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Third Reactor at Fukuchima Dai-ichi Goes Into Meltdown

There has been another explosion at the stricken Japanese Nuclear Power Plant in the last hour or two. This is the third explosion in the reactor complex since the earthquake. The complex is made up of 8 reactors. By some reports, this one is by far the most serious explosion – with the fuel rods exposed, releasing highly radioactive material.

This video is from the second explosion –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dytttMoivoQ&feature=player_embedded#at=155

New Explosion Rocks Japanese Nuclear Plant

An explosion that released radioactive material occurred in reactor No. 2 at the nuclear center at Fukushima, in northeastern Japan, on Monday.

The blast damaged part of the primary container surrounding the reactor’s core and caused an escape of an undetermined quantity of radioactive material, the Nuclear Security Agency said.

The Kyodo news agency reported that radiation levels in the vicinity “exceeded the legal limit” after the explosion, which occurred at 6:10 a.m. on Tuesday local time (2110 GMT on Monday), shortly after the Japanese government admitted that the reactor continued to be unstable after it suffered damage in Friday’s magnitude-9.0 earthquake.

The operating crew at the plant worked all night to inject seawater into the secondary containment structure in an attempt to cool down the core and prevent a meltdown that could emit radioactive material, but that did not have the desired effect and the reactor was not able to be stabilized.

If the nuclear fuel in the core begins to melt down, that would constitute an emergency situation of the highest order because of the potential for a severe radioactive leak that could contaminate the area.

Reactor No. 2 at Fukushima on Monday suffered a failure of one of the 10 valves associated with its cooling system, something similar to what occurred before reactors 1 and 3 at the same center exploded after the quake.

 

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in News

 

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