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Japan declares 'nuclear emergency' after quake

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posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 05:54 PM
From Far Labs, a Vivid Picture Emerges of Japan Crisis

Thanks to the unfamiliar but sophisticated art of atomic forensics, experts around the world have been able to document the situation vividly. Over decades, they have become very good at illuminating the hidden workings of nuclear power plants from afar, turning scraps of information into detailed analyses.

For example, an analysis by a French energy company revealed far more about the condition of the plant’s reactors than the Japanese have ever described: water levels at the reactor cores dropping by as much as three-quarters, and temperatures in those cores soaring to nearly 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to burn and melt the zirconium casings that protect the fuel rods.

Scientists in Europe and America also know from observing the explosions of hydrogen gas at the plant that the nuclear fuel rods had heated to very dangerous levels, and from radioactive plumes how far the rods had disintegrated.

These portraits of the Japanese disaster tend to be proprietary and confidential, and in some cases secret. One reason the assessments are enormously sensitive for industry and government is the relative lack of precedent: The atomic age has seen the construction of nearly 600 civilian power plants, but according to the World Nuclear Association, only three have undergone serious accidents in which their fuel cores melted down.

Now, as a result of the crisis in Japan, the atomic simulations suggest that the number of serious accidents has suddenly doubled, with three of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi complex in some stage of meltdown. Even so, the public authorities have sought to avoid grim technical details that might trigger alarm or even panic.

Micro-Simulation Technology, a software company in Montville, N.J., used its own computer code to model the Japanese accident. It found core temperatures in the reactors soaring as high as 2,250 degrees Celsius, or more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to liquefy many reactor metals.

“Clearly,” he told the audience, “we’re witnessing one of the greatest disasters in modern time.”

“Clearly, there’s no access to the core,” the official said. “The Japanese are honestly blind.”

Germany's radioactive boars a legacy of Chernobyl

BERLIN – For a look at just how long radioactivity can hang around, consider Germany's wild boars.

A quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union carried a cloud of radiation across Europe, these animals are radioactive enough that people are urged not to eat them. And the mushrooms the pigs dine on aren't fit for consumption either.

Fo r Fukushima's Farmers, Growing Uncertainty

Even outside the 12-mile mandatory evacuation zone around the Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear plant, Nagato says, businesses are packing up and moving. He says the cleanup along the coast has barely started because vehicles can't travel through the nuclear exclusion zone.

The nuclear disaster is now also a disaster for Fukushima's farmers. The government has banned the sale of milk, spinach and other leafy vegetables, not just from here but also from neighboring prefectures.

The Japanese Health Ministry found that the radiation level in these foods exceeds legal limits for human consumption. This has left farmers such as Shinichi Asaka with goods they can't sell.

"We are going to have throw it out," he says through an interpreter, regarding rows and rows of green spinach. "Get a big tractor, load it up and throw it out. There's nothing else to do."

Asaka has a few fruit trees, but he makes his living primarily off spinach. He's now thinking about maybe planting carrots or cucumbers, but he worries that by the time they mature, the government may have banned their sale, too.

The Japanese government is telling farmers here to do nothing: Don't harvest crops. Don't plant anything new. Don't till the soil. Just wait and see what happens with the crisis at the nuclear plant.

The government has promised to compensate farmers for the products they are being forced to dump, but it's still unclear where the money will come from for such a program.

Takashi Kano, who is with the local farmers union, says growers can't afford to wait indefinitely.

Kano says farmers are concerned about when they will be able to restart planting. He says if work preparing rice paddies doesn't start by the end of next week, Fukushima probably won't produce a rice crop at all this year. The prefecture and two neighboring ones produce roughly 15 percent of Japan's rice.

Not good for those farmers...

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 05:55 PM
reply to post by windwaker

HI Reneck...Uh, your not readings coming from Japan via my computer?
You have been right on the money so far i just have resigned to watch the air monitirs then found there was none in Japan, any ideas?.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 05:58 PM

Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Information that may help some on here get closer to what they are seeing on the ground has come out on CNN. At least they are saying what their questions are in the present they are open to suggestions. Hope this helps. This looks like a call for an all-skate.

Tokyo (CNN) -- A first attempt to plug a cracked concrete shaft that is leaking highly radioactive water into the ocean off Japan failed Saturday, so officials are now exploring alternatives, spokesmen for Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Their "plan B" is to use polymers to stop the leak, the spokesmen said. A Tokyo Electric expert will visit the site Sunday morning and decide what polymer to use before the work begins. Workers will then break the shaft's ceiling and insert the polymer in a different spot from where they tried to place the concrete, they said.

This appears to be the current question...

While officials know the radioactive water is coming from the cracked pipe, they don't yet know where it originates. The ratio of the two isotopes in the seawater samples, combined with the discovery of the cracked shaft itself, supports the idea that the radioactivity is coming from the reactor and not the spent fuel pools at the plant, said Gary Was, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan. Hunting down the source of the leak inside the reactor, however, is "exceptionally challenging" because officials must inspect a complicated array of pipes inside the dangerous radioactive environment that now exists within the containment building, said physicist James Acton, an associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

edit on 2-4-2011 by DancedWithWolves because: (no reason given)

The only good way to get a positive seal on a pipe under hydraulic pressure is with an inflatable bladder. they should call the Freeman A. ford company ( FAFCO, in CA) and ask for the plans to one of their 'air' valves.

seriously find a rubber ball the right size jam that sucker in there and pump it up
edit on 2-4-2011 by Silverlok because: there is only there when it's there, dammit, and r is not s

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 05:58 PM
reply to post by Chakotay

Learn from fukushima. There is no safe nuclear alternative.


posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:00 PM
reply to post by rbrtj

One of our Network members lives in Japan in a northern suburb of Tokyo, and we have asked him to operate his station for the benefit of the Network, but so far no response.
quoted text from >>>>
sorry to use this way of repying

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:05 PM
Why don't they just sop up all that water with a bunch of pampers. Scoop them all up into a giant lead lined diaper pail. Then fix the crack?

edit on 2-4-2011 by elouina because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:06 PM
reply to post by windwaker

No, this "accident" and stuff like the loose tiles of the shuttle are there to make us believe that we haven't got decent technology, we're at the hight of development and innovation but we still live in an experimental stage. I read this German article called "superstious technology" about how the recent situation in Japan is being handled and that they don't have a solution. Keeping you dumb, nothing more. Don't look across the horizon because there is nothing there.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:09 PM
reply to post by rbrtj

Yes, I am paranoid. Did a cursory search for readings for levels for today...none. Please prove me wrong!

Did find this as the latest info...
And more like it...every thing is hunky dory...

Home > Breaking News > Asia > Story
Apr 2, 2011
Radiation levels at Japanese village 'improving daily'
A man is screened for radiation contamination at an evacuation shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture. Radiation levels recorded at a village outside the evacuation zone around the quake-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are improving daily. -- PHOTO: AP

VIENNA - RADIATION levels recorded at a village outside the evacuation zone around the quake-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are improving daily and now appear to be back below safe levels, the UN atomic watchdog said on Friday.

Two days ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency said safe limits had been exceeded at Iitate village, 40km north-west of Fukushima, well outside the government-imposed 20km exclusion zone and the 30km 'stay indoors' zone.


posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:10 PM
reply to post by elouina

naw, then someone would just find a HUGE pile of radioactive diapers in a parking lot somewhere

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:14 PM

Originally posted by windwaker
reply to post by TheRedneck

It's funny how the space shuttle program ended RIGHT BEFORE this disaster, huh? As if they knew there would be no more reasons to perform manned space flights. Maybe I'm paranoid.

The shuttles were old, there was a problem with Ice developing under the thermal shield which NASA had been unable to solve, and they didn't want to spend the money required to build a new shuttle fleet. (or didn't have it to spend)

The Columbia disaster was caused by this supposedly unfixable problem.

However NASA at that time was functioning just like TEPCO, with incompetent leadership ignoring their own engineers on the risks involved, and just worried about the bottom line and their own futures.

NASA could not predict the disaster, but they did know each successive use of those dangerous, outdated shuttles made such a disaster more likely. To my mind, seven heroes were murdered that day through stubborn incompetence.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:14 PM
reply to post by zorgon

well they keep calling it pure water....what about heavy water would that be a good thing to try to cool it with or is that a horrible idea what i know about nuclear power i know from you guys but i just finished reading about the allies bombing a heavy water plant so thinking could heavy water be used to like sink down faster and cool it in the cracked part of the reactor or am i being completely dense?

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by Silverlok

Y'all mean a Cob Mega Plug, me thinks... MEGA PLUGS

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:20 PM

Originally posted by boaby_phet
reply to post by predator0187

i once thought that was an excellent idea untill i pondered slighly further then realised that if the rocket was to have a mishap during launch, something which does happen and probably always will , well ... i dont think i need to spell it out .

remember the last shuttle disaster and the amount of distance that was covered by the debris! now picture it all being highly radioactive!!

Excellent point, now think of all the nuclear satellites we keep sending up to space. Simply a matter of time until the same thing ends up happening...
edit on 2-4-2011 by setione because: iPad

edit on 2-4-2011 by setione because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:22 PM
reply to post by Chakotay

yessiree I do believe I do sir

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:24 PM

Originally posted by OuttaHere
I can't help noticing that the crack in the picture does not match the description of a 20cm crack in a pit:

On second thought, it looks as though the worker is pointing to the pit, which is somewhat behind him and to his right (our left). I can't believe he is standing so close to such a dangerous source of radiation.

Who knows how much wider that crack is inside the pit?

I can imagine it is possible that the (presumably wider at the bottom) crack in the pit might be (a) source of radioactive water escaping into the ground water and possibly the ocean.

However, considering the extreme seismic forces at play in such a gigantic earthquake there are probably cracks such as these in the concrete at the bottom of the various containment vessels as well, which have presumably been flooded with massive quantities of water. And these are completely inaccessible and are likely to remain so, probably (for all intents and purposes) permanently.

[edit] Sorry, VinceH beat me to it, it is so hard keeping up with this thread! lol [/edit]
edit on 2-4-2011 by OuttaHere because: just... because.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:25 PM

Originally posted by KilrathiLG
reply to post by zorgon

... so thinking could heavy water be used to like sink down faster and cool it in the cracked part of the reactor or am i being completely dense?

Heavy water is water with a high percentage of water molecules have Deuterium instead of regular Hydrogen. The heavy hydrogen in the water molecules has two functions. One it slows neutrons down so that they are more easily captured by atoms you want to transform, for instance if you want to make more plutonium. The second reason to use heavy water is that it is a better radiation shield than regular water.

At least that is how I've always understood it. Heavy water is also expensive, I think flushing boron into the reactor would be more efficient at this point to shut the reaction down. We want to absorb the neutrons not make them more dangerous.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:25 PM
reply to post by predator0187

Methinks you place too much confidence in silicon, sir.

Back in the 70s, the United States was the heart of industry. We created the technologies that have now made their way into our lives. We created transistors to replace vacuum tubes, which then became SSI chips, which then became MSI chips, which then became LSI and VLSI microprocessors that run those computers you place so much faith in. We developed those beginnings without using a supercomputer. We developed them with our minds.

We developed vehicles that got 50 mpg, holograms, LEDs, robotics, lasers, and superconductors. We built massive architectural monuments to man's creativity. We tied the nation together with the Interstate Highway System. All with that old technology. All with our minds and our hands.

The real problem with technology today is that we make too many assumptions: we assume that since it was designed by a computer, it cannot fail, so we don't consider what happens when (not if) it does; we believe that anything is possible, so we write programs to agree with us and turn out products that fall short of expectations; we accept that stores cannot fulfill our requests because the computer says so, and that records are accurate because computer records show it; we expect all of our needs to be fulfilled by silicon rather than neurons.

That is our biggest problem, and what has led us to this point. Reactors in space? Sure, why not? The compter says they will be fine. Reactors sitting on fault lines? Of course! The computer simulation says everything will be hunky-dory.

Yeah, right. These fancy new-fangled computers also tell people they are someone else when they try to renew a drivers license, or toss thousands of dollars into the wrong bank account, or send out refund checks for $-0.01, or try to get fabricators to cut steel beams to -6.25" long.

You want nuclear power safe? Then let's apply what we've learned, yes, but don't go throwing out what man can accomplish (has accomplished) with his mind in favor of what a dirty slab of silicon says. We sent men to the moon in 1969, when the biggest computers in the world could do little more than a $5 calculator can now.


posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:30 PM

Originally posted by mendel101
1. The structure that is varying between images March 26, 16:00 and March 29 16:00 is the reactor 5 or 6.

2. The differences in the images are likely due to the lighting and smoke conditions. Only with clear blue skies the webcam captures the 5/6 buildings properly (compare webcam images of the 12th and 29th of March)

3. I don't see any reason to distrust the webcam images. It's just a low res, not so great capture device, especially under lower light conditions.

4. Of reactors 1-4 the webcam almost exclusively sees reactor 4. This is probably the explanation why the explosion of reactor 3 is not at all obvious from the March 14 11:00-12:00 images.

5. As a bonus, knowing that the webcam captures mainly reactor 4, the images below show that the number 4 explosion must have been between March 15 6:00 and 7:00 local time:



Mendel is spot on and VERY, VERY good catch!!!

Here's the webcam view from overhead- the webcam is situated on an access road just off frame.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:33 PM

Originally posted by Destinyone

VIENNA - RADIATION levels recorded at a village outside the evacuation zone around the quake-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are improving daily and now appear to be back below safe levels, the UN atomic watchdog said on Friday.

The IAEA is a nuclear watchdog alright, a three-headed radioactive Cerberus.
It has three tongues to lick the butts of nuclear industries, six eyes to watch out for the needs of governments, three brains to consider the self interests of folk on the committee, and four paws for keeping the lid on any facts detrimental to the proliferation of nuclear reactors.

The mission of the IAEA:

The IAEA is the world´s center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world´s "Atoms for Peace" organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 06:34 PM
reply to post by SFA437

There is no way to see 5 and 6 from that angle, everything else would be blocking it
edit on 2-4-2011 by Silverlok because: redundancy is nic eIN SALES

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