Monday, March 14, 2011


Details are sketchy but the latest news from Japan is that the fourth reactor has exploded and is leaking radiation. Hard to say what will happen next. Even the experts are stumped. This is after all uncharted territory. One question I'd like to know is what the radiation levels being released are. I've been hearing 150 milrems per hour. That's from the old method but at least it's a frame of reference.
As they say there's always worse but this is ridiculous. First earthquake then tsunami and now a nuclear disaster. If anything good can come of this it will be a wake up call on preparedness and what to do in a disaster. As we sit here on the west coast on several faults we know it's just a matter of time before we experience a very large quake.
What can we expect?
Impassable roads
No electricity
No Gas
No Communications (cell phones)
No gasoline (power for the pumps)
Food shortages
Trapped people
Limited access to medical

Something to think about going forward. It's not a matter of if but when this will happen. The Alaska quake of the 1960s had one thing going for us. The population was less than half what it is now.


Jerry Critter said...

I wonder what magnitude earthquake our reactors are built to withstand. I bet it is not an 8.9 quake.

The Blog Fodder said...

Japan is so earthquake conscious, but when it came to the reactors they were not tsunami conscious at all apparently. The emergency power etc for maintaining the cooling systems was below the water line and flooded out with the Tsunami. How stupid to prepare for an earthquake but not a tidal wave in a reactor by the edge of the Pacific.
When the big one hits the west coast a great deal of the lower mainland of BC - Vancouver et al, will disappear. Much of it is built on a mud flat.

The Blog Fodder said...

BBC report
Not Chernobyl. Yet. But getting more dangerous with time.

Tim said...

It's my understanding that the reactors are GE made and about 30 years old. I also think we have maybe 27 of the GE models in operation here in the U.S.. Just going by memory so I'm sure I'm off a bit.
The thing is it's coming out that Japan has been having leaks and emergencies with them for awhile. they just never reported it. I have to wonder if that to is being done here. This self monitering crap is just that.

Demeur said...

Jerry I'd say you are correct in your bet. The only thing built around here to withstand a 9.0 was when they rebuilt the control tower at Sea Tac airport.

Fodder Much of Seattle and Tacoma are built on a mud flat as well. That won't make for a pretty picture when the big one hits. Scary thing about this is that there are four reactors and not just one.

Tim as I pointed out in a previous post most of these reactors are beyond their lifespan and should have been decommissioned years ago.

Geoduck said...

While the situation in Japan is bad, this particular map is a fake, cobbled together by someone on the Internet. The symbol in the lower left was lifted from a company called Australian Radiation Services. They have posted a statement on their website ( refuting the graphic.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Oh, c'mon, that map is an arbitrary fake!

Lockwood said...

Yes, Stu nailed it: that map has been confirmed as a hoax.

S.W. Anderson said...

Glad to hear that map is bogus. I looked at it and was suspicious. Especially about the logo, LOL.

That said, we're not immune to having some increased radiation coming our way if the top or side comes off the containment structure.

If you suddenly find you don't have to turn on the bathroom light to brush your teeth at bedtime, you know something's up.

Anonymous said...

DISCLAIMER: Australian Radiation Services is aware of information about radioactive contamination being spread from the Japanese nuclear reactor incident released under the ARS logo and name. We wish to be clear that this information has not originated from ARS and as such distance ourselves from any such misinformation.

Anonymous said...

it was actually just officially said to be a 9.0 earthquake