Monday, May 16, 2011

Fukushima 16 May 2011

The two videos below take about 25 minutes total to watch. You shouldn't miss either of them. There is evidence that unit #3 has undergone recriticality recently. Recriticality at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Japanese Researcher Says Nuclear Chain Reaction May Have Reignited Long After Tsunami Disabled the Plant

And just to give you the warm fuzzies - let us look at what high levels of I-131 60 days after the accident means. So how about some numbahs. Half life of I-131 = 8 days (and a smidge)

60/8 = 7.5

27.5 = 181

So by now levels of I-131 should be roughly 200 times less than they were on March 11th. High levels at this point in time? Re-criticality. Very bad news.

Reactor Core at Japan Nuke Plant More Severely Damaged Than Originally Thought

Video: Worse Than Chernobyl

IAEA Reports

Video: Information Control

Myths Of Three Mile Island I

Myths Of Three Mile Island II

IAEA: "Contaminated Water from #Fukushima to Reach US West Coast Next Year"
Oh that's lovely.

But no need to worry, the IAEA tells us, the level of radioactive materials will be so low there will be no effect on human health. Sorry, fish. I guess they are nuclear scientists and not biologists who know the term "bioconcentration".

Also, the IAEA fully endorses TEPCO's "roadmap" as "well-thought, good plan". No kidding. I guess they do not have a certificate in project management either, if they can praise the roadmap without any detailed timeline, budgeting, man-power allocations, task dependency, etc.

Radiation levels in the unit 2 torus are over double from two days ago
How hazardous is 130 Sv/hr? At that dose rate, just under 3 minutes of exposure (whole body) results in certain death within a few months time.

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 3 Getting Hotter Than Reactor 1

Ventilation system activated in the unit 1 reactor building
The system primarily targets free I-131 in the air within the reactor building, though i don't understand why it wouldn't remove other varieties of isotopes as well. In any case, they are touting a possible 96.666 reduction in free air Iodine if the system performs as expected.
Of course at this late date the presence of I-131 in the air is some more evidence of Recriticality.

TEPCO hopes workers enter Reactor #1 building for cooling

Protesters demand stoppage of Hamaoka plant

Tsuruga Nuke Plant to Stop the Reactor No.2 on May 7
After the highly elevated levels of radioactive xenon-133 and iodine-133 were detected in the cooling water from the Reactor Pressure Vessel of the Reactor 2 on May 2 (see my post on May 2), Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) has decided to shut down the Reactor 2 at Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture in order to identify which fuel rods are leaking the radioactive materials.

Here's proof that the composition of recent venting is quite radioactive indeed

Radiation levels fluctuate in Fukushima schools
The ministry's latest measurements on Friday and Saturday showed radioactivity under the safety limit at these schools as well.
Only one problem. They raised the limit for children to equal the previous limit for Nuke Plant workers. Bastards.

Professor Kunihiko Takeda: "Teachers, Wake Up and Protect Children from Radiation!"

Gov't to ask Chubu Electric to stop Hamaoka nuclear power plant
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Friday the Japanese government has asked Chubu Electric Power Co. to suspend all its nuclear reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear power station, citing experts' forecast of a major earthquake that could hit the region.
This is tough because Japan is already short of electricity from tsunami damage.

Robot Expo at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Now Sweden's Brokk Is Coming

Reactor 3 RPV was recently measuring at 314.5°C - above its design specification of 300°C

Radioactive cesium detected in tea leaves

550 Bq/kg of Cs-137 detected in Tea Leaves in Kanagawa Prefecture south of Tokyo

#Fukushima Crisis? What Crisis? EPA Stops Special Monitoring of Radiation in the US. This is a very bad idea.

Tepco must be disappointed after the ventilation effort in unit 1 fails to significantly reduce exposures

Industry Minister: need to review Fukushima plant recovery road map.

Now, Radioactive Sewage Sludge from #Fukushima City
Fukushima I Nuke Plant has been one big "dirty bomb".

After Koriyama City's sewage treatment center was tested positive for high level of radioactive cesium in the sewage sludge and slag and the sludge had been already sold (my post here and here), Fukushima Prefecture ordered the testing in other 19 similar treatment centers in Fukushima. 18 out of 19 centers were found to have high concentration of radioactive cesium.

Daily life in Miyagi Prefecture is now subjected to ocean tides
The vast majority of natural disasters are events people can recover from, and are even helpful for regional economies in afflicted areas. The problems facing Miyagi, however, are more serious and longer-lasting than what people typically face for a couple of reasons - newly found radioactivity present in the environment, and the incredible sinking of land surface area that allows water from the ocean to flow right into town.

#Fukushima Prefecture Has 62 Sewage Treatment Facilities
In the letter, the governor of Fukushima shows much concern for the disruption of the sewage treatment in Fukushima, and demands that the national government come up with a safe way to treat radioactive sludge as soon as possible. He says it is absolutely necessary to be able to continue to process the sewage, radioactive or not. His concern seems to be about treatment, and safety for the treatment facility workers.
That is going to be tough. They have a choice between a radiation disaster and a public health (disease) disaster.

That sludge radioactivity problem in Japan is apparently ongoing; more highly radioactive amounts were recently detected in Gunma Prefecture
First back in March, it was Koto Ward that shipped out sludge just buzzing with radioactivity at 170,000 Bq/kg. Then in that same month, two other Tokyo Wards reported intense radioactivity coming from incinerator ash in the range of 100,000 to 140,000 Bq/kg.

This past Friday, a water sanitation facility in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture detected radioactive Cesium at levels of 41,000 Bq/kg coming from incinerator ash that the water facility had collected earlier that week. Monitoring is ongoing.

Radioactive substance detected in incinerator ashes in Tokyo
A highly radioactive substance was detected in incinerator ashes at a sewage plant in eastern Tokyo in late March, shortly after the start of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, metropolitan government sources said Friday.
Some news travels really slow.

PM Kan's Hamaoka Nuke Plant Shut Down Request Was Made Under Pressure from the US

All Hamaoka reactors shut down

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Videos of Spent Fuel Pools (Reactors 3 and 4)

TEPCO to cover No.1 reactor building. So they cover the top with a Chernobyl style "coffin" and yet the bottom is leaking radioactive water like a sieve. I suppose you do what you can. Or more likely what you are willing to do. When government is involved it generally isn't enough. Unless you are connected. Then it will be too much. Which for those on the receiving end will be just enough.

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: TEPCO To Put Cover Over Reactor 1 in June

Japanese Government Wants to Hold Trilateral Summit Opening Ceremony in #Fukushima City. I have no sympathy for the world "leaders". But what about all the folks in the entourage? Some of who have no choice. If they want to keep their jobs.

A third worker dies at Japan's troubled nuclear plant - Cause unknown

More on the Worker's Death: It Took 2 Hours to Get to the Hospital

Missing water located in the Unit 1 reactor basement

Holey Moley
The WSJ online reports that "substantial damage to the fuel cores at two additional reactors of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place", "further complicating the already daunting task of bringing them to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity".

It also mentions that "the pressure vessel a cylindrical steel container that holds nuclear fuel, "is likely to be damaged and leaking water at units Nos. 2 and 3", and that "there could be far less cooling water in the pressure vessels of Nos. 2 and 3, indicating there are holes at the bottom of these vessels, with thousands of tons of water pumped into these reactors mostly leaking out".

Units 1,2 and 3 may all be in the same boat.

What is 400 tons of seawater doing in the cooling system at the Hamaoka nuclear plant? So maybe the shutdown wasn't political after all. Maybe the plant was in trouble.

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Radiation on 2nd Floor of Reactor 1 Exceeded 1,000 Millisieverts/Hour
When 7 TEPCO employees and 2 NISA employees entered the Reactor 1 reactor building on early hours of May 9 (JST), the act that released mere 500 million becquerels of radioactive iodine and cesium into the atmosphere, they measured the radiation level on the ground floor which was 600 to 700 millisieverts/hour at the highest spot.

Then on May 10, someone went upstairs to the 2nd floor for the first time since March 11, and measured the radiation there. It was so high that the Geiger counter couldn't accurately measure.

And TEPCO thinks the totally melted blob of fuel rods (uranium, plutonium) + cladding (zirconium alloy) + control rods (boron, cadmium, silver, indium) + stainless steel pipes + whatever was inside the Reactor Pressure Vessel = "corium" is being safely cooled at the bottom of the RPV.
I wonder what they mean by "safely"? I wonder what they mean by "cooled"?

Rapid meltdown occurred in No.1 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company says most of the fuel rods in the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel within 16 hours of the earthquake on March 11th.

The plant operator revealed its findings on Sunday.

TEPCO said it analyzed the data and calculated a timeline for developments in the No. 1 reactor on the assumption that it lost its cooling system as soon as the tsunami hit.

The firm said that about four and half hours after the quake the level of water in the pressure vessel fell below the top of fuel rods and that parts of them began melting.

The temperature of the rods is believed to have reached 2,800 degrees Celsius at this stage, and the meltdown advanced rapidly.
And they are just telling us now?

TEPCO Stating the Obvious After 2 Month: Reactor 1 Meltdown Occurred Within 16 Hours of March 11 Earthquake

Core meltdown analysis [pdf]

From TEPCO Presser on May 12 Part 3: "Probably the Same Situation in Reactors 2 and 3"
The water gauges for the Reactors 2 and 3 are not to be trusted, said TEPCO's Matsumoto in the press conference on May 12 (I watched the live-recorded video) when the company officially acknowledged the meltdown of the Reactor 1.

If the water gauges for the Reactors 2 and 3 have been overstating the water levels, just like in the Reactor 1, it is very likely that all three reactors have hardly any water inside the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPV), and the reactor cores are likely to have been melted.

Fantasy Island
Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, says it will revise the method it is using to cool down the No.1 reactor, whose fuel rods are believed to have melted. But TEPCO says it is still aiming to achieve a stable cold shutdown of the reactor by July as planned.

The meltdown is believed to have created holes in the pressure vessel protecting the reactor core and damaged the containment vessel. As a result, highly radioactive water may be leaking from the containment vessel to the basement of the reactor building.

This situation is making it virtually impossible to fill the containment vessel with water as planned, forcing TEPCO to come up with an alternate method of cooling the reactor.
Do you believe the timetable? I don't.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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