Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Power Restored at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant, TEPCO Still Don't Know What Went Wrong

TEPCO still doesn't know what caused the power failure and how, therefore does not have measures in place to prevent any future power failure. Pressure from the national government was clearly on the operator to just start cooling and not worry about minor details like what caused the failure.

Ad hoc has been the name of the game for the past two years. Why change now?

Asahi Shinbun (3/20/2013; part):


The power outage this time was the most severe since the start of the accident. However, the cause of the outage hasn't been identified. According to TEPCO, there was no visible sign of abnormality in the temporary switchboard that is connected to Reactors 3 and 4, where a trouble that led to the power outage was thought to have started. The company had initially planned to identify the cause, install measures to prevent future problems, and then turn the power back on. However, restoring the power was given the priority, and the cooling systems were connected to a different switchboard, circumventing the temporary switchboard.

The particular temporary switchboard is "3/4 M/C (A)" (M/C stands for "metal clad"). The location (or connection) of the switchboard in the overall electrical system looks different in the two different diagrams below. Either way, I don't quite understand why Reactor 1 should be affected by the failure of this switchboard, as the Reactor 1 cooling system does not appear to be connected to this switchboard.

As TEPCO's spokesman Ono explained it (via Ryuichi Kino),


[The trouble at "3/4/ M/C (A)"] had the ripple effect on Plant-wide common M/C (2A)(2B)

(I don't have a clue as to how that could happen.)

3/4 M/C (A) (in blue circle that I added), in the diagram provided by TEPCO in the press conference on March 19, 2013, via Ryuichi Kino:

3/4 M/C (A), in the diagram from March 2012, from then-Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA, also from Ryuichi Kino:


Anonymous said...

No sign of abnormality, for a melted down reactor. Yes, because we're all familiar with the norm of having melted reactors. ある意味で。

Anonymous said...

It's a good idea to first focus on restarting cooling and then investigate the causes if you ask me.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon at 9:21PM, I forgot to write in the post, but there was a danger of causing problem elsewhere if they just restarted the cooling with new wiring, as just about everything was rigged temporarily and no one knew for certain what was connected to what else. (as per yesterday's press conference.)

Anonymous said...

Tepco injects water but does not know where half of it goes.
Tepco drills a hole but does not know it will find pipes obstructing its way.
Tepco connects the wires but does knot know whether anything will blow.
Manufacturers are not liable.
Any non redundant device breaks and the plan is to *hope* to be able to replace it before the plant blows up, because you can not turn off a npp more than you can get off a plane while in flight.
Seriously, isn't there any more sensible way to make electricity?


Anonymous said...

In an ad hoc system where it is all kinda just rigged up a motor failure can cause a ripple up stream. Maybe, just maybe the overcurent protection is set tight so a pump failure by design blows fuses or trips breakers up stream to protect the equipment in general. This, as a master electrician is what I would do. The questions is does a pump failure take down computer systems....I doubt it. Pumps fail..they just do. On the drawings some of the reference to M/C is Motor Contol. I doubt very seriously that metal clad cable is in use... This is hard to work with..and offers no benefits over say water tight flex or "SO" cable. Electrical malfunctions will tighten you up and take a bit to repair especially in those conditions....JM 2 cents. Sheeps

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Well, part of my layman's question was answered by TEPCO in today's press conference. "3/4 M/C(A)" is not supposed to be connected to the electrical system for Reactor 1 but it was connected, on a temporary measure, in order to install a permanent switchboard.

And the temporary switchboard was found with a sign of burn, contrary to what the same spokesman said only the day before (that there was no visible sign of problem). The switchboard has been there, on the back of a truck, since March 18, 2011.

I'll write the post tomorrow for more details.

Anonymous said...

@ Beppe
There is a more sensible way of making electricity, but they do not make enough money out of that. If every roof in the country is covered with solar panels, you build a few windfarms and the rest you supply by water and/or thermic powerplants and you can cover probably 80-90% of the electricity consumption.
But 'they' do not have to digg anything up for this kind of electricity, so no revenue for the big companies. After you installed and built all these alternative powerplants, you are basicly done. Off course it has to be maintained, but you do not have to digg up oil, coal, gass, uranium etc. You do not have to transport it, you do not have to process it. So a lot of job loss here... a lot of taxes are lost, a lot of industry can not make a profit and banks ( who rule the world ) see lots of their big business disappear too.
It's, as always, a money issue. If all the money that is put into and is going to be put into nuclear, oil, gass ( and there research cost ) etc etc would be put into alternative ways of producing electricity, there would be no problem at all.
See it as the food problem or the medical problem in the world, there is enough produced for everybody in the world to have a decent meal and medical care, but money makes it not happen.
Unless we, the people, start to think and kick banks their ass, choose leaders who put people first, then there might be change. For the time being, we have to put up with polution of our planet, ruled by ruthless people.
Not much has changed since the time of the Imperium Romanum or what ever civilication you want to pick from about 3000-4000 years ago.
So changes are low, we can expect anything soon...

Anonymous said...

Dildos, grab some brains/balls, put on your big boy pants and stop the fucking coriums or else.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha, just a tiny mouse can cause such a major problem at Fukushima. The same lame attitude towads safety is lingering over there. No improvement, whatsoever.
So what will happen at Fukushima when something serious is happening like a good shake? It probably will all fall apart. Maybe that's why they make the tanks in makeshift quality. one good shake and the lack of space for the storage of the conteminated water is immediately 'solved'...
But I'm quite sure it will have no immediate health effect.

Annoymous said...

@ 4:18 AM, Again with all the gay inuendos? Still not out of the closet? WTF? Stop ball-less dildos from f'ing coriums?? And, would those be "brown" big boy pants? Also, what does the "or else" entail?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the mouse was thinking, "Screw these stupid humans, they're so damn slow! I'm going to fix it myself!"

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