Saturday, August 18, 2012

Photos of Minor Leak at Reverse Osmosis (Desalination) Facility in #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Defective Pipe Joint?

The Reverse Osmosis (RO) system at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant treats water already treated by Toshiba's SARRY (cesium absorption towers) in order to remove salt before the water is fed back to the Reactor Pressure Vessels in Reactors 1, 2 and 3.

I believe the RO system was also built by Toshiba, and it started operation in August in 2011.

Looking at the photographs of the leak that TEPCO released on August 17, now we know it doesn't matter whether the pipes are Kanaflex or metal. They fail no matter what, at Fukushima I Nuke Plant. In this case, one of the metal pipe joints cracked and fell off, and the water leaked from there.

Gamma radiation was low in the leaked water but since SARRY (or for that matter, Kurion or AREVA, both of which have not been used) does not remove any beta nuclides (including strontium), beta radiation was rather high at 3 millisieverts/hour on the water.

From TEPCO's Photos and Videos Library (8/17/2012):

The system still uses Kanaflex:

How bad is the leak? About 0.2 tonnes, or 200 liters.

(Defective cast, poor workmanship (installation) either from lack of training/apprenticeship or from lack of stake in the project, or all, was the comment from a person with experience in chemical plants, when I showed these photos.)


Atomfritz said...

Seems to be a good idea to have increased patrolling frequency.
Better once daily than once annually.

But, one thing I don't understand.
Why do you say that the Areva/Kurion system doesn't remove strontium from the effluent?

According to Areva, the decontamination factors are/were:
cesium 1000-10000,
strontium 10-100
Ru ~10
Rh ~10
Eu ~100
Ce ~10
Am ~20
Cm ~2
Ba-140 ~10

(Source: Areva's English-language report of their summer 2011 Fukushima work, published in the German nuclear professionals periodical "Atomwirtschaft", link: )

Anonymous said...

Veolia water has the technology (Areva is the channel). Sooner or later if japanese government wants to export back his agricultural products to Europe they will have to talk to the french and the germans (for the Tokyo Olympics too). That time will come. EU has a ban until october on the japanese farming products from 11 prefectures. My take is that if they buy french and german water and robots, the ban in Europe will be left as the current limits (food, drinks) there are higher than in Japan. Toshiba and the american CIA company (kurion) do not remove strontium but their political grip is higher. That is why Yoshida-san wanted an international solutions with the best technologies available from america and Europe not just the cronies companies from Japan and CIA.

JAnonymous said...

+1 Atomfritz

The Areva junk did remove beta, except it was never really used (useable ?).

Anyway, the Veolia people can't access the site anymore, after having eaten all their mSv already...

pat said...

bear in mind there is a failure rate, have enough
joints, expect some low percent to fail

Anonymous said...

Have there been aftershocks since this facility went into operation? I could see a rigid connection failure if it were shook hard enough this flange could have been damaged months ago and it took this long to finally fail. I thought the Kanaflex was part of their seismic mitigation system, wouldn't making all the connection rigid increase the rate of failure if more aftershocks happen?

It looks like they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

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