Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pictorial: An Elementary Mistake in Water Leak at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

(UPDATE) There's now a new leak with HIGH BETA, due to egregious worker error. See my latest post.


This self-explanatory pictorial by Mainichi Shinbun (10/4/2013) shows the kindergarten-level idiocracy (or kindergarteners-would-be-offended level) at TEPCO.

It shows how one of the recent (while I was gone) leaks from the storage tanks at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant happened.

  1. 5 linked tanks are placed on a slope (30cm x 55m);

  2. Judging by the amount of beta-nuclides in the water stored as reported by Mainichi (580,000Bq/L, or 580Bq/cm3), the tanks contain water that has been treated by SARRY (cesium removed) and RO (desalination);

  3. The tanks were already close to full;

  4. The only water gauge installed was on the tank located at the top of the slope; the water gauge showed there was still some room to pour rainwater that accumulated inside the dam that surrounds the tanks;

  5. Workers started pumping the rain water into the top tank;

  6. There was a gap between the lid on top of the bottom tank and the side panel of the tank; thus

Out went the water slightly mixed with rainwater.

The beta-nuclide content, though much lower than that in the waste water after RO, is still way above the legal limit for discharge (30Bq/L). Part of the leaked water may have reached the ocean, TEPCO admits.

I sense an acute shortage of competent workers at the plant.


Anonymous said...

Ah, how wonderful that you are back. And on top of everything, with an article about something I was wondering about ever since I read elsewhere about the tanks installed on a slope, etc. I couldn't imagine they would really ... but they did. If I, with my average-Jane brain, can figure out in 10 seconds that this is a bad design ... well, I'm at a loss for words.

I hope your medical emergency is completely over and everything is alright. Welcome back.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Hi, mscharisma. Worst is over, good to be back. Still taking time in doing anything.

Anonymous said...

Right: we have the slope and the gauge in a funny place, plus the lid which is not tight. But this is not enough.
The Mainichi drawing does not show that the water leaked out of the concrete dyke that is supposed to collect leaks because the inspection platform that runs around the top of the tank STICKS OUT of the dyke perimeter (Tepco saved a few pennies on 30cm of concrete...)

VyseLegendaire said...

Welcome back. We missed your good humour about our collective debacle.

William said...

Glad to know you are on the mend -- welcome back!

Anonymous said...

I honestly couldn't help but laugh at the imagery.

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