Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update: Japan

There are multiple conflicting stories on just how serious the nuclear plant damage is progressing in Japan.

Radiation Leak Feared at Fukushima No. 2 Reactor

The crisis at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached a critical phase Tuesday with high levels of radiation feared to have leaked after apparent hydrogen blasts at two more reactors, triggering growing fears of widespread contamination.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged people living between 20 and 30 kilometers of the plant to stay indoors, after radiation equivalent to 400 times the level to which people can safely be exposed in one year was detected near the No. 3 reactor in the plant.

The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that radiation levels at the plant shot up after an apparent blast at its No. 2 reactor


Japan PM: Radiation leaking from damaged plant

Radiation is spewing from damaged reactors at a crippled nuclear power plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan in a dramatic escalation of the 4-day-old catastrophe. The prime minister has warned residents to stay inside or risk getting radiation sickness.

In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation has spread from the three reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in one of the hardest-hit provinces in Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. He told people living within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the plant to evacuate and those within 19 miles (30 kilometers) to stay indoors.

"The level seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out," Kan said.

Japanese officials had previously said radiation levels at the plant were within safe limits, and international scientists said that while there were serious dangers, there was little risk of a catastrophe like Chernobyl in Ukraine, where the reactor exploded and released a radiation cloud over much of Europe.

Unlike the plant in Japan, the Chernobyl reactor was not housed in a sealed container to prevent the release of radiation.


Explosion and Fire at Fourth Japanese Nuclear Reactor...Government Says High Levels of Radiation Being Released

RADIATION levels near a quake-stricken nuclear plant are now harmful to human health, Japan's government says after explosions and a fire at the facility.

"There is no doubt that unlike in the past, the figures are the level at which human health can be affected," said chief government spokesman Yukio Edano.


Radioactive levels 10 times above normal near Tokyo

IAEA reports fuel pond fire that released radioactivity into atmosphere was extinguished; News agency says fuel pond at No. 4 reactor boiling.

There have been a total of four explosions at the plant since it was damaged in last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Authorities had previously been trying to prevent meltdowns in three of the Fukishima Daiichi complex's nuclear reactors by flooding the chambers with sea water to cool them down.


The following article is yet another explanation of why the nuclear plants in Japan may not mimic Chernobyl as some are predicting:

Fear the Media Meltdown, Not the Nuclear One

This article contains a lot of details regarding the plant design and offers more information that most articles circulating right now:

The Fukushima plants have several reactors built on the same basic design, either by GE or by Japanese companies licensed by GE. These are all “boiling water” reactors, which means just what it sounds like: the heat of the nuclear reaction boils water; the steam generated is used to drive turbines and thereby generate power.

The water in direct contact with the reactor core known as “coolant” is nothing particularly special, just demineralized; water itself isn’t very susceptible to becoming radioactive, but minerals and contaminants in the water can be. If the water is purified, there’s less radioactive waste to deal with.

The cooling water is pumped past the reactor core in normal operation to get the energy with which power is generated, and of course to cool the core. If there’s an accident, the reactor is shut down by inserting the “control rods,” made of some material that absorbs neutrons and so slows the nuclear fission from which the reactor gets its power.

Even a shut down reactor continues to need cooling, however; there’s an immense amount of residual heat still left in the reactor core. This means continuing to run the pumps, and of course with the reactor shut down they can’t be run from the reactor’s power, so there are diesel generators as a backup, and batteries as a further backup to the generator.

If all the cooling fails for some reason, the accumulated heat can’t escape; the water boils away, and once it’s gone, the materials that make up the reactor core break down. This is a Bad Thing, because the controls on the reactor fuel also break down; it starts to heat up again. This is what’s called a meltdown.

When this happened at Chernobyl, the reactor core quickly became hot enough to vaporize the reactor’s fuel and a good part of the other material around it, leading to an explosion that destroyed the building that housed the reactor.


That represents the background. Now the article takes up to the current situation in Japan:

The original earthquake hit. Three of the six reactors were in operation, the other three were shut down for scheduled maintenance. The reactors were designed to sustain an earthquake of magnitude 8.2; at magnitude 9, the Honshu quake was 16 times more powerful. This caused the plant to automatically shut down; this was apparently successful, but …

About an hour later, the tsunami hit. The tsunami did two significant things: it destroyed the backup generators that kept the pumps running, and it apparently so contaminated the reserve coolant that it was not only no longer pure, but was so mucked up with the scourings of the tsunami that it couldn’t be safely pumped. At this point, the reactor was in some trouble

As the reactor heated up, water began to react with the zirconium fuel-rod containers, liberating hydrogen, which started to build up in the boiler. The operators began to vent gases from the reactor to reduce the pressure, liberating the hydrogen into the outer fa├žade building.

These gases are mildly radioactive, mainly with nitrogen-16 and several isotopes of xenon, all products of the fission reaction that powers the reactor; apparently they were vented into the outer building in order to slow their dispersion and give them a chance to lose radioactivity.


Misinformation:

Television talking heads talked about the “containment building.” Which is strictly true, since the building in which the containment is housed would be the “containment building” — but misleading and confusing, because the containment for all three reactors remained intact.

So there’s the first bottom-line point: at least so far, the inner, steel, containment vessel on all three Fukushima reactors remains intact.

When the gases started to be released from the containment vessels, that meant there was some release of radiation. With their usual nuance, the media reported only that there was radiation released; since there was detectable radioactivity on the clothes and bodies of the men injured in the explosion, this apparently turned into “radiation poisoning,” even for the poor guy who had the heart attack.


After detailing the four major "experts" who are predicting doom and gloom and their lack of credentials, we see the conclusion:

No one can tell you that there will absolutely not be a catastrophic failure — really catastrophic, like Chernobyl or worse — at one or more of the Fukushima reactors. At the absolutely worst case, some combination of accidents and failures could break through all three major containments and release a large amount of radiation through the “China Syndrome” or something like it.

It’s very likely that there has been at least a partial meltdown in one or more of the reactors — but “meltdown” doesn’t mean “catastrophic release.” The reactor would not just have to melt down, but also penetrate both the still containment vessel and the concrete outer layer, and both were designed explicitly to keep that from happening.

What we can say is that it’s not very likely to be a catastrophic accident, and gets less likely with every minute. The Japanese are cooling the reactors down, and adding boron, which “poisons” the nuclear reaction by absorbing neutrons, the “sparks” that make the reaction go.

The amount of radiation that has been released is, so far, actually very minor. Instead of being “another Chernobyl,” which the IAEA put at INES level 7, this is INES level 4 — and Three Mile Island was level 5. So far, Fukushima is not just not another Chernobyl, it’s not even another Three Mile Island.

And finally, when you hear someone in the media giving one of these catastrophic predictions, check who it is. So far, the catastrophic predictions are consistently coming from people who have been professionally and personally committed to shutting down nuclear weapons and nuclear power for decades.


So - who knows. There are conflicting reports circulating - some predicting major catastrophe and some predicting that this will be a non-event. Everyone seems to have an agenda - whether its "pro-nuclear" or "anti-nuclear". I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Meanwhile, the situation in the post-earthquake Japan continues to worsen:

Panic buying leaves shelves empty following earthquake

Panic buying of food and other basic supplies since Friday’s earthquake have left supermarket and convenience store shelves empty throughout the capital. Traffic congestion has meant that distribution of stock has proved difficult. With electricity shortages resulting in rolling power outages across affected areas, it has become clear that the effects of the earthquake are becoming long-term ones.

In Tokyo’s Minato Ward supermarkets are completely sold out of bottled water, green tea, processed food, bread, bakery items, instant meals and other goods. One shop assistant said, “There are a lot of people stockpiling water. It looks like are customers are going to be inconvenienced for a while.”


As stated before, and at the risk of stating the obvious, we need to be in prayer for the people of Japan, and all those who are participating in their aid and assistance.

5 comments:

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott
Some contend the 70th Week is not God’s wrath but either man’s or Satan’s. However Scripture does not support that theory.

God has used kings like Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, even Satan to discipline, why should The Tribulation be any different?

Leviticus 26:14- Punishments are in sevens x 4. Plague; Famine; Beasts; Sword.

Ezekiel 14:12-23

Vs.21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my FOUR sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the SWORD, and the FAMINE, and the noisome BEAST, and the PESTILENCE, to cut off from it man and beast?

Revelation 6:1-8 Sword; Famine; Plague; Beasts.

Note the punishments are also in sevens, as in Leviticus 26. However there are 7 x 3, not 4. I personally believe this is what God ‘shortened’ (past tense) in Mark13:20. Instead of the full 7 x 4 God threatened, He lessened the punishments otherwise there would be no survivors. Instead, Jesus returns to end the 70th ‘week and Israel finally receives blessing.

For those unaware of this prophecy.
Daniel 9:24-27.

Vs.24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy...

The final shavuah (seven of years)Daniel 9:27“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”.

The previous ‘weeks’ have already been fulfilled and ended prematurely when Jesus was crucified. The past 2000 odd years are an interval whereby Israel’s ‘clock’ has stopped during the mystery age of the Church.

AFTER the Church is removed from earth the ‘clock’ starts again for Israel beginning the final ‘week’ of years, the 70th week. A prophetic year is only 360 day’s, the calendar has been changed to 365 days.

‘The Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ Jeremiah 30:7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

God had changed Jacob's name to Israel. When out of favour with God, He called him 'Jacob'. When in favour, it was always 'Israel'.

(I was always SUSAN, when I had it in the neck)

Deut 4:30 these ‘latter day’s’ are called ‘THE Tribulation.

Jesus refers to this time for Daniels people in Matt.24:15 referring to the 70th Week in Daniel.

Jesus also calls it The Tribulation in Matt.24:29 and Great Tribulation Matt.24:21.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Ruth
I hope you are still calling in.

Both of my parents have had cancer. My dear old mum had her breast removed a little over five years ago, and now nearly ninety, she still lives her own life with only a little help. I think I can understand why your trade would give you a ‘bitter spirit’; it must be very, very hard to deal with the potentially dying all the time. Yet it’s also a shame because you can give hope where none existed before.

This world is consumed by a ‘cancer’ that is terminal; it’s all around us where ever we look. Jesus is about to ‘operate’ and gouge the filth away just like my mum’s manky breast tissue. He has told us the ONLY cure is Him and we have responded to that diagnosis, so thankfully His Bride has been re-born without the cancer that permeates the body of this world.

He has told us to be aware what symptoms to look out for to recognise that the operation date is pending. He has given us what you give some of your patients – HOPE. He has told us that before the first incision is made, that we will escape having to be present during the agonies of that operation. It would appear that you want us to forget that blessed hope, to forget His promise, and to concentrate on the cancer instead? While we remain, we can urge the sick to believe in Jesus, to pray for them and provide what physical aid is required right up until the last second. It is my hope that the Rapture event itself, will shock people off the fence and into the Kingdom – too late to be a part of the Bride, but welcome and beautified bridesmaids at the bridal feast.

I have wondered about Noah and his family shut up in the Ark to escape the flood, did he hear the cries of despair and violent gasps for air? Could Lot hear the screams of terror as the cities were bombarded with fire and brimstone as he made good his escape? I am so thankful that Jesus will remove His Bride far from the theatre so we shall not hear, see or smell, the fearful scene as that cancer is cut away, especially from those we love. After all, you wouldn’t allow a patients loved one’s in theatre, would you?

God bless you.
Maranatha!
Sue

Scott said...

WELL-STATED SUE - MANY THANKS

I always seem to forget the link to 7 years via "the time of Jacob's trouble" - so glad you reminded me of that.

To me, the last 7 year period is the least of prophetic mysteries. Its pretty clear IMO.

Especially in the context of Daniel 9.

ANd don't forget key words in that passage often forgotten:

"Seventy Weeks are determined UPON THY PEOPLE"

And who are "THY PEOPLE" -?
The Nation of Israel. Not the Church.

Expected Imminently said...

Amen Scott

Plus. Israel is a physical Jewish nation with a physical, un-conditional land Covenant, and the un-conditional New Covenant which will be fully realised and fulfilled during the literal, physical 1000 yr rule on earth of Christ (The Messianic Kingdom.) Israel is the wife of Jehovah. She is yet to face her ultimate times of chastening in Daniel's 70th Week.

Whereas

The Church is already 'judged in Christ' and are not destined for wrath. The Church is made up of believing Jews AND Gentiles who are a SPIRITUAL Body whose citizenship is in heaven, not on the earth. The Church does not have a land and are not a nation. She is the Body and Bride of Christ and will rule with Him in their spiritual, glorified bodies as priests and kings symbolised in the book of Revelation by the 24 Elders, the redeemed out of every tongue, tribe and nation. IN heaven BEFORE the first seal is broken to reveal the antichrist.

Maranatha!
Sue :)

Scott said...

Indeed :)