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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:03 PM
Original message
Japanese Nuclear Reactor in Peril
Source: Washington Post

Japanese authorities and the U.S. military on Saturday were racing to find ways to deliver new backup generators or batteries to a nuclear power reactor whose cooling facilities have been crippled by a loss of power as a result of the earthquake.

The reactor, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co., is currently drawing on battery power that may last only a few hours. Without electricity, the reactor will be unable to pump water to cool its hot reactor core, possibly leading to a meltdown or some other release of radioactive material.

(snip)

"There's a basic cooling system that requires power, which they don't have," said Glenn McCullough, former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority who has been keeping track of the situation in Japan. He said that as a result of the tsunami, water had gotten into the diesel generators that would otherwise have provided backup power.

In a statement that confused nuclear experts, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday morning that U.S. Air Force planes in Japan had delivered "coolant" to a nuclear power plant affected by the quake. Nuclear reactors do not use special coolants, only large amounts of pumped water.

more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. The 3 a.m. Prestone call?
:shrug:
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. That statement about delivering coolant doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
Maybe there's some sort of misunderstanding by somebody. I suppose it could be an outright lie, but I don't see any point to that.

I would think that the planes would be delivering diesel generators and fuel and maybe new pumps.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. According to the Pentagon (in article) the Air Force hasn't delivered anything! nt
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Sounds like a big mess, nobody knows what's happening, nobody
on message. Scary.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. The first expert Rachel had on this evening said that: he wonders
what they haven't told us! Scary is right.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. This sounds extremely
frightening. Hell....get the bucket brigade!
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. We are only getting crapy information. We need to know how long the plant can be w/o electricity
until it's a problem. Then we need to know how long it's expected to reestablish the primary source of electricity. Then we need to know how long to fix the existing back up generators. And if temporary generators can be furnished. Then we need to know if there is a emergency cooling system that doesnt need electricity, for example gravity fed water. I believe city water or even sea water could be used with temporary pumps in a last resort.

We need a lot more facts.

Just my two cents and worth every penny.
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Thunderstruck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. Look at this picture and imagine that 10 metre wave coming directly at it...


That thing had to be inundated.

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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. There's nothing to worry about, the situation is under control ...
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
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somone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. There is a reason nuclear reactors are located near a large body of water
Edited on Fri Mar-11-11 05:21 PM by somone
Power is the problem, not the available supply of "coolant".

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hankthecrank Donating Member (490 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. k & r n/t
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yawnmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. someone needs to get in there and pull out those rods!!!
saw that in a movie once...
(but I think it was a spaceship).
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Pulling OUT the rods would cause an uncontrollable spike in power!
The reactor goes "super critical" and cannot be controlled.

On loss of power, the rods are designed to drop to stop the nuclear reaction.

I'm a dork, I know -- I used to run nuclear power plants for the Navy.

MacGuyver once went into a reactor compartment and pulled the rods to stop the reactor from going "critical" (critical is when the reactor is functioning as it is designed to.). We used to laugh about that.
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yawnmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. semantics...one mans pull is another mans drop. its frame of reference...
I meant get under them and pull them down.
no...actually, I'm probably remembering the McGuyver episode.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. china syndrome?
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. dumb question but does the water have to be fresh water? if not
Edited on Fri Mar-11-11 05:32 PM by Gin
can they pump seawater in to cool it?
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somone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. The coolant is seawater
which is filtered and conditioned before it goes in the intake
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