Glitch hits water decontamination system at Fukushima plant


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Stop the madness already. I am so stressed out over this Fukushima crap. Call in more and more experts since these people now can't even take care of a hangnail.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"It's under control, we have the Olympics, we are expanding our military and we are teaching patriotism, what radiation? Our emperor eats rice and I eat a fish, move on and get over it" Abe talks tough but is impotent on anything to do with radiation.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yet they're making profits !!!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Trouble-prone? It's more or less an experimental jury-rigged system - problems are to be expected.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's more or less an experimental jury-rigged system

Describes everything in Fukushima really.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The joint was wrapped in a vinyl bag to contain the leakage. Why wouldnt someone called a welder and have him weld the leak shut within 2 hours of the leak being discovered. How is a vinyl bag suppose to suffice. It sounds like something Homer Simpson would use to patch a leak. Japan, sometimes, seems like such a back-ward country.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Ive got it! Add more duct tape. With great ideas like that ill be TEPCO president in no time! :P

7 ( +7 / -0 )

a vinyl bag???? seriously?? that's the best solution their engineers could find?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

ex-japan-visitorDec. 02, 2013 - 08:04AM JST

The joint was wrapped in a vinyl bag to contain the leakage. Why wouldnt someone called a welder and have him weld the leak shut within 2 hours of the leak being discovered.

I think they need to find the cause of the leak first.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It must be Monday, there's another problem at Fukushima....

If the line wasn't pressurized then vinyl would work temporarily. Vinyl and duck tape.

I don't know why TEPCO is still being allowed to manage this. Abe should cut them right out of the loop.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Im an industrial plumber. And this shouldnt be in the news. I have had all kinds of leaks. Its just about the hype

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The article fails to mention whether the hydrochloric acid was radioactive or not. This would greatly affect the way they went about the temporary repair. Common sense would lead one to question however, whether a vinyl bag would stand up to leaking acid.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let me explain you all. Pipes used for hydrocloric acir are not made of metal. HCL corrodes all kinds of steel. Those pipes are made of PVC. You cannot weld a plastic pipe. And you cannot repair a pipe or a joint full of pressurized acid. It has to be shut dowb.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

KiyoshiMukai, thank you for your clear explanation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did they run out of duct tape?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, TEPCO is bragging about making profits, yet tries to stop acid leaks with plastic bags?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"glitch" = TEPCO

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Complex plant always has a possibility for faults to arise. They may be minor, and not cause any problem, or more to very serious.

It isn't clear from the article whether the HCl acid leak was on the supply side, or from the "active" side, when it could contain radioactivity. If from the supply side there's absolutely no problem using a PVC bag temporarily to collect the acid until the leak is dealt with. But whether radioactively contaminated or not, it would not be good news to allow the leak to continue onto whatever floor was there. Or maybe the leak was outside on tarmac or even the ground soil. However, HCl will rapidly react with the calcium compounds in concrete, and locally destroy its strength. In any case, you don't want free acid to remain where people can walk about. Sodium bicarbonate powder will react with, and neutralise, it very quickly.

The particular plant in this latest incident is associated with radioactive decontamination work at Fukushima.

Interestingly, here in the Western Cape, South Africa, we hear about the occasional incident at the Koeberg nuclear power station (about 20 km up the west coast from where I live - I used to work there until my retirement a long time ago) which quite often aren't directly associated with the nuclear plants at all. But they still attract criticism, even when incidents are not associated with the nuclear plants - two French modified Westinghouse PWRs, 914 MW(e) output each - as though major nuclear events have occurred!

People mistakenly assume that nothing can, or should, go wrong with any nuclear reactor and its associated plants. Unfortunately it does, and it's not necessarily the fault of the utility/operator. It can be an undetected manufacturing fault, or the failure of a small component made by a sub-contractor. But major problems are intended to be very rare events.

South Africa has legislation - which it would appear that Japan any many other countries with nuclear power et al don't have - which requires any nuclear facilities in our country to establish, and fund, what is called "Public Information Safety Forums" (PSIF), to meet at intervals of, as I recall, not longer than three months. These meetings are required to have representatives present from the nuclear operator, the nuclear regulatory authority and the relevant major municipality - in our case the City of Cape Town (CoCT) - to answer questions from the attendees, who are largely made up from any members of the public who are inclined to attend these meetings. There's nothing compulsory about the public attendees, although it is obviously preferred that anyone who has any concerns should attend the relevant meetings at which they can raise questions, rather than shout from the sidelines and remain in ignorance of the facts. The CoCT, of course, has its feet planted in both courts, needing both to ask and answer questions.

It is an excellent nuclear safety communication system. The Chairman is appointed from suitable nominees from the public who live within a 5 km radius of the power station. In practice it's people living in a half circle because the power station is right on the coast!

How these meetings would be intended to operate if there was ever to be a serious event affecting either Koeberg PWR and their ancillary plant remains to be seen. But I would certainly anticipate that they would be much more frequent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Excellent post and meetings held by TEPCO for the public to attend and raise their concerns pre and post nuclear accident. I do not believe has ever happened. But it would be good if TEPCO and J Govt were Transparent about what is truly happening with the environment and the situations that arise at the ground level. I see documentaries of regular townspeople in masks and gloves cleaning up highly radioactive debris from drains and walkways trying to get the microsieverts number down so it's safe enough for children to be around and I think to myself, this should be done by qualified environmental engineers as should the work at the Daiichi NPP and not day laborers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Coming soon: A deep freeze causes radiated water storage tanks and pipes to burst and leak...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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