This week discontinuous events evolving from the impact of an earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima continue to get focus of the nuclear energy blogsphere. TEPCO reported that post event inspections reveal that the wave breached the seawall at a height of 15 meters.
About the Carnival
The carnival features blog posts from the leading U.S. nuclear bloggers and is a roundup of featured content from them. This is the 48th weekly publication in the series. It is a collaborative effort.
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Atomic Insights - Rod Adams
As Fukushima gets moved from 5 to 7 remember that 0 (deaths) is still an applicable number. A few prominent people with questioning attitudes have looked at the reality of the consequences and compared that reality to all of the horror stories they have heard over the years about meltdowns.
At Fukushima, there were three reactors whose cores have apparently melted and there is at least one used fuel pool that contains significantly damaged fuel. The reality is so different from the dire predictions that people like George Monbiot, Mark Lynas and Stewart Brand, have provided public commentary indicating that Fukushima has actually improved their view of the utility of nuclear energy.
NuclearGreen - Charles Barton
Two American reviews of graphite safety following the Chernobyl fire, raise unresolved questions about the claimed role of graphite in the Chernobyl fire. An NRC study suggests that nuclear graphite will burn under a very limited set of core conditions. It appears impossible for those conditions to ever be meet in the core of a malten salt reactor. Thus core graphite would be inherently safe in the core of a Molten Salt Reactor.
Idaho Samizdat - Dan Yurman
Decommissioning plans at Fukushima must wait for stable reactor conditions, The world's biggest nuclear energy firms are lining up with proposals to clean up a historically huge radioactive mess at the Fukushima, Japan, reactor site. There six reactors in various degrees of damaged condition are presenting new engineering challenges on a daily basis punctuated by earthquake aftershocks and the continuing threat of new tsunamis.
At the same time, the Japanese and U.S. news media are publishing stories about the early stages of the crisis which may partially explain why NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko issued a call for Americans to evacuate to a distance of 50 miles from the site.
Idaho Samizdat - guest blog post by Jacques Besnainou, CEO, Areva Inc.
I am writing this essay today as a frustrated and fed up reader of nuclear-related stories originated by anti-nuclear organizations. While most recent reporting on the Fukushima reactors has been fair, some quite admirable, the coverage of MOX (mixed oxide) nuclear fuel has been mostly inaccurate and filled with half-truths.
As you may know, one of the reactors at Fukushima used MOX fuel. So what? The situation in Japan was not related to MOX fuel nor has its presence worsened the situation.
Next Big Future - Brian Wang
The Register UK - The total non-story of the Fukushima nuclear power plant "disaster" - which has seen and will see no deaths or measurable health consequences for anyone anywhere - has received a shot in the arm today with the news that Japanese authorities have upgraded the incident to a Level 7 on the nuclear accident scale.
Fukushima was raised to level 7 the same category as Chernobyl but Chernobyl had10 to 100 times more radiation. Japan raised the severity rating at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to level 7, the most serious on the international scale and the same rating that was given 25 years ago to Chernobyl, as aftershocks close to the facility heighten safety concerns.
The level 7 designation was made "provisionally," and a final level won't be set until the disaster is over and a more detailed investigation has been conducted. The previous event level of 5, equal to the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, was also a provisional designation.
NEI Nuclear Notes
"First things first: nuclear workers in the United States, both employed by the plants and by contractors, are highly trained for their duties - no farmers plucked from their fields, no gangster-hires. Additionally, the safety culture implemented at plants applies to all workers, so any safety issue that arises can (really, must) be reported."
Advances in nuclear safety - video from Idaho National Laboratory
Idaho National Laboratory's Director John Grossenbacher explains how the U.S. nuclear industry has boosted its safety procedures as a result of the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident in 1979 and how the industry plans to use current events at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plants to further enhance safety.
Nuke Power Talk - Gail Marcus
If I can find anything positive coming out of the events in Japan in the last few weeks, it is the number of articles I have seen in a variety of media that continue to speak of nuclear power in a balanced way. Surely, we all believe there are lessons to be learned and we can't be complacent, but increasing numbers of journalists and others appear to recognize that:
- The options for a reliable energy supply to meet current and future needs are limited,
- All forms of energy supply carry certain risks, and
- Nuclear power is better than a lot of other options.
Yes Vermont Yankee - Meredith Angwin
Fukushima Oversimplified and Simplified - This Yes Vermont Yankee post tracks the evolution of our understanding of radiation sources and levels/ The journey took us from chaos, to oversimplification, and finally, at this point, to some level of clarity.
ANS Nuclear Cafe
The use of social media in the Fukushima crisis - Margaret Harding
An ANS mailing list serves as a sounding board for ideas, information gathering as there are many technical experts in various areas of nuclear energy, and support for those who are out in the larger world communicating about nuclear. The Social Media list became the heart of a huge effort to get the facts out there with the media.
At the act of creation - Susie Hobbs
The nuclear crisis in Japan will undoubtedly change the nuclear industry forever. Due to the ongoing efforts of so many nuclear professionals and supporters, I am beginning to think that it will be a change for the better. Innovative technologies and creative outreach are already positively impacting the way we think about energy in America and around the world.
Michelle Kearney - via Cam Abernethy's Nuclear Street
Photos of the tsumani water line at Fukushima
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