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dragonstar57

Japanese nuclear reactor problems??

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Zirconium will oxidize (burn) underwater.

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Edifying thread to read back from the beginning. It includes comments based on misinformation, good & bad evaluations. Very interesting. Also the fact that SFN members don't seem interested anymore.

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I'm still interested, but since the people taking part in the thread are either a.) already well informed or b.) distinctly unwilling to be sensible I decided to stop posting in the thread and focus on some other forums who are more in need of information.

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I do not consider myself well informed. And I consider that after reading over & over past posts, suposedly well-informed people have made bad assumptions on the event. I see that as a lack of objectivity.

Incident became accident, level 4 was raised to level 5, now upgraded to level 6.

The drama hasn't finished yet.

People are struggling there and they will die.

 

For the politician who will not die, that makes 10070 deaths instead of 10000, not a big difference. And counting that they get 70 heroes they even have a gain in percentage. It is absolutely disgusting.

 

I would suggest to send Tepco's general director work on the site, together with the seismologist who prescripted the maximum magnitude of the resistance of the building, and the one who made prescriptions for 6 meters tsunami (instead of 14m that happened), and the engineers and other consultants or politicians who took the irresponsible decision to choose the emplacement for nuclear plants in seismical region. Because at the moment, no responsible person will die. Only other heroes who feel responsible for a situation in which other people put them. Like war.

 

If those people hear my suggestion, I bet they will raise level to 7 and engrave the plant under tons of concrete at once.

 

What is your actual information?

Edited by michel123456

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I'm not a nuclear physicist, my information is not technical. I speak (moderate) Japanese, so I've been helping out families who have relatives in Japan by directing them to resources and translating them when necessary, and in general trying to convey information to the panicky western online communities faster and more accurately than it gets into the western press.

 

I really do not think any individuals can be held accountable for the nuclear situation. The whole of Japan knows it is seismically unstable, and it is as democratic as any nation on Earth. If the public did not want nuclear reactors, they had a choice in the matter. But they did want them - Japan wanted energy independence; nuclear energy has helped bring prosperity to the nation and security to many. The enormous benefits to the Japanese economy and therefore the people over the last 60 years far outweigh the small cost (in lives and money) of this incident. The workers currently at the plant all knew when they either took the job or volunteered for emergency service that they were putting themselves at risk. There are certain social benefits that go with that (honour, financial and social recognition for your family, personal satisfaction and sense of self-worth), and they chose them.

 

What happened was an unprecedented natural disaster. No responsible person will die because no person is responsible. In general Japan has done extremely well, better than any other nation on Earth, in preparing for and securing itself against such natural disasters. The designers didn't plan for such an event because they thought they had considered the worst possible case. Now we know better, and existing and future plants will be much more secure against an even more unlikely set of extreme circumstances.

 

There are dozens of factories, petrol stations, leisure centres etc. which were wiped out in the tsunami and more people were killed in each one of those than will be killed in the entire nuclear incident. Should the designers of those buildings be killed too? Of course not. Are manufacture, petroleum use, and getting exercise to blame for those deaths? No, it was the massive wave. Let's not start blaming people.

 

In general the effects of this event have been so massively overblown and disproportionately reported. The real story are the massive earthquakes and tsunami, not the resulting nuclear accident which will have a far smaller effect. By far the biggest effect of the nuclear situation will be the fear caused to the Japanese people by the media collaboratively scaremongering, and the damage caused worldwide to nuclear energy because of people's unfounded fears.

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I do not consider myself well informed.

 

And untrained in the field as well, correct? Yet you draw conclusions and make predictions and recommendations. How is that objective?

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They should spend the money and lock it down. I don't know exactly what that involves, but if concrete would work, then do it. Be done with it once and for all. Throw money at it.

 

Otherwise, I suspect the Japanese government will attempt to write it off as a fluke of nature, pay nothing to the families of the deceased, and attempt to act like nothing could be done.

 

I'm not sure if true cost-benefit analysis is being done here.

 

Honestly, I'm not given too much time to evaluate this situation myself. The bane of higher education, sigh.

 

I assume that people have been given well enough time to evacuate and get out of the area, right?

Edited by Genecks

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I am Architect. In a region where earthquakes do happen. if one of my building collapse due to an earthquake, I will go to trial. If people die, I will go to jail. Or at least, I should.

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I am Architect. In a region where earthquakes do happen. if one of my building collapse due to an earthquake, I will go to trial. If people die, I will go to jail. Or at least, I should. [/Quote]

 

michel; And in Japan, it's called "hara-kiri", meaning a ritual suicide to save face or honor, neither of which seem productive or necessary, IMO. If anything is productive, simply learning from mistakes, for seeable or not would be best and the magnitude of the Japanese 9.0 Quake and a 77.4 Tsunami Wave, were NOT for seeable.

 

A field survey from the country’s Port and Airport Research Institute put the height of a tsunami wave that struck a coastal city in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture on March 11 at 77.4 feet high. [/Quote]

 

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/23/height-estimate-japans-tsunami-wave-tops-70-feet/

 

I do not consider myself well informed. And I consider that after reading over & over past posts, suposedly well-informed people have made bad assumptions on the event. I see that as a lack of objectivity.

 

Incident became accident, level 4 was raised to level 5, now upgraded to level 6.

 

The drama hasn't finished yet.

 

People are struggling there and they will die.[/Quote]

 

Nobody, I'm aware of, posting on this thread has claimed expert status and if any claim has been made it was and remains media mis-information or their "so called" expert annalists.

 

No doubt, when and it will happen, the site is cleaned up, all materials properly disposed of the site will be destroyed. That I believe was the plan the first day they used seawater and any future use of the reactors was determined.

 

I agree, people are struggling, more people in the area will die from both the aftermath of the reactor problems, from the Tsunami and health problems from both will last for years. It's a terrible situation and probably not being well handled, but this combination of events is unprecedented and not likely to be repeated.

 

What worries me more than even that possibility, are those that will take this once in a million year event and make it the minimum standard for all future construction, in all places, where that potential is in reality, not possible. I don't know what's going on in Greece, but here in the US, Government tends to over react to any Natural Disaster.

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I am Architect. In a region where earthquakes do happen. if one of my building collapse due to an earthquake, I will go to trial. If people die, I will go to jail. Or at least, I should.

 

Even if (to echo what jackson33 said) the building code requires withstanding to a quake to e.g. 8.0 on the Richter scale, and the quake was a 9.0? If you designed such a building to withstand a 9.0, I imagine it would cost significantly more than one designed to code. Assuming that wasn't explicitly part of the design request, wouldn't your client be upset that you didn't do the job for which you were hired?

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Even if (to echo what jackson33 said) the building code requires withstanding to a quake to e.g. 8.0 on the Richter scale, and the quake was a 9.0? If you designed such a building to withstand a 9.0, I imagine it would cost significantly more than one designed to code. Assuming that wasn't explicitly part of the design request, wouldn't your client be upset that you didn't do the job for which you were hired?

 

That is what my lawyer would tell to the audience.

 

_______________________________

 

O.K. i apologize. Usually i don't react this way when a natural disaster happens.

 

_______________________________

 

There are enough victims, and there was no intent to hurt anyone ( No "dolos", how do you call that?).

 

 

But What I see is a situation getting worse. I don't think the methodology is adequate. From the first moment they used sea water, it was expectable that radiation would escape from the plant. I suppose sea water was not part of an already ruined closed system, and now that they are throwing water by any means, the entire rebuttal must be ejected to the sea.

IMHO intervention should first focus on keeping radiation inside, it is not what I see.

 

______________________________

 

i have the feeling that for some reason they don't want to apply the Tchernobyl solution.

Edited by michel123456

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michel; Seawater by nature is corrosive on most parts in the reactor facility (metal/wiring/etc) and the problems as I've understood them (may not be correct), were the spent fuel rods, those not in the main containment facilities, waiting transport. Again as I've been led to believe, reactors 5-6, this site, were shut down (#5 for sure) and things all went according to plan. Batteries took over, diesel generates brought in, used and now have been replaced by a new electrical source. Apparently the cooling units (1-4), were damaged by the tsunami (also sea water) and their trying to repair, to at least to handle the involved materials.

 

Some radiation escape would have been expected, if for no other reason the containment units main and secondary could not hold the probable pressures built up, but I believe these releases are still under control, the limits for human safety from radiation effects under the limits. The following link is a good example on how high some effects were in the US/World during and after "above ground" nuclear testing during the 50's 60's, well above anything seen in Japan today.

 

http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/rert/nuclearblast.html

 

While I'm no longer arguing the Japanese handling of this event, think they have done as best anyone could, what your worried about just doesn't seem to be the case. I'm sure if they thought filling the sites with sand and cementing over was necessary "Chernobyl or level 7" was required, they would have already done it. It may be possible the mess can be cleaned up and though 1-4 may need to be replaced, 5-6 made operational, but this is my totally speculative opinion, only.

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The "Chernobyl solution" wasn't planned at Chernobyl until a month after the accident, and was not begun for a month after that. So I think any objection to not having done that already is misplaced.

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swansont; I swear, if I wrote a book on any subject, you would find one word to twist my comments. So OK, replace "done it" with "started the process", which has been under consideration all along. I can't predict what's going to happen, certainly from the reporting, but the very premise of my later discussion "spent fuel" might in the end be the cause for such actions....

 

 

Experts say the cores at the six battered reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, are likely to be safely contained, but worry about the cooling pools for spent fuel, one of which contains plutonium. [/Quote]

 

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/chernobyl-solution-may-be-last-resort-for-japan-reactors

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swansont; I swear, if I wrote a book on any subject, you would find one word to twist my comments. So OK, replace "done it" with "started the process", which has been under consideration all along. I can't predict what's going to happen, certainly from the reporting, but the very premise of my later discussion "spent fuel" might in the end be the cause for such actions....

 

 

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/chernobyl-solution-may-be-last-resort-for-japan-reactors

 

It was michel who mentioned the "Chernobyl (Tchernobyl) solution." It was to him that I was responding. Thanks for the link that confirms that that solution is considered premature.

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i get the idea of building normal commercial buildings to the point that you are reasonably sure that most earthquakes would not damage a building but this was a nuclear reactor.

why was their not some INSANE standards for the reactors like being able to take a 11.0 or a 150metter tsunami.

isn't that what you're supposed to do with dangerous stuff like that prepare to the point that no feasible disaster could ever cause large damage to the containment.

shouldn't there be a "surer that sure" policy for reactors on faults?

 

and why has the Japanese gov't not used something like ln2 as a coolant?

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i get the idea of building normal commercial buildings to the point that you are reasonably sure that most earthquakes would not damage a building but this was a nuclear reactor.

why was their not some INSANE standards for the reactors like being able to take a 11.0 or a 150metter tsunami.

isn't that what you're supposed to do with dangerous stuff like that prepare to the point that no feasible disaster could ever cause large damage to the containment.

shouldn't there be a "surer that sure" policy for reactors on faults?

 

For the same reason we don't apply those standards anywhere else. The risk doesn't justify the cost.

 

and why has the Japanese gov't not used something like ln2 as a coolant?

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/55734-japans-plan-to-cool-a-nuclear-reactor-by-helicopter-droppings/page__view__findpost__p__595941

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For the same reason we don't apply those standards anywhere else. The risk doesn't justify the cost.

 

 

And you can't protect something against everything. In some other post it was questioned why some stupid fellow had decided to put the generators at low level: it would be much more logical to put them at high level so that they would'nt be submerged by the tsunami.

Well I suppose the "stupid" fellow maybe had in mind that a plane crash was much more probable than a record-breaking-tsunami.

 

IMHO there is no way to avoid all risks, there will always be a certain percentage of probability.

 

The problem here is that when you build in a seismic region, you are multiplying the probability. When you face a fault, you increase the risk more. When the risk of tsunami exists,...

 

It is not wise to build there.

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And you can't protect something against everything. In some other post it was questioned why some stupid fellow had decided to put the generators at low level: it would be much more logical to put them at high level so that they would'nt be submerged by the tsunami.

Well I suppose the "stupid" fellow maybe had in mind that a plane crash was much more probable than a record-breaking-tsunami.

 

IMHO there is no way to avoid all risks, there will always be a certain percentage of probability.

 

The problem here is that when you build in a seismic region, you are multiplying the probability. When you face a fault, you increase the risk more. When the risk of tsunami exists,...

 

It is not wise to build there.

i never understood cost effective risk assessment and it doesn't seem to work very well. the only way that we can have a less accident prone world is to start using the "mega paranoid" risk assessment (at least where nuclear reactors are concerned)

why is money more important than reducing the risk of disaster from improbable to impossible

after all no matter the odds this was bound to happen eventually

Edited by dragonstar57

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why is money more important than reducing the risk of disaster from improbable to impossible

 

You could start a thread with this.

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It's a good thing that reactor problem is over. Time to close this thread.

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It's a good thing that reactor problem is over. Time to close this thread.

 

Now that level 7 has been reached?

I disagree.

 

From CNN By Matt Smith, CNN

April 12, 2011

Japan to evacuate more towns

 

 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the municipalities are likely to see long-term radiation levels that exceed international safety standards, and he warned that the month-old crisis at Fukushima Daiichi is not yet over.

 

"Things are relatively more stable, and things are stabilizing," he said. "However, we need to be ready for the possibility that things may turn for the worse."

 

(...)

If those people hear my suggestion, I bet they will raise level to 7 and engrave the plant under tons of concrete at once.

(...)

 

They didn't hear.

My bet is 50% correct so far.

Edited by michel123456

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It's a good thing that reactor problem is over. Time to close this thread.

Now that level 7 has been reached?

I disagree.

I agree with Michel. Let's remember that Fukushima Daiichi was Level 7 weeks ago, and they failed to tell us. Does Japan continue to withhold "uncomfortable" facts? Besides, why close *any* thread, especially one concerning an ongoing global threat?

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