Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Evening EDT/ Tuesday Morning Japan Time
Nuclear/Tsunami/Earthquake Update

The Confirmed Death Toll is over  8,800,  Missing 12,600

Reactor Status
The New York Daily News is reporting tonight that the pump at reactor 2 is damaged beyond repair. It will need to be replaced before cooling can begin at that plant.
TEPCO had installed external power cables to reactors 2 and 3 Monday before efforts to perform maintenance and restore power were suspended after white smoke was observed at reactors 2 & 3.
Water spraying activity has been suspended since the Monday setbacks. Workers have suspended actions at the complex since observation of white smoke at both plants 2 and 3. Gray smoke was seen for a time at plant 3.
The ocean water around the plant is showing signs of various kinds of radioactivity above considered safe levels.  It now appears that all reactors are now connected to the electrical grid. But only reactors 5 and 6 seem to be capable of having their cooling systems powered up.

A French Assessment
The head of France's Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) Andre-Claude Lacoste, has declared that releases of radioactivity from the plants  “are now significant and continuing' according to the Herald Sun in Australia. “It's a problem that Japan will have to deal with for decades and decades to come.'' he said.
Much of the radiation is coming from deliberate venting of radioactive steam from the plants.
Other significant radiation is coming from unknown sources.

We're Behind and We Can't Catch Up
Marcus Barum at the Huffington Post reports "Nuclear Plant Was Behind On Safety Inspections".
Surprise, surprise! I linked to a previous story that insisted forty years! of spent fuel were being stored on site at Fukushima Daiishi. Barum, linking to a Reuters story, is reporting only 6 years of spent rods being stored, still pretty bad. Maybe it's somewhere in between, but I have a feeling we will never know. This plant had a piss poor pro-active safety record before they proved they were unsafe after the earthquake.

On the Tsunami
NHK is reporting that residents were told they would have an hour before a tsunami would hit after an earthquake, however this tsunami arrrived within ten minutes. The tsunami was far larger than experts had anticipated. It is now estimated that the tsunami that passed through the Fukushima Daiishi complex was over 14 meters high. The plant was designed to resist a tsunami of 5.7 meters, which is a very liberal interpretation of a tsunami.

Along with losing everything they had and the threat of radiation, evacuees in the affected area have suffered freezing temperatures seven out of the eight days since the earthquake.

For The Love Of Money
NHK World English reports that estimated damages from the nuclear disaster could be $235 billion dollars. [It also could be a lot more.]
Japanese stock markets are up after being closed for a three day weekend. The Nikkei has risen 3 1/2 %  in early trading Tuesday. [perhaps in anticipation of business from rebuilding earthquake/tsunami damage?]

"Invest your money in Dada! Dada is the only savings bank that pays interest in the hereafter!"
- Kurt Schwitters

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