Tag Archive: reactor


NCNUKE has received an update from GE Hitachi headquarters in Wilmington NC.  It contains very insightful information.  Read their press release and NCNUKE’s take on it below.

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Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano reported that the approximately 50 workers who had been working on cooling the crippled reactors at Fukushima Daiichi had been temporarily withdrawn.  A sudden spike in radiation levels caused the safety measure.  As always we at ncnuke will try to break down some of this information for our readers. Continue reading

We at ncnuke have been going over the press release issued by GE Hitachi spokesman Michael Tetuan in order to give our readers some insight.    It indicates that the reactors funtioned well through the historically intense earthquake.  The tsunami was responsible for damaging the diesel powered backup generators, resulting in the power failure.  The press release indicates specifically one very interesting class of assistance.   Continue reading

The influential Washington based think tank , The Institute for Science and International Security;  states that the situation in Japan is more serious than the International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale (INES) present rating of 4 out of 7.  They claim the scale should now rate the disaster as a 6 out of 7.  And that it may need to be rated as a 7 out of 7.  We will give are readers a breakdown of the scale.

 

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Some background for our readers.  Fuel rods are removed from a reactor during the refueling process.  The old rods that are removed are referred to as spent fuel.  These rods, although no longer optimal for producing electricity in a reactor are still highly radioactive and filled with energy.  This spent fuel has long been the biggest problem in the electrical industry. Continue reading

Japanese Authorities reported that the blast which occurred at the badly crippled Fukushima #3  damaged 4 out of 5 of the cooling pumps!  Blast damage has become an increasingly important part of this story.  These facilities in general are all about containment.  The buildup of explosive gas in this hostile environment has been hampering efforts to cool the reactors.

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Japanese officials have just confirmed that an explosion has just occurred at the Fukushima number 3 reactor.

The answer to that question is being sought by the American people.  The troubled Fukushima reactors are GE Mark 1 BWR designs.  These reactor cores stay hot for days if not weeks following an emergency.  Their massive plumbing networks are their Achilles heel during a massive earthquake.  The reactors work by creating heat and superheating the surrounding water.  That water is then turned into steam and turns a massive turbine under high pressure.  It is then cooled and returned.  All of the plumbing is meant to contain these massive pressures and heat.  The huge external stresses caused by the earthquake and tsunami have severely damaged the system.  In a later post we will discuss the newer more inherently safer technologies.  Designs like the Traveling Wave Reactor, Pebble Bed Reactor, and a handful of new mini reactor designs.  For now all we can do is pray for Japan.

The Fukushima nuclear site in Japan has 6 active BWR (Boiling Water Reactors).  The roots of this design date back to the 1950,s.  Tokyo Electric Power Co. has reported that all 6 have been experiencing cooling problems.  As the cooling problems mount authorities have to deal with damaged basic infrastructure, evacuations, radiation releases, and now blast damage.  New cooling operations are using sea water and boric acid to stave off a meltdown.  These are massive piping facilities.  A true evaluation and assessment of the total damage under the best circumstances would take months under good circumstances.   Tokyo Electric Power Co. actions have become steadily more desperate.