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Japan rocked by major earthquake; triggers fire at nuclear power plant

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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:21 AM
Original message
Japan rocked by major earthquake; triggers fire at nuclear power plant
Japan rocked by major earthquake

An earthquake has struck central Japan, killing at least seven people, flattening buildings and triggering a fire at a nuclear power plant.

Hundreds of people were injured when the 6.8-magnitude tremor struck the Niigata area.

The fire at the nuclear plant has been extinguished, and there was no release of radiation or damage to the reactors, officials said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has flown to the affected region.


The story continues at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6900156.stm

My question for nuclear power supporters: Assume that nuclear power facilities can be made 100% safe against terrorists. Assume that the manifold problems for storing extremely toxic radioactive waste for tens of thousands of years are all solved. What can be done to protect nuclear plants from earthquakes? What protocols can be put into place in the event an earth quake ruptures the cooling system or containment, leading to (at best) a 3 Mile Island or (close to worst) a Chernyobl incident? Even if the odds of something happening are 1000 to 1, it will happen eventually, possibly with the very next earthquake.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. Exactly. No nukes
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. it seems to me that they ALWAYS build those effers on fault lines.
How about poor Yucca mountain? That's a disaster waiting to happen.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Pretty easy really
Seriously, you can build one to withstand earthquates of whatever magnitude you chose, its not difficult, just expensive.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
4. UPDATE: There is damage; nuclear plant leaking radioactive water
From http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070716/sc_nm/quake_japan_n...

World's largest nuclear plant leaks radioactive water

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant -- the world's largest -- leaked water containing radioactive materials from a reactor after a strong quake struck northwest Japan on Monday, a company spokesman said.

No further details on damage to people or the environment were immediately available.

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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. That report suggests it isn't leaking anymore.
That's a good thing.

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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. CNN Update: Aftershock 6.7...Also Leak Into The Water...
Will our corporate media stay on this story?
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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. That aftershock is near the same magnitude as the first one.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. This is why Oregon voters said no more nuke plants in Oregon...
The plant temporarily shut down in 1978 when PGE realized it had been built on an earthquake fault. It was shut down again when cracks in the steam tubes were detected just four years into the plant's life.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003004...

Environmental opposition dogged Trojan all of its life, including violent clashes both inside and outside the boundary fence. In an Oregon state poll in 1980, a proposal to ban construction of further nuclear power plants in the state was approved by voters. Then in 1986, a proposal by Lloyd Marbet for immediate closure of the Trojan plant was defeated. This proposal was resubmitted in 1990, and again in 1992 when a competing proposal by Jerry and Marilyn Wilson to close the plant was also included. Although all of these closure proposals were defeated, in campaigning against them the plant operators committed to successively earlier closure dates for the plant.

In 1992, PGE spent over $5 million to defeat a statewide ballot measure to close Trojan in what is still the most expensive ballot measure campaign in Oregon history. Then, within a week, the Trojan plant suffered yet another steam generator tube leak of radioactive water and was shut down. In December 1992, documents leaked from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, showing that staff scientists believed that Trojan may be unsafe to operate. In January 1993, PGE announced it would not try to restart Trojan.

snip>

As of 2005 the reactor vessel and other radioactive equipment has been removed from the Trojan plant. The reactor vessel was transported intact by barge along the Columbia River to Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington where it was buried. The spent fuel is stored onsite in 34 dry casks, awaiting transport to Yucca Mountain Repository.
http://www.trojandown.com/history.htm


These radioactive fuel rods were supposed to be moved to a federal nuclear waste repository for reprocessing and safe storage. But the promised federal repository never materialized. The official repository under Yucca Mountain in Nevada hasnt opened because of public opposition. So spent radioactive fuel rods have accumulated at every nuclear power plant in the country, stored in basins of water, from the time each plant began producing electricity. At Trojan, there are 17 years of spent fuel rods, accumulated in a glorified swimming pool, on the flood plain of the lower Columbia River, sitting on an earthquake fault with no serious plans to move them in the foreseeable future.
http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/05/clean_nuclear_p.html
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
6. Typhoon and now Earthquake???
This sounds like the script to a bad Godzilla vs. Gheidra movie...

If any nation understands what nuclear destruction can bring its the Japanese. I'm hoping we get more reports on what happened here and the reaction of the Japanese people.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
8. Breaking: Japan goes double-down for the day
with a pair of 6+ earthquakes. New earthquake in Japan recorded at 6.6 on the Richter scale.

MSNBC TV

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Just heard of the second one
Damn!!
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yeah, 6.7 aftershock off the coast. Tsunami to follow?
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. God's will.
There must be homosexuals in Japan... :sarcasm:

Seriously, though, I hope this doesn't get much worse. I lived in the Bay Area for years. Earthquakes are so frightening. My thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. No too deep n/t
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #8
15. CNN reporting 6.8 mag second quake
"Developing Story: The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in the Sea of Japan, hours after a separate killer quake hit the region."

on cnn.com
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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
16. Is this really an aftershock, if the location is different?
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/...


MAP 6.8 2007/07/16 14:17:34 36.785 134.850 315.6 SEA OF JAPAN
MAP 5.8 2007/07/16 06:37:46 37.493 138.413 59.6 NEAR THE WEST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2007/07/16 04:53:29 1.357 -90.734 10.0 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS REGION
MAP 5.0 2007/07/16 01:32:20 10.695 -62.387 101.6 SUCRE, VENEZUELA
MAP 6.7 2007/07/16 01:13:29 37.574 138.440 55.4 NEAR THE WEST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Just on CNN: NOT an aftershock.
Good call!
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
18. Woah! Hang on Nehong!
n/t
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Sirveri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. I believe in nuclear power.
I know it is safe. I have worked it.

Everytime something like this happens it is blown way out of proportion. 0.4 gallons of fluid that probably was slightly contaminated spilled into a drainage system and was dilluted by 350 gallons of water before being dumped into the bay where it was further dilluted. Pull a glass of seawater from that bay, put a radiac to it, I doubt you'll get anything above background. Doubly since water acts as a shield to radiation.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
20. The argument proves too much.
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