Fukushima Nuclear reactor

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By Aditya Ponugupaty

The Great Eastern earthquake and the tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011 caused the meltdown of three nuclear reactors within several days, and four hydrogen explosions. Huge quantities of radioactive elements have been continuously released into the air and water. It will induce an epidemic of cancer, as people inhale the radioactive elements, eat radioactive vegetables, rice, and meat, and drink radioactive milk and teas.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster forced over 160,00 citizens of Japan out of their homes, because of the radioactive contamination. This event occurred in Japan, but the Japanese government is pushing to restart the reactors. Taking into consideration of the cause of the explosion in Fukushima, the effects of the radioactive of the radioactive contamination to the environment and the people, as well as everything else that occurred will or could help us learn an important/ valuable lesson. I only hope that our people will see this lesson and learn from it, making sure that we will never have to deal with it.

The earthquake and a huge tsunami occurred, which caused the meltdown of 3 nuclear reactors within several days. Buildings 1,2,3, and 4 all experienced hydrogen explosions. Such a catastrophic event has given Fukushima the title for one of the greatest industrial accidents in history. The incoming tsunami flooded the plants back- up diesel generators, this caused power loss. Widespread radioactive contamination was found beyond the “Evac Zone”, and high levels of radiation was found in Tokyo as well. The plant is still producing hydrogen and oxygen gas. Also the levels of Tritum are at the highest yet; detected at 1100 Becquerels per litre.

The medical implications of Fukushima are very severe, and are proven deadly at any rate. The medical dangers of radiation which have now contaminated the air and water, have and can affect the people drastically. It is said that an epidemic of cancer will occur, they don’t know and can’t say exactly when, but some time probably in the future. They know that it will happen from people who inhale the radioactive elements, eat radioactive vegetables and foods, and fish which inhabit the contaminated shores of Japan. Very high doses of radiation can cause radiation sickness, which includes body cells being killed, hair to fall out, and diarrhea/ bleeding. Plutonium, one of the most deadly elements, is so toxic that one millionth of a gram will induce cancer if inhaled into the lungs. Plutonium imitates iron in the body; causing  liver, bone, leukemia, and myeloma cancers.

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Figure 1Fukushima nuclear reactor in flames

Boom goes the dynamite! The word dynamite replaced with the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan. The unit four of the nuclear base is the one in flames (as shown in the picture). Gazing over this picture you can see that something wrong has happened. What actually caused this Chernobyl like catastrophe?
Located 160 miles from Tokyo, this nuclear reactor is placed on the Pacific Ocean. Japan is a very sensitive place for natural disasters; so placing a nuclear power plant near the large ocean on the most sensitive place on the earth is least expected. None the less, 2011 was a sad year for the Japanese.

2011, the year of chaos is japan where a staggering 9.1 magnitude of earthquake emerged from the depths of the tectonic plates under japan and the Pacific Ocean.  This caused heavy movement around the Tokyo the coastal area. Now this is where things get messy for the nuclear reactor.
Inside the nuclear reactor there are numerous fuel rods which undergo nuclear fission which causes the rods to emit heat which generates energy. There is water surrounding them which usually cools them down and maintains them at a temperature of 270o C. If in a hypothetical situation the cooling system does go down; the fuel rods will reach temperatures up to 1200o C. this temperatures are hot enough to melt the fuel rods.

When the first earthquake hit the first safety system turned on to prevent a meltdown. There are control rods in the nuclear reactor which stops the fission in the chamber; this should stop it and cool the rods down but the fuel rods didn’t cool down. Water should’ve circulated the chamber; however, this didn’t work because of a power outage 1 hour ago.

The second safety feature turned on. It was a diesel powered underground pump which pumps the water to the nuclear reactor. This didn’t work either because of the power outage one hour ago. This caused the fuel rods to heat up more and more.

While that was happening inside the nuclear reactor, outside there was a 10m tsunami rushing heavily from the sea. Experts say that this was what caused the pump/generator to fail. Now the third safety feature turned on which converts the water in the nuclear reactor into steam, which did cool the rods down but it did lower the water level which increased the heating of the fuel rods. All three safety measures failed. This caused the explosion of the nuclear reactor.
This is very harmful to the nature. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) says that last summer over 300 tons of toxic ground water has been leaking everyday into the Pacific Ocean. This in fact is a great concern for the whole world because if the fish which are a major food source will become contaminated by the radiation and it would be disastrous. There are also many health problems near Fukushima with radioactive decay. Whether it’s too late now or early we are going to find out. We have to do something about it or else it’s going to affect the whole world. This very may be the next Chernobyl but the effectiveness is so much is a larger scale.







Cite: Hancocks, Paula. "Fukushima's Nuclear Power Mess: Five Big Questions." CNN. Cable News Network, 07 Nov. 2013. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.
Radioactivity Level Spikes 6,500 times at Fukushima Well - RT News." Radioactivity Level Spikes 6,500 times at Fukushima Well - RT News. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

Aditya Ponugupaty