Black Smoke at Fukushima

(1 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Black Smoke at Fukushima
Black smoke at Fukushima

Fukushima Daiichi’s Reactor No. 3 began belching black smoke for an hour late in the afternoon, leading its operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, to evacuate workers. No. 3 is considered one of the most dangerous of the reactors because of its fuel – mixed oxides, or mox, which contain a mixture of uranium and plutonium and can produce a more dangerous radioactive plume if scattered by fire or explosions.

This is very bad news, kiddies! Black smoke ain’t steam! It means something dirty is burning!

And what could be burning, in a nuclear reactor full of melting uranium and plutonium?


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  1. Downwind here in California with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

    It’s been real, folks.

  2. Yes indeed!

    1. Radiation at FDI reactor No. 2  spiked yesterday to 500 microsieverts per hour – the highest level since the crisis began on March 11.

    2. The good news is that thermometers inside the reactors are back up and running. The bad news is that the reactors are designed to operate at 302°C (575°F), and Reactor No. 1  hit 394°C (741°F) yesterday.

    3. Radiation continues to increase both inside the ‘exclusion zone’ and spread outside of it. The Japanese government reports radiation levels two times higher than what is deemed “safe,” in Hitachinaka, 74 miles away.

    And of course…

    4. Black smoke coming from Reactor No. 3 forced an evacuation of emergency workers from FDI yesterday.  


  4. The source of my photo is http://saweatherobserver.blogs

    The headline is “Explosion at Fukushima Nuclear power plant.”

    The caption reads “Black smoke now billowing from the site”

    “Footage on Japanese TV show that the walls of one building at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have crumbled, after reports of a blast. It was not clear if the damaged building housed the reactor which officials fear is facing a possible meltdown.”

    But there’s actually some question about exactly when this photo was made, as if it really matters…

    …exactly which episode of black smoke pouring out of Fukushima illustrates a story about…

    ….black smoke pouring out of Fukushima!

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