Author Topic: Japan quake  (Read 23167 times)

Offline weithman5

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #135 on: March 18, 2011, 02:52:33 pm »
[
And?!  You left out the best part, their response!

the captain asked if i hadn't been paying any attention to the news.  i said sir I have been out at this site for over 7 days studying for this board i have no idea what you are talking about.  I think that little bit of "dedication" kind of satisfied them a bit and proceeded to discuss and describe what was going on.  then they went on to grill me for 3 or 4 hours and eventually passed me.  Not before saying i was one of the most f__ked up individuals they had ever met ::)
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #136 on: March 18, 2011, 04:47:35 pm »
Looking at the devastation, I can't believe there are only 5 deaths reported so far.  It's fortunate the Japanese build to withstand these things.

The one headline we won't see out of alll of this mess is "Millions saved by engineering and government building codes". It's amazing what can be done when you combine resources with actual legal enforcement of things. Think about it, here in LA where we have a bunch of old buildings that were exempted from standards or improperly retrofitted, we got hit by a 6.7 in 94 and loss ~33 people. There are still places being retrofitted from that damn quake.

I was looking for exactly this.  Japan is really just about fine; the reactor problem is an emergency situation, but not yet a disaster.  Some disasters did occur--massive radiation spiking for a few hours around the 400,000uSv per hour mark (note that 1Sv makes you radiation sick, and that's 40% there; radiation sickness isn't "starting to get bad," it's well past significant damage).  I was hoping the high radiation would stay under the 10,000uSv/hr mark, up to which I'd stay indoors but largely not be happy about... but that's not a lot of radiation really, health effects are minimal.  It came back to under 1uSv eventually, like after several hours eventually, so 10,000uSv for a few hours would have been okay, unlike the 400,000uSv they got.

Even then, though, Japan has had incredibly bad luck:  three reactors failed, then the overbuilt and over-elevated generators got hit with a wave twice as high as they thought was possible ever.  Cascading failure occurred:  reactors failed, backup generators failed, no power to the cooling system means the reactors went into critical condition, cooled by seawater, but without the pumps the spent fuel rods boiled off their cooling pool and started to smolder (risk of fire, explosion, release of even more radiation and toxic compounds)... this is because a giant wave that they planned for was twice as big as they thought possible--they actually planned for well beyond what should have ever happened, with breakwaters and elevation above what could reach shore even without the breakwaters.  Bad luck.

But the people are not panicked.  Japan is a strong people, and they are working through it.  Most of the country hit with the earthquake roughly does not care; daily life goes on, most buildings shook a bit, in-construction buildings in Tokyo didn't even come down.  Japan is mainly just fine; in fact, if they had gotten the nuclear cooling systems back up immediately, they would be roughly "not in a state of emergency" and just busy getting everyone running water.

Compare to Haiti.  One little earthquake and everything falls apart, everybody dies.  What was that, an 8.0?  A 9.0 is an order of magnitude bigger.

I'm very much glad this happened to Japan and not any other country in the world, where it would quickly turn into a nuclear holocaust with 800,000 people dead in a country that's incapable of doing anything at all about the rapidly worsening nuclear plant problem because that entire half of the country is leveled into rubble and the roads are impassable and supplies and people cannot be brought there.  Imagine if this happened in the US ... it'd be like Katrina, but with a nuclear power plant melting down, catching fire, and spewing ten thousand tons of uranium and plutonium smoke into the atmosphere.  In the end, half of the US would be sterile or dead.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #137 on: March 18, 2011, 06:31:31 pm »
I have to agree with you blue.

They were prepared in alot of ways but bad luck got in the way, yet they are fighting against all odds and ultimately I think they will weather the storm if you will. The nuclear reactor situation is their biggest concern going forward and I think if they can harness this problem they will minimize much of the potential for a nuclear catastrophe.

There is a tremendous amount of damage and loss of life which will scar those people for years to come but they have held up beyond my expectations to date.
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Offline euge

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #138 on: March 18, 2011, 06:40:36 pm »
I have to agree with you blue.

They were prepared in alot of ways but bad luck got in the way, yet they are fighting against all odds and ultimately I think they will weather the storm if you will. The nuclear reactor situation is their biggest concern going forward and I think if they can harness this problem they will minimize much of the potential for a nuclear catastrophe.

There is a tremendous amount of damage and loss of life which will scar those people for years to come but they have held up beyond my expectations to date.

An opportunity to learn and improve on procedure and practice. Hopefully, we'll all end up benefiting from this- better designs, proactive policies and swifter emergency responses. Like it or not we will eventually have to rely on NP for more of our energy. These events haven't discouraged me from supporting NP, but the world should take notice and learn- not let politics and finances cloud our judgment.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #139 on: March 18, 2011, 08:40:49 pm »
The Haiti earthquake was magnitude 6.9.  At magnitude 9.0 the Japan earthquake was 125 times (12,500%) more powerful.  (10^9/10^6.9).

It's intersting to compare the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the 2010 Chile earthquake that occurred 35 days later.  At magnitude 8.8 the Chile earthquake was about 80 times more powerful than the Haiti earthquake.  Comparing the aftermath of Haiti, Chile and Japan speaks volumes in support of the effectiveness of earthquake resistant engineering and civil defense preparedness

I find it amusing that it is being reported that "TONS!" of water are being applied to the Dai-ichi reactors to cool them.  Sounds impressive until you realize that a ton of water is about 240 gallons.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #140 on: March 18, 2011, 08:46:10 pm »
The Haiti earthquake was magnitude 6.9.  At magnitude 9.0 the Japan earthquake was 125 times (12,500%) more powerful.  (10^9/10^6.9).

It's intersting to compare the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the 2010 Chile earthquake that occurred 35 days later.  At magnitude 8.8 the Chile earthquake was about 80 times more powerful than the Haiti earthquake.  Comparing the aftermath of Haiti, Chile and Japan speaks volumes in support of the effectiveness of earthquake resistant engineering and civil defense preparedness

I find it amusing that it is being reported that "TONS!" of water are being applied to the Dai-ichi reactors to cool them.  Sounds impressive until you realize that a ton of water is about 240 gallons.
On a scale for preparedness, one expert rated Japan an 8, and Haiti a 0.  He gave the US a 6.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #141 on: March 18, 2011, 10:18:18 pm »
On a scale for preparedness, one expert rated Japan an 8, and Haiti a 0.  He gave the US a 6.

Is that a national average? Because if so, it's pretty good. Being more or less on top of the New Madrid fault growing up, we had an earthquake plan. But I would assume that's not the case for 90% of Americans.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #142 on: March 19, 2011, 01:20:46 am »
The scale is out of seven...right?

Right. I don't remember the wording off the top of my head, but a level 7 accident involves a large, uncontrolled release of radiation into the environment, multiple radiation deaths, and a long-term impact on the public. Chernobyl, essentially.

I am hoping you're right about the radiation deaths but then the concern becomes the after affects of all the exposure to radiation. (i.e. cancer, long term effects and the like).

As of now, they're enforcing a hard limit of 250 mSv for workers at the site, and requiring everyone to wear full-body protective gear. Between that, the overall low levels of radiation being released (or at least reported), and the fact that the prevailing winds are carrying it out to sea, I don't think it's inconceivable that there would be no long-term cancer deaths either. Of course, IAEA is saying there are now 300+ workers at the site, so if this gets bad it could get really bad.
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Offline elauren

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #143 on: March 19, 2011, 02:16:19 am »
Did you guys see the car that was speeding when the flood was coming? That is something i would only picture in a movie but it has come to life.  Not that it was a pleasant view  and my heart goes to those who were affected but my point being, the movie 2012 is not as far from reality as what we initially thought, though i would not want buildings falling down while the road opens up.

Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #144 on: March 21, 2011, 07:11:00 pm »
As of now, they're enforcing a hard limit of 250 mSv for workers at the site, and requiring everyone to wear full-body protective gear. Between that, the overall low levels of radiation being released (or at least reported), and the fact that the prevailing winds are carrying it out to sea, I don't think it's inconceivable that there would be no long-term cancer deaths either. Of course, IAEA is saying there are now 300+ workers at the site, so if this gets bad it could get really bad.



Try this chart.

Offline euge

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #145 on: March 21, 2011, 09:39:50 pm »
+1 Thank you bfi. It's my desktop now. ;D
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #146 on: March 22, 2011, 04:57:10 am »
That was a great chart BFI, and why oh why did I desire to play a game of tetris when I got
done looking at it    :o
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Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #147 on: March 27, 2011, 08:20:51 am »


This is a picture of part of the control board on one of the Dai-ichi units.  Those controls are circa 1970.  Astounding that the controls have not been retrofitted with HIACS.  There have been several generations of upgrades since those analog controls were installed.
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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #148 on: March 28, 2011, 02:33:53 am »
Technology has obviously improved, but I used to work for a company that likely produced many of those chart recorders. To be nuclear rated meant that everything had to be specifically rated and kept separate from other products. That included raw inventory. Those devices were well tested and built like tanks. Digital may have more features, but it doesn't guarantee better quality. In fact, many times it means a higher failure rate.   

Offline punatic

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Re: Japan quake
« Reply #149 on: March 28, 2011, 03:36:04 am »
Hmm... 40+ year old technology is better?   If that were the case, why isn't it still being used on new construction? 

The first unit to go online at the power plant where I worked went through two control retrofits in twenty years.  The new technology was superior to the previous both times.
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