Monday, May 23, 2011

TEPCO Stating the Obvious After 2 Months: Reactors 2, 3 Total Meltdown More Likely

Here we go. It's official now. All three reactors at Fukushima I Nuke Plant had a total meltdown. What a surprise. We're so shocked, aren't we?

Yomiuri Shinbun (3:03AM JST 5/24/2011):


TEPCO reported on May 23 that the Reactors 2 and 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant had a core meltdown just like the Reactor 1, based on their analysis on the reactor parameters right after the earthquake on March 11.


The company will submit the report to METI's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

 報告書では、2、3号機について〈1〉炉内の水位が水位計の表示通りだった〈2〉水位計のデータは信頼できず、1号機と同じ様に核燃料が全露出し ている――の二つのケースに分けて、模擬計算を行い、結果を示した。それによると、いずれの場合にも核燃料が溶融して、原子炉圧力容器底部に崩落した状態 になっていると評価。特に、水位計が故障しているケースでは、核燃料全体が溶融して、崩壊しているとした。

In the report, TEPCO did two simulations regarding the Reactors 2 and 3: 1st, based on the assumption that the water level was what the water gauge had been showing all along; 2nd, based on the assumption that the data from the water gauge were not to be trusted, and the fuel rods were completely exposed, as in the Reactor 1. In both cases, the result showed that the nuclear fuel had melted and dropped to the bottom of the Reactor Pressure Vessel. In the 2nd case where they assumed the faulty water gauge, the result showed the entire fuel rods had melted, according to the report.


Anonymous said...


I suppose it was always a any case, I would be more interested to know what will happen from here on, in terms of what to watch out for, what are the possibilities of another explosion. This would be the major factor in deciding whether I should leave Yokohama or not.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

"I would be more interested to know what will happen from here on"

I agree. And the difficulty is that not enough credible information out there to figure that out. Those who should know are not saying anything. If the past is any indication, nothing will come out of the gov or TEPCO until it's at least 2 months old.

Koide and others seem to think there is still a possibility of an explosion, but most seem to think it's remote. If there's no explosion, then it's a slow and widespread contamination of soil and water.

Among all the electric companies in Japan, there's one that doesn't own any nuclear power plant, and that's Okinawa Electric.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I wonder how this impacts TEPCO's road map to ruin? Let's see, TMI (a much less serious accident) took about 5 years to just to get into the RPV the total cleanup took about 14 years. TMI didn't have breached RPV's, ruined SFP's or major environmental contamination. As for Chernobyl it has been a quarter of a century and its clean up hasn't even actually started. The affected ex-soviet states are begging the world community to pony up about 1 billion dollars just for a "proper" band-aid to cover the mess. Nobody has an actual plan to deal with the fuel and highly contaminated material inside.

Contrary to popular belief Chernobyl isn't "entombed" anymore than your average elevated parking garage. There isn't much to hold back a possible collaspe of the old hastily built sarcophagus. It has been shored up to the point of failure. The original sarcophagus was only supposed to follow a standard 5-year plan while the engineers designed a "proper" containment protocol. Unfortunately the USSR collapsed and the sarcophagus lost all prospects of future funding and proper mitigation. Many Western nations donated funds right after the collaspe but most of the money disappeared. If the world doesn't demand financial transparency the same will happen again. How often does a huge public multinational project come close to cost projections?

Here's a list of various nuclear documentaries to look for they are mostly in German, English and Dutch. They may be hard to find but I'm sure they'd be worth a watch because the Germans don't seem to be shy about the facts.

LAKA.ORG also offers a service for loaning free(ish) copies of documentaries but they don't own the copyrights:

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Anonymous said...

“There was a significant increase in levels of I-131 from about 8 to 80 kBq/L from 10 to 11 May, in parallel with the increase for both radiocaesium isotopes. This indicates that there is still some production of fission products. ”

FranSix said...

I'm a little surprised that this last admission is directly contrary to statements made about cold shutdown at the outset. The change of position on the status of the reactors follows on the heels of the resignation of the top official.

Aimelle said...

These levels increased between may 13 and 16, then they diminished, but stayed higher, as seen here:

samples taken on the same place, see page 2, "screen of 1F s Unit 2 (inside the silt fence)" (usually it's the first column):

on may 13 - 49 bq/L - SF 1,2
on may 14 - 40000 bq/L - SF 1000
on may 15 - 82000 bq/L - SF 2100
on may 16 - 77000 bq/L - SF 1900
on may 17 - 25000 bq/L - SF 630
on may 18 - 20000 bq/L - SF 500

(SF = "scaling factor")
source: Tepco releases

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