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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Update... a better overall BWR Mk I plant view

Here, reproduced from an ORNL report which itself used an original GE plant layout diagram is a new illustration for this blog. This is a BWR plant with a Mk I containment like at Fukushima Daiichi, but which shows a turbine building and typical layout. Now, this overall plant layout shown has the turbine building rotated 90 degrees as compared with Fukushima Daiichi. On the plant shown below, the turbine building is "end on" to the reactor building. However, this might help some folks who are wishing they could at least somehow picture what's going on inside the plants now that the turbine buildings, condensers, and pipe tunnels or "trenches" are making headlines. Keep this in mind when you look at the pic -- the features don't match Fukushima of course but it's a good general representation.

Remember- click this picture to enlarge it.

5:18 PM Eastern Thursday 3/31


  1. The industry appears to need better disaster recovery for LOCA *after* a 'cold shut down' was successful.

    How far away are 5 and 6? Can 6 be rigged to cool 5 and free 5 to cool 1-3?

  2. @andrewedwardjudd: What?? 5 and 6 are about 200 meters north of No. 1. No.

  3. Since the reactors 5 and 6 only need a small fraction of their full power cooling then each reactor has a considerable margin of available unused cooling. They probably also have the ability to bypass the condensers if one or more of the set are damaged. If they can free up a condenser it can be hooked up to alternate piping because these condensors must be changeable in use and there must be huge access possibilities.

    Looking at the conditions in buildings 1-4 via high resolution videos it is evident that conditions might be approaching an impossibly unworkable hazard and damage situation.

    Already we are seeing Tepco engaged in shortsighted actions where they are showing lack of planning and what amounts to panic - even the workers were not being fed and looked after.

    But if all they need to do is run pumps and pipes to a newly configured existing undamaged reactor cooling system they might find this a far easier option.

    Even if they only drain water from the trenches and can get it colder and reinject the same water this situation is becoming under control while the heat then dissapates over the next few years. And nobody absolutely needs to be inside those contaminated buildings.

  4. All TEPCO has to do is pump water from the trench, filter it and pump it to reactors 5 and 6 and return cooler water. Quick fit pipes are available to 70Bar with 500mm diameters. If they sprayed the pipes with sea water they would get additional cooling en route


    A small army of foreign contractors could probably have all the work done in a week.

    Maybe even a large cooled loop of this stuff could suffice? Money cannot be an object surely?