Friday, June 17, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Contaminated Water Treatment System May Not Re-Start for Another Week, as Trench Water Rises

More on the news that TEPCO halted the system due to higher than expected radiation level in the cesium absorption subsystem by Kurion:

The radiation limit of 4 millisieverts/hour was reached in 5 hours, instead of one month as anticipated.

New information from Jiji News Japanese (12:47PM JST 6/18/2011):

  • The radiation level on the cesium absorption towers (cylinders) reached the limit [4 millisievert/hour] in 5 hours.

  • The limit was supposed to be reached in a month.

  • There is a possibility that the contaminated water contained the sludge with extremely high level of radioactive materials.

  • TEPCO hopes to investigate the cause and re-start the operation within a week.

TEPCO had better hurry. The water levels in the trenches leading from the Reactors 2 and 3 are rising again, even as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has stopped disclosing the information on water levels.

TEPCO discloses the water levels in the daily press conference handouts, and these are the numbers for the trench water levels measured from the top of the grating of the trench pit:

Reactor 2 trench pit:

6/17: 292 millimeters from the top of the grating
6/16: 337 millimeters
6/15: 321 millimeters
6/14: 304 millimeters
6/1: 332 millimeters
5/1: 840 millimeters

Reactor 3 trench pit:

6/17: 159 millimeters
6/16: 178 millimeters
6/15: 165 millimeters
6/14: 155 millimeters
6/1: 265 millimeters
5/1: 900 millimeters

The Reactor 2 pit water is about 30 centimeters from the top of the pit, the Reactor 3 pit water about 15 centimeters from the top of the pit.


Apolline said...

Did you get some info about Fort Calhoun's power plant ?
It becomes very bad...
This link for instance :

Anonymous said...

At least we know the filters work just fine.

Anonymous said...

And those filters filters only take out 20% at a time? If so, this must be some pretty hot soup.

Anonymous said...

maybe they caught the corium.

Anonymous said...


So they expected the filter element to last 720 hours but it reached saturation in 5 hours?!?!? Sorry, that isn't 20% it is a fraction of a percent. Damn, I'm a critic but even I didn't expect such a low efficiency. I imagine the 4.7mSv/hr is a reading from outside the shielded container. AREVA thought the actual sludge would be over 1000 mSv/hr. TEPCO probably thought they had 30 days to come up with a filter sludge handling protocol so much for that hope. Get ready for more mistakes when they handle the sludge. AREAV has admitted they have never handle material this hot in such huge volumes. If this isn't some anomaly then AREVA gravely underestimated the sludge handling problem. Time to reevaluate how contaminated the water can be before they "safely" dump it.

OK the water treatment system officially started at 8:00pm on 6/17 and it hasn't managed to filter anything yet. As far as I'm concerned the 3000 tons isn't treated until TEPCO is using it for drinking water in their offices and meetings. Watch, this won't be counted as the official start when the history of Fukushima is written. I remember a few months back when an AREVA spokesperson originally said, "We have special filtering process this will not be a problem". That changed to "we hope this works" a few weeks before operation started and now we know the truth.

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Anonymous said...

Hot soup - a very nice picture.

The numbers are right?

Reactor 2 trench pit:

More water in may every day (average) 16 mm.
More water from 6/16 to 6/17 is 45 mm that´s 3 times more - very fast, may be o.k.
But 33 mm fallen from 6/14 to 6/16 ?!

Reactor 3 trench pit is similar.

Where did the soup gone?

Anonymous said...

OT, sorry, but were you aware that a large statue of Ultraman has been gracing Fukushima airport for the past few years?

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

NHKw just reported that reactor sludge and seawater mud may have clogged the system and the system dosimeter may have given a "false" reading from a nearby pipe. They hope to be back up in a few day but they admit their 1200 tons per day target is "unlikely". Now they need to figure out how to pre-filter "hot" mud and handle it. I guess they'll just lower the intake volume for now to lower the sediment transport. I wonder if they can still manage 500 tons per day to keep up with cooling?

Like I said earlier they need at least 500 tons a day at this point just to break even cooling the facility. So much for TEPCO's $2585 per ton of treated water (the original rumor may be closer to the truth). They need another treatment plant but they probably don't have anywhere to put it. Hey, whatever happened to the leak they found at the waste water storage facility a few weeks back?

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Now that I think about it why aren't these nuclear nincompoops using a surface skimmer to avoid the solids? Or is the water just that muddy? It does look pretty murky in the pictures I've seen.

netudiant said...

The problem appears to be in the initial stages, which remove oil and technicium. Apparently the oil has emulsified bits of more radioactive material in it.
So TEPCO has to plan for a continuous oil removal, rather than having it build up in the initial filters.
Oil would play havoc with the later cesium filters and the desalination stages, so TEPCO will have to maybe lice with many more filter changes until they can redo the initial oil filter stage.
The problem is that with the summer rains and the cooling water injections, there is very little room for experiment. It would be a disaster if the plant is everywhere flooded with very radioactive water. The effort to clean it up would have to be abandoned. Even dumping 10,000 tons of the contaminated water at sea would be better.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

@ Areva

If you get a chance you might want to give this article a glance. It cover the NRC decision to relax its rules on outpatient treatment with I-131 and the impact it is having on some of the patients who are trying to act responsibly.

"A decade ago, I-131 patients didn't have to worry much about exposing family members to radiation. Most patients were kept in the hospital for several days until radiation detectors indicated it was safe to send them home. In 1997 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission relaxed its rules, allowing doctors to give I-131 to outpatients".

"Doctors likely will be using I-131 more often as time goes by. Although it is still relatively rare — just 1.5% of all cancers — thyroid cancer's incidence has doubled during the past 30 years, possibly because of improved diagnosis, research indicates." (Or possibly "other" reasons)

"Chernobyl released vastly greater amounts of radiation than the maximum of 500 millirems a bystander might receive from an I-131 patient. No one knows precisely how much damage the much smaller dose could do, because it's virtually impossible to conceive of an ethical, large-scale experiment that involves exposing people to radiation". (Maybe they need to read up on TEPCO's latest adventures).

"The studies done so far are small and don't mirror reality, says Peter Crane, a thyroid cancer survivor and former NRC lawyer who is challenging the agency's decision to relax its rules on outpatient treatment with I-131.

To reduce the risk of secondhand I-131 contamination, the congressionally chartered National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurement recently released more than 200 pages of guidelines for treating patients with radioactive therapies. They advise I-131 patients to:

•Avoid holding children for more than 10 minutes a day for 21 days after treatment.

•Sleep alone for a full week after treatment or 24 days if your bedmate is pregnant.

•Try to stay as far from other people as possible, "to the extent that's reasonable."

So if you had thyroid cancer Fukushima might have cured you. But if you didn't you might be needing another dose in a few years.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of "tools" running TEPCO. The can't get a plant to be secure; they do nothing but lie; now, they can't even estimate correctly how to clean the mess they've idiots!
But, no one is stopping these fools.
So, millions will die.
Great call letting the retards be in charge....

Anonymous said...

re-constituting fuel rods, from solution

Mark said...

See the warnings to the Japanese people about the Fukushima disaster and read about what is coming next at

This a scary prophecy.

manas said...

useful information on contained water system
water treatment plants

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