Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#Contaminated Water Treatment System: 58% Operating Rate, Amount of Water Increased by 3000 Tonnes in a Week

The rate is a slight improvement in the latest week, up from 53% in the previous week.

57% operating rate in one week from the system that is designed to process 1,200 tonnes per day means TEPCO managed to treat:

1200 x 7 x 58% = 4872 tonnes

But then, the pipes are clogged somewhere, and the throughput is only 37 tonnes per hour instead of 50:

37/50 x 4872 = 3605 tonnes

The amount of water injected into the RPVs (outside the core shrouds, mind you) in Reactors 1, 2 and 3 in a week is:

(3.8 + 3.5 + 8.9) x 24 x 7 = 2722 tonnes

Therefore, the contaminated water should have been decreased by:

3605 - 2722 = 883 tonnes

Wrong. According to TEPCO, as reported by Asahi Shinbun, the contaminated water INCREASED by 3000 tonnes in the latest week.

From Asahi Shinbun (7/28/2011):

東京電力は27日、福島第一原子力発電所で、高濃度の放射能汚染水を浄化する処理施設の稼働率が2週続けて50%台になったと発表した。浄化した水 を原子炉に戻して燃料を冷やす「循環注水冷却」システムが動き出して27日で1カ月だが、トラブルが相次いで停止が重なり稼働率が目標の90%に達する見 込みはまだない。低迷が続けば、年末までに汚染水をゼロにする計画は難しくなる。

TEPCO announced on July 27 that the operating rate of the water treatment system at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant that treats highly contaminated water remained at less than 60% for two weeks in a row. It's been a month since the "circulation injection cooling system" which uses the treated water to cool the fuel in the reactors, but a series of troubles has caused the operating rate to be far below the target rate of 90%. If the rate remains low, the plan to reduce the amount of contaminated water to zero by the year end will be in jeopardy.


According to TEPCO, the operating rate for the week ended on July 26 was 58%, not much improvement from 53% of the previous week. The operating rate since the start of full operation is 63%, and the cumulative amount of treated water is about 30,000 tonnes. TEPCO had initially planned the operating rate in July to be 80%, but later lowered it to be 70%. The lowered target is not likely to be achieved.


The company planned to raise the target to 90% in August, but has decided to keep it at 70%.


The amount of contaminated water hasn't decreased as planned. With the rain from the typhoons and fresh water from the dam to supplement the treated water when the water treatment system was down, the total amount of contaminated water increased by 3,000 tonnes to 120,650 tonnes. The Central Waste Treatment Facility where the contaminated water is being stored is also reaching the capacity.

At this point, TEPCO must be hoping and praying that Toshiba's SARRY (photo below) will deliver, once operational in early August. With the lack of workers and the high radiation level inside the Central Waste Processing Facility, TEPCO may not be able to unclog the pipes in AREVA's system.


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