Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japanese Quake and Nuclear Events

FYI, here are some sources (both primary and news aggregators) for the ongoing crisis in Japan. The nuclear reactor piece is a small part of the tragedy there, but it is getting a lot of play, deservedly so.

The initial report earlier today that a hydrogen explosion from material in the reactor vessel had ruptured the containment building appears to be false (per CNN). That would have been the worst-case scenario and hopefully we have avoided that.

Once we have a better handle on the end game in Japan, I'll be discussing some of the socionomic ramifications of this.

This is a bad deal, but I think we've avoided a worst-case scenario (release of large amounts of fission products) - for now...


David said...

What is your take on Denninger's discussion of the reactor in Japan and alternatives to that design?

Flagg707 said...

The short version is that the difference between the Chernobyl design and the BWRs at Fukushima are immense.

For a variety of reasons, there is no way that the BWRs could burn like Chernobyl or eject material like we saw back then. The pressure vessels have held, the containment buildings are intact (even with the explosions that devastated other buildings at the site) and the radiation being released is from contaminated steam.

Yes, this is very bad. Yes, there has been core damage. No, at this point, we will not see a China Syndrome or another Chernobyl.

I totally agree with his take on taking KI tablets. There is no radiation risk for any part of the U.S. from this event.