“‘No… 15 March 2011Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Vessels float on oil-contaminated water in Fudai, Iwate, northern Japan [AP]
…”‘No possibility’ of a Chernobyl-style disaster at Japan nuclear plant”:
Japan’s nuclear safety agency has said there is “absolutely no possibility of a Chernobyl” style accident at the Fukushima No.1 plant, according to the national strategy minister.
A little farther down:
[J]ust after Prime Minister Naoto Kan went on television to tell the nation that the Fukushima No.1 plant was in an “alarming” state, its No. 3 reactor erupted on Monday in a resounding blast that was felt 25 miles away.
The explosion injured six workers, and four soldiers, and sent clouds of white smoke billowing into the sky.
Japan’s government sought to play down fears of a dangerous radiation leak, saying the No. 3 reactor’s inner containment vessel, which holds the nuclear fuel rods, was still intact following the blast, which was caused by a hydrogen build up.
Koichiro Genba, the national strategy minister, said at the plant, there is “absolutely no possibility of a Chernobyl”.
Sounds like we are relying on the outer structure to keep us from Chernobyl:
Murray Jennex, from San Diego State University, echoed Mr Genba’s comparisons to Chernobyl.
“Everything I’ve seen says that the containment structure is operating as it’s designed to operate. It’s keeping the radiation in and it’s holding everything in, which is the good news,” he said.
“This is nothing like a Chernobyl … At Chernobyl (in Ukraine in 1986) you had no containment structure – when it blew, it blew everything straight out into the atmosphere.”
Everything is going swimmingly:
Fukushima’s number one reactor was due to be decommissioned last month, but had its operating licence extended for another 10 years due to the demand for electricity.
Officials insisted last night that the explosion had not breached the core so had not resulted in a major release of radioactive material.
And, well, you know:
Prof Walt Patterson, a nuclear energy expert at Chatham House, told Channel Four News that the problems at the plants had been “foreseen for many years”.
He said: “The design of the reactor is such that it is inherently susceptible to the kind of problems happening now.”
What is next, I wonder.
I heard today that the steam release will be going on for months, at least a year. These 50 workers will get sick, become ill, or simply wear out from the stress. But the site needs workers for as long as it needs to off load steam. TEPCO will will have to find replacement workers for what is a sacrificial job.
One expert today said, unlike Three Mile Island where they at least had electricity, the workers at Fukushima are working in the dark.
Aren’t we all.