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8.8 Earthquake in Japan
Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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Ok, it's a far-off, delayed aftershock... :P

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Neil Black
Member #7,867
October 2006
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I heard about this, and I immediately hopped on Facebook to contact my friend in Japan. Thankfully, she was all right.

gnolam
Member #2,030
March 2002
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video

That video really brings home just how destructive a tsunami is - it's not the height of the waves, it's that there's nothing that stops them. There's just too much water and too much momentum. :-X

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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Nuclear reactor dangers stay.

X-G
Member #856
December 2000
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The nuclear power plant risks have been greatly exaggerated by the media. Even now, radiation levels outside the plant are perfectly safe -- they're even safe inside the plant. Several times of nothing is still nothing. Nuclear power plants come with a shitload of safety measures.

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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X-G said:

Nuclear power plants come with a shitload of safety measures.

True indeed, and you're probably right about the exaggerations. Chernobyl did take place though.

X-G
Member #856
December 2000
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Sigh. Not this shit again. Chernobyl was badly designed, badly built, badly maintained, old as balls, and the operators fucked up big time. Chernobyl is nothing like this incident.

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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You sound confident. I believe you. :)

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

The Japanese plants are badly designed, too! The plants themselves can stand earthquakes, but the power supply system to the plants obviously can't. And that is causing the problem now.

CNN said:

• Explosion reported at nuclear plant in northeastern Japan
• Blast happened while workers tried to cool nuclear rods
• Japan's nuclear agency says radioactive cesium is detected in the air near one plant
• There is a strong possibility that the melting of a fuel rod caused the leak, the agency says

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gnolam
Member #2,030
March 2002
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video

:o

[EDIT]
I'd just like to point out how awful the news reporting around this is.
The one technical detail I could find before the boom was in New Scientist's twitter feed:
"1050 mSv radiation around Fukushima nuclear plant not life-threatening but exceeds national safety level", which was later corrected to "that's 1050 microSieverts of radiation detected at Fukushima , not milliSv".
... which is complete nonsense. A sievert is a unit of absorbed equivalent dose - saying that there are "x µSv of radiation" somewhere makes no sense whatsoever. Now, dose rate - dose per unit of time (e.g. µSv/h) - would be a perfectly fine way of expressing the level of radiation. But without that unit of time it makes about as much sense as saying that something "draws 200 joules of power".

And the only news channel I've found that actually has an expert instead of just a talking head is the BBC - and even they make inane "who'da thunk it" statements. What, it "might be steam or hydrogen" exploding instead of the core itself? Really. You don't say.

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Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

Two scenarios may have lead to that explosion visible in that link. Both scenarios include fuel rods melting. :P

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Years of thorough research have revealed that the red "x" that closes a window, really isn't red, but white on red background.

Years of thorough research have revealed that what people find beautiful about the Mandelbrot set is not the set itself, but all the rest.

gnolam
Member #2,030
March 2002
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Not necessarily. The two possible causes are either a hydrogen gas explosion or a steam explosion. All you need for either of them is plenty of heat. Enough heat and you get a meltdown, yes, but all a meltdown means is that... well... the fuel melts. It's an orthogonal issue to explosions.
But at this point, I'd be surprised if it didn't start melting soon, if it hasn't already...

The questions now are a) what caused the explosion, and b) how much damage did the explosion cause?
Whatever's happened, there's now been an uncontrolled release of radioactivity. What's unsure is how much: was it just the surrounding concrete structure that went kablooey, or has the reactor vessel itself been pierced? If the former, the release will be limited to mildly radioactive steam. If the latter, then the explosion and smoke could contain any of the nasty stuff that's in the core.

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Kirr
Member #5,060
September 2004
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I don't post here often in recent years. Just posting to say that I'm alive and well. The quakes are hitting up at the North, but still clearly felt here (Izu peninsula). I'm worrying about the Fukishima plant, but also about the quakes that still continue for more than three days already. This may trigger quaking in the other areas along the plate boundary. In our area tsunami was only about 3 meters high, so no damage. However I don't go near shore. Of course up north it's a disaster. I'm glad I was not in Tokyo yesterday, or I'd be stuck there. Also we are expecting blackouts due to many power plants shutting down.

Map of the recent quakes (almost realtime)

Wish us luck.

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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Best of luck in overcoming the disaster.

gnolam
Member #2,030
March 2002
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Kirr: good to hear!

And now: Mmm, humanity...

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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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I thought everyone got over Pearl Harbor, right around the same time they got over the nukes we dropped in retalliation. ::)

MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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People are idiots. That is all, let's move back to the sad news now.

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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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I also love how the news channels, as usual, are spreading nuclear FUD. They're whining and crying how the US was finally going to start building nuke plants, electric vehicles, etc., because people were starting to feel that nuclear power was safe, and now people will be rethinking that. Instead of, you know, pointing out that these are 40 year old nuclear plants, that nothing majorly bad as happened yet, and that newer plants are safer.

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Kirr, I'm glad you're ok! I hope Japan is able to get things sorted asap.

BAF said:

I also love how the news channels, as usual, are spreading nuclear FUD.

Yeah, the timing sucks, but to be honest, this is actually a rather decent result. It could have been a hell of a lot worse, and it wasn't. If all you have to do is make sure there's enough reserve power to handle the cool down during a natural disaster, then I really don't think theres any problem with nuclear power. Especially up here in Canada. About the only thing we have to worry about up here is another ice age (excepting Vancouver who actually sit on/near a fault line).

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Kibiz0r
Member #6,203
September 2005
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Trumgottist
Member #95
April 2000
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He's probably trying to get banned, just to see what happens. (See this for context.)

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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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If all you have to do is make sure there's enough reserve power to handle the cool down during a natural disaster, then I really don't think theres any problem with nuclear power.

Yeah, as long as you can make sure of that. They had several backup sources in this case in Japan, battery backup, generators, etc., but the tsunami screwed that up. From what I've been able to gather, they ran off batteries until they were depleted, and then were stuck because the backup generators were flooded and the power grid was down so they couldn't pull from that. I'm not sure why they couldn't fly in backup generators - I heard at one point that Japanese military was working on bring some in via ground and the US Air Force was attempting to fly them in. Kind of ironic, in a sick and twisted way, that a power plant would have total loss of electricity.

At any rate, aren't the newer designs self regulating to an extent? I think they're all pretty much "walk-away safe," meaning that they're able to regulate their own temperature and such.

type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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BAF said:

At any rate, aren't the newer designs self regulating to an extent? I think they're all pretty much "walk-away safe," meaning that they're able to regulate their own temperature and such.

I bet they are, as long as they've power..

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
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I checked out CNN after reading that the media over blowing it in this thread. That channel is so creepy sometimes. The "newscaster" (it was "the situation room", that doesn't sound like news) was speaking about an unnamed, untitled guy "from inside the reactor" that "was quoted as saying" there may be the "possibility" of a meltdown. She said it three times in different ways, stressing "possibility" each time, and then it went on to the next concern.

I didn't watch long enough to want the gold and antidepressants. :-/

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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More sensations more profits..



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