Cement-like grout to be injected into Fukushima reactor? (PHOTO)

Published: May 31st, 2013 at 12:54 pm ET


Tepco Handout, May 30, 2013 (Summary translation of page 26 by Fukushima Diary): […] the committee of experts suggested Tepco to fill the torus room with grout. […] Tepco plans to conduct the feasibility study with United States Department of Energy this year. […] They assume it takes 1.5 years to make planning, and 2 years to inject the grout material. […] The committee points out the benefit of using grout is it doesn’t directly touch the molten fuel. However, it hasn’t been confirmed that the fractured molten fuel is not really in the torus rooms.

Department of Energy
: Grouting—Grout is a promising option to stop water leakage that’s occurring between reactor and turbine buildings at Fukushima Daiichi’s reactor units, and could be a key step toward facilitating decommissioning of units 1-4. SRNL has extensive experience in grout development and also has operating experience with grouting components reactors and other facilities.

Reuters: The company may resort to pouring a cement-like material into the rectors’ suppression chambers to plug leaks it has not been able to locate, Suzuki said. “One approach we are considering is putting grout, like cement,” he said. “In other words, filling it in. That would block all the holes.”

See also: [intlink id=”tepco-many-holes-fukushima-reactors-fill-suppression-chambers-cement” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: May 31st, 2013 at 12:54 pm ET


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  2. “Too many holes” in Fukushima reactors? May have to fill up suppression chambers with cement -Tepco March 8, 2013
  3. Fukushima Reactor Designer: I doubt plant can be decommissioned, perhaps enclose it in cement — Nuclear Professor: Solution is to pour concrete all over, but now it’s too late (VIDEO) November 19, 2013
  4. Extremely radioactive rubble found on top of Fukushima Reactor No. 3 (PHOTO) May 4, 2013
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33 comments to Cement-like grout to be injected into Fukushima reactor? (PHOTO)

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "SRNL has extensive experience in grout development and also has operating experience with grouting components reactors and other facilities."

    At first I thought this was a SNL skit. My bad.

  • Basically it looks like the Pacific will be absorbing radiation for a long time. Even to fill a room with grout takes over a year of study. TEPCO will make Japan broke way before world citizens get compensated for a radiated Pacific.

  • razzz razzz

    Asking for trouble here. Adding dead weight in the form of grout will cause further cracking of the already weakened concrete. If the grout is expansive (to fill the cracks and voids) then that could add further problems as cracks could turn into extended lines of gaps elsewhere. Even freezing water expands, better off injecting shredded baby diapers into the known cracked. They know that fix worked before.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Agree subsidence should be a concern as any additional weight would hasten the sinking, so to speak.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    The illustration shows grout filling the Torus Basement, but not the Torus wet well itself. The copy definitely refers to filling the "suppression chamber" with grout. Many here have advocated filling Reactor Buildings1,2,&3 with concrete, including the Reactor, Containment Vessel and Torus, and all rooms within each building. The great advantage is not having to open Reactors1,2,&3 during decommission. Removing Reactor Plugs would release tremendous amounts of radioisotopes into the atmosphere. Grout can be pumped into Reactor1,2,&3 through Containment Vessel plumbing. Borate the grout, so it will moderate corium splatter it comes into contact with.

    If TEPCO insists on cutting up the Reactors, steel Containment Vessels, and steel Torus, per the existing Decommission Plan, where are they going to haul it to for disposal? Probably just barge it out to sea, and dump it into the Pacific Ocean.

    Better to fill Reactor Buildings1,2,3,&4 with grout and put a Sarcophagus over it all. Once the Frozen Enclosure has been built around Units1,2,3,&4, build a concrete footing for the Sarcophagus outside the Frozen Enclosure perimeter.

    In the meantime, the Frozen Enclosure idea is just as good as the Cofferdam idea. 🙂

    • I think Razz is correct that the site saturation and instability are problems for this solution.

      The units will not be able to hold the weight without substantial shifting occurring, which would cause cracks.

      How are they going to deal with site saturation and subduction?

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Majia, you and I know that Fuku has very many fractures, fault lines, and nuclear vents. Everywhere. It's a sponge. Building4 is sinking!

        However, that said, engineers designed a foundation for the Berj Dubai, a very tall building, ON SAND. WOW! Anything is possible, with GOOD engineering!
        We CAN and MUST find a way to encase Fukushima in a Sarcophagus.
        Reinforce the HELL out of the concrete! Rebar and wire mesh can do a lot to keep cracks out of concrete.
        What the hell, we can cover it with something else in 50 or 100 years, as they are doing right now at Chernobyl. Give us some time to work on the problems, OK? But, we agree, if the contamination of the Pacific Ocean and Planet Earth from Fukushima Diiachi isn't stopped soon, the future of Planet Earth will NOT INCLUDE THE HUMAN RACE. Agreed?

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          But the islands are melting back into the sea:


          And nothing but trouble with the Burj Khalifa since early 2010:

          'Burj Khalifa, World's Tallest Tower, Closed A Month After Opening'


          • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

            But the Berj Dubai, the building, STANDS, and will for generations. And so would the Fukushima Sarcophagus, were it properly built.

            Let's go, Japan. Get with the program!

            • Time Is Short Time Is Short

              The Burj is standing now, but give it a few years. As the money runs out, the desert will reclaim that which now stands.

              The Chernobyl sarcophagus needs to be rebuilt every 30 years, due to the ionizing radiation destroying the construction materials, so every successive sarcophagus needs to be larger than the last, to contain the previous unit, like Russian nesting dolls.

              The same would apply to Fukushima, as materials science has not developed materials that are resistant to ionizing radiation (this is why eventually every NPP will crack and break down). They were given an initial lifespan timeline because of the materials science engineering, and nothing has changed. They will all eventually fail, as the early ones are doing now.

              Who will be around in 30 years to build a new Fukushima sarcophagus? Then another one 30 years later, ad infinitum?

              • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

                Time Is Short: But think of all the JOBS! 🙂

              • patb2009

                The World Trade center was 30 years old when Bin Laden knocked it down. The Empire state building is still up. If Dubai is eaten by the sand, it's because Dubai was not sustainable.

                • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

                  It should be a test for every engineering student; by visual examination alone, they should be able to tell that WTC was brought down by explosives of some kind. That there are any engineers that think otherwise is a mystery

                  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

                    It's usually determined by who signs their paycheck, CS.

                  • We Not They Finally

                    Ditto for bringing down building 7, not hit by any "plane" at all. Ditto for any non-engineer second grader noticing that there WERE no plane parts on site….

                  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

                    The audacity. It was a bold test of the sheeple, and they fell right in line, flying their american flags like patriotic nazi banners. You can read the NIST report, look at facts and listen to the knowledgeable, but you dont need any of that. Just open your eyes. A four or five G structure, blown to bits and a whole lot of powdered concrete. The never ending war on terror had begun. Society let me down on that one

  • arrrrrghhhhhhhhh!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    The recent low-tech ideas won't happen. We need an idea a thousand times better. So, as it is, the spread of deadly radiation continues.

  • Lion76 Lion76

    the only acceptable "action" would have had to have taken place in at least year 1 of this whole mess. We're 2 yrs and 3 mos into this thing, and all their best ideas seem to be 2 yrs further away from beginning implementation.

    Japan makes the socialist USSR look like friggin' geniuses in comparison. At least Gorby and the USSR recognized after a couple weeks that time was of the essence. Japan is following the USA model of *head scratch* "gosh, what do yah reckon we gone do bout dis?" way after it's too late, then they'll come out with excuses of why they couldn't do things sooner (couldn't have known, unprecedented disaster, yadda yadda)

    • Lion76 Lion76

      furthermore, chernobyl happened in 1986 and the world nuclear community HAS DONE NOTHING SINCE THEN to have a plan in place in case the "unthinkable" happened "again"… this same corporate modus operandi occurred when the BP spill happened. Deploy boom, deploy more chemicals, burn the mess and run a bunch of TV commercials saying how everything is "back, better than ever!"

      Makes me sick to my stomach how easily Big Corps get away with this, time and time again. It's like a sick joke, really.

  • weeman

    Before you can do anything you must locate the corium in each reactor and then and only then can you formulate a plan or you are only speculating.
    This comes across to me as smoke and mirrors and will only work under certain conditions that have to be established.

  • patb2009

    seems better to pump the water down, and send robots to check where the corium is.

    better to determine the damage and determine a strategy, then race off doing this,

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      a wild thought; corium radioactive steam probably mainly comes out from these sites. Perhaps they want to plug for steam, not water leaks. ehh, ok forget it. But 1.5 years to plan then 2 years to fill with grout…while fukushima releases tens to hundreds of nuclear bombs worth of fallout. Questionable sanity

    • We Not They Finally

      The robots get their circuits fried. That's the other thing. They said they needed several additional years just to develop radioactive resistant robots!

  • stopnp stopnp

    They don't even know where the cores are. Any type of remediation cannot take place until they figure that out.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Where have I heard this before?..oh.yeah..the BP oil spill..
    Grouting didn't work then,and it won't work now.

    PS..Perhaps TEPCO can come and grout my shower.
    I want it done sooner than two years.

  • RememberThis RememberThis

    According to their 4th grade drawings…they plan to either displace the only water that does any cooling whatsoever (flowing down the holes the corium has made into the earth) and inject grout…
    Are they planning on displacing or "misplacing" that water into the Pacific? Leaky Tanks? Or Leaky tubs of dirt covered by trash bags?
    Or are they going to drain it dry (not good) to do this tediously slow process that will be subjected to extreme heat and a gassing/steaming, hissing, unstable environment?

    Doesnt make sense to me…the quality of the hardened grout will be that of a pumice in places.
    Are they aware they could be pumping into large holes of extreme depth?

    Thats alot of grout built around a bomb

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      The ionizing radiation will turn it to dust faster than what Chernobyl is experiencing. Then when the wind blows . . .

    • Trawling4Trolls

      "According to their 4th grade drawings…they plan to either displace the only water that does any cooling whatsoever .. "

      These plans look like preparing to abandon water cooling, to just let the coriums do the elephant foot thing like Chernobyl.

      They've already got measurable "dust" above the reactors.