April 9, 2011
19th (and Final) Interview with My Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan
Posted by Evelyn Mervine
You can listen to all the interviews on the new vimeo channel Brandon and I created. You can also listen to most of the interviews on Brad Go’s YouTube channel.
Here’s the vimeo channel:
This evening my dad and I recorded our 19th interview on the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. Please see the rest of the blog (sidebar) for previous interviews. This is the final interview in our series. If you would like to send a message to me or my father about this or any of the previous interviews, you can do so in a comment below or by sending an email to [email protected] You can also follow me on twitter @GeoEvelyn. My dad in particular has put an enormous amount of work into research for these interviews. If you would like to send him a thank-you message, I promise to pass it along to him.
In today’s interview:
1. My dad gives a quick update about Fukushima
2. My dad discusses 5 types of Generation III and Generation III+ nuclear power plants (click on links below for more information on each plant):
(a.) EPR AREVA
(e.) Thorium Reactors
Several links, thanks to a listener also named Mark:
(3.) My dad talks about the importance of evaluating spent fuel pool safety & long-term storage of spent fuel rods
Hope to have an audio link soon. Here is the interview on vimeo:
Please see the announcement page for more information about these interviews:
If you have time and interest, please transcribe this interview or volunteer to transcribe Interviews 17 & 18 (16 is in progress). This is our last interview.
Some Final Notes:
As I announced before, I will be compiling all of the interview transcripts into a book that I will be self-publishing on Lulu. My goal is to have this book available by the end of April. I will try to keep the cost of the book fairly low, and I will donate 25% of the book profits to charities (such as the Red Cross, see the sidebar for a list of charities) benefiting Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster relief. The remaining profits I will use to recover some the expenses I had to put forth (paying for several different recording softwares before Skype came forward and helped, a new headset, and video hosting costs on vimeo) over the past month. Anything leftover I will share with my dad, who has put forth a tremendous amount of effort for these interviews. If you would like to support us (and Japan disaster relief), you can buy the book from Lulu when it comes out and/or you can use the paypal button (see blog sidebar) to make a small donation. If you prefer that 100% of your money goes to Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster relief, please consider a donation to one of the charities listed on my blog sidebar or any of a number of other relief organizations.
The interview audios and transcripts will remain freely available here always. I also hope to put together the audios in podcast format in the near future– if you have tips on how to make this happen, please post a comment or send an email.
Finally, I would like to say a big THANK YOU you to all of the people who volunteered their time and expertise to help me with audio quality, hosting, and transcriptions. My helpers are too numerous for me to list here, but I will compile a long thank you list (first names) to put in the Lulu book. I have already mailed many of you pretty rocks as thank-you presents. There are still a few of you I need to mail rocks to– I will try to do so in the next couple of weeks. Note that I am a geologist and so I consider *most* rocks pretty, but hopefully some of you appreciate the rocks I have sent you.
I would also like to say a big THANK YOU to all of the thousands upon thousands of people who listened to these interviews, read these interviews, and sent my father and I comments and emails. We hope that these interviews have been helpful for you, and we are happy that we were able to continue them as long as we did– a full month.
In the near future this blog will return to being a geology blog. I hope that a few of you will stay to learn about geology and read about some of my geological travels and adventures. However, I will not be offended at all if many of you decide to no longer follow this blog, which will no longer focus on nuclear power.
As a transition back to geology, in a few days I will blog a little about the Oklo Natural Nuclear Reactor— a nuclear reactor that occurred naturally due to some unusual conditions a long, long time ago in what is today Gabon, Africa. There is no danger of natural nuclear reactors developing on Earth today, but this is an interesting ancient geological phenomenon that can teach a little about nuclear reactors, including possible lessons for long-term storage and migration of nuclear fission products.
If you listen carefully towards the beginning of the interview, you can hear my cat Zayna knocking things off a table 🙂
Thanks for everything. Although it's a bit late, I would like to post this link to a report from the NRC about the overall situation in Fukushima around the end of March. It has been covered already in the NY Times, but it's good to see primary sources. http://cryptome.org/0003/daiichi-assess.pdf
Thanks Evelyn, and to Mr. Mervine, for all the work that has gone into the blog pertaining to the nuclear crisis in Japan. Here, when this is all over, or perhaps even sooner, it would appear that some heads are going to roll, both at TEPCO and at the overseeing government nuclear regulatory agency. Perhaps you and your father might consider being candidates for a position, help to ensure that the likes of what has occurred will never happen again? No doubt a good salary will be forthcoming, and you will be helping to keep all of us here somewhat safer. As a little supplement to your possible considerations, we obviously do have rocks, and lots and lots of very comfortable hot springs!In any event, best of luck to you in your continuing studies.
We eagerly await your blog on the Oklo natural nuclear reactor!
I'd like to thank you and your father for all your hard work and dedication.. Well done.. It's a shame you are no longer providing updates (though I understand you have other commitments) as the Fukushima disaster has had a turn for the worse and now there's one less decent source that's no longer out there.. For those following your updates here's where the situation now stands:The INES rating has been increased from Level 5 to LEVEL 7! and the Japanese Atomic Eneregy Agency JAEA has released data indicating radiation levels at the plant of 10,000 TBq (10,000 trillion bequerels) per hour after a 7.1 quake that occured yesterday on 11th April 2011.. The Japanese government reports radiation levels in the number 1 reactor yesterday of at least 100 sieverts per hour (Chernobyl was 300 Sv per hour just after explosion)For a refernce point, 6 Sv + is a fatal dose A study conducted by a team of experts from Kyoto University and Hiroshima University found cesium-137 at levels between about 590,000 and 2.19 million becquerels per cubic meter [outside the 30 kilometer evacuation zone].After the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the former Soviet Union in 1986, residents who lived in areas where cesium-137 levels exceeded 555,000 becquerels were forced to move elsewhere.The amounts of cesium-137 found in Iitate were at almost four times the figure from Chernobyl.If more radioactive materials are emitted from the crippled Fukushima plant, the level of cesium-137 could rise even further. The bottom line is that – as even the Japanese government is now reluctantly being forced to admit – the amount of radioactivity being released from Fukushima appears to rival Chernobyl.Well let's hope the news coverage gets better and that emergency workers can get the situation under control!Thanks to you and your father I now feel that I am better educated in interpreting the data coming out..So cheers and ganbatte to everyone in Japan!
@ RamelThanks for the update. Also, thanks to Evelyn and her father for the information over the weeks!My guess is that Evelyn and her Dad might give some comments on the recent developments. *fingers crossed*. Ranking alongside Chernobyl is definitely worse than I thought it would get!
Thanks SO MUCH, Evelyn and dad, for all your hard work!! I look forward to the book.you may be interested in this information about charities:http://fatoudust.dreamwidth.org/251892.html
Prompted by comments here and some emails we received, my dad and I have agreed to do another interview tonight. Stay tuned!