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Explosion at Fukushima Reactor No. 3

Bloomberg | Tokyo Electric Power Co. engineers tried to stabilize three nuclear reactors damaged by the biggest earthquake in Japan’s history after the plant was struck by a second explosion and as water levels dropped at one reactor, exposing fuel rods and increasing the threat of a meltdown.

The cooling system failed at the Dai-Ichi No. 2 reactor today, said Tokyo Electric, which runs the Fukushima nuclear plant 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of the nation’s capital. Fuel rods at the reactor may have melted after becoming fully exposed, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.

A hydrogen explosion occurred at the No. 3 reactor today, following a similar blast on March 12 at the No. 1 reactor that destroyed the walls of its building. The utility has been flooding the three reactors with water and boric acid to reduce the potential for a large release of radiation into the atmosphere following the March 11 earthquake-generated tsunami that smashed into the plant, disabling electricity supply and backup generators.

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  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5831

Damaged Fuel Rods Were Fully Exposed


Foxnews | The second hydrogen explosion in three days rocked a Japanese nuclear plant Monday, sending a massive cloud of smoke into the air and injuring 11 workers. The blast was felt 25 miles away, but the plant's operator said the radiation levels at the affected unit were still within legal limits.

Later Monday, fuel rods at a separate reactor in the plant were fully exposed after it lost its ability to cool down, officials said. The exposure raises the risk of the unit overheating and adds to fears of a potential third explosion at the plant.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5873

Another Explosion Reported at Fukushima Nuclear Plant

CNN | Japan's nuclear safety and industrial agency reported sounds of an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's No. 3 reactor, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5274

Engineers Struggle to Cool 6 Reactors

Telegraph.co.uk | Japan faced a nuclear crisis on multiple fronts with two atomic reactors in partial meltdown and four others heating up as the failure of ageing plants forced the evacuation of 210,000 people from the area. 

An exclusion zone of 12 miles was in place around the 40 year-old Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex where engineers battled to prevent three reactors overheating after the tsunami exposed flaws in the plant's cooling system.

The Japanese government insisted only a small amount of radioactive material had been released. Facilities in Tokai, 75 miles north of Tokyo, and Onagawa, north of Fukushima, were also subject to alerts.

The plant, operated by the privately run Tokyo Electric Power Company, was one of the oldest supplying the grid, having been commissioned in 1971.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5745

Nuclear Fears Intensify at Japanese Power Stations


Guardian.co.uk | Fears of a major nuclear accident in Japan have intensified as authorities scramble to bring under control several overheating reactors at one power station, and declared a state of emergency at another, where radiation levels soared above normal limits.

Workers at the Fukushima 1 power plant in the north-east pumped seawater into three reactors in a last-ditch attempt to make them safe, after emergency cooling systems failed to stabilise the radioactive cores.

More than 200,000 people were evacuated as officials imposed a 20km exclusion zone around the power station and a 10km zone surrounding the Fukushima 2 power plant nearby. Officials told the International Atomic Energy Agency they would distribute potassium iodide pills as a precaution against an increased risk of thyroid cancer from radiation.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5714

U.S. Experts Fear Japan Chernobyl Type Crisis in Japan

ChannelNewsAsia | US nuclear experts warned Saturday that pumping sea water to cool a quake-hit Japanese nuclear reactor was an "act of desperation" that may foreshadow a Chernobyl-like disaster. Several experts, in a conference call with reporters, also predicted that regardless of the outcome at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant crisis, the accident will seriously damage the nuclear power renaissance.

"The situation has become desperate enough that they apparently don't have the capability to deliver fresh water or plain water to cool the reactor and stabilize it, and now, in an act of desperation, are having to resort to diverting and using sea water," said Robert Alvarez, who works on nuclear disarmament at the Institute for Policy Studies.

"I would describe this measure as a 'Hail Mary' pass," added Alvarez, using American football slang for a final effort to win the game as time expires.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 6101