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Thursday, October 20, 2011

☢ Leaking Containment Plutonium Reactor Unit 3 at Fukushima And Collapsed Crane ☢

Chief Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds talks about some newly released photographs from Tokyo Electric. These pictures show that it wasn’t a hydrogen explosion that occurred at reactor unit 3 at all. The initial explosion was from the fuel pool, throwing fuel fragments (plutonium) out in the open. We also get to see an older video that show steam leaking from the containment (nuclear reactor unit).


Hi, I am Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds, I like to talk to you today about some new photographs that were just recently released by Tokyo Electric. First is the cover surrounding Fukushima unit 1, is almost installed. Now that does not mean that it is air tight, but it’s better than what was there before. What they’ll do with that cover once completely installed is that they’ll take the gases that are being created inside the nuclear reactor, they’ll run them through filters and then up the stack. So it does not eliminate all of the radiation but it does capture it and send it up the stack to a much higher elevation. But the liquid radiation is not being trapped by this barrier, it’s a start and it’s a good start but they are not there yet.

More importantly TEPCO just released some pictures of unit 3 which are worth taking a look at, now to back up a little bit. You recall that as the accident began back in March and April we dissected some videos of the explosion in unit 1 and compared it to the explosion in unit 2. I’ll show you those right now, and they are quick, the first one blows outward. And then unit 3 on the other hand, after an initial spark and initial flame front on the south side blows upward. Unit 3 is much more dramatic and much more powerful than unit 1.

OK now Tokyo Electric has released a new photograph. The first photograph is taken from behind the building. So you are still looking out toward the ocean, at a slightly different camera angle. The fuel pool is on the south side which is the right of this picture. Look in the center of the building, first off the roof has collapsed and there is a large kind of a gray structure in there. That’s the trolley for the overhead crane in the middle of the building. That crane is used to lift heavy components like the nuclear reactor head, and it is also used to lift shield plugs that go over top of the nuclear reactor, before it starts up after every refueling. So the crane has collapsed but it’s in the center of the building.

Now the next picture, we will pick up right at that crane again, that centers it in the building, and the right side is the south side toward the fuel pool. The center still has the roof girder over it now the roof is gone but the girders are still in place. Roof collapsed almost straight down on that crane but look over toward the fuel pool now. When you look at the fuel pool there is no roof left, as a matter of a fact one of the major structural beams is cracked in half. I think that shows what I have been saying since April, that the explosion occurred over the fuel pool initially.

That’s where the dramatic energy was released over the fuel pool. Now the industries position is that this is just another hydrogen detonation, in fact it’s not. If it were hydrogen gas that entire building would be uniformly distributed with hydrogen. And the explosion would have just started and moved slowly from one end of the building to the other, but it would have been uniform. This picture clearly shows that the reaction was not uniform and that it started over the fuel pool. Now related to the fuel pool of course is the fact that the rubble has now fallen into the pool. And you can see that it’s obviously disrupted, it will be very hard to determine the exact cause to that fuel pool explosion. I still believe that it was a prompted moderated nuclear criticality, only time will tell, but it’s a theory that counts for the explosion on that side of the building, counts for the energy release on that side of the building and the fact that there is no roof there anymore. It also accounts for the fact that fuel fragments were found near the building and bulldozed under and fuel fragments were found as far as a mile and a half away. The only way that can happen is if the nuclear reactor fuel that’s stored in that pool, were pushed upward by an explosion. That can’t happen with an hydrogen explosion but it’s quite possible with an inverted criticality like I postulated.

The last thing I wanted to talk about today is a reanalysis of an old Tokyo Electric video, in light of this new photograph. Now this video is taken 15-16 days after the accident, and you’ll see a large amount of steam coming out of the floor. This is in unit 3, and above it is that girder for the traveling crane. That means that this steam is in the middle of the building, not over the fuel pool. The fuel pool would not steam like that, the fuel pool would be much more gentle almost like a lake with fog over it. But this steam is being pushed out and it’s occurring in the middle of the building. What that tells me is, that the containment underneath that crane has been damaged. The containment is leaking, there is now way that amount of steam could be getting out, where it not for the fact that the containment is leaking. Since then we have continually seen steam coming out of unit 3 in the center. But I think we got two things going on here. I think we had an explosion that occurred on the south side over the fuel pool. And I think there is an damaged containment, I don’t believe that they were a simultaneous event. But I think it’s important to recognize just how seriously damaged unit 3 really is.

I’ll keep you informed as the situation develops thank you.

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Geiger Counters - Radiation Detection Meters - Handheld Radiation Detector

When it comes to radiation detection meters you really have a wide field of gadgets to choose from, however radiation detectors are the most common to use. First of all if you need to know what type of radiation you are looking for. There are Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation detectors. And also there is neutron emission of nuclear radiation. And all these different types of emissions have radiation detectors for a specific type of radiation that you can buy radiation detector for. Some also measure both Alpha and Beta. Others detect Alpha, Beta and Gamma. While others let you measure Beta and Gamma radiation.

What most people have use for though are Dosimeters you can buy a handheld radiation detector pretty cheap that are good addition to a survival kit. There are different kinds that you can use that will detect radiation. There are radiation badges that will tell you when radiation become high. Workers at nuclear power plants use these to inform them of how much radiation they have been exposed to. Now also children in the Fukushima prefecture have each been given a radiation badge so they know if they are exposed to radiation. Some come in the shape of a pen that you can carry in your pocket while other are made more compact so that you can attach them to your keychain. And then you have what is called a personal radiation monitor. These are also called Dosimeters and also normally called Geiger counters. Although not all use the Geiger-Muller Tube for the radiation detection some use a semiconductor instead. These and mostly the older geiger counters seen are pretty big to carry around, so they might not be best suited for a survival situation where you only need to carry the most important things. However if you have land and want to check radiation around the property and drinking water then these are the geiger counters to get because they are very well built units.

These are the once that you normally see people use. They have different units of radiation detection, because when it comes to radiation there are many standards used. some give the measurements in Rads, while other use Sieverts. Some have the maximum radiation value for the measured radioactivity quite low but they will still give you an idea of the amount of radiation in the area. With the units ranging from between background radiation 0.001 mSv/hr all the way up to 10 Sv/h. Normally a dosimeter will measure radiation in micro siverts per hour. If you were to walk into one of the reactor units at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant you probably would get an error reading from your dosimeter because the radiation levels are so high there.

Note that some places outside the exclusion zone in Fukushima that are too radioactive for people to live in have areas where the radiation levels are above 30 Sv/h. So if you are in a area that have high radiation the radiation detectors would also there go off the scale. However Geiger counters or radiation detectors are still favored as general purpose alpha/beta/gamma portable radiation detectors and radiation detection equipment, due to their low cost and robustness. Most come with an LCD Display that show you the radioactivity in the area. Nowdays you will even get alarm sound and the possibility to connect the device to a computer. Either with a Infrared, Bluetooth or USB connection.

So if you look at the radiation detectors for sale that have this, then these radiation detection meters will allow you to make maps of contaminated areas that show where the radiation is high and low. This also will help you to see which areas are becoming more contaminated over time. With several nuclear reactors in the US and around the world located near fault zones that makes it a danger if a big earthquake would hit the area there is always a good choice to have a radiation dosimeter avaliable. I'm sure many in Fukushima would have been grateful to have dosimeters avaliable at the time of the disaster and I am sure you to would be grateful to have a geiger counter handy when you need one.