13 March 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Power Station

The news coming out of Japan is not good and my heart goes out to the Japanese. I admire the Japanese for their discipline, their industriousness and their intelligence, but I am concerned about the reports now coming out of Japan. As I watched the reported hydrogen gas explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant, I thought I was seeing a controlled HE explosion. I know the Japanese build their structures to be earthquake proof and that the steel girders they use are all bolted together and not welded. This may explain why the steel structure of the nuclear reactor building stayed intact, but how come the walls that remained looked as if they had been cleanly sawn off and not exploded?  Why was the steel skeleton of the building not deformed if the explosion was from the inside out? Why were there no black burn marks on the structure? Hydrogen burns and will ignite all flammable material, as well as melt steel. Hydrogen flames can hardly be seen with the naked eye, but they would ascend rapidly as hydrogen is lighter than air. Why then did the ash cloud not also rise rapidly into the air in the wake of the flames, assuming there were some? The cloud spread out and remained close to the ground rather than rising into the air. Compare the view of the building after the explosion with that of Chernobyl. I know that involved a melt down explosion which we have not had here (yet)! But that building was destroyed by an uncontrolled explosion from inside out. The Fukushima plant looks too clean and bears no resemblance to an exploded building I have ever seen. Why? These are all questions that I would like answers to.

I rather think that there was a build up of pressure in the building, that the core was heating up and that they deliberately blew away the walls and roof to release the pressure and help to cool the core. But then, what do I know about such things!