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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's really gone down at Fukushima

The Japanese are keeping it quiet, but U.S. engineers who have been to the scene tell some scary stories of how bad the situation is at the Meltdown Central. One point not disclosed before is that the hydrogen explosions that rocked three of the reactors sent pieces of spent fuel rods flying as far away as a mile:

The document also suggests that fragments or particles of nuclear fuel from spent fuel pools above the reactors were blown "up to one mile from the units," and that pieces of highly radioactive material fell between two units and had to be "bulldozed over," presumably to protect workers at the site. The ejection of nuclear material, which may have occurred during one of the earlier hydrogen explosions, may indicate more extensive damage to the extremely radioactive pools than previously disclosed.
They're breaking the bad news slowly, but eventually this one is going to make Chernobyl look small. The whole country, already badly battered, may never recover from what's yet to be revealed.

Comments (8)

“This paints a very different picture, and suggests that things are a lot worse. They could still have more damage in a big way if some of these things don’t work out for them.”


I am just paralyzed by that word "criticality". In my world, this implies the measurements found in the dance with death. At Fukushima, death of what? Situation of what? Melting down? Killing workers? Killing fish? Can't use the whole area for 10K years? Evacuation of Tokyo?

I just wish someone would come up with a comprehensive algorithm of pathways and possible outcomes, beautiful evidence style, that would just tell us what the hell we're looking at. I follow a news collection site, realclearpolitics, and Japan hasn't been in the headlines for three days, and every day, I wonder,is this the calm before the storm?

I wonder if all the people who applied for and gave permits to build a nuclear plant on the freaking BEACH 80 miles from
the big fault line are still alive, and if so, what they have planned for their futures.

Gives a whole new meaning to "On the Beach".

"criticality" just means enough mass of a fissionable material to sustain a chain reaction, and that can happen naturally: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

Does anyone believe TEPCO when they say the radioactive water leak is fixed today?

yoshimi battles the pink robots (part 1)

David A. Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer who worked on the kinds of General Electric reactors used in Japan had this to say in the article about problems at the reactors: “Even the best juggler in the world can get too many balls up in the air." Mental note: When this is all over, we've got to remember to put this guy in prison too, just for saying that.

that link is the single scariest and most depressing thing I have read about, like, ever.
I am officially taking a break from the news.

Japan my never recover? They recovered from WWII.

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