More on Japan’s nuclear oversight, Wikileaks and Boron (oh my!)
- Protest over the Mark 1 reactor The Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor, as we mentioned yesterday, has a long history of safety concerns, so much so that 35 years ago, General Electric scientist Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his fellow employees resigned in protest over the design. He worried that the containment system wasn’t prepared to deal with a massive loss of coolant, which seems on the spot.
- The high price of poor oversight Also unveiled by Wikileaks, a U.S. cable indicates that Tokyo opposed a court order relating to nuclear safety. The court ruled that an earthquake of a magnitude over 6.5 could cause radiation exposure. Japan’s rebuttal: “Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency believes the reactor is safe and that all safety analyses were appropriately conducted.” source
Boron’s (possibly) stabilizing effect
- 52.6 tons of Boron that South Korea is giving Japan
» That is, obviously, a lot of Boron. The Japanese are hoping this emergency shipment from the South Korean government will help them stabilize the reactor crises happening at the Fukushima Plant. The element, which is crucial in the process of stopping nuclear reactions, will be mixed into the seawater that’s being used to try to cool the fuel rods. South Korea is really coming through for Japan on this one; their own Boron stockpile has been mostly used up at Fukushima.