Unsure of how to deal with a fire of this nature, operators tried turning the cooling fans to full power in order to bleed off heat, but the oxygen provided by this effort only fueled the fire. Tuohy suggested removing fuel cartridges from the heart of the fire manually by forcing them from their channels and into the cooling ponds using scaffolding poles. The effort was valiant, but the poles were unable to withstand the punishment. They were red hot as as they were withdrawn from the nuclear furnace, and the ends were dripping with molten radioactive uranium. As one of the men battling the unique fire described the exposed fuel channels, “It was white hot, it was just white hot. Nobody, I mean, nobody, can believe how hot it could possibly be.”
By the morning of Friday 11 October, eleven tons of uranium were burning. Equipment was registering temperatures of 1,300 degrees Celsius in the reactor, and climbing at a rate of 20 degrees per minute. The cement containment around the burning reactor was in severe danger of collapse due to the extreme heat.
Where are the clowns? Send in the clowns.
Last edited by Vargus; 12-31-2009 at 01:47 AM.
The following users say "It is so good to hear it!":