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Japan declares 'nuclear emergency' after quake

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posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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[Kyodo News] Work proceeds to lay power cables for final 2 Fukushima reactors

Not going to quote the whole thing (you read it at the link provided). However, here's a snippet ...


Their reactor cores are believed to have partially melted and seawater has been pumped into them to prevent the fuel from staying exposed. A series of blasts have severely damaged their buildings as well as the No. 2 reactor's containment vessel.

Plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, known as MOX, in the No. 3 reactor poses the greatest risk with the threat of releasing highly toxic plutonium in the event of a meltdown. The fuel in the other reactors is uranium.


Note: Emphasis in quote added by poster (i.e. me)




posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by Wertwog
 


As I understand the situation:

The quake severed the electrical power hoding the control rods back (from underneath the reactor pile).

Within 4 seconds, the rods would have been in place since there was now no power to hold the solenoids in place.

At this stage, there was no containment breach (and both the external resevoir tanks and the primary containment contained purified water at nominal levels).

Without external power, the diesel generators cut in and restarted the water circulation pumps. These took the hot water from the reactor vessel to a heat exchanger & cool water back. The water temperature stayed at @ 100 degrees or lower and everything was working to roughly normal parameters. Although the reactor rods were fully inserted, there was still latent heat (& a little leftover ongoing nuclear reaction heat) that could be expected. The decay heat of the nuclear reactor, after two and a half hours should only be about 1% of operating heat.

The tsunami flooded the diesel generators causing them to stall. Circulation stopped and the water boiled.

The reactor should have been cooling from the time of the quake but it seemed there was too much heat at this point. This is what I believe indicated it was being run too hot and had NOT fully shut down.

The primary containment cannot retain the pressure of all that boiled water and so it vented it through pressure relief valves.

At some stage the decision was taken to pump in seawater (which would corrode the innards) mixed with boron to "neutron poison" the reactor. This was most likely pumped into the external (elevated) storage tanks and the pressure relief valves opened so that the water would flow into the primary containment, gravitationally. This was at the point where they had given up hope of ever re-using the reactor.

It appears that the fuel rods were already far too hot and the mixture reacted with the fuel rod shell, causing "significant" hydrogen outgassing.

When the H2 hit the atmosphere it combusted and this was the explosion/s we saw on video.

The rest is just the usual comedy of errors.

As to why they don't just take the Chernobyl option & set it in concrete. I think that the plant is so expensive that someone has decided they would risk the lives of others just to recover some of their investment.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:01 PM
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Here is the latest timeline and status from NISA

report PDF



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by burntheships
reply to post by zorgon
 


If that is not the most absolute scary crazy thing I have ever heard, its a second close for sure.

Those things look all even in size, length, and width.

What else could they be???
while bad, it may actually be better for the rods(if they are fuel rods) to be scattered than to have them in close proximity. The distance between the rods should prevent them from reaching criticallity.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:03 PM
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Ok, was doing a little research on BWR control rod failures; this link here www.edasolutions.com... has a whole bunch of NRC bulletins listed, but not one of them will open; 404 page not found.

On the surface it would appear that control rod problems are not unknown territory...

General * 1 * BL73005 Manufacturing Defects in Boiling Water Reactor Control Rods * BL73006 Inadvertent Criticality in a Boiling Water Reactor
* BL78014 Deterioration of Buna-N Components in ASCO Solenoids
* BL79026 Boron Loss from BWR Control Blades
* BL80017 Failure of 76 of 185 Control Rods to Fully Insert During a Scram at a BWR * * BL8017S1 Failure of 76 of 185 Control Rods to Fully Insert During a Scram at a BWR * BL8017S3 Failures Revealed by Testing Subsequent to Failure of Control Rods to Insert During a Scram at a BWR * BL8017S4 Failure of Control Rods to Insert During a Scram at a BWR
www.edasolutions.com...]

All of these would seem to indicate, to me, that a plethora of issues are known about the BWR reactors.


seeker
edit on 3/20/2011 by the seeker_713g because: added more info

edit on Sun Mar 20 2011 by DontTreadOnMe because: IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS

edit on 3/20/2011 by the seeker_713g because: had to fix my boo boo

edit on 3/20/2011 by the seeker_713g because: aaarrrgghhh!



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:04 PM
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Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Releases New Image of Reactors - March 18, 2011

Lot of smoke coming out of these buildings. Doesn't look like steam




posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:06 PM
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Latest English release from JAIF ...
... apparently as of 1 hour ago ...

Reactor Status and Major Events Update 20 - NPPs in Fukushima as of 10:00 March 21



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:07 PM
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Originally posted by Wertwog
okiecowboy has sent that image to the Telegraph to see if they can verify it. Redneck thinks it is probably not rods, but dam, it sure looks like it.


GOT IT!! The original video showing the 'rods' and all that smoke on Youtube now




posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by the seeker_713g


NHK was interviewing the military unit dumping water at the plant... they ran a short segment on a FRENCH test where they lowered the water on spent fuel rods to see what would happen. Apparently they heated and started warping, and a steady stream of radioactive steam.

Going to see if I can find that article/report/video to see the time line



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by Wertwog
 


As most of the information we have been given so far is questionable, that is very hard to estimate.

Chain reactions mean that the rise in released enrgy is logarithmic and very fast. A sub-critical pool under the fuel rods will produce more heat, which in turn will melt more fuel rods and the process will accelerate rapidly as more stuff falls into the pool.

As we don't know the level of enrichment, it is really hard to identify when (or even if) criticality will occur.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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Is the sun setting now at the West Coast? There is a lot of you from there so could somebody check if the colour is abnormal in the horizon? I'd like to know if the light has a pink tint after travelling through atmosphere that has ionization a bit more than normal because of Fukushima. I started a thread for this so all replys should go here.

I'd like to comment that it's likely they use the breeder mode in Japanese reactors. Here in Finland the fuel rods are kept in the reactors even for five years producing similiar effect. That's actually illegal, they are not supposed to burn plutonium and eventually there is over 2% of it in the spent fuel. The company just boasts how they can "increace efficiency" of their power plants, but the method is using more reactive and dangerous stuff without telling anybody.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by Styrge
Is the sun setting now at the West Coast? There is a lot of you from there so could somebody check if the colour is abnormal in the horizon?


Here in Los Angeles it has been pouring rain since last night - - with no let up.

The only color I've seen for 24 hours is gray.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:25 PM
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WWER-440 Fuel Rod Experiments Under Simulated Dry - IAEA Publications
www-pub.iaea.org...

BURNUP CREDIT FOR FISSION PRODUCT NUCLIDES IN PWR (UO2) SPENT FUELS
www.cristal-package.eu...



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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Zorgon thanks for the video we should all save that one. The explosion at 3 was completely different than the explosion at reactor 1. I wonder if the core exploded?? Probably what we all are wondering.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by bitbytebit
 


As I don't have the compute power or time to verify this report, I can only say that what it is reporting looks reasonable.

I'll need to give it some thought and if I find anything that is obviously questionable, I'll report it back to this thread.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:39 PM
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Hello,
Been a lurker here since this started and I am learning quite a bit from all. Thanks.
I just stumbled over this and wonder if any had seen it.

mdn.mainichi.jp...

Seems we really are having usefull information witheld.

Sorry if this does not come out well. Its my first post here.
edit on 20-3-2011 by comawhite12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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Several things come to mind:

This image-


The damage to 3 is readily visible as is the damage to 4, and a bit slower inspection shows a lot of detail in these photos. Take a good long and close look at them. Zoom in as much as you can and still make it out. I've my cimputed on my 42" tv in my living room and stand across the room so I can zoom pretty far in and still make out decent detail.

If that dome-like structure just under and to the right of the red arrow isn't the top of the containment vessel then I'm a duck. And while I may occasionally quack, I most certainly do NOT have feathers. It appears to be missing a couple of plates from the top endcap also.

If that is the case then the decimated portion of the building is the area in which spent MOX fuel rods were originally kept, according to most of the diagrams I've seen. Which in turn means that the contents are scattered.

Man oh man.

I remember watching unit 3 blow it's top and am STILL amazed at the amount of energy released in that explosion, it is quite evident in the videos and pictures following that tremendous damage was done not only to the outer shell, but to the reinforced portions of the building.

I've also never seen video of the explosion of unit 4, has anyone else? If I have missed it I do apologize, this is a fast-moving thread and lfe calls me to it in such a way as I miss much of what transpires while I am away from these fora. I can only go back a few pages here or I'd never get caught up.

Referring to the incredibly fine tolerance that the rods are engineered to, how susceptible are they to warping?

That earthquake released an absolutely ASTOUNDING among of energy so I can certainly see how the 5 minute long shaking of the earth might impact some systems. Somewhere, puterman has a pie chart posted that shows energy released and that 9.0 contains 97% of all seismic activity in the area since it's occurence. So think about that in relation to the number and magnitude of the aftershocks.

Speaking of which, the aftershocks seem to have unusually long decay rates, which seems to be a bit odd.

In any case it is a mess over there and I really don't see it being anything other for quite a while.


edit on 20-3-2011 by jadedANDcynical because: Stupid iPhone.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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Originally posted by comawhite12
Hello,
Been a lurker here since this started and I am learning quite a bit from all. Thanks.
I just stumbled over this and wonder if any had seen it.

mdn.mainichi.jp...

Seems we really are having usefull information witheld.

Sorry if this does not come out well. Its my first post here.
edit on 20-3-2011 by comawhite12 because: (no reason given)


Nice first post . WOW



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:55 PM
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online.wsj.com...

WSJ:Japan Plant Had Troubled History




A Journal analysis of Japanese regulatory documents shows that the Daiichi plant was already one of Japan's most troubled nuclear facilities, even before it was severely damaged by this month's quake and tsunami. In the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, the latest data available, Daiichi had the highest accident rate of any big Japanese nuclear plant, according to data collected by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, a mostly government-funded group that monitors safety and conducts inspections. Daiichi's workers were exposed to more radiation than their peers at most other plants, the data show.





The Daiichi plant has had 15 accidents since 2005, the most of any Japanese plant with more than three reactors, according to an analysis of the data by the Journal. Maintenance problems have been a leading cause of accidents at the plants, but it isn't clear whether age has been a major factor.

In February 2009, pressure levels spiked inside Reactor 1, forcing the release of steam through an emergency valve. Workers found a broken bolt and shut down the reactor. An investigation found that a nut hadn't been tightened properly and wasn't being inspected regularly.

Some accidents involved key safety equipment. In 2007 an emergency diesel generator began smoking during testing. An investigation found that part of the generator's circuit breaker had been put together backward.

The failure of diesel generators, which power water pumps that are critical to reactor cooling systems, was a leading cause of the current crisis. But there is no evidence they were malfunctioning before the tsunami struck.

In April 2009, a control rod—the shutdown device used to stop the nuclear reaction in a plant's core—malfunctioned in Reactor No. 3 due to a leaking valve. An investigation found that the device was assembled using two different kinds of bolts, leading to the leak.

None of the Daiichi accidents were considered major safety hazards, and none caused any injuries or led to the release of any radioactive material outside the plant, until this month's accident. As is true in most nations, nuclear operators are required to report more problems to authorities than operators of conventional, fossil-fuel plants, so there is more detail on even minor occurrences.


edit on 20-3-2011 by hplovecraft2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by burntheships
reply to post by zorgon
 


If that is not the most absolute scary crazy thing I have ever heard, its a second close for sure.

Those things look all even in size, length, and width.

What else could they be???


Glow in the dark pick-up-sticks




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