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Originally posted by C0bzz
Fukushima Nuclear Accident – a simple and accurate explanation
Below I reproduce a summary on the situation prepared by Dr Josef Oehmen, a research scientist at MIT, in Boston. He is a PhD Scientist, whose father has extensive experience in Germany’s nuclear industry. This was first posted by Jason Morgan earlier this evening, and he has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here. I think it is very important that this information be widely understood.
Excellent article there for those interested.
1:22pm With three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima facility under states of emergency, the International Atomic Energy Association says that the Onagawa nuclear power plant is also reporting a state of emergency. Onagawa contains the most modern nuclear reactor in all of Japan, but it's not yet clear if that is the unit affected. Like the Fukushima facility, it is also operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Co
11:10pm An explosion in No.3 reactor would be much more dangerous than yesterday's blast due to its mix of plutonium and uranium, nuclear scientist Imad Khadduri tells Al Jazeera. More from him soon
11:30pm More on the developing emergency at the Onogawa nuclear facility, 155km north of the crisis-hit Fukushima plant. The IAEA statement says: The alert was declared as a consequence of radioactivity readings exceeding allowed levels in the area surrounding the plant. Japanese authorities are investigating the source of radiation.
11:30pm More on the developing emergency at the Onogawa nuclear facility, 155km north of the crisis-hit Fukushima plant. The IAEA statement says: The alert was declared as a consequence of radioactivity reads exceeding allowed levels in the area surrounding the plant. Japanese authorities are investigating the source of radiation.
12:14am More on the situation at the Onagawa nuclear facility. The "lowest level of a state of emergency" was declared "as a consequence of radioactivity readings exceeding allowed levels in the area surrounding the plant", said the International Atomic Energy Agency. But, according to Japanese authorities, the three reactor units at the Onagawa nuclear power plant "are under control". The IAEA, the UN's nuclear watchdog, said that venting of the damaged Onagawa reactor unit had started at 9:20am in Japan "through a controlled release of vapour." The operation was intended to lower pressure inside the reactor containment. Following the failure of the high pressure injection system and other attempts of cooling the plant, the authorities had first injected water and then sea water into the unit. The authorities have informed the IAEA that accumulation of hydrogen is possible ... The IAEA is continuing to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.
12:04am Japanese safety officials say the cooling system at the quake-damaged Onagawa nuclear plant has not been damaged, and the rise in reported radiation levels is due to a radiationleak at another plant nearby.
Within the 8 hours, another power source had to be found and connected to the power plant. The power grid was down due to the earthquake. The diesel generators were destroyed by the tsunami. So mobile diesel generators were trucked in.
This is where things started to go seriously wrong. The external power generators could not be connected to the power plant (the plugs did not fit). So after the batteries ran out, the residual heat could not be carried away any more.
What happened now is that some of the byproducts of the uranium decay – radioactive Cesium and Iodine – started to mix with the steam. The big problem, uranium, was still under control, because the uranium oxide rods were good until 3000 °C. It is confirmed that a very small amount of Cesium and Iodine was measured in the steam that was released into the atmosphere.
Some radiation was released when the pressure vessel was vented. All radioactive isotopes from the activated steam have gone (decayed). A very small amount of Cesium was released, as well as Iodine. If you were sitting on top of the plants’ chimney when they were venting, you should probably give up smoking to return to your former life expectancy. The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again.