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Japan declares nuclear emergency

This isn't good:

Japan has declared a nuclear power emergency after the cooling system failed at a nuclear power plant at Fukushima following the earthquake in the northeast. The area around the plant has been evacuated.

­There have been recent reports of a possible radiation leak at the power plant.

Radiation levels are rising at the Fukushima nuclear plant after a cooling system failed following the earthquake.

As of now, authorities say the reactor is not leaking radiation and there is no immediate danger to the public.

However, experts say there is a risk of a leak if the situation is not resolved in the next few hours.

Alarmingly, the situation bears striking similarities to the build up ahead of the worst nuclear disaster in history - at Chernobyl.

The piece goes on to paint a more positive picture.  Let's hope and pray that comes true.


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Comments (14)

No. It does not even remot... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No. It does not even remotely resemble Chernobyl. Chernobyl was the result of multiple failures and errors. The culture at Chernobyl was such that people could not admit to errors and could not take initiative to correct problems.

Chernobyl was a graphite reactor so it exploded when it overheated. The Japanese use water cooled reactors that should only end up venting some radioactive steam. Should the reactor core melt down it will end up in a blob or more likely radioactive gravel at the bottom of the containment vessel. The Russians used the graphite reactors because we refused to sell them the technology for the water cooled reactors.

My father spent much of his career melting down reactors on purpose to determine how they melted down and what safety systems should be in place to prevent huge disasters. Chernobyl won't happen in Japan. There are so many ways that the comparison is just not equivalent.

What Jim said, except for t... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

What Jim said, except for the father who melted down reactors for fun and profit...

But to the media - hell, THEY don't see any difference because the folks who report on stuff like this are photogenic and technically illiterate.

The fact that all those pla... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

The fact that all those plants withstood a near-Biblical size quake (now upgraded to 9.0), I'm far more comforted than I am concerned—particularly since Japanese engineers are on the case. Things can certainly go wrong, of course, but again, they withstood a 475 megaton release of energy. Pretty effing impressive, if you ask me.

I'll 3rd Jim M. As someone... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I'll 3rd Jim M. As someone that work in the nuclear industry (not red badged though), I don't think it is anywhere near brown trowsers time.
The technology and the culture of Japan's nuclear fleet are a night and day difference from Soviet Russia.

but but but isn't this all ... (Below threshold)
epador:

but but but isn't this all Bush's fault too?

Many in the nuke biz just m... (Below threshold)
jim2:

Many in the nuke biz just may have been a bit amused by the statement delivered by the US SoS today that the USAF had air lifted in "some really important coolant" to the damaged plant.

The Japanese plants use water for coolant.

The Japanese later denied that the USAF had brought them any coolant.

Possibly, just possibly, the USAF might have flown in a skid-mounted generator to provide some power, and that power might have let them start a water pump. I cite the 24-hour rule, though.

Could be that the news medi... (Below threshold)
Roy:

Could be that the news media is hyping things up to a lot higher state, than reality is on the ground. Not that they have a history of doing that.

Jim2,I'm sure that... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jim2,

I'm sure that water is very hard to come by... on an island.

I don't understand why it is that people think this administration would lie to us.

Thanks, jim m, you saved me... (Below threshold)
Brett:

Thanks, jim m, you saved me the trouble.

Right out of a Godzilla mov... (Below threshold)
914:

Right out of a Godzilla movie.

Of course if something trag... (Below threshold)
PapaWhisky:

Of course if something tragic does happen it'll give the lefties another reason to set us back another 10 or 20 years on building any new reactors here.

Jim your so fos, your dad t... (Below threshold)
March rain of death over western USA:

Jim your so fos, your dad the expert.
Well fact is it has already melted down and it's now going to blow.
How do you feel armchair experts? You are are key contributers to the type of w#^^*&r in this industry that knows it all, and end of knows nothing. It has already gone out if control now is going to blow the containment and dump all over pacific and then north america.
Breathe easy you inbreed tech idiots that helped create these risks to our world.

Yeah Jim, stfu, you ain't n... (Below threshold)
Tanner:

Yeah Jim, stfu, you ain't no expert and your daddy had a few too many rads clearly, the latest is it's bout to blow up and dump that crap up in the air and right on us 38 hours later. Last thing we need is a tossed "expert" boasting off. So what's the advice for the jap radiation coming over ? Its more than chernobyl in quantity.

Jeez epador, have you been ... (Below threshold)
419:

Jeez epador, have you been living under a rock for the last 2 years? Everything is Obambis fault now.

I know it's hard, but do try to keep up.




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