Fukushima Nuke Plant
March 17, 2011 by staff
Officials dropped up to 30 tons of water from fire trucks and helicopters, but had to suspend operations today due to higher radiation levels. The priority is to two of the six reactors – number and number 4 – is believed to be close to dry. Officials are desperately trying to cool rods that may already be exposed.
Nuclear engineer Arnold Gundersen, who was part of the consultation team on the regulation of the Three Mile Island in 1979, which is putting pressure on emergency crews to keep the core cooled in perspective.
“It’s not something you put out like a traditional fire. Whatever the water enters the reactor must be sustained for months if not years,” he told CNN.
Officials continue to work to obtain electrical power and place on the grid. Yesterday, the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Yatsko, said he believes it was a hydrogen explosion happened after solid rod cooling ponds ran dry.
“We believe that secondary containment was destroyed and there is no water in the pool of spent fuel and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high,” he said.
There have been reports soaring levels of radiation around the plant people Tokyo airport congestion. Plant officials say that they are close to the activation of new power lines that bring cooling systems back on line to avoid a collapse.
Japanese military helicopters began dumping loads of sea water on a nuclear reactor struck today in an attempt to avoid complete collapse as power plant operators said they were close to finishing a new power line that could restore cooling systems and mitigate the crisis.
A Japanese military CH-47 Chinook began sea water dumped on the damaged reactor of Unit 3 of Fukushima complex at 9:48 am, said the spokesman of the Ministry of Defence Kazumi Toyama. The plane dumped at least four loads on the reactor, if a large portion of the water seems to be dispersed into the air.
Dumping was intended both to help cool the reactor and to replenish water in an impoundment spent fuel rods, Toyama said. The factory owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said earlier that the pool was almost empty, which could cause overheating of stems.
Emergency workers were forced out of the factory yesterday, when radiation levels have climbed, losing valuable time. They returned to work after radiation levels had decreased, but much of the monitoring equipment in the plant is inoperable, complicating efforts to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, Canadian experts have defended their nuclear technology in the wake of the crisis in Japan, saying power plants in Ontario have a history of 30 years of security.
President and CEO of Bruce Power Duncan Hawthorne say they are preparing for every scenario of the worst kind. “There will be lessons that the industry can learn, and learn. But this is not Japan.”
Hawthorne says if Canada does not experience massive earthquakes, structures will not be able to resist him. Greenpeace activists are asking the McGuinty government to stop relying on nuclear energy, because the risks are too high.
[Source: image via DAILYMAIL.CO.UK]
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