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Re: Japan EQ
Harvey Lankford #11537 03/14/11 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
My point is that no matter how much radiation is released, and no matter how much biological significance it attains, it is unlikely to come anywhere close to the deaths caused by the earthquake/tsunami. So the anti-nuclear sentiment that is already arising is comparing apples and oranges, both in terms of reactor type, and in terms of numbers of unfortunate victims from either natural or man-made cause.


You can shout that from the rooftops, but I doubt world leaders will forgo reviews simply because other calamities could result in greater loss of life.

A fellow I occasionally hike with told me of a review he was involved in following the Chernobyl incident. Despite assurances that such an incident could never happen in the US, the President still ordered a review. According to this fellow, a few of our reactors were indeed vulnerable, and changes were made to diminish the risk.

Re: Japan EQ
KevinR #11538 03/14/11 04:25 PM
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I heard on the news or read in the paper (can't remember which source this came from) that after the Chernobyl disaster, radiation was found in Sweeden, specifically in the sand of children's playgrounds. After finding radiation in Sweeden, radiation was found in other parts of Europe which killed livestock, lots of livestock and made the ground in parts of Europe unsafe for growing crops. Currently, according to reports I've heard on radio talk shows, specifically Charles Payne's talk show, he reported that the USA's food supply in the face of a major disaster at one time would last 79 days, but now that same supply would last only 60 days and that food supplies the world over are lower. Food takes energy to produce and the only way the world is currently producing as much food as it is, is because of the artificial fertilizers we now produce so we can produce more food. If the earths soil is contaminated by radiation it will probably take years until the soil is safe for crops. Currently, the world cannot feed all the people on this earth without artificial fertilizers and a day will come when we may not have enough resources to produce these fertilizers either. Fertilizers can even be harmful to rivers when watersheds after a rain carry nitrates to our streams and this is also true of soil contaminated with radiation. The problem escalates when a person thinks about everything affected by this type of disaster.

I'm not totally against nuclear power. Society may have to depend on it someday. I hope we learn more fail-safe ways to contain it, unfortunately by the misfortunes of the Japanese and the disaster at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.


Lynnaroo
Re: Japan EQ
lynn-a-roo #11539 03/14/11 04:39 PM
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This is just for info-sake on the dilemma under discussion.

Note that the unshielded-design Chernobyl accident was in a class by itself, almost as much as all (!) of the Nevada bomb tests, out near many of you.

Total Estimated Amount of I-131 Released from the Site
(in curies) Site Time Period

150,000,000 Ci Nevada Test Site, Nevada 1952-1970
50,000,000 Ci Chernobyl (former Soviet Union) 1986
740,000 Ci Hanford Reservation, Washington 1944-1972
60,000 Ci Savannah River Site, South Carolina 1955-1990
8,000-42,000 Ci Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee 1944-1956
20,000 Ci Windscale, United Kingdom 1957
15-21 Ci Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania 1979

Re: Japan EQ
Harvey Lankford #11543 03/14/11 05:07 PM
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From today's LA Times.

I agree with Harvey, at least in part. The Japanese situation will be used by opponents of nuclear energy to try to stop it's development. Even if the situation in Japan gets no worse than it is, the objections may very well succeed in killing new reactors in the US (which were in trouble already -- see above article).

That said, we have multiple reactors damaged in a natural disaster, with breached containment, at least partial meltdowns, and some radiation release, with the possibility of things getting a lot worse. Officials everywhere are going to have to take a step back and review things in the light of this development. To do otherwise would be highly irresponsible.

Will they over-react? History certainly allows for the possibility.

However, the pressure to develop nuclear power will not go away. We have used half of the world's known oil supply, and that was the easy (to extract) half. Things will get tougher. Demand is not going away, but supply will decrease. Oil prices (in real dollars) fell throughout the 20th century (with temporary exceptions like WWII and the 1970's OPEC-driven shortages). They have been rising in the 21st, with a respite due to the 2008 economic meltdown. One effect of rising prices will be to make economical technologies that are not economical today. Another will be damage to the economy.

Re: Japan EQ
+ @ti2d #11544 03/14/11 05:18 PM
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Gary, I know you're very proud of your Nipponese heritage, and that this disaster must disturb you greatly. Good thoughts and prayers for the safety of your family, and the speedy restoration of normalcy in the country.

As to the nuclear power discussion, I certainly don't want to glow in the dark. Nor do I want to be in the dark. Safer, more sustainable power sources exist all around us but, as is often the case, the devil is in the details and economics. I read somewhere not long ago that a single moderately-sized thunderstorm generates enough electricity to theoretically power the entire US for something like an hour. Capturing and storing that energy? Not feasible - at least not yet. Nuclear-oil-coal-gas will be with us for quite a while to come, despite their various flaws. Hobson's choice.

Re: Japan EQ
Bulldog34 #11547 03/14/11 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Good thoughts and prayers for the safety of your family, and the speedy restoration of normalcy in the country.

Hobson's choice.

Gary aka Bulldog34:

Hobson's choice. BD34, you are very educated man and I have the utmost respect. TYVM. Indeed a southern gentleman with compassion.

I still wait word...My apologies for making this post a "vent" for for pro- and anti-nuclear. I, too, have my reasons for "that" and for "this." I...wait...for the word.

My "asian" family knows all too well the effects of "nuclear" fall out. Hiroshima in particular.

Have faith.

Have faith.


Journey well...
Re: Japan EQ
+ @ti2d #11568 03/15/11 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: + @ti2d
I still wait word...My apologies for making this post a "vent" for for pro- and anti-nuclear. I, too, have my reasons for "that" and for "this."


I hope this ends well for your family. One of my cousins lives there with his family. We got word they're OK - they're inland a bit, too far for the tidal wave. They're without power, so have to get their water in the village, but they're safe.

As for discussions regarding nuclear power - mostly I think they're a waste of time. The US hasn't built a plant since the Three Mile Island incident (1979), and all it takes is a periodic disaster like Chernobyl or Fukushima and public opinion against them is renewed. It's more visceral than rational. Just the way it is.

Re: Japan EQ
KevinR #11575 03/15/11 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted By: KevinR
As for discussions regarding nuclear power - mostly I think they're a waste of time. The US hasn't built a plant since the Three Mile Island incident (1979), and all it takes is a periodic disaster like Chernobyl or Fukushima and public opinion against them is renewed. It's more visceral than rational. Just the way it is.

But you assume it will always be that way. Not so long after Three Mile Island, oil got really cheap again and stayed that way. By the turn of the century, it was at all time lows in real dollars. But things have changed. The oil industry knows that the long term trend in oil prices will be up. This has never happened before. Attitudes towards a lot of things will change. We'll see how nuclear power fares. Maybe the problem will really be that we can't build plants fast enough.

Re: Japan EQ
+ @ti2d #11576 03/15/11 07:07 AM
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Dear + @ti2d,

I, too, pray your mother is safe. I look forward to hearing happy news that you and she have reunited by phone or some other means of communication.

Best regards,

Lynn

P.S. Watch or record Nightline, last night they brought news to two or three families in the USA their loved ones are safe.


Lynnaroo
Re: Japan EQ
AlanK #11577 03/15/11 07:17 AM
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Mostly I agree with you Alan, except for my assumption. I don't assume it will always be that way, but for the foreseeable future I think it's a waste of time.

I doubt the general public will invest time and energy in listening to advances in nuclear power plant designs and safety unless there are very few other options. Extremely high oil prices might force them to. But I think before there's a big investment in more nuclear power plants people will want to know why the same power needs can't be met with some version of solar.

I'm not convinced that oil prices will remain high. A week or two ago I read how new drilling techniques are showing huge deposits in the upper midwest. Whether this was a puff piece by the oil industry time will tell.

That's my crystal ball, about as cloudy as the next.

Re: Japan EQ
KevinR #11578 03/15/11 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: KevinR
Mostly I agree with you Alan, except for my assumption. I don't assume it will always be that way, but for the foreseeable future I think it's a waste of time.

Probably an accurate guess.
Originally Posted By: KevinR
I'm not convinced that oil prices will remain high. A week or two ago I read how new drilling techniques are showing huge deposits in the upper midwest. Whether this was a puff piece by the oil industry time will tell.

Yes, time will tell. We are doing the experiment as we speak.

US oil discoveries peaked nearly 80 years ago and US oil production peaked around 40 years ago. The industry figures are sobering: Our proven oil reserves are 19 billion barrels (in 2009 -- they were 39 billion barrels in 1970). We consume 19 million barrels per day and we produce about half of that. So we have around 2000 days of proven reserves. Estimates of undiscovered recoverable reserves (including offshore) are 134 billion barrels, which would fill our needs at the current rate of consumption for around 20 years.

There is a lot of reason to believe that the long term price trend is a lot higher than what we are seeing now.

Last edited by AlanK; 03/15/11 12:32 PM.
Re: Japan EQ
AlanK #11590 03/15/11 02:58 PM
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Alan -

While the article I read recently on these "new" oil finds didn't mention the method of extraction, I reasonably sure they use a technique called fracking. It's controversial due to the chemicals injected into the ground and the potential for screwing up the aquifers for centuries to come.

Energy companies are meeting stiff resistance to that method of natural gas extraction in NY and PA. I suspect they'll have a better time of it in places like Wyoming, South Dakota and Colorado.

Re: Japan EQ
KevinR #11595 03/15/11 03:39 PM
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Some time ago, on this or a cousin board, someone posted a comment about a mile-long coal train arriving at a power plant weekly versus a few semi-trailers of nuclear fuel annually.

Does anybody remember?

TIA


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Japan EQ
wagga #11629 03/16/11 10:15 AM
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Wagga, I tried doing a search for you on the power plant and semi-trailers, but did not find what you were asking for, I'm sure you searched too.

WARNING: TEAR JERKER LINK BELOW (animal loyalty in Japan)watch till the end for somewhat happy ending:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3TM9GL2iLI

We've seen the people of Japan reaching out to their neighbors lending a helping hand. Even the animals in Japan are loyal to each other. I have a great respect for the Country of Japan, it's citizens are wonderful human beings and their pets are so well behaved...probably because they're cared for well and treated well.

Last edited by lynn-a-roo; 03/16/11 10:16 AM.

Lynnaroo
Re: Japan EQ
lynn-a-roo #11631 03/16/11 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted By: lynn-a-roo
Wagga, I tried doing a search for you on the power plant and semi-trailers, but did not find what you were asking for, I'm sure you searched too.

I believe that the entire fuel assembly weighs well under a ton. Fuel rods spend several years inside of a reactor. That's a major part of the attraction of nuclear reactors -- not a lot of truckloads of fuel going in.

As for mile long coal trains: 1 ton of coal produces 6150 kWh of electrical energy, so a 1000 MW plant would use 163 tons of coal per hour (6.5 tractor trailer loads of 25 tons each). I'll let someone else convert that to mile long trains per day.

Re: Japan EQ
+ @ti2d #11641 03/16/11 04:41 PM
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Great news! My mother and all of my Japanese family are safe. "Shaken" but not stirred.

My mother was no where near her condo when the EQ struck. She was renewing her dependent ID card at Yokosuka. She was just at the gate at the naval base in a taxi when it happened. She was with my cousin. They had to stay at a hotel for the night since everything shut down.

They left the hotel and returned home. Took them 9 hours to get home from Yokosuka to Chiba.

My mom's phone line and cell phone were down. She couldn't recharge her cell since power was out.

Damage to her condo was minimal. Few broken pieces here and there. No structural damage.

Aftershocks continue to keep everyone on edge. Mom says there are big aftershocks around 10:30 at night. She says at least 4 to 5 huge AS continue to pommel the area.

My aunt, who lives nearby, panicked when the big one hit. Everyone is laughing now. I asked for a YouTube. I can imagine my aunt Kimiko running around like a chicken with its head cut off. She does NOT like earthquakes.

Power has since been restored. People are buying up loaves of bread.

It is March 17, 2011 over there. St. Patrick's Day. It is my mother's "diamond" birthday. She turns 75. A large bouquet of flowers is in transit as we speak.

I wonder if my mother is part Irish? Naw. But her favorite color is green. Well, her favorite colors are a lovely display of flowers of all colors.

Thank you all for your prayers.

I can breathe again.


Journey well...
Re: Japan EQ
+ @ti2d #11643 03/16/11 04:49 PM
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That is just great news!


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Japan EQ
+ @ti2d #11644 03/16/11 04:53 PM
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That's really great news!! What a way to mark a 75th birthday. A very Happy Birthday to your mother.

Now, find some time to Have Fun. Maybe enjoy some corned beef, cabbage and green beer for St. Pats. wink

Re: Japan EQ
wazzu #11645 03/16/11 04:55 PM
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I think I am going to get a good night's rest.


Journey well...
Re: Japan EQ
wazzu #11647 03/16/11 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: wazzu
enjoy some corned beef, cabbage and green beer for St. Pats. wink

If it is "organic" I think my wife would approve.

But she is in Richmond, CA, and I am here in Fuggowhee aka Coarsegold, CA.

That's a good thing considering I still have an electric blanket on the bed as an ignition source...


DID I SAY THAT?


Journey well...
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