Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:19 am

U.S. delivers coolant to Japan nuclear plant: Clinton
11:05am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has transported coolant to a Japanese nuclear plant affected by a massive earthquake and will continue to assist Japan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday.

"We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants," Clinton said at a meeting of the President's Export Council.

"You know Japan is very reliant on nuclear power and they have very high engineering standards but one of their plants came under a lot of stress with the earthquake and didn't have enough coolant," Clinton said.
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Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:23 am
Info for people in limbo either traveling to Japan or in Japan and needing to get out:


American Airlines, Delta and United have issued travel waivers for passengers flying to, from or through Japan in the next several days. The waivers will allow travelers to change their plans without a fee.

Meanwhile, Japan's Al Nippon Airways says its flights to and from Tokyo's Narita International Airport may be delayed, canceled or diverted. The carrier is asking passengers to check the status of their flight online.

Cathay Pacific reports that it is likely its flights to Japan will be affected for days.

For updated information on travel and security in Japan, you can call the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747. The number is toll-free in the United States and Canada.
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Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:35 am
Pressure at Damaged Japanese Nuclear Reactor Rising with Fears
Coastal U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Brace for Tsunami After Japanese Quake

March 11, 2011

Earthquake damage at a Japanese nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo has stoked fears of radioactive fallout unless the reactor's core can be cooled, and renewed concerns about the security of other nuclear facilities in the tsunami's path.

A state of emergency was declared Friday at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant when its cooling system failed to function properly after the nuclear reactor lost power and automatically shut down.

"You have to continue to supply water. If you don't the fuel will start to overheat and could melt," said Edwin Lyman, a senior staff scientist in the Global Security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington.

A meltdown could lead to a breach of the reactor's steel containment vessel and allow radiation to escape into an outer, concrete containment building, if not the environment.

"Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium- 137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances," said Kevin Kamps a nuclear waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear. "Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor
catastrophe of 25 years ago."

"We have to take this very seriously. Every nuclear power plant has two layers of defense, first the brakes; second, you dump cold water on it. And that apparently has malfunctioned. That's what causing concern," said physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.

"It does not mean we have a runaway accident, but it is cause for concern because this is not supposed to happen," he said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. military transported coolant to the Fukushima nuclear plant and will continue to assist as needed. "You know Japan is very reliant on nuclear power and they have very high engineering standards but one of their plants came under a lot of stress with the earthquake and didn't have enough coolant," Clinton said.

Nearby, the turbine building at the Onagawa nuclear power plant burst into flames shortly after the earthquake and has since been extinguished. Another plant at the facility was also reported to be experiencing a water leak, according to Japanese officials.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was closely monitoring the situation at the four Japanese nuclear power sites impacted by the earthquake and confirmed that all had been successfully shutdown.

"It's a positive sign," Mitch Singer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, a U.S. industry trade group, said of initial reports of the power plants' performance and durability following the massive quake. "This industry more than all others depents on the safe operation of the plant, and it appears these robust facilities have operated as they were designed to do."

Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are "closely monitoring" operations at two California nuclear power plants situated directly on the coast and at risk of impact from the approaching tsunami triggered by the quake off of
Japan's coast.

Both the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County and the San Onofre Power Plant in San Diego County are still operating normally but taking preparatory action, an NRC official told ABC News.

A tsunami has potential to disrupt operations and power output at the facilities, which rely on steady sea water flow for energy.

But officials said a giant wave would not likely damage the reactor or create a safety risk to the public. Experts say the sealed containment structure around the reactor would protect it from the water, though other parts of the plant facility could be damaged.

The December 2004 tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of India led to the automatic shut down of the Kalpakkam nuclear power plant near Chennai after water levels fluctuated.

U.S. nuclear experts say modern power plants are designed to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis and have several security layers in place in the event of lost power, including diesel fuel generators and battery systems.

"There are mutliple redundancies to continue to feed water to the core to take the heat away at most facilities," said an official with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who asked not to be named since he is not familiar with details of the Fukushima plant.

But those back-up power sources may not have worked in this case, a development many international experts called troublesome.

"The Japanese are considered the best in the world," said Mycle Schneider, a nuclear consultant in Paris who is familiar with the facilities in Japan. "They had several generators in place in case one of them doesn't work. This is the first time I've heard of where none of them worked. To me, that is a very deep concern."

Japanese officials said radiation has not leaked from the plant, but ordered 2,800 people living around the facility to evacuate their homes as a precaution.

in the cooling water intake. It resumed operations just six days later.

According to the World Nuclear Association, Japanese nuclear power plants have been tested repeatedly by earthquakes in recent years and operated effectively.

Worldwide 20 percent of nuclear powerplants operate in areas of "significant seismic activity," according to WNA.

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Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:44 am
Butrflynet wrote:

Moving the quake map here to the next page so we can see the aftershocks as they occur.

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Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:56 am

Tech industry will be affected by mega Japanese earthquake
Updated Power plants on fire, fabs shut down and roads broken


The earthquake in Japan has had a domino effect on technology as fabs and factories are damaged or forced to close following the aftermath.


Parts of the country are also without power and landslides have hit, while roads have been damaged, meaning that it will be hard to get materials in and out in the near future.

It is more than likely that the tech industry will be affected with semiconductor factories based in North Japan while the tsunami is headed towards Australia too, scientists say.

There are also major manufacturing industrial zones and electronics plants in the Miyagi prefecture and surrounding areas.

*Update News is pouring in about more technology plant closures. Sony has reportedly stopped output at plants and evacuated six factories in the Northeastern part of Japan. Yasuhiro Okada, a spokesman for the company, told Business Week that Sony is now looking at the affects of the power outages and damage to its facilities.

It's likely that Blu-ray discs, magnetic heads and batteries will be affected as these were the main line of production at the factories. Canon however has reported that it's had a lucky escape. It hasn't suffered damage to plants, and it says production will not be stopped.
*Undersea power cables have also been damaged, which could take hold on the connectivity of calls made between China and Japan.

That's according to a spokesman for the parent company of Chinese network operator China Unicom. The company said that two or three cables were damaged and although it didn't have the full information, it has adjusted routers to redirected data along cables that haven't been damaged.

*Mobile networks are down as are landlines. The frantic efforts of relatives, business colleagues and friends to contact each other has only worsened the load on Japan’s infrastructure. People in Japan have been turning to the likes of Twitter and Facebook to communicate outside the country.

*Reports are in that Taiwan is unaffected - and a government Tsunami warning has been lifted.

Read more: http://www.techeye.net/business/tech-industry-will-be-affected-by-mega-japanese-earthquake#ixzz1GJaGUNRx
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Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:58 am

Key details

* First waves hit Crescent City, Calif., Port Orford, Ore., at 10:30 a.m. ETFriday
* Boats torn loose in Santa Cruz, Calif.
* Initial reports from Hawaii indicate no serious damage
* Evacuations ordered in low-lying West Coast areas
* Port of Los Angeles temporarily suspends cargo operations

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — Tsunami waves generated by a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan swamped Hawaiian beaches and brushed the U.S. western coast Friday but didn't cause major damage.

Kauai was the first of the Hawaiian islands struck by the tsunami. Water at least 11 feet high rushed ashore near Kealakekua Bay, on the west side of the Big Island, and reached the lobby of a hotel. Flooding was reported on Maui, and water washed up on roadways on the Big Island.

Scientists and officials warned that the first tsunami waves are not always the strongest and said residents along the coast should watch for strong currents and heed calls for evacuation.

Sirens sounded for hours before dawn up and down the West Coast, and in Hawaii, roadways and beaches were empty as the tsunami struck.

Hours later, the waves surged along the Oregon and California coast.

Geophysicist Gerard Fryer at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu said high water reached Port Orford, Ore., around 10:30 a.m. EST (7:30 a.m. PST) Friday.

The tide began rising about that time along beaches in Crescent City, where the tsunami was expected to hit the hardest in California.

At Santa Cruz, the surge tore loose boats at a marina and swept them back toward the sea. Some surfers ventured out on the water to take advantage of decent waves ahead of the tsunami — until the level plunged several surges hit.

Elsewhere, emergency officials closed some beaches and advised people to stay away from the shoreline.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 12:01 pm
Video of the tsunami arrival in Santa Cruz and the boats that were torn loose from moorings:

High Seas
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 12:20 pm
Reyn wrote:

If any read reports of any news for any Pacific Ocean islands, I'd be interested.

The NOAA is the most reliable source for tsunami warnings. They still have some low-level warnings for South America but none for North America or Pacific Islands - excluding Japan's Honshu, where aftershocks and rough seas can still be expected. Link: http://ptwc.weather.gov/

The NOAA never issued any kind of tsunami warning for mainland North America this time. Obviously they were right. Haven't watched any of the US media and find the sensationalism (almost hysteria) reported here surprising. From past such events it seems North America was never at any tsunami risk - at most only rough seas and riptides as caused by standard storms - due to the underwater mountains in the northeastern Pacific, which run in an east-west direction (perpendicular to the tsunami traveling wave), so expected to dissipate its momentum, while the South American underwater mountains and ridges run parallel to the coastline which may intensify the wave's momentum.

http://www.maps.com/map.aspx?pid=11102 (go to link and click on map to zoom in)

Timeline of the tsunami wave

The people of Japan have won my eternal admiration for their absolute discipline and complete absence of panic even in the worst-stricken areas. Tokyo airports are open, passenger backlogs expected to clear up within a couple of days. And there's no lack of security!

0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 12:27 pm
In Sendai, Japan reports have indicated at least 300 dead bodies at one location ALONE have been found. Death tolls are expected to climb quickly.

Crescent City, Calif reports indicate 8.1 foot wave according to CNN. No damage reported there.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 12:31 pm

news local
Santa Cruz Damage Reports Pour In

A Tsunami-related surge severely damaged two docks and three boats at the Pillar Point Marina in Santa Cruz. Several boats sustained minor damage, according to Santa Cruz officials. The damage is estimate to be about $2 million.

The water started to pour into the harbor around 7:45 a.m. and put all moorings to the test. The first surge knocked one boat and two dock-like objects free. Later surges knocked dozens of boats free as they began to slam into each other.

Authorities issued a local emergency and warned residents to stay away from the coast because larger waves were likely to hit the coast later in the day, according to city officials.

Dozens of people stood on the Murray bridge, which is the halfway point of Pillar Point Harbor, to watch the damage. A worker at the Cliff House referred to the tsunami as a "spectator sport."

Some boats sank, others ran free in the harbor. The surge went both ways. The water came in and then went back out with just as much force.

KCBS anchor Stan Bunger compared the force of the water in the harbor to the force of the water that runs near the Grand Canyon. He said the water in Santa Cruz was actually moving faster then the Grand Canyon on Thursday morning.

NBC Bay Area meteorologist Christina Loren said the damage could continue throughout the day Friday as move tsunami's continue to pour into the California coast.
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 12:38 pm
More video of the arrival of the tsunami in Santa Cruz harbor and the damage left behind:

0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:10 pm

Crescent City, Santa Cruz hit hard by tsunami from Japan quake
Crescent City, site of a deadly tsunami four decades ago, appears to be particularly hard hit

A tsunami from the devastating Japan earthquake hit the coast of California on Friday morning, causing significant damage in Crescent City, Santa Cruz and other parts of Northern California. There were no reports of major damage or flooding in Southern California.

Crescent City, site of a deadly tsunami four decades ago, appears to be particularly hard hit.

Local residents reported that about three dozen boats were "crushed" in the harbor and that surging waters significantly damaged or destroyed most of the docks. Ocean water surging up Elk Creek north of the harbor reportedly lapped up to front doors of the community's cultural center.

Officials were warning residents to expect higher surges throughout the day, one resident said by telephone. Officials from the local sheriff's department and the city could not be reached. Crescent City, near the Oregon border, was the scene of a devastating tsunami in 1964, which killed 11 people and destroyed 289 homes and businesses.

In 2006, tsunami-driven currents caused $10 million in damage to the city's harbor. One resident said Friday's damage to the harbor was as bad - or worse - as then.

Officials reported waves of 6 1/2 feet in Crescent City and 6 feet in Morro Bay, said Caltech scientist Lucy Jones.

Jones said officials won't know the extent of the damage until high tide occurs later Friday morning.

"Clearly, very large drawdown of water in Half Moon Bay," Jones said earlier in the day. "We are coming to high tide in a couple other hours. As long as we're still growing on tide, we need to keep a watch on the water. ... Currents may be very significant.

In Santa Cruz, the waves josted boats and damaged docks.

Authorities issued an evacuation advisory about 6:40 a.m. for coastal residents and those living along the San Lorenzo and Capitol rivers and other major waterways in Santa Cruz County, said county spokesman Enrique Sahagun.

The first waves reached land about 7:45 a.m. At Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, the swells pushed and bumped boats together and broke some docks, but total damage is unknown thus far, Sahagun said.

"The water is pushing the boats together like a major car collision on Highway 405 or another big highway," he said.

Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:13 pm

Waves destroy Crescent City Harbor docks
Posted: 03/11/2011 10:03:13 AM PST

Officials in Crescent City are reporting damage after tsunami waves began hitting the harbor this morning.

”The harbor has been destroyed,” said Crescent City Councilman Rich Enea in a phone interview at 9:45 a.m. “Thirty-five boats have been crushed and the harbor has major damage. Major damage.”

Del Norte County Sheriff Cmdr. Bill Steven said most of the docks at the harbor are gone. Additionally, a recent surge filled the entire harbor and they are expecting that some of the other waves could send water into the harbor's parking lot, Steven said.

Enea said no injuries have been reported at this point, which he attributed to plenty of tsunami preparedness exercises and the diligent work of first responders in sealing off the harbor.

The councilman said he's heard about 100 people have shown up to a Red Cross shelter at Del Norte High School. He said tsunami waters have made it near the doors of the Crescent City Cultural Center, and he fears the worst is yet to come.

”There's supposed to be larger surges coming in,” he said. “We're just trying to ride out the worst of these surges.”

According to the Caltrans website, some sections of U.S. Highway 101 are currently closed due to the tsunami alert: at Kane Road that is 11.3 miles north of Trinidad, at the Humboldt and Del Norte county lines, at Sand Mine Road that is 1.4 miles south of Crescent City, and at Washington Road that is 1.2 miles north
of Crescent City. Drivers are advised to use alternate routes.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:18 pm
Thank you BFN and HS for the follow-up!

Kimmel eventually admitted that on a scale of 1 to 10, his level of fear is "a good solid 7. on a small island, with no high ground." He then said that the island was being evacuated, which will hopefully mean that he and others will be safe moving forward.

And, arg!!! I noticed that at our local gas pumps that the prices have gone up an additional 7 cents per litre. Sad Sad
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:23 pm

Tsunami swamps Hawaii beaches, brushes West Coast

HONOLULU — Tsunami waves swamped Hawaii beaches and brushed the U.S. western coast Friday but didn't immediately cause major damage after devastating Japan and sparking evacuations throughout the Pacific.

Water rushed up on roadways and into hotel lobbies on the Big Island and low-lying areas in Maui were flooded as 7-foot waves crashed ashore. Smaller waves hit the U.S. western coast and beaches were closed as fishermen fired up their boats and left harbors to ride out the swell.


It is the second time in a little over a year that Hawaii and the U.S. West coast faced the threat of a massive tsunami. A magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile spawned warnings on Feb. 27, 2010, but the waves were much smaller than predicted and did little damage.

Scientists then acknowledged they overstated the threat but defended their actions, saying they took the proper steps and learned the lessons of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami that killed thousands of people who didn't get enough warning.

This time around, the warning went out within 10 minutes of the earthquake in Japan, said Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu.

"We called this right. This evacuation was necessary," Fryer said. "There's absolutely no question, this was the right thing to do," he said.

The warnings issued by the tsunami center covered an area stretching the entire western coast of the United States and Canada from the Mexican border to Chignik Bay in Alaska.

Many islands in the Pacific evacuated, but officials later told residents to go home because the waves weren't as bad as expected.

In Guam, the waves broke two U.S. Navy submarines from their moorings, but tug boats corralled the subs and brought them back to their pier. No damage was reported to Navy ships in Hawaii.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:32 pm
Eek, I hope Trinidad Pier will be ok.. probably my favorite pier anywhere..

photo by Jim Pompenoe
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:37 pm
Now quakes are occurring on the other coast of Japan between


2011 March 11 18:59:15 UTC

Earthquake Details

* This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Magnitude 6.2

* Friday, March 11, 2011 at 18:59:15 UTC
* Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 03:59:15 AM at epicenter

Location 37.037°N, 138.355°E
Depth 1 km (~0.6 mile)

* 46 km (29 miles) NNE (21°) from Nagano, Honshu, Japan
* 95 km (59 miles) NW (318°) from Maebashi, Honshu, Japan
* 116 km (72 miles) SSW (212°) from Niigata, Honshu, Japan
* 197 km (122 miles) NW (321°) from TOKYO, Japan
0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:41 pm

Most of the local schools are closed, low-lying areas have been evacuated, and they have begun rolling blackouts, just to make it more exciting. So far, though, this tsunami has been a bit of a bust. That is a good thing, right?

Since we had no power, we spent the morning at the Beachcomber Cafe in Trinidad and occasionally wandered over to the old lighthouse to join the crowds gathered there to see the sea. It did many sea-like things. What it did not do was come rushing in and wash away the Trinidad pier. No destruction is a good thing, considering how many houses are built on or below sea level in Eureka and Arcata and in between.

And now, back to work.
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 01:48 pm
Good! And since the waves started there around 7:30 a.m. pacific time, trouble should be about passed fair..

Oh, and thank you.
I wasn't worried about my old house in that area, since it was essentially up hills from two directions, but I was mildly concerned re my old gallery, which is on a low lying street.
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 03:27 pm
I can't get this to work - I've been having trouble accessing some SF Chronicle links in the last few days, and I'm figuring it's some combo of my computer and their site, the common denominator being me (ack). Or a computer that needs some cleaning, and so on..

but, Google Activates Person Finder

Butrflynet may have already posted this, sorry if a repeat.
If the link doesn't work, I figure googleing person finder would...
0 Replies

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