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I think the death toll will top 20,000, from the water alone. Anon.
I don't read Japanese either, but other sources (BBC) put the # of evacuated at 300,000. However, there are tens of thousands missing and many of those are probably dead - swept away and never to be found. The problems in the nuclear plants ensure that no more will be built in the US , so the Saudis should thank Allah for sending this. It is almost impossible to build a plant that will withstand both an 8.9 earthquake and tsunami but in a conventional plant it would just result in damage to the plant itself but nuclear plants have the capability of contaminating large areas. I'm usually pro-technology but I have to question whether it is appropriate to use such inherently dangerous technology when we know that failures will inevitably occur. If the intelligent and hard working Japanese could not cope with such a situation, in the US it would only be worse. Some of the reactors in California sit literally ON the beach. K
An inland reactor would at least be immune from the effects of the tsunami.And surely there are places in the US which are much less likely to suffer an earhtquake? Anon.
Some of the literature for the Cal. reactors says very proudly that they are built to withstand 7.0 earthquakes. This is very reassuring until you realize that earthquakes greater than 7.0 are entirely possible. The probability of such an event seems very small until it actually happens and then it is 100%. Nuclear reactors require tremendous quantities of cooling water and Southern California is short on fresh water - it was essentially a desert until water was brought in from distant areas and there is none to spare, certainly not the huge quantities that a reactor demands. So they sited the plants on the sea where they could use seawater. This also saved the cost of cooling towers although now they are going to require them to retrofit them anyway.K
Excuse my ignorance, but is it not possible to transport the power more cheaply than to transport the water to cool it?What I am getting at, in a labored kind of way, is couldn't the US site it's nuclear plants where there is both a low probability of quakes, and plenty of water (fresh or sea) for cooling; like on the Eastern seaboard, eg, and then just transport the power?Anon.
I don't think it is economical to ship electric power for thousands of miles - hundreds yes, but not thousands. K
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