In my recent post Blue Light Special I said that the blue lights seen at the reactor accidents in Japan were evidence of a criticality accident. But not so fast. Maybe, despite the reports there were no blue lights.
In fact, nobody has seen any flashing lights. It is speculation on what may or may not be happening:So no blue flashes.A partial meltdown of fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing the isolated reactions, Denis Flory, nuclear safety director for the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, told a news conference in Vienna.An expert says there is a chance of such a reaction. Sometimes, that kind of reaction will include a blue flash of light inside the reactor. So, following Fox logic….OH MY GOD – BLUE FLASHES OF LIGHT OVER NUCLEAR PLANT!!
Nuclear experts call these reactions “localized criticality.” They consist of a burst of heat, radiation and sometimes an “ethereal blue flash,” according to the U.S. Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory website. Twenty-one workers worldwide have been killed by “criticality accidents” since 1945, the site says.
What do we have some evidence of?
Chlorine 38 - a short half life isotope made by irradiating sea water with neutrons
Iodine 134 - a short lived decay product
Neutrons - to be detected at the approximately 1 mile distance from the plant reported there needs to be a high level source of neutrons - like a critical core or something.
Tellurium 129 - a short lived decay product found recently in reactor #1
Much higher levels of Iodine 131 in core #1 than in cores #2 and #3. The levels should be comparable if all the reactors shut down with the earthquake.
You can learn more about the last two items at Chain Reactions.
So no blue light, but still a lot of evidence of an inadvertent criticality accident.
Cross Posted at Classical Values