Gold, Potassium Iodide and Doomsday

Russellville 03/31/2011@0700 CDT

For those of you who have access to some of my classified reports (not necessarily government type) this should be old news. However now that the subject is being broached in the mass media, I can try to update those who lack the necessary clearence and education to understand or appreciate some of the things I have already said.

The danger of a China Syndrome accident in Japan is all too real. If you are ignorant of what that means, just follow the link and watch the movie. No the core(s) and molten spent fuel in Japan won’t make it all the way to China, at least not through the center of the earth! However, that the mess now floating around in one or more of the reactor buildings explosively makes its way through the concrete floors IS a real possibility. Especially if by some remote chance a critical “mass” accidentally occurs anywhere in the complex.

And it gets worse. Much worse.

Just like adding water to some chemical or metal fires magnifies them so too would adding plain water to the top of such a critical “mess.” Without the addition of nuclear “poisons” such as boron in large quantities, dumping water, even sea water on top of a “critical” reactor or even cooling the water in its vacinity could easily cause a nuclear explosion.

Light water – as in water made with “regular hydrogen” the kind that has no neutrons – light water reactors have a “point of no return” called prompt criticality.  Without an education in nuclear physics those words are meaningless but lets just put it this way.

ALL reactors depend on intrinsic nuclear feedback mechanisms to keep them from becoming bombs. Carbon moderated boiling water types like Chernobyl require an active suppression system to prevent nuclear and thermal runaway. Which is why when those systems were bypassed or failed it went boom.

Boiling water reactors an inherently stability mechanism that counter acts some of the faults in the Russian design. As power increases, the water/steam mixture in the core gets hotter, that reduces the density of the water, which means more neutrons leak out of the core. Which is good as long as they stay inside the containment building! Every neutron “lost” cannot create another fission so that means power will decrease or to be more precise – power will not increase as much or as fast as it would without that negative feedback.

However unlike pressurized water reactors (which have NO steam bubbles in the core) anything that collapses the steam voids in the core will tend to increase power. If that causes the pressure to increase you have POSITIVE feedback. And just like an audio amplifier with too much of that kind of feedback – disaster happens unless the fuse blows.

Bottom line – pouring to much cold water in to an operating boiling water reactor can and WILL cause a nuclear explosion. That may seem counter intuitive but remember this is nuclear physics.

Pressurized water reactors are the most inherently stable design, however, they are more expensive to build and the Nuclear Industry and their facist government lap dogs have always tried to sell the “cheap” part while ignoring “safe and enviromentally friendly.” Not that the NRC or whatever they call them in Japan is any worse then other gubamint organizations but they certainly aren’t much better. Its all about money. Always has been. Always will be.

But I digress, again as usual!

Chemical processes such as fire, rockets and explosives are fast compared to human actions. Good teachers always ask questions. And this aint no fairy tail so if you’ve made it this far we need to do a “sleep” check before the bell rings. Or better yet why not try an “exercise?”

How long does it take for the powder in an M16 cartridge to chemically react?

Since you may not have one of those handy try a 22. No please – Be Safe and visit your local gun range. Seek professional assistance! Point the weapon at an appropriate target and try to guess how long it takes for the bullet to leave the muzzle. Be sure to account for the mechanical times, as in hammer falls, firing pin hits, ignitor does its schtick and then the powder begins to burn.

The fact is it takes time.

Maybe only a small fraction of a second but it takes time. Light travels about eleven inches in a nano second. Sound travels about 700 miles per hour or about a foot in a millisecond. And if any of those numbers are wrong I expect your hand up in the air going – NO its 24.873 centimeters or 982 kilometers in a fort night when the moon is full and the relative humidity is between 40 and 55%

Now you do remember how many nanos there are in a milli, right? Come on that is 2nd grade. We – parents in the US – wish!

Sorry folks, if this stuff were simple the government and Nuclear-un-Regulated-Corporate (NuRC) facists wouldn’t be able to pull the wool over your eyes so easy.

To make a long story short. Prompt fission occurs on the time scale of 10 to the minus 14th seconds. Nano is minus 9. So light can only travel 11/10000 of an inch in that time. Again the exact numbers are not the point here.

Heat as in the transfer of energy via molecular vibrations – is much much slower by several orders of magnitude.

Neutrons from fission also travel at speeds close to C (ie the speed of light – about 670 MILLION miles per hour.) So the next 5 “neutron” induced fissions could happen and then 25 and then 125 and then 5 times 5 …. long before even the light from the first one ever reaches a “detector.” Then by the time even the fastest computer could determine that a hazard exists – boom! You have a nuclear explosion.

That has happened before. Probably several times around the world. Just jog over (remember this IS an exercise period. no make that exclaimation!) to Wikipedia and hunt down SL One. Lets see only 1100 Curies released and it was a secret Army project safely tucked an hours bus ride from the nearest settlement.

Nothing is safe. As my previous post mentions. And that assumes the systems are working. The fact is that if a critical mass exists or comes into existance in Japan it will be much, much worse then any nuclear disaster in recorded history.

The way things are going at this point there may be nothing anyone can do to stop that from happening. Especially as long as the idiots in charge keep droning on about how safe nuclear power is or telling the general public “don’t worry” we have it all under control. It isn’t safe, they don’t have it under control and the time for panic has already passed.

Remember the ROTC frat boys in Animal House , screaming “remain calm,” if I were you I would take that advise along with some iodinized supliments. By their own press releases they state that the disaster in Japan has not been terminated and it may take months to contain. Anyone foolish enough to ignore those warnings deserves to be swept out to sea by whatever tsunami waves that may follow. This IS the time to prepare for whatever may occur.

Think of this message as a Tornado Watch or Warning. If the States of Kansas and Oklahoma have had a dozen tornados in the last hour; western Arkansas is under the “gun” with multiple warnings in effect and the National Weather service has just issued a “Watch” for your county; you might just want to check the batteries in your flashlight and weather radio, then test both and set the weather radio to alert you before going to bed. And if you have no clue NOW would be the time to review whatever safety information you can find on whatever issue is at hand because …

By tomorrow morning, if S**t hit the fan last night, Walmart will be out of milk, Lowes, Home Depot … those who read my other reports already bought all of doomsday shelters for a reason. Same goes for shortages of potassium iodide pills. By the way that is not the only way to introduce iodine into the human system and most people HAVE an old bottle labeled “tincture of iodine.” You might just want to follow that link and then mossy over to the medicine cabinet to check for flashlight batteries.

No flashlight batteries, none radiactive milk or iodine in the house – put that on your shopping list. You may also want shut down your “paper investments” and consider buying some physical Gold and Silver. For those with smaller portfolios set aside $50 or 100 each paycheck and visit a local dealer.

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There Ain’t No Such thing as a Safe Power Plant

Russellville 03/25/11@2315CDT

There is no such thing as a “safe” power plant or safe transportation either. Anything going faster then Zero miles per hour can and will crash. Some people die from walking into a wall. Same thing for nuclear plants or any other form of energy conversion system that operates at much more than a few micro watts.

Sorry life is not, never has been nor ever will be – safe. It is well known to the State of California and other communist infested areas that air and water have been shown to cause cancer, heart attacks and/or otherwise reduce the amount of money doctors, investment banksters and lawyers can extract from the human soul. It’s not safe out here in the real world. Problem is there are bed bugs under the covers as well and rational human beings simply deal with the fun and/or risks in descending order.

Sadly the nightmare of nuclear power is in front and not behind us. Forget about construction, maintenance, operation and retirement of reactors that is NOT the worst problem. Spent fuel and the 10,000 years or so of safe storage it will take before it can ever be allowed to see daylight again IS.

The United States has not had any serious nuclear accidents because of a man named Admiral Rickover. Under his leadership of genius the atom was first harnessed. All of our current nuclear power designs find their roots in the US Naval Nuclear Power Program. As long as a significant portion of the civilian licensed operators are former sailors – their dedication to safety and ingrained sense of duty WILL override the corrupt fascist greed of the Nuclear (un)Regulated Corporations. We are unlikely to the cowardly behavior and confusion that appears to be the direct cause of the disaster in Japan. Yes, there was an earth quake and a bit of water but that is no excuse. If a disaster like that happened in the US hopefully there are enough USN retireds to damn the torpedoes or radiation and bring the ship to a safe port.

Remember that thing about the Captain going down with his command. Believe it – that is what heros DO! Japaneze only have honor when they are full of Sake. True American don’t abandon their posts. Even the Russians had people willing to die trying to bring an unstable reactor under control. I am sorry if the truth offends but there are times when it is necessary for a few brave men AND women to sacrefice themselves upon a live grenade in the service of a greater good.

That time came and went and the operators at Fukushima Daiichi failed to do their duty.  Remember the movie “China Syndrome” (1979 Jack Lemmon), if not just look for it on your video rack and invest the two hours.

But again that (current operations) is NOT the problem.

Remember Love Canal? It only had 21,000 tons of chemical waste. If the local government had simply followed the deeded instructions and never allowed development of the land it forced Hooker Chemical to sell there would be nothing to “remember.” But you know those political types. “We need cheap land for a school, we ARE the government and we take what we need!” Just imagine trying to keep millions of tons of high level waste “safe” for 10 thousand years. It can’t and it won’t be done. What the United States and other nuclear powers have done is kick the can down the road, again and again. What happened in Japan is that the old bucket finally fell apart. You know – at the worst possible moment – anything that can go wrong WILL!

There are those who say that “if man were meant to fly he/she would have been given wings” … Or the other side of the irresponsibility coin “those whose greed for $megabuck$ blinds them to all reason.”

Lets find a middle ground! One hundred years ago only daredevils left the ground. Now airplanes are the safest way to travel. Give Burt Rutan and Elon Musk a few decades and avoiding that pesky atmosphere while going from New York to Tokyo will seem even MORE reasonable! Think about the shuttle. Once it is IN space going a few extra laps around the world while waiting for the weather to clear is NO problem.  Unlike powered flight in the atmosphere the shuttle is just coasting along like a ship floating on a calm sea. Sooner or later the supplies will run out but there is no need for constant engine thrust just to keep from nose diving into the ground.

Trust me. A few decades from now going to a million feet will be as common as 50 thousand is today. However, all such “good things” take education, engineering and political will. And Risk!

Life if Risk. Before 1960 it was quite common for one or more test pilots to crater themselves in the American southwestern desert each week. No guts. No Glory. More importantly no advanced civilization with all its comforts and safety. But I digress …

If you will dig out an ancient high school or college physics book (pre 9/11/73 please) and review the chapter on nuclear energy … you would see that in the typical light water moderated reactor a significant amount of power already comes from Plutonium at the end of core life. Its just a byproduct of the use of a Uranium 235/238 mixture. The exact physics is both beyond the scope of this article and subject to possible classification by those who wish to keep you in the dark.

The fact is that it would be simple to reprocess any spent fuel by just removing some of the fission products while leaving all of the Plutonium. That was proposed back in the 60’s and could have be done economically. There is a very small chance that anyone could siphon off any weapons material. However, all of those dry fuel storage areas around the world are a much easier target for Plutonium thieves. They are usually cheap buildings, poorly constructed and loosely guarded. The “old” fuel bundles kept there are far less radioactive then the ones that must be kept in the water filled “fuel pools.” These “hot” assembles are a major part of the problem  in Japan.

Even though the radiation levels around those older spent fuel assemblies are orders of magnitude less then ones recently removed from the reactor they still have virtually the same amount of Plutonium. Smuggling a recently active fuel assembly is almost impossible. Without a tremendous amount of hydrated (ie having much hydrogen) and massive (ie dense) shielding anyone near one of those fuel rods would suffer from over exposure. Just a few minutes is enough to kill. Trucks carrying them would likely set off the radiation detectors at any hospital withing a few hundred yards.

On the other hand, old spent fuel assemblies can and are being trucked or shipped in the United States and elsewhere. Indeed if you travel cross country on an Interstate there is a good chance you have been next to one. Those shipments tend to be guarded and done with a reasonable level of secrecy. The security is certainly justified. Whether the secrecy confuses the bad guys or just keeps the public from being frightened is another public debate we need to have but not now.

As noted above, back in the 1960’s the plan was to have reprocessing facilities. That died because of the risk involved with transportation accidents and the fear of nuclear weapons. Newer schemes proposed mobile reprocessing equipment that would be truck or rail shipped to nuclear plants.

With the advancements in robotics and computer controls that kind of process should be easy to do today. The idea here is that once the fuel “cools down” enough to be safe for remote robotic handling these reprocessing “trains” would clean the old fuel and repair or replace the zirconium tubing (fuel clad) creating “new” fuel rods. This process can be repeated until virtually all of the plutonium and uranium are used up. Not only does that eliminate the spent fuel nightmare but it also increases the amount of usable nuclear fuel by a factor of 20 to 100.

Then again, for those who own the mines and government processing facilities (mostly oil and coal companies) this would reduce their profit margins. And we wouldn’t want THAT to happen. Would we?

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