It is slow to load but it has a ticker running across the top that pretty much spells it out.***
Containment in Reactors #1 and #3, the one with the plutonium, are feared damaged.
They can't check the smoke from #3 because the radiation is too high.
They can't use a helicopter over #4 to dump water on the spent fuel rods because it is too risky.
Water injection to #4 has yet to begin.
U.S. forces may be called in to help.
No workers left on site.
In even plainer English: There is no doubt #3 is in meltdown. But they're saying its pressure is stable. Yes, yes, the pressure would be stable. It would hold steadily at zero.
I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone today is the Ides of March.
Man, trying to follow this mess in ernest is a hard slog. Godlike Productions is mortifying to wade through, but there are some hot doggers trying to outdo each other there and so some helpful links to something approximating actual can be dug from that compost mountain. I even looked at Twitter, but that is worse than the other. Age and toothache bid me hang back with the Guardian's live blog for a while. Click the ghastly image of reactors 3 and 4 to go there.
But, honestly, we don't have to hover over this. That image of Number Three should tell you all you need to know. The building is all but GONE and there is white smoke/steam wafting up out of it. That means that some portion of the core containment is breached. It might be tiny right now and in a spot where it will take longer to burst the whole thing wide open, but the suddenly very high radiation levels at Daiichi are due to Number Three in its first stages of meltdown. Again, that's the one with the MOX fuel, the mixture of uranium and plutonium.
Oh, but that's not the best part.... It's
The rods, made by blending small amounts of plutonium with traditional uranium, were loaded into Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant last September.
Makhijani said the unit contains 32 MOX assemblies, about 5 percent of the fuel now in the reactor, where an explosion this week kindled fears of a radiation release.
“With this fuel, the risks of accidental criticality are different,” Makhijani said. “You have the same kinds of problems; they are just more intense with plutonium.”
Wait for it!
designed to use weapons-grade plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads to make fuels usable in commercial nuclear reactors.
The plant’s mission is to dispose of the weapons-grade material to
Don't wet your pants.prevent exploitation by terrorists.
You realize, of course, this means we've nuked Japan again. Does your dog hear that high-pitched whine that's about to break your windows? It's just me.The search for utilities willing to use the fuel when production starts in 2018 has moved slowly.
Currently, the Tennessee Valley Authority is evaluating the use of MOX fuel in as many as five of its reactors, and a Richland, Wash., utility is mulling its use in one unit, but no formal user agreements have been signed.
Safety officials have pointed out that the problems in Japan were caused by the combined effects of the earthquake and tsunami — not by the type of fuel in the reactors.
In an e-mailed statement Tuesday, a National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman said U.S. officials remain confident about the safety of existing programs.
“The American people should have full confidence that the U.S. has rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure that our nuclear power is generated safely and responsibly,” the spokesman said. “Information is still coming in about the events unfolding in Japan, but the administration is committed to learning from Japan’s experience as we work to continue to strengthen America’s nuclear industry.”
Anonymous Coward #1286022, an Aussie, says:
Somebody else says the workers are back... with better suits on....
No.1 melted down 3 1/2 days ago
No.3 melted down about a day later
No.2 melted down (and even Tepco admitted this one) the next day
No.4 may have melted down yesterday but if not yesterday it's melting down today.
Cursory glances at videos will confirm this timeline OP.
Anyway stop worrying about a few pissant little subcritical meltdowns that are still largely contained by remnant reactor structure WHEN THERE ARE NOW raging spent fuel fires burning dozens of times the amount of radioactive fuel that is present in the reactors - in the open air!
I am resolved to take refuge in Out There now, and I don't expect to endure it long, though may be surprised, but here is a nice bite-sized hunk of Michael Tsarion telling us something supremely appropriate to the moment, and I really hope you'll listen to it.
*** I was unhappy to find that this vaunted-by-me ticker reverted quickly to much less pointed bulletins... so... it too gets sat on by the PTB and turned useless quickly enough. Soon it will be like in 1984, where ALL news gets filtered before it goes out to the public. Chocolate rations have been cut! More chocolate for all!