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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Map of the Day

Here's a good one, from this site.

Comments (13)

That's the first description I've seen saying the emergency cooling of the reactor is being done by a fire truck. Wow, that's pretty far down the old checklist, isn't it? I'm also sure we're going to hear tales of incredible heroism with this - just as with the workers who exposed themselves to radiation at Chernobyl. I have a feeling people are giving their lives to try and stop this and that's always profound. The plan seems desperate and farfetched, but then again, it's no surprise that there's some firemen doing the heroic stuff in a national disaster.

Some of the info in that article appears a bit out of date, clearly because they've been updating it left and right. Here's the latest press release from TEPCO. I really hope this can fizzle out.

Also, there some reports of workers with radiation exposure. One given in that release, and maybe another or two reported elsewhere. The given exposure was 106.3mSv for at least one of the employees. Here is a chart for some sense of scale.

They're pumping in sea water? That's also waaaaaay in the back of the book.

Yep. Seems sea water plus boric acid. I'm following this in two places, the foreign media seems to be running hours behind. This MetaFilter thread is a treasure trove, lots of updates from smart people and those on the ground, and people translating (just skip towards the end). There's also this live stream of NHK World, Japanese TV news in English. They are being a bit tight-lipped however.

(I was watching that live all night last night. It was getting quite intense right after the hydrogen-oxygen blowup. The girl anchoring was stumbling all over her words, people were whispering all over the room in Japanese and directing her, kep kept repeating a bunch of advice to protect yourself from fallout (which appears not to have been needed, luckily.) Nobody knew what had just happened and it was pretty nuts. )

Aaron...do you really trust that the electric company with the Mickey Mouse looking logo to tell the truth about what is really happening at the nuke plant???

Did I say anything about trust? It's just the information they are giving out and it is recent and changing over time and useful. Better than the based-on-nothing hysterics on CNN. I've been trying to get as much information from as many sources as humanly possible over the last 14 hours or so.

Also, this little Reuter's live blog majigger.

Aaron, Here's one that caught my eye:
Meltdown Caused Nuke Plant Explosion: Safety Body
TOKYO (Nikkei)--The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said Saturday afternoon the explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core.

The same day, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), which runs the plant, began to flood the damaged reactor with seawater to cool it down, resorting to measures that could rust the reactor and force the utility to scrap it.

Cesium and iodine, by-products of nuclear fission, were detected around the plant, which would make the explosion the worst accident in the roughly 50-year history of Japanese nuclear power generation.

An explosion was heard near the plant's No. 1 reactor about 3:30 p.m. and plumes of white smoke went up 10 minutes later. The ceiling of the building housing the reactor collapsed, according to information obtained by Fukushima prefectural authorities.

At a news conference Saturday night, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano discounted the possibility of a significant leak of radioactive material from the accident. "The walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode," Edano said.

The amount of radiation detected inside the plant after 4:00 p.m. slightly exceeded the dose people can safely receive in a year, according to information obtained by the Fukushima prefectural government.

The No. 1 reactor shut down automatically soon after a massive earthquake hit the area Friday, but its emergency core cooling system failed to cool the reactor's core sufficiently.

NISA is affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

(The Nikkei March 13 edition)

Kind of makes coal generation not look so bad. It's inexpensive at between 5 and 8 cents per Kwh, and its getting cleaner over time. Nuclear even without these castrophic disasters has gotten very expensive at nearly 20 cents per Kwh or more, reflecting the hefty increases in cement, steel and other material costs. Heck at 20 cents per Kwh high desert concentrated solar can compete with this, except when the sun ain't shining. Wind is about 10 cents per KWH, but again storage is the big drawback. If the government is going to spend money on energy, the real area to spend it is on storage R&D.

Why don't the French seem to have these problems? It'd be hard to hide this degree of problem if they did have such accidents.

This first one was scheduled to be decommissioned due to age and condition in two weeks. Not making that up.

So much for Ecotopia being an exceptional haven from environmental disaster. It was great while it lasted.

Bob Clark: Kind of makes coal generation not look so bad.
JK: Why?
Coal kills 25 miners per year in the USA, thousands worldwide.
Coal puts radiation in the atmosphere - about 2650 millicuries per year (USA).
Coal puts tons of Uranium, and thorium in the atmosphere every year (USA).
See: http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html


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