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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday afternoon update... 4/14

NISA is reporting sharply rising temperatures in No. 3 reactor. Apparently the highest is about 250C. TEPCO is saying now that the readings could well be erroneous, due to a failing temperature measuring device (so it's either the RTD or thermocouple or ICW or the instrument drawer.)

Most of the recovered volume in the No. 2 plant pipe tunnel outside has been refilled by more contaminated water. NISA remarks that the water might be coming from the turbine building; that was our speculation, and probably everyone else's, a long time ago.

There are also increases in activity in groundwater measurements.

Even if we discount the first piece of information as spurious instrument reading, the second two are troublesome. Clearly (and we're saying the same things over and over again) TEPCO needs to get recirculating cooling operating, and to do this TEPCO needs to get access to the auxiliaries and equipment in No. 2 plant. This means the contaminated water in the turbine building has to be removed. It seems a number of tanks and a tank truck have been ordered from the US and one might wonder if there needs to be a rapid response to the problems at No. 2 plant that's a bit more aggressive than waiting for the chance to pump this water to an ideal location. Good enough might have to do for now.

Some further details about the decom plan offered by Toshiba have come out, and they're pretty much as one would expect. The time span offered to site clear is still about ten years.

These situations are all developing and details emerging, so we'll return with new information as necessary.

2:20 PM Eastern Thursday 4/14

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