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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nuclear power in Japan etc ...

The sites come in handy from today's RefDesk (

Primer: Japan's Nuclear Crisis
by NPR Staff

For those who are interested to learn more about the Nuclear Crisis in Japan now, visit the site and read the full text.

Here is one Q & A from the article I like to share with readers of my blog:

"What exactly is a partial meltdown?"

"Meltdown isn't a technical term, and nuclear science agencies don't have a strict definition. But a meltdown typically occurs when the core of a nuclear reactor severely overheats, damaging the nuclear fuel rods. Normally, the rods are kept covered in water to keep them cooled. But if water levels drop so that the rods are exposed, they will heat up. The more area of the rods gets exposed, and the longer they are out of water, the hotter they grow — and they can melt."
"A partial meltdown can mean a wide range of things. Just a small portion of the nuclear rods could get exposed, limiting the heat produced. But if enough of the nuclear material melts, it could generate so much heat that the material burns through the containment structure, escaping into the outside world."

Source of information:

Nuclear power in Japan

"Following a major earthquake, tsunami, and the failure of cooling systems at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, a nuclear emergency was declared. This was the first time a nuclear emergency had been declared in Japan, and 140,000 residents within 20km of the plant were evacuated. The amount of radiation released is unclear, and the crisis is still ongoing."

For more details, read the full text at

Nuclear power plants in Japan
(view the map at

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