「falling」を含む日記 RSS

はてなキーワード: fallingとは

2018-06-26

You're like the fireworks.

I'm really glad for them. The truth is, I thought that falling in love when you knew you'd have to part seemed pointless.But when I saw them together, I was happy from the bottom of my heart. Maybe worrying about future parting so much that you miss out on happiness in the present is waste.

Yes, Someday, we'll part. Maybe be forgotten. But we're living in the moment in full throttle!

From the line of "ReLIFE".

2015-09-19

色々な瞑想まとめ

~ānāpāna-sati(安般念)によって紹介されている呼吸瞑想

Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

長く息を吸っているときには「私は長く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り(pajānāti)、長く息を吐いているときには「私は長く息を吐いている」とはっきり知る。短く息を吸っているときには「私は短く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、短く息を吐いているときには「私は短く息を吐いている」とはっきり知る。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら(paisaṃvedī)息を吸おう」と訓練する(sikkhati)。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吐こう」と訓練する。「私は身行(=吸う息)を静めて息を吸おう」と訓練する。「私は身行(=吐く息)を静めて息を吐こう」と訓練する。

~Maha-satipatthana Sutta(大念住経)の瞑想方法

"And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?

では、比丘たちよ、比丘はどのようにして、体そのもの気づきを保ち続けるのでしょうか?

"There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

ここにある比丘がいます — 彼は森へ行き、木の陰へ行き、あるいは空家に行き — 腰を下ろして足を組みます。背をまっすぐに伸ばし、そして気づきを(胸の)前部へと向けます。そして、常に気づきをもって、彼は入息します。気づきをもって、出息します。

"Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns, 'I am making a long turn,' or when making a short turn discerns, 'I am making a short turn'; in the same way the monk, when breathing in long, discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long' ... He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

長く息を吸っているときには「私は長く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、長く息を吐いているときには「私は長く息を吐いている」とはっきり知ります。短く息を吸っているときには「私は短く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、短く息を吐いているときには「私は短く息を吐いている」とはっきり知ります。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吸おう」と訓練します。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吐こう」と訓練します。「私は身行(=吸う息)を静めて息を吸おう」と訓練します。「私は身行(=吐く息)を静めて息を吐こう」と訓練します。あたかも熟練したろくろ工、あるいはその弟子が、ろくろの紐を長く引っぱれば、「私は紐を長く引っぱる」と知り、紐を短く引っぱれば、「私は紐を短く引っぱる」と知るように。これと同じように、比丘が長く息を吸っているときには「私は長く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、長く息を吐いているときには「私は長く息を吐いている」とはっきり知ります・・・「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吸おう」と訓練します。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吐こう」と訓練します。

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

このように、比丘は内部から、体そのものに対して気づきを保ちます。あるいは、外部から体そのものに対して気づきを保ちます。あるいは、内部・外部両方から、体そのものに対して気づきを保ちます。あるいは、比丘は体に関する現象の発生に気づきを保ちます。体に関する現象の消滅に気づきを保ちます。あるいは、体に関する現象の発生と消滅に気づきを保ちます。あるいは、比丘の「体が存在する」という気づきは知識と想起の範囲で保たれます。そして比丘独立を保ち、世界の何物にも執着しません。これが比丘が体そのもの気づきを保つ方法です。

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it.

さらに加えて、比丘が歩いているとき、この比丘は「私は歩いている」とはっきりと知ります。立っているとき、この比丘は「私は立っている」とはっきり知ります。座っているときには、「私は座っている」とはっきりと知ります。横たわっているときには、「私は横たわっている」とはっきりと知ります。あるいは、体がどのような状態になるのであれ、はっきりとその状態を知ります

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

これが比丘が体そのものを内部から、あるいは外部から、あるいはその両方から気づきを保つ方法です。そして・・・世界の何物にも執着しません。これが比丘が体そのもの気づきを保つ方法です。

"Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.

さらに加えて、比丘が前に進むとき・戻ってくるとき、この比丘自身に完全に注意を払います。何かに目を向けるとき・目をそむけるときも同様に・・・手足を伸ばすとき・曲げるときも同様に・・・自分外套コートなど)を運ぶとき自分の上着・お椀を運ぶときも同様に・・・食べるとき、飲むときに、噛むとき・味わうときも同様に・・・排尿するとき・排便するときも同様に・・・歩くとき、立つとき、座るとき、眠りに落ちる時、起きるとき、話すとき沈黙するとき比丘自身に完全な注意を払います

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

これが比丘が体そのものに対して気づきを保つ方法です。あるいは体そのものを外部から・・・世界の何物にも執着しません。これが比丘が体そのものに対して気づきを保つ方法です。

2015-04-06

ヴィパッサナー瞑想とはなにか

瞑想とは何か・・・上座部仏教徒にとって、瞑想とはなにかというテキスト的な役割を果たすのは清浄道論です。しかしながら、より実践的な瞑想方法を学ぶためには他の仏典が参照されることもあります。今回は清浄道論でない仏典を参考にしつつ、より具体的に、瞑想とはどんなことをすればいいのかを見てみましょう。

さて、ヴィパッサナー瞑想の詳しい紹介に入る前に・・・そもそも、ヴィパッサナー瞑想はなぜ行われるのでしょうか。それに関して、例えば古代仏典であるMaha-satipatthana Sutta(大念住経)にお釈迦様の言葉があります

以下はブログ多摩丘陵林住記様による和訳版より抜粋

比丘たちよ、ここに一つの道がある。その道とは、人々を清め、悲しみと悲泣を乗り越え、肉体と精神の痛みを滅し、聖なる道を得、涅槃を観るための唯一の道である。それは「四つの念住」である

・この四つとは何か ? 比丘たちよ、比丘は、努力して、正しく知り、気づきをもって、そして世間の貪欲と憂いから離れて、「身」をただ(自分でもない、自分のものでもない、自我でもない、ただ現象に過ぎない)身であると絶え間なく知覚して住むことである

努力して、正しく知り、気づきをもって、そして世間の貪欲と憂いから離れて、「受(感覚)」をただ(自分でもない、自分のものでもない、自我でもない、ただ現象に過ぎない)受であると絶え間なく知覚して住むことである

努力して、正しく知り、気づきをもって、そして世間の貪欲と憂いから離れて、「心」をただ(自分でもない、自分のものでもない、自我でもない、ただ現象に過ぎない)心であると絶え間なく知覚して住むことである

努力して、正しく知り、気づきをもって、そして世間の貪欲と憂いから離れて、「法(ダンマ)」をただ(自分でもない、自分のものでもない、自我でもない、ただ現象に過ぎない)法であると絶え間なく知覚して住むことである

すなわち、ヴィパッサナー瞑想をすることによって、知恵(insight あるいは understanding)が強まり、「自身」という存在をより正しく知ることができるのです。そして、その道を極めることによって、最終的には悟りすら得られる瞑想です。

それでは、ヴィパッサナー瞑想とはどんな瞑想なのでしょうか。ヴィパッサナー瞑想・・・といったときに、もっとも有名なのが呼吸を対象とする瞑想です。この呼吸瞑想はどこで紹介されているのかというと、やはり古代仏典である、ānāpāna-sati(アーナパーナサティ)に記されています。このānāpāna-satiは、日本では安那般那念という名前で知られています

wikipedia - 安那般那念

Anapanasati Sutta(Thanissaro Bhikkhuによる英訳版)

さて、安那般那念の該当部分を見てみましょう。ここにはこう書いてあります。(以下はwikipediaから抜粋

Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

長く息を吸っているときには「私は長く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り(pajānāti)、長く息を吐いているときには「私は長く息を吐いている」とはっきり知る。短く息を吸っているときには「私は短く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、短く息を吐いているときには「私は短く息を吐いている」とはっきり知る。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら(paisaṃvedī)息を吸おう」と訓練する(sikkhati)。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吐こう」と訓練する。「私は身行(=吸う息)を静めて息を吸おう」と訓練する。「私は身行(=吐く息)を静めて息を吐こう」と訓練する。

これは呼吸瞑想を紹介する部分です。

しかし、瞑想について具体的に紹介しているのはānāpāna-satiだけではありません。Maha-satipatthana Sutta(大念住経)にも瞑想方法が紹介されています。ここには呼吸瞑想以外の瞑想方法が紹介されています。それを引用してみましょう。以下は英訳版Maha-satipatthana Suttaから引用と、私による(英文の)和訳です。

"And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?

では、比丘たちよ、比丘はどのようにして、体そのもの気づきを保ち続けるのでしょうか?

"There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

ここにある比丘がいます — 彼は森へ行き、木の陰へ行き、あるいは空家に行き — 腰を下ろして足を組みます。背をまっすぐに伸ばし、そして気づきを(胸の)前部へと向けます。そして、常に気づきをもって、彼は入息します。気づきをもって、出息します。

"Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns, 'I am making a long turn,' or when making a short turn discerns, 'I am making a short turn'; in the same way the monk, when breathing in long, discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long' ... He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

長く息を吸っているときには「私は長く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、長く息を吐いているときには「私は長く息を吐いている」とはっきり知ります。短く息を吸っているときには「私は短く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、短く息を吐いているときには「私は短く息を吐いている」とはっきり知ります。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吸おう」と訓練します。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吐こう」と訓練します。「私は身行(=吸う息)を静めて息を吸おう」と訓練します。「私は身行(=吐く息)を静めて息を吐こう」と訓練します。あたかも熟練したろくろ工、あるいはその弟子が、ろくろの紐を長く引っぱれば、「私は紐を長く引っぱる」と知り、紐を短く引っぱれば、「私は紐を短く引っぱる」と知るように。これと同じように、比丘が長く息を吸っているときには「私は長く息を吸っている」とはっきり知り、長く息を吐いているときには「私は長く息を吐いている」とはっきり知ります・・・「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吸おう」と訓練します。「私は全身の感覚を把握しながら息を吐こう」と訓練します。

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

このように、比丘は内部から、体そのものに対して気づきを保ちます。あるいは、外部から体そのものに対して気づきを保ちます。あるいは、内部・外部両方から、体そのものに対して気づきを保ちます。あるいは、比丘は体に関する現象の発生に気づきを保ちます。体に関する現象の消滅に気づきを保ちます。あるいは、体に関する現象の発生と消滅に気づきを保ちます。あるいは、比丘の「体が存在する」という気づきは知識と想起(注1)の範囲で保たれます。そして比丘独立を保ち、世界の何物にも執着しません。これが比丘が体そのもの気づきを保つ方法です。

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it.

さらに加えて、比丘が歩いているとき、この比丘は「私は歩いている」とはっきりと知ります。立っているとき、この比丘は「私は立っている」とはっきり知ります。座っているときには、「私は座っている」とはっきりと知ります。横たわっているときには、「私は横たわっている」とはっきりと知ります。あるいは、体がどのような状態になるのであれ、はっきりとその状態を知ります

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

これが比丘が体そのものを内部から、あるいは外部から、あるいはその両方から気づきを保つ方法です。そして・・・世界の何物にも執着しません。これが比丘が体そのもの気づきを保つ方法です。

"Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.

さらに加えて、比丘が前に進むとき・戻ってくるとき、この比丘自身に完全に注意を払います。何かに目を向けるとき・目をそむけるときも同様に・・・手足を伸ばすとき・曲げるときも同様に・・・自分外套コートなど)を運ぶとき自分の上着・お椀を運ぶときも同様に・・・食べるとき、飲むときに、噛むとき・味わうときも同様に・・・排尿するとき・排便するときも同様に・・・歩くとき、立つとき、座るとき、眠りに落ちる時、起きるとき、話すとき沈黙するとき比丘自身に完全な注意を払います

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

これが比丘が体そのものに対して気づきを保つ方法です。あるいは体そのものを外部から・・・世界の何物にも執着しません。これが比丘が体そのものに対して気づきを保つ方法です。

基本的には上記がヴィパッサナー瞑想だと考えればよいでしょう。このヴィパッサナー瞑想近代指導者たちに、さまざまに解釈されています

注1 ここで、「想起」という言葉は「思い出す」という意味です。

http://surleconomiejp.blogspot.jp/2015/04/blog-post_5.html

2013-05-30

inner universe カタカナつけ

  • 1-

Ангелы и демоны кружили надо мной

アンゲリ ヒ デモヌィ クリジーニ ナダ ヌァイ

Разбивали тернии и звёздные пути

アッセカリ リ テエニ ヒヒ ム レジニヘプティ

Не знает счастья только тот,

ニャズ ニャアー チャアアア デャ アアー ゴァート     

Кто его зова понять не смог...

ト エゴ ゾーア バ パン ニャーニャースモーグ

Nalybuites' nalyubuites

Nalybuites' nalyubuites

Aeria gloris, Aeria gloris

Aeria gloris, Aeria gloris

I am Calling Calling now, Spirits rise and falling

Собой остаться дольше...

サオ エ ア スタッツァ ドルシェ

Calling Calling, in the depth of longing

Собой остаться дольше...

サオ エ ア スタッツァ ドルシェ

モレド ロージズ

モレド ロージズ

Aeria gloris, Aeria gloris

Aeria gloris, Aeria gloris

  • 2-

Stand alone... Where was life when it had a ... meaning...

Stand alone... Nothing's real anymore (..and...)

...Бесконечный бег...

ベスコン ニェッチイ ヒェ(ベッ)グ

Пока жива я могу старатьсяна лету не упасть,

ポッカ チュイー バアー ヤマグ スタラッツア ナ レェ プヘノパース

Не разучиться мечтать... любить...

ニャラアーフジーツアメシュターット  リュビーット

...Бесконечный бег...

ベスコン ニェッチイ ヒェ(ベッ)グ

Calling Calling, For the place of knowing

There's more than what can be linked

Calling Calling, Never will I look away

For what life has left for me

Yearning Yearning, for what's left of loving

Собой остаться дольше...

サオ エ ア スタッツァ ドルシェ

Calling Calling now, Spirits rise and falling

Собой остаться дольше...

サオ エ ア スタッツァ ドルシェ

Calling Calling, in the depth of longing

Собой остаться дольше...

サオ エ ア スタッツァ ドルシェ

2011-12-14

Winter warming Yang

Early winter sky, like the patient's face the overcast, day to sink. Anxiety emotions such as this pervading the mist, tightly in my mind, catch my breath. This noon, the sun finally broke through the cloud and mist, show smiling face. The golden sunshine, the clear as on snow, warm warm silver fai in the flow. My heart like this in the window sunshine, suddenly lit up. On the vast expanse of the forms.it, bathed in the warm sunshine, the in the mind unspeakable joy, really want to in the sparkling on snow run, to release under pressure in the life, the one anxious heart, make it in the warm Yang blowing quiet quiet stretch open, as Snow White pure it gently the each place, leave a light the tranquil, calm in heart ripples.

The winter warm Yang heartily of vent to their hot, sprinkle with golden way way, the snow on glaring multicoloured halo, like in a split up around me gorgeous flowers. And as a series of colorful picture, in my sight of dreaming floating, I stand still didn't dare move, very afraid that move will put it like running scared. The sun be warm in my body, face and hands gently touched, a thick warm meaning in my heart rise, and then a puzzling to love is full whole body. Oh! I see, the soft touch, it's like my lover it. As the sun jade-like stone son bright smile, as if appear in the shadows. And when she left the same way, or that naughty smile, two small dimples with the face. She bantered said "to chase me! After a good deal for you win." I'm excited, but at a loss, just gazing at the light faded away in her in in the distance, RenXue the ground I do the footprints of the lonely, in lightly sigh.

Sunshine slowly breeze snow, the BaiXueShan quietly accept this trust god's touch. Like the girl like falling in love with lover's arms in school, doing the colorful dream. I was the true meaning of the snow moved and also enjoy stealthily warm winter sun kissing. The light sad like the like melted, had been in my memory, such as the white as forms.it of, did not leave traces. My heart immersed in the warmth of sunshine, and in the winter it forms.it quietly in fell asleep.

The winter warming Yang, don't abandon not to leave, waiting at my side, as my mother was waiting for the I, with all my heart, have no complaint. It let me understand, life not only it is the exhaustion of body and mind, worried restlessness. There is a kind of beautiful scenery, on our side. In fact they have been waiting for us, as long as pay attention side a flower, a leaf, a wisp of spring breeze, a rain, a snow, a blue sky, and so on. Like I say to this winter warm sample, calm down to, fine fine ground to observe, and deeply to taste, will get unexpected harvest.

http://www.chargerbatteryshop.co.uk

http://www.gobatteryonline.com

2011-03-14

福島原子力発電所CNNコメント欄 MIT科学者見解2【東日本巨大地震

When the diesel generators were gone, the reactor operators switched to emergency battery power. The batteries were designed as one of the backups to the backups, to provide power for cooling the core for 8 hours. And they did.

Within the 8 hours, another power source had to be found and connected to the power plant. The power grid was down due to the earthquake. The diesel generators were destroyed by the tsunami. So mobile diesel generators were trucked in.

This is where things started to go seriously wrong. The external power generators could not be connected to the power plant (the plugs did not fit). So after the batteries ran out, the residual heat could not be carried away any more.

At this point the plant operators begin to follow emergency procedures that are in place for a “loss of cooling event”. It is again a step along the “Depth of Defense” lines. The power to the cooling systems should never have failed completely, but it did, so they “retreat” to the next line of defense. All of this, however shocking it seems to us, is part of the day-to-day training you go through as an operator, right through to managing a core meltdown.

It was at this stage that people started to talk about core meltdown. Because at the end of the day, if cooling cannot be restored, the core will eventually melt (after hours or days), and the last line of defense, the core catcher and third containment, would come into play.

But the goal at this stage was to manage the core while it was heating up, and ensure that the first containment (the Zircaloy tubes that contains the nuclear fuel), as well as the second containment (our pressure cooker) remain intact and operational for as long as possible, to give the engineers time to fix the cooling systems.

Because cooling the core is such a big deal, the reactor has a number of cooling systems, each in multiple versions (the reactor water cleanup system, the decay heat removal, the reactor core isolating cooling, the standby liquid cooling system, and the emergency core cooling system). Which one failed when or did not fail is not clear at this point in time.

So imagine our pressure cooker on the stove, heat on low, but on. The operators use whatever cooling system capacity they have to get rid of as much heat as possible, but the pressure starts building up. The priority now is to maintain integrity of the first containment (keep temperature of the fuel rods below 2200°C), as well as the second containment, the pressure cooker. In order to maintain integrity of the pressure cooker (the second containment), the pressure has to be released from time to time. Because the ability to do that in an emergency is so important, the reactor has 11 pressure release valves. The operators now started venting steam from time to time to control the pressure. The temperature at this stage was about 550°C.

This is when the reports about “radiation leakage” starting coming in. I believe I explained above why venting the steam is theoretically the same as releasing radiation into the environment, but why it was and is not dangerous. The radioactive nitrogen as well as the noble gases do not pose a threat to human health.

At some stage during this venting, the explosion occurred. The explosion took place outside of the third containment (our “last line of defense”), and the reactor building. Remember that the reactor building has no function in keeping the radioactivity contained. It is not entirely clear yet what has happened, but this is the likely scenario: The operators decided to vent the steam from the pressure vessel not directly into the environment, but into the space between the third containment and the reactor building (to give the radioactivity in the steam more time to subside). The problem is that at the high temperatures that the core had reached at this stage, water molecules can “disassociate” into oxygen and hydrogen – an explosive mixture. And it did explode, outside the third containment, damaging the reactor building around. It was that sort of explosion, but inside the pressure vessel (because it was badly designed and not managed properly by the operators) that lead to the explosion of Chernobyl. This was never a risk at Fukushima. The problem of hydrogen-oxygen formation is one of the biggies when you design a power plant (if you are not Soviet, that is), so the reactor is build and operated in a way it cannot happen inside the containment. It happened outside, which was not intended but a possible scenario and OK, because it did not pose a risk for the containment.

So the pressure was under control, as steam was vented. Now, if you keep boiling your pot, the problem is that the water level will keep falling and falling. The core is covered by several meters of water in order to allow for some time to pass (hours, days) before it gets exposed. Once the rods start to be exposed at the top, the exposed parts will reach the critical temperature of 2200 °C after about 45 minutes. This is when the first containment, the Zircaloy tube, would fail.

And this started to happen. The cooling could not be restored before there was some (very limited, but still) damage to the casing of some of the fuel. The nuclear material itself was still intact, but the surrounding Zircaloy shell had started melting. What happened now is that some of the byproducts of the uranium decay – radioactive Cesium and Iodine – started to mix with the steam. The big problem, uranium, was still under control, because the uranium oxide rods were good until 3000 °C. It is confirmed that a very small amount of Cesium and Iodine was measured in the steam that was released into the atmosphere.

It seems this was the “go signal” for a major plan B. The small amounts of Cesium that were measured told the operators that the first containment on one of the rods somewhere was about to give. The Plan A had been to restore one of the regular cooling systems to the core. Why that failed is unclear. One plausible explanation is that the tsunami also took away / polluted all the clean water needed for the regular cooling systems.

The water used in the cooling system is very clean, demineralized (like distilled) water. The reason to use pure water is the above mentioned activation by the neutrons from the Uranium: Pure water does not get activated much, so stays practically radioactive-free. Dirt or salt in the water will absorb the neutrons quicker, becoming more radioactive. This has no effect whatsoever on the core – it does not care what it is cooled by. But it makes life more difficult for the operators and mechanics when they have to deal with activated (i.e. slightly radioactive) water.

But Plan A had failed – cooling systems down or additional clean water unavailable – so Plan B came into effect. This is what it looks like happened:

In order to prevent a core meltdown, the operators started to use sea water to cool the core. I am not quite sure if they flooded our pressure cooker with it (the second containment), or if they flooded the third containment, immersing the pressure cooker. But that is not relevant for us.

The point is that the nuclear fuel has now been cooled down. Because the chain reaction has been stopped a long time ago, there is only very little residual heat being produced now. The large amount of cooling water that has been used is sufficient to take up that heat. Because it is a lot of water, the core does not produce sufficient heat any more to produce any significant pressure. Also, boric acid has been added to the seawater. Boric acid is “liquid control rod”. Whatever decay is still going on, the Boron will capture the neutrons and further speed up the cooling down of the core.

The plant came close to a core meltdown. Here is the worst-case scenario that was avoided: If the seawater could not have been used for treatment, the operators would have continued to vent the water steam to avoid pressure buildup. The third containment would then have been completely sealed to allow the core meltdown to happen without releasing radioactive material. After the meltdown, there would have been a waiting period for the intermediate radioactive materials to decay inside the reactor, and all radioactive particles to settle on a surface inside the containment. The cooling system would have been restored eventually, and the molten core cooled to a manageable temperature. The containment would have been cleaned up on the inside. Then a messy job of removing the molten core from the containment would have begun, packing the (now solid again) fuel bit by bit into transportation containers to be shipped to processing plants. Depending on the damage, the block of the plant would then either be repaired or dismantled.

Now, where does that leave us?

・The plant is safe now and will stay safe.

Japan is looking at an INES Level 4 Accident: Nuclear accident with local consequences. That is bad for the company that owns the plant, but not for anyone else.

・Some radiation was released when the pressure vessel was vented. All radioactive isotopes from the activated steam have gone (decayed). A very small amount of Cesium was released, as well as Iodine. If you were sitting on top of the plants’ chimney when they were venting, you should probably give up smoking to return to your former life expectancy. The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again.

・There was some limited damage to the first containment. That means that some amounts of radioactive Cesium and Iodine will also be released into the cooling water, but no Uranium or other nasty stuff (the Uranium oxide does not “dissolve” in the water). There are facilities for treating the cooling water inside the third containment. The radioactive Cesium and Iodine will be removed there and eventually stored as radioactive waste in terminal storage.

・The seawater used as cooling water will be activated to some degree. Because the control rods are fully inserted, the Uranium chain reaction is not happening. That means the “main” nuclear reaction is not happening, thus not contributing to the activation. The intermediate radioactive materials (Cesium and Iodine) are also almost gone at this stage, because the Uranium decay was stopped a long time ago. This further reduces the activation. The bottom line is that there will be some low level of activation of the seawater, which will also be removed by the treatment facilities.

・The seawater will then be replaced over time with the “normal” cooling water

・The reactor core will then be dismantled and transported to a processing facility, just like during a regular fuel change.

Fuel rods and the entire plant will be checked for potential damage. This will take about 4-5 years.

・The safety systems on all Japanese plants will be upgraded to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami (or worse)

・I believe the most significant problem will be a prolonged power shortage. About half of Japan’s nuclear reactors will probably have to be inspected, reducing the nation’s power generating capacity by 15%. This will probably be covered by running gas power plants that are usually only used for peak loads to cover some of the base load as well. That will increase your electricity bill, as well as lead to potential power shortages during peak demand, in Japan.

If you want to stay informed, please forget the usual media outlets and consult the following websites:

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Battle_to_stabilise_earthquake_reactors_1203111.html

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/12/japan-nuclear-earthquake/

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/03/11/media-updates-on-nuclear-power-stations-in-japan/

 
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