Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

Topics: Chernobyl disaster, Nuclear safety, Earthquake Pages: 3 (929 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Fukushima nuclear meltdown Causes Problems for Japan

It is apparent that the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown caused a negative effect on Japan as whole.

Japan was struck by a magnitude-8.9 earthquake off its north-eastern coast on Friday the eleventh of March, 2011, this triggered a 13-foot tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicentre. (Answers, 2012), (NXTnews, 2012). This left many people without the means of transportation and residency.

The epicentre was reported to be 130 kilometres off the east coast of the Oshika Peninsula, Tōhoku, with the hypocenter at a depth of 24.4 kilometres; it took approx. 10 minutes for the first tsunami to hit the shore. Tsunamis continued to hit the shores after 24 hours.

The tsunami warning issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency was the most serious on its warning scale; it rated as a “major tsunami”, the greatest being for Miyagi at 6 m high. The tsunami inundated a total area of approximately 561 km2 in Japan.

The 9.0 MW Tōhoku earthquake occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011. The Fukushima I facility had not initially been designed for a tsunami of the size that struck the plant, nor had the reactors been modified when later concerns were raised in Japan and by the IAEA. When the earthquake occurred, the reactors on Units 1, 2, and 3 were operating, but those on Units 4, 5, and 6 had already been shut down for periodic inspection. Units 1, 2 and 3 underwent an automatic shutdown (called SCRAM) when the earthquake struck.

TEPCO reported that one of the two connections to off-site power for Reactors 1–3 also failed so 13 on-site emergency diesel generators began powering the plant's cooling and control systems. There are two emergency diesel generators for each of the Units 1–5 and three for Unit 6.

The earthquake was followed by a 13–15 m maximum height tsunami arriving approximately 50 minutes later which topped the plant's 5.7 m (19 ft) seawall,...

References: 1. Answers, 2012, “When did the Fukushima nuclear accident happen?”30/10/12, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_did_the_Fukushima_nuclear_accident_happen
3. Scientific Reports, 2012, “The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident”, 30/10/12, http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120809/srep00570/full/srep00570.html
5. Wikipedia the free Encyclopaedia, 2012, “Japanese reaction to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster”, 30/10/12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_reaction_to_Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster#Long_term_effects
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