Nuclear meltdown in Japan reactor?

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Mini 14, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    They have completely lost the cooling towers. Unable to stop the heating now.

    Evacuated to a radius of 10 miles, and expanding as fast as they can.

    It isn't good.
     
  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    They are probably having a water leak, not a meltdown. Water is only used for heat exchange, not for reactor control

    That said, a major water leak from one of those places is not a good thing. The water from one of these places is very poisonous.

    on edit.
    OOops, a couple random facts got in the way here.

    They still need to use water to cool down the cores after they have been shut off. the process generates a lot of heat so they still need to carry that heat away to keep the cores safe.

    Also, the storage area needs to have continually circulation water or it boils off, and the water isn't circulating, as the pumps are off.

    So things aren't going very well over there.

    That said, this is nothing like Chernobyl. And they will be doing their best to get power back to the place to keep the pumps moving water until things stabilize.

    Most of the news I see on this is from usual freaks being freaky. People in the know are busy
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  3. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    I don't know. The latest reports make it sound as if the Japanese know something bad is happening and they are not going to be able to stop it.

    I don't know anything about nuclear reaction, but the tension is definitely spreading as they continue to be unable to solve whatever the problem is. They are talking now of evacuating to a 50 mile radius?
     
  4. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    From what was said on NPR, the back up generators to cool the reactor failed and they only have between five and eight hours of back up batteries.

    :(
     
  5. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    Sounds like what I heard too, they cannot control the heating, and they've lost power to the cooling systems.
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Japan earthquake: nuclear disaster fears as reactor overheats - Telegraph
    Prime minister Naoto Kan declared a nuclear emergency as his trade minister admitted that a radiation leak might occur at the Fukushima power plant.

    The reactor’s cooling system failed after the 8.9-magnitude tremor hit northern Japan at 2.46pm local time. Pressure in the reactor was continuing to rise after repeated efforts to return power to the cooling systems failed. Radiation inside the plant soared to 1,000 times its normal level, officials said, triggering evacuation orders for about 3,000 residents as the government declared its first-ever state of emergency at a nuclear plant.

    Reports were also emerging of a second atomic plant in the earthquake-hit area experiencing reactor cooling problems.
     
  7. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Threat of Nuclear Disaster in Japan | Accuracy.Org

    AP is reporting: “Japan ordered thousands of residents near a northeastern nuclear power plant to evacuate today following a massive earthquake that caused a problem in the plant’s cooling system.”

    KEVIN KAMPS
    Kamps is a specialist in nuclear waste at Beyond Nuclear. Last year he was in Japan assessing the state of nuclear facilities there. He said today: “The electrical grid is down. The emergency diesel generators have been damaged. The multi-reactor Fukushima atomic power plant is now relying on battery power, which will only last around eight hours. The danger is, the very thermally hot reactor cores at the plant must be continuously cooled for 24 to 48 hours. Without any electricity, the pumps won’t be able to pump water through the hot reactor cores to cool them. Once electricity is lost, the irradiated nuclear fuel could begin to melt down. If the containment systems fail, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur.

    “In addition to the reactor cores, the storage pool for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel is also at risk. The pool cooling water must be continuously circulated. Without circulation, the still thermally hot irradiated nuclear fuel in the storage pools will begin to boil off the cooling water. Within a day or two, the pool’s water could completely boil away. Without cooling water, the irradiated nuclear fuel could spontaneously combust in an exothermic reaction. Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.”
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Just heard on the news that they have declared a nuclear emergency on five reactors in two locations.
     
  9. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    The need some good old reliable generators powered by petrochemicals --shocker.
     
  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    14,000 evacuated now, situation seems to be getting worse.
     

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