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View Diary: Sen. Wyden Sounds The Alarm on Fukushima (291 comments)

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  •  What is the proposed plan? What is the (9+ / 0-)

    International community supposed to be able to do to prevent this? Japan will get an earthquake. How do we mitigate the damage? And what exactly happens if we don't? When you say nuclear fallout of 1000 bombs, what's that mean exactly? Is it going into the water? Will we have no sun, what?

    •  The "fallout worldwide" bit is gross hyperbole. (15+ / 0-)

      And that's a shame, because this is a very serious situation.  Unfortunately the diarist felt the need to go way beyond the facts.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 06:09:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  where do you think fallout goes? (21+ / 0-)

        Radiation from Fukushima had already been tracked to the eastern US not long after the beginning of the accident. Have you looked at the maps of the dispersion of radioactivity from Chernobyl? The stuff gets around. And ends up everywhere, in greater or lesser concentrations.

        Worldwide - there is this pesky fact that we do live on one planet, and what goes around, comes around.

        The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. - Anatole France, 1894

        by beverlywoods on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 06:55:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what goes around... (13+ / 0-)

          ... keeps going around when it has a half-life of 225,000 years.

          I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

          by CharlieHipHop on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 07:26:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Recent sampling (6+ / 0-)

          MEXT, the Japanese equivalent of the EPA (sort of) recently released measurements of radioactive contamination of seawater samples taken a couple of months ago (13th through 21st February 2011 or so) up to 100 km out from the Daiichi plant and along the nearby coast. Here's a link to the table of data and a chart showing sampling locations.

           The measurements of the two main radioactive fission products (Cs-134 and Cs-137) found in the seawater samples were a maximum of 0.05 Bequerels/litre about 30km from the plant. Further out the readings tail off to about 0.01 Bq/litre.

           In comparison seawater is radioactive due to naturally occurring potassium-40 and rubidium-87 to a level of 11 Bq/litre, or two hundred times more radioactivity than from the fission byproducts released into the sea from Fukushima Daiichi. There's also the leftover fission byproducts from 150 megatonnes of atmospheric nuclear tests carried out in the Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s by the US as well as 200 megatonnes of Russian tests in the Arctic which dumped quite a bit of fallout into the world's oceans over the same time period.

          •  And, after all, the government of Japan (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mamamedusa, Joieau, Russgirl

            has been so honest and forthright through this disaster that it would be completely unfair to say that a person would have to have a few extra holes in their fucking head to take anything said by that government seriously.

            Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

            by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:15:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Levels (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryfry, AaronInSanDiego, Imhotepsings

              So just how high do you think the levels of fission products from Fukushima Daiichi are in seawater? Are they anywhere close to the natural levels of radiation from K-40 and Rb-87? It doesn't seem so.

               The amounts of Cs-134 and Cs-137 are actually so low it takes several days or even weeks to get decent readings in the lab from the seawater samples; the isotope types and amounts are determined by measuring the energy of the radiation and matching it to known spectra. At 0.01 Bq/litre that means the detectors are measuring one particle of radiation from a fission product like Cs-137 every hundred seconds per litre of sample and they need hundreds or even thousands of readings to determine any sort of spectrum. At the same time the detectors are being bombarded by ten or eleven particles every second from the naturally occurring radioactive isotopes in seawater which complicates things.

               Using the same techniques the US government and others can detect Cs and other fission products in seawater that might reach their shores but the actual levels found will be no threat to health so far from the originating site. However that doesn't make disaster junkies feel safe so any isotopes detected at all will cause more Chicken Little reactions no matter what the levels actually mean.

              •  I thought we were talking about the potential for (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1

                atmospheric fallout? Core hitting water table steam explosions or some such.

                Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

                by Pescadero Bill on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:12:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Movie scripts (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SpeedyGonzales, netop, mdmslle

                  Disaster junkies have a movie script understanding of the engineering and physics of a core meltdown in a reactor which makes for great horror stories but movie scripts don't actually happen in the real world.

                   Basic facts: the fuel elements contain fission byproducts from when the Fukushima reactors were operating at full power, just before they were shut down as the earthquake hit over a year ago. Once the control rods went home and fission stopped the heat production in the core dropped from about 2600 megawatts to about 50 megawatts. As the hot short-life fission elements (half-lifes measuring in seconds or minutes) died away the heating effect of the remaining byproducts decreased quite rapidly but that drop plateaued out as only the longer-lived elements were left. As of today more than a year later the fuel pellets in each reactor are putting out about 0.5 MW of heat. This plateau of heat energy from fission byproducts is why spent fuel rods from a reactor are stored for a few years in a cooling pond before being moved to either longer-term dry storage or reprocessing.

                   There was about 120 tonnes of fuel pellets in reactors 2 and 3, a bit less in reactor 1 which was smaller. There was enough heat energy left after the shutdowns to boil off the remaining water once the pumps stopped for lack of electricity and the steam under pressure and heat reacted with the zirconium metal jacketing of the fuel rods causing hydrogen and oxygen to be created by catalytic disassociation. That gas mix caused the explosions which dispersed the lighter mobile fission byproducts such as I-131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 as vapour through vents. Most of the rest of the nuclear zoo of isotopes stayed put inside the containments since they required much higher temperatures to form compounds that would be vapourised easily -- uranium oxide which constitutes the fuel elements melts at about 2800 deg C, for example.

                   The residual heat was enough to melt the bottom of the reactor vessel and some of the fuel elements, melted core structures etc. ended up on the floor of the primary containment where they continued to generate heat, enough, it is thought, also melt through that layer to drop more scrap through onto the floor of the secondary containment. By this time after the accident it is nowhere nearly hot enough to melt its way through the bottom of this part of the containment system into the earth and down into an aquifer where, according to the movie script believers a steam explosion will blow the reactor apart releasing even more radioactivity.

                   The engineers at Fukushima have been pumping about 8-10 tonnes of water an hour into the reactors to remove as much of this decay heat as possible since a few days after the explosions, further reducing the chances of the China Syndrome event the disaster junkies have been lovingly turning over in their minds. Mostly though the water cooling reduces the amount of radioisotopes boiling out of the fuel pellets and prevents more hydrogen being produced by keeping the temps down.

                   As for atmospheric fallout, we've already been through a shitload of that from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, over two hundred of them in the 1950s and 60s including all of the biggest tests such as the Soviet Tsarbomba (55MT) and the US's Castle Bravo test (15MT). That's put a lot of radioactive material into the sea, land and air and we're mostly still all here (some Japanese fishermen got caught in the plume from Castle Bravo, at least one died from radiation burns).

                   Several organisations in Japan have been monitoring radioactive materials in air as both particles and vapour. The levels are tiny now although they were substantially higher closer to the accident. Rigorous testing of some air samples provides a reading like 0.001 Bq/cubic metre of Cs-137 in dust particles measured in Fukushima city 60km NW of the reactors a few days ago. The dispersal of particles 8000 km across the Pacific to the US is going to reduce any detectable contamination to truly microscopic levels. You'd be better worrying about the radioactive material coal-fired stations emit every day as part of their normal operations, no disaster required.

              •  The contaminated water (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jeanette0605, Russgirl, ozsea1, dharmasyd

                moves via currents, and is now approaching Hawaii/Midway. Will be at the west coast of the U.S. within 2 years. But it's not the greatest ocean contamination event in history (acknowledged) that presents the greatest danger, it's bioaccumulation of radioisotopes through the food chain. That will tend to concentrate the higher up the chain you go. Even baleen whales caught north of Japan have tested high in cesium, and all they're eating is plankton and krill.

                Atmospheric fallout is also considerable, blankets the entire northern hemisphere and has moved south. Plutonium from Fukushima was detected in the rain in Lithuania. It's everywhere.

        •  Who tracked the fallout from the H-bomb tests (0+ / 0-)

          … in the open air in the South Pacific in the 1950s? It too ended up everywhere.

          There are lots of questions governments want their people not to ask, or even think about.

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:48:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Detectable traces ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mdmslle, SpeedyGonzales

          hundreds of times below background level are not "worldwide fallout".  And unlike Chernobyl, that's all anyone outside of Japan saw from Fukushima.

          If we want to be taken seriously, it behooves us to make the best effort possible to quantify the actual risk in each given case.

          “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

          by jrooth on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:01:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget the jet stream and ocean currents (9+ / 0-)

        lead from Eastern Japan right to the West coast of the US with little deviation.

        This will concentrate anything leaking from Japan onto the US West coast (i,e, Oregon) before it is dispersed anywhere else.

        In fact, during WWII, the Japanese even developed intercontinental balloon bombs that they simply lofted into the jet stream and that managed to make it to the US in a few days. Few did due to the crude technology, but even back then, we were aware of the directness of the global currents from Japan to the US.

        There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
        I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

        by Reality Bites Back on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 07:03:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you might wanna check with the experts.... (8+ / 0-)

        the northern hemisphere will be toast....hot, radioactive toast.   The nuclear fires will burn hot and send the radiation high into the atmosphere and the jet stream will carry it to the US and then europe.

        82 times more radiation then Chernobyl.. in the good scenario of only fuel pool 4 goin up.  

        •  Health effects of the low level radiation... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SpeedyGonzales, Mcrab, bryfry, mojo workin

          that would be expeienced over trans-oceanic distances would be negligable. Keep in mind that the linear no-threshold relationship model is inconsistent with experimental data.

          After exposing breast cells to varying doses of radiation, studies reporting on radiation-induced carcinogenesis concluded that there is no convincing evidence of a carcinogenic effect in humans or experimental animals for doses of less than 100 mGy.

          Life developed in a bath of ionizing radiation and solar ultraviolet radiation and created organisms capable of DNA repair, and elimination of damaged cells. Several sets of data show the efficacy of these defenses to be much higher at low doses than originally thought.

          "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

          by rclendan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 07:49:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh really! (8+ / 0-)

            What sets of data are those?

            And who says it is a low level of radiation?  A low level of UV is certainly manageable but even that gets ugly with prolonged exposure.  

            You can't even compare that to what a tiny speck of plutonium does once it's embedded in lung or nasal tissue.

            I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

            by CharlieHipHop on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:44:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Feel free to neglect internal exposure (5+ / 0-)

            oh, I see you already did.

          •  you don't account for internal exposure (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            beverlywoods, JesseCW, Sandino, Joieau

            to alpha- and beta- emitting particles.

          •  We evolved in a period of chaotic and rapidly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, ozsea1

            changing climate....

            I knew I'd heard this one before.

            Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

            by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:16:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry guys I am a physicist working in the (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryfry, JayBat, mojo workin, mdmslle

              nuclear industry for twenty years...Just trying to get the facts out as I understand them. I am a pro-nuclear liberal and not a troll. It is because of global warming that I believe that nuclear base load power has a future in America's energy portfolio.

              The linear no-threshold relationship model was developed as a radiation protection model, not a measure of health effects.

              There are many studies in the Journal Radiology, and in particular A test of the linear-no threshold theory of radiation carcinogenesis by  Bernard L. Cohen  which demonstrates that the human response to low level exposure is definitely not linear.

              Health Physics Society does not apply the LNR to calculate health effects of radiaton exposure, while the French Academy of Sciences endorses the existence of radiation hormesis.

              There are some risks from the use of nuclear power, but those risks need to be kept in perspective.  Where is the ourage when 100 people die in an gasoline explosion in Africa as these poor souls are collecting gas from a leaking pipeline with buckets.

              Let's count the deaths from nuclear power vs fossile fuel use and production. I'll play that game.

              "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

              by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:29:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't call you troll. (5+ / 0-)

                But I know what a waste of time it is to try to explain the truth to someone whose livelihood depends on not understanding it.

                I can see your outrage at the death toll in uranium mines.

                Somehow, it all just magically shows up as fuel at the refinery with no human or environmental cost, in all the models the Nuke Proponents present.

                Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

                by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:58:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  what gives you more knowledge than he or she has? (0+ / 0-)

                  What makes you understand things better?

                  "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:15:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There was an increase in Lung cancers from long... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SpeedyGonzales, jrooth, bryfry

                  term (10+ years) exposure to radon in Uranium mines in the 40s and 50s. Since then, ventilation systems and other measures have been used to reduce radon levels in the few underground mines that continue to operate.

                  In recent decades, The average annual exposure of uranium miners has fallen to levels similar to some homes. This has greatly reduced the risk of occupationally induced cancer from radon. But I will concede that it is still an issue for those workers.

                  Mining Radon exposure is regulated by the US Department of Labor:

                  OSHA Maximum Permissible Concentration (MPC) for General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1096(c)(1) -- 100 pCi/L (This is the limit that a worker (over 18 years of age) can be exposed to in 40 hours in a consecutive 7 day period.)

                  BTW,

                  Coal contains a small amount of radioactive uranium, barium, thorium and potassium. In terms of overall world public health, and the huge amount of coal consumed, I would think this is a bigger problem.

                  "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

                  by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:06:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Storing nuclear waste safely is not possible. (5+ / 0-)

                The end.  Comparisons to other forms of energy break down when you consider that spent nuclear fuel like that which is in SFP#4 is more the norm than the exception if we fast forward about 1000 years.  

                •  Fast breeder reactors are the answer... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SpeedyGonzales, bryfry, dharmasyd

                  Breeder reactors could in principle extract almost all of the energy contained in uranium or thorium.

                  This would decrease fuel requirements by nearly two orders of magnitude compared to traditional light water reactors, which extract less than 1% of the energy.

                  The thorium in our spent coal ash could power the planet for thousands of years.

                  With seawater uranium extraction, there is enough fuel for breeder reactors to satisfy our energy needs for as long as the  sun and Earth relationship persists, about 5 billion years.

                  "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

                  by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:28:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I gave you a rec on this... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...not because I agree with your ideas, but because I agree with your presentation.  You are, as they say, collegial and polite.  

                    But I must level with you, and I don't say this for me personally.  At 79, I've lived my life, and although one never wishes to die, that would be okay.  So when I say that fast breeder reactors really scare me; I'm not saying it in regard to my own personal life.

                    Again:  Fast Breeder Reactors really scare me.  I won't pretend to know much about them.  But since we are having so much trouble even managing BWRs with safety (you'll probably disagree with that); nevertheless I would not feel comfortable with humans at our stage of development attempting to safely manage these much more volatile breeders -- as they breed PU.

                    The Monju fast breeder in Japan, after having 2 major accidents,  has only been on line to generate energy for 1 hour during it's 20 year existence.  Have you seen this film of their FAILED fast breeder Monju?

                    Monju (もんじゅ?) is a Japanese sodium-cooled fast reactor, located in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture. Construction started in 1986 and the reactor achieved criticality for the first time in April 1994... MOX-fueled, loop-type reactor...
                    “An accident in December 1995, in which a sodium leak caused a major fire, forced a shutdown. A subsequent scandal involving a cover-up of the scope of the accident delayed its restart until May 6, 2010, with renewed criticality reached on May 8, 2010.[1] In August 2010 another accident, involving dropped machinery, shut down the reactor again. As of June 2011, the reactor has only generated electricity for one hour since its first testing two decades prior.[2]…
                    And you can read more here

                    I do not believe humankind is yet sufficiently evolved to be able to handle this kind of energy.  Our morality and our greed must change first.

                    "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

                    by dharmasyd on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:01:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You know, the whole (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Russgirl, Sandino, ozsea1

                "I'm a physicist working in the industry" is industry propaganda all by itself. The physicists who discovered and developed nuclear energy - first to kill the greatest number of human beings with WMDs, then to kill the greatest number of human beings long term by boiling water - do not run nuclear power plants. Technicians do.

                Yet another instance of the modern truism that Technicians Run The World.

                A health physics technician - or even a management-level HP with a degree instead of 6-18 years in Rickover's Navy - can't claim equivalence to Einstein, Oppenheimer or Teller. Though that's how the deliberately kept ignorant public is supposed to understand the "I'm a physicist" claim, isn't it?

                Pshaw.

                •  We can't afford to wait until it's "too late". (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino, Joieau, ozsea1, dharmasyd

                  Adm. Hyman Rickover, “father of the nuclear navy,” came out AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER near the end of his life:

                  “I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. . . .

                  Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.

                  I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

                •  I started out as a nuke machinist mate in the navy (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau, jrooth, bryfry, dharmasyd

                  The point is that this is largely an emotional and one sided argument. I am providing the other side. I am not claiming that I am a genius therefore your concerns should be dismissed. I am saying that my work around this material on a daily basis, and the knowledge gained from that experience creates understanding that perhaps allows me to see things a little more objectively. I always provide facts to back up my claims; and I am not an industry shill. Just a big fan of abundant clean electricity.

                  "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

                  by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:40:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Going from Rickover's Navy (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rclendan, dharmasyd

                    straight to the civilian power industry SHOULD have informed you in no uncertain terms that something big is wrong with the entire conceptualization. These beasties simply don't scale well. So where a single drop of leaked coolant reading 100 mr/hr on 'the boat' would be a regular Big Deal, you'd see room-sized puddles reading 10 or more R/hr in a commercial plant merely taped off while management shrugs, hires a few grunts from day labor to mop it up, then goes right on as if nothing's wrong.

                    Back in my long-ago day (30+ years ago) MOST of the responsible techs in the civilian industry were ex-Navy. Because nuke school meant that the utilities didn't have to bother with either a) their own in-depth training (just familiarize the ops with the particular system and controls), or b) transfer of clearances.

                    Many ex-Navy nukes didn't last long at all, disgusted with how filthy and ultimately dangerous civilian nukes truly are. Others put up with it because the pay was pretty good, and the management usually took the heat when things went wrong. Then Three Mile Island melted down, and 4 rather brilliant - and immensely brave - ex-Navy operators got slated to take the historical blame for singularly lousy engineering and utterly criminal corporate mismanagement.

                    Now they get their techs mostly from specialty 2-year community colleges that teach only enough to do the specified task and no more. Hell, one in Tennessee brags it can get you certified and on the job in 14 months. The industry likes it, because they don't have to deal with squids who know more about everything from metallurgy to thermodynamics than they do.

                    Go figure...

        •  Will? Already has! (15+ / 0-)
          ...jet stream will carry it to the US and then europe.
          Not "will", sir.  Already has!  You are correct, drummer.

          And for those of you who are skeptics, check out Arnie Gundersen at Fairewinds Associates.  Check out his credentials; they're impeccable.  Check out the studies done on the kelp and seaweed off the Califonia coast.  It has the signature radionucleides from Fukushima.  The list is very long.  

          To the skeptics, I can only say, do your homework, google, and research.  Do you know that both the EPA and the Canadian National Health equivalent agency --- BOTH turned off their air monitors just 3 weeks after the disaster?  Do you know that?  Why do you think they did that?  Perhaps for the same reason Japan banned the import of geiger counters.  My guess:  TPTB don't want the common folk to know how bad it really is.

          This is a nasty game about profits and huge monetary losses going on here.  It is also a very serious and uplifting challenge for human evolution.

          With the splitting of the atom, everything changed save man's way of thinking, said Einstein; and thus we drift toward unimaginable peril.  With the splitting of the atom, we humans took the awesome power once attributed only to gods into our small hands and our not fully developed consciousness.  

          The atom mandates that we must evolve in consciousness to approximate the godlike power of our technology.  
          This is why Capitalism and Nuclear Energy are anathema to each other.

          Will we humans accomplish the evolutionary adaptation required now?  I don't know.  But I do know that this adaptation, this new mode of thinking, is required if we are to be more than just another failed branch on the evolutionary tree.  

          Be kind to one another.  We are all in this boat together.

          "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

          by dharmasyd on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:39:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very well summarized dharmasyd. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pescadero Bill, Joieau, dharmasyd, ozsea1

            We should also keep in mind that the risks associated with nuclear technology are global, rather than local. As nuclear plants proliferate (and then age) around the planet, they will be supervised by governments with different levels of ability, efficacy and social responsibility.

            "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

            by native on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:39:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're not doing so well w/ facts, yourself (0+ / 0-)

        "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

        by chmood on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:36:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Fallout IS Worldwide, sir! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Joieau, Russgirl, ozsea1

        "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

        by dharmasyd on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:10:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If only it was hyperbole... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Russgirl, ozsea1

        radiation has already reached the U.S. in various forms. But keep your head in the sand...no problem. We'll all probably have to leave underground if, as many as possible, if the worse case scenario happens.

        •  It's meaningless to speak of radiation (0+ / 0-)

          without specifying the level of radiation.  We are all bathed in radiation every minute of every day of our lives.

          "Fallout" means far more than a detectable signature of the event.  Technically it means particles carrying high radiation falling to the ground, but at minimum surely it means an increase in radiation sufficient to make a meaningful difference in health.

          As I said originally, I'm not minimizing the seriousness of this situation.  I'm asking for a concerted effort to be rigorously factual about the risks.

          “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

          by jrooth on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:14:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Many of the commentors as well (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry, Kurt Sperry, native, jrooth

        Irrespective of your opinions on nuclear power or the nuclear power industry (here, or in any other country), the level of scientific understanding generally at play here is ... not Daily Kos at its best.

        "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -Douglas Adams

        by Serpents Choice on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:22:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe not, but the level of scientific (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, Russgirl, ozsea1, dharmasyd

          understanding displayed by the NRC and similar pro-nuke organizations has been not only biased, but manipulative. You can't expect people to be nuclear experts when half the information available to them comes from shills for the industry.

          "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

          by native on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:47:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, screw those people (0+ / 0-)

            who went to school and learned stuff. Them and their fancy degrees is nuth'n but manipulative biases.

            These issues are better decided by ignorant yokels and rad techs who haven't worked on anything technical in three decades. Who needs a PhD when one has had a two-week training course in how to wield a Geiger counter?

            Our time is now! Break out the torches and pitch-forks!

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:25:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If the spent fuel burns and then melts down (5+ / 0-)

      Depends on which way the wind is blowing and how energetic is the release.  Could blanket Japan or reach the U.S. west coast in the worst case.  #4 spent fuel pool has a lot of rods.

      Plus if it goes it will sooner or later take 1-3 with it.

    •  It's going into the water NOW (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willisnewton, KnotIookin, Joieau, Russgirl

      "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

      by chmood on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:34:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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