The Nuclear Disaster in Japan

May 11, 2018

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According to the online information site HowStuffWorks, the whole nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011 was started because of an earthquake. As a result of the earthquake the four reactors was automatically shut down. The plants then stopped producing power, and the cooling pumps were started. The cooling pumps should help cooling the water. The cooling pumps needed electricity to work, but because of the automatically shut down, the cooling pumps couldn’t use the first source of electricity.

The plants could then get electricity from the power grid, but that shut down as well. So it started using the power from the diesel generator. The diesel generator has been tested many times, and also in this case it worked very well. But then the tsunami hit the power plant few moments later. The diesel generators were therefor under water, and couldn’t produce power anymore. It was time for the last source of electricity, which were the batteries. The batteries worked well, but they were produces to last for only few hours. The operators tried to send new generator to the power plant, but it was to late.

The batteries ran out, and the cooling pumps failed. Without any cooling system in the reactor, the water began boiling. And as the water was boiling away, something called metal tubes was overheated and cracked. The cracks allowed water to enter in the pipes to the fuel pellets. This started something called thermolysis, where the generator began generating hydrogen gas, which is a highly explosive gas. The pressure from the hydrogen gas was build up, and needed to be vented out. The pressure needed to be vented out so quickly, that it exploded in the reactor. The same happened in the other reactors.

The explosions damaged the concrete and steel buildings around the pressure vessels. Words: 302 Assignment B: An eyewitness report. It was Friday March 11th and I was in a hotel in Fokushima in Japan. The clock was about 14:45 local time, and I was talking with my cameraman. We were in Japan to make some interviews about the earthquakes of the last few days in Japan. I was writing down some notes, when everything suddenly starts shaking. We were not in doubt for one second that it was an earthquake. We took cover as quick as possible. It was hard to hide behind anything, because everything was thrown around.

A chair was just coming towards me, and I hadn’t the time to respond. The chair hit me in the head, so I passed out for little while. It was for sure a very big earthquake. When I woke up again, everything was a mess in the hotel room. My cameraman was fine, and he took care of me when I was passed away. I looked outside the window, and everything was a mess there too. The TV didn’t work, so I found my pocket radio, and turned it on. We heard that the earthquake has triggered a tsunami in the northern Japan. I was sure that we needed to get away from here.

But there was too much traffic outside, so we needed to walk. We were heading out of the town, where we were watching the people running around in streets. It was totally chaos outside, and there were car accidents everywhere. Some buildings were falling apart, and it was difficult to walk through the streets. Many people were wearing helmets for the security. There were ambulances, doctors, police officers and firemen everywhere. It was hard to contact anybody, because the phones didn’t work. There was also no electricity. Finally we found a shopping center, where there was electricity.

We could watch the live news in the shopping center. There was breaking news about the earthquake and the tsunami. We found out that the tsunami was up to 8 meters high, and the earthquake was on 8. 9 magnitude. These numbers were huge. Even that the Japanese were used to experience earthquakes; it has for sure scared the Japanese people this time. Everybody was in shock. The video clips of the tsunami were also horrible to look at. You could see how people tried to escape from the tsunami, but they had no chance. There were already hundreds of people who died because of the earthquake and the tsunami.

One of the main points in the news was about the nuclear power station in Fokushima. The cooling system in the power station has failed right after the earthquake. And there was no further information about what about how they will solve the problem. Later on we found a high hill, where we could see the tsunami moving very fast. It looked so unreal, and we thought it was a nightmare. It was getting late, so my cameraman and me decided to stay at a hotel outside the town for one night. The next day we woke up where we heard bang coming from far away. We turned on the TV, where there was breaking news about the power lant. There has been an explosion at the reactor number one in the power plant in Fokushima, which was not far away from us. Few hours later we get the information that radioactive material was detected outside the plant. More then 200. 000 residents were evacuated from areas near the power plant. My cameraman and me decided to go outside to interview people about the nuclear disaster. It was clear to us that people was unhappy about the power plant. It was only few people who tried to defend the power plants, and gave the guilt to the earthquake and the tsunami.

Another explosion occurred in the power plant. This time it was the reactor number three. Hundreds of people were already ordered to stay inside. There was no doubt that people was really scared this time. It was unclear to people what was going to happen in the next days in Japan. We could see that people was buying lots of food, so they had enough for the next few days. Some of the people were heading to the airport, so they could escape from the nuclear disaster in Fokushima. We thought that it couldn’t get worse then this – an earthquake, a tsunami and two power plant explosions.

But unfortunately another explosion occurred in the power plant in reactor number two the next day. Also the reactor number four caught fire. Japan was going crazy. They were scared, and they panic. Never have Japanese people seen a disaster like this. A few days after the earthquake, my cameraman and me decided to take a look at the city after the earthquake and the tsunami. Everything was washed away. There were bits of cars, houses and boats everywhere. Police officers could still find dead people in the water. It was a very unpleasant sight. The earthquake and tsunami was over, but people were still considered about the nuclear power.

There have been different view on whether or not using nuclear power, but now it has been proofed that it all can go wrong. I think the Japanese people agree with me, that we should stop using nuclear power, because it is too risky. Even if it hasn’t been proofed that people are affected by the radioactivity, five workers died and 22 other workers has been injured because the disaster. This is not fair to risk people’s life just for these power plants. Many people thought that the power plants were very safe, and that was the reason why they should it was acceptable. The power plant in Fokushima was also very secure, but not secure enough.

When the cooling system failed, there were many alternatives, but because of the very big earthquake and the tsunami, they all failed. So people’s thoughts about the use of nuclear power have definitely changed after this horrible situation in Japan. Politicians in Japan may from now on focus on whether to use power plants or not.