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The Risk

Analysing the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Submitted by Leonidas » Sat 18-Feb-2012, 09:14

Subject Area: Safety

Keywords: Fukushima, nuclear disaster, IEEE Spectrum, tsunami

1 member rating

Good morning.
I suggest keeping some palliative substance handy while reading this.
A stiff scotch perhaps.
I'm not kidding.

The 14 m tsunami has hit Fukushima
The power station has no power
Workers are in the car park pulling the batteries out of their cars
So they can re-energize the reactor's instrumentation
So they can measure the reactor pressure
So they can determine if it's about to explode

Meanwhile trucks with emergency generators
Are on their way up from the south
They're stuck in traffic

Meanwhile the fuel rods are already a sludgy oose
In the bottom of the containment vessel
Eating through the metal
The vessel is leaking hydrogen
It's building up in the roof of the reactor building

Now read on ...

The dozen dead towns
The 80,000 refugees
Radiation deaths to come

Now I understand why the Germans have said ENOUGH!

Postscript:
1. Very few of us ever have our stated ethics tested. The Fukushima operators did. They passed. Their courage and dedication to their profession was amazing.
2. In the design phase of this plant there was a decision made to put emergency generators in basements (see IEEE Spectrum article quote below). As in all design decisions there would have been arguments for and against. The against lobby didn't push hard enough. You wonder how the operators feel about their ethics.
From the article:
Incident analysis "... reveals clear inflection points where minor differences would have prevented events from spiralling out of control. Some of these are astonishingly simple: If the emergency generators had been installed on upper floors rather than in basements, for example, the disaster would have stopped before it began."

To learn more see:
24 Hours at Fukushima
A blow-by-blow account of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl
By Eliza Strickland / IEEE Spectrum, November 2011
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nuclear/24-hours-at-fukushima/0


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