Saturday, July 7, 2012

ASSEMBLING INFORMATION ABOUT JAPAN NUCLEAR DISASTER


I spent 5 hours today going through early reports and I've assembled the findings as reported in the news media during the week of Mar 11-19 (and a few later reports)


EARLY REPORTS GENERAL STATUS

MAR 11: “In all, five reactors at the two plants were damaged.”

Source: Damage at two Japan nuclear plants prompts evacuations. March 11, 2011|By Thomas H. Maugh II and Ralph Vartabedian | Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/11/science/la-sci-japan-quake-nuclear-20110312
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MAR 12: [Excerpted] “Water from the tsunami disabled diesel generators supplying power to emergency cooling systems for five reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and a nearby plant known as Fukushima No. 2 (Daini). Without power from the generators, the cooling system pumps cannot circulate cool water around the radioactive fuel rods. As a consequence, the water will boil off and the fuel rods will overheat and melt, which could lead to a massive escape of radiation. Already, some radiation has apparently escaped from one reactor at the No. 1 plant, as well as some hydrogen, which was the source of the explosion.

“Authorities said the cooling system at a sixth reactor, located at Fukushima No. 1, broke down Sunday morning.

Source. A look at Japan's damaged nuclear plants: Where things stand at the Fukushima nuclear power plants, and what threat remains. March 12, 2011|By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/12/science/la-sci-japan-quake-nuclear-20110313


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MAR 13: [Excerpted] “Authorities have evacuated all civilians within a 12-mile radius around the plant, as well as those within a 6-mile radius of Fukushima No. 2, where the problems do not appear to be as severe — a total of 140,000 people so far” 

Source: Japan Q&A: What caused the blast at nuclear plant, and what are officials doing to avert a meltdown? Japan Q&A: What caused the blast at nuclear plant, and what are officials doing to avert a meltdown? March 13, 2011|By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/13/science/la-sci-japan-quake-qa-20110313 

 
EARLY REPORTS LOCATE POOLS ON TOP FLOORS OF REACTORS


[Excerpt] “The pools, which sit on the top level of the reactor buildings and keep spent fuel submerged in water, have lost their cooling systems and the Japanese have been unable to take emergency steps because of the multiplying crises.

Experts now fear that the pool containing those rods from the fourth reactor has run dry, allowing the rods to overheat and catch fire. That could spread radioactive materials far and wide in dangerous clouds.
 
The pools are a worry at the stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant because at least two of the three have lost their roofs in explosions, exposing the spent fuel pools to the atmosphere. By contrast, reactors have strong containment vessels that stand a better chance of bottling up radiation from a meltdown of the fuel in the reactor core.
 
…Each of the crippled reactors in Japan has one cooling pool sitting atop the main concrete structure. Thin roofs and metal walls usually surround the pools…

Source: William J. Broad and Hiroko Tabuchi. In Stricken Fuel-Cooling Pools, a Danger for the Longer Term. The Wall Street Journal March 14, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15fuel.html?_r=2


EARLY REPORTS ABOUT UNIT 4 

(date of explosion never provided- Explosion confirmed only recently by chairman of Japan’s atomic energy commission http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201206290123)

Spent fuel pool 4 located on the third and fourth floors:

[excerpt] “The storage pool in the No. 4 reactor building has a total of 1,535 fuel rods, or 460 tons of nuclear fuel, in it. The 7-story building itself has suffered great damage, with the storage pool barely intact on the building's third and fourth floors. The roof has been blown away. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area. Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned about this risk.

SOURCE: Takao Yamada. Fukushima Danger Continues.The Mainichi. 2 April 2012 http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20120402p2a00m0na002000c.html)

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[Excerpt] “Of special concern is waste fuel stored in pools of water at reactors 3 and 4. The waste—used fuel rods—continues to be highly radioactive even when it is no longer useful for generating electricity and is removed from the reactor core… Unit 4, where some 250 tons of used fuel are stored, "remains a major safety concern," the Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday.  The group said it had no information about the current level of water in the spent fuel pool at reactor 4.
"No water temperature indication from the unit 4 spent fuel pool has been received since 14 March, when the temperature was 84 °C," the agency added. "No roof is in place

EMPHASIS: No roof in place!

Source: Gautam Naik. Next 48 Hours are Critical for Plant. The Wall Street Journal (2011, March 19) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704713004576209112157842424.html

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[Excerpted] “Fire breaks out for the second time at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. Meanwhile, a report says about 70% of the nuclear fuel rods at the No. 1 reactor have been damaged, along with 33% of the rods at the No. 2 reactor.… In a sign of how dire the situation has become, authorities had considered using a helicopter to dump water into the No. 4 reactor, which exploded and caught fire Tuesday. The plan was ruled out as too difficult. The company is now weighing a number of options, including using firetrucks to shoot water into the reactor building.

Source: Fire erupts again at Fukushima Daiichi's No. 4 reactor; nuclear fuel rods damaged at other reactors March 15, 2011|By Kenji Hall and Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writers http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/15/world/la-fgw-japan-quake-reactor-fire-20110316
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[Excerpted]  “At the fuel pool near reactor 4, where the water level one point went to zero, the helicopter remains an option, officials say

The concerns over the spent fuel pools are centered on reactors NOs 4, 5, and 6—all of which were offline Friday when the mammoth quake hit Japan.
 
But the situation at one of those offline reactors, no 4 became dire on Tuesday [Mar 15] when spent fuel heated up and generated hydrogen that led to a fire according to government officials. The fire was extinguished in a few hours…

Source: Yuka Hayashi and Andrew Morse. Setback in Reactor Fight. The Wall Street Journal (2011, march 16), p. A1, A10

 
UNIT 3 (Explosion Mon Mar 14 – Not clear whether it was in pool or reactor or both)

[Excerpt] “Smoke rising from the plant’s No. 3 reactor indicates that a pool where spent fuel rods are stored within the building had dried out, a spokesman for utility operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, said. Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said there could be a crack in the spent fuel pools, increasing the risk that water drains from the pool and leads to overheating…. It is unclear what the condition is of the seventh and largest pool that holds approximately 65% of used fuel rods from the six reactors, but they are likely the oldest and the coolest”

Source: Rebecca Smith and Gautam Naik. Spent Fuel Rods Pose Big Risk The Wall Street Journal (2012, March 17, p. A12)

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New Report that unit 3 may have had a second meltdown:

[Excerpt] “From those monitoring data above, recriticality can’t be clearly proven, but it is obvious that radiation was massively bursted from reactor1 around 3/15, 16 and 21. The spike of radiation from 3/15 to 3/17/2011 is probably because of the damage of suppression chamber and dry well at reactor2 and also the venting and hydrogen explosion of reactor3. There is a possibility that the spike from 3/21 ~ 22/2011 is because of the second meltdown of reactor3.”

SOURCE Excerpt from page 243 of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission report http://naiic.go.jp/blog/reports/main-report/
translated by Fukushima Diary:  http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/07/reactor3-possible-second-meltdown-happened-321-3222011/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FukushimaDiary+%28Fukushima+Diary%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
Reported at Enenews: http://enenews.com/govt-report-reactor-3-may-have-had-second-meltdown-a-week-after-first


 

UNIT 1 (Exploded Sun Mar 12)

Majia here: Fukushima reactor number 1 reactor exploded Saturday March 12 after venting failed to release pressure.

Early reports from Maugh at the Los Angeles Times stated that fuel at unit 1 was 70% destroyed (3/15 http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/15/world/la-fgw-japan-quake-reactor-fire-20110316).

Reports of Radiation early April attributed to unit 1:

[Excerpted] “Engineers speculated that the radiation surges may be coming from a partial meltdown of the fuel core of reactor No. 1. It appears that small segments of the melted fuel rods in that reactor are undergoing what is known as "localized criticality," emitting brief flashes of heat and radiation.http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/01/science/la-sci-japan-reactor-damage-20110331
Majia here: We now know that reactor 1 is a full China syndrome.

July 2012: Gundersen: Latest probe at Unit 1 indicates nuclear fuel has left containment (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/gundersen-latest-probe-unit-1-indicates-nuclear-fuel-left-containment-audio


UNIT 2 (Explosion later in day on Tue Mar 15)

[Excerpt] "The International Atomic Energy Agency says Japanese authorities believe the all important ‘containment vessels’ that encase the radioactive material in reactors 1 and 3 are intact. But the integrity of the containment vessel in reactor 2 is unclear

Source: Yuka Hayashi and Andrew Morse. Setback in Reactor Fight. The Wall Street Journal (2011, march 16), p. A1, A10

 
SPENT FUEL POOLS AT UNITS 1 AND 2 AND COMMON SPENT FUEL POOL

Majia here: We have never been informed of the status of the spent fuel pools at reactors 1 and 2 nor have we been informed of the status of the common spent fuel pool.

RE COMMON SPENT FUEL POOL …. [excerpt] "It is unclear what the condition is of the seventh and largest pool that holds approximately 65% of used fuel rods from the six reactors, but they are likely the oldest and the coolest

Source: Rebecca Smith and Gautam Naik Spent Fuel Rods Pose Big Risk The Wall Street Journal (2012, March 17, p. A12)
 
SPENT FUEL POOLS IN REACTORS 5 AND 6

[Excerpted] “By Wednesday, radiation at the nuclear plant had dropped significantly but concern about the spent fuel pools remained. Officials say temperatures in the pools at reactors 5 and 6 were rising.”

Source: Yuka Hayashi and Andrew Morse. Setback in Reactor Fight. The Wall Street Journal (2011, march 16), p. A10
 
NRC MINUTES

NRC March 16 ALL REACTORS, ALL SPENT FUEL POOLS TO FINAL CONCLUSION

The status of the plant is summarized by speaker: he states the status of the plant has progressed to at least:  "2 reactors [in meltdown], multiple spent fuel pools and maybe 4 reactors and 4 spent fuel pools…."
The prognosis is considered grim: “We’ve just not seen any mitigation of any of the events and we would take all the spent fuel pools and probably all the four reactors into the final conclusion because we’ve not seen any mitigation… (page 215 March 16) ”

Source: U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission Official Transcript of Proceedings of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi ET Audio File (2011, March 16). Page 62, http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1205/ML12052A108.pdf

 
FUEL AT DAIICHI

A November 16, 2010 report titled “Integrity Inspection of Dry Storage Casks and Spent Fuels at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station” asserts that approximately 700 spent fuel assemblies are generated every year. The report specifies that 3,450 assemblies are stored in each of the six reactor’s spent fuel pools. The common spent fuel pool contains 6291 assemblies.

Source: Integrity Inspection of Dry Storage Casks and Spent Fuels at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. November 16, 2010. http://www.nirs.org/reactorwatch/accidents/6-1_powerpoint.pdf.

The amount of Mox fuel stored at the plant has not been reported. One source suggests that unit 3’s reactor core contained a range of 164 to 32 mox assemblies. The low-end estimate of 32 mox assemblies is from France’s Areva, which provided the fuel for unit 3. As the French Fukushima 3/11 Watchdog group points out, the low-end estimate of 32 mox assemblies translates into 5.5 tons of fuel containing more than 300 kg of plutonium: “300 kg is therefore equivalent to 300 billion lethal doses.”

Soruce: Fukushima 311 Watchdogs. MOX fuel-Corium-Plutonium in Fukushima Daiichi, http://www.fukushima311watchdogs.org/biblio/9/Mox%20fuel-corium-plutonium%20in%20Fukushima%20Daiichi.pdf 


FUKUSHIMA DAINI

We've never been informed of the real status of Daini:

[Excerpt] "Several hours later, authorities revealed that cooling systems at the Fukushima No. 2 plant, a few miles south, had also failed, and evacuations were ordered around that plant as well." Source: Damage at two Japan nuclear plants prompts evacuations After the tsunami damages the cooling systems at five reactors in northeastern Japan, officials take steps to avert the possibility of a meltdown.

Source: March 11, 2011|By Thomas H. Maugh II and Ralph Vartabedian | Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/11/science/la-sci-japan-quake-nuclear-20110312
 
OTHER REACTORS IN JAPAN
 

We've never been informed of the status of other reactors in Japan

[Excerpted] "Jim Walsh of MIT's Center of International Studies agreed that these reactors will probably be OK. But there are other facilities in Japan that produce enriched fuel for reactors and manage highly radioactive waste, some of which are in remote areas in the north, "and no one has said 'boo' about them," he said. "It's not inconceivable that some of them have had problems. The story may continue to unfold in the next few weeks."

Source: Damage at two Japan nuclear plants prompts evacuations March 11, 2011|By Thomas H. Maugh II and Ralph Vartabedian | Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/11/science/la-sci-japan-quake-nuclear-20110312
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[Excerpted] “Meanwhile, the three reactors at Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa plant in Miyagi, near the epicenter of the quake, also shut down automatically. A few hours later, the company said that it observed smoking coming from the building housing the No. 1 reactor at the plant…"

SOURCE Yuka Hayashi and Rebecca Smith  Radiation Leaks at Damaged Plant. The Wall Street Journal Sat/Sun March 12 -13 2011, A6.

VIDEOS AND SCREEN SHOTS

ChasAha July 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm • Reply The truth is in front of our eyes.
One must just look through the smoke screens.
Today in Japan: 2012-07-06 9:55 am morning

'Live' Hope Cam 2, 14 km, 10 miles away, on zoom.
Enhanced – https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2099954/Rad%20Ustream%20Pulse%20052.jpg
Original – https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2099954/Rad%20Ustream%20Pulse%20051.jpg

'Live' TBS/jnn
I think the light green color is some 'bad' stuff.
(pink normally)
Enhanced – https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2099954/Rad%20Fuku4%20Fog%20View%20002.JPG
Original – https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2099954/Rad%20Fuku4%20Fog%20View%20001.JPG

 
CESIUM IN SPENT FUEL POOLS (general and specific estimates)

Robert Alvarez, Jan Beyea, Klaus Janberg, Jungmin Kang, Ed Lyman, Allison Macfarlane, Gordon Thompson, Frank N. von Hippel. Reducing the Hazards from Stored Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States. Science and Global Security, 11:1–51, 2003, pp. 1-51

[excerpt] Inventories of Cs-137 in Spent-Fuel Storage Pools. The spent-fuel pools adjacent to most power reactors contain much larger inventories of 137Cs than the 2 MegaCuries (MCi) that were released from the core of Chernobyl 1000-Megawatt electric (MWe) unit #418 or the approximately 5 MCi in the core of a 1000-MWe light-water reactor. A typical 1000-MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) core contains about 80 metric tons of uranium in its fuel, while a typical U.S. spent fuel pool today contains about 400 tons of spent fuel (see Figure 3). (In this article, wherever tons are referred to, metric tons are meant.) Furthermore, since the concentration of 137Cs builds up almost linearly with burnup, there is on average about twice as much in a ton of spent fuel as in a ton of fuel in the reactor core” page 7 

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"The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing…" http://akiomatsumura.com/2012/04/682.html

No information about plutonium and uranium in the spent fuel rods provided in these articles


 
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT FUEL

"The 2,000 tons of nuclear fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant is estimated to contain about 20,000,000 tb of radiation.  This means that the Fukushima plants holds an accumulated total radiation equivalent to 138 times the amount that leaked from the Chernobyl plant" Two Headed Dragon http://www.japanfocus.org/-Fujioka-Atsushi/3599



OTHER RESOURCES

Photos of Daiichi http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2012/201206-e/120626_01e.html
(hat tip Jec)


5 comments:

  1. Majia,
    Thanks for reviewing this information, and for copying my posts over to Enenews.

    I admire those who keep diligent records and especially those like yourself who are doing this research in the open rather than anonymously like myself.

    I choose to keep it all in my head, and even though I have a pretty good memory, sometimes that means I make mistakes.

    I wanted to point out a couple of other things; that photo of #4 building is remarkably detailed - probably the most detailed photo I've seen since very early on in the accident.

    It seems that most concur with my theory that Tepco had MOX ready to load from the machinery pool on March 11. And of course that means even more plutonium than we originally thought has been released.

    I'm personally having a bit of trouble seeing that we have a future left - this as somewhat stymied me personally, because I'm a very future oriented person.

    I'm not sure if it's better or worse to stupidly accidentally poison ourselves to death rather than bomb each other to death.

    I suppose you are starting to feel the same, as I saw your comment that the details are less important than our actions.

    A couple of additional points: JoyB laughed at the notion that they had painted the corium that flowed out of the SPF3 - I suppose "paint" was the wrong term. A better term would have been sprayed some kind of concrete or grout on top of it.

    I looked hard at the 1080p video that Nuckelchen posted today - like most of the videos they release, it had been very carefully edited to not show the things they didn't want you to. But I noticed a couple of very interesting things: 1. regarding the collapsed SFP3 that I discussed above - there were a couple of very obvious photoshop jobs done in the video - first they've either actually or virtually built an entire building between reactor 3 and the turbine building. I think it's virtual, because it wasn't there a couple months ago. In one very quick view I noticed they photoshopped the south wall back into reactor 3 - it was very obvious.

    I think they did the same thing for the south wall of R2 and they photoshopped out the giant gash in the earth on the west side of R2.

    I also noticed in a very brief look at 11 seconds into the video that the reactor 5 building (the one furthest north) has suffered a fire on it's south end - as the roof is clearly burned. Reactor 6 looked pretty good.

    Enough for now.
    James


    I

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  2. I think we need to appreciate our lives ever more while also remaining alert to troubling changes.

    If Fukushima Daiichi is the only plant involved I really don't think we are talking an ELE, although millions will undoubtedly die from it.

    I just wonder how widespread the problems in Japan and elsewhere really are...

    Some of the high readings detected in Europe seem to be local, rather than Fukushima.

    How many nuclear power plants around the world are leaking volumes right now and how many plants in Japan are adding significance amounts to what is already ongoing...?

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  3. Majia, you have compiled a huge amount of information, and it will take time sifting through it all. Two things stand out to me:

    1. The dire comments of the situation in the #4 spent fuel pool early on in the catastrophe. The walls were gone, it is dry, burned out, leaking etc. Then later, everything is pretty much fine with it. What happened? Did they fix it? When did they do this? Did we see them fixing it on the webcam?

    2. The lack of information on the #1, #2 and common spent fuel pools. Are they still in working order? Why is steam coming out of the #1 and #2 buildings and the common pool? Also, it is unlikely that the #3 spent pool is still intact. But Tepco said they installed a new cooling system in it, and they have been publishing temperatures of the pool. Plus they have released videos of the pool. How can this be if it no longer exists? A Japanese photographer said and showed that this pool was no longer visible, even though the walls around it have crumbled into nothingness.

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    Replies
    1. I have a theory about every one of your questions.

      1. I think the dire comments about the SPF4 weren't about the SFP, they were about the machinery pool - which is where something very hot and explosive was stored - it started burning on March 15th at approximately 5 am and exploded sometime after a few hours.

      Tepco reported at the time a small machinery fire that had burned itself out - however that was when they actually evacuated the facility for awhile.

      I don't think the actual SPF 4 ever was dry - full of junk, yes, dry no.

      In early January this year, there was a pretty large earthquake and something started burning in building #4. I thought at the time that it had to be the SFP - that was before it dawned on my that they likely had MOX in the machinery pool ready to go into the core. I'm now thinking that was the source of the fires in January, and that's where the danger lies.

      SFP3 was indeed intact after the huge explosion on March 14th. Also full of junk, but amazingly it still held water, as helo fly-bys confirmed. The south wall of #3 was remarkably intact at that time. In the summer of 2011, they did install a new heat exchanger in the basement and kept th pool cool for several months. Submerged vdeos were taken and showed a lot of debris in the pool, but contrary to some video reports made by a famous grandfatherly nuke engineer, the fuel was still there.

      Something happened to it (maybe an aftershock cracked the wall open) around the first of November and it caught fire. It burned for 5 months that I know of and the last good view of it I had showed a "river of corium" flowing down to the south wall and dripping over the side.

      All photos and videos released since then are retouched in that location. I notice from the nuckelchen flyby video in the past couple days they've built a new "lean to" on the east side of #3 that wraps around the end and encloses what was the SFP.

      In the winter there were several glimpses of burning around #2 SFP - and #1 has had fires also - I assume the #4 sfp is the only one of those four still intact. 5 and 6 are hard to gauge. The buildings are still relatively unscathed, although I suspect the south wall of 5 has burned.


      James

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  4. Thank you both for your comments Bobby and James

    I appreciate your feedback.

    ReplyDelete