Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ooi Nuke Plant: KEPCO Waited 10 Hours Before Announcing the Alarm and Leak, with NISA's Approval

Certain things will never change, nuclear accident or not.

From Jiji Tsushin (6/21/2012):

Responding to the criticism in delay in announcement regarding Ooi Nuke Plant, NISA says if an alarm sounds it will be promptly announced


About the delay in announcing the alarm at the generator cooling system of Reactor 3 at Kepco's Ooi Nuclear Power Plant which is being prepared for the restart, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under METI decided on a new rule on June 21 that "if an unexpected alarm sounds, it will be promptly announced regardless of the effect on safety".


At Ooi Nuclear Power Plant, an alarm sounded at about 9:50PM on June 19 indicating the water level decreased in the tank of the generator cooling system. KEPCO decided that there was no effect on safety, and obtaining the consent from the NISA to do so announced the event in the morning of June 20, more than 10 hours after the event.

There was also a leak at the pump in the cooling system at Reactor 3 on June 19, and KEPCO also waited until June 20 to announce. According to Sankei Shinbun (6/21/2012):


KEPCO announced on June 20 that there was a slight leak of water from the part of the pump that transfers water from the generator cooling system tank. [According to KEPCO,] the leak had no effect on the water level decrease in the tank on the night of June 19, and there was no effect on the environment.


According to KEPCO, a worker was inspecting the area around the generator cooling system tank of Reactor 3 at about 10PM on June 19, when he noticed a minute amount of leak.


The water leak was from the tube that removes foreign matters in the water running through the pump.


KEPCO has tighten the bolt at the connection of the tube, and is considering replacing it.

According to KEPCO's press release, the leak was 0.02cc/second. The press release has a PDF file with a diagram of the system, but it is hard for me to figure out what is what. The location of the leak is not immediately clear, and there is no photograph of the actual leak. It looks KEPCO needs to learn a little bit from TEPCO when it comes to communicating with the outside world. TEPCO's communication skills have improved over the past year under the unfortunate circumstance.

(I don't want to be too familiar with a pressurized water reactor. I don't want to do a self-inflicted crash course on one, like I did on the boiling water reactors in Fukushima as they blew up. Don't start Ooi Nuke Plant. I don't have time to learn a new reactor type. I don't want to even learn about a turbine generator. Don't do it. Learning a little about Mitsubishi's steam generators is already too much...)


Anonymous said...

This just proves the Japanese cannot be trusted with nuclear, a culture of cover up and downplaying things that are urgent...

Boy howdy said...

Let me tell you, these plants have so many pipes, pumps, wires, tanks, valves, switches, dipsticks, dingalings, doodads, dingledorps and dingdongs, that if their operating procedure was to tell the public all that's "out of order" all the time, they'd need a 24hr dedicated t.v channel broadcasting 24/7 for it.

Anonymous said...

It's the same in every human enterprise. People tend to delay reporting their own mistakes as long as they can.

This is one of the many reasons human beings are NOT COMPETENT to operate nuclear power plants. Men (and women) make mistakes, they sometimes cheat, they cut corners when they don't have enough money to fund perfect safety, they like to hide their mistakes, and they are often inclined to try to shift or escape blame when they are at fault.

Nuclear power requires perfection, and is extremely dangerous when perfection is not achieved. We as a species are incapable of perfection. Mankind has no business operating nuclear reactors. This is the MOST IMPORTANT LESSON Japan government should learn from TEPCO's disaster.

See the excellent Japanese and English essay Jonathan Schell at:

This essay makes the argument very clearly and eloquently. Share it with everyone you know.

Lord Metroid said...

You can rest assured, most reactors build on the same principle on how the nuclear fuel is managed, the difference between the different types are mostly how the electricity is generated.

Anonymous said...

it is simple:
PWR = "we take this sh1t serious!"
BWR(*) = "got a heat-sink? let's put some pipes together."
(*)the generator and turbine get radioactive in a BWR and even if chain-reaction stops, you have to wait before you can approach them, because some stuff is still decaying with a 8 minute half-life there.

Anonymous said...

Leaking before powering up to 100%. That's a good thing, right?
arevamirpal, maybe just for one day you can be idle and gaze at the NRC animation for students...

Anonymous said...

Well they are to resume burning of radioactive debris in Kita Kyushu, crazy..


Anonymous said...

you made me laugh. you are so right about having to learn yet another nuclear reactor.

not that it's a laughing matter.

the nukers have used our lack of interest and education to sneak all the craziness behind our backs.

but now, the cards are turning, the people have had enough, getting educated about the poison and getting dosimeters to protect themselves and be aware of the poison call radiation.

we've been forced by their dishonesty to become the new nuke police force. sharpen our pencils cos we need to protect ourselves against the stealth.

as ever, great effort mr ex-skf - hopefully you don't have to learn every reactor in the world.

Beppe said...

One problem with learning about npps is that you have to weed out all the bs that the pro nukers feed you; however the reward of learning how appalling this technology is is limitless.
For example, npps can not be completely turned off quickly: the nuclear reaction continues to generate a large amount of heat for days. Would you buy a car you can't turn off?
In a BWR control rods are inserted from the *bottom* so you have a huge numger of holes already open to let the fuel escape in case of a meltdown! Fukushima 1 were BWR, Oi is not.

Atomfritz said...

To be prepared, just in case of a blow-up or blowout...

Does there exist an Ooi webcam?

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