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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two months later, truth is told at Fukushima

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric are finally breaking the news to people that three reactors melted down at Fukushima back in March. There really was no other logical explanation for what happened, but they withheld what they knew for a long time, and the world's mainstream media let them get away with it.

Today's stories also admit that molten radioactive waste has left the reactor vessels and oozed into other parts of the reactor system. There are holes in all three of the reactor vessels. Once the hot lava, known as corium, leaves the vessel, it likely enters the space around the reactor core known as the drywell, and then the suppression chamber, sometimes known as the torus. If the nasty lava eats through those, there's a concrete pad underneath them (the green in this drawing). Then there is the earth, and then there is groundwater. One threat is a possible steam explosion if the corium makes it to the water table.

It's easy to blame Tokyo Electric and the Japanese regulators, but don't forget who built these plants: General Electric, as American as Mom and apple pie. There are dozens of them with the same design still operating in the United States. The federal government is routinely extending their permits beyond their design lives. Wonder how they'd hold up in, oh I don't know, a tornado.

Comments (6)

So currently we can assume the reactor Corium has been contained within the facility? If so then the containment redundancies are working?

The US reactor Vessels or Domes were designed to take a direct hit from a 747, I'm sure they would survive a tornado.

Face it Jack, Fukushima is soon becoming a non-issue. GE and the Japanese didn't foresee the chance that the plant would experience both an earthquake AND a tsunami. Considering where we are today the plants fared well.

We are all very aware that regardless of the facts you will never accept Nuclear Power as a viable power source, which is fine. I guess we can assume you will refuse all radiological, and medical imaging exams based upon technology developed in conjunction with all Nuclear Devices? That would include X-Ray, CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, and PET Scans all offered at your local Clinics, and Hospitals? All of those modalities can expose you to more radiation than what you find to be unacceptable for the workers to be exposed to from the Fukushima Plant.

We don't know how far the corium has gone, because until today Tepco wouldn't even admit there was corium.

Fukushima will never become a non-issue, just as Chernobyl hasn't.

Once a nuke apologist starts up with the medical horsecrap, I just stop reading This is about Mark I boiling water reactors, not CAT scans.

There will be many cancers from Fukushima. You'll just have to deal with that fact.

Oh, and Mark, why don't you add that you are posting from here?

I stand with you Jack, on this one. Arne Gunderson of Fairewinds has published very clear videos (which I got via your blog).
The radioactive elements are in the open due to exploded containments, and the cooloing water they must be pouring on becomes contaminated and then leaks into the groundwater and/or the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese are exposing hundreds of thousands (or more) to dangerous levels of radiation. there will be consequences...

Wait 'til the birth defects start.


I support the development of more modern nuclear generating facilities in the U.S. but it's pure whitewash to suggest the "corium has been contained within the facility".

Jack called it like it was, and the mainstream press got snookered.

I don't blame G.E. for this accident any more than I blame Boeing when a terrorist blows up their plane. That said, I understand Jack's frustration that clearly outmoded facilities haven't been retired.

The idea that Fukushima will become a "non-story" is ridiculous at best. Your apologist screed will not go over well here, and you only hurt the future chances of development of nuclear power with your ignorance.

Fukushima is bad. Probably not Chernobyl bad because it didn't blow 4 x 10^18 Bq of radioactive crap into the stratosphere, but the localized damage is immense, and won't be getting any less immense for quite some time. Oh, and that says nothing of the who-knows-how-many Bq of radioactive crap that it did blow into the atmosphere, as well as the gigatons of radioactive water continuing to spill into the ocean.

Please, if you'd like to see any future for nuclear power generation, stop with the denial and whitewash.

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