Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sun rises on a devastated Japan the day after earthquake, tsunami

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-japan-quake-sunrise-201
10311,0,6999741.story


In Fukushima Prefecture, a state of emergency was proclaimed after the 2:46
p.m. Friday earthquake knocked out a backup power system, depriving the
Oganawa boiling water reactor facility of the energy needed to cool rising
temperatures in the fuel rods. Although the temperature was running 50% over
normal, at about 750 degrees Fahrenheit, it remained well below the
2,200-degree design limit for preventing "cladding failure," said Margaret
Harding, a veteran nuclear industry engineer familiar with the afflicted
reactor from her work with General Electric.

"Remember, these are ceramic pellets. It takes a lot of heat to melt them,"
Harding said of the nuclear fuel rods.
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