Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One Thing or Another at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Series No. N: SARRY (Cesium Absorption System) Stopped

What's more worrisome than SARRY being stopped (TEPCO does have backups - Kurion's cesium absorption towers and AREVA's decontamination system if they really need treatment) is how little capacity left in storing the highly contaminated water (7 days worth).

According to TEPCO's email notice for the press (7/31/2013):


SARRY (cesium absorption system) stopped after an alarm sounded on July 30 signaling "Booster pump stopped/leak detection".


The booster pump that stopped is on Line B. On checking the alarm board on site, we confirmed that there was an alarm indicating there was something wrong with the cesium absorption tower.


We will conduct a detailed investigation this morning (July 31) to understand how the system stopped and prepare to start the backup booster pump on Line A.


Even if processing [of contaminated water] by SARRY is stopped, we have about 7 days worth of capacity to store contaminated water in Solid Waste Processing Facilities buildings. We have confirmed that about 12 days worth of reactor cooling water is secured in the condensate storage tank and the desalination apparatus.

In the desalination apparatus?? I suppose TEPCO means tanks that store water treated by the desalination apparatus.

I knew TEPCO had long stopped using Kurion's cesium absorption system and AREVA's co-precipitation system, but I don't think I read or heard anywhere why they stopped using them.


netudiant said...

The absence of factual information about Fukushima is just toxic to public understanding and to confidence in the institutions and people charged with dealing with this disaster.
We know that TEPCO has treated at least 250,000 tons of water, but we don't know how effectively.
The stored water may be high in tritium, so even if the cesium level is down to 0.1% of what it was initially, it may still be undesirable to release. However, TEPCO is running low on storage space while the ground water is getting more contaminated from the escaped reactor fuel.
The latter should be of concern, the reactor fuel contained about 850kg of cesium, of which about 4kg were estimated to have been emitted in the accident. The rest is or was still in the fuel and is presumably getting leached out by the water around it. That suggests that the contamination could become about 200 times worse than it is currently. That obvious prospect however is not getting discussed, nor are the hard choices that may have to be made. Dumping still contaminated water to prevent the outflow of much more contaminated groundwater may be in the public interest, but without public knowledge, there can be no real public consent.

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