Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Global Nuclear Disaster? (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Global Nuclear Disaster?
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Linux,

quote:
I have to say it doesn't seem as bad today as it did yesterday. I may have overreacted... by now if the radiation was worse than reported, we would have probably started to hear about it from independent sources.


Its not over yet, but seems like it could end up being just a bit worse than three mile, but not another Chernobyl, unless we find out more bad news later.

Yep, currently it seems like it will be about three times as bad as three mile island, however, we are not out of the woods yet, there are unfortunately still lots of ways for things to go wrong, and the worse case scenario might be worse than Chernobyl. We are just too early to tell.

[ March 16, 2011, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JWatts
Member
Member # 6523

 - posted      Profile for JWatts   Email JWatts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Yep, currently it seems like it will be about three times as bad as three mile island, however, we are not out of the woods yet, there are unfortunately still lots of ways for things to go wrong, and the worse case scenario might be worse than Chernobyl. We are just too early to tell.

With the exception of the issue with the exposed? on-site stored reactor rods. That has the potential of causing a large change in the operational practices of a large amount of nuclear reactors.

Hopefully, this accident will result in a change to more modern designed nuclear reactors with fail safe passive cooling and (at least in the US) a permanent waste repository to store nuclear waste at. A third world country could make itself a lot of money by opening a long term nuclear waste repository in a desert location with ready access to a port.

Posts: 4700 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vulture
Member
Member # 84

 - posted      Profile for vulture   Email vulture   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hard to say how it is going to go. The worst case scenario would be worse than 2 mile island, and not as bad as Chernobyl (from my limited understanding). The bad news is that several experts have come out today to say that things are so far progressing along a worst case scenario timeline [Frown] But at least there's still time to change the course of events.
Posts: 1768 | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
That's completely untrue. It's not even close to the real facts. One sensational book came out claiming 1 million deaths with few facts to back it up.

Meanwhile, actual scientific studies are claiming roughly 4,000 deaths, most of those due to higher levels of cancer.

quote:

As of mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation
from the disaster
, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers, many who died within
months of the accident but others who died as late as 2004.
...
The international experts have estimated that radiation could cause up to about 4,000
eventual deaths among the higher-exposed Chernobyl populations
, i.e., emergency
workers from 1986-1987, evacuees and residents of the most contaminated areas. This
number contains both the known radiation-induced cancer and leukaemia deaths and a
statistical prediction, based on estimates of the radiation doses received by these
populations.

It's a certainty that smoking in the affected population is causing an order of magnitude higher amount of deaths than the radiation from Chernobyl did.

IAEA

You are reacting irrationally to the real risks and dangers involved. This is a calamity, but trying to make it out to be far worse than it is only makes the situation worse. Just tell yourself this might be as bad as a 10% increase in the smoking rate to put the situation in perspective.

With Chernobyl there have been difficulties in gathering reliable data from areas left in administrative chaos after the accident. Hundreds of thousands of people were moved away from the affected areas, and the break-up of the Soviet Union led to records being lost.

Perhaps a million is too high, but its a lot more than 4000.

[ March 16, 2011, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm not going to forget any time soon that you made that comment when people's lives are at risk.
People's lives are always at risk. There is nothing I can do for them by being solemn and humorless about it.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JoshuaD
Member
Member # 1420

 - posted      Profile for JoshuaD   Email JoshuaD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by LinuxFreakus:

You are reacting irrationally to the real risks and dangers involved. This is a calamity, but trying to make it out to be far worse than it is only makes the situation worse. Just tell yourself this might be as bad as a 10% increase in the smoking rate to put the situation in perspective.

Someone dying because of nuclear fallout is much worse than someone dying because they decided to smoke.
Posts: 3742 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JWatts
Member
Member # 6523

 - posted      Profile for JWatts   Email JWatts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Additional news:
quote:
The chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave a significantly bleaker appraisal of the threat posed by Japan’s nuclear crisis than the Japanese government, saying on Wednesday that the damage at one crippled reactor was much more serious than Japanese officials had acknowledged and advising to Americans to evacuate a wider area around the plant than the perimeter established by Japan.

The announcement marked a new and ominous chapter in the five-day long effort by Japanese engineers to bring four side-by-side reactors under control after their cooling systems were knocked out by an earthquake and tsunami last Friday. It also suggested a serious split between Washington and Tokyo, after American officials concluded that the Japanese warnings were insufficient, and that, deliberately or not, they had understated the potential threat of what is taking place inside the nuclear facility.

Link

So are American officials over-stating the case and/or are the Japanese officials under-stating the case?

Posts: 4700 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidTokyo
Member
Member # 6601

 - posted      Profile for KidTokyo   Email KidTokyo       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
People's lives are always at risk. There is nothing I can do for them by being solemn and humorless about it.
You can do something for those you interact with by not being an insensitive ass.

If I knew that a tragedy was unfolding in some place near and dear to you, I would not use it as a basis for enjoying my own cleverness.

If had unwittingly made a joke you found offensive, I would apologize.

I can see, however, from your initial comment and your follow-up, that you have a heart like a shard of mica frost.

For what it's worth, you have permanently lost my respect. I doubt that you care though. Please, carry on with your doing-nothing about things you can do nothing about.

[ March 16, 2011, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

Posts: 2336 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gaoics79
Member
Member # 969

 - posted      Profile for Gaoics79   Email Gaoics79   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One thing the news shows haven't been explaining is what is the endgame here? What happens if those spent fuel pools can't be refilled? From what I gather, people can't even get close enough to refill them because of the deadly radiation. Even helicopters can't come close.

I presume that nuclear fuel can keep on going for years, maybe even decades. This isn't some gas fire that's going to burn out.

So what's the worst case scenario? Suppose the fuel pools just burn themselves out? Do the fuel rods burn a hole through the earth?

Another thing, what the hell would it take to stop the nuclear reaction itself? Why can't they interrupt the chain reaction that's causing all this heat and radiation, rather than just pouring water on it? I read somewhere that Canadian CANDU reactors are designed to do just this - when the hard water coolant goes away, the chain reaction is somehow interrupted. Why is that not the case with this reactor?

Posts: 7629 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JWatts
Member
Member # 6523

 - posted      Profile for JWatts   Email JWatts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Spraying boron on the fuel rods is designed to absorb neutron flow and damp the reaction, but if you can't get close enough to spray water then you can't dump on boron either.
Posts: 4700 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gaoics79
Member
Member # 969

 - posted      Profile for Gaoics79   Email Gaoics79   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why can't you just break the fuel rods up to stop the chain reaction?
Posts: 7629 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you would have to break them into very, very small pieces.
Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
jasonr,

quote:
One thing the news shows haven't been explaining is what is the endgame here? What happens if those spent fuel pools can't be refilled? From what I gather, people can't even get close enough to refill them because of the deadly radiation. Even helicopters can't come close.
The issue is that if they are dry then they get hot enough that fire starts and it gets hot enough to vaporize cesium. Cesium has a fairly long half life. Also it gets hot enough to destroy the current containment which is expected to get a larger spread radius for the Cesium.

quote:
So what's the worst case scenario? Suppose the fuel pools just burn themselves out? Do the fuel rods burn a hole through the earth?
Mostly cesium vaporization and leaching of the radioactive material into the water table I think. No we don't really end up with a 'China Syndrome'.

Eventually cooling can be set up. We could get robotics controlled heavy equipment to drag in hosing and aim it if needed. The problem is that in the near term the cooling isn't getting done fast enough. They could also get the pumps hooked back to electricity, etc.

quote:
Another thing, what the hell would it take to stop the nuclear reaction itself? Why can't they interrupt the chain reaction that's causing all this heat and radiation, rather than just pouring water on it? I read somewhere that Canadian CANDU reactors are designed to do just this - when the hard water coolant goes away, the chain reaction is somehow interrupted. Why is that not the case with this reactor?
A lot of the heat is residual radioactivity not the nuclear chain reaction.

You need the water to carry away the heat (vaporization absorbs a lot of energy).

jasonr,

I don't think they are chain reacting currently. The goal is to prevent them starting to do so.

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This article gives a decent explanation,

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/03/japan-crisis-update-spent-fuel-rods-could-go-critical.html

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Clark
Member
Member # 2727

 - posted      Profile for Clark   Email Clark   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://mitnse.com/

This is a useful site which has a lot of good information about the situation, and nuclear reactors in general. It's from the department of nuclear and science engineering at MIT, so I trust their science. Certainly, they're subject to the same incomplete data that the rest of us are.

As to the question of stopping the chain reaction, when the control rods were inserted in the reactors (right after the earthquake) the reaction shuts down to about 7% of full power in 1 second. The remaining radiation is due to the radioactive decay products that are formed by the uranium decay. (Cesium and Iodine and things like that.) Those products have half lives that range from seconds to years. They (the website I referenced) say that the reactor would hit 1% output after a few hours, but would still be at 0.2% output after 1 year. So, while nearly stopped, it isn't completely stopped. 0.2% of 100MW is still 200,000 watts, which is enough to keep things warm for quite some time. Plus, the thing was pretty hot to begin with.

Posts: 420 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I can see, however, from your initial comment and your follow-up, that you have a heart like a shard of mica frost.
Yeah, that's me all over. It's a good thing I didn't make the joke I thought of about the population of Tokyo being simultaneously alive and dead, but for all the media attention.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We may finally have some clarification on how much radiation is out there... US Air Force is sending constant phoenix aircraft which can detect/monitor radiation clouds in real time. I guess my initial gut instinct (based on info which just didn't add up and therefore seemed untrue) *might* not have been as far off base as it started to seem last night.

[ March 16, 2011, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's actually really interesting to me that our government is coming right out and saying, "No, we disagree with the Japanese statements regarding the seriousness of this situation."
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidTokyo
Member
Member # 6601

 - posted      Profile for KidTokyo   Email KidTokyo       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's a good thing I didn't make the joke I thought of about the population of Tokyo being simultaneously alive and dead, but for all the media attention.
And you like to childishly provoke people as well, just because the opportunity presents itself.
Posts: 2336 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidTokyo
Member
Member # 6601

 - posted      Profile for KidTokyo   Email KidTokyo       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do not see the US government helping as much as it should, and it's hard for me to ignore what my gut is telling me here -- that our government doesn't want to help more than it already is, and is looking for cover.

I freely admit that this is pure cynicism on my part.

Posts: 2336 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cherrypoptart
Member
Member # 3942

 - posted      Profile for cherrypoptart     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm also disappointed in our government's response. These aren't just our allies, they're our friends and our families. I can appreciate not wanting our troops to get cancer, but don't we have lead lined protective suits with respirators and air filters? Why didn't we send a convoy of Seabees and Army Corps of Engineer troops with radiation protection gear to help clear the roads and deliver sand, boron, concrete mix, and water to help control the situation? Then can also deliver extra gear to the Japanese. I wouldn't even say it's too late to help. They still need help clearing the roads and getting the electrical grid fixed, and that's something we can do. Where's Rudy Giuliani when you need him?

The Japanese may be too proud to ask for the help they need or they don't know for sure what they need. A good friend doesn't wait to be asked. They show up at the doorstep with what's needed. We should also open our bases up to evacuees. There are Japanese who are cold, hungry and thirsty right now and it makes more sense to me to open our bases until they are filled to capacity than it does to deliver supplies to people still out on the streets. It may be too early to call our response pathetic, but that's what it's looking like so far to me. We should also allow open if perhaps temporary humanitarian immigration from Japan to the U.S. for any Japanese who wish to safeguard their health until the radiation situation is clarified.

I just submitted that as a suggestion in the foreign policy government suggestion box at

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Just kind of a random video I stumbled across as I was posting this, if you need to cry:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/dog-in-japan-stays-by-the-side-of-its-ailing-friend-in-the-rubble

Posts: 7675 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidTokyo
Member
Member # 6601

 - posted      Profile for KidTokyo   Email KidTokyo       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks cherry, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Your post cheered me up (despite the sad subject matter) because of its fundamental human goodness.

You get KidT's person of the day award! [Smile]

Posts: 2336 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cherrypoptart
Member
Member # 3942

 - posted      Profile for cherrypoptart     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In these trying times, I'll take what I can get, and accept it gladly. Thank you. [Smile]
Posts: 7675 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
High levels of radiation detected 18 miles from the plant now, confirming that clouds of dangerously radioactive materials have indeed leaked into the atmosphere as feared... and of course this is just the first spot I've seen reported where fallout has come down far from the plant, I'm sure there will be others.

Not high enough to cause poisoning, but certainly a lot more than is acceptable. I'm waiting to hear what those Constant Phoenix planes find with the sensitive detection equipment.

Seems like we probably need to discontinue use of nuclear plants which use this type of active cooling... or come up with even more redundant systems of some sort.

I know there is a plant near me (Pilgrim) using the same type of reactor which people have been complaining about for years that it needs to be shut down and/or replaced with a more modern design. We do have earthquakes in New England. It would be vulnerable to tsunami too. There is of course the imminent (geologically anyway) megatsunami which will be triggered from the canaries the next time Cumbre Vieja errupts (it is already due, but could still take hundreds of years before it happens). But I suppose with a 200ft wall of water wiping out the entire US east coast up to 20 miles inland, the power plant will be the least of the problems.

[ March 17, 2011, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to admit that I don't completely understand the need for sensitive detection of airborne radiation at this point. Can anyone explain why trace levels of airborne radioactivity might be a priority here?
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So they can track the movement of said clouds and find out where they go? Also, we aren't necessarily talking about trace levels here, there could be dangerous clouds with high levels of radiation. They were used at Chernobyl too, to find out where the fallout was going and how bad it was, etc.

[ March 17, 2011, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Makes sense. For some reason, I was thinking of "sensitivity" as "being able to detect tiny amounts" as opposed to "being able to detect large amounts from very far away," which is far more sensible.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I suppose part of the problem with Chernobyl too was from people continuing to ingest contaminated produce/water. Hopefully that won't happen in Japan if an honest accounting takes place and monitoring/testing continues.
Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vulture
Member
Member # 84

 - posted      Profile for vulture   Email vulture   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mostly it was consuming contaminated milk, and a complete lack of iodine tablets. The Soviet authorities didn't take contaminated milk out of the food supply for a long time, and had no iodine tablets ready (and given that the entire event happened in about 3 seconds, there isn't much they could do to prepare...)

In Japan the situation is quite different (aside from the fact that the amount of radioactive material that has escaped confinement so far appears to be vastly smaller than in Chernobyl. Contaminated milk (not a big part of the Japanese diet anyway) and other products where dangerous isotopes concentrate have already been put off limits. Due to the slow developing nature of the problem, iodine tablets can and have been distributed in a wide area, and all past studies suggest that thse are very effective in protecting from the effects of radiaoactive contamination (mostly the radioactive material spreads in the form of radioactive isotopes of iodone. The thyroid gland absorbs iodine from the bloodstream, but has limited capacity to do so. Excess iodine is excreted from the body fairly quickly. by taking neutral iodine you saturate the thyroid gland, and then no radioactive iodine can be absorbed and so passes through the body very rapidly).

Posts: 1768 | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JWatts
Member
Member # 6523

 - posted      Profile for JWatts   Email JWatts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
I do not see the US government helping as much as it should, and it's hard for me to ignore what my gut is telling me here -- that our government doesn't want to help more than it already is, and is looking for cover.

I freely admit that this is pure cynicism on my part.

I don't see this at all. I've seen frequent footage of American emergency workers already operating in Japan and at lunch CNN was reporting that shipments of American emergency supplies had just arrived.

Here's an overview of US relief efforts:

quote:

InterAction, an umbrella group for U.S. relief agencies active abroad, advises donors to give to agencies with partner organizations in Japan that would be best placed to spend funds wisely. It says there is minimal need at this stage either for donated goods or throngs of foreign volunteers.

"We need to be humble, so this is not about Japan being overrun by foreigners and having to deal with all kinds of wild and wacky goods showing up at Tokyo airport," said Joel Charney, InterAction's vice president for humanitarian policy.
...
Through Wednesday, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, donations for Japan had surpassed $64 million — less than one-third the response for Haiti at the same stage.

One reason for the gap, relief experts said, is that Haiti was known to many Americans as one of the world's poorest countries, while Japan is among the most affluent and renowned for its disaster-preparedness expertise.
...
Among them is the American Red Cross, which through Wednesday had received gifts or pledges of $47 million from U.S. donors for relief efforts in Japan. It has already sent $10 million of that total to the Japanese Red Cross Society, an experienced organization with about 2 million volunteers and an ongoing role running scores of hospitals in Japan
...
She noted that the Japanese Red Cross had been generous toward America — sending $17 million after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and $12 million after Hurricane Katrina.
...
The U.S. branch of the Salvation Army also is providing support to its Japanese counterpart, which has been active since 1895 and currently has three response teams active in the disaster zone distributing blankets, hot meals and other relief items.

Major George Hood, a spokesman at the charity's U.S. headquarters, said it had received about $2 million in donations from Americans earmarked for the Japanese relief effort.
...
"Before we send in staff to help, we're relying on the team on the ground for feedback," said Lane Hartill, a U.S.-based spokesman. "We don't want to rush in and start reacting prematurely, doing more harm than good."

As of Wednesday, Save the Children had raised more than $5 million worldwide for relief efforts in Japan, more than 90 percent from the United States.
...
Compared to the Haiti quake aftermath, U.S. relief agencies have sent relatively few American staffers to the disaster area, figuring that Japan — for the most part — has enough professionals and volunteers on the scene.

Among those in the disaster zone are two California doctors sent by the International Medical Corps, based in Santa Monica, Calif. A corps spokeswoman, Margaret Aguirre, said the doctors are trying to assess possible gaps in health care supplies that could be filled with help from the U.S.
...
Gorder said he was struck by the contrast between the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.

"Most of Japan's health system has survived to a reasonable degree — the hospitals are functioning," he said. "The challenge will be coordination, meeting those needs in an agile way. But it's not like Haiti, where thousands of U.S. medical professionals had to go there."

WSJ
Posts: 4700 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The article doesn't say, but presumably this forecast would have to be based on data from those Constant Phoenix aircraft.

It could also be total speculation/simulation. Interesting to me nevertheless. Nothing particularly alarming for the USA, although there is still the question of how many particles of plutonium (and other elements), etc may be carried aloft in the winds and deposited who knows where. Even if low concentrations which don't really result in significant radiation readings, they could still be ingested and find their way into people's blood. The attribution of potential health effects will be difficult if not impossible, but I'm sure they'll exist... which is why death counts from Chernobyl vary so widely.

Map of radiation plume

[ March 17, 2011, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LinuxFreakus,

quote:
Even if low concentrations which don't really result in significant radiation readings, they could still be ingested and find their way into people's blood.
Ingestion is rather a poor path for radiation risk (you already ingest radioactives annually). Unless you are deeply concerned about your banana consumption already, then it shouldn't even be on your risk radar. I'd probably put it somewhere below 'stubbing my toe and getting a blood clot' or 'bumping my head and getting an aneurysm' in terms of health concerns. So unless you plan to start wearing steel toed boots constantly and wear a helmet everywhere - you are probably not evaluating the real risk rationally. If you already are wearing a helment and steel toed boots, then I might also recommend putting foam over all sharp corners in your household, and switching your utensils to sporks.

[ March 17, 2011, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Linux,

quote:
he article doesn't say, but presumably this forecast would have to be based on data from those Constant Phoenix aircraft.
Nope. All it is doing is doing a diffussion simulation where the diffusion is influenced by weather patterns.

Ie

quote:
A forecast by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization shows how weather patterns this week might disperse radiation from a continuous source in Fukushima, Japan.
It assumes a continuous (constant point) source of concentration N. Then shows the distribution/diffusion of that point source that would occur due to weather factors. Hence why the arbitrary units. (Of course the continuous source concentration is heavily violated).
Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
LinuxFreakus,

quote:
Even if low concentrations which don't really result in significant radiation readings, they could still be ingested and find their way into people's blood.
Ingestion is rather a poor path for radiation risk (you already ingest radioactives annually). Unless you are deeply concerned about your banana consumption already, then it shouldn't even be on your risk radar. I'd probably put it somewhere below 'stubbing my toe and getting a blood clot' or 'bumping my head and getting an aneurysm' in terms of health concerns. So unless you plan to start wearing steel toed boots constantly and wear a helmet everywhere - you are probably not evaluating the real risk rationally. If you already are wearing a helment and steel toed boots, then I might also recommend putting foam over all sharp corners in your household, and switching your utensils to sporks.
Bananas don't normally contain plutonium last time I checked, and the potassium will not stay in your body long term the way that plutonium may remain in your bone marrow, lymph system or vital organs blasting the area with alpha radiation.

[ March 17, 2011, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LinuxFreakus,

quote:
Bananas don't normally contain plutonium last time I checked, and the potassium will not stay in your body long term the way that plutonium may remain in your bone marrow, lymph system or vital organs blasting the area with alpha radiation.
Plutonium isn't nearly as toxic as you seem to think

quote:
Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and "terminally ill" patients injected with Pu in 1945–46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed.

These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results.[87] "There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940's; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them."[93][94]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium#Toxicity

Note that some of the LANL workers inhaled close to 3 micrograms of plutonium dust.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/pubs/00818013.pdf

The amount of plutonium dust we are talking about is less than .01 micrograms.

From the above paper

quote:
Up to a dose of about 7 Sv, the curve shows
odds ratios less than 1—that is, no increased risk from plutonium radiation.

7 Sv is 7000 mSv.

Note that there is some more recent research (that article is from 2000) that shows somewhat higher risk, but still we are talking basically no risk for the expected levels of exposure.

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JWatts
Member
Member # 6523

 - posted      Profile for JWatts   Email JWatts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Only one of the reactors contains plutonium:

quote:
Thursday's efforts were focused on the No. 3 reactor, the sole damaged unit that contains plutonium along with the uranium in its fuel rods.
Link
Posts: 4700 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cherrypoptart
Member
Member # 3942

 - posted      Profile for cherrypoptart     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
> LinuxFreakus

> Seems like we probably need to discontinue use of nuclear plants which use this type of active cooling... or come up with even more redundant systems of some sort.


Bill Gates is investing in thorium reactor technology.

http://www.itheo.org/bill-gates-invests-thorium-capable-reactor-venture

Posts: 7675 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidTokyo
Member
Member # 6601

 - posted      Profile for KidTokyo   Email KidTokyo       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
JWatts,

I'm not talking about people donating to the red cross. I said "government." The article refers to NGOs. I'm talking about the US ordering its military to help restore roads, rescue stranded people, and basically doing everything Japan's SDF is currently doing.

The comment by "humanitarian" Mr. Charney re: "wacky foreigners" is about as off-the-mark and disingenuous as it gets, given that the US military has been stationed in Japan for the last 75 years.

Yes, I see a few rescue workers, arriving several days later. Why weren't the coptors there on the first day? I'm sure the troops were ready to leap in day one. Why weren't they ordered to?

[ March 17, 2011, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

Posts: 2336 | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kid, I can't imagine any head of state ordering his military to assist in a foreign country -- even one in which he already had military bases -- without the invitation of that country's leadership. I'm pretty sure that's a casus belli.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LinuxFreakus
Member
Member # 2395

 - posted      Profile for LinuxFreakus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Plutonium isn't nearly as toxic as you seem to think

Yes, I've seen that wiki entry, and all I get from it is that the effects of Pu in the body are unknown. It doesn't tend to stay in the lungs and I haven't said that. I said that once inhaled it can get into the bloodstream and then adhere to bone surfaces or make its way into the marrow, etc.

All we have is a handful of people who participated in tests, many of them already terminally ill, others accidental exposure, etc. For things which are relatively rare, you would need to study a large sample.... but I doubt we'd be able to commission a study involving tens of millions of people intentionally inhaling measured amounts of Pu to find out if maybe several hundred thousand may develop certain cancers as a result.

Of course the other issue we have is... how were the few tests we have actually tracked an analyzed? Depending on what they wanted to find, they might have intentionally focused fairly narrowly on something that was a lower risk. Look how long it took before tobacco companies finally had to admit that smoking can cause lung cancer! They had study after study showing it was "safe".

Bottom line is, we don't have enough data.

We know radiation leads to cancer... I don't think its a good idea to have radioactive particles stuck in my bone tissue for decades, my individual risk would be low, but if we had millions of people in this situation some of them would get sick from it eventually (it would be difficult to prove though using currently known methods).

[ March 17, 2011, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1