Sunday, July 24, 2011

#Contaminated Water Treatment System Is Stopped, Nth Time, at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

I totally lost count. So much for the successful "step 1" of stable cooling using the treated water. Instead of the performance improving after the initial kinks of a hastily assembled system, it has gotten worse.

The latest stoppage information from the tweet of a journalist who still regularly attend TEPCO's press conferences:

Email notification from TEPCO: "The water treatment system at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant resumed operation at 9:40AM on July 24 but an alarm sounded at about 12PM, and the system has shut down automatically."

From the tweet of an anonymous worker at Fukushima I Nuke Plant:

The clogged-up pipes are at AREVA's system.

But during the July 24 morning press conference that I watched, TEPCO was rather vague about where the location of the clogged pipes:

(When asked about the location of the pipes clogged with sludge,) the section is after the oil separation unit.

Well, the oil separation unit by Toshiba is the first process which the contaminated water goes through, and that doesn't say much. The clogged part could be Kurion's system, or AREVA's system. Or it could be even at the water desalination unit by Hitachi, which seems to be having its own problem, according to NHK:

The desalination unit stopped on July 24 for about 7 hours. TEPCO switched to the backup unit and continued desalination.

The desalination unit that uses reverse osmosis needs the treated water to have a certain, low enough level of radioactive materials to function properly.

Minor details, but also at the July 24 TEPCO press conference, the amount of water being injected into the Reactor Pressure Vessels (Reactor 1, 2, and 3) fluctuates for unknown reasons. Responding to a female reporter from NHK who asked about the fluctuation in the amount of water into the RPV (did you know it fluctuated? I didn't), TEPCO answered:

Yes, it does fluctuate, and no we don't know the reason why, but we monitor the digital display at the pump and adjust the water flow accordingly. The alarm is set to go off when the amount of water being injected goes too low. In case of Reactor 1, it is set at 2.5 tonnes/hour.

I just have an unfounded, unscientific feeling that all these small details add up someday to cause a one big, unexpected something. Don't ask me what it is.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I just have an unfounded, unscientific feeling that all these small details add up someday to cause a one big, unexpected something. Don't ask me what it is."

No wonder you failed at trading. You emotional bias is wildly out of control.

Keep up the reporting, but do try and be a little more objective. You'd have a far greater readership if you did.

Anonymous said...

alarm is set to go off when unexpected something if alarms keep going off that's usually bad.

Anonymous said...

RE: Anonymous@5:24 PM

Your corporatist pro-nuclear bias is wildly out of control.

You'd have a far greater life if you realized that those you blindly champion could give a rat's a$$ about you.

Anonymous said...

I'm pro NUlcear & I know EXSKF is anti but I have no problem w/his objectivity. the first statements above do not have useful info. i wish they did, but they don't.

Anonymous said...

Ex-SKF does a good job being objective, but he also intersperces his translations with his opinions, which is his right (good or bad, right or wrong though he may be). In some cases the reporting is not really over all objective, for example I would like to see what the total beef consumption is nationwide vs the amount that was contaminated, etc. But this is a typical flaw of much journalism which just reports the story at the time without the overall broad perspective needed to be more objective.

As for "failing at trading", anyone apologizing for that sewer hole of corruption, fraud, trillion dollar theft and amoral/immoral hellhole known as Wall Street can just go straight to Hell.
Failing at trading means you are not callous and blood thirsty enough to figure how to rip off school children of their lunch and make a profit.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon 10:43PM, this is my personal blog. Please feel free to just read the translation.

Anonymous said...

i feel like I'm a guest visiting someone's personal blog in the same way I would visit his/her home. The very basic rule is to respect my host and politely listen (read) to what he/she has to say. If we don't agree we might:
1) not visit anymore
2) write our own blog
3) do something entirely different -- like sing in the (radioactive)rain, take a bath (of contaminated water)or cry from boredom (not having access to all these interesting news, and in 2 languages on top of that), as you wish.
I'd say: thank you for opening your blog's doors to us, thank you so much for sharing.
CinnaJap

Anonymous said...

Having had experience running a large industrial facility, it does not surprise me that this cobbled-together water treatment system is having frequent stoppages. As long as it is run more often that not, that is helpful, as it does appear to be removing a lot of the contamination when it is running. My big question would be whether this system will keep running long-term. There are a lot of details that go into the design of a system like this to permit it to be reliable over the long term. When corners are cut, you can get it operational faster, but you will pay the price in the long run. I hope that isn't the case here and that they will be able to iron out the kinks and make this system work more reliably. Other alternatives (such as dumping the water into the ocean, for example) would be much worse. So, to the extent that further environmental releases can be avoided if this system functions, even in fits and starts, I would think that everybody, where pro- or anti-nuke would want it to succeed.

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