Report: Fukushima, Japan Reactor Now In Meltdown After Explosion - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Report: Fukushima, Japan Reactor Now In Meltdown After Explosion

Nuclear Meltdown - Fukushima Japan - Power Plant | Mediaite

Report: Fukushima, Japan Reactor Now In Meltdown After Explosion
by Frances Martel | 12:57 pm, March 12th, 2011

Contrary to preliminary reports, it appears that Fukushima, Japan’s Dai-ichi plant, which suffered a huge explosion hours ago after operators lost control of its chain reactions, is experiencing a reactor meltdown. While its core is still reported to be intact, this could cause much more significant long-term damage than expected.

The reports are partially based on the fact that smoke coming out of the explosion is now being described as “white smoke,” indicating, rather than a conventional fire, that the concrete surrounding the reactor is melting. The piece explains pretty thoroughly what the difference is between a reactor meltdown and a core meltdown (the reactor can start melting before the heat reaches the core at a sufficiently high temperature to feed the chain reactions):

A meltdown does not necessarily mean a nuclear disaster. As long as the reactor core, which is specifically designed to contain high levels of heat, pressure and radiation, remains intact, the melted fuel can be dealt with. If the core breaches but the containment facility built around the core remains intact, the melted fuel can still be dealt with — typically entombed within specialized concrete — but the cost and difficulty of such containment increases exponentially.

It also asks a key question: whether the floor of the reactor chamber has been broken through in the explosion. If so, Japanese authorities will have to contend with radioactive materials seeping into the ground and turning the terrain into a Chernobyl-esque zone of alienation.

Meanwhile, The Voice of Russia is reporting that the explosion is unlikely to be harmful, and cited a senior Japanese official as saying no explosion occured at all.
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post #2 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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scary

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post #3 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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tomorrows news today?

tomorrows news today?

2011/03/13 01:04 - Meltdown Caused Nuke Plant Explosion: Safety Body

Sunday, March 13, 2011
Meltdown Caused Nuke Plant Explosion: Safety Body

TOKYO (Nikkei)--The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said Saturday afternoon the explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core.

The same day, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), which runs the plant, began to flood the damaged reactor with seawater to cool it down, resorting to measures that could rust the reactor and force the utility to scrap it.

Cesium and iodine, by-products of nuclear fission, were detected around the plant, which would make the explosion the worst accident in the roughly 50-year history of Japanese nuclear power generation.

An explosion was heard near the plant's No. 1 reactor about 3:30 p.m. and plumes of white smoke went up 10 minutes later. The ceiling of the building housing the reactor collapsed, according to information obtained by Fukushima prefectural authorities.

At a news conference Saturday night, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano discounted the possibility of a significant leak of radioactive material from the accident. "The walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode," Edano said.

The amount of radiation detected inside the plant after 4:00 p.m. slightly exceeded the dose people can safely receive in a year, according to information obtained by the Fukushima prefectural government.

The No. 1 reactor shut down automatically soon after a massive earthquake hit the area Friday, but its emergency core cooling system failed to cool the reactor's core sufficiently.

NISA is affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

(The Nikkei March 13 edition)
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post #4 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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west coasters, how about a GTG on the east coast for st patties day?
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post #5 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:46 AM
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scary
Ironic.
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post #7 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Measuring the amount of potential biological damage, though, requires merging this information about the amount of energy absorbed with the knowledge of how well the different types of radiation ionize material. This leads us to what we call an equivalent dosage. Since alpha particles are more readily absorbed by biological material than gamma rays, a smaller energy dosage of alpha hitting a sample of biological material will produce the same effect as a much larger amount of gamma radiation. The equivalent dosage is measured in units called Rems (Roentgen Equivalent Man) and is equal to the absorbed dosage (in rads) times a quality factor, i.e.
Equivalent Dose (in rems) = absorbed dose (in rads) x quality factor
This quality factor depends upon what type of radiation it is. The table below lists some of these for commons forms of radiation.
Radiation Type
Quality Factor
Gamma and Beta
1
Low energy neutrons and protons
5
Alpha, high energy neutrons and protons
10-20
Lethal Dose


These levels are generated for exposure over different time frames and to different parts of the body. For instance, the L.D. 50/30 level, or the dose that would be lethal to 50% of the human population within 30 days after irradiation, is about 350 rems of radiation delivered to the entire body at one time1

http://esa21.kennesaw.edu/activities...onactivity.pdf
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[quoteYouTube - ?????? ????? Explosion at Fukushima nuclear plant[/quote]

Bush did it

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Published on Saturday, March 12, 2011 by the Associated Press
Huge Rally in Germany: 'Nuclear Power? No Thanks!'

BERLIN - An explosion at a Japanese nuclear power plant has given new fuel to a long-running dispute over the technology's future in Germany, where thousands on Saturday demonstrated against plans to extend the life of the country's nuclear power stations.

Participants of a huge anti nuclear demonstration form a human chain in Neckarwestheim, southern Germany on Satuday March 12, 2011. Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated against plans to extend the life of Germany's nuclear power stations as an explosion at a Japanese plant gives new fuel to a long-running battle nuclear power's future. (APMichael Latz) Organizers said tens of thousands formed a human chain between the Neckarwestheim nuclear plant and the southwestern city of Stuttgart, which are 28 miles (45 kilometers) appart- some waving yellow flags with the slogan "Nuclear power - no thanks." Police didn't immediately give a figure.

The demonstration was planned long before the post-earthquake blast at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, but the fears of possible disaster gave an added focus to opponents of the technology in Germany.

Saturday's explosion destroyed a building housing the reactor, but a radiation leak was decreasing despite fears of a meltdown from damage caused by a powerful earthquake and tsunami, officials in Japan said.

Germany's government last year decided to extend the life of its 17 nuclear plans for an average 12 extra years. A previous government had said it wanted them all shut by 2021.

While Germany - unlike some of its European Union partners - has no plans to build any new plants, the extension was divisive.

The mishap in Japan, which comes two weeks before a closely fought state election in the region where Saturday's protest was held, prompted new criticism from the opposition.

Events at Fukushima "show that, even in a high-tech country like Japan that is equipped for all eventualities, nuclear power is an uncontrollable, highly dangerous, risky technology," the leadership of the opposition Greens said in a statement.

Matthias Miersch, a lawmaker with the main opposition Social Democrats, urged the government to scrap immediately the decision to extend German nuclear plants' lives. The third opposition party, the Left Party, called for a worldwide moratorium on expanding nuclear power capacity.

Nuclear energy has been unpopular in Germany since an explosion at a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986, sent a cloud of radiation over much of Europe.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, has argued that Germany needs to keep nuclear energy for now as a "bridging technology" until it has developed more renewable power sources.

Her deputy, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, on Saturday pushed aside questions about the government's nuclear policy.

With thousands likely dead or missing in Japan, "Germany's first answer can't be that ... a political argument breaks out here because there are state election campaigns going on," he said.

Merkel's center-right coalition faces a tight battle to keep control of the regional government in Baden-Wuerttemberg in a March 27 election, and two other votes also are looming.
© 2011 Associated Press
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post #10 of 670 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/...dm073000c.html

Blast did not involve reactor: Japan spokesman

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese authorities have confirmed there was an explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Saturday afternoon but it did not occur at its troubled No. 1 reactor, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said.

The chief Cabinet secretary also told an urgent press conference that the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has confirmed there is no damage to the steel container housing the reactor.

Edano said the 3:36 p.m. explosion resulted in the roof and the walls of the building housing the reactor's container being blown away.

The authorities expanded an evacuation area for all local residents from a 10-kilometer radius of the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to a 20-km radius.

Officials of Japan's nuclear safety agency also said after examination that they believe there has been no serious damage to the container of the No. 1 reactor, judging from the latest radiation data monitored around the facility.

The incident came after the plant lost its cooling functions after it was jolted by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake Friday and radioactive substances of cesium and iodine were detected near the facility Saturday.

The detection of the materials, which are created following atomic fission, led Japan's nuclear safety agency to admit the reactor has been partially melting -- the first such case in Japan.

A partial core meltdown also occurred in a major nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979. About 45 percent of nuclear fuel was melted in the incident, causing radioactive materials to be released.

According to the Fukushima prefectural government, the hourly radiation from the Fukushima plant reached 1,015 micro sievert in its premises before the explosion, an amount equivalent to that allowable for ordinary people in one year.

Four workers -- two from the company and two others from another firm -- were injured in the explosion, according to Tokyo Electric Power. The four were working to deal with problems caused by a powerful earthquake that hit northeastern Japan on Friday, it said.

The company said the injuries the four have suffered are not life-threatening and that they are conscious.

The operator of the quake-hit nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture, successfully released pressure in the container of housing one of its reactors to prevent a nuclear meltdown, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

Even before Tokyo Electric Power succeeded in reducing the pressure, which would involve the release of steam that would likely include radioactive materials, radiation had risen to an unusually high level in and near the No. 1 nuclear plant.

Work to depressurize the containers, aimed at preventing the plants from sustaining damage and losing their critical containment function, has been conducted under an unprecedented government order.

The agency said the core at the No. 1 reactor of the No. 1 plant may be partially melting, and the work to depressurize the container was necessary to prevent the container from sustaining damage and losing its critical containment function.

The agency said that as a result of reducing the container's pressure radioactive levels at the plant went up. The depressurizing work involves the release of steam including radioactive materials.

But the agency denied that the radiation amount will pose an immediate threat to the health of nearby residents, as wind is currently blowing toward the sea in the northeastern Japan prefecture on the Pacific coast.

At the No. 1 plant, the amount of radiation reached around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor, and 70 times the normal level near the main gate of the plant.

It was the first time an external radioactive leak had been confirmed since the disaster.

(Mainichi Japan) March 12, 2011
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