We’re With Maru

In case you missed the news over the weekend, Maru is alive and well, and taking appropriate civil-defense measures. (Well, technically hiding from a toothbrush. “No! The prevention is important.”) Maru’s pet humans thank you for your concern, and for praying for Japan.

Since we’re looking at a number of hours between writing this post and its appearance Tuesday morning, we’ll forego an easily superseded news roundup, and declare that despite the inevitable design failures, cost overruns, construction shortcuts, operation scandals, disposal issues, mining contamination, water disruption, environmental risks, socialized losses, proliferation concerns, and occasional uninhabitable hellscape, nuclear power remains the solution to America’s energy future.

I Am Maru

Well, it’s kind of like picking the nicest guy from a lineup of mass murderers. What are the alternatives? Clean coal? Oil? Ethanol?

Green power isn’t viable, unless the Chinese crank up production of solar panels and turbines, and NIMBY hypocrites stop fighting the placement of turbines (looking at you, RFK Jr. and your clan fighting the Nantucket turbines).

Because at the end of the day it’s all about overpopulation. It’s going to take a massive pandemic or an asteroid to knock off a few billion people and maybe some sort of event that renders a few billion people sterile before our Mother Earth could recover. Nature always bats last, and it’s not going to be pretty when she does.

/And on that cheery note, I want to go back to bed and put covers back over my head.

You’re right. Nukular is the least worst (although by how much is really debatable at this point.)

We in the west consume mass quantities of the stuff and that’s not going to change.

Of course, it does not help when the most powerful (and biggest energy consumer) is run in no small part by people who are short sighted, largely ignorant of science and have the mentality of 5 year old spoiled brats–see Joe Barton (who is an engineer /commenter hangs head in shame at many of dipshits who litter his profession/) or any other mostly GOPer dipshits including the woman hating fundies club (no planned parenthood, no birth control and no abortions.)

Someone pointed out that the riots in the ME are in large part because of food price hikes. Did anyone expect over 300 million (mostly young) people to live in the desert without consequences to resources like water or lack of farms? Or even closer to home… places like Las Vegas.

What do you do when life hands you teabags? You you make a nice gin and tonic!

OK. It’s not cocktober – not yet at any rate – but it has a nice symmetry to it and promises further developments.

Linquey fixt. Thanks Lefty.

@SanFranLefty: Good points all. Another problem is this idiotic Veil of Safety we are all sold. My homestead is just outside the 10 mile radius from one plant (that historically features in one of my favorite Clash songs), and not more than four times that from another.

Just don’t site them on top of a confluence of fault lines and right next to tsunami prone coast. I’m looking at you California: choose how you’re going to go: Shake, or Bake.

@Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG.: Linque no workie.

@Nabisco: California isn’t next to a subduction zone like Japan, it’s our friends in Oregon and Washington who have to worry about getting slammed with a tsunami.


Solar thermal is also a serious possibility, although the issue with it is that the best places for it (open desert) aren’t exactly close to anything else. The upshot of it is that it’s mostly established technology, once you get the heat-transfer material hot (we’ve gotten really good at the heat -> electricity bit) and it offers more practical capacity buffering than batteries (via storing hot liquids, and by making steam with alternative sources when that runs out).

Really though, we could do a lot if we could just figure out how to stop *wasting* so much energy with inefficient houses and transportation, but that sort of thinking doesn’t really have much political juice…

According to the LAT, San Onofre’s built to withstand a 7.0, Diablo a 7.5. As SFL mentions, nobody’s concerned about a major south-coast tsunami — that’s more an issue with NorCal and above.

@nojo: Well, sucks for folks downwind of San Onofre that the scientists are forecasting that there’s close to a 40% chance that in the next 30 years there will be a quake of 7.5 or higher in Southern California.

@SanFranLefty: That crossed my mind. 7.0 seemed optimistic.

Back to Japan, here’s the summary of the status of nuke plants:

Fukushima Daiichi Plant

Reactor No. 1: Cooling failure, partial melting of core, vapor vented, hydrogen explosion, seawater pumped in.

Reactor No. 2: Cooling failure, seawater pumped in, fuel rods fully exposed temporarily, vapor vented, damage to containment system, potential meltdown feared.

Reactor No. 3: Cooling failure, partial melting of core feared, vapor vented, seawater pumped in, hydrogen explosion, high-level radiation measured nearby.

Reactor No. 4: Under maintenance when quake struck, fire caused possibly by hydrogen explosion at pool holding spent fuel rods, pool water level feared receding.

Reactor No. 5: Under maintenance when quake struck, temperature slightly rising at spent fuel pool.

Reactor No. 6: Under maintenance when quake struck, temperature slightly rising at spent fuel pool.

Fukushima Daiini Plant

Reactor No. 1: Cooling failure, then cold shutdown.

Reactor No. 2: Cooling failure, then cold shutdown.

Reactor No. 3: Cold shutdown.

Reactor No. 4: Cooling failure, then cold shutdown.

@SanFranLefty: NYT Update of the Day:

Mr. Ohgoda said that Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, will likely try to spray water into the reactor building through a gaping hole in the wall blasted open by an earlier explosion.

“Gaping hole”. Is that a technical term?

@nojo: They’ve got another fire in a pool of “spent” fuel rods. They can’t catch a break over there.

@Dodgerblue: These numbers are confusing me. Can we rename the reactors Dopey, Grumpy and Sneezy?

@nojo: Even more confusing is that “ichi” and “ni” already indicate 1 and 2 respectively.

For practical application, “Ichiban” beer (my favorite of the Japanese commercial brews) means “First”. Asahi is crap, the Bud of Japanese brews.

Daiichi fish hooks are a superior brand for fly tying. I think it’s my #1 brand for specialized hooks.

@redmanlaw: I think daichi is roughly equivalent to “bestest”. That great Japanese baseball import, known locally as “Dice-K”, has a name that frequently appears in crossword puzzles as “Great help (japanese)”.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment