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Meltdown Likely Under Way At Japan Nuclear Reactor

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Did we post on this already...from NHK

Japan quake magnitude raised to 9.0

Japan's Meteorological Agency says the magnitude of Friday's earthquake that hit the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan was 9.0 instead of 8.8 as earlier announced.

The agency made the correction on Sunday morning after analyzing seismic waves and other data. The magnitude is equivalent to that of the 2004 earthquake off Sumatra, Indonesia, which triggered massive tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

The agency says the focal zone of Friday's quake was about 500-kilometers long and 200-kilometers wide. Destructive movement along the fault continued for more than 5 minutes.

The Meteorological Agency says only 4 other quakes in the world have recorded magnitudes of 9 or over.

The largest was the magnitude 9.5 quake that hit the Chilean coast in 1960, killing more than 1,600. The quake also triggered tsunamis in Japan, leaving 142 people dead.

The 2004 quake off Sumatra registered a magnitude of 9.1. Subsequent giant tsunamis killed more than 200,000 people.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 12:40 +0900 (JST)

http://www3.nhk.or.j...lish/13_21.html

Edited by jfchandler

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Reply to post in other thread:

Thanks, I understand this point of view, but cooling it with sea-water would have the same effect as boric acid. - The reactor would never be up again. This is talked about since more than 12 hours.

The problems seem to be with the injection of sea-water and boric acid.

Although Boric acid isn't a standard regulating compound in a BWR, it is just an additive to the coolant, and does no harm to the reactor. It regulates the reaction in much the same way as the control rods do. When flushed out again, reaction starts back up.

Sea water however is messily corrosive crap, will clog up pipes and destroy pumps and seals etc.

The main problem seems to be that without power, there is not enough water pressure to overcome the reactors pressure, so you don't get any water in. This causes the water inside the reactor to boil off, increasing the pressure even more.

Releasing this pressure means releasing lightly radioactive water to the atmosphere (and maybe causing another explosion just like in #1, as hydrogen may have formed).

So basically what they will be doing is choosing between evils, carefully weighing:

- Scrapping the reactor / Trying to salvage it

- Venting radioactive steam / keep trying to keep enough water in the reactor

- Explosion risks / Radiation risks

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Rem I know/knew... mSv not... So they're not the same unit of measurement...totally different levels?

Different proportionality only - 100 REMs = 1 Sievert.

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More from NHK quoting the Chief Cabinet Secretary on the evacuation...

On the evacuation of residents around the No.1 plant, Edano said 114 people are still within 10 kilometers of the power station. He said that 180,000 residents of areas between 10 and 20 kilometers away started to evacuate early on Sunday morning.

As for the No.2 plant, the top government spokesman said people living within 3 kilometers have evacuated the zone, and more than 30,000 who are within 10 kilometers began evacuation early on Sunday morning.

I

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Why does the densest seismic network in the world/such an earthquake prone area have Nuclear Reactors.

Of course they need the power it supplies...but still it makes one wonder.

unlimited human insanity mixed with greed and power-games is the most likely answer.

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where is the radiation going? Is it blowing towards North America?

My question then is, will it be safe to fly? If one looks at the air routes, they seem to fly over Japan and through the radiation cloud.

Please, someone tell me I am wrong.

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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!

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Someone yesterday posted a graphic of the actual international scale, in visual pyramid form, in the other general EQ thread....

Nuclear accident rated at level 4

The Japanese government rates the accident at the Fukushima Number One nuclear power plant at level 4 on an international scale of 0 to 7.

Two radioactive substances, cesium and radioactive iodine, were detected near the Number One reactor at the plant on Saturday. Their presence indicates nuclear fission of uranium.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that fuel in the reactor partially melted. It's the first such accident in Japan.

A level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiologocal Event Scale includes damage to fuel and release of significant quantities of radioactive material within an installation.

It's the same level as a criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant in Tokai Village in Ibaraki Prefecture, south of Fukushima, in 1999.

The agency called the accident very regrettable even though it was triggered by an earthquake.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 07:08 +0900 (JST)

http://www3.nhk.or.j...lish/13_06.html

Edited by jfchandler

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where is the radiation going? Is it blowing towards North America?

My question then is, will it be safe to fly? If one looks at the air routes, they seem to fly over Japan and through the radiation cloud.

Please, someone tell me I am wrong.

The general wind direction from the leaking plant at present is blowing to the north... away from Tokyo and more urban areas.

Since we don't exactly know what levels of radiation are making it into the environment or how they'll be dispersed, kind of hard to say.

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Why does the densest seismic network in the world/such an earthquake prone area have Nuclear Reactors.

Of course they need the power it supplies...but still it makes one wonder.

unlimited human insanity mixed with greed and power-games is the most likely answer.

Sad but likely true

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where is the radiation going? Is it blowing towards North America?

My question then is, will it be safe to fly? If one looks at the air routes, they seem to fly over Japan and through the radiation cloud.

Please, someone tell me I am wrong.

You're wrong :)

Relax. At this time the only thing released is steam, which is slightly radioactive because it has been through the reactor. The amounts measured at the site itself poses no immediate danger, let alone when flying at 10KM (30,000 feet) over it. It would surprise me if it was even measurable at that level.

So no 'radiation cloud' or anything at the moment, all the reactor cores seem to be intact still at the moment of this writing.

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LB, so if I'm following this correctly, they are now either releasing steam, or preparing to, at all 3 of the reactors that had been running at the Fukushima Daichi plant.... 1-3 there were in operation at the time of the quake. reactors 4-6 were down for scheduled maintenance.

And generally speaking, it seems, we should assume that steam is containing some levels of radioactivity... the exact level and nature probably depending on which reactor is involved... the one like No. 1 that has had a partial meltdown probably greater...

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where is the radiation going? Is it blowing towards North America?

My question then is, will it be safe to fly? If one looks at the air routes, they seem to fly over Japan and through the radiation cloud.

Please, someone tell me I am wrong.

WIND

CNN just had a professor on who explained that there is no melt dow... reactors are build failure-proof... the radiation from a scan are 100-1,000 times more than standing next to the reactor for an hour...

In other words: Carry on, don't worry be happy. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

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