FUKUSHIMA DISASTER By SRUTHI SRINIVAS
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AT A GLANCE: Location: Fukushima, Japan Date: 11th March,2011 Type: Nuclear Disaster - Cause: tsunami followed by earthquake
INTRODUCTION It is the second biggest nuclear disaster in the world after CHERNOBYL disaster. Its is assessed at level 7- the maximum scale value on the International Nuclear vent Scale(INES) Earthquake followed by tsunami and nuclear disaster arose within 5 hours.
FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR PLANT It is one of the 15th largest nuclear power station in the world. It was the first nuclear plant to be designed, constructed and run by the general electric and Tokyo electric power company(TEPCO) After the disaster on 11th march, 2011 the plant is disabled for avoiding further radioactive decay. The sister nuclear plant Fukushima-II, 12km to the south is also run by TEPCO.
INCIDENT The nuclear disaster took place with a series of disasters. Over 15800 people died from the combined effects of the events. Over 20km area around the nuclear plant was evacuated by the government. It occurred due to equipment failure by tremors causing core meltdown and release of radioactive material
EARTHQUAKE Around 02:45pm, 11 march 2011, an earthquake struck the pacific ocean. The magnitude of the earthquake is around 9.0. It is the 4th biggest earthquake in the world since 1990. Striking 80 miles of the Japanese coast, the east coast settlements felt the effects.
Shaking and rumbling ensured for around 30 minutes hitting with high gravitational forces(g-forces). This huge amount of g-forces exceeded the maximum daily tolerances for ee of the six reactors. When the earthquake struck units 1, 2 and 3 were operating and immediately shut automatically while 4, 5 and 6 has been shut down for a scheduled inspection.
The automatically shut down mechanism is a failsafe mechanism to stop cracks and faults appearing in the exterior of the reactor. Whep the reactors shut down, the cooling was supposed to be by an external ower source, bu the carhake damaged two extermal power cooling sources for the plant. emergency diesel gener rs for cooling.
TSUNAMI The earthquake generated a 45ft tsunami waves which struck the coast about 50 minutes later. A giant wave immediately breached the nuclear power station's sea wall, oding the basement level around 3:41p.m. The flooded water damaged 13 emergency diesel generators leaving only battery to cool the reactors which was actually not sufficient.
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