The Ozcat Radio DJs

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Crisis

Written by jeremy on Thursday, 14 of April , 2011 at 6:55 pm

On March 11, 2011, Fukushima Prefecture in NE Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the Tohoku Quake, in Japanese the Great East Japan Earthquake, possibly the biggest earthquake ever to hit Japan. It struck at 2:46pm with a magnitude of 9.0—a level of 7 on the Japanese earthquake scale.  At 3:52pm all but one of the emergency diesel generators at the Fukushima Dai-ichi (No. 1) nuclear power plant were knocked out by a tsunami exceeding 45 feet. The power outage led to a series of crises at each operational reactor and four of the six Spent Fuel Pools (SFPs).

Dai-ichi Reactors 3 and 4Since then it has been a constant struggle to regain control over a site with 6 reactors, three with reactor cores at least 20% melted not only melted down into the bottom of the primary containment, but melted through at least their primary and secondary containments.  Add to that the 4 SFPs containing (or trying to) thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear fuel.

The site has experienced at least three four explosions, recurring fires and major radiation leaks into the sea and into the countryside, half-evacuated amid a backdrop of tsunami destruction.  Flooding with water to keep the damaged reactors cool has resulted in over 100,000 cubic meters of radioactive water, which must now be removed, or dumped into the sea. Think of an olympic-size swimming pool, the big ones, not the half-size.  Now think of 46 of them, because that’s the minimum of water they have to lose.

There are few times when so many compelling news stories converge into the same story. Any of the three stories, the 9.0 Tohoku Earthquake, or the 45 foot tsunami, or the nuclear plant disaster, is by itself a major, story-of-the-year story. So what are we to think when, in the very heart of this crisis, the news media everywhere drop their coverage of it. Three reactors on a single site were rated a level 5 INES incident, equivalent to Three Mile Island, but compounded here by massive amounts of highly radioactive uranium nuclear fuel in damaged swimming pools. Why was this not news? And when the level was finally raised to INES Level 7, equivalent to Chernobyl, why was Charlie Sheen’s self destruction more important?

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) runs the plant. By their own admission, it will be at least 3 months before they get the molten fuel in the reactor cores cooled down enough call them stable, 3-6 months before any of the spent fuel rods in the pools are cool enough to remove the rods into other storage, making room for the rods (?) in the reactors, and then 5-15 years to decommission and dismantle/entomb the plant. In other words, our children will still be dealing with this disaster.

In trying to stay informed, I’ve found many very useful links. If you want to learn more about it, I’ve collected them here:

http://ozcatradio.com/crisisresponse/

24-hour live cam  from the site via TBS/JNN in Japan,

24-hour live cam  from the site via TEPCO

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Ozcat DJs

These are the blog pages of the Ozcat DJs, thirty some-odd (some very odd ;) Vallejo volunteers as diverse as V-town itself, with interests, opinions and musical tastes to match. Ozcat Radio is a free-form station, so Ozcat’s DJs are all music directors of their own shows. Whether you’re a music lover, a fellow Vallejoan, or an artist looking for airplay, get to know the DJs who keep Ozcat on the air here.