[LINK] Radiation - current situation is "no great threat", Pollyanna etc.

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Thu Mar 17 01:15:09 AEDT 2011

Hi Andy,

You wrote, in part:

>> http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/16/fukushima-16-march-summary/
> This is one of the better sites.
> Robin Whittle, you should read it:
> "First, the situation is clearly (but slowly) stabilising."

This is a crazy assessment.  Prof Barry Brook thinks the decline in
decay heat is exponential, but it is not.  It has a sharp decline and
then a much slower rate of decline, which gets even slower still as the
months and years progress.  According to MIT Nuclear Science and


it will be early July before the heat production halves.  Yet in recent
days, the evaporative cooling (a desperate measure) has been inadequate
- and has now been abandoned.

> What I have noticed with the doom and gloom sayers is that they take little
> bits of the reports made and use them for dramatic purpose. For example,
> "the temperature of the spent fuel pool DOUBLED." What they don't say is
> that the normal temp is 40C. You could almost put your hand in it. But, yes,
> 80C is pretty hot, so a greater rate of evaporation occurs. They fail to
> mention the pool is covered by at least 16 feet of water.
> See http://resources.nei.org/documents/japan/Used_Fuel_Pools_Key_Facts.pdf
> I have been reading the news sensationalisms and then looking for the facts.
> Every time, the facts play out to be normal situations that can be controlled,
> and pose no great threat.

So you think the current situation is no great threat?

None of the problems have been controlled.  *Everything* has gone wrong
- except that the wind has mercifully been blowing the fallout out to sea.

Massive engineering and expenditure goes into ensuring the reactor water
remains in the system, that the core is always cooled by liquid water
and that the secondary containment building functions as it is designed
to, with a complete seal against leakage.

The secondary containments have been breached.  The core has been
exposed to steam.  The steam with fission by-products has been vented to
the atmosphere and is continuing to do so.  The water supply to the
cores has stopped, so the cores are cooled even less - so they may melt,
concentrate at the bottom of the reactor vessel and perhaps restart the
fission reaction, leading to total meltdown and/or a fission explosion.
 The reactor buildings and all the vital safety control and monitoring
systems have been destroyed by tsunami and/or hydrogen-air explosions.

Why did the designers go to all this trouble if it is "no great threat"
to have the non-operational, but still heat-producing, reactor running
dry and venting radioactive steam to the atmosphere?

> Robin asks: "Do you have no understanding of, or belief in, the real
> risk of meltdown and massive radiation release?"
> Yes, Robin, I understand that the risk is possible, but only if they stand
> around going "gee, look at all the pretty bubbles...." and do nothing.

There's no "if" about this.

They are doing nothing right now.  The workers cleared out.  There are
no more fire pumps driving water into the reactor vessel for evaporative
cooling, since these were petrol/diesel driven and there is no-one there
to operate them.  They won't even fly a helicopter over the reactors due
to the radiation levels - and dumping water from a helicopter is nowhere
near as good as the inadequate approach of pumping in water with a fire

I think your way of thinking about this is wildly unrealistic.  I cannot
understand how you or anyone else could think like this.

 - Robin  http://www.firstpr.com.au/jncrisis/#decayheat

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