Patterico's Pontifications

3/13/2011

N.Y. Times: Japanese Officials Presume Two Partial Meltdowns Have Occurred

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:10 am



And that’s not the only problem:

Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were facing serious cooling problems at three more.

The emergency appeared to be the worst involving a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. The developments at two separate nuclear plants prompted the evacuation of more than 200,000 people. Japanese officials said they had also ordered up the largest mobilization of their Self-Defense Forces since World War II to assist in the relief effort.

Robert Stacy McCain has been energetically aggregating the news, and has eschewed any partisan extremes, neither wringing his hands in panic, nor (as some have done) rushing to declare everything is OK in advance of the facts. He has been appropriately suspicious of official reports and entertaining as usual. You could do worse than to pay close attention to his blog for the rest of the weekend, as well as my perennial favorite Hot Air.

Understand that “partial meltdown” does not mean “deadly plume of radiation headed for U.S.”:

A meltdown occurs when there is insufficient cooling of the reactor core, and it is the most dangerous kind of a nuclear power accident because of the risk of radiation releases. The radiation levels reported so far by the Japanese authorities are far above normal but still too small to pose a hazard to human health if the exposure continued for a brief period. The fear was that more core damage would bring bigger releases.

The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that as many as 160 people may have been exposed to radiation around the plant, and Japanese news media said that three workers at the facility were suffering from full-on radiation sickness.

Viewed in perspective, this is hardly the biggest problem to come out of the double disaster, by a longshot. At least so far. The casualties of the earthquake (now upgraded to 9.0) and tsunami have yet to be measured, but will certainly be in the tens of thousands. Nobody has died as a result of the likely meltdowns.

And again: nothing is definite in a situation like this. Saying something is “presumed” does not mean it is true. As always, appropriate skepticism is the watchword.

UPDATE: This piece appears to have a good explanation of the mechanics behind a reactor such as the one at Fukushima, together with an explanation of all the controls in place. I can’t really vouch for the accuracy of the piece, so take it with a grain of salt. If you believe the piece, it provides reassurance that there is no Grand Disaster in the works, as there are numerous backup systems in place to prevent anything catastrophic, even in the face of numerous unexpected events like the earthquake, tsunami, and explosion. The author’s conclusions about the current state of affairs:

# The plant is safe now and will stay safe.
# Japan is looking at an INES Level 4 Accident: Nuclear accident with local consequences. That is bad for the company that owns the plant, but not for anyone else.
# Some radiation was released when the pressure vessel was vented. All radioactive isotopes from the activated steam have gone (decayed). A very small amount of Cesium was released, as well as Iodine. If you were sitting on top of the plants’ chimney when they were venting, you should probably give up smoking to return to your former life expectancy. The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again.
# There was some limited damage to the first containment. That means that some amounts of radioactive Cesium and Iodine will also be released into the cooling water, but no Uranium or other nasty stuff (the Uranium oxide does not “dissolve” in the water). There are facilities for treating the cooling water inside the third containment. The radioactive Cesium and Iodine will be removed there and eventually stored as radioactive waste in terminal storage.
# The seawater used as cooling water will be activated to some degree. Because the control rods are fully inserted, the Uranium chain reaction is not happening. That means the “main” nuclear reaction is not happening, thus not contributing to the activation. The intermediate radioactive materials (Cesium and Iodine) are also almost gone at this stage, because the Uranium decay was stopped a long time ago. This further reduces the activation. The bottom line is that there will be some low level of activation of the seawater, which will also be removed by the treatment facilities.

Under this analysis, what was the “meltdown” that occurred, if it occurred? If I’m reading it right, the author claims that there has been limited melting of the Zircaloy tubes that house the fuel pellets, but no melting of the fuel itself. Is that inconsistent with the reports of “meltdowns”? Depends on the terminology. The press should probably spend more time educating people about the mechanics and less time throwing around undefined terms like “meltdown,” huh?

One question: the author claims of the radiation outside the fuel rods: “if these radioactive materials are released into the environment, yes, radioactivity was released, but no, it is not dangerous, at all.” But if that’s right, how do we reconcile that assertion with the reports above of radiation sickness for three of the workers?

I’m sticking with my previous stance. We don’t really know what is going on and making any positive declarations about anything is premature.

207 Responses to “N.Y. Times: Japanese Officials Presume Two Partial Meltdowns Have Occurred”

  1. Understand that this quake was like 2000 Northridge quakes all at once. Put another way, it was like 500 1-megaton H-bombs going off, all at once. This was an enormous earthquake. Not all that surprising that some 40-year-old nuclear plants had problems after they got the s%it shook out of them.

    Kevin M (298030)

  2. In short, this _IS_ the worst case scenario. Let’s see how they do. Hopefully management is done trying to play PR games and is letting the engineers operate unimpeded.

    Kevin M (298030)

  3. it’s very very likely that one of those affected by the radiation was a small spider what an adolescent Japanese kid will very very likely encounter on a school field trip next week

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  4. I hope they contain, but don’t forget the aftershocks are still going on, and the explosion caused from hydrogen gas buildup created a lot of damage. I am not hopeful having talked with nuclear engineers. Chenobyl was a lot worse than most people realize. Given a full scale meltdown the only thing to do is abandon the plant and the entire area. The concrete at Chenobyl did little but get the workers killed.

    Wayne (945417)

  5. rushing to declare everything is OK in advance of the facts

    PW jumped the shark quite a while ago.

    Y-not (45d6ad)

  6. Pat, Aaron check your email,

    Looks like Reactor 1 was leaking before in 2002, and had prolems with falsified coolant reports for 1 and 3 in 2005,6 and 2007 were ordered full shutdown inspections that TEPCO delayed due to another reactor damaged in the Nijima quake

    So apparently there has been some kind of pattern in the Fukushima number 1 plant

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  7. I don’t have a link but I heard that some other government official has said that this is not true. It seems to me that there is enough confusion at this point that it might be a good idea to wait and see what actually happens. Partial meltdown sounds kind of like little bit pregnant to me.

    Overall, I have kind of gotten a Katrina like feel to a lot of the coverage thus far..hysterics, too many experts who do not actually know anything and lots of speculation.

    It might be every bit as bad as some folks are saying, but then again I am not excited about the idea of $150 a barrel oil so I hope that people will kind of ease up on the grand announcements until and unless they actually have some confirmation that is not refuted or denied in 5 minutes.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  8. Terrye,

    STRATFOR is a very well-regarded global intelligence site. I suggest you go there. They are reporting that the Japanese government confirms a meltdown.

    I don’t understand the snark coming from PW directed at HotAir, Ace, and Patterico, but I haven’t understood the outlook of that site for quite a while. ‘Looks like a bit of an echo chamber has developed over there.

    Y-not (45d6ad)

  9. As a nuke (but who has no inside knowledge), the events at the Japanese reactors sound like an extended Station BlackOut (SBO).

    That is, there were no breaches of piping or major plant containment structures by the earthquake, but they lost station AC power sources and their connection to a powered grid.

    Possibly, the waves swamped the flood protection for all electrical sources like on-site diesels. This would be consistent with one report that their problems began some time like an hour AFTER the quake, as that would be about when the waves hit that part of the coast. The units would have lost off-site power when the earthquake took out the grid, but the diesels would have auto-started and been providing good on-site power.

    US plants have to comply with the NRC SBO Rule, issued in 1988. If you want some info on that document, just google NRC SBO rule. An assessment of the effects of the rule can be found in NUREG-1776, though one might need to have more than minor knowledge to get past some of the tech stuff.

    Basically, US plants were required to be able to cope with complete loss of all AC power for between 4 – 8 hours. After that, they were required to show that they had still another source they could use, above the installed emergency generators. They also had to have plans to get backup, such as ties to other sources, etc.

    A big enough earthquake and/or flood wave could take everything out, even SBO stuff.

    If the Japanese plants had the equivalent protection, it would explain why things did not get reported as being a problem for ~8 hours. That would be about when their batteries began to run out.

    BTW, despite some news reports, I doubt batteries can run the large pumps that would be needed for water injection. Instead, DC power would be used to cycle relief valves for pressure control, which can buy time as it also releases some decay heat.

    Also, if the releases go through filtered vents, such as an off gas system, hydrogen buildup in them can trigger explosions. If fans were not on-line, the risk might be higher, but that depends of specific system design. Off-gas systems have had explosions before at BWRs, even when there was power. The US plant Cooper is one historical example, IIRC.

    Such an explosion would NOT be in the reactor containment building.

    One of the measures I would have expected at the plants, was to air-lift in one or more skid-mounted generators, and then to brute force connect it to a switchgear that powered the necessary pumps. Those generators exist, and the connections can be done (in an emergency). The US implicitly assumes that such measures would be used in an extended SBO. That is, that either the US military or a contracted helo company will get that stuff there in a day or two following such a catastrophic area event that takes out all infrastructure and becomes a national emergency.

    There is even precedent, as President Carter had a large air handling/filtration device air-lifted from a DOE facility to TMI in 1979, IIRC.

    jim2 (48087a)

  10. Stratfor for it’s pricy offerings, ($140 a year) is somewhat uneven in quality, after the largest quake in recent history, reactors might be damaged, that’s a surprise, consider how many structures would still be standing in California, after such an event, the rumor first, fact clarification, does lend itself to the ‘can’t waste a crisis’ m.o. of this administration, which would foreclose yet another avenue for power generation,

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  11. “too many experts who do not actually know anything and lots of speculation.”
    .
    .
    .
    .
    At least most the guys I see are actual engineers explaining what is happening at the plant itself unlike Katrina where the “Climate Experts” were dragged out to explain the hurricanes “new found fury” and the engineers basically sat around blaming Bush for the levees not being able to do the near impossible.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    And we have had no bad hurricanes since.

    Torquemada (2a42d3)

  12. Y-not:

    Maybe so…but I think I will wait a bit. I have heard too many contradictory reports on this..if it is in fact a meltdown then that will become evident in time..my concern is that all the speculation will lead to higher oil prices. Right now it does not take much to send that market over the top.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  13. Exactly now they say the earthquake has shifted the earth’s axis does this mean we confuse a sidereal day with 24 hours?

    DohBiden (984d23)

  14. I don’t understand the snark coming from PW directed at HotAir, Ace, and Patterico …

    This fellow John Bradley over there in the linked thread seems to think we have all been screaming that we’re all going to die. Part of our “pragmatism.” We haven’t, of course, but his impression is certainly more important than the truth, I think we can all agree.

    It’s apparently a matter of political outlook how you respond to this, if Bradley is to be believed. Apparently the “true conservative” thing to do is declare there has been no meltdown, even as you link to articles that say there have.

    That’s what I liked about McCain’s coverage. He is second to none in his “true conservatism” but isn’t letting his politics govern how he reacts to the facts on the ground. That’s journalism.

    Patterico (6b8095)

  15. The devastation in Miyagi province is almost incalculable, if one didn’t know better one would
    think a tactical nuke had gone off;

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  16. Consider what any municipality would look like after this,nuclear facility or not.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  17. Understand that “partial meltdown” does not mean “deadly plume of radiation headed for U.S.”:

    Even a full meltdown does not mean that. A meltdown happens when the fuel rods melt and are no longer rods, form a very hot mass on the floor of the containment vessel, which burns its way through the floor and down into the ground. Then what happens? Does it keep burning its way through the earth and out the other side? No, it does not. As soon as the fuel leaves the reactor, the nuclear reaction stops. It needs a moderator to make it happen, and the moderator is now several feet away instead of in between the rods.

    So what we then have is a mass of very hot, very radioactive metal, but it’s no longer generating heat; it starts to cool down. It may burn its way several feet into the ground, but pretty soon it will cool off enough that the metal is no longer molten, and it will stop. Now all you have is a very expensive mess; if you have shares in the power company, better hope for a government bailout.

    But all of this is happening under the concrete containment dome, so nothing is escaping into the atmosphere; if you have no shares in the company, but live 5 miles away, you should have little problem, and should seriously consider ignoring any evacuation order. (I repeat: consider. Take all the information you have into account, and make up your mind whether the danger of staying might be real enough to justify the small but real risk of getting on the road. Don’t minimise the risk, but don’t take “authorities'” word for it either.)

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  18. The Washington Post is using bias by omission to slam the U.S. nuclear power industry.

    Reporter Jia Lynn Yang quoted a source who opined that the industry is “on the rocks” in the United States. The source, Peter Bradford, is only identified as “a former commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission”.

    What the WaPo reporter didn’t tell you is that Bradford is vice chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a leftist environmental group that is skeptical of nuclear power.

    The reporter also didn’t mention that Bradford was appointed to the commission in 1977 by President Carter for a five-year term. His knowledge from the commission is three decades out of date.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0a09eb)

  19. I was in the Northridge quake. If this is like 2000 of that one, God help Japan and its people. I saw the devastation to the city and suffered from the trauma of experiencing a 45 second earthquake that was a 6.8. Only a 6.8, I have to add — !

    Anonyma (e5eb3e)

  20. I don’t know about y’all, but I will certainly feel safer when we all go back to open fires around the tent.

    dr kill (06b97e)

  21. The U.S. should slow the construction of new domestic nuclear power plants until officials can assess whether the situation in Japan signals a need for additional safety measures, said Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who heads the Homeland Security Committee.*

    This is not the home of the brave anymore, our little country.

    Americans are cowards what live in fear fear fear.

    It’s a little sickening.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  22. Dr McCue dismissed suggestions that melting glaciers due to global warming could escalate the earthquake risk.*

    oh sweet jesus really?

    The tard who made this suggestion should be iceberged for to protect the gene pool I think.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  23. tard and or tards I mean

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  24. I commented twice on that proteinwisdom thread and had to go back to find what the heck people talking about. I didn’t see any snark from Jeff, but maybe I missed it. The link he put up was to a solid news source.

    One commenter vented a bit and JG just sort of absorbed it, said thanks and resumed sitting on the sidelines.

    Nothing to pick a fight over, that’s for sure

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  25. Patterico – Al least one of the workers who had a large exsposure got it while operating a valve. The coolant water in the pipe had seriously bad stuff in it and he recieved more than a years maximum suggested dose it the time it took to open the valve. The material in that pipe was not released to the outside enviroment.

    “Meltdown” is not a technical term used by the nuclear industry. But in this case a “Fuel Metldown” would be localized melting or fusing of individual fuel elements. A core meltdown would refer to the complete melting of the entire core, both fuel and support structure.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  26. happyfeet–

    The reason we don’t have spent fuel storage today is that Carter was worried what would happen to the storage sites if North America was reglaciated.

    We get it either way.

    Kevin M (298030)

  27. Thanks jim2

    Some scattered thoughts, some in reference to previous thread.

    1) The only use of the term “meltdown” that I would trust from the MSM would be comments on the actions of MSM reporters. I wouldn’t even trust them if they said “Breitbart had a meltdown”. (Okay, if they said Baskin-Robbins had a melt-down they might have it right.) I would second this for almost anything more technical than “Carbon Dioxide is in the atmosphere normally.”

    2) A 9.0 quake is indeed incredible. Moving the main island by 8 feet- incredible. One of the aftershocks was over 7. I think the story isn’t how dangerous nuclear reactors are, but how good Japanese building standards are in light of the known risk of earthquakes. The devastation is bad enough, but I’d hate to see the results of a quake this size anywhere else in the world, including California.

    3) (jim2, correct me if I get something wrong here) I believe the “strength of radioactivity” of a substance is related to the half-life of the given isotope, so the “most radioactive” elements also “burn out” relatively quickly. So it makes sense to me that people closest to the event might have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, but no one else, because even if the same plume of smoke drifts through a town 1 hour down wind (I’m just picking a number), the most dangerous sources of radioactivity may no longer be present.
    Likewise, I think even some of the worst health effects of Chernobyl didn’t have to happen, but because people were not told they did not take precautions, such as taking iodine, especially for children. This is because while the overall radiation exposure a community gets may not be harmful, the small amount of radioactive iodine present is taken in by the human body and concentrated in the thyroid gland. The amount of radiation when concentrated in a small area does have dangerous local effects like increased rates of thyroid cancer. If a human gets a high enough intake of “normal” iodine it will essentially flood the system and only very small and unharmful amounts of the radioactive iodine will be taken in and stored.

    4) On “feeling small”- Not only did Randy Neumann (no relation to Alfred E.) write a song about “short people”, but I have read that Churchill (Winston, the Prime Minister of Great Britain) at times during WWII would go outside in the midst of a blackout and look up at the stars with one of his assistants. At some point he said something like, “Do you feel small enough yet?” In other words, he found comfort in realizing that he as an individual was a very small piece of the universe, that in spite of his enormous responsibilities, “the world” (as in everything) was much too big to be dependent on him. King David in the Psalms records similar sentiments.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  28. I suspect that as long as the containment vessels hold, a relatively small amount of radiation leaking from the piping is going to be insignificant compared to the longer term problem of electrical shortages from the loss of these facilities. Pumping seawater into these units means they will not be used again.

    GaryP (1f2034)

  29. don’t understand the snark coming from PW directed at HotAir, Ace, and Patterico

    not surprising as the post itself neither declared “everything is ok” nor snarked as asserted.

    You might like to read what is actually written.

    darleen (75f31b)

  30. It’s like that line from ‘Barcelona’ one of my favorite films, ‘what that above the subtext';

    Looks like they’ll be no real-world Godzilla vs Mothra battles, after all.

    I still say nuclear energy needs to be strongly promoted here in the states (it’s probably best to keep reactors out of California, however). And I suspect we can use what we learn from Japan to better the containment and cooling technology.

    Besides. I’m pretty sure wind turbines wouldn’t have stood up any better to the earthquake and tsunami — though I grant failed wind turbines are less likely to force me into eating Kellogg’s Iodine Flakes for breakfast every day for the rest of my life.

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  31. darleen:

    The title of the post is “Japan relieved after nuclear meltdown in Fukushima avoided.”

    And it links an article that says, regarding a meltdown:

    It was confirmed that radioactive caesium, one of the elements released when overheating causes core damage, had been detected around the plant. The discovery indicates that meltdown, caused by a nuclear reaction running out of control, had affected the first reactor’s fuel rods – although possibly only to a limited extent.

    So, the “meltdown” was “avoided,” per the post I linked — and this is proved by linking to an article that says meltdown had affected the fuel rods.

    That’s what I see when I read what is actually written.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  32. Sigh. No good can come out of provoking that crowd.

    But since it’s done, there’s a good comment by serr8d on the predictable opportunistic environmental hysteria.

    What absolutely sets me off are assholes like Christopher Mims (@mims on the twitter), who lead his Grist article with the headline “Today’s tsunami: This is what climate change looks like”, and followed up with surreal stretches of unrelated ‘science’ to ‘prove’ his point. Today, I see he’s retitled the piece.

    Anything to shut down the evil that is modern civilization and society.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0a09eb)

  33. One thing to admire is that as far as I can tell, the Japanese nuclear workers are on the job, working to control these reactors, in the midst of utter devastation of their homeland and probably much personal tragedy.

    I’m confident that they will continue that good work, succeed in controlling the reactors and I’m fairly confident that they will avoid any serious civilian casualties.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. Brother Bradley, the global warming advocates don’t seem to understand that anti-nuke overreaction will utterly destroy any real chance to reduce CO2 emissions globally. Claiming that earthquakes are “caused” by AGW only reinforces the dishonesty of the movement.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. Nothing to pick a fight over, that’s for sure

    SteveG:

    Who is picking a fight, and how?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  36. Pat the title of the post is in quotes; as in that was the headline of the original Guardian article (I note now the headline has changed) with a link inside of the post to the Guardian article.

    How that constitutes a “rush to declare” everything is “ok” is beyond me.

    Wishful reading on some one’s part, IMHO.

    darleen (75f31b)

  37. SPQR, the objective is the ‘deindustrialization’ favored by the likes of the President’s science
    advisor, the stupider cohort of that crew don’t care or know about that real life consequence.

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  38. Oh, I see another comment from John Bradley has now been front-paged over there. Apparently I am misreading him — despite the fact that he accused several of us of screaming “omg! nuclear meltdown! weesa gonna die!”

    Which none of us did.

    Anyway, I guess if a commenter says a bunch of nasty and untrue stuff about me, that’s worth quoting on the front page, huh?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  39. So, the “meltdown” was “avoided,” per the post I linked — and this is proved by linking to an article that says meltdown had affected the fuel rods.

    That’s what I see when I read what is actually written.

    Comment by Patterico — 3/13/2011 @ 10:05 am

    I have a very serious question here: Who cares? Not about Japan, that is quite important. But who the hell cares if pw linked to an article? Who the hell cares if you don’t agree with what he said? He’s not making a federal case out of it. Why are you?

    And in a larger sense, why can’t the conservosphere freakin’ work together instead of always looking for the next big intranecine blogwar?

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  40. How that constitutes a “rush to declare” everything is “ok” is beyond me.

    Wishful reading on some one’s part, IMHO.

    Hey, if a headline saying “no meltdown” with a link to a piece that says “meltdown” meets your standards for accuracy, more power to you.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  41. Anyway, I guess if a commenter says a bunch of nasty and untrue stuff about me, that’s worth quoting on the front page, huh?

    Comment by Patterico — 3/13/2011 @ 10:14 am

    I believe you got in his grill first, my friend.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  42. He’s not making a federal case out of it. Why are you?

    He’s not?

    And a three-word link noting an inaccurate summary of a linked article is a “federal case”?

    And in a larger sense, why can’t the conservosphere freakin’ work together instead of always looking for the next big intranecine blogwar?

    In a larger sense, why is that comment being left here and not there, where there is an entire post on this?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  43. Look, “meltdown” isn’t a technical term.

    What we do know is that thousands of people have already died drowning in the tsunami. The devastation caused by water is immediate and easy to see and worth paying attention to — how did the tsunami early-warning systems work? Did people take them seriously (at least one article I read had many people in one town ignoring the police warnings to evacuate)?

    Somehow I haven’t heard yet people taking a stance that humans shouldn’t be allowed to live near the shore. But I suppose saying that would make me rushing to declare beach living safe.

    darleen (75f31b)

  44. I believe you got in his grill first, my friend.

    Did I? In response to this:

    Jeff, just want to thank you for taking a decidedly relaxed view on the whole Godzilla Syndrome Disaster. Those other, decidedly more pragmatic blogs I monitor (BigHotAcearico) have been pissing me off with the whole “omg! nuclear meltdown! weesa gonna die!” rumor-mongering and misinformation ‘thing’. “Update #7: The World Ends Tomorrow and You May Die!”, indeed.

    There was this indication of agreement:

    No problem, John. And thanks. I tried to approach it just like I approached Katrina back in the day.

    Many conservatives pissed me off back then, too.

    If you’re really keeping tabs. Which, it appears that you are.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  45. In a larger sense, why is that comment being left here and not there, where there is an entire post on this?

    Comment by Patterico — 3/13/2011 @ 10:19 am

    Because the entire gist of the post you just linked is “WTF? Chill out!” Which is exactly what I am saying here.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  46. if a headline saying “no meltdown” with a link to a piece that says “meltdown” meets your standards for accuracy

    Maybe you should take that up with the Guardian, it was their headline.

    darleen (75f31b)

  47. here’s the guy what got swept away

    he was only 25

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  48. In a larger sense, why is that comment being left here and not there, where there is an entire post on this?

    Well, we all know what Jeff can do with comments he disagrees with..

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  49. Breaking News Alert – Jeff G A Victim Again!!!!!

    Who the hell cares if you don’t agree with what he said? He’s not making a federal case out of it. Why are you? – darleen, alwaysfired up? What’s the big deal? I’m sure Jeff G. is a good man.

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  50. The last update linked is the best info I have seen to date as to the mechanics, and agrees with what my actual nuclear scientist friends with nuclear power plant cred have told me.

    Tully (62151d)

  51. Also, checking the credentials of some of the “experts” who have been fear-mongering with the able help of the MSM, I am greatly unimpressed. The ones crying doom seem to share one major trait in common, and it’s not expertise with BWR-type reactors. It’s close association with anti-nuclear organizations.

    Tully (62151d)

  52. Certainly Hilyer and Scarborough, (not that the latter can ascertained to be a conservative, anymore) have fit the circular firing squad, since then. In the midst of this devastation, who’s to really know, and therein lies the problem about how this event will be framed; could San Onofre or Indian Point, or our own Turkey Point, hold out under these conditions.

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  53. Maybe you should take that up with the Guardian, it was their headline.

    If repeating headlines that are contradicted by the body of the story meets your standards for accuracy, more power to you.

    Because the entire gist of the post you just linked is “WTF? Chill out!” Which is exactly what I am saying here.

    Is it? OK, then.

    It’s interesting that when he calls me a “fucking paranoid, self-important whackjob” with zero provocation, simply because he is experiencing a fit of sympathy of himself that I had nothing to do with, that is not “provoking” me or trying to start a blog war.

    But when — after he agrees with a commenter that he is being “pissed off” by “BigHotAcearico” and our breathless coverage — I put in a SINGLE LINK indicating that a lack of meltdown has been declared when the linked article says there was a meltdown — THAT is STARTING WORLD BLOG WAR III!!!

    Whatever.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  54. The last update linked is the best info I have seen to date as to the mechanics, and agrees with what my actual nuclear scientist friends with nuclear power plant cred have told me.

    I’m just not sure it squares with the reports of three workers with radiation sickness.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  55. alwaysfiredup, then why are you fanning the flames like a troll?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  56. You, Ace, JeffG, RSM, HotAir — these and others are all my daily stops for a reason. You’re all supposed to be aiming for more or less the same goals. I think right-leaning online activism might work better if we stop looking for excuses to beat our allies about the head. My $0.02.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  57. Pat,

    On the other thread “Nuclear Power Today” has several press releases about Fukushimas number 1 reactors decade of dangerous leaks

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  58. If repeating headlines that are contradicted by the body of the story meets your standards for accuracy, more power to you

    I’m sorry, and you can show where the Guardian, who obviously updated their headline, didn’t update the body of the story, too?

    Cuz that never happens.

    good.lord.

    darleen (75f31b)

  59. school’s canceled today cause Kurt & Ram killed themselves in a repressed homosexual suicide pact

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  60. oh wait nevermind it’s just it’s Sunday is the deal

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  61. Forget it, Darleen. It’s Pattericotown.

    McGehee (ef0d9c)

  62. In the nuclear industry, exposure badges identify levels of exposure for workers. If the badge shows a particular level of exposure, then the worker will be treated for radiation sickness even if symptoms have not manifested yet. The levels that are being reported (so far) are all treatable. (Realize that we use what is essentially radiation sickness in treating some kinds of cancer – so all “radiation sickness” is not terminal or untreatable.) Also, the building explosion may well have spread dust with some radioactive signatures. Anyone identified as having contacted that dust before decay occurred will be considered exposed.

    The detected Cesium and Iodine isotopes are limited hazards. Cesium is only radioactive for several hours, and then becomes a non-radioactive form. I haven’t seen reports actually saying whether the detected Cesium had decayed or not, but unless there is continuing release, which has not been said, then the reports give the specialists on site secondary information about the status of the reactor, but doesn’t otherwise affect people’s health significantly. (The death and devastation around them from the primary effects of the earthquake and tsunami are far more significant dangers.) The Iodine has a longer radioactive phase, and may affect people for about a month. The point there is that many people are actually lacking sufficient Iodine from their diet to begin with, so without supplementation (the pills that are being mentioned in reports) the thyroid will grab any it encounters and deposit it within the thyroid which increases exposure for that very important organ. (The Japanese, with their love of seaweed generally have a higher daily intake of Iodine than many other countries, so that is good.) But if you supplement, so the body has plenty of “safe” Iodine, then even fairly high levels in the environment will not be accumulated in the body. Wash off any dust and wear clothing and take your pills, and the probable long-term effects are minimized.

    Japan is very knowledgeable about handling radiation issues. If anything, they overreact to relatively minor exposures (understandably so with their history). Japan is also very stringent about assuming the worst in regard to radiation. They test for and detect a lot of levels that might not be considered to be of concern in some other countries.

    The word “meltdown”, in my opinion, needs to be outlawed unless accompanied by an explanation of the way in which the user defines it. There are stories talking about “meltdown” as in the physically impossible story of the China Syndrome, and there are stories talking about “core meltdown” interchangeably with “fuel meltdown”, and the word itself does not scientifically define a single particular process in a nuclear reactor.

    These reactors went through automatic shutdown after the earthquake and according to reports all achieved cold shut down before the tsunami. The actual fission in the reactors had ceased. The remaining issues are basically controlling the damage and preventing additional damage as aftershocks and potential additional tsunamis may continue in the days to come. “Fuel degradation” within containment increases the cost and intricacy of cleanup, but does not endanger the world. At this point, it doesn’t appear that the actual “fuel” has degraded, so much as the “coatings” for it. Incidentally, Japan requires reactors to be built on bedrock, and the wisdom of that is clear, given the survival of all these facilities in spite of massive earthquakes and tsunami, far beyond expected design specifications. I am personally grateful that this reactor is a Western design and literally cannot follow the Chernobyl pattern of failure.

    In the meantime, I am praying for the people who have lost everything in an earthquake and tsunami and for those who didn’t survive. I am also praying for the many specialists, including reactor personnel and military, hospital and rescue personnel, who will be struggling for some time to limit secondary damage and begin to reclaim their people’s lives, towns and country.

    Roberta (106293)

  63. Darleen,

    Jeff’s comments went over the top, even for Jeff

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  64. You, Ace, JeffG, RSM, HotAir — these and others are all my daily stops for a reason. You’re all supposed to be aiming for more or less the same goals. I think right-leaning online activism might work better if we stop looking for excuses to beat our allies about the head. My $0.02.

    Again, you imply that I am looking for an excuse to beat someone about the head by simply linking a post of theirs that inaccurately characterizes a news article, after they have agreed with a commenter that they are “pissed off” by my coverage of the current event.

    While, at the same time, you have not a word of criticism for that same person calling me a “fucking paranoid, self-important whackjob” with zero provocation.

    Which indicates to me that you are maybe a little less disinterested than you are pretending to be.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  65. Roberta these are awesomely tasty and also healthy seaweed snacks I been eating lately… they also come in wasabi flavor!

    Ralph’s has had them on sale off and on for a month or so now. They have kind of a weird texture but they’re a good innocuous snack for when you just want to mindlessly snack on something for no good reason.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  66. I’m sorry, and you can show where the Guardian, who obviously updated their headline, didn’t update the body of the story, too?

    Cuz that never happens.

    good.lord.

    darleen,

    Again, if you’re comfortable with a headline that says “meltdown avoided” with a link to a story that says “meltdown happened” — and clearly you are — more power to you.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  67. Me, I try to accurately pass along what I read, and correct it if shown I am wrong. Apparently that behavior, and similar behavior by other members of Big HotAirAceico, really pisses some people off, just like they were pissed off during Katrina.

    OK then.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  68. after they have agreed with a commenter that they are “pissed off” by my coverage of the current event.

    Your quoted comment does not make that connection. Nowhere is the word “agree” or an equivalent used. He said “conservatives”, which probably did include you but in no way was it specific to you. I therefore conclude you are overreacting.

    And I just finished perusing that entire long 250+ comment thread you gave me and could not find your quote. The post wasn’t about you and most of the comment thread wasn’t about you. What am I missing?

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  69. Apparently the “true conservative” thing to do is declare there has been no meltdown, even as you link to articles that say there have.

    There is nothing political about this. The events are what they are. People (primarily on the Left) will spin it for their own political aims irrespective of the level of coverage that the blogs provide. It’s been my observation that the only folks who are hyperventilating – aside from the anti-nukes crowd – are the ones taking shots at places like this (“Hotaceico”), STRATFOR, and elsewhere that are merely acting as news aggregators.

    FWIW, I find what you, Ace’s crew, and McCain are doing quite useful.

    Y-not (45d6ad)

  70. Ah, I get it now. You must be “Frey”. I did not know that.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  71. Comment by Roberta

    Thank you, Roberta. Just goes to prove the saying, “If you don’t find it on Patterico, you don’t need to know it”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  72. He said “conservatives”, which probably did include you but in no way was it specific to you.

    Correct. In response to a comment about Big HotAceico. Nothing to do with me! Nor is this Jeff Goldstein comment about me:

    Oh. And this is an aside, but I really do think a certain DA would do a full-on swallow of RSM right now if it meant he could turn that (possible? likely? READER POLL!) racist against me.

    It’s like watching a mousy junior high school girl trying to become popular by agreeing to let the JV lacrosse team pull a train on her.

    So please, keep lecturing me about how I am trying to start a blog war. And keep pretending that you’re not a partisan trying to lay blame on one side.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  73. “I therefore conclude you are overreacting.”

    But you and darleen are not based on a mere link? Seriously?

    Ladies, I suggest you take a breath.

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  74. Ah, I get it now. You must be “Frey”. I did not know that.

    Yes, because you’re such a regular reader here and not a Goldstein partisan posing as a disinterested observer!

    Actual daily readers here know my name.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  75. I saw that. It was not helpful. But again, we should be mindful of certain internet realities: Your name is “Patterico” or some shortened/bastardized version thereof. If he doesn’t use your name and he doesn’t link to you, it doesn’t turn up in a google search and so is for most practical purposes invisible and ignorable.

    OTOH, you both used his name and linked to him; in fact, your link is how I learned of this spat in the first place. Perhaps you could be pleased that I get to your blog first. Or not.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  76. And I just finished perusing that entire long 250+ comment thread you gave me and could not find your quote. The post wasn’t about you and most of the comment thread wasn’t about you. What am I missing?

    alwaysfiredup,

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t link a 250+ comment thread. I linked a specific comment. And quoted it. I just tested the link. It works.

    If it doesn’t work for you but you found the post, you could use ctrl-f for the language.

    Is this your way of avoiding the question? Because if so, it’s kind of a transparent dodge.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  77. Darleen and Alwaysfiredup are a bunch of arrogant turds.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  78. If he doesn’t use your name and he doesn’t link to you, it doesn’t turn up in a google search and so is for most practical purposes invisible and ignorable.

    Huh? Are you not aware that he deliberately used my real name and job title in a series of smear posts accusing me of anti-Semitism and other things, that he then went and linked in dozens of posts on his site, specifically for the purpose of boosting their rankings on Google?

    I mean, I don’t get your point, at all.

    OTOH, you both used his name and linked to him; in fact, your link is how I learned of this spat in the first place.

    Where did I use his name? Not in the post.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  79. And here I thought the Right had a common goal, and it wasn’t about ideological purity.

    Folks who like Goldstein’s tough guy stuff, good on you. I just tend to ignore him when gets all personal and “outlaw”…and read things that don’t have to do with that kind of posturing. I would like to think that they would feel the same way about Patterico posts: read what you care to read, ignore the rest.

    So I don’t see why Goldstein’s minions have to repeatedly attack Patrick Frey.

    Here we have a serious natural disaster, the MSM is pushing their POV, and….we get yet another round of Bashing Patterico.

    Whatever, folks.

    I wish Goldstein well, but c’mon. I think about that guy on his roof, ten miles out to sea, waving a flag hoping for help. Or the nuke plant worker in charge of turning a valve and getting exposed to some serious rem action.

    That’s more important, really.

    But to each their own.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  80. Is this your way of avoiding the question?

    Comment by Patterico — 3/13/2011 @ 11:19 am

    No. We are talking past one another. I responded to this at #75. The 250+ comment thread link was provided at #64 and finally understood at #70.

    Whether you believe me or not, I do both read and enjoy your posts every day. I do not like seeing friends fight but I also don’t generally blame both sides equally. Ask RSM and LMA.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  81. I saw that. It was not helpful.

    Which is why you marched right over there and started lecturing him about right-wingers attacking each other.

    See, it’s the one-sided lecturing and excuse-making that marks you as a partisan for one side rather than the disinterested observer you pretend to be.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  82. google has a new al gore rhythm I heard

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  83. No. We are talking past one another. I responded to this at #75. The 250+ comment thread link was provided at #64 and finally understood at #70.

    OK. And your reaction was the textual equivalent of a blank stare.

    If you think a single link in this post is trying to start a war but labeling someone a “fucking self-important whack job” without provocation is not, then it seems you have chosen your side. Which is fine. Just don’t pretend like you haven’t, is all that I ask.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  84. Patterico i don’t know your real name but i guess it is something awesome.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  85. Pat, do you go back to every article you link to seem if they have updated that particular story? Especially if the your commentary on the story is even if its not as bad as it first appeared let’s learn from it rather than a “rush to delare everything is “ok”?

    I mean, does linking to information in real time become something untowards if changed later? Because you refered to a CNN link that there was no meltdown on your twitter feed and that statement is still up with no follow up.

    I’m sure it’s just an oversight and no indication of your comfort level.

    darleen (75f31b)

  86. “Ah, I get it now. You must be “Frey”. I did not know that.”

    Those new light bulb thingy’s are kinda slow and dim. I want the old ones back.

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  87. Which is why you marched right over there and started lecturing him about right-wingers attacking each other.

    He didn’t specifically mark you out by name or by link. As I said, ignorable.

    As for the history you are dragging out, no, I did not know that. That sucks but it is also quite old. If it comes around again I might have something to say about it.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  88. I cannot wait for Scott Jacobs to weigh in on this whole issue of propriety in terms of how things should be posted.

    C’mon, Minions of Goldstein. Take a break. There are other things about which you could post in the wake of a huge disaster, right?

    Don’t you feel, well, a little silly doing this?

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  89. Japan is going through so much right now.

    I can only assume the lack of actual coverage coming directly from the scene right now is feeding this constant reporting about what might/could/would/will happen with the nukes. As if the actual disaster isn’t enough, there is some need to induce further panic rather than just report on what is.

    MayBee (081489)

  90. the reaction is understandable but none of this is gonna bring cap’n crunch back

    we have to let him go it’s hard but he’d want us to go on living

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  91. Can’t we all just get along?

    DohBiden (984d23)

  92. Pat, do you go back to every article you link to seem if they have updated that particular story? Especially if the your commentary on the story is even if its not as bad as it first appeared let’s learn from it rather than a “rush to delare everything is “ok”?

    I mean, does linking to information in real time become something untowards if changed later? Because you refered to a CNN link that there was no meltdown on your twitter feed and that statement is still up with no follow up.

    I’m sure it’s just an oversight and no indication of your comfort level.

    OK, Darleen, you motivated me to find a reprint of the original Guardian article with the original title. Here you go. They didn’t change it — this version has the line:

    The discovery indicates that meltdown, caused by a nuclear reaction running out of control, had indeed affected the reactor’s fuel rods – although possibly only to a limited extent.

    So the headline said “meltdown avoided” and the body of the story said “meltdown occurred.” Guess Jeff just read the headline, and didn’t bother to read the story he linked.

    If y’all are comfortable with leaving up the inaccurate headline, more power to you. Apparently the Guardian wasn’t, which is (I assume) why they changed it. The headline did not reflect the facts of the story.

    Your comparison of this to an item in my Twitter feed is laughable. I had seen Allahpundit’s post linking CNN saying Japan said there was a meltdown. I went to the link and saw an update where a different official said there was no meltdown. I was informing him so his citation of the post would be accurate.

    This is why Allah, and Ace, and I all pretty much declared that we had no idea what was going on. Which your pal John Bradley then lied about.

    You need to take a deep breath. All “Big HotAirico” was doing was our best to aggregate news on a confusing situation, while acknowledging it was confusing. Your commenter John Bradley chose to mischaracterize our posts, and your boss decided to pat himself on the back and declare himself pissed off at Big HotAirico for not being as relaxed about the situation as he was. Meanwhile, he was linking a story he hadn’t even read. Apparently that is all now my fault and Ace’s fault.

    As I said: whatever.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  93. Well, Mr. Feet, there is an upside of making the Cap’n walk the economic plank:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/yankeesblog/cc_says_he_lost_pounds_by_giving_KMJYGU5JteyR9wPq8Ow2FN

    But rumors of the demise of this 12g of sugar per serving cereal may be exaggerated:

    http://www.thirdage.com/news/capn-crunch-not-retiring-will-capn-horatio-get-healthier_3-11-2011

    I’m sure Michelle Obama has some thoughts on “reimaging” the Cap’n. Maybe with Geena Davis?

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  94. Well, gird your loins, because Anderson Cooper hits the ground on Monday.

    MayBee (081489)

  95. Ms. MayBee, there is a whole genre in Japan called “tentacle pr0n” that may well be the reason that the indefatigable Mr. Cooper wishes to visit that troubled location.

    I think he should be asked to define “neutron” before he can go, but that is just me.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  96. _________________________________________

    rushing to declare everything is OK in advance of the facts. He has been appropriately suspicious of official reports and entertaining as usual.

    Because of the narrow focus most stories are given by the media, outsiders can easily assume things are either better or worse, as seen from a distance. Considering the mess involving nuclear power plants and the total destruction caused to coastal areas by the tsunami, I’d assume everything near the epicenter of the quake itself also would be devastated. Thankfully, not.

    bbc.co.uk: The BBC’s Damian Grammaticas in the north-eastern city of Sendai, says: “In the city centre, things look pretty normal. The earthquake did not do the damage that the tsunami did. Around here, everything looks pretty much intact. But what you find is that during the day time, there were huge queues of people outside the few shops which were open. Food and drinking water are in short supply. However, when you go down to the seashore, you see the devastation.

    Mark (411533)

  97. As for the history you are dragging out, no, I did not know that. That sucks but it is also quite old.

    Yes. His calling me a “fucking paranoid, self-important whackjob” with zero provocation is “quite old.” It’s from February 14, 2011 — one month ago. So very, very old!

    Kinda makes his claim today at Ace’s that I can’t quit him a little disingenuous.

    If it comes around again I might have something to say about it.

    Indeed! Like if he were to say something about me today — like “I really do think a certain DA would do a full-on swallow of RSM right now if it meant he could turn that (possible? likely? READER POLL!) racist against me” for example — you would be RIGHT UP IN HIS GRILL remonstrating him for attacking a fellow right winger.

    Because, as a disinterested non-partisan, that’s just the way you roll.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  98. Roberta,
    A small correction: unless I am much mistaken, I believe the primary Cesium isotope is 137, which has a half-life of 30+ years. Even some of the shorter lived Cs isotypes would be around much longer than Iodine 131 (t1/2 = 8 days.) Cs is not a limited hazard because of its decay life — it is actually quite dangerous for that reason — but because of the amounts typically present.

    Fred Zarguna (cf0775)

  99. Jeff Goldstein is a narcissist a Far right version of Obama.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  100. I’m just not sure it squares with the reports of three workers with radiation sickness

    Likewise, but I would suggest that waiting for positive confirmation of third-hand (at best) reports that lack sourcing more specific than “Japanese news media” and with a diagnosis more detailed than “full-on radiation sickness” is a wise idea. The third-hand reports may be true, or they may be garbled, exaggerated, or even false.

    The levels of radiation indicated so far in reports are much less than what would cause “full-on radiation sickness” symptoms this quickly. The top levels reported so far were 70-150μSv/hr (or 0.7 to 1.5 millirem/hr) in the control room. While that’s certainly not something you want to expose yourself to, it’s not intense enough to produce obvious physical symptoms (“radiation sickness”) in such a short time frame. As in not intense enough by a couple of orders of magnitude.

    I suspect that the “Japanese news media” reports were either [a] factually incorrect, or [b] garbled in translation, and/or [c] actually indicated that three plant workers had been hospitalized for treatment of radiation exposure, NOT that they had already developed “full-on radiation sickness.”

    Tully (62151d)

  101. I’m a Lucky Charms guy myself

    oh I think Anderson Cooper probably needed the weekend to assemble Japanese-inflected tsunami-wear ensembles what are both rugged and empathetic and speak to a shared sense of vulnerability. He makes it look easy but for reals it takes careful planning and preparation.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  102. Well, this has been fun, but I have a long back-channel e-mail to R.S. McCain to compose trying to turn him against Jeff Goldstein. Also, I have to prepare for a murder trial. Pretty much all I did yesterday while Obama was playing golf.

    If I get any time today I may try to post on the media treatment of the Wisconsin death threats and/or the Blaze criticism of the NPR video. Both posts are on the back burner.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  103. Dear Patterico: it’s tough out there for an Evil Genius attempting to Take Over the Blogosphere.

    Why, it’s almost as if these people are jealous of you!

    More seriously, thanks for posting what you do. You have a real job as well.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  104. As long as CNN doesn’t send Soledad “Somebody needs to do something!” O’Brien, it should be ok.
    Otherwise, someone will be again inspired to take the kids that seem like orphans out of Japan now, and sort it all out later.

    MayBee (081489)

  105. Mr. Feets – I heard a rumor you were baninated over at PW. Was there any truth to that rumor?

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  106. feets,
    I bet Anderson spent the weekend watching old tapes of himself in Katrina.
    I wonder if he will demand demand demand! the Japanese government allow his crew to film the bodies floating in the water.

    MayBee (081489)

  107. you’ll have to talk to my publicist for the details Mr. daley but my understanding is that yes I am banned banned banned but nobody should doubt my commitment to sparkle motion not even for a second

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  108. I heard a rumor that your comments were altered over there, happy. Was there any truth to that rumor?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  109. I now see that my earlier plaintive “why can’t we just all get along!” was horrifically naive. Have a lovely afternoon.

    alwaysfiredup (23de9f)

  110. Theatrics are a great bonus but once Anderson understands the narrative the ensuing memenami is unstoppable!

    I’m glad I live on the third floor.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  111. I have to go Mr. P I have an Important Errand this afternoon!

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  112. I heard a rumor that your comments were altered over there, happy. Was there any truth to that rumor?

    Comment by Patterico

    I have to go Mr. P I have an Important Errand this afternoon!

    Comment by happyfeet

    You’d rather not say, huh?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  113. Deleting I understand. Altering what someone else has written, well, that I don’t understand.

    Oh well.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  114. You don’t understand happyfeet was banned because they couldn’t stand up to his macho manly machismo.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  115. this link, which is the same text via a different source as the link you included above, was passed to me by a friend who used to teach at the us navy nuclear power school, and who says it’s consistent with the design of us naval reactors.

    aphrael (fe2ce4)

  116. Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 3/13/2011 @ 10:06 am

    I liken that f**kwit to a stopped clock…

    I believe you got in his grill first, my friend.

    Comment by alwaysfiredup — 3/13/2011 @ 10:17 am

    I’ll say it again – After that worthless sh*tstain threatened me and then proceeded to libel my good name, he has lost all f**king rights to claiming someone is being mean to him for no reason.

    Until that f**kwit (and Darleen, and that knobjob serr8d, and that that go-along-to-get-along dipsh*t JD) offers up an apology, they can all go f**k themselves, as can you.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  117. why are guilt by associationing Mr. JD that doesn’t make any sense to me and it comes across as unfriendly in tone I think

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  118. I’m just not sure it squares with the reports of three workers with radiation sickness

    There are a lot of different levels of “radiation sickness”, and the threshold for what we count as “exposure” is really low.

    Currently, those caught in the area has experienced the equivalent of 3 abdominal xrays.

    I mean, hell, you get a long, regular dose of radiation living in a brick house, for heaven’s sake…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  119. it comes across as unfriendly in tone I think

    Just unfriendly?

    Damn. And here I was going for openly hostile. I’ll try harder next time.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  120. radiation sickness can be very subtle and hard to diagnose but if I use it an excuse to miss work one more time they’re gonna start to get suspicious I think

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  121. Your angry and rightly so.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  122. no at some point this is just a grudge and we know from our Japanese friends how that ends don’t we yes we do

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  123. Agree with happy, JD should not be tarred here.

    Patterico (6b8095)

  124. When the comment altering has happened to many of us here and has been denied it’s not “just a grudge” it goes to our credibility. If yours were altered as well that adds to the weight of evidence.

    Patterico (6b8095)

  125. So your buddy JD said something to JeffG about your comments getting changed at PW, right?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  126. but we don’t have to build a case per se sometimes you can just let things go

    let’s spring forward!

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  127. no at some point this is just a grudge

    He sat there and said not one. F**king. Word. While JeffyG threatened me and then libeled me. Then he drastically minimized JeffyG’s actions, and all but said I deserved it and should just let it go.

    So I don’t give even a single ounce of f**k if people don’t think it’s fair to drag JD into the pile of dipsh*ttery that is the group from PW.

    Because he, in fact, does.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  128. but we don’t have to build a case per se sometimes you can just let things go

    Right after they swing by and say they’re sorry, and are able to tell me exactly what it is they did.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  129. for reals I have to go sign a lease for a huge new beautiful apartment relative to the squalid hutch I’ve lived in for the last decade but Mr. Scott here’s my song it’s kind of my theme song you can borrow it today it is very “apropos” I think

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  130. but we don’t have to build a case per se sometimes you can just let things go

    A little tough when the other party won’t and when you’re not anonymous. But I think people can draw their own conclusions.

    Patterico (6b8095)

  131. anonymity is a warm hug on a cold cold night that’s for sure

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  132. You know, there are two things about all of this that occur to me. And it is with the understanding that my opinion is worth every bit of what any of you paid for it (= zilch).

    The late Randy Pausch (he of “The Last Lecture” fame) packed a lot of wisdom into a book and a few lectures (available on YouTube). He had terminal pancreatic cancer, he knew the score, and thus he was quite direct.

    Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is this quote of his:

    “…You just have to decide whether you are Tigger or an Eeyore. You have to be clear where you stand on the Tigger/Eeyore debate….”

    I have been an Eeyore too much. It’s not wimpy to be a Tigger, or macho to be an Eeyore. But I know how I would like to be, and it is more Tigger than Eeyore.

    The late Dr. Pausch had several things to say about apologies. And I know that, when I have wanted apologies, I have seldom received ones that made me feel better. Also, I have not always apologized the way I should (no criticism of anyone, just an observation). Pausch said:

    “…A good apology is like antibiotic, a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound…”

    And then, most importantly:

    “…Be willing to apologize. Proper apologies have three parts: 1 ) What I did was wrong. 2 ) I’m sorry that I hurt you. 3 ) How do I make it better? It’s the third part that people tend to forget…. Apologize when you screw up and focus on other people, not on yourself….”

    I myself have been wronged many times in my life (like most people), and have received many apologies I have not cared for (or none at all). I cannot control what other people say or do. I can control what I do and say, however. It’s like being more Tigger than Eeyore, maybe.

    And again, this isn’t criticizing ANYONE. When I see people upset with one another, I think about these things.

    Sorry for the long diatribe. I’ll get back to work now. Sorry if the note is irritating to any and all.

    This jester doesn’t have much of a jingle today, I fear.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  133. I shouldn’t have said “pick a fight”.

    Maybe “waste of your time”?

    Anyway, I only weighed in because I commented on that thread, and like JeffG, I’m waiting the meltdown thing out… but hedging by lacing my cocoa puffs with iodine.

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  134. Meanwhile, Fox is sending Shep over to Japan, haven’t they suffered enough?

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  135. I see scottie is throwing a temper tantrum. Again. How cute.

    Moving sucks.

    JÐ (109425)

  136. That earlier line, pikachu, that was a reference from ‘Heathers’

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  137. good catch

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  138. Left never let good
    crisis go to waste simply
    not able to cope

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qySx8tSs8BQ

    ColonelHaiku (4e36de)

  139. that was a pretty good film, although the tone suggested why Hudson Hawk would go by the boards, not that long after.

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  140. aphrael, nice piece you linked to.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  141. With the TV tube overflowing with images of people shivering in shelters without clothes, literally begging for clean water, and many obviously in need of basic medical supplies, the assholes working in the worst news operation in the world is hyping the desperate need for crises counseling and feel good health workers who can “talk” to people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. According to the Left what is really needed are people with the appropriate degrees from the usual shit factories who will perform good works for $1K per hour.*

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  142. With the TV tube overflowing with images of people shivering in shelters without clothes, literally begging for clean water, and many obviously in need of basic medical supplies, the assholes working in the worst news operation in the world is hyping the desperate need for crises counseling and feel good health workers who can “talk” to people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. According to the Left what is really needed are people with the appropriate degrees from the usual sh*t factories who will perform good works for $1K per hour.*

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  143. With the TV tube overflowing with images of people shivering in shelters without clothes, literally begging for clean water, and many obviously in need of basic medical supplies, the assholes working in the worst news operation in the world is hyping the desperate need for crises counseling and feel good health workers who can “talk” to people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. According to the Left what is really needed are people with the appropriate degrees from the usual sh*t factories who will perform good works for $1K per hour.*

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  144. The scope of this disaster, seems so vast, that Anderson or Shep, trying to grapple with it, seems
    like a cosmic joke. this is before the incident with the reactors.

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  145. “The scope of this disaster, seems so vast, that Anderson or Shep, trying to grapple with it, seems
    like a cosmic joke.”

    Well, never let it be said that I would argue that Anderson and Shep are anything but cosmic jokes. However, I think these two drama queens will make a decent stab at conveying the scale if anyone can.

    O! The humanity!

    Fred Zarguna (cf0775)

  146. It looks like another tsunami on the way, and it appears another reactor blew,

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  147. Jeff G. posted on 3/13 @ 8:29 pm
    I think I pulled a Sarah Palin link out of one of happy’s comments toward the end of his tenure here. I was sick of the Palin griefering.

    Then I thought better of it and decided to ban him altogether. No mystery, really.

    No mystery, really. He just changed one of the posts without notice. Like he did to me, and Dustin, and Eric PW Johnson, and so on and so on and so on.

    I heard it wasn’t just the one alteration and the link wasn’t griefering. But even so, an alteration is an alteration.

    Ban if you like, delete if you like, even edit to interpose your own clearly marked comments. But alter other’s words without notice? That is ethically wrong.

    But it’s business as usual over there.

    Patterico (6b8095)

  148. narciso, you have anything to link to regarding that? Just the bare sentence is not very enlightening.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  149. There was a hydrogen explosion at Fukushima.

    Patterico (6b8095)

  150. I saw the first part on a Kyodo News link,

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  151. sorry for the duplicate Mr. V used the f word in his url and I thought it got filtrated

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  152. “But alter other’s words without notice? That is ethically wrong.”

    True Ethical Conservatism and Classical Ethical Liberalism. Intentionalism With Altered Words Prevails.

    Suss that out bitches.

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  153. Even with my high school physics from 1959-60, I do not think that the cited article is correct:

    http://morgsatlarge.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors/

    When the control rods are lowered into the reactor, the uranium decay does not stop. The uranium decay just gets soaked up in the control rods.

    slp (347e33)

  154. Meltdown-Schmeltdown. I live in Tokyo and experienced the quake. We’ve had non-stop tremors since the big one and all I can is how glad I am that the chicken-little types freaking out over stuff they clearly know nothing about are all on the other side of the Pacific. The cited article is from an M.I.T. nuclear physicist familiar with the US designed G.E. boiling water reactors, but what the hell does he know? I mean compared to the folks here pulling their “facts” from their hind parts.

    There’s been plenty of real damage done already, thanks, without ginning up the hysteria to get the hits. If you are genuinely interested and concerned, and thanks to the many who are, please: stay off the pipe and consider donating to the Japanese Red Cross. The tsunami survivors lack water and food. Any real help and sincere offers of assistance are very much appreciated.

    PQK (2da460)

  155. slp, the interaction of control rods, moderators and neutrons is more complex than you understand.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  156. I heard the nuclear radiations were already on the way to los angeles and so I been eating seaweed all day

    brb have to floss

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  157. So it was a false alarm, the tsunami warning was,

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  158. slp, the interaction of control rods, moderators and neutrons is more complex than you understand.

    Comment by SPQR — 3/13/2011 @ 7:11 pm

    It is my guess that the following statement is factually incorrect:

    The intermediate radioactive materials (Cesium and Iodine) are also almost gone at this stage, because the Uranium decay was stopped a long time ago.

    The natural decay of uranium istopes in the fuel rods cannot stop because that is contrary to the nature of uranium istopes. It may be reduced because the control rods soak up some of the particles released by the decay.

    Please point us laymen to a simple explanation of the decay of uranium istopes process.

    slp (347e33)

  159. Here is a blog ppst that seems better informed than some. I don’t know the MIT scientist. It certainly does follow the rules of the Gell Mann Amnesia theory.

    “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

    — Michael Crichton

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  160. Generally, nuke plants auto-scram if the grid goes away. Thus, they would not be able to use the reactors to make power for their own use. There are some exceptions in the US, but I don’t want to get too techie here.

    Nuke plants have many on-site auxiliary and emergency power sources, such as emergency diesels and batteries. However, a large enough wave might exceed flood protection and damage the machines. Batteries would more likely be better protected, but they cannot power pumps. They can power valves and provide control of steam-powered pumps, if the design includes them. I think all BWRs have at least one steam-powered pump system (the most common acronym is RCIC).

    The US BWRs, IIRC, have all demonstrated that they can “black start” and operate RCIC. I would be surprised if the Japanese could not also do that.

    Nonetheless, the batteries will run out eventually and RCIC will need a water source eventually tomake up for steamed-off water. Also, the containment heat sink will eventually heat up.

    All those things buy time. Time to get back some AC power source, be it a diesel generator, off site power, or some emergency source like a skid-mounted diesel, etc. Another way to buy time is to get a firetruck and use that pump to supply some more water.

    All BWRs would be good without AC power for 8 hours to a day. Operators could probably extend that period to 2 or 3 days. Without AC power, however, all roads eventually lead to core damage, etc., though major rad releases should be able to be averted.

    One thought I’d like to add is that any nuke would be able to tell anyone who would listen that a sustained SBO leads to core damage, and that strategic-level decision-makers had about 1 – 3 days to get one or more AC power sources running at each nuke site.

    Why did that not happen? Could the damage on the site to other hardware prevent this? Did the nukes not tell others? Did the word not rise to where it needed to get? Did not the affected utility ask other nuke utilities to the South for tech and engineering help? In the US, Exelon would have Entergy in an hour, or SOuthern would have asked Duke, or Arizona would have asked SCal, or PPL would have asked AEP, or whatever. Any such request would have had teams on the way in hours, with others prepping hardware for air-lift.

    These are some of the Qs to which I await answers in the future.

    jim2 (fea3ad)

  161. Happyfeet supports abortion i’am sorry but i don’t like the guy…..but i will stick up for him if i feel he was wronged and that self righteous snot who banned him is pathetic.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  162. I don’t support abortion I support people being free to have abortions if they want and I support the idea of a federal government what is unable stand athwart that freedom.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  163. Yeah too bad you don’t like pailn and never will because she is a social libertarian like you…. i think you are one.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  164. I also don’t like red velvet cake before it’s baked and frosted or roast beefs when it’s still raw and frozened.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  165. So allowed this earthquake and tsunami to go forward.
    There were not environmental impact statements filed with the relevant governmental organizations, and we all know that Nature doesn’t really do anything, it’s all man-made … so what public offical allowed this disaster to proceed ??

    Rodan (03e5c2)

  166. The words “meltdown” and ‘explosion” are being thrown around by both media and government types who have no clue of what they are talking about. Added to that is a considerable loss of accuracy in the translation performed by non-technical people.

    While Stratfor avoids the hype and hyperbole found in the the media, they are still relying on third-party sources for information.

    Unless and until a report states the specific condition of control rods, fuel rod assemblies, reactor vessels, containment structures, and coolant systems, along with mR/hr levels at the plant gate and 10 km downwind, I wouldn’t consider the report to be anything other than a wild guess.

    Reading between the lines, viewing video and considering what is not being said, my own wild guess is that the current status is nowhere near as bad as Three Mile Island or Detroit*, though dealing with it has been seriously complicated by the effects of the quake.

    *(Bet you never heard about the Fermi 1 reactor incident in 1966, just south of metro Detroit.)

    Junk Science Skeptic (04ddfb)

  167. Every thing you guys are reading is third or fourth hand. If you look at the sourcing in the stories, a lot of it is attributed to the IAEA. Here is the IAEA website so you can read the source material without having it distorted by the room-temperature IQ, 1.9 GPA English majors of big journalism. The Japanese quake updates are linked on the front page. I think you’ll find you can summarize them yourself.

    http://www.iaea.org/

    The IAEA in turn gets its information from the Japanese nuclear agency, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. NISA has been putting its press releases on this web page in serviceable English, with all due speed:

    http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/index.html

    That’s the raw material for the IAEA press reports and conferences, which in turn are the raw material with which our intrepid journalists fumble.

    There may be more information on the NISA page in Japanese — I don’t know, as I can’t read that language.

    The bottom line is this: while the cleanup is fraught with problems, no one has died from radiation (one worker was killed by blunt force trauma in a crane collapse), and no one is expected to. Especially compared to the death and devastation the quake and tsunami caused directly, this is a sideshow.

    Naturally the nuclear phantom is what those 2.0 students from Columbia J-school focus on, ignoring the real stories of the quake. Typical.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (a1331c)

  168. To my Dear (and I mean Dear) Physicist/Scientist/Engineering Friends:

    I can understand the somewhat exasperation of the Physicists when the media asks stupid questions – and the further scorn of those with science degrees like me when lawyers think again that they know everything because they read at an advanced level.

    But bear in mind those of us who also have business degrees (like me) and additionally have actualy constructed electrical plants, erected steel mills, built automotive plants are keenly aware of the flawed process that engineers design systems, Physicists approve the math and entry level workers – construct the plant, with entry level engineers supervising. (eh. what could go wrong?)

    The entire credibility of the Nuclear Industry may have been shot into the air when Fukushima #3’s roof went 75 feet into the air and the assumptions that an explosion that can hurdle 600 tons of steel and concrete that far won’t compromise a simple steel bottle with pipes sticking out in several places containing the highly radioactive poor decisions of a society that among all societies – should have known better – that assumption is that we are overeacting?

    So my learned friends, be patient with the lawyers, because everyday experts get hauled in front of them and discredited in all disciplines – this is something they might, just might have seen before

    Even before the roof of another reactor sailed 75 to 150 feet into the air

    Calling it safe?

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  169. Stupidity never seems to go out of style.

    Estragon (ec6a4b)

  170. Estragon,

    Thanks for confirming..

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)


  171. I hope they contain, but don’t forget the aftershocks are still going on, and the explosion caused from hydrogen gas buildup created a lot of damage. I am not hopeful having talked with nuclear engineers. Chenobyl was a lot worse than most people realize. Given a full scale meltdown the only thing to do is abandon the plant and the entire area. The concrete at Chenobyl did little but get the workers killed.

    Nothing personal, Wayne, but to mention Chernobyl in the context of nuclear power in the West is to show such absolute, complete, and total ignorance of the subject as to be better to remain entirely quiet on the matter. Whatever “nuclear engineers” you spoke to either were charlatans BSing you or jokers leading you on.

    Chernobyl had NOTHING — repeat NOTHING — whatsoever to do with Nuclear Power in the West.

    The Chernobyl design was about as stupid and foolish and incompetent as possible.

    Chernobyl was a graphite-moderated nuclear reactor. There has never been a commercial nuclear plant in the West which was graphite moderated. The GM design was the same as the very first “atomic pile” developed by Fermi under the squash courts at the U of C back in the 40s.

    The West, back in the 1950s, decided this design was far less safe than the one used in virtually all modern Western reactors, called “Pressurized Water Reactors“.

    Now, consider that: Back in the 1950s, with their rather casual attitude towards radiation and safety, they considered this design unsatisfactorily safe.

    Why? Do you know what another name for “graphite” is? Try “Charcoal”. Yes, that sounds like a real good idea, doesn’t it? “Let’s surround this really, really hot thing with BBQ Briquettes…”

    As far as “Chernobyl was a lot worse than most people realize”, no, sorry, it wasn’t, and that’s the primary reason the anti-nuke Greens don’t harp and whine about it all the time, and you never see “15 years later” or “25 years later” reports in the media.

    In true fact, the area around Chernobyl has not really been abandoned, despite the radiation present at distinctly above “normal” levels. The people living there generally are poor and not well off…

    Studies of those who have remained there, moved there, or otherwise been exposed to continuing affects of radiation from there show that, in fact, the stress of living there (the fear of the radiation) is more likely to cause/induce cancer than the radiation itself. There has been(despite the three-eyed fish of Simpson’s fame) no notable increase in mutations.

    Not to suggest the events in Japan are a trivial concern, but more than likely there is zero chance of serious long-term problem here.

    I confidently predict no substantial man-year loss as a direct result of any long-term issues with any nuclear plant in Japan.

    Some years ago, around the time of TMI:

    If I HAD to contend with such material [the radioactive material after a
    major meltdown accident] and I have had some first-hand experience in
    cleaning up radioactive spills, I cannot think of a place where I would
    prefer to have it than underground… I would be glad to tackle the job of
    drilling into the spilled fuel and bringing it up in small bits for
    recovery. This could be done safely and completely.”
    – Dr. R. Philip Hammond –

    … and to put the existing standards in perspective, another note from the era following TMI:

    …the [radioactive] emissions from the granite which Grand Central Station is
    built from, for example, exceed the permissible Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    limit for [the nuclear] industry. Grand Central Station couldn’t get a license
    as a nuclear plant.

    Standards have gotten tighter, not looser, in the meantime.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)


  172. “Update #7: The World Ends Tomorrow and You May Die!”, indeed

    The world CAN’T end before tomorrow.

    It’s already tomorrow in Australia…

    😀

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  173. Igot –

    Many Western nukes are not PWRs but BWRs, including the ones at the Japanese plant uner discussion here. Also, Britain still has Magnox plants in operation, IIRC, and they are graphite moderated.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  174. Jim,

    I saw somewhere that those are GE mark VII’s a common reactor and were built in the states

    23 are still in operation

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  175. Why should i trust the NY times?

    DohBiden (984d23)

  176. Eric –

    There are definition of terms difficulties in naming. That is, names vary from country to country for things like design numbers.

    IIRC, there are 34 BWRs operating in the US. I may be off by one in either direction, as I am typing from memory just now. The most common BWR in US nomenclature is a BWR Mark 4 with a Mark 1 containment.

    I think most of the Fukushima units are BWR Mark 5 with a Mark 2 containment. Since the plant has several units, they were built over a period of years. The oldest unit might be a Mark 3 with a Mark 1 containment, and the newest might be a Mark 6 with a Mark 3 containment.

    There are two or three 2 US units that are Mark 5 with a Mark 2 containment.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  177. Again isn’t the point, that there a re very few structures, that could withstand this level of damage, we found out down here, with Wilma, that
    building standards were less solid than we ha d thought, since they were updated after Andrew.

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  178. jim2, thanks for the information — very helpful.

    Here are some sites I think may also provide technical overviews and details.

    BraveNewClimate is linked by Morgsatlarge. In particular, see this status chart, for the reactors at the two Fukushima stations, provided by TEPCO.

    Nicole Foss at The Oil Drum has written How Black Is the Japanese Nuclear Swan?. Lengthy, informed overview of the safety issues, from a nuclear-industry-skeptical perspective.

    At Blackfive, ‘Laughing Wolf’, ‘subsunk’, and ‘grtflmark’ provide some good context and details, with a more pro-nuke stance.

    AMac (4826b2)

  179. Eric –

    There seems to be conflicting data on the web concerning the Fukushima containment designs. All but the newest one might be Mark 1 containments, like most of the US ones. I know the US ones pretty well, but not the foreign ones.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  180. …At Blackfive, ‘Laughing Wolf’, ‘subsunk’, and ‘grtflmark’ provide some good context and details, frequently updated, with a more pro-nuke stance.

    AMac (4826b2)

  181. jim2, a question —

    At the Fukushima #1 station, engineers are injecting seawater to cool the cores of reactors #1 and #3 (with boric acid added to ‘poison’ neutrons, I think).

    About how much seawater is going in, per hour? Presumably, about the same weight of water must be coming out, per hour. With rod cladding partly melted and fuel exposed, presumably the cooling water is now very radioactive, with both long-lived and short-lived nuclides dissolved in it.

    How is this water leaving the reactor? Is it all vented as steam? Does some leave as super-hot liquid? If so, where does it end up? In the ‘basement’ of the building housing the containment vessel? Or are there tanks placed below the outlet pipes for this purpose?

    AMac (4826b2)

  182. Jim,

    I will post the soure when I get to a place I can look it up but from what I remember back then the Japanese purchased all of their reactors from GE

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  183. yeah you are right they are of the infamous mark I’s (renamed for export) these were designed and perhaps manufactured in the US

    THis reactor design was recommended to be discountinued for USA use in 1972 but still apparently sold abroad as is

    The six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which had the explosion on Saturday, are all GE-designed boiling-water reactors, according to the anti-nuclear advocacy group Nuclear Information and Resource Service. The group says that five have containment systems of GE’s Mark I design, and the sixth is of the Mark II type. They were placed in operation between 1971 and 1979.

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  184. AMac –

    I do not know the answers to those specific real-time questions.

    However, there are pictures and drawings of the Mark 1 containment on the web.

    Basically, a Mark 1 containment has the reactor vessel inside what looks like a huge steel inverted light bulb called the primary containment. The heat sink is in there in the form of a large doughnut-shaped steel vessel (“torus”) about half-full of water into which steam is discharged from relief valves and steam pump exhausts under the water surface. The torus is inside the larger part of the inverted light bulb.

    Thus, water could theoretically be injected into the reactor vessel or the torus. If the torus is filled solid with water, the water level would rise into the inverted light bulb area. If it rose high enough, it would make contact with the reactor vessel.

    The buildings that have been breached by hydrogen explosions seem to be the outer concrete buildings built around the steel primary containment structure. Those buildings are called the secondary containment.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  185. Eric –

    I do not think there is anything intrinsically wrong with the Mark 1 containment design. Apparently, the US NRC must agree, as they have relicensed many of them for another 20 years of operation after their original 40 year license.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  186. Thanks, jim2. Keeping fingers crossed…

    AMac (4826b2)

  187. nuke the reactors from space it’s the only way to be sure

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  188. The NYT article on the radiation exposure on the CVN Ronald Reagan stated that the crew members on deck received “a month’s worth” of radiation exposure when the CVN passed through the radiation plume. Nothing in the article I found stated what that amount of exposure was, but I imagine that its pretty low. I found it amusing that the article I read never mentioned that the Ronald Reagan is itself nuclear powered.

    The piece did have the stupidest line I’ve seen in awhile in the NYT … outside of a Krugman column … in this:

    The plume issue has arisen before. In 1986, radiation spewing from the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine was spread around the globe on winds and reached the West Coast in 10 days. It was judged more of a curiosity than a threat.

    No, for those of us who actually remember the Chernobyl accident and news reporting at the time, the plume was heralded in the new media as the coming of the apocalypse.

    SPQR (8420d3)

  189. Here is the link to the NYT piece, separately posted to avoid spam filter on above comment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/14plume.html?_r=1

    SPQR (8420d3)

  190. SPQR, have you seen this? Wonder what you thought:

    https://morgsatlarge.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors/

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  191. Simon, I had seen that. It runs largely in parallel to my own amateur understanding of the issues.

    SPQR (8420d3)

  192. Well, it sounds to me like the author knows more than the MSM types. And problems can happen with any form of energy generation. Glenn Reynolds had a reader point out that if a tsunami had destroyed a solar plant, think of the lead and cadmium washed into the ocean.

    TANSTAAFL.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  193. jim2

    I dont think that these reactors were rated for the ordeal they went through and if the NRC did NOT renew their lic – it would be practically the end of nuclear power as an industry

    EricPWJohnson (86538c)

  194. Simon Jester, I think that there has been at least one fatality at a Japanese nuke plant from debris from an explosion and certainly the risk is great than other nuclear workers will be injured. But I doubt we’ll see any civilian casualties from the nuke plants. Meanwhile, the earthquake and tsunami will have killed many thousands if not tens of thousands once the Japanese manage to get a handle on relief efforts. In terms of overall risk, it is not significant and does not deserve the breathless reporting of the media IMO.

    Will we see calls for halting passenger train construction since people died on a passenger train from the tsunami? Of course not.

    SPQR (8420d3)

  195. Oh, my.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  196. SPQR, my comment was not to your own. And you are spot on. The coal industry causes more “radiation-induced” cases of cancer than nuclear power ever has. But we get carried away with memes and images. There is a cost to everything.

    Simon Jester (de152c)

  197. Eric –

    I do not understand your post.

    Any design assumption can be exceeded. If a structure were designed to survive a 600-meter-diameter meteor hit, one 5 times that size could strike it, instead. The Japan plants appear to have structurally survived a quake 5 – 10 times their design requirement.

    The US NRC famously does not care if a plant must shut down or decommission if their questions do not get answered or their concerns addressed. Maine Yankee and Yankee Rowe both ceased operation on a business case basis.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  198. Simon –

    Let me pile on for an instant!

    Isn’t a boat with 100 people still missing? Maybe no boat should be allowed to cast off that cannot survive ….

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  199. Dude, being on a boat in open ocean is about the safest place you can be during a quake/tsunami…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  200. Scott –

    Dude, apprently not that one.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  201. There is a bit of playing gotcha in it, sure: I think there’s something inconsistent about believing Zell Miller’s rhetoric about the party leaving him, on the grounds that he was a long-time Democrat, while not believing Lincoln Chafee’s rhetoric about the Republican party moving to the right.

    But what I really think is happening is that both parties have, over the last forty years, become more ideologically rigid. The process started with the Democrats, as conservative Democrats wandered out of the party in response to (a) the civil rights act, (b) the anti-war movement, (c) the very left wing economic policies of the 1970s era Democrats, and (d) the serious law + order problems of the 1970s and 1980s. As conservatives left the Democratic party, they pulled the Republican party to the right, and now liberals are leaving the Republican party. When I hear someone say they are a lifelong republican disgusted with modern republicanism, I think they’re saying that they are a liberal republican who feel that the party no longer has a home for liberals, as it used to; this strikes me as being precisely equivalent to the claim from people like Zell Miller, who was a conservative Democrat who no longer felt at home in the Democratic party.

    The reason Zell Miller’s rhetoric rang false with my compatriots – and, to be honest, with me at the time – is that in our minds, “Democrat” was equal to “liberal”, and it was patently obvious that Miller wasn’t a liberal, and never had been, and therefore his rhetoric was absurd. But that was wrong; “Democrat” and “liberal” have never been synonyms.

    Similarly, the reason the rhetoric Patterico is denouncing rings false with many conservatives is that, in their minds, “Republican” and “conservative” are equivalent (otherwise the term RINO wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense) – and while that’s more true than the Democrat=liberal equivalence, it’s also historically false.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  202. *cough*

    Hey Aph… Did you mean for that to be in a different thread?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  203. Scott: yes! My apologies.

    Admins, please delete if you wish. I’ll relocate.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  204. SPQR: I don’t know if you have seen this.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/going-bananas-over-radiation/

    Perspective!

    Simon Jester (c8876d)


  205. *(Bet you never heard about the Fermi 1 reactor incident in 1966, just south of metro Detroit.)

    You would be wrong, o ye of the camelicious breath.
    😀

    It should be strongly emphasized that We DIDN’T Almost Lose Detroit. This incident was even less significant than TMI, and TMI has been vastly overblown.

    Some of those early accidents were from foolishness, poor training, and bad design. I always found the Brown’s Ferry fire to be, well, amusing, in how abysmally stupid it was (from the Wiki, meets known facts despite that):

    The March 22, 1975 fire started when a worker using a candle to search for air leaks accidentally set a temporary cable seal on fire.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)


  206. Many Western nukes are not PWRs but BWRs, including the ones at the Japanese plant uner discussion here. Also, Britain still has Magnox plants in operation, IIRC, and they are graphite moderated.


    Jim — I stand (slightly) corrected on both points.
    1) By “PWR” I should have said “WM” — water moderated, which is really what was meant, and which covers almost all large-scale commercial designs by a large margin.
    2) Hrm — I had forgotten about the UK design, but even there, those are gas-cooled not liquid cooled, and so the general presumption is that coolant loss is/was impossible and thus actual meltdown impossible — This is not even vaguely true of the Chernobyl design.

    This doesn’t change the fact: It’s an idiotic design (no matter who builds it) — putting a highly flammable material right next to something really hot is pretty close to the pinnacle of dunderheadedness — and even those Magnox reactors represent only 13 instances, only two of which are still in use at all, and those remaining two are due to be decommed within 20 months.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)


  207. according to the anti-nuclear advocacy group Nuclear Information and Resource Service.

    Eric, intellectual honesty suggests this to be a red flag on this data … not saying it can’t be trusted but that it ought to be taken with a grain of salt, and better sources sought. I’ve rarely found ANY anti-nuke organization that wouldn’t lie through their teeth on any point they thought they could get away with.


    No, for those of us who actually remember the Chernobyl accident and news reporting at the time, the plume was heralded in the new media as the coming of the apocalypse.

    What? Revisionism? From the MSM? Nawwwww…

    It had to be revised just like “Global Warming” has been revise to “Global Climate Change” — you can only fool the marks when they can’t see the results for themselves.

    P.S., on an only tangentially related matter, notice the vast array of pieces on the tremendous long-term damage done to the Alaskan shoreline by the Exxon Valdez… And the related immense attention currently being paid to the more recent gulf blowout and its consequences many months later.

    #


    Simon Jester, I think that there has been at least one fatality at a Japanese nuke plant from debris from an explosion and certainly the risk is great than other nuclear workers will be injured.

    The real issue is that the anti-nuke crowd never ack that it’s not ‘x’ deaths vs. ZERO deaths — it’s ‘x’ deaths vs. ‘y’ deaths, where ‘y’ is that from any other source. Little comment is made, for example, about railroad accidents — injuries and fatalities resulting from the massive amount of coal shipments as a result of coal-fired power. No further comment is made about the number of man-years lost to “early” deaths from emphysema and other breathing issues tied to the increase in atmospheric particulates, as well as NO2/NO3 from coal fired power — and that’s non-trivial: these numbers have been estimated to be as high as 20k early deaths per year in the past, though I’ve no idea what current “antipollution tech” has managed to bring that down to, but odds are it’s not less than 1% of the old figure.

    There is a cost to everything.

    And an “opportunity cost” to its alternatives… indeed.

    Well, it sounds to me like the author knows more than the MSM types.

    Well, THAT’s not saying much. A bright 12yo who has looked into the matter for a 10 page “book report” has a good chance of that.
    😀

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)


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