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Thread: Chaos in Japan - Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear plant on fire...

  1. #21
    Backdraft
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    Amazing, even with all our wonderous modern technology and gadgets, how nature and Earth can still remind us that we are far from the dominant force on this planet. Really puts into a new perspective our various "disagreements" going on between the human race around the world today, and how relatively petty they may seem next to the raw power of physics.
    Last edited by Backdraft; March 11th, 2011 at 10:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shirahime View Post
    I actually gave some of my "friends" on facebook a public bollocking about that, saying how it's the sign of impending end of days. I think they're media persuaded idiots. I don't think they realise that natural disasters like this happen all the time at random points and have done since well, whenever.
    I would bet real money, that if you made a survey asking people if they believe that the recently increasing amount of earth quakes has to do with global warming, a big percentage would answer "Yes".

    Quote Originally Posted by DanRoM View Post
    Your comment in the OT thread was probably more political than anything written in this one, because the use of nuclear power and its consequences are very political.
    Alright, I make those comments here then
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I would bet real money, that if you made a survey asking people if they believe that the recently increasing amount of earth quakes has to do with global warming, a big percentage would answer "Yes".
    Oh sorry, my reply was more in reference to the influx of disasters and 2012.
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    This event is just awful, my condolences to the families and friends of those who have died.

    Good to hear from KaJuN and Hansvonaxion, any other FG members there?

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    An another nuclear plant in Fukushima is in big trouble, coolingsystems and ermegency electricalsuply for it are off, Chernobyl-scenario might about to happen!

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,2627198.story
    Japan trying to prevent meltdown at nuclear plant in Fukushima


    A portion of Japan's nuclear reactors have been shut down in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, but officials are worried about the Fukushima plant, where the emergency cooling system is problematic.

    About 18% of Japan's 33 nuclear reactors have been shut down in the wake of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck offshore Friday and triggered a massive tsunami, but officials are particularly troubled by events at one of them — the 480-megawatt Fukushima No. 1 plant in Fukushima Prefecture, where the emergency cooling system has not been functioning properly and authorities fear a meltdown.

    Emergency authorities have ordered the evacuation of all civilians in a two-mile radius around the power plant, a total of about 3,000 people, and are planning to vent slightly radioactive steam from the plant, which is located about 160 miles north of Tokyo. Those within a six-mile radius were warned to stay in their homes.

    Significant shaking associated with an earthquake causes a nuclear reactor to automatically shut down, with control rods being plunged into the core to stop the nuclear reactions. It does, however, continue to produce massive amounts of heat that must be dissipated by the emergency cooling system.

    Photos: Scenes from the earthquake

    Ironically, the plant must use externally generated electricity to keep the coolant flowing through the pond and cooling towers. Otherwise, all the coolant will boil off, the fuel rods will melt and there is a possibility that radioactive material will escape from the reactor's containment dome.

    "If they can't get adequate cooling to the core, it could be a Three Mile Island or worse," said nuclear physicist Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is working to improve the safety of nuclear power. The loss of coolant at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania for only 30 minutes led to a 50% meltdown of the core in that 1979 accident.

    The electrical grid in Fukushima province was badly damaged by the tsunami, so power is not available from that source to cool the fuel rods. All reactors have diesel emergency generators to provide backup electricity, but apparently those at Fukushima No. 1 were damaged by the tsunami and are inoperable.

    The reactor also has backup batteries to take over in such an event, and authorities were able to bring those on line and restore the flow of coolant after less than an hour. But those batteries have a life no more than about eight hours, according to nuclear expert Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, an organization working to "free the world from nuclear power and nuclear weapons."

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. Air Force is assisting in flying in backup generators, and Japanese ground forces are also trucking generators and batteries to the site, according to media reports. Time is critical, according to experts. Once power to the cooling supply is interrupted, all the coolant could boil off in as little as an hour, Kamps said.

    If there is a meltdown at Fukushima, "the containment building is the last line of defense," Kamps added. The reactor is 40 years old and the original ventilation system had to be retrofitted to allow radioactive gasses to be vented so that pressure would not build up and cause an explosion that would spread radioactivity over a much wider area.

    Authorities said that pressure had already built up inside the containment building to about 50% above normal and that they would begin venting radioactive gas into the atmosphere, although they said there was no danger from the release.

    Similar venting of radioactivity occurred at Three Mile Island.
    What an horror!

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    Yeah, too bad those nuclear power plants don't have an "OFF" button.
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    Fukushima is where the in-laws live, but they're all safe... so far!

    Thanks guys.

    Only problem now is no gas, so no hot water.

    Looking at the destruction on TV I wouldn't know where to start. You can't walk or drive through the towns, they would have to be cleared with heavy machinery and even that would take a long time. I feel for the people trapped there.

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    Glad to hear that FG-ers are ok.

    The wave video is the craziest thing I've ever seen. When I first saw it I literally thought "why are they showing CGI on the news?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backdraft View Post
    Amazing, even with all our wonderous modern technology and gadgets, how nature and Earth can still remind us that we are far from the dominant force on this planet. Really puts into a new perspective our various "disagreements" going on between the human race around the world today, and how relatively petty they may seem next to the raw power of physics.
    Every time I hear how we are the dominant force on the planet, I remind those speaking of how foolish they are.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa

    Krakatoa (Indonesian: Krakatau), is a volcanic island made of a'a lava[2] in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is used for the island group, the main island (also called Rakata), and the volcano as a whole. The island exploded in 1883, killing approximately 40,000 people, although some estimates put the death toll much higher. The explosion is still considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard nearly 3,000 miles (4,828 km) from its point of origin. The shock wave from the explosion was recorded on barographs around the globe.
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  10. #30
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    The quake shifted the earths axial tilt about a decimeter to the left, the italian national institute for geophysics report, altough they add that there is nothing to be afraid of, it happens when there are big quakes. But it is food for thought just how massive this quake was.
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    The building housing Fukushima's number one reactor exploded today, but the reactor itself is still intact. Radiation levels have actually fallen since the explosion.

    Much like the '04 Indian Ocean tsunami, I can't even fathom that level of destruction. Seen some pretty nasty tornadoes, but never anything close to that. Good to hear hans and Kajun are alright, I hope any other Japanese FG'ers are as well.
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    Wonder why you dont hear news like "Japans strict building code saves millions"

    Also wonder why people arent afarid of Dams, so far they have cause more damage in Fukushima than the nuclear plant
    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news...-1226020153220

    And, yes, I know why dont make big news about them, which is sad

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    they will cover the rest in a wrap up story in weeks to follow, but for now they will follow the "miracles" and the soon to be Armageddon.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backdraft View Post
    Amazing, even with all our wonderous modern technology and gadgets, how nature and Earth can still remind us that we are far from the dominant force on this planet. Really puts into a new perspective our various "disagreements" going on between the human race around the world today, and how relatively petty they may seem next to the raw power of physics.
    I think thats one area where some people properly under-estimate. They think they mother nature can be tamed.... Yet the power of nature absolutely dwarfs anything we can do. I heard a cool little tid-bit earlier... a 9.0 on the richter scale releases enough energy to power the UK for a year (something like that). Think of all the kWh's! and then imagine all that relased in the space of a few seconds. We're all at the mercy of nature and we always will be.
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  15. #35
    AiR
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    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 should enable engineers to restart the pumps which send coolant over the reactor.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12779512

    Good news.
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    Japan tsunami was at least 23-metres high
    OSAKA, Japan - The tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in the March 11 earthquake was at least 23 metres (76 feet) high according to a Japanese study, the Yomiuri daily said Friday.

    The Port and Airport Research Institute recorded the massive tsunami in Ofunato, Iwate prefecture that swept away entire towns, the Japanese daily said.

    Japan's biggest-ever tsunami was recorded at 38.2-metres high in a massive 1896 earthquake.

    An official with the institute said that without the coastal levee that did not exist in 1896, the latest tsunami was likely to be the biggest ever to hit Japan.

    The study was conducted Friday using global positioning system (GPS) and measuring instruments.

    The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan said that at least some 400 square kilometres were flooded in the March 11 tsunami.

    The figure may be revised upward as the survey using aerial photos has yet to analyse 20 percent of the affected area.
    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-fi...es-high-report



    Last edited by AiR; March 18th, 2011 at 5:33 PM.
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    For that nuke plant.... Its right next to the sea (ideal spot, vast heat sink right on your door step and a nice supply of cold water and no need for cooling towers).

    So the earthquake stopped the turbine train and also knocked out the back up power to power the cooling circuit, that or the cooling circuit is damaged. Either way, I was thinking why not have some emergency water pumps, mobile pumps even... or even better just have the fire service (nuke plants should have their own anyway) operate their tenders as pumps. One end in the sea, the other end connected to a emergency connector that feeds into the cooling loop. Ok its not ideal pumping sea water straight into a reactor cooling circuit (it might not even be a good idea, I dont know how salty water would behave) but it might work as a band aid cooling method?

    Though I suppose the main loop is pressurised isnt it? hmmmm difficult one. Perhaps they would have the above method as an emergency atmospheric pressure cooling loop, but then it would turn to steam rapidly and that probably causes more problems than it solves. (radioactive steam at that).

    Dont suppose they could fly in some big gas turbine gen sets? (you can get them that fit in a shipping container) to be a power supply for the cooling pumps, but then thats all for nothing if the circuits physically damaged and water cant flow. sorry Im thinking out loud here, a back up system for the back up system doesnt seem to be as simple as it might sound.
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    Via to XKCD
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  19. #39
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    Recieved some pictures in my inbox this morning, one of which I had to post.



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    This needs to be updated as they are still having problems.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/wo...a/28japan.html

    Tainted Water at Two Reactors Increases Alarm for Japanese

    TOKYO — Japan’s troubled effort to contain the nuclear contamination crisis at its stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a setback on Sunday when alarmingly high radiation levels were discovered in a flooded area inside the complex, raising new questions about how and when cleanup workers could resume their tasks.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator, said the elevated radiation levels in the water, which had flooded the turbine buildings adjacent to the reactors at the plant, were at least four times the permissible exposure levels for workers at the plant and 100,000 times more than water ordinarily found at a nuclear facility.

    That could mean crews seeking to determine damage and fix the problems at the plant, hit by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and a tsunami more than two weeks ago, may not be able to even approach the most troubled parts of the complex until the water can be safely removed.

    Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor in the department of quantum engineering at Nagoya University, said that at the sharply elevated levels of radiation, workers would be able to remain on the site for only about 15 minutes before health considerations required them to leave. That could hamper their efforts to restore power at the reactors, compromising attempts to bring the crisis under control.

    Alarm over the radiation levels first intensified Thursday when two workers were burned after they stepped into highly radioactive water inside reactor No. 3 of the plant. Late Saturday, a worker trying to measure radiation levels of the water at another reactor, No. 2, saw the reading on his dosimeter jump beyond 1,000 millisieverts per hour, the highest reading so far. The worker left the scene immediately, said Takeo Iwamoto, a spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power.

    Michiaki Furukawa, a nuclear chemist and a board member of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, a Tokyo-based watchdog group, said exposure to 1,000 millisieverts of radiation would induce nausea and vomiting, while exposure to triple that amount could be lethal.

    There was no evacuation of the roughly 1,000 workers stationed at Daiichi after the high radiation levels were discovered. Naoki Sunoda, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power, said that since the crisis began, 19 workers had been exposed to radiation levels of 100 millisieverts.

    Despite the new problem, Mr. Sunoda said, workers on Monday were still trying to determine a way to approach reactor No. 2, considered to be most troubled of the six.

    “Radiation levels are high, but nothing will be resolved if we stay away,” Mr. Sunoda said. “Our objective is to restore power to all reactors so cooling functions can be restored.”

    The Japanese government’s top spokesman, Yukio Edano, said in an afternoon press briefing on Sunday that it appeared the radioactive water had appeared when the No. 2 unit’s fuel rods had been exposed to air, but that “we don’t at this time believe they are melting. We’re confident that we are able to keep them cool.”

    The higher levels may have suggested a leak from the reactor’s fuel rods — from either the suppression chamber under the rods or various piping — or even a breach in the pressure vessel that houses the rods, the Japanese nuclear regulator said earlier.

    There was also deep concern early Sunday about initial readings of radioactive iodine 134, which has a half life of only 53 minutes and would not be present in large quantities unless fission had restarted. That would present the alarming possibility of an out-of-control reactor. Several hours after releasing the initial results, the plant operator said that those readings had been in error, and that retesting had shown negligible amounts of the isotope.

    But the revised readings confirmed the overall high radiation readings at the plant, and utility officials continued to search for the exact source. And they still may need to retest for other radioactive isotopes that had been found in the seawater around the No. 2 reactor, including troubling quantities of cesium, barium, cobalt and lanthanum. The company has not yet been able to determine the source of those leaks, and confirming the isotopes’ exact levels could take much longer.

    Sunday’s developments came after the world’s chief nuclear inspector said that Japan was “still far from the end of the accident” that struck the plant. Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, acknowledged that the authorities were still unsure about whether the reactor cores and spent fuel were covered with the water needed to cool them and end the crisis.

    Mr. Amano, taking care to say that he was not criticizing Japan’s response under extraordinary circumstances, said, “More efforts should be done to put an end to the accident.”

    He cautioned that the nuclear emergency could still go on for weeks, if not months, given the enormous damage to the plant.

    Asked on Sunday at a news conference what was the company’s projected timeline for emerging from the crisis, Sakae Muto, a vice president for Tokyo Electric Power, said, “We don’t have a concrete schedule.”

    Mr. Muto declined to answer a journalist’s question about a possible worst-case scenario, saying, “The important thing is to keep cooling the reactor and prevent the current situation from getting worse.”

    Hidehiko Nishiyama, the deputy director general of the Japanese nuclear safety agency, said that it was likely that radiation was leaking from the pipes or the suppression chamber, and not directly from the pressure vessel, because water levels and pressure in the vessel were relatively stable.

    All Sunday, the government and company officials fielded questions from the Japanese media about whether plutonium might have escaped from one of the damaged facilities. Mr. Edano said the area around the reactors was being tested for plutonium, but “this is not an easy process.” He said that if the presence of plutonium was confirmed, “we will take measures depending on the situation.”

    The I.A.E.A. cited information from Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s office on Sunday that Tokyo Electric had begun pumping water out of some of the turbine buildings at the Fukushima plant.

    Workers were pumping water from the No. 1 unit turbine to its main condenser and were making preparations to do the same at the No. 2 unit, the I.A.E.A. said, noting that a main condenser’s function in a nuclear power plant is to condense and recover steam that passes through the turbine. The company also was considering ways to remove water from the turbine buildings of the No. 3 and No. 4 units, the agency said.

    The No. 5 and No. 6 units are thought to be out of harm’s way.

    Japan’s National Police Agency said on Sunday that the death toll from the quake and tsunami had risen to 10,668, with 16,574 people still missing.

    Meanwhile, radiation in the Tokyo water supply continued to diminish on Sunday, the authorities said. At two of three monitoring stations operated by the municipal waterworks bureau, no radiation was detected. At a third, the level was 27 becquerels per liter, well below the maximum recommended limits for both infants and adults.

    The elevated levels of radiation at and around the Fukushima plant will require careful monitoring of seafood in Japan, said Kimberlee J. Kearfott, a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences at the University of Michigan.

    “It is extremely important that seafood be carefully monitored,” she said in an e-mail. “This is because many of the radionuclides are concentrated in the environment,” she added. “For example, iodines are concentrated in kelp (a Japanese food, seaweed) and shrimp.

    “Iodines, cesium and strontium are concentrated in other types of seafood,” she continued. “Fish can act like tea or coffee presses. When you push down the plungers, the grounds all end up on one side. In this case, that is the fish.”
    Another article

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110327/...us_japan_quake

    And one more that shows that TEPCO was warned of geologic data that showed larger waves have hit there.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110327/...e_tsunami_risk
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