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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 13, 2011 11:38 PM. The previous post in this blog was The rest of the birthday party story. The next post in this blog is The worst may be happening in Fukushima. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Sunday, March 13, 2011

And now the third

The third of the three operating Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors -- the one that hasn't blown up yet -- is now reporting that its cooling system has stopped, according to Reuters.

At some point, this situation is likely to overcome the people trying to deal with it. Several of the workers have been hurt, many have been exposed to radiation levels beyond any reasonable measure of safety, and probably a few have been killed. Even if there's a way to prevent a catastrophic total meltdown, or two or three of them, there may not be enough crew on hand to get it done.

Meanwhile, the big U.S. aircraft carrier in the area is reporting elevated radiation levels offshore -- 100 miles away. But hey, everything's o.k. here on the West Coast of the United States -- don't worry 'bout a thing.

UPDATE, 3/14, 12:41 a.m.: Some additional food for thought:

More steam releases also mean that the plume headed across the Pacific could continue to grow. On Sunday evening, the White House sought to tamp down concerns, saying that modeling done by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had concluded that "Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity."
Notice -- no assurance that you won't get any radiation, just that the government is going to tell you that it's not "harmful."
But all weekend, after a series of intense interchanges between Tokyo and Washington and the arrival of the first American nuclear experts in Japan, officials said they were beginning to get a clearer picture of what went wrong over the past three days. And as one senior official put it, "under the best scenarios, this isn’t going to end anytime soon."
And as for the effectiveness of the seawater pumping effort:
To pump in the water, the Japanese have apparently tried used firefighting equipment — hardly the usual procedure. But forcing the seawater inside the containment vessel has been difficult because the pressure in the vessel has become so great.

One American official likened the process to "trying to pour water into an inflated balloon," and said that on Sunday it was "not clear how much water they are getting in, or whether they are covering the cores."

The problem was compounded because gauges in the reactor seemed to have been damaged in the earthquake or tsunami, making it impossible to know just how much water is in the core.

Triple meltdown has real potential here.

Comments (18)

We are not getting the truth about Fukushima. We need our own advisers and watchers...UN there now!

1. buy potassium iodide(at best, it's good to have on hand as thyroid protection),

2. check online for data on radio-active material release

3. phone DEQ and ask what they were doing to monitor the situation

And I noticed something funny on one of the
VIDEOS that I was watching, it turned out I was not the only one who saw it.

Alan DeWitt Posted this link on a former post:

I spent the last two days with a Professional Engineer that works at Hartford. He has personally run and scrammed nuclear reactors when he was in the navy. As the news came out he would further explain it, as a supervisor he would criticize some of the expert reports, I would google the terms and realize he was right. They could have explained it better.

The above link accurately explains to those that have a reasonable high school level of chemistry and physics of what is happening.

I realize this doesn't fit into some peoples agenda, and stories are getting wild. Yes it is serious. Yes they will have a big mess to clean. Please stock up on iodine, milk, Walla Walla Wines,Viagra and bike parts. The economy needs it!

Hartford = Hanford

Some internet sites are buzzing tonight, all night 24/7, and one such place is the Comment 'blog' at Wayne Madsen Report.COM.

The timeline of events is somewhat scambled among references to Tokyo time, Greenwich (Universal, Zulu) Time, Wash DC time (where 'WMR' is), and 'local' time wherever a Comment is being posted from.

One 'remedy' is having everyone using LIVE TV info, and so Madsen posted this link (on showing a geiger counter reading in Tokyo.
He adds this caption:
Madsen (Washington) -- Tokyo live Geiger counter (CPM=counts per minute) 10-20 cpm is normal. If this gets up to around 120, that is radiation emergency alert status in US.

Next I relay a sample of the 'seemingly authoritatively informed' Comments. (Writer claims to be in Johannesburg, I suppose; the WMR website is rife with 'Intelligence Community' plants, planted operatives, (mercenary trolls) who are there collecting, dishing out, and circulating mis-info and dis-info: Believer Beware.)

From the field and in Africa (Joburg)

For those who missed yesterday's coverage on CNN and the BBC, Japanese gov officials admitted that the damaged reactor #1 which had previously exploded contained "experimental plutonium fuel rods". This was reported as confirmed by both CNN and BBC. 2+ years ago the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the use of re-manufactured plutonium as fuel rods. No US based nuclear plant agreed to use or test these fuel rods and the subject disappeared from the news and public view. Last year the two Japanese nuclear plants which are at the heart of the current issue (steam turbine powered older designs) were to be decommissioned. Instead they were granted a ten year extension of service for unpublicized reasons. Those reasons may well be the agreement to test these re-manufactured plutonium fuel rods. It must be noted that plutonium release is far worse then uranium release as absorption of plutonium in the human body occurs far easier. It is for this reason that plutonium is considered a far greater danger for human health. Please research this further Wayne (and all of you out there reading along.)

From the field and in Africa (Joburg)
Photos/video of Reactor #3 show all four walls and roof missing. Only steel bent framing remains. Regular steam bursts (not smoke) are being seen after the blast. Cesium has been confirmed around the facility after the explosion of the outer building of Reactor #1. Cesium is released only when there is damage to the Zirconium sheathing of fuel rods and will not be present in steam releases unless there is leakage occurring from the primary containment structure/dome where those rods are contained. Nuclear experts in the US (both from private industry, university and gov who I have contact with are "confused" by the finding of Cesium outside of the containment structures. They uniformly are doubtful of full reporting being given currently on the true damage to the containment structures.

That's a tiny sample. Other Comments are saying massmind media in US (incl. BBC London and Reuters worldwide) are 'covering up' the dimensions, urgency, and import of the reactor failure events; and they are saying 'better' info feeds are on RT (Russian TV) such as this excerpt already posted on YouTube

RT on-air (streaming) and packaged news items are here:

From the field and in Africa (Joburg) "MOX spent fuel is complicated not only by the higher plutonium content in MOX, but by the larger quantities of transuranic elements in the spent fuel as well. This results in MOX spent fuel being thermally hotter than conventional spent fuel. The presence of greater amounts of transuranic radionuclides like americium-241 also cause persistent higher spent fuel temperatures, and cause the decay of thermal power level to be slower."

This is taken from:

The issue of cooling is far more complicated with the Plutonium re-worked fuel rods as suggested in the discussion there. It is likely that all four nuclear generating plants which are having problems being cooled after their shut downs do contain these MOX plutonium fuel rods. That would sufficiently explain the cooling problems and account for the number of plants reported in Japanese Media in 2010 where they deployed these. If this is the reason for the cooling failures and the confusion within the Japanese efforts then we may well see ongoing failures of all four installations. Each one has from 3 to 6 reactors.

This perhaps is in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal, or yesterday's; (there's confusion about times across the Int'l Date Line).

And lastly:
WMR has posted a briefing about Obama's ineffectual (read: 'zero') response to the Japanese nuke explosions disaster, is happening because 'nuclear promise' salesmen and dealers (GE and others) own and control Obama ('s election campaigning). I quote a block of about half of WMR's briefing in the previous thread about GE's deceptive 'eco green' TV ads.

One piece of WMR's briefing paper relates to (answer) John Bailo's first comment in this thread:

From WMR: March 14, 2011 -- EARLY EDITION. When it comes to major disasters, Obama's priority is the same: protect the corporate interests


Just as Obama permitted BP to call the shots for all government emergency response and regulatory agencies in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the president decided to send a White House team under the direction of the CIA-infused US Agency for International Development (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team to Japan to provide consultation to the Japanese government. Additionally, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu was asked to keep in contact with Japanese nuclear energy officials to ascertain needs. Obama decided not to send personnel from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, National Nuclear Security Administration, or even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Japan.

Late breaking: A Comment voice claims that this website shows real time positions and speeds of high-altitude winds and jet streams, where the user chooses the altitude and area of interest.

Stay tuned.

I would never believe anybody who works at Hanford. About anything. Ever. Biggest nuclear cesspool of all time, and built on one lie after another by the clowns who run the place.

Tenskwatawa... there are no words.

That fearmongering map was making the rounds on the social networks before the hydrogen even popped in #1. It's bull. It sure as hell isn't going to be in any newspapers. 75 rads, are you kidding me? Does that really seem reasonable to you? If anyone wants to freak out, at least educate yourself on the matters. The map is a complete fabrication drawn by a random blogger looking at what he thinks are some kind of wind maps.

Seriously, at least look at the modeling done by Cliff's Mass (first guy to show we're getting China's pollution via the jetstream) if you want to start freaking out about fallout trajectories.

I've got $100 that says nobody in the US will be injured except those on the coasts when the waves hit. I'd bet more but I'm poor and my dad said never to make a bet you can't pay back. I hope you crazies wasting money on geiger counters and radiation pills are also sending some money over to the people that need it.

Yeah, what's wrong with you people? Believe what the government and the nuclear power plant operators tell you. There is nothing to be worried about, and like Aaron says, the next hundred nuclear plants we build will be a lot safer... promise.

If you care about your own health and that of your family, you should be ashamed. Send money to Japan, just like Aaron -- no wait, he wants to bet with it.

So Tenskwatawa, I take it you don't understand high school chemistry and physics?
Take some time and understand the differences between material and rays. Why the zirconium alloy coated tubes created hydrogen. What happens when hydrogen hits air (Hindenburg)?
As much as it pains you, look into the kinds of materials being detected. I don't care what kind of tinfoil hats are best, but at least base your theory's on basic science.

(Actually, I take back the bet because I don't really want to get into trying to extract money from local blog people. But please just donate to Japan if you can, anybody.)

Nothing wrong with worrying about your loved ones Jack. A little bit of iodine doesn't cost much, there's not much that's going to go wrong there. But all decisions ought to be informed ones.

The decisions are quite informed. I know about nuclear power plants, and about ionizing radiation and its health effects. This is a dangerous time, particularly for the Pacific Northwest.

Jack, I was referring to the commenter above that posted the BS map, and following to be informed on things. He's not doing himself any favors getting bad information. You're an educated guy that's lived through this before (I haven't).

Anyhow, I'm going to leave your blog alone on this subject - there's certainly nothing I can do about this and what happens is going to speak for itself. I hope you can try to be the levelheaded voice of reason here. Most with typical science and engineering backgrounds don't have the necessary knowhow to be making claims about what's going to happen or not happen, let alone the poor souls without the basics watching this all go down explained by slick meteorologists on TV and their friends on the Internet and wondering if they're going to be OK in the coming weeks. A quick scan of the kinds of things being posted on Facebook and Twitter is shocking. Tenskwatawa certainly isn't some kind of Greenpeace shill, he's just trying his best to keep ontop of things, and I hope you can try to help people around here stay on the rails, and call out misunderstandings on all sides when you see it.

Aaron, that's Tenskwatawa. He's "different." He writes outrageous things to provoke people.

What makes me mad is when the government tells you to ignore your own eyes and ears, and your own common sense, so that the porkers at GE and the defense industry don't get their bonuses cut from $5 million to $2 million this year. I have every expectation that Obama will reveal his true colors here -- Wall Street puppet.

The irony to be had here, is that without the nuclear handwringing and people shouting CHERNOBYL!!! every time someone mentions nuclear power, these plants would have probably been replaced with models that would not have these problems.

BWRs and pressure vessels are 1960s-era tech. However, replacing these systems can't be done due to the anti-nuclear lobby.

Yeah, call it "more of the same" if you want, but physics is still physics no matter what your political views.

Is it just me or does there seem to be less TV coverage of this news than one would expect under the circumstances? For example, I turned on the 11 o'clock news last night. KATU, KOIN and KGW all led with multiple reports (Storm Team Coverage) on the thunderstorms that came through the Portland area yesterday. Then it was on to the Japan earthquake, where I saw about 30 seconds on the nuclear disaster.

Nuclear meltdown in Charlie Sheen's world: wall-to-wall coverage on every channel.

Nuclear meltdown in the real world: meh.

None, why don't you pop over to Fukushima and duck into the plant so you can let us know what's going on there?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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