Signs of life in the condo market?

From the NY Times:

A Thaw in the Condo Market

LAST month a few strong blips indicated a quickening pulse on the New Jersey condominium market. Or maybe just a pulse.

There were 15 sales in four weeks at one building in Jersey City, 6 at another, 5 at a Hoboken building where sales had been lagging — even a premarketing sale at a town house development in Livingston.

Portents of a spring revival? Or a mere minitrend that will melt with the last of the snow?

“Ha! That’s the $64 million question, now isn’t it?” said Dean Geibel, the chief executive of Metro Homes, who described February as the best month in two years for his two buildings — Gulls Cove in Jersey City and Metro Stop in Hoboken.

“This is not an uptick in prices,” Mr. Geibel added. “But the increase in sales is still huge, because it has been so slow for so long. It raises the question, ‘Is there going to be a traditional spring market with a widespread uptick?’ ”

Why would the sales heat up in February? Ms. Ferrara suggested that one reason might be concern over mortgage rates’ climb beyond 5 percent, and over their potential to rise significantly, and fast, when the economy improves. About 60 percent of recent buyers at Crystal Point are employed in finance, she said, and therefore probably likely to keep a close watch on trends.

Also, she added, a tight rental market in New Jersey is probably a factor. The statewide vacancy rate is at a low 6 to 7 percent, according to market analysts; price breaks and other incentives have largely been abandoned; and monthly rates are starting to rise.

“In the rent-versus-buy scenario,” Ms. Ferrara said, “when people take tax benefits of ownership into account, we are now seeing some urgency of people deciding to buy.”

Meanwhile, condominium prices remain depressed. Over the last year, the average price in Jersey City dipped by 13 percent, to $467,297, according to a Marketing Directors analysis.

This entry was posted in Economics, New Development, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

157 Responses to Signs of life in the condo market?

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Average N.J. property taxes in 2010 jump more than 4 percent from previous year

    The average New Jersey taxpayer shelled out $7,576 in property taxes in 2010, a 4.1 percent jump over 2009 and the largest year-over-year increase since 2007, according to figures released today by the state Department of Community Affairs.

    The numbers fueled an already-contentious debate over New Jersey’s property taxes, which are the nation’s highest. The increase came in Gov. Chris Christie’s first year in office, but this year, local governments will have to deal with a new 2 percent property tax cap signed by the governor last summer.

    “At least now we can stop the ridiculous myth that Christie didn’t raise taxes,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-Union). “It’s now a proven fact that Christie gave New Jerseyans their highest property tax increases since 2007.”

    But Michael Drewniak, spokesman for Christie, blamed Democrats and repeated the adminstration’s call to pass “tool kit” bills aimed at stemming costs for local governments.

    Drewniak said property taxes “soared” while Democrats controlled Trenton. Property taxes rose 56.2 percent during the eight years of Democratic governors prior to Christie, the figures show.

    “And let’s remember, our budget cap did not go into effect until January of this year and the Legislature, still under Democratic control, has acted on only five of the 20 took kit bills,” Drewniak said.

    Tiny Tavistock Borough in Camden County topped this year’s list with an average bill of $20,565, up from third last year. It’s followed by Loch Arbour Village in Monmouth County, $19,904; Millburn Township in Essex, $19,441; Mountain Lakes in Morris County, $18,158; and Alpine Borough in Bergen, $17,622.

    Out of 21 counties, residents in Bergen paid the highest property taxes. It was the only county with average residential property taxes topping $10,000. Morris and Essex counties were second and third highest.

  2. DL says:

    The Black Swan has arrived. The nuc melt down in Japan will change everything. Germans already worried about worst case “China Syndrom”, where the reactor core melts through earth’s crust and pops out in Europe. One more reason to drink for breakfast.

  3. jamil says:

    “some urgency of people deciding to buy.”

    Oh, I better to buy two, now, before they run out of inventory.

  4. Shore Guy says:

    BBC reporters in Japan are saying that the pressure at one reactor us in the SECONDARY containment building (so the primary containment dome has ruptured). The exclusion zone has been expanded from 3km to 60 km.

    Cesium is being detected some distance from the reactor. It sounds like it could be an accident somewhere between TMI (meltdown with no primary containment loss) and Chernobyl.

  5. Shore Guy says:

    Correction. It is now described as a large explosion.

  6. Shore Guy says:

    What a mess. They have resorted to pumping in sea in an attempt to cool one of the reactir. I haveenot yet seen it in any report but dumping cool water into an overheated reactor will not necessarily cool

  7. Shore Guy says:

    The reactor, Is hot, the water hits the hot rods and turns to steam, which keeps additional waterfront reaching the rods. Thus the steam insulated the rigs instead of cooling the reactor.

  8. Mike says:

    AFFECTED 800

    New Jersey Sports and Exposition East rutherford 05/12/2011

  9. Outofstater says:

    So I’m reading the news this morning. Thousands dead in Japan, more to follow as help does not arrive in time due to the enormity of the disaster, 43 million here on food stamps and I’m supposed to care that the NFL is having labor problems??? Grow up fer chrissake and donate some big bucks to the relief effort! God, could they be any more self-centered?? Oh wait, Wisconsin….

  10. One can only hope that the NFL lockout eventually causes the revenue and pay structures of the big professional sports to collapse.

    Of course, in the case of baseball, the financial structure is going to collapse anyway, since playoff games that begin after every kid in the US is asleep has assured that few new fans are being created.

  11. I’m looking forward to a fall when the big sports news will be the first games of the European soccer leagues and the MLS playoffs. Maybe the lard-assed compulsive gamblers who stare at the NFL every week will go out and take a walk or go to a gallery or something.

  12. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    House votes to end mortgage assistance program for unemployed

    The House of Representatives voted 242-177 Friday to end a new program that would provide interest-free loans to aid unemployed borrowers with their mortgage payments.

    In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, created under the Dodd-Frank Act, would begin taking applications in the spring of 2011. HUD set aside $1 billion to provide up to $50,000 in interest-free loans covering mortgage payments for up to 24 months. Roughly 30,000 homeowners are expected to take part in the program.

  13. gary says:

    Meanwhile, condominium prices remain depressed. Over the last year, the average price in Jersey City dipped by 13 percent, to $467,297, according to a Marketing Directors analysis.

    Oh… and um… there was just this little, inconsequential distraction know as… PRICE! But who needs to talk about price when there is so many other things that can be used to fool unsuspecting buyers.

  14. It matters not. Pretty soon, we will all be bathed in Cesium 137 and falling into sinkholes that appear from nowhere.

    It is the end of days.

  15. stan says:

    Dean Geibel- Metro stop hoboken-

    The site just posted sales trends for february, sales were up, but prices were much lower than last year and last month. Across the board. Luxury/waterfront to dumps in the hood. So condo’s have moved but at huge discounts.
    That building metrostop that Geibel is talking about is a disaster. It Sits way back on the 8th ave light rail station, where residents have a nice view of the blue tarp and wooden pallet shacks the homeless have built into the palisades. It has no security, where the light rail elevator brings kids from JC heights / union city to break windows, tag the walls and terrorize Ellory’s mom as she takes her bugaboo out to walk through the pothole strewn western edge streets and abandoned chromium filled lots left over from hoboken’s long gone industrial edge.

    So yeah he sold Five condo’s last week, discounted 35% from where they were priced at originally. Same crap they mention every March about the spring market. Hoboken JC is hurting, worse that last year.

    Eat it Frank! :)

  16. gary says:

    Hoboken was “recreated” as a marketing tool. It’s a third-rate amusement park to bilk Generation “Why” for greater sums of debt on top of the accumulated debt accrued from the other scam know as a four year degree. Parasites need a host and what’s better than a premmie suckling aka a millennial.

  17. 30 year realtor says:

    On a lighter note. Went to the Great Falls in Paterson yesterday. What an incredible sight. The Passaic should crest after midnight tonight. The falls are spectacular!

  18. gary says:

    “Oh, yes, Josh… I heard that new Italian Fusion place called Nazaires on Washington Street is sooooo great!”

    Gimme a f*cking break. These places take a pound of ronzoni and sprinkle some tree bark into the gravy and serve you avant garde sh1t for $19.99 a plate. Hello!

  19. gary says:

    Let me put it this way: I’d rather be dead in Manhattan than alive in Hoboken.

  20. chicagofinance says:

    You need to write for Zagat’s…..

    gary says:
    March 12, 2011 at 9:54 am
    “Oh, yes, Josh… I heard that new Italian Fusion place called Nazaires on Washington Street is sooooo great!”

    Gimme a f*cking break. These places take a pound of ronzoni and sprinkle some tree bark into the gravy and serve you avant garde sh1t for $19.99 a plate. Hello!

  21. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Chi your right, Gary that one goes down as one of your all time classics.

  22. Confused In NJ says:

    14.Debt Supernova says:
    March 12, 2011 at 9:36 am
    It matters not. Pretty soon, we will all be bathed in Cesium 137 and falling into sinkholes that appear from nowhere.

    It is the end of days

    Sad that Lautenberg is to senile to even realize it’s happening.

  23. Confused In NJ says:

    I wonder if Teddy Kennedy realized his brain cancer came from his Cell Phone?

  24. jamil says:

    re ted kennedy
    Real player. Rented the whole brothel in his latin american fact finding mission and met with known kgb agents, then got state dept to declare these state secrets (until 2011) and killed his lover and escaped crime scene. Hope he burns in hell.

  25. NJSerf says:

    Bernardsville / Basking Ridge Police out and about this morning. Be sure to thank them for keeping a 2 mile corridor of route 287 safe. I’m pretty sure this is not what Christie had in mind with his “tool-kit”.

    If only the Montclair Police participated in this type of fund-raising Stu and Gator wouldn’t have to worry about appealing their taxes every year. Maybe we can re-route the parkway?

  26. Juice Box says:

    Some pretty trippy videos coming out of Japan

    Whole Park moves like it’s floating on water.

  27. jamil says:

    at least 1,000 people waiting in line in the morning to enter Carlo’s bakery in Hoboken. Average cake for average people.

    As Frank would put it: what recession?

  28. House Whine says:

    27- Jamil, different story entirely during my morning shop this morning. Went to my local Pathmark and it was very depressing. Employees now walking around knowing their days of employment are numbered. Everything 10 to 30% off, store closing next week. Guy working behind deli counter telling a long time customer that he now is upset because he has no health insurance anymore and has 2 young children to worry about. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Apparently, not everyone is living on the gravy train.

  29. Bystander says:


    Lines around the block at NYC apple store and Best Buy for latest icrap version 6.9.

    Perhaps if we put ipads in a cake then we have a business model for the unflappably ignorant American bourgeoisie.

    Hey – but Fed Head Dudley said food prices don’t matter because Ipads are cheaper. I guess he was right.

  30. Lone Ranger says:

    Eat, drink, get sick and currency thrashing economy. F the bull, get long the cow.

  31. Juice Box says:

    re: get sick.

    Don’t eat at the Bug Belly Deli in Rahway

  32. gary says:

    jamil [27],

    The whole f*cking town is put-on to suck in the wannabes.

  33. NJ Toast says:

    House Wine – one can only hope that Wegmans is able to get a few of the old Pathmark’s that can be retrofitted to their standards and open up further north into the garden state. This would force shop rite and kings to up their game.

  34. Hart-O-Gold says:

    I love Hoboken. The people who live there are eclectic, the Cuban restaurants are fun and affordable, and you can’t beat a Sunday afternoon hanging out in the park overlooking the NYC Skyline! Yes, Carlo’s is a novelty, but what’s wrong with some cookies and cake? Lighten up, you guys. Why must you find the bad in every town?

  35. cobbler says:

    toast [33]
    Pathmark’s problems came from it being stuck between the bargain (ShopRite) and mid-range (Stop&Shop) tiers, with prices closer to the mid-range and service on the bargain end. In most places in NJ, you have more than one supermarket within a drivable distance – so there was little reason for anyone to stick with Pathmark. A&P buying the chain made the situation yet worse, as they didn’t have a similarly positioned brand in the system (both A&P and Waldbaum’s are mid-range) and dumped on Pathmark their overpriced store brands plus couldn’t manage properly.

  36. jamil says:

    Pathmark is a unionized cr2phole. I feel not sorry for those union parasites who are losing their jobs.
    Maybe the place would still be ok if it were not run by organized extortion ring called union.

  37. cobbler says:

    Most NJ supermarkets are unionized. Some are well run, and some are not. Gratuitous name-calling is rather silly. Walmart has zero union presence and has the worst workforce in the retail business.

  38. grim says:

    30Y – Paterson Falls were amazing, what a crowd!

  39. jamil says:

    “Walmart has zero union presence and has the worst workforce in the retail business.”

    Uh, based on what evidence? Employee turnover at Walmart is minimal compared to other grocery stores and at least my experience (with occasional visit to Walmart) is that employees are with better attitude. I don’t know how to rate quality of workforce, but at least Walmart is doing fine.

  40. House Whine says:

    36. Well, say what you will. I never feel good about anyone losing their job and their healthcare, unless they are doing something illegal. Compassion, even on a blog, is ok.

  41. cobbler says:

    Turnover of full-time workers at Walmart is measurably higher than at most grocery chains. For part-timers, in most supermarkets they employ HS or college students which naturally causes a lot of the turnover. You can’t compare this with Walmart which generally does NOT hire HS students at all but rather hires oldsters as greeters (who certainly won’t quit).

  42. AsseMan says:

    I read this article in the morning and I live in JC and I can tell you this: @ night the buildings mentioned in the article are lit up @around 30-40% no where near the 80% levels mentioned.

    This is another pump con job….IMO.

  43. Libtard says:

    This is really getting quite scary. If you see the cement trucks pull in, I would avoid eating Kobe beef for a while.

    Make sure you watch around 20 seconds. Great example of a hydrogen explosion. Which reminds me of a prank that resulted in a week of detention for me. Back in chemistry when we would fill a test tube with hydrogen and then would ignite it with that familiar whistle pop…Well, we decided to fill one of those, had to be a 5000 ml flask. We went to the door of the room, removed the rubber stopper and pointed the stem into the hallway. When we ignited it, the guy holding it dropped it from the force of the explosion. Needless to say, the ensuing fireball was fantastic, but it was the smashed flask that followed that really made the racket. The only other time I got detention was when I filled my goggles with agar which hardened overnight and then carved eye holes out. Man was that good for a geeky laugh.

  44. cobbler says:

    libtard [43]
    In the hindsight, they should have made a few large holes in the roof/ceiling even using small blast charges if necessary, as soon as it became clear hydrogen is escaping the system. This would have prevented the explosion (buildup of hydrogen is practically impossible if the top is opened up – compare the electrical classification of indoor/v. outdoor petrochemical installations).

  45. Al Mossberg says:

    Took an iventory of my potassium iodide pills today. Sometimes it pays to be paranoid.

  46. Al Mossberg says:

    I cant help but wonder what kind of doom awaits us here in beautiful downtown NJ.

    Snowmaggedon was just a teaser. There must be something better than that in store for us with all these fancy earthquake weapons lying about.

    How about a mid atlantic ridge EQ that collapses the Azores into the ocean sending a tsunami directly at NJ and obliterating Oyster Creek nuclear plant.

    Maybe a false flag nuke attack on NYC to initiate our entry into WW 3.

    Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm these are just the birth pains of the new world order.

  47. Al Mossberg says:

    I’m just waiting for these union goons to wipe the soap suds from their eyes so that they can clearly identify the real enemy to the republic.

    Then the cleansing can begin.

  48. Al Mossberg says:


    An addendum to 47. Think of the House of Lombard in 1348 or 1789 France.

    Its exile (1348 style) or “Off with their heads.” (1789 style).

    This is inevitable.

  49. relo says:

    Was at a charity-type function for the locals with a friend who is a civil servant and there were many in attendance. Inevitably their conversation turned to Christie. Those guys are nervous but the better educated among them are resigned to the fact that there are going to be changes. The lunkheads, however, seemingly will not take this quietly.

    Clot, for you:

  50. Shore Guy says:

    MOX should be all over the news before the end of Sunday.

  51. DL says:

    Try to imagine Tokyo depopulated. And when the radiation cloud gets into the west-east high altitude wind pattern, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere on the US west coast. Air traffic over the Pacific will shut down first, then the shut down will spread to the Atlantic and US. Al-Qaida must be loving this. This is 1000 times worse than Chernobyl. Meanwhile, the Japanese will continue to tell everyone there is no danger, safely reporting from mainland China.

  52. Thundaar says:

    Geibel = Huckster, Trickster, Realtor

    NY Post article from 2009

  53. Kettle1 says:

    Dl 54

    1000 times worse then Chernobyl?????

    It is was to early to make such claims. This could end up being very nasty but we just don’t know yet. The reactor core activly burned due to it’s carbon moderators and a steam explosion blew off it’s containment dome.

    So far there is no report as to the condition of the reactor vessel in the building that exploded. A partial meltdown has been reported but a contained meltdown isn’t nearly as bad as Chernobyl.

    Even if we assume this ends towards the worst case spectrum it would still be hard to surpass Chernobyl. The difference is the local population density.

    People in japane are already being warned to cover all skin and use a face mask when going outside to protect from fall out. Based on that, it sounds like the reactor explosion may have breached the reactor vessel??

    The engineers and scientist can most likely deterime the current state of the matter with air samples alone. If you know the fuel composition and the duty cycle of the reactor you can test fir certain airborne isotopes. The isotopes found can tell you relativly accuratly the state of the reactor.

    By the way, Japanese news reports they were proceeding flooding all 3 troubled reactors with sea water but had to stop due to tech issues. Apparently one of the other reactors may be at risk of an explosion

  54. Kettle1 says:

    The Japanese guy being interviewed also implied that the would use an open loop system to cool the reactor with sea water. DON’T EAT THE SEA FOOD!

  55. Shore Guy says:


    Yes, officials are already preparing the public for what they hope will be a steam explosion and not a hydrogen blast.

  56. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ket “an open loop system” nice let us turn that into NJ parlance, “we’re going to dump the contaminated water back into the sea” the open loop sounds so much better.

  57. Shore Guy says:

    Seawater is so corrosive, I suspect these plants will be offline for a very long time. .Given their age, I wonder if they will ever come back online.

  58. Shore Guy says:


    Unless the reactor vessel has been compromised, it should not be horrible. I would not bet the farm on it, though.

  59. Shore Guy says:


    Maybe it was just Japan trying to get closer to NY.

  60. Outofstater says:

    So, everyone have a two week supply of food and water in the house, a first aid kit, flashlights, cars full of gas and a battery powered radio? The sky seems to be full of black swans these days and one of them might decide to take a dump right in our backyard.

  61. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore , after this you think they will even try. Public, greens and an assortment of others will poo poo any new reactors and be all to pleased to see the old ones put down. Now as to what they do for power in that case your guess is as good as mine.

  62. Confused In NJ says:

    They are already warning about the trade winds from Japan to the US West Coast carrying radiation. One has to wonder?

  63. Confused In NJ says:

    Bernanke will have a melt down of his printing press on Monday, keeping Wall Street in the Black, regardless of World Issues. If the World ended tomorrow, Ben would still have the DOW at new highs.

  64. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Outofstater, you forgot the necessary NJRER arsenal of weapons, just in case we have to take on roving bands of apocalyptic warriors, the US army or a snapping turtle on meth.

  65. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gotta get some of those potassium iodine pills, any one know where?

  66. Confused In NJ says:

    The French Embassy urged its citizens Sunday to leave the area around Tokyo — 170 miles (270 kilometers) from Fukushima Dai-ichi — in case the crisis deepened and a “radioactive plume” headed for the area around the capital.

  67. Confused In NJ says:

    Don’t forget your Potassium Iodide pills to protect your thyroid.

  68. bystander (29)-

    Got any recipes for braised iPad you can share?

  69. relo (49)-

    Gotta put that on my end of the world soundtrack.

  70. relo (50)-

    Good. Maybe they can at least make that douchesack cough up some loot.

  71. My take on Assange was always that he’s just a really smart guy who enjoys making powerful people nervous.

    However, this Anonymous group is the real mf’ing deal.

    “The world’s most (in)famous hacker group – Anonymous – known for effectively shutting down their hacking nemesis security firm (with clients such as Morgan Stanley and, unfortunately for them, Bank of America)- HBGary, advocating the cause of Wikileaks, and the threat made by one of its members that evidence of fraud by Bank of America will be released on Monday, has just launched communication #1 in its Operation “Empire State Rebellion.” The goal – engage in “a relentless campaign of non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience” until Ben Bernanke steps down and the “Primary Dealers within the Federal Reserve banking system be broken up and held accountable for rigging markets and destroying the global economy effective immediately.”

  72. Kettle1^2 says:

    That news stream has some crazy footage!!!

  73. Outofstater says:

    Info on potassium iodide:

    The pills are available at 14 pills for $9.99 plus shipping

  74. Kettle1^2 says:


    I saw a commentary by some physicist and he thought it was a hydrigen explosion due to the blue wave front in the shockwave.

    My it appears to be likely from the available info that the containment building filled with hydrogen gas and ignited. The question is how did the reactor vessel fare? They reported that there was a dead crane operator at the sight. My guess is that the overhead crane operator was in the reactor building when it detonated.

    There are reports of people showing up at local hospitals with radiation exposure symptoms. That really raises the question of the integrity if the the priamry reactor vessel.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity

  75. Kettle1^2 says:

    Debt 75

    Anonymous already released an internal e-mail from BOA in order to prove they have internal info.

  76. Kettle1^2 says:

    Japan expects 10,000+ deaths alone in the primary province (Miagui <spelling?) struck by the quake and tsunami. 20 – 30 ft waves hit the mainlaind.


    That reactor facility had a serious design flaw in that the diesel generators were not water tight. The reactors are reported to have been running and operating as expected until they got swamped by the tsunami. That is virtually standard practice for critical infrastructure, not just nuclear reactors.

  77. Kettle1^2 says:

    Seeing reports that an earthquake on the order of 8.0 can be expected on the US side of the ring of fire ( alaska / pacific northwest). Probably tinfoil, but time will tell. Lots of fun HAARP talk as usual. Havent heard much from the sunspot guys yet though.

  78. House Whine says:

    76- thanks for the link to the live news stream. Much better than watching CNN.

  79. Kettle1^2 says:


    Got your radiation vaccine yet???

    Mechanism of action for anti-radiation vaccine in reducing the biological impact of high-dose gamma irradiation

    Maliev, Vladislav; Popov, Dmitri; Jones, Jeffrey A.; Casey, Rachael C.
    Advances in Space Research, Volume 40, Issue 4, p. 586-590.

    Ionizing radiation is a major health risk of long-term space travel, the biological consequences of which include genetic and oxidative damage. In this study, we propose an original mechanism by which high doses of ionizing radiation induce acute toxicity. We identified biological components that appear in the lymphatic vessels shortly after high-dose gamma irradiation. These radiation-induced toxins, which we have named specific radiation determinants (SRD), were generated in the irradiated tissues and then circulated throughout the body via the lymph circulation and bloodstream. Depending on the type of SRD elicited, different syndromes of acute radiation sickness (ARS) were expressed. The SRDs were developed into a vaccine used to confer active immunity against acute radiation toxicity in immunologically naïve animals. Animals that were pretreated with SRDs exhibited resistance to lethal doses of gamma radiation, as measured by increased survival times and survival rates. In comparison, untreated animals that were exposed to similar large doses of gamma radiation developed acute radiation sickness and died within days. This phenomenon was observed in a number of mammalian species. Initial analysis of the biochemical characteristics indicated that the SRDs were large molecular weight (200 250 kDa) molecules that were comprised of a mixture of protein, lipid, carbohydrate, and mineral. Further analysis is required to further identify the SRD molecules and the biological mechanism by which they mediate the toxicity associated with acute radiation sickness. By doing so, we may develop an effective specific immunoprophylaxis as a countermeasure against the acute effects of ionizing radiation.

    The HAARP guys are having a ball with this quake as the Japanese Geological agency is reporting that this was structurally a very strange earthquake that doesnt match what would normally be expected in the region, its peak magnitude was 9.0 and that the aftershocks are expected to reach 7.0.

  80. Kettle1^2 says:


    Got a gama scout? its only $400 – 450. Unfortunatly…. Due to the Earthquake disaster in Japan, we are experiencing an extremely high demand for our units. Current orders will be fulfilled after Mar 17th.
    Gamma-Scout® reliably measures alpha, beta, gamma and x-radiation.

  81. Kettle1^2 says:


    They just reported that reactor 1 ( reactor 3 is the one that exploded) had coolant drop below the fuel elements and they expected there was a partial meltdown and a subsequent hydrogen buildup. They were in the process of venting to try and avoid a hydrogen explosion like the one in reactor 3.

    At the end of the report they were saying that reactor 2 was losing coolant and that the fuel rods were exposed. At that point they suddenly cut away to someone talking about general emergency response. That was a little odd. I wonder if they weren’t quite ready to report that yet. So we now have that two of 3 reactors are likely to have partial meltdowns and a potential for a second reactor to explode.

    From the report on reactor 2, it sounds like it could be approaching a meltdown situation. They reported that reactor 1 had the fuel elements exposed for about 2 hours and the melt down occurred within that 2 hours. If reactor 2 is loosing coolant it sounds kike a meltdown could happen in fairly short order.

    Reactor 1 is reported to now be fully filled with seawater and they are running the continuous flow in an open loop!!! I would love to see a satellite image of the radiation plume in the surrounding ocean.

  82. Kettle1^2 says:


    The gama scout is kinda neat. It has a USB data function so you could just let it always run and have a historical record of alpha, Beta, and Gama levels recorded down to your PC

  83. Kettle1^2 says:

    Nothing to see here.

    That news stream just showed video of and reported that people showing up to local shelters (those near the reactor) are being found contaminated with radiation and are being decontaminated before being let in the shelters. Nice visual of the state/military guys in full radiation gear as they measure and decon the people showing up tot the shelter.

  84. Kettle1^2 says:

    Party On!

    (From BBC) A state of emergency has been declared at a second nuclear power plant in Japan, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said. “Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that the first, or lowest, state of emergency at the Onagawa nuclear power plant (is in Miyagi prefecture) has been reported by Tohoku Electric Power Company,” a statement said, according to the AFP news agency. The alert was declared “as a consequence of radioactivity readings exceeding allowed levels in the area surrounding the plant”. “Japanese authorities are investigating the source of radiation,” it added.

  85. Kettle1^2 says:


    Company documents show that Tokyo Electric tested the Fukushima plant to withstand a maximum seismic jolt lower than Friday’s 8.9 earthquake. Tepco’s last safety test of nuclear power plant Number 1—one that is currently in danger of meltdown—was done at a seismic magnitude the company considered the highest possible, but in fact turned out to be lower than Friday’s quake. The information comes from the company’s “Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 Updated Safety Measures” documents written in Japanese in 2010 and 2009.

    The documents were reviewed by Dow Jones. The company said in the documents that 7.9 was the highest magnitude for which they tested the safety for their No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants in Fukushima. Simultaneous seismic activity along the three tectonic plates in the sea east of the plants—the epicenter of Friday’s quake—wouldn’t surpass 7.9, according to the company’s presentation. The company based its models partly on previous seismic activity in the area, including a 7.0 earthquake in May 1938 and two simultaneous earthquakes of 7.3 and 7.5 on November 5 of the same year.

  86. Kettle1^2 says:


    I just saw a report that said that the cesium isotopes being detected int he air could only be occurring if the reactor had been compromised ( probably by the explosion.)

    “If this accident stops right now it will already be one of the three worst accidents we have ever had at a nuclear power plant in the history of nuclear power,” said Joseph Cirincione, an expert on nuclear materials and president of the U.S.-based Ploughshares Fund, a firm involved in security and peace funding.

  87. Shore Guy says:


    Back in the day, I used to be required to weasr a dosimiter regularly. Whilst I have great confidence in our ability to engineer safe nuclear power plants, I have less confidence in our willingness to do so.

  88. DL says:

    Ket: Japanese now reporting three power plants have had collant system failures. More earthquakes to come. Volcano in southern Japan that started erupting in January after a 50 pause again active. No power, no food, no water, and countries that sent rescue teams have called them home due to radiation risks. We are only at the beginning of this tragedy and it will have global impacts. When the liquid super-heated plutonium (which is in the third power plant that failed) melts through the containment facility, all bets are off. No one has any certaintly what’s going on in the reactor blocks and there is no experience with the potential worst case scenarios. I’m not an alarmist but this is as serious as it gets and we’re not even done dealing with the externals (more earthquakes), the situation has not been stabilized and likely will not be, and the results will change everything. Can Japan sink into the sea?

  89. Shore Guy says:

    wear, even

  90. Shore Guy says:

    Last night I heard that some fuel rods were half exposed. That leads one to imagine that the primary coolant loop has ruptured. Whether the reactor vessel is compromised is anyone’s guess but, in an odd way, if it is, I wonder if that will prevent a huge explosion from ripping it apart, or blowing off the top. Not that this would prevent the fuel rods from melting.

  91. jamil says:

    old joke why we need two police officers getting true (answer: one can read, other one can write)

    DAYTON — The Dayton Police Department is lowering its testing standards for recruits. It’s a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam. Dayton is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test. Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two.

  92. Shore Guy says:

    “we’re not even done dealing with the externals (more earthquakes),”

    Or opportunistic terrorist attacks.

    Or, even, an emboldened North Korea or a Taiwan-coveting China acting up.

  93. Shore Guy says:

    Nom, John, A.West, etc,

    Bend over, pay your fair share, and stop being leeches on society, then say “Thank You Sir, may I have another?”:

  94. Kettle1 says:

    Shore 92

    agreed. A perfect non-nuclear example was a recent project of mine. I was working on a pharma compressed air system upgrade. I told them the design would fail within 6 months. They declined to make the suggested component upgrades because they didn’t want to spend the extra money.
    I got a frantic phone call 4 months later when the system failed. In the end they spent way more correcting the problem then if they had done it right the first time.

    The problem is “business” decisions overridding qualified experienced engineering decisions. As a contractor I see this constantly and the suits never seem to learn. I think it’s ingrained corporate short sightedness. Whoever spends less gets the immediate promotion while the guy who does it right get overlooked because his initial cost/ margin doesn’t look as pretty even though in real life his system has a lower lifecycle cost.

  95. jamil says:

    “Seawater is so corrosive, I suspect these plants will be offline for a very long time. .Given their age, I wonder if they will ever come back online.”

    Shore, when I used to work in nuclear plant, guess what kind of coolant we (as well as many other plants) used as a reactor coolant? Yes, seawater!
    Luckily we didn’t take advice from you.

    “Took an iventory of my potassium iodide pills today. Sometimes it pays to be paranoid.”

    Their usefulness is controversial and may not actually help much.

  96. Kettle1 says:

    Dl 94

    I don’t disagree


    Japanese nuclear officials has stated they believe partial meltdowns have occured in 2 of the 3 troubled reactors at fukukumia1 (spelling?), the site where the 1 reactor exploded. They also stated that there was risk of a second reactor at that sight exploding like the first.
    They are already well into their worst case scenarios.

  97. Kettle1 says:


    shore is right, you do not EVER use sea water in a primary cooling loop. That is the loop where the coolant directly contacts the core. You can use sea water for your secondary cooling loop that removes heat from the primary loop through a heat exchanger.

    The only water allowed to touch the core is very highly purified. Using sea water to flood the core is a last ditch effort and the reactor is permanently dead once you get to the stage where you need to use sea water.

    Using unpurified water that contains chlorides and other compounds causes a number of problematic chemical reactions imcluding agrresive corrosion of most metals

  98. DL says:

    We have not even begun to think about the worst case scenarios. The Jananese have no where near the capacity to deal with the current events at even one power plant let alone all three. Think about a dozen Chernobyls (assuming that all the blocks at only the three power plants currently losing their cooling systems, have core melt downs and breech their containment facilities) spewing radioactivity into the ocean, air and through the earth’s crust for the next couple of months while remediation efforts (assuming there are any) continue to be hampered by earthquakes and what that means.

  99. Kettle1 says:

    Jamil 97

    that’s insane. You have to love state supported racism.

  100. Kettle1 says:


    yes it’s messy, ugly and will cause problems. But a melt down isn’t worst case. While fallout sucks it’s long term effects may very well be comparable to living downwind of coal power plants which produce substantial amounts of uranium based fallout everyday.

    Radiation can be scary but the documented long term impacts aren’t exceptionally different from something like love canal

    I’m not belittling the seriousness of the situation but this isn’t going to kill the ocean or half of japan

  101. jamil says:

    103 kettle: well, the fuel rods were in the pool full of seawater (sure it went through series of pipes and purification mechanisms – we did often find fish there in the pipes inside the nuke plant and naturally that sort of stuff cannot be let to go to the pool).
    If Fukushima uses seawater they can filter it too.

  102. DL says:

    Ket: You’re right, Chernobyl experience seems to indicate the long term effects were not as bad as predicited. In fact, some people are still living within the exclusion zone. As someone who gets paid to plot worse case scenarios and challenge assumptions, my cynical self suspects this has the potential to be far worse by virtue of the magnitude and inabiloity of the Japanese to deal wit hit. The Russians only had Chernobyl to confront, the Japanese have multiple plagues to manage. BTW, the radioactive cloud now drifting north/east over the Pacific. If the winds turn south or the cloud enters the jet stream…

  103. Barbara says:

    I’m going to assume you guys didn’t see the ducumentary on the orphanages near Chernobyl. It was like The Toxic Avenger, except not funny.

  104. jamil says:

    Great that our priorities are right for the post-racial future..

    “In the old days, when an ambulance arrived at your door, the first thing the EMT would ask would be something like: “Where does it hurt?” or “What are the symptoms?” But we live in a Politically Correct world now, and so the Mass. Department of Public Health has issued a new directive, “Guidance on the Collection of Race and Ethnicity by Ambulance Services.” In this document, the first question to the sick person is not: “Do you want to go to the hospital?” The first question is: “Are you Hispanic/Latino/Spanish?”

  105. Kettle1 says:


    it’s sound like you ate describing a spent fuel pool, used to store and cool spent fuel rods. You can use filtered sea water for that but not as a primary coolant. The salt in sea water would destoy the reator.

  106. Shore Guy says:


    You are spot on with the cooling and heat exchange, regardless of what Homer Simpson might think.

    The purity of the water is amazing and helps make the cherenkov glow look so amazing.

  107. Shore Guy says:


    Have you ever had an opportunity to run a reactor?

  108. jamil says:

    kettle, not sure. It was a huge hall, monited via video from remote IEAE site, and it had fuel rods covered by cooling water. Perhaps that was spent fuel pool, indeed. My job my mainly to get rid of the fish and other stuff in the seawater pipe system, as a highly respected 18-year old temp worker assisting the junior safety inspector.

  109. jamil says:

    meant monitored by IEAE

  110. Shore Guy says:

    It I’d also oddly fun to scram a reactor, even though an ax is no longer needed.

  111. Shore Guy says:

    Health physicist may be a reasonable career choice for a bright Japanese student.

  112. jamil says:

    somehow I don’t see the Party of Chosen One supporting this bill in NJ..

    “BREWSTER – Following a number of state legislators being brought up on corruption charges, State Senator Gregory Ball (R-Patterson) Friday announced he has introduced legislation that would strip retirement benefits from convicted lawmakers. Surrounded by a number of local and state officials, Ball said pensions should be cut from any lawmaker convicted of a crime. “It is almost mind boggling that we allow those who break and violate the public trust in the greatest sense to continue to collect at taxpayer expense a public pension,” he said. Assemblyman Robert Castelli will support the bill in the Assembly”

  113. Kettle1 says:

    Jamil 114

    you just described a spent fuel pool. The fuel rods probably gave off a blue glow as well (Cherenkov radiation).

    They have to keep the fuel rods in those pools until they cool enough to be reprocessed or put into dry storage. Some facilities use those pools as longterm storage as well

  114. jamil says:

    kettle, yep, that looks familiar

  115. Kettle1 says:


    no, I am a bio-chemical/ chemical enigeer by education


    my job requires similiar cynism as I have to test system to failure and attempt to predict failure modes. In my personal experience people will accept chemical contamination without thought when the dangers ate worse than “similiar” alpha or beta radiation exposure.

  116. Shore Guy says:

    In the old days, think University of Chicago atomic pile, there was a guy with an ax was the final safety step.

  117. Shore Guy says:

    Pressing a button is not quite the same thing as whacking a rope with an ax.

  118. cobbler says:

    kettle [122]
    Perception of the hazard is usually – the less visible it is, the scarier (e.g. very low levels of radiation from the power plant, etc. cause lots of anxiety, while cigarette smoke doesn’t). Right now, the long-term damage from the Daiichi plant seems to be more economical (have to write off the reactors after using the seawater) than environmental.

  119. Shore Guy says:


    It is analogous to fear of flying vs fear of driving.

  120. DL says:

    Ket: Again, you’re right. In the State of PA there are limits (like one a month) on eating fresh water fish, especially if you’re pregnant. I once attended a lecture in NYC on the impossibility of posioning the NYC water supply. The magnitude of the upstate NY reservoirs, the distance the water traveled meant whatever was put in the system would be diluted before it ever hit a tap in the city. My question is, what does getting things under control look like?

  121. NJCoast says:

    Too many Painkillers at The Soggy Dollar Bar. Good thing we were with the swells on the way back to St Thomas.
    Real estate off over 30% from the peak here. All mortgages must be from local banks. Minimum 25% down.

  122. cobbler says:

    …The risks of dependence on seawalls was most evident in the crisis at the Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants, both located along the coast close to the earthquake zone. The tsunami that followed the quake washed over walls that were supposed to protect the plants, disabling the diesel generators crucial to maintaining power for the reactors’ cooling systems during shutdown.

    Cooling system malfunctions caused overheating and partial fuel meltdowns at two reactors at the Daiichi plant, Japan’s worst nuclear accident.

    Peter Yanev, one of the world’s best-known consultants on designing nuclear plants to withstand earthquakes, said the seawalls at the Japanese plants could not handle tsunami waves of the height that struck them. But the diesel generators were situated in a low spot on the assumption that the walls were high enough to protect against any likely tsunami.

    That turned out to be a fatal miscalculation. The tsunami walls either should have been built higher, or the generators should have been place on higher ground to withstand potential flooding, he said…

  123. yo'me says:

    Japan being the second largest holder of US treasuries,will they cash in and bring the money home for reconstruction?

  124. Kettle1^2 says:


    I hate you! I am intensely jealous! I love the soggy dollar, followed by sailing back to maho bay and floating in the shallows for a few hours with the barracuda

  125. Kettle1^2 says:


    That turned out to be a fatal miscalculation. The tsunami walls either should have been built higher, or the generators should have been place on higher ground to withstand potential flooding, he said…

    Bad decisions all around. A robust design would have assumed that the tsunami walls would fail and sight the diesel generators appropriately.

  126. Kettle1^2 says:

    Crazy footage of the tsunami coming into a japanese village

  127. Kettle1^2 says:

    Since things are looking up today, a sneak peak at the start of the week:

    ….Bahrain Protests Resume With A Vengeance As Interior Ministry Says “Social Fabric” In Peril, Sets Stage For Another Crude Spike

  128. NJ Toast says:

    Largest foreign ownership in US Treasuries –
    How hard will the DOW get rocked this week?

  129. Kettle1^2 says:

    is it 2012 already?

    BREAKING NEWS: Cooling system pump stops at Tokai nuclear power plan

  130. Kettle1^2 says:

    Is this mess in japan bullish for the yen? Lots of reconstruction and new power plant construction to be done!

  131. Kettle1^2 says:

    speaking of 2012,

    the japanese volcano that erupted simultaneously with the earthquake

  132. Samara says:

    It is hard to find qualified persons on this topic, but you seem like you understand exactly what you are posting about! Thanks a lot

  133. A.West says:

    Shore (99),
    I’m still working on my tax return, finding out if the > $100k I already paid in taxes in 2010 will be deemed sufficient for now. The leftists have a big program of hiring linguists to reframe the political arguments. The biggest push appears to be calling any amount of the income people are allowed to keep as “government spending”, while calling all actual government spending “investment” in the the future, our children, the American way, etc.

    Shore, did you ever read Atlas Shrugged?

  134. nj escapee says:

    Dawd, it’s not any easier watching the news after 4 key lime margaritas at Kelly’s. Pretty depressing stuff.

  135. jamil says:

    141 A West.

    Your income is not your money. It belongs to the People, represented by the Chosen One Messiah who will wisely distribute it to other people.

  136. Kettle1^2 says:


    welcome to Newspeak

  137. Confused In NJ says:

    TOKYO – Japan’s central bank has injected 7 trillion yen (US$85.5 billion) into money markets after the devastating earthquake and tsunami raised dire worries about the world’s third-largest economy.

    Looks like Japan is using a page from Ben Bernanke’s play book.

  138. zieba says:

    Un-f*cking-real! From an ankle deep swell to houses being washed away in six minutes…

  139. Lone Ranger says:

    “Is this mess in japan bullish for the yen?


    Missed the early Fri morn trade? Sell Nikkei/buy Yen.

  140. ajmp says:

    Anyone have any insights into Overlook at Highland Park?

    I visited and my impression is –

    Pro: 3-story 4-bedroom 2-car garage townhomes with 2000 sq feet. Near downtown Highland Park and downtown New Brunswick, near both NB and Edison train stations. HP schools are excellent.

    Con: $300 HOA fee with $9000 tax bill.

    The HOA fee alone makes me disinclined to pursue this. Any thoughts anyone has on this development are welcome.

  141. Lone Ranger says:

    2008, dollar was safe haven trade, 2011 it’s Bergabe’s trash. There’s a reason the sun sets in the west.

  142. chicagofinance says:

    Lots of people borrow in yen and cheap rates, and then swap to another currency to invest. To unwind the trade, these investors are natural buyers of yen, so the yen will rally like a bitch….

    March 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    Is this mess in japan bullish for the yen? Lots of reconstruction and new power plant construction to be done!

  143. chicagofinance says:

    The effect I just described is in the market, but based on this story, it is being overwhelmed by the liquidity of the BOJ…….

  144. chicagofinance says:

    Japanese media and eyewitness reports say a blast has occurred at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

  145. chicagofinance says:

    42 mins ago
    SOMA, Japan – Soldiers and officials in northeastern Japan are warning residents that the area could be hit by another tsunami and are ordering residents to higher ground.

    Sirens around the town of Soma went off late Monday morning and public address systems ordered residents to higher ground.

    Kyodo News Agency said the tsunami could be 10 feet (3 meters) high, citing Fukushima prefectural officials.

    An Associated Press reporter stood about 100 yards (100 meters) from the coast.

  146. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [117] shore

    My only nuclear story involves the HPs at Vermont Yankee. Our class tour was inside the containment blg there (BWR BTW), and one girl used the frisker on her shoe. Red light goes off, the needle spikes, and the workers seemed to come out of the walls. They put a bootie on her, say “come with us” and two grab an arm each. Then they hustle her off to the HPs. We yell, “hey, we’re coming too”, and follow, past the decon room (the Silkwood room, we called it), and found the HPs playing chess. Two guys in jeans and flannel shirts, sitting in what looked like a stockroom. Very Vermont.

    Anyway, they sit her up on the table, frisk her foot and the needle spikes. Then one cracks wise about amputating, and the poor girl starts to lose it. HP quickly recovers and tells her, joking, you’re fine.

    Then they take out the all-purpose tool, duct tape, and cover the sole of her shoe. They strip off the duct tape and toss it in the radioactive waste barrel in the corner. Then run the frisker over her shoe again. Nothing. They tell us “okay, all set. Have a nice day” and we left.

    Low-level nuclear waste. Contained by duct tape.

  147. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    A break from the NJ Nuclear Power report for some small world news, Brigadoon edition.

    I never check realty listings, but did so in the SL today. Saw that the CEO of my wife’s company sold his house in Brigadoon. To the attorney that hired me at my last law firm.

    Also had a legislative aide come to the door for signatures to put Tom Kean on the ballot. He said, “you know he lives right down here on Linden” (VERY near my house). I ask “does he have any kids at [school]?” and the aide says yes and gives ages. Then it dawned on me that my daughter and his daughter are friends. How many times did I meet this guy and never put 2 and 2 together (my excuse–not from Jersey).

    Top it off, the aide then says to me “You look familiar. Didn’t the Assemblyman and I meet you at **************?” He was right, we had met and talked before.

    Freakin’ small town, Brigadoon.

  148. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [141] A. West

    Did you hear that the U.S. Treasury is going to be renamed the Ministry of Love?

    I have a friend who works there. Winston Smith.

  149. Confused In NJ says:

    Looks like the second reactor contaiment building just blew.

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