Saturday, February 11, 2012

(Updated) TEPCO Press Conference on Reactor 2 RPV Temperature

TEPCO's Matsumoto opening remarks:

No Xe-135 detected in the latest gas sampling test.
Preparing to increase water.
1090 kilograms of boric acid solution has been poured into the RPV.

At 2:20PM, the temperature exceeded 80 degrees Celsius.
Since other temperatures at the bottom of the RPV remain low and the temperature of the Containment Vessel is not rising, the cold shutdown state remains.

(There are many reporters this time...)

It's the blue line in the chart (screen capture):

TEPCO thinks it is physically "very difficult" for the temperature to rise above 80 degrees Celsius, and it is likely to be the instrument failure.

No cesium-134 and 137 have been detected, so there is no steam being generated inside the RPV/CV.

Graph generated from the automatic digital reading showing 10 degrees "noise" starting 12 noon (before noon, the noise was 1 degree):

Asahi Shinbun's reporter asked how high exactly the temperature went, as the graph seemed to show the spike above 90 degrees Celsius.

Matsumoto answered the graph is plotting all the 1-second readings from the digital display, not visually verified by the workers. The official reporting is every 6 hours, the reference reporting is every hour.

Q: Will the amount of water be increased if the thermometer at that location continues to rise?
A: We will have to be careful. If the increased water doesn't lower the temperature, the instrument failure will be more likely.

Q: How to verify the instrument failure?
A: We want to do the resistance testing from the central control room.

Q: Why has the temperature started to vary widely since noon?
A: We don't quite know.

Q: When will you get back to the normal operation under the safety regulations?
A: To do it, we have to make sure it is the instrument failure.

Q: Does the instrument failure have to do with the variance?
A: It's not that the instrument failure started today, but it may have started late January when this thermometer started to behave differently from the other two at the bottom of the RPV. The 10 degrees Celsius water is right near the thermometer (15 centimeter away), and the thermometer shows rising temperature. The location of the thermometer should be uniformly cooled.

Q: Where do you measure the temperature of the water injected?
A: The temperature of the water is measured at the buffer tank. No place along the way to get heated.

Q: What happens if the temperature doesn't drop?
A: We will wait and see for a day.

Q: Why did you start mentioning "instrument failure" only when the temperature started to approach 80 degrees Celsius?
A: We didn't think it was behaving erratically. The variance of 1 degrees was understood. The trend changed at the end of January. Also, the temperature remained high as more water accumulate inside the RPV, therefore the instrument failure more likely.

A: We want to see if it is possible to have the instrument failure where the temperature drops, instead of going up.

A: The Containment Vessel is still hot and humid, so we have to make sure the other instruments are working properly. At this point, we don't have better alternatives.

9.9 (core spray, from 6.9) + 7.5 (feed water) = 17.4 tonnes/hour of water is to be injected into the RPV.

Q: Why are you increasing the amount of water if you think it is the instrument failure? What do you think of the safety regulations?
A: We have always informed the NISA and followed the safety regulations. (No answer on why they are increasing water.)

Q: Why did you pick this particular thermometer as the representative temperature for the RPV?
A: Perhaps it was one of the first to come back online last fall, but we will confirm.

Q: What happens if other thermometers fail?
A: We have to think about how to monitor the condition of the reactor, as we cannot enter the Containment Vessel.

(The press conference just finished. The above note is not necessarily comprehensive. In short, TEPCO thinks it is more likely to be the instrument failure, not the actual temperature rising, but it will continue to monitor the situation.)


Chibaguy said...

So they went instrument failure. That is expected but if they suggest instrument failure that means all instruments. No auditor in their right mind would take this as an excuse.

Anyway cold shutdown still in place as the idiotic Noda declared (he does not even deserve san). Tepco is not interested in finding the corium at the least. This is all semantics and their suggestion means all data is compromised.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I wouldn't go that far, that all instruments are failing. It does seem unique to this particular location.

There must be a reason why the thermometer started to go wild at noon. I'm treating this like a point-and-click adventure game. Devils in the details.

STeVe the JeW said...

reporter: "There must be a reason why the thermometer started to go wild at noon."

tepco: yes, the thermometer started to stop failing.

Chibaguy said...

Thank you for the update. If proving that an instrument is malfunctioning is the goal they have no plan. At least the reporters seem to be asking more direct questions. Just out loud, does anyone know actually where all the water being pumped in goes?

TokenRing said...

Yes out into the ocean

Atomfritz said...

Yes, it's more convenient to state an instrumentation failure than the factual possibility that the corium grains now have been become dislodged and concentrated on several spots.

(Remember, corium grains and no molten blob were observed at TMI when they finally were able to open the RPV! The Tepco graphics falsely suggest the corium being there in the form of a lense blob!)

Similar to when rainwater drops from the ceiling, cleaning the spot where the drops impact and distributing the dirt around them which was formerly distributed equally everywhere, the corium grains have been sloshed around by the cooling water pouring from above.

There is probably no way to undo this consequence of switching from flood cooling to pour cooling.

In fact, the increase of cooling water quantity could even have contriubuted to increase that effect.

And now these locations where the corium grains pile up get denser and hotter, Tepco increases cooling water quantity again, but in vain, just keeping this vicious cycle going on.

The hot area near the temperature sensor has become so dense and big that it is no longer continuously cooled.

Regularly it heats up, until it gets hit again by the (random) swells of water.

So the temperature spikes may very well indicate how quickly now these concentrated piles of corium debris heat up when they don't get sufficient water for a moment when the (random) water flow from above changes for a moment.

Thus the temperature sensor could as well illustrate the effect of a grossly failed attempt to "improve" the situation in this black box of reactor.

So putting the blame onto a "suspected" instrumentation failure could be a clever face-saving maneuver to avoid admitting that they irreversibly worsened the situation by headlessly trying to "improve" it.

(Just my personal theory.)

CaptD said...

Local Government Officials have a vested interest in protecting their people from further radiologic exposure; or they will lose their OWN jobs and maybe more!

All professionals in Japan should be standing up to hold TEPCO responsible for its policy of nuclear secrecy and spreading Nuclear Baloney (NB) instead of the truth!

Remember the Japanese people now “own” a controlling interest in TEPCO since they had to bail out TEPCO because of this Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster!

Why does TEPCO and the Japanese Gov't want to declare it's Fukushima disaster Stable and more importantly, what do they hope to accomplish by doing it now; Is it a trial balloon?

A. If the people "swallow" this Nuclear Baloney (NB) then TEPCO and their other Gov't Leaders get to keep their jobs and march onward toward a nuclear future while the Nuclear refugees are "encouraged" to return to their Fukushima homes; letting history be the judge of whether or not this was the RIGHT decision.

B. The people of Japan reject the concept of a "cold shut down" in which case TEPCO, in time, gets nationalized and Japan develops a 20 year plan to replace it's reactors with solar of all flavors!

C. The people of Japan are insulted by what TEPCO and their Gov't is saying and take to the streets to DEMAND immediate change. TEPCO and their Government overseers are both swept away in order to placate the people of Japan. The Nuclear Refugees get settlements and the area around Fukushima is closed to all but scientific personal for the foreseeable future. Japan's PM pledges to "race" Germany toward New Japanese developed Solar and being Nuclear within FIVE years...

The Japanese people are now at a cross roads that will define both their future,their children's future and possibly the future of Nuclear Power on Earth!

What will they now do:
...Bow to TEPCO?
...Accept their Leaders vow to do better?
...Or Demand much less Nuclear ASAP?

This is a decision that only the Japanese People can make;
... I hope they make US proud of them!

DD said...

That's an ingenious bit of lateral thinking, fritz, thanks, great contribution, now all we need to do is get the "responsible" "authorities" to read it and come up with a plan B.

oFux! they don't do plan B's do they DOH..

As I said, great post many thanks

Anonymous said...

Just kill the tepco management and take over, cause the tepco dogs and the jap gov scum don't care about anyone but them selves.

Kill them, kill their families, wipe tepco and nuclear industry off the planet, kill them now before they kill everything else.

Japanese are the most evil and deceitful I've ever seen, oh, and ignorant too.

Steveo said...

I created a nuclear information resource.
Point it out to anyone who is on the fence in terms of being pro or anti nuke.

There is quite a bit of original material, and just an overall good compilation of material, pointing out the big problems and the big lies of nuke.

Drop a comment

Anonymous said...

>Japanese are the most evil and deceitful I've ever seen, oh, and ignorant too.

Substitute "Japanese" with any peoples of your choice, and the statement is still probably true.

And who are you to make a blanket statement?

netudiant said...

This issue seems to me rather overblown.
As Atomfritz has pointed out, the fuel pellets may well have dispersed into corium particles, which will then be swept into piles by the flood of cooling water.
Those piles may heat up a lot internally from decay heat, but that is now down to only about 0.6 megawatt, enough to make some steam and perhaps enough to embarrass people who trumpeted a meaningless 'cold shutdown', but nothing realy dangerous.
Barring a hugely implausible recriticality, these reactors will just be a fixture on the landscape for the next several decades, quietly rusting, trailing a plume of contamination across the island but not erupting in another explosion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @February 12, 2012 12:09 PM

Do you hear the Nuclear industry in the US making statements to the press using their expertise to criticize the actions of the Japanese? No? All nuclear industries across the globe seem to be withholding their expertise in their own countries because they are loyal to the industry, not to the well being of their own families and countrymen. So we can be confident that these people are a)evil and b) distributed throughout many many countries

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Just kill the tepco management and take over, cause the tepco dogs and the jap gov scum don't care about anyone but them selves.

Kill them, kill their families, wipe tepco and nuclear industry off the planet, kill them now before they kill everything else.

Japanese are the most evil and deceitful I've ever seen, oh, and ignorant too."

Your telling use of the word "scum" makes me sure you are non other than that piece of shit who is the anonymous spamming troll. I guess you CAN write in proper English after all. As for your comment's content--pure racist bigoted garbage. The Japanese government and TEPCO in general may be slimy deceitful bastards but YOU, asshole, are 100% sanctimonious self-righteous individual SCUM with the understanding of an amoeba.

CaptD said...

TEPCO is only out for TEPCO at this point in time
... All their top people will retire soon
... And they don't care about anyones future,
... Except their own!

Anonymous said...

If not a cold shutdown, then cool.

Its all under control, just as winter inevitably turns to spring.

A change but what we have always known.

Cold to cool. Just in time for Cherry Blossoms.

Rebrand and Revitalize.

Its all cool.

Anonymous said...

To those that seem upset by my anti-tepco anti-jap anti-nuke rant - Fuck You! You are supporting mass destruction, obnoxious ignorance and outright evil.

No one is here to defend to flora and fauna of the world that will be poisoned and obliterated, so to all you nuke proponents I hope you and your families die a painful lingering death, very soon. Fuck you nukers, fuck you AND DIE !

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I do take issues with the word "jap". So you're telling me to fuck off of my own blog. Oh well.

Where are the nuke proponents, I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you nukers, fuck you AND DIE !

Who is the imaginary audience this guy is writing to? Fucking creepy.

Maybe he can't understand blog articles or people's comments unless they are written in techie lingo.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Kill them, kill their families,..."

Holy smokes, kill their families? parents,wives, children who in all likelihood didn't and don't know what is going on? Like, Japanese exec dad comes home every night and discusses with them how he is part of fudging numbers and falsifying safety reports and how many yakuza's palms were greased and risk assessment was nil.....RiiiiiiiGHT...

where do you get this over the top aggressive shit? Stop modelling yourself after the god of the old testament, you just sound like some pimple faced kid having a tantrum because nobody pays attention to your genius posts.

Anonymous said...

6:44 pm, its spaced out fucktards like you that give the pro-nukes ammunition agains level headed anti-nukes, branding us as crazy. Tepco loves you. Fuk U for helping them.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:44

You’ve got an over-developed sense of vengeance. It’s going to get you in trouble some day.---The Man in Black 1987

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