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Over Easy: Monday Science

Don’t worry, I have a prescription


Fukushima update:

Strontium reaches 500 Billion Bq/m3 in the basements at Fuku. The basement water is leaking into the ocean at a rate of at least 200 tons per day. Strontium accumulates in the body anyplace where calcium might go, like bones or breast mike. It’ll start accumulating up the food chain.

They’ve broken ground for the plant to sustain the Ice wall. $312 million for something that probably won’t work for very long. What will TEPCO do when the hot water overtops the wall and reaches the surface? You can’t very well have workers working in hot mud. Oh, wait, that’s why you use the yakuza.

There’s a 400ft tall stack at Fuku with readings of 25 sv/hr at the base that may well topple. Nobody can get close enough to do anything to stop it.

Oh, joy. It seems that hot seawater helps dissolve reactor fuel way better than thought.  

On top of the other leaks, TEPCO simply missed this leak from the hot water tanks. Didn’t have any inspections during that time. TEPCO has promised to do better. The radiation near those tanks probably precludes anything but the swiftest of glances. X-ray radiation alone from the tank walls is probably equal to a chest X-ray every 10 minutes.

They’re still trying to find the cores.

NBC gives us an update on the heath effects of working at hanford. Follow the links at the article I’ve linked (Thanks ENENews!) and read the comments, too. I’ll wait while you do so…..

Okay, welcome back. You DID read the links, didn’t you? There might be a quiz!

On to the other news:

After a discouraging report on nuclear pollution, I like to follow up with a more cheerful report on a new cancer treatment. Silver nanoparticals, this time.

And a new delivery system for existing cancer drugs.

We thought quarks only came in twos (mesons) and threes (baryons, like protons and neutrons). We now have evidence for 4 quark particles and 6 quark particles.

Germany is using a 1km long SUPERCONDUCTING cable to transfer commercial power between substations. This is the longest in the world. Neat design, coolant flows through a tube in the center and the wire is wrapped around the tube.

New design for a fusion reactor. I remain open minded about fusion energy, despite the costs. At least until we see a working model of something that actually has commercial potential.

A computer fools experts into thinking it’s a 13 year old boy, passes Turing test!

Yet more support for the counter-intuitive idea that a dirty baby is a healthy baby.

Believe it or not, the origin of Ohio’s millstones was quite a mystery. Seems they were from France.

Boxturtle (I bet on the weatherman: No rain today. There’ll  be lions in my yard before I can cut it!)

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