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The Chernobyl explosion in 1986 was the only nuclear disaster to be rated a Level 7 until now  (Source: Wordpress)
The Chernobyl explosion in 1986 was the only nuclear disaster to be rated a Level 7 until now

The nuclear crisis in Japan has had a roller coaster of reports since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck on March 11. For instance, CNN and were caught embellishing their stories early on, trying to make the nuclear danger seem worse than it was. Now, new reports are saying that Japanese officials may be downplaying the amount of radiation released, since the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency has now put the Fukushima Daiichi disaster on the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl explosion.  

The Chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986 when an explosion led to fire that released large amounts of radioactive particles into the atmosphere. This event was the only nuclear disaster in history to be rated a 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, but now, the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency has changed Japan's nuclear crisis from a 5 to a 7 on the scale as well.

"This is an admission by the Japanese government that the amount of radiation released into the environment has reached a new order of magnitude," said Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor in the department of quantum engineering at Nagoya University. "The fact that we have now confirmed the world's second-ever Level 7 accident will have huge consequences for the global nuclear industry. It shows that current safety standards are woefully inadequate."

As of now, Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of Japan's nuclear regulator, says the total amount of radioactive materials released from the plant equals 10 percent of what was released in Chernobyl. Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission noted that 370,000 to 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive material has been released from Nos. 1 to 3 reactors.  

According to the International Nuclear Event Scale, a Level 7 is described as having "widespread health and environmental effects." The announcement that Japan is now a Level 7 came as Japan was pushing more citizens to evacuate areas near the Fukushima Daiichi plant because of long-term radiation exposure fears. People living within a 12-mile radius of the plant were already ordered to evacuate early on, but now, government officials have ordered those living within a 19-mile radius to stay inside or evacuate the area. 

In addition, communities beyond the 19-mile radius have been evacuated as well due to how the radiation is spreading. Different variables like wind can determine where the radiation spreads. For instance, a community called Iitate, which is "well beyond the 19-mile radius," has had high radiation readings because of wind from the plant. The government is also looking to evacuate Katsurao, Kawamata, Minamisoma and Namie within one month because of concerns regarding long-term radiation exposure. If the conditions grow worse, Naraha, Hirono, Tamura, Kawauchi and other sections of Minamisoma will be evacuated as well. 

"This measure is not an order for you to evacuate or take actions immediately," said Yukio Edano, chief cabinet secretary. "We arrived at this decision by taking into account the risks of remaining in the area in the long term." 

With both the Chernobyl explosion and Japan's nuclear crisis on the same level on the International Nuclear Event Scale, some are worried that Fukushima may become worse than Chernobyl. For instance, Junichi Matsumoto, a nuclear executive for Tokyo Electric Power Company, said his biggest concern is that radiation levels could exceed Chernobyl at some point. But there are some clear distinctions between the two events that make his claim extremely unlikely. The most important difference between Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis is that most of the radioactive elements in Fukushima's reactors were contained within the reactors. 

"If everything inside the reactor came out, obviously that would surpass Chernobyl," said Seiji Shiroya, a commissioner and the former director of the Research Reactor Institute at Kyoto University. "There was only one troubled reactor there, while we have three or more, so simply speaking, that's three times as worse. But at Fukushima, most of the reactors' radioactive elements remained within the reactor. That's a big difference."

The health effects from Chernobyl are expected to remain worse than Japan's health effects as well. Thirty-one people died in Chernobyl while 20 workers were injured at Fukushima. In addition, Dr. Robert Peter Gale, who led the international medical team responding to Chernobyl, said that if the nuclear crisis in Japan did not become any worse, there would be few, if any, thyroid cancer cases and 200 to 1,500 other cancer cases combined over the next 50 years. In Chernobyl, there were 6,000 excess cases of thyroid cancer alone.  

In regards to whether the Japanese government was downplaying the amount of radiation released, reports indicate that the Japanese government did not have an exact idea of the amounts of radiation released in the early weeks of the event, and "last week had the amounts down to an error margin within several digits."  

"Some foreigners fled the country even when there appeared to be little risk," said Shiroya. "If we immediately decided to label the situation as Level 7, we could have triggered a panicked reaction."

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday evening that Japan will rebuild, and that reactors were being stabilized despite this new decision to place the nuclear disaster at a Level 7. He also noted that radioactive material release is declining. In addition, he ordered Tokyo Electric to present new plans for the Fukushima Daiichi plant. 

"What I can say for the information I obtained - of course the government is very large, so I don't have all the information - is that no information was ever suppressed or hidden after the accident," said Kan. 

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, it measured radiation this past Saturday of 0.4 to 3.7 microsieverts per hour in areas located 20 to 40 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. 

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*face palm*
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 11:19:34 AM , Rating: 5
Second worst nuclear power disaster in history and yet.. nobody has died.

Of course all we will hear about is how unsafe our nuclear practices are (forget the fact the plant survived an earthquake and a tsunami) and how we should not build anymore plants for the next 50 years...

Its a sad sad day...

RE: *face palm*
By gamerk2 on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By Mitch101 on 4/12/2011 1:00:34 PM , Rating: 1
No offense to the Japanese government and I am not a scientist but if my local nuclear power plant got hit with anything that makes the news Im not using the recommended safety measurement provided. Im going to another state for a while.

I take the one American I saw early on leaving the country with his family who said by the time they tell him to leave he feels it will already be too late. I think he was right.

Am I against nuclear? No I think we should build more just dont sugar coat the danger when something goes wrong

As for Japan I dont believe we will know the full extent of damage or truth about this for many years to come.

RE: *face palm*
By heffeque on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By Dailyrant on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By MozeeToby on 4/12/2011 12:13:23 PM , Rating: 5
On a per watt basis, more people die from solar panels than die from nuclear power. Coal kills more than 4,000 times more people (on a per watt basis) than nuclear does. Coal releases more radiative material on a per watt basis than nuclear does. Ash spills and coal mine fires have resulted in about the same amount of land lost to human development as nuclear does.

To date, the highest radiation levels outside of the plant itself are around 50 uSv/hr. But, 90% of that value is coming from iodine, which will be nearly undetectable in 3 months time. That leaves 5 uSv/hr from longer lived isotopes, generally an isotope of Cesium. That means that the yearly exposure will be, after the iodine decays, around 43 mSv/year. Or about half of the level that can be statistically shown to increase your risk of cancer (and that increase is very, very small even at 100 mSv/year).

RE: *face palm*
By FITCamaro on 4/12/2011 12:19:30 PM , Rating: 5
Facts and logic have no place in political debates that decide energy policy.

RE: *face palm*
By nolisi on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By MozeeToby on 4/12/2011 1:02:22 PM , Rating: 5
The problem is that the anti-nuke activists destroyed the industry for 4 decades. Because there were no power plants being built, there has been minimal amounts of effort put into improving designs and addressing the waste issues. Even with the minimal amount of effort put into the field, a modern reactor, one that was actually redesigned from the ground up, would be orders of magnitude safer and more efficient that the 40 year old antiques that we're stuck with today. I can't help but think that we'd be building the first commercial fission fragment designs right about now, if only the environmentalists hadn't tried to kill the industry.

I'm very pro-nuke, but I abhor the current nuclear infrastructure. It's at best inefficient in the way it uses fuel and at worst is dangerous the second the owners of the plant start cutting corners. But the answer to those problems isn't to deny permits for nuclear power plants, it's to require that the new plants are designed from the ground up with fail safes that make sense.

RE: *face palm*
By FITCamaro on 4/12/2011 1:16:32 PM , Rating: 5
Yes because environmentalists have a habit of being rational human beings and just asking for basic safeguards right?

No. They have the habit of saying "This is evil! Look at Chernobyl! It will kill us all!"

People wouldn't be concerned if not for the media blowing shit out of proportion. This was an extremely rare case of too many things going wrong all at once.

Should this design be used anymore? No. It's not being. Should you build a nuclear power plant on a fault line and next to the coast where tsunamis are a danger? Obviously not. Clearly the lesson here is make sure your redundant systems are sealed.

I realize this type of danger exists in Japan. I'm not concerned with how they generate their power. I care about how we do it here. And here in the US, there isn't really any danger of this happening. We don't get earthquakes resulting in massive tidal waves along our coasts. And there's very few locations that have to worry about flooding and the weather taking out power lines.

Again. Practice lessons learned and keep moving forward.

RE: *face palm*
By nolisi on 4/12/2011 3:25:59 PM , Rating: 1
Clearly the lesson here is make sure your redundant systems are sealed.

Again. Practice lessons learned and keep moving forward.

Is leaving 24 nuclear plants without safety upgrades an example of learning lessons and moving forward?

I'm not saying the environmentalists are being reasonable- but at the same time, the energy industry is not being reasonable either- regardless of what we *think* may or may not happen, it is in the best interests of the energy industry and the safety of the American public for them to perform these upgrades. It protects the industries profits and helps protect Americans from a disaster.

And while the natural disaster scenario might *seem* unlikely in the United States, aren't we also concerned about a potential terrorist finding a way of exploiting the weaknesses in our nuclear infrastructure? There was a time when we didn't think it was possible for them to take down two skyscrapers, wasn't there?

I think the best and most logical way to move forward is to upgrade our existing plants, then invest in building new ones, rather than giving the environmentalists fuel to argue against it.

RE: *face palm*
By FITCamaro on 4/12/2011 3:34:19 PM , Rating: 3
aren't we also concerned about a potential terrorist finding a way of exploiting the weaknesses in our nuclear infrastructure?

Ever been to a nuclear facility? Not exactly an easy place to get into. If you don't think there is planning for that already in place, you're mistaken. Is anything ever perfect though? No. And it'd be less of a risk if we'd secure our borders.

And I'm not against making upgrades if the risks warrant it. But if a plant of this design is in the middle of Texas where there are no earthquakes or risks of giant waves, why would you worry about those things?

But yes environmentalists are entirely at fault for these older plants really being a problem to begin with. If development had not stopped, they maybe could have retired some of the older plants by now. Hell the one in Japan was due for retirement later this year.

RE: *face palm*
By nolisi on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2011 5:47:08 PM , Rating: 5
But yes environmentalists are entirely at fault for these older plants really being a problem to begin with.

No, just our fault for caving to their insanity and giving them legitimacy.

Everyone has a right to say what they want here, but that doesn't mean we have to listen.

RE: *face palm*
By Kurz on 4/12/2011 7:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly this country is about the force of a gun, rather than one of persuasion.

RE: *face palm*
By nolisi on 4/12/2011 7:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
No, just our fault for caving to their insanity and giving them legitimacy.

Well said; they most definitely didn't get legitimacy on their own- a whole lot of people had to listen in the first place.

RE: *face palm*
By FaceMaster on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 5:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. You're also far more likely to die choking on a pretzel than ever from radiation relating to nuclear disasters. Heck, a pretzel tried to assassinate one of our presidents! Those things are SCARY.

RE: *face palm*
By ekv on 4/12/2011 4:34:21 PM , Rating: 3
Wasn't that long ago that computers sucked. You let a few smart people loose on a problem, coupled with some financial incentive. Voila!

This link describes a roadmap for nuclear development

Btw, France currently dominates nuclear power industry. It could mean a lot of jobs if we had the technology to compete with them. Around 30 permits on file right now before the gov't waiting to be approved. Got to have a license to build. Waiting. Waiting....

RE: *face palm*
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 12:21:11 PM , Rating: 5
But, 90% of that value is coming from iodine, which will be nearly undetectable in 3 months time.

This really needs to be reiterated as the media continually seems to forget this tidbit..

The halflife of iodine is considerably lower than many of the other radioactive isotopes found in a nuclear plant.

Water being released into the ocean is also not as big of an issue as some have stated as the vast ocean dilutes and disperses most of the radioactive isotopes pretty quickly.


RE: *face palm*
By hughlle on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 12:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Solar panels aren't drifting across the sky and contaminating other countries.
But clouds do! You are most likely exposed to higher levels of radiation sitting out in the rain than anything that will ever cross the pacific ocean.

Anything out of the evacuation zone 'around 19KM if I remember' will most likely not be exposed to any kind of significant radiation levels.

RE: *face palm*
By adiposity on 4/12/2011 4:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
The reaction is similar to that of fear of flying. Even though you are more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash, there is a difference. If the plane DOES crash, you will almost surely die, whereas if a car crashes, you most likely will not.

Even though nuclear is far safer per watt than other sources of energy, the fear is not based on such statistics, but the fear of the worst case scenario. It is not totally irrational, since the worst case for nuclear is pretty bad.

What is happening in Japan is pretty minor in terms of safety, but it does remind people of the potential for disaster, which scares them.

This should serve as a wake-up call to build newer, safer power plants. But instead it will just serve as a reminder of the remote possibility of nuclear disaster. People can't help but think of worst case, instead of considering statistics.

RE: *face palm*
By futrtrubl on 4/12/2011 9:26:31 PM , Rating: 3
But it's not really about the worst case scenario it's about the perceived worse case scenario. A lot of people think meltdown means huge Hiroshima style explosion. Without sensationalisation this accident could have helped improve people's feelings about nuclear.
And then there are the historic worse cases. Nuclear: Chernobyl, 4000. Hydroelectric: Banqiao, 171,000.
And then there is almost forgotten Fukushima dam that burst after the earthquake and has killed more people than the reactors have/will.

RE: *face palm*
By Solandri on 4/13/2011 7:26:49 AM , Rating: 4
Solar panels aren't drifting across the sky and contaminating other countries... If a country can't keep it's radiation to itself then they can go and **** themselves :)

Too often, people miss the sense of scale when thinking about nuclear power, and do ridiculous things like compare a nuclear power plant to the solar panels on their roof.

The Fukushima Daiichi power station has 4.7 GW of generation capacity. Nuclear plants typically have about a 90% capacity factor (that is, over a year, they generate 90% of their maximum capacity). So that'd be 4.23 GW average power generation.

1 square meter of solar panels has an average power generation of about 20 Watts after you factor in losses (night, angle to the sun, cloudy days, etc). To generate an average 4.23 GW with solar panels would thus take 211.5 million square meters, or 211.5 square km of solar panels.

In other words, 1 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant = area the size of Chicago completely covered in solar panels.

I can guarantee you that the pollution from the materials and energy needed to manufacture that many solar panels is considerable, and would drift across the sky and through the water contaminating other countries.

RE: *face palm*
By Jaybus on 4/13/2011 9:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
The global silicon wafer production capcity is around 315 million square meters. If all of the electronics and automotive, etc. industries are shut down for a year, we might be able to make enough to build one such power station. It has ramped way up in recent years, though. A few years ago it would have taken several years of the global wafer production to make one nuclear plant replacement.

Like it or not, there isn't much choice. It will be decades before there is sufficient capacity to actually build PV plants capable of replacing nuclear. The Japanese government is going to be between a rock and a hard place. They have to somehow replace more than 4 GW of continuos power lost from the grid. They are going to be forced to tell the Japanese people that they must build, or approve to be built, a new nuclear facility. To appease the public, they are likely to build as large a PV plant as they can in addition to a new nuclear facility. That way they can say they minimized the nuclear, even though the PV plant will be 5% of the replacement capacity and the new nuke will be 95%.

RE: *face palm*
By Dailyrant on 4/12/2011 4:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
People who will have the experience to choose on this matter, of course the Japanese, I wonder how they will proceed in the future. California is on a fault, should be a good warning to do something to the existing plants and maybe look beyond this power source altogether. Coal creates smog which extends in time through a warming effect. How long will this be. Fairly long I suspect, since we have decided to continue using this source until there is no more. Nuclear is for thousands of years! Our incapacity to look squarely at the facts is directly proportionate to our greed.

RE: *face palm*
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 12:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
Indirect, direct, sideways, backwards.. The current estimate including thyroid cancer etc (i.e those impacted but not neccesarily deaths) is still lower than the amount of people that DIE mining coal each year.

This does not even include the impact of the actual coal powered plants have on the surrounding environment and the population surrounding them. (including small amounts of radiation being released via fly ash all around the country). We have only scratched the surface in the exploration of the health and environmental risks surrounding these kind of power sources.

And please keep in mind this disaster is the product of two major disaster happening at the same time.

Nuclear power needs to be part of our future power generation. Water, Wind, Solar are not complete alternatives, they just don't have the reliability to be more than 20-30% of our power infrastructure. So its either you stick with coal and natural gas plants for the majority of your power needs, or we move to the cleaner and more efficient source of power in Nuclear.

Those are your choices for the foreseeable future, anyone telling you otherwise needs to wake up inform themselves.

I'm not saying these alternatives can't be used, I'm saying they need to be used in conjunction with other sources.

RE: *face palm*
By VahnTitrio on 4/12/2011 12:39:19 PM , Rating: 3
And please keep in mind this disaster is the product of two major disaster happening at the same time.

And on top of that to an old and poorly managed facility. Onagawa isn't having any problems, and that nuclear power plant was closer to the earthquake. What we are seeing here I think is the worst possible thing that could happen to any power plant, and that's only speaking of the dated facilities. If Fukushima had been a modern power plant with current safety designs, this incident would have never occurred despite the tremendous stresses the facility would have seen.

RE: *face palm*
By rvd2008 on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By rvd2008 on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: *face palm*
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 1:54:11 PM , Rating: 2
And all you could think of it is "a sad sad day" because you will not be able to build "plants for the next 50 years".
Thats exactly 'All I could think of'..

Here are a few stats for you, in 2004 official chinese stats indicate that 6000 people died from coal mining. A further 10000 blank lung cases are reported each year. Thats China alone, its estimated around 30-40 die in the US each year with around 4000 cases of black lung cases diagnosed.

This is coal mining alone, and does not bring the actual plants into account.

So please, which source of fuel do you think has the bigger impact even if the worst case scenario is realized in Japan?

Accidents will happen with any source of power, as others have stated every single source of energy including green alternatives result in more deaths per KW generated.

RE: *face palm*
By Skywalker123 on 4/13/2011 10:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention the hundreds of coal miners injured and maimed in the mines every year.

RE: *face palm*
By zozzlhandler on 4/12/2011 2:24:55 PM , Rating: 3
I see a major gap between the facts and what you say.

1. Runaways? Not that I heard.
2. Hundreds of tons? You exaggerate to push your view. The most dangerous is Iodine that will decay very soon.
3. Nobody knows how to deal with it? It seems to me to be being deal with very professionally. Despite the extreme conditions that caused the problem, the worst case scenarios were avoided. They are now working to minimize the effects of what *did* happen (not insignificant, but nowhere near what the doom and gloom purveyors were saying).
4. Nobody knows when it will be over? I think there are good assessments of how long each part of the cleanup will take.

In short, I think we should all stop fixating on reactor problems and help Japan recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami. And, yes, some of their recovery problems *will* be related to the nuclear situation caused by that same earthquake and tsunami. But the nuclear problems are small compared to the rest of it.

RE: *face palm*
By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 2:47:19 PM , Rating: 3
This has been blown so way out of propotion. Even Chernobyl is still in operation, and people work in it! (It'll finally be completely decommissioned soon)

People are way too afraid of radiation. The current levels at the plant are not that dangerous, let alone the negligible levels around the plant. People forget that their bodies themselves are laced with radioactive potassium at this very moment (you are your own radiation source! I light up a Geiger counter myself, it's amusing), or that the natural amounts of radon and uranium in soil everywhere is the biggest source you'll get per year. Your body is BUILT to deal with radiation. Heck, water itself is six times more potent a mutagen of (unprotected) DNA than radiation is (due to depurination of DNA by hydrolysis, but again, we are BUILT to deal with that and suffer no ill consequences as long as our repair systems have not been compromised by bad health or diet).

What's more deadly: standing near one of these reactors, or drinking any normal industrial waste produced from anywhere? Let's just say, drinking industrial waste would be a very efficient way to commit gruesome suicide, the plant not so much, not even after decades.

RE: *face palm*
By 91TTZ on 4/12/2011 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
They are not runaway reactors. The control rods were inserted and the heat buildup that they were dealing with was only the decay heat.

There was some meltdown but there definitely wasn't a full meltdown in 4 reactors.

RE: *face palm*
By EricMartello on 4/12/2011 2:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
I fully support nuclear power and you'd think that these eco-freaks would be all over it because it really is the "cleanest" form of large-scale electricity generation we have.

Like anything there are going to be drawbacks and with nuclear power it is dealing with the radioactive waste from the spent fuel rods, as well as ensuring radiation containment while the plant is operational. Overall we have done well with both all things considered...HOWEVER, I will say that I do have a problem with countries building nuclear power plants in areas KNOWN to be unstable. It is NO SECRET that Japan as a whole is geologically unstable. We KNOW its right on top of a major fault line, and therefore it should not be able to build and house nuclear power plants.

I would have suggested that Japan strike a deal with S.Korea to build and maintain its power plants there, while the deal would allow some kind of subsidy from the S.Korean government and/or a possible power-share type of deal. The power can then be transmitted to Japan via under sea cables.

This option may seem impractical on the surface and it certainly isn't as efficient as having the power plants locally, but considering that a malfunctioning nuclear power plant can irradiate a large area and render it "useless" for 100+ years, it's not a bad option and it's still more cost-effective than solar or wind power.

Anyway, as long as we are building nuclear power plants in geologically stable areas WITH design contingencies for the unexpected (i.e. having an earthquake in an area we though was stable) we would be fine.

RE: *face palm*
By dowen777 on 4/13/2011 9:51:35 AM , Rating: 1
The thing that I find reassuring about your use of the term "eco-freak" is its blatant rejection of any possible validity to a view other than your own. No one should listen to an intolerant speaker. Intolerance is unreasonable. Thank you for negating your own position.

RE: *face palm*
By EricMartello on 4/13/2011 2:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, I am very intolerant of fanaticism and the general stupidity that fuels it.

know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/12/2011 7:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
I want to ask you people that claim to know how safe nuke radiation is this, How do you know that cancer you or your family member got was or was not from nuke radiation or for that matter industrial waste? How would you know? There are lot's of cancer cases, this day and time that affect us all, including children. As a matter of fact my wife came from Yugoslavia and has throid problems and is under watch for cancer. How would any of us know that these problems did not occur because of the Chernobyl accident? She was in Yugoslavia at the time, and the radiation traveled there. There are way too many unknowns for you people to actually claim how safe radiation is from nuke plants. I read study after study indicating increased cancer rates around nuke plants, and there are studies that indicate there are not. Who knows what to believe with all the propaganda, I sure don't believe our govt. I don't believe nuke power is safe, nor is coal. I personally would like to see everyone have solar panels, and the people that are not in a good location be tied to wind farms, solar farms, or other clean sources. It would take around 30 solar panels for me to get off the grid 100% and make 2000 kw hours of elec. a month. The problem is, I along with most can't afford it, but I would jump on it if I could. It works and is viable, but not affordable YET. It is time for a change, to intellegent, clean, and obvious energy sources. Enough sun hits the earth each day to power the world for 25 years.

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. what a source of power. I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."
Thomas Edison 1931

RE: know it alls
By Gzus666 on 4/12/2011 8:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is just drivel. Studies don't mean crap, anyone with basic understanding of logic knows correlation does not equal causation. Cancer caused by radiation is due to damage of DNA in a cell and that cell reproducing out of control. Depending on the type of cancer and the radiation level and type exposed, it could increase the risk, but so can being out in the sun too long. Maybe you didn't know this, but the Sun bombards you with radiation all day, every day.

As for solar, what do you do on cloudy days? What about night? What do you do in places that barely get any sun? What about the abysmal output? Solar works great when you are in space for satellites, less so on this planet. When it becomes viable, people will jump on it. I love the idea of solar, but it isn't there yet.

Wind farms? You must be joking. What do you do when there is no wind? How do you reasonably transfer the power? You might as well just get some gerbils to run on wheels.

Fission is the future, fusion is the now. Solar may supplement our houses for backup power.

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/12/2011 9:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
Excactly, cancer is exactly what you said, nuke cancer is no different than any other so. I again ask what is to say that weird cancer you or your family member got was not caused by nuke radiation, industrial waste?

As for solar, it is there. It is just a big one time expense. It will continue to improve. Cloudy days still charge,., just not as well. You would either feed your excess into the grid or into a battery, and or battery capacitor bank for storage. When configuring solar you want to figure for night and cloudy days and install extra panels.
Wind, there is usually wind blowing at around 50 feet most areas. I have never been to the Texas coast and not had a constant wind, not to mention the use of wave power. We have overlooked the obvious for too long. I is greed that has kept us at the status Quo.

And for your mention of gerbils running a wheel, in my opinion, we could employ a lot of people and horses turning generators. Prisons? We have plenty of both.. I am sure I will take some flak for that one, but really think about it. We are being held hostage by big energy cos and big oil

RE: know it alls
By Gzus666 on 4/12/2011 10:51:13 PM , Rating: 2

Excactly, cancer is exactly what you said, nuke cancer is no different than any other so. I again ask what is to say that weird cancer you or your family member got was not caused by nuke radiation, industrial waste?

Who's to say it wasn't fairies or magic potato feet? Speculation gets you no where, you have not addressed the fact that the radiation is minimal and dispersing into a freaking ocean, not a bathtub. Let's assume some people died of cancer from nuclear, so what? People die from every major advancement, that is no reason not to use it. Even better was this was a natural disaster, the disaster killed people, the nuclear disaster did not. You are fear mongering, let the people who understand physics actually figure out the dangers, not the laymen.

What batteries are you storing all this energy in? If you give it back to the grid, you still have to be on the grid. Nuclear will produce more power for considerably cheaper. As you stated, solar is cost prohibitive. The technology isn't there yet.

Either way, Nuclear fusion will take over all these methods. Once we perfect fusion, we will have more power than we know what to do with.

As for the slave labor, go nuts, could be your business platform.

We aren't being held hostage, go get a damn degree and start helping advance fusion reactors. Instead you will sit and armchair complain while the people who make a difference get things done.

RE: know it alls
By zozzlhandler on 4/12/2011 8:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
The sun produces radiation (it *is* a nuclear fusion reactor). The earth produces radiation (lots of it at the core). We have evolved in a medium of radiation. I cannot substantiate this, but on logical grounds I would expect a certain (low) level of radiation to be necessary for good health.

If you are worried about cancer (a perfectly reasonable worry, if worrying is your thing), the why not protest burning coal, which releases radioactive materials into the air? Nuclear power would actually reduce the net radiation.

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/12/2011 10:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but there is a point of too much from too many sources. As for coal, I do protest it, why do you think we have warnings on the fish we eat and the air we breath? Not to mention the strip mining where whole mountains are destroyed. As I mentioned, enough solar hits the earth each day to power the entire world for 25 years.

I will leave you with a quote from one of the greatest minds ever.

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. what a source of power. I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."
Thomas Edison 1931

RE: know it alls
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2011 10:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
I will leave you with a quote from one of the greatest minds ever. "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. what a source of power. I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." Thomas Edison 1931

And if all we had to power was light bulbs, Edison would be right.

Unfortunately for dear old Tom, the sun does not produce much solar energy. Even if our panel technology had a 100% conversion efficiency rating, the amount of power generated wouldn't be enough. I don't know where you are getting this bunk number of one solar day equaling 25 years worth of power, but that's absolutely NOT true.

RE: know it alls
By Gzus666 on 4/13/2011 10:00:37 AM , Rating: 2
He is right that the sun puts out an almost unfathomable amount of solar energy on to our planet (it is a ratio of like 1 hour of solar energy equals 1 year of power usage as a planet) but that is spread across the entire planet.

Basically we are a long way from even coming close to absorbing even a small fraction of that and turning it into useful power. If we ever found a way to really absorb that and turn it into useful energy, sure, we could use solar, but we need storage and solar cell technology to advance leaps and bounds before we can even think about it.

RE: know it alls
By Reclaimer77 on 4/13/2011 5:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
He is right that the sun puts out an almost unfathomable amount of solar energy on to our planet (it is a ratio of like 1 hour of solar energy equals 1 year of power usage as a planet) but that is spread across the entire planet.

Exactly. Sure if we could convert every square inch of surface are into a collector, it would be a lot of power. But umm, yeah, you follow me. Quoting nice numbers like "25 years worth of power" is meaningless.

The amount of USABLE solar energy generated by the sun that makes it way through our atmosphere, in practical terms, isn't even close to addressing our current energy requirement. Let alone 20 years from now.

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/13/2011 11:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
I along with many can put enough solar panels upon my roof to get off the grid 100%. It would take roughly 30 panels for my home. So, it can be done, and capacity will continue to increase and improve. Panels are already getting smaller, more powerful, and less expensive.
As I mentioned, the tech is there, but the cost is prohibitive to most including myself at this point. Companies such as Natcore solar are at work to bring the costs down and power output up. We also have stirling engine tech. coming back, and currently being installed at the Tessera plant. I think the best and brightest should be fast tracking and making solar affordable for the general public.

RE: know it alls
By Gzus666 on 4/13/2011 9:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
You call Edison one of the greatest minds ever? Seriously? The guy who fought to the death to get D/C power over A/C that Mr. Tesla was pushing? Yea, super genius.

Edison was a smart guy, but hardly even one of the greatest minds ever. Tesla was obviously a contemporary of his and he blew him out of the water. Tesla was a god by comparison.

What about Newton? Do you put Edison even close? Newton was a god by comparison to any man we know to have lived and you will say something as insane as Edison was one of the smartest men to have lived?

Edison had a few good inventions, then he stole the rest from young scientists and engineers that he hired. He was a shrewd business man and a decently smart engineer, but not a super genius, so you may want to take his quote with a grain of salt.

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/13/2011 11:28:29 AM , Rating: 2
Edison, was one of the greatest minds. I do agree that Tesla was smarter, and he had very similar views to Edison in regards to renewable energy.
"If we use fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and exhausting it rapidly.
This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful, and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations."
- Nikola Tesla, 1915

The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing importance to man. By its means he will gain complete mastery of the air, the sea and the desert. It will enable him to dispense with the necessity of mining, pumping, transporting and burning fuel, and so do away with innumerable causes of sinful waste. By its means, he will obtain at any place and in any desired amount, the energy of remote waterfalls — to drive his machinery, to construct his canals, tunnels and highways, to manufacture the materials of his want, his clothing and food, to heat and light his home — year in, year out, ever and ever, by day and by night. It will make the living glorious sun his obedient, toiling slave . It will bring peace and harmony on earth.
Nicola Tesla

RE: know it alls
By Gzus666 on 4/13/2011 1:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
You do nothing but provide other people's quotes out of context to serve your purpose. I have addressed the short falls of solar and wind already. I have yet to see you retort with a functional solution other than what you saw some companies charging people for. Newsflash, companies sell stuff that doesn't work as advertised. You don't get past the shortcomings of solar and wind with high hopes, you have to find a way to store the power since the production is not non-stop.

Tesla didn't have the ability to see that we would advance far enough to produce a freaking sun in a reactor and use its power. Why waste time with solar to get the Sun's power when we can just make them on Earth and use the power directly here? A few fusion reactors and we will no longer care about power production, the issue will be "what do we do with all this power?".

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/13/2011 2:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing is taken out of context. These great minds realized this, not me. I am smiply restating what they had said. It is really common sense. You say let's assume some people got killed from nuke, and say so what? That kind of thinking is what gets us into all the distasters, where we are killing our own food chain and destorying our water supplies, and not to mention the air we breath. You probably wouldn't care if it was your own family that was killed or deveoped the cancer either would you?
To serve my purpose? All these fuel sources have been developed for profit. If everyone could make their own energy there would be no profit. Just like JP Morgan dropped Tesla's energy transmission idea because he could not figure out how to regulate and charge everyone for it.

As for making the suns power in a reactor. What happens when they get out of control? Just like the current situation? Don't forget there is still pollution from nuke to the air and water used to cool the reactors. I don't believe for one minute it is safe, to us or our food chain. Like I said, who is to say where all these weird cancers are coming from, do you know it's not from nuke? I doubt it.
Why waste time with solar? Because it could give the majority of us energy independence, from everyone including the electric companies, not to mention it is clean.

RE: know it alls
By Gzus666 on 4/13/2011 7:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
OH NO, NOT PROFIT!!!! No one should ever profit from ideas. There are many shortcomings of wireless power transmission. On top of that, you have to be near a freaking power source. Maybe you didn't get this portion of how Tesla did what he did with the wireless car, but he was NEXT TO FRIGGIN' NIAGRA FALLS.

I say so what to people dying here and there from something because you can't do anything about it now. It was a natural disaster, it killed tons of people, the reactor has killed none at this time and will likely kill no one. People have died from nuclear power, but it pales in comparison to falling in bath tubs and hippo attacks.

Here is an awesome question for you, where do you think the materials for building solar panels will come from? Cadmium Telluride is a major component of solar cells and it is highly toxic, but that is OK, right? Long as you get that hippie high from being self righteous, everything is all cool. Tellurium is also insanely rare, so good luck with that on a large scale.

As for making the suns power in a reactor. What happens when they get out of control? Just like the current situation? Don't forget there is still pollution from nuke to the air and water used to cool the reactors

And this is how we know you don't understand fusion. Read the current research on fusion and you will see how they get around all this. Fusion is not the same as fission, let's figure out the difference.

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/13/2011 9:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
The shortcomings of wireless? Tesla, did not live long enough to prove it. It appears there is no one that has been able to walk in any of these great minds paths since their deaths. Maybe Bill Gates, but he went a different route.

Not saying that no one should profit, but that is one of the main reasons the current sources were deveopled over the latter.
Everyone in the world lives with and I quote the History channel, "A nuclear sword of damocles hanging over their heads, whether it be madness, miscalulations, or accidents". We are such hipocrites to tell many countries in the world that they cannot have nuke power and weapons, but yet we can. They will have them and this will be it. Terrorist are in hot pursuit of either hitting one of our nuke plants or hitting us with a bomb. It will happen. Not only will it kill lots of people, cause cancers, but it will knock out the grid in many areas. Not so if nearly everyone can make their own via solar, wind, etc.
How do you know the deaths from nuke power pales in comparison when you cannot link all the cancer deaths. In fact there was alot of increase cancers after Chernobyl. How much do you think the Russians revaled? You have no idea, just like I cannot prove otherwise as well. We all know cancer is at all time highs.
Why is that, no one knows, but I would bet it is linked to industrial waste, gasoline, coal, and nuke power.
What really concerns me is the water used to cool the plants is exposed to high levels of radiation and then flows down stream Very few seem to pay attention to this, it is the FOOD CHAIN.

As for the Cadmium telluride panels, there are solar panels that do not use it , not to mention the new stirling engine tech being used in the Tessera plant, which looks very good.

That's funny you think I am a hippie. Far from it, just think we have over looked the obvious answers and common sense for well over a 100 years. Albert Einstein helped develop the first Solar Cells and won awards for it, but was not the first. We have been going down the wrong paths because of profits for way too long. The best and the brightest of the past have all let us know that solar is the answer.

RE: know it alls
By texbrazos on 4/14/2011 1:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, meant to quote JFK, not history channel. The speach was on History channel last night. JFK's "Nuclear Sword of Damocles speach" that is.

Nuclear power is cheap, clean and safe
By dowen777 on 4/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: Nuclear power is cheap, clean and safe
By dowen777 on 4/12/2011 4:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone who opposes nuclear power is irrational. Those who favor nuclear power are all well-reasoned and thoughtful.

By Gzus666 on 4/12/2011 8:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone who opposes anything without valid reasons is irrational. You haven't produced an actual reason to oppose it other than appeals to ignorance and emotion.

The two major sources of radiation dumped at this plant are Iodine 131 and Cesium 137. Iodine 131 has a half life of around 8 days and the major gamma ray producing portion (gamma rays are the bad ones that pierce you, alpha and beta damaged the skin) decays in a few minutes. Cesium 137 has a considerably larger half life of around 30 years, but the release is beta radiation.

The current radiation levels near the plant aren't that high and considering the plant got hit with an 8.9 earthquake and a tsunami on an out of date plant, not too bad. The main reason it failed was due to cooling failures due to the generators being destroyed by the tsunami. Use modern cooling methods and security methods and this is no longer an issue.

So, in conclusion, you are fear mongering and irrational.

RE: Nuclear power is cheap, clean and safe
By EBH on 4/12/2011 4:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think what bothers folks about nuclear power is the long lasting negative effects.

The risk is too high for the reward. Same goes for all forms of mainstream energy production. Oil? Coal? Dams?

All have to destroy stuff to work and all create long lasting waste and damage. It is time we move onto somthing that works for us and will not have higher negative effects than it's cost.

Greed and ignorance is the only thing preventing safer alternatives.

All of the nuke fanboies should go live next to a plant for a while to make them think twice.

It is easy to say nuke is 100% ok when it is out of sight out of mind.

It is not of matter of IF anymore. Just a matter of when.

Nuclear is a good stepping stone but not the be all end all of power generation.

By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 4:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
People still work at Chernobyl, well over 2000 people to be exact. And this year Ukraine was planning to open up Chernobyl and the exclusion zone to tourists ( ).

Radiation is no laughing matter, but it isn't remotely as dangerous, or as long lasting, as the public wants to believe.

By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 5:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
Also, look at pictures of the Chernobyl area. Notice all those plants and trees and wildlife growing and living everywhere? Doesn't seem like wildlife got the memo that they should be dead from radiation, huh? Or maybe it just wasn't -that bad-. (Realize too that this happened during the cold war, our propaganda against the USSR would have used this incident to the extreme. Think about it.)

Compare this to the damage and the time it takes the ecosystem to recover from a volcano.

RE: Nuclear power is cheap, clean and safe
By dowen777 on 4/12/2011 5:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think what bothers me about the fervently pro-nuclear power folks is the complete inability to recognize or admit to any dangers presented. Shortcomings? What shortcomings!

By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 5:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
People like being scared. That's why we pump out terrible horror movies one after the other year after year. But is it likely someone is going to kidnap you and subject you to a Saw-esque adventure? Maybe a healthy dose of reality will calm your night terrors.

By Skywalker123 on 4/13/2011 10:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
I do live next to a nuke plant, so what?

Was there a full meltdown?
By Sylar on 4/12/2011 11:15:58 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't been keeping up to date but hard to imagine it's reached a 7 on the incident scale if it hasn't. That or the scale needs higher numbers IMO.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By Pirks on 4/12/2011 1:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
No, there's no meltdown in there, just lotsa dirty water poured into the ocean and some minor radioactive clouds that contaminated a few villages around the plant. It's nowhere near Chernobyl scale, because Japanese engineers were not brain dead commies from Soviet Union so they knew what the "containment vessel" means and why the plant without it is a huge nuclear dirty bomb waiting for its time to explode Chernobyl style. Unless the vessel really ruptures and radioactive sh1t pours out - Japanese have nothing to worry about. Containment will do its job.

Whether it will rupture or not - hard to say, we'll see in a month I guess.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By blppt on 4/12/2011 1:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody really knows for sure, or if they do, they arent telling. Pretty much everybody believes that there has been fuel rod melt in multiple cores, so in a sense, yes, there has been 'meltdown'. What we still dont know for sure is if a large scale penetration of the reactor vessel & inner containment has happened. There was some rumor a week or so ago that somebody believed that a significant portion of the melted fuel escaped the steel vessel in one core, but was contained in the inner containment shield. I havent heard anybody confirm or deny that though.

It may be like TMI and we wont know for sure for years how bad it is/was.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 2:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
We can know how bad it is/was on a practical side by just measuring the radioactivity around the plant. That's all that matters for public health at the moment.

We know there was a partial melt down of rods, especially in reactor 2. They were able to get an RC unit with a cam into one of the pipes and maneuver it towards the core. It died promptly from the radiation once it reached there, but sent back a few frames showing the waterless reactor with brightly glowing rods, and some melt pooling beneath them. The chamber vessel itself, however, was holding intact. This was during the worst days of the event, so we can be confident containment will continue to hold at current temperatures.

One major design problem with this reactor was the pumps had to be powered to keep water flowing and the reactor cool. Worst yet, the pumps were BENEATH the reactor vessel. So, when the plant lost internal power from the earthquake/tsunami, the pumps failed and the water naturally drained from gravity. This plant has a lot of design mistakes that have been known for decades since it was built. Old plants were made rather stupidly, where safety required actively running, mechanical systems, rather than deadman switches.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By blppt on 4/12/2011 2:49:55 PM , Rating: 1
They got a camera in the core? I missed that. Do you have any links to that news?

As you no doubt know, it took them years to get a good look at the innards of the TMI Unit 2 core with a camera, I hadnt considered that with the significant advancement of technology (30+ years) they'd be able to do it sooner now.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 3:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
There was a reason the news was reporting all this information in the first place (did you miss the animated infographics that CNN was running showing off the reactor's design and all that was happening back then?). Where do you think it came from? For me, I had an internal source who was working in the reactor, so usually I had updates half a day or more before the news published them, but I will say no more on that matter.

And yes, remote technology is far more advanced. Take a look at your cell phone, wireless repeaters and antenna that run them all. Just as computers have leaped in power since the 80s, so too has wireless technology (and the computers needed to process the compressed digital cam data in real time in the first place). Not that anything could protect the RC unit from such high radiation once it reached there, but even a handful of frames was enough.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By blppt on 4/12/2011 3:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Geez, I wasnt trying to be confrontational, I just wondered if you had a link to that news, I would have liked to read about it. Not claiming you were making it up.

And yes, I know technology is more advanced in 30+ years--- as I said in my previous post, I didnt take that into account before.

RE: Was there a full meltdown?
By geddarkstorm on 4/12/2011 4:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, no, I apologize if I sounded confrontational or if my tone seemed short, as that was not appropriate of me and I was not intending to do so.

I had just been reading comments on CNN about this were people were lamenting how millions were going to die, and the only rating higher than the 7 right now would be "end of the world". Sadly, I'm not kidding, and it left me a bit disheartened.

Solar Panels.
By greylica on 4/12/2011 1:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
On a per watt basis, more people die from solar panels than die from nuclear power.

Where I could find more info about it ?

RE: Solar Panels.
By VahnTitrio on 4/12/2011 2:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
There was some blogger who wrote an article on this. Now, it's a little skewed because this is mostly Joe Smith who figures he can install his own solar panel on his roof, and not people building large arrays in the desert. Because a home solar panel produces so little power, it only takes about 10 DIYers a year killing themselves to surpass nuclear.

RE: Solar Panels.
By zozzlhandler on 4/12/2011 2:30:26 PM , Rating: 2

There are other sites with better statistics. Try a Google search.

RE: Solar Panels.
By texbrazos on 4/12/2011 9:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe you are using people falling off roofs or electrocution as a stat. That is grasping.

Not quite the same thing
By MrTeal on 4/12/2011 11:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
The health effects from Chernobyl are expected to remain worse than Japan's health effects as well. Thirty-one people died in Chernobyl while 20 workers were injured at Fukushima.

The difference obviously is the cause of death. Of the 31 from Chernobyl, all but 3 died from exposure to massive amounts of radiation. To my knowledge no one has died of radiation sickness at Fukushima, and unless the situation goes seriously sideways it's unlikely that anyone will.

That being said, it's good they moved this to level 7, since it obviously is a major release that will have extended effects requiring long term countermeasures. By that definition Kyshtym should probably be up there as well, which released somewhere between 10 and 1850 PBq of radioactivity. Fukushima obviously isn't at the same level of release as those two disasters yet, hopefully it never gets to that point.

RE: Not quite the same thing
By MrTeal on 4/12/2011 11:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, it looks like they upped the estimate of release quite a bit, up to 370 to 630 PBq. That puts it in the same range as Kyshtym and up to 1/10 the release from Chernobyl. It's a good thing most of that was released in the first week, and is declining now.

RE: Not quite the same thing
By VahnTitrio on 4/12/2011 12:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
I have an honest question: where did all this radiation that was released go? Using 500 PBq, that would be enough to contaminate the entire surface of the planet to 980 Bq/m2. Now from the measurements they are taking: "The values reported for iodine-131 ranged from 6.3 to 920 Bq/m2 and for cesium-137 from 7.9 to 800 Bq/m2." They are only occasionally finding numbers like that around Japan, particularly in the local area around the power plant. I know Iodine is short lived but the discrepancy is rather large, they should be measuring values much higher all around if that much were released. My guess is the vast majority of it is contained in the water on site that they are yet to pump into storage. But if they successfully store this water than I hardly think it can be considered "released into the environment".

Loosing face.
By drycrust3 on 4/12/2011 6:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
Now, new reports are saying that Japanese officials may be downplaying the amount of radiation released,

I have culled most of what I wrote. If it seems disjointed then be thankful, it was rather depressing.

To me, this is a horror situation because every decision you make is a choice between badly loosing face in front of lots of people or terribly badly loosing face in front of even more people, but this is where you need courage. This isn't a technology where the energy output and the danger reduces when it goes wrong, it is a technology where the energy output and the danger increases when things go wrong.

Every decision has a window of opportunity, and if a decision isn't made within that window then that is equivalent to letting the nature of the system decide. Most random decisions tend towards chaos, while most failures contribute to the chaos, which in most systems means there is a point where it fails to function. However, in this type of system the tending towards chaos means increased danger and increased energy output. The increasing energy output results in accelerating the rate towards chaos, and the increasing danger increases the risk of trying to control the situation.

My guess is that "7" is too low, and for this to go at least up to 8. Yes, I realise the scale finishes with 7, but the way this is likely to pan out means they need to go up to 9 on the scale.

I think a good start for them would be to start releasing the internal reactor temperatures on a daily basis (obviously I'm expecting they can read the temperatures remotely by using sensors inside the reactors).

RE: Loosing face.
By zozzlhandler on 4/12/2011 9:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
You seem as crazy as the US newspapers. Yes, the situation is very serious. No, it is not getting worse. Release levels are at 10% of Chernoble's and consist of much less dangerous materials. Not to downplay the seriousness of it all, but the nuclear thing has overshadowed the huge number of deaths from the earthquake and tsunami, and that is just wrong.

For informed an unbiased info, try

By bernardl on 4/12/2011 7:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
As a westerner living in Japan and significantly invested here I could be directly impacted if things got worse.

My personal takeaway is that I am still mostly in favour of nuclear civil applications, but am very strongly opposed to having private corporations operate reactors with profit as a key goal.

What we have here is a situation that mostly resulted from under-investment in very basic safety features (a taller wall would have done) and plant data digitalization that got worsened a lot by the attempts of Tepco to safeguard their investment for the first 5 days or so. Had they decided to use seawater on day 2 we would most probably not be at 7 today.


RE: Well...
By Gzus666 on 4/12/2011 10:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hindsight is 20/20. It is really easy for you to sit here and tell the experts what they should have done in the face of a disaster or to prepare. The reason it is easy is because you are looking at it from the outside after the fact. It isn't as easy when you have a real world scenario and you are in the thick of it. How about we cut them some slack? I highly doubt they did this on purpose. Clearly they don't make a profit if the damn plant explodes and kills everyone.

By Iaiken on 4/12/2011 1:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
This is what he said:

"It shows that current safety standards are woefully inadequate."

This is what he means:

"The safety standards from 40 years ago were woefully inadequate."

Safety standards in most nuclear nations have improved by leaps and bounds since many of the older plants were built. These older plants were then grandfathered in under the old standards since bringing them up to modern standards would be more expensive than simply building new plants. Many have even been granted permits to operate beyond their originally permitted mandate.

We've too many idiots around the world judging todays nuclear technology based on what is happening at a 40 year old plant that was based on a 60 year old design. Even with everything that has happened, the human and environmental tolls of Fukushima (while far worse than ideal) are still essentially negligible even after this new information has been factored in.

Furthermore, to elevate this accident to a 7 (bypassing 6 entirely) is completely irresponsible. Even the largest estimates place the radioactive release at only 10% of that from Chernobyl. Also, 90% of the total radiation will be gone within 65 days as the iodine decays. Much of what is to be released can simply be held until it has decayed while in storage. Meanwhile, the majority of the harmful radiation from Chernobyl was from Strontium-90, Caesium-137 with half-lives of 29 years, and 30 years respectively and is still present there in significant quantities to this day.

By shikigamild on 4/13/2011 2:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
I love how people speculate that "there may be more radiation released than what the government and TEPCO is admitting".

Well, here is a reality check, there are radiation monitors ALL OVER THE PLACE.
And radiation measures have also been taken by the US and... fuck, how are they supposedly hiding it?

The truth is, the peak of radiation near the reactors was of 100 mSv/h, and is believed that the peak at core was at 400 mSv/h.

Chernobyl reactor's radiation peak was at 300,000 mSv/h. On the Chernobyl disaster even Krasnoe village, a village 5 km away from the reactor, had radiation levels bigger than the 400 mSv/h radiation peak at the core of Fukushima reactors.

Even the only Level 6 disaster, the Kyshtym disaster was far worse.
The people living at Chelyabinsk-40 presented symptoms of radiation poisoning, some of them died of radiation poisoning, and on the aftermath, Lake Karachay became the most polluted and dangerous spot on the planet, having radiation more than sufficient to give a lethal dose to a human within an hour.

The rationale given for the supposed Level 7 is that you can get it by making a sum of the 3 Level 5 reactors on the plant...

So yeah, the International Nuclear Event Scale is no longer an objective scale based on the facts, but more an emotional based scale, and a political agenda driven scale.

By Paj on 4/13/2011 8:41:56 AM , Rating: 2

By EricMartello on 4/12/2011 6:23:36 PM , Rating: 1
Clearly that would be the time to start worrying about faces melting.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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