Earthquake/Tsunami Thread - FG Members Check In.

Spectre

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Russia still has ten RBMK (Chernobyl-type) reactors in operation, retrofitted with additonal safety measures, but still...
Yeah, the design is still broken, they just bandaided it. I'm pro-nuke, but I don't want to be anywhere near an RBMK - or even anywhere downwind. Per Wikipedia, these were the improvements:
Following Legasov's death all remaining RBMKs were retrofitted with a number of updates for safety. The largest of these updates fixes the RBMK control rod design. Previously the control rods were designed with graphite tips, which when initially inserted into the reactor first speed up the reaction and after that begin slowing or stopping it. This design flaw contributed to the first explosion of the Chernobyl accident.

The updates are:

* An increase in fuel enrichment from 2% to 2.4% to compensate for control rod modifications and the introduction of additional absorbers.
* Manual control rod count increased from 30 to 45.
* 80 additional absorbers inhibit operation at low power, where the RBMK design is most dangerous.
* SCRAM (rapid shut down) sequence reduced from 18 to 12 seconds.
* Precautions against unauthorized access to emergency safety systems.
That makes me feel so much better. Not.
 
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Spectre

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Just got another warning in the apartment and felt another tremor. I think they said it was magnitude 5 in Fukushima on TV. Getting tired of it.

http://in.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=INRTR2JQOB#a=1
Since 10pm, per USGS, might be a few minutes before this latest one appears.
MAP 5.8 2011/03/12 12:53:50 37.754 143.573 19.2 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.7 2011/03/12 11:46:01 35.761 141.656 17.6 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.1 2011/03/12 10:53:31 39.075 142.352 24.9 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2011/03/12 10:39:12 36.749 141.799 31.3 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.3 2011/03/12 10:34:49 37.846 144.377 25.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.5 2011/03/12 10:20:22 37.197 143.483 25.5 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2011/03/12 10:00:26 35.984 141.794 25.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
 

hansvonaxion

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It was a 6 off the coast of Fukushima apparently, about a 5 on land, about a 3 in Tokyo.
 

Spectre

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It was a 6 off the coast of Fukushima apparently, about a 5 on land, about a 3 in Tokyo.
The aftershocks seem to be hovering around the 6.0 mark per USGS and they don't seem to be diminishing. Never seen anything like it, this is a colossal "WTF" moment just to watch the things scroll in on the USGS site.

It's got to be worse for you, since you actually have to experience it. Stay safe.

Edit: Here it is on the USGS site. Six point fucking four.
MAP 6.4 2011/03/12 13:15:42 37.261 141.175 37.5 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
 
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h-p

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NHK World stream is showing before/after pics of the tsunami hit areas. There's whole neighborhoods missing. :(
 

hansvonaxion

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Radiation has reduced to 70microsievert according to announcement on news.
 

narf

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Radiation has reduced to 70microsievert according to announcement on news.
Again, what 70?Sv over what timeframe?

70?Sv is less than one head x-ray, and about 3 hours in an airplane. If that's the dose per second it would be really bad. If it's the dose per hour or day it would be pretty good under the circumstances.
 

Spectre

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If the containment vessel had been breached, that number wouldn't be going down.

Reuters is reporting (again) that they will be filling the reactor with sea water and will be tossing in boron to help moderate the reactor.

That means the reactor can never be used again; probably a foregone conclusion at this point, but that's pretty final. However, on an ironic note, apparently this specific reactor was to be decommissioned and dismantled... later this very month.
Again, what 70?Sv over what timeframe?

70?Sv is less than one head x-ray, and about 3 hours in an airplane. If that's the dose per second it would be really bad. If it's the dose per hour or day it would be pretty good under the circumstances.
The news seems to be saying that's per hour, they just leave it off from time to time. I haven't seen a single media report say 'per second'.
 
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h-p

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However, on an ironic note, apparently this specific reactor was to be decommissioned and dismantled... later this very month.
I wonder if that has anything to do with the failed diesel generators.
 

hansvonaxion

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Yes, I think per hour.

Man, 140,000 killed in Tokyo's 1923 quake. 220,000 in the Indonesian quake. Difficult to comprehend.
 

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Thankfully, everyone I know is fine, including relatives of some friends in Japan. Hopefully the same can be said about all the FG members effected. Also it seems I assumed correctly that nobody I associate with here in California was among the fucking morons who thought to themselves, HURRRRRRRRRR, tsunami warning! lets go to the beach and see what happens!

Crazy to think of something so powerful it sent waves all the way across the biggest ocean in the world. It was reported that this quake was roughly 900 times more powerful than the Loma Prieta earthquake. nine. hundred. times. thats... fucking massive. :(
 

Spectre

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I wonder if that has anything to do with the failed diesel generators.
Wouldn't be surprised if some jerk mechanic decided to skip the last maintenance/overhaul and just say he did it, figuring that since the plant was closing, nobody'd notice and it wouldn't matter.

Or it may have been seawater damage (does anyone know if the facility was swept by the tsunami?). Whatever it was, there's going to be years and years of investigations into the matter.

I would also expect that as a result of this, any remaining BWR reactors of this type, that require external power for their cooling systems, will be retired in a hurry or be retrofitted with emergency cooling systems that don't require power. Pretty sure that all post-TMI designs incorporate it, and I know some older units were retrofitted.

Thankfully, everyone I know is fine, including relatives of some friends in Japan. Hopefully the same can be said about all the FG members effected. Also it seems I assumed correctly that nobody I associate with here in California was among the fucking morons who thought to themselves, HURRRRRRRRRR, tsunami warning! lets go to the beach and see what happens!
Apparently there were four idiots in or near Crescent City, CA who decided to do just that and were swept out to sea.

Sadly, the Coast Guard was able to rescue three of them. Darwin claimed the fourth.
 
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Dr_Grip

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Wouldn't be surprised if some jerk mechanic decided to skip the last maintenance/overhaul and just say he did it, figuring that since the plant was closing, nobody'd notice and it wouldn't matter.
Or the plant's owner decided to skip it, saving some bucks. They got a history of downplaying reactor security problems.

I think that's one of the reasons for the flawless record of the US Navy you rightly pointed out: They are not under pressure to deliver returns to their shareholders. I'd feel much better about civilan uses of nuclear technology if it would not be use by for-profit entities.
 

hansvonaxion

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Or it may have been seawater damage (does anyone know if the facility was swept by the tsunami?).
I read the tsunami affected the site, to what extent i don't know. It's possible that even sediment stirred up could have caused problems (blocked pumps), but I would have thought that those possible outcomes would have been considered. There is a protective wall around the site but the tsunami was on the large side.

Apparently there were 13 diesel generators and all failed.
 
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h-p

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Now the yellow papers are making huge headlines: "Worst since Chernobyl"

Well, yeah, it is... but it's not anywhere near as bad. Only if the core gets out of the water it's BAD, but still, not Chernobyl.
 

Spectre

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Or the plant's owner decided to skip it, saving some bucks. They got a history of downplaying reactor security problems.
Also possible. They've also had at least one really strange criticality incident, back in 1999.

I think that's one of the reasons for the flawless record of the US Navy you rightly pointed out: They are not under pressure to deliver returns to their shareholders. I'd feel much better about civilan uses of nuclear technology if it would not be use by for-profit entities.
My own thought is since, as many politicians of all US parties point out, energy independence and security is of paramount importance or even a matter of national security, we should perhaps have the military spec and run nuclear power plants, and lease the resulting output to energy companies. Solves a lot of problems.

I read the tsunami affected the site, to what extent i don't know. It's possible that even sediment stirred up could have caused problems (blocked pumps), but I would have thought that those possible outcomes would have been considered. There is a protective wall around the site but the tsunami was on the large side.

Apparently there were 13 diesel generators and all failed.
It's located very close to the seaboard, so... there's a good possibility that the waves may have done some damage to contribute to this event.
Try my wild speculation out: Earthquake hits, turbine (aka, the generator part of the installation) shuts down and decouples from the reactor due to excessive vibration. Reactor is still getting power from the grid's remaining generation systems, so not a huge deal. A bit later, the tsunami rolls in and grid power goes down. Computers or the operators command the diesels to start - and they suck in water and hydrolock. Assuming they didn't get filled with water by the tsunami to begin with.

Would also explain why they couldn't get the things back up and running in a hurry after the problem was evident. Hydrolock most engines and they're done.
 
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