Japans Damaged Nuclear Plants.


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Larry Monske
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Message 1086585 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 0:36:01 UTC

Of the 55 nuclear power plants in Japan 5 are seriously damaged with one in very serious trouble. They blew up the control building to flood the core with sea water. In the video you can see the visible shockwave of high explosives. Not a hydrogen explosion as reported. The control room was blown to feed sea water to the cores reactor pool. This is a last ditch attempt to prevent a Chenobel type meltdown. 170000 people have been evactuated from the area. Another reactor also has coolant problems. This is dealy serious and US and Canada west coasts are downwind. There are way more serious problems than the public is being told. By doing so the overflow will be radioactive and dumped into the sea for as long as it takes to cool the reactor. Working in the US Navy nuclear power program tasught me the dangers of this castastrphe.

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Message 1086589 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 0:49:37 UTC
Last modified: 13 Mar 2011, 0:51:07 UTC

It is very very serious Larry! I'm also watching it very closely, all the TV stations are carrying the story.

But in fission reactors Larry, the reactor won't actually "blow up". Like Chernobyl, the reactor just gets hotter and hotter melting everything around it, eventually including the protective chamber designed to contain the radiation.

Lets keep the fingers crossed they can keep the reactor cool somehow. But the explosion looked like it was the cooling system that blew up under steam presure build up.

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Message 1086608 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 1:24:49 UTC

One of the consequences of the Japan earthquake is that the axis of the earth has changed by by 8 centimeters. Just wondering what effect this has on the identification of what part of the sky is being measured. I would suspect quite a large effect?

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Message 1086614 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 1:40:00 UTC

I can't see as to why you would ever blow up a building to get water into it. Just open a door and run pipe in the open door. Blowing it up risks you covering up or damaging the very pipes you need to cut into to pump the cooling water in to the core. You would also lose all your monitoring equipment. No I just can't see that ever being the case.

Looking at a frame by frame of the explosion one can see the first frame were the walls of the building bowed out as from an over pressure inside. The next frame the roof, rather intact too, is heading up PDQ. Then in the next couple of frames you see the outside walls blow outward and some fire. The fire is there for only one or two frames. A couple frames later there is too much debris to see what is going on. I suspect a gas explosion inside the building is the cause.

I just hope they can get enough generators there to run the pumps to keep the other reactors cool enough to prevent more disasters. If they can, in a couple of weeks the event will be over for the others. However none of us knows if the reactor that lost its building is now so damaged it can't be controlled.

I hope the reactors scrammed fully and the the shaking wasn't so much as to prevent the control rods falling fully.

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Message 1086653 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 4:13:39 UTC - in response to Message 1086614.

I think the idea is to use the building foundation as a enlarged cooling pool. If that much hydrogen was released to cause that massive an explosion the core has exploded. Ive seen hundreds of high explosive detonations and nothing created that kind of shockwave but high explosive. Every single large explosion ive ever seen has the same shockwave. That much of an explosion means the core exploded from overpressure. The building concrete was turned to dust caused the dust cloud followed by blast wave.
Any case this reactor is in very serious trouble by using seawater its corrosive and causes rust and salination of hot parts. This is a last ditch attempt. The plant is damaged alot worse than they are saying. The overflow of seawater exposed to the core will be radioactive and its only outlet will be the sea. This will continued for many days to cool the core. Then what if partially melterd down the problem is intensified.

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Message 1086745 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 15:27:57 UTC - in response to Message 1086653.

The possible nuclear meldtown at Japan's nuclear fission reactors, is even more reasoning as to why governments along in conjunction with the private sector should speed up reasearch on viable comercial nuclear fusion reactors. Nuclear fusion does not release the same huge amounts of radio active nuclear waste. Had those reactors been nuclear fusion, meltdown danger would not possible happen.

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Message 1086752 - Posted: 13 Mar 2011, 15:58:05 UTC - in response to Message 1086745.

ITER is both late and beyond all budgets. I would not hope to see a working nuclear fusion reactor anytime soon. ITER is just a proof of concepts.
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Message 1087201 - Posted: 14 Mar 2011, 23:55:58 UTC - in response to Message 1086585.
Last modified: 14 Mar 2011, 23:58:38 UTC

... They blew up the control building to flood the core with sea water. In the video you can see the visible shockwave of high explosives. Not a hydrogen explosion as reported. The control room was blown to feed sea water to the cores ... castastrphe.


You what?!

Is that the seed for some new conspiracy theory?...


The explosions there all have the nature of rather big hydrogen explosions from the venting of steam and hydrogen from the reactor cores. The cores are shut down but they are still generating some heat that still must be cooled.

The normal cooling systems (including all the backups) were wiped out by the 10 metre high surge of water from the tsunami. Rather a critical oversight from the site designers! Also rather difficult to engineer against...

The last fraught efforts to keep the reactors from becoming critically hot is to use a number of fire suppressant pumps and fire-engines pumps to pump sea water through the cooling system. Something that was never envisaged nor designed for. Full credit to the engineers on the ground for doing something and anything.

With the wreckage of the tsunami and the explosions, I'm sure it is all a desperate task, and all desperately dangerous.


At least with that design of reactor, you cannot get a repeat of Chernobyl.

Here's hoping they can contain the mess.

Best of wishes go to Japan for overcoming the disaster,
Martin
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Larry Monske
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Message 1087482 - Posted: 16 Mar 2011, 19:25:10 UTC - in response to Message 1087201.

The real problem is cesium 137 it is asorbed in to plants and humans thru ingestion. It travels on the wind easily. It is formed as a byproduct of fission processes. They think number 4 spent fuels rods have caught fire twice. I think japans best bet is to pump concrete on the ractor core and cap the thing. The problem is that 3 are damaged in one small area. The winds are favorible and blowing out to sea. A wind change could blow inland with Tokyo's many millions of people there alone. The real problem is that reactors that arent damaged as severely could go the same way as number 2. Radiation is elevated from number two and 4 both make any headway horrible and extremely dangerous. Gamma radiation is high close to the reactor but flying over it to dump boron like Chernobl the japanese have chosen not to endanger the crews fighting fires and trying to get water to the reactors and spent fuel pools.

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Message 1087543 - Posted: 16 Mar 2011, 21:56:54 UTC - in response to Message 1087482.

The real problem is cesium 137 it is asorbed in to plants and humans thru ingestion. It travels on the wind easily. It is formed as a byproduct of fission processes. They think number 4 spent fuels rods have caught fire twice.

No. Lubricating oil caught fire and burned the weather shell building down.

I think japans best bet is to pump concrete on the ractor core and cap the thing.

So you want the stuff to burn through the bottom and be released. Or did you intend on opening the core to the world to pump this concrete in?

The problem is that 3 are damaged in one small area. The winds are favorible and blowing out to sea. A wind change could blow inland with Tokyo's many millions of people there alone. The real problem is that reactors that arent damaged as severely could go the same way as number 2.

So you personally inspected unit 2 and know exactly what happened. How did you get inside the primary containment to inspect it? So you opened the reactor containment vessel to inspect and exposed everyone to massive radiation.

Radiation is elevated from number two and 4 both make any headway horrible and extremely dangerous. Gamma radiation is high close to the reactor but flying over it to dump boron like Chernobl the japanese have chosen not to endanger the crews fighting fires and trying to get water to the reactors and spent fuel pools.

Right. Before they could do that someone would have to spend a lot of hours with power tools and cranes opening the roof and removing debris so the water and boron would get inside where it needs to go.

You haven't said anything about units 5 and 6. Why not? They are both in the same state as unit 4, except they haven't had an ordinary fire destroy the weather shell.

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Message 1087970 - Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 3:39:16 UTC - in response to Message 1087543.

This is why instead of scientists focusing on spliting the atom for energy release, istead they should had focused in fusing atoms for anergy, fusion. I m not refering to Hydrogen explosive device, but comercial fusion reactors.

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Message 1088014 - Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 8:25:31 UTC - in response to Message 1087970.

They have been trying since the Fifties with the Tokamaks and recently with lasers at Livermore. Nothing resulted so far. As I wrote elsewhere the ITER international fusion Tokamak being built at Cadarache in France has so far cost 7 billion dollars and is not going to achieve fusion until 2026. Nature magazine is doubting it can ever reach its goal.
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Message 1088425 - Posted: 19 Mar 2011, 15:03:48 UTC - in response to Message 1088014.

I believe that development of viable nuclear fusion reactors will become possible, the idea that will never be done, not a plausible argument. One could say the same before for fission reactors, hardly one could see their creation. Yes, fusion research is expensive, but with continuous research, it will be achieved for comercial viability. Fusion would be a clean cheap anergy source for electricity production, plus fusion would be a huge advantage for space exploration; mainly for propulsion systems for deep space travel. Afterall, fusion is perhaps the most enegy efficient form of energy given off by the atom.

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Message 1088495 - Posted: 19 Mar 2011, 17:04:24 UTC - in response to Message 1088425.
Last modified: 19 Mar 2011, 17:07:26 UTC

A fusion reaction does not directly produce electricity, only 14 MeV neutrons. Then you have to use them to heat some water and get vapor to drive the turbines. But water must be contained in some vessel, made probably of steel.Unfortunately neutrons are heavy particles and destroy the crystal structure any material they hit. This is called swelling in fission reactors fuel elements. Then you have to substitute the vessel, but it has become radioactive. So you have plenty of problems to solve before obtaining any electricity from a fusion reactor, not only basic plasma physics.
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Message 1088509 - Posted: 19 Mar 2011, 18:43:01 UTC - in response to Message 1088495.

The issue with fission reactors is the larqe quantity of radioactive waste it produces and no place to dispose of it; whereas with fusion reactor, radioactive waste products are way less. In short, fusion has a great advantage over fission as a means of enery source,afterall, stars are powered by the fusion not fission. Forexample, the energy output by a rocket powered by fusion is much greater than one powered by fission process.

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Message 1088759 - Posted: 20 Mar 2011, 9:16:29 UTC

It is sufficient to look at the sky to see a big fusion reactor, the Sun, at a safe distance, It beams 1.36 kW to every square meter when at zenith. We should learn to use this power by photocells, thermal panels and thermodynamic panels such as those proposed by Carlo Rubbia, Nobel prize winner.
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Message 1088771 - Posted: 20 Mar 2011, 10:30:54 UTC - in response to Message 1088759.

The sun does provide 7 kilowatt-hours worth of energy to every square meter each day. This assumes that it's not raining and of course at night there is nothing. Solar power now provides .02% of generated energy supplies.

Fusion requires hundreds of millions of degrees to work. hence it can't be contained except in a magnetic field.

This should move to non SETI

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Message 1088775 - Posted: 20 Mar 2011, 10:37:26 UTC - in response to Message 1088495.

Spent fuel rods can be glassified and encapsulated in stainless steel. They could then be stored deep inside a secure mountain cave on racks where ground water is not an issue. Leaving them in open pools is asking for trouble.

In the future they can be sent into the sun if we are more sure of rocket technology.

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Message 1088800 - Posted: 20 Mar 2011, 14:24:54 UTC

I agree this discussion should move elsewhere. Then I might explain what the Lawson criterion is and other facts about nuclear fusion.
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Message 1089303 - Posted: 22 Mar 2011, 4:35:22 UTC - in response to Message 1088800.

I concur

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