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Over Easy: Monday Science

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2004
Fukushima Update:

Things have been fairly quiet, news wise. Tepco claims almost 600 fuel bundles have been removed from the #4 SPF, but they’re getting the easy ones first. The paranoids are wondering if ANY fuel bundles have actually been removed, never mind 600. I think that number is pretty close to correct, FWIW.

That said, they’ve had to shut down operations for the #4 SPF. They’re blaming either human error or a faulty sensor.

We’ve also lost one of the advanced robots due to human error. It simply fell over and nobody can get close enough to set it upright.

Labor law violations for Fuku workers are rampant. Nobody in power cares. Wonder how long it will be before they start using death row convicts?

Oh, and the venting operations early on may have released more radiation that originally thought. What a shock.

WIPP Update:

First of all, what’s WIPP? Well, here’s the Wiki. Short form: It’s a nuclear waste storage facility intended to accept low to mid level waste from the US weapons program. The idea is to store it in barrels deep underground in salt caves and let the caves collapse around them, thereby sealing the waste off for longer than the currently sitting politicians will live.

What happened at WIPP? Well, we know that one or more barrels burst and scattered their contents but we don’t know why or how many. Theories range from a single container bursting open from inside pressure to an entire storage cave collapsing.

Currently, the senators for the area want federal agents checking the area. There is a very real concern amongst supporters of WIPP that this will shut down the plant for at least a year. The official position is that no radiation emissions are occurring, only the initial leak.

Mexico is becoming concerned. Oddly NOBODY believes that the full story is being told truthfully.

Actually, very little is being communicated.

IMO, they’ve been cheating about what they’ve stored there. There was a lot of different Pu and Am isotopes detected for it to be just one barrel, too.

Meanwhile, at Hanford, large numbers of workers are getting sick from tank emissions. Some sickness is normal there, but they’ve gotten two years worth of illness in a month. As I’ve said, some of the chemicals there are every bit as nasty as the radiation.

Now they’re saying we may have to limit milk and beef consumption to meet warming targets. ANYTHING but our cheap energy, I guess.

In good news, we’ve got a new gel that will help surgical implants set inside the body. This will help bone growth and reduce side effects.

Here’s a development that will advance a LOT of areas, including solar power, radar, stealth, and waste heat recycling. Waste heat recycling is a major overlook, just think about how much energy goes down the drain during your hot shower!

Another dwarf planet found. Interesting thing about this one is that it’s orbit could indicate that a much larger body, perhaps a brown dwarf, is out there. Planet X is not dead, despite what I wrote awhile back.

Boxturtle (Too cold in the morning for a jacket, to warm in the afternoon for one. Welcome to April!)

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