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Tags Japan earthquake , Japan incidents , nuclear power issues

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Old 14th March 2011, 09:23 AM   #281
Alferd_Packer
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So, the antipodal point is in the south atlantic off the coast of Uraguay.

"The Uraguay Syndrome?"
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:24 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
Containment 1 is the Zircalloy cladding and you cannot flood inside that.

Containment 2 is the pressure vessel which you can flood.

Containment 3 is the concrete containment structure which can be directly flooded.

Look at the cutaway drawing in the pdf file page 16.

As far as I understand, fire trucks are pumping the sea water into containment and not recirculating this water.
thanks
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:24 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110314/...us_japan_quake

so, if one or more of the cores does melt down due to lack of cooling..what is the probable result?
A mess, contained inside the primary containment vessel at Fukushima. That and a really expensive cleanup effort. That's all.

Quote:
are there any dangers to folks in the rest of Asia and the west coast of North & South America?
From the information I've been reading (from reputable sources - i.e. not the media), no.

Quote:
every morning I wake up, and the news gets worse.
I suggest you stop watching the news, because they are making a mountain out of a molehill regarding the nuclear plant issue.

If it puts your mind a bit more at ease, take a few minutes to read my blog post on the matter.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:26 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by Java Man View Post
Obviously everyone is happy no more life was lost to radiation. But those reactors will have to be replaced. In the meantime there is a power shortage. Had that money been spent on upgrading them ten years ago with newer technology then those cores could be powered up again. Providing the needed energy. The money now needed to repair things would not need to be subdivided into cleaning and repairing melted cores.

My "crisis" isn't a nuclear blowout. Which would be the most dire, extreme and undesired event. Nevertheless the current situation is quite a nightmare that could have been prevented if the cores were replaced with newer models. The Japanese are looking at quite an expense down the road and that's without a blowout.

Well it would be good to decommission designs that can cause a meltdown in case of a cooling failure. Given we already have designs that work that way.

And by safe I don't only mean a huge radioactive cloud. But safe in the knowledge that it's working ok, that it shutdown ok, that you can now reactivate it to power the grid in this crisis, etc etc etc. It retrospect it begins to look a lot cheaper and better to have gone through the expense of upgrading it.

We can sure talk about that in another thread if you want to.
The reactors were going to be replaced anyway as they were due to be decommisioned shortly. The additional costs of the cleanup might be economically disasterous for the power company but weren't you arguing that economic decisions are being made that affect safety?

If the argument is that the company might have cost themselves more in the long run then you'd have to weigh up the cost of this one clean up vs the cost of upgrading/replacing and decommissioning the entire population of power plants every few years.

This wasn't a nuclear blowout and several people have noted that wasn't through luck but through design. This 'disaster' hasn't been a disaster at all except for the fact that they are going to have to spend shedloads cleaning up the mess.

I really doubt it would be cheaper to upgrade every power plant on a regular basis than to clean up the one problem that occurs once in a lifetime but I haven't seen the numbers, you might be right.

In any case, if the worst we can say is that this is going to be a costly cleanup operation then the power plant design has done bloody well and is certainly 'safe'
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:29 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by Alferd_Packer View Post
Fixed that
I am an optimist.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:31 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
In my understanding the containments are in order the fuel pellets, the zircaloy cladding, the reactor coolant, the pressure vessel, the drywell, the containment dome and the vapor shield.

It is my guess that the fuel pellets have swelled and the cladding on the pins may have burst.

In any case, the fuel system itself may be damaged from the swelling.

about 10 years ago, I spent some time at a facility that did research on fuel pin swelling. I was there for another purpose, but it was interesting to see how they studdied this phemonmina.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:33 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Not sure if anyone has put this up here yet:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03...iima_analysis/

Discuss...
I agree with this article, though - sadly - I think its sound advice could easily be lost amid the screeching and hyping spread by the media.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:41 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That's weird logic.
It is entirely illogical - just as pointing out that western plants have not malefunctioned so far -since my point was rather that thus far things went wrong because they were unforeseen rather than just unlikely.

It seems as if German power plants would not be able to withstand a direct attack with a large passenger airplane: Not only did nobody think that this might happen, the idea alone was never conceived off, even though (!) they did think that somebody might run a fighter jet into a plant.

Now the situation has changed and people are aware of the problem. New plants will be build even stronger and there is discussion about how one could protect existing power plants against such attacks.

But the problem existed before someone was aware of it, the reactors were deemed "safe" and it simply turned out that they never were.

I don't want to actually argue over what people knew and said before Chernobyl - this might just be my memory fooling me after all these years. I would simply like to see a more open discussion about the fact that we do not know every last risk.

And just to make this very clear: I am still all for nuclear power.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:44 AM   #289
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I wonder if anyone has any idea how the sea salts in the water will react with the fuel rods.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:47 AM   #290
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The pellets will not dissolve in water, salt or clean.

The reaction would probably be just cooling although the net effect of salt water will be accelerated corrosion of metal components.

These plants will never be used again.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:48 AM   #291
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another interesting question is this: Did the tsunami and the loss of auxilery power (and the subsequent explosions) impact the spent fuel pools also?

Is there any risk for the fuel in these pools to overheat as well?
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:50 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
The pellets will not dissolve in water, salt or clean.

The reaction would probably be just cooling although the net effect of salt water will be accelerated corrosion of metal components.

These plants will never be used again.
I was thinking along the lines of hot corrosion effects. Sea water contains a lot of iodine which can react with certain types of fuel cladding.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:51 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
It is entirely illogical - just as pointing out that western plants have not malefunctioned so far -since my point was rather that thus far things went wrong because they were unforeseen rather than just unlikely.
I don't think anyone is saying that "it never broke, therefore won't." so it sounds pretty strawmanlike to me.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:00 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't think anyone is saying that "it never broke, therefore won't." so it sounds pretty strawmanlike to me.
Post #219.

My issue is this


1. "Nuclear power is reasonable safe because of all the redundancy built into the system."

2. Chernobyl goes BOOM.

3. "Nuclear power in the west is reasonably safe, because unlike those plants you cannot induce a core melt either willfully or accidentally pressing any of the buttons in the contropl room."

4. Terrorists hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings.

5. "Oops, we didn't see that coming, either ...."

6. Major earthquake and tsunami hit plant in Japan that then fails until the last line of defense.

7. "Oh, wait, hang on, we're still busy with the airplanes and terrorists here..."

8. "But anyway, it did not blow up and we didn't see all of that coming all at once and the last line of defense held like it should have, right? Also, we don't get tsunamis and earthquakes here."

9. - any bets on what will happen next ? -

10. "Oops, we totally didn't see that coming. We'll take care of it with the next design, though! Then we'll be safe!"
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:03 AM   #295
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Nobody sane included Russian reactors in any discussion of nuclear safety.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:05 AM   #296
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My thoughts are:

The cladding is already reacting and producing hydrogen, heat and other products, so would the salt water have any extra effect, probably.

If the fuel pools run dry then there is a possibility of meltdown if the storage racks are high density and there is enough residual heat left in the fuel.

I would imagine that this possibility is being closely monitored.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:06 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
Nobody sane included Russian reactors in any discussion of nuclear safety.
I just don't remember them being *excluded* ever, either. That only happened after one blew up.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:07 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
I just don't remember them being *excluded* ever, either. That only happened after one blew up.
Your memory is faulty. We could not speak to Russian plants because we could not know their details.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:20 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
A mess, contained inside the primary containment vessel at Fukushima. That and a really expensive cleanup effort. That's all.
i hope you are right.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:26 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
i hope you are right.
Seriously, thunder, it's perfectly safe. The doomsday crap peddled by practically all media outlets, even reputable ones, is scaremongering nonsense.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:29 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Seriously, thunder, it's perfectly safe. The doomsday crap peddled by practically all media outlets, even reputable ones, is scaremongering nonsense.
YES. The worst that could happen is tiny compared to what already has and is happening all over Japan.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:29 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
1. "Nuclear power is reasonable safe because of all the redundancy built into the system."

2. Chernobyl goes BOOM.
I don't think they were talking about nuclear plants they couldn't know anything about.

Quote:
3. "Nuclear power in the west is reasonably safe, because unlike those plants you cannot induce a core melt either willfully or accidentally pressing any of the buttons in the contropl room."

4. Terrorists hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings.
Trying to see the relationship between 3 and 4...

Quote:
8. "But anyway, it did not blow up and we didn't see all of that coming all at once and the last line of defense held like it should have, right? Also, we don't get tsunamis and earthquakes here."
Isn't it rather "so things worked out but we're still going to upgrade them to withstand something more dangerous." ?

Quote:
10. "Oops, we totally didn't see that coming. We'll take care of it with the next design, though! Then we'll be safe!"
Nonsense. There can ALWAYS be something that happens, no matter how safe you are. If this is what you're arguing against you're in a losing battle.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:32 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Well, I've seen that happen often on rigs. It's usually fixable with a hacksaw and a new plug. Or ductape and rebar.
Remember the CO2 scrubbers on Apollo 13?
That's what I was wondering, electrical power doesn't have to go through a magic plug, you can hard wire two cables once you hack off the offending plug and socket.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:39 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
every morning I wake up, and the news gets worse.
Unless you went to sleep on Thursday and slept all through the weekend.

More than 10,000 people died in a terrible earthquake and the resultant tsunami, nearly 2000 homes were washed into the ocean when a dam broke near Sukagawa, a burning oil refinery releases chemicals into the air and into the ground, and the media is treating the Fukushima reactor as if it's the main news.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:41 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
Post #219.

My issue is this


1. "Nuclear power is reasonable safe because of all the redundancy built into the system."

2. Chernobyl goes BOOM.
Chernobyl only went boom because the lazy [rule 10]ers who worked there decided they couldn't be bothered with safety protocols because they thought it was too much of a hassle, compounded by the containment being absolutely awfully built.


Frankly, the only reason people didn't bring up Chernobyl as a possible safety issue for nuclear power is because the Soviet Union wasn't exactly the most open nation in the world. A single, Soviet nuclear plant built in the 1950's with substandard safety features that were ignored anyway isn't an argument.

The current "issue" in Japan is a perfect example of why nuclear power is absolutely safe. A power plant built what, 10 years after Chernobyl? It managed to withstand an earthquake far in advance of any that it was built to withstand, followed by aftershocks, and then a tsunami for goodness sake and the safety features, now 40 years out of date, worked.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:49 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
The pellets will not dissolve in water, salt or clean.

The reaction would probably be just cooling although the net effect of salt water will be accelerated corrosion of metal components.

These plants will never be used again.
That's what I heard some expert say on the TV news last night, as I was cooking dinner. That they are flooding with seawater means they'll never use the plants again, due to the corrosive nature of seawater.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:52 AM   #307
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Chernobyl did not have a containment. It had what we would have called a confinement structure.

Now, not all reactors need a containment; The 10,000 W and less research reactors, for example.

But Chernobyl was a very large reactor.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:11 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
The current "issue" in Japan is a perfect example of why nuclear power is absolutely safe. A power plant built what, 10 years after Chernobyl? It managed to withstand an earthquake far in advance of any that it was built to withstand, followed by aftershocks, and then a tsunami for goodness sake and the safety features, now 40 years out of date, worked.
I think we can finally agree on something !
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:15 AM   #309
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Yes, the use of sea water is the last option for cooling.

I have worked at a nuclear power station since 1984.
The station is a first generation PWR made by Framatome. Original designer was Westinghouse.

There are 2 X 960MW units and the entire nuclear island is built on a seismic raft. There are seismic fault lines near Cape Town, but have been inactive for many years.

The plant was also designed to withstand a tsunami of average 8m and max of 14m waves. The plant is continually modified as technology progresses and will have it's life extended beyond 40 years. (currently achieved 26 years of safe operation)

The pipe work for use of sea water as emergency cooling has been in place since conception, so it is not a new idea. There are many redundant systems in place that need to be exhausted first though.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:21 AM   #310
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Reading the Wikipedia page on Chernobyl, they mention a recent study that mentions "985,000" deaths resulting from the incident.

Isn't that like 100 times more than liberal estimates used to say ? Is that even possible ?
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:26 AM   #311
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Has anyone here had the bogus fallout map that Snopes just debunked show up in their email?
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:29 AM   #312
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Just watched a news stuff on TV. Their take : "expert are unanimous : in the worst case scenario this could be worst than chernobyl" (image shown : a nuclear reactor exploding litterally and the beton building burning).

At least I know those guy are clown now.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:36 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Just watched a news stuff on TV. Their take : "expert are unanimous : in the worst case scenario this could be worst than chernobyl"
It could be way worse than Chernobyl. What if aliens attack tomorrow and it's all going to be like Independence Day without the computer virus?
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:36 AM   #314
MarkCorrigan
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I love my BBC. It's a respectable, fairly honest and good quality news outlet and I'm proud of it, but the unbelievable crap it's spewing about this plant is making me write a letter of complaint.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:37 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
Chernobyl did not have a containment. It had what we would have called a confinement structure. .
I was under the impression this was containment. Since it isn't, this scaremongering is even more insane. What experts are being asked about this and what questions are they being asked, I wonder to make the news people scream about the sky falling in?
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:39 AM   #316
technoextreme
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
That's what I was wondering, electrical power doesn't have to go through a magic plug, you can hard wire two cables once you hack off the offending plug and socket.
Having actually worked with industrial equipment I'm calling ********. There is no *********** plug on those generators.
Quote:
Well, I've seen that happen often on rigs. It's usually fixable with a hacksaw and a new plug. Or ductape and rebar.
Remember the CO2 scrubbers on Apollo 13?
Head hurts immensely. That is a horribly stupid idea that has a good chance of completely destroying the cooling system.
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Last edited by technoextreme; 14th March 2011 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:42 AM   #317
WildCat
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I'm sure this has come up already but could someone tell me, in a nutshell, what was so disastrous about Three Mile Island.
Mostly, it happened right after the movie The China Syndrome came out.

Great for the movie, bad for nuclear power in the US.

eta: I see timhau already mentioned this.

Last edited by WildCat; 14th March 2011 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:46 AM   #318
MattusMaximus
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Has anyone here had the bogus fallout map that Snopes just debunked show up in their email?
I saw a copy of that sometime this weekend, and I knew it had to be crap. I'm glad that Snopes is on the case; I will pass this along.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:50 AM   #319
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my friend posted this map on FB.

i ripped him a new one for it. my sister and her bf freaked when they saw it.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:51 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Seriously, thunder, it's perfectly safe. The doomsday crap peddled by practically all media outlets, even reputable ones, is scaremongering nonsense.
but if the core melts, won't it spew highly radioactive crap into the air..for days?
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