2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby ramana » 19 Mar 2011 09:29

And folk think LWRs are still viable? Core meltdown is the worst nightmare and all the engineering is to prevent that. Complex systems will fail leading to the worst nightmare.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Singha » 19 Mar 2011 10:01

people are talking of sand and cement now...same procedure as used to bury chernobyl

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby GuruPrabhu » 19 Mar 2011 10:03

abhishek_sharma wrote:
To state the obvious, the nuclear crisis in Japan is bad and will get worse.


why is it obvious that it will get worse? analysis by diktat.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 19 Mar 2011 11:34

Amber G. wrote:Xpost .
Nuclear power: Why the panic?
Suppose that a giant hydro dam had crumbled under the impact of the biggest earthquake in a century and sent a wave of water racing down some valley in northern Japan. Imagine that whole villages and towns had been swept away, and that ten thousand people were killed — an even worse death toll than that caused by the tsunami that hit the coastal towns.

Would there be a great outcry worldwide, demanding that reservoirs be drained and hydro dams shut down? Of course not. ..
<snip>
Okay, another thought experiment. Suppose that three big nuclear power reactors were damaged in that same monster earthquake, leading to concerns about a meltdown and a massive release of radiation — a new Chernobyl. Everybody within a 20-kilometre radius of the plant was evacuated, but in the end there were only minor leakages of radiation, and nobody was killed....
<snip>


too many ifs and buts.
Damages caused by Nuclear radiation is long term and irreversible. It would not only affect the current generations but might affect future generations as well. In any case the area in the disaster zone becomes uninhabitable. Chernobyl is now a ghost town.

Not so when dams burst or thermal plants catches fire or train accidents take place or even quake or tsunami damages.

So to club two different categories together would be fallacious.
Of course there may not be any radiation leakages, but can any one guarantee at this stage?

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby vina » 19 Mar 2011 14:24

shiv wrote:I'm no fizzicist or injinyaar but ice can never enter the crevices between tubes unless it is powdered and injected as a slurry (use snow?) Once in contact with a hot surface isn't ice per-se a useless conductor of heat. The part in contact with a hot tube will explode into steam and create a layer of superheated steam between zircalloy tube and ice. Same thing with water that is not pumped away quickly I guess.


Shivji. I am sure you are a very good Daaktur indeed and you would have made a very good Yin Jin Ear as well if you had so wished. You have the right instincts and temperament for it.

Yes. Your post is right on the money. If someone wants to have ice instead of water surrounding the tubes in say a heat exchanger or something, you know what is going to happen. Let me illustrate a very simple and easy to relate day to day incident. My now SHQ- then GHQ can't cook to save her life . If she and I are stranded in a deserted island, I will be the one doing both the hunting AND cooking! The first time she offered to make idli, the usual skeptical me was watching out of the corner of my eye .(err, you forgot to add salt, you need to add water to the pressure cooker kind ) and when she was about to put the weight on the pressure cooker for the idli, I gave up and said enough.

She does try her hand in cooking though.The maid left an extra packet of milk in the freezer to preserve it and next morning, SHQ woke up before me and put the frozen lump of milk/ice in the milk cooker (the one which you fill water) and then when I woke up, made some tea for me from that milk in the milk cooker. Now this is a quick quiz . What did that tea taste like ?

Hint : Like it was made out of burnt milk that it actually was. The reason the milk got burnt is exactly what your post is about! Ice is a terrible conductor and the layer of liquid milk in contact with hot surface was simply burnt, because there was too little of it to remove the heat .

So anyone thinking of adding solid ice (a slushy liquid/ice melt should be fine though) to the hot rods in the containment pool will do exactly what SHQ did with the milk. The aim is to prevent the cladding from melting. This will do little to prevent it. The survival technique they always teach you when lost in snowy weather is to build a snow cave kind of thing and crawl in,precisely because of that , you will remain warm, while if you are in exposed weather, you will quickly freeze.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby abhishek_sharma » 19 Mar 2011 15:21

Japan Confirms High Radiation in Spinach and Milk Near Nuclear Plant

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/asia/20japan.html

The government said on Saturday that they had found levels of radioactive materials above safe limits in spinach and milk in Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures, the first confirmation by officials that the nuclear catastrophe unfolding at power plants nearby has affected the nation’s food supply.

Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary, said that the radioactivity contained in the average amount of spinach and milk consumed during an entire year would be equal to the amount received in a single CAT scan. Mr. Edano said that abnormal amounts of radioactivity were found only in these two products, though other foods were tested.

...

The milk that contained higher levels of radioactive material was tested at farms about 19 miles from the hobbled nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture. The spinach was found in Ibaraki Prefecture farther south.

These levels do not pose an immediate threat to your health,” Mr. Edano said, adding that the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry would provide additional details. “Please stay calm.”

...

In a separate news conference, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said that temperatures outside the four hobbled nuclear reactors in Fukushima were lower than expected, but he was unable to confirm how hot it was inside the damaged buildings, leaving open the possibility that nuclear fuel may still be overheating.

Temperatures were below 212 degrees Fahrenheit based on readings taken by firefighters from the Japan Self-Defense Force that drove trucks with water cannons to within about 60 feet of the No. 3 reactor on Friday.

...

Late Friday, Tokyo Electric Power Company finished running a high-power transmission line about a mile meters to buildings that house the damaged reactors. About 500 workers from the company were trying on Saturday to use the power line to restart the systems used to cool the reactors.

The National Police Agency said on Saturday that there were nearly 7,200 confirmed deaths so far, and nearly 11,000 people remained missing. Authorities have said they expect the final death toll to exceed 10,000.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 19 Mar 2011 20:27

abhishek_sharma wrote:Japan Confirms High Radiation in Spinach and Milk Near Nuclear Plant

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/asia/20japan.html

...
The National Police Agency said on Saturday that there were nearly 7,200 confirmed deaths so far, and nearly 11,000 people remained missing. Authorities have said they expect the final death toll to exceed 10,000.


I saw that NYTimes story too.. don't know but I would not blame if some one reading this (where figures are buried right inside radiation dangers without any mention that these deaths are from tsunami/earthquakes) will conclude that 7000 confirmed deaths so far was due to nuclear plant meltdown.... bad this is as it is, death count attributed to radiation etc still remains zero.

Also for perspective, the radiation figures (I gave the link before, NY times , I believe is using the same source) measured for worse measured milk (Iodine) is ) equivalent to 1 glass = 100 bananas equivalent dose.. Spinach is about 1/5 of that. NY times story also says that if the milk is consumed, for the *whole* year is equivalent to 1 CT scan (8 mSV). (Of course, since these are monitored, chances that one would keep consuming that kind of milk for the whole year is pretty small)..
(Ld50 (radiation which will kill 50%, if untreated) dose of that tainted milk is > 1500 TONS)

No, this is not to trivialize radiation danger, just to put the figures in perspective. /smile/

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 19 Mar 2011 20:46

vina wrote:
shiv wrote:I'm no fizzicist or injinyaar but ice can never enter the crevices between tubes unless it is powdered and injected as a slurry (use snow?) Once in contact with a hot surface isn't ice per-se a useless conductor of heat. The part in contact with a hot tube will explode into steam and create a layer of superheated steam between zircalloy tube and ice. Same thing with water that is not pumped away quickly I guess.


Shivji. I am sure you are a very good Daaktur indeed and you would have made a very good Yin Jin Ear as well if you had so wished. You have the right instincts and temperament for it.

Yes. Your post is right on the money. If someone wants to have ice instead of water surrounding the tubes in say a heat exchanger or something, you know what is going to happen. Let me illustrate a very simple and easy to relate day to day incident....
<snip>

Vinaji - you may be right in some respects, but honestly I wished you read ( really read - I did try to write the post pretty carefully) why the ice was being suggested. No one was talking about "pumping" ice or throwing ice to douse a fire. What was being suggested was to drop ice (if available) instead of water in the pond (using Helis).

The situation is like this, (perform the experiment, if you wish): If you have 1Ton of (existing) water at 80C and would like to bring it down to (say) 40 C: -- and all you can do is to "dump" in the pool:

- You would need about 1 ton of ice water (at 0C)
- About 2 tons of water at 20 C.
But only 1/3 ton of ice!

(Use a thermometer, and try putting a ice cube / vs water in a hot cup of chai and then see the effect /smile/)

BTW: As I posted before (confirmed by NY times story) they did use "spray, wait till it becomes steam , spray again" method, (vs douse with water as they normally do to put down a fire) primarily due to lack of water/pumping resources and use latent heat of water/steam phase transition to its advantage..

Also, the emails I sent to some resources in Japan, got a reply ("thanks -- this has been suggested etc" ../smile/
Last edited by Amber G. on 19 Mar 2011 20:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Suppiah » 19 Mar 2011 20:55

Regarding the milk radiation risk, it is just not possible to commit harakiri by drinking that milk for one full year even if one buys it, preserves it and wants to drink it...the radioactive iodine inside, however slight, has only half life of 8 days. I dont think any of these scare-mongering news reports bothered to mention that..

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Jeff Lira » 19 Mar 2011 21:03

SwamyG, I think you are right, evacuation must have been started earlier. Japan may be didn't want to create panic in the world and was trying its best to show the situations are under control, but when situations got really out of control they had to take so many actions together, on of their minister even said, we have no idea how Japan should react in this condition

http://www.theworldreporter.com/2011/03/nuclear-radiation-to-california-west-us.html

the above post says that the nuclear radiation have reached even California and west US coast. we are lucky that the winds were not blowing towards south.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/61-quake-hits-south-of-stricken-Japan-nuclear-plant/articleshow/7743325.cms
The post from times of india says there has been a fresh earthquake of 6.1 magnitude detected recently in Japan just a little south of Fukushima nuclear plant. God save the country, first earthquake, then tsunami and now nuclear radiation :(

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby SureshP » 19 Mar 2011 21:30

TEPCO restarts unit 5 cooling pump
19 March 2011

Work has been proceeding to reconnect the Fukushima Daiichi plant to the grid to restart reactor coolant pumps.
Utility TEPCO has announced it has restored one of three emergency diesel generators at unit 6, and as a result, one of the residual heat removal (RHR) pumps at unit 5 has started up. Two other pumps at unit 5 will be restarted after a pump at unit 6 is restored, work that is underway as of 12:30pm GMT.

The six-unit station is in two blocks; units 1-4 are in one block, and units 5&6 are in another slightly farther up the coast.

TEPCO reports that the auxiliary transformer of unit 2 is receiving electricity from an external transmission line, and it is now installing a power cable from that transformer to a temporary power panel. TEPCO also reports it is working to receive external power to units 3 and 4. It also reports that it has completed repairs to an emergency generator at unit 6, and is working on receiving external power supply to units 5&6. According to the Japanese Atomic Industry Forum, external power supply for units 1&2 is due to be reconnected today, and units 3-6 tomorrow.

Units of the Japanese Self Defence Force, riot police, US Army fire engines and most recently the Tokyo Fire Department's Hyper Rescue have been spraying and dropping water on the spent fuel pool to cool it.

Radiation levels remain relatively high; a rate of 364.5 microSv/h was detected at the west gate today. Yesterday (18 March) the Japanese Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency raised the consequences of part of the Fukushima Daiichi emergency from INES level 4 , 'accident with local consequences' 4 to level 5,'accident with wider consequences'.

Image
Reactor-by-reactor, system-by-system summary from JAIF on 19 March; yellow indicates abnormal/unstable; red means damaged/nonfunctional/unsafe
Nuclear Engineering International
Last edited by SureshP on 19 Mar 2011 21:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby vina » 19 Mar 2011 21:36

Amber G. wrote:The situation is like this, (perform the experiment, if you wish): If you have 1Ton of (existing) water at 80C and would like to bring it down to (say) 40 C: -- and all you can do is to "dump" in the pool:

- You would need about 1 ton of ice water (at 0C)
- About 2 tons of water at 20 C.
But only 1/3 ton of ice!

(Use a thermometer, and try putting a ice cube / vs water in a hot cup of chai and then see the effect /smile/)


AmberG, I don't dispute that part about 1/3 the weight in ice part at all. Surely, any high school kid who wasn't dozing in science class knows about latent heat!

All I am saying is that the problem is NOT something gives out X KiloJoules of heat/hr, how best to absorb it in the least no of helicopter trips!

It is rather how do I absorb the X KJ or heat/hr so that the temp of the metal surface does not exceed some Y deg C. The problem really is how FAST can I cool that cladding that is threatening to melt right now.

So, coming back to the cup of chai experiment that you proposed, let us say that each of us have 300 gm of boiling hot chai at 100 deg C, and you have 100 gm of ice and I have 100gm of water at just above 0 C (ie, water not yet frozen,just about freezing), you dunk the 100gm ice cube into your chai and I dunk 100 gms of ice cold water into my Chai and take temp readings every second. Sure, after sometime, when the ice fully melts, your temperature reading will show quite a bit lower than mine, but on the other hand, the instant after I douse the ice cold water into my chai, the temp will drop far lower initially than your chai at that instant and remain so (yours will gradually continue dropping and go lower than mine)! The experiment of course assumes standard conditions like chai fully thermally isolated and all the usual disclaimers.

So, in the first instance, what you would dump on the red hot fuel rod and/or core is water. Once it cools down because you doused it it with water can dump ice later in the water, rather than keep topping with water. No problem.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby ramana » 19 Mar 2011 21:57

Vina the the frozen milk will burn while frozen water will melt. Any way we should discuss heat transfer etc in the Physics thread.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 19 Mar 2011 22:35

vina wrote:
Amber G. wrote:The situation is like this, (perform the experiment, if you wish): If you have 1Ton of (existing) water at 80C and would like to bring it down to (say) 40 C: -- and all you can do is to "dump" in the pool:

- You would need about 1 ton of ice water (at 0C)
- About 2 tons of water at 20 C.
But only 1/3 ton of ice!

(Use a thermometer, and try putting a ice cube / vs water in a hot cup of chai and then see the effect /smile/)


AmberG, I don't dispute that part about 1/3 the weight in ice part at all. Surely, any high school kid who wasn't dozing in science class knows about latent heat!

All I am saying is that the problem is NOT something gives out X KiloJoules of heat/hr, how best to absorb it in the least no of helicopter trips!

It is rather how do I absorb the X KJ or heat/hr so that the temp of the metal surface does not exceed some Y deg C. The problem really is how FAST can I cool that cladding that is threatening to melt right now.

So, coming back to the cup of chai experiment that you proposed, let us say that each of us have 300 gm of boiling hot chai at 100 deg C, and you have 100 gm of ice and I have 100gm of water at just above 0 C (ie, water not yet frozen,just about freezing), you dunk the 100gm ice cube into your chai and I dunk 100 gms of ice cold water into my Chai and take temp readings every second. Sure, after sometime, when the ice fully melts, your temperature reading will show quite a bit lower than mine, but on the other hand, the instant after I douse the ice cold water into my chai, the temp will drop far lower initially than your chai at that instant and remain so (yours will gradually continue dropping and go lower than mine)! The experiment of course assumes standard conditions like chai fully thermally isolated and all the usual disclaimers.

So, in the first instance, what you would dump on the red hot fuel rod and/or core is water. Once it cools down because you doused it it with water can dump ice later in the water, rather than keep topping with water. No problem.


Okay Vinaji I give up..../sigh/ I think I was pretty clear on what I said.. let me just make two comments though-

In your chai experiment, if you choose to really do it, put some numbers (eg quantify) what is the time scale (for things like 'ice finally melts' etc.. and temp.. 'gradually continue dropping'.. etc ... are you talking about millisecond time frame or time frame of 10-20 minutes..or longer ? ) . In the spent fuel pool (I have specifically mentioned it, so let us not get just confused and leave milliseconds time variations and ice going on 'red hot core' out... - for crying out loud, there was already hundreds of tons of water (at around 80C) already in the pool (which was under discussion.) (that was the best available data - In any case that wast my assumption (which again, I have clearly defined) about the situation....) .) I have EXPLICITLY mentioned that. One should be looking at the time scale of hours/days not a few seconds.

Just can't resist making one more statement ...I wish you were right about those high school students who know all about latent heat...In my many decades of teaching (some of it has been college freshmen), trust me, simple problems have been asked and percentage of students who have given right answers to these kind of exam questions is about 5-10% /smile/ .. (I am not talking hypothetically here,
calorimetric example which I posted here. is fairly similar to some questions which have appeared in JEE (and of course, I would guess, any other similar) exams )

Anyway peace /smile/
Added later: Just noticed, I am just having iced tea.. with actual ice cubes to cool it../smile/

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 19 Mar 2011 23:41

^^^ Anyway (no need for Ice../smile/ ) .. from recent reports:
Fukushima Daiichi units 5 and 6 holes have been drilled (to let steam, hydrogen out)..

Unit 3's fuel pond is "stabilized" (per their claim but Japan's chief cabinet secretary has confirmed it)
Interesting tech details -

(Heli's dumping was not effective at all.. but Hyper Rescue pumped something like 3 tons of water per minute! (In combination of other super pumps) Even riot police's fire hoses were put to good use!
(The situation, according to the Chief Cabinet Secretary is still of concern, but it is being called stable - Perhaps as , mentioned before, leak(s) are there..

Unit 5 & 6 power is restored (Diesel ?) -- temp is said to be around 60 deg..(Did not say if H2 was still being produced -( hot water + Zr gives H2), or of concern..

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 19 Mar 2011 23:51

Meanwhile - UK government's chief independent scientific advisor has told the British Embassy in Tokyo that radiation fears from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant are a "sideshow" compared with the general devastation caused by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck on 11 March. ..
The first thing to say about that is do we have any concerns now in terms of human health? Well the answer is yes we do, but only in the immediate vicinity of the reactors

So the 20 kilometre exclusion zone the Japanese have actually imposed is sensible and proportionate. If they extended out a little bit more to 30 km, that is well within the sort of parameters that we would think are extremely safe."

[ this is a little different stand than US which has asked its citizens to keep away (80Km)]

The person also talks about Chernobyl (thoughts similar to me expressed here)
..The problems with Chernobyl were people were continuing to drink the water, continuing to eat vegetables and so on and that was where the problems came from. That's not going to be the case here,


Link:
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-UK_advisor_reassures_on_contamination_fears-1803114.html

He also talked about the issue, if Japanese are are hiding any data etc..
Beddington noted that there had been concerns both in Japan and internationally about the information from Japanese authorities on radioactive releases from the Fukushima plant following the quake and tsunami. However, he said that releases of radiation cannot be concealed. "It's monitored throughout the world. We know we can actually monitor exactly what the radiation levels are around there externally so [concealment] is just not happening."

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 20 Mar 2011 00:42

Finally some good news, though not yet over the top

BBC reported
Workers are close to restoring power to cooling systems at a quake-hit Japanese nuclear power plant, officials say.

Engineers connected a cable through which they hope to supply electricity to part of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.


And yes all deaths are due to accidents and explosions at the plants (5-12 in numbers as reported from time to time)

Tsunami death toll is more yet it could have been higher but for preparations and training.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Bade » 20 Mar 2011 00:47

^^^ Especially with this being a coastal site and US warships just off shore within range of the 30-80km zone at least in the initial days following the Tsunami. So all measurements were independently confirmed most likely, even if measurements were not released to the public by the US Navy.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby VikramS » 20 Mar 2011 01:02

Cooking rice in a pot during blackouts

The disadvantage of being an advanced nation...

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby SureshP » 20 Mar 2011 02:53

A Day of Progress at Troubled Nuclear Plan

Fire-fighting crews from Tokyo resumed pumping seawater into the No. 3 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima Dai-1 Nuclear Power Station Saturday morning. A new round of pumping was planned for the afternoon. Meanwhile, power company worker have been working around the clock laying cables from the electricity grid to the plant and then to the six reactors. During the day, they reported some success in restoring power, essential for operating the reactors' and spent fuel pools’ cooling systems.


A morning operation conducted by fire fighters sent from Tokyo poured 60 metric tons of water into the No. 3 reactor building, aiming to refill the spent fuel storage pool that lost water after power failed following the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. Without power to drive water circulation the still-radioactive spent fuel will gradually heat up and evaporate the water. NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, reported the water injection operation took 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) crews worked to bring in power from an outside Tohoku Electric Power Co. electricity grid line to a reserve transformer located some distance from the plant. The idea is to use the transformer to provide electricity for the plant. The crews then laid down cable in a circuitous route around debris caused by explosions that have damaged the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors. The cable had to be laid down in two stages of 550 meters and 930 meters before the crews were able to connect it to a temporary transformer installed next to the No. 1 reactor.


An NHK expert following events at the plant said this part of the operation was completed Friday night. He added that TEPCO expected to finish installing a link from the temporary transformer to the transformer for the No. 2 reactor by Saturday morning. But high radiation is hampering the crew and the work was still ongoing Saturday afternoon. The No. 2 reactor is considered to be in a dangerous state after an earlier hydrogen explosion is believed to have damaged the suppression pool, or torus, which is connected to the primary containment vessel where nuclear fission takes place. The torus serves a safety function: If pressure rises too high in the pressure vessel, operators can vent steam into the torus through a series of relief valves. Pressure in the vessel is reported to be down since the explosion.


A Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official said in a press conference Saturday morning that because the No. 2 reactor building “isn’t damaged (by the explosion) it’s difficult to inject water into it from outside. So it is necessary to restore the cooling system by repairing the power station.” He added that about 20 people are working on this reactor. But radiation is hampering progress. Radiation of 10 millisieverts per hour had been measured outside No. 1 reactor and 15 millisieverts per hour outside No. 2 reactor.


One hundred millisieverts had been the maximum amount of radiation a worker should be exposed to during one stint. But Saturday morning a company official said that it had now raised the maximum level to 150 millisieverts because of the emergency.


But not all the news on radiation was bad. Gregory Hartl, an official with the World Health Organization, commented on the endangered plant in Geneva Friday. “Outside the 30 km radius there have been very low levels of radiation measured.” He added that “the evidence so far (with) the radiation levels measured would say there is little public health danger from the radiation there.”


More positive news came during the day when NHK reported that other TEPCO repair groups were using existing cables at the plant to link reactors 3, 4, 5 and 6 to power sources outside the plant. Later that afternoon a Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official announced that Tepco workers had used an emergency diesel generator to restore some power to the No. 5 reactor and No. 6 reactor buildings. It had been reported earlier that the water in the spent fuel storage pools had been heating up there, as well.


The situation brightened further when around 2 p.m. an unmanned Tokyo fire truck with a 22-meter water tower began shooting a stream of seawater—at a rate of 3 tons a minute—into the No. 3 reactor building. The truck was connected by a 300- meter hose to second truck positioned near the ocean that used a high-pressure pump to provide it with water. NHK reported the operation would continue for seven hours. Providing the operation continues without interruption, some 1200 tons of seawater would be jetted into the building. The spent fuel storage pool is rated to hold 1200 tons of water, according to NHK.



Kazuaki Matsu, executive managing director of the Institute of Applied Energy, an independent organization in Tokyo, told Spectrum that even if they were to fill only one third of the pool, it would probably be enough to cover the top of the spent fuel rods. “For purposes of cooling the rods about one-third would be sufficient. But for radiation shielding purpose, 1200 would be perfect.”


Several hours after the operation began, government officials announced the operation was going smoothly. In a press conference held at 3:30 p.m. Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa showed dramatic video of the Self-Defense fire trucks taking part in yesterday’s operation. A video camera was mounted in one of the trucks and showed another truck parked within 20 to 30 meters of the No. 3 reactor pumping water into the building. The video showed shattered walls, mangled broken pipes and mangled steel bars once used to reinforce the concrete walls.


IEEE

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby krisna » 20 Mar 2011 04:12

The Japanese respond to a nuclear disaster with selfless bravery. In Britain, we'd shriek 'health and safety'
A helicopter hovers over the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, dropping gallons of sea water over an exposed reactor – this was the unnerving image that was broadcast to the western world this morning. But how many of us paused to imagine the crew inside? For the good of their country, those military men and scientists were risking exposure to dangerous clouds of radioactive steam.

There is an explanation for this admirable stoicism demonstrated by the Japanese, but it’s pretty un-PC, and it’s bound to elicit a snarky email from some right-on SOAS academic. It’s called Yamato-damashii – or “Japanese spirit”.

Then, while assessing the history of the Samurai, Griffis comments: “History reveals a state of society in which cool determination, desperate courage and fearlessness of death in the face of duty were quite unique, and which must have had their base in some powerful though abnormal code of ethics.”
Is there something in that, even today? The determination and courage of those battling a failing nuclear power plant would suggest so. That SOAS academic might accuse me of subscribing to old-fashioned orientalism, but to me there is something singularly Japanese about how they are responding to these disasters.


Human element to the natural disaster in Japan.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby sanjaykumar » 20 Mar 2011 05:02

I believe Indians would respond in the same way. I also believe working class westerners would act similarly (there are in fact studies that show the working classes to be more willing to self-sacrifice).


I am a little surprised that nations or militarizes of nations do not hold a team of able-bodied men with, for various reasons, have a short life expectancy, for such (and certainly more aggressive) contingencies.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 20 Mar 2011 05:16

Few Random comments:

SP – Thanks for updates. I felt a little satisfied that many of the estimations (wrt to amount of water/ fuel rods etc) I did (and a few posted here in brf) were quite consistent with the actual values. (I have never visited the NP plants and most of the information I got were from a few contacts but mostly open sources)
**
Chaanakya - Just curious, where did you see those 8-12 reported deaths at the plant? ..if you remember the link could you post it?

****

What is very interesting (actually very disturbing) to me are typical headlines one sees in popular media.. For example in Daily Mail,
I see banner headline:

Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people
:eek:

Never mind that the reading at the gate of the plant (360 to 800 Micro Sv/Hr) they measured today, though serious enough, will still need thousands of hours (MORE than 6 months of lingering around at that gate.) to reach Ld50 dose.. (and that is, if higher value of the rate continued for all the time) !!
(Don't take my word for it, for the above statement, it is really high school physics /smile/)
Source (MITNSE.com: )

"Radiation dose at the west gate of the Fukushima Daiichi was 83 millirem per hour on March 18 at 7:10 p.m. EDT and dropped to 36 millirem per hour by 8 p.m. EDT, Edano said. Radiation levels have decreased since March 16. Although they are higher than normal, radiation levels near the reactors are within the range that allows workers to continue on-site recovery measures, the International Atomic Energy Agency said"
(Ld 50 dose is about 300,000 (to 450,000 )_ millirems.)

(Fine point in the story tells that "radiation spewing from the over-heating reactors and fuel rods was enough to kill some" ... never mind, that heat alone from those spewing rods will kill some faster that the radiation if 'some' was close enough to touch it.. :roll: )


Of course the banner head line continue with gems such as "

..crisis causing 'several radiation deaths' by the UN International Atomic Energy.


Never mind, IAEA, if you pay attention to fine points.. tells that "If an accident causes several radiation deaths.." it should be classified as level 5.. not the other way around. :roll:

*****

This is similar to a story which my son was upset about, it had a picture of mushroom cloud with the news.. !!

Or the story I heard .. an expert (CNN (or equally prestigious source - don't remember) talking about radiation reaching West Coast in US in about 11 days... (Basis: it takes about 11 days for 20m/hr to travel that distance -- :roll: Never mind that there NO basis to assume that a) that there was significant radiation, and b) it travels 20 m/hr)

*****
Unfortunately except a few odd editorials, sites like mitnse, or my posts here in Brf,/smile/ virtually all the mainstream media here (in US) is feeding on this panic. CNN has one expert, who has a degree in political science, giving his analysis every day..sometime making very silly statements. I (and a few other colleagues) have written to a few editors (mainly to correct overt factual errors) with some success but mainstream media is still very hyper and some are still making somewhat silly statements.

Meanwhile, some one told me about WP article today, which had very interesting quotes ….. very similar to what has been posted in brf in recent times.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ ... story.html

Few excerpts: (Please read the whole story for the context..I do not want to appear to put any 'spin' .. just cutting/pasting/editing for brevity)

An expert in the United States also said the risk appeared limited and urged calm. … 8)

“The most troubling thing to me is the fear that’s out of proportion to the risk…
8)

The tainted milk was found 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant, a local official said. The spinach was collected from six farms between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the south of the reactors…..

…Iodine levels in the spinach exceeded safety limits by three to seven times, a food safety official said. Tests on the milk done Wednesday detected small amounts of iodine-131 and cesium-137. High levels of iodine are linked to thyroid cancer, one of the least deadly cancers if treated. …. But only iodine was detected Thursday and Friday…..

….., saying the amounts detected were so small that people would have to consume unimaginable amounts to endanger their health. 8)

“Can you imagine eating one kilogram of spinach every day for one year?”... :)

….. Edano said someone drinking the tainted milk for one year would consume as much radiation as in a CT scan; for the spinach, it would be one-fifth of a CT scan {This was also mentioned in NY times story but ..} ...


Added later: Another sample of out of mainstream media op-ed from Telegraph
Could 'Chernobyl’ scaremongers cost our nuclear future?
Last edited by Amber G. on 20 Mar 2011 07:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 20 Mar 2011 05:52

I believe Indians would respond in the same way...


Yes, indeed most people will do it.

A little piece of trivia - Jimmy Carter (US President), when he was in navy actually took part in this kind of cleanup (after partial meltdown) ..Famous, Chalk River's NRX reactor in 1952 (See link given below). In this accident no one was killed but serious cleanup was needed. Jimmy Carter (along with many others of the crew, one by one) ran up.. spent a few minutes ( Radiation levels were high enough that no one was allowed to spend more than a few minutes in the danger zone) to do the work and then ran back. They received their yearly quota of radiation in just a few minutes.

(Jimmy Carter worked as a Nuclear Engineer in the Navy)

Not too many people even know about it.


http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionD.htm#nru1958


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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby abhishek_sharma » 20 Mar 2011 12:02

Pressure Forces New Release of Gas From Japanese Nuclear Plant

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/world/asia/21japan.html

Japan’s efforts to contain the damage at its crippled nuclear plant suffered an unexpected setback on Sunday when pressure began rising again at the most troubled reactor, requiring the release of more radioactive gases into the air.

Nuclear regulators said that Reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, some 170 miles north of Tokyo, had experienced a rise in pressure even though military and civilian firefighters had doused it with 2,400 tons of seawater for nearly 14 hours through early Sunday.

...


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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Suppiah » 20 Mar 2011 12:10

An interesting graphical picture on radiation

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

And yes, eating 1 banana is more radiation than living right next to a normal nuclear power plant..for a whole year!

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby vina » 20 Mar 2011 13:13

Amber G. wrote:In your chai experiment, if you choose to really do it, put some numbers (eg quantify) what is the time scale (for things like 'ice finally melts' etc.. and temp.. 'gradually continue dropping'.. etc ... are you talking about millisecond time frame or time frame of 10-20 minutes..or longer ? ) . In the spent fuel pool (I have specifically mentioned it, so let us not get just confused and leave milliseconds time variations and ice going on 'red hot core' out... - for crying out loud, there was already hundreds of tons of water (at around 80C) already in the pool (which was under discussion.) (that was the best available data - In any case that wast my assumption (which again, I have clearly defined) about the situation....) .) I have EXPLICITLY mentioned that. One should be looking at the time scale of hours/days not a few seconds.


Okay. Okay. I do after all agree with you, that if you are dumping stuff into water (all I ask is to dump water in the first flights and then ice), ice makes the most sense.

The only problem with the Chai experiment with the ice, is since the heat transfer coeff is a surface phenomenon, it will depend wildly on the surface area of the exposed ice. If for eg, it is 100 gm of finely crushed ice vs a long thin spike of ice or a cube of ice vs a thin flat plate of ice etc, that is why I left it as qualitative and didn't put any numbers.

Just can't resist making one more statement ...I wish you were right about those high school students who know all about latent heat...In my many decades of teaching (some of it has been college freshmen), trust me, simple problems have been asked and percentage of students who have given right answers to these kind of exam questions is about 5-10% /smile/ .. (I am not talking hypothetically here,

That is amazing. The calorimetry latent heat kind of problems were what I did in 9th std CBSE back in those days! That is the NCERT text books in CBSE. This kind of water turning to steam and energy needed to remove to freeze kind of thing were discussed with specific examples and problems.

Just noticed, I am just having iced tea.. with actual ice cubes to cool it../smile/

Hmm. Nice problem. But I suspect, you choosing to cool your tea (is it Nestea? I would put my money on that given that you are in US) is probably more to do with the fact that you would be loath to dilute your tea much further than what Messrs Nestle corp already did to your tea and it would taste terrible if you used the larger quantity of water to do cool it than a gms of crushed ice you would need to cool . It fails the taste test far more quickly!

Anyway , OT. Lets get back to the Japanese Tsunami

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby abhishek_sharma » 20 Mar 2011 13:39

Pressure Stabilizes at Japanese Nuclear Reactor, Operator Says

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/world/asia/21japan.html

The operator of a crippled nuclear plant in Japan said on Sunday that it was no longer necessary to relieve pressure inside its most troubled reactor by releasing radioactive gases, saying pressure had stabilized.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby SureshP » 20 Mar 2011 18:51

Stabilisation at Fukushima Daiichi
20 March 2011

Workers on site have succeeded in increasing the stability of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor units. Pressure built up within unit 3 but a more significant venting now seems unnecessary.

External power has now been connected to unit 5 and 6, allowing them to use their residual heat removal systems and transfer heat to the sea. This is being used to cool the fuel ponds and bring the units towards cold shutdown status. Fuel pond temperatures have reduced from 68ºC to 43ºC at unit 5 and from 57ºC to 52ºC at unit 6, compared to normal operating temperatures of about 25ºC.

An extended operation to refill the fuel pond took place at unit 3, with the Hyper Rescue crew spraying for over 13 hours. Radiation levels 500 metres north of the reactor showed a decrease from 3.44 millisieverts per hour to 2.75 millisieverts per hour, indicating a measure of success in refilling the pond. A similar operation is planned for later today at unit 4 and the surface temperatures of the buildings appear to be below 100ºC.

At units 1 and 2, external power has been restored. Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said it would restore functions in the central control room shared by the units so that accurate readings could again be taken from the reactor system. Next, workers will check the condition of the water supply systems to the reactor and the used fuel pond. With luck these will be able to go back into operation as they had been immediately after the earthquake on 11 March.

External power for units 3 and 4 should be in place 'in a few days time', said Tepco.

During the day, the company had noted a pressure increase within unit 3, warning that venting may be required. Preparations were underway to open the relief vale on the torus suppression chamber, or if that had proven full of water, another valve on the reactor containment. These operations had been expected to release a more significant amount of radioactivity than earlier venting, but Tepco has since said the higher pressure is stable and it does not need to vent.

Radiation monitors in the area near the plant have shown gradually decreasing readings since spikes on 15 March following the loud noises and apparent rupture of the torus of unit 2. While levels were above natural background radiation they have not posed a threat to public health. Most people within 20 kilometres were evacuated before that time and people in a further ten-kilometre radius has been warned to stay indoors. Evacuation centres have been supplied with potassium iodide tablets that would protect people's thyroid glands in the case of a serious release of radionuclides from the reactor cores.

Despite contradictory comments by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to US politicians and media, most observers in nuclear industry and regulation consider the measures taken by Japanese authorities to be prudent.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News


World Nuclear News

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 20 Mar 2011 21:05

Amber

Sorry I didn't see the embedded remark. The toll mentioned was from TV report on the day of first explosion, I believe.

It seems that No one is allowed near the plant so reports would come out after some time only. They fear panic could cause disruption in rescue efforts in the area which are worst affected by quake, tsunami .

There is one daily mail report which indicated five believed to be dead in explosion.Don't know how reliable, but given response from METI officials, seems ok.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... roics.html
They are an anonymous band of lower and mid-level managers who are risking their lives at the very heart of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

But as the stricken reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant appears to stabilise, plant owners are still remaining tight-lipped about the so-called 'Fukushima Fifty' - the heroes fighting to save Japan from nuclear catastrophe.

Fifty essential workers stayed behind to stop a catastrophic meltdown at the plant, as 750 of their colleagues were evacuated earlier this week when the over-heating seemed to be getting out of control.

Five are now believed to have died, 15 are injured and others have said they know the radiation will kill them as they battle to cool overheating reactors and spent fuel rods.


This is another report which indicates 11 were injured.

The blast earlier in the day injured 11 people but the reactor’s containment vessel was not damaged, with the government dismissing the possibility of a large amount of radioactive material being dispersed, as radiation levels did not jump after the explosion.

TEPCO said seven workers at the site and four members of the Self-Defense Forces were injured. Of the 11, two were found to have been exposed to radiation and are receiving treatment.




Additionally

The 16th anniversary of the Aum Shinrikyo cult’s deadly 1995 sarin nerve gas attacks was commemorated Sunday at the Tokyo subway’s Kasumigaseki Station.

A moment of silence was observed by 21 Tokyo Metro Co employees at 8 a.m., around the same time that the attacks occurred. Employees and families of victims offered flowers at a stand specially set up for the commemoration.


Ramana garu, I wasn't looking for pulitzer from lalmohan, but would have been a pleasant surprise.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 20 Mar 2011 21:19

Vinaji - /SIGH/!

(Yes I live in US, Iced tea, I think was from Lipton tea bags, yes your are right about the that kind of problems being done in 9th std CBSE , I did go to IIT and did take JEE (it wasn't called JEE then, but some sort of entrance exam) and the problems there were not, IMO any harder (in fact, there is a web forum, where I occasionally take part which is mainly devoted to math Olympiads but it has a sub-forum devoted to JEE and I have seen a problem (in past JEE) eerily similar to the example I gave/smile/ ).. it is just that not everyone gets the answers correctly... Anyway as you say, OT for this thread..and as Ramana said there is a phyzzzix thread /smile/ )

Chaanakya (and others) - you talked about "Damages caused by Nuclear radiation is long term and irreversible- (Chernobyl being ghost town etc).. I do wish you (and others) do look up facts .. not to score debating points but really get educated to provide good leadership. (even if one is just voting for leadership). Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl has been very well studied and I suggest that one should look up (any good source will do). TMI for example, and decades worth of serious studies have gone here, essentially shows no deaths or any measurable effect due to cancer . (Statistically speaking, no more increased cancer cases) (Please don't take my word for it, look it up and then make up your mind)

Chernobyl, for example, has been called a ghost town but you may be surprised to read up on all the studies which have taken place.. (UNSCEAR study for people, just outside the 20Km radius, for example concludes "....,
there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident. There is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality rates or in rates of non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure..."

Link: http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html#Health
(Again, I am not trying to score debating points, please read this , or any other good source, and make up your own mind)

In Chernobyl, mind you, there was no evacuation (for a few days), people continued to drink local milk and animals grazed on grass,..tons of radioactive core was actually spread. Even the the ghost town (the accident site and immediate area) bad it is as is, after 20 years, is 'thriving' on wild life (see the story from BBC:
Wildlife defies Chernobyl radiation

My point here is NOT to score debating point .. just to challenge people to look up all the data.

Hope this helps.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 20 Mar 2011 21:27

First indication that fukushima plant (daiichi ) is as good as gone

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/201 ... 3000c.html
ISHINOMAKI (Kyodo) -- The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is in no condition to restart and is most likely to be decommissioned as it has caused many critical problems since a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, the top government spokesman suggested Sunday.

"Looking at the situation objectively, (the answer to the question of) whether it can be operated again is clear," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a news conference, when asked whether the government plans to close the plant once its overheating reactors are brought under control.

It is the first time that a senior government official has mentioned about the likelihood of it being decommissioned.

Edano's remarks came at a time when Japan is in a flurry to grapple with the threat of a nuclear meltdown. He said what is now most important is containing the emergency situation at the plant.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 20 Mar 2011 21:46

Amber , there is no debating points here. Its a tragic moment for Japan and sure they would come out of it. The incident has rekindled the nuclear debate. Ordinary people like us do have fears of radiation damages and you would perhaps do well to highlight the facts to remove misconceptions.

I quoted one report from MIT in earlier post which talked about perceptions
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5855&start=240
ut the prospects for nuclear energy as an option are limited, the report finds, by four unresolved problems: high relative costs; perceived adverse safety, environmental, and health effects; potential security risks stemming from proliferation; and unresolved challenges in long-term management of nuclear wastes.


BTW same report also points out that

In the U.S., only one shutdown reactor has been refurbished and
restarted and one previously ordered, but never completed reactor, is now being
completed. No new nuclear units have started construction.

TML, chernobyl and other fuel storage related accidents effectively blocked Nuk plants in USA for a very long time
It is for the experts to give information in an understandable form. I have only my fears. No debating points. But in democracy these fears would get compounded and make the policy choices difficult to that extent. Witness Jaitapur. How one would explain that they are not in danger. Communicate , that is the key.

I am no expert in this area so tell me how do I manage my fears when safer alternatives might be available.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby ramana » 20 Mar 2011 21:52

AmberG, And also at Hirohisma and Nagasaki life does go on.

Unit one was 1971 vintage and ready fro decommissioning. The others of 70s vintage same situation. The Tsunami advanced the dates. The others need more defence in depth to prevent meltdown.

Chaankya, Sorry.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 20 Mar 2011 22:02

Some information may be of interest here

one bit
Though Kan only inherited the nuclear mess created from the Liberal Democratic Party, which blessed the plant's construction 40 years ago and overturned court rulings attempting to ban nuclear plants in earthquake zones, history will likely associate him with the crisis, which hit on a day when he was being pressured to resign over a donation scandal.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/MC19Dh01.html

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Lalmohan » 20 Mar 2011 22:42

the facts of the case were available from the IAEA and NISA websites all through the past week. pressure and radiation readings. All that journalists have done is to take the worst case assumptions and extrapolate outwards and create panic. what was needed was cool, calm crisis management to head off a potentially highly serious situation. i wish the debate on this thread could also have been rational.

ice would have been great, if only we had a large containment vessel around the whole reactor site, and that we could bring in tons of crushed ice or ice cubes to drop into it... someone said it was a 1000 tonnes... maybe, but i didn't see a time dimension... was that per week/day/hour/or what?

the japanese authorities have done the only practical thing possible and douse it in cold sea water - all this talk of shipping ice in is entirely theoretical!!

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby Amber G. » 20 Mar 2011 23:17

On the lighter side .. :D
UFO Prophet Warned: Dismantle All Nuclear Plants
The increased danger now posed by radiation from earthquake damaged Japanese atomic power plants was specifically warned about by Swiss UFO contactee Billy Meier’s, as early as 1958.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby disha » 20 Mar 2011 23:36

chaanakya wrote:I am no expert in this area so tell me how do I manage my fears when safer alternatives might be available.


There is no anti-dote for irrational fear. Also you do not need to be a subject matter expert to understand safety issues. All you need is an objective outlook, but if irrational fear is driving you., then nobody can help you.

Read up on Amber G's links., particularly the one where wildlife has returned after the chernobyl. Also check up on what happened after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is pathetic when CNN experts call it the "worst" nuclear nightmare facing Japan. Give us a break, nothing can get worst than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Re: 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami - News and Analysis

Postby chaanakya » 21 Mar 2011 00:32

disha , I do believe that nuk power is safe to a considerable extent. But you would also ack that there are legit concerns.

As long as better and cost effective alternatives are available, Nuclear power would not gain much public acceptance, unless issues are addressed in an open and transparent manner to a large audience. My reading report would perhaps help me Call it irrational or self preservation or selfish approach.

There has to be an argument in favor of Nuclear plant as opposed to other alternatives. What are the advantages that nuk choice only has to be adopted and no other choice is viable.
Links in earlier post.

The study suggests policy scenario for US Govt and why nuk option should be retained. However some of the quotes I find go against the conclusion if basic assumptions are removed.

Four points are cost, safety proliferation and waste disposal. It is being juxtaposed as cleaner alternative if carbon emission is a big factor (i.e. global warming).

Today, nuclear power is not an economically competitive choice. Moreover,
unlike other energy technologies, nuclear power requires significant govern-
ment involvement because of safety, proliferation, and waste concerns.


Expanded deployment of nuclear power requires public acceptance of this
energy source. Our review of survey results shows that a majority of
Americans and Europeans oppose building new nuclear power plants to meet
future energy needs. To understand why, we surveyed 1350 adults in the US
about their attitudes toward energy in general and nuclear power in particu-
lar. Three important and unexpected results emerged from that survey:
‡The U.S. public’s attitudes are informed almost entirely by their perceptions
of the technology, rather than by politics or by demographics such as
income, education, and gender.
‡The U.S. public’s views on nuclear waste, safety, and costs are critical to their
judgments about the future deployment of this technology. Technological
improvements that lower costs and improve safety and waste problems can
increase public support substantially.
‡In the United States, people do not connect concern about global warming
with carbon-free nuclear power. There is no difference in support for build-
ing more nuclear power plants between those who are very concerned about
global warming and those who are not. Public education may help improve
understanding about the link between global warming, fossil fuel usage, and
the need for low-carbon energy sources.
There are two implications of these findings for our study: first, the U.S. pub-
lic is unlikely to support nuclear power expansion without substantial
improvements in costs and technology. Second, the carbon-free character of
nuclear power, the major motivation for our study, does not appear to moti-
vate the U.S. general public to prefer expansion of the nuclear option.



Nuclear power will succeed in the long run only if it has a lower cost than
competing technologies.


Because of the accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986,
a great deal of attention has focused on reactor safety. However, the safety
record of reprocessing plants is not good, and there has been little safety
analysis of fuel cycle facilities using, for example, the probabilistic risk assess-
ment method.

The management and disposal of high-level radioactive spent fuel from the
nuclear fuel cycle is one of the most intractable problems facing the nuclear
power industry throughout the world. No country has yet successfully imple-
mented a system for disposing of this waste.


our study postulates a global growth scenario that by
mid-century would see 1000 to 1500 reactors of 1000 megawatt-electric
(MWe) capacity each deployed worldwide, compared to a capacity equivalent
to 366 such reactors now in service. Nuclear power expansion on this scale
requires U.S. leadership, continued commitment by Japan,
Korea, and Taiwan, a renewal of European activity, and
wider deployment of nuclear power around the world.


At least for the next few decades, there are only a few realistic options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation:
‡increase efficiency in electricity generation and use;
‡expand use of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal;
‡capture carbon dioxide emissions at fossil-fueled (especially coal) electric generating plants and permanently sequester the carbon; and
‡increase use of nuclear power.


Unfortunately Fukushima has prised open the debate and tilted it in favour of Anti nuk group. Where as one can argue equally plausibly that fukushima demonstrated highest safety standard and skilfull management of disaster due to tsunami and quake. But for that plant would have functioned normally. Unit one was supposed to be de commissioned soon.

Perhaps It is time for India to review its nuclear policy ( I know I am opening pandora's box) and look for indigenously developed nuk cycle which uses natural uranium +FBR + BR +thorium in three stage - closed cycle mode rather than open cycle as recommended in above report.

Gurus can only debate these points.

For Guruprabhu.
added bold part later to make it clear, I hope. "Whereas" is not needed .
Last edited by chaanakya on 21 Mar 2011 10:59, edited 1 time in total.


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