What’s happening in Japan is really horrendous and seems to be getting worse by the hour.
Those people in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are real hero’s, All safety systems have failed completely and when we hear that they’re down to calling in water cannon, normally used for crowd control, then it’s likely that the staff are, in effect, dead men walking.
Here’s how nuclear expert John Large explained the situation on RTE News.
The fuel has been taken out of reactor number four and put in a water filled pond for stowage. But the water has evaporated away from the pond because it has no pumps and the fuel has started melting down as well as going critical.
In other words it has started acting like a nuclear reactor again but in this case in an open pool.
The criticality resulted in an enormous burst of energy that has blown its way through the containment of the pool and at the moment they’re trying to maintain more water in that fuel pool to stop further criticality and the fuel fragments being thrown around the site.
So they’ve lost control of about 100 tons of fuel in a fuel pond.
I notice that most of the nuclear power stations are located on the West coast which makes sense as the geographic fault line lies deep in the sea off the East coast. The puzzle is why they built any nuclear power stations on the North East coast at all; perhaps they just didn’t think that an earthquake of such a magnitude would occur.
The inhabitants of Tokyo, only 220 kilometers away, are getting very nervous. Could it be that this major world city of 35 million people is on the brink of abandonment?