The Fukushima nuclear disaster fell off the front pages this summer, and the media stopped monitoring the day-by-day battle at the stricken plant. If you didn’t think about it, you might be excused for believing that the worst was avoided. But the truth is much more ominous. The Japanese government is preparing to declare a large zone around the plant uninhabitable, probably for decades, due to contamination at unsafe levels.
|By: Gregg Levine Friday August 19, 2011 3:00 pm|
Imagine, if you will, living somewhat close to a nuclear reactor—not right next door, but close enough—and then imagine that an accident at that reactor causes a large release of radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere. Certainly scary, but maybe less scary because you know your government has computer models that show where the nuclear fallout will blow and fall, and they explain that the amounts that will blow and fall on you are negligible.
Sure, you might think twice about that reassurance, but it is not like they are saying everything is OK. The government, after all, did evacuate some people based on their fallout models. . . so they are on top of it.
|By: Scarecrow Thursday May 12, 2011 8:45 am|
Ever since the Japan earthquake and tsunami disabled the cooling systems at Units 1-4 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant, each of those units has been suffering significant leaks of radioactive water through various but mostly unconfirmed sources. Those leaks could be in the cooling system pipes, damaged valves and pumps, or even related condenser equipment in adjacent turbine buildings.
More ominous would be leaks from the containment structure or pressure suppression pool, and worst of all would be leaks directly from the reactor vessel that holds the damaged, partially melted fuel core.
News reports this morning are now confirming there is a major leak from a hole, likely “several centimeters” in diameter, in the reactor vessel at Unit 1. The utility, TEPCO, discovered the leak/hole in the reactor vessel after making repairs on a related gauge.
|By: Bill Egnor Tuesday April 26, 2011 8:50 am|
Forests around the Chernobyl plant are in the kind of shape where massive fires, the kind that last for months, can occur.
|By: Scarecrow Wednesday April 6, 2011 9:45 am|
Japanese officials announced early Wednesday that they have managed to stop the serious leak of water with high radiation levels that had been flowing into the Pacific Ocean from the pit and sea-intakes near Unit 2. That was the good news. The bad news is what’s still unsolved.
|By: Scarecrow Saturday April 2, 2011 4:00 pm|
Saturday’s news focused on TEPCO finding contaminated water leaking into the ocean from a staging “pit” near Unit 2. The concrete pit has a large crack in it. Pumping out of contaminated flooded areas continue. Also, I provide comments on the AREVA Presentation of the accident sequence.
|By: Scarecrow Thursday March 31, 2011 2:00 pm|
Japanese officials on Thursday confronted significantly increased radiation readings, well above safe levels on land and sea. The increases occurred even as they continued efforts to inject fresh water in Units 1-3 reactors and spent fuel storage ponds and pumped contaminated water out of turbine building basements and nearby trenches.
|By: Scarecrow Tuesday March 29, 2011 6:02 am|
Sandbags. That’s right, we’re literally down to sandbags to keep a trench filled with highly radiative water from spilling its content into the sea.
|By: Scarecrow Friday March 25, 2011 7:00 am|
Concerns on Friday focused on (1) the continuing spread of radiation in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures, with local citizens anxious to evacuate areas beyond the mandated 20 kilometer radius and (2) the inability of the government either to gain control of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactors or to explain the exact source and nature of the continuing radiation leaks.
|By: Scarecrow Thursday March 24, 2011 6:06 am|
Earlier hopes that restoring offsite power to the control rooms at Units 1-2 and 3-4 would allow quick reactivation of normal cooling systems were dashed with discovery, anticipated in our coverage, that critical pumps, valves and pressure censors might be damaged and need repair or replacement. In the meantime, radiation fears are spreading to tap water.