Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Massive 8.9 Earthquake Japan. Major Tsunami hitting multiple islands/c

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Massive 8.8 Earthquake+Multiple Earthquakes after 5 and 6 levels has hit Japan. At least 4 aftershocks so far. Tsunami warning in effect for Japan/ Russia /Marcus Is. /N. Marianas /Guam/Wake Is./Taiwan/Hawaii/New Zealand Tsunami

Al-Jazeera (seems to have best coverage out of places I have checked) says this is the 7th most powerful in history. None of the others were in as populated an area as this.

30 International Disaster relief groups being sent to Japan says U.N.

All 53 (think thats what they said) countries/islands expected to be hit by some level of the tsunami have been warned and are preparing. Will reach Russia, potentially Alaska, and as far down as Columbia.

Travel Time Map start time is 9:46pm PST http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/01/ttvulhvpd9-01.jpg

See live news coverage here: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Cooling system in Japanese Nuclear Power-plant is no longer reported as functioning properly whilst going into automatic shutdown according to Al-Jazeera. Not sure what that suggests yet.

Oil refineries are catching fire.

Giant cracks and holes in the cities from the earthquakes.

Potential warnings for Alaska and several other US zones.

USGS data here, click on red dots to see earthquake specific information: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

Journalist I follow on twitter in Japan says the tsunami is hitting right now. sinking trucks at port in Iwate-ken.

Here is his feed: http://twitter.com/#!/W7VOA

I see in my twitter feed at 12:38am PST that sirens have sounded in Honolulu and Kauai to evacuate and move to higher ground.

Tsunami wave expected to hit San Francisco at 8:08 am PST No word on height.

Quote by Japanese man: "It's been 40 minutes and my building (Nagoya) is still swaying back and forth from aftershocks. I'm getting ill."

An associated tsunami report,complete with animated prediction maps:


I'm not sure who this guy is, but he's posting great pics and videos from people: http://twitter.com/#!/ProducerMatthew

HD Live coverage: http://jibtv.com/program/fullscreen.aspx?page=0 (Requires silverlight)

The Tsunami so far has ENGULFED several cities and entire towns. Is "eating everything in its path" says news reporter.







Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far, they say only a few dozen dead. The islands that have been hit by the tsunami (e.g. Guam) say it was only a few feet high when it hit shore. Despite having a similar magnitude to the 2004 Indonesian quake, I guess the latter was much deeper, more sustained, and moved much more earth, causing a huge tsunami.

Update: It looks like those initial estimates were low - they're now saying at least 1,000 dead.

Edited by brian0918
Link to comment
Share on other sites

U.S. Rushes Coolant to Japanese Nuke Plant After Earthquake


Japanese nuclear reactor in peril


Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was watching Al-Jazeera live and an expert came on explaining exactly what caused this earthquake, why it was so large, and why the tsunami was created. I can't remember all of the lingo but basically there are 3 plates there and one was trying to get under the other and after a time the other had to bend and "snap back" to release itself and it was essentially the result of it "snapping back". I am sure you can find an article on those specifics somewhere online. Too late for me to look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My house is shaking right now (yes, over 24 hours after the quake). We only had one thing fall at the house, and it wasn't attached to the wall. I was at work when it hit and I can tell you the concrete felt like the deck of a ship in rough seas. Our helicopters looked like bouncing low-riders. The most notable aspect of the quake to me was its duration. I've felt a handful of quakes in Japan, none of which lasted more than 20-30 seconds. Yesterday's quake had to have been at least 2 full minutes.

Some of the guys in my squadron have delivered supplies to the worst areas. They say it looks as bad as the media coverage. The good/bad news is that they didn't see any survivors in need of rescue. I hope this is because Japan has an excellent infrastructure for communication and evacuation, but some news reports say otherwise. I know the major highway running out of Tokyo was shutdown within a few hours, presumably to serve as an evacuation route if necessary. I flew past Yokohama and the southern portion of the Tokyo Bay today - I think the peninsula on the East side of the bay protected Tokyo/Yokohama from the tsunami.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was just a hydrogen explosion at the No. 3 Reactor at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear powerplant. Another large new tsunami is warming up in Northern japan as well...they just can't catch a break...



Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And...Greenpeace weighs in on the explosion...

That kind of nuclear fearmongering just makes me angry. There's no rational assessment of the risks of nuclear plants, no discussion of the realistic alternatives for supplying power and their different drawbacks, just pouncing on the worst earthquake in Japan's recorded history as an opportunity to scare people away from nuclear power (as if we should expect these things to happen regularly at nuclear plants). He even admits in the video that, "I would agree that, at the moment, luckily enough, the contamination released has been pretty limited, so the health impacts on the population are, at the moment, low, and in this case it's actually good that there is no panic... but we are still sitting on a ticking bomb" etc etc. Sure, if the casualties are low, then it's all luck (because we already know that nuclear power is dangerous), but if the situation escalates into a major event, then that's to be expected (again, because we already know that nuclear power is dangerous). :dough:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That kind of nuclear fearmongering just makes me angry. There's no rational assessment of the risks of nuclear plants, no discussion of the realistic alternatives...
A rational, unemotional lesson from this natural disaster is that nuclear energy (outside the communist states) is just as safe as we thought, and will likely become still safer with the lessons learnt here. Too bad if voters get the opposite message.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neal Boortz's analysis today (March 15, 2011) of the problems with the nuclear reactors has been really good (from my layman's perspective). Although not all that he has been saying, here's what he said in his "Today's Nuze": "WHAT'S UP IN JAPAN" (If you can catch his show, he goes into detail on what's going on and has occurred with the reactors from when the earthquake hit to date, but the information is surely available elsewhere as well).

As opposed to some of the hysteria from Greenpeace and others, including reporters announcing that there have been nuclear explosions, or, for example, "Chernobyl clean-up expert slams Japan, IAEA" Tue Mar 15, 2011 — (Reuters) - "Greed in the nuclear industry and corporate influence over the U.N. watchdog for atomic energy may doom Japan to a spreading nuclear disaster, one of the men brought in to clean up Chernobyl said on Tuesday" , Joshua Lipana at The Objective Standard Blog counters with: "Chernobyl Schmernobyl: The Japanese are Competent"

And another good point from Left Coast Rebel: "Fukushima Meltdown is a Triumph, not Tragedy for Nuclear Power" by Wes Messamore

As to the so-called negative outcomes from profit-seeking or greed, here's a good retort (YouTube video) by Milton Friedman on the issue, but with respect to questions raised about the Ford Pinto many years ago. "Milton Friedman Puts A Young Michael Moore In His Place"

Edited by Trebor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Modified version of original post written by Josef Oehmen" which was mentioned ("Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors.") in the Objective Standard blog post "Chernobyl Schmernobyl: The Japanese are Competent," but subsequently moved to the MIT NSE (Nuclear Science and Engineering) Information Hub.


Construction of the Fukushima nuclear power plants

Fundamentals of nuclear reactions

What happened at Fukushima (as of March 12, 2011)


Edit to add: From memory, having listened to Boortz's explanation, I think that he may have been reading this article or at least referring to it.

Edited by Trebor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this today:

The radiation released, peaked at just over 3000 microSieverts (= 3 milliSieverts). Within a few hours it was down to 800 microSieverts. Source: HKN TV

What does that mean?

Ambient radiation, such as occurs on a sunny day, exposes one to about 1 - 4 milliSieverts.

Radiation sickness starts to show at 1-2 Sieverts —a 1000x higher exposure than ambient.

Even the peak Fukushima plant radiation emission only slightly exceeded common ambient levels. People are being evacuated and terrorized over a release not much more dangerous than a day at the beach.

Safety standards at nuclear plants call for levels below 5 milliSieverts, nearly 1,000th of the dose (1-2 Sv) that begins to cause radiation damage to humans. The standard is lower than is naturally found in some regions where generations of people have been living with no unusual cancers, e.g. Ramsar in Northern Iran - 260 milliSieverts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two things I notice about the news reports I've heard:

  • they speak of damage to the steel and concrete containment structure, but do not specify the nature of the damage. The containment structure is meant to take damage -- that's its job. The reports do not make clear if the structure is doing its job or not. They do add something to the effect that "it cannot be ruled out" that the structure is breached in some way, but it is not clear if this is in the "everything is 'possible' " sense, or if there is some shred of evidence that there is a breach
  • they speak of high radiation levels near the plant, and very low radiation (but higher than normal) levels around Tokyo, but they do not specify how near the plant they talking about. As far as I'm aware, the radiation level right at the plant can be very different from what is (say) three blocks away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Al Jazeera and ABC news so far have had the most accurate and least sensational reporting on the nuclear situation from what I have seen so far, Drudge report being on the other end of the spectrum as extremely sensational. From what I understand the levels have risen and declined, but that its pretty much contained to close proximity. I think lower radiation has spread a fair bit however. ABC had stated a US military chopper quite a long distance out had gotten some soldiers with radiation that needed to be dealt with, but they didn't clarify if the chopper had been closer earlier. I know yesterday they said something like 100 people had officially been tagged with radiation that needed to be scrubbed when they were doing screenings for people. Either way they are handing out pills and the like and basically doing everything they can think of to make sure all of their bases are covered.


If you could provide an actual source link that would be much appreciated, simply quoting that bit and telling us roughly where its from doesn't do us much good.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The MIT NSE (Nuclear Science and Engineering) Information Hub page does not just contain the "Modified version of original post written by Josef Oehmen" (mentioned on the Objective Standard blog). It's dedicated to information on the reactors.

So far:

Explanation of Hydrogen Explosions at Units 1 and 3

Damage to Fukushima Daiichi 2 [World Nuclear News]

Status Update – 3/14/11 at 1:00 pm EST (Source – The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC))

Modified version of original post written by Josef Oehmen

Edit to add: From Explanation of Hydrogen Explosions at Units 1 and 3:

"Unit 2 explosion

Recent information indicates that unit 2 may have suffered a containment breach. Pressure relief of unit 2 was complicated by a faulty pressure relief valve, which complicated the injection of sea water and the evacuation of the steam and hydrogen. It is reported that the fuel rods were completely exposed twice. More details to follow."

Edited by Trebor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...