This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 17, 2011 7:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was A kick in the butte. The next post in this blog is Trouble on the "green economy" front. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mother Nature's still doing the talking

The next chapter in the Japanese triple meltdown saga is about to play out, as another monster storm is expected to hit land south of Tokyo Monday night our time. The typhoon is expected to rake the east coast of the country, heading north and reaching Tokyo before hanging a right and going back out to sea. That trajectory would mean that the eye of the storm would miss the trashed Fukushima reactor complex, on the northeast coast, but that area would still get a mess of rain and wind.

Over the ocean, the sustained winds in the storm are being clocked at 130 miles an hour. If you look at the blown-out frames of Fukushima reactors 3 and 4 -- both of which have packed spent fuel pools in them -- you can't help noticing that winds at even half that force could cause something disastrous to occur.

Tokyo Electric and the Japanese government have now reportedly agreed that getting the fuel rods out of those pools is the number 1 priority. But given how bad the destruction is at reactors 3 and 4, it's not going to be an easy task. In a typhoon, of course, it's impossible.

Meanwhile, here in the states, our two pending nuclear disasters appear to have been avoided, at least for now. Apparently the big wildfire near the contaminated Los Alamos atomic bomb factory didn't burn through any major nuclear waste materials, and they're claiming that no major amounts of radioactivity were released into the air, but stirred-up radioactive materials in the soil are expected to be sloshing around if and when it ever starts raining there again. The fire is only about half contained, but there's no longer talk of the nuke facility being immediately threatened.

In Nebraska, the two civilian reactors that were surrounded by floodwaters from the Missouri River are still surrounded, but the river levels have been going down a bit at one of them this week, which is the right direction. The other reactor, at Fort Calhoun, is still shut down due to the flood emergency, but they have managed to reinstall the temporary dam that they inadvertently broke -- the one they claimed they didn't really need. And of course, they're still pumping out river water like crazy. In short, things there are seemingly getting no worse for Nukebraska at the moment, but there are still likely to be troubles there for another several months. Until the rain and snowmelt stop racing down from north of there, the river's going to be more than anybody can handle.

Comments (4)

With radiati☢n c☢ncerns g☢ne, Japan eager f☢r t☢urists

Jack, I talked to my friend in Tokyo today. When I mentioned the typhoon he just shrugged and said a little storm was coming in. Then after his winning the bet on the World Cup soccer match he thought that the little extra radiation probably helped the Japanese team. He said there's still more worry about Fukushima in the US than Japan. But he's worried, and coping. People are still untrusting of the government and Tepco.

So if you're forced to live underground in a radiation fallout shelter; here are some of the greed motivated key responsible players in Japan:

A friend from Omaha was in town this weekend - he said he expects they'll spare no expense to keep the Omaha airport above the flood waters - he mentioned a $15 million dollar figure, but I don't know if that was year-to-date, or expected future costs. He did say the water would take several more weeks to recede.

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