Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:55 am

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:23 am

Kim O'Hara,
Thanks for the link. Japan's rice crop is of national interest. Japan does not allow imports of rice as a rule and controls the price of consumer rice so that there is enough profit margin for farmers that enough farmers will be attracted to growing rice for the consumer market.....this way Japan has guaranteed self sufficiency for rice which is their main staple...this guaranteed supply is important for an island nation whose imports could be stopped by political power plays.
This year one of the land owners (in northern Thailand) is going to grow Japanese rice. It is very unusual (unheard of perhaps) for rice farmers around here to grow anything but the typical varieties that everyone grows and this most definitely does not include Japanese rice since the people here don't eat it and there is typically a no imports allowed policy for Japan. When I heard that this was going to happen I thought that it was odd but did not think much about why this was happening.....after reading the article it seems very likely that Japan is preparing to import rice to make up for any shortages due to contamination.....but this is just my idea and it very well may be just a bizarre circumstance but I think not.....
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:06 am

Just to keep you up to date ...
Fukushima plant leaks radioactive water

The operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant says at least 45 tonnes of highly radioactive water has leaked from the facility, possibly into the Pacific Ocean.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-05/fukushima-plant-leaks-radioactive-water/3713696

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:28 pm

The gift which keeps on giving: Another disaster is waiting to happen at Fukushima, according to this report - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-25/experts-warn-of-another-disaster-awaiting-at/4091826.
In brief, there is a huge store of spent fuel rods in a pool 30 metres (100ft) above ground in a damaged building in an earthquake zone which is occasionally hit by tornadoes. If it collapses, the radiation released will be ten times the amount released in the original disaster.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:45 pm

It sucks, but it seems that we are doomed due to tragedy in Fukushima.
http://enenews.com/

I wouldn't be surpised if casualties will be in 10-100s of millions. Of course it will all be blamed on stress.

Unfortunately radiation can produce many terrible health effects...
http://enenews.com/fukushima-resident-n ... ems-photos

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:01 am

Still dangerous:
The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant says a rat is probably to blame for a short-circuit which took out cooling systems at the plant.
The glitch knocked out the cooling system at four of Fukushima's nuclear pools, which contain thousands of used fuel rods.
Temperatures in the pools then began to rise gradually, and it took the plant's operator Tepco more than 24 hours to get all the cooling systems back up and running.
The company says it found burn marks on a makeshift power switchboard, and has blamed a "rat-like animal" for short-circuiting it.
The cooling shutdown highlights just how vulnerable the shattered plant remains, two years after the nuclear meltdowns.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-21/rat-likely-to-blame-for-fukushima-power-cut/4585576

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:38 pm

Terrible stuff:

“Don’t be a chicken” mayor tells parents who are concerned their children are eating radioactive lunches
http://enenews.com/dont-be-chicken-mayo ... ting-japan

Japanese mayor says students are gaining knowledge by eating radioactive food in school lunches
http://enenews.com/japanese-mayor-educa ... ctive-food

Tokyo official blasts parents who want kids to avoid ingesting radioactivity at school: “It is important to share the pain”
http://enenews.com/tokyo-official-blast ... share-pain


This is horrible!!!
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby nem » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:52 am

I worked in the nuclear power industry, with Japanese, American and European utilities.
I can say that the things which happened in Japan, are a result of that culture where it is important to "Save face" out of respect for other people and not to make changes to work that other people have done, even if safety is at risk. You simply cannot question your elders or superiors there. And every decision is made by committee which includes those same people that cannot be questioned or argued against.
However this is not representative of the environment in European and USA nuclear power plants. In these cultures, engineers and other people routinely criticize everything in the plant to find every last source of a potential failure. In fact, if they can find something that is wrong, something risky, anything like that, they are rewarded with public recognition, raises, bonuses for finding any non-conservative source of potential error, or any safety risk in the plant.
So, what you see in Japan and what exists in the nuclear power industry outside of Japan are 2 different things, for cultural reasons.
I currently live in a home that I own, close to a nuclear plant, and feel completely comfortable with that, because I know the type of engineering and mindfulness toward safety that is present in these plants here in the USA. I would feel the same way in Europe.In Japan, no.. :) I love Japan and the culture there, but it is simply not the type of open, aggressive fault-finding culture that is needed for the operation of a nuclear power or commercial airline fleet where people need to identify risks and solve problems, without decision by committee or the head guy in the company who basically influences and overrides the whole committee in the end. Technical advice can be given to no end, but all that matters is the opinion of a few elders who may or may not even understand the situation.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:24 pm

Hi, nem. I understand and appreciate you sentiments and opinions regarding the business culture in Japan. I spent a year there myself in The U.S. Military and worked closely with management and staff in municipal environment. My role was as an English Conversation Sensei, so I did not have to deal with the rigid management structure which you described, but I saw that it did exist and just as you described.

As an environmental safety and health engineer, we too had a nuclear plant close to our plant, within the ten mile radius considered of danger to our employees should a nuclear emergency response be necessary. We worked together with The NRC and local Nuclear Plant officials to develop our joint and county plans. Everyone was very cooperative and willing to help in any way that was requested of them.

http://www.cengllc.com/r-e-ginna-nuclear-power-plant/

Fortunately the repairs and clean-up were relatively easy to deal with and they were up and running within two weeks after the release. The plant was built in the 1970's and has since undergone many, many modifications to bring it up to modern safety, security and engineering standards. We are lucky to have the quality of Nuclear Facility management that we have in this country, and I agree with you that we have relatively little to fear of a Japanese, or Russian Nuclear Plant-like disaster, although there are still relatively minor incidents that have to be dealt with.

A few years back a nuclear plant of 1950s vintage in Vermont was leaking contaminated water into a river, which fed drinking water in New Hampshire.

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/ ... al.htmlThe event was downplayed by VT authorities until our governor stepped in and reported them to The NRC and had the plant shut down until the problem was corrected. So, The U.S. is not pure as the driven snow by any means. :soap:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:25 pm

Good from Fukushima ... sort of:
http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/18/japan-solar-energy-fukushima-nuclear-renewable-abe
After Fukushima, Japan beginning to see the light in solar energy
... People here tended to support clean energy projects even before the nuclear disaster, but now there is "more interest in natural energy," said Moriaki Yoshikawa, the head of an environmental NGO, Eco Plan Fukui, which has helped build five solar plants in a region of Japan that hosts four nuclear plants.

This year, Japan's total solar capacity – 7.4GW at the end of 2012 – is set to roughly double, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a recent report. Such growth would make Japan the second-fastest growing solar market behind China and leave it only behind Germany and Italy as measured by total installed capacity. A gigawatt can supply power to an estimated 250,000 homes.

The feed-in tariff is the legacy of Naoto Kan, prime minister at the time of the Fukushima disaster, who decided after the meltdowns that atomic power was too dangerous for this earthquake prone-country. So Kan made a deal with the opposition party. He'd resign only after Japan's parliament co-operated to pass several bills including a renewable energy bill that established the tariff. Japan, Kan said, should boost renewables to account for about one-fifth of Japan's energy mix by the 2020s. At the moment, they account for about 10%, most of that coming from hydroelectric sources. ...


Reading about what's (still!) happening on the ground at Fukushima, you can hardly blame the Japanese for wanting to get out of nuclear power and stay out:
Steam rising from Fukushima reactor

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3806416.htm

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby manas » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:38 am

Kim OHara wrote:Steam rising from Fukushima reactor[/b]

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3806416.htm

:namaste:
Kim[/quote]

From the linked article:
No-one can get any closer to the site to check what's going on because radiation levels around the number three building are so high workers can't get near it.

Nevertheless, the operator of the crippled Fukushima plant, TEPCO, insists there's nothing to worry about.


Oh good, we can rest easy then. The operator says there's *nothing* to worry about. :lol: Well maybe that's true in a way; those who actually own the plant, don't have to live nearby it, they can afford to live elsewhere. So they have 'nothing to worry about'. But what about everyone else?

We really need to phase out this dangerous & outdated form of energy generation.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:24 am

manas wrote:We really need to phase out this dangerous & outdated form of energy generation.

:anjali:

Absolutely!

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:26 pm

Nuclear power isn't being phased out. With this recent election, Japan should be restarting the rest of their idled reactors soon.

The extraordinary inability of Japan’s antinuclear movement to make any inroads into national politics has also aided the Liberal Democrats, whose pro-business platform calls on Japan to return to nuclear power.


http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/07/20/world/asia/party-of-japans-premier-poised-for-big-election-win.html?_r=0&
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:22 pm

poto wrote:Nuclear power isn't being phased out. With this recent election, Japan should be restarting the rest of their idled reactors soon.

The extraordinary inability of Japan’s antinuclear movement to make any inroads into national politics has also aided the Liberal Democrats, whose pro-business platform calls on Japan to return to nuclear power.


http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/07/20/world/asia/party-of-japans-premier-poised-for-big-election-win.html?_r=0&

Let's hope not.
Wait and see.

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P.S. I'm sure today's news will help one side or the other: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-23/fukushima-operators-admit-radioactive-water-leaked-into-pacific/4836670
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:11 pm

I just read at Slashdot that a couple of weeks ago a contractor working on the Fukushima nuclear powerplant cleanup reported a measurement of the radioactivity of the water which is seeping into the ground (I think) as being 100 millisieverts. It turns out that the meter they used to measure it COULD ONLY GO UP TO 100 millisieverts!!!!!!!....now, with better equipment they are reporting that THE ACTUAL RADIATION LEVELS IS 1,800 MILLISIEVERTS!!!!!!!.......enough to kill a person in 4 hours!!!!!!

Yes, but how stupid is this really you might ask. Well, how stupid would it be if Ferrari put speedometers in there sports cars that only went up to 20 kilometers per hour?

I suppose that anyone can make a mistake but should we allow an industry to continue to exist when its quality assurance protocols can allow this to happen within the context of a 40 billion dollar plus cleanup of a nuclear disaster? Can we really be sure that this was just a case of utter and total incompetence or might it have been a concerted effort to lie about the severity to minimize the seriousness of what was happening?

There was also a report of a solar disaster. A Jaguar (automobile) was parked near a very tall and wide building whose entire front was curved and since that face of the building is all glass it just so happened that the building reflected the sunlight and concentrated it onto the Jaguar (automobile) and melted one of its panels.....really, that's what happened or at least what was reported. Total cost of repairing the damage from the solar disaster.......less than 1000 Pounds.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:24 pm

Can you believe this? In order to keep the contaminated water which is underground from seeping away to other places (at the Fukushima nuc plant disaster) they are going to spend $320 million US to freeze the ground to a depth of 30 meters all the way around the plant a distance of about 1.4 kilometers (or more) and keep it frozen to minus 40 degrees Celsius and keep it frozen however long it takes to clean up the mess.....we are talking years here.

And we had a solar disaster here today......it got so hot that after working in the garden my wife had to add four or five pieces of ice to her already refrigerated iced tea.....she put the ice in her drink and had to leave it there until all of the tea was consumed....we are talking minutes here.

Oh, I forgot. At Fukushima they are also going to build a wall of steel plates out in the ocean to stop the ground water from leaking out to sea.......this stuff is true.....I did not make this stuff up.....Do you think that the engineers at Fukushima are taking their inspiration from super hero comics?........Ice man and Ironman to the rescue!!!!!!???????
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby purple planet » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:19 pm

chownah THAT IS HORRIBLE !! her tea probobly lost most of its taste
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:29 am

Not to worry! :tongue: In 20,000 years, give or take a few thousand years, the radionuclides / constituents will have decomposed to somewhat safer compounds. The fish and frogs :redherring: will have a few extra eyes & flippers, see better, and swim faster to get away from the next spill, and evolution will have advanced further than it would have otherwise!

Additionally, aliens, :alien: who wish to conquer our planet for its water resources, will be forced to go to other, less radioactive planets.

:rolleye: It is my policy to always look on the bright side of every totally avoidable human made disaster. :oops:

In short mankind has taken a direct trip to the toilet once again in the name of technological advancement. :toilet:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:51 pm

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:57 am

Kim OHara wrote:Scary!

Costly too. The operation is expected to cost about $11b and to take 40 years. Tepco say it's not dangerous, so as long as there's no more major earthquakes in the region in the next 40 years, Tokyo is safe enough. :juggling:
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