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FUKUSHIMA earthquake and tsunami thread and aftermath


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The BBC vid from some office in Japan this morning was amusing. Once it started they all got their phones out (Some even had proper big style Japanese camcorders) and started filming everything. You just cannot stop them. Class.

One bloke was sitting in a seat and put his clipboard over his head. :lol:

They have balls. Respect.

PS - Not taking this thing lightly but if you cannot laugh what can you do.

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What crapped me about the youtube video is that a friend I know claims that he is in correspondence with a scientist that is involved with international planning for mega earthquakes intensifying over the next year or so, which he claims is subject to a D notice. I just assumed that he was a conspiracy theorist, but looking at the youtube video perhaps not...

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Aren't they boron rods that drop into the reactor core. If remember my A-level physics correctly Boron is the only material that can stop a Nuclear chain reaction.

I believe graphite can be used as a moderator.

Moderator - is the thing that slow down fast neutrons so that they can be absorbed and cause fission. In most cases "fast" neutrons don't cause the fission reactions required. No moderator, no reactor.

Control rods - these are neutron absorbers, so they mop up neutrons (fast or slow) and take them out of the reaction. You can also dump boron into the cooling circuit in an absolute emergency, but you're pretty much trashing the reactor at that point.

PWRs (which is what they have in Japan), are moderated by the coolant - no coolant, no reaction. Big difference with Chernobyl - which had what is termed a "positive void coefficient" - if you boil the coolant off, the reaction goes faster and it blows up. Chernobyl (RBMK) is a barking mad design.

So, this case, you have a shut down reactor (control rods appear to have gone in) and it sounds like primary cooling is down - but it will be on secondary. Even if both are down, the decay heat from a running but shut down reactor is within the design limits of a PWR containment.

The time to worry will be if people have got their sums wrong and screwed up the containment design (very unlikely) or if the structural design of the reactor is bad and coolant is all over the place (also very unlikely).

Not worried at this stage. Those power stations are probably the safest places in Japan at the moment....

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Welll please show us your wonderful knowledge and enlighten us ignorant posters. :)

I'm not a nuclear expert but it saddens me to see a thread about a real disaster being hijacked by the usual mock-science theories. Please keep it relevant or start another thread so I can ignore it easily.

Our company has an office in Tokyo and everyone is thankfully ok, but getting home will be difficult for them. Like London, many people live 30-50 minutes train time away. And no trains are running at the moment. Not to mention their kids stuck in school, etc.

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Fascinating video. Looks like there was plenty of evidence for something serious building.

When you see the global map of seismic activity, it makes you realise just how safe our miserable little island is. Surely one of the major factors behind us punching above our weight for 400 years is that we don't get levelled or flooded every few decades.

We don't have really major droughts* or extreme weather** either.. and invasions are difficult to pull off (a major difference between us and Europe, we never needed a huge standing army to deter invasion).

* A few weeks of no rain in yorkshire is not a major drought.

** 6 inches of snow is not extreme, contrary to what some media outlets may say. On the other hand, our winters are usually just cold enough to kill off agricultural pests year to year.

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Aren't they boron rods that drop into the reactor core. If remember my A-level physics correctly Boron is the only material that can stop a Nuclear chain reaction.

Lets see, cant be a China Syndrome as the melting reactor would need to go on a U shaped course...could this be a Neasden Syndrome?

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Although I believe these will be BWR units.

You're right. Never really looked at the Japan nuclear programme...

However, principles are identical to PWR in terms of moderation, control and cooling. The only difference is that the coolant is held at "only" 1000 psi or so and allowed to boil in the containment.

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Prayers going out to the good and honorable people of Japan.

[Except for the Fisherman in Taiji who slaughter Dolphins aka The Cove. Hopefully they were all smashed to bits]

Edited by Dan1
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How is the use of Thorium a mock science or even the Lunar Perigree gravitional pull affecting plate techtonics?

I can understand you might be emotional becuase of friends or colleagues close to you who are affected by the events and I hardly think its a thread hijack merely a tangent of discussion but until theories are disproved which its not its not mock science imo.

Besides some of the best theories & inventions come from "blue sky thinking" anyway (and dont take what I've said as being patronising if it comes across like that, I'm being serious). :)

Thorium reactors: Apparently work ok and are safer *in theory*. They almost certainly weren't commercially viable when this reactor was built so why bring it up now? Is it going to help the immediate situation? No, so it's just you pushing your agenda for who knows what reason.

How well proven is gravitational pull affecting plate tectonics? Seeing as a) scientists didn't predict this quake or the one in Christchurch and B) it's not made the mainstream yet (i.e. it's not been on horizon etc.) I'd say it's something still in its infancy, if that. Frankly I'd put the proof of it up there with the 'proof' of man-made global warming.

Both of these have a) very little real-world provable worth and B) absolutely f-all to do with the immediate emergency situation caused by this earthquake. The way you're presenting them as a magic cause (lunar thingy) or retro-active fix (thorium reactors) is 'mock-science'.

Edited by efdemin
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