Author Topic: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown  (Read 4831 times)

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Offline Andy Thompson

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Sad news in Japan a few minutes ago. They are evacuating people within 30 MI of the plant. 50 workers are still in the plant but are losing the battle fast. Its just a matter of time before this reactor explodes and melts down the whole plant.
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 08:33:41 PM »
Sad news in Japan a few minutes ago. They are evacuating people within 30 MI of the plant. 50 workers are still in the plant but are losing the battle fast. Its just a matter of time before this reactor explodes and melts down the whole plant.

Commercial reactors can not explode.
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Offline KeithBC

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 09:53:38 PM »
Commercial reactors can not explode.
Not as nuclear explosions, but reactors #1, 2, and 3 have already suffered hydrogen gas explosions.

Offline Andy Thompson

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 10:28:32 PM »
Thanks for the corrections. I was mistaken, I meant the word "meltdown". Now they are saying (unofficially) that all of the workers have been suspended from operation. This has not been clarified yet.
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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 11:21:14 PM »
They said about 50 workers are still there as of a few minutes ago.  Can't help but wonder if they are the remaining volunteers willing to give their life if there's a chance they can keep it from becoming the worst of all possible worst cases.

Someday they will pay the price of staying if old age does not get them first.     :sad:
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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 11:29:21 PM »
NHK in Japan live in English:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/
Mark 
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 12:20:02 AM »
They said about 50 workers are still there as of a few minutes ago.  Can't help but wonder if they are the remaining volunteers willing to give their life if there's a chance they can keep it from becoming the worst of all possible worst cases.

There may have been some folks that received a high dose of radiation during the past few days and maybe they've volunteered to stay.  Only speculation, but in some scenarios, it wouldn't take much to get a lethal dose.
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Offline Andy Thompson

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 07:12:10 AM »
Yep. Thats just it. Those 50 workers could die anyways because they have been exposed for so long.
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Andy Thompson
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 01:45:48 PM »
Here are a couple of links that you may find interesting to read relative to the nuclear issues going on in Japan. It appears the mainstream media is doing everything they can to blow this out of proportion and to cause panic worldwide. Sometimes it pays to sit back and collect the facts BEFORE spouting off with information that is NOT factual. Not that this isn't a major problem for Japan and the world but cooler heads need to prevail in these times:


A neighbor of mine is a retired nuclear facilities reactor engineer and gave me these links.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 01:48:04 PM by W3DRM »
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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 01:08:55 AM »
Some illustrations from a Wall Street Journal article today:

Edit:  Lets see if this link to the main article works better.  You can open the illustrations to show larger images from there:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703899704576204953044390300.html?mod=e2tw#project%3DJAPANREACTOR1103%26articleTabs%3Darticle
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 01:41:55 AM by Mark / Ohio »
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Offline scottm

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 07:09:09 AM »
I was just reading they thing there is a breach in one of the reactor cores. As far away as Tokyo, they are giving bottled water to families with infants, as the drinking water there contains radiation levels high enough to be thought harmful for infants and the sick, and elderly.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/24/death-toll-japan-quake-tsunami-tops-10000/


Scary stuff, this could likely have negative effects on the region for many generations to come.


Scott



Offline DanS

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 07:29:52 AM »
I heard news that the attempts at keeping the reactors cooled using sea water may have been the wrong thing to do because of the salt build up.

Offline scottm

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 07:38:22 AM »
I read something like that too Dan, i forget the numbers, but it said something like between the salt, the water, the heat, and limited ventilation, it was equivalent to 70 years of natural corrosion or something like that. Crazy stuff!



Offline tomwxman

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2011, 02:45:01 PM »
I heard news that the attempts at keeping the reactors cooled using sea water may have been the wrong thing to do because of the salt build up.
As opposed to having done...what? What would have been "the right thing to do" as an alternative? Any responsible journalist would have added this information...

Offline mackbig

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2011, 03:45:12 PM »
Dont think there is a right answer.   Every nuclear expert the weekend this all started going down, on all the cable stations (left right center), was questioning salt water.  They would preface, "not sure what eles they can do" but they were strongly saying salt water was a bad idea.

Andrew

As opposed to having done...what? What would have been "the right thing to do" as an alternative? Any responsible journalist would have added this information...

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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 05:58:43 PM »
From the "For What It's Worth" Department:   :-k

I read somewhere that the plant was nearing the end of it's design lifetime, and that they were going to start decommissioning some of the units starting next year.  That may have played into their decision making about adding ocean water.

Besides salt, there are many other minerals in the ocean (consider that every time it rains, the runoff and everything it picks up eventually ends up in the ocean).  One of the problems with introducing water that is not distilled or demineralized is that it can cause serious corrosion.  Another thing that can happen is that the impurities in the water can become activated.  Activated means that it has been exposed to radiation, and that in turn makes the impurity radioactive.

In every power plant (nuclear and fossil), the conductivity of the water (impurities increase the conductivity of the water)  is closely monitored.  An increase of conductivity means an increase in impurities in the water.  Conductivity is measured in mhos (the opposite of ohms which is resistance).

Anyways, the impurities in the ocean water has probably caused extensive corrosion problems already (increased heat accelerates the corrosion process).  And, the impurities in the water has surely become activated.  So, those are some of the reasons the unit(s) will never run again.

Of course, they still haven't determined the extent of the damage so far (as far as I know).  I'm sure that as they discover more about the condition of the units, further explanation will be available.
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Offline DanS

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2011, 06:47:11 PM »
You mention "the water impurities can become activated" which leads to a question I have about cooling techniques. Is the 'normal' setup of water cooling a plant similar to a cars engine cooling system, a sealed system where the water is contained and recirculated? Just trying to envision what they're doing up there with the sea water. Can't imagine water being directly applied, contaminated then run off and evaporated.
Guess I could always google this but figured since you're (Greg) into this type of thing I'd be lazy and ask you. ;)

Offline W Thomas

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2011, 06:55:51 PM »
I vaguely remember watching something on CNN of FOX last week while I was in the hospital recovering from back surgery that TEPCO or some outfit was running basically an extension cord to one of those reactors so as to get reconnected to the grid and get the pumps started running again to prevent a melt down. Did this fail ?? Also Greg you are involved in the power generation business that is similar to what they are dealing with maybe..but what are the possibilities of a major melt down?  Some media sources seem to think no problem others say eminent...Just curious..and of course worried for those over in that area!


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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2011, 07:26:47 PM »
Is the 'normal' setup of water cooling a plant similar to a cars engine cooling system, a sealed system where the water is contained and recirculated?
  In a word, yes.  It's more complicated than that, but it's basically just one big cycle. 
Quote
Just trying to envision what they're doing up there with the sea water. Can't imagine water being directly applied, contaminated then run off and evaporated.
  Actually, when they show the fire trucks and cranes spraying the building from the outside, that's what they're doing.  They're not spraying into the reactor, but it is going on the refuel floor where the spent fuel pit is, and the water runs off and into the basement or into the yard around the building.  I'm sure the runoff is contaminated.  Hopefully they're keeping it contained.
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2011, 07:45:53 PM »
I vaguely remember watching something on CNN of FOX last week while I was in the hospital recovering from back surgery that TEPCO or some outfit was running basically an extension cord to one of those reactors so as to get reconnected to the grid and get the pumps started running again to prevent a melt down. Did this fail ?? Also Greg you are involved in the power generation business that is similar to what they are dealing with maybe..but what are the possibilities of a major melt down?  Some media sources seem to think no problem others say eminent...Just curious..and of course worried for those over in that area!

I hope that your surgery was successful and that you're doing better!   =D>

They ran the power cables to the plant, but they had to ensure the equipment inside the plant was still operable before hooking it up.  I think that process is ongoing.  Some of that equipment is going to be hard to get to.

I don't know about the meltdown.  Time is on their side.  The longer it goes without trouble, the better things  are going to get.  As there is less heat (the heat decreases over time) there is less chance of meltdown.  The fuel pellet temperature melting temperature is much higher than the fuel cladding (the zircalloy tubes holding the fuel pellets).  There is probably cladding damage, but they won't know about the fuel pellets until they can get the reactors opened.   Just consider a reactor vessel like a pressure cooker.  As long as it is intact, things are contained.

Also, remember that Three Mile Island did have a meltdown, and there was no radiation released.  (well, just a small amount of steam that was vented to relieve some pressure that was a controlled release). 

They will have to get pumps running and the systems and instrumentation operational before they can begin to open the reactor.  It's a terrible thing that has happened, but I'm sure the engineers and scientists will be very interested to see what's in those reactors.  But also I think it's a testament to the ability of the plant to contain as much as it has considering that it went through an earthquake and a tsunami.

Please remember, these are just my opinion based from what I've seen on the news.

Greg Whitehead
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2011, 08:10:21 PM »
Thanks Greg...Going pretty slowly back wise right now LOL!!
You are right those plants were undoubtedly built better than some think to withstand the  problems they already have seemingly survived. They haven't broken wide open and spilled their "guts" so to speak so far with the tremendous stresses involved.

Hopefully they can avoid a serious nuclear disaster from there!  Just terribly bad timing in general that caused it all !

Thanks for the ideas!!

Wayne


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Offline Downlinerz2

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2011, 06:50:49 PM »
   I really have not heard much about this on the news lately but today I noticed the Coast Guard still has a warning on Weather maps showing the same warning in place to stay 43 nm from the plant. :shock:  There still has to be quite a mess at that plant.
   MG

Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2011, 09:16:33 PM »
I havent heard a SINGLE thing about Japan since around April 20th ish.... :shock:
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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2011, 12:12:05 AM »
^^  Stop watching the Anthony trial................

Quote
Tokyo (CNN) -- Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday.

The nuclear group's new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

The announcement will not change plans for how to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the agency said.

Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a full meltdown, it said.

The plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., admitted last month that nuclear fuel rods in reactors 2 and 3 probably melted during the first week of the nuclear crisis.

It had already said fuel rods at the heart of reactor No. 1 melted almost completely in the first 16 hours after the disaster struck. The remnants of that core are now sitting in the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel at the heart of the unit and that vessel is now believed to be leaking.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/06/06/japan.nuclear.meltdown/index.html?hpt=hp_t2


Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Japan: Reactor #4 is now on fire and is expected to meltdown
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2011, 12:36:52 AM »
 :lol: :lol:  Do they not have any other news than to put her trial on there anyway???

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