Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan and the "Ring of Fire"

UPDATE for the same day:
1. Reactor 1 of the damaged nuclear plant exploded =>
Refer to the attached video with latest news from
NHK World, Tokyo, 17:30 GMT.

Leakage of radioactivity after the explosion of the Japanese reactor:
تسرب لإشعاعات نووية من المفاعل الياباني بعد انفجاره

According to a German scientist, allegedly dealing with the research
on possible failure of nuclear power plants, all earlier published
news of an increase in radioactive Caesium emission prior to the
explosion should have already been interpreted as the beginning of
a devastating nuclear core melting. [Source: German radio news]

After the explosion, the outer receptacle of the reactor seems to
be damaged. It was used to pump in seawater in order to cool
the inner receptacle with its primary cooling system that did not
work sufficiently after the earthquake. Even though the inner
receptacle ( which contains the nuclear core ) did not explode, it
could be damaged and, therefore, leak radioactivity. Even if it
were fully intact, some radioactivity always present in the outer
receptacle could now easily leak into the environment.
By the way, the Japanese authorities classified the accident as
belonging to the category 4 on a scale that reaches from 0 to 7.

2. Libya: Unexpected approval of the Arab League for the temporary
installation of a no-fly zone under United Nations control. This was
announced by secretary-general Moussa and the foreign minister of
Oman (photo).
The day before, Britain and France had already stated their firm
will to establish such zone if they were able to find sufficient
international support. Even U.S. president Obama did not rule out
the option of a military intervention in Libya. Within the European
Union, only Germany refused its support of a no-fly zone at this
time because of the risks involved.

French president Sarkozy (left) and
German chancellor Frau Merkel (right):

As to the probability of an earthquake to happen,
Japan and the South East Asian maritime regions
are among the highest-ranking places on earth.
This is due to three tectonic plates that are meeting
each other in that region: The Eurasian Plate, the
Philippine Plate and the Pacific Plate. Their indepen-
dent moves are causing an enormous tectonic stress
that is finally giving way to an eruption of energy
shaking the earth and creating abnormally huge

Even though, Japan is used to such calamities of
nature, the resulting damage cannot be predicted.
At least one nuclear reactor finds itself in a dange-
rous condition and has to be cooled down after
being shut down with the help of additional cooling
fluid brought in by the military.

The same situation can be observed in Indonesia
where an earthquake of similar strength in 2004
killed more than a quarter million people. Even
more difficult for a third world nation to handle
the consequences. Yet Indonesia is additionally
haunted by volcanic activity as the country is built
on a chain of volcanoes that is connecting Sumatra
and Java, its main islands, with Bali and the Northern
parts of New Guinea. Especially in the central region
of Java, a densely populated island, Merapi Mountain
has inflicted heavy damage on the infrastructure in
recent years.

In comparison, Japan's main islands are relatively free
from imminent danger of a volcanic eruption as the
volcanoes to be found here are not active any longer.
While in the central region of Indonesia's most important
island of Java the fumes of vaporized sulphur are locally
emerging from under the earth, the glowing minerals
lying only some centimeters away from the surface, Japan
seemed to be more secure and better adapted to natural
disaster. But with a power plant at the brink of a nuclear
disaster, even the huge economic power of Japan and the
discipline of its people might not be able to cope with the
forces of an unwilling nature.

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