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Japan nuclear power stations

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Japan nuclear power stations

Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:23
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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So why are people here so convinced about the event turning into a full-blown uncontrolled release of massive amounts of radioactive particles when the evidence and facts are telling us all otherwise?
What evidence and facts are those? Any solid, reliable information is pretty thin on the ground at the moment. One official report earlier today stated levels of contamination at the site were hazardous to human health.


Fukushima was designed to withstand an 8.2 quake
The quake was magnitude 9.0 at is epicentre. The severity at the plant, some 100 miles + distant, would have been less than this, possibly below this threshold.

That speaks volumes for the design of the reactor and the whole plant
Indeed...

As nobody could have predicted a quake of that size.
Really? There have been five more powerful quakes in the last 100 years - the third largest was in recent memory.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:45
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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I prefer to see glass is half full side of things, at the moment and depends on how it turns out.

So what do we know and what can we learn. A forty year old nuclear power station got hit(close to) the most powerful earthquake recorded in Japan. It stood up as designed as far as we know. The backup system performend as designed as far as we know. But, the backup power supplies wern't adequately protected. There has been a cascade of failures all seamingly leading from this last point.

Personally I'm actually comforted by how every thing has stood up, the containment system have stood up to explosions etc etc. So the moral of the storys are to have your backup supplies as protected as the main plant. And maybe the individual reactors should have completly independent back up systems and be further apart so as accidents in one doesn't affect the other.

Up to this point I am convinced nuclear power is the go, even more if we learn from this.

Nambi

you are entirly correct on the isotopes, but the bad ones are not always released, I have no doubt some have in this case but who knows the amount.

I'm scared of fire, but it doesn't stop me cooking dinner.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:49
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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In my youth I can remember designing stuff for 150 year waves. Then some sod used a doppler satalite and invented nonlinear wave theory and they became 5 year waves.

Thing to remember as well is that the metal they used in them days for the kettle was utter shite.

My hat is off to them being able to control it for so long. I would hate to imagine what would happen in Hunterston A if they had the same issue. Thankfully that old heap is defueled. How many more of these auld heaps are running in the world?
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:54
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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You can bet there will be a lot of scientists and enginneers eager to look at the data and structures. That will like confirm a lot of stuff or they'll have to throw away the rule book and start again.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:03
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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This ridiculous anti-nuclear hysteria will soon die down in a couple of weeks when the media moves on to Royal Wedding or whatever. Whether we like it or not, nuclear is going to be a major part of our future. Hopefully some good will come out it e.g. bringing forward the decommissioning of old crappy plant from yesteryear, and its replacement with new technologies.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:05
  #106 (permalink)  
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I have no opinion, no axe. I do think Nuclear is the best solution to crazy demands for power. I don't see another way. Energy will most likely always consist of some variable "mix".

A NINE. At some stage, one must admit to limits of safety. All of life is a risk, which means that most policy will be based on fear.

The "Coulda Woulda Shoulda" in Fukushima will instruct (has instructed) newer and better methods, should sane heads prevail. The thing about fear, it takes energy to sustain. That is why the fear merchants are shrill, they know they have a limited amount of time to effect fear based policy changes.

This too shall Pass. My son has an expression, and I am not sure what he means, but I get that it counsels patience, and attention.

"It is what it is...."
 
Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:12
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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From the link in post 104

Fifty TEPCO workers have remained at the station to manage the water injection process.


These are the real heroes!
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:14
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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What evidence and facts are those? Any solid, reliable information is pretty thin on the ground at the moment. One official report earlier today stated levels of contamination at the site were hazardous to human health.
Yes, the radiation level when the fire at No.4 was ongoing was high enough to POSSIBLY be a real hazard with prolonged exposure. That level has since dropped.

The quake was magnitude 9.0 at is epicentre. The severity at the plant, some 100 miles + distant, would have been less than this, possibly below this threshold.
So you don't know, and the severity could have been higher. Doesn't alter the fact that the plant operated AS DESIGNED when the quake struck.

Really? There have been five more powerful quakes in the last 100 years - the third largest was in recent memory
And how many of those were in or around Japan? NONE. So how could they expect something like a 9 at any time?

Personally, I trust the info that is coming from the Japanese Gov, etc, regarding the state of things at Fukushima more than the hysterics coming from the press. If you look you'll see these reports, and since the US Navy, who moved away from the area yesterday, are moving back to Japan to help with the rescue efforts then I would say the danger to human health, low as it was, has definitely decreased.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:14
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Its the difference between foresight and hindsight. Anyone can dole out good advice based on the latter - what we need are designers, engineer etc with the intellect and tools to acquire the former.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:22
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Hells - the IAEA web site states that the background radiation at the site has dropped to 0.6mSv per hour. They have helpfully put this in context - its equivalent to 6 chest x-rays per hour. Call me old fashioned but that does seem a tad on the high side, as any radiologist will agree.

Also, do you have any facts or evidence re the strength of the quake as detected at Fukushima?
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:41
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Call me old fashioned but that does seem a tad on the high side, as any radiologist will agree.
And what kind of radiation is that? Is it alpha or beta particles or gamma radiation? What is giving off the radiation, what is it, since, as pointed out earlier, some compounds have a half life of a matter of seconds. So how "dangerous" is that level of exposure? It sounds high but it isn't as bad as it seems unless you are exposed, without any protection, for a prolonged length of time. And let's face it, I can't see the Japanese allowing their workers at Fukushima, who are the only ones being exposed to that level, to run around in shorts and t-shirts!

So how dangerous is that to the rest of the population? It isn't, everyone has been either moved out or are taking precautions like staying indoors, especially since the wind is blowing any "cloud" out to sea. The "risk" is higher at the plant, but that's it, and the people there are prepared for it. As said earlier, this ain't a chernobyl where massive amounts of radiation and debris were spewing out of the reactor, where the authorities tried to "keep it quiet", where people were sent in completely unprotected to try and contain the disaster. The risks in this case are far lower.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:41
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has this morning confirmed seven nuclear power plants built before 1980 will close for at least three months in response to safety fears sparked by the ongoing crisis in Japan.The price of carbon soared to a high of around 17.25 (14.95) on the news as traders predicted coal and gas-power will be used to cover the unexpected shortfall in German power output.
Expect more of the same I suppose.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:47
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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It's reached the stage where Merkel has lost the plot and seems to think that reactors in Germany would suffer from the same sort of circumstances as Fukushima (which, incidentally, did quite well considering the quake was something like 8 times the strength the plants were designed to cope with**) and the usual treehugger lot are using the events to try and say nuclear power is too dangerous to ever be used in the world.
I dont think Merkel has lost the plot,she just pulls out of the brown stuff of the nuclear lobby. Yes there is no graphite in these reactors, yes for time being it seems to be not a dramatic radioactivity level, but the "China - Syndrom" could happen. And even if that does not happen, then we have 4 and poss 6 reactors with partial damage there. (German Media reporting loss of cooling at 5+6 now)
Now put that picture into, say Bilblis, where the safety standards and redundant systems especially of Reactor A are far below the Japanese plants, with only 2 reactors but cities like Mannheim, Darmstadt, Ludwigshafen and Heppenheim within a 20k range and Frankfurt possibly 30 klicks away plus no ocean nearby.

Even if the level of Rad is way lower and stays lower, the risk especially of aged nuclear power plants close to or within habitated areas is too big IMO.

And now one came up with a clear and good strategy for the waste yet.

As Orac has just pointed out, again, the "risks" to the general public are minimal, especially since most of the contaminants released are blowing out to sea!! So why are people here so convinced about the event turning into a full-blown uncontrolled release of massive amounts of radioactive particles when the evidence and facts are telling us all otherwise?
Apparently the forecast is that the wind will shift so that the radiation will be blown to Tokyo. Most lekely not really critical yet, but what if the containment and reactor hull of only one reactor has a real leak/opening to the atmosphere?

And what evidence/facts do you have? Besides news release of the standard sort: "no danger for the public" have YOU measured there? Im sceptical about the stuff we get told, I have to say...

Last edited by His dudeness; 15th Mar 2011 at 12:58.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:53
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Also, do you have any facts or evidence re the strength of the quake as detected at Fukushima?
Deadpan, the earthquake was 9.0 moment magnitude. What are you asking? I have seen some unofficial calculations that show the surface energy release was around 1.5 x 10^17 J, this is about twice that of the 2004 Sumatran earthquake that was 9.1 magnitude. So in all practical terms was twice as destructive. Of course I can't vouch for those calculations.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 12:54
  #115 (permalink)  
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Frankly, as the first gen plants age, the need becomes more urgent to build modern ones, not less.
 
Old 15th Mar 2011, 13:02
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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Hells - I don't share your optimism I'm afraid. Plan for the worst and all that.

Incidentally, if the spent fuel store at Unit 4 has an uncontainable fire, we will be talking about a massive discharge of radioactive material, given that there are several 'core equivalents' of material in it. Add in to that anything else which then happens at Units 1 -3 (staff may not be able to get anywhere near these buildings), then the incident could be on a par with you-know-where.

The French authorities have once again reiterated their view that it an INES level 6 incident.

What are you asking?
Read back through the last pages of the thread
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 13:15
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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I always liked the idea of dropping drums of high level waste onto the sea-bed ahead of subductive faults (yes, just like the one which caused the earthquake), the idea being that the waste be pulled deep into the earth's crust.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 13:20
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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I like the idea of breaking it up into extremely small amounts and sealing and throwing it in mining waste dumps several thousand tonnes spread though hundreds of millions of tonnes of waste an't going anywhere.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 13:48
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has this morning confirmed seven nuclear power plants built before 1980 will close for at least three months in response to safety fears sparked by the ongoing crisis in Japan.The price of carbon soared to a high of around 17.25 (14.95) on the news as traders predicted coal and gas-power will be used to cover the unexpected shortfall in German power output.
Expect more of the same I suppose.
And i hope, she is honest with it.

Until some days ago i was convinced, that nuclear power is managable, like some posters her are stating as well. Fukushima however set a rethinking process in motion, and quite a fast one.

I live 12 km near the nuclear french powerplant of Fesenheim and since 3 days im not amused anymore. It is btw the most active earth quake zone of germany, and the plant sits right on it.

I feel with the people in Japan, and i would not believe a single word of the politicians and the power plant company. An accident like that would leave me as a normal citizen without proper information about the real status of the desaster, in between political and industrial interests. I could rebuild a house somewhere else if i made it away in time, but how about the health of the loved ones?

Anyway, i hope everything turns out well and may the whole world learn from it for the future.

franzl
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 13:52
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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Read back through the last pages of the thread
I did, that's why I ask. So far you have asked many questions such as those about why the control rods are beneath the core in a BWR, and where the hydrogen comes from in a water moderated reactor. These all seemed very basic questions to me. I wanted to be sure of what you were asking in this case. I believe you were trying to build a case that the destructive force at the plants is perhaps lower than the quoted design limits.

In my understanding earthquakes are now measured in moment magnitude, this is an absolute measure of energy released during an event. As such it has no position, in fact is dependent on the length of the fault line etc. So it is meaningless to try and move that measurement elsewhere. In addition to this the destructive forces are usually related to the surface waves, and therefore the proportion of energy released as surface energy is an important factor. In my previous answer I have said that in this case that proportion seems to be very high, giving it a much destructive nature. Although I have no reliable source for this.
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