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What Happened on March 11, 2011? | Sanibel Sea School Blog

What Happened on March 11, 2011?

Two weeks ago marked the third anniversary of the Fukuskima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, which occurred when the 9.0-magnitude Tohoku earthquake triggered a massive tsunami off the coast of Japan. Forty-five foot waves inundated backup generators with seawater, resulting in a total loss of power at the plant. Without electricity to cool the nuclear reactors, dangerous gases built up within the system, ultimately leading to cataclysmic explosions.

 

Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant Layout. Hydrogen gas built up in Units 1-3 and exploded within 3 days after the tsunami. Unit 4 was damaged during these explosions.

As a result from the explosions and efforts to cool the reactors with massive amounts of water, certain radioisotopes washed into the ocean. Concerned scientists have continued monitor the levels of Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137 since the disaster.

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