Friday, February 10, 2012

TEPCO's Video of #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool

For people who have been claiming the fuel racks and the fuel bundles inside the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 are broken, sorry. As far as the camera shows, there is no evidence of that.

Water is murky.

From TEPCO's handout for the press on February 10, 2012:


Sebaschan said...

question of the day: If its all spend fuel inside the SFP, where is the new fuel ready to go into the Reactor?

netudiant said...

That is seriously good.
It means that the process of removing at least that part of the fuel load at Fukushima should be relatively straightforward.

PS New fuel would be the most innocuous, just slightly enriched uranium. It is the decay products from the uranium fission that make the spent fuel such a headache.

Steve From Virginia said...

Not indicative of much. The video cam only gives a view of a few assemblies.

None of what has taken place so far @ Fukushima amounts to a survey.

- What is the structural status of all 4 buildings including the pools? "Okay" or "some cracks here and there" is not good enough. Every square meter needs to be photographed and mapped onto a 3D grid with indicators when something moves. (Spend the damned money!)

- What is the spent fuel inventory in Spent Fuel Pools? Older fuel can be safely left alone for right now but the newer, energized fuel is too hazardous to ignore. This must be removed without delay as another 'incident' at Fukushima would turn it into a fallout source. The critical pools are #3 (MOX fuel) an #4 with a full 'hot' core. Not a problem now, but a building problem would have the fuel exposed where it would burst into flame with radiation levels exceeding the first days of Chernobyl.

There will be both human and money costs to getting that fuel out but it must be done without excuses or delay. This is a war between a primitive physical force and humans that the humans cannot afford to lose.

- Where are the three cores and in what shape are they? This is the most critical issue of all. Japan needs to throw money to the winds and whatever manpower it can conscript from its millions. Holes must be drilled into reactor floors so that cameras and radiation detectors can be sent into the basements and core material mapped. If the cores are found to be in the basements and disbursed, they can be flooded and treated as spent fuel.

If the cores are not to be found then a drilling program must be started to find the cores under the reactors. They must then make ready steps to neutralize these cores' destructive potential. A runaway criticality or large steam explosion taking place under conditions of confinement, surrounded by thousands of tons of fertile nuclear material would be as devastating to Japan as an all-out thermonuclear attack.

There are 50 other reactors in Japan including 2 at Dai-ichi that are potential time bombs if something goes wrong at any of the other Dai-ichi reactors.

The Japanese must demand action from their government or else. It's there country, if they want to keep it they need to act.

Lili said...

This video tells me nothing. I just see liquid. There are NO solutions and the earthquakes are still swarming.

Does Tepco have a plan for the coming Spring/Summer rainy season? Does it have a plan for the Summer/Fall typhoons? No.

So to recap:

The video shows calm water and Tepco asserts that everything is fine, except for the fact that Tepco hasn't,in all of its scientific brilliance, been able to contain multiple radioactive leaks into the world water tables for almost a year now.

There is no ETA for cleanup from Tepco.
There are earthquake swarms and the reactors are not safe.Tepco has no Tsunami/major storm protections in place.
The weather is about to get even more destructive.
Japanese people are sick and dying now by the hundreds.
All of the edible crops and exports are contaminated.

Did I miss anything?

Anonymous said...

That you exaggerate?

If you just see liquid, go to your eye doctor.

Lili said...

Anonymous I always wonder why you come here. If anything I've said is incorrect and Tepco has a solid plan for complete radioactive contamination resolution for all of the reactors,please,fill me in.

Where are the plans? Provide them.

Aside from you little liquid situation comment please expand. Go ahead and provide links for Tepco's disaster preparation/cleanup resolution plans.

Please. I'm waiting. Since you think everything is a joke and needs to be downplayed and are a spokesperson for Tepco, speak up, support them.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@Lili, the video does show more than just "liquid". Anon didn't say anything about TEPCO's plan or lack thereof.

Ivan said...

Looking okay if it's really video of SFP of #4. Diagonal handles have not even melted.

Atomfritz said...

Please don't be premature with your judgement that it looks OK.

First, it's possible that we saw new fuel in the video.
Second, the sludge may have precipitated on the surfaces, covering traces of overheating.
Third, the outer steel cladding can look like new while part of the fuel/zirconium inside cladding may have actually burned and/or leaked radioactive stuff.

Ivan said...

Atom, in first sentence I write *if* this is really SFP of #4 reactor.
Yes, you are right, we cannot see state of interior cladding and fuel. They are using boral sheets too(kind of laughable product) which are known to have problems. Overall better than what I was imagining, again *if* this is true images.

Ivan said...

You can read about boral degradation here. They know about this problem but use product anyway.

misitu said...

Just wanted to say: excellent piece of writing at February 10, 2012 12:37 PM by Steve From Virginia

misitu said...

at February 10, 2012 5:31 PM Ivan said... about boral...

Thanks for that heads up. I hope that quoting a couple of short extracts might be useful for readers who, like myself, often cannot go off after the link and read it in full.

Regarding the Long-Term Dry Spent Fuel Storage Casks, one variety of which is the multipurpose cannister (MPC) which can hold many fuel assemblies,

"The criticality concern affects any MPC units that, years later, must be reopened for repairs of any kind. One scheme for doing so is to re-immerse the MPC in water for shielding, and perform the repair operations under water. Water immersion has several advantages, including shielding, a lower working temperature, a transparent medium, and some limiting of the spread of any contamination."

I particularly "enjoyed" reading this section, addressing the above concerns,

"Thus, although this spent fuel is not likely to achieve high power levels, it is quite credible that reflooding an MPC unit will result in an inadvertent criticality if the Boral neutron absorber is not present. Such an event might not damage the fuel cladding, but it would certainly produce high neutron and fission gamma radiation fields, which can be quite hazardous to personnel unless adequate shielding is in place.

"There are two other aspects to such an inadvertent criticality event. First, there will not be any "scram" system or similar safety system available to rapidly insert negative reactivity, and it may not be immediately obvious to the personnel what should be done to terminate the event.

"Second, the existing neutron flux from transuranics in the spent fuel may not be high enough to ensure a controlled startup. This can lead to a classic criticality accident, where a critical configuration is achieved, but nothing happens because there are not enough neutrons to start the chain reaction. Then, as the evolution continues, the configuration might be significantly supercritical before the reaction starts, and when it does start, neutron flux will escalate with a very fast period, leading to a very hazardous situation."

... so /THIS/ is what eventually happens to "spent" nuclear fuel in a long term repository ...

Thanks all

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