Over Easy: Monday Science
Fukushima Update: Look wait the FOIA dragged loose! It’s long, but it’s worth reading. The best stuff is at the end. Summary: The IAEA was informed on 3/15/2011 that the #4 SPF was on fire. On march 16th 2011, that the walls of SPF#4 had collapsed and the fuel rods may no longer be intact. The NRC was doing models assuming that 100% of the fuel in SFP#4 had melted. It seems fairly clear they knew early on that the #4 SFP was dry, at least for awhile. On Mar 18, the NRC believed that the #4 SFP had had a “violent zirconium and water reaction” had occurred as well as a “significant” release of radiation.
Was there a criticality in SPF#3 that blew the rods over a wide area? It does seem certain that one of the explosions was more violent and just different than the other two. The #3 SPF is the one known to have MOX in it. An explosion on the order of 10 tons of TNT would be quite believable. It’s also the core most likely to have left the building. I think the MOX is the reason #3 is so much worse than 1 & 2.
Japan has no FOIA, but is coming under tremendous pressure to permit scientists to report results of various Fukushima related research.
Graphene, that wonder stuff one atom thick, has made the big step from the lab to pilot projects. Read the story, speculate on what else it might be useful for. Me, I’m going with vehicle body protector.
We’ve found channels the size of the Eiffel Tower beneath the ice of Antarctica. The story says blandly that this may effect the stability of the ice sheet. YA THINK!??!
Comet Ison, predicted by some to be the comet of the century, is disintegrating. Shades of Comet Kohoutek.
More efficient power plants via charged droplets of water?
Nobel prize of medicine goes to two Americans and a German for discovering how enzymes are transported in cells. They’ll be announcing the Nobel prize winners all week, it’s worth about $1.2M in cash. The prize exists because Alfred Nobel felt guilty about how some of his inventions were used, notably dynamite.
Giant squid in fairly good condition washes up on Spanish beach. The lousy so and so’s still haven’t release the full 20 minute video of the giant squid.
Boxturtle (Flood warnings all over here. If my place floods, somebody better be building an Ark!)