Possible meltdown in Japan

Posted by: MicMeister

Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 01:24 AM

The worst case scenario is near.

Yep. It's a safe form of energy alright. When contained in a vacuum. Still, I must admire how the Japanese have been handling this disaster.
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:21 AM

can this escalate into something horrible like radiation affecting the people who live there? I am asking because my wife's niece lives 3 miles away from there in Fukishima near those plants.
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:32 AM

All I know from a Finnish source citing various other newssources is that 50 000 to 100 000 people have already been evacuated from the region.

And apparently there have been radiation 8 times greater than normal outside the reactor.
Posted by: steveg

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:46 AM

It's been confirmed that there has been an explosion in one of the containment buildings, and there are radiation leaks. NYTimes.com.
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:58 AM



Here is Japanese TV footage of the explosion.
Posted by: trey

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 05:27 AM

Good greif. Has anyone heard from Lanovami and Ichi?
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 05:46 AM

We determined Ichi lives in the US now...
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 08:17 AM

Originally Posted By: NucleusG4
We determined Ichi lives in the US now...
I don't think ichi ever lived in Japan, not sure how that got started.
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 08:19 AM

IIRC, he was based in Japan during his military service.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: MicMeister
IIRC, he was based in Japan during his military service.


I remember Ichi applying for a job at Red Cross or Fema after Katrina - yes he is back in the States.

Lano - I believe moved back to the UK, after teaching English in Japan ? ? I could be wrong.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 01:23 PM


No, carp. lan is still living in Japan. Trust me on this. I emailed him yesterday am ~ knowing that everything in Tokyo is probably still down. But if I hear back . . . and I'm sure hoping I do. We've stayed in touch, so it's not like he'd wonder who the hell Lea is.

Very heavy sigh, but with fingers crossed and prayers said. Gotta cover all the bases, huh?
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 01:45 PM

Thanks Lea.
Yeah sure hope he is okay.

Humm must have crossed him with someone in UK ? ? Ian is Lano right ?
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 02:20 PM


lanovami, that's correct. He teaches English, although he got some kind of job shift last fall and was really happy with it. He and his wife have a son, he's 11 now. I know that lan and family visit the States once a year and stay with his family, up north somewhere, can't remember right off.
Posted by: steveg

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 02:21 PM

Let us know if you hear from him.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 02:48 PM


I'm hoping we all will.



xxxxx
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:06 PM

Now their saying that melt down is on the way
Posted by: keymaker

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:15 PM

Quote:
melt down is on the way

I've always said that nations on known geological fault lines should think carefully before locating and constucting nuclear plants.

km
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:24 PM

Apparently it is now the No. 3 reactor whose cooling system has failed and the initial reactor in question was cooled down with seawater.

And KM: Yeah, that's true, but hindsight, for all we know. wink
From what I know, this is a 40 year old plant that has managed to withstand an 8.9 quake and a tsunami now. Impressive actually.

BBC's take
Reuter's take.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 03:35 PM

Their now preparing to vent radioactive steam.
Posted by: steveg

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 04:14 PM

It's a terrible irony that Japan is no stranger to nuclear catastrophe. There has to be an unspoken refrain of "Oh no, not again". frown
Posted by: DLC

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/12/11 04:52 PM

Not against nuclear energy, but it's not the panacea many claim...

you have situations like this, Chernobyl, TMI, . .

and then there's the problem of what to do with the waste ?

bury it- but where.. no one wants it in their backyard.

We want to bury it in Nevada (Yucca Mtns) but Nevadans say "why should we take it- we didn't use it !" (came from NY, GA, PA . . ) So what do you do with it ?? crazy
Posted by: steveg

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/13/11 08:30 AM

Not looking good at all. frown
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/13/11 02:24 PM

Right David.

Nuc Power is a real catch 22. Still the most consistent non-fossil generator of energy.

I still think that we are looking at this in the wrong direction.
Instead of looking for better fuels like, Bio, Nuclear , whatever.

We should be looking at (building generators) that could produce 1000 times more power, per ounce of fuel.

IMO
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 01:55 PM

Still looking grim...


http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/03/japans-nuclear-emergency
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:36 PM

Sorry to be worrying you all. It just occurred to me to check here. I am on the edge of my seat about all of this. The English news appears to be staying well behind the Japanese (understandably). You all know a lot, it would seem. The big issue right now is Fukushima plant 1's no. 2 reactor. It has been being cooled with seawater for the last 3 days (like 1 and 3 I believe) but last I knew, before I went to bed at 1:40 am, the valve that was allowing pressure to dissapate so they could continue to pump more water in. When I woke up this morning it seems the situation is unchanged. Radiation levels seem manageable, but the rods inside must be melting down without water to cool it. I read on report that they were managing to pump water in again, but haven't seen that again since.

This is by what I have learned in the last 3 days is the worst situation yet in the last 3 days of this crisis. The English news I have read makes it sound more manageable, which is ironic b/c the English news up until now was more dire up until this point.

Believe me, I am known among friends and family as chief worrier, but I am very worried. Yes, there is nothing I can do, but that doesn't make me feel any better. Actually, before I became an on and off denizen here, I used to live in Fukushima, for six years.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:41 PM

THanks Lano

Be safe over there.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:41 PM

I lived on the other side of Fukushima, but by other side, we have to make it clear that Iowa (my home state) is 10 times the size of Fukushima. I actually came very close to getting a job in Futaba, the town that is literally ground zero for what is going on right now.

Anyway, yes I am in Tokyo, having previously lived relatively near where all this is going on. Tokyo is 220 km south, 130 miles of there.

A meltdown seems a definite possibity. As far as I know the meltdown could eventually lead to an explosion of the nuclear material. I have read up, as far as I know this plant has 10 times the power producing potential of Cherynobyl. Whether that means 10 times the dangerous radiation, I have no idea.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
I lived on the other side of Fukushima, but by other side, we have to make it clear that Iowa (my home state) is 10 times the size of Fukushima. I actually came very close to getting a job in Futaba, the town that is literally ground zero for what is going on right now.

Anyway, yes I am in Tokyo, having previously lived relatively near where all this is going on. Tokyo is 220 km south, 130 miles of there.

A meltdown seems a definite possibity. As far as I know the meltdown could eventually lead to an explosion of the nuclear material. I have read up, as far as I know this plant has 10 times the power producing potential of Cherynobyl. Whether that means 10 times the dangerous radiation, I have no idea.


Good to hear from you. I hope you're upwind.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:45 PM

This is not one of the newer plants, it is GE designed and built here in 1971. It contains some of the more dangerous radioactive material inside. If there is an explosion of radioactive material (of which the likelihood I don't know), some experts have said it would make the tsunami look like an entree (a near direct quote).

Lea, I had not checked my alternate email (careless of me).

I probably shouldn't be going thru these scenarios, but I am not sure how far they are from worst case scenarios. I read up a few days ago on last ditch measures, like some kind of huge cover they can cover it up with. I hear very little talk about what they are going to do if they can't get the fuel rods submerged in water.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:50 PM

They cancelled my workplace the last few days, as with many other places. The trains are running at half capacity to save electricity and many businesses aren't running for the same reason.

When it became clear their would be planned blackouts, people started stocking up, and stores are emptying. I was running around looking for candles and batteries. Never did find the right batteries for flashlights, but did manage to find some candles. Ironic, for the first several years in Japan, I always kept a disaster package (earthquake) for emergencies, but I had let it run low - no batteries, canned food expired 6 months ago or so. Anyway, for me the food and water isn't an issue. We have caught up on that. My eye is on the plant up north.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:52 PM

Good to hear that you are alright. Just hope that the worst case scenario doesn't happen.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:52 PM

Doesn't help that work is cancelled and this gives me too much time to get way too informed. Of course, even if I was at school, there is very little to do as the semester is winding down at my school, so I would probably just be online trolling for the facts just like I am here.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:55 PM

Lano

My understanding is.

1 - Unlike Cherynobyl, the Japanese plant has a containment shell - Cherynobyl did not.

2 - The US delivered the (core coolant) solution <-- thats what your supposed to use, not sea water. Not sure if they got the pumps working at the plant to get the coolant circulating ? They are still using the sea water as the last ditch effort to cool the rods.

Anyway, they now have the best Brains in the world helping out - fingers crossed.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 03:56 PM

Boy, I go from incommunicado to ubercommunicado in a short interval don't I.

If there is one thing this has done for me, it has increased my Japanese vocabulary by some 20 words in the last three days. Words like fuel rod, meltdown, unprecedented, etc. I have watched more Japanese news in the last 3 days than in the last 3 years easily. The Japanese news is for obvious reasons more up to date. Even some stuff I read this morning seems maybe 8 hours or so behind.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:02 PM

Another explosion just happened, it can't be the outer housing this time. This was at the no 2 reactor.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:10 PM

There is a good chance the reactor is leaking. They have just put out the word for all the worker in the area to get out.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:14 PM

Carp, there are scenarios that that outer shell can be breached. And as I was writing a reply to you, they believe it might be leaking. This is the first time we have had this news.

The US navy offered coolant. The tsunami damaged the pumps that could have pumped this coolant in. They have been using sea water for the last 3 days with improvised pumps. The sea water is a last ditch effort and is why plants are always built near large bodies of water.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:16 PM

They can't use coolant, and they can't even use preferable pure water. They have to resort to sea water.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:20 PM

They are talking about where the wind is blowing. It is blowing to the north, right over all the people hit by the tsunami. They are still saying only people in a few kilometer area around there are in any real danger.

edit: they have checked and updated. the wind is blowing south from the plant. information is changing and morphing every few minutes.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:24 PM

There is a chance that the most dangerous stuff has leaked out in small amounts. An expert is saying it is not any easy problem to fix.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:26 PM

I should add some of this is guesswork on their part. They can't actually see inside and they have to use instruments to make informed assessments.
Posted by: steveg

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:28 PM

Really glad you checked in, man. One of my clients had been there for a little over week on business and just happened to return to the 'States the day before the quake. So I have to ask you, can you and yours get the hell outta there any time soon?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:30 PM

Another press conference from electric company is starting just now. I have probably seen 15 press conferences in the last 3 days. Maybe more.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:45 PM

I wish you could see this. The spokesmen went into their usual blather, tiptoeing around the issue. It was an amazing short announcment compared to ones I have seen. You should have seen the sober looks on their faces. A reporter pointed out that there was a written apology at the bottom of the paper they had been given. This was the first time such a statement had been written. Why? he asks, does this mean we have reached an entirely new level of danger? The guy clammed up and they went to commercial.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 04:54 PM


Well, thank God! lan, I was so very, very worried. We all have been and will continue to be so. You, your family and your entire country ~ You've all been in my prayers since this started. One prayer answered, many many thousands to go.

I am so glad you're OK. Blow off the email if/when you get it. And thank you so much for checking in.

I'm going to go cry now.

LoveLea
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:04 PM

One of two pressure sustain pools that are below the reactor has registered as equal to atmosphere, which leads them to believe it has ruptured and this where the possible leak is, though it has not been confirmed that there is for sure a leak.

However, they believe the pressure in the above reactor (and the other pressure sustaining pool) are still intact, meaning no rupture there.

Yesterday, the fuel rods were completely out of the water (pumped in seawater) and not being cooled for several hours, but it now sounds like have been able to pump water in again and now the rods are now half immersed in water (completely immersed is preferable). The more the rods are cooled (and they have been cooling on and off, depending on whether or not they could get sea water pumped in) the better long term prospects look. But we are dealing with mini sun like temperatures, so it takes a long time for the cool down. If they can't continue the cooling process (and boy have they hit a lot of roadblocks) the remaining heat will build up, and meltdown.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:26 PM

btw Carp, from what I heard Japan refused the coolant b/c they have enough of their own (damn straight they had better have their own supply), but it couldn't be used for reasons I wrote above.

As I write this, you should see the reporters and announcers! They usually have one person sitting next to them handing them papers, sometimes changing papers to newer information while they are reading them. Just now the guy next to the news announcer said, "go into the lead again, and then read this" etc. They are not even bothering with ear mikes and all that. Everything I see is so ad hoc. My online blog I have started here is a mirror of that.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:27 PM

Sorry for the verbal diarrhea but it calms me down, and the wife and son had to go back to work and school today, so I have to vent somewhere - kind of like the rupture below the reactor.
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:27 PM

So glad you and yours are ok Lan.
Your first-hand information is intriguing. We will take all we can get.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:41 PM

Sorry more blather: yeah, after the earthquake, phones were out at first and then to busy to use. If I hadn't got off work that day, my son would have spent the night alone because all trains stopped and there was unprecedented gridlock as people tried to take taxis home. My train was coming into a station just as the earthquake hit. I was lucky it was coming into the station or I would have been trapped in a train car for a few hours. I was about two stations from home and I knew the way. We (because everyone on the train and everywhere suddenly starts talking to everyone else as if they weren't perfect strangers)decided the trains wouldn't move for a while, so many of us decided to walk. We would learn later most trains would not move again until the next day. A family from Osaka coming to Tokyo to visit their son for a wedding got off with me and I walked them to their station. During the walk, the second big one hit. I have heard reports that that one was actually bigger (I lost interest in finding out after the nuke plants serious problems came to light). Tokyo was pretty far from the epicenter, but the sensation I remember the most is that suddenly the whole world felt rubbery. This was amplified by being surrounded by high buildings during their rubbery dance.

When I got home I found my son waiting for me. In terms of immediate damage, the only real thing was our TV fell face first. No broken glass, but it wouldn't turn on. Nothing anywhere near to what the people up north are and were going through. My son and I went out the next day to buy/order a new TV. He was excited we were finally getting an HD TV. Ironically, it was delivered a day earlier than scheduled in all these circumstances. Ironic when you would walk out the door and see people quickly (not frantically) buying up essentials, and you think about the conditions people in the north are living in - and your new TV comes early.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:44 PM

Thanks to everyone who has sent me greetings here by the way. Lea I did check for your email and it was a worthy read, made me feel that much better.

I would being spewing more about the reactor, but the authorities admit they don't even know where the likely rupture is in the "sustaining pool", it could be leaking liquid or air, depending on where the likely rupture is. No word on which is worse. They also haven't been able to do any more measurements just yet. So the news has little to add and they have moved on to the tsunami/earthquake disaster and scheduled blackouts.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:51 PM

Thanks for keeping us updated. I couldn't imagine going through all that How old is your son?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:53 PM

The international news seems to have put this one above 3 Mile Island now, second to Chernobyl. We are nowhere near Chernobyl, knock on wood (no, I mean it, please knock on wood wherever you are), but the situation is precarious.

I have seen online comments that Wolf Blitzer couldn't get Chernobyl out of his mouth fast enough.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 05:56 PM

My son is 11. He is at school. He really doesn't grasp the gravity of the situation, and I don't think he should have to. He knows I am very worried, and the news is pretty sobering even for an 11 year old.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 06:09 PM

A radioactivity measurements has been released, 8000 microsieverts. This is exponentially higher than normal and several times higher than previously during this accident. Something that looks like steam has been filmed rising from the reactor. People within a several kilometer area are advised not to go outside unless they must, to remove and wash clothing when they come in, not to eat any food that could have been exposed, and avoid drinking any non bottled water.

The electric company also said that they is a good chance that the rods are no longer being cooled. They are still looking into that. Still no word on what happens or what they will do if the rods can't be cooled.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 06:11 PM

They give these advisories for people within several kilometers of the reactor, but I find this strange as everyone within a 20 kilo circle was evacuated as a precaution 2 days ago. Only the bare essential staff should be anywhere near that mess.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 06:16 PM

Scary times to be in Japan, that's for sure.

Your son is the same age as mine. I couldn't imagine having to explain the danger to him.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 07:38 PM

They have raised the measurement language to a new term, from microsieverts to milliseverts b/c of the new level of radiation.

Millisieverts are a thousand times more powerful than micros. I was hearing 8000 microsieverts before and am now hearing 400 millisieverts.

These kinds of numbers will have near immediate effects on the body of any living thing in proximity.

And there has been a fire at the fourth reactor - again a reactor that was not much in the news before. They think it is largely what is causing the high radiation. This is the first time I have heard anything I can remember about no. 4

No. 2 (with the probable leaking pool)is being cooled again according to the electric company.



They clarified what they said before, and people outside the 20 km evacuated radius, but within a 30 km radius should not go outside and should do all the things I wrote above. The risk goes down precipitiously the further away you are.

There are as far as I heard, some 50 workers in close proximity to the reactors in order to continue the cooling process, and now to put out this fire.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 07:54 PM


And we thought Katrina was bad. OK, it was. Very bad. But the magnitude of this, the number of people lost, the reactors and not knowing . . . I think I'd rather go through Katrina. Your posts are fascinating and scary. I've had a knot in my stomach all day, even before we finally heard from you. I finally turned off LeTube when they began to describe the thousands of dead that had washed back in from sea.

I am so beyond the Heavy Sigh. Again, though, very relieved knowing you and yours are OK. So, ever think about moving back state side? (<----- Really inappropriate stab at levity. Sorry.)
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 08:16 PM

I decided to check out CNN again - they are talking about no. 2 having another explosion. The Japanese news is way ahead. Anderson Cooper is asking whether there is a chance radiation is being released at dangerous levels - watch the Jap news guys! It is being released. And I have heard of no explosion from no. 2 - no. 4 is on fire. I never realized before how much of a difference there was between the English and the Japanese. A huge info gap.

Well, Anderson Cooper and Sanji Gupta are in Sendai, closer to the nuke plants, so likely getting more of a micro dose than I am, that's about the only "news" I am seeing here.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 08:32 PM

I take it back, there was an explosion, but it was no. 4, and now the f**ing thing is on fire.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 08:39 PM

It would appear CNN is catching up, I am hearing less discrepancies and old news.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/14/11 09:03 PM

Now it would appear no.3 reactor is feared that it might take damage from the problems at reactors next to it.
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 12:29 AM

Thanks Ian for the verbal diarrhea. I find it informing and it gives an on-the-ground view.

Wanna hear a funny story? Iodine pills were sold out in many Finnish pharmacies yesterday. I'm not kidding. The distance between our capital and Fukushima is only 7650 kilometers/4750 miles...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 02:15 AM

That is pretty funny. Iodine pills are only much use for people living closer because the risk is from radioactive iodine which has a short half life. It is also much more of a consideration for kids as their thyroids are very active. You may know all this.
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 02:30 AM

Yeah. Our newspapers have actually had stories today on what the iodine pills are meant for and that they are of no use here. Too bad there isn't any pharmacological products for sheer ignorance.
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 04:11 AM

I watch MSNBC and they always say due to usage restriction they want show the video why? CNN at least show this. I pray this radiation will not spread all over and they can contain it.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 08:16 AM

Posted on the BBC news site 30 minutes ago:

"Radiation levels have fallen at Japan's earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the government says.

The announcement was made after a fire was extinguished at the plant."
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 09:14 AM

Quote:
Millisieverts are a thousand times more powerful than micros. I was hearing 8000 microsieverts before and am now hearing 400 millisieverts.


I don't really believe that's terribly alarming amounts yet.

IIRC, a typical medical x-ray can be up to 900 mSv (milli), so that's less than half a chest X-ray per hour - of course the exposure does add up.

As for all of this significantly affecting the environment, about the only way that will happen is with a full blown meltdown of the core, and then only if it escapes the containment tomb. Containment systems are built with this in mind, the unknown of course being they've never been tested yet.

The core itself won't explode, the issue there is pressure building up and hydrogen igniting.

Otherwise the amounts of radiation released should dissipate quickly.

My dad had to spend several weeks a year at our Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant when he worked for the electric company. I went down there a lot, the guys that worked there loved to show me around and teach me about it. He's got pics of himself in the reactor building. I remember the control room was pretty overwhelming.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 02:47 PM

I don't I'll be posting here like I was but what we know has evolved considerably since what I see posted here by myself and others. Very possible cracks, very possible core meltdowns of 70% and 30%. Just measuring the radiation level is not enough, it is what particles are emitting the radiation. Some of them are radioactive for 200 years, some stay in the body for up to 30. I see no reason to downplay much at this point. It is the general opinion it is a six on the nuclear accident scale. Chernobyl was 7, Three Mile was 4 or 5.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 02:49 PM

You have the latest news possible, it just came out of the spokesman's mouth seconds ago reactor number 4 is smoking again, it appears to be coming out of the outer structure..

I only bothered because I still had this open when it happened.

And let's make it clear, no. 4 reactor was inactive and being cooled down when the tsunami hit. It should have been fine. Well they all should have been fine, but this one should have been more fine.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 03:02 PM

Actually I take it back a little, Sarge's post did make me feel a little better. I would still rather be in Iowa. ( ;
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 03:05 PM

Sarge you seem to know more than the average person. The latest news I have seen is they have lost the ability to cool reactor cores 1,2 and 3. They were being cooled for a while, but not any more (I believe). If they don't cool completely before they are left to nature to cool, what happens. Still no explosion of nuke material?
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 03:30 PM

Please keep us updated
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 03:38 PM

Here's a good Q&A by BBC.
They state pretty clearly that the fuel itself won't explode:
Could there be a nuclear explosion?

No. A nuclear bomb and a nuclear reactor are different things.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 04:12 PM

Good article, thanks. Some of the info is outdated (by hours or days) and it assumes that 1,2 and 3 reactors were being cooled. Because they couldn't keep them full the cores spent a lot of time not being cooled, and at this point the Japanese media is assuming they are no longer being cooled - at least not to any significant amount. Toden (the electric company) kept saying "we are making efforts to cool the cores" but it seems that not near enough cooling actually went on or is going on.
Posted by: garyW

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/15/11 10:35 PM

Originally Posted By: MicMeister
Here's a good Q&A by BBC.
They state pretty clearly that the fuel itself won't explode:
Could there be a nuclear explosion?

No. A nuclear bomb and a nuclear reactor are different things.


Here's an interesting (and damn frightening) scenario about the ultimate dirty bomb ... the spent fuel being released into the atmosphere because of the design of the facility.



Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/16/11 06:41 AM

The worry for me is the reactor 4, where they were simply storing the spent fuel. I believe it's an oil fire, but if the rods get exposed to the fire and burn themselves then you have radioactive material being released to the atmosphere.

For the cores melting down, that doesn't concern me as much. The core itself cannot explode like a bomb, again pressure could cause an explosion, but if there are cracks in the containment then that's not a real risk anymore.

I think this type of reactor isn't nearly as good a design as the sealed type that uses a heat exchanger, and they shouldn't build any more of this type. However, these are designed with a total meltdown as a possibility in mind, and I think the tomb would contain that should it happen.
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/16/11 02:04 PM

The situation remains dire and they are still working hard to contain it. According to this article, there are 180 specialists on site there risking their lives.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/16/us-japan-quake-snapshot-idUSTRE72D8LW20110316

I have nothing but respect for the 180 men working at Fukushima. They are redefining "above and beyond the call of duty" as we speak.
Posted by: garyW

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/16/11 02:32 PM

I think the situation is that there are 4 damaged containment housings holding spent fuel rods. These plants have been running for 40 years. Each has 4 times the number of rods used in the reactor. That means the number of spent fuel rods that would account for sixteen complete reactors .... all of which have blown their domes nd are exposed to the air and boiling off their cooling water. All of those which will then burn and release their radioactive fuel into the atmosphere ... for months.

Then there are the reactor cores which are threatening to melt down.

The power has been restored to activate the water pumps that were killed by the Tsunami ... so maybe they'll be able to to stop that all from happening. If not, its global contamination with unthinkable consequenses.

Now .... is the media really still talking about Charlie Sheen??!


Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/16/11 02:47 PM

Originally Posted By: garyW
Now .... is the media really still talking about Charlie Sheen??!


Don't know about stateside, but this is probably the biggest story here. Sheen? Who? I mean, I'm barely aware that Gaddafi is kicking the sh!t out of Libyan rebels in the meantime.

I don't know if the spent fuel rods really burn that easily, they can heat up and melt, but as far as I know, they are made of some kind of zirconium alloy, not graphite, as was the case in Chernobyl. Still, I think FUBAR is a fair assessment of the situation.

According to Reuters Flames no longer visible at Fukushima Daiichi No.4 reactor: NHK
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/16/11 07:42 PM

The latest I've heard is that Japan hasn't been completely upfront. The nuclear guy from the states has stated that the spent rods are completely uncovered in reactor 4, and the water has completely boiled off.

THIS IS REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD.

I see Lanovami is in Tokyo, that's good. Don't come within 50 miles of that place!

The cladding on the fuel rods can heat to ignition and catch fire, and if that happens you'll have large areas of wasteland like Chernobyl because there will be Cesium everywhere. A large chunk of northern Japan will become inhabitable if that occurs. They said initially that fire was an oil fire... it damn well better have been.

In addition, the rods are just spewing radiation because the water also acts as the shielding. That in and of itself isn't a problem environmentally, however it makes it very difficult to get near the rods to get water onto them. It'd probably kill someone in short order.

Funny how people talk meltdown and run around like it's the end of the world. The meltdowns in the core weren't the problem, and in all likely hood wouldn't have amounted to any real harm. Those spent rods becoming exposed... yikes.

Over here at Calvert Cliffs they're kept separate from the reactors if I remember right.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 02:21 AM

They're talking about trying to use long-distance water cannons to continue the seawater cooling. I hope they manage this.

From the BBC site:

"Japan says it is stepping up efforts to cool reactors at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Army helicopters dumped tonnes of water to try to prevent a meltdown of fuel rods. Water cannon are set to join the operation on the ground and it is hoped electricity will be restored soon."
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 05:39 AM

Yeah, they are now in last ditch efforts. I don't know how they can do much of anything as damaged as the reactor buildings are. They almost need to demolish and remove the tops of those buildings.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 07:24 AM

For those who live on the West Coast and have concerns about radiation....

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/03/more_fear_than_threat_from_rad.html
Posted by: garyW

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 08:15 AM

The plume hits southern California Friday at 2am. This thing is going to be with all of us for a long time, and it'll be global.

So Friday morning I'll wake up under this plume with .001 units on an "arbitrary scale" of relative radiation levels. The rest of the country will too within days. As the figures on that "arbitrary scale" start increasing 10-fold as the plume progresses, the reality is that there's absolutely nothing any of us can do about it. On that chart the red indicates 100,000-times the relative units what the initial plume brings.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/16/science/plume-graphic.html?ref=science
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 10:06 AM

Quote:
]the reality is that there's absolutely nothing any of us can do about it.


The reality is those of us who live on the east coast have been directly living in the fallout from hundreds of nuclear weapons airburst in the Nevada desert for over 40 years now. Two days after a bomb was detonated, it would settle in PA, MD, NY. We haven't dropped over dead or all died of cancer, and the stuff in nuclear fallout is a lot worse.

The stress of worrying about stuff floating over from Japan will shorten your life far more than any minute increase in radiation you'll experience.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 10:42 AM

2 days now since you posted. Hope things are going ok over there. I wonder if the blackouts are affecting you.
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 11:41 AM

Good question.
Hope we hear some news soon.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 11:55 AM




The stress of worrying about stuff floating over from Japan will shorten your life



Good reality check, Sarge, thank you. And a lot more polite than I'd be. I'm ready to open a deli serving fried Chicken Little. I think the supply will hold steady for at least another year.

Understand, I do not make light of the situation in Japan. It's worried me sick. But "the world is gonna die and we're all gonna die and if not then we'll grow extra legs and our children will be born with two butts and . . ."

Please. Stop it and think about the people who are in very real and serious danger. Get. Over. Yourselves.

OK, I kinda missed the polite bus. Sorry.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 12:25 PM

Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 12:57 PM

From BBC again:

"Engineers at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant have successfully connected a power line to reactor 2, the UN's nuclear watchdog reports.

Restoring power will enable engineers to restart the pumps which send coolant over the reactor."
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 10:56 PM

Just thought to check here again. I read the comments first. I have a few things to say, firstly GaryW, you don't know squat. Only a very sensitive instrument would have discovered any raised radiation levels in your scared section of America. I have studied up a lot on this and it is not nearly as bad as you or even Sarge are making it out to be. Go look up Chernobyl, large swaths of area around Ukraine were not rendered uninhabitable, and this situation will never get as bad as Cherynobyl.

And for people still worried about the safety of me and my family and not how many millionths their own radiation levels raised or will raise, here is an update I sent out to friends and family:

Hello everyone. Most of my communication is through Skype etc. these days (especially the last few days), but just so I have covered most everyone. I think people are panicking too much. They aren't offering to evacuate Americans from Japan. They are offering to arrange flights for people to nearby Asian countries (at our expense) where we must then arrange our own flights from those countries. I have found a lot of very encouraging info. Here is one. Very reputable site, the UK embassy in Tokyo. This was linked to their top page. Please read it thru, it gets more and more encouraging as you read on.

http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=567559482

Are we scared. Of course we are somewhat scared. It is a lot to digest. But please keep in mind my whole life is here. I have the best job I have had yet in Japan right now. I would be working in grocery stores if I went back home, maybe eventually hoping to find a job as a translator or something. I would have to feed my wife and son. Again, the English news is really sensationalizing things. But I just read in the news that the nuclear commission is already criticizing the US govt advising all Americans to leave a 50 miles radius, saying a 50 mile radius is too big and saying the radius recommended by the Japanese govt is the most reasonable. Tokyo is 130 miles from there, and we are watching radiation levels every day, and they have only risen by fractions. If you read the article above and do some more research, you might feel better. I do.

Having said that, we are of course erring on the side of caution. My son's passport had expired, but we have updated it. Back when I was more scared I arranged a trip to Kyoto. Now, I am less worried, but we still have decided to still go to Kyoto tomorrow for a few days, Kyoto is another almost 300 miles away from Tokyo, a total of 420 miles away from the nuclear troubles, well beyond even the worse possible imaginable effects. If things start getting really bad (and again please read the link above) we will stay in Kyoto until we can get a flight to the US. People have offered beds, the most likely scenario being we would stay first with my brother who lives in LA, one flight away, and has a big place and a big heart. We will get through this.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 11:05 PM

In somewhat lighter news, a good friend of mine, a fellow sumo fan, and someone who I have been in regular contact with since this started, is going to be on CNN Newsroom Friday 10:30 am. She will be interviewed as someone who has "chosen to stay" in Japan. We have been encouraging each other through all of this, so if you have the time, please watch. The actual program starts at US Central time 10:00 am, but her interview will be on at 10:30 am. Frizzy blonde hair, can't miss her. ( : I was chief in charge of calming her down for a while there, so maybe she will mention me. ( :
Posted by: garyW

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/17/11 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
Just thought to check here again. I read the comments first. I have a few things to say, firstly GaryW, you don't know squat. Only a very sensitive instrument would have discovered any raised radiation levels in your scared section of America.


I posted the link from the front page of the New York Times. That's exactly what I was referring to, "arbitrary units" as I specifically mentioned. "Arbitrary" as in nothing to compare it to.

At no point did I say panic or scared .. no one here is freaking out from unwarranted fears. Don't quote me from Lea's post ... none of which I said. I did say global. I did say an event that all of the world will be living with. An event lasting possibly for weeks will if the spent fuel continues to burn. The entire world will be monitoring this plume. Nothing I said diminishes the immense tragedy and lives lost that Japan now faces or the heroism of those working at the Fukushima site.

Tonight in the US the national news, network and cable, covered the plume heading over the Pacific. They also included Obama and top scientists dismissing the concerns. This is a story being discussed publicly from the highest levels. And I can be certain it will be discussed tomorrow and the day after that too.


Nothing but prayers and concern for those of you living with this, and certainly nothing said that merits any other reaction from you was meant. Be safe.



Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 12:04 AM

Please tell me how the monitoring of the "plumes" is going over there.

I wish I could find an English link, but I can't so I'll quote it from the mouth of Mr Edano in my own humble translation, the gov't spokesman over here, and one of my newest favorite people:

Today, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano admonished the international press, for it's slavish attention to the situation at the nuclear plant in Fukushima and it's apparent ignorance of the equally important condition of the thousands of people who have been displaced due to the earthquake and tsunami.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 12:07 AM

I would bother finding the quote, but why, find it yourself if you don't believe:

Cherynobyl added somwhere between 1/100 to 1/1000 of the cesium 137 and other nasties to the atmosphere, the rest came from nuclear bomb testing from the 50's to the 90's. And this is not Chernobyl.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 12:11 AM

"Please. Stop it and think about the people who are in very real and serious danger. Get. Over. Yourselves."

Lea, someday we are going to meet and I am going to give you a big hug. Thanks to other who expressed concern as well.
Posted by: garyW

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 12:12 AM

Quote:
it's apparent ignorance of the equally important condition of the thousands of people who have been displaced due to the earthquake and tsunami.


None of that is accurate from what I've seen and read. The news reporting for the last week has covered this tragedy non-stop. Tonight's reports that I viewed specifically focussed on the humanitarian crisis throught the stricken regions.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 12:24 AM

Google News - Japan

but don't worry, I am only taking it a little bit personally.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 01:26 AM

Arbitary units:

100 "counts per minute" or CPM equals 1 microseivert

1000 microseiverts = 1 millsievert (the highest it has gotten around the reactors is 400 millisieverts, that was 3 days ago I believe)

1000 millisieverts = 1 sievert (thankfully haven't seen this number anywhere yet)

I only mentioned the CPMs, which are the smallest unit in my list because one of the online geiger counters I am watching (I am watching several, better than Big Love I can tell you) is using CPMs to measure. Please check it out.

geiger counter

If you look below, that is the CPMs measured by a geiger counter in Tokyo before all this started, above is the current CPM reading. At this point and time it is a 2 CPM difference. 2. The highest I saw it get was for an hour or so about 2-3 days ago, when it was spiking close to 40 CPMs.


Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 03:53 AM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
(I am watching several, better than Big Love I can tell you)


Whoa, just hold on a second there! That's just crazy talk!! laugh





hehe just kidding. Saw that and that's what immediately came to mind. Glad to hear that you all are doing ok.

A guy I know who works at a nuclear plant in Kansas said this on FB:
Nuclear power, it is the cleanest, most efficient power source we are currently running. I am begging people to please learn about it before judging it....Don't let the ignorant media decide for you.

A 41 year old reactor gets hit by a 9 magnitude earthquake, then slammed with a 20 ft. wall of sea water, followed by an explosion due to the buildup of hydrogen gas that blows off the roof of the building, and the partially melted core is intact and contained. And you are telling me nuclear power isn't safe?
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 04:00 AM

You'll have to forgive us.. all we had prior to this was Charlie Sheen.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 08:26 AM


John, I have to agree with your friend. The US will (typically) overreact to this. They're already slamming the doors on an addition to our plant down in Bay City. (We lived there three years, by way of disclaimer.)

I swear, even I weren't watching the Japanese people do their very best to cope with this ~ and doing so without any apparent hysteria ~ I'd have to say, congratulations, America. You've seen a problem and stampeded to the other side of the mountain, found a convenient cliff and made the leap, declaring on your way down that all is well.


lan, really really glad to hear from you again. I've been forwarding your posts to LIttle Sister, as we know that your take on the situation is probably just a few whiskers finer than what we're getting fed by our mass "go for the ratings" media over here.

LoveLea



Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 09:57 AM

Info and updates are appreciated. Thanks.
May not be as serious as the staccato fear mongering we hear, but naturally, we are all concerned.
Please stay safe.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 11:53 AM

Quote:
I swear, even I weren't watching the Japanese people do their very best to cope with this ~ and doing so without any apparent hysteria ~ I'd have to say, congratulations, America. You've seen a problem and stampeded to the other side of the mountain, found a convenient cliff and made the leap, declaring on your way down that all is well.


It's just ignorance and inexperience. I found myself a bit concerned.. even on the East Coast. Not really remembering 3 Mile Island or even Chernobyl very well .. I begin wondering what, if any, precautions do I need to take to safeguard my wife and child?
It's a natural thing... and it's fed by the media.

I do have to say... modern nuclear plants have more safeguards and backups than plants from decades ago. It should be an international law that all older plants should be brought up to those same levels of precaution.

If backup jennies are close to sea levels.. they should be mounted higher or put in water-proof bunkers or whatever...
But for those jennies to be rendered useless because of water... tsunami or not.. well, that should be a lesson to us all.

Now, of course, I've just joined the pantheons of Nukleer armchair quarterbacks...
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 12:08 PM

The US isn't the only place where people overreact to this. Like I told Ian earlier, many Finnish pharmacies ran out of iodine pills earlier this week. Oh and to top it all up, we have election coming in about a month. Guess how many candidates are already riding on this nuclear thing any way they can?

And there is also one proposed plant for northern Finland so the regional media ran a story on how that would change the nuclear disaster readiness plans. Never mind the map they printed showed a Russian plant not that far away from our borders.

This thing has actually made me think like John's friend he quoted. And I still consider those 180 nuclear specialists working in Fukushima to be the hardest men on this planet.

But hey, a good disaster is a great spectacle.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 01:03 PM

I do have to say... modern nuclear plants have more safeguards and backups than plants from decades ago. It should be an international law that all older plants should be brought up to those same levels of precaution.

Yes.

But hey, a good disaster is a great spectacle.

define great. ): ( :
Posted by: MicMeister

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 01:37 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
But hey, a good disaster is a great spectacle.

define great. ): ( :


Great as in exciting and immersive.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 01:53 PM

If everyone in the world is watching.. then that, my friend, is definitely a spectacle.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 04:23 PM

Oh, I agree it is the definition of spectacle, and now that Meister has defined great ( : that works for me too.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 04:25 PM

USS Ronald Reagan

boo freaking hoo
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 07:28 PM


Quote:
USS Ronald Reagan

boo freaking hoo


??
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 08:10 PM

Sorry, getting oversensitive.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/18/11 08:39 PM

hall of shame

Be sure to scroll down.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 08:11 AM


Excellent link, lan. Glad you told us to scroll down, though. And I take odd comfort in knowing that American journalism isn't alone in it's well deserved position on the Wall of Shame.
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 09:26 AM

Yup, looks like my country needs its knuckles wrapped also.
No one is above selling their soul for that 5 min. spot.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 09:56 AM

Quote:
Yup, looks like my country needs its knuckles wrapped also.


?
Where are you?
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 09:57 AM

I gotta say.. I think this is tacky...


&ed_rid=0GOA002-EKTH2-BXQAVD-HQY8Z9-...amp;csu=278662]
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 10:00 AM

British Columbia.
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 10:02 AM

At least it says 100% of proceeds will go to Japan. Better than $1 per t-shirt.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 10:36 AM


I think this is tacky


Where's the fringe? This can't be Ralph "Cowboy Fetish" Lauren. Yes, it is. Very tacky.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 10:40 AM


I guess it's a good way to soothe a rich conscience and still wear designer. Anybody who can afford a $98 shirt can afford to donate a whole lot more. But why bother?

My, I'm on the class war path this afternoon. Sorry.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 11:26 AM

For some weird reason I thought you were in the U.S.

Of course, most days I'm asleep at the wheel...
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/11 03:58 PM

Of course, most days I'm asleep at the wheel.

That I agree with you.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/22/11 06:42 PM

I see we are pretty off the radar in the western news. For once, the news on the other end looks a little rosier than what I see here. Radiation levels (still background level in Tokyo and most areas) are actually up in the last 36 hours. Weather patterns have been cited, but I am not convinced yet. The govt has no direct access to TEPCO rad level readings around the plant as far as I know..

Anyway, it became clear days ago that the key issue is the safety of the food supply. We are taking steps in addition to what the govt is. If things don't start to look better, I see a backpacking trip around southern Japan for me and the fam as my son's last day of school is Friday.

lan out
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/22/11 10:35 PM

Always be safe.
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/22/11 10:52 PM

.
It amazes me what the media thinks should be headline news.
Operation Odyssey Dawn is the big story. Japan is second page.
That just tells me that the US is a violent country.
Yeah, yeah, I know, we're not interested in violence, only in democracy.

I've been reading your posts.
I have also been keeping up with the news in Japan with CNN's Japan in Crisis Blog.
.

Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 12:38 AM

5 minutes ago, black smoke from no. 3. Ordered workers inside, they don't know what it is yet.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 12:41 AM

translation: another plume! everyone around the world, hold your breath!
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 01:03 AM

the day before yesterday basically the same thing happened and whatever it was (they still don't know) didn't cause a change in radiation levels.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 01:27 AM

Whatever the cause, there were low enough rad levels that they could send in a fire team and they black smoke has largely stopped. You knew it before possibly anyone else in America.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 01:29 AM

One thing: there is a lot of news going on, lots and lots of updates, and the normally staid Japanese news has become more, err dynamic. More than a few times, the announcer will be going thru some news flash and a guy who is obviously sitting right next to him, but off screen will be giving him orders in a small voice, saying things like "repeat" "go into the lead again" "say the numbers again". Interesting to watch.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 01:34 AM

Tokyo water authorities have decided to advise that infants don't consume Tokyo water as a precautionary measure, though the science suggests they should be fine. I wouldn't have a problem with this except for the fact that there was no such advisory for places closer the plant, where levels for water must be higher. Tokyo jumping the gun on them makes it look like they think Tokyo-ites are more important or something.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 05:06 AM

Quote:
Of course, most days I'm asleep at the wheel.

That I agree with you.



Carp, this is a serious thread. Try to leave it that way, please.
If you wanna bicker with me, fine. Not in a thread about an actual nuclear meltdown.
Thank you
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 05:08 AM

Quote:
Tokyo water authorities have decided to advise that infants don't consume Tokyo water as a precautionary measure


That was on the news here this morning. They said the rad levels in the tap water were twice the safe amount for infants.
Scary.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 05:36 AM

Just the day before my wife insisted on appyling for a water delivery service (from Hawaii!). I thought it was overboard from what I read. Anyway, the first 15 gallons arrived (I was at home) and and hour later they made the announcement about Tokyo water on TV. Good job wife!
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 05:45 AM

Great job wife!
I guess you should view everything with a eye towards "worst possible scenario" and prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
Is food hard to find/buy? I know you (or someone) said that groceries flew off the shelves initially. Has the stock been replenished?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 02:49 PM

People keep hoarding, but it hasn't starved us yet. Milk is suddenly back in abundance, b/c no one wants to drink it due to health concerns. We had stocked up a lot ourselves and can weather several days. While we were in Kyoto, I heard the situation had gotten better, but not that I can see now that we are back.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 06:33 PM

Between Liz, rest her soul in the hereafter, and Libya, rest it's soul now, we are a little off the radar. Here, I am still on the edge of my seat. TEPCO (we call it TODEN - Tokyo Denryoku here now has power hooked up to it's reactor control rooms and has many measurement numbers it announced. The people giving these numbers seem at a loss to either know what they mean or to be able to speak simply enough to explain what they mean. Waiting for expert analysis. Still no cooling besides pouring sea water on them is taking place as far as I know.
Posted by: Leslie

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 07:43 PM

I repeat, keep safe.
The posts are very appreciated.
Thank you.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 10:21 PM

Today, Tokyo registered a much lower iodine 131 number: 79. This is compared to 210 on the 22nd and 190 on the 23rd. Several possibilities for this are suspected. We had a big rain that washed a lot of it into reservoirs. Also the short half life of iodine 131 is another possible factor. 79 is under the legal limit for infants, but Tokyo is still wisely advising parents to avoid it for now. Other areas near Tokyo did not register such high rates at any point.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 10:23 PM

Thanks Leslie. I find posting therapeutic. Glad to be listened to.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/23/11 11:24 PM

no. 1 reactor is looking in better shape. Three workers trying to help restore the ability to cool the no. 3 reactor internally were exposed to a massive dose of radiation 120-180 millisieverts. They were rushed to the hospital. No.3 reactor, by far in the worst shape structurally, is a continuing problem. No. 4's cooling pool for spent rods is also a continuing problem. They are getting numbers for how cool it is that are very low, so they are assuming the sensor is broken.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/24/11 04:11 AM

What a slow, drawn out process. Wondering where the end is at....
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/24/11 04:25 AM

Do you live in Fukishima? My wife's niece resides about 15 miles from the plants.She keeps emailing me she is okay and her family.She says that they go marketing there with no problem.Truthfully I think she is to proud to really tell me the truth.I hope she is not affected by this radiation that is coming from these plants.Hope you are not either Jerry
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/24/11 05:19 AM

My wife was talking about the frustration at this long drawn out process.

I used to live in Fukushima, but not as close as your niece. 15 miles would put her in the "confined to house" 20-30 km radius. Wouldn't think she could go the market.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/24/11 03:57 PM


Do you feel like the government there has been completely forthcoming? No one here is calling that question one way or the other, but just now I saw a report ~ Earlier this week mothers were warned not to give their infants tap water, but now, today, they've been told it's safe. The moms are skeptical, I would be, too.

Very, very sad reports of mass burials. I understand that cremation is part of the religion and culture, so this must be very painful for folks who've already lost everything. But one of the reports summed it up, and it's chilling ~ They said at this point, it's become a numbers game.

Incredible footage of a major highway that had been ripped in two, repaired in three days and to see it, you would never know it had been damaged. That would and never will happen here. Beyond impressive.

We get news, but yes, it's drifted down the page. But you are all still in my prayers, daily. Very Really, lan. And thank you again, for checking in. You give us a view of this we'd otherwise never have.

LoveLea


Edit: That posting is an odd but effective form of therapy ~ I totally get. We look forward to the time when it's just back to you posting for the sake of posting. smile



Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/24/11 04:18 PM

Correct Lea,

Very, very sad reports of mass burials. I understand that cremation is part of the religion and culture

All my Japanese relatives were cremated and buried. You won't find a Urn for example on their fireplace mantle.
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/25/11 01:19 AM

Sorry I made a mistake she called us today and said she lived 30 miles away from the plant which I am happy for her.She did marketing before the earthquake hit she told us also. I am glad your family is okay also.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/27/11 04:00 PM

Took the nightbus to Osaka with the boy. We found a cheap good guest house we are staying at. 25 bucks a night for he and I with free internet. Very good deal by Japan standards. We are not that worried anymore, but either way the kid always said he wanted to go on a backpacking trip with me anyway. He has now discovered he doesn't like them as much as he had imagined. I can go to a "cultural site" in Kyoto etc. and be happy there for hours. He would rather wander the streets of Osaka looking at shops. I mention you can shop anywhere and that the inside of a big electronics store is identical to one in Tokyo, but he won't listen. Wife has a good part time job and wants to keep on working in Tokyo.

It is also a numbers game with the radiation, Lea. I knew it even near the beginning, but now it is becoming clear that this will go on for months, with marginally higher radiation levels in Tokyo, occasionally upticks when things go awry, which I am sure they will continue to do. We have procured a safe water source just in case and don't drink milk (which we never really did anyway.) Have to watch other dairy products. The bad stuff is supposed to be off the market, but who knows how much could build up in a cow even futher away who is eating open grass everyday.

Well Lea, the govt made the water announcement when levels went to 210, twice the number they should be for infant safety. Then they went back down to 79 two days later. They think the rain washed everything into the reservoirs. But I haven't seen any govt announcements about the level since the numbers went down. You'd think they'd tell us just to keep us calm.. I think ther are govt websites where you can find the numbers. They can't scare people too much, because it would of course cause a panic. I honestly think TEPCO the co. that runs the plants is the one who is/was being less forthcoming. But I have done my own research as well, and have decided we are relatively safe but that there is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions about water etc.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/27/11 04:04 PM

can't remember if I posted something about this, but talking about the inability to cremate victims and other sadness reminded me of the blurb below, which I sent as an email to a few people:

School graduations take place in gymnasiums in Japan as well. This is graduation time in Japan. The news is showing ceremonies taking place up north where the quake/tsunami hit.
Kids come up to take their diplomas, tears in their eyes. They are often simply dressed and so is their principal who is handing it to them. And their audience is the refugees who have been placed there. Sitting on the floor watching, probably in the same place they slept the night before. Moving stuff.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/27/11 04:10 PM

Maybe should've mentioned that both the kid and I are on spring vacation from school, so no trouble on that end.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/07/11 11:26 PM

Had a good 9 days or so in southern Japan. Back at work. It is a good distraction. Radiation levels (still quite manageably low) are lower here than where I live. Ironically though, radioactive iodine levels are quite a bit higher (but still not in the danger range we are told). I don't drink the water much anyway.

Yesterdays 7.4 earthquake woke me up at 11:30 pm. I immediately switched on the news b/c I was worried about the reactors in Fukushima. They got a bigger shaking than Tokyo, but late into the next day, they appear to be okay.

Just found a great summary update of each of the reactors at Daiichi. May read very dryly, but I can't believe how much I hang on this stuff:

"Here is the current state of each of the six reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

Reactor No. 1

Overheating has caused a partial meltdown of the reactor core. TEPCO believes some 70 percent of the reactor’s 400 fuel rods have been damaged.

Workers have injected pure water, switching from sea water used last month, into the pressure vessel via a pump, but the cooling system has not been restored yet.

With hydrogen and oxygen likely to have accumulated inside the reactor vessel, workers began pumping inert nitrogen gas early Thursday to prevent a possible hydrogen blast.

Workers had begun pumping out radioactive water from the basement of the adjacent turbine building, but they found more in a trench outside the turbine building, about 56 meters from the ocean.

Reactor No. 2

The reactor is also believed to have suffered a partial meltdown, with about 30 percent of 548 fuel rods likely damaged.

The torus—the reactor’s suppression pool which controls the pressure inside the reactor container—has likely been damaged.

Spent fuel rods in the pool were fully exposed at one stage, but TEPCO has said the rods are now submerged in water and in a stable condition.

A puddle of highly contaminated water was found in the basement of the turbine building and outside in a trench, where a radiation reading of over 1,000 millisieverts per hour was measured.

Workers have injected pure water containing boric acid into the pressure vessel, after dumping sea water as an emergency means.

They found a crack in a seaside concrete pit near this reactor, which was leaking highly radioactive water.

After several failed attempts to seal the crack, using cement, and even newspapers and sawdust, workers stopped the leak on Wednesday morning after injecting sodium silicate, a chemical agent known as “water glass,” to solidify soil near the pit.

Reactor No. 3

A hydrogen explosion badly damaged this reactor’s outer building, and a partial meltdown is also suspected. TEPCO said about 25 percent of the reactor’s 548 fuel rods may be damaged.

Three workers were exposed to high levels of radiation last month when they stepped in contaminated water at the basement of the turbine building. They were found to have suffered no major injury.

Workers had used sea water to cool both the reactor and spent fuel pool, but they have now changed to fresh water.

Reactor No. 4

This reactor was undergoing maintenance when the quake struck. There were no rods in the reactor core.

Fires broke out in the building several days after the quake. The fires were put out with water, which made its way into the spent fuel pool.

Firefighters doused the spent fuel pool using a concrete pumping vehicle, usually used in the construction industry. TEPCO has said the reactor’s spent fuel pool is now submerged in water.

Contaminated water was found in the basement of the turbine building, but workers have yet to remove it.

Reactor Nos. 5 and 6

The two reactors were undergoing maintenance when the quake hit, but their fuel rods were already placed in the cores as they were prepared for operation.

Workers have created three holes in each of the two reactor buildings, aiming to vent hydrogen out and prevent an explosion.

They have restarted the cooling systems of the two reactors and the spent fuel pools, which have remained stable."
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/08/11 05:09 AM

Jeez.. what a mess.
Glad you guys are doing ok.
Thanks for the updates.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 03:38 AM

I was sure I would hear something hear about Fukushima Daiichi being raised to a 7. It is sobering, but it is more of an admission of how much radiation had been released, and I am confident Japan is taking steps to protect people from irradiation more than Chernobyl ever was. I was surprised when Japan first set the crisis at a 5, when it was an obvious six. So, I guess they decided to go all out this time and go straight to 7. Anyway, even at this point, after a month, it is just 10 percent of what Chernobyl released in it's explosion. But still a long row to hoe.

In some ways we are entering new territory, as Chernobyl was one big release, and Fukushima Daiichi (it is hard for me just to call it Fukushima, the name of the prefecture I lived in for six years) is releasing smaller amounts over an extended period of time. The govt is just starting to grapple with this, and is acknowledging that winds (mostly northwesterly) are affecting nearby areas outside the 30 km radius.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 03:42 AM

Yeah, just read that this morning about them raising it to a 7. It was on the back page of the main section. crazy
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 04:13 AM

Is your Government actually telling the people of Japan the real truth what is going on there with this kind of dangerous radiation levels or just hiding the facts?
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 04:22 AM

I'm guessing since he is neither a nuclear physicist nor a political insider in Japan, I'm thinking that he doesn't know either one.

Do you?

Sheesh...seriously?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 01:18 PM

I think the government has dropped the ball a few times, TEPCO even more times, but I think they are being as truthful as they can. There are independent sources all over watchdogging them. I think the fact that it was raised to a Level 7 by the Japanese nuclear authorities, after the fact, before the crisis was over, is a clear sign that they are being pretty straightforward.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 01:29 PM

I am surprised on how long those rods take to cool down - wow
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/12/11 01:52 PM

No sh!t. I am continually thinking the same thing Carp. It goes beyond that, there are spent fuel pools at the plant (and at every plant in the world, almost always in great excess of how much they were designed to hold) that have to be cooled down even more for years. That is just how hot these babies get. This is one of the major concerns of experts is how this massive amount of spent but still hot rods will weather all of this.

I must say, the media was pissing me off, but ever since the 7 rating, most every article I have read has been very diplomatic about why it is now a 7. More was released in the first few days than previously thought. Ironicicically, this means that all those foreigners who escaped b/c they weren't sure Tokyo was safe still got a few good whiffs of that stuff before they managed to get the hell of out of Dodge.
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/13/11 04:01 AM

Maybe they should more information revealed about this to the people living there.My wife aunt lives there in Fukishima and says the Government is not revealing hardly any information to her family what is happening day by day.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/17/11 02:01 PM

Still here, still being careful. Tokyo has been back down to the upper ranges of "normal radiation" for about a week or .079ish microsieverts per hour. Before this we had ranges from about .040 - .115 with a few short points in time here and there where they spiked some. Of course some areas closer to the plant where people are still living are significantly higher but should have "no immediate effects on health" which few find assuring.

You may have heard Tokyo Electric has finally put out an estimate of 6-9 months. 3 months to bring down radiation levels around the plant significantly and 3-6 more months to have things "completely" controlled, if such a thing is truly possible at this point.

The biggest problem now is that the reactors must have cracks because they must continually pump water into them and pools of highly radioactive water have formed and are forming faster than they have the capacity to pump out into a safe place. They stopped a significant leak into the ocean, but now that means the pools will get higher faster and make it impossible for workers to go in and try to reestablish cooling systems. A real catch 22 - they must keep pumping water in the reactors to keep them cooling down, but the water they leak makes it impossible to get near enough to them to get the cooling systems online that would allow them to stop pumping massive amounts of water into them. They are sending in robots now, (everyone is wondering why Japan was so good at making robots for everything, but has had to rely on outside expertise for this) but as far as they have said at this point the robots can do little besides assess damage right next to and under the reactors and measure radiation levels.

Back to you Anderson.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/17/11 05:18 PM

Thanks for the update.
9 months... I guess I shouldn't be surprised...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/06/11 06:45 AM

Yes, Osama has passed, but here in Japan the excitement isn't over yet. Everyone was focusing on reactor 1, which they were having problems stabilizing. So just after a few days of good news about No. 1 (robots going in, workers going in, temps dropping), No. 3 has started to look scary again. Over the last 2.5 days or so, the temps have suddenly started going up again in no. 3 seemingly out of nowhere. They increased the amount of water being pumped in, but the temperature still continues to rise. The only thing they can think of is that water is leaking out from somewhere new before it even reaches the core. No. 3 is the only one that contains MOX fuel and therefore plutonium, which is among the scariest things that can come out of a reactor.

I noticed this steady rising myself because I read all the numbers put out by TEPCO daily, and it took about a day before the news started talking about it. I have yet to find a reference in English news about new No. 3 worries, but the number of such news bits in Japanese is increasing hourly.

This is just when we figured it was safe enough to stop having water delivered etc. (all steps above what the gov't recommends). Just made another water order in case things get worse (which of course of course they won't won't won't).

What's that about bin laden again? All that just can't keep my attention for long these days.
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/06/11 07:32 AM

.
Yes, OLB is taking up all the news time and space.
We are getting very, very little in the way of information from Japan.
Three small headlines on page 18:
Japan to halt three nuke reactors over quake concerns
Workers enter crippled Japan nuclear reactor
Dutch find radioactivity in container from Japan

.
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/06/11 09:39 AM

.
OBL
.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/06/11 02:41 PM

OBL / OLB, I knew what ya meant. ( : It is funny, but Obama Biden, also looks a little too close to that name as well. Ah, the games the mind plays.

Yeah, still no English news on that after 8 hours sleep. When I do put in "reactor 3" and "Fukushima" in GoogleNews, all I get is your first news blurb up there about 3 reactors in other places being halted due to ongoing concerns. If I find anything I will post it.

Going off to see the sumo tournament opening ceremony today. It would be a nice distraction from things if sumo weren't currently mired in it's own scandalous fiascos...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/07/11 12:44 AM

As I said, I started scouring the net for news about reactor 3, because I am watching the numbers from the plant that TEPCO puts out everyday. At this point it is still largely off the radar even over here. I can't help but think this is largely because people over here are suffering from info and adrenaline fatigue, and that TEPCO and the gov't don't mind so much if people aren't worrying like they were. However, I don't think that makes this situation any less alarming. As a matter of face, that is the word that is starting to pop up in the articles I have found, "alarming". They continue to raise the amount of water flowing into the reactor, but the temp continues to go up unabated.
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/07/11 04:24 PM

.
I saw this quote yesterday in different article:

The agency is keeping watch on increasing temperatures in reactor No. 3, which have hit 240 degrees Celsius, said NISA Deputy Director General Hidehiko Nishiyama.

"We do not need to be suddenly worried, but we need to be careful if it continues to rise," he said, noting that Tokyo Electric Power has also boosted its rate of water insertion into that reactor.

More Coolant Poured Into Japanese Power Plant Reactor
.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/07/11 05:43 PM

This is only reinforcing NIMBY attitudes world wide, I'm sure.
All of those people displaced out of their homes. A bit different than a natural disaster displacing you... when it was our own technology that did this, in a sense.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/09/11 05:13 AM

Thanks for that new link Clark, that was the first I had seen of it in the English press. If it had gotten up to 240, it is down to 219 now. Still a far cry from numbers like 109 etc., which it was showing just a week ago.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/09/11 12:30 PM

Here is an article with the most detail I have found in Japanese. I used Chrome's kindly offer to translate it so I could post it here:

"Pressure vessel is damaged," the voice of
Irrigation pipes for damage and, you suspect that some of the heating fuel burn-up, some predict that an out. It also continues to raise the temperature of water injection can increase the amount of fear of water leaking from the pipeline is likely. In the pressure vessel itself is damaged, is heard the sound of this.
TEPCO in the afternoon on May 8, began draining of contaminated water trapped in the condenser, it began to release to the turbine building basement. By switching to reroute the irrigation pipes, overflowing because there is a risk of water trapped in the condenser. This measure is also, however, may leak contaminated water into a trench in the basement if you keep increasing. As of late April, is No. 3 in the trench to a serious rise in water level was only concerned about contamination of soil or even just water, contaminated water will be urgently transferred more and more.
State of mind is more pressure vessels. If the temperature rise can not seem to stop changing the injection route, but it must be discussed in earnest by the damage of pressure vessel leaks. If the failure of a mechanism to cool the nuclear fuel emergency occurs, and continues to overheat and melt the core of nuclear fuel, which could lead to disaster.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/12/11 02:11 PM

The news hasn't really improved out of Fukushima Daiichi. I was just afraid I was jinxing myself by posting too much doom and/or gloom. Anyway, reactor no 3 has continued to rise in temperature to around 220. During this time TEPCO was moving the water injection around trying to find a route that didn't leak or leaked less water to get to the core. In the last two days or so (according to PDF reports put out by TEPCO), it had seemed to "stablize" at 220, neither going up or down. The first report yesterday was again 220 (6 am). Then when I checked the 1pm report it had dropped to a dramatic 180. Seems a relief at first, but this kind of drop makes me worry the gauge has simply broken, which has happened a few times before already. Again little news about No. 3, though I have recently found online forums with ordinary people concerned about it. No. 3 would be the hardest to "repair" in any sense too, as it's outer building is the most damaged and it has by far the highest radioactive levels around it.

The news that is mostly printed in Eng and Jap is about no. 1. This is probably because it is the one of the 3 with the highest probability of being brought to cold shutdown the earliest. The latest news about no. 1 is that now that they have more accurate numbers, it is clear that the rods were not submerged in water, but rather above the water, for the vast majority of the time this crisis has been going on. The only thing cooling them is the water that is sprayed from above it. Most likely, the core has already started to sink to the bottom (which is the beginning of a full meltdown) but is unlikely to progress to more explosions.

Still wonder why suddenly the most optimistic news about the reactors is the stuff making the headlines.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/12/11 02:18 PM

Meanwhile, cesium and iodine levels, even in trace amounts, have not been detectable in the drinking water for about 7 days now. Only for a day or two did a while back did it go above the level "safe" for infants.

The air radiation is down to .0632 microsieverts per hour in Tokyo. The highest it got was .4 for just one hour several days after the crisis. The numbers continue to go down and have not gone above the highest "average" non-crisis levels in weeks. However those numbers still sit near the top of "average" levels when in normal situations they would be moving more between the range of average.

Sorry if it seems like boring number crunching. Again, makes me feel somehow empowered to post this stuff.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/14/11 05:25 AM

Yeah, so, it turns out they had the water level all wrong in reactor No. 1 now that they have more accurate measurements. The water level was probably well below the level of the rods for most of the time. Considering how much the core has cooled down, this means it has probably melted down to the pool at the bottom for some time now (hence the term, ermm, meltdown, one would think). This is where the reactions with the bottom of the reactor that create hydrogen explosions is supposed to occur. But I guess the core is cool enough that there is not a high risk of this? I think if they had known weeks ago that the actual water level was so low, they wouldn't have been so optimistic about further dangers. But things have gone this long without any explosions or exponential radiation releases so....

And don't forget this is the one they were the most optimistic about. It is my understanding that with the core at the bottom, it can continue making holes in the containment, further complicating cooling and leakage of radioactive water.

Meanwhile, reactor no. 3 still "appears" to be dropping in temperature, at least according to twice daily TEPCO status reports. Down to 150 degrees last I saw. Still wonder about the accuracy of that.

TEPCO will have to revise it's containment and cooling strategy and timetable. To what, who knows? Anyway, numbers in Tokyo still look good. Food appears to be safe as well.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/14/11 05:30 AM

Wow.. strange world we live in.. having to keep an eye on radiation levels near where you live.
Freakish.
Thanks for the updates... it's too easy for us to forget what is going on over there.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/14/11 05:32 AM

I should add that they say "it cannot be ruled out" that the other two reactor's cores have settled at the bottom of the containers, in the pools of water there.

Only plus here is that over the last 2 months I have learned how to understand and express a number of phrases more exactingly in Japanese like "can't be ruled out" etc. ( :
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/14/11 06:12 AM

Here is a good sum up in English if anyone's interested:
meltdowwwwwnnnnnnn......
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/03/11 12:38 PM

So things are far from over. They finally found a route to get water to the core in number 3 and things stabilized for for 3 weeks or so. I still read the two daily reports from TEPCO every day, and the numbers have started rising again, by about 10 degrees a day. I hope they don't eventually run out of routes to the core. These things need constant cooling or the decaying process starts heating them right back up again. If the cores heat up past a certain point there will be more hydrogen explosions. Even "spent rods" need cooling for years.

And as I am sure you have some idea of, the leaks continue. The basements below the reactors are almost completely full, projected to fill up in about 2 days, and TEPCO is out of places to pump excess. The rainy season has started, which will greatly exacerbate this.

A facility to decontaminate leaking water is nearing completion, should be finished by June 15th, but noone knows how many times the water will have to be decontaminated before it is relatively "safe" and noone knows how well the facility will stand up to all the salt, sand, and oil etc. that will be in the water, because there has never been a facility that has had to do this.

Radiation levels in the air continue to drop slowly but surely. I have noticed they are dropping more slowly as if we are reaching some kind of equilibrium. They are still around 50-60% higher than low averages before the accident.

Food is being monitored (one has to wonder how diligently). What we are eating should be safe. We continue to take extra precautions.

The opposition party and many in the ruling party are trying to get rid of the PM, cuz everything's his fault. Every Japanese knows that noone to replace him is going to do any better, but they still let them bicker on, when they need to be focused on getting this country safely back on it's feet. Ergghh!

Okay, back to Drug Testing in Florida. (:
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/03/11 01:07 PM

.
Whoa! Day after day, there just doesn't seem to be any good news.
So, on June 15th, they will start pumping water back and forth between the decontamination facility and the reactors?
.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/03/11 01:21 PM

I am not sure if they are planning to reuse decontaminated water or not. It might very well still be full of oil etc. I believe they may try to find away to pump already contaminated water from below the reactors back into the top, while they are working on any excess by decontaminating it and releasing it into the sea (nowhere else to release it even though it won't be completely safe).

Or at least that's my read right now. I am not as up to the minute as I was in those first few weeks. I just spent the last half hour reading over my ramblings here since I started posting about the situation. Crazy stuff.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/03/11 01:29 PM

Come to think, the water below, decontaminated or no is going to be dirty and will degrade the integrity of the containment vessel even more. Now you would think to yourself that experts have thought this through, but I am amazed at some of the flub-ups they have had up to this point.

When the first significant leak into the sea was discovered, they tried sealing it with many things, including cement. Even I, who knows next to nothing, knew that concrete needs a certain water to other ingredients ratio in order to harden.* Well, they forgot that and only made sludge which hampered following efforts to plug the gap - though they did finally manage it.

*Believe I learned this from a Leave it to Beaver episode I saw as a kid; leave it to the beave.
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/03/11 01:51 PM

.
Chernobyl was/is buried under a massive concrete sarcophagus.
I know that back in March, some people were talking about doing the same thing in Japan.
Back then, the Japanese authorities were saying that it was too early to start thinking about long term measures.
The Chernobyl sarcophagus wasn't designed to last more than 20 to 30 years.
And the Chernobyl structure now has huge holes and fissures.

Let's hope the experts can get the Japanese situation under control.
.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/06/11 05:51 PM

Here's the latest from over here. Looks like the meltdown actually happened quickly.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/07/11 03:15 AM

Yeah, saw this news. Your link didn't have it but a similar article I saw also said they think that the plant gave off twice as much radiation as they thought it did in the first six days when they upped the accident to a 7 on the scale. Yes, the info that led them to reassess it as a 7 has been reexamined and they now think it was even twice that. Still not Chernobyl, still very scary.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/14/11 11:50 PM

Let's see. Though it never made the news, reactor 3 shot up in temperature again as I said, but in the last 3 days or so they seem to have found a new route to cool the core. If you can still call it a core. You may have heard that the 3 meltdowns are now meltthroughs and have been for most of this fiasco. They are molten slags that have melted down out of their containment vessls and are sitting in the bottom of the reactors. In terms of what can actually go on inside a reactor short of an uncontrolled chain reaction, this is the worst thing that can happen and it happened times 3.

Radiation levels have stopped dropping off for several days now in Tokyo and have plateued at around .0600, about 50 percent higher than they were. I would assume this is because the radioactive iodine is quickly dissipating (8 day half life) and the majority of the remaining levels comes from cesium (30 year half life, stays in body for a few weeks). Again these are supposed to be safe levels and the majority of cancers around Chernobyl were thryoid cancers from iodine. Hopefully we are through the worst.

I have read some scary commentary from a US expert (saying nothing debunkable as far as I have researched) that says if the spent fuel rods storage pool next to reactor 4 is further damaged by a 7-ish earthquake that there is but one choice: get out of Japan and quickly, do not pass go do not collect 200 yen.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/14/11 11:56 PM

The biggest news is the contaminated water under the reactors will overflow by the 20th of June or earlier if the rainy seasons picks up. They have started testing out decontamination facilities built quickly on the spot that will pump the cleaned water back into the reactors instead of using new water. The testing is not going well. Several days have passed with no real progress and the 20th, which is only an estimate, approaches.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/15/11 12:03 AM

Sorry, wife's laptop drops the ball sometimes, so I must "submit" often or risk losing what I typed.

Even without these overflows strontium in very dangerous amounts (250 times normal) was found in the groundwater below the plant. Strontium is nasty stuff, makes cesium look like a picnic. Since the scare in late March, tap water here is still for the time being safe, as in undetectable amounts of radioactive particles.

They are up to 6 workers who have gone over the acceptable 250 millisieverts limit in battling this nightmare. Another possible 60 or so are over the 100 millisiervert exposure limit, which was the old limit before this hell on earth called by the name of Fukushima Daiichi.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/15/11 12:09 AM

Most of this news you could easily get yourself. I have stopped reading the Japanese news as I once was as the news is not as fluid as it once was. But sharing still keeps me sane. I am still the most informed person in any room about developments and I smile wanly when someone tries to tell me something "new". A born worrier and his computer are not soon parted.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/15/11 12:13 AM

Oh right, recently confirmed that the area I go to work in northeastern Tokyo is 3 times higher levels than the rest of Tokyo. Still supposed to be safe but... My coworkers joke how lucky I am to travel so far to work when they have to breath the air 24 hours a day. Maybe. Anyway, glad the wife and son are further away. The level around my work is still, let's see, only 1/8 of the levels being measured in the biggest city near the plant -which has the very apt name of Fukushima city. A lot of kids have been moved out of there, but there are still a few thousands still living there, along with other, older human beings.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/15/11 12:18 AM

Did you hear how the gov't tried to set the safety level for children at 20 milliseiverts exposure per year for children? The previous safety level was 1 millisievert. 20 millisieverts is the limit for n-plant workers themselves in many countries! Anyway there was an outcry from parents and I believe the number was set again at 1 millisievert, an exposure number that can't be far off for many people up that way.

What's that sig of mine again? You are what you repeatedly do? I guess I am one who spews nuclear facts and fears.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/15/11 03:37 AM

Wow...keep us updated because our local newspaper has nothing on Japan. Stay safe.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/22/11 02:24 PM

Click to reveal..
Warning, might ruin it for you if yo haven't been watching the news. Wish I could tell you how the whole shebang turns out, but nobody knows that.
The water filtering system that is supposed to decontiminate and clean the water building up under the reactors is built out of four different "plants" made by 3 different countries and four different companies, all of which clean out different substances. A hodge podge quickly thrown together machine like this is bound t have problems and they haven't managed to keep it running for more than a few hours since they first turned it on.
The estimated date the water was supposed to start overflowing was June 20th. This date has passed and there is still leeway, which is good. Now they are saying it will spill over by the end of the month if things don't improve. Faster if the rains pick up (rainy season officially started Tuesday).
The newest idea - one they should've thought of earlier - is now that the molten cores at the bottom of the reactors have cooled considerably, they are trying slowly reducing the amount of water they are pumping into them to see if the reactor cores still stay at a stable enough temperature. One reactor, number 3 started to rise almost immediately. The other two appeared to stay stable even with reduced water injection. They are going to continue trying to slowly reduce the water input to see how well they hold up and hopefully stave off overflows longer. Overflows would mean significantly more radiation getting into groundwater and the sea.
Meanwhile a recent official reading of radiation (most of which is now settled on the ground, and is no longer in the air to any real degree) very near our apartment gave an acceptably low reading. I like this. It is still higher where I work, but I am glad to know my son is not getting much exposure at all. The nagging worry is still the food, but we are doing what we can.


That's all from here for now. If I get a new watch or anything, I will be sure to let you know. grin
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/22/11 03:48 PM

This can't be good:

Magnitude 6.7 quake rattles northern Japan
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/22/11 05:11 PM

Man, Bozo, you were the spoiler on this one! I had the day off today, and was hanging out in a coffee shop with a plan to go shopping later in the day. I checked here on a whim with my Kindle and I did not like the look of your link. The magnitude was not big enough for me to feel on the 2nd floor coffee shop in Tokyo but it still worried me a little. I decided to come home again before going out again, just in case, because my kindle couldn't access your link or similar links.

It appears to be okay at the plant, and also luckily no tsunami either in already ravaged Iwate to the north. You still have to wonder if this hasn't weakened further the structural integrity of specifically reactor 4's spent fuel rod container - which is the biggest concern. Maybe this is what you were thinking too, which means some people are actually reading and absorbing my voluminous posts.

I couldn't totally trust the news or gov't so just in case, I also checked rad levels in Tokyo, which in previous "big" incidents, such as hydrogen explosions registered as a spike. They appear unchanged. It is raining in most of northern Japan though right now, which could slow down (but also concentrate) any fallout - but I think it's probably all right for the time being.

Thanks for the headsup anyway. ( :

It was still a lil' reminder how precarious this situation really is.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/22/11 08:32 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
Click to reveal..
Warning, might ruin it for you if yo haven't been watching the news. Wish I could tell you how the whole shebang turns out, but nobody knows that.
The water filtering system that is supposed to decontiminate and clean the water building up under the reactors is built out of four different "plants" made by 3 different countries and four different companies, all of which clean out different substances. A hodge podge quickly thrown together machine like this is bound t have problems and they haven't managed to keep it running for more than a few hours since they first turned it on.
The estimated date the water was supposed to start overflowing was June 20th. This date has passed and there is still leeway, which is good. Now they are saying it will spill over by the end of the month if things don't improve. Faster if the rains pick up (rainy season officially started Tuesday).
The newest idea - one they should've thought of earlier - is now that the molten cores at the bottom of the reactors have cooled considerably, they are trying slowly reducing the amount of water they are pumping into them to see if the reactor cores still stay at a stable enough temperature. One reactor, number 3 started to rise almost immediately. The other two appeared to stay stable even with reduced water injection. They are going to continue trying to slowly reduce the water input to see how well they hold up and hopefully stave off overflows longer. Overflows would mean significantly more radiation getting into groundwater and the sea.
Meanwhile a recent official reading of radiation (most of which is now settled on the ground, and is no longer in the air to any real degree) very near our apartment gave an acceptably low reading. I like this. It is still higher where I work, but I am glad to know my son is not getting much exposure at all. The nagging worry is still the food, but we are doing what we can.


That's all from here for now. If I get a new watch or anything, I will be sure to let you know. grin
LOL, guess we still need to explain this spoiler thing a bit to you but at least you found the button. grin
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/23/11 02:13 AM

Click to reveal..
Spoiler


Click to reveal..
SCHMOILER!!


Click to reveal..
grin
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/23/11 04:00 AM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
Click to reveal..
Spoiler


Click to reveal..
SCHMOILER!!


Click to reveal..
grin


Click to reveal..








(Link)

Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/27/11 12:58 PM

So, they have been more or less continuously decontaminating water leaking out of the cores since Sunday - it's Tuesday 4:37 am as I write this; yes I am one o' them early birds. If they can keep this up they can stay ahead of the very real possibility of an overflow of said water directly into the ocean and groundwater. On Monday, they halted actually pumping that decontaminated water back into the cores b/c of leaks, but this would seem like a minor problem compared to what they have come up against before and will be resolved quickly I think.

Meanwhile, when 16 residents living just outside the exclusion zone aged 4 to 77 years had their urine tested, all showed some body contamination, some already several milliseiverts, when by international standards, the human body exposure rate is 1 millsievert a year. Still no cause for alarm though they say, of course. People in these areas have been asked to evacuate within a month when they have the means, but it is voluntary.

In this first test on May 5, all of these residents had cesium and iodine in their systems. In a test taken in late May (all late info I know but apparently it takes time to crunch all the numbers) none showed iodine contamination, which would lead me to believe that iodine is no longer being actively emitted by the cores, and that they are no longer making any kind of reaction.

Rad levels in the air around Tokyo have, as I reported before, plateaued in the .0580 microsievert per hour range, 50-60 percent higher than pre-disaster readings. I would assume this is largely from cesium still left in the environment, most of which has settled. Again these numbers are safe according to even more skeptical experts who know their stuff. Still have to watch the food, and it will continue to be monitored for...lifetimes? Not sure. It will work it's way higher in the food chain, just as it did in the old place name cum nuke holocaust moniker, Chernobyl.

Will there be a Fukushima in East Palookaville or even West Palookaville, the media outlets ask? My still quite local concern at this point is that my son can go see his grandparents in western Fukushima, (or is it western Nukewasteland?) before they get any older. Not in the cards right now. I should and do count my family lucky though.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/03/11 02:37 AM

So, as of Saturday night, for the first time, TEPCO is now cooling what remains of the cores entirely with recycled water that is being pumped out of the contaminated leaked water under the reactors. Once they get a little more ahead of the cycle, they can also start increasing the amount of water running over the cores to cool them down even further. Before they had to limit the amount of water they were using because it was threatening to overflow.

The spent fuel rod pools next to all the reactors except for number 4 are now all being consistently cooled to temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius which means no more steam off of them to put more relatively minute amounts of radiation in the air. No. 4 spent rods pool is still in the 80 degree range and still steaming, while also being the most precarious situation left at the plant and the one most difficult to stabilize because of the hydrogen explosion in March that incapacitated it.

For the first time since May 2nd, a trace amount of cesium has shown up in Tokyo drinking water again. We shall see what the numbers for tomorrow are.

There is talk about months to a year from now being worse in some ways as the cesium sets into the soil. It has become clear that asphalt registers noticeably lower radiation than soil or vegetation, probably because it easily washes off in the rain - first time I have ever thanked Tokyo for it's endless asphalt. ( :

Again, no more signs of Iodine, which means the reactors are no longer "reacting".

No need to comment. I just hope the "views" go up one or two and that a few people bother to read to the end. Again, it is my therapy.

Sore de wa,
Posted by: Clark

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/03/11 08:34 AM

.
"No need to comment. I just hope the "views" go up one or two and that a few people bother to read to the end"

I'll go you one better...I send your report to some of my friends who are interested.
.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/03/11 11:07 PM

Thanks Clark/Topper, that means something. smile
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/04/11 04:29 AM

Of course we are still reading your posts... there just isn't anything I can think of to say...... crazy
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/04/11 01:50 PM

I did notice that the "views" on this thread go up more than one would expect considering the number of denizens here. Thanks for reading. ( :
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/04/11 02:15 PM

It has been pointed out in news, websites etc. that you can get radiation numbers like Tokyo and it's surrounding area in a number of places around the world. Europe for example has a number of areas that are higher. What I have trouble pinning down is what particles are causing the higher radiation levels - this makes a big difference. Some areas have natural higher radiation, not caused by more dangerous particles such as cesium. Are these numbers in Europe largely after effects of Chernobyl, which spewed radioactive material 15,000 feet in the air? I don't know.

Anyway, back to here, as you may have heard, there are "hot spots" in Japan that are relatively far from the "radius", just as they were in areas surrounding Chernobyl (the hottest and most severe of them being largely in poor neighboring Belarus. One hotter spot, considering it's distance from Daiichi, is the area I travel to work (as I have "reported" before). The thinking now is these hot spots were generally created during a heavy rainfall around the 21st and 22nd of March. Wherever your area was in reference to the fabled "plume" and the rain at that time will seem to have affected your area for some time into the future. Again these numbers are still low compared to reading just outside the radius, but anyway..

I decided to take a look at rainfall radiation readings on those dates and they do give one pause:

The site is in Japanese, but you can make out the dates. ND means "not detected" which can also mean inside the margin of error. Scroll down to the dates from around March 21st to 24th or so. Scary numbers. The far left column is radioactive iodine, the two to the right are two kinds of cesium. Check out number for surrounding dates to get a gauge of just how much the numbers spiked on these days:

too lazy to find this in English, sorry

Ironically, on a personal note, I also happened to notice that these dates closely correspond to the days that I took my family to far away Kyoto because I couldn't take the stress anymore. We came back the night of the worst rain radioactivity for iodine, which was 3/22. Seems we missed the bulk of that. I have no idea if being out of Tokyo for most of that time made any difference, but I am sure it couldn't have made things worse.

Believe it or not I still do manage to get some work done through all of this "info overload" and I have to go to work.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/04/11 03:16 PM

Taking 5 from cleaning the gutters. Hoping someone does a drive-by-gutter cleaning while I'm in here cooling down.

Thanks for the updates. In order to find anything out over here we have to search anymore. No possible immediate calamity, no news I guess.

So since you do this for us, here's your rainfall translation. smile

Hey, I hear the ladder, could it be my gutter cleaning Good Samaritans?

Oh hell, I think it's someone stealing the ladder not using it, gotta go...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/06/11 01:40 PM

Thanks Reboot.

In the last interval, even I have a little trouble finding news (though admittedly I have grown lazy about finding more news in Japanese, which was my primary source in the fire few weeks).

I suppose no news is good news, and means things are progressing as planned in Daiichi. Or as Reboot succinctly put it: No possible immediate calamity, no news. 2 out of 3 reactors have been continuously receiving nitrogen injections to mitigate any future risks of hydrogen explosions (a risk which is already quite low due to the greatly reduced temperature of the cores and the lack of pressure in the containment) now only no. 3 waits to be hooked up to nitrogen injection, but this is a mere extra precaution as I stated above. Have heard nothing about the spent fuel rod pool next to dormant reactor no. 4. I would assume little progress, but no deterioration in the situation. As I have said, it is the one to watch for any scary new scenarios right now (yes indeed, I knocked on wood just now).

What news there is has understandably focused on radiation and concerns about it. More people are getting tested in the surrounding areas and 45% of kids showed some internal contamination. The highest being in a 1 year old.. The line is still that their cancer risks have only been raised microscopically. Most of the benchmarks for future risk were set from studies of those irradiated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But they knew a lot less than they know now, and those numbers are largely estimates based on how far people were when the bombs hit. Most irradiated food consumption data comes from Chernobyl and surrounding areas. The numbers that are showing up in rad testing look, shall we say, manageable.

Not absolutely every food can be tested, because the resources aren't there. On a personal note, my wife and I's primary concern is our son's school lunch. I proposed opting out, but that simply isn't done in Japan unless you are allergic to everything under the sun. I said let's opt out anyway, and send him to school with a packed lunch. My son said he would rather swallow razor blades than do that. Conformity is expected here to an almost amazing degree (Japan has been called by some, my wife among them, as the perfect communist country, hiding in the guise of democratic country). Anyway, the numbers for food do not look all that scary compared to what people in the poor, rural regions around Chernobyl consumed unabated after the crisis there. And we, as I have said, have procured a supply of vegetables etc. from much further south and are confident it is completely safe.

The gov't as of last Friday, put large scale power using companies on alert that they had to cut power by 15 percent every day or pay huge fines, because we came desperately near the 97% capacity threshold several times in the last few weeks. 97% is the threshold at which brownouts will start to happen. The percentage of power usage is something on display in many places. There are two public screens I can see on my way to work that prominently display the current percentage, and most popular web ports for PCs and cell phones all have the current percentage displayed (I tried to use google translate, but that particular area gets ignored for whatever reason, just look to the smack-dab center of the screen and you'll see a percentage (which right now is 62% as it's still early, 5:30 am).

that is all.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/10/11 12:40 AM

Well, a few experts who knew more than a lot of the blowhards out there were concerned about what could happen to spent fuel rods in in an already structurally compromised containment vessel next to reactor number 4. They were concerned that if an earthquake and/or aftershock that was a 7 or higher came it could have dire consequences for the plant and northern Japan. Well, a 7.3 came and went and all seems clear at the power plant. No additional damage reported there and no rise in radiation levels (checked 'em myself just to be sure, online of course). Also nothing but a barely perceptible ensuing "tsunami", and police and fire departments report no additional damage from the quake in northeastern Japan. Good news. There's no news like good news like no news I know.
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/11/11 09:08 AM

It's pretty sad that with this ongoing crisis (and it will be ongoing for years to come) about the only news I see anymore are your updates here. frown

Thanks for keeping us up to date!
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/12/11 08:33 AM

There's an article on CNN:

Radioactive meat circulating on Japanese market

Hope you all are staying safe
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/14/11 01:25 PM

The news on the irradiated beef front has gotten worse. Since John's article, they have discovered that cows with even higher (much higher) radiation levels made it to market. So far, the numbers of cows discovered is still small, so not too many people could have been exposed. We did not consume any Japanese beef at our house, but there is always school lunches to consider. The schools are sending out detailed lists of where their food comes from now, but the beef story is still new. The gov't and media are currently tracking where the final destinations of these cows were.

The maddening thing is that the farms sold the beef anyway. Now that these one or two farmer are being questioned, they admit they fed the cows feed that had been left outside during the worst of the radiation, even though they had been informed not to, because they said they had no other options, but then they willingly sold the beef when anyone who had any sense would have asked that the beef be tested before it was sold further down the line. The only real way to check meat is to kill the animal first which is usually done far away from the farms, which is why there is a delay. My wife blames the government for unclear guidelines but is more pissed at the people who sold this beef and the initial buyers who knew exactly where the beef came from and sold it anyway, knowing there was a high possibility of it irradiating people, but doing it because they could get away with it. I am sure the farms needed the money but there are more things than money.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/14/11 01:31 PM

Again, for the first time in a while, the Japanese news is ahead. I can't find any news about the second farm which sold more cows at higher radiation levels than the farm mentioned in John's link. I saw it on the news last night though. The first story was cows with 5-6 times the set limit of radiation. The one I heard last night was in the 50-60 times range. Yes, scary.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/14/11 03:51 PM

This is why I hate getting news only in Japanese. When I was listening to the news last night, I assumed they were talking about the actual beef levels. The 50-60 times the limit was about the hay the cows were fed, which just as in the other farm's case, would mean the actual level in the cows' meat will be lower, likely 5-6 times the limit. Still bad, but less scary. Japan is not a big beef consumer anyway, and also imports a lot because Japanese beef is too expensive. Will check my accuracy next time before I start typing away next time.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/14/11 03:52 PM

They haven't actual traced any beef from the second farm yet to check it's actual radioactivity btw, it was far enough back they may not know, but it is likely the same level as the first farm.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/18/11 07:18 PM

Yep, the irradiated beef fiasco continues to balloon. We have confirmed that the son doesn't get much beef in his school lunch. Not sure how much I have consumed outside of the home. I am a bit of a McDonald's fan (sorry) and eat there about once a week, but all the beef there is American or maybe Australian. This is a real f-up by the gov't etc. They are taking steps now but those 500 and counting cows have largely already been consumed.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/25/11 05:33 PM

The cesium flavored beef thing continued to balloon. It seems the reason was largely because the "hay" (which is actually rice hay) that these cows were fed largely came from Miyagi, just north of the plant and the hay was left outside during the worst of the crisis, but was still sent to farms all over that area of Japan. The cows fed it were in turn shipped to every prefecture in Japan except for Okinawa. They say eating one kilo of beef from the average cow in this fiasco would give one about as much rad exposure as an pan-Pacific flight. Again, this largely ignores the internalization of particles that does not occur in X-rays and plane flights but oh well.

The government, again moving slower than irradiated molasses has just decided to start buying up any remaining possibly irradiated beef from all over Japan (just heard this this morning) and charging it to TEPCO.

In other, more heartening news, a few smaller earthquakes later, the damaged plant buildings and the Northeastern region itself seem to be holding up well. The current radioactive emissions from the plant itself are down to 1/2,000,000 of what they were at it's height. Encouraging, but scary if you consider at one point it was 2,000,000 times higher. I assume that means if all goes well (which OF COURSE it will will will) that Daiichi will never come close to reaching Chernobyl's emissions.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/05/11 12:29 PM

Another piece of info I have heard (by the same radionuclide expert I mentioned in another thread an hour or two ago) is that his office believes that, according to analysis of the thermal output of Daiichi, that the amount of radiation was 20 times that put out by the Hiroshima A-Bomb. That's right, 20. Sobering stuff. Haven't heard anyone try to debunk this guy yet. He knows what he is talking about.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/05/11 12:47 PM

Probably should give links, and not just my takes on it. Here is the expert talking to the panel. If English captions don't come on, click the CC box in the bottom right part of the video box. If you don't want to hear it all, fast forward to 1:52 where he talks about long lasting radiation. Puts my stomach in knots, it really does.

Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/05/11 12:48 PM

btw, there's two parts on youtube for his entire presentation if you find it as gripping as I do.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/05/11 01:38 PM

Here's another good article about exposure concerns, specifically concerning children.

edit: might as well paste it in:

Japanese parents live with radiation fear

By Shingo Ito (AFP) – 17 hours ago

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — Parents living near Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are facing a nightmare dilemma: evacuate their children or live with the fear that radiation will make them sick.

Since the crisis started on March 11, authorities have raised the exposure limit for children to that used for atomic plant workers in many countries but have sought to reassure families their children are safe.

Some people have listened to the official advice, then voted with their feet and moved out of the fallout zone -- but most have stayed, reluctant to give up their jobs, homes and lives, despite the lingering fear.

In Fukushima city, home to 300,000 people, playgrounds are eerily quiet while children play indoors, one layer removed from the dangers of the atomic plant 60 kilometres (40 miles) away on the tsunami-ravaged coast.

Most schools have banned children from playing football or baseball on outdoor fields or splashing around in swimming pools exposed to the sky. The windows of classrooms remain shut despite a summer heat wave.

More than 300 children have left the city's elementary and junior high schools since April, says the education board in Fukushima, where town workers have been washing down the walls of school buildings.

"We fully understand the feelings of parents, but we want them to act calmly," board official Yoshimasa Kanno told AFP, adding that the city will hand a radiation dosimetre to every student by September.

One mother, Sachiko Sato, 53, who lives in Kawamata, just 35 kilometres from the crippled plant, has moved her two children to another town, although she has stayed behind in the family home.

"We asked ourselves what's most important to us," she said. "For some people it's their job, for others its family ties. For me it's my children's future."

Another parent, Hiroshi Ueki, 40, a former kindergarten worker, moved his wife and two sons, aged one and four, to Matsumoto in the mountainous prefecture of Nagano, 280 kilometres away.

Remembering family life in their home town, he said, "everyday I used to tell my sons: 'Don't touch this. Don't eat that. Don't take your mask off'."

"When we got to Nagano, my son was still asking me: 'Dad, can I touch this flower? Can I touch that car? Can I play in the rain?' When I heard him say that, I was almost crying."

Ueki is one of a growing number of local citizens who, in a movement rarely seen in consensus-seeking Japan and fuelled over the past four months by social media, are challenging the government.

"The government is saying it's safe and secure," said Ueki, who is back in Fukushima, trying to convince other parents to leave.

"But they can really only say that 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now -- if nothing has actually happened by then."

Japan's radiation limit was raised from 1.0 to 20 millisieverts per year after Japan's worst quake on record triggered a tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima plant, triggering a series of meltdowns and explosions.

In Fukushima city, authorities now estimate aerial exposure of 5.4 to 13.6 millisieverts per year -- not counting, critics point out, any internal exposure from food or dust contaminated with radioactive isotopes.

Fears were fuelled when a recent test showed small amounts of radioactive substances in the urine samples of all of the 10 children surveyed.

According to the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation, which carried out the tests with a French non-government group, 1.3 becquerels of caesium-137 per litre was found in the urine of a seven-year-old boy.

Japan's central government downplayed the concern, with the education and science minister, Yoshiaki Takagi, stating that the level was too low to affect children's health immediately.

Many doctors have also advised parents in Fukushima not to overreact if their children suffer symptoms such as bleeding or diarrhoea, saying they are unlikely to be related to radiation under current exposure levels.

But they also argue that authorities should not reach hasty and easy conclusions, saying that the findings at least show that children in Fukushima have been exposed to a certain level of radioactivity.

Radiation safety experts agree that children face a higher risk from radiation-linked cancers and other diseases than adults, but they disagree on just how high the risk is, amid a global dearth of long-term studies.

"It has been medically proven that children can be at greater risk of radiation exposure than adults," said Tokyo paediatrician Makoto Yamada.

"No-one can accurately predict the eventual physical impact of radiation on people in Fukushima," Yamada told AFP. "It is the authorities' duty to take careful measures considering the worst-case scenario."

One radiation expert, Toshiso Kosako of Tokyo University, quit his government advisory job in tears in April when the radiation limit was raised, saying he wouldn't expose his own children to those levels.

Another fearful Fukushima parent is medical worker Masayoshi Tezuka, 42, who evacuated his two daughters for a while, then brought them back, citing the stress of splitting the children from their working parents.

Tezuka said he was shocked when he recently saw pictures of Ukrainian children with neck scars from surgery for thyroid cancer, blamed on radiation exposure from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

"In my mind I swapped their faces with those of my daughters," he said. "It was dreadful. I'm still wondering if this is what will one day happen to my daughters. That fear is still haunting me."
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/05/11 02:27 PM

OK.. that made me feel nauseous....

Sometimes I just can't believe what we do to ourselves.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/12/11 02:25 PM

Updates:

The four damaged or power compromised cooling units on the spent rods pools (by far the most dangerous things at the plant (or any plant) all now have circulating cooling systems that are keeping them at normal temperatures. These, especially no. 4 were what experts were truly worried about - an accident that would be worse than Chernobyl. There have been a number of strong aftershocks - and the plant, reactors and spent pools are holding up better than some experts worse estimates. I remember Arnie Gundersen, a verifiable expert on all this was keeping me up at nights with phrases like "Chernobyl on steriods" and even months after the accident stating that he still saw a 75% chance of a severe radiation release. I am not sure what he is saying these days, but I hope he is more optimistic.

The gov't is seriously considering getting rid of the 20-30 km range "voluntary" evacuation area as they believe the danger there has subsided. It would also make the gov't look better as they kept the people in that outer ring in limbo for weeks after the crisis. I for one think it's a bad idea at this early stage, because if they have to backtrack on this at any point it will be bad for everyone.

Japan's vaunted industry is suffering from the power cutbacks (more so than the average family home) and the gov't wants to consider mini nuclear plants that are supposed to be much safer because they can cool themselves without a power source. Not sure how. The general view among the people though is to phase out nuke power, and as Japan gets 20% of the world strong earthquakes, I can't argue against this. No matter how good the cooling, a powerful enough and close enough earthquake to a reactor could still crack it wide open..
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/12/11 02:28 PM

The food supply is the major concern, especially rice. The gov't is now monitoring contamination in rice paddies all over Japan. Rice is a true staple - eaten by many Japanese 3 meals a day. So far very little contamination has been found, which bodes well for next year's rice crop. I am skeptical about these studies, even some paddies pretty near the plant show levels suspiciously low.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/12/11 10:24 PM

A couple things Lano.

It was not the earth quake that damaged the plant but the later tsunami did.
In short Japan did a great job in protection from earth quakes for the plants , they sorta forgot about them big tides.

The gov't is now monitoring contamination in rice paddies all over Japan. Rice is a true staple - eaten by many Japanese 3 meals a day.

Well that is more with Japans still in place (anti) trade practices. Mind you that Japan protects its rice farmers and refuses to import rice from anywhere else. It took corps like Uncle Bens Rice decades to break into the japanese markets and when they did the products were (tax tariff) so high , it place those rice products out of reach for the average consumer.

You have a local rice problem with the reactor incident.
You have a problem with your government allowing rice imports.

Bottom Line.
Rice is not a problem for the people of Japan - your government import strategy and tariffs is the problem.

California alone can meet the needs of Japan - in short California grows more rice than Japan , 2nd only to China.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/13/11 03:38 AM

I used to be more against Japan's refusal to give into foreign rice, but the more I thought about it - if things ever got really bad, foreign relations-wise, and trade was disrupted etc. Japan would always have it's rice to fall back on. As Japan knows from the war years, all you need are a vegetable or two and a big bowl of rice to fill your stomach. You can even live almost entirely off brown rice if you have little/nothing else.

Believe me, if rice starts to look dangerous here, the people will speak up and rice will flow in like a flood.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/14/11 02:22 PM

This scandalous news has been in the nuclear news for several weeks now, but I haven't really bothered talking about it b/c it's not directly related to the crisis.

Regulators and operators of nuke plants have been playing the public like a fiddle for years.

Pasted content below. You don't have to read it all to get the gist.

SAGA, Japan—The Fukushima Daiichi accident was a big setback for nuclear power in Japan. But the industry's hamfisted efforts to maintain support in the aftermath of that disaster may have an even bigger impact in eroding the public's confidence in the sector.

After a series of disclosures in recent weeks painting government regulators and electric utilities as collaborating to stage-manage public community forums on local nuclear power, efforts to restart idled Japanese nuclear reactors have screeched to a halt.

The controversy was sparked by recent revelations by a whistleblower at utility Kyushu Electric Power Co. that it sought to short-circuit debate at a June community event convened in the southwestern prefecture of Saga to discuss restarting a pair of nuclear reactors that had been shut for routine maintenance. Public outrage has been fanned by subsequent acknowledgment by the governor of Saga that he privately advised utility executives on soliciting pro-nuclear support.

That has led to Japanese government investigations that have uncovered a nationwide pattern of attempts to manipulate the public's opinion about nuclear power by Japan's biggest electric utilities. Some of those power companies then pointed the finger back at regulators for having covertly urged such efforts in the first place.

The "AstroTurf"—or fake-grass-roots—campaigns, which ranged from packing events with supporters to planting questions and orchestrating email drives, have now badly backfired, sparking public outrage that has made it difficult to restart any reactors taken down for regular maintenance checks over the past five months.

"The fact that the symposium I participated in turned out to be just a tool for promoting nuclear power leaves a very bad taste in my mouth," said Yoshinobu Hirata, 49, a part-time rice farmer and former municipal official, who was one of a handful of local residents invited to the government-sponsored event in June. "It will take a lot of time for Kyushu Electric to heal the wounds in the local community."

"The environment in Japan has changed radically since the Fukushima crisis erupted, but Kyushu Electric appears to have behaved as if it's business as usual," Nobuo Gohara, tapped by the company to head up an independent probe of the PR campaign, said in an interview. "Japan's electric power monopolies have long operated in a closed-off world that calls into question their commitment to corporate governance," added Mr. Gohara, a former prosecutor and an expert on regulatory compliance.

The scandal deepened Tuesday, when Mr. Gohara, who has appointed a team of 16 investigators, accused a top executive of ordering the destruction of documents, some of which were apparently thrown out, after his probe began. A spokesman for Kyushu Electric said the company was aware of Mr. Gohara's accusation, but declined to comment pending the release of the committee's findings.

The flap, first revealed by the utility whistleblower, stems from an early-morning meeting on June 21 between Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa and three executives of Kyushu Electric. Gov. Furukawa now says that he urged the executives at that meeting to line up supportive voices from the industry in advance of the June 26 event and "use the Internet" during the public forum, to ensure that pro-nuclear views got an airing. Instead of hosting the company delegation at the prefectural offices, the governor invited them to his walled-off official residence a short distance away, later explaining he did so because the meeting was so early.

When his actions came to light, the governor apologized for "imprudently" accepting the meeting and offering advice, but he denies instructing Kyushu Electric to mobilize its own employees to throw the debate.

Later that day, the three Kyushu Electric officials discussed the governor's request over lunch in a local soba-noodle shop, where one jotted down notes, according to Mr. Gohara, the investigator. That memo called for participation in the forum, ideally "from home personal computers," and was disseminated to 100 midlevel utility employees, who then spread the message to hundreds of others internally and externally.

At the June public forum, there were 286 opinions in support of restarting the reactors and 163 opposed. Japanese media have reported that more than 140 of the supporting comments were directly attributable to pressure from Kyushu Electric, enough to tip the balance. That "consensus" was used by government officials as a reason to move ahead with a restart.

Now, a total of seven electric utilities have acknowledged they sent employees to make up as much as half the audience in regional community forums in incidents going back to 2005, according to a report by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issued on July 27.

Chubu Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co. said they were ordered to do so by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, ostensibly the government's chief nuclear watchdog. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda, who oversees the agency, admitted to, and apologized for, those actions by officials. At a parliamentary hearing where he was berated by opposition lawmakers for his handling of the mushrooming scandal, Mr. Kaieda broke down in tears.

The disclosures prompted Prime Minister Naoto Kan last week to label NISA a "lobby" of the utilities, and spurred the government to propose breaking up NISA by removing its nuclear industry oversight responsibilities and handing them over to the environment ministry.

And Kyushu Electric's stage management of the June forum has shaken faith in nuclear power even in the conservative stronghold of Saga, a small city crisscrossed by feudal-era moats and located some 560 miles southwest of Tokyo.

"I never thought about nuclear power before Fukushima, but now I worry about it a lot," said Namiko Otsubo, 25, an office worker in Saga. "Other countries have given up on nuclear energy and Japan should do the same.

The disclosures have put Gov. Furukawa on the defensive but he has resisted calls that he step down—most recently during a prefectural assembly session this week. Local antinuclear activists have held regular protest rallies, including a 20-person march last week around the prefectural government building in Saga with bullhorns and banners calling for Gov. Furukawa's ouster and the decommissioning of the Genkai reactors.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/16/11 11:03 PM

So, this is a not a new problem, but it is becoming bigger. Radioactive sludge from sewer treatment plants is building up steadily. Most of the sludge (75%) is actually under gov't set radiation levels, but no community will allow the sludge to be disposed of in fills near their neighborhoods. This means it sits untouched in treatment facilities in something like 17 prefectures in northern Japan. These treatment centers are increasingly becoming off limits because of radiation levels around them, with scary looking signs and the like. I assume workers there are now wearing protective gear, something I'm sure they never imagined they would be doing 6 months ago.

In personal news, the safety of next year's staple rice crop is still somewhat in doubt. I was reading on the internet about people hoarding up to a hundred kilos or more. That was a bit scary - the nation's bread and butter being bought up. We don't have the space to store a hundred kilos of rice (and few who aren't very well off do), but the wife just secured a regular shipment directly from a farm in Kyoto (well south of the contamination) for the next year. The rep on the phone said he could only take about two more accounts after us and he would be sold out of rice for the next year. Glad she got moving on that.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/16/11 11:10 PM

btw, when I say "the wife" it is just me being facetious. She can be a handful my wife, but she has really come through and stepped up to the place during this crisis facing Japan, and I count myself lucky for having her.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/24/11 02:14 PM

Some rice fields/paddies north of the plant showed up as contaminated - it would have been rather suspicious if all fields came up clear.

The gov't has finally admitted that the original 3km evacuation zone around Daiichi will be uninhabitable for decades. They might as well have said centuries. No talk of the 20 km zone, which does have swaths that have rad levels that are comparatively quite low for how close they are. The 3km zone announcement comes as a surprise to no one and is more of a catch up admission from the gov't. More and more talk of storing contaminated soil, sewage sludge etc. that is building up in regions around the plant in facilities that would be constructed in the immediate vicinity of Daiichi. It is a very practical idea which the gov't can move on now that it has admitted the areas long term inhabitability.

Of course, though it is uninhabitable, 3,000 permanent and contract workers are still onsite most every day - Japan's peace time kamikaze it would seem.

The current prime minister, Kan (rare Japanese name) is gearing up to step down saying a stable situation has been achieved in Fukushima. He is deeply unpopular, but most everyone realizes the gov't reaction to the crisis would have been largely the same regardless of who was in power, it is the diffuse nature of the Japanese gov't that exacerbated things.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/24/11 02:28 PM

I hadn't seen any reports about the contamination level of the sea immediately around the plant, and was very surprised to discover that the levels had dropped to "undetectable". This must be a good sign. I would have assumed that as leaky and as close to the shore as the reactors are that at least some runoff would have made it to the ocean - glad it's not. Of course, that also means the contamination that was there was dispersed far and wide, but it should be diluted enough to be of little danger.

The air rad levels in the plant are scary, but still exponentially lower than they were. The latest I read was 311 microseiverts per hour just west of the reactors on the plant premises. Compare 311 microseiverts to the current .0557 microsieverts per hour in central Tokyo and .34 just northeast of Tokyo where I work.

As I write this my son pointed out the news to me on TV that an official estimate of the amount of cesium 137 (largely the source of all residual radiation from Daiichi and Chernobyl) released by Daiichi is - ready? - 168 times that released in Hiroshima. 168 times. And we have chosen to remain. I hope and pray this was the right choice.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 02:44 PM

TEPCO now believes it will beat the January date for cold shutdown in all three reactors. Amazing. I don't think even TEPCO believed it's original date. Reactor 3, which is in by far the worst shape structurally, just got an extra water input installed and is getting water from two directions. Not sure how they pulled that off, but it is now below 100 degrees Celsius, the criteria for cold shutdown. That leaves only reactor 2 hovering around 112 degrees. If these numbers can be maintained, they will have achieved cold shutdown. Barring any major earthquake or huge manmade area, the chance of any additional radiation being released is minimal. The managed to get the leaking water decontamination system bug free enough just in time for the rainy season, and the water level in the trenches below the reactors drops 1 to 5 cm a day. Though it is still quite high, there is much less danger of it running off into the ocean etc.

So, I jinx myself, but I would say it's about official that the aftereffects can be the number one area for TEPCO and the govt to concentrate on. New news everyday about real and possible contamination of soil and food supplies.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 04:33 PM

The food front is not as rosy. News and speculation is full of scary stories about how producers and regulators fudge numbers to get lower radiation readings. Examples are: Not digging deeply enough as necessary for accurate rice field tests, mixing milk over regulated limited with milk that is not to dilute it enough to get it under the limit, producers playing dumb about the level of radiation found in their vegetables that were tested AFTER they got to market, etc. etc. I understand these people want to get back to having an income. Who wouldn't. And in their minds, a little bit over isn't going to hurt anyone. But this shyte adds up.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 06:07 PM

Pertaining to the 3km Dead Zone.. what happens to the people who lived in those areas... more to the point.. will they be compensated for their homes by TEPCO.. or by the government? Or are they just sh@t outta luck?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 06:52 PM

Dead Zone is an apt term. Yes, TEPCO has put together a compensation scheme for people in this area, very detailed. I believe payouts have even begun. It will never be enough, but people will take what they can get. Funny, it was always about money money money for TEPCO, and now it will never be anything but money money money flowing out of TEPCO and the govt when it the inevitable bailout comes. Too big to fail is definitely an issue here.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 09:57 PM

The problem I heard is finding land that these people can rebuild their lives on ?

I wonder this compensation packages from TEPCO <-- will they now own the land that those homes are on ? That will create a buffer zone around the plant , at which I don't think it will ever be running again.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 10:00 PM

Lots of inventive plans are being suggested for the no go zone - most of them centering around storing all kinds of other dangerous stuff. Places to store dangerous stuff are at a premium in Japan, since it is such a densely populated country.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 10:06 PM

Not sure about putting dangerous stuff (on) dangerous stuff laugh

Japan could make a contract with the US Feds for Johnston Island Incinerators - Thats where the US sends its dangerous stuff for burn off.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/06/11 10:08 PM

Love the little flaming icon next to this thread. Like it's still burning. I remember I got a certain grim pleasure out of that fact when things were still burning every so hotly up Fukushima way.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/16/11 02:44 PM

Even after months and the months, the same catch 22 that prevailed at Fukushima Daiichi still prevails. Even at these greatly reduced temperatures in the cores/slag heaps, they still need constant inflows of water or they will immediately start to heat up again. This means the water will continue to leak out and continue to feed the pools of water beneath the containment. This water in turn makes it too radioactive for anyone to get near and find and seal the leaks. This means years of doing basically the exact same thing. Even properly spent fuel rods - let alone fuel rods suddenly deprived of cooling capacity in a crisis - have to be kept in water for at least a year after use before they can be put in sealed dry storage. TEPCO's time table for national bliss says they will proceed to seal the leaks at such and such a time if things proceed, but I have heard nothing about HOW they plan to seal them.

Meanwhile, we have to sit around and hope nothing big comes along to shake things up and release this mess to the surrounding environment again. I suppose the rain season is behind us, so at least no more residual water will be added to the leaking water.

I don't even want to talk about the food. It is in many ways the issue for all of us outside the exclusion zone, but there are so many unknowns that I'd rather concentrate on signs of progress at the site itself.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/16/11 03:00 PM

But of course, I can't stop reading about it, so here is another sobering article from an expert in Japan. If you don't read it all, at least read the last line.

As a radiation metrology and nuclear safety expert at Kyoto University's Research Reactor Institute, Hiroaki Koide has been critical of how the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) have handled the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Below, he shares what he thinks may happen in the coming weeks, months and years.

The nuclear disaster is ongoing. Immediately after the crisis first began to unfold, I thought that we'd see a definitive outcome within a week. However, with radioactive materials yet to be contained, we've remained in the unsettling state of not knowing how things are going to turn out.

Without accurate information about what's happening inside the reactors, there's a need to consider various scenarios. At present, I believe that there is a possibility that massive amounts of radioactive materials will be released into the environment again.

At the No. 1 reactor, there's a chance that melted fuel has burned through the bottom of the pressure vessel, the containment vessel and the floor of the reactor building, and has sunk into the ground. From there, radioactive materials may be seeping into the ocean and groundwater.

The use of water to cool down the reactors immediately after the crisis first began resulted in 110,000 cubic meters of radiation-tainted water. Some of that water is probably leaking through the cracks in the concrete reactor buildings produced by the March 11 quake. Contaminated water was found flowing through cracks near an intake canal, but I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. I believe that contaminated water is still leaking underground, where we can't see it. Because of this, I believe immediate action must be taken to build underground water barriers that would close off the nuclear power plant to the outside world and prevent radioactive materials from spreading. The important thing is to stop any further diffusion of radioactive materials.

The government and plant operator TEPCO are trumpeting the operation of the circulation cooling system, as if it marks a successful resolution to the disaster. However, radiation continues to leak from the reactors. The longer the circulation cooling system keeps running, the more radioactive waste it will accumulate. It isn't really leading us in the direction we need to go.

It's doubtful that there's even a need to keep pouring water into the No.1 reactor, where nuclear fuel is suspected to have burned through the pressure vessel. Meanwhile, it is necessary to keep cooling the No. 2 and 3 reactors, which are believed to still contain some fuel, but the cooling system itself is unstable. If the fuel were to become overheated again and melt, coming into contact with water and trigger a steam explosion, more radioactive materials will be released.

TEPCO says it is aiming to bring the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors to cold shutdown by January 2012. Cold shutdown, however, entails bringing the temperature of sound nuclear fuel in pressure vessels below 100 degrees Celsius. It would be one thing to aim for this in April, when the government had yet to confirm that a meltdown had indeed taken place. But what is the point of "aiming for cold shutdown" now, when we know that fuel is no longer sound?

In the days ahead, the storage of enormous quantities of radiation-contaminated waste, including tainted mud resulting from the decontamination process, will become a major problem. Because the responsibility for spreading nuclear materials into the environment lies with TEPCO, it makes sense to bring all the radioactive waste to TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo.

Since that's not possible, the waste should be taken to the grounds of the nuclear power plant. If the plant is not large enough to accommodate all the waste, then a location close to the plant will also have to be designated as a nuclear graveyard. However, no one should take advantage of the chaos and force Fukushima to host interim radioactive waste repositories for spent fuel from other nuclear power plants.

Recovering the melted nuclear fuel is another huge challenge. I can't even imagine how that could be done. When the Three Mile Island accident took place in 1972, the melted nuclear fuel had stayed within the pressure vessel, making defueling possible. With Fukushima, however, there is a possibility that nuclear fuel has fallen into the ground, in which case it will take 10 or 20 years to recover it. We are now head to head with a situation that mankind has never faced before.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/16/11 03:10 PM

The gists of his points:

TEPCO aims for a cold shutdown, but the definition of a cold shutdown means that the nuclear fuel is all completely inside the pressure vessels, which it is surely not.

The reactors, especially no. 1, have likely burned completely through to the ground. He is not even sure they need to be pumping water into no. 1 anymore. And this will or may already be seeping into ground water and the ocean.

He, an expert, can't even imagine how recovery of the nuclear fuel could be accomplished in the current situation.
Posted by: katlpablo

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/16/11 06:13 PM

It's a very bad situation that should be a counter example for other countries.

Maybe, i'm not sure, nuclear power plants should be phased out and new construction stopped. We are seeing the enormous risks present in the nuclear industry knowhow.

It is true that radioactive material is necessary for medical purposes and for other uses that do not imply great quantities of nuclear material be present. We can assume these uses will continue.

We need to admit that a similar nuclear accident, or whatever variations of them are possible, could happen in any part of the world, in the near or more distant future, given the actual climatic and geologic events that seem to be on the rise in number and severity.

We are risking contaminated hot spots wherever there is a nuclear power plant. That would mean a growing series of similar leakage problems could, eventually, be occurring around the world in the next decades, and consequently potentially creating those difficult to control nuclear pollution sources.

There are, also, the issues of the disposal and storage of spent fuel and other nuclear materials. [I will just mention, in passing, that wars, "conventional" or nuclear, have already contributed, are contributing to the factual radiation levels, and may contribute to them in the future.]

To me it's obvious that: for a living being to be able to exist; for it being able to reproduce and evolve; its food supply and the source of nourishment for new beings [from which it must necessarily draw matter and energy to grow] must exist previously to that being's existence.

The ultimate question is if Humans or at least our radiation contaminated descendants are going to be able to adapt to the rising radiation levels that appear to be going to be a part of our future and, be able to assimilate those rising future levels present in our future food supply.

I anyone thinks it would be interesting to know what Professor Hiroaki Koide thinks about the real possibilities of, —in face of the Japanese experience with the viabilities and risks of nuclear energy in general—, successfully continuing to pursue nuclear energy through these and other kind of power plants, they can read "Engineer dismantles facade of Japan's nuclear industry".
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/16/11 07:16 PM

Quote:
they can read "Engineer dismantles facade of Japan's nuclear industry".


Good rreading...
I think that's already been linked to in this thread a couple of times...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/01/11 11:50 PM

In case you were on the edge of your seat for another update:

Good news: All three troubled reactors are now very securely under the boiling point of water, and though it hasn't been officially announced, they are in a state the gov't and TEPCO were aiming for "cold shutdown", and this is 3 months ahead of schedule. This means no more steam releasing more radiation.

Even this good news has a caveat. The actual pre-crisis definition of a "cold shutdown" expressly assumes the reactor is in it's containment vessel which is almost certainly not the case in either of the 3, especially in number 1, which has very likely leaked out near completely. There is however, something down there as it is still around 75 degrees.

Other good news: the government rescinded the 'in your own time" evacuation order for the 20-30 kilometer radius. I think this is premature. There may be no more spewing radiation, but there are definitely pockets in there that are at Chernobyl levels. But it is a sign of progress I guess. I don't think anybody is rushing back to live there just yet though. Private citizens have invested a lot of money in buying the best radiation detectors and are registering numbers that makes one scratch his head at why they have lifted the 20-30 km radius ban so easily.

Bad news: The sea was expected to disperse the cesium spilled into it far and wide around the world to the level of no danger to anyone or anything, but this has not appeared to be the case. For some reason is not dispersing like they thought it would and is largely staying put in a swath off of Fukushima. There is speculation that radioactive material may still be leaking into the sea and is keeping numbers from going down. Again, no one knows for sure.

In connection with this, it is not any surprise, but though Chernobyl released over 5 times the radioactivity over a much larger area, Daichi is by far the worst nuclear accident in terms of it's effect on the sea. Chernobyl comes nowhere near the impact Daichi wreaked or wreaks on the sea.

More bad: thought they have the core temperatures down, typhoon rains have raised the levels of water under the reactors to near overflowing again. There is also speculation that groundwater is leaking in. If groundwater is leaking in, the radioactive cocktail inside is sure to be leaking out.

And there you have it.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/02/11 04:13 AM

Thanks for the update.
Curious why the contaminated sea water is not dispersing.
Posted by: katlpablo

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/02/11 09:48 AM

Thanks for the update.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/20/11 04:32 AM

I am still following things of course.

All three reactors are down to the 70s, very clearly no danger of any more hot particles, it remains to be see in the long run how secure whatever the mess down there in those three locations is, and if anything is slowly leaking out.

The gov't has opened up schools in some of the areas that had been evacuated inside the 20-30 km ring, area that have now been deemed safe enough by the government. Most of the schools have about a third of the students they did when they were closed. There is a lot of criticism that it was too early. Kids at these schools are only allowed outside for an hour or so and must wear masks when they do. Most kids are driven by their parents to avoid any increased exposure to outdoor radiation (driving one's kid to school is not at all a common practice in Japan normally).

The science club at my school took upon itself to measure the rad levels around our school. Some gutter areas etc. are measuring as high as .4 microsieverts per hour, a figure that legally requires decontamination, but no concrete moves yet. Again these numbers are lower than some areas people are living in closer to the plant, but my school's area just northeast of Tokyo is officially one of the hotspots, an area hundreds of kilometers from Daichi, but higher than areas just around it.

And I just heard on the news tonight that the Japanese government is will likely move on widening the legally mandated evacuation zone in any future nuclear disasters/scares from 10 kilometers to 30 kilometers. Ironically, this is the the number the gov't finally deemed was enough after several revisions of the evacuation zone in the days following the disaster. I can imagine the anger that must be felt by the people who sat for something like a month in the 20-30 km ring and were told to stay inside until further notice.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/20/11 10:22 AM

Quote:
The gov't has opened up schools in some of the areas that had been evacuated inside the 20-30 km ring, area that have now been deemed safe enough by the government. Most of the schools have about a third of the students they did when they were closed. There is a lot of criticism that it was too early. Kids at these schools are only allowed outside for an hour or so and must wear masks when they do.


That just strikes a picture of complete absurdity in my mind....
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/26/11 12:51 PM

Oh goody, more news. I hadn't seen anything too scary in a while (I still check the nuke news about once every 3 days if something doesn't pop up into the headlines on it's own).

An international study has concluded that the release of radiation is twice what the J gov't estimated. The discrepancy probably lies in the fact that the J gov't only used monitor stations in Japan. 20 percent of the fallout was released over Japan, while the rest was dispersed over the ocean. 20 percent is still a hell of a lot for a country the size of Montana. One of 3 news sites that reported this said that puts emissions now at half of Chernobyl, but I haven't seen that statement anywhere else. The study also concluded that the spent fuel rods, I assume from the pool next to no 4 reactor, (stuff that should have been out of the picture dammit!) played a significant part in emissions, something the Japanese gov't has denied.

Also, and I saw this one coming: Owners of cars out of some of worst hit areas have been found to be re-registering the cars and selling them. One car was found to have as high as 110 microsieverts per hour, this is a huge number. Used Japanese cars often go to other parts of Asia to be sold, but they are being checked routinely now for radiation, so these owners sell them domestically instead.

If anybody wants me linking this stuff, I will, but I am not sure enough people are reading it to bother.

Okay, I've vented my radioactive cloud now, feel a little better..
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/26/11 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
If anybody wants me linking this stuff, I will, but I am not sure enough people are reading it to bother.

Okay, I've vented my radioactive cloud now, feel a little better..
I read your stuff, and I'm worth posting links for. grin

As long as it's in English. smirk
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/26/11 04:32 PM

.
I read it. Am interested. Thanks

We have nuc plants all over the U.S. and one near my Millville, NJ home town. I like to keep up on this stuff.

Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 05:35 AM

Understood. Will be sure to link in the future.

Here's one.

More than twice the radioactive material was released
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 07:04 AM

I read it, but not always comment.

You must be lying about all this...i mean, there is NO coverage of this in my paper or local news! If the press don't cover it, it's not happening. Right?? crazy (sorry...sarcasm at it's worst)

Man oh man, reading it sounds scary. Hope that you and your family are safe and don't get sick from the exposure.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 08:03 AM

An interesting result from the Tsunami is the debris that will be coming our way for 15-20 years, propane tanks, refrigerators etc, and making things like boating, surfing etc risky for the west coast and Hawaii.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 01:41 PM

Till it settles into the Garbage patches...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 01:51 PM

A couple of these images might break your heart...
http://pacifictrashvortexwebsite.blogspot.com/p/images.html

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/pacific-trash-vortex-signifies-future-of-oceans.php

http://pacifictrashvortexwebsite.blogspot.com/p/images.html
Posted by: drjohn

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: NucleusG4
Till it settles into the Garbage patches...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch


Crap, all the good stuff will probably be gone by then.
wink
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 07:20 PM

Yep we been getting their trash for centuries. In fact we get trash from India, China and Taiwan as well.

Normally the north and east shores are the dump sites during winter months. Sometimes but kinda rare you can find something thats cool, otherwise its just trash.
Posted by: carp

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/27/11 07:23 PM

LOL

At least that gives me enough time to prepare my daughter before all the bloated and rotting Hello Kitty corpses wash ashore.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/28/11 02:51 PM

This article has the gist of a few things I have been reading the last few days:

"If heavy rain had fallen in Tokyo on March 14 or March 15, the capital could have experienced the same severe spikes in radiation that areas northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered, says the author of a new study.

“There was a period when quite a high concentration went over Tokyo, but it didn’t rain,” Norwegian scientist Andreas Stohl told Nature News. “It could have been much worse.”

Mr. Stohl is the author of a new analysis that contends the Fukushima Daiichi disaster released more than twice as much cesium-137 as the Japanese government has estimated.

The study estimates that the Fukushima accident after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami released 3.5 times 10 to the 16th power becquerels of cesium-137, the main radioactive substance of concern, compared to the Japanese estimate in June of 1.5 times 10 to the 16th power becquerels. However, the error bands on both estimates are wide.

Mr. Stohl also finds that the cesium-137 emissions suddenly fell on March 19, after the Tokyo Fire Department’s Hyper Rescue Squad sprayed water on the spent-fuel pool at Reactor No. 4.

That suggests No. 4 was responsible for significant radiation release, says Mr. Stohl, contrary to Japanese government accounts that the fuel rods in the pool weren’t damaged.

Mr. Stohl’s paper says the highest emissions occurred on March 14-15, and at the same time winds transported these emissions over Japan. Rain or snow on those days in places such as Iitate, northwest of the plant, caused those areas to suffer from high radiation on the ground, and some were later evacuated indefinitely.

If it had rained in Tokyo those days, “a disastrous scenario … in the major population centers would have been possible,” the paper says."

What this means, if it's true of the case, and signs point to this report being right, it means that the gamble all who stayed in Tokyo took was a much bigger gamble than previously known. We were at the whim of the weather. Just writing these words makes my head shake at the irony of it. I truly thought I was making an informed decision in those days back when I was posting here like a madman. By all accounts, we should've got the hell out. Well, at least God and the weather looked down on us in a kindly light.

Again, it seems a large part of the discrepancy lies in the gov't underestimating the impact of the spent fuel rods near reactor number 4, and largely ignoring them for too long while concentrating on the 3 reactors.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/28/11 02:56 PM

And, if I may risk repeating myself, spent fuel rods are the hidden danger for plants all over the world. Permanent storage facilities in most places filled up long ago, which means spent fuel rods are kept essentially permanently in temporary storage for a lack of a better place to put them. This info I found below explains it better:

When the spent fuel rods are removed from the reactor core, they are extremely hot and must be cooled down. Most nuclear power plants have a temporary storage pool next to the reactor. The spent rods are placed in the pool, where they can cool down. The pool is not filled with ordinary water but with boric acid, which helps to absorb some of the radiation given off by the radioactive nuclei inside the spent rods. The spent fuel rods are supposed to stay in the pool for only about 6 months, but, because there is no permanent storage site, they often stay there for years. Many power plants have had to enlarge their pools to make room for more rods. As pools fill, there are major problems. If the rods are placed too close together, the remaining nuclear fuel could go critical, starting a nuclear chain reaction. Thus, the rods must be monitored and it is very important that the pools do not become too crowded. Also, as an additional safety measure, neutron-absorbing materials similar to those used in control rods are placed amongst the fuel rods. Permanent disposal of the spent fuel is becoming more important as the pools become more and more crowded.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/01/11 01:55 PM

This is creepy, like a movie or something. Japanese MP drinks purified water from puddles at the plant to placate journalists.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/01/11 02:19 PM

Yeah... that does seem a bit off, eh?
Posted by: DLC

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/01/11 02:51 PM

Euuu-w-eee ! Is he nutz ?? No job is worth that . sick

Hey... well at least he won't need a night light when he gets outta bed to go to the bathroom ! wink

Kinda looks like one of them glo-sticks doesn't it ? blush

Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/01/11 06:43 PM

I saw this on CNN today. It was actually on the front page under latest news for a few hours, now it's buried already.

It will probably take 30 years to decommission everything there.

You may have covered some of this already, can't remember.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 04:40 AM

Here's the latest from Reuters.

It seems a fission process has occurred or is occurring.
Posted by: DLC

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 10:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Reboot
Here's the latest from Reuters.

It seems a fission process has occurred or is occurring.

do you mean fission or fishin' ?? laugh
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 01:53 PM

3 eyed fish maybe. grin
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 02:24 PM

You were ahead of me on this one Reboot, haven't had time to read in more detail, but don't like the looks of this at all.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 02:38 PM

I get from that article that they are at a loss to explain how it could have happened, but the amount if tiny enough that they have decided not to worry about it. Xenon 134 was what was detected. It has a half life of 9 hours or so, which means it can't be a by-product from some time ago, it had to be very recent. No alarm bells yet from any experts not connected with the gov't so I hope that is a good sign.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
No alarm bells yet from any experts not connected with the gov't so I hope that is a good sign.
Yeah, you haven't been misled yet, so no worry, huh? smirk
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/02/11 07:39 PM

Yeah, now it is being acknowledged by TEPCO for the first time that small scale re-criticalities (love this terminology that flies off my fingers so easily now...) have probably occurred any number of times. Many experts not affiliated with the plant have been saying this since the beginning.

Here are some meaty blurbs from an article I just read:

"The presence of xenon 135 in particular, which has a half-life of just nine hours, seemed to indicate that fission took place very recently."

"The government censured the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, for failing to report the discovery to the prime minister’s office for hours."

"The developments added to the disquiet over handling of information related to the disaster. For almost two months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, disaster, both company and government officials declared it was unlikely any meltdown had occurred at all at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear complex, finally conceding that the fuel had indeed slumped and had likely breached containments in three reactors."

"But even in their most dire assessments, some experts had not expected even bursts of re-criticality to occur, because it was unlikely that the fuel would melt in just the right way — and that another ingredient, water, would be present in just the right amounts — to allow for any nuclear reaction. If episodes of fission at Fukushima were confirmed, an expert confided, “our entire understanding of nuclear safety would be turned on its head.”

"A former nuclear engineer with three decades of experience at a major engineering firm, meanwhile, said that sustained re-criticality remained highly unlikely. But his main concern was that officials could not pinpoint the exact location of the nuclear fuel — which would greatly complicate the cleanup."
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/06/11 04:03 AM

TEPCO released a statement a number of days ago that concluded that the particles detected were not due to any criticality, but other short term phenomenon, because even a very short criticality would have resulted in tens of thousands the amount of xenon as was detected. I have seen no scientists disputing this conclusion.

Even with this, I am still seeing "weekend update" English news that is repeating the same worrisome criticality reports. I guess that is just more interesting than "it's probably nothing." I'll take the boring version of this news any day of the week. smile
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/08/11 12:27 PM

an article I just read:

The Tokyo Electric Power Company in Japan plans to revise its criteria for determining if a damaged nuclear power plant is poised to start a dangerous, "critical" chain reaction of fission.

The revisions come in the wake of confusion over whether the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had gone critical, generating neutrons through the fission, or splitting, of uranium nuclei that would then go on to split more nuclei in a runaway process.

On 1 November, TEPCO announced it had detected worryingly high levels of radioactive xenon, a by-product of fission, near the plant's Number 2 reactor. This prompted anxious headlines around the world.

But it was a false alarm. The xenon came from the natural radioactive decay, or "spontaneous" fission, of the element curium, a product of a working nuclear reactor. Curium can turn into xenon via two pathways, either directly or by first decaying into radioactive iodine, which then decays into xenon. TEPCO had only considered the first pathway, says physicist Ron Fleming at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"It seems like the scientists are completely caught off guard and improvising as they go along," says physicist Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California.

----
Completely off guard and improvising... These are not words I want to hear. I never had a really strong feeling one way or the other about nuke power; I am indisputably against it now.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/30/11 12:47 PM

This is likely the longest I have gone without an "update". Very likely because I too am finally getting used to the status quo.

TEPCO again finally admitted that at least reactor no. 1 was a full meltdown, but still claims it thinks that 1/4 of the concrete barrier beneath it's containment is still intact. I, among others, am dubious. I wouldn't even make bets on the other two reactors "breach" level.
link, if you like

The man who has been in charge of the plant since 2008, and oversaw the plant up until today, Yoshida, is stepping down due to health reasons after a routine checkup. It seems heavy, but all insist it is not related to the 9 month meltdown combat operation. He is considered a hero by many, including myself. He and a suicide crew stuck it out when many would have bolted. The gov't and TEPCO at one point quite early in the crisis became concerned from a flawed advisory that seawater could raise risk of a recriticality and ordered Yoshida to stop seawater injection. It was eventually confirmed that Yoshida had ignored these direct orders without telling TEPCO and the gov't for fear of being removed and the injection being stopped. He continued the injection, for which he was later reprimanded. It is the general opinion now that this decision mitigated a worse crisis.

link, if so inclined

More and more rice harvests around the region surrounding the plant are coming up too high for consumption. Worries are increasing about how far this will go. A new analysis of weather patterns during the crisis postulates that most of the rest of Japan (western Honshu and Shikoku) likely got a peppering of radiation. This means food supplies should be tested there as well, but I have neither seen nor heard of any testing. We are having our rice (the wife does most of the cooking and she's Japanese) sent from Kyushu. This is the southernmost of Japan's 4 main islands, and is as safe as we can get domestically. There is no foreign rice in Japan as far as I know; this situation may change if things start to look worse.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/30/11 01:00 PM

On a more personal note, I have mentioned that the area just outside of Tokyo that I work in has higher radiation readings than the rest of Tokyo. A man in the office where I work takes one of those expensive handheld radiation detectors out every day and measures radiation in 4 or 5 areas. He told me where they are posting the data (not online or I might've linked it.) I don't like the numbers. They wouldn't have been considered "safe" 10 months ago. Not much I can do. It is the most secure, well-paying job I have had here. I just feel lucky that I am an adult and at much less risk than all the kids living in the area. People don't seem worried though. They continue to trust the government. The latest projections, foreign and domestic, do say (at this point at least) that it will probably be very difficult to identify any kind of "spike" in cancer numbers in the years to come. All eyes will especially be on thyroid cancers in people who were kids in the general area during the worst of this. I pray pray for the future.

Our apartment complex was sold, and a routine inspection seems to have confirmed that our building is no longer up to new earthquake standards and they are asking everyone to make plans to move out. We are negotiating the terms of our "withdrawal". I was always planning to use such an opportunity to move closer to my work, but now it doesn't seem such a bad thing having to travel over an hour to work every day. It's okay though. My wife just secured a really good job right here, and I get a lot of work done during my commute - making my coworkers scratch their heads at how I never seem to have much deskwork to do. smile
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/30/11 05:56 PM

.
Thanks for sharing.

:-)

My kids were talking at Thanksgiving about the prospect of all the debris reaching our coastline here in Oregon sooner than first predicted.

Would it be safe to rummage through? Will the State place it off limits? What will the state do with it all?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 12/04/11 12:51 PM

I am not sure about all the debris issues. I wouldn't think any of it was radioactive, if that's what you are asking. I suppose if massive amounts come in it will make big headlines.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 12/04/11 12:52 PM

Testimonies from workers at the plant from the worst of the crisis are leaking out, pardon the pun. Here's a small excerpt:

They described attempts to release pressure from a reactor container by manually opening a ventilation valve.

"We put on the full protection gear but couldn't possibly let young workers do the task, as we had to go into an area where the radiation levels were high,'' one worker recalled.

"When I got to the place to open the valve, I heard eerie, deep popping noise from the torus (a donut-shaped structure at the bottom of the reactor),'' he said.

"When I put one of my feet on the torus to reach the valve, my black rubber boot melted and slipped (due to the heat).''

The operators also spoke of dismal working conditions as they battled to stabilise the crippled plant.

"We experienced big aftershocks, and many times we had to run up a hill in desperation (fearing a tsunami) with the full-face mask still on,'' one worker said.

Another worker spoke of the race to lay power cables and bring back the supply of electricity, saying: "We finished the work (in one section) in several hours, although it usually requires one month or two.''

"It was an operation we had to do in puddles, fearing electrification,'' the worker said.

Explosions and fires at the plant unleashed dangerous levels of radiation, forcing TEPCO to pull out hundreds of workers, leaving just a few dozen behind.

Those workers earned the nickname "the Fukushima Fifty'', but that number eventually swelled again by thousands, including technicians sent from partners such as Toshiba and Hitachi.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 12/04/11 01:02 PM

Don't know how I missed this, but late November, a planned removal of radioactive gas from the reactors measured higher than safe hydrogen amounts - which could lead to more explosions. Some measurements were as high as 2.9 percent, while 4 percent is the danger level.

I honestly thought we were past such concerns, anyway more nitrogen being pumped in to alleviate problem. I am curious why they stopped pumping in nitrogen in the first place.

If I still have anyone's attention, could you read this for me. This headline from Huntington News, in it's link and in the headline says:

Fukushima Reactor(s) Leaking Again; Hydrogen Building Up

However in the body of the article (it's short) there is no mention of any leak, only the hydrogen buildup. "Leaking again" is a provocative headline, yet there is no additional leakage mentioned here or elsewhere. Bad journalism in my opining.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 12/26/11 09:54 PM

first full report on what went wrong

And pasted below.

Fukushima Probe Focus on Regulator in Multiple Response Failure

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- When engineering professor Yotaro Hatamura took the job of heading the independent investigation into the Fukushima disaster, he said he was looking for lessons rather than culprits. He may have changed his mind.

In a 507-page report published yesterday after a six-month investigation, Hatamura reserves some of his strongest criticism for Japan's atomic power regulator, the Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency, known as NISA.

NISA officials left the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant after the March 11 earthquake and when ordered to return by the government provided little assistance to Tokyo Electric Power Co. staff struggling to gain control of three melting reactors, according to the report.

“Monitoring the plant's status was the most important action at that time, so to evacuate was very questionable,” the report by Hatamura's 10-member team concluded. The committee found “no evidence that the NISA officials provided necessary assistance or advice.” Even though NISA's manual said to stay at the plant, their manager gave the officials permission to evacuate, according to the report, which doesn't name the manager.

The preliminary conclusions by Hatamura, who specializes in studies of industrial accidents caused by design flaws and human error, includes a slew of planning failures, breakdown in communication and operational mistakes by Tokyo Electric and the government before and after the earthquake and tsunami.

No Power

While the utility supplied the electricity that kept homes, factories and offices running in metropolitan Tokyo, the world's biggest city, lack of preparation for power failure in the Fukushima station left workers reduced to flashlights at the 864-acre plant site, the size of about 490 soccer fields.

Batteries in cell phones at the Fukushima plant started running out on March 11 and with the failure of mains power couldn't be recharged, preventing communication with the on-site emergency headquarters, according to the report.

Because the utility known as Tepco hadn't considered a tsunami overwhelming the Fukushima plant, no preparation was made for “simultaneous and multiple losses of power” causing station blackout, the document says. The blackout caused the failure of all personal handyphone system units in the plant, seriously disrupting communications among staff.

Fractured Communications

Communications became so fractured that plant manager Masao Yoshida, stationed in the emergency bunker, didn't know what some workers were doing. The high pressure coolant injection system at the No. 3 reactor was stopped by a worker without authority from plant managers, according to the report. The reactor was one of the three that melted down.

In Tokyo, the central government's response was muddled by miscommunication between two teams working on different floors of the same building, the report said.

The report also criticized the government for failing to use its system for monitoring the spread of radiation in calculating evacuation areas. While the monitoring tool lacked sufficient data for an accurate assessment because of communication failures, its predictive functions should have been used, the report said.

Withholding Information

The government also erred in keeping data on the spread of radiation from the public. “Information on urgent matters was delayed, press releases were withheld, and explanations were kept ambiguous,” the report concluded.

The report by Hatamura, professor emeritus at University of Tokyo, serves as a time line for the chaos that ensued when the record magnitude-9 earthquake knocked out power and buckled roads before the tsunami flooded backup generators. Radiation fallout from the reactors forced the evacuation of about 160,000 people. The government has yet to say how many can return and when.

Jun Oshima, a spokesman for Tepco, declined to comment on the report as the utility is checking the contents, he said.

Hotlines between the central control room and the reactor buildings worked following the quake, while workers outside the buildings could use a total of nine transceivers, spokesman Masato Yamaguchi said yesterday. The company added 29 transceivers on March 13 and 80 more on March 15, Yamaguchi said.

Failed Procedures

On NISA procedures, the report says the agency's manual called for inspectors to remain at Dai-Ichi in an emergency while other officials head to the offsite emergency command office 5 kilometers (3 miles) away in Okuma town.

By March 14, all eight NISA officials, who are unidentified in the report, had left Dai-Ichi.

“The inspectors were in charge of gathering live information on the site,” Hiroyuki Fukano, director-general of NISA, told reporters in Tokyo last night. “It's a serious problem that they didn't do their job, though it's a matter of NISA's system, rather than individual inspectors,” said Fukano who was appointed after the former head Nobuaki Terasaka was fired in August.

Kazuma Yokota, NISA's chief inspector at Dai-Ichi at the time of the quake, said in an interview with Bloomberg News in April he was one of three inspectors who left the plant 15 minutes after the temblor for Okuma. The three reached the center in 15 minutes and found it wrecked, power down and no working communications, he said.

‘Unaware'

A person who answered a call to Yokota's cell phone yesterday said it was a wrong number. An official reached by phone in NISA's office in Fukushima said Yokota was not available.

“People are often unaware of the functions of the organizations they belong to,” Hatamura told reporters yesterday. “If you don't understand that function, you can't live up to the expectations that people put on your organization. This is basically what happened at NISA after the accident.”

Hatamura's full report is expected in the summer of 2012, when it will include interviews with former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other Cabinet officials. Those interviews weren't completed for the interim report due to time constraints, according to a briefing by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry last week.

The committee interviewed 456 people over a total of 900 hours of hearings by Dec. 16, according to the report.

Running Away

Interviewing Kan may be necessary to reach a conclusion on media reports that former Tepco President Masataka Shimizu requested to evacuate all employees from the plant following the disaster.

Tepco has denied it made that request, while Hatamura's report said the company was planning a “partial evacuation.”

Hatamura was appointed by the government in May to lead an “impartial and multifaceted” investigation into the nuclear accident, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986.

He received his Ph.D. in industrial mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1973 and began studying human error after finding his students were more interested in how projects can go wrong, according to the publisher of his book “Learning from Failure.”

The Failure Knowledge Database that he set up has studies on more than 1,100 accidents, including a case study of Tokyo Electric and its falsification of nuclear plant maintenance records, which the utility admitted in 2002. The study concludes the faked reports resulted from lack of quality control and proper risk management.

The disaster at Dai-Ichi shows the need for a “paradigm shift in the basic principles of disaster prevention” at nuclear power plants, Hatamura's committee concluded in the report. “It's inexcusable that a nuclear accident couldn't be managed because a major event such as the tsunami exceeded expectations.”
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/06/12 03:41 PM

Just when you thought I had finally ceased bumping this one, a short but sweet article:

THERE is a breathtaking serenity to the valley that winds from the town of Namie, on the coast of Fukushima prefecture, into the hills above. A narrow road runs by a river that passes through steep ravines, studded with maples. Lovely it may be, but it is the last place where you would want to see an exodus of 8,000 people fleeing meltdowns at a nearby nuclear-power plant.

Along that switchback road the day after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th 2011, it took Namie’s residents more than three hours to drive 30km (19 miles) to what they thought was the relative safety of Tsushima, a secluded hamlet. What they did not know was that they were heading into an invisible fog of radioactive matter that has made this one of the worst radiation hotspots in Japan—far worse than the town they abandoned, just ten minutes’ drive from the gates of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. It was not until a New York Times report in August that many of the evacuees realised they had been exposed to such a danger, thanks to government neglect.

Negligence forms the backdrop for the first government-commissioned report into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, released in late December. Although only an interim assessment (the complete report is due in the summer), it is already 500 pages long and the product of hundreds of interviews. A casual reader might be put off by the technical detail and the dearth of personal narrative. Yet by Japanese standards it is gripping. It spares neither the government nor Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the operator of the nuclear plant. It reveals at times an almost cartoon-like level of incompetence. Whether it is enough to reassure an insecure public that lessons will be learnt is another matter.

Since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979, it has become axiomatic to assume that complex systems fail in complex ways. That was broadly true of Fukushima, though often the failures appear absurdly elementary. In the most quake-prone archipelago on earth, TEPCO and its regulators had no accident-management plan in the event of earthquakes and tsunamis—assuming, apparently, that the plant was proofed against them and that any hypothetical accidents would be generated only from within. TEPCO had, in the event of nuclear disaster, an off-site emergency headquarters just 5km from the plant that was not radiation-proof, and so was effectively useless. On site, the workers in its number one reactor appear not to have been familiar with an emergency-cooling system called an isolation condenser, which they wrongly thought was still working after the tsunami. Their supervisors made the same mistake, so a vital six hours were lost before other methods for cooling the overheating atomic fuel rods were deployed. Partly as a result, this was the first reactor to explode on March 12th.

The government was almost as clueless. Naoto Kan, then prime minister, had a crisis headquarters on the fifth floor of the Kantei, his office building. But emergency staff from various ministries were relegated to the basement, and there was often miscommunication, not least because mobile phones did not work underground. Crucial data estimating the dispersion of radioactive matter were not given to the prime minister’s office, so that evacuees like those from Namie were not given any advice on where to go. That is why they drove straight into the radioactive cloud. The report faults the government for providing information that was often bogus, ambiguous or slow. Perhaps the biggest failure was that nobody in a position of responsibility—neither TEPCO nor its regulators—had sought to look beyond the end of their noses in disaster planning. No one seems ever to have tried to “think the unthinkable”.

In America official reports such as those on the September 11th attacks or the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have become acclaimed books. This one is hardly a page-turner. A privately funded foundation, headed by Yoichi Funabashi, a former editor of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, is doing a separate investigation, based partly on the testimony of TEPCO whistle-blowers. (One, according to Mr Funabashi, says the earthquake damaged the reactors before the tsunami, a claim that officials have always rejected.) It at least promises to have literary merit. Mr Funabashi, a prominent author, draws parallels between the roots of the disaster and Japan’s failures in the second world war. They include the use of heroic front-line troops with out-of-touch superiors; rotating decision-makers too often; narrow “stovepipe” thinking; and the failure to imagine that everything could go wrong at once.

Complex systems, jerry-rigged

For now, the risk is that the interim report does not get the attention it deserves. So far it seems to have aroused more interest on a techie website called Physics Forums, beloved of nuclear engineers, than in the Japanese press. The government, led by Yoshihiko Noda, has not yet used it as a rallying call for reform. One of its recommendations, an independent new regulatory body, will soon be set up. Others, such as new safety standards and broader evacuation plans, would take months to implement.

Such reports are, after all, confidence-building exercises. They are meant to reassure the public that, by exposing failures, they will help to prevent them from being repeated. In the case of Fukushima Dai-ichi there is still plenty to be nervous about. Although the government declared on December 16th that the plant had reached a state of “cold shutdown”, much of the cooling system is jerry-rigged and probably still not earthquake-proof. On January 1st a quake temporarily caused water levels to plunge in a pool containing highly radioactive spent-fuel rods.

Meanwhile, across Japan, 48 out of 54 nuclear reactors remain out of service, almost all because of safety fears. Until somebody in power seizes on the report as a call to action, its findings, especially those that reveal sheer ineptitude, suggest that the public has every reason to remain as scared as hell.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/16/12 10:02 AM

Yes, the proverbial dead horse needs more beating.

More scary stuff:

Radioactive Concrete Is Latest Scare for Fukushima Survivors

The Japanese government is investigating how radioactive concrete ended up in a new apartment complex in the Fukushima Prefecture, housing evacuees from a town near the crippled nuclear plant.

The contamination was first discovered when dosimeter readings of children in the city of Nihonmatsu, roughly 40 miles from the reactors at Fuksuhima Dai-ichi, revealed a high school student had been exposed to 1.62 millisieverts in a span of three months, well above the annual 1 millisievert limit the government has established for safety reasons. Further investigation traced the radiation back to the student’s three-story apartment building, where officials detected radioactive cesium inside the concrete.

Radiation levels at the 6-month-old apartment were higher inside the building than outside. A dozen families live in the new apartment complex.

The gravel used in the cement came from a quarry in the town of Namie, located just miles from the Fukushima plant. While Namie sits inside the government mandated 12-mile “no-go” zone because of radiation concerns, it wasn’t completely closed off until the end of April, meaning the gravel was exposed to radiation spewing from the Fukushima plant during that time.

The owner of the quarry said he shipped 5,200 tons of gravel to 19 different companies, two of which now say they sold the material to 200 construction firms. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has launched an investigation to determine where the gravel was used.


All who made it to the bottom say "hai!"...
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/16/12 10:18 AM

hai! grin
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/17/12 12:35 AM

That was appreciated reboot. Scary stuff, that concrete could have gone anywhere, and indeed did. That would amount to external exposure, not internal, which is worse, but it still adds up. Yes, I am somewhat of a mini-expert on this stuff nw.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/17/12 12:18 PM


It never ceases to amaze and dismay ~ The unseen repercussions. A thousand brilliant minds could dedicate themselves to trying to anticipate the aftermath of a disaster and they'd never cover everything. I'd be so sad to learn that the concrete was sold "knowing." Sadder, I wouldn't be surprised. Not in every case, but that no one involved suspected? Not likely.

Sigh. Add a hai, too.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/17/12 01:23 PM

"I'd be so sad to learn that the concrete was sold "knowing." Sadder, I wouldn't be surprised. Not in every case, but that no one involved suspected? Not likely."

Yes, this same scenario runs through my head. The gravel was indeed sold before there was widespread recognition by people and he gov't that a wide area just northwest of the 20 km evac zone had received/was receiving a huge dose of radiation. That quarry is likely abandoned right now. It simply HAD to have gone through the minds of those that sold it and those that first bought it that this stuff had a high potential to be dangerous. But no one said anything until a boy's radiation meter (yes parts of Fukushima have kids walking around all day with dosimeters around their necks instead of tamagochi) went way too high in too short a time and they determined it came from the concrete walls in his new apartment complex in a "safe" area after his family evacuated out of the 20 km radius.

Sad. An update I read said that so far they have only traced sold gravel to companies in Fukushima. Lucky for us, another knock for Fukushima.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/17/12 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
The owner of the quarry said he shipped 5,200 tons of gravel to 19 different companies, two of which now say they sold the material to 200 construction firms.

Sheesh, what a mess. 19 companies and 200 firms.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/17/12 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami

The Japanese government is investigating how radioactive concrete ended up in a new apartment complex in the Fukushima Prefecture, housing evacuees from a town near the crippled nuclear plant.




I'm sorry.. what? The frikkin irony of it....

Move away from your home near the failed nuclear plant... and stay here. Where? Here... it's a freshly built unit and up to all building codes .... well, most codes.

==

Try explaining to these peoples familys about the safety of nuclear power.
Posted by: katlpablo

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 01/18/12 08:03 AM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
All who made it to the bottom say "hai!"...

hai!
Posted by: KateSorensen

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/02/12 09:33 PM

.

I posted here about the debris approaching Oregon's coast and what to do about handling possible radioactive materials, etc.

.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/05/12 01:15 PM

I didn't notice the "slew" of comments here until now. Haven't heard much more about the gravel, but it seems it all stayed in Fukushima prefecture. My wife is from western Fukushima, and it has quite a few refugees there put up in new housing, and it is almost guaranteed they used some/a lot of it for the buildings.

Kate, my thoughts are, FWIW, that there is very little radioactivity, b/c the tsunami came first and it was days before the plant reached critical and that stuff was already below the surface and heading out to sea. I don't have time to look at your link but I will try later.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/14/12 01:13 PM

Actually, though I have been uncharacteristically quiet, some things have been going on. Two separate scares.

Starting in early January (literally during New Year's) "new" fallout spikes were recorded around Fukushima City, which is pretty near the plant. They kept spiking and dropping. Nobody was sure what the cause was, and experts were spouting that it was no 2 reactor "reigniting" and that TEPCO might be covering it up. TEPCO finally insisted after it went on for too long that it was due to the dry weather allowing already deposited cesium to again get kicked up into the atmosphere. Though it is hard to accept anything TEPCO says at face value, it eventually appeared to be true. Levels continue t spike every few days and go back down again. These "spikes" are high but nothing like the days following March 11th (Japan's 9-11 in some ways). And Tokyo levels have been largely unaffected.

The second scare started Feb 9th-ish, well over a month after the gov't and TEPCO declared "cold shutdowns" at the 3 reactors (a condition I have already posted is actually technically impossible anyway), one thermometer in no. 2 reactor started slowly but steadily rising. TEPCO doubled than tripled water input to little then no effect. As the temperature started to look downright scary TEPCO released the estimate that the thermometer was broken. Did I mention no one takes TEPCO statements at face value? Anyway, two other thermometers relatively near the spiking one stayed stable and indeed were even slowly slowly dropping in temperature as they should be, and no detections of Xenon which is produced in a re-criticality, was detected (according to TEPCO!) so it is looking likely finally that the thermometer is broken. Good thing too, as it is now in the 4 hundreds.

Sometimes I think I need more of a life ala Mr. B's post - but then TEPCO and friends come along and remind me how much I like my life just like it is. smirk
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/14/12 10:13 PM

They really seem to be playing a lot of this by ear it seems. Scary.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/15/12 03:49 PM


What Reboot said, lan. Also, I read yesterday that there is some real concern about new quakes in the area? The jist of the story was that new fault lines have been forged from the original quakes, and that they're really scary. I'm sorry I can't remember the link, I'm trying to get outta here, headed out for work up in Nacodoches for the next 7-10. It was a really worrisome read.

Right. LIke you need anymore. :-/

LL
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/15/12 07:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Lea
Also, I read yesterday that there is some real concern about new quakes in the area? The jist of the story was that new fault lines have been forged from the original quakes
I heard that on the radio here, and I found this from yesterday. Ditto what Lea said, like you need anymore worry.

I heard where people are worried about the damaged reactors and new quakes, but it was the tsunami that did the real damage, not the quake, right?

Also the quake increased the risk near Tokyo according to this article, it was from last year.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 02/16/12 04:16 AM

Yeah, I have heard a little about newly discovered faults. For some reason, I haven't investigated them much. Maybe too much to absorb right now. You two may know more than I do about them. I will take a look soon.
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/06/12 02:30 PM

bump!
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/07/12 01:21 PM

Thanks Sarge. Actually a few days ago, I was reading through the "early" posts in this thread, and I realize how much you knew what you were talking about. The risk from the spent nuclear rods in no. 4 was worse than I realized at the time. The situation was even more precarious than my wracked mind knew and we were truly at the mercy of the weather for at least a few days there.

This thread name is a bit out of date, it is more than possible and there were at least two "melt-through"s.

Greenpeace and other independent organizations have been monitoring food and the rad numbers the gov't etc. seem to have been legit. They are pretty low for areas outside "the radius". Actually a few foods well south in Japan are actually showing up with rads, albeit low, which is making some experts shake their heads. The numbers could still go up again as the cesium seeps into the soil.

The reactors and that spent fuel container seem to be stable. However, we get bigger and stronger tremors these days since the BIG one, so those reactors (and Japans 53 others!) are still ones to watch.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/07/12 01:27 PM

I don't think I mentioned this before, but the grandparents wanted my son to visit for New Years (that's like Christmas in the US). My wife and I weren't sure, but it is significantly closer to the problem. But my son and I went (wife stayed home to work). The rad levels are actually pretty low there anyway. However, I was not happy with some food they would put on the table while we were there. They neglected to tell us for example that the potatoes they were putting in every dish were from my father-in-laws old farm MUCH nearer to the reactors and harvested in July. I checked websites and root vegetables have yet to show any spikes, so it was probably safe but.... the last thing I needed was a big fight with the in-laws. They have been told food is safe, so it's safe. There was another instance where they were thrilled to get some plums at discount because NOONE ELSE WOULD BUY THEM! I had to bite my tongue hard. My son wanted to stay longer, but I made an excuse and we left days earlier than we had planned. Ah, the post-disaster politics...
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/11/12 05:15 AM

One year ago today.....
Posted by: Nana

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/11/12 09:59 AM

The other night/early morning I watched a program called Witness: Disaster in Japan on the NGC channel.

The whole show was actual video taken right before, during & after the earthquake/tsunami by amateurs, news outlets & survivors with cell phones & camcorders. Very graphic.

Throughout the whole show I was on the edge of my seat. And to watch an actual tsunami wiping out whole towns, cities & villages in real time was amazing to see.


PS: The show was subtitled in English since the language spoken was Japanese.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/26/12 02:30 PM

TEPCO just put a 10 meter longer than the first time endoscope into reactor two at Fukushima Daichi. Reactor 2 has been the most troublesome reactor for much of the last year. It was revealed that even though it has had the most water pumped into it, the water level is only 60 cm deep and not the 3 meters they thought it was.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/26/12 02:33 PM

This means that is in effect only being cooled by water coming in from the top of the reactor before it quickly leaks out into the containment building around it. This not only makes cooling concerns rise, but also makes it clear that the cleanup will be even harder than anticipated, because the core needs to be surrounded by water to provide radiation shielding in any future clean up efforts.

Ah, another cup of tea and maybe I'll study up some more.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/27/12 01:43 AM

Encouraging new report:

In terms of soil contamination, the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is only about an eighth as severe as the meltdown at the Chernobyl plant, in what is now Ukraine, in 1986, according to a report by the science ministry released Tuesday.

Also,

In 1986, some parts of Norway as far as 1,700 km from Chernobyl saw radiation spike to 40,000 becquerels of cesium per square meter, a condition seen only within 250 km of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, the report added.

The research "confirms that areas affected by the Chernobyl accident are substantially wider" than that of the Fukushima plant, the ministry said in the report.

Good news in general, methinks.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/27/12 01:45 AM

However, in bad news, more radioactive water, about 100 liters before it was found, has leaked from containment that was supposed to be sealed, and made it to the sea. It contained strontium. Strontium is one of the really scary ones.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/27/12 10:10 AM

Thanks for the updates. Followed some of the links on the NHX World page. Saw that strontium article yesterday there. Lots of local quake related articles. There's no blueprint for this type of disaster, they are just going day by day. What a mess over there.

I used to be all for nuke power, not sure now. When it runs well it's great, but when something goes wrong it's more than just putting a fire out and rebuilding the generating plant like with gas or coal fired plants.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/20/12 03:42 PM

So, I said I got together with other foreign residents who had been going to the same forum about radiation in Japan/Tokyo for about a year.

I learned/confirmed some things that I feel are pretty conclusive:

There has not been enough heat left over for months and months in any of the reactors to cause a recriticality or more hydrogen explosions. Any info to the contrary is suspect.

The spent nuclear rod pool (open air!) is the biggest concern, but it can only heat up very slowly if the pool emptied out or became low for whatever reason, and even if an earthquake caused it to collapse, only the very local area would be affected, as there is no mechanism for the cesium and other goodies to travel distances (such as explosions and burning).

Also, I asked another expert there about the higher levels where I go to work which are somewhere around 5-6 times higher than much of the rest of Tokyo. He said most of the cesium has settled and become largely inert. You don't really get exposure through the skin at such levels, it's largely inhaled, and there isn't much left to inhale. Should be fine. Still wouldn't move the fam up there, which was the original plan, but it's nice to know it's safe.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/20/12 03:54 PM

This summer is going to be interesting... After last year's cluster-coitus, everybody was advised to cut power usage as much as possible because of the shortage of nuclear power. This year there seems to be no sense of urgency even though the problem is going to be worse, because all nuke plants have been shut down due to safety fears.

The slack will be partially/mostly made up by reactivated or expanded fossil fuel burning - another depressing development. Air quality and our wallets have been impacted. The price of electricity has gone up 10-15 percent this year and should continue to creep up.

Our
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/05/12 04:59 PM

The little reactor that could in Hokkaido (northernmost major island of Japan) has finally been shutdown, leaving Japan without any nuclear power for the first time in 42 years. Fossil fuels are what's keeping us going now, largely. Where will Japan's future lead?
Posted by: Lea

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/05/12 05:48 PM


I had no idea it would come to this for y'all. Welcome to our world, and I pray you can afford it. I always envied Japan for it's self sufficient take on everything. Living on an island can't be easy. Add the huge population? So, yes, I've always admired Japan's ability to deal.

Sigh. We are what we are, no matter where we are, lan. For obvious reasons? May I refer you to a book that Cope directed me to a long time ago? "Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software" by Steven Johnson.

It gave me an odd peace of mind. We will all be OK. No matter what. We're fkn' hardwired. We can't help it.

AllMyLoveLea
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/05/12 07:16 PM

I'm impressed the Japanese can all agree on something so important.
Over here we can't agree on ANYTHING! and NOTHING! gets done.

Congrats to the Japanese.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 05/05/12 11:05 PM

Lea, I have always respected Japan for it's striving for self-suffiency as well. That book sounds fascinating. Right now I am bound and determined to pass the highest level Japanese proficiency test so I am trying to read as much Japanese as possible, but I will keep it in the loop.

Yes Nuke, you do have something there. I really doubt they are all out forever, but at least we all agree on something and are taking it slow.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/15/12 03:36 AM

My interest in past disasters in Japan had me looking at the 3.11 earthquake again. Magic wiki ball says:

"The World Bank's estimated economic cost was US$235 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in world history."

Japan, being a small, but proud country loves to point out things it is number 1 in, I am sure we'd all like to take a pass on this particular number 1.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/21/12 03:37 AM

So TOKYO DENRYOKU, better known as TEPCO now worldwide, put out it's last report, which when to great lengths to exonerate itself from blame for the accident. Critics decry this stance, asking how such a response is going to help prevent further accidents. I concur.

Excusorama
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/05/12 01:47 PM

So TEPCO's excuse laden report was followed up by an extensive report by an independent committee (itself almost an unknown concept in Japan.

The report is scathing, clearly elucidating the man-made elements of the crisis. It's most scathing crticism is as follows: “What must be admitted, very painfully, is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan,’ ” Mr. Kurokawa said. “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program;’ our groupism; and our insularity.”
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/05/12 01:53 PM

Anyone who has spent some amount of time has come across these "cultural conventions". I remember myself commenting to friends years back how this kind of thinking in a nuclear crisis was a recipe for disaster.

I add to those conventions: a reluctance to take action, or alter a plan in the absence of instructions from authority - which also greatly exacerbated the crisis.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 07/05/12 02:05 PM

Having said that, the director of operations at F. Daiichi, in the midst of the crisis was ordered by the misinformed government and TEPCO to cease using seawater for cooling because of fear of another criticality. He knew this to be poppycock and that above all the reactors must be cooled, so he said "understood" and then kept his workers cooling them anyway. In the weeks following he was given a simultaneous reprimand and accolade by the gov't and TEPCO.

He was later diagnosed with, I believe, stomach cancer, which was determined to be unrelated to the radiation.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/12/12 10:29 AM

You knew one had to be coming, another update about the meltdown and it's effects. Also-Ran-Romney and iPhone fiveage aside. TEPCO has been decontaminating areas immediately around monitoring posts to make radiation in stricken areas appear lower than it really is. Despicable genius really.

TEPCO, my electric company, sucks the sweat off an old man's balls
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 08:07 AM

Probably my longest hiatus from this oh so hot, melted even, thread.

Don't know if it made headlines over there, but at Fukushima Daiichi power went out to the cooling on multiple spent fuel rod pools (which have nothing to do directly with the reactors themselves, but are actually much more dangerous by most measures). Luckily, these pools take days (around 4 to be more exact) before lack of cooling becomes a problem, and it is already largely under control. Only had 20 hours of non-cooling this time.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 08:10 AM

Another recent report stated that radiation in regions around the plant had gone down by 40 percent. This was attributed to clean up "efforts". I have read about these slipshod "efforts". The decline is more likely attributable to Cesium 134 having a half-life of 2 years. Sadly there is still a lot of 137 with a half-life of 30 years..
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 10:03 AM

It's been on CNN. Sounds like that plant will never be safe.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 10:37 AM

Just wait till this starts...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp9xuquibQc
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 10:53 AM

On a more serious note.. this is a vid using reenactment footage from a BBC documentary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=BfKm0XXfiis
Posted by: steveg

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 10:53 AM

That was one dumb movie.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 11:37 AM

Yep. The 2nd one is Non-Fiction.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/19/13 03:48 PM

Glad you didn't show either of them to me 2 years ago. wink

April 26th, 1986. I will try to remember that date, as I am certain I will remember the day everything started in Japan for the rest of my life.
Posted by: ichi

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/22/13 09:16 AM

well, look at the Exclusion zone around Chernobyl, 30 km.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Exclusion_Zone

and, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident#Current_status

do we really need this monster?

isn't there a zone being established around Fukushima?
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 04/30/13 05:47 AM


Hoo boy..

Groundwater is pouring into the plant’s ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute. It becomes highly contaminated there, before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system. A small army of workers has struggled to contain the continuous flow of radioactive wastewater, relying on hulking gray and silver storage tanks sprawling over 42 acres of parking lots and lawns. The tanks hold the equivalent of 112 Olympic-size pools.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/....html?_r=1&
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/09/13 03:31 AM

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Leaking 300 Tons Of Tainted Water Daily

Japan says Fukushima leak worse than thought, government joins clean-up

(Reuters) - Highly radioactive water from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is pouring out at a rate of 300 tonnes a day, officials said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the government to step in and help in the clean-up.

The revelation amounted to an acknowledgement that plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has yet to come to grips with the scale of the catastrophe, 2 1/2 years after the plant was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami. Tepco only recently admitted water had leaked at all.

Calling water containment at the Fukushima Daiichi station an "urgent issue," Abe ordered the government for the first time to get involved to help struggling Tepco handle the crisis.

The leak from the plant 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo is enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool in a week. The water is spilling into the Pacific Ocean, but it was not immediately clear how much of a threat it poses.

As early as January this year, Tepco found fish contaminated with high levels of radiation inside a port at the plant. Local fishermen and independent researchers had already suspected a leak of radioactive water, but Tepco denied the claims.

Tetsu Nozaki, the chairman of the Fukushima fisheries federation said he had only heard of the latest estimates of the magnitude of the seepage from media reports.

Environmental group Greenpeace said Tepco had "anxiously hid the leaks" and urged Japan to seek international expertise.

"Greenpeace calls for the Japanese authorities to do all in their power to solve this situation, and that includes increased transparancy...and getting international expertise in to help find solutions," Dr. Rianne Teule of Greenpeace International said in an emailed statement.

In the weeks after the disaster, the government allowed Tepco to dump tens of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific in an emergency move.

But the escalation of the crisis raises the risk of an even longer and more expensive clean-up, already forecast to take more than 40 years and cost $11 billion.

The admission further dents the credibility of Tepco, criticised for its failure to prepare for the tsunami and earthquake, for a confused response to the disaster and for covering up shortcomings.

"We think that the volume of water (leaking into the Pacific) is about 300 tonnes a day," said Yushi Yoneyama, an official with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees energy policy.

Tatsuya Shinkawa, a director in METI's Nuclear Accident Response Office, told reporters the government believed water had been leaking for two years, but Yoneyama told Reuters it was unclear how long the water had been leaking at the current rate.

Shinkawa described the water as "highly" contaminated.

The water is from the area between the crippled reactors and the ocean, where Tepco has sought to block the flow of contaminated water by chemically hardening the soil.

Tetsu Nozaki, head of the Fukushima fisheries federation called for action to end the spillage.

"If the water was indeed leaking out at 300 tonnes a day for more than two years, the radiation readings should be far worse," Nozaki told Reuters. "Either way, we have asked Tepco to stop leaking contaminated water into the ocean."

ABE STEPS IN

Abe ordered his government into action. The contaminated water was "an urgent issue to deal with", he told reporters after a meeting of a government task force on the disaster.

"Rather than relying on Tokyo Electric, the government will take measures," he said after instructing METI Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to ensure Tepco takes appropriate action.

The prime minister stopped short of pledging funds to address the issue, but the ministry has requested a budget allocation, an official told Reuters.

The Nikkei newspaper said the funds would be used to freeze the soil to keep groundwater out of reactor buildings - a project estimated to cost up to 40 billion yen ($410 million).

Tepco's handling of the clean-up has complicated Japan's efforts to restart its 50 nuclear power plants. All but two remain shut since the disaster because of safety concerns.

That has made Japan dependent on expensive imported fuels.

An official from the newly created nuclear watchdog told Reuters on Monday that the highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Fukushima was creating an "emergency" that Tepco was not containing on its own.

Abe on Wednesday asked the regulator's head to "do his best to find out the cause and come up with effective measures".

Tepco pumps out some 400 tonnes a day of groundwater flowing from the hills above the nuclear plant into the basements of the destroyed buildings, which mixes with highly irradiated water used to cool the fuel that melted down in three reactors.

Tepco is trying to prevent groundwater from reaching the plant by building a "bypass", but recent spikes of radioactive elements in sea water prompted the utility to reverse denials and acknowledge that tainted water is reaching the sea.

Tepco and the industry ministry have been working since May on a proposal to freeze the soil to prevent groundwater from leaking into the reactor buildings.

Similar technology is used in subway construction, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the vast scale of Tepco's attempt was "unprecedented in the world."

The technology was proposed by Kajima Corp, , a construction company already heavily involved in the clean-up.

Experts say maintaining the ground temperatures for months or years would be costly. The plan is to freeze a 1.4 km (nearly one mile) perimeter around the four damaged reactors by drilling shafts into the ground and pumping coolant through them.

"Right now there are no details (of the project yet). There's no blueprint, no nothing yet, so there's no way we can scrutinise it," said Shinji Kinjo, head of the task force set up by the nuclear regulator to deal with the water issue.

($1 = 97.6050 Japanese yen)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/us-japan-fukushima-pm-idUSBRE97601K20130807
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/20/13 03:52 PM

I went to post here and found someone, Nuke, had recently posted here. Yes, the 300 tons a day is worrisome. I am of course studying the situation. The effect on fish and the marine environment is of course, bad. However, fish exude most of the radiation and only about 1/100 of it remains in their bodies. Good news for Japan which is the largest per capita fish consumer in the world. The scientific opinion about this is that the effect on human health is negligible.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/20/13 03:58 PM

However, a recent report has revealed that the number of kids from Fukushima diagnosed with thryoid cancer since they started testing them about a year after the disaster has risen another 6 to 18 kids. This is over a two year period. Comparing, in 2005 46 kids were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I don't like these numbers. Admittedly they are screening a lot more, so cases that wouldn't have been detected for years are being detected earlier, but still..

I am probably repeating myself, but thyroid cancer comes from radioactive iodine, which has a half life of 8 days, so any cancer resulting from the disaster came from the first several days after the accident.

The news was not out in English last time I checked, but I am sure it soon will be.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/21/13 05:25 AM

And more tanks leaking....

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said earlier on Wednesday the agency plans to upgrade the severity of the crisis from a level 1 "anomaly" to a level three "serious incident" on an international scale for radiological releases.

Such a move would be the most serious action taken since the plant was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

===

Water in the latest leak is so contaminated that a person standing close to it for an hour would receive five times the annual recommended limit for nuclear workers in a year.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/21/fukushima-nuclear-crisis_n_3788796.html
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 08/21/13 05:28 AM

Tepco might have to pour water on Fukushima wreckage forever


http://rt.com/op-edge/tepco-fukushima-sea-water-reactor-194/
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/14/13 10:40 PM

Here is a great summation of the situation in Fukushima Daiichi (again just saying Fukushima doesn't work for me. I lived in Fukushima and the area I was in was pretty untouched by all of this).

The man being interviewed is very knowledgeable and makes it clear that the only real concern is the water leaking out of Daiichi and the tanks they are trying to collect it with.

A lot has been said about how small the radiation is from these leaks compared to say the first week or two. But look at this blurb:

"According to Kanda’s estimates, which are based on official data from Tepco, the cesium-137 in the highly contaminated water in the basements of Fukushima No. 1&#8242;s flooded reactor buildings which has nearly twice the cesium-137 released by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, which was estimated at 85 petabecquerels by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation."

So everything is okay, as long as a massive earthquake doesn't come along and allow all this to spill into the ocean before it gets taken out and treated. And there is always more building up.

It's about the tanks
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/14/13 10:45 PM

Sorry a second post:

Also worrisome is that most of the water that has been collected into these ever increasing tanks (independent of the problem above) has had most of it's cesium removed. But strontium and a few others are still therer. Strontium is a really bad one, causing bone cancer among others. It collects in fish and human bones. Many of the more hastily constructed tanks are starting to cause problems and some are leaking this stuff. As time passes many more tanks could start leaking more water that makes it's way to the ocean.

And I don't know if anyone heard this, but TEPCO got caught again not checking (or hoping no one else would notice) that the reason several radiation measurements were saying 100 millisieverts and no more was because that was as high as these devices' reading went. New insrumentation was brought in and in some places (in areas around the leaks) the radiation was 18 TIMES HIGHER than was realized. 18 TIMES! This is mostly an issue for those working there, but can you imagine being a worker there when you heard this?
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/19/13 02:01 PM

Got a good shaking about 2 am this morning. Even woke up the wife and son who I thought could sleep through a train wreck. They center was in the region of Fukushima that Daiichi sits, so even bigger there. Apparently Daiichi has had no rise in radiation etc. I always imagine more cracked containment, and that spent fuel rod pool that could cause all kind of problems if it ever collapsed.

All is well. That is all.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 09/19/13 02:07 PM

Even the news is getting smart as no one trusts TEPCO to tie it's own shoe laces. The news said about the earthquake "We have received no information that on the ground that anything has changed at Daiichi."

That is all.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/15/13 04:10 PM

For some reason I hadn't thought about this before I saw the article, but the worst typhoon since 2004 could be a serious threat to the Fukushima Daiichi plant's integrity.

link
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/15/13 05:09 PM

I was wondering about that.
Posted by: Celandine

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/15/13 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By: lanovami
For some reason I hadn't thought about this before I saw the article, but the worst typhoon since 2004 could be a serious threat to the Fukushima Daiichi plant's integrity.

link


Holy Christmas!

They're warning folks to be prepared to Bug-Out
while at the same time, canceling all flights
and even the Bullet Train!

"...and not to do any unnecessary traveling..."

You've been a bit of a Climate Change Denier
in the past.. but if I were you, I'd start to
consider taking your family and going back to
where you came from!

Iowa, isn't it?

All things considered,
I'm sure you'd be welcome with open arms.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/15/13 10:02 PM

"You've been a bit of a Climate Change Denier
in the past.."

You've got me confused with someone else on that one.

We weathered well. Most everything was basically over in Tokyo by 10 am. It moved further north. No big news about Daiichi not handling it well, except for warnings about more possible overflows, which is par for the course these days.
Posted by: Celandine

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/15/13 10:19 PM


Good & Good

Glad you have more sense than that,
because the magnitude of weather events
esp. coastal, are just going to keep getting
more serious now that we've crossed the threshold.

I'd kept my eye on the maps
and saw that that cold front from
the north was pushing it back out to sea.

The same thing happened here last month (?)
when N.J./N.Y. was facing another hurricane that
threatened to do more damage to the communities that
had previously been decimated by "Super-Storm Sandy". frown
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/15/13 10:39 PM

Yes, it certainly seems we have crossed a line, especially with this year's weather. Rather scary. I hope, among a host of other things, my son will be able to live a happy life in the future we have built for ourselves.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 10/16/13 09:28 PM

Daiichi weathered the typhoon pretty well according to reports. To be honest, I think we got lucky. The forecasters expected more damage and losses than actually occurred. No complaints here.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/06/13 05:31 PM

So, TEPCO was set to start removing spent fuel rods from a damaged cooling pool atop reactor number 4. Again, reactor number 4 had no problems, but complications with piping etc. connected to this cooling pool (for rods that were used well before the accident) caused the pool (which happens to sit atop reactor 4) to malfunction and lose water.

This is to be a very delicate procedure. Depending on what source you believe, it could be not so scary (unless you are one of the people at the plant) to apocalyptic if something goes wrong.

This article sums up both sides of that

After many organizations and gov'ts said they wanted to provide more advice and assistance before TEPCO took the plunge, TEPCO decided to do more testing and has delayed beginning the very sensitive (and long) removal process for two weeks.
Posted by: Papa

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/06/13 06:40 PM

Heard this on the radio today. thought you might be interested.

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/11/06/fukushima-nuclear-cleanup
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 11/06/13 08:05 PM

Thanks, Papa. I never get tired of reading more about it. It's an issue close to my heart.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 03/28/14 08:10 PM

Things are still out of hand.

One, we have illegal dumping of irradiated debris from around the plant

Another, thousands of tons of decontaminated water was accidentally recontaminated This was on a very large scale, one of the biggest setbacks since everything started to settle down.

Amateur night, truly.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Possible meltdown in Japan - 06/04/14 11:01 PM

A few posts above, I was talking about worry surrounding some spent fuel rods in a pool that had been damaged by the accident. Though they are "spent" they presented the biggest threat and likely caused the bulk of the radiation leaked into the environment. There was a lot of scary talk about what could happen if another earthquake knocked the supposedly shaky pool over. This was/is the number one concern for a larger scale impact. Well, in actuality, the cleanup for this has gone quite well, and 62 percent of the rods they were so worried about have been removed (I have been watching this here.

So the biggest risk looks to be contained. The melted down reactors as scary as they were, are not the same threat level, but of course getting in there and cleaning that all up will be an unprecedented feat of engineering and take decades.