Friday, March 15, 2013

Stating the Obvious: #Fukushima Reactor 2's Suppression Chamber May Be Leaking

TEPCO may have hoped that it was one of those vent pipes from the dry well to the suppression chamber in Reactor 2 that was leaking the water injected into the RPV, but the awkward 4-legged Robot by Toshiba couldn't find any leak. So the conclusion is that the suppression chamber is probably leaking.

I would think it will be much harder (near impossible) to plug, because the suppression chamber is submerged in highly contaminated water.

From Jiji Tsushin (3/15/2013; part):


TEPCO says leak may be from the Reactor 2 suppression chamber


TEPCO announced on March 15 that there was no leak after examining the "vent pipes" that connect to the suppression chamber of Reactor 2 containment vessel at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The water leaked into the basement of the reactor building was likely to be coming from the suppression chamber.

In that press conference on March 15, TEPCO's spokesman (no longer Mr. Matsumoto, I don't know the name of this young person who croaks when he speaks) didn't explicitly admit that the leak was from the suppression chamber; instead, he said, in response to a question by the reporter from Tokyo Shinbun on how TEPCO felt about the discovery (after 27 minutes):

Since the leak is not from the PCV (primary containment vessel), it will be easier to plug the leak.

How could a repair job in an inaccessible part of the suppression chamber (lower half) be easier?

His reasoning was that the PCV was closer to higher contamination, so any repair work away from the PCV would be easier. He tried to spin it as a positive discovery. "The PCV is sound, and it's a good thing", he said. The only problem was how to find the leak in the lower half (submerged part) of the suppression chamber, or other locations, he said.

It didn't seem like an answer to me, but as usual, the reporter said "OK, I got it", and that was the end of his questions.

(I miss the previous spokesman Matsumoto, who looked like Doraemon. He didn't try to spin, like the current one does.)

One of the photos taken by Toshiba's robot, released on March 15, 2013. Lots of white noise (click to enlarge):

The radiation levels inside the Reactor 2 torus room is not known. TEPCO couldn't lower the camera and dosimeter through the hole drilled on the 1st floor when they found out there were unexpected pipes blocking the way.


Anonymous said...

Do any journalists in Japan actually ask critical questions?

Anonymous said...

Japan in it's entirety is as contaminated as chernoble. Wanna fight about it?

Anonymous said...

@ 6:28
Being critical is in Japan not a good thing. Japanese are tought at school NOT te be critical. At school you learn to copy, but you never ask any critical question to your teacher or professor, as that is considered to be rude, you are doubting what your teacher is explaining ans his autority.
You will never be praised at school / university if you want to form your own opinion about anything, you have to stay in the group !!!
The Japanese schoolsystem is under compleet controle of the government and they do a fine job in keeping the mass under controle in this way. This way brought Japan a few decades ago lots of economic wealth, but that shows seems to be over.
It also explain the endless corruption in the Japanese system, there is hardly anyone who will stand up against that, and if you do... they will take you down and compromise you.
So, the answer to your question is, 99 % of the journalist is not able to even form a critical question or thought.
The one percent who can, is usually banned to be able to visit press conferences or their live is made miserable by the police state called Japan.
So, you can call it a hopeless situation, the truth will about Fukushima, or anything in Japan, will never come out. And if you know the truth, you better shut up, for your own sake. Your life will be hell.

Anonymous said...

“What luck for rulers that men do not think.”
― Adolf Hitler

netudiant said...

How is this of more than academic interest?
We know the lower levels of the entire complex are flooded with a witches brew of radioactive coolant that must be continually pumped down and decontaminated. Where the leaks are seems pretty irrelevant, nothing can be done about them until the area is sealed off from the prevailing ground water flows.
Presumably there are also still leak paths from the lower plant levels direct to the ocean, as the radioactivity inside the harbor is still getting renewed, but fixing that would require drying up the source.
What seems obvious is that the site will be a mess for a very long time. The worry is that Japan will cease to care and increasingly become indifferent to the reality of radioactive contamination. That would be a real tragedy.

Anonymous said...

''Since the leak is not from the PCV (primary containment vessel), it will be easier to plug the leak.''

-Shit for brains didn't
finish his sentence.

'' will be easier to plug the leak, if we could only find it..which we have no chance of doing because, as you would suspect by now, the leak is right at the bottom and the water is leaking directly into the soil which drains into the harbor. Before we get to the bottom, which we have no chance of doing because a. it is under deadly contaminated water and b. it is obstructed by tons of concrete, iron and steel beams, not to mention broken zirconium rods and bits of crane plus GOD ONLY KNOWS about two thirds the top half of a nuclear reactor-lol-so...I'll just keep waffling the question away and hope you journalists do, too''

''And yes, I am beyond elementary school graduation level.''

Atomfritz said...

netudiant, imho it's more about the mind-boggling denial of the Japanese nucleocrats than only a thing of mere academic interest.
Two years ago there was that ominous much-discussed "strange noise" emanating from #2 basement and there were radiation release estimates putting #2 releases at top on the offender list.

I mean, it was similiarly obvious that the #2 suppression chamber must have been damaged like it was obvious that there must have been some core-meltdowns. This all had been denied until it became impossible to deny.

So I think the "Stating the Obvious" series will continue like the "Now they tell us" series...

netudiant said...

Well, the report on Bloomberg that US troops involved in the earthquake cleanup are suing TEPCO for as much as $2B for involuntary radiation exposure should help refocus attention on this ongoing effort. See:

If the facts have to be analyzed in a US court, my guess is that we will get a pretty realistic area appraisal.

Anonymous said...

netudiant, have you seen the court paper they submitted in December last year? Their info source is basically newspaper articles culled from enenews, rense, and (of all places) fukushima diary.

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