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Japan: Real cause of nuclear crisis(not tsunami but quake)
Japan Times ^ | 12/13/11

Posted on 12/12/2011 8:51:54 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster

SENTAKU MAGAZINE

Real cause of nuclear crisis

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), the operator of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Station, has been insisting that the culprit that caused the nuclear crisis was the huge tsunami that hit the plant after the March 11 earthquake. But evidence is mounting that the meltdown at the nuclear power plant was actually caused by the earthquake itself.

According to a science journalist well versed in the matter, Tepco is afraid that if the earthquake were to be determined as the direct cause of the accident, the government would have to review its quake-resistance standards completely, which in turn would delay by years the resumption of the operation of existing nuclear power stations that are suspended currently due to regular inspections.

The journalist is Mitsuhiko Tanaka, formerly with Babcock-Hitachi K.K. as an engineer responsible for designing the pressure vessel for the No. 4 reactor at the ill-fated Fukushima nuclear plant.

(Excerpt) Read more at japantimes.co.jp ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: earthquake; fukushima; radiation; tsunami

1 posted on 12/12/2011 8:52:01 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster; Jeff Head; Tainan; hedgetrimmer; Unam Sanctam; taxesareforever; Avenger; ...

P!


2 posted on 12/12/2011 8:53:22 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
The Japanese have had earthquakes for a l-o-n-g, l-o-n-g time. They had to choose to build or not to build that nuke plant. So, they had yet another earthquake, which they've had for billions of years...and their people suffer.

I remember the scandal with all the mercury in their water and fish, with HORRIBLE results to their people and children. They knew that ahead of time too.

The Japanese government made decisions. The Japanese have to live with those decisions. It's not "mother nature's" fault; it's the fault of those politicos who said: BUILD IT THERE.

3 posted on 12/12/2011 9:00:03 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain

“...evidence is mounting that the meltdown at the nuclear power plant was actually caused by the earthquake itself.”

What evidence?

I remember at the time just after the earthquake the reactors were in the process of shutting down. Then a huge wall of water overswept the entire facility, knocking cooling water pumps off of skids and breaking steam and coolant water lines. With coolant water pumps no longer operable and water lines no longer connected, there would be no way for a controlled shutdowns to proceed.


4 posted on 12/12/2011 9:09:16 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: cloudmountain

“...evidence is mounting that the meltdown at the nuclear power plant was actually caused by the earthquake itself.”

What evidence?

I remember at the time just after the earthquake the reactors were in the process of shutting down. Then a huge wall of water overswept the entire facility, knocking cooling water pumps off of skids and breaking steam and coolant water lines. With coolant water pumps no longer operable and water lines no longer connected, there would be no way for a controlled shutdowns to proceed.


5 posted on 12/12/2011 9:11:10 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: SatinDoll
You mean that the tsunami, caused by the earthquake, did in the controlled shutdown process? I am SHOCKED.

Someone gave the go-ahead to build that plant near the ocean, which experiences earthquake-generated tsunamis all the time. I am SHOCKED.

Just shocked.

6 posted on 12/12/2011 9:15:43 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain

Japan is an archipelago of islands and nuke plants are ususally built near water - river, lake, ocean - due to the need for cooling water and producing steam.


7 posted on 12/12/2011 9:20:37 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: SatinDoll
If you scroll down the source article, it says:

What puzzles Tanaka most is why the emergency condensers, which turn vaporized coolant (steam) into water and are supposed to lower both the pressure and temperature of the reactor, were not operating at the time of the accident although the condensers have the capability of functioning even when electricity becomes unavailable.

It is highly probable, he says, that the plumbing linked with the condensers was damaged by the earthquake, causing water or vapor to leak out, thus leading to the nonfunctioning of the condensers.

8 posted on 12/12/2011 9:23:41 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

This report says the IC was closed off by an operator.
Since that refutes this scientist’s argument I’d hold off on conclusions.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-fukushima/20111206/1910_reikyaku.htmlreikyaku.html Suspecting that it caused a delay in the response to the accident, the NISA investigated and heard witnesses in August on the question whether plant managers had mistakenly believed unit 1’s isolation condenser was running while it was not. The results of the NISA’s investigation were publicly released on 6 December : the managers were not aware that a plant operator had closed the IC’s valve, and it is 8 hours after the earthquake, after 11 PM, after knowing that the radiation inside reactor building was rising, that they first grasped the IC status. It is possible that this caused a delay in the response to the accident.


9 posted on 12/12/2011 9:24:38 PM PST by mrsmith (Start electing a 'Tea Party' Majority Leader in 2012 now!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I had read that international scientists disagreed with the Japanese in that the international scientists say that radiation was released into the environment and detected prior to the arrival of the tsunami. Paired with that were some reports by workers that they heard noises and thought some pipes had burst.
TEPCO ignored warnings about the tsunami potential and built on seismically active zones to begin with so I do believe they are responsible - not earthquakes or tsunamis but bad decision making.


10 posted on 12/12/2011 10:12:10 PM PST by ransomnote
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Here are some quotes from the actual workers at the plant after the earthquake hit and before the tsunami arrived.

“I personally saw pipes that came apart and I assume that there were many more that had been broken throughout the plant. There’s no doubt that the earthquake did a lot of damage inside the plant,” he said. “There were definitely leaking pipes, but we don’t know which pipes – that has to be investigated. I also saw that part of the wall of the turbine building for Unit 1 had come away. That crack might have affected the reactor.”

“It felt like the earthquake hit in two waves, the first impact was so intense you could see the building shaking, the pipes buckling, and within minutes, I saw pipes bursting. Some fell off the wall. Others snapped. I was pretty sure that some of the oxygen tanks stored on site had exploded but I didn’t see for myself. Someone yelled that we all needed to evacuate and I was good with that. But I was severely alarmed because as I was leaving I was told and I could see that several pipes had cracked open, including what I believe were cold water supply pipes. That would mean that coolant couldn’t get to the reactor core. If you can’t sufficiently get the coolant to the core, it melts down. You don’t have to have to be a nuclear scientist to figure that out.”

“As he was heading to his car, he could see the walls of the reactor one building itself had already started to collapse. “There were holes in them. In the first few minutes, no one was thinking about a tsunami. We were thinking about survival.”

“After the second shockwave hit, I heard a loud explosion that was almost deafening. I looked out the window and I could see white smoke coming from reactor one.”

When the worker got to the office five to 15 minutes later the supervisor ordered them all to evacuate, explaining, “there’s been an explosion of some gas tanks in reactor one, probably the oxygen tanks. In addition to this there has been some structural damage, pipes have burst, meltdown is possible. Please take shelter immediately.”

Excerpted from The Goal Of TEPCO’s Meltdown Analysis

11 posted on 12/12/2011 10:25:44 PM PST by justa-hairyape
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To: ransomnote
And there were a couple of significant earthquakes that occurred on November 23rd and November 24th. A 6.1 and 6.0 about 57 miles ESE of Fukushima.

Magnitude 6.1 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

This is what Reactor # 4 looked like before those quakes.

Image from 2 Strong Earthquakes Shake Japan, No Damage Reported

12 posted on 12/12/2011 10:39:34 PM PST by justa-hairyape
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To: justa-hairyape

Thanks for posting that incredible photo - I’ve never seen it before. To think that this kind of destroyed structure is what is holding the spent fuel pool, and with it the ability for workers to remain in the area to maintain all the other spent fuel pools, intact!


13 posted on 12/12/2011 10:55:23 PM PST by ransomnote
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To: ransomnote
Tepco has spent time shoring up the support for that spent fuel pool. That image was taken by that bus tour of journalist in Mid-November that were taken on a tour of the plant.

Now there is a story right now on the progressive anti-nuke blogs circulating that some inside intel source has stated that the support for that pool is failing, but that is just an unsubstantiated rumor with no news report supporting the claim. Only blogs. You can find those blogs by searching google for [Fukushima reactor 4 collapse]. Those appear to be alarmist blogs that are wrong as much as they are right on this topic.

14 posted on 12/12/2011 11:43:29 PM PST by justa-hairyape
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To: TigerLikesRooster; justa-hairyape

Hard to deprogram someone who doesn’t want to be deprogrammed.

In ensuing days, all those press conferences by TEPCO saying this, that and the other thing while 3 units were already melting down, leaking, blowing up, getting cooling from a fire hose then an air drop of seawater. If that doesn’t inspire confidence, I don’t what will.

If I recall correctly, only Unit 1 (the oldest model unit) had a stand alone back up condenser for emergency cooling and even that needed water added to it after a few hours to keep it functional. With leaking pipes it was futile. Units 2 & 3 with newer backup cooling designs relied on battery backup powered sensors and automatic valves and pumps for emergency cooling. Without power, valves had to be turned manually and some were as workers put their lives on the line as radiation was being emitted.

Then there were the tall stacks to vent off overpressure and radioactive gases, they only work when they have power and the plumbing is intact. The Great Quake took the grid out and caused one of those tall transmission towers to fall over during the quake not far from the plant.

Situation was hopeless.

And recent reports of elements still being produced that indicate that one or all the blobs (corium) are still reacting on their own (called criticality or re-criticality).


15 posted on 12/13/2011 12:03:40 AM PST by Razzz42
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To: SatinDoll

I tend to agree Satin, you can’t have that degree of water taking out what it did and expect normal shut down operations to be functional.


16 posted on 12/13/2011 12:07:16 AM PST by caww
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To: Razzz42
The article below seems to be a very good explanation of the cooling and torus functions for these three reactors. The author is very reputable and he seems to agree with your comments. The article does not get into the earthquake verses tsunami part of the debate.

Removing Heat from a Reactor in Shutdown

17 posted on 12/13/2011 12:56:39 AM PST by justa-hairyape
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The reactors at Fukushima were GE BWR(boiling water reactors) technology from the late 1950s-early 1960s. I’m not familiar with GE reactors, only the Westinghouse PWR (presurized water reactors) and those from the late 1960s-early 1970s.

The PWR have a failsafe mechnaism that immediately drops rods into the reactor to stop the fissioning process whenever an earthquake is detedted. I do no know whether there is a similair falisafe mechanism on BWRs. Do you happen to know if Fukushima was equipped with such a system?

And do you happen to know if Fukushima was licensed to operate by the AEC (predessesor of the NRC). Many overseas nuclear power plants are licensed by our regulatory agency - many people don’t know that fact.


18 posted on 12/13/2011 1:33:49 AM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: SatinDoll

The difference between the PWR and the BWR is that control rods drop from the top of the PWR.

Control rods are inserted from the bottom up on a BWR using gas (nitrogen) driven hydraulics.

A couple of GE engineers in the early stages of designing the BWR quit in protest claiming it was a extremely poor method of inserting control rods in an emergency (versus gravity fed in the PWR along with all the necessary ‘holes’ needs for the control rods to pass through on the bottom of a RPV). The engineers went on to be anti-nuke activists.

If I can find a picture to post of the bottom of an actual BWR during manufacturing or being installed, you will see that it is an accident waiting to happen as it looks like a sieve and each of the many ‘holes’ requires a seal that could fail and leak.


19 posted on 12/13/2011 11:24:35 AM PST by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

20 posted on 12/13/2011 11:54:14 AM PST by Razzz42
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To: SatinDoll
Japan is an archipelago of islands and nuke plants are ususally built near water - river, lake, ocean - due to the need for cooling water and producing steam.

Understood. I took geography and know about nuke plants. I remember three-mil island here in the USA.

I guess you didn't get my point: JAPAN IS RIDDLED WITH EARTHQUAKES. Earthquakes around oceans = tsunamis, especially since "tsunami" is a Japanese word. Duh.
Tsunamis around nuke plants = disaster. Those humans even with brains the sizes of peas can figure that out.

My point was that the Japanese built this nuke plant near their ocean. There were OTHER places to build nuclear plants. Japan has much water. So, why the STUPID place to build their plant?

California started to do that with a nuke plant near the ocean. The PUC was determined. Diablo Canyon (Nuclear) Power Plant, located on the water's edge in San Luis Obispo County California, was originally designed to withstand a 6.75 magnitude earthquake from four faults, including the nearby San Andreas and Hosgri faults, but was later upgraded to withstand a 7.5 magnitude quake. It has redundant seismic monitoring and a safety system designed to shut it down promptly in the event of significant ground motion.
Supposedly there are a TON of safeguards but who knows. At least California doesn't get tsunamis very often. Hasn't happened in my life.
WHY build it there? California has several nuke plants--some in the desert. Water can be bussed in. Tsunamis can't be walled out.

Do you understand my point now? Japan, an earthquake horror, was DUMB, knowing what they know.

21 posted on 12/13/2011 1:21:45 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: caww
Read my reply to Satin, #21.
Japan has OTHER places to build nuke plants. They have plenty of water elsewhere, away from their shores.
Remember, tsunami is a JAPANESE word. Earthquakes ABOUND in Japan.
22 posted on 12/13/2011 1:24:09 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain

I understand your point and think you make good onew, but you reek like an intervenor. You say you “remember three-mil island”; I read the accident report shortly after the incident and have yet to see it accurately reported in the public media.

Everywhere on earth there exist earthquake faults. So what.

My dad was part of the initial start-up group for SCE’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 1 - SONGS1. I’ve lived near nuclear power plants all my life. I worked in Nuclear Plant Engineering at the Trojan Nuclear Plant, Goble, Oregon, for eight years.

Trojan was built in a region that experiences subduction earthquakes like those in Japan. Whether it is dams or natural gas, there is risk associated with living in an earthquake area. Probably the safest place to be during an earthquake would have been the solid rock Trojan was built upon, 45’ above sea level and seventy miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.

It was shutdown and is now decommissioned. This was done by an unethical CEO who was an antinuke and one greedy SOB. He shutdown Trojan, laid off 1300 people in order that Enron would purchase Portland General Corp. and he could join Enron’s Board of Directors. As an accountant he had to have known and recognized the shenanigans ongoing at Enron, because he retired from the BOD, waited a few months and sold all his Enron stock for $70Million+ just before the whole scheme tanked.

And the employees at Trojan and Portland General? Many lost everything they had worked years to acquire, and the folks still employed at Portland General lost their pensions - all of it - with the demise of Enron!

This has nothing directly to do with your argument exept this: without the power generated by Trojan the utility bills of everyone in the Pacific Northwest have skyrocketed.

If you don’t approve of dams, natural gas or nuclear you can always retreat to a forest somewhere and burn deadfall wood. But be forewarned: burning wood produces polonium in wood ash and it is radioactive. Never let your children clean out a fireplace and when you do, always wear a face mask and gloves. Polonium is an apha particle emitter, like plutonium. Stay safe.


23 posted on 12/13/2011 1:54:55 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: Razzz42

Thanks for the photograph. I can see what you mean. Ewww!


24 posted on 12/13/2011 1:57:48 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: SatinDoll
I understand your point and think you make good onew, but you reek like an intervenor. You say you “remember three-mil island”; I read the accident report shortly after the incident and have yet to see it accurately reported in the public media. Everywhere on earth there exist earthquake faults. So what. My dad was part of the initial start-up group for SCE’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 1 - SONGS1. I’ve lived near nuclear power plants all my life. I worked in Nuclear Plant Engineering at the Trojan Nuclear Plant, Goble, Oregon, for eight years. Trojan was built in a region that experiences subduction earthquakes like those in Japan. Whether it is dams or natural gas, there is risk associated with living in an earthquake area. Probably the safest place to be during an earthquake would have been the solid rock Trojan was built upon, 45’ above sea level and seventy miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. It was shutdown and is now decommissioned. This was done by an unethical CEO who was an antinuke and one greedy SOB. He shutdown Trojan, laid off 1300 people in order that Enron would purchase Portland General Corp. and he could join Enron’s Board of Directors. As an accountant he had to have known and recognized the shenanigans ongoing at Enron, because he retired from the BOD, waited a few months and sold all his Enron stock for $70Million+ just before the whole scheme tanked. And the employees at Trojan and Portland General? Many lost everything they had worked years to acquire, and the folks still employed at Portland General lost their pensions - all of it - with the demise of Enron! This has nothing directly to do with your argument exept this: without the power generated by Trojan the utility bills of everyone in the Pacific Northwest have skyrocketed. If you don’t approve of dams, natural gas or nuclear you can always retreat to a forest somewhere and burn deadfall wood. But be forewarned: burning wood produces polonium in wood ash and it is radioactive. Never let your children clean out a fireplace and when you do, always wear a face mask and gloves. Polonium is an apha particle emitter, like plutonium. Stay safe.

1. What's an "intervenor"?
2. Go to GOOGLE. The Three Mile Island debacle is now in Wikepedia. It's history and whether you agree with the media's accurate reporting is another story, but it's ancient history now, readable in history books...reported on to within an inch of its life.
3. Earthquake faults...and you say "so what"? WHY build a nuclear power plant where there are earthquakes AND tsunamis as regular occurences then MOAN and groan when the unspeakable happens? STUPID to build it where all the engineers SAY that it is STUPID to build it...that's "so what."
You didn't grow up where there was the DOUBLE DANGEROUS whammy of earthquakes AND tsunamis. Though California has had only ONE tsunami in all my years and regular earthquakes you were SEVENTY MILES INLAND...safe from the TSUNAMI that caused the Japanese plant to fail.
That was my point, for the THIRD time.

PG&E and other utility companies are between a rock and a hard place. They are "allowed" to make some profit but are continually pulled between the correctly outraged public whose bills skyrocket, the do-gooders who DO want us to be cold and burn our old socks for fuel, the politicians who say they care but only care about staying elected...and the engineers who TRY and keep things working. My husband was a gas engineer for PG&E...I know ALL about it.

4. I don't know what I could have possibly written to make you think that I would want to retreat to the forest, misliking dams, etc. :o):o) I wonder if you DELIBERATELY missunderstand or just misread. Maybe you are just ticked off at your high utility bills.
5. I have a natural gas fireplace, beautifully designed and needs no cleaning. My husband was the creator of that wonderful idea. It's wonderful. Our cleaning lady doesn't have to do a thing with it.

25 posted on 12/13/2011 2:37:30 PM PST by cloudmountain
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