Friday, March 25, 2011

Is it worse than Chernobyl and WWIII

A lot worse than Chernobyl

WW III seems to be going well. Syria next - wonder what Iran will have to say about that as I think they have a mutual defence pact. I wonder what Russia would say about that - I suspect they're busy studying the chessboard at the moment and considering how to blow a whole in the US strategy.

Things are going very badly in Japan - they can't stop the radiation (they don't know where the leak is) and they're currently trying to fix 5 reactors at once.

The Japs have just advised anyone living within 30km of Fukushima to move away, and their tone is quite serious. It's already as bad as Chernobyl but they can't simply encase this thing in concrete quite so simply (mind you, it took 6 months to design and build the sarcophagus there - and was shored up by a crumbling wall - they're about to replace the "temporary" one they built at Chernobyl). Because Fukushima in on the coast the water table is so high that radiation will leak away into the Pacific.

Three workers are being treated for radiation poisoning - and all of the guys working there will probably get sick and die from it later in life. I think there's 3 crews of 50 working round the clock. The basement is flooded and all the valves and things are covered in salt from all the seawater they've dumped on it. Smoke or steam is still pouring out of the reactors, and now the police who are in the vacinity are saying they're infected and need better protection. Radiation has been detected in the water in Tokyo and infants need to avoid tap water there. There are various reports of radiation being detected on prople and foodstuffs arriving in other countries from Japan. I doubt we import much here direct from Japan but it would be interesting if the border guards could turn their geiger counters on and check for any unusual readings - the actual "cloud" of radiation from Japan traversed the US/Caribbean a week ago and was in the western Atlantic - very weak by that point (the French - who are the real nuclear experts - detected it).

Of the reactors themselves number 3 seems to be causing the greatest concern - this was fuelled using MOX (Mixed OXide) which is a waste weapons grade material. Its use is shrouded in controversy and apparently it burn hotter and faster than normal nuclear fuel.

All of the reactors are controlled by Siemens SCADA software - their cooling systems, everything. This is the same as used by the Iranians and the Germans. Merkel has effectively signalled the end of the nuclear industry in Germany - 7 reactors are being shut down. Her helicopter crashed after she'd been using it earlier in the same day, just after she announced they were pulling back from nuclear power - imagine, there is so much invested in the nuclear industry they are trying to keep a lid on the fact that this incident in Japan could signal the end of the industry.

Some big players will be mighty mad at Ms Merkel. Iran suffered an attack by the Stuxnet worm late last year which destroyed a significant number of their enrichment centrifuges. Stuxnet is a highly developed computer work which was developed by a nation state - possibly two - and is designed to specifically target the Siemens software - more specifically to target the Itanian nuclear program, and Israel is widely acknowledged to be one of the two countries who developed it. Like any worm it can be planted on a USB stick and will spread itself to any computer once inserted - but it will sit there and do nothing unless is meets up with the Siemens software at which point it will proceed to wreak havoc by speeding up and slowing down motors, wearing bearings out, etc. - physically destroying equipment. I've seen a video of a huge generator being destroyed by remotely controlling it - so it can be done. This is what happened to the Iranian centrifuges - Stuxnet blew the bearings or something like that.

There is s suspicion that the Stuxnet worm may have found its way into the Fukishima plant - law of unintended consequences, and all that jazz. We'll probably never know - all we know is they they laid new an auxilliary power cable in last weekend and can't get the cooling systems to function, possibly because of all that salt, possibly simply because all the control gear is flooded, possibly because of Stuxnet, or possibly because have of the system blew up. In the past week radiation levels have been up and down and they've had smoke and steam and neutrons coming out of the reactors. There's a suspicion that the reactor core containment is cracked on at least one of the reactors but all of the spent fuel was stored in water pools outside of that containment, so were impacted by the explosions and that's what they've been hosing and dumpning as much water as possible in there for - to stop those rods heating up.

They've got huge problems. I looked at the BBC website this morning and there wasn't ONE SINGLE BIT of news about Japan on the main page. I was so shocked I copied the page for posterity. They're covering up the scale of this disaster - it's bigger news than the tired old shoot outs they're covering.

Part of Japan is now uninhabitable - and not too far from one of the most populous cities in the world (which is already affected). More than 35 million people live the Tokyo metro area.

This could be a lot worse than even Chernobyl.

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