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For those who missed my previous diaries on this topic, I have a background in physics and worked at Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station providing computer support for the reactor core engineering group.  For the entire qualifications spiel and/or some background on Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) containment structures, see

Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Nuclear Containments

That diary also contained a review of the then current status of each of the reactors at Fukushima.  In this diary I will be updating that status information and discussing the various possibilities moving forward from here and their relative likelihood.  This update is based on information from a number of sources including the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and media reports which quote directly from organizations such as Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.  My intention here is to tie together the various strands of information to provide an overall picture of things and explain it in a way that is accessible to those without scientific training.

This diary and others like it are not intended as a substitute for the ongoing liveblog diaries, but rather, to pull all of the info together in summary form.

I have also written previously on the topic of meltdowns in the diary

What, exactly, IS a nuclear meltdown?

Current Status of Reactors and Containment Systems at units 1 - 6

Unit 1

The fuel pellets and fuel rods in the reactor have almost certainly experienced melting due to high temperatures resulting from the fuel being uncovered.  (I only say almost certainly because we cannot look into the reactor at this point to verify.  The same is true for units 2 and 3.)

The reactor vessel and associated piping appear to be fully intact.  Were this not so the reactor would not be able to retain the water being added and there would be unexplained pressure drops.

The primary containment also appears to be intact.  It was well shielded from the hydrogen blast and has not had any other reported troubles.  There have also been no clouds of steam coming from unit 1

The secondary containment also appears to be intact.  There also have been no reported problems with the fuel pool at unit 1 despite the explosion.  It is, however, getting near the time frame when this fuel pool will start uncovering fuel if water is not added.  I have read no reports on this.  I suspect the utility was informed of the temperature there by the thermal imaging done the other day.  The only saving grace I see here is the possibility that in the cold weather the collapsed roof is acting as a condensing surface for water that is evaporating from the pool and that at least some of that condensed water is making its way back into the pool.

Unit 2

The fuel containment has been compromised as is made clear by the hydrogen explosion in the torus.  It is also almost certain that there has been fuel melting due to the time that the upper parts of the fuel rods were uncovered.

The reactor vessel and associated piping seem to be intact here as well.  There was a brief time when they had trouble maintaining water level increases but that was apparently resolved as a valving issue.

The primary containment has damage.  Initial reports from TEPCO stated that the damage did not breach the primary containment boundary and instead is in an internal section of the torus chamber.  This report turned out to be inaccurate.  They are now reporting that the torus has damage in its lower portion.  It is not clear if this was intentional withholding of information by TEPCO or whether it represented their evolution in understanding the situation.  I suspect the former.  This is a serious issue because it means that when they need to release steam from the reactor to reduce pressure, they no longer can use the large volume of water in the suppression pool to cool the steam.  It is hopeful that they have isolated the torus from the drywell as a result of this.  I do not have information to either confirm or deny this however.

The secondary containment has been compromised by flying debris from the explosion at unit 3.  It was reported that there was a hole in the wall of the reactor building.  Whether any equipment was affected by this is not clear from reports.  This, combined with the damage to the torus creates a situation where, when they need to vent, the steam is not cooled by the torus meaning that the pressure and temperature rise considerably in the drywell leading to a greater need for venting which now goes directly to the environment.

There have been no reports of fuel pool issues at unit 2.  Again though, we are getting into the time frame where the pools need water and cooling flow.  The pool at unit 2 is also still covered by the roof of the refueling level of the reactor building.  This is not necessarily a good thing because if fuel is uncovered then there could be a hydrogen explosion there as well.  The fact that they did not cut holes in the roof at unit 2 may be a sign that they have a better handle on that pool than on those at 5 and 6.  Or, it may mean that the work is too dangerous to do at unit 2 now, either because of radiation levels or the danger of the work itself setting off an explosion.

Unit 3

Clearly the fuel integrity has been compromised at unit 3 and there has almost certainly been fuel melting there as well.

The reactor vessel and associated systems appear to be intact and reactor water level is able to be maintained.

The primary containment at unit 3 was reported to be intact by TEPCO in the aftermath of the hydrogen explosion.  Over the weekend they have admitted that there appears to be damage.  (They should know better than to do this kind of stonewalling.  Very frustrating.)  Based on the events at unit 3 and observations of steam coming from the roof of the secondary containment, it is likely that the damage was to the drywell dome plug.  If  you look at the BWR diagram below you'll see the cross section of the three layers to this seal directly above the dome of the reactor vessel.  The sealing surface is a compressed o-ring which may have been disrupted by the explosion in the space above.  This would mean that when they vent steam, any that is not recondensed by the torus - which is a larger amount now because the torus water has become hot over time and less effective at suppression - becomes free steam in the drywell and can escape through this breach in the primary containment.

The secondary containment at unit 3 took a hell of a hit from the hydrogen explosion, much more energetic than the others.  (Units 2 & 3 are roughly  1-1/2 times as powerful as unit 1)  From the various photos I've seen it still appears that the damage was largely confined to the refuel level - this would incude the plug for the primary containment mentioned above.  I do not discount the possibility of further damage within the reactor building as a result of this blast but have not seen any evidence that would confirm this.  

The fuel pool at unit 3 is a major concern.  It appears that there is a leak in the pool causing it to lose water faster than the heat load should cause.  Many have raised concerns about plutonium due to the use of MOX fuel at unit 3.  However, that only began recently and from what I have read, there are just 30 fuel rods in the pool that contain MOX fuel.  There would be plutonium in the pool anyway as a result of it being a fission product - this means that it is created in the reactor as a result of the nuclear fission process.  Efforts have been ongoing to dump tons of water onto the refuel floor in an effort to refill this pool.  Because the pool is recessed into the floor, just getting the water close is what counts, gravity can do the rest.

Unit 4

The condition of the reactor and containment at unit 4 is relatively unimportant given that all of the fuel was offloaded to the fuel pool to do maintenance on the reactor shroud, (the wall immediately surrounding the reactor cylinder).

The fuel pool at unit 4 may be the biggest concern at the moment.  There have been reports that it had run completely dry but they appear now to have been inaccurate.  There was also a rumor the other night about the pool starting to go critical - meaning that a nuclear reaction had started there.  Again this was not borne out by later reports.  But regardless, it is losing water faster than it should and refill operations are crucial.  Again, one of the saving graces here is the fact that they don't need to get the water directly into the pools.  

Units 5 and 6

These reactors were both in cold shutdown at the time of the earthquake and did not have near the cooling needs as units 1-3.  They have remained stable and there have been no reports of fuel breakdown or melting.  They have recently connected portable generators and been able to run their fuel pool cooling pumps.  The temperatures in the pool have dropped considerably in the past day due to this operation.  As a precautionary measure the other day TEPCO cut holes in the roof of the building at both 5 and 6.  It now appears that while being a prudent measure, the holes will not be needed, either to vent hydrogen or to refill the pools from the air.

Prognosis - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good - Each of the reactors at Fukushima appear to be on a path to cold shutdown.  Thermal imaging reports suggest that the vessels at units 1-3 are each close to 100 C.  Cold shutdown would bring them down to around 95 C.  There also appears to be headway in getting water into the fuel pools at units 3 and 4, though these efforts will need to continue for the foreseeable future to keep the fuel covered until a more permanent solution can be devised.  

The Bad - Having lost the integrity of the primary containment at both unit 2 and unit 3 is quite significant.  It means that more radioactive material has been released than would otherwise have been necessary.  At least with the containments intact it was possible for them to let some materials settle out before releasing to the environment.  Now this buffer space/time is lost.  It also means that if something were to happen to take the reactors back into unstable conditions, the design level of protection is no longer available.  These containments can no longer hold their pressure or gaseous contents.  They may be able to survive an internal steam blast simply because they now have escape routes for the expanding gases.

The condition of the spent fuel pools is also an ongoing concern.  While they appear to have made progress, this will be a long fight and there may be more hurdles ahead.  And with the structural integrity of the pools at 3 and 4 being highly in question, having significant aftershocks in the region cannot be helpful as they only add stress to these fractures and potentially make them worse.

Also bad is the fact that food and water are now being affected in the area around the plants.  This is adding to the already enormous humanitarian crisis in Japan.

The Ugly - regardless of how the next few weeks unfold, there will be an enormous cleanup and mitigation job to be done at Fukushima.  Many, many workers will be "burned out" - have their occupational exposure limits met for either the quarter or the year - in the process of recovering from this event.  There will also be many recriminations against upper management of TEPCO for their lack of complete transparency over the past week.

Personal note:  Please remember the bigger picture here.  There are millions of people still suffering in Japan at this hour.  The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami have created enormous problems and left many thousands dead, injured, or isolated and left unattended.  This event is a natural disaster of unfathomable scope.  The nuclear emergency, while certainly an important part of what is happening there, has not had near the effect on the population that the other events have to this date.  If you can find it in your heart to contribute in some way to the humanitarian efforts for Japan you will truly make a difference in someone's life.

From frisco in the comments: links for The Red Cross and Shelter Box USA

Also, my purpose with these diaries is to provide technical understanding of what is happening at Fukushima and discuss the likely ramifications of these events.  It is not to engage in pie fights over the future or appropriateness of nuclear power.  There are plenty of diaries for those discussions for people who choose to so engage.

BWR Mark I Containment

PhotobucketUpdated by kbman at Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:14 PM PDT

FishOutofWater has a diary up that has good information about the affect of anticipated weather conditions in Japan along with more information on the food and water situation ...


http://www.dailykos.com/...


Updated by kbman at Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:05 PM PDT

This situation changes quickly as new information becomes available.  An update from Kyodo news service relates that there was a pressure increase measured in the containment vessel at unit 3 but that it has stabilized and no action is planned at the present.  It is unclear from their statement whether they meant the reactor vessel or the primary containment.  It seems likely that they meant reactor vessel because if the primary containment is damaged, as has been reported by TEPCO, then it cannot hold pressure anymore.  It seems much more likely that they have an increase in reactor pressure but are reluctant to vent because of the condition of the containment structure.

Updated 4:15 to add links for Red Cross and Shelter Box USA.

Updated by kbman at Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:03 PM PDT

A check of the IAEA site shows that they have also begun adding seawater to the fuel pool at unit 2 ...

"On 20 March, workers began pumping 40 tonnes of seawater into the spent fuel pool."

http://www.iaea.org/...

Updated by kbman at Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:15 PM PDT

From BlueSue in the comments -

Tokyo Electric Power Co. proceeded Monday with work to lay power cables to the two remaining reactors still without electricity at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after fire trucks sprayed water earlier in the day to help cool fuel pools at two other reactors.

External power reached the power-receiving facilities of the No. 2 and No. 5 reactors on Sunday, paving the way for the plant operator to restore their systems to monitor radiation and other data, light the control rooms and cool down the reactors and their spent-fuel storage pools.

But it may take a few more days before the vital cooling system is restored at the No. 2 reactor, whose containment vessel suffered damage in its pressure-suppression chamber, as some parts replacements are needed in the electrical system, according to the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Earlier Monday, Self-Defense Forces fire trucks sprayed water at the No. 4 reactor's spent-fuel pool for the second day, after firefighters poured water at the No. 3 unit, dousing it with over 3,700 tons of water in total since the unprecedented effort to lower the temperature in its fuel tank from outside its damaged building began Thursday.

from:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/...

Originally posted to 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Information and Assistance on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear dkos and Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs.

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  •  Tip Jar (229+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plubius, Gary Norton, kerflooey, jan4insight, kingneil, citizenx, emelyn, gchaucer2, jeff in nyc, alizard, Terranova0, artebella, John DE, SniperCT, aoeu, shari, Mary Mike, bibble, SeaTurtle, blueoregon, whenwego, rb608, erratic, lineatus, timewarp, baffled, pacifica, the dogs sockpuppet, souvarine, Roadbed Guy, yuriwho, nio, DRo, jgnyc, bread, Detlef, pgm 01, BarackStarObama, ebohlman, Siri, hester, indyada, pateTX, mr crabby, 2dimeshift, DavidHeart, WiseFerret, kevinpdx, dagolfnut, muddy boots, CatCiaoInUSA, alnep, Pluto, flavor411, sunny skies, greengemini, leu2500, rja, bnasley, wu ming, ursoklevar, Russgirl, dance you monster, frisco, waker, ogre, merrily1000, ladypockt, silence, bluesheep, pat bunny, decisivemoment, HoundDog, elziax, Bensdad, mimi, One Pissed Off Liberal, BlueStateRedhead, Ducktape, Glen The Plumber, missLotus, b00g13p0p, nzanne, palantir, Odysseus, rosabw, flatford39, platypus60, randallt, oldhippie, SeekCa, kafkananda, envwq, Miss Blue, JanL, aikea guinea, wader, ashowboat, Anne was here, technomage, vacantlook, BlueDragon, littlesky, Gooserock, rogerdaddy, notcaesar, Wee Mama, zapus, eeff, Sapere aude, Susan from 29, HCKAD, Danjuma, RandomNonviolence, bythesea, Purplehead, Timaeus, Pat K California, Ice Blue, carolyn urban, Joieau, tbirchard, On The Bus, Cassandra Waites, ExStr8, mrkvica, oneshot, poxonyou, NoMoreLies, bronte17, frisbee, Sonofasailor, Drama Queen, yet another liberal, AaronInSanDiego, PeterHug, tgypsy, doinaheckuvanutjob, MT Spaces, No one gets out alive, BlueSue, pbearsailor, Susipsych, mwk, kumaneko, OtherDoug, taonow, dougymi, DawnN, princesspat, SadieSue, chrisma, daveygodigaditch, ggrzw, Eikyu Saha, polecat, 207wickedgood, Rejoinder, Agathena, Snud, Ditch Mitch KY, blueoasis, Ian S, HudsonValleyMark, kurt, gmats, wonmug, melfunction, Shockwave, kalmoth, Tinfoil Hat, koNko, sidnora, buddabelly, whoknu, dotsright, KimD, Wheever, nota bene, celdd, tacet, elengul, Nebraskablue, jdld, VexingEyes, alicia, akmk, cosette, myboo, Lujane, Trendar, erush1345, Horsefeathers, think blue, rsmpdx, glitterscale, ProgressiveTokyo, Kristin in WA, cinnamon68, bear83, sneakers563, profundo, Brian B, Simplify, RabidRabbit, grollen, mollyd, J Orygun, BleacherBum153, greycat, flitedocnm, Isara, aerie star, kpardue, bablhous, chimene, Morague, thebluecrayon, The Raven, Pandoras Box, Ashaman, vets74, Sandino, lol chikinburd, raoul78, yaque, Darmok, Jose Bidenio, jeanette0605

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

    by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

    •  THANK YOU, for each and every (16+ / 0-)

      word and sentiment. an antidote to pie fights at a time when antidotes are needed in more senses than one.

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:44:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's more Big Time Ugly. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        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-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          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 ]

    •  Kbman, my understanding of these (10+ / 0-)

      reactors, (Which is limited), that since they have been using salt water to help cool them down, they  are now rendered worthless as well as dangerous, so the buildings should now be filled with cement, sand and another substance like they did to chernobyl. If this was to take place immediately could they achieve a positive result with minimal risks?

      •  That I cannot answer (19+ / 0-)

        This is the thing that needs to be decided fairly quickly.  The reactors at units 1-3 will never operate again without question.  Unit 4's reactor may not be damaged but the refuel level and building infrastructure are likely damaged beyond any hope of use.

        The question is, do they immediately entomb the site or take measures to clean up first?  I suppose this will depend in part on the relative risks of leaving the materials in place versus the risks of taking the time to clean.

        The seawater makes things dicey due to its corrosive nature.  There are some steps that can be taken to minimize and neutralize these effects, but that can also lead to a "House that Jack Built" situation.

        Randallt may be able to give a better idea of what is possible here.  As he mentions below, he was a Senior Chemist at Peach Bottom.

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

        by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:25:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thank you (5+ / 0-)

          for this summary.

          I certainly hope that you will continue to write summaries of the situation as information becomes available.

          Isn't the question of entombing relative to the amount of cooling/shutdown/etc. that has to happen first?

          How do you recommend the average person evaluate the overall situation given that we cannot believe the powers that be in the short or long term?

          Is there a way to get a comprehensive and accurate picture to lay 'people'?

          I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

          by BlueDragon on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:50:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're welcome (12+ / 0-)

            My intention is to stay with this situation as it evolves and provide updates every day or two depending on how significant the developments may be.  I fully expect these reactors and their containments to be entombed as part of the final cleanup and decommissioning.  It would be far better for the long term health of the region if they were to remove the bulk of the fuel and other highly radioactive components prior to doing this.  This includes processing the radioactive water that is collecting in the drywells and reactor buildings, either from fuel pool leaks or from the condensation of radioactive steam.

            As far as getting reliable information, it is very tough.  That is part of what started me writing these diaries.  It was, and is, a challenge to sort through the various conflicting reports and keep track of the status of who says what about which systems.  But that is what is needed to be able to evaluate their relative probabilities of being accurate.  And even from the best of them, that is all that it is - a probability.  Sometimes they get it wrong - even the best sources at times have bad information that gets widely distributed on the basis of their credibility.  

            All I can do is give you my belief of what the situation is based on integrating and evaluating all of these sources and looking for contradictions and/or confirmations.  I have also tried to be careful in not overstating what is known.  Sometimes, "I don't know", or "I can't answer that" is the best I can give you.  Life is uncertain enough on an average day.  These are far from average days.

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

            by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:30:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and store it (3+ / 0-)

              somewhere?  but where?  we don't have long term storage.  i assume japan does not either or else there would not be so much spent fuel stored at this plant.

              as i understand it, the fuel itself could be a danger even entombed?

              or are you thinking that the location itself is at risk for obvious reasons, so it would be better to move all of it to a more secure location?

              where could it go?  inside or outside japan?

              for me, the bottom line for my opposition to nuclear was the waste storage.  for even if the plants could be made virtually indestructible, where can the contamination be stored for thousands of years under the current state of human civilization.

              I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

              by BlueDragon on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:50:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once it is removed from the site it might be able (8+ / 0-)

                to be reprocessed.  I'm not sure if they have the facilities to deal with the melted bits, but any intact fuel pellets should not be a particular challenge as this kind of reprocessing is already done.  The problem with leaving the fuel there to entomb is that then the job isn't finished.  The fuel will eventually leech out of the tomb and contaminate the region.

                I'd get into the other issues but am trying to restrain myself from getting involved in pro-anti discussions in these diaries.

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

                by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:23:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good luck with that.......... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Drama Queen, kbman

                  I'd get into the other issues but am trying to restrain myself from getting involved in pro-anti discussions in these diaries.

                  BTW: you might find the "Lessons Learned" reports from TMI to be interesting.

                  The accident began about 4:00 a.m. on March 28, 1979, when the plant experienced a failure in the secondary, non‑nuclear section of the plant. The main feedwater pumps stopped running, caused by either a mechanical or electrical failure, which prevented the steam generators from removing heat. First the turbine, then the reactor automatically shut down. Immediately, the pressure in the primary system (the nuclear portion of the plant) began to increase. In order to prevent that pressure from becoming excessive, the pilot-operated relief valve (a valve located at the top of the pressurizer) opened. The valve should have closed when the pressure decreased by a certain amount, but it did not. Signals available to the operator failed to show that the valve was still open. As a result, cooling water poured out of the stuck-open valve and caused the core of the reactor to overheat.

                  ....

                  Backgrounder is HERE -- with references to the Report and other sources

                  It got worse from there. They got lucky, but the misapprehensions paralleled Chernobyl all up and down the line.

                  We did get to fix NRC's approvals processes. Perfect enough computer automation and control, despite arguably the worst project name ever:

                  Decision Unit Tracking System -- DUTS

                  D'oh.

                  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 06:44:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've read through the sequence of events a number (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vets74

                    of times over the years.  When I was first with GPU Nuclear I was on the island for a 6 week training course.  This was just over a year after the accident and well before the cleanup.

                    Unfortunately the operators were more concerned with letting the reactor "go solid" than with uncovering fuel.  To avert calamity they created catastrophe.

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

                    by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:42:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Is site too contaminated for any of those units (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kbman, vets74

          to operate again? Maybe the could technically but what about danger to the staff.

      •  I saw Arjun Makhijani address this (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman, Lujane, erush1345, bablhous, vets74

        It can't be done immediately because of the heat being generated by the fuel in the reactors and the spent fuel pools. All that heat being generated without a way to dissipate.

        It will be hot for weeks to months. Get it controlled and get it cooled down.

      •  Correct. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman, Lujane, bablhous, vets74

        They are now useless and entoumbment is on the To Do List.

        Keep in mind Chernobyl was encased after the meltdown, it was too thermally and radioactively hot when the meltdown was in progress.

        It is a large undertaking.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:45:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The is great work, and a real public service (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kbman, Lujane, bablhous

      thank you.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:00:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like the good, the bad, and the ugly format. (7+ / 0-)
  •  Thank you yet again for a very informative (36+ / 0-)

    diary provided in an accessible manner.

    And thank you for pointing out the catastrophic humanitarian disaster as well, and asking for donations.  

  •  can't say thanks enough (16+ / 0-)

    for the information.  =)

    “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

    by Terranova0 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:21:29 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for your review & factual assessment (18+ / 0-)

    This is an excellent summary. I have trouble following live blogs.

    Do you have any updates on how the pumps are functioning?

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:24:50 PM PDT

    •  Have not yet seen reports (11+ / 0-)

      I keep reading that they're getting things hooked up but no reports on pumps operating yet.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great overview summary. And, keeping the (10+ / 0-)

        political comments out of the diary is good, and will no doubt help others to greater dicipline in keeping focused on the technical details  in the diary too, I suspect.

        A good improvement.

        And, I applaud your call for compassion for the Japanese in this terrible time of tragedy.

        And, we must congratulate and thank, the heroic workers who have risked their own lives, to save others from worse catastrophes.

        Thanks again.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:38:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for you comments (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DawnN, HoundDog, erush1345, bablhous

          Peace.

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

          by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:26:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hope you found them to be constructive (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kbman, bablhous

            kbman.  My goal is to be as repectful and supportive to everyone, as much as I can, especially fellow Kossacks.

            I am very open to feedback and challenge if you ever think I might not be living up to my own espoused values.

            And, when I congratulate you for keeping the politics out of the diary, I only do that because yesterday you were asking folks to keep it out of the comments, and I defende the one fellow, your were challenging, only because I figured if you put it in the diary, you can't expect others not to respond.

            But, I respected your wishes, and made no further political comments.

            In general, these are my favorite, and perhaps, more important topics given the policy commitment in the next few weeks.

            You should let loose and write a policy-issue-controversies diary letting us know you own thoughts on this.  Yes, it will be hairraising, annoying, and probably even hurtful, at times, given how controversial these topics are.  

            In a democracy this is the only way we can all learn, and build up the wisest collective learning, social policy, and budgets.  

            To surface, challenge, and if necessary, to change our assumptions, is a reponsibility of all citizens, and just generally a good thing to do, if we want to keep abreast of changing situations.

            But, one thing I am trying to learn to do better, is to separate the challanging of ideas, which is good, from the challenging of people, which is counter-productive, and unkind.

            Whatefver.....

            Keep up the great work.  Although, I disagree with some of you nuclear advocacy, I congratulate you on your outstandingly professional diaries, and compassion for the Japanese people.  

            Later, in some other evironment, you feel more comfortable, I'll let you try to convert me to a pro-nuclear stance, if you let me try to convert you to cleaner, renewable, and safer energy-economic options.  Or at least, let you know my assumptions, so you can see if you can spot any errors in my thinking.

            I beleive our mutual goals are to arrive out the best outcomes for our country and the world.

            And, I agree with you 100% we have got to reduce carbon emissions, ASAP.

            Cheers

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:39:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, thank you for (12+ / 0-)

    the public service...

    "....no proof, just science and that makes it true for you liberals" (from an e-mail to Kos)

    by bibble on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:29:39 PM PDT

  •  Thanks. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Plubius, erratic, Siri, wader, DawnN

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:32:16 PM PDT

  •  There is an interesting graphic at xkcd.com (17+ / 0-)

    here. It isn't at xkcd cartoon as such but it is an interesting and useful graphical explanation of radiation doses. h/t Slashdot

  •  It seems hard to seperate (11+ / 0-)

    the politics of nuclear energy from the reality. Thank you for just the facts.

    I'm not anti-nuke, I'm anti-bullshit.

    by 2dimeshift on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:04:28 PM PDT

  •  Superb job kbman. (10+ / 0-)

    Best summary of the situation I've read.  Hope you will be able to update as more information becomes available.

    Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear... Aesop

    by mr crabby on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:05:54 PM PDT

  •  Great summary (10+ / 0-)

    I feel like I've taken part in a week long crash course on nuclear plant operations. There's been so much information presented in so many formats it's been difficult to digest.

    Your diaries are so straight forward, easy to understand and helpful in filling knowledge gaps. They've helped give me context to put things in perspective. Very much appreciated. Thanks

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:10:03 PM PDT

  •  Extremely helpful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, DawnN, erush1345

    Clear, concise, and not confusing. Thanks!

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:23:46 PM PDT

  •  I feel like I just got a VIP briefing, thanks (6+ / 0-)

    we sure do have some accomplished people here at DK.

    Which side are you on?

    by wiseacre on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:25:32 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for another wonderful diary (9+ / 0-)

    Very informative, cool-headed and fact-based.

    Also thank you so much for this:

    Personal note:  Please remember the bigger picture here.  There are millions of people still suffering in Japan at this hour.  The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami have created enormous problems and left many thousands dead, injured, or isolated and left unattended.  This event is a natural disaster of unfathomable scope.  The nuclear emergency, while certainly an important part of what is happening there, has not had near the effect on the population that the other events have to this date.  If you can find it in your heart to contribute in some way to the humanitarian efforts for Japan you will truly make a difference in someone's life.

    Everyone please keep this in mind and give what you can at sites like: The Red Cross and ShelterBox. Thank you!

    "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by frisco on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:30:10 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the clear explanation (7+ / 0-)
    There have been no reports of fuel pool issues at unit 2.

    One more piece of good news was reported last night (Japan time). The Mainichi Shinbun (Japanese) reported that 40 tons of seawater was added to the spent fuel pool at reactor no. 2. They used the "temporary power source" (I think that is the new outside power source that was hooked up in the afternoon) to pump the water in.

  •  thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueStateRedhead, kbman, DawnN
    There will also be many recriminations against upper management of TEPCO for their lack of complete transparency over the past week.

    see also

    Japan, nuclear industry and risk communication: unfinished business

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:35:17 PM PDT

  •  can't give you enough recommends (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, ebohlman, DawnN, erush1345

    for the way you write this information up for us. It is greatly appreciated and a relief to read. Thanks.

  •  CNN just reported that they have reconnected (7+ / 0-)

    the electricy to units 5 and 6, and are very close to getting unit 2 on has well.

    I also heard one report that the wind patterns either have shfited, or are in the process of shifting.

    Although, the report said towards Tokyo, the map seem ti show it still moving offshore.  I'm not sure if maybe this was a forecast that hasn't completely materialized yet.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:42:47 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the info (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, DawnN, erush1345

      There might be a little confusion on the part of CNN.  I say this because the initial connection of the outside power was being done at unit 2.  Power for the other units was to be distributed from there.  Yesterday they connected portable generators to units 5 and 6 and got the fuel pool cooling started.  That may be the basis for CNN's report.

      The situation with the shifting winds is addressed in FishOutofWater's diary that is referenced in the first update.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:04:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Getting the pumps restarted in unit's 5 and 6 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman

        is about the best news we've heard yet, is it not?

        And, if I understand your diary correctly, all the external pumping connections are intact?  

        I had been misinformed then, that a lot of that was destroyed in the earthquake and subsequant explosions.

        If the cooling pump mechanisms, are intact, then the new electricity should allow cooling to begin immediately, which will quicky turn around all the troubles.

        I had read earlier that the water in the cooling ponds is typically 45 feet, and the rods don't expose until its down to 15 feet.  

        And, because the spent fuel is typically significantly less active in heat producing capability, that under normal circumstances cooling ponds can last anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks without cooling before enough water  boils off to espose the rods.  

        If these ponds become accessable, additional water can be added to keep them covered, to prevent fires in the cladding, which has been the greatest risk, from what, I've heard.  

        As, long as any melted uranium pellots, are kept within the containment domes, the risk of particulate release is contained.

        Does this sound right?  As long as we can keep these pools, and the reactor cores cooled, then we will have a much more stable environment, to handle damaged fuel in the core, or in the ponds.

        And, my understanding is that as long as we recover the spent cooling ponds to keep them from burning, the fact that they may have been partially damaged, does not matter as much.

        The biggest danger is from an uncontrolled fire, in an completely dry spend fuel pond.  But, that if we can get them recovered with water, and from boiling then we shouldn't be in danger of any really big releases?

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:18:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Various issues here ... (8+ / 0-)

          I think it would be quite optimistic to say that all of the external pumping connections are intact.  We do know that several of the pumps and cooling systems worked in the hours after the earthquake.  Given the size and location of the hydrogen explosion at unit 1 it is likely that most if not all of the systems there survived intact.  The same cannot be said with near as much confidence regarding unit 3.  At the same time, given redundant systems and multiple locations for equipment, I have reason to believe that at least one of the core cooling systems will be available once power is connected.  I suspect that pumping abilities for the fuel pools at units 1 and 3 were damaged by the explosions but do not know enough about their physical layout to know with any certainty.  Unit 4 did not have nearly as strong an explosion, but damage is still possible there as well.

          Regarding access to the fuel pools, I read that they are looking into using army tanks to clear debris from the rubble piles at units 1 and 3.  I'm not sure how they intended to do this, but any clearing up there will help tremendously in being able to manage the situations in the pools.  They just need to be careful and not cause more problems than they are solving.

          And yes, as long as the melted fuel stays in the reactor vessel it is fine - provided they keep it borated to prevent criticality.  The boric acid in seawater acts as liquid control rods to prevent any of the melted fuel from restarting a nuclear reaction.  It should also not present much of a contamination risk in the vented steam due to the weight/density of uranium and plutonium.

          And yes, as long as they are able to keep the spent fuel under water now and prevent a fuel pool fire then the condition of the stuff underwater is not that crucial from a public safety viewpoint.  Being deformed and partially melted makes the cleanup effort more complicated, but as long as it stays cool and covered it no longer presents an immediate threat to the public.

           

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

          by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:54:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, cross fingers... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Drama Queen, kbman

            After the sequence of disasters they've had, I think we'll be very lucky if they manage to keep all the fuel piles underwater.

            Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

            by neroden on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:14:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I think they're due for a few lucky breaks (0+ / 0-)

              Given that the folks on the ground dealing with this know the stakes involved I find it hard to believe that they will let that happen.  Even if there are leaks it just means they need to add faster than it leaks.  They have demonstrated an ability to deliver massive tonnage of water to these pools.  I think they'll be able to sustain the effort.  It took at least a few days for them to drain down to where fuel was uncovered so it's not like they're gushing water out of the leaks.

              I would also think that a key priority would be getting a handle on exactly where the leaks are and what their extent is.  It may be that some structural support in a few key spots could help provide a greater margin of safety regarding potential further damage.

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

              by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:13:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  One question: where has all the water... (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randallt, notcaesar, Joieau, mrkvica, kbman, DawnN, kurt

    ...that's been poured onto these structures gone?

    And, of that that remains liquid, what does it contain, having essentially washed over the reactor systems at large, which must be covered in radioactive dust?

    Kyodo is quoted as saying that SDF pumpers have put 160 tons of water onto the spent-fuel pool of reactor 4 alone, on Sunday alone.

    At -- what? -- 8.35 pounds per gallon, that's a shit-load of water. On Sunday. On one reactor.

    Finally: great series of very informative articles.

    - bp

    "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

    by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:59:29 PM PDT

    •  It goes somewhere (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notcaesar, Joieau, Drama Queen, kbman, DawnN

      At this point, it looks like it goes into steam into the environment and water leaks into the system and buildings and then into the environment.

    •  That's a question I keep wondering about (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      forester, mrkvica, kbman, DawnN

      Especially with regard to the water thrown at and/or leaking from damaged spent fuel pools.  What does this water contain and does it just drip down through the structures into the ground?  Does anybody know?  Was some kind of backup containment for such pool leaks (whatever the potential cause) ever built into the reactor buildings?  

      "All day long I felt like smashing my face in a clear glass window, but instead I went out and smashed up a phone booth round the corner." --Yoko Ono

      by notcaesar on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:27:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Multiple answers ... (12+ / 0-)

      The water that is being sprayed onto the roofs of these buildings is either staying on the outside or going into the fuel pools.  This would include washing down contaminants that were released during the venting operations plus any radioactive material that may have been sloshed out of the fuel pools during either the earthquake or hydrogen explosion.  This water is presumably going into the ground onsite.

      The water that is leaking from the fuel pools should be collecting inside the secondary containment.  Most would be expected to eventually drain down into the bottom of the structure.  This will be one of many cleanup challenges, much like the water in the basement of the reactor building at Three Mile Island.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:53:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heroic Assumption! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Drama Queen

        The spent fuel pools do not cover anywhere close to all of the real estate under those roofs. And #4's pool is almost certain to have a big leak. If it didn't have a big leak, it never would have run dry to begin with.

        Bottom line is that we cannot know what the water level is. TEPCO and the Japanese aren't telling; the U.S. Air Force knows, but isn't telling; and someone has obviously gotten to Jaczko, because he's no longer telling.

        This smells like a coverup to me.

      •  thnx n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman

        - bp

        "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

        by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:02:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  `Fuel Pools At #4 (5+ / 0-)

    You wrote:

    There have been reports that it had run completely dry but they appear now to have been inaccurate.

    Please back that up with links. I think the various denialists invented this idea to try to discredit the regulatory chairman (Jaczko) who told Congress that the pools had run dry.

    I discussed this issue in detail a couple of days ago. Since then, the Japanese have been inundating #4's spent fuel pool with water, but it's by no means certain that this will work, given that the earlier explosion at #4 almost certainly damaged the pool and caused it to leak, which is why it ran dry so quickly.

    •  Addendum (5+ / 0-)

      I am not at all convinced that the fuel pool issues have been solved at #4 or #3. The reports of them being solved are too sketchy right now.

      •  Ya know, it's really interesting... (9+ / 0-)

        ...to parse carefully the wording that's used.

        Granted that it's not possible to know if these are Kyodo News' words, or if this is a direct quote from someone, but:

        The Tokyo Fire Department also shot water into a spent-fuel storage pool at the No. 3 unit for hours.

        Under the operation that started Thursday, more than 2,600 tons of water is believed to have been poured toward the No. 3 building, exceeding the pool's capacity of 1,400 tons. But it is unknown how much water is in the pool, which is important to cool the fuel and shield the radioactivity.

        umm..

        "is believed"?

        "poured toward"?

        Toward? As in, in the general direction of?

        With phrasing like this, it's no wonder no one's sure about what the real conditions are.

        - bp

        "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

        by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:08:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I've pointed out above (15+ / 0-)

          They really only need horseshoes accuracy here, as in "close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and getting water back into the spent fuel pools."  If you refer to the BWR diagram you will see the spent fuel pool on the right hand side of the reactor dome at the top level of the facility.  The pool is recessed some 45 feet or so into the floor there.  All they need to do is get the water close, gravity will do the rest.  And for the first day they were doing this at unit 4, getting the water in the general vicinity was also helpful in reducing the overall temperature of the area.

          What this represents is fairly responsible reporting, not overstating what was accomplished, only what was attempted.  And despite not being able to be certain of the conditions, they do have the thermal imaging being provided by the USAF.

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

          by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:39:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Horseshoes! Good one! n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jake Johnson, kbman

            - bp

            "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

            by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:55:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's come to this (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Drama Queen, Jake Johnson, kbman, polecat

            You know and I know, we never expected this even though we worried about it.

          •  USAF Hasn't Publicly Released The Data (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Drama Queen, neroden

            I still don't see any substantiation for the doubts about the U.S. regulator's statement that the pools were dry. I think that idea was spread by the denialists to undermine Jaczko.

            Make no mistake: The industry is already in propaganda mode, and there is absolutely no lie that will be out of bounds for them.

            •  Note the link below to Science Insider ... (5+ / 0-)

              Also, if the reports of a dry fuel pool had been accurate then I believe we would have seen much higher radiation readings in the vicinity of unit 4.  Most of the reports I've seen regarding high radiation levels concerned units 2 & 3 and correlated with events at those locations.  Also, the reports of a fuel pool fire were almost certainly incorrect for the same reason - we would be seeing much higher spikes of radiation levels over that time frame.  Also, the fires reported from unit 4 were relatively short lived.  This would not be expected to be the case if the fuel cladding were burning.  Had that been the case it would have been a very high temperature chemical fire and water would have only made it worse.

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

              by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:04:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Response (0+ / 0-)

                "Science Insider" reported nothing new. All they did was read the Internet. And their story you've cited was published two days ago, likely based on information even older.

                There have been no "reports of a spent fuel fire." I don't know how you are coming up with that. The are fears of a future spent fuel fire as a result of the pool being dry, or (even worse, from a fire risk standpoint) only partially covered.

                I think what actually happened is that the pool was drained pretty fast. A good guess is that the pool has one or more cracks that allowed water to escape through the bottom and/or the sides. Whether it was the result of the earthquake, the tsunami, the hydrogen explosion or some of each is impossible to know.

                Since then, the Japanese have been trying to refill that pool by dumping water on the roof and spraying into the hole from the side. We have no reliable information as to whether or not this has worked.

                •  Everyone and their brother were claiming there was (6+ / 0-)

                  a fire in the spent fuel pool the night they had the pump oil fire.  It was being reported by the BBC and in The Guardian among other outlets.  And in case you've forgotten, the dry fuel pool story is several days old now.  Here's how it was reported on FOX News .  The guy they were interviewing is an industry apologist, and even he claimed the fuel pool was on fire.

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

                  by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:49:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Fox? You've Got to Be Kidding (0+ / 0-)

                    There have been no claims that the spent fuel rods are or were on fire. There was a fire near the pool, which the Japanese attributed to a hydrogen explosion there.

                    The denialists invented the fuel oil explosion early on. They also tried to blame the reactor explosions on fuel oil and/or hydrogen leaks from pumps.

                    This was because they didn't want to admit that there were partial meltdowns in three reactors, and major problems with spent fuel. To do that would have been to admit that this was Three Mile Island multiplied by four.

                    But events made that fiction impossible to sustain. The Japanese themselves have dropped the fuel oil fire story, as this trade industry chart shows.

                    •  You are simply divorced from reality here Jake (8+ / 0-)

                      Nobody has claimed anything about the hydrogen explosions that is not consistent with what happened.  It has been quite clearly stated for the past week that fuel was being damaged and producing hydrogen.  I don't know where you are getting these stories about pumps leaking hydrogen and other such nonsense.

                      You also just stated that "There have been no claims that the spent fuel rods are or were on fire" despite the fact that I just showed you a video of a report doing just that.  I don't give a damn WHO it was from, it was a report of a fuel pool fire.  And they were far from the only ones to report that.

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

                      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:43:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You Are Wrong (0+ / 0-)
                        Nobody has claimed anything about the hydrogen explosions that is not consistent with what happened.  It has been quite clearly stated for the past week that fuel was being damaged and producing hydrogen.  I don't know where you are getting these stories about pumps leaking hydrogen and other such nonsense.

                        Remember the guy whose faulty math louisev posted here last night? He runs a denialist site that gets a lot of play among his fellow denialists worldwide. louisev got the guy's faulty math from a foreign site that had reposted the original.

                        Anyway, this same guy, who by the way wants to sell portable nukes and who thinks the lesson of Fukushima is that nuclear power is overregulated, was one of the first to spread the "hydrogen leaking from a generator"" theory:

                        Update: (March 12, 2011 11:20 am EST) There have been reports of a hydrogen explosion and walls crumbling to expose a steel frame at what is described as an outbuilding at the Fukushima Daiichi power station. Those reports triggered my memory of a hydrogen explosion that occurred at the Tampa Electric Company Gannon coal fired power plant on April 8, 1999.

                        In the Gannon Station case, the hydrogen for the explosion came from the cooling system for the very large electrical generator. Maintenance workers apparently did not ensure that the system was properly purged before opening it for maintenance.

                        My guess is that a similar generator cooling system was in use at Fukushima Daiichi. Considering the devastation that has occurred as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami, it would not be terribly surprising if the electrical generator cooling system developed some hydrogen leaks. From what I have read about the actions taken to cool down the nuclear fuel inside the reactor, which is inside a robust containment building, not a steel frame building, I am guessing that the explosion had nothing to do with the heat source that normally supplies the the steam to turn the turbines that turn that electrical generator.

                        We also saw claims (including, I believe, from you) that the explosion in #4 was from oil and not hydrogen. And you've claimed that others were attributing the fires at #4 to spent fuel being on fire. When asked for proof, you supplied a Fox News interview with someone claiming to be a nuclear expert.

                        You really, really need to pay more attention to the facts, kbman.

                  •  i recall this (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kbman, buddabelly

                    as far as I can tell, Jake, the only reason that you're still on this hobbyhorse is because you have a suspicion that somehow Jaczko has access to secret detectors, even though he told Congress and the White House that all of the data he has, has been released.  So no, he hasn't got any secret sources that are providing him with better info, and you have no reason to claim he has.  READ THE PRESS BRIEFING.  

                    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                    by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:07:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I'd Rather Play Horseshoes ... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            randallt, Wheever, keikekaze, jcrit

            ... with horseshoes that haven't been irradiated. I hope things are going well, but I am very far from convinced. From what I can see, the highest control has been achieved over the information, not the radioactivity.

        •  Nice catch (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Drama Queen, Jake Johnson, Russgirl

          Everyone know this place is fucked. For the apologists here to try to parse bad news into good is just sad.

          •  Watch "NO NUKES" - everyone... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            randallt, keikekaze, neroden

            As we are right now.  Great music - very, very sad day for humanity.

            TIME IS WELL OVERDUE - for people - not corporations to call them out.  NO.

            Find alternative answers - Nukes takes 20% of our electricity - WE CAN CUT BACK 20% on our own consumption to start.
            Find it - google it - share it - talk about it - meet up about it -- JUST DO SOMETHING!
            For a better tomorrow to be possible at all - we all must become involved... all humans.
             
    •  This was reported at Science Insider (7+ / 0-)

      which is a website published by the AAAS - American Association for the Advancement of Science.

      Link

      TOKYO—The Japanese government says that there is water covering the fuel rods in the spent-fuel pool of reactor #4 at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

      On Wednesday, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) head Gregory Jaczko said at a U.S. congressional hearing that "there is no water in the spent-fuel pool" at reactor #4, Bloomberg reported. There were also reports that the zirconium cladding that makes up the fuel rods was burning, which could result in a massive radiation release.

      But this evening Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency, told reporters that a review of video shot from a helicopter and an on-the-ground check by a worker had confirmed that there is water in the pool. If true, the announcement is one piece of good news in a week-long struggle to cool the fuel in the reactors and block the emanating radiation.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:00:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two Days Old (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Russgirl

        The Japanese statement was based on a glimmer of light from one video. I dealt with this in full a while back. Until there is real, verifiable evidence to the contrary, I'm not believing these "reassurances."

        How many times do people have to be lied to before they question what they are told, anyway? Hell, even the IAEA, an industry whore if there ever was one, is publicly all but telling people not to believe the Japanese.

    •  if you know what damaged the pools (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, buddabelly, erush1345


      then you're better informed than anyone, because nobody has been able to get close enough to inspect them.  Since there was observed damage to one of the concrete sides of pool #3, the best guess on the damage to it was - earthquake.  You do remember that earthquake right?  It was responsible for the first death at Fukushima of a workman operating a piece of heavy equipment.  There is no doubt that Jaczko said that pool 3 was dry, he was speaking to Congress at the time, and his statement was the primary basis on which the US Government issued its 50 mile warning:

      Mr. Jaczko told Congress last week that one of the spent fuel pools was dry or nearly dry, a very important development. A dry pool would give anyone within line of sight a huge radiation dose, and the fuel might melt and radiation-emitting materials might spread. Japanese officials, however, have cast doubt on the idea that the pool was ever dry.

      ¶ Asked about this on Sunday, Mr. Jaczko said that he based his statement on the “best available information” and still believed it to be true, although he added that one part of the post-accident investigation should be to examine information flow. Initial information in an accident can turn out to be wrong, he said. In this case, loss of electric power shut down a lot of monitoring equipment at Fukushima, he said. And general accident conditions do not always lend themselves to good information flow.

      NY Times

      He is standing by his statement despite technical evidence to the contrary and despite the Japanese government and TEPCO saying otherwise.  

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:57:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What "Technical Evidence to the Contrary?" (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't seen any.

        •  here's jaczko waffling (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, erush1345, kbman


          in a followup press conference:

          Q    And picking up on Chuck’s question, a Japanese official today said he did not know if that cooling pool has been emptied.  Is it still your assessment that that cooling pond with the spent fuel rods is now empty?

                CHAIRMAN JACZKO:  Well, everything -- when we made the determination the other day, everything indicated that that was the case.  And I think as has been said, there’s a lot of conflicting information around this.  But the bottom line is, is that there clearly appears to be a challenge keeping that spent fuel filled with sufficient water. So it is a very dynamic situation.  And again, our efforts are really focused here on helping the Japanese deal with what is a very tragic and difficult situation, and we’ll continue to provide recommendations and expertise where we can to help.

          Whitehouse.gov press briefing

          "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

          by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:16:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again: What "Technical Evidence" to the Contrary? (0+ / 0-)

            Jaczko's statement doesn't undermine anything he said earlier. The Japanese have been spraying water in there this weekend. It wouldn't surprise me if there's now some in the pool, but we still don't know.

            •  In addition to what louisev wrote (6+ / 0-)

              There is also the "Technical Evidence" of the various helicopters flying overhead to drop water on the top of building 4.  If the fuel pool had been empty there is no way they could have done that as the radiation levels would be SCREAMING.  Also, if there had been a fuel pool fire, given the temperature required for cladding to burn, and given its location in a 45 foot deep well, any water that went down there would have caused an immediate explosion due to steam being violently formed and interacting with everything else down there.

              Your faith in this event having happened is misplaced.

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

              by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:56:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  thank you kbman (6+ / 0-)


                I thought this too but I don't have the science background to state it with your certainty.  It would also have made zero sense for the firemen to BYPASS fuel pool 4 for an entire additional day and concentrate 13 hours of water cannons on pool 3 and reactor 3, because they would have had to prioritize pool 4 in terms of criticality.  That is patently NOT what they did.  Fuel pool 4 was not empty.  It never was empty.

                "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:22:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There Wasn't A Fuel Fire (0+ / 0-)

                I've already told you this, and you know it. So why do you keep setting up that strawman?

                And, no, there wouldn't be an "explosion" from dumping water onto the rods. The water would turn to steam, and boil off.

                As for the "screaming" radiation levels, in fact the helicopters were driven off by high radiation levels. 250 mSv/hr at 100 feet is what I read.

              •  Wrong on the Facts (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                Radiation levels were "screaming" -- according to the Japanese, 250mSv/hr.

                As for a "cladding fire," I have repeatedly written that this was never anything more than a future fear, regardless of what you heard when you watched the Fox network (strange choice for a Kossack, I'd say).

                And there is no evidence anywhere I've ever seen that says pouring water into an empty spent storage pond (no water, but rods still there) will cause an "immediate explosion." If I am wrong, and you're not just making things up on the fly, please provide a link to something authoritative, i.e., not Fox.

        •  well a few examples (8+ / 0-)


          1) thermal imaging shows the pool's temperature is < 100 C.  Not possible if there was no water in it.  I the fuel was burning it would be not only > 100 c, it would be over 2000 c, because that's the rate at which zirconium cladding slags off a fuel rod.

          2) no evidence that there was anything at that temperature once the fire went out - sometime Monday or Tuesday.

          3) no massive radiation bursts indicating burning of fuel in open air or follow-on explosions indicating fuel going critical.

          KBman's assessment is consistent with the pool having 'gotten low' but not that it was dry or became dry.  At all.  Considering Jaczko admits that a majority of his agency's information is coming from the same sources that the Japanese government is getting it from (they are just now bringing their own detecting equipment online and sharing info with their Japanese counterparts) and that Edamo is utterly baffled by his statement about the dry fuel pond shows that Jaczko put his foot in his mouth and is very reluctant to remove it.

          "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

          by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:21:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here's a mathematical approach (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kalmoth, buddabelly, erush1345


            with the conclusion that Jaczko was dead wrong at the time:

            doing the math

            "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

            by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:34:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe You Don't Realize It ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... but that link originated at the denialist website that I've been citing here for the past several days. Check it out. The site is run by a recently retired U.S. naval commander who thinks the lesson of all this is that nuclear power is over-regulated. Oh, and he's got a side business that promotes backyard nuclear reactors.

              His math failed to include what just about everyone now believes to be true, which is that the #4 pool has a leak that allowed the water to escape.

          •  Response (0+ / 0-)
            1) thermal imaging shows the pool's temperature is < 100 C.  Not possible if there was no water in it.  I the fuel was burning it would be not only > 100 c, it would be over 2000 c, because that's the rate at which zirconium cladding slags off a fuel rod.

            First off, you are mixing issues here. Contrary to kbman's statements here, no one has said that the fuel rods are or were on fire. The fear is that they might catch fire in the near future.

            Secondly, we have no independent verification of that thermal imaging. If I'm wrong, I will be very happy to be wrong, so please post a link that tells us who did the imaging, and when. If you're talking about the helicopter flight late last week where someone thought they saw a glimmer of water in the pool, that wasn't thermal imaging. It was a wild-ass guess.

            2) no evidence that there was anything at that temperature once the fire went out - sometime Monday or Tuesday.
            3) no massive radiation bursts indicating burning of fuel in open air or follow-on explosions indicating fuel going critical.

            Again, no one has suggested that there was a fuel rod fire. They've been worried that one might break out.

            Considering Jaczko admits that a majority of his agency's information is coming from the same sources that the Japanese government is getting it from

            I have never seen him "admit" that. All he has said is that there's a lot of information out there, but he has never backed off his original statement. He first made it to Congress, and later reiterated it on the same day.

            There are a variety of places where Jaczko could have gotten the information that led him to say late last week that the #4 pools were dry. Yes, the Japanese is one source. But he had people in the plant a week ago, and the U.S. has used a variety of other ways of getting the data.

            •  well somebody who knows better (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dougymi, zett, kbman, buddabelly, erush1345, yaque


              correct me if i'm wrong: but hot spent uranium fuel rods can't sit in open air without a cooling medium on them or they eventually ignite, so if the pool 'ran dry' - he didn't say 'low' - the cabinet secretary Edamo admits that the pool was low, and it is likely there was fuel uncovered, too!  but Jaczko said that the spent fuel pool was "dry", and then later waffled on it with a number of elliptical statements (see my other links from the follow-up press conference on the 19th), we would have a very different situation if the fuel pool at #4 was dry as Jaczko claimed it was, nor would it make any sense on earth for them to work on pool and reactor #3 in favor of #4 if the fuel pond at #4 was dry , because that would be the most dangerous situation.

              So claiming that the fuel pond was dry on the 17th, and did not get any water added by the water cannons until the 20th, begs the question of how did the fuel not ignite, explode, or in other way begin to throw large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere and the immediate area around reactor #4 during those 3 days that the only person on the planet who believed they were dry, was convincing the American public that there needed to be a 50 mile evacuation zone?

              Where is YOUR evidence that the pool was dry, Jake?  you and Jaczko are the only ones claiming it.

              Oh and no, I'm not a nuclear safety denialist, I'm actually in favor of a complete nuke ban, and have been since the early 1970's when I was a student member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, so you can spare yourself typing up the denialist accusations.

              "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

              by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:54:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Detailed Response (0+ / 0-)
                So claiming that the fuel pond was dry on the 17th, and did not get any water added by the water cannons until the 20th, begs the question of how did the fuel not ignite, explode, or in other way begin to throw large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere and the immediate area around reactor #4 during those 3 days that the only person on the planet who believed they were dry, was convincing the American public that there needed to be a 50 mile evacuation zone?

                There was nothing they could do. #4's roof was largely intact. You might recall that the first thing they did was send helicopters to try and dump water on top. It took time to get those water cannons near. They were discussing that option right away.

                The Japanese knew that #4 was a critical problem. But they faced mechanical barriers. And #3 was also a critical problem. They've been rushing to do what they think might work, where it can work. I'm not optimistic about any of it, but I can't blame them for trying.

                As for the 50-mile zone, I'd point out that the U.S. navy moved its ships upwind. I'd also note that they are now finding contamination in the soil as far as 70 km away. As I predicted yesterday and the day before, the denialists are spreading propaganda like crazy, and one element is to try to label Jaczko a panic-spreader. There is absolutely no lie they won't tell.

                Where is YOUR evidence that the pool was dry, Jake?  you and Jaczko are the only ones claiming it.

                I have offered the links. You've pretty much ignored them, and have badly mischaracterized Jaczko's statements. I can lead the horse to water, hopefully not irradiated, but I can't make you drink.

                Oh and no, I'm not a nuclear safety denialist, I'm actually in favor of a complete nuke ban, and have been since the early 1970's when I was a student member of Physicians for Social Respnsibility, so you can spare yourself typing up the denialist accusations.

                The only person here to suggest that you might be a denialist is you. I haven't done it. But I do think you've been to some degree roped in, as evidenced by your having offered a complete whackjob's writing as "technical evidence" of anything. You've got to be careful about your sources.

                •  not at all true (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  buddabelly, erush1345, yaque


                  I quoted Jaczko's public statements to CONGRESS.  If he wants to revise or recant them (he waffled considerably two days later but doubletalk doesn't really qualify as recanting his earlier claim) .  I haven't misrepresented Jaczko's statements at all, I copied and pasted them.

                  I haven't been roped in by anyone.  I'm doing the same due diligence you and everyone else here is doing, but there simply is no scientific evidence to back up your story, and you decided to back Jaczko in an error of fact which makes little sense to stick with in this one detail.  There is no denying that this is a level 5 incident, so his 'overall credibility' is not at stake here, if anything it's a sign of poor communication on the ground and obviously, a lack of direct observation due to conditions at the reactor site.  His experts aren't in Fukushima, they are in Tokyo.  So sorry, the egg can't be on Jaczko's face, he's not there, and neither are his people.

                  The spooky shit doesn't wash all that much with me, if you want to paint it as a huge coverup, then that's great, but the huge coverup is failing badly since all those niggly reports on radiation are SOMEHOW getting out, and the little stupid detail about the pool running dry or not running dry isn't driving any major policy decisions either here or in Japan, so what would the point be?  No point.  See?

                  "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                  by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:29:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong Again (0+ / 0-)

                    Last weekend, the nrc sent two people to Fukushima. In mid-week, they sent more people to Tokyo.

                    You have no evidence of an "error of fact" by Jaczko. When I asked for your "technical evidence," you parsed Jaczko's statements and offered some pseudo-math from a whackjob who wants to sell backyard nuclear reactors. Look, if you can show me that Jaczko made an error of fact, my world ain't going to end. But what you've given so far, plus $2.70, is worth an iced grande Americano at Starbucks.

                    The "niggling detail" is part of an effort by the nukesters to paint Jaczko as incompetent and alarmist. It matters quite a bit, and I think you know it.

                    •  no (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      buddabelly, erush1345, yaque


                      both I and KBman offered support to the math.  You haven't countered the math.  There has been no proof of a leak, and the math hasn't been disproved by better data.  There is no technical evidence of dry spent fuel pool at unit 4, and you haven't produced any.  

                      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                      by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:49:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  let's look at your 'evidence' and 'links' (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  buddabelly, erush1345, yaque


                  Jaczko testified before Congress on March 17.  You linked to "Jaczko had better information" to a story in the L.A. times on March 18, after Jaczko's testimony, which means that Jaczko is more likely to be the source for the unsourced comment in the L.A. times than the other way around, which states "The fuel pool at unit 4 may have run dry."  That's some real scientific sourcing there, in fact, it isn't sourced at all.

                  The other link is to a video of an aircraft.  So where are those expert reports about the pool running dry?  There aren't any that I can see from your commentary that you linked to, but there are several links to "whackjobs" claiming otherwise.  Why do this?  Why obfuscate what is essentially a minor detail in the unfolding crisis?  For amusement?  The fact is that the head of the NRC doesn't want to admit he jumped to a conclusion based upon a widespread panic about a fire in building 4 and leaped on it hoping that overstating the case and making an assumption would prove to be the prudent course in the midst of a horrible crisis.  It would be better to admit he was guessing, at least he wouldn't look like he was panicking.  If you have a real source link it.

                  "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                  by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:45:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If the pool was dry (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  louisev, kbman, yaque

                  they got water in it in less than 7 hours--according to the NRC--the time it would take to  heat up the fuel from 30 "C
                  to 900 "C (the temperature at which zirconium oxidation is postulated to become runaway
                  oxidation and at which fission products are expected to be expefled from the fuel and cladding).  And that's with even a partial uncovering of the rods

                  AspiringtobethepersonmydogthinksIam

                  by FOYI on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:50:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and we KNOW this didn't happen (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    buddabelly, erush1345, yaque

                    because there was no report of anyone adding water to SFP 4 before they brought the water cannon over and finished spraying Unit 3 and filling ITS SFP, which I believe was the 19th (Friday, local Japan time.)  Unless elves did it.

                    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                    by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:54:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                    Zirc cladding burns at 2000 C

                    •  You might (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      erush1345

                      want to look up oxidation

                      AspiringtobethepersonmydogthinksIam

                      by FOYI on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:36:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  my original comment got lost (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        erush1345, kbman, yaque

                        at higher temperatures zirconium creates hydrogen as it oxidizes in H20

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                        One disadvantage of zirconium alloys is their reactivity toward water at high temperatures leading to the formation of hydrogen gas and to the accelerated degradation of the fuel rod cladding:

                            Zr + 2 H2O → ZrO2 + 2 H2

                        This exothermic reaction is very slow below 100 °C but rapid at higher temperatures. Most metals undergo similar reactions. The redox reaction is relevant to the instability of fuel assemblies at high temperatures,[27] This reaction was responsible for a small hydrogen explosion first observed inside the reactor building of Three Mile Island accidented nuclear power plant in 1979, but then, the containment building was not damaged. The same reaction occurred in the reactors 1, 2 and 3 of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant (Japan) and in the spent fuel pool of reactor 4 after the reactors cooling was interrupted by the earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 11, 2011 leading to the Fukushima I nuclear accidents. After venting of hydrogen in the maintenance hall of these three reactors, the explosive mixture of hydrogen with air oxygen detonated, severely damaging the installations and at least one of the containment buildings. To avoid explosion, the direct venting of hydrogen to the open atmosphere would have been a preferred design option. Now, to prevent the risk of explosion in many pressurized water reactor (PWR) containment buildings, a catalyst-based recombinator is installed to rapidly convert hydrogen and oxygen into water at room temperature before explosivity limit is reached.

                        "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

                        by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:51:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  An Error I Missed Last Night (0+ / 0-)
        There is no doubt that Jaczko said that pool 3 was dry, he was speaking to Congress at the time

        Pool 4, not pool 3.

    •  I'm leaving on my HR... (6+ / 0-)

      ...down where you first accuse someone of "shilling" and being a "propagandist".

      Having been the first person to reply to you; having read through pretty much this entire thread; and having checked out your profile and what's available of your commenting history, I feel comfortable with leaving the HR on. It's probably a pity that they really have so little real effect.

      It's very clear that you came here wanting to pick a fight.

      Your comments quickly devolved into name-calling and insults rather than attempting to support your (very, very clearly) different opinion on matters.

      I won't speak to your own motivations, which (I will point out) is in contrast to you, who seems to be telepathic in that you feel free to state what other people's motivations are.

      I'm sorry I responded to you.

      I shall not do so in the future if I can possibly help it.

      - bp

      "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

      by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:21:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  p. s. (4+ / 0-)

        Personally I'm very, very strongly anti-nuke.

        I doubt that that bit of information will keep you from insulting me in some manner, should you come back by and read what I've just posted.

        Which would pretty much prove my point.

        - bp

        "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

        by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:23:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and i certainly wouldn't blame you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        b00g13p0p, kbman


        I only removed my HR"s because as KBman pointed out, I was party to the disagreement.  And looking back over the argument, I presented what I thought was both fair and well-documented evidence backing up my POV.  I don't think that anyone is on this site, blogging and commenting here for popularity's sake, and and despite my anti-nuke position, I don't believe that those who favor nuclear as an energy source are automatically suspect or dishonest.  However, throwing up smokescreens, namecalling, and ad hominem attack jobs are really out of line, and it is irresponsible to interfere with the sharing of valuable scientific information from which everyone can benefit, most of all those of us who will have to make hard decisions in the months and years to come about how to deal with our own nuclear policy, whether we need to implement new safeguards, shut down aging plants or remove these boiling water reactors - there is a ton of work to be done, and we need this information in order to be better informed citizens, now and in the future.  We shouldn't let the paranoia of one newbie derail those important missions.

        "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

        by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:32:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great Work (10+ / 0-)

    I worked at Peach Bottom, a GE BWR, in the mid 70's. I was the Senior Chemist there.

  •  Sounds like these guys (5+ / 0-)

    may be catching an over due break

    was just reading that the problem with #4 pool could be lack of electricity to inflate the seal on the gate which would make for an easier fix than damage to the pool itself

    AspiringtobethepersonmydogthinksIam

    by FOYI on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:58:09 PM PDT

  •  NY Times-Deconstructimg controversial design (6+ / 0-)
  •  Forbes Status Report @7:34 PM (8+ / 0-)

    Now don't cringe - the guy is getting his update from chief investment officer at JPMorgan Private Bank who I would think is plugged in because of investments and the need there will be for capital to clean up after these disasters:

    Couple of highlights:

    People should not underestimate the impact of water release, radiation and a massive hydrogen explosion on the pumps, valves, electrical instruments and circuit breakers in Units 1, 3 and 4. As a result, the restoration of electricity to Units 5 and 6 (which did not explode) should not be seen as representative of what happens when they turn the electricity back on in units 1, 3 and 4.
    Sustained spraying of spent fuel pools appears to be underway in Units 3 and 4; key uncertainty here is whether either pool will be able to retain water. Amount of steam released suggests that pools do have water
    The issue of the effect on the ground water and ground contamination of the local area around the plant (out to 10-20 miles) will still be a problem for a long time. But it will not be out to 50 miles, except for “biological concentrators”. What does that mean? 30 miles out, it would not be dangerous to come into contact with water with low radioactive iodine concentrations. But a cow that lives there and drinks water with low concentrations of iodine will eventually accumulate and concentrate these materials and become unsafe for consumption. Japan will not be able to farm this area (out to 50 miles) because the food will contain measurable levels of activity.

    Link

    •  There are a couple of problems with this (5+ / 0-)

      First, they don't get their pumps, valves, or electronics from Home Depot and Best Buy.  (Not that I thought that YOU thought that Sue.)  This stuff is generally like military specifications hardware, hardened against physical shock, radiation, and generally nasty environments.  There will surely be some problems, but not necessarily for the reasons mentioned.

      As long as they can make headway in filling the pools then they should be able to keep fuel covered, even if they need to keep pumping in water.  Once they catch up, all they need to do is maintain a net positive or neutral status, pump at least as much in as is going out.  This will need to be continued until they can find a way to seal the leaks or start entombment operations.  It will also be needed to make the work space habitable.  There need to be several feet of water covering the fuel to shield the radiation from workers.

      The iodine concern is NOT a long term concern.  Iodine 131 has a half-life of 8 days.  Once the steam releases are finished there will be no new source for this.  Starting from that day, within 80 days the concentration of radioactive iodine will drop to 0.1% of its original value.  The cow may have some thyroid issues, (not sure they even have thyroids), but its not like the radioactive material will stick around, even in the cow.

      Between dispersal and decay, the iodine is a relatively short-lived problem.  Cesium 137 will be a bigger issue due to its much longer half-life, but it can also be managed.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:13:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for clarifying and explaining (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly, kbman

        Well, JP Morgan may have a stake in Home Depot (smile).

        Seriously though, maybe we should direct that Forbes guy to check out DKos.

      •  How Do You "Manage" Cesium 137? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Drama Queen, neroden

        That shit migrates up the food chain. Do you tell the cows not to eat the grass?

        •  By removing the top few inches of soil (4+ / 0-)

          prior to plowing.  This is what I've read.  You could probably get more complete information from some of the radioactive materials specialists around here, perhaps FishOoW.

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

          by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:29:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yikes! And then what? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kbman, neroden, Wee Mama

            Where would one put the soil.  It seem that as the dispersion decreases in overall volume the disposal costs rise and the uncertainty of consequences become more vague but still hazzardous.  Growing up in the Columbia basin and being a statistical "downwinder" I am ever presently conscious of the potential long term consequences of my childhood vacinity to hazzards.

            •  Hanford is a whole 'nother ball of wax (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, Wee Mama

              The things the government did in the early days of atomic bomb research and development were horrible.  

              As far as  the soil goes, bury it and let it decay.  The concentrations should not be all that high and the half-life is about 30 years.  So in 150 years the radioactivity will be about 3% of the original.  Not a great solution, but better than leaving it in place.

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

              by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:40:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hanford Is The Poster Child ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                ... for the nuclear power industry. They've had many decades to clean up their act, and they obviously haven't done so. Oh, and Hanford? Give it about another 10 or 15 years, and you'll be reading about the Columbia River tragedy.

                They still operate a nuke out there, and the safety regime is a joke.

          •  Thats what they did (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kbman, Wee Mama

            In most of the areas surrounding Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ive been do Hiroshima and that place is one gorgeous city.

            Not every story has a happy ending but Im doing my best to make mine so. Come and take a look at my discussion forum: TheNewCurevents We are looking for new active members!

            by ProgressiveTokyo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:16:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Removing topsoil destroys agricultural land (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, Jake Johnson

              All very well if you're building a city, but it's a disaster from a farming point of view.

              So now the best case scenario for nukes is "throw away the topsoil".  :-(  That should tell us something.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, and How About Pasture Land? (0+ / 0-)

                They'd better think twice about putting these things in cattle country. Could you imagine scraping the top several inches off of the prairie? Cesium 137 "management?" More like Environmental Catastrophe 101. Is that an isotope?

          •  Please Answer My Question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            I asked: "Do you tell the cows not to eat the grass?"

            You don't plow pasture land. Cesium 137 has a 30-year half life. What happens to cattle ranches? And they've detected it in the water. How do you "manage" Cesium 137 after it gets into the water supply?

            •  I like your questions (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              b00g13p0p, kbman, OtherDoug

              and concerns. I'm completely anti-nuke. But at this point, you have gotten so confrontational with such an ugly tone that no one is going to respond. Think of how you can address these horrible and unacceptable issues without resorting to name-calling and come back to fight the good fight another day.

            •  Jake, please go fight somewhere else (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Drama Queen, kalmoth, OtherDoug, Wee Mama

              This is obviously a fucked up situation in Japan.  Nobody is denying that.  There are a LOT of fucked up situations in Japan right now.  And obviously, some of those problems are going to be more difficult to deal with than others.  Quite frankly, I think the Japanese people have far bigger problems right now than the amount of Cs 137 in their water.  SERIOUSLY.

              I specifically requested that the pro-anti nuclear pie fights stay out of the comments here, and yet throughout you have been troll-like in your demands that people adopt your way of looking at things.  I am done replying to your comments, period.  I have tried to be accommodating but you have proven yourself to just be looking for a fight.  It appears that no amount of evidence will ever change your mind about anything you believe.

              Bye.

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

              by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 11:33:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Feeling Is Mutual (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                The issue isn't that you favor nuclear power, or even that (in my view) you are looking for every opportunity to minimize its horrendous risks and costs. This is America, and people will disagree.

                My issue with you is that you have played fast and loose with facts when responding to me, and at other times have outright evaded the question. I don't demand that anyone share my opinions, but I don't think anyone should play around with the facts, as you've done in our conversations.

                Conversational dynamics being what they are, you can appear "reasonable," but (among other things) I hope that someone will remember that, when asked about Cesium 137, you said that all we have to do is scrape off the top few inches of soil. If there's a Hall of Fame for Understated Elegance, that statement would surely qualify, right at the top of the list.

                In any case, it's always good to know just where people are coming from around here. I think we've clarified that.

      •  Cows have thyroids - they're mammals. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman
    •  that's what i've been thinking. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drama Queen, kbman

      they are pushing salt water into piping and pumps
      designed for deionized deminieralized water.

      I'm not sure if the consequences have been worked out.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:14:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a few issues here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, Wee Mama

        First, there are many elements in seawater, a very complex chemistry is going on inside right now.  Given the size of the pumps and piping and such and the pressures they're made to handle, they should have some margin before corrosion becomes a critical issue.  None of these systems will be up near operating pressures ever again so some thinning of walls and such will not be as big a deal as in a reactor at power.  Valve seats and seals are more where I have concerns.  These are spots where even small amounts of corrosion could have an effect.

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

        by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:04:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sodium chloride (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Drama Queen

          that's the problem.

          try to remember every flange, every valve, every regulator,
          every sensor port has been shook hard.

          That Every junction box, controller, switch, relay, thermostat,
          fuse has been shook hard and is getting salt water into
          it.

          the plant is 40 years old, so margins are decayed.

          and all those pumps are facing issues in two phase flow.

          George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

          by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You forget that these components are hardened (0+ / 0-)

            beyond normal industrial standards, more like mil spec.  They were designed, manufactured, and quality assurance tested to withstand very harsh operating environments.  Given that the inside of the drywell often has very high humidity levels, to believe that these components are not made to withstand such conditions is misguided.  During the leak rate testing there were times when the air was so saturated with moisture that it was likely "raining" inside the drywell.  Sure stuff was shook hard, but it was built to handle the shaking.  And aside from the immediate surroundings of the hydrogen explosions, it is highly doubtful that salt water is getting INTO any of the electrical components you mention.  Your assumptions are based on incomplete knowledge.

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

            by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:35:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much for this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, buddabelly

    It was extremely helpful to have a round-up of all the information about Fukushima in one place.

    You can lose the Republic on an installment plan every bit as efficiently as you can with a coup d'etat. Bruce Fein, Censure Hearings, March 31, 2006

    by SadieSue on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:42:49 PM PDT

  •  dude you are misrepresenting the JAIF data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    http://www.jaif.or.jp/...

    JAIF says the reactor at Unit 1 is "Unknown".

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:45:55 PM PDT

    •  wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, kbman, OtherDoug

      That is, you are wrong, diarist is right. "Unknown" refers specifically to containment vessel pressure. They know what kind of reactor is unit 1...

    •  Here is what the IAEA has to say as of today (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      louisev, Lujane, erush1345, OtherDoug, Wee Mama
      Coolant within Unit 1 is covering about half of the fuel rods in the reactor, and Japanese authorities believe the core has been damaged. High pressure within the reactor's containment led operators to vent gas from the containment. Later, an explosion destroyed the outer shell of the reactor building above the containment on 12 March.

      There are no indications of problems with either the reactor pressure vessel or the primary containment vessel.

      In the absence of information explaining their criteria for declaring the status of the reactor vessel as unknown I'll stick with the IAEA.  Here is what we do know, each of the reactor vessels is able to hold pressure.  Were this not the case then the level of the accident would have already become catastrophic.  These reactors are still above the boiling temperature of water at atmospheric pressure.  If there were any issue with the integrity of the vessel then they would be blowing steam out of whatever was leaking and the water level would drop quickly, followed by the rest of the fuel melting.

      Now if their criteria is based on "we can't see inside the reactor", we never could.  Other than pure speculation that something might have happened somewhere that they can't see, what data, what actual facts do they have to suggest that the status of the reactor vessels is unknown?  And I might point out, they say this about units 2 and 3 as well.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:03:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You keep on shilling (2+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, Jake Johnson
        Hidden by:
        emelyn, OtherDoug

        When the Japanese nuclear association says something is bad, I will take that as bad.

        I will take as bad news someone in the fallout cloud vs someone in Switzerland.

        IAEA is not on scene, and has consistently been behind the curve

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:11:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you are spectacularly missing his point (0+ / 0-)


          in your rush to namecall.  There is a fine but very important distinction between damage to fuel and damage to reactor vessels, a distinction that can mean the difference between 3Mile Island (intact reactor vessel) and Chernobyl (exploded reactor vessel).  If you think it doesn't matter then you're revealing your ignorance about nuclear power in a very large way and showing a blatant disregard for reality.

          "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

          by louisev on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:17:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Accusations of shilling require evidence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, Drama Queen

          Your comment is out of line and the rec from neroden is as well.  

          Your opinions don't trump what's so.  Your interpretation of what you are reading is misinformed and you refuse to consider that possibility.  The pressure vessels themselves, the reactors, the big steel things that hold the cores - those are intact, period.  There is no uncertainty on that.  If they were not intact the whole world would know.  TEPCO would not have a choice in the matter.

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

          by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:45:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Building A Strawman? (0+ / 0-)
            Your opinions don't trump what's so.  Your interpretation of what you are reading is misinformed and you refuse to consider that possibility.  The pressure vessels themselves, the reactors, the big steel things that hold the cores - those are intact, period.

            Did nathguy claim that the reactors aren't intact? If not, then you've just done the classic strawman thing here. I haven't seen him make such a claim in this thread, anyway. I checked through the first page of his recent comments and saw no such claim there, either.

            So, kbman, you claim to be big on evidence. Please provide evidence that nathguy has said the reactors aren't intact.

          •  now your'e just lying. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jake Johnson
            The pressure vessels themselves, the reactors, the big steel things that hold the cores - those are intact, period.  There is no uncertainty on that.

            May I direct the neutral observer to my citation of the
            JAIF status page?

            The line that says "Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity"

            The Big Yellow thing that says "Unknown"

            Um, I have demonstrated to the Court that the
            Japanese Nuclear association is very uncertain about
            the reactor status,.  

            So  Are you saying you are smarter then the Industry people in Tokyo?  

            Please,  assert your basis for No Uncertainty when the Japnese industry is very uncertain.

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:25:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Keep digging with the insults and accusations (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kalmoth

              Calling me a liar is WAY out of bounds.  If any of the vessels were breached it would be obvious to the world and no amount of TEPCO stonewalling would be able to hide it.  You are SO certain of your interpretation of that yellow box.  Do you know their criteria for making this evaluation?  Do you even know if their choice of words translating from Japanese was appropriate?  If not then you have no place throwing around words like Lying.  

              My basis for certainty is the fact that there are still workers at the site.  If the pressure vessel itself had lost its integrity that would not be the fact.  There would have immediately been an enormous release of steam energy, an amount dwarfing previous venting amounts.  Radiation levels would have skyrocketed.

              Even the Union of Concerned Scientist's David Lochbaum is of the opinion that situations are improving.  But you are certain that is not so, and the ONLY evidence you have supplied is YOUR interpretation of a yellow box on a summary chart and suppositions of what MIGHT be going on in the plants.

              Argue the facts all you want, but the insults, namecalling, questioning of my honor and integrity, the accusations of shilling and lying are completely beyond what is acceptable in public discourse.  Your behavior has been reported to the administrators.  I've had enough of this shit.

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

              by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:30:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thicken Your Skin & Stick to Facts (0+ / 0-)
              •  so the current headline means nothing? (0+ / 0-)
                3/21 - There were steam releases at reactors #2 and #3 in the afternoon. All 700 workers were evacuated and the work to restore the engines, pumps and electrical power to the plant has been suspended until further notice. Radiation spiked one kilometer west of the facility, rising from 494 microsieverts at 5:40 p.m. to 1,932 at 6:30 p.m. The level dropped to 442 at 8:30 p.m. - WaPo
                My basis for certainty is the fact that there are still workers at the site

                Um?  And you stated in no uncertain terms there was
                no doubts about the Reactor integrity, which the JAIF
                was disputing you.  Sorry, When the JAIF says one thing
                and KBMAN states in absolutes something else, someone is
                lying about the JAIF.

                George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:36:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is not the first steam release (0+ / 0-)

                  nor is it the first time that workers were evacuated from the site.  If the radiation levels had risen and then plateaued your suppositions would have merit.  They did not, they spiked and returned to a level below where they were prior to the release.  This is the same pattern we have seen for the past week or so.  I would suspect they have crews back in place by now, given that the radiation levels have dropped again.  It's just not as newsworthy as story as when they left.

                  And again, your interpretation of that yellow box does not equal what JAIF says.  With no context you have no real understanding of what they mean.  Provide their criteria for making that determination and then we can discuss the facts.  I have repeatedly challenged you to provide this and yet nothing has been forthcoming, just more assumptions that you have an accurate interpretation.  That and more accusations and insults.  Meanwhile your tag team partner Jake has been arguing that you didn't mean what you mean, but he still agrees with you 100%.

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

                  by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:48:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh Come On! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nathguy
                    And again, your interpretation of that yellow box does not equal what JAIF says.

                    So, you have an exclusive pipeline into the mysterious meaning of the document? Oh, and by the way, when it comes to factual errors, you've made your share here.

                    Meanwhile your tag team partner Jake

                    Speaking of baseless suppositions and personal attacks ...

                  •  Here you go (0+ / 0-)
                    And again, your interpretation of that yellow box does not equal what JAIF says.  With no context you have no real understanding of what they mean.  Provide their criteria for making that determination and then we can discuss the facts.

                    世界中の人が地球温暖化防止への想いを形にする国際的なイベント★

                    3月26日(土)午後8:30~午後9:30分までの60分間、明かりを消してください。

                    実施時間は各地の現地時間26日午後8:30から1時間で、自転とともに東から西へ動き、最終的には、地球を一周します。
                    昨年は128カ国・地域の延べ13億人が参加しました。

                    消灯+使っていないコンセントを抜くなどのアクションも大歓迎です。

                    (As you distrust the Japanese translation, I'd suggest
                    you work from the Original Kanji script...)

                    And I can demand the same from you.
                    What is the IAEA basis for making any determinations?

                    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                    by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:01:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  That's Racism, now. (0+ / 0-)
                Do you even know if their choice of words translating from Japanese was appropriate?

                So let's see,  a group of Austrians are clearly more
                accurate at translating japanese to austrian to English
                then a group of japanese are at translating Japanese
                to English.

                Sorry, that's an appeal to racism.

                George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:43:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  BTW - by definition a pressure vessel has lost (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth

          it's integrity when it can no longer hold pressure.  The available evidence simply does not support that conclusion at any of the three reactors.  Any claims of uncertainty they are making with regards to this are pure speculation and nothing more.  Again, not having the context of this evaluation and simply going by the yellow box is rather shallow thinking.  What is their basis for making this claim?  Seawater?  Heat?  Pressure?  Fuel melt?  Precedent?  There are questions about the affects of all of these factors on all of the systems there.  This is acknowledged.  But to claim that the pressure vessel integrity is unknown is sort of like saying she might be pregnant.  She either is or isn't.  The integrity of the pressure vessel at this point in time is being maintained.  This is simply what's so, by definition.

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

          by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:36:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  so those pictures of Rac 3 steaming? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jake Johnson

        are meaningless?

        Maybe you should be hanging out with Ann Coulter.

        Racs 1-3 can be easily blowing steam through the torus, or
        they could be steaming away and the japanese are adding water back in.

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:49:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  rac 3 steam pic (0+ / 0-)

          https:/lh6.googleusercontent.com-6K_OFDHwQRQ/TYOOa_9LTeI/AAAAAAAABhw/hVJpko_5cKA/s1600/reactor+3.jpg

          George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

          by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:50:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What I wrote in the diary RE: unit 3 primary cont (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Drama Queen
          The primary containment at unit 3 was reported to be intact by TEPCO in the aftermath of the hydrogen explosion.  Over the weekend they have admitted that there appears to be damage.  (They should know better than to do this kind of stonewalling.  Very frustrating.)  Based on the events at unit 3 and observations of steam coming from the roof of the secondary containment, it is likely that the damage was to the drywell dome plug.  If  you look at the BWR diagram below you'll see the cross section of the three layers to this seal directly above the dome of the reactor vessel.  The sealing surface is a compressed o-ring which may have been disrupted by the explosion in the space above. This would mean that when they vent steam, any that is not recondensed by the torus - which is a larger amount now because the torus water has become hot over time and less effective at suppression - becomes free steam in the drywell and can escape through this breach in the primary containment.

          How is this in any way inconsistent with what we are seeing?

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

          by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:57:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it can also be an escape through the rac. (0+ / 0-)

            you seem fixated on the idea the racs are perfect.

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:27:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reactor is obviously the ultimate source (0+ / 0-)

              the question is what path did it take ...  If any of the reactors were no longer able to hold pressure then there would be an extreme situation that developed quite quickly.  Their water inventory would quickly boil off, radiation levels would go through the roof anywhere the new plume traveled, and reactor meltdown would be imminent.

              Since none of these conditions appear to exist at this time I find your speculation to be misinformed.  I'm not fixated on the idea that the reactors are perfect, just on the idea that theories and speculation should have at least some passing acquaintance with known facts and and the laws of physics.

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

              by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:41:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  they are pumping water like mad (0+ / 0-)

                in so the boil off, is probably happening.

                the cooling loops are down, so it's not like they are running
                condenate back,

                the rac pressure seems low, and containment in rac 3
                is showing pressure.

                Rac 2 has a cracked primary containment so any leakage
                could be blowing through the torus and into ground water.

                and the rac doesn't have to be split badly, just leaking around some flanges to be in failure.

                George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:01:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are getting this information from where? (0+ / 0-)

                  Here is the current take on things from David Lochbaum with UCS, hardly a pro-industry source ...

                  fromMother Jones

                  At the Fukushima nuclear plant the situation is still very serious but technicians have made some progress. David Lochbaum, Director of Union of Concerned Scientist’s (NCS) Nuclear Safety project is providing daily updates on the nuclear emergency. He said a power line that was run to the site on Friday started a slow process of restoring a cooling system to Units 1 and 2.  He said at the spent fuel pools at Units 3, 4, 5 and 6 the situation was improving across the board:

                  “Units 3 and 4, efforts over the weekend to get water back into the spent fuel pools largely succeeded the radiation levels have gone down.  There are indications that water in those pools has been restored and the temperatures have stabilized whereas before they were heading upwards.  Those conditions on 3 and 4, the spent fuel pools have been much better than they were just a few days ago.   On Units 5 and 7, the spent fuel pools, the cooling systems  have been re-energized, they’re running, the temperatures have nominally decreased but there are now plenty of margin available that wasn’t there just last week.”

                  But Lochbaum said there were still concerns about the smoke today at Unit 3 that caused an evacuation.

                  There could be any number of reasons for the smoke.  Just as with some earlier incidents, jumping to conclusions based on some observed symptom is not helpful.

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

                  by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:35:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  On Units 5 and 7, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jake Johnson

                    Um given there are only 6 units at Daiichi,
                    i would have thought, the Typo Cop
                    KBMAN would be all over Lochbaum.

                    but hey any inaccurate source who supports your position.

                    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                    by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:40:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  seawater spray continuing.. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jake Johnson

                    according to the JAIF reports,  but, you discount them
                    as invalid and worthless and are making fairly racist
                    attacks on them.

                    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                    by nathguy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:42:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your continued attacks are simply a sign of your (0+ / 0-)

                      ideological bias.

                      Go to the second page of the JAIF PDF.  It lists the parameters in the table and gives the pieces of data which are used to evaluate them.  For "Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity" it lists "Water Level of the Reactor Pressure Vessel" and "Pressure of the Reactor Pressure Vessel".  

                      Now, go to page three and look at the pressure readings.  The reading for unit 1 is exceptionally low, and the readings for units 2 and 3 are negative.  In other words, the pressure readings are not reliable at this time.  We know this because we know that there is in fact still boiling in the reactors and pressure build up is a problem.  They certainly aren't pulling a vacuum in units 2 or 3.

                      Bottom line, kalmoth had it exactly right.  All that yellow box means is that the pressure is not known.

                      Ready to stop calling me a liar yet?

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

                      by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:28:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Pot, Meet Kettle! (0+ / 0-)

                        Ideological bias? Oh really!

                      •  Thank you for reading the jaif data (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Jake Johnson

                        Integrity breach and negative gauge pressure are correlated.

                        The gauges may be PSIA not PSIG and if primary was raised due to earlier venting,  then PSIA can go negative, then rising trend line can be either boiling or bleed in.

                        If you ever lived in tornado country you would know gauges and fluid systems get weird when  the pressure rapidly changes.

                        If we had a leak of short lived material into primary and it's boiling, while colder water is being pumped into the rac, neg pressure could be seen...  Depends upon rates.....

                        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                        by nathguy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:43:03 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  you have never read a gauge. (0+ / 0-)

                        I looked at your citation.

                        Interesting.  Rac 2 is reading -0.018MPa and Rac 3 is
                        reading -0.01MPa....

                        So thats minus 18,000 Pa.  Sounds like a whole lot?

                        Is that what you claim as "Meaningless"?

                        Here's the answer...

                        In Small Words because obviously you have trouble with complex ideas.

                        In the world of reality, engineering systems have Error in them.  You can call it noise, uncertainty, slop, limits to knowledge or Error.

                        Pressure gauges are part of that error.

                        http://www.wwdmag.com/...

                        Before selecting a pressure gauge for its accuracy, WWD readers need to first understand what accuracy means in a mechanical pressure gauge. Accuracy is the conformity of a pressure gauge reading to an accepted standard, e.g., deadweight tester. Inaccuracy is the difference (error) between the true value and the indication expressed as a percent of the span. Total accuracy error includes hysteresis and repeatability errors.

                        It is important to know that accuracy is not a percentage of the gauge reading. For a mechanical pressure gauge, accuracy is a percentage of the full range, full scale, or span of the gauge. For example, if a 0-100 psi pressure gauge with an ASME Grade 1A 1.0% full-scale accuracy is being used, one can expect a maximum tolerance of ±1 psi anywhere within the entire scale of the gauge. Another example of accuracy that is sometimes confusing is a range like 30-in. hgvac/0/30 psi. This is a compound scale, and there is a tolerance in the vacuum and pressure portions of this range. Let’s presume the requirement is for an ASME grade 2A accuracy, which is ±0.5% full scale. To calculate the tolerance or inaccuracy, multiply the accuracy--0.5% or 0.005--times the full scale range, which consists of the vacuum and pressure portions of the range; in this case, 30-in. hgvac (equal to 15 psi) + 30 psi = 45 psi. The calculation to determine accuracy is 0.005 x 45 psi = ±0.225 psi. This is the maximum allowable tolerance anywhere throughout the entire full range. To take the calculation one step further, in order to define tolerance in proper units of measurement, on the vacuum side of the range 0.225 psi is equal to 0.458-in. hg.

                        okay?  

                        So lets take those numbers,  -18,000 Pascals and convert
                        them to English units.  That's -2 PSI.  

                        Now, that's a very interesting number.  Most mechanical gaugues are 0-X where X is a large number.  Here they
                        are reading negative which says to me these are most likely Pressure/Vacuum gauges.  

                        That means they use these gauges to test Pressure and vacuum.  YOu pull a vacuum to make sure you have no
                        gas leaks, then you push pressure to make sure you have no pressure leaks.  

                        now a BWR reactor runs about 1000 PSI,  so figure the
                        gauge is ranged for 1500 PSI.  Lets assume you do a vacuum test, so you pull -14 PSIa so the gauge is ranged for -15 PSI.

                        So figure a range of 1515 PSI.  Let's say it's a very good gauge and good for 0.1%.(Cheap gauges are +/- 10%, good gauges are 1%, High end gauges are 0.1%)

                        So that gauge could be off by 1.5 PSI  No sweat.

                        So, what you are ranting about as "NEGATIVE DATA"
                        looks to me as Reading Zip. within the error bars.

                        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                        by nathguy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Your quibbling is noted (0+ / 0-)

                          I was pointing out that the gauges are not operating.  The comment about pulling a vacuum was sarcastic, not meant to be a technical evaluation.  You have repeatedly gone out of your way to misconstrue what I've written.  You are quite fortunate that Meteor Blades is no longer enforcing community standards here.  It this clear enough?  Or should I use smaller words?

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

                          by kbman on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:33:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Use smaller words (0+ / 0-)

                            He can't tell the difference betweenthe bird flue and the plague.

                            is this the formula for a Massive outbreak of plague?

                            Oh yeah, 10,000 bodies washing up around japan.

                            Something about a nuclear reactor which the radiation also causes immunosuppression?

                            we may have to stop all flights out of japan


                          •  you lack a dictionary Plublius? (0+ / 0-)

                            from the Web Dictionary..

                            Definitions of plague on the Web:

                                a serious (sometimes fatal) infection of rodents caused by Yersinia pestis and accidentally transmitted to humans by the bite of a flea that has bitten an infected animal
                               any epidemic disease with a high death rate

                            Thank you for playing...  

                            Let me know when you wish a truck load of epic fail
                            delivered....

                            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                            by nathguy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:02:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  [Yawn] (0+ / 0-)

                            ....... ugh? Someone say something.

                            Oh, yea, you mentioned THE PLAGUE!!!!! AHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh.  I better call everyone I know in Japan to run, run run to the hiiiiiiiilllls.

                            Thanks for the laugh.  You are funny.

                          •  Your mom says dinner is ready (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plubius

                            Put on some clean pajamas and join her.

                            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                            by nathguy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:59:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so now the gauges aren't operating? (0+ / 0-)

                            So how do you know the Reactors in 1 and 2 are maintaining integrity?

                            Those gauges are awfully tough.  if they aren't reading,
                            it's more likely the reactor is broken, then the
                            gauge is broken.

                            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                            by nathguy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:00:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  There Have Been 3 Partial Meltdowns (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PreciousLittle
    •  BTW - here is what I wrote about each reactor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drama Queen
      Unit 1:

      The reactor vessel and associated piping appear to be fully intact.  Were this not so the reactor would not be able to retain the water being added and there would be unexplained pressure drops.

      Unit 2:

      The reactor vessel and associated piping seem to be intact here as well.  There was a brief time when they had trouble maintaining water level increases but that was apparently resolved as a valving issue.

      Unit 3

      The reactor vessel and associated systems appear to be intact and reactor water level is able to be maintained.

      Please explain exactly where I am wrong here ...

      Are the reactor vessels intact or are they not?

      If they are not, please explain how you know this other than by your interpretations of a yellow block on a chart.

      You are confusing their concerns about the status of the construction materials with an assessment of the system itself.

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

      by kbman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:17:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't the $64,000 question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, kbman, PreciousLittle

    whether and when they can get the pumps working again, since this isn't a matter of getting water there temporarily, it's a matter of getting water there temporarily--til they can get the pumps working again.

    So--what's that prognosis?

    And what if they can't?

    The last I heard was the Japanese hoped to get power going to No 2 on Sat.  I never heard if that happened, let alone, if the pumps worked, let alone, how long to get pumping at 5 other plants?

    •  This is all the same big issue in a way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      From what I understand they have set up a power hub at unit 2 from which to power the other 5 units.  There are many connections that need to be confirmed before power can flow, and various inspections and tests they need to perform before trying to bring pumps online.  The hub allows them to manage this while still sending power to the units that are ready for it.

      As I mention elsewhere, unit 3 has the most damage and the highest likelihood of equipment problems as a result.  But still, there are redundant copies of most safety related systems which are located in independent locations, the idea being that if one is damaged hopefully the other was not.  This is also part of why the lower areas of the reactor building are highly compartmentalized, to limit the damage if there was a problem in a given location.  

      The first piece of good news in this regard was the use of the fuel pool water delivery system at unit 2 after getting power restored.  Hopefully more news of pumps running and systems cooling will greet us tomorrow morning.  Also, there may be more that has happened in the past several hours as I've been responding to comments here.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:07:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped, redded, and thank you n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly, kbman, ProgressiveTokyo
  •  The ugly has gotten better (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Lujane, Wee Mama

    Still bad but better.

    I am so happy!

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:27:42 PM PDT

  •  Can Reaction 1 SFP catch fire? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Lujane

    With the roof laying on top of the pool is it able to get enough oxygen to burn?  

    http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf From Dictatorship to Democracy, Guide to Non Violent Protests. Because your sig should include a link that will get it banned in China.

    by sdelear on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:45:22 PM PDT

    •  It's nowhere near an airtight cover (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, erush1345

      Remember, the roof's steel I-beam superstructure is sandwiched between the roof panels and the refuel floor.  This would provide plenty of air flow.  It is also quite likely that this was one of the key spots they used thermal imaging to investigate.  If the temperature indicated an imminent threat then I suspect there would be more priority given to that issue.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:34:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman

    You write this stuff in such a better manner than I can.  I salute your abilities!

    Thanks for a good diary on the issue.

    "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

    by erush1345 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:08:13 PM PDT

  •  This question will reveal my ignorance, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Drama Queen, neroden, Wee Mama

    but here it is: My understanding is that many of the problems exist because the loss of power has prevented the fuel rods from being cooled.  So it's ironic that at the same time that loss of power is an issue, the fuel rods themselves are giving off so much heat/energy.  Would it be at all possible - for the future, maybe - to design a system that would use this unwanted energy to power its own cooling in the case of emergency?  Like a thermostat - which will keep conditions at a more or less stable level through negative feedback?

    •  from my oh-so-brief (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345, kbman, neroden


      readings through the description of the nuclear reactor design, the reactor produces energy through powering steam turbines.  Those turbines do in fact run some of the recirculation systems within the power plant itself, so yes, there is some cooling mechanism that is being directly powered by the reactors - however, keep in mind that the first task to accomplish in a state of emergency is SHUT DOWN THE REACTORS.

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:23:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I understand it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille, neroden

      ...the very first thing that happened (and I think I've seen the word "automatically") was that the reactors were shut down.

      Thus the electricity that they would otherwise produce goes off-line.

      I suspect that what happened here was not even engineering hubris: "We don't need to solve for that problem since it will never happen." so much as not working far enough down the chain of possible scenarios*:

      1) earthquake

      2) reactor shutdown leads to loss of power; emergency (diesel) power cuts in

      3) tsunami

      4) tsunami leads to loss of emergency power (and not all tsunami might do this) and battery power cuts in

      5) battery backup to cover for the loss of the emergency power dies because conditions are so horrible that no one can can get the system off batteries quickly enough

      They thought through several levels, but in the real world, shit happens, as they say.

      - bp

      * I think this is the basic sequence. It's been a while...

      "I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

      by b00g13p0p on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:40:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's been my read as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        b00g13p0p

        There's no immediate evidence (to my non-scientific mind) that corners were badly cut, but there will definitely be post-resolution discussions about just how many simultaneous risks you can possibly think to account for.  

        "What Washington needs is adult supervision" - Barack Obama

        by auron renouille on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:52:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's See ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, Drama Queen, PreciousLittle

          1. Unsafe reactor design in several dimensions

          2. Japanese repeatedly warned about it

          3. Locate backup generators within reach of a tsunami, when Japan has a long history of them

          4. Utility repeatedly cited for non compliance with safety regulations

          This kind of shit happens to careless people and corrupt institutions. I'm really not sure human beings can be trusted with nuclear reactors.

          •  The reactor design was warned about in the 70s (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Drama Queen, Jake Johnson

            GE engineers resigned in protest because it was such an unsafe design.

            They built it anyway.

            I agree with Jake that humans can't generally be trusted with nuclear reactors.  It may be worth the risk to have a few for generating radioisotopes for medical applications and possibly physics research, but I doubt the world can staff more than about 5 with competent, responsible people.

            Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

            by neroden on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:22:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  They have them at these reactors (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drama Queen, think blue, neroden, Wee Mama

      In the early hours after the earthquake the plant operators kicked in the emergency cooling turbine system which runs on reactor steam.  I believe the reason they had to stop using it was because, while it runs the pump that carries the condensate back to the reactor and possibly some of the recirculation pumps, it did not provide electrical power for control functions.  This power still had to come from diesel, batteries, or preferably off-site power.  Once the batteries crapped out they no longer had control and presumably had to shut down this turbine.  

      It is generally not a good idea to leave a turbine flying without having operational control.  Energy always needs to go somewhere, and without that control the possibility exists of causing damage somewhere in the system.  Not a good risk in an already compromised situation.  It is for this reason that you don't use the output of a specific turbine to control itself.  Too much room for trouble if there is a problem.

      The same emergency turbine system failed at one of the reactors at the Daini site due to problems the tsunami had caused with its cooling water intake.  

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:55:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BTW - excellent question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      think blue

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

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

      by kbman on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:57:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Monday update from Japanese Newspaper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Drama Queen, Wee Mama

    From The Mainichi Daily News

    Work proceeds to lay power cables for final 2 Fukushima reactors

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. proceeded Monday with work to lay power cables to the two remaining reactors still without electricity at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after fire trucks sprayed water earlier in the day to help cool fuel pools at two other reactors.

    External power reached the power-receiving facilities of the No. 2 and No. 5 reactors on Sunday, paving the way for the plant operator to restore their systems to monitor radiation and other data, light the control rooms and cool down the reactors and their spent-fuel storage pools.

    But it may take a few more days before the vital cooling system is restored at the No. 2 reactor, whose containment vessel suffered damage in its pressure-suppression chamber, as some parts replacements are needed in the electrical system, according to the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

    Earlier Monday, Self-Defense Forces fire trucks sprayed water at the No. 4 reactor's spent-fuel pool for the second day, after firefighters poured water at the No. 3 unit, dousing it with over 3,700 tons of water in total since the unprecedented effort to lower the temperature in its fuel tank from outside its damaged building began Thursday.

  •  Hey KB (6+ / 0-)

    I just thought you should know that TEPCO announced on NHK this morning that they will be entombing reactors 1-4 after the cleanup is finished. I havent seen a English language source for you yet, but you should be on the look out.

    Thanks for all these diaries. They are a great comfort and source of legitimate information without the hyperbole.

    Just the facts!

    Not every story has a happy ending but Im doing my best to make mine so. Come and take a look at my discussion forum: TheNewCurevents We are looking for new active members!

    by ProgressiveTokyo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:57:43 PM PDT

  •  OFFERED WITHOUT COMMENT ::: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drama Queen, PreciousLittle

    Nuclear industry expertise can be summarized with such as this from Thirty years after TMI: Five lessons learned
    By Larry Foulke:

    The consequences of a nuclear accident were less than we thought. A postulated "worst accident" happened--the TMI-2 core melted. Yet, there was no "China syndrome." And in spite of operator errors, there weren't thousands of casualties. Similarly, the casualties from Chernobyl were largely limited in number to first responders and, except for seldom fatal thyroid cancers, far lower than what was predicted. While these lessons have been learned, we must not return to pre-TMI complacency.

    HERE

    Against which the public health experts go out and check on-the-ground disease experience:

    "At least 500,000 people - perhaps more - have already died out of the 2 million people who were officially classed as victims of Chernobyl in Ukraine," said Nikolai Omelyanets, deputy head of the National Commission for Radiation Protection in Ukraine. "[Studies show] that 34,499 people who took part in the clean-up of Chernobyl have died in the years since the catastrophe. The deaths of these people from cancers was nearly three times as high as in the rest of the population.

    "We have found that infant mortality increased 20% to 30% because of chronic exposure to radiation after the accident. All this information has been ignored by the IAEA and WHO. We sent it to them in March last year and again in June. They've not said why they haven't accepted it."

    Evgenia Stepanova, of the Ukrainian government's Scientific Centre for Radiation Medicine, said: "We're overwhelmed by thyroid cancers, leukaemias and genetic mutations that are not recorded in the WHO data and which were practically unknown 20 years ago."

    The IAEA and WHO, however, say that apart from an increase in thyroid cancer in children there is no evidence of a large-scale impact on public health. "No increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality that could be associated with radiation exposure have been observed," said the agencies' report in September.

    In the Rivne region of Ukraine, 310 miles west of Chernobyl, doctors say they are coming across an unusual rate of cancers and mutations. "In the 30 hospitals of our region we find that up to 30% of people who were in highly radiated areas have physical disorders, including heart and blood diseases, cancers and respiratory diseases. Nearly one in three of all the newborn babies have deformities, mostly internal," said Alexander Vewremchuk, of the Special Hospital for the Radiological Protection of the Population in Vilne.

    HERE

    50 vs. 50,000 vs. 500,000.

    IAEA and the U.N. declined to comment on the newborns with deformities.

    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 07:38:54 AM PDT

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