Greenpeace USA's Nuclear Policy Analyst Jim Riccio is interviewed on Greenpeace Radio about the nuclear disaster unfolding in Fukushima, Japan and important background information on what is happening and why.
You can go here to listen in your web browser: Greenpeace Radio Podcast on the Japan Nuclear Disaster.
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Kert directs Greenpeace's research team. He works closely with investigative journalists and frequently represents Greenpeace at international climate negotiations and scientific conferences. Kert has also partnered with major global corporations to help them implement solutions to global environmental problems.
(Unregistered) R T Douse
My wife and I have lived quite happily off the electrical grid since 1998 and generate 100% of our electrical needs from approximately April into Nove...
My wife and I have lived quite happily off the electrical grid since 1998 and generate 100% of our electrical needs from approximately April into November. Our problem, of course, is cloudy weather. When we have total cloud cover it becomes necessary to use our generator to re-charge our batteries. Our generator is our "base" electrical system, something that must be available when the sun doesn't shine. When our society gets truly serious about solar, what will be available for backup? If it's coal or oil generating plants, we haven't really solved our CO2 problem. Nuclear does not contribute CO2 . . . but the prospect of possible catastrophic failure is always there. So . . . for backup energy,glo what can we use with confidence?
March 16, 2011 at 16:58
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Let's hear from nuclear physists and engineers, ok?
I want science, not opinion.
March 17, 2011 at 15:35
"Nuclear does not contribute CO2"
This is a common myth... but consider the mining, processing, transportation and enriching of...
"Nuclear does not contribute CO2"
This is a common myth... but consider the mining, processing, transportation and enriching of the fuel. Do you honestly believe there is no carbon fuels involved in this? How about the 15 year project of building a plant.
March 17, 2011 at 17:58
Japan does not need a debate but quick handling solutions
March 19, 2011 at 4:31
(Unregistered) E. E. Escultura
ON DANGER OF RADIOACTIVE FALL OUT FROM JAPAN AND PRESENT FLAWED DESIGN OF NUCLEAR REACTORS
By E. E. Escultura, Research Professor, Mathematician and Physicist, GVP – Prof. V. Lakshmikantham Institute for Advanced Studies, GVP College of Engineering, JNT University, Visakhapatnam, AP, India
There is an elliptical clockwise Northern Pacific Wind Cycle that includes the Trade Winds starting off the Ecuadoran Coast going westward to the Western Pacific Beyond the Marianas. Then it curves North, Northwest over Japan and joins the jet stream going East south of Siberia, crosses the Bearing Sea and Alaska and veers down through Canada and the Tornado Belt in the US, curves westward across Mexico and off to the Ecuadorean Coast to join the Trade Winds and complete the elliptical cycle. Airborne radioactive materials from Japan ride on this Cycle and hits Alaska and Canada first but by that time most of the radioactive materials would have dissipated, the heavier ones falling to the sea and the light ones dissipating into the upper atmosphere. By the time they reach the Philippines, if any, the amount of radioactive materials and level of radiation would be minimal.
Design Flaw. Electrical power should not turn off automatically during earthquake for it will shut off the water pump that cools the reactor. Moreover, control of the reactor will be lost. Rather, the tremor should automatically drop the neutron absorbers (e.g., cadmium rods) into the uranium core to slow down or stop nuclear fission and prevent more generation of heat that could lead to meltdown.
March 19, 2011 at 23:30
Alternatives to Nuclear or Fossil Fuel
By E. E. Escultura
1. On the nuclear crisis in Japan
Several countries a...
Alternatives to Nuclear or Fossil Fuel
By E. E. Escultura
1. On the nuclear crisis in Japan
Several countries along the Northwestern Pacific Rim have expressed concern over the possibility of contamination by airborne radioactive materials coming from the partial meltdown of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. I offer some insights based on references , , , , ,  below.
There is an elliptical wind cycle called the Northern Pacific Wind Cycle , ,  that starts with the Trade Winds originating off the Coast of Ecuador , ,  and going west along the Equatorial edge of the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Seaboard of the Philippines. It sweeps across the Philippines and curves North then Northeastward and grates Vietnam and the South and Southeast Coastal Regions of China and Korea. It crosses Japan and becomes the jet stream south of the Siberian Coast that crosses the Bearing Sea. Then it crosses the Alaskan Coast, curves southward and crosses Canada and the Tornado Belt of the US that extends from the Midwest to Texas. Then it and to complete the Northern Pacific Wind Cycle. (For full explanation of this phenomenon see , , )
Airborne radioactive materials ride in and follow the course of this cycle. By the time they reach the Northern American Continent considerable amount of it would have dissipated downwards into the Sea and upwards into the upper atmosphere rendering the radiation considerably weakened there. By the time the radioactive materials reach the Philippines, if any, radiation will be minimal and harmless.
2. More serious problems
However, nuclear meltdown is not the only problem posed by nuclear reactors that include the thorium reactors to be built in India under a US-Indian bilateral agreement. Thorium 232 is a radioactive material three times more abundant than the uranium isotope presently used in nuclear reactors and has a longer half-life than uranium. Though rarely discussed, the most serious problem posed by nuclear reactors in the long term is waste disposal because these nuclear fuels have half-life of at least 1800 years. Presently, nuclear wastes are dump into the ocean. Their containers are bound to erode and leak radiation sooner than their half life. There are known dump sites off the Eastern Coast of Africa that have already caught the attention of environmental groups, particularly, the Green Parties.
The nuclear disaster in Japan is bound to ruin the fishing industry that depends on fisting off the Eastern Coast of Japan. Since some fish species travel across oceans contaminated fish in this region are bound to contaminate the nearby coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean and China Sea. In fact, contaminated fish has been reported caught in Hong Kong just a couple of weeks after the disaster. This is of serious concern for the Philippines and I would recommend that Philippine authorities begin to monitor fish caught in the region.
3. Averting nuclear meltdown
Can a meltdown be avoided? Yes, but it will require rectification of present defective design of nuclear reactors. There should be no power shut off for a reactor to keep the water cooling system running and prevent overheating and meltdown. Installation of appropriate UPS (uninterrupted power service) will insure it. Moreover, there should be an automatic nuclear reaction shut off to suppress further heat generation and prevent meltdown in case the UPS fails. This can be accomplished by installing neutron absorbers (neutron of sufficiently low energy – 0.25 calories – split the uranium core nuclei causing nuclear fission that releases nuclear energy) such as cadmium or graphite rods that can be inserted suitably into the uranium core to choke off nuclear fission. (For the underlying physical explanation, see , )
Note on the PNRI research reactor in the Philippines
It should be noted that the nuclear disaster in Japan was caused not by the tsunami triggered by the earthquake that occurred there but by that earthquake itself. Therefore, the same disaster could occur at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute research reactor in Diliman, Q.C., especially, since it is close to a branch of the Marikina Faults that passes under the University of the Philippines Library. I don’t know the power of the research reactor (it should be considerably less than that of a power reactor) but it should be an issue to worry about. I am recommending not a shutdown of the reactor but an automatic “choke” mechanism that would turn off the reactor in the event of an earthquake. Then it can be restarted again.
4. Safe alternatives
There are, of course, safe alternatives to nuclear and fossil fuels for generating energy. Under traditional power generation, we mention the following:
(1) Geothermal power plant with suitable design that recycles the geothermal steam and avoids release of sulfur that causes acid rain as well as damage to the topography of the ground due to distortion of ground surface.
(2) The use of ethanol for internal combustion engine. Ethanol comes from common crops such as cassava and sugar cane. More than 50% of idle land in the Philippines is suitable for growing cassava.
However, this would eat up that can be allotted food production.
(3) A new emerging technology uses the cold underground water for air conditioning and refrigeration. This is, of course, more environment friendly than conventional air conditioning and refrigeration. I have a friend in India who is venturing into this new technology. However, its usefulness as energy source is quite limited.
We now have a new category, GUT technology, that uses the free, clean, inexhaustible dark matter comprising over 95% of and abundant everywhere in the cosmos , , , . GUT means grand unified theory , the basis of the design and construction of such technology , . This technology uses the natural engine of the vortex flux of superstrings provided by the magnet. Among the existing GUT technology are the following :
(a) The magnetic train. It uses two magnetic vortex fluxes of opposite spins that push each other and the train, one fixed magnet on the track and the other underneath the train. Such vortex fluxes are natural engines in dark matter.
(b) Another GUT technology which is at the design and prototyping phase is the electromagnetic car which I introduced in India in collaboration with colleagues there. It also uses similar natural engines.
(c) The present electric power plant is only partial GUT technology for it uses other source of energy side by side with the natural dark engine (magnetic vortex flux) such as gasoline, geothermal steam, tidal energy, river current and water falls.
There is a potential for building an electromagnetic power plant using magnets alone. I have received an invitation from an industrialist in India interested in its research and development.
Another electromagnetic engine based on GUT, specifically, the principles that account for magnetic levitation, can provide power to space vehicle that travels through the gravitational field of the Earth that extends far beyond the Moon or any cosmological body such as the Sun and any galaxy. This can revolutionize travel around Earth. Research and development for travel around Earth can be started now but for general space travel that is still way into the future.
 Escultura, E. E. Turbulence: theory, verification and applications, J. Nonlinear Analysis, A-Series: Theory, Methods and Applications, 2001, 47, 8, pp. 5955 – 5966.
 Escultura, E. E. The Pillars of the new physics and some updates, J. Nonlinear Studies, 2007, 14, 3, pp. 241 – 260.
 Escultura, E. E. The grand unified theory, contribution to the Felicitation Volume on the occasion of the 85th birth anniversary of Prof. V. Lakshmikantham, J. Nonlinear Analysis, A-Series: Theory: Method and Applications, 2008, 69, 3, pp. 823 – 831.
 Escultura, E. E. The mathematics of the grand unified theory, Proc. 5th World Congress of Nonlinear Analysts, J. Nonlinear Analysis, A-Series: Theory: Method and Applications, 2009, 71, pp. e420 – e431.
 Scientific natural Philosophy, an ebook in Press, Bentham Science Publishers.
 Lakshmikantham, V.; Escultura, E. E.; Leela, S. The Hybrid Grand Unified Theory, Atlantis (World Scientific): Paris, March 2009.
 (a) The Earth Atlas; (b) The Oceans Atlas, Dorling Kindersley: London, 1994.
July 31, 2011 at 20:02
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