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JERRY2KONE
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Yes - 04.14.2011, 03:09 PM

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Originally Posted by reno911 View Post
Dumb question, not a Physicist, can these type of things lead to a nuclear explosion?

Just came to mind. Anyone care to shed some light?
YES, but not likely. Under the wrong circumstances there could be an explosion just like the one at the Chernobyl Nuclear plant in 1986. I am not exatly sure what caused that one to blow up, but it showed just how bad things can get in these reactors if things do not go as planned. When that one blew it litterally threw radioactive material out in a circular arc up to a mile away. The clean up was incredibly dangerous and took weeks and months to gather up as much of the debris as possible and throw it back into the reactor building before covering it up with concrete slabs, and just leaving it to die in what the scientists claim will be 150 to 250 years.

The problem I see with the reactor issues in Japan is that if left un-cooled the nuclear material just keeps heating up and giving off higher and higher levels of radiation that will contaminate the surrounding area for many, many, many years even if it is burried and sealed in concrete. The one thing that is not known is how big of an affected area that will be if they burry it now. It will all depend on how strong the power of the remaining rods still is at this point. Just like a battery it looses its power over time as it is used. If not used it can generate great amounts of heat (radioactivity) for hundreds of years.


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BrianG
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04.14.2011, 03:23 PM

Unfortunately, some radioactive materials have a half-life in the thousands of years. And that's just where it gets half as radioactive.

No matter what they do, they have to be able to control the nuclear reaction or the fuel will continue to heat more and more until it burns through pretty much anything that is containing it, and then it goes into the ground where it contaminates the water table.

With all the reactors around the world and the dangers they could possibly create in disasters such as this, it's too bad they couldn't put the reactors in space (far enough away from earth so any explosions won't throw debris back into the atmosphere) and "transmit" the power back to earth.

On that note, I wonder if it wouldn't be cheaper in the long run (especially taking into account cleanup costs after this type of disaster) to somehow focus sunlight over a large area into a relatively small area to provide the heat. We all know what a magnifying glass in the sun can do...
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reno911
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04.14.2011, 04:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
Unfortunately, some radioactive materials have a half-life in the thousands of years. And that's just where it gets half as radioactive.

No matter what they do, they have to be able to control the nuclear reaction or the fuel will continue to heat more and more until it burns through pretty much anything that is containing it, and then it goes into the ground where it contaminates the water table.

With all the reactors around the world and the dangers they could possibly create in disasters such as this, it's too bad they couldn't put the reactors in space (far enough away from earth so any explosions won't throw debris back into the atmosphere) and "transmit" the power back to earth.

On that note, I wonder if it wouldn't be cheaper in the long run (especially taking into account cleanup costs after this type of disaster) to somehow focus sunlight over a large area into a relatively small area to provide the heat. We all know what a magnifying glass in the sun can do...
I have heard of this being an idea to dispose of radioactive waste in the past, I have never scene it used or even made practical that I know of.

Interesting thought though since the suns energy can be used to destroy just about everything, just not there yet I guess because I have only seen this practical on very small scales.
   
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04.14.2011, 09:57 PM

On an off note,the Nazis had multiple plans in ww2 to make a space born deathray that could do just that.it focused the suns rays using a giant mirror,and they also had a prototype space shuttle that's design features we used on our own.freaky considering what the war could've come to!

Now back on topic,japan is in a state I couldn't imagine right now,it makes me wonder where the rest of the world is? You would think there would be a massive outpour of help dontcha think?
   
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Help is there.
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JERRY2KONE
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Help is there. - 04.15.2011, 02:34 AM

Apparently the USA has several professionals on site along with several other countries who are trying to lend intelligent assistance to the problem, but Japan wishes to handle the physical aspects of the recovery themselves. The Japanese people and its Gov are a very proud race and want to keep things in house, as do most contries in regards to sensitive matters of state. From all accounts there have been specialists from around the world on the ground in Tokyo from the start trying to lend good advice to help, but this situation is just not as easy as it may look from the the view of any third party observers.

I think the reason for the hush hush approach to all of this now is that they already know just how hopeless this situation really is, and do not want to panic Japan or the world for that matter. I really do not think there is going to be a happy ending to any of this. The only question that has to be resolved is just how wide spread this disaster will be when its all said and done. How much of our planet is going to be affected by this situation, and for how long?


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BrianG
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04.15.2011, 09:59 AM

Besides, some problems cannot be solved simply by throwing people at it. Sometimes, it's better to have just a few fully qualified experts than a bunch of people, even though intentions are good, getting in the way.
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Improvements.
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Improvements. - 04.19.2011, 04:16 AM

This was the first positive report I have read on this matter since it first began. According to Tepco they have laid out a nine month long plan that in the end will allow them to reach a complete cold shutdown of the entire plant. It started this morning with them completing a temporary storage facility for pumping out contaminated water from the plant and ciculating it into a cooling pond. This will allow them to get back into the basement of one of the reactors to make repairs to the first stage cooling system in order for them to get that system back on line soon. Once this is accomplished they can return to cooling the ractors and begin reducing the temps to a point where high levels of radiation is no longer being released.

Once they get to that phase they can begin removing the rods and radioactive material from the cores one by one, and placing it into a safe zone. Once all of the material is removed they will beging the long process of clean up and permanant shutdown of the plant. From the sounds of it they have no intentions of rebuilding this plant or replacing it any time soon. Once this level is reached they will allow people to return to their homes in the area and begin rebuilding their lives.

I am sure that there will be a very large study and long term reorganization of these nuclear plants across Japan in order to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. They admit that there is a lot of improvements and redesigning that needs to be done in order to make these plants safe and avoid any further disasters down the road. I hope that this incident moves other countries to do the same.


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Update 05/05/2011
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Update 05/05/2011 - 05.05.2011, 03:31 AM

It was great to hear some good news coming out of Japan these days after such devistation. Lito we are all happy that you and your family are back together and safe from harm. Please share with your family that our hearts have been with you through all of this, and that we wish you nothing but the best over the next year during your transition from Naval life to civilian life.

Today an update was televised stating that things are finally begining to look a whole lot brighter. Thur/05/05/2011 it was reported that cooling continues and that progress has been made. Also stated was that they have been able to enter one of the reactor buildings for the first time in many weeks in order to do some up close observations and strategic planning for the next phase of their plan. The plan at this point is to recover/rebuild the entire designed cooling system so that it can be put back in operation in order to bring the temperature of the reactor cores to a point which will allow them to enter the facilities and remove the fuel rods one by one until the cores are empty. Once that phase is reached the reactor can be shut down completely and clean up can begin. The statement was made that eventually all of the fuel will be removed and stored in a controlable environment, and the Dai ichie plant will be shut down and closed for good.

Progress is slow moving, but TEPCO is continuing forward and hopefully the entire plant will be shut down before New Year 2012. The death toll from the earthquake/tsunami is reported to be over 25,000, with an additional 11,000 still missing. Approximately 200,000 people are still living in shelters awaiting new housing promised by the Japanese Gov. The Gov is looking for suitable locations on higher ground to build and house these people. Our kids have been involved with a fund raiser within their school and are now wearing I love Japan "T" shirts in support of the Japanese people. They wear them with pride.


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Latest update - 06.06.2011, 05:01 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) At age 72, Yasuteru Yamada believes he has a few more good years ahead.

But not so many that the retired engineer is worried about the consequences of working on the hazardous front line cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

"I will be dead before cancer gets me," said Yamada, who has organized an unlikely band of more than 270 retirees and older workers eager to work for nothing but the sense of service at the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Yamada, who spent 28 years at Sumitomo Metal Industries, says the Fukushima clean-up job is too sprawling, too complex and too important to be left to Tokyo Electric Power, the Fukushima plant's embattled utility operator.

Instead, he wants to see the Japanese government take over at Fukushima with his group of graying volunteers with expertise in civil engineering and construction stepping in on an unpaid basis, "like the Red Cross."

Japanese government officials were initially cool to the unsolicited proposal. Goshi Hosono, an aide to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, dismissed Yamada's volunteers as a "suicide corps."

But in a late May meeting at Tokyo Electric's headquarters, Hosono seemed more receptive to the suggestion amid mounting concern about the health risks for younger workers already at Fukushima.

Three unidentified workers collapsed at Fukushima from apparent heat stroke over the weekend. Meanwhile, at least two plant workers have exceeded the government's limit for radiation exposure by a wide margin, putting them at a higher risk of cancer and other disease.

"The problem is that the first wave of workers came for the money. And they didn't - they couldn't - object to the conditions," said Yamada, who has been running his project from a tiny office above a beauty shop a short walk from Tokyo Electric's headquarters.

"Because we don't expect a fee we can speak to (Tokyo Electric) as equals," he said, adding that his team would press the utility to uphold the highest safety standards.

Tokyo Electric aims to bring three reactors at Fukushima that experienced a meltdown to a stable shutdown by January. After that, experts see a project of a decade or more to remove the uranium and plutonium fuel and secure the site.

Kazuhiko Ishida, a 63-year-old construction worker in Shiga prefecture, has volunteered to join Yamada's team. As a young worker, he helped build the Fukushima No. 1 reactor's outer shell and says he had "complicated feelings" watching it blown apart by a hydrogen explosion after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami as its reactor melted down.

"I told my wife I wanted to go," he said. "She told me to do what I had to do."

Yamada met on Monday with Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, whose ministry oversees Japan's nuclear safety agency. Kaieda seemed receptive to the proposal of a volunteer corps, he said.

"Depending on the situation, there might be a need for a suicide mission. But that is the last resort," Yamada said. "I myself would volunteer for that, but everyone must make up their own mind."


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Shonen
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06.06.2011, 05:07 PM

that is impressive.
   
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06.08.2011, 08:01 AM

I heard some news recently over the radio. It was nothing unusual, just tepco admitting they had a full melt down at some stage. That story you have is quite interesting Jerry.

I know the Japanese are proud and like to be seen in the best light all but when they bullshit about what has really happened and then we find out after it leaves a bad stigma. We all had an idea this was true anyway but if they were up front about it from the start then there is no ill feeling as it was completely out of their control.

Then there is stories like the one Jerry has just posted and it makes one think the people (not the co's and gov't) really are respectable... in a big way.
   
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Lets be real.
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JERRY2KONE
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Lets be real. - 06.08.2011, 09:40 AM

Come on guys lets be real here. I doubt that any developed nation reveals the whole truth in any man made disaster because it shines a bad light on its abilitiy to control situations like this one. If this happened in the USA there would have been details held in secrecy until some entity of the press gets a hold of the real story and then it would be plastered all over the news. The Japanese Gov and Tepco are doing exactly what any other nation/company would to in order to protect its persona/reputation.


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06.08.2011, 08:00 PM

Yes, that's true Jerry but it was obvious to the world they were in dissarray when they needed to fix it quick i.e.- no infrastructure and not many workers from the original plant, it had all been washed away.

I guess it wouldn't stop any other country from doing the same, so you are right.
   
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Shameful
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Shameful - 06.09.2011, 01:45 AM

I still think it is shameful in this day in age that we as a society do not have some sort of international nuclear disaster team that can respond to help when things like this happen. Its painfully obvious to me that an engineering disaster of this scope & nature is no easy task, and considering the effects of such a failure it should not be left up to some private company to deal with fallout that has the potential to harm not only local human life, but the worlds eco system.

Private companies no matter what country are only worried about one thing, and that is making money. They will always take shortcuts to save a few bucks, and sacrifice customer satisfaction and human life to please its stock holders. How can any nation allow a nuclear disaster be handled in house by private enterprize?

I just heard a report on ABC news that Germany has already shut down eight of its reactor plants on its way to a complete nuke shutdown, and Switzerland just anounced that it will phase out all of its nuke plants by 2034, and become nuke free. This incedent has really shown the world just how bad things can get if things go wrong. The risk of our extinction is not worth the risk of using nuclear power, and some have realized this and begun to make changes in a more positive direction. I am sure that using nuclear energey will not be desolved any time soon, but I believe that it is time to realize that it is time to start shifting to another source of power worldwide.


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pinkpanda3310
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06.09.2011, 06:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRY2KONE View Post
I still think it is shameful in this day in age that we as a society do not have some sort of international nuclear disaster team that can respond to help when things like this happen. Its painfully obvious to me that an engineering disaster of this scope & nature is no easy task, and considering the effects of such a failure it should not be left up to some private company to deal with fallout that has the potential to harm not only local human life, but the worlds eco system.
That's a good idea and the existing nuclear plants can pay a levy to fund such a group.
   
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