Explosion at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Moriarty, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Paladin

    Paladin Have Zord, Will Travel

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    Cue another round of doomsday-naysayers.
     
  2. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    It's not naysaying to support the evidence. Opposing the evidence is naysaying. And the only real doom I see is for the kids and grandkids of the Japanese. Do some research on the children affected by Chernobyl. It's not pretty.
     
  3. Ravenxl7

    Ravenxl7 W.A.F.F.L.E.O.

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    Read through the article, and honestly, most of that was purely "they're lying to you, don't trust them, trust us" and very little about the meltdown itself.

    Not saying they're making it up or anything, but they should concentrate more on the topic at hand, rather than repeatedly saying others are lying. I was convinced that mainstream media was mostly BS a long time ago. Don't need to be beaten over the head with it over and over again.
     
  4. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    Yeah I can't argue with that, I just assumed people would click through to the sources like I did probably should have just linked those first. The telegraph article is the best one imo.
     
  5. Ravenxl7

    Ravenxl7 W.A.F.F.L.E.O.

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    Skimmed through the three sources, and I have to agree, the Telegraph article is the best of them (giving it a thorough read atm).

    Edit: Yeah, it's the most straight-forward one of them, imo. Which is what I think is important when relaying stuff like this.

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the situation is going to get any better any time soon. Part of me really wishes I could contribute more to the situation. I've donated, but at the same time, doing something more...active would help ease my conscious a bit...
     
  6. ArmadaJetfire

    ArmadaJetfire Yamato is go! ;D

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    [Conan]Physics laughs at your four winds![/Conan]
     
  7. Ace Convoy

    Ace Convoy Well-Known Member

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    .....Btw do they have this under control yet ? The news has seemed to deem it not worthy anymore.
     
  8. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    No, it's nowhere near under control and it's not on mainstream news because they don't want to spook the sheep or ruin the nuclear power industry.
     
  9. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I'll agree that of those three, the Telegraph article is by far the most objective.

    But that one from Natural News? Come on Deceptijohn, we were just talking about media bias and unsupported facts in the other thread. That article is inflammatory, exaggerative, and flat-out wrong at some points. The author clearly has an axe to grind against nuclear power, and it shows from a mile away. For all their talk about physics and the laws of nature, the author doesn't do a good job of explaining their science, or applying it properly. The radiation released at Fukushima isn't comparable to Chernobyl, except maybe in the same way a papercut is comparable to a gunshot wound. Yes, there is significant contamination in the surrounding area, well above levels considered acceptable (which are, by the way, pretty much zero), but many areas close to Chernobyl were contaminated to downright lethal levels. The article can't even keep the reactor numbers straight, for all its fearmongering and chest-beating about murphy's law. It browbeats the media, government and TEPCO for a lack of transparency (which yes, they are guilty of), but submits little "meat" to the discussion in the way of fact or actual news.

    Even the bloomberg article it submits is flawed, and shows a distinct lack of understanding of the nuclear reaction process, which to me calls into question its ability to properly report the situation. For example, the hydrogen released during the reaction does not primarily come from the water, it comes from the nuclear decay itself, which is what makes the uncovered fuel so dangerous, and the fact that hydrogen releases are less now, and the fact the engineers could enter the reactor building at all, shows the reaction is slowing down, albeit gradually.

    Don't get me wrong, this whole thing has been a catastrophe, and the aftereffects are still being dealt with, and will be for decades to come. There was a partial meltdown in reactor 1, something thought almost certain as far as a month ago, and now confirmed. That the material has been mostly contained in the containment vessel, and the amount contained by the containment building and facility, are a testament to the safety systems that worked to a degree, as well as to the astounding circumstances needed to nullify their security. A partial meltdown isn't nearly as world-shattering as a full unmoderated meltdown, and time will tell to see what the extent of the melt and the necessary cleanup efforts, which will with no doubt be painstaking and require a great deal of time and resources. I, personally, think it understandable that many information outlets would avoid the m-word, given how little most people understand what it actually insinuates.

    So don't talk about how "physics doesn't care what you believe, it'll do what it wants" like its some kind of personified force. The article did that, and it was a poor statement then. Physics is our understanding of the functioning of the universe, nothing more, nothing less, and it is itself what allows us to make the predictions we believe in. As time goes on, we will all find a better understanding of what mistakes were made in this scenario, and hopefully we will learn from them, but to me, nuclear power remains an industry defined not by this tragic aspect of a much larger disaster, but by decades of safe operation around the world.

    Also, here's an article about where the rebuilding is now, and just how much more there is to be done due to the extent of the devastation.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/12/japan-rebuilding-one-day-at-a-time
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  10. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    I didn't write the fucking things man I just linked them. As I stated earlier I should have just linked the source articles instead, but I didn't think I needed to hold anyone's hand as to what is the best source and why. I guess you're saying TFW readers are morons and I should be more careful in what I link so they don't get confused or misled because they can't think for themselves?

    And if you wanna argue semantics that's fine, but the laws of physics don't care what someone may believe. A drug addict may believe they can fly, but gravity(as understood through physics) doesn't give a shit and pulps them anyway. I was just trying to say that whatever the bias of the article the science of what is going on is unbiased and worthy of attention that it is not getting in the mainstream media. Maybe if it was getting the attention it deserves there would be more sources to link with better reporting.
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    You posted it, you endorsed it, and you paraphrased it in your post. Don't try and distance yourself from it now or put words in my mouth. I'm saying you should post more accurate and objective links, or at least acknowledge you're posting what are essentially opinion pieces, not news pieces. All you're doing is contributing to an already unacceptable atmosphere of anxiousness and scientific misunderstanding.

    As for me thinking our fellow users are unable to think for themselves, I'm not the one who was talking about how people were "sheep" in his previous post.

    I agree with you that the situation deserves mature, objective coverage, substantially more than its getting now, as the media cycle in north america has more or less moved on to other things. However the article you posted was neither of those things, so don't get snappy at me because your google-fu is weak. Even the wikipedia article for the Fukushima disasters is pretty well done, and contains a helpful and well-cited timeline.

    Timeline of the Fukushima I nuclear accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The first three hits for fukushima in google news are well done and relevant, if depressing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/world/asia/13japan.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    NZ Herald: New Zealand's Latest News, Business, Sport, Weather, Travel, Technology, Entertainment, Politics, Finance, Health, Environment and Science

    Fukushima possible summit venue - GlobalTimes
     
  12. joebot.

    joebot. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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    I hope you aren't serious, this comment is so ridiculous
     
  13. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    You seem like you had no problem sifting what was useful from what was rhetoric. Why not give others the benefit of the doubt that they too can critically analyze what was linked and seek out more detailed information if they are interested just as you did? The efficacy of my google-fu is irrelevant since I was not attempting to create the definitive source for all things Fukushima. What I was trying to do was get the word out about the official announcement that was made. And what a great idea that turned out to be. The discussion has been more about how poorly written the articles are(and how horrible I am for linking them) than about the actual news.

    And as far as the sheep/ruining the nuclear power industry comment, if anyone has any theories on why this disaster, which is currently impacting not just Japan but the Pacific ocean and to a more limited extent the entire northern hemisphere of the planet, isn't getting more coverage from the mainstream media feel free to share that instead of just knocking mine. It's okay if it's as baseless as mine because it's an opinion based on no facts(because none are available).
     
  14. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    The problem with this is that the article you posted was almost entirely rhetoric, and what remained was mostly incorrect, and thus hardly useful. Your posting of it did nothing to advance discussion positively in this thread, just as your continued defense of it, and your posting, has no beneficial effects. You yourself acknowledge this, so stop it.

    The reason noone is making theories about how the leakage of radioactive water into the pacific is threefold: 1) It's too soon to tell, as the effects could take years to show themselves one way or another. Current samplings of the kelp (and other sea life, IIRC) in the area show elevated levels of isotopes, though whether this is due to the water or the steam, I can't say, and they may not be able to either. Which brings me to my next point, 2) There is a lot of factors in play here. Between the steam ventings, the water releases, and normal background factors (the pacific has a history of nuclear tests, and those WOULD show up in analyses as background noise), the currents, the weather, and so on, there's a lot of things to take into account, a lot of things to model, and it takes a while to put it all together. 3) There's not a whole lot of past examples to draw predictions from. It's kind of a new territory, so they may not be familiar enough with what's happening to make educated predictions at this point. Resources are already spread pretty thin in Japan, and its possible the focus is still on the plant, not on surrounding regions and the ocean where, sadly, little can be done at this point.

    The good news is that the ocean is a gigantic supply of circulating salt water, and salt water is a natural radiation absorber, and a really good one at that. The currents may spread the radioactive material around, but while that increases the area it covers, it also means its heavily diluted, and the ocean is a massive, MASSIVE place, so that may actually be better in the long run. The radioactive isotopes in question have varying half-lives, from days to years to millions of years (thankfully, if I remember correctly, the most common ones often have some of the shortest half-lives), but they should sink, and the bottom of most of the ocean is actually pretty devoid of life once you get off the continental shelf, which would be a nice place for this material to end up. The biggest issue in my mind is how this will bio-accumulate in the species in the sea region near to Japan. We could see increased tumors or mutations in fish and affect their reproductive cycles, putting further stress in many already depopulated species, the radiation levels could render crops and stocks depended on for food and livelihood contaminated with all the negative consequences that entails, or they could actually act to keep the radioactive material in the ecosystem for longer. Still, as there is half-lives to this material compared to, say, dioxins or mercury, at least there is a "shelf-life" to some of these contaminants.
     
  15. Subotnik

    Subotnik Please Stand By.

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    This is a very important point. Years of movies and media fear-mongering have convinced people that meltdown = atomic explosions, mutants, mushroom clouds and insta-death for everyone within a thousand miles rather than the far less interesting reality of fuel rods melting into a puddle at the bottom of the RPV/containment. Sure it's economically devastating for the plant owners and dangerous if material breaches containment, but it's hardly the apocalypse we've been taught to expect.

    If people were aware of the dozen or so other meltdowns over the years I wonder if they'd be more or less scared.
     
  16. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    I don't know why you have a bug up your ass about me, but it's obvious you are determined to make my post the central issue of this thread and not the one single fact I was trying to convey: that the Japanese admitted to a meltdown. That's it. That's the event that triggered my post. I run across an article(ZOMG the most evil article to end all articles, no one can read it without losing their minds in nerdrage) on an aggregate site, did some reading, shared a link. A simple notification. I'm sorry if you are so insulted that there could possibly be rhetoric in the world that that's all you can see now, but whether you like it or not it's everywhere and must be analyzed and sorted through daily whether it's on TV, in print, or on the web. As I said before you seem to have done a fair job of analysis in this respect and it was my assumption that just about everyone here at TFW has the same capacity for analysis. My mistake. I won't ask so much of the intellectual capacities of the members again. Apparently it makes some people cranky to have to think.

    Now feel free to continue to rage about the least important issue in this thread.


    *EDIT*

    Ah if only I had waited a day for this news to filter out to more sources...but then Aernaroth wouldn't have had so much fun! ;) 

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576318470827245128.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird
     
  17. Counterpunch?

    Counterpunch? Interior Renovator

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    I should have said "author" when I said "source". Instead, you took it as if i had some stake in advancing a contrasting argument.

    What exactly did I say to make you come at me like that? Why are you taking all these potshots at people's intelligence in this thread? Not one bit of any part of this discussion requires an intellectual capacity worth bragging about in order to understand.
     
  18. Nightbirdy

    Nightbirdy Robotic Ninja Warrior

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    TEPCO officials actually used the term "partial meltdown" to describe the situation at the press conference, they also said "it isn't a kind of China Syndrome meltdown" though.

    Despite attempts of pumping a massive amount of water (2387 gal. per hour since March) into the reactor, yesterday they found out that most of water has been lost from unexpected cracks on the #1 reactor's vessel caused by fallen pellets. So there wasn't a sufficient amount of water that should have been there to flood the fuel rods. They're assuming that most of fuel rods have melted and deposited at the bottom of the pressure vessel. Now they have to seal the cracks, but the high level of radiation in the facility still gets in the way of restoration.

    This is the first-hand information we Japanese have gotten from local media so far. FYI, the situation of #2 (already having cracks) and #3 (spewing Caesium 620,000 times the legal limit for seawater) units are worse than #1.

    YouTube -

    Anyway, while this is a dead-serious matter to us who're living in Japan and neighboring countries, I don't think most of you guys in the U.S. have to worry about.

    Meltdown, a likely cause of the problem in unit #1 - NHK News
    UPDATE 2-Fukushima reactor has a hole, leading to leakage | Reuters

    BTW, thanks for having Japan on your mind, Ravenxl7.
     
  19. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    That IS a much better article.

    One thing that I haven't seen talked about much is the issue of hydrogen embrittlement in these reactors. Hydrogen, released from the nuclear reaction, reacts with steel, as do neutrons from the reactions in somewhat similar ways. These reactions cause defects to form in the structure of the steel, which eventually form voids, causing swelling and deformation as the steel essentially becomes... spongy. As these voids grow in size and number, the steel becomes much more brittle, and one of the reasons zirconium bearing alloys are used is because they resist this embrittlement to a degree. Still, as these plants were so close to their end of service, they were likely most at risk of embrittlement compared to earlier periods. An earthquake is a pretty unfortunate thing to happen in terms of embrittled materials, as they would be far less flexible than at their commissioning and far more vulnerable to fracture and failure under the major shaking and stresses of the earthquake. Thus, its possible that this failure mode exacerbated the catastrophe inside the plant (and this will likely be better known as time goes on and more is investigated), but by the same token, it means that newer plants, especially those with newer alloys more resistant to hydrogen embrittlement (as the process is certainly now more understood than at the start of construction of the daiichi facilities), would be far better able to withstand even these massive disasters than the fukushima reactors.

    Hydrogen embrittlement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    edit: How are things around you, Nightbirdy? We hear a lot of general statements about situation over here now, but very little from the actual people. How are people holding up? How can the rest of us best help out?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  20. Nightbirdy

    Nightbirdy Robotic Ninja Warrior

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    Thanks for caring. We're trying to save electricity to prepare for a possible power shortage, because 40 out of 53 nuclear power plants in Japan will be shutdown/suspended by this summer to be on the safe side. (Japan wants nuclear plants reactors shut until sea wall built - Boston.com) People who visit Japan would be surprised to see how low-lit now eastern Japan is. At the funny side, the Ministry of Environment is encouraging the super cool biz - polos, tees, aloha shirts, flip flops will be ok at office. Sadly, evacuees from the vicinity of Fukushima power plant still can't return to their home town.

    As you said, the ocean is gigantic, so experts here say that contaminated seawater will diffuse and become diluted. Again, this sure is a serious matter to us, but it wouldn't bring about a doomsday scenario to the rest of the world.