Japan Nuclear Agency To Brief Press At 8:00pm ET
Fission has to be occurring because the meltdown of the rods would have decimated the way that control rods were intended to stop the fission process for shutdown. There are 80 – 90 tonnes of fuel rods per reactor and then up to 5-6 times that amount of spent fuel rods in the cooling pools within the containment facilities per reactor – times four near one another and two more nearby.
The fuel rods melted to some extent – the design which ensured fission would stop using the system of the control rods is totally compromised and would not be able to operate under these circumstances.
Whoever’s opinion it was earlier on the news today that came from the nuclear industry that these plants were safe by virtue of the system in place using the control rods for cold shutdown – did not account for the fact that meltdowns within the rudimentary cooling pools and containment vessels – already has occurred – one two days ago with unprotected, uncooled fuel rods exposed to the air for some period of hours – then the other two reactors nearby had the same problems and were left uncovered for a certain period of time which did definitely melt some of the fuel rods within the system.
Fission would have to be occurring consequently.
And – is our nuclear industry really saying to us that they can’t be bothered to make sure that back-up generators are placed above where water damage or other natural disaster’s affects might reach them? Are they really saying through their industry lobbyists that they don’t want to take a look at that one thing and maybe change to a better location some additional back-up power generators and safety systems where they might be needed in our nuclear power plants? Surely not.
It is a reasonable request.
Extending the timeliness of reactions to an event, a demand for transparency and truthfulness when an event occurs and making an extended range of evacuation areas to a genuinely safer range – like 50 miles instead of three – seem like perfectly reasonable requests of an industry that can damage everything around them. It is also reasonable that in older plants where the backup generators are required – that these not be at sea level or in the basement or next to a river’s flood plain. And, if they are – that more back-up generators be put in place for the facilities in the US and around the world – which are better protected from damage.
At the very least – that can be done for every existing plant.
Official: Spent fuel rods exposed, heightening concerns
“What we believe at this time is that there has been a hydrogen explosion in this unit due to an uncovering of the fuel in the fuel pool,” Gregory Jaczko told a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing. “We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool, and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.”
The water served to both cool the uranium fuel and shield it. But once the uranium fuel was no longer covered by water, its zirconium cladding that encases the fuel rods heated, generating hydrogen, said Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former official with the Department of Energy. (etc.)
Reuters_Science Reuters Science News
Japan nuclear crisis escalates
EU expert says Fukushima is out of control as UK and France advise their citizens to leave Tokyo because of radiation fears
Conflicting reports from the damaged nuclear plant have deepened alarm over Japan’s management of the crisis, leading to charges that the authorities are actually making the situation worse.
My Note –
On NHK just now as some of the video from the plant are (probably being replayed) – the waves of heat from the plant are still visible. – I checked last night and the air temp in Celsius for Fukushima was minus 2 and the windchill at minus 8 – there is no way that this much heat could have been emanating from the plant which has been caught from the video cameras if there was little or no problem at the times they said that. Even without smoke – there should not be enough heat to be visible in that way.
On CNNI just now (8.49 pm EDT), the Japanese Prime Minister’s spokesman has been speaking by phone interview, when asked Noriyuki Shikata – Japanese Government Spokesman said that people in Japan are not reacting in the way the anchor said – by leaving – which has been reported in numerous places. He also continues to insist that there are not high readings of radiation despite them being recorded by other nations and appearing in numerous places – he also insists that there is no danger to public health.
Okay – now either he is lying or he doesn’t know. I think it is very unlikely that he would not know. There are videos from the airports showing people leaving – both other nationalities and Japanese citizens. He literally just said it isn’t happening –
Reuters_Science Reuters Science News
Radiation plume could reach Tokyo: U.S. scientists http://dlvr.it/KWCQb
The helicopters had been dumping water – which is pitiful little compared to the magnitude of the problem. Then, they had to stop because of the radiation levels and then now – CNNI is showing (from HNK) pictures of the helicopters dumping water again. I think that might be a picture / video from yesterday Japan time.
But literally in those video clips, the wiggling waves of heat can be seen – especially in the entire areas of the reactors.
Showing some of these video clips of the plant right now.
Also from the Guardian article above about the Japan nuclear crisis escalating –
Yuli Andreyev, former head of the agency tasked with cleaning up after Chernobyl, told the Guardian that the Japanese had failed to grasp the scale of the disaster. He also said the authorities had to be willing to sacrifice nuclear response workers for the good of the greater public, and should not only be deploying a skeleton staff. “They don’t know what to do,” he said. “The personnel have been removed and those that remain are stretched.”
International Atomic Energy Agency –
from this page
Aside from other things on the list – and the amount of money they get –
2 liaison offices (in New York and Geneva) and 2 safeguards regional offices (in Tokyo and Toronto).
171 States with safeguards agreements in force involving 1983 safeguards inspections performed in 2009. Safeguards expenditures in 2009 amounted to €104.2 million in regular budget and €13.1 million in extrabudgetary resources.
My Note –
And they never thought that having the backup generators at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in the basement at a facility which sits at sea level could be a problem? Why didn’t they just put it in the hill behind the plant?
snblogs Science News Blogs
Science & the Public: Radiation: Japan’s third crisis: Japan’s leaders formally told the public that some releas… http://bit.ly/hWWdqK
Its already too late.
In reactor 5 the water is lowering and the pressure rising – reactor 3 – same thing. both reported on HNK and CNNI just now
The helicopter drops had to be stopped but there were only four made and only one hit it anyway.
Apparently the private company TEPCO has been giving the Japan government all the information they are working with for public dissemination. It is screwed – they need to get everybody out of at least a 50 mile radius of that plant – it is unstable and out of control.
The plant is hot and it is way past being brought into control.
That is a fact – the control rods cannot possibly be working correctly because the meltdowns and explosions have already occurred. The fuel rods have been exposed for quite some time in every single one of them for different periods. That means the interaction between the fuel rods will happen as fission continues between them uninterrupted. That’s what happens when they melt together to any extent.
A couple days ago – Asia One reported that the 4-meter long rods in one of the reactors had 2.95 meters of them exposed for a number of hours. Even a number of minutes is too long for that much of the rods’ length to be out of the cooling water solution. And, that was two days ago.
10,000 degrees at the bottom of these reactors and fuel rod pools – just mentioned on CNN – nobody has analyzed for that scenario. Oh yes they have somewhere. And, it isn’t good.
International Atomic Energy Agency – (IAEA)
Site Map –
Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume
Published: March 16, 2011
The United Nations agency has also detected radiation from the stricken reactor complex at its detector station in Gunma, Japan, which lies about 130 miles to the southwest.
On Wednesday, the agency declined to release its Japanese forecast, which The New York Times obtained from other sources. The forecast was distributed widely to the agency’s member states.
A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.
Health and nuclear experts emphasize that radiation in the plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States, even if hints of it are ultimately detectable.
But it is not fair nor truthful to say it wouldn’t spread at all. And, these radioactive isotopes are not the same as those in the background radiation of the environment, not the same as a chest x-ray and the half-life is not only a few minutes. As I said before – no one stands in an x-ray machine for three days, three weeks or three years of continuous exposure for one thing and the exposure is cumulative.
Whether it is going to travel across the ocean in a plume is probably less of concern than the other things that can happen long before that – some of which have already happened by the spreading of contaminants over the past four days – and ongoing today.
(my note – cricketdiane)
cnnbrk CNN Breaking News
13 minutes ago
(outside a 50-mile radius from the plant)
BreakingNews Breaking News
UK embassy advises against travel to Tokyo and NE Japan; echos US 80K evacuation recommendation – UK govt http://bit.ly/eeqXKh
midnight – 03-17-11 (EDT)
FLASH: U.S. State Department says bringing in chartered aircraft to Tokyo to help Americans exit Japan
My Note –
Japan has been making phenomenal efforts to help around the world every time there has been a disaster. Anyone can see the phenomenal efforts they have made in this situation to get evacuation centers open, rescue survivors and help throughout the affected areas of their country. However, this is a situation that is massive – it is overwhelming to all preparations that had been made.
It is compounded by the number of areas devastated and the greater degree of devastation than any planning could consider. And, the nuclear plant dangers have added to this. I wish the sense of shame would be gone – there is no shame in realizing that this disaster has simply reached beyond what anyone or anything alone could successfully meet. The nuclear power plant has multiple unexpected worst case scenarios that are occurring. It may take what teams of specialists from around the world can do together in order to successfully approach those challenges in a timely way.
We can all see how substantial and noble are the efforts of the entire Japanese government and all of her people that have been affected by this tremendous event. Please let the rest of the world help in every way possible just as Japan has always been the first to help whenever other places in the world have had terrible things happen. There is no shame in reaching hand to hand around the world as one world to present ourselves together to meet this challenge.
The World Association of Nuclear Operators
State Dept., Pentagon offer to evacuate family members from Tokyo
IAEA Nuclear Safety and Security group
My Note –
Got to wondering if the thermal imaging satellites would pick up the heat signature at the Daiichi plant and the Daini plant (the second – Daini was supposedly cooled down on March 15 – but the Emperor Akihito insisted that an evacuation zone around Daini would be done as well. So, knowing that they couldn’t lie to him – – –
I got to thinking about what one of the reports said in mentioning that the temperature below the reactor was supposedly around 10,000 degrees – well, maybe, maybe not. But, there is certainly heat coming off that plant – across all the buildings of the complex at Daiichi – so wonder if the thermal images from satellites are showing it?
There are satellites picking up surface temperatures of the ocean, aerosols in the air – surface heights of waves in the ocean – among other things . . .
the link above is for the European satellite earth observations Envisat.
the one below is for land coverage changes –
The GLCF is a center for land cover science with a focus on research using remotely sensed satellite data and products to assess land cover change for local to global systems.
Nice – but not really what I wanted to find right this minute – must be a NOAA thing that I want to see.
BBCWorld BBC Global News
Foreign Office says British nationals in #Tokyo and further north should consider leaving; it is chartering flights – details on FCO website
Bloomberg reported at 1.05 am that Britain, Norway, Germany, Norway (and it might have been France too) along with the US are working to get their citizens and diplomatic families out of Japan –
Reuters Reuters Top News
FLASH: China urges Japan to quickly and accurately report on crisis developments
And, important question and answers with military commander on NHK just now.
Either there is still smoke swirling out from the Reactor No.3 (kind of low and grey swirls in the middle of the video picture) right now or else that video is from some other time – but it looks current.
from IAEA – about the Fukushima Plant –
Injuries or Contamination at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
Based on a press release from the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary dated 16 March 2011, the IAEA can confirm the following information about human injuries or contamination at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
- 2 TEPCO employees have minor injuries
- 2 subcontractor employees are injured, one person suffered broken legs and one person whose condition is unknown was transported to the hospital
- 2 people are missing
- 2 people were ‘suddenly taken ill’
- 2 TEPCO employees were transported to hospital during the time of donning respiratory protection in the control centre
- 4 people (2 TEPCO employees, 2 subcontractor employees) sustained minor injuries due to the explosion at unit 1 on 11 March and were transported to the hospital
- 11 people (4 TEPCO employees, 3 subcontractor employees and 4 Japanese civil defense workers) were injured due to the explosion at unit 3 on 14 March
- 17 people (9 TEPCO employees, 8 subcontractor employees) suffered from deposition of radioactive material to their faces, but were not taken to the hospital because of low levels of exposure
- One worker suffered from significant exposure during ‘vent work,’ and was transported to an offsite center
- 2 policemen who were exposed to radiation were decontaminated
- Firemen who were exposed to radiation are under investigation
The IAEA continues to seek information from Japanese authorities about all aspects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Japanese Earthquake Update (16 March 22:00 UTC)
Temperature of Spent Fuel Pools at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
Spent fuel that has been removed from a nuclear reactor generates intense heat and is typically stored in a water-filled spent fuel pool to cool it and provide protection from its radioactivity. Water in a spent fuel pool is continuously cooled to remove heat produced by spent fuel assemblies. According to IAEA experts, a typical spent fuel pool temperature is kept below 25 ˚C under normal operating conditions. The temperature of a spent fuel pool is maintained by constant cooling, which requires a constant power source.
Given the intense heat and radiation that spent fuel assemblies can generate, spent fuel pools must be constantly checked for water level and temperature. If fuel is no longer covered by water or temperatures reach a boiling point, fuel can become exposed and create a risk of radioactive release. The concern about the spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi is that sources of power to cool the pools may have been compromised.
The IAEA can confirm the following information regarding the temperatures of the spent nuclear fuel pools at Units 4, 5 and 6 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant:
|14 March, 10:08 UTC:||84 ˚C|
|15 March, 10:00 UTC:||84 ˚C|
|16 March, 05:00 UTC:||no data|
|14 March, 10:08 UTC:||59.7 ˚C|
|15 March, 10:00 UTC:||60.4 ˚C|
|16 March, 05:00 UTC:||62.7 ˚C|
|14 March, 10:08 UTC:||58.0 ˚C|
|15 March, 10:00 UTC:||58.5 ˚C|
|16 March, 05:00 UTC:||60.0 ˚C|
The IAEA is continuing to seek further information about the water levels, temperature and condition of all spent fuel pool facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
(Obviously doesn’t include Reactor No.s 1,2, and 3 which have had significant problems and it is Reactor No.4 where there was a fire yesterday on its fourth floor – the spent fuel rods appear to be kept in the containment building on the fourth floor according to diagrams on the official briefings at HNK.)
Also says –
RANET is a network of resources made available by IAEA Member States that can be offered in the event of a radiation incident or emergency. Coordination of RANET is done by the IAEA within the framework of the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
There were four helicopter dumps of water and doggone if the news everywhere including the BBC America this morning continues to repeat the story as if there were 200 flights dumping water on the durn thing. How annoying.
And, they’ve reported that no one has been injured from the radiation and that just isn’t true. Of the several members of the public which were earlier taken to the hospital after over 160 people were checked for radiation (from the public near the plant) – there has been no report of what happened to those people or if they are okay. I don’t think they are in the report of injuries made by the IAEA above from the Japanese officials.
I kept looking for real-time images of the surface temperatures in the area of the Fukushima Daiichi plant – but found all kinds of other nifty stuff instead. And, if anyone in the world wanted to see the US – it would be easy. The rapidfire system which shows wildfires and other natural disasters of smoke, fire and something else – anyway – it’s satellite images are great but they are centered on Osaka – and the southern half of Japan. I don’t know why the northern part of Japan has no satellite images available through that.
Extraordinarily frustrating actually. And, I did find surface temperatures for the ocean except it only showed through March 9, 2011 – very annoying.