Monday, March 14, 2011

Third Reactor Explosion - Japanese Prime Minister to Speak at 6:00 pm ADT - Updated

--- by Scarecrow

Japanese authorities now reporting that about 6:14 a.m. (Tokyo) Tuesday, March 15, there was an explosion at the Daiichi Unit 2 [at right - before explosion] of the Fukushima Nuclear Station. This explosion was heard, not seen from the outside. The explosion reportedly did not blow off the roof/walls, as the explosions did at Units 1 and 3.

The explosion reportedly occurred near the containment area. Plant officials fear there may now be a crack in the reactor containment, which would allow more serious releases of radiation. A “pressure suppression pool,” the doughnut-shaped area at the bottom of the reactor vessel may have been damaged, which officials are describing as “serious.”

They are evacuating non-essential personnel around the plant. Release levels spiked to 965 micro-Sv/hour [translation unclear?] and then fell back, but remain at elevated levels. [Now reported to have reached 8,217 micro-SV/hour, before dropping.] Winds are reported from the NNW.

At the time of the explosion, about one half of the reactor core — about 2.7 meters — had become uncovered. According to one analyst, at some point, the entire core was exposed. Pressure reached 3 atmospheres, but has fallen back to 1.

These pressure and radiation readings suggest the reactor pressure vessel holding the core may have been breached.

There is also an inoperable value that would otherwise allow pressure releases. That’s preventing or limiting the ability to inject cooling water.

An official is describing the event on this live tv feed, with English translation.

More here.


Radiation levels around the damaged reactors is rising to serious levels.

The French are preparing to evacuate their Tokyo embassy.

From a former worker in the nuclear energy industry:

From this point on, onsite personnel will become very ill. Many will die. If they are forced to stop working or if they fail to keep control, we could get three or four large steam explosions, dispersing many tons of radioactive material high into the air.


hansragnar said...

those micro-sv levels are alarming - any sustained exposure at 8k micro-sv p/hr is going to kill people outright.

Philip Munger said...


Yes they are. maybe funkalunatic can comment and calm us down, eh?

hansragnar said...

I live w/i 6 miles of two 40 year old + 500mw PWRs so I have an intense, personal interest in these events; if/when the molten core(s) burn through the steel and 3,000~4,000 degree radioactive lava hits ground water a goodly portion of northern Japan will become uninhabitable. But as for funknlunatic, her/his handle says it all.

funkalunatic said...

Sorry, still not buying it. I'm not saying that this isn't a serious thing, expecially locally, but 1) it pales in comparison to the tsunami, and 2) there's no way this reaches Alaska.

It's interesting that your "former worker in the nuclear energy industry" is contradicting what pretty much everybody else working in the nuclear energy industry is saying. Selective quoting, anybody?

Philip Munger said...


Believe me - I hope you are right.

funkalunatic said...

I will concede that this demonstrates that putting extreme energy facilities like large-scale nuclear power facilities in disaster-prone areas is a bad idea. I don't know if Japan is still looking at attempting to build a fusion reactor, which would have to operate at even higher temperatures, but if so they should reconsider.

Celia Harrison said...

Here is the best coverage of what is going on in Japan, he's exhausted at this point. He does not hype, just gives the news.

Celia Harrison said...

Woops I forgot the link,

Philip Munger said...

thanks, Celia.