Monday, March 14, 2011

It's relative.

Allegedly, sailors on the flight deck of CVN-76 took about a month's worth of radiation exposure in an hour. (If it had been CVN-65, they would have only gotten three weeks' worth.)

I will note that nowhere in the article does the New York Times mention that the sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan who were belowdecks didn't get any unusual levels of radiation at all. You know, down there with the pair of Westinghouse nuclear reactors that they conveniently forgot to mention powered the ship in question...

30 comments:

Gudis said...

If the amount of shit reporters don't know about nuclear power was fissile material, the AP alone could power all of north America.

Anonymous said...

And Switzerland announces they have halted development of their three new reactors pending "review" of the situation in Japan.

Can't wait to see what the "review" process here entails...

Meanwhile, while everybody's back is turned, the O issues a statement on gun control:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42063945/ns/politics

"We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to (gun) sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can't escape it," he wrote.

Looks like code for gunshow and private seller restrictions to me. But hey, it turns out the Man himself is our tireless advocate, personally responsible for "allowing guns in national parks and wildlife refuges"...I did not know that.

AT

Tam said...

Gudis wins the internets.

Ian Argent said...

I love how the pressies are all "blah-blah-blah umpteen times legal limit blah blah blah." Legal limits for immediate dosages are darn close to the least measurable amounts due to uncertainty about future and radiation booga boogas.

IIRC a month's dose is roughly equivalent to a week or two spent skiing in Colorado, no?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Of course, the MSM also fails to mention that the sailors who were above deck got roughly the same radiation exposure as if they had eaten about 10 bananas (if my math is right - if not I will happily stand corrected).

"And Switzerland announces they have halted development of their three new reactors pending "review" of the situation in Japan."

I'd like to see the Swiss reactor that would have to withstand both an 8.9 quake and a tsunami on the same day.

Anonymous said...

OK, why would the sailors on CVN-65 had less exposure?

skidmark said...

I fail to see what everybody is worried about regarding the radiation. When the magic plume of death reaches the US FEMA will have already pre-positioned the formaldehyde-laden trailers of death at concentration camps in the desert. No need to worry about creating genetic monsters because of irradiation when the off-gassing will split your genes and kill you much faster.

America - what a country! [/Yakoff Smirnoff voice]

stay safe.

wv= mincess: what either one will do to your genes

Tam said...

Anon 9:54,

"OK, why would the sailors on CVN-65 had less exposure?"

The USS Enterprise has eight reactors instead of the usual two found on newer US carriers. This is the source of nicknames like "The Mobile Chernobyl" and "Three Quarter Mile Island".

Standard Mischief said...

Hopefully, we don't lose sight of the fact that roughly 10,000 people died due to that experimental modern technology known as "cities near the ocean used as a seaport".

I guess no one thought that a tsunami could take out the all of the redundant diesel generators near the plant. Still, while it looks like a few reactors are toast, and some radioactive steam will get vented and blown out to sea, things don't look too bad.

Newer generation molten salt thorium fuel cycle reactors would only melt a safety plug and drain out the nuclear fuel into sub-critical pools of material.

Geodkyt said...

Actualy, the guys below decks did experience abnormal radiation levels.

Abnormally low.

[smirk]

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Newer generation molten salt thorium fuel cycle reactors would only melt a safety plug and drain out the nuclear fuel into sub-critical pools of material."

I prefer the pebble-bed reactors, myself. They would run hot, but the physics of the design means there's no possibility of meltdown at all.

Scott said...

I think that we should not put all of our eggs in the same basket. I like both the pebble -bed reactors and the Thorium reactors, esp. since yellowcake is currently at $66.75/lb and probably half of the long term supplies will most likely be sucked up by China and India. Current use is reportedly higher than current production.

Jim said...

So, a month's worth of what, normal background? From this:

The effective radiation dose from this procedure is about 0.1 mSv, which is about the same as the average person receives from background radiation in 10 days

Three chest x-rays, presumably? Pardon me if I'm underwhelmed.

Jim

Ian Argent said...

A lot of the ROMG! (Radioation OMG!) regs were written at a time when it was believed that any radiation dose left cumulative damage. Since this sells sunscreen and panic, there hasn't been much effort made to doublecheck this assumption.

I am going to make a completely safe prediction - that the sum total radioactive atmospheric emissions from all the plants in Japan will be less than than the radioactives emitted from a coal plant in a year.

Vinosaur said...

Being below decks on a carrier is VERY safe. They are more protected than just about anywhere else.

Having spent 9 years sleeping less than 100 feet of a Westinghouse Reactor on Nuclear Subs, my exposure was lower while underway at power than it ever was at home.

Live in a brick home or go to the beach much? Much higher exposure. Almost 8 times as much in any given month at home than at sea. We were asked to leave our dosimiters on board if we lived in a brick home so we would not get false readings.

Gewehr98 said...

I can actually see folks belowdecks on that there nuclear-powered bomb magnet getting lower rad doses than the helo crews flying to and fro through the reactor plumes sans protection. Belowdecks, even with the reactors there's more shielding, less air flow, a ton on thermal neutron absorbtion outside (seawater) etc. Then again, I'm glad I retired from the Constant Phoenix mission in 2006, because my successors are flying their butts off over there right now trying to wrangle those plumes' dimensions, gross activities, and headings. Wave to the pretty white and gray USAF sniffer bird as it goes overhead!

DirtCrashr said...

It's not what reporters don't know, it's what they know wrongly - and repeat anyhow.
A banana equivalent dose..."After Three Mile Island the NRC detected radioactive iodine in local milk at levels of 0,74 Bq/l (20 pCi/l) - a dose much less than one would receive from ingesting a single banana. Standing next to a crate of bananas causes a measurable dose...

Anonymous said...

Hehe

Banana Equivalent Dose:



http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/going-bananas-over-radiation/

Sigivald said...

As usual, no numbers, and thus no information.

(For once, it's nothing peculiar to the Times - reporting on things like this is uniformly awful regardless of the source.

"A month's worth of radiation" isn't even clear - are they talking nominal background, or NRC-and/or-Pentagon-mandated-regulator-maximum?)

(And what the hell is "particulate radiation"? I think they mean "radioactive particles" - and even then, no numbers, no information.)

North said...

"The USS Enterprise has eight reactors instead of the usual two found on newer US carriers."

Am I the only one to immediately think "Warp 8?"

Kristopher said...

I'll bet the sailors on old coal-fired battleships got an even greater radiation exposure from trace radioactives in the exhaust plume.

John A said...

Natural disaster and nuclear plantsL from a comment at Small Dead Animals we get a link to a possible upside and call for more nukes -

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/14/fukushiima_analysis/print.html

Douglas Hester said...

The Enterprise (a one-off design) is indeed the fastest carrier in the fleet because of her reactors.

Anonymous said...

Jake said: "I'd like to see the Swiss reactor that would have to withstand both an 8.9 quake and a tsunami on the same day."

Or the Jap reactor, apparently. Or more importantly, the US reactor.

Looks like the only "safe" reactor would be "no" reactor.

Ah...

AT

Ian Argent said...

Just like the only secure computer is one turned off in a safe which no-one know the combination to, or the only safe car is one that isn't running...

There's no such thing as a risk-free existence.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Um... If a Swiss reactor had to survive a tsunami, I don't think anyone would really care at that point if it didn't. Bigger fish to fry, and all that.

"Looks like the only "safe" reactor would be "no" reactor."

TANSTAAFL, y'know.

Tam said...

"If a Swiss reactor had to survive a tsunami, I don't think anyone would really care at that point if it didn't."

Quoted For Truth.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I've been eating through my supply of KIO3 like they were tic tacs! Doomed! DOOMED!! Radiation will kill about 33 billion people on this planet in the next month or so. I read that on the intenet, it has to be true.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

[margin of error: +/- 40 billion]

Anonymous said...

"Bigger fish to fry, and all that."

Heh.

No free lunches? Sure there is if somebody else picks up the check; duh.

AT