Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Explaining Fukushima Earthquake Nuclear Reactor Explosion (In Bahasa Melayu)

Source: A video uploaded @ YouTube, by Mr. Azrudi Mustapha on Mar 13, 2011

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Notes by Mr. Azrudi Mustapha:

" I understand that the information in the public media is quite overwhelming to the majority who are concerned about this issue. This is my first attempt at explaining what actually goes on at the Fukushima nuclear plant right now, based only on what's available on the public media, as we don't really know what's really happening at the site. This is also an attempt to show you the source of the explosion and the issues surrounding the decisions that was made, but an important note is - It was not a nuclear detonation.

I have left out some bits and pieces during the making of the video, one of them is that the diesel generator DID work as designed after shutdown, but it worked only for about an hour, and then it is assumed that it got knocked down by a tsunami. I am sure they will investigate the cause once they're back on their feet. Thus, they were left with batteries to pump coolant to the plant - at its most critical moment when temperature rose. This is normal during reactor shutdown, heat will build up because fission product population does not decay quickly enough because of the lack of neutron sources. (Non operating reactor = no neutrons). It is important to note that the reactor has already shutdown, and they are trying to deal with residual heat which could cause a meltdown, but nowhere Chernobyl because Chernobyl melt down while operating. For this reactor, the residual heat will cool down naturally after reaching a peak point. Unfortunately, there is a lack of cooldown options at this peak point - and that is the main concern reactor operators were looking at.

It is unfortunate that this accident had to happen. Yes, it took a an 8.9 earthquake AND a tsunami to take out a 40 year old reactor that wasn't built with today's knowledge of material response to ground acceleration. Yes, they should have retrofitted all the updated engineering and equipment. Yes they should have added passive safety. Yes they should have had extra batteries. Yes they should have done many things. Yes the reactor was supposed to retire in 2 weeks. BUT, the public doesn't care. All the public cares about is radiation exposure. The public doesn't care that the radiation released is a lot lesser than the radiation coming out of chimneys of other types of fossil fuelled generating plants, or that it is much lower than the radiation produced from the processing and production of panels for TV and photo-capture. But it is not the public's fault, it is our fault that we have failed to develop public interest in science from the school, that we have not made science interesting enough, that we have not educated them well enough. We have failed at our second chance.

We remember the nuclear industry's philosophies : An accident anywhere IS AN ACCIDENT EVERYWHERE.

Yes, we hold ourselves to standards unparalleled by any other industry. For the first time in history, we have made it a requirement by Law and Regulations to notify the government for immediate evacuations when plant coolant fails - even though there is still a major chance of taking the plant back under control. Chernobyl wasn't evacuated at all. Three Mile Island wasn't evacuated - and the public stopped trusting the authorities. Today, the public was evacuated as a precaution, yet they still do not trust the authorities. But it is not their fault. Why didn't the plant get retrofitted with technology developed from the knowledge of the past 40 years after the plant was built? It is easy for the nuclear industry to blame it on the operators, but we only have ourselves to blame. If we do not blame ourselves, then we are hypocrites.

We could have done so much, but we didn't. The public gave us a second chance at a nuclear renaissance. But we blew it. Can't blame them.

Ironically, greenhouse effect gave the energies for disasters of this scale, but this disaster killed off one of the most strongest solutions we have against greenhouse effect and climate change. How's that for Food for Thought.

This video reflects my personal thoughts, and I don't claim to speak for any industry, any company, or any authority.

Azrudi Mustapha "

1 comment:

  1. That temperature alone should not be a big problem as long as the pressure stays within limits (it’s currently about 1/20 of operating pressure). Also, you would not expect amounts detectable by IR imaging of that temperature to radiate from the thick concrete upper shield (or actually several layers of shield slabs), not even if the reactor was operating.


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