March 15th, 2011
11:59 PM ET
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Terry Hertel

    They should try ice........

    5lb blocks.......whatever....easier to target......better coverage because of density

    Get those huge Russian helicopters to drop the ice from some sort of "tailored" container

    March 16, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  2. harumi

    I'm living in Tokyo and just watched the breaking news, "New fire at nuclear plant".
    The most shocking is that the information given by Anderson and the nuclear expert in the news is much more accurate and comprehensible than any official news in Japan.
    Japanese government always tries to hide the real danger which we should know in order to take measures.
    One thing very ironical is that Japanese who experienced atomic bomb explosions in the past are now to show to the world how nuclear is dangerous...how come we chose to be again victims?
    I've been personnaly anti-nuke for decades but didn't do any move to prevent it, I regret a lot.
    We are very greatful for your support and attention to Japan.

    Kind regards,

    March 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  3. Mineo Tanaka

    Hi Anderson,

    When we have forest fires in British Columbia, we use water bombers to dump large quantities of water on the fires. They fly in all types of air currents, scoop water up on the fly and drop their loads over and over. The plants roof is off. Why cannot water bombers be used to help with the cooling.

    Mineo Tanaka, Vancouver, B.C. Canada

    March 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  4. Ed from Alabama

    Anderson, I do not think that fuel rods (either fresh or spent) can burn as a log in a fire-place will burn. They are tubes of pellets of fissionable material that are hot from the nuclear reaction taking place in them. The only way to control the reaction is to slow the nutrons with an absortive material such as boron or carbon rods inserted into the material (nuclear pile). These rods will get very hot unless the heat is removed by absorbing it into water to create steam to run a turbine or to let the heat leave as the steam disapates into the air. If heat is not removed the rods can get hot enough to melt, thus the term melt-down.

    March 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  5. William Miller

    It may be impossible to do but adding ice to the spent fuel rod containment pools would more than double the cooling capacity of sea water. Due to latent heat of fusion.

    March 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Harvey in Japan

    I am slightly concerned at some of the reporting going on
    Why do all Americans need to leave the area? Is it Ok therefore for other nationalities to stay there?
    Biassed reporting is how it feels here.

    March 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  7. LuAnn

    Please stop alarming the public. If you do not have the correct facts, don't say anything. You need to contact professionals here in the U.S. that work actively and are considered expert in the nuclear field like my husband. He is a top nuclear physicist and chemist, highly regarded in the field. He has told me that the only thing left to do is to pour cement over the rods and containments – sealing it forever. That is the only thing left to do. But please stop alarming the public.

    March 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  8. Kirsten Anderberg

    I live at the beach in Ventura, CA. It took a day for the tsunami waves to hit us. How long will it take the air waves with radiation to hit us? They say the radiation will not be enough to hurt us in CA, yet they also are saying they have no idea what is really happening in the reactors, nor do they know what will happen next, there are no previous data sets for this, and this is unprecedented, so they really have no idea if it will hurt CA is my take on it.

    March 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  9. Kirsten Anderberg

    The level of deceit coming from all levels of this nuclear disaster is appalling. We are at the point where no one believes any authorities, as if we are all on our own. The scientists are saying things like "unprecedented" and "no data" as if no one has any idea what is going on. If any country goes forward with nuclear energy now, they are nuts. (Thus, the busloads of nuke lobbiests flooding WA DC today.) Wind and solar power do not have meltdowns. Talk about "burning your fingers" to learn a lesson! I hope people finally get the lesson this time. This is horrific. No Nukes! EVER.

    March 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  10. Dennis Engles

    When Dry Ice changes from a solid to a gas it absorbs heat and expands to over 800 times its original volume.

    Dry Ice will replace oxygen in a container preventing or putting out fires. It is used to safely remove underground gas storage tanks.

    Can you drop Dry Ice onto the Rod Water to help it to keep it cool???

    March 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  11. Dave Ronchetti

    How far apart are the 6 Japanese nuclear reactors from each other? In other words, how much distance do these courageous people fighting the nuclear meltdown have to go from one reactor to the other to fight the problems they face? Is it block, miles, etc. This may give the people of the world a bit of a scope of what they are really fighting against.
    Thank you,
    Dave Ronchetti

    March 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Webb Schoefer

    Are Nuclear Power Plants Built Too Large?
    I once spoke to a nuclear engineer. He mentioned that the U.S. Navy has marvelous nuclear power plants which can be safely removed and decommissioned (buried elsewhere) due to their size. I am concerned that big business is building too large power plants and that many smaller plants are better. These large plants cannot be decommissioned. They WILL BE HOT for thousands of years! Imagine the future footprint of all these dead reactors. Lastly, as Japan is showing the scale of these plants are too big with massive explosions. We are seeing a solution by big business. Lets hear from the nuclear scientist!

    March 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  13. James Schell

    My God, Get a Army in there, seal it off, do something. It is getting bad by the Hr. not better. If they try to fix it the way they have been doing, the whole dam thing is going to blow. God help us all. Thank you. Jim.

    March 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  14. William of Iowa

    Permit if you will, a follow up question. What is the required pumping capacity for cooling one nuclear reactor and how much generated power would be required? This thought occured after reading about desalination methods used globally. There are fixed as well as transportable units capable of cleaning and pumping great amounts of seawater. Could this method be adequate and utilized to restart the pumping process to cool the reactors or have we passed the moment in time when it is a viable option? Some of the desalination units are seaborne and I've noticed in satelite photos what appears to be a port adjacent to the affected nuclear plant, could this infrastructure be utilized? With respect, I would like to add to the discussion of existing and new nuclear plants that we give great consideration to our ability to marshall the resources necessary to respond to crisis. Time and time again it appears we are a day late and dollar short when we need to.

    March 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  15. Susan Belger

    Info coming from the Japanese is unfortunately quite reminiscent of Woody Allen's "What's Up Tiger Lily". They need to wake up and realize the whole world is watching them, and act more like are dealing with the largest nuclear accident in more than 30 years, not Woody's secret egg salad recipe.

    March 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  16. William of Iowa

    Some reports indicate civil responders, such as police and fire personel, are using water cannons and hose to spray water on the fires and containment structures. Would the plume be steam created by water upon hot surface? I understand the powerloss situation, but does not Tokyo Power monitor the reactors remotely? Jim's experience at MIT might shed some light on the use of robotics to enter and observe the reators in jeaopardy or is this option a victim of powerloss?

    March 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  17. Reza

    Nuclear plant are working 24/7. Back up system is enough for daily problems but not for disasters like tsunami. These disasters can affect the primary support as well as back up system the same. We have to find new ways for their safety. I feel having these plants is like driving with a race car that does not have a break.

    March 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  18. Jerry

    It seems possible, perhaps even likely, that one or several of the reactors is going to spiral into an uncontrollable meltdown. What then? Do we have a "China syndrome," where the nuclear material melts through the floor of the steel reactor containment and into the ground, sending up enormous clouds of steam and radioactive materials? Please analyze this scenario and the consequences for the U.S. West coast. One more question: was there a pool of spent fuel rods in the containment building that blew up?

    March 16, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  19. charles w carroll

    Considering the problems at the power plant reactors , wonder if a product like Evans waterless coolant might be used it has a boiling temp of 375 degrees and its mass produced in china .

    March 16, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  20. Rebecca

    Can an explosion of these 6 reactors trigger more quakes/tsunami's?

    March 16, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  21. Lawrence J. Krakauer

    Last night (3/15/11), Anderson and his experts spent an hour or so discussing a Japanese press conference which seemed to imply that all workers had left the nuclear plant, leaving nobody there at all to manage the problems. Yet this morning (3/16), I find no mention of this. Was that interpretation wrong? Are there still workers there, or not? If there are, what did the press conference actually mean? There's no follow-up to last night's discussion.

    March 16, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  22. philip

    Why dont international experts go in help the Japanese engineers>Very confusing ..we hear fire one day fire extinguished another day then fire again Something not quite right??

    March 16, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  23. glenn

    probably stupid question, but are the storage pools exposed? could they use planes to drop water on them like they do to fight forest fires?

    March 16, 2011 at 3:59 am |
  24. Abbey Hamilton

    Depending on amount of radiation where each worker or group is working & length of exposure times, it is possible that if the last remaining 50 workers have been taken out of Daiichi plant, it could very well be because they are already too ill with radiation sickness symptom onset & are UNABLE to continue any work.
    Chernobyl happened under the former USSR regime & the Soviets were rarely forthcoming & truthful about a lot of things–even with their own people–& they certainly were not about the Chernobyl incident. About 9 years ago I read a book called "The Truth About Chernobyl" written by a former Soviet nuclear scientist. Workers & helicopter pilots ordered in to attempt to stop the meltdown & ongoing release of radiation died in droves. The levels of radiation were so extreme that each wave of workers could only stay in or fly over for a very short time before becoming so ill from radiation that they were totally unable to continue & had to be replaced with fresh "volunteers."

    March 16, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  25. Eugenia

    is it possible that they know they can no longer contain the reactor?
    are they walking away because of the fact that from now until saturday the air will be moved off shore?
    if the plate moved 8 to 13 feet east of japan, where is it going?
    how do you change a situation that is unchangeable?

    the silent scream. not being able to help or change a damn thing.

    March 16, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  26. sheila salas

    My heart is breaking for the people of Japan. But it also can't help but smile at the brave way these people are handling this catastrophy. Such calm. The way they are helping each other. Although this is heart wrenching to sit here and watch. Something good has come out of this. Japan is full of teachers teaching the rest of the world discipline. It is just beautiful.

    March 16, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  27. Kay Hairston

    These people have suffered enough. It's time for the specialist to step up and do something before more people are killed or hurt. It's time to stop talking about what should be done and take action!!!! I understand that other countries can only do what Japan will allow them to do. My heart goes out to these people. I'm starting to have a hard time watching the suffering. So many lives are lost and so many still missing, young and old. Little food, water, clothing and housing if any. May God be with each and everyone of these people.

    March 16, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  28. Donnie Hairston

    Looks like the power company in Japan has found their Titanic. Remember the owners/makers of the Titanic said that it was indestructible and you see what happened to it.
    Where are the owners of this power company and why don't they have a specialist in there trying to correct the problem instead of letting those workers keep working without any rest. That's putting not only the workers in jeopardy but the whole country and possibly other countries.These people have enough tragedy!

    March 16, 2011 at 12:22 am |