Earthquake, tsunami devastate Japan

An earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale hit northern Japan, causing massive damage.  Then came the tsunami, which sent a 30-foot wall of water three miles inland, killing untold numbers.  The tsunami also traveled at 500 m.p.h.–as fast as a airplane–hitting Hawaii and America’s west coast.  Marinas and boats were damaged, but, as of this moment, I have heard no reports of American deaths.

Now fires have broken out in Japan, and–what really has people worried–nuclear power plants are releasing radiation and at least two are in danger of meltdown.

Lord, have mercy!

UPDATE:  25-year-old Joey Young from Crescent, California, was taking pictures of the incoming tsunami when he was swept out to sea and drowned.  Another California man with a history of heart problems was found dead on his boat.

Japan earthquake, tsunami said to kill hundreds; little impact on Hawaii, other islands.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    This is a disaster which seems to be unprecedented, at least in Japan’s modern history. While our prayers rise, I’m sure, for the all the Japanese people as they face the challenge of responding to this calamity, it is worthwhile noting that the confessional Japan Lutheran Church, aligned with the LC-MS, is especially concentrated in northern Japan, where the earthquake’s impact was centred.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    This is a disaster which seems to be unprecedented, at least in Japan’s modern history. While our prayers rise, I’m sure, for the all the Japanese people as they face the challenge of responding to this calamity, it is worthwhile noting that the confessional Japan Lutheran Church, aligned with the LC-MS, is especially concentrated in northern Japan, where the earthquake’s impact was centred.

  • MarkB

    I am not as knowledgeable about the particular reactors used in Japan, which are the Boiling Water design. The ones I was trained on in the Navy and worked on in both the navy and in civilian life were Pressurized Water reactors where you had a steam bubble in the pressurizer to maintain the coolant without a bubble in the reactor. However, the fact still remains that no matter what type of reactor it is, even after shutdown the reactors generate a tremendous amount of heat from the daughter products of fission. The length of time that this heat is generated and the level of heat generated is directly related to the previous power level and length of time on operation.
    Assuming that these plants operate like most civilian nuclear plants they would have been running for a long time, days or even months, at relatively high levels of power. That means it will take days or even weeks for the residual heat to dissipate to a level where it does not need emergency cooling.
    If they fail to cool these plants we could have collapse of the fuel rods and it is even possible to have a partial of full melt down of the fuel itself. Hopefully they will be able to get power to move the cooling water into the core of the reactors to prevent this type of failure. If not it will be a mess with the actual plutonium, uranium and the daughter products of fission being released into the water and the containment building. They will need to vent the buildings as steam is generated to prevent over pressuring the containment buildings themselves. Venting the building with the contamination in the steam will release radioactive particulates into the general environment. Which will most likely cause contamination of the area and ingestion by people and animals.
    One caveat is that the reporters are very limited in knowledge of nuclear power and radiation, so some of the reports will be wildly inaccurate just as they were at Three Mile Island.

  • MarkB

    I am not as knowledgeable about the particular reactors used in Japan, which are the Boiling Water design. The ones I was trained on in the Navy and worked on in both the navy and in civilian life were Pressurized Water reactors where you had a steam bubble in the pressurizer to maintain the coolant without a bubble in the reactor. However, the fact still remains that no matter what type of reactor it is, even after shutdown the reactors generate a tremendous amount of heat from the daughter products of fission. The length of time that this heat is generated and the level of heat generated is directly related to the previous power level and length of time on operation.
    Assuming that these plants operate like most civilian nuclear plants they would have been running for a long time, days or even months, at relatively high levels of power. That means it will take days or even weeks for the residual heat to dissipate to a level where it does not need emergency cooling.
    If they fail to cool these plants we could have collapse of the fuel rods and it is even possible to have a partial of full melt down of the fuel itself. Hopefully they will be able to get power to move the cooling water into the core of the reactors to prevent this type of failure. If not it will be a mess with the actual plutonium, uranium and the daughter products of fission being released into the water and the containment building. They will need to vent the buildings as steam is generated to prevent over pressuring the containment buildings themselves. Venting the building with the contamination in the steam will release radioactive particulates into the general environment. Which will most likely cause contamination of the area and ingestion by people and animals.
    One caveat is that the reporters are very limited in knowledge of nuclear power and radiation, so some of the reports will be wildly inaccurate just as they were at Three Mile Island.

  • cattail

    Evidently there was one death in California–somebody ignored the warnings and went to the beach to photograph the waves.

    MarkB is correct about inaccurate reporting on nuclear matters. It’s going to be a free-for-all!

    Prayers for all involved, especially the Lutheran Christians. I haven’t found anything on the WELS website about their missions there.

  • cattail

    Evidently there was one death in California–somebody ignored the warnings and went to the beach to photograph the waves.

    MarkB is correct about inaccurate reporting on nuclear matters. It’s going to be a free-for-all!

    Prayers for all involved, especially the Lutheran Christians. I haven’t found anything on the WELS website about their missions there.

  • Pingback: "Major Tsunami Strikes Japan After 8.9-Magnitude Earthquake" and related posts | ItsStillAmerica.com

  • Pingback: "Major Tsunami Strikes Japan After 8.9-Magnitude Earthquake" and related posts | ItsStillAmerica.com

  • Dennis Peskey

    I would ask all to pray for the people in Japan, especially the city of Sendai which was nearest the epicenter of the quake. I have a good friend who lives in that city with her family. Unfortunately, there is no current communication with that area. Kyrie Eleision.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I would ask all to pray for the people in Japan, especially the city of Sendai which was nearest the epicenter of the quake. I have a good friend who lives in that city with her family. Unfortunately, there is no current communication with that area. Kyrie Eleision.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Pingback: Poseidōn the Earthshaker « A Young Flemish Hellenist

  • Pingback: Poseidōn the Earthshaker « A Young Flemish Hellenist

  • MarkB

    It appears this morning that the nuclear plant in Japan has had a steam explosion breaching the containment building. This means that what ever nuclear contaminants are in the water surrounding the core will now go airborn and get out into the environment. From what I was hearing on the news last night the loss of power at the plant was preventing the operators from being able to open the vents on the containment building which would have relieved the pressure to prevent this.
    If they cannot get enough cooling to the core it will make everything worse.

    They are handing out Iodine to help mitigate the effects of one of the daughter products that breaks down to Iodine 135 which is radioactive on its own. Iodine is stored in you thyroid so the idea is to overload your body with non-radioactive iodine so you do not store the iodine 135 in your thyroid.

    I join with Dennis in praying for the survivors of the initial quake and tsunami. They and many others are still in great danger from many different problems not only the nuclear danger.

  • MarkB

    It appears this morning that the nuclear plant in Japan has had a steam explosion breaching the containment building. This means that what ever nuclear contaminants are in the water surrounding the core will now go airborn and get out into the environment. From what I was hearing on the news last night the loss of power at the plant was preventing the operators from being able to open the vents on the containment building which would have relieved the pressure to prevent this.
    If they cannot get enough cooling to the core it will make everything worse.

    They are handing out Iodine to help mitigate the effects of one of the daughter products that breaks down to Iodine 135 which is radioactive on its own. Iodine is stored in you thyroid so the idea is to overload your body with non-radioactive iodine so you do not store the iodine 135 in your thyroid.

    I join with Dennis in praying for the survivors of the initial quake and tsunami. They and many others are still in great danger from many different problems not only the nuclear danger.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    MarkB, many thanks for bringing your expertise to us on this blog.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    MarkB, many thanks for bringing your expertise to us on this blog.

  • Carl Vehse

    It is iodine-131 (half-life = 8.05 days) that is the fission product the use of potassium iodide (KI) tablets is designed to prevent as MarkB described. Other volatile fission products, such as some radioactive xenon isotopes, would also be released in fuel rod leaks. It would take a major explosion and destruction of the reactor core itself (as happened at Chernobyl) to release non-volatile radioactive fission products such as cesium-137, strontium-90, etc.

    I also agree with MarkB’s comment about the wildly inaccurate and sensationalist news reporting and the lack of quantitative radiation exposure or dose rate data. BTW, if they do, Japanese reporting will likely involve international units of dose rate, in subunits of grays per hr (Gy/h), rather than U.S. units of rads per hour (rad/hr). For example, converting 1 microgray per hour (uGy/h) = 0.1 millirad/hr; 1 nanogray/hour = 0.1 microrad/hour.

    Here’s a Japanese site that provides near-realtime monitoring of radiation levels throughout Japan: http://www.bousai.ne.jp/eng/. It appears that the radiation sensors north of the Fukushima nuclear plants are not being display.

  • Carl Vehse

    It is iodine-131 (half-life = 8.05 days) that is the fission product the use of potassium iodide (KI) tablets is designed to prevent as MarkB described. Other volatile fission products, such as some radioactive xenon isotopes, would also be released in fuel rod leaks. It would take a major explosion and destruction of the reactor core itself (as happened at Chernobyl) to release non-volatile radioactive fission products such as cesium-137, strontium-90, etc.

    I also agree with MarkB’s comment about the wildly inaccurate and sensationalist news reporting and the lack of quantitative radiation exposure or dose rate data. BTW, if they do, Japanese reporting will likely involve international units of dose rate, in subunits of grays per hr (Gy/h), rather than U.S. units of rads per hour (rad/hr). For example, converting 1 microgray per hour (uGy/h) = 0.1 millirad/hr; 1 nanogray/hour = 0.1 microrad/hour.

    Here’s a Japanese site that provides near-realtime monitoring of radiation levels throughout Japan: http://www.bousai.ne.jp/eng/. It appears that the radiation sensors north of the Fukushima nuclear plants are not being display.

  • MarkB

    Oops, I was a little confused about the particular isotope of iodine. It is iodine 131 instead of 135. It has been almost 30 years since I worked in the nuclear industry.

    The most disturbing thing I find about the reporting is the use of the term radiation. Things that decay and give off radiation are called radioactive. When news people say that the plant is releasing radiation it really is not a proper description of what is happening. There is a major difference between a nuclear radioactive source that is stationary and giving off say gamma rays and plant that is releasing radioactive particulate that releases its own radiation whether it is gamma, beta, neutrons or alphas.

    The consequenses of the different types of radioactive particulates is very different determined by what type of radiation it gives off. Gammas penetrate very well, while beta’s and alpha’s do not because of their charge. So a radioactive particulate source with gamma’s can affect you without your having to swallow them. Where as beta’s and alpha’s typically need to be ingested to cause major problems. You also can have neutrons by spontaneous decay of some of the uranium or plutonium, but this should not be a major concern in this case.

  • MarkB

    Oops, I was a little confused about the particular isotope of iodine. It is iodine 131 instead of 135. It has been almost 30 years since I worked in the nuclear industry.

    The most disturbing thing I find about the reporting is the use of the term radiation. Things that decay and give off radiation are called radioactive. When news people say that the plant is releasing radiation it really is not a proper description of what is happening. There is a major difference between a nuclear radioactive source that is stationary and giving off say gamma rays and plant that is releasing radioactive particulate that releases its own radiation whether it is gamma, beta, neutrons or alphas.

    The consequenses of the different types of radioactive particulates is very different determined by what type of radiation it gives off. Gammas penetrate very well, while beta’s and alpha’s do not because of their charge. So a radioactive particulate source with gamma’s can affect you without your having to swallow them. Where as beta’s and alpha’s typically need to be ingested to cause major problems. You also can have neutrons by spontaneous decay of some of the uranium or plutonium, but this should not be a major concern in this case.

  • http://thefragrantharbor.blogspot.com Catherine

    There’s a remarkable amount of hate on the internet with this disaster. I don’t recall there being this much fuss “praying” for past natural disasters. Several atheists are giving Christians on twitter, tumblr, and other sites a lot of crap for asking people to pray for Japan, saying that if they cared so much, they’d donate instead of praying to an imaginary. It’s really ridiculous, because it kind of came out of nowhere!

    Instead of getting angry and hateful that people are praying (and probably donating and not boasting about it), I wish people would take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Hate never solved anything, and these people are always the ones who want tolerance and love. It’s just so nasty sometimes. Something horrible has happened in Japan, and all these people are doing is hating on people honestly trying to help. It’s really disgusting in my opinion.

  • http://thefragrantharbor.blogspot.com Catherine

    There’s a remarkable amount of hate on the internet with this disaster. I don’t recall there being this much fuss “praying” for past natural disasters. Several atheists are giving Christians on twitter, tumblr, and other sites a lot of crap for asking people to pray for Japan, saying that if they cared so much, they’d donate instead of praying to an imaginary. It’s really ridiculous, because it kind of came out of nowhere!

    Instead of getting angry and hateful that people are praying (and probably donating and not boasting about it), I wish people would take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Hate never solved anything, and these people are always the ones who want tolerance and love. It’s just so nasty sometimes. Something horrible has happened in Japan, and all these people are doing is hating on people honestly trying to help. It’s really disgusting in my opinion.

  • http://thefragrantharbor.blogspot.com Catherine

    *an imaginary God

  • http://thefragrantharbor.blogspot.com Catherine

    *an imaginary God

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s a video of the Fukushima Reactor No. 1 containment building exploding either from a steam or a hydrogen gas explosion.

    According to a Toyko Electric Power Company (TEPCO) press release:

    We are implementing a measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels, but, one of our employees working in the Unit 1 was irradiated at over 100mSv level(106.3mSv). He received a medical treatment by a special physician.”

    The seivert (Sv) is the international unit for dose-equivalent; the rem is the unit commonly used in the U.S. (100mSv = 0.1 Sv = 10 rem). There is no medical treatment needed for a 10 rem dose-equivalent, unless the nuclear worker was internally contaminated by radioactive materials (e.g., I-131, Cs-137, etc) or the worker was physically (or psychologically) injured in other ways.

    The average person receives a whole body dose-equivalent of 0.2 to 0.4 rem per year from natural sources and medical treatments (x-rays, etc.), depending on whether they live at high altitudes exposed to more cosmic radiation, or live/work in concrete, granite, or brick buildings with above average amounts of naturally occurring radioactive materials. A dose-equivalent of more than 80 rem received over a short period of time is likely to produce mild radiation sickness (nausea); the radiation lethal dose, LD50 (50% chance of being fatal) is 500 rem.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s a video of the Fukushima Reactor No. 1 containment building exploding either from a steam or a hydrogen gas explosion.

    According to a Toyko Electric Power Company (TEPCO) press release:

    We are implementing a measure to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessels, but, one of our employees working in the Unit 1 was irradiated at over 100mSv level(106.3mSv). He received a medical treatment by a special physician.”

    The seivert (Sv) is the international unit for dose-equivalent; the rem is the unit commonly used in the U.S. (100mSv = 0.1 Sv = 10 rem). There is no medical treatment needed for a 10 rem dose-equivalent, unless the nuclear worker was internally contaminated by radioactive materials (e.g., I-131, Cs-137, etc) or the worker was physically (or psychologically) injured in other ways.

    The average person receives a whole body dose-equivalent of 0.2 to 0.4 rem per year from natural sources and medical treatments (x-rays, etc.), depending on whether they live at high altitudes exposed to more cosmic radiation, or live/work in concrete, granite, or brick buildings with above average amounts of naturally occurring radioactive materials. A dose-equivalent of more than 80 rem received over a short period of time is likely to produce mild radiation sickness (nausea); the radiation lethal dose, LD50 (50% chance of being fatal) is 500 rem.

  • MarkB

    Carl:
    Thanks for the update and the video. From my untrained eye I would think the explosion was from steam since I did not see a flash like you should with a hydrogen explosion.

    Do you know if the fuel cladding on this particular reactor is zirconium? If so it might be significant in what happens if the fuel becomes uncovered with water.

  • MarkB

    Carl:
    Thanks for the update and the video. From my untrained eye I would think the explosion was from steam since I did not see a flash like you should with a hydrogen explosion.

    Do you know if the fuel cladding on this particular reactor is zirconium? If so it might be significant in what happens if the fuel becomes uncovered with water.

  • Carl Vehse

    The fuel cladding is zirconium according to a LA Times story. It’s mentioned in other news articles as well.

  • Carl Vehse

    The fuel cladding is zirconium according to a LA Times story. It’s mentioned in other news articles as well.

  • WebMonk

    For everyone’s further information, here’s a site that has reporting on the radioactive levels in different locations.

    http://www.bousai.ne.jp/eng/

  • WebMonk

    For everyone’s further information, here’s a site that has reporting on the radioactive levels in different locations.

    http://www.bousai.ne.jp/eng/

  • MarkB

    The reason I asked about the cladding is that I am familiar with what happens to the Zirconium when you lose liquid water around the fuel rods. It causes Zirc Hydrating which makes the Zirconium porous and mechanically unstable. That is the first thing that happened at Three Mile Island allowing the fuel pellets to migrate out of the rods and the rods actually collapsed at the top of the reactor. After that some of the fuel actually melted too, which could happen here also.
    If the fuel does melt it can release a lot more high level radioactive material to the containment building and the environment. Then it will be a nuclear accident on the order of Chernoble.

  • MarkB

    The reason I asked about the cladding is that I am familiar with what happens to the Zirconium when you lose liquid water around the fuel rods. It causes Zirc Hydrating which makes the Zirconium porous and mechanically unstable. That is the first thing that happened at Three Mile Island allowing the fuel pellets to migrate out of the rods and the rods actually collapsed at the top of the reactor. After that some of the fuel actually melted too, which could happen here also.
    If the fuel does melt it can release a lot more high level radioactive material to the containment building and the environment. Then it will be a nuclear accident on the order of Chernoble.

  • cattail
  • cattail
  • Debbye

    Catherine (#9), you’re right. However, Jesus said that pagans will hate us. So just ignore them, keep praying for Japan, and quietly make your donation to World Vision or any other reputable relief effort. That’s what I did.

  • Debbye

    Catherine (#9), you’re right. However, Jesus said that pagans will hate us. So just ignore them, keep praying for Japan, and quietly make your donation to World Vision or any other reputable relief effort. That’s what I did.

  • Pingback: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Fires, and Floods | My Blog

  • Pingback: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Fires, and Floods | My Blog

  • Carl Vehse

    American Nuclear Society’s NuclearCafe blog has a running thread, Media updates on nuclear power stations in Japan, with the most recent media updates at the top of the thread. According to the reports on Reactor No. 1, it was a exposion of hydrogen gas that had been released from the containment vessel into the containment building that resulted in top part of the building being destroyed. The containment vessel remained intact and is now being cooled with sea water spiked with neutron-absorbing boron.

    Reader comments at the very bottom of the thread castigate the inclusion of MSM doomsday hype, including the airtime given to anti-nuclear agendists like ABC gave to Michio Kaku. Listed at the beginning of the thread are also links to official government or nuclear organization sites. I think it is a good idea to post primary MSM articles so that a comparison can be made (especially later) as to who was providing reliable information.

    Here’s a link to a list of Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Press Releases.

  • Carl Vehse

    American Nuclear Society’s NuclearCafe blog has a running thread, Media updates on nuclear power stations in Japan, with the most recent media updates at the top of the thread. According to the reports on Reactor No. 1, it was a exposion of hydrogen gas that had been released from the containment vessel into the containment building that resulted in top part of the building being destroyed. The containment vessel remained intact and is now being cooled with sea water spiked with neutron-absorbing boron.

    Reader comments at the very bottom of the thread castigate the inclusion of MSM doomsday hype, including the airtime given to anti-nuclear agendists like ABC gave to Michio Kaku. Listed at the beginning of the thread are also links to official government or nuclear organization sites. I think it is a good idea to post primary MSM articles so that a comparison can be made (especially later) as to who was providing reliable information.

    Here’s a link to a list of Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Press Releases.

  • Pingback: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Fires, and Floods | Danroberson's Blog

  • Pingback: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Fires, and Floods | Danroberson's Blog

  • MarkB

    Here is a link to the NRC’s reactor concepts information including drawings showing the differences between Mark I, Mark II and Mark III style of Boiling Water Reactors made by GE.

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers/03.pdf

    the reactors in Fukushima are mostly Mark I type of BWR’s.

    Here is another link to an MSNBC page on the various types of BWR’s in use in Japan and the US listing just which ones are Mark I, Mark II or Mark III. I was surprized that Fermi II in the Detroit area of Michigan was a BWR of this design.

    http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/13/6256121-general-electric-designed-reactors-in-fukushima-have-23-sisters-in-us

    Hopefully this will give people a better understanding of what the general design is like.

  • MarkB

    Here is a link to the NRC’s reactor concepts information including drawings showing the differences between Mark I, Mark II and Mark III style of Boiling Water Reactors made by GE.

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers/03.pdf

    the reactors in Fukushima are mostly Mark I type of BWR’s.

    Here is another link to an MSNBC page on the various types of BWR’s in use in Japan and the US listing just which ones are Mark I, Mark II or Mark III. I was surprized that Fermi II in the Detroit area of Michigan was a BWR of this design.

    http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/13/6256121-general-electric-designed-reactors-in-fukushima-have-23-sisters-in-us

    Hopefully this will give people a better understanding of what the general design is like.

  • Carl Vehse

    There appears to have been an explosion at Fukushima Reactor No. 3

  • Carl Vehse

    There appears to have been an explosion at Fukushima Reactor No. 3

  • Carl Vehse

    A video of the Reactor No. 3 explosion is already on YouTube.

  • Carl Vehse

    A video of the Reactor No. 3 explosion is already on YouTube.

  • MarkB

    I find it interesting that the Fukushima reactor failures are considered level 4 and that Three Mile Island is a level 5. And their reasoning does not match with reality. There was no containment breach at Three Mile Island where the outer containment building at Fukushima 1 and 3 are already breached.

    Three Mile Island was a Pressurized Water Reactor that had a stuck relief valve on the pressurizer blowing steam and water with contaminants into the containment building and that containment building was then vented to atmosphere. Where at Fukushima the reactor vessels are being vented directly to atmosphere right now at plants 1 and 3. And plant 2 is likely to have the same failure as 1 and 3 since it too is overheating and not getting enough water poured on the core to prevent zirc hydrating or fuel meltdown.

    Here is one of the reports, second hand

    “We think they have a core meltdown in one of the reactors, but because the containment hasn’t been breached it won’t be anything like Three Mile Island,” the official said.

    This quote came from this site:

    http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/japan-nuclear-fallout-us/2011/03/13/id/389295

    Where Ken Timmerman is quoting “officials.”

    In my view this is a much greater catastrophy than Three Mile Island ever was and it is multiplied by at least three plants at once. I have seen pictures of the core at Three Mile Island and it had minimal melting, but the zirc hydrating caused much of the upper fuel cladding to crumble dropping fuel pellets out of the rod assemblies. The Three Mile Island problem came because of an operator’s improper decisions and actions and the majority of the core was never uncovered. Instead the pressure bubble of steam shifted from the pressurizer to the upper area of the core uncovering it and allowing the zirc hydrating.

  • MarkB

    I find it interesting that the Fukushima reactor failures are considered level 4 and that Three Mile Island is a level 5. And their reasoning does not match with reality. There was no containment breach at Three Mile Island where the outer containment building at Fukushima 1 and 3 are already breached.

    Three Mile Island was a Pressurized Water Reactor that had a stuck relief valve on the pressurizer blowing steam and water with contaminants into the containment building and that containment building was then vented to atmosphere. Where at Fukushima the reactor vessels are being vented directly to atmosphere right now at plants 1 and 3. And plant 2 is likely to have the same failure as 1 and 3 since it too is overheating and not getting enough water poured on the core to prevent zirc hydrating or fuel meltdown.

    Here is one of the reports, second hand

    “We think they have a core meltdown in one of the reactors, but because the containment hasn’t been breached it won’t be anything like Three Mile Island,” the official said.

    This quote came from this site:

    http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/japan-nuclear-fallout-us/2011/03/13/id/389295

    Where Ken Timmerman is quoting “officials.”

    In my view this is a much greater catastrophy than Three Mile Island ever was and it is multiplied by at least three plants at once. I have seen pictures of the core at Three Mile Island and it had minimal melting, but the zirc hydrating caused much of the upper fuel cladding to crumble dropping fuel pellets out of the rod assemblies. The Three Mile Island problem came because of an operator’s improper decisions and actions and the majority of the core was never uncovered. Instead the pressure bubble of steam shifted from the pressurizer to the upper area of the core uncovering it and allowing the zirc hydrating.

  • MarkB

    I just want to make something clear. Even though I feel that Fukushima is a much worse problem than Three Mile Island it is not going to be a major problem for Japan or the world unless the reactor containment is breached or you have a major meltdown. Right now I don’t think either of these will happen, the residual heat is dropping exponentially from the time the reactor shut down when the earth quake hit.

    Remember that no one died at Three Mile Island it was more of a financial disaster than a medical/radiation fallout type of problem. That is what I think will be the outcome at Fukushima too. It will take years to cool down radiologically so that the core can be accessed and then many more years to pull the core apart and dispose of it properly. So it might be 20 years or more before this is cleaned up and dealt with.

  • MarkB

    I just want to make something clear. Even though I feel that Fukushima is a much worse problem than Three Mile Island it is not going to be a major problem for Japan or the world unless the reactor containment is breached or you have a major meltdown. Right now I don’t think either of these will happen, the residual heat is dropping exponentially from the time the reactor shut down when the earth quake hit.

    Remember that no one died at Three Mile Island it was more of a financial disaster than a medical/radiation fallout type of problem. That is what I think will be the outcome at Fukushima too. It will take years to cool down radiologically so that the core can be accessed and then many more years to pull the core apart and dispose of it properly. So it might be 20 years or more before this is cleaned up and dealt with.

  • Carl Vehse

    There are two other BWRs scheduled to start construction at the Fukushima site next year. This may be delayed because of the crisis, but if Nos. 1-3 are permanently out of commission, Japan will need to have some replacements.

  • Carl Vehse

    There are two other BWRs scheduled to start construction at the Fukushima site next year. This may be delayed because of the crisis, but if Nos. 1-3 are permanently out of commission, Japan will need to have some replacements.

  • MarkB

    That is true, but my preference is for PWR’s since they have double containment on the primary to steam generator and the Steam to the turbine and then condensate by cooling with outside water. Any radioactive particulate have to pass through the barrier between the steam generator and then another barrier between the steam/condensate and the cooling water.

    They also seem to have a better built containment building too especially vs. the Mark I series reactors by GE.

  • MarkB

    That is true, but my preference is for PWR’s since they have double containment on the primary to steam generator and the Steam to the turbine and then condensate by cooling with outside water. Any radioactive particulate have to pass through the barrier between the steam generator and then another barrier between the steam/condensate and the cooling water.

    They also seem to have a better built containment building too especially vs. the Mark I series reactors by GE.

  • Pingback: The Cranach Nuclear Watch | Cranach: The Blog of Veith

  • Pingback: The Cranach Nuclear Watch | Cranach: The Blog of Veith

  • Porcell

    MarkB and Carl, as I understand it, these Fukushima reactors are about 40 years old and are known as generation two reactors that require electrical energy driven water coolant.

    The generation three reactors are said to have better containment and a water coolant system that doesn’t require electrical energy. Could you guys elaborate on this and comment on the relative safety of the generation two reactors?

    I have found the World Nuclear News website to be an excellent source of information on the Japanese nuclear situation.

  • Porcell

    MarkB and Carl, as I understand it, these Fukushima reactors are about 40 years old and are known as generation two reactors that require electrical energy driven water coolant.

    The generation three reactors are said to have better containment and a water coolant system that doesn’t require electrical energy. Could you guys elaborate on this and comment on the relative safety of the generation two reactors?

    I have found the World Nuclear News website to be an excellent source of information on the Japanese nuclear situation.

  • helen

    Debbye @ 17 (?)
    So just ignore them, keep praying for Japan, and quietly make your donation to World Vision or any other reputable relief effort.

    Donations can be made to Lutheran Disaster Relief/Human Care at lcms.org They have made an initial $200,000 available to Japan Lutheran Church and will provide more, as we give it. Money will be spent as JLC’s Pastors and our missionaries see the need. There is a lot of need and there will be for a long time to come. The tsunami victims have been upstaged by the nuclear events, but they are no less cold and hungry for being ignored in the press. It’s not Hawaii in Honshu… more like Minnesota.

  • helen

    Debbye @ 17 (?)
    So just ignore them, keep praying for Japan, and quietly make your donation to World Vision or any other reputable relief effort.

    Donations can be made to Lutheran Disaster Relief/Human Care at lcms.org They have made an initial $200,000 available to Japan Lutheran Church and will provide more, as we give it. Money will be spent as JLC’s Pastors and our missionaries see the need. There is a lot of need and there will be for a long time to come. The tsunami victims have been upstaged by the nuclear events, but they are no less cold and hungry for being ignored in the press. It’s not Hawaii in Honshu… more like Minnesota.

  • http://www.vormoos.at/Grafik/nike-air-jordan-women.html エア ジョーダン 11 low

    I precisely wished to thank you very much all over again. I do not know the things I might have tried without the entire aspects revealed by you relating to such concern. Entirely was a real frustrating situation for me personally, but being able to view a skilled form you dealt with that took me to jump for gladness. I am just grateful for this assistance and in addition wish you are aware of a powerful job you were undertaking training some other people using your web blog. Most probably you haven’t got to know any of us.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X