Tags: Japan | Nuclear | Tsunami

Hysteria Prevails Over Japan's Nuclear Power

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Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 10:58 AM Current | Bio | Archive

On March 11, 2011 a terrible earthquake and tsunami hit the northeast coast of Japan.
Besides the enormous damage to the coastline and the loss of thousands of inhabitants, it resulted in a nuclear disaster second only to the 1986 failure of the Chernobyl reactor.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company operated five nuclear reactors all situated next to each other. Following the initial earthquake, reactor Nos. 1, 2, and 3 shut down automatically and, using emergency generated power, flooded the fuel roads with water to keep them cool. Unfortunately, the soon to follow tsunami flooded the generators and there was no more water pumped, thus all three reactors experienced melt-down of the fuel rods.

One of the worst hit reactors was No. 4, which just had been refueled. Here, the chemical reaction between the metal of the fuel rod cladding and the remaining water produced hydrogen gas, which together with air, produced an explosive mixture.

The designers of the reactor foresaw such a happening and had installed an electrically operated vent valve on top of the reactor. However, since due to flooding of the emergency generators, there was no power available and the valve stayed closed.

There was however a manual override for the valve. The problem was, there never was a ladder installed on the outside of the reactor housing, which would have enabled an operator to reach the critical valve.

The pressure kept building up inside the reactor vessel until a tremendous explosion occurred which tore large holes on both sides of the heavy concrete walls. The openings were about 600 square feet in size.

The explosion furthermore produced a plume that could be seen for miles, thus spreading substantial amounts of radioactive material over the surrounding area. It is estimated that a total of 900 petabequel, or, 27,000 curies of radioactivity was released from all 5 reactors.

Besides the enormous damage to the coastline and the loss of thousands of inhabitants, it resulted in a nuclear disaster second only to the 1986 failure of the Chernobyl reactor.

Thus, a simple steel ladder placed along the walls and up to the roof of the reactor containment vessel could have prevented billions of dollars in damage, not to mention the terrible cost to the population of Japan.

This accident proved to be a great propaganda scoop for the opponents of nuclear power. It caused the precautionary closure of all additional, and still functioning, atomic power reactors in Japan, causing severe power outages in the country.

In addition it mandated safety reviews, and caused delays, and even cancellation of pending worldwide nuclear power plant constructions. Nevertheless, China went ahead undeterred and announced that it would build 100 additional atomic power plants within the next 10 years.

Hans Baumann is a licensed engineer in four states and a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. He is an adviser to the dean of the University of New Hampshire Business School. Baumann has published manuals on valves and was a contributor to many works including the "Instrument Engineers' Handbook" and the "Control Valves Handbook." He has also published several books on business management and German history. His book "Hitler's Escape," suggests that Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide and survived World War II. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
 


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HansBaumann
This accident proved to be a great propaganda scoop for the opponents of nuclear power. It caused the precautionary closure of all additional, and still functioning, atomic power reactors in Japan.
Japan, Nuclear, Tsunami
550
2015-58-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 10:58 AM
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