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Tags Japan earthquake , Japan incidents , nuclear power issues

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Old 14th March 2011, 03:59 AM   #201
Sword_Of_Truth
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Originally Posted by DC View Post
still more preferable that the unqualified comments from the postoffice guy....
Unsupported assertion.

I asked for your "experts" qualifications and you've refused to provide them.

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Old 14th March 2011, 04:04 AM   #202
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I made a blog post about this whole situation last night, for what it's worth:

Know Nukes: The Japanese Earthquake & Anti-Nuclear Hysteria

Cheers - MM
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:08 AM   #203
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Quote:
At some stage during this venting, the explosion occurred. The explosion took place outside of the third containment (our “last line of defense”), and the reactor building. Remember that the reactor building has no function in keeping the radioactivity contained. It is not entirely clear yet what has happened, but this is the likely scenario: The operators decided to vent the steam from the pressure vessel not directly into the environment, but into the space between the third containment and the reactor building (to give the radioactivity in the steam more time to subside).


Now that exactly the same explosion has happened again, I'm guessing they can't vent directly to the outside, but only inside the building housing the container vessel.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:09 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Nosi View Post
Many people on this forum believe nuclear power to be safe, clean, efficient energy.
It isn't "safe". But neither are coal plants, hydroelectric dams, missions into space, high-rise buildings, bridges, highways, or cooking. But we still do those things because we perceive that the benefits are higher than the costs.

Human endeavour shouldn't be limited to things that are safe, if we want to get anywhere.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:13 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
Psychologically I'm feeling a lot better about nuclear power today than I was last week. If you can hit a plant with a 9.0 and umpteen smaller aftershocks (6.0 and above) and a tsunami and have it explode and still not kill anyone then I'm confident we could have one near me where the worst it will get is some quite heavy rain.
Enough with your logic, we'll have none of that here in our mainstream media!
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:17 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by bikerdruid View Post
not just the racoons....
the whole earth will be better off without us.
Gosh, I really hate hypocrits.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:18 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by DC View Post
it was a comment by Wolfgang Renneberg, former boss of the german ministry for reactorsecurity.

So what does your expert say about a broken vessel?
That guy ? As I can tell he is always crying wolf. I can't even find his Lebenslauf. He is certainly *not* speaking of experience.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:19 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Christian Klippel View Post
Renneberg? Really? That guy from "Renneberg Consult" who seems unable to afford a company eMail address, and instead uses @netcologne.de (a regular internet provider)? The Renneberg that seems to have fun taking part in the nuclear hysteria? The guy who favours and supports that political party that is most vehemently against nuclear energy?

I'm sorry, but that guy has a very big conflict of interest here. Oh boy, that won't end well, i think.

Greetings,

Chris

Edit: Not to mention that his company creates studies/reports exlusively for the ant nuclear lobby organizations and said party ("Die Grünen").

Here is his company website. This guy is absolutely not neutral.
Quoted fr truth.

That guy is the last one I would consult as an expert.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:28 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by DC View Post
still more preferable that the unqualified comments from the postoffice guy....
Hum. No. There are many source some from what Sword quoted, some other you can find, and they all concur to the same things : fear are exaggerated. You choose to trust 1 guy because he goes your way, a politician fear monger, I choose the data I read on this, and what I did study in university on nuclear reactor design.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:39 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Java Man View Post
The tens of thousands dead were due to the earthquake and tsunami. We can not control nor anticipate such things and we have no say on when they will strike and where people will find themselves when they do. But we can control our energy production systems because we build them. We not only get to choose what we do, we get to be responsible for them as well.
Yep, no control over nature. And given that, these plants have been very successful at limiting the result of the terrible blow nature dealt.

You have to site human infrastructure where humans live. Japan is arguably a terrible place for them to live. Almost 100% of the infrastructure in the effected areas was wiped out.

But these plants still have intact containments.

There is a tier of redundant systems. One after another failed. Finally we were down to the mechanical barrier systems, and those have held.

So, honestly, design changes might have kept us from getting to that point, and would have saved the "CEO" a whole lot of money, but it's stupid to say that these plants have failed.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:48 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Quoted fr truth.

That guy is the last one I would consult as an expert.
People make themselves a living lying about this topic.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:51 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
Yep, no control over nature. And given that, these plants have been very successful at limiting the result of the terrible blow nature dealt.

You have to site human infrastructure where humans live. Japan is arguably a terrible place for them to live. Almost 100% of the infrastructure in the effected areas was wiped out.

But these plants still have intact containments.

There is a tier of redundant systems. One after another failed. Finally we were down to the mechanical barrier systems, and those have held.

So, honestly, design changes might have kept us from getting to that point, and would have saved the "CEO" a whole lot of money, but it's stupid to say that these plants have failed.
The fact is, it is bad, and it looks bad, and it was avoidable. Nuclear power could have emerged from this looking much more solid and safe if the avoidable bit was done right. That the plants survived a shock worse than they were designed for is not much comfort when there are claims that there have already been quakes that have exceeded their rating. If that is the case, then they have been operating outside their limits for years, which is clearly not safe either way.

Now it's been set back ten years or more. The focus on it when it hasn't actually killed anyone yet, but probably tens of thousands are dead due to the quake is absurd, but the public don't seem so interested in that for some reason.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:51 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The emergency generators they brought in after the quake. They said they couldn't use them because the plug didn't fit.
Yes, that surprised me a lot, too.

First of all, I was surprised that the plugs didn't fit in the first place - I mean, how many different kinds of plug would be common for mobile generators?

Was there really no way to connect the two, rather than decide to give up one of the lines of defense?

And how was the plant build to receive this extra power? When I was on the visit to a plant here in Germany we were told that if they should run out of cooling water their system was designed to accept water in all conditions from all sources. So a tank lorry from the nearest farmer could have brought water and they could have kept going.


What exactly stopped them from taking a pair of starter cables from the next car and use those?
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:56 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
Yes, that surprised me a lot, too.

First of all, I was surprised that the plugs didn't fit in the first place - I mean, how many different kinds of plug would be common for mobile generators?

Was there really no way to connect the two, rather than decide to give up one of the lines of defense?

And how was the plant build to receive this extra power? When I was on the visit to a plant here in Germany we were told that if they should run out of cooling water their system was designed to accept water in all conditions from all sources. So a tank lorry from the nearest farmer could have brought water and they could have kept going.


What exactly stopped them from taking a pair of starter cables from the next car and use those?
I can only assume that there is a bit more too it than simply 'the plugs didn't fit'. I used to work in the genset industry and these things can be a bit more complex than simply plugging them in depending on exactly what they were trying to do.

In the absence of a detailed explanation we're only really speculating on the issues. I'm sure the situation and timescales played a significant part on what they were able to do.
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Old 14th March 2011, 04:58 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The fact is, it is bad, and it looks bad, and it was avoidable. Nuclear power could have emerged from this looking much more solid and safe if the avoidable bit was done right. Now it's been set back ten years or more. The focus on it when it hasn't actually killed anyone yet, but probably tens of thousands are dead due to the quake is absurd, but the public don't seem so interested in that for some reason.
No, it was NOT avoidable.

Nature has an unlimited range of energies it can throw at you.

You cannot engineer absolute perfection that will not be destroyed at some level.

But at those levels, as we have seen, the death toll dwarfs any that you could even possibly have if you obliterated the plant.

Did you know that there are nuclear reactors moldering at the bottom of the ocean in several places on this planet? Crushed with the submarines that were part of. Clearly, we have all died already?

Did you know that there were two reactor calamities in the middle of Ohio at Argonne West? One was a melt-down that was actually planned-for. Another was the explosion of an experimental military reactor that claimed three lives and was a radiological nightmare. Clearly, Idaho is uninhabitable now?
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:09 AM   #216
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Do you, in addition, know how many above-ground nuclear tests there have been? HUNDREDS. Each one spreads radiological material everywhere. And, yeah, there have been 10,000+ excess cancer deaths from the fallout. But how many people have died as a result of mining coal for power?

http://www.msha.gov/mshainfo/factsheets/mshafct2.htm
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:12 AM   #217
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As an aside, I remember that before Chernobyl it was usually claimed that reactors were safe and nothing could realistically happen. Yes, there was a theoretical chance that many, many things could possibly go wrong all at once at the things would blow up, but that just wasn't realistic.

Then, one of the things did blow up.

After that, it was new and shiny, western and modern plants that could not possibly blow up. Chernobyl was different for a vast number of reasons - all of which may well be accurate. But I am truly wondering what kind of accidents and idiot users have not been foreseen in the oh-so-save western nuclear power-plants.

I am certain that after this our plants will still be absolutely safe, because they are so much newer than those in Japan and not sitting in an area prone to earthquakes and what not.

Again, all of that is true enough - but I don't need another round of what is clearly not the truth.

Yes, things can go wrong. Horribly wrong beyond our wildest dreams and way more wrong than we ever anticipated. Then, things would get really bad. But before I start worrying about that I should spend a lot of time planning my finances for the time when I will hit the lottery jackpot 5 times in a row ...
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:16 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
I made a blog post about this whole situation last night, for what it's worth:

Know Nukes: The Japanese Earthquake & Anti-Nuclear Hysteria

Cheers - MM
Can you help answer this?

"That is a sensible balanced kind of view of the situation, but I think the author is not up with the current data.

He says several times that the danger is not extreme because the primary containment has not been breached. This would be comforting if true.

Unfortunately the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency say that they are detecting cesium and iodine isotopes outside the Fukushima reactor. "
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:20 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
After that, it was new and shiny, western and modern plants that could not possibly blow up.
... which they haven't.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:25 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
As an aside, I remember that before Chernobyl it was usually claimed that reactors were safe and nothing could realistically happen. Yes, there was a theoretical chance that many, many things could possibly go wrong all at once at the things would blow up, but that just wasn't realistic.

Then, one of the things did blow up.
The only reason Chernobyl went up is because there was an absolutely obscene lack of adherence to safety protocols, and the only reason the meltdown actually mattered was because the Soviet workers involved didn't do their jobs properly.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:33 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
Can you help answer this?

"That is a sensible balanced kind of view of the situation, but I think the author is not up with the current data.

He says several times that the danger is not extreme because the primary containment has not been breached. This would be comforting if true.

Unfortunately the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency say that they are detecting cesium and iodine isotopes outside the Fukushima reactor. "
It has been explained that these came out when some of the excess pressure inside the vessels was released. The detection doesn't necessarily mean the vessels in the various reactors of the plant have lost their integrity and based on current reports (NHK) they are still functioning as containment for the reactors' fuel elements.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:37 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
The only reason Chernobyl went up is because there was an absolutely obscene lack of adherence to safety protocols,
I know. But that wasn't my point. My point was that this has never been seen as a problem prior to it happening. More modern plants are now build in a way that even the most malicious and/or brainless operator behavior would not result in a catastrophic accident.

Quote:
and the only reason the meltdown actually mattered was because the Soviet workers involved didn't do their jobs properly.
See above.

The plan in Japan survived in that same situation. People did their jobs right, but that didn't work out, so they might as well not have bothered.

That is a good thing! I am glad the modern plants are as safe as they are. I am not against the continued use of nuclear power, either.

But the attitude behind the "it's safe"-mantra worries me. I am still in favor of the plants because of the stuff I get to read here, rather than what is going on in the media and, indeed, from the communications of those running the plants. Because they don't tell me why I should trust their operators to always do the right thing. And I don't trust them. But know I know that the plants don't really care all that much anymore. THAT is what I want to hear them say.

Don't tell me the plant will be fine.
Tell me that if the plant gets hit by a major earthquake and if then the emergency power generators are destroyed by a tsunami and if then the power generator trucks don't fit through the gates of the plant and if then all the operators have to stay home with a flue and if then the core melts down the most likely consequence is that my electricity bill will be marginally higher in the foreseeable future.

(But I guess i am not representative of the general population here ...)
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:37 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The fact is, it is bad, and it looks bad, and it was avoidable. Nuclear power could have emerged from this looking much more solid and safe if the avoidable bit was done right. That the plants survived a shock worse than they were designed for is not much comfort when there are claims that there have already been quakes that have exceeded their rating. If that is the case, then they have been operating outside their limits for years, which is clearly not safe either way.

Now it's been set back ten years or more. The focus on it when it hasn't actually killed anyone yet, but probably tens of thousands are dead due to the quake is absurd, but the public don't seem so interested in that for some reason.
And in the mean time the refinery leaking and the other infrastructure which released dangerous chemical in water are giving a free pass.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:38 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
... which they haven't.
Yes, but until Chernobyl that was also true for all the nuclear power plants, wasn't it? And until last week the Japanese plants were quake safe, too ...
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:48 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
As an aside, I remember that before Chernobyl it was usually claimed that reactors were safe and nothing could realistically happen. Yes, there was a theoretical chance that many, many things could possibly go wrong all at once at the things would blow up, but that just wasn't realistic.

Then, one of the things did blow up.

After that, it was new and shiny, western and modern plants that could not possibly blow up. Chernobyl was different for a vast number of reasons - all of which may well be accurate. But I am truly wondering what kind of accidents and idiot users have not been foreseen in the oh-so-save western nuclear power-plants.
Something can be safe , but not 100% perfect and still have a risk reminder. Eating food in western country is safe. But people still die of food poisoning even in Germany/France, and I would trust hygienic condition much more in German restaurants , than say, Africa or Moscow.

And yes the Russian had an outdated model, *and* intentionally did run into meltdown to simulate an incident.

The problem is that in most people head and in the media, nuclear reactor are all equal. They are not. You can't compare a gen 1 reactor with a gen 2 or even a gen 3. Different method of cool down, moderation, and control aren't comparable. Nuclear reaction and fuel used are not comparable. Etc...

That said, the politic of green to block new nuclear plant is contra productive as it force the older less safe model to be used.
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Old 14th March 2011, 05:50 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
And in the mean time the refinery leaking and the other infrastructure which released dangerous chemical in water are giving a free pass.
Not from where I'm sitting they aren't. The frequent updates on numerous issues related to the earthquakes and tsunami I have been seeing in the 24 hour a day coverage on live Japanese TV included items on pollution and dangers from the burning refinery, broken tankers, wrecked cars etc. Only this afternoon there was an item about the fact that many (petro-chemical) pollutants were washed over crop fields because of the debris carried by the tsunami.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:10 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Bluespaceoddity View Post
Not from where I'm sitting they aren't. The frequent updates on numerous issues related to the earthquakes and tsunami I have been seeing in the 24 hour a day coverage on live Japanese TV included items on pollution and dangers from the burning refinery, broken tankers, wrecked cars etc. Only this afternoon there was an item about the fact that many (petro-chemical) pollutants were washed over crop fields because of the debris carried by the tsunami.
Here around you would be hard pressed to see any article or headline beside the "nukular meltdown world ending" problem.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:17 AM   #228
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Danger of Japanese nuclear reactors

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110314/...us_japan_quake

so, if one or more of the cores does melt down due to lack of cooling..what is the probable result?

are there any dangers to folks in the rest of Asia and the west coast of North & South America?

every morning I wake up, and the news gets worse.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:22 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Something can be safe , but not 100% perfect and still have a risk reminder. Eating food in western country is safe. But people still die of food poisoning even in Germany/France, and I would trust hygienic condition much more in German restaurants , than say, Africa or Moscow.
Yes, yes, yes, I know all that.

But if you were to tell me that all food was absolutely safe I would no longer trust you nor would I trust your food.

Quote:
And yes the Russian had an outdated model, *and* intentionally did run into meltdown to simulate an incident.
Yes, I know that. But before they did that it was generally held to be impossible/unthinkable.

The old saying tells us that if you build something fool proof someone will come along with a better kind of fool. I want the people responsible for powerplants to both understand and admit that!

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The problem is that in most people head and in the media, nuclear reactor are all equal. They are not. You can't compare a gen 1 reactor with a gen 2 or even a gen 3. Different method of cool down, moderation, and control aren't comparable. Nuclear reaction and fuel used are not comparable. Etc...

That said, the politic of green to block new nuclear plant is contra productive as it force the older less safe model to be used.
All of that I agree with.

It might be that it is the better way for dealing with the general public, but I feel like people try to fool me - and they shouldn't feel they have to try and fool me.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:24 AM   #230
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The probable result is a mess inside of the containment that will cost millions to clean up.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:26 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Here around you would be hard pressed to see any article or headline beside the "nukular meltdown world ending" problem.
That is my understanding from reading forum posts and seeing headlines in foreign press reports but what I wrote is based on seeing the opinion makers at work in the country where defining future power supplies for the region will be part of the rebuilding efforts. An admittedly tiny sample but I still thought it might be worth it to insert that perspective.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:27 AM   #232
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It's a Level 4 accident. If you survived Three Mile Island (Level 5), you'll probably live.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:35 AM   #233
Last of the Fraggles
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
Yes, yes, yes, I know all that.

But if you were to tell me that all food was absolutely safe I would no longer trust you nor would I trust your food.



Yes, I know that. But before they did that it was generally held to be impossible/unthinkable.

The old saying tells us that if you build something fool proof someone will come along with a better kind of fool. I want the people responsible for powerplants to both understand and admit that!



All of that I agree with.

It might be that it is the better way for dealing with the general public, but I feel like people try to fool me - and they shouldn't feel they have to try and fool me.
All of which places the experts and politicians in a difficult situation because on one hand there is no way they will be able to explain the true situation to the mass of the general public in a way that they will understand and believe.

There are so many issues here that its hard to pinpoint exactly what they should be doing.

They are using technical terms like 'meltdown' that the public has a very different perception of the meaning than the experts do.

They are having to reassure the public that there is no great danger and at the same time still be seen to be taking it seriously enough

They have to convince the public they are safe when all they know about nuclear accidents and explosions are nuclear bombs and Chernobyl.

Meanwhile the media and hankering for the next big disaster and convincing the public the plant is about to take out half of Asia.

I'm not sure quite how you manage a situation like this when dealing with a population that is largely scientifically illiterate.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:40 AM   #234
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§ The plant is safe now and will stay safe.
§ Japan is looking at an INES Level 4 Accident: Nuclear accident with local consequences. That is bad for the company that owns the plant, but not for anyone else.
§ Some radiation was released when the pressure vessel was vented. All radioactive isotopes from the activated steam have gone (decayed). A very small amount of Cesium was released, as well as Iodine. If you were sitting on top of the plants’ chimney when they were venting, you should probably give up smoking to return to your former life expectancy. The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again.
§ There was some limited damage to the first containment. That means that some amounts of radioactive Cesium and Iodine will also be released into the cooling water, but no Uranium or other nasty stuff (the Uranium oxide does not “dissolve” in the water). There are facilities for treating the cooling water inside the third containment. The radioactive Cesium and Iodine will be removed there and eventually stored as radioactive waste in terminal storage.
§ The seawater used as cooling water will be activated to some degree. Because the control rods are fully inserted, the Uranium chain reaction is not happening. That means the “main” nuclear reaction is not happening, thus not contributing to the activation. The intermediate radioactive materials (Cesium and Iodine) are also almost gone at this stage, because the Uranium decay was stopped a long time ago. This further reduces the activation. The bottom line is that there will be some low level of activation of the seawater, which will also be removed by the treatment facilities.
§ The seawater will then be replaced over time with the “normal” cooling water
§ The reactor core will then be dismantled and transported to a processing facility, just like during a regular fuel change.
§ Fuel rods and the entire plant will be checked for potential damage. This will take about 4-5 years.
§ The safety systems on all Japanese plants will be upgraded to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami (or worse)

See these posts for some detailed pictures and explanations.




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Old 14th March 2011, 06:44 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
Yes, I know that. But before they did that it was generally held to be impossible/unthinkable.
No, it wasn't. It was not only known to be possible and thinkable but it was also regarded as so unsafe that no similar reactors were built in the west.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:45 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Sword_Of_Truth View Post
I hope you bought that used.

Because otherwise, you gave money to histories 2nd bloodiest genocidal regime and the one responsible for the most and the worst nuclear disasters.

Built with nuclear energy and farts gobs of carbon with every mile driven.
That's why I called him a hypocrit.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
So, BD, what's the Earth doing that's so important, that it'd be better off doing it if you weren't around?
That's an excellent question, actually. I'm going to use that in the future, if you don't mind.
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Old 14th March 2011, 06:59 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
Psychologically I'm feeling a lot better about nuclear power today than I was last week.
Same here. I'm looking at all that destruction and thinking "damn, these things are built to withstand anything."
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Old 14th March 2011, 07:01 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
No, it wasn't. It was not only known to be possible and thinkable but it was also regarded as so unsafe that no similar reactors were built in the west.
Fair enough. But, again, this is not what I remember hearing about reactors then.

(I feel safe. Really, I do. This is just a minor complaint about communication and one I have no easy solution for.)
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Old 14th March 2011, 07:03 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Same here. I'm looking at all that destruction and thinking "damn, these things are built to withstand anything."
Yeah. They're pretty much the only thing standing around there. They weathered the 9.0 Richter scale shock just fine; it was the tsunami that was about as high as our apartment building that took out the plant's back-up power source -- a conventional power source, naturally.
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Old 14th March 2011, 07:03 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Sword_Of_Truth View Post
Built with nuclear energy and farts gobs of carbon with every mile driven.
... to a degree where selling it for scraps and getting something more modern and energy efficient might well be the greener option of the two.
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