aki009 comments

Posted in: U.S. fighter jet dumps fuel tanks into Aomori lake after engine fire See in context

To inject some reality into this discussion, when a single engine fighter (e.g. a F16) gets major engine trouble it's common that the whole plane crashes, usually with little pilot choice as to where. Dropping heavy auxiliary fuel tanks gives the pilot more options, not just to land safely (as happened here), but to choose a more suitable location for where to crash the plane if power is lost completely.

The fuel in question was likely the aviation equivalent of diesel, with the benefit of higher purity requirements. Diesel is lighter than water and evaporates reasonably quickly.

Any takeoff corridor at a major military airfield can expect to see some things falling out of the sky every now and then; occupied or unoccupied. If you don't like it, you can move, or move the airfield. If the airfield can't or won't move, it helps to keep activities within the departure corridors compatible with the on-going military activity.

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Posted in: Abe hopes to win cross-party support on proposed constitutional change See in context

Newsflash: North Korea won't go away just because you want it to. It'll only go away if you show the willingness to kick *ss and turn any of Kim's hideouts into a lava field. Just saying...

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Posted in: Deaf Japanese tourist claims mistreatment at Honolulu airport See in context

It's possible she had been to the US on a visa type that requires her to stay out of the US for 2 years upon completion of her studies. It'd still be possible for her to visit, but she could not get a visa on arrival but only through the embassy in Tokyo. If that's the case, it's almost impossible for her to not have understood the limitations of her visa.

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Posted in: Cleaner robot pulled from Fukushima reactor due to radiation See in context


The radiation levels are high, but not unmanageable. The 2 minute timeframe you are talking about only applies if the fuel is actually past critical, which is not the case. It is quite reasonable to expect 1000 Sv endurance from the electronics in these robots, and after the worst pockets are cleared up, the levels will drop significantly. In the big scheme of things, the cost of machines to clean the mess up is actually quite small.

As to your concern about the material escaping, it really won't do so unless it is disturbed. The problem we have is that disturbances in a seismically active zone are guaranteed. Hence there is little choice but to clean it up.

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Posted in: Cleaner robot pulled from Fukushima reactor due to radiation See in context


Leaving the fuel in place is not really an option. The problem is that bits of the radioactive material will be carried away by water over time. Plus there is a need to keep the material from going critical, which would cause additional complications, such as the generation of other radioactive isotopes, including difficult to contain gases. Hence the complicated but necessary operation to gather the material and dispose of it properly ("dispose" may be the wrong word; placing it in long term storage may be more accurate).

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