Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Japans nuclear meltdown

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    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Japans nuclear meltdown

    Japan has problems with nuke reactors.
    Our Paradigm Intel anticipated a melt down,
    so we posted this to follow it.

    It appears the problems stem from flooding the engines,
    motors that cool the reactors, circulate the coolant.

    One reactor has big problems, 1000 times normal
    radioactive levels, but still not life threatening.

    As the reactor heats up with out coolant it boils and
    vents into the dome, however has the steam accumulates
    in the protective dome it builds pressure,
    And rather than cracking the dome they vent the
    pressure, thru filters/scrubbers to remove radioactivity.

    In one plant it wasn't enough and radioactivity escaped.
    Crack in dome or had to open valve beyond what radioactivity
    cleaners could remove.

    If they can keep coolant on reactor for 48 hrs it will cool
    back down and become stable.

    Currently some nuclear sites are using back up batteries
    or diesel engines  to run coolant systems.
    Batteries are good for about 8 hrs. And will need
    to be replaced.

    And there has been a loss of coolant,
    which is a major concern.
    How it leaked out, or was boiled out?
    Will determine at what level and volume
    they have to refill the coolant pools.

    If something cracked then the coolant has to
    be pumped in at a higher rate than it leaks out.

    But it looks like it was just a shut off of
    the cooling system which lead to over heating
    and some boil off into the domes.

    And our sources say there are four more reactors
    having problems, second reactor serious problems,
    and maybe two more they are watching.
    Thats 7 they are concerned about.

    USA has had at least two melt downs, 3 mile island and
    Chatsworth 50 yrs ago.

    They are manageable.

    This is much safer than Chernobyl which had a carbon core
    Which also caught on fire.

    Japans reactors are much safer.

    In 48 hrs we will know just how bad this is or isn't.

    There are 50 reactors in Japan.

    Click to enlarge

    NOT passing out Potassium Iodide Pills, emergency not to that level. G

    Big concern was how long it took Japans Nuke industry to admit problems, G

    "No Chernobyl is possible at a light water reactor. Loss of coolant means a temperature rise, but it also will stop the reaction," Naoto Sekimura, a professor at the University of Tokyo, said.

    "Even in the worst-case scenario, that would mean some radioactive leakage and equipment damage, but not an explosion. If venting is done carefully, there will be little leakage. Certainly not beyond the 3 km radius."
    DEBKAfile News - Explosion and white smoke at quake-hit Japanese nuclear plant Saturday after emergency declared at Fukushima 
    Unable to confirm contacted source at Fukushima, awaiting reply. Other news sources reporting same now.

    Waiting on IAEA reply or comment on explosion.

     nuclear plant update: Walls and roof of a building at site destroyed by blast - NHK via Sky News AND Rachel Maddow MSNBC 

    Winds blowing radioactivity out to sea.

    Anticipate much higher radioactivity levels with containment dome gone.

    Reactor 1 was reported to be 2.1 times the "design capacity."
    cesium has been detected around the reactor.[22] 
    Fuel rods may have been exposed to the air.

    About the reactor:

    Boiling water reactor (BWR)

    Though the present fleet of BWRs are less likely to suffer core damage from the 1 in 100,000 reactor-year limiting fault than the present fleet of PWRs are (due to increased ECCS robustness and redundancy) there have been concerns raised about the pressure containment ability of the as-built, unmodified Mark I containment - that such may be insufficient to contain pressures generated by a limiting fault combined with complete ECCS failure that results in extremely severe core damage. In this double worst-case, 1 in 100,000,000 reactor-year scenario, an unmodified Mark I containment is speculated to allow some degree of radioactive release to occur. However, this is mitigated by the modification of the Mark I containment; namely, the addition of an outgas stack system that, if containment pressure exceeds critical setpoints, will allow the orderly discharge of pressurizing gasses after the gasses pass through activated carbon filters designed to trap radionuclides.

    At 0630 GMT, an explosion was heard at the plant.[25] At 0800 GMT, Fox News Channel reported the explosion and a plume of "white smoke" rising above the plant.[26] At 0803 GMT BBC News reported that Japan's NHK TV reported the explosion as "near" the plant, and that four workers were injured.[27] Reuters is reporting that the ceiling of Unit 1 has collapsed.[28]Reuters is also reporting that NHK claims the explosion blew the entire outer structure off of the containment building of Unit 

    Video Explosion:

    enlarge to full page. Explosion at :47

    0908: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAthe FukushimaEA) is urgently seeking information about the explosion at  -Daiichi plant. Seems their Twitter is closed at night?

    The Guardian is reporting that NHK is advising residents of the Fukushima area "to stay inside, close doors and windows and turn off air conditioning. They have also been advised to cover their mouths with masks, towels or handkerchiefs" as well asnot to drink tap water.[30] Other news agencies have reported information on a definite explosion at the plant.[31][32]

    Increase of radiation levels have been confirmed following the explosion.
    I've seen reports of increase from 1000 to 1500
    Could be much higher, potential of catastrophic release of radiation.

    Japan has not been transparent of forth coming with info about their
    nuclear reactor problems. Officials have confirmed that an explosion has occurred at the nuclear plant, as Tokyo fire department sends a special nuclear rescue team to Fukushima

    Evac radius around Fukushima nuke plant expanded to 20km.(12 mi) 

    21:36 JST (7:36 ET), that the concrete outer structure had collapsed as a result of a hydrogen explosion triggered by falling water levels. THE RELEASE OF HYDROGEN INDICATES A MELT DOWN IN PROGRESS, TEMPS COULD GET TO 5000 DEGREES.

    According to Fukushima Prefecture, to evacuate 30 people staff and 60 patients of the hospital welfare Hutaba exploded reactor of the nuclear Fukushima Daiichi while they were waiting for the helicopter rescue of the SDF in ground school Hutaba. One out of three people who check it for sure, "10 million counts per minute" amount of exposure was found. The other is that two people were detected radiation exposure of 40,000 counts per minute, 30,000. 

    A seriously injured worker was trapped within Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 in the crane operating console of the exhaust stack and is now confirmed to have died. Four workers were injured by the explosion at the same reactor and have been taken to hospital. A contractor was found unconscious and taken to hospital. 

    At Fukushima Daiini unit 3 one worker received a radiation dose of 106 mSv. This is comparable to levels deemed acceptable in emergency situations by some national nuclear safety regulators.

    Seawater injection 
     The injection of seawater into the building started at 8.20pm and this is planned to be followed by addition of boric acid, which is used to inhibit nuclear reactions. However, Tepco reported at 10.15pm that a new tsunami warning has caused this to be suspended temporarily.

    Unit 1's reactor core isolation cooling system had been operating normally, and this was later supplemented by a separate make-up water condensate system. However, the latter was lost at 5.32am local time when its suppression chamber reached 100ºC. 

    lIMITED : passing out Potassium Iodide Pills, NOW to people living near reactor

    23:59 JST (14:59 GMT) with BBC advising both Kyodo and NHK reporting at least three residents evacuated from a town near quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant have been exposed to radiation.
    three patients and all the hospital staff received checkup for radiation exposure, had found that they had to be decontaminated. According to the Fukushima representatives, there was an evacuation of 30 staff members and 60 patients due to the explosion. One out of three people who received the checkup showed "10 million counts per minute" (about 4.5 microcuries) amount of exposure. The other two people showed exposure of 40,000 (≈18 nanocuries) and 30,000 (≈14 nCi) counts per minute.

    ON TV :
    Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano appeared on television to clarify that the explosion had damaged the walls and roof of the reactor building but had not compromised the containment.
    Doesn't make sense to me. G  

    Monitoring of Fukushima Daiichi 1 had previously shown an increase in radiation levels detected emerging from the plant via routes such as the exhaust stack and the discharge canal. Tepco have said that the amount of radioactive material such as iodine it is detecting have been increasing. The amount of radiation at the site boundary now exceeds a regulatory limit triggering another set of emergency precautions. It also meant the incident has been rated at Level 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) - an 'accident with local consequences'.
    To protect the public from potential health effects of radioactive isotopes of iodine that could potentially be released, authorities are preparing to distribute tablets of non-radioactive potassium-iodide. This is quickly taken up by the body and its presence prevents the take-up of iodine should people be exposed to it.

    The whereabout of two Tepco workers remains unkonwn. 

    Good Q & A on explosion:

    Where does the wind blow the radioactivity?
    See jet stream:


    Disaster message boards

    Unanswered Questions:
    Why can't they get coolant into reactors?
    Is there an intrinsic fault in Japans reactors,
    3 reactors having the same problem with cooling.

    We are picking up noise and chatter about a Corporate cover up.
    To be fair this had only been practiced as an exercise, till now.
    Very hard steep learning curve. Will cost them Billions. $$$
    Took way to long to get Military Nuke experts into situation.
    Nuke corp has took to long to make decisions and reluctant
    to call on US or Japanese Military Nuclear experts.

    Why did the Reactors fail?
    Tsunami of major proportions.
    Even I had no idea of the scale of power and damage.
    Power gone, wiped out.

    Click to enlarge.
    Better view here:
    6th pic down, use slider to compare.

    Worst-Case Scenario at Fukushima 

    "So there's some advantages to the BWR in terms of severe accidents. But one of the disadvantages is that the containment structure is a lightbulb-shaped steel shell that's only about 30 or 40 feet across—thick steel, but relatively small compared to large, dry containments like TMI. And it doesn't provide as much of an extra layer of defense from reactor accidents as containments like TMI. So there is a great deal of concern that, if the core does melt, the containment will not be able to survive. And if the containment doesn't survive, we have a worst-case situation."
    And just what is that worst-case scenario? "They're venting in order to keep the containment vessel from failing. But if a core melts, it will slump to the bottom of the reactor vessel, probably melt through the reactor vessel onto the containment floor. It's likely to spread as a molten pool—like lava—to the edge of the steel shell, and melt through. That would result in a containment failure in a matter of less than a day. It's good that it's got a better containment system than Chernobyl, but it's not as strong as most of the reactors in this country."
    Finally, Bergeron summed up the events so far: "Based on what we understand, the reactor has been shut down, in the sense that all of the control rods have been inserted. Which means there's no longer a nuclear reaction. But what you have to worry about is the decay heat that's still in the core, that will last for many days.

    Explosion at #3 reactor: 

    Containment vessel in tact.
    7 injured, 
    Good graphic on it:

    American copters covered in radioactive particulate 60 miles N of Fukushima.

    Release of Radioactive gas likely to go on for months.

    Built on the Ocean Front, could a full melt down leak into Ocean?

    Bottom line

    The possibility of an actual nuclear bomb type explosion,
    at the Japanese reactors is close to zero, assuming
    the control rods have been inserted.
    Control rods: Inserted fully?
    Fuel rods: Exposed.
    The possibility of a 100% melt down remains,
    Where the heat gets so high everything turns to
    lava consistency, and sinks to bottom of reactor,
    And a concrete cover stone cap over it would be 
    Worst case it leaks into Ocean.
    and lagoon is built out of the V roads in front 
    of the reactors at Fukushima, and they learn to
    deal with a HOT pool.
    And low level radiation leaks for few months.
    Maybe a Chernobyl  type 

    All fully manageable.

    Fuel rods exposed, Control rods fully engaged?
    The light water reactor produces heat by controlled nuclear fission. The nuclear reactor core is the portion of a nuclear reactor where the nuclear reactions take place. It mainly consists of nuclear fuel and control elements. The pencil-thin nuclear fuel rods, each about 12 feet (3.7 m) long, are grouped by the hundreds in bundles called fuel assemblies. Inside each fuel rod, pellets of uranium, or more commonly uranium oxide, are stacked end to end. The control elements, called control rods, are filled with pellets of substances like hafnium or cadmium that readily capture neutrons. When the control rods are lowered into the core, they absorb neutrons, which thus cannot take part in the chain reaction. On the converse, when the control rods are lifted out of the way, more neutrons strike the fissile uranium-235 or plutonium-239 nuclei in nearby fuel rods, and the chain reaction intensifies. All of this is enclosed in a water-filled steel pressure vessel, called thereactor vessel.

    The water required to cool the condenser is taken from a nearby river or ocean. It is then pumped back into the river or ocean, in warmed condition. 

    Control rods are usually combined into control rod assemblies — typically 20 rods for a commercial pressurized water reactor assembly — and inserted into guide tubes within a fuel element. A control rod is removed from or inserted into the central core of a nuclear reactor in order to control the number of neutrons which will split further uranium atoms. This in turn affects the thermal power of the reactor, the amount of steam generated, and hence the electricity produced. The control rods are partially removed from the core to allow a chain reaction to occur. The number of control rods inserted and the distance by which they are inserted can be varied to control the reactivity of the reactor.
    Usually there are also other means of controlling reactivity. In the PWR design a soluble neutron absorber, usually boric acid, is added to the reactor coolant allowing the complete extraction of the control rods during stationary power operation ensuring an even power and flux distribution over the entire core. Operators of the BWR design use the coolant flow through the core to control reactivity by varying the speed of the reactor recirculation pumps. An increase in the coolant flow through the core improves the removal of steam bubbles, thus increasing the density of the coolant/moderator with the result of increasing power.
    UPDATE: Unit #3
    Water levels inside the reactor vessel increased steadily for a certain amount of time but readings indicating the water level inside the pressure vessel are no longer showing an increase. The reason behind this is unknown at this point in time.

    All of this is enclosed in a water-filled steel pressure vesselcalled the reactor vessel.
    This would indicate a leak of highly radioactive water leaking some place, ground water,
    Ocean, bottom of reactor?
    Also a possible indication failure of primary containment vessel or at least the Reactor.

    The explosive ejection of hydrogen suggest the fuel rods may have failed,
    allowing the radioactive pellets to fall to the bottom of the primary containment
    vessel, Steel melts at 2500 degrees, and the mysterious lack of an increase in water level
    in the reactor vessel may indicate the temperature has exceeded the melting point of the
    primary containment vessel, it is breached, accounting for the leak of the highly radioactive
    water, could the high temps be turning up the pressure and blowing the steam through the molten
    pellets into the breach under the vessel?

    Experts have placed the temp at least 2300 degrees, it could go as high as 5000 degrees in theory.

    The Corporation is NOT being forthcoming, telling the truth, but leaving out the
    conclusions and details.
    Anticipate full melt down of all 3 reactors, Gov SHOULD be passing out
    Iodine pills in 100 mile radius, to be taken only on Gov alert.
    This is going to get Bad

    The FDA recommends the following doses of KI for different risk groups:
    Age GroupKI dose (mg)# of 130 mg tablets# of 65 mg tablets
    Adults over 1813012
    Children over 3 yrs through 18 yrs*651/21
    Over 1 month through 3 years321/41/2
    Birth through 1 month161/81/4

    New Question what happens when 4 reactors that close together melt down?
    What influence will they have on each other? Will the meltdowns and containment 
    breaches influence each other? Spent fuel stored at #4, very dangerous.

    They still have a chance NOW to evacuate everyone now.
    Wasting time. Situation very high risk.
    Clear out up to 100 miles. Move if you can,
    next 24 hrs crucial.

    Melt down crisis, How it happens:
    #4 has 20 yrs of spent fuel rods.

    Japan Gov ordered a no fly zone over reactors,
    then ordered Choppers to drop water to cool #4.

    Indicates a desperate attempt to fight melt down.
    This was not a Corporate decision, This is a major
    paradigm shift, The Japan Gov is finally getting
    involved in the Nuclear reactor fight.
     8 experts of US NRC will arrive to give tech 
    advice to respond to Fukushima 1.
    Also a sign of how dangerous this is getting.

    Japanese officials say that 50 workers remain at the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, but may be pulled out. A "group of US scientists", quoted by Reuters says it is unsure if "jerry-rigged cooling" would work if all the workers are evacuated.
    The as-yet-unnamed group says radiation could travel several hundred miles, and says the Japanese government should extend the evacuation zone.

    That "group of scientists" has been named as the Union of Concerned Scientists, a coalition of 200,000 academics and private citizens, including Nobel-prize winning scientists.
    They said the radiation plume from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could reach Tokyo
    Why aren't Japans famous ROBOTs gone into plants to take a look see, whats actually
    going on, WHERE ARE THEY? JEEZE this is Japan.

    #4 worker at the pool's edge "would receive a lethal dose in something like 16 seconds."
    Expect many of the 50 worker remaining have received a lethal dose our prayers
    are with them and families, 03.15.11 0628 pm EST Will know with in 3 weeks.

    Fukushima has run out of cooling options, reactors #5 and #6 at risk if
    other 4 meltdown?

    Continue Meltdown #2

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    Blogger Constantine La said...

    Good thing nothing bad happened. From what I read, they used boric acid as a neutron poison. Also, I've read that those nuclear powerplants already surivived the largest earthquake in Japan's history, so the tsunami was more of media hype.

    6:44 AM  

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