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Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Reactors and Media Sensationalism

This is a discussion on Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Reactors and Media Sensationalism within the Energy forums, part of the US Discussion category; This is a good read. It contains some valuable info regarding the design of the nuclear reactors in Japan. There is a lot of media ...


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Old 03-15-2011, 02:12 PM
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Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Reactors and Media Sensationalism

This is a good read. It contains some valuable info regarding the design of the nuclear reactors in Japan. There is a lot of media hysteria and disinformation spinning around.

Hope this helps clarify the situation.


...What happened at Fukushima Daiichi

The original earthquake hit. Three of the six reactors were in operation, the other three were shut down for scheduled maintenance. The reactors were designed to sustain an earthquake of magnitude 8.2; at magnitude 9, the Honshu quake was 16 times more powerful. This caused the plant to automatically shut down; this was apparently successful, but …

About an hour later, the tsunami hit. The tsunami did two significant things: it destroyed the backup generators that kept the pumps running, and it apparently so contaminated the reserve coolant that it was not only no longer pure, but was so mucked up with the scourings of the tsunami that it couldn’t be safely pumped. At this point, the reactor was in some trouble.

As the reactor heated up, water began to react with the zirconium fuel-rod containers, liberating hydrogen, which started to build up in the boiler. The operators began to vent gases from the reactor to reduce the pressure, liberating the hydrogen into the outer façade building. These gases are mildly radioactive, mainly with nitrogen-16 and several isotopes of xenon, all products of the fission reaction that powers the reactor; apparently they were vented into the outer building in order to slow their dispersion and give them a chance to lose radioactivity.

Hydrogen in combination with the oxygen in the air can be explosive, and at some time after the venting started in reactor 3, the hydrogen in the outer façade exploded, blowing off the walls of upper half of the building and leaving the steel structure exposed. This explosion put six workers in hospital, with various injuries and one apparent heart attack. This was the first spectacular explosion that raised great clouds of white smoke.

This was reported in the New York Times as “radiation poisoning.” No other source has reported this, including the IAEA. Apparently, according to the Times, radiation poisoning breaks arms.

The second explosion was another hydrogen explosion; as before, apparently what was destroyed was the outer building that surrounds the containment, not the containment itself.

Confusion

This is the point at which the media confusion starts. Many stories concentrating on the reactor accidents were illustrated with blazing pictures of a natural gas plant explosion and a burning oil refinery, much more visually impressive than a building with the façade stripped off, but giving the false impression of a blazing inferno at the reactors.

Several headlines said “nuclear explosion,” which is something very different from “an explosion in a nuclear power plant.”

Anti-nuclear politicians like Senator Ed Markey and anti-nuclear activists from groups like the Institute for Policy Studies warned ominously of “another Chernobyl” — which this isn’t and never will be; the reactors are wildly, radically, different in design. (More on this below.)

Television talking heads talked about the “containment building.” Which is strictly true, since the building in which the containment is housed would be the “containment building” — but misleading and confusing, because the containment for all three reactors remained intact.

So there’s the first bottom-line point: at least so far, the inner, steel, containment vessel on all three Fukushima reactors remains intact....



Pajamas Media » Fear the Media Meltdown, Not the Nuclear One (UPDATED)
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:27 PM
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I searched the New York Times for a story where they called injuries radiation poisoning and found nothing. I can therefore assume this article is nothing but a hit piece full of lies.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:41 PM
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Unsurprisingly, you have poor searching skills and a complete lack of interest in attaining any knowledge.

And workers at the pumping operation are presumed to be exposed to radiation; several workers, according to Japanese reports, have been treated for radiation poisoning. It is not clear how severe their exposure was.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/wo...g&st=nyt&scp=2
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:48 PM
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Via our friend Professor Barry Brook, comes this marvellously sane and cool explanation of the emergency at Japan’s the Fukushima nuclear reactor by Dr Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT, in Boston.

Read the fascinating and reasurring in its entirety. But if you have time only for Oehmen’s bottom line, it’s this:

- The plant is safe now and will stay safe.

- Japan is looking at an INES Level 4 Accident: Nuclear accident with local consequences. That is bad for the company that owns the plant, but not for anyone else.

- Some radiation was released when the pressure vessel was vented. All radioactive isotopes from the activated steam have gone (decayed). A very small amount of Cesium was released, as well as Iodine. If you were sitting on top of the plants’ chimney when they were venting, you should probably give up smoking to return to your former life expectancy. The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again.

- There was some limited damage to the first containment. That means that some amounts of radioactive Cesium and Iodine will also be released into the cooling water, but no Uranium or other nasty stuff (the Uranium oxide does not “dissolve” in the water). There are facilities for treating the cooling water inside the third containment. The radioactive Cesium and Iodine will be removed there and eventually stored as radioactive waste in terminal storage.

- The seawater used as cooling water will be activated to some degree. Because the control rods are fully inserted, the Uranium chain reaction is not happening. That means the “main” nuclear reaction is not happening, thus not contributing to the activation. The intermediate radioactive materials (Cesium and Iodine) are also almost gone at this stage, because the Uranium decay was stopped a long time ago. This further reduces the activation. The bottom line is that there will be some low level of activation of the seawater, which will also be removed by the treatment facilities.

- The seawater will then be replaced over time with the “normal” cooling water

- The reactor core will then be dismantled and transported to a processing facility, just like during a regular fuel change.

- Fuel rods and the entire plant will be checked for potential damage. This will take about 4-5 years.

- The safety systems on all Japanese plants will be upgraded to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami (or worse)

- I believe the most significant problem will be a prolonged power shortage. About half of Japan’s nuclear reactors will probably have to be inspected, reducing the nation’s power generating capacity by 15%. This will probably be covered by running gas power plants that are usually only used for peak loads to cover some of the base load as well. That will increase your electricity bill, as well as lead to potential power shortages during peak demand, in Japan.

On MTR 13777 this morning, Australian nuclear expert Ziggy Switkowski, former chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, agreed that no one as yet hard received a dangerous dose of radiation from the reactor, no nuclear explosion was possible and the chances of Australia being affected, on a scale of possibility from one to 1 million, was zero.
Updates at link

Before you give in to the media’s nuclear meltdown… | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog


Ziggy Switkowski on the nuclear meltdown threat.

Chris Smith speaks to Doctor of Philosophy in Nuclear Physics Ziggy Switkowski about the nuclear meltdown threat in Japan.

2GB Media Player - Ziggy Switkowski on the nuclear meltdown threat
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It's worth noting, that during almost the exact amount of time, the Obama administration couldn't build a functioning web site.


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Old 03-15-2011, 02:49 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by boedicca View Post
Unsurprisingly, you have poor searching skills and a complete lack of interest in attaining any knowledge.

And workers at the pumping operation are presumed to be exposed to radiation; several workers, according to Japanese reports, have been treated for radiation poisoning. It is not clear how severe their exposure was.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/wo...g&st=nyt&scp=2
Thanks for proving my point. The article says some workers were treated for radiation poisoning. It does not say broken arms were caused by radiation poisoning.

I love how you tools keep using this disaster for cheap, and false, political points.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:50 PM
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Pathetic.

The broken arms were reported by other media outlets. The NYT is the only one that claims they were treated for radiation poisoning.

It must be sad going through life lacking any intellectual curiosity.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:52 PM
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Now go ahead and deny that your little hit piece didn't say this:

Apparently, according to the Times, radiation poisoning breaks arms.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:56 PM
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Yet more unsurprises; you don't understand sarcasm either.

The NYT sensationalized the injuries in ways the other media did not. And you have no capacity to understand why they would do so.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:08 PM
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I thought there were 4 reactors at Daiichi? That is the first claim of 6 I have seen.

Also, #4 was off line, but is storing spent rods, which have to be kept cool just like the active rods.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:10 PM
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There are six. Three that were operational; three that were offline.

Fukushima I nuclear accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:23 PM
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I suppose the explosions are just sensationalism, too. Why, I bet they didn't even happen, it is just something the media made up.

Heck, there probably wasn't even an earthquake...where's Terral when you need him?
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Ravi View Post


Now go ahead and deny that your little hit piece didn't say this:

Apparently, according to the Times, radiation poisoning breaks arms.
Hydrogen in combination with the oxygen in the air can be explosive, and at some time after the venting started in reactor 3, the hydrogen in the outer façade exploded, blowing off the walls of upper half of the building and leaving the steel structure exposed. This explosion put six workers in hospital, with various injuries and one apparent heart attack. This was the first spectacular explosion that raised great clouds of white smoke.

This was reported in the New York Times as “radiation poisoning.”....



wait for it....


Apparently, according to the Times, radiation poisoning breaks arms.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:01 PM
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Well, it's more fun sensationalizing the nuclear situation than focusing on the broader earthquake damage.

For my part, thousands are dead, mostly from the tsunami. The survivors are facing deprivation...and are more at risk from disease than they are from radiation poisoning.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:07 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Ravi View Post


I suppose the explosions are just sensationalism, too. Why, I bet they didn't even happen, it is just something the media made up.

Heck, there probably wasn't even an earthquake...where's Terral when you need him?
The earthquake and tsunami were definitely sensationalism. The NYT had to go to extraordinary lengths to get 2000 paid actors to wash up on shore "dead" yesterday. But there is NO LIMIT to how far they will go for attention!

The rest of the disaster was obviously staged at MGM studios in conjunction with Disney. Most of it was digital.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:18 PM
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All kidding aside, most of the news is what the Japanese tell us it is...two missing in the latest blast, the IAEA says radiation (of what sort, I don't know) is leaking directly into the atmosphere.

My heart goes out to them all...and I sincerely hope it improves from here on out.
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