Monday, May 16, 2011

Asahi Shinbun: Core Meltdown in Reactors 2 and 3 at #Fukushima

Fun to see the spin by one of the MSM in Japan. Now they are all saying core meltdown, complete core meltdown, we knew from the beginning, we knew in March. It's hysterically comical.

Particularly hilarious is Haruki Madarame, who now basically says "we knew that", while he was the one who told the PM on March 12, "Don't worry, the nuclear reactor doesn't break."

Yes, there were nuclear experts and independent journalists in Japan and around the world who said it was a meltdown, and they were attacked by the government and the MSM like Asahi as "fear-mongering". I thought so too, after reading the entries on wiki on Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and corium, among others.

But it isn't true until the official, government-approved sources say so, and it is now, after more than 2 months: complete core meltdown in all three operating Reactors at Fukushima I.

What's next? Recriticality, maybe, announced in two months or so?

Quick and dirty translation, subject to later revision.

Asahi Shinbun (3:01AM JST 5/17/2011):

東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の2、3号機でも炉心溶融が起こり、原子炉圧力容器の底に燃料が崩れ落ちるメルトダウンが起きていたとみられること が、16日に東電が公表したデータで裏付けられた。3号機では溶けた核燃料がさらに下の格納容器内に落ちた恐れもある。専門家は事故直後から指摘してお り、細野豪志首相補佐官も16日の会見で2、3号機でのメルトダウンの可能性を示唆した。

The data disclosed by TEPCO on May 16 shows that core meltdown may have occurred in the Reactors 2 and 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. In the Reactor 3, the melted fuel may have dropped to the Containment Vessel. Nuclear experts have pointed to the possibility [of meltdown in the Reactors 2 and 3] and Prime Minister's Assistant Goshi Hosono hinted at the possibility in the May 16 press conference.

 東電が4月17日に示した工程表は、6~9カ月で原子炉を安定した状態で停止させるとした。1号機に続き2、3号機でもメルトダウンの可能性が出てきた ことにより、工程表の大幅な見直しは必至だ。炉心を冷やすシステムづくりに時間がかかり、高濃度の放射能汚染水の処理も膨大になるからだ。

According to TEPCO's "roadmap" on April 17, it was going to take between 6 to 9 months to shut down the reactors. The revision of the "roadmap" will be inevitable now that both Reactor 2 and Reactor 3 may have had a meltdown, as it will take more time to build a cooling system for the reactor core, and the massive amount of highly contaminated water will need to be processed.

 今回公表された地震直後のデータは原発内の中央制御室にあり、電源復旧に時間がかかったことや、記録紙に放射性物質が付着しているため整理に時間がか かっていた。公表されたのは、記録紙に打ち出されたグラフや当直長がつける運転日誌などで、大型ファイル4冊分にあたる。

The data disclosed on May 16 was the data right after the earthquake on March 11. It took TEPCO some time to retrieve the data from the central control room of the plant because of the long period of power outage and the radioactive materials on the recorded printout. The data in 4 large binders includes graphs on the printout and operation diaries kept for each shift.


According to the data, the pressure inside the Reactor 2 RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessel) dropped at 6:43PM on March 15 (JST), and the pressure inside Reactor 3 RPV dropped at 11:50PM on March 16. The integrity of the RPVs were compromised, it is thought, and the pressure went down.

 圧力容器の底には制御棒や計測機器を外から通すための数多くの貫通部がある。メルトダウンした核燃料が圧力容器の底にたまり、その熱の影響で機器が溶け るなどした結果とみられる。3号機内の汚染水からは、原子炉内の核燃料が損傷して出るテクネチウムなどの放射性物質も確認されていることから、溶けた燃料 がさらに圧力容器から格納容器内に落ちた可能性もある。

There are many channels that go through the bottom of the RPV [16 centimeters thick] to insert control rods and measurement devices. The melted fuel went down to the bottom of the RPV, and may have melted the devices at the bottom. The contaminated water from the Reactor 3 has been found to contain the radioactive materials like technetium that are produced when the nuclear fuel gets damaged, indicating that the melted fuel may have dropped from the RPV into the Containment Vessel.


In the press conference, TEPCO refrained from saying anything definite. "We haven't fully grasped the situation at the plant, and we haven't been able to evaluate it."


PM Assistant Hosono said that there was no water being poured into the Reactor 1 for 14 hours and 9 minutes, Reactor 2 for 6 hours and 29 minutes, and Reactor 3 for 6 hours and 43 minutes. He said "We should be prepared for the possibility of the complete meltdown of the reactor core."

 また原子力安全委員会の班目(まだらめ)春樹委員長は16日の定例会後の会見で「3月下旬に2号機で高濃度汚染水が発見された時点で、メルトダウンして いたという認識があり、助言した。1号機と3号機も、事故の経緯を考えると同じことが起こっているとの認識を持っていた」と語った。

Haruki Madarame, chief commissioner of the Nuclear Safety Agency spoke after the regular meeting of NSA on May 16. "When the highly contaminated water was found coming from the Reactor 2 in late March, we recognized that the reactor had had a meltdown, and advised [the government]. We also knew that the Reactor 1 and 3 had the same situation, looking at how the accident unfolded."

 東電によると、機器の記録から、運転中だった1~3号機は地震によっていずれも自動停止。配管の破断などの兆候はみられないとしている。非常用ディーゼ ル発電機も正常に起動していたという。東電はこれらの記録や地震計のデータをもとに、地震直後は機器が正常に作動し、津波到達までは大きな損傷はなかった とみている。(中村浩彦、佐々木英輔)

According to TEPCO, based on the records, the Reactors 1, 2 and 3 stopped automatically after the quake, and there was no sign of any physical damage to the reactor. Emergency diesel power generators were working. TEPCO concluded that all the equipments were working normally after the quake and there was no major damage to the plant until the tsunami hit.

Well, this last bit is highly questionable. Other reports say that the emergency core cooling system stopped working even before the tsunami hit, and that a very high level of radiation was detected at the reactor building of Reactor 1 on the night of March 11, too high unless the RPV and the Containment Vessel were breached by the earthquake, not by tsunami. (On these, later.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for translating this!

In regards to whether the facilities were damaged before the tsunami hit, it seems that TEPCO have published the early documentation that is mentioned in the article, its available as many pdf files and appears highly technical in many places:

Which leads me to the question of why they are releasing this info now. The documents above sound very much like the material that was leaked to a newspaper recently? So maybe TEPCO decided they have to release this data themselves.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Why now? Probably "wag the dog" operation, where the real deal is the radiation contamination all over the northeast half of Japan, way more extensive than they led people to believe.

That and the recriticality, IMHO.

netudiant said...

More interesting, at least imho, is the emergence of relevant US NRC documents such as this:

This study models the consequences of a 'Loss of Coolant' or LOCA accident at a GE reactor similar to the one at Daiichi 1. The conclusion is meltdown within half a day of loss of cooling, containment failure within the day.
So the Japanese built gear may actually have performed better than expected, but the reactors were toast once the power failed and the cooling stopped.
This was presumably widely known in the industry, but no one ever told the public, even after the accident took place.

culture of insanity said...

These pdfs with the charts data - they seriously are printed with a pen writer on continous paper rolls? Like in the 1980ies? Do they also use punched cards to run the computer machines at these plants? I assume these are just backup systems because the regular digital data was lost, right?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Yes, like in the 1980s. That's when this central control room was built, I think. I don't know if there's regular digital data.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

OK, I guess it is time for me to dig out all the old NHK World coverage that I recorded the first few weeks of the disaster. I'm sure I'll come across some real gems now that TEPCO's puffy hopes and dreams have been dashed and bespatter upon the jagged rocks of harsh reality. No wonder the head of TEPCO ran to the hospital right after the accident, he was probably being checked for radiation exposure. I distinctly remember one of the balloonhead experts on NHK World had the balls to claim the reactor buildings (secondary containment) were not important and that they were designed to explode. "Calm down everyone, that's supposed to happen....NOT!"

So what they are saying is "we're not just the bumbling incompetent boobs you think we are. We're procrastinating liars too boot"! At this point people could have died in the fallout plume or Gojira could have wakened and it wouldn't be confirmed for months if ever.

Hey, funny coincidence the Quick Nihongo Lesson for today on NHK was "Taihen desu" & Taihen desu ne".

Can I get a Fukushima Taihen desu ne!!!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@robbie, LOLOLOL..

Anonymous said...

All the stuff in the control room is analog. Look at the pictures. They even have old-school CCTV. That's not necessarily a bad thing when neutrons and gammas start flying around, mind you.

AMADEUS said...

Gracias por su información.

Thanks for your information.

Solidaridad, Salud y Salu2,


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