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Mandrew968

Fukushima is just what I feared it would become...

Which disaster is the worst nuclear disaster?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Is Fukushima worse than Chernobyl?

    • Yes, it is worse
      11
    • No, it's not as bad.
      4
    • It remains to be seen...
      14
    • I don't care if I glow in the dark.
      0


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Hammer

But this is just my opinion, since I was never one to use conspiracy theories to explain things when much simpler explanations are available.

Occam's razor Dean.

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_Keith

I am wondering who can tell me exactly what difference remains to be seen. What metrics are you using to measure one against the other?

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Brahea Axel

Surprised that this isn't done in the US? Don't be, thorium has not found support in the US because it would be a threat to the uranium/plutonium nuclear defense industrial complex. They need the regular primitive nuclear power plants because of the uranium production lifecycle. In fact, a successful thorium plant was once running, but our govt shut it down and on top of it made using thorium illegal. Now a bill to allow thorium reactors to be built is still in the senate and will never pass because it's opposed by the military industrial complex and by the oil industry. The reason being is that once thorium plants become available, public pressure would be so great to shut down the regular plants and they would need to figure out a new source for nuclear weapons fuel. Not to mention that with the advent of electric cars, oil could take a complete back seat and no longer be necessary.

Axel,

This is purely your opinion, and I don't know where you got it from other than the anti-defense and anti-corporation attitude you have expressed before. I do not agree, and have already stated my reasons for why I believe advanced break-through nuclear power technology has not yet appeared in the U.S.

I suggest it is because of the main stream alarmist media that coats all the news of anything nuclear with fear. The corporations that could make and improve these revolutionary plants, will not do so because of the overhanging fear and opposition that anything radioactive generates in the media. Along with the protests, regulatory nightmares, and fear of litigation, this climate has effectively pushed those with the means to offer safe nuclear power toward other endeavors. If there was money to be made with these new reactors, they would do it. It's as simple as that.

But this is just my opinion, since I was never one to use conspiracy theories to explain things when much simpler explanations are available.

I am flattered, but this is not my opinion. That's not fair, before dismissing something as "just someone's opinion", do some research and use Google. The link between nuclear power plants and nukes is well known, hence the Iranian crisis. As far as why thorium was shelved? See this reference: Martin, “Uranium Is So Last Century—Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke.”

However, as it turns out, thorium has some nuclear proliferation issues of its own: http://wmdjunction.com/121031_thorium_reactors.htm, so I actually don't totally buy into the innocence of thorium argument.

Either way, I will disagree with you, our nuclear policy isn't shaped by public opinions, but by expert defense and nuclear proliferation issues. This is also documented. Again, Google will tell you more. It's actually illegal to do anything nuclear unless specifically allowed by legislation so you won't see industry freely doing research here. Hence also why thorium reactors are illegal in the US.

As far as throwing me into the "anti defense, anti corporation bucket", that's a totally unfair judgement on your part. If it's worth anything to you, I am not anti-corporation, I am just against corporate personhood, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood. And I am also not anti-defense either. I just believe our defense resources should be better used for real threats as opposed to made up threats that further political agendas. Then we'd save a buck or two.

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_Keith

There are facts and theories (opinions.) If the scientific community, specifically the people within the scientific community with the education and experience particular to the issue in question cannot come to agreement on the facts, then any comments by amateurs based on the various papers, articles, etc. written by those experts, are to varying degrees just uneducated opinions. Add to that the various politically motivated agendas and there are indeed relatively few things that can be relied upon a fact anymore. I trust facts when they come from qualified experts who are in agreement, not from people who read an article, who then express their opinions.

And don't get me wrong, I love opinions, and have plenty of my own some of which are educated opinions and some or which are not, but they are just that, my opinion.

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Brahea Axel

There are facts and theories (opinions.) If the scientific community, specifically the people within the scientific community with the education and experience particular to the issue in question cannot come to agreement on the facts, then any comments by amateurs based on the various papers, articles, etc. written by those experts, are to varying degrees just uneducated opinions. Add to that the various politically motivated agendas and there are indeed relatively few things that can be relied upon a fact anymore. I trust facts when they come from qualified experts who are in agreement, not from people who read an article, who then express their opinions.

And don't get me wrong, I love opinions, and have plenty of my own some of which are educated opinions and some or which are not, but they are just that, my opinion.

What you are saying seems correct, but it's not at the heart of my issue with Dean's reply. Dean was very dismissive in making my comments sound like some personal made up theory that I only I came up with because he thinks I am anti-corporation and anti-defense. I take issue with that, it's a cop out, a sort of attempt at removing credibility via a character reference without addressing the actual issues being raised. Nothing could be further from the truth, my opinion is shared with many other people who have also looked at the data and drew similar conclusions. even though I am not even entirely convinced myself, my "opinion" deserves more respect than just being dismissed without actually addressing any of the points I bring up in any legitimate way.

When people stereotype others, it really takes away from any intelligent discussion about the facts.

Edit: this is not worth fighting over, though. I really don't care to defend my opinion, only stand up for my character.

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Dypsisdean

Axel,

I am aware that I may be too blunt at times. And I hope you don't read any disrespect when brevity is my main intent.

But having said that, there are plenty of crazy conspiracy theories out there that have loads of followers. Just because your "opinion is shared with many other people who have also looked at the data and drew similar conclusions," really doesn't change the thrust of my comments at all. There is a fairly large portion of the population who are also somewhat anti-corporation and anti-defense industry.

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Mandrew968

Don't forget in your brevity, to make time for levity...

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Dypsisdean

Don't forget in your brevity, to make time for levity...

I'll try, but when dealing with catastrophic events, it's a bit more challenging. :)

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_Keith
Fukushima thread is just what I feared it would become...

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Dypsisdean

I've been watching a lot of "Preppers" - just in case.

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Mandrew968

From the article above:

"As a comparison: Chernobyl was one reactor, in a rural area, a quarter of the size of one of the reactors at Fukushima. There was no 'spent fuel pool' to worry about. Chernobyl was treated in-situ...meaning everything was pretty much left where it was while the effort to contain it was made (and very expeditiously I might add) not only above ground, but below ground.

At Fukushima, we have six top-floor pools all loaded with fuel that eventually will have to be removed, the most important being Reactor 4, although Reactor 3 is in pretty bad shape too. Spent fuel pools were never intended for long-term storage, they were only to assist short-term movement of fuel. Using them as a long-term storage pool is a huge mistake that has become an 'acceptable' practice and repeated at every reactor site worldwide."

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Mandrew968

How can that be - how can we know that - with the cover-up and all?

" An obvious attempt to downplay this disaster and its consequences have been repeated over and over again from 'experts' in the nuclear industry that also have a vested interest in their industry remaining intact. And, there has been a lot of misleading information released by TEPCO, which an hour or two of reading by a diligent reporter would have uncovered, in particular the definition of 'cold shutdown.’"

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sur4z

The Telegraph reports a "once-in-a-decade" typhoon (named Wipha) is going to make landfall near Fukushima Wednesday.I hope Tokyo Electric is ready for it.

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Mandrew968

The Telegraph reports a "once-in-a-decade" typhoon (named Wipha) is going to make landfall near Fukushima Wednesday.I hope Tokyo Electric is ready for it.

You are joking right? There have been so many human errors in this saga, I highly doubt TEPCO is ready to handle as much as a mouse fart.

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sur4z

The Telegraph reports a "once-in-a-decade" typhoon (named Wipha) is going to make landfall near Fukushima Wednesday.I hope Tokyo Electric is ready for it.

You are joking right? There have been so many human errors in this saga, I highly doubt TEPCO is ready to handle as much as a mouse fart.

No joke

http://earthsky.org/earth/typhoon-wipha-strikes-japans-east-coast

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sur4z

The Telegraph reports a "once-in-a-decade" typhoon (named Wipha) is going to make landfall near Fukushima Wednesday.I hope Tokyo Electric is ready for it.

You are joking right? There have been so many human errors in this saga, I highly doubt TEPCO is ready to handle as much as a mouse fart.

No joke

http://earthsky.org/earth/typhoon-wipha-strikes-japans-east-coast

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/typhoon-wipha-japan_n_4100161.html

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sur4z

The Telegraph reports a "once-in-a-decade" typhoon (named Wipha) is going to make landfall near Fukushima Wednesday.I hope Tokyo Electric is ready for it.

You are joking right? There have been so many human errors in this saga, I highly doubt TEPCO is ready to handle as much as a mouse fart.

No joke

http://earthsky.org/earth/typhoon-wipha-strikes-japans-east-coast

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/typhoon-wipha-japan_n_4100161.html

http://www.dw.de/typhoon-wipha-kills-several-but-misses-tokyo-and-fukushima/a-17161393

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Mandrew968

I knew you were not joking--"I hope Tokyo Electric is ready for it." is why I said, are you joking?--they are not nor have they ever been ready.

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Mandrew968

--Tepco documents show that between March 2011 and July this year, 138 employees reached the 100-millisievert [mSv] threshold; another 331 had been exposed to between 75 mSv and 100 mSv, meaning their days at the plant are numbered. Those nearing their dose limit have reportedly been moved to other sites, or asked to take time off, so they can return to work at Fukushima Daiichi at a later date.--http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/15/fukushima-nuclear-power-plant-cleanup

Tepco is running out of qualified employees and all previous troubles are piling up with new problems arising everyday--BIG MESS.

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Phoenikakias

I pretty much fear, that final account after some decades will be nightmarish. To get an idea, here, since Greece had also been affected by the Chernobyl-disaster, incidents of very agressive brain-tumors have increased dramatically. Authorities make nothing public, but my wife works in the health-branch and encounters several such cases, which had been unprecedented in the past. Very young people, very old people, indiscriminately, that is age groups with normally lower than average rates, get sick and die within some months.

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Mandrew968

I pretty much fear, that final account after some decades will be nightmarish. To get an idea, here, since Greece had also been affected by the Chernobyl-disaster, incidents of very agressive brain-tumors have increased dramatically. Authorities make nothing public, but my wife works in the health-branch and encounters several such cases, which had been unprecedented in the past. Very young people, very old people, indiscriminately, that is age groups with normally lower than average rates, get sick and die within some months.

Thanks for that information, even if it is disconcerting...

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monkeyranch

A lot of recent attention to the damaged-building reactor four fuel rod removal currently underway. Dangerous stuff of course but the cores of reactors 1-3 are completely missing. Burned through the cement basement and down into the ground. Too radioactive to approach to locate them, yet alone contain the mess. Almost certainly sunk far enough to be contaminating the water table.

To attract workers to the containment effort they must pay quite a lot, right? Not so simple. Here's an article on the labor arrangements with accounts of wage-skimming labor brokers, loan sharks who "buy off" a laborers debt who is then compelled to repay by working at Fukushima , layers of employment subcontractors which obscure that your work destination is actually the radioactive accident, lack of payment for mandatory hazard area wage supplements, and the yakuza. Wages average $12 hour, about one third of the average for regular, non-radioactive construction jobs in hyper-expensive Japan.

Any nuclear power supporters ready to go over and help out with the effort? It's only a little cancer. Harmless. Oh wait, nuclear power is totally safe and the risks are blown out of proportion. You the gambling type? You got your flight booked?

Wait, you actually might be able to drive your car to the next clean-up effort with 100 aging reactors at 65 nuclear power plants in the U.S. All of them designed and built around or before the Ford Pinto, Chevy Chevette, or AMC Pacer. Ah, the 1970s, the golden age of technology. How many of you are still commuting to work in a 1960-70s era car? Where do you pull over a nuclear reactor to the shoulder of the road when it breaks?

Problem is everything the human monkeys have ever made breaks down eventually. Can we afford the consequences? Ah, whatever, another 50 mile radius exclusion zone on the map.

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Mandrew968

Good points to everything you said above! I however, am not so cynical on nuclear power in the United States--sure the technology is old and Nuclear power processes are corrosive and many aspects of older plants should be looked at--the example of why is Fukushima.

Back to Fukushima: reactors 1-3 no one is talking about. No one is able to even go inside and survey the extent of damage. As far as I know, not even robots have been able to go inside these buildings. I don't hear anyone talking about cleaning up reactors 1-3 because no one wants to admit, currently, there is no way to clean up such a disaster. No one is talking about the radiation that is being emitted from these buildings--there are no 'lids' on these buildings so it has to stand to reason that an incredible amount of radiation is being released into the atmosphere.

Aside from atmospheric radiation, Japan's ground water is potentially already done! Forget a 50 mile radius--I'll bet it's worse than that. The government has already started to admit that their current clean-up tactics are not helping to lower the dangerous levels. There is a lot of forest that will never be 'safe' to go inside; once trees take in the radioactive elements/isotopes the trees themselves, including fruits and seeds, accumulate high levels of dangerous radiation. Bottom line, I really feel for the Japanese. Their steps forward will be precarious for a very long time.

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Funkthulhu

All waters flow to the sea. . . Even groundwater.

Imagine how hard it would be for a contaminant in a river to work its way upstream, the same goes for groundwater flow. So, for better or worse, the groundwater near Fukushima may be contaminated, but the majority of that contamination will go out to the sea-floor and not inland to contaminate more groundwater.

Of course, the report just came out that Pacific Tuna are testing positive for radiation presumably acquired from the waters around Fukushima.

However, the ocean is a very big place and water is very very good at blocking radiation (which is why they use it in nuclear reactor pools). The radiation exposure from eating 200g of Fukushima'ed Tuna is roughly 1/20th the radiation you would be exposed to by eating one 200g banana (because bananas have potassium in high quantities).

Always cross-check your news, and take into account the intensions of the person serving it forth.

(This post is in no way intended to understate the disaster at Fukushima, it's just food for thought)

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Dypsisdean

Of course, the report just came out that Pacific Tuna are testing positive for radiation presumably acquired from the waters around Fukushima.

Bravo - you have highlighted, demonstrated, and explained where the majority of my complaints with this episode lie. That statement above means absolutely nothing. But when used as the headline in a newspaper or web page, it influences public opinion erroneously - in a big way. And in actuality, I wouldn't be surprised if the lead in the tuna (from other power sources) was more dangerous than the radiation.

But maybe since lead shields you from radiation, it's totally safe. :)

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Phoenikakias

It is the cumulative effect on long term that matters! And in this sense many more people in a wider area will be affected in the future. This does not imply that in principle I am against the use of nuclear energy. Cheap, sufficient energy is the fundament for modern civilization,.

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Dypsisdean

It is the cumulative effect on long term that matters! And in this sense many more people in a wider area will be affected in the future. This does not imply that in principle I am against the use of nuclear energy. Cheap, sufficient energy is the fundament for modern civilization,.

Bravo again for another poster - and another point I have been trying to make. That is, show me a source of energy that has not been a disaster for some species or some habitat - and the impacts are not so easily calculated, and again are manipulated by many different agendas.

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sonoranfans

Andrew,

You are correct. There are more ways than one to look at this, and number of dead is only one way. But it's probably the number one issue for those who are affected. And let's not forget, the United States, as well as France and Great Britain, were guilty of deliberately destroying the lives and livelihoods of people in the Pacific for about 50 years without actually directly killing them. They just poisoned their environment with hundreds of nuclear tests.

Bo-Göran

Bo's points are forgotten by the younger generation, and he is right on point. The abuses in the pacific in the 40's and 50's far outrank fukushima in the spread of nuclear material. This doesn't mean fukushima is not a terrible situation, but it puts it in perspective. Also, the impact of unrestrained burning of petroleum products and coal has been far more widespread and could shift the life balance of the oceans via pH. I see this pH aspect as actually more immediately impacting than warming, which is a much more complex science to prove, and very likely will take 50-100 times longer to make that kind of impact. And by the way, 70-80 of our electric power comes from the burning of petroleum.

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Mandrew968

Andrew,

You are correct. There are more ways than one to look at this, and number of dead is only one way. But it's probably the number one issue for those who are affected. And let's not forget, the United States, as well as France and Great Britain, were guilty of deliberately destroying the lives and livelihoods of people in the Pacific for about 50 years without actually directly killing them. They just poisoned their environment with hundreds of nuclear tests.

Bo-Göran

Bo's points are forgotten by the younger generation, and he is right on point. The abuses in the pacific in the 40's and 50's far outrank fukushima in the spread of nuclear material. This doesn't mean fukushima is not a terrible situation, but it puts it in perspective. Also, the impact of unrestrained burning of petroleum products and coal has been far more widespread and could shift the life balance of the oceans via pH. I see this pH aspect as actually more immediately impacting than warming, which is a much more complex science to prove, and very likely will take 50-100 times longer to make that kind of impact. And by the way, 70-80 of our electric power comes from the burning of petroleum.

The ocean PH will work itself out. Acidification is allegedly caused by extra CO2 in the water, but the hotter the water, the less CO2 can be absorbed in the water. Also CO2 increase will increase diatom production which in turn will create more oxygen. The oxygen/CO2 relationship fluctuates but is self-balancing--as many have said, the Ocean is a big place... nuclear radiation is a much longer lasting problem.

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sonoranfans

Andrew,

You are correct. There are more ways than one to look at this, and number of dead is only one way. But it's probably the number one issue for those who are affected. And let's not forget, the United States, as well as France and Great Britain, were guilty of deliberately destroying the lives and livelihoods of people in the Pacific for about 50 years without actually directly killing them. They just poisoned their environment with hundreds of nuclear tests.

Bo-Göran

Bo's points are forgotten by the younger generation, and he is right on point. The abuses in the pacific in the 40's and 50's far outrank fukushima in the spread of nuclear material. This doesn't mean fukushima is not a terrible situation, but it puts it in perspective. Also, the impact of unrestrained burning of petroleum products and coal has been far more widespread and could shift the life balance of the oceans via pH. I see this pH aspect as actually more immediately impacting than warming, which is a much more complex science to prove, and very likely will take 50-100 times longer to make that kind of impact. And by the way, 70-80 of our electric power comes from the burning of petroleum.

The ocean PH will work itself out. Acidification is allegedly caused by extra CO2 in the water, but the hotter the water, the less CO2 can be absorbed in the water. Also CO2 increase will increase diatom production which in turn will create more oxygen. The oxygen/CO2 relationship fluctuates but is self-balancing--as many have said, the Ocean is a big place... nuclear radiation is a much longer lasting problem.

You should write a book on how the current rates ocean acidification will balance itself, Im sure the NOAA will be interested in your self alleged knowledge on the subject. And you can also contest the widely accepted acid/base theory fundamentals taught to all science college students.

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Mandrew968

Tom, are we being nasty for a specific reason? I was only stating what I believe. Why don't you illustrate where my opinion is flawed instead of talking down to me--I would enjoy that more so and maybe someone can learn a thing or two! :) I am only basing my opinion on the simple facts of carbonation...

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sonoranfans

Andrew,

Perhaps we had a misunderstanding, dismissing each others points. There is enough of that around here without adding to it. It is OK to state opinions, I was probably too serious about the content of that opinion. Unfortunately, there are known facts and then there are hypothesis based on known facts that extend into opinion. I do not consider my hypothesis on the C02 altering the pH of the oceans as expert, but I do think that the position of NOAA is well informed. It may not be correct still, as these hypothesis are unproven in such complex systems. According to NOAA, changes in surface pH -likely caused by high C02 levels- have caused mass extinctions in shallow water dwelling species in the past, millions of years ago. They also assert that current C02 generation is 100x greater than any time since then and they opin that it is too much for the natural buffer mechanism to control. I was and am willing to accept that our radioactive pollution is a very bad thing, but I am not agreeing that the answer is to eliminate nuclear power as the cost is likely even higher C02 production. I interpreted your position as inflexible on C02/buffering capacity and pointed out that your position is not carried by those who very likely know more about it than either of us. I did this in an unacceptable way, that is to answer sarcastically. The truth on the extent of the oceans to buffer additional C02 is debatable, but what is not debatable is that C02 changes seawater pH, it is not alleged, it is a fact. As to whether the oceans can buffer the pH in the face of increasing C02 production, that is unknown. But NOAA scientists say no, and that makes me reluctant to dismiss it out of hand without more complete information. So I respectfully apologize for my sarcastic manner of response, but I maintain the underlying argument.

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Mandrew968

I gladly accept your response and validate it. I also agree that the authorities know more about their field than we do, and agree further that at best, all they have is hypothesis. I also want to make it clear that I do not put up a fight against nuclear power. I do however think that post Fukushima, nuclear regulation should be tightened to better prevent another disaster.

What I was previously saying about ocean acidification is that I think there may be a saturation point with CO2; It's a good point that we are creating more CO2 than ever before, on this planet. However, like in a can of soda, warm water does not hold CO2 very well(which is why warm soda goes flat fairly quickly). Cold water holds CO2 in a much greater capacity than warm water does--Global Climate Change infers the oceans will get warmer, which is not conducive to CO2 absorption. Tom, I don't have all the numbers which we agree the experts probably have a better grasp on, but the threat to wildlife is the disolving of certain creature's shells(calcium carbonate). Diatoms, made of silicon dioxide, grow better with more CO2( http://sites.duke.edu/writing20_12_f2011/2011/09/05/ocean-acidification-and-diatoms/). Therefore, it is MY hypothesis that with an increase in CO2, there will be a proportionate rise in diatom creation, which in turn will produce more chlorophyll...

Of course, with any disturbance in an ecosystem, weak/sensitive creatures are the most susceptable. There may be some creatures that are in trouble from the acidifying oceans, but I believe, most creatures will be alright(not taking into consideration multiple disturbances which could compound the aforementioned issue). Tom, congrats on taking us way off topic! :)

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