NHK: Unexplained water leak at Fukushima reactor immediately after 3/11 quake — Crucial cooling system disabled?

Published: May 2nd, 2013 at 7:29 pm ET
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NY Daily News: According to Kyodo News, a commission appointed by Japan’s parliament suggests that the crucial cooling pipes needed to keep nuclear reactors at a safe level were damaged in the quake.

NHK WORLD: Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is studying the detailed causes of the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. [...] The group then discussed the unexplained water leak that occurred in the No.1 reactor building immediately after the quake. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has said that water from the pool for spent fuel trickled down through the air conditioning system. The experts at the meeting called for further study on whether the cooling system was disabled by the quake, and whether the air conditioning system was damaged by the quake itself or by pressure from the leaked water.

Kyodo News: The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Wednesday to investigate more thoroughly whether key safety equipment for one of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant sustained damage before the complex was hit by a tsunami in March 2011. [...] another commission appointed by parliament suggested that the quake may have damaged piping for an emergency cooling system, called an isolation condenser, at the No. 1 unit. The report said several workers on the fourth floor of the No. 1 reactor building at the time of the earthquake witnessed a water leak on the same floor, which houses two large tanks for the isolation condenser and the piping for the equipment. [...]

Watch the NHK broadacst here

Published: May 2nd, 2013 at 7:29 pm ET
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27 comments to NHK: Unexplained water leak at Fukushima reactor immediately after 3/11 quake — Crucial cooling system disabled?

  • weeman

    And when you deduct that the earthquake did critical damage before tsunami will you order the immediate closure of all mark 1 reactors and a complete stress test on all other reactors. No you will not and I want to know why, you already have suspicion on your mind and suspect that the earthquake started the house of card to fall, come on the data is there, can't fool a fool.


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    • Jay

      … let's keep in perspective that Fukushima like other costal areas dropped by almost two meters !

      Imagine the inertia and shock on concrete that it caused .

      The drop made also easier for the tsunami to get in those areas , reducing the effective hight of any fences … like the one they built around Fukushima after 3/11 !! Not learning ! No surprise .

      Now , considering that geological records point to the fact that the west coast of Japan is fracturing and Dropping into the ocean with every major earthquake , we safely can dig into our collection of bad adjectives to stick ( using poop ) on the forehead ( if it exists ) of those Japanese 'scientists' and 'engineers' that f**ked-up our planet !

      Abe driving a Tank is their only neuron left . And even that is not firing :)


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Either way, this nuclear disaster can't be cleaned up … the technology doesn't exist.


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  • Jebus Jebus

    Perspective…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_Condensor

    Emergency passive system

    It is a passive system for cooling of some reactors (BWR/2, BWR/3 …, and the (E)SBWR series) in nuclear production, located above containment in a pool of water open to atmosphere.

    In operation, decay heat boils steam, which is drawn into the heat exchanger and condensed; then it falls by weight of gravity back into the reactor. This process keeps the cooling water in the reactor, making it unnecessary to use powered feedwater pumps. The water in the open pool slowly boils off, venting clean steam to the atmosphere. This makes it unnecessary to run mechanical systems to remove heat. Periodically, the pool must be refilled, a simple task for a fire truck. The (E)SBWR reactors provide three days' supply of water in the pool.[1] Some older reactors also have IC systems, including Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor 1, however their water pools may not be as large.


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    • Jebus Jebus

      Under normal conditions, the IC system is not activated, but the top of the IC condenser is connected to the reactor's steam lines through an open valve. Steam enters the IC condenser and condenses until it is filled with water. When the IC system is activated, a valve at the bottom of the IC condenser is opened which connects to a lower area on the reactor. The water falls to the reactor via gravity, allowing the condenser to fill with steam, which then condenses. This cycle runs continuously until the bottom valve is closed.[2]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_Condensor


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      • Jebus Jebus

        This page was last modified on 8 April 2013 at 21:02.

        ?


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        • Jebus Jebus

          LOL, maybe its just me, but check out the grammer on this paragraph.

          Problems

          In case of failure électricié, the valves close automatically, and operators have to open them manually, which can be difficult in case of accident has already released radioactive steam inside the building.

          During the accident Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011, the operators did not open the valve manually, and emergency system has been activated too late and could not work for long. Operators do not know if they should leave the valves open or not when the tanks of two condensers were emptied of their water cooling.[3]

          Wow, I'm surprised there isn't a three eyed mouse logo in the header…

          They wouldn't, would they?


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  • Jebus Jebus

    Reality…

    Workers Inspect Inside Unit 1

    October 21st, 2011

    http://www.simplyinfo.org/?p=3700

    It's after the explosion, but it sure is a hell of a lot of damage…

    What do you see?


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  • razzz razzz

    Never had the displeasure of seeing that video. I take it that was before the tsunami hit. Surprised aftershocks weren't rocking the workers' world.

    Rebar and concrete chunks laying around but Unit 1 survived the quake in fine shape…what a joke.

    Unit 1 being the first unit built and having the smallest output had this type of backup cooling if all else failed. And it did. All power lost so what are the valves engineered to do that type of situation? Open or close or stay in position?

    Some speculation that the IC was actually functioning at the time, the video show otherwise and the continuous steam hissing is ominous while the workers search for the right wheels to turn and open the feed valves.

    Feel sad for the workers.

    Units 2 & 3 had those perpetual motion like turbines for steam from the overheating reactors to spin but withot the proper valves opened to feed the steam to those turbine blades to move cooling water, it was no go for those emergency systems too. Provided the plumbing loops were even still intact.


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  • hbjon hbjon

    The anchors and fasteners used to secure large water tanks would have broke free in the case of a 9 plus EQ. In that case, the coolant and electrical transmission lines that connect to the tanks would be damaged. Imagine these huge tanks bouncing around the fourth floor like mexican jumping beans. What else was bouncing around?


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  • Sickputer

    Hbj sez: "What else was bouncing around?"

    SP: Everything else between the reactor building and the turbine building. Cooling pipes that could not be replaced in time to save the cores from melting. It was the earthquake that destroyed Fukushima Daiichi aided by the old generation design of having two dependent buildings built on earthquake resistent separate foundations. The huge lateral movement and the smaller vertical thrust crushed important linking structures fatally.

    I am dubious that the two buildings would have survived even if they had been on one floating pad, but we know for sure now that a 9.0 earthquake will open Pandora's Box at any of the two dozen GE-designed Mark generation reactors still chugging along in America. Death traps that can never be contained after the damage is done.

    Look here at graphics of how the BWR reactors are layed out in a co-dependent design:

    (See the sixth graphic)

    http://www.earthlyissues.com/nuclearplants.htm


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    • Sickputer

      The steel reactor vessel produced to withstand a commercial jet airplane direct hit also cracked in at least one of Units 1-3. But now we also know that a jet plane can target the gap between the two buildings and achieve a deadly blow. Destroy the pipework and the reactor will explode or meltdown from lack of cooling. Venting is not a sure thing to stop a meltdown and explosion of the fissile fuel.

      Same thing with the flimsy Mes-Tex building around the elevated spent fuel ponds. Even a small plane could wreak havoc there…a large jet would doom any complex to a massive release of radiation.

      And I'm not telling secrets…the US government and every terrorist domestic and foreign has known of these potential apocalypse flaws for 50 years. 911 should have been the warning…but 311 is the last chance to learn how deadly nuclear plants are and especially those first generation of rusting concrete-brittled plants.

      Madness in America's government…


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      • Sickputer

        What is amazing is a retired American nuclear engineer commented on a Popular Science online article March 14, 2011 and said the same thing. First time I have seen his comment was today:

        Fifth comment after the article:

        Riccio: " The primary issue in Japan is not specifically that the reactors are BWR units, but that the emergency cooling systems and the reactor are mounted on separate concrete pads which in the case of a bad earthquake can move relative to each other and break the emergency cooling piping. At this point, it makes no difference if the pumps work or not."

        http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-03/whats-happening-japans-nuclear-power-plants


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        • +1

          Nice retrospective from Mar 14th of 2011.

          "TEPCO has announced that after the explosion, radiation levels in the area around the plant were still within ''normal'' parameters. This is an important distinction–not to say that a hydrogen explosion at a nuclear plant is particularly fun news, but it is not nearly as panic-inducing as a meltdown."
          – from popsci article

          Guess what…
          We've had 3 FULL Meltdowns.
          It's 2 1/2 years later.
          Is it time 'panic' yet?


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    • 16Penny 16Penny

      I thought that the FUku reactors were hardened against EQ's and ours in the US were not. I don't think it will even take a M9 to ruin our dreams further.


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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Remember, smile a lot to protect from radiation, Fuku is in cold shut down and the tooth fairy will bring you $5 for every tooth you lose due to radiation making your bones rot.

    Fukushima 5 Minute Summary Of Events 2011 to 2012; via @AGreenRoad
    http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/06/fukushima-5-minute-summary-of-events.html

    Nuclear Accidents Globally
    http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/p/nuclear-accidents-around-world.html


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