Monday, December 12, 2011

Japanese Engineer: "There Was a Nuclear Explosion in Reactor 3 in Addition to a Hydrogen Explosion"

There are foreign nuclear experts who have said the explosion in Reactor 3 on March 14 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant was a nuclear explosion. But this Japanese engineer and whistleblower at JNES (Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization) Setsuo Fujiwara says there were two explosions at Reactor 3: a hydrogen explosion, and a nuclear explosion at the Spent Fuel Pool.

The following is my best-effort translation of the interview Fujiwara did with the SPA magazine, without detailed technical knowledge of nuclear physics, subject to revision.

From Zakzak (12/13/2011):

「福島第一原発3号機で3月14日に起きた爆発はピカドン(核爆発)だ!!」

"The explosion in Reactor 3 at Fukushima I Nuke Plant on March 14 was nuclear!"

 そう語るのは、’10年の春まで日本原子力安全基盤機構(JNES)で原発検査員を務めていた藤原節男氏。原発の施設と運用について隅々まで知る専門家の一人だ。

So says Mr. Setsuo Fujiwara, who worked at Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES) until the spring of 2010 as nuclear plant inspector. He is one of those experts who know the nuclear power plant facilities and operations in great details.

 「3号機の爆発では、一度ピカっと炎が出た後、ドーンと黒煙がまっすぐ建屋上方へと立ち上っています。水素爆発であんな黒い煙は出ません。キノコ雲の形状といい、核爆発の現象に酷似している」

"In the Reactor 3 explosion, there was a flicker of fire, then a vertical, black smoke up the reactor building. A hydrogen explosion does not produce such a black smoke. And the mushroom cloud. It resembles a nuclear explosion."

 しかし、政府、東電の発表では、原子炉内部は安定を取り戻してきているはずだが?

But according to the government and TEPCO, the nuclear reactors are getting more stable, aren't they?

 「重要な放射能飛散原因は、使用済み燃料プールです」

"A more important source of radioactive materials dispersed is the Spent Fuel Pools."

 彼は一原発を陸側から写した航空写真を取り出した。

Fujiwara takes out an aerial photograph of the plant shot from the land side.

 「建屋上部フレームは、使用済み燃料プールの場所が吹っ飛んでいます。プール内で爆発が起こり、そこにあった燃料棒は飛び散ってしまったと思われます」

"The upper frames of the reactor building are blown off at the location of the Spent Fuel Pool. I believe there was an explosion inside the SFP, and the fuel rods inside were blown out."

 だが、たとえ使用済み燃料が溶融して下に溜まっても、果たしてそれで核爆発は起きるのだろうか。

If the spent fuel had melted and sank to the bottom of the pool, would that cause a nuclear explosion?

 「3号機の燃料プール内では、爆発が生じるまでに冷却水が少なくなり、ジルカロイ・水反応で水素が発生。上方の燃料被覆管が溶けて、中のペレットはブロック崩し状態。プール内が原子炉さながら、小出力で臨界状態となって水が沸騰したと思われます。そして、プール水面上方で水素爆発。その圧力で沸騰水中のボイド(水蒸気)が圧縮。ボイド反応度係数はマイナスなので、一気に核分裂の反応度が高まり、即発臨界の核爆発が起きた。3号機爆発のスローモーションビデオを観ると、爆発音が3回聞こえる。これが、水素爆発の後に核爆発が生じた証拠です」

"The amount of cooling water decreased in the Reactor 3 SFP prior to the explosion, and hydrogen was generated from the zircaloy-water reaction. The upper part of the cladding melted, and the pellets fell out and piled [at the bottom of the pool?]. Inside the SFP, it was like a nuclear reactor becoming critical, and the water boiled. Then there was a hydrogen explosion above the surface of the water in the SFP, and due to the pressure from the explosion, voids (steam bubbles) in the boiling water were compressed. The void coefficient was negative, so the reactivity of nuclear fission was suddenly heightened, resulting in a nuclear explosion from the prompt criticality. When you see the slow-motion video of Reactor 3's explosion, you hear three explosive sounds. It is the evidence that the nuclear explosion occurred after the hydrogen explosion."

 続いて彼が指差したのは、排気筒と3号機を結ぶ配管部分だ。太いパイプはそこで断裂し、短い管が口を空けて転がっている。

Next, he points to the pipe that connected the exhaust stack and Reactor 3. The big pipe is broken, and the short segment of the pipe is lying on the ground.

 「東電は、定期点検中の4号機で水素爆発が起きたのは、3号機で発生した水素がこの配管を通って、4号機建屋に入ったためだと説明しました。しかし写真を見ると、このとおり配管は繋がっていない。4号機でも使用済み燃料プール内で水素が発生して、爆発したと言える。3、4号機爆発とも、使用済み燃料プールの水素なら、1号機も使用済み燃料プールの水素による爆発ではないか。これら重要な事故シナリオについて、誰もダメ出しをしていない」

"TEPCO explained that the hydrogen gas generated in Reactor 3 passed through this pipe and entered the reactor building of Reactor 4, causing the hydrogen explosion in Reactor 4 which was in regular maintenance at that time. However, if you look at the photo, the pipe is broken. I think it was a hydrogen explosion in Reactor 4 also, caused by hydrogen generated inside the Spent Fuel Pool. If Reactors 3 and 4's hydrogen came from the Spent Fuel Pools, is it possible that the explosion of Reactor 1 was also caused by hydrogen from the Spent Fuel Pool? But no one is questioning [TEPCO] hard on these important points in reconstructing the accident."

 彼は、脱原発の技術者たちにもこれら事故シナリオ内容を投げかけたが、コメントを控えたという。「日本の技術者は、自分の専門領域以外のことにはなかなか発言しようとしない」と藤原氏は苛立つ。

Fujiwara says he tried to run his scenario of the accident with the engineers who are anti-nuclear, but that they withheld comments. "Japanese engineers are too reluctant to comment on things outside their specialties", says Fujiwara, irritated.

More on "void coefficient" here (wiki).

People like Arnie Gundersen talked about prompt criticality as a shockwave from a hydrogen explosion "moved and distorted" the fuel rods. I didn't quite understand the mechanism of distorted fuel rods resulting in prompt criticality. Fujiwara's explanation makes the mechanism much clearer for me, but it is also possible that I (non-expert) am imagining that I understand.

46 comments:

Steveo said...

They had some big explosions, big enough to blow the heck out of 3' thick concrete walls, and to blow a large chuck of concrete 1000 feet in the air or more.

Atomfritz said...

The truth slowly coming to light...

You readers all noticed that Tepco and the govt in the few last weeks retracted all their hypotheses what happened in the stricken nuclear plants?

Well, this is for a good reason. Would the truth have been told when the accident occurred, the panic would have been overwhelming. So they lied, downplayed what happened to suggest it being less severe than it was.

But they knew that they couldn't maintain these lies forever. As the nuclear expert community commonly began to realize from the data that was slowly released after months that the "original official version" cannot be true, Tepco and the govt. began to withdraw their tales piece for piece.

The black smoke alone strongly suggests that this was not (only) a hydrogen explosion. Attempts to explain this with oil burning etc failed.
Explosions from nuclear excursions produce black smoke. This is well-known since the BORAX experiments. In Chernobyl the explosion also was accompanied with a huge black smoke, as the eyewitnesses told.

Combine the explanation of Fujiwara with the things you can learn in the Christian Mueller document, where he describes how the hydrogen probably really was produced. (link: http://tec-sim.de/images/stories/spf-fa3.pdf )

The Fujiwara theory is the only one that in fact is able to explain why there was found heavily radioactive debris around the reactors. If it were only hydrogen explosions, there would have to be expected no highly radioactive debris spread around the reactors. Where should that stuff have come from else, if not from the fuel pools? Nobody was able to find a plausible explanation what this radioactive stuff could be except debris from the fuel pools.

However, Japan was VERY lucky that, other than in Chernobyl, only a few very small parts of the fuel actually was shattered outside the reactor building.
Luckily the nuclear explosion could not sustain itself for long-enough time to completely destroy the pool, as there was no sufficient pressure (like in a nuclear bomb's explosion compression mechanism or in a reactor vessel as in Chernobyl or BORAX) so it fizzled out very quickly when the resulting steam hammer blew the reacting fuel apart, stopping the chain reaction.

To conclude, we can be sure of one thing only: the things happened are way worse than we have been told officially. Expect more nasty "surprises" coming to light soon.

Anonymous said...

Smells like bullshit to me. AFAICT, the entire inventory of a fuel pool going critical would have leveled the site and killed everyone around with prompt neutrons. At the VERY least, the pool would have been emptied, fuel assemblies would be burning still, today.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous--who must be sitting in his OWN bullshit...Fujiwara certainly has no reason to come forward with his comments unless they are factual.Why would he stand up..and ID himself as a radical against the "status quo". The strong arm techniques in Japan against those who go against the "party line"..is severe. He has no reason to lie and has credentials as well. There are no benefits to his actions..and a lot of negative pressure, or stigma. But at least he may be able to sleep at night....

Anonymous said...

That's why they are comming forward they want to save face and at the same time, make people like them and not look at them for the maniac's they really are!!! Would you want the whole planet looking at you funny when your hand was on the cookie jar? I just hope nobody gets more ill from this, most of all I say a prayer for all the children.

Anonymous said...

he is a bit contradicting himself, the explosion above the spent fuel pool looked like a hydrogen explosion (as faras I know it was triggered by the first explosion, which was apparently a steam explosion.(that maybe was powerful enough to blow nuclear fuel rods around.)

By the way, he is saying that there where three explosions at reactor3 (three explosive sounds), two of them at the spent fuel pool.!
So if you post this, you should better remember what you just translated.

Anonymous said...

"but it is also possible that I (non-expert) am imagining that I understand." what are the odds we are evar going to get the truth & AG is working/living off of leaks from democrat/s @ & not @ NRC

Anonymous said...

"The void coefficient was negative, so the reactivity of nuclear fission was suddenly heightened, resulting in a nuclear explosion from the prompt criticality. "

At Chernobyl, allowing the void coefficient to go negative was a fatal mistake past the point of return.
Here in Fukushima, the promptness of the criticality showed itself again, as it did here at INL,
http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/12/fukushima-i-nuke-plant-suppression.html?showComment=1323469554500#c9010193014260669677

One of several key factors discussed by Gregorii Medvedev in "The Truth about Chernobyl".

One of the many dangers courted by operating reactors beyond their power rating ? outside their design parameters ?

Anonymous said...

where ar the victims?
In the case of nuclear explosion ther has to be victims. Where ar they?
Für den Fall eine nuklearen Explosion müssten Opfer da sein. Wo sind diese?
Ich sehe und höre garnichts über menschliche Opfer. Gabs keine? Ist ein Nuklearunfall so ungefährlich? Keine Verstrahlten, keine Kranken, keine Folgeschädenbelasteten? Was ist mit den aus Japan exportierten Gütern? Wer kontrolliert in den europäischen oder amerikanischen Häfen die japanischen Exportgüter auf Verstrahlung?
Autos, Fisch, Computerbauteile?
Where ar the facts of contaminied japan goods?
I cant read anything anywhere about it!

Anonymous said...

And thanks to Christian Mueller for including the picture of the ten-foot pole technician as he stand 10 feet from a multi-Sievert radiation source, as calm as day, has been there for a few moments, and, by Jesus, intends on staying there 'til the job is done.

lol

One of the more memorable images from Fukushima.

Very good on the Gate Seals, p.42.

Atomfritz said...

The reaction zone due to the negative void coefficient obviously was in the uppermost zone of the spent fuel pool where the bubbling replaced most water with void (steam, gas).

So the explosion power was directed in a way that luckily pushed the fuel assemblies downwards and only small parts flew upwards, producing the hot spots that had to be shoved away with remote-controlled bulldozers due to intensive radiation.

And, please keep in mind also that only an extremely small fraction of the fissile material fissioned until the critical density was lost again due to steam hammer expansion. If this were a nuclear bomb test, the result would have been called a fizzle-out.

But even a such fizzle-out can result into a detonation equivalent up to several hundred kilos TNT.

By the way, if you are interested in Medvedev's book, this link might be for you: http://dodreports.com/pdf/ada335076.pdf

Anonymous said...

The explosive sounds were added by a TV station. They are fake. That has been proven, because they mixed stereo sound with mono. Anything that relies on these sounds as evidence is without foundation. There is insufficient evidence of a prompt criticality in Unit 3's spent fuel pool. Talk of a "nuclear explosion" is fantasy. The lowest yield actual nuclear explosion would have at least leveled the building if not most of the plant site. In addition, anyone not in a hardened bunker that was anywhere in the vicinity would have been killed. There is no evidence of any fatalities attributed directly to the unit 3 explosion. What happened at Fukushima is bad enough. There is no need to exaggerate.

no6ody said...

" the mechanism of distorted fuel rods resulting in prompt criticality"

The spent fuel pool had many fuel rods in it, and they had to be kept a certain distance apart. IMO, If the fuel rods were stacked on top of each other, the decay products could start additional fission. The explosion knocked some of the rods too close together, and the affected fuel rods got very hot very fast--I suppose it could be called a low-yield nuke.

Atomfritz said...

"One of the many dangers courted by operating reactors beyond their power rating ? outside their design parameters ?"

it's just mad to uprate almost 40-year-old reactors that are worn, brittle and at the end of their originally planned life span.
Many small additional risks are added, the safety margins reduced substantially.
The reduced margin to get the void coefficient problem is only one of many problems.

But it pays off, as the compensations that the utility has to pay is way less than a quarterly profit of operating the NPP, so all want to run their old NPP until they break.

Chances are good that the next NPP blowing up will be such a veteran.
Where will it happen?

Anonymous said...

One of the implications of Atomfritz' 1:19 comment is that the reaction extinguished itself by mechanical forces.
Most people that visit this site know there is limitations to possible effects, so I'll 'hijack' 1:21's "no need to exaggerate" and say yes, that is our intent here, to not exaggerate.

There, that felt good.

:)

"it's just mad to uprate almost 40-year-old reactors that are worn, brittle and at the end of their originally planned life span. "

That it is, but this batch of life-jaded, cynical bastards do not seem to care if they take all of life with them as they exit. When you hail from the Land of Mordor you definitely have darkness in your heart.

Zalygin's preface reads well, the Russians appear to have done some soul-searching after Chernobyl.
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ada335076.pdf&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

Pagliachi said...

Yes - another miracle. A nuclear explosion at reactor number 3, and somehow the building still stands. The spent fuel pool still holds water. There were no deaths, and no radiation burn casualties. Its a miracle of modern science.

Reminds me of the time when Arnie was trying to convince everyone that Unit 4 was about to fall over. Luckily the hand of God apparently came in and straightened up the building, because you don't hear much about it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Fukushima was a sabotage. Go to this site and check all the proofs provided. This guy did a amazing job investigating the Fukushima disaster.
http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/fukushima.html

Hélios said...

Please, Arevamirpal (Ultraman, as said by Tokyo Brown Tabby),
Have you some news about collapse about south wall of building reactor 4 ?

http://enenews.com/report-confirmed-wall-reactor-4-lost-south-side-photos

Anonymous said...

A nuclear criticality explosion does not need to be in the kiloton or megaton range. It can be "small" - like the dud atomic bomb North Korea set off a few years ago. Yield depends on how fast the reaction is shut down.

Niigata said...

Hi all,

I'll post a link of September explaining the same thing and who had more schematics explanation.
Happy reading and thank you for your work ex-skf.

http://lewrockwell.com/orig4/goddard2.1.1.html

Niigata

Anonymous said...

As I have said before: The Japanese government and the Japanese people are in DENIAL! Japan is LOST to NUCLEAR RADIATION throughout the Island. The best thing for the people of Japan to do is to leave Japan, and to not look back. Those adults who stay will be facing horrible deaths but especially all those children!!

Atomfritz said...

"Talk of a "nuclear explosion" is fantasy. The lowest yield actual nuclear explosion would have at least leveled the building if not most of the plant site. [...]. There is no need to exaggerate."

I fear you could be wrong.
Please read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fizzle_%28nuclear_test%29

See also the instructive photo of the failed nuclear test. The bomb fizzled out with about 200 tons of TNT equivalent, leaving part of the mast it was mounted on standing intact.

The "problem" in the spent fuel pools was that the fissile material was not contained like in a "proper" bomb, so you can get only "fizzling".
Additionally, due to the low enrichment a fuel fizzle would be way less explosive than a bomb fizzle.

No need to exaggerate, yes.
It was no nuclear bomb for sure.

But we shouldn't prematurely rule out the possibility of a fizzle until the spent fuel pool contents have been examined forensically.

More and more spent fuel pools nowadays are being dense-packed with double the originally planned capacities so that there become extra measures necessary to prevent criticalities, like absorber plates and boron while normally loaded pools should be safe without boron.

I guess Tepco would not have borated the SFP water if they didn't fear a criticality there.

Even a spent fuel fizzle is too serious to be overlooked,
Can we really be sure such didn't happen?

no6ody said...

"More and more spent fuel pools nowadays are being dense-packed with double the originally planned capacities..."

Exactly. This crowding makes minor disasters into major disasters. I think a 'spent' fuel fizzle is likely what caused the big boom in #3. If the hydrogen blast knocked the fuel rods around, the blast would happen very quickly. Since there was no way to contain the radioactive materials, the blast was a minor one. A nuke has chemical explosives that compress and contain the uranium or plutonium until a percent or two of the matter gets turned into energy. This uncontained blast just spread the nasties around, including into the air.

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Anonymous said...

It was a happy explosion! No danger, just a small amount of fuel was spread all over Japan and the Pacific Ocean.

Not to worry, TEPCO is going to cold shutdown very soon. Question: How is there such a thing as "cold" shutdown, ....if the water around the reactor is almost turning to steam? Sounds like moron-logic at work here...

Anonymous said...

Is the Japanese govt involved in a cover-up of the nuke meltdown? See youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHKQfeMiRUc&feature=player_embedded

And please read this article from Yoichi Shimatsu, Former editor of the Japan Times Weekly

http://www.rense.com/general93/hid.htm

Anonymous said...

Gundersen was saying this shit way back in April and talking about a prompt criticality... i guess the Japs wont listen to the outside world on these matters unless its a Jap scientist talking about it ..

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 8:20pm, Japanese have been listening to people like Gundersen and Busby since April.

And please stop using the word "Jap". It's too derogatory for my liking unless used in a historical context (like world war II propaganda).

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@helios, no, there is no such info in Japan, not even in alternative sites. But what is likely to happen, again, is that someone in Japan will quote enenews who linked the article and it will be presented as "See, foreign media is reporting it, so it must be true!". Just like it happened several times with that particular combo.

Anonymous said...

I have posted similar stuff before, here.

We cannot be talking about "fizzles" and hundreds of TONS of TNT equivalent, because the explosion was just too damn small, in the hundreds of KILOGRAMS TNT equivalent.

Here's a 2000 pound (900 kg) bomb. Lots of visual reference in this vid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1aW67AUsNU

Another one, with a building right next to it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_Lcjfdra2c

Anonymous said...

@helios

They are starting to demolish the upper parts of the buildings. See page 26/27:
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu11_e/images/111117e5.pdf

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how unintelligent some of the comments are. For years, the military studied how to make and detonate nuclear explosives. It is very unlikely that the plant at Daiichi could assemble an explodable bomb of nuclear material, first because the enrichment level was too low, and second because there was no shaped charge. The military never discovered any low enriched uranium that would explode. And the smallest bomb they ever produced would have leveled Daiichi and had a fatal blast radius of one third mile.

Eric said...

This may have been a nuclear explosion if the energy of the explosion occurred as the result of atoms fissioning. What percentage of atoms in an assortment of crap fuel have to chain react before its called a nuclear explosion? The yield could even be lower than a chemical bomb, and it still would be nuclear. This was a very dirty nuclear fissile. I hope terrorists don't learn from this.

Atomfritz said...

I think it's very important to point out that the nuclear industry hates the word "explosion", as this reminds too much of atomic bombs and causes undesirable fear.

So the "scientifically correct" euphemistic naming is "power excursion".
By no means use the word "explosion"!


If you use the word "explosion" you will be called an "nonsense-telling unintelligent unscientific spreader of baseless rumors" and such.

Power "excursions" are very common, way more than the nuclear industry likes to admit.

The nuclear industry tried for long time to tell us that the Chernobyl explosion, oops, excursion was a hydrogen explosion.
Because, you know that reactor fuel cannot explode, you know? ;-)

This covering-up quietly ended when evidence emerged that even the nuclear industry couldn't deny.

If you like to know more about how the explosion, aww, power excursion in the Chernobyl NPP happened, read this very insightful document "The Chernobyl Reactor: Design Features and Reasons for Accident" which you can download here: www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/reports/kr79/kr79pdf/Malko1.pdf

This list of "power excursions" in the USA from 1943 to 1970 shows that such happen not exactly rare: http://www.cddc.vt.edu/host/atomic/accident/critical.html

If this all is too long to read, here is a short article with illustrative graphics that show that a nuclear "power excursion" has much in common with a conventional deflagration: http://www.euronuclear.org/e-news/e-news-13/neutron-kinetics.htm

When Tepco finally gets access to the SFP and they find the swelling and blistering on the fuel which is an effect of "power excursions" they'll probably try to not talk much about it.

So let's talk about "power excursions" now, avoiding the no-word "explosion"! :-)

Anonymous said...

@Atomfritz:

Isn't "power excursion" synonymous for criticality accident? Cause a criticality accident doesn't necessarily involve an explosion. Who told you that?

Just look at the accident in Tokai-mura, where no explosion ever happened, or the first ones while trying to build the first nukes during WW2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_core

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the translation arevamirpal. Thanks to atomfritz also for the link to C. Mueller's document. It was clear and concise, although a question about his explanation of Block 2- wasn't there an early report of the removal of the seaside panel in the efforts to prevent a hydrogen explosion?

Anonymous said...

"Unit 4 was about to fall over. Luckily the hand of God apparently came in and straightened up the building "

That's an unusual way of saying one of TEPCO's contractors performed the function they were paid to do, reinforce the SFP.
There were even pictures posted on this site courtesy of TEPCO showing the reinforcing and it was considerable.


" .. the enrichment level was too low, and second because there was no shaped charge. The military never discovered any low enriched uranium that would explode. "

The Obfuscator has forgotten that the earliest atomic "piles" in Chicago were at some risk of getting out of control ?

Anonymous said...

My, the U.S.S. Reagan appears to have experienced some sort of Urgency event,

from James2 in the comments,

"The timing of this report is interesting. On the dispatch from Reagan it says the plume was observed the morning of March 13th – which is between the time of the #1 explosion and the #3 explosion, ..

The report is issued at 2200 EDT on March 13th – which is just after the #3 explosion, and just as Reagan was experiencing a new plume which caused it to hightail it out of there. ..

– I was watching the dispatches live as this was happening. Reagan turned and ran almost immediately after the explosion of #3.

Within about two hours, the Navy had issued a press release saying that they Reagan was being redeployed northward for a humanitarian mission – that they had experienced a small radiation event and they were washing down a helicopter.

Later accounts from onboard the ship tell a very different story.

Apparently one of their helicopters came back to the ship and set off all the radiation alarms, causing a radiation emergency onboard ship – which means everyone dons their gas masks and goes into a well-rehearsed emergency mode.

They immediately began to decontaminate the helicopter and crew – but before they could the air supply and eventually the water supply onboard got contaminated. The captain was told by the nuclear engineers that it was a major event – apparently there was near panic aboard the ship, so they decided to turn away from their mission to assist. They spent the next two hours outrunning the nuclear cloud – Remember an aircraft carrier is a very fast ship – and the following 3 days scrubbing the ship down ..

My bet is those onboard the helicopter got a good dose of plutonium – and are very likely to die of cancer within 3 years or so. I think a portion, if not all, of the sailors on the Reagan and the other ships in the battle group did as well. I hope that’s not true, .."

".. they’ve done all kinds of things to try and cover it up – including changing the dates of when Reagan redeployed. "

Thank you, James2.

http://enenews.com/newly-released-nrc-email-reveals-radioactive-technetium-detected-fukushima-plant-one-three-principle-radionuclides-identified-240-km-meltdowns

If they turned and ran like that they probably detected some very troublesome nuclides.

Atomfritz said...

The things that happened on the Reagan are very interesting indeed. The helicopter was in air just the time the nasty stuff in the cloud had not dispersed much yet, be it blown out from the reactor or a spent fuel pool fizzle. Two hours of full throttle means more than 100 kilometers, maybe even 120kms, enough to escape the plume.


"Isn't "power excursion" synonymous for criticality accident? Cause a criticality accident doesn't necessarily involve an explosion."

No, it is not the same.
Power excursions do not always lead to explosions, only the really big ones, and they occur in working reactors also, not only in criticality assemblies.
Minor power excursions do no damage at all, but bear the potential of becoming bigger ones.

Power excursions regularly happen in nuclear plants due, for example, to the famous negative void coefficient that can be caused by several things, like water flow irregularities, unbalanced burning in the reactor etc.
The control systems shut down reactors immediately if the power varies/increases too fast.

This happens quite regularly. Of course the official reasons for the automatic shutdowns are never worded "power excursion".
When you read this or that reactor was shut down automatically because of power or water flow variations, irregularities, oscillations and the such, it could be possible that the incident was in fact a power excursion.


"The Obfuscator has forgotten that the earliest atomic "piles" in Chicago were at some risk of getting out of control ?"

Yes! This has been mentioned by Fermi etc. in their books.

May I add that the first nuclear accident in Germany was 1942 at the Leipzig University, when the first German test reactor ("Uranbrenner"), using 800kgs of natural uranium and 200kgs of heavy water, got ablaze.

(As the documents have been taken away by the allies and are still classified, I sadly cannot tell what exactly happened. However, the firefighter's archives haven't been confiscated and so it's at least proven that the accident has really happened.)

Anonymous said...

The story of the Reagan is not new. It has been reported (and distorted) in depth. The water supply on the Reagan was not contaminated.

The comment about the pilots getting a good dose of plutonium and "very likely to die of cancer within 3 years" is utter nonsense.

http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/home/2011/03/japan-uss-ronald-reagan-update.html

Anonymous said...

"The control systems shut down reactors immediately if the power varies/increases too fast.

This happens quite regularly. Of course the official reasons for the automatic shutdowns are never worded "power excursion".
When you read this or that reactor was shut down automatically because of power or water flow variations, irregularities, oscillations and the such, it could be possible that the incident was in fact a power excursion. "

Do those automatic shutdowns utilize the Emergency Core Cooling System ?
The book I'd quoted a week or two ago on the role of failure in human engineering made the point that every utilization of the Emergency Core Cooling is quite likely to lead to cracking of the vessel heads due to neutron bombardment raising the vessel metal's effective temperature.


"May I add that the first nuclear accident in Germany was 1942 at the Leipzig University, when the first German test reactor ("Uranbrenner"), using 800kgs of natural uranium and 200kgs of heavy water, got ablaze. "

Natural unclad uranium burning ?

Atomfritz said...

"Do those automatic shutdowns utilize the Emergency Core Cooling System ?"

No, just the normal cooling, no thermal shock.


"The book I'd quoted a week or two ago on the role of failure in human engineering made the point that every utilization of the Emergency Core Cooling is quite likely to lead to cracking of the vessel heads due to neutron bombardment raising the vessel metal's effective temperature."

This is true for many aging reactors.
Their steel got so embrittled that it would crack/shatter like a drinking glass that you pour boiling water in.

To avoid a catastrophe caused by the emergency cooling system many older nuke plants (at least in Germany) have been retrofitted with emergency cooling water tank heaters, so that the extent of the temperature shock and the chance of the core vessel cracking open is reduced.

In some reactors this critical temperature is already near 100 degrees C, so the "cooling" water is in fact hot like boiling water.


"Natural unclad uranium burning ?"

Even worse, uranium powder.
I found some reports of state TV of Saxonia (in german, use translator):

The Leipzig reactor accident 1942: http://www.mdr.de/echt/artikel11396.html
The secret Leipzig nuclear research project (with picture of reactor construction):
http://www.mdr.de/echt/artikel11396_dosArt-artikel11402_zc-850e97c6.html

More background on the german nuclear program you can find in this Spiegel article from 1949, which also states that on June 6, 1942 it was decided to not use nuclear energy for military purposes, but instead to develop it for energy production: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-44438130.html

Anonymous said...

Uranium powder burning. Priceless knowledge, Fritz.

Thank you for your contributions.


Was it Teller who pointed out once in testimony that life on this planet did not arise until the long life radioactives had decayed significantly ?

Our duty is to life, ladies and gentlemen, it is not duty to destabilised nucleii.

Anonymous said...

A nuclear blast that didn't even break the pool from which it originated?

Oppenheimer is rolling over in his grave.

Anonymous said...

"Oppenheimer is rolling over in his grave. "

He has our permission to do that.

Note our magnanimity.

Anonymous said...

Zirconium acts in two ways. From the article....
"Zirconium, with the explosive power, pound for pound, of nitroglycerine, will catch fire and explode at a temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, well below the 5,000 degree temperature of a meltdown.

Before then, however, zirconium reacts to the heat by drawing oxygen from water and steam and letting off hydrogen, which itself can explode—and is said to have done so at Fukushima.

As a result of such a hydrogen explosion, there is additional heat—bringing the zirconium itself closer and closer to its explosive level.

Whether in addition to being a hydrogen explosion, zirconium also exploded at Fukushima remains to be known.

But what has happened regarding hydrogen at Fukushima, like the “hydrogen bubble” when the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania underwent its near partial meltdown, is no mystery—but precisely what is expected in a loss-of-coolant accident.

It is described in U.S. government and nuclear industry accident studies as a “metal-water” reaction. It’s a reaction, the research has long stated, that can easily trigger a meltdown.

Using tons of a material otherwise used as the speck that explodes in a flashbulb in nuclear power plants —yes, absolutely crazy."

http://karlgrossman.blogspot.com/2011/03/hydrogen-zirconium-flashbulbs-and.html

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