Monday, March 21, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: TEPCO Screw-Ups Not Reported Outside Japan

And they are not reported by the major news organization in Japan on their websites. Here's what I've collected so far from the message boards and blogs in Japan. I don't think they are mere hearsays or make-up stories (although that's possible, with just about everyone in Japan hates TEPCO's guts at this point); rather, they may be snippets of information available on TV news in Japan (other than NHK), or local papers, or dug up by bloggers. Nevertheless, I can't guarantee their authenticity.

Emergency power generators that failed:

They failed because they were located outside the Reactor buildings, exposed to the elements. So when tsunami came rushing, they got swept away.

Duh. I found a confirmation of this comment. Here's Kahoku Shinpo 2 days after the quake/tsunami (in Japanese; 3/13/2011):

TEPCO director Akio Komori disclosed that "the emergency power generators were initially working [after the earthquake]. But then tsunami engulfed the plant compound, and knocked out those generators." They got soaked with sea water and stopped working.

There's also a rumor that these generators were so old and weren't working properly even before the earthquake. I think I've seen the news to that extend somewhere, I'm looking for it right now, and link it when I find it.

Emergency power generators that were to replace the ones that died:

Additional emergency power generators were brought in after the generators at the plant went dead. But they used a different type of plug from the ones at the plant, so TEPCO couldn't use them.

Duh, duh.

There's a rumor that TEPCO is hiring temp workers for Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

Timeline of the Reactor No.1 explosion, which indicates it was as much man-made disaster as natural disaster (and it was created by TEPCO and Prime Minister Kan):

  1. The US military sent boric acid, and suggested TEPCO pour it in the Pressure Vessel.

  2. TEPCO turned down the suggestion, as it feared it would be difficult to make the reactor operational again if it poured boric acid in the reactor. They decided instead to cool with water.

  3. However, part of the pipe was broken, and not enough water was entering the Pressure Vessel and the water level failed to rise.

  4. TEPCO asked the government for permission to release the steam from the Vessel in the early hours of March 12.

  5. However, it was the day when Prime Minister Kan was scheduled to visit the plant. So the government ordered TEPCO not to conduct the release of the steam.

  6. The release of the steam was delayed until after the visit of Prime Minister Kan.

  7. Because of this delay, the pressure inside the Containment Vessel rose to twice the limit.

  8. Steam was finally released after 2PM, but an explosion happened at 3:30PM on March 12.

  9. TEPCO finally gave up keeping the Reactor 1 operational, and decided to pour in boric acid and sea water.

By the way, TEPCO's president, Masataka Shimizu, who seems to be hiding out somewhere for at least a week, is a graduate of Keio University who majored in economics. A non-engineer in a engineering company in in the gravest engineering crisis for the company. Good luck, Mr. Shimizu.


Anonymous said...

I can top this. As your probably aware, TEPCO was working on bringing in Electrical Power so they could restart the cooling pumps. When the connected the pumps, they found out the pumps were trashed. Now they must wait more for new pumps to be delivered. Did it ever occur to anyone there to have new pumps delivered before the electrical work was completed on the assumption that pumps were damaged? Duh! They should have been replaced while working on the electrical connection so there was no doubt that they would work when the power was restored.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I can top yours... Self Defense Force had several armored vehicles (tanks) with blade attachment that can shove the radioactive debris aside easily at the plant. They didn't even think about that until March 21 or so. In the meantime, TEPCO was laying the cable to restore power without bothering about debris.

Now, the tanks at the plant compound but they cannot work because the power cables have been laid.

Duh, duh, duh. Who says these people are smart?

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