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Bid to 'Protect Assets' Slowed Reactor Fight

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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:37 AM
Original message
Bid to 'Protect Assets' Slowed Reactor Fight
Source: WSJ


TOKYOCrucial efforts to tame Japan's crippled nuclear plant were delayed by concerns over damaging valuable power assets and by initial passivity on the part of the government, people familiar with the situation said, offering new insight into the management of the crisis.
. . .

The plant's operatorTokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepcoconsidered using seawater from the nearby coast to cool one of its six reactors at least as early as last Saturday morning, the day after the quake struck. But it didn't do so until that evening, after the prime minister ordered it following an explosion at the facility. Tepco didn't begin using seawater at other reactors until Sunday.

because it worried about hurting its long-term investment in the complex, say people involved with the efforts. Seawater, which can render a nuclear reactor permanently inoperable, now is at the center of efforts to keep the plant under control.

Tepco "hesitated because it tried to protect its assets," said Akira Omoto, a former Tepco executive and a member of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, an official advisory body involved in the effort to tame the plant. Both Tepco and government officials had good reason not to use saltwater, Mr. Omoto added. Early on, nuclear fuel rods were still under cooling water and undamaged, he said, adding, "it's understandable because injecting seawater into the fuel vessel renders it unusable."



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704608504...




Sadly, my worldview is confirmed.

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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow - Republicon Family Values, Japanese style
Just wow. Totally Mammon-ilisicously digustipating.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. What's in a name?
Take "Liberal Democratic Party" of Japan, f'r instance:

C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's

A money grubbing warmonger by any other name...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. 1950's? Aka "Eisenhower years" for all Ike nostalgia buffs.
Edited on Sat Mar-19-11 10:47 AM by No Elephants
The apparent need of some Dems to glorify that racist, career war monger who made GM's welfare equal to America's is beyond me.

ETA: a people who worshipped an EMPEROR as GOD really needed to be steered to the right? Another of many freakin' wastes of hard-earned American taxpayer dollars.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. I explained to my 17 yr old last night, that the reason the problem in Japan had gotten so out of
hand was because of greed. Glad to see it confirmed today.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. This illustrates why sensitive infrastructure shouldnt be in private hands
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Or any essential infrastructure, e.g. the internet.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. Property over People
Same idea as:

Money trumps peace.
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. I am shocked. Really. Who would of thought? Not.
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ladywnch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
8. okay you science types, what does salt water do that would render
the plant unusable? I don't understand.

Thanks in advance
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IScreamSundays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. it causes corrosion. nt
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BobbyBoring Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Salt water
renders about everything unusable, except fish. very corrosive stuff~
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jtuck004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. It eats up the metal (corrosion), creates leaks,


Is Seawater a Last Resort to Cooling Japan's Nuclear Reactors?
...
Under what circumstances would a nuclear power plant use seawater to cool its reactors?
Using unpurified water is not a normal practiceit's never done. Plants don't take water from the river or the sea to supplement their own internal water, which is in completely closed-loop systems. Of course, they take in some amount of new water periodically to make up for evaporation and other losses like that, but this water is purified before it is used.

TEPCO's reactors lost the water below the normal operating condition, so they had to provide additional water for that. Salt-water obviously has a lot of minerals in it, and if it's taken directly from the sea, it has all sorts of other materials floating in it as well. Even if these things were filtered out, the chemistry of salt-water is not really compatible with what normally goes through the reactor. It's too corrosive for fuel elements. I would guess that after this water was introduced into the reactor cores, those cores would become completely unusable. This is because any materials in the water will attach to the surface of the fuel rods and make heat transfer unpredictable....

Here...




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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. it rusts the rods that contain the plutonium
and any other metal, I would think.
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WestSeattle2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
12. When will people learn?! Private sector companies cannot be
trusted to work in the best interests of the community in which they operate - especially during a crisis that threatens their bottom line.

Governments MUST step in and take control, and retain some level of credibility, if they have any to begin with.

Asarco
Exxon
BP
Tepco
Union Carbide


How many more examples and deaths do we need to drive this point home?
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. Neither Can Governments
Chernobyl was completely government-built and government-operated.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
15. NS, S.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
16. how about a little rationality
It's perfectly reasonable to try less drastic measures first. Once they went to seawater, a reactor is gone in terms of any future usefulness.

If your house is on fire, you try a fire hose first. You don't throw in TNT.
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Citizen Worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. I would argue that it was a completely rational decision and greed won out, as usual, over public
safety.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. rationality?
:eyes:

They did not have any good choices from the beginning. Nothing but hail marys from a desperate crew.

HOUSE on fire? Puh-leeze. We're not talking about a little house fire type situation here.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. After all, profits are what really count
Not our petty little human lives...
:sarcasm:
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
19. The containment vessel, turbines and other parts of the reactor..
cost hundreds of millions of dollars and can take many years to make.

As of a couple of years ago, there was only one company in the world that could produce these parts to modern safety specifications. Ironically, it's a century old steel manufacturer in Tokyo known for making samurai swords. Last time I saw a news article on production, they had an 8-year waiting list for parts.
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