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Old 03-27-11, 10:22 AM   #43
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Hyap our friend David is hardly unbiased either.

And no the hype surrounding fukushima is not a good thing. People already associate anything nuclear with bad images due to decades of Hollywood rubbish and outrageous statements by politicians and campaigners. It does not help the situation if people who are already afraid of NE without knowing why are told more scare-stories based on supposition. Yes radiation has a harmful effect on the human body and yes chernobyl did effect people outside the immediate area, but not just any amount of radiation will have a noticeable effect and we are not dealing with chernobyl. We are dealing with fukushima in a situation that is vastly different both in the way it has been handled and what has actually occurred. And asides from the incident with the Tokyo drinking water there has been no event where a significant level of radiation has reached the general population, and even there it was nothing huge.

I'm not saying this to be unsympathetic, far from it. I believe that we should be helping the Japanese to recover from what has happened, but what they need help recovering from is the earthquake and tsunami. As long as the reactors are brought back under control there should be no serious harm done to the people by the events that have surrounded them so far.
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Old 03-28-11, 01:16 AM   #44
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Really hyap, I'd say that this fearmongering over Fukushima is an unfortunate distraction from the much greater suffering caused by the quake and tsunami. If the media were less focused on the nuclear crisis that so far hasn't been one, perhaps they could spend more time on the rest of Japan. As to the specific claims of 'lies' made by Mr. Rothscum, I don't think I've seen more than two of the 7 actually used. Most of the time, I expect the people trying to scare to make bolder claims than those trying to calm, and falling into the former category, Rothscum seems to be following suit. Making claims that the other side gives absolutes, such as "A Chernobyl-like event could never happen again" belies a belief that your opponent believes the public is stupid. No responsible scientist would claim that a Chernobyl scale event could never happen; such unequivocal language is the domain of the media, not proper science. Accidents always exist as a possibility with the current crop of reactors. Rothscum fails to mention the newer reactor designs that do not even use materials capable of going critical, making a purely nuclear explosion impossible from the physics level, as opposed to dependance upon safety features. Also, his comments on comparing radioactivity of nuclear and coal make some strange assumptions, such as
Quote:
in reality, the nuclear waste often is released into our environment, where it will enter the food chain, our atmosphere, and eventually settle into our bodies. This means that the article is dealing with a hypothetical situation that will never occur in reality.
He's jumped from claiming that nuclear waste "often is released into our environment" (a minor falsehood, as the waste leaked rarely is the highly radioactive fuel, but much more likely to be lower-radioactive and less dangerous radioactive byproducts such as Tritium) to "a hypothetical situation that will never occur in reality"; i.e. he is claiming that the supposed commonality of radioactive leaks makes a plant not having any leaks impossible. He really is no better than those he trys to debunk. Obviously ridiculous things like the bannana equivalent dose aren't talked about in serious circles, so his greatest successes in this article are in pointing out what you should already know intuitively. His insistence that nuclear be outright eliminated is too extreme for the moderate center to take him seriously. If you listen to actual nuclear propagandists (rarer than you might think, but the news usally manages to dig one up), they sound no saner than this guy, but he sure isn't any saner than them. Practically speaking, nuclear energy is dangerous, and emergency preparedness clearly needs improvement, but since nuclear power is here for the near term, we would do well to make it safer, not demonize it.
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Old 03-29-11, 01:53 PM   #45
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Default Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor



The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.

The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant. Readings from reactor two at the site have been made public by the Japanese authorities and Tepco, the utility that operates it.

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor, but said there was no danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe.

Workers have been pumping water into three reactors at the stricken plant in a desperate bid to keep the fuel rods from melting down, but the fuel is at least partially exposed in all the reactors.

At least part of the molten core, which includes melted fuel rods and zirconium alloy cladding, seemed to have sunk through the steel "lower head" of the pressure vessel around reactor two, Lahey said.

"The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell," Lahey said. "I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards."

The major concern when molten fuel breaches a containment vessel is that it reacts with the concrete floor of the drywell underneath, releasing radioactive gases into the surrounding area. At Fukushima, the drywell has been flooded with seawater, which will cool any molten fuel that escapes from the reactor and reduce the amount of radioactive gas released.

Lahey said: "It won't come out as one big glob; it'll come out like lava, and that is good because it's easier to cool."

The drywell is surrounded by a secondary steel-and-concrete structure designed to keep radioactive material from escaping into the environment. But an earlier hydrogen explosion at the reactor may have damaged this.

"The reason we are concerned is that they are detecting water outside the containment area that is highly radioactive and it can only have come from the reactor core," Lahey added. "It's not going to be anything like Chernobyl, where it went up with a big fire and steam explosion, but it's not going to be good news for the environment."

The radiation level at a pool of water in the turbine room of reactor two was measured recently at 1,000 millisieverts per hour. At that level, workers could remain in the area for just 15 minutes, under current exposure guidelines.

A less serious core meltdown happened at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. During that incident, engineers managed to cool the molten fuel before it penetrated the steel pressure vessel. The task is a race against time, because as the fuel melts it forms a blob that becomes increasingly difficult to cool.

In the light of the Fukushima crisis, Lahey said all countries with nuclear power stations should have "Swat teams" of nuclear reactor safety experts on standby to give swift advice to the authorities in times of emergency, with international groups co-ordinated by the International Atomic Energy Authority.

The warning came as the Japanese authorities were being urged to give clearer advice to the public about the safety of food and drinking water contaminated with radioactive substances from Fukushima.

Robert Peter Gale, a US medical researcher who was brought in by Soviet authorities after the Chernobyl disaster, in 1986, has met Japanese cabinet ministers to discuss establishing an independent committee charged with taking radiation data from the site and translating it into clear public health advice.

"What is fundamentally disturbing the public is reports of drinking water one day being above some limit, and then a day or two later it's suddenly safe to drink. People don't know if the first instance was alarmist or whether the second one was untrue," said Gale.

"My recommendation is they should consider establishing a small commission to independently convert the data into comprehensible units of risk for the public so people know what they are dealing with and can take sensible decisions," he added.


Source:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/29/japan-lost-race-save-nuclear-reactor
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Old 03-29-11, 02:29 PM   #46
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Quote: Originally Posted by hyap View Post
If you don't know how to be sympathetic at least don't belittle someone’s doom.]
Doom? really? - laying it on thick there Hyap. The Lewis Page article I linked too attacks the gross hyperbole of certain 'credible" & respected media outlets with regard to Fukushima. You can hardly engage in any serious rebuttal if you're going to couch yourself in exactly the kind of language he takes issue with.
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Old 03-29-11, 11:42 PM   #47
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Quote:
"My recommendation is they should consider establishing a small commission to independently convert the data into comprehensible units of risk for the public so people know what they are dealing with and can take sensible decisions," he added.
Given the conflicting data coming from the site itself, the Japanese government, and worst of all, the global media, I think this sounds like a wonderful idea.
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Old 04-01-11, 11:05 PM   #48
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Well stated hyap.
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Old 04-12-11, 11:47 AM   #49
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Scary stuff!!
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Old 05-30-11, 11:12 AM   #50
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Germany is an economic powerhouse, if they don't handle this change over carefully they stand to ruin themselves. I think they are going to have to invest heavily in fossil fuels to pick up the slack, at least in the short term.
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