More on Japanese Reactor Woes

Why I’m Not Worried About Japan’s Nuclear Reactors

I am writing this text (Mar 12) to give you some peace of mind regarding some of the troubles in Japan, that is the safety of Japan’s nuclear reactors. Up front, the situation is serious, but under control. And this text is long! But you will know more about nuclear power plants after reading it than all journalists on this planet put together.

Read the whole thing.

9 thoughts on “More on Japanese Reactor Woes”

  1. Well put together, but it does not address how people at the nearby hospital got contaminated.

  2. Got some hard numbers of the level of contamination? Becaue no-one else seems to. It ticks off a geiger counter sure; but so do many basements in PA coal country

  3. To reinforce Ian’s point, the sailors on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan who allegedly got “about a month’s worth of radiation exposure in an hour” got roughly the same radiation exposure as if they had eaten about 10 bananas (if my math is right – if not I will happily stand corrected).

    Numbers are important, unless you’re the MSM. All they care about is that “nuclear meltdown” sells papers.

  4. And to sell more, they’re perfectly happy to hype up the “OMG cloud of fallout” that’s on it’s was across the Pacific.


  5. Ian Argent Said,
    March 14th, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    And to sell more, they’re perfectly happy to hype up the “OMG cloud of fallout” that’s on it’s was across the Pacific.


    When will that hit Wyoming? I was needing a reason to go home early today.

  6. More than all the journalists on the planet put together? Really? The people who can’t figure out the difference between a “Magazine” and a “Clip” know more about something, ANYTHING that the average person who understands things intuitively?

  7. I’ll reserve my opinion. That blog post got edited and relocated, and the credentials of the guy who wrote the article don’t exactly fill me with confidence – he’s neither a nuclear physicist or nuclear engineer.

    Meanwhile, reactor #4 is critical, so the situation is hardly ‘under control’.

  8. I just read that reactor unit 4 reached 100 000 μSv (50x the level predicted in that article). And that blog has disabled comments….I wonder why.

  9. Ash: Yes, the blog posting got moved to the official blog of the MIT Nuclear Engineering Department (look at the top of the column to the left in the latter link).

    Now, as a member of the class of ’83 I’ll admit I’m a bit biased, but the NukeEs I met (and in one case had as a roommate) rather impressed me, I wouldn’t discount the New, Improved version out of hand. E.g. if you look at the top item, Unit 2 Explosion and Unit 4 Spent Fuel Pool Fire, you’ll note that they point out that the former constitutes a primary containment breach, which is bad. (OK, not that bad but it does provide a potential path for corium to escape into the secondary containment structure, something that didn’t happen at TMI. As long as they can keep the core cool enough things should be OK (as it is, they already have to vent the pressure vessel to keep it within limits)).

    Anyway, the bottom line there is that this blog is not exactly dismissive of the severity of what’s happening. And I’ll add that they’re good at explaining things.

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