Open MindedMar. 13, 2013 - 09:11PM JST
Bermuda triangle might be a myth, but the physical theory seems very valid. Hence I would not be on the drilling boat. Ridiculous or scientifically correct?
It's certainly possible to reduce the density (and therefore buoyancy) of the above water, though it would require some extreme circumstances to sink a platform. Most likely any release would make a boat bob a bit but not sink it. Still wouldn't want to be on it though, the issue of methane being flammable is still there, as well as other health issues it can cause. Planes on the other hand are more sensitive to atmospheric conditions, but engine stall is the real threat (though falling out of the sky is because of engine failure rather than sinking). Not so ridiculous, but something you shouldn't really worry about considering the number of far more likely problems.
http://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/hohonu/documents/Vol07x10HowareMethaneHydratesFormed....pdf has a reasonable overview of methane hydrate, including some of the popular theories against the use of these deposits.
Also, the one above wasn't explained well enough when describing an exposed bed, but the risks are still due to the same pressure change principle.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Open MindedMar. 13, 2013 - 08:38PM JST
Just wondering if these drills and then potentially removing this solid/liquid fire ice might trigger earthquakes.
The risk is non-negligible, but quite small. The 1.1 trillion cubic meters are about 1 trillion tons of mass, so if the entire thing detached it would most certainly reduce enough pressure to cause a major earthquake in the area (which would immediately trigger another two, maybe 3 quakes in Nankai with total magnitude in excess of 9.0). The biggest issue however, is global warming, since that mass released straight into the atmosphere would release the equivalent of 250 years of CO2 (at 2010 rates).
Well, that and likely killing everyone in a hundred mile path downwind as well as raging infernos. Lets just say an instant release of all that gas would be catastrophic for not only Japan, but the earth.
In terms of slower release, it is probably more likely that the fairly imminent Nankai earthquake would release any stress built up by draining the area before it could trigger a quake. It could increase the strength or frequency of the Nankai quake though.
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BertieWoosterMar. 13, 2013 - 05:09PM JST
Ah. I see.
If they haven't hit a target that small in the past, they won't in the future either.
By the time NK gets the capability of striking a target that small, they won't be a threat anymore.
-3 ( +2 / -5 )
DisillusionedMar. 13, 2013 - 11:28AM JST
Could be close. Just poison the bird and wait for the cat to attack it and die too.
They really should do a screen for poisons, because if any are in the animals it could affect children that touch it too. And if it is poison, when they catch the person responsible they shouldn't let him off with a slap on the wrist.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
ElvensilvanMar. 13, 2013 - 09:19AM JST
Now this is the alternative I was waiting for (instead of the full-height gates). Retrofitting existing trains and stations with full-height gates will require the train line to close for several days
It can actually be done in a single night with good planning, at least one side of the platform.
As for this approach... I expect a dozen injuries in the first year alone, including lost fingers. There's a reason why nobody else uses cables. Better than nothing, but they really should have stuck with standard platform gates.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Jason SantanaMar. 13, 2013 - 07:24PM JST
What ever happened to geothermal energy? Why isn't anyone using it?
Pollutes the ground water
Quickly exhausts the water supply
Equipment tends to break down more often than other steam driven systems
All water released from it has illegally (but naturally) high concentrations of heavy metals, and thus can't be recirculated without expensive (in cost and energy) filtering.
All water released from it is illegally hot, and would require a nearby stream of cold water to cool it to legal limits
Closed systems are ineffective due to earthquakes
CO2 cycle geothermal never worked out the kinks it had
There's plenty more things where those came from, but those are some of the issues that are similar to those that would be applicable to methane hydrate.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
marcelitoMar. 13, 2013 - 06:24PM JST
All those arguing that chance of a terrorist attack is negligible or that the only terrorist act in Japan to date was perpetrated by homegrown Aum terrorists sound like they are using the Tepco manual
Actually the statistics are available from the CIA, but people like to make things up. Simple fact is that most terrorism anywhere in the world is domestic. When terrorism is carried out in Japan, it is done against soft targets, with not a single significant terrorist attack having ever successfully used explosives to destroy a building. Japan is just too mono-ethnic to allow foreign terrorists to do their activities without raising a few flags, so if any terrorists do slip through the nets it will be domestic.
A biological/chemical attack like those that have happened before, would do nothing to a nuclear plant, and the home-made explosives that could be made in Japan without catching the eye of every cop from okinawa to hokkaido would do nothing in the quantities that could be transported in one go.
Unless you can get away with parking a 747 into a reactor building, you aren't going to do more than make a need to repaint the outside. Taking over control systems could do damage, but unless you managed to get a dozen terrorists trained in nuclear engineering, all you would do is get the reactors to SCRAM and safely shutdown. Any prevention efforts for that rest squarely on NISA and the cops.
-2 ( +3 / -5 )
BertieWoosterMar. 13, 2013 - 04:09PM JST
We don't need to worry if NK drops a missle, sorry missile, bullseye-dead centre on a nuclear power station?
You have constantly stated that such enemies are imagined, so why the change of heart now? Perhaps you should change your stance on certain other matters before you even consider this one.
And no, given the NK's track record on missiles, you are more likely to see it hit anything else. Unlike a solar farm you can see from space, nuclear plants are small targets, and reactor buildings are even smaller. They haven't shown any ability to hit from that far in an area so small. If anything, they would attack Osaka with a dirty bomb, since it's much easier and far more effective. Even china has difficulty with targets that small without using russian and US technology. Not to mention china has enough Co60 to cause more damage than 20 fukushimas, all without hitting a single plant.
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BertieWoosterMar. 13, 2013 - 09:10AM JST
A rocket strike on a nuclear power station would be FAR WORSE than Fukushima or Chernobyl.
You clearly have absolutely no clue as to a little something called scale. The Chernobyl blast was estimated at 10 tons of TNT equivalent, and Kyshtym was 100 tons. Chernobyl's blast was as large as the biggest non-nuclear bomb in the US inventory, which cannot be delivered by missile (and Kyshtym was larger than the largest conventional bomb ever, which is 44tons). A tomahawk missile can carry up to 500kg of explosive power, which falls very short of even Chernobyl, and likely not enough to even penetrate the containment building. To say that it would be worse is a show that no effort was put into checking the facts, as it would certainly be less energy released.
Only possible way it could be worse is if they launched a barrage of a hundred large missles... but then that would mean some really poor response by JSDF and US forces, since you would be able to spot that an hour before it strikes. Not to mention that many missiles would kill a thousand times more people (and all of them within hours or days, rather than half century) if they just bombarded Tokyo instead, more if they attacked factories with chlorine tanks as well.
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smithinjapanMar. 13, 2013 - 12:49PM JST
No one would survive a nuclear war, and if they did they would soon die after from RADIATION, and then after lack of clean water, famine, and medical systems.
Nobody is talking about nuclear war here, except you. In any war, the first thing you go after is energy sector, since without electrical power you can't launch a long term counter.
You probably haven't studied modern engineering at all, or you would have first accepted the fact that all water supplies in the major cities (except a few places like Hakodate that use facilities built in the early 1900s) is powered by electricity. One of the major issues in the Tohoku area was getting clean water, most of it had to be shipped in and run off generators until power was restored. Even if the water supply trucks aren't attacked, there would simply not be enough of them to supply a major city like Tokyo.
Most food in the cities is transported from outside, and coordinated through communications that require electricity to function. A decent amount is also carried in by trains, which are 100% electric. While people would be fine for the first few days, if transport coordination isn't restored within a reasonable time, you will see people going hungry.
For medical systems, backups generally only last a day or two, perhaps a bit more if you can steal gas from every source around. But even if the hospitals work, many of the things they took for granted will be slowed down, and when their batteries run low, the quality of medicine will be sent back 50 years. Things that today would be nearly harmless could end up being life threatening, and things we still have trouble with will be fatal.
It's not about can people live without power, it's a question of how many can live without power. We don't exactly live in low density cities with nearby farms anymore.
-6 ( +3 / -9 )
DeploreMar. 13, 2013 - 12:34PM JST
If the anti-nuclear activists have their way, I imagine it will become much more economical.
Wishing for or against something doesn't change the economics. Deep sea mining is expensive, and one of the reasons oil drilling in deep sea didn't make sense until the price per barrel shot up. The profit point for methane hydrate is still pretty high by all accounts, due to difficulty working at the depths involved.
-5 ( +1 / -6 )
BertieWoosterMar. 13, 2013 - 11:32AM JST
So you come to this conclusion?
"No nuclear plant has received damage from any computer virus, therefore none will in the future?"
No, YOU came to that failed conclusion. I merely hinted that any successful attack would not be from a simple virus from terrorist activity, rather from an act of war by a country. In an act of war, more people will die from a lack of electrical power than from radiation, by medical systems failure, water contamination, and even famine.
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. The two aum attacks have already injured more than fukushima is ever expected to do (by Stanford University's independent research) and didn't need nuclear reactors to do it. And when the next terrorist attack happens, it won't be by arabs or chinese forces, it will be by Japanese citizens using things they can buy right here in Japan.
There's no use discussing terrorism in Japan unless you look at past examples, ignoring them is unprofessional.
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VicMOsakaMar. 13, 2013 - 09:54AM JST
How about the " Stuxnet " computer virus ? A program designed to control Siemens control valves etc. Which was also known to cause breakdowns with Iran's nuclear operations.
That was an attack on uranium centrifuges, and the actual effects are very limited, changing speeds by tiny fractions to disrupt the separation of U235 used in bombs. Unlike nuclear plants that are in constant human supervision, centrifuges are mostly automatic since they take months to complete their job, and that's why the virus had any effect. To date, no nuclear plant has received damage from any computer virus, despite several infections.
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cabadaje, not sure it it's outdated, but certainly is dependent on the pressure and temperature of the field compared to it's boiling temperature. Considering they are planning to mine it though, it can't be that stable or else they would have a hard time extracting it.
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cabadajeMar. 13, 2013 - 09:07AM JST
There's nothing particularly new or impressive about extracting methane hydrate from fire ice. The question has always been whether it can be done economically. Up until now, it hasn't been, so I am wondering about how they intend to collect it and bring it in.
And whether or not it can be done safely. A single wrong move can destabilize the field, releasing enough greenhouse gasses to double the effects of the last 50 years of CO2.
-5 ( +2 / -7 )
Open MindedMar. 13, 2013 - 12:22AM JST
Pop-rocks sometimes are classified at 7 on the nuclear accident scale. Even though admitted only months after the fact. Some may need decades to admit it!
CO2 releases (poprocks), Hydrogen/steam explosions (fukushima) and fertilizer bombs (Kyshtym) aren't classified by some random scale like that, they are classified in TNT equivalent.
As for the INES scale, scientists and engineers have been trying to get something better put in, since the current scale makes no sense and application is arbitrary. For example, a truck carrying medical grade cobalt 60 crashes in Tokyo and releases enough radiation to cause radiation sickness in a half dozen people and it would be a level 4, and very likely even level 5. On the other hand, several tons of steel beams for use in construction have 72microSv/hr levels of radiation and are used in construction of a building on a river, but that wouldn't even be given an INES level despite fitting all the requirements to be a level 5-6.
The only reason why Fukushima is called a level 7 is because the japanese government said so, all actual evidence points to level 6 at most, with less health impact than Kyshtym, smaller affected area, and lower release of radiation (especially when adding in the 4000PBq they had dumped prior to the incident).
-8 ( +1 / -9 )
cabadajeMar. 12, 2013 - 08:54PM JST
AKA, "sound" ;-)
Sound means audible, infrasonic means "below the range of sound" :)
-6 ( +0 / -6 )
BertieWoosterMar. 12, 2013 - 07:39PM JST
Yet another alternative to Nuclear Power:
(BBC): Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first
It can be done!
Need people to tell you how bad that is again?
1) You are burning methane, which means CO2 and all the problems that come with that.
2) A single accident can release a hundred years worth of global warming chemicals, and all the issues that come with that.
3) A single accident could sink every ship in the area, and make a massive fireball (not too likely, but quite possible).
4) Mining it requires toxic chemicals and releases chemicals to contaminate fish
5) Mining it requires techniques and machines not yet developed and that eliminate it's price advantage over oil.
-4 ( +2 / -6 )
HimajinMar. 12, 2013 - 11:34PM JST
Fukushima, original release : 370,000 terabecquerels* (as of 12 April)
Chernobyl: 5.2 million terabecquerels*
Chernobyl is also an "original release", and actually 1700PBq of iodine and 85PBq of Cs137. Fukushima is 150PBq iodine and up to 12PBq Cs137 (both highest of the range of numbers from non-activist sources). The rest for both is mostly from xenon, which goes into the upper atmosphere quickly and does not pose short or long term hazards.
Fukushima: Officials say areas extending more than 60km (36 miles) to the north-west of the plant and about 40km to the south-southwest have seen radiation levels exceed annual limits
Chernobyl: Contamination of an area as far as 500 km (300 miles) from the plant, according to the UN. But animals and plants were also affected much further away.
Well, Chernobyl also had a 10 ton explosion (that made the fukushima ones look like pop-rocks) and raging core fire hot enough to send ash far from the initial source. Fukushima had no such fire and released materials spread far less, much like Kyshtym (though Kyshtym had 100ton blast, with the blast being less of an issue than the fire).
Speaking of Kyshtym, you forgot to mention the 800PBq released in the explosion, with a far higher concentration of caesium than either of the other two. That one's only listed as Level 5 despite releasing more radioisotopes into the air than Fukushima.
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MagnetMar. 12, 2013 - 10:08PM JST
Approx. 36-40% (depending on the article read) of Fukushima children now have abnormal thyroid growths. 36-40%!!! And these tests were conducted on sample groups numbering over 10,000 kids!
Whoever said that clearly didn't read the reports! http://www.pref.fukushima.jp/imu/kenkoukanri/250213siryou2.pdf You can see from the report that the number of "abnormal" (defined by >5mm for nodules, >20mm for cysts, as was the same in the 2001 report on Nagasaki and Belarus) nodules is only 0.57%, nowhere do they say it is 40% abnormal nodules.
You may also want to look at http://www.env.go.jp/press/press.php?serial=16419 , which has a comparison trial done in Nagasaki and Aomori with slightly smaller sample sizes. The number of abnormal nodules in that trial was 1%, which is higher than the fukushima case.
-9 ( +3 / -12 )
kurisupisuMar. 12, 2013 - 08:35PM JST
. Basroil what is 'natural cancer'? If you knew the answer then you'd be getting the Nobel Prize for medicine instead of posting on this site 24/7.
40% of people will get cancer regardless of fukushima, it's natural simply by the way our bodies work. (well, actually about 30% if you take out smoking, which is not natural, but also not fukushima related). Guess you'll be seeing me in Sweden?
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the Helen Caldicott Foundation, co-sponsored the symposium, along with Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Two organizations she founded, run, and have done absolutely no research into anything.
“It’s a report that was meant to reassure people who, almost certainly, many will develop leukemia and cancer,” said Helen Caldicott,
Well, with 40% of people getting cancer and 25% dying from it on a regular basis, she's either downplaying the risk of natural cancer or simply trying to sell more books to people who do the same.
This is like reporting on greenpeace, basically shows it's a slow news day because of course activists are going to be against something, and do so by twisting the words of researchers everywhere... or even making things up like this unprofessional activist is doing.
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For one, she said, WHO did not take actual radioactive emissions into account, relying on estimates.
The UN health body also did not examine the effects on children comprehensively, including what the impact would be of eating radiation-contaminated food over a lifetime.
No, WHO didn't take into account the expected levels, they took into account several times more than the scientific consensus.
Caldicott cited one survey done by a Fukushima medical organization that showed 42% of 100,000 children sustained thyroid abnormalities, such as a cyst or a nodule. The survey showed three children with thyroid cancer and seven additional cases of suspected cancer.
I think we can state as fact that this activist is not a professional anything, let alone medical professional. The report, to which I have linked a dozen times, shows 0.57% abnormalities, well within expected values for non-exposed children.
-12 ( +6 / -18 )
BertieWoosterMar. 12, 2013 - 10:37AM JST
Instead of spending INCREDIBLE quantities of money and energy on "defending" our various countries from imagined enemies.
Okinawa is not on topic in the least bit. I wonder why the mods haven't picked up on your off topic comments when anyone can see it's exactly the same language you use when discriminating against foreigners.
-4 ( +2 / -6 )
cabadajeMar. 12, 2013 - 09:21AM JST
It...would never have occurred to me that earthquakes could register at an atmospheric level based on sound alone.
It's not "sound", rather pressure changes that can be recorded at frequencies that are inaudible. No different than a strong wind.
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BertieWoosterMar. 11, 2013 - 11:46PM JST
Recovering from the tsunami is a very small part of the problem.
Tell that to the tens of thousands that lost their loved ones to the tsunami. It is "an emotional issue" and dismissing those people's losses is disgusting.
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The health cost from the Ministry of Finance's stake in JT is several tens of thousands of lives and a hundred trillion yen in increased healthcare costs. They shouldn't be selling their stake, they should be using their stake to drive them out of tobacco production.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
BertieWoosterMar. 11, 2013 - 08:04PM JST
The reliance on nuclear power killed Tohoku.
The tsunami that followed a 9.0 quake killed Tohoku, and 20000 people with it. Don't marginalize those who died in the natural disaster.
-9 ( +3 / -12 )