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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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no one sick ? all is o.k. ?! This article makes me sick | 287 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
no one sick ? all is o.k. ?! This article makes me sick
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 12:48 PM EDT
Not that I am against nuclear.
(be geothermial / solar / fusion)
Or man made, but don't let it be run by financial profit seeking people. (safety
? oh well, far too expensive )
Granted, coal is killing (probably also safety too expensive , and enough
labour)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Japan's radiation disaster toll: none dead, none sick
Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 12:57 PM EDT
There is a lot of hysterical fear about a lot of things, such as the MMR vaccine
supposedly causing autism. That one can be attributed to intentional fraud.
Another melt down occurred at Three Mile Island many years ago, yet we haven't
heard of health problems from it. On the other hand, Chernobyl did cause a lot
of death and injury, but that can be attributed to the Soviet system, where they
didn't build containment, because a communist designed reactor couldn't fail.
There was also a significant lag in accepting there was a problem, the violation
of safety procedures when running a test and more. On the other hand, fossil
fueled generation does cause a lot of significant environmental problems, as
mentioned in that article.

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The following program contains immature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Japan's radiation disaster toll: none dead, none sick
Authored by: albert on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 01:57 PM EDT
Good news for Fukushima residents! No one sick or dead after two years!

I haven't the heart to tell them, just as with Three Mile Island, such radiation
releases affect lives for _decades_ afterwards. The Chernobyl area will be
uninhabitable for _centuries_.

Our ecosystem is not designed for 'unnatural' disasters. That is why it is so
seriously affected by them. For liability and political reasons, no one is
going to look too closely at these events. As time goes by, folks will forget,
people will continue to die of cancer in statistically significant numbers, and
there will be no 'proof' of cause and effect, because it's not acceptable to the
'experts'.

As for nuclear power, the irony is that _all_ the aforementioned situations were
totally preventable, if a more attention (and cost) were added to the designs.

It always comes down to economics in the end.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Australian smugness
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 04:25 PM EDT
They don't have many earthquakes there, usually very small ones,
nor tsunamis, and they have no nuclear power generators.
Full Disclosure: I live in New Zealand, where nagging smug Australians
is a national pastime.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Tsunami may have helped contain shutdown?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 05:27 AM EDT
Just wondering, since water is one of our best radiation absorbers, if the fact
that the reactor was hit by a tsunami (and presumably at least partiually
flooded) may have helped contain any problems?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

I have severe doubts about this article
Authored by: tiger99 on Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 08:28 AM EDT
It seems to me inconceivable that an accident of that severity will not result in a significant number of premature deaths. I get the feeling that what I would call "Oehmen Syndrome" is at work here. If you want to know what that is, see this New Scientist article, and note that I had already spotted the extent of the developing problem here, and got very angry and refuted him here on the very day he wrote his drivel. So his errors were exposed first on Groklaw, which the New Scientist missed, and all because PJ or one of her Newspick editors posted a link to Oehmen's blog that day.

My work is all about ensuring that accidents like this never happen, and I don't like the comsequences being understated, as it can lead to complacency, and commercial and political pressure to cut corners, which must never be allowed to happen.

I can't be bothered to get angry about this article, even if it is nonsense, so I will leave it to someone else to do the deep digging, and calculate approximately how many will die. I am guessing that it will be about 3 digits. What will most likely cause most of the deaths is any alpha emitting particulates that were emitted, and inhaled by victims. Alpha emitters are notoriously difficult to detect as the particles only travel a few mm in air, but cause massive localised damage in the lung or wherever they lodge.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Japan's radiation disaster toll: none dead, none sick
Authored by: albert on Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 07:01 PM EDT
The important thing to remember is this. Designing nuclear plants for tsunami
areas is based on economics. No plant is designed to withstand _any_ tsunami.
(At N meters we're OK, at 2 * N meters, we're in trouble) The best that can be
hoped for is to minimize damage as much as possible.

A lot of power is required to run a nuclear plant. A single unit might have 4
reactor coolant pumps, at 7200 kW each. Except for Chernobyl, IRRC, no reactor
has ever failed to shut down. The problem is the time required to dissipate the
latent heat in the core. It's enough to melt the fuel rods, even hours after
shutdown. That is why they have redundant emergency core cooling systems to: 1)
keep the water circulating, 2) introduce water to replace leakage. These systems
require power from diesel generators.

Fukushima had the following major design flaws:

1. The generators were located at ground level, in non-reinforced, non-water
proof buildings.
2. Spent fuel assemblies were stored in tanks in the upper levels of the
containment buildings. (they generate a lot of heat, too)
3. No consideration was given to emergency transport.
4. No consideration was given to provide backup emergency power.
5. Control systems were vulnerable to flooding.

Just locating the generators on higher ground (or raised platforms) would have
eliminated most of the trouble.

Remember, tsunamis are temporary incursions. Permanent flooding occurs only in
areas with no drainage.

As bad as it was, the Japanese were lucky. It could have been much worse.

This is 'cross your fingers' engineering.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Japan's radiation disaster toll: none dead, none sick
Authored by: DannyB on Friday, June 07 2013 @ 09:29 AM EDT
If you like nuclear power, then I would highly recommend that you take advantage
of nuclear fusion power by installing solar panels.

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The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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