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Passions in Poetry

Oil well, well, well....

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since 07-30-2010
Posts 348

100 posted 03-19-2011 07:11 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

I almost forgot.

To give a  bit of perspective regarding the safety record of nuclear plants and the comparison of the number of nuclear accidents per nuclear plant. If you applied that same ratio to commercial airline flights, you'd expect 1072 crashes per day.

Does that sound safe?
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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101 posted 03-20-2011 09:48 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


So why is Libya back on the front page?

“It is looking increasingly clear that the death toll will top 20,000 people at least, our correspondent says.”

Killed by?

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860

102 posted 03-20-2011 07:03 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Mostly, in fact overwhelmingly, by the tidal waves and the earthquakes, John.  If you believe I suggested anything else, please accept my apologies.  I don't and never did mean to suggest such a thing.  The effects of the "accidents" in Japan, however, are extremely difficult to assess at this point, and they were only a few days ago raised to level 5, the same level of severity as that of the Three Mile Island release.  If you'll remember, there was a limited release of radioactive gas from that plant, while in this case there were multiple out-gassings, and in this case there have been multiple partial core meltdowns.  

     I believe for that reason that we have not had a transparent release of information in regard to these Japanese releases and accidents.  Reports on Face The Nation today say that there have been readings of radioactivity in drinking water now in Tokyo.  Evacuation of most of the population within a 20 km. radius of the site may have limited casualties as well, one may hope.  If you would suggest that the lack of reported casualties at this point means that there will be none, I can only say that I hope you are right.

     Then I would ask you as a medical man if your recommendation is that the Japanese should make no plans for dealing with possible future casualties from radiation exposure or other unforeseen side-effects from the nuclear accidents at these plants?  If that is the case, which double blind research studies would you cite to back up your recommendations?

     Having had "harmless" radiation therapy to shrink troublesome adenoids when I was a young boy, and consequently having to have regular thyroid tests ever since, I remain skeptical of scientific and medical claims about the safety of radiation in doses above that of background radiation.  Uncas' comments about the safety of nuclear power seem appropriate to me, and seem to an excellent reply to figures and facts supplied by Ringo.

     These are indeed accurate facts and figures, simply facts and figures whose implications had not been thought through before they were presented.  Nor had the potential consequences of any single failure been thought through, considering the potential consequences could run into the hundreds of thousands or millions of people and the essential destruction of massive amounts of potential farmland and other possible resources.

     I am not in favor of petrochemicals as an alternative.  We have more important uses for petrochemicals.  I see burning petrochemicals as analogous to burning money for fuel.  We need petrochemicals for medicines and for plastics.
serenity blaze
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103 posted 03-23-2011 10:09 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

To get back to the topic? I remember asking if we couldn't just give it some time, and no sooner than I asked that the coast of Louisiana was stunned when yet another oil spill came in with the tide:

The local news tonight indicates that the source seems to be from a Houston based company...

small potatoes, I guess, but I wasn't sure if you'd heard about it Mike.

*shaking my head*

bad news everywhere
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334

104 posted 03-24-2011 12:21 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Three lessons from Japan’s nuclear crisis

“First the president needs to make clear where America’s electricity is going to come from and why. His current energy plan relies on a phase-out of coal-fired power to be replaced with about 100 new nuclear plants. Coal is to be phased out because the administration says it contributes to global warming. Nuclear power does not, so case closed. However, now people are scared about the potential dangers from nuclear plants (despite the highly unusual circumstances at Fukushima) probably more than those from potential global warming. What does this mean for the president’s energy policy?
The president and his energy secretary, Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, have to make the case for nuclear now, with all the authority they can muster. Without this vigorous defense of nuclear, the Obama energy plan will have a massive hole at its core - one that cannot be filled by wind and solar power any more than it can be filled by fairy dust. The obvious answer is for the administration to stop its war on coal, but that is unlikely. The only other plausible choice is natural gas, derived by hydraulic fracturing - a procedure that environmentalists are already trying to ban. If they want to keep their plan going in any workable form, the president and Mr. Chu need to tell Americans unequivocally where their future power is going to come from, and push back against ideological environmentalists who are trying to ban practical sources of energy.

Second, the president must reinstate funding for Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility and demand that Congress go along.  . . .”

Third and finally, the president must start his building program now, by significantly reducing the amount of time needed to clear regulatory hurdles. Most of the Fukushima plant’s problems resulted from an outdated design. America has not finished a new nuclear power plant since 1996, but that was a plant for which construction began in 1973. All of our nuclear plants, to put it bluntly, are past their sell-by date.” isis/#

Good luck with that . . .


Bob K
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105 posted 03-25-2011 08:19 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     How much advice do you feel it appropriate to take from Reverend Sun Yung Moon?
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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106 posted 03-26-2011 08:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Also, for what it's worth, the Norwegian company the Department of energy hired to do an analysis of the Gulp of Mexico (bad pun on porpose)  BP oil Fiasco  reported its findings.  When Rachel Maddow reported the findings of the report, The Department of Energy called her up and complained, loudly.  She said that the Blow-out Preventer was inherently flawed, according to the DOE's own investigative report, and that they did not work.  The big advances in technology that were supposed to have been in place to prevent further blow outs did not in fact exist.

     While further regulations were in place, further regulations could not make a badly designed piece of equiptment suddenly start to work, when it didn't work to begin with.  Gee.

     Five permits had been granted by the department of Energy for deep sea drilling in the meantime under pressure, one might assume, from the Oil Companies and the Republican Party.  In checking the date of the emergency reaction plan for the drilling application for the company in question — whose stock is apparently owned, at least in excess of 46% that stock, at any rate, by BP — it turned out the reaction plan was dated September 2009.  This means that none of the "lessons learned" from the 2010 oil disaster could have possibly been incorporated in it.  Thank you very much DOE.  Thank you very very much BP.

     Thank you very very very much Republican party.  Drill baby Drill.  Blame the other guy, and pocket the difference.  Responsible capitalism is working hard to appear at least to be a contradiction in terms.  Nor an I entirely thrilled by the Government agency that seems to have caved to political pressure to allow this to happen.  
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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107 posted 03-28-2011 01:12 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     And yes, killed by the earth quake, and killed by the tidal wave, John.  You have a right to a clear answer.

     On the other hand, on March 25th, on Maddow, a Princeton Physicist reported that the radiation release had hit 20% of the Chernobyl release, mostly out to sea, and mostly covering a very narrow swathe of ground to the North east (I think east) of the plant.  In a cost cutting measure, three times the number of expended fuel rods that were supposed to have been stored in the storage pool outside reactor number 3 had in fact been stored there, for some reason above the containment vessel.  Seawater was being hosed on these rods, but they were not being covered, and it was thought that the sea water had boiled off.  The salt has apparently formed a crust on these rods and is preventing appropriate cooling from going on.  Water in Tokyo is not safe to drink.  It seems likely that there is a crack in the wall of the containment vessel, though at what level, it is uncertain.  One official of the power company apparent stated that the thing was about cracks was that they tended not to get smaller.

     While reactor number three was stocked with Plutonium enriched reactor rods at about 6% plutonium as opposed to most of the other rods at 1% Plutonium, the Princeton Physicist said that this was apparently not a matter of concern.  I found this somewhat reassuring.  I was also somewhat reassured to hear that the reports of radiation levels of 10,000 times normal levels in puddles found outside reactor number three were actually misreadings and that the actual readings were much (an unspecified amount) lower.

     Reports of the possibilities of the use of Thorium Reactors sounded much more encouraging, since the reactions sounded much more controllable.  I wait more data on this with considerable interest.

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860

108 posted 04-12-2011 12:57 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

This is the text from an article in the 4/11/11 Washington Post:  

Japan rates nuclear crisis at highest severity level
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By Chico Harlan, Monday, April 11, 10:22 PM
TOKYO — Japanese authorities raised Tuesday their rating of the severity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis to the highest level on an international scale, equal to that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Weigh InCorrections?


Gallery: Life after Chernobyl: The explosion that struck 25 years ago this month at Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident, set in motion a major undertaking that today bears on the life of the entire country of Ukraine.
More On This Story

Scientists: Japan quake may lead to more seismic trouble
Another aftershock rattles Japan
Japan’s Sendai earthquake: One month later
Japan rates nuclear crisis at highest level
Officials with Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission reclassified the ongoing emergency from level 5, an “accident with off-site risk,” to level 7, a “major accident.” The reassessment comes at a time when the International Atomic Energy Agency says the plant is showing “early signs of recovery” but still in a critical condition.

The plant’s debilitated reactors face constant threat of strong aftershocks, and the latest on Tuesday morning — a 6.2-magnitude temblor — caused a brief fire at a water sampling facility near Daiichi’s No. 4 reactor. The Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the power plant, said that the critical process used to cool the hot fuel rods had not been interrupted, and radiation levels showed no signs of change.

A level 7 accident, according to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, is typified by a “major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects.”

Previously only Chernobyl had been given a 7 rating. The 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania was rated a level 5 incident.

Radiation leaking from Fukushima Daiichi amounts to about 10 percent of that from the Chernobyl accident, a Nuclear Safety Commission official, who was not named, said on national television.

Nonetheless, the crisis has prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands who live within 19 miles of the plant. Japan’s government had initially called for a mandatory evacuation within a 12-mile radius. But Japan on Monday widened its evacuation zone, selecting certain towns within 19 miles — those with higher radiation readings — for mandatory evacuation.

According to the Kyodo news agency, Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission reported Monday that the plant, at one point after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, had been releasing 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactivity per hour. The report did not specify when those radiation readings occurred. A release of tens of thousands of terabecquerels per hour, though, correspondents with the radiation leakage level that the IAEA uses as a minimum benchmark for a level 7 accident.

“This corresponds to a large fraction of the core inventory of a power reactor, typically involving a mixture of short- and long-lived radionuclides,” an IAEA document says. “With such a release, stochastic health effects over a wide area, perhaps involving more than one country, are expected.”
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