Sunday, May 15, 2011

#Fukushima I Reactor 3: TEPCO Pouring Boric Acid to Prevent Recriticality

Yomiuri Shinbun (10:02PM JST 5/15/2011):


TEPCO announced on May 15 that it started to use boric acid in the reactor cooling water for the Reactor 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant to prevent recriticality from happening. Boric acid absorbs neutrons.


TEPCO plans to do the same for the Reactors 1 and 2.

 再臨界は連続的な核分裂が再び起こる現象。1~3号機の原子炉圧力容器には当初、冷却のために海水を注入した経緯があり、東電はその塩分が中性子 線を吸収すると見ていた。ホウ酸を冷却水に溶かすのは、冷却水を海水から淡水に替えて以降、塩分濃度が下がっていると見られるためだ。

Recriticality is when the nuclear chain reaction is restarted. There is salt in the Reactor Pressure Vessels of the Reactors 1, 2 and 3, as TEPCO initially poured seawater to cool the RPVs. TEPCO thought the salt would absorb neutrons. TEPCO has decided to use boric acid in the cooling water because the level of salt in the cooling water may have decreased since TEPCO switched the cooling water from seawater to regular water.

 一方、3号機の圧力容器は、上端部の温度が急上昇している。東電は「注水用配管から水が漏れている可能性がある」として、12日からは別の配管を 追加し、二つの配管で毎時計12トンを注水した。14日からは注水量を毎時計15トンに増やしたが、上端部の温度は15日午前5時までの24時間で46・ 5度上昇し、297度になった。東電は、「注水がまだうまくいっていない」と見ている。

In the meantime, the temperature at the top of the Reactor 3 RPV has risen rapidly. TEPCO increased the amount of cooling water to 12 tons per hour on May 12 using two water feeding systems, then to 15 tons per hour on May 14. However, the temperature at the top of the RPV increased by 46.5 degrees Celsius in 24 hours to 297 degrees Celsius as of 5:00AM on May 15. TEPCO thinks there's a problem with the pipes that feed water into the RPV.

In the latest measurement data (11:00AM 5/15) released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) , that temperature (the 4th column) appears to have dropped slightly to 291.7 degrees Celsius, although the data table is put up sideways and it is a bad scan and hard to see. The second digit could be 9, 8, or 3. An age-old trick by bureaucrats to discourage people from seeing the data... (My neck is hurting from trying to read the number.)


Steve From Virginia said...

TEPCO's temperature measurements can be found here:

You can find that page by going to this page:

looking for this header:
プラントの温度データ pdf and clicking on this link:


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, don't we have more than one expert saying recriticality is "impossible" because it needs so many factors to be just right for it to happen?

Well at least the hydrazine and boric acid will help lower the corrosion... yipee!

Anonymous said...

Actually .... the fact that they stopped boric acid was a mistake ...

There will be no end to this mess. Japan must bear the unbearable, and do the impossible.

Anonymous said...

To put this in layman terms: Japan, and the world is so screwed.

Anonymous said...

Japan has a very bright future.

Anonymous said...

May what ever force that brought us to excistence forgive us all for our arrogance, apathy and ignorance that has allowed for the poisoning and destruction to every life we confront in every possible way. So we harness the collective karma of this psycopathic race, the irreversible set in motion, another big bang looms in our midts. The insane children in the garden discovered the power of the sun and once ignited could not be extinguished. Break out your surf board kids, here comes the nuclear wave.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

I live in Western Colorado, the rain here is radioactive. I am an organic gardener and have decided not to grow radioactive vegetables. The tap water is radioactive and the water company is not testing for radiation choosing to rely on the state of Colorado who rely on the Fed. Gov. who deem whatever level of radiation detected is safe for human consumption. The tap water is so radioactive that it burns the skin while bathing. I want to thank TEPCO for killing me, my wife and kids and everyone I love.

Howard T. Lewis III said...

Where are GE and Westinghouse in all this? Have they gone down into the tax payer funded underground cities yet? Look for it. They designed and OKd the sites and operations of these as the final authority concerning construction.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the last fucking straw as far as I'm concerned. It's just gone too far [as if it weren't far enough already] but this is beyond beyond

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