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BS: Japan Nuclear plant disaster, 2011

GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 02:24 PM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 02:24 PM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 02:17 PM
Donuel 12 Mar 11 - 02:13 PM
josepp 12 Mar 11 - 02:03 PM
Jack Campin 12 Mar 11 - 01:59 PM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 01:53 PM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 01:42 PM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 01:37 PM
Charley Noble 12 Mar 11 - 01:30 PM
Charley Noble 12 Mar 11 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 01:10 PM
josepp 12 Mar 11 - 12:37 PM
Bettynh 12 Mar 11 - 12:24 PM
josepp 12 Mar 11 - 12:14 PM
josepp 12 Mar 11 - 12:07 PM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 12:05 PM
number 6 12 Mar 11 - 11:59 AM
SINSULL 12 Mar 11 - 11:57 AM
Charley Noble 12 Mar 11 - 11:51 AM
number 6 12 Mar 11 - 11:45 AM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 11:44 AM
gnu 12 Mar 11 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 11:30 AM
Charley Noble 12 Mar 11 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 10:31 AM
Charley Noble 12 Mar 11 - 10:22 AM
Donuel 12 Mar 11 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 10:10 AM
number 6 12 Mar 11 - 10:08 AM
Charley Noble 12 Mar 11 - 10:06 AM
artbrooks 12 Mar 11 - 10:04 AM
Jack Campin 12 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM
Donuel 12 Mar 11 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,999 12 Mar 11 - 08:46 AM
bubblyrat 12 Mar 11 - 05:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Mar 11 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,John MacKenzie 12 Mar 11 - 05:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Mar 11 - 05:26 AM
Will Fly 12 Mar 11 - 05:09 AM
Jack Campin 12 Mar 11 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 12 Mar 11 - 04:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Mar 11 - 04:45 AM
Donuel 12 Mar 11 - 02:02 AM
Little Hawk 12 Mar 11 - 01:50 AM
Ron Davies 12 Mar 11 - 01:26 AM
Jeri 11 Mar 11 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,number 6 11 Mar 11 - 10:36 PM
Donuel 11 Mar 11 - 10:36 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 02:24 PM

Gnu points to a problem that has faced us for over 50 years. Why would vested interests in nuclear power worry about other ways to generate electricity when the have the solution wired--as far as the vested interests are concerned.

1) Some things seem clear. If I discovered a cure for cancer, it would put millions out of work.

2) If I discovered a cheap source to use instead of gas, it would put millions out of work.

Etc.

Our paradigm is all wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 02:24 PM

josepp... pellets... rods... yup. It's all the rage these days.

And, when you post... "No. I've heard of fuel plates. These have to arranged in a very specific way inside the reactor. The rods are made of hafnium and when they are inserted,..." sommat just don't add up???


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 02:17 PM

Thanks Jack.

BTW... just thought of sommat that is kinda thread drift. Years ago I was at the nuke near me as an engineering student. The massive concrete containment walls and dome were touted as one of the "extra" safeguards of the CANDU reactor system. I also recall watching a video (hahaha... movie) of concrete burning in a materials course. As a matter of fact, the 6m thick containment walls degraded to a point where they were considered inadequate by initial design standards twenty odd years after construction.

Also, I phoned a radio talk show years ago and had a chat with Dr. Stanton Freidman in which he chastised me about my trepidation regarding the safety of nuke plants. I asked him how The Ocean Ranger (oil rig) sank... a failure of safety systems perhaps? After they went to commercial I was disconnected.

And, no, I have no support for my statements.

In the long run, I still support our nuke until truly, or at least reasonbly clean, energy production is doable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 02:13 PM

Chernobyl was a graphite reactor that stopped radiation like little soldid walls..
3 Mile Island was a water reactor like the ones at Fukashima.
Uranium inside control cylinders of a metal designed to stop most radiation, is cooled by water. Water reactors do not use walls of graphite. Liquid sodium is used instead of water in some reactors but while it is more efficient in and accident if it leakds sodium burns a bit like Magnesium if it gets wet.


Could 3 Mile Island have gone critical and have had a huge explosion?
yes yes and yes.o

Did it?
no

It was amazingly close. It is said to have ben within a few degrees and perhaps only 50 pounds of additional melted uranium to obtain a chain reaction criticality.

One reason it did not blow up was that the specially coated floor of the reactor sloped away with the center poking up like a cone. The melted fuel flowed away from a central catching point and dispersed in a ring rather than a clump. Engineering prevented a full blwon atomic blast.






Yes gnu is right.

Cesium is a sign that some or all of the fuel has melted. How it flows and distributes on the floor is important for the reasons stated above.

Everything I have written here is from memory past and my current source3 is CNN IN - special earthquake tsunami edition.

If no Cesium was reported found in the air I too would have taken hope.

IF the pumps had worked I too would have taken hope.

I will take any valid hope. I welcome it.

Boric acid and seawater is at this moment flowing into one or more reactors. I called this procedure a band aid but ti is more like giving heroin to a terminal patient. It will settle the patient down but is not liekly of offering a cure. from contamination.

It is a last ditch effort to avoid criticality.


Can melted Uranium melt through concrete? r3einforced with rebar?

yes, unfortunetly this is one of those pesky design flaws in nuclear power plants.

Will it certainly melt through concrete?

no.






By the way Saturday Night Live did a sketch on 3 Mile Island.
They gave the job of cleaning up the water and melted fuel to an old black women Garret Morris and Jimmy Carter played by Akroyd was there to determine the cause of the melt down.
Carter discovered it was a Pepsi syndrome of a drink being spilled on the control panel.


At Fukashima once the other reactors were dwon for maintnence and water flooded the back up generators they no loner had a back up for the back up.

Its just one of those things that was sold as being impossible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: josepp
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 02:03 PM

////As someone who has "worked in" nuclear power plants, you have never heard of "fuel rods"?////

No. I've heard of fuel plates. These have to arranged in a very specific way inside the reactor. The rods are made of hafnium and when they are inserted, they absorb the neutrons that cause fission thereby squelching the fission process which, it turn, shuts down the reactor if the all the rods are fully inserted simultaneously, i.e. a reactor scram. But even the shutdown has to be carefully monitored for some 30 hours or so due to what is called a build up of "poisons". Now, I haven't worked in a nuclear plant since the 80s and so there might be new designs but I haven't heard of any until now.

////What was your job there?////

I ran the electric plant.

////(sputter, sputter) The nuclear fuel is composed as cylindrical pellets, inserted into nickel alloy fuel rod and then with its brothers and sisters installed within the reactor vessel///

As I said, that may be a new design but every plant I worked in used fuel plates. These plates are very thin. Pellets? You're sure about that? The plates have to be very, very thin. You can't just have a big glob of fission material. And then they're encased in nickel, you say? How does the moderator get to them? What is the moderator?? Maybe they've had some technological breakthroughs since the 80s. First time I've heard of it though.

The rods I know of were hafnium and were necessary to control the rate of fission. I know of one plant that used water instead of rods but I never worked there and am not sure how that worked (I knew several people that did work there).

///The steam would be generated from the coolant heated by the reaction taking place within the fuel rods.///

But how is the reaction taking place, that's what puzzles me. You have to have a moderator and I don't know what that would be in the case of pellets encased in nickel. How are the neutrons getting to the fuel to trigger the fission??? Then the moderator heats up and then is carried along via huge pumps to a set of tubes into what is called a pressurizer which is heated by steam. There is water surrounding the tubes and the heat is transferred to this water of what is called the secondary. This is the water that becomes steam that powers the turbines that turned my generators. That can't let the primary water do that because, obviously, it's been inside the reactor.

////You're correct that an atomic explosion as with a bomb would be unlikely at this nuclear reactor.////

It would be impossible. It would be like two cars colliding into the shape of a huge cannon and balls and the chemicals in the cars' various systems forming a volatile substance that causes the cannon to go off and blow down a building or two. It's literally that remote of a possibility.

///What happened at Chernobyl, however, was bad enough to be "alarmed" at, don't you think?////

Yes, but you're talking about the Russians. Who would you trust to build a better plant? The Russians or the Japanese? I'm not saying this isn't a catastrophe athat can't get worse. An 8.9 earthquake? God knows what is still waiting to happen. But I am saying there won't be any nuclear explosions unless someone sets off a nuclear bomb.

////There the nuclear fuel rods melted down, caught fire, and there was a plume of highly radioactive gas which devastated the surrounding downwind area, and dispersed radiation worldwide.////

How could a cloud of gas disperse radiation? Radioactivty I could see. I mean, I suppose there might be ways but none I know of offhand.

I've never read about what caused the Chernobyl disaster but I would assume if the "fuel rods" melted it would less of a catastrophe than if the hafnium rods melted thereby not allowing the reactor to shutdown so that the fission rate balloons out of control.

///You say that is "unlikely to happen" with a 40 year old Japanese nuclear reactor./////

I'm saying it can't happen. A nuclear plant, no matter how old it is, cannot cause a nuclear explosion because it is not set up like a nuclear bomb. A meltdown is not a nuclear explosion.

////I don't think anyone should be reassured by your statement. But I could be wrong. I hope so.////

You have to be wrong or all my training was bullshit. I'm not saying a meltdown can't happen and wouldn't be catastrophe but I am saying a nuclear explosion simply cannot happen in a nuclear plant unless someone sets off a nuclear bomb inside it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:59 PM

Is it because it's better to expel the radioactive material into the atmosphere than have it melt into the earth?

Groundwater. Steam explosion blowing the entire reactor into the sky.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:53 PM

However, Naoto Sekimura, a professor at Tokyo University, insisted there was little chance that Japan came close to experiencing a Chernobyl-style meltdown. "No Chernobyl is possible at a light water reactor," he said. "Loss of coolant means a temperature rise, but it also will stop the reaction. Even in the worst-case scenario, that would mean some radioactive leakage and equipment damage, but not an explosion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:42 PM

Bravo Charley.

Now, could Canada interest you in a CANDU? >;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:37 PM

I'll throw out an idea and watch it get shot to hell.

If the venting to reduce the pressure causes a decrease in the level of heavy water which leads to the exposure of some of the rods which in turn causes a temperature rise (and this will accelerate with subsequent temperature rise) thereby allowing the nickel to melt and the ??? (can't recall the name of that stuff) to ignite which in turn ignites the hydrogen separated from the heavy water by the extreme temperatures causing a massive explosion which expels radioactive material into the atmosphere... why not pull the drain plug and remove the explosive fuel from equation? Is it because it's better to expel the radioactive material into the atmosphere than have it melt into the earth?

Start shootin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:30 PM

Bruce-

I'd ordinarily send this via PM but as you're a "guest" that is not an option.

Our disagreement is a minor ripple compared to what folks seem to be facing in and around the Fukushima nuclear plant, not to mention the other nuclear plants in Japan which are also having problems but which we've gotten less info.

My parents raised questions about the siting of the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant prior to its construction beginning in 1968. It was a tough time to raise questions about the safety of nuclear power and they didn't win that battle. I didn't get involved until after Three-Mile Island in 1979. And it wasn't until 1982 that I returned to Maine and began working with the Maine Nuclear Referendum Committee to attempt to shut the plant down. There were actually three statewide shut-down referenda, and they all failed to harvest more than 48% of the vote. The last one took place in 1987 in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. We raised almost a million dollars and thought we were sure to win this round, but, no, we hardly did any better. Ten years later the owners of Maine Yankee decided to shut it down ten years before its license was to expire because of escalating maintenance problems. But we like to think we helped persuade them to make the right decision. Maybe so. Maybe not.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:16 PM

josepp-

As someone who has "worked in" nuclear power plants, you have never heard of "fuel rods"? What was your job there? (sputter, sputter) The nuclear fuel is composed as cylindrical pellets, inserted into nickel alloy fuel rod and then with its brothers and sisters installed within the reactor vessel. The steam would be generated from the coolant heated by the reaction taking place within the fuel rods.

"Stop causing needless alarm"?

You're correct that an atomic explosion as with a bomb would be unlikely at this nuclear reactor. What happened at Chernobyl, however, was bad enough to be "alarmed" at, don't you think? There the nuclear fuel rods melted down, caught fire, and there was a plume of highly radioactive gas which devastated the surrounding downwind area, and dispersed radiation worldwide. You say that is "unlikely to happen" with a 40 year old Japanese nuclear reactor. I don't think anyone should be reassured by your statement. But I could be wrong. I hope so.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:10 PM

Charley, I want you to know that I agree with you about the possible death toll of a nuclear meltdown, and the severity of that worldwide. I've been with you since about 1965. The issue does get people heated, myself among them. With you, I hope you're wrong. No apology--profuse or otherwise--will be necessary. I was wrong--but let's hope I'm right.

Thank you, Charley.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: josepp
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 12:37 PM

The above article makes no distinction between radiation and radioactivity--they are NOT the same thing.

Radioactivity is caused by the emission of alpha particles. If you're exposed to radioactivity then you need decon immediately. Radiation is caused by the emission of gamma rays. If you are hit with radiation, decon won't do any good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Bettynh
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 12:24 PM

Some already need decontamination.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: josepp
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 12:14 PM

It is also impossible for a nuke plant to cause a nuclear explosion. They are not set up like a nuclear bomb. An exploding nuke plant would be more like a dirty bomb not an A-bomb. Let's not spread unfounded rumors.

Japan will weather this out as they always do. There will be a massive clean up obviously. This will not be another Chernobyl. Japanese plants are built a tiny bit safer than that. But it is not possible for there to be a "bomb event." Stop causing needless alarm please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: josepp
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 12:07 PM

////Of the dizens if nuclear plants in Japan, currently the oldest one bulit in 1960 and finished in 1970 is in the most serious condition of being unable to cool the fuel rods which are now venting radiactive steam.////

Maybe plant designs have changed since I worked in them, but I never heard of fuel rods and they can't vent steam. The fuel comes in very thin plates and "very pure water", called a moderator, is pumped around them. The rods are made usually of hafnium and actually absorb neutrons which has the effect of squelching fission reactions. A total insertion of all the rods at once is called a scram and that shuts the reactor down. Now I do know of plants that actually used water in place of the rods and it is possible those might flash to steam but they are not fuel either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 12:05 PM

sIx... you can stay at my place if LePreau lights up... I'll put the key under a rock behind the garage before I leave. Of course, it is a CANDU so I don't think there's much chance of that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: number 6
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:59 AM

exactly Sinsull .... watch, hope and pray for the best.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:57 AM

As long as large aftershocks continue this situation can't be considered "under control". One aftershock too many and the damage will be the straw that broke...
For now we watch and pray.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:51 AM

Bruce-

Thanks for the name. No one will be more delighted to offer profuse apologies if I am overstating the case.

Try reviewing this update via Wikipedia. It's the best background info I've been able to find but still very alarming to anyone who has a clue how these plants are supposed to function:
click here for update!

And I should caution that Wikipedia is only as good a "source" as whoever happens to be posting but there is a lot more detail revealed here than from the regular news reports.

The reactor building which was demolished in the explosion does not have a secondary containment system. It is an older "boiling water" reactor designed by General Electric, similar to the Vermont Yankee reactor. It was scheduled to be permanently shut down later this month.

There are six reactors on site at this nuclear plant. Three were shut down before the earthquake for regularly scheduled maintenance and thus were not available to provide back-up power after the tsunami.

The next phase of trying to cool the reactor vessel appears to be pumping sea water in, augmented with boric acid to inhibit further nuclear reaction. This is a desperate measure but is probably the best option left at this point in an attempt to avert a complete meltdown.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: number 6
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:45 AM

Basically I don't believe anything (bad or good)that I'm reading .... in time the truth will be known ... all we can do ... at this point in time is hope.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:44 AM

Note that it is the detection of Cesium that is key.

The fact they are going to try using sea water MAY indicate that the cooling systems MAY be damaged to SOME extent... or NOT. Of course, it's all conjecture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:36 AM

Fuel rods at the reactor may be melting after radioactive Cesium material left by atomic fission was detected near the site, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Yuji Kakizaki said by phone earlier today.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-12/explosion-destroys-walls-of-japan-reactor-building-nhk-reports.html

I read a report that said the temp in the control room was 100C but I can't find it now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:34 AM

Latest reports suggest that, for now at least, a major meltdown looks like being avoided at a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan that was badly damaged by the massive earthquake that struck yesterday afternoon.

Getting clear information on the situation is difficult – one US news station, for example, suggested in one segment there had been about 80 aftershocks since yesterday's main temblor, but in a graphic a couple of minutes later said it was about 180. (The former seems much more likely, although the aftershocks, some of which have topped magnitude 6, have been so regular it's hard to keep track).

According to a Reuters report, radiation is leaking from a plant in Fukushima after a large explosion earlier this afternoon apparently blew off the roof. The evacuation radius was increased from an initial 10 kilometre radius to 20 kilometres, and officials are said to be distributing iodine to locals to help protect them from radiation exposure.

But despite initial speculation among some news stations determined to press analysts and correspondents to discuss 'the worst case scenario,' experts contacted by Reuters said Japan shouldn't see a repeat of the Chernobyl disaster in Russia.

'They said pictures of mist above the plant suggested only small amounts of radiation had been expelled as part of measures to ensure its stability, far from the radioactive clouds Chernobyl spewed out 25 years ago,' Reuters reported. 'Valeriy Hlyhalo, deputy director of the Chernobyl nuclear safety centre, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying Japanese reactors were better protected than Chernobyl.'


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:30 AM

I am simply asking where the facts are coming from, Charley. I am certainly NOT making light of the situation facing the Japanese people. I am asking where your facts are from. It is YOU who should be ashamed of yourself. You ARE spreading fear--and if rightfully so I will apologize to you. I won`t expect an apology from you if it is otherwise.

Bruce Murdoch


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 11:24 AM

999-

Why don't you view the BBC video again yourself and do some research before you accuse others of "spreading fear"? You should be ashamed of yourself. This is a human tragedy which will likely rival the impact of what happened in the Ukraine with the Chernobyl meltdown and explosion.

My own education and experience comes from working as staff for an anti-nuclear power organization in Maine for over ten years, from 1982 to 1992. One learns a lot about the risks involved with generating electricity from "clean" nuclear power from such experience.

I don't think I am exaggerating the dire risks facing the Japanese people at this time. I wish I were.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:31 AM

Spreading fear when you have no facts is NOT a nice thing. What are your sources for all this stuff if I may ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:22 AM

Not good news!

"Japan's government spokesman says the metal container sheltering a nuclear reactor was not affected by an explosion that destroyed the building it's in."

I'm unsure what this statement means beyond an attempt to reassure the public. The fuel rods are within a containment vessel and here in the States our nuclear plants have what's called a containment dome, a final barrier of defense if there were a meltdown (and no one really knows if it would work or not in that event). It's unclear to me if there is a secondary containment dome for this reactor in Japan or whether that was supposed to be the building whose walls have just been blown out.

But in either event no cooling system (pipes, pumps, valves) would have survived that explosion and it's just a matter of hours before there is a complete meltdown.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:16 AM

The rods are indeed capable of melting the metal sheaths around each rod of Uranium becasue of the way it was shut down. Critical mass could only occur when the exposed fuel then melts and compresses on the floor of the reactor.

A scram shutdown with no coolant circulation can contain enough residual heat to damage the "protective blankets" around the Uranium.

WHile you are technically and perfectly correct Jack, the truth is there remains a possibility of melted fuel that could proceed to criticality..

If you want a number I would put it at 10% or less.

A meltdown would still last indefininately. Far longer than a Gulf oil spill.

Neither alternative is anything less than catastrophic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:10 AM

The Fukushima nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan is pictured in a 2008 file photo. (Xinhua/Kyodo file photo)
TOKYO, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government confirmed Saturday that while an explosion did occur at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant earlier in the day, the blast did not happen at the location of its No. 1 reactor.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at an emergency press conference convened in Tokyo that owner and operator of the nuclear facility, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has confirmed that the steel container housing the reactor is intact.

Edano said that the blast, which occurred at 3:36 p.m. local time (0636 GMT), destroyed the roof and the walls of the reactor's outer container.

Authorities added that whilst the evacuation zone has been increased from a 10-kilometer radius for the Fukushima No. 1 and the troubled No. 2 plants to a 20-kilometer radius, no serious damage occurred to the container of the No. 1 reactor, as previously feared.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency had said earlier that the reactor in the Fukushima No. 1 power station, located about 220 km north of Tokyo, may be starting to melt down after Japan's biggest earthquake on record hit the area Friday.

Recent reports, however, suggest the catastrophe may not be quite as deadly as previously thought.

Eye witnesses accounts and TV footage in Saturday afternoon showed smoke billowing from the site and reported that the reactor building had been destroyed, leading many to believe a partial core meltdown had occurred.

Four people have been injured at the power plant, authorities said, but radiation levels dropped quickly after surging, following the blast according to official accounts.

Prefectural officials in the area announced that the hourly radiation from the troubled plant reached 1,015 micro sievert in the vicinity prior to the explosion and that the radiation approximates an ordinary amount for an adult to be exposed to in one year.

The reports of the explosion followed aftershocks and came amid a mammoth search and rescue mission launched in the northeastern region of Japan involving both Japanese and U.S. military forces.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency confirmed that measures taken to release the potentially devastating build up of pressure had worked, essentially averting a nuclear meltdown and that radiation amount will pose no imminent health issues for nearby residents.

The agency also said that the wind currently blowing toward the sea rather than inland in the region is a helpful factor.

Government officials said that in the wake of Friday's colossal earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeastern region of Japan, 1,700 people are feared missing or dead.

Editor: Fang Yang


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: number 6
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:08 AM

Politicians and preachers ..... forget fucking sad .... more like fucking angry.

as the song states ..

"Goddamn it!
Tryin' to make it real, compared to what"

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:06 AM

"An explosion at a nuclear power station today destroyed a building housing the reactor amid fears that it could melt down after being hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

Large amounts of radiation were spewing out and the evacuation area around the plant was expanded but officials did not know how dangerous the leak was to people. Shinji Kinjo, a spokesman for the Japanese nuclear agency, could not say how much radiation was in the atmosphere or how hot the reactor was following the failure of its cooling system.

Tokyo Power Electric Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said four workers had suffered fractures and bruises and were being treated at a hospital. A NUCLEAR EXPERT SAID A MELTDOWN MAY NOT POSE WIDESPREAD DANGER" (emphasis added WHAT!!!).

This situation is not going to get better, as I feared yesterday.

The process in review:

The earthquake cut off conventional power to the nuclear plant with its four reactors.

Back-up generators kicked in as planned to power the coolant pumps.

Then the tsunami knocked out some of the back-up generators, leaving two of the reactors with no power except for batteries.

Hyrdogen gas began to build up within the containment area (which is why they were venting radioactive steam yesterday) and this morning there was most likely a hydrogen explosion which has blown apart one of the buildings.

What's not clear to me is whether the reactor vessel has been breached in this explosion, or whether that vessel is surrounded by an additional dome. In any case there seems no way to avert a meltdown of this reactor's fuel rods with further explosions, which could trigger further damage and explosions to the adjacent reactors.

This is not good and that's why further evacuations are taking place.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:04 AM

According to the most recent reports - which are subject to updating, of course - there has been no damage to the containment chamber at the Fukushima Daiichi plant; radiation levels are dropping and internal pressure is decreasing. The explosion, regardless of how devastating it seems to be from a distance, involved only exterior portions of the reactor complex and not the reactor itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM

It seems all the reactors were successfully shut down - i.e. the fuel is now intermixed with rods of neutron-absorbing material. They can't go critical (bomb-style explosion). What's generating the heat is decay of fission products.

IF everything can be kept under control for a day or two, things get a lot more manageable, as the decay energy of the fission products drops off quite quickly.

Still a godawful mess to deal with afterwards, probably about as expensive as Chernobyl. No chance that a private company would have the funds to fix the damage. Anybody know about TEPCO's ownership?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 09:46 AM

The Fuk U Shima nuclear plant is an old fashioned water reactor.

At the more southern plant one reactor has now EXPLODED in a huge steam and hydrogen explosion.
From a camera aboard a ship 2 miles away you can see the explosion send a shock wave of steeam and concrete over 500 feet into the air followed by the dusty debris and vapor. What pipes that delivered water and circulated water coolant are certainly destoryed in the explosion.

IT can not be helped by generraators now and is destined to continue to cascade to various forms of meltdown.

spraying sea water on the possibly blown open reactor will cause enviormental damage in a desperate trade off to prevent a critical mass explosion or a meltdown through the containment concrete floor.

If the containment building miraculously survided the immense steam explosion plain old seawater could be pumped by fire trucks into the core but the run off and exposure will certainly cause fatal exposure to any hero who volunteers for such duty.

The tally stands at one critical exploded reactor among 5 critical reactors.

(This Spockian philosophy has never applied to Wall St.)

The needs of the many outwieghs the needs of the few.
In all there is over 100 tons of highly enriched Uranium in those reactors!

What ever downplaying and soft soap pedeling that you may hear over the next week, know that this is a global poisoning event.




PS Huckabee has already begun to campaign on this issue saying that the United Sates should not spend a dime on Japan because of our looming debt.

To think he was a preacher, how sad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 08:46 AM

I mentioned a few years back (five or six) that imo nuclear power is usually ok. HOWEVER, of the approximate 450 plants in the world, more than half needed IMMEDIATE refurbishment. They haven't been getting the repairs they need. I got laughed and hissed off the 'cat for pointing that out. Today, allow me to point out that the number in dire need of repair is closer to 60%. I hope it's real funny now!

Sour grapes? Yer fuckin' right. And when the Japanese mess is sorted--as I pray for my children it will be--we'll forget about it and go along as we always have. Doing bugger all about it, sucking gas outta the ground and trading away our children's future for the toys: ATVs, SUVs, gas guzzlers, electric toothbrushes, hair dryers and damned near anything else that will make sure WE use it before our rotten kids get THEIR hands on it.

I think that if humanity wants to survive, we gotta find a new way to do business and live this life. The dirtiest bastards are those who play games with oil; the other dirtiest bastards are multi-nationals for their complete exploitation of people, and the other dirtiest bastards are those who make weapons of war. Learning one's lesson the hard way is NOT necessarily the best way to learn. So, assuming Japan is able to get the nuclear genie under control, what will WE do as people to help make a future for our kids that doesn't involve them having to take iodine pills and having to wear radiation suits to go play outside? At this juncture, it might be a good time to make a commitment and stand up to these bastards. But wait a minute, there's a show on and I just HATE to miss it. It's about these people stranded on and island and they might vote Josh off . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:54 AM

Perhaps, not withstanding their prior experience of quite serious earthquakes , it was not such a brilliant idea for the Nipponese to construct nuclear -power plants close to a fault-line ?? Surely this is , and always has been, an accident -in-waiting ??


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:39 AM

There is a red flash just visible at the instant of explosion.
Not just steam pressure.
If no sodium is present, water must have reacted with the fuel itself to release hydrogen.
That means radioactive escape.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:30 AM

3 Mile Island

The Japan Syndrome.

Pull your foreskin over your head, and kiss your ass goodbye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:26 AM

"Extra coolant is being brought to the country from the US."

Water?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:09 AM

We are officially 8 to 12 hours away from some form of a melt down event. [Donuel - 11 March 9.17PM Mudcat Time]

I've just been looking at the latest news clips from CNN and other sources - all of them reporting within the last hour or so.

There appears to be little or no change in the current state of the reactor. There has been some recording of a slight increase in radiation levels in the immediate vicinity of the plant. The reported explosion within the plant has not been linked to any direct nuclear-related fault, and scientists and engineers in the plant are working on the cooling system at the moment. People in the vicinity of the plant have been evacuated. Extra coolant is being brought to the country from the US.

It's a serious business - but one which is being tackled as efficiently and as properly as the Japanese can - and they have some very expert people in the nuclear industry.

Now - all of that may be short-sighted and over-optimistic. How am I to know? But it's equally short-sighted to post panic-riddled prophecies of doom when most of us are thousands of miles away from knowing the reality of the situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 04:57 AM

Sodium is not used in "many" nuclear plants, only fast breeders. Japan doesn't have any of those.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 04:54 AM

A bit late to discuss whether or not explosion is possible at all:

Footage of massive explosion at Fukushima 1


First reports indicate outside panelling has been blown off the reactor building.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 04:45 AM

De we know if the lost coolant is sodium, as in many plants?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 02:02 AM

Jeri, both of your scenarios are possible. If a steam explosion breaks the pipes and containment vessel it would lead to meltdown which carries with it a small chance of a nuclear explosion. If it blows the top off the reactor we could pour Boron on the core as well as water. It would be fatal to all who did so but they could save Japan from a fission nightmare. A steam explosion would also hasten the loss of all water, which would require working pumps to add more immediately.

It feels creepy to be on a media black out over night. I am not getting any shortwave tonight.



Ron, So true.

I recall (among others) posting extensively on the looming economic disaster 4 years before it occured.
I recall posting with passionate panic on the corporate take over of the United States and the looming gilded age destroying what was left of the middle class.
I recall positing often regarding the Bush administration and the social economic folly of the Iraq war.
I posted early regarding bio warefare research efforts that could...Oops I guess I was wrong about that one.

If you think I am prolific for posting for a day or two every other week, thank you. Funny as it sounds that bi monthly schedule is the only time I am capable of contributing.
You are probably reffering to Amos, LH, Bobert,Raparree, Bill, Don Firth, Old dude, Odd dude, Ellie, Carol, Ron and a gentle hoard of others are the true prolific contributors.

Panic is not recommended no matter what the outcome of the 5 N plants which only have hours to be saved.

Will we learn of the heros who save the Earth from the first total critical explosion of hundreds of tons of Uranium?
Will they gain control in timeTune in again next week for the next episode of "Your Ass on a Plate"?...brought to you by big business and the fuck you lobby associates of Washington DC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:50 AM

So...you object to people looking calmly and soberly at a crisis in Lybia and not urging immediate drastic action!!!

And you recommend that people look calmly and soberly at a crisis in Japan...and not panic.

Why does no one here seem to measure up to your high expectations, Ron?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:26 AM

After all, panic is so much more fun than looking at the problem soberly.

"Panic early and often" seems to be the motto for some prolific posters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 10:38 PM

I believe that if the interior pressure builds to a high enough level, the containment could burst and release a lot more radiation than what escapes in the controlled venting process. Perhaps that's what was meant by "explosion".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 10:36 PM

Well ..... I'm not taking any chances kids ... first thing in the morning I'm heading down to the City Market and stocking up on as much Grand Manaan dulse I can get my hands on !

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 10:36 PM

He os nearly as funny as Dr. Strangelove


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