Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Reactors and Media Sensationalism

Discussion in 'Energy' started by boedicca, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    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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  2. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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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.
     
  3. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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  4. Zoom-boing
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    Zoom-boing Gold Member

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    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
     
  5. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    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.
     
  6. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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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.
     
  7. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    :lol:

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

    Apparently, according to the Times, radiation poisoning breaks arms.
     
  8. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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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.
     
  9. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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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.
     
  10. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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  11. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    :rolleyes:

    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?
     
  12. R.D.
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    R.D. Gold Member

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    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. :eusa_whistle:
     
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  13. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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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.
     
  14. skeptic
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    skeptic BANNED

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    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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  15. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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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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  16. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    We can agree on feeling compassion for the people of Japan.

    But I'm more worried about the lack of food, water, power, and sewage treatment. The risk of infectious disease is worse than the radiation one, imo.
     
  17. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    It seems like only a few days ago that the world was abuze with the hysteria that We're All Gonna Die From RADIATION...oh wait, it really was only a few days ago.

    So, where is the hysteria now?

    It appears that, indeed, the media grossly sensationalized the story. In reality, radiation levels are falling and we are not going to have another Chernobyl (which was impossible to begin with given the differences in design and the fact that Chernobyl was actually a nuclear weapons plant).

    For reasonably decent data, look at the IAEA Japan tsunami site, the Nuclear Energy Institute site, and the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering site.

    Now, let’s get down to the status reports.

    NEI: Radiation doses at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continue to decrease. Radiation dose rates at the site boundary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant ranged from 1 millirem to 3 millirem per hour on March 18. Eighteen locations were monitored in a 30-kilometer to 60-kilometer radius of the plant. The highest radiation dose rate at any of those locations was 14 millirem per hour.

    This is a fairly substantial drop in the dose rate from just a few days ago — which is to be expected, because many of the radionuclides released have short half lives, minutes to hours. 1 millirem means 1000 hours to get 1 rem, 10,000 hours to get to 10 rem, the occupational dose limit in the US for one year — which you couldn’t get, because 10,000 hours is a little over 13 months.

    (snip)

    Also note that they no longer believe the Fukushima Daini plant had any sort of radiation release — the two plants are close together, and they now believe any increases in radiation at Daini were caused by the Daiichi reactors.

    It’s hard to imagine, but it’s now been eight days since the Honshu quake and tsunami, and evidence continues to accumulate that while it was certainly a bad industrial accident, the “doomsday” and “worst case” scenarios just haven’t happened. Every day longer makes those scenarios even less likely — the reactors are cooling, the Japanese are getting them supplied with power, and the fuel rods haven’t burned.


    The PJ Tatler » Fukushima update: get a grip part 2


    For further evidence, note how the MSM's attention is no longer focused on the nuclear reactors.
     
  18. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    I'm still waiting for evidence of media hype...
     
  19. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Gold Member

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    Media sensationalism.

    1. We have several nuclear reactors, on with plutonium in it, that are on the verge of meltdown. Were it not for heroic measures taken, they would have already melted down and completely breached their containers.

    2. The radiation is not decreasing. In fact, cesium and iodine are being found in more and more locations, indicating that at least one reactor has a major leak.

    3. The very radioactive water is already entering the ground and ocean. And the increasing amount of radiation is preventing more efforts to improve the cooling of the reactors and storage pools for spent rods.

    4. The corperation has tried to put a best face on this situation, and is not allowing outside monitoring of the radiation levels within the reactors.

    5. In short, I think that the media is not only not sensationalyzing the situation, they may well be underplaying it. For sure, this means that the nuclear industry here will not be building any new power stations, at least not until they have a good thorium design, that cannot do the meltdown number.
     

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