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Japan nuclear crisis

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, I know this is a bit off topic, but if all of you are having as much trouble as I have been getting accurate information on the situation in Japan, I
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2011
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      Hi All,

      I know this is a bit off topic, but if all of you are having as much trouble as I have been getting accurate information on the situation in Japan, I thought it might be useful to post this link:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/japan-nuclear-reactors-and-seismic-activity/

      It's to an "interactive feature" at the Washington Post. As far as I am aware, it is free of significant bloopers. There is a lot of data presented concisely. Of course, nobody really knows what's going on any more--it's now too dangerous to approach many of the areas whose status we desperately need to know.

      The thing to watch here, and what I had missed until Tuesday morning, was the terrible danger of a fire in the spent-fuel pools. If they get hot enough, and apparently they will if water cannot be put into them as fast as it boils off, the fuel rods will get so hot that the zirconium cladding will burn, adding a lot more heat in the process. It is not out of the question that all the spent fuel in all four reactors (plus possibly the common spent-fuel pool, about which we have heard little) will burn. I suppose that this would result in a radiation release that considerably exceeds Chernobyl.

      I doubt that the radiation situation will threaten people outside of Japan. Japan may be all right if the winds blow offshore, as they commonly do. If a bad plume drifts over Tokyo it could be a disaster of unparalleled proportions.

      I can't help but think that this unfolding disaster presages the definitive end of nuclear power plant construction.

      It's time for a carbon tax. A rapidly-rising carbon tax. A big one.

      And then it will be time to build carfree cities.

      Hang in there, everybody.

      Best,

      Joel


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      J.H. Crawford . Carfree Cities
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