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Japan declares 'nuclear emergency' after quake

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posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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Found some more info on the containment floor...


The entire “hardware” of the nuclear reactor – the pressure vessel and all pipes, pumps, coolant (water) reserves, are then encased in the third containment. The third containment is a hermetically (air tight) sealed, very thick bubble of the strongest steel and concrete. The third containment is designed, built and tested for one single purpose: To contain, indefinitely, a complete core meltdown. For that purpose, a large and thick concrete basin is cast under the pressure vessel (the second containment), all inside the third containment. This is the so-called “core catcher”. If the core melts and the pressure vessel bursts (and eventually melts), it will catch the molten fuel and everything else. It is typically built in such a way that the nuclear fuel will be spread out, so it can cool down.
Source




posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Do you know if the quake has been upped to a m9.0?
Meltdown alert at Japan reactor

Complete devastation

Meanwhile, the relief operation is continuing after Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which triggered a tsunami that devastated swathes of the north-eastern coast of the country.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Yeah but luckily MOX is only used in reactor #3 as far as I know.

I do not fear so much for myself or those in the U.S., unless there is a significant turn of events, but like you Redneck, it seems the people of Japan can not get a break. This is really such a tragedy already, and to lump these nuclear problems on top of them seems astounding.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by RickyD

The thing I am watching for is a massive plume of white smoke (steam) rising quickly. the water level inside the reactor is held in check by the pressure. If that pressure is suddenly relieved, all the water available will flash to steam instantaneously, and then you will see spontaneous ignition of anything flammable in the area as there will be nothing to stop the chain reaction.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by Styrge

100 tons?


I will bow to your knowledge on this point.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Do you have a link to a live feed of the plant by chance? I don't think I have found one yet but I'm sure there probably is.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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since some new people came to the thread (I guess it is morning somewhere
) I want to post this article once again

Originally posted by AstraCat
found nice article "Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors."
morgsatlarge.wordpress.com...

I guess it wasn't posted here...


hey somebody read my mind and posted it too

edit on 14-3-2011 by AstraCat because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 
About the 450kg MOX-fuel addition, it was said to be only 6% of the fuel in the reactor. So that unit would have something like 10 ton mass if we calculate from those figures - but the figure given earlier (60t-70t) seems correct.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by woogleuk

I actually heard rumors of 9.1 a few days ago, but I hadn't seen anything official until now.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Yes, storing spent fuel rods in cooling ponds.
Gamma rays penetrate deeply.

Experts are already saying there will be radioactive releases for months.

www.nytimes.com...

I can only hope and pray they did this in only one plant.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by odd1out
 


I live about 20 miles from where the majority of that crap (MOX) is made, I was overjoyed when they said they were shutting Sellafield (Windscale) down, and now they are talking about building a more modern one on the same site!!

My dad, uncles and a whole heap of my friends work there, so it's good for employment, but its a scary place.

As well as countless small incidents, It was responsible for possibly the third worse nuclear disaster in 1957 when a fire poured a load of radioactive smoke into the atmosphere.


The Windscale fire Main article: Windscale fire The Windscale Piles were shut down following a fire in Pile 1 on 10 October 1957 which destroyed the core and released an estimated 750 terabecquerels (20,000 Ci) of radioactive material into the surrounding environment, including Iodine-131, which is taken up in the human body by the thyroid. As a precautionary measure, milk from surrounding farming areas was destroyed. Following the fire Pile 1 was unserviceable and Pile 2, although undamaged by the fire, was shut down as a precaution, by which time UK had enough plutonium for some atomic bombs and work was progressing well at the Fast Breeder Reactor at Dounreay.



For years childhood leukaemia spread the surrounding areas, especially Seascale where my missus is from.
edit on 14/3/11 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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Where are they putting the sea water after it has been exposed and used to cool the reactors? Redneck, or someone who might have experience or a err good guess??



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by burntheships

Considering the shielding precautions mandated by the NRC here for spent fuel storage, I am sure they only had the one storage facility.

... I hope, anyway...

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by woogleuk
reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Do you know if the quake has been upped to a m9.0?
Meltdown alert at Japan reactor

Complete devastation

Meanwhile, the relief operation is continuing after Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which triggered a tsunami that devastated swathes of the north-eastern coast of the country.




There is a lot of confusion centering around the magnitude of the quake. The Japanese government has rated the quake a 9.0, however the USGS (and everyone else, for that matter), have maintained the quake was a 8.9.

I strongly suspect the Japanese are inflating the earthquake magnatude to assist in insurance damage claims.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by woogleuk

 


The ironic thing is the UK will get a lot of 'business' from the problems from these reactors as we will need to reprocess the waste from it -



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by clay2 baraka
 

Even 8.9 is very very big. There is really no difference between a 8.9 and and a 9.0



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:46 PM
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Brilliant thread and kuddos to all who help seperate fact from fiction...

Fox news..."moved Japan's coastline...9.0 quake...will actually take seconds off our day...President being updated on meltdown at 2 reactors..."

I hate Fox but they do keep throwing blurbs out inbetween other "news"...this is worsening by the minute.
edit on 14-3-2011 by irishchic because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by RickyD

They are melting down! No question about that. But a meltdown is not a breach. A meltdown means the fuel has melted (to some extent) and therefore the control rods are no longer effective. A breach means the reactor has split wide open and is exposed to the atmosphere. That has not happened, based on what I have seen.

If a breach happens, we will be looking at a full-blown meltdown similar to Chernobyl, as opposed to a partial melt-down like is going on now.

There may be some cracks in the reactor vessels (minor breach); that is also a concern I have. The question there is how big, and how much radiation of what type is being released.

TheRedneck


If all the fuel melts, would this start melting the container it is encased in ? I'm trying to understand what would cause a breach of the actual container itself, leading to atmpsepheric exposure. I mean that's stuff is going to be really, really hot - won't that make pressure build up inside the container ? Could it blow ? I'm a total tool with this subject as it's never something I've had to read about up until recently. Thanks in advance.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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RSOE EDIS posted a few information updates. Like a nice overview of the latest events -

Situation Update No. 25
On 14.03.2011 at 16:24 GMT+2

Technicians are battling to stabilise a third reactor at a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear plant, which has been rocked by a second blast in three days. The fuel rods inside reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been fully exposed on two separate occasions, raising fears of a meltdown. Seawater is being pumped into reactor to try to stop the rods overheating. A cooling system breakdown preceded explosions at the plant's reactor 3 on Monday and reactor 1 on Saturday. The latest hydrogen blast injured 11 people, one of them seriously. It was felt 40km (25 miles) away and sent a huge column of smoke into the air. The outer building around the reactor was largely destroyed. But as with the first explosion, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said the thick containment walls shielding the reactor cores remained intact. It also said radiation levels outside were still within legal limits.

Shortly after the blast, Tepco warned that it had lost the ability to cool Fukushima Daiichi's reactor 2. Hours later, the company revealed that the fuel rods inside had been exposed fully at one point, reportedly for about two-and-a-half hours. It said a fire pump that had been used to pump seawater into the reactor had run out of fuel. The company is now trying to inject sea water into the reactor to cover the fuel rods, cool them down and prevent another explosion. Initially, water levels continued to fall despite the efforts, as only one of the five fire pumps was working, officials said. The other four were believed to have been damaged by the blast at reactor 3.By Monday evening, the water level inside the reactor had risen to 2m. But later, Tepco officials said the fuel rods had again been fully exposed. Air pressure inside reactor 2 rose suddenly when the air flow gauge was accidentally turned off. That blocked the flow of water into the reactor, leading to the water level dropping and the rods being exposed at about 2300 local time (1400 GMT). "We are not optimistic but I think we can inject water once we can reopen the valve and lower the air pressure," a Tepco official told reporters. Exposure for too long a period of time can damage the fuel rods and raise the risk of overheating and possible meltdown.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said workers were also battling rising pressure within the reactor. They have opened vents in the containment vessel, which could release small amounts of radiation. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said there were signs that the fuel rods were melting in all three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. "Although we cannot directly check it, it's highly likely happening," he told reporters. However, he insisted that radiation around the plant remained at tolerable levels. Nevertheless, nearly 185,000 people have been evacuated from a 20km (12 mile) exclusion zone around the plant. The US said it had moved one of its aircraft carriers from the area after detecting low-level radiation 160km (100 miles) offshore. Experts say a disaster on the scale of Chernobyl in the 1980s is highly unlikely because the reactors are built to a higher standard and have much more rigorous safety measures. Earlier, Tepco said it had restored the cooling systems at two of the three reactors experiencing problems at the nearby Fukushima Daini power plant, 11.5km (7.1 miles) to the south. The Japanese government has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send a team of experts to help, the UN agency has said.

Situation Update No. 26
On 14.03.2011 at 17:32 GMT+2

Our Japan correspondent John Boyd sent in an update on day four of Japan's nuclear emergency. A second explosion has shattered the Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear power plant, and officials warn that a third explosion is possible:

Japanese television screens around the country showed a huge plume of gray smoke billowing up. This morning at around 11 a.m. local time a hydrogen explosion rocked the Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear plant. The detonation occurred in the structure housing the unstable No. 3 reactor; this came two days after a similar explosion occurred in the plant's No. 1 reactor structure. Judging by the size of the new smoke plume and visible damage to the structure's framework, today's explosion was of much greater strength. According to Masashi Goto, a former design engineer of nuclear containment vessels with Toshiba Corporation, the increased intensity of the explosion was likely due "in part to the larger size of the reactor." The No. 3 reactor has a capacity of 784 megawatts, compared to the 460 megawatts for the No. 1 reactor—that means the No. 3 reactor probably produced a larger cloud of hydrogen gas, which interacted with steam escaping from the reactor to cause the explosion. The government had warned that this explosion was possible. Pressure had been building in the reactor since its cooling system failed and a hydrogen cloud began forming in the space between the reactor and the inner walls of the outer structure. The plant is located in the area hit by the massive 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami on Friday. Three of the plant's reactors were in operation at the time, with three more closed for maintenance. All three active reactors automatically shut down when the cooling systems developed problems, but the shut-down didn't contain the ongoing disaster.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that the new blast had not damaged the containment vessel protecting the reactor itself (officials have also said that the explosion around the No. 1 reactor didn't damage that reactor's containment shell). Edano said that radiation monitoring after the blast had not shown a significant increase in radiation. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the plant, had been pumping seawater into the No. 3 reactor to cool it down, but the operation ran into unspecified trouble, apparently resulting in the explosion. Nuclear expert Goto explains that using seawater "was a stop-gap fix, and not as efficient as the original cooling system because it takes longer to cool the fuel rods." Now the government is warning that a similarly dangerous situation is building in the No. 2 reactor. TEPCO announced today that cooling efforts in its No. 2 reactor had failed and pressure was building, so operators were making preparations to pump seawater into the reactor. Japan's national television broadcaster and Kyodo News Service later reported that the water level in the No. 2 reactor had fallen to fully expose the fuel rods, which likely caused some of them to partially fuse.

Goto said that based on the reports it seems the mobile pump being used to push seawater into the No. 2 reactor had run out of fuel. He didn't know what kind of pump was being used. Goto, who earned his PhD by evaluating the stress that reactor container vessel can endure, quit his job with Toshiba Corporation due to his concerns over reactor safety. "I came to the conclusion that the vessels being built were not adequate enough to be the last line of defense," he says. "They weren't designed to withstand the kinds of problems currently being experienced in the Fukushima plants." He now teaches design engineering at Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo. However, the government sounded one cautiously optimistic note today: Edano claimed that none of the troubled reactors were likely to experience a total meltdown.

hisz.rsoe.hu...
edit on 14-3-2011 by AstraCat because: added a link



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by Navieko
Found some more info on the containment floor...


The entire “hardware” of the nuclear reactor – the pressure vessel and all pipes, pumps, coolant (water) reserves, are then encased in the third containment. The third containment is a hermetically (air tight) sealed, very thick bubble of the strongest steel and concrete. The third containment is designed, built and tested for one single purpose: To contain, indefinitely, a complete core meltdown. For that purpose, a large and thick concrete basin is cast under the pressure vessel (the second containment), all inside the third containment. This is the so-called “core catcher”. If the core melts and the pressure vessel bursts (and eventually melts), it will catch the molten fuel and everything else. It is typically built in such a way that the nuclear fuel will be spread out, so it can cool down.
Source


This is reassuring news then, surely ? If this is the case, if a complete core meltdown occurs then there is nothing really to worry about anyway as it can't go anywhere ? Is this right ?
But then why is radiation being logged- does this not imply some sort of container breach which in the event of full melt down will only get worse ?




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