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Follow IAEA's Fukushima Press Conference In Vienna Live

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Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:08 | 1066904 depression
depression's picture

I trust the IAEA... just one little question, why don't they have anyone in Japan yet ?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:13 | 1066921 Dental Floss Tycoon
Dental Floss Tycoon's picture

Couldn't find any volunteers.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:16 | 1066933 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

That's strange. Flights there are pretty cheap right now. 

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:35 | 1067015 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

Louisville is on in just over an hour

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1067028 Yardfarmer
Yardfarmer's picture

they're now taking the opportunity to pay a friendly visit."http://www.youtube.com/embed/AR19cbbQgQk"

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 15:14 | 1067215 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

IAEA  =  windbags... nuclear lobby crones... the usual incompetent regulatory sham

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:13 | 1066920 hugovanderbubble
hugovanderbubble's picture

Sell after Nasdaq OPEX ends.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:12 | 1066922 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture
03-17 11:55: Thousands in Armenia rally against the government I guess they can't eat iPads in Armenia either. Wonder when these protests really start in Europe and America...
Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:20 | 1066947 yabyum
yabyum's picture

And they will start, no jobs and very expensive food will do that.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:19 | 1066953 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

iaea is totally pro-nuke and take money from the industry. they will kill us all.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:35 | 1066989 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Wrong.  They are government funded.  But, they might still kill us all.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 13:15 | 1067191 malikai
malikai's picture

They are government funded.  They will kill us all.

There, fixed that for you.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:22 | 1066960 youngman
youngman's picture

Yes its a strong statement that noone is in Japan..on site...enough said for me

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:22 | 1066964 Atomizer
Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:24 | 1066971 Fortunes Favor
Fortunes Favor's picture

Japan Tragedy & Gulf of Mexico BP Spill Follow Similar News Cycle


This is just like countless worthless news conferences last year on the Gulf spill

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:26 | 1066979 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

"Investigating from half a world away ..."

Nice work if you can get it.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:54 | 1067078 TWORIVER
TWORIVER's picture

only comment that has made me laugh over the last week. thanks

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:28 | 1066982 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

All three cores (Units 1-3) are damaged as evidenced by "hydrogen explosions".  Hydrogen is generated by fuel overheating which causes the fuel rods to perforate and release gases, including hydrogen, and other fission products.  The violence of the explosion in Unit 3 suggests more than just a hydrogen explosion.  By the nature of the blast, it is conceivable that what was witnessed was a catastrophic containment failure.  The fuel pool in Unit 3 could also have been damaged either by the blast or failing debris or both.  The question remains as to whether the cores are being cooled.  If not, then they will or already have melted.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:31 | 1066992 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

The violence of the explosion in Unit 3 suggests more than just a hydrogen explosion.

Even more convincing is the fact that hydrogen doesn't flare/flash, it's heat is invisible...

Unfortunately a definate flare/flash (fireball) was witnessed in the video of reactor #3 exploding indicating to me that there is a high likely hood it was nuclear related.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:45 | 1067038 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

No flash with hydrogen combusting?

There's this old video called "the Hindenburg disaster". You might want to check that out.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:56 | 1067070 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Wasn't there lots of fuel for the engines, canvas, and wood as well? Or was it just a cloud of hyrdrogen?

"Pure hydrogen-oxygen flames emit ultraviolet light and are nearly invisible to the naked eye, as illustrated by the faint plume of the Space Shuttle main engine compared to the highly visible plume of a Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster"


Might wanna read up on your atoms nigga. The explosion was not hyrdrogen....

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:50 | 1067071 hannah
hannah's picture

man you need to read up on what was actually burning on the blimp....hint hint..the metal paint maybe

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:30 | 1066994 passive_lurker
passive_lurker's picture

Are the containment pools located beneath the rubble?  Are they intact?  Or did the spent rods cause the explosion and go up in smoke?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:30 | 1066997 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

yeah, they've been prepping this story-line with little snippets past 72 hours about "possible potential partial melt-down" spin

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:33 | 1067004 Scisco
Scisco's picture

Hydrogen is not generated by the perforation of fuel rods. It is generated when water is heated to the point where it dissociates. This is the cause of the primary release of hydrogen (including its isotopes)

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:51 | 1067060 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

I stand corrected.  The zirconium in fuel cladding facilitates the free-release of hydrogen:

Balanced half-reaction E0 / V Zr4+ + 4e-Zr(s) -1.539 H2ZrO3(s) + H2O + 4e-Zr(s) + 4OH- -2.36 HZrO3- + 5H+ + 4e-Zr(s) + 3H2O -1.276 ZrO2+ + 2H+ + 4e-Zr(s) + H2O -1.570 ZrO2(s) + 4H+ + 4e-Zr(s) + 2H2O -1.456 ZrO2.H2O(s) + 4H+ + 4e-Zr(s) + 3H2O3 -1.53 ZrO2.2H2O + 4H+ + 4e-Zr(s) + 4H2O -1.553


The cut and paste of the half reactions showing reaction of zirconium with water didn't work out so well.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:33 | 1067003 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture

Earthquake in Vanuatu. Magnitude 6.5 !

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:37 | 1067016 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


If I were in California, I'd get a little bit nervous because Cali is long overdue for "The Big One".


The ring of fire seems to have become rather active recently.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 13:05 | 1067133 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture


Yep, I've been thinking that for years. Last significant quake we've had in SoCal was the '94 Northridge quake.

We're living on borrowed time.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:37 | 1067021 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

FYI: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7675

Full excerpt of a comment from a poster named donshan, but there is more.


I think I can answer this if I am correct that the Japanese reactors use conventional zirconium ( Zircaloy) fuel cladding with ceramic uranium oxide fuel pellets inside. I understand that Unit 3 has a mixed oxide pellet including plutonium oxide.

In 1956, my first job as a materials scientist was at the AEC's Hanford Laboratory in Washington State, operated by General Electric. Over 8 years I conducted many laboratory scale high-pressure autoclave experiments on the properties of zirconium alloys in high temperature and pressure water and steam. These tests were classified "secret" back then to prevent our technology from being obtained by the Soviets. Sometimes I fear that even though all this science is now declassified, this early science has not made into the education of today's engineers. I retired in 1995 and have followed TOD for 3 years now, having also worked on natural gas pipeline and geothermal system corrosion, but now feel I have expertise to share on this topic.

The source is the hydrogen is a chemical reaction between the uncovered, overheated fuel assemblies and steam.

Zr + 2 H2O (steam) = ZrO2+2 H2

Zirconium is an extremely reactive metal and has even been used in flash bulbs filled with oxygen. There have been fatal explosions handling zirconium powers. So how is it possible to use zirconium safely in a nuclear reactor?

Like aluminum, zirconium and its alloys (Zircaloy-2) oxidize instantly in air. A thin film of ZrO2 is so impervious to oxygen diffusion that the reaction stops. Even in 300 C (572F) water or steam at over 1000 psi, the oxidation rate is extremely slow and corrosion properties of Zircaloy fuel cladding are outstanding and safe, AS LONG as they are not overheated and cooling water flow is maintained. In fact, it is standard practice to autoclave fuel rods in hot-pressured water or steam to precoat these rods with the optimum coating of ZrO2.

But these fuel rods must NEVER be overheated. That is why multiple redundant cooling systems are required. All these backup-cooling systems failed in Japan. Even after reactor shutdown, if the fuel rods are uncovered cladding temperatures can rapidly rise to 800C or higher, due to fission product decay heat. As in any chemical reaction, the rate accelerates rapidly with temperature, but in the case of zirconium, the protective character of a thin ZrO2 film is destroyed by this high temperature and catastrophic oxidation occurs. However this catastrophic oxidation occurs below the melting point, so I object to the media using the common term "meltdown" which is misleading.

This loss of the last battery-powered cooling, led to the fuel rods becoming uncovered in a manner similar to that in the Three Mile Island accident (although due to different reasons). When overheated in steam, the oxidation reaction above accelerates exponentially. As the zirconium oxidizes, the coating thickens, cracks, and turns white from internal fractures that increase the diffusion rate of steam to the metal. It then has the look and mechanical properties of eggshells. Hydrogen from this process is released, but is also absorbed by the underlying metal cladding, which causes embrittlement and metal fracture. Soon cracks form in the cladding, releasing the trapped fission products inside. This is not "melting', but rather catastrophic disintegration of the cladding structural integrity and containment of fission products. If the process continues, the cladding can fracture away, exposing the fuel pellets, which in the worst-case scenario can drop out and collect on the bottom of the reactor vessel. It is the worse case scenario that I believe is causing the Japanese to inject boric acid. Boron is a neutron absorber and will prevent any possibility of a pile of fuel pellets on the bottom of the vessel from going critical and restarting the chain reaction.

These reactors are now a total loss, but I am still disturbed by their inability to bring in portable diesel generators and restart the back-up cooling. I guess the chaos of the catastrophe is the cause.

I do question the use of seawater cooling. I hope the Japanese have considered the danger they have created by introducing oxygenated seawater into this stainless steel piping and pressure vessel at boiling temperatures. These stainless steels are extremely susceptible to chloride stress corrosion cracking:

Since residual weld stresses and tensile stress in piping, valves, control tubing, etc. are always present, Standard Operating Reactor water quality standards require keeping chlorides at parts per billion levels. Seawater has about 3.5% or 35 grams per liter of salinity!!!

I have no way of knowing how many days they have before a stainless steel component suddenly cracks, but if it were me, I would be advocating an emergency program to get pure deionzied cooling water back into this stainless steel system ASAP. In laboratory tests in boiling chlorides, cracking of stainless in tensile stress can occur within days- they have at most a few months if they keep boiling sea water in this system and yet another disaster occurs. I am sure there are competent scientists in Japan's nuclear industry and government regulators. I hope they are on top of this threat!



Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:37 | 1067024 rubearish10
rubearish10's picture

So can we all now move on? It appears things are getting better so we cannot anticipate anything otherwise. 

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1067027 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

Upgraded terminology..

Fukushima = FUBAR + Clusterflock + Helicopter Ben


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:41 | 1067035 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

There's a sign on their door that reads "Gone Fission".

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:44 | 1067043 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Nero is going to give mini-speech today:

03-17 12:29: White House says Obama to make statement on Japan at 1530 ET today (1930 GMT)
Thu, 03/17/2011 - 16:07 | 1068090 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

Obama probably wants to reassure everyone that his administration is on top of this disaster...

But you can't fix everything anything right away. He has therefore set a target date of 2050 to begin implementing his safety plan.

So, until then:

Obama Administration Picks Tokyo Electric To Build U.S. Nuke Plant



Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:45 | 1067044 Silverhog
Silverhog's picture

In other news, "Search for missing president continues"

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:58 | 1067093 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

Don't ask any questions now, I'll make a statement later:


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:48 | 1067046 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

temperatures of the spent nuclear fuel pools at Units 4, 5 and 6


Unit 4
14 March, 10:08 UTC: 84 C
15 March, 10:00 UTC: 84 C
16 March, 05:00 UTC: no data

Unit 5
14 March, 10:08 UTC: 59.7 C
15 March, 10:00 UTC: 60.4 C
16 March, 05:00 UTC: 62.7 C

Unit 6
14 March, 10:08 UTC: 58.0 C
15 March, 10:00 UTC: 58.5 C
16 March, 05:00 UTC: 60.0 C


number 4 having no reading is a little unsettling, is it completely dry now?? I am guessing the sensors will not read anything if not in contact with the water. 5 & 6 on a steady climb...


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:50 | 1067062 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

number 4 having no reading is a little unsettling, is it completely dry now?? I am guessing the sensors will not read anything if not in contact with the water. 5 & 6 on a steady climb...


Bernankified markets like it, for today.

After 4 p.m. is when we hear the really bad news, but they'll resolve all those crises 15 minutes prior to tomorrow's market open.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:51 | 1067073 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

I've read 5 reports from various brokerage firms and mutual fund companies over the past 2 days.  They can all be summarized as "Don't worry about it."

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:58 | 1067103 redpill
redpill's picture

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the most important policy priority for Japan now was to restore economic growth as quickly as possible, reports Reuters."

Wow, really?  I figured it was feeding and housing the Japanese people and getting their nuclear emergency under control.  Thanks for the tip, IMF, fucking bastards.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 13:01 | 1067113 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

You can't make this stuff up.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 13:12 | 1067171 greenfire
greenfire's picture

This is precisely what is wrong and is what will be our undoing.  Unquenchable greed is a disease, not a virtue.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 14:08 | 1067429 BrassmonkeyUSA
BrassmonkeyUSA's picture




Tokyo Passengers Trigger U.S. Airport Detectors, N.Y. Post Says

Radiation detectors at Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare airports were triggered when passengers from flights that started in Tokyo passed through customs, the New York Post reported.

Tests at Dallas-Fort Worth indicated low radiation levels in travelers’ luggage and in the aircraft’s cabin filtration system; no passengers were quarantined, the newspaper said.

Details of the incident at O’Hare weren’t immediately clear, the Post said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Purkiss at apurkiss@bloomberg.net


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