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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      Major Update to OL (please click to open)   02/09/2016

      Sorry for the inconvenience, but we had to update OL and there have been some serious changes made by IPB. The real bad news is that they had to merge User Names and Display Names. This meant that I had to choose between bad and bad. I opted to keep the log-on information the same, so you can get on OL like you always did, but now your User Name is displayed. If your User Name and Display Name were the same, you will not feel the change. If they were different, you are probably irritated right now. I will figure out how you can change this so you can revert to the Display Name you used before if you like, however this may entail a change in how you log-on. The good news is that OL is now searchable from the very beginning. This means all the old posts from the A-Team in Objectivism (and everybody else) will finally show up when you search for something. I will keep changing this announcement as we adapt to these new changes. It's a pain, I know, but after looking around the backend for a bit, I believe the benefits will far, far outweigh the current irritation. They changed things in a hamhanded way and I don't like that, but I can't do anything about it. Benefit-wise, they actually did a good job, so please bear with us. In addition to this change, many good things are coming over time. You are the reason OL exists and I am sorry you have to go through this. Think of it like birth pangs... (All right, all right, that's forcing it.  ) Michael
GALTGULCH8

Are we really safe from the "meltdown" of the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan?

22 posts in this topic

Given that the prevailing winds, which brought acid rain from China to the United States, will now be blowing radioactive particles released from the nuclear power plant blast in Japan in our direction, one wonders just what the risks might be.

I don't know just what chemical elements compose the radioactive particles which may float on the breeze to our borders. I assume that our fellow citizens will be inhaling one or more of these little nuclear weapons which will be radioactive.

I am not aware that there is an allowable or innocuous dose of such entities.

Is there anything one can do to protect oneself? I know that one can saturate one's thyroid gland with Iodine so that a radioactive iodine particle will not be "taken up" by the thyroid. I wonder what becomes of such a particle floating around in one's bloodstream? Not to mention whatever other radioactive atoms find their way across the ocean and are breathed into our lungs.

Is there some reason our leaders are not warning us to take protective action? Do they want to avert a panic? Is the radioactive cloud being monitored? I would feel better knowing that the jet stream is guiding such a cloud on a trajectory which would avoid the US altogether. But if it does rain down on our farms will some particles find their way into our food or milk!?

I have read articles in the media which suggest that distance, dilution and time would lessen the risks to us. Time! It will not take tens of thousands of years for the particles released from the reactors to reach us. Dilution! Although dosage plays a significant role I do not relish the prospect of imbibing even one radioactive particle which might be enough to do harm (euphemism for to cause cancer.)

Appreciate any thoughts or wisdom you may have.

gulch

Edited by gulch8
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I do not relish the prospect of imbibing even one radioactive particle which might be enough to do harm (euphemism for to cause cancer.)

You're surrounded by radioactivity already. In my opinion it mainly boils down to the % change in background radiation, that's the interesting number to look for. But also radioactive iodine is concentrated by the thyroid.

Shayne

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Appreciate any thoughts or wisdom you may have.

gulch

Relax. There is nothing you can do.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Appreciate any thoughts or wisdom you may have.

gulch

Relax. There is nothing you can do.

Ba'al Chatzaf

LOL

I guess I shouldn't laugh...

Shayne

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Radioactive contamination found on 17 U.S. Navy crewmembers in Japan Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/03/14/2011-03-14_17_us_navy_crewmembers_exposed_to_low_level_radiation_in_japan.html#ixzz1GZvROjZo

"For perspective, the maximum potential radiation dose received by any ship's force personnel aboard the ship when it passed through the area was less than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun," the Navy said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/03/14/2011-03-14_17_us_navy_crewmembers_exposed_to_low_level_radiation_in_japan.html#ixzz1GZvZrssS

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Could just drop a tactical nuke - that would put an end to any lingering chain reaction.

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Shane:

My understanding is that the "problem" is from the spent fuel rods which should not be on the grounds,

It is their exposure to the air that creates the release of the more dangerous radioactive emissions such as cesium which has a half life of, I believe, twelve (12) years.

Adam

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There is an inherent instability with boiling water reactors of the design used here in the U.S. and in Japan. If there is a loss of coolant either in the reactor vessel itself or in the storage pools that must be made up immediately (within 24 hours) or the thing will become a runaway. Any attempt to cool the fuel rods when at full melt will only produce superheated steam which will carry radioactive material with it up and away thus spreading the radioactive contamination. The problem is a positive action must be taken to prevent this in a timely fashion. If it is not done, the thing runs away (I do NOT mean it goes critical like an A-bomb). The kind of uranium used at these plants cannot go critical, but they can produce a great deal of heat (which is what makes them useful to boil water to run steam turbines).

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Edited by BaalChatzaf
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Shane:

My understanding is that the "problem" is from the spent fuel rods which should not be on the grounds,

It is their exposure to the air that creates the release of the more dangerous radioactive emissions such as cesium which has a half life of, I believe, twelve (12) years.

Adam

Right, but with the control rods in place, the emmissions should stop from the uranium. Part of what I don't understand is what keeps the heat going...cesium and other byproducts?

Another question I was mulling is why they would put something that reaches a melting point of 3000 degrees would be put into something that melts at 2200 degrees. Other than there's nothing safely usable that melts at hotter than 3000.

~ Shane

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Futurama_zapp_brannigan.jpg

Looks like Zapp Brannigan is in charge of this fiasco.

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Right, but with the control rods in place, the emmissions should stop from the uranium. Part of what I don't understand is what keeps the heat going...cesium and other byproducts?

Have a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavior_of_nuclear_fuel_during_a_reactor_accident

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Meanwhile, engineers hard at work YET AGAIN solving problems lawyers, politicians, ARI PHILOSOPHERS, and fascist CEO's can't:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-2011-03-15

One of these decades they should make it a requirement that one be an engineer before he can be Chief Executive Officer of the United States (i.e. President), or before he can be elected to Congress.

Shayne

Edited by sjw
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Meanwhile, engineers hard at work YET AGAIN solving problems lawyers, politicians, ARI PHILOSOPHERS, and fascist CEO's can't:

http://www.scientifi...ores-2011-03-15

One of these decades they should make it a requirement that one be an engineer before he can be Chief Executive Officer of the United States (i.e. President), or before he can be elected to Congress.

Shayne

Ah. Once again we have the rule of the airmen.

Just make being a lawyer a disqualification.

--Brant

that'll do it!

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The stupid, rich cowards are paying big bucks to get out of Japan. The problem is ignorance, not radiation. This doesn't apply to the workers on the job at the disabled plant, but why did they situate it in tidal-wave land?

--Brant

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Ah. Once again we have the rule of the airmen.

Just make being a lawyer a disqualification.

--Brant

that'll do it!

I'm only half serious, but if the people who know how to get this airplane to fly want to run things you ought to let them.

Shayne

-Definitely ban lawyers, seriously. And doctors are OK. Any profession that DOES is OK.

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Every Objectivist should love engineers.

Shayne

-Didn't you read Atlas?

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Ah. Once again we have the rule of the airmen.

That has a very H.G. Wells ring to it. Can you provide a reference? Thanks.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Ah. Once again we have the rule of the airmen.

That has a very H.G. Wells ring to it. Can you provide a reference? Thanks.

Ba'al Chatzaf

"Things to Come," a classic 1930s movie.

--Brant

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