Auto majors face paint shortage too Sunday, 27 March 2011 01:021ShareDETROIT: The shortage of a specialty pigment that gives cars a glittering shine has prompted automakers to temporarily restrict orders on vehicles in certain shades of black, red and other colours.
Major automakers, including Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Co, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co use the pigment, called Xirallic, produced at only one factory in the world — the Onahama plant near the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan. The plant is operated by German chemical company Merck KGaA, and has been evacuated. Merck spokesman Gangolf Schrimpf said the company does not know when it will be permitted to reopen the plant, which was closed soon after the March 11 earthquake.
When TEPCO mishandled the Fukushima Daiichi plant, they affected millions of people in Japan and opportunities for economic and business operations around the world as well – that is why it is everybody’s business how these things are handled by nuclear power plants like TEPCO owns or big petroleum companies’ facilities like BP owns and runs. When things go wrong – it impacts everyone around the world and when the things that went wrong get handled in ways that make it even worse, people and businesses and nations around the world pay the real price for those muck ups.
– cricketdiane note
There have been articles that talk about how some of the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that have been made worse or mishandled were based on regulations and knowledge that was never updated by scientific findings and engineering studies which have been made since the regulations and systems were initiated (in the 1950’s and 60’s.) That seems very likely to be a problem in far more plants and nations – especially the United States than most people would think possible.
Nuclear Official Sees No Urgent Changes Needed for American Plants
By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: March 21, 2011
ROCKVILLE, Md. — A top official with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that the nuclear crisis in Japan did not warrant any immediate changes in American nuclear plants. The commission’s inspectors at each nuclear site have been told to double-check that emergency precautions mandated years ago were still in place, including temporary hoses and fittings and other last-ditch backup equipment, said the official, William Borchardt, the executive director for operations.
the commission is not indicating a rush to act; officials say they are confident with preparations already in place, but open to improvements. In the course of a 90-minute session, two of the commissioners used the phrase “systematic and methodical” to describe the approach they wanted to take to applying lessons from Japan to the American fleet
The commission dispatched 11 staff members to Tokyo, where they are helping American Embassy officials understand what is happening [ . . . ] Two more groups of staff members will leave for Japan this week, officials said. (etc.)
Now on CNN – a nuclear regulatory guy – Jeffrey Merrifield –
He just said that elevated radiation levels have not been reported from the event now which shows from several hours ago – the smoke rising from reactors no. 2 & 3 – at Fukushima – HE IS WRONG – that is why they pulled the workers out of the area – high radiation readings were recorded and reported.
Now damn it – either he is lying because he knows these high readings were made or he doesn’t know and damn well should.
Maybe we better start finding out who these people are at our US Nuclear Regulatory Commission – and see where they’ve come from and who they actually are working for – it could be the nuclear industry they are supposed to be regulating and overseeing –
They don’t get to say that there is no changes to be considered for the US reactors – we don’t have some problems in our plants similar to the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant – we have many.
And, when I look around the internet news stories – the only things that our US nuclear regulatory commission members can do is say there is no reason to look at it or consider where the backup generators are placed right now – or anything – they told the operations managers of our nuclear plants to go check to see if extra hoses are still sitting around somewhere? That’s it? That’s all? Are they doing drugs or something? There can be lessons taken right now from what has already happened at the Daiichi plant – including –
people had to be sent into the facility with pump trucks rather than having a robotic, remote-controlled option
pictures and sensors from inside the reactor and the containment vessels in each of the reactors are not indicating whether there has been breech, compromise or meltdown – nor showing some of the chemical concentrations that have to exist there. That must be fixed.
fire suppression equipment wasn’t available or didn’t work at the point where the fire occurred in the fourth floor of the reactor no. 4 – which should certainly have been available in the plant as a part of its design
Control room protection wasn’t adequate because on the first day after the earthquake and tsunami, readings inside the control room were reported to be 1,000 times normal – that is not acceptable
The earthquake did damage the plant because now the defense forces are going to be utilized using their tanks to remove debris from the plant complex as reported in UPI article “Smoke suspends work on Japan Reactor” published today
It is night in Japan right now – there is a noticeable lack of lighting outside that plant which means anything that can possibly be occurring right now can’t be seen – those kinds of emergency lighting systems operating exclusive of main power systems need to be there and they aren’t.
The backup power generators were placed, according to one of the early reports – in the basement. Wherever they were – these were subject to flooding – by design “at sea level” – is not acceptable when they could’ve been placed in the berm behind the plant and been safe from flooding and isolated from the complex in case the diesel fuel that fuels them ever caught fire
The containment vessels do not have indicators to show from any remote location whether they are compromised or not. That is unacceptable.
There was not enough backup battery power to give operators a chance to fix much of anything – two 8-hour battery systems or packs as backup is not enough at a nuclear plant facility for anything besides a very, very minute problem to be satisfied
Every nuclear power plant facility has its reactors built above ground – there is nowhere for the nuclear radioactive fallout – burst off – releases of radioactive steam or air or hydrogen or smoke or whatever the hell else it might be – to go except up and out to be carried by the winds on the surface and in the upper levels across vast populations, goods, foods, water sources, food sources, other plants and equipments which would otherwise be uncontaminated – and homes and businesses and communities and other nations, as a matter of fact
Backup water systems were not available at the Daiichi plant but neither are they available at other plants in the US and around the world. In fact, most every problem listed above exists at the other plants and facilities around the world.
The spent fuel pools did not have their own extraneous cooling water systems – they were being kept with water over them as an open pit within the same buildings as the reactors. When the water was gone, there was not another option of taking water to them. That is not acceptable. There were not sensors and cameras that effectively conveyed what was happening in the spent fuel rod systems – there was not external containment systems around them specifically except for the building itself. That is not acceptable either.
There were not robotics on site specifically for taking a remote camera into areas for viewing it – not for fire suppression – not for sensors to be remotely taken wherever needed and not to check any of a thousand other things from pressure to chemical makeup and radiation readings – every other industry, manufacturer and plant in Japan and around the world has these – but they weren’t available at Daiichi and they aren’t available in any of the US nuclear plants either
The last time a design change was considered for the equipment, the turbine system, the cooling system, the protective garb for employees to wear, the control room configuration, the sensor and types of sensors used, the cameras available to use, the robotics available to use and the general layout of these plants – WAS WHEN? What year was that – and did anything get changed or incorporated into the plants which has been available in the last ten years, five years, two years or now available?
The construction plans and graphics that show how these reactors and containment systems work – show that the steel clad 13 ft thick concrete containment vessel and secondary containment vessels have a weak point which is not 13 ft thick nor steel clad at the point where the water system brings coolant into the containment vessel and then takes the steam out again to the turbines. That could be a significant problem during an earthquake, during a hurricane, during a tornado – and during the event of a meltdown or evaporation of water in the reactor when the pressures exceed those it was designed to consider.
There have been a number of accidents involving nuclear materials, nuclear plants of different types, nuclear radiation, nuclear fallout, nuclear materials handling, nuclear reactors, and nuclear materials in a vast array of applications. The attitudes of the TEPCO and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission members (other than the director) are useless – they do not serve the seriousness and massive damage that is inherent in this industry and the materials it uses.
The addition of seawater which has a number of constituents along with the boron compounds added to stop the reactivity and slow neutron actions created a situation chemically which increased the concentration of those materials within the containment vessel and within the reactor itself. This concentration causes the steam, the evaporation of water into steam and the overall compromise of the reactor to happen faster. The fuel rods when they achieved a higher heat state would’ve melted making the control rods and other control features virtually useless as well. There is a situation in that which is not covered in the field manuals for nuclear reactors both in the US and in Japan where GE’s design is in use.
(and there’s more)
Don’t tell me there have been no accidents involving nuclear materials when you have a job that is paying your salary at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission anywhere – that is nothing but a lie and if you don’t know it – then you need to go work at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart or somewhere that your info isn’t going to be anything but an annoyance – Mr. Jeffrey Merrifield and Mr.William Borchardt, the executive director for operations.
This obviously isn’t the only list – but if these people at the IAEA and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and at TEPCO don’t know about it – they damn well should. And, they should have a much better understanding of what is missing, fallible or in dire need of fixing in all of these plants than they seem to have. That is absolutely unacceptable.
Don’t tell me there isn’t anything to be fixed in these plants – not only are they using a turbine design created 150 years ago – but they are wearing protective suits that haven’t been redesigned in about 75 years despite all the new materials and technologies available. That is bullshit. There is not one other word for it.
In an industry that gets us to pay for everything, and then becomes a private profit-making industry, where we clean up the damage when things go wrong and we bear the brunt of the costs to get it back online when something happens – there is no way that nuclear plants making $2 million in profits every day do not have enough to buy a few cameras and build a secondary backup generator system above the damn flood plain where the plant has been built. That is just plain wrong thinking on the part of these nuclear regulatory commission members to say to operators – go check to see if the backup hoses are still around somewhere in case there is an accident – and that is all we need to do about this.
That is way, way way, wrong.
If those are the best of our brightest minds with college degrees operating in our interest as a nation – then we are screwed and everytime something is needed we will continue to get screwed, lied to – put in danger unnecessarily and otherwise brought to harm. That is not acceptable.
Our nuclear plants sit in highly populated areas. We, the people are not acceptable collateral losses. My family, my children and my grandchildren and the communities where they live are not to be ever considered acceptably tolerated collateral losses in emergency planning scenarios. Get that idea into the minds of our designers, nuclear physicists, plant managers, nuclear plant managers, chemical industry facilities owners and managers, to our local nuclear regulators and oversight agencies and every other elected or appointed official. This is not okay and intolerably so, when a few reasonable additions to these plants could make such an important difference to the possibilities of surviving catastrophic failures that can happen in them.
I have seen the TEPCO reports that they are giving to the government which can be found online – these look foolish – not because of the translation of language – they look foolish for what they are excluding from their reports which either isn’t known and should be or is being left out intentionally. Go read them, I’m not kidding. Its like they’ve filled out a form. And, if that is the case, then the form needs to change – and it needs to be changed all around the world. I sure don’t want to be sitting here in Georgia and my children in their communities around this country and hear there has been a nuclear accident of some kind – then get reports about it like those in Japan from TEPCO right now.
And, I don’t ever want to hear that there was no plan for how to get all of the people evacuated from a fifty-mile radius from the plant where the danger is occurring and radioactive releases are happening in real time. It would be an unnecessary tragedy knowing what we do now – to have no realistic and practical plan in place for moving / evacuating all of the people from a fifty-mile radius of our nuclear power plants within hours of a meltdown event or containment breech – not days later as somebody is figuring out how to do it or why or whether it is necessary or not – and not while “poplitics” from the nuclear industry and their lobbyists try to dissuade our officials from reacting at all lest they cause public “panic”. That would not be an acceptable option and it looks like right now – it is the only one on the list for what would happen after a crisis event begins to unfold in a nuclear plant or industrial accident or nuclear reactor core meltdown or release of radioactive materials from a nuclear power plant or some other industry using them.
So, right now –
We know there is not an effective and orderly plan for moving the millions of people out of the fifty-mile radius of our nuclear plants or any of numerous other dangerous chemical industry facilities’ nearby areas – and to get it done in a timely way without public panic. In many of these areas – the population numbers are greater than they were when the plant’s were built and their emergency plans created.
In Japan right now, as of early this morning our time, they told people to not drink the tapwater because higher levels of radioactive isotopes than safe had been found in it – but the 20km – 30km “shelter in place” communities – have no other water source. They are supposed to stay inside – with no air, no windows open, not go outside, no ventilation systems going – it still is very cold, they have no heat – probably no electricity and now – besides no food handy nearby which is contaminated anyway – no water.
Since we know, the same thing could happen in the US – we could make a plan for what can be done in that instance and enact that plan with the coordinating agencies who would be involved were an event to happen. – UPDATE those plans and playbooks. The time for that is now.
The things that are listed in the bullet list above in this post are now known to be resolvable issues that can be fixed at our nuclear plants and at those around the world. It doesn’t take three years and thirty billion dollars to study it – jolts to our perception of nuclear safety have happened right now – why not fix those things right now in the nuclear industry rather than waiting for the regulations to require it?
And, anybody who is not serving the public interest and the public good who is found to be on the nuclear regulatory commission right now – sure doesn’t need to stay there and be the decision-makers when an accident or disastrous event does happen. They need to go work somewhere else.
The Kansas City Star article by Matthew Daly from 20 minutes ago titled – “NRC: Japan nuke crisis does not warrant US changes”, that says Borchardt also defended the commission’s recommendation that US citizens stay at least 50 miles away from the troubled Fukushima plant. Current US guidelines call for a 10-mile evacuation zone around all US nuclear plants. (etc.)
from Deutsche Welle 17 minutes ago –
“Seawater Sample Feeds Japanese Radiation Fears”
A sample of water taken from the Pacific Ocean near Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has raised fears over the danger posed by heightened radiation levels –
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said the level of radioactive iodine found in the sample was 126.7 times higher than the government-set limit, while the level of caesium (cesium137) was 24.8 times higher. The sample was taken on Monday about 100 meters (320 feet) south of the Fuhkushima No. 1 plant.
There isn’t anybody using the fish from those waters for food is there? Well, of course there is – nobody told the fish not to drink that water, not to breath it in, not to swim in those waters in it, not to feed themselves to other fish that might end up consuming lots of fish with those radioactive isotopes along with other petroleum products and chemicals stirred up by the tsunami in them, or to stay out of those areas.
At 3:55 p.m. local time (6:55 p.m. GMT), a “light gray plume of smoke” rose from the fuel storage pool of reactor No. 3, a TEPCO spokesman told reporters.
“Due to this problem, the operator temporarily pulled out the workers, while checking on the condition of the site,” the spokesman said.
The smoke ceased shortly afterwards, but smoke was then observed rising from reactor No. 2.
The workers are repeatedly enduring high doses of radiation as they continue to try to avert a nuclear disaster which could harm millions of people. An earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11 knocked out the reactor’s power supply and cooling systems, threatening a nuclear meltdown.
The failure of backup generators used to pump cooling water helped cause explosions in at least three of the buildings surrounding Fukushima’s six reactors.
A power board distributing electricity to a reactor’s temperature control valves was not examined for 11 years, and inspectors faked records, pretending to make thorough inspections when in fact they were only cursory, TEPCO said.
It also said that inspections, which are voluntary, did not cover other devices related to cooling systems including water pump motors and diesel generators.
September 1957 – Mayak nuclear waste storage tank explosion at Chelyabinsk. Two hundred plus fatalities, believed to be a conservative estimate; 270,000 people were exposed to dangerous radiation levels. Over thirty small communities had been removed from Soviet maps between 1958 and 1991. (INES level 6).
or a list of lists on wikipedia about nuclear accidents – check civilian nuclear accidents, civilian nuclear incidents – and this page – (also the discussions pages behind the entries found on the tab above, know that the nuclear industry and their lobbyists are trying to influence what can be found or not about these particular subjects that reflect negatively on them.) –
Note – that some lists are made of nuclear accidents which concern commercial applications of nuclear materials, some have military uses of nuclear materials or experimental research accidents – and some have the civilian nuclear accidents and incidents (such as the civilian nuclear power plants that make up the greatest number of nuclear power reactors now around the world for scope, scale, proximity to human life, and to amount and degree of nuclear materials on site – compared with research facilities which are more numerous but have lower supplies of actual materials kept on site or within the confines of their labs) –
However, some other massive errors are made at those numerous and scattered research and university facilities by the cavalier handling of the materials and waste products because the facility designers of the school around it can accommodate those materials without the added care of engineering specialists, such as putting a cask for radioactive materials on the floor of the lab above the school cafeteria that exists on the floor below it, etc.)
Somebody really needs to check on some of those kinds of things – both in the chemistry labs and the radioactive materials handling along with the waste products of both at universities, research facilities and medical facilities that use them.
Surely we don’t have to wait for a disaster in order to do something now . . .
Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents
From the World Health Organization and IAEA website –
Although the likelihood of a major accident at a nuclear facility is low, should such an accident occur, protective actions near the facility and monitoring of radiation at longer distances would need to be taken to protect the public. Other radiation emergencies (for example, a radiation source appears in the human environment, patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment are accidentally overexposed) normally affect only a few individuals, but they occur much more frequently (several times each year). More recently the threat of possible terrorist attacks using radioactive materials or nuclear warheads has become prominent.
UN Agency Contact and Response
For major nuclear and radiation emergencies the international organizations with relevant responsibilities have a Joint Plan for a co-ordinated response. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the prime coordinating agency for an international response to radiation accidents. Functional links have been established between agencies to ensure continuous communication and activation of the plan of action.
In addition to the IAEA and WHO, the key international partners cooperating in this response are: the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization on Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
WHO is a full party to the Conventions on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Early Notification Convention) and Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (Assistance Convention), for which the IAEA is the focal point. These Conventions provide the prime legal instruments that establish an international framework to facilitate exchange of information and the prompt provision of assistance in the event of radiation accidents, with the aim of minimizing the health consequences.
WHO works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to prepare for and respond to nuclear accidents and radiological emergencies, principally to provide, coordinate and consult medical assistance to victims of such events where severe radiation exposure has occurred. Advice can also be provided to national authorities on how to prepare and respond to such radiation accidents, or what kind of public health actions may be needed.
Emergency medical support for radiation exposed individuals is provided through WHO’s Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network (REMPAN). This is activated following notification about a radiaion accident with causalties (but even in case of a single victim with severe overexposure) from the IAEA or directly to WHO.
Then why is there radiation and radioactive isotopes in the food supply and in the drinking water as far away as Tokyo in Japan right now? Why is there fish and food supply from the Pacific Ocean in danger from radioactive fallout?
Why were the simple measures that could have been done at the very beginning of the nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi – which would have prevented the exposure of thousands of people (and maybe millions of people now) – not taken, not done, not activated effectively and immediately? If they knew obviously ahead of time what was involved, why didn’t they act and react with immediacy and appropriateness to the level of seriousness involved? Why didn’t the international community consider it to be of the degree of seriousness that is actually involved which was known as a possible scenario ahead of time according to the information above from the website?
The playbook in use at the actual disaster events is out of date apparently. (my note).
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday said that the risk of radiation in food had so far been underestimated – according to the article in Deutsce Welle about the Seawater Samples (noted above in this post)
What we need is “dimensional displacement” per volume of air – energy of atoms is at a rate of speed plus radiation displaces ordinary chemistry composition and ordinary atomic distributions by virtue of its radioactive isotopes entering the chain of possible reactions and combinations within that volume of air. Wind further distributes, however, these are extraordinary changes to the normal constituents of air – it is not the same as when smoke of no radioactive nature or soot enters the air – or other types of chemical compounds and constituents or impurities. This makes changes to the surrounding air molecules and at the molecular level of these normal compounds and does so in the entire volume of air where they enter and then interact. (my note)
Surely we have software now that can model these things – this isn’t a flat reading at some plant gate once radioactive releases have occurred. It is scalar – and dimensional as the volume of air is acted upon by the radioactive isotopes being thrust with heat into it.That is more than a “fluid dynamics” kind of thing.
Radioactive substances detected in tap water in Japan’s 9 prefectures
According to a nationwide survey by the science and technology ministry, radioactive iodine was detected in tap water of the six prefectures of Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata and Yamanashi while iodine and cesium were detected in Tochigi and Gunma prefectures.
In Fukushima Prefecture, where the nuclear plant is located, iodine was detected in a sample collected at 8 a.m. Monday.
In Tokyo cesium was detected on Saturday but was not found Sunday.
The safety intake limit set by the Nuclear Safety Commission is 300 becquerels per kiloliter of water for iodine and 200 becquerels for cesium. (etc.)