Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ex-Representative Kawauchi Went Inside #Fukushima Reactor 1 Bldg, Says Hydrogen Explosion May Have Happened on 4th Floor, Not 5th (Top Floor)

So that was the occasion for the "blank" videos that TEPCO uploaded two days ago. I didn't pay much attention until I saw the tweets today by Mr. Hiroshi Kawauchi, former DPJ member of the Japanese Diet Lower House from Kagoshima Prefecture who lost in the December 2012 election along with many of his party.

As per previous offer and agreement from TEPCO while he was still a member of the Diet, Mr. Kawauchi went inside the Reactor 1 building at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 13, 2013, accompanied by TEPCO (or affiliate company) workers. They had a video camera, which was to record whatever Mr. Kawauchi wanted, as he directed. The problem was that the tape that was used to protect the camera got partially detached, and stuck on the camera lens. So the lens cover closed, leaving only a small hole in the center. (For TEPCO's report (in Japanese only) on the incident, see here.)

Mr. Kawauchi is not too happy, and says another trip will be arranged with TEPCO.

In the meantime, he has tweeted what he found on his March 13, 2013 visit to the Reactor 1 building. He now thinks it was on the 4th floor of the building that a hydrogen explosion took place, not the top 5th floor as has always been assumed. The 4th floor is where the Isolation Condenser (IC) is located.

福島第一原発1号原子炉建屋視察報告。今回の視察で分かったことは、1号の水素爆発は最上階の5階ではなく、ひとつ下、非常用復水器のある4階で起こったのではないか、ということ。そう考える根拠を2つあげたい。4階と5階の間、即ち4階の天井5階の床には、大きな機材搬入の為の穴がある。(tweet link)

Report on my visit to Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1 building. What's been revealed [to me] in this visit is that the hydrogen explosion of Reactor 1 may have happened not on the top 5th floor but on the one below, on the 4th floor where the Isolation Condenser is located. I'd like to submit two reasons why I think that way. Between the 4th and 5th floor - in other words the ceiling of the 4th floor which is the floor of the 5th floor, there is a huge hole to bring large equipment through.

この大物搬入口は、5メートル四方。作業時には、労働安全衛生法上の義務として、転落防止の為の手摺が設置される。作業時以外は、重さ1.5トンの鉄板で塞がれている。即ち、手摺があるかないかが、搬入口が閉じていたか、開いていたかの判断の分かれ目になる。では、実際にはどうだったのか?(tweet link)

This opening is 5 meters square (5 x 5). When it is in use, handrails are installed to prevent falls, as required by the Industrial Safety and Health Law. When not in use, the opening is covered with the steel plate weighing 1.5 tonnes. In other words, presence or absence of the handrails would indicate whether the opening was open or closed [when the explosion took place]. So, which was it?

原子炉建屋4階から天井を見上げると、五メートル四方の搬入口が、パックリと空いていた。肝腎の手摺はどうか?手摺は、無かった。手摺が無いということは、鉄板が閉まっていた筈。同行した東電社員も確認した。では、なぜ鉄板が無いのか?即ち、4階の水素爆発で吹き飛ばされたのではないか?(tweet link)

On the 4th floor and looking up at the ceiling, I saw the 5x5 opening open. How about the handrails? There were no handrails. No handrails means the opening was closed with the steel plate. Why wasn't the steel plate there? Is it because it was blown off by the hydrogen explosion on the 4th floor?

4階天井、5階床の大物搬入口。4階での水素爆発で下から上へ吹き上げられた、だから現在は、パックリ口を空けているのではないか、と考えるのが自然。実際、国会事故調のヒヤリングでも当時、現場の作業責任者が、大物搬入口の蓋を閉めた、と証言している。今回の視察で、その証言が裏付けられた。(tweet link)

It is natural to think this [steel plate covering the] opening on the 4th floor ceiling which is the 5th floor floor to carry large equipment through was blown upward by the hydrogen explosion on the 4th floor, therefore it is open now. In fact, in a testimony in the National Diet accident investigation commission, the person in charge of the work testified that they had closed the opening with the steel plate. In my visit, this testimony was confirmed.

もうひとつ、4階で水素爆発が起きてたのではないか、という根拠を示す。4階非常用復水器のすぐ横を、主蒸気管が垂直に通っている。この主蒸気管の、物凄く分厚い被覆材が凄まじい勢いでめくり上がっているのだ。非常用復水器の蒸気ラインの被覆材も同様だ。4階の凄まじい損壊の状況も合わせ考えると(tweet link)

Another reason why I think the hydrogen explosion took place on the 4th floor. The main steam pipe runs vertically right next to the Isolation Condenser on the 4th floor. Extremely thick covering material around the main steam pipe is severely turned up. Same thing with the covering material around the steam line of the Isolation Condenser. Taking together the severe destruction of the 4th floor...

この被覆材の捲れは、爆発の影響以外の何者でもない。1号原子炉建屋は、最上階の5階ではなく、ひとつ下の非常用復水器が設置されている4階で水素爆発が起きたと考える方が、水平方向に爆発していた爆発映像も考えあわせると、自然である。同行した東電社員も、否定できない、と認めていた。(tweet link)

... I believe this turning up of the covering material is definitely from the explosion. It makes more sense to think the hydrogen explosion of the Reactor 1 building happened not on the top 5th floor but on the 4th floor where the Isolation Condenser is located. Recall the video of the explosion, which spread in horizontal direction. TEPCO workers who accompanied me admitted that the possibility couldn't be denied.

現場を実際に、自分で確認し、私が知り得たことで、皆に報告をしなければならないことが、まだ他にもあるが、次回に回す。しかし、水素爆発が5階でなく、4階で起きていたとすれば、何故水素が4階に溜まったのかを解明しなければならない。これまでの、政府や東電の説明では説明できないからだ。(tweet link)

There are other things I saw and confirmed in person that I need to report to you, but that has to wait until next time. However, if the hydrogen explosion did take place not on the 5th floor but on the 4th floor, we have to figure out why hydrogen had accumulated on the 4th floor. That cannot be explained by the explanations so far by the government or TEPCO.

What difference does it make at this point, you may ask? That is indeed the rhetorical question some of the tweets to him ask.

After more than two years since Reactor 1 blew up, we still don't know how that happened. Many details of the accident are still not clear (and not many are interested in knowing), and many influential experts, journalists, bloggers base their pronouncements on the accident or the radiation contamination on assumptions and hearsay.

Without knowing and understanding exactly what happened and how, I don't believe there can be a "recovery". People in Japan will simply repeat a one-issue mantra of "beyond nuclear", without knowing and understanding exactly what has happened to them and their land because of that "nuclear".

The video of Reactor 1 explosion on March 12, 2011 does show, after the initial puff upwards, lateral spread of smoke and/or steam (as Professor Takashi Tsuruda of Akita Prefectural University (his specialty is combustion) thinks there was an explosion in the Suppression Chamber of Reactor 1):

It was good that Mr. Kawauchi was able to go inside the reactor building. It would be even better if he could bring along an explosion expert like Professor Tsuruda.

According to my own post on that day;

  • At 3PM 3/12/11, about 30 minutes before the explosion took place, TEPCO (the power company) announced that it was successful in relieving the pressure in the fuel core container.

  • The fuel rods are half-exposed, due to lower water level.

  • Cesium and Iodine have been detected in the atmosphere near the plant. [Both are products of nuclear fission.]

  • 4 people were injured.

As to the destruction of the 4th floor of Reactor 1 near the Isolation Condenser, see this video (if you haven't seen it yet) from October 2011:


Anonymous said...

F1 is suffering from a blackout. Tepco does not know yet why they lost power. Cooling of units 1,3 and the SPF of unit 4 stopped; reportedly for a few days there should be no problem.


Anonymous said...

Keep an eye here... Haven't been updates anywhere...


Hélios said...

Video with Hiroaki Koide : chronological report about accident (subtitled in english and french) :

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