Japan quake, tsunami, nuke news 01

News about the Nuke Plants:

Meltdown “most unlikely,” nuke industry rep says

The explosion at a nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan destroyed a building that houses a reactor Saturday, triggering a radiation leak and fears of a nuclear meltdown.

But a representative of the global nuclear power industry asserts the possibility of a meltdown is “diminishing by the hour,” making a meltdown “most unlikely.”

News about the death toll


Hundreds dead in tsunami after massive 8.9 quake devastates Japan

Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai. Another 88 were confirmed killed and 349 were missing.

Hundreds dead and up to 80,000 missing in Japan tsunami <-- don't click on that link, badly behaved site

…thousands of people were feared dead yesterday after a tsunami triggered by one of the biggest earthquakes in history hit Japan.

Ships, trains, buildings and cars were swept away as monster 33ft waves smashed into the port city of Sendai.

10,000 people missing in flattened town which bore brunt of killer wave caused by megaquake<-- don't click on that link, badly behaved site

Half of the population of a Japanese coastal town are still unaccounted for as the death toll from the massive earthquake and tsunami looks set to rise.

Government officials revealed the fate of 9,500 people in the north eastern port of Minamisanriku was still unknown more than 24 hours after the double disaster hit.


Reactor not damaged in Japan nuclear plant explosion

The Japanese government says an explosion Saturday blew off the roof and walls of the building containing a nuclear reactor, but did not damage the reactor itself.

The explosion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant had earlier triggered fears of a nuclear meltdown.

On Saturday, Japan’s government spokesperson Yukio Edano said radiation levels around the plant did not rise, but actually decreased after the explosion. He added that pressure in the reactor was also decreasing.


Japan earthquake: Concerns over nuclear power stations

“There is a finite probability that this can’t be contained.” (audio interview with US Nuke Expert on BBC)

Live updates: Nuclear emergency declared in earthquake-struck Japan

2.09am: At least three people evacuated from a Japanese town near the quake-hit nuclear plant have been exposed to radiation. They were randomly chosen for examination from 90 patients moved from a hospital in the town of Futaba-machi.


Latest IAEA update on Japan Earthquake (1340 CET 12 March 2011)

Japanese authorities have extended the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a 20-kilometre radius from the previous 10 kilometres. At the nearby Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, the evacuation zone has been extended to a 10-kilometre radius from the previous three kilometres.

The authorities also say they are making preparations to distribute iodine to residents in the area of both the plants.

Japan quake live blog: Radiation contamination troops sent to reactor

[11:49 a.m. ET, 1:49 a.m. Tokyo] Japan public broadcaster NHK reported the country’s Defense Ministry had sent a unit that specializes in dealing with radioactive contamination to a command post near the stricken plant.

Japan earthquake: Officials say nuclear catastrophe averted

Fears of a nuclear meltdown in Japan have subsided after a reactor that was damaged in Friday’s devastating earthquake reportedly emerged intact from an explosion.

Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant faces new reactor problem

A quake-hit Japanese nuclear plant reeling from an explosion at one of its reactors has also lost its emergency cooling system at another reactor, Japan’s nuclear power safety agency said on Sunday.

The emergency cooling system is no longer functioning at the No.3 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, requiring the facility to urgently secure a means to supply water to the reactor, an official of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told a news conference.

‘Serious problems’ at Japan nuclear plant

Serious problems have been reported at a second nuclear reactor at the Fukushima power station in northern Japan.

The plant’s operator says pressure is rising inside the reactor after it lost its emergency cooling system.

It was a similar problem which led to an explosion in the first reactor on Saturday, after an earthquake and tsunami.

‘Partial melt’ of fuel rod at stricken reactor – Japan envoy

US envoy insisted Saturday there was no evidence a stricken nuclear reactor had gone into full meltdown but acknowledged there had been a “partial melt” of a fuel rod at the quake-hit plant.

Radiation was detected leaking from the Fukushima plant after Friday’s massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and an explosion there Saturday sent authorities scrambling to avert a major meltdown.

Partial meltdown likely under way at power plant, Japanese official says

A partial meltdown is likely under way at one nuclear power plant affected by Friday’s earthquake, according to Japan’s top government official, the Associated Press reports.

Second nuclear meltdown likely under way in Japan, official says

Hundreds flee in Japan after Shinmoedake volcano begins spewing ash, boulders


Analysis: Nuclear renaissance could fizzle after Japan quake

Japan’s Seawalls Were No Security

Second Blast Rocks Japanese Nuclear Powerplant


As many as 2,000 bodies found as Japan crisis worsens

As many as 2,000 bodies washed up on Japan’s shores on Monday as officials struggled to deal with the dead, hospitals ran out of medicine and entire communities in the hardest hit areas remained completely silent.


Japanese death toll to far exceed 10,000

The death toll from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami is expected to exceed 10,000 as local and international rescue teams search through the ruins of north-eastern coastal cities for survivors of last Friday’s disaster.

Two thousand bodies have been found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture, which suffered the brunt of the damage, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Continued HERE

For more information and essays about the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Reactor problems in Japan CLICK HERE.

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Comments

  1. #1 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 12, 2011

    don’t click on that link

    Why don’t you use an image tag for a big red button while you’re at it?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2011

    Its not that bad of a link. It is just a site with blogger-unfriendly practices so I’d rather not encourage people to go there.

    The site won’t harm you (anymore than any other site) or I would not have used it at all. It might annoy you, though.

    Whatever you do, though, …

    DON’T CLICK THIS!!

  3. #3 Laura
    March 12, 2011

    A meltdown isn’t apparently what really is to be feared. It wouldn’t mean that the reactor containment is breached, which would be really catastrophic. 3 Mile Island was a partial meltdown but not much radiation was released.
    So to the people asking about which direction the wind is blowing from Japan, calm down :)

  4. #4 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 12, 2011

    *jab*

    Does this bug you? Huh?

    *jab*

    I’m not clicking you.

  5. #5 Ana
    March 12, 2011

    Reuters is reporting that the cooling system at Daiichi reactor No. 3 has failed (on info from Japan’s nuclear safety agency).

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2011

    Ana, thanks. For reference the thing that blew up was the building over reactor No 1 at the same facility.

  7. #7 Analiese Miller
    March 12, 2011

    Yes – looked like a hydrogen explosion, no? In any case, now that the walls are down it has been possible to flood the area with seawater, covering the rods which had been exposed and melting. So, good deal on that front, right?

    9 people have now been identified as exposed and requiring decontamination.

  8. #8 Ana
    March 12, 2011

    The gov has now admitted to radiation readings of greater than 1,200 microsievert/hour prior to the explosion, and that the explosion may have served to spread this contamination. :S

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2011

    that is a pretty classic scenario, not too different from the Detroit partial meltdown, with the hydrogen explosion making it very messy.

    This is pretty bad.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2011

    I love the way it keeps getting repeated that the radiation levels wend “down” when the explosion happened, like that’s a good thing. That’s like saying the number of rabid dogs in the pound went down when all the doors opened and the dogs ran outside.

  11. #11 daedalus2u
    March 12, 2011

    I saw a report that the explosion was in the turbine room, where the generators are. Generators are very often cooled with hydrogen. The earthquake could have broken connections so the hydrogen leaked into the air, then it exploded.

    It is very difficult to keep hydrogen contained. The quake or aftershocks could easily have caused it to leak.

  12. #12 Ana
    March 12, 2011

    From the BBC:

    “But the BBC’s Chris Hogg in Tokyo says the second reactor is a different type which uses MOX (plutonium plus uranium) fuel and the consequences of a problem there are potentially more severe.

    Quoted by Kyodo, Tepco said the tops of the MOX fuel rods were 3m above water.”

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2011

    They’ve stated that the hydrogen “could only have been produced from inside the reactor vessel by the exposure of zirconium cladding that surrounds the fuel rods.

    …When pressure rose in the reactor vessel, it vented the gas into the containment building that surrounds it for just such an emergency. But experts believe that devices designed to ignite the hydrogen before it reached dangerous levels were not working because of power failures.

    …Another indication that the fuel rods in Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 were exposed is that Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said Saturday that the reactor could be nearing a meltdown and that two radioactive substances, cesium and radioactive iodine, had already been detected nearby. ”

    That’s the Washington Post.

  14. #14 daedalus2u
    March 12, 2011

    Hydrogen is also produced by ionizing radiation in water.

    If the containment structure remains intact, there likely won’t be much release of radioactivity, even if the core does melt.

    In TMI there was core melting and very little radiation release. I think this will be less serious than TMI was.

    The fuel has to get very hot to melt. I don’t think there is a chance of that now because the decay heat is much lower than it was at first.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2011

    Maybe, but the design of these reactors is different. The containment vessel is fairly wimpy compared to TMI.

  16. #16 Ana
    March 13, 2011

    Bill Nye thinks the situation is much worse than the government would have us believe.

  17. #17 Maureen Lycaon
    March 13, 2011

    Japan’s nuclear power operator has checkered past:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-japan-nuclear-operator-idUSTRE72B1B420110312

    (Reuters story)

  18. #18 Phil
    March 13, 2011

    Melting of cooling rods is not good. But the most important thing is the containment vessel.

  19. #19 Laura
    March 13, 2011

    The tsunami seems to have been far more of a danger than the nuclear plant. I doubt the people in Sendai and places like that were able to get out before the tsunami.
    But, humans like water and find it cool, even in giant amounts and moving fast. While nuclear power we think is of the Devil, having seen it used in war.

  20. #20 Samantha Vimes
    March 14, 2011

    Laura, I think it’s more that the tsunami came and went and there wasn’t a thing anyone could do. And if another big quake triggers another tsunami, not much can be done, either.
    But the power stations are manmade and should be controllable. We want the truth, we want caution, we want the government and technicians to be able to handle it. There’s at least a sense that our attention does something, by putting pressure on the right people. What I’m saying is, it’s a useful trait, usually, to direct our attention to things that we can influence rather than things we can’t. So we talk about the power plant, not the tsunami and volcano.

  21. #21 Greg Laden
    March 14, 2011

    “The tsunami seems to have been far more of a danger than the nuclear plant.”

    Laura, the sun exploding some day will be a far more important danger than, say, someone mugging you, taking your stuff, and beating you up. So, it’s OK if that happens to you, right? (Not to me, it’s not. I want you protected by a civil society.)

    I’m seeing this absurd comparison made in a number of places and I’m starting to think these are Nuke-industry talking points going around. I won’t have it unchallenged here.

  22. #22 UPDATED...
    March 14, 2011

    Just in case you didn’t notice, I’m putting headlines and some brief snippets as they happen at the end of this post a couple of times a day, for the purpose of showing the march of news across time in particular in relation to the Nuke situation and the death toll.

  23. #23 John Macgregor
    March 28, 2011

    Greg, any possibility of having a stab at what a worst case scenario would import for the people in different parts of Japan?

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