Nuclear Power Plants Explode – Gas Prices Explode

I may have crafted the perfect google whore headline. So which do you think is more important? The nukes or the pocketbook? I vote for the nukes. But which source to cite? God what a beautiful day. Actually it is cold and rainy here but I just meant it at a philosophical level. First the ground rules: 1. None of these nukes will create a China syndrome, 2. They will be messy to clean up but produce no widespread radiation meaning spreading any further than 100 miles, 3. They will not kill off the nuclear power movement worldwide.

First the bad news:

Second explosion at nuclear power plant in Japan

Monday’s blast destroyed the containment building but the reactor is still intact. Japanese officials also said cooling systems have failed at a third reactor

By Jenna Fisher, Staff writer / March 14, 2011

A new explosion hit Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Monday, two days after an explosion at a different reactor housing unit at the power plant. Japanese officials said cooling systems have also failed at a third reactor as a result of Friday’s earthquake and tsunami that knocked out electricity to much of the region

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said 11 people were injured in the blast, which authorities said was probably a hydrogen explosion causing the roof and walls of the building to blow away, reported Japan Today.

Today’s explosion has increased concern about a possible release of radiation, such as the fallout from Chernobyl that devastated Ukraine in 1986. However, a number of American and European scientists, as well as Japan’s nuclear safety agency, have downplayed that risk.

IN PICTURES: Japan’s 8.9 earthquake

Despite Saturday’s explosion at reactor No. 1 and Monday’s blast at reactor No. 3, Japan’s nuclear safety agency has said there is “absolutely no possibility of a Chernobyl” style accident at the Fukushima I plant, according to the national strategy minister, reports The Daily Telegraph. While the explosions blew the roof off each of the reactor containment buildings, officials said the reactors themselves remained intact.

“Everything I’ve seen says that the containment structure is operating as it’s designed to operate. It’s keeping the radiation in and it’s holding everything in, which is the good news,” Murray Jennex, of San Diego State University, told the Telegraph.

“This is nothing like a Chernobyl,” he added. “At Chernobyl you had no containment structure – when it blew, it blew everything straight out into the atmosphere.”


For a better discussion of why I mandated guidelines, please see the below related article. The bottom line is they will probably have to pump sea water into at least three reactors, making them pretty much a total economic loss. It will take at least a month for them too cool down. But they were 40 years old and this is what you get when you put your hand in the nuclear cookie jar.


More tomorrow.


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