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  1. The group seemed to be confused about how the Unit 1 Isolation Condenser (IC) is normally operated. Here’s some clarifying info:
    At the outset of the event (earthquake), the unit experienced a loss of offsite power (LOOP). Diesels and batteries were working fine. In that situation, the IC would initially be used in pressure control mode, and once conditions were assessed and plant stabilized, a controlled cooldown with the IC would be initiated by the operator. Because the ICs are sized to remove a LOT of heat, that means they must be cycled on/off to control the cooldown rate. It is desirable to control the cooldown rate (in the US typically to less than 100 degF/hour), to manage thermal stresses on the reactor vessel. Cooling down also causes the density of the water in the reactor to increase as it cools (“shrinkage”), so cooling down faster than you can makeup with high-pressure pumps will give you low-level problems. Cooling down too quickly also depletes the condensate in the shell-side of the IC too quickly, creating time pressure to refill the shell side. The IC is cycled by opening and closing a single DC-powered gate valve in the condensate return line back to the reactor.

    The second event (tsunami) took away the diesel generators AND the batteries. This left no way to cycle the IC valve. Also, due to bad luck, the loss of DC just happened to occur at a moment when the IC valve was closed. If the IC valve had been open at that instant, the event would have progressed very differently. From what I’ve read, the handwheel of the valve was not easily accessible, which thwarted the operator’s ability to re-open the valve manually.

    In the original IC design, the need to throttle the IC was not envisioned. The valves involved are gate valves, chosen due to their need to close quickly and tightly in the event of a pipe break within the IC system. Gate valves aren’t very effective at throttling, and typically aren’t provided with a way to “jog” the valves by small increments.

  2. I think a better discussion would be “what can we gain.” I didn’t “learn” anything and i think most people who understand the machine didn’t either. I already knew if a machine gets outside of its design basis, you hope for the best but take what you get. I already knew after four days without AC power severe core damage is a certainty, containment failure is likely if not certain also, and that the radiological consequences of the containment failure are “acceptable” within the criteria currently used to define acceptable, by the organization legally responsible to define it. In the long term if public opinion doesn’t agree the consequences were acceptable it will force money to be spent to reduce the risk of a repeat. The crux of the current problem is that “consequences” discussion always lacks “compared to what alternative?” That’s the only area I see for a potential gain. And that appears to be a hard nut to crack because opinion is mostly driven by money or ideology, and I don’t know how to fix that. I’d like to think “facts” would work, but I’ve seen little evidence that path has been effective to date.

    1. @mjd

      And that appears to be a hard nut to crack because opinion is mostly driven by money…

      The path I am taking, with some help from my friends who have generously subscribed or donated to Atomic Insights (thank you all, by the way) is to work diligently to document the influence of money on both sides of the nuclear energy issue.

      Though it is an approach that might have been tried before, I have not found much evidence over the past 40 years where people who favor nuclear energy have worked to undercut the “high moral ground” occupied by the opposition who claim to be working for ideals, because they are genuinely afraid, or out of an abundance of caution.

      Antinuclear activists have effectively and repeatedly worked to discredit nuclear supporters by saying “she works for the nuclear industry” or “what do you expect from an industry insider?”

      If the general public could better understand that some of the richest individuals and corporations on the planet benefit by opposition to nuclear energy, they might begin to recognize the battle as just another scrap over money and market share. If we get to that situation, perhaps the facts about nuclear energy and common negative experiences associated with the competition will begin to win out.

      My approach may not work, but I don’t think it has ever been tried before.

      1. And I’ll add thanks for your efforts. I’m not willing to give up either but I can also see our past efforts have not been too effective. A point made by a few commenters here who then generally get discredited. I’ll listen to accurate advice from whatever direction it may come. I think we all appreciate a different approach is needed and you are providing that. All technologies have some problems. And I really think the nuke industry has not always been the best at acknowledging some of those. But that is more a natural human nature reaction to constant negativity about nuke power from hidden agendas. That can make one deaf to a real problem.

  3. I have listened to about 2 thirds of the podcast, I will finish it in an hour or so during my drive back home from the office.

    In the initial part I have heard some news that caught my attention, not sure if they were coming from Les, Will or Cal, but what I heard was clear. It looks like a family of 4 people receives a monthly allowance of 30,000 US$. So I have heard. But this amount of money seems quite high to me.

    Also, these payments are due even to those families who decide not to return home, in case their home became available again due to the lifting of access restrication, for up to one year after the access to the home is reestablished.

    Can anyone confirm this, and provide any links to substantiate these claims?

    Thanks, Luca

      1. @Rod Adams
        @Luca

        Les is entirely incorrect. There is absolutely no basis for compensation amounts at this level (or anywhere close to this level). It would be a really great thing if Les would correct his post (or provide a link that is active, or some supporting evidence that can be verified). Until that time, we have to treat his post as misinformation and in serious need of being retracted (or ignored).

        http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201312100062

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/18/us-japan-nuclear-compensation-factbox-idUSTRE79H08Y20111018

        1. EL…please check out the following….The total paid out to the 85,000 people – the equivalent of 21,000 families of four – as of 3/7/14 is here http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/comp/images/jisseki-e.pdf .

          It’s over $35 billion…do the math. And the amount “loaned” by Tokyo to cover the March pay-outs is here http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2014/1234444_5892.html … another $1.5 billion.

          My original posting of the incredible amount of compensation as of October 30, 2013, with reference links at the end, is here http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-commentary/fukushima-commentary-11.html .

          And additional pay-outs above and beyond the above in my posting of December 13, 2013, with reference links at the end is here http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-commentary/fukushima-commentary-11.html .

          Yes…it is difficult to grasp and even more difficult to believe, but the numbers don’t lie. Fukushima compensation is making millionaires out of the evacuees.

          1. @Les

            I don’t see where your documentation supports any of your calculations. Yes, the Asahi Shimbun article is confusing (as you point out in your post). Families of four have not received upwards of 90 million yen on average ($879 K in USD). I don’t know where this figure comes from in the article, and neither do you.

            I’ve provided a source (Dec 2013) that indicates a total cap on compensation no greater than 14 million yen ($136K in USD), and also indicating “residents of the difficult-to-return zones, the major target, have already received compensation payments of 7.5 yen” ($73K in USD). Payments for psychological suffering amounted to 10,000 yen ($1K/month) at the time.

            How is it that you are reading the TEPCO “payout” sheet? I don’t see where your calculations are supported. On an individual basis (excluding corporations and sole proprietors), the highest amount “per case” on total payments is some 274,000 yen for losses due to voluntary evacuation (or $2,675 USD). How you get to $30,000 per month for family of four from this figure is entirely beyond me.

            Other sources confirm the numbers I have been referencing, and yes … it would be excellent to have a clearer accounting of this. I am sure it is available (but I haven’t found it in a quick search of English language sources). Do you have one?

            http://japandailypress.com/fukushima-evacuees-may-receive-additional-6-5-million-yen-from-government-1140753/

            “It will now bring the total possible compensation to 10-14 million yen per person and the final amounts will be announced by December 26.”

            Wiki has the following source (from interim guidelines).

            Mandatory evacuation – 100,000 yen ($984 USD) month/person
            Voluntary evacuation – 80,000 yen ($787 USD) month/person
            Voluntary evacuation – 400,000 yen ($3,937 USD) month/person (children and expecting mothers)

            Amounts may have been reduced after an unspecified time frame (as originally intended in proposal).

            As far as I can tell (and you are not being clear about this or informative with your sources), you are taking current residents receiving compensation and total projected costs for compensation (corporations and sole proprietors included) as a result of the accident, and coming up with a monthly figure. Frankly, I have no clue what you are doing (because your numbers are wild and entirely off base).

          2. More …

            http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20131230p2a00m0na010000c.html

            March 14, 2014: “Total compensation for the emotional suffering of residents whose homes are in areas where they are unlikely to be able to return comes out to 14.5 million yen [$143 K USD] per person …” Anybody not receiving up to this amount in monthly 100,000 yen [$1K USD] payments, will receive remaining in lump sum.

            http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201402250046

            Feb. 25, 2014: Tepco has already stated they won’t adhere to Dispute Reconciliation for Nuclear Damage Compensation guidelines for reduced incomes, and will be ending basic compensation terms next year, Feb 2015 (“Bypasing government guidelines”).

            TEPCO Site:

            http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/comp/index-e.html

            Example on TEPCO Site: standard compensation request by a family (damages caused by evacuation order). Husband is office worker, wife is housewife, 2 children. Includes evacuation cost, injury to second child, damages from loss of work, mental damages, but does not include loss or reduction of property value.

            – 4,515,000 yen (or $44,441 USD).

            You can find other descriptions of compensation amounts here.

            While some of these figures, no doubt, have been updated, extended, and revised over the course of the accident. And some of them are scheduled for repeal (if we are to take TEPCO at their word). I see no millionaires among them. With costs rising for many of these families, and funds getting cut off, we are starting to see the opposite. Complaints and calls for action.

          3. EL, I think you may be misunderstanding some things about evacuee compensation.

            First, in the TEPCO compensation sheet the figure is 1,507 billion yen or 1.5 trillion yen for 511,000 “individual” cases, which comes out to about 2,900,000 yen per case, or roughly $29,000 per claim, not the $2,675 per claim you estimated upthread. That’s an order-of-magnitude error.

            Furthermore, in the TEPCO compensation sheet, the 511,000 “cases” does not mean 511,000 people. It refers to compensation claims, of which there are more than one per person—recipients have to file claims for emotional distress, for employment compensation, for property, etc, and they have to file new claims periodically to receive ongoing compensation.

            The actual number of mandatory evacuees is about 84,000, IIRC; adding in voluntary evacuees gets you up to about 150,000, IIRC. If we divide total individual compensation of 1.859 trillion yen by 150,000 mandatory and voluntary refugees, we get 12,400,000 yen per evacuee, or roughly $124,000 per evacuee. That works out to about $500,000 for the average family of four. But then there’s the “corporate and sole proprietor” category of compensation, much of which will go to mom-and-pop stores, family farmers and fishermen, so much of that additional 1.665 trillion yen is really another form of “family compensation.”

            In the news stories you have cited, which are indeed confusing, the compensation limits of 10-14,000,000 yen I believe refer to “individual compensation,” which would include employment compensation and emotional distress compensation, but probably not property and business losses, which are negotiated separately.

            Note that a 14,000,000 yen individual compensation cap could add up to $500,000 for a family of four, and adding in property and business losses for a prosperous farm and a big house might take a family’s compensation beyond $1 million. Of course an evacuee who was an unemployed renter would get a lot less, mainly just a $1000 per month emotional distress payment and maybe a free pre-fab hut until those are cut off.

            So I think Leslie Corrice is in the right ballpark in claiming that on average a family of four could get close to $1 million in compensation. And, of course, compensation is still increasing every month.

          4. … roughly $29,000 per claim, not the $2,675 per claim you estimated upthread. That’s an order-of-magnitude error.

            @Will Boisvert

            Indeed … thanks for the correction.

            Do you have any thoughts on the following (from OECD an NEA).

            http://www.oecd-nea.org/law/fukushima/7089-fukushima-compensation-system-pp.pdf

            “As of 25 October 2012, TEPCO had received approximately 257,000 applications from individuals and 116,000 applications from corporations and sole proprietors, out of which approximately 206,000 and 92,000 cases respectively have been voluntarily settled” (p. 12).

            Compensation for property damage isn’t money in people’s pocket (either). I assume many people hold mortgages. Even more so for a business (and some assets that are owned … such as farm land, machinery, inventory). Business losses are widespread in the region (from low visitation, tourism, etc.). These are part of compensation figures as well.

            We have some fairly reliable figures on compensation schemes for evacuees (on the TEPCO website no less). If you know the number of individuals (mandatory or voluntary evacuees) that make up the 511,000 claims … please provide this information. Guesswork isn’t going to get us there.

            1. @EL

              Once again, Les has already determined the total number of evacuees and provided the split between mandatory and voluntary. Here is a quote from http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-commentary/fukushima-commentary-6.html

              160,000 people evacuated their homes due to the Fukushima accident. Some 70,000 were ordered to leave because they lived inside the government-mandated exclusion zone – a 20 kilometer radius around F. Daiichi plus a 10km-wide corridor northwest of the accident site extending out to roughly 45 km. Another 90,000 evacuated voluntarily from communities outside the exclusion zone. About 89,000 of the total remain in Fukushima Prefecture as refugees – 42,000 from the exclusion zone and 47,000 voluntary evacuees.

              Les has been following this event very closely over the past three years, providing two or three updates with links to original sources every week. If you doubt his numbers, feel free to put in the same kind of effort and post it on your own blog. Les’s numbers are reliable; I accept them. Further questioning here without a better source is likely to be deleted. Move on.

          5. Les’s numbers are reliable; I accept them.

            @Rod Adams

            Are we looking at the same information?

            It appears we aren’t. If you continue to repeat these numbers you are discrediting your site. And you are not “helping” Les Corrice provide any better information on his site.

            It’s really quite preposterous. I don’t have any other way to describe it.

            I’ve provided better information … and now your threatening to delete it. This should outrage others. It certainly outrages me!

            1. @EL

              I am not threatening to delete what you have posted. I intend to leave your comment alone. I am threatening to delete repetitive comments since Les has responded with answers to your questions. Will already showed that your information had at least one order-of-magnitude math error.

              Please read through the comments in this segment of the thread carefully, follow the provided links and do the math. I think you will find that your faith in the sources you have quoted is misplaced. I don’t know why the authors of those sources have not provided more accurate interpretations of the raw data.

          6. @ EL on Fukushima evacuee compensation,

            EL, here’s the fullest accounting of evacuee compensation that I’ve yet come across in the press, from Asahi Shimbun on October 26, 2013. (http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201310260046)

            It puts the number of evacuees from the mandatory evacuation zone at 84,000, and it states, “on average, a family of four forced out of no-entry zones had received about 90 million yen in compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co., as of Sept. 20 [2013]” It breaks that total down as 49.1 million yen for lost property and real estate, 10.9 million yen for lost wages and 30 million yen for “pain and suffering.”

            So 90 million yen is roughly $900,000 for a family of four, pretty close to Les Corrice’s notion of about $1 million for a family of four (and compensation is still adding up).

            But you’re right that that’s not just free money; families have to use it to pay new expenses of housing, business loans, etc. And again, that average disguises gross disparities; some families will get a lot, other evacuees will get nothing but the $1000 per month emotional distress payment while they stew in makeshift camps. It’s not appropriate to assume every family of four is getting a check cut to them for $30,000 every month—many have to haggle a long time to get a property settlement–or to imagine all the evacuees living high off the hog on compensation.

            –As for the OECD document you cite, again the “claims” it references does not equate to people necessarily because people can file multiple claims. On the other hand, you’re right that probably not all the payments TEPCO is making are going strictly to long-term evacuees.

            –The TEPCO sample compensation plan for a family of four that you cited upthread only covered 5 months of evacuation, so compensation for three-year evacuees would be much higher.

            @ Rod,

            I hope you don’t delete EL’s future comments on the compensation issue. While Les Corrice’s estimates are extremely valuable and broadly accurate, I have not always found them as transparent as I would have wished and like EL I have sometimes had misgivings about them. That’s not Les’s fault; there simply are no really detailed, comprehensive and clear accountings of Fukushima compensation in English.

            Compensation and cleanup costs are a crucial aspect of Fukushima, but they are hard to get a handle on. It’s good to have a searching discussion about them.

            1. @Will

              I hope you don’t delete EL’s future comments on the compensation issue.

              I told him I would delete “repetitive” comments.

              New information and new sources are always welcome. I don’t intend to allow anyone to dominate a comment thread with repeated assertions discounting comments including calculations and sources provided by someone else.

              Quite frankly, I am a little perturbed by EL’s statement that publishing Les’s compensation numbers would “discredit” Atomic Insights and that doing so would be “preposterous.” Of course, if I include his numbers in a post here, I’ll provide links to the posts that document the way that he has ferreted them out by doing math with verified numbers.

              This conversation reminds me of EL’s attacks on my credibility because I believe that Wade Allison and Jerry Cuttler — both of whom are respected, credentialed, and frequently referenced scientists doing original research in the field of radiation health effects — have produced accurate information that happens to challenge the “consensus” opinion of a politically appointed body like the BEIR. I cannot recall his exact words, but he has sharply questioned my support of their recommendation for radiation exposure regulations based on a tolerance dose of “as high as reasonably safe.”

              I continue to support the “tolerance dose” recommendation as something that would improve human health and welfare.

          7. Sorry, The OECD document says “applications” and “cases”, not “claims,” but I still think these refer to separate claims, not individual people, who can file multiple applications for compensation.

          8. I am threatening to delete repetitive comments since Les has responded with answers to your questions.

            @Rod Adams.

            But he hasn’t.

            He hasn’t responded to the fact that applications from individuals number far in excess of 84,000 or 150,000 (as he has claimed). Voluntary evacuees are likely not receiving compensation for lost property (but only pain and suffering, medical care, employment losses, travel and housing expenses). And averages don’t have much significance here, since some of the recipients “tended to be better off because they owned apartment buildings and large plots of land” (as described in Asahi article). Such averages directly apply to “families that left their homes around the nuclear plant” (not every recipient of compensation funds). Let’s say 10 voluntary evacuees receive payments for pain and suffering (100,000 yen/month x 36 months), and one farmer receives compensation for land (lets say 300 million yen) … this doesn’t mean the actual compensation amounts to individuals is 30 million yen. It means 10 people received 3.6 million yen ($35,000 USD), and one large land owner received 300 million yen ($3 million USD).

            Les’s numbers don’t add up. His guesswork is incredibly sloppy. He makes assumptions that are entirely unfounded. And treats every evacuee as the same (lumping in the large landowners with the voluntary evacuee, the non-evacuee applying for business losses with the resident of Okuma who will never return to their home).

            For someone who has such a large a stake in the outcome (nuclear advocates here, as well), it seems we would want get some of this right (and be as informative and accurate as possible). Les has not done this. He has misread the Asahi article, and made up information about individuals receiving compensation funds. My observations here are pretty straightforward (and uncomplicated). We can do better. Where Les doesn’t have the numbers, he appears to make them up. I find this highly problematical. I think this is something that merits a closer look!

            This conversation reminds me of EL’s attacks on my credibility because I believe that Wade Allison and Jerry Cuttler …

            @Rod Adams

            I never attacked your credibility, or that of Allison or Cuttler (or the research they have conducted on this issue). These are prospective studies that in many instances have not been demonstrated outside of the lab (and are not backed up or independently verified in population or ecological studies). In addition, they contrast with other significant and substantive research on the topic. I didn’t challenge your credibility, I challenged your conclusions, and whether there is any merit (based on such prospective and limited in scope work) to recommend 100 mSv/month as a “reasonably safe” tolerance does for the general public (or anybody else for that matter). There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. And most professionals in this field (HPS to take one example) would find your recommendations farfetched and difficult to substantiate. Perhaps even “reckless” (which is how I view them).

            1. @EL

              He hasn’t responded to the fact that applications from individuals number far in excess of 84,000 or 150,000 (as he has claimed).

              I believe it was Will who explained to you that the number of cases or claims listed on Tepco’s web site does not correspond to the number of affected individuals since many people are eligible to file multiple claims for various specific compensation programs.

              Even Chairman Macfarlane’s recent blog post on the NRC blog site used a figure of 160,000 people who were either evacuated by a mandatory order or voluntarily left the area as a result of the events at Fukushima.

            2. @EL

              These are prospective studies that in many instances have not been demonstrated outside of the lab (and are not backed up or independently verified in population or ecological studies). In addition, they contrast with other significant and substantive research on the topic.

              That is not a correct characterization of research conducted by Cuttler, Polycove, Feinendegen, Calabrese, Kondo, Luckey, Jaworowski, Doss, Mitchel, Muckerheide and others.

              The research falsifying the LNT assumption is sound, peer reviewed and valid.

              It results from following the scientific method, which is a complete contrast to the politically-motivated results that have been tortured out of sparse data on an unrepresentative population exposed to unmeasured, actute radiation doses by the people who have been funding the LSS studies for the past 50 years.

            3. @EL

              Voluntary evacuees are likely not receiving compensation for lost property (but only pain and suffering, medical care, employment losses, travel and housing expenses).

              I’m not sure why voluntary evacuees, who lived in areas that the government — even with its very conservative radiation dose standards — considered to be safe, should be getting any compensation from Tepco at all. Tepco did not harm them; they chose to be harmed.

          9. Rod … this is quite silly to go back and forth on this.

            TEPCO has lots of documentation on application procedures and amounts for individuals, corporations, and sole proprietors.

            http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2012/1221987_1870.html

            http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu12_e/images/120925e0201.pdf

            I keep on providing links, but few people wish to look at them (or consider the information in them). If everyone here thinks Les is infallible, and that credible information from TEPCO amounts to nothing, I really don’t know where else we are going to be able to take this conversation.

            Les hasn’t made his case. It’s really that simple. If there’s better information out there (and I’ve provided plenty of my own), it would be worthwhile to start providing it. Simply sticking to problematical and unfounded assumptions isn’t going to get us there.

            The research falsifying the LNT assumption is sound, peer reviewed and valid.

            It’s no news to anybody that the dose response curve below 100 mSv is a dotted line. Saying something lacks statistical significance is not the same as saying it has no effect. And it is definitely not the same as saying something is the opposite … i.e., healthy.

            We have some very valuable studies on radiation hormesis and stimulatory effects at the cell level. This is important and meaningful research (when someone isn’t trying to read into them more than is there). This research is quite common in a wide variety of fields. It is worth doing. What is not worth doing is discounting other research that is equally “sound, peer reviewed and valid.” These things have to be reconciled. So far, we don’t have a way to do this.

            Science sometimes doesn’t provide easy answers. This area is one of them (and for doses in the very low range of likely public exposures).

            1. @EL

              It’s no news to anybody that the dose response curve below 100 mSv is a dotted line. Saying something lacks statistical significance is not the same as saying it has no effect. And it is definitely not the same as saying something is the opposite … i.e., healthy.

              That is a somewhat ironic statement to make in a comment accusing others of either ignoring references or refusing to consider the information in them. Cuttler’s recent papers include several examples of studies where the data below 100 mSv is not a dotted line, it is a curve that dips below zero when plotted honestly and using accurate statistical tools.

          10. EL, the TEPCO documents you cited are broadly consistent with Les Corrice’s estimates.

            1) Note, in the press release, “the fifth batch of application forms for compensation damages shall be sent to all individuals.” The “fifth batch of applications”, EL. That indicates there are several applications for ongoing compensation being filed for each evacuee—when a compensation period ends, a family has to file new claims for the next compensation period. That’s one reason there are more TEPCO “cases” than there are individual recipients.

            2). Note that the compensation schedules in the appendix are for specific periods of time; they are not total caps on compensation for all time. Evacuees in difficult-to-return zones have amounts projected for 5 years because they won’t be going home soon. People in the ready to return zones have one-year schedules because TEPCO hopes they will go home soon and stop collecting. But anybody not home at the end of the specified period will keep getting compensation. So the numbers in the appendix are not lifetime compensation caps, just the amount people will get for a specified calendar period.

            3) Let’s calculate how much a two-earner middle-class family of four might get from those compensation schedules if they held from March 2011 to March 2014. (Which is not the case; compensation schedules have changed and there are other compensation moneys that are not covered in your 2012 documents). Emotional distress payments (the basic compensation component) are 100,000 yen per person per month, so over 36 months that’s Y14.4 million. Assume mom and dad both made Y6 million per year and haven’t worked since the earthquake, that’s Y36 million unemployment compensation. Everyone gets an “other costs” allotment of at least Y158,000 per year, so Y1.9 million over three years. Finally there’s compensation for rent; let’s assume a Y150,000 per month apartment for a family of four, that’s Y5.4 million for rental compensation.

            That adds up to 57.7 million yen—roughly $580,000, and we haven’t even gotten to home, property and business losses.

            –So EL it’s quite plausible that, according to the TEPCO compensation schedules you cited, a middle-class family of four could have received upwards of $1 million in compensation over the last three years, in line with Les Corrice’s estimates. And since the Asahi Shimbun article explicity reported the average compensation as 90,000,000 yen on average per family of four in late 2013, Les’s figures for average compensation look pretty well confirmed (and agree reasonably well with TEPCO’s total payout numbers).

            So let’s put it this way. Les is definitely right about total aggregate compensation given to evacuees, and that “average” compensation levels for mandatory evacuees are close to $1 million per family of four. He could perhaps be faulted for glossing over the large disparities in compensation: there are a lot of families who haven’t gotten anywhere near $1 million; some evacuees are getting by on $1000 per month per person in a (rent-free) prefab camp.

          11. 3) Let’s calculate how much a two-earner middle-class family of four might get from those compensation schedules if they held from March 2011 to March 2014. (Which is not the case; compensation schedules have changed and there are other compensation moneys that are not covered in your 2012 documents). Emotional distress payments (the basic compensation component) are 100,000 yen per person per month, so over 36 months that’s Y14.4 million. Assume mom and dad both made Y6 million per year and haven’t worked since the earthquake, that’s Y36 million unemployment compensation. Everyone gets an “other costs” allotment of at least Y158,000 per year, so Y1.9 million over three years. Finally there’s compensation for rent; let’s assume a Y150,000 per month apartment for a family of four, that’s Y5.4 million for rental compensation.

            @Will Boisvert

            You are making a whole lot of assumptions here. 1) that both adults, raising young kids, are working. “Japanese women’s labor-force participation rate is 25 percent below men’s” (here). Perhaps even more so in rural areas. 2) That neither have worked since accident. 3) that most evacuees are from difficult to return zones, rather than restricted entry zones (with dose exposures in range of 20 to 50 mSv). 4) That all are going to receive compensation for home, property and business losses (which is not the case).

            None of this is true in every case (which you clearly state). The “reference case” as TEPCO has described it is one office worker and one “housewife,” and two kids. Your effort to inflate these numbers to Les’ estimates (seemingly for every evacuee) is not convincing. And you admit this: “He could perhaps be faulted for glossing over the large disparities in compensation.”

            If he’s glossing over these disparities, why are you saying “Les’s figures for average compensation look pretty well confirmed” (when your estimates are clearly for a middle class family that is at the high end of the employment scale, owns their house and property, and is in the worst of circumstances with respect to displacement and property losses).

            From the document I have provided, let’s take the standard period (June 01, 2012 to May 31, 2014) for a family of four in restricted entry zone (one office worker). For two year period:

            – Emotional distress: 9.6 million yen
            – Work losses: 12 million yen (your estimate of 6 million/year)
            – Other losses (equivalent expenses): 437,000 (breakdown suggests these are household expenses)
            – Rents: 3.6 million yen (your figure)
            – Property losses: none (since calculation include funds for return, inspection expenses, etc.).

            For family of four who had one earner, has not been employed during standard period (two years), evacuated from restricted entry zone, and has no property losses, total payments are 25,637,000 million yen ($253 K USD) for standard period (two years), 12,818,500 ($126.5 K USD) per year, 1,068,208 ($10.5 K USD) per month per reference family of four, 267,052 yen ($2,635 USD) per person per month. Compensation terms end May 31, 2014.

            I’d like to add that this comes from an “actual” compensation schedule (standard compensation terms provided by TEPCO), and not some made up back of the envelope calculation based on flawed assumptions.

            The same calculation for difficult to return zone comes to 269,100 yen ($2,654 USD) per person per month from 2012 – 2014. From 2014 to 2017 they appear to still be eligible for emotional distress and remaining amount for “other” costs (but no longer rent or income compensation). According to schedule, they will continue to receive about $136,633 yen per person per month ($1,347 USD) for distress and costs for inspection of offsite property to 2017. Compensation amounts for those where the evacuation order is lifted is comparable, but ends one year after the order is lifted.

            I feel relatively confident saying that nobody is becoming a millionaire on $2600/month per person living in a prefab camp, rental apartment, is unemployed, enrolling kids in a new school, repurchasing furniture, or rebuilding their lives and careers elsewhere. Compensation for property losses is an important consideration, but a family earning $60,000 USD/year (even more with two earners), paying taxes, is likely carrying a mortgage, and any compensation for loss of property, furniture, etc., is likely going towards paying off debt (and not into people’s pocket).

            I appreciate your comments and clarification on this topic. They have clearly helped to fill in many of the gaps in Les’s numbers. And I don’t disagree with your observation that he has “glossed” over “large disparities in compensation.” I don’t see where the TEPCO document supports your statement that compensation is “in line with Les Corrice’s estimates.” As I said before, there are some well to do people who are getting compensation commensurate with their income and property values. I don’t discount this. But I also don’t understand the unlikely basis for making this a regional average for a predominantly rural Prefecture. You just have to look at the TEPCO literature to find a more accurate assessment on the matter.

            Just to mention … I’m leaving for Hawaii tomorrow and am not bringing a computer. I won’t be able to continue comments on this thread while I am away.

          12. Cuttler’s recent papers include several examples of studies where the data below 100 mSv is not a dotted line, it is a curve that dips below zero when plotted honestly and using accurate statistical tools.

            @Rod Adams

            How is it “ironic” to consider all available evidence, and not just those provided for a single example or experimental data set (post-natal, epidemiological, in utero, surrogate in vivo, mechanistic biophysical, animal experiments, in vitro, and computer simulations). Below 100 mSv, we have valid and peer reviewed studies that suggest multiple possible curves:

            – downardly curving
            – hormetic
            – linear no threshold
            – upwardly curving
            – threshold

            http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr/25026140

            http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2235592100

            1. @EL

              Your first link (http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr/25026140) is one more example of the way that so many papers and studies that claim to be different are still based on the same unrepresentative group of people who received the lion’s share of their radiation doses from the atomic bomb.

              … because of the important epidemiological evidence arising from the Life Span Study of the Japanese Atomic Bomb survivor cohort [3]. This cohort is absolutely crucial to our understanding and estimation of cancer risk from ionising radiation. Its usefulness is the result of: the large size of the studied population (approximately 100 000 survivors); the long length of follow-up (over 60 years); the breadth of the population exposed (including males and females of all age groups); the fact that population selection was not in any way based on cancer status; the variation of doses received, ranging from the low doses relevant to diagnostic medical radiation to much larger, even lethal, doses; and the fact that individuals received a whole-body exposure rather than targeted exposures to individual organs, so that risks for most solid cancers/leukaemias can be estimated.

              I guess I need to keep breaking my own rule about repetition. Once again, the LSS is a politically charged study.

              Funding for related studies was often controlled by a couple of bureaucrats in a single office within the EPA, both of whom bragged to their colleagues that the LNT would stand as long as they had any say in the matter.

              The doses received by the LSS cohort were not measured; in fact, the dose reconstruction effort for the LSS did not even start until a few years after the event. Not only was the population not wearing dosimetry, but there were no radiation monitors installed before the bombs were dropped. The population was under substantial stress and victims of poor nutrition, not only when they received their doses, but for several years before and after their exposure. The doses were acute, not chronic.

              Epidemiologists may love the size of the population and the duration of follow through, but sample size and study duration does not overcome the facts that the initial dose estimates may be way off and that the nature of the dose is nothing like the dose for which they are trying to compute the risk.

              One more thing – though it takes a bit of work to find it, this paper, though submitted in 2012 and published in 2014, is also dependent on the 15 country study of radiation workers that includes the Canadian outlier data that was proven to be invalid.

              However, studies on radiogenic cancers in workers occupationally exposed to low dose-rate radiation have concluded that lower DDREFs, e.g. 1.2, seem reasonable, thus somewhat strengthening the epidemiological case for LNT estimates [10].

              Note [10] leads to Jacob et al “Is cancer risk of radiation workers larger than expected?” http://oem.bmj.com/content/66/12/789.full, which is a “literature search study.” It references the uncorrected 15 country study along with several other derivative studies with the same study populations and LNT conclusions that often purport to be independent studies.

            2. @EL

              Your second link (http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2235592100) is a study published in 2003. Figure 2 illustrates one reason why I reject the validity of basing such confidence on the LSS cohort in the low dose range. The error bars and the dose ranges selected give a researcher complete freedom to draw any darned curve they want.

              That same link also uses the results of the pooled radiation worker study with the suspect Canadian data that we have discussed here before. As noted previously, derivative studies are rarely reevaluated or corrected, even when one of their main pillars is removed by finding out that the data used were invalid.

          13. Right EL, I did make a lot of assumptions in my paper exercise, as did you. My scenario was for a 4-member family, with mom and dad both earning $60,000 a year—say a school-teacher and an accountant—and owning a house worth $330,000. So, a middle-class family by Japanese or American standards, not rich and not poor. I also assumed they were 3-year evacuees (as all of the current mandatory evacuees are) and unemployed since the earthquake. That scenario would get them compensation of $900,000 over three years, pretty close to Les’s estimate that an average family would have gotten about $1 million from TEPCO so far. So Les’s estimate isn’t wildly off base.

            You made different assumptions to model the compensation for a poorer family with no property over 2 years. Under those assumptions the compensation is a lot smaller.

            Neither of those scenarios is the “right” one. Some families will fit your scenario, some mine, some will get much more or much less than either scenario.

            To get an average compensation figure, we would have to look at all the current mandatory evacuees, tote up their respective compensation amounts and divide by the equivalent number of families-of-four. We don’t have the data to do that, but the government officials cited in the Asahi Shimbun article did, and they arrived at an average compensation figure for mandatory evacuees of 90,000,000 yen, about $900,000 per family of four. That number was the running total as of September, 2013, or about 31 months after the accident. Dividing $900,000 by 31 gives you a per-month compensation figure of $29,000 of compensation per family of four. Hence Les’s estimate of average payments of $30,000 per month per family of four is technically about right. But, as I have noted, that average figure doesn’t capture important disparities. Put me in a room with Bill Gates and the “average” net worth will be $25 billion per person, but it won’t quite feel that way to me.

            So again, Les’s aggregate and average compensation figures are correct, but he can be faulted for suggesting that all the evacuee families are getting $30,000 checks every month and becoming millionaires. Many are getting a lot less, and most of that compensation is paid back out in living expenses, not socked away in the bank.

            It’s worth asking what the bare minimum mandatory evacuee compensation looks like for a poor family of four that was unemployed before the earthquake and had no property. They would now be getting $1000 per month per person for emotional distress and either living in rent-free prefabs or getting TEPCO reimbursement for their rent. That amounts to a family income of $48,000 per year (maybe tax free?) with all their housing costs also reimbursed. That’s not exactly destitution; in fact, it’s substantially more income than the family had before the quake in the TEPCO reference case that you cited.

            So even the minimum allotment allows for a decent standard of living, and many of the evacuees are undoubtedly living better on compensation than they did before the earthquake.

          14. mom and dad both earning $60,000 a year …

            @Will Boisvert

            Just have time for a quick reply. Median household income in Japan is $38,700 (not $120,000 as you are suggesting). I would suggest it is even quite a bit lower in places like Fukushima (which used to have a nickname “little Tibet”).

            http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/02/18/japans-abe-faces-challenge-broaden-recovery.html

            I’d say my figures are more in line with “averages” (and seems to be high if median household figures are to be used).

            Again … rather than “ballpark” this with wild assumptions. Why not just get the real numbers. This is how most serious work is done. If you don’t have them, making stuff up is getting us nowhere.

          15. “I’d say my figures are more in line with “averages” (and seems to be high if median household figures are to be used.) Again…rather than ‘ballpark’ this with wild assumptions. Why not just get the real numbers. This is how most serious work is done. If you don’t have them, making stuff up is getting us nowhere.”

            EL, for the umpteenth time, the real numbers are what Asahi Shimbun reported on Oct. 26, 2013 (http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201310260046). Citing government officials, the article puts the number of evacuees from the mandatory evacuation zone at 84,000, and states, “on average, a family of four forced out of no-entry zones had received about 90 million yen in compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co., as of Sept. 20 [2013]”.

            Thus, according to government officials looking at the real compensation numbers, the average payout for a mandatory evacuee family of four was $900,000. That’s not my assumption, that’s the average calculated by the Japanese government from the empirical data and reported in the Japanese press. And it agrees closely with Les’s estimate of average payout (which he based on press accounts and TEPCO documents) but not with the scenario you have drawn from your own arbitrary, made-up assumptions.

            –By the way, EL, averages are not the same as medians. You can’t “use” the median as the average.

          16. Yes, for the umpteenth time, we’ve been over this. “No entry zone” is a distinct designation (not everyone receiving compensation funds). Over half is property damage (from owners of large plots of land and owners of apartment dwellings). If you think this captures everyone in the Prefecture (or 84,000 of them) … I’m not sure I can help you understand the problem with these figures. It seemed you were close, and now you’re back to assuming every family is receiving 90 million yen. Is every family an owner of “large plots of land”?

            We really have to find a better way to resolve this difference. It looks pretty straightforward to me. Averages don’t tell the full story (especially when TEPCO is reporting a different story). I guess it looks different to you. Unfortunately, this is my last post in topic. I’m heading for fun and festivities in the pacific. Wishing you well …

          17. “‘No entry zone’ is a distinct designation (not everyone receiving comepnsation funds). Over half is property damage (from owners of large plots of land and owners of apartment dwellings). If you think this captures everyone in the Prefecture (or 84,000 of them)…I’m not sure I can help you understand the problem with these figures. It seemed you were close, and now you’re back to assuming every family is receiving 90 million yen. Is every family an owner of ‘large plots of land’?”

            OK, EL, so we’ve established that Les Corrice is pretty much correct in his estimation of the average payout going to mandatory evacuees. Now let’s take your complaints and see if they hold water.

            1) “‘No entry zone’ is a distinct designation (not everyone receiving comepnsation funds).” Right, that’s the designation that covers the 84,000 mandatory evacuees, not the voluntary evacuees. But Les’s average payout figure was just for mandatory evacuees, not for voluntary evacuees, so Les didn’t make any misstatement in this regard, and neither did I.

            2) “Over half is property damage from owners of large plots of land and owners of apartment buildings.” EL, you have misread that statement in the Asahi Shimbun article, which said that settlements “tended to be” with large property owners, not that every settlement was with large property owners. There have also been settlements with people who own small plots, or just family houses, and even with renters who lost their belongings (like the ones who lived in those apartment buildings).

            3) “If you think this captures everyone in the Prefecture (or 84,000 of them)…I’m not sure I can help you understand the problem with these figures….now you’re back to assuming every family is receiving 90 million yen. Is every family an owner of ‘large plots of land’?” EL, no, where are you getting that from? All I said was that the official figure of 90 million yen for the “average” payout per family of four for mandatory evacuees closely agreed with Les’s estimate. When people specify an “average” of a sample, they are not saying that the average value applies to every single item in the sample. It’s understood that individual payouts may deviate widely from the average; that’s implicit in the very concept of “average” in normal usage. (That’s why “above average” and “below average” are common figures of speech.) I stated all this many times upthread. I also stated many times that not all of the Fukushima mandatory evacuees are land-owners, and that many of them will get much less than the average payout of 90 million yen per family.

            EL, I realize that it’s tempting to misrepresent other people’s statements in order to score debater’s points, but I hope you’ll resist that temptation in the future.

          18. EL, I realize that it’s tempting to misrepresent other people’s statements in order to score debater’s points, but I hope you’ll resist that temptation in the future.

            @Will Boisvert

            I’m not looking to misrepresent anybody … I think these are pretty straightforward issues, and think we have an obligation to look deeper when someone makes unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims (as Les has done in his original post).

            There are three categories of evacuees: difficult to return zone (some 25,000 residents), restricted zone (20 – 50 mSv), areas where evacuation orders are soon to be lifted (under 20 mSv). Voluntary evacuees (as already stated) also receive compensation, as do business owners, large landowners, etc. You can’t take total payouts, divide it by 84,000, and get a meaningful number. You get a number (I agree), but to what purpose is entirely unclear to me.

            Asahi has a newer article with a better breakdown of costs along the lines of what you are seeking (and what I am attempting to explain). “Estimated” “eligible” “total compensation” amounts for a “family of four” (a lot of qualifiers):

            difficult to return zone: 106.75 million yen (USD $1.027 million or $250,000/person)
            restricted zone: 71.97 million yen (USD $692,000 or $173,000/person)
            evacuation orders lifted: 56.81 million yen (USD $547,000 or $136,750/person)

            These appear to be exactly the same figures as referenced in the earlier article (the average of 106.75 and 71.97 is some 90 million). But only 25,000 are eligible to receive the higher amount. The majority of evacuees are eligible to receive a much lower average figure of $71.97 million yen for a family of four (and have no other eligible funds available to them unless new funds are approved).

            So yes … some are getting compensation comparable to what Les has described (some 25,000 people to be exact, many who likely will never return to their homes). The remaining 59,000 are not getting this amount, but are getting significantly less. Those in restricted zones are eligible for an average amount that may be some 67% this level (likely also reflecting a range of incomes and circumstances), and those with evacuation orders soon to be lifted may be eligible for an average amount 53% the highest level.

            So yes … you can chose to read this as verification of Les’ figures ($1 million USD per family of four, $30,000 monthly). But only if you leave out a majority of evacuees (some 59,000 of them to be exact). If you have better information than I have provided, by all means, please include it (I’m certainly doing my best). Until that time, I think it’s pretty clear Les has missed the mark. He’s taken one article and one figure and constructed a fiction around it. I’ve written him personally to try and update the figures. It really shouldn’t be this hard or complicated. He’s given no response.

  4. “If the IC valve had been open at that instant, the event would have progressed very differently.”

    Does anyone know whether the IC valve for unit 3 was open or closed when the power went out?

    1. Martin, that answer is complicated. I see @ cpragman March 11, 2014 at 7:44 AM , it is stated the flood took out the batteries on U1 as well as the remaining AC power from the diesels. I hadn’t heard that before, but battery power make a big difference. U3 batteries held up until into day 3 (maybe 4), then they started to “sag” and stuff sequentially failed. The DC power provides both DC valve control for flow path and turbine driven pump speed control via DC governors. U3 (newer design) had 2 cooling (injection) systems IC (if you will) and HPIC injection, both affected by DC availability. The valve line up may have been open but the turbine governors wouldn’t function. And they started to loose monitoring functions on U3. By the time they knew they had lost injection and cooling (because of DC loss) they had system P down to ~85PSIG, so tried to shift to fire pumper injection. U3 re-pressurized too fast to allow that. Also severely hampered by no lights and the U1 H2 explosion which destroyed some of the initial emergency efforts (temp power, stringing fire hoses). That also caused radiation problems for the whole site crew emergency efforts. The INPO Special Report document, INPO 11-005, has these details in it, for all 4 unit narratives. I only have the PDF, perhaps someone can post a link to it. It will answer your question if you know BWR systems (I don’t), but I did see from day 1 those systems were on/off several times.

    2. Unit 3 was a later-vintage BWR. It does not have ICs, it has RCIC (sized for isolation events so equivalent to an IC) and HPCI (sized for a small-berak LOCA). RCIC and HPCI use reactor steam to drive a turbine and turn a pump.

      1. Rod, I watch that blog. Often when NRC feels the comments have moved away from the original post subject they take action. Especially when the comments start to be arguments between commenters. They post a moderator comment saying responses are off topic and should be moved to the “general comment” thread. And then they seem to stop monitoring that thread. Too early to tell with yours, but they do stop “off thread” discussions when they think that is happening. I think the moderators get backlogged also on the hot topics so sometimes there is delay. But they definitely won’t let the thread run off the narrow scope of the original post. I notice there is not a single moderator response comment yet; I suspect they are about to end the comments.

        1. I wouldn’t have a problem in theory with that moderation method, except that in effect at the end, they are leaving an open field for anti-nuclear comments.

          It seems that they will let “LillyMunster” make absurd claims like “the limit should be 5 Bq/Kg to base it on an actual health safety factor”, and then censor out correction to that nonsense. Potassium alone is way above 5 Bq/Kg.

          If it doesn’t get through I think it’s useful to reference recent Japanese documents showing both Potassium and Cesium measurements, when the Cesium in yellow is obviously tiny compared to Potassium :
          http://www.fukushima.coop/pdf/kagezen_2013_shimoki_02.pdf

          Also the study about black dirt is here :
          http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es405294s (as pre-print it may be downloaded for free at the moment )
          Everything was collected in 2012 very near the plant, in Futaba, Namie, Minami-soma and Iidate, and the level of plutonium at around 0.7Bq/Kg is 10 million time lower than cesium at about 7MBq/Kg. This may sound high but this is dry concentrated matter, the color comes from the fact it consists of asphalt, tire particle, lichens, soils, so the content is probably actually more toxic than the radioactivity.

          1. I totally agree with you, but it is not my blog. I sympathize with NRC when it is an off topic shouting match as that defeats what they are trying to do. They are in fact tolerating the rebuttals right now, especially useful are links, which slow down “moderation” because they have to check them for spam. I will also say I have never seen that blog shutdown harsh comments directed at NRC if they stay on the thread topic. Also what I see there right now, is so many informed comments coming from names I see here on Atomic Insights, blowing holes in the bad info, that NRC is probably glad to get them. You guys are answering for NRC and makes their job easier! Keep it up.

          2. Also the study about black dirt is here …

            @jmdesp

            Road dust containing fractionated particles from the core … correct?

          3. @EL : Containing many things. Containing cesium, like there was a lot all around in this area. Containing some plutonium, however at 0,7 Bq/Kg it’s not really above the amount that’s present everywhere in the world from the nuclear testing.

            So the theories according to which there would a lot of alpha contamination inside this dust do not hold. Those particles contain a very strong majority of cesium, and a very small amount of plutonium that somehow got itself chemically bonded to the rest and the cesium. As the amount is very small, the particle stayed light enough to travel to some distance.

          4. @jmdesp

            So you disagree with the conclusions of the report then?

            “Using the averaged 137Cs/239+240Pu activity ratio observed in this study and the amount of 137Cs released to the atmosphere (1.5×10^16 Bq), the amount of 239+240Pu released can be estimated as 2.3×10^9 Bq. This value is smaller than that estimated by METI (6.4×10^9 Bq). The amount of 239+240Pu dispersed to the atmosphere is 3.8×10^-5% of the total amount in the cores of reactors 1-3. In fact, this equates to about 590 mg of total plutonium (238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu),” p. 7.

            You think this this Pu is from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, and not the reactor cores (collected in the high radiation areas of Fukushima fallout-zone)?

          5. @EL : No, I don’t disagree, and I was actually quoting some data from inside the report, so I hope the report doesn’t disagree with itself.
            I think the end of my sentence where I was talking about chemical bond made it clear I meant the plutonium came from the reactor.

            I just wanted to stress this amount of plutonium stays similar to the ubiquitous plutonium from nuclear testing.

            For example in this other study http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131018/srep02988/full/srep02988.html :
            Out of 3 plutonium contaminated samples found, what enabled them to tell one of 3 had definitively been contaminated by the reactor is only the specific ratio between 238Pu and 239+240Pu, not the amount of plutonium. But that test showed another sample was positive from old nuclear testing contamination instead. The third one was ambiguous, maybe it contained a bit of both.

            And in the number you quote, the scale of released cesium is 10^16 Bq and of Pu 10^9, so there’s a ratio of 10^7, 10 million, just what I was saying.

        2. I have rebutted several of the nuke-phobes (with references!), but so far the comment count stands at 7 with no new comments approved in hours.

          1. Guys, it’s looking really good. You all did an excellent job of providing a side of the argument. The casual reader (if there are any) will still have to pick a side, but the info is there.

            BTW, Engineer-Poet, what did you write that got deleted?

          2. It was some serious snark, even more sarcastic than the comment that got through (my first comment disappeared completely and I’d neglected to save a local copy).

            I’m hoping that more than a few people get the “dihydrogen monoxide” joke.

          3. CaptainD is commenting again, and inviting friends to support him.

            There’s strictly no factual content in their comments, only smearing and libel.

    1. Im glad I stayed out of that one. You guys did a good job. I kinda liked the essay, except it didn’t stress the importance of nuclear power in proper perspective or the overwhelming successes of the US industry in safety matters, which kinda makes the whole thing pointless, and I dont like the way the discussion is moderated there.

      Why on earth would they publish comments with links to sites like ENE news ? At best that is a horrific misinformation site that has a history of refusing to make correction when its theories are disproved. And “du-deceptions blogspot.”?? Thats insult to a scientific forum. Im sure they dont want to be accused of censorship or heavy handed blah blah blah.

      This goes back to that civility vs. reason misconception thing. Let me try to word it correctly:

      Civility flows from reason and not the other way around. In “civil argument” polite yet veiled attacks and unreasonable forms are accepted. Things eventually will degrade to some condition of dishonest or uncivil argument requiring forced civility. On the other hand a requirement for reason lays the groundwork for valid logical argument (and civility). Uncivil argument technically is based in social perceptions, ad hominems and of course other general categories of fallacies. It is a condition that must occur to be perceived. So even the perception of it, or “impoliteness” itself becomes another departure point from reason.

      Once incivility is perceived, that is after its been used, its already a established argumentative form to the person using it and also to the forum its used in. Invariably by that point, everyone mistakingly believes unreasonable argumentative forms are valid yet undesirable.

      Then forced civility, unfortunately becomes a declaration that bad/invalid argumentative form is not only valid but solidly more important than reason itself as a foundation of that forum. After that its a predictable spiral where whatever ideas the admins of the forum support, or the most popular presenters will always become the “winners.” Even sometimes states of total indecision and division will prevail (like what we have now on most issues.)

      Any civil forum may appear reasonable, yet without constant re-dedication to stating and restating the importance of reasonable and valid argumentative forms, even at the risk of appearing “uncivil,” it becomes a fraud, a insult to reason and logic: the opposite even. Which I guess may be fine for unscientific forums. They would not be arenas I should choose to go to (unless they are games or light fiction) and I don’t feel bad at all about disparaging them and their participants as failures for advancing reasonable collective policy, among other things.

      But whatever, That gave me a headache (it needs to be said better or considered invalid and forgotten) and perhaps that “forum” at the NRC was just intended to be another virtually useless and entertaining “response” section. Or even worse. Another source of misinformation.

  5. Rod,

    in a German blog I read the claim that in reactor 3 a nuclear explosion happened induced by the H2-explosion.
    Have you heard similar claims? What’s your opinion about this?

    1. @Martin

      You cannot believe everything you read on a blog, hear on the news, or even read in technical reports.

      There was never a “nuclear explosion.” Such an event is impossible in a light water reactor; the physics of the materials in that core simply will not support the reaction, no matter what configuration or initiating event you assume.

      1. Thanks Rod,

        for the quick and clear answer.
        Now with your hint, it’s clear that in a LWR low-enriched uranium will never get critical even if lying highly concentrated on the bottom of the vessel.

        1. @Martin

          That is correct. The configuration of that material that can go critical is the one it is normally in, with carefully spaced fuel rods with a capable moderator at the right metal to water ratio.

          A mass of corium with mostly low enriched uranium that includes core structural materials, some neutron absorbers, and little moderator will not go critical.

          1. Rod,
            I found another source, which clarified that the nuclear explosion was not located in the reactor but in fuel pool.
            In that source your special friend Arnie Gundersen was mentioned …

            1. @Martin

              That also is untrue. There were no fires and no explosions in spent fuel pools.

              The fuel removal process from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool is progressing well. The elements do not show any evidence of damage other than a bit of construction-type debris in the matrix.

  6. Informative show! It’s a damn shame that blogs like Rod’s and Les Corrice’s have to ask to pass the cup while carrying the major PR water in the public hearts and mind war for the billion-dollar nuclear “industry”. Bless all pro-nuclear bloggers in their thankless mission! The most sobering issue of this show was the sedate unsung star Meredith Angwin, who somberly pointed out something that was playing out on the show; engineers debating engineering issues amongst themselves does not generate nor gain public comprehension or confidence in nuclear power. You have to GET OUT into the public and talk their language and level if you mean to make any nuclear pathways in the U.S. public. Nuclear doesn’t have the PR keen nor the spokesperson to materialize this, and valiant pro-nuclear blogs alone just aren’t going to cut it going toe-to-toe with the natural gas ad lady. When the industry lets you down then it’s time for nuclear professional orgs to step up to the plate and start evangelizing nuclear like yesterday (i.e. NEI and ANS). Plaque awarding rubber chicken conferences don’t cut the public mustard. You gotta get out and mesh with the public and start kicking FUD in a MAJOR way! I doubt the car and food industries would’ve done done so well following nuclear power’s PR route — even when it has everything positive going for it! Can you spell yanking defeat from the jaws of victory? Listen to what Meredith was trying to stress here! Too many folks are waging war on the wrong battlefield! My ideal Atomic Show: Grilling the head honchos of NEI, ANS & Co, and any major utility on the PR war vs the antis!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

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