Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #22 – The Word is Bail

Nuclear Bulletin #22
27 iv 2011

The Word is Bail.

A summation of events since Bulletin 21 is in order: Japan has extended the evacuation zone and imposed tough measures against violators, prompting tensions with evacuees who assumed such removal would be temporary. Japan upgraded the catastrophe to Category 7, the same as Chernobyl, while credibly reporting that the total amount of material released was about one tenth the radioactivity released at Chernobyl. Given the much greater concentration of releases in nearby territory in Japan, this highlights my prior point that the long-range fallout effects of Fukushima will be minuscule compared to Chernobyl. Correspondingly, the on-site and near-site effects will be of similar magnitude, and numerous reports of radiation sickness among the workforce are beginning to appear.

Continue reading

FYI: Guidelines for Colonialism

Land, poverty and commerce have a website- On it, you’ll be able to register for the World Bank’s conference on these very subjects, and see the latest iteration of the Bank’s Responsible Agricultural Investment principles – a set of rules that’ll make colonial land-grabbing exercises feel much better. Read more here, as well as an analysis of the Bank’s approach to land grabbing here.

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #20 – The Leak Shall Inherit the Earth

1 iv 2011, 11:00 PM BST—Events in Fukushima Prefecture have settled into unsettledness, with a very long-term process of pumping out vast quantities radioactive water, removing it to tanks under construction, flushing the cores with new fresh water, eventual removal of spent fuel rods, and then long-term entombment. TEPCO has announced final decommissioning of all six units, quashing speculation that two units someday might be placed back in service. The Japanese government has said it will seek control of TEPCO through stock purchases, facilitated by the fact that the stock has lost 80% of its value. This also seems directed at quelling public rumors and fears that TEPCO is not pursuing the public interest.

Continue reading

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #18 – Nuclear Basics

It has been requested that I review some physics and chemistry basics to help sort out what’s what.

Typical light-water reactor fuel is 3% enriched meaning that it is comprised of 3% Uranium-235 and 97% Uranium-238, whereas natural uranium is only .7% U-235. Hence the requirement for uranium enrichment, which was, for the Japanese reactors in question, done in the United States by and large. (Some recent fuel may include old Soviet weapons uranium that was downblended in Russia and sold through the American company USEC.)

Continue reading