Author Topic: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami  (Read 17970 times)

Offline Xavier

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Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« on: March 11, 2011, 08:04:50 AM »
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_earthquake

This really strikes home for all of us preppers.

As this story unfolds, you'll see subtle clues about how prepared/unprepared the population was for something like this.

For these people, this is a combo SHTF and TEOTWAWKI event.

It's a good example that shows how disaster can snowball.  In this case, it went EARTHQUAKE -> TSUNAMI -> POSSIBLE NUCLEAR PLANT RADIATION LEAK.

As a prepper, you have to think of the event, and then what effects will happen as a result of that event.  People always say that nuclear plants are "super safe" and "over engineered" and problems will "never happen."  Most likely, that is true.  But, imagine a SHTF event, like pandemic flu that kills or incapacitates the engineers and technicians that maintain the nuclear facility, what then?

Quote
The government ordered thousands of residents near a nuclear power plant in Onahama city to evacuate because the plant's system was unable to cool the reactor. The reactor was not leaking radiation but its core remained hot even after a shutdown. The plant is 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.
Trouble was reported at two other nuclear plants as well, but there was no radiation leak at any.

Also, as a keen and observant prepper, when do you BUG OUT in this situation?  I tend to believe that the initial reports from something like this will always be a LIE because the government doesn't want to induce a panic.  Only when it's past the point of no return, and radiation is gushing like mad, will they tell the truth.

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 08:23:23 AM »
Making too many assumptions at this point is risky.  I recall just a few weeks ago, as we watched the news trickle in on the Giffords story as it broke how initially it said an 'automatic weapon' was used.  The same will happen with this event.

What I'm taking away so far is that I really need to get my NOAA alert radio up and running again, but the damn silly alerts they send out for things like "high wind warnings" make the turn it off.  Neither I, nor the GF like getting woken up at 3:00am for an alert to tell me that it's windy outside.

This morning my Emergency E-mail Alert told me about the Tsunami... I LIVE AT 7400' IN COLORADO.  Seriously, I don't need to know.  It would be nice if there were some better filters on some of these tools.

This is why we prep.  While I stand no chance of ever being a victim of Tsunami at home, I doubt anyone in Hawaii spends much time thinking about wildland fire mitigation there.  While on vacation, we need to be aware of the local risks and have to plan for our safety just like we do at home.


Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 08:33:46 AM »
It will be important to see what unfolds after the initial effects of the disaster and as time goes on we'll be able to gather some good information.

Also, as a keen and observant prepper, when do you BUG OUT in this situation?  I tend to believe that the initial reports from something like this will always be a LIE because the government doesn't want to induce a panic.  Only when it's past the point of no return, and radiation is gushing like mad, will they tell the truth.

I disagree with this assessment. The possibility of panic is definitely a concern, but the long term effects of radiation exposure on a large population that wasn't evacuated or told the truth would be far more of a strain on resources and the government. If the general populace hurts one another in the wake of a disaster, blame can be placed on the shoulders of that population. Some blame will be placed on the government no matter what, but they don't want to deal with something as blatant as a coverup regarding radiation leaks. They also know that it would not be easy to cover such a thing up. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also involved at the moment.

Regarding the time to Bug Out, in this particular situation, the time would be in the few moments after the earthquake and the tsunami warning went out. Most of us here would already have BOBs and BOVs ready to go so hopefully it would be possible to get ahead of most of the panic.

Offline Spaghetti and Sauce

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 08:47:56 AM »
I live in the UK so, this is unlikely to directly effect us, and (hopefully) this precise scenario is unlikely to ever effect us. But I'm using this as an awareness raising opportunity on a few websites and forums I frequent. People are more likely to listen and less likely to write you off as a nutter in the immediate aftermath of something like this. People will be talking about this for a few days, so it's a great opportunity to spread the message of prepping and make them think about all the things that *could* happen.

Our thoughts go to all those having to deal with this right now.

Offline humanlaunchpad

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 08:58:05 AM »
on a side note, i did see some oil tanks on fire there so they'll probably raise gas prices here.  ::)

Offline humanlaunchpad

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 09:00:51 AM »
and as i was going thru the photo slides with my 7 yr old son, i paused on the pic of empty store shelves and said 'thats why i store food'. He says 'good call' :egyptian:

Offline Xavier

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 09:23:22 AM »
It will be important to see what unfolds after the initial effects of the disaster and as time goes on we'll be able to gather some good information.

I disagree with this assessment. The possibility of panic is definitely a concern, but the long term effects of radiation exposure on a large population that wasn't evacuated or told the truth would be far more of a strain on resources and the government. If the general populace hurts one another in the wake of a disaster, blame can be placed on the shoulders of that population. Some blame will be placed on the government no matter what, but they don't want to deal with something as blatant as a coverup regarding radiation leaks. They also know that it would not be easy to cover such a thing up. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also involved at the moment.

Regarding the time to Bug Out, in this particular situation, the time would be in the few moments after the earthquake and the tsunami warning went out. Most of us here would already have BOBs and BOVs ready to go so hopefully it would be possible to get ahead of most of the panic.


They were told to evacaute (nearby areas), but are also being told that everything is all well.  Which, is probably true.

When people are in the situation room, and group-think becomes pervasive, a lot of bad decisions are likely to be made.  The government can be counted on warning us of the danger AFTER it's already present.

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 09:31:03 AM »
on a side note, i did see some oil tanks on fire there so they'll probably raise gas prices here.  ::)
There's an entire refinery that looks like it's going to be a total loss.  Given the limited surplus capacity for refining globally right now, the lack of light, sweet crude coming out of Libya (the easiest/cheapest to refine), and the general panicky nature of the markets lately, I'm sure this will be used as yet another reason for gas prices to rise... whether it's warranted or not.

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 11:30:30 AM »
Being in KY this always scares me a little. We have a BIG fault, New Meridian, and if it ever goes, its going to suck ass I believe.

Offline whatzhizname

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 12:50:09 PM »
Now CNN is talking about another separate earthquake that hit the Nagano area apparently unrelated to the 8.9 quake.  This is getting very weird quickly...

Offline Ironsides

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 01:49:02 PM »
Saw the news this morning,reminding me when I was in japan in the 60s. People were great.They loved our dollar and would work hard for it. today I checked on my rabbits fed my goats and worked in my garden. I do what I got to do.

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 02:08:05 PM »
There was also a significant (although not nearly as serious) earthquake in China today (5.8 with 3,600 homes destroyed).  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_as/as_china_earthquake_19

Interesting times, indeed.  While I think it's a good time to convert some grasshoppers, I also think it's time to be the voice of reason and calm.  At this point it's not the end of the world and while there are a lot of frightening events going on in the world today, it's not time to panic.  I'm quoting an e-mail from a coworker's husband, not to make a fool of him, but to emphisize the fact that folks are seriously scared right now and fueling that panic is not constructive.


Offline Laz

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 02:11:23 PM »

Offline LJH

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 02:51:02 PM »
http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fgw-japan-quake-nuclear-20110312,0,4328840.story

Is "slightly radioactive" like a little pregnant?


That was my exact thought. I wonder if that's the only nuke plant in Northern Japan?

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2011, 03:03:56 PM »
There are over 50 nuclear power plants in Japan so I'm sure there are a few in the affected area.

Offline Ms green eyes

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2011, 04:01:16 PM »
i think if i was living by a power plant, i'd try to bug out as quick as i could...that's the kind of bet i wouldn't want to lose.

i mean, what do you do if you stick around and it happens to have a problem? too late, right?


Offline flashcard

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2011, 04:31:37 PM »
I have yet to hear news from two Japanese friends about whether they are ok.  I know there is so much to think about after an event like this, but high on the "emergency to-do list" should probably be "post a generic "I'm ok" status update on Facebook".

Last week I took a book out of the library called, "Earthquake! Preparing for the Big One" (by Graem Castell) about preparing for the next big quake that is statistically overdue here on the west coast.  For anyone who likes preparedness lists (checklists, to-do lists) or who wants specific information on earthquake preparedness, this is a pretty great resource.  It's not a little handbook either, it's a big freaking manual.  It's written for British Columbia, but the information is really good for anyone.

I will be looking for lessons in the aftermath as well.

Offline climberaxe

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2011, 07:03:13 PM »
endurance: 

consider a new NOAA radio with SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology. You can customize filters and be alerted only to those warnings you select. I have a desktop model from Midland I got for ~$40 at my local grocery store. Worth the money to not be awakened for non relevant events/locations.

I did a quick Bing search, I have the WR-100 and they are as low as $27 on line.

Offline drake tungsten

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2011, 07:21:47 PM »
American Preparedness for Japan Disaster

ABC News did a story how Californians would be prepared if the tsunami had hit California.  They focus on a woman and how prepared she is if such a disaster hit.  She's about at the level I'd think of as a typical American.  She had 2 gallons of water and a handful of dry goods.  When the interviewer asked what she would do if she was in the same situation as the possible millions of Japanese citizens that can be out of power and water for weeks with such little supplies, she replied "Pray a lot and meditate".

The power of positive thinking will only get you so far.

ABC News video article

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/japans-disaster-struck-america-emergency-preparedness-earthquake-sunami-pacific-13118761

Offline G-Man

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Japan Quake - might cause West Coast of US problems?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2011, 04:09:27 AM »
There have been reports of nuclear reactor issues following the Japanese earthquake.  The latest news is of an explosion at one of their sites.  The Japanese government is confirming a radiation leak.  Seeing this brought two thoughts to mind...  First off I was reminded of Chernobyl and the children of Europe being given doses of Potassium Iodate or Potassium Iodide to protect their thyroids from the radioactive isotope of iodine that results from the decomposition of radioactive cesium.  Second, in the back of my mind I remembered my history from WWII.  The Japanese launched balloons laden with incendiary devices into the jet stream to be carried directly to the United States.  If you add those two together, then you arrive at a cloud of released radiation being carried by those same jet streams to the West Coast of the United States.  If you don't have Potassium Iodate/Iodide tablets, you may want to get some now and beat the rush.  Am I being overly alarmist?

Offline Nadja*isk*en*isk*ie

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2011, 06:31:47 AM »
http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fgw-japan-quake-nuclear-20110312,0,4328840.story

Is "slightly radioactive" like a little pregnant?


Don't think so.

There are  different degrees of radioactivity (I am slightly radioactive, Lawrencium is very radioactive) whereas when people talk of pregnancy it is usually only in a purely binary sort of way (you either are pregnant or not).

Offline Freshman Preppy

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2011, 07:01:44 AM »
Like Jack says (paraphrasing here), there's the event and then the reaction to worry about.  Drudge is reporting 'hoarding' and long lines at the stores. 
I used this example as a talking point at work.  "I bet those people who still have a house wish they had a bunch of food/water stored at home."  A co-worker said, "Yeah, we should think about putting some stuff aside." 

Offline atherts

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2011, 07:42:58 AM »
Iterations post event prep thought on the ground.
http://m.syfy.com/inf/infomo?site=syfy&view=dvicestoriesdetails&feed:a=stories_dvice&feed:c=stories_dvice_channel&feed:i=3.79290


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_earthquake

This really strikes home for all of us preppers.

As this story unfolds, you'll see subtle clues about how prepared/unprepared the population was for something like this.

For these people, this is a combo SHTF and TEOTWAWKI event.

It's a good example that shows how disaster can snowball.  In this case, it went EARTHQUAKE -> TSUNAMI -> POSSIBLE NUCLEAR PLANT RADIATION LEAK.

As a prepper, you have to think of the event, and then what effects will happen as a result of that event.  People always say that nuclear plants are "super safe" and "over engineered" and problems will "never happen."  Most likely, that is true.  But, imagine a SHTF event, like pandemic flu that kills or incapacitates the engineers and technicians that maintain the nuclear facility, what then?

Also, as a keen and observant prepper, when do you BUG OUT in this situation?  I tend to believe that the initial reports from something like this will always be a LIE because the government doesn't want to induce a panic.  Only when it's past the point of no return, and radiation is gushing like mad, will they tell the truth.

endurance

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2011, 08:38:07 AM »
Iterations post event prep thought on the ground.
http://m.syfy.com/inf/infomo?site=syfy&view=dvicestoriesdetails&feed:a=stories_dvice&feed:c=stories_dvice_channel&feed:i=3.79290


That was actually an entertaining yet worthwhile read.  Bikes really do rock the post-disaster world in the city.

Offline Xavier

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2011, 09:47:23 AM »
It should be noted that the Japanese government is claiming that radiation levels remain LOW.

But, caesium levels are elevated.  Caesium levels are indicative of a meltdown.

The government has expanded the evacuation radius...

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/857894-japan-works-hard-to-stop-nuclear-meltdown-possibility

Again, I stand by my original assertion, the government (any government) has a natural desire to talk out of both sides of their mouth.  Independent measures are showing caesium, but the government says radiation levels are still low.  As a prepper, you have to understand that the government has a desire to project strength and competence, even when they know that everything is falling through their fingers.  We went through the same thing with Katrina.

Offline joejoe

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2011, 10:13:47 AM »
Whats the general thoughts on Fall out from the nuke plant. Im in Scotland which is pretty far away from japan but upper winds do travel great distances but im afraid I don't know the wind patterns for that region. Chernobyl was a different story, I knew the wind patterns and knew it would reach here eventually so stored enough to drink for months.
Any Met experts want to have a bash at what the USA and UK can expect.

ps Another example of why Bug out bags are essential.  :'(

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2011, 01:39:44 PM »
Everything that I have read states that the affected area should be around a 4-5 mile radius. The way I understand my previous training from a former Haz-Mat job, it all depends on the altitude of the introduction. If you had a small explosion at ground level, a small percent of the radioactive particles would reach the upper winds. However, if you had a small explosion at say 2000ft, it would produce far more severe results.

The other factors is in the "explosion" itself. The meltdown would not end in a typical nuclear bomb mushroom cloud that Hollywood loves so much. It would resemble a large steam explosion followed by fire. I did find one map that is being displayed on multiple websites.

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/3245/8m6k8n7f8q7z7.jpg

750 rads is certainly enough to kill you ,and would require a significant level of medical treatment, so I sure hope the person who made that map is not taking into account altitude. I will say that every new agency I have heard talking about this so far is not, and keep referring to "little boy" or the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima that was detonated at 1900ft, not a ground impact.

Chernobyl was a really bad day. However, it was the worst nuclear event in ever, and is the only "7" on the scale they used to rate these things. If I remember correctly Three Mile Island was like a 3 or 4.

Hope this helps, I am not a nuclear physicist, so if I made a mistake please don't slam me...lol


Offline Sporadic_E

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2011, 02:32:44 PM »
Interesting seeing that the RBMK reactor at Chernobyl ejected 1/3 of it's core. The BWR at Fukushima weight's in at 140 tonnes! Although nothing to the level of the Chernobyl has happened yet, make no mistake that those boys are in a heated battle preventing a complete meltdown. I for one think that the core has be compromised!

1. Hydrogen is liberated fro the reactor CORE only when the entire core is not immersed in coolant. Without getting into the technical jargon this process happens at about 2200 degrees C. The Uranium pellets at about 4000 and the Cadmium liners at 4400. For this hydrogen to vent it must come from the core, either directly from the core through the caldera or through the primary cooling system.

2. This is further compounded by the fact that they are finding Cesium on the ground outside the complex. THIS IS BAD! Again, Cesium and all her equally horrific isotopes are products of the reactor core.

3. The fact that they are flooding the caldera with sea water says that they do not care to recover the core. Sea water will damage the core beyond use.

Hats off and prayers to these brave souls in a pitch battle with nature!

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2011, 03:39:05 PM »
My wife is being a newshound on the nuclear reactor problem.  In the late 70's, her first chemical engineering job was working at GE Nuclear on the design of the offgas system (the system that handles hydrogen and other gases generated by the reactor during normal operation).  (The reactor-gone-bad is a first-generation GE design similar to the ones she was working with.)  So she remembers a bit about how things work.

In normal operation, radiation in the core will break down some of the water coolant into hydrogen and oxygen.  These and other gases get extracted from the system, after which they pass through a catalytic recombiner (to turn the hydrogen + oxygen back into water, followed by a few other steps until the (safe) remaining gases are vented.  This recombiner and other stuff is somewhere outside the containment vessel.  She doesn't know for sure, but one likely location for it is in the turbine building.  It's the turbine building that exploded earlier today.

When the coolant level drops, you've got a second source of hydrogen: the zirconium cladding on the fuel rods reacts with high-temperature steam to form hydrogen gas and zirconium oxide.  (This starts at about 1450 degrees Celsius.  The cladding doesn't melt until 1900 C, so the production of hydrogen under accident conditions does not have to mean the reactor contents are melting through the bottom of the vessel.)

So one reasonable guess is that hydrogen gas accumulated in the turbine building, either because that's where an overloaded offgas system was located, or just via broken pipes that normally bring steam to the turbines.

(Yes, this is just a piece of the picture.  Nobody seems to have made the whole picture available anywhere we can find.)

Offline madcap1one

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Re: Japan - Earthquake and Tsunami
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2011, 03:47:51 PM »
Just an aside to those speculating on gas prices as a result of this - you are incorrect (not me saying so, but born out in trading results on Friday) and the reason for that (very short term, please do NOT read this as long term investment advice, merely day to day trading experience) is that with those refineries knocked offline, there is no need for raw product to ship to them. i.e. short term, their consumption is diminished until they can bring refining back online.

Of interest to me for long term discussion, is whether or not they will rebuild refining, or transfer to some sort of "CleanTech" for new infrastructure investments - as opposed to sinking capital back into traditional petroleum. My assumption with no expertise behind it, is some combination of the two - but this is super early to even begin discussion considering their operations are still firmly in SAR mode.