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Cabinet secretary: Explosion at Japanese nuclear plant


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(CNN) -- An explosion sent white smoke rising above a nuclear plant where a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems in northeastern Japan, the country's chief Cabinet secretary said Saturday.

 

Four workers were injured after the blast at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters. It was not immediately clear where the blast occurred inside the plant, or what caused it.

 

One expert said the explosion was "clearly a serious situation," but may not be related to problems inside the plant's nuclear reactor.

 

Other effects of the tsunami may have caused the blast, said Malcolm Grimston, associate fellow for energy, environment and development at London's Chatham House.

 

"It's clearly a serious situation, but that in itself does not necessarily mean major (nuclear) contamination," he said.

 

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the injured workers were in the process of cooling a nuclear reactor at the plant by injecting water into its core.

 

Earlier Saturday Japan's nuclear agency said workers were continuing efforts to cool fuel rods at the plant after a small amount of radioactive material escaped into the air.

 

The agency said there was a strong possibility that the radioactive cesium monitors detected was caused by the melting of a fuel rod at the plant, adding that engineers were continuing to cool the fuel rods by pumping water around them.

 

A spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Agency earlier said atomic material had seeped out of one of the five nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant, located about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

 

Authorities evacuated people living 10 kilometers from the reactor after an earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems there, as well as at another Tokyo Electric Power Company nuclear plant in Japan's Fukushima prefecture.

 

Read more & video: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.nuclear/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

 

Yeah, this looks very similar to the Chernobyl incident.....

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The Chernobyl incident was due to the Soviets using a reactor design that nobody in their right mind would think was safe. This situation in Japan is completely external.

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(CNN) -- An explosion sent white smoke rising above a nuclear plant where a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems in northeastern Japan, the country's chief Cabinet secretary said Saturday.

 

Four workers were injured after the blast at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters. It was not immediately clear where the blast occurred inside the plant, or what caused it.

 

One expert said the explosion was "clearly a serious situation," but may not be related to problems inside the plant's nuclear reactor.

 

Other effects of the tsunami may have caused the blast, said Malcolm Grimston, associate fellow for energy, environment and development at London's Chatham House.

 

"It's clearly a serious situation, but that in itself does not necessarily mean major (nuclear) contamination," he said.

 

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the injured workers were in the process of cooling a nuclear reactor at the plant by injecting water into its core.

 

Earlier Saturday Japan's nuclear agency said workers were continuing efforts to cool fuel rods at the plant after a small amount of radioactive material escaped into the air.

 

The agency said there was a strong possibility that the radioactive cesium monitors detected was caused by the melting of a fuel rod at the plant, adding that engineers were continuing to cool the fuel rods by pumping water around them.

 

A spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Agency earlier said atomic material had seeped out of one of the five nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant, located about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

 

Authorities evacuated people living 10 kilometers from the reactor after an earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems there, as well as at another Tokyo Electric Power Company nuclear plant in Japan's Fukushima prefecture.

 

Read more & video: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.nuclear/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

 

Yeah, this looks very similar to the Chernobyl incident.....

 

Yup. Not to mention what errie is that in a few weeks, it's the 25th anniversity of Chernobyl.

 

A dumb question. Why does Japan even have so many nuclear power plants?:confused:

 

 

I ask because almost everyone on the planet knows they are in middle of 'earthquake' alley? And thus a mega earthquake could cause this now 'real life' nightmare.

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Yup. Not to mention what errie is that in a few weeks, it's the 25th anniversity of Chernobyl.

 

A dumb question. Why does Japan even have so many nuclear power plants?:confused:

 

 

I ask because almost everyone on the planet knows they are in middle of 'earthquake' alley? And thus a mega earthquake could cause this now 'real life' nightmare.

 

It lessens a dependence on foreign oil, plus Nuclear power plants aren't dangerous so as long as strict safety standards are followed. Its why it takes a once in a century event to actually cause a problem, as opposed to a routine test gone wrong like at Chernobyl.

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It lessens a dependence on foreign oil, plus Nuclear power plants aren't dangerous so as long as strict safety standards are followed. Its why it takes a once in a century event to actually cause a problem, as opposed to a routine test gone wrong like at Chernobyl.

 

 

Oh ok. Thanks Nova. With that said, fter the crisis ends and cleanup begins this is going to be a huge intermational debate/argument on the safety and issue of nuclear power plants as a whole.

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I don't trust nuclear power for reasons that it can go wrong. Horribly horribly wrong. There has been accidents that I had read about that makes me criticize them. For one 3 Miles Island. That happened in our own nation. The coolant plant malfunctioned, and it caused a partial meltdown in one of the cores at the reactor. The other one which is the most famous is Chernobyl, and that was a meltdown which caused the abandonment of Prypyat.

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I don't trust nuclear power for reasons that it can go wrong. Horribly horribly wrong. There has been accidents that I had read about that makes me criticize them. For one 3 Miles Island. That happened in our own nation. The coolant plant malfunctioned, and it caused a partial meltdown in one of the cores at the reactor. The other one which is the most famous is Chernobyl, and that was a meltdown which caused the abandonment of Prypyat.

 

Then you should be terrified that we have Indian Point rather close to the city.

 

Nuclear power is completely safe provided that the proper precautions are taken to make it safe.

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Then you should be terrified that we have Indian Point rather close to the city.

 

Nuclear power is completely safe provided that the proper precautions are taken to make it safe.

 

Yup. Not to get too off topic. If you ever ride (MTA)Metro North's Hudson Line, on a clear day you see it traveling right after you leave(or heading to Grand Central you arrive)at the Peekskill station.

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I don't trust nuclear power for reasons that it can go wrong. Horribly horribly wrong. There has been accidents that I had read about that makes me criticize them. For one 3 Miles Island. That happened in our own nation. The coolant plant malfunctioned, and it caused a partial meltdown in one of the cores at the reactor. The other one which is the most famous is Chernobyl, and that was a meltdown which caused the abandonment of Prypyat.

 

Hey at least it better then getting oil from the middle east.

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Until we get an earthquake. The Ramapo Fault lies right under it. An earthquake with it's epicenter under Indian Point could obliterate 1/3rd of the nation's people, including us New Yorkers. If that does happen, i'll donate my body to scientific research.

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The faults around NYC can release a magnitude 7.0 earthquake every 3,400 years. The truth is we don't know when that last happened. In fact NYC is overdue for a magnitude 5.0 earthquake which happens every 100 years, and we might get a magnitude 6.0 earthquake anywhere this century. Plus most buildings in this city won't survive long in a magnitude 7 earthquake. Most buildings in this city are not insured for earthquakes nor are they up to code. Most buildings, and houses in NYC compose of Unreinforced Masonry (URM). They can easily collapse in a magnitude 7 earthquake. In fact New York City is like San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake.

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Until we get an earthquake. The Ramapo Fault lies right under it. An earthquake with it's epicenter under Indian Point could obliterate 1/3rd of the nation's people, including us New Yorkers. If that does happen, i'll donate my body to scientific research.

 

Combined with the facility's questionable safety record, that makes me somewhat nervous.

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I don't trust nuclear power for reasons that it can go wrong. Horribly horribly wrong. There has been accidents that I had read about that makes me criticize them. For one 3 Miles Island. That happened in our own nation. The coolant plant malfunctioned, and it caused a partial meltdown in one of the cores at the reactor. The other one which is the most famous is Chernobyl, and that was a meltdown which caused the abandonment of Prypyat.

 

Since the opening of the first nuclear power plant in Obninsk, Russia in 1954, more people have died in wars fought over oil than in nuclear disasters. Not only that, but God knows how many low-lying villages and coastal communities will be lost to rising sea levels caused by the world's dependence on fossil fuels. Accidents at nuclear power plants may be more dramatic, but there is no doubt that oil and coal are deadlier.

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here's a article that my calm everyone

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110314/wl_nm/us_japan_quake_core_factbox

 

 

even core melts they made have to seal the plant permanently.

 

 

MTA Regional Bus good article.

 

However the scare tacits by most of the American News Media has already begun. Listening to talk shows today some of the callers are already talking trying to close many nuclear planets from Close to home Indian Point to others around the country.

 

With that said 98% of time nuclear planets in this high complex world of jucing electricty and other power is better than middle east oil. A once in a century mega earthquake like this one will cause damage.

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More bad news. All of the remaining nuclear power workers including those who been trying to control the fires and meltdown in Northern Japan has left for their safety.

 

This probably means we this close to maybe the worst nuclear accident in world history.

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What?. It's their mess. They aren't suppose to finish till they do. Finish the job. They own the plant, and they run it. They should be the ones responsible. Where are we going to find people to do the job now?. There has to be somebody capable of doing this. Can anyone in the nation, or this nation, or any other nation shut this down. I am sure GE can do something since they are the builders of this plant.

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According to the New York Times, the US also has quite a few nuclear plants of the same design as the one in Japan:

16contain-map-popup.gif

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16contain.html?ref=todayspaper

 

G.E. began making the Mark 1 boiling-water reactors in the 1960s, marketing them as cheaper and easier to build — in part because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure.

 

American regulators began identifying weaknesses very early on.

 

In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended that the Mark 1 system be discontinued because it presented unacceptable safety risks. Among the concerns cited was the smaller containment design, which was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Later that same year, Joseph Hendrie, who would later become chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a successor agency to the atomic commission, said the idea of a ban on such systems was attractive. But the technology had been so widely accepted by the industry and regulatory officials, he said, that “reversal of this hallowed policy, particularly at this time, could well be the end of nuclear power.”

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Actually everyone might want to know that recently the US Government did a reasearch, and the nuclear power plant that is at risk of an earthquake, meltdown, or a failure is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Which powers our city. Of course the reactor was built to resist a magnitude 6 earthquake, but the Ramapo Fault can release a magnitude 7 earthquake every 3,400 years, and since we don't know when it last happened it might be imminent. Plus reactor 3 of Indian Point sits right on top of the Ramapo Fault. I just took an excerpt from the article the rest of it is on the link.

 

Here is proof:

What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk

By Bill Dedman

110315-indianpoint-hmed-11a.grid-6x2.jpg

 

What are the odds that a nuclear emergency like the one at Fukushima Daichi could happen in the central or eastern United States? They'd have to be astronomical, right? As a pro-nuclear commenter on msnbc.com put it this weekend, "There's a power plant just like these in Omaha. If it gets hit by a tsunami...."

 

It turns out that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has calculated the odds of an earthquake causing catastrophic failure to a nuclear plant here. Each year, at the typical nuclear reactor in the U.S., there's a 1 in 74,176 chance that the core could be damaged by an earthquake, exposing the public to radiation. No tsunami required. That's 10 times more likely than you winning $10,000 by buying a ticket in the Powerball multistate lottery, where the chance is 1 in 723,145.

 

And it turns out that the nuclear reactor in the United States with the highest risk of core damage from a quake is not the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, with its twin reactors tucked between the California coastline and the San Andreas Fault.

 

It's not the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, a four-hour drive down the Pacific coast at San Clemente, surrounded by fault lines on land and under the ocean.

 

It's not on the Pacific Coast at all. It's on the Hudson River.

 

One in 10,000

The reactor with the highest risk rating is 24 miles north of New York City, in the village of Buchanan, N.Y., at the Indian Point Energy Center. There, on the east bank of the Hudson, Indian Point nuclear reactor No. 3 has the highest risk of earthquake damage in the country, according to new NRC risk estimates provided to msnbc.com.

 

A ranking of the 104 nuclear reactors is shown at the bottom of this article, listing the NRC estimate of risk of catastrophic failure caused by earthquake.

 

The chance of a core damage from a quake at Indian Point 3 is estimated at 1 in 10,000 each year. Under NRC guidelines, that's right on the verge of requiring "immediate concern regarding adequate protection" of the public. The two reactors at Indian Point generate up to one-third of the electricity for New York City. The second reactor, Indian Point 2, doesn't rate as risky, with 1 chance in 30,303 each year.

 

The plant with the second highest risk? It's in Massachusetts. Third? Pennsylvania. Then Tennessee, Pennsylvania again, Florida, Virginia and South Carolina. Only then does California's Diablo Canyon appear on the list, followed by Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island.

 

The odds take into consideration two main factors: the chance of a serious quake, and the strength of design of the plant.

 

Nuclear power plants built in the areas usually thought of as earthquake zones, such as the California coastline, have a surprisingly low risk of damage from those earthquakes. Why? They built anticipating a major quake.

 

Other plants in the East, South and Midwest, where the design standards may have been lower because the earthquake risk was thought to be minimal, now find themselves at the top of the NRC's danger list.

 

The chance of serious damage from a quake ranges from Indian Point's 1 chance in 10,000 each year, a relatively higher risk, to the Callaway nuclear plant in Fulton, Mo., where the NRC set the lowest risk, 1 chance in 500,000 each year.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ns/world_news-asiapacific/#

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