national

Fukushima reactor on track for cold shutdown by year-end: TEPCO

46 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2011 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

46 Comments
Login to comment

TEPCO says..........

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

"Fire trucks"?!? Japan needs to go on a shopping spree in France for some dedicated equipment, not just rely on improvised gear designed for a vastly different purpose. That's one reason this problem has festered for so long.

Japan's reluctance to procure from abroad hurts the country and its people in more ways than one.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This article is meaningless.

The emissions are half of what exactly?

According to Reuters the amount of radioactively contaminated materials stands at 360 tonnes a day and increasing.

There are massive amounts of radioactivity concentrated in sludge and ash,this is being recycled around the air and water of Japan by burning-there is no way for these materials to be processed unless there is containment.

The real situation in Fukushima cannot be verified as independent journalists are excluded from the sites.

The problem in Japan right now is radioactive contamination NOT a tsunami.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The amount of radiation (provisional) is only 100 million Bq/hr now. It was two quadrillion Bq/hr (2,000,000,000,000,000) on March 15 according to TEPCO. You can imagine the amount of radiation released so far.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All the information about the state of the nuclear power plant comes in a non verified form from TEPCO, who have controlled, manipulated and twisted the truth, and even changed the truth, since 3/11. There have been no independent scientists or nuclear engineers to check the reports by TEPCO.

For sure, they are making some progress, often it would seem, two steps forward, and one step back. In the last few days TEPCO completed the temporary new structure to cover the reactor No1 building. At the same time, they measured the radiation level inside the building and discovered it to still be 3.5 to 5.0 SIEVERTS per hour. That is very high and no worker can enter the building.

TEPCO also released infrared photo's showing that in reactor building No3 there are fuel rods in the debris.

On the last radiation map of the plant, on Sept.22, there are still significant hot spots around the plant. I have watched several video's with interviews of some of the temporary workers, who are banned from actually speaking with the press. They stated they are not told where the hot spots are nor are they sectioned off.

The release of atmospheric radiation may have been reduced but remains high.

TEPCO have been measuring the temperature outside of the reactor vessel, at the base, because most of the reactor instrumentation no longer works, it was damaged by the earthquake. In normal shut down, the fuel rods are protected and when cooled to below the point of boiling water would be called a cold shut down.

But most of the fuel rods in reactors 1-3 had meltdowns and melt throughs becoming melted fuel or corium. TEPCO isn't sure of the location of the melted fuel.

There are still at least 70,000 tons of highly reactive waste water in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings.

The plant, as indicated in the post by TEPCO remains in a fragile state.

According to a post by Bloomberg, TEPCO have stated, the amount of radiation being released by the damaged reactors at the nuclear plant has fallen to about 8 million times less than at the height of the disaster.

It also states, the three reactors 1-3, are still releasing about 100 million becquerels per hour. Still high enough to kill your chicken.

A becquerel represents one radioactive decay per second and involves the release of atomic energy, which can damage human cells and DNA. Prolonged exposure to radiation can cause leukemia and other forms of cancer, according to the World Nuclear Association.

9 ( +11 / -3 )

Thanks Zichi,

Your comment is more informative than the article.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I believe everything I read.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

They are SO SO SO stupid to make an announcement like this, all these morons shud say is if they are making any progress, but to state they will make some deadline only sets them up again to look like the dumb a$$ses that we all know they are......

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Let's hope and pray that this situation is gotten under control ASAP!!! Stupid Tepco!!!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Rejoice! TEPCO have saved us all!

0 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't think TEPCO want to lie outright as there is a possibility they will be caught out later. (Happened already and they didn't like it.)

For this reason they attempt a) selective information blackout, and b) selective information release. We can see examples of these in requested documents handed over to the government with large sections censored in black. The article above is an example of selective release. This can be aggravated by further processes, such as editing by a news agency, or translation into English which sometimes leaves out vital snippets, e.g. the actual amount of radiation being emitted today. (Supplied by zichi, for which thanks.)

Although this 'bitty' and selective release of information is irritating and insulting to the intelligence of us sheeple, I much prefer it to outright lies, or to no news release at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thats why the radiation level in Koriyama, as reported by CITY OFFICIALS twice DAILY, have not changed for the past 2-3 months. It is still about .84 an hour here (http://www.worldvillage.org/fia/data/pd_e_5128.pdf).

I really wanna believe this article, but if progressed had been made, wouldnt we see it in the form of radiation levels in the surrounded areas dropping?

If emissions had been cut by half as reported, then wouldnt the rate here in Koriyama have gone down to at least 0.5?

If I missing something, then Id greatly appreciate someone pointing it out to me...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the same guys who don't know what to do with used Tyvek suits.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's still very much a fluid situation. Any 'stability' is being held together with ad-hoc, dead ending approaches and / or systems very vulnerable to problems and breakdowns and that's without the very really possibility of a large earthquake at or around Dai-Ichi. The tasks facing the people working to bring this unprecedented catastrophe under control are mountainous, it is still very tenuous, to say the least, and the spin of 'it's alright' simply does not sit within a reality framework worthy of our own knowledge base. Bottom line it's BS.

@Doeman; If anything with continual release there should be an accumulation of radiation. Remember, Cesium 137, the main isotope released, will not see any reduction for 30 years... There will be no fast curve to safety. Not at the plant. Not in the surrounding areas. Not in thos areas contaminated. Not in the food chain.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@zichi

Thanks, nice sum-up.

@the_odeman

It seems there is something wrong with the link that you posted. So I can't check the figures. But I think the part(s) that you are missing is: Firstly , that the half life of cesium is about 30 years. That means even with no additional cesium added to your environment, it still takes 30 years for half of the existing cesium to decay into its fission products. And as some of the fission products of cesium will be radioactive as well,with their own half life values, it will take a long time for levels to decrease.

Secondly, the levels at the Dai-ichi is not directly related to levels at koriyama. Particles will disperse in patterns dependent on wind patterns and type(weight) of the particles being ejected from the power plant.

How much ends up in koriyama, or any other place is rather difficult to predict.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the_odeman

Thats why the radiation level in Koriyama, as reported by CITY OFFICIALS twice DAILY, have not changed for the past 2-3 months. It is still about .84 an hour here

I hate to be super-picky but units are absolutely critical here. 0.84/hr what? Microsieverts? Milli? It's quite a bit higher than 0.84 microsieverts by me in parts of Chiba.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Utrack:

" Thanks Zichi, Your comment is more informative than the article. "

No, it is not. Is pure speculation, with figures imagined out of thin air or taken from conspiracy sites. With all the reasonable scepticism towards official figures, calling wild speculation "informative" is misguided.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

WilliB

The figures quoted are directly from the TEPCO press release site and Bloomberg News, a respected news site. Where are the "conspiracy sites" you claim I have used. You are full of bull!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some of zichi's figures follow those released by NHK Japanese news service yesterday. "それによりますと、1号機から3号機の原子炉周辺の温度が、いずれも100度を下回ったことに加えて、新たに原発から放出される放射性物質の量も最新の調査で1時間当たりおよそ1億ベクレルと推定され、事故当初に比べて800万分の1まで減ったと評価しています。これは、先月に比べて半分程度に減っていて、" Most recent measurements of radiation released from Nos 1~3 indicate 100 million becquerels per hour, which is one 8 millionth of what was being released at the time of the accident, and half of what was being released this time last month.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi's correct. His numbers match reputable sources. The government has shown no compunction whatever against redefining the words 安全 and "safe" in order to permit school children to dine on nuclear waste after wading through it on their way to school. It is continuing its quest to expand the meaning of 冷温停止 and "cold shutdown". I lived in America long enough to learn the punch line to the Texas dance Cotton Eyed Joe. We can assume that phrase applies to just about any pronouncement these nefarious prevaricators emit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TEPCO will not seek higher electricity rates but instead ask the central government for about ¥700 billion ($9 billion) to compensate victims . That's the figure needed for this financial year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Higher than normal airborne radiation was detected at an elementary school in northeastern Tokyo, the Adachi Ward government said Oct. 17.

Radiation of 3.99 microsieverts per hour was detected 5 centimeters above the ground beneath a drain pipe attached to a machinery room at Higashi-Fuchie Elementary School in Adachi Ward.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

COLD SHUTDOWN is an impossibility. They reactors breached and the fuel melted through into the ground and beyond so what are they going to shutdown? Also what about the Spent fuel racks? We have yet to get any real confirmation as to what state all of the spent fuel inventory is in. I fear it has likely all melted too which is a doomsday scenario in slow motion.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes, ssway, we know you fear all of this. You mention this in every single post. Every one. Do you think of anything else? No? How sad.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think that ssway has a point ;no mention has been made on where the cores are.

Are we to believe that Tepco is really cooling down radioactive material that has melted through containment into the earth-now far below ground?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I would suppose that the first we would know of it is when superheated steam starts erupting from the ground.....that would be the proof

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From what I understand, a meltdown means 70% of the fuel rods melt but that would leave the other 30%. I don't think there's an exact definition. I think the fuel rods are about 1/2 inch in diameter and about 12 feet in length. So there remains something of the fuel rods.

The melted fuel which is now corium is in the basement of the containment vessel having burnt through the reactor vessel. Some of it, especially in reactor building No1 could have found its way into the basement because of the leaks. It's covered with the waste water but what happens when TEPCO have finished pumping out that water?

I don't accept or believe the corium has melted into the bedrock and is far below the ground. That borders on the China Syndrome?

Some of the corium from No3 reactor might actually be outside of the reactor and on the building floor.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zichi:

" From what I understand, a meltdown means 70% of the fuel rods melt but that would leave the other 30%. "

There is no such definition. What you "understand" is your imagination.

It is good to hear that the cold shutdown is on time. Screaming denial of the fanatics nonwithstanding.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

kurisupisu:

" I think that ssway has a point ;no mention has been made on where the cores are. "

Mostly inside the reactor vessel, with a small amount leaked out through the control rod openings sitting on the containment structure. That is the consensus on the situation. Unless you have a a secret private window into the middle of the reactors, any other speculation from your side is just that.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

WilliB

what is the definition of a meltdown and melt through according to you? Were is the "consensus on the situation" can you provide a link to that?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That is odd. There seems to be a lot of evidence (unless you are relying on the Japanese media) that recriticality has been recurring since the initial meltdown and subsequent melthrough. WiliB. If you think that cold shutdown is near at hand, then I also have some rice from Fukushima that I would like to sell you. Because you are a born sucker. Which fanatics are you talking about? Do you live in Fukushima? Would you be willing to live there? Please check more sources than NHK and JapanToday.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

WilliB,

"Report of the Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety. The Accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations. June 2011"

In the 635 page report submitted to the IAEA, it stated, fuel rods in reactors No 1, 2 and 3 had probably not only melted, but also breached their inner containment vessels and accumulated in the outer steel containment vessels. The nuclear fuel in reactors 1-3, has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and is pooling in the outer containment vessels.

http://dwqovw6qi0vie.cloudfront.net/article-imgs/en/2011/08/19/AJ201108196772/AJ201108196851.jpg

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) secretly calculated the possibility of a worst-case meltdown at the power plant. The trial calculations were made under the premise that the nuclear fuel at the plant's No. 1 to No. 3 reactors would melt down entirely. The trial calculations were carried out first on March 25, two weeks after the March 11 accident, followed by further calculations on April 6, 7 and 13. The fact that the calculations were carried out secretly was revealed Oct.14, by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), an independent administrative institution, which had been commissioned by the agency to undertake the trial estimations. JNES said it had roughly gauged the extent to which the floor of the containment vessel bottoms, called "pedestals," would be eroded should all the nuclear fuel drop through the pressure vessel of the three reactors.

On Aug.31, TEPCO announced a plan to extract the melted fuel rods. TEPCO presented the 9-stage plan on to an expert panel of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is discussing a process to decommission the plant's reactors. The first 3 stages of TEPCO's plan are devoted to removing radioactive materials from the reactors' buildings to repair containment vessels and stop water leaks. TEPCO plans to then put water in the vessels and take pictures to determine the amount of nuclear fuel that has leaked from the reactors. In the final stage, the company plans to fill the vessels with water and use robots to extract the rods. Extraction of fuel rods that have leaked outside of reactors has never been performed at any nuclear plant.TEPCO faces the tough challenges of coping with high levels of radiation and developing highly efficient robots.

On Aug. 8, it was reported that a 2nd meltdown could have happened in the No3 reactor, according to a report by Fumiya Tanabe, a former senior researcher at what was then the government-affiliated Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. Tanabe also estimates that the second meltdown led to the release of large amounts of radioactive materials, and that much of the fuel fell through the pressure vessel to the surrounding containment vessel.

http://dwqovw6qi0vie.cloudfront.net/article-imgs/en/2011/08/08/AJ201108085674/AJ201108085676.jpg

The government will spend about ¥600 million to develop tests to comply with IAEA rules, that it identify the levels of plutonium, uranium and other nuclear substances in the damaged fuel rods. The IAEA rules insist that the government will have to specify exactly how much radioactive substances have been left if the substances are removed from the reactors. That has never been done and will require new testing techniques.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

According to some making comments on this post, DATA which includes radiation maps, infrared photo's, directly from TEPCO via it's press releases, also DATA released by the IAEA, NISA, JNES, JAERI, and published by news outlets are just "imagination" or "imagined out of thin air" or taken from "conspiracy sites". It amounts to nothing more than wild speculation. Everything at the power plant is just rosy and everything is going according to plan. I can sum up those dismissive claims in a single word, "Hogwash!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TEPCO...when pigs fly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There seems to be a lot of evidence (unless you are relying on the Japanese media) that recriticality has been recurring since the initial meltdown and subsequent melthrough.

In the paranoid blogger community, perhaps. Not in any reputable publication.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hey Smorkian. Reputable. Now there is a good word. It seems to me that Arnie Gunderson has been correct in all his assessments of the Fukushima disaster since it began. And it seems to me that the Japanese government and TEPCO have been either wrong or not revealing the absolute truth since the problem began. Now who would you apply this condescending word 'reputable' to?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I saw a series of side-view illustrations somewhere recently of 1~3 showing how the corium may have dripped down through the fittings around the control rods in the bottom of the reactor vessels. The lowest concrete floor of the reactor building basements in said to be 3 meters or about 10 feet thick. There is no suggestion that this basement floor has yet been breached, but there is speculation that some thickness of the concrete may have been melted away.

The basements are full of water. The temporary cooling systems are decontaminating this water to some degree, and then re-using this same water and pumping it round and back into the reactors, so it is dripping/pouring back down into the basements again. No suggestion yet that the basements are drying up. (?)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Going back to the infrared photo's recently released by TEPCO, the following one of reactor No1 shows something in the reactor which is hotter than the other parts? Probably the melted fuel rods? There is also something shown in green which is under and outside of the reactor.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/110311/images/111015_42e.jpg

The following infrared photo shows inside the No3 reactor which except for a ting spot is more uniformly cool than in reactor No1. Is this because there's no more fuel or melted fuel inside the reactor? It also shows hot spots in the cooling pool and also between the pool and the reactor.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/110311/images/111015_43e.jpg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Went to the IAEA website for some up-to-date information and trustworthy figures. They have a special Fukushima section.

Not been updated for four over months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...for over 4 months...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nandakaandamanda,

you would have thought that the IAEA provided the latest info and facts for many years to come?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You would think that you could trust the IAEA for the facts. I did shortly after the disaster. Unfortunately the main goal of the IAEA is to promote the proliferation of nuclear power.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

TEPCO have released a short video showing how it would cope if the power plant was struck by another earthquake and tsunami and the cooling to the reactors were stopped. The drill would be to pump sea water into the reactors instead. TEPCO has fire engines and other emergency equipment stationed in safe places.

The drill in the video was made near reactors 5&6. TEPCO stated it would have three hours to restore the cooling but in the drill achieved it in one hour and a half.

But it would be a very different scenario trying to do it in a real earthquake and tsunami which is about what happened on 3/11.

http://youtu.be/E1TJkwZfauw

The Atomic Power Review is a blog which supports nuclear energy, so I'm "fair and balanced".

It's a criminal, TEPCO didn't consider all it's safety standards prior to 3/11.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What one German TV program thinks about TEPCO

http://youtu.be/iBW5OGj7M9c

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi,

Great clip, absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately very true and l can definately see the Japanese taking offense. I feel another episode like the BBC saga coming on. Japan complains and someone must apologise for making a joke at the victim (sorry Japans) expense.

Good laugh anyway thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

for those that might not know, for the German video click on cc to turn on English subtitles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites