Skip to comments.Stricken Japan nuclear plant rocked by 2nd blast
Posted on 03/14/2011 8:08:53 AM PDT by EBH
The second hydrogen explosion in three days rocked a Japanese nuclear plant Monday, devastating the structure housing one reactor and injuring 11 workers. Water levels dropped precipitously at another reactor, completely exposing the fuel rods and raising the threat of a meltdown.
The morning explosion in Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant was felt 25 miles (40 kilometers) away, but the plant's operator said radiation levels at the reactor remained within legal limits. Hours later, officials reported that fuel rods at Unit 2 were fully exposed at some point and may have been damaged.
Authorities have been pouring sea water into three reactors at the plant after cooling system failures in the wake of Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, which is estimated to have killed at least 10,000 people. The latest explosion triggered an order for hundreds of people to stay indoors, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Updated info here:
I need that video to show about 10 seconds before the actual explosion.
Each time they leave a country, an earthquake/tsunami occurs. Check it out-
Please consider the source of the idiots making comments here.
"We're now into the fourth day. Whatever is happening in that core is taking a long time to unfold," said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate at the nuclear policy program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "They've succeeded in prolonging the timeline of the accident sequence."
Anyone that knows about nuke energy knows it takes weeks to cool off a nuke pile!
Give us all a big break, they interview some smuck from the anti-nuclear Anti-American philantropy community!!!
OK...I just found another video shot,
there is a flash low on the ground....
that’s an H2 blast.
Wouldn't some, you know, platinum gauze, or platinum wire mesh, hung up by the ceiling of these blow-out panel containment buildings, couldn't that... ah... allow the hydrogen and oxygen to hook up without the shotgun wedding? Just a thought. And I don't know anything.
It looks like we are going to find out just exactly how good GE’s primary containment vessel is. I’m hoping it is up to the job of containing the core melt down that it was designed to contain. Most likely it is, very bad if it is not.
Wow, a lot more smoke than the previous explosion and it’s definitely blacker, which would seem to indicate a wider involvement.
The moon landing was done in a movie studio. 9/11 was an inside job. There was no earthquake that caused the Japanese tsunami, it was Haliburton who set a nuke off under the sea.
It is all true, I read it on the Internet...
Water levels dropped precipitously at another reactor, completely exposing the fuel rods and raising the threat of a meltdown.
officials reported that the fuel rods at another reactor, Unit 2, were fully exposed, at least temporarily.
Shortly after Monday’s explosion, Tokyo Electric warned it had lost the ability to cool Unit 2. Hours later, an indicator showed water briefly fell to the bottom of fuel rods, fully exposing them, according to a spokeswoman for the company, Takako Kitajima.———————
Did you catch that? COMPLETELY EXPOSING THE FUEL RODS!
Ahh, nevermid, it’s the age of Obama, it’s all good.
I wonder how Hollywood will react when Japan decides to rebuild some of the plants with coal-fire powered plants.
So , “Monday morning” is that Monday morning here or there? it’s Monday night in Japan right now.
Agreed, what no one seems to be explaining is once the rods are fully in the boron laced seawater it has to be ciruculated to keep the water from boiling off...
This is a weeks long endeavor to keep from a total meltdown. They can’t keep going like this something needs to happen on a large scale involvement here(thinking our military support of radiological type.)
At this point we’re watching a quasi controlled cool down or partial meltdown.
These are heroic measures of the plant personnel and the fact these 40 year old plants can be handled in this manner indicates we’ve come a long way in emergency response to catastrophic event horizons. The measure by how much worse this could have been just even 10 years ago...wow.
What does this mean to us laymen? I mean potential outlook?
That didn’t look good. And if “workers were injured” the event was NOT under control, planned or expected.
I wonder what they call “The China Syndrome” in Japan? Maybe “The New York Syndrome”?
That happened last night our time- it’s now a little after midnight their time (Tuesday).
Meanwhile- in real time this just crossing the BBC:
1513: Water level in reactor 2 at Fukushima has fallen again, AFP now reporting citing Japanese media.
1507: Nuclear fuel rods have been exposed again at the Fukushima plant, Kyodo news is reporting. More on this as we get it.
Oh, there’d be combustion all right. Just not explosive combustion.
I mean, they could also vent them to the outside, but I presume that’s a gigantic no-no because of absolute prohibition aganst anything the slightest bit radioactive being able to get out of it’s impregnable cage.
Which is rendered less than impregnable by the explosion that results when too much H2 builds up. I mean, we now have some pretty clear evidence that this is a problem.
Anyway, maybe it won’t work. I guess, if it would, they would have thought of it already.
Read the information at the above link and your fears will be somewhat allayed. There are many redundant safety backups designed into such a plant, and they seem to be working in this case. I'd suggest that you hold your comments until after you have read the article. You will understand the situation better.
The drywall can’t be vented properly due to damage from the earthquake. Plus they still have power issues and valves have to be manually operated.
Everything that is happening needs to be kept in contest of the earthquake and tsunami damage too.
The best result will be this stuff is cooled or melts in place at this point.
Now, calm down.
“TEPCO continues to take all measures to restore the safety and security of the site and are monitoring the site’s immediate surroundings.”
I used to work in the US nuclear power industry 30+ years ago before it went belly up. I’m more familiar with PWR’s, not the BWR’s used in Fukushima. Within the containment structures of PWR’s, hydrogen recombiners are installed in the upper chamber of the containment. I assume that these hydrogen recombiners were installed in the secondary containment at Fukushima. However, recombiners require an electric power supply to operate the fans to draw in the hydrogen/steam mix. In my opinion, with no power at Fukushima, the hydrogen just accumulated until an explosive concentration was achieved.
It means the local area had high radiation exposure. The rods are probably damaged. What this article doesn’t seem to indicate is if the rods were exposed still in containment or if the containment actually has failed.
Keep in mind the ‘hot stuff’ needs to hook up with particles in order to spread real contamination.
What they need to do now in the remaining plant is vent the roof. At this point, there’s no use in trying to save it, so hack a hole in the roof ASAP to get the H2/O2 to carry off without a build-up.
I'm as pro-nuclear as anyone, but I don't think putting nuke plants on shorelines is a great idea. I guess that was the beef with Diablo Canyon back in the '80's.
I don't know. Live and learn. The hysterics of left-wing politics means it's live and don't learn (because learning involves generalization, and generalization can be characterized as "stereotyping," which, in turn, leads to racism), but I digress.
It means don't worry about it. If you've been following the comments on the FR board yesterday, you'll know that this is nothing more than fearmongering by the anti-nuc left-wing media..
There ya go. As I said, if it'd work, someone's already thought of it.
I guess, if you lose power in a power plant, you're screwed nineteen ways from Sunday. That's pretty much all there is to it.
I have a question about using natural gas-fired power plants for base-load electric. Wouldn't the quantity of natural gas be too much to store at a power plant if it were used for base-load electric? Natural gas is not as dense as coal so I always thought that was why NG was used for peak-load electric. I'd think they would have to have many square miles of storage capacity if they use NG.
Japan is in the northern hemisphere which means its global opposite location would be in the southern hemisphere...maybe "The Brazil Syndrome".
I’m not sure it’s shorelines themselves, but it does seem clear to me that you shouldn’t put a plant where the required backup generators can be disabled by a tsunami.
Just as one of the lessons of Katrina is that you shouldn’t put your emergency backup generators in the basement below sea level, and you shouldn’t build your city’s required pump rooms such that they can be disabled by flooding if the city fills up with water.
In 2007, Japan had about 177 GW of conventional thermal electric generating capacity. According to Japan Electric Power Information Center, there are currently 60 thermal power plants, and 5 more are under construction: 2 using LNG and 3 using coal for generation. The country's aging oil-fired power plants are used primarily as extra capacity to meet peak demand, and less than 10 percent of electricity produced currently is oil-generated. The number of natural gas-fired power stations is increasing in Japan and roughly 30 percent of electricity is natural gas-fired. Coal remains an important fuel source and accounts for roughly 25 percent of electricity generation. Domestic coal production came to an end in 2002 and Japan imported 206 million short tons in 2008, for which Australia was the main supplier. New, clean coal technologies are being pursued in the power sector, however, in efforts to meet environmental targets.
currently has had 54 operating nuclear reactors with a total installed generating capacity of around 49 GW, making it the third-largest nuclear power generator in the world behind the United States and France. EIA preliminary data shows that Japan produced 244 BKwh of nuclear-generated electricity in 2008. The government plans to increase nuclear's share of total electricity generation from 24 percent in 2008 to 40 percent by 2017 and to 50 percent by 2030, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Natural gas is commonly used and pipeline connected around their country.
Thats hard to do in Japan. Over there its common for mountain ranges to rise up within 10-15 miles of the shore line. I guess it comes down to a dliemma betweeen locating the nuclear reactors in the mountains (where they could be affected by earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes) or near the shore (where earthquakes, tsunamis and pacific hurricanes can affect them). Considering that Japan has very little coal, oil or natural gas they are sorta' locked into muclear power.
Yeah, but if you didn't put them right next to the shoreline, you'd need pipes to bring the coolant to them. The environmentalists would have a cow over the pipelines.
Of course you can have cooling towers, but those are "grim symbols of nuclear horror."
Just as one of the lessons of Katrina is that you shouldnt put your emergency backup generators in the basement below sea level, and you shouldnt build your citys required pump rooms such that they can be disabled by flooding if the city fills up with water.
Yeah, but if you put the generators anywhere but the basement, you've got vibration problems in the building's structure, as well as flammable fuel above the people, which raises troubling questions.
And if you put the fuel in the basement, with pipes to the upper floors, then water can get in the fuel during a flood.
It's really all just ignorance. People want the benefits of technology, of a technologically advanced society, but they don't want any risk, don't want to know about the risks or think about the risks. This makes puts the risks outside the realm of what the private sector can handle, because no one will want to bet on something that can ruin them if it goes wrong.
Thanks for the reply and info, Thackney. It must be expensive importing so much coal and natural gas every year. It makes sense though that they import LNG which does make the gas more dense for temporary storage.
Japan Electrical Generation (2007~2008)
Natural Gas 30%
IEAE is stating that they ran out of seawater yesterday and that has been rectified now.
“Sea water injections into Units 1 and 3 were interrupted yesterday due to a low level in a sea water supply reservoir, but sea water injections have now been restored at both units.”
This suggests to me they have no circulation and the water is just steaming away....hence the explosions. Given this the decay heat is still a very large issue and not under control.
AGain....with the understanding that this is a local event and not a worldwide catastrophe.
Is this the reactor with plutonium in the rods?
It is no different than in the US. Natural Gas is not stored on site but connected via underground pipelines.
We use large storage facilities, either underground salt domes or depleted natural gas fields to store it underground and release it during the summer peak loads.
Keep in mind the transmission pipelines are typically compressed around 1,000 psi.
Would this system - the recombiners - have backups?
Last summer I visited the Grand Coulee Dam. I asked how big an earthquake the place could withstand. 8.9 was the answer.
I remember thinking that was in the realm of possibilities here in Washington State.
If that Dam broke, there’d be the entire backing of Lake Roosevelt racing to th pacific ocean, via the columbia river. A whole lot of towns along the river...
So, my point is that Earthquakes are bad whether it is nuke, or hydro.
Just talked with a local nuke expert here in Illinois who writes scenarios a lot like this for drills. We have two plants in Illinois that are basically identical to the Fukushima BWRs, Dresden and Quad Cities. He’s telling me (and I’m simplifying it to my own level of understanding, so you John Wayne operators lurking out there, cut me some slack) that H2 explosion are usually prevented inside the primary containment vessel by inerting the reaction via nitrogen.
The venting from the drywell to the interior of the containment building puts the hydrogen into a much larger volume of air, which does not have the nitrogen to neutralize the reaction, but which is unlikely to explode unless there is substantial build-up. Therefore, if there was an explosion, and there was, whatever was in primary containment that traveled with hydrogen has made it out to the environment.
However, he couldn’t tell from the information available what radioisotopes were released or in what quantity. But he said this is strictly a ground-based release, unlike Chernobyl, and contamination was definitely a local problem, and had no serious prospect of traveling very far from the plant, let alone overseas.
The purported discovery of trace readings 60 miles away was, in his mind, suspect, and he wanted to know whether that farther location was supported by the wind model. Furthermore, as he pointed out, the particulates disburse in such a way that even at distances relatively close to the plant, a formal cleanup may not be necessary, as the individual radioactive “cinders” will settle and isolate to such low concentrations they will not produce anything above normal background radiation levels we live with every day.
He also said we got far more hot fallout, in Arkansas, of all places, from Chinese -above-ground nuclear testing than we ever got from TMI or Chernobyl.
He does believe, however, that this will have a significant impact on the industry in terms of added regulatory burden for BWRs, a watershed change on the order of a TMI event, for example, which pushed us into doing serious simulation for the first time. Speculators take note.
It means all your hair is starting to fall out and have you checked those bleeding gums yet? Next you’re going to turn red and swell up like a giant frankfurter till you bust open and all your innards pop out!!
No more happy time for you!
Of course this might not happen too...potentially speaking..
I've had similar thoughts today...
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