What disaster next?

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by fiona, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. fiona

    fiona Junior Member

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    Wasn't sure which part of the forum to post this.

    There have been so many natural disasters lately - hasn't the one in Japan been dreadful. And still I am sure there is much to come of that one.

    Anyway, here are my questions. What do you think are the most likely disasters down under? I'm quite near to Sydney. What sorts of disasters might strike here? Would the main threat be bushfires?

    And do people have a disaster preparedness "kit" of some sort? If so, what do you have in it?
     
  2. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    dunno if you aussie's have oil rigs in the ocean off the coast, but a tsunami could kick those rigs over and rupture the drill stems causing your very own BP Oil spill but worse, as there would be multi well sites feeding the ocean with all the oil sludge being quickly swept inland. took bp what? 3months or more to cap the one well here, just think of 20+ wells. between the tsunami damage and the disarray it would take over a year to cap them.
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    What's the history with tsunamis on the east coast there? You don't get quakes so if there is a tsunami you will have warning (unlike in Japan where they generate their own tsunamis and us here in NZ where we could too). Does Australian civil defence have recommendations on what to do in a tsunami?

    Because of the quake risk in NZ, civil defence here says to have enough water and food for three days to survive on your own (this applies to non-quake disasters too). Given what's just happened in Christchurch I think that is way too low and people should plan for 2 or 3 weeks without help. In cooler climates a way to keep warm and boil water/cook food is also wise.

    Having a portable kit makes sense too.

    Bushfires you'll already know about?

    Always keep enough petrol in your car that you can drive away if you need to.

    That's actue disasters. I think there will be increasing disturbances because of peak oil and climate change too, not just natural disasters but economic and social issues. Building self and community reliance is crucial.
     
  4. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    I think that unless you live on the bushland urban interface (fire risk), Sydneysider's don't worry about natural disaster. I'm not saying that nothing can go wrong, but we do live in a stable part of the world and tend not to worry about that sort of thing. Fire & Rescue NSW (previously NSW Fire Brigades) runs a Community Fire Unit program in NSW. The program looks to provide equipment and training to those living in bushfire prone areas, so that they may prepare their property, and defend it if they choose to, in a bush fire. See https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=133 if you are interested.

    I used to be the project manager for this program, that's how I know about it, so please don't think this is spam.

    Paula.
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I think you've answered your own question. Yeah i'd say bushfires would be the greatest risk where you live but you would know better than me surely.

    I Live in the cyclone zone so we stock up at the beginning of the season with canned food, batteries for the radio, make sure we can get enough water, and have a full tank of petrol. Its not a great idea to stock the freezer if power failure is likely. During Yasi, i didn't buy batteries because they are so expensive and in the end, i felt starved of news and had to get some off a neighbour who had spares. I won't be doing that again.

    Re tsunamis in the north. The reef help protects against them. We had a scare the other year after they'd put in the tsunami warning station and it turned out to be silly so no one worries about them here anymore. Of course we know now that if we saw the water receding quickly, we'd all run for cover.

    There was also a little tremor of innisfail the other day. Though earthquakes are not expected.

    If i lived in a bushfire zone, i'd probably have my garden prepared to minimise the chance of house fire. I'd have a plan of quickly packing up valuables i want to keep and making a fast escape. I'd have bushfire insurance. If i was going to stay, i'd be sure to have lots of water access happening for protecting the house. I"d flood the lawn and have maybe sprinklers going close to the house. If i had lots of money, i'd install a house sprinkler system.
     
  6. GregM

    GregM Junior Member

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    Seems like you're getting a lot of "common sense" answers to your questions, which is good. I'm no expert, but I'd go along with the supply of tinned foods, drinking water and the car filled up and ready to go, just in case "sitting it out" isn't an option (fast-moving bushfires for example).
    Knowing which valuables you need to take with you is important because; worst case, that might be all you're left with (hope not!) so they need to be somewhere where you know to grab them on the way out of the door.
    I don't know how far out of Sydney you are but obvioulsy, if you're on a bush block, your biggest risk may come from bushfires. There's probably lots of good advice available from your local SES people or their website.
    Overall, I think we're pretty lucky that we're not sitting on a fault line and our particularly big lump of rock is pretty stable, so the current series of earthquakes are probably not such a direct threat for you near Sydney. I guess the other diasters that can affect us are what we've already seen this year with the floods in Queesnland (and the subsequent flooding inland) and the impact on food supplies and prices that follow our cyclone seasons up there. But they're primarily economic issues which we can all cope with; self preservation is the focal point.
    I wouldn't dismiss the disasters or minimise the hardship that goes with them, but I would say that you should not worry too much about what might happen (after all, it might not!) and you should be OK if you take on board the advice you're getting from the others in this forum.
    All the best
     
  7. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    Here we expect a major earthquake and possible tsunami any day or maybe in a few hundred years.
    I've got the whole food/water/warmth/communication thing stashed out the back in case my house falls over.
    Lots of people have commented that with my garden, I'll have plenty of food, etc etc. Only if it doesn't get buried under liquefaction or covered in sewerage!
    If there's a big earthquake, we're likely to be completely cut off for ages, and I'm prepared to manage for much longer than three days.
    I want to be as independent from emergency services as possible, with hopefully extra water/supplies for my neighbours if they need it.
     
  8. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    We do a session at each of our PDC's called designing for disaster though I am not sure we totally have a plan. We do preserve and rotate and have independent power and plenty of food growing and stored but are we enough aware and planned for others needs?
    Our plan will be complete when Transition Towns Maitland has an energy decent action plan and a majority of the community has plans in association with other residents and every one has a food garden and a right attitude to collective conciousness.
     
  9. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Real resilience

    Perhaps I went off topic in the last post - bloody red wine.
    A threat to us in Australia is firstly apathy and secondly collapse of the consumerist society we have come to rely on. I think the threat is not form bush fires or floods or tidal waves but of the complacency engendered in our society to "they will have answers when we need them"
    When it is no longer profitable to supply communications, to run supermarkets and to provide health care they will go away and leave us be. Do you know how to get medicine for a confused, dependent edlerly woman you find wandering the streets in your neighbourhood??
     
  10. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    They didn't learn from Minimata?

    Plutonium will be harder to clean up than the mercury was.

    https://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/mercury/review5.php

    Binding to soil
    Plutonium is known to bind to soil particles very strongly, see above for a X-ray spectroscopic study of plutonium in soil and concrete. While caesium has very different chemistry to the actinides, it is well known that both caesium and many of the actinides bind strongly to the minerals in soil. Hence it has been possible to use 134Cs labeled soil to study the migration of Pu and Cs is soils. It has been shown that colloidal transport processes control the migration of Cs (and will control the migration of Pu) in the soil at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant according to R.D. Whicker and S.A. Ibrahim, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 2006, 88, 171-188.

    Microbiological chemistry
    Mary Neu (at Los Alamos in the USA) has done some work which suggests that bacteria can accumilate plutonium because the iron transport systems used by the bacteria also function as plutonium transport systems.[25][26][27]

    Biology
    Plutonium ingested by or injected into humans is transported in the transferrin based iron(III) transport system and then is stored in the liver in the iron store (ferritin), after an exposure to plutonium it is important to rapidly inject the subject with a chelating agent such as calcium complex[28] of DTPA.[29][dead link][30] This antidote is useful for a single one off exposure such as that which would occur if a glove box worker was to cut their hand with a Pu contaminated object. The calcium complex has faster metal binding kinetics than the zinc complex but if the calcium complex is used for a long time it tends to remove important minerals from the person. The zinc complex is less able to cause these effects.

    Plutonium that is inhaled by humans lodges in the lungs and is slowly translocated to the lymph nodes. Inhaled plutonium has been shown to lead to lung cancer in experimental animals.
    excerpts
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium_in_the_environment


    “None of this has happened before," said Damon Moglen, director of the climate and energy project at Friends of the Earth. "The stricken reactor No. 3 has experienced at least a partial fuel meltdown, and it contains nearly a quarter of a metric ton of plutonium. They are venting that reactor into the air, to reduce the pressure inside, but that allows particulate matter from the melting rods--including plutonium--to be released into the environment as radioactive gas."

    For now, the biggest concern at the No. 3 reactor is the uranium-plutonium fuel, called MOX (for mixed oxides of uranium and plutonium), that was loaded into the reactor last year, Moglen said. Hence, it is likely that spent fuel rods stored outside the reactor’s containment vessel are uranium-only.

    "So far, the world has had no major accidents involving release of the plutonium fuel called MOX," said Ira Helfand, a member of the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility. "However, with plutonium inside reactor No. 3, if it melts down or explodes, then even microscopic quantities of particulate will cause lung cancer in anyone who inhales it. The whole area will have to be cordoned off."
    excerpt
    https://www.eetimes.com/electronics...um--fuel-rod-reactions-stoke-nuclear-tensions
     
  11. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Purplepear - I thing your PDC for disaster would be turned into an indoors, and or underground in the case of a nuclear disaster. I'm curious as to what plants lived/thrived within the Chernobyl vector and if any of these assisted in the cleaning of the area or even if there are plants that will grow within a fallout area yet still be safe to eat?
     
  12. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    https://www.kiddofspeed.com/

    Follow the link and look for yourself, I think you might be a little happy because nature found a way to keep going.
     
  13. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    I've been looking for the infrared images from the 'globalhawk' fly-over. They must be corporate property.

    ____________________________________________


    Scientists studying the seeds harvested from soybean and flax plants grown inside (five kilometers from the power plant) the exclusion zone found them to be relatively unaffected by radiation. Martin Hajduch from the Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences said: "We detected very low radioactivity in the seeds. In the stem or leaves there is radioactivity, but it is somehow blocked and doesn't come to the seeds."

    Hajduch and his colleagues in Ukraine conducted a proteomics study of the plants and found that the seeds harvested inside the exclusion zone compared favorably with ones grown in non-contaminated soil outside.[4]

    Several research groups have suggested that plants in the area have adapted to cope with the high radiation levels, for example by increasing the activity of DNA cellular repair machinery and by hypermethylation.[13][14][14][15] (see Radiation Hormesis). Given the uncertainties, further research is needed to assess the long-term health effects of elevated ionizing radiation from Chernobyl on flora and fauna.[5]
    excerpts
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_after_the_disaster

    Alot would depend on distance and position. Don't know how accurate this site might be.
    https://www.davistownmuseum.org/cbm/Rad7b2.html
     
  14. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Not raiding your emergency kit already PP?!?
     
  15. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Wow, great info finds. thanks----------------------------------
     
  16. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    They've already benn flooding #3 with seawater from helicopters, that water is probably contaminated also AND runoff going back into the sea. Make sure the kit contains a geiger counter for the fish and such.

    https://www.ratical.org/radiation/KillingOurOwn/KOO8.html
    Plutonium metal is extremely combustible -- and is subject to spontaneous combustion. The most expensive fire in US history was a plutonium fire that spontaneously broke out in 1958 at Rocky Flats, where plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons are made. Over 90 per cent of the tiny aerosol particles of plutonium produced by such fires are of respirable size -- ideal for entering the lungs and lodging there.
    excerpt
    https://www.ccnr.org/Plute_Anyone.html
     
  17. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    I've been watching this for a few days, might not work too good with dial-up. I have DSL and it works mediocre. But you find out more than the lies from US media.


    NHK WORLD is the international service provided by Japan's only public broadcasting network,
    https://www.livestation.com/
     
  18. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    MOX: Fukushima Word of the Day.

    MOX: The Fukushima Word of the Day and Why it's Bad News

    With four busted reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi site, engineers and rescue workers have plenty to do just to keep all their plates spinning. But over the past few days, there always seems to be one reactor causing them more headaches than others. Yesterday it was reactor 4, with its coolant pool empty of water and the spent fuel rods stored there emitting massive waves of gamma radiation.

    Today it's rector 3. The day began—at least in the West—with images of helicopters flying over the reactor building, dumping seven-ton loads of water in an attempt both to cool the containment vessel and prevent that storage pool from drying up as well. But what makes reactor 3 so special? In one acronymic word: MOX.

    All of the fuel rods in all of the other reactors are made essentially of uranium with a zirconium cladding to seal in radioactive emissions. Reactor 4 uses something different. Its fuel rod are only 94% uranium, with 6% plutonium stirred in and then the same zirconium shell. This mixed oxide (hence the MOX moniker) formulation has one advantage—and a number of disadvantages.

    The advantage—no surprise—is money. Plutonium is a natural byproduct of radioactive decay and spent fuel rods are thus full of the stuff. You can always put them into long term storage for a few dozen millennia—which is where most spent rods have to go–but you can also reprocess some of the waste and combine it with pricier uranium for a cheaper and still energy-intensive rod. With nuclear power still more expensive than fossil fuels like coal, manufacturers need to save where they can to remain competitive, and MOX is a good budget cutter.

    But MOX is also temperamental. Physicist Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takma Park, MD., spoke to TIME earlier in the week and heaped scorn on the Mark 1 reactors used at the Daiichi site. His criticism in that conversation was the comparatively flimsy (by nuclear reactor standards at least) containment vessels used in the Mark 1s. But he's no fan of the use of MOX either.

    "This sort of fuel is more difficult to control than uranium fuel," he told the Augusta Chronicle. "The risk of accidental criticality are different. You have the same kinds of problems, they are just more intense with plutonium."

    What Makhijani means by "accidental criticality," of course, is that the stuff just combusts more easily. That's particularly dangerous in a Mark 1, according to some studies. A report by the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, for example, found that in the event of a core meltdown, a Mark 1's containment vessel has a 42% chance of failing—a whole lot closer to a coin flip than you want with something like a nuclear reactor.

    And when plutonium is dispersed into the wind you want to be pretty much anywhere else. As I reported last week, there are four kidns of carcinogenic isotopes released when a nuke plant blows: iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239. Plutonium is not only the most lethal of the four ("extrordinarily toxic" is how Dr. Ira Helfand, a board member for Physicians for Social Responsibility, describes it), it also hangs around the longest. It's half life is a whopping 24,000 years, and since radioactive contamination is dangerous for 10 to 20 times the length of the isotope's half.life, that means plutonium emitted in Fukushima today will still be around in close to half a million years.

    That, more than anything, explains why the day began with flyovers by water helicopters. And that explains why we're likely to see a lot more of the same—at least until another Daiichi reactor starts to look even deadlier.

    https://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/03/17/mox-the-fukushima-word-of-the-day-and-why-its-bad-news/
     
  19. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    get to the concreting.

    Nuclear plant chief weeps as Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people

    Officials admit they may have to bury reactors under concrete - as happened at Chernobyl


    Officials said the rating was raised after they realised the full extent of the radiation leaking from the plant. They also said that 3 per cent of the fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima plant had been severely damaged, suggesting those reactor cores have partially melted down.

    A senior Japanese minister also admitted that the country was overwhelmed by the scale of the tsunami and nuclear crisis - and should have admitted earlier how serious the radiation leaks were.

    excerpts

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ation-leak-kill-people.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    if they're going to cover it over they should get to it and stop punping contaminated water back into the sea. If I was withing 80 km. of the place I would wrap a wet towel around my head, to breath through, and get the hell out.
     
  20. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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