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  1. A couple of comments.

    First, contrary to what was said from Japan, there are much more than a hundred people working at the Fukushima site. Should be a couple of thousand.

    Also, “only one death from overworking” is only correct if you don’t count all those caused by the unnecessary evacuation.

    One other thing the video fails to mention is the real damage done to Japan by the media campaign. For example, Germany pulled out their earthquake rescue teams after a couple of days because of irrational fear of radiation, a truly shameful act that might have cost some lives. And the vast majority of economic damages is from irrational fear.

    The video should also have given a couple of hints on how to find out about radiation.

    But yes, this is a nice effort, and I have enjoyed viewing it.

  2. Thanks for the great pointer to a nicely produced video, Rod. I have already circulated it and am curious about the reactions from the antis.

    Amazing how such high-quality content can be put together by non-professionals. Looks like the world of media is really tumbling down fast. And the professionals in the media are only helping their demise, as it’s clearly visible from the video.

    Ciao, Luca

  3. Japan seems to have totally changed direction, at least the prime minister, Mr Kan. His recent statements are virtually identical to official Greenpeace policy. He has compared Fukushima to the Hiroshima bomb, and has “regretted” ever trusting in nuclear power. Solar and wind subsidies that have already bankrupted many European countries are being voted into law and praised as “progress” by Kan. (I’m not exaggerating here, read his statements for yourself. In fact Kan’s spokesman has been in “damage control” mode trying to play the statements down, but they are real.)

    The only “trouble” for Japan: their “ship” is a bit too big to change course all of a sudden, from going all out nuclear, to going all out anti-nuclear. They have so many nuke plants, and now they wish they had never built them.

    1. Never building them would probably have slowed or blocked Japan’s rise as a major industrial power. Reality about Japan’s situation will probably reassert itself. For the sake of the Japanese I hope it happens before their economy is wrecked. This could have been very different. Kan could have reinforced Japan’s need for nuclear energy. He could admit that the government and the utility let the people down, by not protecting the plant (which would have been VERY cheap in hindsight) from a foreseeable event. But, that in the future no such thing would be allowed to happen again.

    2. There’s loads of gas in Sakhalin (immediately north of Japan) IIRC.

      I wonder if Mr Kan has received some cash in a brown envelope from Gazprom…

      1. He wouldn’t be the first politician, as we’ve seen with Herr Schroeder from Germany…

        In any case, Kan will soon step down as PM, he’s already done enough damage to his country, IMHO. Let’s hope that the guilt of a politician whose career was over the moment the earthquake started won’t damage the nuclear industry in Japan.

        That is the thing the country needs the least.

      1. Is anyone researching how to clean up radioactive contamination resulting from nuclear reactor accidents?

        It would be wonderful if we could remove the “but it could render large areas of land uninhabitable for centuries” weapon from the hands of our enemies…

        1. The claim of nuclear accidents making its surrounding “radius” “uninhabitable”, made infamous from the existance of the Chernobyl “exclusion zone” is the really big scare that must be addressed. Journalists and politicians like to ignore economic costs and only mention the health effects and deaths to be politically correct. But in reality, to the average individual, economic costs trump adverse health effects. Home owners are scared to death by the prospect of a nearby nuclear plant incident – hyped by the media and politicians – forcing them to evacuate and take away their property. Cesium-137 is the least of their worries.

        2. The evacuation zones will be lifted soon in Japan. That will be an eye opener.

          Radiation maps available on the internet show that outside a 5 KM radius from the plant, there is no major reason to worry.

          Of course the Japanese authorities want to set a 1 millisievert a year threshold for children. What will we tell the children in Denver who are exposed to 10 millisieverts per year ?

          What do we do with hungry kids who would eat more than 10.22 bananas a year and bust the 1 millisievert limit ?

        3. @Daniel – the exposure from eating one banana is around 0.078μSv which is usually rounded up to 0.1μSv which if my math serves means more than 10,000 bananas to the micro Sv. Pretty hard to achieve in a year as that would require eating more than 25 bananas a day.

          http://xkcd.com/radiation/

        4. @ Mike

          You forgot to convert to millisievert among other things.

          Trust me. 10.22 bananas in one year will give you one millisievert. msv not μSv.

          Ciao

      1. Unfortunately, in think it is a case of out with the old, in with the old.

        I am disappointed with the old bunch being replaced with an even older bunch.

        No fresh thinking anytime soon.

        1. @Daniel

          Yes i did make a mistake above “…more than 10,000 bananas to the micro Sv.” should have read “more than 10,000 bananas to the milli Sv.” which is correct.

          Then you have to uderstand that not only do you have to eat more than 25 bananas in a day, but your body is automatically ejecting excess potassium as you consume more regulating the ammount of 40K19 in the body to well below one micro Sv (Micro not milli). So one microSv from bananas is very unlikely, one milliSv is impossible.

        2. Mike,

          Another mistake you made is to think that one banana equals 0.1μSv when it in fact equals .01 REM or 1 mSv ( 1 millisievert)

          1 mSv = 1000 μSv

          My calculations are still correct.

          Ciao

        3. Typo on my answer… Here we go :

          Mike,

          Another mistake you made is to think that one banana equals 0.1μSv when it in fact equals .01 REM or 0.1 mSv

          1 mSv = 1000 μSv

          My calculations are still correct.

  4. Does anyone know if there are any off-shore windmill farms in place that may be in the path of hurricane Irene?

    1. @John – that is an easy question to answer. There is not a single off-shore windmill farm at risk. That is because, despite all of the hype and attention that the technology has been given, there is not a single off-shore wind turbine installation off of the US coast.

      The Cape Wind project, which has not yet started construction, will be the first – if it ever gets the rest of the financing that it needs.

      1. I can’t help but think that Hurricane Irene will cause wind energy supporters to think twice before they even contemplate building wind farms off the east or southeast coast of the U.S. Wouldn’t a hurricane like Irene wipe out offshore wind farms?

        1. @sdollarfan,

          It would seem Hurricane Irene would make any wind supporter, on-shore or off-shore, rethink their position. However the illogical bias of their position comes into full view at times like this.

          I have seen discussions in the past from pro-wind people that wind towers can be designed to withstand hurricanes but nuclear power plants can not be trusted to withstand the same hurricane.

          What a twisted logical construct they have to go through to make that position but the pro-wind groups will do that and people will accept their statements on faith alone. The crime is that media will let them make that invalid point without asking real questions.

          The reason the debate is based on a twisted construct is that it becomes a debate between proven facts and paper designs. Nuclear power plants are designed, licensed and certified to worst case situations as well as having the designs proven by surviving several large hurricanes in Florida and the Carolinas. Meanwhile not one off-shore windmill has even gone through the rigorous design review process a nuclear plant follows, let alone be tested in a real world situation.

          So pro-nukes end up debating a FACTS based position against a pro-wind BELIEF based position. Considering the bias of the MSM, we end up in a losing position right from the start.

          Can wind towers be designed and fabricated to withstand this hurricane? The answer is yes but all wind turbines would be shut down at this point to protect them as they are not designed to generate power during very high winds. Then the repair bill would be very high as blades or even the entire nacelle have to be replaced. Points pro-wind supporters don’t like talking about and no pro-renewable reporter ever discusses in their cheerleading PR articles.

          My arguments apply to solar facilities as well.

        2. @Curtis,

          Thanks for the laugh. That was a good one

          I suspect if you wrote the same comment in a pro-wind forum they would believe it possible considering their faith in their technology.

          Regards,

        3. You mean storm Irene. It barely reached hurricane status and then collapsed but the irrational panic wouldn’t stop.

      2. Too bad, it would have been a good opportunity for a “live-fire” test of the windmill designs before any large scale deployment of the technology.

        1. (Warning The Following Post Contains Humor)
          @ Bill

          Wind Power has a very good argument in the Face of a Hurricane.

          If only the east coast could put up 1000000 XL Wind Turbines in the path of the hurricane, they would generate enough energy during the storm to power all of the continental USA for 3 years!!!! As an added bonus by generating this much FREE energy the wind turbines would slow the winds of the Hurricane down so much that by the time it hits Daytona Beach it would be at most a light breeze to cool the Floridians down on what otherwise would turn out to be a beautiful day!

          (end humor)

        2. Well, here is the reaction of the Eco-Left to the recent earthquake in Virginia:

          “Earthquake Knocks Out Nukes. Wind Keeps Spinning.”

          I wonder if they noticed that the title that they chose can ironically describe their own article. (Gotta love that “spin.”)

          I’m sure that Rod can tell you about the vast acres of land filled with wind turbines between Charlottesville and Richmond.

  5. Great video Rod,

    Thanks for pointing it out.

    After reading Ms. Fox’s blog entry it was good to see her have an opportunity to further elaborate her viewpoint about the lack of balance on the full spectrum of problems due to the earthquake and tsunami.

  6. As you will be finding out, the grid is the weak link in the load demand capacity from any source. Modular Nuclear plants and even portable nuslear units are better suited to meeting the load during climate change and Ground Movement events.

    It is reasonable to expect increased storm and ground movements as the result of earth changes.

    Reactor cooling from a lake behind a dam is shear folly!!!!

    1. Many years ago, there was a collapse in the electricity grid all over North America.

      It was pointed out at the time that only Québec and Texas had independent grids.

      It was a source of concern for homeland security then and I wonder if after all these years more states\provinces have built ‘independent’ grids.

      1. There are five independent wide area synchronous grids in North America,two major and three minor. They are the Eastern Interconnection and Western Interconnection, and the Quebec, Texas, and Alaska Interconnects.

        The benefits of synchronous zones include pooling of generation; common provisioning of reserves; and mutual assistance in the event of disturbances. The disadvantage is that cascading failures can take down the whole interconnect from a single uncontrolled event.

        Note that this does not prevent the sale of power across zones via special nodes, but in general the Interconnections operate independently of each other.

  7. There are some concerns that the Chinese are building too many old generation nuclear plants too fast and that is a source of worries if another accident occurs.

    I think that the old technologies have proven their reliable record and that it is a viable cost effective alternative to get clean energy.

    What is left out is that the same type of plant designs will be repeated and that economies of scale and knowledge will yield a learning curve that was missing in the 70’s where too many different designs were used.

    Also I think the science and the knowledge has increased over the years and that the Chinese can come up with an adequate supply of qualified engineers and workers.

    I ain’t worried.

    1. What I forgot to include in my previous post is that the ani-nukes were trying to make a parallel between the high speed train building race that ended up in a catastrophy a month ago and the frantic rate of pursuing nuclear technology in China.

      Different technologies that cannot be compared. The atom has been mastered more than 50 years ago.

      1. One could of course apply this rather silly argument to any nation that has ever had a serious rail accident – and name me a nation that hasn’t. For example does the dreadful Paddington rail disaster in the UK with a similar number of casualties to the Chinese accident have some bearing on the construction of an EPR at Hinckley Point?

        1. Both France and Japan never have had a fatal accident on their high speed network (there has been 5 deaths in a bomb attack in France, and 2 when a high speed train running on the classic network hit a stopped 100 tons transformer at a rail crossing, they are no rail crossing on the high speed network – none of the collisions with a lighter obstacle has ever caused a casualty, Germany has had one serious rail accident).

          In both country, the recent cases of serious accident are on the commuter network, running at really low speed.

          Rail is safer than walking, significantly safer.

      2. But the response to an accident can be compared when its the same central government involved.

  8. Fukushima getting back to business.
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110830a4.html

    Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011
    First Fukushima rice batch shipped after passing tests

    Back surge blast theory
    The March 15 explosion in the No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant might have been caused by a back surge of hydrogen caused when an adjacent reactor blew its top the day before
    …The possibility that hydrogen had been transferred from one unit to the other was first raised in May, after it was found that the spent fuel had not been as severely exposed as thought

    Containment vessel probe
    FUKUSHIMA — Workers on Monday began inspecting a containment vessel at the Fukushima No. 2 power plant in preparation for a probe into the impact of the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster

  9. Hi Rod, I just found your site by accident. Great article.

    I am living in Japan and I have been sent this video several times.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlf4gOvzxYc

    I’m sorry if you have already dealt with it,but could you comment on this Prof Kodama and the claims he makes? If you press the CC button you can get the translation.

    1. So here we have the head of the radioisotope center at Tokyo U. Highlights of the gems during the video:

      1) Millisievert as a unit of measure means nothing
      2) Plutonium is very toxic
      3) Exposures to 1.752 millisieverts a year is very bad
      4) Mutations are more likely at Fukushima than they were in Chernobyl
      5) Fukushima, a civil nuclear plant, was 20 times more dangerous than the nuclear bomb at Hiroshima

      They don’t pay him a lot.

      1. 1) Wrong- He said millisievert as a measure of internal radiation is by itself meaningless- he should have added that it needs to be converted to Grays which refers to radiation dose/kg of body mass.
        2) He meant that Plutonium is very dangerous internally from its alpha particle radiation and that externally that radiation can be stopped by a piece of paper (even if you ignore its a hideous heavy metal worse than lead like uranium)
        3) Exposure of children and pregnant to small radiations doses is very bad as they are so vulnerable internally due their cell multiplying so much (you should see part 2)
        4)5) The information supplied by the government is so poor that his organisation is guessing how much radiation has been released based on heat (probably too high as they have some chemical burning and explosions). It could be worse than the atomic bombs or Chernobyl but that depends on the government response.
        Its the response that can count much more than the initial disaster.

        The baseline for Chernobyl cancers doesn’t exist so we don’t what’s normal for Ukrainians and the effects take a long time to eventuate.

      2. Radiation is radiation. The external or internal qualifier is a pleonasm.

        Sieverts are internationally recognized as a valid unit of measure for impact on humans, irrespective of body mass.

        Plutonium has been studied to death. I’ll leave it at that but you can look at the Manhattan project and the ‘Cohen vs Ralph Nader’ Plutonium challenge for the ‘nil’ effect of Plutonium uptake on humans (or food grown in plutonium ‘enriched’ soil for that matter).

  10. Oh, Rod, you are a liar and a fraud. Please reveal the sources of compensation you receive for writing these propaganda pieces. One quick question: how soon will you be moving you and your family to the Fukushima epicenter? You should be ashamed.

    1. @JoshuaG

      You are quite lucky that you are an anonymous internet commenter who is afraid to use your own name or to provide a real email address. Your accusations could otherwise land you in court with an accusation of libel.

      Though I may occasionally write something that later turns out to have been incorrect, I do not lie. I respect the truth and have lived under an official honor concept since I was 17 (and under an unofficial one long before that.)

      If you search through Atomic Insights posts using the word “disclaimer” you will find a number of occasions where I have posted my employment situation. Once again, though, I will respond. I started Atomic Insights to share my nuclear knowledge and increase the level of comfort that people have with nuclear energy topics. That initial effort was very definitely a part of a marketing strategy for a tiny start-up company that I founded in 1993 called Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. That company was founded to develop an invention that I had developed on my free time, but that my employer at that time did not want to develop. The idea was a simplified nuclear energy production system that could be affordably produced in small enough sizes to compete with diesel engines and combustion gas turbines in markets for commercial ships and remote enclaves of people who needed electricity. (Islands, remote areas, underdeveloped countries, etc.)

      The publication evolved and now it is just a hobby that I do to pay back the people who paid for my education and training – the American taxpayers. They employed me for 33 years (23 years as a professional naval officer, 4 as a student at the Naval Academy and 6 years as a part time officer in the Naval Reserves.) In September 2010, I retired from the Navy and took a job with The Babcock & Wilcox Company on a team that is designing and developing a small modular reactor called the B&W mPower(TM) Reactor. My job is as an engineer-analyst with no responsibility for marketing or promotion. I continue to write and talk about nuclear energy as a hobby. Every once in a while, I will get paid to write a piece for a publication like National Review.

      My employer tolerates my participation in social media and my strong advocacy of nuclear energy as long as I disclose the fact that I am speaking for myself and not as a representative of the company. There are times when my commentary departs significantly from what the company would say, but as long as it is clear that the words and thoughts are mine, they have not complained. As is the case for any employer-employee relationship, I do not allow my hobby to interfere with my performance of assigned duties.

      Now – go and make your false accusations somewhere else. I will not tolerate your kind of behavior here. If you want to ask reasonable questions and participate in a discussion that does not turn into libelous behavior, you may remain.

      1. Easy, Rob, don’t blow your top!

        I think in the interests of free speech you should tolerate such speech from JoshuaG – even if it is drivel – as that that doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger . . maybe.

        All manner of discussions are to be had out if we’re ever to get some clarity and move forwards. I’m quite sure there’ll be people here supportive of nuclear power that don’t see eye-to-eye on other stuff and could and should discuss them, too.

        I’m sure you can take the likes of JoshG on the chin.

  11. Thanks for reminding me of what Fiona Fox said re media editors only wanting sensational copy and rejecting objective material.

    I’d watched this video and was looking further afield for additional material – particularly after reading a Japanese comment thread which seemed to run counter to the worldbytes video.

    I’ve recently been involved in a discussion thread and, being a layman, was getting bogged down by all the ‘expertise’ flying around. See here –
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/why-the-fukushima-disaster-is-worse-than-chernobyl-2345542.html#comment-299864576

    I hope you don’t mind me taking the liberty of block-quoting your 5th paragraph as you put things well enough – it also allows me to put a link to this site.
    If you do have a problem with that then I’ll edit the comment – should it get posted as a couple of my later ones haven’t been allowed.

    (I found your site via a comment left on Mark Lynas’ blog and will be giving it a good looking at soon enough.)

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