Author Topic: Japan quake  (Read 23201 times)

Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #90 on: March 16, 2011, 04:59:59 pm »
See The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #91 on: March 16, 2011, 05:26:33 pm »
See The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
Yeah, but wouldn't you want to build a space elevator from the top down instead of the bottom up?

See Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson ;)
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #92 on: March 16, 2011, 06:31:56 pm »
She's gone from suck... to blow!

Now that's just silly. I'm warning this thread not to get silly again.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #93 on: March 16, 2011, 08:32:30 pm »
She's gone from suck... to blow!

Now that's just silly. I'm warning this thread not to get silly again.

Space Balls is silly?  I thought it was a documentary.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #94 on: March 16, 2011, 08:40:12 pm »
of course space balls is a documentary.  just like super troopers ;D
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ccarlson

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #95 on: March 17, 2011, 03:48:42 am »
Been lurking for a while and just now posting, but personally I don't think jokes should be made or implied about this catastrophe. The Japanese are really hurting right now, but in all of this turmoil, they are acting much better than we ever have, given the same situation.

My heart goes out to all of the hundreds of thousands of people that have lost loved ones and are trying to get by. I salute you and may God bless.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 03:52:39 am by ccarlson »

Offline euge

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #96 on: March 17, 2011, 05:25:46 am »
Having been posting on this forum and others for quite a while I don't believe anyone is being intentionally flippant about the catastrophe. It's just our way of injecting a bit of levity into something we all feel deeply about. Really, it's fairly natural to counterbalance seriousness with a bit of humor. Shakespeare was a master at it.

I'm following this situation as it unfolds with growing horror. My dreaded anticipation is that the Japanese will hold the dubious honor of being the only people to suffer atomic strikes and inadvertently fock themselves up with a major nuclear accident years later.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #97 on: March 17, 2011, 05:38:41 am »
See The Fountains of Paradise
Is that what you get when you have blow off when making a brew with grains of paradise ?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 05:43:40 am by 1vertical »
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #98 on: March 17, 2011, 05:45:45 am »
No one joked about the catastrophe in Japan. Only joked about the disposal of radioactive waste and fallout.

As far as the catastrophe it is a horrible nightmare that is going to get worse. I look at it with sadness and shock. But we (mankind) have brought it upon ourselves and it was only a matter of time.

If im not mistaken the plants lost power and there was no other way to pump water to the cooling towers setting up a chain of events that either may or will lead to a full out meltdown. Why wasn't there an independent back up power generator to serve as a power source for the pumps? Seems like common sense to me.  

Everyone always asked "what if an earthquake hit a nuclear power plant?" and no one did anything about it. Well, now we know.

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Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #99 on: March 17, 2011, 05:58:59 am »
Here in Hawaii we have a strong connection to Japan.  It is with overwhelming disbelief, shock and a sense of helplessness that we watch events unfold.

Like Euge said, the humor here amongst friends is a way to assuage some of the pain we are all feeling in empathy for the Japanese.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #100 on: March 17, 2011, 06:20:35 am »
Quote
New York Times
A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.
 
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #101 on: March 17, 2011, 07:07:00 am »
We have a really strong connection to Japan here in Seattle too, although not as much as Hawaii I'm sure.  But besides the nameless victims who are suffering, I have friends who have been living in Tokyo with their kids for the last couple of years (they are fine, staying put for the time being).  I make no apologies, Rosie has a great sense of humor and he thinks Spaceballs was hilarious.

That aside, I think you're right, we could probably expect different behavior from the typical American if it had happened here.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #102 on: March 17, 2011, 07:49:19 am »
I don't think anybody's joking about this stuff, just trying to bring some humor to an otherwise somber period. I made a wisecrack immediately after the earthquake, before anybody knew the full impact, but I think that's about it. If you want an apology you've got it.

My best friend's wife is Japanese, and her father is a judge in Tokyo. They've had him and others go out to all of those tiny coastal towns to begin setting up a government presence. I don't know how close he is to the reactors, but he's closer than he was in Tokyo.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #103 on: March 17, 2011, 08:44:09 am »
If im not mistaken the plants lost power and there was no other way to pump water to the cooling towers setting up a chain of events that either may or will lead to a full out meltdown.

That's not entirely correct. This was a triple failure. The earthquake severed the power lines operating the pumps, as a result of which the backup generators kicked on. Minutes later, the tsunami washed through and destroyed the backup generators. In the following days, with grid power still not available, hydrogen explosions and fires pretty much destroyed the rest of the plants' systems, and ensured that any containment measures taken would be irreversible. That's worth repeating: as soon as they had the opportunity to do so, the operator junked all four reactors, including the two that were apparently under control. None of them will ever operate again, and the capital cost alone of that will certainly exceed a billion US dollars.

All that aside, these reactors were designed to survive a 7-8 Richter earthquake (depending on whose scale, and whose reports you choose to believe). To anticipate the reactor cores surviving a magnitude 8.9 quake is like expecting a car that's certified safe in a head-on collision at 60 mph to also survive a collision at 118 mph. The fact that (apparently) only one of the four pressure vessels has suffered a breach is a testament to how over-engineered they are.

This is an accident of almost incomprehensible scope, for the nuclear industry, and a radiation release of unforgivable scale. That still doesn't make it dangerous. Why we play by different rules than other power plants, I don't know, but there you have it. Every story about this will use the word "Chernobyl", but the phrase "Deepwater Horizon" will fade from memory within a few years. I don't think there's anything funny about the situation. But I also won't stand silent in the face of that kind of hypocrisy.

If anyone has factual questions about nuclear power, or the dangers of radiation exposure, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #104 on: March 17, 2011, 09:56:18 am »
If im not mistaken the plants lost power and there was no other way to pump water to the cooling towers setting up a chain of events that either may or will lead to a full out meltdown.

That's not entirely correct. This was a triple failure. The earthquake severed the power lines operating the pumps, as a result of which the backup generators kicked on. Minutes later, the tsunami washed through and destroyed the backup generators. In the following days, with grid power still not available, hydrogen explosions and fires pretty much destroyed the rest of the plants' systems, and ensured that any containment measures taken would be irreversible. That's worth repeating: as soon as they had the opportunity to do so, the operator junked all four reactors, including the two that were apparently under control. None of them will ever operate again, and the capital cost alone of that will certainly exceed a billion US dollars.

All that aside, these reactors were designed to survive a 7-8 Richter earthquake (depending on whose scale, and whose reports you choose to believe). To anticipate the reactor cores surviving a magnitude 8.9 quake is like expecting a car that's certified safe in a head-on collision at 60 mph to also survive a collision at 118 mph. The fact that (apparently) only one of the four pressure vessels has suffered a breach is a testament to how over-engineered they are.

This is an accident of almost incomprehensible scope, for the nuclear industry, and a radiation release of unforgivable scale. That still doesn't make it dangerous. Why we play by different rules than other power plants, I don't know, but there you have it. Every story about this will use the word "Chernobyl", but the phrase "Deepwater Horizon" will fade from memory within a few years. I don't think there's anything funny about the situation. But I also won't stand silent in the face of that kind of hypocrisy.

If anyone has factual questions about nuclear power, or the dangers of radiation exposure, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities.

The worst outcome of all of this, IMO, is the anti-nuclear backlash that's going on now. Of course like you said, Deepwater Horizon is almost forgotten, but Chernobyl (or Three Mile Island) has been in the vernacular for years. Here's another example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

Coal and oil are just bad, bad, bad. They're also unfortunately very excellent energy producers. Wind, Solar, etc pale in comparison to them (for the time being), but nuclear fission can take their place easily. The problem now is the backlash we're seeing. China has halted production on 57 reactors, Germany is making this a big election year issue with promises to shift from nuclear, and Australia and other countries are following suit. The problem is, there's nothing to replace it, so that means either more coal (and China and the world DO NOT NEED more coal plants) or find something else.

I've believed for a very long time that that something else is fusion, and not the useless tokamok style that ITER has been trying to cobble together for two decades. The solution is IEC, and the Navy has been funding a project formerly lead by Dr. Bussard, and there's a lot of promise there. I hope to see them succeed soon. But until that happens, fission is the cleanest, safest bet.
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