Friday, April 11, 2014

#Fukushima I NPP: Tank Alarm Didn't Sound, But the Reason Is Probably Not What You Think


After countless mishaps in controlling and monitoring the huge steel tanks that store waters with different degrees of contamination - from water with hardly any contamination (rainwater, water drawn from the wells for the underground water bypass plan) to water with extremely high beta nuclides (waste water after SARRY/Kurion and desalination) - and countless promptings from Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioners, TEPCO installed water gauges to all 1000 tanks.

The water gauges are monitored in a room dedicated to monitoring the tanks, using a PC.

On April 8, TEPCO quietly announced that alarms went off on two of the tanks, without the staff in charge of monitoring (TEPCO employees) noticing the alarms for two hours. They turned out to be false alarms, and there was nothing wrong with either tank.

Now, why didn't the workers hear the alarm?

Then on April 9, TEPCO further admitted that there were not just two but 433 tanks whose alarms on water gauges were turned off.

Why? Because someone had turned off the sound on the PC.

This has got to be one of the lowest level of (non-)performance, even for TEPCO. But hardly anyone pays any attention any more to anything happening or not happening at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and even the NRA commissioners seems resigned to the fact that nothing they say or suggest to TEPCO will be fully heeded by TEPCO anyway. Chairman Tanaka, in recent press conferences, reportedly said "TEPCO is just that, that kind of company..."

From Mainichi Shinbun (4/9/2014):

汚染水タンク:433基の水位計 異常警報が「消音」状態

Alarms on water gauges on 433 tanks that store contaminated water were "off"

 東京電力は9日、福島第1原発の汚染水をためるタンク約1000基のうち433基に設置された水位計が、水位の異常を示す警報が出ても音が鳴らない「消音」状態になっていたことを明らかにした。8日には実際に水位計が故障して警報は出ても音が鳴らず、約2時間気付かなかったケースがあったという。

TEPCO revealed on April 9 that the water gauges on 433 tanks out of 1000 tanks that store contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant had been set so that there would be no sound even if an alarm was sounded to indicate abnormal water levels. On April 8, some water gauges malfunctioned and alarms were issued, but since there was no sound [the workers] didn't notice for two hours.

 東電によると、水位が上昇したり、急激に低下したりした時に警報が鳴る仕組みだが、全ての水位計を制御するパソコンで、警報音が鳴らない「消音」の設定になっていたという。2月に高濃度汚染水が漏れた際は警報音が鳴っており、東電はそれ以降に「消音」設定されたとみて「操作ミスかどうか原因を調べている」としている。

According to TEPCO, an alarm goes off when the water level rises or drops rapidly. However, the sound of the PC that controls all water gauges was set "off". When the highly contaminated water leaked in February this year, the alarm did go off. TEPCO believes the sound setting was changed to "off" after the February incident, and says they are investigating whether the sound was turned off by mistake.


My guess is that there were so many false positives that the workers couldn't stand the alarm noise and turned off the sound on the PC.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

So the workers ignore the alarms because they don't want to know. How is that so different from the workers in Tokyo who ignore the empirical data that shows their city has been irrevocably and significantly contaminated?

The same workers will search long and hard to find acceptable reasons for the cancer rates skyrocketing over the coming years.

It is said that the Japanese do not experience guilt as a cultural trait. Pity the rest of the world for Japan's hubris.

Anonymous said...

No, workers ignore the alarms because they are too noisy. And actual data in Tokyo shows Tokyo has not been significantly contaminated.

Anon above, the type of fear-mongering like you do is out of date.

Anonymous said...

In how many countries did scenes like this play out?

http://www.4thmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/image001.jpg

Imagine the psychopathy that moved thru a society that told itself it had the right to be that way with resource aggression wars.

"condolences"
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140412/japan-minister-visits-controversial-war-shrine

"condolences?"
http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/3/25/total-abenomics-fail-slams-japan-where-it-hurts-most.html

political trade imbalances
http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/2/21/the-madness-of-abenomics-in-one-crazy-chart.html

Japan, "occupied" by its debt-swamped Big Brother, offers "condolences" to its dream of balanced sanity by regional conflict over resources

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:01am

Go back to sleep. Nothing to fear... The hot particles will not affect you as long as you smile... All radiation is confined to Fukushima bay...reactors are all in cold shutdown loooooool... Tepco always tells the truth... No increase in thyroid cancer amongst children.... Yep, all fear mongering that is out of date... Or is it just too inconvenient (or frightening) for you to actually look honestly at the truth.

Anonymous said...

More nonsense about hot particles. People in Tokyo and throughout northern Japan are looking at the truth, and they are not finding that their city has been "irrevocably and significantly contaminated". And skyrocketing cancer rates is more nonsense. The incidence of cancer as a result of exposure to radiation is not voodoo or black-magic. It is a well-studied area with decades of data and research to support conclusions. Has cancer skyrocketed in Europe as a result of Chernobyl, which dumped far more radiation into the environment than Fukushima? Has cancer skyrocketed in Kiev? Has it become a ghost town now that 30 years has passed since Chernobyl?

Its quite depressing that people are hoping for a huge body count from this.

Anonymous said...

How do you explain hotspots in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture? 58 Microsieverts an hour?
Strontium in Yokohama? Still voodoo?

"Sediment in the gutter in the Okurayama district of Kohoku Ward contained 129 becquerels of radioactive strontium-89 and strontium-90 combined per kilogram, city officials announced on Oct. 14. The results follow an earlier report that deposits of strontium had been found on a nearby apartment building's rooftop.

"We believe (the deposits) were caused by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant," a city official said. "We cannot judge potential risks. We want to consult with the central government."

Go shill somewhere else....

Anonymous said...

Aon@7:19
It's depressing that the Japanese government and people did so little to protect their citizens, children, flora, fauna eye from radiological damage.

It's depressing that JP govt and Tepco lied for weeks about the acaoe of the disaster saying there was no meltdown.

It's depressing that Tepco continues to lie and obfuscate about the quantities and qualities of materiel continuing to be released on a daily basis.

It's depressing that when revisions to quantities of radiological waste are issued, they are always UP, never down.

And you think people are hoping for a huge body count? NO!

But people are OUTRAGED by the careless cavalier attitude of people who don't give a flying fuck about the greater consequences of their actions, or should I say inaction.

Anon.. You should go get a job at Tepco. Your blind denial is just the spirit they find most valuable.

Anonymous said...

One imagine a driver who keeps running red lights day in and day out and the police just shrugging their shoulders, "oh well, it's just that kind of driver."
There's a reason why "that kind of driver" would eventually not be allowed any longer to operate a vehicle. Just as "that kind of company" - be the name TEPCO or any other - should no longer be allowed to operate nuclear power plants.
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

mscharisma, except this is no nuclear power plant. It is a wreckage of a nuclear power plant, and TEPCO has no expertise in managing it.

Anonymous said...

very puzzling, no Chernobyl data is not under consensus, was of very different conditions. As for Fuku data, I would laugh if it wasn't probably so dire.
That Tepco is clueless, OK, but who could handle ? Many big problems in the US, UK, ex-USSR and nearing big mess in France, my country.
One thing about Kashiwa. I knew three persons there, all died of cancer, before Fuku disaster. My wife who's Japanese says every Japanese knew it was a very polluted place. Geography maybe, but what did they do there ? A lot of businesses deal with nuclear products far away from the NPP.

Phiphi

Anonymous said...

Chernobyl data under consensus, sorry.
Phiphi

Anonymous said...

"Has cancer skyrocketed in Kiev?" A good question. Has it?
Who would know? As in, is the Ukraine a failed state, or not? Ruled by corruption?
Will IMF "loans" go to the wrong people?
Has the entire Black Sea area been an industrial cesspool, for decades?
Do their business interests coincide with advertising that "cesspool"-ness?

*mscharisma*, we're to believe threats to the ocean environment that Tepco provides are acceptable, too, simply because a company called Opower has Smart Meter tech to sell.
As if one needed a smart meter to step down one's electrical usage, or smart meters were necessary to "advance" the Green Revolution.

/Salesmen as the real product of green revolutions.

Anonymous said...

http://opower.com/company/news-press/press_releases/88

Anonymous said...

When comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl it might be wise to remember that Fukushima is still very much an ongoing disaster. The fat lady has not begun to sing.

I truly believe that history will record that the ecological and human insult to the world caused by the Japanese at Fukushima will totally dwarf Chernobyl in scale.

Chernobyl stopped leaking radionuclides fairly shortly after the disaster - Fukushima leaks are continuing to grow.

Anyone who tries to downplay the severity of the Fukushima disaster is a total fucking moron.

Japan is toast - finito - game over- screwed etc. however the rest of the world would appreciate Japan not trying to poison the rest of us while it embraces mass suicide.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Japan's "altruism" is a vote for further cynical humor, for further Years of Living Dangerously.

Thomas Friedman, for instance, can't even bring himself to decry Japan's continuing pollution of the Pacific's fisheries as "a fundamental challenge to marine organisms and ecosystems." in his "Go ahead, Vladimir, make our day" opinion piece.
But Tepco, burning more coal, is ok because smart meters are a step forward. Ok.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-13/post-fukushima-japan-chooses-coal-over-renewable-energy.html

Years of Living Dangerously, and turning a blind eye to the non-sustainable.
Israel will dispose of its RO brine .. by dumping it in the Mediterranean? That bodes well, like Gaza's chromium.
RO powered by gas turbines, instead of solar.
http://www.water-technology.net/projects/israel/

But that's ok, too, because Putin rules a petrostate.

w/e

Anonymous said...

I have been empowered by 7:19's salespitch to translate the relevant portion of his comment,

"More nonsense about hot particles.
.. Its quite depressing that people are hoping for a huge body count from this."

You see, the nuke industry employs "suckmeisters", PR spindoctors, who devote their day's attention to those who point out the dangers of nuclear energy.
So, instead of carrying on about "fuel fleas" early in the Fuku disaster, what was advised is to call a spade a spade: the "flea" aspect of the anti-nuke experience is your apprehension of the suckmeisters' warped attention.

Later, the suckmeisters would decry your continued attention to those same nuclear dangers, and present you as seeking "huge body counts" instead of acknowledging that their "sucking" is guarantee of body counts.

Doctoring the spin, with the only conscience applicable is the fatted-ness of their wallets.

Any questions?

Тимоти Блокер said...

When comparing Chernobyl to Fukushima, please recall that the Russians responded immediately to entomb the damaged reactor and completed the task in 9 months. Japan, conversely, has hemmed and hawed and created a "containment method" that consists of withholding and outright falsifying critical information. Now over 3 years later, they are finally coming around to the (obvious) conclusion the reactors should be entombed - what should have been planned and executed immediately. Expect years more Keystone Cop calamity before these imbeciles concede they f---d up and build the sarcophagus that will finally stop the hemorrhage of planet killing radionuclides.

Anonymous said...

After CNN iReport article ( http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1045751 ) someone else is reacting to advise about the new Technology by WOW Technology Inc. that is able to offer a SUPER decontamination performance for removing radioactive isotopes from water without generating any sludge.

It is the Bouletin of French ministery for Foreign affairs:

http://www.bulletins-electroniques.com/actualites/75599.htm

This Technology would allow a better cooling for those metdown rectors at Fukushima Daiichi and prevent additional problems.
I hope that news will be spreaded all around the world.
as it is a great news and a glimmer of hope.

Anonymous said...

Yet more tank overflows today from the ALPS system. More incompetence, more stupidity, more insanity.

Anonymous said...

10:48, you momentarily forgot to add " .. more welfare for organized crime", a continuation of the theme of "welfare cowboys" along the Columbia River.

A River Lost by Blaine Harden

Anonymous said...

Friedman does show some internal consistency over time, however.
He consistently refuses to decry the "order" of the Middle East, an "order" totally reliant on outside bribe money so they all don't fall upon each other like rabid animals.

"So the chromium 6 is now back in the water, which flows from Hebron to Beersheba, one of Israel's largest cities, and then on to Gaza and out to sea, into waters used by Israel's desalination plants."

http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Thomas-Friedman-And-now-an-ecological-time-bomb-5217169.php#page-1

Let's get this: AID builds a plant in Israel, presumably operated by Israelis who control the supplying to that plant of the sulfuric acid. Yet the social relations are so strained that the greater good of keeping chromium out of the water, for all, can not be kept as paramount.

An "order" where businessmen will sell literally anything to anybody to turn a fast buck.
These types are worthy of "bribes" in perpetuity?

Friedman as victim of an ecological "concept bomb", where the natural gas fields make everything ok 'cause Israel, too, can become a "petrostate".

Clue: dump your RO brine .. in salt mines. Pay to do it, if necessary.

Anonymous said...

And further,

The Mediterranean has already been described as becoming increasingly acidic and polluted as it "enjoys" limited exchange with the Atlantic Ocean at large.
A body of water where the "dilution" is on a bit of a timer.

So rather than dump sewage, chromium, and reverse osmosis brines in it when will it become apparent that it's past time to clean up the Mediterranean? Rather than forever "floating" insults to your neighbors with guaranteed addressing?

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