And if the Fukushima Spent Rods Catch Fire...?

DoChenRollingBearing

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I found the general thread on Fukushima to be excellent, thank you to all, especially you, DCFusor, for your continuing rational comments.

I wanted to ask something that is speculative, but certainly possible. If the spent rods above Reactor 4 there at Fukushima catch fire (with all that radioactive plutonium)...:

1) Would that be an ELE (Extinction Level Event)? Some of ZH's commenters are saying that just what is going on now will kill us all! While that is easy enough to dismiss (why isn't Russia screaming, why aren't the Chinese?). But, the spent rods apparently have a lot of radioactivity, and it looks like that could be very dangerous even to North America.

2) How long would we have to push the "AMF Button" and GTFO of Dodge? My thinking is to just drive to the airport and get the first plane south to Peru if/when there is a big fire re the spent rods...

3) My understanding of both the air masses and the ocean currents is that the N Hemisphere and S Hemisphere masses do not mix very much. Is this so? And would there be enough time for the plutonium (etc.) to settle out while I watch it all from Peru? Until things settle back down up here...

***

Thanks mucho gang!
 

Jay

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I found the general thread on Fukushima to be excellent, thank you to all, especially you, DCFusor, for your continuing rational comments.

I wanted to ask something that is speculative, but certainly possible. If the spent rods above Reactor 4 there at Fukushima catch fire (with all that radioactive plutonium)...:

1) Would that be an ELE (Extinction Level Event)? Some of ZH's commenters are saying that just what is going on now will kill us all! While that is easy enough to dismiss (why isn't Russia screaming, why aren't the Chinese?). But, the spent rods apparently have a lot of radioactivity, and it looks like that could be very dangerous even to North America.

2) How long would we have to push the "AMF Button" and GTFO of Dodge? My thinking is to just drive to the airport and get the first plane south to Peru if/when there is a big fire re the spent rods...

3) My understanding of both the air masses and the ocean currents is that the N Hemisphere and S Hemisphere masses do not mix very much. Is this so? And would there be enough time for the plutonium (etc.) to settle out while I watch it all from Peru? Until things settle back down up here...

***

Thanks mucho gang!
DCRB, I don't think it will be a very good idea for all the people in the northern hemisphere to migrate south, the planet might flip over... no wait....
 

DCFusor

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The fuel pellets are already oxides - you can't burn something that's already burned. Zircalloy (the rod cladding) doesn't burn even with an oxyacetylene torch.

The currently nasty fission byproducts can burn, some of them (if unclad), they are about the whole periodic table worth of diversity. But those are a small fraction of the content, even in an "over used" fuel rod. Most people aren't aware that sans reprocessing, we only actually "burn" a few percent of the fuel into byproducts. That's why there's the push to reprocess the stuff and use it over, which is countered by security freaks worried that during the process, bomb grade material (or close) is created that could be diverted. That politics is a man-made mess of its own.

All this is cooling down (both in radioactivity and resulting heat) while we wait. I don't see a particular problem here. I think everything unclad and water-soluble is going into the Pacific ocean, now or later, where it will be bad locally, but by the time it gets around and mixed in, almost not measurable. That seems the most likely outcome. There will then be a bunch of chemically inert stuff left there - which can sit there fine as far as I know - perhaps pouring concrete over it to keep bad guys from attempting its theft would be a good move, dunno. Pretty sure no one's going to be living on or real near that site for quite a few generations.


Do read the comments - most of them are more correct than the spokesman for the video.
 

ancona

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I know I have read on Tepco's site that there were new, unused fuel bundles that were in place because of a scheduled re-fueling operation. Those rods are still in that pool. Is there any issue with those if the pool collapses and the rods get squashed together?
 

ancona

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I'll take Godzilla over Mothra!

That just made me laugh out loud at work. Remember the two tiny Japanese ladies that tended Mothra? I specifically remember one movie where some scientists stole Mothras egg, and the two tiny Japanese twins talking in unison, "Give us our egg back, Mothra is upset"!

I couldn't have been nine or ten, because I remember watching them on our old RCA black and white nineteen inch TV. Me and my little buddies would sit about 24" from the screen and pretend we were there, eating salty as hell popcorn and drinking red Kool-Aid on Saturday afternoon TV Matinee at 2:00.
 
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Jay

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I'll take Godzilla over Mothra!

That just made me laugh out loud at work. Remember the two tiny Japanese ladies that tended Mothra? I specifically remember one movie where some scientists stole Mothras egg, and the two tiny Japanese twins talking in unison, "Give us our egg back, Mothra is upset"!

I couldn't hav3e been nine or ten, because I remember watching them on our old RCA black and white nineteen inch TV. Me and my little buddies would sit about 24" from the screen and pretend we were there, eating salty as hell popcorn and drinking red Kool-Aid on Saturday afternoon TV Matinee at 2:00.
wow, I was six or seven, my mom had just killed herself and we got shuttled to a grandma in Lakeland, Fla. and I remember the same thing! laying on the old carpet (I looked at it years later and the house was a shithole, we didn't know we were kids) and watching Sea Hunt and drinking koolaide and eating popcorn! good memories thanks! :) :popcorn:
 
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