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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » The Town Square » Fukushima?
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Topic Subject:Fukushima?
Eswen
Pleb
posted 04-17-11 09:49 ET (US)         
Guys, it's a bit strange of a topic, but as a physicist and particularly in the field of nuclear physics, I would very much like to know what you've heard, and what is your opinion on the Fukushima incident. I won't judge anyone, I just want to collect some opinions on nuclear energy and on that particular event.

Best regards.
AuthorReplies:
Prefect Marty
Pleb
posted 04-17-11 11:06 ET (US)     1 / 6       
Hi Eswen
I don´t think that evacuation perimeter of 30 km is needed, but some of the workers recieved quite high dose, what I´ve heard. 200 mSv or so. That´s bad, although still no acute radiation disease. People in vicinity of Fukushima are exposed to 20 mSv/year, mostly from isotopes with relatively short half-life. It is however pure luck that NP without secondary cooling system of active zone, which has been built next to sea in volcanically and tectonically active region resisted quite well (although crypt is the only possible solution). Many, many times worse disaster would happen in case of another tsunami, with massive radiation escape, now that the power station is damaged.
This is my oppinion, I just hope that japanese officials are telling us true. I´ve heard from my father that when Chernobyl nuclear fallout was measured with Czechoslovak army´s old geiger-mullers, result was normal, but Sweden army had detected really high radiadion level (although still no acute radiation disease). letuce and mushrooms had been big that summer...
PS: In some regions, natural background dose is by far higher than in Fukushima (in the evacuation circle, not in the plant). Yet no negative health consequences have been found. And what about pilots? They are irradiated too.
PS2: You also vantet to know some oppinions on nuclear energy. I think it is the best we have. Of course, in some areas, where hydro and geothermal is possible are those the choice no1, but what about Japan? Big consumption, no sources of coal and oil. They just don´t have any other possibility, but of course, they have to be more careful. Record height of tsunami wave is 63 metres (Alaska, 1964) The powerplant was built to endure poor 7 m high wave.
I do not believe in controlled fusion, there´s just too big force to be overcomed to reach distance, where nuclear forces overcome those repulsive. In all experiments, energy input was bigger than energy output.

[This message has been edited by Prefect Marty (edited 04-17-2011 @ 11:39 AM).]

Eswen
Pleb
posted 04-17-11 12:08 ET (US)     2 / 6       
Hi Prefect Marty,
Thanks for the reply. I'll only note two things.

1) About GM counters:
GM counters are useless in high radiation - their dead time increases and they don't get accurate (although accurate is understatement) results. They may even read normal levels in high activity environments. It's just a constructive drawback of the counter.

2) About fusion - we will see in 5-10 years how the ITER project will develop. Their target to produce 500MW with 50MW of input power. It's somewhat modern part of physics, but without any practical results just yet. But as I noted, we will see soon enough.
Prefect Marty
Pleb
posted 04-17-11 12:29 ET (US)     3 / 6       
1) About GM counters:
GM counters are useless in high radiation - their dead time increases and they don't get accurate (although accurate is understatement) results. They may even read normal levels in high activity environments. It's just a constructive drawback of the counter.

That´s why they were using them. They wanted public to think everything´s fine.
Senseisan
Pleb
posted 04-20-11 17:18 ET (US)     4 / 6       
Building " all event proof " fission power could be done in Japan , just pay 10xmore for energy , they could'nt afford ( or they would'nt ? ) . They plaid , they loosed , but " it was the only game in town " ...
Remember that the Japan problem ( high population whith high life level on a restricted land whith poor natural resources ) may be the Earth problem in 20 or 40 years ...
Fusion power is the key , but we ( we , Earthmen ...) are soon 30 years late in researches , as it was not of immediate emergency ( immediate meaning " before the next elections ")...
The main problem about nuclear power is that these wo know don't decide and these who decide don't know .
Does we can deal whithout nuclear ? yes , indeed , just adjust Earth population to 1 000 000 000 instead of 6 or 7 , but political and religious autorities are not soon gone out of Middle Age , when number = power ...


Edit GM can deal whith high radiation levels , if they are build for ( just increase the organic vapor pressure in the sensor ) , but these GM are of scarse use ( thanks God ...) and not usual .

[This message has been edited by Senseisan (edited 04-20-2011 @ 05:24 PM).]

Prefect Marty
Pleb
posted 04-20-11 18:17 ET (US)     5 / 6       
Hi Senseisan. Those GM which were used by Czechoslovak army were only toys to demonstrate proportions of radiation for academical use.
I agree with you on population explosion problem, but what solution would lead to decrease of world population? War? Pandemics? Even if no new children were born from now on, world population would decrease only very slowly, as most of the population in 3rd world is young.
I agree with you on fusion power potential, but I´m affraid that it´s not that easy to build an efficient fusion reactor. Remember, that fusion is not chain reaction, so you would need to provide energy constantly just to keep the reactor going, unless you can discover a solution, which would overcome interatomic repulsive forces without energy input needed. It´s easy in core of a star with such a pressure and temperature. But, let the ITER project show us, as Eswen said.

Regards

[This message has been edited by Prefect Marty (edited 04-20-2011 @ 06:29 PM).]

Eswen
Pleb
posted 04-20-11 19:13 ET (US)     6 / 6       
Building " all event proof " fission power could be done in Japan , just pay 10xmore for energy , they could'nt afford ( or they would'nt ? ) . They plaid , they loosed , but " it was the only game in town " ...
Senseisan, keep in mind, there is no such thing as "all event proof", even in a laboratory you always get an accident once in a while. At HIL Poland, where I was an Erasmus student, there were two colleagues of mine who had got overexposed, even though you have dosimeters at every corner. It doesn't mean that they would die or something like that, but special care should be taken. I'm not saying that Japanese handled it right or wrong, just pointing out that accidents happen.
Fusion power is the key , but we ( we , Earthmen ...) are soon 30 years late in researches , as it was not of immediate emergency ( immediate meaning " before the next elections ")...
A lot of research is done in that field, do not underestimate it. I have a colleague who's working in researching methods to acquire H- ions for the fusion plasma.
GM can deal whith high radiation levels , if they are build for ( just increase the organic vapor pressure in the sensor ) , but these GM are of scarse use ( thanks God ...) and not usual .
Increasing the concentration of dumping gas reduces the counter's low energy sensitivity, so you have some balance you have to keep. Also GMs are used still as first line detectors for beta particles, because of their portability, price and high efficiency (for low to moderate activity). For very high activity environments they are not reliable, but there are other options.

Best regards.
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