Friday, July 6, 2012

New Picture of Reactor Building 4 at Fukushima Daiichi


Is there an intact fuel pool still inside that building?

The top layer would be the surface level of the pool. Look beneath the top level. The next floor is full of rubble and has a big hole in the wall.

Photo available here:
http://enenews.com/remaining-portion-spent-fuel-pool-4-kyodo-helicopter-photos

The spent fuel pools are reported to have been 45 feet deep, according to the New York Times on March 15
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15fuel.html?_r=2

[excerpt] "Mr. Lochbaum, who formerly taught reactor operation for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the pools measured about 40 feet long, 40 feet wide and 45 feet deep. The spent fuel, he added, rested at the pool’s bottom and rose no higher than 15 feet from the bottom..."

Majia here: Interestingly, this article cites the fuel pool in reactor 2 as being damaged. We never hear anything about that unit:

[Excerpt] "A spokesman for the Japanese company that runs the stricken reactors said in an interview on Monday that the spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini plants had been left uncooled since shortly after the quake....

....The threat is considered so severe that at the start of the crisis Friday, immediately after the shattering earthquake, Fukushima plant officials focused their attention on a damaged storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the No. 2 reactor at Daiichi, said a nuclear executive who requested anonymity because his company is not involved in the emergency response at the reactors and is wary of antagonizing other companies in the industry. 
 
Majia here: One thing for sure is that there is no intact spent fuel pool left in 3 given what little is left of that building and the vast deepness of these pools.



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5 comments:

  1. Majia,
    As we discussed a couple days ago, the SFP4 is indeed still intact.

    Let me describe a few things from that picture:

    1. The approximately 150 foot tall building has been cut down to now 100 feet tall. All the structure above the reactor floor has been exploded off or removed.

    2, You'll notice there are 6 "bays" and 7 columns in the north south direction of the building. (The end you see is the south end and the north end is to the right) The building is also 4 bays wide and used to be 5 bays tall. They have removed the top 2 bays of the building. Each of the bays is approximately 25-30 feet wide. So the building now stands 3 bays tall, or 90 feet, it stands 6 bays long or 180 feet and it stands 4 bays wide or 120 feet. (In reality the East/west bays appear slightly skinnier so more like 100 feet wide).

    Have to cut this in two parts

    ReplyDelete
  2. 3. The Excavator is sitting on a platform that is directly over the reactor core. The base of the platform is at the level of the "reactor floor" - which is actually above the top of the reactor. The yellow thing is the containment dome which bolts to the top of the contaiment and there used to be a slightly smaller diameter Reactor pressure vessel cap that went inside it and sealed the RPV. It used to be in the wreckage, but I don't see it here. They must have removed it. Notice the reactor itself is not centered in the building, but offset slightly to the south and to the east of center. (this is not important for reactor 4 analysis, but very important for reactor 3 analysis)

    4. The spent fuel pool is under the steel plate behind the pink box. The top of the pool is at the reactor floor level and as you state it is approximately 45 feet deep , in order to accommodate moving the 12 foot long fuel assemblies into the reactor while they are kept completely submerged. So the SFP only goes halfway down to ground level in this photo. You can actually see on of the outside walls of the SFP through the opening in bay 1 on the SE corner of the building. The hole on the south wall at bay 3 was blown out in the explosion, and you can see the SFP doesn't extend that far. Somewhere in that vicinity is the elevator where they bring fuel up to the floor level.

    5. On the other side of the reactor - the north side, you see the green refueling crane, which rides on tracks in the floor back and forth to the north and south. (or at least did at one time). Between the crane and the platform that covers the reactor is another steel plate, covering another pool, the machinery or equipment pool. This pool is smaller than the spent fuel pool. It's also where I think the explosions occurred in this reactor, and where I think the danger is. Notice that the end of the building around this pool is very much devastated by explosion and fire - with the exception of the crane which was actually on top of the SFP after the accident - it's been moved to this location recently. The reports in March 2011 of a "fire" in reactor 4 described a "machinery fire". I believe now they meant a "machinery pool fire", and that means the machinery pool had something in it - something very explosive - and I believe that something was new MOX fuel that they were about to load into the reactor. They claimed the #4 SFP did not contain MOX - that is technically correct if the MOX was in the machinery pool, not the SFP - but really misleading.

    OK 3 parts

    ReplyDelete
  3. 6. You are correct but maybe not completely correct in worrying that the bottom of the SFP is 45 feet above ground level. It's dangerous for all pools of this size, because it makes it nearly impossible to remove the fuel in this scenario. However you are not correct that this #4 pool is unstable from the bottom. During June and july 2011 they installed reinforcement to the bottom of the pool - there was a document released on November 17, 2011 called "Progress Status Classified by Issues (Photos and figures)". On page 35 of this document, there are photos of the steel and concrete reinforcement placed under the pool. It's extensive enough that I have no worry about he pool bottom collapsing.

    I'm more worried about the makeshift cooling system breaking down and/or the water leaking out of cracks in the walls or leaks through the gate between the pool and the reactor.

    And I'm extremely worried about whatever is or was in the machinery pool. In the video of the criticality on June 30th, something in that very vicinity lit off and was glowing more brightly than the initial criticality.

    And finally, you are correct that SPF3 is not intact. I reported on numerous occasions that it was on fire starting in November until at least March or so. I also reported that the south wall of #3 had partially collapsed and a "river of corium" was running out of the collapse. All true. At one point they actually spray painted the corium in order to hide it from one of the media tours. Now I believe they've build a construction wall in the gap between #3 and #4 buildings to hide it from any of the photographs.


    Feel free to copy and paste this over to the Enenews thread. Admin refuses to release my posts.

    Hope this helps

    James

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you very much James

    I'll post your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ahhh...fuel from unit 2 missing! (china syndrome?) http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/01/tepco-drills-a-hole-in-fukushima-reactor-finds-that-nuclear-fuel-has-gone-missing.html

    ReplyDelete