Author Topic: Japan quake  (Read 23220 times)

Offline euge

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #105 on: March 17, 2011, 10:30:29 am »
My understanding is that France has successfully harnessed NP and it supplies about 75% of their electricity.

Sean, as you have a directly related education/experience background I do have a question. If radiation weighting factors for xray or gamma photons or electrons of any energy are 1 and alpha particles possess a factor of 20 why wouldn't it be preferable to be exposed by gamma rays? As I understand it the probability of an interaction decreases as the energy increases, though those interactions that do occur have the increasing ability to result in ionization. So holding up for comparison the various weighting factors in calculating Dose Equivalent what is your opinion?

I am truly curious. Radiation safety is a daily goal of mine.





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Offline bluesman

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #106 on: March 17, 2011, 11:51:47 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.

This forum is for the most part a tight nit group of homebrewers whom interact regularly for the betterment of our craft. I can understand how the perception of the comments in this thread can be misconstrued and viewed as negative in nature but as was previosly indicated I can assure you that the comments made are not intentionally flippant or misguided they are only meant to help relieve the sheer reality of this great loss and misfortune that has been imposed upon the Japanese.

Our hearts go out to the people of Japan and all of the people who have lost loved ones.

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Offline akr71

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #107 on: March 17, 2011, 12:33:08 pm »
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.

From what I read, the backup generators and pumps were located outside and got knocked out by the tsunami.  Things were designed and built to withstand a 2-4 meter tsunami, not the 10 meters they got.

Edit:  Ever watched one of those badly made disaster movies ("Dante's Peak" and "Armageddon" come to mind) where a series of unfortunate coincidences leads the characters into what seams like unavoidable anhilation?  That's how this feels, except its happening to real people.  Here is an article about a town north of Sendai where the citizens followed the tsunami evacuation plan only to find out that the rendez-vous points were at poorly choosen low lying points.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 12:53:51 pm by akr71 »
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #108 on: March 17, 2011, 12:44:10 pm »
Right, I dont mean to be a hypocrite and I dont completly understand NP.

But in retrospect wasnt it a mistake to  build a NP  in the "ring of fire" constructed to withstand only a 7 earthquake? Also to build it right at sea level?

Just seems to me a bit short sited. Just like all of the shortsightedness that lead to Deep Horizon. 

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #109 on: March 17, 2011, 12:48:04 pm »
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.

From what I read, the backup generators and pumps were located outside and got knocked out by the tsunami.  Things were designed and built to withstand a 2-4 meter tsunami, not the 10 meters they got.
There were also battery backups from what I have read, but batteries have limited energy density, and those ran out of juice.

I saw a sat. picture of the plant before and after.  What were highlighed as the backup generator buildings in the before were missing in the after. 
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #110 on: March 17, 2011, 12:51:41 pm »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #111 on: March 17, 2011, 01:28:44 pm »
If radiation weighting factors for xray or gamma photons or electrons of any energy are 1 and alpha particles possess a factor of 20 why wouldn't it be preferable to be exposed by gamma rays?

Alphas are little trickier in that they are very high-energy, but also very massive. The median stopping distance for an alpha in air is about 20 cm IIRC. So the thing you have to remember with the quality factor tables is that they're for radiation that's already in the body. Alpha emitters that aren't ingested are essentially harmless; they have a quality factor of 0. And like I said earlier, most alpha emitters (and all the long-lived ones) are transuranics. There are chemical toxicities associated with them as well, and they don't play any role in any biological systems I'm aware of. So alpha exposure is only an issue with fallout - if there's radioactive dust in the air and you breathe it or it ends up on crops and you eat it, there could be major health issues. But even in a worst case scenario, Chernobyl-type release (which would be physically impossible in the Japanese BWRs anyway), all you have to do is wear a mask and rinse your food with water, and your alpha dosage drops to zero.

BTW, I forgot to post the link to the *only* news source I've been able to follow that has up-to-date, factual information specifically about the nuclear issues. It's the IAEA's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/iaeaorg The times, they are a-changin'...
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Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #112 on: March 17, 2011, 02:03:00 pm »
As far as I can tell from the news being reported from Fukushima none of the four troubled units have suffered core containment breach.

Each unit represents a capital loss of  $1billion US.  I suspect cleanup and reparation costs could match or exceed that amount.
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #113 on: March 17, 2011, 04:15:30 pm »
It's time to "over engineer" new nuclear power plants to withstand 9++, my understanding being that after 10+, radiation would be the least of our worries.
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Offline euge

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #114 on: March 17, 2011, 05:41:16 pm »
Thanks Sean. It's what I suspected after doing more reading. And more, been busting out and dusting off old textbooks...
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #115 on: March 17, 2011, 06:04:13 pm »
I find it interesting to watch the approaching Plume
http://laist.com/2011/03/17/post_123.php

Ok Gurus, The fallout from the path of that plume is leaving a
deposit of material on / thereby in the pacific. What is the
effect of that, dead or sickly floura and fauna?
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Offline euge

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #116 on: March 17, 2011, 06:15:24 pm »
I find it interesting to watch the approaching Plume
http://laist.com/2011/03/17/post_123.php

Ok Gurus, The fallout from the path of that plume is leaving a
deposit of material on / thereby in the pacific. What is the
effect of that, dead or sickly floura and fauna?

My hope is that it doesn't end up in the food chain supply but gets diluted in the Pacific. Though when seafood is affected I guess the Japanese need to be very concerned since they consume the bulk of it.

Supposedly the flora and fauna wasn't affected that much with Chernobyl but Humans were- developing leukemia and lymphoma as the years passed.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #117 on: March 17, 2011, 06:17:24 pm »
Ok Gurus, The fallout from the path of that plume is leaving a deposit of material on / thereby in the pacific. What is the effect of that, dead or sickly floura and fauna?

Probably not. The highest number I've seen reported is 400 mSv/hr, which by the time it's dispersed in the atmosphere isn't going to be enough to be noticeable. (To put things in perspective, 1 mSv is about the dose you'd get by eating 1,000 bananas.)
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #118 on: March 17, 2011, 06:34:54 pm »
i was going through nuclear prototype in idaho when chernobyl happened.  i had been out at the site for a week prior to my final boards.  i had heard no news about chernobyl.  the first question i was asked was to describe chernobyl and discuss the safety benefits of our (navy) design.  my answer "what is chernobyl?"   the inherent safety of general electric and westinghouse designs. look at what that plant has gone through, and yes it is a disaster, but i think people will marvel at how small the health impact really turns out to be.  biggest deal imho is the loss of generating capacity to a people who are going to need all the help they can get.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #119 on: March 17, 2011, 07:17:15 pm »
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