NHK is reporting that Tokyo Electric Power Company is planning to begin nitrogen injections into Fukushima’s Number 2 reactor containment vessel.
Earlier this week, TEPCO tried to fill the reactor 2 containment with water. That did not work. So they OPENED the containment and released BILLIONS of lethal doses of radiation. Now they are wondering whether there is any water left in the bottom of the containment.
Let’s help them. Since the bottom of the reactor is hot enough to melt concrete, and IS melting concrete, and no steam is coming out of the reactor, here’s why:
The core of Reactor 2 is still in at least intermittent fission and has melted through the bottom of the containment. Thus there is a hole in the bottom of the reactor where the core is melting through – it’s several thousand degrees down there. Water pours through holes and what doesn’t boils at 212 degrees. So there is no water in the bottom of the reactor.
Then they tried to toss in some instruments but, of course, they melted – like their little helicopter and their robot – which was built to go into reactors, except no one bothered to see if it would work BEFORE IT WAS TOO LATE – which it didn’t.
Now they are going to pump liquid nitrogen into the core of reactor 2. Liquid nitrogen freezes at -346 degrees F and boils at -321 degrees F. A 25 degree F difference. First, they will probably never actually get any liquid nitrogen near the core – it will boil away immediately upon being pumped into the containment (they tried it at Chernobyl – it didn’t work there, either). If, by some physical quirk they manage to pump some on a nuclear core at 3,000 degrees F, they will be mightily surprised at what happens. The expansion ration of liquid nitrogen is about 1:7. They will probably manage to asphyxiate everyone within a block if it doesn’t blow up in their face. But maybe they will get lucky. Maybe they will only release a few billion more lethal doses of radiation.
Will it cool the core? Not exactly, but it will certainly rupture anything that goes from 3,000 degrees to – 300 in a microsecond – basically anything it touches at the bottom of that reactor. Within about five seconds after they finish screwing THAT up – they will run out of liquid nitrogen.
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