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Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor | World news | The Guardian

Readings from reactor two at the site have been made public by the Japanese authorities and Tepco, the utility that operates it.

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor, but said there was no danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe.

..."The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell," Lahey said. "I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards."

No. 2 is the one where radiation level readings inside the drywell have gone up.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:54:47 AM EST
Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor | World news | The Guardian

The major concern when molten fuel breaches a containment vessel is that it reacts with the concrete floor of the drywell underneath, releasing radioactive gases into the surrounding area. At Fukushima, the drywell has been flooded with seawater, which will cool any molten fuel that escapes from the reactor and reduce the amount of radioactive gas released.

Lahey said: "It won't come out as one big glob; it'll come out like lava, and that is good because it's easier to cool."

The drywell is surrounded by a secondary steel-and-concrete structure designed to keep radioactive material from escaping into the environment. But an earlier hydrogen explosion at the reactor may have damaged this.

"The reason we are concerned is that they are detecting water outside the containment area that is highly radioactive and it can only have come from the reactor core," Lahey added. "It's not going to be anything like Chernobyl, where it went up with a big fire and steam explosion, but it's not going to be good news for the environment."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The data in question is available here. In the latest reports however, radioactivity in the drywell and wetwell of No. 2 sank (from 40.5 to 39.6 Sv/h resp. from 1.35 to 1.26 Sv/h).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 05:12:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I made the following diagram out of all the reactor interior radiation levels given (DW = drywell, WW = wet well or suppression chamber):

It would appear that No. 1 should be much ore of a concern continued meltdown-wise. Checking other parameters for the last big uptick in drywell radioactivity, core and drywell pressures and temperature also went up, so this wasn't simply due to venting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait - what? Those are full Sv/hr?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yep. dry well and wet well readings

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:34:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[speechless]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:45:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
{more than usual} ?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:52:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could see problems with striping of paint and destruction of electronics at those levels. Do we have reference levels for what "normal operation" levels were.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 08:20:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I can't see any anywhere, but You would think that normally they would need to be low enough for people to work round them, charging the reactor, swapping out fuel etc. and with radiation at that level, you wouldnt really want a pool of spent fuel around either, unless that is a level under the bowels of the machine where people dont go.  (although we do know theres at least one cable run underneath, and  the bit where we had people step in puddles so there has to be some form of access down below)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 08:36:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do people work inside the containment, except for maintenance? Also worth to note: the drywell is not normally filled with water.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 01:34:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How does the radiation make the paint stripe?
by njh on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This was reported from Chernobyl. My surmise is that at sufficiently high radiation levels the chemical structure of the paint is attacked and it is basically burnt or evaporated off the surface. Each element responds differently to various types of radiation. Some may vaporize, some may heat up to the point that the chemical bonds are broken and/or oxidized or reduced.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a friend who used to supply specialised paints to the nuke industry. I remember him saying that if you look old paint on a house it bubbles and cracks, in a normal working nuke plant, the paint on surfaces decays at five times the rate, depending on the  exposure. However everything is painted to keep moisture away from metal surfaces, as rust absorbs radiation more than plain steel, and is much harder to decontaminate. At vastly increased radioactive rates you'll get much more cracking and bubbling as impurities occur and you get  breakdown of some molecules in the paint matrix.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 06:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wow!
by njh on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 05:09:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does fire make the paint stripe?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 05:23:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found some pressure/temperature data and graphs for reactors 1,2,3 here.
by das monde on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 09:56:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Update:

In the dry well of No. 1, the radiation level went further up. However, drywell pressure dropped (from 0.230 to 0.210 MPa). As for the pressure vessel, temperatures dropped, while the two pressure sensors give different data, and the lower data dropped further while the higher one rose (I guess the second device is malfunctioning).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 04:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
40 Sv per hour? Jesus fucking christ. That's roughly what standing next to the exploded reactor in Chernobbyl gave you. In other news, I hade a nightmare last night of being exposed to half a Sievert. No radiation poisoning detected in the dream at least.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:59:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dream on!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 11:18:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When the Fukushima Meltdown Hits Groundwater | Hawai`i News Daily
The Story of Citizens United v. FEC (2011) Recent CommentsAction Alert

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The deposit must be in the form of a money order made out to the inmate's full committed name and complete eight-digit register number. Details. When the Fukushima Meltdown Hits Groundwater March 27, 2011 By Dr. Tom Burnett

Fukushima is going to dwarf Chenobyl. The Japanese government has had a level 7 nuclear disaster going for almost a week but won't admit it.

The disaster is occurring the opposite way than Chernobyl, which exploded and stopped the reaction. At Fukushima, the reactions are getting worse. I suspect three nuclear piles are in meltdown and we will probably get some of it.

If reactor 3 is in meltdown,  the concrete under the containment looks like lava. But Fukushima is not far off the water table. When that molten mass of self-sustaining nuclear material gets to the water table it won't simply cool down. It will explode - not a nuclear explosion, but probably enough to involve the rest of the reactors and fuel rods at the facility.

Pouring concrete on a critical reactor makes no sense - it will simply explode and release more radioactive particulate matter. The concrete will melt and the problem will get worse. Chernobyl was different - a critical reactor exploded and stopped the reaction. At Fukushima, the reactor cores are still melting down. The ONLY way to stop that is to detonate a ~10 kiloton fission device inside each reactor containment vessel and hope to vaporize the cores. That's probably a bad solution.

A nuclear meltdown is a self-sustaining reaction. Nothing can stop it except stopping the reaction. And that would require a nuclear weapon. In fact, it would require one in each containment vessel to merely stop what is going on now. But it will be messy.

please let there be a better way...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 08:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blowing a damaged reactor up with a 10 kT device is an absolutely absurd idea. Not only will it vaporize the core and the spent fuel and spread it over the neighbourhood Chernobyl-style, this kind of groundburst will contaminate vast amount of dust which will turn into fallout. Oh, not to mention the vast physical destruction created by nuclear weapons.

Basically, what is this guy smoking, and can I please have some?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 09:06:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do they mean by "save the reactor"? Be able to reuse it again? That's not even been part of the "race" for at least a week (for the serious people, that is - the rest of us have known the reactors were a writeoff for at least two weeks).

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 05:01:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 3rd article I listed already mentions meltdowns at the No 1 reactor.

My last link is the video of Prof. Christopher Busby. He is active with interviews these days. In the following clip (watch from 2:20) he envisions three scenarios, two of them very bad, and the most likely is one of those. That likely scenario: the radiation at the plant gets so high that work is abandoned (and the work is already desperate nonsense), leaving a China syndrome meltdown (without Hollywood actors to save us) and the stuff would just (mainly) poison the northern half of Japan. But more terribly, MOX plutonium may cause a critical reaction - and that would be an unimaginable problem for the whole globe. And the milder scenario is that they manage to pour water forever.

by das monde on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 05:18:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 3rd article I listed already mentions meltdowns at the No 1 reactor.

But there is no suggestion that it melted through the pressure vessel into the containment vessel (the drywell part), and indeed that's the one reactor still under pressure.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:09:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with Christopher Busby is that he's hardly an impartial opinion. According to the wiki article you cite: Busby is the author of two self published books on cancer incidence in Wales, Wings of Death and Wolves of Water, and according to CERRIE "articles and research papers on low level radiation." The books were criticised in papers published by the Journal of Radiological Protection , which described their analysis as erroneous in consequence of various mistakes. According to the editor-in-chief of the journal, and fellow CERRIE committee member, "much of Chris Busby's work is self-published and difficult to access; he seems mainly to avoid publication in the recognised scientific literature, which presents difficulties for a proper review of the evidence underlying his conclusions."

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who are the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Radiological Protection, and the "fellow CERRIE committee member"? The editor-in-chief is Richard Wakeford, and here is what Busby himself saying about him and some other colleagues:
What these people have in common is ignorance. You may think a professor at a university must actually know something about their subject. But this is not so. Nearly all of these experts who appear and pontificate have not actually done any research on the issue of radiation and health. Or if they have, they seem to have missed all the key studies and references. I leave out the real baddies, who are closely attached to the nuclear industry, like Richard Wakeford, or Richard D as he calls himself on the anonymous website he has set up to attack me, "chrisbusbyexposed".

I saw him a few times talking down the accident on the television, labelled in the stripe as Professor Richard Wakeford, University of Manchester. Incidentally, Wakeford is a physicist, his PhD was in particle physics at Liverpool. But he was not presented as ex- Principle Scientist, British Nuclear Fuels, Sellafield. That might have given the viewers the wrong idea. Early on we saw another baddy, Malcolm Grimston, talking about radiation and health, described as Professor, Imperial College. Grimston is a psychologist, not a scientist, and his expertise was in examining why the public was frightened of radiation, and how their (emotional) views could be changed. But his lack of scientific training didn't stop him explaining on TV and radio how the Fukushima accident was nothing to worry about.

Then he mentions George Monbiot, and gets so juicy:

So what about Wade Allison? Wade is a medical physics person and a professor at Oxford. I have chosen to pitch into him since he epitomises and crystallises for us the arguments of the stupid physicist. In this he has done us a favour, since he is really easy to shoot down. All the arguments are in one place. Stupid physicists? Make no mistake, physicists are stupid. They make themselves stupid by a kind of religious belief in mathematical modelling. The old Bertie Russell logical positivist trap. And whilst this may be appropriate for examining the stresses in metals, or looking at the Universe (note that they seem to have lost 90% of the matter in the Universe, so-called "dark matter") it is not appropriate for, and is even scarily incorrect when, examining stresses in humans or other lifeforms. Mary Midgley, the philosopher has written about Science as Religion. Health physicists are the priests.

An exciting fields for name calling.
by das monde on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Stupid physicists? Make no mistake, physicists are stupid. They make themselves stupid by a kind of religious belief in mathematical modelling. The old Bertie Russell logical positivist trap. And whilst this may be appropriate for examining the stresses in metals, or looking at the Universe (note that they seem to have lost 90% of the matter in the Universe, so-called "dark matter") it is not appropriate for, and is even scarily incorrect when, examining stresses in humans or other lifeforms.
That doesn't prevent Chris Busby quoting models done by a colleague of his who works at CERN on the effect of Uranium as an absorber and re-emitter of background radiation inside the body.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:40:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is not entirely a hypocrite here, as he is basically saying:

whilst [math modelling] may be appropriate for examining the stresses in metals, [absorption and re-emission of background radiation] or looking at the Universe [even with the 90% punch] it is not appropriate for ... examining stresses in humans or other lifeforms.

So he has an excuse of distinguishing a couple of kinds of intelligence.

by das monde on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but I think Frank Schnittger got the tone exactly right with his
anthropogenic background radiation exacerbation (none / 1) the new global warming, complete with deniers
This is so uglily political it's not even funny.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 07:05:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crank alert..

He makes me think of Helen "Crazy" Caldicott and her strontium baby-teeth road-show.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 09:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems it was Joseph Mangano who ran that road show (and claimed that nuclear power plants give you "Breast Cancer, AIDS, Low Birthweights" etc. But anyway, you get my meaning.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 09:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously doubt "crank alert" applies to Dr. Caldicott. Nor to the debate over the literature from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 02:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a video of the Monbiot - Caldicott death match, excepted down below.
by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 02:27:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a single-issue blog (it consists of exactly one blog post, on Chris Busby)

Chris Busby Exposed | Just another WordPress.com site

Chris Busby Exposed Posted on March 11, 2008 by junksciencewatch   CHRIS BUSBY EXPOSED  http://chrisbusbyexposed.spaces.live.com

"Chris Busby"

Have a look at some of these links which expose the ineptitude and conduct of Chris Busby, so-called "scientific" advisor to, and aspiring MEP for, the Green Party. 



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 05:55:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So that is the anonymous website of Wakeford, as Busby claims. The style is rather vapid, and the shot at the Cancer Incidence Temporality Index defined (by a misprinted formula) as 1 in this article abstract is cheap enough for anonymity. But right, Busby is not a paragon of diligence, even if inconvenient still.
by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:19:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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