Sunday, November 17, 2013

(UPDATED) #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Fuel Assembly Removal from Reactor 4 SFP Starts


The cask has been submerged in the cask pit inside the SFP, and the workers have started to transfer fuel assemblies into the cask (from 3:18PM Japan Standard Time)


(UPDATE 2) From Nikkei Shinbun (11/18/2013, 11:16AM):

Removal of the fuel assemblies will continue tomorrow (November 19), the cask will be lowered to the ground on November 19. It will take about a week for the first cask to be transported to the Common Pool 100 meters away.

A week?

(UPDATE) Wrong schedule. From NHK News at 12:05PM:

  1. AM: The cask is being submerged into the cask pit.

  2. At 3PM: Start removing the 22 fuel assemblies (unused, new assemblies) using the fuel handling machine into the cask


According to NHK News (11/18/2013 at 6:07AM), the schedule is:
  1. AM: Using the fuel handling machine, put fuel assemblies (unused, new, 22 of them) into the cask submerged in the cask pit

  2. At 3PM: Lower the cask using the gantry crane

It must be proceeding well so far, as the bright pink headline banner on NHK's homepage (circled in blue below) only says "We will let you know as soon as there is further news."

The fuel handling machine is operated by the workers with long experience of handling the nuclear fuel, according to the workers who regularly tweet from Fukushima I NPP.

Here's the link to the 7-page summary of the fuel removal operation, from TEPCO (11/13/2013).

Just as the independent journalist Ryuichi Kino said previously, "Fuel removal conducted in the daytime, and debris removal at night".

Perhaps as a small pushback against the LDP politicians who demand "acceleration" and "ahead of schedule" work, TEPCO says on the 2nd page in red letters:

After conducting the above actions, we will proceed with fuel removal with “first priority given to safety”, not to achievement of the schedule.

Mainichi Shinbun (11/13/2013) says the reactor building cover over the Reactor 4 operating floor was built with 4,200 tons of steel beams, the same amount of steel beams that were used to build Tokyo Tower. If I remember right, the design and construction was by Kajima. It was designed and built so that the weight of the heavy cover would not be borne by the original reactor building.


Anonymous said...

I hope it goes well for them. They need something to go right in Japan.

I think they've actually done a pretty good job on #4. I just wish they'd give us better information on the others.


Anonymous said...

James, you would love this crap that Gundersen is spewing...

For some reason, he thinks what's covering the operating floor is "shrink wrap".

Anonymous said...

If people would learn how to listen analysis of a cartoon video, might comprehend what is being said and not take it out of context. It is at least more informative than TEPCO's usual 'all is well' propaganda.

Kevlar skin enclosue is only there to capture offgassing in the event of a broken bundle releasing its poisons, from there the radioactive poisons are to be exhausted up that tall stack (the one not in danger of falling over). This only clears the working area of dangerous gases and sends them elsewhere further away so work can continue after purging the shrink wrap, I mean, Kevlar enclosure.

The real dangers begin when the spent fuel is being removed, only the fuel that had not been used yet well be removed first.

Anonymous said...

TEPCO didn't say "all is well and easy" in that video. Gundersen using 2011 photos of Unit 4 and showing SFP full of debris is clever, just like BBC.

Anonymous said...

During the initial days of the disaster NHK kept airing images of Fuku 1 *before* the fateful events. Nice light blue cubes, intact. The view was chilling.
These days Tepco shows those shiny green cranes; you just have to zoom in a little to see that the workers are wearing full face masks.

Anonymous said...

"the workers are wearing full face masks."

That they are, and their "situational awareness" shows no lack of caution. They know why that's important.

#4 might be cleaned up, but you know the other reactor buildings look to be catastrophe sites.
That's what happens when operating reactors get hit with catastrophes.
Contained catastrophes uncontained.

Anonymous said...

"James, you would love this crap that Gundersen is spewing...

For some reason, he thinks what's covering the operating floor is "shrink wrap"."

Nope, I quit watching Arnie's stuff awhile back, when it became obvious his intention was to spin the truth rather than tell it.

We all make mistakes on this topic given the horrible access to real data, the whiteout of misinformation, and the technical nature of it - However I find that Arnie is resistant to discussing the substantive issues and sensationalizes trivial problems while ignoring huge ones.

Real engineers don't work that way. Real engineers do make mistakes and are often hardheaded about them, however when they are confronted with data that contradicts their understanding, they are willing - compelled actually - to determine if that contradiction is real or not. If they find out it is real they have no problem changing their position and furthering their understanding.

Politicians on the other hand have a position that they need to advance despite any opposition. They see contradictory information as something to be discredited, hidden or ignored.

This difference makes it very easy to discriminate between the two.


Anonymous said...

I don't share your opinion of Gundersen. Does that mean I am not a "REAL ENGINEER"? OH NOES!
I can think for myself, thank you.
Gundersen is especially hated by REAL ENGINEERS in the nuclear power industry.Over time, I have learned to respect people that nuclear power industry insiders HATE. Glad the internet is an open source where we can all watch what we want.
I am especially grateful for Ultraman - on the job and translating since Day 1! THANK YOU, ULTRA!

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