Tuesday, January 29, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Pipes That Should Not Be There Are Blocking the Way in Reactor 2 Torus Room

TEPCO send the workers to Reactor 2 building on January 27 to drill a hole through the 1st floor to the torus room. The location was carefully chosen so that they would have a clear shot at the water accumulated in the torus room. Through the hole, the workers were to feed the camera, dosimeter, and thermometer.

Surprise! When the workers managed to carefully drill a hole and looked in, huge pipes and gratings were in the way, and there was no way for the workers to do the planned work at that hole.

From TEPCO's Photos and Videos, 1/28/2013, "Drilling Holes for the Investigation of Unit 2 Torus Room at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station":

From the handout, this was what TEPCO had planned:

How did this happen? TEPCO chose the location because there wasn't supposed to be anything, according to the original drawings. However, as repairs and renovations were done over the years, the original drawings from the time the reactor was built became obsolete.

Don't they have the drawings of those repairs and renovations? Yes they do. But those drawings were stored in one of the buildings that was devastated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and declared too dangerous to enter. There is no information as to whether anyone has gone back in to retrieve any document or data from the main building. Probably not, because, as we know well by now, TEPCO carefully abides by the rules and regulations from the authorities:

(Photo of the 2nd floor of the main building, Fukushima I Nuke Plant)

Independent journalist Ryuichi Kino tweeted:


It has been known that it is difficult to completely grasp the condition of Fukushima I Nuke Plant. The basic structures of reactors have been the same since the plans were drawn up, but pipes and other small facilities were added and modified later, making the current condition vastly different from the original condition. Therefore, any work that has to do with the structures have been carried out very carefully.


One such example: TEPCO had a difficult time in confirming which pipe to use for nitrogen gas injection and for cooling water injection, because the pipes had been switched around after repairs and renovations. Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency knew this, and was aware that it was not easy. I once asked NISA, where, then, are the drawings that will allow us to grasp the current condition?


They answered, all the drawings and documents from construction work are stored in the main building at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, and therefore they couldn't go in and retrieve them. The main building was devastated by the earthquake, and declared off-limits.


That was about one year ago. I have to ask again if someone did go to the main building to retrieve the documents. However, the most recent work [drilling a hole through the floor of Reactor 2] revealed unexpected pipes right there in the middle of where they were not supposed to be. So I wonder.


If they cannot grasp the current condition, the best they can do is to do the work in the areas that they are able to see. That wold affect the work not just in Reactor 2 torus room but everywhere where human workers cannot enter. Robots may be able to enter, but [since no one knows the actual condition of the place] no one can give directions to the robots. It is as if they feel their way in the dark, as they continue the work to end the accident.


Anonymous said...

In any normal company, these files would have been digitalized and stored on servers outside.
It proves once more that Tepco neglected any safety and security measures, as their wishfull thinking told them, that nothing can go wrong. This way of thinking helped to to fill their pockets with lots of many, which they invested in controling mass media, bribing politician etc. etc.
Basicly, it bought them power to be one of the main players in Japan, backed by the army, as they love the 'side products' of these nuclear powerplants.
They are so big and so powerful with all their 'friends', that you can expect only the worst ( to come ).
This nightmare for the Japanese, just has started with no end in sight for a long, a very long time.
For the army, there is no problem to sacrifice kids, regular people, seniors or who ever. They have a very different concept about that, and now with this new crisis with China, they are working hard to wim back their lost ground after WW2. Never wast a good crisis! So, the puzzle falls together, and the very conservative and powerfull elite will be back as before WW2. They just have been waiting for this opertunity.

Anonymous said...

With a 200 mm hole the pipes here did'nt prevent the camera to have a look inside. What did Tepco see there ? Unexpected piping or a mess-up caused by the quake ? Seems like the photo could fit for both.
@ anon 1:13 AM
I agree with you, Tepco managed to be in the situation of a King : not responsible for anything, citizens are held responsible, must have their data available at any request, and have to bend their head whatsoever.
Digitalize ?
It does take a lot of time and money.
So Kings don't care.
My revenue service had a big IT problem, I guess. As they had called a tax by wire order on a bank account I had closed several years ago, I had to explain gently, give a check, a letter and the right bank account.
It made the same mistake the following year - but this time I spotted it, sent a check with a letter, etc.
The following year they called it on a bank account I had closed ten years ago, living in another town.
These are the King's men... even in a democracy, and not in a state of chaos.

Anonymous said...

"They blinded me with science" (and pipes and catwalks) I'm surprised they didn't keep drilling until they hit oil. I agree with 9:30am the camera shouldn't have been totally blocked they should have used this hole to plot where the real hole needs to go. Maybe they do have some WTF footage of the upper torus room that they'll release a year from now. I can't believe they can't cut the catwalk out of the way it looks like they could drop a heavy hooked wench cable and snatch it enough to get a sensor package past it.

"Good heavens Miss Sakamoto - you're beautiful!"

Anonymous said...

@ anon 9:30:
I'm not sure why it would have cost a lot of time and money to digitalize files. With auto-feed copiers that take in dozens of pages a minute and scan those pages to pdf files on their own, it seems like no big deal. What am I missing here?

I would wager that not digitalizing files is less a sign of not wanting to invest the money or effort, but rather a sign of an overly lax attitude towards maintaining documentation in whatever form. But that's, of course, nothing but a guess.

Imho, digitalizing documentation should be required for easy access as well as document control and preservation so that losing access to a paper document or storage site doesn't become an issue.

Even the IAEA recognized the advantages and/or need for this in its 2002 report found here.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3:26
You are right and I probably expressed myself in an awkward way ; what I experienced is : such an administration as the revenue service that is completely digitalized and should be heavily secured actually had an IT breakdown, it then used outdated data (3 years), and instead of inputting the good data I gave twice on paper they did nothing after a year and and on the next year they used even more outdated data (10 years).

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