Kyodo: No. 4 fuel pool warms — Backup pump stopped Wednesday — Main pump stopped Tuesday — Tepco expects temperature to start falling

Published: June 6th, 2012 at 5:43 pm ET


Subscription Only: Water in Fukushima No. 4 spent fuel pool warms after pump troubles
Kyodo News
June 6, 2012

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Wednesday that the temperature of water inside the No. 4 unit’s spent fuel pool rose to 42 C as of 5 p.m. following problems with the water circulation system pumps.

One of two pumps which stopped was later reactivated, and the water temperature is expected to start falling […]

There are two pumps to cool water […] But the main pump stopped working on Tuesday, and the backup pump stopped on Wednesday.


Published: June 6th, 2012 at 5:43 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Temperature spikes in No. 4 fuel pool after pump burns — Backup also breaks June 6, 2012
  2. Kyodo: No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool’s cooling system stopped after alarm sounds — Tepco: “Leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed” June 30, 2012
  3. Tepco: Unable to activate backup cooling system at No. 4 fuel pool June 30, 2012
  4. Japan Lawmaker: Coolant system at No. 4 fuel pool may take 3 days to fix — Temperature within a few degrees of safety limit by then June 6, 2012
  5. Tepco: ‘Burnt area’ on Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 secondary cooling pump (PHOTOS) June 5, 2012

51 comments to Kyodo: No. 4 fuel pool warms — Backup pump stopped Wednesday — Main pump stopped Tuesday — Tepco expects temperature to start falling

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    All in the spirit of Rube Goldberg.

    Duct taped and lamp cord wired cooling pump fails.
    But not to worry!
    We'll call that the "Main Pump".
    So it won't look so bad when the "Secondary" pump
    installed with bailing wire fails the day after.

    These stories read like they were scripted for a movie.
    This stuff is jut too hard to imagine thinking up.

  • ion jean ion jean

    Hard to accept the reality of this, while complacency seems to rule at the NRC (Nuclear Rapists Comm)…

    Get off your lazy overpaid asses, listen to Sen. Wyden, do SOMETHING to protect us NOW or suffer the unbearable wrath of distraught American mothers (Believe me, you DON'T wanna go there! Don't ignore things till it comes to THAT! We're not the same "gals" that sat silent through the 40s and 50s!

    Do the Right Thing! Earn your taxpayer funding before You're Cut Off the Gravy Train!!!

    • ion jean ion jean

      People are waking up, albeit slowly…

      Arnie G has described the ability of spent fuel pools to have isolated boiling hot spots while temps can read 42 C by the thermometers, when they are working…

      Prompt moderated criticality?

      Hope Fairewinds comments on this cooling problem quickly!

  • How many pumps does GE manufacture or own? GE designed this monstrosity! Where the h*ll are they?!? For the moms visiting, the effects of radiation on women and children with analysis from Arnie Gundersen and Helen Caldicott

    After reading, please give your unaware representatives a call to tell them

    • ion jean ion jean

      GE is busy getting a tax-free slide through…Nuke Whores To The Max, they stopped building reactors when those two engineers quit, on to building CT scan machines; no doubt they probably secured that treasonous exemption, which starves the economy and puts more tax burden on the working poor by realizing they fukued up building Mark I BWRs and needed more of a hedge against risk…

      But that Price Anderson Act of 1957 extending through 2025 limits nuclear liabilities to 300 grand anyway, so let's just call it pure capitalist greed (I'm not against capitalism in a fair, mom and pop shop, family farm kinda way!).

      Thanks 4 the link, Chemfood.

  • I can only ask what kind of idiot, Has only one back up coolant pump in a multi nuclear facility running on essentially backup pumps?

    YOUR F(*&# FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously what the H*LL are they thinking…?

    • Dogleg Dogleg

      All of man kind is counting on these idots to keep the pool cool and they have 1 fucking back up? Wow!

    • ion jean ion jean

      LOL TG…your sense of humor is deep and meaningful!

      I was thinking the same thing about Entergy not replacing the broken air condenser at Vermont Yankee!

      It's pretty blown, 10mil to replace, so it's spit and buggers to plug the holes while radioactive dust is continuously released into the air…and they cancelled their scheduled siren test last Saturday for the cow parade!

      Think Entergy cares about any of the residents of Vermont, New York, Mass.?

      Another overstuffed (4x thicker than any other nation!) Spent fuel pool above ground floor level…another GE Mark – BWR, another accident waiting to happen EXCEPT…

      The will of the people sometimes seems to matter on a state level…we may need to rely on state powers to topple the Puke Industry in the end…

      • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

        This will be what some unlucky city in the US will have to look forward to, if the US does not shut down all nuke plants… it is not possible to keep running these old worn out hulks at full steam, with overstuffed spent fuel pools and expect nothing to go wrong…

        Radium Girls & Radium Dials; Ottowa Illinois, Death City; via A Green Road Blog

        And then they have the gall to reduce or get rid of safety standards and further weaken evac rules, distances..

        Yup, that is surely setting things up for disaster all right.

        The corporate foxes are in charge of the hen house.

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Agree TG

      Doesn't sound right that they only had the main one and one back up one, when they know they have a disaster on their hands. You think they would have gotten a few lined up somewhere.

  • CB CB

    Maybe they can just cannibalize a pump from one of the many other reactors that blew up. Wow, That started as sarcasm.

  • "Pump don't work 'cuz th' vandals took th' handle."

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    Any electrician types want to take a stab at this please do.

    The main pump fails, then the backup pump burns itself out. My question is, how hot would the water in the pool have to be to make those pumps run that hard. TIA

    • Dogleg Dogleg

      The temp of the water would have little effect on the motor. The pump and motor are two seperate pieces of equipment.

      • richard richard

        i'm with dogleg on that.

        hey dogleg, have you ever maintained plant gear that lives on the coast ? it deteriorates rapidly from corrosion compared to inland equipment (just several kilometres makes a huge difference).

        look at the corrosion in these photos of the pump.

        i can imagine there are corrosion points all over the plant as it is very close to the ocean.

        when they give these things a 40 year license, i wonder if proximity to salt water is considered. a NPP placed near a freshwater lake would be lower maintenance.

        then to cap it off, i believe radiation will exacerbate the issue, creating corrosion of it's own type. but i'm no metalurgist so it's just an opinion.

        • voltscommissar

          my 60 kVA wind turbine 3-phase induction generator had a failure in 2003 due to salt/moisture getting into the windings.

          Is the photo on this page verifiably from SFP4 cooling pump? (Richard?) It is not obvious from the photobucket URL. The junction box bolted to the top of the motor frame appears to be badly charred, the wire with the free end may have fused, the fused copper may be the peachy/orange specs scattered mostly at the perimeter of the base of the box. It is also possible that the fused copper blobs have exploded up and out of the main internal stator windings. This may even explain the missing cover on the junction box. Two of the wire joints seem as if they may be covered with fabric tape, but hopefully (!!) there are proper terminal connectors somewhere inside each cute little bundle! They do not look as if they are professionally terminated according to any industry or government regulation standard (as fireguyjeff implies).

      • StPaulScout StPaulScout

        I guess I was thinking the pumps were thermostaticaly controlled but that doesn't make sence. Still, wouldn't they PM those pumps on a regular schedule? Replace them after a certain number of hours? Something? It stikes me as very odd two pumps would fail, that's all.

        • richard richard

          we're talking about a company here. is there any profit in doing a PM? is there any safety officer to ensure there is a PM?is anyone trained for independent, out of the square, thinking in japan?

          You're thinking to normally StPaul πŸ˜‰

          Gotta think like a bean counter, get with the game.

  • CB CB

    I tried to zoom in on the name plate data on the moter itself. That info should give , hz, amps, hp, V, load, cap etc.

  • Cindy

    Part of the load an electric water pump carries, is called the head pressure, and it depends on how much vertical distance the pump has to lift the water to re-circulate it ..

    so if the pumps have to lift water 5 stories to the pool and from the ground source somewhere, this could cause the flow to drop, and overwork the pumps , no one knows how they are installed, or how far these poor pumps have to move the water … my guess is that they are maxed out on their head pressure, wearing out the pumps prematurely….

    • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

      @Cindy, u been working with pumps awile I see. The head preassure is an important note and has everything to do with Load on the wires. But the load itself would not cause this failure if wired properly. I don't believe the pumps are worn out. I'm hanging my hat on poor workmanship for starters.

  • CB CB

    The coils is the rotor can overheat melting the lament, causing an short which cause amps to increase, voltage decrease, heating, melting the plastic, and burning at points not securely fastened properly. Why the wire gauge (size) has to be correct.
    All circuits should have a fuse to prevent fires, which is a wire designed to melt at a curtain amperage in the system.
    The wires connected in the picture LOOK like they melted before the fuse could open the circuit.
    Therefore faulty wiring or connection was not secure during a heavy load. Place melted cover before and after removal and you can see the connection where the heat started. At the connection.
    Take a 12v battery and brush a S.O.S pad lightly over both the + and – contacts. See the heat, enough to cause a fire, and open the circuit.
    Now take a paperclip and do the same, the larger guage wire can take more heat without opening.
    If I had the name plate data I could look up the manufacturer, and possibly drawings for the motor, and how it is wired. Possibly even back to the fuse.

    • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

      CB, you do such a great job explaining this…I'm just going to sit back and take some more notes. You have it handled.

      • CB CB

        Also now that both have failed, a faulty power supply, a phase missing or dirty signal in might cause this. Is the power supply from a faulty generator? Dirty power supply suspect also, not filtered properly.

        • CB CB

          Be advised one cannot trouble shoot over a forum. Given what little information available, this would be my starting points.

  • richard richard

    here's a lower res copy of the motor pic

    here's a lower res copy of the rust on the motor pic

    an here is what i think the hitachi model is …

    an HOV Type End Suction Centrifugal pump

    • CB CB

      Where I would look also.
      A typical frequency
      converter consists of a rectifier, a dc link capacitor and an inverter, which is controlled based on
      the required rotational speed of the induction motor. As in the case of induction motors, the
      efficiency of a frequency converter is affected by the converter size and the amount of required
      speed and torque. The maximum efficiency of a frequency converter depends on the converter.

  • razzz razzz

    As someone somewhere else pointed out, that Unit #4 SFP has all sorts of debris in it that must be circulating through the pump's impellers besides the fact they used saltwater to cool the pond when things were dire.

    Makes me wonder how the fins on the impeller are doing, maybe building up scum on them. And then to have (2) motors burn up or fail trying to turn the pumps doesn't sound so good. When discharging the water back into the pond, must stir up the crud just enough keep it in circulation, at least the finer particulates.

    Of course, alas, it's a nuclear plant using the highest standards, the finest materials and manpower to keep the situation under control at all times. The pictures of the site speaks volumes.

  • ion jean ion jean

    Steam also occurred accompanying these pump failures over the last few days…that concerns me (see YouTube nuckelchen).

    Your Governments are covering up a mutual embarrassment here…how will you believe the Mighty Oz if you know he's just a hiding little turd worried about his image?

  • snowwy snowwy

    vital parts of the safety provision are not working and even 16 or so months after the initial disaster safety does not come first in the manner that back up pumps are organised to stand by in case…

    wow, are there many other industries that get away with being this reckless and incompetent without facing huge sanctions?

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      Most likely all of them to some extent. Look what happened to the financial industry under Bush, the great deregulator.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    The following may clear up some of the questions raised here today. Main pump wiring shorted out due to faulty electrical connection when installed in the plant. The motor is not corroded, or burned out. Only the wiring connections shorted out. Box was burned, not motor.

    Secondary pump was a temporary pump installed to handle extra load from hot fuel core assemblies removed when Reactor4 was taken out of service in November, 2010 for maintenance. Secondary pump wiring was inspected after main pump failure. They found faulty wiring connections similar to those that brought down the main pump motor. Secondary pump motor did not fail. It was taken out of service in order to rewire the connections.

    Both pumps sit below the level of SFP4, and circulate water from SFP4 to the cooling loop, and back into the pool. It was reported here that the dewatering of SFP4 was finally traced to a leak in thus very same secondary pump, caused by the EQ. Water from SFP4 leaked out of the pump after 311 EQ, and flooded the basement. This resulted in the zirconium cladding fires that compromised the fuel assemblies in SFP4. Hope this was useful.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    What a goose chase…
    Whether or not the pumps work or the temperature of spent fuel pool means zip…the spent fuel is on longer there to be cooled….

    • ageezerofgiza

      My feeling exactly. It disappeared in March and June 2011. Everything else is theatre. Didn't the recent visit look like film extras milling around on the set?

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        @ageezerfromgiza.. YES..the recent films look like B-rated movies…
        So much time and effort put in..
        I wonder how many experts in cinematography is on the TEPCO payroll.

        The spent fuel is x-containment.

        • ageezerofgiza

          I loved the way that most of the movie was of the back of people's helmets, plus a long time gazing at someone's knees. But nothing substantive. I also liked the dipping of a 40ft deep pool with a metal ruler – most convincing. I supposed that was to prove that the water was level. I've yet to see the full surface of the pool, the walls of the pool, a view down into the pool, or the pipework feeding the pool.

          If the pool is really there, it could be just a tank of water with misc debris in the bottom.

          They are just taking the piss out of us.

  • Bubbha

    I think it's like the joke, your mothers on the roof. This no joke. But a way to slowly get people ready for all the deaths they are about to witness.

    • +1

      Unless you're the one who's dead. Then you won't witness a thing.

      The witnessing of 'the suffering' will be the really tough part. πŸ™

  • chrisk9

    Only once did I see a spent fuel pump fail. At a BWR similar to Fukushima they could not just push a button and make the secondary pump start up. They had to go up to the refueling floor and install a small 3 foot piece of pipe from one system next to the pool over to the pools edge.

    I only remembered this at all because it seemed strange that they could not just start up another system by the push of a button. This was not an emergency situation where the pool was quickly getting hotter, but what kind of design was this?

    Seems like the pool temperature still is rising pretty rapidly for 15-18 months after the the last bundle was moved??

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      chrisk9: Wondering why spent fuel is still so hot in SFP4? There was talk about MOX in SFP4 last year, soon after 311. I remember also a reference to a new MOX fuel load stored in SFP4. Everyone here pointed out that no TEPCO application for MOX operation in Reactor4 had been approved by 311, so everyone here just assumed there was no MOX in SFP4. Were we wrong? Was TEPCO using MOX prior to approval, perhaps? Was there a new MOX fuel load in SFP4 waiting to go into Reactor4 as soon as the approval came through?

  • Bubbha

    The reference was made to a b movie. If there was damage to most likely MOX fuel rods. Burning in the first days and only a plastic tarp to protect and a crane falling on them, I have doubts that the official and his extras could be milling around the pond. Pulling a rope like fisherman and pointing with pathos.

  • Bubbha

    The radiation would have to be pretty high is my point. But I'm no expert.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Why is it still hot?
    Might want to take a look ..below the SFP…
    What is there?….and why is it hot?
    The workers going there are being exposed to very high rates of radiation.
    But like good company men..they will die for the company.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    For visual analysis..emissions Unit 4

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Fukushima Reactor 4; Global Life Extinction Event If It Collapses; via A Green Road Blog