Monday, September 26, 2011

Fuku I Hydrogen Gas Update: TEPCO Was Going to Cut the Pipe Without Testing

In case you're wondering what happened to the precise measurement of the hydrogen gas inside the pipe that leads to the Reactor 1 Containment Vessel, the worker who tweets from Fukushima I Nuke Plant says (in Japanese) it will be a few more days till TEPCO can even get the instrument for measurement.

"I'm so glad that we didn't cut the pipe. It may sound incredible but there was no measurement [of flammable gas] scheduled in the initial work plan. But they decided to measure one day before they were going to cut the pipe. Close call. There is no instrument that can measure hydrogen alone, at Fuku I. It will come on September 28, so the measurement may be done on either September 28 or 29. The result seems obvious, but..."

You have to give TEPCO some praise for their dare. They were going to cut the pipe without measuring what could be inside the pipe. But don't breathe a sigh of relief just yet, because the worker also says TEPCO currently plans to cut the pipe anyway while purging the hydrogen gas inside the pipe with nitrogen gas. There seems to be no plan to deal with anything else than this particular pipe, although the regulatory agency NISA has asked TEPCO to conduct similar tests in Reactors 2 and 3.

TEPCO sort of knows how to operate a nuclear power plant. They have zero expertise in how to fix an utterly broken nuclear power plant, but they continue to be allowed to attempt, to the horror and dismay of the northern hemisphere.


Anonymous said...

I just noticed that SPEEDI ( is posting data for Fukushima's radiation levels along with the other prefectures. It used to always say "under survey." Their highest is currently 30,590 nGy/h in Yamada Futaba Town. Some of the other towns in the prefecture are still "under survey". Glad they're finally posting it.

Stock said...

nationalize TEPCO they are effectively dead anyway. And send in a joint military force.

Anonymous said...

yeh lets spread their liabilities to all of the people in Japan. laf

Atomfritz said...

Phew, this was indeed a close call.

Tubes exploding in nuclear plants are not as harmless as firecrackers.

German NPP Brunsbuettel has been shut down for ten years now.
In 2001 a 10-cm-diameter tube of the core spraying system exploded. Several meters of tube in the immediate vicinity of the RPV bursted away.
Germany was really close to a nuclear catastrophe.

However, the state nuclear regulatory authority had to battle for two months until the reactor operator Vattenfall finally agreed to shut down the reactor for inspection and repair.

As you can see, even in Germany the nuclear cartels are more powerful than the regulatory state "authorities".

Lucky for the Fukushima workers that Tepco decided to test, as there probably would have been several fatalities if they'd have cut the pipe without testing before.

Anyway, I fear that there in Fukushima will be three reactors blowing off their nuclear load in big explosions occurring in near future if this goes on that way.

Detailed article (in German) of this incident and its attempted cover-up. Pictures also shown at the end of the (long) page:

Somewhat higher resolution picture of the popped tube:

Anonymous said...

That is a truly mangled piece of metal.

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