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On The Japanese Quake and Tsunami (analysis of the nuclear reactor type that exploded)
market-ticker.org ^ | 3-12-11 | Karl Denninger

Posted on 03/12/2011 4:32:21 PM PST by dynachrome

A primer for those who are not familiar with nuclear power in general may be helpful. The plants in question are "BWR" plants, or "Boiling Water Reactors." Fuel comprising a mixture that contains Uranium-235 and/or Plutonium-239 are placed into rods with a zirconium cladding. These are arranged inside a high-pressure container. Hydraulically-controlled rods that contain material that absorbs neutrons are placed in the core as well. The pressure vessel is filled with ordinary water.

...steam outlet to the turbines is closed. This causes the pressure to rise rapidly and the steam to collapse back to liquid water in part of the reactor. That in turn causes a temporary power spike in the output of the reactor until the control rods are fully re-inserted, as the neutron moderation capacity goes up as the steam bubbles collapse.

(Excerpt) Read more at market-ticker.org ...


TOPICS: Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bwr; denninger; explosion; fukushima; ge; japan; reactor
Move to blog area if necessary, but I thought this was good info.
1 posted on 03/12/2011 4:32:26 PM PST by dynachrome
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To: dynachrome
Wasn't the explosion the outer building and wasn't it designed with blow out panels? The reactor did not blow up. The containment is still intact.
2 posted on 03/12/2011 4:38:38 PM PST by mountainlion
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To: dynachrome

It seems like the real problem is that the backup diesel generators were not tsunami-proof.

Could they have put them fifty feet above the ground level, maybe? Let that salt water flow underneath them.


3 posted on 03/12/2011 4:39:42 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: mountainlion

“The containment is still intact”

correct. There are still big problems if cesium is being detected outside of the vessel.


4 posted on 03/12/2011 4:40:34 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: mountainlion

My addendunm to the headline was not clear. ahould say “the building around the containment vessel” (most likely a hydrogen explosion)


5 posted on 03/12/2011 4:43:03 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: mountainlion

Personally I think restricting the building new technologically advanced reactors increases the danger in America.

We’re forced to rely on nuclear plants far past their intended service life because new ones aren’t being built.


6 posted on 03/12/2011 4:47:55 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: dynachrome

“Move to blog area if necessary, but I thought this was good info.”

A most excellent article!


7 posted on 03/12/2011 5:02:12 PM PST by mongo141
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To: cripplecreek
Reactors the size of an Aircraft carrier or sub are probably the most trouble free and efficient. New designs are amazing. Safety should be phenomenal. I saw one that ran on spent uranium. They make these look old fashioned.
8 posted on 03/12/2011 5:10:58 PM PST by mountainlion
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To: mountainlion

We’ve regulated ourselves into danger. Its the same with our aging pipelines.

Risk has become more cost effective than trying to keep up with regulation.


9 posted on 03/12/2011 5:15:13 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: dynachrome

Does the cesium release indicate that, although the containment structure is still intact, it may have been damaged by the quake and is leaking?


10 posted on 03/12/2011 5:36:43 PM PST by Jedidah
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To: Jedidah

If I understand it correctly, it may mean that the fuel rods are damaged, which is not good.


11 posted on 03/12/2011 5:39:14 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: dynachrome

Totally LOVE your tagline!!!!!

(request permission to use it whenever the subject comes up!)


12 posted on 03/12/2011 5:44:15 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: dynachrome
Denninger totally amazes me sometimes. He wrote that so even I could understand it, and I'm one of those that says, "Nooo-cleee-yur? Noook-ya-ler? Duhrrr?"

ANd I love how he wraps that blog post up. If you're not willing to live with the risks associated with First World benefits, then you better be living in a hut and eating bark off the trees and walking, not driving, when you go out to milk your goats every day before you start telling everybody else how to live.

13 posted on 03/12/2011 5:44:54 PM PST by ponygirl
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To: KoRn

Please do. I stole it from a poster here:

http://www.survivalblog.com


14 posted on 03/12/2011 5:49:56 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: ponygirl

I’ve been following his posts on the real estate mess for a while.


15 posted on 03/12/2011 5:51:17 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: cripplecreek

Totally agree. The worst case scenario happened and 50 or so nuclear plants in Japan are up and running.


16 posted on 03/12/2011 5:52:57 PM PST by listenhillary (Social Justice is the epitome of injustice.)
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To: Jedidah; dynachrome
137Cs is a fission product so it indicates somehow there are fission products in the release. It could be a partially damaged core. But it could also be a result of the earlier pressure releases where coolant had to be spurted out to relieve pressure when they lost their auxiliary cooling capability. There was a partial failure of containment isolation when emergency power was unavailable, and that allowed some containment effluent to be released to the outside. There is always a small inventory of fission products in the coolant of a LWR and we may be seeing those, not necessarily damaged fuel (although it could be that too).
17 posted on 03/12/2011 6:01:41 PM PST by chimera
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To: listenhillary
The worst case scenario happened and 50 or so nuclear plants in Japan are up and running.

Yet world renowned physicist, Michio Kaku, has gone on record with the statement that this is the second worst nuclear plant disaster in history - right behind Chernobyl.

My deep respect for the man just became very shallow.

18 posted on 03/12/2011 6:18:35 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

What do you plant to use to power your utopian world?


19 posted on 03/12/2011 6:29:13 PM PST by listenhillary (Social Justice is the epitome of injustice.)
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To: Windflier

I may have misinterpreted your post. Sorry.


20 posted on 03/12/2011 6:30:15 PM PST by listenhillary (Social Justice is the epitome of injustice.)
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To: listenhillary
What do you plant to use to power your utopian world?

I'm of the "all of the above" frame of mind, where it comes to energy production. For the record, I'm not a Utopian, either.

21 posted on 03/12/2011 6:31:21 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: listenhillary
I may have misinterpreted your post. Sorry.

No prob, LH. It happens to all of us from time to time. I'm no more innocent than anyone else, when it comes to that.

22 posted on 03/12/2011 6:33:06 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: dynachrome

Are these some of the reactors that our government bailed-out G.E. built for them.?


23 posted on 03/12/2011 6:41:42 PM PST by fella (.He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: chimera

Thanks. There’s so much conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know how much to worry.

And the Japanese powers-that-be are almost certainly not telling all.


24 posted on 03/12/2011 7:17:44 PM PST by Jedidah
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To: Windflier

He is right, but number 3 is 3 mile island. This is going to turn out to be bad locally and they are going to lose some workers. It will not be much more than that, most likely


25 posted on 03/12/2011 8:53:52 PM PST by ClayinVA ("Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it")
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To: proxy_user
Could they have put them fifty feet above the ground level, maybe?

Do not know if 50 feet would be enough. There were multi-story homes and buildings and fires in that Tsunami cement mixer. Then of course the ground could subside from the quake.

26 posted on 03/12/2011 9:47:18 PM PST by justa-hairyape
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To: justa-hairyape

The reactors are well in from the coast, I believe. The diesel generator damage was said to be salt water. They probably had them at ground level or below.


27 posted on 03/13/2011 8:26:12 AM PDT by proxy_user
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