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Nuclear Reactors - World overreacting after Japan Quake?





deanhills
The world's stock markets are at the moment taking a beating in general, however stocks that have to do with nuclear reactors or anything to do with nuclear energy have specifically been in a free fall. Is the world not overreacting here? I thought it is more of a human error to have built so many nuclear reactors in an area that has a proven chance of being involved in an earthquake. So if everyone got together to plan the building of a nuclear reactor, all of the risks must have been known to all of the parties. A risk report would have been a prerequisite, as well as clearance by the International Atomic Energy Agency? So for me this has to do more with human error/miscalculation/deliberate understatement due to cost?, than with the nuclear reactors themselves. The US is correct in saying that it is a good source of clean energy. Compare this with coal, and coal is also dangerous to human health, but in the longer term.

The Japanese say they could not have foreseen the absolute magnitude of this natural disaster, but that I can't believe either. Surely when people decide to build a nuclear reactor they have to plan for the worst case scenario. And if the Japanese had really designed and built the nuclear reactors to specifications that would meet a worst case scenario, that would have been much more expensive. Perhaps that is where the real reason lies?

For once I admire the US position in this "panic":

Quote:
Switzerland ordered a freeze on new plants, while Germany said it was suspending a decision to extend the life of its nuclear plants. The United States said it would try to learn from the Japanese crisis but that events would not diminish the U.S. commitment to nuclear power.

"When we talk about reaching a clean energy standard, it is a vital part of that," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Quoted from mail.com a source in a previous posting by standready.

What tickled me here too is that I thought the nuclear reactor dilemma had been as a result of the tsunami, but the reactor in question is situated North of Tokyo and the reason for its malfunction is directly related to the earthquake and malfunction of equipment as a result of the earthquake. Refer expert opinions below on how the equipment must have malfunctioned after the earthquake:
Factbox: Experts on explosion at Japan nuclear plant
ProwerBot
If a meltdown happens it will not be a good thing... I'm hoping they can stop a meltdown but at this point I just don't know what to believe.
deanhills
ProwerBot wrote:
If a meltdown happens it will not be a good thing... I'm hoping they can stop a meltdown but at this point I just don't know what to believe.
That sounds the closest to the truth. No one really knows what is happening in the core of the nuclear reactors.
LittleBlackKitten
Chain reactions that are possible are what's causing this stock market slide.

What happens if the sea water they're using to cool everything down fails?

Nuclear meltdown.

If there is Nuclear Meltdown, a large radius of effected land and buildings cannot be used for many yeas, including businesses, homes, and factories.

If this happens, the businesses and factories cannot be used to produce anything, and many businesses fall into bankruptcy.

If this happens, not only does the cost of everything in Japan go way up, demand on other businesses and factories begin to overwhelm supply, and prices go waaaaay up.

Assuming that the usual aid, relief efforts, and repairs take place after a meltdown occurs, the economy begins to recover, but not nearly fast enough for the effect to be felt globally.

Prices of import cars, parts, and electronics, including major brands like Mitsubishi, Yamaha, Nintendo, Sony, and Toshiba will double, if not triple before prices recover.

Prices of non Japanese products will increase to match, to not cause an economic upset which would crash the Japanese economy.

Prices of Chinese products would either suffer because of the cost vs quality, or the entire market for Chinese products collapses due to price increases, or lack of quality for price.

With a lack of inexpensive product on the market, the world would see a repression like the 1930's.

With a global depression, the stock market would crash.

With a stock market crash, we're suddenly thrust into the dark ages again.


Of course, this is a worst case scenario which relies on little effort to combat it.
deanhills
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Chain reactions that are possible are what's causing this stock market slide.

What happens if the sea water they're using to cool everything down fails?

Nuclear meltdown.

If there is Nuclear Meltdown, a large radius of effected land and buildings cannot be used for many yeas, including businesses, homes, and factories.

If this happens, the businesses and factories cannot be used to produce anything, and many businesses fall into bankruptcy.

If this happens, not only does the cost of everything in Japan go way up, demand on other businesses and factories begin to overwhelm supply, and prices go waaaaay up.

Assuming that the usual aid, relief efforts, and repairs take place after a meltdown occurs, the economy begins to recover, but not nearly fast enough for the effect to be felt globally.

Prices of import cars, parts, and electronics, including major brands like Mitsubishi, Yamaha, Nintendo, Sony, and Toshiba will double, if not triple before prices recover.

Prices of non Japanese products will increase to match, to not cause an economic upset which would crash the Japanese economy.

Prices of Chinese products would either suffer because of the cost vs quality, or the entire market for Chinese products collapses due to price increases, or lack of quality for price.

With a lack of inexpensive product on the market, the world would see a repression like the 1930's.

With a global depression, the stock market would crash.

With a stock market crash, we're suddenly thrust into the dark ages again.


Of course, this is a worst case scenario which relies on little effort to combat it.
I just can't see the stock market crashing however. Japan is a big player in the global economy, but there are many other big players too. Japan is also pretty resilient. I'm almost certain it will be able to solve its nuclear reactor problems. They are probably already working with the world's most brilliant consultants on this. Key to their recovery and avoidance of further nuclear reactor damage would be energy so that they can pump enough water to cool down the reactors.
standready
The reactors during shutdown (automatically triggered when an earthquake occurs) loss electrical power needed to keeping the cooling pumps going. Backup power failed to provide enough power for extended time period necessary to properly cool rods.

The United States is reviewing their Nuclear plants built in earthquake prone areas since they, like Japan, were NOT designed to handle a 9.0 quake but rather only 7-8 range.

Stocks will slide as long as a company is not producing product.
ocalhoun
Yes, they're overreacting.

How so?
"Outdated reactor design survives huge earthquake and tsunami without causing excessive damage" =/= "New reactor designs are inherently unsafe"

Or, in other words, don't sell your stock in modern airlines because a plane built in 1974 crashed... when it was hit by another plane... and killed 1/4 of the passengers.
Don't sell your stock in Mercedes Benz because 1987 Chevy Blazers have been found to be unsafe in side-collisions.
And, don't sell your stock in a construction company because buildings built in the 40's are no longer able to pass fire code inspections.



Why are they overreacting? Media hypes the story because hyped story gains more viewers, and generates more ad revenue. Day traders watch media... and they're a panicky bunch to begin with, always ready to amplify any bad (or good) news and overreact instantly... Which leads to: stocks plummet.


...Though I suppose they might have some legitimate worry; if the ignorant fears of the public cause politicians (both federal and local) to shun nuclear power, then the investors have a legitimate problem.
ProwerBot
The backup cooling systems failed first and then the tsunami basically destroyed them. The sea water they're using now to try and contain those reactor.... if it fails that's it.
CheDragon
I think they are... I mean... Nuclear energy is awesome.... but as most of the best things in this world, dangerous...
LittleBlackKitten
It's actually imminent at this point:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/03/15/2011-03-15_japan_nuclear_crisis_workers_halt_desperate_struggle_to_stop_meltdown_at_fukushi.html
menino
I also think that a lot of countries are overreacting, but I still think its better to be cautious.
Right now even airplanes going over Japan are diverting their routes to evade any nuclear exposure, which might be miniscule, but better to be safe than sorry.
Also there's mails going on about how to avoid the first rains in Asia after the nuclear incident in Japan, as this might contain nuclear radiation, and might actually be acid rain.

Regarding the issue of risks, it has to be about money and costs, because, even if you build a nuclear reactor, out of titanium, it will always be exposed to risks, and probably unforeseen risks. Japan has always been on the faultlines of earthquakes, but in the US, or any other countries, can a disaster really be foreseen?
Even if you take extra measures, it will definitely increase costs, but its the taxpayers that end up paying for these extra costs, isn't it?
spinout
Right now they stopped waterbombing from the helicopter... Too much radiation!!!

This is going bad AND

THE BIG QUAKE IS COMMING SOON! probably 9 at the richter scale close to Tokyo!
airh3ad
My brother and sister (filipinos) living within the 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are urged to evacuate and those within the 21-30-kilometer radius of the plant to stay indoors, as ordered by Japanese authorities as i heard seriously are they afraid or panic? but they said n a briefing for the diplomatic corps Tuesday, Japanese authorities said that although some radioactivity levels have been detected in Tokyo, the level was “very low” to affect the health of people. Authorities also urged the foreign communities in Japan, through their embassies, to stay calm in order to cope with the situation and without causing unnecessary worry and fear among the people.
I hope for the best for the people of Japan.
ProfessorY91
I've heard a comparison made between the amount of radiation being akin to the same amount from 30 bananas, relative to distance. Nuclear power is a good thing; this isn't the next Chernobyl, dammit.
deanhills
ProwerBot wrote:
The backup cooling systems failed first and then the tsunami basically destroyed them. The sea water they're using now to try and contain those reactor.... if it fails that's it.
I hope they can get the pumps to work properly again, as the tsunami basically destroyed the pumps as well. I would have loved to see those engineers in action though, as they probably have to think out of the box to find solutions with what they have. No doubt one day we will be able to hear about their feats. Just hope there aren't more aftershocks or earthquakes, as that can really upset any chances of rescuing the reactors.
airh3ad
Yeah your rigth they are very active to work with this thing even there is a risk in there life they are trying to save the plant or we can say japan, all thee engrs working hard but its still have fear until now level 5 had been up. another effect in there economy The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell as much as 14 per cent in Tokyo to its lowest point since April 2009 and its worst two-day decline since at least 1970, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Nikkei rallied slightly to close down 10.5 per cent for the day according to the news as i read at the presents im sure they can recovered.
Asap170
I heard somewhere that there were some major flaws in their systems because of skipped safety precautions. I am coming to wonder if people in the United States are going to start freaking out and people saying that our plants are not safe and we are all gonna die.
deanhills
Asap170 wrote:
I heard somewhere that there were some major flaws in their systems because of skipped safety precautions. I am coming to wonder if people in the United States are going to start freaking out and people saying that our plants are not safe and we are all gonna die.
That sounds almost like a given. All those people who have vested interests in sources of energy other than nuclear energy may want nuclear energy to fail for economic and competitive reasons. I must say I am disappointed in Japan, as I always thought they were a step above the rest as far as safety precautions and level of technological excellence were concerned. I can't remember the name of the town in the North of Japan, but apparently they had their emergency procedures in case of a tsunami or earthquake practiced and perfected as an art so much so that quite a number of lives were saved when they activated their siren. All the people knew what they had to do. I thought that something similar would have been practiced and perfected for the nuclear reactors, and it would seem that all of it was chaotic and clumsy instead. One thing that may be good out of it is that they must have had plenty of opportunities of lessons learned, so perhaps for a future extraordinary event like this, the world may have taken note and updated their safety procedures.
adri
Well I guess that practicing for an earthquake or tsunami isn't quite the same than really having one. Also people will be more frightened so their brain's only work for 50% (making irrational and emotional choices in stead of the rational choices that you've learned) and there is always the suprise-effect and also the shock. And most of all, earthquakes are never the same, is it a big one or a smaller one? It always is a different thing. And I guess that the tsunami, reaching the shore of Japan in just a few minutes after the earthquake, made things really not go according to plan...

adri
deanhills
adri wrote:
And I guess that the tsunami, reaching the shore of Japan in just a few minutes after the earthquake, made things really not go according to plan...

adri
The one town had it all planned. They had a place where everyone had to congregate when the siren went and which was at a much higher elevation. They knew what to take with them when that happened. I should try and Google it, as I heard it on Jazeera News so that I can get more facts about it.

I agree with you however, when it gets to nuclear reactors, maybe it is more trickey. They can't move the reactor to a different place.
adri
Could it be that the town was called Tarou, I found this video on the internet where they say it is 'a model town' against tsunami's.



I also read that according to some scientists who did a study about the waves that were made because of the earthquake were a staggering 23 meters high! (I could provide a link but it is a dutch newspaper website, so I doubt it would be interesting for you guys)


adri
deanhills
Thanks Adri. I looked everywhere literally, and could not find it. Darn! While I was searching, most of the reports were of towns swept away. Could be that the town was slightly inland, and they had high ground. Now I will never know for sure, quite frustrating grrrr ..... Brick wall
Feroc1ty
Overreacting? I live in southern California, and when I went outside today whilst it was raining the rain BURNED me, it literally felt as if it was a somewhat strong acid... that can't POSSIBLY be good...
deanhills
Feroc1ty wrote:
Overreacting? I live in southern California, and when I went outside today whilst it was raining the rain BURNED me, it literally felt as if it was a somewhat strong acid... that can't POSSIBLY be good...
That sounds lethal. What do you mean when you say it burnt you? Did you have to receive treatment afterwards? Shocked
Feroc1ty
deanhills wrote:
Feroc1ty wrote:
Overreacting? I live in southern California, and when I went outside today whilst it was raining the rain BURNED me, it literally felt as if it was a somewhat strong acid... that can't POSSIBLY be good...
That sounds lethal. What do you mean when you say it burnt you? Did you have to receive treatment afterwards? Shocked


Well burned wasn't the right word for it I guess, my skin was irritated more or less. Razz
watersoul
Feroc1ty wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Feroc1ty wrote:
Overreacting? I live in southern California, and when I went outside today whilst it was raining the rain BURNED me, it literally felt as if it was a somewhat strong acid... that can't POSSIBLY be good...
That sounds lethal. What do you mean when you say it burnt you? Did you have to receive treatment afterwards? Shocked


Well burned wasn't the right word for it I guess, my skin was irritated more or less. Razz


No disrespect Feroc1ty but perhaps that was a little bit of an over-reaction?
LittleBlackKitten
Acid rain does not equal nuclear rain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_rain

Acid rain can happen anywhere, at any time, no matter if a nuclear plant is on the verge of a massive melt down or not.

Nuclear rain however...

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_645335.html

Doesn't, and cannot, exist.

http://eversion.news-eleven.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1178:acid-rain-rumors-widespread-in-myanmar-physically-impossible&catid=43:biweekly-eleven-eversion&Itemid=110

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2011-03/15/c_13780147.htm
ocalhoun
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Acid rain does not equal nuclear rain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_rain

Acid rain can happen anywhere, at any time, no matter if a nuclear plant is on the verge of a massive melt down or not.

Bingo.


I do figure nuclear rain could occur, given the right conditions. You'd need a cloud of radioactive particles to pass through/under a rain cloud, and then you'd have radioactive rain.
(Still probably wouldn't have a burning-on-contact effect though - more likely it would just show up as radiation sickness later on.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
I do figure nuclear rain could occur, given the right conditions. You'd need a cloud of radioactive particles to pass through/under a rain cloud, and then you'd have radioactive rain.
(Still probably wouldn't have a burning-on-contact effect though - more likely it would just show up as radiation sickness later on.)
One thing for sure is that if that would have happened, that we would have read about it all over the media. Probably seen close ups and people wondering about sueing.
LittleBlackKitten
Wow, this conversation makes me want to play Fallout again, lol.
Radar
I think 'over-reaction' is generally the reaction that people have to nuclear anything. That's possibly preferably though to the alternatives.
Navigator
Check this out:

Quote:

Japan finds 11 types of vegetables in Fukushima over radioactive safety standards vegetables

The Japanese government on Wednesday urged people not to eat 11 types of vegetable grown near the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeast Japan after levels of radioactivity in the produces were found to have far exceeded legal limits. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said consumers should avoid eating potentially contaminated vegetables grown near the faltering power plant, including broccoli, spinach, cabbage and cauliflower. The advisory from the ministry came following consultations with the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan. The ministry said the vegetables should not be consumed for the time being and noted that the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations has halted shipments of potentially contaminated produce as of Monday.


http://www.sott.net/articles/show/226246-Japan-finds-11-types-of-vegetables-in-Fukushima-over-radioactive-safety-standards-vegetables

And this

Quote:

U.S. halts Japan food imports, Tokyo water contaminated

Japanese authorities advised against allowing infants to drink tap water in Tokyo due to raised radiation levels and the United States became the first nation to block some food imports from Japan. The crisis at the tsunami-smashed nuclear power plant, 250 km (150 miles) north of the Japanese capital, appeared far from over with workers attempting to gain control ordered to leave the site after black smoke began rising from one of its six reactors. The plant was crippled by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Some 23,000 people have been left dead or missing. Tokyo authorities said water at a purification plant for the capital of 13 million people had 210 becquerels of radioactive iodine -- more than twice the safety level for infants. "This is without doubt, an effect of the Fukushima Daiichi plant," a Tokyo metropolitan government official said, referring to the nuclear power station. Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, however, said the radiation level posed no immediate health risk and water could still be used. "But for infants under age one, I would like them to refrain from using tap water to dilute baby formula," he said. International concerns about food safety are growing, with the United States the latest to impose controls. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was stopping imports of milk, vegetable and fruit from four prefectures in the vicinity of the crippled nuclear plant.


http://66.90.73.49/articles/show/226229-U-S-halts-Japan-food-imports-Tokyo-water-contaminated
deanhills
Navigator wrote:
Quote:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was stopping imports of milk, vegetable and fruit from four prefectures in the vicinity of the crippled nuclear plant.
Wow, it never rains but pours! I feel really sorry for the Japanese. I was unaware however that the US was importing milk and fresh vegetables and fruit from Japan. Why would the US need to import these from Japan? This is interesting to learn.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I was unaware however that the US was importing milk and fresh vegetables and fruit from Japan. Why would the US need to import these from Japan? This is interesting to learn.

Seems strange to me as well... The US should have a LOT more agricultural products than Japan does. Why would they be imported?

The only thing I can figure would be a small market for niche items that are unique to Japan.
ankitdatashn
Yeah, I believe the world is overreacting, In India atleast they do are overreacting, common you want to make nuclear Reactors make them and make them strong enough, It is advantageous beacause of lack of CO2 , etc gases which harm the environment.

However if you can make energy by renewable resources then nothing can be more better! Smile
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