Friday, December 9, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: NISA Admits to 7 Tonnes/Hr Water Leaked from RPV?

A tweet by a Lower House Councilman Hiroshi Kawauchi (DPJ) says the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency now admits in its report that the Reactor Pressure Vessel may have been broken by the EARTHQUAKE, not tsunami. No info about which reactor.

Independent journalist Ryuichi Kino says whatever this document is, it is not yet uploaded to the NISA's site. I've checked the METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) press release page, and there is none so far.

Councilman Kawauchi's tweet from December 9, 2011:


Document from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. It reads "a minute damage inside the reactor from the earthquake cannot be denied". It is just surprising to me that they can call a damage that caused the loss of coolant [water] at 7 tonnes per hour "minute", but anyway they have admitted to the possibility of a damage inside the reactor.

Now, what would this mean? A curious article comes to mind. France's Le Monde reported on December 7 that the government's committee investigating the accident is about to release its interim report, and the report is going to say it is the earthquake, not tsunami as TEPCO and the government has so far insisted, that caused the damage that led to the accident. (I read Le Monde's article in the Japanese translation summary on this blog, but the original seems to be this - you have to be a subscriber of Le Monde to read it, apparently.)

Another valiant attempt by NISA to cover its behind is my guess.


Viola said...

Did you see this video? FAREWELL TO NUCLEAR POWER - A Lecture on Fukushima Daiichi by Takashi Hirose, September 11, 2011

From around 15:40, he talks about a friend named Mitsuhiko Tanaka, former chief designer of Fukushima Daiichi 4 and his findings concerning earthquake damages. At around 41:20, he talks about a special edition of The Weekly Economist of Japan, published by Mainichi Newspaper, where Mr. Tanakas analysis is fully developed. (english review here: )

And a little later, he describes a closed-door meeting at the Lower House, where Tanaka and another designer met people from TEPCO, NISA and JNES. None of these last could give any arguments that his analysis had any errors...

Much too late, but it seems as if the nuclear guys finally start realizing they can't go on with their denials, half-truths and lies.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that a loss of cooling accident is planned for. However, one of those back up systems started automatically in unit 1 but was turned OFF(!!) by an operator because it was cooling the reactor too fast just minutes before the tsunami caused all power to be lost. It was apparently never successfully restarted. Meanwhile, in units 2 and 3 automatic cooling systems also started automatically and ran for LONGER than expected: 36 hours for unit 3 and 70(!) hours for unit 2. Temporary power was apparently restored the next day using mobile equipment and one of the switching stations that was not flooded on March 12. However, pressure in unit 1 was apparently not vented in time and/or hydrogen leaked and unit 1 exploded, damaging the temporary power supply SIX(!) minutes after it was completed. The temporary power supply was not restored until after units 2 and 3 also melted in a chain reaction. See Bear in mind that, after this report appeared, further analysis estimated that core damage was more severe than what was stated in the report (i.e. the report does not go so far as to say that part of the core escaped the reactor pressure vessels).

Atomfritz said...

I think they call the leak "minute" because there have been plenty of bigger leaks in nuclear history, where luckily a catastrophe didn't occur.

Just one of many examples:
When in 2001 in the german Brunsbuettel NPP an emergency reactor spray system water tube blew up because of radiolysis hydrogen/oxygen gas mixture, the water loss was critical, about 30 cubic meters/h, if I remember correctly.

To avoid shutting down the reactor due to cooling water becoming depleted, the operators "fixed" this problem by closing the valves that connected the emergency cooling system to the reactor and continued to operate the reactor with the ECCS disconnected and turned off.

It took weeks until the state reactor "safety authority" finally found out that there was something strange going on in the NPP, and again weeks until the operators agreed to shut down the reactor to find out what happened in the reactor.

Primary cooling system leaks are quite usual in the nuclear industry, and usually don't make it to the news, except they are as spectacular as those at Monju, for example.

CaptD said...

The more that leaks the less TEPCO will have to:
spend money on


STeVe the JeW said...

-- "the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency now admits in its report that the Reactor Pressure Vessel may have been broken by the EARTHQUAKE"

what a shock... you mean a 9.0 megaquake that moved the ocean floor up to 50 meters (that's right, kids... one hundred and fifty U.S. American feet) and severely shook the ground for several MINUTES was actually capable of completely fucking up a nuclear power plant before that sloshing bathtub known as the pacific ocean decided to add insult to injury??

it just doesn't seem possible.

Genpachin said...


Thank you for posting the link to Prof. Hirose's lecture!! This is very interesting stuff.

For years Japan's nuclear industry has misled the public, pretending plants were built with the highest quake resistance standards and that accidents due to earthquakes were therefore highly unlikely. Prof. Hirose's data shows that although the March 11 quake had a record magnitude, ground acceleration at Fukushima wasn't even that high compared to other recent quakes (Kobe, Niigata, Chuetsu, etc.). Still the relatively limited acceleration measured on location was enough to fuck things up inside the reactors.

The point isn't building higher tsunami protection walls at sea. The real issue are the seismic resistance standards turning out to be too low and the government knows this... There's a good reason all but 11 of Japan's 54 reactors are currently shut down.

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