Fukushima: Lessons Learned—Conclusion

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A Level 7 Incident After the explosion involving reactor facility 4, the decision was made to evacuate all “non-essential” personnel and 650 workers left the site, leaving just 70 to continue the stabilization work. In addition to the three reactors, there was also concern that the spent fuel pools might be losing water thus allowing […]

Fukushima: Lessons Learned (Part Four)

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Explosions As March 12th dawned the reactors continued out of control with the plant largely reliant on the built-in design safeguards to cope with surging pressures and temperatures.  There was a vital need for electricity so that operating parameters could be observed and maintained, if possible.  In addition, aligning valving for water injection or controlled […]

Fukushima: Lessons Learned (Part Three)

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Flying Blind The incoming tsunamis, much larger than planned for, had destroyed back-up electrical generation capability when the diesel generators were swamped and electrical switch gear wetted.  Electricity was vital in order to monitor the conditions within the reactor vessels and to take actions to prevent a catastrophic event. Plant personnel were now faced with […]

Fukushima: Lessons Learned (Part Two)

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Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant The plant is located on the northeast coast of Japan about 120 miles from Tokyo.  It consists of six (6) GE-designed Boiling Water Reactors.  The steam energy from the boiling water is used to drive turbines which create electricity.  The steams cools and condenses back into water for re-use.  The 860-acre site […]

Fukushima: Lessons Learned (Part One)

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Today begins a five-part series on the events which unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant as workers tried to simultaneously stabilize three out-of-control reactors after the deadly earthquake.  Fukushima will surely stand as one of the most complex emergency events ever as technicians improvised solutions in an attempt to counteract the run-away physics […]

Buckeye Bull’s Eye: Unions Score a (Defensive) Win

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It is a measure of our times when the hoopla over a very important union victory is really grounded in the fact that we managed to simply reclaim ground lost in a recent brazen attack on collective bargaining rights in a key state. This week’s 61-39 vote to overturn the draconian Ohio anti-union bill championed by […]

Politics Afield: Brits Eat Young, Too.

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Immigration is the current “hot tamale” in US politics with states passing restrictive legislation faster than Herman Cain can say “I reject all those charges.” We hear so much about our “open” border that we think we own the issue and it’s nice to learn we don’t.  It’s also nice to realize that amidst all […]

Candidate Cain: Coulter’s Quisling

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Ann Coulter, uber-conservative doyen and right wing grenade thrower is doing her best to infuse the current discussion about the suitability of Herman Cain to be president with calculated race-baiting commentary, which is most odd. Since we already have an African-American president the idea of raising the issue of race is bizarre outside the context […]

No Turning Back: Alice in Afghanistan

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As the American Civil War progressed, Abraham Lincoln despaired of the apparent inability of Union generals to take the fight to the confederacy.  Some generals were blatantly political while others could not withstand the carnage resulting from improved weaponry and bludgeoning tactics.  Then came Grant. The enduring image of U. S. Grant is of the […]

Honey, Where Did You Put the $600,000,000?

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No doubt many know that at the top of the financial news of the week is the implosion of MF Global, a New York based investment firm that went belly up after failing to attract buyers when its balance sheet was called into question by wary federal regulators. The CEO and leader of MF Global […]

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