So, the situation at Reactor 1 of “the Blessed Island – the second*” NNP (this is the reactor (strangely, as #2 and #4 have received much more attention) mentioned in the “US-assisted drills” for “worst case scenario contingency planning: see HERE), is looking hopeful and dire at the same time. Hopeful as the glass is already half full, dire as when it gets much fuller/”better”… ‘the glass’ itself could break…
This NHK World news video (April 22, 2011), below, is worth a look, as it illustrates how bad things are, and especially what the current danger is (Read between the lines a bit, as always): as they get the entire (huge) reactor containment vessel filled with water [’cause what, the reactor core is breached…? Nevermind…], so they’re filling the entire containment vessel (aim: by July), to (eventually) start cooling the melted core that way. (For now they’re just preventing it from melting more by pouring water over it…). Kicker is: the building wasn’t designed to hold that much water, and all that extra weight (couple EXTRA 2-3 hundred tons is my estimate) compromises the earthquake safety… [read: oh-oh…]
So as the water is accumulating to help solve one major problem, it could also contribute to the cracking / extra leaking / complete destruction / fill in the blank / … of the containment vessel itself and make things much much worse. :–/
Watch the video: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/23_05.html?play
- >>> I took a better image of a BWR (Boiling Water Reactor) from http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/03/12/background-on-japans-stricken-nuclear-reactor-fukushima-daiichi-no-1/ and, in the image below I added the level of water (greenish) to show where the supposed water levels described in the news report are at; and a bit of red (my amateur guestimate) to show where the partially MELTED core is at:
Not shown here (nor – “strangely” – in these TEPCO presentations, who should have that info by now) is how much was blown apart in the hydrogen explosion in the first week after the tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi NNP.
Too schematic? How about this photo for a reality check (this report is about Reactor 1, somewhere in the rubble on the right):
- * the literal translation of the location name Fukushima Daiichi (http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110317081239AAKtm1v)