Please write and send praise, critique, interesting links or random musings to

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Updated: Is Anyone There?

March 15th, 2011 10:00pm CST
Please donate to the cause of Japanese relief by clicking HERE and HERE

UPDATED 3/16/11 12:47am CST From The Guardian

"The government's chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, said Japan was considering seeking help from the US military.

All six of the plants reactors are experiencing problems following last Friday's earthquake and tsunami, in which an estimated 10,000 people have died.

The workers were ordered to leave the facility after the level of radiation at the plant soared to 10 millisievert per hour - above the level considered harmful to human health – possibly as a result of radioactive substances being emitted from the No. 2 reactor. The reading later fell to around 6 millisievert per hour, reports said."

UPDATED 3/16/11 12:11am CST From The Australian:

"All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have,'' according to a translation by NHK television."

"Mr Edano also said a reactor containment vessel may have suffered damage, with steam appearing to be coming from reactor no.3.

He told the briefing that the likeliest explanation for a white cloud seen above the plant was that steam came from part of the containment vessel."


UPDATED 11:33pm CST: From WaPo: "Radiation readings from troubles throughout the plant spiked so high that the remaining skeleton crew of workers was at least temporarily ordered to abandon their posts, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a press conference Wednesday.

The draw-down of the plant’s workers “is a sign to me that they have given up trying to prevent a disaster and gone into the mode of trying to clean up afterward,” said nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen".

UPDATED 10:34pm CST: (this post was originally headlined "No One Is There) It is unclear whether all containment workers, the "Fukushima 50" have actually been fully evacuated or are somewhere in the complex. Our source tells us they may still be onsite but that the efforts to battle the situation are on hold.

There is no one at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Complex at this time. Following a second round of fires at reactor number 4, radiation surged to severe levels.

From AP:
 "Japan suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said work on dousing reactors with water was disrupted by the need to withdraw.

Earlier officials said 70 percent of fuel rods at one of the six reactors at the plant were significantly damaged in the aftermath of Friday's calamitous earthquake and tsunami.
News reports said 33 percent of fuel rods were also damaged at another reactor. Officials said they would use helicopters and fire trucks to spray water in a desperate effort to prevent further radiation leaks and to cool down the reactors."

Scientists are now discussing this in terms of it's plausible worst case scenario. 

From Reuters:

"Several experts said that Japanese authorities were underplaying the severity of the incident, particular on a scale called INES used to rank nuclear incidents. The Japanese have so far rated the accident a four on a one-to-seven scale, but that rating was issued on Saturday and since then the situation has worsened dramatically.

"This is a slow-moving nightmare," said Dr Thomas Neff, a research affiliate at the Center for International Studies, which is part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "This could be a five or a six -- it's premature to say since this event is not over yet."

France's nuclear safety authority ASN said Tuesday it should be classed as a level-six incident."

From Kyodo News:
"The situation at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in northeastern Japan ''has worsened considerably,'' the Institute for Science and International Security said in a statement released Tuesday.
Referring to fresh explosions that occurred earlier in the day at the site and problems in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods, the Washington-based think tank said, ''This accident can no longer be viewed as a level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Events scale that ranks events from 1 to 7.''

Noting that a level 4 incident involves ''only local radiological consequences,'' it said the ongoing crisis is ''now closer to a level 6, and it may unfortunately reach a level 7'' -- a worst case scenario with extensive health and environmental consequences."

All we can do is watch and wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment