See also Ten Thousand Things, March 12, 2011
Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes
Friday, March 11, 2011
NUCLEAR EMERGENCY IN JAPAN
Global Network board member Makiko Sato in Japan sends the latest report following the earthquake in her country.
According to repeated TV news:
No.2 reactor of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in norther part of Japan cannot be cooled down any more, as its inner diesel-powered emergency electricity supply is now out at 20:00, a few hours after the electricity blackout happened in the area. As for No. 1, No. 3 reactors, they still have some time to run our of electricity for cooling them.
Citizens living within 3 km from the plant were urged to evacuate into some buildings, as radioactive leakage is expected if emergency electricity supplies are out. As last resort, before the blackout would be somehow overcome, eight electricity power trucks of the electricity company's and some of Security Defense Forces were dispatched for the No. 1 plant. The latter arrived at 19:48, but no information has delivered as to the connection went successful and how long one such truck can hold for supplying.
Anti-nuclear power plant groups are circulating their suggestions or appeals, including advice of eating iodine or one specific sea weed rich in it.
Bodies of 200-300 people have been found on streets in Sendai, Fukushima, where the river were inundated with Tsunami.
In Tohoku area, 4.5 million households are still out of electricity. In Tokyo area, there are 3.61 million households without electricity. Japanese government has requested U.S. forces in Japan for help.
Another activist in Japan, Junko Abe, reports that:
Tsunami will grow more powerful. The 2nd and the 3rd stage attacks will be more powerful than the 1st stage ones. It will attack other parts of the Pacific coast, areas such as Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu. The first stage attacks were of 10m high.
UPDATE: Thanks, Bruce, for your concern. So bad. Not look it will be heading for better. Quakes and tsunami never die out. People in the northern parts are still very much endangered, and fires in several cities have not been contained. One of the gas tanks on fire in Ichihara, Chiba, has just exploded, spreading toxic gas around. Nearby residents have been evacuated.
It is a small relief to read that the damages were not so big in Hawai'i, but still, to people on small islands in the Pacific, the fear of Tsunami must be so large. Please take care. Right now, warning of 10m high tsunami at one area has been issued on TV.
(I'm quoting this just as I hear NHK TV news.).....................
The evacuation area around Fukushima nuclear power plant was enlarged from 3 to 10 km early this morning.
Inside the operating room of No.1 ( I heard No. 2) reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant 1,000 times higher radioactivity has been detected.
One expert now appearing on TV is saying that there is a 'minor possibility' that the containment vessel will be broken down. The announcer and the expert are saying a slight radioactivity was detected at the front gate of the plant but that this may not be from the reactor itself but from some broken tubes or something around it. I've just got a Gov. paper from an anti-nuke activist in Tokyo via email who also is a core member of GreenPeace Japan. This was released by the central government at 22:35 last night, which regards Gov. emergency counter-measures to contain damages in every aspect.
The paper says at 21:41 last night our prime minister ordered that in case of evacuation,
residents be over 10 km radius away from the No.1 plant. (Actual evacuation 'recommendation' for expanded area of 10 km-radius was issued around 5:00 this morning. )
One expert fear the repeated quakes in the northern part ( still going on) might trigger ones in the southeastern, and then in the southern area, as has been afraid, but so far, it seems OK.
One of the hard hit area in a Miyagi town at the river mouth, the ground of the whole area has sunk, meaning another Tsunami might endanger people left even on the roof terrace of 3 or 4 story-concrete buildings, so the local authority is right now asking for their help. The fear of Tsunami is still warned as to every part in Japan. Several towns in Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima have been totally destroyed. Fatalities around Japan may be thousands or more.
Many workers in Tokyo had to stay in nearby public buildings like universities, community centers, and so on, as Japan Rail (JR) trains didn't run because of blackout. Part of transportation including some lines of JR recovered late at night. I'm totally in a safe place, feeling devastated, praying nuclear power plant(s) in Japan might not cause further disaster.
Update at 12:35pm on March 12, 2011 (from Makiko Sato )
Breaking news: fuel rods are pretty high above cooling water level in Fukushima No.2 reactor of No.1 plant
I'll add this breaking news to the below notes.
1) According to NHK TV news a few minutes ago, our central government has announced that fuel rods in No.2 reactor of Fukushima No.1 plant have become rather high ( I missed the number of the hight ) above the cooling water level, so more than 20 thousand little water in water tanks is rashedly being sent into the pool by pumps in order to cool down the rods.
■ Most disturbing thing I found in this pdf ( sorry, in Japanese ), known to me by a GreenPeace Japan member,
is that our Gov had anticipated the time of
【startup of core damage】 of No.2 reactor of Fukushima No.1 plant at【22:20 on 11th.】
【damage of RPV 】at 【23：50】 (p3/14)
So far this anticipation has not been realized, but it may be sooner or later, if the ongoing desperate efforts, which must have been being made at the expense of safety of the staff around reactors, should fail.
―Japan warns of radiation leak from quake-hit plants ―
2) According to Yahoo Japan news: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20110312-00000214-yom-soci ( in Japanese)
Our government issued emergency call and evacuation suggestion
as to No.2 plant in Fukushima at 7:45 early this morning ( on 12th ), following those as to No.1 plant.
According to this, residents in 3 km radious from No.2 plant have been being evacuated,
but local authority lacks buses to take away some residents near No.1 & No.2 who don't have car
or have lost theirs.
As for Fukushima No.1 plant, according to the briefing by our Chief Cabinet Secretary one hour ago, efforts are being made to lower highetened pressures inside the containment vessels by releasing vapor to the outside.
As for Fukushima No.2 plant, inside the each control room of No.1, No.2, No.4 reactors, the temperature is over 100 ℃（as of 9:45 ), and there is malfunctioning in controling pressure inside the reators, as well as those of No.1
★Fukushima No.1 (BWR) No.1 (0.46 million kw), each of No.2,3,4,5 is 0.78 million kw, No.6
★Fukushima No.2 (BWR) each power output of No.1, 2, 3, 4 is the same, 1.1 million kw
3) Ordinary information about those nuclear power plants, quoting from a Gov phd file I learned of this morning, adding, in (*), some more current tips from other sources .
There are 29 reactors in several nuclear power plants in a few northern and central areas
of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, feared to be affected by past and/or further quakes.
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20110312-00000214-yom-soci ( in Japanese )
(Issued by Gov.at 22:36 on 11th, that is, about 12 hours ago)
■p.11/14 ( information on present operation of nuclear power plants
in prefectures of Fukushima, Aomori, Mkyagi, Niigata, Ibaraki, Shizuoka, Hokkaido)
・Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi: No.1, 2, 3 reactors were halted ( due to the first quake ).
( *The fire started in No.1, at the roof of its turbin room, at half past 15:00 on 11th, but was extinguished around 22:00 that night
No details since.)
・Fukushima No.1 plant : No.1,2,3 reactors were halted. No.4,5,6 reactors are out of operation for periodic check.
BWR: output: No.1(0.46 million kw), each of No.2 & 3 ( 0.78 million kw)
・Fukushima No.2 plant:No.1,2,3,4, reactors were halted.
BWR: output: each of No.1~4 ( 1.1 million kw)
・Higashidoori plant in Aomori: Out of operation for periodic check.
・Rokkasyo reprocessing facility in Aomori: In operation, with electricity supplied by emergency diesel battery
・Tohkai No.2 plant in Ibaraki: Operation was halted.
・Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka: No.4 & 5 are in operation.
( *Quakes shook the tanks of No.1,2,3,4,5, causing temporary alarm silen, but around 16:00 the contingency lights were off . This was information 15 hours ago.)
・Kashiwazaki-Kariu plant in Niigata: No.1,5,6,7 are in operation. The others are out of operation for periodic check.
(*7 hours ago, Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced this plant is OK.
But this morning, there was a big quake in Nagano, near Niigata .)
・Tomari plant in Hokkaido: No.1,2,3 are in operation.
According to earthquakes, from today's paper, this situation is not temporary,
as seabed plates in almost the whole areas of Japan Trench broke at the same time.
And triggered by ongoing quake, in Nagano in the inside in the central area of Japan as well,
there was a quake of seismic intensity of more than 6.
Many rural municipalities have been devastated, totally desroyed, some are still isolated.
Our prime minister has orderted to throw in 50,000 SDF personnels into the northern areas.
This has become Japan's war with nature's uncontrollable rage.
Update at 2:19pm on March 12 (from Makiko Sato)
Breaking news: Meltdown has begun. Secium has been detected at No.1 of No.1 plant
Sorry, I sent you the wrong URL. This is the one by our administration for counter-measures to the present situtations, but in Japanese.
It is written in this pdf that some staff at Fukushima No.1 plant were already evacuating at the time it was compiled at 22:35 on 11th.So the remaining few in the plant have been struggling with their lives endangered.
Further news:・The efforts of releasing vapor to the outside of containment vessels are now halted at Fukushima No.1.as the pressure around one of the valves are so high, endangering the staff at work, who already must have been exposed to quite large amount of radioactivity. They seem to be running out of effective measures.
・Fuelt rods in No.1 ( not No.2, sorry ) reactor of Fukushima No.1 plant are 90 cm above the water level at 11:00.But in an online news site, it is written that the water level cannot be read correctlyas already huge amount of water has been poured into the pool.The situations are being followed by No.2 reactor and No.3 reactor with high pressure inside the containment vessels, Both are releasing small amount of radioactivity, so the staff are letting vapor out, TV says.http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20110312-OYT1T00232.htm (in Japanese, Yomiuri Online)
・Pressure in the containment vessels of No.4, reactors of Fukushima No.2 plant is rising as well. In this plant, No.1,2,3,4, reactors still maintain cooling water in the pools.
TV is reaptedly informing us of Fukushima No.1 & No.2 plants.
Update at 4:04pm on March 12 (from Makiko Sato)
Breaking news: The worst may have been avoided. pressure decresed.
The authorities announced just now ( 15:40 ) that the inside pressure of No1. of No.1 had dramatically decreased around 14:00, and the monitor visibility in the plant facilities had risen to double the level around 13:40.
The pressure decrease was brought by using the ventilation through opening the two volves.
One was already loosened, but opening the other was hard, so they temporarily stopped the work, but then, later began and succeeded.
By releasing radioactive vapor out, environments around the plant have become radioactive.
Reasonably, some staff working at this dangerous task must have become exposed to a lot of radioactivity.
They are still pouring water to cool down the fuel rods inside.
The worst has been avoided, at least for a while.
Discussions have been on as to whether or not this can be called ' meltdown,' but even nuclear authorities had admitted that a kind of meltdown could be possible, even if the reactor was halted, for vapor explosion was highly feared.
Fortunately that kind of danger is over now as to No.1 of No.1., not thanks to nuclear technology but again thanks to human dedication at the cost of their health safety.
We had this kind of situation several years ago. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/145446.html
But still, the temperature, which was over 2300 ℃ around 14:00, seems very high,
and the water pool seems to be broken, which makes the effort of pouring water in vain.
So danger still lingers.
Thanks and sorry, all.
Thanks, Jean, for this below information.
It is light-water reactor, different from the one at Chernobyl.
But still, there are a few negative factors, in spite of the fact that the reactor was halted.
Binded fule rods are now 170 cm high above the water level in the pool, and rising pressure and temperature cannot be controlled as the pumbs are broken, and the volve are highly radioactive for the remaining staff to approach....breaking news in.
Fortunately, U.S. and Japanese reactors have extra measures of protection that were lacking at Chernobl, such as a secondary concrete containment structure over the reactor vessel to prevent escape of radioactivity. In 1979, the containment structure at the Three Mile Island reactor did prevent the escape of a catastrophic amount of radioactivity after the core melted. But, people living nearby were exposed to higher levels of radiation from the accident and deliberate venting to stabilize the reactor.
Update at 5:34pm on March 12 (from Makiko Sato)
Breaking TV news: Explosion, the facility's outside walls collapsed, workers down
An explosion occured at No.1 of Fukushima No.1 plant, at 15:36
and the outside wall of the building totally collapsed, leaving only its iron frames.
Four workers got down, and were hosopitalized.
The expert on TV has said the containment vessels is higly likely to have been broken, and
he urges people not to get out, to close all the windows and ventilations,
to wear masks and long-sleeved clothes, not to eat outside vegetable and so on.
Now Fukushima Prefecture has received information from Tokyo Electric Power Co.,
that the roof of the facility has collapsed as well.
At 15:25, Tokyo metropolitan fire station dispatched hyper rescue teams comrising 28 firefighters.
★ Now, it has just been announced that 1015 micro Sievert per hour has been detected at the site, which is equal to the yearly amount received by ordinary people.
This mean the cantainment vessel is broken.
Update at 6:18pm on March 12 (from Makiko Sato)
Breaking News: Evacuation area has been expanded as to No.2 plant as well
The Chief Cabinet Secretary has just had a briefing, saying that the explosion of the reactor itself has not been confirmed. (it somewhat sounds like a lie )
He said that the adminstration has now expanded the evacuation area
near Fukushima No.2 plant as well, from current 3 to 10 km radius.
This means some danger is looming large in No.2 plant as well.
( The explosion ocurred at No.1 reactor of Fukushima No.1 plant.
picture of the explosion http://watch2ch.2chblog.jp/archives/3599071.html )
The radio activity record of ' 1015 micro Sievert ' at No.1 plant was before the explosion,
so citizens are waiting for the update regarding this.
Korean rescue teams have arrived at Tokyo, the first foreign help.
The U.S. is to dispatch the ' nuclear ' powered aircraft carrier ' Ronald Reagan'
which is now participating in 'Foul Eagle ' in SK, to the sea near Fukushima.
Organizing Notes, March 11, 2011
DEVASTATION IN JAPAN