Daily Archives: April 18, 2011

Albert Einstein: March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955


When I was a fairly precocious young man I became thoroughly impressed with the futility of the hopes and strivings that chase most men restlessly through life. Moreover, I soon discovered the cruelty of that chase, which in those years was much more carefully covered up by hypocrisy and glittering words than is the case today. By the mere existence of his stomach everyone was condemned to participate in that chase. The stomach might well be satisfied by such participation, but not man insofar as he is a thinking and feeling being.

Continue reading Albert Einstein: March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955

Japan nuke news 19: Robots and reactors

Ana’s Feeed starting Sunday mid day through last night:

TEPCO press conf. (NHK): Since the accident, we have caused a huge amount of trouble and inconvenience to residents and anxiety to the greater population in general … Residents have been asked to evacuate and they would like to return home and we would like to assist the govt in planning for their return. Therefore, we release this plan:
To achieve cold shutdown in 6-9 months via 2 steps: 1) reducing radioactive material (3 months) and 2) controlling the release of radioactive elements (3-6 months)

  • 3 areas of focus will be: cooling, containment, and monitoring/decontamination
  • Breakdown, step 1): filling containment vessels of no.1 and 3 with water – sealing the leak in containment vessel at no.2 with “sticky cement” – injecting nitrogen to avoid explosions – restoring cooling systems for spent fuel pools – installing decontamination station to treat and reuse water. -kyodo
  • Kaieda: Gov’t to review evacuation areas after 6-9 months -kyodo
  • NHK commentator: “It is yet to be seen if things can progress as planned.”
  • An evacuated man: “TEPCO formed a six month temporary plan, but … there’s no solid foundation for this figure.” (NHK)

TEPCO chairman Katsumata mulling resignation to take blame -kyodo

  • Katsumata: TEPCO President Shimizu also mulling resignation -kyodo

Sec. of State Clinton visited Japan, met with Kan and govt, called Fukushima accident a ‘multi-dimensional crisis of unprecedented scope’ -kyodo

  • Kan tells Clinton Japan ‘will never forget U.S. support after quake’ -kyodo
  • Clinton: Japan can rebuild itself, have economic success for decades -kyodo
  • Kan thanks Clinton for U.S. ‘utmost’ help in disaster relief -kyodo

Opinion piece by PM Kan in the Washington Post: Japan’s road to recovery and rebirth

NISA news release detailing current efforts in: Zeolite sandbagging, anti-scatter resin spraying, remote rubble removal, and tsunami preparedness [LINK]

  • With this note: NISA directed General Electricity Utilities and other organizations concerned to consider the measures to ensure reliability on external power supply due to the temporary loss of external power supply at NPSs, etc. caused by ground faults in part of electric power system when the earthquake off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture occurred on April 7, 2011.

“His work is part of a young field called paleoseismology. Kerry Sieh, a pioneer in the specialty, says that the few dozen people who do this kind of work are usually doomed to be ignored.” [LINK]

Toshiba has released a plan for decommissioning its two reactors at Daiichi:

  • They estimate that it will take 5 years to remove the fuel rods from pools and reactors, and another 5 years to clear the land and remove the soil. They add that, depending on conditions inside the reactors (which are still uncertain), decommissioning could take more than 15 years. (NHK)
  • Hitachi says it will take 15 or more years to decommission its no.4 reactor. (NHK)

“The robot took photos inside the building [no.3] and measured radiation and oxygen levels as well as the temperature and humidity. The utility says it is analyzing the findings.”

  • Robot used to investigate reactor buildings
  • “If successful, the condition inside the No.3 reactor building will be known for the first time since a hydrogen explosion occurred there on March 14th.” (NHK)
  • Readings from the robot, inside reactor buildings, first floor:
  • no.1: 10-49mSv/hr.
  • no.3: 28-57mSv/hr.
  • oxygen densities were around 21% “high enough for workers to enter” (NHK)
  • In these conditions, workers will receive their emergency-adjusted annual limits in 5 hours.

U.S. Nuclear Regulator Lets Industry Help With the Fine Print – ProPublica

Officials Demand Diablo Canyon Relicensing Be Suspended

Near the proposed Yucca Mt. nuke storage site: Hundreds of small earthquakes hit California-Nevada border, including magnitude 4.6

The Jap. govt. is “alarmed” at how foreign press is reporting on the situation. Offending footage on NHK highlights Busby on Russian TV, Ann Coulter on FOXNEWS.

  • A theater arts student who is running a watchdog blog wants us all to know that people wear masks in Japan to avoid pollen, not radiation. (NHK)

“The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says levels
of radioactive substances in seawater have risen again near the water intake of its No.2 reactor.” -JAIF

  • TEPCO says it detected 260 becquerels of iodine-131 per cubic centimeter in samples taken on Friday. That is 6,500 times the legal limit. (JAIF)
  • The level of radioactive cesium-137 was also up in the same area. It detected 130 becquerels per cubic centimeter – 1,400 times the legal limit. (JAIF, April 16)

Tornado touchdown causes shutdown at Surry nuclear plant

The level of contaminated water in the tunnel of the No. 2 reactor continues to rise. (JAIF)

  • The level dropped 8 centimeters after about 660 tons of the highly radioactive water was moved into a turbine condenser. But as of 7 AM on Monday, the water had risen again, to a point 9 centimeters higher than before the transfer. (JAIF)

Nuke Agency: No. 4 reactor building flooded with water 5-meter-high -kyodo

Robots report high radiation at Japan nuclear plant as criticism grows over pace of response

How To Avoid Tornado Deaths

Dozens of people died in tornadoes in the US over the last couple of days, and most of those deaths were preventable. The truth is, most of those killed died because of a decision they made, so their death is to some extent their fault. But, for good reason, no one wants to blame the victim, so we see very little discussion about how a death spree like this happened over the weekend could have bee avoided. Also, almost every single feature of avoiding similar deaths in the future touches on a difficult political issue or points to a costly solution. Therefore, those involved and those reporting on the issue tend to avoid talking about the obvious. Finally, there is a small set of commonly used explanations, which are either totally incorrect or partly incorrect, that are easy for loved ones of the dead, reporters, local and state officials, and others to pull out of their nether regions. The main explanations are, of course, “God’s Will” and “Random Chance.”

Either way, someone’s gonna lose themselves a trailer, which brings us to the real reasons people die in tornadoes. They are:

Continue reading How To Avoid Tornado Deaths