Monthly Archives: June 2016

What is the impossible for current technology

The head of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has admitted in an interview with the Times of London that the technology does not yet exist that would allow the decommissioning of the three remaining melted-down reactors. He has no idea when such technology might be available, and he said it could take as long as 200 years.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has set a goal of 40 years (i.e., by 2051) to clean up the plant following the 2011 meltdowns, which were triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

“There are so many uncertainties involved,” Fukushima chief Akira Ono said. “We need to develop many, many technologies. For removal of the debris, we don’t have accurate information [about the state of the reactors] or any viable methodology.”

Details of problem still unknown

In February, TEPCO took reporters from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on a tour of the plant, complete with special breathing machinery and vacuum-sealed gear. The company told the reporters that radiation levels at the plant have dropped significantly and that real progress was being made toward decommissioning the plant. They highlighted the successful decommissioning of Reactor 4, which had suffered a hydrogen explosion during the tsunami that left nuclear fuel rods at risk of meltdown. The reactor had been offline at the time of the tsunami.

The reporters were not allowed to visit Reactors 1, 2 or 3, which are still so radioactive that they would instantly kill anyone who entered. The reporters’ guide, Kenichiro Matsui, admitted that TEPCO still has only limited information about the situation inside the three melted-down reactors.

“We do not know [the] exact situation in detail,” Matsui said. “Fuel has been melted down but nobody has seen it… We need to develop robotic technology with help from around the world to know the real situation.”

Although robots have successfully managed to locate some of the fuel rods in the three reactors in recent months, any attempt to remove them would still be so dangerous that TEPCO has postponed such efforts until at least 2025.

TEPCO’s efforts keep failing

Without a constant flood of cooling water, Reactors 1, 2 and 3 would immediately resume meltdown and explode again, spewing more radioactivity into the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately, this means that TEPCO is constantly rendering more and more water radioactive by channeling it past the reactors. On top of this, rainwater and groundwater continue to leak into the reactors, exacerbating the problem. To date, more than 500,000 metric tons of radioactive water are being stored at the plant.

The buildup of radioactive water has made vast sections of the plant – even beyond the deadly reactors – incredibly dangerous to enter. TEPCO has identified this as the highest priority for the Fukushima cleanup. Even four years after the disaster, nearly all of TEPCO’s Fukushima cleanup budget and nearly all of the 6,000 workers allocated to it are working to contain the radioactive water.

“The contaminated water is the most pressing issue – there is no doubt about that,” Ono said. “Our efforts to address the problem are at their peak now. Though I cannot say exactly when, I hope things start getting better when the measures start taking effect.”

TEPCO has promoted two technological fixes for the problem of the water. In an effort to stem the buildup of water, the company planned to build an “ice wall” – a network of subfreezing pipes sunk into the ground that would freeze the soil and cut it off from further groundwater infiltration. Widely criticized by the scientific community as unrealistic and unfeasible, this project has now been postponed.

Are the technology could be used for medicine

The tractor beam, one of science fiction’s most iconic devices, is one step closer to reality, scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Sussex announced recently in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

But while the ability to move entire spaceships without touching them may still be far off, immediate applications of the new technology include the ability to manipulate tiny surgical instruments from outside of a patient’s body.

“What we’ve got is a fully working tractor beam,” said co-lead author Bruce Drinkwater. “We can grab objects, we can twist them, we can rotate them, we can move them. Previously people knew that these forces were present, but it’s another thing to harness them in a stable way.”

Levitating objects is now a reality

Previous research had shown that objects could theoretically be moved using only light or sound waves. In fact, tractor beams have previously been constructed using high-powered lasers, but these devices are only able to move very tiny objects.

Then last year, researchers from the University of Dundee used sound to build a tractor beam capable of moving larger objects — but that device could only function for very short periods of time.

The new study is the first time that researchers have been able to hold up and manipulate objects in mid-air with sound waves alone. They surrounded a 4 mm-wide polystyrene ball with 64 miniature loudspeakers, then used the speakers to create a three-dimensional “acoustic hologram.” The energy from these sound waves was sufficient to levitate the ball.

Notably, the researchers were then able to adjust the frequency of sound from the individual speakers the change the shape of the acoustic “force field” manipulating the ball. They were able to create fields in the shape of a cage enclosing the ball, a swirling vortex rotating it, or a pair of tweezers or fingers moving it around.

“Unprecedented acoustic structures shaped as tweezers, twisters or bottles emerge as the optimum mechanisms for tractor beams or containerless transportation,” the researchers wrote.

There is no theoretical obstacle to using the device to levitate living things.

“It’s hard to get across just how weird it is to see things levitating in space, when you can’t see or hear anything,” Drinkwater said. “One minute it didn’t work, and the experiments were the most disappointing you could ever imagine, with little things firing off in the wrong direction – and then suddenly there they were, levitating before your eyes.”

“It was an incredible experience the first time we saw the object held in place by the tractor beam,” agreed co-lead author Azier Marzo. “Finally, after months of beads being spitted uncontrollably from the tractor beam we had success. All my hard work has paid off, it’s brilliant.”

Soon ready for medical applications?

Currently, the device cannot levitate an object any larger than the ball used in the study. Marzo said that such devices — “more powerful tractor beams capable of levitating bigger objects from farther distances” — could be used, for example, to allow astronauts to manipulate external objects from within the safety of a space capsule.

Although scientists are working to scale up the device’s power, this would probably require using very loud sound waves within the human range of hearing.

Even as-is, however, the device has astonishing potential uses.

“Single-beam levitation could manipulate particles inside our body for applications in targeted drug delivery or acoustically-controlled micro-machines that do not interfere with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),” the researchers wrote.

Other medical uses could involve the non-surgical removal of obstructions such as kidney stones or blood clots, or the manipulation of tiny surgical instruments.

“Sound waves can travel through water and human tissue – that is how ultrasound imaging works,” Marzo said. “Our objective is neither to destroy nor to image, but to manipulate things inside our body.”

is the technology becomes a religion

Are we in love with how smart we are? In America today, there are technology companies that have a much larger “cult following” than any religious organization. And there are millions upon millions of Americans that freely confess that they “believe in science”. So what does this say about us? Does it say that we have discarded ancient “superstitions” and instead have embraced logic and reason?

Sadly, in most cases the truth is that we have simply traded one form of religion for another. Scientists and technology gurus have become our new high priests, and most of us blindly follow whatever they tell us. But in the end, just like with so many religious organizations, it is all about the money. Those with the money determine what the science is going to say, who the high priests are going to be, and what messages are conveyed to the public. For example, once upon a time the big tobacco companies had armies of doctors and scientists that swore up and down that smoking cigarettes was not harmful. In fact, many doctors and dentists in America once personally endorsed specific brands of cigarettes. Of course millions of Americans were getting sick and dying, but this was dismissed as “anecdotal evidence”. And over in Germany, “science” was once used to prove that the Germans were the master race.

We look back in horror now, but at the time the best “science” in the world was used as justification to promote some horrible untruths. And of course the same thing is happening today. We are told over and over that “the science is settled” regarding genetically-modified food, climate change and vaccine safety, and yet those of us that think for ourselves know that isn’t the case at all. But if you do not believe in the “official story”, you don’t get to be part of the “scientific establishment”. By definition, the only people that get to be “scientific experts” are the ones that embrace the “doctrine” of those that control the big corporations, that fund the research studies at the major universities and that own the big media outlets. Everyone else is not permitted to be part of the discussion. (Story by Michael Snyder, republished from EndOftheAmericanDream.com.)

As I have written about previously,[1] I spent eight years studying at public universities in the United States. And over time, I got to see where most “scientific truths” come from these days.

Most of the time, the theories that people believe are so “scientific” were simply pulled out of thin air. In other words, they were just the product of someone’s overactive imagination. In recent decades, there have been countless examples of “existing science” being overturned and rewritten when more information and evidence become available. This is because the “existing science” did not have any foundation to begin with.

And yet we continue to make the same mistake today. Instead of calling them “theories”, which is what they should do, scientists all over the world are so eager to make bold pronouncements about the wonderful new “discoveries” that they have made. These bold pronouncements are then repeated over and over and over again until they become “facts”. But of course they are not facts at all.