Design of G.E.’s Mark 1 Nuclear Reactors Shows Weaknesses - NYTimes.com
The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a “Mark 1” nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated. Dangerous radiation would spew into the environment.All six of the nuclear reactors in Japan are Mark 1 Nuclear Reactors by G.E. ("we bring good things to life.")
Union of Concerned Scientists have posted a Fact Sheet entitled Nuclear Accident ABCs. This is a good place to start to learn about the technology. Download the PDF here.
There are six reactors at the Fukushima plant in Japan. Units 1, 2 and 3 were operating last week, but shut down automatically when the quake hit. Since then, these three units have been the site of several explosions.
Units 4, 5 and 6 were offline at the time of the quake, but even offline reactors have nuclear fuel either inside the reactors or in storage ponds that need to be kept cool. Tuesday, a fire broke out in Unit 4's fuel storage pond, releasing radioactivity into the atmosphere.
Yesterday, Tuesday, April 15, the Japanese were forced to walk away from the problem. The radioactivity is too high. In fact, the workers at the plant probably are probablyd already walking dead due to exposure.
Everyone seems mystified by the disaster and the consequences that are coming. Japan will have another generation afflicted by radioactivity and the horror will be passed to future generations as was the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.