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An interesting element of the periodic table - one that has never actually been observed - is element 137, which has an atomic number that exceeds the highest known naturally occurring element in the periodic table, plutonium, (element 94) by 43 protons, and is known as Untriseptium, or as the Wikipedia reference on this remarkable element notes, is sometimes called Feynmanium.

The reason that an element that has not been discovered - and thus has no formal IUPAC name - has been named "Feynmanium" by people who think about this element - is that the famous physicist (and iconoclast) Richard Feynman noted that the atomic charge on the nucleus of untriseptium was such that the electrons in it would need to travel almost as fast as the speed of light, faster than the speed of light for any heavier element, according to a widely used partial differential equation known as the Relativistic Dirac Equation, and in fact, according to the highly successful (if necessarily approximate) Bohr model of the atom.  

According to the Bohr interpretation, the speed of an electron in the innermost shell is approximately equal to the atomic number of an element, commonly denoted as Z, times the speed of light, commonly denoted c, and a parameter, α, which is a fundemental constant of the universe, the fine structure constant, itself equal to the charge on an electron squared times the speed of light, times the permeability of free space (the magnetic constant), divided by twice Planck's constant.

Got that?

You can look it up.

It turns out that the value of α is approximately equal to the reciprocal of a number a little larger than 137.

The number 137 has been in the news lately, because of an isotope of cesium that has that mass number (as opposed to atomic number) has leaked out of some reactors in Japan struck by a tsunami.    The amount of cesium-137 that has leaked out of the reactor is estimated to be about 12,000 curies, (or as our media likes to point out hundreds of thousands of trillions of becquerels), which is roughly about 10 times as much cesium-137 as was produced in the vaporization of a nuclear weapon over the Japanese city of Hiroshima near the end of a famous oil war.    

As a result, we are now safe to conclude, since rationality is not an issue, that everyone in Japan who has recently died has been killed by radiation sickness; by contrast driving cars in a tsunami is very, very, very, very, very safe, just as "they" always told it would be.

Right?

Wrong?

Who cares?   Don't worry, be happy.

The amount of cesium-137 produced in a single bomb explosion - about which I once wrote a fun diary called Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Even Mushroom Clouds: Cs-137 and Watching the Soil Die - the "Tsar Bomba" explosion over Novaya Zemlya Island
in the Arctic, released in a matter of a few seconds, about 280,000 curies of cesium-137 (along with vast quantities of other radioisotpes), meaning that the "Tsar Bomba" blast aerosolized as much cesium-137 as 23 Fukushima's.

I claimed in my diary on "Tsar Bomba" the following:

If you were born after October 1961, or after October 1952, you have lived with the fallout of several of these exercises in show for your entire life.  

where "show" refers to nuclear weapons testing.

Everyone in Norway and Sweden must have died from radiation poisoning, which accounts for the absence of oil rigs off the coast of Norway.

Although many nuclear weapons have been tested, hundreds of them, only one nuclear war has ever been observed, and almost all of the people who remember this nuclear war have died, proving that nuclear wars are dangerous, although it must be said that many people who died remembering the nuclear war died of, um, old age.

Of course, when people test or use dangerous fossil fuel powered weapons, no one is affected by the by products, because the by products of burning oil are all risk free.   (Similarly, despite the existance of many people who have written articles in the scientific primary literature about the carcinogenicity of crude oil and its distillates, like, um, say, gasoline, there is no risk of cancer from tens of thousands of cars smashed into little pieces by the tsunami and distributed all over Japan, since "they" guarantee that cars are absolutely safe.)

I could reference a paper from the scientific literature on the subject of epidemiology of cancer among Norwegian oil platform workers, but obviously a confounding variable in this study is the fact that everyone in Norway died from "Tsar Bomba."

Anyway.   The Bohr model (and in fact the Dirac Equation) predict, roughly, that the speed of an electron in the inner (1S) shell of a heavy nucleus, like "Feynmanium" will have a velocity given by the following relation:  v = Zαc.   Since α is roughly the reciprocal of 137, any atom with Z>137 would require the electrons to move faster than the speed of light, an impossibility according to General Relativity.

Oh.  Oh.

Actually these effects are measurable with atoms that are very heavy, but are still lighter than "Feynmanium."

The paper I will reference from the primary scientific literature tonight - upon which I stumbled while looking for some other property concerning chemical activity constants in some classes of molten salts - Determination of the first ionization potential of einsteinium by resonanceionization mass spectroscopy.

And now about that suspected contamination with plutonium, we have the following text from the paper:

The first ionization potential is a fundamental physical and chemical property of an element. Knowledge of the ionization potentials of the heavier actinides can help in 254 understanding relativistic effects in these heavy elements,  which are expected as a result of the relativistic mass  increase of the inner electrons [1], and enables a test of multiconfiguration Dirac–Fock calculations [2], a successful theoretical treatment for heavy multielectron atoms...

...and then this highly frightening description of what was going on in their awful, dangerous, nuclear reactor...

2.1. Production and purification of Es254:

The Es (T1/2 276 days, α-emitter) was synthesized in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as part of the US Department of Energy’s transuranium elements production and research program

They made 279 nanograms of Es254 and 133.9 micrograms of Californium 249 and 1.4 micrograms of Californium-250.

Bastards!

And then the really, really, really, really scary part:

Suspected plutonium contamination was confirmed by α-particle 238 240 analysis to consist of 5.1 mg Pu and 24.7 mg Pu. No 253Es was detected by γ- pectroscopy, and all other γ-emitting impurities were below minimum detectable limits.

There you go, plutonium contamination.

Bastards!

Have a nice day tomorrow.

Poll

Bastards?!?

2%1 votes
2%1 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
8%4 votes
27%13 votes
8%4 votes
6%3 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
6%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
10%5 votes
23%11 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Bohr atom model??? WFT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andhakari

      This is a useless diary. Lot of bull shit numbers thrown out to hind the fact it is a troll diary of non-value.

      •  And you're qualified to make that assessment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, OtherDoug

        how?

        •  1965, I took Chemistry in High School which taught (0+ / 0-)

          Bohr Atom model as the truth. When I went to college I learned the Bohr atom model was 1930s model and the real structures of atoms was totally different.

          Yes, I major in Chemistry.

          Bohr atom? Bullshit!

          •  Well I was actually thinking Literature (0+ / 0-)

            which might give you a grasp of hyperbole and sarcasm.

          •  It's um, pretty obvious that your, um, college (3+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            pico, bryfry, Meng Bomin
            Hidden by:
            indycam

            never included a description of the nature of the basis set of either molecular orbital theory or calculation sets like (as is referred to in the text) Hartree Fock caculations or Huckel type calculations derived from Slater type matrices.

            Apparently you had a "chemistry professor" who informed you that Bohr was a silly boy of no lasting  value.

            Actually, Bohr was one of the primary developers of the concept of complementarity.

            What, in your rich imagination, would any of the aforementioned processes, all derived from the conception of complementarity, be without it.

            Never mind, don't tell me.   I'd rather just guess.

            I love comments like yours.   You remind me of that woman who shows up in my diaries from time to time to tell me that her anti-nuke ignorance deserves respect because she (she says) has a Ph.D.

            Happily, to avoid depressing me about the state of American scholarship and education, she never tells us in what field said alledged Ph.D. comes.

            No offense intended here, but you are a complete and total idiot, and trust me, I am being completely generous (at least to any chemistry professor you may have had) when I say this.

            Have a nice day.

            •  pico, bryfry (0+ / 0-)

              http://www.dkosopedia.com/...

              Any and all insults are HRable. Although users are never required to uprate any comment, it is considered a violation of site policy to uprate a comment with an insult in it.
              you are a complete and total idiot

              "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

              by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:25:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for sharing. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bryfry, Meng Bomin

                I get the impression that you consider yourself a Kos lawyer.

                Apparently not many people are particularly interested in your legal career as Kos prosecutor, judge and lawyer.    

                I had, of course, no idea that you had been appointed to this august role, but in any case, I couldn't care less.

                I checked your following with respect to my own, and fould that 12 people are following your diaries (all three of them), whereas 154 are following mine.

                I have never observed in a single example of your tiresome legalistic posts anything worth reading.  

                I do not, and cannot speak for the people you claim to address, but quite possibly, they are rating the remarks about Neils Bohr, Slater orbitals, etc, etc, and not in response to my completely unchanged evaluation of the poster in question, for which I have no intention of apologizing.

                It's entirely possible that they couldn't care less about what you think.    I know I couldn't care less about you or anything you feel, think, or say.

                As I recall from the last time we had a pleasant chat, you have nothing at all to say about energy or science, apparently having zero interest in these topics and zero knowledge of them.   This was years ago, of course, but I see no evidence that you have learned anything about these topics.

                OK then.

                Thus it is easy to see why you missed the possibility that the raters, both of whom know science in my experience were rating something that they care about.

                Have a great day today.   It was a pleasure to chat with you.   Keep up that great work contemplating that rule books.   I is  a nice substitute for knowing something about the greater world.

              •  Noted, thanks (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NNadir, Meng Bomin

                Couldn't care less.

                An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
                -- H. L. Mencken

                by bryfry on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 10:07:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  indycam, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NNadir, Meng Bomin

                Given that the thread started out with the user calling this a troll diary, I think it's a little disingenuous to be quoting the FAQ on me here.  If NNadir had gone way over the line, that's one thing, and I wouldn't uprate it.  If he's returning tit-for-tat, there's no reason for a one-sided application of HRs.  So I'll pull my uprate if you HR the accusation of trollery.  How's that for a compromise?

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 10:29:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The rule is clear (0+ / 0-)
                  Any and all insults are HRable. Although users are never required to uprate any comment, it is considered a violation of site policy to uprate a comment with an insult in it.
                  and you recommended a comment that contained a clear insult .

                  If you think

                  troll diary
                  is a hide rateable comment , hide rate it .

                  "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                  by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 04:51:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, then I guess it's your duty to report me, (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bryfry, NNadir, Meng Bomin

                    isn't it?  I'm breaking the rules and you're applying them hypocritically, so it's a great time in the comments section tonight.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 05:57:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The rule is the rule . (0+ / 0-)

                      Uprating an insult is

                      considered a violation of site policy

                      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                      by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:30:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  And the comment you want me to HR (0+ / 0-)
                      Bohr atom model??? WFT (1+ / 0-)

                      This is a useless diary. Lot of bull shit numbers thrown out to hind the fact it is a troll diary of non-value.

                      "Demand the Truth!"

                      by Ronald England on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:30:43 PM PDT

                      you , yourself have not hide rated .
                      So your

                      hypocritically
                      bothers me not one bit .

                      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                      by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:49:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  As it happens, neither comment (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bryfry

                        bothers me to the level that I think they need to be hidden from the community.  I'm perfectly consistent on that point, so turning it back on me is a non sequitur.

                        You, on the other hand, think one is okay and the other deserves to be hidden, so yeah, I do have to question your consistency.  I wonder if your selective application of standards has something to do with your history with NNadir?  Nah, you wouldn't be that self-serving, I'm sure!

                        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                        by pico on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:56:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                          As it happens, neither comment
                          bothers me to the level that I think they need to be hidden from the community.
                          Any and all insults are HRable. Although users are never required to uprate any comment, it is considered a violation of site policy to uprate a comment with an insult in it.

                          You uprated

                          you are a complete and total idiot

                          If you don't think

                          you are a complete and total idiot
                          is an insult , that's just fine and dandy .
                          When someone calls you that I will recommend it as a non insult ? Is that OK with you ?
                          What other non insults can be flung at you ?
                          What would be an insult if
                          you are a complete and total idiot
                          isn't one ?

                          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                          by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:12:55 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry
                            You, on the other hand, think one is okay and the other deserves to be hidden, so yeah, I do have to question your consistency.  I wonder if your selective application of standards has something to do with your history with NNadir?

                            Yeah, I can keep ignoring your comments and cutting-and-pasting, too.  I stated my position above, pretty clearly: both are weak tea as far as HRs go, and the hypocrisy of singling out one is more problematic to me.  The end.  

                            So that's it: I'm done with the conversation.  Report me if you like, or you can happily stroll through your recent comments where you respond to worse insults without HRs, as long as you're aligned against a common enemy.  As least you're consistent in your hypocrisy, which is something, I guess.  

                            Have a good night!

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:33:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                            weak tea
                            you are a complete and total idiot
                            or you can happily stroll through your recent comments where you respond to worse insults without HRs, as long as you're aligned against a common enemy.  As least you're consistent in your hypocrisy, which is something, I guess.  
                            Give details !

                            Not HRing is not the same same as uprating insults .
                            You have uprated insults , requested that comments you don't find hiderateable , be hide rated in exchange for your removing you uprateing in violation of the rules .
                            You have shown yourself .
                            And you dare point the finger at others ?

                            hypocrisy

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:46:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NNadir

                            Welcome to the world of arguing with "Dr." Indycam!

                            It's much like arguing with a brick wall, isn't it?

                            Let the little __ report you to the administrators of this site, if the little __ has the guts, which I doubt.  They will conclude for themselves who is the whiny little ___ and who is to be ignored.

                            My advice to you, my friend ... stop feeding this gutless troll. ;-)

                            An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
                            -- H. L. Mencken

                            by bryfry on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 10:08:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                          As it happens, neither comment
                          bothers me to the level that I think they need to be hidden from the community.

                          vs

                          So I'll pull my uprate if you HR the accusation of trollery.
                          hypocritically

                          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                          by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:28:15 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  (A parting shot, since you bring (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bryfry

                            up a different issue here... Yes, both are weak tea to me, which is why I said you could drop another HR, but I wasn't going to.  I'm not going to lose sleep over a back-and-forth being HRed, but I'm not going let a hypocritical judgment like yours stand unchallenged.  Why is this so hard to understand?  Either both or neither, and I'd choose neither, except that you already chose to be hypocritical about it.  Got it?)

                            And now, for sure: good night.

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:50:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You uprated an insult . (0+ / 0-)

                            You are in violation of the rules , you can try all you like to make it about me , but you uprated the insult in violation of the rules . Stand up and own your violation or keep on blaming others for your violation of the rules .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:53:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                            which is why I said you could drop another HR
                            An HR you yourself could not bring yourself to drop ?
                            An HR you yourself said was not in accordance with the rules ?
                            When I want your help deciding what comments to HR , I will ask .

                            You can remove your uprate of the insult or not .
                            It does not change the fact that you uprated an insult in violation of the rules of this site . You own that . You aid and abet the violators of the rules by uprating their violation of the site rules . Its been said and agreed with be Meteor blades that the upraters of insults are worse than the insulters .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:03:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Not bad, but never complete. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeterHug, OtherDoug

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

      by Translator on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:57:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Super massive, super relativistic electrons... (12+ / 0-)

    ...whizzing by your nucleus, that annoying buzzing sound they make when they do that, line broadening in crystal field spectroscopy caused by self-irradiation, the constant α, the constant repetitious and uninteresting obscure diaries by the liar NNadir, the hidden consequences of having your einsteinium contaminated by plutonium, non-relativistic hide rates, and pure isolated rare Feynmanium style troll rates all go here.

  •  I do have this one honest question: (6+ / 0-)

    How ecologically mobile is Pu, and how much of it is required for its toxic effects to become apparent?

    I ask because some pollutants (mainly complex organic compounds) can cause harmful effects at dosages measured in nanograms/kg. It's true that most things that have been studied are interesting at dosages of mg or mcg/kg.

    If one 100kg person pulled a real idiot move and injected himself with 5mg of some plutonium preparation, that would be 50 mcg/kg. I know next to nothing about heavy metal toxicity, so you tell me what that does, compared to (let's say) lead. I believe Pu is more reactive than lead, though?

    "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

    by Shaviv on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:58:57 PM PDT

    •  Pu chemistry is quite complicated (13+ / 0-)

      Plutonium may form colloids under certain circumstances (milk is a colloidal suspension). Plutonium has multiple oxidation states in nature and forms complexes with a number of anions.

      However, that's all irrelevant here.

      This has nothing to do with Fukushima. It's an entertaining discussion of a high powered lab experiment.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:21:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah. (4+ / 0-)

      And, how does Pu toxicity compare to, say,  botox?

      GOP: Bankers, billionaires and suckers.

      by gzodik on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:21:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are both quite toxic, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OtherDoug

        but botox toxin can be destroyed in a pan of boiling water in about 10 minutes.  Plutonium can not undergo that.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

        by Translator on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:31:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Erm..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, bryfry, OtherDoug

          ....no it can't.  Botula can survive temperatures well in excess of boiling, and so can the toxin it produces.  That's why you can low acid foods with a pressure canner at 250 degrees F rather than an open water bath which is limited to 212.  (At best.)

          I suppose if you boiled it long enough it would eventually break down the toxin, but I'm pretty sure ten minutes wouldn't be long enough.

    •  Heavy metal toxicity? All I know (9+ / 0-)

      is that if you drop a 10-ton weight made entirely of Pb on Person A's head, and you drop a 10-ton weight made entirely of Pu on Person B's head, they will both be smashed into jelly.

      Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

      by Simian on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:21:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In actuality, people HAVE eaten, and been... (16+ / 0-)

      ...injected with plutonium.

      Many of these events occurred in highly unethical experiments.   Details of these experiments are covered nicely in the book "The Plutonium Files" by Eileen Welsome.

      As Welsome relates, one of the first chemists to work on visible amounts of plutonium, Don Mastick, accidentally ate the world supply in 1944.

      That was, um, bad.

      He was interviewed about this many times in the 1990's.

      Actinide exposure is known widely.   We sometimes forget that metric ton quantities of it were vaporized deliberately in the period between 1945 and 1963 in the atmosphere.

      This is not to say that plutonium is harmless.    It is not harmless.   Like all actinides, including naturally occurring uranium and thorium, it has very clear risks, not all of which are radiological.

      Uranium, for instance, is a much more powerful chemotoxic agent than it is a radiologically toxic element.

      The physiology of plutonium has been covered in many thousands of papers.    A comprehensive treatment of the chemistry of all the actinides in mammalian flesh was published a few years back in Chemical Reviews.

      As an alpha emitter, plutonium lodged in lung tissue is a very real cancer risk, similar to the decay products of radon, polonium and lead-210.

      In the environment, also widely studied, the aqueous chemistry of plutonium - like all aspects of plutonium chemistry - is very, very, very complex, but it is not particularly mobile except under very specialized conditions.

      The source of the myth that plutonium is the most toxic substance known is none other than Ralph Nader.

      Ralph Nader has never been in a laboratory handling plutonium in his entire life.   I doubt he has ever been in a laboratory.   The source of his claim is largely his own imagination and is entirely without scientific merit.

      Nevertheless, his nonsensical statement is widely believed and has acheived the status of an urban myth.

      Interestingly, during the Fukushima incident, plutonium contamination was found all through Japan, everywhere.    The isotopic ratios found in plutonium make it very simple to determine the source of this plutonium, since reactor grade plutonium contains high fractions of the isotope 240, and in the case of MOX fuel, isotopes 241 and 242.

      Some very small amounts of Fukushima plutonium were detected in the immediate area of the reactors, if my information is correct.

      It was easily shown that most plutonium contamination detected in Japan was related to nuclear weapons testing and, possibly, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, although in comparison to Pacific Ocean nuclear weapons tests, the bombs used in the only observed nuclear war gave signals that were easily swamped by the signal of tests like those conducted on Bikini Island.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks for asking.

      •  Fascinating Stuff (6+ / 0-)

        on Don Mastick

        ...The mouth washings had removed all but one microgram, an infinitesimal but nevertheless hazardous amount. More important, Hempelmann thought the chemist had not inhaled any plutonium. At that time scientists knew that plutonium was extremely hazardous if it was breathed in and deposited in lung tissue. But they also were discovering that the radioactive material was not readily absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and that it could not penetrate beyond the outer layer of human skin. Thus, most of the microgram of plutonium in Mastick's mouth undoubtedly would have passed through his digestive system and out of his body without being absorbed.

        ... just floating by ...

        by cumulo on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:42:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You can be so very (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OtherDoug

        astute, for example, debunking Nader.  He probably never drove a Corvair, either.

        It is sad that we battle each other.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

        by Translator on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:16:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is not the real problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrumpyOldGeek, OtherDoug

      The real one is that Pu-239 is an alpha emitter, an likes to be in the bones, thus irradiating the blood forming cells.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

      by Translator on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:23:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynmanium n/t (7+ / 0-)

    I used to write here as VeganMilitia. I let that user name pass into the history books.

    by Shuksan Tahoma on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:04:04 PM PDT

  •  Someone Had Big Chunk Of Plutonium Stuck In Them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    I think it was a glove box explosion, and the guy had his thumb impaled by an ounce shard of Pu. Anyway, he yanked it out and 30 years passed without ill effect.  

    It's all so clear to me now. I'm the keeper of the cheese. And you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.

    by bernardpliers on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:05:02 PM PDT

  •  The first part was interesting, the rest, not. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, semiot, OtherDoug

    Nnadir if you stuck to the physics and shell theory, I would be enthralled.  You have a gift for that and the explanation was beautiful.  But when you attempt to minimize the effects of a catastrophe that still has not been fully revealed, you lose your science/engineering educated audience just as swiftly.

    The 7 rating on the accident is overdue, and my analysis of the problems with the reactor design seems accurate so far.   All of the Mark 1's should be shut down, period.  The design appears intrinsically unsafe...based on my safety reviews of many chemical reactors and design of similar heat transfer equipment we would never have been comfortable with the inherent problems in the cooling/core layout.  It wouldn't pass any process safety review I've ever done...and I've done a few.  But what do I know, I've designed varioius types of reactors for fail safe conditions and evaluated proven (and disproven...as in huge BOOM, dead employees) designs.  

    Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

    by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 01:44:29 AM PDT

    •  Just thinking (typing?) aloud here... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OtherDoug

      Mk 1 reactor designs are flawed. I believe safety reviews have found that many of them are, besides being poorly designed, approaching structural failure because of those design issues. (Disclosure: I took one semester of ME before switching to psychology. I'm not an engineer.)

      Also, seismic safety reviews seem to have shown there are a lot more faults, and a lot more of those faults are moving, than previously thought. And as far as I know, designing a building to withstand earthquakes is a matter of making it earthquake-resistant to this degree or that degree, not earthquake-proof, because an earthquake can deliver orders of magnitude more energy to a structure than it can be designed to safely absorb.

      So, then, I wonder if it would make sense to combine all the seismic studies of the past... well, of the past, find what appear at this time to be the most stable and inactive places in our countries, and try to build power stations there; and these would have to be designed so that they would run safely, having little chance for operator error to release radioactive material or destroy the reactor, and so that the facility could be deactivated, dismantled and either entombed or reassembled elsewhere.

      I mean, I realize there's a bit of a problem there, because the common element in all reactor designs I know of is a pretty strong containment vessel that is designed to resist being opened from any direction.

      So, I am not an engineer, but. Other than using a more exposed, more easily-dismantled reactor design (which seems foolish to me), is there a way to build a reactor that's both safe to operate and can be broken down and reassembled easily?

      "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

      by Shaviv on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 05:49:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Site them all on the craton? (0+ / 0-)

        Link.

        That would provide some increased employment for folks on the Great Plains.  You'd have to build a hell of a lot of transmission infrastructure to move the power to market, one of the bigger problems with wind and solar.  Not that it can't be done.  The Quebec Hydro James Bay Project shows that geographically isolated power sources can be added to the regional grid.

        There are designs for modular reactors that are intended to be moved and installed as a single unit.  I don't know if any of those are anywhere near feasibility.  Small, modular and scalable reactors are getting a lot more attention because of their potential economic advantages over large Gen III and Gen III+ light water reactors.

      •  Safer than what? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry, raoul78, northstarbarn

        It would seem to me that a heck of a lot more people, some 25,000 of them more or less, were killed by the 9.0 earthquake and tsuami's effects on things that were not nuclear power plants than by nuclear plants.

        The idea that everyone died from nuclear power is another example of what I call, "nuclear exceptionalism" which is the notion that even contemplating a death from nuclear energy leaves one free to ignore everything else.

        Dangerous fossil fuel plants do not require a 14 meter tsunami to risk death.    On the contrary, they don't merely create a risk of death,  they kill openly with "public acceptance" continuously in normal operations.

        About 2 million people will die from air pollution this year, but strangely, oddly, almost to the point of pyschosis, our culture wants to discuss nuclear safety.

        This is why we deserve what we will get.

        Suppose 100 people ultimately lose their lives because of Fukushima.

        Should we spend a trillion dollars, 10 trillion dollars to prevent these deaths?

        It would seem to me absurd to suggest that 10 trillion dollars invested in making "safer" nuclear reactors would be a huge waste if one considers that spending 10 trillion dollars on free health care for all the world's children would save hundreds of millions of lives.

        Nuclear exceptionalism is an intellectually bankrupt and morally backrupt affectation that is rote and Pavlovian.

      •  The design flaws have, over the years, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raoul78, bryfry, NNadir

        varoiusly, been addressed. At least in the U.S.

        Secondly, since the earthquake apparently did not have a direct effect on the structure then it appears they are, in fact, well built. While the above reactor cooling pool for active nuclear fuel is not, in my very humble opinion, is an unnecessary safety risk, my suggestion is they stop using it during fuel outages.

        But there appears to be little in the design of the Mark I that has a problem with the earth quakes. So...why would you want them "immediately shutdown"? Why not address the real issues which are tsunami defense, aux. diesel fuel tank placement (see Diablo Canyon for a well site set of fuel tanks, above cliff and behind the reactor building) and augmenting the break water to stop a wave that swamped the one at Fukushima?

        It should be noted that the better designed and sited plants closer to the epicenter also experienced a massive tsunami and did fine thankyouverymuch. What can we learn from this? How do we address the problems?

        Clearly there some issues with grid access to the plants if the quake and tsunami effects power. There are 23 of these plants in the US and only FOUR plants are on the Pacific coast that possibly, maybe, could feel the effect of a tsunami. Not the 23 BWRs we have of the Fukushima variety so what are you afraid of???.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 09:47:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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