Thursday, August 30, 2012

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Amount of Water Being Injected into RPVs Temporarily Dropped Below Necessary Amount, Cause Unknown

The amount of treated water being constantly injected into the Reactor Pressure Vessels of Reactors 1, 2 and 3 has fluctuated often for no reason that TEPCO cares to identify, but on August 30 that amount temporarily dropped below the levels specified by the NISA's safety regulations.

Cause is still unknown, but unlike in the past, TEPCO's Matsumoto says the company will conduct investigation to identify the cause.

If you want to check the temperature readings of the RPVs, here's TEPCO's page (English).

From Kyodo News (8/31/2012):

福島1~3号機注水量が一時低下 第1原発

Amount of water injected into Reactors 1 through 3 at Fukushima I Nuke Plant dropped temporarily


TEPCO announced on August 30 that the amount of water injected into the Reactors 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant temporarily dropped below the amount specified in the safety regulation as the amount necessary for cooling the reactors. The amount dropped in the afternoon of August 30, and though it recovered after adjusting the valves [that control the flow] it dropped again in the evening. As of 10:30PM on August 30, the amount necessary for cooling is maintained.


There are no changes in temperature of the Reactor Pressure Vessels. It is possible that the water injection pumps (there are two) have some problems, and TEPCO will start the backup pump[s] to investigate the cause.


According to TEPCO, an employee who was watching the amount of water injected noticed the drop at 3PM on August 30. Normally, 4.9 tonnes/hour of water is injected into Reactor 1, and 7.0 tonnes/hour of water into Reactors 2 and 3. However, [at 3PM on August 30], the amount for Reactor 1 dropped to 4.0 tonnes/hour, for Reactor 2 to 5.5 tonnes/hour, and for Reactor 3 to 5.6 tonnes, which were below the minimum necessary amount [as specified in the safety regulations] to cool the reactors by 0.3 to 0.6 tonnes[/hour]. TEPCO adjusted the valves to bring the amount back up to the normal levels.


However, the amount of water being injected continued to fluctuate, and at 8PM it dropped below the required amount again. It recovered by 10:30PM after valve adjustment.


The amount of water into Reactors 1, 2 and 3 has dropped in the past. In each occasion, TEPCO adjusted the valves to maintain the flow. But it was the first time on August 30 that the amount dropped below the required amount. TEPCO says no leaks have been found.


TEPCO's Junichi Matsumoto says, "It is the most important system for cooling the reactors, and we would like to carefully investigate the cause of sudden drop in the amount of water."


Anonymous said...

"The amount of water into Reactors 1, 2 and 3 has dropped in the past. In each occasion, TEPCO adjusted the valves to maintain the flow. ... 'It is the most important system for cooling the reactors, and we would like to carefully investigate the cause ...'"
Of course, I understand they have their hands full any which way. But since the system is so important and unexplained drops have happened in the past, shouldn't this already have been investigated? Are they still waiting for a problem to occur rather than working to prevent further problems - or am I having a wrong impression?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

mscharisma, you would think so. So did many reporters last year who attended TEPCO's press conferences every day. I watched their puzzled faces on the livestream. They would ask Matsumoto, "So, aren't you going to investigate why the amount fluctuates?" Matsumoto would answer, "Well it happens often, and we just adjust the valves until the flow rate goes back to normal." "Aren't you going to investigate?" "We adjust the valves."

Anonymous said...

Thanks, laprimavera. Seems to me like turning up the volume on the car radio in order not to hear the weird noise coming from the engine.

Anonymous said...

This is 100% fabricated.

I wonder how they measure this water level when they can't get close enough the reactors to measure anything?

In January, they opened a probe and put a camera into the primary containment in - don't remember which one - and they were shocked to find steam flying past the opening. They can't even get to where the primary containment used to be at unit 3. Let alone the RPV's.

No instrumentation could have survived the blasts. None can survive the radiation present now. There are no longer any control rooms.

What a set of lies...


JAnonymous said...

New Rule: "it is safe to operate a water cooling behemoth under specified levels as long as the expected size of dislocation is small enough."

Yes please ? What do you mean we can't do that ? We got away with it in the past !

--by Nuke Is Super Awesomeness officials

Anonymous said...

Maybe they tried to clog the RPV leaks with shredded newspaper and baby diaper gel?

Anonymous said...

So many "cause unknown" regarding the technology we use, huh? But don't worry, the rich people say it's safe so it must be. All hail the power of intelligent design, for we are human, blessed by God and above all lowly jellyfish!

I mean, according to their rich-people-sponsored "studies", the chance of disaster occurring isn't likely, because it's ONLY happened two or three times in our long, proud history of HALF A CENTURY since we started using this technology to generate power!

Never mind that if anything does go wrong, we'll all be totally screwed for several thousand years, at the very least... yup, no problemo. Tra la la la, we're so safe~

Anonymous said...

James, I'm sure they can measure the amount of water flow that goes through the pump outside of the reactor.

Anonymous said...

Make that "FOUR times". SL-1, never forget!

Anonymous said...

When the operator goes to his chart for coolant amounts per hour and aligns his data, 'approximate tonnage of melted fuel and whereabouts unknown' the chart then refers to 'pristine reactor with fuel intact' and references coolant flow during typical cold shutdown.

Operator then logs his readings and adjustments noting with an asterisk that his normally closed loop system is open.

Atomfritz said...

Indeed, it's the famous Tepco style "cold shutdown" that is endangered.
It's like defining that the stove is off if the kitchen thermometer is below 100 degs C.

I could well imagine that, years later, people will find out that the continued cooling was completely unnecessary because of the corium-metals-concrete mix having petrified in the core catcher, and well thermally insulated by the slag above it.

If it turns out this way, the cooling mainly would have produced masses of waste water and a massive groundwater/sea contamination because of leaching out of the containment.

Anonymous said...

Partially agree but like intact fuel, melted fuel needs to be kept submerged because it is off-gassing and sending out rays continuously or without water it would cause the immediate area to become unstable. Lesser of two evils for now.

Anonymous said...

Could they be measuring the inbound flow minus the outbound flow?

Anonymous said...

I can see the headlines now:

Nuclear plants implode. Cause unknown.
TEPCO employee: "We just inject."

I've been entertaining the idea that zombies are actually real, they just haven't decayed yet. That's right, we're surrounded by zombies...

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