TEPCO says they are planning a “cold shutdown” of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plants in 6 to 9 months.
“Cold shutdown” means the reactor cores – and the used fuel pools – decrease in temperature through 100 degrees C and continue to go down after a couple of days without additional cooling. If that doesn’t happen within 48 hours, it isn’t going to. E-V-E-R. The reactors are still ‘in service’ – which means the fuel is still reacting. It hasn’t happened at Fukushima and it never will.
Pouring water on those reactors may keep them from getting worse – but it doesn’t make them any better. And it creates the potential of another earthquake dumping millions of gallons of radioactive water all over the Pacific. They can’t continue to create highly radioactive water at the rate of 21 cubic meters per hour for 200 years, but the minute they stop the fuel goes critical again. There is no way to stop it except burning it up all at once with a few nukes.
So this report, which makes the situation sound less and less serious as the days pass, isn’t telling the full story. Part of it simply isn’t true. They have been pumping that amount of water every day for months now but they reported 60,000 tonnes on April 11 and the total amount in the facility has officially remained at ‘a little less than 70,000 tonnes’ ever since. That cannot be unless they are dumping it in the ocean and lying about it.
Did I read that smoke is still coming from two of the reactors? Yep. So the problem still exists in a big way – it’s just been relegated to the back page.
Did I read that workers are spraying an ‘anti-scattering agent’ on the ground to control dust? Yep. For some reason I don’t immediately see the formula, so it has to be something simple. It’s probably just water-based acrylic polymer paint. Whatever it is, ‘anti-scattering agent’ is spiffy-sounding name that doesn’t mean anything but ‘dust control’.
I’m tempted to tell them that if they want to control dust, splashing ‘anti-scattering agent’ around with a fire hose might not be the best way to do it.
Boiling Water Reactor Systems
NKH is now reporting that radiation levels are 3300 times the limit at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 2 reactor intake.
The operator of the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant says it has detected higher levels of radioactive materials in seawater samples from near the water intake at one of the reactors.
The level of highly radioactive water in the sea rose to three to four times the level of the previous day along the coast 10 kilometers south of the power plant.
Monday, May 02, 2011 05:45 +0900 (JST)
In fact, a MAG 9.x earthquake is not survivable by this reactor design. TEPCO said that Fukushima Dai-ni, 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Fukushima Dai-ichi, suffered damage, but was safely brought to a cold shutdown by March 15. However, on March 30 smoke was seen emitting from the turbine building of Dai-ni reactor 1 and, today, a large increase in ocean radiation was measured….”10 kilometers south of Fukushima Dai-ichi.” Hmmm. In other words at Fukushima Dai-ni.
No Damage to Reactor 4?
TEPCO also released a photo and the news that the stored fuel rods in the cooling pool at Dai-ichi #4 suffered little damage. That cannot be true. All that water boiled off and those rods were on fire for days. The severity of the damage might not be visible from above, but no one is going into that reactor building in this lifetime.
I do not have to imagine very long to realize that the tsunami inundated this building through the air vents – maybe doing no damage, but we don’t know. This is not the only external fuel storage at the site. There is another one ~150 feet WEST of reactor 4. I have not found a good picture of it. If these exist at Dai-ichi, they also exist at Dai-ni and Onagawa.
I haven’t heard anything from the OTHER TEPCO. The one NORTH of Fukushima Dai-Ichi. That would be TOHOKU Electric Power Company. The one which runs the nuclear plant at Onagawa – which was hit by a tsunami wave 43 feet high. It was damaged too – and is shut down.