07.08.2020

Fukushima disaster

Disaster at the nuclear power plant "Fukushima - 1"

The first Fukushima nuclear power plant, located 230 kilometers from Tokyo, was put into operation in 1971 and at the time of the accident had 6 power units and was one of the 25 largest plants in the world.

 

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 8.8 on the Richter scale struck the northeast coast of Japan, the largest ever recorded earthquake in Japan. This led to the death of 5178 people and the disappearance of 8606 people without a trace, both directly from the destruction and the resulting tsunami up to 12 meters high. About 100,300 houses in the country were destroyed by the elements in whole or in part.

 

At the First Fukushima NPP, three operating power units were stopped by the action of emergency protection, but the power supply was interrupted (including from standby diesel power plants), which was necessary to remove the residual energy release from the reactor. On March 12, at 0:00 Kiev time, the evacuation of the population from the 10-kilometer zone around the nuclear power plant was announced; later the zone was expanded to 20 kilometers, and then to 30 kilometers.

 

On March 12 at 8:36 am Kiev time, an explosion occurred at the first power unit of the nuclear power plant, as a result of which part of the concrete structures of the outer shell of the unit collapsed. Four station workers were injured. In order to cool the reactor, it was decided to fill its shells with seawater with a boric acid solution. The next day, the emergency cooling system of the third unit failed, which led to a new explosion, which occurred on March 14. As a result, 11 people were injured.

 

From 15 to 18 March explosions occurred on two more units, and the 3rd and 4th power units were engulfed in fire, which led to the release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere. All personnel were evacuated from the station. The remaining 50 engineers, as well as 80 self-defense soldiers, will fight the disaster. The forces of helicopter aviation, firefighters and police managed to extinguish fires and organize work on filling the containment of nuclear reactors with water. By March 27, at four affected power units, it was possible to restore the operation of control devices and some operational functions.

 

On April 4, to solve the problem of emergency pumping of highly radioactive water from the underground structures of power units, about 10,000 tons of radioactively contaminated water was discharged into the sea.

 

On April 11, a 7-point earthquake occurred, but none of the liquidators was injured and all emergency operations continued. On April 17, the construction of a system began with pumps that would pump out contaminated water from underground structures, as well as filters installed outside the power units for water purification and heat exchangers for cooling it; purified and cooled water was planned to be poured back into the reactors. The installation of the system was completed in 3 months. This prevented the formation of a permanent source of polluted water. Over the next six months, all the contaminated water was pumped out, the cooling of the reactors was completely restored and the liquidation of the accident was completed.

 

In mid-December, all problem reactors of the nuclear power plant were brought to a cold shutdown state. The situation at the Fukushima-1 NPP was stabilized. The next, more difficult stage of eliminating the consequences of the accident - extracting molten nuclear fuel from reactors - will be carried out by Japanese specialists no earlier than 10 years later.

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