tsunami

ddrueding

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Good thing my boat was on it's trailer; 3' storm surge in the harbor. Broke a bunch of boats off their moorings, sunk 3. The water was leaving the harbor at 20kts.
 

Pradeep

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"Updated 1 hour 23 minutes ago The Japanese government has declared an atomic emergency because of the "possibility" of a radioactive leak from a nuclear reactor in the quake disaster zone. But operators of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have warned that radiation could already have leaked. This morning Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan said thousands of people living within 10 kilometres of the nuclear plant must evacuate. The amount of radiation reached around 1,000 times the normal level in the No. 1 reactor's control room, the Kyodo news agency reported the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency as saying.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/12/3162223.htm

One can only imagine that contol can be done from an alternate reactor control room in this case. Gas venting seems preferable to an uncontrolled rupture, radioactivity not withstanding.
 

Pradeep

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"The International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday on its website that the quake and tsunami knocked out the reactor's off-site power source, which is used to cool down the radioactive material inside. Then, the tsunami waves disabled the backup source --diesel generators --and authorities were working to get these operating."

If those diesel engines were submerged by the tsunami then quick restoration of cooling seems unlikely.
 

Stereodude

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Unfortunately this will put an end to any future hope of nuclear power in the US. :erm:

The whole situation really sucks for the people of Japan. :(
 

Pradeep

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Unfortunately this will put an end to any future hope of nuclear power in the US. :erm:

The whole situation really sucks for the people of Japan. :(
Depends on if the core goes critical. Apparently they are on battery power and can keep swapping them out via chopper.
 

Howell

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Even with the advancements in reactor contruction, you still have to manage the legacy equipment. It would be a shame to throw away billions of dollars.
 

Pradeep

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"Smoke was seen billowing from the Fukushima No 1 atomic plant about 250km northeast of Tokyo after an explosion at the ageing facility destroyed the walls and roof, reports said. The blast reportedly left several workers injured. Kyodo News agency said radioactive caesium had been detected near the site, quoting the Japanese nuclear safety commission.

Radioactivity rose 20-fold outside, reports said.

...
The plant ``may be experiencing nuclear meltdown'', Kyodo and Jiji reported before the explosion, while public broadcaster NHK quoted the safety agency as saying metal tubes that contain uranium fuel may have melted. The cooling system of the plant was damaged in the massive earthquake that struck the region 24 hours earlier, leaving authorities scrambling to fix the problem and evacuate more than 45,000 residents within a 10km radius. Thousands were also evacuated from near a second plant, Fukushima No 2, which also suffered damage to its cooling system. Parts of the No 1 reactor's nuclear fuel rods were briefly exposed to the air on Saturday after cooling water levels dropped and a fire engine was pumping water into the reactor."

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/a-79-magnitude-earthquake-has-struck-off-the-northeastern-coast-of-japan-triggering-a-six-metre-tsunami-warning/story-e6frg12c-1226020400557

Sounds like they are right on the edge. The flowrate of the normal cooling system versus the output og a fire engine. Its not clear if the explosion was just the external plant walls or the containment barrier itself.
 

flagreen

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No nuke plants? = Relatively few electric automobiles? = Bummer!!!
 

time

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There's some serious lying going on with regard to the situation at the nuclear power plants (yes, plural: Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini), which one highly experienced nuclear industry journo sniffed early on.

Straight after everyone was being assured there was nothing to worry about, the evacuation zone was extended from 3km to 10km. Within the space of one hour, it was extended again to 20km. Getting 50,000 people to urgently move up to 20km is a big ask anytime, let alone under the current chaotic conditions in the earthquake/tsunami aftermath.
 

Pradeep

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So the explosion was from hydrogen buildup and only affected the shell of the building, reactor still intact, and now they say they are filling with seawater and boric acid.

Haven't heard anything about the others.
 

Stereodude

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Not exactly. The Three Mile Island cluster F..k really put the keebosh to nuclear power in the states.
Yeah, but Three Mile Island was an embarrassing case of human error. The automated systems had the problem under control and would have handled it correctly had the operators not decided the readings / measurements were bogus and manually overrode the system.
 

Pradeep

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Not sure how you reconcile that version of events with the detection of caesium, not to mention three randomly chosen residents testing positive to radiation exposure.
How far away were they from the plant when it blew? Within the 10KM evac zone? Certainly there would be radiation in the massive steam cloud that moved away on the winds. The instructions are to stay indoors and shut off AC units.

Apparently 90-180 cm of the 4m long rods were uncovered for a period of time, the caesium being detected being a telltale.

In the US the residents living within close range of a reactor are pre-supplied with the iodine tablets.
 

time

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It's been really challenging to get reliable information, but this appears to be the situation:

Reactor 1 of 6 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant (also known as Fukushima 1, Fukushima Daini is Fukushima 2 and has 4 reactors) has suffered a partial meltdown. Its container building has been partially destroyed by an explosion, but the containment vessel appears to be intact. The company is flooding the container with seawater and boric acid. The nature of these things means that no-one really knows if the meltdown has been stopped or when it will stop.

Reactor 3 at the same site is also in meltdown. It has been reported that the coolant dropped to 3 meters below the tops of the fuel rods. The company now says this reactor is actually the main source of the contamination of the surrounding areas.

Reactor 3 uses MOX fuel, which has plutonium added. This makes it a different ballgame, as the dangers and risks of MOX explains. Essentially, you don't have any leeway if the fuel rods are exposed and the consequences of a breach are way more serious. It's been theorized that this is behind the latest warning for residents to avoid any rain.
 

Pradeep

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One thing that seems clear is that the utility is lying to the people as they have done in the past.

The good news would be the winds are blowing out to the ocean at this time.

"A second explosion could occur at an earthquake-struck nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, a government official told reporters Sunday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said an explosion could occur in the buliding housing the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant."

There continue to be tsunami warnings in the Sendai area from just the aftershocks, another big one could hit.

"There is a 70% likelihood that Japan will experience an earthquake of 7.0 or above in the next three days, the country's meteorological agency said.

Takashi Yokota, director the Earthquake Prediction Information Division of the agency said he based his prediction on increased tectonic activity."

from cnn.
 

Pradeep

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Due to the population densities over 100,000 dead from the tsunami wouldn't be out of the question.
 

Stereodude

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"There is a 70% likelihood that Japan will experience an earthquake of 7.0 or above in the next three days, the country's meteorological agency said.
:erm: I know I always check with my weatherman when it comes to predicting earthquakes. :scratch:
 

jtr1962

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If this had been further south and hit Tokyo full force it would have been an unprecendented disaster. I'm amazed how far the tsunamis spread. There was even some flooding in NJ two nights ago (saw it on the news, I guessed it was related to the quake but they didn't say).

This all drives home how bad even the 5 or 6 which historically hits NYC from time to time would be. Unlike the Japanese, we're totally unprepared for this. Many buildings aren't earthquake proof. We're nowhere near as cohesive responding to disasters, either. Just 2 feet of snow threw the city for a loop.

I'm not sure this is the end of new nuclear power stations. Those plants were fairly old designs. Reactor 1 was due to be decommissioned in a month anyway. I'm not seeing any short term alternative besides extreme conservation measures to building new nuclear power plants. Solar/wind/geothermal will only get us so far. Fusion is still pie-in-the-sky.
 

time

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:erm: I know I always check with my weatherman when it comes to predicting earthquakes. :scratch:
They have been monitoring seismic activity since 1884. The first of their responsibilities is "Prevention and mitigation of natural disasters" and they form part of the Disaster Management Emergency Team.

A different organization of functions to us: both Australia and the US have a separate Geological bureau; but I think it makes perfect sense to have all disaster warning and management under the one roof. Customer focused rather than bureaucratic empire focused.
 

Pradeep

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:erm: I know I always check with my weatherman when it comes to predicting earthquakes. :scratch:
It's the service that delivered the "earthquake early warning" etc.

http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/Activities/EEWLeaflet.pdf

"Warnings that featured a countdown clock were broadcast via television, radio and cellphone eight seconds after the quake was first detected, Hauksson said. In Tokyo, more than 200 miles from the epicenter, preliminary reports estimate warning times ranged between 30 and 60 seconds."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014489762_quakewarning14m.html

8 second response time, that's pretty impressive IMO.

No significant radioactive discharges according to the utility operators, yet:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/14plume.html

"The Pentagon was expected to announce that the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which is sailing in the Pacific, passed through a radioactive cloud from stricken nuclear reactors in Japan, causing crew members on deck to receive a month’s worth of radiation in about an hour, government officials said Sunday. "
 

LiamC

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I'm getting the sense that the Japanese media has gotten Iraqi Information Minister disease.

There is no problem--hate to break it to you but radioactive cesium and iodine do not occur in nature-their respective half-lifes are too short. Which is what makes them so toxic. The fact that winds have been blowing out to see has been a stroke of good luck for the populace, but has also enabled the people in control to hide the fact that things are more serious than they are claiming. But the facts are not adding up to the story portrayed.

The AFP is reporting that the suppression pool (at the base of the reactor) is damaged at one of the reactors (which one is not specified). An educated guess is that meltdown has occurred.

I can understand the need to put on a brave face to avoid panic, but this goes too far.
 
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