March 16, 2011

Change of Address

From the NYT: 
Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume 
The plume may reach California on Friday, but health officials say it poses very little risk. 

Generally speaking, every single thing that officials and experts have said was highly unlikely to go wrong has gone wrong. So, just to be safe, for the next decade, you'll be able to reach me at the bottom of Carlsbad Caverns. 

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Housing bubble, immigration, medicare, etc. Experts keep telling us shit.

jody said...

i wish japan actually was far ahead in robotics, as is often claimed. then they could just send in robots to handle the situation.

as it is, the US is FAR ahead, and i'll be talking with some people at CMU about what we can do. robots were used to handle the gulf oil situation. i'm not sure what all can be done here. as always, land robots are the most difficult. the US navy can fly their robots over the plant to check out the situation, but sending land robots into the structures will be a real challenge.

i mean, if we could get a couple robots to just haul some plumbing equipment out there and operate it, that would make a big difference. maybe they could lug out some temporary lead shielding too.

studying nuclear reactors is a hobby of mine. this situation makes me so mad, and sad too.

Nanonymous said...

you'll be able to reach me at the bottom of Carlsbad Caverns

Good for you! We know you will be safe from dangerous radiation because the radiation level from radon there is still below the recommended occupational exposure limit for underground uranium miners.
:-)

David said...

Radiation is good for you.

Ann Coulter writes it up:

http://www.libertynewsonline.com/article_301_30332.php

Stay put and have a drink. Moderate alcohol intake, too, is good for health.

Anonymous said...

i'll be talking with some people at CMU about what we can do

Mr. Big, eh? I'm sure the Japanese embassy will want a meeting with you.

Anonymous said...

@Jody

You don't want to come off sounding like an idiot.

Kylie said...

"We'll meet again,
Don't know where,don't know when..."

The Reluctant Apostate said...

It's hard to tell what they actually mean in terms of dosage when they use "arbitrary" units, but given the levels that were reported, the space for dilution, and the logarithmic scale that the NYT graphic uses, I'd put an emphasis on the extremely minor in extremely minor health consequences. Radiation makes for a scary headline, but the amounts we're talking about certainly won't have any major effect on Americans.

Wes said...

I understand there are 50 men working at risk to their lives trying to contain this nuclear catastrophe. 50 men who may lose their lives. Can anyone imagine that happening in our new United States?

Now maybe there would be volunteers here, but I suspect that kind of devotion is the trait of a homogeneous society. Of course, there are fireman that risk their lives all the time in America, but for some reason it doesn't seem like the same thing. I think of most workers at nuclear plants as just that, workers, not people that signed on for heroic self-sacrifice.

Plus, a fireman isn't usually expecting to die, just taking a risk of it, whereas these 50 in Japan seem to be almost certain of long term damage.

Anonymous said...

Libya, I think, will be safe from the plume.

Maybe a smart idea to hang out there for a while.

Anon.

Sideways said...

You're in more danger of the bomb shelter spontaneously falling on your head than you are from a tiny amount of radiation being released half the world away.

The number of coal, oil, and gas power plant explosions that killed more people than this one will in the past few years is one or two orders of magnitude higher, at a minimum

Whiskey said...

We had a plume reach us from Chernobyl, if memory serves. Japan is about 5,000 miles away. Come to think of it, the Jet Stream surely carried fallout from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

By the time it reaches the US it will have been quite diluted. Still noticeable but unlikely to cause harm.

Anonymous said...

you're getting boringer and boringer, we come here to re-affirm our beliefs about race and our victimizaiton.

let us all point and laugh at the troll... said...

"you're getting boringer and boringer, we come here to re-affirm our beliefs about race and our victimizaiton."

Boring troll is boring. And also, boring troll is guilty of psychological projection. You're the first person in this thread to mention race, btw. Do you even bother read before you post?

* * * * * * *

Hey Steve, is your post some kind of admission that we have a Mineshaft Gap? Should we get in some preemptive strikes now while we still can?

spandrell said...

Come on, a CT scan is an insane amount of radiation, and people do them routinely. You could be in Fukushima for months before you got the same amount of radiation as a CT.

Anonymous said...

we come here to re-affirm our beliefs about race and our victimizaiton.

Awwww poor baby...

dearieme said...

"Moderate alcohol intake, too, is good for health": I'd love to think so, but the evidence is probably as rubbishy as most other epidemiological evidence.

Anonymous said...

@Anon

Not to worry. I'm sure that Steve will have a post up soon that denigrates either blacks, Hispanics, Jews, or Asians and that complains about how whited are the only people today who aren't allowed to have a sense of racial identity.

Anonymous said...

you're getting boringer and boringer, we come here to re-affirm our beliefs about race and our victimizaiton.

Drat! Its that annoying whining sound again. Could have sworn I got the brakes checked, better have them looked at again.

knifecatcher said...

There is no nuclear plume headed to the US.

What are the names of the people who have been killed by radiation?

"I’ve had several emails about my post last night and specifically about the fact that that coal fired power plants produce more radiation than nuclear power stations"

TMI -- history's first disaster with zero deaths.

Anonymous said...

I live in NJ and would gladly exchange whatever crap we have in our air for your radiation plume anytime.

Anonymous said...

Re Wes's comment:

"The consensus is always that they would warn their families to flee before staying at their posts to the end, said Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator at three American power plants for a total of 13 years.

'You’re certainly worried about the health and safety of your family, but you have an obligation to stay at the facility,' he said. 'There is a sense of loyalty and camaraderie when you’ve trained with guys, you’ve done shifts with them for years.'--http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16workers.html?_r=1

Quite the opposite of what we would have expected from Homer Simpson.

Mr. Anon said...

If you want to get an idea as to how dilute the fallout will be, consider this: When there is big fire in Japan, you don't smell the smoke in California.

Drudge is hyping this story because that's what Drudge does - he sells headlines for a living, the more sensational, the better. ABC sought out the "expert" opinion of Michio Kaku, a non-expert in the field of nuclear power, and one who has a long history of hysterical pronouncements about nuclear technology. He was opposed to the launch of the Cassinni probe to Saturn in 1997, because he claimed the plutonium in the its RTGs could kill us all. Kaku has to be the biggest scientific media whore since Carl Sagan.

The nuclear accident caused by the earthquake and tsunami will be expensive, and a few people may die as a result of radiation exposure. But compared to the numbers of those who were crushed to death and washed out to sea, its pretty insignificant. It's as if a jumbo-jet goes down in flames and crashes into some houses, and then construing from that event that its just too damned dangerous to build houses.

Chicago said...

That expert on everything, Rush Limbaugh, claims the threat has been exaggerated. So, nothing to worry about, back to bed.

Anonymous said...

"you're getting boringer and boringer, we come here to re-affirm our beliefs about race and our victimizaiton."

I love reading this blog, but that's still funny.

none of the above said...

Wes:

I know it didn't get much media attention, but about ten years back there was this little problem involving homicidal maniacs flying planes into buildings. And weirdly, a whole bunch of people stuck around and did their jobs in conditions even more dangerous than those at the Japanese reactors, until these two huge buildings collapsed on their heads. Oddly, the lack of uniformity in the society didn't convince them to leave the victims to their fate.

Why, it's almost as though your model of the world wasn't very good at predicting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Women and minorities hit hardest!

none of the above said...

Jody:

It seems like there would be advantages to having robots do as much prepositioning of supplies and such as possible, even if they couldn't do everything. That at least allows human workers to minimize their exposure time, and maybe also minimizes number of workers needed.

Brent Lane said...

Yeah, I'd hate to be exposed to 0.1 Arbitrary Units of radiation.

Thanks NYT, for All The Absolutely Meaningless Info Fit To Print.

Currahee said...

The whole nuclear power issue is obscured by self interest on one side and hysteria on the other.

Peter A said...

50 men who may lose their lives. Can anyone imagine that happening in our new United States?

Those 50 men are true heroes, but Japan as a nation gets no credit. It should be at least 500. A big part of the reason for this catastrophe is that Japanese went to a skeleton crew when they needed all hands on deck. Can you imagine the Japanese of the 1940s or even the 1960s being so unwilling to sacrifice for the greater good?

eh said...

Nuclear Agency Tells a Concerned Congress That U.S. Industry Remains Safe

Kylie said...

"Hey Steve, is your post some kind of admission that we have a Mineshaft Gap? Should we get in some preemptive strikes now while we still can?"

Alarmist.

Next you'll be on about the dangers of fluoridation.

Dennis Dale said...

I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Dr. Strangelove.

Truth said...

"we come here to re-affirm our beliefs about race and our victimizaiton."

LOL.

Seriously though, if there is concern to people 5400 miles accross the Pacific, what does that mean to people 150 miles away in Tokyo. The media there must be lying overtime right now.

Anonymous said...

Caverns aren't the best place to go to avoid radiation due to radon outgassing.

http://www.randomuseless.info/vacation/route/route.html

bleach said...

This kind of event is exactly what is meant by a Black Swan, a rare and random event of great magnitude... there isn't going to be any accurate predictions of what will happen. And there are no experts. There may be experts on nuclear reactors and plate tectonics, but you can't have an expert on a 9.0 earthquake hitting a bunch of reactors b/c it's a unique event, never happened before.

Anonymous said...

My family home in IL, built in the early 50's, had a neat concrete and steel lined fallout shelter, constructed in one corner of the basement and extending under the steps to the front entrance. I could probably build a similar thing under the front steps of my home in California; after the nuclear blast, I could retreat there to avoid the Atzlan looters after they had finished plundering all the liquor and foodstuffs from the Safeway three blocks away.

Nanonymous said...

You could be in Fukushima for months before you got the same amount of radiation as a CT.

Incorrect. The reported Fukushima levels give every hour about the same dose as a typical CT scan.

But yeah, to describe anything that could possibly reach USA as "extremely low risk" would be a huge understatement. Full body scan at the airport + coast to coast flight will result in a lot more radiation exposure than anyone anywhere in the USA stands to ever get from Japan's disaster.

OneSTDV said...

Generally speaking, every single thing that officials and experts have said was highly unlikely to go wrong has gone wrong.

Yup. After having my eyes opened to HBD and the fallacy of the low-fat/high-grain diet, I don't believe a word they say - on anything.

(Gary Taubes for President)

Anonymous said...

I know it didn't get much media attention, but about ten years back there was this little problem involving homicidal maniacs flying planes into buildings. And weirdly, a whole bunch of people stuck around and did their jobs in conditions even more dangerous than those at the Japanese reactors, until these two huge buildings collapsed on their heads. Oddly, the lack of uniformity in the society didn't convince them to leave the victims to their fate.

Funny you should mention this incident in the context of HBD. At the very same site where this was posted.

jody said...

"@Jody

You don't want to come off sounding like an idiot."

you're the idiot, "anonymous" coward.

we've put robots directly inside the chernobyl reactor. the gamma radiation inside there right now is at much, much higher levels than anything happening in fukushima.

i'm not an expert on nuclear physics, though i understand the situation enough to know that the japanese have dropped the ball here. again, it's the "dumb" whites to the rescue. heck, the US army has shielded fire trucks specifically designed for this kind of thing, we might not even need robotic vehicles if they could just get those to the plant.

although i am pro-nuclear, i have spent many years arguing with other pro-nuclear engineers and technicians about how applicable fission reactors really are around the world. they certainly aren't a solution for electricity generation in third world nations, and now, we can see, even one of the most developed, advanced nations in the world can lose control and need to be helped by the US.

Anonymous said...

"Generally speaking, every single thing that officials and experts have said was highly unlikely to go wrong has gone wrong.

Yup. After having my eyes opened to HBD and the fallacy of the low-fat/high-grain diet, I don't believe a word they say - on anything.

(Gary Taubes for President)""

I tend to see modern 'experts' and the media in general as more Chicken Little than Pollyanna.
Look at all the false scares (or at least massive exageration of the threat):
Bird flu
Mad cow disease
Chernobyl
AGW
Passive smoking

Gilbert Pinfold

TrashTokkinWifTrolls said...

I'm sure that Steve will have a post up soon that denigrates either blacks, Hispanics, Jews, or Asians and that complains about how whited are the only people today who aren't allowed to have a sense of racial identity.

No, I think Steve will soon have a post up that criticizes either blacks, Hispanics, or Jews, or perhaps that notes how whites are the only people today who aren't allowed to have a sense of racial identity.

jody said...

AT ABSOLUTE MINIMUM, robots can be at each reactor and fuel rod pool, observing what is happening, and sending readings, measurements, and video back to a forward operating base. heck, they could even put a video stream of that on the web, like they did when oil was gushing out of the sea floor at 5000 feet below the surface.

this would eliminate the TOTAL BULLSHIT reporting we are getting, where EVERY source is reporting something different! each news agency is reporting a different status at each reactor and cooling pool. "We heard", "sources tell us", "an expert we interviewed said", and each network reports something different. even worse, each government agency is also reporting a different status as well. japan says one thing, the US another, france something else, and russia yet another different opinion.

want real updates on the radiation level at each reactor? the level of water in each cooling pool? the temperature and pressure level? whether there's a fire somewhere? i am at a total loss for how 10 robots or so can't be providing this information and be operating from a temporary forward military base. they can rotate in and out as their battery levels allow.

one of my friends who is a professor of materials science at MIT, works directly with the US military on how to establish temporary forward bases at the company level that are powered almost entirely by solar and wind. they do this to eliminate the fuel supply chain as a limitation and weakness that can be attacked. something like 70% of US military logistics payloads are fuel and battery deliveries. the amount of battery power that a modern US infantry chews up is incredible.

very limited power? not a big problem. the US military can set one of these up within a few miles of the plant, and operate their robots remotely from there, substituting the battery charging that 200 troops would use, with 10 robots instead. if it's even possible to set up the base in the first place, then it's possible to make occassional fuel deliveries there too, supplementing the base's solar and wind generation with some liquid fuel.

so, if "dumb" whites can figure all this out, wouldn't "smart" japanese guys not only already be at this level, but beyond it? instead, they've blown this, period.

Svigor said...

"but I know we'll meet again, some, Sun-ny, daaaaaaayyyyyyy."

Svigor said...

Next you'll be on about the dangers of fluoridation.

The most insidious commie plot ever devised.

...

I do not avoid women, Mandrake, but I do deny them our essence.

Gen. Ripper Svigor said...

Er, my essence.

Michael Rum said...

What's a little meltdown every now and then? It could be good for Japan. After all, didn't Godzilla and Mothra help the fledgling Japanese film industry reach an international stage? Given all the creativity, pent-up sexual frustrations, and work ethic of the modern Japanese, who knows what they could do with such creatures now? Harvest the laser beams from eyes, and fire breath for "100% green" heating for high rise buildings? Jurassic Park Reality TV? When you can sprout wings, the sky's the limits!

SGOTI said...

E=POE^2

Anonymous said...

Onion headline: Tsunami of Radiation Hysteria Sweeps Over The Earth, dwarfing tsunami in Japan.

David said...

Moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to health, particularly cardiovascular health.

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholAndHealth.html

It's as scientifically established about as well as anything can be.

Of course, the Judeo-Christian Bible offers more certainty than do those fakers in white coats (who probly believe in Evil-ution too!) because it is absolute. Or is it? Shan't we take a little wine for our stomachs' sake?

Mr. Anon said...

"Nanonymous said...

You could be in Fukushima for months before you got the same amount of radiation as a CT.

Incorrect. The reported Fukushima levels give every hour about the same dose as a typical CT scan."

That graphic is a little confusing. I take it to mean that the cumulative reference levels shown on the left use the scale on the right, but in Sieverts, whereas the scale is actually given in Sieverts/hour. It should be noted these are levels measured in the immediate area of the power plant, not some kilometers away.

Truth said...

"i wish japan actually was far ahead in robotics, as is often claimed...as it is, the US is FAR ahead"

Is that fact or opininon?

Felix said...

@ Truth

That's all very pretty, but we're talking about UTILITY here, not sexbots. It's the engine in a car that makes the car, not the bodywork. Likewise, in robotics it's the actuation, power, and software that's the hard part, not putting on a carefully sculpted fake face.

THIS is impressive engineering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2bExqhhWRI

Anonymous said...

Ann Coulter has now revealed what many of us already knew - radiation can be good for you.

It's sex that's dangerous not nuclear power plants. As the late Petr Beckman pointed out the human body has some radioactivity of its own. You get more radiation from sex than from living next to a nuclear power plant.

So when you're down there in your cave, better stick to masturbation.

Albertosaurus

Nanonymous said...

That graphic is a little confusing. I take it to mean that the cumulative reference levels shown on the left use the scale on the right, but in Sieverts, whereas the scale is actually given in Sieverts/hour.

That is why I gave a separate link that shows typical CT scan doses.

Anonymous said...

Prediction time.

When the final figures are in on the triple whammy that Japan has suffered - they will be:

Earthquake = 2,000 dead.
Tsunami = 8,000 dead.
Nuclear meltdown = 0 dead.

Albertosaurus

jody said...

"Is that fact or opininon?"

it's a fact. the US is FAR, FAR ahead of japan in robotics.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=three-mile-island-robots

here are the robots the guys at CMU used to clean up three mile island. note this team is lead by red whittaker, the same guy who was trying to win the DARPA grand challenge with his HUMMER. they lost to the german guy at stanford, sebastian thrun, using the volkswagen touareg.

the 3 mile island robot cleanup WAS DECADES AGO. years and years later, where were the japanese robots? i mean they didn't even have to come up with anything novel, they just had to copy and improve what the "dumb" white guys did. hell, it looks like there's even a black american on their team - something i also saw on the virginia tech team at the DARPA competition.

i was at both DARPA grand challenge events. the second one was 6 years ago now. even all the way back then, an engineering company, oshkosh, was ALREADY having this HUGE, robotic truck navigating 100 miles autonomously. in person it was scary and it looked like something out of maximum overdrive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ggv4I4q6g

they've continued to improve it for the US army.

don't give me any BS about how these trucks could not have been there instead of human operated, unshielded firetrucks. robot firetrucks could have driven right up to the reactors with no risk of putting humans near gamma radiation - if japan was "so far ahead". but they're way, WAY behind, exactly like i've been saying on this blog for 10 years. "dumb" white guys are so far ahead in defense engineering and science it's kind of ridiculous.

this is something i know a lot about. i'll be happy to give you a total smackdown anytime. japan FUCKED THIS UP.

Truth said...

Yeah Felix I've heard of the BODOG thing, highly impressive, yet you have to admit that a robot that so closely mimics human beings is also. And I'll tell you a secret; anything you've heard about is already 10-15 years passé.

"this is something i know a lot about. i'll be happy to give you a total smackdown anytime. japan FUCKED THIS UP."

I'm just asking, Sport. Calm down. But, I'm wondering, is it all "dumb" white guys building robotics in the USA or is it a multicultural group. I mean, it isn't Germany leading the robotics race, is it?

Anonymous said...

@Truth

Ignore Jody. He has some serious issues.