[LINK] Radiation

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Tue Mar 15 22:31:59 AEDT 2011

Core issues: worst-case nuclear reactor scenarios
Glenda Kwek
March 15, 2011 - 5:31PM

What is the worst that could happen at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor 

The China Syndrome may be the stuff of Hollywood films - where the 
unstoppable core plunges through the Earth from one side of the globe to 
the other - but what does a full reactor meltdown mean?

And what is its impact on the environment, food stocks and humans?

Nuclear experts point out that Japan's boiling water reactors are 
nothing like the reactors at Chernobyl.

Chernobyl, in Ukraine, was the site of the world's worse civilian 
nuclear power plant accident in 1986. Graphite - combustible at higher 
temperatures - was used to cool the fuel rods and there was no container 
structure around the reactor. When the rods failed to control the 
nuclear fission chain reaction, explosions occurred, releasing 
radioactive plumes that blew across Europe.

The General Electric-designed reactors at Fukushima Daiichi plant use 
water rather than graphite, so a similar explosion is not possible.

Experts also stress that a nuclear explosion is impossible, even if 
there were no container structures or if they all failed, as the fuel in 
the rods are not sufficiently enriched.

“The suggestions of a possible nuclear explosion are ill-founded and not 
based on scientific fact,” Professor Richard Wakeford of Manchester 
University's Dalton Nuclear Institute told the Financial Times.

Concerns instead centre around the possible melting of the fuel rods in 
the reactors.

.... etc



Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
email:	brd at iimetro.com.au
website:	www.drbrd.com

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