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Tags Japan earthquake , Japan incidents , nuclear power issues

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Old 14th March 2011, 02:35 PM   #361
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Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
why don't they just dump a few million cubic yards of concrete onto all 4 cores?
How do you propose they get the rods out if they're buried in concrete?
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Old 14th March 2011, 02:36 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Reading the Wikipedia page on Chernobyl, they mention a recent study that mentions "985,000" deaths resulting from the incident.

Isn't that like 100 times more than liberal estimates used to say ? Is that even possible ?
That number is from the book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment and is complete and utter crap. Even Greenpeace's numbers (their estimate is around 100.000) makes me want to roll my eyes and gag, and that's ten times less than that book says. Any credible source will be < 10.000.
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Old 14th March 2011, 02:39 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/.../en/index.html

Not sure reading this if the estimate is 4000 or 8000 as they mention 4000 twice and I am not clear if they mean the same group...

See also;

http://www.magma.ca/~jalrober/Howbad.htm
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/chernobyl/inf07.html

NOWHERE near the number you say the Wiki article has.

I am utterly snowed-in with work today or I would fix this stupidity.
Thanks. The 1 million number doesn't even seem to make sense. If an atom bomb had exploded, sure...

I'll see if I can do something about it soon. I might not have time before the week-end so if someone else corrects it in the meantime, so much the better.
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Old 14th March 2011, 02:49 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
their technological and scientific illiteracy is just as bad as that of Joe Average.
Worse, I'd say.
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Old 14th March 2011, 02:54 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Thanks. The 1 million number doesn't even seem to make sense. If an atom bomb had exploded, sure...

I'll see if I can do something about it soon. I might not have time before the week-end so if someone else corrects it in the meantime, so much the better.
If you do, you might want to reference the million estimate in terms like;

'However, Blah Blah, author of "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" Is claiming a figure of X, many times more than estimates from WHO and other scientific bodies.'

Then you can probably avoid an edit war with people who are pushing his incorrect estimates.
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Old 14th March 2011, 02:59 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Thanks. The 1 million number doesn't even seem to make sense. If an atom bomb had exploded, sure...

I'll see if I can do something about it soon. I might not have time before the week-end so if someone else corrects it in the meantime, so much the better.
In a major population center, sure. Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined didn't equal 1mil...
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Old 14th March 2011, 03:29 PM   #367
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The media are now ramping it up: 'Reactor rods dry; Nuclear disaster looms'

Meltdown is the buzzword: can someone here explain to me what a meltdown actually is?
To the general public it seems to equal the end of the world.
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Old 14th March 2011, 03:53 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
The media are now ramping it up: 'Reactor rods dry; Nuclear disaster looms'

Meltdown is the buzzword: can someone here explain to me what a meltdown actually is?
To the general public it seems to equal the end of the world.
A meltdown is when the fuel rods in the reactor melt. Since it's in a vault of steel and concrete that hypothetical molten fuel rods are very unlikely to burn through, it probably wouldn't do that much in terms of nuclear disasters.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:03 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by Java Man View Post
So the bottom line is that all the backup systems failed. And given the old design of the reactor it overheated. Had it been replaced with a newer model some ten years ago this risk would not have been taken.

Unless the earthquake happened ten years an one day ago, instead.

Your argument is utterly ridiculous.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:10 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by BobTheDonkey View Post
Chances are,however, that if the plug didn't fit it's because the generators weren't set up to produce the "right" kind of power. Which would by why the generators weren't just hardwired in. That's my initial impression and completely unsupported by anything other than my own personal experience working in an industrial/electrical/aircraft maintenance field.

My understanding, based on the limited reporting I've read, is that after the back up generators failed, the US sent in generators off one of their carriers. These are more likely the ones that didn't match. It's not as ridiculous as it appears on first blush ("Why would you get generators that don't fit!") rather the US gave what they had available, in the hopes that it might match. Given you're talking two different countries, it makes more sense they didn't match up.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:16 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
The media are now ramping it up: 'Reactor rods dry; Nuclear disaster looms'

Meltdown is the buzzword: can someone here explain to me what a meltdown actually is?
To the general public it seems to equal the end of the world.
Uncovered by liquid water, could be the zircaloy rods containing the fuel pellets, can start to burn using water vapor as the oxidizing agent, which means your nuclear fuel could reconfigure itself into out of design configurations, which means you don't have control over criticality, although the lack of an effective moderator helps.


Hopefully it is just a pile of molten slag at the bottom of the reactor vessel.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:29 PM   #372
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The BBC are reporting a third explosion at Fukushima
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:33 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by Java Man View Post
Obviously everyone is happy no more life was lost to radiation. But those reactors will have to be replaced. In the meantime there is a power shortage. Had that money been spent on upgrading them ten years ago with newer technology then those cores could be powered up again. Providing the needed energy. The money now needed to repair things would not need to be subdivided into cleaning and repairing melted cores.

My "crisis" isn't a nuclear blowout. Which would be the most dire, extreme and undesired event. Nevertheless the current situation is quite a nightmare that could have been prevented if the cores were replaced with newer models. The Japanese are looking at quite an expense down the road and that's without a blowout.




Well it would be good to decommission designs that can cause a meltdown in case of a cooling failure. Given we already have designs that work that way.

And by safe I don't only mean a huge radioactive cloud. But safe in the knowledge that it's working ok, that it shutdown ok, that you can now reactivate it to power the grid in this crisis, etc etc etc. It retrospect it begins to look a lot cheaper and better to have gone through the expense of upgrading it.




We can sure talk about that in another thread if you want to.
Originally Posted by Java Man View Post
Nope. On the other hand it doesn't make billions of dollars in revenue either. Remember nuclear power plants don't work for charity.



Point is that the backups failed. The core overheated and at some point the cores in some reactors were assumed to have gone into meltdown and hope was set on the containment structure. The reactor did not fulfill its design purpose. It failed. It is fortunate that no more radiation was released aside from the steam released to lower some core pressure. Which was radioactive BTW. It is fortunate that no more radiation has been released and that it is nothing like Chernobyl. I don't think anybody here is sadistic enough to cheer for more radiation. The Japanese lost the bet. Something came along that was more than it was planned for. Nobody here wants to see them lose everything but their underwear on the gamble. But the bet that they could keep 40 year old cores without incident was undoubtedly lost.

So the bottom line is that all the backup systems failed. And given the old design of the reactor it overheated. Had it been replaced with a newer model some ten years ago this risk would not have been taken. That would cost money and cut on profit though. But it would have replaced the core with one less prone to meltdown in case of a cooling failure. Had that money been spent this incident would have been a non issue. Under cooling failure the cores would not have overheated.




Once again, is western radiation kinder on the skin than soviet radiation? Sure western reactors are safer and less people would be affected in case of an incident. Which is good, unless you're one of the affected. And if you die? Or a close relative? And you know that there were designs that prevented such an accident? Wouldn't it cut you to the bone to realize they didn't spend the money to save your life, but they'll still have to spend it now anyway?

In the capitalism thread I was commenting to BeAChooser that it is best to invest when you have the opportunity than to wait and procrastinate. You never know what the future brings. And the lesson is well seen here.

The money to upgrade those plants was not spent. It was not spent in a programmed and orderly way. Now it will need to be spent anyway. While at the same time requiring money for repairs. On top of that you have an energy shortage due to the failed reactors. So now it's spend on repairs, spend on new reactors, rationalize energy because there is a shortage and on top of that some radiation release and a few melted cores.

Had they spent the money over ten years to upgrade the then 30 year old reactors, they would have less problems. Of course those years the budget would have been tighter. There would have been pressure to know why money was being funneled to such projects. Bla bla bla, the typical line. But as Steve Jobs would say you can only connect the dots in retrospective and see that alternative as better. But it is too late now and we don't have a time machine to go back. So we blame it on the earthquake. But the earthquake was going to happen anyway and there was nothing we could do reduce its magnitude or the magnitude of the tsunami. But we can control our budget and how and when we spend it.

You are missing the entire point on this issue. This was a design basis event with the largest earthquake on record followed by a Tsunami and the safest place to be was inside the nuclear plant. The purpose of the design and safety systems of a nuclear plant to keep the public safe–it’s not about money. So far, this plant has performed incredibly well considering the circumstances. The reactor vessel did not fail. Containment did not fail. The overall structure of the plant is intact. The diesels failed on two units and worked on the other two--all four units' would have failed if it was a design problem. The radiation dose at the plant boundary is normal. That is what is supposed to happen.

Not bad for a plant that was designed in the 60s by a bunch of people with slide rules.

The plants are not completely in a safe shutdown mode, but the trends look better today. Now, if the plant was magically replaced by a new plant, the end result of having minimal radiation release and a safe public would be the same. The plant may weather the storm a bit better and be easier to clean up, but it would still likely need to be replaced as even nuclear plants are not able to survive multiple design basis earthquakes. (they are designed to take on five smaller quakes before the large quake)

If it was a coal or gas fired plant there would be nothing left but fires and pollution.

You have to explain what you mean by replacing the cores…one third of core is replaced every 18—24 months and fuel designs are constantly upgraded. In addition, what type of upgrades are you referring to…plants are constantly upgraded and changed to keep them running and safe…please be more specific as to what type of upgrade would have changed the outcome.

glenn
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:35 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by ripsaw_22 View Post
The BBC are reporting a third explosion at Fukushima
So?

The explosions aren't throwing nuclear fallout into the air, they're just conventional explosions that have little to nothing to do with the core.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:36 PM   #375
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
So?

The explosions aren't throwing nuclear fallout into the air, they're just conventional explosions that have little to nothing to do with the core.
They're still problematic as the previous explosions injured workers and damaged the cooling systems.

Probably worth a frowny face.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:38 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
they're just conventional explosions that have little to nothing to do with the core.
i didn't say they had anything to do with the core. i just said the BBC are reporting a third explosion. nothing contentious about that statement.

as long as the primary containment holds up as it has with the other two explosions, everything should be ok.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:40 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
They're still problematic as the previous explosions injured workers and damaged the cooling systems.

Probably worth a frowny face.
precisely. not exactly good news is it.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:40 PM   #378
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
I love my BBC. It's a respectable, fairly honest and good quality news outlet and I'm proud of it, but the unbelievable crap it's spewing about this plant is making me write a letter of complaint.
I know what you mean.

I was checking my mobile to see the latest news just before bed last night and the BBC were running a quote by saying that should the containment vessel explode it will rain down plutonium on a scale twice as large as that of a "conventional nuclear explosion". The headline screamed "Japan Fights to Avert Meltdown!" or something with the story explaining that the next 24 hours could spell TEOTWAWKI or something...

On that note there has been another explosion. I think it happened two hours ago now.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12740843
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:40 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by ripsaw_22 View Post
i didn't say they had anything to do with the core. i just said the BBC are reporting a third explosion. nothing contentious about that statement.

as long as the primary containment holds up as it has with the other two explosions, everything should be ok.
That's fair.

Sorry, I just got so used to thunder "Are we doomed yet? " posts that I replied as if you were him.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:49 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
That's what I was wondering, electrical power doesn't have to go through a magic plug, you can hard wire two cables once you hack off the offending plug and socket.
Assuming voltage, phase, and frequency match. I suspect it's more a matter of the plugs being designed (like the difference between a 220 and 120 volt plug) so that you can't plug the wrong appliance in; the plug is a warning that there's some sort of mismatch and you shouldn't be connecting. I can see them bringing in generators, and then realizing that the generators were useless because the plant needed 440 volt three phase, and the generators were 220 volt single phase. Yeah you could cross connect, but there are really good reasons not to.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:51 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
That's fair.

Sorry, I just got so used to thunder "Are we doomed yet? " posts that I replied as if you were him.

understandable. i am not of that mindset, however. Probably largely thanks to the JREF, which is why I love this place

Learned a lot about nuclear reactors these past few days! Some very knowledgeable folks here...
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:04 PM   #382
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My wife was just watching the guy from Tokyo Electric addressing a press conference.

Apparently he started mumbling some apologies and then didn't say very much more. People in the audience started yelling out, "We don't want to hear 'sorry!' we just want to hear the truth." and then, according to my wife, he lost his spirit.

Sorry if it sounds a bit cryptic.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:09 PM   #383
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Could it be that the radiation levels are much higher than before?

I think someone else may have put some good information about radiation leaks vs. background radiation before.

Here's a [bad] translation of a local news story:

Quote:
According to NISA, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at the front gate of the point at 7:00 am sometimes, it was observed radiation microsievert 965 per hour. This amount "of radiation exposure for about half a year in nature, the amount of exposure in an hour" has been explained. But 31 minutes at 8:00 am in the same place, which rose to 8217 per hour microsievert.
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...103150075.html
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:13 PM   #384
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NYT is saying that the recent explosion was in pressure suppression apparatus, and may have breeched containment.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:16 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
NYT is saying that the recent explosion was in pressure suppression apparatus, and may have breeched containment.
That's ugly. I hope they're jumping the gun.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:17 PM   #386
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8217 µSv is .82 REM

That is a quite high plant boundary measurement.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:22 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
The media are now ramping it up: 'Reactor rods dry; Nuclear disaster looms'

Meltdown is the buzzword: can someone here explain to me what a meltdown actually is?
To the general public it seems to equal the end of the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_meltdown

The wiki article is resonable...but long. If you have a specific question after, I could answer it for you.

glenn
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:25 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
NYT is saying that the recent explosion was in pressure suppression apparatus, and may have breeched containment.
That would be very very bad, yes?

If it breached containment that means it might start venting?
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:26 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Could it be that the radiation levels are much higher than before?

I think someone else may have put some good information about radiation leaks vs. background radiation before.

Here's a [bad] translation of a local news story:



http://www.asahi.com/national/update...103150075.html
The article gives a rate per hour, but a time to the nearest minute. It sounds like a peak reading on a meter rather than a dosage over an extended period.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:27 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
8217 µSv is .82 REM

That is a quite high plant boundary measurement.
This is a game changer...very unfortunate if true.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:28 PM   #391
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
The article gives a rate per hour, but a time to the nearest minute. It sounds like a peak reading on a meter rather than a dosage over an extended period.
Maybe. But I hope this isn't just clutching at straws.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:28 PM   #392
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
That would be very very bad, yes?

If it breached containment that means it might start venting?
Yes. Not good. Might make the site itself a hazardous environment for months. Might require longer evacuations of nearby population.

Gas will largely be short half-life radionuclides, though, so long term impact of simply venting should be fairly small.

I would not want to be on site right now for more than an hour or two.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:30 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by Hindmost View Post
This is a game changer...very unfortunate if true.
I know this way too well. I wrote the software that declares alerts for a couple plants.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:33 PM   #394
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Law enforcement in hawaii is claiming that radioactive clouds are coming to hawaii in two days and law enforcement is to be wearing NBC suits

This isnt public info but I'm spilling what I heard

Is there any chance of truth to this?
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:36 PM   #395
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Apparently, at least 2000 deaths are the result of the problems at Fukushima*. From the L.A. Times:
Quote:
Japan nuclear plant rocked by another explosion
A buildup of hydrogen gas causes another explosion, destroying the outer shell of a reactor at the quake-damaged Fukushima No. 1 plant. The blast comes after the pumping of seawater stalled, exposing the fuel rods to air and increasing the risk of radiation being released. Death toll continues to rise as 2,000 bodies are found in a single province.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,2212206.story

*No, of course I don't believe this. I realize that they are deliberately conflating stories.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:36 PM   #396
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Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
Law enforcement in hawaii is claiming that radioactive clouds are coming to hawaii in two days and law enforcement is to be wearing NBC suits

This isnt public info but I'm spilling what I heard

Is there any chance of truth to this?
Winds would not be likely to do that.

The Gyre would take the gas NE towards the Aleutians and then down the Pacific coast before heading back towards Hawaii. By which time there would be no danger at all. (No danger at all 100 km away, really.)
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:39 PM   #397
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The Yomiuri's reporting it too.

Essentially at the gates of the power station it is up to 8217 microsieverts (or whatever) after the explosion at 6:10AM today. As revealed by Tokyo Electic.

Quote:
福島第一原発の正門付近の放射線量は15日午前、制限値の約16倍となる1時間あたり8217マイクロシー ベルトを観測した。

 同原発2号機では、15日午前6時10分ごろに爆発音があった。東京電力などが明らかにした 。
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:40 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by Buckaroo View Post
Apparently, at least 2000 deaths are the result of the problems at Fukushima*. From the L.A. Times:


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,2212206.story

*No, of course I don't believe this. I realize that they are deliberately conflating stories.
The bodies were from the tsunami.

1000 were found in Minami Sanriku and 1000 in another place I can't recall right now.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:41 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
Winds would not be likely to do that.

The Gyre would take the gas NE towards the Aleutians and then down the Pacific coast before heading back towards Hawaii. By which time there would be no danger at all. (No danger at all 100 km away, really.)
Because of the source of the info, my family is rather panicked...and I as you can tell am extremely pro nuclear, so I dont want to freak anyone, but they heard it first
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:45 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The bodies were from the tsunami.

1000 were found in Minami Sanriku and 1000 in another place I can't recall right now.
Yeah, I heard this story earlier today. It's disgusting that LAT is using it to sensationalize the Fukushima story.
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