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Old 04-07-2011, 10:29 PM   #1526
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It's also Hana Matsuri today in Japan (8th of April).


BTW, just curious - How long will you be in Japan?
People were still out in full force celebrating, albeit definitely there are less people this year than years before. A lot of people are refusing to celebrate this year in a sign of respect for those up north.

Another two months, going to make it home just in time for the Cup run
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nammer don't listen to me, they listen to money. do you know how cheap it is to have someone killed in vancouver? let alone a beat down
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:34 AM   #1527
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In fact, the Nuclear plants went into full shutdown mode immediately after the quake. If the diesel generators were in a logical place, above any potential tsunami, the word Daiichi wouldn't be known outside of Japan.
Hey, does anyone know why they weren't able to bring in portable generators? I read that they tried but failed. Was this (and associated testing) officially part of their backup plans or not?

If feasible, this seems like a good contingency for on-site failure that's also not site-specific, meaning they can truck these in from a safe location to anywhere that needs them.

Knowing cooling was so critical to the safety of the plant, I just find it hard to believe there would only be 2 layers of backup power (diesel generators and battery) in case of a shutdown. There must have been more of a contingency built-in.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:18 AM   #1528
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Hey, does anyone know why they weren't able to bring in portable generators? I read that they tried but failed. Was this (and associated testing) officially part of their backup plans or not?

If feasible, this seems like a good contingency for on-site failure that's also not site-specific, meaning they can truck these in from a safe location to anywhere that needs them.

Knowing cooling was so critical to the safety of the plant, I just find it hard to believe there would only be 2 layers of backup power (diesel generators and battery) in case of a shutdown. There must have been more of a contingency built-in.
I'm not sure of exactly why or the precise reason but there have been many stories regarding the inflexibility of Japanese society recently... so one possible reason for this was that transportation for generators were probably tangled up in "policies and procedures".

Here's an excerpt from an article from the Economist:

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For this, bureaucratic inflexibility is partly to blame. Shortly after the tsunami, Kouta Matsuda, an opposition senator and former boss of a nationwide coffee chain, drove a four-tonne lorry to his constituency in Miyagi prefecture, where Kesennuma is located. He had to battle with authorities for permission to use trunk roads that were closed except for emergency vehicles. He said he found plenty of food at his destination, but no means of distributing it to the hardest-hit areas.

Later he used a friend’s helicopter to fly food, medicines and mobile-phone chargers to Miyagi, but was refused permission to land. He asked if he could drop the supplies at the airport, hovering just a metre above the ground. Again, he was told this was against the rules.
On an unrelated note, the "nationwide coffee chain" was Tully's. Full article here: http://www.economist.com/node/18441111
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:25 AM   #1529
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"inflexible" is an outstanding way to describe how things are run there. SO MANY TIMES, you'll run into problems with "inflexibility" dealing with companies and people in Japan. Things just have to be absolutely by the book, to the point sometimes where it's ridiculous. The example above perfectly shows this
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:36 AM   #1530
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"inflexible" is an outstanding way to describe how things are run there. SO MANY TIMES, you'll run into problems with "inflexibility" dealing with companies and people in Japan. Things just have to be absolutely by the book, to the point sometimes where it's ridiculous. The example above perfectly shows this
Strength and a weakness of the Japanese society.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:06 AM   #1531
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Hey, does anyone know why they weren't able to bring in portable generators? I read that they tried but failed. Was this (and associated testing) officially part of their backup plans or not?

If feasible, this seems like a good contingency for on-site failure that's also not site-specific, meaning they can truck these in from a safe location to anywhere that needs them.

Knowing cooling was so critical to the safety of the plant, I just find it hard to believe there would only be 2 layers of backup power (diesel generators and battery) in case of a shutdown. There must have been more of a contingency built-in.
Their contingency plan was the equivalent of having your house built out of fireproof materials, 2 firetrucks in the driveway, and 12 hydrants placed in a circular formation around your house with firemen keeping watch 24hr a day in case something should happen. Unfortunately, a once in a thousand year flaming meteor lands on your house, destroys the trucks and hydrants, and your house goes up in a ball of flames. I guess you could have had a better contingency plan, but it probably wouldn't have made a lot of sense.

The first thing the earthquake did was cut off all external power to the plant. This meant, the plant was standalone from that point forward. Secondly, because the reactors were immediately and automatically shut down, the plant couldn't produce any power on site either. So from the second the earthquake struck, the plant was entirely reliant on its backup power sources.

The tsunami wiped out the first line of backups (the diesel generators) about an hour later. Of course, no one could have predicted the size and power of this particular tsunami. They generally don't engineer things for events that might occur once every 1000 years or so (and truthfully it doesn't make sense to do so).

Then they had approx. 8 hours of battery backup generators before things really started going awry.

As I understand it, there are a number of independent cooling systems to account for these things, as the last thing anyone wants is a meltdown.

We still don't know (because the company hasn't released the info) which of these systems failed and why.

They did bring in spare generators. Keep in mind this isn't like wheeling in a 5hp B&S generator from Home Depot and hooking it up to a garden hose. Its a pretty serious ordeal.

They managed to restore some of the power to the cooling systems with the portable generators; in the meantime, explosions were rocking the place, and workers were being evacuated at times due to high levels of radioactivity. Also they were fighting a losing battle at times, because the water in was less than the water out, which was leaving rods apparently exposed and damaging the cooling systems further.

Its not like the cooling systems were all perfectly working, and they just needed a way to be powered. The whole systems were thrashed by the tsunami, explosions, etc. Again, we don't know the specific details yet.

At the end of the day, it was a catastrophic wave that no one was prepared for. The plant was prepared to withstand a 20ft high tsunami without problems. What hit the plant was something much closer to 50ft. When your generators are now at the bottom of a swimming pool, its not so easy to swap them out I imagine.

One of the biggest issues was getting resources to the facility to help as well. The whole area was ravaged and flooded. Roads were blocked, people were dead, the country was as panicked as one can get.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:48 AM   #1532
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Here's an excerpt from an article from the Economist:

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For this, bureaucratic inflexibility is partly to blame. Shortly after the tsunami, Kouta Matsuda, an opposition senator and former boss of a nationwide coffee chain, drove a four-tonne lorry to his constituency in Miyagi prefecture, where Kesennuma is located. He had to battle with authorities for permission to use trunk roads that were closed except for emergency vehicles. He said he found plenty of food at his destination, but no means of distributing it to the hardest-hit areas.

Later he used a friend’s helicopter to fly food, medicines and mobile-phone chargers to Miyagi, but was refused permission to land. He asked if he could drop the supplies at the airport, hovering just a metre above the ground. Again, he was told this was against the rules.

On an unrelated note, the "nationwide coffee chain" was Tully's. Full article here: http://www.economist.com/node/18441111
Katrina in New Orleans had similar stories if you recall. It's a fine balance between maintaining centralized control (for the purpose of coordination but at the expense of reaction time to changes on the ground) and having a sometimes-beneficial/sometimes-not uncontrolled free-for-all.

There's always lessons to be learned, but a crisis situation of this magnitude will always have mistakes, and there will always be something to criticize. Inflexibility in this case may indeed have been a mistake, but on the flip side, this story could then easily talk about a lack of coordination resulting in chaos.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:56 AM   #1533
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The tsunami wiped out the first line of backups (the diesel generators) about an hour later. Of course, no one could have predicted the size and power of this particular tsunami. They generally don't engineer things for events that might occur once every 1000 years or so (and truthfully it doesn't make sense to do so).
I know what you mean. I also read on nytimes during the first week or so that they're really questioning now whether the assumption of designing for 1 in every 100 year event is truly good enough in this scenario (a nuke plant) because we just had one.

(IIRC, the plant was designed for a 1/100 yr event, but this tsunami was a 1/1000 yr event).
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:41 AM   #1534
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7.4 just hit coast of miyagi
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I wAnder which meteor they can blame for this one.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:04 PM   #1535
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"inflexible" is an outstanding way to describe how things are run there. SO MANY TIMES, you'll run into problems with "inflexibility" dealing with companies and people in Japan. Things just have to be absolutely by the book, to the point sometimes where it's ridiculous. The example above perfectly shows this
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Strength and a weakness of the Japanese society.
Yeah, if you throw them a curveball, and it's something that they've never done, it's like they don't know what to do....they don't even think about adapting sometimes. I ran into this many times while in the Japanese restaurant industry. Kind of like the ant with a rock it his path at the beginning of A Bug's Life.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:31 AM   #1536
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andddd a 7.1Mag just hit..early reports tsunami warning

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/r/movie/
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:35 AM   #1537
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andddd a 7.1Mag just hit..early reports tsunami warning

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/r/movie/
wow... thats insane... 1 after another.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:39 AM   #1538
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Thing about this is, it was expected to be ongoing like this for at least 30 days after the original quake (aftershocks smaller than the original 9.0). However, it seems like many of them that are hitting seem to get longer and longer, and very recently, stronger and stronger. Needless to say, an emergency pack is always ready now
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:10 AM   #1539
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I'm not too familiar when it comes to seismic activity..can someone tell me if this is normal, for so many aftershocks to appear after the initial 9.0 ?
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #1540
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/42479970#42479970
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #1541
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^In the video above... right at 1:50 when Bill Nye is getting cut off by the newsreader....
He talks about the superiority of Japanese building codes to withstand high magnitude earthquakes and he says "and that costs money, or does it?"

I found that to be really interesting... unless i am misunderstanding what he said...
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #1542
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what is bill nye up to these days
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:51 PM   #1543
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ya, hes like on CNN/MSNBC almost weekly now to talk about the nuclear issue or earthquakes... but WHY?! hes not even a specialist. I guess Americans trust him cause he is "the science guy"
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #1544
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i looked at his wiki page and he's a mechanical engineer
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:22 PM   #1545
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I'm not too familiar when it comes to seismic activity..can someone tell me if this is normal, for so many aftershocks to appear after the initial 9.0 ?
I'd like to know the same... does anyone know? Another 6.6 just hit this morning (10 mins ago), seriously seems like they're getting stronger and stronger.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquak...quakes_big.php
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #1546
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I'd like to know the same... does anyone know? Another 6.6 just hit this morning (10 mins ago), seriously seems like they're getting stronger and stronger.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquak...quakes_big.php
I would venture to guess that so many earthquakes of that magnitude is a good thing. Release the pressure slowly. As long as they are not huge, destructive 9.x magnitude type.

I wonder why the plates are moving so much. Is this a sign of something about to give way elsewhere? If two plates are coming together, what is happening on the other side?
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #1547
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I'd like to know the same... does anyone know? Another 6.6 just hit this morning (10 mins ago), seriously seems like they're getting stronger and stronger.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquak...quakes_big.php
Aftershocks are from the fault readjusting itself from the initial earthquake. It usually tends to last for weeks/months depending on how big it was, but it should be expected from an earthquake of that magnitude to have some large aftershocks.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #1548
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the tsunami saved the whales
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:10 PM   #1549
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the tsunami saved the whales
stupid statement. cause the tsunami killed thousands of people
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #1550
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it is now considered a level-7 which puts it at the same danger level as Chernobyl

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapc...pt=T1&iref=BN1
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