Nuclear Meltdown Watch

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Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:24 pm

A second plant is in trouble and I thought we should have a separate thread


TEPCO: loses control of pressure at 2nd nuclear plant


TOKYO | Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:14pm EST
(Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power said it had lost its ability to control pressure in some of the reactors of a second nuclear power plant at its quake-hit Fukushima facility in northeastern Japan.

Pressure is stable inside the reactors but rising in the containment vessels, a spokesman said, although he did not know if there would be a need to release pressure at the plant at this point, which would involve a release of radiation.



TEPCO INFO


Radiation control ordered in Far East amid Japanese meltdown fears

Cooling fails at 3 reactors at another Japanese nuke plant


First the Quake, Then the Lies

Don't Worry, It's Just a Little Radiation

By KARL GROSSMAN

And with the major malfunction at the Fukushima nuclear power plant comes the lies…

That’s the way it’s always been when it comes to nuclear technology: deception has always been a central element in the push for it.

As desperate efforts were made Friday to keep coolant flowing—to prevent a nuclear meltdown—“radioactive vapor” was being released from the plant, reported the Associated Press. It quoted Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano as saying the amount of radioactivity was “very small.”

And it “would not affect the environment or human health,” added AP.

Really.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, the U.S. nuclear industry trade group, presented a page on its website devoted to the post-earthquake situation involving nuclear plants in Japan which opened with pronouncement: “The Japanese prime minister and the industry’s safety agency say all plants in the country are safe and that there has been no radiation release from any reactors. Utilities there are managing issues with cooling water systems at the Fukushima plant…”

To sweeten its tale further, the NEI page featured a quote from the chief PR man at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Eliot Brenner: “In fact, all nuclear power plants are built to withstand environmental hazards, including earthquakes. Even those plants that are located outside of areas with extensive seismic activity are designed for safety in the event of such a natural disaster."

Don’t worry.

And CNN Friday posed this question in a dispatch on its website: “Do nuclear plants have failsafe systems?” The answer: “Yes. They are designed with an inter-connected system of fail-safes that ensure there are multiple ways of counteracting a malfunction.”

In fact, like any machinery, nuclear plants can—and regularly do—undergo accidents.

The big difference with atomic energy: the malfunctions can end up killing large numbers of people and impact on other life as well.

If the attempt now going on in Japan to keep the coolant flowing fails, a loss-of-coolant or meltdown accident could occur—a disaster that could have catastrophic impacts on Japan and much of the world.

Radioactive material is used in a nuclear plant as a heat source—to boil water and produce steam that turns a turbine that generates electricity. Huge amounts of radioactive material are made to go through a chain reaction, a process in which atomic particles bombard the nuclei of atoms, causing them to break up and generate heat.

But to keep the nuclear reaction in check—to prevent the material from overheating—vast amounts of coolant are required, up to a million gallons of water a minute in the most common nuclear plants that have been built (“light water” reactors). That is why nuclear plants are sited along rivers and bays, to use the water as coolant.

If the water which cools the reactor “core”—its 200,000 to 300,000 pounds of radioactive fuel load—stops flowing, the “emergency core cooling system” must send water in. If it fails, a loss-of-coolant or meltdown accident can occur.

In such an accident, the core of nuclear fuel, which in less than a minute can reach 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, burns through the cement bottom of the nuclear plant and bores into the earth. This is what U.S. nuclear scientists have dubbed the “China syndrome”—based on a nuclear plant on their side of the planet undergoing an accident seemingly sending its white-hot core in the direction of China.

In fact, the radioactive core doesn’t—in any location—go to China but it descends to the water table underlying a plant. Then, in a violent reaction, molten core and cold water combine, creating steam explosions and releasing a plume of radioactive poisons.

The problem at Fukushima Diachi nuclear facility is that one of its six reactors lost all its power as a result of the earthquake. Back-up diesel generators didn’t work, so battery power became necessary to keep coolant water flowing. If the battery power is depleted and electric power is not otherwise restored, a loss-of-coolant accident or meltdown would ensue.

“The emergency shutdown has been conducted but the process of cooling down the reaction is currently not going as planned,” explained Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano.Friday.

Thus Japan declared a state of “atomic power emergency” and people living within three kilometers of the Fukushima facility were advised to evacuate.

But if the coolant flow is not maintained and a loss-of-coolant accident with a “breach of containment” occurs, people way beyond three kilometers around Fukushima would be impacted. The radioactive releases in the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident affected the entire northern hemisphere, as a book published last year by the New York Academy of Sciences documents. And Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, authored by Dr. Alexey Yablokov, Dr. Vassily Nesterenko and Dr. Alexey Nesterenko, finds that medical records between 1986, the year of the accident, and 2004 reflect 985,000 deaths as a result of the radioactivity released. Most of the deaths were in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but others were spread through the many other countries the radiation from Chernobyl struck.

Where the radioactivity spreads after a nuclear plant meltdown is largely a function of where winds take the radioactivity and of the rain that causes it to fall out.

Perhaps the biggest lie ever regarding nuclear power has been the claim by the International Atomic Energy Agency—created to boost and somehow at the same time regulate nuclear power—that perhaps 4,000 people will die as a result of Chernobyl.

Where the radioactivity spreads after a nuclear plant meltdown is largely a function of where winds take the radioactivity and of the rain that causes it to fall out.

The Japanese nuclear crisis comes amid a global drive to “revive” nuclear power. After the Chernobyl disaster, good sense—and the survival instinct—caused people all over the world to say no to new nuclear power plants.

A leader in this is U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a nuclear scientist. He came to his DOE post after being director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, part of the U.S. government’s chain of national nuclear laboratories. Some got their start during the Manhattan Project of World War II creating atomic weaponry. All have since pushed commercial nuclear power, too.

In a speech last month to President Obama’s “Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nature Future,” Chu declared: “The Obama administration believes that nuclear energy has an important role to play as America moves to a clean energy future.” He declared that nuclear power is “carbon free energy"—disregarding the reality that the “nuclear cycle,” from mining and milling to fuel enrichment and so on, contributes to global warming. And he spoke, in his February 12th address, of “upgrades to our existing reactor fleet” and a move to “speed the development of next generation reactors.”

Japan’s jump into nuclear power is especially ironic considering it was on the receiving end of the bombs built by the Manhattan Project. Furthermore, it is situated on a string of volcanic islands vulnerable to earthquakes. Of course, Japan is not alone on this score: in the U.S., the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility in California was built less than three miles from the Hosgri earthquake fault.

Nuclear power plants are, in fact, life-threatening wherever they are—they represent the most dangerous way to boil water ever devised.

Wind, solar and geothermal energy and other forms of safe, clean power would not cause massive deadly damage because of an earthquake.

But don’t tell that to the atomic Pinocchios pushing nuclear technology.



China Syndrome in Japan? Nuclear Power Plant Could be on Verge of Meltdown
KENRIC WARD'S BLOG | POSTED: MARCH 11, 2011 5:47 PM

Among the rolling disasters set in motion by Japan's major earthquake, at least one of that country's nuclear power plants is in danger of melting down.

Japan's nuclear reactors were shut down in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, but officials say the emergency cooling system at the Fukushima plant is proving "problematic."

With the facility's internal radiation levels hitting more than 1,000 times above the limit, technicians are scrambling to cool the core. Small releases of radioactive gas reportedly have been vented in the process. More appear likely.

Critics say Japan's experience ought to be a huge red flag for future projects, including Florida's, and is a potential black eye for the nuclear power industry, which bills itself as safe and reliable. Of course, the industry's initial claim that it would produce electricity "too cheap to meter" was discounted decades ago.

FYI: The Obama administration has asked Congress for $36 billion in new loan guarantees to build more commercial reactors.


TEPCO HID MALFUNCTION AT NUCLEAR PLANT FROM GOVT INSPECTORS

KARIWA, Japan | Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:46pm EDT
(Reuters) - A Japanese nuclear power plant was ordered to stay closed until safety was assured after an earthquake caused radiation leaks, prompting the U.N. nuclear watchdog to say the operator had misjudged the risks.

Just hours after the order on Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) revised upward the level of radiation it said had leaked into the ocean, one of about 50 problems it reported at the world's biggest nuclear plant after Monday's tremor.

"It's clear that this earthquake, as TEPCO, the operating company, indicated, was stronger than what the reactor was designed for," International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

He called for a thorough investigation to find out what went wrong at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), Japan's largest utility, which turns out to have filed at least 29 falsified reports to nuclear-safety regulators since the 1980s. The reports failed to list safety problems at eight different nuclear reactors, some of which have cracks in the steel shrouds that surround the reactor cores and ensure their safety.


Tepco counts earthquake costs
30 January 2008
Losses of around ¥155 billion ($1.44 billion) are projected by Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) for FY2007 as the costs of the July 2007 earthquake mount.

The consolidated loss figure for Tepco is over 50% higher than the last estimate, made at the end of the second half of FY2007, which put the loss at ¥95 billion ($880 million).

Kashiwazaki Kariwa: the biggest nuclear power plant in the world

Tepco's announcement yesterday included a section dedicated to the effects of the magnitude 6.8 Niigata-Chuetsu-Oki earthquake, which violently shook the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant on 16 July 2007. All seven of the reactors remained safe during the event, which caused huge damage to the region and several deaths. However, checks to establish the units' safety to return to service are proving very lengthy, and could continue into the latter part of 2008.

The ongoing inspections at Kashiwazaki Kariwa are to cost ¥122 billion ($1.13 billion) in FY2007. In addition, ¥25 billion ($233 million) will go on civil engineering repairs while a geological survey of the site is to cost a total of ¥2 billion ($18 million).

Overall, the FY2007 impact of the earthquake is now projected to be ¥603.5 billion ($5.62 billion), a large part of that (¥440 billion, $4.10 billion) being increased fuel costs to replace the 8000 MWe of lost nuclear generation. The cost of extra fossil fuels has been compounded by a decrease in the exchange rate with the US dollar and an increase in crude oil prices since the last estimation.

Tepco's costs were somewhat offset by the need for less nuclear fuel and used fuel management, which helped reduce the figures by ¥40 billion ($373 million).

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency are shortly to conclude their second tour of Kashiwazaki Kariwa. During their week-long visit they have been conferring with Tepco engineers and Japan's Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa) to learn as much as possible about the effects of such a large earthquake on a nuclear power plant.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:07 pm

Expanded evacuation to from 2 to 10

Japanese Prime Minister Prime Minister Kan Naoto on Saturday extended evacuations to a 10-kilometre radius around the plant. Immediately after the earthquake, authorities had set a 2-kilometre evacuation zone, moving out 3,000 people.



Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur.Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.”

Kamps is a specialist in nuclear waste at Beyond Nuclear and conducted research last year assessing the state of nuclear facilities in Japan.



Emergencies at 5 nuclear reactors in Japan after quake knocks out power to cooling systems
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:04 pm

Japan nuclear plant conditions worsening, local media reports
The Kyodo news agency says the cooling system has failed at three reactors at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan and that the coolant water's temperature has reached boiling level.


Two Japanese Nuclear Units Still at Serious Risk
By: Scarecrow Friday March 11, 2011 2:59 pm

Image

Boiling Water Reactor with emergency cooling system (image: Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes and tsunami that struck Japan, we’ve been trying to piece together the status of the nuclear station at Fukushima. There are six units there, and the oldest, Units 1 and 2, brought in service in the early 1970s, appear to be at risk.
The New York Times has a useful summary, and we’re getting a more detailed picture from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which includes scientists and nuclear engineers with direct familiarity with the 1970s era General Electric boiling water reactor designs used at the station. The UCS are more prone to explain the risk analysis than government officials understandably concerned about public panic and safety.

Here’s what appears to be happening.

1. As soon as the earthquake began, all the Japanese nukes began their automatic shutdown sequences. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Control rods that help separate the radioactive fuel rods/elements and reduce the heat buildup were immediately inserted. As far as we know, this worked at every reactor.

2. When this happens, the cooling water system, run by electric pumps, is supposed to continue circulating water through the reactor vessel containing the fuel rods, to continue to remove their heat. However this system runs on electricity from the grid or from backup generators. The grid was damaged, so the plant was isolated.

3. With grid electricity unavailable, all plants automatically activate back-up, on-site generators, probably fueled by diesel. The diesel generators provide enough electricity to keep the control rooms functioning and to operate the electric pumps that continue to circulate water over the reactor core to continue its cooling. This normal back-up system worked at almost all plants until . . .

4. The tsunami hit the Fukushima station and apparently damaged the back-up diesel generators. At this point, Units 1 and 2 were without power from either the grid or back-up generators. It was flying blind.

5. When this happens, there is a fail-safe mechanism attached to the reactor that runs on steam that can still force cooling water across the core and continue the cooling process . . . for a while. This system is controlled by batteries with a limited life. The UCS think this is about 8 hours. That time has probably lapsed.

6. The Japanese operators are trying to bring in replacement batteries to keep the emergency fail-safe cooling system functioning. We don’t know the status of that effort at this time.

Bottom line: There may be not one but two units at risk. They’re both on last-ditch, fail-safe systems that rely on limited-life batteries to keep cooling water flowing and covering the core. The operators are in a race against time to replace them or to get electric power either from repaired or replaced back-up generators or restored access to the grid. We don’t know the status of any of these efforts.

Without continuously circulating cooling water, the still very hot reactor core will slowly (over hours) boil away the remaining cooling water, and that could eventually leave the reactor core and its radioactive fuel rods uncovered. We don’t know how far along we are in that sequence. What happens after that can lead to an uncontrolled meltdown and releases of radiation.

“Controlled” radiation releases, through filters (we don’t know their effectiveness), have already been used to relieve pressure inside the reactor. [There's a report they've lost any other ability to control pressure.] suspect most has been contained inside a massive containment structure, which is designed to withstand everything except the things they didn’t plan for, like the loss of everything. We’re there.

There have already been pressure buildups inside the reactor (or containment?) that exceed its design capacity. We don’t know what it’s real limits are, and we don’t know what damage the earthquake caused to its integrity.

Evacuations are underway, in increasingly larger areas. Stay tuned.


TOKYO —The situation surrounding Japan’s earthquake-damaged nuclear power infrastructure grew more serious Saturday, as the Japanese government declared states of emergency at four more nuclear reactors and prepared to issue an unprecedented order to release radioactive vapor from a fifth to ease building pressure.



Lawrence O'Donnell's show has Dr Edwin Lyman from Union of Concerned Scientists on saying could have 10's of thousands of cancer deaths from a meltdown. Once it starts meltdown can not stop.
Last edited by seemslikeadream on Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby WakeUpAndLive » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:09 pm

jeez this isn't good news at all. Let us hope that they can get this under control, especially with the size of japan. I'm not sure if it is my lack of age and experience of paying attention to world events, but these catastrophic events seem to be happening at a much accelerated rate. Let us hope there is life to be sustained here yet.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby Nordic » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:18 pm

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/nuclea ... n-scenario

Nuclear Expert: "Fukushima Has 24 Hours To Avoid A Core Meltdown Scenario"


Asked how long Japanese scientists have to correct the problem to avoid a core meltdown, Hibbs tells Newsmax that it depends on system design, adding, “it could be a day, plus or minus 10 hours.”

“After a while, with the heat building up in there, and lack of coolant, you’re going to see damage in your fuel, the cladding, the metal container around the nuclear material, begins to buckle or balloon or break, and after a little while you’ll get a situation where the fuel falls apart, melts, and falls into the core, and then you’ve got a classical core melt accident like you had in Three Mile Island that you had in the United States in '79.”

Hibbs spoke with Japanese government officials who told him the force of the tsunami was so severe that the water may have flooded the reactors, power generators, and cooling mechanisms, disabling the equipment. "Which means they have to resort to basically a military-type exercise, to rush in to the devastated site equipment that they can quickly hook up to the reactor to get power in there and start this emergency equipment, to get cooling water into that core and prevent that fuel from overheating.

“And if they can’t do that,” he told Newsmax, “then you’re going to have this meltdown.”

They have 24 hours or so to avoid a core meltdown, he says. But if one occurs, two scenarios could follow: The good outcome would mirror what happened at Three Mile Island, while the bad one could involve what he called a “Chernobyl scenario, where the damage to the reactor was such that the integrity of the structures were damaged.

“There was an explosion and other things happened in there, that opened up the reactor so the inventory of radioactive material . . . went into the atmosphere and generated this deadly plume that we know happened in Chernobyl.

“So that is the ultimate worst-case scenario. Nobody is saying that’s going to happen. Nobody is even saying we’re going to have a core meltdown. But we have a window of time now. We don’t know how much is left — but the Japanese authorities and the government and all the agencies that they can muster are working overtime to get cooling systems on that site powered and working.”

The April 1986 Chernobyl disaster cost an estimated 4,000 lives. More than 330,000 Russians had to be relocated because of contamination.

But Hibbs says, “A lot of worst-case things would have to happen for us to get that far.”

Hibbs said the Japanese right now are fighting the clock to contain the heating.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby Laodicean » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:26 pm

The 'China Syndrome' refers to the most drastically severe meltdown a nuclear reactor could possibly achieve. In this case, the reactor would reach the highest level of supercriticality for a sustained period of time, resulting in the melting of its support infrastructure (meltdown). The uranium in the core would behave in a similar manner to a delta-class fire, self-sustaining temperatures in excess of 2000°C. Since these temperatures would melt all materials around it, the reactor would sink due to gravity, effectively boring a hole through the reactor compartment's floor.[5]

The China syndrome becomes fictional in the hypothesis of it boring a hole from the United States to China, or any other part of the world (the opposite side of the earth from the USA is the Indian Ocean, except for a section of northern Montana, Hawaii and sections of Northern Alaska, central Colorado, whose antipodes are Ile Saint-Paul, Ile Amsterdam, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, northern Namibia and Antarctica, respectively). Most obviously it is impossible because the Earth's gravity would only pull it towards the core of the planet and no further. Furthermore, were the molten reactor fuel to reach the planetary mantle, the actual environmental effect would likely be low; the radioactive material would disperse by convection throughout the mantle, which is in any case kept liquid by natural nuclear decay. However, it is likely that the uranium core would not exceed more than 10 meters of 'boring' due to natural passive safety. The surrounding ground beneath the reactor would absorb the heat and transfer it conductivity to the surrounding area, thus preventing the ground directly beneath the core from 'melting'.[5][6] This manner of spreading heat convectively through the ground is proposed for use in General Atomics' Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor for regular operation and passive safety, which aims to eliminate the possibility of a meltdown.[7]
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Synd ... xplanation


We may need a "Japan Syndrome" definition. The earth's floor is ripping a part.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby Canadian_watcher » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:45 pm

it's called fukushima?

fuku can mean to blow, to emit, to spout
shima means island.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby ninakat » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:10 pm

Thanks for a separate thread, slad. My thinking as well. This is really worrying.



In the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, a nuclear reactor was fractured and radioactive material has been leaking into the atmosphere. Author Harvey Wasserman believes the radiation spewing into the air from the Japanese nuclear power plant could blow deep across western Asia and might even lead to the apocalypse.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:28 pm

^^^^
Thanks

Japan's Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

By Harvey Wasserman

Had the massive 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake that has just savaged Japan hit off the California coast, it could have ripped apart at least four coastal reactors and sent a lethal cloud of radiation across the entire United States. (http://nukefree.org/ace-hoffman-compute ... rnobyl-h... )

The two huge reactors each at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon are not designed to withstand such powerful shocks. All four are extremely close to major faults.

All four reactors are located relatively low to the coast. They are vulnerable to tsunamis like those now expected to hit as many as fifty countries.

San Onofre sits between San Diego and Los Angeles. A radioactive cloud spewing from one or both reactors there would do incalculable damage to either or both urban areas before carrying over the rest of southern and central California.

Diablo Canyon is at Avila Beach, on the coast just west of San Luis Obispo, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A radioactive eruption there would pour into central California and, depending on the winds, up to the Bay Area or southeast into Santa Barbara and then to Los Angeles. The cloud would at very least permanently destroy much of the region on which most Americans rely for their winter supply of fresh vegetables.

By the federal Price-Anderson Act of 1957, the owners of the destroyed reactors---including Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison---would be covered by private insurance only up to $11 billion, a tiny fraction of the trillions of dollars worth of damage that would be done. The rest would become the responsibility of the federal taxpayer and the fallout victims. Virtually all homeowner insurance policies in the United States exempt the insurers from liability from a reactor disaster.


The most definitive recent study of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster puts the death toll at 985,000. (http://nukefree.org/link-full-text-cher ... nsequences ) The accident irradiated a remote rural area. The nearest city, Kiev, is 80 kilometers away.

But San Luis Obispo is some ten miles directly downwind from Diablo Canyon. The region around San Onofre has become heavily suburbanized.

Heavy radioactive fallout spread from Chernobyl blanketed all of Europe within a matter of days. It covered an area far larger than the United States. (http://nukefree.org/astonishing-compute ... ion-cher... )
Fallout did hit the jet stream and then the coast of California, thousands of miles away, within ten days. It then carried all the way across the northern tier of the United States.

Chernobyl Unit Four was of comparable size to the two reactors at Diablo Canyon, and somewhat larger than the two at San Onofre.

But it was very new when it exploded. California's four coastal reactors have been operating since the 1970s and 1980s. Their accumulated internal radioactive burdens could exceed what was spewed at Chernobyl.

Japanese officials say all affected reactors automatically shut, with no radiation releases. But they are not reliable. In 2007 a smaller earthquake rocked the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki site and forced its lengthy shut-down.

Preliminary reports indicate at least one fire at a Japanese reactor hit by this quake and tsunami

( http://nukefree.org/preliminary-report- ... en-reactor ).

In 1986 the Perry nuclear plant, east of Cleveland, was rocked by a 5.5 Richter-scale shock, many orders of magnitude weaker than this one. That quake broke pipes and other key equipment within the plant. It took out nearby roads and bridges.

Thankfully, Perry had not yet opened. An official Ohio commission later warned that evacuation during such a quake would be impossible.

Numerous other American reactors sit on or near earthquake faults.

The Obama Administration is now asking Congress for $36 billion in new loan guarantees to build more commercial reactors.

It has yet to reveal its exact plans for dealing with a major reactor disaster. Nor has it identified the cash or human reserves needed to cover the death and destruction imposed by the reactors' owners.

Harvey Wasserman edits NukeFree.org. He is Senior Advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service. He co-authored KILLING OUR OWN: THE DISASTER OF AMERICA'S EXPERIENCE WITH ATOMIC RADIATION.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby 82_28 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:48 pm

Canadian_watcher wrote:it's called fukushima?

fuku can mean to blow, to emit, to spout
shima means island.


Interesting. I was gonna look up the etymology myself. Thanks!
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby ninakat » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:00 pm

Snap analysis: Japan may have hours to prevent nuclear meltdown
By Scott DiSavino

NEW YORK | Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:18pm EST

Image

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Japanese officials may only have hours to cool reactors that have been disabled by Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami or face a nuclear meltdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) (9501.T) is racing to cool down the reactor core after a highly unusual "station blackout" -- the total loss of power necessary to keep water circulating through the plant to prevent overheating.

Daiichi Units 1, 2 and 3 reactors shut down automatically at 2:46 p.m. local time due to the earthquake. But about an hour later, the on-site diesel back-up generators also shut, leaving the reactors without alternating current (AC) power.

That caused Tepco to declare an emergency and the government to evacuate thousands of people from near the plant. Such a blackout is "one of the most serious conditions that can affect a nuclear plant," according to experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.S. based nuclear watchdog group.

"If all AC power is lost, the options to cool the core are limited," the group warned.

TEPCO also said it has lost ability to control pressure at some of the reactors at its Daini plant nearby.

The reactors at Fukushima can operate without AC power because they are steam-driven and therefore do not require electric pumps, but the reactors do require direct current (DC) power from batteries for its valves and controls to function.

If battery power is depleted before AC power is restored, the plant would stop supplying water to the core and the cooling water level in the reactor core could drop.

RADIATION RELEASE

Officials are now considering releasing some radiation to relieve pressure in the containment at the Daiichi plant and are also considering releasing pressure at Daini, signs that difficulties are mounting. Such a release has only occurred once in U.S. history, at Three Mile Island.

"(It's) a sign that the Japanese are pulling out all the stops they can to prevent this accident from developing into a core melt and also prevent it from causing a breach of the containment (system) from the pressure that is building up inside the core because of excess heat," said Mark Hibbs, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

While the restoration of power through additional generators should allow TEPCO to bring the situation back under control, left unchecked the coolant could boil off within hours. That would cause the core to overheat and damage the fuel, according to nuclear experts familiar with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979.

It could take hours more for the metal surrounding the ceramic uranium fuel pellets in the fuel rods to melt, which is what happened at Three Mile Island. That accident essentially frozen the nuclear industry for three decades.

Seven years later the industry suffered another blow after the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine exploded due to an uncontrolled power surge that damaged the reactor core, releasing a radioactive cloud that blanketed Europe.

The metal on the fuel rods would not melt until temperatures far exceed 1,000 degrees F. The ceramic uranium pellets would not melt until temperatures reached about 2,000 degrees F, nuclear experts said.

If it occurred, that would ultimately cause a meltdown, with the core becoming a molten mass that would melt through the steel reactor vessel, releasing a large amount of radioactivity into the containment building that surrounds the vessel, the Union of Concerned Scientists said.

The main purpose of the building -- an air tight steel or reinforced concrete structure with walls between four to eight feet thick -- is to keep radioactivity from being released into the environment.

While there has not been any indication of damage that would undermine the building's ability to contain the pressure and allow radioactivity to leak out, there is a danger that if pressure builds too much then the walls could be breached.
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby ninakat » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:04 pm

VIDEO: Scientist warns of "Chernobyl-like" disaster (1:57)

Mar 11 - A disaster on the scale of Chernobyl could happen if authorities fail to contain a leak at two nuclear plants in Japan, Edwin Lyman, a senior staff scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists said. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby justdrew » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:10 pm

Endothermic Chemical Reactions

* reaction of barium hydroxide octahydrate crystals with dry ammonium chloride
* dissolving ammonium chloride in water
* reaction of thionyl chloride (SOCl2) with cobalt(II) sulfate heptahydrate
* mixing water and ammonium nitrate
* mixing water with potassium chloride
* reacting ethanoic acid with sodium carbonate
* photosynthesis (chlorophyll is used to react carbon dioxide plus water plus energy to make glucose and oxygen)
By 1964 there were 1.5 million mobile phone users in the US
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby smiths » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:48 am

5.30am: @tukky_nt RT @Reuters: FLASH: #Japan nuclear authorities say high possibility of meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 reactor - Jiji. RT @TomokoHosaka: Japan nuclear safety commission official says meltdown at nuclear power plant possible, AP confirms. #earthquake #jpquake

5.20am: Kyodo news has just reported that the Fukushima nuclear plant might be experiencing nuclear meltdown.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/20 ... e-coverage
the question is why, who, why, what, why, when, why and why again?
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Re: Nuclear Meltdown Watch

Postby Nordic » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:17 am

This distresses me far more than any earthquake.

Jesus .......
"He who wounds the ecosphere literally wounds God" -- Philip K. Dick
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