Before and After Tsunami, and Nuclear Info…


Cisco the blogging cat here… Random thoughts on a world gone insane… The pic below is the area around Sendai Japan, close to the epicenter of the recent 9.0 quake… On the left is “before”, on the right is “after”…

So, setting aside the unthinkable loss of life, suffering, and mourning (Red Cross), here are just some observations from a news hound, engineer, and former student of both biology and chemistry concerning the nuclear situation in the Fukushima facility…

  • There has been a second explosion at building number two… Not good… Should the primary containment vessel fail on any of the buildings, we’re probably looking at a complete meltdown.

  • A true and complete meltdown of fissile material occurs at around 5,000°. When that occurs, not much can contain the molten slop, and it’s ideally suited for transmission to air, soil, and water.

  • Should the worst occur, we can only do a couple of thing… Try to seal the beast in a concrete sarcophagus a la Chernobyl, and also just watch the weather. If it’s windy (depending on the direction) tens of thousands of people will be put at risk. If it rains, the radiation will be localized and concentrated. Take your pick. In the case of the former USSR, a “dead-zone” of 35 mile radius was (and still is) declared.

  • The plant at Fukushima is a GE MK I – a plant we stopped licensing in the mid 1970s. Lest you fail to understand the scope of this thing… From: DC Bureau

    Both United States and Japanese governments have for decades allowed re-racking of the pools to reduce the originally-designed minimum safe distance between the assemblies so that more rods can be stored in each pool. Utilities complained they were running out of storage space on site at the reactors. The problem is if the spent fuel gets too close, they will produce a fission reaction and explode with a force much larger than any fission bomb given the total amount of fuel on the site. All the fuel in all the reactors and all the storage pools at this site (1760 tons of Uranium per slide #4) would be consumed in such a mega-explosion. In comparison, Fat Man and Little Boy weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained less than a hundred pounds each of fissile material.

  • But what the Hell… Let’s be optimistic and say that all we have is a few small hydrogen explosions and then wrestle the beast into submission… We’re still looking at small-scale irradiation via uranium, plutonium, cesium, and strontium… And some of those guys and their ilk head for the muscle and bone. Sucks to be a first responder… Cancer…

Sad and worried by the racks,

Two cats blogging…

Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


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