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Old 03-28-2011, 06:00 AM   #201
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So we are in week number three of this crisis which is not resolved. If you are reading the news accounts there are ongoing radiation problems. What will be the resolution?
Most people seem to be in denial about the risks (reminds me of the tech bubble, the housing bubble, the financial crisis, etc.), seem convinced that worst cases never happen, and point to the tsunami of which the casualties are visible right now.
Don't worry folks, the government says everything's going to be fine.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:35 AM   #202
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Don't worry folks, the government says everything's going to be fine.
Actually, the Japanese government seems to be saying anything but that. They are still being very cautious, as seems to be the national style.

Meanwhile, the media speculation continues. I swear, those guys will punch the air and shout "yesss!" if and when the first death from radiation occurs.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:01 AM   #203
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This has been a horrible, horrible nightmare. I found out this morning that the last few of our contractors who were unaccounted for did not survive. These were our only casualties, but it is heartbreaking. The damage to our employees homes is still being tallied. We have several whose homes were either partially or entirely destroyed by the tsunami or earthquake. Heartbreaking. That's all I can say.

R
I am so very sorry. Sending you and everyone in Japan prayers. This is one of those disasters...where "I'm sorry" sounds trite...as it is such a massive disaster. But it is all some of us have to give. That and donations. Stay safe and vigilant...
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #204
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Actually, the Japanese government seems to be saying anything but that. They are still being very cautious, as seems to be the national style.

Meanwhile, the media speculation continues. I swear, those guys will punch the air and shout "yesss!" if and when the first death from radiation occurs.
I agree but ...don't know that the media has over speculated. They may have "beat it to death" so to speak on some days......but...that's to be expected considering what happened. For the most part I think they have reported the facts as they happened. It was and remains a fluid situation...changing all the time.

For those that have worked in the nuclear field...I'd be interested to know...what they think the news this morning means.
THe news was(is) radioactivity officials warned Monday that radiation seeping from the complex was spreading to seawater and soil".

Any concern...that...if things get to the point where they "cement" the reactors.....is there a possibility that it won't help...considering the reactors proximity to the ocean? In other words, they can cement it from above...but what do they do or can they do ...about it from "below" when leaching means going into the ocean? I don't think you can evacuate the ocean nor can one control it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:12 PM   #205
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Frankly I think the sea will deal with this very nicely. Assuming all that goes into the sea is water or airborne particulates I wouldn't want to eat crabs, shellfish or sea cucumbers for about 10 miles in any direction for a couple years as a matter of caution.

I am a repressed weird scientist. I wonder what would happen if they dropped a couple spent rods off the sea shelf, good and deep. They could even encapsulate them in something they think would last a while (not metal, maybe glass).
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #206
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........ I wonder what would happen if they dropped a couple spent rods off the sea shelf, good and deep. They could even encapsulate them in something they think would last a while (not metal, maybe glass).
Didn't the Soviets run this experiment?
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #207
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As I recall, not on purpose.

Has any study been done on the environmental impact?
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:42 PM   #208
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As I recall, not on purpose.

Has any study been done on the environmental impact?
Dunno. Found this:

Arctic Sea Dumping
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:48 PM   #209
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Dam*, Ruuusskies should know better. The place to dump the stuff is at the Tectonic plate boundary, the subduction zone. By the time the stuff comes up in the fumaroles of volcanoes, several half lives of nasty stuff will have passed.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #210
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Interesting...

If deep sea disposal is not an option and no provision has been made for long term storage of spent fuel rods then we shouldn't be creating more of them. End of story.

Actually Is99 and I agree, that is the only place left.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #211
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If deep sea disposal is not an option and no provision has been made for long term storage of spent fuel rods then we shouldn't be creating more of them. End of story.
Maybe not so fast. We could be creating a lot less waste if we reprocessed the "used" fuel into new fuel using breeder reactors. These are not without risk, but every type of electrical generation has risks. To permanently dispose of the "spent" fuel in a way that we can't later access and use it is to close the door on the ability to produce many decades worth of electricity without any more mining, without any greenhouse gasses, without using up our increasingly scarce oil, etc. It would be foolish and arrogant to assume we know exactly what the future will bring, and how we'll need/want to produce electricity.

We don't have a "solution" to the long term storage of the waste from coal-fired power plants, do we? Nor from the natural gas fired plants. We just spew the waste into the sky and it gets spread around. Nuclear power generation has the advantage of keeping all the waste in one place, not spewed into the atmosphere. And it makes very little waste.

There's nothing technically challenging about entombing the waste into casks (glass/cement) and storing it that way. Yes, we could bury it, but why? Why not move it to the Nevada Test Site and store it above ground. No tsunamis. Maybe some wind--not a factor. Then we just keep watching it, just as we watch and maintain every other aspect of our infrastructure (dams, powerplants, etc). The whole idea that we must find some spot that will remain unperturbed for millions of years is a strawman argument.
The problem of nuclear waste storage isn't a technical one, it is a political one.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #212
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Back to the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi plants, Japanese governemnt expressing concern at the discovery of plutonium around the plants
Japan finds plutonium at stricken nuclear plant | Reuters.

Also, the Japanese government is considering "tempory" nationalization of Tokyo Electric, the plant's owner. Bids way down on Tokyo Exchange, and trading halted.

As this thing continued it did seem to me that TEPCO could not emerge from this tragedy in its current form.

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Old 03-28-2011, 09:03 PM   #213
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Back to the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi plants, Japanese governemnt expressing concern at the discovery of plutonium around the plants
Japan finds plutonium at stricken nuclear plant | Reuters.

Also, the Japanese government is considering "tempory" nationalization of Tokyo Electric, the plant's owner. Bids way down on Tokyo Exchange, and trading halted.

As this thing continued it did seem to me that TEPCO could not emerge from this tragedy in its current form.

Ha
TEPCO has handled things poorly for a long time, so I'm not surprised to see some whackage happening.

On the plutonium, the plutonium detected is in trace quantities. Two samples look like plutonium from the plant, based on isotope ratios, which confirms that there have been fuel element failures, and so fuel contamination probably through the water used to cool the reactors.
Three of the five samples showed the element at the pervasive levels found across Japan as a result of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. This level poses "no major impact on human health", said Tepco. However, slightly higher detections from two samples "may be attributed to the accident, considering the plutonium isotope ratios." Tepco did not speculate on a possible route for the plutonium to have been deposited on the soil. Three more analyses from different spots are underway.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:42 PM   #214
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Frankly I think the sea will deal with this very nicely. Assuming all that goes into the sea is water or airborne particulates I wouldn't want to eat crabs, shellfish or sea cucumbers for about 10 miles in any direction for a couple years as a matter of caution.
I am a repressed weird scientist. I wonder what would happen if they dropped a couple spent rods off the sea shelf, good and deep. They could even encapsulate them in something they think would last a while (not metal, maybe glass).
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Interesting...
If deep sea disposal is not an option and no provision has been made for long term storage of spent fuel rods then we shouldn't be creating more of them. End of story.
Actually Is99 and I agree, that is the only place left.
Sadly the U.S. Navy has been running a test program on this for some time. They're known as the USS THRESHER and the USS SCORPION, and there has been no detectable radiation or radionuclide leakage since the 1960s.

By the way, every Navy diver I've ever worked with will not eat crab, or at least not after their first dive on a crash site. Not even the SEALs, and they'll pretty much eat anything/everything else.
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Tepco employs "jumpers" at high pay rates to jump into areas of high radiation
Old 04-01-2011, 11:07 AM   #215
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Tepco employs "jumpers" at high pay rates to jump into areas of high radiation

Jumpers offered big money to brave Japan's nuclear plant | Reuters

I know we are not supposed to post naked links, but I really don't know what to say about this.

Ha
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:46 AM   #216
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When San Onofre was leaking inside the containment dome, the folks hired were called "sponges". Have an old high school friend who did it. Haven't seen him in a long, long time. Doubt it is related. Anyway, he said some old bums would go back for multiple rounds of doses under different identities because the pay was good.

Now they are finding iodine isotopes in our milk here in CA, but not to worry, levels aren't dangerous.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:44 PM   #217
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Jumpers offered big money to brave Japan's nuclear plant | Reuters

I know we are not supposed to post naked links, but I really don't know what to say about this.

Ha
The Russkies did that with Chernobyl. I did not keep track of their life quality or their longevity. Many did it for the family fortune.

Can't beat the hourly rate.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:12 PM   #218
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PBS aired a NOVA program about the quake and tsunami a few days ago that they have made available online: NOVA | Japan's Killer Quake

(apologies if this link has been posted previously, I could not find it)
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:08 PM   #219
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PBS aired a NOVA program about the quake and tsunami a few days ago that they have made available online: NOVA | Japan's Killer Quake
One thing they said in that documentary that seemed wrong to me (at 22:00): "The reason the 30 ft tsunami topped the 30 ft tsunami barrier was that the earthquake had caused the shoreline to subside by several feet. But if the land subsided, the sea bed near it subsided as well, so that doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:15 PM   #220
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Thinking of Rambler and others after today's estimated 7.1 earthquake in Japan. Hard to call something that intense an aftershock. Tragedy upon tragedy - - my heart goes out to the Japanese.
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