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Monday Science

Imagine how annoying a hungry glow in the dark cat could be if you want to sleep in.

I had one of those weekends where nothing went as planned. Very frustrating. And I’ve got a busy evening today, so it’s unlikely I’ll get caught up. I wonder if primal scream therapy will help…

People not associated with TEPCO are discussing “China Syndrome”. While there is certainly corium out of containment, I think the image of one blob per reactor is misleading. Think of quick drying cement squirted out through relatively small holes at fairly high pressure. There’s going to be a lot of corium stuck to walls, ceilings and floors. Available data suggests to me that the majority of the corium is still in the reactor buildings except for #3. That still leaves a lot outside of containment and considering those blown up buildings containment is probably a wee bit optimistic.

If this was published before, I missed it. Emergency radiation testing of food during the GOP/Dem conventions in 2012. Additionally, the US Dept of State is accused of signing a pact with Japan saying “Fuku will never be considered a problem”. The evidence for the latter is hearsay, however it sure seems like that’s exactly what the USG is doing.

Thyroid cancer is now the most common reported cancer in South Korea. Amazingly, this is reported as “over diagnosis” in the NYT and it is suggested that the solution is to reduce screenings. I kid you not, read the story.

Despite significant protests, the local government in Sendai has given final approval to restart two reactors. The politicians who approved this are now under “heavy” protection and some protestors have been detained. There is great danger of civil disobedience over this, to the point where workers are being bussed in from elsewhere in blacked out buses.

The plant operations are so shaky that a gust of wind can mess things up. And not a particularly big gust, either.

We have a lot of disagreements with Russia currently. But we agree that improving reactor safety standards is bad. It is Russia and America Vs. Europe!

TEPCO claims to have completed the removal of fuel from the #4 sfp. If true, this is excellent news. I have my doubts, though. We’ll see if they drain the pool or if they leave it operating. If the latter, I would suspect chunks of fuel on the bottom of the pool.

The federal government is spending $10B a year to protect their networks from everybody except the NSA. Part of the problem is that if they let the NSA in without a warrant, others will use that same door.

Was it really the Higgs the LHC found? Data supports that assumption, but it is an assumption and here’s an alternative theory.

Naturally occuring undersea tar/asphalt mounds support a diverse marine community. I never knew about these tar mounds before. I note that one of the studies authers is BP and the cynic in me wonders if BP will now begin using this to point out that tar spills aren’t that bad.

New technique for generating electricity. It doesn’t use carbon or fission, which means it will be buried.

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