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Japan declares 'nuclear emergency' after quake

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posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 06:46 PM

Originally posted by Aeons
The Insurer weighs in. The effected plants all have tsunami and earthquake exceptions. How nice.
edit on 2011/3/15 by Aeons because: (no reason given)

Here's a small snippet from that article ...

Citing legal exclusions, Lloyd's insurer Chaucer Holdings plc does not expect its Nuclear Syndicate 1176 to suffer "any significant insured loss" as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11.

The Japanese Nuclear Act of 1961, amended in 2009, stipulates that operators of nuclear power plants face no liability for "grave natural disaster of an exceptional nature."

Chaucer provides insurance to Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns two of the three nuclear power plants in the area affected by the disaster. These plants are Fukushima Dai-ichi and Fukushima Daini. Chaucer said it has no business interruption or property polices in effect on the two facilities.

The company also provides property damage cover, with an earthquake and tsunami exclusion, for the third plant, Onagawa, which is owned by Tohuku Electric Power Co.

PS: I like their term "nuclear syndicate", make's sound very NWO-ish - very appropriate for ATS!
edit on 2011-3-15 by EnhancedInterrogator because: added postscript.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 06:52 PM

Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by Hugues de Payens

Agreed, and good post.

Some of the suits do have a lead lining, but they are super-heavy and really do not have enough lead in them even at that weight to provide much shielding. The little bit they do provide might extend exposure time some, but they do not make a person impervious to radiation by any means.

Well, except in the movies. Somehow they seem to work better in front of a camera,


Probably lead wool. Lead wool does not have the same shielding value as sheet lead.

We have all been to the dentist and been covered by the small lead wool blanket they cover the chest with for an x-ray. Imagine that all over your body. Then multiply its thickness by what ever.

Can anyone posting on this thread carry that for any length of time or distance?

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 06:53 PM

Originally posted by Vitchilo
Did I see a report saying that the Japanese government had declared some kind of censorship executive power earlier today? Article 15 of the constitution?

Article 15 as far as i can tell by some Google searches only states that voters during an election do not have to reveal whom they voted for after the voting process is completed. I can't find anything that has to do with the release of news-worthy information in regard to "Article 15" of Japanese constitution, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 06:54 PM
Ok I am not as good providing well written and explained posts as Zorgon or TheRedneck so bear with me..

The Big picture as I see it

I am going to ignore the reactors themselves for a bit and talk about the storage of the spent fuel rods and possible fire of same..

In Japan the spent fuel rods are stored mainly at the plant, with a portion sent to another plant to reprocess..

without posting the diagrams that have been posted many times before..

spent fuel is stored within the reactor building in a swimming pool-like concrete structure near the top of the reactor vessel

This spent fuel must be kept underwater to prevent severe releases of radioactivity, among other reasons. A meltdown or even a fire could occur if there is a loss of coolant from the spent fuel pool. The water in the spent fuel pool and the roof of the reactor building are the main barriers to release of radioactivity from the spent fuel pool.


notice it said water and the roof are the main barriers...we have plants missing the roof and lack of water has been mentioned many times

now the reason for the missing roof has been explained as a hydrogen build up due to venting from the steam to release pressure in the reactor.

Hydrogen is generated in a nuclear reactor if the fuel in the reactor loses its cover of cooling water. The tubes that contain the fuel pellets are made of a zirconium alloy. Zirconium reacts with steam to produce zirconium oxide and hydrogen gas. Moreover, the reaction is exothermic – that is, it releases a great deal of heat, and hence creates a positive feedback that aggravates the problem and raises the temperature. The same phenomenon can occur in a spent fuel pool in case of a loss of cooling water.


so how much fuel are we talking here. it's hard to get the exact number but

The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven pools for spent fuel rods. Six of these are (or were) located at the top of six reactor buildings. One “common pool” is at ground level in a separate building. Each “reactor top” pool holds 3450 fuel rod assemblies. The common pool holds 6291 fuel rod assemblies. [The common pool has windows on one wall which were almost certainly destroyed by the tsunami.] Each assembly holds sixty-three fuel rods. This means the Fukushima Daiichi plant may contain over 600,000 spent fuel rods



Japanese commercial nuclear power plants began operation in 1970. Currently there are 53 nuclear power plants in operation. To date close to 20,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel has been generated by Japan's nuclear power program

The quantity of fission products (spent nuclear fuel) produced each year at a full-sized commercial nuclear power plants is massive. A total of approximately 50,000 times the fission products of the Hiroshima bomb are created by Japanese nuclear power plants each year, and this for the most part is cumulative, in other words the material remains radioactive. Most of this waste is being temporarily stored at nuclear power plant sites and must remain segregated from the natural environment


starting to get a warm fuzzy feeling yet?

now remember one of these reactors is using MOX fuel. which has been explained several times..Mox is a fuel that contains plutonium.

okay so what if we have a spent fuel bad can it be?

well this type of thing has been studied before,,just not in Japan..we have some U.S. studies we will use

If a fire were to break out at the Millstone Reactor Unit 3 spent fuel pond in Connecticut, it would result in a three-fold increase in background exposures. This level triggers the NRC’s evacuation requirement, and could render about 29,000 square miles of land , according to Thompson. Connecticut covers only about 5,000 square miles; an accident at Millstone could severely affect Long Island and even New York City

A 1997 report for the NRC by Brookhaven National Laboratory also found that a severe pool fire could render about 188 square miles uninhabitable, cause as many as 28,000 cancer fatalities, and cost $59 billion in damage. (The Brookhaven study relied on a different standard of uninhabitability than Thompson.) While estimates vary, “the use of a little imagination,” says Thompson, “shows that a pool fire would be a regional and national disaster of historic proportions.”


also from the same article

Several events could cause a loss of pool water, including leakage, evaporation, siphoning, pumping, aircraft impact, earthquake, accidental or deliberate drop of a fuel transport cask, reactor failure, or an explosion inside or outside the pool building. Industry officials maintain that personnel would have sufficient time to provide an alternative cooling system before the spent fuel caught fire. But if the water level dropped to just a few feet above the spent fuel, the radiation doses in the pool building would be lethal.

again this study did not factor in MOX fuel.

and another article says

The consequences of severe spent fuel pool accidents at closed U.S. reactors were studied by the Brookhaven National Laboratory in a 1997 report prepared for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. According to the results, the damages resulting from such accidents for U.S. Boiling Water Reactors could range from $700 million to $546 billion, which would be between roughly $900 million and $700 billion in today’s dollars. The lower figures would apply if there were just one old spent fuel set present in the pool to a full pool in which the spent fuel has been re-racked to maximize storage. Other variables would be whether there was any freshly discharged spent fuel in the pool, which would greatly increase the radioactivity releases. The estimated latent cancer deaths over the years and decades following the accident was estimated at between 1,300 and 31,900 within 50 kilometers (30 miles) of the plant and between 1,900 and 138,000 within a radius of 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the plant.

The range of consequences in Japan would be somewhat different from those outlined in the Brookhaven report, since the consequences depend on population density within 50 and 500 kilometers of the plant, the re-racking policy, and several other variables. It should also be noted that Daiichi Unit 1 is about half the power rating of most U.S. reactors, so that the amount of radioactivity in the pool would be about half the typical amount, all other things being equal. But the Brookhaven study can be taken as a general indicator that the scale of the damage could be vast in the most severe case.


so what if we have a spent fuel fire at plant number one?

“That would be like Chernobyl on steroids,” said Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer at Fairewinds Associates and a member of the public oversight panel for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which is identical to the Fukushima Daiichi unit 1

washington post

so let's pretend for a minute it does happen...and let's pick a number from the above listed report of 1000 square miles ( report said up to 29,000 miles..I went with a lower figure just cuz)

Now to me uninhabitable means..Not Habitable the heck a wide area becomes a ghost town..

but wait a minute..we have important things in that area that have to be tended to and monitered right?

another nuke plant nearby right? and a plant at Onagwa that is already showing trouble..we can's just up and leave .

Anyone remember the Tokai plant? It is a small reconversion plant with a little fame already

The Tokaimura nuclear accident (東海村JCO臨界事故, Tōkai-mura JCO-rinkai-jiko?, "Tōkai Village JCO Criticality Accident") was at the time Japan's worst civilian nuclear radiation accident. It took place on 30 September 1999 at a uranium reprocessing facility located in the village of Tōkai, Naka District, Ibaraki. The accident occurred in a very small fuel preparation plant operated by JCO (formerly Japan Nuclear Fuel Conversion Co.), a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co


Remember all that MOX fuel we talked about before,,that may or may not be in storage at the plant?

Well within a not so far area of the plant that may or may not be dumping radiation out is Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant

The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (六ヶ所村核燃料再処理施設, Rokkasho Kakunenryō Saishori Shisetsu?) is a nuclear reprocessing plant with an annual capacity of 800 tons of uranium or 8 tons of plutonium


Rokkasho-mura has the world largest cooling pool (Fig. 4). Spent nuclear fuel transported to the reprocessing plant is stored here and it is ultimately expected to hold 3000 tons of spent fuel


Rokkasho has a Spent fuel storage pool that has already had trouble in the past

Other safety problems have plagued Rokkasho. Last year, the cooling system of its spent nuclear fuel storage pool temporarily failed. The ventilation system in the fuel storage building had problems. Last month, the fuel pool, which at that point contained more than 1,000 nuclear fuel assemblies, leaked coolant from a loose valve; it took workers more than 15 hours to identify and fix the problem


Does this sound like a area people can just up and walk away from?
And this is just a partial list of man power critical list..

So as this story unfolds and the evacuation zones keep expanding..Think about what people may have to walk away from

edit on 15-3-2011 by okiecowboy because: missed link

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 06:59 PM
Heres an article that just came out and says the amount of radiation released in the 3rd explosin equals 4,000 xrays.
Radiation released in Japan equals 4,000 chest X-rays

According to Dr. Jeffrey King, the chair of the Nuclear Science and Engineering program at the Colorado School of Mines, levels of radiation released during the first two explosions at the nuclear plant in Japan mirrored the amount you'd receive after a few chest X-rays.

The amount of radiation released on-site after the third explosion is the equivalent to 4,000 chest X-rays.

Several experts we spoke with say they believe, given the ever-changing nature of nuclear incidents, the ranking for the Fukushima incident will likely go up.

Now combine that with the other explosions and fires

Edit: Just on CNN on cable tv - a guy being interviewd said reactors 5 and 6 are in deep trouble now from cooling problems. All 6 reactors in plant 1 are now in trouble - CNN.
edit on 15-3-2011 by buni11687 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:03 PM
Here is a great article put out by the expert Nicole Foss, here is her credentials,
Here is the full articular.
I sure hope she is right, She talks about the difference between this and Chernobyl..

Stoneleigh is a nuclear safety expert. The subject of her master thesis at the Law Faculty of Warwick University in Coventry, England, was nuclear safety research.

After graduating in 1997, she became a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where her research field was power systems, with a specific focus on nuclear safety in Eastern Europe.

It is important to note that the distribution and level of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima disaster is likely to be very much less than at Chernobyl, as boiling water reactors (BWRs) like those at Fukushima do not have the potential for the same failure mode as occurred at the Chernobyl RBMK plant. Chernobyl suffered a nuclear explosion on an abrupt power surge aggravated by a moderator fire.

The Fukushima reactors, where the nuclear reaction had been immediately halted by the lowering of control rods,

are instead at risk of meltdown from excess decay heat in the absence of the ability to dissipate that heat. In a full meltdown scenario, the molten core would melt through the pressure vessel and concrete containment, particularly if these have already been compromised by explosive

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:07 PM
reply to post by okiecowboy
You did good

Nice read.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:15 PM

Originally posted by Mianeye
reply to post by okiecowboy
You did good

Nice read.

I would like to be in a room with her and Redneck, They both know so much about this..

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:15 PM

This article just came across the wires - thought it would make me
feel better but after reading I find it more concerning than before.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:20 PM
reply to post by rancher1

I would really disagree with that's kinda like apples and oranges really...Chernobyl reactor melted down..1 reactor..and graphite burned...but no spent fuel

how many reactors we talking in japan? in japan someone had the great idea of sticking spent fuel above the reactor

Heck in Chernobyl....there is only 21,900 fuel rods that have to be japan we are talking about 400k or more...

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:21 PM
reply to post by crazydaisy

We really don't know what the impact to the US will be, because we don't know yet just how bad it will get.
I thought it wouldn't get any worse, but then all the other reactor's at F1 started over-heating, plus the spent-fuel pond (OMG!), etc. So, unfortunately, as they say "It ain't over, 'till it's over."

PS: I think this will quick grow from being the "worst nuclear disaster" in recorded history, to the "worst man-made disaster" (nuclear or otherwise) in recorded history, and perhaps to just-plain "worst disaster in recorded history" (period) if the long-term effects go global and we start talking about crop/cattle contamination in North America, etc.

edit on 2011-3-15 by EnhancedInterrogator because: Added post-script.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:24 PM
Maybe its just me, but I believe in fighting fire with fire. Drop a nuclear weapon in the range of the tsar bomb (50 megaton) and it will suck up everything and the prevailing winds will disperse it over the ocean. Problem solved.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by Count Chocula

That would certainly have a more predictable out-come (i.e. everybody dies).
Not to mention Toyota and Honda parts raining down all over the world.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:27 PM

Originally posted by okiecowboy
reply to post by rancher1

I would really disagree with that's kinda like apples and oranges really...Chernobyl reactor melted down..1 reactor..and graphite burned...but no spent fuel

how many reactors we talking in japan? in japan someone had the great idea of sticking spent fuel above the reactor

Heck in Chernobyl....there is only 21,900 fuel rods that have to be japan we are talking about 400k or more...

I don't know enough about the subject to say either way,, But i can tell you this she is a well respected leader in the energy world, I would think twice before I trying to dispute her, Just Email her at the link she will respond she is cool like Redneck..

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:29 PM

Originally posted by EnhancedInterrogator
reply to post by Count Chocula

That would certainly have a more predictable out-come (i.e. everybody dies).
Not to mention Toyota and Honda parts raining down all over the world.

It would work, the intense heat would vaporize and inject almost everything in the atmosphere and with cloud seeding it could then be accurately dispersed over the ocean far from the mainland and western usa.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:32 PM
Useful link, looks like some of the links Wikipedia articles are using these guys as their source material ...

Japan Atomic Insustrial Forum, Inc. (English)

Status of nuclear power plants in Fukushima as of 19:00 March 15 (Estimated by JAIF)

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:33 PM
Here's a report from an Australian in Fukushima - the headline is 'Don't listen to the Japanese government': Aussie expat tells of Fukushima chaos

As many have suspected, it seems the Government is really trying to downplay the risks, and perhaps not providing the correct information...

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:34 PM

Originally posted by crazydaisy

This article just came across the wires - thought it would make me
feel better but after reading I find it more concerning than before.

You fuel, at least the stuff I am familiar with, is not handled as RAM (radioactive material). Spent fuel, however, is considered highly radioactive. It is kept in a pool of water for a reason. The water is changed often by being pumped out, filtered, and pumped back in. The reasons are two fold.

One. It is removed to filter out contaminants in the water which are picked up while it circulates around the spent fuel rods.

Two. The water is circulated to ensure the spent fuel rods maintain an equilibrium relative to temperature. Therefore, decay heat removal is essential.

The water is used to not only cool the fuel, but to provide that decay heat removal essential in maintaining a safe pool of spent fuel

As long as that water supply is uninterupted, there is no problem.

From get the idea.
edit on 15-3-2011 by Hugues de Payens because: Spelling error

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:36 PM
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (English)

From "Monday, March 15 at 06:45am, 2011" local/Tokyo time (about 3 hours ago) ...

With regard to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants, Prime Minister Kan went to TEPCO to figure out the current situation again, and some new developments that I did not have during my last press conference came to light. I would like to report on these as soon as possible to the people of Japan.

In the Unit 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, damage has been observed to the suppression pool, a slightly protruding section connected to containment vessel that condenses water vapor into liquid water. However, the readings of radiation levels in the surrounding area have shown no sudden rise, and are not at values that would represent a threat to the people's health.

All the same, we intend to take swift action in response to this situation. As I need to take orders from the Prime Minister at TEPCO, I need to leave you soon. If you have just one or two questions, please go ahead.

1 day +3 hours ago

edit on 2011-3-15 by EnhancedInterrogator because: added correction.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:37 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


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