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View Diary: Fukushima Status Update Summary (289 comments)

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  •  There's more Big Time Ugly. (4+ / 0-)
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    neroden, Drama Queen, kbman, technomage

    The ground monitors in the SPEEDI grid had been stabilizing, then all Hell broke loose at 4:30 AM local time on Sunday:

    Here is the real stuff from Hitachinaka City -- on the coast, immediately to the south of Fukushima Prefecture.. Readings are nanoGrays/hour. That's the same as nanoSieverts:

    -- 1145 nGy/h - 6:10 PM local time on the 21st

    -- 1160 nGy/h - 4:30 PM local time on the 21st

    -- 2040 nGy/h - 5:50 AM local time on the 21st

    -- 1635 nGy/h - 4:20 AM local time on the 21st

    -- 639 nGy/h - 5:40 PM local time on the 20th

    -- 631 nGy/h - 8:40 AM local time on the 20th

    -- 637 nGy/h - 6:50 AM local time on the 20th

    -- 749 nGy/h - 1:00 AM local time on the 19th

    -- 760 nGy/h - 8:50 PM local time on the 18th

    -- 847 nGy/h - 3:00 AM local time on the 18th

    -- 856 nGy/h - 1:00 AM local time on the 18th

    -- 872 nGy/h - 9:40 PM local time on the 17th

    -- 876 nGy/h - 7:20 PM local time on the 17th

    -- 881 nGy/h - 4:40 PM local time on the 17th

    -- 993 nGy/h - 3:00 AM local time on the 17th

    -- 1011 nGy/h - 11:50 PM local time on the 16th

    Japan Radiation Maximum by Prefecture

    -- After download, resize to a "6" or "7"
    -- Click for Ibaraki Prefecture
    -- The detail box will show Hitachinaka City data

    Background radiation for an industrial area should run about 200 nanoGrays/hour. Still, what we are seeing at Hitachinaka City is not a dangerous level of radiation.

    IAEA's limit is 5 REM/year total accumulation. This limit for radiation industry workers translates to a steady exposure to 5,700 nanoGrays/hour. You would have to sit out there 24/7 on the pole with the radiation monitor to get a full dose.

    What happened ? The engineering blogs seem to favor radioactive steam as the source. A lot more water got pumped into the # 3 reactor. Three of the structures were observed putting off large steam clouds. Some of that steam drifted south.

    Bottom line: Hitachinaka City is seeing less than 1/1,000,000th what happened downwind from Chernobyl.

    The Fukushima disaster scenario is far less serious than what happened at Three Mile Island. FPP got hit with damn near everything nature could throw at it. Competent engineering has stopped the worst and is protecting the fuel rods ASAP.

    TMI was human greed, stubbornness, and trenchant laziness. Too lazy to go down and check a valve. Yeah, them three got within minutes of trashing Pennsylvania.

    Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:23:55 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, a steam release seems the most likely cause (1+ / 0-)
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      They're still removing heat by boiling and venting.  The venting episodes have become much less frequent due to the drop off in the rate of decay heat production, but they still need to relieve reactor pressure from time to time.  It also sounds like it was a planned operation given the time it was done.  Better to let the plume pass while most people are still asleep and indoors.

      Again, this is part of the problem with having lost the containment integrity at 2 and 3.  They've lost the ability at each of these units to recondense the steam and let particulates settle out.  This means that in addition to the gases being released there are also likely some lighter fission products being carried by the energy of the steam.  This results in more contamination being spread further from the plant.

      And even though the containments at unit 1 appear to be intact, they may well have used up the torus' ability to cool steam releases.  Once the torus hits 100 C it is no longer much of a help.  Some of the particulates might drop out as they bubble through the water but there is little energy being extracted by water that hot.  This would cause their releases from the drywell to form steam clouds as well.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:35:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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