The story of the quake- and tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant continues to unfold, with reports suggesting that the situation with respect to the three damaged reactors at the plant may soon be stabilised without serious consequences. The focus of attention has now moved to problems at a pool used to keep …
Lewis lost all credibility with me when he said that a situation which prompted the evacuation of thousands from their homes posed 'no public health risk'. If there's no public health risk, why did they evacuate people? Hell, even the Japanese government is saying this is the worst thing to happen to Japan since Nagasaki. There's nothing worse than a shill who also happens to be a reporter.
Tell ya what, design a reactor which has 0 risk of radiation escaping and give me something better than Yucca Mountain to deal with the speant fuel rods for the next 5000 years and I'll get behind nuclear power. Till then I can't in good conscious support it.
How deep is that 'bottomless pit'?
"we are still collectively looking into the bottomless pit of hell that is Fukushima"
...gushed an earlier contributor.
What are you going on about?
Even when America dropped 2 nuclear bombs on Japan, *designed* to blow up like a nuclear bomb rather than power hospitals and heat houses, the cities were rebuilt a few years later and you can now go and stand at the epicentre of those explosions.
Meanwhile, on planet earth today, over 3000 people died in road traffic accidents.
Last week, tens of thousands of people got killed by a wall of water.
...and if we keep burning fossil fuels, then in a few generations, the land which was temporarily inundated by the tsunami will be at the bottom of the see all the time, with countless millions killed through starvation and resource wars.
The bottomless pit of hell is being built today on the back of fluffy coal and gas. Only you don't get to froth about that because the attention span of the media can't hang around for that story.
As soon as you can work out how a crowded country like Japan can run a modern economy on solar power in the middle of a japanese winter, come back and tell us that Nuclear isn't *now* the least environmentally damaging option.
If I were alive in 200 years, I can tell you quite straight that if faced with either:
a) A planet whose main cities and significant areas of agriculture had succumbed to rising sea levels and climate change, and
b) Story books filled with about 10 or 20 episodes of media hysteria accompanied by very modest loss of life on occasion.
Well it's (b) isn't it?
That's why I support Nuclear now. The alternative is orders of magnitude worse...
I need a drink. (Don't worry - though it'll kill more people today than have ever died in nuclear plant incidents, I'll be careful!)
Well I for one am reassured to learn that Tokyo Electric Power Co have opened a twitter account today.
I can think of absolutely no better way that they could be spending their time right now...
On the up side, finally an IT angle...
From the article:
"There remain no indications that anyone has yet suffered any radiation health effects, and the prospect is growing that this will remain the case".
- 2 workers of cooperative firm were injured at the occurrence of the earthquake, and were transported to the hospital.
- 1 TEPCO employee who was not able to stand by his own with his hand holding left chest was transported to the hospital by an ambulance.
- 1 subcontract worker at important earthquake-proof building was unconscious and transported to the hospital by an ambulance.
- The radiation exposure of 1 TEPCO employee, who was working inside the reactor building, exceeded 100mSv and was transported to the hospital.
- 2 TEPCO employees felt bad during their operation in the central control rooms of Unit 1 and 2 while wearing full masks, and were transferred to Fukushima Daini Power Station for consultation with a medical advisor.
- 4 workers were injured and transported to the hospital after explosive sound and white smoke were confirmed around the Unit 1.
- 11 workers were injured and transported to Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station after explosive sound and white smoke were confirmed around the Unit 3.One of the injured workers got medical treatment on March 16th, but the worker reported a flank pain. We required to the offsite center that the worker should be transported to the hospital. After that, the helicopter of JSDF arrived and transported the worker to the FUKUSHIMA Medical University Hospital at 10:56AM
- Presence of 2 TEPCO employees at the site is not confirmed.
Nice of you to re-inforce Lewis' point although I suspect that wasn't the intent.
From that list we currently have 1 worker with confirmed radiation exposure and even that is 1/10 of what's considered dangerous.
The rest of the casualties are the same as probably hundreds of rescue workers in Japan - injuries and deaths from quake/tsunami wreckage and stress.
@Jenkins Casualty → #
"There remain no indications that anyone has yet suffered any radiation health effects, and the prospect is growing that this will remain the case".
- The radiation exposure of 1 TEPCO employee, who was working inside the reactor building, exceeded 100mSv and was transported to the hospital.
Cumulative dose = 100.0 mSv (10.00 rem)
Excess lifetime cancer risk = 0.500% (1 : 200.0)
(source: http://www.wise-uranium.org/rdcri.html )
"Once we exceed doses of 250 mSv, radiation poisoning becomes a serious risk. These levels are much higher than the population of Japan can expect at the moment, though workers in the area are legally allowed to reach this threshold. Doses between 1000 and 2000 mSv results in acute radiation sickness, doses above 8000 mSv are fatal. "
(source: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/17/957303/-Radiation,-Cancer,-and-the-Linear-No-Threshold-Model )
btw, I assume you are familiar with the fact that smoking e few cigarettes gives you a much higher risk of getting cancer in later life. As for the other two workers who started to feel bad, there is no confirmation that it is in fact radiation-sickness. They could have just as well suffered from exaustion or overheating due to heavy protective gear they were wearing over prolonged periods of time..
So at this moment in time mister Lewis Page's words aren't that far from the truth...
Clean: no. Green: no. Cheap: no. Safe: no.
Most of the posts on this topic are from people in the U.K. and most of the remainder from North America, which would place a good proportion of you reasonably close to a nuclear power plant. Would all you apologists for the nuclear industry still be cheerleaders if this disaster was unfolding at a plant near you? Would you be having a picnic in a park with a good view of events, or running for your lives, just in case?
To accuse the anti-nuclear crowd of wishing for a huge nuclear disaster in Japan is mischievous at best and I find the suggestion absolutely disgusting. We want this situation to come under complete control ASAP with no more loss of life and no radioactive legacy but we all know that won't be the case. Many people currently working at the plant will die, some from long and agonising deaths, but because it will be one here, one there, in the years and decades to come, and not hundreds all at once, the media would have moved on and no one will really know or notice the true calamity from what has transpired up to this point.
What also won't be reported as it fades from the media spotlight and the wider pubic attention is the enormously long, drawn out, dangerous and expensive process as these damaged reactors and all the now contaminated infrastructure are disassembled and buried in a great big concrete hole to be kept "safe" for the next few thousand years.
If control is lost at a traditional fossil fuel power station it, well, stop right there! You don't loose control of such things - they simply shut down. There is no out of control reaction, no need for any sort of cooling. Any fire is extinguished with water. There is some mess to clean up, proper bunding will contain any chemical runoff, wrecked machinery you can send to the recyclers if you're a good company, dump if you're lazy. There is no need for a guarded tomb in a seismically and politically stable location for the wreckage. Not that I'm a fan of dirty fossil forms of energy production either. Humans have been burning stuff to generate energy in one form or another for over 2000 years, so there's nothing new or clever about it by any stretch. Splitting atoms to do exactly the same thing - boil water - is madness.
Back to Japan, what is currently being reported as good news? The same thing that was bad news a few days earlier: that radiation has increased a bit in the last 24 hours. Remember a few days ago 'good news' was radiation levels dropping.
There is nothing cheap about nuclear energy. It requires massive investment, massive subsidies from governments and massive costs when it's EOLd. Every link in the chain of the process from mining, processing, transporting, generation, storage, decommissioning and disposal involves highly dangerous radioactive material. And you'd be surprised how often leaks occur somewhere along this chain. It is an industry shrouded in secrecy, mis-information, deceit, cover-ups and wishful thinking. ironically on top of that, considering the main argument used to support the industry, it is still a very carbon intensive process.
Yes, fossils fuels are perfectly safe </irony>
Judging by the time of posting, you may well be in the US and so may not have heard of Aberfan - I suggest you Google it. More recently, in the UK we've had Buncefield (admittedly oil, not coal) and the earthquake/tsunami seems to have caused several refinery problems in Japan (they don't use coal, for geographic reasons) - although this hasn't generated much media coverage, probably because they can't write "IS THIS THE END OF THE WORLD?" headlines.
For the next twit that suggests this is as bad as Chernobyl...
Radiation levels measured at Chernobyl ranged from 10s of sieverts to 100s of sieverts. not mili sieverts, and not micro-sieverts. Milisieverts were measured inside the heavily shielded control room at Chernobyl.
So far at Fukushima, radiation has been measures only in micro and milisieverts. There was, quite literally a thousand times more radiation emitting from Chernobyl during that event. Fukushima is vastly different, not least because the elevated radiation readings are not constant, they spike and fall.
Additionally, the radioactive material at Chernobyl was the nuclear fuel burning off with the graphite reaction moderator for days. It was long lived material. The material that has been released so far at Fukushima has consisted almost entirely of very short lived isotopes that decay long before they become an issue for health, but exist long enough to spike a radiation reading.
Now, obviously the outcome of this remains to be seen, but at present, the problems at Fukushima are by no means the same or similar to the problems experienced at Chernobyl. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool or a liar. That doesn't mean that the situation at Fukushima Daiichi is a piece of cake, of course it's not, but drawing comparisons with Chernobyl is simply foolish at this time.
Do I note a change of tone?
So, let's see:
- Nuclear material on fire open to the elements;
- Helicopters attempting to put said fires out;
- Surrounding area evacuated and no-fly zone imposed;
- Systematic lack of information;
- Increasing nervousness of foreign governments.
Yep, no point in drawing hasty comparisons, no siree.
Right you are - this is not Chernobyl
a) the problems built into this type of BWR differ significantly from the problems built into BMRK-1000. They are therefore going to fail along quite different mechanisms
b) the emergency has not played out yet and will not be played out for a very long time. Look up Windscale I (I know, it's called differently by now, but that should give you pause to think as well, should it not?), the core of which they did not dare work on for half a century (links below).
All we know is that there are huge potential risks. Neither the mechanisms leading to a realisation of those risks nor the risks themselves are identical to Chernoby.
To give you one example - look it up instead of calling names, costs you the same intellectual energy - the bulk of radionuclids spewed forth by Chernobyl are relatively shortlived compared to those that might be propagated if one or more of those spent-fuel-pools fails catastrophically.
Then the dust particles produced in the Chernobyl fire were relatively lighter compared to the particles to be expected when the casing of spent fuel rods ignites, and they were propagated by a fire that by all probability was burning a lot hotter than what can be expected from oxydising fuel rods. That in turn meant that the Chernobyl particles were dispersed over a larger area, thereby mitigating somewhat their noxic effect. If the spent fuel ignites in Fukushima, it is to be expected that the radioactive dust affects a relatively smaller area but in a measurably higher concentration.
While Chernobyl was situated in an area of relatively low population density and of relatively low economic importance the same cannot be said of Fukushima.
Important: pointing out a risk does not mean that one wishes for that risk's realisation. Equally jumping the bullet once or even several times does not equate to bullets being inherently harmless. It is this sort of superstitious thinking that makes discussing the problems of nuclear energy so tedious.
Since you're so hot on comparisons...
Care to compare the BWR in Fukushima to the core that burned at Windscale? Go on, it'll help.
You go right on believing the doomsayers, but please don't forget to turn all your lights out. after all, without Nuclear energy, we'd all have to sacrifice a few lights to keep the TVs on....
I start to be amused by the article series on the fawlty far-east nukes and Lewis' optimistic view.
Hey guys - that's simply "Comical Ali...reloaded".
@John Smith 19 re robots
Q: How much electronics is there in readily available robots?
Q: What fabrication technology does it use?
A: MOS, probably CMOS.
Q: What happens to (C)MOS electronics when subjected to non-trivial doses of radiation (ionizing radiation or neutron flux, take your pick)
A: It stops working, often quite quickly, iirc often because the insulating oxide layer is penetrated.
Now that doesn't necessarily mean that some kind of shielding couldn't be improvised for some of this stuff, but the real answer is to use a different kind of fabrication technology, or designs with built in radiation resistance, such as Xilinx and Actel's rad-hardened FPGAs, but then you need the sensors etc to go around them, and so on.
Sorry John, not as easy as you seem to think. They must exist though because they've been used elsewhere. Maybe the existing ones are too radiologically hot to be redeployed to another incident after they've been used in anger?
I think I mentioned they were *designed* for nuclear emergency response so I'm guessing the engineers working on them were aware of the special environmental hazards of these sorts of sites.
As it happens I've a working knowledge of the sort of precautions used for space radiation proofing.
It starts with avoiding stages in the chip fab sequence that are especially vulnerable to ionising radiation and particle damage. Actmel are know for supplying devices (especially FPGAs) to use this approach. SOS and SOI high resistance substrates also help.
Follow on guidelines relate to chip layout and spacing certain elements far enough apart so they do not interact. At subsystem level it moves into redundancy and voting systems to detect flipped bits and/or stuck at nodes. About this you'll be looking at watch dog timers to re-boot the whole thing if it goes haywire. Lastly if that *still* doesn't cut it they put it in a solid metal box.
Rad hard versions of various processors are available. Systems demonstrating operation at krad levels (give 1 rad is the energy level needed to kill mammalian cells that would certainly kill humans) exist. The SPARC architecture (being public domain) being a regular candidate for this and at *least* up to at least 400Mhz parts are available. Perhaps not powerful enough to self-navigate around a wrecked nuclear reactor but quite capable of feeding images and receiving control commands through a fibre optic link.
Rad hard electronics is a small, specialized area and prices are high. Experimenters working on both space instruments and those for use use around particle accelerators have *long* been studying ways to use cheaper parts to save money while *some* companies have looked to offer radiation resistance by tweaking their processes as long as they don't have to warp them too far.
GE's Dim wit
Oh good. The electricity is scheduled to be turned back on in reactor buildings 2 3 & 4 by Sunday.
No problems then.
how to cool the reactor
The weather is cold so get a commercial snow making machine like they use at the ski resorts and blow snow on this hot SB to cool it down.
Gawd/ess, what a palaver ... And a note to Lewis ...
Several kinds of commentards on this subject:
 Clueless idiots. (Obvious to the cognizant reader).
 Anti-nuke folks. (Mostly religious fundies of one stripe or another).
 So-called "greens". (None of whom could actually live off the land, even if their lives depended on it ... they obviously have no clue as to how the real world works).
 People with enough knowledge to be dangerous, but not enough to actually understand what they are commentarding on. (Most of the Press, and people regurgitating what they have read elsewhere).
 People who think they know what they know, but don't grok that what they know just ain't so. (Loud-mouthed idiots ... again, easy to pick out ... Thank you, Sam Clemens).
 Educated folks, trying to educate the ineducable, probably tilting at windmills. (Me, for one).
Lewis: Might want to drop this series before Sarah knocks your head for six ... But I hope you don't, because it's giving me a listie of idiots to filter on ;-)
Re: Gawd/ess, what a palaver ... And a note to Lewis ...
 Lofty sorts who believe they have a clear overview of it all and may not actually be as smart as they think they are. (And who need to tuck their full stops back inside their parentheses.)
 Weary moderators.
As they say in Russia - you are not at risk of dying from modesty...
@Vlad & @Sarah
Vlad: No. I am not. Kinda helps me get ahead in the world.
Sarah: I think I addressed your . (Full stop).
And don't forget...
 Weary readers who did comment on another article that they really wished that all the argumentative buggers would stop making such a damned racket and just wait until some clear, reliably reported, verifiable facts (remember those?) emerged from the current godawful mess.
The aforementioned weary readers should probably just stop coming back in the vain hope that someone, somewhere might have said something apposite, useful or informative along the way. That really doesn't seem to be happening much, if at all. (Keeping on coming back is part of that whole human "triumph of hope over experience" thing I suppose...)
Let's all just agree on one thing shall we? Fukushima is just one very nasty part of a very nasty, massive humanitarian disaster for the people of Japan and, right here right now, no amount of pro/anti nuclear frothing and fuming about the subject is going to help them in any way whatsoever. It just makes the frothers and fumers look like they're missing the bigger picture and are, perhaps, being slightly silly.
No? Oh, alright then, suit yourselves and let the extended game of silly buggers continue...
I'd hate for us to have a nuclear accident without proper punctuation!
True, but I really feel that the article's author has done massive dis-service to El Reg - by way of partisan over-optimism and jumping the gun - and that's worth highlighting. Sure: The facts are there, but spoiled by rose-tinted glasses which are huge - even in comparison to other opinion pieces by the author.
It's worth pulling up and drawing attention to, because it's very, very bad journalism. And I don't want El Reg's standards to slip this low. C'mon Editor: Can we please demand higher standards in future?
I think the next generation of plants is going to have to be built, however difficult, to a new standard, which can be best expressed as:
Can a plant be designed such that if absolutely everything gets screwed, it will die/close down in a manner which does not place anyone outside the plant at risk?
It is perhaps an absurdly impossible standard to achieve, but with the current round of nuclear doom-mongers, nothing less will be accepted.
"Can a plant be designed such that if absolutely everything gets screwed, it will die/close down in a manner which does not place anyone outside the plant at risk?"
You're a bit behind the curve. They are sometimes referred to as "Walkaway" or "inherently" safe designs and *some* of what have been called Gen IV designs have this approach as well.
What you're talking about is designing in thermal/chemical/nuclear/mechanical feedback mechanisms that shut it down instead of making the situation worse.
BTW the BWR's have *some* of this built in. Water level goes downs, moderation goes down (water is both moderator and coolant) -> reactivity goes down. Unfortunately *not* fast enough or far enough so that (in the worst case) air cooling is good enough to dump the residual heat.
Other tactics would (if implemented, AFAIK no one has *built* a reactor to these designs) include using thermal balance in that hot water rises, cold water falls. Too much heat lightens the water (or other fluid) in the reactor and pulls in a supply of cold coolant using natural convection (some US submarine reactors are *reputed* to use this, at least as an optional mode as it is extra quiet but those who know won't be talking). The cold coolant could also be dosed with Boron to really shut it down fast.
You jest, but that's not a bad design policy. If we're dealing with something that is capable of rendering a significant portion of your country uninhabitable should it go horribly wrong, then it's best to plan for the worst-case scenario, and then some. Sure: The engineers might have done a good job of building to specs, but the fact that those specs have been shown to be optimistically low is a valuable lesson.
Risk assessment was poor, clearly.
@John Smith 19 New Designs
What you are describing is a Natural Circulation Boiler, they have been used since boilers were invented.
A prime example is your drip coffee maker.
All conventional power plants use this method, and most larger Waste Heat (combined cycle) Plants do as well. Conventional forced circulation boilers are only useful in very small applications, ie Nuke Subs. The larger plants such as in Conventionally Fueled AC Carriers and power generation plants are of the bi-drum natural circulation type with forced circulation as an alternative, usually used for rapid cool down for an emergency repair.
Contrary to popular belief and as some have posted here, you don't just walk up to a conventionally fired power plant and throw the "off switch". A large gas/oil or coal fired plant takes days sometimes a week or more to cool down in stages, or the thermal shock will wreck it otherwise.
The Mk1 BWR has this built in, but it is really too small to be practical (The Torus) at the bottom is the cool water storage, It is only good for a couple of hours protection, because it lacks a means of dissipating the accumulated heat (a method to cool the circulated water) and once it approaches the same temperature as the hotter water around the core circulation stops.
Another bogey man I have seen tossed about by the media and some here is persistent fires, what media is blabbing about is not fire or smoke, it's vented steam. Although there was a fire in building 4, TEPCO and others have stated it was not fuel related, but was from auxiliary equipment. The fact that there have been explosions from H2 is due to the lack of ventilation of the buildings, they are normally vented by induction fans that pull the air in the buildings out through filters and then up the vent stacks that everyone has seen, without power to the plant these fans do not work. The buildings that blew up are nothing more substantial than your average metal warehouse or shop building everyone sees every day, they are just insulated sheet metal panels on a steel skeleton. The resulting explosions although spectacular to look at posed no real danger to the reactor containment, because the pressure generated by the explosions was nowhere near that required to damage them, or the cooling equipment, most of the pumps, switch gear, etc. for cooling is underground and NOT located in the building proper. About the only thing inside the building itself is ventilation ducts, lighting, fire suppression sprinklers and gear for handling the fuel bundles.
On a technology note, I will be replacing all my foobar code with fuku.
cat src.c | sed -e 's/"foo"/"fu"/g' | sed -e 's/"bar"/"ku"/g' > src_2011.c
Prospects starting to look good
...as Japan raises the accident level at Fukushima from four to five - as in "accident with wider consequences."
"... but hopefully the facts speak for themselves"
They generally do indeed, and should we find any pristine, unspun factettes kicking around that remain miraculously untainted by association with TOPECO, the nuclear energy industry, their rather sweaty advocates or the Japanese government, we'd be happy to pass them on you you Lewis. With every day that passes, yours are looking a little more threadbare than an overused government slogan.
The Japanese have released a much better summary of what's going on
Haven't laughed so much in ages.
Alert Level Raised
From BBC News "Japan has raised the level of nuclear alert from four to five on a seven point international scale. " "A spokesman said it was made because of the condition of reactors 1, 2, and 3 at the plant. "The cooling function was lost and the reactor cores were damaged. Radioactive particles continue to be released in the environment," he is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying. " So everything is fine isn't it?
No, everything is not fine
And never will be at that plant. I believe, reactor blocks 1 - 4 are total write off. Blocks 5 and 6 can probably be used again but its just a conjecture.
However the upgrading of the alert level is just a delayed reaction by the Govt administrative machine. "The cooling function was lost and the reactor cores were damaged. Radioactive particles continue to be released in the environment," is just a restatement of known facts and nothing new has actually happened today to trigger raising the alert level. They should have done it earlier, but I guess they were busy.
hopefully the facts speak for themselves.
if the hopefully the facts speak for themselves. as you say , then here's a fact
"Japan Raises Severity Rating of Nuclear Disaster:March 18, 2011"
do they raise the threat level today if there's less risk, unlikely, and even more unlikely 24 hours ago.
"Japan has raised the severity rating of its nuclear disaster, as firefighters continue efforts to cool highly radioactive fuel rods at a nuclear reactor complex crippled by last week's earthquake and tsunami.
Japan on Friday increased the severity of the crisis at the Fukushima site from 4 to 5 on a 7-point international nuclear event scale.
Firefighters are dousing water on damaged reactor buildings with powerful hoses. But they have to limit their time inside the complex due to the high radiation levels.
Japanese engineers also are extending an emergency power cable to the nuclear reactor complex. A steady supply of power could enable workers at the Fukushima plant to get water pumps working again.
Meanwhile, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, says Japan is racing against time to cool the overheating reactors. Amano arrived in Japan Friday to meet with top Japanese officials and learn how the IAEA can help with the crisis."
"The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Japanese authorities have told them they have successfully laid a cable line to reactor number two at the nuclear plant. However, it is not clear how close workers are to actually restoring power."
"The cooling problem is particularly critical at the number three nuclear reactor, where the risk of an increased level of radioactive leaks is considered especially high.
The risk of radiation poisoning has already forced the evacuation of more than 200,000 people who lived within 20 kilometers of the reactor site. Many are in makeshift shelters, with inadequate food, water and other supplies, in frigid winter weather. "
and see the picture slide at the bottom of this 2 day old link to see just a brief example what conditions these more than 200,000 evacuee's are living in right now today...
Update from NEI
UPDATE AS OF 09:00 P.M. EDT, FRIDAY, MARCH 18:
A World Health Organization spokesman said that radiation levels outside the 20-kilometer (12-mile) evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are not harmful for human health. He said the WHO finds no public health reason to avoid travel to unaffected areas in Japan or to recommend that foreign nationals leave the country. He also said there is no risk that exported Japanese foods are contaminated with radiation.
The Japanese government issued an advisory on Tuesday for people to evacuate from a 12-mile zone around the plant, and also told people living within an 18-mile radius to stay indoors. Radiation levels at the plant boundary have been declining in the last day or so.
Link to Original Article http://is.gd/YITDcr
Even the Daily Mail seem to be more pragmatic than this lot
It's kind of worrying when the hysterical alarmism is coming from Reg commenters and the more sensible appraisal is coming from the Daily Mail of all places!
Decision Making under uncertainty at a nuclear emergency
The only applicable quality criteria of an information is the clear definition of its source.
Knowledge contrary to information has different quality criteria, the like which are discussed here ad infinitum in relation to information.
Decisions for measures to help to reduce the health risk to the population in such events are per se decisions under uncertainty.
Wondering what decision support system would/could be used at a similar incident in Europe (that includes the UK):
(no worries, the web site is in English, its a EU wide project).
"All being well, nobody else will have their health damaged in any way"
Except for the people in the USA, driven by fear-mongering "news" coverage, who are now eating potassium iodide tablets like they were made of delicious chocolate covered candy.
This whole affair has reminded me of two things: most news reporting is worthless at best, dangerous at worst; and the nuclear industry could really benefit from just being up-front and honest instead of trying to make things sound less bad than they are.
In defense of the folks involved in Fukushima...
After the total power loss at the plant within about 8 hours of the quake/tsunami, there was precious little information available to anyone, and once the venting of steam resulted in hydrogen explosions that damaged parts of the complex happened it wouldn't matter what anyone said, no one would believe that they were giving all the information. The nuclear industry exists in a catch 22. People in general know so little about radiation and radioactive material that just about any statement they make will be mis-interpreted badly and perceived as far more threatening than it is. Part of that perception is the industry's own fault, but the majority of the fault lays at the feet of the news media that do a freaking terrible job of reporting/analyzing/explaining news involving Nuclear physics.
build a tsunami wall, place you emergency generator below it , human fail
"R. Colin Johnson
3/14/2011 8:05 PM EDT
How the fail safe measures failed
"Backup power initially worked, but failed when the sea wall protecting the site was found to be no where near high enough to stop the tsunami from flooding the generators," said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. "Of course, the generators should not have been placed in low-lying areas behind the sea wall--that was clearly a human error."
Nuclear Safety in Japan
I just finish reading about Japan nuclear safety record in New Scientist and one word it stinks in the article it stated that between 1995 and 2007 about seven nuclear accidents at lest one as bad as Chernobyl. What the government and the companies record was a disgrace down playing the hazards and out right lying about the problems and death of several workers at the plants where they worked. Anybody who listen to these people and know about the accidents must saying gallows humor jokes among themselves and fellow citizens. Nuclear power is a menace to safety in Japan.
- IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL
- Nine-year-old Opportunity Mars rover sets NASA distance record
- Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS
- Analysis Who is the mystery sixth member of LulzSec?
- Comment Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE