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Meltdown alert at Japan reactor

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Supreme, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Supreme

    Supreme British

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    BBC News - Japan earthquake: Meltdown alert at Fukushima reactor

    Japan is still a nation in chaos, as the threat of radioactivity lingers over the land. Thankfully, the wind will blow most radioactivity to the sea.
     
  2. Drekkan85

    Drekkan85 Immortal until proven otherwise

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    Having to bring this up again and again is getting irritating:

    Fukushima Nuclear Accident – a simple and accurate explanation « BraveNewClimate

    1) Does meltdown mean Chernobyl? No
    2) Does meltdown mean massive radiation exposure? No

    It's irresponsible journalism (at best) to go from a story about the nuclear site (which will cause, at worst, a few casualties largely from the hydrogen bursts, and then talk about thousands dead (due to the earthquake) and then back to the reactor. It implies that the reactor is somehow involved in the deaths.

    It's not. There will be no massive dosing of Japan with radiation. The situation is largely under control thanks to the work of the energy sector there. Just as with 3-Mile Island certain activists will beat drums loudly despite no concrete damage (reference to the fellow that I asked for proof of a 3-mile Island casualty, even from radiation, now so many years later... and found none).

    Nuclear power is easy to demonize because we use words like "radiation leak" and "meltdown"! When 99% of the radiation leak so far has been nitrogen (which stops being radioactive in about 5~10 seconds) and what's left is hardly enough to dose someone beyond what they'd absorb in an trans-arctic flight.
     
  3. Ar Cosc

    Ar Cosc I only exist on the internet

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    Unfortunately, it's looking like this meltdown could progress further. There are reports of damage to the pressure vessels and fuel rod matrices. I doubt it will be a Chernobyl, but if there is further heat damage to the containment, or the worst case scenario, a total meltdown, through the bottom of the reactor vessel, there could still be significant releases of radiation.
     
  4. sIr-watermelon

    sIr-watermelon Guest

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    Given how poor most of the reporting is I would take that with a grain of salt.

    As some one with some knowledge of nuclear construction (me entering the trade, family involved for 40+ years) I think it needs to be pointed out that the containment vessels exist for the purpose of containing the reactor should it melt its self into a large and highly nasty lump of glass. Cool it as best you can, weld the doors shut and rebuild.
     
  5. Ar Cosc

    Ar Cosc I only exist on the internet

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    Of course, but high pressures, high temperatures, hydrogen explosions, and flying debris do pose a risk to the containment vessels.
     
  6. Glass*Soul

    Glass*Soul Senior Veteran

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    There has been a third explosion.
     
  7. Drekkan85

    Drekkan85 Immortal until proven otherwise

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  8. katautumn

    katautumn Wandering, not lost.

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    Precisely.The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was largely unprecedented. There has never been another level 7 nuclear event in history, and it's doubtful there will ever be another one. What happened at Chernobyl was a series of violent explosions that exposed the reactor components to air, thus sending a plume of pure radiation into the atmosphere. The reactors in Japan are structured differently than the ones used at Chernobyl and are, in theory, much safer. Not only that, but the circumstances leading up to this possible meltdown are very different than what transpired at Chernobyl.
     
  9. Paxton25

    Paxton25 Forgiven

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  10. DeathMagus

    DeathMagus Stater of the Obvious

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    In some ways, I'm cautiously optimistic about this as a positive PR opportunity for nuclear power. If a plant located on a fault line can be contained with no casualties after an 8.9 earthquake, the vast majority of public safety concerns can be put to rest (as many of them should have been after Three-Mile Island).
     
  11. katautumn

    katautumn Wandering, not lost.

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  12. Paxton25

    Paxton25 Forgiven

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  13. katautumn

    katautumn Wandering, not lost.

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    Even if the weather patterns favored carrying radiation to the areas indicated on that map, the amount of radiation it says the West Coast of the US would be exposed to would lead to certain death within a matter of days. The map is a fake. I could have made that with Photoshop.
     
  14. Glass*Soul

    Glass*Soul Senior Veteran

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    But there have already been casualties at Fukushima. As of yesterday, I believe there were 15 injured and 190 exposed to radiation. This was before the third explosion and the fire in the fourth reactor.

    What's more, radiation does not have to produce Acute Radiation Syndrome in order to kill. It can also, in smaller doses, cause fatal cancers over time.

    I understand there are still 50 staff on hand at the facility. One wonders what their radiation exposure has and will be.
     
  15. Trogdor the Burninator

    Trogdor the Burninator Senior Veteran

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    ..and it's rubbish, as snopes has already proved.

    But don't believe them. Why not go to the company whose logo appears on the map

    http://www.australian-radiation-services.com.au/

    Our Services
    DISCLAIMER: Australian Radiation Services is aware of information about radioactive contamination being spread from the Japanese nuclear reactor incident released under the ARS logo and name. We wish to be clear that this information has not originated from ARS and as such distance ourselves from any such misinformation.
     
  16. Drekkan85

    Drekkan85 Immortal until proven otherwise

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    The injured were those injured in the hydrogen explosions. The radiation exposure, again, is something that sounds incredibly scary until you go through how much they were exposed to and the equivalencies.

    It's just like how people are stating things like "radiation 8 times normal has leaked out!" without explaining it's radioactive nitrogen that basically stops being radioactive within seconds.

    The big problem is our news companies and their desire for ratings. What gets more, calm rational scientist explaining why everything really is actually fairly much over... or wild rabid anti-nuclear fanatic raving about how the west coast is going to become uninhabitable?

    Much like how 3-Mile Island only produced 1 casualty (Edward Teller, who had a heart attack because of the media hysteria as he was working 20 hour days at an advanced age to try and dispel ridiculous anti-nuclear humbuggery), this incident will be made into something ridiculous by groups that seek to profit from tragedy and create propaganda against a viable energy form that's emission free and has one of the lowest (by far) casualty counts of any major energy production methods.
     
  17. Staccato

    Staccato Tarut keeps on dreaming Supporter

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    Excellently put Drekkan! I'm also sick to death of people saying "Well, it won't be as bad as Chernobyl", which serves only to evoke a sense of fear and panic in the general populace. It's lazy and patronising reporting, substituting emotion for facts. The only news services I've seen that's even attempting to approach this in a suitably balanced way in the BBC live stream.

    The fact that the article has to open with a debunking of the notion that the plant could go up in a 'nuclear explosion' (ie. mushroom cloud) is a crushing indictment of both the extent to which the media has been misleading people, and the woeful knowledge of even basic science a large portion of the population possesses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  18. Drekkan85

    Drekkan85 Immortal until proven otherwise

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  19. Staccato

    Staccato Tarut keeps on dreaming Supporter

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    I'm not sure why atomic agencies in general steer away from defining 'meltdown'. The truth is much less dramatic than the fiction.

    The containment vessel of the Japanese reactor is designed specifically to permanently contain a complete core meltdown, and the risk of it breaching is exceptionally low. If any news agency would just report this simple fact then maybe people would start to calm down slightly. But then, calm viewers are not necessarily hooked viewers.
     
  20. Elastria

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    Nuclear energy has risks, I don't think anyone is denying that. I'm hopeful that this reactor can eventually be shut down and the potential hazard averted. What the world can learn from this is how to make reactors even safer in the future. Lets face it even this japanese reactor is far safer than the one in chernobyl.