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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Second Wednesday update (5/25)

Some further Fukushima Daiichi updates.

First, on the wires right now, an indication that TEPCO is saying that the pressure vessel at No. 1 plant was damaged immediately after the earthquake... Only Kyodo News is carrying this at the moment, and it may duplicate the 18 hr damage estimate we've seen previously.

Next, TEPCO has further reduced the injection rate at No. 3 plant. The feed rate from the fire extinguishing line is now down to 3 cubic meters per hour, with the injection through the feed system remaining at 12 so that the total injection rate is now 15 cubic meters per hour. Rates at No. 1 (6 per hour) and No. 2 (7 per hour) remain the same. Temperature of No. 3 plant is stable (RPV temperatures indicated by NISA/JAIF/TEPCO.)

TEPCO will be installing a heat exchanger for the spent fuel pool at No. 2 plant immediately.

Water transfer at the site is becoming problematic, as it appears that storage capacity is being outrun by contaminated water volume. This is probably driving the continuous rate reduction at No. 3 plant.

I'm looking at a quite massive and detailed release by TEPCO at the moment, concerning immediate post-quake and post-tsunami details, parameters and actions and will report on this if anything in it differs from what we've been told so far, or if anything important jumps out.

5:50 PM Eastern Wednesday 5/25


  1. "...3 cubic meters per hour, with the injection through the feed system remaining at 12 so that the total injection rate is now 15 cubic meters per hour"

    I'm surprised the rate is this low! Many backyard swimming pool pumps move over 6+ cu meters per hour! I know this by our neighborhood gearing up for summer! What I'd like to know is can't they ship a refrigeration truck in the reactor building to augment or serve as the heat exchanger reservior instead of collecting the heated water in a "open cycle" situation like this where they're infinitely storing all this contaminated water? Are they pressed enough to think outside the box like that? I'm sure their awfully sharp engineering students over there are! I hope TEPCO doesn't get fatally stuck in a "that's not done/made here" mentality.

    Keep up the great work Will! Hopefully the mainstream media will bother to tap you as a consultant!

    James Greenidge

  2. General question: why do they need to decontaminate the water to feed it into the reactor again, where it will have to be decontaminated again afterwards etc.? Someone said that they don't want to contaminate the pumps, but what would be the problem with that and wouldn't a new set of pumps quicker and cheaper than the decontamination? "The cost of processing the contaminated water allegedly demanded by AREVA is 200 million yen (US$2.44 million) per tonne. " (from another site)