Reactor No. 1 Suffers Nuclear Meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, Radioactive Water Possibly Leaking
May 13, 2011 5:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
Tepco engineers use concrete to seal leaks
The top five feet of the core's 13 ft-long fuel rods had melted down after being exposed to the air
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco)
has announced that the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has suffered a nuclear meltdown.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was first commissioned in 1971 and is located in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. On March 11, 2011, a
9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan
, resulting in the disabling of
reactor cooling systems
, radiation leaks and an evacuation zone.
Engineers from Tepco entered the No. 1 reactor for the first time at the end of last week and found that the top five feet of the core's 13 ft-long fuel rods had
after being exposed to the air.
Engineers originally thought only 55 percent of the
core was damaged
since it was submerged in enough water to keep cool and stable, but after discovering a pool of molten fuel at the bottom of the containment vessel, they now worry that this molten fuel burned a hole at the bottom of the vessel prompting water to leak.
Tepco recently sealed a leak at the No. 3 reactor after radioactive water had seeped into the ocean. Also, the No. 2 reactor had radioactive water flowing into the ocean in April. According to Greenpeace, "significant amounts" of radioactive material had slipped into the sea. In fact, illegal amounts of iodine and caesium were found in seaweed as far as 40 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
In 22 samples of seaweed, ten contained five times the legal limit of iodine 131 and 20 times of caesium 137. This is an issue for several reasons, including the fact that the Japanese household consumes almost 7 lbs of seaweed annually, and fisherman are preparing to harvest this seaweed on May 20.
Engineers have decided to quit flooding the entire reactor core with water because it might make the leak worse. Currently, there is plenty of water at the bottom of the containment vessel to keep the remaining fuel rods and the melted fuel cool.
"We will have to
revise our plans
," said Junichi Matsumoto, Tepco spokesman. "We cannot deny the possibility that a hole in the pressure vessel caused water to leak."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: You don't say
5/13/2011 8:34:01 PM
Cesium-137 has a half life of just over 30 years.
I would still say it's not as serious a problem as Greenpeace is making it out to be, because unless the dispersal pattern is highly unusual, you can just quarantine the area and prohibit seaweed harvesting from the area. Or just harvest it and bury it in a concrete coffin. Cesium levels outside the area should be safe (i.e. lower than what you get from exposure to natural radiation sources, like granite, bananas, and chocolate).
It's a nasty substance to deal with in concentrated form though - its widespread use in chemotherapy has led to a handful of nuclear accidents (non-reactor).
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
Alabama Nuclear Plant Fails Inspection
May 12, 2011, 2:11 PM
Fukushima I Plant Retired, TEPCO Exec. to Step Down Due to Negligence
April 22, 2011, 11:13 AM
Japan's Nuclear Disaster Raised to Level 7 on International Nuclear Event Scale
April 12, 2011, 10:34 AM
Post-Earthquake Japanese Reactors Face Meltdown, 3 Exposed to Radiation
March 12, 2011, 3:45 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft's Surface 2 Tablet Family Gets a $100 Price Cut
August 25, 2014, 1:16 AM
Owner of "Decepticon" Maserati Ordered to Appear in Court This Thursday
August 25, 2014, 7:55 AM
LG Posts Teaser Video of Its “Round Face” G Watch R Smartwatch, Set for IFA Lauch
August 24, 2014, 2:49 PM
Windows 9: "Upgrade Now" Button Coming for Enterprise Updates, ARM Preview in H1 2015
August 26, 2014, 8:00 PM
Second ZMapp-Treated Patient Dies of Ebola, Supplies Run Out
August 25, 2014, 7:03 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information