Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fuku-I Nuke Plant Blowout Panel Mystery: Were They Really Welded-Shut or Not?

I wrote on December 31, 2011 about the blowout panels in the reactor buildings at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant may have been welded shut except for the Reactor 2 building when the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, 2011 and the nuclear accident started, and that may have caused explosions in Reactors 1, 3, 4.

It doesn't seem anyone attending TEPCO's conference have asked questions on that since. Now that the accident is supposedly "over", what really happened, why, and how back in March 2011 may be of no one's interest. But I remain extremely curious and I want to understand.

So I decided to look for the photographs that show Fuku-I Plant from the oceanside. From the photos below, what I can say is not much. The blowout panel of Reactor 2 building popped sometime between March 12 before the Reactor 1 explosion and March 13. The blowout panels of Reactor 3 and Reactor 4 didn't open at all for whatever reason, and the buildings blew up.

It would be nice to find a photo on March 14 before Reactor 3 blew up, and on March 15 before Reactor 4 blew up at 6:00AM. So far, I haven't managed to find these.


March 11, 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami: Screenshot of the infrared video taken at 10:25PM by the Self Defense Force, aired on NNN News that day seems to indicate the location of the blowout panels in each reactor building. Reactor 1 doesn't even seem to have a blowout panel.

March 12, 2011, before the explosion of Reactor 1: The blowout panels in all 4 reactor buildings seem to be intact. (Photo from Gigapica.)

March 13, 2011: Reactor 1 in ruins after the explosion on March 12. The blowout panel of Reactor 2 looks to be open. (Photo is from DigitalGlobe.)

Earthquake and Tsunami damage-Dai Ichi Power Plant, Japan

March 16, 2011: After the explosions of Reactor 3 and 4. (Photo from DigitalGlobe)

Earthquake and Tsunami damage-Dai Ichi Power Plant, Japan


Steveo said...

Comments to NRC – Send an Email
The Tag Line of NRC is

“Protecting People and the Environment”

Speak Your Mind!

The NRC has determined that it has confidence in using spent fuel pools for up to 60 years past the closing of a Nuke Plant. Hmmmm.

They assume that

1) Society won’t break down AND loss of knowledge (like there won’t be a single CD that shows how dangerous spent fuel is). Well what if society breaks down, but there is still a CD of knowledge left. OK! Their conditions are met, their assumptions were not wrong!
2) Terrorism doesn’t need to be considered, it is outside of their scope.
3) They don’t consider that “loss of institutional control” will ever happen because “the trend in modern society is toward more awareness and control over issues that pose a risk to humans and their environment.” Yeah Right!
4) They assume that the nuke plant operators will provide continuing financial support for their used fuel “regardless of cost”, can I puke now?
They won’t even touch the 8000 lb Gorilla in the Room….The Carrington effect, a large sun storm that wipes out transformers and thus the world wide power grid. As you may know, if a nuke plant loses power, it melts down, and I mean the reactor AND the fuel pools.

I summarized some of their comments from the PDF (invitation to comment), below, it will make your blood boil.

The comment period is 45 calendar days, from January 3 to February 17, 2012.

At the pimp

Anonymous said...

"As you may know, if a nuke plant loses power, it melts down, and I mean the reactor AND the fuel pools."
You need a huge tsunami (or earthquake) for that too. There are diesel generators onsite, there are batteries, there are connectors for the external power supply, and you can inject water using fire engines.

Viola said...

@anon 3:49

Floods, huge storms, geomagnetic storms... nature is much more inventive as we ever could imagine

Anonymous said...

"need a huge tsunami (or earthquake) for that too. There are diesel generators onsite, there are batteries, there are connectors for the external power supply, and you can inject water using fire engines."-
Really? What if no fuel (diesel/gas?) firetrucks and gensets need fuel. The pipes/connectors/water pipes can be damaged-no connections or connectors. Roads and country infrastructure damaged due to disaster or AGEING. What if no people-they are sick, untrained, unwilling, or evacated? No external power supply? If no fuel or people or connectiviy or electricity external/internal to the plant-or ways to transport? "eject water"? Who, how?
False assumptions must be taken directly from either the TEPCO or Japan Gov reports or disaster plans. We all know how well THAT worked. So whomever made the comments --they are totally without any deep thoughts about what an emergency means..grid blackouts, storms/hurricanes, floods (does not have to be a tsumani), damage to infrastructure, political unrest,earthquake/tsumani, volcanos and more. Just look at the world wide emergency networks and pick a few disasters.

Anonymous said...

Only Natura?

It`s Official: Human Activity Can Cause Eartquakes

Weather control is no myth: Scientists engineer thunderstorms over Abu Dhabi
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anonymous said...

"You need a huge tsunami (or earthquake) for that too. There are diesel generators onsite, there are batteries, there are connectors for the external power supply, and you can inject water using fire engines."


Anonymous said...

All the shit will be 50 years to 110 years old,cost a lot of money every year, replacing diesel fuel every 3 years ?think not .Run a diesel 100 years old at maximum power aahhh.
Replace oil, filters pumps what so ever equipment that s getting older and older and costs miljons a year to keep in minimal condition for 60 years. whoaa they realy believe in fairy tales.

Darth3/11 said...

How much longer can the Japanese media/incestuous press pool keep this under wraps? "Safe, secure, cheap"...except for...3/11! And, none of this happens with solar energy, for instance.

Atomfritz said...

The only longer-term explosion-safe storage option for the spent nuclear fuel is to change from (initially cheap) wet storage to expensive dry cask storage, like Germany is doing.

As far as I remember, there have been quite some construction schematic changes between the erection of RB#1 and RB#2.
The introduction of blowout panels was just one of the many changes that have been made as GE and the NRC found more and more potentially dangerous design flaws.

They now know better again.
These blowout panels idea only works out if there is a low-energy deflagration and no high-energy explosion (depending on hydrogen/oxygen ratio and water vapor content in the air).

If there were hydrogen igniters or recombiners in the reactor hall, they'd have been dysfunctional because of lack of electric supply.
If I remember correctly, I read somewhere about igniters that were not connected to the emergency battery supply because they were considered as non-essential safety infrastructure.

Apparently the blowout panels had a big influence on the explosions' results.
Reactor building 1 was like a near-flawless firework cracker bang.
#2 was like a dud, because the firecracker popped open before any significant internal pressure could build up. Here the blowout panel concept apparently worked out.
#3 and #4 were like firecrackers that bursted open prematurely, resulting in an severe mess and much collateral damage.
This ugly explosion result could be a direct consequence of the blowout panels, like the holes in the turbine buildings where they impacted. Here the blowout panels either were too small or not loose enough to open on time.

Probably the only "safe" solution would be to implement electrically-driven blowout panels that automatically open at loss of electricity.
But, this in turn would void the concept of "outer containment".
So I expect that the nuclear industry-administration-media complex will try to avoid any discussion about this issue.

Anonymous said...

For that matter, it would be nice to find ANY sort of video or audio material from the night #4 went boom. There aren't even reliable witness reports :P

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon, Unit 4 exploded in the morning (6AM). I'm still trying to re-locate the video of the event as it was happening. I've seen it once. Either from NHK or other news. They were covering the Reactor 3 explosion from the previous day, and during the live coverage the announcer said something like "Wait a minute, is there something going on in Reactor 4? I see a smoke".

Anonymous said...

I have not seen any such video. It would be very nice of you if you did find it and post it.

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