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G0ldfinger

Fukushima I: four reactors in trouble.

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I read the damage to the reactor was not much. Also, was this really a concrete building, or just a tin box?

Got to have blown pipes and infrastructure at the very least; those containment housings are huge! Assuming the reactors are inside the 4 cuboid tall buildings.. it's hard to see how instrumentation and pipes would have survived. Whatever did happen, they must be flying blind. Doesn't look like tin to me.

fukushima-dai-ichi-nuclear-plantjpg-6fbb1972e92b1302.jpg

 

This schematic clearly is not accurate, but gives an idea:

bwr-reactor-system.jpg

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I have been trying to keep up with events in Japan around work commitments and all I can say is this is horrendous. Its almost as if the events in

Japan is the plotline from some cheesy 70's hollywood disaster movie......absolutely unbelievable!

 

Given the reputation of our "leaders" for glossing over the truth, I have problems in accepting that this nuclear accident is not as serious as we are all fearing.

 

Lets just hope they are telling the truth for once and the radioactivity has been largely contained

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VERY DUBIOUS. I THINK WE ARE BEING LIED TO... THIS ALL STINKS OF A COVER UP

 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-japan-nuclear-operator-idUKTRE72B1B420110312

In 2002, the president of the country's largest power utility [Tokyo Electric Power's (TEPCO)] was forced to resign along with four other senior executives, taking responsibility for suspected falsification of nuclear plant safety records.

 

The company was suspected of 29 cases involving falsified repair records at nuclear reactors

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VERY DUBIOUS. I THINK WE ARE BEING LIED TO... THIS ALL STINKS OF A COVER UP

 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-japan-nuclear-operator-idUKTRE72B1B420110312

 

Absolutely Chris ct. I suspect they don't want to induce futher panic. God it's AWFUL isn't it?

Will the international community send people to help if there is fallout? What a horrible

position to be in.

 

TG we don't have any nuclear power plants in NZ - specifically Christchurch. Given the number

of earthquakes over the past six months in the ring of fire I'd say something major is happening.

 

Late last year in Fiordland, NZ we had one over 7 on the richter scale. Nobody lives there so it

didn't really get much press. We have a volcanoe erupting in Indonesia just after the Japan quake.

These are large scale events and not part of the normal pattern at all (there are quakes all the

time, all around the world which ARE normal).

 

When the USAR (urban search and rescue) teams arrived in Christchurch the first teams were from

Taiwan and Japan. We we all like "yay! Go the asians!". They looked the biz in their uniforms.

HOW can we repay the favour when radiation is going to be an issue? What can we do?? Not a hell

of a lot at all. NZ has sent 48 USAR over but with radiation being so destructive SEE THIS PAGE

HOW can you do that to your citizens, especially when NZ has such a strong anti nuclear stance??

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The BBC are saying Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka told an emergency news conference it was highly likely the reactor had gone critical, radiation was 15,000 times normal and so forth.

 

The head of the company's Tokyo office, Makoto Ujihara, said the workers told other staff at the plant that "they saw a blue flame rising from the fuel" and complained of nausea.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/461446.stm

 

So not much of a cover up in progress

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I understand that the German government is assuming that a core meltdown is in progress.

 

I guess it is good that quite a bit of the concrete structure is still standing (for containment).

 

Technical measures must be of a more palliative nature now, because what technical devices would survive a blowout of the type we have seen in the news and still be usable?

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... workers told other staff at the plant that "they saw a blue flame rising from the fuel" and complained of nausea.

That's not good. I hope they're not walking ghosts already.

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So:

 

You build a massive amount of nuclear power plants in an area where earthquakes happen all the time.

 

You build them on the coast, of course, since you need cooling water.

 

But, obviously, the quakes regularly cause tsunamis (a Japanese word, after all).

 

Now, you would think, with such a predictable calamity being planned, they would shut down all nuclear plants immediately when a quake of a certain strength occurs?

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http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20110312D12JF520.htm

 

Meltdown May Be In Progress At Fukushima No. 1

 

cesium and iodine, two by-products of nuclear fission, were detected near the plant.

 

If a meltdown of the reactor core is confirmed, it would be the worst-ever nuclear accident in Japan and the first time a meltdown has occurred in the country. If a core meltdown leads to a large-scale release of these radioactive materials, many people may be exposed.

 

Calculating the spread of radioactive substances so far, the agency said it is not necessary to expand the evacuation zone for nearby residents beyond the 10km radius already established.

 

Before the explosion, a drop was reported in the water that cools the fuel rods in the core of the damaged No. 1 reactor, exposing the rods and possibly causing the explosion.

 

The metal container that holds the nuclear fuel powering the fission reaction is designed to be resistant to high temperatures. But if the container melted, the area near the fuel must have been exposed to very high temperatures. If both the container but and the reactor's pressure dome and containment building are breached, radioactive substances will be released.

 

When a nuclear power plant is in operation, fission, or the splitting of atoms, takes place in the reactor core. The heat generated from the reaction is used to create steam, which turns a turbine to generate electricity.

 

The heat is maintained at a constant level as long as there is sufficient water to cool the fuel rods. But if the water level drops to the point where the rods are exposed heat builds up. In a worst-case scenario the heat buildup can lead to a meltdown of the reactor core, which can, in turn, produce an explosive release of radioactivity.

 

The nuclear safety agency has asked the Ground Self-Defense Force to provide a large amount of additional water to cool the core.

 

There have been similar fires in the past that were caused by a meltdown. One was the Three Mile Island accident in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania in 1979, in which overheated fuel melted the reactor core when the emergency core cooling system failed

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uh oh..

 

 

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Japan_earthquake2

by Aviva West at 3/12/2011 8:55:32 PM8:55 PM

Reuters:

Japan's nuclear safety agency says Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant No. 3 reactor's emergency cooling system not functioning

 

Apparently the reactors were not designed to withstand this level of quake.

 

Japanese stock market will implode on monday unless they can come up with a support plan

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Apparently the reactors were not designed to withstand this level of quake.

 

Japanese stock market will implode on monday unless they can come up with a support plan

BoJ has already made clear in the very moment of the quake that they'll provide any level of printing that is needed to keep the charade going.

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Will the international community send people to help if there is fallout? What a horrible

position to be in.

I read that a German rescue team at a Tokyo airport decided to turn around and return to Germany when they heard of the nuke situation.

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I read that a German rescue team at a Tokyo airport decided to turn around and return to Germany when they heard of the nuke situation.

! Here is a reference to them from the reuters live website:

Jon, spiegel.de reports that a German rescue team was flown out again because of the unknown situation in Fukushima. spiegel also reports as of 17:40 that fuel rods where only half way covered in water. Can anyone confirm that?

 

Once the rods are exposed there is only a short amount of time before a meltdown occurs. Lets hope it's wild speculation at this point as that is the best we can hope for.

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http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,750603,00.html

 

Tells us they left Germany....but did they leave Japan?

 

German Aid Teams Depart

A flight carrying the first relief team from Germany's federal emergency relief agency, the Technisches Hilfswerk (THW), departed on Saturday afternoon. The jet is carrying 38 emergency workers, three search-and-rescue dogs and 12 tons of emergency relief supplies. Takeoff had initially been delayed because reports of an explosion at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant had caused many to fear that it had suffered a core meltdown.

 

The team is expected to primarily aid with search-and-rescue operations, tracking people buried in the rubble who may have survived the earthquake and tsunami. The agency will only find out where the team will be dispatched after landing at 8 a.m. local time in Japan.

 

Speaking of the triple threat posed by aftershocks, tsunamis and possible radiation, THW President Albrecht Broemme said they represented a "special situation, even for disaster-control experts." If the threat of exposure to radiation existed, he added, German rescue workers would not be sent to those areas. "The Japanese wouldn't take any risks or allow foreign helpers to endanger themselves," he said, adding that the team would be withdrawn if the threat of a nuclear disaster in the area increases.

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I am reading that 5(!) of ten reactors in the area have no cooling.

Meltdown may be occurring at nuclear plant, Japanese official says

 

Los Angeles Times - Molly Hennessy-Fiske - ‎12 minutes ago‎

 

'There is a possibility, we see the possibility of a meltdown,' an official with Japan's nuclear agency says in an interview with CNN, adding that he is basing this on radioactivity measurements near the plant Saturday night.

 

/more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-japan-quake-meltdown-20110312,0,2889362.story

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the_great_wave.jpg

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Nice summary here: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110312-red-alert-nuclear-meltdown-quake-damaged-japanese-plant

 

And so now the question is simple: Did the floor of the containment vessel crack? If not, the situation can still be salvaged by somehow re-containing the nuclear core. But if the floor has cracked, it is highly likely that the melting fuel will burn through the floor of the containment system and enter the ground. This has never happened before but has always been the nightmare scenario for a nuclear power event — in this scenario, containment goes from being merely dangerous, time consuming and expensive to nearly impossible.

 

Radiation exposure for the average individual is 620 millirems per year, split about evenly between manmade and natural sources. The firefighters who served at the Chernobyl plant were exposed to between 80,000 and 1.6 million millirems. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates that exposure to 375,000 to 500,000 millirems would be sufficient to cause death within three months for half of those exposed. A 30-kilometer-radius (19 miles) no-go zone remains at Chernobyl to this day. Japan’s troubled reactor site is about 300 kilometers from Tokyo.

 

The latest report from the damaged power plant indicated that exposure rates outside the plant were at about 620 millirems per hour, though it is not clear whether that report came before or after the reactor’s containment structure exploded.

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http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110312-japanese-government-confirms-meltdown

 

Japanese Government Confirms Meltdown

 

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12 that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in which he said “the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode.”

 

NISA’s statement is significant because it is the government agency that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission. Its role is to provide oversight to the industry and is responsible for signing off construction of new plants, among other things. It has been criticized for approving nuclear plants on geological fault lines and for an alleged conflict of interest in regulating the nuclear sector. It was NISA that issued the order for the opening of the valve to release pressure — and thus allegedly some radiation — from the Fukushima power plant.

 

NISA has also overseen the entire government response to the nuclear reactor problems following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It is difficult to determine at this point whether the NISA statement is accurate, as the Nikkei report has not been corroborated by others. It is also not clear from the context whether NISA is stating the conclusions of an official assessment or simply making a statement. However, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, also said that although it had relieved pressure, nevertheless some nuclear fuel had melted and further action was necessary to contain the pressure.

 

If this report is accurate, it would not be the first time statements by NISA and Edano have diverged. When Edano earlier claimed that radiation levels had fallen at the site after the depressurization efforts, NISA claimed they had risen due to the release of radioactive vapors.

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