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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 18, 2011 2:44 PM. The previous post in this blog was Countdown is on for mighty Peacocks. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, March 18, 2011

Not much news from Fukushima

There's not a whole lot of news out of the Japanese nuclear disaster zone today. New efforts are being made to bring the situation under control, but they're far from a sure thing. Today the Japanese admitted that the Fukushima meltdowns merit at least a 5 on the international scale of nuclear accident severity. That's what Three Mile Island was, whereas Chernobyl was a 7.

The Fukushima accident has already emitted far more radioactivity than Three Mile Island did, and there is much more to come.

One of the biggest problems at the moment is an apparent leak of water out of the spent fuel storage pool next to reactor no. 4. If the spent fuel rods catch fire, which some experts think is possible, that could be a Chernobyl-level fire, maybe worse -- although there might not be as big an explosion as in Ukraine, which might keep some of the cloud out of the upper atmosphere.

One other revelation of the last day or so is that in addition to the spent fuel pool in each reactor, there is a large common fuel pool behind reactor no. 4, from which waste is moved from most or all of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. More than half the spent fuel at Daiichi is in that common pool. There are more than 11,000 spent fuel assemblies at the site -- nearly 1500 in the stricken pool inside reactor no. 4. A typical assembly holds between 64 and 81 waste fuel rods, each assembly weighing around 380 pounds. The radioactivity in the spent fuel is intense -- enough to kill a human being at close range in minutes.

UPDATE, 4:54 p.m.: BTW, the first of the plumes has reached America. Sacramento wins the prize.

Comments (18)

This is day, what, 8? It's pretty absurd that there are still revelations about what exactly is at this plant. The company that runs the plant has done a shockingly poor job of keeping people informed about what is going on.

And Japan is a highly modernized country.

I shudder to think how these plants are being handled in 3rd world countries...

Earlier today I read in the LA Times on line that the Tepco folks at Fukushima had "temporarily" stored active fuel rods in the spent fuel pool which has no containment vessel, in reactor number 4 in November 2010. Well now that article is gone, but I found the reference again in Bloomberg on line as follows, "fuel in #4 reactor vessel was transferred to the spent fuel pool when the reactor was temporarily shut down for maintenance in November of 2010".
Please...somebody tell me that these clowns at TEPCO did not put live nuke fuel into a cooling pool with no containment vessel.
IF that is the do we stop these people?
I feel sick and I don't think it is from radiation.

The design of these reactors is that the spent fuel is not within the primary containment structure. It is in the secondary containment structure, on an upper floor. For the reactors whose roofs have blown off, that means that the pools are now exposed to the sky above. Apparently, the helicopter crews passing over could look down and see into at least one of the pools, and they were encouraged to see the reflection of at least some water. But apparently they can't get too close because the radiation is too intense.

The larger common pool behind reactor no. 4 is probably not in any serious containment structure, either, although the rods in there are less thermally hot, and at least slightly less radioactive, than freshly withdrawn ones.

There are also reportedly a few hundred Fukushima assemblies in "dry cask" storage, which is what PGE says it now has for all of the decades of spent fuel stored at the old Trojan site, on the banks of the Columbia River in Rainier.

When it comes to these radioactive materials, those who know aren't saying much because it is so bad, and those who do speak don't know what they're talking about. Bureaucrats such as the Surgeon General and our own Gail Shibley know nothing and should be dismissed as such.

The sad score:
-10,000+ deaths from the earthquake and Tsunami.
-Zero from radiation.

-Probably more deaths from the earthquake and tsunami will be tallied. Possibility of cholera has been mentioned.
-Quite possibly some nuclear workers will have health effects but few if any civilians appear to have been exposed to significant radiation.

The worry about radiation seems out of proportion.

If the radiation stopped right now, that might be the outcome.

But it won't.

Moreover, unlike drowning or traumatic injury from falling earthquake debris, cancers caused by exposure to ionizing radiation may take years to surface. Ask the residents of the thyroid cancer zones downwind of Hanford, or downwind of nuclear testing in St. George, Utah, or downwind of uranium mining in Junction City, Colorado.

And there will always be people like you, Don, to tell the dead people's families that they really can't prove what killed their loved ones.

It's kind of crazy that they never bothered to bring in new generators while they waited for the land line to be run. Is there any explanation for why they never brought in backup power of any kind?

I think the roads were bad, for one thing.

Not that I want anyone to test it, but there's a study saying a certain number of chest x rays (with more radiation than Sacramento stands to get from the current nuclear reactor plant event) actually reduces chances of getting breast cancer for women.

And for guys a certain amount of radiation causes a temporary period of sterility. I am not suggesting you guys take advantage of such windows of opportunity. But do have a nice weekend in any event.

I see in the O today that the current level of released radiation will be at most 1/4 of a CAT scan by the time it gets here

The generators used at these plants are massive. Nobody has one sitting around in stock. Even a large truck mount is insufficient

NPR report this afternoon indicates that they have hooked up the power line to #5 and #6, working across towards #4 (it's the most troublesome due to the radiation)

We don't need to be worrying about radiation here until the rods start to burn

Here's how the meeting went:
"Okay, the board wants to hear some ideas. Fenstock you go first."

"Thank you, sir. Look, this is going to be a controversial topic because of the spent fuel and what happened at Chernobyl. Let's do our utmost to make these plants safe. I mean design them to the Nth degree and be the first voice the public hears when we find a leak or do anything wrong. Then if we can't fix something or if it even looks a little bad we shut down a facility no matter how much it costs. We have to win the battle of public opinion by being a noble steward of the public trust - let's be the best run industry in the world even if it hurts us with our bottom line. Thank you, sir."

"First, before I go on, somebody get Fenstock out of here before I throw up. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to milk this for every dollar we can. We're going to lie and cut corners, and if something goes wrong we'll use our political connections to get us past it, and get what we want anyway. If it's a big enough disaster we'll stick it on the taxpayers. Meantime, if you can't get a license extension because a reactor is no longer safe, try and dump these old plants by spinning them into a new corporation and, then just walk away from the clean-up costs. It's not going to be easy but try it at least.

The key is that we'll simply buy our way through with the politicians rather than spend the money to fix any problems ourselves. It'll be a lot less expensive.

And as for the public opinion, there will always be a significant percentage of the population who'll buy into this because they buy all our B.S. Why do you think Rush makes a zillion a year? This group needs to be lied to - it makes them seem like they're on the Big Business Team - they need that feeling even though the poor fools are getting played like 5-dollar crack whores. Then they go out and do free PR for us. It's perfect.

Sure, there will be studies saying we're destroying the environment and creating dead zones. We'll just fund our own studies and hire our own scientists. We'll use grant money and all kinds of manipulation.

For every study the other side comes up with - for every picture of some kid in Fallujah with horrible birth defects from radiation - we'll trot out our team with our rosy stuff. Hell, BP did it and they trashed the Gulf of Mexico. Remember the ads, "I live here too..." Did you see any of the bosses go to jail? They cut corners and workers died. Did any individual corporate boss even get a parking ticket out of that? So don't worry about the criminality. Just the bottom line.

Hell, this system's been working down to the penny for decades. We know exactly how much to spend to move the numbers our way and get the politicians onboard. These people in the general public who support us may not know their own names but they know GE brings good things to life. Got it?

And the next time I call a meeting like this and someone mouths off about integrity, you'll be joining Fenstock in the unemployment line. So get out there and make this corporation some money. Dismissed."

You nailed it Bill! Greed knows no bounds and crosses all boundaries.

Hey, Bill:
What percentage of you income comes from corporations?


You'll have to explain to me, Jim, why the fact that Bill may or may not derive some of his income from corporations is relevant to the points he's making.

Corporations rule, they own media, and in some cases the scientists who get their grant money from them.
Chaos rules creating more mischief.

Good idea to be a skeptic, however, in the scheme of things these days, do any of us really know?

Read once where the key to a good education is to be able to tell when another person is speaking rot.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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Del Ri, Claret 2012
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
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James Joyce - Dubliners
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Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
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Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
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Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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