Kyodo: Alarm sounds at Fukushima plant, Unit 4 cooling system stops (VIDEO)

Published: February 24th, 2014 at 11:12 pm ET
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NHK, Feb. 24, 2014 at 9:39p ET: Fukushima No.4 reactor pool’s cooling fan halts — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a cooling fan for the spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor has stopped working. [Tepco] announced on Tuesday that a warning alarm for an electrical problem went off [...] it will switch to the second one and cooling should resume by around 1 PM. [...] a nearby electrical cable may have been damaged in excavation work.

Kyodo News, Feb. 25, 2014: (Translation) Spent fuel cooling system stops at Fukushima No. 4 reactor  — Fukushima 4 reactor spent fuel pool cooling stops, the leakage warning sounded in the nuclear power facility.

Tepco, Feb. 25, 2014: (Translation) Cooling systems at Fukushima Unit 4 spent fuel pool now offline [...] around 9:00 am, in road excavation between the Process Main Building and incineration building, hurt the cable [...] no abnormality in the voltage value of the power plant, and has continued the supply of power [...]

Watch the NHK broadcast here (Japanese only)

Published: February 24th, 2014 at 11:12 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
263 comments

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263 comments to Kyodo: Alarm sounds at Fukushima plant, Unit 4 cooling system stops (VIDEO)

  • Cdog

    Still after 3 years unclear as to how dumping water on the SFP #4 wold have put out the zinc fire? Wouldn't the Zirc have lite up the uranium? Don't they both burn at temps higher than what the water can extinguish?


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    • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

      I've heard zirc rods only take 6 seconds to burn, like a fuse, from one end to the other, and water will not stop them from burning. Being packed so close together in the assemblies, and then racked so close in the pools…well…it makes me believe that if even one goes off…they all go off.


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  • unincredulous unincredulous

    It's 9:11 am – must sleep. Maybe good news tomorrow. Probably not…best wishes. Happy Thursday, y'all.


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  • PurpleRain PurpleRain

    Great…. and now besides all of this we have "lost cesium seeds" (hope that's not a common occurrence): see link:

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2014/20140226en.html

    "A shipment of fifty-seven (57) Cs-131 seeds was sent to ISORAY MEDICAL, in Washington State (license WN-L0213-1). The shipment was received 2/14/14 and the receipt survey showed high radiation readings. The package was isolated and opened to reveal that the shipping pig was open inside of the outer package. Forty-four (44) seeds were found in the box. The shipment of seeds contained three activities, 1.28 millicurie, 1.1 millicurie, and 2.1 millicurie. It is not currently known which batch the missing seeds were from. The common carrier has been notified. Washington State DOH [Department of Health] has been notified. The root cause investigation is ongoing. A press release has not been issued. A reward has not been offered"


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  • combomelt combomelt

    this story is STILL at the top of the JAPAN News Section since the cooling stoppage was announced on the 24th.
    I assume it WILL stay at the TOP until it is announced that 'normal' cooling of the sfp has resumed????? most excellent.
    so, in that case, i believe they are still scrambling to cool whatever is left in this sfp.
    its now close to 96 hours without 'normal' cooling….
    tick
    tick
    tick
    would that sorta be correct?


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  • combomelt combomelt

    the news reporter's expression in the still photo used in this story above, SAYS IT ALL!

    ty admin!


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    TEPCO is in a bit of a grind here.
    It is winter.
    Everything is frozen, and they are just trying to make it through to warmer weather.
    Everything is contaminated, there is radiation everywhere, and worker exposures are high.
    Everything is cobbled together, with no backups, in horrible conditions.

    This is the Press Release on the breakdown of the cooling system for SFP4, which Bo spoke about above in this thread:
    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2014/1234483_5892.html
    Combomelt, the cooling system is back up and running.

    This is from Fukushima Diary today:
    The multiple nuclide removing system (ALPS) suspended again
    http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/02/the-multiple-nuclide-removing-system-alps-suspended-again/
    If it isn't one thing, it's another, that is breaking down.

    "The number of workers newly engaged in January was 651."
    "*The workers who applied Emergency dose limit (100mSv) shown in "Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards, chapter 7." Specifically, it means the workers who engaged in the work to maintain the function that cooling reactor facility or spent fuel tank at the area where the radiation dose exceed 0.1 mSv/h and reactor facility, steam turbine and related facilities and surrounding area in the power plant or the work to maintain the function to control or prevent release of huge amount radioactive material due to trouble or break of reactor facility."
    http://www.tepco.co


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    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Here is link to the TEPCO press release on workers:
      http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2014/1234573_5892.html
      (Cut off by word limit.)
      My take is this:
      There is contamination everywhere.
      Tepco had to hire 651 new workers in January alone!
      This number probably did not include hundreds of new hires among subcontractors at Fukushima.
      Turnover is obviously very high.
      There are high rads all over the plant.
      Many workers reach the limit, and are let go.
      So working conditions at the plant are probably terrible, with a high fear factor among the workers that they could lose their jobs by stepping in the wrong puddle of water, or getting too close to something real hot.
      And TEPCO can't even keep the main stuff, like ALPS, working.
      The ALPS Systen is their main water filtration system.

      How are things going now, eh, TEPCO?


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Fukushima Is On Its Last Legs.
    This is from Fukushima Diary:

    "According to the decommissioning plan of Tepco and the government, there is no backup plan in case the multiple nuclide removing system and the frozen water wall don’t work. They place them as the last hope.

    However, the multiple nuclide removing system [ALPS] stopped only 22 hours after the restart of the test operation.

    Also, they have been trying to “freeze” the water since 8/22/2013 but it doesn’t even reach 0℃. Nothing works.

    In reality, all those “efforts” can be considered to be a “performance” to look like they are trying to do something.

    The bureaucrats know how it will end up in common. Engineers must share the same view.

    It’s not only the discharge of the retained water. The contaminated water keeps increasing by hundreds of tonnes everyday. Giving it up means they will keep discharging it for 40 years or 60 years until they finally decommission the plant (if they manage to invent some miracle technology someday somehow.).

    This would destroy the Pacific. Not to mention, the fishery industry along the Pacific and all the industry related to the sea can be damaged. The only theory to deny this possibility is “but the sea is big, maybe big enough”, that’s it."


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    If the Frozen Wall does not work, TEPCO must resume construction of the Impermeable Wall.

    Here is a step-by-step of the redesign:

    Extend underground Impermeable Wall entirely around Reactors1-4:
    Begin at the side of Reactor1.
    Extend the existing Impermeable Wall inland, behind Reactor1.
    Take a 90 degree left turn.
    Run the wall behind, and inland from, Reactors1-4.
    Beyond Reactor4, take a 90 degree left turn.
    Run the wall to the harbor.
    Take a left turn.
    Run the wall along the harbor.
    Connect to portion of the wall, in front of Reactor2, that is already in place.

    So simple that even a TEPCO engineer can understand, eh? ;)
    (TEPCO engineers are a bit slow. They really dropped the ball when designing the original Impermeable Wall.)

    Now they have a second chance to redesign the Impermeable Wall, so that it will actually work. :)

    Seriously, folks. The news from Fukushima is dire.
    TEPCO is working in a mess.
    TEPCO has so many problems that they are not even thinking beyond the plant fence.
    But Japan simply cannot allow three reactor cores to continue to wash into the Pacific Ocean.


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    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Impermeable only works if it can meet an impermeable layer below.
      Which is at what depth?


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      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        We know all this from the building of the first 1/4 of the Impermeable Wall, build in front of Reactors1&2, along the harbor, Heart of the Rose.
        Under the reactors is not one, but two aquifers in permeable layers of mudrock, separated by an impermeable rock layer.

        At a depth of approximately 100' is another impermeable mudrock layer, that is the lower limit of the aquifer.

        The Impermeable Wall was designed to cut through the two layers of aquifer, and were driven into the impermeable rock layer at the 100' level. The idea was to cut the flow of groundwater. And the Impermeable Wall can work, if extended to fully enclose Reactors1-4. A properly designed Impermeable Wall can stop the flow of groundwater under Reactors1-4, and divert this water into the ocean.

        However, the Impermeable Wall Project didn't work out too well, since the groundwater building up behind the Impermeable Wall threatened to flood the surface of the ground.
        They tried to use the 12 pumps behind Reactors1-4 to lower the level of the groundwater, in a strategy I call "Pump And Dump". The water was to be tested for radiation, then dumped into the ocean. They thought that since these wells were behind the reactor ruins, the water wouldn't have become contaminated. But it turned out to be too contaminated to be dumped into the ocean, probably from tank farm leaks uphill.

        It may be that the Impermeable Wall will have to run all the way around the tank farm, too.


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