As I said at Fukushima

Fuel rods inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have completely melted and bored most of the way through a concrete floor, the reactor\’s last line of defence before its steel outer casing, the plant\’s operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said in a report that fuel inside reactor No 1 appeared to have dropped through its inner pressure vessel and into the outer containment vessel, indicating that the accident was more severe than first thought.

The worst thing that could happen (and it\’s possible to find this prediction if you\’re prepared to wage through the CiF comments section) is that there would be a meltdown, as there indeed was.

A meltdown which would lead to a very expensive puddle of metal and that\’s about it.

That\’s why they have inner and outer containments, with concrete between them. Fuel melts, fuel rods melt, hit the concrete and solidify. And even if the outer containment is breached then there\’s several more metres of concrete underneath which will solidify the molten metal.

You wouldn\’t actually want it to breach the outer containment, of course. Get quite a lot of nasty (but very local, no great clouds of stuff like at Chernobyl) radiation.

Very boring, very expensive, puddle of cold metal.

It\’s amazing how safe nuclear power is really…..

8 comments on “As I said at Fukushima

  1. So it’s quite safe, and it’s going to cost a bomb to clean up.
    Never mind, lots of jobs will be created in the clean up.
    Since the purpose of economic activity, according to the left, is to create jobs, the lesson is clear.
    We should organise our own little melt-down in an area of high unemployment, problem solved.

  2. Gravity is part of the fail safe mechanisim. Melted fuel rods hit the ground. A nuclear reactor meltdown is the best nuclear accident to have. Expensive pile of concrete afterward, but all self contained.

    Even if they went through the metres of concrete and hit proper sub-soil it still wouldn’t be a major problem with regards radiation. The anti-nuclear lot would have you believe that a meltdown would go through the earth and out the other side.

  3. Well, that’s what you get from taking all of your science education from Hollywood.

    Even wikipedia gets it right:

    The idea that the molten fuel would melt the earth’s crust, let alone reach China, is obviously nonsense, intended as a joke.

    The problem is that “obvious nonsense, intended as a joke” is now Green dogma.

  4. “The problem is that “obvious nonsense, intended as a joke” is now [insert-humourless-left-wing-group-as-needed] dogma.”

    Should we start calling it the Clarkson Effect?

    – Dick

  5. I realise that it’s hard to find anything so stupid that no one has said it, but I’m not aware of anyone taking the “China Syndrome” literally. Go on, name names.

    Leaks of radioactive material should not be taken lightly. They lead to higher rates of cancer, and people die. You just don’t know who the victims are.

    Having said that, all but the wildest estimates of Chernobyl deaths are much lower than for the Banqiao dam disaster. Fukushima was a much smaller leak than Chernobyl, but in a much more densely populated area.

  6. @PaulB – ” not aware of anyone taking the “China Syndrome” literally”

    straight from the article linked to

    “The revelation that the plant may have narrowly averted a disastrous “China syndrome” scenario” seems to take it literally.

  7. It neither says nor implies any such thing. It puts “China syndrome” in quotation marks and links it to the wikipedia article S.Evil quotes approvingly.

  8. blokeinfrance – “We should organise our own little melt-down in an area of high unemployment, problem solved.”

    Oh God, don’t give them ideas.

    2SadButMadLad – “A nuclear reactor meltdown is the best nuclear accident to have.”

    As the US Nuclear regulator requires so much as a dropped spanner in the wrong place to be classed as a reportable accident, I can think of less serious ones.

    “Even if they went through the metres of concrete and hit proper sub-soil it still wouldn’t be a major problem with regards radiation.”

    That depends, surely. Once it is out you don’t know quite what it is going to do. There is no guarantee that it won’t leak once it is outside the containment.

    5PaulB – “I realise that it’s hard to find anything so stupid that no one has said it, but I’m not aware of anyone taking the “China Syndrome” literally. Go on, name names.”

    While it is not relevant, isn’t it part of the basic assumptions of Frank Herbert’s Dune Universe?

    “Leaks of radioactive material should not be taken lightly. They lead to higher rates of cancer, and people die. You just don’t know who the victims are.”

    No they do not. They may. But we don’t know. It is entirely possible that small levels of radiation are positively good for you. Leaks should not be taken lightly, but they should not be over-done either.

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