Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Containment Vessels of Reactors 1, 2, 3 Were Possibly Damaged Within 24 Hours of March 11 Earthquake

Someone at Yomiuri Shinbun who was made to read the TEPCO's report to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), the government overseer, found this bit of information in the main report (225 pages, in Japanese; English translation is on-going at TEPCO): Containment Vessels were damaged within 24 hours of the quake.

It is not in the summary slides (10 slides, in Japanese), which I did read. In the TEPCO's press conferences since May 15, Matsumoto never admitted to the Containment Vessel damage but he didn't deny it either. He specifically said in a press conference I watched that he "cannot deny the possibility of the Containment Vessel having been damaged." (I will link my post reporting that if I ever retrieve it; Google deleted it in their "maintenance".)

Looks like a fun reading. I will report back when I see the exact words from TEPCO on the subject.

It's also amusing to see the Japan's MSMs now use the word "core meltdown (炉心溶融) quite often, which was a taboo word for 2 months until TEPCO officially admitted it on May 15.

Yomiuri Shinbun (9:53PM JST 5/24/2011):


It's been revealed that the steel Containment Vessels of the Reactors 1, 2 and 3 that house the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPV) may have been damaged within 24 hours after the earthquake on March 11, according to the detailed analysis of the core meltdown at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant by TEPCO.


The result of the analysis was compiled into a report and submitted to the Ministry of Economy and Industry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on May 23.


The detailed calculation of the reactors' operation data after the earthquake revealed that the bottom of the Reactor 1 RPV was broken after 15 hours after the earthquake because the emergency core cooling system didn't function well and the fuel started to melt down. There are many openings through which the control rods and the neutron measurement device goes through. The welded parts at the bottom, which do not have the same strength as the other part of the RPV, broke, and highly contaminated water that included the melted fuel may have leaked from there, according to the report.

I've been thinking about the "Level 7" designation of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident. When the NISA announced "Level 7", they were still publicly (at least) assuming that the majority of the fuel rods were more or less intact and inside the RPVs; that the RPVs were intact, and the Containment Vessels were intact, except for the Reactor 2 (the Suppression Chamber was damaged).

So, is it more likely now, that far more radioactive materials have escaped the reactors than the NISA or the Nuclear Safety Commission calculated? "Don't worry it's only 1/10 of Chernobyl" was another lie?

Or, were their calculations based on the secret knowledge that the RPVs and Containment Vessels were broken in the very early stage of the accident?


Anonymous said...

Puts the whole seawater cooling in a new perspective. The media were busy selling a sob story about how TEPCO had decided to sacrifice the reactors for the public good - when in fact the reactors were way past the point of no return already - and TEPCO probably knew it.

Ian Goddard said...

There's video footage that zooms directly onto the reactor well of Unit 3, showing the reactor bellowing stream like a boiling kettle way back on Mach 27th!

Thank you for your outstanding coverage of this incident! I'd like to share with you my on-going analysis of the Unit-3 explosion:


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I predicted early in the disaster that if the Japanese ever raised the INES to 7 they would try to group the entire facility together instead of doing individual appraisals. As far as I can see they have 4 separate level 7 accidents or a level 28 (3 toasted reactors and 1 exploded SFP). The talking heads keep saying the facility has only released 10% of Chernobyl's contamination using numbers that are old and IMO highly suspect. By the end of this disaster Chernobyl may see their nuclear nightmare record shattered and the INES may go all the way to #11 like a Spinal Tap amp.

Where are we now on TEPCO's roap map to ruin? Is TEPCO going to come out with a new cartoon for the kiddies to explain the "new" situation? Instead of the kid farting and pooing it turns out he has an exploded colon and a rectal prolapse.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, it's a very fine line between genius and madness" - Nigel, from "This is Spinal-Tapp"

A very insightful movie, ... hopefully the people in Fukushima won't end up as the Druids ... dancing around concrete monoliths.

Anonymous said...

oh, and now we know why the original Spinal Tapp drummer exploded ... "and left a little green globule" on his seat ...

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Cool somebody got the amp joke but I didn't think about my Spinal Tap reference and the international viewership of this blog. For the readers who don't know about Spinal Tap it is a fictional rock band from the comedy mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap" here is the clip I was referring to.

This goes to 11:


Anonymous said...

"A kind of Rockumentry, if you will"




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