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Nuclear Engineer Here To Tell You What CNN Won't

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March 14, 2011 – Comments (59) | RELATED TICKERS: URE , SHAW.DL , GE

Yes, the issue with the nuclear power plants in Japan is very serious.  No, I did not have any part in those designs since many are over 40 years old.  Yes, I am designing the next generation of nuclear power plants that are currently being built in China and the US.  No, our design is not like the designs in Japan.  Now that we get that out of the way, let's get to some real information.

Despite what fear the CNN reporters are trying to do (either for hidden agenda, drama boost, or ratings), much of what they are saying and reporting is highly wrong and exaggerated.  Many of the reporters don't have a clue of how a nuclear power plant even works, let alone how one shuts down.  They will try to get the China Syndrome Sequel out just to make a buck.  The situation in Japan has no doubt affected the nuclear industry in many ways.  I'm here to tell you that nuclear engineering won't go away.  Many existing power plants do WORK.  They are however getting older and will need to be replaced by either nuclear power (our design or competitors) or by some new invention.  I have yet to see this 'new invention'.  On top of that, there are many stocks today that took a hit that are directly or indirectly affected by this weekend's nuclear issues.  I believe this could be the 'BP Oil Spill' of 2011.  BP dropped from the $60's to $27+ in a short time.  Today we can see despite 'destroying the Gulf of Mexico and ruining the planet' or other phrases networks like CNN like to put out, BP is still alive and very well - giving a new dividend later this month.

These are stocks to consider regarding the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear "meltdown":

URRE - Uranium Resources - has taken a 27%+ hit along with most of the sector today; involved in uranium exploration; for those unaware, this is the fuel we use to power nuclear reactors.  Other stocks in this sector to consider: URZ, UEC, URG, DNN, CXZ, and URE.

SHAW - The Shaw Group - has taken an early 20% hit in early trading and now at around 19%; engineering firm playing a big part in the next generation of nuclear power plants being built around the world; they are responsible for other engineering but nuclear power plays a large role.

GE - General Electric Company - diversified company that also plays a smaller part in nuclear; has taken a 3-4% hit today.

Toshiba - several stocks are traded in relation to Toshiba which plays a large part in not only electronics but also nuclear technology.

These are just some areas to get started.  If you look more into what it takes to run a nuclear power plant, you will see many companies are affected by this disaster in Japan.  Of course, if you believe you will profit in the future on some of these picks, take some of the profits and donate them to one of many charities to aid the Japan Earthquake relief.  Some ideas are below:

www.savethechildren.org.au

www.redcross.org

www.medicalteams.org

Cheers!

-mikecart1

59 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 14, 2011 at 2:26 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

So, mikecart1, can yu give more insight into the seriousness of the nuclear situation in Japan?  Can radiation find its way to the US?

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#2) On March 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

The issue in Japan is very serious.  We had a group meeting at work today and discussed the situation and why it happened.  It is an old design that relies on diesel backup.  Our new designs don't rely on that in a situation like this.  From what we know the more the fuel rods are exposed (not drowned in coolant), the more chance radiation will be released.  We weren't sure in the meeting today how they can say with certainty containment is intact - especially if radiation levels are rising. 

No radiation should find its way to the US though.  We are still learning more about it throughout the day and probably the rest of this week at the very least.  Our CEO sent everyone a more detailed letter today before work started on the situation.

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#3) On March 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

Pitch by: topsecret10 3/14/11 1:07 PM /USU   I am adding this uranium company on the selloff today,and I am buying It with real money. The Japan nuclear disaster Is a terrible event,and my heart goes out to all of those affected In Japan, but from an Investment prospective I consider this a buying opportunity In this small undervalued stock. This company Is a true "pure play" In nuclear,and I believe that the Industry will not only survive this,but come back stronger as a result. American companies will use this disaster as a lesson learned, and this will allow them to build stronger and safer nuclear plants In the future... TS

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#4) On March 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

Ticker symbol on the above stock  Is actually  UEC (Uranium Energy Corp)....      The company used to be called USEC and the old symbol was USU...   :-)    TS

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#5) On March 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

The minute that they started pumping sea water into the reactors showed a sign of desperation. Boron infused sea-water does control overheating, but also destroys the reactor in the process.

I'm not as sure as mikecart about radiation not affecting the US. I question the stabilility of the containment chambers. The fact that US ships detected radiation 100 miles away is not a good sign either.

Those rods melt at 2000C. Whatever happens, it's going to be bad.

The fact that they were so quick to pump in sea-water and destroy the rectors in the process is a very bad sign.

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#6) On March 14, 2011 at 3:34 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

hi topsecret10, that is one of the stocks I recommend.  I just made a purchase to another uranium stock above earlier today.  In the words of Jim Cramer, you got 'horse sense'! lol.

hi ChrisGraley, yes sea water does indeed destroy the power plant or at the very least, guarantees it will never operate again.  A lot of money was lost on that decision but it was one that was required to try to stop the fuel from overheating and being exposed.  After the earthquake the rods did go down but then the tsunami wiped out the backup diesel generators.  These generators are used to cycle coolant water (not seawater) through containment and controllably release decay heat properly.  Seawater was the last resort.  We are keeping our eyes on it since what happens there will affect nuclear industry worldwide for a long time.

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#7) On March 14, 2011 at 4:12 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

Chris,

Where did you hear that US ships could detect radiation from 100 miles offshore?

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#8) On March 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM, lemoneater (83.40) wrote:

Very informative. Thanks!

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#9) On March 14, 2011 at 4:46 PM, BurntTiger (< 20) wrote:

what about CCJ or BWC?

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#10) On March 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

BurntTiger, for uranium producer plays, I tried to go more for the smaller market caps since their upside I believe is a little better than something like a CCJ.  CCJ might actually be a better long-term play since it has been around over a decade and provides a dividend - even if it is small potatoes.

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#11) On March 14, 2011 at 5:00 PM, leohaas (31.63) wrote:

People have a tendency to compare to put things into the right perspective. How would you rate this incident:

1) Way worse than Chernobyl
2) Somewhat worse than Chernobyl
3) About as bad as Chernobyl
4) Not quite as bad as Chernobyl, but a lot worse than Three Mile Island
5) Nowhere near as bad as Chernobyl, but somewhat worse than Three Mile Island
6) About as bad as Three Mile Island
7) Not quite as bad as Three Mile Island
8) Nowhere near as bad as Three Mile Island, but it could still get a lot worse (if so, how bad)
9) What are you talking about? Three Mile Island was a lot worse and this will never get even close.

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#12) On March 14, 2011 at 5:00 PM, leohaas (31.63) wrote:

People have a tendency to compare to put things into the right perspective. How would you rate this incident:

1) Way worse than Chernobyl
2) Somewhat worse than Chernobyl
3) About as bad as Chernobyl
4) Not quite as bad as Chernobyl, but a lot worse than Three Mile Island
5) Nowhere near as bad as Chernobyl, but somewhat worse than Three Mile Island
6) About as bad as Three Mile Island
7) Not quite as bad as Three Mile Island
8) Nowhere near as bad as Three Mile Island, but it could still get a lot worse (if so, how bad)
9) What are you talking about? Three Mile Island was a lot worse and this will never get even close.

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#13) On March 14, 2011 at 5:01 PM, leohaas (31.63) wrote:

OOPS, sorry for posting twice.

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#14) On March 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM, BurntTiger (< 20) wrote:

thanks!

what is your highest confidence pick for the nuclear industry?

 

+1 rec

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#15) On March 14, 2011 at 5:07 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

Hi leohaas, right now it is between #4 and #6.  It is not even close to Chernobyl at the moment.  And for CNN to continue to compare it to Chernobyl only shows their ignorance.  The Chernobyl design wasn't even in a suitable containment vessel.  When Chernobyl blew up, it literally blew up with radiation and all and killed many people and containment many others.  3 Mile Island killed zero people.

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#16) On March 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

BurntTiger, it depends on how long you want to invest.  I think any of the uranium fuel companies I recommended can profit for years to come since the power plants we are designing are going to run for the majority of the 21st century.  However, one of the engineering firms that build nuclear reactors is also good. 

It really depends on what Congress wants to do at the moment though.  If they treat this like 3 Mile Island and put the industry at a halt again, it could mean slow or no returns for quite awhile. 

I will say that when BP spilled oil everywhere, I only bought more and more on the way down and now I am in the green.  Supposedly at one point, BP was on the 'verge of bankruptcy' on networks like CNN. 

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#17) On March 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM, bcvz (29.87) wrote:

mikecart1,

Why wouldn't they have planned for a tsunami being right on the coast line beside the Pacific Ring of Fire?  You think any generator would be positioned in a tsunami proof manner; did they have their generators in the basement or something?  Just sounds like very poor planning to me.

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#18) On March 14, 2011 at 5:35 PM, BurntTiger (< 20) wrote:

A US nuke plant spokesperson in socal being interviewed on CNN said that "peak ground acceleration number" is the number that the plants are built to withstand and not a richter scale number.  He said that even though the plant is only built to take a 7.0, it can take a "peak ground acceleration of .65"  he also the japanese quake had a "peak ground acceleration of .34" even though it was a 9.0 and thus his plant could withstand it. 

CNN made a big stink out of the "built for a 7.0, but 9 is higher than 7 thing" And then discredited him on national TV. 

 

I hope that made sense, but could you elaborate on "peak ground acceleration" vs richter scale numbers

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#19) On March 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

bcvz,

Planning for a tsunami right after a 9.0 earthquake wasn't in the guidelines in the 1970s when those plants were built.  What CNN fails to highlight is that the plants went through the 3 safety systems that it were set up to go through.  They make it seem like it all failed and had no backup.  

A generator is just part of THAT design.  Nuclear power plants are far more advanced now.  The plant I'm working on does not have a need for diesel backup generators.  Keep in mind technology in the 1970s is far different from today.  Think of what kind of computers were around then vs. now.  IMO, it was actually great planning.  See how that plant compares to the Chernobyl plant which was one big failure.

BurntTiger,

Building a plant to withstand a 9.0 earthquake is not impossible, just not very realistic.  The one guy from the NRC said it best yesterday.  The nuclear power plants are earthquake resistant, not earthquake proof.  The designs we are working on I don't believe can withstand a 9.0 earthquake.  People should see what that type of power equals in terms of what humans can build.  The best answer is that nuclear power plants are seismicly rated, but nothing is completely invincible.

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#20) On March 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM, BurntTiger (< 20) wrote:

youve convinced me but i jumped in way to early with BP.  What sort of time frame should i be looking at to invest at the opportune moment.  ASAP? 1 week?

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#21) On March 14, 2011 at 6:09 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

BurntTiger, my investing strategy is probably different from many on here.  My goal like it says on my CAPS is to make money at all costs vs. losing anything.  If you watched SHAW today you might have missed the window of opportunity as it came back up today and you could have gotten a quick 8% jump intraday.  The uranium stocks will be speculative.  I don't do large orders when entering stocks so it is up to what you can risk/reward.

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#22) On March 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM, BurntTiger (< 20) wrote:

let me phrase that another way, how long in your opinion as a nuclear engineer would these reactors take to cool down to a point they are no longer a concern, given the current situation.

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#23) On March 14, 2011 at 6:21 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

BurntTiger, the ones in Japan will be monitored for several weeks - regardless of what the morons of CNN think.  I know they like to completely disregard a hot item once it doesn't have the drama needed for ratings (ie BP oil spill suddenly vanished one day from networks).  Since the fuel did not cool properly, they will keep their eye on it for at least the next week or so, and then slowly get closer to it with radiation guidance and other studies.  People don't quite get what cooling down means.  For our reactors, a stage of cool down is actually 300F.  300F is actually considered cool enough for the next 'stage' of cooling.  For the Japan reactors, there really isn't any cooling down.  If exposed, there may be enough decay heat for a month or more.  They might decide to never even go into the power plant again and just cover it up for good.

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#24) On March 14, 2011 at 6:23 PM, BurntTiger (< 20) wrote:

thanks!

 

sorry for bugging the crap outta you

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#25) On March 14, 2011 at 7:03 PM, TMFBlacknGold (98.64) wrote:

Great insight! +1

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/bringing-intelligence-to-the/556837

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#26) On March 14, 2011 at 7:05 PM, devoish (98.36) wrote:

mikecart1

Can you explain what you do for cooling that does not need a back-up cooling system? Or do you use a different power source than onsite diesel generators?

And why should people be ok with "you can't design for a 9.0 quake"? you cannot design a windmill for a 9.0 quake either, but unless it lands on a boat when it fall over - no harm done.

Tell us something good here.

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#27) On March 14, 2011 at 7:21 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

devoish,

We use a different power source than onsite diesel generators for emergency backup.  It is somewhat proprietary info but you can find more information by going to the NRC site and looking for 'passive pwr' reactors.

Our nuclear power plants are not being built for these large earthquakes and won't be placed in earthquake zones like in California.  But don't underestimate the design, our nuclear power plants will be the most state-of-the-art in design and safety.  It is a 20+ year design in progress still today and will be improved based on what we learn from Japan.

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#28) On March 14, 2011 at 7:47 PM, Seano67 (38.46) wrote:

Great blog posting. Highly informative. This is a sterling example of what makes CAPS blogs so great sometimes, because this is extremely useful information which which one might be able to make themselves a little bit of $$$. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and expertise, mikecart!

 

Cheers!

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#29) On March 14, 2011 at 8:54 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

mikecart1, thanks for posting this, I had an intention to post a similar blog because everything I've seen about this has been so wrong it is ludicrous.

Last night I actually saw a graphic of projected fallout from one nuclear facility that would blanket the western third of the USA with lethal doses of radiation.

When stories appear in the popular media about science or technology they are almost invariably wrong. 

The speculations by the professional pundits about how the catastrophy in Japan will affect the market  have been just as bad. For example, they say world oil demand will go down since refineries there have been damaged.  Everybody here has seen video of the devastation.  Do you really think they will need less diesel? If they can't ramp production adequately in their remaining facilities, wouldn't they just import refined products?

The Japanese are a hardy people, they will rebuild and they will come back strong.  I would think that material and energy (non-nuclear) stocks would be of interest.

 

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#30) On March 14, 2011 at 9:12 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

Jbays I forget the link but I read that the USS Ronald Reagan picked up the equivilant of a month's worth of normal exposure 100 miles off the coast.

devoish, I'm not sure about how it's done, but I'll tell you how I would design it.

You have 2 things to worry about if the reactor shuts down successfully like it did in Japan. Those things are heat and pressure. You have to take care of both of those 2 things because one excalates the other.

In addition to outside power generation, you can tack an extra steam powered generator directly on the reactor strictly to pump cooling fluid. This way you can vent steam into the generator to pump coolant back into the reactor. You can also divert excess pressure into a condensation chamber and divert that codensed steam back into the coolant supply.

The second way you could do it is with a hydrogen fuel cell. The explosions that happened were because hydrogen generated from the cooling fluid recombined with oxygen within the chamber. If you could harvest and recombine the Hydrogren and Oxygen in a controlled way, you have an amazing amount of power for pumping coolant.

You obviously have to have lots of redundancy. As I was writing this, I thought of a third solution. If you have gravity fed coolant, you wouldn't need to worry about pumping. You would have to store huge amounts of coolant, but that would have come in really handy short term when the rods were exposed. 

I know that you want to hear something good about designing for a 9.0 earthquake, but when all is said and done, 100,000 people are going to be dead no matter what happens to the reactors. A 9.0 earthquake is several orders of magnitude more than even an 8.5 earthquake, follow that earthquake with a tsunami and people just don't have a chance.

The fact that 40 year old reactors with 1970's technology shut down the way they were supposed to in such a scenario amazed me. I have much more respect for the technology back in the 70's now than I did before. Remember that these were built in an age without computers. 

 

 

 

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#31) On March 14, 2011 at 10:59 PM, russiangambit (29.27) wrote:

Well, it looks pretty bad right now. I hope they get things under control . But their actions so far do appear panicked and incompetent, it is not a good sign. When you see conflicting reports coming in, you get feeling that you are not being told the truth. Of course, it is easy for us to say while people are out there risking their lives . But given how many people live in that area the situation can get out of control very fast so I would rather they over-prepare.

I can't believe in people in Tokyo are working. They are overloading the infrustructure further  with their dedication. In Houston when hurracaine hits only essential services are running, everybody else is in recovery mode for at least 3-5 days.

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#32) On March 15, 2011 at 8:31 AM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

NOTvuffet,

Like I guessed earlier, I was right yesterday evening when watching CNN at the 8pm hour.  The reporter on the show didn't even know wind can affect where nuclear radiation goes.  He actually confused the radiation you get from a nuclear reactor to that you get from the sun.  He even said something about how wind doesn't affect the sun light.  I tuned off shortly after. 

When you have people like this giving news as serious as this, it just amazes me that every show doesn't have at least one person from the NRC or another nuclear area to co-host the show.  So much information is completely wrong and now I even heard Americans are trying to prepare for the nuclear radiation through winds this morning.

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#33) On March 15, 2011 at 9:43 AM, BBRAF (< 20) wrote:

Tank you for this enlightened exchange.I am amazed at the way the public and worse the investers are reacting to this event.Why for example is the price of oil and gas going down when it is certain to continue to be needed at the same rate or even more if nuclear energy is put on hold?Why is gold going down if japan has to print money by the trillions to pay for the recovery?Poeple still believe that we can suvive on wind or solar energy.this a pipe dream in the forseable future.Canadian oil pipelines will turn out very well after this particularly if the middle turmoil continues.

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#34) On March 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

It looks like the are officially realeasing high levels of radition into the atmosphere now.

A wind shift toward Tokyo could make this devastating.

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#35) On March 15, 2011 at 9:52 AM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

BBRAF,

No problem.  I just got tired of seeing what was being said in the comment section of CNN online.  It shouldn't surprise me when you have reporters openly admitting on live TV they just learned how a nuclear power plant works either that same day or the night before going on TV. 

ChrisGraley,

It is what I guessed would happen.  The original explosions occurred outside the shell of containment but as our group discussed yesterday it made no sense for the shell to be intact simply due to the way they were cooling the reactor prior to the explosion.  We have the news on everywhere here at work and even have media teams designated when the reporters start arriving.  We were in the newspapers yesterday locally.  The anti-nuclear activists are sure to arrive sooner or later.

We have donated a lot of money to Japan and have sent people there to help.

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#36) On March 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM, JaysRage (89.30) wrote:

Thanks for all the updates.   This is obviously an incredibly informative thread.    Your updates and answers are very much appreciated! 

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#37) On March 15, 2011 at 10:43 AM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

Here is an article that is a lot more accurate that you will find elsewhere as it was written by an MIT professor:

http://www.businessinsider.com/japan-reactors-pose-no-risk-2011-3#ixzz1GZnQnOSj

This will also help those new to reactor theory.  Keep in mind I design PWR's, not BWR's.  Just a different way of reaching the same goal.

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#38) On March 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM, Zanibel17 (97.19) wrote:

Some people take issue with Dr. Oehman's paper, mikecart1.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/remember-mit-all-safe-paper

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#39) On March 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

Zanibel17,

Good point.  We should take that into consideration.

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#40) On March 15, 2011 at 5:01 PM, NEMnyWtch (< 20) wrote:

You are one cool fool Mike.

Thx for the info. and the reminder - why wait?  I just made a donation to Save the Children.  Without your blog, I would not have thought of this, being all wrapped up in stock work.  Thx!

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#41) On March 15, 2011 at 5:10 PM, Acesnyper (< 20) wrote:

Just wanted to say great blog, thanks for sharing the information with us all!

 

Recced you, and well earned. 

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#42) On March 15, 2011 at 5:23 PM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

NEMnyWtch,

I made a donation too today to the Red Cross.  People don't realize how significant a contribution Japan makes to the world with their culture, technology, and everything else.  A contribution might not go a long way but it is the least we can do as a world.

Acesnyper,

No problem.  I figured me working in the nuclear industry would pay off sooner or later.  We had meetings and teleconferences all day at work.  

I did have a few ideas that might seem crazy but sometimes crazy situations call for crazy measures.  On CNN I saw them discussing about flying helicopters over with water.  I don't think this is a good idea.  I was thinking though, if there was a way to shoot or drop lead pellets over the reactor that were of cylindrical shape.  This would not eliminate the radiation completely but would be somewhat of a shield for a lot of the radiation.  The radiation can be blocked very well with lead.  They would obviously have to shoot tons of lead but this might be somewhat an idea.  Making them cylindrical shape pellets because it will allow the reactor to release heat without blowing up all the pellets from overheating/pressure.  In the spent fuel pool we use a similar method to controll heat/bubbling but it is more of ping pong size and not lead (it floats on the spent fuel pool water).

 

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#43) On March 15, 2011 at 6:16 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

This is a little late on this thread, but for anyone else that wants to donate, I just did so at www.shelterbox.org.

This seems to be a very efficient and appropriate way to help the people in Japan. 

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#44) On March 15, 2011 at 7:28 PM, rfaramir (29.31) wrote:

"sea water does indeed destroy the power plant or at the very least, guarantees it will never operate again.  A lot of money was lost on that decision"

Can someone confirm that the reactor was slated to be decommissioned later this month anyway? So, apparently little was lost destroying it now.

Also, the name of one of the reactors was "Daiichi", which in English is "The Big One". An ominous name for a reactor if ever I heard one!

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#45) On March 15, 2011 at 9:33 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

rfaramir I not sure on the decomissioning thing. I saw 1 post that said that all reactors were slated to run another 10 years.

They really should have been decommisioned about 20 years ago though.

The reactors of the time had big design flaws, but they were kept alive because groups mistakenly fought safer reactors as replacements.

As far as any of these reactors being "The big one" time will tell. 

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#46) On March 15, 2011 at 11:39 PM, walt373 (99.79) wrote:

What do you think of sushi's comments in the zerohedge link?

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/remember-mit-all-safe-paper#comment-1055069

From the sound of it, the main risk is the 120 years worth of spent fuel that is not contained.

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#47) On March 16, 2011 at 12:47 AM, Thaeger (< 20) wrote:

@walt373

http://mitnse.com/ :

"

Fire at Unit 4 spent fuel pool

Recent reports by TEPCO indicate that an oil leak in a cooling water pump was the cause for the fire that burned for approximately 2 hours on Tuesday.  On Wednesday morning (local time), another fire broke out, but it is reported the fire is not at the spent fuel pool.  The cause is still unknown."

---

 

http://resources.nei.org/documents/japan/Used_Fuel_Pools_Key_Facts.pdf

"...The rate at which the pool water level would decrease (due to evaporation or mild boiling) in the absence of cooling system function would not be expected to lower water levels by more than a few percent per day. Given that there is approximately 16 feet or more of water above the used fuel assemblies, operators would have ample time (days to weeks) to find another way to add water to the pools before the fuel would become exposed. For example, water could easily be added using a fire hose..."

"...Even if the water level in the pools was to decrease sufficiently so that the fuel were exposed to air, the same level of overheating that can occur in a reactor accident would not occur in the used fuel pool because the used fuel assemblies in the pool are cooler than in the reactor. It is highly unlikely that used fuel temperatures could reach the point where melting could occur, although some damage to the cladding cannot be ruled out. The likelihood of cladding damage, as with hydrogen generation, decreases substantially with temperature and cooling time..."

"At the surface of the used fuel pool, the gamma dose rate from radiation emanating off the used fuel assemblies is typically less than 2 millirem per hour. If the water level decreases, gamma radiation levels would increase substantially. This increase would be noticed at the radiation monitors near the reactor buildings."

 ---

And to give a different perspective on the matter:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/actual-expert-too-boring-for-tv,1764/

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#48) On March 16, 2011 at 1:31 AM, mhy729 (31.33) wrote:

mikecart1

Thanks for the great blog and comments...I look forward to your updates.

What are your thoughts on thorium-based nuclear power?  The current crisis seems to have caused a spike in interest in shares of LTBR (Lightbridge Corp.).

This is a silly question, but I feel compelled to ask:  How many at your workplace say "nukyular" instead of "nuclear"?  Fortunately, among the cell biologists I've come across, only a very few seem unable to pronounce the word properly.  :)

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#49) On March 16, 2011 at 5:43 AM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

mhy729, I have also wondered why there has been little information on thorium based reactors.  It seems a Th232-U233 cycle would have many advantages. 

omg, I heard a woman yesterday doing the 'nukyular' thing. The really infuriating part is when people use the word and can't pronounce it and they think that they sound smart.

Cell biologists?  Well I guess they can probably say osmium tetroxide, lol.

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#50) On March 16, 2011 at 8:34 AM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

45)

Our plants are designed to last 60 years.  I think the Japanese plants like many in the US of that design are designed to last <60 years.  Our plants don't start making money for the customers until at least a decade of use.

46)

That is why I think they will have to eventually just cover it up before anyone can really go in there and see what really happened.  Read about the aftermath of 3 Mile Island for more information.  

47)

The fires may be from oil used in a diesel generator or other power source that consumes oil for fuel.  I am not sure.  We are finding more out at work today.

48)

Everyone at work says the word 'nuclear' correctly.  Well, actually we do have a lot of foreign employees that have English as a second language including our Japanese friends so I can't confirm this.  But we all know how to the word should be pronounced.

Our new plants that will run for the majority of the 21st century are not thorium based.  In fact we bought out a company that primarily explores uranium.  That is one reason why I said to keep an eye out on uranium based stocks.

49)

IMO, they still have the wrong people on CNN.  I am not sure if the right people just don't want to be on TV or what.  But many people at my company would have better information than some I see on TV.

 

Cheers

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#51) On March 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM, walt373 (99.79) wrote:

Thaeger, thanks for the response. lol @ the onion link, probably not far from the truth...

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#52) On March 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM, walt373 (99.79) wrote:

And thank you mikecart1. Great topic overall.

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#53) On March 17, 2011 at 10:28 AM, mikecart1 (98.91) wrote:

Info/Updates:

1. CNN keeps referring to the area where spent fuel is placed as the 'spent fuel pond'.  Please don't listen to them.  No one calls it that in the industry.  It isn't a pond at all.  It is call the "spent fuel pool" because it really is a very deep pool.

2. People are asking why the spent fuel is stored on site in the pool.  Spent fuel generally takes 4-5 years to cool from decay heat before it can be stored in a dry storage facility.

3. People ask why equipment is stored on the rooftops and high in buildings.  People need to understand that space is very limited inside a nuclear power plant.  We store very heavy equipment on the roofs of buildings in our modern plants today.  That is just a fact of life.

4. People ask why there isn't backup generators stored offsite far away.  This is just so unrealistic and unreliable when it comes to nuclear regulations that I won't say more than to say that there is a clear security line around the power plant. 

5. Japan owns the site (TEPCO) but the plants were built mainly by GE.  I see many people thinking the Japanese don't know how to build a power plant and all other nonsense.  They maintained it and own it.  They are Mark 1 boiling water reactors.

Cheers

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#54) On March 18, 2011 at 4:53 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

#6) On March 14, 2011 at 3:34 PM, mikecart1 (96.91) wrote:

hi topsecret10, that is one of the stocks I recommend.  I just made a purchase to another uranium stock above earlier today.  In the words of Jim Cramer, you got 'horse sense'! lol.

hi ChrisGraley, yes sea water does indeed destroy the power plant or at the very least, guarantees it will never operate again.  A lot of money was lost on that decision but it was one that was required to try to stop the fuel from overheating and being exposed.  After the earthquake the rods did go down but then the tsunami wiped out the backup diesel generators.  These generators are used to cycle coolant water (not seawater) through containment and controllably release decay heat properly.  Seawater was the last resort.  We are keeping our eyes on it since what happens there will affect nuclear industry worldwide for a long time.  Really disappointed that you posted  negative comments about me. What you said reeally surprised me. You should have done a little more due-diligence before blindly comparing my one post to the gloom and doom of Alstrys THOUSANDS... I hope It made you feeel better, and by the way I gave you a REC for your post...  TS

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#55) On March 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

#25) On March 18, 2011 at 4:47 PM, topsecret10 (85.99) wrote:

So mikecart1  you think this Is just a big joke ?   Why even bother monitoring anything here If we are just wasting our time as you suggest. You see,It Is Inherent of my nature NOT TO TRUST what so called "experts" have to say on (not just this Isssue) but a variety of Issues that affect our everyday lives. You do not know anything about me,and you have obviously only read (or bothered to read) a couple of mis-Informed comments by people that seem to think that they are the ALL KNOWING,and then blindly Infer that I am somehow Intertwined with ALSTRY'S stances on doom and gloom. I used to have respect for you and your posts,but now I am not so sure. One thing I do know Is that YOU or nobody else knows what the final outcome of this Is going to be. If you can tell us all exactly what Is going to happen,please let us know. It seems that you are of the opinion that I am Ill Informed on this and other things (hence your ridiculus ALSTRY comparison) If you actually took the time to go back and read some of my blogs here on the fool,going back to early 2009,you may just realize that you don't have a clue ....   TS

 

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#56) On March 18, 2011 at 5:01 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

#23) On March 18, 2011 at 3:56 PM, mikecart1 (96.91) wrote:

alstry jr in the house!  LOL!  People mention radiation reaching places as if radiation hasn't been there since the beginning of time.  Without radiation, we all would be dead.  But you never will hear that on CNN.

  My answer.....   ( to your post on my blog) Is #55 ABOVE... TS

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#57) On March 18, 2011 at 5:09 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

Experts Monitoring California Radiation Levels in the Air, and Milk    SACRAMENTO— As a plume of potentially radioactive air makes its way toward the West Coast from floundering nuclear reactors in Japan, California health officials repeat the message there is no public health concern.  They say they’ll be monitoring the air anyway.
 
Locally, Sacramento Fire Department trucks have radiation detectors among their tools.
 
“There’s always going to be background radiation every day. That’s how you get your sun tan,” said Fire Captain Derek Parker of Station 7. “It’s a part of life.”

Whatever makes its way from Japan to the California Coast will have to travel 5,000 miles to get here. So according to state health officials, by the time any radioactive plume arrives it will be so diffused that it should not elevate radiation levels beyond what’s normal for anyone who goes outside on any given day.

But they won’t just be monitoring the air.

“One of the key indicators is milk. Because milk tends to concentrate radiation that comes out of the ground, ends up in the grass and then ends up in cows,” said Dr. Howard Becker, the acting head of the California Department of Health Services.
http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-experts-monitoring-california-radiation-levels-in-the-air-and-milk-20110318,0,2551986.story

 

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#58) On March 18, 2011 at 5:21 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

The above post #6 only concerns TOPSECRET10....  has nothing to do with Chris Graley.....  Don't know how It posted like that....    TS

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#59) On March 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM, topsecret10 (< 20) wrote:

The moment nuclear plant chief WEPT as Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1367684/Nuclear-plant-chief-weeps-Japanese-finally-admit-radiation-leak-kill-people.html#ixzz1GzQtly2s

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