Sunday, July 31, 2011

#Fukushima Contaminated Water Treatment System: Hitachi's Desalination Unit Leak was from PVC Hose

Probably the same ubiquitous orange PVC hose at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The PVC hose is used to transport highly-concentrated saltwater from the desalination unit to the temporary storage tank, and the leak is considered to be due to the deterioration of the hose, after 1 month of use.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (7/31/2011):


TEPCO announced on July 31 that about 50 liters of saltwater leaked from the contaminated water treatment system. Radioactive materials had already been removed from the water.


According to TEPCO, the leak was probably due to the deterioration of the PVC hose used, and not the earthquake that hit the area in early morning.


The leak was found at the hose that transports the highly-concentrated saltwater from the desalination unit to the storage tank. A worker found the leak at 10:50AM on July 31, and stopped the unit 30 minutes later. The PVC hose was exchanged, and the unit was back online at 3PM. The company said there was no interruption to water injection in the reactors.


Also, at 8:13AM, [a worker found] the hose that sends water to the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 was leaking, spraying water in fine mist. The hose was replaced.

These hoses are probably Kanaflex, which the manufacturer rushes to make and deliver to TEPCO as fast as possible.

So how salty is this water coming out of the desalination unit by Hitachi that made the hose deteriorate badly in slightly over a month?

From TEPCO's information on July 15, before the desalination (by reverse osmosis) the chlorine concentration is 8,000 ppm. After the desalination, this number drops to 19 ppm.

So, the saltwater that goes through the PVC pipe has 7,981 ppm chlorine.

Another one to file under the "things don't add up" category. Initially, TEPCO had blamed just about every leak to the sloppy job by the workers. Now the company hints at the poor quality of the PVC hose. Is it really the case, or is there still some information to be forthcoming later?


Anonymous said...

Radioactive Chlorine (Cl-38?) is not good news. See:
This explains possible reason TEPCO is "hiding" or disembling about "chlorine" IF in the cooling water prior to reaching the reverse osmosis systems.
This is grim.
Also, from the author:
Chlorine-38, which has a half-life of only 37 minutes, is created when stable chlorine-37, which is about one-fourth of the chlorine in salt, absorbs a – thousands of kilograms(of salt) – in all three reactors. Now, if a reactor is truly shut down, there is only one significant source of neutrons, namely, the spontaneous fission of some heavy metals which are created when the reactor is working and remain present in the reactor fuel.But if accidental chain reactions are occurring, it means that the efforts to completely shut down.. not completely succeeded. Periodic criticalities..mean that highly radioactive fission and activation products are being (or have been) created at least in Unit 1 since it was shut or more intense bursts of neutrons, which cause heavy radiation damage to people, have occurred and possibly occurred again..Measures need to be taken to protect workers and to measure potential neutron and gamma radiation exposure.
Sorry for the condensing, read the orginal at the above link. Bottomline,Chlorine in the radioactive cooling water is bad news, and points to possible ongoing "criticalities"--read that as spontaneous fisson has occurred and maybe ongoing....

@ortospace said...

Sorry if I write here, but I don't know where else :-)
I am pretty sure I read on this blog a comment from a certain "lancelot" (or a similar nickname) citing Swedish standards of radioprotection but cannot find it anymore. I am pretty sure that laprimavera replied also.
Can you help me please to find it again?

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

8,000 ppm isn't full strength seawater I guess it has been diluted over the last few months of freshwater injection. Ocean water averages 3.5% salinity that equals about 19,400 ppm for the chlorine component.

Anonymous said...

"8,000 ppm isn't full strength seawater I guess it has been diluted over the last few months of freshwater injection."

Give the salt-encrusted corium time to reconstitute itself, Rob.

netudiant said...

The waste water containing the salt should have a higher chlorine level than the initial material. Usually, most of the water is desalinated, leaving a small fraction of the volume to carry off the residual salt. That residual material could easily be several times as salty as the initial raw water and would be hard on the hoses.

@ortospace said...

Ok sorry, I found the comment I was looking for under this post:

Anonymous said...

Radiation exposure deteriorates PVC.

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