• Blog Stats

    • 82,755 hits
  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 158 other followers

  • Copyright notice

    This blog entry and all other text on this blog is copyrighted, you are free to read it, discuss it with friends, co-workers and anyone else who will pay attention.

    If you want to cite this blog article or quote from it in a not for profit website or blog then please feel free to do so as long as you provide a link back to this blog article.

    If as a school teacher or university teacher you wish to use content from my blog for the education of students then you may do so as long as the teaching materials produced from my blogged writings are not distributed for profit to others. Also at University level I ask that you provide a link to my blog to the students.

    If you want to quote from this blog in an academic paper published in an academic journal then please contact me before you submit your paper to enable us to discuss the matter.

    If you wish to reuse my text in a way where you will be making a profit (however small) please contact me before you do so, and we can discuss the licensing of the content.

    If you want to contact me then please do so by e-mailing me at Chalmers University of Technology, I am quite easy to find there as I am the only person with the surname “foreman” working at Chalmers. An alternative method of contacting me is to leave a comment on a blog article. If you do not know which one to comment on then just pick one at random, please include your email in the comment so I can contact you.

  • Advertisements

The hole in unit one

Dear reader,

I have heard reports that a hole has been found in the lower part of the steel can which holds the nuclear reactor in unit one at Fukushima. This steel can is known as the  pressure vessel.

This hole means that the accident is worse than it was originally thought to be, if you look at the following two summaries of the status of important parts of the plant you will see near the top of the column for unit one the big difference.



While this is not good it is important to understand that the heat generation in the nuclear fuel is now much less than it was on the day of the nasty big earthquake. As time goes on the heat production will become less and less, so you do not have to worry about a permanently molten pool of fuel.

It is important to note that while molten fuel can damage concrete, it will be unlikely to melt its way deep into the earth because as the fuel melts its way through objects such as the pressure vessel and the cladding that the fuel will be mixed with more and more inert non radioactive matter. This will dilute the radioactive lava, by diluting the radioactive lave and spreading it out on the floor of the containment the temperature of the molten fuel will go down. It will be likely to form a solid lump like the lava flows in the basement of Chernobyl did.

The fact that the accident in unit one progressed to this stage will make the clean up operation harder, most costly and longer to perform.


Go on, Have your say !

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: