U.S. fails to rush coolant to Japan nuclear plant to prevent a meltdown

March 11, 2011TAKOMA PARK, MD –(ENEWSPF)– Beyond Nuclear staff members are closely monitoring the unfolding nuclear power plant crisis in Japan following a massive earthquake and are available to provide technical expertise and information to media today and tonight. Mixed reports about the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant confirm that emergency battery power is being used to keep the plant’s emergency core cooling systems running. A mass evacuation suggests the possibility that radioactivity is being – or could be – released from the plant. Eleven of Japan’s 55 reactors are reportedly shut down due to the earthquake and as many as 6,000 residents are already being evacuated around the Fukushima Daiichi plant. “The emergency at Fukushima Daiichi is alarming because the plant has lost central and emergency diesel power to most of its safety systems and is relying on battery power which can deplete in a matter of hours,” said Paul Gunter, director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear who has traveled in Japan and is familiar with their nuclear complex.  “Once the batteries give out, the irradiated nuclear fuel in the operating reactor core could begin to melt down. If the containment systems fail, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. This particular containment system is already notorious for being a weak design likely to fail.” Added Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog at Beyond Nuclear who was recently on a nuclear power-related speaking tour in Japan: “In addition to the reactor cores, the storage pool for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel is also at risk. The pool cooling water must be continuously circulated. Without circulation, the still thermally hot irradiated nuclear fuel in the storage pools will begin to boil off the cooling water. Within a day or two, the pool’s water could completely boil away. “Without cooling water, the irradiated nuclear fuel could heat to the point of spontaneously combusting in an exothermic reaction,” Kamps continued. “Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.”  –E News.com
Crisis: Underscoring grave concerns about the Fukushima plant some 150 miles north of Tokyo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. Air Force had delivered coolant to try to lower the temperature of the facility’s nuclear rods. Tokyo Electric Power Co said pressure inside a reactor at its Fukushima-Daiichi plant rose after the cooling system was knocked out by the earthquake. Kyodo news agency quoted the company as saying that the radiation level was rising in the turbine building and the pressure had risen to 1.5 times the designed capacity. –MSNBC
“Though nuclear power plants are touted as the clean safe energy of the future, in reality, these plants are nothing short of environmental catastrophes…the proliferation of nuclear plants…where population is already exploding…may be among the greatest human environmental blunders conceived in the 21st century.”  –The Extinction Protocol, page 250-251
(c) RTN News
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10 Responses to U.S. fails to rush coolant to Japan nuclear plant to prevent a meltdown

  1. DrJim77 says:

    Maybe with the geological changes that seem to be accelerating on the earth, it’s good that the US has not built more nuke power plants…Adding the nuclear meltdown component to a catastrophic event will create a new variable on future evolution…

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  2. MJ says:

    The main reason for many issues dealing with nuclear power plants is due to old designs allowing for water to come into direct contact with the reactor, the turbine and condenser cooling water loop. The water in this loop is radioactive because of it’s proximity to the core. When trying to control the pressure inside the core in the old designs u have to release radioactive steam. New designs separate the cooling water loop from the core giving it it’s on pressure release through an additional loop by a heat exchanger and condenser. The major disasters by nuclear power plants is due to pressure build up within the core and the inability to release it.

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    • Harry Jones says:

      Where did you get your information?? Do you thoroghly understand the difference between BWR’s and PWR’s and how they operate?? Are you familiar with all Emergency Procedures? Did you know that the NRC just approved designs for NEW BWR’s?? Did you know that there are many OLD PWR’s that are still operating and are not NEW Designs?

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  3. jamie says:

    Can we say, “Ill winds”???? Catastrophic! Stupid humans!

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  4. MJ says:

    I do understand the difference between BWR’s (Boiling Water Reactors) and PWR’s (Pressure Water Reactors) both old designs. 30 years of innovation have been put into nuclear tech. since the moratorium was lifted by the U.S. The new designs by GE, Hitachi, Westinghouse and Toshiba are trying to alleviate these issues. One of the main issues with a BWR is that the rods are inserted from the bottom so without power and without back up power as in the case with Fukushima it is that much more difficult to insert the rods and cool the core. While PWR’s fail to close, meaning when there is power loss the rods insert into the core.
    Yes I do understand tht the NRC has approved designs for new ABWR’s and APWR’s but no designs are complete. The first APWR by Westinghouse was approved and design has commenced for units 3&4 in Waynesboro, GA. URS has signed a deal to bring on ABWRs in conjunction with GE and Hitachi.
    I was speaking solely about Fukushima’s issues….. No cooling water to cool the core results in pressure increase…. and as we know from fluid mechanics and thermodynamics….. Pressure busts pipes.

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  5. Stu Piddy says:

    As a dentist, I work with radioactivity on a daily basis and have appeared on CNN to comment on the disaster in Japan. We must not let the failure of only 6 reactors stop us from using Nuclear Power. Clearly the Japanese have this under control using Tsunami seawater to chill out the reactors cores. Seawater is plentiful. Most of the Earth is covered in Sea Water except for Lake Michigan in Chicago.

    I think we should leave it to the experts, like myself who understand this situation. I’m sure that the staff of the 6 nuclear reactors that are now melting down have brought their lunches with them and are working hard at the meltdown site to secure these rods and prevent too much radiation from escaping. There are probably hundreds of Reactor Staff members who are putting their families needs aside for the moment and entering into the facility knowing that the exposure to the radiation will certainly kill most of them. That’s why I’m confident that these reactors aren’t abandoned and staff members aren’t trying to save their own lives by leaving these facitlities. It’s just common sense.

    As I tell my patients when I Xray them. There is nothing to worry about. This won’t kill you. Unless of course I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.
    Seriously….
    I imagine the reactors are largely abandoned and few people are entering into them directly. C’mon. Looks like 6 Chernobyls and what does that say about Japan. It’s a small Island. Is it possible that Japan will in effect be destroyed, made largely unihabitable. That’s what I’d like to know.

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    • Jamie says:

      For a very long moment there I thought you were serious.
      I agree that they are probably abandoned.
      However, they are condsidering burying them in sand and cement. That should work out well.

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  6. SP says:

    MJ is right on the explanation of the nuclear reactor designs.
    No design is perfect but some have got inherent weaknesses.
    Though expensive to build and maintain, Canadian design CANDU is the safest reactor so far. [Control and absorber rods drop to the core shuting down the nuclear reaction in these designs. If this technique had not happened, we would have had our nuclear disaster in August 2003, during the major blackout covering north of USA and Ontario.]
    I heard the French new reactor that is being built in Finland may claim that title in the future.
    As the dentist says, nuclear is the future. We just have to improve the technology.
    Oil is on the way out. Coal era is gone.

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  7. E Hennigan says:

    Hi! I hope someone here can and will answer these questions:
    1. Is there a way to stop the production of radio-activity in the Fukushima nuclear plants to decrease the pressure and volitility?
    2. Is there a way to release the radiation into some sort of containment vessel for storage, in lieu of allowing it to escape into the air? Some sort of balloon cover? Some sort of pipe leading out of the plant and into a containment vessel?
    3. Is there a chemical or mechanical reaction procedure to convert radioactivity into a less dangerous gas, solid or liquid? Something inert? Something neutral? Something benign? Something harnessable and or useful yet not dangerous?
    4. Can the Japan Nuclear Power plants be “turned off” (i.e. cease producing radioactive gas) and then funnel what remains in the storage tanks to some other location, power plant, containment facility near by?
    5. Again…can the radio activity produced by nuclear power plants be mechanically or chemically altered into a benign state? What happens if the elements produced by fission are compressed back together again? What substance(s) would be created?

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