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Japan Nuclear Reactor Catastrophe: Problems and Solutions - Research Paper Example

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Japan Nuclear Reactor Catastrophe: Problems and Solutions

Incident of Fukushima: Background Fukushima Diachi nuclear disaster was a result of earthquake and following tsunami. It proved to be the worst natural catastrophe in Japan’s modern history that claimed over 20,000 lives and above $300 billion in damages. Magnitude of the initial incidents was unexpectedly extraordinary. Earthquake was 9.0 on rector scale as opposed to the designed made for 8.2 levels. Moreover, tsunami wave was 14 meters high in comparison to the building designed for 5.7 meters. IAEA nuclear event scale has rated Fukushima disaster at highest level of 7 which refers that the incident has been resulted in huge amounts of radioactive emissions which will lead to health and environmental hazards on large scale.3 Emergency diesel generators and reactor cooling systems started functioning after the station blackout as a result of earthquake. An hour later, tsunami damaged seawater cooling system and the last option to regulate heat through seawater was also lost. Electric insulation collapse caused the failure of diesel generators and unavailability of the AC power. The situation led to a severe accident that went beyond the plant’s design standards. ...
post-shutdown heat emission from the fuel decay, reactor water levels started to fall.AC power and heat dissipation source failure was occurred in all reactors, therefore, reactors 1-4 were switched into crisis state one after the other. Reactors 5 and 6 didn’t switch to crisis mode because their emergency diesel generators kept functioning and providing power to the cooling systems. Fire extinguishing tools were utilized to soak the reactors in order to cool them from the nuclear fuel’s generated heat. These massive accident response measures were implemented in Fukushima plant during 1990s (Figure.1).5 Figure.1-Massive accident management system (Waseda University) Development of the catastrophe: Hydrogen Generation Reactor pressure exceeded the capacity of fire extinguishing system; therefore, water from external source could not be supplied properly. The process of pressure release was continuously hampered by power failures; the rectors’ fuel rods were exposed. As a result, rods temperature increased and oxidation of zirconium in fuel cladding tubes led to water reduction and consequent hydrogen production. Emission of radiation was also high that hindered the activity.6 Due to non-condensability of hydrogen, the pressures within the containment vessels heightened. In order to reduce their pressure and kept them functioning for containment, the gas was discharged from inside. With the decreased pressure in reactors and vessels, hydrogen gathered at the top of reactor buildings. Hydrogen in unit one and three exploded and destroyed reactor buildings. The reactor pressure vessels and their respective containments were surrounded by 2 meters thick concrete, therefore, the explosion was contained and reactors stopped working. Another explosion occurred at the ...Show more


Japan Reactor Catastrophe: Problems and Solutions On the 11th of March 2011, a severe earthquake (9.0) and massive tsunami struck the Pacific coastline of Eastern Japan. Earthquake led to an immediate shutdown of the total of six nuclear power plants. External power was also lost.1 The earthquake and resulting tsunami caused $235 billion of dollars in damage…
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Japan Nuclear Reactor Catastrophe: Problems and Solutions essay example
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