Skip to comments.Crews 'Facing 100-Year Battle' at Fukushima
Posted on 04/02/2011 10:21:48 AM PDT by ex-Texan
A nuclear expert has warned that it might be 100 years before melting fuel rods can be safely removed from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.
The warning came as levels of radioactive iodine flushed into the sea near the plant spiked to a new high and the Wall Street Journal said it had obtained disaster response blueprints which said the plant's operators were woefully unprepared for the scale of the disaster.
Water is still being poured into the damaged reactors to cool melting fuel rods.
But one expert says the radiation leaks will be ongoing and it could take 50 to 100 years before the nuclear fuel rods have completely cooled and been removed.
"As the water leaks out, you keep on pouring water in, so this leak will go on for ever," said Dr John Price, a former member of the Safety Policy Unit at the UK's National Nuclear Corporation.
"There has to be some way of dealing with it. The water is connecting in tunnels and concrete-lined pits at the moment and the question is whether they can pump it back.
"The final thing is that the reactors will have to be closed and the fuel removed, and that is 50 to 100 years away.
"It means that the workers and the site will have to be intensely controlled for a very long period of time."
But Laurence Williams, Professor of Nuclear Safety at England's University of Central Lancashire and the former head nuclear regulator for the UK, is relatively comfortable with the situation.
"I have been monitoring it for the last couple of weeks and [the] three reactors seem to be more or less unchanged from initially when they got into the seawater flowing into them," he said.
"We don't know exactly the state of the fuel in those reactors but looking at the data, the pressures and temperatures look fairly stable over the last couple of weeks.
"My view is that as there hasn't been any sort of major catastrophic release of radioactivity, if they can continue to get the fresh water into the reactors and cool them, the decay heat is now fairly stabilising.
"It will take some time before it disappears but so far, so good. But it will take some time to bring under control."
Both experts agree capping the damaged reactors with concrete is not an option.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal says it has obtained disaster-readiness plans which show the facility only had one satellite phone and a single stretcher in case of an accident.
The blueprints also provided no detail about the possibility of using firefighters from Tokyo or national troops - both of which have been part of the response to the Fukushima crisis - to deal with any disaster.
Levels of radioactive iodine-131 in the Pacific off the plant have been recorded at a new high of 4,385 times the legal limit.
In 2002, the plant's operator TEPCO admitted to falsifying safety reports, leading to all of its 17 boiling water reactors being shut down for inspection.
TEPCO has already vowed to dismantle the four reactors at the centre of the world's worst atomic accident in 25 years, but now Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan says the Fukushima plant must be scrapped.
I will not discuss the radiation readings mentioned in the video but the camera clearly shows the readings as VERY HIGH.
Nothing to see here. Time to move on. And Yada, Yada, Yada
So, I guess this means that the entire Japanese population will be moving to Hawaii?
That said, I'd rather have the ENTIRE Japanese population relocated here than the illegals we've been allowing to fester here for DECADES.....I'd say that's a good trade, myself....
They are bringing in a giant concrete machine from the US to pump concrete over the whole place and entomb it I guess like Chernobyl.
In the meantime:
I hate it when a ‘Rack’, gets exposed to air! :(
Both experts agree capping the damaged reactors with concrete is not an option . . .
We heard the same thing about TMI. How long did it take before they pulled the reactor vessel out of TMI-1 and shipped it to Idaho for tear-down? Six years.
See, this is why I have a hard time taking this crap seriously. We’ve heard it before.
Again and again and again. From the same hysterical hippies and peaceniks, given to the press in dire, somber tones by highly credentialed, Volvo-driving liberals wearing sensible shoes.
Greenpeace’s video was laughable theatre. There are only two explanations for the crap seen in Greenpeace’s video:
1. They’re so ignorant of what proper safety equipment really is for a hot area, that they’ve just caused themselves huge radioactive exposure and ingestion/inhalation of alpha particles, if they’re actually showing off real danger.
2. They’re depending on the ignorance of the segment of public that listens to their codswallop so as to overlook the errors in their little piece of theatre.
Since I’ll NB that physical courage is not the stuff that French environmentalists and Greenpeace are known for, and the environmental movement is rife with duplicity and mendacity, I’ll take choice “2.”
“So, I guess this means that the entire Japanese population will be moving to Hawaii?”
Detroit needs an influx of ambitious, industrious people.
Those very brave people risked their lives to record radiation live on the scene in a "safe area" 35 KM away from Fukushima. And you call them "hysterical hippies and peaceniks . . . " The Geiger Counter clearly showed radiation FAR above safe limits.
Your ignorance is reflecting Ann Coulter's:
LOL LOL !
Do the people whose homes are uninhaabitable in the reactor area get reimbursed for their terrible loss? And if so, by whom?
“Both experts agree capping the damaged reactors with concrete is not an option . . . “
Well then why is a billion dollar cement pumper being sent to Japan? The article I read said after its done it will be toast because it will be so radioactive. I can only assume they are going to pump cement on the reactor with it. Otherwise why would it be radioactive?
That gives plenty of time to figure how to build a reactor on the sea coast where the backup power generators can’t be flooded by a tsunami. And maybe even to find some cogernment nuclear power officials who aren’t totally incompetent.
IMPO the corporate owner of Fukushima -- TEPCO -- common stock will be imploding again early next week.
“BTW: Im ex US Navy submarine officer/engineer with 27 years experience in BWR design, testing and operation “
What does this poster say?
Which brings about the question of this plant
not one of the experts roaming around on the threads for the last two days have answered my question as to whether that US plant is safe.
“The 28-year-old plant is just five miles from an earthquake fault. Like Fukushima, it has a long history of management problems and safety violations including faulty diesel generators, falsified fire watch reports, and inoperable emergency batteries.”
Detroit needs an influx of ambitious, industrious people.
Bring your tooling, start building honda/toyotas tomorrow! Lots of empty buildings for them to setup shop in. And likely free to boot!
Just make sure you don’t let the UAW in.
btw, how can this Nuke plant be safe when they are seeking more than 100 exemptions from regulations
It has a reactor on a fault line.
They have already gotten
exemptions for regulations governing fire safety, storage of spent fuel, and systems designed to prevent meltdown.
sheesh, why can’t these Nuke Plant operators just operate their plants in a safe manner - whether it is Japan or the US.
Can anyone give me a reasonable answer to why spent fuel is stored onsite rather than being reprocessed?
“not one of the experts roaming around on the threads for the last two days have answered my question as to whether that US plant is safe.”
The difference between Southern California and Japan is that we have Barack Obama. If anything happens, he’ll save the day. Didn’t you watch him in action during the Gulf oil spill? Rest easy: there’s nothing to worry about...
I'd go one level higher and mandate that enough cooling water be stored on site, uphill from the plant, so in the event power is lost you can gravity feed coolant to the reactors.
Many nuclear plants have cooling ponds; is it too much to ask that they be large enough to supply the reactors for weeks without replenishment, and upstream from the reactors so you can cool them by simply opening a valve?
We specialize in environmental and energy litigation and federal and state administrative law, and we strive to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. Our technical research and paralegal services are thorough and therefore enable our clients to make timely decisions regarding possible intervention, administrative law hearings, or preparation for litigationI watched his video, and I watched the original video, and I can't tell whether the fuel rack was exposed or not. But since the people at the plant were working so hard to put water in the tank, it certainly was possible that the water level dropped below the rods. And there's been a lot of speculation about that.
But you have to remember that the entire water tank is encased in concrete, and that entire concrete encasement's TOP is below the entire blown-off structure. If you look at the video, and see the green equipment, that is the fuel mover, and it's above the floor, and the entire pond is below that floor, and the floor is intact.
Doesn't mean it didn't crack and leak, or the water didn't boil out. Just that you can't see enough from that video to really tell. Fairwinds has an ulterior motive related to how they make their money.
Greenpeace, on the other hand, there's a really good group. And those numbers were really high. 2043. That's a big number. Wish I knew whether I could trust exactly what they were saying about the units of measure.
“Bring your tooling, start building honda/toyotas tomorrow! Lots of empty buildings for them to setup shop in. And likely free to boot!
Just make sure you dont let the UAW in.”
I second the motion. All in favor please respond by saying so.
Media distraction from domestic political and financial crisis
This reactor had major damage and cracking for 8 years and TEPCO must have known about this dangerous condition. And, apparently did nothing to repair the problems.
Also no mention of this issue in MSM. Wankers, fools, and idiots are running the show. Just like 0's greedy NWO play callers.
Those Brits say concrete is not an option and yet concrete is already being used: Tepco dumps concrete to plug radiation leak at No. 2
In your zeal to stir panic, you ignored the expert in your own article who is "comfortable" with the situation and promoted Greenpeace.
Just a drop in the bucket. Reread your linked info. A small leak was plugged and the fact remains that the major damaged sections of the facility cannot be encased in concrete. In your own zeal to say, “Everything’s A-OK in Japan” you missed the boat
Still the formation of the Caliphate and Hussein’s treason are much more serious matters.
BHO44 is worse than Jimmu Carter -- far worse. But the mainstream media is ignoring all his many faults to push the New World Order Agenda. Meanwhile, this problem in Japan will be around for many years ahead. Long after 0 is run out of office.
Take a peek that this:
* * * If this reactor fully melts down, and it appears to be heading in that direction with nary a thing the small contingent of brave workers can do about it, then this fuel could burn its way down through to the water table where a huge explosion would result.
A radioactive geyser could erupt from the earth shooting high into the sky. A plutonium and uranium fountain of death. Old Unfaithful.
There is so much deadly radioactive fuel, depending on the vagaries of the wind, the MOX pox could spread across northern Japan, threaten Tokyo, poison the Pacific and ride the jet stream to impact North America and Europe.
There are 32 MOX fuel assemblies in Reactor 3, according to New York Times reports. Each has about 400 pounds of a uranium/plutonium fuel mixture with a 7% concentration of plutonium. That comes to 900 pounds of plutonium in an uncontrolled state at the Japanese site where desperate crews are waging a pitched battle.
In total, Fukushimas Reactor #3 holds 170 tons of radioactive fuel. The plutonium in the melted fuels is millions of times more poisonous than the uranium according to an expert who appeared on NHK television streaming last night. * * *
But of course this may be all lies because the blog is not a major media source.
“Corrupt leaders or misguided officials trying to make light of a situation that is worse than Chernobyl “
Yes you are right this is going to be worse than Chernobyl. Apparently the Japanese electric company has made the decision to go ahead and pump cement on it even though as you pointed out in a previous post it may not work. The leaking water into the sea is really really troubling.
Structural integrity evaluations were carried out for the cracked shrouds of 1F-4, 2F-3, 2F-4 and KK-1, -2 and -3. A large safety margin was confirmed in the structural integrity of these shrouds at the present time and five yearslater. An example of the evaluation of the circumferential cracking in KK-2 is shown below.If I remember correctly, Diacha is 1F-4, Dana would be 2F-3 and 2F-4. 1F-4 is the reactor that has been shut down for repair and had no fuel in it (it was in the pool, and probably would have had less trouble if the fuel had still been in the core).
Anyway, far from "major damage", the report you claim to be your basis says that there were still large safety margins; no indication of repairs needed is found in the reference.
Maybe there's another reference that gave more information?
Maybe they will build a tall retaining wall?
The concrete plug failed to stop radioactive water gushing out the pit.
No. Actually, if you were to pick one spot on the entire planet to store them, right next to a live reactor is the absolute worst spot. So here on Planet Ape, guess what we do ?
The large pumps are needed for their volume and for their long booms. They will first be pumping water. Then if needed, they will be present to switch to concrete, from what I have read. At least that is the cover story. They are also moving a gigantic barge to the facility that can store 18,000 tons of water in a holding sea pen. They have no idea what they will do with all that radioactive water however. My guess is a mysterious leak will eventually be spotted in the barge.
So, tell me why you advocate this kind of conduct.
“The 28-year old plant is just five miles from an earthquake fault. Like Fukushima, it has a long history of management problems and safety violations including faulty diesel generators, falsified fire watch reports, and inoperable emergency batteries.”
Faulty diesel generators. Got any idea of when and why they might need those generators ????? You think it is okay to falsify reports???
And why does Indian Point need over 100 exemptions from safety regulations.
So in your view all Nuke plants that willfully have safety violations and who need more than 100 exemptions just to operate are safe.
Nah, haven’t you heard ..the sea is big. Freepers here think it can leak more than 1000 millisieverts per hour of radioactive material for years and years and years and years (because that is how long it is going to take to keep this thing cool)..and all will be well.
Of course, there are a lot of people in Japan that eat sushi and a lot of Fisherman who depend on the sea for a living.
But hey, mutated radioactive sushi will be good for those living in tokoyo.
“The ratio of the two isotopes in the seawater samples, combined with the discovery of the cracked shaft itself, supports the idea that the radioactivity is coming from the reactor and not the spent fuel pools at the plant, said Gary Was, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan.”
To a someone like you, nothing but running around like a chicken without a head will satisfy. Since I don’t do such things, nearly everything I do will be a disappointment to you.
Let’s talk a bit about instruments and measurements:
The first things I wondered upon watching Greenpeace’s bit of science theater: What is their instrument, make, model, etc? Who calibrated their instrument? When was that calibration done? To what reference? Do they have experience in running a Geiger counter? Do they have it on the correct setting? Are they taking these readings at a consistent height above the object/surface or terrain they’re measuring? Do they call out which nuclides are giving off these readings they’re taking? All unanswered questions I have.
See, I’ve actually worked in a lab where I calibrated electronic instruments. They *can* be wrong, sometimes wildly so. The only way you know you can trust them is to calibrate them to a known reference. In our lab, we had references of electronic standard quantities that were calibrated every year to references and protocols controlled by what used to be called the National Bureau of Standards, now “NIST.” The calibration standard we had in our lab cost 10’s of thousands of dollars, and once set up, was never moved except for being sent out to be calibrated and checked itself.
The instruments that we calibrated with that standard cost only hundreds to low thousands of dollars. It was a rare electronic instrument that was dead-on after a year of use. Many of them would be within tolerances, a significant proportion would not be within tolerances, especially anything portable.
Lest you think that my thoughts are heresy, here’s a little write-up that you might want to read and process:
As for Coulter: She’s another goddamn lawyer with a liberal arts degree: useless on technical topics, just as they all are, regardless of political preference.
“why cant these Nuke Plant operators just operate their plants in a safe manner - whether it is Japan or the US.”
Because, in the case of the US, the EPA is swayed by politics, not science. And $$$ = exemptions.
Once again the public is not being informed of the seriousness of this nuclear issue.