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TEPCO Confirms Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool Is Now An Uncontrolled, Open Air Fission Process

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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:39 AM
Original message
TEPCO Confirms Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool Is Now An Uncontrolled, Open Air Fission Process
It's Deepwater Deja Vu all over again.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/tepco-confirms-reactor...

Courtesy of Kyodo, ( http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/04/85295.html )we now know that what was speculated by some as true, and rebutted by most as mere scaremongering, is in fact, fact. "Some of the spent nuclear fuel rods stored in the No. 4 reactor building of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant were confirmed to be damaged, but most of them are believed to be in sound condition, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday."

Naturally, in one month we will learn that most of them are damaged, and in two months, that each and every one has been demolished. "The firm known as TEPCO said its analysis of a 400-milliliter water sample taken Tuesday from the No. 4 unit's spent nuclear fuel pool revealed the damage to some fuel rods in such a pool for the first time, as it detected higher-than-usual levels of radioactive iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137." These confirm an ongoing fission reaction.
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Lie, then later say you were mistaken, then lie again...
the history of nuclear power in a nutshell.
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Wait, lemme fix that for ya ....
It's the history of Nuclear Power Corporate Malfeasance in a nutshell.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Heh
I have a feeling that they (TEPCO) are only telling us their good news.
And that they are protecting us from the really bad news.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. The really bad news is that Godzilla is attacking them. n/t
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
24. Godzilla would be a welcome visitor...
I'm betting if they could trade the earthquake and tsunami for The Big Green Guy, they would. I would. I totally would.

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound he pulled the spitting high tension wires down...
Helpless people on a subway train scream for God as he looks in on them...
Oh no! They say he's got to go! Go, go, Godzilla!
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. They're "protecting" no-one other than themselves...
...and only temporarily at that...

They have lied through their teeth from the word go..
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. "most of them are believed to be in sound condition" Really? How is that possible?
Are there short rods and long rods? I don't think so.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. Yeah, like the buildings
Since the very beginning, you can take one look at the buildings and see that the damage was incredible. The fact that they tried to pretend they could get it under control was a farce from the word go.

Next month, we will find out it was even worse than it was now. Last month when the story about the neutrons (products of fission) and Cl- isotopes being released, there were plenty of nuclear apologists attempting to explain that fission wasn't occurring, when you only get those by products when fission IS occurring.

Lo and behold, a few weeks later, there is fission occurring.

Shades of BP all over again, only this one is going to have even more catastrophic consequences. They have done nothing but lie through their teeth.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
7. For us people who missed our Advanced Atomic classes,
what does this mean to us? Do they dome the place up? Or wait for it to blow up?
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
19. From this "steep learning curve" student of the atom, as I understand it, the plant won't "blow up"
but instead will continue leaking deadly radiation into the air, the sea and the soil--some part of it lasting for a thousand years--and the most hideous immediate danger is out- of-control fire spreading from the highly volatile "spent fuel rods" stacked above the six reactor containment vessels, incinerating the whole site and sending all of its radioactive material into the atmosphere, to blow hither and yon on the Pacific winds.

The main problem-as to volume of radioactive material already released and to come-- is the DESIGN of this nuke site, which packed SIX nuclear reactors close together at ONE site, with SIX "spent fuel pools" (highly flammable) positioned ABOVE the nuclear cores, in the same buildings, with no other containment around the pools. Fires in the "spent fuel pools" and attempts to cool them with water have already caused the roofs of two plants to be blown off, exposing all that radiation to the open air and potentially quite a bit more from damaged cores (damage to their containment vessels). This design was presumably done to SAVE MONEY (maximize profit) with common power and water-pumping infrastructure. And it was placed at the coast (vulnerable to tsumami and a great danger to Pacific fisheries) to capture fresh river water for cooling the reactors and the "spent fuel rods" and to be able to use sea water in an emergency, which they have done, dumping the radioactive sea water right back into the ocean.

So--if my understanding is correct--there isn't going to be a "mushroom cloud"--but rather a slower dreadful poisoning of the air, water and soil--which has already occurred in the immediate area, and can and will spread. (It's already been detected on the EAST coast of the U.S.--at not dangerous levels, according to the government.)

One reason that the "spent fuel rods" were present in the reactor buildings--greatly complicating the situation and greatly escalating the danger--is that THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THESE HIGHLY TOXIC, HIGHLY FLAMMABLE RODS. Who wants them buried in their back yards? Nobody! Send them to Mars? Maybe that's the solution. I don't know. They can't stay anywhere on earth without poisoning the area (including underground water tables). So they keep them in these sort of open bathtubs and, for convenience and "cost-savings," NEAR THE REACTORS, and keep pouring water on them. And, of course, THAT water is then radioactive, as is all the water that has been used in routine cooling and in this dire emergency.

Several experts have said that the "spent fuel rods" should NEVER have been so positioned--and should have been sealed in cement/steel containers far away from the reactor cores (--until shipment to Mars becomes possible, I guess). That would have made this less of a disaster but it does NOT solve the problem of creating EXTREMELY DANGEROUS radioactive materials, with half-lives of thousands of years, as an energy source.

And it does not solve the problem of the stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID and greedy human beings behind all this--and our inability to control THEM.

One of the many things that I find outrageous and criminal in this disaster is officialdom's view of the Pacific Ocean as a convenient toxic waste dump. They've been pouring megatons of radioactive water into the ocean and saying it will dissipate. This cavalier attitude toward Pacific fisheries is bad enough, but if you believe as I do that dolphins are sentient beings and that whales may be sentient beings, it is unconscionable.

The Pacific fishery is a main source of protein for Japan and numerous other countries. This disaster has the potential of causing mass starvation in the human population of the Pacific Rim, in addition to a great escalation in cancer rates, cancer deaths and other medical impacts from ingesting radioactive sea food. It is a DIRE danger to dolphins and whales--genetic mutations, spontaneous abortions, cancer and potential extirpation of species. And, GIVEN the EXISTING impacts on the oceans of human activity--vast dead zones, vast coral death (corals being main centers of sea life), vast oil, plastic and other pollution, melting of the polar ice caps (flooding salt water environments with fresh water; vast loss of habitat to arctic wildlife and sea life, including migrating and birthing whales) and more, the ADDITION of high levels of completely unnatural radioactive material to water and air (which, of course, intermix) is a gravely criminal act.

A natural system doesn't die from this impact or that impact. It dies from CUMULATIVE impacts. Nature is very resilient but it really cannot take the level of CUMULATIVE impacts that we are inflicting upon it. The World Wildlife Fund gives us less than 50 years--at present levels of consumption, pollution, deforestation and loss of biodiversity--less than 50 years to the DEATH of the planet.

The. DEATH. Of. The. Planet.

This is one more impact, of many.
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. You really do need to make a separate post from this response. +1000 K&R
It's one of the most powerful statements I've ever read and it should be seen by a much, much wider audience, beyond DU.

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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #19
36. I agree with nc4bo.
This is worthy of it's own thread. This especially, resonated with me:

One of the many things that I find outrageous and criminal in this disaster is officialdom's view of the Pacific Ocean as a convenient toxic waste dump. They've been pouring megatons of radioactive water into the ocean and saying it will dissipate. This cavalier attitude toward Pacific fisheries is bad enough, but if you believe as I do that dolphins are sentient beings and that whales may be sentient beings, it is unconscionable.

===
Last year we fouled the Gulf, this year the north-western Pacific. But hey, anything for profit. ~heavy sigh.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. I vote this as post of the year.
Really, do us a favor and post this to its own thread. Great explanation of the situation.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
46. Thanks to the above for your praise. I posted it in GD...
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 05:46 PM by Peace Patriot
here...

My Assessment of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #19
47. Strictly speaking, I doubt that all life on earth will disappear
but it might be down to the cockroaches.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
51. I Agree Peace... This Post Needs It's Own Thread
:kick:
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #19
54. I am no expert and I dont want to minimize the horror but there are a few things
that I disagree with. First I want to agree with the fact that having spent fuel pools high in the plant, above the reactors and in a difficult location to get water to, is a horrible design.

I believe the tops of the buildings blew off when the reactor plants had to emergency vent pressure. The vented gases included hydrogen which is what exploded. Another poor design feature was to have the vented gases vent into the top of the building instead of outside.

As I see it the biggest danger is that if the fuel rods get hot enough from the fission process, they will melt down thru the structures and the earth (the China syndrome) and continue burning down thru the earth until they hit water. When they hit the water there will be a tremendous explosion of extremely radioactive steam that may carry for many miles.

We are entering into the final stages of capitalism. Hopefully the earth and inhabitants will survive.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #19
55. Ever thing you said was correct until: Death of the planet
This planet will not die, but most of her inhabitants will. I don't particularly think humans are a worthy species to keep around, for the planet's health, but it burns me up that we have the ability to take so many species with us on our suicide run. But, know that the planet - I call her Gaia, will be fine. We will have been on her back for just a mere blip. Tens of thousands of years are just a geological blip on her radar. I just hope whatever comes next gets past it's adolescence. We didn't, unfortunately.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. Nope, if we destroy the atmosphere (ozone holes, CO2, etc.), that's it for current life forms
or anything like them. Could be the sulphur based wormlike critters at the bottom of the sea or other extremophiles might continue and might even evolve sentience (ability to contemplate the Universe--my definition) over time, but the chance for any life forms will be pretty much nixed. With ripped, damaged atmosphere--that thin, fragile blue film around the planet--the sun will fry the Earth, it will get bombarded with meteors as well, and it will eventually resemble Mars.

Odd, when you think about it, that Mother Nature would evolve a species with high intelligence, touching ability to contemplate the Universe and no common sense--a species that would destroy the matrix of life from which it emerged, that would trash its own home, that can think about things, and even develop the capability to see and study things, billions of light years away, that is so intelligent that it penetrates the secrets of DNA, of evolution, of subatomic particles, and develops knowledge that could lead to directing its own evolution, to transforming one form of matter into another, to terraforming planets, to traveling to other solar systems and even galaxies, to conquering space-time itself and possibly even death itself. WHAT are the evolutionary advantages of such high intelligence without wisdom and compassion--high intelligence that is so myopic that it cannot perceive--or can't stop--self-destruction, by trashing its only home?

I sometimes think that some other process is at work that we can't see because we are in the middle of it--for instance, that Mother Nature is not just the Earth, but the Cosmos, and that a Cosmic birth process is going on, pushing toward sentience--the Cosmos contemplating itself by developing critters who can contemplate it--and pushing its sentient critters off their planets to expand to and colonize solar systems and galaxies--maybe ultimately to join up in a collective consciousness, that becomes something like what we now think of as God.*

Why ELSE would such a contradictory creature--as human beings are--be so successful, in evolution as we understand it? In short, we have overpopulated the Earth in order to push ourselves off the Earth, in an evolutionary process that we can't perceive--yet, anyway--because we are of Earth. We can only see what's happened here, biologically--that wild critters live and propagate commensurate with their food source, that wild systems tend toward balance and variety, and that we are the only unbalanced critter, propagating way beyond the ability of the Earth to sustain us, at least in the way we live--with refrigerators and computers and so on. Maybe we can't see WHY.

Haven't you ever had this thought? That is doesn't make sense? That evolution (as we understand it) has never produced another critter here on Earth--besides us--who trash the place, by overpopulation and over-consumption? WHAT is the evolutionary advantage of these characteristics? Has evolution stopped? Surely not. So, WHY have we developed these characteristics--except that there is a much bigger evolutionary process at work--call it marco-evolution--in which Mother Cosmos is favoring the spread of sentience in the material universe?

It is to our advantage, as individuals and as a species, to move on--to leave Earth, to create greenery elsewhere and create yet more sentient critters--to put eyes on all the planets with which to contemplate the Universe. And only then will we develop the wisdom and compassion to cherish lush, green Earthian places--and create them rather than trash them.

We are at a precipice. There is no going back to a "hunter-gatherer" balance with wild nature. There is no natural idyl to which we can return. We may be forced by disaster to rig up an existence that uses "hunter-gatherer" and early farming skills, and may end up as little Gaia-worshipping communes, dotted here and there, on our trashed planet, but if the World Wildlife Fund is correct, we won't be here even in that state--tiny islands of green survival in a post-industrial trash heap--or it won't last for long. Are we going to expire? Or are we going to ... move on? Is this where evolution is pushing us, on principles of adaptation, mutation and natural selection that we cannot even grasp because they are cosmic-scale principles?

We might retard the deterioration of Planet Earth if we act soon, collectively, worldwide. But our problem of overpopulation is, in truth, insoluable--or rather it will solve itself by mass die-off's of human beings, if we remain confined to Earth. Can I have hit upon the truth of things--that, to evolve, we must leave--and that, if we don't, we will simply dead-end ourselves by destroying Earth?

------

*(Arthur Clarke wrote about this concept in a wonderful novel called "Childhood's End.")
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. I think we're talking similar concepts
I just think Gaia made a mistake with us ,but since the cosmos work on such a hugely different time scale, it isn't a big deal to wipe and start again. The earth has done this many times over and while it isn't likely, maybe there were other sentients who got scrapped. Unless we grow up, I think it's unkind to inflict us on the rest of the cosmos.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #19
58. +1000
As others said, please post of Opening Thread.

GE should be put to death for its design.

Can't the Japanese do as they did in Chernobyl and cover with massive amounts of cement, etc? Why let this poison into the Pacific?
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
8. I can't find anyplace where TEPCO is actually confirming that. n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Read the Kyodo News story linked in the body text (which is why I included it)
"According to TEPCO, radioactive iodine-131 amounting to 220 becquerels per cubic centimeter, cesium-134 of 88 becquerels and cesium-137 of 93 becquerels were detected in the pool water. Those substances are generated by nuclear fission."


Since you seem to need it spelled out for you:
The key words in the passage: According to TEPCO (which is the entity in question), substances detected in the pool water (at the nuclear plant in question... not a pool like a swimming pool) are the type generated by NUCLEAR FISSION (which is the FISSION of the NUCLEAR substances in question... like fuel rods)


Better now?
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fatbuckel Donating Member (518 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Not quite. Show me on this site.
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. So a news agency quoting TEPCO is not a confimation & a company press release is more valid source?
Well, using that logic, we shouldn't post any news story from any news agency, regardless of the veracity. And the Gulf of Mexico is as clean as a whistle.

Geeze... give me a break.

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fatbuckel Donating Member (518 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #12
23. That`s what I thought. And by the way, we were`nt discussing the Gulf.
All I asked is to show me where this "news agency" was quoting TEPCO. I assume that if the "news agency" is repeating the FACTS there would be a news release in existence that would serve as a quotable reference, possibly with further information. All of a sudden, we`re talking about the Gulf. And just for the record, I don`t believe that the Gulf is anywhere near clean. So,can you provide me with an official TEPCO reference or are you just trying to blow radioactive steam up peoples asses?
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fatbuckel Donating Member (518 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
28. You know what? Forget it. I`ve gotten all the info I need from other posters.
And ,yes, a company press release is a more valid source. THAT`S WHY IT`S QUOTED.
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. A) the Zero Hedge story refers to the GOM B) would you've trusted their press releases?
Here's someone with credentials (but not from TEPCO) who thinks it's a real problem...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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franzia99 Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
39. Agreed. Not exactly in TEPCO's interest to admit to anything. Their track record for honesty is
awful. This company has faked safety reports for decades.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
43. No... it's not a "confirmation"
The press release does NOT say that there is any ongoing fission or that there HAS been any in that pool at any time since the crisis began.

It says only that those are fission products... and they are.

The fission occured months ago in the core of #4.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Yeah, used fuel rods contain the substances generated by fission. Who'dve thunk it?
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 10:34 AM by muriel_volestrangler
What that means is that waste products of fission are leaking from the used fuel rods into the water. Their zirconium casing has cracked. It does not show that fission is still happening.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Last month
the presence of neutrons and Cl-isotopes were detected. You know what is the only thing that causes neutrons and Cl-isotopes? That would be fission, and Cl isotopes have a very short half life (like 37 minutes).

Lo and behold, now they might be admitting fission, but there has been some fission since this happened otherwise no one would have detected neutrons and 37 minute half-life Cl isotopes.

They are full of shit, have been full of shit, and continue to be full of shit.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. Having a half life of 37 minutes does not mean they are all gone in 74 minutes.
It doesn't work that way, nor is it that simple.

Many quantities decay in a way not described by exponential decayfor example, the evaporation of water from a puddle, or (often) the chemical reaction of a molecule. In this case, the half-life is defined the same way as before: The time elapsed before half of the original quantity has decayed. However, unlike in an exponential decay, the half-life depends on the initial quantity, and changes over time as the quantity decays.

As an example, the radioactive decay of carbon-14 is exponential with a half-life of 5730 years. A quantity of carbon-14 will decay to half of its original amount (on average) after 5730 years, regardless of how big or small the original quantity was. After another 5730 years, one-quarter of the original will remain. On the other hand, the time it will take a puddle to half-evaporate depends on how deep the puddle is. Perhaps a puddle of a certain size will evaporate down to half its original volume in one day. But by waiting a second day, there is no reason to expect that precisely one-quarter of the puddle will remain; in fact, it will probably be much less than that. This is an example where the half-life reduces as time goes on. (In other non-exponential decays, it can increase instead.)

The decay of a mixture of two or more materials that each have different half-lives is not a simple exponential, as each material decays at a rate independent of the other. Mathematically, the sum of two exponential functions is not a single exponential function. A common example of such a situation is the waste of nuclear power stations, which is a mix of substances with vastly different half-lives. Consider a sample containing a rapidly decaying element A, with a half-life of 1 second, and of slowly decaying element B, with a half-life of one year. After a few seconds, almost all atoms of element A have decayed after repeated halving of the initial total number of atoms but very few atoms of element B will have decayed yet as not even one half-life has elapsed. Thus, the mixture taken as a whole does not decay by halves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Oh for heaven's sake
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 11:18 AM by Aerows
Let's not play mathematics games. That might work for some, but it isn't going to work for people with a scientific and mathematical background. Within ten half-lives, which would be around 6 hours or 370 minutes, .01% of the original isotope would still be around LOL, if not less.

Let's not pretend that 15 *days* after this disaster started that the detected neutrons and Cl - isotopes were still around, and certainly not in the quantities detected without fission still occurring at the plant.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #15
26. The 13 instances of neutron radiation, and the CL-38, are better evidence for momentary fission
in reactor #1, which was functioning before the earthquake. See http://japanfocus.org/-Arjun-Makhijani/3509 . That, however, is not an indication that the fuel storage pool in reactor #4 is now undergoing "Uncontrolled, Open Air Fission" which is what this OP claims. The contamination of the pool water is just what you'd expect from a used fuel rod with a cracked casing, nothing more.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. TEPCO has released misleading information before
and has a strong financial motivation to minimize the severity of this incident. I don't suddenly trust them now, and neither should any thinking human being, unless they also have a vested interest in minimizing the severity of this incident.

Since we already KNOW there has been fission occurring, which your post confirms - but at the time was minimized as nothing too important by a select few posters around here, or denounced as impossible to be occurring, period - I'm going to remain dubious.

This is shades of BP all over again, only this time, the ramifications are likely to be quite a bit worse. It's the same old game - minimize to keep the public calm until you can't minimize anymore, and then the truth starts coming out that yes, it's far worse than we've been lead to believe.
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franzia99 Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. They've freaking lied for decades about safety. They can't be trusted ever.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-17/japan-s-nuclea...


The destruction caused by last weeks 9.0 earthquake and tsunami comes less than four years after a 6.8 quake shut the worlds biggest atomic plant, also run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. In 2002 and 2007, revelations the utility had faked repair records forced the resignation of the companys chairman and president, and a three-week shutdown of all 17 of its reactors.

Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismology professor at Kobe University, has said Japans history of nuclear accidents stems from an overconfidence in plant engineering. In 2006, he resigned from a government panel on reactor safety, saying the review process was rigged and unscientific.

Mitsuhiko Tanaka, 67, working as an engineer at Babcock Hitachi K.K., helped design and supervise the manufacture of a $250 million steel pressure vessel for Tokyo Electric in 1975. Today, that vessel holds the fuel rods in the core of the No. 4 reactor at Fukushimas Dai-Ichi plant, hit by explosion and fire after the tsunami.

Tanaka says the vessel was damaged in the production process. He says he knows because he orchestrated the cover-up. When he brought his accusations to the government more than a decade later, he was ignored, he says.

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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Facts? You dare post facts in a DU nuclear topics thread?
I get ridiculed and flamed for doing that. It upsets the Anti-Nukers.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. You know
I'm not an "Anti-Nuker", I am Anti-Bullshitter. Again, explain the presence of neutrons and Cl - isotopes that were detected at the end of last month if there wasn't fission.

It was denied, denied and denied, but now, information is starting dribble out that it probably IS occurring.

Sorry, but when blatant bullshit with a clear financial motive to mislead the public keeps getting revealed, I am not going to believe it anymore.

The crap they have put out is as credible as the tale that the "oily sheen floating in the Gulf" was from silt that had to be dredged up from the BOTTOM of the Mississippi River, and suddenly decided to float. Oh, a few days later, it was an oil spill.

There are FAR too many motivations to lie about the severity of this, and frankly, anyone that buys TEPCO's information without being the least bit dubious, in my opinion, has at least some vested interest for doing so. Take that however you want, but bullshit is bullshit.

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
40. No. n/t
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
16. That's the last damned place I'd want to go Fission!
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
25. We have known this for sometime now.
The radionuclides that have been detected off site from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant
are the result of a fission reaction(s). And we also have known that the "swimming pools"
that contained the used fuel rods no longer had enough water to cover them for weeks now.
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. What's really disturbing was that it doesn't take a brain surgeon to add 2 +2 together
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 11:37 AM by nc4bo
They deny or are guilty by omission. No one is that dumb.

(2)Pool of water containing spent pool rods + (2) no water = **crickets** (4?)

Yet even the media refuses to do the bloody math.

It's criminal.

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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Of course it doesn't
It's not in the best interests of the financially vested and those in the industry for anyone to report it, and the various media companies are all so deeply in bed with each other and with the financially vested that OF COURSE they don't want to discuss it.

This is BP all over again. I live on the Gulf Coast, so I know exactly how much BS they were putting out. We could SMELL oil in the air for weeks, tar balls washed up directly on the beaches here, and they were still pretending it wasn't too bad in the national media. Locally, all you had to do was take a ride in the car and see for yourself, or go outside and inhale and you knew it was horrible.

I have no doubt that TEPCO is doing the same lying/minimizing/damage control with this incident. This is what happens when wealthy corporations own the media.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #29
44. Who owns NBC? Ok 49% of it
who built the Mark I reactor now at risk?

That's is the math they are concerned with.

To expect corporate media to do that math...
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #25
45. We "know" no such thing.
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 04:49 PM by FBaggins
The radiation levels above the pool at #4 were reportedly up significantly today, but the levels were dramatically below what you would get with even a few feet of water above the fuel. It couldn't possibly be dry.

Nor would even a completely dry fuel pool end up restarting fission. It COULD melt the fuel and start a fire with a huge release of radioactive particles... but recriticality is awfully close to impossible. Not EXACTLY impossible... but close enough that you can't see the difference.

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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. Facts
w/ in 2 or 3 days of the start of the problems @ Fukushima Daiichi there was a public release of information
that spent fuel rods from the plant were kept in "the swimming pool" in the building that contained reactor
#4.

Shortly after acknowledging that spent nuclear fuel rods were being stored by reactor #4 the power company
also acknowledged that the over head lift system above the spent fuel rods was not operating @ the same time
the company also said that there was a problem with keeping enough water around the spent rods.

w/ in a week to 10 days pictures were released that showed the building for reactor # 4's roof had been compromised
.... in one picture you could see "the swimming pool."

It has been years since I studied this stuff but it makes little difference if the radionuclides get into the environment
from a fission reaction, a fuel melt down w/ or w/out a fire, or a localized critical* event ...... it is all very bad. There
is not a physicist, engineer, or nuclear power technician in the world who can tell us just what will happen because
for the most part this is like the oil leak 1 mile under the sea this is the first time these problems in these combinations
have occurred ..... we are dealing w/ a lot of unknowns here.


* Blue flashes have been seen coming from some of the reactors .... I forgot if they were seen in reactor #4.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Ok... let's discuss those facts.
Paragraph #1 - Is your point that spent fuel was in the spent fuel pool? It's also in 1,2,3,5,&6.

Paragraph #2 - Again... what's your point? That systems that require power don't work when there isn't any power? What do you think they would try to do with the lift if it HAD been working?

Paragraph #3 - Ok... you could see the pool. Anyone who wasn't legally blind could see that the roof was gone. None of this really has anything at all to do with demonstrating ongoing fission.

Paragraph #4 - Your point now is that it doesn't matter where it came from? Then what's the point of your reply?

* Blue flashes have been seen coming from some of the reactors .... I forgot if they were seen in reactor #4.

You're not going to get substantially increase the amount of these fission products in the pool with a couple milisecond criticalities.

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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. stuff
#1 I was under the impression that more used fuel rods were stored @ reactor #4 then @ other buildings ..... I think the power company
has said as much too.

#2 Well just maybe if the lift was working they could extract the used fuel rods and find another way to deal with them. I have yet to
see one press release from the power company saying that the water levels in the "swimming pool" in building #4 was at the needed
level or that the containment structure for water around the used fuels rods was intact and not damaged.

#3 the building around the reactor and the swimming polls is called a containment building .... if you can look in and see the
pool then their is a big question about containment.

#4 No it really doesn't matter how the radionuclides get into the environment because once they are in the environment then no
good @ all can come from those radionuclides being "out and about." As for if or if not those free roaming nuclear particles came as
a result of sort fission I tend to think yes because Iodine, cesium, and strontium all can be the result of fission reactions.


millisecond criticalities :rofl:

here is an example of a millisecond criticality that released a lot of fission by products.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Ww_UGCuDs&feature=rela...

and yes I know that the reactors and or spent fuel will NOT blow up like an A bomb ..... but the whole big question for the scientists
@ Los Alamos in WW II was how to achieve "critical mass" in milliseconds.

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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. Ok.
#1 - The issue with #4 is that there was more fuel that was "fresher" because the entire core had been unloaded. Usually, refeuling only removes a fraction of the fuel in the core and replaces it.

#2 Find another way to deal with them? I'm sorry... fuel that has been in an active core needs to stay in a pool for years. I don't know what "other way" could have existing. Even now it looks like months before they cobble together another way.

have yet to see one press release from the power company saying that the water levels in the "swimming pool" in building #4 was at the needed
level or that the containment structure for water around the used fuels rods was intact and not damaged.


Has anyone claimed any of that?

#3 the building around the reactor and the swimming polls is called a containment building

Not really. The part of the building around the pool just keeps out the weather. It's a pretty standard industrial structure. There isn't any "containment" of the used fuel pool. The only thing that "contains" the radiation from the used fuel is the water in the pool.

#4 - Yes, it doesn't matter where radionuclides come from. What matters is how many of them there are... and active fission creates lots more of them AND releases it's own activity AND lots more heat AND suddenly containment is an issue. But none of that has happened.

As for if or if not those free roaming nuclear particles came as a result of sort fission I tend to think yes because Iodine, cesium, and strontium all can be the result of fission reactions.

They are ALL the result of fission... but that fission occured months ago. Two of those three have half-lives in the years. Most of it will still be sitting there a few months after the reactor is shut down. Even the iodine (at these levels) doesn't mean anything because with an 8-day half-life there's still about 1/100,000th of the original amount four months later. That doesn't sound like much, but the core originally had WAY more than an amount necessary for 1/100,00th of it to produce these levels. MUCH more.

here is an example of a millisecond criticality that released a lot of fission by products

You've confused criticality with supercriticality. The kind of "blue flash" that we're talking about would be VERY dangerous if you were standing next to it... but would be only the tiniest fraction of the amount necessary to produce these levels.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
27. Every day there is another story about how things are a little worse than previously reported
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 11:33 AM by Renew Deal
Every. Single. Day.
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franzia99 Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #27
35. Nuclear industry is doing it's best to make this sound better than it is.
Independent nuclear scientists are describing this is "catastrophic" and "Chernobyl on steroids."
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
30. So what does this mean?
Is the area around contaminated for tens or hundreds of years to come?

Is this crap going in the ocean? If so, how dangerous is it for sea life, and down the chain, us?

Are our rainclouds safe? Is there a plume we need to worry about?

I keep getting different answers from different people...
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franzia99 Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
34. That's plutonium and uranium right? That stuff is AWFUL. Plutonium = half life of 25,000 years.
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 12:57 PM by franzia99
Even though link says plutonium doesn't spread well via air, the tens of thousands of tons of contaminated water could carry it here, no?


http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-plutonium-reactors-...

If plutonium did get out, it wouldn't disappear quickly. Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 25,000 years, meaning it takes that long to lose half of its radioactive potency. Uranium-235 has a half-life of 700 million years. And cesium, which tends to go airborne much more easily, has a half-life of 30 years.

Plutonium is indeed nasty stuff, especially damaging to lungs and kidneys. It is also less stable than uranium and can more easily spark a dangerous nuclear chain reaction.

But plutonium, like uranium, is a heavy element that is not easily dispersed in the air. It is the other byproducts of nuclear power generation, such as radioactive forms of cesium and iodine, that are more prone to spread and cause widespread contamination.

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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
37. But but but... Newcuelerr Power is SAFE!!!!
Propagandists are claiming fallout is just dandy cuz bananas are radioactive from potasium. (which is BS propaganda)

From suffragette;

The body regulates potassium intake and rids itself of excess.
Strontium-90 mimics calcium and can cause bone cancer.
http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products /...
Dose from Potassium-40
The dose to a typical member of the population is approximately 15-20 mrem/year due to the K-40 in the body and 10 mrem/year due to the gamma rays emitted by K-40 in the environment (primarily the soil).
The human body maintains relatively tight homeostatic control over potassium levels. This means that the consumption of foods containing large amounts of potassium will not increase the bodys potassium content. As such, eating foods like bananas does not increase your annual radiation dose. If someone ingested potassium that had been enriched in K-40, that would be another story.
http://boingboing.net/2010/08/27/bananas-are-radioact.h ...
The problem is that this system implies that all radioisotopes are created equalThat there's no difference between 520 picocuries of Potassium-40 and a similar intake of, say, radioactive iodine. And that simply isn't true. I contacted Geoff Meggitta retired health physicist, and former editor of the Journal of Radiological Protectionto find out more.
Meggitt worked for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and its later commercial offshoots for 25 years. He says there's an enormous variation in the risks associated with swallowing the same amount of different radioactive materialsand even some difference between the same dose, of the same material, but in different chemical forms.

It all depends on two factors:
1)The physical characteristics of the radioactivityi.e, What's its half-life? Is the radiation emitted alpha, beta or gamma?
2) The way the the radioactivity travels around and is taken up by the bodyi.e., How much is absorbed by the blood stream? What tissues does this specific isotope tend to accumulate in?
The Potassium-40 in bananas is a particularly poor model isotope to use, Meggitt says, because the potassium content of our bodies seems to be under homeostatic control. When you eat a banana, your body's level of Potassium-40 doesn't increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.
http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/radionuclides/strontium.htm ...
Health Effects of Strontium-90
How can strontium-90 affect people's health?
Strontium-90 is chemically similar to calcium, and tends to deposit in bone and blood-forming tissue (bone marrow). Thus, strontium-90 is referred to as a "bone seeker." Internal exposure to Sr-90 is linked to bone cancer, cancer of the soft tissue near the bone, and leukemia.
Risk of cancer increases with increased exposure to Sr-90. The risk depends on the concentration of Sr-90 in the environment, and on the exposure conditions.
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vanbean Donating Member (957 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
38. Thom Hartmann was on to this very, very early on.
He was talking about the cesium levels like the next day or so.
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Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
50. I gather we're WAY past "Top Hat", "Junk Shots", and "Top Kill" phases....
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
56. A rather interesting thing I've been doing since early on in this mess
Is watching the TEPCO presentations without sound. I did not realize that so much is communicated by their body language. I thought a clumsy American wouldn't be able to see subtle body language indicators from Japanese, but I was wrong. They've known how bad it was for quite a while. I gave them a great deal of leeway in the beginning because I knew panic wouldn't help the locals, but now they need to come clean.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. What they need to do
is apparently follow company and government policy which in turn is extremely bent toward mega corporate welfare- big picture- little picture- to the grave.

As usual the real science is speculating through the purposeful murk having to discipline itself since to challenge hard data repressed by business and political interests means they have to toe the actual lines of hard science.

So it seems, IMHO, we have an ongoing nuclear volcano where the actual concern is to measure the winds and the rads like the daily pollen count- globally. When BP spilled the oil the mechanical logic said it would take months to resolve with the crude options. Several non-occurring comforting miracles later that happened while the damage and restitution drama continued in an angry fog where truth was the first, but not the only, victim. The endgame of putting some debatable cap on the volcano whose "lava" will still be moving around uncontrollably is when? The damage done and where and to whom is what? And the question of investing in long term inherently globally perilous energy supplies is still debated- why?

Rational suicide- the art of the possible.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 05:08 AM
Response to Original message
61. unrec for zero hedge
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