The terrible earthquake and tsunami beginning in Japan

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by BBW, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    I woke up to the news of the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami. I can only offer my prayers and wishes for any and all who have been hurt or worse from these terrible events.

    Please, if any of our members are living near or in any of the parts of the countries effected, or have friends or family who do, let us know what you can. We are all, I am sure, thinking of you.
     
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  2. AzPete

    AzPete SC Veteran

    404
    Dec 24, 2010
  3. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    I spend quite a lot of time in Japan from 1985 to 1993 and still have a few Japanese friends there - I have tried to contact them to find out if they are OK but have had no reply

    It is a terrible disaster and looks like one of the worst ever

    I am sure the world will do everything it can to help the Japanese people
     
  4. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    "The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center extended a tsunami warning across most of the Pacific Ocean, and said the tsunami would threaten coastal areas of Russia, Taiwan, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia later in the day. The agency, based in Hawaii, added the west coasts of the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America to the list of regions that were given tsunami alerts."

    I just read that there was an additional earthquake at 7.4 during the aftershocks.

    Bill, keep us posted with regard to your friends in Japan.
     
  5. Penny

    Penny SC Veteran

    384
    Aug 26, 2010
    Outside Liverpool Uk
    I have watched the TV reports today am horrified by what I see; the 7.4 was said to be an aftershock! whatever it was; it was bad; I dread to think what the injured and indeed those lost numbers will be but my thoughts and prayers go with all those affected directly and indirectly of all the peoples in Japan and surrounding areas.
     
  6. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Strictly speaking from a personal view point, I am relieved to know that our friends and their family members in Japan are all safe. Of course this doesn't do anything for those who have been overwhelmed and worse with this disaster.
     
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    My thoughts and prayers goes out to all those in Japan and their relatives and friends elsewhere.
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    A very small and unimportant serious compacts / m43 connection. A video taken with a gh2 by a guy riding it out in a Tokyo office building with his co-workers. They were all ok, but its kind of terrifying to see and not quite feel what this was like. And soooo far from the epicenter. I had no idea the serious shaking lasts that long in a big quake - I've only experienced some incredibly small ones that you could barely feel. Yikes.

    -Ray

    March 11 Earthquake in Tokyo - Panasonic GH2 on Vimeo
     
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  9. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    Fascinating. That is such a Japanese office layout, too.

    When I was a contractor for Honda in Torrance, they also had low cubicles with partitions at about eye level. It gave a bigger sense of space than most American-style cube layouts. They used white noise generators to keep it quiet; it was one of the quietest places I've ever worked.

    Interesting point: everyone had those cubes; very important managers sometimes had double-size ones with a little four-seat table in half. I worked in legal (as a database administrator), and most lawyers are used to offices with doors; the concession there was they had their own offices with glass walls, but there was an opening that had no door.

    I stayed up really late because of the Tsunami. I kept watching live coverage until almost 5:30 a.m. (I'm an insomniac anyway) I hope there will be as few injuries and deaths as possible. The infrastructure loss is terrible, but the people can't be replaced.

    As always, I hope in particular that everyone involved in the serious compacts industry is safe and sound.
     
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  10. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Man Ray, living in Berkeley, CA a block from the Hayward fault that looks terrifying. The tsunami destroyed harbors in Santa Cruz and Crescent City. The amount of energy in that water is immense.
     
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  11. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
  12. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Thank goodness it was anticlimactic.
     
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  14. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 14, 2010
    One big problem seems to be rather acute: The nuclear power plant Fukushima I has been hit seriously. Radioactivity has been set free, the coolant system is down and a melt-down will happen if the technicians cannot cool the damaged fuel rods. As an European I can still remember the accident in Chernobyl, which contaminated large areas all over Europe. A melt down of Fukushima I would be a tremendous catastrophe. Lets hope, that this won't happen.
     
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  15. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Real Name:
    olli
    Via Photoshelter blog, images from the Atlantic and Boston Globe showing the scale of the devastation.

    As the poster at Photoshelter noted these still images convey something that video is incapable of.
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    This morning I received an email from one of our good friends in Japan. His family was very lucky, however just reading his descriptions of what it was like in his office building, coupled with the films and photos...terrifying. He said that the only way they could stay in touch with each other until they were reunited was email. He, too, is very worried about the nuclear power plant and is trying to find some of his co-workers who were traveling within the country for a work project.
     
  17. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    I am very sorry to have just seen this:

    NY Times, March 12th: Explosion Rocks Japan Nuclear Plant After Quake, By MATTHEW L. WALD
    There are interactive maps and more.

    I'm sure we all have our own sources of information, some personal, and many via journalists. I receive updates via NPR:Radiation Down At Japan Nuke Plant After Blast : NPR
     
  18. Penny

    Penny SC Veteran

    384
    Aug 26, 2010
    Outside Liverpool Uk
    Watching an interview with a European Nuclear Scientist consultant who has work in Japan for 20 years said that the government and powers that be never tell all the truth when it comes to and of the Plants so as not to alarm the public.
    As they were reporting that the radiation levels were falling to acceptable levels; they were extending the safety areas further and further away from the plant.
    Thus moving the population out of their homes, now if the safety risk was lessening why were they extending the safety area?
     
  19. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Well, let us hope that is not true. What we do not want to happen is to have unsubstantiated information posted. When disasters or wars or terrorist attacks happen it is important to try to keep calm and gain as much accurate information as possible.

    Reuter's, the IAEA has a Facebook page here:Latest IAEA update on Japan Earthquake (1340 CET 12 March 2011) | Facebook to name two sources.

    I'm sure we are all going to be watching and listening to these events and hoping and praying for the people effected. No doubt the story is going to unfold in fits and starts. I am really hoping that Japan's engineers knew what they were doing with their construction. Clearly they are way ahead of many countries in this regard.
     
  20. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Real Name:
    Barrie
    I write as a former engineer in the UK Nuclear power industry. The design of the reactor in question is very different from those used in the UK, it's known as a boiling water reactor (BWR). The heat produced in the nuclear reactor core is extracted by light water which in boiling turns into steam which is passed directly to the steam turbine. Most other systems use intermediate heat exchangers. One of the short comings of the BWR is that even the turbine is subject to some form of radiation being carried over in the steam and workers even in the turbine hall need to be protected from that radiation, a situation that does not occur with gas cooled reactors (AGR) or pressurised water reactors (PWR). That radiation normally takes the form of nitrogen 16 which has a half life of just a few seconds.

    Non of us have any way of knowing what might have been vented from the reactor pressure vessel in a controlled manner, but it might well be steam from the free space above the reactor core with these very short lived radioactive elements in it.

    Replacing the light water in the reactor with seawater will take several hours. That seawater will be dosed with Boric acid which will effectively stop any nuclear reaction that is still occuring within the reactor core. The control rods which would normally serve this purpose also contain boron. I understand that in a BWR these are often inserted from below which is somewhat unusual, most control rods drop in from above under gravity which should be fail safe under most circumstances.

    There are many redundant safety systems in place so I would suggest that it is still rather soon to be disseminating messages that could induce some form of panic.

    Having said that I know that the nuclear industry can be its own worst enemy by not keeping everyone fully informed for fear of the reaction of anti-nuclear groups.

    Barrie
     
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