Hands up who wants…

I’ll tell you what’s pissing me off about the Fukushima situation: not knowing what to believe. As Mr. Bowie once whined, “i don’t want knowledge, i want certainty!”, and i’m starting to come around to that way of thinking… amusingly <cough>, this was in a track titled, ‘Law (Earthling on Fire)’.

Trying to make sense of a bunch of heat maps that show that Reactor 4 is 42ºC, and a report that suggests that the stored fuel pool in the same reactor has boiled dry.

“There is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures,” NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said Wednesday at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.

Such a situation would produce a fair amount of heat. Things like the Zirconium alloy housing of the fuel rods burn at something like 1200ºC, which would presumably show up on a heat map… rather brightly.

What we really need is for Tepco to restore electricity to these reactors and to start releasing a steady stream of sensor data. Despite being completely unqualified to analyse such a data feed, i’d still feel better knowing that someone could look at the data and tell the likes of Mr. Jaczko to STFU.

Edit: and while were at it, the piece on Zerohedge (from which i culled the above image) breathlessly reports that there is a “blistering 128 degrees celsius zone”. It’s a good job they don’t realise that they were running at hundreds of degrees early last week…

4 thoughts on “Hands up who wants…

    • Thanks Geoff. Sad that it’s come down to rants, but here we are… the media is just plain not fit for purpose.

  1. I concur.
    The pictures and the “facts” just don’t seem to be adding up anymore.
    The pictures tonight on Japanese news of the reactors are probably the scariest thing I’ve seen since this whole reactor crisis started.
    The worst thing as you say is who/what to believe in the absence of anyone I feel I can trust.
    This is far from over.

    • Pictures of the damage done to the reactor buildings by the hydrogen explosions? It does indeed look like a warzone. To some degree i’m simply impressed that the primary and secondary containment has stood up to the abuse.

      In the case of reactor 3, which looks like a tangled mess of rumble and rebar, it’s difficult to imagine how on earth they are ever going to get to the point where they can remove the fuel from the reactor / storage pool and make it safe.

      In the back of my mind is the thought that they’ll end up putting building three in a sarcophagus, filling it with sand, and capping it with concrete. Not a long term solution, but certainly a relatively immediate one.

      The reactors themselves appear to be relatively stable, and to some extent time is on our side – the longer the fuel sits with the control rods in place the less energy is being produced. After a week there will have been a significant number of halvings. However, it seems like they’ve done more damage to the vessels with seawater than they expected… salt is not our friend.

Wise words...

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