Johannes Weber comments

Posted in: What do you think about the proposed plan to charge Mount Fuji climbers a fee to help pay for the costs of cleaning up garbage left on the mountain? See in context

While it is sensible to charge an entrance fee for access to a heritage site - the fact that people's litter on the mountain slopes reflects very poorly on the climbers' manners. For most hikers and climbers around the world, taking Your litter back home comes natural.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Huge wind farm turbine snaps near Kyoto See in context

Actually, 50 m isn't really high for a wind turbine. I mean, honestly, 120 m is the current limit. And they (German researchers) are experimenting with a wooden construction basis which can reach almost 200 m in height. Furthermore, 12 years is quite an old age in a branch of technology evolving this fast as wind turbines are. Modern machines can be expected to be far more resilient.

When the steel column snaps this is similar to some failure of some exterior part of any other large industrial facility. No one got hurt and the cost of the accident is - well the cost of a new column and a new wind turbine. They might actually even have an insurance to cover the cost of the accident. And they still made a decent profit out of the turbine in these 12 years. Nevertheless, why do they mention the Dutch turbine before the Japanese steel column?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Woman attempting to rob convenience store asks clerk to call police See in context

Sounds like the kind of robber for whom rehabilitation might still work well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: This isn’t decontamination — it’s sweeping up dirt and leaves and is absolutely irresponsible. See in context

They'll set a long term decontamination goal and pat their shoulders when they can say that cesium contamination went down by a factor 4 or 5 in 30 years. Realistic decontamination takes at least a decade, needs lots of storage and will be only partly successful. Animals will more or less decontaminate themselves as far as possible through the biological half-life of most of the stuff. The problem decreases by itself - serious decontamination efforts can only speed up the process somewhat. Maybe a factor of ten is a best-case scenario. So back to normal life in Fukushima in thirty years is an optimistic, but realistic estimate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Workers at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been turned down by landlords when they tried to rent apartments, some have had plastic bottles thrown at them, others have had paper See in context

It makes me get mad at the media that blew the Fukushima accident way out of proportion, and was incapable of communicating the real implications (more interested in sensationalist news). It makes me mad because blowhard environmentalist deliberately spread lies about the effects of radiation that have zero scientific basis, and they get a huge audience because their nonsense sounds 'sexy' to the media.

You miss the nail's head completely. Shunning people who have been affected by trouble has a long standing tradition in Japan.The victims of the nuclear bombs or those from various kinds of industrial accidents - mercury poisoning, dust-filled lung afflictions with coal miners and other issues - the victims seem to have always been shunned. KUSAI MONO NI FUTA WO SURU is the source of the problem. People try to avoid the hibakusha because they would have to admit that the consequences of the accident reach into their normal lives. People do not want to face the fundamental flaws of their way of life or of their culture - like the corruption of the nuclear industry, which makes the cleanup and decommisioning even more difficult than it would be just by itself.

People get hurt 1000 times more because of the media, radical environmentalists and lack of education than from the residual radionuclides from the Fukushima accident. But mental scars can't be detected with a radiation monitor, while the detector is able to detect one single radioactive atom among billions of stable ones - and cause panic even if there is absolutely no reason for that.

I don't know where you get this, but as a physicist I'd prefer not having people spread such nonsense. One single radioactive nucleus isn't detected easily. You need significant contaminations for most measurement techniques, especially those which have become common in contemporary Japan like Geiger counters. 4pi Germanium detectors or the like are an exception of course. And if you are contaminated with alpha emitters, then even surface contamination detectors (those which are normally used in environments where contamination is expected) will not be triggered if you have plutonium or uranium stuck to your clothes or skin. And the closer environment of the stricken plant has plenty of alpha emitters lying around which do not register on the radiation maps which are only looking for gamma and beta sources. Therefore there is a non-negligible risk of carrying around undetected contaminants if safety protocols are not applied properly. And I have strong doubts that they are applied thoroughly in the corrupt business at work in and around Fukushima Daiichi.

The problem is not that people are afraid of radiation. The problem is that society shuns away from the problem as it is. The problem for people does not originate in the workers, it originates in the corrupt culture that is the semi-criminal nuclear industry. People should demand the heads of those who are responsible for avoidable worker exposure. But they should support the workers at the plant since they put their lives in danger every day for meager wages. Even though not everything they do is extremely dangerous and even though the majority of them will probably never have any severe and detrimental effects to their health due to their work at the stricken plant - if you're a worker with little to no knowledge about the scientific details and the local radiation distribution and your boss is an idiot or an a$$hole and sends you to the wrong corner of the facility - then you can face lasting damage without any hope of salvation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Why do people climb mountains in the middle of winter when there are blizzards, high risk of avalanches and poor visibility? See in context

Taking risks is the essence of living. Why do we practice sports in ways which could potentially kill us? Because life is worth living intensely. Something which can be lost has true merit. Without the risk of loss, there is no real merit.

And yes - climbers should pay the full costs for their rescue, if they had taken the risks consciously. After all, it's a free choice which you should not take without proper awareness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe supports building new nuclear reactors See in context

"New reactors will be totally different "

Totally different... Yeah. Go back to high school and study basic science, AbeSan! The same working principle (water kettle) and the same problems (decay heat) with all kinds of nuclear reactors. Solve one or two small problems and there are still a few dozens of the old ones. With the same kind of quake, tsunami and loss of cooling pumps, reactors of every possible design would have failed similarly.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: How can this small group of experts make such a significant decision so quickly? See in context

How could a small groups of "so-called" experts conclude in the past that there is no fault line? No matter how you put it, the typical conclusion of "sufficient safety" is normally based on unscientific and biased approaches as experience tells us time and again. Real scientists would never claim that there is no fault line - they would claim that they do not have any clear indications of a fault line.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's secret economic weapon: women See in context

There's another aspect, which the article neglects: field of expertise. The typical fields of expertise which generate new paths of substantial growth in industrialised countries are engineering and science. In these fields, the typical quota of female students are significantly lower than those of male students (e.g. physics in many universities has typical female quotas of some 20% - after subtracting asipiring teachers, the quota drops to some 15% - going to phd level, the quota drops to less than 10% in many fields of research). Those women who walk this way till the end do perfectly fine (with rare exceptions to the rule). There is a clear lack of women trying to enter these fields. With less masters or phds, lower-ranking positions and less pay is a natural consequence.

Thus, hiring more women will not necessarily create an influx of large numbers of skilled workers and thinkers. Young women also have to enter these traditionally "male" fields in greater numbers to put their own mark on society. A change of hiring procedures (like gender neutral contracts which change the special treatment of women due to "maternity" to an (optional) general treatment of "parenthood") or a general gender quota on corporate boards are only one half of the solution. And they are the easier part, because they can be enforced by laws. Changing the mindset of people - their willingness to tackle hard challenges, swimming upstream for many years, overcoming gender-related prejudices (e.g. women are better with people and men are better with science, both of which is nonsense) - cannot be done by law. This is the hard part of the problem.

And a high level of education might even help securing a job where both parents have the option of working at home on some days of the week. Not to mention that their postions more often than not are far more flexible concerning working hours. A father can take care of a child just as well as a mother. And will do so quite often, if the mother earns substantially more. Which is far more probable with a scientific or technical degree.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: We don't see any way that you can have fair trade with Japan because of all of the non-tariff barriers, Japanese culture, tight integration of the government policies and the companies. We don't see a See in context

The ranking of top-selling imported cars shows rather clear trends. The columns are (2011 sales, 2011 share, 2010 sales, ratio of sales 2011 to 2010)

1 VW Golf 26,125 12.8% 26,075 100.2% 2 VW Polo 15,171 7.4% 14,507 104.6% 3 BMW MINI MINI 14,350 7.0% 11,338 126.6% 4 Toyota Townace 12,437 - 9,533 130.5% 5 Mercedes-Benz C-class 11,710 5.7% 9,206 127.2% 6 BMW 5 series 9,257 4.5% 6,049 153.0% 7 BMW 3 series 8,912 4.4% 11,664 76.4% 8 Mercedes-Benz E-class 8,411 4.1% 10,850 77.5% 9 Volvo 60 6,032 3.0% no-data - 10 BMW X1 5,874 2.9% 3,829 153.4% 11 BMW 1 series 5,279 2.6% 5,856 90.1% 12 Audi A4 5,220 2.6% 5,660 92.2% 13 Fiat 500 4,501 2.2% 4,280 105.2% 14 Audi A1 4,206 2.1% no-data - 15 Audi A3 3,739 1.8% 4,506 83.0% 16 VW Passat 3,513 1.7% no-data - 17 Volvo 50 3,336 1.6% 2,808 118.8% 18 Mercedes-Benz B-class 3,062 1.5% 3,665 83.5% 19 VW Sharan 2,728 1.3% no-data - 20 Peugeot 207 2,354 1.2% 3,076 76.5%

15 out of 20 top-selling imported cars in Japan are German models. There are no particular FTAs or tariffs between Germany and Japan (as for the USA), there is no smaller cultural difference than between the USA and Japan and the corporate culture faces the same issues. Obviously, the failure of US automakers must have a different reason and thus, King's statement is proved false.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Hospice for terminally ill children - playing right until the end See in context

Anything which helps children in such a situation is good and deserves support - anyone who helps such children is a true hero. And most of all - these children bear the unbearable - more than anyone else ever did. They have strength beyond the imagination of us "healthy" people. The way how society treats its troubled and ill children is the best measure to judge its worth. Seeing past the "ill" up to the "child's heart" is the ideal we all should aspire to.

A cousin of mine had been terminally ill with mucovisicdosis from the day he was born. His parents were completely open with him about his disease from the start. And even though he knew that he would need luck to turn twenty and would stand almost no chance to reach 30 - he was the kindest, most positive and optimistic person I've ever known. His parents made all efforts to allow him a childhood as normal as possible, despite being in hospital more often than not during some years.

Reading this, I pay again tributes to him, who died two days before his 21st birthday, in his first year at university, just a month before an organ transplantation, which might have granted him a few more years. What else can I do than remember, carry on in his spirit and live my life for both of us?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Does fluency matter? See in context

One on Ken's best articles I've ever read. I can agree with it almost completely. However, only people with an upbringing in monolithic blocks of monolingualism really tend to think about fluency. Other people simply know that given practice, it will happen someday. Fluency has happened when you don't worry anymore about whether the language you speak is foreign or native.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: German customs demand $475,000 for Japanese musician's violin See in context

Probably some problems with a wrong documentation or something. Maybe there was some verbal misunderstanding - who knows? Similar things could happen in other countries as well, if there is a language barrier. It seems unwise to judge as long as the whole affair is not settled yet. But people love to scream bloody murder if it's against someone from one's own country. I'd assume these guys are just going by the book. Any such case is just sad and stupid, but I can't see any evil in it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: An international survey said that Japanese students have been moving away from science and our results support that. See in context

Not only in Japan. People in industrialised countries tend to become less scientifically interested the more its applications pervade their daily lives. Sad fact from all countries...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A-bomb survivors warn against nuclear power See in context

There is one thing about cancers induced by ionising radiation, which gets lost (or omitted?) by pseudoscientific arguments of nuclear proponents. Victims of ionising radiation are typically in a closely monitored test group. They get regular medical checkups and lots of provisional health care for cancers. Therefore, in their case, cancers are quite simple to cure, since the discovery of the cancer happens in the early stages. But all these statistics about the danger are concerned with "fatality rates". Here we have the cheat. The atomic bomb victims were closely monitored and received significant medical assistance paid for by the Japanese government. Therefore, the sample has a very strong bias.

If I generate an ensemble, where I know that I have a higher occurence of some stochastic event (like cancer) and I take regular measurements and alter the sample (in case of cancer detection medical treatment thereof), I can naturally produce a sample with artificially lower occurence rates of a secondary stage (like fatality rates from cancer) in comparison to what I would normally get (without close monitoring and treatment). The cancer fatality rates do not reflect the cancer occurence rates. There is a significant bias between these two rates and the fatality rates gravely underestimate the occurence rates.

This bias is something true scientists call a systematic error. True science requires understanding and removal of the systematic errors from the result. Something, that is never been done in this pseudoscience. Which is why these "cancer studies" are not worth to be called science.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's pro-nuclear weapon voices grow louder amid debate See in context

About nuclear arms in foreign countries. There are a lot of nukes (a few dozen or so), which belong to the US armed forces, which are stationed in Germany since the good old days of MAD in the Cold War. As far as I know, the German military can in principle trigger them - however, no one (since the end of the Cold War) wants to have them. Thus, there were some serious diplomatic incidents, when German politicians tried to get the US to take back their nukes - because we don't want nukes.

In Japan, the situation is probably more or less the same. Japanese military forces probably share the command of US nukes on the Japanese archipelago with the US forces. However, it might be the case that they are not considered as reliable or mentally stable by the US military command. Judging from Japanese right-wing rhethoric, it's not hard to guess why.

Something which I always start to think about in terms of Japan and nukes is - where the hell do they want to do the test explosions? Japan doesn't have any remote places which are far away from any inhabited areas except some islands a few hundreds of kilometers away from the archipelago. Still, radioactive debris would waft over to mainland Japan. A sure way to get the public on the barricades - even the docile Japanese public. And no way is such a test or the preparations of it staying secret. The diplomatic fallout would be even worse than any real factual result of such a test.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima residents say 'no' to nuclear energy See in context

It is much easier to track the death toll due to coal. However, the death toll due to nukes is far more stochastical in nature. If a cancer occurs after 20 years, it is nearly impossible to track it down to some extent of ionizing radiation which had happened in the past without a proper protocol. Naturally, it is much easier if grill a plant worker with loads of gamma rays, because that can be easily checked on his dosimeter. Coal has much more immediate health effects.

Naturally, one can attribute the deaths of dumb people falling down from a dam to hydro plants. Nevertheless, such statistics doesn't make very much sense due to the limited time scale. If there is a significant death rate due to an incident with nuclear devices, this death rate must be integrated over a few millenia to get a realistic rate. Simply put, it is much easier to measure poinsoning from coal exhaust fumes in contrast to genetic defects and cancers due to ionizing radiation.

Finally, the death rate is not the major cost factor (see India or China or Japan's nuclear gypsies). But cost is the most powerful argument against nuclear power. Nuke plants are expensive.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Fukushima residents say 'no' to nuclear energy See in context


While coal plants have severe detrimental health effects, nuke plants are not harmless either. The exact number of causalities for each of the accidents will be very hard to calculate on a sound scientific basis, but I'd bet my right hand that any result will be skewed by the bias of those who created the study. Nuclear engineering is not science, but quasi-religion.

However, nuclear power is not cheap. There is very nice statement from about 40 years ago, uttered by the German minister for economy and energy, that nuclear power will never, ever be capable of competing with coal in terms of its price. And that is a long time before any severe accident became to be known (which shifts the price tag of nuclear power). A long time, before nuclear safety issues were even considered. A long time, before people considered the danger of nuke plants being used in terrorist attackls. It is not safe. It is neither cheap. Including mining, enrichment and decommisioning, it doesn't make any sense concerning the carbon balance.

Furthermore, the typical decades old risk analysis is wrong. Just google "Global risk of radioactive fallout after major nuclear reactor accidents" by Lelieveld, Kunkel and Lawrence, which is the most recent SOTA risk analysis of nuclear disasters. You'll be easily convinced why the former risk analysis is almost complete nonsense and the true risk exceeds the official numbers by a few orders of magnitude.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: IAEA group inspects nuclear plant at Onagawa See in context

@CrazyJoe: In fact, if You handle tritium properly and collect it, it is not such a big issue. The half-life is less than two weeks, the decay product is non-radioactive (Helium 3) and also very important for scientific and engineering applications (low temperature applications - mixture of Helium 3 and Helium 4 is the most powerful known coolant). If You fumble around with tritium - well, India showed clearly what I mean - workers get irradiated. Deuterium on the other hand is completely harmless, since it is neither radioactive nor anyhow toxic. In fact it is present at the ppm level in normal water and even massive emissions won't change anything about that.

If Onagawa could be restarted or not really has to be seen (if it makes sense is an independent, quasi-religious question). Even during completely ordinary operations of a nuclear plant, there are radiation spikes (e.g. from exchanges of fuel elements, where the containment vessel has to be partly opened). As long as the IAEA report can exactly describe what happened in Onagawa and which part of the plant is responsible for the radiation leak, I don't see it any more critical than any report about another plant. However, I don't believe that they will disclose the investigation results. Transparency and nuclear power industry don't fit together somehow.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Romney angers Palestinians with pro-Israel comments See in context

Yep, Romney in Europe would be very much fun. Or imagine Mitt in Japan or China. Basically, guys like him can only lose outside of the USA. Me personally, I love the Republicans before elections, because they are the most entertaining (and embarassing) bunch in politics. At least the Italians got rid of Berlusconi when they realised that their government and country were nothing but ridiculous to the rest of the planet. The American right wingers, however, shoved Bush into office a second time. And they are even trying to dwarf their best entertainment successes from the past. Who will be the next Palin? Does Mitt need another funny sidekick, or is he good enough for 24/7 on the comedy channel all of his own?

4 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Anti-nuclear candidate loses Yamaguchi governor election See in context

Truly, looking at the bare statistical data in Germany and other developed countries (with a serious safety first paradigm), the statistical number of fatalities and diseases due to fossile fuel burning thermal plants exceeds the figure for nuclear plants. However, all of these numbers are in the margin of statistical uncertainty compatible with zero (for all sources). Furthermore, old thermal plants (before nations became aware of the corresponding health issues) enter the statistics. I wouldn't give too much on such statistics.

The higher electricity prices are not necessarily due to renewable energy, but also due to the increase of the prices for fossile fuels. Or to the necessity of safety improvement of existing nuclear plants. Which are considered unacceptably high if it costs more than half a billion euro for improved safety of one plants. If you can't afford operating a nuclear plants at modern standards (but shouldn't it be cheap?) then leave it in cold shutdown (or better don't start building it). Conservatives in Germany blame the high cost of nuclear waste disposal and the demolition of nuclear plants already on the energy shift towards renewables. How much more insance and detached from reality can conservatives ever become?

Furthermore, the main reason why consumer prices (for electricity) are so much on the rise in Germany is because the neo-cons in the government protect their buddies in the heavy industry from having to pay their share. The entirety of the increased cost has to be born by consumers and smaller companies, but not by those who have the highest consumption rates. If the market is manipulated, than there is no surprise that the outcome is disadvantageous to folks without a strong lobby.

The energy shift brings Germany a technological advantage, plenty of domestic jobs (even though the production cost cannot compete with cheap chinese manufacturing of PV cells anymore) and a reduced dependence on imports of primary energy. I'd call all three significant economic (and even geostrategical) advantages.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Anti-nuclear candidate loses Yamaguchi governor election See in context

With an estimated cost of between 60 and 250 billion dollars for the Fukushima cleanup, which is conisdered as a "man-made disaster" according to the parliamentary investigation, nuclear power is obviously cheap and safe except for mankind. Let's remove the people to ensure the safety and cheapness of nuclear plants... SARCASM MODE off.

It cannot be expected that progressive political forces (renewable energy policy counts in fact progressice policy as it is about new technology and improved efficiency instead of absolute growth) can overturn the establishment, which is based on the opinions and vested interests of mostly rather uneducated people, in just one blow. Even in Germany, the country with the most extensive anti-nuclear movement, it took more than 15 years for the green anti-nuclear party to enter government, about 30 years to reach a general consensus of society (except a minority with vested interests) that a nuclear exit is the cheaper and safer solution on the long-term. Why on earth should notoriously conservative Japan find itslf on an lighter track? Ganbatte, IIDAsan.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: 42 India nuclear plant workers contaminated See in context

scoobydoo is exactly spot on. Tritium is extremely dangerous, because its chemical properties are so similar to normal hydrogen. Tritium easily replaced common hydrogen in water. Thus, humans exposed to tritium will incorporate it and it will be distributed throughout the entire body and bound into all kinds of complex molecules like DNA. Normally, tritium is handled only with utmost care - but that doesn't seem to be considered necessary if there are a billion of workers at one's disposal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Sept 11 attacks, Katrina top list of memorable U.S. TV moments of last 50 years See in context

You could also put in the famous kneefall of former German chancellor Brand in Warschau, which basically initiated the fall of the iron curtain by reestablishing diplomacy between the blocks. But wait - these things are probably too abstract and too complex to be covered in common TV programs in the US. The Fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany is in fact as much a change of era as the events of 9/11. I could imagine 3/11 as well as a change of era, but that truly remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the explosions of the nuclear plants are virtually burnt into my memory just like the falling towers.

However, this is not about importance, but about memorability for common (American) comsumers. The latter is predetermined by prejudice (without any judgement on my part).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: If we keep building solar panels and invest in solar energy, within 20 years it will not only become the safest and the cleanest source of electricity but also the cheapest. See in context


At least in this case, you basically hit the nail on the head. Storage is difficult, but will be possible in twenty years. However, as long as you don't set a goal of 100% solar (say only 80% renewable), it is much less of an issue, because solar is most efficient and provides energy at times of peak demand.

The price for solar is dropping. This is basically due to improvements in the production process, since the old monocrystalline silicon panels cost a lot of energy in their production. With multicrystalline solar cells (already on the market), the efficiency drops a bit bit and the price drops drastically. With organic (plastic) solar cells, a breakthrough will presumably happen in the next years.

The solar panel industry in many countries is in trouble because they can't compete with the prices of Chinese companies. If the Chinese can mass produce the stuff, prices will continue to drop in the future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Five killed in German hostage standoff See in context

That place was quite a normal area. The guy seems to have been a nutcase all the time. It was a strange entanglement of relationship with the former landlord. I've never, ever heard any similar story from Karlsruhe before (and I'm living more or less in the same area). Black swan, if you ask me...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of obesity drugs that control the appetite through receptors in the brain? See in context

Probably the drugs are cheaper than the illnesses they have higher chances to contract due to their obesity. It's basically the same question with smokers and heavy drinkers - should society pay for the lack of self-discipline of its members, because it will be cheaper in the end. On the other hand, humans have the right to be obese if they like. Ordering people to be thin and healthy is against basic human rights. Bad problem...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What if Iran gets the bomb? See in context

Even though Ahmadinedschad (and many other Iranian politicians and militaries) often express their desire to wipe Israel from the map, I have not found out yet, why I should believe that this rhethoric has a stronger foothold in reality than the typical threats against the "axis of evil" from various US politicians. For Iran, the US and Israel form an "axis of evil" or a "big Satan and small Satan". Nevertheless, rhethoric is just rhethoric.

And if anyone claims that Iran funds hisbollah, hamas and some other criminal or terrorist organisations - the US has done this for a much longer time. Who were the people who had built up the Taliban and Saddam Hussein in the beginning? That's the making of US intelligence. Don't point the finger before cleaning in your own house!

Iran sucks as a state in terms of democracy and civil rights. Iran treats women and gays like shit. Many Iranians are very religious to the point of fanatism and don't believe in evolution. Iran has the death penalty. Iran distributes loud rhethoric and boasts whom they want to crush. That's quite similar to some political groups in some Western countries (with Islam and Christianity exchanged).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: The power of invention See in context

Actually, the most important area for innvoation is energy conservation. After all, 1 J of energy will stay 1 J of energy no matter how inventive You are. That's basic science. But the critical number is eta, the efficiency, by which that energy is transformed from one state to the other. There are limiting factors from science - like the second law of thermodynamics - and those from human society. The last point hasn't been fixed by nature (or god, if you like), but mere human complacency. That's where politics comes into the game, since science cannot change the way how humans behave and how humans don't think.

There is another concept which takes this even one step further. This is generating LNG from carbon dioxide in the air and storing it for later use. This - in contrast to such a battery - even creates energy storage with mobility.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Seismologists warn gov't against restarting nuclear reactors See in context


There are a few things you leave out. Blow up a gas tank, LNG plant, coal plant., oil refinery or whatever else and you get lots of dirt and rubble, which can be cleaned away in a few weeks. Blow up a nuclear plants - and your grandchildren will still be busy with cleaning. Normal accidents have bad short-term consequences, nuclear ones - well - short-term on geological scales.

Further, the plant had suffered a loss of external power supply throuhg the quake. This is something I would call damage.

Third, the diesel generators and batteries are completely irrelevant in this case. The tsunami destroyed the water pumps, which are located at the waterside. No pumps, no flow of coolant. Even if you have lots of electricity, without pumps, you'll have a meltdown. And water pumps must be located next to the water. They cannot be built at a safe distance from the water. The valves for the vent couldn't be operated because loss of external power supply wasn't assumed. This has nothing to do with external manipulation. These valves have nothing to do with the cooling cycle. They are valves which are part of the venting system.

Fourth, if the earthquake hadn't done any harm, there would be no reason to worry about the SFP of block 4 starting to leak, because the tsunami was only 14 m and the SFP is 30 m above ground. Therefore, if the pool is damaged (and everyone with more than superficial knowledge of the topic believes that), it can be only due to the quake (the deflagration above can be considered mostly irrelevant in that case, since it was dampened downwards by the pool's contents). However, the SFP issue is the real accident waiting to happen (even though some hydrogen explosions look admittedly more flashy and frightening than an open fire of a reactor core).


While it is impossible to predict when earthquakes will happen who says it is impossible to predict the earthquakes, In Israel they have the technology to predict the earthquakes exact location, time and power.

You realise that you contradict yourself in one sentence. That's really amazing. No one (and by no means a country without strong seismic activity like Israel) has the means to predict anything about earthquakes except PROBABILITIES. The reason is that plate tectonics is an extremely diffcult subject, since it has an extremely large numbers of dofs, which cannot be taken into account by a decent model (yet). The only thing that can be done is a measurement of localised stresses and strains. If these excede certain thresholds, scientist can conclude that the occurence of an earthquake is increaded. This is done in the same way than the prediction of rain probabilities - by comparison with periods in the past which looked similar in configuration space. This is not a prediction. Stop claiming nonsense about what science can or cannot do and leave it to us scientists!

Btw, if the TOHOKU quake, which shifted the rotational axis of the planet and changed the length of daytime, wasn't massive, then I have no idea what seismologists should define as massive. Maybe some people consider it small since their location is far away from Sanriku.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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