TV: High-level radiation leak at Fukushima reactor thought to be from “cracks in containment vessel” — “Even more radioactive than expected” — Salt corrosion may have led to breach (VIDEO)

Published: January 21st, 2014 at 1:09 am ET
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76 comments


New York Times, Jan. 20, 2014: Highly radioactive water found in a reactor building at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant offers new evidence that the reactor’s containment vessel was breached during the accident, [Tepco] said Monday. […] No. 3 reactor building […] even more radioactive than expected […]

NHK, Jan. 20, 2014: […] new evidence that the reactor’s containment vessel was breached during the accident [said Tepco] The officials suspect the water is leaking from around an opening for a steam pipe […] the extra space around the opening had been tightly sealed with resin. But they suspect the substance may have deteriorated after being exposed to the heat of the melted fuel and to salt from sea water poured into the vessel immediately after the accident. TEPCO engineers are planning to locate cracks in the containment vessel […]

NHK, Jan. 20, 2014: Fukushima inner leaks possibly from cracks — Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Company say water leaks inside the No. 3 reactor building likely came from cracks in the containment vessel.

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

Published: January 21st, 2014 at 1:09 am ET
By

76 comments

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76 comments to TV: High-level radiation leak at Fukushima reactor thought to be from “cracks in containment vessel” — “Even more radioactive than expected” — Salt corrosion may have led to breach (VIDEO)

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    Why are they still talking containment, when they know the corium is headed for Middle Earth?

  • bo bo

    All these articles make it sound like it's a puddle just sitting there… isn't it flowing, like a stream?

  • Mark Wonclunker

    They talk as if there was a reactor there, sitting nicely in a building.

    It's just a pile of radioactive rubble. You can find all the cracks, breaches, holes and leaks you want. It's still just a heap of wreckage.

  • Jebus Jebus

    .

    It doesnt matter if half the MOX core is in the troposphere.

    It doesn't matter if Bilbo Baggins is sitting on the rest of the MOX corium in middle earth.

    Pandoras promise is containment can never be breached.

    But containment was breached, times three.

    The promise is broken. It's time, to shut them all down…

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    …salt corrosion and that "small" nuclear explosion (http://vimeo.com/22865967) may have lead to the breach…

  • Ontological Ontological

    Bucky ball soup. I tried to put those out in our subdivision mail boxes. The horribly warm for winter sun, here at 4000 feet, faded them in a day or so. No one took a single one. Our yard is fading. the colors, the lovely desert colors, all fading in the last few months. All been there 10 years+ and were fine until last July.

  • Ontological Ontological

    By "those" I meant fliers. Awareness seems futile, when no one understands the threat.

    • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

      Super markets and laundromats have (or used to have) bulletin boards for public use. May there would be a little interest if they were posted there.

    • clamshellernh clamshellernh

      Ontological a lot more people than you may think are aware and open to discourse than years previous .
      I think we reached a tipping point after the bush era .
      Hang in there

      • earthsmith earthsmith

        clam..i see more awerness as well. There will always be those who shun awareness for whatever reason, fear,arrogance,shiny metals..the list goes on. But we can't forget those who really do not know. You are all beautiful ,brilliant people and the universe and earth love you so much. Thankyou for all you provide and do!

    • clamshellernh clamshellernh

      Plus they are fighting this as well as us http://www.amazon.com/Nukespeak-Selling-Technology-Manhattan-Fukushima-ebook/dp/B005I57NT8

      Sent from my F-iPadA language of euphemism and distortion—a language like “newspeak” from George Orwell’s 1984—has profoundly shaped public debate about nuclear technology since its inception. After World War II, nuclear developers used information-management techniques, including official secrecy and public relations, to promote what one called the “sunny side of the atom”—energy “too cheap to meter” that would supposedly power a new Golden Age. Such euphoric visions set the stage for one of the most extraordinary public-relations efforts in history: the selling of nuclear technology to the American public.

      The original edition of Nukespeak, published by Sierra Club Books in 1982, was conceived in the wake of the first great nuclear plant accident at Three Mile Island. Breaking through the linguistic filter of the nuclear mindset, it carefully documented how nuclear developers confused their hopes with reality, covered up damaging information, harassed and dismissed scientists who disagreed with official policy, and generated false or misleading statistics to bolster their assertions.

      Sadly, these developers also failed to learn from their mistakes—as this updated 30th anniversary edition of the book makes abundantly clear. Examining the critical events of the last three decades—including Chernobyl; nuclear proliferation thanks to…

    • clamshellernh clamshellernh

      Here you go on fliers ect for distribution on getting word out , chem food said he's start including them while he shares our site here
      These guys really have their shit together and it's one stop shopping ready to go they also have petitions and other groups that are active at this time getting the word out that folks can get involved in http://www.fukushimaresponse.org/Actions.html

      Sent from my F-iPad

  • Nigwil

    Its sad to compare the utter shambles at Fukushima with the measured and logical approach being taken at Chernobyl:
    http://www.chnpp.gov.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=116&Itemid=31&lang=en

    Like:

    OBJECTIVE 4. Worker and Environmental Safety Improvement
    Task 15. Radiological Protection Program.
    Task 16. Industrial Safety, Fire Protection, Infrastructure and Access Control.
    Task 17. Integrated Monitoring System.
    Task 18. Integrated Database (Configuration Management).

    Fuku is a multi-disaster ruin that is destroying the planet.

    Sad.

  • zogerke zogerke

    http://dissensus-japan.blogspot.com/

    A site of translated-from-japanese blog posts, including one on radiation effects on silkworms…still reading through it

  • zogerke zogerke

    an interesting list of critical articles related to fukushima from the website japanfocus.org
    http://www.japanfocus.org/site/search

  • zogerke zogerke

    article from japanese anti nuke org- the postential for japanese anti nuke movement to end nuclear power
    http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/wordpress0/index.php?p=112

  • zogerke zogerke

    while not updated since last april, this is a translated blog of first person narratives about radiation exposure experiences in japan:
    http://fukushimavoice-eng.blogspot.com/

  • Sickputer

    Why don't they just admit that the BWR design is inherently flawed? It is tissue paper thin compared to the ten-times larger PWR designed buildings (which notably have a hardened missile shield surrounding).

    Despite knowing the BWR is an accident waiting to happen in all the countries that have those Pandora Boxes, the industry persists in saying they are even "better" than PWRs:

    "Lower risk (probability) of a rupture causing loss of coolant compared to a PWR, and lower risk of core damage should such a rupture occur. This is due to fewer pipes, fewer large diameter pipes, fewer welds and no steam generator tubes.
    NRC assessments of limiting fault potentials indicate if such a fault occurred, the average BWR would be less likely to sustain core damage than the average PWR due to the robustness and redundancy of the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS)."

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_Water_Reactor

    List of world-wide "safe" BWRs (Fukushambles notable on the list):

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_boiling_water_reactors

    SP: If you live within 500 miles of one of these accidents waiting to happen…be ready to relocate at a moment's notice.

  • humptydumpty humptydumpty

    At this point, I don't think the honchos at Tepco are capable of locating their own leaking cracks, let alone ending their incontinence. Already having spewed deadly crap all over the world, this ridiculous PR saying that they're doing everything humanly possible to locate the leaks (so they can have some indigent person stick chewing gum in?) strains credulity and unwittingly makes a mockery of the entire nuclear industry. Shameful.

    • tsfw tsfw

      This week it's a crack- next week it will be a big gaping hole. And they will be befuddled and baffled.

      I have a very hard time believing that they don't have a better idea as to where the corium is. They're stalling so that they can say; "sorry it's too late, it's already gone, nothing we can do now."

      All the kings horses and all the kings men, can never fix the state Tepco is in.

  • mairs mairs

    Oh that's right. I forgot that the nuclear shills on other forums still pretend that the containment vessels are intact.

  • Sol Man

    Human beings are not capable of planning for black swan events; it's not in our nature. So when a npp is designed to withstand an EQ of 8, but then a 9 occurs, it's trouble. Now, very big trouble- for all. Why didn't the learned engineers design for the eventuality? Ah, that is the nature of the human limitation, budget constraints, and desire.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "The officials suspect the water is leaking from around an opening for a steam pipe…the extra space around the opening had been tightly sealed with resin. But they suspect the substance may have deteriorated after being exposed to the heat of the melted fuel and to salt from sea water poured into the vessel immediately after the accident".

    I suspect the resin blew out during the explosion of 3/14/2011.
    If there is molten fuel splattered on the floor right there, it would be easy to measure as high rads, and would indicate that the resin was lost when Reactor3 blew up.

  • weeman

    We have all read that the containment vessel was poorly designed and could not stand up to the stresses that would be produced in a melt down and we all seen the explosion.
    Resin is a joke, I serviced kitchen exhaust systems and silicone is not allowed,even the highest temp silicone does not comply to fire regulations, resin of any kind could not handle the heat involved, no resin has a higher temperature melting point than steel and any penetration of vessel should be stronger that vessel or this is weak link.
    Trying to read between the lines, this steam pipe was installed after construction and a poor job was done, this would be a know weak link and did the IAEA approve work?.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "The reactor core is scrummed, but the MSIV doesn't close or it breaks and [the coolant=water] leaks. Do you know how terrifying this is? Instead of talking about restarting [the nuclear power plants in Japan], we would need to stop all reactors in the world to deal with the problem, just like [when we stopped] PWRs after the Three Mile Island accident. Wait, what is more terrifying is, how many people are aware that this could be a serious problem?"
    "MSIV (Main Steam Isolation Valve) is a huge valve attached to the main steam pipe that connects the reactor building and the turbine building. When this valve closes, it means there is some extraordinary incident happening in the reactor core. Conversely, one might say that it would be a problem if this valve did not close in such an incident. Now, the water is leaking from there [from the MSIV]. In other words, the valve was not shut, or it broke."
    http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2014/01/fukushima-i-npp-reactor-3-water-leak_19.html

    ENEnewsers, this is a very interesting artical, and deserves your attention.

    They are saying that this valve, the MSIV, failed to operate correctly, and may have contributed to the Reactor3 explosion. If there is a design or manufacturing flaw in MSIVs in nuclear power plants around the world, every one of these plants must be shut down immediately, until the problem is resolved.

    But, you can't get your engineers into Fukushima3 to study the failure of the MSIV, now, can ya, TEPCO? 😉

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Means that all reactors using Main Steam Isolation Valve technology must be shut down immediately for safety reasons. The nuclear industry is faced with an apparent failure of a critical system at Fukushima.

      How's your local MSIV doing? 😉

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      "So was it a LOCA (Loss of Coolant Accident) because of either the failure of the MSIV or the ancillary system that is not supposed to fail, in addition to the water boiling off by the decay heat?

      "But as Happy says, the radiation levels are particularly high near the area of the leak (amounting to Sieverts/hour), and how TEPCO is going to "further investigate", as reported by happy-go-lucky media like NHK, is unknown."

      From the same article.

    • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

      10:1 the MSIV sheared off in the explosion.

      Didn't the reactor cap make the hole in the roof of the building just to the east of it? It appears to be the right shape and size.

  • Nick

    Fukushima is a disaster but because of the high levels of radiation nobody really knows how bad it is.

    "the exact condition of the plant’s three damaged reactors remains unclear since high radiation levels and flooding make it impossible for workers to inspect them." from the NYT world brief.

    Problem solved.

    I have absolutely no hope whatsoever that enough humans will get outraged soon enough to do anything worthwhile to mitigate this disaster.

    It was FUBAR from the get go.

    Thanks nuclear. Thanks for the memories of a once vibrant and healthy biosphere.

    Now I just have to wait until the sun becomes a red giant to wash the stench of this horrid industry from the face of the earth.

    I suspect we are in for a very rough ride from here on out.

  • Shaker1

    This is hardly surprising, and should give one the thought that any penetration into the containment, should it actually hold water at all, will eventually become a leak. I'm sure the 'resin' they refer to is simply a filler around the penetration, while the penetration itself I would think is in actuality for integrity welded into the shell. Welds and heat-affected zones are notoriously more susceptible to corrosion than what might be the as-fabricated condition of the material itself. Heat is a great driver of chemical reactions, so just about any corrosive agent in a heated environment will have its action heightened. It's one of the reasons why they treat and control even trace mineral content of water before its use in these things. Then, too, the concrete and steel are separate materials. While the concrete may be fairly tight around the steel, there will be water present between them without gasket, making the situation worse as there is no flow in such crevices, usually upping the concentration of the corrosive agent. Concrete contributes its own minerals. Even if one doesn't accept that the bottom of the containment isn't compromised by the presence of corium or actual physical cracks, as time goes on I would expect that simple corrosion might be expected to show in intentional openings.

  • We Not They Finally

    "TEPCO engineers are planning to locate cracks in the containment vessel"? When, exactly? When it cools down, oh, maybe a zillion years from now? Then again, it's only MOX fuel. How much damage could plutonium do? I heard a little dab will do ya…. [sarc]

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    .. 🙂 Yep, in a zillion years!

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    TEPCO engineers should plan to locate cracks in their story first.

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