picture of the day

Water power

29 Comments

In this March 11 photo released Thursday by Tokyo Electric Power Co, waves of tsunami come toward tanks of heavy oil for the No. 5 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture.

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29 Comments
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Man this is one scary scene

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I still don't understand why they built the nuclear plant like 2 meters from the ocean. Aren't nuclear plants supposed to be at an isolated area with plain ground, as far as possible from towns and villages?

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This just made me pee my pants.

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Man, don't mess with mother nature! She doesn't mess around.

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holy bejeebus

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Terrifying!

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I still don't understand why they built the nuclear plant like 2 meters from the ocean. Aren't nuclear plants supposed to be at an isolated area with plain ground, as far as possible from towns and villages?

@Yaijrou, they build them close to large supplies of water in the event of what happened at Fukashima. In the event of a total loss of cooling water, there needs to be a ready source of water to dump on the reactor to cool it down. The thinking, it is one thing to deal with contaminated water and vapor vice having a core bury into the ground and release contamination into the air by overheating and exploding (not like the nuclear bomb version but on a small scale like a regular explosion).

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Wave doesn't look that big on this photo.

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They need to release the CCTV. All the photos.

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Go to Japanese Yahoo news to see a lot more. They are all taken south of the plant where the storage tanks and waste facilities are. I wonder why we haven't yet been shown shots of the main buildings being hit.

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"Wave doesn't look that big on this photo."

That's the problem with tsunamis - they are different type of wave - doesn't look dangerous until it hits the shore. It carries enormous power as we all could see from Sumatra and this time Tohoku disaster.

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Why release this so late? Is it "too shocking" for the Japanese public to handle?

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Reactors do not use salt water, so it does not make any sense to build them near the oceans and on top of fault lines.

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They need to release the CCTV. All the photos.

Why? Haven't you seen enough devastation? Nobody "needs" to release any photos.

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I still don't understand why they built the nuclear plant like 2 meters from the ocean

Sea water is used to make the steam that powers the turbines. It's also used to keep the whole thing cool. You need a LOT of water for a BWR and that's why anywhere you look in the world, they are on the shore.

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Tokyochris:

" Sea water is used to make the steam that powers the turbines. "

Most definitely NOT. Demineralized water is used for that. Otherwise, you would gunk up the system very quickly.

Seawater is used in the secondary circuit to cool the turbine water, yes. I thought by now everybody should have looked at the diagrams of these systems.

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At Hamaoka however they discovered over the weekend when they were trying to shut down the systems that in No.5 reactor 400 tons of seawater had somehow got into the primary system and leaked into the reactor core, even without a tsunami! :8)

Go to the NHK news site and run 浜岡 海水

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The large bodies of water near most of these plants are used as heat sinks. The seawater is used indirectly to cool things down. Recirculating seawater cools the heavy freshwater. Ideally the two should never meet but in the case at Hamaoka it seems there is a leak and contamination. Looks like there will be more inspections at more sites now. You would think tests for infiltrating seawater would be a frequent/routine check. Maybe not. We'll see.

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They need to release the CCTV. All the photos.

and that would achieve...? as if everyone hasnt seen enough images like this, you think they NEED to release more? what possible good would that do? (im dying to hear your answer)

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@Mittsue: If you search for 'daiichi tsunami released photos today' you'll get a better idea of how big and the force behind what, admittedly, doesn't seem so 'big' in this photo. Those blocks you see in the sea where a concrete breakwater a few seconds before.

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Is that a surfer I can make out catching that gnarly barrel?

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No, there's now a conjunction to clarify that they need to release all the photos AND the CCTV. Not exact. See. They needed to release them all, as they should have done as soon as they had the data. I didn't say it, it was written. It helps to understand if people 'see', it's a really good way to provide information to beings such a humans, is photographic, video footage.

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I still don't understand why they built the nuclear plant like 2 meters from the ocean. Aren't nuclear plants supposed to be at an isolated area with plain ground, as far as possible from towns and villages?

Reactors usually have a "closed-loop" of fresh water paired with an "open-loop" of either fresh or salt water, depending on which large body of water is nearby. The closed loop is the water that is heated by the reactor into steam which turns the generator turbines. Once that water is turned to steam and done its job moving the turbine blades, however, there needs to be a way to quickly return it back to liquid water so the process can repeat. This is where the "open-loop" comes in. After doing its work, the steam in the "closed-loop" is passed through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger acts just like the radiator in your car except instead of air flowing by and cooling the liquid, they're using the water in the "open-loop" to cool the "closed-loop" water. After absorbing the heat from the steam the "open-loop" water is discharged back out into the nearby large body of water.

Salt water heat exchangers don't last as long as fresh water ones do because the salt water speeds-up corrosion in the hundreds of tubes that make up the heat exchanger. This means they have to replace them more often. But if your only large bodies of water nearby are salt water bodies, then you just have to deal with the higher maintenence rate.

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Yes, that is sad, it certainly doesn't look like a good place to put something that is extremely vulnerable in that area. Hind sight is 20/20, I just wish I would have realized this back in the 80's or 90's anyway. I would have voiced my opinion back then !

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3 mile island was not built on the sea! Chernobal was not either. Case rested. Building on the ocean is not necessary.

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Not necessary, but in the event of an accident and leakage, sometimes being on the ocean can have advantages, especially with Fukushima.

The prevailing winds and currents have the whole Pacific Ocean with which to disperse the plumes.

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The pictures were taken by an employee with his own camera. With no electricity and all the other problems they had afterwards, I doubt it was a priority to get the pictures out.

The sea wall was 10 meters in height, and was completely crushed.

Building on the ocean is not necessary.

It is if you don't have another major body of water or river nearby.

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3 mile island was not built on the sea! Chernobal was not either. Case rested. Building on the ocean is not necessary.

Neither of those were boiling water reactors.

You really need a very large water supply for this; like, the ocean.

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A PWR still needs lots of water, that's why 3 Mile was next to a river.

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