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(io9)   Remember 35 years ago when we had a partial nuclear meltdown in Pennsylvania? Good times, good times   (observationdeck.io9.com) divider line 28
    More: Scary, Pennsylvania, meltdown  
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4860 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Mar 2014 at 8:37 PM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-03-28 09:46:05 PM  
3 votes:

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: gopher321: ZAZ: When Americans and their reactors go wrong, they make an expensive mess in a reactor building.

When Japanese and their reactors go wrong, they melt down and leak radiation.

When Russians and their reactors go wrong, they blow up and spew radiation.

Good lord, I really hope you are not equating Chernobyl and Fukushima with 3 Mile Island...


By all means, counsel, distinguish them for us.

/no, really. I'm curious.


The only thing that the three have in common is that they were nuclear accidents that had economic consequences.

Three Mile Island was purely an economic accident.  Nobody died.  I say that, but to be fair, statistically, 0.7 people died, if you assume the radiation release stayed in a big cloud and a person breathed it for some absurdly long time.  I remember doing this calculation in my nuclear engineering classes in college.  TMI is best analogized to this kind of accident:  you change the oil on your car and forget to put new oil back in.  Then you drive your car and the engine seizes up.  Car is ruined!  Won't ever run again!  Bummer!  Luckily, nobody hurt.

Fukushima is the result of a giant tidal wave of Biblical proportions.  The tidal wave wiped out infrastructure to keep the nuclear fuel cool.  Therefore, there was a meltdown, just like TMI, i.e., in the analogy, "shiat!  My car is shot!!"  Now, there are deaths from Fukushima, but those "deaths" are in the form of slightly elevated cancer rates among certain people living right next to the plant.  More people died from the evacuation of the public than those that will die from the Fukushima radiation.

Chernobyl.  Where to even farking start?  Russia farked this from the word jump, killed thousands of people, killed its soldiers trying to contain the mess, etc.  Bad all around.  No "car engine" analogy is even suitable.  Chernobyl had a fundamentally different (and inherently unstable) reactor design.  It is not physically possible for a U.S. reactor to explode like Chernobyl did.  (for the nuclear engineers:  U.S. reactors have a negative temperature and void coefficient of reactivity; for Chernobyl they were positive(!!) )

Want to talk about truly bad industry accidents?  Don't look at nuclear.  Check out the Bhopal India disaster:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster


tl;dr:  TMI is like forgetting to put oil in your car, now engine is ruined; Fukushima is like driving your car off a cliff, two people dead; Chernobyl is like the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
2014-03-28 08:47:29 PM  
3 votes:

theorellior: I remember a friend of mine (I was maybe eight) wearing a T-shirt with a cartoony drawing of the cooling towers on it with smoke curling up out of them into the word "LIE". We were frankly skeptical of the nuclear industry at that point.



static.fjcdn.com

Cooling towers do not work that way!
2014-03-28 08:45:14 PM  
3 votes:
Before anyone brands me an emerald-green crunchy environazi, let me just state that nuclear power would be a perfectly good source of concentrated energy, except we went with the political payoff greasy palms form of building land-based nuke plants instead of the failsafe, safety-first form you'll find on nuclear carriers and submarines.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-28 07:30:18 PM  
3 votes:
When Americans and their reactors go wrong, they make an expensive mess in a reactor building.

When Japanese and their reactors go wrong, they melt down and leak radiation.

When Russians and their reactors go wrong, they blow up and spew radiation.
2014-03-28 09:02:26 PM  
2 votes:
"remember"? no... i'm 32.

more interesting in PA is that town that's been on top of that burning coal mine for however many years.
2014-03-28 07:37:14 PM  
2 votes:

ZAZ: When Americans and their reactors go wrong, they make an expensive mess in a reactor building.

When Japanese and their reactors go wrong, they melt down and leak radiation.

When Russians and their reactors go wrong, they blow up and spew radiation.


Good lord, I really hope you are not equating Chernobyl and Fukushima with 3 Mile Island...
2014-03-28 10:24:27 PM  
1 votes:

unamused: ZAZ: When Americans and their reactors go wrong, they make an expensive mess in a reactor building.

When Japanese and their reactors go wrong, they melt down and leak radiation.

When Russians and their reactors go wrong, they blow up and spew radiation.

All three of those put together didn't kill as many people as a decent coal mine collapse.


...or a single hydroelectic dam failure four years earlier that killed 171,000 people:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam

...or the Sayano-Shushenskay dam failure in 2009 that killed 75 people:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayano%E2%80%93Shushenskaya_Dam#2009_acc i dent

In fact, let's add up all the dam failures on this page:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dam_failure#List_of_major_dam_failures

To date, Fukushima killed two people, who drowned in the basement of the plant while checking the conditions of systems after the earthquake before the tsunami hit.  In the same earthquake, seven other people were killed when the Fujinuma dam failed (see list of dam failures, above.).   So a single dam failure killed almost 4 times as many people as Fukushima.

..oh, and the Onagawa nuclear plant, which was closer to the earthquake epicenter, not only survived the earthquake and tsunami, it was used as an evacuation centre because it was the only structure in the area that maintained power after the disaster.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onagawa_Nuclear_Power_Plant#2011

Onagawa was built in the 80's to higher safety standards.  Fukushima was built in the 60's.  A new plant built today would be constructed to even higher standards than Onagawa.  But we don't want to build any new nuclear plants because they're considered dangerous.  What is dangerous is continuing to extend the life of 1960 reactors instead of building new plants.
2014-03-28 10:11:21 PM  
1 votes:

ginandbacon: MFAWG: ginandbacon: Oh wow. Now I feel very very old.

Right? And I remember the hay the 'No Nukes' crowd made of it, and the movie. Good times!

Oh yeah. The principal of my school got himself arrested demonstrating (Quaker school, lots of protesting and hiding Nicaraguans.) My mother and little brother went off to Seabrook for a protest. (They didn't get arrested.) But my best friend's father was a nuclear engineer and he very patiently explained that nuclear is really pretty safe and much cleaner that fossil fuels so I stayed home.

That might have been my first act of teenage rebellion...


Ha! I was attending this bastion of Librul Groupthink in the middle Seventies, where my parents had sent us to matriculate for reasons that had nothing at all to do with forced busing  and had a similar experience as they were trying to license the Bonneville plant, with ONE key difference: The local chapter of the Sierra Club demanded equal time, and it was done as a debate before the assembled student body.

Long story short, the PG&E guys all showed up in shirt and tie, and the Sierra Club types donned their best Deadhead gear, which endeared them to the crowd to no end. So after we all went into discussion groups, and I pointed out that the Sierra Club was doing some pretty base pandering, and hadn't really done much in the way of being convincing in terms of arguments. My suggestion was to redo the thing, but switch the clothes,

That didn't go far, LOL.
2014-03-28 09:37:16 PM  
1 votes:
As a worker in the industry, it's the number 1 thing that happened to change the way we do business... If my plant has a problem with a certain type of breaker, a message gets sent out to all plants detailing the issue and the resolution, since a plant that was a twin to TMI had a similar problem a few months prior to TMI happening, yet stopped the problem before it caused a meltdown...

Part of the problem is the inherent nature of the business being secretive... We're afraid of other countries stealing our technology that we used to clam up on info, claiming some BS industrial privacy as to why we're quiet, when open communication made for better operators, informed as to how certain problems happened at other plants and what they did wrong or right to fix them...
2014-03-28 09:26:21 PM  
1 votes:
Since Unit 1 is still operating and got its license renewed, they won't finish cleaning up Unit 2 (the melty one) for another 20 years when they decommission the site.
2014-03-28 09:23:58 PM  
1 votes:

The_Original_Roxtar: "remember"? no... i'm 32.

more interesting in PA is that town that's been on top of that burning coal mine for however many years.


until you actually go there and it's just an old road and some smoke coming out of the ground. honestly the ride out there is more interesting.
2014-03-28 09:12:02 PM  
1 votes:
Clearly the solution is to rely on coal fired plants to continuously pollute our planet
2014-03-28 09:10:59 PM  
1 votes:
My great-uncle was sent there as an observer. He said overall the event was pretty overblown.
2014-03-28 09:07:21 PM  
1 votes:

dv-ous: JoieD'Zen: My exhusband was there; he died of lung cancer a few years ago; coincidence I'm sure.

I'm sorry for your loss, but the cigarette smoke in the employee break room (it was the '70s!) probably was a bigger contributing factor than the accident.


yup. that or the asbestos insulation
2014-03-28 09:06:24 PM  
1 votes:
I had my thyroid removed 3 years ago.  My best friend is being killed by her thyroid cancer.  We were 7 when it happened.  The cancer rates are significantly higher there.  You could see the towers from my mother's back yard in the fall.

The Facebook page for locals that want to compare notes is years of cancer and other issues that could be radiation related.
2014-03-28 09:05:24 PM  
1 votes:

JoieD'Zen: My exhusband was there; he died of lung cancer a few years ago; coincidence I'm sure.


I'm sorry for your loss, but the cigarette smoke in the employee break room (it was the '70s!) probably was a bigger contributing factor than the accident.
2014-03-28 08:58:01 PM  
1 votes:
Pepsi syndrome?

/how big is the president?
//obscure?


On Fark? Neutron, please..

/Paging Rodney Dangerfield...
2014-03-28 08:55:48 PM  
1 votes:

Captain Steroid: KellyKellyKelly: I was two back then, and we (me, Mom, my baby brother, and Grandma) were shopping in the Colonial Park Mall when a woman came running towards us screaming "Three Mile Island's melting down!  We're all gonna die!"  She then grabbed me away from Mom, yelling "We have to save the children!" and tried to run off with me, but was tackled by my short but wide Grandma before she got too far.

The three of us ended up staying with my grandparents, who kept all doors and windows shut tightly, until we got word that everything was safe, while Dad went about business as usual in Camp Hill.

Jesus. O_O


*shrugs*  It's Central PA.  People are just insane there in general.

/living proof
2014-03-28 08:55:15 PM  
1 votes:

gopher321: Good lord, I really hope you are not equating Chernobyl and Fukushima with 3 Mile Island...


You may have missed the rather blatant and obvious contrast in the last half of the sentences...
2014-03-28 08:54:45 PM  
1 votes:
www.voxboxcomics.com
2014-03-28 08:51:46 PM  
1 votes:

insertdip: theorellior: I remember a friend of mine (I was maybe eight) wearing a T-shirt with a cartoony drawing of the cooling towers on it with smoke curling up out of them into the word "LIE". We were frankly skeptical of the nuclear industry at that point.




Cooling towers do not work that way!


It literally did not matter. I don't thinknuclear is really a good idea, but the way the No Nukes crowd pounced on that shiat and fearmongered was shameful.
2014-03-28 08:51:41 PM  
1 votes:

KellyKellyKelly: I was two back then, and we (me, Mom, my baby brother, and Grandma) were shopping in the Colonial Park Mall when a woman came running towards us screaming "Three Mile Island's melting down!  We're all gonna die!"  She then grabbed me away from Mom, yelling "We have to save the children!" and tried to run off with me, but was tackled by my short but wide Grandma before she got too far.

The three of us ended up staying with my grandparents, who kept all doors and windows shut tightly, until we got word that everything was safe, while Dad went about business as usual in Camp Hill.


Jesus. O_O
2014-03-28 08:51:36 PM  
1 votes:
I was 10 years old at the time, and I still remember the resultant hysteria, especially since we got our news from Philadelphia stations. Looking back, you'd think that the landscape was littered with the rotting corpses of the victims.

In reality, there was not one fatality attributed to this incident. Not one.
2014-03-28 08:49:12 PM  
1 votes:
I was two back then, and we (me, Mom, my baby brother, and Grandma) were shopping in the Colonial Park Mall when a woman came running towards us screaming "Three Mile Island's melting down!  We're all gonna die!"  She then grabbed me away from Mom, yelling "We have to save the children!" and tried to run off with me, but was tackled by my short but wide Grandma before she got too far.

The three of us ended up staying with my grandparents, who kept all doors and windows shut tightly, until we got word that everything was safe, while Dad went about business as usual in Camp Hill.
2014-03-28 08:48:56 PM  
1 votes:
I recall The China Syndrome was in theaters at the time. The line about contaminating an area the size of Pennsylvania seemed especially apt.

Soon afterward, I found myself in Pennsylvania working at the Limerick power plant.
Good times, indeed!
2014-03-28 08:44:41 PM  
1 votes:
I was 7 and remember it. Some neighborhood families evacuated, but we didn't. I still see it almost daily when I cross the river and my employer actually gives out potassium tabs (I think that's what they are anyway) when you get hired. Fun stuff.
2014-03-28 08:28:26 PM  
1 votes:
That would explain all of my nipples.
2014-03-28 07:52:42 PM  
1 votes:
Again. Go watch Pandora's Promise. It's on Netflix.
 
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