Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Worst job, smartest person in World

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    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Worst job, smartest person in World

    Ok you come into work as normal:
    And are having some tea, checking the
    news papers and computer checking
    reports from last night.
    Friday 11 March a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
    And you feel a quake it goes on for almost a full
    min, you feel confident the reactors will hold,
    and hear alarms go off as the reactors go into
    automatic shut down.

    Fukushima I power plant's nuclear reactors 1, 2, and 3 are automatically shut down by the shake.
    Your greatful Nuclear reactors 4, 5, and 6 were undergoing routine maintenance and were not operating,
    And while you feel some fright you know the rectors
    Are made to withstand an earth quake up to 8.0

    You make your way to the control room,
    and every one is very busy, checking everything
    and turning alarms off as things are checked.
    The tremor has the additional effect of causing the power plant to be cut off from the Japanese electricity grid, however, backup diesel generators kick in to continue cooling.
    The TV is on and you see reports of the earth quake
    over most of N Japan.
    About 45 min later you get a call, all the water in the
    V road way has vanished.

    Your plant's operator, finds that units 1 and 2 are not operating correctly and notifies the you.
    And you put the word out as per SOP.

    You feel your gut tighten, you know its a Tsunami.
    And you hear the Tsunami alarms go off.
    You realize you and your co-workers could die.

    And you start telling your subornate administrators
    to make sure every one has gone to high ground.
    And about 10 min later looking out to sea you see 
    this small wave coming, but you know its going to
    be huge and its moving 800 miles an hour right
    for your Nuke plant.

    15:01 Seconds later it hits, the sound is deafening, 
    It crashes into your facilities like a rail road train
    and about as loud, taking out 40 to 60% of all buildings.
    The tsunami unleashed by the earthquake strikes the Fukushima facility damaging the backup generators required to cool the reactors.
    More alarms going off.
    You are still alive.
    Click for full page:

    With the loss of power from the grid and the damage to the generators, the plant has become "dark". Later, reports indicate that only the generator for unit number 6 remained working in full operational capacity.
    Complete darkness for maybe 30 seconds feels like an hour.
    You manage to get your flash light out of your desk and turn it on,
    shining it in co-workers faces, to make sure they are ok.

    And the back up emergency lights come back on.

     immediately after the shattering earthquake, We all focused  attention on a damaged storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the No. 2 reactor at Fukushima I,  The damage prompted us to divert much of the attention and pumping capacity to that pool,  The shutdown of the other reactors then proceeded badly, and problems began to cascade."
    If we can't fix this we could all die, would I be blamed, what else can I do?
    Have I forgotten any thing?
    alarms kept sounding and urgent calls continued interrupting me, one right on top of another.
    YOU are flooded with emergencies.
    A numbness comes over you and you shake it off, you have to work through this.
    you can't freeze up 100 of thousands of lives depend on you.

    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan initiates an emergency headquarters calls in an attempt to gather information on the 55 nuclear reactors in Japan. There is no report that radiation was detected outside plant borders. You talk with them and try to outline problems as you understand them.
    OK so far no radiation leakage. And you are still alive.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan declares a nuclear emergency status.

     This is announced by Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet officer in Japan. Japanese government officials try to comfort the people of Japan by telling them that the proper procedures are being undertaken. They also announce that no radioactive leaks have been detected.
    His confidence disturbs you as you know how many problems you are working on and know how little
    you know about whats going on, you break out a check list and start following procedures, trying to track
    all the emergencys and alarms.

    You get back on the phone and report upstream What your facing, problems as you understand them.
    The you hear:

    An evacuation order is issued by the government to persons within a 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) radius of the Fukushima I station. Those within a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) radius are told that they can remain in their homes and carry on with regular activities until told otherwise.
    At Fukushima I, the ongoing lack of electricity is causing the cooling system to fail, and the pressure within the nuclear units build up. This pressure buildup is the result of residual decay heat causing the coolant, which is not being circulated, to evaporate. There is no confirmation of radiation leaking from the reactor. TEPCO announces that pressure inside reactor unit 1 of Fukushima I is more than twice normal levels.

    They didn't lie but didn't fully disclose what your fears are.
    You realize its only your plant that has been effected, will you be blamed?
    Will you live through all this have you forgotten any thing, missed any key
    information, forgotten any thing?

    Saturday, 12 March

    As you get a hold of how serious all these problems are and an indication of
    what you don't know you report upstream again.
    It keeps getting worse while you feel unsafe you can't leave.
    Even if it means you die.
    Officials declare a heightened state of alert for Fukushima II (Dai-ni). Officials declare a state of nuclear emergency for Fukushima I (Dai-ichi).[9]
    You have an emergency and may have a temp solution, and get the OK to proceed.
    Despite the high risk of the hydrogen ignited after combining with oxygen in water or the atmosphere, in order to release some of the pressure inside the reactor at Fukushima I unit 1, the decision is taken to vent some of the steam (which contained a small amount of radioactive material) into the air in the concrete container building surrounding the unit.
    TEPCO confirms that a small amount of vapor has been released into the air to release pressure in reactor unit 1 (Fukushima I).
    Your solution didn't work as well as you expected, and you know your not sure what is causing
    the problem. And you released radiation into the wild.
    Pressure still remains too high inside reactor unit 2 at Fukushima I. In order to alleviate some of this pressure, a consensus is reached to, once more, vent radioactive vapor into the air.
    Evacuation of residents within 3 km of Fukushima II underway. Evacuation of residents within 10 km of Fukushima I underway.
    Good if this goes way wrong that many won't die. But you will.
    Your going over your notes and check lists and making calls to your peers at othernuke plants to try and figure out just how bad it is and the cause, when you heara deafening explosion.
    It shakes the building did one of the reactors explode spreading radioactive materials all over,
    you get a hold of your self, inside your fairly sure this is an impossibility.
    You start getting calls about the inured, and alarms again this time they are radiation alarms.
    You shout orders and  Q the video.

    Unit 1 at Fukushima I: cameras document a massive hydrogen explosion on the outer structure of one of four buildings at the plant. It also documents the outer structure collapsing. TEPCO 3 hrs later announces that four persons who are employed at the power plant have been injured.
    You make another call upstream again. They are yelling again, and you don't have all the answers
    just too much unknown.
    18:36 (approximately)
    TEPCO announces that four persons who are employed at the power plant have been injured in the unit one explosion.
    For the next hour plus you collect data readings and make phone calls to experts you know and trust,
    and report findings and assumptions up stream. NO one killed, YET.
    Uncertainty surrounds the actual cause of the blast at Fukushima I (later identified as a hydrogen explosion) and the damage caused.
    Yukio Edano announces that the concrete building surrounding the steel reactor container at unit 1 in Fukushima I has collapsed as a result of the explosion; however no damage has been inflicted on the reactor itself. You hope but all indicators point to facts its intact, you hope and pray.
    Evacuation zone around Fukushima I extended to 20 km. Evacuation zone around Fukushima II extended to 10 km.
    To release pressure within the reactor unit 1 at Fukushima I, steam is released out of the unit into the air. This steam contains water vapor, Hydrogen, Oxygen and some radioactive material, mostly tritium and 16N.
    Relief arrives, from another plant someone you have alot of trust in and
    you collapse into the couch in your office your mind racing.
    You can't sleep but you have to get some rest, eat later.
    MORE later. If you like it let me know. 


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