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Possible Airflow

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Possible Airflow

Comments for: Possible Airflow
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 07:38AM

That is one possibility. Hopefully another possibility will occur Where Korea and China get it.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 07:53AM

And why's that? Why would that be a good thing?

Personally I'm more inclined to hope there's no meltdown, but maybe I'm just not bigoted enough
BlahX3 Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 10:37AM

The radiation would have to propelled into the upper atmosphere in order to be carried that far.
commoto Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 11:49AM

This is the information accompanying that graphic. The experience of Chernobyl would seem to indicate the graphic is way overblown, or there will be no survivors on the whole western seaboard:
80-120 rads - You have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausia for a few days

130 -170 rads - You have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms

180-220 rads - You have a 50% chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects

270-330 rads - 20% chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.

400-500 rads - 50% chance of death

550-750 rads - Nausea within a few hours ; no survivors

> 1000 rads - immediate incapacitation and death within a week or less.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 12:04PM

I tend to take the middle ground here. I doubt if the Japanese government is telling the true magnitude of the problem but I also believe the threat, at least to the U.S., is probably minimal or non existant. I think more harm would have come from the above ground nuclear tests of the 1950's throwing fallout high into the atmosphere where it would have been spread further and more quickly.
Onyma Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 12:20PM

Great, just when I'm going to be in Vancouver for 3 weeks in April smiling
smiley I agree, the graphic is way overblown. There isn't that much nuclear material there to start and meltdowns are by definition, MELT downs. They don't explode. The problem is the explosions caused by pressure venting oxygen and hydrogen. Those explosions cause the reactor damage that causes the meltdown. A meltdown is literally the reactor core turning into a pile of molten material that forms a big hot puddle. You don't want to go anywhere near it but it doesn't miraculously propel itself into the atmosphere.
Mach Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 03:44PM

Good point, MELT downs, but what about the ocean, it would seem like it would continuously drift around killing shit.
Onyma Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 09:19PM

The ocean wouldn't be the worst outcome. The core material is all forms of metal so it would sink. We presently use large "swimming pools" of water to insulate radioactive material right now so a radiation source at the bottom of the ocean would not pose a lot of immediate threat. It would leave some residual radiation in the water though so you would want to get down there and pick up the material at some point. Upside is it would cool down and solidify very quickly.
Mach Report This Comment
Date: March 15, 2011 11:35PM

People that make a living from those waters are going to be screwed big time.

By the way, some of you around here have been bitching for radioactive energy here in the US for years... dumb-asses! (*finger*)

Firm hot smiley
Mach Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 02:00AM


More Trouble From a Crippled Nuke Plant
Posted by Lew Rockwell on March 15, 2011 05:46 PM

Writes Jay Roberts:

Although I’m in the U.S. at the moment, my family remains in Osaka. FWIW, as a submarine officer, I went to the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power training and then operated naval reactors. Following this, I worked in the commercial nuclear power industry for a couple of years and then moved on to software development. While my motivations would require a long explanation, let’s just say I’m neither a booster nor an opponent of the technology but I do have a pretty clear eyed view of reactor operations and what people do in crises.

I was pretty comfortable with the Fukushima situation for the first few days. If anything, the fact that they still maintained their integrity after an epic quake and tsunami is a testament to the design margins built into western reactors. However, two recent bits of news really gave me pause.

The first was the fire caused by low water levels in the spent fuel pool in Unit 4, which was shut down and defueled for maintenance. Normally, there would be all sorts of alarms about this, but with electricity gone, one would send people around to check on things. And with a plant defueled like Unit 4, the first thing one would want to check would be the spent fuel pool.

This is not to suggest malfeasance though — rather, that the people on site are completely overwhelmed by events to the extent that they can’t even spare somebody to go take a look at the fuel pool in Unit 4. One wonders what else may be going unnoticed.

The second item was that the staffing on site was down to 50 people. Even under normal operations, this is a small fraction, but in an emergency, where all power and indications (gauges/alarms) are lost, it is in effect throwing one’s hands up in the air. This was about 24 hours ago when I read this stuff at which point I told my wife she should tell her sister-in-law to take her kids, get out of Tokyo as a precaution. It is an excellent time to visit grandma.

My opinion was confirmed with the recent suggestion of using helicopters to dump stuff on the reactors, which is clearly well beyond the point of utter desperation in nuclear ops. If one recalls, this is what the Soviets resorted to at Chernobyl, shoveling boron out of helicopters into the smoking morass. Several days ago, discussing this incident with friends, I said that when they start talking about helicopters, that is when the situation is officially out of control.

This all being said, there are still some positive shreds of hope.

The first is that time is on everyone’s side. The more time that passes without devolution into catastrophe the less likely it is to happen. The residual fission products that cause the heat in fuel rods decay quickly, by orders of magnitude over the days following a plant shutdown.

The second is that this is not Chernobyl. Chernobyl used a graphite moderated design that was well understood in the west to be extremely dangerous and had been abandoned after the Windscale incident. Similarly, there was no containment structure. This comparison is not apt.

The third is that western reactors were built with huge design margins. Back in the 60′s, they didn’t have cheap computing power, so they would figure out the numbers on a slide rule, then multiply everything by 4 when designing a critical component. I was involved in reanalyzing a lot of reactor design in the early 90′s when we had relatively powerful PCs with which we could do a more extensive analysis; everywhere we looked we found huge, unbelievable design margins. So while things aren’t looking so great at Fukushima, one can be assured that there is a great deal of ruin in a typical western reactor.

The bad part is that this stout design is all we really have to rely on any more at the moment. With reactor buildings in shambles, high radiation levels, no power, etc., there truly is little way to figure out what is going on inside these reactors to the extent necessary to take actions. And even if this knowledge were available, the ability to take action at the moment is nearly nil — after explosions and tsunamis and fires, simply identifying which valves/systems/controls are which is probably an enormous task, and the consequences of making a mistake are dire.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 03:37AM

I did a tour of Chernobyl in 2004. Was an amazing experience, hearing about the effects and what transpired. I too felt worried when the talk of helicopters dumping came up however as stated above the design of this plant is so completely different, so much better, Chernobyl would've collapsed entirely days ago if they were the same.

Time will tell what the ultimate damage is, however the more time that passes the less chance of problems there is.
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 07:27AM

The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki casue no problems in the US from fallout and this meltdown seems as though it would have to become much worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki to get enough contaminated material more than 7 mile in the air to hit the jet stream and stay together long enough to reach the US. Doom and gloom predictions for the US is premature. Even if the map is correct there is nothing we can do to prevent it from happening so why run around in a panic. Even if the end of life on Earth were going to end , in say 2012, there would be nothing we can do about it so why panic and cry over it. There is no way we can build a protective bubble around the US so wringing our hands and worrying over it will do us no good. Just go about our lives and live as full a life as we can until the day we do finally die is all we can do.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 08:49AM

The events in Japan indeed seem frightening and certainly give great pause to what may or may not occur. That having been said it seems the Japanese people have the most to risk/fear in all this.

A nuclear explosion is really not in the cards though radioactive contamination, though likely mostly highly localized, seems like a reasonable and looming result of the reactor containment structures failures.

While this doesn't paint a rosy picture for the future of the hundreds of thousands if not millions of local people in the area of the reactors as they could well be displaced from their homes for an indeterminate period of time, it seems this as well as the radioactive contamination of the area will be the most likely result.

What I've heard of TEPCOs history in regards to previous safety procedure and radioactive discharge events doesn't evoke a lot of faith in their abilities at containing this disaster but I also think they're being counseled by some of the top people in the industry now, which is a good thing.

The Japanese people have once again shown the high caliber of their societal makeup and have handled this huge disaster far better than many other places in the world would in the face of such a multifaceted disaster scenario.

My heart and thoughts go out to the Japanese people. Though they are a strong and stoic people, this is a disaster more dire than any people on earth living in such a densely industrialized/populated area have faced in modern history and they can use all the help they can get.

Onyma Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 02:42PM

I'm just adding these two links regarding nuclear safety... they speak for themselves.


Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 06:37PM

Onyma, those links are great, informative and .... totally irrelevant in this case.

Never in the history of nuclear energy production has a 40yr old facility been forced to deal with the effects of a 9.0 earthquake, much less one quickly followed by a horrendous tsunami.

The facility lost its power, its emergency power which means they also lost control of necessary cooling functions for the reactors which has led to what they are seeing today: failure of the secondary containment structures, possible failures of one or more of the primary containment structures and melt downs of not just one, but multiple reactors and the loss/failure of every piece of equipment necessary to even monitor what's goin on in the reactor cores!

We have yet to see, much less know, what will be the real outcome in terms of nuclear contamination, radiation sickness on the population and surrounding area, so the jury is still out, not even mentioning the all too obvious reality which is they don't even have the situation under control yet.

Basing the possible outcome of what could occur in this instance on data regarding plants that never had to face this awful set of circumstances is totally irrelevant winking

Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 08:29PM

"The situation at the crippled nuclear plant in Japan grows more dire as the U.S. nuclear agency chief says there is no more water in the spent fuel pool at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, where unexplained white smoke is pouring from the complex. "There is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures," Jaczko said at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. "Without water, there's nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down."

"Japan's nuclear safety agency and Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the complex, deny water is gone from the pool. Utility spokesman Hajime Motojuku said the "condition is stable" at Unit 4."

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Wednesday that three reactors had partially melted down. Yukiya Amano, the head of the nuclear watchdog agency, says he plans on going to Japan as soon as possible.

When asked if events were out of control, he answered: "It is difficult to say."

^^^^^ Not exactly a picture that inspires overall confidence ^^^^
woberto Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 10:26PM

While we are all being experts, I would like to agree that this diagramme is total crap. There would have to be a nuclear explosion to have this effect. Also the wind pattern is incorrect and I have studied that in the past so I'm confident of that.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 16, 2011 11:15PM

I'm certainly no expert but listening to those who are does not paint a rosy view of what's unfolding there. And, to further qualify my position, I'm also not an opponent of nuclear power generation.

My point was simply that attempting to apply historic info on nuclear powers previous safety record to a case so far removed from any event yet encountered is pretty non-sequitur in this instance winking

I also agree with woberto in believing the above representation is severely flawed too winking

jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 17, 2011 07:53AM

Why is there not much comparison between the fallout of this and bombs dropped on Japan or even the above ground tests run during the development of the A bomb? Why are people panicking in the US over this? I think we are getting more radiation when we break a bone than we will from this disaster in Japan.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: March 18, 2011 07:19AM

Because Americans are inherently scared? smiling
BlahX3 Report This Comment
Date: March 18, 2011 01:22PM

You'd probably be a little more concerned if Oz was potentially downwind from Japan.
BlahX3 Report This Comment
Date: March 18, 2011 01:24PM

I don't think people in the US are panicking over this in general. The media hypes it up.
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: March 18, 2011 03:37PM

only 10 g's!

that's canadian g's ^^^^^

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/03/2011 03:41PM by fossil_digger.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 18, 2011 05:22PM

An interesting article I came across yesterdee:

A Glowing Report on Radiation

By Ann Coulter (Archive) · Thursday, March 17, 2011

With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.

This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.

As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level -- much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government -- radiation is good for you. "They theorize," the Times said, that "these doses protect against cancer by activating cells' natural defense mechanisms."

Among the studies mentioned by the Times was one in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population.

And there are lots more!

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Isn't that just incredible? I mean, that the Department of Energy spent $10 million doing something useful? Amazing, right?

In 1983, a series of apartment buildings in Taiwan were accidentally constructed with massive amounts of cobalt 60, a radioactive substance. After 16 years, the buildings' 10,000 occupants developed only five cases of cancer. The cancer rate for the same age group in the general Taiwanese population over that time period predicted 170 cancers.

The people in those buildings had been exposed to radiation nearly five times the maximum "safe" level according to the U.S. government. But they ended up with a cancer rate 96 percent lower than the general population.

Bernard L. Cohen, a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, compared radon exposure and lung cancer rates in 1,729 counties covering 90 percent of the U.S. population. His study in the 1990s found far fewer cases of lung cancer in those counties with the highest amounts of radon -- a correlation that could not be explained by smoking rates.

Tom Bethell, author of the "Politically Incorrect Guide to Science," has been writing for years about the beneficial effects of some radiation, or "hormesis." A few years ago, he reported on a group of scientists who concluded their conference on hormesis at the University of Massachusetts by repairing to a spa in Boulder, Mont., specifically in order to expose themselves to excess radiation.

At the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine in Boulder, people pay $5 to descend 85 feet into an old mining pit to be irradiated with more than 400 times the EPA-recommended level of radon. In the summer, 50 people a day visit the mine hoping for relief from chronic pain and autoimmune disorders.

Amazingly, even the Soviet-engineered disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 can be directly blamed for the deaths of no more than the 31 people inside the plant who died in the explosion. Although news reports generally claimed a few thousand people died as a result of Chernobyl -- far fewer than the tens of thousands initially predicted -- that hasn't been confirmed by studies.

Indeed, after endless investigations, including by the United Nations, Manhattan Project veteran Theodore Rockwell summarized the reports to Bethell in 2002, saying, "They have not yet reported any deaths outside of the 30 who died in the plant."

Even the thyroid cancers in people who lived near the reactor were attributed to low iodine in the Russian diet -- and consequently had no effect on the cancer rate.

Meanwhile, the animals around the Chernobyl reactor, who were not evacuated, are "thriving," according to scientists quoted in the April 28, 2002 Sunday Times (UK).

Dr. Dade W. Moeller, a radiation expert and professor emeritus at Harvard, told The New York Times that it's been hard to find excess cancers even from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, particularly because one-third of the population will get cancer anyway. There were about 90,000 survivors of the atomic bombs in 1945 and, more than 50 years later, half of them were still alive. (Other scientists say there were 700 excess cancer deaths among the 90,000.)

Although it is hardly a settled scientific fact that excess radiation is a health benefit, there's certainly evidence that it decreases the risk of some cancers -- and there are plenty of scientists willing to say so. But Jenny McCarthy's vaccine theories get more press than Harvard physics professors' studies on the potential benefits of radiation. (And they say conservatives are anti-science!)

I guess good radiation stories are not as exciting as news anchors warning of mutant humans and scary nuclear power plants -- news anchors who, by the way, have injected small amounts of poison into their foreheads to stave off wrinkles. Which is to say: The general theory that small amounts of toxins can be healthy is widely accepted --except in the case of radiation.

Every day Americans pop multivitamins containing trace amount of zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, boron -- all poisons.

They get flu shots. They'll drink copious amounts of coffee to ingest a poison: caffeine. (Back in the '70s, Professor Cohen offered to eat as much plutonium as Ralph Nader would eat caffeine -- an offer Nader never accepted.)

But in the case of radiation, the media have Americans convinced that the minutest amount is always deadly.

Although reporters love to issue sensationalized reports about the danger from Japan's nuclear reactors, remember that, so far, thousands have died only because of Mother Nature. And the survivors may outlive all of us over here in hermetically sealed, radiation-free America.

jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 19, 2011 07:12AM

Sounds to me like that report by Ann Colter was just designed to alleviate the concern over the radiation drifting to the US from Japan, probably no truth in it at all. I see no reason for the concern anyway but some people seem to want to panic over anything.
Mach Report This Comment
Date: March 19, 2011 03:12PM

jgoins Wrote:
> Sounds to me like that report by Ann Colter was
> just designed to alleviate the concern over the
> radiation drifting to the US from Japan, probably
> no truth in it at all. I see no reason for the
> concern anyway but some people seem to want to
> panic over anything.

Like "terrorism" huh.
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 20, 2011 06:19AM

Not like terrorism. The drifting radiation is controlled by nature and physics, terrorism is wholly controlled by man, insanely religious and fanatical men. Terrorism will revisit our shores sooner or later.
woberto Report This Comment
Date: March 20, 2011 06:44AM

There is a stereotype of the "stoopid American" which I enjoy but at the same time can easily disprove.
However I am reconsidering my stance now that I have heard of a spate of hospital admissions due to iodine poisoning.
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 21, 2011 06:49AM

Just chicken sh*ts taking too much anti radiation medication.
BlahX3 Report This Comment
Date: March 24, 2011 12:37AM

jgoins Report This Comment
Date: March 24, 2011 07:26AM

Well it has been several days since this projected outcome was to come to pass. Is anyone out there sick or dying from radiation? How about the poster of this, are you sick? Just more doom and gloom one would be better off posting about the end of days in 2012 at least it is far enough away to prevent immediate fraud exposure.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 09:01AM

Not like terrorism. The drifting radiation is controlled by nature and physics, terrorism is wholly controlled by man, insanely religious and fanatical men. Terrorism will revisit our shores sooner or later.

Which one was Timothy McVeigh? Insanely religious or fanatical?

And what do you mean "revisit [your] shores"? Most of your terrorist attacks were planned and carried out by Americans on American soil....


Frankly if I were an American I'd be more worried about being shot at school (or choking on a bee) than being involved in a terrorist attack.

Anyway, can't help but notice the entire world isn't dead from this radiation leak yet.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31/03/2011 09:03AM by pulse.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 01:47PM

Nope, the world iddn dead yet though it's entirely likely there will be worker/aid deaths attributed to the still downwardly spiraling situation in Japan. Seems even the best and brightest have about decided it's all over but the cryin for the power plant.

And .... anyone continuing to deny there will be serious radioactive contamination of the surrounding area is all too likely in serious denial of the obvious if not already about brain dead so (*facepalm*)

BTW .... I think domestic terrorists have a long way to go to exceed the 3000+ that died on 9-11 pulse winking

pulse Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 04:45PM

9/11, for one event; sure, devestating in its effect.

Over the course of your history though... Americans really have been your own worst enemies. My point was regarding jgoins comment about returning to your shores; the simple fact is, by far and away most terrorist attacks on American soil were by Americans smiling

And yes, the situation in Fukushima is bad; but it's not over yet. I honestly think that nuclear power is a good thing. If you look at it pragmatically, this plant has taken an earthquake 5x larger than it was designed for, got hit by a tsunami 3x larger than it was designed for, and there's been over a dozen 6+ magnitude quakes hit it in the last 2 weeks, and the fucker is STILL standing!

I guess we'll see what happens next; of course we hope all will be well - but I'm just impressed at how well it's stood up to the battering it's received so far.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 06:30PM

On the nuclear energy topic I have to agree with pulse. Time will tell how this event plays out but it's actually a good sign that it's so far been relatively limited in the scope of it's serious impact. When viewed against the claimed global, long term environmental damage said to be caused by the burning of fossil fuels the environmental impact of atomic power is a drop in the bucket. Fossil fuels won't last forever and nuclear energy is a comparatively clean alternative until other forms of energy production can be developed. If people want their plug in cars (and I'd be happy to have one) the electricity still has to be generated somehow.
As for terrorism, yeah, the U.S. has been relatively free of the foreign variety but the bottom line is, as screwed up as we are all on our own, if someone from the outside fucks with one of us he's fucking with all of us and we will do our best to return the favor. We are a friendly, goofy, forgiving people but there is a point in our national psyche where some shit will not be tolerated and we will rise up. Just ask the Japanese who we are now doing our best to support; we had to beat them into submission a generation ago when they didn't realize they were already beaten two years before the end of the war, helped them rebuild and have become great friends. We are the decendants of tough people who set out on a dangerous journey to a strange land and soft as we have become that toughness remains - that's also part of the lesson the Japanese learned; you prod a sleeping giant at your peril. They thought we'd roll over because we were soft but it didn't turn out that way.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 06:42PM

Reading through the wiki page you linked above exposed about what I'd expected to find. The number of terrorist acts shown there and the perpetrators in many cases defy the overall idea of terrorism, though that's a subjective statement, so ....

Admittedly, there's more than enough evidence to show we've been pretty rough on ourselves over time, though we've also had a lot of outside help too hot smiley

About 30 mins after my last post I read an article detailing how the Fukishima 50 had resigned themselves to death by radiation poisoning for the work they're doing at the plant. The reporter had been in contact with one of the plant workers mothers and she related they'd decided to stay and work, basically sacrificing themselves to the efforts of gettin the plant under control. She said they talk frequently amongst themselves and expected to die within weeks or months from the poisoning if not eventually from cancer due to the high levels of exposure they're working under. The workers are being kept from reporters and have been asked by management not to discuss their work or conditions with their families as they fear widespread panic could result from such revelations.

My heart certainly goes out to all of Japan but these cats are certainly to be lauded for their bravery most especially. Were I myself faced with the same circumstances I'm unsure how I'd react but I know their actions take a huge heart. What could be an ultimate sadness is if they give up their lives in this effort and the eventuality is it's still unstoppable, which seems a reasonable possibility at this point disappointed smiley

Regarding nuclear energy in general, yeah, I'm for it and see it as safe overall. Unfortunately Mother Earth has some tricks in her bag that even the best laid plans of mice and men can't always plan for or overcome sad smiley
GAK67 Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 07:38PM

My $0.02 worth on nuclear power is that it's not worth the risk. There are alternatives available that we are only starting to explore that are much safer. I know there have only been 3 major disasters with nuclear reactors (3 Mile Island, Chernobyl and now Fukushima - and I know there have been more than that, but not as significant as those three), but the longe term effects of such disasters, for me, make it an unattractive option.

Wind, solar and tidal generation are the way forward, imo.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 08:12PM

Wind and solar don't seem to offer all that much in the current scheme of things due to acquisition/maintenance costs but I've certainly wondered a lot about tidal energy generation.

With the vast stores of natural gas we have here in the US it would seem this should be a reasonable source for use in cars. It's relatively safe, burns damned clean and engines actually last far longer runnin on it.

I 1st came across use of it in studyin HP adders some years back. Seems it was used as both a Hi-Po fuel and as an octane booster/add fuel for gas engines, but the technology just never gained overall market acceptance disappointed smiley

fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: March 31, 2011 09:37PM

i wanna be the first kid on my block with a mr. fusion. drinking
woberto Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 04:22AM

Hundreds of thousands of people have died mining coal over the years.
GAK67 Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 05:19AM

So, 'berto, your argument is that because of the deaths in the coal mines over the years we can risk more with nuclear power stations?

I am assuming your argument (although it is a stretch to call it that) was directed toward me because I gave an opinion against nuclear power. If you re-read my post I said nothing about coal.
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 07:52AM

I am not worried about terrorism impacting me personally, I simply made a comment that foreign terrorism will revisit our shores sooner or later. My comment was never made out of fear because the odds a very very high that a terrorist attack will ever happen anywhere near me so I have no worry about myself.

As for nuclear power, I feel we need to keep using it, as others stated above, until something better is devised in the future. While it is true we can never know what mother Earth has in store for us we should not stop moving forward out of fear something might happen in the future. Just prepare for it as best we can then deal with it should it arise.

As for the disaster in Japan, I feel badly for the Japanese people but I do not lose any sleep over it because I don't know anyone over there personally. Call me callous if you like but I lose no sleep over anyone anywhere in the world unless I have a personal connection to them. I worked with people on the 101st floor of WTC 1 so that made it personal for me but I still didn't lose much sleep over it. I don't know any people in the military so I don't care much about the wars aside from the fact that we don't fight them hard enough. I am not politically correct so I don't cry over any deaths other than my own family and friends. Anyone who does is not being honest because I know they think "boy I am glad it was none of mine.".
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 10:28AM

Paper and ink dust have killed a helluva lotta people over the years too but since it's not publicized and certainly not connected to energy production nobody gives a damn.

The one inescapable truth is no one's gettin outta here alive (*horse*)

quasi Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 12:07PM

I'm not looking it up but I wonder what the statistics are for deaths and serious injuries among people who work in electrical power companies overall and what percentage of them are due to radiation exposure. I'm speculating that it's comparable to looking at deaths & injuries from all forms of transportation and what percentage of them are from airline accidents - driving your car is the most dangerous way to travel but we think nothing of it, while flying is statitically safest yet it gets so much publicity because people are taken out in job lots when there is the rare accident.
If this nuclear power incident turns out to be contained with only very little contamination to the immediate area it will actually show that nuclear power is pretty damned safe in light of the battering that plant took. I wouldn't want to depend on it totally or forever but it is a remarkably efficient way to keep things going until safer and greener forms of energy production are developed.
GAK67 Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 12:27PM

Mrkim, you mentioned earlier about the maintenance and acquisition cost of other forms of energy conversion. I'm guessing that the $billions it's cost in the few nuclear disasters would buy a lot of solar cells.
woberto Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 05:41PM

How far away is "the future"?
Solar is only a part of the future, hydrogen is the only viable future for vehicles and hopefully this can be extracted using solar power.
I think nuclear fision will be around for a while. Fusion on the other hand is still science-fiction. Coal, gas and even ethanol will have to sustain us until technology catches up to provide "base-load" power by any other method.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: April 01, 2011 07:13PM

I just realized I need to figure out how to convert the tons of grass clippings I have from mowing my yard every season into ethanol. For about six months out of the year the grass grows fast and furious here in the hot, rainy climate.
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 07:22AM

Solar power is a good idea but it will have to develope much further than it is now. The solar cells need to be made smaller and be able to produce more power with less light than they do now. Batteries need to be made much smaller and designed to hold more power than they do now. 60 to 100 miles on a charge for a car is way too limiting to be feasible for standard transportation and until solar cells can completely recharge the vehicle even while it is being driven they can't have wide spread use. I wouldn't want a car that might run out of charge miles from a charging station. If I run out of gas I can take a gas can to the nearest station and get back on the road. If an electric car runs out how long of an extension cord would you have to string out to get back on the road again.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 07:36AM

While 60 to 100 miles is quite limiting considering the time it then takes to recharge, I think it's more than adequate for the majority of people. If I can afford go any farhter than that I prefer to rent a car anyway. I also have AAA which has paid for it's yearly cost many times over the years I've had it, and many car insurance companies have free roadside assisstance programs, so running out of charge would just mean a tow. Yes, we're at the beginning of this technology and those improvements are needed, and needed in a form that will be affordable by the average person which is the biggest problem with things as they exist today - it's just too expensive for the regular folks. Hopefully these technologies will become more affordable as they evolve as many other technologies have in the past.

Now if I could just figure out how to make enough fuel from the grass clippings to at least power the mowers I'd be happy - season starts soon. Yeah, I'm being silly, but it actually seems to me that there would be enough energy stored in the clippings to provide enough power for that (the stuff really does grow that quickly and thick here, it's a bitch to keep up with) - the trick is converting it without using even more power than is obtained from it, which is the downfall of biofuels in general.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2011 07:46AM by quasi.
woberto Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 09:12AM

Grass clippings to power your mower?
You'll go crazy trying to figure that out, it's equivalent to perpetual motion.
Get a goat to eat it then eat the goat, that's better than mowing.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 10:14AM

Actually I've thought of sheep or goats which could provide a fairly easy way to produce methane, but that just won't do in a residentail area smiling
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 12:40PM

GAK, the huge areas required to provide wind farms or solar farms make the ideas untenable on a grand scale for many places on earth as does the lack of continuous sun and wind required to generate the power they intend to supply.

Even here in sunny Texas when I looked into solar power it would require an investment of $100k+ to acquire a suitable 220v~ 3 phase power generation system, it would then also necessitate utilization of every square inch of available space for such a system to work. If I invest that $100k (which BTW is 20% more than I paid for the 2 acres and 60X60' shop I have here) and somehow manage to find some lender who would advance funding at 0% interest the point I'd break even occurs a mere 32 yrs down the road.

The financial reality is that NO LENDER would advance such funds without an expectation of interest on their $$ which then adds at best a doubling of the payback over a simple 30yr note meaning the break even point would then come more than 60yrs in the future in the rosiest of scenarios imaginable.

The inherent issues I see with wind and solar power is that in every step of the process after the creation of the energy parasitic waste of the produced energy occurs which then minimizes the overall effectiveness of what's been generated.

Conversely, the huge amounts of power created through coal fired or nuclear energy plants do not require the same waste levels in conversion of the power to something usable and also don't require constantly degrading batteries to store the created energy as in the case of solar or wind power generation grinning

GAK67 Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 04:00PM

I don't disagree with what you have said Mrkim, which is why I said wind, solar and tidal generation are the way forward, not the answer right now.
woberto Report This Comment
Date: April 02, 2011 06:31PM

In Australia, a 3 kiloWatt system would cost around $7k.
Currently most state governments pay half.
And with a digital meter installed, electricity you don't use is fed back into the grid and you get paid for it. A zero dollar bill is achievable and some homes even get make $100 profit per quarter!
Of course, the price paid for electricity fed back will continue to fall so now's the time to invest.
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: April 03, 2011 07:33AM

The key to any alternative energy has to be affordability for the average person. I doubt any alternative will ever be affordable to the poor so all forms of energy will have to be available well into the future unless you have plans to kill off all poor people.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: April 03, 2011 09:10AM

We need that Model T of green energy. With the Model T, Henry Ford built a reliable car that was affordable to the average person while paying his workers a good wage which would allow them to purchase the very products they were building. These developing methods of energy production are analogous to the developement of the automobile; at first cars were expensive, unreliable, and the infrastructure for their use didn't exist but that changed within a couple of decades. Hopefully we're on the virge of doing the same in the energy industry, provide good jobs for average people while building products they can actually afford.
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: April 03, 2011 12:40PM

Non-nuclear, safe fusion energy production is not so near science fiction as many would have folks believe. Look up the works on the subject by the recently deceased Dr. Bussard for some interesting info on the subject.

I caught a Google Talks series on his experiments and various designs for his energy machines over the years that was fascinating though I can't seem to locate them now. Seems like if I remember correctly he was using highly powerful magnetic energy and nothing but molecules or atoms of oxygen as the fuel with some incredible results smileys
with beer

jgoins Report This Comment
Date: April 04, 2011 06:42AM

Maybe someone should invent Star Trek's replicator then things would change dramatically in the world.
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: April 04, 2011 09:25AM

they'd wussificatioalize it to where you couldn't make anything cool. thumbs up
jgoins Report This Comment
Date: April 05, 2011 07:51AM

Probably but replicators and holodecks would re-invent the world.