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Tokyo - Power Lines Connected at All Troubled Japan Nuke Plant

Published on: March 22, 2011 08:20 AM
By: AP
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In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), gray smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011.  APTokyo - The operator of Japan’s leaking nuclear plant says power lines have been hooked up to all six reactor units, though more work is needed before electricity can run through them.

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The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, announced the hookup Tuesday but cautioned that workers must check pumps, motors and other equipment before the electricity is turned on.

Reconnecting the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex to the electrical grid is a significant step in getting control of the overheated reactors and storage pools for spent fuels. But it is likely to be days if not longer before the cooling systems can be powered up, since damaged equipment needs to be replaced and any volatile gas must be vented to avoid an explosion.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 22, 2011 at 08:46 AM cbdds Says:

Kol haKavod to the heroes, some of which might suffer long term health issues or worse.

2

 Mar 22, 2011 at 08:51 AM Hi Says:

Well Mr Kaufman, whats your opinion on this, total waste of money?! At least thats the way you made it sound in the begining of the crisis!

3

 Mar 22, 2011 at 09:27 AM Anonymous Says:

I'm concerned that U.S. nuclear regulatory officials, seeking to cover their xxxx's, used incendiary rhetoric that contributed to the panic in Japan and played on the fears of Americans that has already been stoked by the anti-nuclear zealots. Clearly the Japanese screwed up big time, but our leaders made it worse.

4

 Mar 22, 2011 at 09:58 AM Raphael_Kaufman Says:

A couple of clarifications:
1. When I said that a light water reactor cannot explode I was referring to the nuclear core. a reactor cannot be an A-bomb. Hydrogen gas can be generated by the heat of decay and obviously hydrogen can build up and explosive mixture.
2. I would like to see a full report of the incident. I have heard that the Japanese reactors did not have passive emergency core cooling systems installed and that their emergency backup power system had not been tested. Apparently the earthquake and tzunami damaged the electric grid to the effect that the plant did not have power for it's reactor coolant pumps. I don't understand how this happened as I would expect that, like all U.S. sites, the plant should have had sufficient emergency back up diesel generators on site to bring the reactor to a cold shutdown condition which takes about three days.
3)The plant personnel seems to have done a pretty good job of improvising and will probably be able to save at least two of the three reactors and restore them to operation. The third reactor is touch and go right now but they may be able to save that one too.

5

 Mar 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #2  
Hi Says:

Well Mr Kaufman, whats your opinion on this, total waste of money?! At least thats the way you made it sound in the begining of the crisis!

Cont'd.
...Note that this is significantly better than Three Mil Island where reactor #1 was a total loss.
4) While there may have been plant personel injured in the recovery operation but they were, however regrettable, simple industrial accidents which would have been expected is such an operation regardless of the type of industrial plant it was. The release of radiation from the plant was widely reported the doses were extremely low and pose no threat whatever to the surrounding population. Let me repeat that. NO THREAT WHATEVER. If you have granite counter tops in your kitchen you have probably received a higher dose of radiation than the people who live around the Fukushima plant or around Three Mile Island, for that matter. Note that the thirty year study of Three Mile Island found no noticlble effect in the surrounding population.
5) Any technology has risk and no human activity can be said to have none. Zero risk is unobtainable but we do what we can to minimize both the likelyhood and effect of accidents. That's why our cars have ABS systems and seat belts.

6

 Mar 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM Hi Says:

Reply to #5  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

Cont'd.
...Note that this is significantly better than Three Mil Island where reactor #1 was a total loss.
4) While there may have been plant personel injured in the recovery operation but they were, however regrettable, simple industrial accidents which would have been expected is such an operation regardless of the type of industrial plant it was. The release of radiation from the plant was widely reported the doses were extremely low and pose no threat whatever to the surrounding population. Let me repeat that. NO THREAT WHATEVER. If you have granite counter tops in your kitchen you have probably received a higher dose of radiation than the people who live around the Fukushima plant or around Three Mile Island, for that matter. Note that the thirty year study of Three Mile Island found no noticlble effect in the surrounding population.
5) Any technology has risk and no human activity can be said to have none. Zero risk is unobtainable but we do what we can to minimize both the likelyhood and effect of accidents. That's why our cars have ABS systems and seat belts.

You certainly do seem to be a maven in these matters but i still am rather surprised at the way it took the international headlines. If what you are saying now is correct (which i must admit, sounds it) then the japanese have simply been worrying for nothing!

7

 Mar 22, 2011 at 02:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Raphael_Kaufman Says:

A couple of clarifications:
1. When I said that a light water reactor cannot explode I was referring to the nuclear core. a reactor cannot be an A-bomb. Hydrogen gas can be generated by the heat of decay and obviously hydrogen can build up and explosive mixture.
2. I would like to see a full report of the incident. I have heard that the Japanese reactors did not have passive emergency core cooling systems installed and that their emergency backup power system had not been tested. Apparently the earthquake and tzunami damaged the electric grid to the effect that the plant did not have power for it's reactor coolant pumps. I don't understand how this happened as I would expect that, like all U.S. sites, the plant should have had sufficient emergency back up diesel generators on site to bring the reactor to a cold shutdown condition which takes about three days.
3)The plant personnel seems to have done a pretty good job of improvising and will probably be able to save at least two of the three reactors and restore them to operation. The third reactor is touch and go right now but they may be able to save that one too.

For your point #2: I would like to see a full report of the incident. I have heard that the Japanese reactors did not have passive emergency core cooling systems installed and that their emergency backup power system had not been tested. Apparently the earthquake and tzunami damaged the electric grid to the effect that the plant did not have power for it's reactor coolant pumps. I don't understand how this happened as I would expect that, like all U.S. sites, the plant should have had sufficient emergency back up diesel generators on site to bring the reactor to a cold shutdown condition which takes about three days.

From what I understand - there were backup diesel generators that kicked in after the earthquake - the problem is that after the tsunami hit - the diesel fuel was swept away because it was not stored underground. So there were generators but no diesel to fuel them.
I think here in the US - after 9/11 - they moved all the fuel underground so that even if terrorists were able to disrupt the electricity at our nuclear plants - they wouldn't be able to get access to the generators or fuel.

8

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