Endangered Earth
Earth Quake, Honshu, Japan 9.0
Shinmoedake Erupts
January 31, 2011
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Shinmoedake peak erupts, as seen from Takaharu Town Office. The evacuation advisory there was issued at 11:50 p.m. Sunday, according to the Associated Press, which added that the lava dome continued to swell. According to Reuters, Shinmoedake has not been this active in nearly 300 years. Photo: Takaharu Town Office

Shinmoedake erupts: lava, ash and lightning over Japan
Rob Beschizza at 9:25 AM Monday, Jan 31, 2011
SOURCE: BoingBoing

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Lightning dances in Shinmoedake's volcanic plume, the eruption having already led Japanese authorities to call on those living nearby to evacuate. Seen from Kirishima city, the light shows last only for a few moments, but the ash and rocks fall relentlessly between the prefectures of Miyazaki and Kagoshima. One of Kirishima's many calderas, Shinmoedake is 4,662 feet tall. Photo: Minami-Nippon Shimbun
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Shinmoedake's dome of lava rose after 52 years of dormancy, sending smoke plumes more than 6,500 feet into the sky and disrupting air traffic. More than 1,000 people living in southern Japan have been urged to evacuate, according to local officials, but no injuries have been reported. Photo: Reuters/Kyodo
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An aerial view shows Shinmoedake peak erupting between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures last week. The evacuation zone extends 1.2 miles from the volcano; farmers nearby report that their crops have been coated in ash. Photo: Reuters/Kyodo
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People sweep volcanic ashes in Miyakonojo, in Miyazaki prefecture, on January 28, 2011. Since then, hundreds have left the area, according to Reuters. Japan's Meteorological Agency said that the volcano began releasing smoke last Wednesday, and that the lava dome was five times larger today than it was Friday. Photo: Reuters/Kyodo
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Access to the mountain itself has been restricted, according to AFP. Train services have also been suspended until the tracks are cleared. Photo: Reuters/Kyodo
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Crops are covered with volcanic ashes from erupting Shinmoedake peak. Photo: Reuters/Kyodo
Report: Japan volcano erupts in wake of catastrophic earthquake

The Meteorological Agency issued a warning Sunday saying that Shinmoedake volcano resumed activity after a couple of quiet weeks; it is unclear if the eruptions were linked to the quake.
By News Agencies Tags: Israel news

The Meteorological Agency says a volcano in southern Japan is spewing ash and rock again as the country struggles with the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in the north.

The  agency issued a warning Sunday saying that Shinmoedake volcano resumed activity after a couple of quiet weeks.

The mountain is on Kyushu island, 950 miles (1,500 kilometers) from the epicenter of Friday's magnitude 8.9 earthquake and resulting tsunami, which devastated much of the country's northeastern coast.

It was unclear if the eruptions were linked to quake. Japan lies on the Ring of Fire - an arc of seismically active zones where earthquake and volcanic eruptions are common.

The full magnitude of Friday's natural catastrophe is still unknown, as some 9,500 people are unaccounted for in one of the worst-hit areas by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in north-eastern Japan, officials said.
With many houses, cars and crops in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture washed away by powerful tsunami after the deadly earthquake on Friday, many of the missing may be victims of the walls of water, prefectural officials said.
The figure is more than half of the population of about 17,000 in the town on the Pacific coast.

Moreover, Kyodo news agency reported Saturday that more than 1,700 people are likely dead or missing following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.

About 300,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and that number is likely to rise with the government increasing the size of an evacuation area around two nuclear power plants in Fukushima in northern Japan, Kyodo said.

Police accounts put the death toll at 637 and those missing at 653, but the total number is likely to be much bigger as 200-300 dead bodies were being transported in the city of Sendai and another 200 were being taken to gyms in other parts of Miyagi prefecture, Kyodo said.

SOURCE: HAARETZ

Russia's Zhirinovsky calls on Japanese to move to Russia
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Vladimir Zhirinovsky - © RIA Novosti. Sergei Guneev

Russia's Zhirinovsky calls on Japanese to move to Russia
Topic: Powerful Earthquake in Japan
19:53 13/03/2011

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the colorful and flamboyant leader of Russia's LDPR party, has called on Japanese to leave "the dangerous islands" and move to the unpopulated Russian territories, the newsru.com website reported on Sunday.

Zhirinovsky, 64, also deputy speaker of the lower house, offered Russian government to start talks with Japan over Japanese nationals' migration to Russia.

"In this case we do not share any islands, we offer the way to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe," newsru.com quoted Zhirinovsky as saying. "Russia will even benefit if such hardworking people join us," he added.

The politician said he was serious since "the Japanese nation is under the threat of extinction in the near future."

Zhirinovsky's statement came in the wake of a 9.0 - magnitude tremor, which struck the Japan's northeast on Friday. The quake triggered a 10-meter tsunami wave that swept away people, houses and cars.

In late February Zhirinovsky invited Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to move to Moscow.

In his address to Gaddafi, he said: "I invite you to make Moscow your place of permanent residence."

MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti)

SOURCE: RIA Novosti

Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Reactor 3 Explosion
March 14, 2011
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Effects: A satellite image shows the post earthquake damage at the Fukushima Dai Nai
nuclear plant before the explosions - Daily Mail
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Aftermath of explosion aerial view
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Seconds before the explosion
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First Flash
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Main flash - three explosions heard in video
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Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Reactor 3 explosion
March 14, 2011
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..Youtube Link
Originally posted by okiecowboy ATS Post ID 10805818

Ok I am not as good providing well written and explained posts as Zorgon or TheRedneck so bear with me..

The Big picture as I see it 

I am going to ignore the reactors themselves for a bit and talk about the storage of the spent fuel rods and possible fire of same...

In Japan the spent fuel rods are stored mainly at the plant, with a portion sent to another plant to reprocess... without posting the diagrams that have been posted many times before... spent fuel is stored within the reactor building in a swimming pool-like concrete structure near the top of the reactor vessel.

This spent fuel must be kept underwater to prevent severe releases of radioactivity, among other reasons. A meltdown or even a fire could occur if there is a loss of coolant from the spent fuel pool. The water in the spent fuel pool and the roof of the reactor building are the main barriers to release of radioactivity from the spent fuel pool.
Source
Notice it said water and the roof are the main barriers...we have plants missing the roof and lack of water has been mentioned many times. Now the reason for the missing roof has been explained as a hydrogen build up due to venting from the steam to release pressure in the reactor.
Hydrogen is generated in a nuclear reactor if the fuel in the reactor loses its cover of cooling water. The tubes that contain the fuel pellets are made of a zirconium alloy. Zirconium reacts with steam to produce zirconium oxide and hydrogen gas. Moreover, the reaction is exothermic – that is, it releases a great deal of heat, and hence creates a positive feedback that aggravates the problem and raises the temperature. 
The same phenomenon can occur in a spent fuel pool in case of a loss of cooling water.
Source
So how much fuel are we talking here. it's hard to get the exact number but;
The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven pools for spent fuel rods.  Six of these are (or were) located at the top of six reactor buildings.  One “common pool” is at ground level in a separate building.  Each “reactor top” pool holds 3450 fuel rod assemblies.  The common pool holds 6291 fuel rod assemblies.  [The common pool has windows on one wall which were almost certainly destroyed by the tsunami.]  Each assembly holds sixty-three fuel rods.  This means the Fukushima Daiichi plant may contain over 600,000 spent fuel rods
Source
and;
Japanese commercial nuclear power plants began operation in 1970. Currently there are 53 nuclear power plants in operation. To date close to 20,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel has been generated by Japan's nuclear power program

The quantity of fission products (spent nuclear fuel) produced each year at a full-sized commercial nuclear power plants is massive. A total of approximately 50,000 times the fission products of the Hiroshima bomb are created by Japanese nuclear power plants each year, and this for the most part is cumulative, in other words the material remains radioactive. Most of this waste is being temporarily stored at nuclear power plant sites and must remain segregated from the natural environment
Source

Starting to get a warm fuzzy feeling yet? Now remember one of these reactors is using MOX fuel. which has been explained several times... Mox is a fuel that contains plutonium. Okay so what if we have a spent fuel fire, how bad can it be? Well this type of thing has been studied before, just not in Japan. We have some U.S. studies we will use;
If a fire were to break out at the Millstone Reactor Unit 3 spent fuel pond in Connecticut, it would result in a three-fold increase in background exposures. This level triggers the NRC’s evacuation requirement, and could render about 29,000 square miles of land , according to Thompson. Connecticut covers only about 5,000 square miles; an accident at Millstone could severely affect Long Island and even New York City

A 1997 report for the NRC by Brookhaven National Laboratory also found that a severe pool fire could render about 188 square miles uninhabitable, cause as many as 28,000 cancer fatalities, and cost $59 billion in damage. (The Brookhaven study relied on a different standard of uninhabitability than Thompson.) While estimates vary, “the use of a little imagination,” says Thompson, “shows that a pool fire would be a regional and national disaster of historic proportions.”
Source

Also from the same article;
Several events could cause a loss of pool water, including leakage, evaporation, siphoning, pumping, aircraft impact, earthquake, accidental or deliberate drop of a fuel transport cask, reactor failure, or an explosion inside or outside the pool building. Industry officials maintain that personnel would have sufficient time to provide an alternative cooling system before the spent fuel caught fire. But if the water level dropped to just a few feet above the spent fuel, the radiation doses in the pool building would be lethal.
Source
Again this study did not factor in MOX fuel and another article says;
The consequences of severe spent fuel pool accidents at closed U.S. reactors were studied by the Brookhaven National Laboratory in a 1997 report prepared for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. According to the results, the damages resulting from such accidents for U.S. Boiling Water Reactors could range from $700 million to $546 billion, which would be between roughly $900 million and $700 billion in today’s dollars. The lower figures would apply if there were just one old spent fuel set present in the pool to a full pool in which the spent fuel has been re-racked to maximize storage. Other variables would be whether there was any freshly discharged spent fuel in the pool, which would greatly increase the radioactivity releases. The estimated latent cancer deaths over the years and decades following the accident was estimated at between 1,300 and 31,900 within 50 kilometers (30 miles) of the plant and between 1,900 and 138,000 within a radius of 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the plant.

The range of consequences in Japan would be somewhat different from those outlined in the Brookhaven report, since the consequences depend on population density within 50 and 500 kilometers of the plant, the re-racking policy, and several other variables. It should also be noted that Daiichi Unit 1 is about half the power rating of most U.S. reactors, so that the amount of radioactivity in the pool would be about half the typical amount, all other things being equal. But the Brookhaven study can be taken as a general indicator that the scale of the damage could be vast in the most severe case.
Source

So what if we have a spent fuel fire at plant number one?
“That would be like Chernobyl on steroids,” said Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer at Fairewinds Associates and a member of the public oversight panel for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which is identical to the Fukushima Daiichi unit 1
Washington Post
So let's pretend for a minute it does happen... and let's pick a number from the above listed report of 1000 square miles  ( report said up to 29,000 miles... I went with a lower figure just cuz) Now to me uninhabitable means... Not Habitable ..ie.. get the heck out.. so a wide area becomes a ghost town.

But wait a minute... we have important things in that area that have to be tended to and monitered right? Another nuke plant nearby right? And a plant at Onagwa that is already showing trouble... we can's just up and leave. Anyone remember the Tokai plant? It is a small reconversion plant with a little fame already.

The Tokaimura nuclear accident (東海村JCO臨界事故, Tōkai-mura JCO-rinkai-jiko?, "Tōkai Village JCO Criticality Accident") was at the time Japan's worst civilian nuclear radiation accident. It took place on 30 September 1999 at a uranium reprocessing facility located in the village of Tōkai, Naka District, Ibaraki. The accident occurred in a very small fuel preparation plant operated by JCO (formerly Japan Nuclear Fuel Conversion Co.), a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co
Wikipedia
Remember all that MOX fuel we talked about before, that may or may not be in storage at the plant? Well within a not so far area of the plant that may or may not be dumping radiation out is Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant;
The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (六ヶ所村核燃料再処理施設, Rokkasho Kakunenryō Saishori Shisetsu?) is a nuclear reprocessing plant with an annual capacity of 800 tons of uranium or 8 tons of plutonium
Wikipedia

Rokkasho-mura has the world largest cooling pool (Fig. 4). Spent nuclear fuel transported to the reprocessing plant is stored here and it is ultimately expected to hold 3000 tons of spent fuel
Source

Rokkasho has a Spent fuel storage pool that has already had trouble in the past;
Other safety problems have plagued Rokkasho. Last year, the cooling system of its spent nuclear fuel storage pool temporarily failed. The ventilation system in the fuel storage building had problems. Last month, the fuel pool, which at that point contained more than 1,000 nuclear fuel assemblies, leaked coolant from a loose valve; it took workers more than 15 hours to identify and fix the problem
Source
Does this sound like a area people can just up and walk away from? And this is just a partial list of man power critical list. So as this story unfolds and the evacuation zones keep expanding, think about what people may have to walk away from.
March 21, 2011
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Readings taken in seawater 100 meters south of Fukushima Plant at 2:30 Pm
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Readings taken 1 km from the plant
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