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Old April 11 2011, 10:51 PM   #1
Candlelight
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Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/ja...with-Chernobyl

Japan is considering raising the severity level of its nuclear crisis to put it on a par with the Chernobyl accident 25 years ago, the worst atomic power disaster in history, Kyodo news agency reported today (NZ time).
The report came as the government expanded an evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant because of the high levels of accumulated radiation since a 15-metre tsunami ripped through the complex a month ago, causing massive damage to its reactors which engineers are still struggling to control.
The Kyodo report said that the high levels of radiation that have been released by the Fukushima Daiichi plant meant it could raise the severity level from 5 to the highest 7, the same as the 1986 Chernobyl accident.
It said the government's Nuclear Safety Commission had estimated that at one stage the amount of radioactive material released from the reactors in northern Japan had reached 10,000 terabequerels per hour of radioactive iodine 131 for several hours, which would classify the incident as a major accident according to the INES scale.
Shit.
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Old April 11 2011, 10:57 PM   #2
SG-17
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

I still support nuclear energy, just in geologically stable zones.

It is sort of a lose-lose for Japan, they don't have the resources to have coal plants, yet they are probably the most geologically unstable country in the world. The only alternative I can see for them are those wave power generators.
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Old April 11 2011, 11:40 PM   #3
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

That's bad news. What has to happen for this crisis to be resolved?
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Old April 12 2011, 01:04 AM   #4
Spot's Meow
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

The whole situation just seems like a convoluted mess. Every article I've read about the disaster gives a different description of its severity and how it will be solved. It doesn't help that there is a lot of misinformation out there about how much radiation has been released. I wish I could find an article or website that more clearly explains what has been done, the current situation, and what will need to happen in the future. I think that part of the problem of understanding the effects of the disaster is that we just don't know. We don't know what the short or long term effects may be as this situation has seldom occurred in our history. Who knows what the release of all that radioactive water into the ocean really means? It's hard for anyone to say with any degree of certainty.
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Old April 12 2011, 02:00 AM   #5
Mooch
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

^^ Pretty much all the information that is publicly available is here. Anything else is speculation and/or hearsay.

It's worth noting that any changes to the "event level" would be based on new modelling of the events of several weeks ago; the levels of radiation on the site and in the surrounding areas have been decreasing steadily since then.
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Old April 12 2011, 02:12 AM   #6
bigdaddy
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

SG-17 wrote: View Post
I still support nuclear energy, just in geologically stable zones.
So we will build them on the moon?
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Old April 12 2011, 02:15 AM   #7
bigdaddy
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

SG-17 wrote: View Post
I still support nuclear energy, just in geologically stable zones.

It is sort of a lose-lose for Japan, they don't have the resources to have coal plants, yet they are probably the most geologically unstable country in the world. The only alternative I can see for them are those wave power generators.
Japan wants to have 30% of it's power by a space based solar power satelite by 2030.
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Old April 12 2011, 02:34 AM   #8
MANT!
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
SG-17 wrote: View Post
I still support nuclear energy, just in geologically stable zones.
So we will build them on the moon?

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Old April 12 2011, 06:59 AM   #9
Snaploud
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

It's official:

NUCLEAR CRISIS HITS HIGHEST SEVERITY LEVEL
New Assessment Puts Japan's Accident On Par With Chernobyl
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Old April 12 2011, 08:30 AM   #10
LCARS 24
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

Well, my idea for Fukushima (which is about 120 miles from my house) is pretty radical, but it's to do a rush, spare-no-expense job of building a permanent storage facility for the spent-fuel rods a few kilometers to the west and moving what they can there ASAP then entombing what's left of the current facility. I realize that would be a massive and extremely expensive undertaking with difficult legal hurdles, etc., not to mention the difficulty of just getting the rods out and transporting them.

Maybe that's been suggested already and dismissed. I don't know.

In the meantime, we've already had a 6.3 this morning and several hard shakes yesterday.
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Old April 12 2011, 08:32 AM   #11
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

LCARS 24 wrote: View Post
Well, my idea for Fukushima (which is about 120 miles from my house) is pretty radical, but it's to do a rush, spare-no-expense job of building a permanent storage facility for the spent-fuel rods a few kilometers to the west and moving what they can there ASAP then entombing what's left of the current facility. I realize that would be a massive and extremely expensive undertaking with difficult legal hurdles, etc., not to mention the difficulty of just getting the rods out and transporting them.

Maybe that's been suggested already and dismissed. I don't know.

In the meantime, we've already had a 6.3 this morning and several hard shakes yesterday.
You're a bit closer than I am. Where are you living in Japan? I'm all the way out in rural Wakayama.
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Old April 12 2011, 09:57 AM   #12
LCARS 24
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

Danoz wrote: View Post
You're a bit closer than I am. Where are you living in Japan? I'm all the way out in rural Wakayama.
In Chiba Prefecture, north of Funabashi (just east of Tokyo).
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Old April 12 2011, 12:40 PM   #13
Jadzia
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...


One economic consequence is that this whole incident is bringing the price of uranium down. From 2000 to 2007, it's price increased ten fold, which was surely worrying for the nations most dependent on nuclear power (USA/France/Japan).

At the beginning of this year, the price was looking like it was going to rise sharply again, but instead it has fallen to 3/4 of what it was two months ago.

I'm wondering whether classifying the disaster at level 7 will have any additional effect on that price, and if so, has there been any economic motivation for increasing it to this level?
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Old April 12 2011, 01:43 PM   #14
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

SG-17 wrote: View Post
I still support nuclear energy, just in geologically stable zones.

It is sort of a lose-lose for Japan, they don't have the resources to have coal plants, yet they are probably the most geologically unstable country in the world. The only alternative I can see for them are those wave power generators.
What about geothermal power as used in Iceland, and wind power as used in Germany?

Damn, if only I'd known, I would have shorted Uranium stocks back in January.

We still don't hear much about Thorium power plants. I hope India hasn't given up on developing them. I've heard that they would be safer in a seismically active region. Power failure causes the neutron source to shut off and an actively refrigerated ice plug in the reactor to melt. The fluid fuel would then drain into dispersal ponds. Of course, if containment is breached, you might end up with similar problems to Fukushima. However, I don't think hydrogen generation and ignition could happen to further weaken the containment.
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Old April 12 2011, 03:38 PM   #15
Jadzia
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Re: Fukushima nuclear crisis may be upgraded to match Chernobyl...

LCARS 24 wrote: View Post
do a rush, spare-no-expense job of building a permanent storage facility for the spent-fuel rods a few kilometers to the west and moving what they can there ASAP then entombing what's left of the current facility. I realize that would be a massive and extremely expensive undertaking with difficult legal hurdles, etc., not to mention the difficulty of just getting the rods out and transporting them.
There's supposedly been some melting. That could mean
- they've melted slightly, creating enough distortion that the rods won't slide out, and are stuck in situ.

- they've melted considerably, and there's a pool of molten metal at the bottom of the reactor core / core-catcher (some have speculated that there is)

- the exposed isotopes have oxidized and turned into flakes/gravel which will have fallen to the bottom of the reactor core.

In all three of these cases, I doubt we could extract any significant fraction of the material without breaking open the reactor core... which we probably should not do.
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