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Meltdown Likely Under Way At Japan Nuclear Reactor

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Time to update the Safe Nuclear Reactor Design Handbook?

"Make sure your coastal reactor plant is located at an altitude where it can't be reached by a tsunami."

50 metres would be fine.

And to have an elevated/uphill water reservoir to use when the pumps fail

An 9.0 Richter earthquake could spoil such back up option too.

One thing is for sure, the Safe Nuclear Reactor Design Handbook will be updated. Failures are part in the process to spot design flaws.

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Clicking on here every nowan'again it's amazing to see how many people have suddenly become experts on nuclear science. :rolleyes:

Yes I agree. But,careful, Taiwais will start removing your posts if you use sarcasm or any other form of wit to make the point.

I hope he does, some of us want to read what's happening instead of reading this nonsense.

My apologies for contributing to said nonsense.

Actually it might stop people deciding to post their buffalo-poo-poo fantasies and attempting to pass them as some sort of 'FACT'.

As you say, you want to read what's happening, perhaps a closed thread with professional links and reports would be the order of the day. ;)

Edited by appropriate

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Workers scramble to cool reactors; official says 2nd blast possible

(CNN) -- Workers continued efforts to cool down fuel rods inside two nuclear reactors Sunday as a government official warned that a second explosion could occur at the plant.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said an explosion could take place in the building housing the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan.

Read more here. CNN--2011--03--13

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(CNN) -- At least 160 people were being tested for radiation exposure on Sunday after tens of thousands of residents were evacuated in the wake of an explosion at a nuclear reactor damaged by Friday's massive quake and tsunami.

According to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), one group of about 60 people were thought to have been exposed while waiting to be picked up by helicopter at the Futaba high school grounds.

Full article here.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/13/japan.radiation/index.html

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Australia seeks 'urgent briefings' from Japan on nuclear crisis

SYDNEY, March 13, Kyodo News

Australia is very concerned over damaged nuclear reactors in disaster-hit Japan and has asked it for ''urgent briefings'' on the precise status of those reactors, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Sunday. Rudd, speaking in an interview with ABC News 24, said he took up the matter in a lengthy conversation Saturday night with Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, which was also focused on what more Australia can do to assist Japan in the aftermath of Friday's quake and tsunami disaster.

He said he told Matsumoto that ''we and the rest of the international community need urgent briefings on the precise status of these reactors'' in Japan's Fukushima Prefecture, including the technical and safety impacts of an explosion that occurred Saturday.

Rudd said the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority and experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency are ''methodically'' looking into the matter, particularly ''circumstances pertaining to each unit within the two nuclear power plants that we are concerned about.''

''These experts between them are producing detailed modeling as to the impact of the explosion at one of the units in one of the reactors,'' he said.

Rudd said he recommended to the Japanese through Matsumoto Japanese ''that they consider the possibility of experts from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Standards Authority working with Japanese colleagues on the ground, in Japan.''

In a separate interview with Channel 7 television's program Weekend Sunrise, Rudd said he also told Matsumoto that Australia is willing to set up ''entirely self-contained'' field hospitals in the quake-affected areas of Japan, in addition to search-and-rescue teams and sniffer dog teams due to arrive in Japan on Sunday night.

''I advised him that we had an ability through the Defense Force and through our other medical assistance teams to deploy immediate field hospitals in the affected areas, if that's what Japan wanted,'' he said.

''I also indicated to him that we could assist through the Australian Federal Police with disaster victim identification teams, and, given the large number of apparent Japanese fatalities, and possibly foreign fatalities, we have recommended to them that they bulk up their capacities in this area,'' he said.

Two Air Force planes with search-and-rescue teams and sniffer dog teams were scheduled to leave for Japan later in the day.

''Our systems have locked into gear in terms of assisting the Japanese government,'' Rudd said.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/77367.html

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Kyodo News

Damage to fuel rods at Fukushima nuclear plant not avoided: Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

I'm assuming they mean Daichi No. 3 reactor...but the report doesn't specifically say.

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TEPCO's Noon update re its Daichi No. 1 and 3 reactors

Unit 1 (Shut down)

- Reactor has been shut down. However, the unit is under inspection due to the explosive sound and white smoke that was confirmed after the big quake occurred at 3:36PM.

- We have been injecting sea water and boric acid which absorbs neutron into the reactor pressure vessel.

Unit 3 (Shut down)

- Reactor has been shut down. However, as High Pressure Core Injection System has been automatically shut down and water injection to the reactor was interrupted, following the instruction by the government and with fully securing safety, steps to lowering the pressure of reactor containment vessel has been taken. Spraying in order to lower pressure level within the reactor containment vessel has been cancelled.

- After that, safety relief valve has been opened manually, lowering the pressure level of the reactor, which was immediately followed by injection of sea water and boric acid which absorbs neutron, into the reactor pressure vessel.

- Currently, we do not believe there is any reactor coolant leakage inside the reactor containment vessel.

And a bit more detail re Reactor 3 in their 1 pm update:

* Unit 3: High Pressure Coolant Injection System automatically stopped. We endeavored to restart the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System but failed. Also, we could not confirm the water inflow of Emergency Core Cooling System. As such, we decided at 5.10 AM, Mar 12, and we reported and/or noticed the government agencies concerned to apply the clause 1 of the

Article 15 of the Radiation Disaster Measure at 5:58AM, Mar 13.

In order to fully secure safety, we operated the vent valve to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels (partial release of air containing radioactive materials) and completed the procedure at 8:41AM, Mar 13 (successfully completed at 09:20AM, Mar 13).

After that, we began injecting water containing boric acid that absorbs neutron into the reactor by the fire pump from 09:25AM, Mar 13.

Edited by jfchandler

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Australia seeks 'urgent briefings' from Japan on nuclear crisis

I think they might be a tad busy John!

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Japan Nuclear Crisis Could Cause Reassessment in U.S.

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. nuclear power industry believed it was poised for a renaissance. President Obama's 2012 budget proposed $36 billion in loan guarantees to build nuclear power plants. He called, too, for spending hundreds of millions on nuclear energy research and modern reactor design. Powerful Republicans were on board, calling for expansion of nuclear power a rare opportunity for bipartisan cooperation.

Then an explosion at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant in northern Japan on Saturday tore apart a building housing a reactor containment structure. Smoke billowed from the plant. Japanese officials ordered an evacuation of tens of thousands of people. Later, officials said cooling systems were failing at a second reactor at the same plant, putting it at risk of meltdown.

Industry experts and analysts at once began to ponder the political fallout in the United States.

MORE: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704296604576197340900789296.html?mod=WSJAsia__MIDDLETopStories

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Plant Safety Systems Questioned From Failed Reactor

Wall Street Journal

The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant casts doubt on the fundamental premise that has undergirded the global nuclear industry for five decades: that engineers can build enough redundancy into plant safety systems to overcome dangers. But at Fukushima prefecture, Tokyo Electric Power Co. found that the layers of redundancy in the plant's electric-supply and cooling systems weren't sufficient to nullify the power of nature, which took the form of a massive, 8.9-Richter-Scale earthquake followed by large aftershocks and tsunami waves.

Plant operators reportedly were reduced to using seawater in a desperate attempt, this weekend, to cool an overheated reactor and prevent a meltdown that could result in a radioactive release in the event the containment building leaked.

MORE: http://online.wsj.co..._newsreel_world

Edited by jfchandler

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Japan nuclear blast could be more deadly than Chernobyl, experts fear

Experts in Israel and abroad divided on scope of disaster at Japan's nuclear plants, as Japanese government hasn't provided accurate information regarding threat posed by explosions at Fukushima nuclear power plant.

By Yossi Melman Since the Japanese government has not provided accurate information regarding the possible threat posed by the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, experts in Israel and abroad are divided on the scope of the disaster and the ramifications for the environment.

...

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/japan-nuclear-blast-could-be-more-deadly-than-chernobyl-experts-fear-1.348809

Some other experts said exactly the opposite. Probably also in the nature of admonisher to fear the worse.

Some are eager to hear that Japanese authorities declare everything to be doomed and lost and the nuclear energy uncontrollable. Don't happen yet and probably will not happen. The reason for that is probably not the evilness of the nuclear lobby on a "save face" mission. There is no conspiracy because the head of the IAEO is an Japanese (as some of the other arguments goes here)

For the situation over there on the ground we have to take into consideration that they battle there the results of an earthquake and tsunami that struck on a far bigger area than to kick only that reactor into malfunction. Evacuation from a disaster zone will be not that easy. Panic has to avoided. Scaremongering doesn't help. Emergency task and their coordination means at the moment to deal with many other problems.

Edited by bangkokeddy

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The above WSJ article also recounts that TEPCO has been in this kind of situation before:

Experts said that Tokyo Electric has improved its processes and communications since a July 2007 earthquake heavily damaged the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, one of the world's largest. The entire plant was shut down for 21 months following that quake, and some reactors still aren't back in operation.

Tokyo Electric was criticized after the 2007 quake for secrecy concerning how it was responding to problems at the Kashiwazaki plant and for rejecting inspection and assistance offers from the IAEA, which is intended to create confidence in the way an emergency is handled.

The Kashiwazaki plant suffered from seismic activity, in the 2007 quake, that exceeded the level for which it was designed, calling into question seismic assumptions made by regulators and the plant operator. There was a radioactive release when water sloshed out of spent-fuel-cooling pools and spilled into the Sea of Japan.

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Japan is a "hi-tech" well organised country, that has spent a lot of time, thought and money on dealing with earthquakes....

Imagine if this happened in another country with nuclear power plants!

The Philippines are now discussing the rehab and operation of a mothballed nuclear plant built in Marcos days, on the Bataan peninsula. It was close to being operational and Cory Aquino had it mothballed. Now when we say mothballed it usually means sealed and maintained in a ready condition. I rode my dirt bike one day over to Morong to see the relic. Time has passed and was not nice for the plant.Terrible concrete pours and rusted rebar...Good luck on that. Maybe not thai related post until the future winds blow this direction.

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Meanwhile, over at the Fukushima Daini (not Daichi) nuclear plant, where nearby residents also are being evacuated, TEPCO reports:

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station:

Units 1 to 4: shutdown due to earthquake

* The national government has instructed evacuation for those local

residents within 10km radius of the periphery.

* At present, we have decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety.

These measures are considered to be implemented in Units 1, 2 and 3 and accordingly, we have reported and/or noticed the government agencies concerned.

Earlier Sunday, TEPCO reported in more detail re the Daini plant. Below is an edited for length version:

Unit 1 (shut down at 2:48pm on March 11th)

- Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.

- Offsite power is available.

- At 6:08pm [on March 12], we announced the increase in reactor containment vessel pressure, assumed to be due to leakage of reactor coolant. However, we do not believe there is leakage of reactor coolant in the containment vessel at this moment.

- At 5:22am [March 12], the temperature of the suppression chamber exceeded 100

degrees. As the reactor pressure suppression function was lost, at 5:22am,

it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in article 15, clause 1 has occurred.

- We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of the

reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. This preparation work started at around 9:43am and finished at 6:00pm [March 12].

- Restoration work in reactor cooling function is in progress to achieve reactor cold shutdown.

Unit 2 (shut down at 2:48pm on March 11th)

- Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.

- Offsite power is available.

- Control rods are fully inserted (reactor is in subcritical status)

- At 5:32am [March 12], the temperature of the suppression chamber exceeded 100

degrees. As the reactor pressure suppression function was lost, at 5:32am,

it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in article 15, clause 1 has occurred.

- We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of the

reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. This preparation work started at around 10:33am and finished at 10:58pm.

- Restoration work in reactor cooling function is in progress to achieve reactor cold shutdown.

Unit 3 (shut down at 2:48pm on March 11th)

- Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.

- Offsite power is available.

- We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of the

reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. The preparation woke started at around 12:08pm and finished at 12:13pm.

- Reactor cold shutdown at 12:15pm

Unit 4 (shut down at 2:48pm on March 11th)

- Reactor is shut down and reactor water level is stable.

- Offsite power is available.

- In order to cool down the reactor, injection of water into the reactor

had been done by the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling System, however, At 6:07am, the temperature of the suppression chamber exceeded 100 degrees.

As the reactor pressure suppression function was lost, at 6:07am, it was determined that a specific incident stipulated in article 15, clause 1 has occurred.

- We decided to prepare implementing measures to reduce the pressure of the

reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing radioactive materials) in order to fully secure safety. The preparation woke started at around 11:44am and finished at around 11:52am.

- Restoration work in reactor cooling function is in progress to achieve reactor cold shutdown.

Indication from monitoring posts installed at the site boundary did not show any difference from ordinary level.

No radiation impact to the external environment has been confirmed. We will continue to monitor in detail the possibility of radioactive material being

discharged from exhaust stack or discharge canal.

clear.gifclear.gif

Edited by jfchandler

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Kyodo News:

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior official of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry indicated Sunday that the core of the No. 3 reactor has also melted partially, telling a news conference, ''I don't think the fuel rods themselves have been spared damage.''

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., commonly known as TEPCO, began injecting fresh water into the No. 3 reactor's core vessel on Sunday to deal with the problem that the tops of MOX fuel rods were 3 meters above the water inside.

But after trouble developed with a fresh water pump, the company was forced to pour seawater into it, a step that will eventually lead to the reactor's dismantlement. As a result, water levels began rising again, Edano said.

And a bit more on radiation exposure:

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that 15 people were found to have been contaminated with radioactive material at a hospital located within 10 km of the reactor.

To measure radiation for residents who may have been exposed to it and determine whether they need emergency treatment, the National Institute of Radiological Sciences sent 17 doctors and experts to the city of Fukushima on Sunday.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/77392.html

Edited by jfchandler

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