Fighting the Meltdown

Seems like today could be the one that decides things at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

On the one hand:

In addition to the employees battling the apparent meltdown on the site, military helicopters were dumping loads of seawater to try to cool overheated uranium fuel that may be on the verge of spewing out more radiation, a day after this was said to be too dangerous because of the levels of radiation.

and

The Kyodo news agency reported that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces had begun Thursday to use high pressure hoses from fire trucks to try to cool down fuel rods at the plant’s No. 3 reactor.

These are clearly desperate measures. The times demand them.

But all is not lost:

Japanese officials raised hopes of easing the crisis early Thursday, saying they may be close to bringing power back to the plant and restoring the reactors’ cooling systems.

A new power line was being laid that would revive electric-powered pumps, making it easier for workers to control the high temperatures that may have led to partial meltdowns in three reactors. The company was also trying to repair its existing disabled power line.

Tokyo Electric officials said they hoped to have the power line working later Thursday, and had electricians standing by to connect the power plant.

It seems like the biggest issue right now is getting water from the ocean to the plant.

Also, Murdoc was talking with someone and noted that the USS George Washington (CVN 73) was fine and that we should be glad she wasn’t deposited into downtown Yokosuka by the tsunami surge.

Beached ship in Kesennuma, Japan

Beached ship in Kesennuma, Japan

Can you imagine 100,000 tons of aircraft carrier sitting in the street?

Comments

  1. Yes! Think of the Board of Inquiry.
    “Captain, please explain to us your thoughts during the surge, and why you did not consider alternate courses of action. Did you try to think outside the box?”
    “What were your steering orders?”
    “When did you discover you had inadequate water beneath your keel?”

    Cheers

  2. Man, after those explosions, I wonder if anything is operable enough for restored juice to do any good. I guess they have portable pumps on site. What a mess.

  3. At least the choppers aren’t dropping quick-dry concrete onto the reactor…

    On a lighter note, the Washington being beached inland might have cost the US Navy a carrier, but Yokosuka would have gained an extra airport! XD

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