Radiation Worry: Fukushima Has Two Wounded GE Nuclear Power Plants



Above is a chart of the typical jet stream flow across the Pacific from Japan. 

 source: http://squall.sfsu.edu/gif/jetstream_pac_init_00.gif

RANDOM FACT:  The Fukushima reactors are slightly newer design versions of the Humboldt Bay Power plant that was shut down in 1976 because it had “reached the end of its economic life.”


(Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power said it had lost its ability to control pressure in some of the reactors of a second nuclear power plant at its quake-hit Fukushima facility in northeastern Japan.


“At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Onahama city, about 270 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, a power failure triggered a problem in a cooling system, causing radiation levels in a reactor to rise to 1,000 times normal. Japan’s nuclear safety agency said some radiation escaped from the plant.”

“Meanwhile, NBC reported a similar coolant problem at the Fukushima Daini station, which is in the same Fukushima prefecture as the other power plant. At the Daini station, backup diesel generators are reported to have failed, leaving the unit without power to run its cooling systems.”

““The clock is ticking,” Jim Walsh, a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program, said in a telephone interview. “The pressure is building and they are racing to get electricity generated so they can start the pumps and get the coolant running again.”

The plants, 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Tokyo, lost power after the earthquake yesterday and about 5,800 residents near the plant were ordered to evacuate. The reactors were built by General Electric Co., said Michael Tetuan, a Wilmington, North Carolina-based spokesman for Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, the joint venture now servicing the plants.

The Dai-Ichi facility is currently using a battery, which can last about eight hours, to run systems that keep the reactor’s uranium fuel from overheating, officials of the trade ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety agency told reporters yesterday. Another six batteries have been secured, and the government may use military helicopters to fly them in, they said.”


from wikipedia:

The ABWR was approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for production as a standardized design in the early 1990s. Subsequently, numerous ABWRs were built in Japan; these have reportedly performed with distinction, both safely and economically, in Japanese service. One development spurred by the success of the ABWR in Japan is that GE’s nuclear energy division merged with Hitachi Corporation’s nuclear energy division, forming GE Hitachi, who is now the major worldwide developer of the BWR design.


These reactors are: Reactor  – Design –  Size – Commercial operation 

Fukushima I-1  General Electric Mark I BWR   439MW March 1971 

Fukushima I –2 General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW July 1974 

Fukushima I – 3  General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW March 1976 

Fukushima I – 4  General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW October 1978 

Fukushima I – 5  General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW April 1978 

Fukushima I – 6  General Electric Mark II BWR 1067 MW October 1979 








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