Tuesday, March 29, 2011
This is a catastrophe of this highest order -- it really doesn't get much worse than this in the nuclear industry. And the area will be unaccessible and uninhabitable for many decades.
More reporting from ABC.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
France's ASN nuclear safety authority says the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant could now be classed as level six out of the International Nuclear Event Scale of one to seven.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
US expert: Breach possible at Japan nuclear plantAssociated Press, 03.15.11, 11:17 AM EDT
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. nuclear industry official says there is evidence that the primary containment structure at one of the stricken Japanese reactors has been breached, raising the risk of further release of radioactive material.
Anthony Pietrangelo of the Nuclear Energy Institute said Tuesday that falling pressure inside the suppression pool at the No. 2 reactor at Fukushima Dai-ichi and reports of rising radiation levels there raise the possibility that the reactor's containment has been breached. He said the breach of the primary containment structure could lead to the release of more radioactive materials.
Pietrangelo, chief nuclear officer of the institute, also praised Japanese authorities, saying that they were doing a "heroic" job of dealing with the damage to several nuclear plants in the wake of last week's earthquake and tsunami.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
There is a little gold-mine of an interview of a nuclear engineer (done by his daughter). [Video/audio/transcript available.]
The short version is this: a skeleton staff of personnel of about 60 people at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant stands a very low probability of averting a meltdown. From the Times article:
“We are on the brink,” said Hiroaki Koide, a senior reactor engineering specialist at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University. “We are now facing the worst-case scenario. We can assume that the containment vessel at Reactor No. 2 is already breached. If there is heavy melting inside the reactor, large amounts of radiation will most definitely be released.”