Fukushima Non-Containment

SUBHEAD: Tepco has indicated that three Fukushima Dai Ichi reactor containment vessels may have "holes".  

By Ex-Skf on 28 March 2011 for Ex-Skf Blogspot -  

Image above: Diagram from Asahi Shinbun News story apparently showing flooded space below turbine room separated from reactor containment by duct.

From a story in Asahi Shinbun News (http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0328/TKY201103280198.html) that was published at 3:00PM JST 3/28/2011 it was reported that their may be "holes" in three reactor containment vessels at the Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant. Why the hell are they reporting it now?? The information was supposed to have been revealed in the press conference that TEPCO had past midnight on March 28, according to the article:
(The opening paragraph in Japanese is different now, though admitting the same thing, after Asahi updated the article.)


Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitted to the possibility in its early March 28 press conference that the steel Reactor Pressure Vessels that hold nuclear fuel rods in the Reactors No. 1, 2, and 3 at Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant may have broken. TEPCO explained the situation "Imagine there's a hole." Because of this "hole", contaminated water that's been poured into the Pressure Vessels to cool the fuel rods continues to leak, it is assumed.


In the Reactors No. 1, 2, and 3, the water level within the Pressure Vessels are not rising as much as desired. TEPCO admitted in the March 28 press conference that the reason why the Pressure Vessels haven't been filled with water was "probably a hole near the bottom, that's the image we have". Asked why there was a hole, TEPCO answered they did not know.

  圧力容器は燃料ペレット、燃料被覆管、格納容器、原子炉建屋と合わせた5重の放射能閉じ込め機能の中で、最も重要な位置づけだ。福島第一原発の圧力容器 は厚さ16センチの鋼鉄でできており、底部には、計測装置などを外部から差し込む貫通部などがある。その周辺から漏れている可能性が考えられる。

The Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) are the most important of the 5-layer protection against radiation leak (other 4 are the fuel pellets, cladding of fuel rods, Container Vessels, and the Reactor buildings). The RPVs at Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear Power Plant is made of 16-centimeter thick steel, and it has an outlet at the bottom to insert measuring instruments. It is possible that the leak is from that area.

 東電は、水面か ら露出した核燃料が過熱して損傷した可能性を認めている。専門家によると、核燃料を束ねた燃料棒が損傷して崩れ、圧力容器下部に落下して かたまりになると、表面積が小さくなって効率よく水で冷やせなくなる。極めて高温になった燃料が圧力容器の壁を溶かして穴を開けた可能性もある。

TEPCO also admitted to the possibility of the exposed nuclear fuel rods overheating and damaging the RPVs.

According to the nuclear experts, if the fuel rods get damaged and start to melt, it will fall to the bottom of the RPVs and settle. It then becomes harder to cool with water effectively, because the surface area is smaller. It is possible that the melted fuel rods melted the wall of the RPVs with high temperature and created a hole.

(The reference below to the TEPCO's belief in the integrity of the RPVs are removed in the updated article. This is the text that appeared in their 3:00PM article, which I copied when it appeared to my Japanese blog.)


On the other hand, TEPCO said it didn't think the RPVs are completely broken, because the pressures inside the RPVs were higher than the atmosphere. "It is not like Chernobyl where the RPV exploded and the fuels were outside the RPV." TEPCO continued to believe in the integrity of the RPVs.
Fukushima Dai Ichi reactor pressure vessels with holes at the bottom, underground tunnel flooded with radioactive water! "So what?" Says the world, by ignoring the news completely.This is just unreal and it's not even in the headlines in Japanese news sources. Nothing on English news sources. Am I hallucinating? No. I go to the link from my yesterday's post, and the Asahi Shinbun article is updated with additional information with underground tunnel from the Reactor No. 2 all flooded with highly contaminated water which has possibly have been draining into the ocean. Asahi Shinbun updated their story at 7:26PM JST 2/28/2011:

TEPCO announced that 1000 milli-sievert radiation was detected from the water from the underground tunnel from the turbine building of the Reactor 2 and the vertical duct [to the tunnel?].

東電によると、27日午後、タービン建屋から 外につながるたて坑と地下トンネルに水がたまっているのを見つけた。2号機の場合、たて坑は深さ15.9メートル、トンネルは長さ76メートル。たて坑の 出口から1メートルのところまで汚染水が上がってきており、水の表面の放射線量は毎時1千ミリシーベルトを超えた。

TEPCO found out about the flooding of the duct and the underground tunnel in the afternoon of March 27.
The vertical duct is 15.9-meter deep, and the tunnel is 76-meter long. The contaminated water was filling the duct up to 1 meter from the top, and the surface of the water measured 1000 milli-sievert.

 たて坑 の出口から海までは約55メートル。海にもれた跡は確認できないという。トンネルには継ぎ目があり、防水加工は完全ではないという。2号機では、タービン 建屋内でも、高い濃度の汚染水が見つかっている。東電は建屋の汚染水とトンネルの間で水が行き来しているとみている。

From the duct, it is 55 meters to the ocean. TEPCO said it couldn't confirm whether the water flowed into the ocean. There are seams in the tunnel and the seams are not completely leak-proof. Highly contaminated water has also been found in the turbine building of the Reactor No.2. TEPCO said the contaminated water may be sloshing between the tunnel and the turbine building.
SO THEY WAITED 12 HOURS TILL THEY SAID ANYTHYING about RPVs and this underground tunnel filled with water. The press conference was held past midnight on March 28. It has been leaked that TEPCO's president was incapacitated and bed-ridden for over a week because of stress before he was supposedly back at the helm. I'm sure he is wishing he hadn't won the race to the top.

Editor's note: The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan has excellent material on Fukushima Dai Ichi disaster we have not seen elsewhere (http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english). See the following PDF files from (http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/files/en20110330-1.html) and (http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/files/en20110329-5.html):
Summary of Events at Fukushima Dai Ichi from March 11 earthquake to march 29th (http://www.islandbreath.org/2011Year/03/110330nisasummary.pdf) Schematic diagrams of damage to each of the six reactors at Fukushima Dai Ichi to date. (http://www.islandbreath.org/2011Year/03/110330nisareactors.pdf) Plan diagram of five area test sites where plutonium from nuclear plant detected. (http://www.islandbreath.org/2011Year/03/110330nisasoiltest.pdf)

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