Sunday, March 25, 2012

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Leak from Reverse Osmosis Apparatus (Desalination), Probably High Tritium and Beta Contamination

Another leak at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and no one cares. Not even TEPCO cares, as the leak was first found at 8:30AM on March 26, but there will be no press conference (now it's once a day) until 6PM.

From TEPCO's email on March 26, 2012 sent out to reporters who have signed up for email notices (from Ryuichi Kino's tweets):


Today (March 26) at 8:30AM, an affiliate company worker discovered a leak from the pipe (pressure hose) that transports concentrated water from the reverse osmosis apparatus to the storage tank.


To stop the leak, we stopped the operation of the reverse osmosis apparatus. The leak from the pipe has stopped almost completely. Part of the leaked water has gone into the nearby drain. We are investigating whether the water leaked outside the plant.

Kino's comments:


The reverse osmosis apparatus is to desalinate the water from the cesium absorption towers like SARRY and Kurion so that the water could be injected back into the reactors. According to TEPCO's email, the concentrated salt water after the reverse osmosis is leaking. Probably high concentration of radioactive materials except for cesium, particularly all beta radioactivity.


The leak was discovered at 8:30 in the morning. When there was a TEPCO press conference at 11AM a new development like this was explained in the press conference. Now there is only one press conference in the evening, so the newspapers and TV will separately ask TEPCO's PR department. I think it would be better for TEPCO to make an official announcement...

Well, let's see from TEPCO's own information what kind of radioactive materials exist in what concentration in the water after being treated in the reverse osmosis apparatus.

From TEPCO's handout for the press on February 29, 2012, the water after being treated by the reverse osmosis (desalination) had:

  • H-3 (tritium): 2,900 becquerels/cubic centimeter (or 2,900,000 becquerels/liter)

  • All beta: 36 becquerels/cubic centimeter (or 36,000 becquerels/liter)


Atomfritz said...

Looking forward for more info to come up.
The leak could be anything between a dripping and a large gush.
Occasional bypassing to the ocean would really relieve Tepco from the hurry to build new tanks at that pace.
By the way, what happened with the megafloat?

Darth3/11 said...

Would someone please define "leak"?

"Leak" is a dribble. Innocuous.
"Gush" is a torrent. Life threatening.
Personally, I suspect "leak" = "gusher".

Anonymous said...

36 kBq/L in total beta, this is like 36 kBq/kg thus that's nothing special in nowadays Japan, like home grown tea. So no worries there.

Since the emergency venting in the US a few weeks ago, we also now know that Tritium is natural, thus no worries folks, just keep moving. Thanks.

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