READER COMMENTS ON
"SMOKE BILLOWS FROM REACTOR 3 AT FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR PLANT; WORKERS EVACUATED"
(20 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/15/2011 @ 8:06 pm PT...
Hey Brad, welcome to Armaggedon! I am so grateful for your coverage. I can actually understand what's going on with your reports. Dear heart, on my mobile, I can't find a timestamp for your posts. Is there one somewhere? If not, please post something so I know when the report is current. I am gonna set up that monthly donation now. You have earned it beyond measure, and I'm just sorry I don't have more to give! Since I gave up coffe (aagghhh!) I'm figuring whatever I used to spend on it is what I'll contribute to your efforts. Now if I could just give up CHOCOLATE!! No, you CAN'T have the chocolate! (And that's what really matters right now, right?!) Anyway, WRT Armaggedon & alla that-MOVEYOURMONEY.ORG is the very best way to get the message across. Also, did anyone hear Dennis K's speech in Wisconsin two days ago? My reaction: yeah, Dennis, is this the same speech you been giving for the last 15-30 years or so? Well, good on ya Dennis, cuz the slowwitted people of this country finally REALIZED that you are the one making all the sense. Too bad it's taken all of this horror to wake people up. Better late than never, right? Wow. How very very sad. But if enough of us take to the streets (and I MEAN EVERYONE-EVEN US CALIFORNIACS who are letting Jerry Brown eviscerate the system rather than raise taxes on the corpomonsters who OWE US BIGTIME!!) We might just take this country back. Of there's anything to save, that is... So, anyway, Brad, you are a fine American, a patriot, and a hero. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all you do.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/15/2011 @ 9:44 pm PT...
Thanks Sophia. The time stamp SHOULD appear, even on your mobile. But I'll try to look into it, to figure out why it might not. (I've had the same complaint against a bunch of news outlets lately, including NYT, since they use dates, but not time-stamps and it's impossible to figure out how current their reports are!)
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/15/2011 @ 9:50 pm PT...
Units five and six will probably be joining unit four in short order. Four, as I understand it, was the first to "fail" (of the three offline reactors) because it was shut down most recently. The more recent the shutdown, the hotter the rods.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 12:08 am PT...
what also has to be considered:
japan has about 3 months (estimated) before entering the taifun season. This should be of huge concern as decontamination and securing of 6 reactors (estimated according to devellopment at the moment) has to be ensured. Furthermore construction of sarcophagi has also to be massively earth quake secure and above all fast!
If not carried out properly contamination could seriously spread over the country by strong winds and heavy rains.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 12:46 am PT...
It is now being reported that helicopters are being used to drop water into reactor unit #3.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 1:04 am PT...
i live in japan and just found this site. its seems to be a very accurate cover of events, and a bit more in depth than the articles given on the news site i check. so i guess what i am trying to say is thanks.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 1:37 am PT...
I hope you're okay. What can you tell us about your experience in Japan over these last few days? What are you hearing about the reactors?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 2:25 am PT...
Kris - Really glad you found us. Thanks for the nice words and wish I could say "my pleasure".
Please let us know where you are and how it's going out there. We're with ya.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 3:35 am PT...
Look at the hubris that was designed into these Mark I reactors. The spent fuel is the problem. Stored on site, in open pools requiring pumps to run 24/7, forever, with no backup power supply.
The spent fuel IS the source of the hydrogen that caused the plant explosions. All that was required was for water to stop circulating around these spent fuel rods. That single fact set the rest of what we have witnessed in motion. Once the water stops circulating, the rods heat the water to a boil, evaporating it into steam and producing hydrogen in the process, all best explained and diagrammed here:
Spent Fuel Pools at Fukushima
To cool the rods after they are removed from the reactor core, they are placed on racks in a spent fuel pool that circulates cooled water around them. This water is circulated by pumps that are run using electricity from the power grid. Typically these pumps do not have backup power from deisel generators or batteries, so if power from the grid is interrupted, as it is in the case of the Japanese earthquake, they will stop operating.
Once the cooling pumps stop, the water in the spent fuel pools will begin to heat up and will eventually start to boil off. The pools are typically 45 feet deep with the fuel rods stored in the lower 15 feet of the pool, so 30 feet of water would have to boil off before exposing the rods.
Once the water has dropped low enough to expose several feet of the length of the fuel rods, they can become hot enough that the zirconium cladding of the rods will react with the steam and release hydrogen.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has said there was a hydrogen explosion that damaged the Unit 4 reactor building on Tuesday morning in Japan (Monday afternoon U.S. time), reportedly blowing a 26-foot wide hole in the side of the building. If this explosion was due to hydrogen, that hydrogen very likely came from the spent fuel since there is no other clear source (this reactor was not operating when the earthquake hit). And if the spent fuel produced the hydrogen, that indicates that the water level in the spent fuel pool must have been low enough to have exposed a significant fraction of the fuel rods.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 3:53 am PT...
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 4:12 am PT...
Whether it comes today, tomorrow, or the next day, all efforts by humans to pour water onto these problems will come to an end. There is nothing that can be done. When you design a spent fuel storage system to hover ten stories high, with no thought to the worst case scenario, this is the result. Just think of the absurdity of trying to drop sea water from helicopters - or trying to have men with fire hoses solve the problem. Picture the scenario when ALL WATER is gone from all spent fuel pools and all reactor cores. That is the inevitable result of an arrogant design.
Humanity is now left to contemplate why so much trust was was placed in the men who sold us this bill of goods, including the descriptions of redundant fail-safe systems, that weren't. All of man's brief technological triumph over the atom, summed-up in so many fire hoses and buckets of sea water.
So the men in the white lab coats with the PhDs have been replaced at the end of the day by firemen. Now what to do with the CEOs and the politicians they purchased to do their bidding, with your money?
Helicopters unable to drop water over Japan’s nuclear reactor
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 5:23 am PT...
It appears to be time to invite former GE CEO, Jack Welch, back onto the world stage - to explain himself - how he came to be so wealthy - and at whose expense...
According to documents obtained by Public Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act, GE-designed nuclear reactors around the world have a design flaw that make it virtually certain (90 percent) that in the event of a meltdown, radiation would be released directly into the environment and into surrounding communities, leaving the public without any protection. The NRC acknowledges that the reactor containment structure in GE-built nuclear power plants does not work, but they licensed the reactors anyway. (Also, a dozen or more GE-designed boiling water reactors in the United States and abroad have evidence of cracking in the reactor core shroud — a metal cylinder surrounding the reactor’s radioactive fuel rods.)
+ GE continues to mislead government officials and the public about the dangers of PCBs. At an April 22, 1998 shareholder meeting, GE CEO Jack Welch claimed: “PCBs do not pose adverse health risks.” Testifying in Albany on July 9, 1998, EPA Administrator Carol Browner stated: “GE tells us this contamination is not a problem. GE would have people of the Hudson River believe, and I quote: ‘living in a PCB-laden area is not dangerous.’ But the science tells us the opposite is true ... And concern about PCBs goes beyond cancer ... The science has spoken: PCBs are a serious threat...”
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 6:11 am PT...
... plunger said (yet again)...
"The spent fuel IS the source of the hydrogen that caused the plant explosions."
You are aware, are you not, that the text you somehow omitted from your quote...
Once the cooling pumps stop, the water in the spent fuel pools will begin to heat up and will eventually start to boil off. The pools are typically 45 feet deep with the fuel rods stored in the lower 15 feet of the pool, so 30 feet of water would have to boil off before exposing the rods. That could take several days, so this issue may only be appearing now.
... contradicts your assertions, as the explosions started on day 2?
Some advice: this is actually getting painful to observe.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 9:05 am PT...
Zapkitty... your last comment that it would take several days for the water to boil off, would be based on the best possible scenario... that is that the cooling pools are still intact and no leakage is occurring.... it is reasonable to speculate that there has been significant damage to the cooling pools as the entire facility was critically damaged during the quake / tsunami and all the continuing quakes / fires / explosions...
also, if several of the explosions have been identified as having been caused by hydrogen, where would you say the hydrogen came from if not the pools?
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 9:11 am PT...
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 9:36 am PT...
Yes, it seems much more plausible that the pools were damaged in the earthquake and tsunami and whatever water was left boiled off faster.
I heard Dr. Helen Caldicott on the radio yesterday and she was also more concerned with the spent rods, saying that the storage pools weren't reinforced like the core container and had what she described as "basically a tin lid."
She also described the dangers and history of Mox fuel(although she said it was just 6% in one of the reactors), and warned that the rains in Japan would wash down some of the radiation and create "hot spots."
Her interview can be heard on the kpfa website
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 9:58 am PT...
RE: the water in these spent fuel pools.
Firstly, they have no "lid" - they are literally just like a swimming pool - open to the air.
Ever been on a cruise ship in rough seas and seen what happens to the pool water? Any reason to assume that some water didn't slosh out of these pools during a 9.0 seismic event?
From that moment on, there has been no circulation of the remaining water. I wouldn't trust any of the literature put out by the NRC or IAEA about how much time it would take for 20 tons of spent fuel rods to boil the remaining now-stagnant water. 24 - 48 hours may well be all that is required to boil most of the water out of the pool - depending on the number and potency of the rods stored there. These creates pressurized steam and hydrogen as a bi-product.
Everyone admits that the explosions were caused by hydrogen outside the reactors, yet within the walls of the building. The most obvious source of this hydrogen is from the spent fuel rods, and their exposure to air.
Any other explanation requires overlooking the most obvious one. It's sort of a moot point which came first however, as ultimately every spent fuel pool will be complete dry.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 2:46 pm PT...
To our guests: welcome, and sorry about the misleading information being spread by "plunger" in this thread.
The situation with the Fukushima reactors in Japan is a terrible disaster for the Japanese people, and they have my sympathies and best wishes.
And the situation with the spent-fuel ponds does have the potential to make things much, much worse I'm sorry to say.
But as for the current discussion with plunger I'm even sorrier to say that it's not really about those ponds anymore... it's about someone trying to front themselves as knowledgeable so they can use these threads as a platform to strut from.
But by Bast's furry ears... although it had become obvious several threads ago that plunger was truly ignorant of basic physics...
(the current harping on the ponds as the "source of all evil" is plunger's painfully obvious attempt to bull past those gaffes)
... but to think that this person literally do not even know how to boil an egg while trying to front this BS is beyond pathetic.
Water boils at sea level at about 373 kelvin.
The zirconium oxidation reaction that produces the hydrogen starts at about 1500 k.
The arm-waving about "stagnant water" is utter nonsense. ~1500 k is ~1227 degrees c. Over 12 times the boiling point of water. That's not "stagnant water" that's live steam under pressure.
Now, obviously, that reaction can happen and it is a serious threat now... but for the cladding on the rods to reach 1500 k the circumstances would be entirely different from the "stagnant water" scenario that plunger has pulled out of some orifice or the other.
For the spent rods to produce hydrogen there has to be enough of rod free of the water to reach temperatures in excess of 1500 k. Then the reaction takes place where the rod enters the boiling water and the hydrogen forms... along with a lot of steam.
As for where the hydrogen for the original explosions came from... that was never a mystery.
Experts were expecting it to happen as the cores overheated.
It came from the rods in the reactor cores.
Reactors that are hotter than the rods in the pools, believe it or not.
Reactors that had vastly less water in them than the pools to start with.
Reactors that had lost cooling as well.
Every time "meltdown" was mentioned, what was being discussed was temperatures way above what was needed to form hydrogen.
And when that hydrogen inevitably formed when the water hit the melting rods... that hydrogen had to be vented, along with the steam, to the outer shell in order to reduce pressure in the reactor core.
The only mystery is why plunger continues to attempt to feed their own ego by pushing misinformation after numerous fact checks.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 2:56 pm PT...
Whatever, Agent Zapkitty.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/16/2011 @ 3:17 pm PT...
When a 9.0 strikes a swimming pool - suspended 10-stories up within a structure designed to withstand a 6.5 quake, logic dictates that the structure can fail, causing water to leak from the ruptured pool - leaving the fuel rods to boil the remaining water at an ever increasing pace:
ABC News' Mary Bruce reports:
The chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission warned this afternoon that all of the water is gone from the spent fuel pool at reactor four of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing “extremely high” radiation levels.
“We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures,” NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko told the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
He suspected a hydrogen explosion occurred in the unit, due to the uncovering of the fuel in the pool.
Asked for clarification, Jaczko explained “we believe at this point that unit four may have lost a significant inventory, if not lost all of its water.”
The pools are designed to cool spent fuel rods. Without water, the exposed fuel rods risk overheating, which could lead to a melt down or explosion.
Jaczko did not say where his information was coming from and Japanese officials denied his claim that water is gone from the spent fuel pool, according to the Associated Press.
Jaczko also said that the “integrity has been compromised” at the spent fuel pool at unit 3. “What we know at unit three, and again our information is limited, what we believe is that there is a crack in the spent fuel pool for unit three as well, which could lead to a loss of water in that pool,” he said.
If you are not satisfied to accept reality, here is the US Government's version, stating that what has already occurred, is in fact, impossible:
I'll stick with the observable and likely rather than the wishful.