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Crack In Fukushima Structure May Be Leaking Radiation

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-keep-that-all-bottled-up dept.

Japan 280

SillySnake writes with this excerpt from Reuters: "Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had found a crack in the pit at its No.2 reactor in Fukushima, generating readings 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour in the air inside the pit. 'With radiation levels rising in the seawater near the plant, we have been trying to confirm the reason why, and in that context, this could be one source,' said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), said on Saturday." Also of interest: Cryptome is featuring high-res photos of the reactor site, taken by UAV.

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Incompetence (-1, Flamebait)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699422)

I find it hard to believe how badly this mess has been handled. It just keeps getting steadily worse with no end in sight. I believe that Chernobyl will be nothing next to this disaster soon.

Re:Incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699440)

This just in: Armchair quarterback could have done better. More at eleven...

Re:Incompetence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699606)

And you evidently COULDN'T have done better, so shut up.

Re:Incompetence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699466)

I find it hard to believe how badly this mess has been handled. It just keeps getting steadily worse with no end in sight. I believe that Chernobyl will be nothing next to this disaster soon.

Being an engineer doesn't lend itself to being a kamikaze too.

Re:Incompetence (-1, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699884)

Being an engineer doesn't lend itself to being a kamikaze too.

Really? In my experience being an engineer means you have no life.

Thank you, Thank you, I'll be here all night because my boss over promised and I'm the one who has to pick up the slack.

Re:Incompetence (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699536)

IMHO, a major thing that seems really stupid was the plants venting the radioactive hydrogen gas into the upper building instead of out into the air. The explosions clearly must have jeopardized the control over the process, since workers got hurt. From what I understand, the radioactive gas could have been vented without any ill effects. I suppose the reactor just isn't built to do that though.

Re:Incompetence (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699836)

It's a matter of incompetent engineering. Placing it where it was located was a really bad idea, and it should have turned up during the design phase when they were brainstorming all the worst case scenarios to plan for. Additionally, I was shocked that they didn't have any spare backup generators that were available in case the backup went down. Especially given its role in preventing a lot of the mess that they've gotten into.

And the lack of robots hardened against radiation, this is Japan, they can do robots, and they haven't got any to work in this environment? Have they not seen Godzilla?

Re:Incompetence (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700136)

It's not really incompetent engineering IMO. Most of the stuff at the plant was built 30-40 years ago. For its time I imagine the engineering to be very sound.

If you cleared all the regulatory hurdles to building a nuclear power plant and started construction today, you'd be done in 5 years at the fastest. By that time, all of the engineering involved in the plant will, unsurprisingly, be outdated by five years.

I wonder if there's a way to crowdsource conceptual ideas. You start with a basic question like "How do we do this"? and then go from there. If someone asked me what I'd put in such a plant, I'd probably have the radiation-hardened robots placed in strategic locations with Roomba-style chargers.

Re:Incompetence (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699942)

You have to wonder who actually ordered the gas not to be vented into the atmosphere. If it was the engineers, then shame on them, but I'm willing to bet it was the suits at TEPCO and/or the government. When the disaster first struck TEPCO went out of their way to assuage everyones fears saying they had total control of the situation. Actually venting gas, even if it wasn't incredibly dangerous, would have been admitting failure, even just a little bit. It looks like the suits at TEPCO wanted to save as much face as possible, so they went with the riskier plan even if the worst case scenario was much more dire than if they had released the gas..... or I could just be a conspiracy cook :P

Re:Incompetence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699570)

I find it hard to believe how badly this mess's PR has been handled. It's like TEPCO is using BP's PR playbook. The management of the disaster itself is difficult to judge, although it seems better handled than BP's.

Re:Incompetence (5, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699632)

I think it's been handled pretty well. Nobody has been killed by DEADLY ATOMS, and the only radiological injuries have been skin burns to two workers who ignored their dosimeter alarms. The release of radionuclides into the air has been minimal, and the amounts found in food and water have dropped back below minimum levels in all but the immediate locality to the reactor complex (and the levels there are only above the 'constant yearly exposure' maximums). Reactor core and storage pool temperatures are again under control, and coolant water containment in all but two reactors is unbreached. In one of those, the leak of irradiated coolant is within the reactor complex.
The 'crack' mentioned in this case is not in the reactor containment itself as the summary and article imply, but in a water storage pool next to the sea, with the crack being between the pool and the sea.

Not that lessons can't be learnt from this: gravity-feed coolant reservoirs would be a good idea, as well as separate backups for the storage pools and cores, but it's far from "getting steadily worse".

IAEA Incident page [iaea.org]
MIT NSE hub [mitnse.com]
WNN [world-nuclear-news.org]

Re:Incompetence (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699830)

Nobody was killed? Just wait a few years and you will have many deaths.
I think you just dont know how dangerous radioation is, otherwise I cant explain me how you can write such stupid text.

Radiation is in the air, in the sea, in drinking water, in foods and many peaople will get cancer the next years.
Also the whole area will be contamined for many many many many years.

Its a dead zone there.

Re:Incompetence (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699856)

My understanding is that the people working directly to keep the reactor under control understand that they will die within weeks or months.

I will say that the information coming out of this disaster has been much more forthcoming than what happened with Chernobyl. They didn't even tell people for like 2 days after the incident, never warned people about eating food from nearby sources etc. Within a day or two of having it capped with concrete the story was "success!" and a flag was put up. The radiation destroyed the flag within a week so they sent the military in to put up another one... over, and over again. Each time was a suicide mission.

Re:Incompetence (4, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699660)

Your statement shows not only your ignorance on this disaster and Chernobyl, but on nuclear safety itself. 30 people died in the immediate aftermath of what happened at Chernobyl. No one in japan has died from this reactor yet (although there may be some in the future.)

This reactor was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, followed up by a 30 foot tidal wave. Had this happened to any other major source of power (coal, natural gas, hydroelectric) the death toll would have been in the hundreds... maybe in even the tens of thousands if it had been a hydroelectric damn.

Please, do some reading so you have some idea of what you're comparing this to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster_effects

Chernobyl was a horrific even, orders of magnitude more devastating that what's happening in Japan right now. Just the initial released was equal to a 50 kiloton atomic bomb going off.

Re:Incompetence (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699758)

Oh please, PR about a disaster that conveniently happened when "western" (US) media and "non-government" organizations were in a full attack mode against anything related to USSR economy or politics.

I am sure, I was counted among "victims" of Chernobyl disaster, too. If you are reading this in US, I am probably healthier than you are.

"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699444)

Really. this 'probability jargon' is starting to annoy me. you found 3000 times the normal radiation in seawater around the plant, and STILL 'maybe' ?

this overemphasized 'keep public calm' attitude of government and the annoying enthusiasm of main stream media outlets like cnn to drop the fukushima incident off headlines is really annoying me.

European energy commissioner said 'biggest disaster of the century' over chernobyl, yet, talking heads in mainstream media almost trying to convince people that radiation is good for their health. Despite EPA found 1000 times allowable radiation in groundwater in massachusetts.

whaddya gonna do. as long as 'lobby' concept is around, and news generation and distribution stays corporate, these kind of stuff will happen. just prevent interested industries profiting, screw the rest ...

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

ourcraft (874165) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699482)

Please, my older slashing friends, mod this up, mod this up so we can begin to have the discussion. The discussion is dying away in the press, and that dying away has "calmed" our discussions. People who love both science and life must begin to scream that this is front page for any paper or any TV (except Foxnews I guess). Please, lets begin the discussion, please.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699498)

What discussion do you mean? There's been lots of discussion here over the Fukushima incident. It's been dominated by the "pro-nuke" side, if you can call it that, but that's not surprising considering Slashdot's demographics.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (2)

ourcraft (874165) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699544)

I mean, the levels of radiation are well past what previous posts and "calm down advocates" have said "well its not this bad" - it is now.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699560)

Yeah, now it's bad, because the reactor containment that "couldn't crack" has cracked. It's still not Chernobyl, though. As in, the boiling-water reactor hasn't popped like a popcorn kernel like one poster professing nuclear engineering/control knowledge described it.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699610)

But these are four reactors and a lot of uranium in an earthquake zone next to the sea in the middle of a densely populated country.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699650)

That's still not a problem if it's contain-able, though, and if that becomes a problem it's still only a problem in proportion to the breach of containment and spread of radioactivity.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

ourcraft (874165) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699630)

No, the story is far from out as to what the hell is going on, but the levels have reached well beyond what we were not worry about "because it isn't this high". Let me post once again the link to xkcd's excellent map of radiation levels. http://xkcd.com/radiation/ [xkcd.com]

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699820)

It's unclear what they mean when they say 1000 mSv (which is a measure of exposure and not radioactivity as one other poster noted), but we can perhaps assume that they mean that the area of water directly outside the reactor crack would result in 1000 mSv of exposure if you where immersed in it. It's clearly a problem, but it's not like the radiation travels through the water and up into the air. Even if the water evaporates and makes it into the lungs of people in the area, it wouldn't lead to even a fraction of the dose (by the logic that there's less radioactive material to ingest and/or be irradiated by)

"in the air" (1)

ourcraft (874165) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699892)

said it had found a crack in the pit at its No.2 reactor in Fukushima, generating readings 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour in the air inside the pit.

Re:"in the air" (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699952)

I was confused by that too. Are we still talking about the reactor pit (which is the sealed containment where the waste is kept in, like a huge jar), or a pit now connected to that one by a crack? I assumed it was a bad translation, and that they meant that "the reactor generates 1000/mSv of radiation inside the pit, and we found a crack in the pit leaking radiation".

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699956)

The excellent map also comes with an excellent disclaimer at the bottom. A must read, especially before taking the comic as gospel in an emergency situation.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699634)

And what will we use as an excuse after that happens? (And at the rate we see things happening there, I'd give it a month tops.)

This isn't to say I'm anti-nuke in the debate. The problems with situations like these are generally all caused by profit or re-election minded idiots. Plants like that should have been replaced years ago with a safer model, and the same goes for most plants in north america.

This discussion maybe ? (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699556)

http://www.spiderbomb.com/blog/?p=317 [spiderbomb.com]

there are people who are going around and saying 'radiation is good for your health'. but more importantly, there ARE people believing them.

Re:This discussion maybe ? (1)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699710)

I dont understand. She says minimum amount people should be exposed to, meanwhile what she means is maximum. How can I trust someones knowledge on anything when they dont know the difference between minimum and maximum.

hahahah (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699810)

you are trying to 'understand' ann coulter ?

Re:This discussion maybe ? (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699894)

Actually, she's correct. It's just that she's an avatar of Nyarlathotep so the human mind can't grasp the logic she espouses, much like an ant can't begin to understand high-level human problems; the capacity doesn't exist in our cognitive universe.

Re:This discussion maybe ? (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699858)

Two of the data points that have brought this up:

1. The low cancer rates in Colorado. We have less atmosphere protecting us from cosmic/solar radiation, more uranium in the ground, and plenty of radon. Results: Those people living in areas having high levels of background radiation â" above 1,000 mrem (10 mSv) per year â" such as Denver, Colorado, have shown no adverse biological effects.

In fact, people living in Denver have the 3rd lowest lung cancer rates in the US.

2. Chernobyl. Despite being the worst nuclear plant disaster, finding cancer after the original accident has been difficult. It's been mostly estimation using statistical analysis.

The worst part was the Thyroid cancers caused by children eating radioactive iodine.

Re:This discussion maybe ? (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699986)

2. Chernobyl. Despite being the worst nuclear plant disaster, finding cancer after the original accident has been difficult. It's been mostly estimation using statistical analysis.

maybe it has been difficult for private think-thanks in usa, but it hasnt been difficult here around the black sea. the cancer rate around black sea among youth has skyrocketed and still much higher than normal.

i dont know why you people pull that 'chernobyl didnt cause much problem' bullshit from. people are dying here for decades.

Re:This discussion maybe ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700092)

What does predominantly UV and lung cancer (of all things) have to do with this?

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699910)

Maybe he means us discussing what he could possibly mean?

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699624)

this is front page for any paper or any TV (except Foxnews I guess)

I was curious, so I popped over to FoxNews.com [foxnews.com] and guess what was the largest story on the front page? Japan Nuclear Crisis [tinypic.com] . I really love when people are so politically biased that they can help but inject politics into everything, regardless of it's truth or merit.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699492)

Don't worry, the UFOs will save you.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699540)

and ?

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (4, Informative)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699594)

1000 milisieverts that's twenty times as much as the one-year limit for Radiation workers [xkcd.com] , meaning spending some time there would make it impossible to survive (8 Sv).

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699738)

But wouldn't you have to, you know, ingest the water into the body somehow to receive the full dose, not just be next to it?

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699816)

When we talk about doses given off by contaminated concrete and metal, do we quote them in terms of what would happen if you swallowed the concrete and metal? Why would water be different? No, these numbers aren't referring to what happens if you drink it.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699906)

It's still a useless number unless we know how they factored in exposure. So would the number for exposure to contaminated material be, unless you gave the proximity you calculated it for.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699978)

You're mixing up irradiation and contamination. Contamination means that you carry a radiation source in or on your body (ingested particles, dust on the skin, etc.). Irradiation means radiation is affecting your body, no matter where the source is. Contamination causes irradiation even when you leave the site (until you're decontaminated, if possible). Internal contamination is particularly bad because you can usually not get away from the radiation source anymore. That doesn't mean that "just" being irradiated isn't dangerous.

If you're close to a radiation source, whether you're contaminated or just physically close to a source that is not on or in your body, the radiation penetrates your body and damages the cells. Alpha radiation (helium nuclei) only interacts with the surface and is easily shielded. Beta radiation (electrons and positrons) penetrates a little deeper but can still be shielded. Gamma radiation (electromagnetic waves, beyond x-rays) can not be shielded sufficiently by a radiation suit and penetrates the whole body.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700012)

That figure was from the air, not the water.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700094)

Yeah, the air inside the sealed reactor pit full of meltdown waste. Not the air outside the crack.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700096)

Well, they have set up sprinklers for people to run through. I suppose some of it can get into your mouth.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700064)

Yeah, spending time inside the reactor containment would make it impossible to survive. At least that's how I read "1000 mSv inside the air in the pit".

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699596)

That's what happens when you cry wolf too often. The first few days when the situation was still manageable, there were anouncement that the confining structure was completely destroyed when at the time only the building containing the confining structure had suffered damage. Things are now much worse now but you're paying the sensationalism of the first few days (thursday of the tsunami to monday night, situation was manageable, it worsened on the first tuesday).

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (5, Informative)

ludwigf (1208730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699628)

Crack In Fukushima Structure May Be Leaking Radiation

I skimmed TFA and it seems the "may" was introduced by /. editors and not the evil "mainstream media". There is a leak and it is radioactive water that it is leaking. No maybe. Actually they already planned how to fix it [nhk.or.jp] , tried to do so and failed at it [nhk.or.jp] .

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699744)

Fuck you. Self-centered, obnoxious little shit.

Re:"May be" "Possibly" "Calm down" "Sleep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699790)

We might also stop using millisievert as the unit and call 1000mSv one Sievert. There's nothing "milli" about it: 1Sv is four times the lifetime radiation dose limit of a radiation worker in lifesaving operations. The normal limit is much lower. It's also the short term dose where acute radiation sickness sets in. An environment which delivers a dose of 1 Sv per hour is "get in, do a few minutes of work, get out" territory, and you still get a lifetime worth of radiation.

"May Be" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699446)

For Technophiles at /. its always "maybe" when things are already happening? Are you living in the past or something?

Re:"May Be" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699940)

Shut up, luddite! Nuclear energy is safe and clean! Nothing is happening! LALALALALAAAAA!

1,000 or OVER 1,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699452)

"generating readings 1,000 millisieverts"

Is this another instance where they say "1,000" because their detectors only go that high?

Re:1,000 or OVER 1,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700134)

Another? o wait i c wut u did thar.

success (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699484)

the nuclear energy "success" continues!!!!!

Re:success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699510)

hey man, get with the new memes. Winning!

A link to high-res photo (-1, Troll)

skyr1de (2032830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699530)

Here: click here [tinyurl.com]

Re:A link to high-res photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699564)

mod to -1, please.

this guy is an 'asshole'....

(yes, you guessed it)

Re:A link to high-res photo (0)

bcmm (768152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699580)

-1 Obvious Goatse redirect. (Sorry, got not mod points of my own right now)

Re:A link to high-res photo (0)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699600)

Parent is goatse troll.

The cost of nuclear (1, Insightful)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699532)

$300 billion cleanup bill for this mess. Years of unusable land. Polluted ocean. Unknown effects on health of people within the radiation zone. What is the true cost of nuclear power? The sad part it what will really stop nuclear power dead is if this forces the PM to resign due to public pressure. The potential disruption of the political power structure are what the politicians are really going to be worried about. In my opinion this is the end of nuclear power plants.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699616)

Where in the world did you get that 300 billion number?

Re:The cost of nuclear (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699776)

Haliburton, most likely.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699792)

Scratch that, more likely Yakuza. Not that one can tell the difference -- both thrive on corruption and construction.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699970)

I've heard that number thrown around at Foxnews, CNN, maybe WSJ. I believe it was some low-level Japanese politician just throwing out a number.

Sad part is that in the US everyone is going 'chicken little', even though the perfect storm of horrible circumstances in Japan don't apply to most (if any) of US nuke plants.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699644)

And what exactly will Japan use to generate sufficient power to keep its industrial base going? They don't use nuclear power because it's got 1950s chic, they use it because Japan is not blessed with plentiful amounts of other sources of energy.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699704)

This is hardly the end of nuclear power; what do you think we are going to use instead? We still do not have a distribution infrastructure in place that can make wind power available to the nation, solar is too inefficient, hydroelectric cannot be installed everywhere, and I doubt that you want to see thousands of coal fire plants dotting the landscape. The hard truth is that nuclear power is here to stay, and that instead of talking about its death, we should be talking about its rebirth: newer, passively safe reactors (e.g. pebble beds) that do not have these sorts of apocalyptic failure modes.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700006)

Fusion! It's right around the corner, we promise!
Would be nice; failure mode is to just shut it off. Apparently, recreating the interior of a star in a smallish bottle is a bit harder than anyone thought/thinks. (Yeah, big surprise)

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699706)

We (humanity) cannot afford to abandon nuclear power. The issue is not in the power source (nuclear fission), but in the reactor designs. Nuclear reactors in most cases are prohibitively expensive to build so no one tries - and even then a permit application (at least in the US) can take upwards of a decade. Companies can rise and fall in that time. If more money and research went into Gen IV designs, and a rolling shutdown of existing reactors in place of newer plants then we would be much better off. If the Dai-Ichi reactors were not Boiling Water Reactors and instead were Pebblebed Reactor/Pebblebed Modular Reactor then this would most likely be a much different story as the passive safety checks should take care of everything.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699716)

maybe you forgot the BP spil in the Gulf of Mexico. Or the smog over cities like Los Angeles and Mexico City. Then there are the wars fought in the name of oil in Iraq and Libya. On the scale of power needed nuclear is still better than oil and coal.

Re:The cost of nuclear (2)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699718)

That's the price of the whole damage by the earthquake and tsunami in the whole country. Is obvious that you are against nuclear power but lying is not helping your position. Is possible that people can consume far less energy than what they use today, but will need a enormous change in mentality from the "me" to the "we, humanity" that beside a disasters of this magnitude happening around the world, I don't see what else could make us change.

Re:The cost of nuclear (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699730)

The $300 billion is for the damage the tsunami caused, and the thousands of people killed. Not just for the damage to the generators.

Re:The cost of nuclear (3, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699946)

In my opinion this is the end of nuclear power plants.

Yeah. We'll just replace them all with coal plants which kill a couple hundred thousand people a year rather than a few every few decades, as nuclear power does.

Re:The cost of nuclear (1)

schnipschnap (739127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700072)

The sad part it what will really stop nuclear power dead is if this forces the PM to resign due to public pressure. The potential disruption of the political power structure are what the politicians are really going to be worried about.

You are way off the mark. If the earthquake hadn't happened, it's likely that he would have resigned already. Here's [msn.com] a relevant link. Basically, his approval rating's gone up after the earthquake, from 24% (2011-03-03) to 35.6% (2011-03-17). 24% is slightly lower than the approval rating at which it's believed that a cabinet is on the way out.

BTW, Japanese cabinets come and go. As you can see here [wikipedia.org] , very few Prime Ministers stay in office for four years or longer.

Original report from TEPCO (4, Informative)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699576)

here:
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11040307-e.html [tepco.co.jp]

-Today at around 9:30 am, we detected water containing radiation dose overc
  1,000 mSv/h in the pit* where supply cables are stored near the intake
  channel of Unit 2. Furthermore, there was a crack about 20 cm on the
  concrete lateral of the pit, from where the water in the pit was out
  flowing.(We already informed.) During the same day, we injected fresh
  concrete to the pit, but we could not observe a reduction in the amount
  of water spilling from the pit to the sea.
  Therefore, we considered that a new method of stopping the water and
  determined to use the polymer. Necessary equipment and experts of water
  shutoff will be dispatched to the site and after checking the condition,
  we're doing continuous work to stop water by injecting polymer(April 3rd).
-Monitoring posts of No. 1 ?No.8 set up near the boundary of power station
  area have been restored. We will periodically monitor the data and
  announce the results of monitoring.

This crack maybe explains why the levels of I-131 had not dropped at the same rate than in the previous days in the readings of I-131 and Cs-137 published by MEXT in their readings of radiation and contamination of water by prefecture page. [mext.go.jp] In most prefectures they have dropped to levels that are not detectable but in a few the levels of Cs-137 have increased.

WTF? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699722)

WTF?

"Today at around 9:30 am, we detected water containing radiation dose over 1,000 mSv/h in the pit"

That doesn't make any sense. Sievert is a measure of absorbed radiation dose. The measure of 'radiactiveness' is Becquerel/Curie (per liter, kilogram, mole).

Re:WTF? (1)

emarkp (67813) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699996)

Yah, I had the same WTF moment when they started using mSv all the time. Apparently they're also using it to weight different types of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma). First time I've seen it used like that.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700014)

(reported)
They measure at air level just above the water.

(speculation by this ignorant person)
And they might have measured Gray. And converted for typical normal exposure to human when the radiation comes from outside the body.

Any Japanese deaths due to Nuclear radiation? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699646)

No, then stfu already. Please.

Really how much fear mongering do you people need to promote your agenda? It's disgusting, especially compared to the facts.

Whats next, going out a killing people and claiming death was by radiation?

You want a serious debate when the situation is not serious.

Did you ever stop to think that IF people died from radiation in Japan that their families would be coming forward to tell the world that the government is hiding the truth. That is what the government is doing right, hiding the truth?

Where are the families of radiation deaths?
WHERE?!

You guys need to react with RATIONALITY & REASON.

Re:Any Japanese deaths due to Nuclear radiation? (2)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699916)

(yeah, yeah, I'm replying to an Anonymous Coward posting currently rated at -1 Troll)

Let's revisit this question in ten years or so....THAT's when we'll probably see the results of the radiation.
Like smoking, you won't be able to pin a SPECIFIC death on radiation, but you'll see a statistical correlation and perhaps an unusual number of cancers in people in the area... yes, perhaps the cause listed on the death certificate will be "cancer", but there will be a rise in them and that rise is caused by the radiation.

This is actually very bad (0, Troll)

skyr1de (2032830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699654)

They now suspect that steel pressure vessel was compromised.as well. Oh boy. Look at recent radiation report [freeblogspot.org] Scary stuff....

Re:This is actually very bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699888)

Goatse link.

Millie bloody who? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699656)

1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour

I don't understand. Can someone translate that into old-fashioned units like luminous watches per hockey game?

Re:Millie bloody who? (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699724)

According to Wikipedia:

0 – 0.25 Sv (0 – 250 mSv): None
0.25 – 1 Sv (250 – 1000 mSv): Some people feel nausea and loss of appetite; bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen damaged.
1 – 3 Sv (1000 – 3000 mSv): Mild to severe nausea, loss of appetite, infection; more severe bone marrow, lymph node, spleen damage; recovery probable, not assured.
3 – 6 Sv (3000 – 6000 mSv): Severe nausea, loss of appetite; hemorrhaging, infection, diarrhea, peeling of skin, sterility; death if untreated.
6 – 10 Sv (6000 – 10000 mSv): Above symptoms plus central nervous system impairment; death expected.
Above 10 Sv (10000 mSv): Incapacitation and death.

Re:Millie bloody who? (1)

BobGregg (89162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699742)

>> 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour

If it helps, this is equivalent to 1 Sievert/hour.

You're welcome.

Re:Millie bloody who? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699904)

Best I can tell it means that standing by that crack for an hour would be sufficient to make you very sick, and possibly fatal.

Re:Millie bloody who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700038)

And very wet.

Re:Millie bloody who? (3, Informative)

jheiss (10829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699950)

1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour

I don't understand. Can someone translate that into old-fashioned units like luminous watches per hockey game?

Various sources[1,2] indicate a range of 1-100 mrem/hr for a radium watch face, with about 20 mrem/hr looking like a plausible average. 1 mrem == .01 mSv[3], so 1000 mSv is about 5000 watch faces/hr. Apparently a standard ice hockey game is 60 minutes[4], so:

1000 mSv/hr == 5000 radium watch faces/hockey game

:)

[1] http://trusted-forwarder.org/elgin/help/luminous_dials.html [trusted-forwarder.org]
[2] http://www.nuenergy.org/alt/radium2.htm [nuenergy.org]
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sievert [wikipedia.org]
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hockey_League#Game [wikipedia.org]

one question comes to mind... (1)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699676)

... and only one : Would their stupid plane not get irradiated?

Wha? (0)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699680)

Welcome to last week.

Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699788)

...what this will cause to the world, when it'll be on Wikileaks!

Fukushima vs S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699854)

Do you think those high-res photos of the reactor site will give inspiration for some bad-ass fps even more realistic than S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?

I don't, but they could.

article title FAIL (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699890)

The title should be "Crack In Fukushima Structure May Be Leaking Radioactive Materials". When I hear "leaking radiation" I think of a neutron beam shooting out the crack. :-P

why 1,000 millisieverts? Why not ONE SIEVERT? (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699958)

1,000 millisieverts implies four significant digits of precision... I wish they wouldn't do that... just say "1 Seivert" and be done with it.

Japan Times has some more info (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699998)

The Japanese Current (1)

defunctpassword (2032272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700008)

Since this plant sits on the edge of the Japanese Current, Any thoughts on what 200,000 gals of this stuff per day will do to the Northern Pacific and Bering Sea fisheries?

...or may be not? (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700020)

Almost all Articles regarding Fukushima got "may be" in their subjects
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