MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering Briefing on the Japan Nuclear Crisis

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In the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, reliable technical information about the crisis affecting the nuclear power plants at Fukushima has been difficult to discern from the media coverage. The demand to know what is happening, however, is very great. The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering ( held an information session for the MIT community about the current situation at Fukushima on March 14, 2011. Topics discussed include: the characteristics of the boiling water reactors at Fukushima; the possible causes of the accidents; the current status of the reactors; the technical options that may now be available to the reactor operators; and the possible future implications. NSE students, with support from our faculty, are maintaining a technical information blog at to continue to provide non-sensationalized, factual data from engineers in a manner that can be understood by the general public.

See the original video and more on MIT TechTV here –


tinfoilhatter says:

wow-so how's that all going,well over 2 years later,right?

Brett __ says:

Lots of people talking, placating the ignorant masses, ignoring the basic issues of how huge this is. There is no water on the spent rods, in fact the hydrogen explosions and subsequent sat photos prove there is no pool. The temps reached will melt through concrete and steel. They are now a bubbling mass on bottom of structure and isotopes entering soil and ground water, many of which cause bone cancer. All because stupid generators stored above ground and no gravity fed cooling system.

MrNightLifeLover says:

Starts around 0:16 if you want to skip the intro blah blah

zassounotsukushi says:

@DavidAKZ There are more than enough readings publicly available to draw conclusions about when winds containing radioactive particles pass over certain towns. The data that can't be released probably contains extremely sensitive analysis that can identify individual isotopes and detect nuclear detonations far away. That can help studies, but there is plenty of information to asses the health risks of the radiation release to different areas.

DavidAKZ says:

@cusanusnicolas Apparently not. 'Radiation data from Japanese disaster starts to filter out' Confidential data held by nuclear test ban organization emerging as key to monitoring Fukushima radiation.tinyurl . com / 6eyrsbl
Thanks for replying.

Alan Foos says:

@DavidAKZ Readings are showing a brief band of radiation passing Bakersfield, but you will not get meaningful official data as I understand.

DavidAKZ says:

Caesium-137 half life 30 years, Strontium-90(?) half life 29 years., Iodine-131 half life 8 days. Does anyone want to comment on the extent to which these fission products have entered the northern hemisphere jet stream heading west to the US ? Also, radiation detectors at west coast US airports being set off by people coming from Japan

mars Cubed says:

It sounds too easy, but a helicopter could drop a hose which has a directable nozzle and simple frame to anchor it to the top of the reactor buildings.
Water could then be pumped from the ground and directed by the directional nozzle. It would only be a 'stop gap' but could buy some time..
I'm no engineer but seems pieces could be welded together very quickly. it would require adequate water pressure. (judging from video on YT of ground sited hoses, this may still be too low ATM).

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