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: *Partial* meltdown
5/15/2011 12:10:48 AM
Wrong. Meltdown is meltdown. Partial vs Full you can argue over but simply stating meltdown is correct and in no way alarmist.
RE: *Partial* meltdown
5/15/2011 9:38:11 PM
"Partial meltdown", "full meltdown", or whatever other type of "meltdown" you wish to describe, doesn't have any proper meaning. That is why the term is never used in any technical description, it just doesn't accurately describe anything.
It's used in movies and by the media to generically describe any sort of problem with any sort of nuclear equipment that has had any sort of "melting" (for a variety of definitions of "melting").
So really calling it a "partial meltdown" or a "full meltdown" is equally accurate and also equally useless for describing what is actually happening.
RE: *Partial* meltdown
5/16/2011 12:01:15 AM
That's like saying the term "car crash" is useless, because it can mean anything from a fender-bender all the way up to an 80-car pile-on.
Nope; the melting of nuclear fuel is about the worst thing that can happen in a nuclear reactor. As such, the term "meltdown" has a hell of a useful meaning. It's just not very pleasant.
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- 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
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Food Chemists at Italy's Barilla Claim to Have Perfect Instant Noodles w/out Frying
March 26, 2015, 4:25 PM
Most Popular Articles
Worst Kept Secret -- $35 Million Anonymous Sharing App Startup Shuts Down
April 30, 2015, 7:33 AM
Microsoft "Welcomes Developers" to Its New "Edge Browser" (Codename: Spartan)
April 29, 2015, 7:25 PM
China's Tencent Gets in on the Kardashian Empire w/ $126 Million Glu Investment
April 30, 2015, 8:28 AM
Windows 10 Build 10061: A Quick Review
April 27, 2015, 10:57 AM
Report: Apple Pulls the Plug on Apple Watch Store Launch
April 16, 2015, 3:18 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information