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Fukushima

Fukushima

Postby organic io » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:53 pm

It appears the worst has actually happened...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2 ... ease_.html


3rd nuclear explosion, yes there is radiation leaking now.

:(

History in the making folks.

I hope that the world learns after this that nuclear power is a bad idea. But I doubt it will happen any time soon.
Last edited by organic io on Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby organic io » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:55 pm

And it appears the Japanese government has been trying to cover it up:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/ma ... k-cover-up

I'm going to watch this show about it now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kom_Ls9wNTQ
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Postby paulnewns » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:52 am

This message is not playing down the terror in Japan...

Is nuclear power really that unsafe do you think..
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4216302.stm
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Postby organic io » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:39 am

Yes indeed sir, I still think it is a bad fucking idea. Especially when they build them near earthquake fault lines. What the fuck
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Postby paulnewns » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:09 pm

Bad shit.
I don't doubt that there is some large scale cover up.
Especially when no one can get too near to find out exactly what's going on.
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Postby cralias » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:34 pm

I can't help but feel that there's a great deal of misinformation even from respected sources regarding this event.

So I'll present the opposite side to the argument.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/14 ... _analysis/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/15 ... e_tuesday/

Of course, El Reg is an opinion website. However, I am strongly convinced that everything in this event attests to one thing: Japanese engineers did top-of-the-line work and didn't cut corners regarding the safety and series of backup systems.
It's actually quite close to the best possible outcome happening now. It could have been much much worse.
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Postby chunter » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:19 am

Image

Nuclear power is a very important part of that future of a computer in every home and a bunch of people that are internetworked and never go out for anything and all that great futuristic stuff they taught me in the 80's, so a part of me really, really wants Fukushima to come out with a minimum of problems to prove once and for all that nuke energy can be done right.

The problem is, I also know that I spend my workdays explaining how to read UPS tracking charts to teenagers that want to know where their new clothes are, and believe me, it's been hard for me to do over the past few workdays, but work I must.

I grew up down the street from this thing:
Image

It is Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, NJ, apparently the oldest operating plant in the US, expected to be retired in 2019 (when I was little, it was to be decommissioned around 2010) and was put in place by the same company that installed Three Mile Island. We used to joke about three-eyed fish in the creek, and for a time, my father had the contract (through his janitorial company) to clean its offices, I was in them a few times...

I have to admit, that as time passes I feel less and less confident about the Fukushima action and ensuing cleanup, in part because I talk to people that would have to live in its fallout if it ever spewed the kind of materials Chernobyl did, so yes, I'm worried for them. I also know that it takes a lot of gas and coal to replace a nuke plant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usg7-xbQOcM

It's going to take some time before we get a better fuel than the ones we have. In the meantime, we're stuck with this method that is much like commercial flight: it's actually very safe most of the time, but when it is not safe, the result is terrifying and catastrophic. Of course, no crashed airplane ever created the Zone of Alienation, but a pair of crashed airplanes did create Ground Zero. My opposing fear is that if we are so afraid of the consequences of a mistake (and rightly so!) that we do not carry on perfecting nuclear energy, it will never develop to become something that can be methodically cleaned up in the event of an accident, where there is little harm to anyone, and if we don't develop beyond that point as a people and a culture, we can say goodbye to the other things we're supposed to be looking forward to in science and science fiction, like visiting distant planets and travelling faster than light.

Maybe we are about to peak and this is where human progress ends, but I want to believe all this can keep going. When I was six years old, I was told that someday we'd be able to make music on computers that fit in pockets and bookbags, and I didn't believe it at the time, but here I am, I actually do it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYJICBRVNfY

The rewritten and modern words to Kraftwerk's Radioactivity is a statement against the construction of a radioactive fuel reprocessing plant in Sellafield, England. Kraftwerk headlined a concert that organized a protest against its construction, based on concerns that deadly gases would be vented into the air around the plant as a result of the processing. The proposed plant was never built.

It intrigues me that a band founded on a futuristic vision would make a stand against apparent progress, which suggests there may be truth regarding the pollution the proposed plant would have caused; however, the paradox is that I don't think a futuristic Kraftwerk-fashioned world can exist without figuring out nuclear energy. I suppose you could say I'm on the fence about nuclear power, leaning towards support only because I don't see another way that's already present and ready to go.

Fukushima is such an important test of how we've progressed as a people, to see how this all plays out and cleans up, and we won't know the results for some time. I will be very upset and pessimistic about the future of humanity if Fukushima results in mass irradiations and cancers.

Some thoughts from stuff I've been reading:

Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents both occurred during a change of shifts. The change of shifts does not excuse or explain either incident.

Three Mile Island happened because the graveyard shift was poorly trained. Chernobyl happened because a test that should not have been conducted was conducted anyway, at a plant that was not built to appropriate safety standards. In contrast, Fukushima is an accident of natural causes, though it may come to light soon that supposedly those GE Mark I reactors were ordered to be decommissioned... The power company is hiding stuff from the government who are hiding stuff from their people, bureaucratic business as usual, and of course I don't trust it, but what alternative is there? I guess we'll just have to see what happens. I hope for the best, but yes, I'm worried, uncertain, and confused.
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Postby organic io » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:56 am

Very interesting post, Chris. I have a lot to say in response but unfortunately no time to say it right now. I'll try to get it together in the next day or two.

In the mean time, I'll just post an image of the current state of Fukushima... Just to set the mood of the thread :)

Image
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Postby Airmann » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:51 pm

Here in germany the reactions are very emotional.
Government plans to shut down 7 atomic plants during the next days.
some have been shut down already. Until 2020 there will be no more atomic plants in germany. In germany we feel that something serious is happening.

I think the situation in Japan is much worse than people are aware.
When I was a child we had Chernobyl in the 80ies. I couldn't go outside
for a while and till nowadays there are contaminated animals and plants in our woods. The fall out spread over all europe.

Chernobyl was INES 7.
Fukushima is right about entering INES 7.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internatio ... vent_Scale
20 KM restricted area ? What about 200-500 KM ?

It's scary like hell. And I think all what the Japanese government is doing right now is trying to hold back information to avoid a mass panic.

I feel I'm not beeing able to comprehend what this means for Japanese people and their children, but I have deep compassion for their situation.

This whole thing will last over months and years. Maybe parts of Japan are not liveable anymore for a very long time !

Anybody who thinks the risk of atomic plants is controlable or manageable or payable is IMO lying to himself and others.
It's pure hubris and arrogance. What happened with Deep Water Horizon ?
Could they manage and handle it ? Common it was just a hole in deep waters ! Why did they need 3 months or so to close it ?
We should finally wake up and realize that humans are still humans and not god. Some things are not made for us to handle properly.
Some things are just too dangerous, to monstrous.
Atomic plants are on of these things.
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Postby gilli » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:08 am

I belive one doesn't have to be a friend of nuclear power to know that it helps/helped technological progress.

Yet I belive there is no one else but ourselves to manage our lives. This includes finding out new ways of gaining energy.

Nuclear power is only "known" to us as "very efficient energy". This should not be a reason to see it as the only working source of energy. Thus I appreciate Germany's move (be it for political reasons or not) to stay away from nuclear power. I would not choose the same for every country right now. Other countries haven't reached the same state of progress and don't have much alternatives to gain energy.

But Germany does. One choice is buying energy. So it can focus on research for environment friendly alternatives. Economically it's a waste if a rather evolved country spends money to keep old sources, while it could spend the same money in buying energy and force itself to focus on research. We can't just assume that the alternative sources are insufficient if our research is insufficient yet. So once we do know how to gain enough energy from friendlier sources, we can provide this technology to anyone. That's when other countries can take advantage of the progress that once had been made. But the progress has to be done instead of being suppressed for whatever reason.

New energy however is not necessarily less risky than nuclear power. You always have to cope with unknown (and thus uncontrollable) factors. If we say that some knowledge is preserved from us for good, then we're not taking responsibility. Things can go wrong and we have to take responsibility for that. That's when we learn. We don't learn (don't progress) if we don't even dare to do anything.
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Postby organic io » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:02 am

Airmann wrote:Here in germany the reactions are very emotional.
Government plans to shut down 7 atomic plants during the next days.
some have been shut down already. Until 2020 there will be no more atomic plants in germany. In germany we feel that something serious is happening.


That's awesome. I love you Germans... I like what you and Gilli both said.
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Postby organic io » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:25 am

Alright, huge rambling response to chunter coming up... (copied from notepad, I have been working on it since yesterday :) )


It appears chunter that you and I have different opinions of what constitutes "progress".

In my opinion, technologal advances do not necessarily equal progress. Let's consider the effect that technology has on our lives. I'm sure we've all discussed or thought about this at some point. Cell phones/laptops and miscellaneous small gadgets are frequently touted as making our lives "easier". But do they really? Or do they complicate things?

Most people didn't have cell phones back in the 80's, or earlier. But they got along just fine. I will admit they are useful for emergencies especially if your car breaks down. But the myriad of other uses they have? I'm not so convinced of the benefit of all that. What about the psychological effects of all this easily accessible technology? People are becoming dependent on their cell phone. "Checking"... Gotta make sure I check my messages, check my email, check my blog, check my facebook, etc. Personally I don't own a cellphone (edit: OK I actually do have one but it doesn't have service. Just for 911/emergencies), but I know how bad checking can get, even just at the computer. It is a very compulsive behavior and difficult to stop once you've started. Miniature devices are "enabling" people to do this more, and become dependent on them.

Plus, games and entertainment allow people to avoid reality now more easily than ever. I recently took my kids to a museum that is specifically for kids, and I saw a father sitting on a bench with headphones on staring at his ipod and watching a movie. Are you serious? You're out in public and at the very minimum you should be watching your kids to make sure they don't get hurt or abducted (and ideally playing with them and having a good time) and instead you are watching a movie.

But... What's worse than the psychological dependence people are developing for these devices: ADVERTISING.
At least with psychological dependence, it can be argued that the behavior is within the person's control to change. With advertising, people have no such control. It takes a concerted effort to avoid bombardment from advertising, especially when you are using technological devices. Since I don't have cell phone service and very infrequently use my girlfriend's, I don't know a lot about what kind of marketing gimmicks are being used on these devices but I suspect that it is increasing.

Look at the amount web based advertising has increased. Since the mid 90's when the web started beginning popularity to present, advertising on the web has ballooned out of control. Sure, there are some ad-free websites where the webmasters' desires are benevolent (such as wikipedia), but the vast majority of websites are ad supported. To varying degrees. We've got the relatively unobtrusive single banner like our beloved Sonicade has set up here. To the typical line of ads going down the screen on many news sites, to the obnoxious popups or popunders. Then there are the extreme and intrusive sites that actually infect your computer with malware, or continue to pop up ads and as soon as you close one, another one pops up.

Believe it or not, malware was my primary decision to move to Linux 2 years ago. It was so impossible to clean my Windows machine, and even after reinstalling XP it got reinfected a few months later... I was very, very frustrated and finally decided to make the switch. I don't regret it at all.

It's pretty bad when peoples' greed and malicious intent gets in the way of people being able to enjoy a fun hobby. Instead of just being able to get on the computer care-free and enjoy it like you could in the 80's or 90's, now you have to "study" and make sure you are "well prepared" to defend your computer. Sure, there are a lot of great things about the internet and it is wonderful to have so much information and connections at our fingertips, but there are a lot of negatives too which have added complications.

Let's talk about TV.
Sure, there are some valid uses for TV. News, educational programs. I applaud PBS for their high quality programming. (Nova in particular). However what is going on with "regular" TV? Even the fictional shows which are high quality and worth watching are still just a form of reality avoidance. And most channels have commercials. The ratio of show to commercial is about 3/1 to compensate for the fact that it's "free". It's been about 8 years since I've been a "normal TV watcher" but even back then I hated the ads. I don't understand how people can be so complacent about this. Or even enjoy the commercials??? I mean I know there is DVR recorders and you can fast forward the commercials or whatever... But I think there are still a LOT of people who just willingly subject themselves to ads. And their children too. The statistics are that the average kid sees something like 40,000 ads per year. And however many thousands of simulated murders before they are the age of 18. Many parents use the TV as a babysitter. Do we know the effects of this on their minds? We SDcompoers are from an older generation now. (Strange as it seems). Who knows how cumulatively screwed up the rising generations are going to be due to all this change.

I don't know if you all have seen this or not yet, but I have gone into several public restrooms at restaurants lately and there have actually been television sets in the bathroom, right above the stall while you're trying to take a pee. What the hell? That right there is highly intrusive to me. In one restroom I visited, the power outlet was accessible so I unplugged the TV. In the other one it wasn't accessible so I placed a paper towel over the screen to cover it up. That is my statement to the restaurant that I don't agree with this sleazy tactic of theirs to get a couple of extra $ of revenue. I encourage you to do the same if you agree with me that it is dispicable.

On advertising in general:
One of the worst aspects of advertising is how it exploits human weaknesses in order to get our attention.
What do I mean by this? I'll briefly mention "memetics", which per wikipedia is "the study of self-replicating units of culture". In more easily understandable terms, a "meme" is any piece of information that spreads between people. The theory of memetics states basically that the "evolution" of memes can be considered similar to the evolution of natural organisms... i.e. natural selection -- Memes that are stronger or "more catchy" will stay around longer and spread more widely. Memes that aren't as catchy won't. We're all familiar with internet memes... The dancing baby, the "numa numa" guy, "rickrolling", etc. But memes are outside of the internet, in every culture.
Certain memes have survived for longer because they are closely linked to human desires - Specifically I am talking about sexuality.
So let's say for example someone is trying to sell you a shiny new widget that you are not even slightly interested in.. If they approach you with an advertisement for this widget with simply a picture of the widget and a list of bullet points highlighting the various features of it, chances are you're not even going to look at it for 1 second. But if they approach you with an ad that includes sexuality, it exploits your human nature and automatically bypasses straight to your attention, attracting you initially with the sexuality, but then you may also take a look at the widget too. Whether it convinces you to buy it or not isn't relevant. It probably won't most of the time. But it still exploited you and your mind.

People frequently talk about sexuality in advertising or other forms of media, and how it is exploitative of the women. I agree with this fully. But have you ever considered it is also exploitive of the men, women, and children who have to be exposed to it? Worth mentioning is the effect it has on young girls and how they view their body image and what they "should" look like, etc.

But the main thing I want to talk about right now is the effect that it has on men. We have all been brought up in this society that objectifies women and exploits our minds in order to sell us things. One might say "Sure, who cares... I don't mind these kind of sexual ads, I like them"... Or whatever.. But does that person really?
I mean did they CHOOSE that they would like looking at essentially pornography? Or did they get conditioned into it due to the circumstances in our society?

If the society was different, or more sexually conservative, or if TV/print hadn't been used so widely to exploit us like this.... Would there be such a thing as pornography addiction? Would it occupy so much of so many men's minds? Would there be as many cases of rape?

Or would people be doing more useful things with their time? Finding challenges and developing skills... Creating things, inventing. In other words, if many people have been conditioned this way by our society, is this way of being our "true selves"?

My answer is no.

But I've strayed off topic a bit since this was supposed to be about nuclear power. Sorry :) I promise I'll get back to it somewhere below.


1 last bit about advertising:
Another way it exploits us is to create more greed in us. Greed for things that we do not need.
Pulling from my Buddhist background, one of the things that prevents us all from spiritual development is greed. Not necessarily material greed either (greed can be very subtle)... But anyway, people can do some crazy stuff just to get something they want.

Which leads me into the next section ...

CHINA SLAVERY
OK, Paul & Matthias, you already know what I'm about to be on about here.. But basically ...
Isn't it absolutely, completely, and utterly insane that you can go to the $1 store and buy the kind of stuff you do there? Or even "better", $1 stuff from hong kong with free shipping? For $1 on ebay, you can get all different kinds of electronic gizmos / cables / etc, for a single $1, with FREE shipping from hong kong. Halfway across the world. 8000 miles. How can they even afford to ship it, much less manufacture it for $1? We all heard about the Nike sweatshops, etc.... But the term sweatshop is one that I haven't heard much lately except in my own research. But yes, it is still going on. Even in the asian factories that are not technically considered "sweatshops", working conditions are very, very poor indeed. Some people work 60, 70, 80 hour work weeks.. 7 days a week. With only a few days off per month. For maybe 50 cents per day? Even children work in some of these factories. Would you ever ever allow your children to work 80 hours a week in a factory? Then why are we buying toys for our children that were made by other children?

If we know this, how can we in good conscience go to the $1 store and buy a bunch of stuff, knowing that some chinese people had to work under terrible conditions to make it, just so that we could be a little bit more comfortable?

It is terrible, incompassionate, and not acceptible. Aren't we essentially enslaving millions of asian people, simply by way of our consumerist lifestyle?

It's a horrendous mistreatment of Asian people even if you don't take into consideration how their governments are allowing their environment to be destroyed by all the pollution and chemical runoff from their factories. (Causing unsafe water for them, and myriad other problems. I read in National Geographic there is one town in China where almost everybody has gotten some form of cancer.)
(Plus all our Chinese stuff ends up in our landfills after it breaks)

I can't claim to be immune. Just the other day I ordered some electronics parts from hong kong. And I still visit the $1 store although every time I do, I am being more conscious of what is going on. And I'd like to stop. Stop buying Chinese products altogether.

----

Medicine
Even in the field of medicine, as for what would be considered progress, I am not so sure.
On the one hand, you want to be compassionate to people who are sick or in pain. So all these new technologies are developed to cure illnesses... But, by doing this we're extending the average lifespan. Faced with an impending overpopulation problem, what is the point of expanding peoples' lifespan if they are miserable and overcrowded? With all the medicinal advances, by the time our generation is old, what if the average lifespan is 120 years? And there are 10 billion people on the planet? Not enough will die off to give room for the new people. Population control is one answer to this, such as not allowing couples to have more than 2 children. But do people follow the rules on this?

I'm still torn about this. I used to have a very harsh view about this -- That in countries where people are starving, they *should* die because it is just natural selection at work. I have softened up some and have a more compassionate viewpoint now. But extending lifespan with medicine still seems to me too much like "playing with nature", and there may be unforseen consequences to this.

---
chunter wrote:Maybe we are about to peak and this is where human progress ends, but I want to believe all this can keep going.


I'd like to phrase this in terms of human evolution. Maybe you are right, maybe this is where "progress" ends.. Because we have evolved to a point that it is possible for one group of misguided people to nuke the entire world and destroy our entire species. That seems like a paradox, because if we all die, there is no more possibility for evolution. So I think the next step of human evolution MUST involve something other than technological progress. Something akin to spiritual progress will be required. I don't mean necessarily believing in god or anything like that, but simply our species as a whole having more compassion for each other. More concern for what the consequences of our actions are. More concern for future generations.

---

Technology itself is not inherently bad -- It is how people use it that can be bad. I think the examples above and countless others show that humanity is not yet responsible enough to handle these kinds of technologies.

So no ... I do not think nuclear energy is "required" for progress. It is a possibility that should be ruled out immediately upon consideration. Sort of like if you are depressed and thinking negative thoughts, and suddenly you wonder "maybe I should go jump off a cliff...".... And then a few moments later you are like "Nah...". Nuclear energy was humanity jumping off the cliff :)

Progress, in my opinion, would include less consumption so there would not be a need for as much energy. Alternative energy sources would be researched and developed to a more mature level.

And people would be more aware of what they are doing, and how it affects other people.

And have compassion for each other.

Maybe it will never happen though... :?

Any opinions about any of this are welcome :D
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Postby fbjon » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:37 pm

Well, to cool the thread down a bit (heh), it looks like progress is being made:

The reactors seem to be stable and cooling for a few days now, the SDF and other teams are now able to inject water into at least one spent-fuel pool, some pump equipment is being replaced, an external power circuit has been connected to reactor #2, and will be powered later today.

It seems the questions now are becoming: when will they gain complete control of the plant (maybe by the end of the week?), and how much long-lived radioactive particulates are in the surrounding area (only some of the isotopes will last more than hours/days).

I don't doubt that TEPCO is downplaying and hiding information. Some of it to prevent unnecessary panic, and probably a whole lot to cover asses and maintain face. But it must be said that the western media has been furiously exploiting the accident, stoking the fire for basically their own gain. I didn't have much hope for e.g. US media (with some exceptions), but I watched BBC news for a bit, and pretty quickly lost respect for them too.

Really shows how much local sources are important, even today.

There's still more to come in this story before it's finally over. But perhaps now, the world's eyes can finally shift back to the real apocalyptic disaster that happened along the entire east coast.
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Postby Airmann » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:39 pm

With all respect Fbjon,

right now they're more and more talking about creating a sarkophag like in Chernobyl. This seems to be the last possiblity to close it. Only God knows if the atomic cores could burn themselves through the rocks down to the ground/sea water, or if this will stand the next earthquakes and tsunamis.

This thing is by far NOT under control and I think the media is totally right to publish as much information as possible. Indeed I'm really thankful about our media in this case. I think they give a pretty good picture about the situation.

Indeed I'm wondering why e.g. Canada's media is relatively quiet compared to ours. I've relatives in Canada and they say that there are barely information in TV ?

Do you know what I really think ? I think a lot of worldwide countries have no interest in anti-atom information and politics right now, because they depend on it and had to invest a lot to change that. Japan included. No alternatives right now.

Can you imagine how expensive and difficult it is to dismantle all those nuclear plants ? This will cost a lot of Euros/Dollars. How ironical: it's said atomic power is cheap and clean. But regarding the overall cost (incl. destruction) it's actually very expensive.

BTW: in this case I wouldn't count on the local information sources, especially not on the Japanese ones. They can't afford to think and speak freely, yet.
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Postby organic io » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:16 am

Already fallout from this has reached California's shores. They say about the amount that a person would receive in a chest X-ray

Which is only about the equivalent of 10 days worth of "background radiation" - according to this site http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/ ... xray#part2

However on this article:
http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/18/ja ... radiation/

It says they will "hike the radiation exposure limit for its workers at the plant from 100 millisieverts per shift to 150 millisieverts"

150 msv according to the same radiology site above would be the equivalent to 50 years worth of background radiation (radiation that all of us experience in the environment all the time)

That's not good dudes...
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