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I'm not sure they could have prepared much more for something that big. There will always be ways that the preparation could be improved but that will come from experience, and no one has experienced something like this in living memory.
The only way to be safe with something like that it to not live near to it.
I can't see the Americans being as prepared somehow. Same there, it's a question of when, not if.
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Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
In awe of the way the Japanese people have remained calm, non-riotous and industrious through such phenomenal adversity - less impressed by the nuclear industry's constant assurance that it's "all under control"...oops.. bang..there goes another one we said was under control..
As humans we have become used to the idea that we can control and overcome the elements, we all feel it to degrees, from the UK expressing great surprise that a lot of snow falls in winter and onwards. In many ways I think the people in Japan have handled this crisis very well. given the number of failures they experienced in the nuclear plant that they have prevented a meltdown so far is a massive achievement.
I think the questions is when in living memory have they experienced anything like this. I mean if you wish to avoid this you would need to live on high ground about 10 miles from the shore. And in Italy near volcano's they had better move out plus in the states Yellowstone park must be due to blow in the next 1,000 years. So could the world as it is today afford to make certain they can avoid this.
Or do you do what you can and learn from mistakes. Nuclear plants are one of the risks "we" take in order to have our current technology lifestyle. Just as we risk the greenhouse situation etc. Who knows with climate change we may well in 50 years time wished we had more nuclear plants rather than fossil fuel ones.
Quote: given the number of failures they experienced in the nuclear plant that they have prevented a meltdown so far
And the latest news is....??
Sorry, but given their knowledge/experience of earthquakes and possible Tsunamis how can they ( not the Japanese as such, but the "nuclear industry" ) not have taken account of the massive potential for trouble with plants so close to the coast...!! - the back-up cooling system generators failed because of the Tsunami...oh...what a surprise...
I've no objection to people choosing to live on the rim of volcanoes, or their back garden being over the San Andreas fault - whatever - their choice if it goes bang...but nuclear fuel...!!?
If you think about the fall back plans for nuclear plants you will see why they often build them near the sea. In-land and an earthquake they might not be able to get any cooling to them at all, it all depends what the failure is. Lets wait and see, it is possible this will be a disaster, or it could be less of an environmental impact than the refining plant failure. It is possible that an in-shore facility may have faired worse. You want a large body of water near your plant.
So far mining has been more dangerous to human life than nuclear power, but lets see what happens.
Read this RE where to site a nuclear plant
If you go in-shore and a major failure happens and there has been a drought then people will say well why did you go inland, stick it next to the sea. along comes a Tsunamis and everyone says well why stick it next to the sea. 20-20 hindsight is a killer. So avoid nuclear says everyone but think of the extra fossil fuel you will burn because renewable's are not ready.
It is a no-win argument.
It is also worth reading this It is sad, but when I did my degree in the 80's I had to look at the UK energy market and even I, not the greatest lover of nuclear power, came to realise that the UK needed to build more power station that were not Coal, Gas or Oil fired. Nearly 30 years later the need is even greater and sadly Nuclear power is the only viable option.
There`s a 195 nuclear power plants in Europe and more in the pipeline, some have been in operation since the fifties, 58 in France alone.
How many accidents have there been ?
Japan have just been very un lucky.
There are plenty of accidents in the UK. Sellafield is the most accident prone nuclear facility in the world I believe. Back in 05 they had something like 19 tonnes of uranium leak into secondary containment at THORP. It wasn't noticed for awhile and was counted as a "discrepancy". lol.
But obviously the events in Japan are more serious and concerning. Lets just hope none of them reach full meltdown or break the suppression pool.
Quote: But obviously the events in Japan are more serious and concerning. Lets just hope none of them reach full meltdown or break the suppression pool
Keeping my fingers crossed.
Extra crossed as I think one of the reactors uses MOX fuel. - Much lower melting temperature. But at least its looking like 2 of them are stable now.
Yes it runs hotter, but I believe they will get though this.
Quote: Are you kidding? An 8.9!!!
The scale works in ten step increments.... e.g. 8 is 10 times worse than 7... And 8.9 well...
They say the duration of the quake actually causes more destruction than the size of the quake.... and this was a 9.0 AND lasted for 90+ seconds....
You can plan for the worst case senario, but you can not test for it untill it happens.
It should also be mentioned that Japan does have other nuclear reactors in the danager zone - and they all shut down OK. This one however was an old plant (from the 70s)
Well it had to happen. I recieved my first tsunami joke today.....
from a japanese person in our Tokyo office!
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