Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster Essay

1518 Words 7 Pages
Nuclear disasters set precedence for one of the most difficult disasters people may deal with. The duration of these disasters have lasting effects for generations and present an astronomical cost to man and the environment. Significant damage will persist from the nuclear disaster which occurred at the Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima Daiichi. With the nuclear revolution only in its infancy, our ability to cope with these incidents is limited to our experiences of the Three Mile Island reactor meltdown and the events in Chernobyl Ukraine. With so few instances of major nuclear disasters taking place, the Fukushima disaster presents many significant and exceptional challenges for Japan and the rest of the world. Several aspects unique to, …show more content…
Although the fission reaction occurring within the core of the reactor had ceased, between the uranium oxide rods, byproducts/decay of the nuclear reaction continued to react and heat the reactor. Fukushima Nuclear Power plant stood directly in the path of the tsunami created by the earthquake.
The facility was struck by a 15 meter tsunami which damaged the power supplies to the cooling units for Reactor Units One, Two and Three (Extraction 1). Control rods indeed ceased fission reactions within reactors 1-3; however, resonating heat produced by the byproducts within the chambers contributed to a meltdown and subsequent explosions caused by excess hydrogen from super-heated steam (Biello 1).Explosions within the facilities resulted in the reactors exposure to the outside emitting contaminants into the atmosphere. Flooding within the reactors has also contributed to groundwater contaminants. This reaction and meltdown is recognized as the same cause for the Three Mile Island incident which occurred outside Harrisburg Pennsylvania in 1979. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the damage to the facility was rated a seven on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES); the highest rating, distinguishing it as a “Major Accident” (Extraction1). Fig 1: Fukushima Radioactivity 2011 and 2012

Related Documents