Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Test Run of Areva's System Starts

TEPCO started the test run of Areva's decontamination system at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant using the "low" contamination water at 1:10PM JST on June 15, according to the information to the press for June 15 (in Japanese only; no foreign reporters attend TEPCO's pressers).

No word or information as to whether the test run has completed yet.

After the successful test run of the Areva system, TEPCO will start the test run of both Kurion and Areva's systems together on June 16. The company hopes to start processing the "high" contamination water right after the successful test run of both systems.

TEPCO is running out of storage space for the high contamination water at the plant. There is only 2,200 tons capacity left for the high contamination water at the plant before the water has nowhere else to go, according to Yomiuri Shinbun (link is in Japanese).

Incidentally, the same information sheet from TEPCO says one worker at the plant was caught smoking a cigarette at the dock. At least he wasn't carrying a bucket of uranium like those at Tokai Nuclear Power Plant in 1999.

What's interesting to me is the measurement of this worker's radiation, which was low. But the internal radiation exposure (0.24 millisievert) is almost twice as much as the external exposure (0.13 millisievert).

Of course it is quite possible (even likely) that the external exposure number is not very trustworthy because of the deliberate under-counting which was almost the norm at any nuclear power plant in Japan for the maintenance work.


La terra non ha uscite di emergenza. said...

Inventory of 9500 tons of Fukushima Spent fuel

netudiant said...

The timeline, to do a short test and if that works to go full scale bespeaks the pressure TEPCO is under.
There is no time to do the usual tweaks that are essential to ensure that the system works on a sustainable basis.
We all can only hope that this makeshift improvisation is successful enough to buy some breathing space. It will be a triumph if it does just that. A complete cleanup of the contaminated water would be an extraordinary achievement.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@netudiant, do you know if Kurion and Areva ever worked together in setting up the water treatment system? Or they're using Fukushima as their experimentation?

La terra non ha uscite di emergenza. said...

Leuren Moret: Mega-tsunami, total melt-through, radiation levels and illnesses

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I wonder if he was smoking an American brand? This is an indication of how lax the safety regulations at Fukushima actually are. like I said before eating, drinking and smoking are strictly controlled at reputable nuclear facilities. As for the workers exposure I'd like to know what his baseline was before the accident and how many hours has he put in? If he's new and a smoker he may just have smokers lung.

"Lung cancer rates among men kept climbing from a rarity in 1930 (4/100,000 per year) to the No. 1 cancer killer in 1980 (72/100,000) in spite of an almost 20 percent reduction in smoking. But during the same period, the level of polonium -210 in American tobacco had tripled. This coincided with the increase in the use of phosphate fertilizers by tobacco growers - calcium phosphate ore accumulates uranium and slowly releases radon gas."

"The Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that radioactivity, rather than tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancers. The Center for Disease Control concluded "Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source."

I wonder how smoking near a hot particle generator effects this workers chance for lung cancer in the future?

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cigarette smoking dramatically increases the risk that a woman who has undergone radiation treatment for breast cancer will develop lung cancer later on, a new study shows".

Like I said before once the water treatment plant starts running "hot" it will probably complicate any problems they encounter. (OH NO, the hose just... ARGHHHH!) This plant has to clean enough water to supply fresh cooling water for recontamination throughout the facility. Does anybody know how many ton of water they are currently using for cooling per day? Let's say the plant treatment efficiency is 1000 tons a day. As of now they haven't closed the cooling loops so let's say they need 500 tons a day for cooling. That means they will actually only treat and store 500 tons of water a day the other 500 tons will be lost to the cooling cycle. They better hope they don't have much down time or they'll be constantly using up the surplus water they store.

Note: 500 tons cooling water/24hrs = 20.83 tons per hour/3 reactors + 4 SFP = 2.9 tons per hour per unit. I'm pretty sure they are using a bit more water for cooling than my "for instance" estimate. I know some of the reactors were using 12-17 tons per hour early in the accident but they scaled this back once they realized the buildings were flooding.

Now of course these numbers are just a "for instance" everything might be just hunky dory but IMO until TEPCO finally manages to cobble together some sort of closed loop cooling throughout the facility they'll be bailing their boat with a "leaky bucket".

Anonymous said...

Considering the water treatment is essentially attempting to re-constitute fuel rods from solution, ..

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