Temperatures rise in Fukushima fuel pools after nearly 20 hours without power — Crews “scrambling” to fix problems — Tepco placing “highest priority” on Unit 4

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 2:00 am ET


Update via EXSKF, 2:36a ET: Cooling of Reactor 1 SFP Resumed

Associated Press, 2:29a ET: Four fuel storage pools at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant have been without fresh cooling water for nearly 20 hours […] TEPCO workers were scrambling to find the cause and repair the problems. […] TEPCO, which has repeatedly faced cover-up scandals, was already slammed by local media Tuesday for waiting hours to disclose the blackout. [TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono] acknowledged the plant was vulnerable. “Fukushima Dai-ichi still runs on makeshift equipment, and we are trying to switch to something more permanent and dependable, which is more desirable,” he said. “Considering the equipment situation, we may be pushing a little too hard.” […]

Kyodo News, 12:42a ET: Fukushima nuclear plant’s fuel pool cooling system still suspended […] TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono said it is placing the “highest priority” on restoring the cooling system of the spent fuel pool located atop the No. 4 reactor building, as the number of fuel assemblies stored in the tank is larger than the heavily damaged Nos. 1, 2 and 3 units.

NHK, 12:06a ET: Crews trying to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are scrambling at this hour to fix a new problem. The system used to cool spent fuel malfunctioned. Workers say a power blackout caused the failure.

JIJI PRESS: 9 Facilities, including Cooling Systems, Hit by Fukushima N-Plant Power Loss

AP: The command centre at the plant suffered a brief power outage before 7pm [6am ET] on Monday. Electricity was quickly restored to the command centre but not to equipment pumping water into the fuel pools.

AP: The spent-fuel pool for reactor 4, which contains spent and new fuel rods, had risen to 30.5 degrees as of 10 a.m. Tuesday from 25 degrees before the power outage. A common pool storing spent fuel for all reactors was at 28.6 degrees, while the reactor 1 pool was at 17.1 degrees and reactor 3 was at 15.9 degrees.

AFP: TEPCO said […] while engineers did not yet know the cause, there was no immediate danger at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Japan Times: Takashi Haga, a 49-year-old office worker in the city, appeared surprised by the latest incident. “It revived the memory of the nuclear accident two years ago,” Haga said. “I thought it was under control.”

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 2:00 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Power still not restored at Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool and Common Fuel Pool — No fresh cooling water for over a day — Tepco: Extremely sorry it took so long to announce blackout March 19, 2013
  2. AP: Fukushima Daiichi blackout has continued for hours — 3 fuel pools without fresh cooling water March 18, 2013
  3. Tepco Adviser: Fuel is damaged in two Fukushima pools — 150 billion Bq/m³ of Cesium-137 at Unit 3, possible second explosion after 3/11 — “Certainly appears something of significance occurred” December 3, 2013
  4. NYT: Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant — Power lost to spent fuel pool for hours April 5, 2013
  5. Now revealed there’s 80 damaged spent fuel assemblies leaking radioactive materials in Fukushima storage pools — Kyodo: Removal attempt at Unit 4 starts later today — Japan nuclear official ‘nervous’, as one slip could result in monumental chain reaction (AUDIO) November 17, 2013

58 comments to Temperatures rise in Fukushima fuel pools after nearly 20 hours without power — Crews “scrambling” to fix problems — Tepco placing “highest priority” on Unit 4

  • As Fukushima goes without power today, and no fix in sight, topic of nuclear preparedness is, well, topical.

    I made a nice "Shelter in Place" Checklist format in the early days of Fukushima, its here


    And here is my semi-famous Geiger Counter Interpretation Quick Chart


    AND HERE is a new resource, which goes into even more detail. But FIRST get your shelter in place kit ready (ABOVE), you might need it in the next week if they don't fix Fukushima power supply. Much of the below resources deal with nuclear attack, but in reality a Nuclear Plant meltdown is very similar, in fact the Nuke Plant can be far worse. In the Nuke bomb, a very large perfect of the radiation is Iodine which goes away 1/2 every 8 days, if you can shelter 24 days, then 7/8's have become harmless, but there are still other isotopes with half lives of 30 years and more, Cesium and Strontium as notable mentions.



  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    A solution to contaminated water at Fukushima…

    KULLUK is a Shell Oil offshore drilling rig that is currently being transported to Singapore from Alaska for repairs.

    The Kulluk should be used to reinject contaminated Fukushima water deep into the subduction zone offshore nearby.

    A deep well can be drilled and 2000 tons of graphene in aqueous suspension can be pumped down the well first, thus creating a nukewaste trap holding the radioactive particles in place.. the graphene will let the purified water escape leaving the nukewaste trapped 12,000 feet deep underground.


    Graphene is made out of Graphite, and Alaska has 280million tons of Graphite.

    Many injection wells can be drilled and we have plenty of graphene to use as nukewaste trap.


    • harengus_acidophilus

      What a stupid idea.
      > The Kulluk should be used to reinject contaminated Fukushima
      > water deep into the subduction zone offshore nearby.
      Did you mentioned the volcanos nearby subduction zones?
      What did you think they spew out?


      • 21stCentury 21stCentury

        Maybe you didn't understand how graphene traps nuke particles..
        and maybe you don't understand geology enough to know that the rate of subduction and the convective cycling of magma exceeds the concentration and decay rate of nukewaste..

        It's a lot better solution than:
        just letting it sit there and fester and spew..
        shooting it into the sun with rockets..
        digging up half of Japan and giving it to North Korea or Mongolia..
        or shipping it all to Hanford.

        Nuke weenies don't seem to realize how much totally natural actinides are present in the topsoil in varying concentrations worldwide..
        yes, we evolved over millions of years cohabiting with sometimes dangerous concentrations of uranium-oxide and thorium.

        Waste management is always about engineering reduced risk..
        if you want ZERO-risk I suggest you get yourself a lot of morphine and start looking at another website for less stressful entertainment, be careful of your fragile health.

        The high level nukewaste must be annihilated with molten salt reactors, funny how it will still make zillions of gigawatts before it finishes it's total decay cycle..
        ..just don't build WAMSER's on the beach, or in an earthquake zone.
        Wamsers are best built in deep 3.2billion year old stable bedrock, better than Yucca Mtn.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Good idea about using a subduction zone, C21. There is no such thing as a geologically stable repository in the earth's crust.

      The only good place for 'used' radionuclides is 200km under the earth's crust in the upper mantle. The fastest way to get them there is to have them dragged down by tectonic subduction.


      The problem is that TEPCO would interpret this as an opportunity save money by tossing barrels of radioactive waste into the Japan or Kuril Trench. You can guess how that would turn out.


      In order to drill into the Pacific plate near the Japanese subdiction zones, you would have to go to depths of maybe 7 – 9km just to start drilling. Ultra deepwater drilling rigs claim to be able to drill to 13km depths. It costs three-quarters of a million per day to rent a rig like that, so the TEPCO tightwads are out. The parasites at Bechtel would be happy to do it if they got to belly up to the U.S. taxpayer feeding trough long enough.

    • bluesapphire48

      People are naturally a little skeptical right now of "brilliant" scientific solutions to problems. Remember how nuclear power was sold to us? "Too cheap to meter." Why should we believe that ANY solution that relies on scientific know-how is going to get us out of this mess?

  • We Not They Finally

    This says that NINE facilities are affected. We've only heard about FOUR — reactors 1, 2 and 4, and the common spent fuel pool. What else is happening there?

    • pure water

      "Cooling of Reactor 1 SFP Resumed

      Associated Press, 2:29a ET: Four fuel storage pools at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant have been without fresh cooling water for nearly 20 hours "
      By the way, you may be right, any way. Including the omission of R3 spent fuel pool. My own common sense can not put up with the existeance/intactness of this thing after the blast with fire above it in the early days. And who knows what else these pathological liars hide here and there…

    • and.Truth4All and.Truth4All

      Actually, We Not They, There are Tepco Plant 1 Daiini, and Tepco Plant 2 Daiichi. Plant 2 is the one that had the Melt Downs, It has Six reactors. I believe Daiini has Four reactors. We are, you have to remember, going by what TEPCO is saying.. and when have they Ever told anyone what was really going on. I agree with the guy that said 'it's been 2 YEARS and they don't have a back up electrical plan??? HELLO, what do you think cause this mess? Oh yea, Earthquake machines.

      And. Truth4All

      • David Krug David Krug

        Earthquake machines? More HARP Conspiracy! Any links? I can find nothing definitive with real proof.

        • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

          There are those..thinking in that line for sure.

          Fukushima-They Knew
          Greg Palast
          March 11 2013


          That's just what I was thinking…about the top brass..and their cohorts in the government.
          They know.

        • Anthony Anthony

          **Weather Modification
          Unbeknownst to most people, weather modification and geo-engineering are a more recent scientific phenomenon in which the weather (e.g. hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. ) are ultimately created, changed or controlled by entities such as HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program), cloud seeding, chemtrails and other classified weather modification technologies. Essentially, weather modification techniques allow for the origination, strengthening and control of massive weather systems, specifically tropical storms and hurricanes. In April of 1997, U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen stated that governments “are engaging… in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.” Secretary Cohen made the comments in 1997 at a conference on Terrorism, WMDs and U.S. Strategy in his official capacity as the acting U.S. Secretary of Defense.**


          • You wouldn't be a "conspiracy theorist" now Anthony?

            'How we made the Chernobyl rain'
            By Richard Gray12:01AM BST 22 Apr 2007

            "Russian military pilots have described how they created rain clouds to protect Moscow from radioactive fallout after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

            Major Aleksei Grushin repeatedly took to the skies above Chernobyl and Belarus and used artillery shells filled with silver iodide to make rain clouds that would "wash out" radioactive particles drifting towards densely populated cities.

            More than 4,000 square miles of Belarus were sacrificed to save the Russian capital from the toxic radioactive material.

            "The wind direction was moving from west to east and the radioactive clouds were threatening to reach the highly populated areas of Moscow, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl," he told Science of Superstorms, a BBC2 documentary to be broadcast today.

            "If the rain had fallen on those cities it would've been a catastrophe for millions. The area where my crew was actively influencing the clouds was near Chernobyl, not only in the 30km zone, but out to a distance of 50, 70 and even 100 km."

    • bluesapphire48

      I think facilities at Fukushima Daini were affected, too. There are other nuclear facilities as well.

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    yeah, nice.

  • harengus_acidophilus

    Armageddon in slow motion.

    Pls fasten your seatbelts, stop smoking
    and enjoy your trip to a bright future …


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Getting power to water pumps shouldn't be a challenge, seems something different is going on.

  • Boelie

    Yea you would expect that they have backup generators at the site already. seems hard to believe it's just a power outage. How much time till the pools start to boile?

    • The_New_Normal The_New_Normal

      If the temperature rises at a steady rate, 8 days until boiling. If the volume of water decreases, temperatures will rise faster, all else being equal.

  • ion jean ion jean

    0.1-0.3 centigrade is what Gundersen says they rise per hour…then read the common fuel pool might be .3-.4 p.hr.

    In this race against time I hope the IAEA will do a better job than Saddam's WMD hoax

  • Boelie

    that seems a bit high? calculating from 0.4 ph means they rise 9.6 a day? i know my math sucks but calculating the current rise from 4pm till 10am which is +-18 hours 18*0.4= 7.2 25+7.2= 32,2 while the current temp was 30.5 even when i calculate with the 0.368 i still get 31,256 so is the temp climbing slower then calculated? that would be positive right lol. But still when the pools warms up i expect the temp to climb faster

  • mungo mungo

    i believe that there is now power to reactors 1, 2, and 4?

  • Au Au

    Let us observe where our politicians and their families scamper off to. Let's see where Obama and his family go to in the next little while. Let's keep an eye on Hilary and Ann Coulter and Biden and all the Fox news cats. Let's see if they send someone over to Fuku like Shepard Smith, again. (I doubt it. After that trip he looked like he got fatally ill but somehow pulled out of it.)

    People in the Denver area- look to see if you see a lot more air traffic (private jets) flying in.

    They probably are already fluffing up their pillows in their private bunkers (wherever those are).

    • frackd frackd

      Their bunkers won't do them much good when they're fracking everywhere. : )

    • ion jean ion jean

      Right on my wavelength, Gold! Let's see in the coming days…

      Oh and by the way, with "emission" warnings for Tokyo already issued on Monday plus a huge swath of the JetStream scooping up Japan air like a shovel on that day and tossing it eastward…

      Well, U know the drill…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The rubble of the SFPs containing the rubble from the reactors and fuel..is without cooling.
    Power outage..but the thermometers are working.
    The coriums..will heat up…

  • Sickputer

    Maybe all their busy body work on fuel rod crane removal side buildings is making the cooling repairs more difficult. I would not be surprised to see some direct ocean dumping of contaminated water start soon. Strictly temporary of course. 🙂

  • wideawake wideawake

    Tepco pdf march 19 update page 2 shows the nine affected facilities, status and graph of power supply structure. http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/betu13_j/images/130319j0101.pdf

    • and.Truth4All and.Truth4All

      That graph is in Japanese. Wideawake, How are we supose to know what it says?, or know where to look or what we are looking for?? I think you are talking to mostly English reading people here.. got any charts in english?

      And. Truth4All

  • Who knows what they are up to. Its not like the press or any one else can get near the plant. Dumping of radio active water is already happening judging by the radiation found in nearby water. But given the high radiation all work done since 311 has been nesecarily fast done by unskilledtemp workers. We have seen pictures of cooling pipes and it is a jury rigged deal for sure so I would imagine the electric system is similar. Its difficult and not as easy as it looks. Let's all hope they don't need the fire trucks. Surprised they judt don't hook up deisel generators but again its probably not possible due to technicalities they won't report. The plants of course are not in cold shut down but in full melt through mode with no recourse but dumping water on the mess. All they can do is mintain the spent fuel pools and lie and hope people forget about it. Fukushima must be the dumbest thing money junkies have done. Proof not to trust the experts.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      That's pretty much my assessment, but, keep your eyes on SFP#4 and where the really high politicians take an early Easter vacation.

  • ftlt

    More heroic news of Tepco…

    I remain suspicious here..

    Tepco …. Tepco…. Tepco…

  • Arizonan Arizonan

    NHK this am reports cooling restored to 2 pools; they had to use emergency generators for no.4. 3 and common still no power or cooling.

  • Arizonan Arizonan

    NHK this am reports cooling restored to 2 pools; they had to use emergency generators for no.4. Pool #4 and common pool still no power or cooling.

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    Cooling restored at 2 Fukushima reactors

    TEPCO officials later found that 3 power distribution boards had stopped working. The utility repaired two of the boards, but could not fix the third and instead used an emergency power generator to restore the cooling system for the No. 4 reactor's fuel pool.

    As a result, the cooling system for the No. 1 reactor's fuel pool resumed functioning around 2:20 PM on Tuesday, 19 hours after the power failure. The No. 4 reactor cooling system restarted after 4 PM.

    TEPCO plans to restore the cooling systems for the No. 3 reactor by around 8 PM on Tuesday, and for the shared pool by around 8 AM on Wednesday.

    The firm continues to investigate what caused the boards to stop functioning. It says they do not appear damaged.


  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    The calculations that I keep seeing are based on spent fuels in the SFP. The problem is the SFP in #4 also has fresh fuel stored in it where it was waiting for the maintenance to be completed on the reactor chamber. Would that not INCREASE the rate at which the pool temperature is increasing, as well pose a greater risk of complete meltdown again.

  • many moons

    Couldn't they have come up with a backup plan in these past two years? Couldn't Tepco have imagied the possibility of going off line again?
    Place generator or two just incase. I hope Tepco can find some buses in the parking lot to grab the batteries out of….or maybe they could bring in the fire hoses, drape them into the spf pools and start the cooling process.

  • FrickingFrack FrickingFrack

    Why isn't this front-page news everywhere??

  • The power back on is a lie.. vid of live streams says different story… the Tepco-Cam is not live… it's memorex.

  • We Not They Finally

    "Power distribution boards" sounds so benign. Like maybe you could show a high school grad how to throw the "on" and "off" switches. It would not even mean that the power was OUT. So why was a whole different electric company called in to supply power? Not trying to be paranoid here. It just does sound a little too pat.

  • the site-light is yellow when on backup generators… and from what I heard.. 2 of the 3 boards are fixable.. the third one is coplete fragged.. needs replacement.. they direct-shorted the lines feeding the site.. and THEY WENT DOWN ! That says blown transformers off site.. and other plants lost off-site power as well.