Japan Nuclear Disaster Update: Power Restored to Some Reactor Units, Unit 3 Smoking, Radiation Spreads

By: Monday March 21, 2011 7:15 am

It’s Monday morning in the US; it’s Monday evening in Japan.

Quick Summary: Over the weekend, hopes of getting the reactors and spent fuel storage pools cooled rose significantly at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station, although on Monday, new black smoke was observed rising from Unit 3 forcing another evacuation there. They’re not sure whether there was another explosion (none was heard) or about the source/cause of the smoke.

 

Japan Nuclear Reactor Disaster Update: Frantic Efforts to Cool Reactors and Fuel Pools

By: Wednesday March 16, 2011 8:22 am

Frantic efforts continue to get cooling water into all six units at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Generation Station. At units 1-3, they are attempting to inject sea water into or around the reactor vessel. Authorities say the core in Units 1 and 2 were fully uncovered in the last 48 hours and may still be partially uncovered, suggesting that fuel and cladding melting may be continuing.

Why Fukushima’s “Spent” Fuel Rods Will Continue to Catch Fire

By: Tuesday March 15, 2011 7:13 pm

Yesterday the spent fuel rod pool at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4 caught fire. About that time instruments at the plant showed an exponential increase in radiation levels. After the fire was quenched, radiation levels fell. In the hour before I sat down to write this, there was an explosion at the same spent fuel rod pool. As I write, another fire is burning there. NHK reports the radiation level – 300 to 400 milliSieverts – is so high that firefighters cannot approach the area.

Nuke Engineer: Fuel Rod Fire at Fukushima Reactor “Would Be Like Chernobyl on Steroids”

By: Monday March 14, 2011 2:00 pm

When the nuclear engineer from an identical plant states there’s any possibility of such a catastrophe, Washington, we have a problem. Chernobyl’s contamination settled upon people and nations thousands of miles from that reactor’s location. How far would “Chernobyl on steroids” travel? And where are the up to 20 years of reactor no 1 spent fuel rods that could cause such a problem?

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