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Why I am not worried about Japan's nuclear reactors.

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posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 04:40 PM
Unfortunatley the OP here on this forum may not be aware of the true circumstances surrounding this "MIT Research Professor" who's comments on the danger of Japan's nuclear reactors are not just uneducated--but in a situation where millions could die from radiation posioning--deadly.

This article has been passed around online, but has come up with the real scoop:


(sorry--could only find a link to the mobile version--still readable on desktops)

Oehmen, it turns out, does work at MIT but has no special expertise in nuclear power. And his key claim -- that "there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors" -- appears to have already been proven false. While clearly the situation is still developing and all the facts are not yet known, the New York Times reported today that an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released "a surge of radiation 800 times more intense than the recommended hourly exposure limit in Japan," leading to the evacuation of 750 workers. Meanwhile, the government has ordered 140,000 within 20 miles of the plant to stay indoors.

So does Oehmen actually work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Yes. But not in the nuclear engineering department. He works at an entity called the Lean Advancement Initiative, which focuses on business management issues. Is he a "research scientist"? Yes. But, again, not in any nuclear field. Oehmen's research focuses on "risk management" with an eye to helping companies "take entrepreneurial risks." He writes papers on things like "Human Resource Management in China."

It's very sad that at a time where proper education and accurate reporting about this incident could possibly spare millions of lives, some guy who literally has never studied nuclear energy and intentionally deceived people by claiming he was a crack MIT nuclear scientist is writing stuff that he probably has no more knowledge about than you or me (and given his comments probably alot less knowledge).

I'm really not sure of his intentions--personally his qualifications strike me as some kind of pro-business schmuck who is against regulation and safety measures--he also apparently does quite a bit of work with the business community in the far east--maybe he's trying to shove this under the rug so the big businesses over there can keep raking in the $$$.

PLEASE do not take his insane and uneducated conclusions as fact.

I am not one to be screaming nuclear doom at the top of my lungs regarding this situation but it is something to be EXTREMELY concerned about. Now is NOT the time to be giving big business in the far east a blow-job so that the Nikkei doesn't crash.

posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 04:45 PM
Looks like the NRC thinks your guy at MIT is out to lunch.

I would rather be cautious then arrogant in this matter.
edit on 16-3-2011 by Kargun because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 05:09 PM
Cool, dont take the MIT's reason, how about the Japanese

Press Release (Mar 16,2011)
Impact to TEPCO's Facilities due to Tohoku-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake (as of 10:00PM)

Due to the Tohoku-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake which occurred on March 11th
2011, TEPCO's facilities including our nuclear power stations have been
severely damaged. We deeply apologies for the anxiety and inconvenience

Below is the status of TEPCO's major facilities.
*new items are underlined

[Nuclear Power Station]
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station:
Units 1 to 3: shutdown due to earthquake
(Units 4 to 6: outage due to regular inspection)

* The national government has instructed to evacuate for those local
residents within 20km radius of the site periphery and to remain indoors
for those local residents between 20km and 30km radius of the site

* Unit 1
The explosive sound and white smoke was confirmed near Unit 1 when the
big quake occurred at 3:36pm, March 12th. We have started injection of
sea water at 8:20 pm and then boric acid into the reactor afterwards.

* Unit 2
At 1:25 pm, March 14th, since the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System
has failed, it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in
article 15, clause 1 occurred (failure of reactor cooling function).
At 5:17 pm, while the water level in the reactor reached the top of
the fuel rod, we have restarted the water injection with the valve
At approximately 6:14 am, March 15th, the abnormal sound was confirmed
near the suppression chamber and the pressure inside the chamber
decreased afterwards. It was determined that there is a possibility that
something happened in the suppression chamber. While sea water injection
to the reactor continued, TEPCO employees and workers from other
companies not in charge of injection work started tentative evacuation to
a safe location.
Sea water injection to the reactor is still under operation.

* Unit 3
At 6:50 am, March 14th, while water injection to the reactor was under
operation, the pressure in the reactor containment vessel increased to
530 kPa. As a result, at 7:44 am, it was determined that a specific
incident stipulated in article 15, clause 1 occurred (abnormal increase
of the pressure of reactor containment vessel). Afterwards, the pressure
has gradually decreased (as of 9:05 am, 490 kPa).

At approximately 11:01 am, March 14th, an explosion followed by white
smoke occurred near Unit 3. 4 TEPCO employees and 3 workers from other
companies (all of them are conscious) have sustained injuries and they
were already dispatched to the hospital by ambulances.

As the temperature of water in the spent fuel pool rose, spraying water
by helicopters with the support of the Self Defense Force was considered,
however the works today have been cancelled.

* Unit 4
At approximately 6:00 am, March 15th, an explosive sound occurred and
the damage in the 5th floor roof of Unit 4 reactor building was
confirmed. At 9:38 am, the fire near the north-west part of 4th floor of
Unit 4 reactor building was confirmed. At approximately 11:00 am, TEPCO
employee confirmed that the fire was off.

At approximately 5:45 am, a TEPCO employee discovered a fire at
the northwest corner of the Nuclear Reactor Building. TEPCO immediately
reported this incident to the fire department and the local government
and proceeded with the extinction of fire. At approximately 6:15 am,
TEPCO staff confirmed at the site that there are no signs of fire.

* We will continuously endeavor to securing safety, and monitoring of
the surrounding environment.

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station:
Units 1 to 4: shutdown due to earthquake
* The national government has instructed evacuation for those local
residents within 10km radius of the periphery.

* In order to achieve cold shutdown, reactor cooling function was
restored and cooling of reactors was conducted. As a result, all reactors
achieved cold shutdown: Unit 1 at 5:00 pm, March 14th, Unit 2 at 6:00 pm,
March 14th, Unit 3 at 0:15 pm, March 12th, Unit 4 at 7:15 am, March 16th.

* (Unit 1)
As it is confirmed that the temperature of the Emergency Equipment
Cooling Water System *1 has increased, at 3:20 pm, March 15th, we stopped
the Residual Heat Removal System (B) for the inspection. Subsequently,
failure was detected in the power supply facility associated with
the pumps of the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water System. At 4:25 pm,
March 15th, after replacing the power facility, the pumps and
the Residual Heat Removal System (B) have been reactivated.

* (Unit 4)
As it is confirmed that the pressure at the outlet of the pumps of
the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water System*1 has been decreased,
at 8:05 pm, March 15th, we stopped the Residual Heat Removal System (B)
for the inspection. Subsequently, failure was detected in the power
supply facility associated with the pumps of the Emergency Equipment
Cooling Water System. At 9:25 pm, March 15th, after replacing
the relevant facility, the pumps and the Residual Heat Removal System (B)
have been reactivated.

*1:emergency water system in which cooling water (pure water)
circulates which exchanged the heat with sea water in order to cool down
bearing pumps and/or heat exchangers etc.

Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Station:
Units 1, 5, 6, 7: normal operation
(Units 2 to 4: outage due to regular inspection)

Or is this out to lunch and arrogant too, these are facts sorry its not what is reported by your masters......

posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by coolhanddan

So imagine our pressure cooker on the stove, heat on low, but on. The operators use whatever cooling system capacity they have to get rid of as much heat as possible, but the pressure starts building up. The priority now is to maintain integrity of the first containment (keep temperature of the fuel rods below 2200°C), as well as the second containment, the pressure cooker.

Yes, it is a bit like a pressure-cooker on a hot stove.

You should have seen the kitchen after my pressure-cooker exploded.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 03:04 AM
How Josef Oehmen's advice on Fukushima went viral

On 13 March, an essay entitled "Why I am not worried about Japan's nuclear reactors" appeared on a new and unknown blog. Within hours the post had gone viral – a testament to the power of hyperlinking and social media.

The article echoed across Facebook and Twitter, where CNBC's Jim Cramer recommended it as the "best piece on the nuke issue". The high-profile sites The Telegraph and Discover cited the essay and Business Insider reproduced it in full, with a headline proclaiming, "You Can Stop Worrying About A Radiation Disaster In Japan – Here's Why".

Pro-nuclear websites also seized upon the post, including and

Then the web changed its mind.

By 15 March, two articles in particular had emphasised that the author, Josef Oehmen – whom the original blog identified as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – had no background in nuclear science: Salon published an article debunking the essay, and the blog Genius Now even questioned Oehmen's motives for writing.

Nuclear family

So who exactly is Josef Oehmen and why did he write about the nuclear accidents in Japan? Oehmen agreed to tell New Scientist his side of the story – and it suggests that a minimum of research by the mainstream journalists who quoted his essay could have established much earlier that it was not the definitive account they thought it was.

Josef Oehmen readily admits that he is not a nuclear scientist. He says he has a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. He currently works as a research scientist, studying risk management at MIT's Lean Advancement Initiative and, according to his online profile, he wrote his PhD thesis on supply-chain risk management with a focus on China. People who study risk management learn to identify and mitigate anything that might compromise a business's efficiency or profit.

Oehmen explains that his father worked for a national nuclear research centre in Germany, and that over the years he has built up a basic understanding of how nuclear power plants work. "I grew up with a family that was exposed to the issues surrounding nuclear power, because my father worked on nuclear energy and instrumentation," he says. "We would always discuss the pros and cons of nuclear energy at dinner and have our opinion of what was reported in the news. And I personally always had a curiosity for the technical details."

On 11 March, Oehmen says he received a phone call from his cousin, Jason Morgan, who lives with his wife and daughter in Kawasaki, Japan, not too far from Tokyo. Morgan needed advice. He explained that his mother, panicked by the threat of a nuclear crisis in Japan, insisted that he return home to Australia. But Morgan, immersed in a frothing stew of conflicting media reports, could not decide whether he was in enough danger to merit an evacuation. So he did what anyone might do – he called up the best-informed person he knew to help him make sense of it all.

Oehmen told his cousin that he would need to do some research before he could offer any advice, and he began sifting through online articles. He says he was appalled to discover that "people had not the least bit of understanding about nuclear physics", and describes much of what he read as hyperbolic.

Boiled up

He turned to online resources like the website of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to learn more about boiling water reactors – the type of reactors at Fukushima – and used that scientific context to evaluate the news reports and the threat to his cousin. Oehmen returned Morgan's call and, after explaining some of the mechanics of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, said that in his opinion dangerous levels of radiation would not reach Kawasaki.

Morgan was relieved and asked Oehmen to write up an email he could send to his worried mother in Australia. Oehmen obliged and worked on the email from 10 pm on 12 March to 3 am the next morning. It was a long message with detailed and technical descriptions of how Fukushima's boiling water reactors work.

But instead of simply emailing the essay around the family, Morgan started up a new blog and posted his piece there so other family members and friends could access it. He also tweeted the article to the fewer than 50 followers he had at the time.

Later on that Sunday morning, Oehmen awoke to the incessant quivering of his cellphone, which was quickly filling up with messages. "Dude, check your email," read one text message from Morgan. The blog adaptation of Oehmen's email had gone viral, gaining more than 50,000 views.

"It hit me in the gut," Oehmen says. What he maintains was originally intended for a few family members was suddenly an internet phenomenon. "I wanted to be absolutely sure what I wrote was as accurate as possible so I wasn't adding to all the confusion," he says. So he contacted several people at MIT, including Richard Lester, head of the department of nuclear science and engineering. Lester worked with his department to set up a website run by MIT students in nuclear science and engineering with guidance from their professors. They revised and reposted Oehmen's original essay, editing it to ensure accuracy.

Radiation release

Using an online tool such as diffChecker to compare Oehmen's original essay with the version edited by the MIT's department of nuclear science, it appears that – with the exception of minor corrections – his explanations of how boiling water reactors work remains largely intact.

But Oehmen's predictions regarding radiation leakage have been cut. His original assertion that "there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors" was bold even at the time he was writing – and has since proved incorrect. For anyone in and around the Fukushima reactors, the radiation is certainly "significant" – although nuclear experts have repeatedly stated Fukushima will not be another Chernobyl.

Oehmen's account of events suggests he wrote his essay with a very specific concern in mind: the radiation risk to his cousin in Kawasaki. He maintains that his missive was not written as an expert's account for the media: the original essay included no allusions to Oehmen's nuclear credentials and, as Salon and Genius Now quickly discovered, the simplest of Google searches could confirm that they were lacking.

Unfortunately for Oehmen, by the time anyone in the media had bothered to check his academic background two things had happened: first, his words had been widely reported as the best account of the unfolding events in Japan, and second, those events had begun to move in a direction that his original post had clearly declared impossible. Consequently, the revelation of the simple fact of Oehmen's education was treated as a fine piece of investigative journalism.

Oehmen says the whole thing has been a nightmare – albeit one that he readily acknowledges is nothing to the nightmare that many Japanese are facing at the moment. He hopes his essay has at least helped people learn more about how nuclear reactors work. "I'm happy to take a lot more crap if it helps the people in Japan," he says.

posted on Mar, 27 2011 @ 02:36 AM
ahahahahahahahahahaaaa, " Oehmen says the whole thing has been a nightmare " , wow so the big media sucked this up like free soup and it blew up in their faces, and then called it "fine" as a regard action, nice but I still think ann coulter on fox saying "radiation is good for you" still takes the prize lowest common denominator

Well the radiation from #2 was only 10,000,000 times the normal levels today , and the ocean only has cesium in it up to 35Km so I am sure this "fine" research will fix all the trouble, be happy don't worry
edit on 27-3-2011 by Silverlok because: there is only there when it's there, dammit

posted on Mar, 27 2011 @ 02:18 PM

Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
How do you reconcile the person basing conclusions without being there and carrying out any test themselves especially in light of their own critical condemnations of the reporting process by the Japanese Government?

How does a guy sitting in Boston, do more than flatter his own ego and attempt to enhance his reputation and stature by writing a piece devoid of any the scientific studies he is claiming his scientific mind is more capable of rendering an accurate assessment of, from 15,000 miles away, and totally out of the loop.

Whether you call it wishful thinking or denial, I call it shameless self agrandizing with a calous level of indifference to those who are actually involved and in the loop.

Time tells all, and it shall.
edit on 13/3/11 by ProtoplasmicTraveler because: (no reason given)

If thats how you feel about an educated man, then I cannot fathom how you feel about all the "experts" on ATS. I mean I would have long left a site full of people who seem to know everything that scholars and highly educated men making an educated guesses know.

edit on 27-3-2011 by Redneck from Hell because: (no reason given)

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