The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #136314 Message #3112322
Posted By: Charley Noble
12-Mar-11 - 10:06 AM
Thread Name: BS: Japan Nuclear plant disaster, 2011
Subject: RE: BS: Nuclear plant disaster looming
"An explosion at a nuclear power station today destroyed a building housing the reactor amid fears that it could melt down after being hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.
Large amounts of radiation were spewing out and the evacuation area around the plant was expanded but officials did not know how dangerous the leak was to people. Shinji Kinjo, a spokesman for the Japanese nuclear agency, could not say how much radiation was in the atmosphere or how hot the reactor was following the failure of its cooling system.
Tokyo Power Electric Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said four workers had suffered fractures and bruises and were being treated at a hospital. A NUCLEAR EXPERT SAID A MELTDOWN MAY NOT POSE WIDESPREAD DANGER" (emphasis added WHAT!!!).
This situation is not going to get better, as I feared yesterday.
The process in review:
The earthquake cut off conventional power to the nuclear plant with its four reactors.
Back-up generators kicked in as planned to power the coolant pumps.
Then the tsunami knocked out some of the back-up generators, leaving two of the reactors with no power except for batteries.
Hyrdogen gas began to build up within the containment area (which is why they were venting radioactive steam yesterday) and this morning there was most likely a hydrogen explosion which has blown apart one of the buildings.
What's not clear to me is whether the reactor vessel has been breached in this explosion, or whether that vessel is surrounded by an additional dome. In any case there seems no way to avert a meltdown of this reactor's fuel rods with further explosions, which could trigger further damage and explosions to the adjacent reactors.
This is not good and that's why further evacuations are taking place.