Gunning Fog Index = 12.75

Today's target for someone being wrong on the internet is really special! It's so special that I have to share the entirety of today's target first before diving in and analyzing its various statements. I know that writing the commentary on today's target is going to be difficult so I will beg some indulgence in advance for any uncalled for sarcasm, irony, parody, satire or condescension in which I might inadvertantly engage. I feel I must say this upfront and in advance just because today's target is just that special.

It's also apparent to me that I'm going to have to break my commentary into two parts, because there's really that much to say. The normal amount of arm waving isn't going to suffice this time around. What you're reading now is the first of two parts.

Today's offering is from a blog website whose URL is fukushimaupdate.com. The offering itself is from the comments following a blog post (1) on the alleged sinking of the building housing Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4. I was thinking of writing a post on the alleged subsidence of the Reactor 4 Building until I found today's target in the comments that followed. I suspect I might return to the Reactor 4 sinking sometime in the future but I think you will agree with me that the subject of today's blog post really should take precedence here. After all, I do think it is of the upmost importance to give my readership my considered and dispassionate determination as to whether the Illuminati are really trying to destroy Mother Earth.

So here's the comment (2) by one "Astraelia" on 24 Oct 2012 to the Reactor 4 subsidence blog post on fukishimaupdate.com. Since we may be dealing with the potential destruction of life as we know it, I urge you all to read this comment carefully and reflect on this might imply for our future existence our planet:

FUKUSHIMA – the SECRET TRUTH: A ILLUMINATI SABOTAGE OPERATION IN THE ENGINEERING OF THE GENERAL ELECTRIC DESIGNED REACTORS. These GE General electric reactor design is from the USA, and was BUILT TO FAIL on the event of an emergency that required to urgently cool the nuclear reactor. All the safety valves where non operational by design, and could not be activated when after the Tsunami, the operators tried to cool down the nuclear core. It is not ignorance or incompetence, but systemic, on purpose technical sabotage from the conceptors of this USA General Electric nuclear generator. The emergency cooling valves engineering have been covertly manipulated to neutralize all attempts of opening these cooling valves to lower the temperature of the nuclear reactor in an overheating emergency scenario. There is 30 others such nuclear bombs plants in Japan, and over 30 in the USA. Over that, almost all nuclear plants have been located on purpose on seismic fault lines. The seismic signature of this earthquake does not correspond in any manner to the profile of earthquakes, but exhibit the exact profile of a nuclear explosion. This proves that it was not of natural origin, but was the result of a US covert operation of exploding a nuclear bomb right inside the deep sea seismic fault line. Almost ALL the Nuclear Plants in the world have been built ON PURPOSE on seismic fault lines. It is a concerted plan of destruction of humanity & life by the enemies of life that have taken complete covert control of our ancient paradise planet. The Illuminati have put these time bombs disguised as nuclear reactors all around the world with this on purpose secret technical sabotage.

I'm not making this up, you know. This is a real comment on a real blog and I can prove it! If I created the above comment text myself as a gag, I would have created the website, website blog contents and blog commentary and then would have posted about the above commentary on April 1. First, if you run the whois command on the URL, you will find that the website does not belong to me, which is proof #1. Second, today's date is not April 1, demonstrating that this is not another of my infamous and elaborate April Fools gags, like the journal article I created on the discovery of pages from Dr. Dee's copy of The Necronomicon in the Vatican's Secret Archives (3), so this is proof #2. The blog comment is real, I kid y'all not!

Let's just pause for a moment to define the one essential abbreviation for today's blog post. The abbreviation is "BWR" which stands for "boiling water reactor." Most commercial reactor designs in use in the United States and Japan are in a design class known as "light water reactors," which are further divided into BWRs and "pressurized water reactors," or PWRs for short. In case you're wondering about why this design category is called "light water reactors," it's because there's also a design class known as "heavy water reactors" which use deuterium-rich water, which is also known as heavy water since the deuterium isotope of hydrogen is twice as heavy as normal hydrogen. A early popular reactor design used in Canada was known as the Canadian Deuterium reactor or "CANDU" reactor. But we can save discussion of different reactor designs for some other day. Now back to today's topic...

It is apropos at this point to make a list of the various claims alleged in the above blog commentary. Those allegations are:

  1. All safety valves were designed to be non-operational in the event of an emergency where cooling the reactors was necessary in order to halt or prevent overheating.
  2. The design of the built-to-fail safety valves was a covert act of sabotage by General Electric, the United States-based vendor of the reactor designs used at Fukushima Daiichi.
  3. There are 30 reactors with these built-to-fail safety valves in Japan and over 30 in the United States.
  4. Almost all nuclear electric power generation stations worldwide have been intentionally sited directly on top of seismic fault lines.
  5. The 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake event was not really an earthquake but was actually a nuclear bomb explosion based on seismic signature evidence.
  6. The nuclear bomb detonation was a covert act by the United States which took place in the deep sea fault where the Tohoku earthquake was alleged to have originated.
  7. The secret nuclear bomb detonation by the USA is part of a plan by the Illuminati to destroy humanity and all other life.

Let's now look at each of the claims that were made and consider them rationally. Since this is part one of two parts, today's blog post will deal with allegations one through four. Part two, which will follow in a few days, will deal with allegations five through seven. Allegation five is going to take some hard explaining, complete with lots of beach balls - no, really - and that will take a bit of work to put together.beach balls

Seriously, there will be pictures of beach balls, I kid you not. Discussing the science of earthquakes vs. explosions requires lots and lots of beach balls. Serious seismicity means serious beach balls. And maybe even one or two pictures of jello. I learned this at the Seismo Lab at Caltech. No kidding. I'm 100% on the level here. I'll even post a picture of my diploma from Caltech if needed. But you're going to have to wait for part two...

One: Built-to-Fail Safety Valves

This claim is actually easy to dismiss. When the Tohoku earthquake happened on 11 March 2011, Japan's reactors all had early earthquake warning systems which successfully shut down all the operating reactors in the country, including reactors 1, 2, and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi; reactors 4, 5 and 6 were already offline for maintenance operations (4). All the valves on all the cooling cycle circulation systems worked as designed despite the loss of electric power from the grid: Fukushima Daiichi had back-up diesel generators which fired up and started producing power as designed when grid power was lost. Those diesel generators worked flawlessly right up until the tsunami arrived approximately an hour later. The tsunami swamped the diesel generators and their power distribution control panels, and all power and control was lost. Without electricity, the reactor operators could not operate the pumps and valves of the cooling systems, which is the contributing cause of the nuclear accidents that followed over the next few days. The valves worked as designed. The nuclear accidents did not happen because of an alleged covert design flaw in the Fukushima valves, but rather because the idiots who designed the inadequate seawall and oceanside reactor buildings went and placed the emergency diesel generators and their power distribution panels in basements that were flooded by the tsunami. The seawall between reactors 1 through 4 and the ocean was 10 meters high; the maximum tsunami height at Fukushima Daiichi was 14 meters (4).

Actually, of the 12 emergency diesel generators at Fukushima Daiichi, one actually stayed operation and was responsible for keeping reactors 5 and 6 cool and safe by providing electricity to run the pumps and valves and such. That's because someone had the brains to locate it on the top floor of the building for reactor 6, not the basement. It and its electric distribution control panel didn't get flooded and so never failed.

I am tempted to say that one should never attribute to vast international conspiracies for world destruction circumstances which can be simply explained by incompetence - but that would be way too sarcastic for the dispassionate and objective tone I would like to maintain on this blog, so I won't.

Two: GE Covertly Designed Valves To Fail

Again, this claim is also easy to dismiss on the grounds that after the earthquake and loss of grid power, the valves and the rest of the coolant circulation systems operated as designed up until the loss of the emergency diesel generators. Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 through 4 were damaged because the tsunami flooded the diesel generators (4). Valve design had nothing to do with the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Three: 30 Japanese reactors and >30 American reactors have built-to-fail valves

The author of today's target wasn't clear about which reactors have covertly flawed valves. I'm going to extrapolate and assume the author was writing about all GE-designed BWRs, not just the Fukushima ones. The numbers alleged by the author then make sense if the author believes all GE BWRs have built-to-fail valves. The author's numbers are approximately correct: there are 31 GE-designed BWRs in Japan, of which 25 are operating and the 6 at Fukushima Daiichi are either damaged and shutdown (5). There are 45 BWRs in the US at 33 power stations, of which 35 are operating, 4 are dismantled and 6 are mothballed (5). While the author implies these additional BWRs have built-to-fail valves, there is reason to doubt this since the author was already wrong about the valves at Fukushima Daiichi.

Four: Almost All Reactors Are Sited On Top Of Seismic Fault Lines

I think we have to begin here by looking at the author's implicit assumptions apparent in the above claim. I opine that there are two such implicit assumptions and believe that they reveal more about the author's ignorance about science than anything else. The implicit assumptions seem to be that all faults are active and that all active faults are capable of building-destroying earthquakes. Neither of these is true.

Faults are roughly planar features where the earth materials on either side of the fault have moved with respect to one another. The amount of that motion is termed "fault displacement." Opposing forces on either side of a fault determine how much fault displacement takes place. Large forces, like those found at tectonic plate boundaries, cause large fault displacements, and smaller forces, like the ones seen when a reservoir is filled or ground subsidence occurs, cause smaller displacements. But not all fault displacements cause earthquakes. Earthquakes occur when fault displacement occurs all at once - but some fault displacements occur continuously and never cause the jarring catastrophic ground motions of earthquakes. Continuous fault motion is called seismic creep and if you live in the Bay Area of California, you can find several places locally where you can actually observe fault displacement due to seismic creep along the Hayward Fault, like three houses down from the house I lived in north of Berkeley.

Earthquakes, the sudden displacement of ground on either side of active faults, happen when faults lock up and seismic slip is prevented. This happens because faults are planar only to a first approximation. In reality, most fault surfaces have irregularities and there's a lot static friction present on a lot of fault surfaces which prevents peaceful seismic slip. For a locked-up fault to move, the forces on either side of fault have to overcome the static friction present in the fault.

Small earthquakes happen all the time and can occur just about everywhere, even far from tectonic plate boundaries, because the earth is never really still even though it may seem that way to us. For example, filling large reservoirs can set off seismic spasms of many itty bitty earthquakes for months afterward but these are usually small enough that most people aren't even aware of them. And far from active tectonic plate boundaries, the mostly stable strata of continental interiors slip only a little along small faults or fractures due to events like subsidence from the withdrawal of oil in the ground or compaction of underlying rocks - and the small earthquakes from such ground motions are again hardly noticed except by those who actively monitor seismic networks.

You can site a nuclear reactor on top of an old inactive fault in a place where there are no strong tectonic forces acting on either side of that fault and nothing catastrophic is going to happen. Inactive means just that. Most of the mapped faults on the earth are these old inactive faults that no longer move because the stresses that originally created them are long gone. Faults do not cause earthquakes. Stresses in the earth cause earthquakes and earthquakes create faults. We shouldn't be freaking out over every little mapped fault near a reactor. Most of those faults are just scars, most of them very old. The thing to worry about is the state of stress in the ground, which is the thing that creates faults. In areas near tectonic plate boundaries, the forces that act on those plates are the big concern for reactors and any other kind of structure that will cause a disaster in failure, like petroleum storage tank farms, oil refineries, chemical plants and natural gas pipelines. Concern over faults without looking at whether an area is tectonically active is putting the cart before the horse.

To be frank, you don't even have to site a reactor on top of an active fault in a tectonically-active area to be in danger, since any nearby large earthquake will cause damaging ground motions throughout a region and not just at the surface expression of a fault. Granted, already existing faults are where earthquake displacements will most likely occur, especially in tectonically-active regions, but sometimes the forces active in the earth will create new faults where none existed before.

Basically the comment author's allegation that almost all reactors are sited on top of faults is moot because earthquake damage depends on more variables than just the surface location of a fault. (The citations for all the content of this section thus far are refs 6 and 7.)

Still, we can test the author's allegation at face value too, regardless of its lack of scientific merit as outlined immediately above. We can do so by starting with the list of BWRs and looking at their locations with respect to any nearby mapped faults or other seismic hazards. "Nearby" as I'm using the term here means within approximately 10 miles. The choice of a 10 mile proximity as "nearby" is entirely arbitrary. I picked it because it's a conventient scale for looking at the USGS seismic hazard maps.

So here's a list of BWRs listed by the nearest town to the power generation stations:

  • Browns Ferry, AL: 3 BWRs. Power plant site is located between two buried inactive faults of age >500 million year, located 2 miles and 5 miles respectively from the plant (8).
  • Brunswick, NC: 2 BWRs. No known nearby surface or buried faults though the plant is located on the perimeter of the South Carolina earthquake Quaternary liquifaction zone (9).
  • Clinton, IL: 1 BWR. No known nearby surface or buried faults (10).
  • Richland, WA: 1 BWR. No known nearby surface or buried faults (11).
  • Brownville, NE: 1 BWR. No known nearby surface or buried faults (9).
  • Morris, IL: 2 BWRs. The late Paleozoic Sandwich Fault Zone is approximately 10 miles north. This is a mostly buried fault which has not been active since before the advent of the dinosaurs (12).
  • Palo, IA: 1 BWR. No known nearby surface or buried faults (9, 13).
  • Baxley, GA: 2 BWRs, No known nearby surface or buried faults (9, 14).
  • Frenchtown Charter Township, MI: 1 BWR. No known nearby surface or buried faults (9, 15).
  • Port Gibson, MS: 1 BWR. No known nearby surface or buried faults (9).
  • Lower Alloways Creek Township, NJ: 1 BWR (next door to 2 PWRs at Salem Nuc. Power Plant). No known nearby surface or buried faults (9).
  • Oswego, NY: 3 BWRs. No known nearby surface or buried faults (9).
  • Ottawa, IL: 2 BWRs. No known nearby surface or buried faults (16).
  • Limmerick, PA: 2 BWRs. Chalfont fault approx. 10 mi ENE of reactors; splays of the Ramapo Fault System approx. 10 mi west of reactors; plus some small local faults associated with volcanic dikes within 2 to 3 miles of reactors. All faults are Jurassic to Triassic in age and have been inactive for at least the last 100 milliion years (17, 18, 19). A trend of infrequent small to moderate shallow earthquake epicenters map along the surface expression of the Ramapo Fault in New Jersey 50 to 100 km NE of the reactors and are thought to be the result of intraplate stress accommodation in the North American Plate taking place in the complex system of fractures associated with the Ramapo Fault opportunistically. It is not currently known if the trend of minor seismicity along the Ramapo Fault System may indicate that this feature might be capable of a large earthquake, which are very rare on the east coast but not unknown (20).

At this point, I'm going to end making this list of BWRs and their proximity to faults. The above list covers approximately two thirds of the all BWRs in the US. Chasing down the remaining third isn't going to change the trend that's already apparent in the data of this list: none of the above reactors are sited on top of faults and most reactors aren't even within 10 miles of a mapped fault. Testing two thirds of a sample population (in this case, of boiling water reactors) is way past the point of statistical validity. I'm pretty sure based on statistical theory that any further sampling of commercial reactors in the US will merely confirm this trend we've just seen in the data: reactors don't tend to be sited on fault lines - not that that's really germane if you followed the arguments in the previous section on why the location of a surface expression of a fault is not the issue that matters. The real issue is whether an area with a reactor is one under substantial tectonic stress, with a subsidiary issue of whether there's an active fault near a reactor that's locked up instead of seismically creeping in a area of known large tectonic stresses.

Bottom line: the author of the comment got this allegation wrong. It appears, at least if we look at US reactors, that no one is going out of their way to site reactors on top of faults. I suspect, though I have not confirmed, that a survey of reactors in other countries will show similar trends in nuclear facilities not being located on top of known fault lines, active or inactive.

In a few days, I will have part two finished, just as soon as I'm done with getting all my beach balls ready for our serious lesson on how to differentiate earthquakes from explosions. You have to wait but it will be worth it.

References

  1. Huff, E. A. (16 Oct 2012), "Ground Under Fukushima Unit 4 Sinking, Structure On Verge Of Complete Collapse," NaturalNews.com: as reposted at fukushimaupdate.com (21 Oct 2012), http://fukushimaupdate.com/ground-under-fukushima-unit-4-sinking-structure-on-verge-of-complete-collapse/, accessed 5 May 2014.
  2. Astraelia (24 Oct 2014), "Fukushima - the Secret Truth" (Commentary), http://fukushimaupdate.com/ground-under-fukushima-unit-4-sinking-structure-on-verge-of-complete-collapse/, accessed 5 May 2014.
  3. http://www.burgundianpigsinspace.com/01apr13.pdf, accessed 5 May 2014.
  4. Corrice, L. (2012), Fukushima: The First Five Days, Amazon Digital Services, ASIN B008GFLTK6. Also, http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nuclear/24-hours-at-fukushima, accessed 6 May 2014.
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_boiling_water_reactors, accessed 6 May 2014.
  6. Stein, S., and M. Wysession (2002), An Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes and Earth Structure, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 978-0865420786.
  7. Richter, C. F. (1958), Elementary Seismology, W H Freeman & Co, ISBN 978-0716702115.
  8. Geological Survey of Alabama, Alabama Earthquakes, http://gsa.state.al.us/gsa/geologichazards/Quakes_AL.htm, accessed 6 May 2014.
  9. United States Geological Survey, Interactive Fault Map, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/qfaults/map/, accessed 6 May 2014.
  10. Illinois State Geological Survey, Fault Systems of Illinois and Neighboring States, http://crystal.isgs.uiuc.edu/research/earthquake-hazards/faults-in-il-big.shtml, accessed 6 May 2014.
  11. Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Fault Map: Open File Report 80-02, http://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_ofr80-2_washington_faults_1000k.pdf, accessed 6 May 2014.
  12. Kolata, Buschbach and Treworgy (1978), The Sandwich Fault Zone of Northern Illinois, Illinois State Geological Survey Circular 505, https://archive.org/stream/sandwichfaultzon505kola#page/22/mode/2up, accessed 6 May 2014.
  13. United States Geological Survey, Iowa Seismic Hazards Map, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/iowa/hazards.php, accessed 6 May 2014. Also Iowa Geological Survey, Bedrock Map of Iowa, ftp://ftp.igsb.uiowa.edu/igspubs/pdf/ofm-2010-01.pdf, accessed 6 May 2014.
  14. United States Geological Survey, Georgia Geology, http://mrdata.usgs.gov/sgmc/ga.html, accessed 6 May 2014.
  15. Bricker, D. M. (1977), Seismic Disturbances in Michigan, Michigan Natural Resources Circular 14, http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/GIMDL-CR14_216127_7.PDF, accessed 6 May 2014.
  16. Illinois State Geological Survey, Faults in Illinois, http://crystal.isgs.uiuc.edu/research/earthquake-hazards/images/faults_in_Illinois.gif, accessed 6 May 2014.
  17. Glaeser, J. D., 1966, Provenance, dispersal, and depositional environments of Triassic sediments in the Newark-Gettysburg basin: Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 4th ser., General Geology Report 43, http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_016399.zip, accessed 6 May 2014.
  18. Schlische, R. W., Geology of the Newark Basin, http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~schlisch/103web/Newarkbasin/NB_frame.html, accessed 6 May 2014.
  19. Ibid., geologic map of Newark Basin in NY, NJ and PA, http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~schlisch/103web/Newarkbasin/NBMap_simple_lg.jpg, accessed 6 May 2014.
  20. http://www.earth.columbia.edu/news/2004/story04-30-04b.html, accessed 6 May 2014.