Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
As someone who is obviously not reporting from the scene, and who is not a nuclear physicist your ability to define what something is not, is in fact
on par with your ability to define what something is, which is pretty much non-existent on both scores.
Well, let's see - I don't know your educational background, but I've got a masters in EE and another in physics. Plus I've worked at Los Alamos
long ago, not in bomb design, but in a related field. So I'm not totally uninformed.
Your spin on that story seems to be that it's clear that top secret death beams are being shot in from a secret satellite in space, or somehow "a
neutron prism" has been formed by rubble falling JUST RIGHT, and that a blue glowing radioactive death beam is the result. Ok.
Here's mine. Let's review the article -
"Tepco said the neutron beam measured about 1.5 km southwest of the plant's Nos. 1 and 2 reactors over three days from March 13 and is equivalent to
0.01 to 0.02 microsieverts per hour."
0.02 microSieverts is very small. Assuming that the article isn't confusing microSieverts and milliSieverts, you get about 100 microSieverts from
eating a banana. We see about 0.2 microSieverts per hour here on the coast at sealevel as normal background radiation. 0.02 is squat. 10% of
background. Even if it were milliSieverts they're talking about, and I would guess that's what they meant because it's damned hard to spot 0.02
microSieverts/h of neutrons, it's still small. So, it's hardly a 'death beam'. Oh, and the "blue glowing" thing - that's Cherenkov radiation,
which you don't get from neutrons.
So basically, Tepco measured this 'neutron beam' with an instrument, which was a damned good one if they can measure down that low - neutron gauges
are notoriously cranky. It wasn't a thing they saw. What do you think they could be talking about? Let's read on...
"The utility said it will also measure uranium and plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam."
Aha! Uranium and plutonium do in fact emit neutrons. Not in a "beam", just randomly. Could it be that the Japanese term for neutron emission or
neutron flux might be mistranslated into English by a journalist as "beam"? HMMM. In that case, the statement that they measured a neutron beam at
0.02 microSieverts makes sense.
In the 1999 criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant run by JCO Co. in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, uranium broke apart continually in
nuclear fission, causing a massive amount of neutron beams.
And here's more confirmation! I don't need to look this one up, I remember when it happened. They dissolved a bunch of highly enriched uranium oxide
into a nitric acid slurry for conversion to uranyl nitrate, and got too much of it in one vessel, and reached criticality. It didn't emit blue
glowing laser radiation death beams like some "deathflower" scene (PEW! PEW! PEW!). It did, however, put out a whacking big neutron flux. So, again,
they're using "neutron beam" instead of "neutron flux" or "neutron radiation".
The fact that the writer used the phrase "broke apart continually in nuclear fission" is another clue that the translation was sort of clumsy. So I
think, given the other context, that you can safely read "neutron beam" as "neutron radiation" or "neutron flux", in which case the article sort
of makes sense.
In the latest case at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, a criticality accident has yet to happen.
Maybe...but if you're about to have one, bursts of neutron radiation like this would be what you'd expect to see...
But the measured neutron beam may be evidence that uranium and plutonium leaked from the plant's nuclear reactors and spent nuclear fuel have
discharged a small amount of neutron beams via fission.
Read as 'instead we'd rather this were aerosolized uranium or plutonium drifting by".
It COULD be, but if they continue getting bursts of low level neutron radiation and they don't detect airborne uranium or plutonium, then it's
likely something in the plant is reaching criticality - a puddle of melted fuel rods, a pick-up sticks clutter of hot fuel rods fallen down in a heap
at the bottom of a pool and being moderated by water sprayed in without borate, or one of the reactors starting to pile up fissiles in the bottom of
Or, I guess HAARP could be bouncing neutron death beams from an NSA satellite, but I don't think so somehow.