Over Easy: Monday Science
It’s been a lovely weekend here, every day could be like that and I wouldn’t much mind. The farmers would gripe about lack of rain, especially the soybean folks, but I can handle that. They’re already starting to whine a little.
Fukushima: I’ll simply digest all that I’ve read this week into a few key points.
2) There is MUCH concern about radioactive groundwater weakening the foundations of the reactor buildings. That IS happening, question is how much and how fast.
3) Removal of the fuel rods from the #4 SPF will start this year, possibly soon. This must be done, the sooner the better, but it’s so risky it’s scary even for those of us who’ve build up an immunity to Fuku News. We KNOW a lot (all?) the fuel rods were damaged by the low water level, the use of salt water, falling debris, and possibly other things that TEPCO has chosen not to make public.
4) The crane that would normally move the rods is destroyed, so no computer control, it’ll be manual control of a generic crane rather than the specially designed one. Move too close to another rod bundle (there are about 1500) and you get uncontrolled fission. Break a rod, the pellets inside will fall into a pile and the water will act as a moderator rather than a coolant. Uncontrolled fission, again. There are probably already pellets on the floor of the SFP.
5) Then you have to move the bundle to a dry cask before it heats up and melts. And seal the dry cask, too.
6) Repeat 1500 times.
It you’re reading this, you’ve either got an interest in science or are REALLY bored with a lot of time on your hands. In either case, would you like to be part of the National Cockroach Project? It’s part of Citizen Science, a fairly new idea. They crowdsource to collect their data!
Kepler planet hunting probe is not recoverable, but there is hope that it can still do other science.
We found a Magnetar orbiting the central super-massive black hole of our galaxy. We’ll be able to use it’s known properties to probe the space-time and gravity fields in that area. I’ll be looking for research results, but it’ll be two years minimum I think.
Boxturtle (I stumbled onto this comic over the weekend. It tweaks my weird sense of humor)