Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan nuclear meltdown risk

Breaking news :

In apparent desperation to prevent a nuclear meltdown, Tokyo Electric Power plans to use sea water to cool down the nuclear reactor at the Fukushima power plant. The drastic sea water plan may not be working.

Japanese authorities are in a race against time to secure the integrity of the nuclear reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, following a large explosion earlier today.

The large 8.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday in Japan had caused extensive damaged to the Fukushima power plant, leading to the failure of the reactor's critical cooling system. Prior to the explosion, nuclear engineers had been releasing steam from the cooling system in an emergency effort to relieve pressure.

Although some press is reporting that the release of radiation is decreasing, Yahoo! news is reporting that the attempt to use sea water is a sign that Japanese nuclear authorities are scrambling to find a solution to prevent a major nuclear disaster.

"They are working furiously to find a solution to cool the core," said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate at the Nuclear Policy Program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Nuclear agency officials said Japan was injecting sea water into the core — an indication, Hibbs said, of "how serious the problem is and how the Japanese had to resort to unusual and improvised solutions to cool the reactor core."

In a subsequent report, The New York Times provided clarity about the last-ditch effort to use sea water to cool the nuclear reactor core : ''... ocean water is likely to permanently disable the reactor.''

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