Japan Disaster

Category archives for Japan Disaster

Things at Fukushima are about as interesting as they’ve ever been. We want to talk about specific problems at the reactor site, with radioactive material, cooling systems, etc. but first a few words about things happening more broadly, beginning with the largest and work towards the smallest scale. Everything we discuss here is based on…

In the old days this was easy. The power plants were melting down but no one knew what was going on inside them; Water was being poured in and cooking off as steam, and every now and then the way they were getting the water in or the way they were powering the pumps would…

The International Atomic Energy Association issued its last report on Fukushima on June 2nd and appears to not be keeping their web site up to date any more. This is the last time I’ll be checking with them unless I hear otherwise. The email scandal reported last time continues “Analysts say the scandal reflects panic…

The Fukushima Update #30 has been translated into German. So if German is your preferred language, you can go read it here. Thanks Frank Braun for the translation.

Perhaps the most interesting single thing on the table in today’s update is the revelation that at least one of Fukushima’s reactors suffered sufficient damage from the earthquake that hit the region … prior to the tsunami … to have likely gone out of control or melted down. This is hard to assess because the…

Much of the current news is about exposure and fallout. As a point of information, the Sievert is a unit of “dose equivliant” from exposure to ionizing radiation. It was designed to indicate relative levels of biological effects on living organisms. This measurement technique attempts to take into account the fact that radiation is absorbed…

There is an increase in reports of activity of scientists studying the extent and impacts of radiation spilled or otherwise transferred into the ocean from Fukushima. TEPCO, in the meantime, seems to have a need to put a lot more water, possibly decontaminated to some degree, into the sea. Similarly, there is a plan afoot…

A Tale of Two Towers

We often drive on a stretch of Minnesota State Route 10 that runs from Elk River to Big Lake and eventually to a point past Saint Cloud that takes about an hour to drive on a normal day, and we see trains. The railroad track runs along this route, and during the hour it takes…

In terms of radiation fallout Fukushima is said to be approaching Chernobyl by at least certain measures, and the potential for Fukushima to be worse in terms of total radioactive material released is very real. However, the two disasters really can’t be compared sensibly because the circumstances of release, and the potential effects, are very…

Even as the situation at the troubled Fukushima Nuclear Reactors … well, remains troubled … the post-game analysis of what went wrong and what could have been done better develops. It is becoming clear that the plant had no real plan for the event of a tsunami even though it was built at an elevation…