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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 15, 2011 8:18 AM. The previous post in this blog was Do the right thing. The next post in this blog is Nurse Amanda will run on dirty money after all. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Rockin' on Hawthorne

There were a few small earthquakes last night down in the Buckman and Ladd's Addition neighborhoods, close in on the east side of Portland. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there were three: one (a 2.1, at 8:49 p.m.) was centered near the corner of Hawthorne and Poplar (between 18th and 19th); another (a 1.7, at 9:26 p.m.) near the corner of SE 27th and Morrison (near Lone Fir Cemetery); and the third (a 1.2, at 9:56 p.m.) near the corner of 30th and Belmont.

That part of town has had little ones before -- most recently, according to our archives, in the spring and summer of 2009. Makes you wonder about that Reed College nuclear reactor.

There was also a 2.2 under the marina at the Riverplace Hotel at 4:07 this morning. Let's hope it's all a meaningless event.

UPDATE, 2:17 p.m.: The downtown quake has been downgraded to a 1.9, and re-charted as near SE 19th and Morrison. That's exactly where a shaker was recorded in 2009.

They've also added a fifth Buckman quake to the list -- a 1.3, at 11:01 p.m., near SE 30th and Taylor. Very close to the one about an hour earlier.

Comments (17)

Here's a start for getting up to speed on whether a large earthquake will start a Fukishima event in Eastmoreland.

http://reactor.reed.edu/

They've had some safety issues down at Reed that Steve Frantz (former Trojan Plant honcho) won't tell you about on his website:

http://tinyurl.com/3jutw2v

http://tinyurl.com/3dcv6nq

http://tinyurl.com/3k2r93z

When these guys tell you not to worry -- that's when you worry.

Local officials prepare, suggesting steps residents might take:

"The recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan is a reminder the Pacific Northwest is also in a seismically active region. Our last catastrophic quake was geologically similar to the one in Japan and struck off the West Coast on January 26, 1700. Scientists expect it is only a matter of time before pressure builds along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, causing a region-wide quake with significant structural damage to buildings, injuries to thousands and potential loss of life."
http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/?c=29385&a=345431

Steve Frantz is nothing but a glorified janitor!

I thought the discussion was focused on whether or not a large earthquake would lead to a health hazard from a release of radioactivity from the Reed reactor. On this point - I think the website does a pretty good job of explaining the situation. And, they actually do discuss pinhole leaks on the website - the subject of the 3k2r93z article (from 1991).

Just remember that lots of little quakes are much better than one big one... at least I hope.

The fact that Steve Frantz can't run a clean shop goes to his credibility.

OMG. Fire up Bojack Radiation Center 9000.2!

I think Steve F. started at Reed in 1994. The pinhole leak situation occurred in 1991, from my reading of the article.

A considerably larger reactor (5MW) is sited beside railroad tracks quite close to busy Mass Ave on the MIT campus in Cambridge, an area not known for quakes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_Nuclear_Research_Reactor

Compared to MIT's reactor, Reed's, located about a mile from where I'm currently sitting, is not much greater worry than a microwave:
http://reactor.reed.edu/faq.html

MIT's facility, however, remains burdensome:
"MIT’s 50-year-old nuclear reactor, one of only three US research facilities not run by the Department of Energy that still use material that could also be used to make atomic bombs, will probably not be converted to use a safer fuel for at least another five years because of technical obstacles, according to a recent government report obtained by the Globe."
http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2009/12/29/mit_reactor_could_become_political_liability_for_us/

The pinhole leak situation occurred in 1991

The safety violations were much more recent.

This info is from here:

http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/gump/people/portland/portland.html


What Have We Learned?
The best known crustal fault in the Portland-Vancouver area is called the Portland Hills fault; it trends northwest-southeast and is situated between the Tualatin Mountains (also known as the Portland Hills) and the Willamette River in downtown Portland. The airborne magnetic survey in fact found a very distinctive magnetic pattern with the same northwest-southeast trend, but surprisingly it was located on the opposite side of the Willamette River. This magnetic pattern is clearly associated with another fault suspected to lie along the east side of the river, called the East Bank fault. This fault is completely concealed beneath sediments, was suspected only on the basis of a few shallow wells, and was not thought to be particularly significant.

The magnetic patterns confirm the existence of the East Bank fault and suggests that it may be more dangerous than previously suspected. In particular, the magnetic pattern associated with this fault extends at least 50 km to the southeast (as indicated by the arrows on the large magnetic map), to near the town of Estacada, Oregon, and considerably beyond the previously suspected extent of the fault. Scientists believe that the East Bank fault, the Portland Hills fault, and other northwest-southeast trending faults in the Portland metropolitan area are part of a broad zone of faulting, called the Portland Hills fault zone. If seismically active along its entire length, the Portland Hills fault zone poses a more significant seismic hazard to the Portland-Vancouver community than previously suspected.

I'm not worried, from one person's perspective.

Let's face it. If Reed had a perfect safety record, the response would be the same. Hushed stories of coverup and such would feed the frenzy.

Read the reactor description itself.

/s Our whole society is powered fundamentally by violence. We explode fuels in a hardened cylinder and use this device to power us all over the planet. We even expose our children to this exploding menace./-s

...and I thought it was just a way to celebrate the Timbers and Jeld-wen Stadium...

It was just the Timbers Army rocking Jeld Wen Stadium.....

Perhaps Mt. Tabor is emerging from its torpor to take care of that reservoir issue.


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