Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan: Meltdown A Serious Danger In Three Reactors

Reuters at TPM, 10:10 EDT:

FUKUSHIMA, Japan, (Reuters) - Japan fought Sunday to avert a meltdown at three earthquake-crippled nuclear reactors, describing the massive quake and tsunami, which may have killed more than 10,000 people, as the nation's biggest crisis since World War Two.


As he spoke, officials worked desperately to stop fuel rods in the damaged reactors from overheating, which could in turn melt the container that houses the core, or even explode, releasing radioactive material into the wind.


The government said a building housing a second reactor at the same complex was at risk of exploding after a blast blew the roof off the first the day before. The complex is 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

Later it said it was pouring seawater into a third reactor to release a buildup of pressure.

The No. 1 reactor, where the roof blew off, is 40 years old and was originally scheduled to go out of commission in February but had its operating license extended another 10 years. But Kan said the crisis was not another Chernobyl, referring to the 1986 nuclear disaster.

(Emphasis mine.) Oh no, of course not. That was in the old Soviet Union, after all. Modern Japan would never make such a mistake. [/snark]


Asked if fuel rods were partially melting in the No. 1 reactor, Edano said: "There is that possibility. We cannot confirm this because it is in the reactor. But we are dealing with it under that assumption."


Edano said there was a risk of an explosion at the building housing the No. 3 reactor, but that it was unlikely to affect the reactor core container.

So... one meltdown has occurred, and another is a possibility. Great.

You'd think this tragedy had nothing to do with U.S. fiscal policy, but I could not help noticing this:


The Bank of Japan is expected to pledge Monday to supply as much money as needed to prevent the disaster from destabilizing markets and its banking system. It is also expected to signal its readiness to ease monetary policy further if the damage from the worst quake since records began in Japan 140 years ago threatens a fragile economic recovery.

If this had happened in the U.S. ... rather, when it happens in the U.S. ... how likely is the Fed to make an honest effort to stabilize the economy and the banking system, given the likely effect on our wealthiest citizens? Don't expect an administration of either party to go there; policies that offend the rich are, um, radioactive.


  1. nader paul kucinich gravel mckinneyMarch 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    reactor 3 is the real nasty one,
    MOX fuel with plutonium,
    very carcinogenic

  2. What a great pseudonym, npkgm! ... though I wouldn't want to have to type it very often...

    See the post downstream: airborne radiation has been detected, presumably from steam releases. Worse and worse it gets...



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