APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday evening update

TEPCO is indicating that it might not be prepared to properly store the highly contaminated water at No. 2 plant in new tanks until perhaps the end of May. (That's for 27,000 tons.) This statement reveals that TEPCO is planning on using only the new, special-purpose tank volume for this most highly contaminated water.. and isn't planning, it would seem, on using the giant barge for this purpose.

We are looking for status updates on this "mega barge," as well as a go / no-go on the Russian floating water treatment facility mentioned hotly for a day or two some time back.

It seems as if TEPCO might have discovered what happened when the company essentially plugged up the Eastern facing, or downhill, end of the probably highly fractured facility grounds, pavement, substrate and foundations because there has been a spike over the last day and a half in activity in sub drain pits which seems to correlate to water that's been through one of the reactors. We wondered before if this weren't really the fix it seemed.. the public was very relieved that the spread into the water was cut down, but we were very interested to find out where this water would appear next given the essentially fixed flow rate into the reactors.

As an aside... some interesting accident studies reviewed here indicate that in accident conditions in a BWR it's entirely possible that, in the environment that would be created during the core melt time frame inside the pressure vessel, it is not only possible for the deranged control rods to release their B4C which can then lead to formation of methane (as mentioned on this site before) but it's also possible for the creation of a volatile form of methyl iodine to occur that might help account for some of the very wide spread of iodine contamination seen in this accident. (This is another in a series by ORNL.)

We are keeping an eye open for further official JAIF, NISA or TEPCO information about temperatures at the plants and will update again when something concrete becomes available.

8:15 PM Eastern Thursday 4/14

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