Satellite Photo Of Reactor 1 and 3 Explosions At Fukushima

Tyler Durden's picture

This is what the recent explosions look like when looked at from space, per the BBC:

DigitalGlobe satellite photograph shows the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on 14 March 2011

And yet another update, this time from across the Atlantic:

Technicians are battling to stabilise a third reactor at a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear plant, which has been rocked by a second blast in three days.

The fuel rods inside reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been fully exposed on two separate occasions, raising fears of a meltdown.

Seawater is being pumped into reactor to try to stop the rods overheating.

A cooling system breakdown preceded explosions at the plant's reactor 3 on Monday and reactor 1 on Saturday.

The latest hydrogen blast injured 11 people, one of them seriously. It was felt 40km (25 miles) away and sent a huge column of smoke into the air.

The outer building around the reactor was largely destroyed.

But as with the first explosion, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said the thick containment walls shielding the reactor cores remained intact. It also said radiation levels outside were still within legal limits.

Not optimistic'

Shortly after the blast, Tepco warned that it had lost the ability to cool Fukushima Daiichi's reactor 2.

Hours later, the company revealed that the fuel rods inside had been exposed fully at one point, reportedly for about two-and-a-half hours. It said a fire pump that had been used to pump seawater into the reactor had run out of fuel.

The company is now trying to inject sea water into the reactor to cover the fuel rods, cool them down and prevent another explosion.

Initially, water levels continued to fall despite the efforts, as only one of the five fire pumps was working, officials said. The other four were believed to have been damaged by the blast at reactor 3.

By Monday evening, the water level inside the reactor had risen to 2m. But later, Tepco officials said the fuel rods had again been fully exposed.

Air pressure inside reactor 2 rose suddenly when the air flow gauge was accidentally turned off. That blocked the flow of water into the reactor, leading to the water level dropping and the rods being exposed at about 2300 local time (1400 GMT).

"We are not optimistic but I think we can inject water once we can reopen the valve and lower the air pressure," a Tepco official told reporters.

Exposure for too long a period of time can damage the fuel rods and raise the risk of overheating and possible meltdown.

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FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Nice screen shot of SimCity, used to love that game (but not with Acts of God switched on).

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Jesus, you have to admire any technicians and foot soldiers operating down there - it must be psychologically hellish.

I heard the water pump to No 2 was damaged by the second explosion - they are claiming they got it back online - must have taken a good dose during any repairs.

 

 

jus_lite_reading's picture

HOLY MOSES!

DID HE JUST SAY THAT?!?!?

CNBC's Kudlow on Japan Quake - """ Be Grateful Human Toll Much Worse than Economic Toll."

http://fiatsfire.blogspot.com/2011/03/breaking-news-tokyo-geiger-counter...

 

IF HE DID THEN YOU KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

goldfish1's picture

Air pressure inside reactor 2 rose suddenly when the air flow gauge was accidentally turned off. That blocked the flow of water into the reactor, leading to the water level dropping and the rods being exposed at about 2300 local time (1400 GMT).

 

Homer? Homer Simpson, is that you?

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

An excellent vantage point under the circumstances...

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

My thoughts are with the heros willing to get anywhere close to this.

cossack55's picture

Ever notice there are more dead heros than live ones?

Reese Bobby's picture

The Japanese have historically demonstrated a high tolerance for their own death...

hbjork1's picture

"On a long enough timeline......."

Greater Fool's picture

As are mine. The fact that Japanese culture emphasizes the group over the individual and deeply values self-sacrifice does not lessen the nobility of what they are doing.

Greater Fool's picture

It always has to be about you, doesn't it, son?

Reese Bobby's picture

Apparently.  Your comment was funnier than Unit 731...much funnier.

AZSovreign's picture

Anyone have a link or info to/of a legit donation group for Japan? Besides the American Red Cross etc..

 

 

EDIT: NM found what I was looking for

umop episdn's picture

One hundred tons of a toxic, radioactive metal from hell are purified and confined to a metal box. This metal releases heat constantly, and must be cooled constantly no matter what happens. Sure, this can be done. No problem. We have the technology.

Hubris, bitchez.

Zero Debt's picture

OK...They have enough seawater, and they have enough diesel.

But do they have enough boric acid?

samsara's picture

That's what we air lifted to them.  When early on our gov. said we were airlifting "Coolant". 

dearth vader's picture

Kool Aid, that's what the navy's providing.

The Disappointed's picture

I'm almost suprised that they're not dumping CoreExit on it to 'disperse' the radiation.

Betcha someone's making a ton of money off this.

Aristarchan's picture

The US navy uses sodium polyborate as an emergency fission clamp.....it should be readily available in Japan, since it is basically flea powder.

BigJim's picture

I suspect most of the fleas around the reactor have already scarpered.

Mercury's picture

Thee seems to be a range of opinion as to what the worst case scenario is here:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576198421680697248.html

Matte_Black's picture

Talking his book.

Mr. Tucker is author of "Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Energy Odyssey" (Bartleby Press, 2010).

Gert_B_Frobe's picture

"Air pressure inside reactor 2 rose suddenly when the air flow gauge was accidentally turned off. That blocked the flow of water into the reactor, leading to the water level dropping and the rods being exposed at about 2300 local time"

How about a sign saying, "Don't touch this MF air flow gauge!" Like they don't have enough problems.

ebworthen's picture

MSNBC reporting U.S. Navy rescue crews picked up radiation doing helicopter rescue operations, and 7th fleet moving farther out to sea after detecting radiation 100 miles out.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Since it's MSNBC, I need confirmation ... I think could rely on them to tell me if the sun had suddenly extinguished ... but they might have mistaken sudden overcast for doing the same thing ...

Zina's picture

The problems in the nuclear plants are likely to cause power shortages in all of Japan during the next weeks, maybe months.

The problems in the electricity supply will have major effects on the economy nationwide. Is this being taken in account by the "experts" when analyzing the impact of the tragedy on the economy?

Gert_B_Frobe's picture

Boric Acid futures?

yabyum's picture

Heroes one and all.

davepowers's picture

accidentally turned off?!?

sheesh

dearth vader's picture

Hey, it's dark in there. There's no power. Someone, accidentally, flung his safety helmet over a switch.

Lord Welligton's picture

"Hours later, the company revealed that the fuel rods inside had been exposed fully at one point, reportedly for about two-and-a-half hours. It said a fire pump that had been used to pump seawater into the reactor had run out of fuel."

You kid me not!!!!!!!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If 4 of the 5 fire pumps being used to cool unit two were damaged by the explosion of number three, I imagine no one wanted to go outside to service/fuel the fifth fire pump because of the fear of radiation. They know there is plutonium in unit three.

Lord Welligton's picture

Yeah. Possible and understandable.

 

Phlash's picture

I read today that the reactor is running on a Uranium/Plutonium mix called MOX.  It sounds like its virtually weapons grade and not what the reactor was designed for.  The plutonium is 2 million times more dangerous than the possible uranium danger.  If it goes up then Japan will be uninhabitable and the direction of the wind is going to be very bad news for somebody...  Iodine does not protect against plutonium either.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

No nuclear reactor fuel is weapons grade. Just correcting your statement. That's not to say it isn't very dangerous, just not weapons grade. Weapons grade is several degrees of magnitude more concentrated than the fuel used in nuclear plants.

I do agree that if the MOX plutonium/uranium mixture in unit three gets out in the open, the emergency also goes up by several orders of magnitude.

Aristarchan's picture

The main exception to that is nuclear powered subs, which typically use weapons grade - or near weapons grade Uranium, in the case of US subs, 97.3%. I know you are talking about civilian power plants, CD...just wanted to through this in for info.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thanks. I was talking about civilian nuclear power plants.

I decided to completely stay away from the nuclear powered subs discussion since I'm already being accused of hysteria. I did not know the concentration was that high though I was aware it was significantly higher than civilian.

spanish inquisition's picture

I am not a hysteria type and have a question. If rods have dropped into the block and seawater is being used to cool. The area for water to traverse is narrower and cooling with seawater will be leaving behind particulates eventually blocking the flow. I am guessing water will be converted to steam and blowing off.

Questions: Will it eventually fuse the rods to the block and how long before it reduces cooling efficiency as water is blocked from the buildup of hardwater scale (for lack of a better word). 1 week, 1 month?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I have no idea. But since everyone agrees that flooding with seawater is a last ditch Hail Mary effort for reasons that go beyond just junking the reactor, who knows what's going on inside the reactor. I suspect the people on the ground are making educated guesses at this point.