Sunday, March 13, 2011

The world never changes...

This morning the roof blew off and cooling system exploded for the reactor number 1 in Japan and CNN and New York Times published headlines saying "radioactivity levels have declined". The New York Times posted it in the biggest front page headlines I have have seen for the newspaper. (I was on the road otherwise I would have taken a screenshot of it) Clearly, if you explode concentrated material it becomes less concentrated and topical measurements would show lower measurements...but I guess this stuff is like the NFP, Initial Claims, CPI and many other government reports...spin, spin, spin...the sad part is that they have delayed people from preparing...This is a classic case where "over preparing" is way to your advantage over trusting the idiot who tells you "This is no chernobyl".., what's more its possible that it could be worse than chernobyl when all the nuclear damage is reviewed? Nobody should say otherwise because they do not have the basis to absolutely do so. There is simply no definitive way or reason to rule anything out, being prepared is much better than being unprepared. The reality is, when I saw the explosion, it demonstrated that most of the news that was coming out was likely suspect and things would likey be much worse than represented.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12 that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in which he said “the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode.” full article
Well, now that we are officially having a series of Meltdown's that may endup being significantly worse than Chernobyl according to the info below, I guess its time to prepare. Not that ANYONE has boached the subject on mainstream TV. I hope that it is not likely and that the construction and damage control for the Japanese reactors is indeed not capable of a similar problem as chernobyl. It certainly is strange when you have to go to or aljazeera to get some sort of a credible update. In any case, "if" and I hope it is an "if" (though I fear the worst and that the Meltdowns and radiation releases have already occured though they have not been reported. In fact German newspapers are already reporting this to be true at the time of this post) this thing results in some sort of catastrophic radiation release, the material WILL make to the United States. First landing on the west coast. Keep in mind that I would imagine that the actual exposure would not be extreme for us in the US but exposure is exposure and the question is still there: "how much?" and "how long?". Unknowns are unknowns and as with trading its a really big deal to prepare, despite the probabilities of things not being as extreme as the most pessimistic outcome.

As I have personal connection with the results minor amounts of radiation exposure from chernobyl via family exposed in Germany and the resulting thyroid issues an ounce of prevention or preparedness seems very well worth it to me.

Here is some information regarding that...

If they can’t restore power to the plant (and cool the reactor), then there’s the possibility of some sort of core meltdown”. An alarming statement made by James Acton, a physicist who examined Japan’s Kashiwazaki nuclear plant after a 2007 earthquake, who told CNN that Japanese authorities are in race to cool down the Fukushima reactor.
Following the fifth largest earthquake in recorded world history, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake, has resulted in the closure of all Japan’s nuclear power reactors, one of which, the Fukushima reactor, is overheating and in danger of a meltdown if coolant is not restored soon. It’s like a pressure cooker… when you have something generating heat and you don’t cool it off or release the steam…
Reported from abc NEWS, Scientists said that even though the reactor had stopped producing energy, its fuel continues to generate heat and needs steady levels of coolant to prevent it from overheating and triggering a dangerous cascade of events.
They go on to say, “Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances,”
“Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.” said Kevin Kamps, a nuclear waste specialist.
Fukushima I (there are two plant locations) is one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the world.

How would a nuclear plant meltdown unfold?
  • Control rods are driven back down into the core upon emergency (if rods don’t make it all the way… trouble)
  • The coolant (water) could cease if backup systems fail (electricity, pumps, generators, batteries)
  • Reactor continues to produce heat
  • Numerous venting valve systems would release pressure above ~1,000 psi into containment vessel
  • Eventually the uranium fuel encasement metal will melt (2,200 deg F)
  • Radioactive contamination then released into the reactor vessel
  • Radiation escapes into an outer, concrete containment building
  • Radiation escapes into the environment.
Why would the west coast USA be in danger?
Not only would such a disaster be horrible for the local region and Japan, but other countries, namely the U.S. would be effected next by airborne radiation particles, the magnitude of which is yet to be determined.
The prevailing jet stream winds are blowing from Japan directly across the Pacific ocean to the west coast of the United States. Any airborne radiation would make its way across with the jet stream, reaching the U.S. in approximately 36 hours, depending on the actual speed of the jet
Image of the Jet Stream from Japan to the U.S.

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