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Thread: This Physics problem affects the entire world-can you help?

  1. #1 This Physics problem affects the entire world-can you help? 
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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social..._89607121.html

    FUKULEAKS

    ...This information should be available to the public and the various academic communities. It is a matter of great moral urgency that the cover-up be stopped, for the sake of our future and the human race...


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    The future of the human race? Isn't that a little melodromatic, Stu? After all, there hasn't been anyone killed yet.


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  4. #3  
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    The big disaster now is that Tokyo Electric is getting run through the shredder, as scapegoat. A lot of people have lost their life savings.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The future of the human race? Isn't that a little melodromatic, Stu? After all, there hasn't been anyone killed yet.
    It doesn't have to take lives before realising things have to be changed. Any casualty from negligence, or ignorance is unacceptable. And at your age you should be aware of that.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  6. #5  
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    Any casualty unacceptable? And here I thought Japanese of all people know how to weigh benefits and costs including risks in case of natural disaster. I guess they'll just have to live without streetlamps since any casualty is unacceptable.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The future of the human race? Isn't that a little melodromatic, Stu? After all, there hasn't been anyone killed yet.
    It doesn't have to take lives before realising things have to be changed. Any casualty from negligence, or ignorance is unacceptable. And at your age you should be aware of that.
    How does a single casualty - a subset of any casualty - equate to the future of the human race? That is illogical. All Harold has said is that saying this threatens the human race is melodramatic. People who say you can never overuse hyperbole are clearly overusing hyperbole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime
    Any casualty from negligence, or ignorance is unacceptable. And at your age you should be aware of that.
    That is incorrect. We can and do accept much higher risk from other sources.

    Consider the following.
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/dea...gy-source.html

    Code:
    Energy Source              Death Rate (deaths per TWh)
    
    Coal  world average               161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    Coal  China                       278
    Coal  USA                         15
    Oil                                36  (36% of world energy)
    Natural Gas                         4  (21% of world energy)
    Biofuel/Biomass                    12
    Peat                               12
    Solar (rooftop)                     0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
    Wind                                0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
    Hydro                               0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
    Hydro - world including Banqiao)    1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
    Nuclear                             0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime
    Any casualty from negligence, or ignorance is unacceptable. And at your age you should be aware of that.
    That is incorrect. We can and do accept much higher risk from other sources.

    Consider the following.
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/dea...gy-source.html

    Code:
    Energy Source              Death Rate (deaths per TWh)
    
    Coal  world average               161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    Coal  China                       278
    Coal  USA                         15
    Oil                                36  (36% of world energy)
    Natural Gas                         4  (21% of world energy)
    Biofuel/Biomass                    12
    Peat                               12
    Solar (rooftop)                     0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
    Wind                                0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
    Hydro                               0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
    Hydro - world including Banqiao)    1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
    Nuclear                             0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

    Right

    If no deaths by negligence were the criteria, no one would even drive to work, or cross the street. Not much would get done and then LOTS of people would die.
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  10. #9 Re: This Physics problem affects the entire world-can you he 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Bateman
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/I_AM_TRUTH/japan-nuclear-meltdowns-2-more-reactors_n_865972_89607121.html

    FUKULEAKS

    ...This information should be available to the public and the various academic communities. It is a matter of great moral urgency that the cover-up be stopped, for the sake of our future and the human race...
    Welcome to The Science Forum Stu. Unfortunately, your first post indicates that you've been duped by (or are a member of) the anti-nuke/conspiracy theory crowd.

    Has Tokyo Electric tried to minimize and/or hide the problems and hazards associated with their crippled nuclear plants? You bet. That's why corporations and governments have PR staffs in their table of organization. As sad as it is, we all know that they will lie their collective butts off to keep from looking bad and especially to keep from being held responsible.

    Is this a physics problem that effects the whole world? Nope. It's a sociopolitical problem.

    Chris
    It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
    Robert H. Goddard - 1904
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    Those that are belittling the situation will be eating their words one day, I predict.

    As I see it, everyone (including GE) is running away from this fiasco and why wouldn't they? Who would want to be accountable for this?

    Those reactors are at sea level. If that fuel gets outside the containment vessel and into the water table, I can't see anything but bad news for the forseeable future. I don't think there's enough concrete on the planet to keep this thing from belching highly radioactive steam for a very long time.

    We're just lucky it's about exactly one half a planet (circumferentially speakng) away.
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    What is it with concrete that makes everyone think it's some kind of miracle cure? (Ignoring all the other errors in your logic.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    What is it with concrete that makes everyone think it's some kind of miracle cure? (Ignoring all the other errors in your logic.)
    That was the solution for the only other comparable example. I didn't say it was a solution but, wait and see whats there in two or three decades.

    If you have a solution, you really need to share it.
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  14. #13 The Physics Problem 
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    I am not interested in the socio-political component of this problem. I posted the link so that you would understand the scope of what is going on. It is data from respected sources. You can also see where it has been covered up. I do not believe in conspiracies or conspiracy theories but I do agree that companies try to coverup bad news. That is not a conspiracy, just the way an unethical company conducts business. But that is neither here nor there.

    I posted this to try to get you all to engage in a solution. Forget politics or ideologies, focus on science. Stop quibbling. Start thinking and try to come up with a solution for the sake of all our future generations. A scientific solution to these reactors, a way to stop the reaction. Think out of the box. Think new solutions. Start throwing ideas out there. Be supportive of one another, instead of shooting every one down who doesn't think like you.

    Let's get busy and help things. Someone here may have a unique solution to the problem. Get the word out-engage great minds in every field, quantum physicists, biologists, biotech friends, chemists, even artists. You never know where an 'aha' moment will come from.

    Please everyone come together and try to think of solutions.
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  15. #14  
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    Stu,
    how many people, in the worst case scenario, do you expect to die as a direct consequence of the FUkishima incident?
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  16. #15 Re: The Physics Problem 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Bateman
    I am not interested in the socio-political component of this problem. ..........

    Let's get busy and help things. Someone here may have a unique solution to the problem. Get the word out-engage great minds in every field, quantum physicists, biologists, biotech friends, chemists, even artists. You never know where an 'aha' moment will come from.

    Please everyone come together and try to think of solutions.

    First, it's going to take LOTS of money to solve this one....that's the biggest component of the solution....where does it come from? Japan's broke, as is most of the rest of the world. China's got a lot of uncollected revenue so, they could be a big help if they can convince their debtors to pay up.....further stressing the world's economic situation.

    I doubt we're capable of coming up with a magic potion that we can sprinkle on approximately 1760 metric tons ( http://georgewashington2.blogspot.co...fukushima.html ) of fuel (fresh and spent) and render it safe.

    We're going to need lots of volunteers to face certain death to go in there and collect the material, transport it to an "acceptable" disposal site and seal it up so it can cool down for a few thousand years.

    If there were a way to profit from this cleanup, the solutions would come but, where does the money come from? While we're waiting for the answer to that, we'll look the other way. I'm afraid it'll have to get much worse before it gets better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Stu,
    how many people, in the worst case scenario, do you expect to die as a direct consequence of the FUkishima incident?
    That's like asking how many died from exposure to "agent orange" in Vietnam, or cigarettes, or asbestos, or eating too much salt, etc. It's speculative.

    I suspect not many people have died directly from radiation but, many have died indirectly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Stu,
    how many people, in the worst case scenario, do you expect to die as a direct consequence of the FUkishima incident?
    That's like asking how many died from exposure to "agent orange" in Vietnam, or cigarettes, or asbestos, or eating too much salt, etc. It's speculative.

    I suspect not many people have died directly from radiation but, many have died indirectly.
    Suspiciousmind, that estimate of .04 deaths per TWh for nuclear already includes 4000 deaths estimated to be caused indirectly by Chernobyl. What do you think is "many" and what is the basis for your estimate?

    But what about Chernobyl ?
    The World Health Organization study in 2005 indicated that 50 people died to that point as a direct result of Chernobyl. 4000 people may eventually die earlier as a result of Chernobyl, but those deaths would be more than 20 years after the fact and the cause and effect becomes more tenuous.


    There have been 4000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children, but that except for nine deaths, all of them have recovered. "Otherwise, the team of international experts found no evidence for any increases in the incidence of leukemia and cancer among affected residents."


    Averaging about 2100 TWh from 1985-2005 or a total of 42,000 TWh. So those 50 deaths would be 0.0012 deaths/TWh. If those possible 4000 deaths occur over the next 25 years, then with 2800 TWh being assumed average for 2005 through 2030, then it would be 4000 deaths over 112,000 TWh generated over 45 years or 0.037 deaths/TWh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Stu,
    how many people, in the worst case scenario, do you expect to die as a direct consequenceof the FUkishima incident?
    That's like asking how many died from exposure to "agent orange" in Vietnam, or cigarettes, or asbestos, or eating too much salt, etc. It's speculative.

    I suspect not many people have died directly from radiation but, many have died indirectly.
    Suspiciousmind, that estimate of .04 deaths per TWh for nuclear already includes 4000 deaths estimated to be caused indirectly by Chernobyl. What do you think is "many" and what is the basis for your estimate?

    But what about Chernobyl ?
    The World Health Organization study in 2005 indicated that 50 people died to that point as a direct result of Chernobyl. 4000 people may eventually die earlier as a result of Chernobyl, but those deaths would be more than 20 years after the fact and the cause and effect becomes more tenuous.


    There have been 4000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children, but that except for nine deaths, all of them have recovered. "Otherwise, the team of international experts found no evidence for any increases in the incidence of leukemia and cancer among affected residents."


    Averaging about 2100 TWh from 1985-2005 or a total of 42,000 TWh. So those 50 deaths would be 0.0012 deaths/TWh. If those possible 4000 deaths occur over the next 25 years, then with 2800 TWh being assumed average for 2005 through 2030, then it would be 4000 deaths over 112,000 TWh generated over 45 years or 0.037 deaths/TWh.
    Harold...I don't get your point. I was responding to Ophiolite's post.....

    "Stu,
    how many people, in the worst case scenario, do you expect to die as a direct consequence of the FUkishima incident?"

    I'm saying..... "I suspect not many people have died directly from radiation but, many have died indirectly."

    Other than Hiroshima nad Nagasaki, not many people have died as a direct consequence of any nuclear incident.....they typically die of some other malady which is likely the result of exposure to a nuclear incident but, it's speclative. There have been many court battles over such speculations.

    There's no way to come up with a finite number.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind

    I suspect not many people have died directly from radiation but, many have died indirectly.
    Your suspicions are just plain wrong. Over a thousand people die in the UK every year from skin cancer. This is caused by UV radiation from the sun, and of course the good old sunbeds. World wide the figures must be colossal, and they will remain so, even if nuclear power generation never existed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_neoplasm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind

    I suspect not many people have died directly from radiation but, many have died indirectly.
    Your suspicions are just plain wrong. Over a thousand people die in the UK every year from skin cancer. This is caused by UV radiation from the sun, and of course the good old sunbeds. World wide the figures must be colossal, and they will remain so, even if nuclear power generation never existed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_neoplasm
    Keyword: directly

    You just said they died from skin cancer....that's not directly from radiation or, a nuclear incident....it's indirectly if it's related at all. It could be argued the that sunscreen, or genetics, or a myriad of other influences or combinations caused it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    [Other than Hiroshima nad Nagasaki, not many people have died as a direct consequence of any nuclear incident.....they typically die of some other malady which is likely the result of exposure to a nuclear incident but, it's speclative. There have been many court battles over such speculations.

    There's no way to come up with a finite number.
    Well, I did come up with a finite number for Chernobyl, or rather the WHO did. It may be an approximation, but it's a finite number. Do you think Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl?

    I mean, if you are going to take some action (like deciding what kind of electical generation method to use) you have to go with the best information available.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    What is it with concrete that makes everyone think it's some kind of miracle cure? (Ignoring all the other errors in your logic.)
    That was the solution for the only other comparable example. I didn't say it was a solution but, wait and see whats there in two or three decades.

    If you have a solution, you really need to share it.
    I don't have a solution, because I'm not a nuclear engineer. Why should my uninformed ideas about what might fix things (but equally might make them worse) have any impact on the actual solutions implemented by people who know what they're doing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    What is it with concrete that makes everyone think it's some kind of miracle cure? (Ignoring all the other errors in your logic.)
    That was the solution for the only other comparable example. I didn't say it was a solution but, wait and see whats there in two or three decades.

    If you have a solution, you really need to share it.
    I don't have a solution, because I'm not a nuclear engineer. Why should my uninformed ideas about what might fix things (but equally might make them worse) have any impact on the actual solutions implemented by people who know what they're doing?
    Excellent.

    I have worked on more than my share of high-dollar failure investigations. The biggest impediment to a timely, effective, and affordable solution is a bunch of people (government consultants leap to mind) with strong opinions and zero understanding.
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  25. #24 Praise nuclear if you want it improved. 
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    Fear of nuclear power stunts it's growth.
    Hybrid fission fusion that can create and burn radio active waste is the direction we should be going.
    Yes meltdowns have to be fail safed. So why not put the nuclear plants under the sea linked to the undersea tunnels that are being built around the globe and have them flood the core automatically in emergency ?
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  26. #25 Re: Praise nuclear if you want it improved. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
    Fear of nuclear power stunts it's growth.
    Hybrid fission fusion that can create and burn radio active waste is the direction we should be going.
    Yes meltdowns have to be fail safed. So why not put the nuclear plants under the sea linked to the undersea tunnels that are being built around the globe and have them flood the core automatically in emergency ?
    Material exposed to radioactivity will itself become radioactive; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_radioactivity
    The ocean is very important to life; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean
    See MagiMaster's and DrRocket's post's above.
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  27. #26  
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    So Stu, are you claiming that already people have died indirectly as a result of the Fukushima incident? You certainly appear to be saying that. So how many? Heh, let's say that its 10,000 - now I'd be utterly dumbfounded if you could demonstrate it was as many as ten, but I'll let you have a several order of magnitude advantage.

    So, 10,000 deaths spread - for convenience - over 10 day. 1,000 per day. And now, how many are dying globally as a consequence of malnutrition? Per day? Look it up. Then you may understand why I am largely indifferent to this small, localised, incidental problem of some radioactivity.
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    On the general subject of industrial accidents, the Fukushima incident illustrates a tendency for corporations to cut corners and hope for the best when it comes to plant safety.

    I've seen companies that I've worked for put up banners and hold meetings imploring the employees to "work safe". I've also seen these same companies (or, at least, their main office executives) ignore the recommendations of safety engineers and even plant managers to upgrade or replace outdated and increasingly malfunctioning infrastructure.

    Cost is, of course, the underlying factor when these recommendations are either put off or put on (indefinite) hold while the executives take a calculated risk that those bold enough to speak up are just describing "worst case scenarios" that will probably never come to pass.

    Pehaps the most notorious such "worst case scenario" occured in Bopal, India in 1984:

    ...A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.[1] Others estimate that 3,000 died within weeks and that another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases.[2][3] A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries...

    -----and-----

    ...A series of prior warnings, and MIC-related the possibility of an accident almost identical to that which occurred in Bhopal. The reports never reached UCC's (Union Carbide Corporation) senior management.

    UCC was warned by American experts who visited the plant after 1981 of the potential of a "runaway reaction" in the MIC storage tank. Local Indian authorities warned the company of problems on several occasions from 1979 onwards.
    (ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster )

    A full read of the article furnishes all the disheartening details.

    I believe Tokyo Electric was confronted with the same pressures and and largely the same mindset as Union Carbide.

    I think the problem is not so much how to control potentially dangerous technologies (even if they only create local disasters). We have the expertise to anticipate "worst case scenarios". The problem is convincing the people who control the money that betting on "nothing bad will happen" is a bad bet (at least for the locals).

    Chris

    Edited to correct spelling errors
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    On the general subject of industrial accidents, the Fukushima incident illustrates a tendency for corporations to cut corners and hope for the best when it comes to plant safety.
    Which corners do you think were cut in this case? I would suggest waiting for more information before coming to that conclusion. There may be other factors besides, or in addition to, the cutting of corners. For example, the plant was designed for a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and they actually had a 9. I think there was a lack of adequate geological information that contributed to the problem. Also, from what little I know about it, there are some unique aspects of Japanese society that resulted in a poor emergency response. It is a top-down society where decisions are not easily made at lower levels. There is also a reluctance to bring bad news to the boss.
    I've seen companies that I've worked for put up banners and hold meetings imploring the employees to "work safe". I've also seen these same companies (or, at least, their main office executives) ignore the recommendations of safety engineers and even plant managers to upgrade or replace outdated and increasingly malfunctioning infrastructure.

    Cost is, of course, the underlying factor when these recommendations are either put off or put on (indefinite) hold while the executives take a calculated risk that those bold enough to speak up are just describing "worst case scenarios" that will probably never come to pass.
    Not knowing the particulars of the situation, I cannot comment except to say that most industrial accidents are caused by human error. So, even if there are needed safety improvements, there is nothing wrong with imploring the employees to work safe.
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  30. #29 Re: The Physics Problem 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind

    I doubt we're capable of coming up with a magic potion that we can sprinkle on approximately 1760 metric tons ( http://georgewashington2.blogspot.co...fukushima.html ) of fuel (fresh and spent) and render it safe.

    We're going to need lots of volunteers to face certain death to go in there and collect the material, transport it to an "acceptable" disposal site and seal it up so it can cool down for a few thousand years.

    If there were a way to profit from this cleanup, the solutions would come but, where does the money come from? While we're waiting for the answer to that, we'll look the other way. I'm afraid it'll have to get much worse before it gets better.
    This is the trouble with NBY (Not in my backyard). Stupid NBY people force the power companies to store the waste on site, where it isn't really all that well protected. If some government somewhere just had the balls to stand up to its own population and set up a secure facility somewhere, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

    But.... of course...... if some government had the balls to stand up to its own people then it wouldn't be a democracy. Fundamentally the problem is that people are stupid and selfish and there are no "grownups" out there. It's all just self entitled children.

    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    Is this a physics problem that effects the whole world? Nope. It's a sociopolitical problem.

    Chris
    Yeah. It's a breakdown of the education system. Teachers don't know enough about physics to explain the problems intelligently to their own students, so topics like Fukujima get discussed in "social studies" class, instead of "science" class, with the result being pure hysteria instead of understanding.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    On the general subject of industrial accidents, the Fukushima incident illustrates a tendency for corporations to cut corners and hope for the best when it comes to plant safety.
    Which corners do you think were cut in this case? I would suggest waiting for more information before coming to that conclusion. There may be other factors besides, or in addition to, the cutting of corners. For example, the plant was designed for a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and they actually had a 9. I think there was a lack of adequate geological information that contributed to the problem. Also, from what little I know about it, there are some unique aspects of Japanese society that resulted in a poor emergency response. It is a top-down society where decisions are not easily made at lower levels. There is also a reluctance to bring bad news to the boss.
    I've seen companies that I've worked for put up banners and hold meetings imploring the employees to "work safe". I've also seen these same companies (or, at least, their main office executives) ignore the recommendations of safety engineers and even plant managers to upgrade or replace outdated and increasingly malfunctioning infrastructure.

    Cost is, of course, the underlying factor when these recommendations are either put off or put on (indefinite) hold while the executives take a calculated risk that those bold enough to speak up are just describing "worst case scenarios" that will probably never come to pass.
    Not knowing the particulars of the situation, I cannot comment except to say that most industrial accidents are caused by human error. So, even if there are needed safety improvements, there is nothing wrong with imploring the employees to work safe.
    ......."Which corners do you think were cut in this case?".....

    Designing for a Mag. 7.5 quake and a much lesser tsunami saved a few bucks I'd say.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    On the general subject of industrial accidents, the Fukushima incident illustrates a tendency for corporations to cut corners and hope for the best when it comes to plant safety.
    Which corners do you think were cut in this case? I would suggest waiting for more information before coming to that conclusion. There may be other factors besides, or in addition to, the cutting of corners. For example, the plant was designed for a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and they actually had a 9. I think there was a lack of adequate geological information that contributed to the problem. Also, from what little I know about it, there are some unique aspects of Japanese society that resulted in a poor emergency response. It is a top-down society where decisions are not easily made at lower levels. There is also a reluctance to bring bad news to the boss.
    I've seen companies that I've worked for put up banners and hold meetings imploring the employees to "work safe". I've also seen these same companies (or, at least, their main office executives) ignore the recommendations of safety engineers and even plant managers to upgrade or replace outdated and increasingly malfunctioning infrastructure.

    Cost is, of course, the underlying factor when these recommendations are either put off or put on (indefinite) hold while the executives take a calculated risk that those bold enough to speak up are just describing "worst case scenarios" that will probably never come to pass.
    Not knowing the particulars of the situation, I cannot comment except to say that most industrial accidents are caused by human error. So, even if there are needed safety improvements, there is nothing wrong with imploring the employees to work safe.
    ......."Which corners do you think were cut in this case?".....

    Designing for a Mag. 7.5 quake and a much lesser tsunami saved a few bucks I'd say.
    I guess that's one way to look at it. The reality is, there is always a tradeoff between cost and safety. I don't have sprinklers in my house, so I guess I'm cutting corners. Cars don't have zero emissions, therefore risking peoples lives. They're cutting corners.

    Was it reasonable to design for a 7.5 earthquake, based on the information available at the time for the geology of Fukushima? I have no idea.
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