* Posts by Laurence Cuffe

3 posts • joined 14 Mar 2011

Samaritans 'suicide Twitter-sniffer' BACKFIRES over privacy concerns

Laurence Cuffe

I use paper.ly to scan my followers tweets for links relating to science education etc. It collates the resulting data into a newssheet, which is published on the web daily. I don't see that there is a data protection issue, because I don't have non disclosure agreements in place with any of them, This app is functionally similar, except the only person it notifies is the person who is subscribed to the twitter stream anyway.

Lets not be too politically correct here. Drawing an analogy with a phone call. Suppose a friend calls me and sounds down. I might do something about it. All this is is an automated system for drawing my attention to the fact that my friend sounds down and might need a little more attention than usual.

End of story.

Fukushima update: No chance cooling fuel can breach vessels

Laurence Cuffe

Fire in the pool

Two points.

1) your MIT scientist is not a nuclear physicist, or a reactor engineer. He is a well educated scientist making educated guesses, and some of his information such as that in the case of meltdown the first reactor core will drop into the core catcher, are incorrect as this reactor has no core catcher. Its a good post but has been super seeded by events.

2) The worrying development at this point is the fire in an irradiated fuel storage pool. This is of concern because the variety of released nucleutides is potentially greater and more problematic.

Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now!

Laurence Cuffe

Some minor fact checking

Iodine 131 has a half life of about eight days, not seconds. Cesium 30 years.

There is also a possibility with the MOX fuel in reactor 3 of strontium 90 and plutonium. Given these lifetimes, its only to be expected that some of these may blow over the fence before they decay.

You state that the Japanese engineers have ensured that hydrogen production does not happen inside the primary containment vessel. Hydrogen is being produced when the overheated zirconium cladding on the fuel elements reacts with water to produce zirconium oxide, and Hydrogen. To the best of my knowledge the fuel elements have so for remained within the core, so that is where the hydrogen is being generated.

I remain cautiously optimistic:


and have read the references you cite. I don't feel that complacency is in order. and I don't feel that this is an example of the nuclear industry operating in a well controlled situation.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019