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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:16 PM
Original message
The Nuclear Disaster That Could Destroy Japan ... and the World
Credible?

http://www.counterpunch.org/takashi04252011.html

On the Danger of a Killer Earthquake in the Japanese Archipelago
The Nuclear Disaster That Could Destroy Japan ... and the World
By HIROSE TAKASHI
Translated by Doug Lummis
April 25, 2011

The nuclear power plants in Japan are ageing rapidly; like cyborgs, they are barely kept in operation by a continuous replacement of parts. And now that Japan has entered a period of earthquake activity and a major accident could happen at any time, the people live in constant state of anxiety.

Seismologists and geologists agree that, after some fifty years of seismic inactivity, with the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (Southern Hyogo Prefecture Earthquake), the country has entered a period of seismic activity. In 2004, the Chuetsu Earthquake hit Niigata Prefecture, doing damage to the village of Yamakoshi. Three years later, in 2007, the Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake severely damaged the nuclear reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. In 2008, there was an earthquake in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, causing a whole mountain to disappear completely. Then in 2009 the Hamaoka nuclear plant was put in a state of emergency by the Suruga Bay Earthquake. And now, in 2011, we have the 3/11 earthquake offshore from the northeast coast. But the period of seismic activity is expected to continue for decades. From the perspective of seismology, a space of 10 or 15 years is but a moment in time.

<edit>

At the Rokkasho plant, 240 cubic meters of radioactive liquid waste are now stored. A failure to take care of this properly could lead to a nuclear catastrophe surpassing the meltdown of a reactor. This liquid waste continuously generates heat, and must be constantly cooled. But if an earthquake were to damage the cooling pipes or cut off the electricity, the liquid would begin to boil. According to an analysis prepared by the German nuclear industry, an explosion of this facility could expose persons within a 100 kilometer radius from the plant to radiation 10 to 100 times the lethal level, which presumably means instant death.

On April 7, just one month after the 3/11 earthquake in northeastern Japan, there was a large aftershock. At the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant the electricity was shut off. The pool containing nuclear fuel and the radioactive liquid waste were (barely) cooled down by the emergency generators, meaning that Japan was brought to the brink of destruction. But the Japanese media, as usual, paid this almost no notice.

more...
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. not credible
anti-nuclear propaganda

there's pros and cons to nuclear but this is simply doomer hysteria.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hirose Takashi is a reliable source and a professor
He's in Japan and knows what's going on there.
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. Personally I think it could destroy the whole solar system
I mean, if you want to blow something out of proportion you should really go all the way.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. If you want to trash something why not cite what it is you disagree with?
Oh, you didn't read it ..
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I'd start with the hyperbole "barely kept in operation" lol
Come on.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Not far off! The nuke bizsters want to squeeze every cent out of those leaking losers nt
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. Why stop at that?

Why not the galaxy?
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here is another by Hirose Takashi
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. the planet is a pretty big place.
i doubt the reactors in japan will kill everything on and in the earth
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. We'd be in pretty deep shit already
after Chernobyl, Chelyabinsk, the SSN Thresher, lost to crushing depths with an operational reactor, along with the SSN Scorpion, the russian K-219, lost to crushing depths with 2 operational reactors and over 100 warheads, K-278, lost at sea with two operational reactors, and nuclear torpedoes (plutonium, leaking directly into the sea), the Windscale reactor fire, etc, etc ad nauseum.
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SpoonFed Donating Member (801 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. you should figure out how much Pu needs to get into
the upper atmosphere and jet stream and get back to us on that.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
10. The solution to pollution is dilution. With the exception of radioactive particulates.
This is what people aren't getting. We are at the top of the food chain. Food alone is going to be problematic for a long time. Irradiation is not the issue. Ingested radioisotopes is.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. So shouldn't the obvious solution (presuming a continuation of nuclear...
...power) be to completely replace the aging reactors, ideally with updated designs and materials?

Waste storage would not be an issue if we were willing to accept "good enough for now and the next thousand years". Glassification alone can provide this. The glass billets of diluted waste could be stacked like cordwood in some out of the way place and forgotten for centuries without presenting a tangible risk.

Waste is NOT a technological issue. It's a political football.

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LAGC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Well said.
Thanks mainly to the efforts of anti-nuclear activists, we don't even have a safe storage system built up, as they keep fear-mongering the public into putting it off "somewhere else."

Well, look where putting it off got the Fukashima-Daiichi plant? All that waste sitting there above the reactor in those spent-fuel pools, a time-bomb waiting to happen.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. WASTE, COST, SAFETY, PROLIFERATION
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 12:08 PM by kristopher
All of those problem areas individually are DEAL KILLERS for nuclear fission. There is NO TECHNOLOGY that can solve all 4 problems in one design.

MIT 2003 ProNuclear study findings states that there are "four critical problem areas" of concern that "must be overcome"when considering whether or not we can be successful expanding nuclear fission generation.:


Cost. In deregulated markets, nuclear power is not now cost competitive with coal and natural gas.However,plausible reductions by industry in capital cost,operation and maintenance costs, and construction time could reduce the gap. Carbon emission credits, if enacted by government, can give nuclear power a cost advantage.

Safety.
Modern reactor designs can achieve a very low risk of serious accidents, but best practicesin construction and operation are essential.We know little about the safety of the overall fuel cycle,beyond reactor operation.

Waste.
Geological disposal is technically feasible but execution is yet to be demonstrated or certain. A convincing case has not been made that the long-term waste management benefits of advanced, closed fuel cycles involving reprocessing of spent fuel are outweighed by the short-term risks and costs. Improvement in the open,once through fuel cycle may offer waste management benefits as large as those claimed for the more expensive closed fuel cycles.

Proliferation.
The current international safeguards regime is inadequate to meet the security challenges of the expanded nuclear deployment contemplated in the global growth scenario. The reprocessing system now used in Europe, Japan, and Russia that involves separation and recycling of plutonium presents unwarranted proliferation risks.


MIT: The Future of Nuclear Power 2003
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
15. Counterpunch - your #1 source for nonsense. nt
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
17. Rokkasho is a time bomb - and do not let anyone tell you "it can't happen there"
cuz it can

yup
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Fledermaus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
18. The Kyshtym disaster was a radiation contamination incident that occurred on 29 September 1957
In September 1957, the cooling system in one of the tanks containing about 7080 tons of liquid radioactive waste failed and was not repaired. The temperature in it started to rise, resulting in evaporation and a chemical explosion of the dried waste, consisting mainly of ammonium nitrate and acetates (see ammonium nitrate bomb). The explosion, estimated to have a force of about 70100 tons of TNT threw the concrete lid, weighing 160 tons, into the air.<3> There were no immediate casualties as a result of the explosion, which released an estimated 2 to 50 MCi (74 to 1850 PBq) of radioactivity.<2><4><5>

In the next 10 to 11 hours, the radioactive cloud moved towards the northeast, reaching 300350 kilometers from the accident. The fallout of the cloud resulted in a long-term contamination of an area of more than 800 square kilometers, primarily with caesium-137 and strontium-90.<2> This area is usually referred to as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT).<6>

AftermathBecause of the secrecy surrounding Mayak, the populations of affected areas were not initially informed of the accident. A week later (on 6 October) an operation for evacuating 10,000 people from the affected area started, still without giving an explanation of the reasons for evacuation. People "grew hysterical with fear with the incidence of unknown 'mysterious' diseases breaking out. Victims were seen with skin 'sloughing off' their faces, hands and other exposed parts of their bodies."<7>

Although vague reports of a "catastrophic accident" began appearing in the western press in April 1958, it was only in 1976 that Zhores Medvedev made the nature and extent of the disaster known to the world.<8><9>

Even though the Soviet government suppressed information about the figures, it is estimated that the direct exposure to radiation caused at least 200 cases of death from cancer.<10> "In 1992, a study conducted by the Institute of Biophysics at the former Soviet Health Ministry in Chelyabinsk found that 8,015 people had died within the preceding 32 years as a result of the accident."<1>

To reduce the spread of radioactive contamination after the accident, contaminated soil was excavated and stockpiled in fenced enclosures that were called "graveyards of the earth".<11>

The Soviet government in 1968 disguised the EURT area by creating the East-Ural Nature Reserve, which prohibited any unauthorised access to the affected area.

Rumours of a nuclear mishap somewhere in the vicinity of Chelyabinsk had long been circulating in the West. That there had been a serious nuclear accident east of the Urals was eventually demonstrated by Zhores Medvedev, who, after his reference to the disaster in a western publication was derided by western nuclear industry sources, showed that numerous Soviet scientific publications on the effects of radiation on plant life, supposedly derived from laboratory experiments, were in fact thinly disguised descriptions of the area contaminated by the disaster.<12>

According to Gyorgy,<13> who invoked the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the relevant Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) files, the CIA knew of the 1957 Mayak accident all along, but kept it secret to prevent adverse consequences for the fledgling American nuclear industry. In 1990 the Soviet government declassified documents pertaining to the disaster.<14><15>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyshtym_disaster
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Thank you.
I didn't know this.
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