Thousands Killed in Aftermath of Japan Earthquake

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Toyota Motor Europe just announced that production at 5 European plants will be stopped for several days in late April/early May and will run at a reduced volume during the month of May in order to manage available parts supply, following the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. The shutdown is being planned around upcoming scheduled public holidays or school holidays where applicable in order to make it easier for employees to take the time off.

    Wayne
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Japan Earthquake Causes Short Term Adjustment for Toyota of Australia’s Altona Plant

    Production effects of the earthquake are beginning to be felt around the world…

    Toyota Australia will adjust vehicle production at its Altona manufacturing plant to manage available parts supply following last month's Japan earthquake and tsunami.

    The manufacturing plant will operate on a reduced schedule of around 50 per cent in the month of May with a similar outlook for the month of June. Approximately 9,600 Camry, Hybrid Camry and V6 Aurion vehicles will be produced during May and June for domestic and export markets.

    Toyota Australia will continue to provide employment for its 3,300 Altona based employees. From 9 May manufacturing plant team members will work half day shifts involving vehicle production and where possible training and plant improvement activities.

    Production outlook for July will be confirmed in June.

    Chris Harrod Executive Director Manufacturing said: "It is important to note that this is a necessary response to a short term supply issue and we intend to resume 100 per cent vehicle production as quickly as possible.

    "Our focus is on ensuring optimum stock management to reduce the impact on customers of the immediate production shortfalls. It may be difficult to avoid some inconvenience for some customers."

    Toyota Australia will endeavor to minimize delivery delays.

    Wayne
     
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Update on Toyota Production…

    Toyota to Move Forward with Japan Car Production for Most of May

    As TMC continues to address its production situation in Japan following the Earthquake and Tsunami disaster, it has decided that vehicle production from May 10 to June 3 will proceed at approximately 50 percent of normal. TMC will decide on production after this period after assessing the situation of its suppliers and other related companies.

    Today’s decision follows TMC’s previously announced decision to produce vehicles at all its Japanese vehicle-production facilities from April 18 to April 27 at approximately 50 percent of normal and for all production facilities to enter their annual spring holiday through May 9.

    TMC deeply apologizes to its customers for not being able to build every vehicle to meet their desired specifications due to limited parts.

    Wayne
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident on April 13, 2011 @ 14:30 UTC)

    1. Current Situation

    Overall, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant remains very serious but there are early signs of recovery in some functions such as electrical power and instrumentation.

    There have been no changes concerning the provisional INES Level 7 rating and protective measures as reported in yesterday's brief.

    Earthquakes of 11 and 12 April

    The IEC received information from the IAEA International Seismic Safety Center on the following recent earthquakes (equal or higher than magnitude Mw = 6.0) which occurred in the time interval from 23:08 UTC on 11 April to 05:07 UTC on 12 April:

    i) At 23:08 UTC, 11 April, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 occurred offshore of the East Coast of Honshu, Japan, at a depth of 13.1 km. Distances from the epicenter of the earthquake to nuclear power plant sites were: 188 km to Tokai, 217 km to Fukushima Daini, 229 km to Fukushima Daiichi, 236 km to Hamaoka and 285 km to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.

    ii) At 05:07 UTC, 12 April, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 occurred inland east of Honshu, Japan, at a depth of 10.6 km. Distances from the epicenter of the earthquake to nuclear power plant sites were: 46 km to Fukushima Daini, 53 km to Fukushima Daiichi, 72 km to Tokai, 165 km to Onagawa and 179 km to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.

    The NISA Press Release regarding the earthquake which occurred on 12 April, states that there was no effect on the following nuclear power plant sites: Fukushima Daiichi, Fukushima Daini, Tokai Daini, Onagawa. Other nuclear related facilities (Mitusubishi Nuclear Fuel, Nuclear Fuel Industries, Ltd., JAEA Tokai and its recycling plant) in the Tokai area were reported to be safe by their respective operators.

    Changes to Fukushima Daiichi Plant Status

    On 11 April, a fire broke out in the housing outlet structure for cooling water for Units 1 to 4. The fire was extinguished manually. No consequences were identified in terms of release of radioactive material, cooling of the plants, or values recorded by radiation monitoring posts.

    In Unit 1 fresh water is being continuously injected into the RPV through the feed-water line at an indicated flow rate of 6 m3/h using a temporary electric pump with off-site power. In Units 2 and 3, fresh water is being continuously injected through the fire extinguisher lines at an indicated rate of 7 m3/h using temporary electric pumps with off-site power.

    Nitrogen gas is being injected into the Unit 1 containment vessel to reduce the possibility of hydrogen combustion within the containment vessel. The pressure in this containment vessel has stabilized. The pressure in the RPV is increasing as indicated on one channel of instrumentation. The other channel shows RPV pressure as stable.

    In Units 2 and 3 Reactor Pressure Vessel and Drywell pressures remain at atmospheric pressure.

    RPV temperatures remain above cold shutdown conditions in all Units, (typically less than 95 °C). In Unit 1 temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 206 °C and at the bottom of the RPV is 119 °C. In Unit 2 the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 165 °C. The temperature at the bottom of RPV was reported as 208 °C (this measurement has been available since 12 April). In Unit 3 the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 99 °C and at the bottom of the RPV is 116 °C.

    There has been no change in status in Units 4, 5 and 6 and the Common Spent Fuel Storage Facility.

    2. Radiation Monitoring

    On 12 April, deposition of both iodine-131 and cesium-137 was detected in 7 and 6 prefectures respectively. The values reported for iodine-131 ranged from 1.6 to 460 Bq/m2 and for cesium-137 from 31 to 700 Bq/m2. The highest deposition was observed in the Ibaraki prefecture.

    Gamma dose rates are measured daily in all 47 prefectures, the values tend to decrease. For Fukushima, on 12 April a dose rate of 2.1 µSv/h, for the Ibaraki prefecture a gamma dose rate of 0.14 µSv/h was reported. The gamma dose rates in all other prefectures were below 0.1 µSv/h.

    Only in a few prefectures, iodine-131 or cesium-137 is detectable in drinking water at very low levels. As of 12 April, a restriction for infants related to iodine-131 (100 Bq/l) is in place as a precautionary in a small scale water supply in one village of the Fukushima prefecture.

    MEXT reported on measurements of strontium-89 (half-life: 50.5 days) and strontium-90(half-life: 28.8 years) in three samples taken in one village in the Fukushima prefecture on 16 March. The activities in soil for Sr-89 ranged from 13 and 260 Bq/kg and for Sr-90 between 3.3 and 32 Bq/kg. Sr-90 was also distributed globally during nuclear weapons' testing in the atmosphere, typical global levels of Sr-90 in surface soils are in the order of one to a few becquerel per kg. Strontium was also measured in plant samples in four others villages, with values ranging from 12 to 61 Bq/kg for Sr-89 and 1.8 to 5.9 Bq/kg for Sr-90.

    On 12 April, the IAEA Team made measurements at 7 different locations in the Fukushima area at distances of 32 to 62 km, North and Northwest from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. At these locations, the dose rates ranged from 0.6 to 1.6 µSv/h. At the same locations, results of beta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.6 to 1.7 Megabecquerel/m2.

    NISA reported on 12 April that the three workers who had previously been exposed to high dose rates while working in the turbine building of Unit 3 have undergone further medical checks. No negative outcomes were identified. In the case of the two workers who received doses of a few Sievert to their legs as a result of walking in contaminated water, medical tests showed no evidence of either skin burns or erythema.

    Analytical results related to food contamination were reported by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on 12 April that covered a total of 55 samples taken on 8 and 10 to 12 April. Analytical results for 53 of the samples of various vegetables, fruit (strawberries), seafood and unprocessed raw milk in eight prefectures (Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Niigata, Saitama and Yamagata) indicated that I-131, Cs-134 and/or Cs-137 were either not detected or were below the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities. In Ibaraki prefecture for samples taken on 11 April, one sample of seafood (sand lance) was above the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for I-131 and one sample of spinach was above the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for Cs-134/Cs-137.

    On 13 April, the Prime Minister of Japan requested the Governor of Fukushima prefecture to restrict the consumption of shiitake mushrooms (grown on logs in open fields only) produced at Iitate-village until further notice. Instructions were also issued to restrict the distribution of shiitake mushrooms (grown on logs in open fields only) produced in the cities of Date, Soma, Minamisoma, Tamura and Iwaki; the towns of Shinchi, Kawamata, Namie, Futaba, Ookuma, Tomioka, Naraha and Hirono; and the villages of Iitate, Katsurao and Kawauchi until further notice.

    *************
    *************

    IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident for April 14, 2011 @ 15:30 UTC

    1. Current Situation

    Overall, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant remains very serious but there are early signs of recovery in some functions such as electrical power and instrumentation.

    Earthquake of 13 April

    The NISA Press Release reported that an earthquake occurred at Hamadori in Fukushima prefecture on 13 April, at 01:07 UTC. The earthquake had a moment magnitude of M 5.4 and was at a depth of 24.7 km, as reported by the IAEA International Seismic Safety Centre. The distances from the earthquake's epicenter to Fukushima Daini and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were 67 and 75 km respectively. No unusual events have been reported at the near sites (Onagawa, Fukushima Daiichi, Fukushima Daini and Tokai).

    Changes to Fukushima Daiichi Plant Status

    Freshwater injection is confirmed to continue for Units 1 to 3. The transfer of contaminated water from Unit 2 turbine building to the condenser was started (12 April) and suspended (13 April) to check for any leakage. Temperature at the Unit 1 outlet nozzle shows a decreasing trend continuously for several days now.

    To minimize migration of contaminated water to the open sea, on the ocean-side of the Inlet Bar Screen of Unit 2, the two temporary steel plates (3 plates in total) were installed to stop water from leaking out of the inlet bay (around 08:30 until 10:00, 13 April). In addition, a silt fence to prevent the spread of the contaminated water was installed in front of the Screen of Units 3 and 4. (13:50 UTC, 13 April).

    In Unit 1 fresh water is being continuously injected into the RPV through the feed-water line at an indicated flow rate of 6 m3/h using a temporary electric pump with off-site power. In Units 2 and 3 fresh water is being continuously injected through the fire extinguisher lines at an indicated rate of 7 m3/h using temporary electric pumps with off-site power.

    Nitrogen gas is being injected into the Unit 1 containment vessel to reduce the possibility of hydrogen combustion within the containment vessel. The pressure in this containment vessel has stabilized. The pressure in the RPV is increasing as indicated on one channel of instrumentation. The other channel shows RPV pressure as stable. In Units 2 and 3 Reactor Pressure Vessel and Drywell pressures remain at atmospheric pressure.

    RPV temperatures remain above cold shutdown conditions in all Units, (typically less than 95 °C). In Unit 1 the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 206 °C and at the bottom of the RPV is 119 °C. In Unit 2 the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 167 °C. In Unit 3 the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 92 °C and at the bottom of the RPV is 119 °C.

    On 12 April in Units 3 and 4, fresh water (35 T and 195 T respectively) was sprayed over the Spent Fuel Pools using a Concrete Pump Truck. A sample of the water in the spent fuel pool was collected for analysis.

    There has been no change in status in Unit 5 and 6 and the Common Spent Fuel Storage Facility.

    2. Radiation Monitoring

    On 13 April, deposition of both I-131 and Cs-137 was detected in 2 and 5 prefectures respectively. For both, I-131 and Cs-137, the depositions detected were below 20 Bq/m2 at all stations.

    Gamma dose rates are measured daily in all 47 prefectures. The values tend to decrease over time. For Fukushima, on 13 April a dose rate of 2.0 µSv/h was reported. In the Ibaraki prefecture, a gamma dose rate of 0.14 µSv/h was reported. The gamma dose rates in all other prefectures were below 0.1 µSv/h.

    Dose rates are also reported specifically for the Eastern part of the Fukushima prefecture, for distances beyond 30 km from Fukushima-Daiichi. On 13 April, the values in this area ranged from 0.2 to 26 µSv/h.

    In addition to the 7 measurements referred to in yesterday's brief, (note- these measurements were made at distances of 25 km and 33 km not 32 km and 62 km as reported), 13 more measurements were made on 12 April at distances of 25 to 33 km, West and Northwest from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant by the IAEA team. At these locations, the dose rates ranged from 0.5 to 16.5 µSv/h. At the same locations, results of beta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.05 to 2.1 Megabecquerel/m2.

    On 13 April, the IAEA Team made measurements at 7 different locations in the Fukushima area at distances ranging from 32 to 62 km, North and Northwest from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At these locations, the dose rates ranged from 0.35 to 2.6 µSv/h. At the same locations, results of beta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.35 to 2.6 Megabecquerel/m2.

    Analytical results related to food contamination were reported by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on 13 April that covered a total of 98 samples taken on 4 and 11 to 13 April. Analytical results for 76 of the samples of various vegetables, pork, seafood and unprocessed raw milk in nine prefectures (Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Miyagi, Niigata, Saitama and Yamagata) indicated that I-131, Cs-134 and/or Cs-137 were either not detected or were below the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities. In Fukushima prefecture on 11 April, twenty samples of various vegetables were above the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for Cs-134/Cs-137, and one sample of seafood (sand lance) and one sample of spinach were above the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for both I-131 and Cs-134/Cs-137.

    Wayne
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Update on Japanese Earthquake Impact on Honda Operations

    Japan Operations

    Honda resumed limited production of finished automobiles at approximately 50% of the original production plan on April 11, at the Sayama Plant at Saitama Factory (Sayama, Saitama) and the Suzuka Factory (Suzuka, Mie), which brings all Honda auto plants in Japan back into production. These two manufacturing facilities had been shut down since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11.

    North American Operations

    Today, Honda announced that temporary levels of reduced production will be extended through May 6, 2011.

    Wayne
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident - April 15, 2011 @ 14:30 UTC

    (Note: The next written brief will be available on Monday 18th April unless there are any significant developments)

    1. Current Situation

    Overall, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains very serious but there are early signs of recovery in some functions, such as electrical power and instrumentation.

    Changes to Fukushima Daiichi Plant Status

    The transfer of contaminated water from the trench of the Unit 2 Turbine Building to the condenser started on 12th April and continued on 13th April until approximately 740 tons were transferred.

    To minimize the movement of contaminated water to the open sea, temporary boards to stop water (3 steel plates in total) were installed on 13th April on the ocean-side of the Inlet Bar Screen of Unit 2.

    Silt fences have also been installed in the inlet canal and in front of the Inlet Bar Screens of Units 1, 2, 3 and 4. On 11th April, a silt screen was installed at the southern end of the inlet canal. The installation in front of the Inlet Bar Screen of Units 3 and 4 was completed on 13th April and for Units 1 and 2 on 14th April.

    As of 14th April, white smoke was still observed coming from Units 2 and 3. White smoke was also observed coming from Unit 4 on the 14th April.

    On 13th April, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) reported that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had begun to install a backup line for providing fresh water to the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) at Units 1, 2, and 3.

    In Unit 1, fresh water is being continuously injected into the RPV through the feed-water line at an indicated flow rate of 6 m3/h using a temporary electric pump with off-site power. In Units 2 and 3, fresh water is being continuously injected through the fire extinguisher lines at an indicated rate of 7 m3/h using temporary electric pumps with off-site power.

    Nitrogen gas is being injected into the Unit 1 containment vessel to reduce the possibility of hydrogen combustion within the containment vessel. The pressure in this containment vessel has stabilized. The pressure in the RPV is increasing as indicated on one channel of instrumentation. The other channel shows RPV pressure as stable. In Units 2 and 3 Reactor Pressure Vessel and Drywell pressures remain at atmospheric pressure.

    RPV temperatures remain above cold shutdown conditions in all Units, (typically less than 95°C). In Unit 1, the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 197°C and at the bottom of the RPV is 119°C. In Unit 2, the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 150°C. In Unit 3 the temperature at the feed water nozzle of the RPV is 91°C and at the bottom of the RPV is 121°C.

    On 14th April, a concrete pump truck, with a capacity of 50t/h, began spraying fresh water to the Unit 3 spent fuel pool. In Unit 4, a sample of the water in the spent fuel pool was collected for analysis.

    There has been no change in status in Unit 5 and 6 and the Common Spent Fuel Storage Facility.

    2. Radiation monitoring

    On 14th April, depositions of both Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 were detected in 1 and 5 prefectures respectively. For both I-131 and Cs-137, the depositions detected were below 20 Bq/m2 at all stations.

    Gamma dose rates are measured daily in all 47 prefectures. The values have tended to decrease over time. For Fukushima, on 14th April a dose rate of 2.0 µSv/h was reported. In the Ibaraki prefecture, a gamma dose rate of 0.14 µSv/h was reported. The gamma dose rates in all other prefectures were below 0.1 µSv/h.

    Dose rates are also reported specifically for the Eastern part of the Fukushima prefecture, for distances beyond 30 km from Fukushima Daiichi. On 14th April, the values in this area ranged from 0.1 to 21 µSv/h.

    In cooperation with local universities, Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)has set up an additional monitoring programme and measurements of the gamma dose rates are made in 54 cities in 40 prefectures. As of 14th April, the gamma dose rates were below 0.1 µSv/h in 45 cities. In 8 cities, gamma dose rates ranged from 0.13 to 0.17 µSv/h. In Fukushima City, a value of 0.42 µSv/h was observed.

    Only in a few prefectures, I-131 or Cs-137 is detectable in drinking water at very low levels. As of 12th April, one restriction for infants related to I-131 (100 Bq/l) is in place in a smallscale water supply in a village of the Fukushima prefecture.

    On 14th April, an IAEA Team made measurements at 11 different locations in the Fukushima area at distances ranging from 15 to 39 km, South and Southwest from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At these locations, the dose rates ranged from 0.3 to 2.8 µSv/h. At the same locations, results of beta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.16 to 2.5 MBq/ m2. The highest values were observed at distances of less than 23 km from the power plant.

    NISA reported on 14th April that among approximately 300 workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 28 have received accumulated doses exceeding 100 mSv in the period related to this emergency. No worker has received a dose above Japan's guidance value of 250 mSv for restricting the exposure of emergency workers.

    Analytical results related to food contamination were reported by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on 14th April for a total of 50 samples taken from 11th – 14th April. Analytical results for all of the samples of various vegetables, mushrooms, fruits (strawberry), various meats, seafood and unprocessed raw milk in ten prefectures (Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Tochigi and Yamagata) indicated that I-131, Cs-134 and/or Cs-137 were either not detected or were below the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities.

    On 14th April, the Prime Minister of Japan approved the lifting of restrictions on the distribution of kakina in Tochigi prefecture.

    3. Marine Monitoring

    TEPCO Monitoring Program

    TEPCO is conducting a program for seawater (surface sampling) at a number of near-shore and off-shore monitoring locations (see Map1. TEPCO Seawater Sampling Locations).

    On some days, two samples were collected at the same sampling point, a few hours apart and analysed separately.

    Until 3rd April a general decreasing trend in radioactivity was observed at the sampling points TEPCO1 to TEPCO4. After the discharge of contaminated water on 4th April, a temporary increase in radioactivity was reported. Since 5th April, a general downward trend in the concentration of radionuclides in sea water for all TEPCO sampling points has been observed.

    On 15th April, new data for TEPCO1-4 sampling points have been reported. At all four locations, the concentration of both I-131 and Cs-137 measured on the 12th April was below 2kBq/l.

    For TEPCO 5-10 no new data have been reported.

    MEXT Off-shore Monitoring Program

    MEXT initiated the off-shore monitoring program on 23rd March and subsequently points 9 and 10 were added to the off-shore sampling scheme. On 4th April, MEXT added two sampling points to the north and west of sampling point 1. These are referred to as points A and B (see Map2: MEXT Seawater Sampling Locations).

    The most recent results reported on 11th April showed that Cs-137 was only detected at MEXT 4 (below 100Bq/l). The highest concentration of I-131 (about 90 Bq/l) was also recorded at MEXT4. For other sampling locations I-131 was reported at levels below about 15 Bq/l.

    On 15th April, no new data from any MEXT sampling points have been reported.

    Map 1: TEPCO Seawater Sampling Locations

    [​IMG]
    Map 2: MEXT Seawater Sampling Locations
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
     
  7. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    Couple of things I've seen on the news recently. Searchers are now entering the 10-km exclusion zone, and not surprisingly finding bodies (from tsunami and building failures I am sure). But they were in full-body suits? Is this a general precaution or may we infer that contamination levels are quite high there? An important questino because we wish to know how large a permanent exclusion zone might ultimately be. Seems to me that maps of rad levels are still rare, and/or not updated much.

    Tepco has started to pay damages of $USD 12,000 (equiv) to families and $9,000 to singles. Depending on the numbers involved this will involve a lot of money, and the Japanese govt. is planning to participate in some way.

    DAS
     
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Doug:

    The Fukushima Daiichi disaster does not feel anything like the Chernobyl incident to me and I am not sure how long lived the contamination will be. It will be some time before that is sorted out but the breach(s) we have seen are not explosive but simply whiffs of steam. While contaminated as all get out, it is not like a safety lifted and would not reseat at 600 psi since it appears that most of the systems are running at slightly elevated temps and probably only a few atmospheres of discharge head at the pump if they are on RHR cooling with a breached vessel not allowing a repressurization of some sort?

    Regarding TEPCO, they are already gone as a self sustaining entity. They lost upwards of $3 Billion and possibly up to $6 Billion USD in reactors in < 24-hours and if the Japanese are anything like is, the lawsuits alone would put the company under 100X's over. How do you pay for thousands of homes (in Japan no less!) within the 12-mile exclusion zone let alone the pain and suffering that will be tacked on? TEPCO is now a Government entity and there will be a lot of people screwed over from this no matter what the outcome is.

    I can tell you one thing; the Hollywood Blockbuster of these events is going to be really exciting! “The Fukushima 50 or something similar to that will forever be etched in our psyche after that one hits the big screen…

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  9. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    I didn't have the chance to watch this week, but I would guess that it is a general precaution. They wouldn't have had time to determine where contamination is still dangerous yet, but they want to check a large area for bodies. It would make sense for them to sample the area at the same time, so maybe we will see better maps in a week or so?
     
  10. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    One thing that has amazed me that radioactive iodine has been widely detected in the northern hemisphere. Silly me for expecting that troposheric rainout would have prevented that, given that isotopes were all injected into the atmospheric boundary layer. Oh well, some text books need fixin'

    To some extent it is a testament to the increased sensitivity of gamma spectrometers. Pretty nifty machines, but beyond my budget.

    Global detection is not global health risk. I guess that is pretty clear to all here.

    Near-field contamination to actionable levels remains to be determined, both on land and at sea. Apparently they are trying sand bags (and other tricks?) to limit the mixing into local sea currents. I can't imagine how that would help but (a) I'm not there and (b) there is a lot I don't know.

    If any reactors at other sites turn out to need decommisioning from more minor damage, this is going to cost like crazy. Especially in the near term with Japan having rolling blackouts. Energy is STILL money, and Japan needs it to fix their economy.

    DAS
     
  11. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    It comes to mind that some of the radioactive materials in the water probably are not aqueous phase, so measures such as sand bags, booms and silt fences would help serve to recover some of the material.

    Presumably the sand bags would also reduce the discharge rate to the open sea which has obvious advantages in limiting the total discharge of short lived isotopes.
     
  12. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    I certainly agree about the non-dissolved material. The short-lived isotopes are that way wherever they go, so I can't really see the point there, still.

    Also heard recently that wood trash (primarily tsunami-ed houses) would be burned for energy. Certainly it is something that JP needs now. So a obverse-napkin-computation:

    Crushed houses = 50,000 (guess)
    House contains 50 tons wood (high-end guess?)
    4 kwh per kg wood (4.5 if very well dried)
    =10^10 kwh

    Japan annual electric gen = 10^12 kwh (slightly rounded down from wiki)

    So burn 'em for 1% of a years' power. In other words, not a giant contribution so this is probably more directed at waste disposal.

    Better to not burn wood (or anything) from close in to Fukushima, based on the idea that airborne contamination is inherently less manageable than big pieces.
     
  13. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member


    I'm pretty sure your wood tonnage is a high end guess based on how modular homes travel to building sites in the US. I'd guess 10-20 tons of wood per house and burning the material from crushed houses would likely face stack emissions issues (from burning metals, pvc etc.) if they didn't pre-process it considerably. There seemed to be a lot of "clean" wood from uprooted trees though.
     
  14. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    What else can they do with that much wood?
    We-NOLA post Katrina- actually didn't have HUGE amounts of waste wood because many/most of the damaged houses were just stripped to the studs- dried out- and re sheet rocked (with crummy Chinese sheetrock in some cases)
    Lots of our damaged material ended up in landfills.
    We -south La have lots of landfill area. Japan doesn't.
    What can they do with waste building wood?

    Japanese houses and apartments are tiny-maybe 30X20 feet-70 studs or so around the perimeter-maybe 300 studs walled in- what does a stud weigh- 15 lbs or so- figure the roof and such is maybe 1.5x that- 750 studs equivalent all total- under 10,000 lbs is my guess
    Charlie..
    Charlie
     
  15. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Flooring, roof decking and maybe siding need to be added to pin down a ballpark figure.
     
  16. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    OK, I'll accept the 'downgrade' and make it 1/2% of Japan annual electricity. Forgot to add in the dead trees. Some of them (and some of the houses) are at sea and becoming driftwood.

    And food for gribbles and teredo worms; two of the plant's most unusual organisms.

    Wood left on land can go to termites in Japan, or fungi. IOW it's headed for CO2 anyway, whether or not somebody collects the thermal energy en route.

    Whether they can burn wood with PVC etc. attached would depend on the local regs; not known to me.

    Charlie I think your micro-housing idea is right on for Tokyo and other urbs, but the housing I'm thinking about is more countryside, and the video news showed some quite large structures.

    What would be bad is wildfire, after the stuff gets dry. All of the disadvantages and none of the advantages.

    DAS
     
  17. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Me either, but it seems like dioxins and HCL would come from burning the PVC and now that I think about it from the sea salt too. They would also need to worry about lead (paint, roofing, plumbing)and mercury (paint, thermostats) in the waste stream. Maybe the permitting process would be streamlined in an emergency?

    A temporary power plant might not be very efficient either, so the contribution to the electric supply might not be so great. At least a temporary plant probably wouldn't mind the HCL as much.
     
  18. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Tochatihu- yes I saw those houses that pretty much looked USA sized(say 1950 size not 1995 size). I would bet they were in the 1600 sq ft size(late 50's suburbs like mine).

    ILAveo- right- I was guessing by making the roof etc use 1.5X the wood of studs-and guessing by saying the interior walls would take 3x the perimeter.Pure guess bordering on a lie

    The Japanese LOVE THEIR WOOD(which is probably OUR wood and hardwoods taken from the tropics).

    Another thought- WHY NOT RECYCLE IT. Just let it dry- cut off the "bad pieces" and reuse it?Splice good to good??
    Pure wood- like much used in NOLA- older pine and cypress- did very well once it dried out- heck it was barely damaged at all- the nails didn't seem to suffer either(not sure why that was??)

    Is too much of it plywood?? Plywood was a complete loss here in NOLA. Now it was soaked for 23 days- in Japan it was soaked for a few hours??

    Yeah, maybe it makes sense to recycle it for building material. We NOLA- had EXTREMELY dry weather for the 6 months after Katrina- everything dried out. Japan is much colder, so maybe it won't dry as well??
    Charlie
    PS More lies/guesses follow- a stud is about $2 here- it is maybe $6 in Japan(pure guess lie).Probably not worth 1 cent as electricity?? Use it again as building material-splice broken pieces? Japan has lots of oldsters- have them sort thru wood-they probably have a better appreciation of it than younger workers? If this idea is practical the Japanese are already doing it.
     
  19. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Old wood is harder to work and the old studs will have flaws so I don't see this as a high value building material. As I understand it Japanese labor costs are high, so unless they import foreign workers I don't see widespread recycling as likely. Ironically, I have a shed full of recycled studs and I burn a fair amount of lumber scraps in my wood stove.

    My guess is that they will combine incineration (with some power generation) and landfilling to dispose of the debris.
     
  20. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Around here- NOLA- our old wood is frequently valuable(older cypress and older pine cut maybe 100-110 years ago).
    Of course the bigger pieces are a lot more valuable than studs.
    You are right- someone would have to remove nails,sort it etc- labor intensive work.

    I wonder when the Japanese got rid of leaded paint?
    If they have much leaded paint on the wood they can't burn it, and landfills won't want it?
    Labor intensive no matter what you do.

    I'm under the impression that the Japanese have "a thing" for nice wood.
    I'm picturing oldsters-who aren't employed now anyway- sorting thru piles of wood pulling nails, cutting it to size,sorting it.You know "for the good of Japan."
    Probably just my stereotyping the Japanese,??
    We have oldsters here who literally will use a cane knife to de-mortar old bricks. REALLY hard work- very little $$.
    Charlie
     

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