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The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami



 
 
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  #161  
Old March 20th, 2011, 9:10 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

It looks like they are still having trouble with reactor three and will be releasing radioactive gas to avoid worse...

CNNTokyo (CNN) -- Even as workers began to see some success in their battle to cool down reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japanese officials said Sunday that they would have to release some radioactive gas into the air.

The country's nuclear safety agency said releasing the gas was a necessary step to reduce mounting pressure in reactor No. 3's containment vessel -- the steel and concrete shell that insulates radioactive material inside.

"In order to be safe, we need to take measures to lower the pressure of the containment vessel. Now that means that air containing radioactive substances will be emitted into the atmosphere," said Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Workers have let out radioactive steam to release pressure inside affected reactors in previous operations.

...

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapc...lear.reactors/


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  #162  
Old March 20th, 2011, 6:22 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Finally, some very good news for nuclear reactor vessels 5 & 6...

This probably means 'the nuclear emergency' is now down to just 1, 2, 3, 4 units. Of course, each remaining 'crisis unit' is potentially very dangerous, but resources & manpower are at an extreme premium. This will allow them to focus on the 4 remaining more damaged units.

"Water temp at 2 reactors below boiling point.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says cooling functions were restored by Sunday evening for the No.5 and No.6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Coolant water temperatures have now fallen below 100 degrees Celsius."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhart View Post
It looks like they are still having trouble with reactor three and will be releasing radioactive gas to avoid worse...
For now, late Sunday in Japan, they decided to cancel the venting at reactor 3, because the pressure is high but stabilized. They may vent later but not now. It seems they are very concerned about releasing pressure and causing dangerous releases of radiation escaping too, so they will only do this when absolutely necessary.

"If the pressure doesn't decline, the officials will release gases directly from the vessel. If that happens, the level of radioactive iodine in the air will increase by 100-fold."

Tuesday 2nd Week in Japan...

IAEA:Radiation 1,600 times normal in Fukushima

Radiation 1,600 times higher than normal levels has been detected in an area about 20 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says its team of experts measured radiation in the air and soil at 11 locations in Fukushima Prefecture.

In the town of Namie, at a point 20 kilometers northwest from the nuclear power plant, the data showed radiation levels of 161 microsieverts per hour as of 2:55 PM on Sunday.

That's 1,600 times higher than the IAEA's normal standard of 0.1 microsieverts per hour found in nature.



Last edited by wandrider; March 22nd, 2011 at 9:23 am. Reason: add Tue. 2nd Week
  #163  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 10:30 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Mixed news from Fukushima, first the best: all six reactors are back to electricity net, so the last two could possibly work with electricity today again if the technique is still working. This news came via German 'Tageszeitung' a few minutes ago. That doesn't yet mean that all coolings will work again and that there's no risk left for worse damages, but it's surely some big step and actually relieving news. Coolings and other techniques could have gotten damage by salt water, the explosions or radiation mostly (radiation messed up robots and other techniques at Chernobyl as well). Still, if the workers are still willing to work at the reactors despite the radiation - I believe they will from all we've yet seen -, even a damaged machine likely could be fixed.

Still, the already spread radiation isn't to be taken to lightly. For now it seems Tepco and the government keep doing reads and also keep the people informed, though. A problem might be that the 'cloud' (usual measure: stay inside) keep getting recreated while the ground radiation (usual measure: leave the place, in close areas for approximately a few thousand years) are contradicting each other, since it takes so long to actually fix the leaks.


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  #164  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 2:56 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

There's an interesting article in today's Telegraph pointing out that other nuclear plants in the areas affected are sheltering homeless people in their facilities. They have heat and water because they survived the quake without any damage (unlike almost every other building in the area)


  #165  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 3:40 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

There's something good coming out of nuclear plants at least then - they have safe buildings.

More seriously, there are positive and helpful thoughts in the text. In finding a short focus for critiques on the text, this statement stands out for me, though:
articleBut far and away more ridiculously, a lot of people are already saying that Fukushima with its probable zero consequences means that no new nuclear powerplants should ever be built again.

While I certainly don't belong to those who request to stop all nuclear power plants just because accidents can happen (I have better reasons for this ), "zero consequences" looks, I think, wrong as well, but still it's pronounced in the whole text. This is to me not putting things in proper perspective as the writer tries to attempt by own statement, but downplaying the risks of nuclear plant accidents while claiming that people on ships and the like died too.

Many people died during the earthquake/tsunami? Of course, and it is horrible. More than due to the radiation yet leaked out? Nobody will know right now, but I don't believe it will be less. Furthermore, we simply don't know what the consequences are, how ever good researches on eg Chernobyl long-term consequences are.

Surely the situation is different. In Japan no 500.000 people will have to clean up radiation, without even being properly protected. From all we know, the radiation leaked is way less than in Chernobyl and there's justified hope that it won't become more than back in 1986. I agree with the writer that the mega catastrophe didn't yet happen, and hopefully won't within the next days.
Still, radiation leaks have influence on the workers, the food and the sea - as far as the government and Tepco can by now confirm. It's imo not helpful to claim that there won't be consequences because we know that radiation sicknesses stay for decades, and have influence even on the not yet born generations. In some areas the levels of radiation are in my view too high to be ignored in such prospects.

Certainly the row of events in Japan is yet without other example. Certainly Tepco's inability to keep their nuclear power plants in casual check is too. Also this Earth can deal with some radiation. But I believe the main difference as also biggest problem on nuclear catastrophes is that they contaminate the area for quite more than a few human lifetimes, while damages on buildings and nature after other catastrophes usually can be fixed. Comparing the number of nuclear fatalities (while 7 certainly is a wee bit small) with the number of wind power fatalities doesn't work for me, because the consequences are fully different. Any catastrophe is cruel, but I believe there are differences between what we can't prevent and what we can and - checking on the long run of nuclear damages as also the high costs of this form of energy - maybe should prevent.


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  #166  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 8:07 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
Still, radiation leaks have influence on the workers, the food and the sea - as far as the government and Tepco can by now confirm. It's imo not helpful to claim that there won't be consequences because we know that radiation sicknesses stay for decades, and have influence even on the not yet born generations. In some areas the levels of radiation are in my view too high to be ignored in such prospects.
Umm, speaking for Hagrid what about all the little critters on the land & in the lakes & sea too? We don't clean-up for the critters, so the food chain for them is totally harmed by whatever the maximum contamination is. The genetic damage is also "unconstrained" with no clean-up possible.

Quote:
Certainly the row of events in Japan is yet without other example. Certainly Tepco's inability to keep their nuclear power plants in casual check is too. Also this Earth can deal with some radiation. But I believe the main difference as also biggest problem on nuclear catastrophes is that they contaminate the area for quite more than a few human lifetimes, while damages on buildings and nature after other catastrophes usually can be fixed. Comparing the number of nuclear fatalities (while 7 certainly is a wee bit small) with the number of wind power fatalities doesn't work for me, because the consequences are fully different. Any catastrophe is cruel, but I believe there are differences between what we can't prevent and what we can and - checking on the long run of nuclear damages as also the high costs of this form of energy - maybe should prevent.
Absolutely, agreed.

I know alternate energy gets subsidies too, but it came to light in recent reporting that many subsidies for Wind & Solar are being slashed or eliminated by Republican Congressional Legislation attempts (USA). Meanwhile, it's also being attempted to =increase= subsidies for Nuclear Power. This seems nearsighted & a bit ***backwards, imo.

I wonder how much subsidies Wind & Solar have gotten vs Nuclear Power in the last 30 years? Wind & Solar were being well supported by Jimmy Carter in the late 1970's, so a 30+ year comparison would be fair on the whole.

Let's add in the cost of estimating Radioactive Waste safe disposal and/or reprocessing, and I bet the numbers difference between Wind Solar vs Nuclear Power is absolutely huge & totally biased against Wind & Solar. No contest, imo.

Which only points out our long-term priorities are ***backwards?

Wednesday Japan Edit: to add info about radioactive drinking water, not safe...

High-level radiation in Fukushima water...

High-levels of radiation have been detected in tap water at municipalities across Fukushima Prefecture, where the troubled Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is located.

Water sampled in Iitate village on Sunday contained 965 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per liter, more than 3 times the government safety limit of 300 becquerels per liter.

Also, in Tokyo, infants can not drink the water, because it's above the safe limit.



Last edited by wandrider; March 23rd, 2011 at 5:05 pm. Reason: Add water radioactive levels...
  #167  
Old March 25th, 2011, 3:36 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Two weeks later, aftershocks in Japan are still monopolizing the USGS list of "Latest Earthquakes Magnitude 5.0 and Greater in the World - Last 7 days".


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  #168  
Old March 25th, 2011, 11:08 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

From NHK News...

Nuke safety agency: No.3 reactor likely be damaged

Japan's nuclear safety agency says it is highly likely that the Number 3 reactor of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been damaged, leading to the leak of high levels of radiation.

The agency was speaking to reporters about Thursday's accident in which 3 workers were exposed to radiation from water on the floor inside the turbine building of the No.3 reactor. The level of radioactivity was about 10,000 times higher than the water inside a normally operating nuclear reactor.

The agency said while the reactor appears to have partially retained its function to contain radiation leaks, there's a strong possibility that some part of the reactor is now damaged and the containment function is weakening.

Friday, March 25, 2011 12:48 +0900 (JST)
================================

The Radiation Leakage Problems are Very Serious!

I wouldn't be within 400 kilometers of that Ground Zero Nuclear Radiation Disaster Zone.



Last edited by wandrider; March 25th, 2011 at 11:10 am. Reason: spell ;=)
  #169  
Old March 27th, 2011, 10:26 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by wandrider View Post
The agency said while the reactor appears to have partially retained its function to contain radiation leaks, there's a strong possibility that some part of the reactor is now damaged and the containment function is weakening.
Yup. Reuters by now reports that the Japan plant operator announced radioactivity in the water at reactor No. 2 to be 10 million times usual level. The sheer number is more shocking than it sounds, though, since water is likely one of the best ways to spread radiation to a level no more dangerous. But that the officials claim right now that there's no danger at all due to this high read, is something I don't believe. From all we know about long-term damages of nature, animals, humans and even techniques after radiation accidents, some harm is already done also in the ocean. What we don't yet know and won't for decades is how strongly the catastrophe has an influence on the environment overall and how big the contaminated area actually is.

However, what worries me is actually not so much that news report higher and higher radiation levels. I think many of us for quite some time didn't believe that it's a level 5 accident only. (I also think it's a wee bit stunning how used we already got to this level 5 as casual accident, but that might the same time be only human).

What's worrying me is that by now reports claim that this situation will likely go on for some more weeks, not days only. It's still my biggest hope that none of the reactors will fully blow up - but seeing how radiation is leaking constantly for two weeks now in this area while the overall disaster situation after earthquake and tsunami still doesn't allow to prevent an adequate evacuation of the citizens is nothing I can shrug over. It's keeps being a cruel situation.

However much admiration I have for the people who still react without creating any kind of mass panic, the situation seems to be serious enough so that I actually can understand very well why relatives and friends from abroad started to ask their close ones to leave Japan right from the beginning. I actually don't think so many did this in panic either, but just decided on the simple knowledge that even if the Japanese government needed to raise the protections, they simply can't in light of the overall desaster and the many more people who need help. Don't get me wrong - the situation might, in view of the government, just really don't be as dangerous yet. I just don't think they had much opportunities to react different if it were worse and this is what makes me understand why people actually leave the area even if officials still claim cities such as Tokyo are yet safe.


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  #170  
Old March 27th, 2011, 2:35 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
However much admiration I have for the people who still react without creating any kind of mass panic, the situation seems to be serious enough so that I actually can understand very well why relatives and friends from abroad started to ask their close ones to leave Japan right from the beginning.

You know I've never had a problem with it. IMHO, it wasn't about the media trying to drum up a panic but more just commone sense. Personal safety ought to be first and foremost in people's minds. You can do nothing without your health. And if it had turned out to be a an easily contained event there's nothing saying that people couldn't go back. I understand that many people have certain financial obligations and it's not easy to come and go at will, but at what expense do we put our health at risk?


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  #171  
Old March 27th, 2011, 9:54 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

In this thing I get it's not so much a money but a matter of damages - rescue groups needed one week to actually reach some regions in the North. It's just difficult to evacuate people when the streets are destroyed. And where to get them when any centers are already crowded by homeless people. In no way an easy situation for the government. So I don't think they do a bad job: there are just things they can't achieve right now and as this they might need to decide to not do any measures they might have done if they weren't already in a catastrophe scenario.

To the news about million-wise contaminated water: the Japanese officials took their own message about this back shortly ago. Not yet clear how the failure news appeared in their reads, but it seems there never was a read that was that high. Phew.


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  #172  
Old March 27th, 2011, 10:17 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
In this thing I get it's not so much a money but a matter of damages - rescue groups needed one week to actually reach some regions in the North. It's just difficult to evacuate people when the streets are destroyed. And where to get them when any centers are already crowded by homeless people. In no way an easy situation for the government. So I don't think they do a bad job: there are just things they can't achieve right now and as this they might need to decide to not do any measures they might have done if they weren't already in a catastrophe scenario.

To the news about million-wise contaminated water: the Japanese officials took their own message about this back shortly ago. Not yet clear how the failure news appeared in their reads, but it seems there never was a read that was that high. Phew.
Yea I heard about that really high reading today on the news and was in shock over it. Thank gosh it turned out not to be the case there.

It's still not good, but it's better than what it could have been.


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  #173  
Old March 27th, 2011, 11:31 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1 View Post
Yea I heard about that really high reading today on the news and was in shock over it.
Repairs delayed. Radiation still extremely high compared to previous readings... The numbers in bold below are high & dangerous!

From NHK News...

Delay feared in restoring cooling systems


At the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, high radioactive density detected in 3 turbine buildings may further delay work to restore the cooling systems for the overheated fuel rods.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says that on Sunday it detected 100,000 times the normal density of radioactive substances in the leaked water in the Number 2 reactor's turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The water surface had a high radiation level of more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

In similar tests conducted earlier, about 10,000 times the normal radioactive density had been detected in the turbine buildings of the Number-1 and -3 rectors as well.

The utility on Sunday revised an announcement made earlier in the same day that 10 million times the normal level had been detected in leaked water in the Number 2 reactor's turbine building. It said it previously made an erroneous calculation, prompting the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to order it to review its assessment procedures.


  #174  
Old March 28th, 2011, 11:14 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by wandrider View Post
Tokyo Electric Power Company says that on Sunday it detected 100,000 times the normal density of radioactive substances in the leaked water in the Number 2 reactor's turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The water surface had a high radiation level of more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.
They already took this information back yesterday (see my post above). Apprently some misinformation by the company.

Needless to say the situation still is serious, but these high levels aren't yet out. However, #2 was confirmed to have a hole in the reactor casing, what many (incl. the Japanese officials) assumed, but couldn't prove until today. This might explain why radiation is spreading so far and relatively high for quite some time now.


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  #175  
Old March 28th, 2011, 2:14 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Reuters is reporting that trace amount of radioactive iodine from Japan have recently turned up in rainwater samples in Massachusetts.

They say the levels found are too small to be a health risk... Though, it wouldn't surprise me if this story starts another panic.


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  #176  
Old March 28th, 2011, 7:05 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
They already took this information back yesterday (see my post above). Apprently some misinformation by the company.
The numbers I posted are confirmed and corrected after the mistaken error. See below...
Quote:
NHK News...
TEPCO announced on Monday that radioactive substances 100,000 times higher than usual for water in a reactor core were detected in puddles in the No. 2 reactor's turbine building on Sunday.
Quote:
Reuters News Monday...
TEPCO later said radiation above 1,000 millisieverts per hour was found in water in tunnels used for piping outside the reactor.

That is the same as the level discovered on Sunday. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a single dose of 1,000 millisieverts (one sievert) is enough to cause hemorrhaging.

TEPCO officials said the underground tunnels did not flow into the sea but the possibility of radioactive water seeping into the ground could not be ruled out.
Monday, 1,000 millisieverts per hour is found in more than one location... Watch here...

NHK Video News Reports Dangerous Radiation Levels Click Here



Last edited by wandrider; March 28th, 2011 at 7:29 pm. Reason: Add NHK Video Link to Dangerous Radiation Report
  #177  
Old March 28th, 2011, 7:16 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

I made a double misread. I thought you meant the ocean water, not the cooling, sorry!

I'm not surprised about the latter, though. Leaked radiation must go somewhere.


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  #178  
Old March 29th, 2011, 10:02 pm
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Tuesday NHK News reports: Radiation levels at the surface of water in the Number 2 unit are more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour. Work at the site is currently suspended.
It seems there is now a stalemate on clean-up & cooling efforts. The more water sprayed to cool causes more radiation to spread & leak. Now, with the levels of dangerous radiation noted above spreading & contaminating the work areas it may become impossible to control the cooling with water. Stalemate!

This situation may not lead to any improvements in reducing dangerous radiation leaks & may just be delaying either a further meltdown & even worse radiation leaks, OR TEPCO or Japanese government will have to do something else to solve this stalemate!

I don't think the current efforts are working anymore, and this is like a time-bomb for an even bigger disaster in the making.

Any thoughts or ideas?


  #179  
Old March 30th, 2011, 5:59 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

That's a scary thought, their not being able to get it under control. I sometimes wish I could just selfishly leave.

I wonder what the Japanese gov't will do now, though, regarding it. There has to be some way to get it under control.


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  #180  
Old March 30th, 2011, 8:18 am
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Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Quote:
Originally Posted by wandrider View Post
I don't think the current efforts are working anymore, and this is like a time-bomb for an even bigger disaster in the making.

Any thoughts or ideas?
My thought is that this is no new news. We had this situation from the beginning. I had moments for particular during the first week where it looked to me as all Tepco & Co could do is lengthen the time until the first reactor fully blows up, but not avoid it.

What I see is, however, that they do manage for weeks now to keep the reactors at least as cool or 'safe' that they don't fully explode.
So right now it worries me more that we have radiation leaking for such a long time already. And that naturally nobody really knows where the leaks are until the next high measure is already read or workers are be able to stay in the reactors long enough.

The accident can still get worse, no doubt about it and neither Tepco nor the Japanese government ever denied it - with the one exception that they don't evacuate the people accordingly, but - of course only judging from a perspective far away - this doesn't seem possible anyway in the current environment post tsunami.

So the known consequences of the nuclear catastrophe we already have to deal with come to effect. There's a weather forecast claiming it will rain, so radiation will raise once more in the whole area. Iodium, which leaks into the ocean in these very high concentration, will be gone within a week, roughly, but until then the particles are there and as the situation looks like now, they're not gone after eight days, because the leak isn't yet closed.
The in many ways yet more dangerous contaminated water in #2 is still leaking. If this gets into the environment, it won't be gone after eight days and it won't be a danger only for those beings who breath either. So they try to fix that.

All in all I think Tepco was aware of the situation and didn't lie about it. But measures to be taken are very limited and as such new more or less 'little' catastrophes occur on their way.


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