Criticality

Ignoramus11979 wrote:


I don't see much of any scenario that would put more than a tiny fraction of a percent of that material into the environment. Yep, there is a lot of material at the site, and it will almost certainly remain at the site.

The problem is certainly continuing, how encouraging or not is somewhat unclear. The report I heard indicates that Tokyo Electric is honest / reputable, so the information from them is reliable, but they are very bureaucratic so the information is a bit slow in getting out.

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-0700 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Why do you say that?
    Even if they have a complete melt down, it still would seem to be a good place to site a power plant.

    Not to mention a government which is also borrowed to the hilt.
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pyotr filipivich
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pyotr filipivich wrote:

Cleanup and the way they will decomission the existing plant and equipment. This site is going to end up as a series of giant steel and concrete sarcophagus's. The entire area is apparently now suffering real contamination.

--
John R. Carroll

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Beyond which, it's already proven (and should have been obvious in the planning stages) to be an unsuitable site due to susceptibility to tsunami, which are a fact of life very much in the "when not if" category for the area that should have been planned around, but evidently were not. It's not like there's not going to be another earthquake - there have been hundreds in the week, several of which would rate more mention (6's and 7's) if there had not just been a much bigger one. When you sit on a plate boundary, earthquakes are not optional.
Mind you, the sedimentation folks have gathered plenty of evidence that much of the US West coast is also built on an optimistic assumption that the big waves that have come there before won't come again.
Having a big one does not mean there will never be another big one.
When (not if) the New Madrid fault decides to crank again like it did in 1811-12 there will be a big mess to clean up in the heartland. Whole lot of not-seismically-aware construction in range of that sucker.
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Ecnerwal wrote:

Recall that this site has six units and only three are in trouble. I see no reason why they would scrap three entirely useable units, which I believe are also much newer. Two of the three units in trouble were apparently scheduled to be decommissioned this year anyway. Certainly the backup generators need to be relocated inland a couple miles and feed the plant via a well hardened service tunnel, but that's not a big deal. The rest of the plant doesn't seem to have had much issue from the tsunami.
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Pete C. wrote:

It's now four of them. Pete and the winds are due to change over the weekend.0
In one unit, the torus at the bottom of the reactor vessel is kaput and the reactor vessel is cracked and leaking. The hard gamma is pretty fierce and will irradiate the entire site. It's also on fire.
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John R. Carroll





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-0700 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Ah. I see. Okay, well all I'll say is that I'll schedule a reminder to check again in a couple years to see how it turns out.
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pyotr filipivich
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pyotr filipivich wrote:

There are three? reactors at the site that I believe were shutdown for maintenance prior to the quake and are doing just fine. Certainly these will receive extensive inspections before they are brought back online, but I don't see any reason they couldn't come back online. I believe those units are also newer, and two of the units having problems were scheduled for decommissioning this year anyway.

The costs of rebuilding everything that is just plain gone due to the tsunami, and repairing all the damage further inland is what will be the bulk of the cost, and it will indeed be staggering since that was a very densely built area for the most part.
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    That's "infrastructure cost" - roads, bridges and the like - which is normally paid for by a Government project. Usually bonds, or other borrowing. But as I understand it, Japan has "maxed out" their credit, so, where they are going to get all the billions of Yen to pay for the rebuilding, is a good question.
tschus pyotr
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pyotr filipivich
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pyotr filipivich wrote:

Japan's public debt as a percentage of GDP is pretty high but they are a long way from "maxing out" anything. They have tremendous wealth and a lot of savings in addition to large amounts of foriegn investment that can be repatriated. A big bunch of infrastructure would actually be good for their economy.
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on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 23:11:09 -0600

It will be ironic, in a good way, if forced spending and investment force the Japanese economy out of its liquidity trap, and the doldrums. It could be something like WWII was for the US.
I'm not placing any bets, but it could wind up energizing their economy.
--
Ed Huntress



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Ed Huntress wrote:

It almost certainly will but Japan faces two issues that will tell the tale. The Japanese population is aging out of the work force. With little immigration and a negative birth rate, their population is declining.
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-0700 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Has been since 2005 (iirc). that was the first year (outside of the war years) when more people died, than were born in Japan.
    Japan in 1945 "only" had human capital. A relatively young labor force, and not much else. I think Honda got his start selling salvaged engines attached to bicycles... But in 2011 - the Japanese population is older, and declining. Not a good thing.
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pyotr filipivich
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Ed Huntress wrote:

That's like saying it's a good thing that your house burned down.... If you had a heap of insurance and the house needed a whole bunch of repairs it might be a good thing but some of your family may have died in the fire.
John
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on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 23:11:09 -0600

It sure isn't a choice one would make to re-vitalize their economy. But WWII got us out of the Depression. That was an unintended consequence, too.
I'm loathe to talk about this too much because I think the focus should be on the human agony faced by the Japanese, and what we can do to help. But, as I said, it's an ironic angle on the whole thing.
--
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Well, there's also the question of where the rebuilding will be - right back in the same zones so it can happen again the next time, or with some thought to next time and some new agricultural land (or other thing that does not mind flooding too much) where things got wiped out, and facilities that really need to be right on the water on adequate stilts?
I'm sickened by the behavior of people in the US who build on barrier islands (that's "big, shifting sandbar" and an utterly unsuitable place to put anything that's not on wheels or disposable) and keep rebuilding in the same spot courtesy of federal flood insurance, treating each entirely credible, normal storm and its utterly normal sand movement as "incredible"...
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wrote:

'Don't know. Nuke and structural engineers are needed for that.

Me, too, although I think that federal assistance for flood insurance on barrier islands came to an end with a bill passed by Congress in 1981. I think it was for new construction, though, and that existing homes could still get it. I don't know the status of it today. I remember the year because it was the year my parents moved to a new house on Long Beach Island in NJ. I used to bitch at them for it but it was nice to have a place at the beach that my wife and I didn't have to pay for. d8-(
--
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I think they will rebuild in place, but with far stronger structures, for lack of any other suitable place - it's not like there is any unused land in Japan.
To put a scale on this, the affected area is the coastline from Sendai to Tokyo, about 200 miles, by 2 to 5 miles inland (judging by published maps). This is somewhere between 200 and 1000 square miles of densely populated land that just got scoured clean.
In US terms, this would be equivalent to the coast from Northern NJ to Boston being scoured clean. Equivalent in land area, but the population density in Japan is a factor higher.

I don't care if people want to build on picturesque sandbars. I just don't want to pay for the required periodic replacement.
In the Boston area, we have plenty of rich old Yankees, and they love their beachfront property that has been in the family since the Mayflower. But those Yankees do understand - many of their fortunes were built as shipowners and merchants. The houses are cheaply (for them) built and furnished, in the full expectation that there will be major damage every twenty years or so.
Joe Gwinn
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    There is a big difference between the fallout from an atomic bomb which did not touch the ground, and a "surface" burst where the fireball is in contact with the surface.
    Both of which are a complete different situation from a nuclear power plant suffering a reactor fire (where the fuel roads are burning), as well as a complete loss of containment at all levels. It may not be a "wasteland for 10,000 years" but it will be some place you won't want to stay long.
tschus pyotr
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pyotr filipivich
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This surface burst site is a tourist attraction: http://www.atomictourist.com/trinity.htm
jsw
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