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This is another clearinghouse diary for discussion and commentary about the ongoing nuclear disaster(s) in Japan.   For updated information on news and a timeline of the events following the March 11 Japanese Earthquake, visit the Mothership.  The Mothership is updated regularly and also provides a more extensive list of news and data sources, social media, crisis mapping and other relevant information.

If you would like to recommend this diary feel free to do so. All previous liveblogs published to the Japan Nuclear Incident group can be found here. The group also serves as an archive for Coverage@Kos. (For more details on this ongoing  24/7 breaking news resource and information on how to follow this @ Kos, please read below the fold.)

Updated JNI Combined Servcies Newfeed Friday, 4/15/11 JST ) 500 workers still trying to cool temps @ No. 1 ... USDOE sending five large stainless steel tanks to store contaminated radioactive materials ... Groundwater radiation level at nuke plant rises ...  Search crew engaged in 10 day search for bodies within 10K from Fukushima … Reactors are a “ticking time bomb” ...  TEPCO considers plan to remove spent fuel rods from crippled Fukushima plant  ... Temps @ Reactor #4 @ 90 degrees ... Fukushima workers were urged to bank stem cells


UPDATED NEWSFEED ...11:20 AM JST 4/14/11 Another 6.1 undersea quake just 7 miles deep east of Morioka on Honshu Island ... Mo tsunami orders issued... Water @ No. 4 spent fuel pool rises to 90 degrees ... Some spent fuel rods  @No. 4 damaged ...Radiation levels in seawater decrease ... Sendai Airport reopens … Region near nuclear plant has history of tsunamis dating back to 1100 years  ... Fishing boats are now being cleared away and repaired…. Concrete factory owner hastens to reopen to assist in rebuilding efforts… Young woman returns to mother’s home to find a sole yellow narcissus blooming from underneath the rubble ...

NHK World - Reactor makers draft 10-year decommission plan h/t ricklewsive

Japanese manufacturer Toshiba, which helped build the Fukushima Daiichi plant's now crippled nuclear reactors, says decommissioning them will take at least 10 years.
The proposal is divided into 3 phases. The short-term plan, likely to take several months, involves cooling and stabilizing reactors and spent fuel pools, while preventing radioactive water from increasing.
Toshiba will then move toward the medium-term plan, involving the safe removal of nuclear fuel rods from the pools and pressure vessels, using special cranes to be set up near the reactor buildings. Toshiba says this work will take 5 years.

The final phase, dismantling the reactors and clearing the land, will take another 5 years. Toshiba says that radioactive substances released in the process must be removed during this phase.
Thursday, April 14, 2011 21:41 +0900 (JST)

Fukushima Reactors Are a "Ticking Time Bomb," Japanese Govt in Denial h/t rickelswise

Scientist Michio Kaku: When we hear "that things are stable, it’s only stable in the sense that you’re dangling from a cliff hanging by your fingernails."

Removing highly toxic water remains difficult task at nuke plant

TOKYO, April 14, Kyodo
The government's nuclear safety agency on Thursday continued to grapple with pools of highly radioactive water at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as the level of polluted water filling an underground trench edged up again after it finished pumping out around 660 tons of water.
The removal of around 60,000 tons of contaminated water from the basements of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings as well as trenches connected to them is vital because the water is hampering work to restore the cooling functions of the reactors lost since the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

(5:20 AM JSL 4.14.11)  ... Radiation levels in seawater off Fukushima highest since monitoring began  3 weeks ago … Temporary home visits possible for evacuees 20 kilometers out …. Flawed earthquake predictions gave Fukushima a false sense of security …. Geiger counters are probably ineffective for consumers in detecting hazardous levels of radiation in food and water at home … Excessive radioactive cesium found in fish caught off Fukushima ...Edano:  former government officials taking senior posts at Tokyo Electric Power Co.  ''socially unacceptable.''  (see stories from research links below)

Kyodo News - Groundwater radiation level at nuke plant rises: TEPCO

TOKYO, April 15, Kyodo
According to the latest findings, a groundwater sample taken April 6 near the No. 1 reactor turbine building showed radioactive iodine-131 of 72 becquerels per cubic meter, with the concentration level growing to 400 becquerels as of Wednesday. The concentration level of cesium-134 increased from 1.4 becquerels to 53 becquerels.
TEPCO pumped out around 660 tons of highly radioactive water Tuesday and Wednesday from one of the trenches to a ''condenser'' inside the nearby No. 2 reactor turbine building, where during normal operation steam from the reactor is converted into water.

But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the water level in the vertical part of the trench as of 11 a.m. Thursday had increased by about 4.5 centimeters from the level observed at 6 p.m. Wednesday

. - TEPCO considers plan to remove spent fuel rods from crippled Fukushima plant h/t procrastinator john

Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, are considering a plan to remove spent fuel rods from storage pools at its reactors, sources said.
Sources said TEPCO officials were using the experience of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the United States in 1979 as a model. At Three Mile Island, melted fuel rods in the reactor core could not be removed using ordinary procedures and had to be shifted in small batches. Cranes were operated by remote control to reduce exposure to radiation among the workers.

The U.S. company that developed the remote-control technology and handled the processing of fuel rods at Three Mile Island is now part of the Toshiba Corp. group. TEPCO officials are considering drawing on that expertise.

procrastinator john found this drawing of crane over reactor building from Asahi Shinbun.

Overview of events - April 12-13 JST Elevation to Level 7 Event

... 5.4 quake off coast … in first minutes post 3/11 quake Tepco workers connected car batteries to instruments to read data … Tepco to pay evacuees emergency funds  ...  ... Workers have started the process of removing highly radioactive water in the plant ...  Experts urge external cooling system.. No abnormalities in pumping or power for Fukushima post 6.3 quake  ...  More than 150,000 people have been displaced  ... Images of evacuation zone ... (Update 12:10 PM 04 13 11 JNI Combined Sources)

Japan yesterday elevated  the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor site from a Level 5 to Level 7, the highest level incident. This established Fukushima as the most serious nuclear event since Chernobyl. Although the amount of radiation released by the Fukishima meltdowns is not as high, the ongoing release of radioactivity from the four reactors elevates the crisis. In yesterday's news conference, officials announced that 10,000 Terabequerels per hour of radiation were emitting from the plant for a period of hours.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a level seven incident is characterized by a major release of radiation with widespread health and environmental effects. A five-rated event is a limited release of radioactive material, with several deaths from radiation. The scale is designed so the severity of an event is about 10 times greater for each increase in level.

"The difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima is this - Chernobyl had a massive explosion and spread a large radioactive cloud over much of Europe very quickly and it looks as though the Fukushima incident is not going to do that, although there is some in the atmosphere that has been released." NISA spokesman, Hidehiko Nishiyama

Radiation In Japan April 12
High radiation levels in sea off Fukushima coast

The science ministry says radiation levels in seawater off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture are the highest since it began monitoring them about 3 weeks ago.

The ministry says the level of iodine-131 was 88.5 becquerels per liter in a sample taken on Monday in the sea about 30 kilometers east of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The figure is 2.2 times the government's upper limit for wastewater from nuclear facilities.

Japan's northeast suffered many large past tsunamis

(Reuters) - Japan's battered northeastern coast suffered many large tsunamis in the past and nuclear power stations there should have been built to withstand these huge walls of water, a scientist said on Thursday.
In a commentary in the journal Nature, geophysics professor Robert Geller singled out two tsunamis -- the 38-meter Sanriku tsunami of 1896 that killed 22,000, and the Jogan tsunami of 869 that was comparable in size to the March 11 disaster -- which pummeled the very same Tohoku region in the northeast.
"There were very many documented large tsunamis in that area but the point is ... even one would have been enough to warrant precaution in designing nuclear power plants," Geller, of the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo, said in a telephone interview.


Nuclear-Affected Residents To Get Tepco Cash Soon: METI Chief h/t peraspera

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
TOKYO (Nikkei)--The government plans to have Tokyo Electric Power Co. distribute emergency funds as soon as possible to those forced to evacuate their homes following the nuclear plant crisis, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda told a news conference Tuesday.
"Many people were forced to flee without packing any possessions," Kaieda said. A government office charged with nuclear-crisis compensation will soon approve the disbursement at its inaugural meeting, according to Kaieda.
The government will then notify Tokyo Electric, known as Tepco. Payments are expected to reach 1 million yen [$11,812] a household, with a total around 50 billion yen [$590.6 million].
The Japan Times
"The leakage (from the reactors) has to be stopped. Leaking means the water inside the reactors is decreasing. So the water has to be replenished, and then it leaks again. This cycle has to be stopped," said Hisashi Ninokata, professor of nuclear reactor engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Some experts, including Ninokata, have started floating the idea of temporarily building a brand new external cooling system for the reactors, given the daunting task of removing the deadly water in the building housing the RHRS.
Experts urge external cooling system

Discussion and analysis among JNI team on Readings around the Dai-chi plant for Apr 9
h/t middleagedhousewife

Yes, that is the latest we have for several spots at the plant.
These readings are taken from various locations around the plant, starting with the northern most point near the ocean, continuing counterclockwise around the perimeter to the southern most point near the ocean (the MPs and gate readings).  There are also some readings from within the plant.  The distance from reactor 2 to the main gate is ~ 1 km, and to the gym is ~ 0.5 km.  Data are taken from the same place as the readings for the various power plants I listed previously.  Given the differences in reported figures, I'm not sure where the reading listed in the table I posted previously for this plant are taken from.

Japan Nuclear
Higher resolution version of image


Sinister seven: what Japan's new nuclear crisis rating means h/t mahakali overdrive


Today's Choices: Best MSM Overviews

BBC NEWS: Fukushima: What happened - and what needs to be done

WHAT WENT WRONG: Fukushima flashback a month after crisis started



Coverage @ Kos 4/9-4/14

FOoW: Radiactivity Increases in Fukushima Water, TEPCO is out of Storage Tanks on 4/14
joieau: Happy Talk from Reuters: How does Fukushima differ from Chernobyl?+
Citisven: German Town Shows How to Achieve Nuclear Free Future
HoundDog: Japan Will Raise the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Rating to Level 7 on 4/11 (PLS READ: REC LIST as of 11:05 PST)
GlowNZ: One Month
Finehelen10: Uranium Conference Adds Discussion of Japan Accident
Radical def:Fukushima: Greenpeace Urges Wider Evacuation Zone
Nathguy: Fukushima: The Failure was Deliberate indifference and the NRC knew and Lied.
Rock Strongo: Heartbreaking Video from Japan Nuclear Evacuation Zone

Please visit ROV 47 for news, discussion and analysis of events prior to breaking news on 13-15 April JST.

Regularly Updated Data Sources

@Kos: A database of temperature, pressure, radiation levels, etc readings over time can be found in: The Daiichi Database  This is an evolving diary that will be updated regularly.
Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF)
RSOS Emergency & Disaster information Services - Japan
Daily Telephone Media Briefings from Union of Concerned Scientists The Situation in Japan
EPA RadNet Map View & EPA's Radiation Air Monitoring
Scribble Live
Fukushima Data Page:  Data for all 3 reactors, as well as a good chunk of data over time: pressure, water flow, core nozzle temp, core bottom temp
Japan Municipal Water Charts  (in Japanese)
Google Crisis Response Page

*New background source:Fleep: Graphing Earthquake, Radiation and Water Data in Japan 3/11 through 4/9  

The Radiation Graphs are made from data from monitoring posts setup by the Prefectural Offices, TEPCO and NISA. I am focusing on these as they are only in Japanese and provide a different view on the MEXT Radiation Data that everyone else is graphing. Please note that the graphs do have different scales depending on the data. All Radiation readings are converted to μSv/h for consistency. 3/11 through 4/9


Best News Sources

Kyodo Nuclear News Feed
GreenAction Fukushima Update
NHK Japan Live
OilDrum: Fukushima Open Thread - Tue 3/29
Asahi on Facebook
Fukushima Wikispaces
Fukushima Wikispaces Tweet Feeds AND Fukushima Wikispaces News roundup
Google Earth Engine (download required): Radiation Over Japan. Visit Pachube for mapping.
WHO situation reports
METI Twitter Feed

Rules of the Road

Given the seriousness of this situation, please use this diary for posting information DIRECTLY Related to coverage of the developing news!

The"ROV" (a Remote Operating Vehicle) is a 'child diary' for liveblog coverage of major breaking news stories. (The term was borrowed from the Gulf Watchers coverage of the Deep Water Horizon crisis.)

To continue following and participating in the breaking coverage in Japan Nuclear Incidents series, click here and then click the heart icon underneath the profile picture to the Right. This will bring these diaries directly into your personal "stream."

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Remember when posting to the thread:  STICK TO THE FACTS. Source and link all new information.  (This includes insuring authenticity of twitter sources.) Both the Mothership and the ROVs are for reporting and discussing the developing news. Neither space is for opinions or for editorializing on the subject of nuclear energy.

Originally posted to Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by E-V Guide and Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks rja (10+ / 0-)

    I was gonna post one but then I saw yours in the que with a note you were editing.

    Dailykos is Dead... Long live Dailykos!

    by Drewid on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:47:44 AM PDT

  •  hey rja, thanks for the update (14+ / 0-)

    good to see Kossacks still doing these ROV's!! what a mess!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:50:57 AM PDT

  •  'Considering' robots? really? (13+ / 0-)
    TEPCO officials are considering drawing on that expertise.

    How forward thinking of them...oh wait, they are just now 'considering' this?

    Maybe they can buy BP and gain a PR department.

    "Responsible people leave neither loaded guns nor paranoid, eliminationist ideologies laying around for the mentally ill to play with".....Driftglass

    by KenBee on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:55:53 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, rja (15+ / 0-)

    I just want to make a clarification re: a diary that was posted in the wee hours this a.m. and didn't get much traction (thank god).  The diary asserted that Fukushima could be raised to a level 8 or 9 (but didn't refer to INES).  There is no 8 or 9 or 10, infinity on the International Nuclear Event Scale.  Level 7 is the highest -- Chernobyl is a 7.  

    That doesn't mean that there aren't different degrees of magnitude within each level.  We don't know yet how Fukushima will compare to Chernobyl -- and they are apples and oranges regarding structures and number of units.

    For me -- Chernobyl was a horrific benchmark because of the atrocious construction (graphite interior) and the massive dispersement of radioactive material throughout Europe.  Fukushima is a multi-reactor facility which can have serious long-term consequences regarding devastating "local" contamination with grave consequences for human health and the environment that may far outweigh Chernobyl.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:57:52 AM PDT

    •  From nathguy's diary: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      For those unaware, I know INES only defines a 7 level model
      He was speaking figuratively regarding elevated catagories, and you know it.

      "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

      by Andhakari on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 01:15:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice job, rja. (13+ / 0-)

    In the news feed the reference to temperature of 90 degrees might be a little misleading. Instead of #4 reactor maybe it should refer to #4 SFP?

    Very nice job.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:58:51 AM PDT

    •  Updated SFP (7+ / 0-)

      Thanks for catching that.

      •  The situation in #4 SFP is an interesting (7+ / 0-)


        From an water sample either early yesterday, or late two days ago, ( I can't remember if it was Japanese time, or US time) isotopes in the water indicated either some fuel rod damage, or possible fission.  

        It might be explained by direct physical damage, from steel beams, and a crane falling into the pond onto some of the rods.

        My impression from memory, of a late nights reading, was that the rods might have been undercovered long enough, so that some fire or melting of the zirconium cladding, may have occurred.

        A remote controlled, mini-helicopter was suppose to arrive to attempt video viewing, maybe even from inside the pond, or, at least close enough for some visual inspection.  

        I've been looking for the results, but haven't seen them yet.

        I think I read this in NHK, or Japan Today.  But, it had a picture of this cool little helicopter that couldn't have been more than six feet long.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 05:23:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a link to one of the articles about this. (9+ / 0-)

          This one is from the Kyoto Nuclear News Feed

          The No. 4 reactor, halted for a regular inspection before last month's earthquake and tsunami disaster, had all of its 1,331 spent fuel rods and 204 unused fuel rods stored in the pool for the maintenance work and the fuel was feared to have sustained damage from overheating.
          The cooling period for 548 of the 1,331 rods was shorter than that for others and the volume of decay heat emitted from the fuel in the No. 4 unit pool is larger compared with pools at other reactor buildings.

          According to TEPCO, radioactive iodine-131 amounting to 220 becquerels per cubic centimeter, cesium-134 of 88 becquerels and cesium-137 of 93 becquerels were detected in the pool water. Those substances are generated by nuclear fission.

          The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the confirmed radioactive materials were up to 100,000 times higher than normal but that the higher readings may have also been caused by the pouring of rainwater containing much radioactivity or particles of radiation-emitting rubble in the pool.

          The roof and the upper walls of the No. 4 reactor building have been blown away by a hydrogen explosion and damaged by fires since the disaster struck the plant. The water level in the spent fuel pool is believed to have temporarily dropped.

          TEPCO said the fuel rods may have also been damaged by steel frames that fell into the pool in addition to overheating caused by the loss of cooling functions after the twin disasters.

          The utility plans to examine the condition of the plant's reactor buildings by deploying a small unmanned helicopter to see whether it is possible to extract spent fuel from pools.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:26:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So NISA says 100,000 times normal in #4 SFP (8+ / 0-)

            I guess that is where NIRS got their info from.  I don't see the data for #4 SFP on the NISA English site, so it must be in the Japanese PDFs that I cannot read.  I'll try some pattern matching and see if I can suss out something useful.

            •  Recent NISA press releases (Japanese) (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rja, Just Bob, peraspera, HoundDog, Wee Mama, Siri

              Here are the two most recent NISA press releases in Japanese.

              NISA press release #93 (2011/04/14 20:31)

              • Fukuchima Daiichi Nuclear plant
              · A silt fence was erected to prevent the spread of contaminated water to the front screen and curtain wall of units 1 and 2.
              · To cool the spent fuel pool of unit 3 the concrete pumping truck (50t/h) began spraying fresh water (4/14 12:20)
              · In order to understand the condition of the reactor buildings at units 3 and 4, a wireless helicopter was being used to take video (4/14 10:17-12:25).

              NISA press release #94 (2011/04/15 11:00)
              1. Nuclear power plant
              • Fukuchima Daiichi Nuclear plant
              · Concerning unit 3, the concrete pumping truck (50t/h) began spraying fresh water (4/14 15:56-16:32)
              · Concerning unit 4, in order to understand the condition of the fuel stored in the spent fuel pool, water from the pool was sampled. (4/12 12:00-13:04) The water gathered from the pool was analyzed for radioactive material (4/13). The result was that I-131 2.2×102Bq/cm3, Cs-134 8.8×101Bq/cm3, and Cs-137 9.3×101Bq/cm3 was detected.
              · As a test anti-dispersant material was applied to the hill side of the common pool to prevent the dispersion of radioactive material (4/14 12:00-13:30)
              · In soil samples from 3 locations inside the grounds of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant that have been regularly tested, Pu-238, Pu-239 and Pu-240 were detected by three devices. (4/14 18:30 TEPCO announcement) The concentration of Plutonium that was detected  is the same level as atmospheric fallout from nuclear testing, and it is the normal environmental level and poses no danger to people.

              2. Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency response

              No mention of 100,000 higher or rainwater, so it must be coming from somewhere else. It may have been mentioned in a press conference and not in a press release.

              •  Thanks for looking (7+ / 0-)

                If it was a press release, then I would have guessed that it would be a small PDF that just had nuclide analysis of #4 SFP.

                The Kyodo news article from 4/14 mentions a Wednesday (4/13) TEPCO report, and later mentions that NISA said the 100,000 figure.

                Some of the spent nuclear fuel rods stored in the No. 4 reactor building of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant were confirmed to be damaged, but most of them are believed to be in sound condition, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday.
                The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the confirmed radioactive materials were up to 100,000 times higher than normal but that the higher readings may have also been caused by the pouring of rainwater containing much radioactivity or particles of radiation-emitting rubble in the pool.

                I opened a lot of PDFs, but none of them seemed to have the right numbers in them.

                •  I've been all over the NISA site (7+ / 0-)

                  and I can't find anything like that in Japanese. The English site is organized differently, and is a lot easier to navigate. It also has a lot more information. It looks like the press releases in English have more (and better content) than in Japanese.

                  As for the comment about 100,000 times higher radiation and rainwater, I haven't found any recent comments, but I think Hidehiko Nishiyama has been making that sort of comment now for a couple of weeks, so it may not be news at all. I can't say that for sure because I'm having a hard time tracking down a specific quote in Japanese. It's much easier to find in English.

                  I have found a lot of Japanese blog entries mentioning the 100,000 times radiation level from almost two weeks ago, but they all point to the same article that is no longer up. I'm not seeing any hits in current news articles in Japanese.

              •  Say what? (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rja, peraspera, HoundDog, Joieau, Just Bob, Siri
                The concentration of Plutonium that was detected  is the same level as atmospheric fallout from nuclear testing, and it is the normal environmental level and poses no danger to people.
                What has become normal says more about us then anything.
                If one absorbs pu239, a puny alpha emitter, and it finds its way to a vulnerable cell or group of cells, you are at risk. That risk may not have been quantified by the DoE, but that risk is not obviated by human ignorance.
                Cancer mortality is nearly 7 times what it was a century ago, albeit from manifold causes, and atmospheric testing is certainly part of that assault. Strontium 90 from those tests has certainly been demonstrated to be effectively carcinogenic.
                Where the fuck does anyone get off telling anyone that radionuclide pollution isn't a risk?

                "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

                by Andhakari on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 01:33:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  rja, do you have a link for the english pdfs? n/t (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rja, peraspera, Wee Mama, Siri
            •  Mainichi has comment about 100,000 times normal (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, rja, peraspera, Wee Mama, Joieau, Siri

              in their article here (Japanse) (4/13/2011) They don't spell out the attribution, but it sounds like it's coming from a TEPCO press release.

              However, as a result of a test done on the 12th of this month by remotely taking a sample of water from the pool [of unit 4], it was discovered that the temperature of the water had risen from 84° on the day before the explosion to 90°. Radiation was measured at 100,000 times the normal level six meters above the pool. The fuel was covered with water, but TEPCO surmised that "it is possible fuel in the pool has been damaged or material has escaped from inside the reactor pressure vessel." They are analyzing the composition of the radioactive material.
  •  Inside the 10 km, grim work (18+ / 0-)

    NHK World

    Police and firefighters have combed through an area within 10 kilometers from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi power plant looking for missing people.

    Wearing protective clothing, nearly 300 officers from Fukushima Prefectural Police Department and local firefighters searched a port area of Namie Town, about 7 kilometers north from the plant, on Thursday. An NHK crew accompanied them.

    The police say they have recovered 10 bodies. They will continue search operations within the 10-kilometer zone for about 10 more days.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 12:11:23 PM PDT

  •  mahw is needing help with image (9+ / 0-)

    coversion from apdf to a jpg. anyone have any tips?
    she's working on a diary for the series and its in the queue (not a ROV) i wasn't able to figure it out for her...

  •  Here's what NIRS has to say today.... (19+ / 0-)
    * note: all Update times are Eastern U.S. time

    UPDATE, 11:30 am, Thursday, April 14, 2011. The fuel pool at Unit 4 apparently has experienced an inadvertent criticality at some point in the past month. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has confirmed that some fuel rods in the pool are damaged. A 400 milliliter water sampling from the pool taken Tuesday found elevated levels (as much as 100,000 times above normal) of Iodine-131, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137. As nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson of Fairewind Associates points out, there should be no Iodine-131 detected at all. All of the fuel from Unit 4 had been removed from the core and placed in the pool well before the March 11 accident. With a half-life of 8 days, the likely way Iodine-131 would be detected in this water would be if there had been a criticality—which given the severe damage to the pool is more than just conjecture. Tepco, however, suggests the readings may be caused by radioactive rubble in the pool or radioactive rainwater coming into the pool.

    Tepco says it so far has pumped out 700 tons of highly radioactive water from a trench to a condenser; but with 60,000 tons of this water across three reactors, that’s a proverbial drop in the bucket.

    The Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum reports that the nitrogen injection into the containment of Unit 1, intended to reduce the possibility of another hydrogen explosion, appears not to be working. Pressure is not rising in the containment, indicating that the nitrogen is leaking back out.

    Samples taken by ARCO, an independent French radiation laboratory, of soil and water in several communities outside the official evacuation zone, show very high levels of radioactive Iodine and Cesium as far away as Fukushima itself (about 60 km, or 36 miles, away).

    Note to readers in Hawaii: U.S. EPA measurements from Hilo show elevated levels of Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 in milk samples taken earlier this week (19 picocuries/liter of Cesium-137 and 18 picocuries/liter of Iodine-131 vs “acceptable” level of 3 picocuries/liter). This is of concern for people who may drink local milk, or eat local cheeses and meat from local livestock.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 12:19:50 PM PDT

    •  I replied to this in another thread (10+ / 0-)

      but wanted to reiterate here.  There has been a LOT of I-131 released in this incident - I think it is perhaps more probable that some of that I-131 ended up in spent fuel pool 4 than that the spent fuel has gone critical.  At least it is a possibility that should be considered along with the possibility of fuel going critical.

      For comparison, the concentration of I-131 in the spent fuel pool is 220 kBq/L - the concentration in the discharge area reported by the IAEA from April 1st was 66 kBq/L, or just three times less - as I understand this discharge area is already in the ocean, meaning the radioactive water is already being diluted when it is measured here.  

      •  I read a very similar article in the last 24 to 36 (9+ / 0-)

        hours that I believe suggested TEPCO has three hypothesis for the high level of this particular mix of isotopes in the Unit 4.

        1.  Steel beams, and a crane have fallen into the pond, and they may have cut through some of the fuel rods.  It wasn't clear to me if this theory could have caused, local fission to explain the I-131.

        2. The water level may have fallen below the rods at some point during the accident.  Robert Alverez says that within as little of 3 hours of exposure to air, the zirconium cladding  could oxidize enough to melt or catch on fire.

        3. Your, theory, of backwash, from all the other water spray from the other areas, or perhaps, also local condensation, and then backwash, into the SFP.  

        It may have been an earlier version of the one referenced above by DRO.

        The article ended with the hope that a miniture remote helicopter would arrive today, or late yesterday, that would allow direct viewing into the SFP building.  

        But, TEPCO expressed uncertainty, as to whether or not thestructrual damage from the collaped roof, or previous explosion, would interfere with access for direct visual inspection.  

        I haven't started my daily googling yet, as I've just returned from errands.

        Has, anyone heard?

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 05:35:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My own, speculative, reconstruction is that the (8+ / 0-)

          water levels fell (through boiling or leaking) enough to expose some of the fuel rods. Without cooling water the rods got hot enough to damage their cladding. At this point I think we have to assume that some of the fuel pellets fell out, because we have to account for the production of hydrogen. Zircalloy burning in air doesn't produce hydrogen and a fuel rod out of the water probably wouldn't have hot enough steam for steam oxidation (though I know some here disagree). Pellets that fell out could fall down back into the remaining water and they would at least release fission products and presumably cause some radiolytic splitting of water to make hydrogen. Whatever the scenario it has to be one that ends up with a big bang.

    •  I-131 in spent fuel pool (8+ / 0-)

      In my experience, NIRS has a habit of distorting the truth to advance their agenda.

      Gunderson's argumet, as filtered through NIRS, is falacious. 100,000 times normal?   What is normal?   No actual numbers here.  You run the risk of approaching division by zero here and some unspecified definition of normal that embodies multiple assumptions which may be inapplicable. He says there could be no I-131 without criticality because the rods were taken out of service a long time ago.   This is false.   They were taken out of service November 30th, 130 days ago.   There would still be 8.3ppm of the original iodine remaining.    Now if you had a chernobylesque 1,000,000Bq/m^2 of iodine dumped on your front yard on Nov 30, there would only be 8.3Bq/m^2 left, an amount that is for any practical purpose negligible (cesium would be another story).   But we aren't starting with 1MBq.   Don't know what the original level of iodine was, but the amount of iodine released into the environment (which is supposed to be a small fraction of the total) was something like 1.2E16Bq.    That is a big number and it is still a big number if you multiply by 8.3ppm.    Smash a fuel rod assembly exposing pellets of fuel that were previously protected by zirconium cladding to the water and results might be a lot different than "normal" even with criticality.

      Well, turns out there were 220000Bq/liter.   Doesn't  meet drinking water standards for sure, though you could drink 5 liters before you reached th US annual occupational exposure limit of 1.1MBq.   That makes his definition of "normal" 2.2Bq/liter.

      If the spent fuel pool has a capacity of 1.3million liters (ignoring the space taken up by the rod assemblies and racks or low levels), then you have around 0.286TBq of I-131.  Or about 60micrograms.   Or roughly 0.04% of the I-131 which was reported released into the environment, accounting for decay.

      Chernobyl had about 3.18EBq, or 676grams of I-131 estimated in the reactor core (TORCH).

      There may be a case to be made for criticality but you can't make it when you dismiss 8.3ppm as zero when there are exabequerels involved.

      •  See chart below (5+ / 0-)

        Gunderson would be correct if he said that "there should be no Iodine-131 detected at all", because the I-131 density was "Below detection limit" on March 4, 2011, while on April 12, it was 220 Bq/cm3.  I am suspicious of what was actually said, because NIRS did not use quotation marks.

        •  But if the cladding is damaged (and that seems (8+ / 0-)

          very likely) there would be I-131 added to the water from the fuel pellets. The undetectable levels on March 4th mean that some reason has to be given for the I-131 that is there now, but fission in the SPF is not the only possible explanation. 220 Bq/ml seems very low to me if there is ongoing fission.

          •  I cannot tell if Gunderson said that (7+ / 0-)

            The NIRS article does not actually quote anyone, so I cannot tell if Gunderson was talking about fission or if he was just noting that something bad has happened in the SPF, let alone if he said the words that I put quotation marks around.  That is why I wrote "if he said".

            The NIRS article also does not actually claim that fission is the only way that the I-131 could be there.  It does use weasel words like "apparently", "the likely way", "more than just conjecture".

            •  I read they have three possible theory, (8+ / 0-)

              that might actually all be true, in some combination.

              1. Direct physical structure damage by several steel beams, and a crane that have falling into Unit 4 SPF.  

              2. Fire, melting, or possible local criticality, from fuel rods being uncovered.

              3. Backwash from fall-out radiation, leaked from the cores, that dripped into the Unit 4 SPF, from all the spraying.

              I'll see if I can find this source.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 05:42:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  there shouldn't be much I-131 (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rja, peraspera, Siri, evergreen2

            left in the fuel rods.  They were taken out of the reactor last fall.  Enough multiples of the 8-day half life have passed that even if the fuel rods were damaged, there should be very little I-131 to release or detect . . . unless fission chain reactions have occurred since last fall.  The high levels of I-131 actually found suggest either ongoing fission reactions or lots and lots of runoff water that contained even higher levels.  

            "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

            by jlynne on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 12:21:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It depends on the starting amount (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peraspera, Wee Mama, rja, Just Bob, jlynne, Siri

              If we say they were removed 160 days ago, thats 20 half lives, or, there is about 1,000,000 times less I-131 than when they stopped fissioning.  

              Now, I don't know how much I-131 a fuel rod has when removed from the reactor, but there have been releases of 1x10^17 Bq of I-131 so far.  After 160 days there will still be 1x10^11 Bq of I-131 left over.

              With the amounts being released it is easier for me to imagine this is contamination from the other reactors, or damage to the fuel rods in the spent fuel than a rec-criticality.

              Of course, I could be wrong.

              •  I did quite a bit of digging to see if I could (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                peraspera, Wee Mama, rja, jlynne, Siri

                find how much I-131 is contained in a reactor during operation.  The best number I found came from a guy here that units 1 and 3 contained 2.8x10^18 Bq of I-131 at shutdown (based, I think, on a computer simulation of a BWR reactor called ORIGEN2).  If we guess these numbers are similar to what was seen when they shut down unit 4 (Nov 30th 2010 from the wiki page), there have been 17 half lives of I-131 since then.  My math says there should still be 2x10^13 Bq of I-131 in the rods that were removed from the reactor on the 30th of Nov.

                •  If I take this a step further (6+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  peraspera, Wee Mama, SLKRR, rja, jlynne, Siri

                  based on 220 Bq/mL of I-131, 1000 mL/L, 1000 L/m3, and 1425 m3 in the spent pool, the total amount of I-131 in the pool is 3x10^11 Bq (this assumes the pool is completely full, which we're pretty sure it is not).  If all of the I-131 in the spent pool came from melting fuel rods and none from on-site contamination, this would mean about 1% of the fuel rods melted.

                  •  Factors that could lower or raise the fraction (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rja, peraspera, Siri

                    that is damaged -

                    If the volume is smaller than the completely full one, less than 1% damage is needed.

                    If some water has been lost and replaced with uncontaminated water, more than 1% damage is needed for that number.

                    Since these two work in opposite directions it opens up the possible damage range quite a bit! But your numbers are very helpful to get a handle on what the possibilities are.

                    •  Should have said, leaked out for lost - water that (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rja, peraspera, Siri

                      evaporates and is replaced  is not as much of an issue.

                    •  It is absolutely dependant on lots of assumptions (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Wee Mama, Siri, peraspera

                      the other factor being how much I-131 was brought in from the other reactors?  I would guess a significant amount.

                      But its a place to start.

                      •  They're all the way to (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Siri, peraspera

                        releasing old news as new news now. The cladding at 4's SFP burned a month ago, was responsible for the big spikes measured all over the world. That released fuel to whatever water was in the tank, and they even admit the criticality was "sometime in the last month." Well DUH.

                        A month is ~4 half-lives of iodine. It is purposely deceptive to use old news released as new news and minimize the actual situation with what the iodine levels are now, 4 half-lives down the road. This is just sick and twisted. I can't believe anybody's buying it.

                        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                        by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:51:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The point is that 4 half lives (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Wee Mama, Siri, peraspera

                          is not a lot.  There is still 12.5% of the radioactivity left after 4 half lives.

                          When we start with numbers as large as 10^17, 12% of that is still a huge number (around 8x10^15 btw).

                          The question is, where did the I-131 come from?  Was it recriticality of spent fuel?  Was it rupture of fuel casing?  Was it contamination from hot water in reactor 2?

                          I don't know.  It is absolutely plausible it has nothing to do with recriticality, and the numbers I'm trying to provide are simply there to show rupture of a small amount of fuel assemblies can release the amount of I-131.

                          Sorry that that is "sick and twisted."

                          •  Since they are no longer (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rja, Siri, peraspera, mahakali overdrive

                            releasing the full isotopic assay, there's no firm way we can tell. i.e., the presence of very short-term fission products would tell the tale at a glance. They couldn't hide the fact of criticality in those early assays of the trench water, so they just stopped reporting anything but iodine and two cesiums. But the iodine component isn't showing the significant drop it should be showing after 4 half-lives, which is revealing.

                            Here's a chart for isotope concentrations in the vicinity of Chernobyl over time, per concentration to doses for workers and populations downwind:


                            Note how steeply the dose from iodine steadily falls off after the first half-life. If the iodine portion of radioisotope concentrations in air and water at Fukushima is holding steady (or increasing), it's from new fission. No matter how much there was to begin with, if no new iodine were being generated the levels would be going down at a steady rate.

                            Note also the relative level from cesium-137 starts rising at the same time, until ~120 days, when it (and 134) take over as primary contributors to absorbed dose [* since we aren't being told what levels of Zr/Nb 95 may be].

                            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                            by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 12:30:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  do you have something to compare (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            it to? I thought they have only released one sampling data point.

                          •  Just the chart in the diary (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mahakali overdrive, peraspera

                            showing levels remaining steady (with some bumps), plus the information that levels in the ocean are going up.

                            The levels would not be steady after 4 half-lives - or going up - if there were not ongoing fission and/or occasional criticalities to generate new iodine. Even though releases of the original load are ongoing due to being open to atmosphere (and now ocean), those iodine levels would still be going down relative to the overall load instead of remaining steady or increasing.

                            Also, I realized that you can't see the whole chart over here on the right. If you click on the time stamp on the above post you can see the whole thing along with its legend.

                            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                            by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 02:45:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I still disagree with your assesment (0+ / 0-)

                            From the physics forums I found a guy who had run a computer simulation showing there were about 3x10^18 Bq I-131 in the reactors - so 9x10^18 together in units 1,2,3 on the date of the earthquake.  Four half lives later and we are at 5.625x10^17 Bq I-131 in the reactors, and 2x10^13 in the spent fuel pool 32 days after the earthquake.

                            Since you also believe there are ongoing releases of this radiation (along with Cs and other radionuclides), the numbers we are seeing are much less than what was on site at the time of the accident.  

                            What we do know is that their levels relative to the Cs isotopes should be changing over time, with a fall in I-131 and a relatively steady level of Cs.  

                            I am personally not competent enough to make a call on the ease with which these two isotopes can escape containment in water or air, but this is absolutely a key question.  If I-131 is released more easily than Cs-137, it would not be at all surprising to continue to see I-131 levels continue to increase in the environment over time, until the leakage from the source is reduced, or the source has decayed to below what has already been leaked.

      •  Transient, unsustained reactions vs criticality (6+ / 0-)

        There is a difference between those, correct?

        I've seen discussions on this before but the media seems to take little care in making those kinds of dinstinctions.

        Doesn't the term "critical" describe a sort of threshold where the nuclear reaction becomes self-sustaining?

        Even if their math was correct, they are making it sound like the I-131 could only come from a reaction that had escalated to that stage or threshold, but couldn't it be from something less than that?

        We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

        by Into The Woods on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 10:39:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "critical" does describe (7+ / 0-)

          a self-sustained chain reaction, but it can end without human intervention, e.g., when the fissile material in that locale gets all used up.  These reactors use very low grade fissile material, not the highly enriched weapons grade stuff that is like 98% fissile.  So, even if a bit of fuel goes "critical", the chain reaction is unlikely to continue for very long - particularly if the heat generated boils all the water away.  The water acts as a moderator and slows the nuclei enough to start the reaction and keep it going.  

          Water is a double edged sword.  With water, you are more likely to get criticality.  Without water, you get melted fuel.  

          At least that's my understanding of it.    

          "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

          by jlynne on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 12:35:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think internal consumption (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, peraspera, Joieau, Just Bob

        of radionuclides is equivalent in effect to brief external radiation. Apples and oranges - eating and holding them are two different things.

        you could drink 5 liters before you reached th US annual occupational exposure limit of 1.1MBq

        "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

        by Andhakari on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 01:44:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tidbit about who else is at F #1 (13+ / 0-)

    This is a piece about the Japanese SDF but it has a detail about operations at the plant.

    The Japan Times

    Footage of SDF helicopters attempting to drop water into the burning reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has made a lasting impression, and 500 SDF personnel are still in the area operating water pumps to keep the reactors cool.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 12:25:31 PM PDT

  •  Venting the reactor (11+ / 0-)

    Venting the reactor is literally opening a vent and allowing radioactive steam to rise into the atmosphere, right? I ask because that sounds like an incredibly bad idea; as does the idea of a reactor that cannot survive a loss of power.

    "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 Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 12:34:53 PM PDT

    •  There are a couple of ways to vent (16+ / 0-)

      The upper vent in the drywell would go right up into the environment since the buildings are open from the hydrogen explosions . There are lower vents that open to the suppression pool beneath. That's what they've been venting through as it scrubs the release and radioactive particles go to the bottom of the pool (not all of it but it's better than nothing).

      They have to vent to relieve the pressure in the rpv or it will crack. Injecting water into the reactors and venting off steam to release pressure has produced a lot of the radiation releases we have seen. It's not a good thing but keeping it bottled up would destroy the rpv and that's a worst case scenario. Not injecting water to cool the rods would lead to a large scale melt-down.

      It's a terrible situation but there are no viable alternatives till they repair/replace the cooling system.

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

      by Siri on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 01:03:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The new designs offer 90-day to indefinite (0+ / 0-)

      passive cooling.

      This system was built to go for 24 to 72 hours. Of course the 9.0 earthquake didn't help, plus the fish brought in with the tsunami.

      Lots of warranties got voided.

      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 01:24:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the quake was not 9.0 at fukushima daiichi (10+ / 0-)

        it was more like the mid-6's. if they had any earthquake damage from something of that magnitude, it's a serious design flaw for a plant in an active seismic zone, and had no business being operated.

      •  passive cooling (9+ / 0-)

        The AP1000, which is a popular new design, reactor's passive core cooling requires that you start topping off the water gravity feed tank (which evaporatively cools the outside of the containment in conjuction with air ents) within 72 hours.  You have to open the cooling vents (to allow air to flow over the containment shell) within 30 minutes and this involves firing some explosive bolts which might be an issue if for some reason you had already had a hydrogen buildup outside containment (such as if you missed the 30 minute window).   While it is a very simple cooling system that can work indefinitely, it isn't passive after 72 hours as you have to pump water.  Spent fuel pool also needs make-up water.   And since explosive bolts are involved you apparently aren't going to immediately open the vents on a p-wave scram unless those vents are redundant to motorized vents.

        If the reactors at fukushima were AP1000s things would probably be a lot simpler, as long as the tsunami hitting the control room didn't prevent opening the vents.   But what if the tsunami takes out the control room, battery power, and the operators?  

        •  FNPP guys had plenty of time for the scram. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You betcha the emergency plans for nukes will address catastrophic wipe-out conditions in the future.

          Same time, in the face of massive global warming and species collapse, screaming "Clean Coal" is the plan for the main alternative.

          BTW: digging a well on site could have been done cheap & easy.

          Underspec'ing the tsunami was indeed the FNPP design blunder.

          Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 02:21:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, the tsunami was a symptom. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob, peraspera, evergreen2

            The real problem was not designing for Station Blackout.

            The whole smash was dependent on the little battery room
            and the Diesel generators needed those to start.

            Had they looked at how they keep power on the station
            that would be the issue.

            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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:31:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Any commercial generator with variable voltage (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama

              can replace the battery room power source.

              Tsunami damage and debris and radiation hazards delayed getting that solution working.

              The battery system was built to respond to lightning strikes.

              Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

              by vets74 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:57:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's all cool! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peraspera, evergreen2

            We'll do better for new $40 billion dollar plants, honest! Oh, and that little 10,000 year waste problem? We'll think of something someday, honest!

            This is so old it's beyond stale at this point. 40-year old filthy antiques in this country have been issued blanket license extensions for another 20-40 years of operating time, no retrofits necessary. More than one of these is going to blow in the next 5 years, a wager not worth betting against.

            You won't be getting any new nukes. Might as well get used to it.

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:58:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The control room of the AP1000 is (0+ / 0-)

          in the middle of the plant right off the reactor, about 40 feet up or so.

          As the tsunami at fukushima only reached the reactor building, creating a big splash, it apparently did no damage at all to the main reactors buildings.

          From here you can get a picture of what it might take to protect the plant and other plants from a tsunami, which they ought to start designing and implementing immediately.

          One wonders that if the fuel tanks for the aux diesels were located behind the plant, (see pictures of Diablo Canyon where the fuel tanks are about 30/40 feet up a hill) this whole thing wouldn't even be an issue, maybe. See:

          Item No. 10 is the Control Room and it's faces away from the ocean protected by the rest of the plant, usually configured in this manner.

          I like your description of the AP1000 passive cooling system, seems very spot on.

          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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:45:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i just did a little updating (16+ / 0-)

    and updated link to previous ROV for info from the 12th (some from the 13th) which I removed)

    At the bottom of ROV47, i posted instructions for all blog admins on how to update.

    YOu just go into edit and make the changes. ONe the ROV is published the news breaks. usually the ROV has some new info and also a mix of older info which is still available in the prevoius ROV. So its a matter of sifting throughout the day... pulling old stuff out knowing its IN ROV 47and linked to ... and putting new in... making sure the ROV doesn't get too long.

    one of the reasons i moved some of the instructions down below yesterday.

    We're looking good.

    Have to head out for a client for a few hours. Check back in. Let's hope things stay steady, team.

    •  Better'n coal. (0+ / 0-)

      Better'n sending $700-billion a year overseas for oil. Every year.

      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 01:29:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, right! (12+ / 0-)

        Better to watch a whole country lie under a potential death threat and economic collapse.  And that's to say nothing of the cancer rate that seems likely to escalate in Japan.  But you care little for that--since you consider  nuclear power so clean and safe.  

        There are alternative sources of power that people like you are so determined to ignore that  I've become suspicious of your motives in posting here.

        When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.- -John Muir, naturalist

        by miriam on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 01:59:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are no alternatives that deliver anywhere (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74, jeff in nyc

          near the bang for the buck.

          If it was so easy we would be using them.  Without nuclear and fossil fuels our living styles will take a major hit.

          It is really delusional for people to keep floating the meme that there are alternate viable sources that compare with nuclear and fossil fuels.

          If people were at all rational we would quit reproducing until our population dropped to some level that was sustainable.  I don't see that happening.

          •  I could be entirely off grid if I had an extra (16+ / 0-)

            30,000 bucks hanging around.  That is what it would cost to retrofit my home with solar + battery back-up for 5 days of no sun.  No fossil fuels there, no nuclear there.  I would have to run my car, but then I'd have to run my car anyway, even with nuclear.

            It is feasible.  If those of us who lived in high solar areas could do this, that would reduce the country's (or world's) needs rather substantially.  The main problem with solar --

            No middle man.  The power companies stand to lose an awful lot if they don't keep telling me I have no alternative but some power that comes from a plant and is piped to my home for which they can charge me.

            On population -- yes, that is another matter.  Fossil fuels are not the only limited resource on this planet.  Food, space and fresh water are others. There absolutely is no alternative for them.

            "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

            by middleagedhousewife on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 03:04:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The economics of distributed solar (15+ / 0-)
              TANSTAAFL -
              There ain't no such thing as a free lunch

              Using your assumption of 30,000 bucks...

              Such a system is projected to last for 20 years. Then you'll have to do it again. However, the cost will have come down by then due to economies of scale and technological advances.

              On the other hand, where I live a typical electric bill is is excess of $250 a month. That's $3,000 a year, or $60,000 over the twenty year life of the solar system. That's assuming the cost of energy doesn't increase.

              As for transportation, if most of your driving is local, a Chevy Volt wouldn't use any gasoline. If your daily drive exceeds the 40 mile battery range of the Volt, you could pamper yourself with a Tesla sedan.

              Dreaming the dream. ;-)

              Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

              by Just Bob on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 03:42:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Basic increased energy efficiency is also (13+ / 0-)

                very important to remember, along with energy conservation. Some people propose that the reduction of these alone might make up for the difference of nuclear power. The U.S. is the country that uses the most of the world's energy, and 19% of that comes from nuclear power sources. Yet many posit that energy conservation and efficiency could easily make that up. Some say that we're not really in an energy crisis so much as an energy glut. I tend to think this is a good starting point to think about our energy problems. And then also renewables and sustainable sources.

              •  Solar Economics (8+ / 0-)

                In 2007 I was brought in by an East Coast money manager who was well-acquainted with my insistence on telling the truth regardless of whether or not people want to hear it. He made a lot of money at the tail end of the tech bubble by listening to my views about what worked, and more importantly what did not work.

                He wanted me to look at the "clean tech" sector and tell him what I thought worked, and what I thought did not work. By "work," he and I meant "did what they said it does, at a cost that can make a profit."

                Maybe it's not obvious, but suffice to say that the best way to tell whether or not a high-tech company is lying is to check whether the CEO's lips are moving. If he tells his mother he loves her, she should not only check it out but hire a private investigator to find out if he's taken out any life insurance lately.

                This is why my friend wanted my views, because he knows that I don't trust company management about anything. Except when they're telling the truth. And even then, you know the bastards will lie about the numbers. Corporate executives are America's most recidivist population of thieves.


                Photovolatic silicon-based solar. Cost in the southwest U.S. will be fully competitive with utility-delivered electricity by about 2015, without a subsidy. Before that, will need a subsidy. It's been 3-1/2 years since I did the math, so it might have changed by now. The biggest factor in reducing costs would be rising production volumes, leading to economies of scale and experience.

                Wind. The key there is where you put the turbines. USGS has a "wind map" of the U.S., and there is no shortage of places, to put it mildly. Same deal with economies of scale and experience.

                Geothermal ("ground source") heat pumps. This was the big shocker for me. Air exchange heat pumps have been problematical because they crap out below about 40 degrees and above 75 or 80 degrees. Trench the soil and run pipes six feet down where it's always 55 degrees, and it's a very different story. Or, if you're in a rural area and just happen to have a well. This is old, settled technology that's been used successfully for a long time in Eastern Canada and Scandinavia.

                Bio-plastics. Instead of using petroleum for feedstock, use vegetable oil. That took off in a big way starting in about 2005. Would be interesting to know where it is now.

                Doesn't Work

                Thin-film solar. These are plastic printed semiconductors slapped onto windows and other surfaces. They don't generate much power, and it didn't look promising in spite of the fraudulent venture capital-based hype, credulously swallowed by their (dare I say it?) shills at publications like Wired, etc.

                Wave power. Won't work in our lifetimes, or our childrens' lifetimes.

                Bio-diesel. A supplement at best. Great if you use recycled cooking oil from fast food joints, but the minute you start growing crops for the purpose of converting them, the total lifecycle is a net negative.


                Enhancement of uranium. Fact is that nukes are here to stay. You know, just like the banks will never be punished for gambling away millions of houses, blah blah blah. It's the way of the world. Anyway, I was pretty well convinced that they've found a way to get about 5 times as much energy out of a given amount of uranium. But I didn't have the time to look closer.

                •  I would like to see you power Chicago with solar (0+ / 0-)
                  Photovolatic silicon-based solar. Cost in the southwest U.S. will be fully competitive with utility-delivered electricity by about 2015, without a subsidy. Before that, will need a subsidy. It's been 3-1/2 years since I did the math, so it might have changed by now. The biggest factor in reducing costs would be rising production volumes, leading to economies of scale and experience.

                  Let alone light up Las Vegas.

                  •  Did You Even Bother To Read ... (6+ / 0-)

                    ... what I wrote a couple comments upthread? Sheesh.

                    •  Nobody Reads. (0+ / 0-)

                      ..... ;^)

                      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

                      by vets74 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:04:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  If you are suggesting somewhere that we (0+ / 0-)

                      can support our world's popu,ation or our nation's present population without nuclear or fossil fuels, then I disagree and I am not alone.  

                      Of course we waste all kinds of energy.  We have office buildings where the windows cannot even be opened in the summer.  When it gets hot it is unbearable to work in these buildings without air conditioning.

                      But there is a whole bunch of folks that believe that if we just were smarter and used "green energy" then everything would be hunky dory.  It is not so easy.  It is not even close to easy.

                      And I don't believe that there is a conspiracy out there against solar and wind.  If there was such a conspiracy, then why wouldn't the same forces oppose hydroelectric power?  If this is the comment you are alluding to that I neglected to read.

                      •  Again: Did You Even Bother to Read ... (3+ / 0-)

                        ... my other comment? It was in response to your other posting upthread. I'm happy to debate this with you, but you're going to have to be minimally diligent.

                      •  Wind, water, and sun (4+ / 0-)


                        A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

                        Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here's how

                        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                        by Just Bob on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 08:47:37 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That Article Is B.S. (0+ / 0-)

                          Its main purpose is to illustrate the decline of what was once a great publication, Scientific American. The idea that it's possible to convert the world to renewable power in less than 20 years is the product of someone(s) who have read too much sci-fi, eaten too many mushrooms, and have written too many academic grant applications.

                          It's just not going to happen. Crap like that article only serves to discredit alternative energy by setting wildly unrealistic expectations. Scientific American should be embarrassed to lend its name to such juvenile hype.

                          •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                            It illustrates the possibilities. It isn't an attempt at fortune telling.

                            It isn't at all probable we would reach 100%, but if we start in that direction we will be in a much better situation in 20 years no matter how far down that road we get.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  SciFi "Illustrates the Possibilities" Too (0+ / 0-)

                            The article postulates that 51% of energy could be generated by wind. Sorry, but no it couldn't. And "tidal" power, i.e., wave power, doesn't work at all. It's a venture capitalist's scam swallowed whole by writers who think it sounds cool but who have never really looked at the details.

                            It's a shame to see what's happened at Scientific American. It used to be a serious publication. These days, it's about as worthwhile as the History Channel's shows about "ice road truckers" and poker championships.

                          •  We've seen much of your opinions (0+ / 0-)

                            I'd like to see factual data backed with links.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 11:57:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I Did All of This 3-1/2 Yrs Ago (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            A lot of it was my own work, too. There was no reason to hang onto it. So, if you want to trust Scientific American, go right ahead. All I can tell you is what I've told you. The various mass-market publications (which is what Sci-Am has sadly become) exist to tell their readers what they want to hear, regardless of whether it's true.

                            Your challenge is a reasonable one, by the way. My answer is an honest one. I spent a bunch of time looking at this in depth. I really wanted to believe, in particular, the wave power guys. I was pleasantly shocked by the ground-source heat pump story, and I've been interested to see those things prominently displayed at home shows lately.

                •  Harnessing the power of (7+ / 0-)

                  the sea is not so far away. Check out the first three examples at this link.

                  Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                  by Joieau on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 09:40:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Did The Numbers on Wave Power (0+ / 0-)

                    Please recall what I wrote above about the definition of "work." Wave power doesn't work, and it's not going to. Each generator costs way, way, way, way too much per kilowatt of capacity for these things to ever be anything more than research demonstration projects. There are no economies of scale or experience that I've ever seen.

                    I realize that this is not what you want to hear, but that doesn't make it any less true. Forget about wave power. It does not work, and it will not work in your lifetime or your kid's lifetime.

                    •  That's silly. (3+ / 0-)

                      If we weren't throwing tens of billions down the nuclear black hole every year we'd have tens of billions to put into development and deployment of just these sorts off offshore tidal generation. The water moves in, the water moves out. Every day, all the time. Japan, for instance, has lots and lots of shoreline. Tidal and offshore wind are abundant, as is the geothermal potential under its many mountains. But all we hear is that they HAVE to have nukes. Why? ...because someone made that decision for them, and is now dumping death and destruction on them that will last beyond the lifetimes of anybody alive today. If they've had enough, they'll take the path out of that hellhole.

                      The technology involved in designs like these is not nearly as constrained as nuclear must be, is nowhere close to as dangerous as nuclear is when it stops working, and it generates exactly zero waste that must be bunkered for 10,000 years into the future just for your toasted bagels in the morning.

                      The future isn't going to remember us fondly for dumping the excreta of the nuclear beast on them for more generations than humans can trace, for no reason other than our greed for power and criminal money laundering operations. We keep hearing "but what about the CHILDREN?" in discussing energy futures. That question all by itself makes nukes something no sane being would embrace.

                      Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                      by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:59:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If Words Could Generate Electrons ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... there'd be no problem. Alas, it doesn't work that way. A closer look at the details of wave power will show that it doesn't work on any kind of scale. If you think it does, then knock yourself out and throw your money at one of the zillions of schemes out there designed to part the believers from their money.

                        This doesn't mean that I like nukes. It means that I've looked at the details with wave power, and from everything I've seen it's a non-starter. You have to put too many materials (concrete, steel, wirinf, etc.) into each kWh of generating capacity for it to pay off.

                        •  That's just what (0+ / 0-)

                          the investor class is doing right now. They are NOT putting any money in nukes, which is why We The Unwilling Taxpayers have to do it instead. Talk about socialism!

                          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                          by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:29:06 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Joieua, using Wall Street to decide (0+ / 0-)

                            what is socially important for 'investing' is like asking someone on Wall Street for advice on what to do in terms of resolving the crisis they created. There is ZERO authority there. So why use them as 'marker' for what is good for building out our grid with non-carbon energy?

                            Wall Street is putting money where they can speculate or did you miss that part of this crisis. All of it. 'Investors' only care about a return on their dollar, not how it is made.

                            The only reason Wall st. "invests" in solar or, more seriously, in wind, is because of feed in tariffs and subsidies. Remove them, you remove their investment incentive. Just ask them!

                            While I generally oppose wind and solar as a serious alternative to non-carbon energy generation I would never use the "Look at Wall Street!" as an argument. I suggest you don't either.

                            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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:38:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I will add, too, that investment (0+ / 0-)

                            in these areas for Wall Street banks and manufacturers is also predicated not on direct subsidies but on the indirect kind. Utilities are mandated to build renewables as part of their generation assets, thus the rate payer by law has to fork over the money for any investment made. The people who benefit as the massively lobbying solar and wind industry who get these laws passed. It's another form of subsidy that if removed would like see the demise of wind and solar as they are basically unsustainable as profit making instruments for investors without that regulatory environment.

                            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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:41:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All Energy Generation Is Subsidized eom (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

                            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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 11:06:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Costs Need To Be Fully Counted (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            A lot of the subsidies are invisible. Gasoline and heating oil is a good example. If we included the costs of the oil wars, it'd cost at least another buck a gallon. With nuclear, the (current) very low cost per kWh doesn't include the costs of accidents or long-term waste storage.

                            With coal, (and oil & gas) we don't include the costs of environmental degradation and remediation, or the public health impact of pollution. Some of these costs are hard to price, but they justify subsidies of lower-impact alternatives, especially when it comes to the alternatives that have been thoroughly studied and that we know will be even more cost-effective in volume.

                            The big issue is that the mining companies (oil, gas, coal) have huge clout. Together with finance, big health care, and big agriculture, they pretty much run the show. It's going to take a lot of effort to overcome them. The very first thing to do is to be sure to be truthful about the alternatives -- what they are, how much they cost, when they can be ready, and how they will perform.

                            We do no favors by overstating things.

              • electric bill living in (0+ / 0-)

                Pacifica California, with the gas for heating, washing and cooling for a family of 3 is $54/month. Not nearly "$250". My bill, only slightly below average for my area. So why should I get solar again? BTW...I'm not putting rows of lead-acid batteries in MY house; I'd prefer not to be rated as a hazardous waste dump or increase possibilities of fire in my home.

                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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:48:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Rates vary by a wide margin (3+ / 0-)

                  I live in an area with high rates and all electric homes.

                  BTW, I wouldn't use lead/acid batteries either. I'd use nickel/iron:

                  The nickel-iron battery (NiFe battery) is a storage battery having a nickel(III) oxide-hydroxide cathode and an iron anode, with an electrolyte of potassium hydroxide. The active materials are held in nickel-plated steel tubes or perforated pockets. It is a very robust battery which is tolerant of abuse, (overcharge, overdischarge, and short-circuiting) and can have very long life even if so treated.[6] It is often used in backup situations where it can be continuously charged and can last for more than 20 years. Due to low specific energy, poor charge retention, and its high cost of manufacture, other types of rechargeable batteries have displaced the nickel-iron battery in most applications. They are currently gaining popularity for off-the-grid applications where daily charging makes them an appropriate technology.

                  Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                  by Just Bob on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 11:18:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You Should Do The Math (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Wee Mama, peraspera

                  It's readily available for your area. The first question I'd have is whether there's enough sunshine to begin with. I know the Bay Area, in general, can be foggy. What about Pacifica?

                  The cost analysis for solar, at an individual level, is very different than it is at a higher level of aggregation. I'm fairly certain that California electric utilities are required to buy your excess power at retail rates, (i.e., a kWh-for-kWh credit for juice you produce but don't use in mid-summer) which is a big subsidy. There is a federal tax credit, and I don't know what the state provides.

                  Before retrofitting with photovoltaic, though, I'd first look into better insulation; a conservation audit of your house; a heat pump (in Pacifica, you don't even have to go ground-source); and a solar water heater. Some, or all, of those will pay off. BTW, simply disconnecting the automatic ice maker on your freezer and using ice cube trays instead will yield a surprising amount of savings. The fridge uses 20% of your electricity, and just the ice maker about 10%-15% of what the fridge uses.

            •  Question for anyone who knows (11+ / 0-)

              Do you actually need actual sunshine for solar power, or are there photovoltaic systems already in production that can derive power from daylight even on a day when the sun is not out? I live west of Rain City, USA and would love to roof over my barn in solar panels if we could ever pull it off (although financially this is not likely), but it rains here a lot and we would need something that relied on daylight as opposed to sunshine.

              Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

              by Kitsap River on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 04:40:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's What They Want People To Think (15+ / 0-)

            While I'd be the first to agree that the alternatives won't provide base load, they are certainly workable for supplementary load. And that can be a BIG chunk, depending.
            There are major opportunities in photovoltaic, wind, and ground-source heat pumps. The latter is, IMO, the big unrecognized sleeper. If the U.S. government was serious about moving off of oil, it would offer to replace every oil burning residential furnace with a ground-source heat pump, if the ground was available to run the PVC pipes 6 feet down.

            Wind is excellent for night time generation, because winds usually blow harder at night. Couple that with electric cars, and you could do a lot of recharging at night with wind-derived power.

            Photovoltaic is outrageously unexploited. It blows me away that it's not required in the Southwest. And the feds should be funding research into large-scale capacitors that could someday make wind and solar serious baseline contributors.

            •  Are we further way, technologically speaking, from (4+ / 0-)

              economically feasible reliance (or at least substantial reliance) on those alternatives if we set that as a 10-yr goal that we were from the technology that could take us to the moon when JFK said we'd do that within the decade?

              Lots of money got thrown at that project, but we did it and it spun out new technologies by the armful that soon made it into the lines of US and global commerce.

              We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

              by Into The Woods on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:00:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We Already Know What Works (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wee Mama, peraspera, evergreen2

                So we should do what works.

                1. Convert as many oil-burning furnaces as possible to ground-source heat pumps. It'll require a lot of trenches to be dug, but oddly enough, we have a lot of unemployed people.

                2. Require new houses and buildings to use ground-source heat pumps where possible.

                3. Put photovoltaic collectors on every rooftop in the Southwest, and in the deserts of the West. Build factories in those areas to make the silicon, which, oddly enough, is cheaper and easier to make than, say, the silicon for computer chips.

                4. Put windmills where the wind blows. A whole lot of them.

                5. Tax gasoline to subsidize electric cars.

                Do that for the next 50 years, and there'll be a big change. But no one should be kidding themselves into thinking that we'll do away with fossil fuels. Maybe in the 22nd century, but not in this one.

          •  Until recently, I had been hanging (15+ / 0-)

            a lot of hope on nuclear handling the very-high-density energy needs, with distributed renewables making up the difference. I now don't think it's possible to put a price tag on running nuclear plants: it's somewhere between infinite and reasonable, and that spread is not tolerable. I don't know what we'll do, but I'd wager we incrementally use more renewables and maintain our current usage of fossil fuels as our overall consumption increases.

            Pareto Principle: 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

            by jeff in nyc on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 03:54:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Consider what all hit Fukushima. (0+ / 0-)

              Seems to me it took it pretty well. Way the Hell out of design specs... over-engineered all around.

              Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

              by vets74 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:01:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Huh? If this is victory, then we (11+ / 0-)

                We don't desire nuclear plants that respond correctly under ideal scenarios, and slightly better than expected under unanticipated scenarios, right? Jesus Christ. I'm the son and grandson of chemical engineers who built dozens of plants around the country and overseas; they would be astonished at the cavalier attitude you show. I'll add that I am still a big proponent of what engineers can do, but I think that a few decades has demonstrated that the unengineered situations come way too often. We are awesome in what we can do, and nuclear plants are truly wonderful; unfortunately, they are too dangerous and we too optimistic for the uncertainties that rule in the universe.

                Pareto Principle: 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

                by jeff in nyc on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:38:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You been hit with a 9.0 earthquake and (0+ / 0-)

                  a big tsunami lately ?

                  And apart from 2 people drowned, apart from the "Fukushima 50" silliness, there's nobody dead or dying.

                  Engineering-wise, Hell yes that's a success.

                  Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

                  by vets74 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 01:48:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Don't you ever get sick (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Just Bob, mattman

                    of telling lies? Point of fact: two Fukushima workers are dead, their bodies were found floating in highly radioactive water 3 weeks after they died. Two more were reported MIA when unit 3 blew up, we've heard nothing more about them. Two of the three electricians hospitalized for burns and high exposure have been reported by their families to be dying. We have no idea how many more of the "Heroic 50" that is actually hundreds have been overexposed, have died or will die within the next few months. We are entirely unlikely ever to be told.

                    Do you honestly think that by dishonestly diminishing what is happening at Fukushima you will succeed in saving the nuclear industry in this or any other country? Or is that just what you get paid to do? Tell the boss you need a new script, because this one isn't working anymore.

                    Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                    by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 10:06:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Back March 23rd there was a claim (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      that "5 of the Fukushuma 50" had already died.

                      This shit-propaganda goes on and on.

                      The propaganda mills need to damn nuclear power to keep competition out of the market. Big Coal and Big Oil need to do anything. At this point worldwide demand for oil is way down, but they rig the spot market so they can steal hundreds of billions of dollars.

                      Solid citizens.

                      GOPer base, all the way.

                      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

                      by vets74 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 12:09:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You don't appear to be (0+ / 0-)

                        exactly dumb on some of the technicalities here. Though you do appear to be willing to accept 'official' discountings of actual conditions, so as to soothe your minimalist wishes on this particular nuclear catastrophe.

                        Remember the day when they reported the trench water was reading an equivalent of 1,000 Rem an hour [10 Sieverts]? Then they backed it up by a factor of ten and swore it was only 100 Rem per hour [1 Sievert]? That was a "Truthy Test Balloon" in this PR war. Everybody freaked right out about 1K R/hr as being 'outrageous', it was immediately walked back.

                        But when you're talking about massively failed, partially molten fuel, 1K R/hr is fairly standard. It's as high as the meter can read. God only knows how hot it really is. RCS water at TMI was precisely that hot (because that's as high as the meter can read) two days after its accident and with millions of gallons of RCS already dumped. 1,000 Rem/hr on contact.

                        I don't know that much from conversions on Curies to Becquerels to Greys or Sieverts to Rem. They're tricky, as designed to be so the public can't follow. But 1K Rem is 10 Sieverts. Not a bad meltdown reading, considering that's as high as the meter can read. 1K Rem is a lethal dose within 3 months. We're just a month into that.

                        The Legend of the Fukushima 50 will go down in history no doubt, to be ceremoniously honored annually from now on. I have no idea how many have died in this first month, or how many will die in the next couple of months. And years. I know it'll beat Chernobyl, though, with 2 confirmed and 4 to 5 questionable that we already DO know about.

                        I know you only count dead bodies as far as the plant gates, and expect them to be immediate. But as time goes forward in all this, you're going to lose in the body count game. That's a shame, but then again, so are nukes.

                        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                        by Joieau on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:37:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Buy a calculator. (0+ / 0-)

                          Simple units-to-units conversions boggle you ??? But you think you have a handle on the engieering issues at FNPP ???


                          5,700 nanoGrays/hour = 35,000,000 nanoGrays/year = 5 REM.

                          Nobody at FNPP has reached 5 REM.

                          Nobody is dying.

                          The propaganda-whores working for Big Oil and Big Coal ??? They're expecting $5-a-gallon gas.

                          Fighting off electric cars and nuclear power plants -- what else ?

                          These fucker kill people. Big Oil got us into Iraq. Coal kills 30 people as year in America, 1,500 a year in China. Lying is preferred to simple truths.

                          Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

                          by vets74 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 05:22:19 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

                            your line has moved from 30 to 32 people died from Chernobyl (and Fukushima will likely pass that) because the only deaths that count are the workers inside the plant gate, all the way to numbers of the public outside the gates that die within 3 months? Wow.

                            You guys so desperately need a new script. And you should get together and decide which points count today because this sort of gross inconsistency isn't convincing anybody.

                            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                            by Joieau on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 08:16:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I believe that a lot of people are dying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            from Chernobyl.

                            But I don't know the medical, engineering or the demographic evidence, so I don't make statements about it.

                            SPEEDI data ? That I understand. Also we have people in Japan, so what the teevee and papers there are reporting comes through right off.

                            BTW: compare/contrast the Fukushima tragedy with normal casualty rates for coal mining.

                            Then c/c to the Oil War in Iraq. Or maybe you think we invaded Iraq for a combination of WMD's and fresh cut turnips ?

                            Nukes with competent containment structures present much lower mortality risks than coal or oil. Then we can talk about global warming.

                            Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

                            by vets74 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 09:36:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  What on EARTH are you talking about? (13+ / 0-)

                It handled it well? Do you mean the part where it's now the second largest nuclear disaster ever? Or the part where it's the second largest nuclear disaster ever? Or is it the part where it's the second largest nuclear disaster ever that is an indication of how well it all took it, perhaps?

                Needs more cowbell, IMHO. And less bullshit spent fuel lounging around on the poolside of the cabana.

              •  What The Hell ... (9+ / 0-)

                ... 3,000 square miles probably uninhabitable for decades, and the cost surely to be in the multiple billions. Because cancer deaths can't be linked as readily, say, as bashed-in skulls can be linked to car crashes, the nukesters will put the death toll at zero.

                Yeah, what the hell. Great outcome. Heckuva job, Brownie-san.

              •  Design specs (6+ / 0-)
                Way the Hell out of design specs.

                Yes, that's entirely the problem.

                The design specs were completely unrealistic when compared to the real, predictable, and historical quakes in the region. They were fantasy figures plucked out of the air for the purpose of achieving a cost budget.

                And by extension, most of the other commercial reactor safety margin figures around the world are likely to be fantasy figures too.

                The equivalent to your argument in the space program would be, when Apollo 1 burned, NASA shrugging and saying "hey, we didn't design for a sea-level all-oxygen atmosphere, but the Velcro was actually more fireproof than the specs called for, so it's all good. Need three more test astronauts!"

                There are word for that kind of thinking, but not polite ones.

          •  Horse hockey. Horse hockey with blinkers on. (7+ / 0-)

            Scientific American Apr 2011 Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

            For one example. There's been plenty of studies showing combinations of renewables can produce almost all we need.

            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:53:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

              •  The comments are interesting, (6+ / 0-)

                once you get passed the climate change deniers. ;-)

                The problem with that critique is that he expects tomorrow to look just like today even after it has been totally transformed.

                For a quick example let's consider rare earth elements:

                Another problem is that he expects the trucking industry to continue to dominate transportation and thinks in terms of fuel cell powered electric trucks.

                I would think more in terms of localized markets and power generation.

                Big cities are soooo yesterday. ;-)

                Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                by Just Bob on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 10:28:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Meteor Blades also has a study showing the (11+ / 0-)

                  viability of supplying all new electrical needs within a few decades, I'll try to find it.

                  The Scientific American study, made conservative assumptions of technological breakthroughs, many which have already occurred.

                  Also, an upstream commentor dismissed wave power, however. another big break through in underwider tidal kites, has been approved for scalable prototyping off the coast of England.  They operate 24 hours a day, and advocates, assert they will be able to generate enough power to supply all electrical needs of a city the size of Bristal by 2020.

                  New High Voltage Direct Current long line electrical transmission lines, as well, as upgrading to a smart grit, widens the radius over which statistical averaging mitigates the intermittency problems with solar.  

                  Also, a new breakthrough with concentrated beam thermal solar using molten sodium, or some other metal, continues to generate electricity at night.

                  From what I understand from Jamess, Jerome Paris, and Meteor Blades, these kinds of tremendous inroads against the intermediacy challenges for the clean, renewable alternatives, mean they can handle higher fractions of the baseload.

                  And, if you do the mathematical comparision, with more valid whole system, full life-cycle cost, without all the hidden subsidies, and off-loading of the real cost of nuclear many of these are already more economic  than the nuclear options.  

                  I suspect enough so, that even if it is necessary to have some redundancy, for intermediancy to handle the full base-load, the real true economic comparisions are already favorable.

                  But, the key point is that we are going to have to do as best as we can, as fast as we can.  We are now not investing anywhere near the amounts in renewable production, and R +D as we should, and could.  

                  Didn't we do the Manhatten Project in 18 months?  We need this kind of effort.  And, for example, take the new $36 billion Obama was trying to get into the current budget to subsidizde a restart of the US nuclear market and put that into alternatives instead.

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 05:26:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The sci-am article has been (0+ / 0-)

                    debunked on many many sites.

                    If we Manhattan Project (a  new verb?) the molten salt reactor (can be run with air cooling BTW) we'd have a lot more power, over a much small area available 24/7 with out fanstasy HVDC lines wheeling power hither and nither at ridiculously high costs.

                    Jacobson (the author of the article) completely unders estimates the costs of this project to make the numbers fit. He also has argued that the carbon footprint is a certain high number because "you have to include the chance of nuclear war every 30 years". Seriously?

                    The best debunking of the renewable fantasy is here (based on Jacobsons Sci-Am (Sci-Fi?) article:


                    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 Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You realize this "Best" is risible, right? (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HoundDog, Joieau, peraspera, mattman

                      What a relief that this is the best. Of course, the Scientific American article isn't the only one claiming we can get all our energy from renewables. Or do you think the German's are too stupid and/or ignorant to deal with reality, and the Spanish as well?

                      The notion that complementary Sky Earth Water technologies can't be used to supplement each other through a better grid and better storage methods is absurd. So to criticize, say, solar for it's inadequacies ignores that nobody is dependent on solar exclusively should a proper grid be built.

                      He considers solar supplemented by wind, as something to dismiss out of hand, but of course leaves out tidal/river, geothermal generation. Because he pretends improved distribution and storage systems, the multiplication of nodes, etc can never never happen.

                      Almost all the objections are based on "it isn't here now, therefore it can't be."

                      Also, all the critics seem to totally ignore the "off-the-grid" ways to generate energy needs. They simply don't factor it in. It's either massive centers or nothing at all. My friend in Jersey had a geo-exchange system built under her house for $20K, and in three years has been averaging $20 a month for the cost of running her pumps. True, she has no objection to wearing a sweater in the winter, otherwise she'd want to somewhat supplement her constant 65°. She doesn't use air-conditioning at all though. Some fans to move the air around in summer.

                      Again, my ex- in upstate NY with lots of hard rock under her house got quotes for $40K to do that with her house, and it wasn't worth it to her. But a lot of people are in my Jersey friends position. Another friend gets his hot water year round from a passive solar collector, but he's in Brazil and maybe it's sunnier there. That's how a friend in upstate NY gets all his hot water as well. Though at times it's a bit more tepid than he'd like. Still, he lives with that instead of supplemental it with gas.

                      Jersey Girl doesn't need but little from a centralized plant, but people like her are left out of the picture entirely.

                      I've never seen a critic who addresses the, apparently, substantial percentage of energy needs which can be derived from off-the-grid, individual solutions.

                      It should be noted, too, that whereas once you've used a rare mineral to build your solar/tidal/whatever instrument, it's done. You aren't, as with the killer fuels, perpetually digging up new, and scarcer, and subsequently ever-inflating materials, for eternity.

                      "No Can Do" is not really a sane response to a situation where it is proposed that we must either expose ourselves to catastrophic and devastating Fukushimas, or accept fossil fuels, and nothing else can ever possibly be done.

                      Surely you are not going to tell us you are certain we will never have another Fukushima or worse. Or even that you are certain there will not be another six Fukushima's or worse. Nobody's seen 60 year old commercial reactors yet, have they, so such declarations would be a touching example of faith, but nothing to do with reason.

                      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                      by Jim P on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 12:18:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Of course, every effort, once engaged, gets (8+ / 0-)

                altered as experience leads you along.

                Look at what happens to nuclear power plants. And spent fuel rods. And radioactive waste in general. Yup, the best laid plans gang aft aglee. Even when there's statistics behind them.

                If you look back, you'll also see that nobody could travel more than 35 miles per hour without blacking out; machines can't fly; and the US can't build a national highway system.

                The notion that we have absolutely no choice other than to damage ourselves greatly with nuclear, or to damage ourselves greatly with fossil fuels, strikes me as a profound failure of perspective. The product of a timid, pessimistic, and blinkered outlook.

                You might have read your oildrum link, but I'm not sure you've reflected on it.

                The objections are really trivial, and at the most portend that -- horrors of horrors! -- we'd still have to use some fossil fuels. That some things might take more than 20 years to really complete. That changing the infrastructure would be, like a lot of work, and cost lots of money. And, o the humanity! things would have to be done differently.

                Plus, nothing better around alternate energy and storage is ever, ever, going to be devised.

                So tell me what losing several towns, industries, food sources, trade, as well as medical and special needs care for a generation or three costs. And how many decades it would take to decommission a bad plant.

                Nobody in their right mind, and honest, can say they have a solid answer for Japan or Fukushima. Or the next plant to go down. And we all should know by now that there most likely will be a next plant to go down.

                Who would bet "no"?

                The only thing lacking about renewables is the will to do it. Spain's doing it, their number one source of energy coming from renewables just recently. Germany's doing it and plans to get rid of nukes entirely. It's no fantasy.

                Ruination Nuclear or Ruination Fossil, either one, might seem rational, but it sure isn't reasonable, sane, nor necessary.

                Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                by Jim P on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:00:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I read Science weekly and (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurious, peraspera, raoul78

          many other articles throughout the week. I'm not particularly fond of reading energy articles, but one thing I'm hit with nearly every week is how the world is NOT, in fact, headed toward dramatically less fossil fuel use. We may now be heading toward less nuclear power, though it will have to be made up somewhere, and the energy density needed cannot, in many environments, be met with renewables.

          I don't think you have to question my motives for stating what certainly seems to be the state of affairs in the world.

          Pareto Principle: 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

          by jeff in nyc on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 02:49:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  False dichotomy. (9+ / 0-)

        Spain, 20% current renewables, Germany, plans 100% by 2050. New discoveries and processes published nearly every day for Sky, Earth, Water energy, and battery innovation. And engines. Lot of studies showing how SEW can deliver most energy needs with currently existing and in place technology if it were made a priority.

        Better than nukes. Better than all the killer fuels.

        Better than having large swathes of your land threatening your pregnancy and children for generations.

        DU ain't so high in radiation either. Go look at Falluja.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:47:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget 'too dangerous to meter'. (7+ / 0-)

      It will be at some point, in any case.

    •  Too cheap to meter. (10+ / 0-)

      Reading a book on the history of the medical examiner's office being turned into a professional thing, instead of a political appointment, in the 1920s.

      Radium was everywhere, including regularly recommended by doctors for low pep. A multi-purpose miracle. The women who worked painting radium watches starting dying off with horrible damages (having their legs break from walking, jaws shatter, organ failures, etc). Though NJ & NY examiners pretty well established that radium was a killer, the industry fought tooth and nail to keep the business going. Some restraints were put in, but the stuff was still around for a lot of uses.

      It was only when a wealthy industrialist got ravaged by his radium drinks that there was any real widespread, and official, recognition of the dangers of radium, and consequent restrictions.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  radium (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, raoul78, SLKRR, Wee Mama, mattman

        All of the radium painters studied  who got bone cancer had received total doses greater than the level that was 95% fatal (acute radiation sickness) at Chernobyl.    3161 Radium dial painters were studied, half extensively.     Those before 1926 got incredibly high doses, later lower doses.    Of those who got >10Gy (nominally the dose which causes 100% chance  of cancer under LNT theory), 65 got bone cancer.  None of those below 10Gy got cancer.  10Gy at  one time is nearly 100% fatal in the short term.  Between 8 and 20Gy the bone cancer rate jumped from 0 to 20%. Those with 100Gy exposure had a 25% chance of cancer.  At 500Gy, it was around 35%.   134 workers at Chernobyl were exposed to severe doses from 0.8 to 16Gy which killed 28 of them.  Of the 21 worst exposed (6.5-16Gy) 20 (95%) died.   So dial painters who got doses 32 times higher than the worst chernobyl emergency worker (or perhaps 1 worst case chernobyl dose per year or two, spread out evenly) had a 35% chance of bone cancer.  Unlike the Hiroshima/Nagassaki bomb survivors on which LNT theory is based or the workers who were most  badly cooked at Chernobyl, the radium dial painters got doses spread over time rather than a single acute dose.   1155 low dose radium dial painters had lower cancer rates and longer life sans than the general population   All of those who got bone cancer had doses  between 3.7MBq and 370MBq.

        On this one, you can see the a dramatic difference between a log/linear and linear/linear plot.   he linear/linear plot completely obscures the low dose effects and thus appears to conform to LNT model.See slide 43.
        Notes that if plutonium had been used instead of radium, there would likely have been no adverse effects due to poor absorption in GI tract (the dose of ingested plutonium to cause one cancer is 1g).

        Back in those days, large doses of mercury, arsenic, lead, and antimony were also used.

        •  Thanks for the links. (6+ / 0-)

          Was the book by Sanders the basis for Anne Coulters "Radiation can be good for you" claim?

          The radiation hormesis hypothesis, by contrast, proposes that low-dose ionizing radiation is beneficial. In this book, the author examines all facets of radiation hormesis in detail, including the history of the concept and mechanisms, and presents comprehensive, up-to-date reviews for major cancer types.

          Be that as it may, hormesis does not seem to be universally, even widely accepted, notion for either radioactive or chemical  doses. The debate remains open, whatever some people's theories.

          Of course, even if hormesis does apply, one cannot tell in advance whether any given individual is so constructed that x exposure to a low dose would harm them or not. At least not for some decades, and even then you'd never know for a certainty whether their death was brought about or not, by the dose.

          I appreciate that statistical studies suffer from the objective impossibility of tracking an ingest/inhaled particle, its emissions in the body, what cells it does or does not damage, etc. That, requiring an answer, people only can manage statistics to go by. But again, statistics which by their nature extract a few elements from a vast reality can not predict that in this or that specific case that this or that will or will not happen. Or even in a run of specific cases.

          Flipping the coin 1 million times might get you a 50/50 heads/tails split, but it doesn't rule out you'll have 100 times in a row of getting heads.

          Additionally, there's cumulative effects. What happens to, say, people who get by fine with the low level exposure they get from cigarette smoking, who then ingest another 30 or so particles from a plant failure, and then another few because they eat spinach every day, and then another few from living in a house or area with high radon...

          I guess the inherent vagaries of statistics is one reason I wouldn't give my children, if they are ill, low doses of radioactive material, or arsenic, or strychnine, even though there might be statistical evidence showing they could help. You wouldn't, right?

          The rerowland link seemed to show that, in the small population of radium painters examined, the incidence of early death from cancer was 14% higher. Do you know if there are any studies of the same population which showed miscarriages, deformities in birthed children and embryos, etc.

          Also, in these studies, are immune system issues raised? Surely one can have a damaged system which lets you succumb to a bad flu long before you develop cancer.

          Statistics are fun, and in the absence of actual observation people are stuck with them. Though if they really worked invariably in the world of actual events, nobody would ever bet on a losing horse or sports team.

          Speaking of which: can you with full confidence predict that we will have no Fukushima scale, or worse, events in the next 10 years. Or even "no more than one"? So far the stats say we get them once every 25 years or so. As a matter of fact, in this whole comment, that's really the one part I'd love to see somebody address without hesitation: "There is no chance whatsoever that we'll have another Fukushima. Or two, or three."

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:48:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This daily dribbling of grim news (14+ / 0-)

    from Fukushima is incredible.   And it seems as if it will continue to get worse and worse.  Gives new meaning to the phrase: Death by a thousand cuts.

    When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.- -John Muir, naturalist

    by miriam on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 01:39:07 PM PDT

  •  Interesting article (8+ / 0-)

    in today's NY Times about the resistance to nuclear power in India.

    I'm afraid it tells us what we're in for here in America.

    When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.- -John Muir, naturalist

    by miriam on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 01:45:30 PM PDT

    •  India's choices are ridiculously limited.... (0+ / 0-)

      stable continous power seems to be necessity...........or not.....maybe they can get it from the sun.

    •  I'm afraid nuclear power companies, and deep water (8+ / 0-)

      drillers for oil and gas and Wall Street speculators will just have to get used to a bit more resistence than they've had for the last 20 years.

      Maybe if that resistence had been there in both the public an govt officials all along, we wouldn't have had this still-unfolding Fukushima disaster, or the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, or the financial meltdown that through us into a near-depression.

      But we didn't so there was.

      And those on the other side of this equation had best not take on airs of being 'oh so burdened' by it all.

      There's worse things that stiffer regulations.  

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:23:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The diary seems to be about companies bidding (0+ / 0-)

    on decommisioning contracts for Fukushima.....why this is a bad thing is totally lost on me.

  •  That does it. (0+ / 0-)

    No future nuclear power plants should be built, and the existing ones should be closed, until somebody comes up with a design that ensures they are resistant to asteroid impacts.

    Those who insist they must be prepared for EVERYTHING have simply been thinking too small.  And until power plants are 100% safe, transportation by bicycle should be the only allowed means.

    Wait!  Bicycle riding results in many injuries, and even some deaths.  I guess that's no option either.



    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 03:16:10 PM PDT

    •  Stop lying to the public and you'll go (12+ / 0-)

      a long way. Get the industry to stop lying to itself and you'll go further. Was the Challenger disaster predicted? Yes. Were engineers concerns overridden? Yes. In that case, the risks were borne by individuals who trusted those in charge and were there voluntarily. In this case, people are not necessarily in harms way voluntarily. Perhaps we're quicker to forgive older forms of injury and death.  Quick and less long term damage. Maybe in 100 years, if we're still around, we'll be used to reactor accidents, deaths, contaminated ground and the automatic earth.

      "The people I distrust the most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action" Frank Herbert

      by the fan man on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 03:30:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Safety Concerns Often Amount to Status Quo... (13+ / 0-) at U.S. Nuclear Industry's Aging Reactors.

      Leaks, burst cooling pipes, faulty controls, misplaced fuel rods and engineers' warnings about design flaws have done little to slow down approvals for continued operation of the nation's aging nuclear plants..

      These reactors also face a more insidious threat: age. Concrete, pumps, pipes and wiring face a daily load of some combination of high temperatures and pressures, vibration and—unique to nuclear infrastructure—bombardment with the neutrons thrown off by splitting atoms...In fact, the NRC has shown that the stainless steel surrounding the reactor cores in boiling-water reactors degrades over time. Cracks also form at welds or joints...

      Plus, parts fail: In the 1970s and 1980s, nuclear power plants endured a rash of steam-filled tubes bursting as a result of a faulty alloy...Leaks have released radioactive hydrogen—tritium—into the environment at reactors from Vermont to Illinois...

      The U.S. has endured a slew of "near misses" in recent years...And in 2010, alone, the NRC launched 14 investigations into safety-related issues at U.S. nuclear plants. "Many of these significant events occurred because reactor owners, and often the NRC, tolerated known safety problems," wrote David Lochbaum a nuclear engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists..

      A March 23, 2011 the NRC's Inspector General reported that in U.S. nuclear plants not reporting equipment defects...

      More than a quarter of U.S. nuclear plant operators have failed to properly tell regulators about equipment defects that could imperil reactor safety...

      Operators of U.S. nuclear power plants are supposed to tell the NRC when pieces of equipment “contain defects that could create a substantial safety hazard,”...

      ...Separately, an employee for a subcontractor working at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant has been charged with lying about power system inspections, the Associated Press reported Thursday...

      Is it really so unreasonable for citizens, especially citizens living in close proximity to nuclear plants, expect that the industry address known safety issues in existing facilities?  Is really so unreasonable to expect adherence to existing safety standards by the industry?  What's wrong with people demanding a high standard of compliance?  When the potential consequences to themselves and their families as a result of equipment failures, faulty equipment, and/or lax adherence to safety regulations, could be very serious, isn't it understandable that people want the industry and the regulators to practice the highest degree of professionalism and to seriously, effectively and quickly address known safety issues?  

      Wouldn't insisting that the industry be given a green light to expand, despite currently having possible unresolved safety issues in several of the nation's existing nuclear plants, be just a wee bit irresponsible?  

    •  Asteroid (13+ / 0-)

      Yes, because the probability of a tsunami in Japan and the probability of a multi-state power grid blackout in the USA are both exactly equivalent to the probability of an asteroid strike.

      But, y'know, to put your argument in the appropriate science-fictional context, if I were building, say, a black hole power plant on Jupiter, and it were resistant to everything except a comet impact... but if a Shoemaker-Levy II happened it would make the sun go supernova... I'd be a little cautious about the risks associated with that too.

      We seem to be really bad at underestimating disruptive events, and the universe usually takes "that can't ever happen here" as a personal challenge.

    •  Who needs asteroids... (10+ / 0-)

      ... when you have assholes who care more about profit than safety in charge of developing nuclear energy.

      And, besides, I read somewhere that dinosaurs were mocking the threat of asteroids, and look what happened to them.

      No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

      by Magster on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 09:19:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One more totally forseeable even that (7+ / 0-)

      "couldn't have been forseen".

      Another wholly predictable outcome, that "no one could have predicted."

      For industrial giants with the all-seeing eyes of the smartest guys in the room, they're a pretty stupid and near-sighted bunch (right up there with BP and Wall Street Greedsters.)

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 11:34:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Toshiba is only one of the manufacturers (16+ / 0-)

    of the Fukushima plant, and they are giving us happy talk.

    For another view, read this article about what the President of Hitachi said. Hitachi (with GE) is the other manufacturer.

    Here are a few of paragraphs:

    The president of electric giant Hitachi Ltd. said it will take a year or more to cool down and stabilize the troubled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, while revealing that the company will review its nuclear power business plans.

    "It will take a year, or even longer, to at least cool down (the reactors) because part of the nuclear fuel has been damaged," Hitachi President Hiroaki Nakanishi said during a joint press interview on April 6.


    Regarding the attempts to cool down the reactors, the president said, "It will be time-consuming as we are saddled with such technical problems as how to dispose of the damaged fuel."

    "We've been looking into how to deal with the problems with the help of knowledge from overseas," he said, indicating that the company has begun drawing up schemes to decommission the damaged reactors in collaboration with General Electric and other entities.

  •  SFP #4 nuclide analysis (18+ / 0-)

    Nuclide analysis of water sample taken from Spent Fuel Pool #4.

    TEPCO Press Release
    (Apr 14,2011)The result of the analysis of the water in the spent fuel pool of Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

    PDF Exhibit

    The result of the analysis of the water in the spent fuel pool of Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station(PDF 8.85KB)


    The result of the analysis of the water in the spent fuel pool of Unit 4 of
    Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

    -Date of collection: April 12th, 2011
    -Date of analysis: April 13th, 2011

    The result of the analysis

    Mainly detected nuclides [half-life] Density (Bq/cm3)
    Cesium 134 Approx. 2years 88
    Cesium 137 Approx. 30years 93
    Iodine 131 Approx. 8 days 220
    *Reference: the result of a nuclide analysis of the water in the spent fuel pool of Unit4 conducted on March 4th 2011
    Mainly detected nuclides [half-life] Density (Bq/cm3)
    Cesium 134 Approx. 2years Below detection limit
    Cesium 137 Approx. 30years 0.13
    Iodine 131 Approx. 8 days Below detection limit
    -Related date to the collection
        The temperature of the water in the pool: Approx. 90°C
        The airborne radiation around the pool: tens of mSv per hour※

      ※Although it was valued "Approx. 84 mSv" on April 13, 2011, that
        value was turned out an accumulated value, not an instantaneous
        value. The value will be reanalyzed, accordingly.

  •  Fukushima Workers Urged to Bank Stem Cells (14+ / 0-)

    I know we saw an article like this in the past, but it didn't actually urge the workers to bank their stem cells; it offered them a choice to. This indicates that leukemia is expected for many workers.

    Workers at the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant should bank their own healthy stem cells as a contingency for autologous transplantation in the event of dangerous radiation exposure, Japanese cancer specialists have proposed.


    Representatives of Japan's nuclear power industry "seem reluctant to admit the seriousness of the problem to protect the industry's reputation as much as possible." However, the authors of the letter insist that their proposal is in the best interests of power-plant workers and the industry.

    "The most important mission is to save the nuclear workers' lives and to protect the local communities," Tanimoto and coauthors wrote.

    "Such an approach would be the industry's best defense. If a fatal accident happened to the nuclear workers, the nuclear power industry of Japan would collapse."

    •  I think (10+ / 0-)

      it's time to consider a new line of work when they start asking if you want to bank stem cells. . .

      Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

      by Gilmore on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:09:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  leukemia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The three workers who stepped in the radioactive water are at risk.  One might get cancer.   The two dozen workers who got between 100-200mSv have a risk of cancers of 1-2% by inflated LNT model.    Less than one cancer between them.    The rest have gotten less than 100mSv and have less than a 1% chance by the inflated LNT model and the real risk is likely 0%.     So you are looking at a likelyhood of 1 cancer out of all of the workers (beyond their normal cancer rate), baring any serious accidents.    So, no, cancer should not be expected for many of them baring accidents.

      Stem cells are a treatment option, not a prevention measure and you are still exposed to harmful chemotherapy and high dose radiation therapy.

      Keeping the dose and dose rate low, giving the body time to recover between exposure shifts, and taking large doses of vitamin D are prevention measures.

      Banking stem cells might be a good idea, in case all else fails.

  •  Shiitake mushrooms test radioaction + (15+ / 0-)

    Mushrooms, in general, are a tremendous "sponge" for radiation... this is not surprising, but troubling in that these are a foraged product, and thus not always tested through the mass markets. Also, the high levels of Iodine are curious, given Iodine-131's short half life...

    Subject to the ban are shiitake harvested outdoors on logs in the cities of Date, Soma, Minamisoma, Tamura, Iwaki, and the towns of Shinchi, Kawamata, Namie, Futaba, Okuma, Tomioka, Naraha, Hirono as well as the villages of Iitate, Katsurao and Kawauchi.


    A test Sunday found 12,000 becquerels per kg of radioactive iodine and 13,000 becquerels per kg of cesium in shiitake harvested in Iitate. The figure is well above the legal limit of 2,000 becquerels for radioactive iodine and 500 becquerels for cesium.

    Shiitake in Iwaki was found to have 3,100 becquerels of radioactive iodine and 890 becquerels of cesium.

    Those are incredibly high numbers, obviously. Why might the Iodine levels be so high in these?

    •  Also of note is that many of these towns (14+ / 0-)

      are definitely outside of the evacuation zone.

    •  More on the contaminated food bans (10+ / 0-)

      excerpted (info in the link about milk and tomatoes as well):

      "I can't believe radiation contamination has been so wide-ranging," (Yoshishige Suzuki, president of JA Soma, which oversees shiitake farmers in Shinchimachi and Iitatemura) said.

      "We're happy [to follow the government request] to voluntarily refrain from shipment or any other restrictions. But we need sufficient compensation in exchange," he said. "We want consumers to support us to protect the farming sector."

      A Date farmer who grows shiitake in greenhouses said, "Products cultivated in greenhouses aren't directly linked to the detection of radiation, but we'd like to voluntarily check radiation levels on shiitake in greenhouses with dosimeters."

      He also expressed concern, saying: "Ordinary consumers don't distinguish between shiitake grown outside and those cultivated in greenhouses. The day might come when nobody will buy our shiitake."

      One problem with the statement from that farmer in Date; dosimeters don't accurately measure all forms of radioactive contamination in food -- I posted a link about this in the last ROV or the one prior. So those dosimeter checks would be insufficient to confirm whether or not produce was contaminated. China first raised this complaint, I believe.

      •  Dosimeters (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, peraspera, rja, Siri
        dosimeters don't accurately measure all forms of radioactive contamination in food

        I think that's the scariest thing I've learned during this incident. Most of the rest I knew, at least roughly.

        I'm kind of dumbfounded actually. I was figuring that the bad produce could be, if not cheaply, at least reliably screened out.

        If it can't be, there really seems to be no rational reason for anyone who wants to avoid radiation to import Japanese food for the next 300 years. Because you can't be sure, and there will be ample opportunity for systemic cheating.

        Next question, and it's a serious one: what exactly would be the health consequences of eating contaminated spinach or shitake? (let's say cesium, assuming the leak gets plugged and the iodine gets sorted out)

        Exactly how screwed would we be from cesium ingestion at the levels currently seen in Fukushima province? eg how many years would it drop off my life expectancy per mushroom eaten?

        •  So no idea about some of your thoughts (10+ / 0-)

          but I feel you on being dumbfounded... we were talking about the geiger counters the other day (for those just tuning in)...

          So far, the contaminants are mainly Cesium and Iodine, but there was Strontium in one food item as well. Cesium and Strontium both have half-lives of around 30 years (at least in the isotope form under primary discussion). So maybe not 300 years. Unless the plant continues to leak, of course.

          The health consequences depend on which model of cancer acquisition you subscribe to. They're in contest. There is one called the LNT (linear-no-threshold) model. This model is described here:

          It says that cancer exposure increases somewhat proportionately in relation to the amount of a carcinogenic substance you are exposed to. You can scroll down on that link to get a gist of both sides of this particular Scientific debate.

          So, one thing that makes some of this difficult is that there is not any full Scientific consensus about "how bad" some of this stuff is. Thus said, the EPA guidelines for Cesium-137 are here:

          How can cesium-137 affect people's health?

          Like all radionuclides, exposure to radiation from cesium-137 results in increased risk of cancer. Everyone is exposed to very small amounts of cesium-137 in soil and water as a result of atmospheric fallout. Exposure to waste materials, from contaminated sites, or from nuclear accidents can result in cancer risks much higher than typical environmental exposures.

          This epa document gives a little more detail:

          Based on experimentation with ionizing radiation and human epidemiology, exposure to radiation from cesium-137 can result in malignant tumors and shortening of life.

          But how much will it take to acquire cancer? No one really knows, to the very best of my understanding. Thus said, the limits set in the EU were around 100 becquerels/Cesium, if I recall, although they were placed at a higher rate of around 500 becquerels/Cesium (for most food items) in Japan... rates which are high, IMHO. These shiitakes are measuring really high, however, and while initially one might think, "Oh, no one ever eats all that much shiitake at once," actually, they're widely used in pretty condensed quantities for medicinal purposes and also broths and such. I know that I cook with shiitakes all the time, and generally, might use a half pound to even a pound for one person if I'm making soup. So here too, it would vary with consumption, body size, etc...

          But most people do avoid consuming carcinogenic/ mutagenic substances (actually, I'm not sure if Cesium-137 is mutagenic, but am presuming so, although it's a beta particle emitter, so not 100% here).

          I know I haven't answered your question, because I don't have an answer. And that really troubles me. The only comparison we have is for Chernobyl, really. But that's still not comparable because it wasn't as densely populated, it is reported that there is more Cesium at Fukushima, and so forth. This is really all kind of new.

          And that is only one nuclide and one food. There are others as well. They add up cumulatively.

          •  Ionizing radiation (5+ / 0-)

            of any form, is mutagenic - alpha, beta, gamma, neutron it doesn't matter.

            The difficulty in detection mainly comes from alpha emitters.  Because alpha radiation can be blocked by a sheet of paper, if it is located inside meat or fish for example, you can't wave a geiger counter over and detect any radiation.

            Beta and gamma radiation require increasing amounts of shielding, so detection is not as difficult.

            Most (all?) of the fission products that are generally worried about (Sr-90, I-131, Cs-137) are beta or gamma emitters - they can be relatively easily detected and screened.

            Plutonium and some uranium isotopes are alpha emitters.

            The health question is of course a more difficult one to answer.  If we take the LNT model, exposure to 100 mSv will raise your cancer risk by 0.5%.  Converting from something like Bq (a measure of radioactive decay) to Sv (a measure of the radiation dose one has received) is quite complicated, and is influenced by the type of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma; by the way, this is why alpha radiation is dangerous, alpha has a weighting factor of 20, so its 20x worse than absorbing a similar amount of beta radiation), where it is absorbed, etc.

            I was led from wikipedia to this article about consumption of mushrooms following Chernobyl.

            The contribution to the effective dose for a person, consuming 10 kg (fresh weight) of X. badius and X. chrysenteron with high mean levels 10 and 2.2 kBq kg−1 DM of 137Cs and 134Cs, respectively, was estimated to about 0.2 mSv per year, which was about 20% of the natural background burden in Czechoslovakia (28 J. Klán, Z. Řanda, J. Benada and J. Horyna, Investigation of non-radioactive Rb, Cs, and radiocaesium in higher fungi, Česká Mykologie 42 (1988), pp. 158–169.Klán, Řanda, Benada, & Horyna, 1988).

            The radioactivity in the mushrooms they report are roughly equivalent to what is being reported in Japan, so eating 1 kg of these radioactive mushrooms would result in a dose of 20 microSv.  Based on the LNT model, this would result in an increase in your risk of developing cancer by .0001%.

            Another way to look at this would be to compare it to bananas.  If the doses from the page on wikipedia are correct, 1 kg of these radioactive mushrooms would give you the same dose as 200 bananas (give or take 40 kg).

            •  Doesn't it depend on your body weight? (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rja, toys, Joieau, mattman, raoul78

              Obviously, consumption varies with body weight. I think I'm always highly conscious of this because I'm a "kid-sized" person... about 95 lbs, so whenever any medication is administered to me, for example, even though I fall technically into the "adult" category, my actual dosage administration for anything falls into the "age 6--12" category. This is the same as for my child, who is equally petite. The other question I would have is how much can we quantify cancer risks from limited data? It's always been my understanding that the Scientific community had some reluctance about this kind of assessment simply because of a lack of verifiable data, studies, etc...

              I'm appreciative of your information! Please don't misread my questions to imply otherwise. These are just questions which immediately arise in response to the information which you've taken the time to present in such a gracious, thorough fashion. Thank you for particularly explaining the issue with alpha emitters. I had read that Cesium was a beta emitter and wasn't sure if this made it subsequently carcinogenic, but not mutagenic, which does seem to be the case. It's hard for me to understand how the two are distinct with radiation, but I keep reading that these are. I will dig more deeply into the medical literature here as well, although most of what I see is "not enough data" type information.

              They have not yet tested the soil or produce from Uranium. As you can see from the article linked to, however, there were concerns with the screening of produce despite that. The article isn't necessarily clear about why, but it discussed Iodine, primarily, in fish and water...

              They have, of course, found Plutonium in the soil near Fukushima, as well as in the sea water:


              Japan's own nuclear safety agency was concerned at the plutonium samples, whose levels of radioactive decay ranged from 0.18 to 0.54 becquerels per kg.

              "While it's not the level harmful to human health, I am not optimistic. This means the containment mechanism is being breached so I think the situation is worrisome," agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama was quoted as saying by Jiji news agency.

              So perhaps that is the concern in the Bloomberg article. And I believe the other concerns with Cesium come from the cancer rates in Western European nations which the EPA and PubMED have information on. Laid out in old Wiki (and I hate Wiki, but it's good to see how an issue might be controversial or have conflicting data; I say this as someone who teaches research skills and methods at the Uni Level -- just taught a course on this yesterday and was very much maligning Wiki, however, it's not a bad way to take the pulse of a controversy)...


              Scroll down to "Long term health effects" and you can see "The issue of long-term effects of the Chernobyl disaster on civilians is very controversial," and then a longer outline about why, including "Epidemiological studies have been hampered in the former Soviet Union by a lack of funds, an infrastructure with little or no experience in chronic disease epidemiology, poor communication facilities and an immediate public health problem with many dimensions. Emphasis has been placed on screening rather than on well-designed epidemiological studies. International efforts to organize epidemiological studies have been slowed by some of the same factors, especially the lack of a suitable scientific infrastructure. Furthermore, the political nature of nuclear energy may have affected scientific studies. In Belarus, Yury Bandazhevsky, a scientist who questioned the official estimates of Chernobyl's consequences and the relevancy of the official maximum limit of 1,000 Bq/kg, was imprisoned from 2001 to 2005. Bandazhevsky and some human rights groups allege his imprisonment was a reprisal for his publication of reports critical of the official research being conducted into the Chernobyl incident."

              Of particular note to me there is the criticism of the widely published figure of cancer from Chernobyl fallout of 4,000ish, which apparently does NOT take into account regions outside of THAT evacuation zone. Of course, with populations absolutely affected as far away as Norway and Ireland and Finland, that seems like a reasonable criticism. The New York Academy of Sciences estimate was a vastly higher rate of 985,000 deaths.

              Higher estimates show levels of this nature:

              Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment is an English translation of the 2007 Russian publication Chernobyl. It was published online in 2009 by the New York Academy of Sciences in their Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. It presents an analysis of scientific literature and concludes that medical records between 1986, the year of the accident, and 2004 reflect 985,000 deaths as a result of the radioactivity released.

              Ultimately, this stands out to me, since it gets back to my primary reaction to the data above: "...estimates of the ultimate human impact of the disaster have relied on numerical models of the effects of radiation on health. Furthermore, the effects of low-level radiation on human health are not well understood, and so the models used, notably the linear no threshold model, are open to question."

              It's an interesting topic. I will try to do some more research on this topic soon.

              •  and a related anecdote (4+ / 0-)
                But most experts say that the true emissions from Chernobyl were 1.5 to 2.5 times as high as the Soviet Union acknowledged. Mr. Nishiyama’s agency appears to have assumed that true emissions from Chernobyl were twice the official figure, and so calculated that the current nuclear accident had released 10 percent as much as Chernobyl.


                and this story is sure to repeat soon.

              •  Certainly no offense taken (0+ / 0-)

                and I'm sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

                To your first question - the calculations for equivalent dose are (at least as I understand) quite difficult.  The Sv itself has a mass component (it is J/kg), so indeed one would assume that more radiation to a smaller person would have a larger effect (absorbing more energy in less mass).

                I don't know if this simplistic example holds in the real world or not - when I have irradiated tissues, I have never measured them, but the radiooncologists have always been able to give me a dose despite of this.

                Short answer, I have no clue:)

                For the second question, the answer is also that we don't really know, but there is a model that can be applied in this situation (the LNT model).  Whether this accurately reflects what happens in the real world is a matter of a great deal of debate.  I may be somewhat flippant about applying this model, but it is the only one we have.  

                Ionizing radiation is at first mutagenic - it damages DNA, and that makes it also carcinogenic; all forms of ionizing radiation are mutagenic.  Interestingly, there are carcinogens that are not mutagens - alcohol and estrogen are two examples according to wikipedia.  

                Chernobyl is a tricky issue, and there is again a lot of controversy.  The official line is the oft-cited 4,000 deaths, with numbers ranging as high as 1,000,000.  
                With regards to that study in particular, from the NYAS (emphasis mine):

                The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences issue “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment”, therefore, does not present new, unpublished work, nor is it a work commissioned by the New York Academy of Sciences. The expressed views of the authors, or by advocacy groups or individuals with specific opinions about the Annals Chernobyl volume, are their own. Although the New York Academy of Sciences believes it has a responsibility to provide open forums for discussion of scientific questions, the Academy has no intent to influence legislation by providing such forums. The Academy is committed to publishing content deemed scientifically valid by the general scientific community, from whom the Academy carefully monitors feedback.

                It is not a peer reviewed study, though it is a review of primary Russian literature that I assume is/was peer reviewed at some point.  Further, the study was initiated by Greenpeace, which makes me more skeptical than those of the WHO, IAEA, and UNESCAR (though others find the work of WHO, IAEA, and UNESCAR to be more skeptical than those from Greenpeace).

                One of the major difficulties in studying Chernobyl, or other events such as Nagasaki and Hiroshima, is that the health effects have been observed after the fact, and then extrapolated onto the best estimated doses available - and that part is the key; not many people were wearing dosimeters to get accurate assessments of dose.

                When a number is given in Sv, the LNT model provides a very simple calculation for determining increased cancer risk which is .05/Sv, or, after receiving 1 Sv, you have increased your risk of cancer by 5%.  It then falls linearly from there in the LNT model.  

                To provide some sort of conclusion:
                We don't know the actual effect of low dose radiation on human health, but we do have a model that can be applied.

                Hopefully this was useful?

  •  METI Twitter feed (9+ / 0-)

    Some of you might already know about this, but I wanted to share for anyone who didn't. METI has a twitter feed in English.

    I found it while trying to wend my way through their rather dense site.

  •  added to MO updates to news sources plus (6+ / 0-)

    added a few items to the newsfeed gleaned from comments section....

  •  Japan thanks the international community (11+ / 0-)

    Japan seems to always be one of the first countries to step forward to help others in times of horrific disasters but, in the past, the Japanese have seemingly been reluctant to accept help from outsiders in their times of need. With this last horrible earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster Japan has accepted international help and is now graciously expressing their thanks for it.

    I hope this change of heart about accepting assistance extends to listening to the advice of the international nuclear experts who have come to Japan to help.

    Japan's parliament shows appreciation for overseas help after quake | Kyodo News

    April 15

    Japanese parliamentarians adopted a resolution Friday expressing gratitude to the international community for providing strong support since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the country's northeastern region on March 11.

    ''The support has been a source of hope not just for the victims but all people in Japan,'' said the resolution, adopted unanimously by the House of Councillors.

    Major Japan daily publishes 1-page special in thanks for foreign aid | Kyodo News

    April 15

    The Mainichi Shimbun, a major Japanese national daily, published in its morning edition Friday a one-page special expressing gratitude for foreign aid since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

    Japan eternally grateful for international support following disaster - The Mainichi Daily News

    Japan eternally grateful for international support following disaster

    Kenji Miyazawa, a poet and author of children's books, was born in Iwate Prefecture in 1896, the year when the Meiji Sanriku earthquake and tsunami hit, and died at the age of 37 in 1933, the year the Showa Sanriku earthquake and tsunami struck.

    Miyazawa loved the Tohoku region and heaped infinite love on his poor and humble countrymen and women.

    In his masterpiece "Night on the Milky Way Train," Giovanni, the lead character of the book, lowers his head and murmurs, "What should I do for the sake of that person's happiness."

    Many people from around the world have supported Japan since the Great East Japan Earthquake. The U.S. military implemented "Operation Tomodachi," a mission in which 20,000 personnel delivered supplies and engaged in search and rescue efforts. Other foreigners provided materials such as canned food and underwear for people at shelters.

    Foreign governments were not alone in providing support and offered words of encouragement. Kenyan girls sang a song together mourning the victims of the tsunami. Nurse and nursing care candidates in Jakarta donated 140,000 yen out of their own pockets despite their less well-off lives.

    We want to say a big thank you to the numerous tender-hearted Giovannis who sympathized with disaster victims and did all these things for the sake of their happiness. We will not forget your acts of kindness.

  •  New Diary on Fukushima by FishOutofWater (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, peraspera, Siri, DRo, kurious, ricklewsive
  •  Waste Facility holds 30,000 tons of liquid (10+ / 0-)

    After pumping out 660 tons of highly radioactive water to the #2 condenser tank, they still have about 60,000 tons to go.  I was wondering how much the Centralized Radiation Waste Treatment Facility could hold and found this Kyodo News article

    TOKYO, April 15, Kyodo
    A total of around 60,000 tons of contaminated water is believed to be flooding the basements of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings as well as trenches connected to them, and the water is hampering work to restore the cooling functions of the reactors lost since the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
    TEPCO is preparing to transfer more of the highly radioactive water into a facility for nuclear waste disposal at the plant, which can accommodate 30,000 tons of liquid.

    Work is under way to ensure that the facility will be able to contain highly radioactive water safely without fear of the stored liquid leaking outside, but Nishiyama told the press conference that he was not sure when it would end.

    Hidehiko Nishiyama is the TEPCO spokesperson

    Groundwater radiation level at nuke plant rises: TEPCO

    •  Yep. Need more tanks. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 10:40:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep thinking they should put it into smaller (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, rja, Siri

        storage containers so that they can 1. transport it easily to a cleaning facility more readily and 2. if there is any further breach or leak of these for any reason, less radioactive material would be released. This just makes sense to me, but maybe it's an ineffective idea for some reason I'm not considering.

        •  Smaller presents it's own set of problems (5+ / 0-)

          IIRC the amount of water needing to be dealt with is about 66,000 metric tons. Each ton comes out to about 264 gallons, so they are talking over 17 million gallons of water.

          This would mean 316,000 drums at 55gal/drum. A tanker truck can have a capacity up to 9,000 gallons so they would need the equivalent of almost 1,900 tankers.

          Plus filling these smaller capacity units would require people be in close contact to the water manipulating lines and such. No doubt there would be plenty of spillage and exposure for the workers not to mention take forever.

          In terms of a ship they would require at least one LR1 ( large range 1 - capacity 45,000–79,999 DWT ) tanker to handle it. But then what does one do with a tanker full of this water? No one will want it in their shipping lane or near their shore, and they can't just anchor it near shore with typhoon season coming. The worst place for a ship is near shore. They're built to float but will break up if grounded.

          Another way of looking at the scale is if a reactor is being fed 7 tons of water per hour and the water is not staying put, they are putting in and probably getting out 44,000 gallons of water per day. This will fill almost 9 tank trucks per day per reactor.

          On site huge capacity is about the only way to go.

          Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

          by ricklewsive on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  same problem as twin engine plane: more to fail (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja, Just Bob, mahakali overdrive

          Yes, if they put the deadly radioactive waste water into tanker trucks they could drive it over broken roads to another facility, but the usual method for this waste has been to store it on site and treat it there since, with transport, you are adding huge variables to the safety margin.  

          If one of these trucks were to jackknife and spill, it would contaminate another area and create yet another evacuation zone.  

          If the multiple smaller tanks are kept on site, well then you have more containers that can spring a leak.  A small leak of this deadly water creates almost as much of a practical problem as a large leak - either way you can't sent humans in to deal with it.  Remember the workers who got their feet wet...  and were hospitalized immediately.  

  •  19 1/2 hours to pump 660 tons of liquid (10+ / 0-)

    JAIF page 5

    April 12th:
    19:35 Transfer of highly radioactively contaminated water accumulated inside concrete tunnel outside the turbine building to the condenser started at Unit 2
    Apr. 13th:
    15:02 Transfer of highly radioactively contaminated water accumulated inside concrete tunnel was stopped at Unit 2. About 660 tons of water has been transferred.

    2011-04-14 Reactor Status and Major Events Update 90 - NPPs in Fukushima as of 20:00 PDF(280KB)

    It took 19 hrs 27 min to pump 660 tons of water into the #2 condenser.  That's half the 40 hour estimate TEPCO first made.

    If they pump 60,000 tons at the same rate, then it will take almost 74 days to empty the basement and trench for the first three reactors.

  •  added FOoW's diary to coverage (8+ / 0-)

    updated newsfeed

  •  embassy staff families to return to Japan (10+ / 0-)

    U.S. lets embassy staff families to return to Japan after evacuation

    WASHINGTON, April 15, Kyodo
    The U.S. Department of State on Thursday lifted an advisory to families of U.S. embassy staff in Tokyo to leave Japan voluntarily on the grounds that efforts to control the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture are going well.

    But U.S. citizens are still advised to stay outside the 80-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi plant because ''the situation remains serious, and there is still a possibility of unanticipated developments,'' the department added.

  •  AESJ panel discounts recriticality of damaged fuel (10+ / 0-)

    I hadn't heard about the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) before.

    I wonder if they have a secret handshake.

    Melted nuclear fuel likely settled at bottom of crippled reactors

    TOKYO, April 15, Kyodo
    Nuclear fuel inside the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has partially melted and settled at the bottom of pressure vessels in the shape of grains, according to an analysis by the Atomic Energy Society of Japan made public by Friday.

    The academic body's panel on nuclear energy safety has said the melted fuel at the No. 1 to 3 reactors has been kept at a relatively low temperature, discounting the possibility that a large amount of melted fuel has already built up at the bottom of their reactor vessels given the temperature readings there.
    The panel has also said that the fuel grains with a diameter of between several millimeters and 1 centimeter are believed to have settled flatly at the bottom of the vessels, leaving almost no possibility of a nuclear chain reaction called ''recriticality."

    Also in that article:

    TEPCO said it will throw sandbags containing zeolite, a mineral that absorbs radioactive material, into the sea near the plant to reduce the levels of contamination in the seawater.
  •  Government orders TEPCO to compensate evacuees (9+ / 0-)

    It doesn't seem like very much, even as an initial payment, considering what horrible uncertainty faces these victims. Farmers and fishers got bupkis.
    Tokyo Power to Compensate 50,000 Evacuees -

    April 15, 2011

    TOKYO — The Tokyo Electric Power Company announced plans on Friday to distribute 50 billion yen, or $600 million, in initial payments to 50,000 people evacuated because of the accident at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as technicians continued to struggle to repair cooling and electrical systems at the damaged reactors.

    Masatake Shimizu, the company’s president, said that single-person households would receive about $9,000 and larger households would receive about $12,000. Only people who live in a radius of 19 miles of the damaged power plant that was initially evacuated will be eligible for the payments.

    The government ordered on Monday the evacuation in the coming month of five more communities that lie farther from the stricken power plant but received higher levels of radiation than elsewhere because of wind and rain patterns. Once residents of these communities have been certified by the government as also qualifying as victims of a nuclear disaster, Tokyo Electric Power will also make the same payments to them, Mr. Shimizu said; power company officials had no immediate statistic for how many more people might qualify from these communities.
    No decision has been made yet on possible compensation to farmers and fishermen who may have lost their livelihoods at least temporarily because of the nuclear accident.

  •  AES - melted fuel likely at the bottom of #1 & #3 (11+ / 0-)

    The statement about the panel making their conclusions based on publicly available information implies that there is data concerning the plant's condition that is not being released publicly. It will be interesting to see if independent nuclear experts agree with AES based on publicly available data.

    It looks like they are back to square one with the water levels in the trench with highly radiated water. The need for more capacity to pump and store that water seems more than a little urgent.

    Melted nuclear fuel likely settled at bottom of crippled reactors | Kyodo News

    15 Apr 2011 14:32

    Nuclear fuel inside the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has partially melted and settled at the bottom of pressure vessels in the shape of grains, according to an analysis by the Atomic Energy Society of Japan made public by Friday.

    The academic body's panel on nuclear energy safety has said the melted fuel at the No. 1 to 3 reactors has been kept at a relatively low temperature, discounting the possibility that a large amount of melted fuel has already built up at the bottom of their reactor vessels given the temperature readings there.

    A large buildup of melted nuclear fuel at the bottom could become a molten mass so hot that it could damage the critical containers and eventually leak huge amounts of radioactive material.

    The panel has also said that the fuel grains with a diameter of between several millimeters and 1 centimeter are believed to have settled flatly at the bottom of the vessels, leaving almost no possibility of a nuclear chain reaction called ''recriticality.''

    Takashi Sawada, deputy chairman of the group, gave the assessment that even if the current stabilization efforts proceed smoothly, it would take at least two to three months for the fuel to be stabilized with few if any radioactive emissions.

    The panel also found that the fuel rods in the No. 1 to 3 reactors have been damaged after analyzing information made public by the plant operator Tokyo Electric Poser Co. and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

    The panel has presumed that the fuel has slowly melted and become grain shaped as it was quenched when it fell into the cooling water and then settled down at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessels.

    Parts of the fuel rods in the No. 1 and 2 reactors have apparently been exposed, while those in the No. 3 reactor have been completely submerged in water, according to the panel.

    Meanwhile, small amounts of plutonium believed to have been released as a result of the ongoing disaster have been detected in soil samples taken at the nuclear complex in Fukushima Prefecture, the plant operator known as TEPCO said.

    It is the third time that traces of plutonium have been found in soil samples taken at the plant. The latest samples were taken on March 31 and April 4. The levels of plutonium in them were about the same levels observed in Japan following previous nuclear tests elsewhere, according to the utility.
    The operation resulted in a lower water level in the vertical part of the tunnel, but the agency said that as of Friday morning the level had risen back to the same level as before the water transfer started on Tuesday.

    •  All part of this nutritious breakfast, apparently (9+ / 0-)

      So much wrong here:  where to begin?

      "melted and settled to the bottom in the form of grains" - and this configuration by itself mean WHAT, exactly?  Everything's laying flat, say the Great Karnaks?  BASED ON WHAT?  The power of Greyskull?  Ah, an uncontrolled heat-up of exposed and unexposed fuel rods under pressure melted said rods slowly, resulting in a 'configuration' that renders re-criticality/ongoing fission 'almost impossible'?  I suppose the jam-side never lands down for them, too....

      [the agency asserts that] fuel rods in the No. 1 to 3 reactors have been damaged after analyzing information made public by the plant operator"
      [the agency asserts that] "the fuel rods in the No. 1 and 2 reactors have apparently been exposed, while those in the No. 3 reactor have been completely submerged in water, according to the panel."

      Really?  REALLY???  If rods in ALL three reactors have melted, how did it happen in #3, where the fuel rods were magically never exposed?  And while we're on the subject of wishful thinking presented as "scientific analysis", how has #3 managed to suffer so badly and still keep its rods cool...without any cooling...and without exposing the rods to the air?

      #NOT intended to be a rhetorical question:  is there any theory or real-world experience that suggests that a loss of cooling that continues uninterrupted for days on end WILL NOT expose fuel rods?  Will melt UNexposed fuel rods?  Will create this special-snowflake configuration under both sets of conditions?

      This is not science.  It's not even magic:  without sound foundation in the data - or in established fact, at least - it's pure hand-waving & wishful thinking.

    •  JAIF data seems to directly contradict AESJ (9+ / 0-)

      Their claim that #3 fuel rods have been covered jumps out at me.


      Parts of the fuel rods in the No. 1 and 2 reactors have apparently been exposed, while those in the No. 3 reactor have been completely submerged in water, according to the panel.

      Unless they believe that the top 1.8 to 2.5 meters every one of the #3 fuel rods have crumbled and are at the bottom of the vessel, then I want what they are smoking.


      Water level below top of fuel for Unit 1, 2, and 3

      Reactor Water level (Apr. 15 00:00)
      (A) -1550mm, (B) -1550mm

      Reactor Water level (Apr. 15 00:00)

      Reactor Water level (Apr. 15 00:00)
      (A) -1800mm, (B) -2250mm

      2011-04-15 Reactor Status and Major Events Update 93 - NPPs in Fukushima as of 20:00 April PDF(273KB)

  •  State of the grid (8+ / 0-)

    The persistent peak demand projection is about 60 Gw this summer. Until now the peak capacity estimate from TEPCO has been about 46 Gw.
    Kyodo News from today:

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Friday told the government it will likely be able to increase power supply by 5 million kilowatts this summer by using thermal and pumped-storage hydroelectric plants, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

    The government had estimated that there would be a maximum power shortage of 15 million kw in areas serviced by the company, known as TEPCO, if this summer turns out to be as hot as during last year's record heat wave.

    This is a new high estimate:
    Yahoo Finance from today:

    TEPCO, the main power supplier to the Tokyo region, said the new turbines would boost its capacity to between 50 million and 52 million kilowatts, still well below the nearly 60 million kilowatts of power consumed during peak hot weather days last summer.

    I can't tell which is the real capacity estimate. For those speculating about the waste from vending machines Kyodo had this headline with no article:

    Coca-Cola Japan eyes 33% cut in electricity use by vending machines

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:17:12 AM PDT

  •  Hitachi disputes Toshiba's estimates (7+ / 0-)

    Nuclear Cleanup Plans Hinge on Unknowns

    The widely divergent outlooks underscore the basic uncertainties clouding any forecast for Fukushima: when cooling stems will be restored and radiation emission halted; how soon workers can access some parts of the plant; and how bad the damage to the reactors, their fuel, and nearby stored fuel turns out to be. ...

    A global team led by Hitachi said Thursday that it would take at least three decades to return the site to what engineers refer to as a “green field” state, meaning within legal limits of radiation for any residents. Toshiba, Japan’s biggest supplier of nuclear reactors, said it could take as little as 10 years.

    A Hitachi spokesman in Tokyo, Yuichi Izumisawa, said that the 10-year scenario was overly optimistic. He said that Hitachi’s engineers expect that it will take that long just to remove the nuclear fuel rods from the plant and place them in casks to transport to a safe storage facility.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:28:58 AM PDT

  •  New photos up at (8+ / 0-)

    Mystery of the 400ml sample disclosed: They used the Putzmeister. Ummm, didn't I suggest something similar here?

    •  Putzmiester seems inadequate - illustrations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      These handout photos are a joke, intended to obfuscate and confuse the press.  However if you have been following this situation and you try really hard, you can probably tell that the probe they lowered down did not reach very far into the #4 building.  It's being lowered between the southernmost edge of the building and the fallen green gantry crane.  As near as I can tell, the spent fuel pond is on the OTHER side of the gantry crane.  Remember, the spent fuel pond is adjacent to the reactor, and both are more or less centered in the building.  

      That gantry crane is laying directly across the top of the spent fuel pond, probably.  Great place to park it, TEPCO.  Remember, when not in use, park the family mega-SUV by dangling it over your children's bed at night.

      Slowly, and i do mean slowly, we are learning a little bit about Unit #4.  I keep saying this, but TEPCO only tells the world what it is about to learn from other sources, and then reluctantly and with heavy spin.  

      I've updated my amateur attempts at making sense of these photos and thermography here:

      The two most recent illustrations build upon work done by another Kossak, whom I would like to credit but can't find his name upthread...  sorry.  If my conclusions are alarmist and wrong, I blame TEPCO, who could have easily set the record straight weeks ago.  

      There does seem to be a small possibility that that probe reached the sliver of the pool that is on the outside of the gantry crane - see the missing area of the heat signature and imagine that is where the green gantry crane lies....

      •  I Thought "Putzmiester" Was A Joke ... (5+ / 0-)

        ... until I saw the pics of it.

      •  to ease your mind a bit (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, Wee Mama, Siri, peraspera

        we need a translator -this video is in Japanese - but it does show the collection of the water sample.

        Also, I don't think that green thing is technically the crane itself.  I think it is the separate, but related, fuel mover thingy.  The crane is much taller and sits above the fuel mover.  

        Just to confuse everyone further, I've been googling like mad and reading about #4.  Turns out that the reactor well is not only empty, but almost definitely open.  The shutdown was not just routine refueling/inspection.  They were 3 months into a 10-12 month project to replace the core sheath.  

        There have been previous suggestions that the loss of power will allow the seals on the pool transfer gates to deflate.  If the pool gate seals leak, the water would flow into the reactor well itself.  That in turn might help explain the weird thermography images we keep seeing for #4.  Also consider the shielding provided by the fuel mover being parked directly on top of the pool.

        "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

        by jlynne on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 12:26:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Two simple observations: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, peraspera, mattman

        There is now a camera inside #4. Presumably it has taken more than a publicity still of the Putz.

        That site is a mess. We can sit and analyze the "stability" of this situation in terms of temps and pressures and rad measures and cryptic messages from TEPCO all we want, the place is a mess. Loose stuff is going to keep falling down. Under "loose stuff" I would include walls, beams, that crane.

  •  Anyone thinking about creating the next ROV? (5+ / 0-)

    This one is over 250 comments.

  •  morning, all... (13+ / 0-)

    reads like a whole lot of data emerging that goes jive? and i remember that discussin about the Putzmeister. I was going to highlight it and forgot. Maybe 2 rovs back?

    today's my birthday, team. i'll be in and out...

  •  Video of sampling water in #4 spent fuel pool (12+ / 0-)

    I don't know if this has been mentioned already but TEPCO has released video of sampling water in the spent fuel pool at unit 4 that was done on April 12th.

    Nikkei Shinbun has the video up.

  •  Photographs of units 3 and 4 (8+ / 0-)

    On the 15th TEPCO photographs of units 3 and 4 taken by a camera attached to the Putzmeister.

    The Mainichi Shinbun has a few of the photos up.

    Here is a brief explanation of the photos in the Mainichi slide show (all taken on 4/14).

    1. Reactor building of unit 1
    2. Reactor building of unit 4
    3. Spent fuel pool at unit 3
    4. Another shot of spent fuel pool at unit 3
    5. Temporary storage tank

  •  TBS News video of #4 SFP sample (8+ / 0-)

    I couldn't get the Nikkei Shinbun video to play, so here is another video from TBS News

    TBS News - #4 SFP sampling video

    •  The TBS video shows a few more details (8+ / 0-)

      For those of you who can't view the Nikkei video, the TBS News video show much of the same footage, but cuts out a lot of the "boring" stuff, like watching the water sample container slowly descend into the water and then ascend. A lot of the boring footage actually gives you a clear view of the equipment inside the reactor building, which appears to be in surprisingly good shape.

      One thing the TBS video shows is a shot of what looks like the top of the reactor itself. The Nikkei video does not show that section.

      •  I can see the Nikkei video now (6+ / 0-)

        Must have been the internet connection.

      •  boring= redacted (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, rja, jlynne, peraspera

        If we had one shot that would hold for the length of the operation, we might be able to infer the level of the water in the pool.  The shot from the camera midway up the putz-arm shows the probe being lowered.  If the shot held until the probe stopped moving (out of frame) we'd have an idea of where the water level was.  As it is, when we CUT to the probe in the water, the camera position has changed and it is zoomed all the way in and loses all reference points.  Prior to the zoom in, we see the floor of the green gantry and a sample of the amount of rubble that fell onto it, and of course, a similar amount or more fell into the pool.  

        What is the level of the water?  Thanks TEPCO for not letting us see that "boring" detail.  

        I've pointed out over a week ago that the reactor cap is visible; it has been set aside - it is OFF the reactor, since they were refueling.  It also seems to have a huge hole blown through it, presumably from hydrogen collecting underneath it.  One wonders what the condition of the twin cap in #2 and #3 look like - they are of course sitting above reactors with fuel inside.  

      •  I'd like to see a demolition expert's opinion (3+ / 0-)

        Yes, the green gantry looks okay but everything made of cement and concrete and conduit seems to be pulverized.  

        I remember the hillbilly exhibitions at the racetrack where Dennis Hopper would sit in a chair with dynamite surrounding him  - the center is sort of the eye of the storm when it goes off.   Look what happened to the ceiling, and then imagine what may have happened to the floor.  

        (Hint - the yellow reactor cap has a giant hole in it. )

        Seriously though, I'd trust a demolition expert over a nuclear engineer at this point regarding the condition of the SFP.  

    •  WTF? (4+ / 0-)

      Did they get a maid in?
      Compare the video of the room around the crane to the hi-res photos at cryptome. Something is not right here.

      Also take a look at the somewhat lower res photo of #3 at cryptome. Is that fuzzy pixels or is the crane in the pool?

  •  TEPCO to use decontamination/recirculation systems (10+ / 0-)

    The Yomiuri Shinbun has the story (Japanese).

    TEPCO will be using two new decontamination and recirculating systems with the help of the French firm Areva and Japanese firms. The systems will be used for treating the highly radioactive water that has accumulated in the basements of the turbine rooms at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

    The decontamination system can clean the water to almost a normal level, and they are aiming to begin using the equipment within a few months.

    •  While I'm encouraged that they have (9+ / 0-)

      a plan for the future, I am concerned that they have 60,000 tons of water and only 30,000 tons of storage space available now. Have you heard anything about that floating island or the barge?

      The water they pumped out of trench #2 (660 tons) just the other day, is nearly back to the same level it started at which makes me wonder if the rate of leakage is accelerating since it had dropped by 8cm right after they pumped. It simply had not been rising that fast before.

      Maybe I'm missing it but has there been any additional news on the water removal progress since that 660 tons was pumped out? I don't believe they have a schedule set for #1 and #3's buildings yet.

      The recirculating system seems like a great idea. Just filter that same water and reuse it to cool the reactors and break this vicious cycle. I just wish there was a way to get it all set up faster.

      gtsy John. The vid of #4 is amazing...thanks!

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

      by Siri on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 11:59:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This really is encouraging news (6+ / 0-)

        It has been obvious for some time now that they need to implement a recirculating system to cool the SFP and reactors, instead of just dumping water on them. It is encouraging to see that they are developing concrete plans for constructing a temporary cooling system.

        The discouraging news is that the response is very slow. It will take a lot of time to get the equipment on site, and more time to set if up and get it operating.

        The floating island was supposed to arrive today, but the latest report I saw said it would arrive at the end of April.

      •  Like with BP's magic dispersal fluid.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, peraspera

        Time seems pressing to us, but to a shareholder of TEPCO, the more toxic water dumped into the ocean, the less they have to pay to clean up.  If that sounds cynical, ask a fisherman - in the gulf of mexico OR in japan.  

        It's in their direct financial interest to delay the immediate cleanup of this deadly water.  

  •  Bodies of 21 dead found 7 km from Fukushima plant (10+ / 0-)

    They were found in a village called Ukedo. For some of the back story about Ukedo, see this comment, a translation of a news article about a couple of fishermen who went back to their village about a week ago.

    Today's story is in the Sankei News (Japanese)

    The Fukushima Prefectural Police continued a large-scale search within a 10 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi plant and discovered the bodies of 21 dead (18 were recovered on the 14th and 3 on the 15th).

    According to Prefectural Police about 300 retired firefighters conducted a search about 7 km north of the plant in the fishing village of Ukedo in Namie township. It was difficult to recover the bodies because of the rubble (from the tsunami) and they had to remove debris by hand.

    On the 16th they will use a fire department rescue truck to recover more bodies from the rubble.

  •  Image of estimated spread of radiation in sea (8+ / 0-)

    The Asahi Shinbun (Japanese) has an image of the estimated spread of radiation in the sea, showing where the contamination is now and an estimate of where it will be in one month.

    The caption explains that MEXT did the estimate based on contaminated water that was released into the sea from April 8th to the 11th. The top image shows the estimated location of the contamination now, and the bottom shows it in one month. The red area is contamination above 1/10th the concentration of the water that was released, and the yellow area is between 1/10th and 1/100th.

  •  Last call for new ROV author (8+ / 0-)

    I'll put another one up of noone else can

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