Day 432 On flares, and fuel, Fukushima and furnaces

Although published today, this is sort of old news, actually. What a pretty pickle we’d ALL be in if it really happen(s/ed). Baseball games blacked out! Couldn’t hop on the local transit system to get to work. No backup generators at the world’s nuclear power plants would work. Like one gigantic “Tsunami Flare”. I can see the headlines now. Except there wouldn’t be any ’cause them ‘puters wouldn’t work either, so how are you going to get stuff published? (Not to mention no Facebook or Twitter – or blogs – god forbid!)

‘Superflare’ on sun could cause power outages on Earth: researchers

This photo provided by Kyoto University professor Kazunari Shibata shows a solar flare caught by a telescope at the university's astronomical observatory in Gifu Prefecture (a white spot in the top-right part).
This photo provided by Kyoto University professor Kazunari Shibata shows a solar flare caught by a telescope at the university’s astronomical observatory in Gifu Prefecture (a white spot in the top-right part).

A “superflare” that would cause widespread disruptions on Earth such as power outages could occur on the sun, a group of researchers has determined using satellite data.


Solar flares are frequently observed on the sun, and increased x-rays that accompany them can disrupt communications on Earth. If a superflare occurred, geomagnetic storms and a large amount of radiation would affect Earth, and could expose people to radiation and cause power outages on a global scale.

Shibata says, “We would like to examine whether there are signs of a superflare occurring in the past, and also whether they can be predicted.”

The research was published in the English science journal “Nature” on May 17.

May 17, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

Read the entire article at:

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Oh, and then there’s the question of how to keep the tons of spent fuel everywhere in the world…. oh. Moot point.

Editorial: Gov’t must not fear policy change on spent nuclear fuel

Well over 10,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel is stored at nuclear power plants across Japan. If the nation’s nuclear reactors are restarted, then the amount will only increase.

Up until recently Japan had promoted a nuclear fuel cycle in which all spent fuel was to be reprocessed, with the plutonium extracted from this fuel being used again in nuclear power plants. However, the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has shaken this national policy. If the number of nuclear power plants is to be reduced and reliance on nuclear energy decreased, Japan must make major revisions to its nuclear fuel cycle strategy.

 Article continues at:
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Kansai power crunch just political rivalry?

Oi reactor factor tied to Noda’s Hashimoto feud

Staff writer

OSAKA — The confrontation between the central government and Kansai area leaders over the restart of two nuclear reactors in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, has more to do with the growing power struggle between Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda than with safety or objective attempts to determine how much electricity will be available this summer.

Article continues at:

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Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Third Tour for the Press on May 26, 2012 May Have the Press on Reactor 4 Operation Floor

It looks TEPCO/Government allow the press inside Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant every three months.The first tour in November last year was only for the reporters and cameramen who belong to the Press Clubs (Japanese and Foreign). The second tour in February allowed the independent media (Iwakami’s IWJ and Nico Nico went). The third tour will again allow the independent media, again IWJ and Nico Nico.

What’s different this time is, according to the worker who tweets from Fuku-I:

  • Goshi Hosono, Minister of the Environment and Minister in charge of the nuclear accident, will go with the press on the tour;
  • They will get off the bus right near the Reactor 4 building;
  • Hosono and the press representatives may go up the reactor building to see the reinforcement work beneath the Spent Fuel Pool, and go up to the top floors.

The worker who tweets from Fuku-I thinks the reason why Goshi Hosono is coming may be to dispel the rumors circulating around the globe about Reactor 4’s building “listing” (leaning, about to collapse, whatever). Bad choice, as Goshi Hosono would be the last person that people would believe. But that aside, the worker doesn’t seem particularly worried about Reactor 4 (he never has).

Article continues at:

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Radioactive Debris: Kitakyushu City to Test Burn, First in Kyushu

Kitakyushu City has been heavily polluted in the past from numerous steel mills and other heavy industries. Now, the city government is eager to risk polluting the city with radioactive materials.

From a few tweets from residents in the city who called the city government and spoke with the people in the section that deals with the debris burning, the national government has been exerting a heavy pressure on the city to proceed with the test burn and acceptance of the debris (which is just a foregone conclusion).


According to the data from the Ministry of the Environment, the wood debris in Ishinomaki City proper has been found with 35 bq/kg of radioactive cesium, but the wood debris in part of Ishinomaki City in Ojika Peninsula has been found with 85 bq/kg of radioactive cesium. If the debris that Kitakyushu City will test burn is the fine particles (less than 5mm in size), which are basically the crushed wood debris, they test 207 and 360 Bq/kg respectively.

So they are using how many special trucks to transport this debris from Ishinomaki to Kitakyushu? 900 miles?? (Kitakyushu City is much closer to Korea than to Ishinomaki.) The transportation cost is all paid by the national government (i.e. taxpayers of Japan, whether they like it or not) of course.

Article continues at:


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