Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ha - the tornado on Tuesday missed me! Damage in suburbs north-east of me, but thankfully no deaths or serious injuries. Hoping the next round will be kind too.

These sources may have agendas, so take these two articles with a grain of salt? -
"Fukushima is the BIGGEST INDUSTRIAL CATASTROPHE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND" a former nuclear industry senior vice president says. He is a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, and says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed. "Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed. You probably have THE EQUIVALENT OF 20 NUCLEAR REACTOR CORES because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."
TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water - as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of. "The problem is how to keep it cool. They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?" Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling.
"The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor. TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water."
Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive "hot spots" around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting. "We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl. The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl." TEPCO announced that the accident probably released more radioactive material into the environment than Chernobyl, making it the worst nuclear accident on record. Meanwhile, a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 966 square kilometres near the power station - AN AREA ROUGHLY 17 TIMES THE SIZE OF MANHATTAN - IS NOW LIKELY UNINHABITABLE.
In the US, two physicians have published an essay shedding light on a 35% SPIKE IN INFANT MORTALITY IN NORTHWEST U.S. CITIES that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant. The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.
Far more radiation has been released than has been reported. "They recalculated the amount of radiation released, but the news is really not talking about this. The new calculations show that within the first week of the accident, they released 2.3 times as much radiation as they thought they released in the first 80 days."
The exposed reactors and fuel cores are continuing to release microns of caesium, strontium, and plutonium isotopes. These are referred to as "hot particles". "We are discovering hot particles everywhere in Japan, even in Tokyo. Scientists are finding these everywhere. Over the last 90 days these hot particles have continued to fall and are being deposited in high concentrations. A lot of people are picking these up in car engine air filters."
Radioactive air filters from cars in Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo are now common, and sources are finding RADIOACTIVE AIR FILTERS IN THE GREATER SEATTLE AREA of the US as well. The hot particles on them can eventually lead to cancer. "These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can't measure them with a Geiger counter. Clearly people in Fukushima prefecture have breathed in a large amount of these particles. Clearly the upper West Coast of the US has people being affected. That area got hit pretty heavy in April." The units are still leaking radiation. "They are still emitting radioactive gases and an enormous amount of radioactive liquid. IT WILL BE AT LEAST A YEAR BEFORE IT STOPS BOILING, and until it stops boiling, it's going to be cranking out radioactive steam and liquids."
"Unit four is the most dangerous, it could topple. After the earthquake in Sumatra there was an 8.6 [aftershock] about 90 days later, so we are not out of the woods yet. And you're at a point where, if that happens, THERE IS NO SCIENCE FOR THIS, no one has ever imagined having hot nuclear fuel lying outside the fuel pool. They've not figured out how to cool units three and four...Units one through three have nuclear waste on the floor, the melted core, that has plutonium in it, and that has to be removed from the environment for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS. Somehow, robotically, they will have to go in there and manage to put it in a container and store it FOR INFINITY, and THAT TECHNOLOGY DOESN'T EXIST. Nobody knows how to pick up the molten core from the floor, THERE IS NO SOLUTION AVAILABLE NOW for picking that up from the floor." The creation of nuclear fission generates radioactive materials for which there is simply no knowledge informing us how to dispose of the radioactive waste safely. The expert believes it will take experts at least ten years to design and implement the plan. "So ten to 15 years from now maybe we can say the reactors have been dismantled, and in the meantime you wind up contaminating the water. We are already seeing Strontium [at] 250 times the allowable limits in the water table at Fukushima. Contaminated water tables are incredibly difficult to clean. So I think we will have a contaminated aquifer in the area of the Fukushima site for a long, long time to come...With Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and now with Fukushima, you can pinpoint the exact day and time they started. But they NEVER END."

US orders news blackout over crippled Nebraska Nuclear Plant - A shocking report prepared by Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE) on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states that the Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news blackout relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant located in Nebraska. According to this report, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant suffered a “catastrophic loss of cooling” to one of its idle spent fuel rod pools on 7 June after this plant was deluged with water caused by the historic flooding of the Missouri River which resulted in a fire causing the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to issue a “no-fly ban” over the area.
Located about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant is owned by Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) who on their website denies their plant is at a “Level 4” emergency by stating: “This terminology is not accurate, and is not how emergencies at nuclear power plants are classified.”
Russian atomic scientists in this FAAE report, however, say that this OPPD statement is an “outright falsehood” as all nuclear plants in the world operate under the guidelines of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) which clearly states the “events” occurring at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant do, indeed, put it in the “LEVEL 4” EMERGENCY CATEGORY of an “accident with local consequences” thus making this one of the worst nuclear accidents in US history. Though this report confirms independent readings in the United States of “negligible release of nuclear gasses” related to this accident it warns that by the Obama regimes censoring of this event for “political purposes” it risks a “serious blowback” from the American public should they gain knowledge of this being hidden from them.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chief blasted the Obama regime just days before the near meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant by declaring that “the policy of not enforcing most fire code violations at dozens of nuclear plants is “unacceptable” and has tied the hands of NRC inspectors.”

**The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom,
power without conscience.
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.**
Omar Bradley
(US General, commanded US ground forces
in Normandy invasion in World War II)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
6/21/11 -

NEW ZEALAND - 5.3 aftershock - Christchurch hit hard again. The quake struck shortly after 10.30pm, 10km west of Akaroa and at a depth of 12km. Power was cut for a short time to some suburbs including Ilam, Avonhead and Burnside but police said by midnight there had been no reports of serious damage.

CHINA - Magnitude-5.2 quake jolts Yunnan, 6 injured. A 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit Tengchong County near the city of Baoshan in Southwest China's Yunnan Province at 6:16 pm Monday. About 2000 rural households in the county were affected. Over 1000 local residents were forced to evacuate.


Lava has begun spilling from Chile's Puyehue volcano, 18 days after it first erupted, but there's no danger to nearby residents. But the ash cloud created by the eruption continues to wreak havoc on airlines around the world. "Viscous lava has flowed slowly westward in a channel roughly 50 metres wide and 100 metres long." Last week, it was said that the appearance of lava would signal "the end of the eruptive process" and would not put any of the local population in danger. Authorities had subsequently authorised the return of more than 4000 people to their homes. But today, they acknowledged that "eruptions continue" and that volcanic activity could "increase again." Puyehue had been dormant for a half century until June 4.
The ash cloud created by the eruption threatened to put an end to the tourist season at the Argentine skiing resort of Bariloche. Air traffic in the southern hemisphere was hit especially hard, initially paralysing airports in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and later those in Australia and New Zealand.

CALIFORNIA - Possible volcanic eruption near Salton Sea in Imperial Valley could bring ash clouds to San Diego. Comments from the U.S. Geological Survey are sparking questions about a potential volcanic eruption in Imperial Valley that could bring clouds of ash to San Diego County. "Most definitely… Volcanic activity is possible," said a geologist. He was part of a research group that collected footage of muddy pits and volcanic gasses about 100 miles east on the southern end of the Salton Sea. The area is the home of four buttes that are several hundred feet tall.
The buttes are small volcanoes with an explosive past. Miles below them is a pool of magma that is 15 miles wide. About 8,000 years ago, the buttes erupted, causing magma to flow which cooled into obsidian rock.
The damage from those eruptions was limited to the surrounding area, but if a major earthquake hit along the San Andreas Fault, geologists said there could be trouble. "It really pumps energy into a freshly enlarged magma body. That would be a worst-case scenario."
Unstable magma may find a path to the surface, which would result in the buttes erupting, oozing lava and spewing ash. Ash clouds like those seen in Iceland last year is a remote possibility. "I would not anticipate an Iceland eruption, but we didn't anticipate Mount St. Helens either." Even if an ash cloud is small, it could still wreak havoc and alter flight plans. "The way the ash gets to San Diego is if we have Santa Ana winds." It is an unlikely scenario but one that is lurking beneath the surface.


Greater tsunami threat identified in Indonesia - The shape of the seabed where the 2004 Sumatra earthquake struck may indicate that the strength of the underlying rocks added to the size of the resulting tsunami, according to new research.
An international team found that slip on the fault during the earthquake reached much closer to the surface than expected, beneath an UNUSUAL plateau where the rocks are particularly strong.
The work has important implications for predicting the location and strength of tsunamis associated with future earthquakes, by looking closely at the geology of sediments near the surface. 'A key question is whether we can identify how a fault may behave during an earthquake from observations made at other times. In this case, differences in our measurements seem to match differences in the faulting.'
The earthquake struck just north of the Indonesian island of Simeulue west of Sumatra. It was caused by a massive movement of the Indo-Australian plate which is being pushed beneath the Sunda plate to the east. This is known as a subduction zone and in this case the plates meet at the Sunda Trench, around 300km west of Sumatra. The Sunda Trench is full of ancient sediment, some of which has washed out of the Ganges over millions of years, forming a massive accumulation of sedimentary rock called the Nicobar Fan. As the Indo-Australian plate is subducted, these sediments are scraped off to form what's called an accretionary prism. Usually an accretionary prism slopes consistently away from the trench, but here the seabed shallows steeply before flattening out, forming a plateau.
But farther south, at the site of a slightly smaller earthquake in 2005 that didn't reach up to the surface, the seabed has a more typical profile. 'We wanted to know whether the upward extent of the rupture might be diagnosed by the shape of the seabed around the Sunda Trench.' Subduction earthquakes are thought to start around 30km beneath the Earth's surface. Slip on the fault propagates upwards and generally dissipates as it reaches weaker rocks closer to the surface. So the sediment in the Sunda Trench should have slowed the upward and westward journey of the 2004 earthquake, meaning the tsunami was generated in the shallower water on the landward (east) side of the trench. But in fact the fault slip seems to have reached close to the trench, lifting large sections of the seabed in deeper water and producing a much larger tsunami.
To understand what might be behind this UNCHARACTERISTIC GEOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, the research team looked at seismic images of the earth's crust around part of the 2004 rupture zone. They found that the sediments in the trench are 4-5km thick, and where they form a plateau in the accretionary prism the sediments allow seismic waves to travel much faster than you find at locations immediately to the south. This indicates that the rocks are stronger than would be expected. The researchers found no evidence for any 'splay faults' in the accretionary prism which would have helped dissipate the earthquake's power. So the depth and solidity of these overlying sediments seems to have played a part in the power of the devastating tsunami that the earthquake generated.
Assessments of earthquake hazard around the world should look closely at similar subduction zones, says the researchers' report. A plateau formed of strong sediments overlying an area of converging plates could represent a greater hazard for tsunami generation than previously known.



Tropical Depression "Falcon" may intensify into a tropical storm tonight. The arrival of the storm codenamed “Falcon” came a day after tropical depression “Egay” moved out of the country and left one dead with two missing in Luzon.

Hurricane lashed Mexican resorts - Hurricane Beatriz weakened to a tropical storm as it moved away from the east coast of Mexico. Beatriz had been threatening some of Mexico's most popular resorts and left tourists sheltering in hotels, but all warnings have now been cancelled.


U.S. - Thunderstorms and heavy winds pounded the upper Midwest Tuesday night, stranding Chicago commuter train riders for hours, forcing the cancelation of hundreds of flights, and temporarily delaying Vice President Joe Biden's return to Washington after a fundraiser. Hundreds of passengers at O'Hare were herded into a lower-level baggage claim area when the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch.
Heavy rainfall downed trees across the region and sent people attending an outdoor concert scurrying for cover. Commonwealth Edison was reporting power outages to more than 270,000 customers at the peak of the storm. Most of the outages were in Chicago's northern suburbs, where downed power lines had cut electricity to 151,000 customers.
Storms also damaged two hangars at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The airport hangars were pulled off their foundations by the winds Tuesday night, exposing the aircrafts inside. Three people inside were hurt, and one was taken to a hospital for a head cut. No tornadoes were immediately reported, but the National Weather Service issued several warnings and watches, saying conditions were favorable for funnel cloud formation.

Authorities have ordered the evacuation of some 12,000 people from the city of Minot, North Dakota, and surrounding areas because of expected RECORD FLOODING, officials said Tuesday. The swollen Souris River flows straight through the city and is expected to overwhelm area levees. Minot, located in the north central part of the state, is the fourth-largest city in North Dakota. The evacuation order covers between a quarter and a third of the city's population. Residents have until 6 p.m. CT Wednesday to leave their homes.
"We're going to become a pool. It's hard to really believe, but I have some real concerns...The current best estimate for when water will overtop the lowest dikes in the Minot area is sometime on Thursday afternoon. However, a Wednesday night or early Thursday timeframe cannot be ruled out as the dikes become more stressed due to rising water." The river at Minot, which currently stands at close to 1,555 feet above sea level, is forecast to rise to 1,559 feet on Friday or Saturday -- which would be a new record. The river hit 1,558 feet above sea level in 1881. The Souris River looks like a "U." It swoops in and out of North Dakota from Canada.


FLORIDA - Wildfire in Florida has claimed the lives of two forest rangers, as emergency services continue to battle more than 400 blazes across the state. The rangers had been trying contain a 12-acre (4.8-ha) blaze near the Georgia border, but the fire flared up and trapped them. Two others were injured trying to save them.
The news comes as responders continue to battle thousands of fires in regions of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. The fire in which the rangers died - the Blue Ribbon Fire in Florida's Hamilton County - was burning roughly 85 miles (136 km) north-east of the city of Tallahassee and had previously been considered contained.
"The wildfires have ravaged our state, burning more than 200,000 acres [since May 1], and now, they have taken the lives of two of our very own men." The deaths mark the first time anyone working for the Florida Division of Forestry has died from fighting a blaze since 2000, when a helicopter pilot crashed after dumping water on a wildfire near the town of Fort Myers. "The weather can change in Florida very quickly and that's what we experienced."
Meanwhile, a fast-moving fire in Grimes County in Texas destroyed about 35 homes on Tuesday, after burning more than 4,000 acres. The blaze was started when homeowners near the town of Stoneham lost control of a fire in their grill. The largest of the US wildfires is considered to be the Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, which officials said on Tuesday had burned more than 525,000 acres and was 56% contained. Roughly 10,400 firefighters are involved in efforts to contain wildfires across the US, with more than 7,000 of them in Arizona and New Mexico.


Sunburst could be a big blow - The sun is nearing the peak of its activity cycle, "spitting out flares and plasma like a dragon". A spectacular eruption occurred on the surface of the sun on June 21st and it sent charged particles hurling toward Earth. The solar flare, which shot out of a huge bubble of superheated gas, was accompanied by a quake inside the sun equal to a 11.3-magnitude quake on Earth. Multiple flares erupted from the sun's surface. Major flares could knock some of the North American power grid offline. (video)
According to analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab, the CME left the sun traveling 800 km/s and it will reach Earth on June 23rd at 23:22 UT (plus or minus 7 hours). The expanding cloud is heading almost directly toward Earth. The impact is expected to trigger a G2-class (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on June 23rd and 24. The season favors southern hemisphere observers, where solstice skies are winter-dark. (video)


Hong Kong worried over scarlet fever outbreak - Hong Kong health authorities are worried about a POTENTIAL EPIDEMIC of scarlet fever after the death of a five-year-old boy on Monday, the second child death suspected from the disease in a month.