Icy roads and flash floods are bad enough, now it appears we’re entering an entirely new phase of road hazards we need to be aware of. Because now, it’s really getting treacherous for drivers who all to frequently are meeting up with gaping sinkholes and collapsing tunnels…the stuff of nightmares and Hollywood horror flicks! It’s as though all these virtual reality’s created in movies and video games are playing out in real life for the masses, our fears have enormous power to create the reality that mirrors our thoughts and that which we fear. Which is why is so important that we STOP allowing TV, movies and video games to tell us what to think, who to hate and how to act. Getting angry or finding blame is a waste of time and energy, it doesn’t change a thing.
Instead of trying to change the “outer” world, it’s time to take back control over our own thoughts and feelings, time to eliminate all fear and lack consciousness. When we free ourselves from struggling with lower, dense energy’s we are empowered to take control over “inner” world. When we improve our lives, it ripples out affecting everything around us creating a domino effect that spreads out to the rest of the world.
Police officers and firefighters gather at the exit of the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Otsuki, Yamanashi Prefecture, central Japan, Sunday morning, Dec. 2, 2012.
One of Japan’s longest tunnels has collapsed, trapping vehicles amid reports that at least five people have died.
Sections of concrete fell from the ceiling of the Sasago tunnel, 50 miles west of Tokyo, crushing cars and blocking the road with debris, report Sky News.
The tunnel began to cave at 08:00 local time (23:00 GMT Saturday), report the BBC. A fire is believed to have broken out and charred bodies have been pulled from the mouth of the tunnel by rescue workers.
The operation has been suspended amid fears that more sections of the tunnel could cave in. The entire road has been closed, blocking one of the major routes out of the capital.
Survivors described how they accelerated as they saw the roof collapse ahead of the them. Some were forced to abandon their vehicles and flee the tunnel in dark and freezing conditions.
One man told NHK broadcaster how he walked for an hour to get out of the 2.7 mile tunnel after seeing “a concrete part of the ceiling fall off all of a sudden when I was driving inside. I saw a fire coming from a crushed car”.
A spokesman for Yamanashi Prefectural Police told Agence France-Presse: “A number of charred bodies were confirmed inside. The number of dead is not known.”
Note: I had difficulties uploading the video, for the moment it appears to be working. If you don’t see the video player just click this link that will take you to the video’s YouTube page
Uploaded by rachaelkavanagh1 on Feb 14, 2012
Update of the surrounding ongoing issues pertaining to the nuclear meltdown March 2011 -
Uploaded by dutchsinse on Dec 27, 2011
Today (12/27/2011) a 6.6 magnitude struck Siberia Russia — also a series of 5.0+M struck Japan. Watch the west Pacific from Japan through Central Russia south to Australia for additional large earthquakes over the next several days.
Here are dozens of earthquake monitoring links I have assembled — using these links.. one can monitor almost any area in the world:
Arnie Gundersen explains how containment vents were added to the GE Mark 1 BWR as a “band aid” 20 years after the plants built in order to prevent an explosion of the notoriously weak Mark 1 containment system. Obviously the containment vent band aid fix did not work since all three units have lost containment integrity and are leaking radioactivity. Gundersen also discusses seismic design flaws, inadequate evacuation planning, and the taxpayer supported nuclear industry liability fund.
Hi I’m Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds and it’s been a little more than a week since our last video. The video computer we used had a meltdown and I’m sorry that that has set back our production schedule a little bit here. However, I’d like to thank those of you who donated: we were able to go out and get a better computer and hopefully these productions will be up and running again permanently. Thanks again.
Today, I wanted to talk about the lessons that could be learned worldwide for the operating nuclear reactors that are already done and in use, not under construction. The first and most obvious thing is the containment. Containments were made to contain radioactivity. The vents you hear about and how they failed were an add-on. Back in the 70′s and 80′s when these plants were designed, they weren’t designed to have a vent. As a matter of fact, the pressurized water reactors around the world don’t have a vent even now. So these containment vents were a bandaid fix to a problem that was identified after they were built. The vents have been tested three times, at Fukushima 1, Fukushima 2, and Fukushima 3, and they failed three times. That’s a 100% failure rate. That’s an indication that this design is seriously flawed. And it CAN happen here. It can happen in Germany where they also have this type of reactor and at the other BWR reactors around the world.
So first and foremost, the vent system that is on every boiling water reactor, needs to be evaluated to see if it can be made better or if it should be eliminated. And if it’s eliminated, what should we do about the containment that can’t withstand the pressures of an accident.
Vents can also cause problems. For instance, here in Vermont, the reactor is designed to be pressurized after an accident to push water into it. Well, if they open the vent and it stays open, they will lose that pressure and they won’t be able to cool the reactor and we can have a meltdown. That doesn’t apply just here, that applies at Dresden, at HB Robinson, and other plants. The NRC allowed this to happen. They allowed utilities to take credit for the containment pressure to push the water to the pumps. There are regulations on the books prohibiting that, but the NRC waived those regulations when they increased the power at Dresden and Vermont Yankee, Robinson and some others.
So it’s important to remember that vents were designed to prevent a problem over pressure of the containment, but now they can actually create a problem if, when they are open, they don’t close.
If you take a look at Fukushima, it’s hard to be able to believe that you can guarantee those valves will close after an accident. I’ve been on the NRC’s case about containment leakage for a long time. At Beaver Valley, there was a hole in the side of the containment. I brought that to their attention several years ago. The full report is on the website. At Fitzpatrick, there was a crack in the side of the containment. I brought that to the NRC’s attention last year. And at Millstone, it has the smallest containment for the power output of any of that type of reactor in the world. I brought that to the NRC’s attention about two years ago and they actually said from Millstone that they don’t have the capability to analyze containment. It’s in the notes. Yet, the NRC still assumes that containments will not leak. They have actually said that in an Advisory Committee to Reactor Safeguards meeting back in October of last year. So we’ve got a containment that doesn’t contain. A regulator who doesn’t have the capability to regulate. And an industry with a series of cracks or holes in containments that continues to believe that there is zero probability of a containment leak.
Well, moving on, I wanted to talk about seismic criteria. That’s earthquake resistance. We now know that Fukushima 1 failed because of the earthquake, NOT the tsunami. It was leaking and in the middle of a meltdown before the tsunami even hit. We also know from another report that was on the website by Siemens, that Unit 4′s fuel pool cracked from the earthquake, not from the tsunami. What that means is that the codes we use to analyze these plants are flawed. They shouldn’t crack, they shouldn’t break.
This wasn’t, at Fukushima, that big an earthquake. It was, out at sea a nine, but by the time it got to Fukushima, they should have been able to ride out that storm, at least the seizmic issues of it. But what that says is that what we have been relying on in analyzing these plants may not be working. Two out of the four plants developed cracks from an earthquake and they should have been able to get through this. In the US reactors, we have got another reactor down at Crystal River in Florida that developed a 60 foot long crack in the containment when they cut a hole in it to replace the steam generator. What that means is that this was the most analzyed containment in history and they still never saw that crack coming. They tried to fix it and spent two years on the repair and as they were ready to run again, they found another crack had grown in a different direction. We clearly don’t have the seizmic code capability to analyze these massive structures. Crystal River proves it here in the States and Fukushima proves it around the world.
Couple other ones that are really obvious are the batteries. There are not enough of them. The longest lived batteries in an American plant are eight hours, but most are only four. We could not ride out a loss of power accident like Fukushima. In fact, it would be worse.
The other thing is the tidal surge. Now, Fukushima had a tsunami. They were designed for a six or seven meter tsunami around 20 feet and, in fact, the tsunami was 15 meters. At the California plants, San Onofre, they are designed for a 30 foot tsunami, but yet we know there was a 45 foot tsunami in Japan. So, we need to take a look at these tidal surges that can wipe out, maybe not the diesels, but the pumps that pump the water to the diesels.
On the East Coast, you have Florida and the tidal surge from a hurricane. What that means is that the hurricane can push an enormous wall of water inland. For instance, the Turkey Point plants can get inundated by the flood from that tidal surge. We need to look at these events, that right now we have said are impossible, in light of what proved to be possible at Fukushima.
Two more things: First is emergency planning. In the United States, we analyze for ten miles out and there is really no basis in science for ten miles. Basically, we didn’t know which way the wind was going to blow, so we put a ten mile circle around the plant and said everybody has got to be able to get out of here
within a couple of hours. But Fukushima showed us that the accident continues for weeks and it goes with a meandering plume deep inland. We are not prepared for an evacuation that would be 50 miles away. Fukushima is already contaminated now beyond 50 miles. There are some plants, like the Dresden Units in Illinois and the Indian Point units in New York State, that have major cities, Chicago and New York, within that zone. We really need to take a look at siting of nuclear plants and REAL emergency plans in place of the paper plans we have in place.
The last thing is multi-unit sites. Fukushima showed us that if one unit blows up, it can impede your ability to solve that problem On other units. Here we have Palo Verde out in Arizona and they have 3 units on one site and just two weeks ago the NRC gave them a 20 year license extension. Well, how could they possibly have analyzed the results of Fukushima and come to an adequate analysis of a multi-unit site?
Well thats a technical wrap up. There is one more political issue and it’s Price-Anderson. Price-Anderson is the insurance program that utilities have in place. In the event of an accident, all of the reactors in the country pony up about 100 million dollars apiece and there is a ten billion dollar cap on their liability in the event of an accident. Fukushima is going to be around two hundred billion dollars. If it happens here, what does that mean? That means that you and I as tax payers shoulder the rest of that. We are on the hook for 190 billion in the event of this. And that’s what Price-Anderson is. I think in light of Fukushima, we should evaluate whether or not it is right to give these reactors a free ride on their insurance.
Well that’s all for now. Thank you very much
“I look out the window, and it’s like our houses are in the middle of the ocean,” says Takahashi, who moved in three years ago.
The March 11 earthquake that hit eastern Japan was so powerful it pulled the entire country out and down into the sea. The mostly devastated coastal communities now face regular flooding, because of their lower elevation and damage to sea walls from the massive tsunamis triggered by the quake.
In port cities such as Onagawa and Kesennuma, the tide flows in and out among crumpled homes and warehouses along now uninhabited streets.
A cluster of neighborhoods in Ishinomaki city is rare in that it escaped tsunami damage through fortuitous geography. So, many residents still live in their homes, and they now face a daily trial: The area floods at high tide, and the normally sleepy streets turn frantic as residents rush home before the water rises too high.
“I just try to get all my shopping and chores done by 3 p.m.,” says Takuya Kondo, 32, who lives with his family in his childhood home.
Most houses sit above the water’s reach, but travel by car becomes impossible and the sewage system swamps, rendering toilets unusable.
Scientists say the new conditions are permanent.
Japan’s northern half sits on the North American tectonic plate. The Pacific plate, which is mostly undersea, normally slides under this plate, slowly nudging the country west. But in the earthquake, the fault line between the two plates ruptured, and the North American plate slid up and out along the Pacific.
The earthquake that launched a series of disasters in Japan in March triggered micro-quakes and tremors around the world, scientists find.seies
The catastrophic magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of the Tohoku region of Japan March 11 set off tremors mostly in places of past seismic activity, including southwest Japan, Taiwan, the Aleutians and mainland Alaska, Vancouver Island in Canada, Washington state, Oregon, central California and the central United States. It was unlikely that any of these events exceeded magnitude 3.
Researchers noted, however, that temblors also were detected in Cuba. “Seismologists had never seen tremor in Cuba, so this is an exciting new observation,” Justin Rubinstein, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at Menlo Park, Calif., told OurAmazingPlanet.
Part of the excitement of the find is the insight it could add into the inner workings of earthquakes.
“Studying long-range triggering may help us to better understand the underlying physics of how earthquakes start,” explained seismologist Zhigang Peng at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
Quakes where normally quiet
Most of these micro-earthquakes and tremors occurred in places that already had high background levels of seismic activity, including California’s Geysers Geothermal Field and the San Andreas Fault. Some of the quakes occurred in low-activity areas, such as central Nebraska, central Arkansas and near Beijing.
“Seismologists generally think of the central U.S. as relatively quiet seismically — there are earthquakes in these areas, but relative to the West Coast of the United States, earthquakes in the central U.S. are infrequent and mostly small,” Rubinstein said.
After the Tohoku quake, “in the central U.S., we observed earthquakes in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota. For many of these locations, it was the first time we’ve seen triggered seismicity,” Rubinstein said. “I expect that we were able to see all of this triggered seismicity because there is a much denser configuration of seismometers in these states than there has been previously.
“The instrumentation is a part of the USARRAY, a project where seismologists are densely deploying seismometers in a rolling fashion across the United States. These observations are useful because they may suggest where future small earthquakes may occur.”
A number of large earthquakes in Japan, magnitude 6.0 or greater, occurred well beyond the rupture zone of the Tohoku quake and may have been triggered by the March 11 event, researchers added. These findings agree with recent research suggesting that a major quake can increase the risk of more temblors near it but not of massive quakes farther away.
“It is still too early to rule out the possibility that large distant earthquakes are completely unrelated,” Peng told OurAmazingPlanet. “It is quite possible that there is a delayed response in moderate to large earthquakes, or perhaps such distant triggering effects only occur for very large earthquakes.”
“A notable example is that after the 2004 magnitude 9.2 Sumatra earthquake, there is a clear increase of seismic activity in Myanmar and Yunnan, China,” Peng added. “Several of them are in the magnitude range of 5 to 6, and their distances are mostly beyond 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] to the northern end of the rupture of the Sumatra earthquake. Hence, more analysis is needed to understand how massive earthquakes like the 2004 Sumatra and the 2011 Tohoku earthquakes may affect global seismicity.”
The researchers hope to continue this work by looking at other large earthquakes that may have triggered small events, “in particular in the central U.S.,” Rubinstein said. “I also foresee people continuing study of tremor in Cuba as well.”
And small events aren’t all they’re looking for.
“We would also like to see whether this event may have caused any clear increase of moderate-size earthquakes that are outside the traditional aftershock zones,” Peng said. “In addition, more large earthquakes are needed, somewhat unfortunately, to build up the statistics of distant triggering of moderate to large earthquakes.”
The scientists will detail their findings April 15 at the Seismological Society of America meeting in Memphis.