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'[OT]:: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami'
2011\03\11@040734 by RussellMc

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LARGE earthquake Japan
Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC (14:46:23 local)Location: 38.3° N,
142.4° EDepth: 24kmEvent Id: USC0001XGPAlert Version: 3
Tsunami alerts osted for many Pacific sites at 1000's of km range.
Estimates range in the 8.4 - 8.9 range.Some sources say largest in Japan in
140 years.
About 100 km offshore but approx 10 metre (massive!) Tsunami has caused very
substantial mainland damage.
Best first look (as almost always) is the PAGER page which is typically
posted 1 to 1.5 hours after a major quake.

earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/pager/events/us/c0001xgp/index.html
About 2.5 million people in the heavily shaken area.Felt in Beijing,
China.Followed
by an extremely significant series of aftershocks - many major quakes in
their own right.earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/pager/archives.php1st
hour: 8.9 6.4 6.4 6.8 7.1 6.32nd hour: 6.3 5.8 5.9 6.3m6.1 6.1 5.9 5.8 5.7
5.6 .... 2.5 hrs: 6.2Slow to slow down !!!
[image: Population Exposure Map]
Damage in the 10 billion $ +++ rangeestimated ~ 1000  deaths from shaking
etc with Tsunami adding an unknown quantity more.

 Russel

2011\03\11@045006 by cdb

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:: About 100 km offshore but approx 10 metre (massive!) Tsunami has
:: caused very substantial mainland damage.

I have been following the NHK broadcast here via ABC, SBS/BBCWorld. The two large fishing boots on their side on what was land is hard to imagine.
What did catch my eye in one part of the footage was the man who was on a bridge looking at the tsunami and boots being pushed underneath it, and he calmly walks over to the other side of the bridge to watch the debris come out the other side.

Somehow or other Australia has decided it won't be affected by the tsunami warning, but thinks NZ still might be. Mention of Micronesian islands including Cook Islands, but Norfolk island hasn't been mentioned.

How Tuevelo and others would cope if they get a 30' wall of water doesn't bear thinking about.

Colin

--
cdb, spam_OUTcolinTakeThisOuTspambtech-online.co.uk on 11/03/2011
Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk   Hosted by:  http://www.justhost.com.au
 It isn't the truth that necessarily matters, but how people perceive it. (C D Barnard) .

2011\03\11@110320 by Alex Harford

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On Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 1:06 AM, RussellMc <.....apptechnzKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
> LARGE earthquake Japan
> Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC (14:46:23 local)Location: 38.3° N,
> 142.4° EDepth: 24kmEvent Id: USC0001XGPAlert Version: 3
> Tsunami alerts osted for many Pacific sites at 1000's of km range.

Russell, please inform your fellow NZ'ers at 3news that Canada does in
fact still exist, we haven't yet been assimilated by the USA. ;-P
http://i.imgur.com/grLyx.jpg

A tsunami warning for the west coast of Vancouver Island was issued,
but apparently they didn't get much activity... it's unlikely that
we'll see anything near Vancouver itself.

2011\03\11@113946 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2011-03-11 at 08:03 -0800, Alex Harford wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 1:06 AM, RussellMc <apptechnzspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> > LARGE earthquake Japan
> > Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC (14:46:23 local)Location: 38.3° N,
> > 142.4° EDepth: 24kmEvent Id: USC0001XGPAlert Version: 3
> > Tsunami alerts osted for many Pacific sites at 1000's of km range.
>
> Russell, please inform your fellow NZ'ers at 3news that Canada does in
> fact still exist, we haven't yet been assimilated by the USA. ;-P
> http://i.imgur.com/grLyx.jpg

Can't see your image (says it doesn't exist anymore) but I was able to
load the site without issue?

Thanks, TTYL

2011\03\11@115342 by Josh Koffman

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On Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 11:39 AM, Herbert Graf <.....hkgrafKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-03-11 at 08:03 -0800, Alex Harford wrote:
>> Russell, please inform your fellow NZ'ers at 3news that Canada does in
>> fact still exist, we haven't yet been assimilated by the USA. ;-P
>> http://i.imgur.com/grLyx.jpg
>
> Can't see your image (says it doesn't exist anymore) but I was able to
> load the site without issue?

Weird, it worked for me.

Josh
-- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
        -Douglas Adams

2011\03\11@115939 by Alex Harford

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> Can't see your image (says it doesn't exist anymore) but I was able to
> load the site without issue?

Hm, try it without the extension:
http://i.imgur.com/grLy

2011\03\11@120632 by Herbert Graf
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On Fri, 2011-03-11 at 08:59 -0800, Alex Harford wrote:
> > Can't see your image (says it doesn't exist anymore) but I was able to
> > load the site without issue?
>
> Hm, try it without the extension:
> http://i.imgur.com/grLyx

Oh, that's funny!!! :)

2011\03\11@124436 by Bob Blick

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On Fri, 11 Mar 2011 22:06 +1300, "RussellMc" wrote:
> LARGE earthquake Japan
> Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC (14:46:23 local)Location: 38.3°
> N,
> 142.4° EDepth: 24kmEvent Id: USC0001XGPAlert Version: 3
> Tsunami alerts osted for many Pacific sites at 1000's of km range.


Here in California we have been having tidal surges for the last
hour(8:30-9:30 AM), the ocean dropped nine feet before the first one.

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Accessible with your email software
                         or over the web

2011\03\11@160030 by Alex Harford

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On Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 9:44 AM, Bob Blick <EraseMEbobblickspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTftml.net> wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Mar 2011 22:06 +1300, "RussellMc" wrote:
>> LARGE earthquake Japan
>> Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC (14:46:23 local)Location: 38.3°
>> N,
>> 142.4° EDepth: 24kmEvent Id: USC0001XGPAlert Version: 3
>> Tsunami alerts osted for many Pacific sites at 1000's of km range.
>
>
> Here in California we have been having tidal surges for the last
> hour(8:30-9:30 AM), the ocean dropped nine feet before the first one.

Photo taken today in Emeryville, CA apparently:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/51276066@N00/5517993750/

2011\03\11@182109 by RussellMc

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Better than average collection of photos.
>From various sources.
May or may not be legitimately aggregated here - well worth a look.
(I find myself wondering what my motivations are for being drawn to such a
catastrophic set of images. Complex mix, as always)


http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/03/earthquake-in-japan/100022/

ref: Ken

If you MUST follow it online.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/03/how-to-follow-the-japanese-earthquake-on-the-web/72342/


NEWS RESOURCES

  - AP summary<hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_JAPAN_EARTHQUAKE?SITE=MITRA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT>
  - BBC liveblog <www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698>
  - Wikipedia page for the Sendai
quake<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Sendai_earthquake>
  - Japanese New York Times' commenters
<http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12japan.html>write
  about the quake
  - NPR Facebook
page<www.facebook.com/NPR#%21/NPR/posts/10150159323216756>
about
  the disaster
  - CNN Video<edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/03/11/vo.whirlpool.earthquake.nhk?hpt=C2>
  - @earthquake_japan <https://twitter.com/#%21/earthquake_jp> [updates in
  Japanese]
  - The Atlantic's In Focus photo
blog<www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/03/earthquake-in-japan/100022/>
  - The Atlantic Wire
liveblog<www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/03/japan-earthquake/35762/>
  - Mostly English Twitter hashtags:
#japanquake<twitter.com/#%21/search/%23japanquake>
  , #jpquake <https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23JPquake>,
#earthquake<twitter.com/#%21/search/%23earthquake>
  , #Japan <https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23Japan>,
#tsunami<https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23tsunami>
  ,#hitsunami <twitter.com/#%21/search?q=%23hitsunami>
  - Mostly Japanese Twitter hashtags:
#saigai<https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23saigai>
  , #eqjp <https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23eqjp>
  - Columbia journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan's link
aggregation<http://www.facebook.com/notes/sreetips/japanquake-collecting-links-notes-reax/10150110400443692>

GENERAL RESOURCES

  - CrisisWiki.org<crisiswiki.org/2011_Sendai_Japan_Earthquake_and_Tsunami>
  - U.S. Geological Survey quake
updates<www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/2011/03/11/preliminary-magnitude-8-9-near-the-east-coast-of-japan/>
  - Humanitarian Early Warning Service <http://www.hewsweb.org/hp/>

RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE IN JAPAN

  - Google Person Finder <japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en>:
  a pop-up message board to post and find information about people missing..
  Almost 7000 records have been entered into the database.
  - Global Voices' bloggers on the ground in
Japan<twitter.com/#%21/globalvoices/global-voices-in-japan-8>
  - Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency<http://www.fdma.go.jp/en/>

RESOURCES FOR THE PACIFIC

  - Pacific Tsunami Warning Center <http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/?region=1>
  - Tsunami travel time
map<wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/01/ttvulhvpd9-01.jpg>
  - @HawaiiNewsNow <http://www.twitter.com/HawaiiNewsNow/>
  - HITsunami.com <http://www.hitsunami.com/>
  - Live cam at Ocean Beach in San
Francisco<http://www.ustream.tv/channel/emptyage> by
  Mat Honan
  - Inundation map for the Bay Area <http://1.usa.gov/e1AxTL> [PDF]


2011\03\12@083315 by RussellMc

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Hidden among the general disaster news from Japan is the fact that as
well as the string of massive after shocks off the East coast since
the major quake, they have had two West Coast quakes including an
M6.2, 10 km deep,  ON LAND at 18:59 UTC on Friday = 4am Saturday
morning Japan time or 8am Saturday morning NZ time. (about mid day
Friday US West Coast and 2pm Friday US East Coast.

Event page  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc0001zv3.php

PAGER event page
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/pager/events/us/c0001z2a/index.html

PAGER recent events list
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/pager/archives.php


This was "around the either side" of the island - about North West
from Tokyo and on the other side.
Looking only at the PAGER  map it looks like the worst hit areas would
have been immune to the earlier Tsunami damage. A "reminder" that you
can never be sure of being "safe" anywhere.

About 80,000 people exposed to MM8 (modified Mercator shaking measure)
- resistant buildings suffer moderate to heavy damage, non resistance
buildings largely cease to exist.

170, 000 people exposed to MM7 - moderate damage to resistant buildings.

240,000, MM6, shonky buildings take moderate damage.

And another 6 MILLION at MM5 with light damage to non resistant building.

Deaths from shaking probably in the 1 to 10 range.
Economic loss probably under 1 billion dollars.

My point? An uncertain mix - but 3 days ago a quake of this magnitude
would have been world news.
TV cameras, front pages and all. Now it's just more of he same,  - if
you don't happen to live there.
Based on what we are seeing from Christchurch, a significant number of
people are going to becomes utterly terrified. This being Japan they
will be generally far more "used to it". But a billion dollars of
damage level quake  takes some getting used to. But, where in Japan
can people go to escape the earthquake risk?

In NZ shock-drunk Christchurchians can flee to 'the big city'
(Auckland - all 1 million people large) at least until our next
volcano arrives. (For greater safety and certainty choose Taupo - very
unlikely to wake, and when it finally does the outcome is certain.)
In Japan some places are further from fault lines than others, but not
necessarily enough. A magnitude 8.9 quake is meant to require a
minimum of about 400 km of straight tectonic plate edge to allow
adequately energetic simultaneous movement. this condition was NOT met
at the site of the 8.9 quake. Unlikely to be encouraging to those in
West Honshu.



On 12 March 2011 12:20, RussellMc <apptechnzspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>                R

2011\03\14@003524 by James Newton

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Well written, complete, detailed, and technically accurate paper on the
Japanese Nuclear power plants and how they weathered the earthquake.
We should invest in Nukes here in the USA.... Safe, cost effective,
efficient, and most of all: Non-polluting.

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/



--
James Newton
1-970-462-7764
{Original Message removed}

2011\03\14@033926 by Richard Prosser

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On 14 March 2011 17:35, James Newton <@spam@jamesnewtonKILLspamspammassmind.org> wrote:
> Well written, complete, detailed, and technically accurate paper on the
> Japanese Nuclear power plants and how they weathered the earthquake.
>
> We should invest in Nukes here in the USA.... Safe, cost effective,
> efficient, and most of all: Non-polluting.
>
> http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/
>
>
>
> --
> James Newton
> 1-970-462-7764

Hi James,

Thanks. Finally something that makes sense.

R

2011\03\14@054624 by alan.b.pearce

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> Hidden among the general disaster news from Japan is the fact that as
> well as the string of massive after shocks off the East coast since
> the major quake, they have had two West Coast quakes including an
> M6.2, 10 km deep,  ON LAND at 18:59 UTC on Friday = 4am Saturday
> morning Japan time or 8am Saturday morning NZ time. (about mid day
> Friday US West Coast and 2pm Friday US East Coast.

This message arrived at my desk well after I had gone home on Friday, but I will still reply.

The news of the Japanese earthquake was widespread over all the media here in the UK by the time we were waking up. However it wasn't until I got to read the mornings Times newspaper later in the day that I came across a 2 column inch item about a large earthquake in China, magnitude 5.something, which had caused a fair amount of damage, but no information on just when, I think Thursday Chinese time. The news had been totally overshadowed by the Japanese quake.
-- Scanned by iCritical.

2011\03\14@100950 by apptech

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>> Well written, complete, detailed, and technically accurate paper on the
>> Japanese Nuclear power plants and how they weathered the earthquake.

Stay tuned :-(..
One can hope.

5 claims.
Choose any 3 :-).
We'll see.

I read that.
It says.

Super summary:

- Things went wrong.that could reasonably have been planned for and as a direct consequnce of bad planning we very very very nearly had a meltdown, or few. Staff concerned did well.

_____________

Summary:

- There were inexcusable failures to provide a proper line of backup powering when more than a typically expected number of things went wrong insequence.

- If things had been done inadvance as properly as they reasonably should have been then it all may have worked OK with no great drama at all.

- Instead we cam very close to a meltdown (or few). It was a close call and amelt down was a distinct possibility.

- A meltdown would not have been a vast public safety disaster as it would have been contained by design within tye containment vessel by this design [[stay tuned]].

- Everything is OK now - a meltdown has been averted and cannot possibly occur [[stay tuned]].

- This design is safe - it can't have a Hydrogen explosion inside the containment vessel as happened at Chernobyl [[stay tuned]].

- We knew that it could have a Hydrogen explosion outside the containent vessel, as happened. That happens all thetime when water ghets so hot that it dissociates, no great problem, we design it this way, blowing it's outer layers away in a Htdrogen explosion is no great problem, nothing to see here, these are not the ones you want, move along .

- Staff involved did well.

>> We should invest in Nukes here in the USA.... Safe, cost effective,
>> efficient, and most of all: Non-polluting.
>>
>> http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/

My congratulations to the operators and others involved.

Nuclear fission plants may indeed prove to be cost effective
if you don't factor in the true cost of waste disposal [as yetunknown and unknowable][anyway it was dug out of the ground - why not just put it back there?], and if your insurance is free rather than costed at open market rate (as it never ever ever ever ever has been in any market ever ever].
And, may not so prove.

Don't forget to cost in the suitably sized squad of guards (3 shfts) and the gaggle of black helicopters [hey we pay them anyway, we may as well use them for something, right?].  It's not every indusry (or, indeed, ANY other industry) that can have Uncle Sam/Pierre/Boris/Yuri/ ...give you unlimited FREE security backup, priority access to national security resources (or else), and  the guranteed personal attention of the national leader AND all other top international leaders any to\ime YOU have a security probem of any magnitude.

Nuclear fission love is when you know you will NEVER hear someone saty "I'm sorry ma'am/sir, you've just got WAY too many terroriststhere, it would so blow our protection budgetto get involved, you're just going to have to take the loss of Plutonium on the chin, talk to your insurers on Monday, have a nice day".

Is it fair that such costs need to beconsidered to establish real value for money? Of course not! But it's reality. Or should be..

______

Safe for interesting value of safe.

Non polluting for interesting values of Cesium (but the hald life is short so who cares if there is  abit of radiation released?.

Efficient has no obvious meaning in that context. Relative to what?

Note thatdespite the apparently vast deposits available believed stocks of Uranium are long term limited. If we are to use fission power long term then some sort of breederreator is mandatory



             Russell

2011\03\14@131605 by Vitaliy

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I was reading the article on Facebook, and was going to post it here -- but James beat me to it! :)

----- Original Message ----- From: "James Newton" <KILLspamjamesnewtonKILLspamspammassmind.org>
To: "'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'" <RemoveMEpiclistTakeThisOuTspammit.edu>
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 21:35
Subject: RE: [OT]:: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami


{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2011\03\14@151054 by Bob Blick

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How much cooling do those reactors need if the fuel rods were OK and the
control rods are fully inserted? More than passive water cooling with
whatever flow can be achieved through convection?

Are these MOX fuel rods hotter than regular uranium?

Because if they can't keep the place flooded with water, it sounds like
they are going to need to pump out the (underground?) electrical room
and hope they can get circulating pumps working again.

I can imagine the electricians drawing straws who has to do that job. :(

In a couple of hours the sun comes up on another day there.
It sounds like a tough scramble.

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Same, same, but different...

2011\03\14@153449 by Olin Lathrop

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Bob Blick wrote:
> How much cooling do those reactors need if the fuel rods were OK and
> the control rods are fully inserted? More than passive water cooling
> with whatever flow can be achieved through convection?

Apparently yes.  The article said the pressure was building, and they did
several steam releases to cool it down.  Eventually they ran out of water
such that the top of the rods became exposed.

It seems to me that one good failsafe measure would be to ensure there is
enough of a water reservoir in the reactor chamber to allow such steam
releases for long enough to account for the residual radioactive decay heat..
Perhaps a real nuclear engineer can explain why that's not feasible.


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2011\03\14@154322 by Bob Blick

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On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 14:35 -0500, "Olin Lathrop" wrote:
> Bob Blick wrote:
> > How much cooling do those reactors need if the fuel rods were OK and
> > the control rods are fully inserted? More than passive water cooling
> > with whatever flow can be achieved through convection?
>
> Apparently yes.  The article said the pressure was building, and they did
> several steam releases to cool it down.  Eventually they ran out of water
> such that the top of the rods became exposed.

I know the rods were very hot and needed to cool down from operational
temperature, but that shouldn't take more than a few days. So it does
seem that passive cooling will never be enough.

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - The professional email service

2011\03\14@155529 by Olin Lathrop

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Bob Blick wrote:
> I know the rods were very hot and needed to cool down from operational
> temperature, but that shouldn't take more than a few days. So it does
> seem that passive cooling will never be enough.

It's not about the existing heat in the rods, but the heat from secondary
radioactive decay.  Uranium fission causes radioactive byproducts that last
a few days.  These cause heat as they decay, which is what must be
dissipated to keep the rods below melting temperature.  At least that's what
the article said.  Makes sense though.


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2011\03\14@161932 by Carl Denk

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As a non-nuclear person, I need to make some assumptions:
1: Even with the control rods in place, the fuel generates some heat. That quantity of heat needs cooling to prevent boiling the very clean water inside the reactor, this may take some time (days??) without outside cooling. The water slowly heats, and there is insufficient heat radiation/conduction to dissipate the heat.
2: Normally the reactor water is cooled by a second water cooling system, using a heat exchanger to move the heat between the 2 waters.  The 2nd cooling system could be dissipating the heat with a cooling tower (didn't see any here), taking sea water, adding heat to it, and sending back to the sea, or some other method.
4: Without cooling, thing of a pot of water on the stove. With enough heat at the bottom, bubbles of steam rise to the surface, even though the biggest part of the water is not near boiling.
4: If sea water is used for the 2nd cooling system (to cool the reactor water), it would seem good engineering practice to place that equipment between the reactor and sea, in a straight line.
5: There WERE several smaller buildings located between the reactor and sea that before and after satellite photos, that are now gone from the Tsunami. Were these in fact the cooling pumps??
6: There was reports that the reactor facility was short of electric power. As strange as it sounds, it is possible that the voltages produced at the nuclear site need to go off site, to a transformer/switchgear yard, reduced in voltage, and then return to the nuclear site to power controls, pumps, etc. Several years ago, in Western, Ohio, USA, at the Davis Besse nuclear generating plant. A small tornado took out a single moderate voltage electric line going to the plant. The plant was shut down for several weeks, until the electric wires could be replaced, and the unit brought back on line properly.

As I said, this is some educated guessing base on the little (true??) information known, and there are lots of other scenarios that can be supposed. :~(



On 3/14/2011 3:43 PM, Bob Blick wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\03\14@164425 by Olin Lathrop

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Carl Denk wrote:
> As a non-nuclear person, I need to make some assumptions:

Read the article instead of guessing.  Most of what you are guessing at was
addressed there.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\14@165350 by mcd

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Carl Denk wrote:

> As a non-nuclear person, I need to make some assumptions:
> 1: Even with the control rods in place, the fuel generates some heat.
> That quantity of heat needs cooling to prevent boiling the very clean
> water inside the reactor, this may take some time (days??) without
> outside cooling. The water slowly heats, and there is insufficient heat
> radiation/conduction to dissipate the heat.

Not exactly.  The fuel rods don't generate enough heat to boil water
unless there is a reaction going on.  However, once the reaction is in
started the reaction itself creates a ton of heat, and some of the
reaction byproducts also generate heat, but a lot less.  Once the reaction
is stopped they get consumed after a few days, but for a few days there is
still quite a bit of heat being generated, but nothing like the amount
when the reaction is progressing.

> 2: Normally the reactor water is cooled by a second water cooling
> system, using a heat exchanger to move the heat between the 2 waters.
> The 2nd cooling system could be dissipating the heat with a cooling
> tower (didn't see any here), taking sea water, adding heat to it, and
> sending back to the sea, or some other method.

The F-D reactor is a BWR, you describe a PWR.  There is no secondary loop
in a BWR.  the problem with sea water is that the contaminants can be made
radioactive, and they may take a lot of time for the radiation to
dissapate.  With the pure water the half life of the irradiated products
is very short.  Sea water is also horribly corrosive so likely it did a
lot of damage.

> 4: Without cooling, thing of a pot of water on the stove. With enough
> heat at the bottom, bubbles of steam rise to the surface, even though
> the biggest part of the water is not near boiling.

Pressure keeps it from boiling until it reaches the turbines.

[clip]

> 6: There was reports that the reactor facility was short of electric
> power. As strange as it sounds, it is possible that the voltages
> produced at the nuclear site need to go off site, to a
> transformer/switchgear yard, reduced in voltage, and then return to the
> nuclear site to power controls, pumps, etc. Several years ago, in
> Western, Ohio, USA, at the Davis Besse nuclear generating plant. A small
> tornado took out a single moderate voltage electric line going to the
> plant. The plant was shut down for several weeks, until the electric
> wires could be replaced, and the unit brought back on line properly

Once the control rods are dropped, the plant is no longer generating
electricity.  However, numerous safety systems require electricity.  For
that reason, U.S. plants are not permitted to keep operating unless there
are at least two independent outside sources of power in addition to any
onsite generating capacity (batteries, diesel generators, etc.)  Japanese
rules appear to be similar.

There was a SCRAM at the E. Fermi II plant last year simply because one of
the two outside sources of power went away.  When they investigated they
discovered more serious damage, but the shutdown was caused by having only
one outside power source.

--McD



2011\03\14@213527 by RussellMc

face picon face
An excellent article to complement the one James referred to. This arrived
unbidden in my inbox from an existing feed - I didn't seek it out. It's
good. Even James will like most of it :-).

The writer is extremely well qualified to comment and is also "pro-nuclear"
as one would hope he would be. That being the case, his comments as reported
by his daughter in her blog add some perspective to his measured words.

<
http://www.cfact.org/a/1912/A-nuclear-engineers-briefing-on-the-emergency-in-Japan?utm_source=CFACT+Updates&utm_campaign=d600964d1a-Nuclear_engineer_on_Japan_emergency3_14_2011&utm_medium=email
>

<www.cfact.org/a/1912/A-nuclear-engineers-briefing-on-the-emergency-in-Japan?utm_source=CFACT+Updates&utm_campaign=d600964d1a-Nuclear_engineer_on_Japan_emergency3_14_2011&utm_medium=email>Blog
of same  plus audio transcript plus more.

 <
http://skepchick.org/2011/03/a-conversation-with-my-dad-a-nuclear-engineer-about-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-plant-disaster-in-japan/
>

Note that the man in the article that James referred to lied badly by
omission. He talked about primary and secondary radiation products, and then
spoke entirely only about the admittedly very very short half lives of the
secondary products. Reading the attached reader comments to the article  it
is clear that many people were mislead by what he was saying or appearing to
say. His lies may have been accidental in the heat of the moment but they
constitute enough misinformation in the context and in an article which is
claimed to combat press disinformation to not be excusable as an honest
error. The half lives of the primary released products are what is of
concern and significant radiation persistence  is long enough (weeks to
months) to justify far more extreme evacuation action than he implies.
Japanese evacuation numbers, issuing of iodine tablets to local population,
and as of today formal request for help on the nuclear issues from the US,
would all seem to be massive overkill if the scenario was remotely close to
being under control as that article suggests. Maybe so. Maybe not.

The ongoing severe injury and deaths of small numbers of brave and self
sacrificing military and civilian personnel at the reactor sites (5 more
reported today) would also seem an unfortunate price to pay for such a now
well controlled situation as is described. note that the number 3 plant now
being wrestled wit uses a Uranium/Plutonium fuel mix, unlike the two
initially being dealt with.  Plutonium is NOT anywhere near as toxic as is
widely held, but it would be nicer if it manages to stay where it belongs.

Interesting note: Second article notes that addition of water alone to a
fully moderated reactor may result in regaining criticality due to thermal
layering of water  with neutron deflection and thus 'amplification'.
Addition of Boron as was, of course, done is a necessary part of adding
water and not risking reactivation. Adding seawater is, of course, only
something happens when all formal systems have failed and there is no other
sensible on non-sensible solution left. .

_________

Note that comments in several places about the force of quake that the plant
was designed to withstand are approximately meaningless without vastly
greater context. An M8.9 "up the bay and well out to sea" as opposed the
M8.2 at whatever location and depth was specified in the original design are
unable to be mutually compared without more information. eg a say  M6.5+  at
say 1 km under the plant would about certainly rupture one some or all of
the 6 operating containment vessels.  An M9.5 in London / SF / Moscow
certainly wouldn't.

The comments re "... survived the earthquake; but then the Tsunami came ...
" are true, but irrelevant as any form of defence. Elsewhere they had
beautifully designed and built*  10 metre Tsunami defence walls, built after
a prior very very very bad experience. These were overtopped  by several
metres by the latest Tsunami, with immense loss of life and property behind
them BUT they held, and appear to have averted a much greater tragedy than
if they had not been there. (* Beautiful - really. From the sea side a
rising curve with a "re entrant" top designed to transition the flow from
horizontal to vertical and throw it back and create a "hydraulic jump" if
needs be. From the back a slow sloping buttressed honeycomb support system
that told you that  the designers understood the challenge they were facing..
The Tsunami ran over the top by several metres. Understandable, as a Tsunami
is effectively a step function wave and what needs to be (impossibly)
absorbed is not mere height but the energy of a vast column of following
water. Diversion of all possible incoming water rather than deflection,
seems to me to be all that would "work". ie -choose your preferred local
path for a Tsunami and channel it there. Allow it to back fill a local river
valley for 10 or 15 km if needed rather than he immediate coastal plain for
1 or 2 km.

Had protection of even something like the 10 metre Tsunami defence wall
been available at the reactor site the present situation may have been far
better. Or not.  With Japan's history, building a reactor cluster at a site
where a Tsunami of any magnitude or of any conceivable improbability, when
safer sites are available with suitable will seems "unwise". More so with
hindsight :-(.

Much good has been accomplished, and many brave people have contributed to
things not being far worse than they could easily have been. As events are
still "in progress" it's arguably not an overly good time  to note how safe
nonpolluting and desirable the systems all are/were.



           Russel

2011\03\15@173546 by RussellMc

face picon face
Near real time view / World Street Map !!!

For those who can't get enough exposure to mayhem and havoc.
Near real-time japan earthquake viewer. Shows aftershock size and
locations, plus other information

http://mapserver.gis.ttu.edu/japanquake/

*** MAP ***

PLUS the map used is superb. It appears to be a major roads streetmap
of the world.
The map is draggable and resizeable as with eg Gargoyle Maps but the
redraw seems much faster, with map dragging being smooh andusually
'seamless",and you have a nearly clean map.
Major intra city and district roads were visible in eg Christchurch
NZ, Eastern coastal China and far North Western China (Urumqi,
Xinjiang).
Not good for detailed in-city use. Map view only - no satellite.



Russel

2011\03\16@084142 by Walter Banks

picon face


Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

The control rods in an enriched uranium plant is like having a throttle
attached to an engine with elastic bands. The control rods when inserted
absorb neutrons essential for a nuclear reaction but it takes some
time to slow the reaction down to the point where a minimum
amount of heat is produced. At the start of the shutdown even with
the rods fully in a typical core produces a lot of heat similar to a fully
operating reactor, 500Mw is a typical operating power for a single
reactor. That much energy can boil a lot of water.

Part of the problem when the core melts even partially is it changes
dynamics of the problem. A melt can create a large mass of
fissionable material in one place with nothing to absorb neutrons.
It can also create other abnormalities like changing the fuel rod
spacing again creating local hot spots.

Canada had a partial melt down at a research reactor in the mid
50's. There was a big push after that in Canada to develop a fail
safe reactor design. The Candu reactors were developed to use
Uranium ore as fuel, controlled by heavy water. The D2O
slows the naturally emitted neutrons so they can trigger a nuclear
reaction. If for some reason the heavy water disappears there is
a burst of high speed neutrons and  the reaction essentially stops
within a few minutes.  Thermal decay in the core is the only heat
generated leaving the core temperature between 100-200F.


Regards,

w..
--
Walter Banks
Byte Craft Limited
http://www.bytecraft.com


..

2011\03\16@090827 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Walter Banks wrote:
> The control rods in an enriched uranium plant is like having a
> throttle attached to an engine with elastic bands. The control rods
> when inserted absorb neutrons essential for a nuclear reaction but it
> takes some
> time to slow the reaction down to the point where a minimum
> amount of heat is produced.

According to the article James linked to, inserting the control rods stops
the chain reaction immediately.  However, that chain reaction before it was
stopped produced several isotopes that take a few days to decay away.  It is
the heat released from this decay that takes time to slow down.  There is
nothing the control rods or anything else can do about it since these atoms
will decay completely on their own.  This heat is a small fraction of the
total reactor power when the chain reaction is going on fully, but still
significant enough to eventually melt everything if it's not cooled.

At least that's how I understood the article.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\16@094648 by Walter Banks

picon face


Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

The timing of the reactor shutdown will depend a lot on the reactor
design. I believe the reactors used in the Japanese plant were GE
designed in the mid 70's. We should be able to find out quite a bit
on the timing specifics

I haven't read James's article yet (but will) On shutdown in an enhanced
uranium reactor the decay energy energy will be about 7-8% of the
operating power on shutdown with a time constant of about an hour,
ie 2-3% at the end of the first hour.

For whatever reason there is still a lot of concern over neutron production
in the reactors in Japan. They are adding borax to the mix they are loading
into the reactor for example. It maybe that they know they have melted
fuel rods that have an un-moderated fuel mass. If this is so they probably
want to slow as much as possible these fuel masses from becoming a
neutron source for the unaffected fuel bundles

w..

2011\03\16@095245 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Walter Banks wrote:
> I haven't read James's article yet

You really should do that instead of just guessing if you're going to
comment on this.

> operating power on shutdown with a time constant of about an hour,
> ie 2-3% at the end of the first hour.

Not according to the article.  See above.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\16@102918 by Walter Banks

picon face


Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I have a physics background. I once worked on the design of a
control system for a nuclear plant and that is what I based my
comments on.  My original thesis proposal was in nuclear physics,
that was changed after a review committee decided what I
proposed was too dangerous for facilities we had.

The residual decay numbers in James's article are consistent with
the starting point numbers in my post. I disagree with the time constant
for the exponential decay that James's article suggests. The residuals
for the first few hours is an exponential decay with time constant
of about one hour reaching at some point a relatively stable
non-zero level

If the time constant was as short as the article suggests then the
total heat that would need to be dissipated would be quite small.

w..

2011\03\16@114837 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
On Wed, 16 Mar 2011 09:46 -0500, "Walter Banks" wrote:

> For whatever reason there is still a lot of concern over neutron
> production
> in the reactors in Japan. They are adding borax to the mix they are
> loading
> into the reactor for example. It maybe that they know they have melted
> fuel rods that have an un-moderated fuel mass. If this is so they
> probably
> want to slow as much as possible these fuel masses from becoming a
> neutron source for the unaffected fuel bundles

I saw a news report last night that said of the four reactors at the
Daiichi site, only two of them were operating at the time, the other two
were shut down for maintenance. The spent fuel seems to be the problem
in reactor 4, almost all of it lost water and there was an explosion, I
don't know in what order that happened.

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Does exactly what it says on the tin

2011\03\17@044632 by Walter Banks

picon face


Bob Blick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

There is an interesting wikileaks story from 2008 on spent fuel rod
storage being set up with minimum spacing. The implication is that
with minor damage to the storage containment part of the pile of
spent rods could be piled up and turn itself into an uncontrolled
reaction.

The water storage in containment is needed primarily for spent fuel
rods because uranium will burn spontaneously in air which seems to
be what is happening.

I had an email from a Japanese friend who works for a
semiconductor company and lives in Kobe who spent
the last couple days in Tokyo. He said that most of the infrastructure
and industrialized western Japan were coming back to normal.

w..

2011\03\17@082429 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi Walter,

On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 5:46 AM, Walter Banks <spamBeGonewalterspamBeGonespambytecraft.com> wrote:
>
>
> The water storage in containment is needed primarily for spent fuel
> rods because uranium will burn spontaneously in air which seems to
> be what is happening.
>

I thought that this was the reason why the fuel was Uranium Oxide
rather than Uranium metal - it should not be able to burn. When they
talk about fuel rods "burning" I thought that they were referring to
the other species present in the rod (e.g., the Zirconium-containing
cladding, the support structure holding the fuel pellets, and possibly
some of the decay products)

Sea

2011\03\18@130537 by Gordon

flavicon
face
Ah, Now I understand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1aH2-MhEko

The link describes the incident at the reactor in a simple terminology.
Warning, Don't watch if you are wanting intellectual stimulation.I
know a number of you will consider it drivel or bad taste.

The disaster that hit Japan, and the consequences are not funny or
amusing. But I cant help but smile, as this is not the first Japanese
public information film that uses poop to inform.

If this wasn't made by the Japanese, then I would probably consider it
poor taste and would not of posted here, my justification is that it
is an insight into how information is being delivered in Japan.

Regards, Gordo

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