Thursday, March 14, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 4 Steel Frame Taking Shape

The support structure for the Reactor 4 building is now just as high as the reactor building itself.

TEPCO, pressured by the government (particularly the current Abe administration officials), is making haste in building the structure so that they can start removing the fuel assemblies in the Spent Fuel Pool starting November this year.

I hate to say it but a hasty job often fails in an unexpected way. But if that happens, no government official will take responsibility anyway, TEPCO gets the blame, who in turn blames the lead subcontractor (probably Kajima), who then blames its subcontractor, who then.... (down to 7th level or so).

From TEPCO's Photos and Videos Library (3/13/2013):

(Click to enlarge)

Speaking about hasty job, all those tanks at Fukushima I Nuke Plant that contain water treated to remove radioactive cesium and other gamma nuclides but not beta (like strontium) and tritium will need extensive maintenance in about three years. Those tanks are made of steel sheets bolted together, not welded, with rubber packing. The rubber packing lasts 5 years.

Workers have been patrolling among these tanks, and tightening the bolts to prevent the leak.

TEPCO/government chose those materials and the construction method as they needed those tanks as soon as possible, back in the first several months of the accident. The plan was that the contaminated water would be all treated clean by Kurion's and AREVA's systems (which did claim to remove more than just cesium) by the end of the year (2011) and these tanks would not be needed.

With 400 tonnes of water still seeping from the ground into the turbine building basements every day, TEPCO continues to have a huge water problem.

But instead, let's worry about a potential earthquake and let's remove fuel assemblies in haste. That will show to the world how serious Japan is in dealing with the accident. (The world yawns.)


Anonymous said...

As far as I know, they have a multi-nuclide removal system (ALPS) ready, but must still pass ridiculous criteria (dropping from several meters) before they start working with it.
They will probably be still trying to document it to the bureaucrats' satisfaction when the water in the tanks will leak out to the sea. Either way, the problem will be "solved"…

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

TEPCO and Toshiba seem not so happy about the removal of strontium by ALPS. It's less than they hoped.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is not like there is a choice. Yes, the schedule is breakneck, which means the pool MUST be defueled as soon as possible, or else.
When it's over, we'll probably also be allowed to learn the why and wherefores.

Anonymous said...

Anon above, it is a mistake to think that the Japanese government has any valid reason behind their action.

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Atomfritz said...

Wow, this is really a impressive building.
Just for cleaning up a single fuel pool.
And it's the easiest-to-clean-up pool yet. Doom beginner difficulty.
After it's done, still three to go... normal, nightmare and hell difficulties, respectively.

"Those tanks are made of steel sheets bolted together, not welded, with rubber packing. The rubber packing lasts 5 years."

Wow, this is important detail to know.
Thanks again for sharing, LaPrimavera!

I wonder what size the tank farm has grown in 3-5 years.
Prepare for some spectacular large early failures :)

Anonymous said...

Good to see progress being made and this is the first time I have heard anything about Abe that is positive. I disagree about your take on Tepco, ExSKF, the merger of corporate and state power is so tightly fused that they are pretty much one and the same. To make Tepco out to be some kind of victims is ludicrous beyond words. Of course the workers at the sight are disposable radioactive rats who can be replaced as need be and you wont see any Tepco Execs or Abe adminstration relatives working there.

That said Tepco is making progress at the plant and credit is due their hard work. The number of technical problems they face though are so numerous that this disaster may well break Japan's back.

WHO Lies Refuted: Physicians’ Group Predicts 100,000+ Fukushima Cancer

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

>To make Tepco out to be some kind of victims is ludicrous beyond words.

?? Who did?

Anonymous said...

@M15 4:59 PM: would you really believe a post who references nonsensical racist bigotry such as:
"17. Organized Jewry: destroyers of Western civilization" ??!!

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