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View Diary: Burners without Borders: Fukushima #53 (183 comments)

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  •  Eyewitnesses recount earthquake/tsunami at plant (16+ / 0-)

    Click through to read an excellent, lengthy narrative of what happened at the Fukushima plant on March 11 and events that followed. It's interesting that Bloomberg was able to put together a long piece about the Fukushima disaster but the Japanese press that publishes in English hasn't had anything similar.

    Japan’s Terrifying Day Saw Unprecedented Exposed Fuel Rods - Bloomberg

    Apr 25, 2011 11:39 AM CT
    ...
    Blinded Engineers

    Without cooling, nuclear reactors are like giant kettles left to boil. Water covering the fuel rods inside begins to turn to steam, exposing the rods that melt and emit radiation upon contact with air.

    Tepco’s engineers couldn’t determine if the batteries were working because monitoring equipment malfunctioned, leaving them blind to what was happening inside the reactors.

    “We lost the ability to assess the performance of the emergency core cooling system because meters designed to check the water flow rates in the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors failed,” Kuroda said. “We still don’t know why they died, that will be part of the accident investigation.”

    At 4:36 p.m., less than two hours after the quake, Tepco was forced to acknowledge it had lost control of the reactors. Nine minutes later, the company notified the government.

    At 7:03 p.m., Kan declared a nuclear emergency, prompting an evacuation of residents living around the Fukushima facility that would extend to a 20-kilometer radius within 24 hours.
    ...

    •  That's powerful. Thanks. n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 11:44:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  decent article but missing vital component imho (0+ / 0-)

      This is an overview of the disaster's early days, written from the perspective of the a month or so since the earthquake.  As such, they gloss over the timeline rather than break it down to a day by day account - and there is where they do the reader a disservice I feel.  

      Missing from the article is a real accounting of the first four days - the time when CEO was AWOL, the spent fuel ponds were ignored, Kan was invoking his wrath (sorry ,pun intended) and the rulebook went out the window but no one bothered to make up a new one until after four major explosions blew the lid off the place, literally.  In my opinion, the first hours were CRIMINALLY negligently handled and the response was left to engineers who had no vision and little authority and zero leadership, etc.  It was a meltdown of two kinds - both nuclear and leadership.  Yes, they lacked options but they also lacked VISON and decisiveness, action and leadership.  More could have been done if competent leaders were at the helm, or took command of the helm in the early hours.  

      I'd love to see some real investigative reporting about who was making the decisions - this entire article never once mentions who is in charge ultimately of executive power.  It's like an article about the Titanic sinking that fails to note that ships have captains.  

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