Fukushima-Fuel Rod Removal starts November..Danger!

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Fuel Removal from Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi NPS
This page still reports 308 assemblies and has not been updated.
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/removal4u/index-e.html

This page reports 418 assemblies updated this month.
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/decommision/index-e.html

418/1533
Breakdown of transferred assemblies by kind
Spent fuel 396 assemblies/1,331 assemblies
Unirradiated (New) fuel 22 assemblies/ 202 assemblies
Number of times of cask transportation:
19 times
as of Mar.3,2014

The new page has a window displaying rad readings for seven areas around the breakwater. Fukushima is joined in the news lately by the dam above Hanford leaking and WIPP puffing.
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
horse said:
I think the earthquake shook the cooling pipes loose based on worker accounts. The reactors were in trouble before the tsunami took out power and diverted early response to the reactor problems. TEPCO insists it was the tsunami because admitting it was a 6.5 earthquake would make it difficult to restart other NPP's in fault/quake zones[. By focusing on the Daiichi reactors attention is diverted from damage at other NPP’sand information is more easily controlled.
Thanks for all the updates, horse.

What you elude to above may very well be - were there any written accounts published by the workers? Do you know if what you say has been talked about in the engineering community, and if so, what has been their overall reaction?
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
voyageur said:
horse said:
I think the earthquake shook the cooling pipes loose based on worker accounts. The reactors were in trouble before the tsunami took out power and diverted early response to the reactor problems. TEPCO insists it was the tsunami because admitting it was a 6.5 earthquake would make it difficult to restart other NPP's in fault/quake zones[. By focusing on the Daiichi reactors attention is diverted from damage at other NPP’sand information is more easily controlled.
Thanks for all the updates, horse.

What you elude to above may very well be - were there any written accounts published by the workers? Do you know if what you say has been talked about in the engineering community, and if so, what has been their overall reaction?
"The authors have spoken to several workers at the plant who recite the same story: Serious damage to piping and at least one of the reactors before the tsunami hit"
http://www.thewire.com/global/2011/07/meltdown-what-really-happened-fukushima/39541/

"The findings of a new study by an international team of researchers who probed into the Fukushima nuclear disaster suggest that earthquake prone areas should be treated as 'atomic power plant free zones'."
http://www.indepthnews.info/index.php/global-issues/501-new-findings-on-fukushima-nuke-disaster

Read debate that the earthquake was not a 9.0 but a 6.7 that was later changed to 9.0. Pictures of the tsunami coming in do not show flattened buildings till the water hits. I'm not a member of the engineering community but would like to see their honest appraisal. Did just read in Enenews comments, that cement pads under the structures for earthquake proofing failed because the reactors were on one pad and the electric generators/controls on another. There is a crack in the ground on the side of r2 and subsidence of several feet, but I don't have handy links.
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
horse said:
voyageur said:
horse said:
I think the earthquake shook the cooling pipes loose based on worker accounts. The reactors were in trouble before the tsunami took out power and diverted early response to the reactor problems. TEPCO insists it was the tsunami because admitting it was a 6.5 earthquake would make it difficult to restart other NPP's in fault/quake zones[. By focusing on the Daiichi reactors attention is diverted from damage at other NPP’sand information is more easily controlled.
Thanks for all the updates, horse.

What you elude to above may very well be - were there any written accounts published by the workers? Do you know if what you say has been talked about in the engineering community, and if so, what has been their overall reaction?
"The authors have spoken to several workers at the plant who recite the same story: Serious damage to piping and at least one of the reactors before the tsunami hit"
_http://www.thewire.com/global/2011/07/meltdown-what-really-happened-fukushima/39541/
Ok, interesting article. Of the workers:

"All have requested anonymity because they are still working at the plant or are connected with TEPCO."

Understandable, their first reactions and statements are valuable, nonetheless. This also caught my attention from the article:

Tooru Hasuike, a TEPCO employee from 1977 until 2009 and former general safety manager of the Fukushima plant, also notes: “The emergency plans for a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant had no mention of using sea-water to cool the core. To pump seawater into the core is to destroy the reactor. The only reason you’d do that is no other water or coolant was available.”
Well that seems a big violation of SOP's. And this:

On March 2, nine days before the meltdown, the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) gave TEPCO a warning on its failure to inspect critical pieces of equipment at the plant, which included the recirculation pumps. TEPCO was ordered to make the inspections, perform repairs if needed and give a report to the NISA on June 2. The report is not confirmed to have been filed as of this time.
Interesting, as it seems the inspection was rather cursory, a paper trail, and not based on physical observations; and NISA had been hounding them for a decade or more. "If needed" does not point to needed. Be interesting if the report shows up.

"The findings of a new study by an international team of researchers who probed into the Fukushima nuclear disaster suggest that earthquake prone areas should be treated as 'atomic power plant free zones'."
_http://www.indepthnews.info/index.php/global-issues/501-new-findings-on-fukushima-nuke-disaster
Seems a funny kind of finding statement to make by such international scientists. I am sure some people have children who could make that assessment, yet it has always been allowed - insanity.

Read debate that the earthquake was not a 9.0 but a 6.7 that was later changed to 9.0. Pictures of the tsunami coming in do not show flattened buildings till the water hits. I'm not a member of the engineering community but would like to see their honest appraisal. Did just read in Enenews comments, that cement pads under the structures for earthquake proofing failed because the reactors were on one pad and the electric generators/controls on another. There is a crack in the ground on the side of r2 and subsidence of several feet, but I don't have handy links.
Thanks for the links horse, it would be nice to get an honest appraisal, as you say.
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Hadn't really paid much attention to the 'size of the earthquake' debate. Pictures of the 9.0 at Kobe show entire neighborhoods flattened. Towns around Fukushima don't show that kind of damage. The fact that any earthquake took out NPPs would not bode well for the nuclear industry in a country prone to quakes. Nuke Pro's site has a great map of the earthquakes in Japan 3 years ago. http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/p/links-including-rad-maps.html

The recent 6.9 off the CA coast should concern everyone on the Cascadia fault and the Pacific rim. Another sign of the times. In Japan are markers where past tsunamis reached, warning not to build below the markers. Still they built below the markers. Spent fuel and nuclear waste are big problems and the industry has no cheap solutions. Warnings are ignored and its business as usual. Three years after the meltdowns that were never going to happen we get a failure at WIPP that was never going to happen. So much for the blue pill. Many people here at SOTT took the red pill and can't deny the reality of that unseen danger to life; releasing and spreading radioactive isotopes into our home is killing us.
 

H-KQGE

Dagobah Resident
I just saw this.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/10/fukushima-operator-dump-contaminated-water-pacific

Fukushima operator may have to dump contaminated water into Pacific

As Japan marks the third anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Tepco is struggling to find a solution for hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water

Justin McCurry in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
Monday 10 March 2014 16.56 GMT

A senior adviser to the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has told the firm that it may have no choice but to eventually dump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.

Speaking to reporters who were on a rare visit to the plant on the eve of the third anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Dale Klein said Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco] had yet to reassure the public over the handling of water leaks that continue to frustrate efforts to clean up the site.

"The one issue that keeps me awake at night is Tepco's long-term strategy for water management," said Klein, a former chairman of the US nuclear regulatory commission who now leads Tepco's nuclear reform committee.

Storing massive amounts of water on-site is not sustainable. A controlled release is much safer than keeping the water on-site.

"Tepco is making progress on water management but I'm not satisfied yet. It's frustrating that the company takes four or five steps forward, then two back. And every time you have a leakage it contributes to a lack of trust. There's room for improvement on all fronts."

Tepco's failure to manage the buildup of contaminated water came to light last summer, when it admitted that at least 300 tonnes of tainted water were leaking into the sea every day.

That revelation was followed by a string of incidents involving spills from poorly assembled storage tanks, prompting the government to commit about $500m (£300m) into measures to contain the water.

They include the construction of an underground frozen wall to prevent groundwater mixing with contaminated coolant water, which becomes tainted after coming into contact with melted nuclear fuel deep inside the damaged reactors.

Tepco confirmed that it would activate an experimental wall at a test site at the plant on Tuesday. If the test is successful, the firm plans to build a similar structure almost 2km in length around four damaged reactors next year, although some experts have questioned its ability to use the technology on such a large scale.

Klein, too, voiced scepticism over the frozen wall solution, and suggested that the controlled release of treated water into the Pacific was preferable to storing huge quantities of it on site.

But Tepco, the government and nuclear regulators would have to win the support of local fishermen, and the release of even treated water would almost certainly draw a furious response from China and South Korea.

"It's a very emotional issue," Klein said. "But Tepco and the government will have to articulate their position to other people. For me, the water issue is more about policy than science."

Tepco is pinning its hopes on technology that can remove dozens of dangerous radionuclides, apart from tritium, internal exposure to which has been linked to a greater risk of developing cancer.

Klein, however, said tritium does not pose the same threat to heath as bone-settling strontium and caesium, and can be diluted to safe levels before it is released into the sea.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant's manager, Akira Ono, said the firm had no plans to release contaminated water into the Pacific, but agreed that decommissioning would remain on hold until the problem was solved.

"The most pressing issue for us is the contaminated water, rather than decommissioning," he said.

"Unless we address this issue the public will not be assured and the evacuees will not be able to return home.

"We are in a positive frame of mind over decommissioning the plant over the next 30 to 40 years, But we have to take utmost care every step of the way because errors can cause a lot of trouble for a lot of people."

Currently about 400 tonnes of groundwater is streaming into the reactor basements from the hills behind the plant each day. The plant has accumulated about 300,000 tonnes of contaminated water, which is being stored in 1,200 tanks occupying a large swath of the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Eventually Tepco hopes to have enough space to store 800,000 tonnes, but fears are rising that it will run out of space sometime next year because it can't keep up with the flow of toxic water.

Fukushima three years on
For visitors and workers alike, the journey to the plant begins at J-Village, a former training complex for the Japanese football team that now serves as the Fukushima cleanup's logistical base.

During the 20-minute bus ride through neighbourhoods still bearing the scars of the earthquake and tsunami, there were signs that decontamination work is making modest progress.

Atmospheric radiation levels are falling, leading the authorities to partially lift evacuation orders in neighborhoods on the edge of the evacuation zone.

Some of Fukushima's 100,000-plus nuclear evacuees are now permitted to return to their homes during the day, but radiation levels are still too high for them to make a permanent return.

In the town of Naraha, where atmospheric radiation hovered around 2 microsieverts an hour on Monday – the official decontamination target is 0.23 microsieverts an hour – large black bags filled with radioactive soil cover fields once used for agriculture, where they will remain until agreement can be reached on a permanent disposal site.

Part of a railway line running along to coast is due to reopen in the spring, although stretches of track that pass through the most contaminated areas are expected to remain closed for years.

Inside Fukushima Daiichi, reporters were reminded of the frantic attempts by a small group of Tepco engineers to save the plant from an even greater catastrophe in the hours after its power supply was knocked out by a towering tsunami three years ago.

In the control room for reactors 1 and 2, both of which suffered meltdowns, one worker's attempts to record water levels by scribbling them on to a disabled control panel are still visible.

None of the unnamed men, who had to work by torchlight, are still at the site: some have retired, but most had to leave because they quickly reached their lifetime radiation dose limit.

"It is difficult to describe what that time was like for those workers," said Kenichiro Matsui, a Tepco official. "They worked tirelessly to save the reactors. They had a real sense of mission."
 

l apprenti de forgeron

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
H-kqge said:
I just saw this.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/10/fukushima-operator-dump-contaminated-water-pacific

Fukushima operator may have to dump contaminated water into Pacific
Tepco always does the same in his insatiable thirst for money: first say that everything will be fine and deny everything that harms them (which would force to close the plant). Then when the evidence is stacked like mountains, they assume that it is so, but saying they can solve it, and finally it all goes to hell, because they know they would not be able to solve it. Then they will apologize. Their game is monstrous: continue profiting until the next -and final- earthquake.
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
"Inside the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant – LONG DOCUMENTARY in Tokyo Japan#1011 "

http://youtu.be/1hqqCiREEyY

This fifty minute BBC report simulates the events at Daiichi three years ago. Explains the operator errors and design problems rather well. The technology is still too complex for our level of understanding and too dangerous to be testing and learning in a production environment. The waste problems don't go away when they 'dilute' to legally release, they spread the toxins to contaminate other areas.
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
l apprenti de forgeron said:
H-kqge said:
I just saw this.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/10/fukushima-operator-dump-contaminated-water-pacific

Fukushima operator may have to dump contaminated water into Pacific
Tepco always does the same in his insatiable thirst for money: first say that everything will be fine and deny everything that harms them (which would force to close the plant). Then when the evidence is stacked like mountains, they assume that it is so, but saying they can solve it, and finally it all goes to hell, because they know they would not be able to solve it. Then they will apologize. Their game is monstrous: continue profiting until the next -and final- earthquake.
Last year TEPCO was running out of tank capacity but after typhoon season they had more capacity. Recent leaks may have been deliberate as well, when accidents weren’t leaking enough. The radioactively contaminated water was to be scrubbed of some isotopes by ALPS, but that hasn’t worked and leaks when they try. The tank water is a radiation hazard to workers on the site, but it will still be a radiation hazard when dumped in the Ocean.

Reactors 5 and 6 are being cooled by drawing contaminated water from inside the breakwater and releasing it outside the breakwater, another legal release of contaminated water directly into the Ocean. The casual way industry dumps all their toxic wastes into the sea should be a crime, not made legal by national governments and industry money.
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
horse said:
The casual way industry dumps all their toxic wastes into the sea should be a crime, not made legal by national governments and industry money.
Could not help to think, that as the western alliances are falling all over themselves with their propgandizing "high crimes" statements on Crimea's very own rights, the worst nuclear disaster and possible crimes that effect "all" on the planet are paid scant attention - business as usual. :(
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
voyageur said:
Could not help to think, that as the western alliances are falling all over themselves with their propgandizing "high crimes" statements on Crimea's very own rights, the worst nuclear disaster and possible crimes that effect "all" on the planet are paid scant attention - business as usual. :(
Beating the war drums always distracts from their financial problems. Fukushima and other nuclear problems are too costly to fix. Between Ukraine/Crimea and the missing Malaysian plane not much happened in MSM last week. Glad SOTT and others on the internet try to inform us of the other events happening. The more that know what's going on and waken, the stronger the intent grows to stop the madness and make a better way to live.

TEPCO had problems at sfp1 and shut down the cooling system for 11 days. They still can't get close to sfp2. Crane activity at r3 slowed somewhat, but what are they doing in there, still picking up pieces? Another big smoke event was recorded but the source was off screen by r5 & r6. Some guess they might be burning waste at night to draw less notice. A boat has been seen patrolling the area so terrorism won't be a problem. Sfp4 progress:

Fuel Removal from Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi NPS
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/decommision/index-e.html

506/1533
Breakdown of transferred assemblies by kind
Spent fuel 484 assemblies/1,331 assemblies
Unirradiated (New) fuel 22 assemblies/ 202 assemblies
Number of times of cask transportation:
23 times
as of Mar.17,2014
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Fuel Removal from Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi NPS
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/decommision/index-e.html

528/1533
Breakdown of transferred assemblies by kind
Spent fuel 506 assemblies/1,331 assemblies
Unirradiated (New) fuel 22 assemblies/ 202 assemblies
Number of times of cask transportation:
24 times
as of Mar.24,2014

Enenews reports work suspended after crane trouble
http://enenews.com/nhk-alarm-goes-off-after-accident-at-fukushima-unit-4-fuel-pool-work-suspended-after-crane-trouble-workers-have-been-monitoring-radiation-levels-video

NHK, Mar. 26, 2014: Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool [...] [TEPCO] said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building [...] a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel units from the storage pool suddenly halted before lifting the cask. Workers were attaching a hook to the crane’s wire [...] The company says no rise in radiation levels have been observed around the pool. [...]

NHK, Mar. 26, 2014: Trouble stops fuel removal at Fukushima plant [...] due to a problematic crane. [...] The utility explained a large crane used to hoist a cask containing fuel units set off an alarm and stopped. [...] Workers are now trying to find out what caused the problem. [...]

NHK transcript, Mar. 26, 2014: They’ve had some trouble transferring nuclear fuel from a reactor building to a storage pool [...] an alarm went off and the crane stopped moving. The workers have been monitoring radiation levels around the pool.

Watch the NHK broadcast here:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140326_33.html
"As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool."
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
horse said:
NHK transcript, Mar. 26, 2014: They’ve had some trouble transferring nuclear fuel from a reactor building to a storage pool [...] an alarm went off and the crane stopped moving. The workers have been monitoring radiation levels around the pool.

Watch the NHK broadcast here:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140326_33.html
"As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool."
Just thinking that most good cranes have what's called a load moment indicator calibrated within the cranes overload prevention system (limit switch), which would kick in and shut things down rather then stressing or shock-loading cables and the cranes engineered skeletal structures. They would know the rigging rates for the fuel rods and calibrate the system according to the working load limit (WLL). If the fuel rods were entangled for instance, the prevention system would shut it down avoiding inadvertent movement. If you can imagine pulling on a weight that is suddenly restricted, pulling to much could cause a sudden release which would shock-load the crane, possibly collapsing it.

Almost all crane failures have something to do with exceeding the WLL , circumventing the limit switch, or just poor engineering or poor crane erection practices. This crane operation is likely unbelievably difficult requiring precision at every stage - not a good recipe given the chaos of the fuel rods.
 

horse

Jedi
FOTCM Member
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140330_18.html

"Fuel removal resumes at Fukushima plant

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it has resumed the process of removing spent fuel from one of the crippled reactors.

On Wednesday, an alarm suddenly activated and stopped a large crane, as workers were preparing to hoist a cask containing fuel assemblies from the pool at the No. 4 reactor building.

Tokyo Electric Power Company found that a worker had mistakenly operated the crane without releasing an auxiliary brake, causing it to become overloaded.

The problem was fixed, and the removal work resumed at noon on Sunday.

This was the first suspension of the operation since TEPCO started removing fuel units from the pool in the building last November. The utility is removing the fuel assemblies to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

1,533 fuel units were being stored in the pool at the time of the 2011 accident, and 983 were still there on Sunday.

Mar. 30, 2014 - Updated 08:26 UTC"


One thing still bothering me in this 'fuel removal' business is where is it really going. The common pool was almost full when they started. Saw early reports that fuel from the common pool was to be dry casked, but don't find any reports of that happening. I found two references to a new pool at TEPCO earlier this year but they were gone days later when I went looking again. Links from Japan seem to come and go more frequently now that the 'states secrets' law is in effect.
 

Esote

Jedi Council Member
TEPCO released a small selection of images of some of the fuel removed from the unit 4 spent fuel pool. They selected different types of fuel to examine. They provide some contrast to how each fuel type was damaged by the conditions in the pool during the disaster. The 8×8 high burnup fuel appears to have fared the worst with thicker corrosion towards the bottom. The 9×9 and the new type fuel appear to have fared better. TEPCO did not include additional information about the age of each assembly when the disaster happened or the position of the assembly in the pool, both factors could impact the damage extent.
http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=12950
 
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