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Ironically, it was the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown that lured Sean McDeavitt to nuclear energy. At age 14, that same year, The China Syndrome, in which Jane Fonda plays a reporter uncovering a nuclear accident, further fueled his interest.
"I was fascinated with nuclear energy and had the desire to make it safer," said McDeavitt, a Texas A&M faculty member.
That's his goal with a three-year, $4.5 million federal grant awarded to Texas A&M recently, on which McDeavitt is the lead researcher. The multi-university grant, given by the U.S. Department of Energy, will study the aging of spent nuclear fuel.
"The project at Texas A&M supports the cutting-edge nuclear energy research that will advance our domestic nuclear industry and help us maintain global leadership in the field," U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.
Texas A&M's grant was part of nearly $18 million in awards to 23 university-led teams announced Sept. 21. It was the second largest, next to $7.5 million given to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led team that will test a new reactor design.
A&M's nuclear engineering department is among the top-ranked programs in the country and the largest with, in fall 2010, 27 faculty members, 331 undergraduate students and 131 graduate students.
McDeavitt said students' interest in nuclear engineering remains strong, despite high-profile accidents like the Fukushima nuclear plant radiation leak following an earthquake and tsunami in Japan nine months ago. It's a situation similar to McDeavitt's interest in Three Mile Island, he said.
"[Fukushima] did cause some students to come sit in our offices to say, 'I wonder if I should be a nuclear engineer now,'" McDeavitt said. "But it also caused some students to come and say, 'I want to be a nuclear engineer now.'"
Originally posted by Purplechive
And Z, you're math is correct. We also are all well aware that bottom of the RPV temp is a joke. TEPCO and the Gov't are acting like Tinker Bells sprinkling fairy dust...
- Purple Chive
Originally posted by Aircooled
reply to post by zworld
Sometimes we are so much on the same wave length, its spooky. Your first pic of the dark round opening in front of the cap was gonna be my next.
My guess would be the reactor top, unless it might be farther north?
There are 2 more blown panels north of the opening they don't show us, or look in on.
Could this explosion have inhaled immediately after blowing also?
Smoke/heat from deep below or shadow?
Originally posted by Aircooled
My guess would be that this debris has been re-coated with fallout a few times on it's way to our western shore.
And then theirs the toxic soup of chemicals that spilled into the sea....
On Friday, Japan said it would try to shut the plant down. But experts say containing the radiation and just stopping the plant from doing more damage will take 30 years. Imagine the world living with the threat of nuclear fallout from Fukushima until 2041. Think of the cloud hanging over our children's future.
Unless the government of Japan can achieve such a "cold shutdown" the 80,000 residents who are still evacuated will never be able to return, Reuters reported Friday.
Let's look at the costs for just containing a nuclear power plant - just one plant - that became compromised. In Japan, Tepco may have to pay about $57 billion in compensation for the next two years. That's an astronomical amount. Throw in the $13 billion that the government of Japan says it will contribute and you have a $70 billion price tag.
And then there is the problem of what to do with all that nuclear waste. Nuclear power plants produce spent rods that have to be buried or destroyed. Not an easy task.
Protesters arrived in great numbers to the square in Shinbashi where Prime Minister Noda is set to give a speech.
"Cold shutdown is a lie"
"Noda is a liar"
"Which nuke plant's accident is over? You liar"
"Cold shutdown? Accident Over? Who are you to decide?"
"Democratic Party of Japan's policy sucks"
In the press conference, TEPCO repeated it didn't exactly know where the water had come from or when (anytime between April and December 18), though they said it must be either groundwater or dew condensation water. So the press had to speculate or use their own judgment to write up their articles.
Yomiuri took the safe (TEPCO's) line saying the water is groundwater. (Never mind that the groundwater in the trench is so "hot", where as nearby subdrain water is not.)
Asahi and Jiji Tsushin took the daring line saying the water is from the nearby building that stores the highly contaminated, pre-treated water.
Kyodo News took the best of both worlds as it said the trench water must have come from the highly contaminated, pre-treated water stored in the nearby building, and it got diluted by the water dripping from the electrical duct which does seem like groundwater judging from the cesium density.
TEPCO does say the trench does not connect to the ocean, but all that means may be that the trench does not directly connect to the ocean. As far as I know, no one has come up with the detailed drawing of the plant's network of drains and trenches and how they are connected.
Conditions at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are far worse than its operator or the government has admitted, according to freelance journalist Tomohiko Suzuki, who spent more than a month working undercover at the power station.
"Absolutely no progress is being made" towards the final resolution of the crisis, Suzuki told reporters at a Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan news conference on Dec. 15. Suzuki, 55, worked for a Toshiba Corp. subsidiary as a general laborer there from July 13 to Aug. 22, documenting sloppy repair work, companies including plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) playing fast and loose with their workers' radiation doses, and a marked concern for appearances over the safety of employees or the public.
A book by Tomohiko Suzuki detailing many of his experiences at the plant and connections between yakuza crime syndicates and the nuclear industry, titled "Yakuza to genpatsu" (the yakuza and nuclear power), was published by Bungei Shunju on Dec. 15.
Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--A recent survey has found that 45 pct of wives in the Tokyo area have products they hesitate to buy due to concerns about radioactive contamination after the crisis at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. Some 20 pct of respondents said they definitely have such products, and 25 pct answered they perhaps have such products, according to the survey by Marketing Research Service Inc.
For the survey, the company sent questionnaires in July and August to married women aged 20-69 of households with at least a wife and a husband in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, of whom 250 gave answers.
In multiple-answer questions, 56 pct of those who care about radioactive contamination of products said they hesitate to buy leafy vegetables, followed by 48 pct who cited beef, chicken and pork.
At the same time, 38 pct of respondents answered that they often or sometimes buy foodstuffs in campaigns for products from regions affected by the nuclear crisis, according to the survey.
Some 33 pct said they certainly or probably buy products even from regions likely to suffer radioactive contamination if they are sold in stores.
Copyright 2011 Jiji Press LTD
Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's nuclear safety chief denied the view Monday that restoring stability of nuclear reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 power plant assures the safety of the crippled plant in northeastern Japan.
It should be made clear that the government's declaration of achieving the stable state called cold shutdown of the reactors there is different from a declaration that the plant is safe, Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission, told a press conference.
On Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stated that the reactors, heavily damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, have been brought to the stable conditions and that the plant's accident has come to an end.
But Madarame pointed out that since the existing circular water cooling system for the reactors is a hurriedly made tentative facility, it could inevitably cause various troubles.
Also because locations of melted nuclear fuel are still unknown, chances cannot be ruled out that something unpredictable will happen at the plant, he warned.
But at the same time, Madarame said that he shares the government's view that it is now highly unlikely that people in areas close to the plant will be forced to make another emergency evacuation.
Copyright 2011 Jiji Press LTD
Tokyo, Dec. 17 (Jiji Press)--The number of people who died for reasons indirectly linked to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has reached 960 in four prefectures, topping 922 following the 1995 earthquake in western Japan, a Jiji Press survey revealed Saturday.
The figure represents people who were recognized as having died after their health conditions deteriorated because of a harsh living environment in shelters and other indirect reasons. It also includes deaths related to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 power station, which was knocked out by the disaster.
As of Friday, the prefectural governments of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki had received a total of 1,677 applications seeking recognition of disaster-tied deaths.
Of them, 960 had been approved and 54 rejected, while the remaining 663 were either under review or awaiting the screening process.
The number of such recognition is most likely to exceed 1,000 by the end of the year as several municipalities plan to approve a few dozen cases soon, with applications continuing to flow in.
The survey covers all municipalities in the three hardest-hit northeastern prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, and also includes the prefectural governments of Aomori, northern Japan, and Ibaraki and Chiba, both eastern Japan.
In Iwate, 170 applications had been filed, of which 69 had been granted, while in Miyagi, 434 of 746 claims had been approved.
A total of 448 among 735 applications in Fukushima and nine among 26 in Ibaraki had been approved. No disaster-linked deaths had been confirmed in Aomori and Chiba.
Among the total of 960 deaths, the survey found out ages and gender for 128 people.
The number of people aged 70 or over stood at 96, accounting for 75 pct.
Those in their 80s constituted the largest group with 51 people, followed by 23 people in their 90s, 19 in their 70s, and 16 in their 60s.
There were three centenarians, while the number was between one to five for each age bracket of the 10s to the 50s.
Many recognized disaster-related deaths stemmed from similar causes, such as victims catching pneumonia in shelters or having difficulty warming themselves after being soaked by tsunami.
But there are some noteworthy decisions. The town of Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture, approved an application for a woman who died of gastrointestinal bleeding based on her doctor's certificate that cited stress from the temblor and the radiation accident as the cause of death.
The Miyagi city of Osaki approved an application for a man who killed himself after losing his job due to the catastrophe.
The 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake killed a total of 6,434 people in the three western prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo, of which 922 were recognized as disaster-related deaths.
According to the National Police Agency, the number of deaths attributed directly to the March 11 disaster totaled 15,842 as of Friday.
Condolence money of up to 5 million yen each is to be paid to both direct and indirect deaths.
Copyright 2011 Jiji Press LTD