Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Is this 'Cold Shutdown'?

3 comments:

  1. One day the Japanese will reveal the Fukushima Daiichi buildings were cracked at the foundations by the earthquake. The earthquake also destroyed the pipe system necessary to carry emergency cooling water to the nuclear fuels in Units 1-4.

    So what happened was the core fuel melted down through the steel reactor vessels at Units 1-3 and created a problem no nuclear plant has ever faced...namely multiple red hot nuclear cores out of control.

    Effective backup cooling has been fairly useless because the buildings are too leaky from earthquake cracks to hold water. So they have been overwatering to prevent fission of the hot coriums somewhere down below the buildings. The buildings are too deadly for human workers to fix the leaks thus the vicious cycle continues and the excess water leaks through the cracks and into the ground fissures and then eventually finds access to the ocean.

    They will be forced to do this feed and bleed process for decades and hope someday the fuel in the ground cools enough so they can reduce and finally stop the emergency water flow.

    Unit 4 is the only building that they can do inside structural work on and they have stabilized it with massive infusions of concrete underneath the spent fuel pond. Unfortunately two issues are now working against them...one obvious and one yet to be determined fully.

    The obvious problem is that as after they tore down crumbling walls at Unit 4 they have opened a line-of-sight attack by Unit 3 gamma rays directly at the workers who access the new rooftop of Unit 4. The use of tungsten vests is not going to help stop massive radiation levels accumulating among those workers.

    The second issue at Unit 4 is that there may not be much left inside Unit 4 spent fuel pond to worry about. All that supposed worrying about it collapsing may have just been a big Tepco charade. Now that one of the Fukushima 50 workers has publicly admitted that the spent fuel pond did boil dry then we know there must have been tremendous zirconium fires among the fuel assemblies at Unit 4 before they corrected the leaky fuel pond liner. Only they know when that liner was fixed.

    We did see the smoke from fires on many days ...really bad ones on June 11, 2011 and June 14, 2011 and then again many more days, sometimes when cameras were operational and other times when video cameras were shut off at Daiichi.

    It is quite possible there is just burnt nuclear sludge metal left in the assemblies at Unit 4's spent fuel pond. Perhaps 90% or more of the fuel has already flown away into the Jetstream. That is the next mystery we can expect to be answered in the next year at Fukushima Daiichi.

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  2. Sickputer,
    I'm not as sure as you that #4 pool is empty and I don't know if it ever was dry.

    I came to the conclusion awhile back that the explosion of #4 came from the equipment pool or sometimes called machinery pool. If you look at the blast damage, that was the center of the blast. Who knows what was being stored there - perhaps they had MOX rods ready to go into #4 when it was complete - perhaps as PattyB says they had pure plutonium rods ready to go into it. Whatever it was, that's where things boiled dry and exploded.

    The SFP4 may have boiled too, but I dont think it burned completely. There was an underwater video about a year ago that showed about half the assemblies still intact.

    I have always thought and still do that #3 is were most of the danger is. your statement about gamma rays is interesting. I see Arnie is still trying to deflect attention from it - which has been a sure sign that it's the worst one since the beginning.

    As far as year 3, I think we will find that's when the horrible cancers will start to kick in. I suspect there are a bunch of folks in Japan that will come down with some really nasty diseases this year, and if it happens at the high rate that I fear might be possible, then the rest of the world will take notice and actually start forbidding japanese from coming into their country and spreading the nasty radiation around.

    James

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  3. thank you both for your comments.

    Add in the comment made recently that cesium contamination of the ocean is NOT dropping...

    How much of the fuel is going to work its way into the environment and how many years will it take before bio-magnification occurs in humans?
    What will the effects be?

    What will the effects be for future generations?

    So many unknown risks.... from a human caused disaster...

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