Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor Meltdown

(5 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

UPDATE Sunday March 13, 2011

No official link-back can be found to the Japan fallout forecast map. Further research indicates that the graphic was a hoax. Nevertheless, the direction indicated on the map is consistent with the Pacific Ocean jet stream. Nothing suggests that the direction of the map was incorrect.

(h/t edger)The map below appears to have been scrubbed from most sites that had posted it, including from Beyond Nuclear

Beyond Nuclear is unable to reach the Australian Radiation Service (as of 10 AM Sat Mar 12) who apparently released this map, to verify the radiation levels given or to understand how they are derived. This map shows an large-scale weather pattern which is verifiable by a weather site in Japan. This map below will not represent local or regional weather patterns for Japan itself. The weather site shows more local weather effects.

Is this map correct??

Blast at Fukushima compounds fears of Japanese nuclear disaster

Fears of a nuclear meltdown intensified in Japan after an explosion at Fukushima power plant, which was damaged by Friday’s earthquake in the northeast.

Officials claim the explosion at the plant was caused by a failure in the pumping facility that had been used for cooling purposes, not in the reactor itself.

The authorities have been able to release some of the pressure inside the reactor, because it is still very high. The needed to release steam to release pressure, and they managed to do that without affecting the radiation.

At the moment radiation levels are said to be decreasing.

Japan’s nuclear safety watchdog has dismissed fears that the reactor may have melted, saying the actual structure of the reactor remains intact.

However, there have been reports that three evacuees from the area have been exposed to radiation.

Japan’s Emergencies Ministry has ordered the evacuation zone to be expanded to 20km (12 miles) from the Fukushima plant.

Additionally, there are fears a leak could occur at another reactor – one of five which have been shut down in the country.

The cooling system failed in three reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant Saturday, the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said.

Located just 160km (100 miles) north of Tokyo, radiation levels at Fukushima are said to have reached 1,000 times normal levels.

Japan’s government has convened an emergency meeting to discuss the quake-hit nuclear power plant.

there is much much more to the above article & many videos.

Explosion at Japan Nuke Plant, Disaster Toll Rises

The explosion was preceded by puff of white smoke that gathered intensity until it became a huge cloud enveloping the entire facility, located in Fukushima, 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Iwaki. After the explosion, the walls of the building crumbled, leaving only a skeletal metal frame.

Tokyo Power Electric Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said four workers suffered fractures and bruises and were being treated at a hospital.

The trouble began at the plant’s Unit 1 after the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami it spawned knocked out power there, depriving it of its cooling system.

Power was knocked out by the quake in large areas of Japan, which gets about 30 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. In response, Japan has requested increased energy supplies from Russia, Russia’s RIA Novosti agency reported.

The concerns about a radiation leak at the nuclear power plant overshadowed the massive tragedy laid out along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of the coastline where scores of villages, towns and cities were battered by the tsunami, packing 23-feet (7-meter) high waves.


Japan declared states of emergency at two power plants after their units lost cooling ability.

Although the government spokesman played down fears of radiation leak, the Japanese nuclear agency spokesman Shinji Kinjo acknowledged there were still fears of a meltdown.

A “meltdown” is not a technical term. Rather, it is an informal way of referring to a very serious collapse of a power plant’s systems and its ability to manage temperatures.

Yaroslov Shtrombakh, a Russian nuclear expert, said a Chernobyl-style meltdown was unlikely.

“It’s not a fast reaction like at Chernobyl,” he said. “I think that everything will be contained within the grounds, and there will be no big catastrophe.”

In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded and caught fire, sending a cloud of radiation over much of Europe. That reactor – unlike the Fukushima one – was not housed in a sealed container, so there was no way to contain the radiation once the reactor exploded.

The reactor in trouble has already leaked some radiation: Before the explosion, operators had detected eight times the normal radiation levels outside the facility and 1,000 times normal inside Unit 1’s control room.

Fallout from Chernobyl

Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant”

h/t edger

A March 12 explosion at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, appears to have caused a reactor meltdown.

The key piece of technology in a nuclear reactor is the control rods. Nuclear fuel generates neutrons; controlling the flow and production rate of these neutrons is what generates heat, and from the heat, electricity. Control rods absorb neutrons – the rods slide in and out of the fuel mass to regulate neutron emission, and with it, heat and electricity generation.

A meltdown occurs when the control rods fail to contain the neutron emission and the heat levels inside the reactor thus rise to a point that the fuel itself melts, generally temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing uncontrolled radiation-generating reactions and making approaching the reactor incredibly hazardous. A meltdown does not necessarily mean a nuclear disaster. As long as the reactor core, which is specifically designed to contain high levels of heat, pressure and radiation, remains intact, the melted fuel can be dealt with. If the core breaches but the containment facility built around the core remains intact, the melted fuel can still be dealt with – typically entombed within specialized concrete – but the cost and difficulty of such containment increases exponentially.

However, the earthquake in Japan, in addition to damaging the ability of the control rods to regulate the fuel – and the reactor’s coolant system – appears to have damaged the containment facility, and the explosion almost certainly did. There have been reports of “white smoke,” perhaps burning concrete, coming from the scene of the explosion, indicating a containment breach and the almost certain escape of significant amounts of radiation.


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    • RiaD on March 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    • RiaD on March 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm


    • RiaD on March 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    can you tell me how to make that second video NOT auto-start?


    • Edger on March 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I turned off the autostart on the second video.  I can turn it back on if you like…

  1. Quite frightening!  

    It really seems that for all man’s so-called advances in civilization, technology, etc. that it mostly comes back to “smack us in the face. (understatement)”  Maybe, that’s ’cause it was something that never should have been in the first place, or if so, used in the most cautious of ways, i.e., medical purposes, etc.  

    I have heard recently of new technologies that are ALREADY here and available.  Unbelievable stuff, such as energy running off of “motion” from the oceans — simple, easy and non-environmentally destructive processes, that could provide millions and millions of people with electrical and other power for so little and I repeat — WITH NO ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE!

    So, what’s the problem?  The corporatists, of course!  Do you really think the oil, gas and other energy companies are going to allow real, economical energy exploration to be had?  Hell, no!  They don’t give a f..k if they destroy the environment — the world — all they can see and wish for is their GREEDY profits to be gained!  But, what amazes me is that “they” the MF GREEDY, obviously believe by some miraculous means that THEY will be unscathed by their total lack of concern for the environment and the effects of global warming.

    “Mother Nature” is taking the course that WE have set out for her!  Gawd help us all!


  2. (which I saw earlier, and didn’t copy here) is that it’s certainly fake (it’s not on the aussy website, at all, nor would they be concerned with threats to the US coast) …but it actually could be a logical representation of what might happen anyway, generally speaking, but the number of rads would be wrong, since no one knows.

    The guy in the video, however, says that the fallout is more likely to threaten Russia, China, Korea….but I’m not sure the US is out of the woods either, given the prevailing winds. If someone has the time, they could google, ‘north pacific ocean pilot charts march’ — but even that would again only deal with probabilities, not actual current wind conditions.  

    • Edger on March 13, 2011 at 5:16 am

    RawStory 9:27 pm (EST I think)

    SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) – Thousands of Japanese fled the vicinity of an earthquake-crippled nuclear plant after a radiation leak and authorities faced a fresh threat Sunday with the failure of the cooling system in a second reactor.

    Operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said it was preparing to vent steam to relieve pressure in the No.3 reactor at the plant 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo — which would release a small amount of radiation — following an explosion and leak Saturday from the facility’s No. 1 reactor.

    • RiaD on March 13, 2011 at 6:11 am


    Hours before Edano’s remarks, authorities began evacuating more than 200,000 residents from a 12.5-mile radius around two nuclear power complexes, made preparations to distribute potassium iodide pills, and warned people in the vicinity to stay inside and cover their mouths if they ventured outdoors.


    Federal safety agency officials said that as many as 160 people had been exposed to radiation from the plants. “Only the gravest danger would justify an evacuation at such a moment,” said Peter Bradford, a former commissioner at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

  3. …TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, has had been putting out updates on the Fukushima nuclear reactors every 2 hours (at least — it was their stated operating proceedure) until today.  The last official Press Release from TEPCO was at 9 AM (JPT) Sunday, 3/13.  That would be 4:00 PM PST, Saturday, 3/12.

    TEPCO Press Releases went silent 7 hours ago, shortly before we got main stream reports that Fukushima Unit #3 was believed to be in partial meltdown.  The news went silent about the same time.  

    When it was reported that the reactor in Unit 3 was thought to be in partial meltdown, the news went into total meltdown.

  4. …Rabber?  Or is it a Tigit?

  5. that tomorrow night on Pique the Geek, although that is not my specific topic.

    I was quite taken aback about CNN and, specifically, them using the absolute, lying, uninformed “information” given by Bill Nye.  The horrible bull**** that he gave on the show last night caused my jaw to drop whislt he said it, and I looked it up (since it was not Comment Time for my blog, that is OK).

    This guy has to be a comedian, and actually is how he started on TeeVee.  He was not only just a little wrong, he was horribly wrong, TWICE, and repeated it another time!

    All of you who read my pieces know that I can make a mistake now and then.  But I do my research (the one tomorrow will blow you away) before I post.  Imagine if CNN had asked me to do a live piece!  I would love it, and I would get the science right, because they just not call you up and say, “Hey, Doc, do you want to be on in 30 seconds?”

    Nye has just made me less credible, because he was just wrong, twice, and defended it.  Please realize that if I am found wrong in fact, I will always admit to it and try to correct the wrong thing that I said.

    I am SO ANGRY right now!  I need to be the one on CNN, with real facts, and some income for it.  I have never liked Nye, because I find him more showman than scientist.  Why would he try to look like a Vulcan and wear bow ties otherwise?

    Warmest regards,



  7. Critical needs of food, water, medical . . . . .!

    Here is Charity Navigator listing the charities involved with the Japanese horror.  Each charity is rated individually and specifies exactly what is done by it.

  8. 75 miles from Tokyo.  

  9. …theoretical nuclear physicist at CCNY is my favorite source.  I’ve known him since the anti-nuclear campaigns of the 1980s.  

    See his blog

    Where he posted this morning, Sunday, 3/13:

    situation in Japan continues to get worse by the hour. Clearly, as everyone is now universally admitting in the media, we are witnessing the greatest reactor accident since Chernobyl.

    New developments:…

    Or follow him on twitter  

  10. that slowly recycles itself; within a very thin, vulnerable envelope of precious life sustaining gasses mixed perfectly for our earthly lives. And we wander aimlessly with blinding hubris and no sense of the cosmic gift of life in a social system that stands on the brink of collapse. Hard to fathom.

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