Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Workers Being Evacuated From Japan Nuclear Plant

From MSNBC:

BREAKING NEWS: Operations to prevent meltdown at Japanese nuclear plant halted due to radiation surge

Here is live coverage from the BBC.

16 comments:

  1. A nuclear expert on CNN said that if this is true and if the last 50 workers have abandoned the 6 reactors, we are in new uncharted territory.

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  2. The evacuation of the remaining workers was confirmed by a spokesman for the Japanese government:

    0320: Staff have now been evacuated from Fukushima because of a spike in radiation levels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

    The situation is looking very grave indeed.

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  3. From the live blog at Reuters:
    The Japan nuclear safety agency says TEPCO is attempting to build a road to Fukushima Daiichi No.4 reactor to allow fire trucks into site

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  4. At first I was like, Fire trucks? Really?

    When you think about it. They pump water, have hoses to reach water, many have the extendable nozzle on a boom and they can probably be turned on and left until they run out of diesel.
    They would have to drive up in containment suits and leave as quickly as possible. At least it's an idea.

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  5. The problem is that the spent-fuel pools are highly radioactive, and if the rods are exposed (which is why they would need to add more water) it would apparently only take something like 16 seconds to kill anyone who got close enough to set up the hose. Radiation suits might buy you a few extra seconds, at best.

    Hopefully they'll be able to work something out that doesn't amount to a suicide mission.

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  6. They were considering dropping water from helicopters, but apparently that water would never reach the rods -- instead it would vaporise, hydrogen would be released, and this could cause another hydrogen explosion.

    It doesn't look like there's any simple way to handle this. And the complicated ways aren't looking too promising either.

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  7. There are still two reactors that haven't overheated yet but what is to stop them from overheating? The generators are dead and the batteries are also dead.

    We're looking at a possibility of 6 reactors melting down.

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  8. A poster on the Humboldt Herald said the Walmart in Crescent City had potassium iodide tablets in stock. I would call first.

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  9. Here is a to a good article at prison planet.com

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/alarm-over-spent-fuel-rods-threatens-chernobyl-on-steroids.html

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  10. Here is a live twitter feed at Common Dreams they also have the BBC video.
    I would tune here overnight.
    http://www.commondreams.org/japan-earthquake

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  11. Alex Jones is not a credible source on anything, Tom. Surely you know that.

    Take one look at his site and you'll see how he's profiteering off of the fearmongering, conspiracy theorizing, and general sense of panic and hysteria that he promotes relentlessly. Many, many ads for overpriced "survivalist" packaged foods, "survival seed kits" (which must be the single-most expensive and inefficient way to purchase seeds, with no guarantee at all that these seeds will even germinate in the buyer's local climate, much less any guarantee that the plants will grow there), etc., etc.

    Alex Jones is a sleazy snake-oil salesman, profiting handsomely from the ignorance and fear that he helps to perpetuate, no better than Glenn Beck or any of the rest of them.

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  12. Thanks for the Commondreams link, Tom.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Did I mention that Alex Jones is a complete shitweasel?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looking at that Twitter feed, with many of the messages in Japanese charachters, it makes me wonder...just how big a keyboard do these people have!

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  15. The one glimmer of hope at this point is that as each day passes without a full-scale meltdown in the active reactors, the fuel in those reactors should continue to gradually cool down, and then continuing the cooling process becomes easier.

    We're definitely not out of the woods yet -- far from it -- but the worst-case scenarios are not yet inevitable. There is still some hope that they will be able to keep this already very serious situation from sprialing completely out of control and becoming a full-scale Chernobyl-style catastrophe. At this point, if it ends up being "only" a Three-Mile-Island type "mostly-contained-partial-meltdown," that will be defined as success, and understandably so.

    On that kinda-sorta hopeful (yet still rather depressing) note, I'm headed off to bed.

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