Fukushima nuclear disaster, the other Chernobyl?

No one can ignore the desperate nuclear situation at the Central Fukushima 1 Daiichi... We are in a desperate situation despite the attempts to minimize the industrial players or the government but also, and this is less understandable or acceptable, some French political players ...

On econologie.com, we are not "viscerally" anti-nuclear: we discuss the pros and cons of each solution without prejudice or a priori. I have even personally "defended" (all proportion) this energy (see link for or against nuclear) because it presents (presented?), in my eyes, certain advantages compared to fossil fuels… at least in appearance. For example if we count only the human losses, nuclear is, by far, the most efficient energy in dead / energy produced! For example, air pollution kills nearly 30 people a year in France...

But civilian nuclear power worries, it scares, it terrifies ... This perhaps unconsciously because of its military version and the nuclear apocalypse that we all had in mind one day ... or perhaps consciously because it is completely in-sensory pollution (at least up to a certain level of radiation of course…)?

At this moment, he reminds us that these fears are justified and that he can also kill and massively. Controlled civilian nuclear power is great, but when you lose your control, your mastery, it becomes a nameless technological quagmire!

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Recall of facts

Since Saturday morning, a very active subject on our forums allows you to track almost hour by hour the events of this third major civilian nuclear accident Of the history. This subject includes, in a way that everyone can understand, technical analyzes, diagrams, photos, videos and even the direct intervention of a nuclear professional.

The reactors of the Fukushima power station are BWR type reactors (Boiling Water Reactor = Boiling Water Reactor) which are different from pressurized water reactors (PWR and future EPR) used in France and Belgium and still different from Russian RBMK technology used at Chernobyl...

Quick summary of the facts: following overheating of the reactors due to the absence of effective cooling, 2 reactor buildings (number 1 and 3) were blown away by a hydrogen explosion following a pressure relief of the cores (to preserve their mechanical bursting) . The hydrogen comes from the thermolysis of water in contact with the fuel rods (Mox for 3) in contact with the air / vapor of the primary circuit. As the cooling is insufficient, the water boils and the water level drops, the bars are therefore found in "air" (in fact a mixture of steam, H2 of air, radio-elements ...) , heat up and begin to fuse (releasing, among other radio-elements, Cesium and Iodine).

A core (reactor number 2) burst last night (Monday to Tuesday)… We do not yet know whether it is the concrete vessel or the containment enclosure. Radiation levels in the plant reached around 0.5 sievert per hour, which corresponds in one hour to the dose received by the most exposed Chernobyl liquidators!

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We thought the other 3 reactors were "secure" but it is not!

Today, a fire (since controlled) broke out "in" the spent fuel storage pool in the reactor building number 4! The spent fuel has been in the open for a while according to some sources!

Toward 9h this morning, we learned that the 5 and 6 reactors were starting to heat up...

Health and economic consequences?

We are not yet at Chernobyl, but we are approaching it every hour! Worst; there is a potential for failure on 6 reactors, where the Chernobyl disaster only concerned one !!

Humanly, more than 500 people have already been evacuated within a radius of 000 km around the plant. Coincidence? 30 km is also the “no man land” zone around Chernobyl…

Economically, it is estimated that the Chernobyl disaster would have cost between 500 and 1000 billions of dollars...

This is essentially the situation 4 days after the earthquake, other analyzes will come later ...

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For the follow up of the most important events, to ask your questions or fears, refer to the subject Fukushima, a Japanese Chernobyl?.

In conclusion, let's have a thought for the Japanese people who will experience difficult times soon ...

More:
Fukushima, a Japanese Chernobyl? Follow-up of events and analyzes
Parliamentary report on the life of nuclear power plants and new types of reactors in France
Corresponding debate on the life of French nuclear power plants
The wikipedia page of the disaster
The map of nuclear power plants in France
The map of nuclear power plants in the world
Debate (started early 2009): for or against the nuclear?
Debate on economic impacts of the Japanese earthquake

And 2 documentary videos to see (full videos available in the links):
Nuclear RAS: on nuclear subcontracting in France at EdF.
The Battle of Chernobyl, THE documentary on the disaster

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