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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Best info yet on meltdown status

An organization called the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum has prepared a useful table that shows where the various Fukushima plants stand at this point. It's pretty grim.

In two of the three reactors that were going when the earthquake hit, the water has drained out of the reactor core to the point that half the fuel is uncovered. That means it has melted or will melt. In the third reactor, the water apparently dried up entirely but is "recovering."

In one of the three reactors that were down when the earthquake hit, the water in the spent fuel pool is low. If the waste rods are exposed to air, they will burn, and there is no containment around them. They are already suspected to have been "damaged," which could mean they have burned. Three of the four buildings just mentioned are severely damaged; the other (where the water in the reactor dried up for a while and is "recovering") is listed as slightly damaged. Damage to the containment is suspected in two of the three reactors that were working when Mother Nature made her statement.

None of this changes our worry level in either direction, but it's helpful that someone has prepared what appears to be a fairly authoritative scorecard.

Comments (7)

Very good summary.
I do think the WAG factor has got to be large, due to the loss of all the monitoring systems.
I will until shown otherwise lean toward the worst case scenario. That way I will at least feel better if I am wrong.
BTW...The retiring nuke "janitor" at Reed Collage should shut up!

I heard the professor talking on Mark and Dave and he said Reed College students were running the nuclear reactor. Look, my nerves are frayed already. This is no time to panic the people with information like that.

I am darned glad that they didn't build the infernal WPPSS nuclear plants that they had planned for the Oregon Coast.

Thanks for an excellent concise summary. No other media have been so clear.

Jack, I don't think WPPSS had any plans for nuclear plants on the Oregon Coast. The one at Satsop Wa that they began is halfway between Grays Harbor on the WA coast and I-5 south of Olympia, using the Satsop River for coolant. The others planned were on the Hanford Reservation.

Lee, you are correct as usual. The Oregon Coast plant, to go in at Florence, was proposed by the Eugene Water and Electric Board (a.k.a. EWEB).

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