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Japan nuclear power stations

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Japan nuclear power stations

Old 15th Mar 2011, 01:20
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Keeping in mind there are brave people risking there lives to try and keep control of the situation and minimize any potential damage.
Indeed. True heroes in my book; the thirty which are staying behind after Number 2 popped a few hours ago. Everyone else is being evacuated. These 30 souls are remaining, quite possibly taking one for the team.

"The good of the many" comes to mind.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 01:31
  #82 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 11Fan
The two (presumably legitimate sites) I have been using have not been updated with the recent events at Reactor #2.
Which is what I suggested - the 'live' transmissions from TEPCO that BBC Radio were broadcasting aren't simultaneously appearing on the internet, and, in any case any internet report would simply be paraphrasing by a journalist or PR person, whereas 'my' information is direct from the horse's mouth (albeit through a simultaneous translator) and is 'official'.
It was explained that four out of the five pumps being used on reactor No 2 were put out of action by the explosion of reactor No 3 (the second explosion), and, following the third explosion damage to the No 2 had resulted in the release of radiation, as a result of which all un-necessary personnel had been evacuated. Furthermore, they admit that people in the area have received the equivalent of eight years' worth of radiation dose.
All this comes from official sources - not journalists. I heard it with my own ears.

The interview with the Manchester University professor of nuclear engineering discussed the announcements and suggested that TEPCO would be struggling to find sufficient personnel who could manage the situation due to having to rest those exposed to high levels of radiation so far.

Make of that what you wish . . .
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 01:43
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I watched the Japanese news feed tonight on our local PBS channel, which wasn't good news. The #2 reactor suffered a muffled explosion, unlike #1 & #3. It is believed the pressure room doughnut ruptured, located at the bottom of the reactor vessel (You can see the doughnut in the cut-away view of the reactor I had posted on the other thread). This caused a significant increase of radioactivity to be released to the atmosphere that has been detected outside the plant, although it has decreased in level now. The concern is that the pressure inside the core reactor decreased significantly which could indicate a breech in the inner containment wall, but they are not sure. All of this results in the fuel rods being exposed and not cooled by water although sea water continues to be pumped in. They know that half the length of the rods have been exposed but again are unsure exactly where they stand due to instrumentation problems. Because of the concerns with radiation, the operators have been evacuated. The uranium fuel rods are contained inside a zirconium liners. If the rods get hot enough, the zirconium will crack and spall away to the bottom of the vessel exposing the uranium. So unless something positive happens soon, the outlook is not good, i.e. closer to potential melt down. They entire news program was devoted to this event.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 03:58
  #84 (permalink)  

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Old 15th Mar 2011, 04:31
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Some good news....

....from the other site.

Japanese authorities yesterday reported to the IAEA at 21:05 CET that the reactors Units 1, 2 and 3 of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant are in cold shutdown status. This means that the pressure of the water coolant is at around atmospheric level and the temperature is below 100 degrees Celsius. Under these conditions, the reactors are considered to be safely under control.

Japanese authorities have also informed the IAEA that teams of experts from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant´s operator, are working to restore cooling in the reactor Unit 4 and bring it to cold shutdown.
IAEA Update on Japan Earthquake


No updated information from the Fukushima Daiichi site and the Number 2 reactor (picture above).

Unit 2
- 760 MWe BWR, 1974
- Automatically shut down
- Water level lower but steady
- Preparations for pressure release


Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says an explosion was heard early Tuesday morning at the No.2 reactor of the disaster-hit Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.

Agency officials told reporters that the blast was heard at 6:10 AM local time on Tuesday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano earlier told a news conference that a reactor facility, called the suppression pool, has been damaged. But agency officials said they have no detailed information yet about the report.
NHK WORLD English

Last edited by 11Fan; 15th Mar 2011 at 06:13. Reason: updated - Fire at #4 extinguished
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 06:39
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Radiation levels now harmfull to health.

NHK WORLD English

radiation now 0.4 sieverts or 400 millisieverts at the plant sight.

For acute (that is, received in a relatively short time, up to about one hour) full body equivalent dose, 1 Sv causes nausea, 2-5 Sv causes epilation or hair loss, hemorrhage and will cause death in many cases. More than 3 Sv will lead to LD 50/30 or death in 50% of cases within 30 days, and over 6 Sv survival is unlikely.

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Old 15th Mar 2011, 07:20
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Amishtechie

According to what I have read that radiation level seems to have come from a fire at a spent fuel rod store at reactor 4, which has released some radioactive material. That fire has been put out so I would expect these levels to drop shortly.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:16
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To the nuclear rated guys:

what on earth can burn in a spent fuel storage?

Overhead bins and carry on luggage? Okay, sarcasm off, I thought they would be kept in a water tank. If so, is this water then gone?
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:21
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There was a note on the IAEA web site yesterday that they had sought reassurances from TEPCO regarding the safety of spent fuel stored at the site. Didn't really think much of it until what happened earlier. Have they got a problem cooling this as well?

Of course, pulling people out may seem the sensible option but you need many experienced hands to sort out the problems at the plant. They need to take a leaf out of the Russian's book at start rotating people from other facilities through the site ASAP.

Question: 3 x Three Mile Islands = 1 Chernobyl?

Editted to add:

what on earth can burn in a spent fuel storage?
Err, spent fuel.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:30
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Spent fuel rods are kept in racks submerged under water, the water being circulated by pump to get rid of the heat. The rods are kept apart from each other on racks to prevent any possibility of 'criticality'.

Presumably the water pumps suffered the same fate as the others and the quake may have dislodged rods from their storage positions thus allowing hot spots to develop. Residual radiation from the spent fuel may also result in radiolysis of the water which leads back to the problem of free hydrogen floating around in the building.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:33
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Presumably the water pumps suffered the same fate as the others and the quake may have dislodged rods from their storage positions thus allowing hot spots to develop. Residual radiation from the spent fuel may also result in radiolysis of the water which leads back to the problem of free hydrogen floating around in the building.
That's pretty much what happened according to what I read.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:39
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That fire has been put out so I would expect these levels to drop shortly
Some of the isotopes that may have been released may have a half life of a couple of minutes or even hours but the more typical ones will have half lives of hundreds, even thousands of years.

The only way to reduce this radioactivity in the short term, once in the environment is to undertake a cleanup and storage of the contaminated soil, building material etc. in suitably secure and insulated manner. A difficult, sometimes almost impossible job. While this radioactive material is not contained it will continue to irradiate the local area presenting a risk to power plant operatives and staff even if any existing leaks are stopped. Clearly this material may be dispersed thus reducing the concentration of the local contamination and the radation levels but whether this reduction is ultimately a good or bad thing is a moot point.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:59
  #93 (permalink)  
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Torygraph (James Delingpole): Nuclear power – some perspective

Compared to the deaths, damage and costs of the effects of the earthquake the issue of the reactors is miniscule. But the media, and some organisations, have a thing about nuclear power. Who said never let a crisis go to waste?
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:12
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Ah that well know (unbiased and technologically competent) commentator James Delingpole. The author of such intellectually rigorous tomes as "Coward on the Beach".
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:23
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Doesn't alter the facts about the aftermath of Chernobyl, Namib, and NOTHING that is happening at Fukushima can realistically be compared with Chernobyl due to the full circumstances of the event.


Hell, they're even starting tourist tours of the area now
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:29
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A Japanese nuclear safety official says the water inside the waste fuel storage pool for a damaged reactor at an atomic power plant may be boiling.
Hidehiko Nishiyama of the economy ministry that oversees nuclear safety told reporters Tuesday that “we cannot deny the possibility of water boiling” in the pool.
Nishiyama sought to avoid commenting on the potential risks from the rising temperatures caused by a failure of systems required to keep the spent fuel rods cool. He said the plant's operator is considering what to do about the problem.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:37
  #97 (permalink)  
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perhaps you have similar views on the Wall Street Journal, Namibfox?

Nuclear Overreactions.

Or perhaps a a quote from BraveNewClimate?

Finally, a telling comment from a friend of mine in the US nuclear research community:

The lesson so far: Japan suffered an earthquake and tsunami of unprecedented proportion that has caused unbelievable damage to every part of their infrastructure, and death of very large numbers of people. The media have chosen to report the damage to a nuclear plant which was, and still is, unlikely to harm anyone. We won’t know for sure, of course, until the last measure to assure cooling is put in place, but that’s the likely outcome. You’d never know it from the parade of interested anti-nuclear activists identified as “nuclear experts” on TV.

From the early morning Saturday nuclear activists were on TV labelling this ‘the third worst nuclear accident ever’. This was no accident, this was damage caused by truly one of the worst of earthquakes and tsunamis ever. (The reported sweeping away of four entire trains, including a bullet train which apparently disappeared without a trace, was not labelled “the third worst train accident ever.”) An example of the reporting: A fellow from one of the universities, and I didn’t note which one, obviously an engineer and a knowlegable one, was asked a question and began to explain quite sensibly what was likely. He was cut off after about a minute, maybe less, and an anti-nuke, very glib, and very poorly informed, was brought on. With ponderous solemnity, he then made one outrageous and incorrect statement after another. He was so good at it they held him over for another segment

The second lesson is to the engineers: We all know that the water reactor has one principal characteristic when it shuts down that has to be looked after. It must have water to flow around the fuel rods and be able to inject it into the reactor if some is lost by a sticking relief valve or from any other cause – for this, it must have backup power to power the pumps and injection systems.

The designers apparently could not imagine a tsunami of these proportions and the backup power — remember, the plants themselves produce power, power is brought in by multiple outside power lines, there are banks of diesels to produce backup power, and finally, banks of batteries to back that up, all were disabled. There’s still a lot the operators can do, did and are doing. But reactors were damaged and may not have needed to be even by this unthinkable earthquake if they had designed the backup power systems to be impregnable, not an impossible thing for an engineer to do. So we have damage that probably could have been avoided, and reporting of almost stunning inaccuracy and ignorance.Still, the odds are that no one will be hurt from radioactivity — a few workers from falling or in the hydrogen explosions, but tiny on the scale of the damage and killing around it.

It seems pathetic that Russia should be the only reported adult in this — they’re quoted as saying “Of course our nuclear program is not going to be affected by an earthquake in Japan.” Japan has earthquakes. But perhaps it will be, if the noise is loud enough.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:37
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Hells

It all comes down to the stats.

Sure there are areas that will allow tours and, yes their are even beaches in Brazil that have a higher natural radiation than some areas around Chernobyl but anybody who runs the numbers would not choose to increase their exposure to ionising radiation. I am one of those people!
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:58
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That is your choice, Namib, nobody disputes that.

But the facts are that any release of radioactive material at Fukushima has been relatively low, there isn't a "chernobyl cloud" coming from there and some people, especially in the meedya, are twisting facts to sensationalise them and make things more frightening than they are. It's reached the stage where Merkel has lost the plot and seems to think that reactors in Germany would suffer from the same sort of circumstances as Fukushima (which, incidentally, did quite well considering the quake was something like 8 times the strength the plants were designed to cope with**) and the usual treehugger lot are using the events to try and say nuclear power is too dangerous to ever be used in the world.

Now, to start going on about ground contamination, which so far would realistically be minimal and that is before we consider what kind of contaminants have been released, is also scaremongering as you are not privy to any of that information. As Orac has just pointed out, again, the "risks" to the general public are minimal, especially since most of the contaminants released are blowing out to sea!! So why are people here so convinced about the event turning into a full-blown uncontrolled release of massive amounts of radioactive particles when the evidence and facts are telling us all otherwise?


** Fukushima was designed to withstand an 8.2 quake. Today the USGA upgraded the main quake to a 9.0. That speaks volumes for the design of the reactor and the whole plant, if you think about it. Lessons will be learned in regards to post-tsunami cooling, which is the main issue, but imo the events have shown nuclear power is safe as nobody could have predicted a quake of that size.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:06
  #100 (permalink)  
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Nuclear Engineering International - Fukushima Daiichi situation worsens
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