Two Stories About Fukushima - blowing up nuclear reactors with explosives! What could possibly go wrong with that? Chernobyl comparison

Two interesting articles caught my eye this morning concerning the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I don't really want to comment on them too much as I think when you want information on that, I recommend checking EX-SKF (though recently I've sometimes noticed an editorial slant.)

The first story made me just laugh for how idiotic it was. It seems stereo-typically American that one of the solutions to fixing a problem was to destroy it. Kinda like how Beavis and Butthead always wanted to "burn things and blow stuff up!" One prominent US scientist recommended that they use explosives on one of the damaging reactors to blow a hole in the side so that they could cool it off.

Blasting a hole in a damaged nuclear reactor with explosives? Sounds safe to me. I can't foresee anything going wrong with that! Can you? 

The Japan Times reports in: US side eyed blasting hole in side of reactor

An informal panel of experts in the U.S. Department of Energy discussed using military explosives to bring the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant under control, said panel member and physicist Richard Garwin, who pitched the idea. "I wanted to make a hole through the great shielding slabs, which are more than a meter of reinforced concrete, and one of the opportunities was to use the military shaped charge," Garwin said in a telephone interview, referring to the proposal he made to Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the panel meeting last April 5. 

"Military intelligence?" Now there's a contradiction!

You can't make this stuff up. It says, "...discussed using military explosives to bring the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant under control" !!!! Bwa Ha! Ha! Ha! These are supposed experts. Nah, blowing up nuclear reactors with explosives! What could possibly go wrong with that? I know that this was a unprecedented disaster and, hence, uncharted territory, but this idea sounds like the guy who came up with this idea watches too many Bruce Willis movies. Like I said, it's typically American. Typical in the fact that it seems that America likes to fix all sorts of things with explosions. Need an example? Well, a quick one that comes to mind is like bringing democracy and freedom to people by bombing and killing them. That has seemed to work quite well over these last 10 years or so.... What do they say? "Give a kid a hammer and the whole world is a nail."

Really. People like this need to get out more often. 
Say dinner at a Denny's sometime or something.

The next story, also from the Japan Times says that the soil contamination around Fukushima is only about 1/8th as bad as Chernobyl was:

In terms of soil contamination, the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is only about an eighth as severe as the meltdown at the Chernobyl plant, in what is now Ukraine, in 1986, according to a report by the science ministry released Tuesday.
The study, which began in June and was conducted by the ministry in cooperation with universities and semigovernmental bodies including the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, looked at 2,200 sites within a 100-km radius of the Fukushima plant, which had three reactor meltdowns.
The group studied the radioactive isotopes in samples of the top 5 cm of soil at each site.
The site farthest from the plant to have high levels of contamination, at 1.48 million becquerels of cesium per square meter, was the town of Namie, in Fukushima, located 32.5 km from the power plant, the research revealed.
The 1.48 million becquerel benchmark was used to define the exclusion zone after the Chernobyl meltdown. Such levels of contamination were found 250 km from the Chernobyl plant, or eight times farther than from the Fukushima plant, the report said

"Oh look! It has a halo like an angel!"

Well, let's hope this is as bad as it gets. Long ago, I'd have believed this report, but after so many instances of the government hiding facts and recent experience with universities supporting Global Warming theory - then we find out they receive money to do so - all I can say is what I always say;

Be suspicious. Be very suspicious of everything you hear in the mass media.


Nancy said…
I would be suspicious of the second story too. The entire current evacuation zone is over the .5 uSv/h radiation threshold used for evacuation at Chernobyl. I'm not sure where they are getting the soil measurement used in the article. The reality is that about 3/4 of Japan got some fallout from Fukushima. It concentrated places based on proximity to the plant, geography and weather. Anything citing Chernobyl to prove Fukushima isn't "bad" really should be treated with skepticism. Chernobyl ejected a good portion of the reactor core into the air. Fukushima suffered meltdowns and hydrogen explosions. Apples and Oranges. Fukushima is bad, it will have long lasting problems. It is just different than Chernobyl.
Anonymous said…
Nancy wrote, "The reality is that about 3/4 of Japan got some fallout from Fukushima."

Hmm, reminds me of some maps of Japan I saw somewhere showing different opinions of the extent of radioactive fallout over Japan.
And some other maps showing the direction of trade winds.

If Only I could remember where I saw those maps.... they were on a blog,... about Japan. The blog's name started with an M and ended with an N.

What blog could that be?

- clark

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