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Core may have leaked into containment vessel, aftershocks complicate efforts NYT

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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:41 PM
Original message
Core may have leaked into containment vessel, aftershocks complicate efforts NYT

From New York Times
http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2...

Powerful Aftershock Complicates Japan's Nuclear Efforts

While a spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric dismissed the analysis, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan agreed that it was possible that the core had leaked into the larger containment vessel.

The possibility raised new questions. The Nuclear Regulator Commission said that its speculation about the flow of core material out of the reactor vessel would explain high radiation readings in an area underneath, called the drywell.

But some of the radiation readings taken at Reactors Nos. 1 and 3 over the last week were nearly as high as or higher than the 3,300 rems per hour that the commission said it was trying to explain, so it would appear that the speculation would apply to them as well. At No. 2, extremely radioactive material continues to ooze out of the reactor pressure vessel, and the leak is likely to widen with time, a senior nuclear executive said.

Its a little like pulling a thread out of your tie, said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect business connections in Japan. Any breach gets bigger.

Flashes of extremely intense radioactivity have become a serious problem, he said. Tokyo Electrics difficulties in providing accurate information on radiation are not a result of software problems, as some Japanese officials have suggested, but stem from damage to measurement instruments caused by radiation because it exceeds the maximum dose that they are designed to measure, the executive said.

Its killing the measuring equipment, he said. Theyre blaming it on software its their meters getting cooked.

Broken pieces of fuel rods have been found outside of Reactor No. 2, and are now being covered with bulldozers, he said. The broken pieces may be from rods in the spent-fuel pools that were flung out by hydrogen explosions.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Hong Kong, and Matthew L. Wald from Washington.

A version of this article appeared in print on April 8, 2011, on page A14 of the New York edition

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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Flashes of extremely intense radioactivity" - possibly intermittent fission? nt
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It is happening! They are just covering it up, see Gundersen, Markey even NRC and Areeva nt
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. neutron beams?
A question, and a guess--could this be neutron beams?

TEPCO reported that they oberserved neutron beams at least 13 times after the quake. This indicates
fission, correct? Seems most likely that a meltdown happened, if this is true.
--------------------------------------------
Question: What is a neutron beam?

Answer: Beams of neutrons can be obtained by drilling a hole in the side of a nuclear reactor. The neutron beams reported in the below report are evidence that there is a hole in the reactor which is allowing the energetic neutrons created in nuclear fission to escape through it evidence of ongoing fission. While a positively or negatively charged beam contains either protons or electrons, neutrons (being neutral) have no charge whatsoever and do not pose harm to living tissue. So though the Neutron beams are not dangerous the troubling part of this story is that the beams are evidence of Nuclear Fission which means this accident will probably escalate to near Chernobyl levels.
Milton Thomas

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.

TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear plant, said the neutron beam measured about 1.5 kilometers southwest of the plants No. 1 and 2 reactors over three days from March 13 and is equivalent to 0.01 to 0.02 microsieverts per hour and that this is not a dangerous level.

The utility firm said it will measure uranium and plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam, as well.

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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. That's what I understoon Arnie Gunderson to say.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Based on what Gunderson has to say...
...it is highly likely that meltdown has happened.

The question I have is...what does this mean to the world, and to those of us in the United
States?

Does a meltdown mean more radioactive particles emitted into the air--and possibly in the jet
stream that will traverse the United States?

Seems like they are hiding the fact that there was a meltdown--if indeed that has transpired. I am
wondering if they are hiding it, because meltdown indicates that others, besides those in Japan, may
be in more danger than they are letting on.

And also if meltdown did happen, shouldn't the evacuation zones in Japan be extended. Currently, those
evacuation zones are only 18km from the Fukushima plant. That's a very small area.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I think it means that it's harder to work at the plant at a minimum
and this could lead to any variation of fires or meltdowns and some could be explosive. The experts are saying it's that likely but Michio Kaku disagrees and forsees a possible explosion when corium goes through containment.
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. You are correct in all of your points.
Besides Gunderson, there was a whistleblower interviewed who essentially said this problem is beyond the scope of the people at the plant.
Gunderson has said for some time the evacuation area should have been expanded.
Gunderson and others,including TEPCO, have said the plants will continue to emit radiation for weeks, it will take that long to even address the multiple ( and growing ) problems.
Thus more radiation into the air, plus the very growing problem of where to put the contaminated water they are pumping in.
And there is pretty much universal agreement we are not being told the truth.

but assume we WERE being told the truth, assume the truth is as bad as we think it is...exactly what can we do about it
on a day to day basis over here? Stay inside, never go out, don't walk the dogs, don't go get the mail, don't go to the store?
I am just glad I am over 60. Sadly, my children are not.
We seem to be in an increasing cycle of blindly destroying our own spaceship.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Well put
The destruction of the spaceship is at issue. I wouldn't want to be young, it was hard enough to see the beginning of the nasty stuff, TMI etc.

It's of concern that Tepco and the Japanese government are so defensive about statements from the USA. They directly refuted what Rep. Markey said about the leakage / melting in No. 2 yet all signs point to them covering up... it's confusing and if they are confused or engaged in major coverups we're all sunk.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I guess my mama bear instincts are keyed up...
I am really interested in understand WHAT is going on--so I can figure out the risk to my
children and family.

Then, I can prepare, if we need to; or make changes to routines, foods consumed, etc.

The problem is--no one can say if we are in danger or not---because (as you said) there is universal agreement that
we are not being told the truth.

That's what frustrates me. Information is fuzzy, scattered, contradictory and not helpful.

I really get some of the best insight from the comments sections of the NYTimes articles on this topic.


I wonder how long they can hide the truth. If they've had a meltown of one reactor and are headed for more
meltdowns--I doubt they could keep that under wraps for too much longer.

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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. WE are being lied to, and we are way over here.
The thought that haunts me every day, and sometimes at night, is....imagine the plight of the poor people who are
"sheltering in place" IN the danger zone.
How can they be rescued"
How long can they remain cooped up in their houses, with dwindling resources?
How bad is the REAL radiation level where they are ( since TEPCO admits it really cannot even determine the levels)
How do they even know what is going on , with no power, so not tv, destroyed infrastructure, limited access to
survivors,etc.
It is like a nightmare science fiction story.Worse than anything Stephen King could dream up.
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Logical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wow, depressing! n-t
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. Enough with the retractions, leaks, double talk, Houston we have a problem

It's an international problem and should be a HUGE concern for all!

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Fledermaus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. "The broken pieces may be from rods in the spent-fuel pools that were flung out by explosions"
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 10:00 PM by Fledermaus
Hey! Frodo, someone must have a very active imagination.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!
Run for the hills!
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Maybe not die unless you're in the vulnerable populations or ingest cesium or plutonium
then yes sadly, the Japanese have a lot of suffering ahead of them.
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neverforget Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. These pro nuke posts make me want to puke with their callous
disregard or playing down of the problems nuclear power have when they catastrophically fail.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
17. PDF of NRC Reactor Safety Team report
Reactor Safety Team Assessment

Interesting reading.
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