PDA

View Full Version : Fukushima Science vrs Science fiction



Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 05:51 PM
A link from Dr David Suzuki's facebook page. He has apologized for some of his earlier comments about the disaster.
Perhaps this is a well balanced look at reality. I'm not familiar with the theprovince.com , perhaps someone can comment on it's reputation.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Half+Lives+Half+Truths/9406811/story.html

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 is still being discussed three years later, particularly in relation to the catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Faced with a lack of available official information on Fukushima and its effects, millions have tried to educate themselves on the Internet. People's Facebook feeds are suddenly awash with alarming news and confusing YouTube videos. Some have even sworn off seafood. Almost three years after the meltdown, there has been a recent tidal wave of Fukushima stories - some true, some half-true and some outright falsehoods. Stories of men with Geiger counters strolling radioactive beaches in California, fearful warnings from respected public figures and toxic fish tales are spreading around the globe like plumes of radiation on the currents of social media. Are you freaked out by Fukushima? Are you not sure what to think? Neither were we, so we went to the people who should know, to separate the science from the science section.

David G
01-21-2014, 06:03 PM
Will you be closing this thread now?

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 06:06 PM
Will you be closing this thread now?

No, that seems to be an Upper Canadian thing, something in the water perhaps? :p

TomF
01-21-2014, 06:15 PM
When I lived in BC in the 80s and early 90s the Province was a reputable newspaper, based in Vancouver. As reputable as the major non-tabloid-like papers in capital cities of other places i've lived.

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 06:26 PM
When I lived in BC in the 80s and early 90s the Province was a reputable newspaper, based in Vancouver. As reputable as the major non-tabloid-like papers in capital cities of other places i've lived.

Thanks TomF. I took a look at some of it's stories and it seemed a reasonable publication.

Flying Orca
01-21-2014, 06:37 PM
His hero recants and still he goes on. Remarkable.

His mind is made up - that's why he trots out the ridiculous bat****tery and steadfastly ignores real science. Confirmation bias, exhibit A.

Flying Orca
01-21-2014, 06:41 PM
Science, Mike. If you want to be taken seriously, bring actual respectable science and not hysterical Youtube videos. Those just make you look bad.

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 06:42 PM
His hero recants and still he goes on. Remarkable.

Dr. Suzuki is a pretty reputable guy in my mind. Sadly he seems to be getting a bit sensationalist on occasion as he ages though. I do have a lot of respect for him (or anyone else for that matter) being willing to admit when he may be wrong.

Flying Orca
01-21-2014, 06:50 PM
Yes, that's what I'm getting at - your anti-scientific posts make your character look questionable.

Flying Orca
01-21-2014, 06:53 PM
I find it intersting how Schindler finds it insane the way Fukushima is being discussed in Canada. Has he been monitoring Tilty?

That would be Schneider, not Schindler. I should ask his opinion of Fukushima, though - not that I'd expect Mike to take it seriously, since it won't confirm his beliefs...

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 06:55 PM
I find it intersting how Schindler finds it insane the way Fukushima is being discussed in Canada. Has he been monitoring Tilty?

Long cold winter nights + internet access by a large portion of the population = our fair share of tinfoil hatters. :d

Peerie Maa
01-21-2014, 07:01 PM
A comparison for the sake of perspective.

The accident began with a rupture in Unit 4’s cooling-system pipes, according to ANS. The breaks let the reactor overheat and caused chemical reactions between steam and graphite. The reactor then ran out of control, triggering a hydrogen explosion and fire.


https://www.asme.org/getmedia/507a1bd6-01b4-4d87-9135-39491b397c9e/wildlife.jpg.aspx?width=340The 1,660 square miles of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has now become one of Europe’s largest wildlife preserves.

“The reactor vessel lid [weighing about 1,000 metric tons] was blown aside; a hole was blown in the roof, and pieces of core and fuel material were blown on to the roof,” ANS reported. With its core exposed to the atmosphere, “the reactor was burning down and melting down at the same time,” ANS added. “Control and containment efforts killed more than 50 people from direct radiation exposure.”
“The accident released a cloud of radioactive particles and gases,” ANS noted. “The lack of clear information and differing national standards [on acceptable radiation exposure limits] created panic in Europe.”


Nevertheless, even where radiation doses to the surrounding population were highest, in the nearby parts of Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian Federation, the doses “were far below anything immediately harmful,” ANS said.



Chernobyl No. 4 had no steel-reinforced-concrete primary containment structure, which would have contained the explosion. The RBMK design was known to be inherently unstable at low power, ANS noted.

Where as at Fukushima the explosion occurred outside the steel and concrete primary containment, did not include any of the reactors contents and blew the sheet steel cladding off of the exterior of the building. The containment is known to be leaking, but is still complete.

Chernobyl’s Legacy: A Final Word

The ANS observed that “health effects and fallout distribution have been studied continuously since the accident, as they have been for atomic bomb survivors, and others who have received large radiation doses. The latest results show that the most important effect has been psychological, while physical effects are much less severe than originally estimated.”



ANS continued, “This is to be expected, since calculations and judgments about radiation and nuclear matters always have large safety factors, to make sure any error is in the direction of safety. Ultra conservative studies project large numbers of early fatalities, but these are only after decades, if they occur at all.”
from https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/nuclear/chernobyl-25-years-later?cm_sp=Nuclear%20Power-_-Feataured%20Articles-_-Chernobyl%2025%20Years%20Later
Radioactive fallout was carried on the wind to my home.
After the 1986 disaster, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) placed controls on 9,800 UK farms, but these were gradually removed.
The final eight in Cumbria and the last 327 in Wales are now free of them.
Adam Briggs, from the NFU, said it meant an end to the "sorry situation" of the Chernobyl legacy.
As a result of the explosion, radioactive particles became locked in upland peat and accumulated in grazing sheep.
'Eat with confidence' Under the "mark and release" restrictions, the animals had to be tested for levels of Caesium-137 prior to being moved down from the fells for sales.
Farmers were paid 1.30 per animal, to compensate for the cost of holding them before monitoring.
The controls were lifted in Northern Ireland in 2000 and in Scotland in 2010.


There is no record of anyone suffering ill health attributable to radiation in the UK and we are a lot closer to Chernobyl than Japan is to the US.

Peerie Maa
01-21-2014, 07:39 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb5zT8D-Ppc

Compared to what you previously posted as the undamaged interior of reactor building #4.

Go away and find out what the term "Primary containment" means at Fukushima. Do try to stop letting your ignorance flap in the breeze. ;)

From a CNN reporter

The single success story for TEPCO is Reactor 4 -- it suffered a hydrogen explosion during the crisis, but received the least amount of damage of all four reactors. The reason? It was under maintenance and wasn't operational the day the earthquake and tsunami hit.
Inside the giant building that has been rebuilt is a large cooling pool. Above the pool is an enormous crane that has begun to successfully move the 1500 fuel rods covered in the deep green water.

I hope that you do trust people who work in the media?

Paul Pless
01-21-2014, 07:50 PM
i don't understand why those on either side of this debate continue to go round and round saying the exact same things to each other, thread after thread, day after day. . .

is it not clear that nobody is going to convince anyone else to come to their respective senses on this issue?

Glen Longino
01-21-2014, 09:09 PM
When Fukushima lets up so will I.

In the meantime I will continue criticize the situation in Japan and these guys can continue to criticize me.

You're a one trick pony, obsessed with your single trick.
Take a rest and try to learn a new trick!

hokiefan
01-21-2014, 09:19 PM
When Fukushima lets up so will I.

In the meantime I will continue criticize the situation in Japan and these guys can continue to criticize me.

So what? You still won't accomplish a single thing towards making the situation any better. Not... one... single... thing...

S/V Laura Ellen
01-21-2014, 09:30 PM
http://www.surace.com/Musical_Theater/lamancha.GIF

Glen Longino
01-21-2014, 09:33 PM
Full Tilt needs some Ballast so he does not List so much to starboard!

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 09:43 PM
i don't understand why those on either side of this debate continue to go round and round saying the exact same things to each other, thread after thread, day after day. . .

is it not clear that nobody is going to convince anyone else to come to their respective senses on this issue?

I was kind of hoping that this thread would stay relatively fact based in a reasonable discussion of the potential results of what has happened instead of debating exactly what has happened.

I have come to realize over time that its actually helpful to not oppose people who post outrageous stuff from obviously biased or wacko sources because most people with reasonable intelligence see right through that stuff for what it is. In the meantime some decent information does find it's way to the surface from other contributors.

I felt I had to add a thread of my own because every friggin time I go to read a thread about Fukushima it goes poof.

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 10:40 PM
OK, What happened to Bob Adams? All of his posts have disappeared off this thread.

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 10:44 PM
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience; but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"

Martin Luther King Jr

MLK is so yesterday.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
Albert Einstein

Glen Longino
01-21-2014, 10:59 PM
"Free at last. Free at last. Thank Scot our moderator, we are free at last".

Full Tilt

:d

Rude, IMO

Steve McMahon
01-21-2014, 11:11 PM
Rude, IMO

That would be the polite way to put it. IMO.

Glen Longino
01-21-2014, 11:18 PM
That would be the polite way to put it. IMO.

:)I've learned to express my angst politlely, having felt the wrath of Scot Almighty more than once!
Scot is a harsh god, but He's a just god....most of the time!;)
I certainly could not do as well as He does at what He does for us heathens!

Gerarddm
01-22-2014, 12:03 AM
I hope everyone can at least agree that TEPCO is not trustworthy.

Peerie Maa
01-22-2014, 03:32 AM
I hope everyone can at least agree that TEPCO is not trustworthy.Fortunately they now have the International body on their backs, so will have to up their game.

Flying Orca
01-22-2014, 07:52 AM
I hope everyone can at least agree that TEPCO is not trustworthy.

Certainly. That's why the Japanese government took over last summer, although Tilty called me a liar for pointing it out and posting a link backing it up. Independent scientific sources like the UN are much more reliable than TEPCO... or Youtube.

Steve McMahon
01-22-2014, 08:14 AM
Flying Orca - can you offer an opinion on the article from The Province in the opening posting link. It seems a reasonable summary of where we are to me.
Steve

Peerie Maa
01-22-2014, 08:42 AM
Flying Orca - can you offer an opinion on the article from The Province in the opening posting link. It seems a reasonable summary of where we are to me. SteveLooks good to me, down to earth , pragmatic, cross checked and factual.

Peerie Maa
01-22-2014, 09:25 AM
Now then. For you there is no certain party. Stay strong. ;)

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-22-2014, 09:55 AM
Oh I am, just having a hard time grasping the concept that I'm the bad guy here. Still can't believe what it was that got my posts poofed.
You are not the bad guy.

Just remember that totally bat carp crazy is often a trump card around here.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-22-2014, 10:03 AM
Posted twice.

Steve McMahon
01-22-2014, 10:32 AM
Oh I am, just having a hard time grasping the concept that I'm the bad guy here. Still can't believe what it was that got my posts poofed.

I will ad my voice to say you are not. That being said, I think sometimes we have to get used to having an adult conversation while tuning out the kid having a tantrum at the next table.

David G
01-22-2014, 12:39 PM
It's unfortunate... at least for me.

There are undoubtedly things to be concerned about, and things to watch for, regarding this industrial accident. But when a certain segment rants and raves and flails about with over-the-top hyperbole, all it does is wear out my tolerance for the topic.

I sometimes wonder if folks like that aren't paid shills put in place by savvy PR firms to deflect public interest.

Peerie Maa
01-22-2014, 12:48 PM
It's unfortunate... at least for me.

There are undoubtedly things to be concerned about, and things to watch for, regarding this industrial accident. But when a certain segment rants and raves and flails about with over-the-top hyperbole, all it does is wear out my tolerance for the topic.

I sometimes wonder if folks like that aren't paid shills put in place by savvy PR firms to deflect public interest.

I think that they would be better at it if they were paid. This lot is hardly value for money unless the objective is to create nothing but lots of static.

Paul Pless
01-22-2014, 12:49 PM
ouch

BrianM
01-22-2014, 03:28 PM
I must say, when a relative told me about the video taken at Half Moon Bay several weeks ago, it set off a series of events I have never experienced in my life. I started with the video, then google searches, and a sense of doom absolutely overwhelmed me. I've never experienced such a fear and an essentially 2 week long panic attack before, and hope to never feel it again. It didn't help that another Mechanical Engineer I discussed this with was in similar panic, and that we both automatically leap to the worst-case-scenario, as is our Training in designing for safety and reliability.

Wow...what really was tough to digest and process was the idea that another earthquake could lead to a fire, and that eventually, that plume would hit North America, and be sustained. We were virtually "hopeless". In the scenario where our knowledge of physics and earth science fed our panic-ing brains, there was no place to run. Wind Patterns show going North is the wrong way (I'm in Coastal northern California). Going East (faster than the tradewinds) is not likely. And going South impossible as millions of people would be on the roads trying to get into Mexico and then Central America.
Yeah.. the thought process was totally out of control, and the dread just got deeper and deeper. (Did i say this sucked???).

My "runaway reactor" scenario included money losing all its value instantly. Airports empty of planes as those "in the know" and with the right connections got on and out of California to the Southern Hemisphere, and no plane would come back. I bought the Potassium Iodate pills, Tyvex Suits, and 3M Masks, packing tape and paint tarps to seal up the house if needed. During all of this, I was completely torn up inside. I could NOT speak to my children of this fear. I needed to know where they were constantly. I feared going outside even though the network of Geiger counters from private citizens showed normal backround radiation. In my mind, it REALLY was happening. Again, I've never had anything like this happen to me in my entire life. I've always been a very rational person, confident, happy etc. This was brutal.

What my racing brain failed to consider was that fundamentally, NOTHING at Fukushima has changed in the last 3 years. The leaks are still there, but nothing radically worse. Progress is being made on removing fuel from the reactors.

The Japanese people HAVE NOT evacuated Japan...... What the Dooms-Day reapers don't consider is that very important fact. They DON'T want to lose their country and are HIGHLY motivated to move heaven and earth to contain that plant. I fully understand why our own government and all the news media is so silent on this topic. Connecting the worst-case-scenario dots could INDEED lead in an of itself to a collapse of society.

I hope and pray that the U.S. is doing everything humanly possible to help the Japanese contain and cap these reactors, and again, fully understand why we the general public would be kept in the dark while is transpired.

I used to trust the words of my Fluid Dynamics Professor who worked for G.E. Nuclear when he said "you can build one of those plants in my backyard any day" (topic was piping and how to make "earthquake proof").

It only makes sense to me that every Nuclear Power Plant anywhere near an Ocean or Fault line, be decomissioned.

Mother Nature will win otherwise and rid herself of us in short order.

BrianM
01-22-2014, 04:02 PM
Well, I'm glad this thread was started. I really needed to vent that story to a group of people I feel are capable of processing complex ideas and discuss intelligently.

I still have the occassional racing thoughts (I'm just gonna have my family wait and see for awhile on seafood), but my loss of optimism and positive thoughts for the future is basically gone now...

very scary for awhile though.

Flying Orca
01-22-2014, 04:57 PM
Flying Orca - can you offer an opinion on the article from The Province in the opening posting link. It seems a reasonable summary of where we are to me.
Steve

It's consistent with every reliably-sourced bit of information I've run across, and it handles the science pretty well for a journo, too. A+.

Peerie Maa
01-22-2014, 05:26 PM
Well, I'm glad this thread was started. I really needed to vent that story to a group of people I feel are capable of processing complex ideas and discuss intelligently.

I still have the occassional racing thoughts (I'm just gonna have my family wait and see for awhile on seafood), but my loss of optimism and positive thoughts for the future is basically gone now...

very scary for awhile though.

A couple of thoughts from the UK perspective.
During the planning process for the Thorp plant at Sellafield the enquiry considered the possible up take of nuclear pollution in the local caught shellfish. There is a scallop fishery, so as scallops are filter feeders that concentrate pollutants they were tested. The scientist reported that some nuclear material was taken up by the scallops but to ingest enough to pose any risk, you would "have died through eating a surfeit of scallops".
My view is that if the fish is alive when caught, and therefore is not poisoned it will not be poisonous to us.

Our nuclear industry is run on the "As Low As Reasonably Practical" principle. The process results in the Nuclear Safety team being nicknamed "The What If Squad". In the case of Fukushima they would have posed the question "What if the generators were knocked out" then "How could that happen" then "what can we do to prevent it". The prevention would have been easy to achieve and not exorbitantly expensive, so would be implemented. Further more the process is not just carried out during design, but is reviewed periodically to capture new knowledge so that safety is improved through time.
They would not have allowed a design that is just good enough, which seems to be the case with those Westinghouse boiling water reactors, but would have insisted on the best that the project can economically afford.