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Old 03-15-2011, 07:30 PM   #101
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I see, thank youk. So can they or are they sampling the surface ground, parking lots, etc. nearby? The stuff cannot hide, so it seems that all people need to do is take the instruments and start looking around, as if they were looking for lost rings on a beach.

There must be something I do not get about the difficulties involved.

Ha
Yes, I'm certain they are now sampling the areas around the plant and downwind and will continue to do so. But, as far as I can tell, there has not been a substantial release of contamination. We know there has been some, because U.S. helicopters flew through the cloud and were apparently mildly contaminated. (they were subsequently decontaminated)
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:46 PM   #102
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Yes, I'm certain they are now sampling the areas around the plant and downwind and will continue to do so. But, as far as I can tell, there has not been a substantial release of contamination. We know there has been some, because U.S. helicopters flew through the cloud and were apparently mildly contaminated. (they were subsequently decontaminated)
OK, thank you again. So we should be getting some good information before long, from what they say and what they do. I doubt they would try to pull a Russky Chernobyl trick and lie; just wouldn't be prudent.

Ha
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:49 PM   #103
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I see, thank youk. So can they or are they sampling the surface ground, parking lots, etc. nearby? The stuff cannot hide, so it seems that all people need to do is take the instruments and start looking around, as if they were looking for lost rings on a beach.

There must be something I do not get about the difficulties involved.

Ha
Are there reports stating that there are difficulties involved, or that they aren't actively mapping out or concerned about the spread of contamination, or simply don't have the manpower or coordination right now? I haven't read anything about that outside of the news on the reactor sites themselves.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:52 PM   #104
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Are there reports stating that there are difficulties involved, or that they aren't actively mapping out or concerned about the spread of contamination, or simply don't have the manpower or coordination right now? I haven't read anything about that outside of the news on the reactor sites themselves.
No, not that I know of. I was just wondering why more of that information isn't coming out yet.

Ha
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:59 PM   #105
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It is incredibly difficult to figure out what is actually happening at Fukushima by reading news reports. The nuclear industry uses very precise terminology, because it is very important to be precise about what you are describing. Journalists are not so precise. In the first instance, journalists are not trained in this area, don't know basic physics and engineering concepts and can't properly explain them. Accordingly, they conflate concepts and use the wrong terms. Almost as important is the journalists' overwhelming urge to sensationalize.
Gee I thought grenades and atom bombs were the only things that close counted . I image this must be frustrating for trained nuclear engineers to hear journalist prattling on knowing most of them had troubles passing physics for poets.

One of the things I am grateful for is the forums like this are filled with people who actually understand things like this and take the time to explain it. Your 4 paragraphs on radiation explained more than listening to several explanations on TV and then trying to use Wiki to try and sort out REMs and milli-severts.

In the long run, I hope the world of journalism evolves from people who look and sound good on TV, or perhaps write well, to the situation where you have people who are experts in field and are good at explaining things.
I think CNN's Sanja Gupta's is my vision of the ideal journalist of the future.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:08 PM   #106
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No, not that I know of. I was just wondering why more of that information isn't coming out yet.

Ha
The information collected is sort of technical and dry. It doesn't make good headlines. I suspect the radiologic crews are too busy measuring, plotting, and otherwise working the problem to spend much time trying to educate the press.

I'm very sure that there have been folks running around with air samplers and various instruments to keep track of what, if anything is leaking.

The levels of contamination are low. The US Navy helicopter crew picked up detectable levels of contamination, and picked up a radiation dose equivalent to what they'd get from the potassium in 40-45 bananas.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:22 PM   #107
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And already the despicable people are trying to grab attention from this. Way to go there, former Aflac duck.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:33 PM   #108
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Thanks, Gumby, among the Japanese PR lying to the media, the translation errors of technical nuclear vocabulary, and the CNN stupidity filter, it's been a little difficult to figure out the facts.

I've been jonesing for a good schematic with dimensions-- and particularly elevations. Is it possible that these plants were designed with their core primary-coolant inlets or outlets too low? Not enough water covering the core before the decay heat started boiling it away? Do they even know if the control rods (or what's left of them) been fully inserted?

I suppose it would be overly optimistic to hope for an accurate map of the vapor plume escaping released from the containment buildings...

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I'm very sure that there have been folks running around with air samplers and various instruments to keep track of what, if anything is leaking.
The levels of contamination are low. The US Navy helicopter crew picked up detectable levels of contamination, and picked up a radiation dose equivalent to what they'd get from the potassium in 40-45 bananas.
I've been waiting to read about the announcement on the aircraft carrier: "All hands in the engineering department muster topside with radiacs for flight deck survey."

On a more serious note, I'm hoping that some smart PR nuke at Bettis or GE will step up to say "And that, Congressman, is why we need to fund the pebble-bed reactor..."
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #109
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FWIW from BBC:

Key points

  1. A new fire broke out inside reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daaichi nuclear plant, which was damaged in Friday's earthquake and tsunami - TV pictures of rising smoke suggest it may still be alight
  2. Radiation levels remain too high for workers to approach the four reactors

Also:
  1. 0117: Live Japanese television pictures appear to show white smoke still billowing in the area of the building housing the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, despite reports that a new fire there was under control.
Time is GMT
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:50 PM   #110
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Some scientists protested, and ultimately quit, over the design of these reactors back in the day.

Fukushima: Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Design Caused GE Scientist To Quit In Protest - ABC News

Also, Maddow on MSNBC has excellent coverage with explanations of nuclear reactor process and dysfunction
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908...show/#42100123
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #111
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FWIW from BBC:

Key points

  1. A new fire broke out inside reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daaichi nuclear plant, which was damaged in Friday's earthquake and tsunami - TV pictures of rising smoke suggest it may still be alight
  2. Radiation levels remain too high for workers to approach the four reactors

Also:
  1. 0117: Live Japanese television pictures appear to show white smoke still billowing in the area of the building housing the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, despite reports that a new fire there was under control.
Time is GMT
The Guardian UK says the fire was the same place as before. That it was not properly extinguished the first time and that it is now out.

Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami - live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:53 PM   #112
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Gumby...thanks for the understandable explanations. I think the frustrations and speculations have come from ...the lack of good information flowing out of Japan. Not releasing measurable information makes the situation worse. Read something tonight that said on a scale of 1 to 7 for nuclear events, Japan initially rated it a 4. Others are now calling it "at least a 6".
Continuing to bother me are the continued after shocks that are measuring over 6 on the richter scale.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:29 PM   #113
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CNN tweets: "50 workers at damaged nuclear plant have been evacuated, Japan official says"
Twitter / CNN Breaking News: 50 workers at damaged nucl ...

And blogs: [10:47 p.m. ET Tuesday, 11:47 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Wednesday workers at Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant have suspended their operations and been evacuated.
Japan quake live blog: Official death toll rises to 3,676 – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:20 PM   #114
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The CNN nuclear expert seems quite concerned about this.

Can't they perform operations like pumping seawater, closing and open valves, monitoring radiation remotely. Do they need to be on site?
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:43 PM   #115
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The CNN nuclear expert
Now there's an oxymoron!

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Can't they perform operations like pumping seawater, closing and open valves, monitoring radiation remotely. Do they need to be on site?
Perhaps the issue is lack of power and potential damage to the indicators. TMI had the same issue with an overwhelming number of alarms & indicators, only most of which were known to be working correctly. This led to the operators picking & choosing their favorite "believable" indicators, with disastrous results.

So it's conceivable that the operators are resorting to checking their local indications.

I suspect they're also exhausted and not sure what they're willing to believe anymore.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:10 AM   #116
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Back in the late 50s I set my sights on becoming a physicist, until I learned that I needed a PhD in the era the opportunities for women were nurses, teachers and secretaries. I used to play with radioactive stuff.

I was confident that the govt promises of safe storage of nuclear waste would be fulfilled. Well, I will soon be 70 and that hasn't come to pass.

The current problem in Japan is very unfortunate for those of us who want nuclear power to become a practical reality. What is worse is that the real long term problem, storage of spent waste, has yet to be addressed.

This incident will effectively stop nuclear power plant development during my remaining lifetime. Maybe the next generation will solve the problem of spent waste recycling/storage in time for a new generation of facilities.

On that note I will have another glass of wine. Lachaim!
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:18 AM   #117
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The Tokyo stock exchange closed strong, and the Nikkei and other averages are mostly up, as are many assorted issues. TEPCO (owner of Fukushimi Daiichi plant) has resumed trading today. It closed at 921 yen, after trading at just below 2200 yen the day before the earthquake.

But overall the market itself is less worried than before, and these guys are trading maybe 300km southwest of Sendai. So if their appraisal means anything, things are no worse and possibly better than yesterday.

Ha
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:38 AM   #118
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How are you doing Rambler ?
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:50 AM   #119
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The CNN nuclear expert seems quite concerned about this.

Can't they perform operations like pumping seawater, closing and open valves, monitoring radiation remotely. Do they need to be on site?
If I recall correctly (and it has been 22 years), at my plant there was an offsite emergency control center from which you could do certain things remotely. I don't know if they have that at Fukushima. And even if they do, given that things are far from normal, I don't know whether they can do what is needed at the moment.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:23 AM   #120
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BBC: 0702: Japan's NHK TV confirms that the evacuation order for nuclear plant workers has been lifted.

Apparently it was due to a spike in radiation levels, now they're back.
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