Thursday, July 14, 2011

#Fukushima Water Treatment System: Toshiba's Long Tall "SARRY" to the Rescue!

10 workers spent 2 minutes each to fix the PVC joint that broke off in AREVA's unit at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on July 13, according to Asahi (link is in Japanese). The air radiation level at the location is 100 to 150 millisieverts/hour. For 2 minutes work, a worker could have received 5 millisieverts radiation.

The on-again-off-again water treatment system is finally on again, but at this point all TEPCO cares about is probably that these Kurion-AREVA units keep hobbling along, at least processing the amount of water that's being injected into the RPVs (Reactors 1, 2 and 3) so that the highly contaminated water in the reactor and turbine buildings does not increase.

Why? Because Toshiba's "SARRY" will soon come to the rescue. (Photo is from Asahi.)

SARRY stands for "Simplified Active Water Retrieve and Recovery System". Well, it doesn't quite stand for these words, but that's how Toshiba's been calling it.

It is already being installed at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, and is expected to come online sometime in early August. As it is planned right now, this Toshiba's system comes after Kurion and before AREVA.

SARRY is being jointly built by Toshiba, IHI, and the US company Shaw. A metal cylinder of 1.4 meter in diameter and 3.6 meters in height is filled with synthetic zeolite and titanium silicate. The system will connect these cylinders serially to decontaminate the water. The first half of the cylinders use absorbers with low percentage removal of cesium, and the second half of the cylinders use absorbers with higher percentage removal.

Toshiba thinks SARRY can reduce the amount of radioactive materials in the water to one-millionth, and process 1,200 tonnes of water per day.

The water will first go through the resin filters that remove oil, then through the cylinders filled with zeolite and titamium silicate for cesium removal. The system will be surrounded by lead panels to reduce radiation. Compared to Kurion's system which basically uses the same principle, Toshiba's system uses less pumps and thus less chance of breakdowns, according to TEPCO/Toshiba.

The drawings are probably written in a language that TEPCO and workers understand without dictionary, and it is probably being installed by Toshiba and its affiliates who are building the system.

If Toshiba's system delivers what it promises, there will be no need at all for Kurion or AREVA, and TEPCO can simply bypass both and just use SARRY. Kurion+AREVA can remain as a backup.

We'll see if Murphy will get Toshiba. After all, processing 1,200 tonnes of water per day and reducing the radioactive materials in the water to one-millionth is what was promised with Kurion and AREVA's systems.

Yomiuri has a video that Toshiba has released, showing the manufacturing and assembly of SARRY.

TEPCO's handout for press on July 14 has the diagrams and photos:

(I have a suspicion that Toshiba engineers wanted to call it "Sally", as in "Long Tall Sally". The system does use long tall cylinders, doesn't it? But as I said, "Sally" and "Sarry" don't make a bit of difference to most Japanese who are incapable of differentiating between "l" and "r". In Japanese they are pronounced the same, more like "l".)


Anonymous said...

Now that we have "Sarry", can Charlie be far behind?

Anonymous said...

It should be "Sawrry", but they removed the w .. maybe because it sounded too much like "sorry".

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could patent this machine in Japan ? (<- this was a sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

It's about time that they got something in there that actually works. Guess they had to leave it to the Americans to clean up the French's mess per usual.

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