used rods from the core.

    The third row is the heat production of the fuel in the ponds, in units of ten thousand kilo-calories per hour. They say that the water in the No. 4 pool heated up at a rate of 2°C/h (apparently taking the displacement of the fuel rods into account), and would completely boil away in ten days.

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:12:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    At a rate of 30-40 tons of water a day, it will take a lot of time to replenish the No. 4 spent fuel pond... even if cooling systems can be re-started.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:48:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Especially if some of the spent fuel pools don't hold water. In that case dropping boron and sand would seem to be indicated. Then water could be dropped on that. This disaster is no where near Chernobyl levels -- yet. But it still has great and terrible potential. Per NBC Evening News the US has recommended covering the exposed and evaporating spent fuel pools with sand and boron but the Japanese have not agreed. What valid considerations might there be for not covering them?

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:20:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am guessing here, but if they get water cooling working they know how to handle it and eventually get the waste out of there. If covered with sand and boron, then what? Chernobyl-style sarcofagus and hope it is not broken by another quake?

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
    by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:14:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If covered with sand and boron, then what?

    If no cement was used, just remove the sand and boron, wet or dry. Use a giant vacuum if dry or siphon if wet. Same principle as you use to clean the bottom of an aquarium, but instead of a 1/4" tube (6mm) use a 4" (105mm) pipe. It would create tons of additional material requiring special disposal but would protect against recriticality and/or fire which could spread MOX dust in the atmosphere. Not doing that seems like a gamble that they are not going to have a fire started with dry fuel rods. Doing it creates additional cleanup expense.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:11:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Then I can see no reason not to do it.

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
    by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 03:56:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    so 1425 cubic metres is 1425000 kilos of water at 2 degrees per hour thats 11970000 Kj per hour output, enough to  turn 5,303 kilos of water to steam. so each hour five tons of water are vanishing from the reactor pool minus some for heat to leak into the environment through the pool walls. big question is how much of that leakage occurs (from their figures they reckon 10 days and that would be 6 tons per hour turning to steam) I feel some of their figures somewhere are a little loose.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:02:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    so 1425 cubic metres is 1425000 kilos of water

    I think they took the displacement of the fuel rods into account, so less.

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

    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:17:10 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    • If the fully loaded tank is assumed to heat by 2°C, then they assume 1,000 tons of water.

    • 2,000,000 kilocalories per hour is 8,360,000 kJ/h. At 2,257 kJ/kg, this can evaporate 3,704 kg/h. In ten days, that would be 889 t. Checking, the article actually says 10 to 11 days.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:25:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Both from the UN:

    The first shows the extent of earthquake and tsunami impact by prefecture.

    The second shows the standing water bodies left behind by the tsunami near Sendai.

    by Jace on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 02:32:00 PM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 122 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    TEPCO connects line, can supply power to Daiichi plant


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:14:22 PM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Much has been made of the power cables being laid to restart water pumps that cool the reactors but a worrying report in the LA Times notes that some engineers believe the cooling pumps were irretrievably damaged by the initial hydrogen explosions.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:08:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    The power company, Tepco, has issued a statement today containing the following: "We would like to make our deep apologies for concern and nuisance about the incident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the leakage of radioactive substances to the people living in the surrounding area of the power station".


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:09:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    TEPCO chief breaks down in tears after press conference.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 04:29:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    He will likely be replaced -- with the next fuck-up in the TEPCO hierarchy. If TEPCO is going to have to be taken over by the government they should do it sooner rather than later and start with someone good at crisis management.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:43:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    how do you tell if someone is good at crisis management, unless there's a real crisis and they don't fuck up?

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:24:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Probably can't. For that reason you pick someone who has shown ability to cope with a crisis. Such people are out there. I am sure there are some in Japan.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:47:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's largely a matter of priorities. Just kick everyone out with a trace of stock price and "optimal" capacity salvage concern. You need people capable of risk vision and knowledge of necessary means, merely.
    by das monde on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:21:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It does seem as though TEPCO's concern more is to preserve any possible reactor facility that might be salvaged rather than to take any measure that might forestall greater catastrophe. Are there enough MP's in the Japanese government that have the guts to take over the company, the way Carter did at Three Mile Island? If the taxpayer is going to be assuming the liability for the damages they have an interest in minimizing them -- even in purely monetary terms.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:27:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's possible that the crisis escalated because of TEPCO's attempts to prevent damage to the plant.

    For instance, the early releases of radioactive vapors from the reactor was a way to attempt to prevent a meltdown which would have led to writing off the core. In the end, the core was lost anyway, but if they had pumped boron or seawater into the core earlier they might have averted the escalation of the disaster, but that would have meant accepting a large economic loss before it seemed inevitable.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:29:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    the early releases of radioactive vapors from the reactor was a way to attempt to prevent a meltdown

    No. That was an attempt to prevent a rupture of the pressure and containment vessels, and it only brought meltdown closer, because the reduced pressure allowed more water to turn into steam.

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

    by DoDo on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:37:56 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Okay.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:51:04 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Hey, it's seppuku time!

    Schengen is toast!
    by epochepoque on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:56:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake: live - Telegraph

    The Australian newspaper has published this excellent reconstruction detailing the extensive "mismanagement of the damaged reactors at Fukushima".

    TEPCO's mismanagement of the damaged reactors at Fukushima has helped transform a momentary cut in water supply to its reactors into the worst nuclear crisis in a generation.

    When all the facts emerge, some believe TEPCO may dwell in corporate infamy alongside Enron and BP.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:04:11 PM EST
    Mistakes plagued corporate response | The Australian

    T the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, a handful of brazen investors bought shares in the Tokyo Electric Power Co, which is currently spearheading Japan's battle to prevent a nuclear meltdown.

    It was a bargain buy, if not a reckless gamble, given that TEPCO's shares had turned toxic since its Fukushima power plant was hit by a tsunami, free-falling by 63 per cent in less than a week. There were days when not a single offer was made.

    Sharemarkets are a brutally honest environment and TEPCO's treatment by the market has sounded a warning that the world's fourth-largest electricity company is all but finished.

    The reason is simple, according to nuclear engineers and technical analysts: since last week's earthquake and tsunami, TEPCO has somehow managed to make a bad situation worse. Its mismanagement of the damaged reactors at Fukushima has helped transform a momentary cut in water supply to its reactors into the worst nuclear crisis in a generation.

    Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

    When all the facts emerge, some believe TEPCO may dwell in corporate infamy alongside Enron and BP.

    "Every step TEPCO has taken has been a day late and a dollar short," the former vice-chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, Kenji Sumita, wrote in the influential Asahi Shimbun newspaper this week. "The release of information from TEPCO is even further behind."



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:05:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Roll out the "bad apple" narrative.
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:11:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    (Even if TEPCO isn't any good... I predict we'll be hearing more how any normal operator would have fixed the little problems real quick...)
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:13:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am glad to see this commentary by a knowledgeable Japanese observer of the country and industry. The criticisms seem on target and start to explain why basic things have not been done or have been done late and inadequately. There is no creative response capability, the political system seems very limited in what it can do to intervene, they are suspicious of outsiders in general and very poor at managing crises. It is likely TEPCO executives that refused the initial offers of US help and won't go along with steps such as putting sand and boron on exposed and partially dry spent fuel pools.

    This sort of response, especially in the case of the #3 reactor spent fuel pool with the MOX could yet end up creating a rival for Chernobyl. At least in the USA Carter was able to appoint the NRC head to oversee the Three Mile Island disaster. "Nuclear village", where Atomic Boy lives, is well on its way to crapping all over the northern half of Honshu.

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

    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:39:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake | Page 133 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Here's a 1997 United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission study titled "A Safety and Regulatory Assessment of Generic BWR and PWR Permanently Shutdown Nuclear Power Plants" Scenario 1 in the study is very similar to the situation at Reactor 4. Page 38 shows the probable outcome of a fuel pool fire. Here's the link to the report: www.scribd.com


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:09:01 PM EST
    The combustible gas control requirements are found in 1OCFR50.44.
      These requirements were instituted
    to  "improve hydrogen  management  in  LWR  facilities  and  to  provide specific design  and  other
    requirements to mitigate the consequences of  accidents resulting in a degraded reactor  core"  [46 FR
    58484,  12/2/81].
    Assessment
    The requirements focus on the capability for:  measuring hydrogen concentrations, ensuring a mixed
    atmosphere and  controlling combustible gas mixtures, post  LOCA.  The concern  is  that  hydrogen
    generation due to metal water  reaction or the radiolytic decomposition of water during a LOCA could
    esult in a detonation or deflagration that could fail primary containment.
    Obviously, the post LOCA control of combustible gases inside containment is an operating plant issue.
    The permanently shutdown plant stores all of  its fuel outside containment; the reactor pressure vessel and
    he primary containment  are no longer necessary fission product barriers.  Therefore, it is recommended
    hat the  requirements  of  10CFR50.44 be removed  for  all  four  spent  fuel  configurations for  the
    permanently shutdown nuclear power plants.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:34:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The concern  is  that  hydrogen generation due to metal water reaction or the radiolytic decomposition of water during a LOCA could result in a detonation or deflagration that could fail primary containment.
    Obviously, the post LOCA control of combustible gases inside containment is an operating plant issue.

    One would assume that the operating manual can define deflagration.

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

    by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:49:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I thought that originally, but reading more, its in an appendix about decommissioning I think, so I think they mean that you wouldnt have this material in the cooling pool unless the reactor was actually operating, so its probably in a seperate report about this sort of thing happening when a reactor is in operation.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:04:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It suggests that a fire would result in 2000 square miles becoming uninhabitable. that would be a circle just over 25 miles in radius. so the evacuation radius that the US and Britain suggest looks to be what would be needed if you assume the damage circle to be shifted over by one entire radius by the wind.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:56:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's not the fault of Wind, which can't be blamed for wishing to fragment the damage to smaller doses on larger populations over a wider area. The fault is with the radiological statisticians, who haven't yet been able to accurately presume the genetic damage over several hundred years of widely dispersed effects.

    For Crucifix Fall Short of Indoctrination sakes, these statisticians haven't yet been able to separate tobacco from diesel particulates yet, much less from coal poison and a few milli-whatevers.

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

    by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:08:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Judging by the usual level of Anti wind propaganda, it cant be long before I hear someone blaming wind turbines for blowing radiation over Japan

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:47:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    AFP has more on that "miniscule" amount of radiation detected in California. "Miniscule quantities of the radioactive isotope xenon-133" were picked up by a monitor in Sacramento. "The origin was determined to be consistent with a release from the Fukushima reactors in northern Japan," the Environmental Protection Agency is quoted as saying in a joint statement with the Department of 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 06:59:36 PM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    As day broke on Saturday, steam was reported to be rising from unit 3, according to Associated Press. Water in that fuel pool is believed to be dangerously 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:40:55 PM EST
    (1) The Daily Yomiuri (DailyYomiuri) on Twitter
    Countries have varying evacuation recommendations, but Taiwan's only covers women, children and the elderly. Young men have to tough it out?


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:15:13 PM EST
    AEA: First measurements in Tokyo by the Agency's radiation monitoring team show no indication of Iodine-131 or Cesium-137.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:22:37 PM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    The confirmed death toll from the quake and tsunami has risen to 7,197, according to Japan's National Police Agency, and another 10,905 people are listed as missing.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 09:40:46 PM EST
    3:00 pm local time (7:00 am CET) update: 7,320 confirmed dead, 11,370 registered missing, 2,618 wounded. 14,425 buildings found completely destroyed, another 141 burned down.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:11:38 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    9:00 pm local time (1:00 pm CET) update: 7,508 confirmed dead, 11,680 registered missing, 2,583 wounded (what's up with the reduction again?).

    In earlier reports, I read that it's a big problem that the tsunami swept away printed records on inhabitants and servers storing electronic records in many cities.

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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:11:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    "An interesting tidbit about dinner that you won't hear on Report from the Gates of Hell is that we had salad that came from Disneyland. During the tsunami that followed the earthquake last Friday the parking lot of Tokyo Disneyland was flooded and the park has been closed since. (They are scheduled to reopen on the March 21 from what I hear.) Because they closed unexpectedly they had all of this green salad that they could not use. So it has been distributed to grocery stores and a large bag is being sold for around ¥100 (around US $1.23)."


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:00:09 PM EST
    Considering the incredibly high prices of vegetables in Japan, that's an impressive bargain !

    Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misres
    by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:33:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Disaster in Japan Live Blog: March 19  Al Jazeera

    6:16amMore on those problems with the supply chain. With petrol running low, delivery trucks are struggling to get fuel, food and medicine to those hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. And as provisions decline, tension rises.

    ....

    4:09am One week on from the tsunami and the humanitarian crisis continues to deepen in Japan.  As it stands, half a million people are now living in shelters, 2million people remain without electricity, and 1.4million do not have clean drinking water, Al Jazeera's Steve Chao tells us.

    ....

    #3:53am Al Jazeera's Steve Chao, reporting from northern Japan, tells us public anger is starting to rise, with reports of fights at petrol pumps over government-ordered rationing - "unheard of in a nation where politeness is an institution,' he tells us.

    3:47am  Plans have been unveiled for 200 "temporary dwellings" in the grounds of a junior high school in the badly hit town of Rikuzentakata, with the construction industry planning to provide 30,000 such homes during the next two months, says Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

    3:43am  Doctors in the disaster area are reporting cases of influenza. Other risks to those living in evacuation shelters include hypothermia and DVT.  Evacuees are encouraged to keep warm, drink water, and take regular exercise.

     

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

    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:00:19 PM EST
    DailyYomiuri Govt says a cooling pump is now operating at the spent fuel pool at the No 5 reactor at the Fukushima 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 Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:09:26 PM EST
    Why American Officials Have Been Criticizing the Japanese Nuclear Containment Efforts  Yves Smith

    Our Richard Smith, who has among his many talents knowing a bit about reactors (he wrote code for some systems for them) has been gobsmacked by the lack of remotely adequate information coming from the Fukushima site. Having worked with the Japanese (I was the first gaijin hired into the Japanese hierarchy at Sumitomo Bank when it was a leading player), let me hazard some informed guesses:

        1. Japan is military protectorate of the US, so we are used to throwing our weight around when conditions warrant. But why is this unseemly display warranted?

        2. Japan is not a high disclosure society. Being explicit is considered rude (it's seen as self absorbed, talking for the sake of hearing your own voice). So not telling the public very much, sadly, is pretty normal.

        3. Japanese are also not very good in organizing on the fly group responses. When working with foreigners or independently, Japanese are just as adaptable as any other people. But their group/power dynamics impede taking prompt corrective measures when circumstances move outside anticipated scenarios.

    So far, this may seem like tired cultural cliches. But now consider the role of TEPCO. Even allowing for the sluggishness of Japanese decision making in crisis settings, TEPCO looks to be over its head. And the Japanese government is stuck. It doesn't have a ready source of independent expertise; the plants are TEPCO's, after all. The authorities really need staff who know the facilities to handle most of the disaster containment measures.

    So why the ugly American noisemaking? It called gaijin pressure, and it has a proud tradition in Japan. Gaijin pressure has often served as the excuse for Japan to push through politically contentious measures that were clearly necessary but opposed by a well placed minority.



    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 10:30:53 PM EST
    Options are few to prevent Japan nuclear catastrophe  LA Times

    Workers struggling to contain radioactive releases from the Fukushima power plant face two critical tasks to avoid turning a nuclear disaster into a catastrophe: preventing a runaway chain reaction into the nuclear fuel and maintaining a massive flow of seawater through the damaged pools and reactor vessels.

    ....

    Edward Morse, a professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, added that it would take huge amounts of water to compensate for the cracks in a containment pool that were uncovered by U.S. surveillance aircraft on Friday.

    ....

    The other crucial task is to prevent the fuel in any of the reactors or pools from going critical, an event in which nuclear fission starts on its own and generates tremendous amounts of heat. Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima plant, said it was importing tons of additional boron to ensure it could flood the reactor with the material, which absorbs neutrons that trigger the breakdown of uranium nuclei.

    Not only will water absorb heat, it also forms a protective barrier against radiation, making it safer for workers at the plant, said David Lochbaum, head of nuclear safety policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a former nuclear plant operator. "If they can cover the fuel, it will reduce the radiation levels and they can use the plant equipment," Lochbaum said.

    Reconnecting power may help in less obvious ways:

    But experts think it is unlikely that cooling pumps in the three reactors that were operating when the magnitude 9 Tohoku quake struck -- Nos. 1, 2 and 3 -- will work even with an outside source of electricity. Those pumps were probably damaged in a series of hydrogen explosions that occurred in the first four days of the crisis. The power lines could provide electricity to operate valves and controls, however.

    There is no indication that the cooling pump servicing the cracked spent fuel pond on the upper floor of reactor No. 4 has been damaged, so officials hope to restore it to action.

    Lochbaum said it should be possible to get enough pumping capacity to fill the pools and the reactors, even if they have breaches. In the case of the cracked spent fuel pool in No. 4, he said a simple rubber seal may account for some or all of the leakage and, if so, the seal could be reinflated once power is restored to the plant.

    The article goes on to discuss why attempting to entomb the reactor in concrete could be a bad idea, but this is different from pouring boron and sand over spent fuel pools, where water could still be added. But one objection remains: the weight of added materials might cause structural problems that could further threaten the existing containment. But this would be much less of a problem for covering only the spent fuel pool as opposed to entombing the entire reactor in concrete now, which I have never previously heard proposed.


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

    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:07:39 PM EST
    Kyodo withdraws story of miracle rescue of Japan tsunami survivor amid reports he had been in evacuation centre

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 11:25:38 PM EST
    This or another?

    NHK WORLD English

    A young man has been rescued from his home, which collapsed in the massive earthquake.

    Members of the Ground Self-Defense Force found the man wrapped in a blanket on the 2nd floor of his house in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday.

    He told rescuers that he left after the first tsunami, but then returned home and fell unconscious.

    The man, in his 20s, is being treated at a hospital.

    Doctors say the young man sustained no major injuries and there is no threat to his life.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:26 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:04:03 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Amazing...

    A strange legacy of the Japanese power system's infancy in the late 1800s is complicating efforts to keep Tokyo supplied with electricity. The problem, as explained by IDG News Service's Martyn Williams, is that half of the country uses power whose current alternates at 60 Hz, while the other half gets its power at 50 Hz.

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/03/tech-legacy-tokyo/

    by asdf on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 12:28:08 AM EST
    First the last news – apparently, there has been another release of radioactivity (see last line):

    TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9:00 AM Mar 19th)

    - We measured radioactive materials (iodine etc.) inside of the nuclear
      power station area (outdoor) by monitoring car and confirmed that
      radioactive materials level is getting higher than ordinary level. As
      listed below, we have determined that specific incidents stipulated in
      article 15, clause 1 of Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear
      Emergency Preparedness (Abnormal increase in radiation dose measured at
      site boundary) have occurred.
      · Determined at 4:17 PM Mar 12th (Around Monitoring Post 4 )
      · Determined at 8:56 AM Mar 13th (Around Monitoring Post 4 )
      · Determined at 2:15 PM Mar 13th (Around Monitoring Post 4 )
      · Determined at 3:50 AM Mar 14th (Around Monitoring Post 6 )
      · Determined at 4:15 AM Mar 14th (Around Monitoring Post 2 )
      · Determined at 9:27 AM Mar 14th (Around Monitoring Post 3 )
      · Determined at 9:37 PM Mar 14th (Around main entrance )
      · Determined at 6:51 AM Mar 15th (Around main entrance )
      · Determined at 8:11 AM Mar 15th (Around main entrance )
      · Determined at 4:17 PM Mar 15th (Around main entrance )
      · Determined at 11:05 PM Mar 15th (Around main entrance )
      · Determined at 8:58 AM Mar 19th (Around MP5)

    Earlier at No. 3, extra water apparently couldn't wait until the morning:

    TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9:00 AM Mar 19th)

    - After that, from 0:30 AM, Mar 19th, water discharge by Tokyo Fire
      Department's Hyper Rescue was conducted and completed at 1:10 AM.

    Power to No. 2:

    TEPCO : Press Release | Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9:00 AM Mar 19th)

    - We completed receiving electricity from the external transmission line
      up to the auxiliary transformer. We are installing the power cable from
      that transformer to the temporary power panel.

    They also report working on power to No. 3, 4, 5 and 6, and repaired the emergency diesel generator for the last two.

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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 02:59:17 AM EST
    Confirmations:

    NHK WORLD English

    The government says parts of the cooling systems at 2 of the 6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been confirmed to be operable.

    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told a news conference on Saturday that an emergency diesel generator at the No. 6 reactor has resumed operation.

    The agency also said that a cooling pump, at the No. 5 reactor, has been confirmed to be usable, and that workers started cooling the spent fuel storage pool there at 5 AM on Saturday.

    The agency said the radiation level at the west gate of the plant, located about 1.1 kilometers west of the No. 3 reactor, was relatively high at 830.8 microsieverts per hour at 8:10 AM. But it said the figure fell to 364.5 microsieverts at 9:00 AM.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 14:07 +0900 (JST)

    Yesterday, radiation levels at the west gate fell down to 263.5 μSv/h, so this was definitely a new emission. On the other hand, this measuring position saw peaks above 10 mSv/h during earlier releases.

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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:05:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English

    A second group of 100 Tokyo firefighters is heading for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to join operations to cool down the reactors.

    The second contingent will replace the first group of 139 members. Officials say the rotation is designed to ensure the safety of firefighters working in an environment in which high levels of radiation have been detected.

    Using a special vehicle that can project water from a height of 22 meters, members of the first group sprayed seawater on the spent nuclear fuel storage pool inside the No. 3 reactor.

    Officials say that a total of 60 tons of seawater was successfully sprayed into the building during a 20-minute operation early Saturday morning.

    The second contingent, comprising 14 fire engines, is expected to arrive at a staging area near the power plant before noon on Saturday.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 11:11 +0900 (JST)

    60 tons in one go, and multiple runs a day, they're better than the JSDF fire trucks.

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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:07:35 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They write the plan for today afternoon is to discharge 1,260 tons in 7 hours, and then No. 4 is next. Seems like they finally found a working method.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:13:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English
    The Self-Defense Forces have released a video of the operation to cool the No.3 reactor at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    ...The footage shows the spraying of water from the ground, which was part of the operation that lasted for 40 minutes from shortly before 2 PM on Friday.

    It also shows the situation around the No.3 reactor.

    The 7-minute video was taken by a member of a special unit of the Ground Self-Defense Force.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:06:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    The Japanese Government's Appalling Earthquake Response (The Daily Beast)

    No Fuel
    Because the government did not ease the regulation on the stocks of fossil fuels, there is a severe lack of fuel in all of Tokyo and the Tohoku area. Because there is no fueling point in the area, neither civilian nor military logistical support can go up there. The effects are:

    1. There is no fuel for heating.
    2. Food and medicine are not arriving at the refugee centers.
    3. There is no fuel to operate the machinery for clearing the streets, the debris, and so on, so at this point they are not operating.
    4. People with cars, even the people near the nuclear sites, cannot escape, as the cars have run out of gasoline.
    5. Due to the lack of fuel, elderly people are dying of cold, stress, malnutrition, and lack of medicine. Twenty-four of them have died so far.
    6. Due to lack of food and medicine, the sick and wounded are not getting treatment and cannot be moved to hospitals in other areas.
    7. Medical doctors cannot go into the region because there is nowhere to get gasoline.
    The world needs to understand that incompetence is killing people, even though they were saved from the earthquake.
    NOTE: There are no cars or trucks going through, although the main roads have already been cleared.


    Wind power
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 04:19:19 AM EST
    I can't say for the Tohoku area, or for the rest of the Tokyo area, but where I am the gasoline situation was dire for a few days, but has mostly resolved itself.  Today I saw numerous stations open for the first time in a while, and serving customers normally without huge lines.  Then again, it is a Saturday.
    by Zwackus on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 06:42:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I read that a Chiba refinery (owned by a western oil company?) went back on line about two days ago.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:56:50 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Looking at Fukushima Prefecture on Google Earth, I came across a series of user-uploaded photos with captions like these below. The photos are banal scenes of roads and buildings (perhaps taken before the quake?), but they all display a similar plea:


    37°45'37"N  -  140°27'52"E

    (I copy-pasted one caption to show two on one image. Most of the captions ask for gasoline and water.)

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 06:45:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Let's hope the Japanese are heavily into horseback riding...

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 07:43:10 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Kyodo News reports that radioactive iodine has been found in tap water in Tokyo and other areas.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 07:43:17 AM EST
    NHK WORLD English
    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the government was informed around 5:30 PM on Friday that higher levels of radiation than the legal standard were detected in fresh milk from cows at a dairy farm in Fukushima Prefecture.

    He also said that at 11:00 AM on Saturday, the government received information that six samples of spinach tested at a research institute in Ibaraki Prefecture contained higher levels of radiation than the official standard.

    NHK WORLD English

    The World Health Organization has said radiation levels outside the evacuation zone in Japan are not harmful for human health.

    ...Referring to an examination of Japanese food imports by some countries, he said he cannot imagine that any food from the quake-damaged areas was able to have been delivered. He said he concludes there is no risk that exported Japanese foods are contaminated with radiation.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:04:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Seems like the Japanese started getting some control on the situation about 2 days ago, and that the worst part is now hopefully over. The return of external power fills me with real hope. Maybe this'll be limited to an INES 5, after all.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 07:46:19 AM EST
    NHK WORLD English

    Japan's Defense Minister says the surface temperatures of the 4 damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are lower than 100 degrees Celsius.

    Toshimi Kitazawa told a news conference in Tokyo on Saturday that water-spraying proved to be effective in cooling down the temperature of the spent fuel rod pool of the No.3 reactor.

    He said SDF officials measured the temperatures while observing the damage from a helicopter.

    Kitazawa said the government's disaster task force reports that a temperature of less than 100 degrees Celsius shows the reactors are more stable than had been expected.

    He said Prime Minister Naoto Kan directed him to extensively collect and thoroughly analyze the data from the reactor.

    He also said he will continue the assessment on Sunday.

    Kitazawa said he believes the sprayed water is filling the spent fuel rod pool to a significant degree.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 19:15 +0900 (JST)



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:11:46 AM EST
    Now that is 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 Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:24:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Temperature in Fukushima plant #5 is declining after reconnecting w/ generator.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:46:16 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English
    One of the 2 generators at the No. 6 reactor has been used since the quake to cool the spent fuel rod pools of the No.5 and No.6 reactors.

    But water temperatures rose as the generator could not supply enough power by itself.

    The newly restored generator is being used to activate a cooling pump in the No.5 reactor.

    The 2 generators can now generate enough power to maintain the cooling functions of the No.5 and No.6 reactors.

    The power company measured the water temperature of the No.5 reactor and found it had decreased from 68.5 degrees Celsius at 5 AM, local time, to 63.8 degrees at 2 PM.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:01:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps Toshimi Kitazawa and the SDF do not live full time in Nuclear Village. I can see why PM Kan would want him to do his own observations and calcualations.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:14:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    DoDo:
    Prime Minister Naoto Kan directed him to extensively collect and thoroughly analyze the data
    Luckily there's a physicist in charge here...

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:43:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    NHK WORLD English

    GE denies Fukushima power plants had design flaws

    The accident at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has triggered a debate over the safety of nuclear power in the United States.

    An explosion occurred near the suppression pool of the Number 2 reactor on Tuesday, which is likely to have damaged the facility, and another explosion occurred at the building of the Number 1 reactor.

    Some US media have quoted experts who point out that the design flaws by the US-based General Electric Company, which manufactured the 2 reactors, made the problem more serious.

    Dale Bridenbaugh, who designed and developed nuclear reactors for GE, told NHK that the facilities to house the reactors at the Fukushima plant were made smaller to cut costs, making them structurally vulnerable.

    GE, in response, released a statement on Friday, saying that its products meet the US government's safety standards.

    The company says its products are designed appropriately in accordance with official guidelines, and improvements have been made.

    More than 20 nuclear power plants of the same type as the Number 1 and Number 2 reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi plant are being used in the United States.
    The accident has triggered a debate over the safety of nuclear power, and some residents living near the plants want them to be suspended.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 18:58 +0900 (JST)

    I don't think the size and dimensioning of the reactor buildings came up among the design flaw charges, or the suspected reasons for the disaster...

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

    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:14:49 AM EST
    Headline: "GE denies Fukushima power plants had design flaws"
    Actual info: Ge says "its products meet the US government's safety standards."

    Not quite the same thing. Who  did that headline?


    Wind power

    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:54:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I believe it was independent experts that claimed G.E. design flaws contributed to the accident. And the depth and strength of the concrete beneath the torus, if any, would be a design configuration or size that could contribute to the seriousness of a meltdown.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:19:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As far as I'm concerned, GE reactors with Mark I containments are flawed by default, at least until we get some very good studies showing the opposite. At least in earthquake zones.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:31:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That would be my working assumption -- until and unless proven otherwise.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 08:32:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    IAEA says Japan has ordered a halt to all sales of food products from Fukushima prefecture

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:24:23 AM EST
    Foreign Office: British embassy is handing out iodine tablets to Britons in Tokyo, Sendai & Ugata

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:28:53 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Full length of SDF released video is apparently 7 minutes long, but can't find it anywhere



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

    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:10:37 AM EST


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:28:24 AM EST
    • NHK 9 pm news just said Tokyo Fire Department's rescue team completed 7-hour automated pumping (3 tons per minute) of water from a 22-meter high special cannon mounted on their vehicle into No. 3. They will continue the operation for a few more hours at the PM's request.

    • Outside power supply has been just connected to No. 1 and 2. No.3 and 4 will be connected tomorrow.

    • The emergency generator in No. 5 has been fixed and the temperature of spent fuel pool in No. 5 and 6 is decreasing. It is now below prescribed 65 degrees celsius in No. 5.

    • I refueled my car today with less queueing today (Tokyo).

    • Foods and other supplies are pretty much back to the normal level.

    • Thank you again for your continued concern for the victims, and for your governments' help.


    I will become a patissier, God willing.
    by tuasfait on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:33:29 AM EST
    I assume it's The vehicle at the bottom of the page titled Squirt thats doing this work

    東京消防庁<組織・施設>A 308;東京の消防><組織:消防 力>

    Squirt


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:42:41 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    tuasfait:
    automated pumping (3 tons per minute) of water from a 22-meter high special cannon mounted on their vehicle into No. 3
    Assuming the pools are 40x40 feet in footprint, 3 tons is 2 cm of water, but if they do it continuously it adds up to over a metre each hour. This is not counting evaporation or the space taken up by the fuel assemblies.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:21:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    tuasfait:
    They will continue the operation for a few more hours at the PM's request.
    Are we to understand the PM, and not TEPCO, is directing the operations?

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:21:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I suspect that the PM is directing non-TEPCO actors and going beyond what TEPCO would do on their own. The SDF and Tokyo Fire Department don't answer to TEPCO.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 08:37:06 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If I'm reading the report right, the refinery fire in Ichihara was extinguished only today.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:13:28 AM EST
    I don't live far from Ichihara, and I've not seen any big plumes of smoke or fire.  Maybe there were some small fires on site, but there couldn't have been anything truly massive.
    by Zwackus on Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 03:06:16 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    The coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, became the first among quake-hit municipalities to get temporary housing for evacuees on Saturday as construction of about 200 30-sq-m (323 sq feet) prefabricated housing units started on the grounds of a junior high school, Kyodo reports.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:59:01 AM EST
    Cooling function operable at 2 reactors  NHK World

    The government says parts of the cooling systems at 2 of the 6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been confirmed to be operable.

    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told a news conference on Saturday that an emergency diesel generator at the No. 6 reactor has resumed operation.

    The agency also said that a cooling pump, at the No. 5 reactor, has been confirmed to be usable, and that workers started cooling the spent fuel storage pool there at 5 AM on Saturday.

    The agency said the radiation level at the west gate of the plant, located about 1.1 kilometers west of the No. 3 reactor, was relatively high at 830.8 microsieverts per hour at 8:10 AM. But it said the figure fell to 364.5 microsieverts at 9:00 AM(JST).



    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:11:26 AM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 146 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    IAEA says Japan has made holes in the roofs of units 5 and 6 at quake-hit nuclear site to guard against any hydrogen explosion. The IAEA adds that radiation levels in major Japanese cities have not changed since Friday.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:42:37 AM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 146 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Senior IAEA official says it is unclear if water pumps will work at Japan's quake-hit plant once power is restored


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:42:57 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:52:40 AM EST
    Is Newer Nuclear Technology Safer? | Mother Jones
    The nuclear industry likes to claim that each new reactor model is safer than the last. The unfolding nuclear emergency in Japan suggests otherwise.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:54:48 AM EST
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    The PM's Office of Japan tweets:For people living in Tohoku and Kanto regions - How to protect from radioactive rainfall (Japanese Atomic Energy Commission). "Try not to go out unless it is an emergency. Make sure of covering up hair and skin as much as possible. In case your clothes or skin is exposed to rain, wash it carefully with running water. "


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 12:14:19 PM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 146 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    A correction was issued in regards to Japan halting food sales in the area near Fukushima nuclear plant. The IAEA is now correcting its statement to: Japan is considering a ban, has not applied ban already.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 12:41:02 PM EST
    'We Urgently Need Help': A Japanese Hospital's Struggle to Confront Disaster - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

    Iwaki Kyoritsu Hospital is only 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It's the largest hospital in the region, and it specializes in caring for premature babies. It's also one of the few hospitals in the disaster area to escape the earthquake and tsunami relatively unscathed.

    When the earthquake struck last Friday morning, the hospital had 650 patients. Since then, a little more half have been released or transferred to other hospitals. But the hospital still has more than 300 sick patients, and the situation there is growing increasingly precarious.

    "We are running out of medicine, and we urgently need help," Nobuo Hiwatashi, the hospital's 62-year-old director, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. He said the situation had been especially difficult during the first days after the earthquake because the power had been cut off. The hospital was also short on food and other supplies, and Hiwatashi feared that his staff wouldn't be able to take care of its patients. However, since then, they've been able to provide packaged soups and rice balls.

    Hiwatashi adds that the number of people injured in the area is relatively modest because the tsunami apparently killed far more people than it injured. Still, though the hospital now has far fewer patients, it is still seeing 30 new admissions of injured people each day. "We provide ambulatory care to most and then send them back home," he says. "Most of the people who come to us are elderly. They are brought to us from emergency shelters." He said they often arrive frail, weak or chronically ill.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 12:52:44 PM EST
    Slow disclosure in Japan is reminder of Chernobyl | Reuters

    (Reuters) - As Japan considers burying its destroyed nuclear reactors in concrete, as at Chernobyl, other aspects of the disaster at Fukushima have also drawn comparisons with the drama that hit the Soviet Union 25 years ago.

    Among these is the way the public has complained of feeling kept in the dark as a situation which officials at first said was fairly minor has slowly built to catastrophic proportions.

    Back in 1986, the first indication the world was suffering its worst nuclear disaster came when a Swedish power station worker's clothing set off a radiation warning.

    For two days, radioactive material from the burning reactor had been spreading west through the Soviet Union and Europe, affecting millions of people. But the authorities in Moscow had tried to keep the catastrophe quiet.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:05:19 PM EST
    I don't see it. I'm half a world away and I feel I have been able to inform myself relatively accurately and timely, given the circumstances.

    If anything, TEPCO was initially overconfident that everything was going to be all right. There was a period of about 48 hours when TEPCO panicked and before the Japanese government realised that they, not TEPCO, needed to be in charge, when the situation was confused and information didn't flow. But I attribute it more to clueless panic on the part of the TEPCO management than an attempt at a coverup. The world has known something was amiss since the Tsunami hit.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:57:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    We do know that the government is receiving footage from US UAVs that it is not releasing to the public.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 08:40:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    BBC News - LIVE: Japan earthquake
    Officials are keen to put the amount of radiation present in tap water in perspective. Drinking one litre of watre with iodine at Thursday's levels [when levels were highest] is the equivalent of receiving 1/88th of the radiation from a chest x-ray, Kazuma Yokota, a spokesman for the Fukushima prefecture disaster response is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 01:26:38 PM EST
    Stigmatized, by no fault of their own

    Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki share an affliction and a story. They also share a name.

    The 227,565 people recognized by the Japanese government are hibakusha, a name that literally means "explosion-affected people."

    Generations ago the term was regarded by the Japanese as a mark of shame, a sign that one was potentially damaged. Impure by no fault of one's own.

    Now, with radiation leaking from the Fukushima plant, some question whether the next generation will apply the term to the potentially tens of thousands affected or take a more modern approach to those emerging from one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    WHO Sitrep No 10 (pdf)

    SITUATION SUMMARY
    · A 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 in Japan at 5:46:23 GMT,
    hitting the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan.
    · Based on official Japanese government figures, 6 548 persons are confirmed dead, 2 516
    injured with more than 10 354 missing. At least 131 persons remain to be evacuated
    and 376 907 have been evacuated.
    · A small number of influenza-like illness and gastroenteritis cases have been reported
    from several evacuation centres.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:17:45 PM EST
    Fukushima cloud now at the Atlantic, no risk - France | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

    PARIS - The plume from Fukushima has now reached the western Atlantic but its radioactivity is likely to be "extremely low" and have no impact on health or the environment, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said on Saturday.

    "As of yesterday, the cloud covered most of North America and northeastern Siberia. It is currently passing over the North Atlantic," it said, naming French terroritories in the Caribbean and off Canada's eastern coast.

    The cloud has been progressively thinning as it heads eastwards around the northern hemisphere at high altitude and will reach mainland Europe on Wednesday or Thursday, it said, citing a computer model jointly compiled with the French weather service, Meteo France.

    "The concentrations of caesium 137 in the air over land traversed by the plume are expected to be extremely low," it said.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 03:49:38 PM EST
    Japan earthquake | Page 147 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Swedish Foreign Office recommends Swedish citizens in Tokyo to start eating Potassium Iodide tablets. As there are a danger of winds carrying radioactivity over Tokyo. Swedes that don´t have tablets can collect them from the Swedish Embassy. www.regeringen.se


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:22:37 PM EST
    6 workers exposed to excessive radiation at Fukushima plant | Kyodo News

    Six workers at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been exposed to radiation levels beyond the limit applied to an emergency operation, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday, without elaborating on the work that they were engaged in.

    They are continuing to work on different tasks because they have not shown any abnormal signs since being exposed to over 100 millisieverts of radiation, the utility said. The limit has been raised to 250 millisieverts for the ongoing crisis, the worst in Japan's history, by the Health, Labor and Welfare 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 Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:25:55 PM EST
    They think that if there are no immediate signs of damage, there is no damage!?!?!? That's crazy. In a few years, they will have migraines from brain damage and cardiovascular disease from blood vessel damage if the fate of Chernobyl liquidators is any indication.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:36:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They should be on regular heavy metal chelation therapy if there is evidence they have absorbed cesium, plutonium, or other heavy metals.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:57:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Many immediate signs spells death within days as internal organs are damaged as well as the outer ones. Hair loss if one of the few immediate ones you can get and live on.

    The risk of cancer increases in proportion to total exposure to radiation over lifetime (at least at high exposure, less conclusive otherwise).

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

    by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 03:54:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    X-ray - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    To place the increased risk in perspective, a plain chest X-ray or dental X-ray will expose a person to the same amount from background radiation that we are exposed to (depending upon location) everyday over 10 days.[37] Each such X-ray would add less than 1 per 1,000,000 to the lifetime cancer risk. An abdominal or chest CT would be the equivalent to 2-3 years of background radiation, increasing the lifetime cancer risk between 1 per 1,000 to 1 per 10,000.[37] For instance, the effective dose to the torso from a CT scan of the chest is about 5mSv.[38] This is compared to the roughly 40% chance of a US citizen developing cancer during their lifetime.[39] Accurate estimation of effective doses due to CT is difficult with the estimation uncertainty range of about ±19% to ±32% for adult head scans depending upon the method used.[40]


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 09:03:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Many immediate signs spells death within days

    Most of those early signs occur when the total doses  received have been in the hundreds of milli-Svs and radiation illness almost always follows exposure of 1sv or greater. Even though Japan has raised the allowable total dose to 250 milli-Sv, I have interpreted news stories as indicating that they are still pulling workers off when they have reached a cumulative dose of 100 milli-Svs. Still, inhalation or ingestion of even sub-micro-gram quantities of radioactive particles remains a very serious matter that can be mitigated by chelation therapy. I hope the Japanese are doing this even under these difficult circumstances.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 11:14:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Fukushima workers exposed to high radiation levels  Guardian Sunday 20 March 2011 12.32 GMT

    Six workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been exposed to radiation levels beyond the usual legal limit while carrying out emergency operations to make the complex safe.

    ....

    The Kyodo news agency reported that Tepco said six staff members had been exposed to more than 100 milliSieverts of radiation, but had been assigned to other tasks and were continuing to work because they had not shown any abnormal signs since being exposed.

    The government earlier increased to 250 mSv the limit for those working in the emergency operation.

    Japan's fire and disaster management agency said readings of up to 27 mSv were detected on 50 firefighters. They were decontaminated after a 13-hour operation to spray water into the spent fuel pool at reactor 3 ended in the early hours of the morning.


    I hope that 27mSv reading was the cumulative total shown on their badges.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 11:37:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    (NHK) - firefighters at reactor 3 injected 1900 tons of water instead of the planned 1200 tons. over 13 hours.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:28:18 PM EST
    Bulletin 22 - Radiological Terrorism: Sabotage of Spent Fuel Pool
    The September 11 large-scale terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon show the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism is real. A successful attack or sabotage on a nuclear facility could cause the most potentially devastating radiological release into the atmosphere. While many people focus their concerns on the vulnerability of reactor containment buildings, an increasing number of nuclear experts are concerned about the spent fuel pools (SFP) which would be more vulnerable than the reactor containment building, because most SFPs are housed in far less robust structures than the reactor containment vessels. Moreover, a SFP would contain much more radiation than a reactor core. [1] In particular, one major concern is the vulnerability of the pools' cooling systems. In absence of cooling water, the spent fuel would overheat, and the fuel-cladding could melt or catch fire in some cases. Thus it could release radioactive substances to the environment.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:36:31 PM EST
    Clearly we need a War on Tsunamis.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:53:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan nuclear crisis: 'Fukushima Fifty' cut off from family - Telegraph

    A family friend of one of the workers - the team battling to control the crisis at the power plant - said that email and phone access had been cut and one man had been unable to speak to his wife for days.

    The move comes after one of the Fifty texted his wife in Japan saying that drinking water at the plant was running low, adding: "I feel like I'm coming down with something."

    Fukushima workers interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph at a special evacuation centre in the city of Koriyama said they had lost confidence in the management of the plant.

    "We were told that safety was a top priority," said one staff member, who asked to remain anonymous. "We went through simulations of what to do in an emergency, but we never thought it would be as bad as this. I don't want to go back 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 Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:18:28 PM EST
    DailyYomiuri SDF began 1st water spraying at No4 reactor of Fukushima No1 N-plant this morning; plans to use 10 vehicles today, spray 80-90 tons of water

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:29:45 PM EST
    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 08:35:01 PM EST
    Sievert, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The sievert (symbol: Sv) is the SI derived unit of dose equivalent radiation. It attempts to quantitatively evaluate the biological effects of ionizing radiation as opposed to the physical aspects, which are characterised by the absorbed dose, measured in gray ....

    The unit gray measures absorbed radiation which is absorbed into any material. The unit sievert specifically measures absorbed radiation which is absorbed by a person. The equivalent dose to a person is found by multiplying the absorbed dose, in gray, by a weighting factor (W). The weighting factor (sometimes referred to as a quality factor) is determined by a combination of: the radiation type, the tissue absorbing the radiation, and other pertinent factors.

    I can imagine that Sievert (or Rem=0.01 Sievert) makes sense in medical applications, where exposed issues and other pertinent factors are controlled. But how on earth do they determine those weight factors for background radiation as now around Fukushima?!

    Also, how do they measure those "effective" doses? Here is a comment at Daily Kos:

    As an aside, I'll point out that most instruments do not actually measure effective dose equivalent units (rem or Sievert), but measure charge released in some material, e.g. air, and the readings can be subject to interpretive errors. An ion chamber survey instrument that measures roentgens (or coulombs of charge per kg dry air) can be used to estimate whole-body gamma dose equivalent (in rem) by multiplying by a conversion coefficient that, for many common energies of gamma rays, and in the popular understanding, is approximately 1 +/- 20%.  BUT, if you take that ion chamber outside and expose it to beta-emitting fallout, the beta particles will contribute to the measured ionization in a way that is not proportional to their biological effect (which is mostly on the shallow tissues).  It's easy to imagine the measurement of 40 rem / hr being not strictly accurate, or at least being subject to high uncertainty.  However, that's a huge number relative to 400 mrem / hr and was bad news when it came out.  
    by das monde on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:01:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan earthquake | Page 150 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
    Japan plant operator says temperature at spent fuels pools at reactors 5 and 6 at most normal levels according to Kyodo News.


    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:09:37 PM EST
    "Most normal" hope thats a translation artifact, otherwise its saying nothing

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:11:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Almost normal?

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:00:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    thats the one i was hoping for

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:05:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Disaster in Japan Live Blog: March 20  Al Jazeera

    5:43am  Yukiya Amano, the International Atomic Energy Agency chief, says it is still too early to say whether things are going in the right direction in Japan's actions to stabilise the stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

        "My impression is that the Japanese side is strengthening [its] activities to overcome, to stabilise the reactors. I hope that safety, stability will be recovered as soon as possible..."

    4:32am  General Motors Co has suspended all nonessential spending and global travel while the automaker assesses the impact of the crisis in Japan on the company, a GM spokesman says.

    In addition, GM will suspend production in Zaragoza, Spain, on Monday and cancel two shifts in Eisenach, Germany, on Monday and Tuesday, spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin told Reuters. Japan is a key supplier to the global auto and technology sectors, making prolonged disruption a threat to both.



    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 10:38:58 PM EST
    Fuel pond work at Fukushima World Nuclear News

    Recent work at Fukushima Daiichi has included making holes to allow hydrogen to disspate from fuel ponds at units 5 and 6, while unit 3's fuel pond is said to have stabilised.

    An announcement of stability at unit 3's pond came from chief cabinet secretary Yukiyo Edano. This follows the deployment of Hyper Rescue, a truck featuring a 22 metre arm that pumps some 3000 litres of water per minute, in combination with Super Pump Truck. Together the machines sprayed seawater through the holes left in the sides of the reactor building.

    ....

    Edano made clear that unit 3 remains a concern and that spraying may continue.

    Units 5 and 6

    Elsewhere on site, two diesel generators at unit 6 are now providing power to units 5 and 6 to circulate water in the fuel ponds. Engineers have also brought back the residual heat removal system of unit 5 allowing heat from its fuel pond to be removed to the sea, which is the ultimate source of cooling for any thermal power plant on the coast. The temperatures at units 5 and 6 are understood to be reducing from 60ºC at the start of the day.

    Holes have been bored through the roofs of reactor buildings 5 and 6 in an 11-hour operation to ensure that hydrogen can disspate naturally. Each unit has three holes measuring seven centimetres. Tokyo Electric Power Company did not say that hydrogen was being produced, but that the move to bore holes was a precaution.



    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:16:10 PM EST
    Workers stabilize spent fuel stored at Japanese reactor  McClatchy

    Top U.S. officials have expressed deep consternation about the spent fuel pool in Fukushima's No. 4 reactor since midweek, when Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko told Congress that his agency believed the pool's water had boiled away. Since then, there've been reports that the pool may be leaking, apparently due to damage from the earthquake, the tsunami or from ensuing explosions in the building.

    "The worst case is, you dump more water on that spent fuel pool, and it drains," said Najmedin Meshkati, a nuclear safety expert who teaches at the University of Southern California. "And then the zirconium cladding of that fuel bundle will interact with this hot water, and it will release hydrogen. Then there may be fire or an explosion."

    Because part of the roof of that building has been blown off by an earlier hydrogen explosion, he said, "all of that radioactive cloud ... may get released into the environment. It's very potent." Earlier attempts to use helicopters to dump 3,000 tons of seawater on that reactor and others proved ineffective.

    Arjun Makhijani, the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, said that "there appears to be some damage in spent fuel pool No. 4. They've had a struggle to keep water in there. "Obviously, if there's a crack in the No. 4 pool, then the injection of water has to be faster to keep up with the leak."

    Makhijani expressed optimism that progress is being made to avoid "serial meltdowns (of the reactors) and fires in these spent fuel pools and a serious release of radiation."




    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 11:32:52 PM EST
    Disaster in Japan Live Blog: March 21

    1:41am NHK: A PutzmeisterPutzmeister with a 50-metre arm will used tomorrow to send water into the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

    1:24am Defence Minister Kitazawa told NHK that the surface temperatures above the reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant give comfort.

    The temperatures are:

    Reactor 1 - 58 degrees

    Reactor 2 - 35 degrees

    Reactor 3 - 62 degrees

    Reactor 4 - 42 degrees

    Reactor 5 - 24 degrees

    Reactor 6 - 25 degrees.

    The temperature above the containment vessel itself of Reactor 3 is 128 degrees, but this is not cause for concern, he says.




    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 02:15:54 PM EST
    I guess 24 and 25C for #5 & #6 count as "almost normal".

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 03:14:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Consider the reference temperature for the water in the spent fuel pools is 40C (106 F).

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:31:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Japan nuclear crisis on edge, disaster toll grows | Reuters

    "I think the situation is improving step by step," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said amid news workers, in suits sealed by duct tape, had managed to connect power cables to the No. 2 and 5 reactors.

    Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said engineers aimed to extend power to No. 1 reactor, which is linked to No. 2, and then test systems later on Monday.



    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 03:39:57 PM EST
    It has become impossible to work ones way through all the Japan threads...

    I have just seen a graph someone posted (now dropped out of the recent comments box) that was supposed to show a correlation between the moon's distance to earth; it's phase and the number of earthquakes/energy released.

    I can see that the move was neither full nor particularly close to earth and that there were few earthquakes with massive release of energy on 11/03.

    I don't see in what way the moon in that case had any influence on the earth's trembling. Had the moon been full and close to earth the conclusion would have been obvious.

    Can anybody explain -

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:25:34 AM EST
    The move = the moon (!)
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:26:47 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Lily:
    Can anybody explain
    There is nothing to explain. This stuff is nonsense.

    Super Full Moon - NASA Science

    contrary to some reports circulating the Internet, perigee Moons do not trigger natural disasters. The "super moon" of March 1983, for instance, passed without incident. And an almost-super Moon in Dec. 2008 also proved harmless.


    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:52:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    people had been saying that it was the moons closeness that had caused the earhquake, the graph was to show that there was absolutely no corelation between moon distance and earthquake.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:25:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    When the Moon is closest (or furthest) from the Earth, the change in its gravitational pull is actually minimal. I am sure someone has a theory that we should correlate earthquakes not with maximal values of gravitational pulls from the Solar system, but maximal changes of aggregate gravitational pull (perhaps superimposed with Earth's rotation). After all, sea tides do not face the Moon directly but with a phase shift. Let's see whether we'll get a big trembling next weekend somewhere.
    by das monde on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 07:47:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This may be just a dull repetition of what has been explained above. I allow myself to ask again since I cannot find my way through the jungle of comments:

    From the beginning the Fukushima I worry has been that a nuclear meltdown could occur.

    While I already saw the entire plant blasting leading to a massive contamination of the entire Northern hemisphere others were more optimistic.

    When a nuclear meltdown happens radioactive particles are released into the air. Radioactive isotopes were measured in California.

    When the meltdown isn't stopped there's a risk that those rods melt and work their way into the earth with a risk of contaminating ground waters that as a consequence will contaminate drinking water. Iodine has been found both in Fukushima and Tokyo tapwater.

    Rain will further bring the radioactivity present in the air down to the ground.

    All this shows that the nuclear meltdown has been and is happening. This already is the worst case scenario.

    If you bury numbers 1 through 4 under a sarcophage radioactive material will continue to be released into the groundwater and/or the Pacific Ocean where it will find its way into the clouds raining down onto the entire Northern hemisphere.

    The only thing so far that could be even worse would be the explosion of one of the reactor blocks by which all six blocks - and Fukushima II which is only 12 km away - would be lost/burst into the atmosphere. Block 3 contains plutonium. Block 4 with its old material contains 5 times the nuclear power of one single reactor block in operation.

    How much is all this energy - does it compare to any given number of Hiroshima bombs ---

    The only thing that would be worse than what is already going on would be an explosion of any one of the reactor blocks.

    Is my understanding of the situation by and large 'correct' - [question mark]

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

    Radioactivity is measured in Milli/Micro-Sieverts. So what are Becquerel [question mark]

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

    Iodine blockers are given when radioactive exposure is imminent. It is most effective when taken shortly before or until 3 - 4 hours after exposure. What about those who at some 60 km from Fukushima are permanently exposed to high levels of radiation. -

    And what about Tokyo residents. I gather that they will continue to be exposed to varying levels of radiation in the course of the coming weeks and months and years. Measurements and iodine blockers will help little as radioactivity is becoming an irreversible feature of the food chain and weather/wind cycles.

    It will be felt more the closer anyone's to "the source" of the contamination but almost impossible to avoid or protect against altogether. Right [question mark]

     

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:58:28 AM EST
    Lily:
    Radioactivity is measured in Milli/Micro-Sieverts. So what are Becquerel [question mark]
    One Becquerel is one radioactive decay per second. The Sievert is a unit of energy absorbed by living tissue, weighted by biological effect.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 08:27:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Thank you. Does this explain that the contamination (or energy) around Fukushima is measured in Sievert while contaminated food will be tested in Becquerel?
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:29:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, it explains that the activity measured in Becquerel doesn't tell you much about how harmful it is.

    One possible reason why food contamination measured in Becquerel may be relevant is that if you ingest the food, the radiation originates within yourbody and so any disintegration is harmful. Low-energy alpha particles can be stopped by the skin or a sheet of paper, or a layer of clothing, so they may have a high activity in Becquerel and a low biological effect measured in Sievert.

    There was a comment in one of these threads to the effect that biological effect in Sievert is easier to determine in laboratory conditions than in the real world, because it depends not only on the activity measured in Becquerel, but on the prevalence of different radioactive isotopes, distance, and so on.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:46:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Meaning that Becquerel spinach will decompose you from the inside out so that afterwards your radiation can be detected by Mr Sievert?
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:12:00 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If you like...

    The reason Mr. Litvinenko was killed by polonium was that he either ingested or inhaled the polonium. Polonium is an alpha emitter so the radiation would have been stopped by the layer of dead (i.e., immune to radiation poisoning) cells on his skin. But once the alpha emitters are inside his body, the Becquerels are the same while the Sieverts shoot through the roof and kill him.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 12:06:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As I wondered in a comment on this same page, how they weight biological effects for the Sievert measurements? What is the objective information of a "400mSv" announcement? By definition, it does not count "objective" number of decays. But I do not see either, how does it count energy absorbed by living tissue. The measurement devices are not made of living tissues, are they?
    by das monde on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:27:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I suppose they have conversion tables depending on the isotope in question, which takes into account half-lifes, if it's alfa, beta or gamma rays etc. But this is a guess.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:34:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    See http://www.radprocalculator.com/

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:38:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So they can weight the radiation components - but apparently average over the tissues. That is still misleading for idle public. Say, when they show graphs of 1 mikroSv for arm x-ray, 5 mikroSv for dental or hand x-ray, 20 or 50 mikroSv for chest x-ray, and about 5-7 miliSv for CT scans, that may not mean that radiation in those medical test varies that much. The CT scans probably look so much more hazardous because of inner organs exposed. Therefore those graphs and terminology look a tad Orwellian to me.

    Since when do they use the Sv unit? Why did they need it if it just a scaled version of rem, and besides, scaled for maximum confusion of mili- and micro- values when they are most pertinent?

    by das monde on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 07:36:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Why did they need it if it just a scaled version of rem

    Because it is the SI unit.

    The micro and milli should not confuse people - it's like talking about millimetres, metres and kilometres. Just like you won't talk of the speed of hair growth in kilometres per hour, you don't talk of radiation in Sievert per second but in midrosievert per hour.

    But then again, units will always confuse people.

    Instead of Sievert they could use Grays - that wouldn't be confusing. But just quoting activity in Becquerels is 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 Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 03:21:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Grays are not biologically weighted - its just pure absorbed energy per mass.

    I would make a distinction between "Sieverts" weighted just by radiation type, and Sieverts weighted by tissue as well. I would vote that mixing up these two notions does not meet scientific standards.

    by das monde on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 08:59:06 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I say we use CED - Cigarette Equivalent Dosage.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 02:18:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    When a nuclear meltdown happens radioactive particles are released into the air.

    No, the two aren't connected. You need an explosion or an evaporating fluid to carry radioactive particles away. So, on one hand, a meltdown can happen without aerial emission of radioactivity, and an aerial emission of radioactivity can happen without a meltdown. At Fukushima, there was likely a partial meltdown that damaged fuel rods, but emissions were due to vented gas and fires.

    Rain will further bring the radioactivity present in the air down to the ground.

    Not further but only: there was no China Syndrome, the mechanism was was the rains washing airborne pollution out of the air. Which, again, doesn't need a meltdown.

    This already is the worst case scenario.

    From the last few day's of analysis, the worst-case scenario is not even a meltdown, but a fire in a dried-up spent fuel pond. As I wrote above, you need a mechanism to make radioactivity airborne, and such a fire would be a veery effective way, with ot without a meltdown.

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

    by DoDo on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:00:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Thanks a lot.

    "the worst-case scenario is not even a meltdown, but a fire in a dried-up spent fuel pond. As I wrote above, you need a mechanism to make radioactivity airborne, and such a fire would be a veery effective way, with ot without a meltdown."

    There are different things going on. The impact of the meltdown is more localized but in itself no less dramatic while the massive emission of radioactivity into the air - cannot even be monitored.

    Is it possible to quantify the risk (energy released) if # 4 blasted - dragging along the others to its right and to its left?

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:38:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    energy released as a risk? I dont think energy release is the major problem, I know the worst case calculation if things went as badly as possible from a single reactor was 140,000 deaths (short and long term) but that relied on the reactor being in a densely populated region and I think would also need it to be an inland reactor,

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:45:56 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    [sigh] The release of energy can be very healthy. -

    I try to understand what it means that (as I've heard) # 4 contains 5 times the nuclear material present in any ordinary reactor block. Does # 4 equal 5 times Tschernobyl? - I assume it doesn't since there are different things going on in each and every reactor block in Fukushima and nuclear power plant in general.

    Then if # 4 catches fire access to # 1-2-3-5-6 will become impossible so that there will be an equivalent of 10 reactor blocks out of control.

    Does this mean Tschernobyl x 10? - being ten times more lethal for the immediate environment or increasing the desaster radius by a factor of 10? How do these different desasters potentially add up? I assume that it's not the same if # 1 catches fire or # 1 and 2 and 3 increasing the nuclear fall-out by three.

    Worst case scenarios refer to a 500 km radius of radiation including Tokyo. Is it the same if just part or all of it blasted?

    I try to assess the situation comparing healthy clean Sushi Japan to what has become of it and what could still happen.

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:04:07 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well the 500km figure seems excessive, all the studies ive seen in the last week show  a radius just over 25km radius of land needing to be abandoned.

    I'd think that the increase in radius wouldnt be that large, after all the wind won't be blowing things any further with two reactors having a problem than one, depends how quickly the radioactivity is falling off at the boundary.

    The figures seen assumed it was an absolutely full pool, and all of it caught fire in the worst way possible, there were various other scenarios considered with smaller ammounts and  fires which affected things in not quite such a catastrophic fasion, where  long term casualties fell to  1/100 of this figure.

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

    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:31:03 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well the 500km figure seems excessive, all the studies ive seen in the last week show  a radius just over 25km radius of land needing to be abandoned.

    There isn't much data on contamination levels within the 20 km radius. Outside, however, contamination is heavily concentrated in an area NW from the plant, and up to 60 km away.

    I'd think that the increase in radius wouldnt be that large, after all the wind won't be blowing things any further with two reactors having a problem than one

    When the wind carries stuff away, it also spreads it out. Thus, if the concentration at the source is twice as high, levels will fall below safety thresolds further away from the source.

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

    by DoDo on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:51:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Basically, to simplify all this.

    It might be dangerous to be at the plant site, and it certainly was dangerous to be there during certain parts of the accident. I wouldn't be surprised if we see an increased cancer incidence among some of the plant workers in the future, maybe on the level as if they had been cigarette smokers or something.

    Outside the 20 km exclusion zone you can be pretty sure there is no danger whatsoever, not compared to the everyday risks of living.

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

    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:16:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nope. The stuff that settled outside can accumulate in plants and water, where it will be much more dangerous. And the cumulative radiation for someone just walking in Namie village would be in the 10 milli-Sievert region after a week.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 04:34:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Thank you. So if I am getting it right it's less dangerous to live near the accident eating non-contaminated food than living in Osaka eating 'healthy' but contaminated fish and spinach followed by a glass of Fukushima milk rice three times a week.
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:23:05 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I wouldn't worry too much about the contaminated food either, unless you eat large amounts of it all the time. It's like, I smoke one cigar every new years eve, and maybe 4 cigarettes a year on top of that. That's certainly not healthy, but it won't kill or give me cancer either. Smoking 40 cigarettes a day is a completely different matter though.

    Look, don't eat contaminated food if you can avoid it. But if the choice is lightly contaminated food or being dead hungry, I know what I'd choose.

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

    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:58:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    71 microSievert= one cigarette, when looking at the induced cancer lethality.

    This means that smoking one cigarette a day is equal to 26 000 microSieverts per year, or roughly six times the annual background rate we all recieve (of which half is natural background and half is from medical treatments).

    I feel that the "cigarette equivalent rate" is a good way to explain radiation damage as everyone knows that cigarettes are dangerous and give you cancer, while evertone knows just as well that a single cigarette won't kill you.

    For more related reading, check this out.

       

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

    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:22:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Living in Guarapari is like smoking 6-7 cigarettes a day, if we accept the Linear Threshold Hypothesis (as most people do) instead of hormesis, that is that unlike cigarettes, low level radiation is not a little dangerous, but rather completely safe and even a little healthy (which the French Academy of Science has argued IIRC).

       

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

    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:28:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A further observation is that the Japanese radiation limits for people working on nuclear emergencies are 3500 cigarettes, and the US radiation limits on saving someones life in an irradiated environment is 14 000 cigarettes. This will give you mild radiation sickness and you'll be fatigued, start throwing up, lose white blood cells, get increased cancer rates and so on. There is even a small risk (maybe 5 %?) that you'll die in a few weeks or months time. This is another strength of the cigarette equivalent dosage, as I wouldn't be surprised if all those thing would happen to me if I smoked 14 000 thousand cigarettes in a few hours as well. ;)

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I doubt we will have any considerable long-term ground contamination because of this, beyond maybe the plant site itself. Certainly not beyond 20 km. If the fuel ponds had caught fire or the meltdowns had penetrated the containment we'd had a different story though.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:57:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    To put this into perspective, the Chernobyl exclusion zone is about 30km around the plant, and that was a much worse accident than Fukushima will be, if an uncontrolled fire in one of the spent fuel pools is avoided. However, there is substantial contamination over an irregular area of the order of 100 miles across:

    According to the map, the control zone is above 15 Curie/Km^2 of Cesium-137

    15 Curie is 555 GBq (under 6 hundred billion radioactive decays per second)

    According to this calculator,

    15 Curie per square kilometre

    15 Ci of Cs-137 at 1000 Meters = 0.001 μSv/h

    is 150mCi per hectare
    150 mCi of Cs-137 at 100 Meters = 0.03 μSv/h

    is 15μCi per square metre
    15 μCi of Cs-137 at 1 Meters = 0.04 μSv/h


    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 06:23:31 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I try to understand what it means that (as I've heard) # 4 contains 5 times the nuclear material present in any ordinary reactor block.

    That's imprecise info, too. First, let's differentiate reactor cores (in which fuel rods are brought close enough for a controlled increase of fission) and spent fuel pools (in which used fuel rods are left to cool down). From the data I saw, it's actually the case that in the other reactors, the spent fuel pools were loaded way below capacity. In No. 4 however, the core was under maintenance, thus all the half-used fuel rods were temporarily stored in the spent fuel pool, too, making it near-full.

    Now, what this means? This means that the cumulative heat produced by the fuel rods in the pool is much greater than in the spent fuel pools of the other reactors. That is, once the earthquake and tsunami knocked out the cooling system of the spent fuel pool, the water in it heated up much faster (at about 2°C an hour), and once temperature reached 100°C, the water began to boil away (it would have taken 10-11 days for it to boil away completely - or faster if there are cracks in the pool and water doesn't just boil away but also flows out). And once the fuel rods stick out of water, they begin to heat up, and then begin to react with the steam aand get damaged. And if we had been really unlucky, they would heat up to a temperature at which the material of the casing burns like wood.

    Regarding your risk calculation: six reactors are equal to six reactors, not ten :-) Area increases by the square of distance, and the danger radius (if distribution would be the same and just the source would be more intense) would then be the square root of six. But there are so many influencing factors that even a simultaneous fire at both the spent fuel ponds and reactor cores of all six reactors could be much worse than ten Chernobyls or less serious than a tenth of it.

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

    by DoDo on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:45:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "Regarding your risk calculation: six reactors are equal to six reactors, not ten :-)"

    I had generously counted # 4 as equalling five:

    1 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 1 = 10 :-)

    "But there are so many influencing factors that even a simultaneous fire at both the spent fuel ponds and reactor cores of all six reactors could be much worse than ten Chernobyls or less serious than a tenth of it."

    I wonder whether computer simulations of such an event are possible. No one needs to know for real.

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:33:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "Six reactors equals 5 reactors and 10  spent fuel pools" is better.

    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:37:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    okay.
    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:47:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Though, given that the extra amount in the No. 4 spent fuel pool is the contents of the No. 4 core, it's best to say six reactors are six reactors after all...

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 02:29:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Ah yes.  Confusing ordinal and cardinal numbers is a common mistake of those studying for their MBA.

    :-)

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

    by ATinNM on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 07:10:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I wonder whether computer simulations of such an event are possible. No one needs to know for real.

    We know of at least one research paper about these things, mentioned here

    ... In the 1997 Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) study, "Severe Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools in Support of Generic Safety Issue 82," (NUREG/CR-4982), it was assumed that 10-100% of the cesium-137 was released to the atmosphere. ...

    ...

    ... It estimated 100 quick deaths would occur within a range of 500 miles and 138,000 eventual deaths.

    The study also found that land over 2,170 miles would be contaminated and damages would hit $546 billion.



    So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 07:16:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I find an estimation of the area of contamination (soil, air, water) more interesting than that of potential quick and slow deaths.

    I've realized that the effort to assess the area of contamination is like the weather forecast, and it depends upon the same.

    About the number of sudden and slow deaths, well, we're all going to die. Besides, not everyone is going to get a cancer but there's a wide range of possible health problems and damage to genetic material. Numbers cannot capture the suffering it's going to entail.
    The size of the area that's contaminated gives a rough idea of the extent of suffering that we will see.

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 03:30:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I've realized that the effort to assess the area of contamination is like the weather forecast, and it depends upon the same.

    Once the plant is firmly under control it will be a matter of land survey, not weather forecasting.

    Fortunately (?) many of the people who would have to be evacuated have already been evacuated due to the earthquake. The problem is that some may not be able to return home or collect personal belongings.

    But the scale of suffering from the nuclear accident is likely to be smaller than the suffering from the earthquake and Tsunami. We're forgetting the tsunami washed away entire coastal towns of tens of thousands of people.

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

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 03:38:42 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    How anyone is going to perceive the suffering from a safe distance is very personal.

    I find the earthquake/tsunami disaster/trauma easier to handle because it is obvious, tangible. People are mourning those who lost their lives. Injured and homeless people will be cared for over time. But there are always sparks of hope for the future.

    Radioactive contamination cannot be grasped and confronted. It's destroying people's lives with its invisible hand, spreads fear and dims hope for a better future. That's why - for me - this is a lot worse than the damage caused by earthquake and tsunami combined.

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 04:32:55 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The impact of the meltdown is more localized

    If it doesn't induce some sort of big explosion (steam or hydrogen), then indeed it will be localised to the immediate area and what's downstream. I didn't note this in the previous post, but in both the Chernobyl case and now the Fukushima case, airborne pollution meant that water was polluted on a much wider area than if there had been a China Syndrome (i.e. a total meltdown).

    emission of radioactivity into the air - cannot even be monitored

    But of course it can.

    Is it possible to quantify the risk (energy released) if # 4 blasted - dragging along the others to its right and to its left?

    • First, No. 4 already blasted: a hydrogen explosion (that is, when hydrogen gas generated from water in various ways explosively reacted with oxygen in the air to form water vapour again) damaged that building, too.
    • Second, such an explosion doesn't 'drag along' the others, though damage from falling debris and radioactive contamination can inhibit emergency work on the other plants, as happene last week.
    • Third, again, the real bad danger is not an explosion, but a fire: would the spent fuel overheat, the casing of the fuel itself could burn (react with oxygen in the air), and then lots of radioactive material would go up high in the air in the smoke. (Last week's fires at No. 4 were only oil fires on equipment next to the fuel pool, and apparently carried radioactive particles away only by draft; so a spent fuel fire would be something much worse.)
    • Fourth, what one could quantify is how much radioactive material escapes (one can measure this in Becquerels). How much danger that is to the people, is a much more complicated question, because it depends on the direction the wind blows (if it's out to the sea, not many people will be affected; we weren't as lucky with deep inland Chernobyl), the height it rises (wind carries it further when rising higher), whether there is rain (which washes it from the air into topsoil), and whether there are proper controls to prevent the stuff getting into the food chain, where it could do the most damage (from plants sucking it out of topsoil and animals eating those plants). Etc. etc.


    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:31:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "'emission of radioactivity into the air - cannot even be monitored'

    But of course it can."

    It's just getting complicated when there's more than one fire and when radioactive particles are released over an extended period of time with winds blowing them this way and that way. Even if you can measure them it might be hard to live safely around those clouds of radiation.

    Besides food may be monitored but the people have to be fed too. The luxury of eating non-contaminated food is only possible where radioactive fall-out remains localized.

    "such an explosion doesn't 'drag along' the others, though damage from falling debris and radioactive contamination can inhibit emergency work on the other plants"

    My point was that radioactive contamination might make emergency work on the other plants impossible so that they might get lost one after the other. (a very worst case -)

    by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 05:44:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I highly recommend this documentary about Chernobyl. It has footage recorded around the reactor during the aftermath and the cleanup operation, and it's the best summary I've seen of the Soviet efforts to stop the accident getting even more out of control that it did at the time.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 07:39:15 PM EST
    it is a good documentary.

    Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
    by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 09:06:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It looks like the same documentary as this one, viewable on Google Video in one sweep. Though the title is different.
    by das monde on Mon Mar 21st, 2011 at 10:40:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Despite it's horror. Despite the cascade of lies. This is a sobering and valuable hour and a half.

    Despite the arguments that a Chernobyl would never happen in the west, because the west has such higher standards.

    Unbelievable that there are no studies, no statistics, on those living in the vast contaminated areas. Unbelievable that there are 250.000 soldiers who worked the cleanup, with 20,000 dead.

    Whatever the truth of this film, it should form a core part of any debate.

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

    by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 12:41:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    that should be:

    of the half-million who worked the cleanup, 250,000 are very sick, with 20,000 dead.

    At least it can't happen here.

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

    by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 22nd, 2011 at 06:45:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


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