Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nuclear meltdown in Okuma, Fukushima Japan?

The nuclear power plant in Okuma Japan has exploded and there is a terribly strong likelihood that a nuclear meltdown is underway, similar to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 in Russia.

Apparently, the earthquake destroyed the cooling system of the plant and temperatures kept increasing until the explosion occurred.

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.”

It’s possible that a meltdown can be contained in the reactor core, or if it is breached, in the containment facility itself.  However, the earthquake may have damaged both.   The nightmare scenario is if the concrete floor cracks.

And so now the question is simple: Did the floor of the containment vessel crack? If not, the situation can still be salvaged by somehow re-containing the nuclear core. But if the floor has cracked, it is highly likely that the melting fuel will burn through the floor of the containment system and enter the ground. This has never happened before but has always been the nightmare scenario for a nuclear power event — in this scenario, containment goes from being merely dangerous, time consuming and expensive to nearly impossible”

I have long opposed fission nuclear reactors because I think that having radioactive waste that is toxic for ten thousand years is amazingly foolish and arrogant.  The notion that our technology can keep that waste harmless for as long as the human race has already existed in the face of unimaginable changes over time is preposterous.  In addition, of course, is the terrible foolishness and arrogance of thinking that we can engineer nuke plants to be safe.  There are always things that engineers and scientists cannot predict.  An 8.9 magnitude earthquake is one of those things.  What about a nuclear bomb strike in case of another unthinkable – a nuclear attack?  What about simple human error and design flaws that aren’t discovered until events reveal the problem? 

I have long thought that the catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming hysteria that has become a religious belief of so many in the world is based on bad science.  A one degree Fahrenheit temperature increase in a hundred years does not mean a catastrophic temperature increase is coming, nor that the increase was caused by man.

One of the terrible consequences of this bad science is the opening to the idea of building nuke plants as an alternative to CO2 emitting plants.  I am totally opposed to building nuke plants. 

The world needs to enter the realm of the spiritual and send prayers and magic to this nuclear power plant to keep it from becoming a nuclear disaster.  How terribly ironic that this is happening in Japan
, the only country that has suffered the horrors of nuclear attack.