More trouble at Fukushima

2011年03月22日 Saidani

A gray smoke issued from reactor No. 3 on Monday and cooling pumps at the No. 2 reactor were discovered to be beyond repair, dampening the spirits of those who had hoped the crisis was coming under control.

Cooling pumps at one of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors are damaged beyond repair and will need to be replaced, officials learned Monday.

The revelation dashed hopes for a quick resolution to the ongoing nuclear catastrophe at the leaking Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
An emergency order has been placed for new pumps for Unit 2 at the plant, but it’s unclear how quickly they would arrive, officials said

Reactor 2 was one of the least damaged.  Most would expect, after seeing the damage to reactors 3 and 4, that the hopes of using their built-in cooling systems are not very realistic.

Although some headway was made toward bringing less-affected reactors on-line, conditions at the plant remained volatile.
Workers were temporarily evacuated Monday after plumes of mysterious gray smoke rose from a leaking reactor.

Officials said there was no sign of an explosion and that they had not detected any rise in radiation levels.

Yet something had to be burning, no?  The question is, what else is in the structure that can burn?

Meanwhile, officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission upgraded their assessment of the situation at the plant, saying it appeared the reactor cores at the most damaged facilities remained contained.

“I would say optimistically that things appear to be on the verge of stabilizing,” said Bill Borchardt, the NRC’s executive director for operations.

Easy for this guy to say.  He, like most Americans, can bail out of Japan at the first sign of trouble, assuming he is not making these promising statements from a comfy office in Washington.

We kind of look at the announcements coming from Fukushima in the same light as the government’s economic assessments.  The initial comments and figures are always positive and then are later adjusted to a less than favorable reality.  What is it about government economists and government nuclear regulators?

News Photo