01 Apr 2012
ONLY REACTOR NO. 2 CAN BE EXAMINED NOW AT THE Dai No.1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), and even it still has fatally high radiation levels, and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant’s stability. A long tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge (an industrial endoscope) was used to probe/assess damage inside the number two(2) Reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since its meltdown on 12 Mar 2011. The data gleaned shows the damage from the disaster is so severe, that the TEPCO plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology, to tolerate the harsh radioactive environment; worse yet, the cooling and fuel removal process is expected to last decades.
Dai No.1, REACTORS NO.1 & 3 THAT ALSO SUFFERED MELTDOWNS are probably in even worse shape than reactor No. 2. – the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far. An examination with an industrial endoscope on 27 Mar 2012, detected radiation levels up to 10 times a fatal dose inside the chamber.
PLANT OPERATORS PAINT A GRIM PICTURE Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for the Dai No. 1 NPP said: ” (the radiation)Is extremely high…an endoscope would last only 14 hours in those conditions. When locating and removing melted fuel during the decommissioning process (COME ON!- DECOMMISSIONING WILL NEVER APPLY TO A MELTDOWN), he added, “we have to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation…the actual water level inside the chamber was way-off the estimate, which had used data that the water temperature was about 50C, indicating the melted fuel is cooled …Actual water levels inside the chamber turned out to be unreliable, but the results do not affect the plant’s ‘cold shutdown status’ (SORRY, THAT SOUNDS LIKE DOUBLE-TALK).
PROBLEM IS: COOLING WATER LEVEL IS DANGEROUSLY LOW. The probe also found that the containment vessel of Reactor No.1 (a huge beaker-shaped container enclosing the core) had cooling water up-to only 60cm (24″) from the bottom; far below the 10 meters estimated when the government declared the plant stable in Dec 2011. The plant has continued to pump water into the reactor, and may need to do so for decades to come.
WHAT!- NO WATER AT ALL? An investigation carried out in Jan 2012 failed to find the cooling water surface, and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity. Finding the water level was important to help locate damaged areas where radioactive water is escaping. It is possible radioactive water may be seeping into the Fukushima water table.
TEPCO HAD SAID EARLIER that more than half of the melted fuel had breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor. “Particles from melted fuel” have probably sent radiation levels up to 70 sieverts/Hr, a dangerously high level inside the container (UNCORROBORATED SUPPOSITION ON THEIR PART) - They are in denial of the possibility of a molten fuel “BLOB” now producing 70 sieverts / Hr, which far exceeds the highest level previously detected, of only 10 sieverts an hour, detected around an exhaust duct shared by the No.1 & 2 units in 2011.
A REVIEW OF THE CONDITION OF THE MELTED-DOWN REACTORS Three (3) Dai No. 1 NPP Reactors had meltdowns; However, number two(2) reactor is the only one that has been examined, because its containment vessel was designed with a convenient slot for endoscopic examination. The exact conditions inside reactors No.1 & 3, where hydrogen explosions damaged their buildings, are still unknown. Computer simulations have indicated that more fuel in reactor no.1 has breached the core than the other two (so it is the one in worse condition), even though radiation at reactor no. 3 remains the highest. TRANSLATION: Reactor No. 1 MIGHT BE the in the worst condition. Reactor No. 2, is in known BAD SHAPE(no water), WHILE Reactor No. 3 emits the most radiation. In Reactors 1 & 3 building the high radiation levels makes them accessible to workers for only a few minutes at a time; with the workers wearing full protection.
JAPANESE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS NO LONGER CREDIBLE TO THE JAPANESE They said on Dec 2011, that the reactors had been safely cooled, and the plant had been stabilized, but experts have questioned such statements as “wishful thinking public relations”.
THEN…THOSE FREQUENT RADIOACTIVE WATER LEAKS Recently, the head of the Dai No.1 NPP said it remained vulnerable to strong aftershocks and tsunamis, and that containing contaminated water and radiation remained a challenge. Radioactive water has leaked into the ocean many times already. Workers had found a fresh leak of 120 tons from one of the hoses at a water treatment unit this week in Mar 2012, with an estimated 80 liters escaping into the ocean, Matsumoto said. Officials are still investigating its impact. OH! – THOSE MILES OF IMPROVISED PLASTIC COOLING WATER PIPES – THEY LEAK A LOT! There is no way they will last 40 years, but…you know!
COMMENT: Fukushima’s accident has caused public distrust and concerns about nuclear safety worldwide, but in Japan, great public opposition has made it difficult for the government to allow the start- up of 53 NPPs. All but one(1) of Japan’s 54 reactors are offline, with the last scheduled to stop in early May. EVEN SO, THINGS DO NOT LOOK GOOD, DO THEY? It is truly scary when one thinks about what another powerful earthquake or tsunami could do to Fukushima and all of us. Something not mentioned earlier, is the grave danger posed by the “Spent fuel pool” sitting precariously atop Reactor No.4. If all that transuranic nuclear waste should fall many meters to the ground, it could start a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction of unimaginable consequences and with no current technology available anywhere to combat it. Hell! TEPCO is already clamoring for “improved technology” to combat the three(3) fuel loads in the reactors that melted-down. A year after, they haven’t improved a damn thing!
TEPCO NOW WANTS THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT TO ASSUME THE FULL BURDEN of financial and remediation/abatement procedures yet to come, and for an indefinite period of time. YEAH! TEPCO wants to throw in the towel now! In the meantime, the Central government so much as says to their people ” OH! get over it! STUFF HAPPENS”, and we will soon open the “NO-GO” areas. In my book, they are guilty of the ultimate irresponsibility, given what science knows about radioactivity. DO YOU SUPPOSE THEY WOULD GO THERE THEMSELVES?, OR SEND THEIR RELATIVES THERE?, I DO NOT!
May our Lord have mercy upon, us and forgive our trespasses.
Note: The last two(2) paragraphs were added at 23:53 date of posting.
Edward Oliver Gonzalez
Thanks to The guardian.co.uk, 28 Mar 2012