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Ongoing coverage of ********* threatFollow

#1 Mar 17 2011 at 12:46 PM Rating: Excellent
I am starting this thread as a place to collect links covering the ongoing ********* nuclear threat. I will be adding information I feel is relevant as I go, and trying to show the most recent updates of progress until the situation is resolved.

One thing to note is that Tokyo is 150 miles from **************

March 17th - [b]"Construction work was started to supply a working external electrical power source to all six units of ******************** - Wiki (This source is in Japanese.)

[b]"Despite high levels of radiation close to the units, levels detected at the edge of the power plant site have been steadily decreasing."
- WNN

17 March, 4.00pm = 0.64 millisieverts per hour
17 March, 9.00am = 1.47 millisieverts per hour
16 March, 7.00pm = 1.93 millisieverts per hour
16 March, 12.30pm = 3.39 millisieverts per hour

Unit 4 is overheating - 84 c (has recently exploded, March 17th, thought to be due to buildup of hydrogen)
Unit 5 is heating up - 60 c
Unit 6 is heating up - 62.7 c

Japanese military carried out four helicopter water droppings over the building of reactor unit 3- YubaNet.com
http://yubanet.com/world/IAEA-Injuries-or-Contamination-at-****************************************************

Initial indications are that the effort was successful. - WNN
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Attempts_to_refill_fuel_ponds_1703111.html

Satelitte Image - ISIS
March 17 - http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/new-satellite-image-of-******************************************
March 16 - http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/new-satellite-image-of-*****************************************************
March 14 - http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/satellite-image-shows-damage-to-reactor-buildings-at-***********************

This Wiki article is surprisingly complete.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/*****************************

Japan Times (This is very slow loading right now)
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/

It looks like things are headed in the right direction. The population of Tokyo is understandably nervous by all accounts. The population does not trust government reports relating to the extent of the danger they may be facing.

While it is difficult to find a source that does not involve a government official, all acounts are that radiation levels are currently decreasing. The radioactive steam plume caused a spike in radiation levels, but now appear to be dissipating.

Radiation level falls in Tokyo - NEWS.com.au
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/radiation-level-falls-in-tokyo/story-e6frfku0-1226022049726

I hope there is further news of success at ********* and assured safety for the nearby population as soon as possible.

EDIT: Because I plan to update this thread for some time, I have discussed this thread with ZAM administrators, who stated that it has approval to remain.

Edited, Mar 26th 2011 2:38pm by SmashingtonWho

Edited, May 23rd 2013 8:36pm by Gnu
#2 Mar 17 2011 at 12:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Cool, thanks for the updates, Smash.

I'll be sure to follow this thread.
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#3 Mar 17 2011 at 12:50 PM Rating: Good
Thanks for the links.
#4 Mar 17 2011 at 1:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Thanks, news coverage on this is opinions and statements about the worse that might happen instead of what IS happening.
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#5 Mar 17 2011 at 1:19 PM Rating: Good
Yeah I can just see Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan on E! News lining up for designer radiation suits and gourmet iodine tablets, or headlines on Fox News in Omaha, Nebraska: "How Safe Are You: Nuclear Threat!". I don't watch any of the American news programs, but I wouldn't be surprised at a media feeding frenzy in a sad attempt to bump ratings.
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#6 Mar 17 2011 at 1:51 PM Rating: Good
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I've heard from a nuclear expert (whose name eludes me but presided over the Three Mile Island incident and has a 39-year career in the nuclear industry) who gave a pretty dire assessment of the situation.

He was saying that if the #2 reactor core's containment is cracked, as many believe, that once they finally start pumping in water to cool it (and they have no choice, they have to do this) that once the water hits that bound-to-be molten uranium, you'll have all sorts of dangerous radioactive cesium and strontium escaping in the steam that will result. Steam that will invariably escape from the crack in the core's containment. That kind of radioactive material has about a 30-year half life, so it can contaminate the area for years. This stuff is dangerous because strontium, for example, has similar chemical properties as calcium, and the human body will use it in bone matter if it comes in contact with it.

Also, he was saying that radiation was escaping even if the detectors didn't see it. He likened it to standing next to a smoker. If the wind is blowing in your direction, you'll detect the smoke, but if it's blowing another way, you'd never know about the existing smoke at all. If the detectors aren't picking up radiation, it's because the radioactive plume is not in line with where the detectors are.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 3:52pm by ForceOfMeh
#7 Mar 17 2011 at 2:00 PM Rating: Excellent
ForceOfMeh wrote:
If the detectors aren't picking up radiation, it's because the radioactive plume is not in line with where the detectors are.


This is very interesting and surely worth consideration. I do hope that the reality is less than the extent of your friend's assesment. There is no doubt that the immediate area will have some permanent repercussions.


Here is some history concerning TEPCO and GE's invlovement in Japan's nuclear power plant construction:

********* nuclear plant owner falsified inspection records. - The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/***************************************************************************************

[b]An upcoming film covering the history of ************** - BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/03/a_is_for_atom.html#

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 4:09pm by SmashingtonWho
#8 Mar 17 2011 at 2:00 PM Rating: Excellent
This blog is also trying to compile information - Aljazeera Live Blog
http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/asia/disaster-japan-march-17-live-blog#

Quote:
10:54 pm - France has said it is sending 100 tonnes of boric acid, an element that dampens radiation, to Japan to help tackle the crisis unfolding at ********* Daiichi.

"French nuclear group Areva and [electricity supplier] EDF flew this morning a plane with almost 100 tonnes of boric acid and protective equipment including 10,000 suits, 20,000 pairs of gloves and 3,000 masks," the country's foreign ministry said.

It added that EDF was preparing to send teams and material to help Tokyo Electric Power Co.

France, which relies more heavily on nuclear energy than any other country, has also offered to help treat any Japanese people affected by radiation poisoning if facilities there are unable to cope.


Nicely done France.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 4:08pm by SmashingtonWho
#9 Mar 17 2011 at 3:52 PM Rating: Good
SmashingtonWho wrote:
This blog is also trying to compile information - Aljazeera Live Blog
http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/asia/disaster-japan-march-17-live-blog#

Quote:
10:54 pm - France has said it is sending 100 tonnes of boric acid, an element that dampens radiation, to Japan to help tackle the crisis unfolding at ********* Daiichi.

"French nuclear group Areva and [electricity supplier] EDF flew this morning a plane with almost 100 tonnes of boric acid and protective equipment including 10,000 suits, 20,000 pairs of gloves and 3,000 masks," the country's foreign ministry said.

It added that EDF was preparing to send teams and material to help Tokyo Electric Power Co.

France, which relies more heavily on nuclear energy than any other country, has also offered to help treat any Japanese people affected by radiation poisoning if facilities there are unable to cope.


Nicely done France.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 4:08pm by SmashingtonWho
Indeed, thanks, France.

And thank you, Smash, for all of the updates.
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#10 Mar 17 2011 at 4:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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US is gathering some important data about radiation around the reactors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/world/asia/18intel.html
#11 Mar 17 2011 at 4:34 PM Rating: Excellent
UPDATE AS OF 11:35 A.M. EDT, THURSDAY, MARCH 17 - eNEWS
http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/latest-national/22654-nuclear-energy-institute-report-on-japans-nuclear-reactors-march-17-2011.html

Quote:
TEPCO officials say that although one side of the concrete wall of the reactor 4 fuel pool structure has collapsed, the steel liner of the pool remains intact, based on aerial photos of the reactor taken on March 17. The pool still has water providing some cooling for the fuel; however, helicopters dropped water on the reactor four times during the morning (Japan time) on March 17. Water also was sprayed at reactor 4 using high-pressure water cannons.


Due to the falsification of records, TEPCO is not currently a trusted source of information. However, this information does match that of other sources and arial photographs.

Reactors 1,2,3,5,6 are all under semi-stable condition. Workers are using sea water in a continuing effort to add water to fuel pools.

Quote:
Access problems at the site have delayed connection of a temporary cable to restore off-site electricity. The connection will provide power to the control rod drive pump, instrumentation, batteries and the control room. Power has not been available at the site since the earthquake on March 11.


If I understand correctly, this power will allow them to automate the pumps that provide cooling water to fuel pools. I would predict that they will reduce the number of workers on-site futher after these pumps are operational again.

Once again, these workers are heroes and I hope they will not suffer permanent radiation effects.
#12 Mar 17 2011 at 4:44 PM Rating: Default
Sorry to sound like a complete *** but I think there are other forums for this conversation...
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#13 Mar 17 2011 at 4:47 PM Rating: Good
LeilaniWildfire, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Sorry to sound like a complete *** but I think there are other forums for this conversation...


Apology accepted. :)
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#14 Mar 17 2011 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
March 16th - Situation worsens - still no cause for alarm - The Register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/16/********************

Quote:
Nuclear experts at MIT confirm that leaks from the suppression chamber at Daiichi No 2 reactor reported yesterday do in fact amount to a breach in primary containment, contradicting a statement supplied to World Nuclear News at the time by plant operator TEPCO. The doughnut-shaped suppression chamber is believed to have been damaged by a hydrogen-oxygen explosion like those which have wracked the site since the weekend, but this time occurring inside the primary containment shell rather than outside as previously seen.

This source goes on to explain the actual health risks in detail.

Quote:
The primary threat to people outside the immediate vicinity of the plant is radioisotopic iodine. Iodine-131 is produced in significant amounts by the uranium fission chain reaction that powers reactors. Its subsequent decay is one of the primary factors in the residual heating now slowly dying away in the ********* cores: as it decays it turns into stable, unthreatening Xenon but it emits ionising radiation as it does so.

Iodine-131 has a half-life of just over eight days, so by the weekend half of what was present in the cores when the quake hit will have disappeared. Eight days later it will be down to a quarter, and within weeks it will almost all be gone no matter where it has travelled to by then.

Both the source above and below seem to have a reasonable tone, attempting to only state facts.

Japan nuclear crisis: ********* 'meltdown' is worrying, but this is no Chernobyl - Tom Chivers
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100079799/japan-nuclear-crisis-*********************************************************

Quote:
Are we looking at a meltdown? Possibly, in that the fuel rods that run the reactor have lost coolant and may be melting. Will that lead to a Chernobyl-style disaster? Almost certainly not, for two reasons: one, at Chernobyl there was a “criticality accident”, when an uncontrolled nuclear reaction took place, which is essentially impossible at any well-designed reactor; and two, because there was no dedicated containment vessel at Chernobyl, unlike the 20cm-thick concrete-and-steel structures at ********** solely designed to contain a full meltdown.


I find this reassuring. Apparently, engineers have learned enough from Chernobly to at least mitigate full scale damage in a worst case scenario.


Edited, Mar 17th 2011 6:54pm by SmashingtonWho
#15 Mar 17 2011 at 4:53 PM Rating: Good
LeilaniWildfire, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Sorry to sound like a complete *** but I think there are other forums for this conversation...
Well, glad you are sorry about it, but you sound like an ***.
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#16 Mar 17 2011 at 5:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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LeilaniWildfire, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Sorry to sound like a complete *** but I think there are other forums for this conversation...


Sure, I mean what's going on in Japan right now has absolutely nothing to do with the current state of FFXIV, right?

Last I read they were trying to restart two of the reactors to power the coolant pumps to the busted reactors.

Here's some links to what's going on with the nuclear issue going on:
A link to the official web site for press releases by the Japanese government: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/topics/2011/earthquake2011tohoku.html
TEPCO Press Releases: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html
Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency: http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/index.html
International Atomic Energy Agency: http://www.iaea.org/
A twitter account run by the NE Asia Bureau Chief for Voice of America: http://twitter.com/W7VOA

Live video feed of NHK News (translated to English): http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

Quote:
Japanese Earthquake Update (17 March 17:55 UTC)

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

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

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

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.


Reasons why this will not end up like Chernobyl:
Quote:
Can this end up like Chernobyl?

No, it cannot. for several reasons.

* Chernobyl used graphite as a neutron moderator and water as a coolant. For complicated reasons, this meant that as the coolant heated up and converted to steam, the fission reaction intensified, converting even more water to steam, leading to a feedback effect. The ********* reactors use water as both the coolant and the neutron moderator, which means that as the water heats up and converts to steam, the reaction slows down instead. (The effect of the conversion of water coolant to steam on the performance of a nuclear reactor is known as the "void coefficient", and can be either positive or negative.)

* Chernobyl was designed so that as the nuclear fuel heated up, the fission reaction intensified, heating the core even further, causing another feedback effect. In the ********* reactors, the fission reaction slows down as the fuel heats up. (The effect of heating of the nuclear fuel on the performance of a nuclear reactor is known as the "temperature coefficient", and can also be positive or negative.)


* Chernobyl's graphite moderator was flammable, and when the reactor exploded, the radioactive graphite burned and ended up in the atmosphere. The ********* reactors use water as a neutron moderator, which is obviously not flammable.


Note that while Chernobyl used light water as a coolant (as distinct from heavy water), it was not a "light water reactor". The term LWR refers strictly to reactors that use light water for both cooling and neutron moderation.

The closest thing that could happen to a Chernobyl-like incident is if the spent fuel rods at the site caught fire and continued to burn. This could create large amounts of radioactive smoke, which would be more dangerous that the vented steam because it would contain nuclear material with much longer lives. So far, this appears to have been averted, but the possibility remains.


People should beware of misinformation in news reports from the major American news outlets which seems to be the cause of the sudden demand for Geiger counters and iodine pills. They're literally grabbing anyone associated with anything nuclear (even if that's not even their field of research) and having interviewing them regardless of what they actually know.

Relating to the tsunami, here's a good article at MSNBC with some before/after photos. It reminds me of the damage we got from Hurricane Katrina, except 1000x worse. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42066534/ns/world_news-asia-pacific/?gt1=43001

This area really needs all the support it can get right now.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 7:29pm by reptiletim
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#17 Mar 17 2011 at 6:07 PM Rating: Excellent
Thank you reptiletim!

Very good information. The press release is very instresting in that it states the conversation with Obama from the Japanese point of veiw.

Quote:
President Obama expressed his profound sympathy. He also reiterated to the prime minister that the United States was prepared not just to address immediate issues, but also to extend a full range of aid, including dispatching more nuclear power specialists and participating in medium- to long-term reconstruction.


Also the infomation from NISA (Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency) seems relaible. They are very close to connecting external power to Reactor #2. (NHK reports this is planned to be connected on Friday night.) I am not sure what they mean when they refer to "grand discharge", or why they would need riot police for it? That part is confusing.

The one member of the Self-Defense force who was injured in one of the explosions has now been discharged from the hospital. Good to hear.

This live feed is perfect, thank you very much: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

They are translating to english in real time, with continuous coverage.
#18 Mar 17 2011 at 6:12 PM Rating: Good
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reptiletim wrote:
Reasons why this will not end up like Chernobyl:
[quote]Can this end up like Chernobyl?

No, it cannot. for several reasons.


In some ways, the situation is potentially worse than Chernobyl, so to say it's can't end up like Chernobyl is a false hope. In the worse case scenario, you do end up with a level 7 incident that might not have occurred the same way as Chernobyl but is no less severe. The issue isn't a fission reaction. Those were offline the moment of the earthquake. The problem is the cores are super heated and without sufficient cooling. If they can't cool them down, they'll melt their way down to the concrete base (the definition of a meltdown).

In Chernobyl, you saw one reactor meltdown badly. But at ********** we're witnessing 6 reactors under severe distress, flooded with radiation with at least one primary containment leak, and poor odds they can get any sort of reliable cooling up and running any time soon. The initial earthquake, tsunami, and dozens of severe aftershocks have probably damaged the cooling system even if they manage to get the power back on to the pumps.

With so much radiation in the area, it's hard to see how one would go about resolving this cooling issue since no one can stay in the area for long without becoming terminally ill. It's a nightmare, and it definitely can get more dire as time goes on.
#19 Mar 17 2011 at 6:17 PM Rating: Decent
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That doesn't mean it can still be on the scale of Chernobyl though. These reactors are almost completely different than Chernobyl, so I really don't see how you can make this parallel.
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#20 Mar 17 2011 at 6:32 PM Rating: Good
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LeilaniWildfire, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Sorry to sound like a complete *** but I think there are other forums for this conversation...



Why is that? All of this very easily effects when FFXIV will be back online.
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#21 Mar 17 2011 at 6:48 PM Rating: Good
ForceOfMeh wrote:
In Chernobyl, you saw one reactor meltdown badly. But at ********** we're witnessing 6 reactors under severe distress, flooded with radiation with at least one primary containment leak, and poor odds they can get any sort of reliable cooling up and running any time soon. The initial earthquake, tsunami, and dozens of severe aftershocks have probably damaged the cooling system even if they manage to get the power back on to the pumps.

With so much radiation in the area, it's hard to see how one would go about resolving this cooling issue since no one can stay in the area for long without becoming terminally ill. It's a nightmare, and it definitely can get more dire as time goes on.


For the most part, this in direct opposition to the facts.
#22 Mar 17 2011 at 7:03 PM Rating: Good
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One news outlet says it's all DOOM AND MELTDOWN AND @#!!@($#* and whatnot. Another one got some officials to say it's not much to worry about. Another news source then have more experts saying they're hiding things and things will be much worse than anticipated. Another source says it's over exaggeration and things are fine. Then another one says the situation is deteriorating rapidly and goes back to DOOM AND MELTDOWN.

The people reading/listen is dumbfounded. O_O

You gotta love media, eh?

And for that reason, thanks SmashingtonWho for making this thread.

EDIT: Now that I'm here, can someone explain to me why it's impossible to shut the reactors down? SOUNDS simple, but I bet nuclear reactors have several complications.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 9:07pm by Enfid
#23 Mar 17 2011 at 8:44 PM Rating: Good
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Enfid wrote:
One news outlet says it's all DOOM AND MELTDOWN AND @#!!@($#* and whatnot. Another one got some officials to say it's not much to worry about. Another news source then have more experts saying they're hiding things and things will be much worse than anticipated. Another source says it's over exaggeration and things are fine. Then another one says the situation is deteriorating rapidly and goes back to DOOM AND MELTDOWN.

The people reading/listen is dumbfounded. O_O

You gotta love media, eh?

And for that reason, thanks SmashingtonWho for making this thread.

EDIT: Now that I'm here, can someone explain to me why it's impossible to shut the reactors down? SOUNDS simple, but I bet nuclear reactors have several complications.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 9:07pm by Enfid


Yea, our own wonderful Surgeon General didn't really help matters either.
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#24 Mar 17 2011 at 9:13 PM Rating: Excellent
From the Live feed at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

It is currently almost 12:12 (almost Noon) on Friday in Japan.

Quote:
139 firefighters have arrived just outside the ********* power plant.

Shortly, 30 fire engines will be discharging water, some of them at the rate of 5 tons per minute, onto the #3 and #4 spent fuel rod storage pools. This is meant to maintain storage pool temperatures until power is restored to automated cooling systems. Officials are considering filling the Reactor #1 rod storage pool as well.

External power sources are nearly complete. Reactors #1 and #2 are on a predicted schedule to be re-energized by Japan's night time (within 12 hours)

Also, winds are currently blowing South-East, toward the sea, and are predicted to shift to North-East this afternoon (also toward the sea).


Edited, Mar 17th 2011 11:15pm by SmashingtonWho
#25 Mar 17 2011 at 9:29 PM Rating: Excellent
From the Live feed at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

USstream.tv wrote:
22 elderly evacuees have died in evacuation shelters nearby ********** This was due to a number of reasons including dehydration and lack of medication. ********* officials have requested emergency assistance from other areas.

This is a horrible reason for fatalities that are attributed directly to the evacuation of areas surrounding **********

USstream.tv wrote:
Rolling blackouts scheduled this afternoon for two nearby regions have been canceled.

From this I gather that power restrictions are easing.


Edited, Mar 17th 2011 11:30pm by SmashingtonWho

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 12:16am by SmashingtonWho
#26 Mar 17 2011 at 9:53 PM Rating: Good
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Good to hear!

So, I guess when the FFXI and FFXIV servers come up, we can log in knowing that this is at least some small measure of improvement in Japan's condition during this disaster. It's nice to know the healing has already started.
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#27 Mar 17 2011 at 10:23 PM Rating: Default
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ForceOfMeh wrote:
With so much radiation in the area, it's hard to see how one would go about resolving this cooling issue since no one can stay in the area for long without becoming terminally ill. It's a nightmare, and it definitely can get more dire as time goes on.

Tonight Rachel Maddow went over a worst case scenario, where the plant would have to be abandoned due to extreme radiation..

She went on to explain how there is a chance for the uranium pellets inside the rods to become.. Basically a molten mess, where "re-criticality" is possible.. Meaning nuclear fission starting again, leading to an explosion. And if that happens, the water they're getting in there actually becomes a detriment.

The main reason I'm pointing this out is that I've heard from some people how there's no chance of a nuclear explosion, and that seems to be untrue.

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 12:31am by Coyohma
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#28 Mar 17 2011 at 10:42 PM Rating: Good
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The fuel rods won't "explode", they will ignite their casings and radioactive material will enter the air flow.
I think the Japanese are well on to ending this event. They have acted cooly and logically to a disaster that was outside the design parameters of the nuclear plant. Although, one expert questioned placing the diesel fuel tanks for the generators above ground, which were swept away by the record tsunami.

Edited, Mar 17th 2011 9:56pm by AekaMasaki
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#29 Mar 17 2011 at 10:48 PM Rating: Decent
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reptiletim wrote:
That doesn't mean it can still be on the scale of Chernobyl though. These reactors are almost completely different than Chernobyl, so I really don't see how you can make this parallel.


Put simply, harmful radiation spewing all over the environment is how I can make this parallel. Ultimately, this is what is at stake here. It's already leaking. The only question that remains is how much and for how much longer.

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 12:49am by ForceOfMeh
#30 Mar 17 2011 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
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Coyohma wrote:
The main reason I'm pointing this out is that I've heard from some people how there's no chance of a nuclear explosion, and that seems to be untrue.

There is absolutely no chance of a nuclear explosion. It's a physical impossibility at these reactors. The conditions required for a nuclear explosion are simply not going to be found even in the absolute worst-case scenario (i.e., rods are all completely uncovered simultaneously, control rods are absent, etc).

Re-criticality is technically possible but incredibly unlikely. The fission reaction requires an initial inflow of energy to get underway, and the majority of the particles currently sitting in the reactor cores will not have enough energy to collide and cause a fission reaction. Those that do will not be able to cause a chain reaction due to the fact that the control rods have been inserted, as well as the massive amounts of water and, soon, boric acid which are sitting in the reactor.

Tl;dr: There won't be an explosion, there almost certainly won't be a renewed fission reaction (and even if there somehow was the impact would be minimal), and Rachel Maddow is a terrible news source.
#31 Mar 17 2011 at 10:58 PM Rating: Good
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Majivo wrote:
Tl;dr: There won't be an explosion, there almost certainly won't be a renewed fission reaction (and even if there somehow was the impact would be minimal), and Rachel Maddow is a terrible news source.

If you say so, I'm in no position to argue either way based on what I know about nuclear issues. I guess this is somewhat comforting.
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#32 Mar 17 2011 at 11:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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A calm, cool read. Please read it.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/17/*******************
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#33 Mar 17 2011 at 11:12 PM Rating: Good
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Watching NHK, the second wave of fire trucks are spraying water into the most damaged reactor building. Large clouds of steam are coming out.
It's difficult to see what's going on from NHK's position 30 kilometers away from the site.
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#34 Mar 17 2011 at 11:47 PM Rating: Excellent
AekaMasaki wrote:
A calm, cool read. Please read it.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/17/***************************

********* on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good - The Register
theregister.co.uk wrote:
The story of the quake- and tsunami-stricken ********* Daiichi nuclear powerplant continues to unfold, with reports suggesting that the situation with respect to the three damaged reactors at the plant may soon be stabilised without serious consequences. The focus of attention has now moved to problems at a pool used to keep spent fuel rods cool. There remain no indications that anyone has yet suffered any radiation health effects, and the prospect is growing that this will remain the case.


Japanese Nuclear Energy Institute wrote:
Even if the water level in the pools was to decrease sufficiently so that the fuel were exposed to air, the same level of overheating that can occur in a reactor accident would not occur in the used fuel pool because the used fuel assemblies in the pool are cooler than the assemblies in the reactor. It is highly unlikely that used fuel temperatures could reach the point where melting could occur, although some damage to the cladding cannot be ruled out.


[quote=theregister.co.uk]The Japanese authorities and TEPCO nonetheless agree that getting more water into the spent-fuel pools at No 3 and No 4 is now their highest priority. Military helicopters have been used to dump water onto the top of No 3, whose roof has been blown off by previous hydrogen explosions: with the pools situated just below the roof area, it's hoped that some water at least went where it was wanted. High levels of radiation above the buildings had earlier caused the aircraft to be held back.


Thank you AekaMasaki!

They are very systematically applying the water. Hopefully all will hold steady now until power is restored and the cooling system is operational.

#35 Mar 18 2011 at 12:20 AM Rating: Good
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I don't know you, but your drive to provide accurate information and to rise above the FUD is admirable. <salute>
The Japanese will certainly control this event. You can't call it an accident (like most of the media does) because of the extraordinary earthquake and tsunami. The world experts did not think the Tohoku region had a 9.0 earthquake potential.
I have distant family in Sendai. Some of them are missing. They are on my mind.
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#36 Mar 18 2011 at 8:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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This is from the internet and I've no clue how accurate the information is but this info about Nuclear Disasters seems to touch on both questions and kind of an interesting read.

Enfid wrote:
EDIT: Now that I'm here, can someone explain to me why it's impossible to shut the reactors down? SOUNDS simple, but I bet nuclear reactors have several complications.

Quote:
You may be wondering, "Why can't they just drop the control rods in the reactor if it starts to get out of control?". The answer is that they can. The problem is that, even if the control rods are completely dropped in and the nuclear chain reaction stops, the reactor is still extremely hot and will not cool down unless coolant is put back in. The residual heat and the heat produced from the decay of the fission products are enough to drive the core's temperature up even if the nuclear chain reaction stops.
I guess it becomes self sustaining.
Coyohma wrote:
The main reason I'm pointing this out is that I've heard from some people how there's no chance of a nuclear explosion, and that seems to be untrue.

Quote:
It is impossible for any PWR or LWR nuclear reactor to explode like an atomic bomb. This is because in order for an uncontrolled chain reaction to occur that is similar to an atom bomb, the uranium fuel must be extremely enriched, much more than the 4% 235U that is present in regular, commercial nuclear reactor fuel. So, if it can't explode, what does happen in a nuclear reactor? The answer is what is called a meltdown. When a meltdown occurs in a reactor, the reactor "melts". That is, the temperature rises in the core so much that the fuel rods actually turn to liquid, like ice turns into water when heated. If the core continued to heat, the reactor would get so hot that the steel walls of the core would also melt. In a complete reactor meltdown, the extremely hot (about 2700� Celsius) molten uranium fuel rods would melt through the bottom of the reactor and actually sink about 50 feet into the earth beneath the power plant. The molten uranium would react with groundwater, producing large explosions of radioactive steam and debris that would affect nearby towns and population centers.

In general a nuclear meltdown would occurr if the reactor loses its coolant. This is what occured in the two disasters that we will discuss. Without coolant, the core's temperature would rise, resulting in the meltdown scenario we explained above.

In that example it would explode but not a nuclear explosion like a bomb. Lots of radiation from the conventional explosion so very bad but not like a bomb.

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 10:55am by MrTalos
#37 Mar 18 2011 at 10:41 AM Rating: Excellent
Japan Earthquake 2011: Government Considers Burying ********* Nuclear Plant Amidst Power Concerns - The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/18/japan-nuclear-plant-_n_837596.html

Quote:
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese engineers conceded on Friday that burying a crippled nuclear plant in sand and concrete may be a last resort to prevent a catastrophic radiation release, the method used to seal huge leakages from Chernobyl in 1986.

But they still hoped to solve the crisis by fixing a power cable to two reactors by Saturday to restart water pumps needed to cool overheating nuclear fuel rods. Workers also sprayed water on the No.3 reactor, the most critical of the plant's six.

It was the first time the facility operator had acknowledged burying the sprawling 40-year-old complex was possible, a sign that piecemeal actions such as dumping water from military helicopters or scrambling to restart cooling pumps may not work.

"It is not impossible to encase the reactors in concrete. But our priority right now is to try and cool them down first," an official from the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, told a news conference.


This possibility is being considered, as water added to storage pools may be vaporizing rather than filling the pools. No sources can confirm if the pools are succesfully refilled. Vapor rising from the reactor indicates that water has reached the pools, but it cannot be determined if the water level is now above the fuel rods. Some people feel that the raisied levels of radiation indicate that the fuel rods are at least partially exposed.

Quote:
Even if engineers restore power at the ********* Daiichi plant, the pumps may be too damaged from the earthquake, tsunami or subsequent explosions to work.

The first step is to restore power to pumps for reactors No. 1 and 2, and possibly 4, by Saturday, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, Japan's nuclear safety agency spokesman.


This may not be entirely true. According to the ********* Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/*******************************

Quote:
Backup batteries: The backup batteries kept coolant flowing for 8 hours after the generators failed.[citation needed]

Effective, until they ran out. The operators failed to connect portable generators before the 8 hours ran out, thereby allowing unit 3 to overheat and nearly melt down.


But there is no relaible source/citation for this information. If true, this would indicate that the cooling system would be operational if power is restored.

Attempts to restore power to Reactors 1, 2 and possibly 4 continue. Radiation levels are now higher in the immediate vacinity, hampering this effort. The plan is to route through Reactor 1 to a transformer in Reactor 2. The current predicted schedule for completion is Saturday morning, Japan time (It is 1:35am there now).



#38 Mar 18 2011 at 10:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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I quotith for soothe.
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#39 Mar 18 2011 at 11:46 AM Rating: Good
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#40 Mar 18 2011 at 11:59 AM Rating: Good
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SmashingtonWho wrote:

But there is no relaible source/citation for this information. If true, this would indicate that the cooling system would be operational if power is restored.


The concern is that the explosions and/or aftershocks may have damaged the cooling systems, if they weren't already damaged by the initial earthquake itself.
#41 Mar 18 2011 at 12:07 PM Rating: Excellent


Thank you burtonsnow. This is very dishaertening.

Quote:
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted that the disaster was a level 5, which is classified as a crisis causing 'several radiation deaths' by the UN International Atomic Energy.
Officials said the rating was raised after they realised the full extent of the radiation leaking from the plant. They also said that 3 per cent of the fuel in three of the reactors at the ********* plant had been severely damaged, suggesting those reactor cores have partially melted down.


Mroe information on the workers at the plant:
Courage of the ********* fifty: This is suicide, admit workers trying to avert a catastrophe - MailOnline
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1367125/Japan-tsunami-************************************************************

Quote:
Whilst the men are called the ********* Fifty, the group is thought to actually be 200-strong. They are doing four shifts in rotation, working on restarting the cooling systems.

Their heart-rending messages home were made public yesterday by Japanese national television, which has interviewed their relatives.

One relative said: 'My father is still working at the plant. He says he's accepted his fate, much like a death sentence.'

A woman said her husband who was at the plant had continued to work while fully aware he was being bombarded with radiation.

Another said that her 59-year-old father had volunteered for ********* duty, adding: 'I heard that he volunteered even though he will be retiring in just half a year and my eyes are filling up with tears.

'At home, he doesn't seem like someone who could handle big jobs. But today, I was really proud of him. I pray for his safe return.'

Another girl whose father worked at the ********* reactor said: 'I have never seen my mother cry so hard'.

She wrote on Twitter: 'People at the plant are struggling, sacrificing themselves to protect you.

'Please, Dad, come back alive.'

Of those who have stayed behind, five are known to have died already and two are missing. At least 21 others have been injured. A female worker who claimed to have been on duty in the ********* No 2 reactor when the tsunami struck posted her account of what happened on the internet.
Michiko Otsuki, who has since sought safety, wrote on a Japanese social networking website translated by The Straits Times: 'In the midst of the tsunami alarm at 3am in the night when we couldn't even see where we were going, we carried on working to restore the reactors from where we were, right by the sea, with the realisation that this could be certain death.

'The machine that cools the reactor is just by the ocean, and it was wrecked by the tsunami. Everyone worked desperately to try to restore it.
'Fighting fatigue and empty stomachs, we dragged ourselves back to work.

'There are many who haven't got in touch with their family members, but are facing the present situation and working hard.'

Dr Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, told the U.S. TV network ABC that the situation had worsened in the last day.

'We're talking about workers coming into the reactor perhaps as a suicide mission and we may have to abandon ship,' he said.

Michael Friedlander, who has worked in crisis management at similar American nuclear plants, added the workers were probably eating military-style rations and drinking cold water to survive.

'It's cold, it's dark, and you're doing that while trying to make sure you're not contaminating yourself while you're eating,' he said.

'I can tell you with 100 per cent certainty they are absolutely committed to doing whatever is humanly necessary to make these plants in safe condition, even at the risk of their own lives.'
#42 Mar 18 2011 at 12:30 PM Rating: Decent
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The people to thank are in Japan. 200 brave souls saving lives. I have shed tears a couple times in thought of them. May they be safe and efficient in their task.

Appreciate all the links smash.
#43 Mar 18 2011 at 2:09 PM Rating: Default
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I know not many people here are familiar with Al Jazeera English or have this pre-conceived opinion of it being some terrorist organization because of the good old Bush administration but just so you guys know they're been highly touted recently by Senator Clinton and she said that "we're losing the information war against organizations like Al Jazeera, etc." Anyway, point being, Al Jazeera has amazing coverage of the ********* incident in a live blog they pretty much update on a minute by minute basis (depending on the time it is in Japan or Doha - their headquarters) so check it out if you're interested: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/asia/disaster-japan-live-blog-march-19 (AJ also covers blogs on almost everything including protests in the Middle East that look like they've taken a turn for worse in Libya, I think this man is crazy and could end up starting a war with anyone for the sake of keeping his throne - either that or he ends up committing genocide on his own people...so pathetic what the world has come to).

Today they reported that Japan raised nuclear alert level and looks like things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, its so sad to see this, in the end this could end up affecting the entire world on a global scale if its not handled well - as advanced as we've become we know how things can get out of control quickly (such as was the case with the BP oil spill), lets hope for the best here and we really need to stop using nuclear power and avert more resources towards advancing solar/wind/water power and I even hear we can be tapping into natural heat sources such as volcanoes to provide us with power - all safer and more efficient alternatives than petroleum and nuclear but obviously where there's money to be had there's people to be having it.

Just out of curiosity does anyone here follow AJ as a news source?



Edited, Mar 18th 2011 4:19pm by SolidMack
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#44 Mar 18 2011 at 2:29 PM Rating: Good
solidmack wrote:
in the end this could end up affecting the entire world on a global scale if its not handled well


Just for giggles here: I wonder how the entire world could be affected on anything less than a global level. Smiley: laugh

Silliness aside: That sucks.



Edited, Mar 18th 2011 4:31pm by mattkujata
#45 Mar 18 2011 at 2:31 PM Rating: Good
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SolidMack wrote:
Just out of curiosity does anyone here follow AJ as a news source?


AJ has been providing some good coverage for the whole ME thing and for that I have been following them lately. With all the different viewpoints of this world I like to diversify though and get opinions from all sides, so it is not my sole source of information.

I think people are realizing it is time to take a look at other forms of energy. China stopped the production of nuclear reactors until further notice and Germany has shut down some of their older reactors as well. I hope this brings about a change to a lot of the ways we currently know.



In other news, there is some fishy stuff going on with HAARP before and after the earthquake:

Quote:
If you go to HAARP’s official website you can see for yourself that the 2.5 Hz ULF frequency wasn’t only being broadcated for 10 hours, it was constantly being broadcasted for 2 days prior to the earthquake. Broadcasting began on March 8, 2011, just before midnight as you can see on HAARP’s website page – http://maestro.haarp.alaska.edu/cgi-bin ... i?20110308. Click on the Next Day link to see that the earthquake inducing 2.5 Hz ULF frequency was being broadcasted for the entire days of March 9, 2011 and March 10, 2011. Even though the signature frequency of an earthquake was shown throughout March 9 and March 10 there were no constant earthquakes occurring off the east coast of Japan.

What is the significance of a 2.5 Hz ULF broadcast? The natural resonance of an earthquake is 2.5 Hz. Scientists working for the United States military discovered this using the phased array antennas at the HAARP facility in Alaska. HAARP’s own charts suggests that earthquakes occurred constantly for 3 days. We know for a fact that they haven’t.
http://presscore.ca/2011/?p=1624
#46 Mar 18 2011 at 2:59 PM Rating: Excellent
Thank you SolidMack. You will find aljazeera (March 17th) linked above as well.

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/asia/disaster-japan-live-blog-march-19#
The most recent blog entry states:

Quote:
Half a kilometre northwest of the No 3 reactor:

1.50pm - 3.484 millisieverts per hour
5:00pm - 5.055 millisieverts per hour
8:00pm - 3.611 millisieverts per hour

And 1.1km west of the No.3 reactor (west gate area):

8.10pm - 0.4476 millisieverts per hour
9pm - 0.4191 millisieverts per hour


By all accounts, these levels are now hampering the efforts to restore power.

Quote:
4:11am Power should be coming back online at ********* nuclear plant - as Tokyo Electric Power Co say they've managed to connect an external transmission line.

Tepco - Asia's largest power utility company - confirmed that electricity can be turned on, saying it "planned to supply Unit 2 first, followed by Unit 1, Unit 3 and Unit 4 ... because Unit 2 is expected to be less damaged".


I am not sure that even the restored cooling system, providing boron enriched water, can overcome the heat of the exposed fuel rods. It appears that the water they are adding via pumper trucks is vaporizing as quickly as it can be safely added.








Edited, Mar 18th 2011 5:26pm by SmashingtonWho
#47 Mar 18 2011 at 3:06 PM Rating: Excellent


Thanks for posting this. I imagine that experts will be reviewing this possibility carefully.
#48 Mar 18 2011 at 3:32 PM Rating: Good
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SmashingtonWho wrote:


Thanks for posting this. I imagine that experts will be reviewing this possibility carefully.


Just trying to make sense of all this convolution. Every little piece of info helps. I hope we are able to post some good news in the upcoming days.



For those interested you can view some different radiation readings here:

http://www.blackcatsystems.com/RadMap/map.html

http://www.radiationnetwork.com/
#49 Mar 18 2011 at 5:40 PM Rating: Decent
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mattkujata wrote:
solidmack wrote:
in the end this could end up affecting the entire world on a global scale if its not handled well


Just for giggles here: I wonder how the entire world could be affected on anything less than a global level. Smiley: laugh

Silliness aside: That sucks.



Edited, Mar 18th 2011 4:31pm by mattkujata


Lol as I was writing that I thought there was something wrong with the sentence :P.

Quote:
I think people are realizing it is time to take a look at other forms of energy. China stopped the production of nuclear reactors until further notice and Germany has shut down some of their older reactors as well. I hope this brings about a change to a lot of the ways we currently know.


I heard China is going with coal power now. If anything what this catastrophe will do is enforce stricter building codes when it comes to nuclear power plants in my opinion just because people are too stubborn to walk away from what may potentially harm the planet in the future as long as it has value to them today.

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 7:44pm by SolidMack
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#50 Mar 18 2011 at 6:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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MrTalos wrote:
In that example it would explode but not a nuclear explosion like a bomb. Lots of radiation from the conventional explosion so very bad but not like a bomb.

Got it, so there can be an explosion, but it would be an explosion of the nuclear materials, not an actual nuclear explosion.

Thanks for all the info & updates.
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#51 Mar 18 2011 at 7:11 PM Rating: Good
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Coyohma wrote:
MrTalos wrote:
In that example it would explode but not a nuclear explosion like a bomb. Lots of radiation from the conventional explosion so very bad but not like a bomb.

Got it, so there can be an explosion, but it would be an explosion of the nuclear materials, not an actual nuclear explosion.

Thanks for all the info & updates.


Well, yes and no. There are some of the spent fuel pools which have fuel rods that contain both Uranium and Plutonium. Plutonium becomes much more dense when it is heated up and is also the material used in nuclear warfare, so if enough of the plutonium heats up to levels where the density becomes to great there could a be nuclear type explosion that sends deadly uranium and plutonium into the atmosphere. Plutonium has a half life of 25,000 years, meaning it takes that long to lose half its radiation. Uranium has a 700 million year half life. Source below


Quote:
Plutonium in troubled reactors, spent fuel pools

March 18, 2011, Associated Press

The fuel rods at all six reactors at the stricken ********* Dai-ichi complex contain plutonium — better known as fuel for nuclear weapons. While plutonium is more toxic than uranium, other radioactive elements leaking out are likely to be of greater danger to the general public.

Only six percent of the fuel rods at the plant's Unit 3 were a mixture of plutonium-239 and uranium-235 when first put into operation. The fuel in other reactors is only uranium, but even there, plutonium is created during the fission process.

...

Ed Lyman, a physicist at the activist group Union of Concerned Scientists, estimates the fuel in Unit 3 is 5 percent to 10 percent more dangerous than the fuel in the other crippled reactors.

Still, it is very unlikely to become packed tightly enough to reach what is known as critical mass and start a chain reaction. The plutonium would qualify as weapons grade only if a large quantity was packed together.

...

The ********* Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4's reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.

If plutonium did get out, it wouldn't disappear quickly. Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 25,000 years, meaning it takes that long to lose half of its radioactive potency. Uranium-235 has a half-life of 700 million years. And cesium, which tends to go airborne much more easily, has a half-life of 30 years.

...



http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/18/plutonium-troubled-reactors-spent-fuel-pools/


At the very least my bolded part leaves hope on the table.



Quote:
I heard China is going with coal power now. If anything what this catastrophe will do is enforce stricter building codes when it comes to nuclear power plants in my opinion just because people are too stubborn to walk away from what may potentially harm the planet in the future as long as it has value to them today.

I truly hope our lack of foresight doesn't come back to kick our *** again then. The industry needs to invest in some of the great new renewable technology such as magnetic powered electricity generators. People need to stop worrying about profit and start worrying about leaving this planet for future generations.

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 9:12pm by burtonsnow
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