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Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle Monday July 28, 2014 7:26 am

Venus, as seen by radar


Fukushima Update:

Another scientist moves off the reservation: We must do radiation testing of people outside Fukushima prefecture.   Government official: “I don’t want to discuss the issue.” They then proceed to “analyze” the data based on their intentionally flawed methodology, which has the effect of wildly underestimating the actual impact. Though in their defense, we really don’t know what the impact of this kind of radiation exposure is. But we will.

While officially there is little impact to people, Bad things are happening to our close relatives. Monkey blood in the area is showing abnormalities that could lead to plagues amongst them.

The ice wall ain’t gonna help much, just delay the day of reckoning. And I can make the case that the wall will actually make things worse by reducing cooling to the melts and/or turning the entire worksite into a swamp of radioactive water. Speculate on what the ground inside the wall will do when saturated.

Still, TEPCO seems determined that the laws of physics will not apply when they conflict with the press releases. They seem to think that they can order water to freeze at 5 degrees C.

The JG would really like to restart their NPPs, despite citizen opposition. In hopes of restarting Sendai, they are giving iodine tablets to the local residents. Two each. Which is about a half days supply in the event of an accident.

Since Fukushima, Westinghouse has developed a SFP monitoring system that keeps an eye on water level and temperature and has installed the first one at Watts-Barr in Tennessee. This is good, but it DOES raise the question of why it wasn’t done sooner.

But US Nuclear Energy is safe! This story will tell you what the Nuke industry would like you to believe. Please. Be sure to note that the source of this story is the Nuclear Energy Institute.

There is not a lot of news about WIPP that we don’t already know, but here’s something. I do not put much stock in a criticality event. For that to occur, there would have to be at least 11lbs of weapons grade Pu in the barrel. But that 11lbs assumes a perfect sphere of weapons grade metal. IMO you’d need a LOT more Pu in a barrel to have any chance of starting something.

Now this is scary and stupid all at once. A very simple design flaw that could have had catastrophic consequences. I’m torn between blaming this one of having people design radioactive waste storage who do not understand radiation and radioactives and blaming it on administrators pretending that the radiation will never leak. H/T bgrothus.

We polluted the South Pole before we even got there!

The space station is getting a new clock. It’s a pretty special clock, accurate to 1 second every 300 million years and will enable them to prove/disprove some of Einsteins theories.

Can we terraform Venus? Should we?

We made a sponge that will turn solar energy into steam at 85% efficiency. Somebody explain to me again why we need nukes.

Boxturtle (Trouble is trying to earn getting declawed. On my workbench, with pliers)


Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle Monday July 21, 2014 8:04 am

Chaos is in control!

Good Morning all!

Fukushima update:

The #5 reactor has developed leaks. Yes, that’s #5. It was shutdown when 3/11 hit and has been used as a test bed to try things that might work in the other reactors.

More stories about hot ash from #3 going everywhere. This shoots holes in the story about the hot stuff being the result of the #1 cleanup.

Nevertheless, the cleanup IS releasing more hot stuff into the air. When they remove the roof on #1, it will create quite a plume. But if they’re going to clean it up, it’s needed.

Here’s a good description of what’s next for #1.  This should give us our first look at the #1 SFP.

At least one Doctor is publicly stating that Tokyo should be evacuated. It is my view that the primary reason that JG is going along with TEPCO’s lies is to prevent that. I wonder if they’ll use the state secrets act on this fellow.

Meet Dragonfly. It’s aimed at the same things that Stuxnet was. Did it come from Iran? China? Hackers? We dunno. Everybody seems to suspect a government.

Climate Change deniers have been hammering on the failure of current models to match the “pause” in warming that started in 1989. Turns out that if you factor in everything, it matches just fine. We missed the effects of El Nino, for example.

This could be good. A better barrier for the storage of industrial waste.

Fecal transplants enable packrats to eat poison! We’re finding out more and more how important gut bacteria is to overall health. Ever taken an antibiotic and got the runs? You killed the wrong bacteria!

If Twitter had existed at great moments in science. Coffee & cat warning!

Boxturtle (Things have been quiet on WIPP. I’m gonna do some hunting and maybe update the post)

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle Monday July 14, 2014 8:01 am

Trouble is watching you

Good Morning!

Well, it’s been an odyssey, but I am finally doing an Over Easy Post on my new computer. I still have to install a couple of parts from my old box, they need SATA power and I only have four pin and I’m out of adapters. *sigh*

TEPCO has discovered a transport layer about 25m down that provides an easy passageway to the ocean. A transport layer is an impermeable or nearly impermeable layer of rock. Once the water reaches the layer, it just flows along like a stream but slower.

Consumers are becoming more aware of Fuku radiation in seafood. In response, an independent testing organization has been established. Good.

Fuku has now been confirmed to have exceed the total release by Chernobyl. And while the Chernobyl total DOES include deposits into water, the Fuku total does not.

Google satellite finally updates their Fuku pictures. Check it out, along with some excellent commentary.

They suspect a criticality occurred in the #3 SFP early on. It seems they stored the rods in that pool in two clusters. Not very bright. This would explain the “different” explosion.

TEPCO gets caught in another lie error. And this is AFTER filtering!

It looks like we may have caught one of the very first stars exploding. If we can spot one of those early stars, it will tell us a lot about if our theories of the early universe are correct. New math indicates that these start were, on average, larger than the orbit of Pluto!

Remember the liquid/solid robot in Terminator 2? We developed a process that could actually allow robots to do that.

How do the protons and neutrons organize themselves in a nucleus? For many years, an even distribution was assumed. But perhaps they for themselves into groups of 3 or 4, like a helium nucleus?

We can now form buckyballs out of Boron. The carbon buckyballs have been mainly an experimental curiously thus far, neat but no practical use yet discovered. Boron will probably be the same.

Brand new design for the Lithium Ion battery is three times as efficient and primarily uses sand.

CHEOPS mission to study known exoplanets proceeds at a record pace.

I shall be traveling to Cleveland today, so once I leave I expect you all to act respectable. If Jane stops by and finds another food fight…

Boxturtle (Miserable rainy day here)

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle Monday June 30, 2014 7:39 am

Currently, this is the best photo of Pluto and Charon we have


Well, the computer saga continues for me. It is certainly a motherboard problem and it is simply cheaper to purchase a new computer. I have done so, and have hopes it will arrive tomorrow or Wednesday. At least Vista will be gone from my house.

Fukushima Update:

Obama LLP still insists that the USS Reagan wasn’t contaminated and isn’t a problem. Yet this sailor died of a very rare cancer.

The Ice Wall that was supposed to solve all their problems with water still won’t freeze. This may be for the best, as we don’t know exactly how much cooling of the corium the groundwater was accomplishing. Potentially more than the water being pumped into the reactors.

Some hope to locate the corium via muon scanning. This should work, IF Tepco lets it happen. I’m one of the many who feel Tepco doesn’t really want to admit where the corium is. If this gets stopped, you can be certain that the JG knows where the corium is but doesn’t want to share.

Asahi Shimbum goes off the reservation and questions if homes outside of the 30km evac zone are safe. Short answer: Probably not.

Farmers haul Fuku cow to Tokyo to demand government look into strange disease that is affecting entire herds. Prediction: While the cause will be undetermined, it will be absolutely positively NOT related to radiation.

They’re seeing abnormal changes in birds all over Japan. While I’m sure that Fukushima radiation is NOT the cause, it is odd that none of these changes were observed in ANY surveys prior to the accident.

They have discovered new methods for contaminated water to get into the ocean. To make matters worse, they’re seeing new record contamination as many of the monitoring wells. Note that they’re still reporting beta emitters and ignoring alpha emitters like Uranium and Plutonium.

They’re finding Fukushima Plutonium up to 69km from the site.   How much longer witth the JG pretent that the #3 explosion did NOT scatter things all over northern Japan?

Google maps has updated their satellite photos for Fukushima. Other than to see that overall that photos seem to reflect reality, I haven’t really had time to look at them. If anybody sees something interesting, please comment.

Do we have the Speed of Light wrong? Recent studies of a supernova suggest we might.

Have you ever heard of  the nitrogen cycle? We’ve screwed it up, mainly by the overuse of fertilizers.

Speculation about an ocean on Pluto’s moon Charon in advance of New Horizons arriving. Speculation is fun, but we really have no data yet.

A step closer to Hydrogen fuels, using ammonia and a cheap cracking catalyst.

We are getting closer to proving gravity waves.

A superconductor holds the magnetic equivalent of 3 tons of force in a golf ball sized chunk.

Boxturtle (Hillary had a book signing near me. KILLED all business in the rest of the outdoor mall)

Over Easy: Monday Dead Computer

By: BoxTurtle Monday June 23, 2014 7:36 am

Old, Slow, and rebuilt with the wrong software


Well, I am going to have to make a concession to reality and acknowledge that my computer is dead. Not only is it dead, but when I tried to restore it I did so from the wrong restore set (I gotta label my CDs better) and built a Win 7 gateway system on a Vista HP computer. So I had a mess all weekend and I’ve still got a mess and I don’t know when I’ll be able to clean up my mess.

So today I must reluctantly post a “Talk amongst yourselves” thread. I apologize for this, and I hope you all can forgive me.

It’s a weird “death” too. The computer seems to work, but it’s running at about 1% of it’s normal speed. The system restore that usually takes 2 hours or so took 48. Anybody seen a symptom like that suddenly spring up after a power hit?

I supposed the good news is that I may finally have an excuse to get rid of Vista.

Boxturtle (Yeah, Yeah, I know: First world problems)

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle Monday June 16, 2014 7:56 am

Truecolor image of Titan

Good Morning!

Fukushima Update:

They’re no longer sure the melted fuel is covered with water in#2. The water temp is 35c, which implies that whatever fuel is still in the reactor is being cooled. It also implies that there isn’t much left in containment to cool.

Well, well, somebody is starting to talk about one of the elephants in the room. Specifically the one where JG and TEPCO continue to imply that the cores are each in one blob. They ain’t, and there will be chunks of the stuff stuck along whatever path the melt dug. As seen at Chernobyl.

Who says the USG isn’t doing anything about Fuku? Why, we’re putting US taxpayers on the hook to pay for part of it AND protecting GE and other nuke companies from liability!

TEPCO claims to have removed 1034 fuel rods from the #4 SFP, leaving 499. They have admitted to around a dozen of the assemblies being damaged enough that simple removal isn’t possible.

One government official kept a diary of the first days of 3/11.  Highlights: #2 reactor explosion blew the bottom off the reactor. TEPCO was NOT passing information on to the JG. Money quote “Those 60 and older should be prepared to die here”

WIPP Update:

The life story of the drum that caused the initial problem.

There is concern that a Plutonium Flash could occur. This is the latest euphemism for an uncontained nuclear reaction.  I guess too many people were figuring out what an incursion is.

There are at least six barrels outside of WIPP that are at risk. This group is in Texas.

Refrigeration by magnetism. Lot’s of nasty stuff is used as refrigerants and most of it eventually leaks into the atmosphere. So this is good, especially if it can be expanded to the home.

Solar power advances. This is a new design, more efficient than current designs, that utilizes quantum dots.

Three class X (The most powerful class) flares from the sun over the last two days. The area generating them is moving toward Earth.

Australia will be using dengue resistant mosquitoes to try and deal with that plague. We should take note, as dengue fever is already established in Texas, especially around Brownsville.

Nevertheless, Australia’s PM is still very much a climate doubter.

Oil continues to wash ashore from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

We THINK we’ve recreated Titan’s atmosphere in the lab.

Boxturtle (Kittens have taken to sleeping in the dirty laundry. Must be cautious to avoid washing them)



Over Easy: Thursday Confusion

By: BoxTurtle Thursday June 12, 2014 9:09 am

I’m small, but I won’t be intimidated


Well, nobody else has posted coverage, so I will. Here is a cute kitten picture where a 1.5lb kitten is thieving food from a 140lb Great Pyrenees.

So when you stand up to a stupid, smelly, oversized government remember that attitude counts for more than size! Just ask Cantor.

Here in Ohio, people are already discussing Boehner in light of Cantor. Bottom line: He’s weakened, but he’ll certainly retain his seat and influence. His speakership is likely not in danger, there’s a desire for some stability and Cantor was the most likely insurgent. His carefully gerrymandered district is all that protects him.

Farmers markets are selling first of the season tomatoes already. And none of them look like thick skinned baseballs!

Boxturtle (none of the people I suspected as replacements are being discussed for Cantor’s Job)

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle Monday June 9, 2014 7:50 am

Don’t worry, I have a prescription


Fukushima update:

Strontium reaches 500 Billion Bq/m3 in the basements at Fuku. The basement water is leaking into the ocean at a rate of at least 200 tons per day. Strontium accumulates in the body anyplace where calcium might go, like bones or breast mike. It’ll start accumulating up the food chain.

They’ve broken ground for the plant to sustain the Ice wall. $312 million for something that probably won’t work for very long. What will TEPCO do when the hot water overtops the wall and reaches the surface? You can’t very well have workers working in hot mud. Oh, wait, that’s why you use the yakuza.

There’s a 400ft tall stack at Fuku with readings of 25 sv/hr at the base that may well topple. Nobody can get close enough to do anything to stop it.

Oh, joy. It seems that hot seawater helps dissolve reactor fuel way better than thought.  

On top of the other leaks, TEPCO simply missed this leak from the hot water tanks. Didn’t have any inspections during that time. TEPCO has promised to do better. The radiation near those tanks probably precludes anything but the swiftest of glances. X-ray radiation alone from the tank walls is probably equal to a chest X-ray every 10 minutes.

They’re still trying to find the cores.

NBC gives us an update on the heath effects of working at hanford. Follow the links at the article I’ve linked (Thanks ENENews!) and read the comments, too. I’ll wait while you do so…..

Okay, welcome back. You DID read the links, didn’t you? There might be a quiz!

On to the other news:

After a discouraging report on nuclear pollution, I like to follow up with a more cheerful report on a new cancer treatment. Silver nanoparticals, this time.

And a new delivery system for existing cancer drugs.

We thought quarks only came in twos (mesons) and threes (baryons, like protons and neutrons). We now have evidence for 4 quark particles and 6 quark particles.

Germany is using a 1km long SUPERCONDUCTING cable to transfer commercial power between substations. This is the longest in the world. Neat design, coolant flows through a tube in the center and the wire is wrapped around the tube.

New design for a fusion reactor. I remain open minded about fusion energy, despite the costs. At least until we see a working model of something that actually has commercial potential.

A computer fools experts into thinking it’s a 13 year old boy, passes Turing test!

Yet more support for the counter-intuitive idea that a dirty baby is a healthy baby.

Believe it or not, the origin of Ohio’s millstones was quite a mystery. Seems they were from France.

Boxturtle (I bet on the weatherman: No rain today. There’ll  be lions in my yard before I can cut it!)