Temperature spikes in No. 4 fuel pool after pump burns — Backup also breaks

Published: June 6th, 2012 at 8:53 am ET


TEPCO resumes cooling of Fukushima fuel pool
Jun. 6, 2012 – Updated 10:52 UTC (19:52 JST)


The pump at the Number 4 reactor building pool stopped working on Monday night after becoming burnt.


Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, used a backup pump, but on Tuesday, it also broke.


TEPCO says the pool’s temperature at 11 AM on Wednesday was 40 degrees Celsius, up six degrees from a day before. As of 5 PM, the temperature had risen to 42 degrees.

TEPCO expects the temperature to fall by about 10 degrees over next 12 to 24 hours.


But experts say they’re worried about the pool’s anti-earthquake resistance despite ongoing reinforcement


From yesterday: [intlink id=”tepco-burnt-area-spent-fuel-pool-4-cooling-pump-photos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: June 6th, 2012 at 8:53 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Kyodo: No. 4 fuel pool warms — Backup pump stopped Wednesday — Main pump stopped Tuesday — Tepco expects temperature to start falling June 6, 2012
  2. No. 4 fuel pool temperature began spiking June 2 — No daily ‘Plant Status’ reports from Tepco since June 6, 2012
  3. 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
  4. Tepco: ‘Burnt area’ on Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 secondary cooling pump (PHOTOS) June 5, 2012
  5. Tepco Press Conference: Temperature rises at No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool, now around 50°C April 13, 2012

17 comments to Temperature spikes in No. 4 fuel pool after pump burns — Backup also breaks

  • RememberThis RememberThis

    oh shit!

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Chewing gum and bailing wire. Are they still trying to use the Stuxnet-infected computer contols to operate this pump? Has sabotage been ruled out?

  • mem mem

    Excellent question, Philipupnorth!

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    There were reports here on ENEnews that traced the dewatering of SFP4 in March of 2011 to a leaking pump. A temporary pump was installed below SFP4 to help remove excess heat. The permanent pump for SFP4 was having trouble keeping up with the extra heating required by the addition of the hot fuel load removed from Reactor4 in November of 2010, when it was taken out of service. That was a problem on the pump side. Now they seem to be having problems on the electric motor side. Is this still the temporary pump?


    before the days of seat-belts in cars, I remember how mom used to hold her arm out-across us kids, to keep us from tumbling into the dashboard when traffic got threatening. Given the reality of high-velocity physics, hers was a loving but naive gesture. I can see her in the distance, holding us back from the inevitable horrors that await us all. I fear her arm's becoming tired. Venus transits, in a close – but rare – passage to the Sun. To all those who are with us and those who remain behind the scenes, I send my love. Be strong and honor the dream of life…

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    The SFP4 primary cooling pump is reported to be the one that failed, according to reports on Fukushima Diary. http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/06/reactor4-takes-3-more-days-to-fix-backup-was-stopped-too/ (However, there seem to be contradictory reports. http://enenews.com/tepco-burnt-area-spent-fuel-pool-4-cooling-pump-photos).

    Anyway, when they checked the wiring of the secondary pump, they found the same insulation problem, and so they took both pumps down for repairs. Repairs should take no more then 3 days.


      good info philipupnorth…

    • Insight

      Are you saying unit 4 will be without a water pump for 3 days? Is Tepco using an additional backup pump right now? Tepco is saying they expect the temp to fall but are not saying how that will be accomplished.

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    Just as I thought. These children have no right to build and opperate these planet killers. These pumps are fairly expensive but not so that you couldn't have a couple dozen waiting in the wings for backup. This should not be a big deal except someone there is not doing his job properly. A union electrician came on yesterday and posted that the wireing was fine and could find no fault with it. I have had machines burn to the ground because of this type of wiring problem. If it wasn't poor wireing then what made these two pumps fail? Was it sabotage. If they can't wire a couple simple pumps properly then how did they get away with runing a nuclear power plant?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Posting this on this thread as well..
    Fukushima This is likely to kill you? Reactor No. 4 – Humanity's time bomb.

  • glowfus

    water pumps are complex, expensive, rare pieces of equipment that require long lead times when ordering replacements. yes, water pumps sold at walmart would work,,,but those arent certified for meltdowns.

  • Sam Sam

    jerry rigged cooling systems are a catastrophic

    not to have back up for the back ups is criminal

    is this radiation induced dementia.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      They did have a back up which is also broken. What a mess.

      • ReactorHalfEmpty

        Indeed. I would have expected them to have a redundancy level of at least 4 rock-solid pumps/water feeds for such a beyond-crucial mission (except for cases where there possibly is very considerable trouble in getting all this infrastructure fed in parallel and up and running). And yet another entirely different level of redundancy for the ultimately critical CSFP.
        Nice to know that they have a total reliability achievement of 2 (TWO!!) pumps for SFP #4, two of which achieved the feat of failing within a day of each other.

        Goodbye world, nice knowing you. This is all that's left to say.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      Sam – They will tell you it's good business…….

  • 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