Japan Daiichi Reactor 3. Photo: DigitalGlobe.
The plutonium-based mixed-oxide-fueled number three reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may have a break in its containment vessel, according to the Japanese government. If the reactor containment has been breached and the radioactive steam emerging from the plant is from the number three reactor core, it could mean that plutonium particles are being spread in the air over Japan.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano first told a press conference that smoke was seen Wednesday morning around the No.3 reactor. Later government spokesmen said they thought the chance the reactor had been breached was low and the steam may have been coming from the spent fuel pool on the roof of the damaged reactor. Edano said, ”As we saw in the No. 2 unit, steam has been released from the [No. 3] reactor’s containment vessel.”
Continue reading Has the MOX Fuel Reactor Been Breached?
Photo: DigitalGlobe’s Natural Color Satellite Image
The threat of a fission explosion at the Fukushima power facility emerged today when the roof of the number three reactor exploded and fears that a spent fuel pool, located over the reactor, has been compromised. The pool, designed to allow reactor fuel to cool off for several years, was constructed on top of the Fukushima reactors instead of underground. As of 2010, there were 3450 fuel assemblies in the pool at the number three reactor. The destruction of the number three reactor building has experts concerned about whether the spent fuel storage pool, which sits just below the roof, could have survived intact the hydrogen explosion. The explosion was much more severe than Saturday’s blast at the number one reactor.
Continue reading Fission Criticality In Cooling Ponds Threaten Explosion At Fukushima
Freelance photographer Lance Rosenfield was working on assignment for ProPublica in Texas, last week, when a BP security guard began following him. Rosenfield was later detained by police after taking photos for two ProPublica stories. One story revealed that BP’s Texas City refinery had illegally emitted 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into the air in April and May. The other reported that the Texas City refinery continues to have serious safety violations five years after an explosion at the plant killed 15 workers.
Police officers asked to see the photographs he had taken but Rosenfield said he didn’t think that he was legally required to do so. One of the officers told him that if he did not show the photographs they could call Homeland Security and take him in and look at the photographs that way.
Rosenfield agreed to show him the photographs and also provided his information including name, driver’s license, date of birth, Social Security Number, and phone number.
Although Rosenfield refused to give his information to the BP security guard, the police officer provided the information to security guard for the private corporation against the protests of Rosenfield.
READ THIS STORY AT PROPUBLICA.ORG
Continue reading ProPublica: Photographer Was Followed by BP Security and Then Detained by Police
A new study estimates that the amount of freight truck traffic crossing through the San Diego region into and out of Mexico will almost quadruple – from about 1.2 million in 2007 to 4.4 million by 2050.
The study was prepared by consulting firm HDR Decision Economics and was presented to the San Diego Association of Governments board of directors last week.
The number of freight truck border crossings in the region has been increasing by 2.4 percent every year.
There are concerns about the impact the increase in truck traffic will have on the heavily congested Interstate 5 and on air quality.
READ THIS STORY AT NCTIMES.COM
Continue reading North County Times: Freight truck traffic in the San Diego region expected to quadruple