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Japan hit by massive 8.8 earthquake, Tsunami Warning

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Postby Cole_Trickle » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:42 am

Just learned that the Plants in Question are OLD---Built to withstand Earthquakes of 7.0 or less-So I'm hoping against hope that the news reports are accurate and not watered down candy coated--for the good of the people BS.

Those smart people in Europe blogging and posting have their doubts--some say MELTDOWNS are all but guaranteed and the one that blew is indeed in partial meltdown-- Me--I'm ignorant of the facts at this time--and will shut up until this ABSOLUTE DISASTER plays out in full.

I keep only good thoughts for those most affected.

best,

Cole
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Postby mael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:51 am

I think G" is correct in believing the explosion was hydrogen.

HHO quickly accumulated and this highly unstable mixture detonated.

I have done enough experiments and had enough experience to recognize my old friend 'the hydrogen and oxygen explosion.' But that detonation is a far cry from the few CCs of gas I have set off.

There are six reactors on that site. All six reactors are experiencing cooling problems - meaning all six of them have a chance of thermal runaway and possible meltdown.

They made the nukes well. They installed a half dozen backup systems and in the end it was a waste of time because the genny conked-out! Words fail me ... that the nation which probably supplies more electrical generating equipment than any other could not set up a system to deliver sufficient power to the cooling pumps in time to prevent a castrophe.

News reports are conflicting. But I can tell you people living around the epicentre are being handed potassium iodide.

The evacuation zone is now at least 20kms.

People are now being told to wear a mask and breathe through a wet towel. They've been told to turn off any air systems which bring in outside air. People inside the exclusion zone are being warned to stay where they are and not evacuate over twenty kms away because it is too radioactive to move about outside.

The wind is currently blowing to the West - over Japan and in the direction of Korea and China.

Gas is certain to leap ten per-cent right away and natch it won't stay at such a bargain price for mor than a few hours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-mHN91I ... ure=relmfu

This video is over a day old, but it is informative.

Life goes on here. But it's real quiet!!!!!!!!!!!

The repercussions ... the repercussions ... Everyone's waiting for what's to come from this. And I'm looking into the future because I don't think these types of disasters are anywhere near over.

And my heart goes out to those people as well. The weather has been snowy, rainy and damn cold. And the forecast is for even colder and windier tonight and onwards for a while.

Maybe some people have lead umbrellas? If I knew there was a radiation leak and I understood what that meant I would not be anywhere near the epicentre. I assume most people don't know much about the effects of radiation these days. And the news reports are always changing so a lot of folks have given up trying to make sense of it.

And not too much seismic activity over the States - which I'm pleased to hear. But I'd leave the W coast if I were you. I dunno why.
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Postby orangetom1999 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:06 am

These plants are indeed an olde design. They are a BWR or Boiling Water Reactor verses what most modern plants use which is a PWR or Pressurized Water Reactor. BWR Plants are early design plants from the 1950s or early 1960s.

Most likely it is not the generators per se which failed but the piping used in bringing the cooling water on line. My guess is that the piping failed/broke. I am thinking that alot of this gear was not sufficiently shock mounted to withstand an earthquake of this magnitude.
They need shock mounting similar to what is done on a submarine. I believe there are also shock mount designs available for large buildings as well.
But this was a very extreme earthquake as these things go. I am sure that with hindsight someone will be working on better mounting designs as a result.

Salt water injection for cooling will indeed ruin the reactor and is only used as a last ditch attempt to get things under control. There are also chemicals which can be inserted into the core or reactor vessel which will stop the reaction and fuel from it's criticality functions. These are poisons to the process. That is how they are designed to work.

There are going to be alot of safety films and new proceedures as a result of this incident. The whole Industry is watching as well as standing by to help in whatever capacity needed.

Within the industry Three Mile Island and Chernobyl are standard training films and indoctrination. The versions I saw and the briefings had some informations not known by most of the public and pertaining to the industry. It will be the same.

I am certain that this is a rapidly changing dynamic as the owners and operators attempt to get some level of stability to these reactors.
My prayers go with them and the Japanese Nation.
There is a whole world wide industry standing by to assist them if need be.

This is an older design reactor and I am not certain if the containment building or structure is built to the standards as are the new reactors which have come on line. Most likely not.
A containment building would have higher standards for the concrete and rebar which is in it. Even more so in todays construction specifications.

I recently caw the building of a concrete containment under construction and the rebar was more than an inch thick and heavily welded in certain areas before the high specification concrete was poured.
This was not a building made or financed by handouts. It was a very very expensive process. One of a kind to my knowledge.
A Building like this would not only have to contain the pressures by design but also be heavy enough to support overhead crane operations on the reactor head area. There would most likely be some kind of overhead crane built into the facility as suport equipment for operations and maintenance is quite heavy and bulky. Probably some kind of overhead gantry crane set up for specialty attachments.
In a BWR plant another crane would also have to go over the steam turbine and generator sections as radioactive/contaminated steam would be on the turbine and generator side as well.
All this meaning the containment would have to be very heavily constructed to support not only the emergency needs but the operational day to day crane needs as well.


Thanks,
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Postby mael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:01 am

Of the six reactors, three were operating and three were undergoing maintenance.

The operating reactors automatically shut down. This takes seven seconds. The first line of defense in an emergency shutdown are the diesel generators to facilitate continuing cooling. The back-up generators for reactors 2 & 3 provided sufficient power to prevent an immediate catastropy at the time, but the diesel generator for #1 failed after about an hour.

Subsequently the second backup system was activated. This is a battery supply and the duration it can operate is very limited in ideal charged conditions. Anyway, the batteries weren't enough to supply enough water to cool the residual reaction and the temperature rose and the water disassociated and reverted to its constituate elements - (HHO) as a result of the elevated temperature. This mixture exploded and maybe blew the top off the containment vessel... It certainly blew the rest of the building apart.

As of a few hours ago reactors 2 & 3 were causing concern, and more recently I gather all of them (all six) are at risk of overheating with the risk of a meltdown.

I fully hope and expect the reactors can be tamed in a hurry.

Sure the pipework failed completely after the rods got exposed and lead to the explosion.

The only reassuring thing I have learnt of the Fukishima nuclear plants is that their containment vessel is considerably stronger than the one at Chernobyl. But it is like being relieved you haven't got AIDS, just terminal cancer. :twisted:
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Postby greeney2 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:06 am

Richard, how far is your home from these reactors, and what it the condition of your town?
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Postby mael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:38 am

greeney2 wrote:Richard, how far is your home from these reactors, and what it the condition of your town?



Thanks for the concern. But there's no need for that. I'm two thousand of your miles from the epicentre.

Fukushima had what you call a 'station blackout.' On-site as well as off-site power went out. This is uncharted territory. The tsunami wiped-out the grid as well as the generators.

There certainly is a strong chance things will be bad - at least for a while. The containment vessel of these old Fukushima reactors have a HIGH chance of failure. They aren't designed like a 'pressure' water reactor is.

Caesium released to the air is a sure sign of a meltdown - or let's say a partial meltdown. :roll:

And the HHO detonation could well have come about as a result of the zirconium cladding the rods overheating and reacting with the water and resulting in zirconium oxide and a lot of spare hydrogen - which when mixed with ordinary air becomes a violent explosion just waiting to happen.

This overheating problem could continue for a few weeks - until the residual reaction has spent itself, and there are concerns about the degree of radioactive contamination that could possibly occur during this time-span.

I'm hoping some competent people are running the operation up there. Unfortunately I'm not so confident.
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Postby greeney2 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 am

Glad to hear you are a great distance from everything.

I looked up Japan and had no idea Japan was a series of 6800 islands. News had said the Tsunami was taller than many of these small islands. I don't quite understand how these Tsunami wave can reach to the USA so quickly, and preliminary damage is they caused over $50M in damage in Santa Cruz and Cresent city, California, and we are thousands of miles away. On your side of the ocean I would have thought this Tsunami would and hit and affected every coastal city, and Island somehow. It had to reach the shore within a few minutes at the most. They also say a Tsunami doesn't just hit the nearest side to the epicenter, the water surrounds the entire Island and affects it 360 degrees around.

We all have to just wait to see how the nuclear plants do. This is not just a Japan event, this is a "all of mankind" event. This has to be a world wide wake up call to how fragile our earth is, and what can happen to it. Who ever imagined if a major natural disaster could cause many of these plants to fail at the same time, what the result could be? Yet we still build them on top of major faults, Califoria included. New Orleans was a prime example, where we knew Hurricanes will always be a factor, yet we built an entire major city, lower than sea level and ignored the fact the sea walls were unable to hold back a big sea surge.
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Postby orangetom1999 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:18 pm

New Orleans is a textbook example of human stupidity...ie..politics.
They had plenty of monies and time to build a superdome sports stadium but not enough time to build better sea walls. That doesn't even make good nonsense.

In Japan too...someone should have been thinking about this ..worst case scenerio as they often have earthquakes and even volcanic activity. I believe they are on the ring of fire as it is called. If you have earthquakes you have the possibility of tsunami.

Nonetheless...I dont think anyone planned for an earthquake of this magnitude.

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Postby mael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:51 pm

There will be another earthquake disaster here and possibly elsewhere too.

It will occur before the end of this week.

Make sure you have tea, a means to make it in a 'camping' type of environment, ;) and something from which to drink it out of.

Have a deck chair in a handy place so you can watch everything going on. It's going to be interesting. :)
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Postby bionic » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:34 pm

Mael,
Glad you are still okay.
Are you near the volcano?
I hear there is a vlcano erupting on a southern island now.

God..have mercy.

I hope and think the nuclear plants will be spared an all out melt down.
It's so unfair and wrong.
Life is so fragile.
The news coming out all day..I have to take a break from it..so awful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykvw3X3VIdQ&feature=fvst
Last edited by bionic on Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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