Saturday, July 30, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: One Step Forward, One Step Back, and One Enigma

First, a step forward:

TEPCO finished the fortification job for the Spent Fuel Pool in Reactor 4 on July 30.

Now, according to NHK News Japanese (7/31/2011), TEPCO is going to conduct a test run of the heat exchanger that it also finished installing for the SFP. The company hopes to lower the temperature of the SFP from the current 87 degrees Celsius to about 30, just like in Reactors 2 and 3.

The carbon-based workers had to carry everything up the stairs in full radiation protection suits and full face masks and do the work in high radiation. It'd better work, and it'd better be a step forward.

Next, a step backward:

One pump stopped at Kurion's unit of the contaminated water treatment system, and TEPCO decided to stop the transfer of the contaminated water from Reactors 2 and 3, as the Central Waste Processing Facility (where the water is stored before treatment) is nearing the capacity (20 centimeters from the limit), according also to NHK News Japanese (7/29/2011).

Hitachi's desalination unit is stopped due to a water leak, although the water treatment to remove radioactive materials continues uninterrupted.

And then, an enigma:

TEPCO conducted the air sampling from inside the Containment Vessel in Reactor 1, expecting the very high density of radioactive materials, but the result, after workers got max 5 millisieverts for the work on July 29, shows the air inside the Containment Vessel is just as clean/dirty as the air outside the Containment Vessel. TEPCO was expecting the air inside the CV to be 1,000 times as contaminated as the air inside the reactor building (but outside the CV).

So, what are the possible reasons as to why the air inside the CV is no different than the air outside?

TEPCO's Matsumoto thinks it may be because cesium tends to dissolve into water.

Or it could be that all that was inside the CV blew out and was gone when the reactor building blew up.

It could also be because the corium has long gone from the Containment Vessel and deep into the concrete (I hope) that it doesn't affect the air very much any more.

Remember TEPCO hasn't done (or released) the testing of the water in the basement of Reactor 1 reactor building, and that water was gushing in steam which measured 1,000 millisieverts/hour. Something very hot (temperature and radiation) is under that water.

TEPCO has been sending in workers to Reactor 1 regardless, to install the heat exchanger for the Spent Fuel Pool.

That, by the way, is another thing that hardly any information has been released by TEPCO: the SFP of Reactor 1. What's the radiation level of the water in the pool? What happened after the explosion? What's the temperature of the water? What happened to the spent fuels?


Anonymous said...

"TEPCO was expecting the air inside the CV to be 1,000 times as contaminated."

It is. 20 Bq/cm3 of Cs-137 is equivalent to 20 MBq/m3.

Outside the buildings about 10E-5 Bq/cm3 of Cs-137 are reported.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Sorry for not making it clear. 1000 times as contaminated as the air inside the reactor building but outside the CV. I corrected the text.

Anonymous said...

So there is 20,000 Bq/cm3 of Cs-137 found in the air inside reactor unit 1? Are you sure?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant to say 20,000 Bq/m3 (2E-2 Bq/cm3)

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant to say 20,000 Bq/m3 (2E-2 Bq/cm3)
July 31, 2011 2:09 AM

100 cm = 1 m, but 1 cm3 (cc) = 1 ml or 1000 cc per liter and 1000 liters per m3, so 1 m3 = 1,000 x 1,000 cc or 1,000,000 cc.

Anonymous said...

Cs-137 2,00E+01 Bq/cm3 makes 2,00E+04 Bq/l or 2,00E+07 Bq/m3

Cs-134 1,70E+01 Bq/cm3 makes 1,70E+04 Bq/l or 1,70E+07 Bq/m3.

Anonymous said...

this thing, the corium blob, is going under and there is nothing to stop it. No technology exist to stop it. As of today, the result of this fall is another explosion when it will get in contact with water sources bellow. This is what is unfolding before our eyes. Hope they will invent the technology to stop it before this explosion occurs, because if it explode, it will not be very nice.

Anonymous said...

"hardly any information has been released by TEPCO: the SFP of Reactor 1. What's the radiation level of the water in the pool? "

They don't want to tell things like that because other questions would arise, by association, like,
'What is the radiation level in the steam?'
["water was gushing in steam which measured 1,000 millisieverts/hour."]
So they inject water in the core shroud, the water they're injecting is certainly not 1S/hr hot, the water somehow ends up in the basement, they elect not to test the water for isotopes [?], and the steam released from contact with the corium is 1S/hr which also is not tested for isotopes [?].
A science/technology-based endeavor, and they don't test for isotopes?

"Oxygen density analysis", iodine below detection limits .. but no other isotopes?
Oxygen density while injecting nitrogen, no hydrogen concentrations?
[= evidence of damage control PR]

'What isotopes are in the steam?'
'What isotopes are in the water?'

If the corium is in the basement while the basement is flooded it is no longer in contact with the air. [= measure the steam, compare to air in CV]

Some sort of fiber optic snake would do for basement corium location, probably already been done.

Anonymous said...

"Hitachi's desalination unit is stopped due to a water leak" it was stopped some time ago, but it was restarted at 1 PM on 25 July :

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

2.0 x 10^1 = 20
20 becquerels/cubic centimeter
1 cubic meter = 1 million cubic centimeters (100 x 100 x 100)

So, according to TEPCO, in 1 cubic meter, there are 20 million becquerels of cesium-137. If that's the same as air outside the CV inside the reactor building, the reactor building air seems deadly.

@anon at 10:21, Hitachi's desal stopped again on July 31 due to a leak. It was back online later in the day.

Anonymous said...

Your "spam filter" grew threatened by the mentioning of the "Oxygen Density Analysis" and the implications of component measurement.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Indeed. I just had to fish out 3 comments from SPAM. Google's filter seems threatened by anything technical.

It's hard for me to imagine a PVC hose rapidly degrades by 8000 ppm chlorine. Then I remembered what these "decon" towers and co-precipitation tank supposedly remove is cesium, technetium and strontium. There got to be a whole host of nuclides to reconstitute fuel and cladding and some more (stainless steel, concrete...) in that water.

Anonymous said...

Is it a google filter, or is it a Captcha filter?

"Applications of CAPTCHAs

Preventing Comment Spam in Blogs. .. There is no need to make users sign up before they enter a comment, and no legitimate comments are ever lost!"

"The term CAPTCHA (for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas Hopper and John Langford of Carnegie Mellon University."

"reCAPTCHA is a Web service. As such, adopting it is as simple as adding a few lines of code on your site."
[answered my own question]

"reCAPTCHA has distributed locations and multiple servers.
reCAPTCHA is used by many large sites — we display over 100 million CAPTCHAs every day."
[my, rather the tool]

.. and here's the page where they invite you to help them fine-tune their spyware,

solve this captcha, google,
"ene Out"

Anonymous said...

Getting back to the piping failures, one of the materials proposed as shielding for space missions, besides large quantities of water, is polyethylene.
Shielding against cosmic rays (gamma).

Anonymous said...

And that shielding w/polyethylene has to be considerably thicker than the piping. They don't really have any special materials to resist radiation like gamma or neutrons, only boron, do they?

The radiation is capable of disturbing the atom's nucleus, nothing is capable of resisting it on a molecular scale.

Subject to consuming it, of course.

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