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View Diary: Fukushima Status Update Summary (289 comments)

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  •  Forbes Status Report @7:34 PM (8+ / 0-)

    Now don't cringe - the guy is getting his update from chief investment officer at JPMorgan Private Bank who I would think is plugged in because of investments and the need there will be for capital to clean up after these disasters:

    Couple of highlights:

    People should not underestimate the impact of water release, radiation and a massive hydrogen explosion on the pumps, valves, electrical instruments and circuit breakers in Units 1, 3 and 4. As a result, the restoration of electricity to Units 5 and 6 (which did not explode) should not be seen as representative of what happens when they turn the electricity back on in units 1, 3 and 4.
    Sustained spraying of spent fuel pools appears to be underway in Units 3 and 4; key uncertainty here is whether either pool will be able to retain water. Amount of steam released suggests that pools do have water
    The issue of the effect on the ground water and ground contamination of the local area around the plant (out to 10-20 miles) will still be a problem for a long time. But it will not be out to 50 miles, except for “biological concentrators”. What does that mean? 30 miles out, it would not be dangerous to come into contact with water with low radioactive iodine concentrations. But a cow that lives there and drinks water with low concentrations of iodine will eventually accumulate and concentrate these materials and become unsafe for consumption. Japan will not be able to farm this area (out to 50 miles) because the food will contain measurable levels of activity.

    Link

    •  There are a couple of problems with this (5+ / 0-)

      First, they don't get their pumps, valves, or electronics from Home Depot and Best Buy.  (Not that I thought that YOU thought that Sue.)  This stuff is generally like military specifications hardware, hardened against physical shock, radiation, and generally nasty environments.  There will surely be some problems, but not necessarily for the reasons mentioned.

      As long as they can make headway in filling the pools then they should be able to keep fuel covered, even if they need to keep pumping in water.  Once they catch up, all they need to do is maintain a net positive or neutral status, pump at least as much in as is going out.  This will need to be continued until they can find a way to seal the leaks or start entombment operations.  It will also be needed to make the work space habitable.  There need to be several feet of water covering the fuel to shield the radiation from workers.

      The iodine concern is NOT a long term concern.  Iodine 131 has a half-life of 8 days.  Once the steam releases are finished there will be no new source for this.  Starting from that day, within 80 days the concentration of radioactive iodine will drop to 0.1% of its original value.  The cow may have some thyroid issues, (not sure they even have thyroids), but its not like the radioactive material will stick around, even in the cow.

      Between dispersal and decay, the iodine is a relatively short-lived problem.  Cesium 137 will be a bigger issue due to its much longer half-life, but it can also be managed.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:13:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for clarifying and explaining (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly, kbman

        Well, JP Morgan may have a stake in Home Depot (smile).

        Seriously though, maybe we should direct that Forbes guy to check out DKos.

      •  How Do You "Manage" Cesium 137? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Drama Queen, neroden

        That shit migrates up the food chain. Do you tell the cows not to eat the grass?

        •  By removing the top few inches of soil (4+ / 0-)

          prior to plowing.  This is what I've read.  You could probably get more complete information from some of the radioactive materials specialists around here, perhaps FishOoW.

          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

          by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:29:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yikes! And then what? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kbman, neroden, Wee Mama

            Where would one put the soil.  It seem that as the dispersion decreases in overall volume the disposal costs rise and the uncertainty of consequences become more vague but still hazzardous.  Growing up in the Columbia basin and being a statistical "downwinder" I am ever presently conscious of the potential long term consequences of my childhood vacinity to hazzards.

            •  Hanford is a whole 'nother ball of wax (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, Wee Mama

              The things the government did in the early days of atomic bomb research and development were horrible.  

              As far as  the soil goes, bury it and let it decay.  The concentrations should not be all that high and the half-life is about 30 years.  So in 150 years the radioactivity will be about 3% of the original.  Not a great solution, but better than leaving it in place.

              Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

              by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:40:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hanford Is The Poster Child ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                ... for the nuclear power industry. They've had many decades to clean up their act, and they obviously haven't done so. Oh, and Hanford? Give it about another 10 or 15 years, and you'll be reading about the Columbia River tragedy.

                They still operate a nuke out there, and the safety regime is a joke.

          •  Thats what they did (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kbman, Wee Mama

            In most of the areas surrounding Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ive been do Hiroshima and that place is one gorgeous city.

            Not every story has a happy ending but Im doing my best to make mine so. Come and take a look at my discussion forum: TheNewCurevents We are looking for new active members!

            by ProgressiveTokyo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:16:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Removing topsoil destroys agricultural land (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, Jake Johnson

              All very well if you're building a city, but it's a disaster from a farming point of view.

              So now the best case scenario for nukes is "throw away the topsoil".  :-(  That should tell us something.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, and How About Pasture Land? (0+ / 0-)

                They'd better think twice about putting these things in cattle country. Could you imagine scraping the top several inches off of the prairie? Cesium 137 "management?" More like Environmental Catastrophe 101. Is that an isotope?

          •  Please Answer My Question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            I asked: "Do you tell the cows not to eat the grass?"

            You don't plow pasture land. Cesium 137 has a 30-year half life. What happens to cattle ranches? And they've detected it in the water. How do you "manage" Cesium 137 after it gets into the water supply?

            •  I like your questions (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              b00g13p0p, kbman, OtherDoug

              and concerns. I'm completely anti-nuke. But at this point, you have gotten so confrontational with such an ugly tone that no one is going to respond. Think of how you can address these horrible and unacceptable issues without resorting to name-calling and come back to fight the good fight another day.

            •  Jake, please go fight somewhere else (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Drama Queen, kalmoth, OtherDoug, Wee Mama

              This is obviously a fucked up situation in Japan.  Nobody is denying that.  There are a LOT of fucked up situations in Japan right now.  And obviously, some of those problems are going to be more difficult to deal with than others.  Quite frankly, I think the Japanese people have far bigger problems right now than the amount of Cs 137 in their water.  SERIOUSLY.

              I specifically requested that the pro-anti nuclear pie fights stay out of the comments here, and yet throughout you have been troll-like in your demands that people adopt your way of looking at things.  I am done replying to your comments, period.  I have tried to be accommodating but you have proven yourself to just be looking for a fight.  It appears that no amount of evidence will ever change your mind about anything you believe.

              Bye.

              Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

              by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 11:33:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Feeling Is Mutual (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                The issue isn't that you favor nuclear power, or even that (in my view) you are looking for every opportunity to minimize its horrendous risks and costs. This is America, and people will disagree.

                My issue with you is that you have played fast and loose with facts when responding to me, and at other times have outright evaded the question. I don't demand that anyone share my opinions, but I don't think anyone should play around with the facts, as you've done in our conversations.

                Conversational dynamics being what they are, you can appear "reasonable," but (among other things) I hope that someone will remember that, when asked about Cesium 137, you said that all we have to do is scrape off the top few inches of soil. If there's a Hall of Fame for Understated Elegance, that statement would surely qualify, right at the top of the list.

                In any case, it's always good to know just where people are coming from around here. I think we've clarified that.

      •  Cows have thyroids - they're mammals. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman
    •  that's what i've been thinking. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drama Queen, kbman

      they are pushing salt water into piping and pumps
      designed for deionized deminieralized water.

      I'm not sure if the consequences have been worked out.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:14:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a few issues here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, Wee Mama

        First, there are many elements in seawater, a very complex chemistry is going on inside right now.  Given the size of the pumps and piping and such and the pressures they're made to handle, they should have some margin before corrosion becomes a critical issue.  None of these systems will be up near operating pressures ever again so some thinning of walls and such will not be as big a deal as in a reactor at power.  Valve seats and seals are more where I have concerns.  These are spots where even small amounts of corrosion could have an effect.

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:04:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sodium chloride (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Drama Queen

          that's the problem.

          try to remember every flange, every valve, every regulator,
          every sensor port has been shook hard.

          That Every junction box, controller, switch, relay, thermostat,
          fuse has been shook hard and is getting salt water into
          it.

          the plant is 40 years old, so margins are decayed.

          and all those pumps are facing issues in two phase flow.

          George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

          by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You forget that these components are hardened (0+ / 0-)

            beyond normal industrial standards, more like mil spec.  They were designed, manufactured, and quality assurance tested to withstand very harsh operating environments.  Given that the inside of the drywell often has very high humidity levels, to believe that these components are not made to withstand such conditions is misguided.  During the leak rate testing there were times when the air was so saturated with moisture that it was likely "raining" inside the drywell.  Sure stuff was shook hard, but it was built to handle the shaking.  And aside from the immediate surroundings of the hydrogen explosions, it is highly doubtful that salt water is getting INTO any of the electrical components you mention.  Your assumptions are based on incomplete knowledge.

            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

            by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:35:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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