(Since Wednesday I do not update the post any longer. I just add new comments. So read the comments for the lastest updates!)
A BOILING WATER REACTOR like the one at Fukushima:
2300 GMT, MARCH 11TH 2011:
I live thousands of kilometers away from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant (also known as the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant) in Japan but I am worried. Pressure has exceeded normal levels it seems.
I will try to improve this post later. Now I just put here some words related to a nuclear plant:
EMERGENCY COOLING SYSTEM
REACTOR’S CONTAINMENT DOME
DIESEL EMERGENCY GENERATORS
VENTING RADIOACTIVE GAS
I put again another drawing of a BOILING WATER REACTOR where you can see the coolant, etc. If you click the image you go to a BBC webpage with more explanations.
This is a video with news:
I find it is crazy what is happening in this nuclear plant. The cooling system is not working properly because there is not power supply an the diesel emergency system did not work and the batteries are running out! So a nuclear plant that normally generates electric power may go into disaster because it gets not electric power from outside! I find this crazy! If I was there I would get crazy. Who knows, maybe the best would be to connect again the nuclear plant! And as the nuclear plant produces electricity this electricity could be used to supply electricity to the cooling system. Well, I know this has a lot of inconvenients, however … but the situation is so absurd and tragic that I do not know what else could be done!
LINK WITH UPTODATE NEWS ABOUT Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_I_Nuclear_Power_Plant
Well, I go to sleep. The latest news is that maybe the radioactive steam has already been vented. Also that plant 2 is also having problems and in some places they write about five plants. Is this another Chernobyl? Well, I go to sleep. What a way to go to sleep while a nuclear plant is heading to disaster! WILL HUMANKIND BECOME SOME DAY SMART?
MARCH 12TH 2011, 10 AM GMT
I wake up and watch tv news. They say there has been an explosion in reactor 1. Yesterday I looked at some books about fission and how a nuclear plant works.
As I have registered the domain http://www.fukushima.tk (that now redirects here) I think I could used this domain to try to get help to Japan.
Now I visit NHK WORLD in English and I have found this: Evacuation area around Fukushima No.2 expanded
As long as I understand I think there are two nuclear plants in FUKUSHIMA prefecture. Plant number one is also known as FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI one and the other is known as FUKUSHIMA DAINI, I believe. The photo above is of the Daiichi one. As you can see in the photo in the plant there is more than one nuclear reactor. In news there are talking about MICROSIEVERT, I think, It would be a measure of radiation. It seems now we have a radiation outside FUKUSHIMA PLANT ONE that would be the permissible radiation for one year. As I have been reading about radiation exposure it seems that the damage of radiation has to do with the nature of radiation, the quantity and the time of the exposure.
Video of huge explosion:
Wow! News change and change. Now we know about the explosion (4 workers injured in FUKUSHIMA 1) Now I have read that the evacuation aerea has been expanded to 20 km radius. What a nightmare! You have alot of people stranded and needing your help in the tsunami aerea and at the same time you have to deal with a nuclear nightmare. The only good thing about all these chaos is that all this chaos is that Japanese are very calm people and I am sure they’ll do their best. I say that because I know Japanese people.
At http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/12/japan-earthquake-tsunami-aftermath-live#block-18 you can read the kind of substances that may be outside: radio-caesium and radio-iodine
March 13th 2011, 1030 am GMT
Yestarday afternoon I went to my public library and I began to read books about nuclear plants and radioactivity. We all knew there had been an explosion and that people were checked for radiotion. The accident was marked with a 4. It was an ugly event but it seemed that things could not get so worse as I had imagined.
But this morning I watch tv and they speak again of nuclear danger! This time in another reactor in Fukushima Daiichi o Fokushima I. There is danger of meltdown.
Yestarday I read so much about nuclear reactors and radioactivity that, susprisingly, now I have the feeling I know less than before. Anyway here I make a little summary of basic learning I got yestarday:
Equivalent Dosage, biologic effectivity.
The unit used is the SIEVERT (Sv)
The mean dosage we gat is about 3.50 mSv/year.
In the planes you get more dosage as the atmosphere is less thick and you get more cosmic rays.
For some parts of the body you should not get more than 5mSv a year and for others 50 mSv ayear. Letal dosage is about 1 to 3 Sv.
The accumulated dosage in ones life should not be superior to 70 mSv.
(I read that the maximum allowed to the Fukushima central is that of 500 microsievert (o.5 mSv) But they reached at some point 1557 microsievert (1.557 mSv))
In order to get a controled fission reaction one needs:
– material to use (Uranium,etc)
– moderator of electrons
– control rods
– primary circuit of refrigaration of the nucleus of the reactor
– secondary circuit of refrigeration.
It seems we have PWR and BWR nuclear plants. BWR stands for BOILING WATER REACTOR.
I will try to look at places on the Internet with drawings and explanations and I will put a link.
Now the danger is in reactor three nubler three at Fukushima 1. This reactor is more dangerous as it runs with uranium and plutonium! The others ones only run with uranium. It sseems that the reactor with the rods should be kept under water. It water does not cover it there is danger. They are bringing water from the sea. I have the feeling is question of hours that a tragedy may happen. As with the first reactor it seems that at some time vapour is vented to put pressure down. This vapor is radioactive. As I mentioned before, I think, people are getting tablets of iode. In theis way the tyroids get this iode and won’t get much of the radioactive oidine. I have the feeling as if we were inside a crazy experiment were human beings are just toys of the nuclear industry.
Hydrogren buildup so is going and there can be an explosion. I also read that 3 meters of fuel in reactor 3 may have already been exposed. As I read the news in the media I realised that some media have not eneought scientific knowledge to explain what is going on. It is ridiculous to say that there is the danger of a meltdown if you do not explain clearly what does meltdown means!
March 13th 2011, 1500 GMT
On TV they begin again with the Japan tragedy: images of the Tsunami not from the sky but from people in the talk were the tsunami took place. They also talk about the three reactor possible meltdown. Some times an expert says something. I also read news of Onagawa. There is also an emergency there. I wonder if there is still some fool that believes that all this tragedy is just a Japanese affair. I am sure that all this is going to have a profound effect around the world. I think it is time we change the way we are living. It is crazy that ours lives are dependent of nuclear energy and petrol from some dictatrial countries in some cases. I think it is time we realise there is the need of another revolution. Of a revolution of the motorways full of cars and the cities with neon lights become part of the past. I find quite awkward that we worry so much about medical science, etc when at the same time we are putting in risk the SURVIVAL OF HUMAN KIND. What is the use of living in an Internet world when we are dependent on radiactive energies or on, soon to end, petrol?
GUARDIAN LIVE COVERAGE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/mar/13/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-japan
In http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/13/japan-fukushima-nuclear-power-station-explosion you have questions and answers about what happened and may happen in Fukushima nuclear plant. It explains about how we get the hydrogen that explodes, for example.
I know there are using sea water to cool down the reactor. My question would be if they are using the sea water in a closed circuit or if they just put cold water from the sea and then the water goes again to sea. Is the sea water touching the rods and the nuclear fuel or is passing nearby?
Well, after looking at the drawings above I imagine the sea water is not touching at all the core with the rods! They are just using sea water instead of the liquid they were using normally.
JST or JAPAN STANDARD TIME
I write here the time in GMT. So now as I write this it is 1630 in Paris which means it is 1530 gmt. In Tokyo is 0030 am JST. So there is a difference of 9 hours between JST and GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
An example: Now I read a news at http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/13_36.html, the Japanese public tv that says:
Problems still plague Fukushima nuclear plants
Cooling system problems continue to plague two nuclear plants in earthquake-hit Fukushima Prefecture.
The level of coolant water in the Number Three reactor at the Fukushima Number One power plant dropped on Sunday, leaving the fuel rods exposed by two meters. The situation continued for at least until 3pm, possibly causing a partial melting of the rods.
As a result, masses of hydrogen gas have accumulated in the inside top of the reactor building. The gas may cause an explosion similar to that which occurred at the Number One reactor on Saturday.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, also known as TEPCO, is considering ways to remove the hydrogen from the structure.
The Number One reactor and its containment structure are being pumped with seawater in an effort to secure cooling.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the amount of seawater should entirely fill the reactor structure, and that the building should be safe as long as the water flow continues.
At the Number Two reactor, the amount of coolant continues to be lower than usual, and the pressure within the containment vessel is above normal.
TEPCO attempted to restore the functioning of an electrical pressure-relief device by connecting a generator, but has not succeeded.
The company is considering other means to relieve the reactor pressure, such as releasing air from the containment vessel.
Inadequate cooling is also occurring at the Fukushima Number Two power plant, where the pumps to send seawater to cool the Number One, Two and Four reactors have failed due to the tsunami.
TEPCO says it will try to restore the cooling systems by replacing the pump motors overnight.
Sunday, March 13, 2011 22:35 +0900 (JST)
I need to know if the news is old or new. So I read 22:35 +0900 (JST) This means the news was publish at 13:35 GMT. So at 14:35 in, let’s say, Berlin or Rome. As I am writing this at 15:35 GMT this is news written two hours ago.
A website about WORLD NUCLEAR NEWS: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Venting_at_Fukushima_Daiichi_3_1303111.html
One way to know what is going on is also, of course, to go directly to the webpage of the INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY or IAEA: http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsunamiupdate01.html
Sunday March 13th 2230 gmt
There are problems in other nuclear reactors. Besides reactor 3 in FUKUSHIMA ONE there are also problems in TOKAI and in ONAGAWA. On tv they show images before and after the accident. Also images with very black water and a ship that goes near a bridge. It is horrible.
Monday March 14th 10 am gmt
I have seen on tv another hydrogen explosion in Fukushima. This time it was reactor number three. 11 people have been injured. After seen the explosion of number one it is difficult not to feel a kind of sympathy for those who believe in nuclear energy. This images put them in a very difficult position, I am afraid.
Anyway, the stock exchange in Tokyo with the Nikkei seems to have fallen. I also have read that some US military helping in Japan have showed radiation exposure. So they have stop the aid. I already thought about that. How can you help when you may suffer radiation? I think this is a big problem. LINK: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1625853.php/US-military-breaks-off-Japan-aid-mission-amid-radioactivity-fears
“A US military helicopter had detected small amounts of radioactive caesium 137 and iodine 121 around 100 kilometres from the power plant, the New York Times report said.”
I am afraid that the next explosion may happen at reactor number two as the coolant system has failed as I read on NHK news. I think this Monday the whole world nuclear energy will have its own tsunami. I am afraid this Monday something quite nasty is going to happen.
March 14th 2011 1445 gmt
I have found an article that sees what is happening in Fukushima as a triumph of nuclear safety! At the same time I read that goverments around the world are worried. Germany has frozen its idea to make its nuclear reactors last for a longer period. It is curious that in all the discussion between nuclear energy I always have the feeling that both parts believe that the others are just fools. Anyway, after reading the article I mention one has the feeling that we all should drink champagne after what has happened in Fukushima. LINK: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/14/fukushiima_analysis/page3.html
MONDAY 4 PM GMT
Now in NHK website top news I read FUEL RODS EXPOSED. So the fuel rods are not covered by water – I understand they ended using seawater here. I also have read about the idea to make a hole in the exterior building so that the hydrogen created can escape and produces not explosion in reactor 2 as it has already happened in one and three.
In order to get fresh news I look at google.com news recent news. I have realised that news are sometimes mixed so the best maybe is to go directly to NHK. I imagine that if I knew the Japanese language I would get the news sooner. I opened this blog on March 11th, the day od the tragedy and I have already received more than 500 hundreds visits. I also have read the head of an article in the Wall Street Journal where they almost insult the German Chancellor because she freezes letting the nuclear plants stay working for a longer period. Anybody that goes against the interests defended by the Wall Street Journal deserves lack of respect. They seem to attack her as been weak because for once she does what groups like Greenpeace would like. When Angela does what Wall Street Journal likes then she is not weak. What a bunch of hypocrisy from this journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110314-709472.html
I see that in Japan they call the earthquake as the TOHOKU MEGAQUAKE.
I have found this very interesting link where you can see an interactive diagram of Fukushima nuclear plant!: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/12/world/asia/the-explosion-at-the-japanese-reactor.html
TUESDAY MARCH 15TH 10 GMT ( 7 PM JST )
I wake up some hours ago. Let’s watch the news on tv. What? Oh, my God! The news are worse and worse. There has been an explosion I think in reactor 2 and a fire in reactor 4. Radiation has increased. In TOKYO is 10 times higher! Let me go to the sources and I write here more. This night I have realised that nuclear energy is not sage at all. It is enough that in a war somebody throws a normal bomb to a nuclear plant to cause a nuclear disaster. After FUKUSHIMA the world has to changed completeley. We should go to sleep when there is not sun light. It is time to start adapting again to nature.
I also read that China is dispatching buses to Fukushima. I hope this disaster helps to improve the relation between China and Japan. I am sure China will do its best helping Japan. After all the share a lot of things.
I am beginning to be very very sad. Just to imagine that peole from Tokyo maybe affected by radiation makes me crazy. Tokyo is one of the symbols of the progress of humankind. I cannot believe what is happening. I cannot believe it! I think this should be a lesson for all nations of the world.
3.13 mSv/hour in plant (much more than usual 0.5 mSv. I think that the normal amount for a human being wold be 5 mSv/year)
Utsunomiya, Tochigi: 33 times legal amount.
Kanagawa, 9 times more than the normal level.
Reactor four (fire this evening) has reach at some point 100 times normal level.
Reactor three has reached 400 times normal level.
I imagine it is also very important to know the kind of substances that are in the air! There are some that radiate quite soon and others not so soon (these are quite dangerous and are the ones I would worry. A lot)
Saitama: 40 times normal level.
I read that people in Tokyo are leaving. I also have read that people in a radius 20-40 km from Fukushima are asked to stay at home witout using air conditioning and with closed windows. Levels of iodine and cessium are also more than normal in Tokyo.
At IAEA you can read:
“Japanese authorities also today informed the IAEA at 04:50 CET that the spent fuel storage pond at the Unit 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is on fire and radioactivity is being released directly into the atmosphere.”
Later they say they will use from now on UTC:
“Please note that all future communications from the IAEA regarding events in Japan will use the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) standard.”
So, at the IAEA they have reach now the same conclusion that I reached some days ago: That it is very necessary to use gmt (or utc) so that the whole planet knows the time! UTC and GMT is the same but, of course, the British prefer to say GMT as it refers to Greenwich …
The accident in Fukushima would get a six. The most serious one at Chernobyl got a SEVEN. INES, the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, ranks the accidents from 1 to 7.