Fake News: Fukushima Edition

Guest post by David Middleton


Radiation levels recorded inside Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station are at the highest levels since its catastrophic meltdown in 2011.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc (Tepco) said the radiation level in the containment vessel of Reactor 2 in the Fukushima No 1 power plant had reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, Japan Times reports.

The “unimaginable” radiation levels were assessed by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

According to the institute, just 4 sieverts of radiation exposure would be enough kill a handful of people.


Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/02/08/10/24/fukushima-radiation-reaches-unimaginable-levels#6AfOp4jyo5k3elmi.99

Fake News Item #1: “Unimaginable radiation levels.”

“Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc (Tepco) said the radiation level in the containment vessel of Reactor 2 in the Fukushima No 1 power plant had reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, Japan Times reports.

The ‘unimaginable’ radiation levels were assessed by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.”

530 Sv/hr… “unimaginable”? I don’t think so…

High-level wastes are hazardous because they produce fatal radiation doses during short periods of direct exposure. For example, 10 years after removal from a reactor, the surface dose rate for a typical spent fuel assembly exceeds 10,000 rem/hour – far greater than the fatal whole-body dose for humans of about 500 rem received all at once.


1 Sv = 100 rem. Roughly 1 rem is the average dose received in three years of exposure to natural radiation“…

530 Sv = 53,000 rem.

If “10 years after removal from a reactor, the surface dose rate for a typical spent fuel assembly exceeds 10,000 rem/hour,” 530 Sv/hr is not “unimaginable.”  I would venture a guess that 530 Sv/hr would be well within the expected range inside a reactor core, loaded with hot fuel which had suffered at least a partial meltdown.

Fake News Item #2: “The radiation level in the containment vessel… had reached 530 sieverts per hour.”

The use of the phrase “had reached” clearly implies that radiation levels had risen.  Other reports citing a previous high of 72 Sv/hr were also clearly intended to convey the impression that radiation levels had risen over the past 5-6 years.  This is clearly fake news…


Saturday February 4th, 2017

— Yes, TEPCO has measured very high radiation inside Daichi Unit 2.

— No, it does’t mean radiation levels there are rising.

In response to visual investigation results and high radiation measurements recently taken by TEPCO inside Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2, many news outlets have published stories with headlines like “Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.” (The Guardian, Feb. 3, 2017).




This has led to a number of alarming stories claiming that radiation at Daiichi has “spiked” to unprecedented levels. That’s not what the findings indicate, however. In addition, Safecast’s own measurements, including our Pointcast realtime detector system have shown radiation levels near Daiichi to be steadily declining. As described in the Safecast Report, Vol.2, Section 2.1.4, TEPCO and its research partners have been developing robots and remote visualization devices to search for melted fuel debris deep inside the Daiichi reactor units, and to help plan for its eventual removal. On January 30th, 2017, a long telescoping device with a camera and radiation measurement device attached was inserted through an existing opening in the reactor containment of Unit 2 for the first time, and successfully extended approximately 8 meters into in an area known as the “pedestal,” to measure and take images from immediately below the damaged reactor pressure vessel (RPV). In addition to finding the area covered with molten material likely to be fuel debris, radiation levels of 530 Sieverts per hour were detected, which would be fatal to a person exposed for only a few seconds.

It must be stressed that radiation in this area has not been measured before, and it was expected to be extremely high. While 530 Sv/hr is the highest measured so far at Fukushima Daiichi, it does not mean that levels there are rising, but that a previously unmeasurable high-radiation area has finally been measured. Similar remote investigations are being planned for Daiichi Units 1 and 3. We should not be surprised if even higher radiation levels are found there, but only actual measurements will tell. Unit 4 was defuelled at the time of the accident, and though the reactor building exploded and the spent fuel pool was dangerously exposed, it did not suffer a meltdown, so similar investigations are not being conducted.



Fake News Item #3: “Fukushima’s radiation is so bad it’s even killing robots.”


Five years after Fukushima, the exclusion zone is in better shape, but still a mess. The area around its once functional nuclear reactors are by far the most inhospitable. So much so that the radiation even managed to kill robots that had been sent in to help clean up.

Five robots that have gone into the reactor in order to help remove spent fuel rods have failed to return, reports Reuters. The issue? The radiation levels are so high that the robot’s internals just melt. We’ve seen this happen before.

Naohiro Masuda, Tepco’s head of decommissioning, explained the difficulties the company faces in an interview. Not only do the robots tend to fail due to the failure of their wiring, but it’s also not easy to get replacements. These aren’t just off-the-shelf bots; they have to be designed specifically for the challenges of the particular building they enter, and that takes about two years of design.


Popular Mechanics

None of the robots have been “killed” by radiation…

Melted Nuclear Fuel Search Proceeds One Dead Robot at a Time

by Stephen Stapczynski and Emi Urabe
February 16, 2017

The latest robot seeking to find the 600 tons of nuclear fuel and debris that melted down six year ago in Japan’s wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant met its end in less than a day.

The scorpion-shaped machine, built by Toshiba Corp., entered the No. 2 reactor core Thursday and stopped 3 meters (9.8 feet) short of a grate that would have provided a view of where fuel residue is suspected to have gathered. Two previous robots aborted similar missions after one got stuck in a gap and another was abandoned after finding no fuel in six days.

After spending most of the time since the 2011 disaster containing radiation and limiting ground water contamination, scientists still don’t have all the information they need for a cleanup that the Japanese government estimates will take four decades and cost 8 trillion yen ($70.6 billion). It’s not yet known if the fuel melted into or through the containment vessel’s concrete floor, and determining the fuel’s radioactivity and location is crucial to inventing the technology needed to remove it.

“The roadmap for removing the fuel is going to be long, 2020 and beyond,” Jacopo Buongiorno, a professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an e-mail. “The re-solidified fuel is likely stuck to the vessel wall and vessel internal structures. So the debris have to be cut, scooped, put into a sealed and shielded container and then extracted from the containment vessel. All done by robots.”


The machines are built with specially hardened parts and minimal electronic circuitry so that they can withstand radiation, if only for a few hours at a time. Thursday’s mission ended after the robot’s left roller-belt failed, according to Tokyo Electric, better known as Tepco. Even if it had returned, this robot, like all others so far designed to aid the search for the lost fuel, was expected to find its final resting place inside a reactor.


No. 2 Unit

On Thursday, Toshiba’s scorpion-like robot entered the reactor and stopped short of making it onto the containment vessel’s grate. While Tepco decided not to retrieve it, the company views the attempt as progress.

“We got a very good hint as to where the fuel could be from this entire expedition” Tepco official Yuichi Okamura said Thursday at a briefing in Tokyo. “I consider this a success, a big success.”

Tepco released images last month of a grate under the No. 2 reactor covered in black residue that may be the melted fuel — one of the strongest clues yet to its location. The company measured radiation levels of around 650 sieverts per hour through the sound-noise in the video, the highest so far recorded in the Fukushima complex.


The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.


Because the No. 2 unit is the only one of the three reactors that didn’t experience a hydrogen explosion, there was no release into the atmosphere and radiation levels inside the core are higher compared to the other two units, according to the utility.



“The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.”

Fake News Item #4 (or Urban Legend): TEPCO is dumping/pumping radioactive water into the ocean.

While I can’t locate an article from a reputable news outlet for this one, it has been a persistent urban legend.  They are neither dumping nor pumping radioactive water into the Pacific.  This image was circulated around the Internet with the claim that it depicted the flow of radioactive water across the Pacific Ocean…


The map was generated at the time of the earthquake and is of the projected height of the tsunami.

At no time has TEPCO intentionally pumped or dumped radioactive water into the ocean.  Some contaminated water leaks into the ocean by infiltrating the local groundwater flow…

March 8, 2016, 9:24 AM

5 years on, Japan nuke plant still leaking radioactive water

TOKYO — After battling radioactive water leaks for five years at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, the utility that ran it says it will need another four to finish the job.

“We will bring an end to the problem by 2020,” says Yuichi Okamura, who led the Tokyo Electric Power Co. team dealing with water at Fukushima from the early days to last summer.

The contaminated water, now exceeding 760,000 tons and still growing, has been a major challenge that has distracted workers from decommissioning the plant. It is stored in more than 1,000 industrial tanks, covering much of the vast plant grounds.

Okamura says TEPCO expects that by 2020, it will have collected and treated all contaminated water pooled around the reactors, and will need to continue processing only the water necessary to cool the reactors.

TEPCO has managed to reduce the flow of contaminated water and hopes to get regulators’ approval within a month to activate an underground “ice wall” that would block out more water. The final step, though, remains contentious: Getting permission to release the water into the sea, after it has been treated to remove most radioactive elements.


The three damaged reactors still need to be cooled with water to keep their melted cores from overheating. The water picks up radiation and leaks out through cracks and other damage from the disaster. The water flows to the basements, where it mixes with groundwater, swelling the volume of contaminated water.

TEPCO has cut groundwater infiltration to 150 tons per day, nearly one-third of the amount two years ago, mainly by pumping out groundwater upstream and directing it to the ocean. The utility hopes the underground ice barrier will eliminate all groundwater inflow.

Radioactive water continues to leak into the ocean, but at a far lesser rate than it did early in the disaster. Ocean radiation levels are about a thousandth of what they were soon after the accident, according to Ken Buesseler, a radiochemist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) who has monitored the area. Because of concerns about the health of marine life, commercial fishing is still banned in waters just off the plant.


CBS News

The only water they are directing into the ocean is uncontaminated groundwater and decontaminated waste water. By pumping out upstream groundwater, they have reduced the flow rate of contaminated water into the ocean.

From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute…

What has been released from the Fukushima reactors and how dangerous is it?

Releases from the Fukushima reactors have included dozens of radioactive elements, but with regard to materials released into the ocean, most of the attention has been on three radioactive isotopes released in large amounts: iodine-131, cesium-137, and cesium-134. Iodine-131 decays quickly and any that was released from Fukushima is no longer detectable in the environment, but it was a significant health concern at the start of accident. Cesium-137 and -134 were released in the largest amounts. At the height of the accident, levels in the ocean near the docks at the reactors were 50 million times higher than before the accident and, at those levels, were a direct threat to marine life. Levels dropped quickly after the first month and today are many thousands of times lower, which is less of a direct health threat, but still an indication of ongoing leaks.


Are the continued sources of radiation from the nuclear power plants of concern?

The site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is an ongoing source of radionuclides (pdf) in to the ocean—something I’ve seen evidence of in my data and published since 2011. However, the rate of release has fallen significantly since March 2011. At current rates of release, it would take 5,000 years to equal the amount of cesium that entered the ocean in the first month of the accident. For the workers at the site, direct exposure from leaking storage tanks is of greater health concern because exposure from these concentrated sources is much higher. For the general public, it is not direct exposure, but uptake by the food web and consumption of contaminated fish that is the main health concern from the oceans.



While Fukushima is still decades away from full decommissioning, the situation is currently far better than it was nearly six years ago.

Fake News Item #5: The Fukushima nuclear disaster was due to a failure of nuclear technology.

This is perhaps the most egregious fake news item of all.  The Fukushima disaster was the result of the loss of external and backup power sources, rendering the cooling systems inoperable…

Events at Fukushima Daiichi 1-3 & 4

It appears that no serious damage was done to the reactors by the earthquake, and the operating units 1-3 were automatically shut down in response to it, as designed. At the same time all six external power supply sources were lost due to earthquake damage, so the emergency diesel generators located in the basements of the turbine buildings started up. Initially cooling would have been maintained through the main steam circuit bypassing the turbine and going through the condensers.

Then 41 minutes later, at 3:42 pm, the first tsunami wave hit, followed by a second 8 minutes later. These submerged and damaged the seawater pumps for both the main condenser circuits and the auxiliary cooling circuits, notably the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) cooling system. They also drowned the diesel generators and inundated the electrical switchgear and batteries, all located in the basements of the turbine buildings (the one surviving air-cooled generator was serving units 5 & 6). So there was a station blackout, and the reactors were isolated from their ultimate heat sink. The tsunamis also damaged and obstructed roads, making outside access difficult.

All this put those reactors 1-3 in a dire situation and led the authorities to order, and subsequently extend, an evacuation while engineers worked to restore power and cooling. The 125-volt DC back-up batteries for units 1 & 2 were flooded and failed, leaving them without instrumentation, control or lighting. Unit 3 had battery power for about 30 hours.

At 7.03 pm Friday 11 March a Nuclear Emergency was declared, and at 8.50pm the Fukushima Prefecture issued an evacuation order for people within 2 km of the plant. At 9.23 pm the Prime Minister extended this to 3 km, and at 5.44 am on 12th he extended it to 10 km. He visited the plant soon after. On Saturday 12th he extended the evacuation zone to 20 km.

World Nuclear Association

Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster.  It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.

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349 thoughts on “Fake News: Fukushima Edition

    • On average, Americans receive a radiation dose of about 0.62 rem (620 millirem) each year. Half of this dose comes from natural background radiation.

      Exposure to natural radiation = ~0.31 rem/yr…
      Three years worth of natural radiation = ~ 1 rem.

      • Don’t forget about bananas and granite counter tops. My counter top measures about twice background but I understand that some granites are worse than others.

      • Yep… Granite is fairly radioactive. A person working in a granite building can have a higher radiation exposure than a person working at a nuclear power station…

        The US Capitol Building in Washington DC:
        This building is so radioactive, due to the high uranium content in its granite walls, it could never be licensed as a nuclear power reactor site.


        Although many, if not most, “granite” counter tops aren’t actually granite. “Granite” is used in the stone & tile industry as a generic term for granite, gabro, basalt, schist, gneiss and many other igneous and volcanic rocks.

      • I consulted in dimension stone project feasilbility and development for many years and the best kept secret was the radioactivity of red granites. Secret not because they were dangerous to health but because of the hype associated with nuclear. Some areas of knowledge have been so badly polluted by professional lefty activists (and now ‘carbon’, the building block of life, and tomorrow something else to keep this Luddite “tax” anchor on progress alive) it will be decades before repairs can be made. “Progressives” is a protesteth too much appelation like the word “Democratic” in the names of states like North Korea, the former East Germany, Congo, etc and in names of neomarxbrothers’ political parties. Aren’t there reports that nuclear workers have an average higher longevity than other trades? Dosages high enough to damage health are well understood (and overhyped, too). A lethal dose of milk will kill, too!

        Precambrian shields are notably paved with red/pink granites and indeed are the sources for most uranium ores. Waters draining these terrains are drunk by cities and towns across Canada, and other countries with these rocks. They also contain natural amounts of water borne fine acicular metamorphic minerals in amounts exceeding ridiculous regulations for asbestos that did away with asbestos cement pipe for water distribution. I’ve conceived of the idea of a ‘Dark Ages’ pressure surrounding us at all times, needing our vigilance and a countervailing education to hold it at bay. Relaxing this, our natural ground state is a dark ages one. Look how easy it is to promote a collective political system that has failed and debunked itself time and time again. It is a blood letting idea that won’t die.

      • If you have ever had an MRI, you will be interested to know that it is more properly called an NMRI, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The don’t use the N because nuclear scares.

    • 100 millirem is the “natural” annual exposure — the reality is that it is less than that (although it varies from location). When I was in the Navy (at prototype), I wore a dosimeter for 12 hours per day for 21 days out of 28 for six months. Total exposure was 11 millirem.

      We always joked that we received less radiation exposure when we were submerged with the reactor running than we did when at home.

    • 1 Rem is hardly in the realms of significant radiation dose, especially recieved over 1 year. A safe dose is about 100mSv, so 10 Rem. . Natural levels can be as high as 800mSv pa with no detectable epidemiological effects, that’s in Brazil. so that’s 80rems pa as a known safe background on your equivalence.

      nb: using these outdated non SI units from the 60’s makes life confusing for people (I was bought up on Roentgens, Rads and Rems back then, measuring radiation at at UK NPL and RPS, we have moved on through Grays to Sieverts in international standards since then.).

      Thera re plenty od f other such locations. Popuklous seaside resort – and health spa – Ramsar Iran checks in at >300mSv pa, no problems. And one study strongly suggested health benefits at 40mSV pa’ish, for an accidentally exposed population in Taiwan, living within a much larger unexposed community so good comparison. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/

      Elevated natural backgorund is used to boost immune systems in cancer patients when chemotherapy and radiotherapy will not be tolerated by the very sick, and Germans go down mines for a low level radiation tonic. Think Sunshine exposure and you are nearer the truth, little and often at a safe level is good for you, a lot all at once is very bad.

      It’s also important to separate unsealed and very dangerous radionuclides like Po-210, which only emits easilly attenuated so hard to detect Alpha radiation , that can quickly kill you if ingested, but can be caried safely and undetected in a thick paper bag by Russian hit men.. etc., The usual fission product risk is Cs-137, but that has two penetrarting gamma peaks that are easily detected by radiation monitors, as well as its more damaging beta particle radiation when ingested, when it enters various biological processes as a Potassium analogue, very close up, etc. I-131 only causes damage in the Thyroid, so can be blocked by taking regular Iodine tablets if an incident occurs. Etc.

      Point I am making is the levels you describe are simply inconsequential for humans living on the naturally radioactive rock we evolved on, fact. We are very tolerant of radiation up to much higher levels than obtains in most of the world, as a quick survey of the peer reviewed literature from serious institutions will confirm.

      Which is why thousands of people stiil aren’t dying from radiation after Chernobyl, 50 died in fact, all directly or indirectly from high radiation doses received by 30 first responders at the time, and the rest from 6,000 Thyroid cancers which were treated but recurred, mainly due to no Iodine distribution and no warnings re the milk by incompetent authorities. NONE either immediately or expected from Fukushima, where the levels were far too low or for far too short a time to cause any lasting illness.

      Thousands of avoidable deaths were caused by unnecessary evacuation and panic abortions based on ignorant opinions, bad management and over reaction to the actual risks at Chernobyl, and Fukushima (not abortions here). Obviously when you don’t know the actual levels there is a tendency to over react rather than under. This isn’t my opinion, its the UN’s as well, as the various UNSCEAR reports will confirm to the inqyiring and open mind of the independnent validator.

      Hope that hopes spread some facts you can s check for yourselves. Thousands still not dying, thousands more may be healthier than they would otherwise have been? If you follow the radiobiological science facts not the green anti-nuclear science fiction. We are fortunate our modern sciences give us the choice between superstitious/fearful belief and what we can measure as a fact. Not everyone likes that, though.

  1. Let’s not forget Hillary saying during a speech only last year that Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island were the only nuclear accidents that we knew about. She blatantly and intentionally omitted Fukushima and very few said anything about it.

    • Add McMurdo.
      1. This is a Stanford student degree paper but a reasonable cross section. A somewhat one sided view and interpretation but useful. Much more on web with various claims and counterclaims.
      2. If “nuclear accident” means reactor malfunction as root cause then Fukushima doesn’t count.
      If “nuclear accident” means “nuclear accident” you can add Windscale, all the “broken arrows” and quite a lot more.

    • Fukushima was not a reactor accident. It was a design failure, for not anticipating a huge earthquake and tsunami. So Hillary was technically correct; the reactor breach was due to an outside force.

      • Actually, “they” designed for what they thought in midcentury to be the strongest likely earthquake — roughly San Francisco 1906 and more specifically the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that flattened Tokyo,Yokohama, and the surrounding region.. In the following decades, it became obvious that much stronger quakes were possible. But Japan’s reactors were never upgraded to reflect the improved knowledge of seismology. To my mind, that’s a management failure, not an engineering failure. And it leads to the question. “Is it possible to design a nuclear power plant that an ivy league MBA can’t destroy though mismanagement?”

      • The reactors and containment buildings handled the earthquake and tsunami with very little damage. The problem was the lose of external and backup power supplies due to the tsunami.

      • In a country that has experienced many tsunami’s throughout its history, no one thought to put the diesel back up on the roof. Just goes to show the disconnect between education and common sense.

      • Well, they did have diesel backup behind a tsunami wall. After the tsunami hit and was multiple feet above the wall, that wall became a lake. It’s a situation where they planned for a bad situation, but didn’t anticipate a disaster that big.

    • But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster.
      [See above just at the end of the post.]

      • There are stories that the Stuxnet virus had infected the Fukushima control systems and contributed to the disaster. Any confirmation of this? Or confirmation of attempts to suppress the information?

      • RoHa — You’re not going to find any confirmation about Stuxnet contributing to the disaster. These plants were built in the 60s and 70s using proven 1960s — and, possibly early 1970s — control system technology and components.

        Even if some control system components were new enough to be susceptible to modern viruses, the complete loss of power after the tsunami hit would have also deenergized those control systems. It was only after loss of AC powered core cooling (when diesels flooded) and DC powered backup core cooling (when batteries were expended) that the cores began to significantly heat up.

    • Patrick: “excellent to have proper balance on this matter”

      In the best case scenario, assuming limited damage from radioactive fallout and a successful containment process (not a given), this is going to cost Japan a minimum of a quarter TRILLION dollars, and decades of grand mobilisation to manage the crisis.

      Nuclear energy is a bust, stick with fossil fuels, which are nearly limitless and dirt cheap. We all know that CO2 is not a problem, right?

  2. They keep ramping up the hysteria, they have no other strategy. Soon the MSM is going to inform us that we are already technically dead, but there might be a chance to resuscitate us if we give them another gazillion dollars, quick.

  3. Radiation within containment is a relatively meaningless number unless you are a maintenance worker. All reactors have high radiation within containment — that’s why you are limited in the amount of time you can spend there based on that radiation level.

      • “Radiation within containment is a relatively meaningless number unless you are a maintenance worker” – not quite accurate; it’s the foundation on which the power plant works.”

        Not really. The fission reaction occurs in the reactor. this is where you get the energy. The reactor, primary coolant, and auxiliary equipment will be inside primary containment. This is the area which you can enter (for a limited amount of time) only when the reactor is shutdown and levels have been monitored. The remainder of the system should be within secondary containment. This is where the equipment which is not radioactive is kept. Operators can work in this area even while the reactor is critical.

        Fukushima was a boiling water reactor (always a bad design). That means that most of it was within primary containment with a small area within secondary containment. Three Mile Island (by comparison) was a pressurized water reactor which means that most of the steam equipment in outside of primary containment.

    • “Radiation within containment is a relatively meaningless number unless you are a maintenance worker” – not quite accurate; it’s the foundation on which the power plant works

      • Have any specifics Griff, or is it just more fear mongering on your part?

        Hint: “radiation” can’t be “vented” since it is comprised of photons (packets of energy). Radioactive gases can be vented, of course, but most have quite short half lives. Also radioactive particles suspended in the air could also be vented, which is a bigger concern, depending on the type of material. So what about it Griff, have any useful information, or is this just a drive-by?

      • Griff,

        does that mean you didn’t fall for #4 nonsense? since that is a popular warmist argument.

        I have had warmist morons,tell me they believe dangerous levels of Radiation reached the West coast of America,from Japan. I tried to point out how that is impossible, since the few actual pounds of waste allegedly released, would be so diluted by the 3,000 + miles of water,for it to show up on a meter.

        Hop you didn’t fall for that howler.

      • In Griff’s defence, material was vented to the atmosphere to prevent dangerous pressures from building up. Although it was mainly hydrogen, there would have been other gasses present that may have been radioactive.

        In the same way that swamp gas is mainly methane, but stinks to high heaven because of the other gasses that go with it.

      • Griff writes

        Except for the radiation at fukushima that vented to the atmosphere, of course.

        But that is not what this article is about. (FWIW — radioactive particles can be vented, especially gases, but I think we all understand where you are coming from.)

      • Still dishonestly spouting your alarmist drivel, Grifter?

        What do you think you gain by trying to make people afraid of non-existent risks?

        Have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for lying about her professional qualifications yet?

  4. A very expensive industrial accident. Arguably, the vast majority of the death toll will be those who die of exposure due to reliance on “renewable energy” imposed by the anti-nuclear movement, either cost or unreliability.

  5. How come Hiroshima and Nagasaki are now thriving cities of over 1 million each. Where has their radiation gone? Mick G

    From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Friday, 17 February 2017, 14:21 Subject: [New post] Fake News: Fukushima Edition #yiv8794210966 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8794210966 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8794210966 WordPress.com | David Middleton posted: “Guest post by David MiddletonRadiation levels recorded inside Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station are at the highest levels since its catastrophic meltdown in 2011.Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc (Tepco) said the radiation level in the c” | |

      • The really bad stuff decays rapidly. If you’re close enough to get harmful radiation, you were killed in the explosion, Elements like U 238 have half lifes of billions of years- we get only minute amounts of radiation from them.

        Most dangerous are Strontium 90 and Cesium 137, with half lifes of around 30 years, comparable to a human lifespan.

        An aside- “spell check” wanted me to use “half lives” instead of “half lifes”, but “half life” is NOT referring to an actual life, but is a coined word regarding radiation. As Steven Pinker pointed out, all new coined words are automatically regular. We say, of a baseball batter, “Jones flied out to left field(regular)” NOT
        “Jones FLEW out to right field” which only a bird can do. LIkewise, when I refer to my daughter’s grungy boyfriends, I call them “low lifes”, not “low lives”.

      • There are two basic pathways to radioactive contamination products in a bomb blast.

        1) Fission: a Uranium or Plutonium atom fissions creating fission products notably radioactive Cesiums and Iodines. The way to visualize this is to look at the number of protons in a Uranium atom – 92. When fission occurs, that atom splits roughly in half, for example one half may be Cesium with its 55 protons.

        2) Neutron activation: free (unattached to protons) neutrons are released during fission. This is simplistic, but when a neutron hits the nucleus of another atom it can “stick”, thereby adding a neutron to that atom. Adding an extra neutron to an atom has a good probability of that atom now being in an unstable state (radioactive). So in a bomb blast, all the stuff that is obliterated and proximate to the neutrons emitted may become radioactive. That can be anything with carbon, iron, hydrogen, and the list goes on. The quantities of what radioactives are created depends on what we call the absorption cross-section; some elements easily pick up a neutron, others do not. In a bomb blast the better percentage of contamination and those most dangerous are created in this fashion. However, most of these are very short-lived and gone within a couple of weeks.

      • And if they didn’t need the fission bomb to kick off the hydrogen bomb, they’d be even cleaner. The point being is that even as horrible as it is, there is a simple basis to survive afterwards. IMO the hysteria over nuclear power plants is, well stupid.

      • In terms of ½-life, over 68% of fission products (FPs) are all but gone after 50 years (those with short ½-life). They are down to 0.1% of original activity, or less. In nearly every instance the result of radioactive decay of a fission-product is stable. So once its decayed, nothing more to worry about. Those bombs exploded > 76 years ago. FP proportions:

        Long _____ > 100,000 yrs __ 20.8%
        Medium ___ 5 – 100 years __ 11.6%
        Short _____ < 5 years _____ 67.7%

        A nice rule of thumb. To get the activity down to 0.1% of starting, multiply its ½-life by 10. Because 1/(2^10) = 1/1024 = 0.1%. The 21% of long ½-life FPs are not much to worry about with longish ½-lifes from 200k to 15m years, so not very high activity.

        The two dangerous FPs are group I and II periodic table elements which together make up 10.8% of total FP yield. They have soluble salts so are easily absorbed. Sr-90 can substitute for calcium so build up in bones. These two both have ½-life ~ 30 years.
        Cs-137 ___ 6.3%
        Sr-90 ____ 4.5%

      • MarkAsp: good stuff.

        I discovered while teaching radiation safety that the half-life concept is best taught to non-math inclined students by using a small number of atoms for the best visualization of the concept. For example, 100 atoms is a ridiculously small number of atoms, but it is a number most folks readily grasp.

        Here’s an example using 100 atoms of C0-60 with its 5 year half-life and 100 atoms of U-238 with its (approximately) 5 billion year half life. Using a graph, I would show that it took 5 years for 50 of the CO-60 atoms to decay or roughly 5 atoms per year. I then showed that it would be 5 billion years before 50 of the U-238 atoms would emit their radiation or one emission once every 80,000 years. I would continue this process for a couple of half-lives, e.g. showing it took another 5 years for half the remaining atoms (50) to be reduced to 25 atoms. The advantage of this training technique is it was easy to point out that if there are only a few long-lived radioactive atoms in your body, the odds of even one emitting its radiation during your life time is extremely small – 70 years/5 billion years (0.0000001.4% chance). If one ingested 100 atoms of CO-60 and they all remained for ones lifetime, the odds are that all 100 will deposit their radiation in the body (not counting other factors that lessen the problem).

        The above training came with a warning: as the number of atoms increase, then the odds of getting an emission increase. However, this is why dilution is a solution for long-lived radionuclides; the fewer the long-lived atoms ingested or presenting external exposure, then the odds drop that a person will receive a ‘hit’ from radiation. The opposite is true of short-lived radionuclides; if ingested/exposed, then the odds are high that a hit(s) will occur.

        I’ve posted here before about the seven factors that determine the hazard of a radionuclide. Two of those, half-life and quantity, go hand in hand. A long-lived radionuclide of very few atoms poses no risk, whereas a short-lived nuclide of the same number will pose much more risk.

  6. Average exposure is a meaningless number. Many areas of the world have several times this exposure level with no statistically significant increase in anything that might be related to this exposure.

    • It’s even been hypothesised that low-level radiation exposures over natural back-ground levels cause enough damage to stimulated repair, which can repair tissue damage that occurred but didn’t stimulate repair. This has resulted in reduction of mortality and morbidity in areas, where the traditional thinking would expect more. There an area in Iran where the back-ground is 7 times the average back-ground and the residents actually have less cancer.

      • The Hormesis postulate: moderate stimulation by radioactivity activates DNA repair mechanisms, and thus actually reduces net damage.

  7. Great article. although I’m thinking this phrase refers to cumulative dosage, not radiation rate:

    The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.

    Watching the video from the recent robot I was impressed at all the radiation hitting the video sensor (almost certainly gamma or high energy neutron). Likely all the IC chips in the robot are being hit with a similar level of radiation so it would not be surprising that they would fail under such an assault given the small feature size of modern ICs.

    • Rad exposure shifts the threshold voltage of mosfets, for radiation qualified devices (which I’m sure were used) would be manufactured with the threshold all the way to the other end of the range which then allows the longest life.
      I spent some time as a component eng for Mil-Aero-Space co, and got to do some cool stuff on this topic.

  8. So, who assumes Japan can and will continue to pump water and maintain ‘controls’ over this hideous mess for how long? Ten more years? 100 years? 1,000 years?

    Nope. They can barely ‘control’ it right now and haven’t done that hot a job of it since day one. This is a grave situation and it will impact all life forms that fall within the perimeter of this place.

    This is no laughing matter with any good end. So far, unless we pack this whole mess up and shoot it out of orbit to say, Jupiter, we will have to worry about Fukushima.

  9. There was an internet forum/message board I liked to visit- it was the message board belonging the Big Chill music festival. It was held on what should be *the* warmest weekend of the UK summer, namely the first weekend of August.
    Sadly, Global Warming has made it so that Trench Foot, pneumonia and hypothermia are now very real and potent hazards for UK music festival goers – Big Chill and many more UK festys are no more.

    Anyway, The Big Children who inhabited said message board had a saying, uttered loudly if and whenever one of their members told or recounted a particularly big or fantastic story:

    They’d say “Show me pictures, or it didn’t happen”

    So it is here………………

    • The first is, if you weren’t melted or have a building fall on you from the actual blast, you very likely will not die from radiation exposure from the blast. You have to be really near the fireball to get that high a dose (neutron bombs would be different).
      You do have to protect from fallout, and the first few years will have the worst of the dangerous radiation, but all of will be stopped by not much more than a sheet of paper for shielding, as long as you keep the dust off you, and not to eat or breathe it.
      yes, not always going to be easy, yada, yada, yada, but if you remember this and follow it, you can survive the end of the world, well at least the radiation part.

      • Yes, there would be greater problems in an apocalyptic future. Lack of food, uncontaminated water, and savagery would likely get you before the radiation did.

  10. Good article in general , however:

    Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster. It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.

    Well the real problem was putting EMERGENCY backup generators in a floodable basement and that was part of the design of this nuclear installation. ie par of the nuclear technology.

    There is no sense in breaking it down, the plant either works safely or it blows up. If it blows up that is a failure of nuclear technology.

    Same if the primary cooling circuit fails, there is no point is saying it is just a plumbing problem and not the nuclear technology which is at fault.

    If wind turbine falls over you are going say “windmills” don’t work, not try to make excuses about it being an unrelated problem with aluminium pylons.

    Yes, there is lots of FAKE news circulating, please don’t add to it.

    • This is akin to blaming the loss of CV-2 USS Lexington to a failure of aircraft carrier technology at the Battle of the Coral Sea. Lexington was lost due to poor damage control preparation and procedures. Fukushima was lost due to poor design of backup power sources.

      • Additionally, for any reactor that has a similar flaw, the fix is easy. Either move the backup generators or water proof the basement.
        PS: Even if a reactor does have this flaw, if it isn’t located in an area where 20 foot tsunamis are a possibility, you don’t have a problem in the first place.

      • The problem in Japan is that the coastal plain is the only place you can build much of anything… And nuclear power stations have to have access to large volumes of water.

        The plant was protected by a seawall; but it was only designed to handle about a 10′ tsunami.

      • They should have used Candu heavy water reactors (like we have in Canada). The moderator and the coolant are one and the same. If you lose coolant for any reason, the reaction stops.

      • Not exactly. Fukushima was lost because no one thought to build it above the Tsunami line. There is a statue there to remind them of the previous Tsunami one, up the hill a bit. I would call this gross negligence by the design team, location on Japan’s Pacific Coast must surely be conservative and account for all history. and the known risk of a pressure wave from a sideways shift of a 5 mile deep wall of water. How hard can it be? What were they thinking?

      • Timo, the CANDU reactors are not the only ones where coolant and moderator are one and the same. In fact, light water reactors also use water as both coolant and moderator, just like the reactors at Fukushima Daichi. When they lost their coolant, their reaction would have shut down if it had not already been shut down by the operators well before the tsunami hit.

        The fuel melted due to the heat generated by the radioactive decay of the fuel. The fuel in CANDU reactors is also radioactive and also generates decay heat.

    • @Greg

      You mean to say you’re passing up this fantastic opportunity to blame CAGW for this failure?

      That’s a first on this blog isn’t it?

      Perhaps the tide of opinion is turning after all.

      • It is a bit of a surprise that nobody has made a CAGW attribution for the disaster. Something along the lines that the tsunami was made worse by rising sea levels due to CAGW. Either there is limit to how ridiculous an assertion they are willing to make or that it is merely an oversight. History suggests oversight.

    • When you think about a diesel submarine, those generators and tanks could have stayed there in the basement if it had been watertight and equipped with a schnorkel

      • Yep. The basements could have been sealed and equipped with snorkels. I think some of the basements had actually been sealed.

      • Just watertight would have been enough. The area was underwater for only a few minutes. Restart the diesels after the water had drained.

    • “If wind turbine falls over you are going say “windmills” don’t work, not try to make excuses about it being an unrelated problem with aluminium pylons.”

      False dichotomy. And lame attempt to pretend to know how everyone else thinks. I would only say “windmills don’t work” if we had built every sort of windmill possible and none of them did what they are supposed to do. I don’t expect windmills that fall over to work. It would be illogical and inaccurate to say that “windmill technology failed” if it was merely a foundational failure, or it got hit by an airplane.

  11. Great article although I must admit I dislike the term “fake news.” It’s really just falsehoods or misinformation. Giving legs to the term “fake news” only keeps that Orwellian strategy from dying. Somehow “fake” seems less bad than “lies” or “propaganda.” It’s subtle but calling something “fake” news implies that no further disproof is required since the word “fake” already does the disproving. It’s a word that allows lazy people to think even less about things. Or am I out to lunch?

    • I just think “fake news” is more fun than lies, propaganda, falsehoods or misinformation. Plus… Fake News could just be the result of reporters being fundamentally stupid people.

      • Reporters aren’t stupid.

        It takes a very refined intelligence to evaluate sources for ‘public interest’ without being distracted by ‘importance’ or ‘relevance’ or ‘truth’.

      • M Courtney @ 7:51 ‘public interest’ without being distracted by ‘importance’ or ‘relevance’ or ‘truth’

        That is why there are 97 mentions of the SI Swimsuit Cover for every one of … any serious topic.

      • The Fake News meme is good. It calls attention to the lies that the MSM are telling. It makes people question what they are told, rather than automatically accepting it as fact. That’s all to the good because there are a lot of self-serving lies out there to wade through to get to the truth.

        Trump tweeted yesterday that Fake News was a danger to the American people. Trump is absolutely correct. We cannot govern ourselves if all we get out of the MSM are partisan political lies and half-truths that create a completely false view of the real world and our situation.

        The MSM had a fit over Trump’s tweet, claiming Trump was attacking the Fourth Estate by saying the News Media was dangerous to the American people, but that’s not what Trump was saying. He was saying *Lies* are the danger to the American people. That doesn’t necessarily damn the MSM, but if the MSM lies, then they are a danger to the American people. And they are lying out their you know what, right now.

        As long as they continue to lie, Trump should continue calling them Very Fake News, because that’s what they are, and the president is obliged to tell the American people the truth and protect them from danger such as partisan political lies foisted off as the truth by the Left/MSM.

    • David Middleton,

      I just think “fake news” is more fun than lies, propaganda, falsehoods or misinformation. Plus… Fake News could just be the result of reporters being fundamentally stupid people.

      I agree. In all my life I have never heard the term I think the term “fake News” used, or at least rarely, until the election. Whether you agree with Trump or not, I think the MSM has since so overused the term to attack and delegitimize him and his administration that it’s backfiring on them, especially when the people complaining about “fake news” and “alt-facts” are the ones publishing them. I think the term “fake News” is now being used for the most part now, as in comments here, to mock and make fun of the MSM. And they ARE to dumb or self-absorbed to see it.

  12. Fake news or just alarmism?

    We have to be careful to distinguish between the two because otherwise we cannot responsibly address either the alarmist cause depicted here or the alarmist cause of climate extremism.

    • Fake news is generally the result of some combination of:

      1) Reporters and/or editors running with unverifiable information from unnamed sources because they want to “get the scoop”.
      2) Reporters and/or editors who are too stupid to accurately report the story.
      3) Reporters and/or editors who sensationalize a story to increase ratings and/or circulation.

      Alarmism is generally the product of government officials, academia and activist groups. It is the use of willful exaggeration in order to push preferred policies.

      In the case of Fukushima, I think most of the media nonsense has been fake news, rather than an alarmist effort to further kill the nuclear power industry.

      • “It is the use of willful exaggeration in order to push preferred policies.”

        Sometimes, but even that is not necessary.
        A lack of context is all that is required.
        For example citing 100 measurements that indicate that catastrophic climate change is under way, without revealing (or even knowing) that 1000 measurements were taken and the other 900 were ambiguous or somewhat contradictory. They don’t write headlines on the planes that land safely, so it is rather easy to get a distorted view on how safe air travel actually is.

      • Another trick is to talk about how big a recent storm was without mentioning that storms just as big and bigger have struck in the past.

      • bezotch & MarkW,

        Good addition to the list: A lack of meaningful context.

        A Manhattan-sized chunk of ice calving off a Greenland outflow glacier sounds huge; but the statement is devoid of meaningful context…

        Manhattan-sized Icebergs are insignificant relative to Greenland-sized ice sheets.

        • Manhattan: 34 square miles.
        • Greenland ice sheet: 660,235 square miles.

        Manhattan = 0.005% of Greenland ice sheet. 99.995% of the Greenland ice sheet did not participate in this event.

        If one Manhattan-sized chunk of ice calved into the ocean every year and there was no snow accumulation in Greenland for 1,000 years, Greenland would lose 5% of its ice sheet.

        A little perspective on Manhattan-sized chunks of ice…

        Figure 10. Manhattan-sized chunks of ice are insignificant compared to Petermann Glacier, much less the Greenland ice sheet.
        (Wikipedia and Google Earth)

        The yellow trapezoid in the middle of the red circle is “Manhattan.” Massive calving events from the Petermann Glacier are not unusual… “Whether the massive calving in 2010 represents natural episodic variability or a response to global and/or ocean warming in the fjord remains speculative…” (Johannessen et al., 2011). Petermann Glacier isn’t even calving from the glacial terminus. It’s actually calving from the ice shelf in the northern outlet of Baffin Bay.


  13. Unimaginable? NOT

    I wrote the following a week ago on Facebook:

    The radiation levels at Fukushima did NOT all of a sudden soar to 530 Sv/hr. It was actually “just the first detection of the actual level at a place nearer to the damaged fuel.”

    (My background related to this topic: In the mid 1990s, I developed and subsequently taught training material on Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMG) for the nuclear unit where I worked. The training material I developed is still in use.)

    • Mike

      Your qualifications and comments are appreciated.

      However, you do realize the fact you actually understand what you are talking about disqualifies you as a reporter of these events. You have demonstrated you will allow facts, experience and logic to get in the way of IT’S WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT – WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

      • I once read a book by USMC Gen. Lewis Walt, commander of US forces in I CTZ Vietnam. In the book, the general described a press briefing in which he told the reporters something like this:

        “2nd battalion, 1st Marines will be sweeping the area north of Danang, 3rd battalion…” At which point, a reporter interrupted with a stupid question, “General, what’s a battalion?” General Walt replied, “You mean to tell me that your newspaper sent you half-way around the world to cover a war, and you don’t know what a battalion is?” The reporter replied, “They didn’t want to send someone who might be biased.”

        I think the book was The Eleventh Hour.

      • ““2nd battalion, 1st Marines will be sweeping the area north of Danang, 3rd battalion…” At which point, a reporter interrupted with a stupid question, “General, what’s a battalion?” General Walt replied, “You mean to tell me that your newspaper sent you half-way around the world to cover a war, and you don’t know what a battalion is?” The reporter replied, “They didn’t want to send someone who might be biased.”

        Yes, the Leftwing news media of the time didn’t want to send anyone to Vietnam who would report favorably on the war. The lies they told back then actually ended up causing me to go to Vietnam. Every account I read about the war, while stationed in Germany, read like the U.S. was losing badly in Vietnam and was barely hanging on by a fingernail.

        My mind couldn’t accept the fact that the U.S. military was losing this war, so I volunteered for Vietnam service, because I had to go see for myself, whether my worldview was completely wrong or not.

        When I got to Vietnam in 1968, I found that the military situation was just the opposite of how it was being reported in the news media. The U.S. was winning and the North Vietnamese were losing badly. That’s when I first realized the news media doesn’t always tell the truth. They let their personal political opinions color their reporting, either deliberately or subconciously.

  14. tl;dr

    Tepco has CONSTANTLY lied about the amount of radiation coming out of the THREE reactors in melt-down, so now that real numbers are showing up the news is moronically reporting an increase in the radiation.

    • Not reporting what you want to hear, is a lie?
      The real numbers are showing up because they have finally been measured. FOR THE FIRST TIME.

  15. “Fake News” (different from “oops, we made a mistake and we’ll correct it”) brings into focus the press’ ethics, intellectual dishonesty and gross lack of subject matter knowledge.

    As bad as this is with “climate science”, I suspect it’s doubly bad with anything having to do with nuclear physics – most of these writers don’t know the difference between an atom and their anus. Love him or hate him, Trump hit the nail on the head yesterday when he told the press “…nobody believes you anymore…’.

    • Starting with Blairite Spin Strategies (maybe before?), followed by the climateGate shenanigans (inventing spurious ‘truths’), followed by Clintonesque distortions of & deviations from the truth, now NOAAGate, to say nothing of O-ba-ma-seat-of-ma-pants trampling of due Constitutional processes, we truly live in the Post=Truth World. NOTHING is to be believed ‘cos it’s self-serving to the utterer and designed to mislead the hot-polloi voters. The MSM has sold its soul to sensationalism with its concomitant wild exaggerations.
      THERE IS NO “TRUTH” ANY LONGER, ANYWHERE. NOTHING CAN BE BELIEVED. Anything you see or read is news that is FAKE. So everything is “Fake News”.

  16. The phrase “failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 m tsunami” does not quite do justice to the incompetence involved. There were historical reports of a tsunami having inundated the site of the reactors, but Tepco had conveniently decided to start its historical period for a variety of purposes just after this event.

    • When the plant was built, “the tsunami countermeasures taken when Fukushima Daiichi was designed and sited in the 1960s were considered acceptable in relation to the scientific knowledge then, with low recorded run-up heights for that particular coastline”…

      The original design basis tsunami height was 3.1 m for Daiichi based on assessment of the 1960 Chile tsunami and so the plant had been built about 10 metres above sea level with the seawater pumps 4 m above sea level. The Daini plant was built 13 metres above sea level. In 2002 the design basis was revised to 5.7 metres above, and the seawater pumps were sealed. In the event, tsunami heights coming ashore were about 15 metres, and the Daiichi turbine halls were under some 5 metres of seawater until levels subsided. Daini was less affected. The maximum amplitude of this tsunami was 23 metres at point of origin, about 180 km from Fukushima.In the last century there have been eight tsunamis in the region with maximum amplitudes at origin above 10 metres (some much more), these having arisen from earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 to 8.4, on average one every 12 years. Those in 1983 and in 1993 were the most recent affecting Japan, with maximum heights at origin of 14.5 metres and 31 metres respectively, both induced by magnitude 7.7 earthquakes. The June 1896 earthquake of estimated magnitude 8.3 produced a tsunami with run-up height of 38 metres in Tohoku region, killing more than 27,000 people.The tsunami countermeasures taken when Fukushima Daiichi was designed and sited in the 1960s were considered acceptable in relation to the scientific knowledge then, with low recorded run-up heights for that particular coastline. But some 18 years before the 2011 disaster, new scientific knowledge had emerged about the likelihood of a large earthquake and resulting major tsunami of some 15.7 metres at the Daiichi site. However, this had not yet led to any major action by either the plant operator, Tepco, or government regulators, notably the Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency (NISA). Discussion was ongoing, but action minimal. The tsunami countermeasures could also have been reviewed in accordance with IAEA guidelines which required taking into account high tsunami levels, but NISA continued to allow the Fukushima plant to operate without sufficient countermeasures such as moving the backup generators up the hill, sealing the lower part of the buildings, and having some back-up for seawater pumps, despite clear warnings.A report from the Japanese government’s Earthquake Research Committee on earthquakes and tsunamis off the Pacific coastline of northeastern Japan in February 2011 was due for release in April, and might finally have brought about changes. The document includes analysis of a magnitude 8.3 earthquake that is known to have struck the region more than 1140 years ago, triggering enormous tsunamis that flooded vast areas of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. The report concludes that the region should be alerted of the risk of a similar disaster striking again. The 11 March earthquake measured magnitude 9.0 and involved substantial shifting of multiple sections of seabed over a source area of 200 x 400 km. Tsunami waves devastated wide areas of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.


      • With all due respects, the claim that

        When the plant was built, “the tsunami countermeasures taken when Fukushima Daiichi was designed and sited in the 1960s were considered acceptable in relation to the scientific knowledge then, with low recorded run-up heights for that particular coastline”…

        is contradicted by the tsunami stones. IIRC there were tsunami stones on that coastline. They were not heeded.

      • David, I suspect a certain amount of mis-information on this topic. I got my information from people at GE Nuclear. See for instance the following (DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0379)…

        Soloviev & Go [14] in their 1974 monumental work on tsunamis in the Western Pacific Ocean refer to the 13 July AD 869 (known as the Jōgan earthquake) event as especially strong in the vicinity of Sendai and surmised that its triggering earthquake was an M∼8.6 with an epicentral location approximately 120 km west of the 11 March 2011 event (figure 1). They refer to 19 studies for this event in the period 1868–1969. Presumably on the basis of these studies, they assigned it a tsunami intensity I=4, which is one of their highest values for Japan tsunamis. Yet, in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident, it has been argued repeatedly that the Jōgan tsunami had not been documented until 2001 [17], well after the design of the NPP.

        BTW, your Fake news item #4: The site zerohedge.com showed the tsumani amplitude map, with all clear identifying information removed, and promoting it as a map of radiation, though they did leave the legend for height, but left it unexplained. Reprehensible Fake News.

      • Designing something on the basis of current knowledge isn’t “cherry-picking.” When the plant was built, the tsunami countermeasures were considered adequate. Clearly, they weren’t. Since the time the plant was built, it had become apparent that countermeasures weren’t adequate. Neither TEPCO nor the regulators took any action to improve the countermeasures on the basis of the improved scientific knowledge the tsunami risk.

        However, this has nothing to do with the nuclear technology.

      • Just north of Fukushima I and II is the nuclear plant at Onogawa. It was built in 1980 with a 14 meter wall and was a lot closer to the epicenter of the earthquake and the tsunami, I think, was also higher. It was used as a refuge after the tsunami and earthquake. It survived very well despite remarkable ground motion. It is an example of a properly built facility. Fukushima is an example of a very poorly designed and built plant. Using Fukushima to try to convince skeptics of the safety of nuclear power is sort of like trying to convince someone of the safety of travel by automobile using as an example a fatal accident involving a drunk who wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and who was exceeding the speed limit by double during an ice storm. For example, the torus or wetwell was intentionally built below the water table.

        The BWR Mark I (used at Fukushima I) has a Primary Containment system comprising a free-standing bulb-shaped drywell of 30 mm steel backed by a reinforced concrete shell, and connected to a torus-shaped wetwell beneath it containing the suppression pool… The wetwell is connected to the dry containment by a system of vents, which discharge under the suppression pool water in the event of high pressure in the dry containment. … If a loss of coolant accident (LOCA) occurs, steam flows from the dry containment (drywell) through a set of vent lines and pipes into the suppression pool, where the steam is condensed.

        In other words, the torus or wetwell is directly connected to the inside of the primary pressure vessel containing the core. In the event of an accident, the most radioactive stuff had a direct route to the torus. So what did they do? The lowered the water table by using sump pumps around the perimeter of the reactor buildings. When the plant suffered a total blackout, the sump pumps stopped running and the water table rose again to its normal level, leaving the most radioactive stuff in the torus under water. In order to minimize ground water contamination, IIRC the sump pumps have never been restarted and water is pumped out of the basements of the buildings to try to maintain a net flow INTO the basements. This contaminated water is treated and stored onsite. They are trying to freeze the ground around the buildings to isolate them, but with difficulties.

        The Onogawa plant is an example of what the future of nuclear energy needs to be. Nobody ever expected a nuclear plant to be able to safely survive what Onogawa survived. Fukushima Daichi is not defensible. It serves as an example more of what not to do.

      • They rightly deserve the scorn for where the generators were, and then not fixing it (*). But the whole containment building took a really big quake, much larger than spec, and worked as design, did not breach, and shutdown as expected.

        *while it is an excuse, I think I read someplace it is a really big deal to make redesigns to an existing license, in Japan anyway.

  17. Here’s real news about groundwater radiation : far below targets:
    “6 Feb (NucNet): Radiation levels in purified groundwater pumped into the sea from sub-drain and groundwater drain systems at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station in Japan were substantially below the operational targets set by Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (Tepco), according to a report submitted by Tepco to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Tepco said its operational targets are well below those specified by the country’s nuclear regulator and about one-tenth lower than targets set by the World Health Organisation for acceptable drinking water. The results were confirmed by the Japan Chemical Analysis Centre, Tepco said. According to Tepco, analysis of seawater sampled during the discharge operation at the nearest seawater sampling post from the discharge point showed that radiation levels in seawater remain lower than the limits laid down by the regulator. The groundwater, which flows onto the nuclear site from hills behind the facility, mixes with contaminated water being used to cool melted fuel. The treated groundwater is only released into the sea when it is confirmed that concentrations of radioactive material have been reduced to between 0.001% and 0.0001% of their original levels and are below operational targets.”
    This from http://www.nucnet.org several weeks ago.

  18. Are you proposing we still use nuclear? In Chernobyl the problem is so bad that they have said that the whole plant has to be re- encapsulated. The price for this is so high that the Ukraine gov cannot pay for it..

    Next major problem will be in Belgium or France

    Where they discovered cracks in the reactor vessels.


    • henryp: these old chestnuts have been roasted too much. Chernobyl was a Soviet, no safety, no frills design and as such it killed 70 or so people and did make hundreds sick who were next door (the 4000 plus of the UN never materialized but sticks in the receptive heads like yours). The rest of the world’s nuclear accidents killed another half a dozen or so. Did you know that the radiation at Hiroshima dropped back down to background is year or two? Do you know that the Chernobyl exclusion zone is now a naturally redeveloped game park like a ‘Serengeti’ of Europe? Oh yes, there were deformed animals for a few years, but guess what? Wolves and other predators ate the weak and deformed and now they are amazingly recovered. The old stories, of course don’t easily get revised. There are ‘Babushkas’ picking mushrooms, etc in the forest and some of these have been conducting tours there for years.


      “The idea that the world’s biggest radioactive wasteland could become Europe’s largest wildlife sanctuary is completely counterintuitive for anyone raised on nuclear dystopias.

      The news isn’t good for all animals. Many species that like human company—swallows, white storks, pigeons—mostly left the region along with the people. Also, small creatures seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of radiation than large ones. That may be why Chernobyl rodents studied in the 1990s had shorter life spans and smaller litters than their counterparts outside the zone. Stag beetles had uneven horns. But it didn’t affect their population numbers.

      And because the health of wild animal species is usually judged by their numbers rather than the conditions of individuals, Chernobyl wildlife is considered healthy. According to all the population counts performed by Ukraine and Belarus over the past 27 years, there is enormous animal diversity and abundance. The prevailing scientific view of the exclusion zone has become that it is an unintentional wildlife sanctuary. This conclusion rests on the premise that radiation is less harmful to wildlife populations than we are”

      I hope this doesn’t meet with the usual imperviousness of the ‘committed’, henryp

      • If people were interested in the facts they would read them, UNSCEAR has reported several times on Chernobyl and Fujushima. No more than 50 people hav ever dies in nuclear generation related accidents. Its not 90, that is more nonsense, Far less per unit enrgy than any other modility.. You can’y t make delusional people understand the facts, though, because they prefer their beliefs. These are eco worriers. Irrational belief is the way of life they choose, grasping at evry scare story they don’t understand the science of and don’t research either, supported by a civilisation that depends on following the provable science we have developed to protect ourselves using the energy we produce from our machines. etc. We have to leave these irrational people be. They are not of this world. Let it go……queue music…..

      • Brian, I got your message about the futility of preaching to the impervious, but I was inspired over 50yrs ago by Christian missionaries who spent 25 yrs (this was in 1964 when I was a geologist with the Geol Survey of Nigeria – who knows, they may be still trying) preaching to the Muslims of Timbuktu and had only succeeded in converting two people, both lepers. I sometimes use much more polite offerings than the one above just to confirm your thesis on ineluctable minds.

    • Henry,
      Fear and loathing are poor substitutes for knowledge and wisdom. Nuclear energy is the safest form of energy production on the planet on a per watt basis. It is also the only energy source capable of providing all our ever increasing energy needs into the far future.

      • Henry,
        There are modern designs now that would be far cheaper to build than the reactors currently in use and not only will produce little (low-level) waste, but will burn the current stockpile of spent fuel. But the political and legal atmosphere is so poisoned that it has been impossible to get them approved, let alone built. The only reason to oppose them is to enable one to make the claim that nuclear is too dangerous and expensive.

        Affordable, reliable, and abundant energy is the key to raising ALL of humankind out of crushing poverty. No technology is 100% risk free, but poverty, especially energy poverty, is the cause of more human misery and deaths than any other single factor you can name.

        When considering those four things (affordability, reliability, abundance, safety), nuclear energy is the clear winner over all other energy sources. The newer designs should be even better. Given all this, why would you oppose it? Unless you just hate people.

      • Paul

        most of you pro guys are not getting my point here.
        Nuclear is in fact NOT economical compared to gas or even with coal {even with SO2 and heavy metal removal } so why would you still want to support it?
        They are burying the waste here somewhere in the ground between Kimberley and Cape Town, and I am supposed to feel OK to see all the signs there to keep away [danger radiation signs] ???
        You have to be crazy.
        Why would anyone in his right mind want this kind of energy?

      • “most of you pro guys are not getting my point here.”

        That’s because you haven’t got one.

        An alarmist paranoid fantasy based on zero knowledge and even less understanding does not constitute a point.

      • Henry,
        No, I understand your point. It’s just stupid. Basically you are saying that 1960’s era nuclear power technology can’t compete with modern natural gas and coal power, especially given the current low cost of those fuels.

        MY point is, that there are new designs that would be more than competitive, at least for baseload. But none of these designs have been approved, let along built,, because of fear of nuclear. Naked fear, driven by the lies of the “green” groups and corrupt politicians that are happy to take their money. Not economic or any other considerations.

      • Paul

        if you have a design for a nuclear plant that has no pollutant why is it not being promoted? Thorium? How far are they with that? Burning gas has almost no pollutant. More carbondioxide is better?
        Via the Paris agreement they are now forcing third world countries to get nuclear plants which puts them in heavy debt. Crazy. All because of the CO2 nonsense.

    • The broken Chernobyl reactor does not need to be re-encapsulated. Here is typical FP yield grouped by half-life:
      Long ____ > 100,000 years __ 20.8%
      Medium __ 4.8 – 100 years ___ 11.7%
      Short ____ < 4.8 years ______ 67.6%

      68% of FP have already decayed away to 0.1% of their initial activity or less. These were the short-lived, very active FPs. So over 2/3 of the FP radiation has gone now. Plutonium-239 and transuranics are still an issue with half-lives of hundreds to thousands of years. But these substances stay where they are. They will not get up to fly outside the plant and attack you. The radiation emitted is mostly quickly dissipated. Alpha- and beta- radiation have no significant penetration in air. Only gamma penetrates but it's activity falls off as the square of its distance from the reactor. Build a 20-foot thick earth wall around the reactor and gamma too will not penetrate. The other 3 reactors next to the exploded one continued operation for years after 1986, when it was most dangerous for people to operate them.

      The mausoleum around the exploded Chernobyl reactor is there just for show. Not to protect anyone. A €1 billion fashion statement.

  19. For those who, like practically everybody, hasn’t seen info on the changes since Fukushima
    (since the news media doesn’t cover anything but scare stories about nuclear) there have, in this country (and in Europe as well) added precautions to ensure that 1) back up power is resistant to all kinds of natural disasters and 2) that (in the U.S.) emergency pumping equipment is stored in two sites in this country (Memphis and Oak Ridge, I believe) that contain every kind of equipment that a nuclear power station that had lost power or otherwise lost the ability to pump cooling water thru its reactor could possibly need to restore core cooling. The equipment can be airlifted within hours to any U.S. nuclear reactor. Changes that make such emergency equipment unlikely to be needed in the first place include multiple backup power generators, including diesel, batteries, etc. Some have three levels of backup power generators, with a variety of technologies, located where they can withstand all kinds of natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, fires, etc). The notion of a U.S. Fukushima is pretty much a pipe dream held only by the paranoid anti-nuclear crowd.

  20. Is the 350 tons of enriched uranium still burning in uncontrolled fission or has that stopped?

    [Primary fission stopped milliseconds after the accident. All delayed neutron production stopped a few seconds after the accident, which stopped even the delayed fission.
    Decay heat continued to be generated, and will continue for years after the accident. BUT! Decay heat is a very small fraction of the instantaneous heat level generated prior to the accident, and will continue to decrease as each day and each year passes after the shutdown. Enough to cause damage, but a small fraction of the original heat being generated in the reactor. .mod]

  21. My Dad was,for the bulk of his career, the head of a nuclear reactor safety division at a national lab. Interestingly, when Fukushima occurred he was emailing with some of the folks on the ground. He also did work for the Japanese folks. He ran this test:

    (Note, the wall was 12 feet thick, the plane was going ~480 mph and the deepest dent in the wall was ~2.5 inches) was for the Japanese folks IIRC. They wanted to know what would happen if an airliner hit a containment dome. The answer, everyone on the plane dies and you sweep up the wreckage of the plane afterwards.

    Anyway, back in the day he had a pool in their test area that had a beta radiation source at the bottom. They would take components, seal them, drop them down in the water and expose them to the source for a while, pull them back up and test them. Radiation hardness testing. The pool had a lovely blue hue due to Cherenkov radiation.

    So, after some time they needed to drain the pool. Due to some regulations he had to inform the state and city about it. He informed the proper folks and the next thing you know there was a giant backlash. There were op-eds about how the lab was trying to kill all the children by releasing nuclear water into the sewer system. It was in all the papers, there were public meetings, etc. Poor Dad had to deal with all this.

    The thing was, the water that was going to be released was about as radioactive as beer. I had stuck my arm in the pool. As long as the radiation source was contained, the water was perfectly safe.

    Yet the outrage continued. This went on for a year or so if I remember correctly. The water was finally dumped and was no big deal.

    That was when I learned that a) the press generally doesn’t know shit about nuclear b) the word ‘radiation’ used in any article scares a large percentage of the population because they have no understanding whatsoever of the subject and c) the general population freaks about small things while ignoring real issues.

    Regarding the backup generators/nuclear technology bit. This was a failure of management, not nuclear technology. The management was told that a tsunami could take out the backup generators. Apparently, they judged the risk of losing the backup generators due to the tsunami as very low. That was a bad call that was also made by cities which tsunami walls were also too small to deal with the wave.


    • Many years ago when CD players with lasers were introduced, a woman of my acquaintance was horrified to see that it had a ‘Radiation’ sticker on it due to the laser, which she took to mean that it was radioactive.

      There was nothing that anyone could say to convince her it was totally harmless, because as far as she was concerned, ‘Radiation’ meant radioactivity, like atom bombs.

      So she got rid of it again…

      • You can’t fix stupid. Politicians and fraudsters rely on it to sell people phoney science as fact with expensive snake oil cures. [Never] fails, it seems.

  22. I am sure that people who owned properties close to the Fukushima nuclear plant were told how safe it was and how a nuclear accident was unimaginable. I guess they now see things very differently to people that are sitting at their armchairs at the other side of the world. Their properties might recover their former value in tens of thousands of years. I seriously doubt anybody commenting here would like to buy them even at a discount.

    • Most of their properties will recover just fine and much of the evacuation was totally unnecessary…

      The Fukushima Disaster Wasn’t Disastrous Because Of The Radiation

      James Conca, CONTRIBUTOR
      I write about nuclear, energy and the environment

      The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March of 2011 was a disaster of epic proportions – over 20,000 people died, over 300,000 left homeless, a blow to the country’s economic and infrastructure unlike anything in the last 40 years.

      A week later, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, crippled by the tsunami, released a cloud of radiation that impacted neighboring prefectures and triggered a mass evacuation. The plant is still leaking.

      But the real health and environmental impacts from the Fukushima reactors are nothing compared to the tsunami. Contrary to all the hype and fear, Fukushima is basically a large Superfund site. No one will die from Fukushima radiation, there will be no increased cancer rates, the food supply is not contaminated, the ocean nearby is not contaminated, most of the people can move back into their homes, and most of the other nuclear plants in Japan can start up just fine.

      In fact, some Superfund sites in the United States have caused more health effects and environmental damage than the crippled Japanese reactors ever will.


      Yes, the Fukushima site is a mess. It will cost billions to clean up. It was completely avoidable but Japan did not have a working regulatory commission or the safety guidelines that are in place in America. And they ignored our repeated warnings.

      But as to death and destruction, the Fukushima accident shows that nuclear power plant disasters are not very disastrous.


      • Conca, I have followed him for years, even conversed. He is not just a promoter of nuclear, he is a true believer, and a shill with a voice via forbes. Guaranteed slanted

      • If what you say is actually true, it should be trivial to show where Conca is wrong.
        Otherwise you are just attacking the messenger.

    • Javier,
      Thousands of years, eh? You don’t know much (or really anything) about nuclear physics, do you? If what you assert were true, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would still be barren wastelands, not thriving cities as they are today.

      • Background radiation at Hiroshima was back to background levels within about a year! Nuclear is the only way going into the future after fossil fuels whether we like it or not. Actually fossil fuels may become too strategic a resource for petrochemical feedstocks and burning it may become foolish for that alone. It may be fusion eventually but the atom is our destiny. Starting with this incontrovertible fact, ten percent of the cash being spent on CO2 hysterics would be enough to research all possible problems (nuclear waste, design parameters, control, etc. etc.). We just have to push past the Luddite mutants and let them whine. Like rescuing the Nile crocodile, we will be saving them, too, while they are trying to bite our asses off.

  23. David
    fake news = promoting nuclear energy, when you know that building gas plants is 10 x cheaper and that the CO2 produced changes nothing to the weather….

    • I’m not promoting nuclear energy. I am refuting lies and fake news about nuclear energy. I make my living finding oil & gas. If I was going to promote something, it would be oil & gas.

      • then why not be happy with the ‘fake’ news and say nothing more about it? anyone still promoting the building of new nuclear plants must be insane, not least because of the costs, which have increased by multiples since the C + F incidents.

      • Because nuclear power is safe and it is future, particularly fusion.. Anyone who thinks otherwise is terminally ignorant.

      • yes David
        they build a nuclear plant here, in Koeberg, on the coast,
        and all the fish that were here, died. Can you tell me why?
        Nuclear fusion is still dead because we do not know how to harness the magnetic field strengths.
        [btw changing magnetic field strengths on the Sun is what actually causes climate change]
        Who would you say is the ignorant person here?

      • I know exactly why the fish around the plant died. Apparently you do not. I am saying that anyone who promotes nuclear in the current world [economy & all that] must be mad.

      • HenryP, so your position is that nobody should say anything about the lies being told, unless the lies hurt them personally?

      • The major reason for the increase in costs is due to idiots such as you HenryP, that cause unnecessary regulatory delays and equipment redesigns after construction has already started.

      • If all the fish did indeed die, it was probably due to pollution from the construction site. It wasn’t from radiation.

      • @MarkW – I was thinking maybe it was a change in the water temperature from the outflow of the plant. In Maryland many decades ago the warm water was used to grow oysters year round.

      • indeed
        the change in T around a plant is what destroys an eco system
        and sometimes it starts up another…
        why would you support nuclear? It is not economical at present.

      • HenryP, anti-nuclear power activists have never cared the value of a plague rat’s ass about cost. Some large portion of the cost of building a nuclear power plant is pure lawfare, which is the direct result of activism. If the greens as a whole really believed in greenhouse gasses as evil, and cared about not crashing the grid, they would support nuclear, as it is the only CO2 free source of power besides hydro (which they also oppose).

      • Tom
        I am not a greeny beanie
        I believe more CO2 is better.
        It is just like dung in the air. Everything grows better. That is why they add it in the air of green houses to get bigger tomatoes…
        Gas power plants are [much] cheaper than nuclear power plants. Why would you still want to support nuclear power?

      • @ David Middleton,
        Anyone reading this site or your posts, wants to hear the truth.
        That is why they are here.
        Remember that.

      • yes David
        they build a nuclear plant here, in Koeberg, on the coast,
        and all the fish that were here, died. Can you tell me why?

        Because you are lying?

    • Where I used to live near the coast there were 3 nuclear plants. We use to fish the outlets because fish there were larger. So Henry, why did those fish die and where is the data?

    • @ Henry P
      Try looking up Galen Winsor on youtube.
      Or reading Robert Zubrin’s book: Merchants of Despair.
      Zubrin is a PhD nuclear engineer with 9 patents to his name or pending.

      John Doran.

      • Is NucPwr cheapest or not?
        Only a comparative set of DCF (Discount Cash Flow) analyses between competing power-gen alternatives will help answer this question objectively.
        Capital Cost Inputs are:
        1. Initial CapEx
        2. Decommissioning costs
        3. Measurable Externalities, capitalized (e.g., population displacement & loss-of-ag-land costs for a dam-scheme)

        Direct Op., Maint. & periodic overhaul/refurbishment costs
        Indirect costs such as Licensing, Insurance

        Sales Revenues projected from long-term, capacity-maximizing operations (as a start-point before prioritizing dispatch).

        Nota bene that in the context of hydrocarbon-powered power-plant, arguments will rage over the valuation of externalities such as CO2 (however spurious the competing claims might be). In the context of dams, methane production & impacts on fish habitat.

        Nota bene also that Nuclear Power suffers few externalities in comparison:
        a. It is free of emissions of CO2, Sulphates, NOX, toxic particulates (e.g., Mercury, heavy metals)
        b. No aerial acidification & down-wind agricultural/aquacultural impacts
        c. Minimal, below ambient irradiation

        Yes, my critics will crow, but what about Chernobyl & Fukushima? To which my answer is:
        i. They were rogue incidents, and the World has survived them with nary a blink globally;
        ii. Modern reactor designs will accommodate lessons learnt therefrom and mistakes will *NOT* be repeated. Existing reactors will be retro-fitted concomitantly.
        iii. The radioactive releases from these disasters have largely dissipated below ambient levels of radioactivity world-wide.

      • Yes sure, I looked it up. It is about people profiting on or from the fear of people.
        My argument is that nuclear has become too expensive to build. Apart from that, you sit with the waste; I rather have more CO2.
        Whether fear plays or played a part in that?
        You tell me.

      • It’s actually about the falsely generated fear of nuclear. Nuclear has become too expensive through the generation of fear & the employment of bureaucrats to enforce unnecessary regulations. read the book I reco’d.

      • Not the case. Compared to what – other CAPEX that has maassive OPEX? I sent you the costs already. The amounts are not significant compared to even the waste in renewable subsidies -$7 or $8 B pa in UK alone, to make things worse than building nuclear.New nuclear $4.5-5B per GW. The table from IEA Data is mashed, you have to count the columns.

        TYPE / CCGT Gas /Clean Coal / 90% CCS / Coal / Nuclear / Slow Fission / Onshore Wind Solar PV

        CAPEX $M/MWh (i) 1,000.00 2,000.00 4,000.0 5,000.00 2,400.00 6,000.00
        BUILD Years (i) 2.00 4.00 4.00 7.00 1.00 1.00
        Life Expectancy 30.00 40.00 40.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
        Annual Linear Depreciation 0% interest 33.33 50.00 100.00 83.33 96.00 240.00

    • Abject nonsense. It only appears to be a flat line because of the scale of the x-axis. The Fukushima graph is averaging 0.20 μSv +/- 0.04 per hour. 0.04 is 20% of 0.20.

    • What in your fevered imagination, is the cause of this alleged variation?
      Unless the amount of radioactive material is constantly changing, or somehow the shielding between the sensor and the radioactive material changes, the total radiation will only change as the total amount decays. Slowly, over months and years.

      • No, he – and most other informed individuals – promotes nuclear because unlike you he understands the technology and the risks and advantages of it and isn’t frightened by crackpot alarmist bedwetter fantasies, and doesn’t believe every “Green’ lie that achieves currency amongst the feebleminded.

    • The only animals that died because of Fukushima radiation were in the immediate vicinity of the plant and even then only for a month or so after the accident.

      • You wouldn’t recognise facts if a swarm of them scuttled under your bridge and bit youi on the snout.

      • Argument by ignorance.
        You don’t know what it was, therefore it must have been radiation.

        Since we both know that’s the best you can do. You can retire in full shame.

      • More likely the birds left when the people left. I bet the correlation between human population and bird population is much better than between bird population and radiation levels.

      • You note that bird populations have dropped. Without any evidence you assume that it must be because of the radiation. Any other explanation has to have proof, but yours doesn’t.
        And that’s without even bothering to prove that there actually has been a drop in bird populations.

    • No one here has seen this number 10,000 to 20,000 “equivalent nuclear bombs” before so why don’t you give us a source. Also you should specify whether you’re using 1 KT battlefield nuclear shells or 50 MT thermonuclear bombs as the unit of measure. There is a difference, I believe.

      I met people like you in the run-up to Québec making uranium exploration illegal. They didn’t use facts and figures, just anecdotes and made-up factoids.

      Got to go, work to do.

      • “No one here has seen this number 10,000 to 20,000 “equivalent nuclear bombs” before so why don’t you give us a source.”

        Probably the Guardian.

        That’s where most of the Green nutters get their alarmist BS from.

    • consider the possibility that the 10000 to 20000 equivalent nuclear bombs of radiation that were released by Fukushima

      Where did you get that claptrap?

  24. It is also insightful that as the Globalists made there last push for global control with their flawed horse in the race, that horse was the secretary of state during Fukushima, and she got advice from the head globablist himself, Kissinger, to conspire with Japan to cover up Fukushima and USA would buy their radioactive food without testing as long as Japan didn’t fight the NWO too much.

    Data straight from her emails……


    • One thing with conspiracy nutcases, is their firm conviction that lack of evidence to support their delusions is merely proof of how effective the conspiracy is.

    • … Kissinger, to conspire with Japan to cover up Fukushima and USA would buy their radioactive food …

      My conspiracy theorist BS detector here just flew off the scale. 1000 Sv of toxic bullshit posting detected. Alert, Alert, …

    • You really must upgrade your tinfoil hat, the aluminium just isn’t up to the job in your case.

      Try ten gauge builders’ lead flashing, fully covering your head and hermetically sealed round your neck.

      That should prevent any further conspiracy theories penetrating.

    • The robots weren’t “killed” by radiation and their insides did not “melt”. They became disabled or stuck due to the debris and/or nature of the damage to the building they were traveling through. So yes, it was fake news when the facts were so easily obtainable.

    • Wow, the delusions are inability to deal with the real world is strong in this one.
      There are no glowing Tuna. In fact it takes the most sensitive instruments made by man to even detect the increase in radiation anywhere more than a few miles from Fukushima.

    • So it took the Humbacks 10 years to die from the radiation? Fascinating.

      Why in your demented opinion did it take 10 years for them to die when the radiation was higher years ago?
      Beyond that, can your p@ranoid imagination come up with a reason why humbacks are uniquely vulnerable to radiation?

      • They eat krill, krill use Chitin as a structure. Chitin bio accumulates man made radiation at a rate of 200 time to 2,000,000 times what is present in the water.

        Duh, you didn’t even read the material. Shameful little troll

      • I confess, I rarely read fake reports from well known conspiracy sites.
        Shame on me.

        PS: Both of your claims are nothing but BS.
        To bad you are smart enough to realize that.

      • stock,
        What you said makes so scientific sense at all. How does anything biological accumulate high energy photons (radiation)? And even if you are talking about radioactive compounds, you need to tell us which ones, and how they get into the tiny krill shells. Then you need to come up with a plausible explanation on how, in the short life of a krill, it can mange to concentrate these compounds up to a 2 million times the diluted concentration. And even if you can do all that, you still need to show some evidence that not only are the “missing” whales dead (and not just miscounted), but that they died of radiation poisoning. If not, then all you are selling is fear and loathing.

  25. I think most of the primarily well educated people on this site understand the ramifications and odds of a massive Carrington type CME or EMP. With all power down and all electronic boards fried, and the world in panic…just how many nuclear plants would shut down successfully?

      • You poor pathetic little troll. They prefer to rely on outside power to shut down, or they can use their own emergency backup systems to shut down….unless those are all fried, like the electronics / motor control centers. Kind of surprised they let you stay here

      • “You poor pathetic little troll.”

        Heh, typical troll, having lost the argument, you revert to abuse.

        It’s like this, child. The grown-ups have decided to build nuclear reactors – here’s a list of 60 currently under construction:


        And here’s a list of all the nuclear reactors currently running in the world:


        So you just keep on sleeping on your rubber sheet, and the rest of us will enjoy keeping the lights on.

      • You really stop while you are behind. CMEs and EMPs can’t destroy hardened electronics.
        CME’s can’t even destroy any electronics, they might be able to take out the power grid, but that is far from certain, especially with all the work that has been done on hardening them in recent decades.

      • All of them. I’m sure every nuclear plant has backup diesel generators to power water pumps to keep the cooling going. 3 / 5 days of such cooling and most of the short-term, ultra-active radioactive FPs are gone. So decay heat is no longer a serious problem. After that natural cooling will prevent a melt-down.

    • More fear and loathing, eh stock? Nobody knows what the extent of the damage would be from a Carrington type event today. Most of what you read about it is pure speculation. There are some things that the experts agree on, however. Power grids would probably all go down. Sensitive electronics that are not shielded will probably be damaged, but that will vary a lot by circumstances. Communications will be disrupted and some satellites will be lost. But in places with heavy radiation shielding, like nuclear power plants and critical defense installations, there will be no effect.

  26. Exactly WHICH radionuclides are being released matters. For example, just looking at a given amount of radioactive hydrogen might be much different than the same amount of cesium. The hydrogen is generally bonded with oxygen as water. It readily dilutes as soon as it comes into contact with the sea. It also has a much shorter biological half life (time required for the body to flush half of the material). Water passes through the body with a biological half life of about 7 days. Cesium reacts like potassium in the body and has a biological half life measured in months. So a given amount of radioactive water will see half of it gone in a week while an amount of cesium with exactly the same level of radioactivity will take the body months to remove.

    The majority of the contamination currently released is radioactive hydrogen which is the least dangerous of all the radionuclides. In fact, the current daily release of radioactive hydrogen is LESS than if the plant were operating normally. Current release is below that permitted for release under normal operations. The problem is that TEPCO set an expectation that they were going to prevent ANY release, which has proved impossible to actually do.

      • Hydrogen-3 has the most pathetic radioactive emitter. It decays via beta-emission, releasing 18.6 keV of energy in the process. The electron’s kinetic energy varies, with an average of 5.7 keV, while the remaining energy is carried off by the nearly undetectable electron antineutrino. Beta particles from tritium can penetrate only about 6.0 mm of air, and they are incapable of passing through the dead outermost layer of human skin.

        I’d be more worried about UV light.

  27. Radiation doses from Natural & Artificial Sources:
    Blood: 20 mrem/yr
    Building Materials: 35 mrem/yr
    Food: 25 mrem/yr
    Cosmic Rays (sea level): 35 mrem/yr
    Cosmic Rays ( Denver altitude): 70 mrem/yr
    Medical X-Rays: 100 mrem/yr
    Air travel ( NY to LA round trip) 5 mrem
    Nuclear power plant (limit at property line) 5 mrem/yr
    Average annual dose (general public) 270 mrem/yr

    Figures from Robert Zubrin’s book Merchants of Despair.
    Zubrin is a PhD nuclear engineer with 9 patents to his name or pending.
    Book details the Anti-Humanist Malthusian/Darwinian agendas of the 1%s pushing the warming/climate scam & shows how clean & safe nuclear power is being suppressed.

    John Doran.

    • Reminds me of a nuclear plant worker getting repeated warnings from her radition counting badge (that all plant workers & eg radiologists wear). On investigation, it was discovered that the cause was her eating 2 bananas a day. That gives you more radiation than is acceptable for a nuclear plant worker (due to the potassium therein, iirc).

      It appears that the ‘banana’ has become an informal measure of radiation exposure, although I forget the value of said ‘banana’.

      Whenever I get nuclear alarmism spouted at me, I ask “how many bananas is that?” When they admit to having no idea what I’m talking about, I explain, then ask them to read up about it before spouting nonsense.

  28. In early 1980’s, a medical products irradiator was built in Thorton, Colorado. It contained 12,000,000 Curies of Cs-137. At 1 meter, the gamma radiation level for one Curie of Cs-137 is 0.33 R/hr*. The dose rate for this 12 million Curies was therefore 3,960,000 R/hour at one meter (39,600 Sv/hr). I stood literally 26 feet away from the sources (~ 50,000 Ci/tube of Cs-137 in 200+ tubes) of Cs-137 and transferred the sources from the shipping cask into the storage pool. I got no dose of radiation as measured by ankle, waist, ring and collar dosimeters. How could this be? Was I behind a gigantic lead shield? Nope. Wearing my Superman cape? Nope. In fact I was shielded only by water – 24 feet of water.

    Thus the “530 Sv/hr… “unimaginable” meme was rather snort worthy to me.

    If I knew how to post a picture here, I could post one with all of the source tubes in the storage tank which shows the beautiful Cherenkov glow. The company which built the irradiator is Iotech. Unfortunately, a sister irradiator in Decatur, GA had a tube leak. A quick Bing search has this lawsuit citation over the Georgia failure: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/867/1465/1456365/ The one built in Colorado was working just fine, but they shut it down after the Georgia leak. FYI, much of the medical products in the US are sterilized via irradiators. Need a vaccination? Likely the needle and syringe were irradiated. Most US irradiators use C0-60, though there are some that use high energy X-Ray machines. CO-60 has a four times higher gamma radiation level per Curie than Cs-137.

    * Radiological Health Handbook, 1970, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bureau of Radiological Health. The reference can also be found in scores of Physics and Health Physics books.

    • Radioactive Cesium-137 .. in … water.
      How is that not an accident waiting to happen?

      Can’t Cesium be first chemically converted to an chemically inert and low soluble salt?
      Or was that done with the Cesium?

      The lawsuit give no indication, always referring them as “cesium capsules” and the words compound or salt missing.

      • Stephen: The Cesium-137 was in the form of CsCl, a salt – as you are obviously aware. It was enclosed in a double wall stainless steel tube of about 3″ od x 3′ length. Most Cesium sources are encapsulated this way – double wall SS with special welding. The problem that occurred with the Decatur irradiator was traced back to a problem where one of the capsules of CsCl did not get properly dried. At the high levels and heat of the capsule, the little bit of moisture built up internal pressure which proved more than design specifications from heat expansion of CsCl and caused the capsule to develop a crack. Being a salt, the CsCl dissolved into the coolant water of the irradiator where the sources were stored when not in use. It was a huge mess.

        Co-60 irradiators do their irradiation under water. The advantage of the Cesium irradiator was that it did its irradiation in air – the sources were brought up out of the water. A humorous story: the State regulators absolutely insisted on video cameras in the irradiation chamber. The State was told what would happen and it did, the cameras burnt out in less than two hours.

      • @ Retired Kit P: Yep. I was with a company hired to check the shipping cask water for Cs-137 contamination. I had done this shielding calculation, plus measured the top of the storage pool so I had no concern. However there were nothing but project managers and workers around to off-load the sources, and they were hesitant to be the ones to move the sources. They asked me and I said, “Sure!” It put a feather in my health physics cap because there are damn few who can say they have moved 12 million Ci by hand (ala 24′ tongs). Thanks for the comment; it reinforces that even very, very large sources of radioactive materials can be handled safely.

      • I think I remember Harris having a Co-60 source, but I was never let near it. It was the military aero job that let me get a book on weapons effects to read, but I knew how all of it worked by like 10 thanks to the AEC and all of the free books they sent me :)

  29. Nuclear power is the only energy source capable of powering most developed economies sustainably at even current energy use levels when fossil gas and coal are gone, or at least gas and oil become reserved fuels, and we depend on electricity for most heating and transport.. That’s the physics of energy intensity and intermittency. Most of the above is nonsense on the facts of radiation effects at the levels that apply. Contained melted reactors are just an expesnive decommissioning job 50 years on. Not a risk that we cannot deal routinely with. Where are the referenced facts or hard science. Just babble.

    All radioisotopes decay. The fundamental ignorance of much of this reporting makes it wholly incredible to anyone with High SChool physics. I imagine most of the authors prefer to make up their own physics, based on the content.

    And nuclear energy has caused the deaths of 50 people from radiation ever, no more are expected. The only suggestion they would was based on wholly bogus science by extremists, which some people prefer to reality. Fact: thousands still not dying. And won’t. The model used is based on science that was never proven, Linear No Threshold, then proved wrong. It isn’t linear and there is a threshold, way above the evacuation level, that occurs natuarlly around the world without medical effects. Up to 800mSv pa is harmless. We currently evacuate at 20mSv pa. The authorities don’t help by not revising safe levels to what is actually safe, of course.

    Like Facts? I suggest all who have “opinions” about the risks and actual effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima read the UNSCEAR reports, whch are very conservative, but very detailed, really expert, and have clear conclusions. Also discuss the reality of safe levels, but do nothing about it, of course. This is the UN.

    Or just keep making it up, if it makes you happy. Science doesn’t care what you believe.

    • Accidental deaths are rarely expected. Pretty much by definition.
      I would hesitate to claim that no nuclear accident in the future would ever kill someone.
      However I would gladly point out that year in and year out, nuclear power is by far the safest form of energy when you compare the entire fuel cycle and number of MW’s of energy produced.

    • or at least gas and oil become reserved fuels
      Oil and Gas (and coal) are already “reserved” fuels through the mechanism of PRICE. Supply and Demand.

      Perhaps you think there will come a time of government fiat that rations use or bars use for uses a government agency deems unfit. Could be… Stupidity is one resource unlikely to become scarce.

      PRICE is and always should be the governor in the smart use of a resource and its alternatives.

    • While we now have a healthy supply, we have to do nuclear, as we have to have it in space. And what we really should build first, is a huge reactor to power a wall of ion jets the size of a football field, a tiny cabin and a ship sized set of clamps.
      If we do, and still needed fossil fuels, there are oceans of the stuff on titan (?).

      • See Stephen Rasey on economics, how much energy to get it to our grid from TItan?. Forget space. No significant nunbers will live away from Earth this warm period. Nearest planets so far away everyone will be dead when they return. And we have all the nuclear fuel we need to the end of water right here on Earth. Actually, in the sea, at $200/lb. Not significant in fuel rod cost. No problem

  30. HenryP
    February 17, 2017 at 10:05 am

    yes David
    they build a nuclear plant here, in Koeberg, on the coast,
    and all the fish that were here, died. Can you tell me why?
    Nuclear fusion is still dead because we do not know how to harness the magnetic field strengths.
    [btw changing magnetic field strengths on the Sun is what actually causes climate change]
    Who would you say is the ignorant person here?

    Hi Henry – you asked!


    No need to panic.

    cheers edi

  31. @stock
    the dying of the fish around a nuclear plant has to do with the amounts of water used to for cooling. The fish cannot withstand the warmer water being released around the plant [near to sea]
    Which makes you wonder, does it not? That extra energy into the water ultimately translates to more H2O (g) which is a stronger GH gas than CO2 and is a more probable cause of global warming than CO2.
    Indeed, all of my investigations showed that more CO2 would be cooling the atmosphere, rather than warming it….

    • All power plants require cooling water, and in exactly the same amount.

      PS: The amount of warming coming from all cooling towers is tightly regulated.
      If you think that the fish were killed by warming water, than that is merely more evidence that you simply don’t think.

      • Mark, You got that one wrong. With a gas power plant you can just switch off the gas.
        No need for big constant cooling like nuclear.
        I would try to be less insulting if you want to enter into a discussion with me. This here is like a public lecture room and we are all students and teachers to each other.
        Anyway, you have not told me why you or anyone would prefer nuclear energy if it is more expensive to make.

    • There you go again you poor pathetic thing.
      Refuting your lies is proof that I want nuclear.

      I don’t care what’s built, as long as it’s the cheapest and safest.
      Nuclear is by far the safest and the main reason why it’s so expensive is because of p@ranoid idiots such as yourself.

      • Mark
        this shows me that you are the one who is pathetic
        if you don’t even know that nuclear is more expensive to build [even before the C + F incidents]

    • Because it scares the sh1t out of bedwetters like you would be one reason.

      The other is because it is a very effective method of producing very large quantities of electricity very cheaply (ask the French) and if it wasn’t for ignorant paranoid nutters like you it would be the cheapest too.

      • Neighbour Belgium had forced shut downs of a number of nuclear power stations last year due to cracks in the reactor vessels. Nothing lasts forever…

  32. The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.

    This (I think) is a cumulative radiation measure. so the following comment is confused in measurements.

    If the robots are designed to handled 1,000 Sv/hr… neither 530 nor 650 Sv/hr are unimaginable.

    If a robot is designed to handle 1,000 sievets, then it can handle 100 Sv/hr for ten hours, 200 sv/hr for 5 hours, etc.

    • I think you might be right about that. Although the robot that detected the 650 Sv/hr wasn’t disabled by radiation. I have edited that sentence.

  33. The whole subject of the Fukushima reactors really bugs me. The Tohu Earthquake and tsunami killed almost 20,000 living human beings in the space of a few hours. It is one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent years. Yet the Mainstream Media neither noticed nor cared.

    90% of their reporting was about the rather inconsequential meltdown of a couple of reactors, that in retrospect should have been sited on higher ground.

    Why, because the true object of the media and the liberal elites is terrify the deplorables so that they will abandon the technology that has made them prosperous and live in the squalor, degradation, and misery that they deserve.

    • Walter

      The media cares about dead bodies. If you have a dead body and no nuke plant that is. If a child dies in a house fire it is a tragedy.

      If a child dies in a house fire and there is a nuke plant nearby, the headline is ‘fire near nuke plant kills child’.

      Now that is a good story. The object is too get readers and sell advertising.

  34. I know it sounds awful but Fukushima and Chernobyl have been a godsend for understanding the effects of radiation types on the human body. Before them there was really only Hiroshima and Nagasaki and they were high dose events. Scientists had to extrapolate to lower doses and this was highly unsatisfactory.

    What Fuka and Chern showed was that these extrapolations were invalid. Little damage occurs at slightly higher doses than the extrapolations showed.

    • Yes, the anti-nuclear activists, and zealots of other persuasions, love to use the “linear response/no threshold model” of health risk. While calculating the health effects of a massive dose, and extrapolating down is mathematically simple, there is no evidence supporting that approach in the real world.
      It is rather like the joke/parable of the drunk searching for the lost item under the streetlight, rather than in the middle of the block where it was lost, because it it easier to look there.

    • Check out the damage from “depleted” uranium in Iraq and to a lesser extent in other battlefields like Serbia. In places like Fallujah, the rate of birth defects is over 10%. Over several generations, this amounts to genocide, given that the half life of depleted uranium is in the thousands of years.

    • No, it is awful. We already knew what the effects of radiation were. That is why the US has design standards to protect people. And it works.

      The only reason to expose people to high level of radiation is for medical treatment.

  35. The biggest failures at Fukushima was human error. Egregious human error. When the electricity failed and the internal water pumps stopped working, water could have been pumped in externally from the ocean just a few yards away. Boats could easily have been tasked with this. The reason this wasnt done isnt because sea water would have made the crisis worse, its because sea water would have ruined the billion dollar reactors the Japanese electric company executives thought they could save.

    • Wow, that is a new one! Where do you think boat in a harbor end up after a 45 foot waves comes through?

      When a seismic event exceeds the design basis of a nuke plant, the end result is decommissioning the plant even if there was no damage. This happen after the 2007 seismic event.

  36. These examples scarcely qualify as fake news. News items written and distorted by careless or technically uninformed copy writers and passed by inept or non-existent fact checkers and editors are not the same as fabricating misinformation out of whole cloth or saying “black is actually white”.

    Here are some examples of REAL fake news that was happily accepted and propagated FOR DECADES by major news organizations and academics who should/must have known better:

    1. that the German Wehrmacht murdered thousands of members of the Polish Officer Corps at Katyn Wood during the Second World War. It was only a few years ago that the truth was announced – it was the Soviet Army that did the deed.

    2. that the Tang Shan Earthquake in China resulted in only 10,000 deaths. It was only a few years ago that the Chinese Government allowed the making of a movie that admitted a death toll of 200,000. The actual death toll was probably about 500,000, and was obvious at the time of the quake to a French delegation visiting the city, who reported that every second building was reduced to rubble.

    Your examples a FAKE FAKE NEWS.

    PS. The fact that radioactive water has been leaking in significant quantities into the ocean from the Fukushima site has been known for quite some time, as has the building of a frozen wall to try to contain it at great cost and with dubious chances of success. There has actually been far more REAL FAKE NEWS about the Fukushima situation minimizing the dangers and difficulties in dealing with this ongoing disaster.

  37. Just a simple note: Radiation levels can’t be higher now or physics isn’t working properly. The decay of radioactive isotopes is pretty simple and for levels to go up would mean that the half life of isotopes wasn’t working correctly.A Spent fuel rod can be 500k Rem on contact. Radiation is a 1/d^2 from a point source. So at 1000 meters, the rad level is 1 millionth of the source. As far as contamination of sea water goes, that is as simple as a molarity equation. Imagine 1 million rem source in one square foot of water. Now go 2000 miles by 200 miles wide and only 1 foot deep. That would be 1 million divided by 1.11 X 10^13 cuft. That gives you about 9 * 10^-8 Rem. Now imagine that the ocean is 1000 feet deep and you get 9*10^-11 rem per gallon. Not much to worry about. Not ideal, not a great way for the contamination to go but not extremely dangerous either. Anyway, my 2 cents and I operated reactors for 20 years.

    • Donald Hanson
      February 17, 2017 at 4:32 pm wrote

      “Just a simple note: Radiation levels can’t be higher now or physics isn’t working properly.”

      Not so simple! “Radiation levels” are always just reports of readings from an instrument by one or more people. The instrument may malfunction, the user can misread it, and the source of radiation may have changed.

      In August of 2013 there was a report of a deadly reading of an outdoor puddle at Fukushima, and the report went through several remarkable transformations, which I cannot find again. But, IIRC, the report was initially scary, then downplayed to trivial levels, then reasserted as significant danger. And the final, official, explanation from Tepco was that the meter of the worker who happened upon the leak was pinned and failed.


      I was reminded of this today by a “documentary” about saving the wood bison “La Semaine Verte”, which boldly stated that the wood bison population of Saskatchewan “at the end of the 18th century was 168,000. Wow! I thought.So accurate! I wonder what sort of instrumentation they had back then for counting wood buffalo?

      A rather more egregious example of dubious, yet uncontested, data fabrication is reported in Dan Gardner’s book :

      Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear (The Science of Fear in the United States)

      in which Gardner, then an Ottawa journalist, recounts asking Dick Pound, world renowned anti-doping crusader, and supposed expert, how Pound arrived at the statistic he had successfully propagated worldwide that one in four professional athletes was using performance enhancing drugs, and was told:

      “It seemed like a good number.”

  38. I’m hoping you entertain my question – is the 350 tons of enriched uranium fuel still in a state of fission? A read a statement that indicated they are and the recent spike in silverts was due to the fuel having encountered resistance and the emitting blow back, through the hole the fuel made, described as the corrium. Seems like you’ve done your homework. What is your analysis of this assertion? Thank you.

    • @douglas m. fabish

      I don’t believe there is something called a state of fission. Fission is process whereby an atom splits, not a state. I think you may be thinking of a sustained chain reaction, where there is a cascade of atoms undergoing fission. To start and sustain a chain reaction requires certain conditions including a certain architecture. When the core melts, the carefully designed shape of the fuel rods and the core is lost, thus making sustaining a chain reaction much more difficult, if not impossible. So, when the cores melted, the chain reactions could no longer be sustained and fission events almost certainly ended. Radioactive decay, however, continued to generate heat, which requires continued cooling, even after any fission events ended.

      Your second sentence is difficult to parse, but I don’t think there is any “resistance” or “blow back.” There is only the remains of the melted core, which continues to decay and thus emit heat. The inside of a nuclear reactor is highly radioactive. After several years, the level of radioactivity of what remains of the melted core is almost certainly a lot lower than when the reactor was in operation, but still too high for humans to retrieve. Hence the robots.

    • It has lost critical geometry. Also, it is not a highly enriched core. Enriched yes but not highly. The fission rate will continue to diminish over time. After this long the rate would be extremely low. The rate of fission decays log rhythmically the decay heat at this point should be fairly insignificant.

    • “I’m hoping you entertain my question”

      You’ve already been answered once – thhe answer was NO.

      The rest of your post is utter nonsense.

  39. Anthony Watts- You missed that it was a failure to have thorough comprehensive training of personnel at every level and local autonomy.. The disaster could have been averted by a manual release of hydrogen- the only operator who knew that wasn’t at site at the time. There was a lot of Tokyo based company and government BS that got it the way of controlling the situation. Politician had a nuclear pollution model trained in it but didn’t understand it.

    • cloa5132013
      February 17, 2017 at 6:35 pm wrote:

      “.. The disaster could have been averted by a manual release of hydrogen- the only operator who knew that wasn’t at site at the time.”

      The online reports I read at the time stated that the automatic venting systems on all three containment structures failed, and that attempts to operate them manually failed on all three buildings also. And since they didn’t all blow up at the same time, the missing man explanation doesn’t wash either. More than a training issue, I’d say…

    • There is no ‘manual release of hydrogen’ or automatic for that matter on BWRs. So it is not a training issue.

      I am an expert at both BWR and PWR hydrogen issues.

      There should have been no hydrogen on the refueling floor where the explosion occurred since it is outside of the containment. The refueling floor is is protected from weather by an industrial grade metal building. It has no safety function. Blow out panels protect the building from low pressure events like tornadoes.

      • Retired Kit P
        February 18, 2017 at 11:52 am wrote:

        “There is no ‘manual release of hydrogen’ or automatic for that matter on BWRs. So it is not a training issue. ”

        I stand corrected, I should have said “the electrically powered venting system” failed on all three reactor containment buildings when it was activated. Then repeated attempts to vent the structures failed on all three buildings also.

        according the the NY Times article of May 17th. 2011:

        “The results of the failed venting were disastrous.

        Reactor No. 1 exploded first, on Saturday, the day after the earthquake. Reactor No. 3 came next, on Monday. And No. 2 exploded early Tuesday morning.”

        So the story of the one missing worker who knew how to do it would appear to be FAKE NEWS, as he would have had to be AWOL for the better part of a week during this crisis.

        The NYTimes report ends in with a bizarre twist, suggesting the failure of the containment venting system was perhaps a covert design feature, as some NRC experts believe the containment structure should NEVER be vented. Presumably they just believed there could never be a hydrogen buildup great enough to blow a hole in it.

        The venting system failed because it was designed to be useless if power was lost. That’s hardly a training issue at the reactor operations level.

  40. I wonder if they could contain the radioactive material with a meltable powder with a carbon/ lead component. As it melted it could contain. Im not sure of the chemistry but it seems like they need something that wont flash to vapor.. Its sort of a BP situation tho, probably someone in a different industry entirely will come up with the easiest of solutions.

    • I am sure of the chemistry. Some fission products are gases to start with and there is always a small amount in reactor coolant even under normal conditions. Due to the small volume, those gases are allowed to decay before being released.

      With core damage, more fission products are released to the reactor coolant. If the containment is vented to keep it from failing, some of the gaseous fission and some of the particulate carried with steam are released to the environment.

      The amount of radioactive material released did not result in anyone being harmed.

  41. I recently saw it claimed that it is now more radioactive living in Aberdeen, Scotland. And probably anywhere else on and built of granite. In other words, it is all rubbish in the news, again. By the way, it was a joy to see Trumpy rescind that coal-killing regulation on youtube.

    • Have you thought this through for an unsustainable resource reaching end of reserves, really this time? Scraped all the oil slicks off the Gulf of Mexico, etc. Licked the drill bits? etc. The world will not stay the same and the state will have to manage the transition in energy use over decades. Check out Chinas “nuclear and Hydro by the 22nd Century” strategy. Hopefuly Western Counries can do better that the straight enrgy science denying renewables fraud enacted in the name of climate change, that makes CO2 emissions worse versus unsubsidised gas and nuclear replacing coal, etc…, .

      Yes. Supply and demand apply now at the macro level, short term to 2100, say, I do an occasional report on prices. Also a reason why the US is decarbonising fast, it swaps cheaper clean 40% the CO2 shale gas for dirty coal as prices fall with improved extraction rates, etc. Check out New York State energy use. But economics 101 explains how this only works normally when there are many willing sellers and many informed buyers (not even the case now with powerful cartels and oil companies rigging prices, with government officials bought off, etc.). You can’t make it up. It just happens anyway, why they want power. Government also keeps strategic reserves of primary fuels, its their job to protect the people from famine of all kinds.

      To the point of overall supply and demand as the regulator- this will sort of work, oligopolistically, while there is enough fossil fuel to use as a commodity energy supply for energy generation and mass transport, as well as an important chemical feedstock (note we can also make chemical/plastic and oil from coal so that may be a substitute for oil government may support by a legal mechanism), petrol from coal kept Nazi Germany fuelled in WW2, but inefficiently/expensively). Note that oil is the most precious hydrocarbon ” far too valuable to burn”, as Mendeleev reportedly wrote to the Tzar from Pittsburgh.

      So, as peak hydrocarbons dwindle overall, the most valuable uses will predominate and people will need to be coerced into change they never like. The job of government. If you think the massive reserves being fracked under the USA mean there is no problem, check out how many years consumtpion that is. BY 2100 a stabilised population of perhaps 11 Billion people will be developed – and using energy at closer to developed levels, etc.. Not just the few Billion already developed.

      Alternative energy sources like stored and regenerated nuclear or hydro energy (expensive and inefficient way to use electricity versus as generated)) also become relatively affordable, as nuclear and hydro enrgy wil have stable prices in real terms, with effectively inexhaustible energy supplies. Then the real reserve use factor kicks in, national interest, economic and military security.

      That will require strategic uses and reserves, and reserved uses, to be defined – and some transition.

      nb: as they already do with electric car subsidies, on wholly bogus justifications, as the emissions are simply shifted to the power stations, at roughly the same thermal efficiency between direct combustion and combustion to deliver the same energy to the wheels electrically – 30%. Examples?

      We can power transport with liquid gas, pressurised gas, hydrogen (very energy intensive to spearate from the O2 but OK if sustainably nuclear or nuclear electricity energised. Ships can be nuclear powered, large ones will be, etc.. Unlikely to return to steam cars, maybe steam ships? Trains and buses may need to be more mainstream again – happening now in cities..

      RESERVE APPLICATIONS: However there are stategically important applications that demand compact and highly energetic liquid fues that can be put in fuel tanks, especially for flight, no alternative, but also for remote transport/agricultural/off-road, long haul freight – and defence/military. As Lamar Alexander pointed out, Going to War in saliboats is not an option.

      What is certain is that, by then, synthetics will be appearing for similar uses, and you wil have the option to prefer those – at a considerable premium – to much cheaper electric power from a by then nuclear energised grid in most developed countries. I did the round numbers on this with David MacKay a year or two ago. Obviously renewables are a short term scam and quite inadequate, too weak/diffuse and intermittent eneregy sources to supply energy at the level required, when required, now or then. We have selfish people driving gas guzzling SUVs on regular roads one up now, giving 10mpg or whatever. They will have to pay a LOT more to be anti-social in future. Which is good for the majority of community spirited people.

      So, in particular, there will come a time when nuclear generation must be pushed through aggressively to conserve hydrocarbons, and people “encouraged” to use electrical enrgy for transport and heating by taxation of some kind, as supplies tighten there will be bans on petrol and jet engine use w/o a reserved use licence? Obviously necessary for the good of all, only objected to by the selfish few, and abused by corrupt officialdom, the powerful and the rich, as always. Plus ca change.

      You wil probably be dead by then, so don’t fret about it. The people won’t change. Trust me. Sadly.

      The uses of coal, of which we have a lot and is way cheapest currently, will be interesting. Good for electricity if CCS is ever proven. Maybe OK for generation if AGW is shown to be far less than advertsised as appears likely. when the deep oceans and biological effects are included in the “models” (guesses). Possible cheaper way to synthetic fuels than elctricity and airborne CO2 recycling, etc. But relatively short term, and not in my lifetime. Has to happen.

      High fraction liquid fuels are both expensive AND scarce, and we really are unsure where any more will come from that are not synthesised using nuclear enrgy (or coal). In colder Europe, I expect gas to be favoured for heating, as its as much as 90% thermally efficient in condensing boilers now , easy to distribute as we have the gas grid and a lot of gas underneath us, so using it for low carbon elelctricity generation is a bad idea, CCGT is still only 60% thermally efficient, versus 40% for open cycle coal and gas BTW, , so we should get nuclear on stream as fast as we can to conserve the gas – for what it does best in our national context. After gas it’s ground source heat pumps, but that only works if you have some ground to put them in. etc. Air source heat pumps are low efficiency and much more expensive (I assume gas as a primary heating fuel is 1/4 the price of refined pure energy electricity in the US as well?). Economics of generation at work ;-)?. And it’s unlikely that they will reach the performance co-efficients a claimed, so they will still be a more expensive grudge purchase, unless subsidised ………. as they already are in some countries. etc.

      But, ultimately the enrgy we depend upon to support our economies will need to be controlled by the state at the end of fossil, yes. It’s why we g have governments. People are not rational, also selfish and short termist. Future generations will respect the necessary changes as inevitable, which they are, and normal, which of course they aren’t if you have to make them and suck it up. Historians may decry the frauds for a fast buck by cynical lobbyistts and politicains in the name of sustainability and climate change, which renewables are, in most cooler countries. But that’s ani other story..I have done this in haste, hope it is clear. Will re-write with added facts for more technical forums later. Eur Ing, CEng, CPhys, MBA etc.

  42. Five robots that have gone into the reactor in order to help remove spent fuel rods have failed to return, reports Reuters. The issue? The radiation levels are so high that the robot’s internals just melt. We’ve seen this happen before.

    Yep, fake news.

    They make it up as they go along.

  43. The real problem was building such a plant so close to the ocean and not considering the possibility of such catastrophic events.

    • Nuclear power stations have to be built near sources of large volumes of water.

      All of Japan’s nuclear power stations are located near the open ocean or bays…

      In Japan, pretty well everything has to be built in fairly narrow coastal plains…

    • If they had adopted my (admittedly ex post facto) idea of Floating Nuclear Power Plants (“FL0NUPS”), there wd have been NO DISASTER!
      1. Massive, r.c., cellularized barge/caissons (a la Mulberry Harbours), one marine-style nuc.reactor per cell, say 6 total in one unit, towed to water deep enough to NOT be affected by under=passing tsunami pressure-poles, or by earthquake, and close enough to land for easy umbilical connection.
      2. INSTANT, GRAVITY-FED FLOODING OF ‘ROGUE’ UNIT (all reactors below ext. water level).
      3. Successive build-out of units form FLONUP FARMS, say a circular array of 6 with central “mother-station”.
      4. Lends to steady-state, mass-production techniques for long-term development of electrical power needs.
      4. Away from population concentrations.

  44. Let’s presume robot killing radiationTM doesn’t decay, but can peak 6+ years later. Sounds like it has potential to be harnessed not only beyond renewable energy, but also beyond a perpetual motion machine.

    Presuming I could drive my SUV 24/7/365 with quantity x of this energy. How many x re-fuellings would be needed in the next 12 years?

    P.S. Let’s presume also my safety. I’ve already survived a couple of decades as the Soviet neighbour while additionally exposed to naturally occurring radon and beta-radiating protons otherwise. As it is currently, I’m likely to outlive Marie Curie’s respectable lifespan of 68 years.

  45. Otropogo is the little boy who cried wolf except the boy in the fable did not image a rabbit was a wolf.

    “In reverse order, disaster:

    In a post about fake news, Otropogo links more fake news.

    I have seen the devastation caused by natural and manmade disasters. I do not need a headline to tell me that there was a disaster. The dead bodies in the wake of a flood or tornado is an indication of how dangerous it was.
    No one was hurt by radiation. The environment was not hurt by radiation. This is by design. We design nuke plant so that almost all the radioactive material is contained in event of core damage.

    There is no design criteria that requires us to address concerns and irrational fears. We just need to protect workers and the public. This also ensures the environment is protected.

      • “You agree that we do not want and need nuclear energy”

        He did nothing of the sort.

        He said “There is no design criteria that requires us to address concerns and irrational fears”

        “Irrational fears” means YOU.

      • I think you attribute too much power to me…. I am not even a greeny beanie. No fear for me.
        Please enlighten me why you still support building nuclear plants when clearly it has become too expensive compared to a gas power plant.

      • Nuclear plant costs might be greatly reduced by judicious changes to regulatory barriers. I’m sure that Mr. Pruitt has it on the list.

      • I believe the specs for plant are drawn up by the international atomic energy agency. Intl scientists. Nothing to do with politics.

        Local agencies have specs, I’m sure in some regions the Iaea is involved. Designs are then made to meet those specs. But what has happened is legal proceedings make demands, most absurd, that delay construction and alter the designs, which have to be redone, over and over. These people have figured out by repeatedly bringing unfounded legal interventions, they can make a plant so expensive they won’t get built. The gov, should put an end to that.

  46. Re: Mike McMillan February 17, 2017 at 10:13 pm
    Could drop it into the Japan Trench. That should be good for a few lifetimes and it’s in the neighbourhood.”

    Also, recent talk of water as a shielding medium …. a very effective one. Any nuc.waste cd. be lowered into water reservoir, formed by a 1 m. thick(?) reinf.conc. barge, and towed– when full — to the Mariannas Trench and sunk.
    Were one — hypothetically — a diver visiting the sunk barge, I’d guess that radiation wd be immeasurable beyond 50 m. (Better Math please!)

  47. In resp. to self:
    As a Cold-War Certified Nuclear Fall-Out Analyst, we learnt that if you survived the blast, the next Killer was fall-out ….. that snowflake dusting on yr window-sill was lethal! How to shield from it?
    Shielding 101 is simple: essentially, the denser the shielding agent, the less thickness you need for the same end-result. Best per-inch is Lead; worst is thin-air. A thick-enough wall of stacked newspapers wd have the same effect.
    Water turns out to be a very good intermediary — as all in the Nuc. field know. I can’t remember the figures, but 1″ lead was the equal of 10-20′ of water
    Having said, I think the cold war so terrified the laypeople that they have an irrational, now-inbred fear of all things nuclear. A fear based on the ‘Nuclear Winter” scenario of a fall-out smothered landscape.
    The reality is that neither Chernobyl nor Fukushima (however deplorable was their planning) realized such a scenario.
    In normal life, eating one more banana may push you beyond the irradiation you are receiving from yr local NPS!
    The stats show NP to have a very low comparative mortality rate per kWh. (See these columns.) Melt-downs weren’t the life-killing events prophesied.
    Public hysteria now extends to extremes of NIMBYism, such as: “NO TRANSPORTATION OF FUEL RODS THROUGH MY VILLAGE!!!”, despite the fact that they wd barely cause a flicker on a geiger-counter on the way thro’. “NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORED IN THE CANADIAN SHIELD!” (Perfect for the purpose, BTW, in deep underground caverns where solid granite wd shield the fiercest radioactive emissions within a few feet.)

  48. According to the institute, just 4 sieverts of radiation exposure would be enough kill a handful of people.

    A “handful of people”? They are advertising their ignorance of the basics of radiation dosimetry. Dose whether Gy or Sv is a concentration, not an amount. A given dose has the same lethality (or not) to either one person or a thousand people.

  49. Another recent substantial study confirms in a well controlled cohort analysis that low level irradiation confers a maximum of zero added cancer risk:


    (Radiologists live longer.)

    In a few seconds on google scholar you can find hundreds of published studies showing that low level low-LET radiation DECREASES cancer incidence and INCREASES longevity. The mechanism is well understood, immune stimulus form responses such as heat shock proteins, ion channels and many others. As scientific observations go it’s as solid as gravity.

    And yet the false LNT hypothesis continues to be the basis of radiation protection and nuclear policy. The whole establishment reconciled itself to a lie.

  50. Henryp, most rational energy experts and physicists expert in the area, agree that, after fossil, there is only the nuclear option for most developed countries who wish to stay that way. The only concern is from non nu those unfamiliar with nuclear enrgy who believe we cannot safely process and store spent fuel and waste. We can, and have a range of options. W Spent fuel from commercial reactors is not something you can make Uranium or Plutonium bombs from, there are much better ways.Hydro is useful for the variable bit, if you have non-porous mountains with deep valleys.. I am one of these people you infer are insane, and go to the Institutes oh phsyics and engineering meetings for the techncally insane. I don’t think we are insane, rather our most rational people, by training and experience of what works in practice, and what cannot. Because those are the engineering facts. No opinion required or appropriate. Unless you are a politician or official on the make at public expense.

    FACT: Nuclear will be at todays prices in real terms “for ever” , because none of its component costs need to change much, ever, fuel cost in particular. Mostly CAPEX. Legal costs and pointless and expesnive planning challenge delays will reduce with deployment.

    The IEA’s most recent publication below on actual LCOE costs brings nuclear out cheapest, at each discount rate. Renewables are actually described as “no longer outliers”, in fact. Not lowest cost, just not mentally over the top. But still more costly and subject to the absolute and fundamental handicaps of their weak, diffuse, intermittent energy source which means they must always use massively disproportionate land and physical resources to collect the same energy, and cannot generate according to demand. nb: Electrical energy cannot be stored, like all pure energy it must be used when generated in work, or converted into potential enrgy and regeneated later, very inefficiently and VERY expensively.

    What changed in the physics or the energy sources since the industrial revolution? https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1976309/What%20Changed%3F.gif

    So that’s a win/win for nuclear – wholly sustainble, safest of all, adequate, on demand, kinda, zero carbon and affordable. Of course, these are only the most authoritative facts you can get from the world’s experts on matters of energy fact, but they don’t align with the propaganda and beliefs, so must be dismissed by the true believers. Or maybe I’m missing some new world physics somewhere?


    So, Henryp, why would a “sane” man take such an irrational view that denies the science on energy?

    • Brian
      they did a local study here and they concluded, I quote:
      “The model shows that, in combining the 62c/kWh from wind and solar PV, with flexible solutions such as gas, which are “pessimistically” assumed to carry a cost of 200c/kWh, the outcome is a “blended cost” of just 90c/kWh. Such an outcome is cheaper than both baseload coal of 103c/kWh and the 117c/kWh to 130c/kWh currently assumed for nuclear.”

      In this case the gas appears to be more expensive than nuclear but that is because of the distance of the gas. I am sure if they allowed for fracking here, it would become multiple times cheaper to go for gas. The increase in GDP of the US was shown to be largely caused by the increase in the availability of local gas and oil.

      The advantage of gas is that produces more carbon dioxode which is good for the atmosphere. All components that you or drank today depend on there being carbon dioxide. It is the first building block for any nutrition. Another advantage of gas is that there are virtually no pollutants.

      Another disadvantage is the large investment required for a nuclear plant compared to a gas powered plant.

      • The advantage of gas is that produces more carbon dioxode which is good for the atmosphere. All components that you or drank today depend on there being carbon dioxide. It is the first building block for any nutrition. Another advantage of gas is that there are virtually no pollutants

        that should read

        The advantage of gas is that it produces more carbon dioxide which is good for the atmosphere. All components that you ate or drank today depend on there being carbon dioxide. It is the first building block for any nutrition. Another advantage of gas is that there are virtually no pollutants.

  51. “Reactor No. 1 exploded first…”
    Otropogo does not get it and continues to link more fake news.

    There are four barriers between fission products and nice people. The metal fuel rod, the metal reactor coolant pressure boundary, the metal and concrete primary containment, and the metal and concrete secondary containment, and the distance to where the people are.

    The reactor did not explode, the primary and secondary did not fail.

    There was a hydrogen at a not safety related part of the building. Hydrogen is bad stuff. There have been fatal hydrogen expositions at coal power plants and metal processing plants. Sugar and flour also explodes killing workers. NYT does not bother reporting real news and real loss of life.

    “I should have said “the electrically powered venting system” failed on all three reactor containment buildings when it was activated. ”

    The primary containment vent valves are air operated to open spring closed. These closed which is their safety position. There is no safety function to open. After the evacuation was complete, these valves were open using a portable compressed gas bottle to reduce pressure in the containment.

    “covert design feature, as some NRC experts believe the containment structure should NEVER be vented. Presumably they just believed there could never be a hydrogen buildup great enough to blow a hole in it.”

    Primary containments have hydrogen recombiners. Venting was to relieve pressure.

    Even this old containment design protected the public. No one was hurt by radiation. One proposed post accident containment design that I have reviewed, would have a DF (decontamination factor) of 100.

    This would reduce the exposure by 100. Zero hurt/100 = zero hurt.

    Just for the record, the nuclear industry does provide information to media. The media chooses to print fake news.

  52. jdseanjd

    it was from the 70’s that the specifications for nuclear plants became stricter as more safety back up system were required. These specs were drawn up by intl. scientists. You cannot blame me for that?
    Anyway, that is the problem here: if one product becomes too expensive and another is available doing the same job at a much lower initial cost then why cling to the past?

    Just move on.

    Go with gas.

    • “Go with gas.”

      How clueless is that? At $5/MMBTU natural gas can not compete with coal or nuclear. So what is the cost of natural gas going to be for the next 100 years?

      Just for the record, engineers develop specifications. The have not changed much before and after the ’70s. I have worked on old plants (before they were old) and the newest designs being built now.

      We still have to show regulators we do not hurt anyone with radiation. We engineers do need a little help from scientists developing the models.

      The biggest difference is that new plants have much larger containment buildings surrounded shield building.

  53. Not sure what this means, the correct approach is to pick what works best from current science and for the future – which is still nuclear. The inconvenient truth is that renewables simply can’t so nuclear is the only energy source that can deliver elelctrical energy at the levels we need now, a fortiore after gas and CCS coal is gone for transport and heating as well.. Happy tp provide the numbers on why this is, for most developed countries. Nuclear power is also consistently cheapest overall, so the best investment, and the least environmentally damaging per KWh. Those are the reasons. There are no reasons to do anything else in fact, because nothing else can powqer developed economies after fossil.

    Also, the sooner we get nuclear up and running in quantity, the sooner we get CO2 down to zero, in case that matters, and we can start to conserve our finite fossil fuel and also oil feedstock for chemical processes, for future generations, once electric vehicles are charged from zero carbon electricity. The good new is, the people who make everything and are also messing the place up with unscrubbed coal fired power, are going to nuclear and hydro AFAP, at 6 new Nukes pa. Pver 80 are in build world wide. Because some countries understand what real science is. What is prove to deliver its claims. So one of the major problems is already delivering the best solution. Interestingly a similar strategy is being followed by New York State, which already has almost no coal, and over 50% nuclear and Hydro, the rest mostly clean low carbon gas. They aren’t building to fail.

  54. It never happened in the first place. This whole so called triple meltdown. It was fake news. Just like the tsunami.. It never happened.

    Got this straight from the CIA.

  55. So we build new and much better nuclear replacements every 60 years or so. It’s not climate science.

    Its nuclear power station design and operation. It just works most of the time. About those cracks “Tiny cracks discovered in 2012 in the reactor pressure vessels of Doel 3 and Tihange 2 caused lengthy closures. They were both restarted at the end of last year, one having to close quickly again after a fire.” A conventiona fire, That’s what happens in power stations. Engineers manage the problems.There is no risk to the population from a well contained nuclear power plant, even if it melts down and is a 50 year on decommisining job – as all in the West and all under IAEA supervision are, maybe not (Iran, N.Korea).

  56. HenryP:
    Is NucPwr cheapest or not?
    Only a comparative set of DCF (Discount Cash Flow) analyses between competing power-gen alternatives will help answer this question objectively.
    Capital Cost Inputs are:
    1. Initial CapEx
    2. Decommissioning costs
    3. Measurable Externalities, capitalized (e.g., population displacement & loss-of-ag-land costs for a dam-scheme)

    Direct Op., Maint. & periodic overhaul/refurbishment costs
    Indirect costs such as Licensing, Insurance

    Sales Revenues projected from long-term, capacity-maximizing operations (as a start-point before prioritizing dispatch).

    Nota bene that in the context of hydrocarbon-powered power-plant, arguments will rage over the valuation of externalities such as CO2 (however spurious the competing claims might be). In the context of dams, methane production & impacts on fish habitat.

    Nota bene also that Nuclear Power suffers few externalities in comparison:
    a. It is free of emissions of CO2, Sulphates, NOX, toxic particulates (e.g., Mercury, heavy metals)
    b. No aerial acidification & down-wind agricultural/aquacultural impacts
    c. Minimal, below ambient irradiation

    Yes, my critics will crow, but what about Chernobyl & Fukushima? To which my answer is:
    i. They were rogue incidents, and the World has survived them with nary a blink globally;
    ii. Modern reactor designs will accommodate lessons learnt therefrom and mistakes will *NOT* be repeated. Existing reactors will be retro-fitted concomitantly.
    iii. The radioactive releases from these disasters have largely dissipated below ambient levels of radioactivity world-wide.

    • Ross
      Why not support your local fracking industry by building more gas power plants? Gas power plants produce more CO2 which is good for the environment. No changes in ecology because of release of warm water which btw also translate in more water vapour in the atm. Gas plant can easlily be shut down. Crack in vessels no major problem for safety. Etc.
      Go with gas.

      • henryp.
        You invite me (tongue-in-cheek?) to support my local fracking industry, which I would, were there one (in lower mainland B.C.!!!) and promote gas turbine (co?-gen plants.
        My promotion of nuclear power is *precisely* because it is an essentially zero CO2 producing method, and — to the extent that a hysterical World repudiates anything CO2-producing, then nuc.power is the answer for base-load production.
        Remove the bias against CO2, and I wd completely support nat.gas powered (co?)generation.

  57. Ross King wroteFeb. 128 @ 2.27, and in reply, I now provide some basic answers to the Q. of comparative thicknesses of shielding for the same effect. This is for gamma radiation of unspecified intensity, but you get the picture…..

    “Radiation Shielding Materials:
    To achieve a protection factor of 1,000 the following chart of materials and thicknesses must be used. We’ve saved you the trouble and have factored the proper ‘halving thickness’ values of each material in order to achieve a protection factor of 1,000.

    Material Thickness (inches)
    Lead 4
    Steel 10
    Concrete 24
    Packed Dirt 36
    Water 72
    Wood 110
    As a rule-of-thumb, for a protection factor of 1000, you want about 375 pounds of mass per square foot of area that you’re shielding (this is not a linear function, but this approximation is accurate for a protection factor of 1,000).”

    So, if I swim away from a ‘hot-radioactive’ element suspended in water, my dosage is reduced to 1/000 th. by the time I’ve reached 72″ = 6′

    In any of my FLONUP (Floating Nuclear Power Plant) designs, my reactors are each enclosed in a cell w/3′ thick r.c. walls, set in a floating caisson w/3′ thick r.c. hull. Nota bene that 20″ concrete also provides 1,000 attenuation, so a caisson full of radioactive waste sunk in the Mariannas Trench (30,000 ft. deep?) is about as effective as lobbing it into the Sun, but at 1/1×10^6 th. cost?

  58. 0.20 micro Sivert/hr? Watts the problem? Natural levels with no epidemiological effects around the world are up to 100microSieverts/h, 900mSv pa.

    People still not dying at these levels, thriving in fact. . We all evolved on this radiocative rock, inhale Radon for half our background, especially in man caves, as we did in the real thing, and eat radioactive food every day. Of course there was always a threshold, as with solar radiation, little and often is fine, maybe hormetic, elevated low level radiation used in cancer treatment when Chemo and Radio thr erapy is to much to take.

    We evacuate at 20mSv because of a 50 year old, now disproven radiobiological hypothesis, the Linear No THreshold hypothesis, abandoned by the UN UNSCEAR as invalid at low levels years ago. disproven by actual data and research into radiobiological mechanisms. LNT is dead, because all those people are still not dying. But a great way to create baseless fear in the ignorant.

    Check out Natural level – in many cities 2mSv pa, BUT in SW France 80mSv pa, Ramsar Iran 300mSv pa. Beaches of Brazil up to 800mSv pa. No epidemiological cancer problem. Well documented. Google it.

  59. “Also, the sooner we get nuclear up and running in quantity, …..”

    “Better go with gas.”

    “So we build new and much better nuclear replacements every 60 years or so.”

    Okay then, let me clear; nuclear is economical for baseload requirements and most industrial countries have been doing it for 30 years. In the US, we stopped building nukes because we did not need more.

    Now that communist China has stopped controlling its population with starvation and adopted a policy of controlling people with factory jobs, it is now needs nukes and is building them.

    Going with ‘clean burning’ gas is a great PR gimmick if you do not count the dead bodies stacked like cordwood. The gas industry meets safety standards. Industrial fatalities and serious accidents are a daily occurrence. Accidents killing customers are also common events. If you are worried about old things, worry about old pipelines. Gas companies know they have them because the pump gas through them. Too bad they did not keep construction records. Out of site until a neighbor blows up. The fires are still burning and the bodies have not been recovered when the fake news industry loses interest.

    Apparently dead bodies stacked like cordwood is okay with the fake news industry.

    Finally, we do not need to replace nukes every 60 years. The best new design feature is huge containment buildings with large equipment hatches. Old plant installed reactor vessels and other large components and then built around them. New plants install the reactor vessel through the hatch.

    • The only part of yr submission worth replying to is yr last para. You touch on precisely a key criterion of my hereinbefore mooted FLONUP configuration, which utilizes pre-packaged, self-contained, marine-style nuc.units, one each per containment cell in a multi-cll r.c. caisson (floating in my case). Retired units are replaced thro’ the top (massive!) hatch and replaced by new ones.

  60. New York State totally supports the use of natural gas – it’s 44% of generation, no coal. 31% nuclear 19% hydro. Gas is a great and clean fuel, but actually we should string out its best use for heating, as its 90% thermally efficient there, far more than the 60% efficient CCGT generation is. Works gret for the uK which is redominately gas heated since North SEa gas, and nowhere is very far away.

    Manhattan has that steam powered heating system problem, I recall? What fuels that? https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/10/nyregion/how-new-york-city-gets-its-electricity-power-grid.html?_r=1

    I doubt replacing reactor cores/vessells only is a great idea, as designs need to move from Gen3 to Gen4 with Fast fission and interesting coolants in due course, and the metals in the heat transfer piping fatique as well as the boilers and turbines wearing out, when they are fully amortised/AKA paid for. The nuclear solution uses very little land, and the least steel and concrete per KW h of any generation, so resources are not a problem. If you can remove the fuel rods and reprocess them, whats the rsidual radiation problem anyway? Better to build an all new one for the next 60 years. Gas doesn’t kill people in pipeline or generation accidents. House explosions are the significant problem, usually poorly maintained equipment. If there is something I don’t know, where are these piles of bodies in the West where we have records…..references. I do know gas has a good safety record World wide. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#3e26d39d5176

      • Only while it lasts. This whole discussion seems to be more concerned with the writers opinions or personal short term futures based on pathetially short time scales which are wholly irrelevant to humanity, rather than the future of humanity approaching the next ice age via the end of fossil fuels. People are so selfish, short sighted, many greedy or ignorantly fearful of what they don’t understand – a lot, as we see here. Politicians worse , and good at exploiting the delusional, selfish and ignorant by law. Why we have renewables.

      • Aerial photos show devastation caused by massive ‘gas explosion’ that left five people injured and destroyed two houses in Manchester

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4124736/Two-houses-completely-destroyed-suspected-gas-explosion-Manchester.html#ixzz4ZGWNoDT1

        TOWN CENTRE BLAST One person injured after Northampton high street gas explosion


        In pictures: Rescue workers search for victims of the gas explosion in Oldham


        Paris rocked by TWO EXPLOSIONS leaving man with serious burns as blast destroys home


        ‘THERE’S KIDS IN THERE’ Several ‘unaccounted for’ after huge ‘gas blast’ reduces Oxford flats to rubble amid fears children were inside


        That is a small selection of gas explosions in domestic premises in the past month…

      • Weasle
        You made some effort there but your comparison does not fit. This falls in the same category as motor car fatalities (many more).

        Show me how many people died in incidents at gas powered plants?
        I have not heard of any accidents there.

        Best wishes.

      • Interesting, there are more than you believe. That will kill more people than have ever died from nulear accidents ever in a year or two, in the UK alone. Doesn’t matter where in the supply chain people die. That would be like not counting the effects of coal on people. And outside the plant is outside the control of well regulated generators. It’s hardly stacking bodies theough. The morgue is always rammed, we have to hire freezer lorries sometimes. Roughly 1 Millon people are going to die every day in the UK, 3,000 per day, from old age. No one says anything, except “Bye”.

        Back to risk and perception of risk, and the type of risk. Gas is a more violently physically dangerous fuel than coal or electricity, which is already pure energy, not fuel. But coal kills far more and shortens lives, more insidiously. I use gas but have a detached house and maintain it myself, with some degree of ruthlessness and CO detectors, etc. Because the alternative of electric heating cost 4 times as much, unless I try a heat pump, and they aren’t working as advertised. Most gas installation are on the outside walls of buildings now, so are vented by design. etc. Low cost sustainable nuclear eletricity plus heat pumps is probaly the way to go long term. But not for all who can’t access a ground source – will need shared schemes for apartment v blocks and housing developments, like CHP in Sweden, which we seem so bad at in selfish versus communal UK. But the future is nuclear. No other choice of viable energy source long term, just a matter of timing. People not thinking very far ahead here, beyond our own short and unimportant lives, in contrast to real science, built on the shoulders of our best ovr generations, where would Einstein have been w/o Newton and Maxwell, and many others? Thinking unselfishly across centuriessomething that has been the bedrock of science, apart, it seems, from the apocalypse now climate “scientists” really should be classified as a religion. IMO.

  61. Brian
    the comparison of exact danger does not apply unless you work it out on equal industries, iow
    show me how many died in incidents at nuclear and gas powered plants?

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