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Over Easy: Monday Science

Notice the Difference in the Snowpack?


Good Morning All!

It seems I am unable to post to the Front page directly and I seem unable to promote as well. If somebody whose permissions and/or brain is functioning could Front page this, I’d be grateful.

Fukushima Update:

Posted for humor value. Almost everything this fellow says is 100% pure, weapons grade bullshitium.

They’ve found MOX fuel particles over 120km from Fuku. Most likely from the #3 explosion.   Tokyo is roughly 200km from Fuku.

Sr-90 counts jump by several orders of magnitude to 900,000 Bq/L at one monitoring hole. Safe level to discharge is 10 bq/l. This a really dramatic increase. I think what’s happened is that the water that’s been surrounding the corium has finally reached that well. We know the corium is outside of containment, so it was really just a matter of time before counts started jumping.

Meanwhile, mushrooms in Tochigi prefecture (Just South of Fuku prefecture) are measuring over 4000 bq/kg just in cesium. It is noted that wild mushrooms are still banned at places in Europe due to Chernobyl.

Good information here. The #1 reactor cover is dislodged. TEPCO hasn’t admitted that before and it implies that something happened underneath it. What’s underneath it? The containment cap.  Did #1 have an incursion as well? The story also mentions that the #3 cap was in place, but the center was caved in. Perhaps the incursion in #3 WAS in the reactor and not the SFP.

The Guardian is saying that Fuku cleanup will take 40 years. I say the Guardian is a bunch of optimists. It’ll be 25 years before we can even enter #1.

New Horizons probe is approaching Pluto. Should have “better than Hubble” photos starting in May, with first photos arriving next month. They’ve been talking a Pluto probe since I was a kid, looks like I get to live to see the photos! Prediction: Pluto will look a lot like Ganymede, a rock covered with craters.

A step forward in understanding room temperature superconductivity.   The problem with the room temp superconductors is still that they are STRONGLY hygroscopic, and once they absorb a small amount of water they lose their superconductive properties.

Spray on solar cells. They see laptops wrapped in charging cling warp. I see tents and portable water purification. If they commercialize this, some pretty creative people will likely jump on it.

We’ve hit 40% efficiency with new solar cells. Meaning that the size of a solar generating plant just dropped by about 15%.

The Calif drought is the worst in 1,200 years. And it’s likely to be the new normal. Get ready for really expensive fruits and vegetables.

Orion launch successful. People who are talking about Mars are not fully aware of the challenges. We have a lot to do yet before we can get humans to Mars, I doubt I’ll live to see it. And getting there is less than half the battle, how do we protect them from the environment once they are there? The ground is basically perchlorates, which are explosive, corrosive, carcinogenic, and poisonous. They are also really hard on equipment.   You can make the case we’d need some kind of single use covering over the space suit that would be dumped outside.

Boxturtle (Were I in charge, we’d start paying less attention to Mars and more to Europa)

 

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