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Japanese Reactor Goes Into Meltdown in Japan After Quake

12 Mar

This one is going to meltdown. The big question is whether they can cool the core off fast enough to prevent any (additional) major release of radiation… Hopefully, they can prevent another Chernobyl. Apparently, they have already lost some workers, either badly injured or killed courageously trying to get this back under control.

This is despite the best building codes and system in the world to prevent just the sort of damage we are seeing from an earthquake or natural disaster. Because earthquakes are so common in Japan, major structures and buildings are designed to extremely high standards – higher than the US California Standards, which are the best in the US and generally accepted in much of the world. The fact that (possibly) only a few thousand people have been killed in an earthquake an order of magnitude stronger than that which hit Haiti is due to that. Most of the victims are likely from the Tsunami, despite the fact that a number of the towns and villages in the area have 10-30′ seawalls designed to protect them from just such an occurance.

To understand how violent this earthquake was, geographic sources are now reporting that the coastline of Japan was actually moved 8 feet! And shifted the entire planet on it’s axis by 4 inhces!

25 Years ago, a reactor outside of Detroit, Michigan had an “incident”…

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2011 in News

 

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5 responses to “Japanese Reactor Goes Into Meltdown in Japan After Quake

  1. Roderick

    March 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Godspeed to all those impacted by this disaster.

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  2. CNu

    March 13, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    As the crisis continues with Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a variety of STRATFOR nuclear science and engineering sources said Japanese government statements that the troubled Unit 1 reactor container has not been breached are highly dubious. Reports of iodine and cesium outside of the plant indicate that the reactor’s containment structure has been breached.
    Iodine is in the fuel pins and cesium is a particulate, meaning there are heavy particles in the air, which are basically radioactive dust. Cesium 137, which Yomiuri Shimbun reports has been discovered in the surrounding area, is probably a product of the nuclear fission process and a strong demonstration of severe damage to the nuclear reactor’s core. The fact that the government has prepared a series of iodine treatments for locals in the vicinity of the nuclear plants suggests it is anticipating the need to prevent iodine exposure.
    Meanwhile 90 people were reported as possibly exposed to radiation, including 30 refugees from the area and 60 people on staff at Futaba hospital. Sources suspect that Japan has already undergone “clad failure” (when zirconium in the rods reacts with water) leading to a violent exothermic reaction. This produces large quantities of hydrogen. The March 12 blast was probably caused by a combined steam and hydrogen explosion. The explosion may have destroyed the containment structure in the reactor vessel. This raises the distinct possibility that the core will gain heat to the point that it will melt through the reactor at the bottom of the reactor vessel. While there remain too many uncertainties to make reliable forecasts, the disaster has clearly escalated to a high level. Critical questions will be whether the radiation count rises above 1000 millirems per hour and whether winds should change direction to blow radiation from the north into Tokyo.

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    • btx3

      March 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      The Japanese government isn’t going to let the story gt out of what really happened, or is happening…

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  3. CNu

    March 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Japan is experiencing a naturally induced fast crash – not a simulation either.

    Much can be learned from how the most cohesive and unitary modern society in the world deals with the godawful hand it’s been dealt.

    Given that nuclear accounts for 30% of their electricity generation capacity, with 25% of this out of action now – and – they’ve lost a lot of fossil fuel infrastructure too – ports, refineries, and LNG terminals jacked by the quake and the tsunami – anbody who pays attention to such things needs to be poring over this with a fine-tooth comb about now.

    Frankly, deeply pessimistic observer that I am, I don’t believe any other modern industrial system of production COULD recover from an injury of the magnitude of what’s just hit Japan.

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    • btx3

      March 13, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      I think Japan is OK – but it’s actually 8 Reactors at risk – not 1. Think of it as a small example of what would happen here if the New Madrid goes. And several of the reactors on the New Madrid are the type that go bang instead of melting holes through the earth.

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