Tepco: As a last resort, we are prepared to spray a concrete-like mixture over fuel rods

Published: May 25th, 2012 at 5:15 pm ET
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Subscription Only: Japan Nuclear Operator Conducts Check on Risky Unit
Wall Street Journal
By PHRED DVORAK
May 25, 2012

[...]

If the pool springs a leak, Tepco has water-pumping trucks ready to spray more water on top of the fuel rods, said Mr. Matsumoto. As a last resort, Tepco is prepared to spray a concrete-like mixture over the rods so they are sealed, he said.

[...]

See also: Wall St. Journal: First investigation of Unit No. 4 finds "slight buckling in an outside wall" -- Tepco claims it's far from pool and no danger

Published: May 25th, 2012 at 5:15 pm ET
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Related Posts

  1. Former Fukushima Daiichi Worker: TEPCO screwed up by admitting it’s preparared to spray concrete on spent fuel — “They are really admitting they know that it might collapse!” May 26, 2012
  2. Japan Times: “Massive amounts of slurry, a mixture of sand and water, have been prepared to contain radioactive materials as a last resort” February 8, 2012
  3. TEPCO uses radioactive water from Reactors No. 5 and 6 to spray throughout Fukushima plant — Over 100 tons a day — Tanks close to overflowing October 9, 2011
  4. Damaged Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 had 204 unused fuel rods inserted before quake + Scientists say another 9.0 megaquake may hit at year’s end = “Fukushima is still on the edge” October 29, 2011
  5. Tepco to begin coating seafloor with cement mixture (PHOTOS) February 21, 2012

42 comments to Tepco: As a last resort, we are prepared to spray a concrete-like mixture over fuel rods

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    Is there a good reason not to spray it now? This concrete mixture that is.

    "Tepco is prepared to spray a concrete-like mixture over the rods so they are sealed, he said."


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    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Tumrgrwer the very first thing I thought of was a previous article posted today which is what I have read in a few different places over the past year…Certainly there have been claims about 1 or 2 or 3 years…but those that have said it would take 10 plus seem to have been stating facts…including some that it would take 30 years….not the bull Tepco has been spewing. And we have read that the technology has not even been created yet. So taking it all with a grain of salt…I figure at least 10 years.

      "10+ years required to defuel plant"

      Gov’t TMI Investigator: Fukushima Daiichi requires a Manhattan Project approach — “Accident involving nuclear fuel rods is virtually inevitable” — Virtually 100% probability of large quake in 10+ years required to defuel plant

      http://enenews.com/govt-tmi-investigator-fukushima-daiichi-requires-a-manhattan-project-approach-virtually-100-probability-of-large-quake-in-10-years-required-to-defuel-plant


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    • farawayfan farawayfan

      Concreting in the rods now prevents further cooling and guarantees they will meltdown. Over time they will eventually wear through the concrete containment and nuke us all. Of course that's the most likely path this'll all take anyway….


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      • SnorkY2K

        Sorry, did not see your reply first. I concur. A seal team should be on standby to take out any concrete truck pulling up to spent fuel pool to dump.


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    • SnorkY2K

      The spraying of concrete almost immediately renders the fuel inaccessable to cooling guaranteeing a path to melted fuel and recriticality. The spraying of concrete would need to be immediately followed with a suicide mission of grand scale to get in an cut out the fuel before the decay heat bakes the CO2 out of the concrete completely decomposing the concrete.

      That is why I am pushing for bathing the entire structure in a pool of a non-neutron reflecting low melting temperature metal such as bismuth to melt around the fuel and cover it while allowing for heat removal as well as allowing water cooling without the water contacting the fuel. As the cooled bismuth sets up, it would be incapable of falling.

      This would be very unfavorable to tepco since it guarantees that the radioactive material will not be dispersed and not only will the fuel need to be disposed of but the added material as well. I personally would prefer to recognize that Fukushima is not got to be habitable in the next 45,000 years and just leave the bizmuth stabilized fuel in place there until it and the bismuth can be safely recovered and processed.


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  • I'm wondering if they ALREADY sprayed that stuff over 4?

    Perhaps the black stuff covering 4 is the concrete-type substance?

    Wishful thinking, I know!


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    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      But this may well be Tepco's way of letting a little bit more information out. Could it be the black substance that is spreading its way around Japan? Nothing would surprise me, & that truly is beyond sad.


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    • Sickputer

      Majia sez…"I'm wondering if they ALREADY sprayed that stuff over 4?
      Perhaps the black stuff covering 4 is the concrete-type substance?"

      SP: I wondered the same thing when dozens of workers were scurrying around the guts of Unit 4 about 20 days ago. I thought they were moving down rods at the time like the Chernobyl suicide workers. But now I think you're right about the black tar cement.


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      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        ..hummmm..I dont think so personally.I don't think they have sprayed.
        But if they have.. after reviewing the vids of the reactors the last few days.
        I wouldn't say it has helped things.


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  • goathead goathead

    As a last resort eh!!!!! What was the list of choices again??? I don't seem to remember them really coming up with any ideas, let alone a 'last resort'!!! Folks, we are in the era of experimental (amateur) nuclear mayhem! God help us all!!!


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    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Agreed goathead.


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    • What-About-The-Kids

      Well said, GoatHead.

      "Experimental nuclear mayhem." And isn't that pretty much status quo for the nukers? They really have been making this stuff up as they go, all along, despite their big boy bravado, haven't they?

      Let's call them what they really are: a bunch of charlatans. Time to take away their toys and lock them up, out of harm's way.


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    I wonder what effect the weight of the sprayed concrete-like mixture would have on the "structure".


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    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      If it wasn't for the heat would spider silk work & human skin :P Goats make the silk in their milk.

      Apparently, you don’t need Kevlar to stop bullets. Human skin combined with spider silk-infused goat milk can do the job just as well. Dutch scientists recently brought this combination to life, pushing the limits of science. The project is called “2.6 g 329m/s” which is the standard weight and velocity that a Type 1 bulletproof vest can protect against.

      Spider silk might not seem like much, but it’s the toughest of all the silks in existence. Its many times stronger than steel, and it’s the toughest natural protein fiber. With that much strength, spider silk is capable of a great many things. And when woven together, it could even stop bullets.

      Rather, genetically enhanced goats were infused with spider silk at the genetic level. The goats then produced milk that carried the spider silk protein which was then spun into a matrix laced with human skin cells.

      The human-spider matrix contained various types of cells that typically make up the dermis and epidermis. Once fully combined, a 22-caliber Long Rifle bullet was fired at the matrix at a slightly reduced speed. The matrix succeeded in stopping a bullet at the reduced speed, but not one at full speed.

      http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-cetera/spider-silk-and-goat-milk-can-make-human-skin-bulletproof-20110815/


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      • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

        The strength and elasticity of spider silk make it a good candidate for a broad range of medical and industrial applications, including artificial tendons and ligaments, sutures for ophthalmic and micro surgery, biodegradable fishing line, bulletproof vests and lightweight body armor, parachute cords (particularly when dropping tanks or other heavy objects), and cables used to help stop planes as they land on aircraft carriers.


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    • VanneV anne

      For sure all the spent fuel pools will crack or fall down to the ground or both. I think the options were lost when they sprayed salt water on all the fuel. If that was the only option, then the earthquake was the end. Why didn't they have any back plans. I doubt seriously that we have any adequate back up plans here in the US or elsewhere.

      The only back up plan is to close them all down immediately.

      TPTB haven't thought out depopulation very well. How did they make all their money in the first place but with billions of people to exploit? Who will be taking care of all the nuclear waste in the generations to come? Will there even be any place on earth inhabitable for even a small remnant? Radiation and other toxins are also destroying the ionosphere and the atmosphere, etc. With no plankton in the ocean, there won't be much oxygen if any.


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  • Max1 Max1

    The TEPCO mindset of restart is pervasive…
    … Can't restart a cemented up reactor can you?

    Last resort?
    Try viable option…


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  • markww markww

    HERE IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN

    After the Russian disaster I wrote a paper to Washington DC. When they were trying to come up with some planning on massive radiation problems. I sent a 14 page suggestion and it worked. In fact a few years ago my idea nuclear pellets can be surrounded and they do not get hot and seal and prevent radiation leakage. There are some elements added to the mixture.

    I submitted the same things to Arnie Gundersen and to Japan the concrete type mixture has 8 elements added to seal,lock in and melt around the nuclear material and slow down its reactions and disastrous problems that we see now. When the whole unit is sealed then you can take the rod systems and bury it in safe containers for further placements.

    Hope this works in real life this time
    Markww


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  • markww markww

    well here is what it does when you mix the elements together with the concrete mixture the heat from the nuclear materials bonds all the things together like a glass ball.

    lead powder
    sand
    graphite
    shuttle tile crushed is basically a strong carbon
    boron
    crushed glass particles
    concrete mixture
    and a class d firefighting chemical for burning metals

    Class D is this — > A Class D (combustible metals) firefighting agent comprises a detergent mixture, and sodium chloride (about although vitamin B-6 and bicarbonate soda may be present. The detergent mixture comprises an alkylbenzolyate sulfonate, non-ionic detergent and lauric superamide, linear alkylbenzene sulfonate, isoctylphenyl polyethoxyethanol, about polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate, lauric diethanolamide, about monoethanolamide superamides, and water. Burning titanium, uranium, magnesium, zerconium, or any other type of combustible metal fire, can be extinguished by applying the liquid formulation directly to the fire using conventional firefighting equipment.Why not just mix everything with concrete and bury the burning materials it is hot enough to bond and collapse upon its self. As the nuclear materials surround the radioactive pellets it makes a ball and fuses together.

    Course scientists would have to do mixtures and also do the amounts needed to make a super fire (radioactive) retardant

    Mark


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  • chrisk9

    If the building is standing they can spray water on the pool and maintain some kind of cooling, enough to get by, especially now that the pool is cooler than 14 months ago.

    The concrete mixture idea can only be in response to a fuel pool collapse. So they are really admitting they know that it might collapse!! It is a completely crazy idea, those who have said the building would collapse if sprayed in a standing pool are correct. But the idea was only generated if the building falls down on the ground. Then this idea might be better than doing nothing with fuel laying on the ground because it would slow the release of radioactive material. But it would mean that this pile would forever be dangerous and some releases would continue for years.

    What a "Hail Mary" this is. TEPCO screwed up by admitting this, there have been several stories the last few days that are illuminating much more.


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    • Centaur Centaur

      Hey, we want(ed) honesty all the time. Now we get some (if it was intentional or not, is not critical)… so there's no problem in that. :D They DIDN'T screw it up this time… they plainly said the truth. (If they really can make it far enough into the high gamma radiation zone with their spray cannons, that is. I look forward to _see_ some TEPCO images of those extremely shielded trucks resp. helis standing by on site. :) )


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  • bincbom

    The concrete mixture would insulate the rods and allow them to have a high temperature excursion. Probably, this would only facilitate another meltdown and the subsequent radiological release would almost certainly be the largest in human history.


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  • Ron

    I've been wondering about the feasibility of using teflon. Maybe mixing it in with the cement. It's very heat resistant.

    Just read though (if I read it right) that it begins to break down at 500 to 700 degrees F. Just a wee bit below temps at Fuku.

    It also releases a noxious gas (lesson, don't use teflon frying pans etc). http://www.ewg.org/node/8304

    Seems like there would be something that can be mixed with concrete to make it more heat resistant, though I get what someone upthread said about the fact that once sealed and isolated from cooling it's likely that it would heat up.


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  • SnorkY2K

    The problem with concrete is the decomposition of calcium carbonate in the cement. If it contains cement, it is going to degrade as the temperature rises. Few materials can actually handle the temperature and some of those are neutron reflectors which halve the amount of nuclear material necessary for a criticality.


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  • markww markww

    What no one seems to grasp here is that even if the concrete evaporates and cracks and dissolves the other mixttures I wrote about have already been done and tested and works It forms a ball of glass and inside the graphite and lead and other materials surround the radioactive pellets and it cant get hot enough to dissolve it has a glass cover,and the radiation is fused and lead surrounds it and cant radiate or burn through. A big beaker was filled with these balls and did not give off enough heat to dissolve and is stable. Its already been tried and true all the elements work together,and forms a cocoon. Mark


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  • Mark, your reply is worrisome, although your prior comments seem to imply credibility,

    Your recent comment seems to imply troll


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  • Centaur Centaur

    markww said: "What no one seems to grasp here is that even if the concrete evaporates and cracks and dissolves the other mixttures I wrote about have already been done and tested and works It forms a ball of glass and inside the graphite and lead and other materials surround the radioactive pellets and it cant get hot enough to dissolve it has a glass cover,and the radiation is fused and lead surrounds it and cant radiate or burn through. A big beaker was filled with these balls and did not give off enough heat to dissolve and is stable. Its already been tried and true all the elements work together,and forms a cocoon. Mark"

    tock@hawaii.rr.com said in return: "Mark, your reply is worrisome, although your prior comments seem to imply credibility, // Your recent comment seems to imply troll "

    What exactly do you mean, tock? :S


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    • Centaur Centaur

      sorry, "stock" of course :o


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    • Not sure, it just doesn't flow together, and the assumption the "the radioactive materials" become the right temperature bonds everything together. Its just an unusual presentation with too many gaps of logic that don't make sense to my mind and I have a masters of science in engineering in materials science.

      Why not just mix everything with concrete and bury the burning materials it is hot enough to bond and collapse upon its self. As the nuclear materials surround the radioactive pellets it makes a ball and fuses together.

      the heat from the nuclear materials bonds all the things together like a glass ball.


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  • markww markww

    After the Russian Disaster It was on the discovery channel the Material mixture worked. They had a large gallon beaker with the glass substance I wrote about it did not need water to cool cause it was auto cooling itself,and the mixture is also a retardant that can put out the radioactive mixture, if you read about class d extinguishment you will see it is effective with the other elements . It works was done after Russia built its tomb.


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