Thursday, March 17, 2011

Which Way The Wind Blows

Ex-Sandia engineer talks about some of the worst things that could happen in Japan | Frank Munger's Atomic City Underground | "That, in turn, would cause a 'high-pressure melt injection' into the water-filled concrete cavity below the reactor. Because the concrete would likely be unheated, the reaction created by the sudden injection of the reactor's ultra-hot content would be immense, he said.

'It'll be like somebody dropped a bomb, and there'll be a big cloud of very, very radioactive material above the ground,' Allen said, noting that it would contain uranium and plutonium, as well as the fission products.

Should these events happen, the best outcome would be if the winds are blowing east and push the radioactive plume over the Pacific Ocean, he said. 'It (the radioactivity) will fall out in the ocean and everything will be fine,' he said.

The worst case, Allen said, would be if winds pushed a radioactive cloud south toward Tokyo and Japan's highly populated cities."
Of course our hearts must go out to the dead and injured from the earthquake and tsunami. But if the situation continues to be uncertain at the nuclear plants or gets worse, the economic impact of Tokyo and environs being relatively deserted and off-line as seen in recent news reports in itself is non-trivial in terms of world supply chains. Never mind what the financial markets are doing.