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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Water cannon, and vehicles

There is a wire report right now saying that police are considering the use of a water cannon (truck) to provide cooling water to Fukushima Daiichi No. 4's spent fuel pool.

Folks, the situation is very gradually deteriorating and the time for the response to become aggressive and innovative -- in a brutally simplistic way -- is getting close at hand.

At the SL-1 accident, it was necessary to construct vehicles (or modify them, really) with lead shielding for the drivers to get them close to the reactor building. This is easily possible with a fire truck. There are a number of kinds of fire engines like this, but probably the best would be an airport fire truck with water cannons and water supply on board. The cab could be quickly rebuilt with lead shielding and remote operability of the water cannon to keep a driver and water cannon operator relatively safe while the truck is positioned and the water flow begun. While this will generate exposure for two persons and some contaminated water it's time to begin to check down the list of small negative results to get headway on the problems at hand.

I am NOT trying to imply that the men at the site are not doing their utmost; rather, as both a plant operator with some experience and a historian and researcher on the subject I am pointing out that this type of response should be strongly considered now. I cannot believe that such a thing has not already been floated to the people at the site, by at least one person or source. If I were there it's exactly what I'd suggest.

Do not forget the possible need for a wrecking ball or crane, depending on access to the fuel pool at No. 4, in order to get the water actually into the pool.

Because of the radiation field (streaming straight up due to no shielding on top of the fuel pool) the helicopter option looks like a final resort or at least far down the list.

....all this while Japanese television is essentially giving the type of detail that we used to teach in Civil Defense films against radioactive contamination and fallout, exactly as this writer predicted some time ago. This is very wise precaution, is being explained very simply and clearly on Japanese television and is an admirable job of getting the public up to speed quickly. BRAVO to the Japanese media for their sensible and level-headed response and actually helpful information to the public.

7:45 AM Eastern Wednesday 3/16

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