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Radioactive fallout and flights into Japan

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Radioactive fallout and flights into Japan

Old 14th Mar 2011, 18:35
  #21 (permalink)  
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How old are the plants in question?
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Old 14th Mar 2011, 20:21
  #22 (permalink)  
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Fukushima I was open almost exactly 40 years ago, on March 26 1971, built 4 years before that.
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Old 14th Mar 2011, 20:28
  #23 (permalink)  
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I think the lesson here is that the plants survived the earthquake(s) - it's the tsunami which has caused the real problems (standby diesel generators were coping well with pumping coolant - but not so well after they got flooded).
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Old 14th Mar 2011, 20:37
  #24 (permalink)  
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I think the lesson here is that the plants survived the earthquake(s) - it's the tsunami which has caused the real problems (standby diesel generators were coping well with pumping coolant - but not so well after they got flooded).
Ships builders are more smart...
Emergency generator(s) always situated at the most high possible place in the ship ... not under the waterline (at least for commercial ships)
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 08:52
  #25 (permalink)  
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LH have added a technical stop at ICN to their MUC and FRA to NRT flights and also on the way back.

NRT is to the NE of Tokyo, i.e. closer to Fukushima, so that might rob some pilots of their sleep. What is more, there are only so many Hotel beds close to the airport, and maybe their crew hotel was further out, making transit completely unpredictable.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:53
  #26 (permalink)  
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Austrian has had military NBC-experts onboard their flights measuring the radiation when approaching Tokyo. German airport fire bigades at EEDF and EDDM checked returning LH aircraft for radiation with no result.

Lufthansa has halted it's Narita flights today. Serving only other japanese destinations.

Lufthansa: Sonderflugplan nach Japan - FLUG REVUE

Last edited by Less Hair; 15th Mar 2011 at 12:03.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:12
  #27 (permalink)  

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Relevant information will be posted on the Eurocontrol NOP site - see top right, although if that's supposed to be a link it doesn't open for me.

Interestingly, information should be diffused through the VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre) system which caused so many headaches last April, when the London VAAC was being over-zealous. It seems to be the opposite case with the Tokyo VAAC this time around.

Last edited by The SSK; 15th Mar 2011 at 13:11.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 13:00
  #28 (permalink)  
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Jcjeant - there are newer and safer reactor designs than Fukushima (being used in Japan and other countries). In 40 years the technology has made quite a few advances. With Fukushima, the fuel rods were automatically withdrawn from the reactor core and the nuclear reaction has been stopped (unlike what happened in Chernobyl). However, due to the heat produced by natural radioactive decay the rods continue to produce large amounts of heat for some time. This means that even when the reactor has been shut down, coolant must still be circulated at all times to avoid overheating. The coolant circulation pumps and backups failed and the reactor coolant did overheat. More modern reactors have a design that allows sufficient cooling of heat produced by natural decay without the need for the circulation pumps to work. Meaning that this problem would not have happened.

Cortilla - The Earths core is something that scientists are still theorising on (Dynamo Theory, Georeactor etc.). As you are being pedantic - there is not actually a fusion reaction but the core is highly radioactive and the heat is due to radioactive decay. The point being that radiation and nuclear reactions are part of everyday nature and essential to our planet sustaining life. We are all being constantly exposed to the earths background radiation and always have been. Those living in parts of Cornwall (which has high level of natural radioactivity) are probably exposed more than those living in Fukushima during the last few days.

Basil - that dose is over an hour and if outside close to the source at the worst time (ie. during the steam leak). Not good but not especially bad considering all the pollution and chemicals we expose ourselves to daily.

Last edited by Pelikanpete; 15th Mar 2011 at 13:15.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 15:46
  #29 (permalink)  
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I lived in Japan for nearly 3 years during the last decade. The government and high ranking company officals are not good at communicating bad news.

I don't beleive the nuclear plants survived the quakes. It seems apparent that the reactors in question have not been able to hold coolant water since the quakes that started last Friday. This is likley a result of cracked cooling pipes leading into and out of the steel reactor containment structures.

It is a known risk that pipes that carry nuclear material become brittle over time and the quake likely cause these to fall.

Yes, the tittle wave was a factor in several failed coolant systems but it is not the only cause.

One thing is certain; the current designs in Japan and other places worldwide are NOT safe.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 18:30
  #30 (permalink)  
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I've created Google Earth Layer showing the locations of the nuclear power plants in question. Fukushima has major problems and the other 2 are less serious.

There are radius circles at 50, 100 and 200kms around each plant and weather/surface wind links that will be useful if you are down in NRT, about 200kms away. There is also an interesting Google Earth layer put out by the USGS on the incidents page link.

Japan Nuclear Incident Layer - Google Earth required

Good luck to all if you are in the area.
Old 15th Mar 2011, 18:38
  #31 (permalink)  
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CNN is reporting that flights are being diverted around the affected plant.

Handful of 'heroes' battles to keep nuclear plant under control - CNN.com#
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 02:57
  #32 (permalink)  
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Perhaps something like that will now become another design requirement for nuclear power stations.
Already done at many (but not all) nuclear power plants in the USA.
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