Thursday, August 9, 2012

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 4: Containment Vessel Lid Removed from Operating Floor

From Fuku-I live camera, August 10, 2012 between 11AM and 12PM, 3x speed:

The yellow lid had been removed from the Containment Vessel in Reactor 4 when the earthquake and tsunami hit, as Reactor 4 was in the middle of extended maintenance (to replace core shroud). It was on the opposite corner on the operating floor from the Spent Fuel Pool, as you can see in this photograph from May this year. (Now the SFP is covered with steel sheets and most of the trusses are gone.)

(H/T reader Patrick Nowlen)


Anonymous said...

What has our parents' generation done to this world?

Under those metal sheets, perched high atop this badly damaged building is enough poison to destroy the entire northern hemisphere, waiting to be released by a terrorist group, an enemy nation, another big earthquake, a tornado or even a typhoon.

And this is only one of dozens of similar structures all over the world, any one of which could fall victim to an act of war, an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or TEPCO-style mismanagement.

Why would our parents allow this?

Will we allow this situation to persist for our children?

Come out to the Kantei tonight. Or go to a protest in your city. If there is no protest there, start your own at the local DPJ office. Our children deserve better than this.

Anonymous said...

Well, organizers of the Friday Kantei demo don't seem to care a bit about the Fukushima accident. I was watching the interview of two of the organizers (better ones) by Yasumi Iwakami, and they were just dismissing anything but their "single issue". They said, tell us if you have suggestions. Lots of people have in fact suggested, and were told to get lost by the organizers. Or worse, was called "a piece of garbage". Not the people I want to socialize with.

I know, I know, you would say, for the greater good.

Little Canary said...

Anon 12:33 AM
In other words this new "leaders" have hijacked the protests probably in order to discredit this movement. There are probably many political forces behind this aswell.

Anonymous said...

Little Canary, yup. "Useful idiots" comes to my mind.

Anonymous said...

Hijacking of popular protest and political movements is a well established artform of the ruling Elites. Hollow them out and keep them going as a 'managed opposition' that never achieves anything significant. I've seen it happen over and over here in Australia.

Well, they're going to keep doing it, until some time when ordinary people become both aware and so pissed off, that 'fake opposition' figureheads start getting killed as the traitors to the human race that they are.

Either that, or someone comes up with something new in organization structures, that works to exclude 'leaders' who's actions don't conform to the ideals of the group.
But I can't see any way to ensure that, myself.

About the video... after over a year, *finally* something comes out of Fukushima that's slightly amusing. Watching the little people zipping back and forth on top of Unit 4, makes for a chuckle. Even though they are probably retreating to areas of lower radiation exposure when not actually needed around the pressure dome... Sigh. Sad laughs.


Anonymous said...

is there any way to keep the videos from auto playing? when ever i load this page, about 4 video clips start playing simultaneously. It is very annoying as i need to scroll down and stop each offending video, not to mention the instant network hit I get from trying to download and play everything at once. thanks ! love your work.

Anonymous said...

Hang on a minute, the containment vessel lid is supposed to contain all that radiation isnt it? so why the fuck are they taking it off??

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon 2:49AM, I don't know about auto-playing videos... The ones I embed are not set to auto-play, I don't think. If you can point to the particular videos, let me know.

@anon 4:43AM, as I wrote in the post, Reactor 4 had been in extended maintenance of replacing core shroud, when the earthquake/tsunami hit. The lid had been removed and had been at that location.

Florian said...

Hmm, but why has the building exploded when the reactor was off?

did i miss something?

Anonymous said...

Can of debatable worms.
Open carefully.
Hydrogen transport from another reactor
Exposed fuel rods

Anonymous said...

possibly your best article

Anonymous said...

Just because a reactor is "off" and the chain reaction stopped, it doesn't mean the fuel is not radioactive, i.e., hot anymore. It continues to require cooling before it can even be moved into temporary or permanent storage.

The cooling before removal for storage happens in the spent fuel pool. The experts, from what I have read and little I have understood, are not entirely sure if the explosion resulted from overheating fuel rods in the spent fuel pool (the rods having created hydrogen which explodes when it comes into contact with oxygen) or if hydrogen has entered the #4 reactor building from another reactor.

That's at least how I understood it. Any corrections are, as always, more than welcome.

Anonymous said...

correction: "... continues to require cooling FOR SEVERAL YEARS before it can even ..."

Anonymous said...

@anon 2:49AM: I believe the autoplay might be caused by a setting in your browser. Can't remember now if it was Firefox or Chrome that had an option to always start video automatically, but I saw it somewhere. Might be worthwhile looking for that.

anonymous said...

Shroud replacement were never envisioned when these plants were first built. Japan with the help of GE pioneered shroud replacements to extend the working life of reactors.

Since shroud replacements weren't contemplated at the time of the spent fuel pool design, when the reactor had to be emptied of fuel assemblies for a shroud replacement the SFP was not only loaded with both typical spent and new assemblies but also with the added extra weight of 'hot' fuel assemblies from an entire working reactor core which includes tighter tolerances when temporarily packing them in and more decay heat to deal with.

At the time of the Great Quzke spent fuel pond #4 was overloaded by about double the weight it normally carried.

Still a mystery of why Unit 4 exploded: Pond water boiled off during the power blackout creating its own gases, gases leaked from other Units via shared vents and valves in the wrong position due to lack of power or both occurred until enough gas accumulated to ignite. I don't see how a steam explosion would have occurred, there is no pressurized containment in a fuel pool.

Anyway, with the added weight in SFP #4 you can see why TEPCO built an extra supporting structure to help support the pool early on.

anonymous said...

First thing you learn about nuclear reactions, is that there is no 'Off' switch. Fission can be stopped but decay heat continues.

pat said...

i suspect Reactor 4 is cracking and bowing badly.

Tepco is desperate to unload SFP 4, they've taken down failed structure,
they removed the CV Cap.

I think the damn thing is leaning like crazy

Anonymous said...

Pat, you can think all you want, but the numbers don't agree with you that the damn thing is leaning like crazy. I thought you were more sensible and reality-based than those US "experts".

Anonymous said...

@11:41 I do not know what numbers and what "experts" you are talking about but unfortunately it is very hard for me to believe that TEPCO or the government will suddenly start communicating in good faith, providing a picture of the situation that is realistic and honest both formally and in substance. Edano's "no immediate health hazard" and TEPCO pathetically long denial of the meltdown are only two examples.

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