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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: ~8.8/8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan

Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:14 pm

evnow wrote:
JRP3 wrote:Actually LFTR's seem to be exactly that.

Except nobody has spent a dime in recent years to make LFTRs a reality. Why ?


Hasn't there been a moratorium on nuclear power in the US for a number of years? Even now people are talking about "putting on the brakes" on the projects that have recently been moving forward. Who wants to invest $ in it only to find out that anything "nuclear" never sees the light of day?

The wikipedia article on molten salt reactors lists a number of disadvantages, technical, business, and political issues. Is that all more uncertainty for investors? (Had to chuckle at the business issue that you can't make any money selling replacement fuel rods, sort of like ink jet cartridges)
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Re: Meltdown In Japanese Nuclear Power Plants : Fuel Rods Broken

Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:49 pm

They're in deep deep trouble now. Check out this article. Fears of meltdown with fuel rods 'fully exposed' for more than two hours at Japan reactor.

Fears of a meltdown at one of the troubled nuclear reactors in Japan have grown after officials said its fuel rods were "fully exposed" for more than two hours, as the country grappled with a growing humanitarian and economic crisis after Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Air pressure inside the No.2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, located 250 kilometres north of Tokyo, rose suddenly when the air flow gauge was accidentally turned off, its operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said.
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Ready2plugin
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Re: Meltdown In Japanese Nuclear Power Plants : Fuel Rods Broken

Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:59 pm

I just saw this come across my Bloomberg...sorry if it's already stated.


"Mr. Edano and other senior officials did not address the escalating crisis at reactor No. 2 later Monday or early Tuesday.
But the situation a reactor No. 3 was being closely watched for another reason. That reactor uses a special mix of nuclear fuel known as MOX fuel. MOX is considered contentious because it is made with reprocessed plutonium and uranium oxides. Any radioactive plume from that fuel would be more dangerous than ordinary nuclear fuel, experts say, because inhaling plutonium even in very small quantities is considered lethal."

Any word on how common the use of MOX is?

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Re: Meltdown In Japanese Nuclear Power Plants : Fuel Rods Broken

Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:16 pm

It's very hard to keep track of the current status of things at the reactors in Japan.

I've been somewhat amazed at the number of people on TV and the number of newspaper reports that are appear to be speaking without having any actual facts about what is going on there.

Watched a bizarre Wolf Blitzer interview with the operator of the nuke plant in SoCal. The operator said the plant was designed to withstand a ground movement of 6+ G's and that the reported ground movement in Japan was 0.3 G's. Wolf went nuts calling the guy a liar in that the reactor could never withstand an 8.9 magnitude earthquake - apparently unable to understand that reactors are not designed by the Richter but by the amount of ground movement it can withstand. Weird exchange.

Reading the Indian press is always interesting - they have these incredibly well written stories with huge amounts of "facts" that no one else in the world is reporting. They must have a more extensive network of reporters than all other news sources.

I wonder if the communication in Japan is as bad as we are given the impression it is, or if it is just a lack of readily available translation.

Guess not everywhere in the world are they used to the 24 hour news cycle.

Not sure it's worth re-posting any of the news reports until there is more consensus on what is happening, although it's sounding like things are stabilizing. We can hope.

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Re: ~8.8/8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan

Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:22 pm

LTLFTcomposite wrote:Hasn't there been a moratorium on nuclear power in the US for a number of years?

There is no moratorium. There is definitely a "not in my backyard" problem - so you can't get approved in any area.

Besides that there is a big problem with financing. No sane bank will do project finance for nuke plants - what with their endless cost & time over runs.

But there is absolutely no issue if someone wants to spend on the needed R&D to get LFTR going. Afterall there is a very big market for that in India & China, if not in the US.

I'd personally absolutely oppose any nuke plant that is not Gen 4. The costs are insane. The companies want the tax payers to bear all the financial liability of any mishaps. Obviously, who wants that ?! Afterall your state voters rejected a measure to increase the electricity rate years before the nuke plant would start producing any electricity ...
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Re: Meltdown In Japan : Explosion in containment vessel

Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:53 pm

This is bad news.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Po ... 03111.html

Loud noises were heard at Fukushima Daiichi 2 at 6.10am this morning. A major component beneath the reactor may be damaged.

Confirmation of loud sounds this morning came from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA). It noted that "the suppression chamber may be damaged." It is not clear that the sounds were explosions.

Also known as the torus, this large doughnut-shaped structure sits in the centre of the reactor building at a lower level than the reactor. It contains a very large body of water to which steam can be directed in emergency situations. The steam then condenses and reduces pressure in the reactor system.

The torus is not within the primary containment structure surrounding the reactor vessel, but within the secondary containment structure of the reactor building itself.


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Re: Nuke Meltdown : Explosion in secondary containment vessel

Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:01 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 05086.html

Apparently it is not the radiation that gets you - but the fear of radiation. So, this is like terrorism ...

In fact, radiation is a far less potent carcinogen than other toxic substances. Studies of more than 80,000 survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts have found that about 9,000 people subsequently died of some form of cancer. But only about 500 of those cases could be attributed to the radiation exposure the people experienced.

The average amount of radiation that victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were exposed to would increase the risk of dying from lung cancer by about 40 percent, Boice said. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day increases the risk of dying of lung cancer by about 400 percent.

"Radiation is a universal carcinogen, but it's a very weak carcinogen compared to other carcinogens," Boice said. "Even when you are exposed, it's very unlikely you will get an adverse effect. But fear of radiation is very strong."
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Re: Meltdown In Japanese Nuclear Power Plants : Fuel Rods Broken

Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:52 pm

LakeLeaf wrote:
Not sure it's worth re-posting any of the news reports until there is more consensus on what is happening, although it's sounding like things are stabilizing. We can hope.


Then again, maybe not.

[10:12 p.m. ET Monday, 11:12 a.m. Tuesday in Tokyo] A fire has erupted in a fourth reactor at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a top adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced Tuesday.

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Re: Meltdown In Japanese Nuclear Power Plants : Fuel Rods Broken

Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:56 pm

LakeLeaf wrote:It's very hard to keep track of the current status of things at the reactors in Japan.

Yes.

Ben Slaney, from Asaka City, Saitama, Japan, writes: "Most of the shops are closed and quite a few Japanese people have left Tokyo to stay with relatives further west. Right now it's very difficult to understand who to trust. While the government wants to minimise panic, the foreign media wants to exaggerate the importance of the latest developments to create a more compelling story. This is leaving many foreign nationals in Japan confused as to who to believe.


A colleague from Japan I talked to said they were very worried about #2. Not knowing how transparent the Japanese govt really has been is a big problem.
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Re: Japan Nuke Crisis : Radiation Increasing ...

Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:11 pm

I found this 1979 article from the Washington Post which describes what happened on day 3 at Three Mile Island. A lot of very interesting data and it sounds errily similar to what were are presently seeing in Japan.
Because of the danger of possible radiation contamination, Watson's office authorized the Food and Drug Administration to contract for the manufacture, packaging and shipping to Harrisburg of 240,000 one-ounce vials of potassium iodide. It could be administered orally to collect in the thyroid, hopefully saturating the gland with this non-radioactive and non-cancer-causing agent before any radioactive iodine could reach it.

Falling coolant levels in the core exposed the top of the fuel rods. Unprotected by cooling water, the cladding on the outside of the fuel rods heated up rapidly. The zirconium in the cladding oxidized, releasing more heat, which in turn ballooned and split the cladding, allowing radioactive gases like xenon-133, krypton-85 and iodine131 to seep out through the cracks.

The gas bubble containing hydrogen, 1,000 cubic feet in size, at the top of the reactor. The reactor had become so hot that the coolant water had decomposed into its primary elements: oxygen and hydrogen.

The biggest danger was the possibility that the bubble would continue to grow, forcing all the coolant water out of the reactor, allowing the temperature of the fuel rods to build up until they reached 5,000 degrees.

At that heat, the uranium would begin to melt.

The lethal dose is described as 400 rems, but the sick, the elderly, young and unborn children could easily die from a dose of 150 rems. A dose that strong could begin to kill bone marrow so fast that death might follow in a matter of months.

To many scientists, the worst consequence of an overdose of radioiodine is not the lethal dose a few might get. It is the non-lethal dose which would concentrate in the thyroid gland in the throat, where radiation might produce tumors in thousands of people over a period of 30 years.
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