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rfrobison
03-12-2011, 05:21 AM
For details, please see my posts on "Science Saturday" thread.

JonIrenicus
03-12-2011, 08:42 PM
http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/

bjkeefe
03-12-2011, 09:31 PM
http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/

For those new to the forum, or with a momentary lapse of memory, that's Rod Adams as in one-time guest on Science Saturday (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/27837) Rod Adams. Here's his post (http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2010/08/john-horgan-converting-to-pro-nuclear.html) on that event.

Thanks for the link, JonI.

cragger
03-12-2011, 10:31 PM
Seems to be still a lot of confusion as to exactly what all has and is occurring. There have been reports that the cooling system has failed in a second reactor, and I've seen at least one that says a third has failed as well. Time will tell.

bjkeefe
03-12-2011, 10:43 PM
Seems to be still a lot of confusion as to exactly what all has and is occurring. There have been reports that the cooling system has failed in a second reactor, and I've seen at least one that says a third has failed as well. Time will tell.

I think I'm of the same mindset as you on this one, cragger. For the past day or so, I have been thinking that all of this instant updating facility that we have is maybe not such a good thing for a situation such as this.

On the other hand, I suppose if something bad happens, it's better that we're getting independent reports, however noisy the channel, in case anyone in power is contemplating a cover-up or whitewash job.

cragger
03-12-2011, 11:00 PM
Again, preliminary reports, indicating GPS positioning shows 8 feet of movement and that the axis has shifted an estimated 4 inches:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.earthquake.tsunami.earth/index.html?hpt=T1

Thats a big quake.

rfrobison
03-13-2011, 07:45 PM
Dear friends:

No doubt most of you have been following the events here in Japan after Friday's earthquake. I would like to extend a personal appeal to all of you at Bhtv on behalf of my adoptive home.

Please, if you have the means, consider donating to the Red Cross or similar reputable relief organization* to help the victims of the quake and tsunami. There is a tendency to think, when a disaster strikes a rich country like Japan or the United States, that the primary responsibility for providing assistance lies with the citizens and government of that country.

That is true. It is also true that in a disaster of this scale and scope there is plenty of room for people of generous spirit to provide additional, vital help. I know all of you are such people. So I urge you to give whatever you can, even if it's just $10, to help the people of northern Japan to get back on their feet. Both they and I will be grateful.

Thank you for your time,
Rob

*If any Bhtv administrative types would consider setting up a fund on behalf of the community to which people might contribute, I think that would be a worthy humanitarian gesture that many of our members would support.

nikkibong
03-13-2011, 07:57 PM
Dear friends:

No doubt most of you have been following the events here in Japan following Friday's earthquake. I would like to extend a personal appeal to all of you at Bhtv on behalf of my adoptive home.

Please, if you have the means, consider donating to the Red Cross or similar reputable relief organization* to help the victims of the quake and tsunami. There is a tendency to think, when a disaster strike a rich country like Japan or the United States, that the primary responsibility for providing assistance lies with the citizens and government of that country.

That is true. It is also true that in a disaster of this scale and scope there is plenty of room for people of generous spirit to provide additional, vital help. I know all of you are such people. So I urge you to give whatever you can, even if it's just $10, to help the people of northern Japan to get back on their feet. Both they and I will be grateful.

Thank you for your time,
Rob

*If any Bhtv administrative types would consider setting up a fund on behalf of the community to which people might contribute, I think that would be a worthy humanitarian gesture that many of our members would support.

rob, is the response on the part of the japanese government noticeably better than it was after Kobe? i know that that relief effort was hampered by reluctance to use the self-defense forces etc . . .

i love japan. this whole thing has me beside myself.

rfrobison
03-13-2011, 08:41 PM
rob, is the response on the part of the japanese government noticeably better than it was after Kobe? i know that that relief effort was hampered by reluctance to use the self-defense forces etc . . .

i love japan. this whole thing has me beside myself.

Hey Ethan,

Hard to grade, yet, the Japanese government's response. What one can say, so far, is that they've mobilized the Self-Defense Forces for relief much more quickly than they did last time. For historical reasons (understandably), Japanese have an allergy to the military -- which Japan does not officially have! -- carrying out civilian functions. They seem to have gotten over that when it comes to emergency relief. They've also been quick to accept offers of help from overseas and from the U.S. military, which hasn't always been true in the past.

On the nuclear meltdown, I have less faith that the government knows exactly what is going on, or, if it does, that it will give people the straight scoop, because they're worried about creating a panic.

So far C+, I guess. Their competence will be demonstrated one way or another in the weeks and months ahead.

Wonderment
03-14-2011, 12:28 AM
*If any Bhtv administrative types would consider setting up a fund on behalf of the community to which people might contribute, I think that would be a worthy humanitarian gesture that many of our members would support.

Great idea, Rob! If BH sets it up and you point the funds in the right direction, I pledge $50 to get things rolling.

rfrobison
03-14-2011, 05:15 AM
Great idea, Rob! If BH sets it up and you point the funds in the right direction, I pledge $50 to get things rolling.

That's great to hear. If Bhtv doesn't want to get into the fund-raising business, some kind of banner with a link to the appropriate sites might be good as well.

bjkeefe
03-14-2011, 02:22 PM
That's great to hear. If Bhtv doesn't want to get into the fund-raising business, some kind of banner with a link to the appropriate sites might be good as well.

You might start by creating a new thread and composing a post with what you'd like to see. For example, here's an image that's linked to an appropriate page:

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/6373/redcrossdonate2japan.png (http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=f9efd2a1ac6ae210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCR D)


You could also add a donate/info link to your signature; e.g., copy the following, go to User CP, click Edit Signature, and paste it in:

Please donate to the Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/) to help Japan

rfrobison
03-14-2011, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, Brendan.

badhatharry
03-14-2011, 11:58 PM
So far C+, I guess. Their competence will be demonstrated one way or another in the weeks and months ahead.

I'm hoping that the nuclear disaster talk will be the same as the talk about the Gulf of Mexico never coming back from the BP Oil catastrophe...just talk.

fingers crossed.

bjkeefe
03-15-2011, 12:05 AM
NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html) (via @carlzimmer (http://twitter.com/carlzimmer/status/47482773144997888)):

Japan Faces Prospect of Nuclear Catastrophe as Workers Leave Plant

By HIROKO TABUCHI, KEITH BRADSHER and MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: March 14, 2011

TOKYO — Japan faced the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear accident Tuesday morning, as an explosion at the most crippled of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station damaged its crucial steel containment structure, emergency workers were withdrawn from the plant, and much larger emissions of radioactive materials appeared immiment, according to official statements and industry executives informed about the developments.

[...]

The sharp deterioration came after government officials said the containment structure of the No. 2 reactor, the most seriously damaged of three reactors at the Daichi plant, had suffered damage during an explosion shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

They initially suggested that the damage was limited and that emergency operations aimed at cooling the nuclear fuel at three stricken reactors with seawater would continue. But industry executives said that in fact the situation had spiraled out of control and that all plant workers needed to leave the plant to avoid excessive exposure to radioactive leaks.

If all workers do in fact leave the plant, the nuclear fuel in all three reactors is likely to melt down, which would lead to wholesale releases of radioactive material — by far the largest accident of its kind since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.

Reports of an imminent worsening of the problem came after a frantic day and night of rescue efforts focused largely on the No. 2 reactor. There, a malfunctioning valve prevented workers from manually venting the containment vessel to release pressure and allow fresh seawater to be injected into it. That meant that the extraordinary remedy emergency workers have been using to keep the nuclear fuel from overheating no longer worked.

As a result, the nuclear fuel in that reactor was exposed for many hours, increasing the risk of a breach of the container vessel and a more dangerous emissions of radioactive particles.

By Tuesday morning, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said it had fixed the valve and resumed seawater injections, but that they had detected possible leaks in the containment vessel that prevented water from fully covering the fuel rods.

Then the explosion hit the same reactor. The operator initially reported that the blast may have damaged the bottom part of the container vessel, but later said radiation levels had not risen high enough to suggest a major escalatiion of the problem. While they did not immediately provide a detailed account of what happened at the reactor, government and company officials initially ruled out a serious breach that could lead to massive radioactive leaks or a full meltdown of the nuclear fuel.

[...]

While Japanese officials made no comparisons to past accidents, the release of an unknown quantity of radioactive gases and particles — all signs that the reactor cores were damaged from at least partial melting of fuel — added considerable tension to the effort to cool the reactors.

“It’s way past Three Mile Island already,” said Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.”

==========

[Added] The above article has been updated (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html) since I posted. New information includes the following lede.

Japan faced the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear accident Tuesday morning, as an explosion at the most crippled of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station damaged its crucial steel containment structure, emergency workers were withdrawn from the plant, and a fire at a fourth reactor spewed large amounts of radioactive material into the air, according to official statements and industry executives informed about the developments.

“No. 4 is currently burning and we assume radiation is being released. We are trying to put out the fire and cool down the reactor,” the chief government spokesman, Yukio Edano, told a televised press conference. “There were no fuel rods in the reactor, but spent fuel rods are inside.”

Japan's nuclear safety watchdog later said that the fire at the No. 4 reactor had been extinguished, The Associated Press reported.

rfrobison
03-15-2011, 01:20 AM
If I'm irradiated, Brendan, I'm leaving you in charge of posting what you think I would have said on any given topic. I want you to realize what an honor this is. There are few people out there smart enough to be me.

I'm just sorry I won't be around to see you-you argue with me-you.

Love,
Rob

Gallows humor

bjkeefe
03-15-2011, 01:34 AM
[...] Gallows humor

Heh. Thanks.

If you can still make jokes, you're still fully alive. Good on you. Keep your chin up. We will get through this.

rfrobison
03-15-2011, 02:20 AM
Heh. Thanks.

If you can still make jokes, you're still fully alive. Good on you. Keep your chin up. We will get through this.

Does sort of put my relatively sanguine attitude toward nuclear power in a new, er, light... sort of a pleasant green luminescence.

bjkeefe
03-15-2011, 02:38 AM
Does sort of put my relatively sanguine attitude toward nuclear power in a new, er, light... sort of a pleasant green luminescence.

A pleasant green luminescence, or coal-blackened lungs, or bloody red hands from securing foreign oil. Tough choices.

bjkeefe
03-16-2011, 03:37 AM
http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/

Look what you did (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/34847)!

Ocean
03-26-2011, 10:35 PM
A couple of links that show levels of radiation in Japan, for those interested in following.

Map is updated from data by the Japan Nuclear Safety Division. (http://gebweb.net/japan-radiation-map/)

This one is a little scary. (http://community.pachube.com/node/611#3d)

Source. (http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/03/japan-radiation-map-resource.html?etoc)

bjkeefe
03-28-2011, 06:44 AM
A short essay by George Johnson (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/weekinreview/27johnson.html?pagewanted=all) in the NYT.

TwinSwords
03-28-2011, 09:58 AM
A short essay by George Johnson (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/weekinreview/27johnson.html?pagewanted=all) in the NYT.

Great article. George is an even better writer than he is a diavlogger.