cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 10:49 am
@firefly,
Which is also true why the Japanese wear those masks.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:09 am
@farmerman,
They've asked for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) specifically the really small ones that could fly through those wrecked towers and check the spent fuel pools. I think they're getting one, not sure when it gets there. That would have to get done before sending in any robots - besides, there's no diesel. Dumping seawater on these pools isn't a long-term solution, salt will eventually cause trouble in the valves - assuming they work. George would know how far is the carrier - it can make hundreds of thousands of gallons of freshwater daily, and they could load it on small tankers to ferry it to Daiichi; haven't heard of any such request either though - you're right, they're making it up as they go along. This is what a spent fuel pool looks like, if anyone hasn't seen one:
http://www.powerreactorrp.com/images/nuke%20fuel%20pool.jpg

This website has real time updates on Daiichi's technical status (to the extent various contradictory statements can be reconciled) and also design specs:
http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/17/fukushima-17-march-summary/#more-4112 (click on chart on link for large version then press <ctrl> and +)
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:10 am
Information is understandably spotty and inconsistent. Apparently the containment structures for all three reactors have held, but the containment for a spend fuel storage area was breeched in an explosion of evolved hydrogen gas. That implies that the cladding encasing the spent fuel might have been breeched by overheating, If so that is the only element of the event that might lead to serious contamination. Most of the dispersed radiation is from gases that have short half lives: once the leaks are contained it will dissipate quickly.

The 9.0 earthquake & subsequent tusnami that caused this event was itself a very rare event. Apparently whole commuter trains were swept away with all aboard still missing. Towns near the shoreline have been completely destroyed. That is not a reason to discontinue the use of railroad trains or to dismantle seaside cities.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:15 am
@High Seas,
Quote:
Dumping seawater on these pools isn't a long-term solution, salt will eventually cause trouble in the valves - assuming they work
Theyve already been dumping seawater in . Theyve announced early in this that the plants were NOT candidates for rehab.
dyslexia
 
  4  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:19 am
@georgeob1,
I suppose it's just interesting to me but I just heard a cable "news head" say "this is the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in recorded history"
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:25 am
@dyslexia,
Are you saying a smart guy like you doesn't know about the prehistoric nuclear facility found in Lascaux? Not far from the famous caves.
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:37 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Apparently the containment structures for all three reactors have held

That doesn't sound right; chart on link (see above for legible version) shows damage suspected in containment structures 2 and 3. Presumably trace elements in plume should prove this either way - the cesium and iodine come from the pools, but 3 is the reactor with the MOX, and that should show.
http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/tepco_status_8.jpg?w=483&h=357
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:42 am
@dyslexia,
This a.m. one of the talking heads wasn't sure if he's supposed to drink the iodine in his medicine cabinet. There's incredible humor in those cable shows Smile
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:42 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

I suppose it's just interesting to me but I just heard a cable "news head" say "this is the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in recorded history"


It is likely worse than Three Mile Island but less serious than Chernobyl. TMI involved a complete core meltdown in an intact reactor containment structure. The public health impact was zero. Chernobyl involved the explosion of a graphite moderated reactor with no containment facility at all. It killed about 60 people and caused a few hundred extra saces of thyroid cancer and lukemia in the ensuing decade or two. It appears we are faced with TMI like events in two or three reactors at Fukushimsa, plus the loss of coolant & breech of the containment structure around a spent fuel storage facility adjacent to or on top of one reactor.

The point here is that, in terms of human mortality, Chernobyl was less serious than several of the train events and destroyed towns associated with this rare tusnami.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:47 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Are you saying a smart guy like you doesn't know about the prehistoric nuclear facility found in Lascaux? Not far from the famous caves.
we have a winner. yes, of course, why does everyone forget our prehistoric Lascaux Nuclear Facility accident?
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:51 am
I m thinking that there is something not right about the pools becoming the main problem...the cooling systems worked fine for some hours after the quake as the batteries kicked in, it was only after the batteries died that there was any problem at all. How come steps were not taken then to deal with the pools? This has all the markings of human error, that those in control of the site did not keep their eyes on the right things or were to slow to act.

Still , I take great interest in the news that the pools were reconfigured in recent years so that they could hold more spent fuel, as Japan had not figured out what to do with it and needed someplace to put in on a "temporary" basis. In other words they stacked them closer together. I would love to know why they did not build more pools, it seems they took risk that they did not need to take to save a few yen...
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:53 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Most of the dispersed radiation is from gases that have short half lives: once the leaks are contained it will dissipate quickly.
Naaah, I dont consider Cesium 137 as a "short lived nuclide". And its volatile besides. Ive seen reports of Cs in the atmosphere and that tells us that at least some of the Zr cladding has been compromised
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 11:55 am
If we're going by the numbers, we shouldn't be talking about this event at all if we compare it to the 2004 Indonesian quake.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 12:02 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
It appears we are faced with TMI like events in two or three reactors at Fukushimsa, plus the loss of coolant & breech of the containment structure around a spent fuel storage facility adjacent to or on top of one reactor.
At TMI we had one reactor that was five years old and one that was brand new, here we have 5 reactors that are as much as 40 years old, with all of the spent fuel still on site. The spent fuel situation is completely different.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 12:16 pm
@Butrflynet,
(I mean no offense here, so please don't take any.)

Why compare at all these two events (quake/tsunami from Indosnesia and this one)? I see no logic or relevance. We all know it's bad and it's dire. if it kills ONLY 20k people vs 220k people, how does this matter or help grasp the enormity?

I can't see the utility of a comparison. Can there be any doubt that this event is dire and unprecedented? My hopes and prayers go out so that someone/some group that is competent and decisive can take a hold of this and keep it from getting worse.

The media is into body counts and comparisons. But must we be?

It's clear that it's bad and still getting worse.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 12:37 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:

(I mean no offense here, so please don't take any.)

Why compare at all these two events (quake/tsunami from Indosnesia and this one)? I see no logic or relevance. We all know it's bad and it's dire. if it kills ONLY 20k people vs 220k people, how does this matter or help grasp the enormity?

I can't see the utility of a comparison. Can there be any doubt that this event is dire and unprecedented? My hopes and prayers go out so that someone/some group that is competent and decisive can take a hold of this and keep it from getting worse.

The media is into body counts and comparisons. But must we be?

It's clear that it's bad and still getting worse.


DING! DING! DING! You got the point! You win!
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 01:05 pm
This is good news...

http://www.iaea.org/press/

Japanese Earthquake Update (17 March 16:55 UTC)

17 March 2011

Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that engineers were able to lay an external grid power line cable to unit 2. The operation was completed at 08:30 UTC.

They plan to reconnect power to unit 2 once the spraying of water on the unit 3 reactor building is completed.

The spraying of water on the unit 3 reactor building was temporarily stopped at 11:09 UTC (20:09 local time) of 17 March.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 01:12 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Here's an English version of the video Cyclo posted.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/18_02.html

And here's the text that goes with it:

Tokyo Electric releases new image of reactors

Tokyo Electric Power released on Thursday an image of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant taken the previous day. It says the image convinced them to prioritize the No.3 reactor.

The utility firm says the aerial image was taken at 4 PM on Wednesday.

The image shows the exposed iron framework of the No. 4 reactor. It also shows part of a light-green crane designed to handle nuclear fuel.

The firm says it believes that the shining white object below the crane is the surface of the spent fuel cooling pool.

They concluded that the No.4 reactor's pool still contains water to cool down the nuclear material.

But the image shows white smoke billowing from the No. 3 reactor, and shows a serious damage to the roof and walls.

They could not confirm whether the No.3 reactor's cooling pool still contains water. This convinced them to make it a priority for water injection.

The outcome of the operations by Self-Defense Forces and the police is not yet clear.

Friday, March 18, 2011 02:56 +0900 (JST)
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 01:20 pm
From NHK:

High radiation level detected 30km from nuke plant

Japan's science ministry says radiation levels of up to 0.17 millisieverts per hour have been detected about 30 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Experts say exposure to those levels for 6 hours would result in absorption of the maximum level considered safe for 1 year.

The government has instructed residents living within a 20 to 30 kilometer radius of the plant to stay indoors.

The ministry gauged radiation from 9:20 AM to 3:00 PM on Thursday at 28 spots, in areas 20 to 60 kilometers from the plant.

The ministry also observed radiation levels of 0.0183 to 0.0011 millisieverts per hour at most of the observation points.

It says these levels are higher than normal but pose no immediate threat to health.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 21:20 +0900 (JST)
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 01:30 pm
Speaking of robots...

NHK:

US drone keeps eye on nuclear plant

The US military says one of its unmanned surveillance aircraft has taken footage and images of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from the air. The collected data has been given to the Japanese government.

The military said the "Global Hawk" drone mission was flown from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to the skies above the troubled power plant, in response to a Japanese government request for assistance.

The US military said the Japanese government wanted to avoid sending manned helicopters due to concerns over the health of the crews.

They said on Thursday the aircraft had flown above the nuclear power plant at least once and took detailed footage and images to help confirm the extent of the damage to buildings housing the reactors.

The US military said the information given to Japan would help the government determine the details of its land and air operations to pour water on the damaged reactor buildings.

"Global Hawk" has been used in military operations in Afghanistan and other places, to send information to US headquarters.

The aircraft had already been in use in Japanese skies after Friday's earthquake.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:38 +0900 (JST)
0 Replies
 
 

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