Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#Fukushima: Drawings of AREVA's Decontamination System Written in Italian and French, Details Unavailable due to National or Corporate Security

says an anonymous worker at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. There are many who think it's almost a miracle that the entire system works at all.

The contaminated water treatment system at the plant has been in operation since June 17, and it has been plagued with problems, most of which are blamed on the workers.

When they blame "worker's mistake" as the reason for system malfunction or breakage, suspect some other reasons that they want to hide. This seems to be the case for the troubles at the contaminated water treatment system.

The author of the following tweets seems to be one of the workers at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and his tweets are considered very credible by many, though a few suspect him to be a TEPCO's shill (which I doubt).

His tweets from July 1, and he talks about the contaminated water treatment system, AREVA's in particular:


The system was stopped during the day today [July 1]. It was reported as "due to a worker's mistake", but I think it's the management mistake. In particular, AREVA's system [that was built] in the 1st phase of construction came from the active processing plant somewhere, which they dismantled and brought to Fukushima. But it was set up here by the Japanese.


AREVA's system was made in Italy. The drawings are in Italian and French, so it's hard to understand. When we ask questions on the structure in detail, they don't answer, because of national security or corporate security or whatever. TEPCO, who paid for the system, doesn't seem to know much either.


The second phase of construction has started, but the reality is that we are very confused because the jobs are not being assigned properly.

He says the system is not working as well as they thought, and that it should have been set up by the French or Italians who are the most familiar with the system.

The last I heard about the contract between TEPCO and AREVA (I also read somewhere later that there is no signed contract), even TEPCO didn't know what nuclides that AREVA's system would remove. Matsumoto of TEPCO said it was a corporate secret at AREVA and not to be disclosed.


Anonymous said...

Even in good times, you'd be a fool to invest in dysfunctional corporations like these, that much is clear. And they're not the only company operating in this style.

Anonymous said...

the IP is not from Areva but from Veolia water, Areva is a channel here, like Tepco.

Anonymous said...

Seen in fine print--Acqua Cheta Rovina I Ponti

Jp said...

I worked on the project. TEPCO assigned AREVA for engineering and other companies for set up the plant in zone under supervision by AREVA (that is why our guys are there). Manuals have been given in English to TEPCO.
If you think it is easy to construct a plant that important in that timeframe without any glitch at start up, please, do it yourself.
The plant is running, not perfectly, but running nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

"If you think it is easy to construct a plant that important in that timeframe without any glitch at start up, please, do it yourself."

Who are you talking to? I don't think any one ever said it is easy. No point in getting overly defensive, Jp.

Reminds me of some wife of a Kurion PhD scientist who came here to post something similar - if you think it's easy, why don't you do it, blah blah blah. No one said it was easy, but she required you have PhD or patent pending to comment on her husband's work.

netudiant said...

The issue of intellectual property rights is very unsettled. Just ask the people of East Japan Railway about their views of the Chinese seeking to patent the technology of the Japanese train they bought as a model for their own high speed trains.
AREVAs system is working better than one could have expected for an emergency lash up. Even so, they themselves probably are finding this a real learning experience.
Off topic, does anyone know whether Kurion is still involved? TEPCO had said they were switching from zeolites (presumably from Kurion) to a silica material for the cesium removal columns.
There are surely tensions between wanting to help and also wanting to remain the premier supplier of this kind of contamination cleanup equipment. Drawing the line is not easy.

Jp said...

After 2 months of 14-hours-working days and when you see that the result is there, you are bit on the defensive towards anonymous guys who are nitpicking and badmouth your work.
A thank you is nice sometimes

Anonymous said...

@JP thanks for the hard work and I am sure there are a lot of smart and capable people working on this.

However, seeing the shambles that most of the country is in, the ongoing "discoveries", questionable release of information and attitude from operator and gov, it would be unrealistic to expect too much good-will from the people directly affected by this.

In other words: cleaning the water over there doesn't make any difference to the Japanese population who live in contaminated areas, no matter how hard it is or how great the engineering achievement. It's like marveling the lifting of the Titanic. The point is that the unsinkable ship has sunk.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@netudiant, yes Kurion's still there, causing some headaches for TEPCO, as their vessels need frequent changing and the system needs flushing every time the vessels are changed.

@Jp, is it true that there is no signed contract between TEPCO and AREVA?

Jp said...

@anonymous: I disagree, it helps everybody since this water would have spilled in the sea. Plus you will get access to submerged parts of the plant to install permanent cooling system and shutting this thing off. It is a major achievement.

@la primavera: there is a signed contract between TEPCO and AREVA, for about 80 MUSD

Anonymous said...

"When we ask questions on the structure in detail, they don't answer, because of national security or corporate security or whatever."

Do they offer to help at all?

Jp, I will require you to answer, otherwise I'll be forced to present the following statement due to the atmosphere of distrust TEPCO's withholding of data has brought upon the effort, it's where it's at at this point.

"I'm sure this process is well-underway, watch Clusterfuck Contracts become the hallmark of solutions at Fuku."

Anonymous said...

The day that they drop the water level enough to gain access to submerged portions of the plant and install a permanent cooling system in the basement is the day that I put it all on Red.

Not. Happening.

JP... as an environmental engineer I've been watching this WTP work closely. The challenges are beyond comprehension. Great work doing what you can.

But the rate they have to put water on these reactors means that water level isn't going ANYWHERE... best they could hope is to keep things static and close the loop. (Which might result in some gains thanks to losses to cracks into groundwater.)

But if they don't come up with a way to safely deal with the sludge, it may all be for nought...

Anonymous said...

jP said...

...Plus you will get access to submerged parts of the plant to install permanent cooling system and shutting this thing off. It is a major achievement.

Wha? Shut what thing off?

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