Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rachel Maddow compares the Japan nuclear disaster to Three Mile Island and Chernobyl

Rachel Maddow has done some stunningly amazing coverage of the nuclear emergency in Japan. Explaining in clear terms the reality of what's happening, and bringing on nuclear scientists to explain clearly the physical characteristics of the nuclear meltdown as it's occurring day-by-day. The concern today is the spent fuel in the cooling ponds on-site. These cooling ponds are located in the upper portion of the outer containment structures. It's those outer containment structures which have blown up, and obviously there is no effective containment of the spent fuel rods. The critical thing is to keep the spent fuel pools cool, and filled with water, but it appears at least two of the pools are empty of water. Dry. Which will mean they have zero cooling, could catch on fire.

In one video today she gave us clear comparison with the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. At Chernobyl there were 180 tons of nuclear fuel which blew up and burned. On site at these Japanese plants, between the various spent fuel ponds is more tonnage of spent fuel.

As we can see in the videos below, aerial pictures have been taken of the plant site, and we can see just how bad is the damage to the containment buildings. On Reactor 4 the walls are just gone, period.

This sort of reporting is to be valued and treasured - clear eyed presentation of the truth as it is, along with honest analysis. (see Rachel Maddow: Nuclear Plants Threatened by Earthquake for the story she told on Monday)

Understanding the concern about spent fuel pools

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How much radioactive material is at the Fukishima plant

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Assessing and strategizing against a nuclear emergency

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