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As Pressure In Reactor 3 Builds Again, Here Are The Downstream Effects From The Fukushima Catastrophe

Tyler Durden's picture




 

As the world awakes, Japan discloses another round of good news/bad news about the Fukushima crisis. The good news: Reactors 5 and 6 went into stable condition on Sunday, after a successful
cold shutdown, authorities said. The reactors at the power plant went into cold shutdown following restoration of cooling
functions late Saturday. Alas, 5 and 6 were never the issue to begin with. The same came not be said about reactors 1 through 4, where the bad news comes from this morning. According to the Japan Times, a risky venting of Reactor 3, which saw its pressure rising yet again, was being considered, which would see another release of radioactive gas into the environment. "Pressure within the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant
was rising at one point and Tepco considered releasing more radioactive
gas into the environment to avert serious damage to the containment
vessel, the nuclear safety agency said Sunday afternoon. Tokyo Electric Power Co. had considered releasing the contaminated steam
directly into the environment, not through a "suppression pool" as it
did earlier in the crisis. The pressure needs to be lowered to protect the structural integrity of
the reactor, and the first step is to open the valve on a pipe connected
to the suppression pool. By going through the suppression pool, the
reactor's gas would liquefy and thus lower the pressure." And here is where the recent Operation Irrigation is now backfiring: "But if the pool is already filled with water, a valve on the reactor
itself would need to be opened and the radiation level of the released
gas would be higher than with the first method,
explained Hidehiko
Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. "Without water, there would be more radioactive substances in the gas released into the environment."" In other words, the attempt (which some say is futile) to fill the containment pool with water is about to lead to another round of irradiation of the environment. And while all that is going on, here is what the already certain chain of downstream events is going to look like for the region, for Japan, and for the world.

From Reuters, the following is a roundup of the effect on the
energy and commodities sector of the devastating earthquake and tsunami
that struck the northeast coast of Japan.

UTILITIES

  • Japan saw some success in its race to avert disaster at a
    tsunami-damaged power plant, though minor radiation leaks underlined
    perils from the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years
    ago.
  • Japan may have reached a turning point in winning its
    week-long battle to prevent a massive radiation leak when it succeeded
    in connecting a power transmission line to the disabled Fukushima
    Daiichi nuclear plant.
  • Japan is considering whether to halt
    sales of food products from near a crippled nuclear plant because of
    contamination by a radioactive element which can pose a short-term
    health risk, the U.N. atomic agency said.
  • Russian Prime
    Minister Vladimir Putin proposed freeing up energy for Japan by
    increasing gas supplies to Europe and offered Japanese companies a slice
    of Siberia's gas industry.
  • Japan has raised the severity
    rating of the nuclear crisis to level 5 from 4 on the seven-level INES
    international scale, putting it on a par with the Three Mile Island
    accident in Pennsylvania in 1979.
  • Power blackouts can be avoided in the Tokyo area if demand stays at the current level, the trade ministry said.
  • TEPCO has announced rolling blackouts after its power generation was cut.
  • Japanese utility Tohoku Electric declares force majeure on its near-term thermal coal shipments due to port damage.

REFINERIES

  • Japan's demand for oil, refined products and gas will increase in the
    medium term, but this will not have a significant impact on global
    supply and demand, Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid al-Falih told Reuters.
  • Showa Shell Sekiyu KK said on Friday that it has started full output
    at its four group refineries as part of efforts to ease a severe supply
    shortage after a powerful quake hit northeast Japan a week ago.
  • Showa Shell, 35 percent owned by Royal Dutch Shell and 15 percent by
    Saudi Aramco, said its four group refineries with total capacity of
    655,000 barrels per day have been making both surface and marine
    shipments.
  • JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, an oil refining
    unit of JX Holdings , boosts oil product output at two refineries in
    western Japan by 30,000 barrels per day in the wake of a supply shortage
    in the east of the country.
  • It is also taking other emergency
    measures, including importing oil from South Korea, buying from other
    refiners and cancelling exports.
  • Long lines have been forming
    at gasoline stations in Tokyo while many JX Nippon stations have been
    forced to close after running out of fuel.
  • Oil product
    output in Japan will recover to 3.4 million barrels per day by the end
    of March, a level above domestic demand, as idled refineries resume
    operations, said an oil industry body.
  • The government has
    asked 13 refineries in operation in West Japan to boost their running
    ratio to help ease the supply shortage.
  • JX Holdings is in talks with South Korea and China on oil products imports to help Japan meet its energy needs.
  • AOC Holdings says its refiner Fuji Oil Co has increased runs at the
    two fluid catalytic cracking units at its 140,000 bpd Sodegaura refinery
    after briefly reducing operations after the earthquake .
  • Three Japan-bound naphtha shipping fixtures from the Middle East,
    totalling 205,000 tonnes, fails to be completed due to the shutdown of
    several Japanese crackers.
  • Valero Energy said it is ready to
    supply refined products, such as gasoline and diesel, from its U.S. West
    Coast refineries to Japan.
  • JX Holdings says the refinery of subsidiary Kashima Oil Co remains shut.
  • JX Holdings declares force majeure on its refined product supplies as
    its stocks are depleted and distributions disrupted. The company is
    working to boost output at its refineries that are still operating and
    diverting products to domestic use instead of exports to meet a supply
    shortfall.
  • Maruzen Petrochemical Co Ltd shuts its sole naphtha
    cracker in Chiba, east of Tokyo, with capacity to produce 480,000
    tonnes per year of ethylene.
  • Kyokuto Petroleum has restarted its 175,000 barrels per day (bpd) Chiba refinery.
  • JX Holdings shuts its 404,000 tonnes per year Kawasaki naphtha cracker near Tokyo.
  • Japan's Exxon Mobil group refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK prepares to
    restart its 335,000 barrels per day Kawasaki plant, near Tokyo.
  • Mitsubishi Chemical halts two naphtha crackers at its Kashima plant after a power outage.

METALS

  • China's term shipments for refined copper from Japan may stay normal
    in March and April, though May and June remain a question mark after a
    massive quake forced some Japanese copper producers to stop production
  • Toho Zinc Co stops operations at its 139,200 tonnes per year Annaka
    zinc smelter and Onahama plant, which is used to treat zinc for
    smelting.
  • Japanese steel mills divert metallurgical coal
    cargoes due to plant outages. Possible destinations for the coal include
    South Korea and China.
  • Production at JFE Steel Corp's
    10-million-tonne per year Higashi Nihon plant is still halted due to
    power outages. JFE Steel is the world's No. 5 steelmaker. Fourth-ranked
    Nippon Steel has suspended operations at one small plant.
  • Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd , Japan's No. 3 steelmaker, says
    production at its main Kashima plant in Ibaraki prefecture remains
    suspended.
  • Sumitomo Metal's main Kashima plant has a fire in a
    gas holder, which has been extinguished but the company says it does
    not know yet when the plant will resume operations. Sumitomo Metal has a
    total capacity of 14 million tonnes a year and the Kashima plant
    produces 8.3 million tonnes.
  • Nippon Steel's small Kamaishi
    plant, which had produced 60,000 tonnes a month of downstream steel
    products, remains shut. The company has resumed operations at a small
    seamless steel plant in Tokyo after briefly shutting it on Monday due to
    rolling power outages.

PORTS

  • Shipping
    companies are confident of keeping goods moving through Japan's ports,
    using spare capacity at the largest to deal with cargo displaced from
    those devastated in last week's earthquake and tsunami.
  • Japanese ports handled 19 million units -- measured in twenty foot boxes
    -- of container shipments last year. As much as 7 percent of that had
    been shut off after the quake and tsunami hit northern Japan.
  • Two piers at the medium-sized Onahama seaport in Fukushima prefecture are now available for 30,000 tonne vessels.
  • Two smaller seaports further up the coast, Miyako in Iwate prefecture
    and Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture, will restore functions by the end
    of Thursday.
  • Japan's Sendai Gas says it will likely take more
    than a month to restart its Shinminato liquefied natural gas facility.
    All the remaining LNG terminals in Japan are in operation.
  • Three Japan-bound naphtha shipping fixtures from the Middle East,
    totalling 205,000 tonnes, fail to be completed after last week's quake
    forced the shutdown of several Japanese crackers.
  • The
    northeast coast ports of Hachinohe, Sendai, Ishinomaki and Onahama are
    so severely damaged that they are not expected to return to normal
    operations for months.
  • Hachinohe handles a wide variety of
    goods, including fuel products to the local fishing fleet and U.S.
    military installations in Japan and South Korea. Other ports handle
    goods ranging from coal and rubber to LNG and machinery.
  • The
    large container and oil port of Kashima is also closed, but officials
    expect four out 11 berths to resume operations in two weeks.
  • Other damaged ports include Hitachinaka, Hitachi, Soma, Shiogama,
    Kesennuma, Ofunato, Kamashi and Miyako. The ports handle products
    ranging from sugar and non-ferrous metals to cars and wood products.

 LNG

  • Analysts say Japan may need to import about an extra 1 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day to make up for its lost nuclear power. Asian spot prices have risen by around 10 percent since the quake on expectations of higherdemand.
  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Friday two extra shipments of LNG from a Brunei plant have unloaded in Japan.
  • Indonesia may export surplus LNG to Japan. Energy officials could not say how much gas was available from a fieldoperated by Total (TOTF.PA), but one government minister said the decision would go up to the president, given Indonesia is trying to conserve LNG for its own growing domestic demand but also please Japan, a major infrastructure investor.
  • South Korea said on Friday Korea Gas Corp (036460.KS), the world's top corporate buyer of LNG, would supply 400,000 to 500,000 tonnes to Japan.
  • Top exporter Qatar says it is ready to increase shipments to Japan, its long-term buyer.
  • Energy trading house Vitol has offered two cargoes of LNG to Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) (9501.T).

 

 

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Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:25 | 1078262 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture

bury the damn thing

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:26 | 1078263 tallen
tallen's picture

+1. They should have started sanding and concreting over this a long time ago.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:29 | 1078269 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

They can't just bury all that spent fuel.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:45 | 1078419 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

With enough dirt, sand, and concrete you can bury ANYTHING.

Go long concrete.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:50 | 1078606 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

How long will it stay buried? It's on one of the most active earthquake regions in the world and it will not be safe to have lying around for at least 25000 years.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:07 | 1079283 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

south korea complaining of radiation from China.....yellow dust

 

nakedempire has a new blog.......thanks to zerohedge and the many zerohedge readers who have visited

http://nakedempire2.blogspot.com/

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:49 | 1079502 Ben Fleeced
Ben Fleeced's picture

Buy Italcemente/ESSROC.

Check

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:33 | 1078278 eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

But the nuclear radiation will still leak into the water. The best way is to use antimatter bombs to make the whole nuclear plant into a pile of photons!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:44 | 1078302 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

eigenvalue

"But the nuclear radiation will still leak into the water. The best way is to use antimatter bombs to make the whole nuclear plant into a pile of photons!"

Much simpler solution

The Doctor: I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLD03bU5R5M

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:02 | 1078328 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

but, but, can it be that simple??!!  aren't neutrons ... neutral with regard to polarity???!!!  can there be some flaw in using dr. who as our science advisor?  please say it ain't so!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:31 | 1078390 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Right! The Doctor is not enough. We need to add the Men in Black and find the locker the plant is kept. Scoop it out with a spoon, then put it in the tardis and move it into space. The Enterprise can fly cover.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:01 | 1079396 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

We may need to include Bill Nye "The Science Guy". I'm sure he can explain the particle physics of a reverse neutron flow while mixing red vinegar and baking soda as a visual aid.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:52 | 1079509 Ben Fleeced
Ben Fleeced's picture

buy P&G. Check

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:51 | 1078600 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Do you have any idea how much energy is required to create anti-matter, much less "anti-matter bombs"?

Bonus question: at what energy levels would those photons be after the annihilation? (hint: rhymes with jamma)

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:38 | 1078941 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

time to send down the dark matter asteriods

 

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Dark_matter_asteroid.jpg

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:03 | 1078331 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

So right! They should just ask the Bernanke man how to cover stuff up!

ALL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY!!

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:24 | 1079553 Math Man
Math Man's picture

"Japan has raised the severity rating of the nuclear crisis to level 5 from 4 on the seven-level INES international scale, putting it on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979."

Guess how many people died from TMI - exactly ZERO.  The fear mongering needs to stop - it's boarding on insane.  The world is not ending.

You can all stop worrying about Fukushima.  It's not going to be buried, it's not emmiting enough radiation to be harmful to anyone except those in close proximity.

The only thing that is going to be buried is more silver and canned hams in backyards of ZH readers.

 

 

 

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 20:12 | 1079969 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Ham! I knew I forgot something. BRB...

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:27 | 1078264 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Radiation is good for ya'

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7Pge9F5SpE

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:34 | 1078283 gimli
gimli's picture

So is Rabies Ann ..... Bite Me.....!

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:16 | 1079306 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Ann says "Yes, you too can survive brain damage,from ocular penetration." 

Frickin alien he-bitch.

"no weener is too big or too small, My adam's apple and stretched out butt hole, can handle them all."

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:32 | 1078267 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Mutants, Bitchezz.

Maybe the whole tentacle thing will wind up being prophetic.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:31 | 1078272 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Drop a sump pump in the supression pool and drain it bitchez!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:32 | 1078281 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Only the blood of pensioners will cool the core, and save Japan.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:01 | 1078326 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Buy nuke credits from the squid, that will fix it!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:35 | 1078274 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

I do not think that I will buy any Tuna fish for the next year.  I also would not buy a car that was made in Japan.  It could be radioactive.  I also would not buy any goods shipped from Japan for at least a year as they could be radioactive.

Plus, they are going to be shipping sugar out of Japan?

Looks like that is one way to get rid of all of their radioactive products is to ship them to the US.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:34 | 1078285 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

 

 

Waterfallsparkles

 

Just a car and Tuna?

 

http://www.dailytech.com/Halted+Japanese+Production+Causes+Worldwide+Com...

Halted Japanese Production Causes Worldwide Component Shortages

Case in point: Reuters is reporting that at least two LCD-producing assembly plants in Japan will both be out of commission for at least a month. A Toshiba Corp. plant and a Hitachi Ltd. plant are reported to be halting production of small LCDs. 

Toshiba's plant near Tokyo, which makes LCDs for smartphones, is busy repairing equipment knocked out of alignment by the quake, a Toshiba rep told Reuters. Another Toshiba plant in Japan was undamaged.

"Given that the market for smartphones outside Japan is pretty active, supply disruptions there could cause problems for some handset makers of some models," Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities told Reuters. The two Toshiba factories account for an estimated 5 percent of the global small LCD display market, he said.

Toshiba also made some of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant and has experienced a 30 percent drop in its shares this week.

Meanwhile, Lenovo has expressed concerns over its parts supply. "In the short term there won't be much impact. We are more worried about the impact in the next quarter," Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told reporters in Shanghai. Lenovo shares were also down -- 4.1 percent in day trading.

The regional disruptions, which have affected supplies of car parts and semiconductors as well, could threaten global supply chains and impact economic growth around the world. Key suppliers for batteries for notebook computers, such as Sony, have also shut down factories.

"Sony and Sanyo would be two of the key suppliers, and Sony has essentially shut down five or six of its factories in Japan so that's clearly going to cramp the battery supply for notebook PCs, where you see Lenovo making a big push these days. It's going to cast a lot of uncertainty over their Q2 ability to make shipments," Michael Clendenin, managing director of RedTech Advisors, told Reuters.

And it doesn't stop there. Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and STMicroelectronics also chimed in with warnings of limited supplies. In response, Taiwan -- whose economy is based largely on the high-tech sector -- has considered cutting tariffs on components if supply shortages continue.

"The impact from the earthquake has been limited as most companies have inventories at hand. But we're closely watching the power disruption situation in Japan. If necessary we'll consider lowering import tariffs on components," Lien Ching-chang, deputy director general of the Industrial Development Bureau of the economics ministry in Taiwan, told Reuters.

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:49 | 1078310 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

So, if you buy an I phone or I pad it could contain radiation.  Then all of the scare tactics about causing brain cancer could come true.

Looks like it will affect Computers and screens for monitors and tv's as well.

What a mess.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:38 | 1078292 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

How about all of the fruits and vegtables from California?

You will need a gieger counter for your lettuce.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:47 | 1078309 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Waterfallsparkles

I see California mentioned as getting radiation. But what about the rest of the coast up to Vancouver, and maybe Alaska.

The scary 750 rad map had a large footprint. How did that get downsized to just California?

And someone mentioned the entire Northern hemisphere.

So when does Vancouver get hit? Will the Canucks be more honest? How about Kansas?

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:55 | 1078314 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

That is why I said tuna fish but I guess that could also include King Crab and other fish harvested around Alaska.

Forgot milk and cheese from California.  Remember the happy cow that went to California in that add?  That poor cow is not so happy anymore.

Just blows your mind to think how this could affect so much food and other things.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:00 | 1078446 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Just to be safe, I'm going on an all fiat diet.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:53 | 1078608 snowball777
snowball777's picture

High fiber. Goes right through you...back from whence it came.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 11:28 | 1078743 Heavy
Heavy's picture

Kind of poetic in a "from the dust, to the dust sort" of way.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:23 | 1079040 knukles
knukles's picture

The radioactive isotopes ain't gonna stop at the CA-Nevada border.  Getcher lettuce from England?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:18 | 1079429 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Grow it yourself in a backyard greenhouse.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 11:19 | 1078709 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Well, I bought 60 more cans last week, doubling the tuna supply in my prep boxes, and will double that if things keep getting worse, then no more after a few weeks.  Stale-date is usually 3.5 years away.

Discovered canned salmon has a higher 5.5 year date, so I'm adding two boxes of that before reports of Pacific/west coast radiation start appearing.  Don't know how long the pipeline is but am already uncomfortable about buying Pacific seafood after a few months.

Been teased about prepping and my boxes of 6 months of stored food (bought on sale) but suddenly it's looking safer and priced right.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:32 | 1078279 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Well this is a nifty reminder.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/science/110315/nuc...

Gundersen: The chain reaction has stopped. That happened in two seconds. But the radioactive isotopes are still decaying away. They’ll decay for at least a year. So you have to release the pressure from that containment pretty much every day. With releasing the pressure will come releasing radioactive isotopes as well.

So yes, the Times is right that every plant — there are now three or four of them — will be opening up valves every day to make sure the pressure is down. And there will be releases from these plants for at least a year.

GlobalPost: How much of a health threat is that?

Gundersen: Within 90 days, the iodine health risks will disappear, because that will decay away. But the nasty isotopes — the cesium and strontium will remain for 30 years. And they’re volatile.

After Three Mile Island, strontium was detected 150 miles away from the reactor. That ends up in cow’s milk and doesn’t go away for 300 years. The releases from these plants will last for a year, and will contain elements that will remain in the environment for 300 years, even in the best case.

If we have a meltdown, it will be even worse than that.

GlobalPost: The ultimate risk in any nuclear accident is that the heat can grow so intense that the steel containment vessel is ruptured, releasing a large amount of radiation. You say there’s a 50-50 chance of this happening. What kind of health effects can we expect?

Gundersen: First, it’s important to know that this steel containment is about an inch thick. It’s not some massive battleship of steel. The reactor is already open, because the pressure relief valves have to stay open.

On top of that, these containments have already breached. We saw iodine and cesium in the environment before the first unit exploded. When you see that, that’s clearly an indication that the containment has breached.

Now, is it leaking 1 percent a day? Probably. Is it leaking 100 percent a day? No. I think for the neighboring towns out to 2 miles, they won’t have anybody back in them for five years. Out to 15 miles, I doubt you’re going to see anyone back for six months. And that’s in the best case, without a meltdown.

If we have a meltdown, I don’t think anyone will be back within 20 miles for 10 or 15 years.

GlobalPost: What would happen if they did return?

Gundersen: There would be higher incidence of cancer. The groundwater would be contaminated. With a meltdown, you’re worried about surface contamination of everything within miles of the plant, and groundwater contamination as well.

GlobalPost: How far would the ground water contamination spread?

Gundersen: Chernobyl had a meltdown, and that groundwater wedge is gradually working its way toward Kiev, which is a very large city [about 80 miles away]. That groundwater contamination lingers for 300 years. It’s not something that’s easy to mitigate.

GlobalPost: That’s a serious issue in a country like Japan with a large population and a small land area.

Gundersen: That’s right.

GlobalPost: You mentioned that the containment vessels have already been damaged. It appears that officials are reporting the opposite. How do you know you’re right?

Gundersen: We’re seeing iodine and cesium in the environment. That’s an indication that the containments are leaking. Exactly how much they’re leaking it’s hard to say.

I can’t understand how officials can say that the releases are low, when they don’t have any instruments that are working. Their batteries have failed, and when the batteries fail, all of the instruments stop working. So it’s hard to determine what the radiation levels are, and what the pressure levels are.

The Japanese and the nuclear industry are heavily, heavily financially invested in this. My experience is that, after Three Mile Island and after Chernobyl, everybody said there wasn’t a problem, until there was a problem. So I really don’t put much faith in official pronouncements the first week of an accident.

GlobalPost: So the people who have access to information have a self interest in making that information look as benign as possible?

Gundersen: Yes. On top of that, the officials don’t want to provoke a panic. So there’s a financial long term interest to try to minimize the impact. The flip side of that is that in the process you lose transparency. There is no transparency right now. We’re dealing with second hand information.

I understand from one source that the second unit cannot be vented, because the vent is jammed. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I have one source, and I like to have two. But this accident hasn’t played out yet. It could clearly get worse before it gets better.

GlobalPost: When you say the venting system is jammed, does that mean that pressure will keep building up until something catastrophic happens?

Gundersen: Yes.

GlobalPost: That sounds bad. There have been explosions at two of the buildings where the reactors are housed. You used to operate nuclear reactors. Would the control rooms be affected by these explosions? And how do they continue controlling the reactors under these circumstances?

 

Gundersen: Yes. The control rooms have become almost uninhabitable. The operators would have to be in Scott air packs, because the ventilation failed. Otherwise they would be breathing contaminated air. The control room is very close to these reactors. Probably 200 feet away. I doubt there’s much being done in the control rooms. They’re contaminated, and the air is unfit to breathe. It’s very difficult to get anything done if you’re wearing an air pack and a bubble suit.

GlobalPost: So how do they release the pressure? Are they sending people to the reactor to manually do these things?

Gundersen: They’ll send someone out to manually open a valve. And then that person will go back out to manually close a valve. In a high radiation field, there are only so many trips you can make before you’ve exceeded what they call emergency limits. So these people are picking up very large doses in very short periods of time. For their personal health, you can’t send them out again.

So they’re running through the available number of operators to do these high risk maneuvers.

GlobalPost: Is it highly skilled work?

Gundersen: Yes.

 

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/78123.html

March 15, Kyodo

Also, a fire occurred around 9:40 a.m. at the plant's No. 4 reactor, where spent nuclear fuels are stored, but it was extinguished later, according to TEPCO. Edano said it was likely caused by another hydrogen explosion.

The nuclear agency said the explosion at the No. 2 reactor may have damaged the ''suppression chamber,'' a facility connected to the reactor's container which is designed to cool down radiation steam and lower the pressure in the reactor. It said a sharp decline in the pressure level of the chamber suggests damage.

Given that the building that houses the No. 2 reactor has already been damaged by Monday's hydrogen blast at the neighboring No. 3 reactor, a spread of radiation outside the plant has become a serious threat, experts say.

In Ibaraki Prefecture, just south of Fukushima, an amount of radiation up to about 100 times the usual level was measured Tuesday morning. In Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, radiation of up to nine times the normal level was also briefly detected.

The Tokyo metropolitan government also said it has detected a small amount of radioactive materials such as iodine and cesium in the air of the metropolis.

The wind was blowing from north to south when the incidents occurred at the Fukushima plant.

The cores of the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors at the plant are believed to have partially melted following Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit northeastern and eastern Japan.

 

 

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:33 | 1078284 ShankyS
ShankyS's picture

Planet has now entered a state of Fuckwardation.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:39 | 1078289 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Thanks, dude. I thought I might just be going mad.

My whole plan now is just to find a secluded valley with good water source. There is nothing left to save, but yourself.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:50 | 1078313 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

I'm also planning my expatriation. 

If you have any ideas I'm open to suggestions. I was personnally thinking about Guatemala. 

You can live cheaply there, the government and the police will leave you alone, and you can acquire a residency/citizenship very quickly, in total anonymity. 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:58 | 1078324 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I'm planning on El Salvador. I have family there, and they have the highest density of educated workers in Central America.

The hell of it is, in all my travels, I have never felt more free than while...er...visiting El Salvador. Truly good people.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:55 | 1078440 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

I don't know. I've been coming to Costa Rica for 4 years now every winter for 4 months. I have decided not to buy a property, even though the cost of living here is very affordable and people are friendly and there definitely is more freedom.

 The problem would come when the shit hits the fan.

How would the locals treat obvious gringos then? If you are a norte americano you will all of a sudden be 'persona non grata' and will have to get on the next plane if you can and head north to save your hide. These people are not stupid. They know where their serious money comes from, as long as it comes. They also know who has been exploiting them(and everybody else on the planet) and they will not stop to judge you for the nice person you may be, but only for the color of your skin and the passport you carry.

 So as long as the good times roll, sure this is the place to hang, but not, in my opinion, when the fecal matter hits the ventilator.  Pura vida!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:04 | 1078455 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

This is why it's obviously better to live in gated communities with loyal bodyguards. And it's also better to avoid displaying/transporting wealth in these countries. 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:42 | 1078556 MSimon
MSimon's picture

The cost of armed guards more than makes up for the low property costs. And then there is the loyalty thing.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:57 | 1078623 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

All right. I see everybody has his little excuse for not leaving.

You're free to continue to live in the USA and thus paying taxes to the Gov (i.e. financing it).

Rahm Emmanuel and Lloyd Blankfein thank you. You are good serfs.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:36 | 1079477 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

It's easier to preserve your means of self-defense in the USA.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 22:31 | 1080400 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

unless you renounce citizenship, you still have to pay uncle sam- no matter what country you reside in...

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 11:00 | 1078632 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

I would say it is important to get in good with the locals. Join the church, and other organizations. Go to parties and social functions. Chip in to local charities (just enough to be a good sport, not enough to look like you are showing off). In other words become part of the community.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:20 | 1078866 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

IMO safer to lease or rent and keep a bag ready. When the country starts to unravel, just grab your bag and head for the airport or border. Its one thing to talk about being an expartiot, making a big financial committment in Centeral America or whereever sounds great over a few beers, but the reality is a little less sexy if you have to walk away from a chunk of your nest egg.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:05 | 1078459 samsara
samsara's picture

See my post above yours.  You have the same thought.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:02 | 1078449 samsara
samsara's picture

Just remember my most feared question in the coming years.

"You ain't from around here are you"

(spoken in what ever language that is local)

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:11 | 1078473 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

And so what? 

Many White settlers have lived in third-world countries for centuries, and unless there is a radical political change (Mugabe, etc.) people usually respect you and leave you alone. 

Don't think you'll be more safe in the USA than in Guatemala or El Salvador when the shit finally hits the fan. Food and water shortages, enormous taxation, looting, anything can and will happen.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 11:01 | 1078643 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"Just remember my most feared question in the coming years.

"You ain't from around here are you"

(spoken in what ever language that is local)"

 

Answer: My wife is, and my children were born here, you can ask the parish priest or the guys on my bowling team. By the way wasn't I at your anniversary party last month? How is your wife Maria and little Jose?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 11:15 | 1078697 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Me, I'm staying.

First, I can't afford the relocation costs.

Second, I attended the party, and I feel an obligation to help clean up afterwards.

Third, operating through entities such as the Southern National Congress, I believe that I can make a positive contribution to the future of this land.

Fourth, I'll be damned if I'll let TPTB waltz in and take everything by default. They may shoot me, but it won't be in the back.

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:06 | 1079005 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Recently, Texas convinced me it is nothing but a tax-and-spend blue state with better PR. It will be officially a blue state with a couple more years of uncontrolled invasion from Mexico.

I give up. All my fellow citizens are suicidal. There is nothing left to defend.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:43 | 1079242 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Please don't give up, my friend. Defend the truth.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:38 | 1078291 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

The green rod loading pallete. Doesn't matter. The fuel rods will oxidize.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:53 | 1078315 Horatio Beanblower
Horatio Beanblower's picture

Welfare pimp...

 

 


Rates Have to Go Up... Says Fifth Street's Tannenbaum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Tql4iHFng

 


 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:04 | 1078339 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

maybe next year...

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 08:58 | 1078322 FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Hope there some POMO this week.

Not that the markets are a barometer of reality of anything though.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:02 | 1078330 FranSix
FranSix's picture

More on what happened to Chernobyl's nuclear fuel after the meltdown, and the struggle to find out exactly what happened:

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5384001427276447319#docid=-5968...

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:09 | 1078346 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

They may not be able to wait for favorable winds if the shtf (again).

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:13 | 1078483 Confuchius
Confuchius's picture

Buzzsaw;

 

Here's a clip from "Slashdot.Org" Sunday AM:

""footage taken from an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was passed on to the Japanese government with permission for public release from the US Air Force. US military sources said that the decision to release the footage — or not — was up to the Japanese government." The Japanese government, though, has thus far chosen not to release the high-resolution footage of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant."

/sarc on

"It's hard 2 believe they would do that..."

/sarc off

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:01 | 1078988 Monetative Easing
Monetative Easing's picture

Not that it should surprise anyone but the lack of disclosure tells you all you need to know about their handle on things.    If what we've read about the risks to places like Tokyo are true (i.e. de minimis) then you would think they should have no downside in being as forthcoming as possible.    On the other hand, the withholding of data on this event should not instill confidence in those paying attention.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:11 | 1078353 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Hi Everyone--

 

Last week was a record breaking week for the team at ZH as they kept posting article after article to keep us current. Have you considered that the ZH team needs to eat?

 

I'll spare the Sally Struthers routine, but PLEASE donate to ZH. Whether its just enough to buy the Tylers a beer, or something larger, please do your part.

 

Parting with $20 won't kill you and you will certainly be rewarded for your efforts by getting all the news that the MSM doesnt have the balls to print.

 

So don't think--Just Do IT. Support your Fight Club. Right now!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:47 | 1078968 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

If there were no ads, I would agree.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:13 | 1078354 almost_have_a_name
almost_have_a_name's picture

Found a great chart explaining relative radiation doses:

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 22:45 | 1080439 fallst
fallst's picture

So, the highest most terrifying next to Chernobel reactor , ten minutes after explosion, has a value of only 50 (Sieverts)? I love this radiation friendly scale they came up with.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:14 | 1078362 max2205
max2205's picture

Does anyone here really think the Japs are all of a sudden telling the truth?!?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:15 | 1078366 kaiten
kaiten's picture

High radiation found in Japan milk, spinach

The Japanese government said Saturday abnormally high levels of radioactive materials have been found in spinach and milk at farms as far as 70 miles from the crippled nuclear power plant, according to news reports.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-takes-first-step-to-stem-nuke-thr...

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:10 | 1079293 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

What about the cow ?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:19 | 1078369 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

The real "beneficiary" (strange word to use in this context) of the Japan disaster will be LNG, not crude. The LNG market has less excess capacity than is thought, and it is less of an elastic market than crude because of the huge initial investments required, both on the production and on the port reception side. This may well be a game changer for LNG on a decades-long basis.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 09:32 | 1078393 Kina
Kina's picture

Japan company INPEX is about to begin constructing a $13bn AUD LNG plant in Darwin, Australia. They had delayed a decision on commencement earlier but I guess this will get them going on it this year, having done all the prepartion. Apparently meant to be a strategic energy asset for Japan into the future.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 11:48 | 1078799 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

Exactly. And expect more of these, especially from places like Indonesia and New Guinea, which are nearby. 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:07 | 1078461 prophet
prophet's picture

Don't be alarmed far worse, meaning they will kill more people and have a greater economic impact, things are happening everyday across the entire planet, they are just less dramatic.

Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27gas.html?_r=1

GW and others have been cataloging such things and in the aggregate they are catastrophic.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:11 | 1078477 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

couple of interesting stories.

 

Edward Morse, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, added that it will take huge amounts of water to compensate for the cracks in the containment pools that were uncovered by U.S. surveillance aircraft on Friday.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/03/18/1923700/what-are-the-options-...

 

A new crack in Progress Energy's Crystal River nuclear plant's containment building has forced the utility company to again scrap its plans to fire up the facility in April.

http://www.ocala.com/article/20110317/ARTICLES/110319691/1439?p=all&tc=p...

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:51 | 1078602 MSimon
MSimon's picture

At least our stuf cracks before it is put in service. Uh. Wait. Let me think. Maybe that is not such a good sign after all.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 10:59 | 1078636 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

nice chart to put all the radiation readings in perspective

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:09 | 1078877 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

they have mounted an earth moving shovel to a tank, the military type with the big gun on it, and they are moving it to Fukushima to move debris out of the way so the fire trucks can get closer to the reactors.

gotta hand it to their ingenuity but it is just classic to use a destructive weapon to avert destruction.

best of luck to them.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:26 | 1078918 Nathan Hale
Nathan Hale's picture

The Bernank would like to suggest we bury the whole thing in that bothersome dense yellow metal, thereby reinforcing the value of his fiat currency and perhaps avoiding a radioactive wasteland (as a secondary benefit)

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:37 | 1078943 divide_by_zero
divide_by_zero's picture

A rather bullish report, thanks! </sarc>

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 12:44 | 1078961 Nathan Hale
Nathan Hale's picture

The Bernank would like to suggest we bury the whole thing in that bothersome dense yellow metal, thereby reinforcing the value of his fiat currency and perhaps avoiding a radioactive wasteland (as a secondary benefit)

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:09 | 1079410 honestann
honestann's picture

Great idea!

Except he has it backwards.  There's not enough gold for the job, but his fiat is available in infinite supply.  So Bernanke should let them bury the reactors in fiat.  Hell, he could bury it 20,000 light years deep.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:03 | 1078992 SparkyvonBellagio
SparkyvonBellagio's picture

"I say we Nuke the whole site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:33 | 1079075 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

When the wind is blowing east.....China may take matters into its hands; they don't have the beauracracy to deal with.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:44 | 1079102 trav7777
trav7777's picture

so if 5 and 6 were being kept cool this whole time so as not to melt down and hydrogen explode like 1-4, then why the fuck didn't TEPCO, a fucking POWER company, splice a line over and round robin the other reactors just to keep them from going tits up until they could get backup generation airlifted or a hard terrestrial line run?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:03 | 1079153 davepowers
davepowers's picture

it was reported (one is tempted to put quote marks around anything to do with reporting these days) that there was only one generator working to provide power to 5 and 6. If so, maybe they figured that one had its hands full without trying to press their luck.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:06 | 1079162 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Maybe because TEPCO is completely full of shit, and every single thing they have proclaimed so far has turned out to be literally opposite of the truth, and the whole catastrophe that is Daiichi is only going to be reported in incremental releases of news, when they have no other choice, as the reality observed outside their zone of propaganda forces them to admit the facts.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:10 | 1079174 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

I interpret it as, stable power is on site to all 6 plants, and 5 & 6 are on-line ...

1 thru 4 have no working systems to enable ... so power is useless.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 13:48 | 1079104 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

Some very confusing official double-speak regarding the venting of #3.

They have opted to go back to spraying #3 with water, instead of a pressure release. Which way is the wind blowing near Fuku right now? If it is blowing on shore, then this could be the reason they stalled the pressure release. They will choose to do these "controlled" releases when the winds are blowing off shore ... where no gauges can detect the level of toxicity. Must save face, and stall for time, especially on the day before markets open ... extend & pretend.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:01 | 1079147 davepowers
davepowers's picture

fwiw, there is a post on the reuters blog to the effect that a release valve is stuck on #3 limiting the ability to do a release.

Maybe they need to find a Russian astronaut to go in and hit the thing with a wrench.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:11 | 1079177 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

This is entirely possible ... at some point all valves will become compromised.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:25 | 1079330 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

"at some point all valves will become compromised."

and at some point you won't need any frigging valve, since the all goddam thing will just blow-off by itself.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:21 | 1079321 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

"when the winds are blowing off shore ..."

 

and at night, between 2 and 3 am.....

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:22 | 1079195 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

I dunno, last I read units 5 and 6 were in the 150-200 degree C range as they used the working systems to keep the fuel pools from boiling.

Think 5 and 6 are far from 'stable'.  An hour or two of glitch and they're right back in the red zone.  Which is why yesterday's news included the creation of holes in the containment buildings for 5 and 6--which is to let the hydrogen out.  There isn't any hydrogen if they're stable.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:51 | 1079256 davepowers
davepowers's picture

good point

a few days ago, some tv pundit said the system was 'stable' in the sense that someone who falls off a cliff stops falling and reaches 'stability' when they are hanging onto a ledge by their fingers. 

Surely it will take a long time to reach anything approaching 'safe stability' and the things are better today attitude can be reversed in a moment.

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:45 | 1079246 Lapri
Lapri's picture

Go to NHK Live stream right now. They have a neat model of the reactor which they just sprayed water. The plant model now has a tiny fire engine. All we need is Godzilla.

NHK Live Feed (English)

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:43 | 1079488 davepowers
davepowers's picture

they're showing that on our local cable system now and yes it interesting.

their big side view of the reactor system seems to show that what I think is called the pressure suppression system (the big donut at the bottom) is outside the big concrete last line of defense container. They report that the damage in #2 is to the donut (torus???).

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:07 | 1079288 Lapri
Lapri's picture

I found a diagram of what should happen in a nuclear emergency in Japan, drawn up by Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. It's in Japanese but take a look. The biggest component of the diagram is of course a huge umbrella of governments, agencies.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/03/fukushima-nuke-plant-nuclear-andn.html

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:36 | 1079310 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Spraying water on a massively hot and radioactive ginormous collection of core rods and spent fuel rods is #winning.

03-20 12:55: Japan warns Fukushima crisis unlikely to be resolved quickly, Bloomberg says

 

What Japan isn't saying is that it's not only not stable, but that it's getting worse.

It's only when the evidence is literally found on the streets of Tokyo (or Los Angeles) that they'll admit this.

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:53 | 1079381 Monetative Easing
Monetative Easing's picture

While I too have my doubts that they have the situation under control, we simply dont have enough information to say that it is, indeed, getting worse.  Do you have a link to anything that tells you things have deteriorated?  Or is that simply your suspicion?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:07 | 1079402 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

 

Here's the thing, and I'm quite sure:

This is from one Japanese newspaper:

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110320003085.htm

Workers at the Fukushima plant are battling an invisible enemy in the form of gamma rays. This type of radiation is emitted like radio waves, penetrating paper and thin metal plates and causing diffuse damage throughout the body.

As gamma rays can be blocked only with lead or thin steel plates, ordinary suits designed to prevent radioactive materials from coming into direct contact with the body are insufficient.

Gamma rays are most likely being emitted from spent nuclear fuel rods that have been kept in the nuclear reactor's cooling pool, at which the level of water has dropped.

Gamma rays can be blocked with concrete. However, the reactor buildings have suffered heavy damage in the present crisis.

(Mar. 21, 2011)
Now, there were 35 more articles similar to this one, using search terms 'conditions deteriorating at fukushima daiichi' posted today, and according to Google, they've all been since scrubbed clean.

All 35 related articles from Japan »

'No articles related to conditions deteriorating at fukushima daiichi were found.'

You can think what you will, and that's fine. I know what I think.



Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:13 | 1079416 Monetative Easing
Monetative Easing's picture

To be clear, I agree that we shouldn't trust what is being disseminated.  In fact, upthread I mentioned that the Japanese government's reluctance to share the images taken by the US drone tells me this thing is still a clusterfuck.   But I also took a look at the geiger counter reading from Tokyo and it seems tame compared to the peak levels over the past week.  That gives me some comfort that things aren't getting much worse.

Here is the link for your reference.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/%E3%82%AC%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AC%E3%83%
BC%E3%82%AB%E3%82%A6%E3%83%B3%E3%82%BF 

 

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:32 | 1079567 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Wind direction?

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:09 | 1079539 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

I went back to get to reread the links which said that the reactors would have to be vented and I can't find them.  Its one thing to correct your incorrect data....its another to remove data. Things are not going well IMO. And to clarify: encasement in chernobyl happened 6 months after meltdown--and that encasement is only above ground and is failing. The Japanese have to encapsulate the entire reactor site and create a wasteland buffer zone that will forever scar their tiny country.  It will cost immense amounts of money, so somehow dismantling and removing the nuclear material is so critical to the entire future of their country......thats why everyone is being so tolerant. To live forever with buried a buried nuclear reactor so close to Toyko and the ocean would be a bitter pill to swallow. 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:22 | 1079555 flattrader
flattrader's picture

I read (two separate sources) that the Russians did tunnel below the foundation of the reactor and pumped in concrete to prevent the core from melting through the foundation floor and hitting the water table.

Don't know if this is true.  Don't know if it was successful.

I saw a post here on KH that groundwater in the area is radioactive and the aquifer that supplies Kiev is in danger.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 18:07 | 1079617 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

You are probably right....i saw a picture

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:22 | 1079457 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Re this:

>>>Spraying water on a massively hot and radioactive ginormous collection of core rods and spent fuel rods is #winning.<<<

Agreed...it is getting worse.

Everything I've read indicates that cooling the rods in a properly maintained pool can take 4-6 (or more?) years depending on the type of fuel and age of the rods.  And then the rods can be placed in secured dry storage.

Squirting some sea water on #3 with tiny firetrucks is hardly even a stop gap measure.

Eventually they will run out of working firetrucks, working firemen willing to risk their lives and working denial that it is working at all.

Time for Plan B.

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:57 | 1079391 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

I think it was Trav who observed that the reactors and spent fuel pools would cool down by themselves, absent criticality and chain reaction or melting through cracked vessels to groundwater, which is probably right there at the seaside I reckon. Spraying water from the fire engines was silly. Maybe clearing a path to get closer would improve results, but I don't see how spraying water cures anything. Do they propose to spray water for several years?

I've been studying the before-and-after satellite photos, and explosions at #1 and #3 were enormous, enough to wreck buildings opposite and destroy a lot of pipe. It seems to me that repairs are impractical until the rad is negligible and the rad is lethal until they make repairs.

Somebody tell me I've got this wrong, please.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:40 | 1079478 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

If #1 and #3 aren't cooled, the heat can cause the covering on the rods to degrade and the reactions to restart; not an explosion but uncontrolled reaction which will release a LOT of radiation and make containing the other reactors and spent rods very difficult.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:04 | 1079537 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

repairs impractical until the rad is negligible and the rad is lethal until they make repairs.

  By Jove, he's got it!  But the spent rods will be cool enough to handle safely in 19 years, more or less.  Feel better now?

 

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:11 | 1079543 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Re this:

>>>I think it was Trav who observed that the reactors and spent fuel pools would cool down by themselves,...<<<

I don't see how that happens at all without a properly maintained pool which involves treated, circulating water that has to be cooled itself before being recirculated through the pool.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:32 | 1079465 Lapri
Lapri's picture

Self Defense Force has sent tanks alright, two of them. After 10 days from the quake. And they await the formal request from the government to start the work.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/03/fukushima-i-nuke-plant-after-10-days....

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 18:42 | 1079727 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

LDP:TEPCO = OIL:WATER

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 16:36 | 1079470 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

With enough perception management the world and most of Japan can forget this ever happened.

Get enough food and cash to the ATM's and start running re-runs of the most popular shows and headlines about celebrity affairs.

Idol and Glee are on this week, and I hear the Bachelor got cheated on, OMG!

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 18:00 | 1079606 PY-129-20
PY-129-20's picture

- According to the Telegraph, workers are isolated from the rest of the world. They are not allowed to talk to their own family, wifes, whatsoever.

- every other information source is kept secret (thermal image, drone image, etc.)

Remember Chernobyl? Well, people didn't know what was going on for weeks. There was one report in German Tagesschau said that everything is now normal, people could drink the water in the local area of Chernobyl again without any risk.

If everything would be so positive, they wouldn't have a reason to shut everyone up that is involved in this operation. And why did the IEAE guy refuse to visit Fukushima personally? Ooops. Because the risk of radiation is too high. But I don't blame them. Seems to be normal, if things are messed up.

Who knows what is really going on? Let's eat some Soylent Green.

 

 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 19:01 | 1079776 Natasha
Natasha's picture

And there was Youri Bandazhevsky

"His scientific work focused on the effects of the Chernobyl disaster on the health of the people living in and around the city of Gomel, a region close to the nuclear reactor and thus seriously affected by its radioactive emissions. He reportedly designed several large-scale scientific research projects examining the causes of diseases affecting people living in the contaminated areas, with a particular emphasis on children.

According to Amnesty International, Professor Bandazhevsky was outspoken in his criticism of the Belarusian authorities' handling of the Chernobyl disaster's impact on the population's health and had repeatedly stressed the need to find "innovative solutions" to the problem. He reportedly was particularly critical of the way that the Ministry of Health spent the scant resources available for research in this area. Shortly before his arrest, Professor Bandazhevsky wrote a report about research conducted by the Belarusian Ministry of Health's Scientific and Clinical Research Institute for Radiation Medicine on the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. In this report, he criticized the manner in which the government's research was carried out and its conclusions."

He was thrown in prison for his trouble and his work confiscated.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 18:08 | 1079610 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture
TOP OF UNIT-3 (PLUTONIUM MOX REACTOR!!!) HAS BEEN COMPLETELY BLOWN OFF!!! http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203916.msg1218401#msg1218401

I still can see it? Important Vid Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vhuVUt5l_k

Anyways, some important screenerz from that Vid cause there you can see that the top of Unit-3 has been completely blown off including the fuel and spent fuel cooling pond.

A) The 6-inch thick metal reactor containment vessel has blown up inside the concrete primary containment wall which is peech shaped with at the top the weakest point – the fuel transfer gate.

Or B) The fuel burned it’s way trough the containment vessel and exploded underneath in which case the 6-inch thick metal reactor containment vessel would be blown out like a cannonball.

Either way the the concrete primary containment wall worked as a canon when it blew up sky high directing the explosion force straight up which can be clearly seen: Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Reactor 3 explosion on March 14, 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_N-wNFSGyQ

SLIDESHOW ALL PICS http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v393/youricarma/Fukushima%20-%20Daiichi%20Reactor%20Design/?albumview=slideshow

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 19:00 | 1079774 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

we'll see.

A) the reactor pressure vessel isn't really the "reactor containment", "blown up"

3/14 date?

watchin'  esp. since AJ'z 3/15 prediction of O==announcement everywhere didn't come to pass.  Waiting eagerly on his next prediction.

u can hear it on Noory's and other sites.

- Ned

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 18:12 | 1079638 Plumplechook
Plumplechook's picture

I'm assuming the only purpose of operation irrigate is to try and fill the spent fuel rod pools above the reactors.    As far as I can tell there is no way that spraying water through the roof can actually help cool the reactor cores themselves since they are totally encased within two layers of containment.   Same goes for the suppression pools (donut/torus) since they are directly below the cores.

As I understand it they have somehow been pumping seawater directly into the cores since day 2.   So it worries me that the temperature in reactor 3 has started rising again.  Makes me wonder if salt crystals from the seawater evaporation is now starting to make the cores more difficult to keep cool - as many have warned.

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 18:53 | 1079738 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

Why Fukushima’s “spent” fuel rods will continue to catch fire, 15 March 2011, by Kirk James Murphy, M.D. (FDL) http://my.firedoglake.com/kirkmurphy/2011/03/15/why-fukushimas-spent-fuel-rods-will-continue-to-catch-fire/

News Release NIS: Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, March 19, 2011
http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/files/en20110319-4.pdf

Excerpt:

Waterlevels

Unit 1 -1,750(A) -1,750(B)

Unit 2 -1,400(A) Not available(B)

Unit 3 -1,200(A) - 2,300(B) ?????? (Fake I think)

Unit 4 ?

Unit 5 2,008

Unit 6 1,902

Spent Fuel Pool Water Temperature

Unit 1 ?

Unit 2 ?

Unit 3 ???

Unit 4 84

Unit 5 68.8

Unit 6 66.5

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