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Endoscope shows radiation, steam, rusty metal inside Fukushima reactor

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Now lets see the original without the photoshop effects and editing.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

He said it would take more time and a better technology to get to the melted fuel, most of which has fallen straight down into the area that the endoscope could not reach.......The probe failed to find the water surface, which indicate the water sits at lower-than-expected levels

Lower-than-expected and could not reach, I take it, means it's not there at all?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK, I'll bite.

Steam...that's produced at temperatures of 100C and above..."cold shutdown"...you figure it out.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

But wait I thought that I could believe the government and tepco when they insisted there had been now meltdown!! Are they now willing to admit that there was a meltdown and that there is still not a true cold shutdown!? Entomb this time bomb in concrete and save people!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, we've heard what the endoscope has revealed -- but what does the Edanoscope reveal? Probably "Everything's great!"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Farmboy said it, The water surface they expected to find and was disappointed in not finding has probably been released as radioactive steam since it seems to be the main hindrance of identifying the some of photos and or there is a leak.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I meant; identifying some of the photos and or there is a leak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would welcome this as good news.

Good in the sense that now we can confirm the state of the rector's internal conditions.

But as stated by several posters above me, the temperature of the endoscope's reach may be way below boiling point does not exactly mean that there's no boiling going on somewhere inside the structure. The presence of steam (and the apparent abundance of it) would logically suggest that there is heat activity inside.

I hope they try a thermal scan to check specific areas where heat could be originating from, and approximately what temperature.

But I shiver at the idea of someone actually making (or even opening an existing) holes for probes. I hope they have contained the area and shielded it somehow.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

falling into the primary containment vessel, some dropping to its concrete floor. That SOME is very ponderous and frightening. Of course, Tepco's thermometer showed -6 degrees last week so don't read too much into this Tep-con. Apparently the endoscope is made by Olympus.Birds of a feather..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You can see the photo's on the TEPCO site. It was reactor No2 which was inspected.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/110311/index-e.html

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Okay, so I'm going to try and understand this:

There's steam blocking the photos, but the temperature inside the reactor is 44 degrees. The can't find the fuel but are insinuate it would not have gone through the concrete bottom (just say it may have reached there), and yet the water surface could not be found (seeming to indicate it has drained SOMEWHERE, and they find leaks of radioactive water outside the plants when they bother to look. Hmmmmm...

"...hoping the first look inside since the crisis would help them better assess reactor conditions and make repairs."

SURELY they mean repairs so that they can get in and completely disable and eventually dissassemble the things. Knowing TEPCO, though, they're probably aiming to salvage what they can for use later.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All the TEPCO pictures are labeled "assumed xxxx".... that is real comforting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actual footage that was taken 30 min ago via endoscope now being broadcast on TV.

Looks got they got way deeper into the reactor this time.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Saw this on the news last night. Steam could just be very high humidity, and actually not boiling water.

I get steam in my shower, and I sure know that I am not standing under boiling water.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why don't you send some remote controllable robots with endoscopes/lights that can transmitt images back. That should work.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Darren, there is nothing wrong with the endoscope, even if Olympus made it. 99.9% of the people there are hard working, honest employees.Olympus products (consumer, medical etc) are usually of very high quality...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

globalwatcher, how do you send a robot into a sealed container? They have just opened a tiny hole into the side of the reactor vessel. The lens steams up and the radiation blurs the picture. Can you design a miniature robot that would not fry in there? The endoscope is the best they've got right now, but they had to practise in relays carrying metal shields in order to drill the hole without getting too much exposure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@MaboDofu

Well, using the same logic, I could say that in a typical Japanese 1-room mansion, I usually see smoke, but neither the room nor I am on fire. But I am smoking, and all the windows and doors are sealed. Just after several sticks, the entire room is full of smoke.

Thing is, a small heat source in a sealed container, supposedly with water can create steam without increasing the entire vessel's temperature.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“The pressure level we used for our prediction must have been wrong,” a TEPCO official said, adding that he doubted the lower level was caused by a heavy leakage of water.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't understand this at all. 1) The walls are rusting and therefore will eventually break, 2) There is steam inside so they aren't 'cold' at all, and 3) They can't find the fuel... Where is it? mmm! Can anyone tell me if we are in trouble? very concerned. Im basically an idiot so if you caould use really simple English that would great! Thanks

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kiss1969.

What produces the steam?

Like I said the Video I watched was rather inconclusive for us non-nuclear experts here. And I earned thumbs-down for posting a simple fact that a new live broadcast happened. Guess I know who does the thumping down on all my posts.

People watch the video only been broadcast now like 15 times and should also be up on Youtube by now. Talking todays video not yesterdays shot/photo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Still! I meant Still don't get it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not sure how an endoscope can show/detect radiation. I met a few that got inserted in my body, mostly fiber optics that record a video.

Sounds like some inventive headlines.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I watched the video, thanks but not much can be understood really. Its in the containment vessel which houses the nuclear reactor. Saw a ladder so the position must be around the middle point. The endoscope entered via a pipe about 8.5 cm in diameter.

The rad level in reactor building No2 is still very high, as are 1&3 too. Don't know if robots drilled the holes or workers will very short stays?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@It"s ME

http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q3172.html

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=38360.0

Basically, electronic devices can be affected by radiation, and may cause malfunction in some cases. The endoscope in itself can't measure the radiation level, but the pictures transmitted back do show effects of radiation on the equipment itself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi, workers in short shifts. I read a J news article the day before yesterday about how they were preparing the hole.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Steam is made up of water vapor that you can't see. More fog is produced from a shower because cold air surrounding the hot water from the shower causes water vapor to change into small water droplets called fog not steam.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The radiation level in reactor No2 is above 500 microsieverts/hour. Probably because of the cracked suppression chamber? Workers could only stay for minutes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichi, having spent a good hour searching back through news sources I found the article. NHK, Japanese, on the 17th Jan.

It goes into some detail as to how they managed the job. 10 teams of 4 men each team, and they practiced to get the timing right on Reactor #5 first. How's your Japanese? Would you like a translation? Whole article here:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-fukushima/20120117/1945_naishikyou.html

Relevant details here: このため東京電力は、まず2号機の格納容器について、高い放射線量に耐えられる工業用の内視鏡を入れて、内部の状況や温度を詳しく調べることになりました。17日は、19日に予定している調査に向けて、原子炉建屋1階の北西側に作業員が入り、格納容器に配管などを差し込む予備用の貫通部に内視鏡を入れる穴を開ける作業を行いました。 作業は4人1組で、10組、合わせて40人の態勢で行い、東京電力によりますと、短時間に作業を終えるため、2号機と同じタイプの5号機などで訓練を繰り返してきたということで、17日の作業での被ばく線量は最大で3ミリシーベルトだったということです。東京電力では、17日の作業が順調に進んだことから、予定どおり19日、格納容器に内視鏡を入れるということで、格納容器の内部が観察できれば、2号機が初めてとなります。

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PS This article does not mention the metal plate shields, so it cannot be the one I read, but hey, close enough... (?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamanda,

thank you so much for the info and link.

So the teams 10 x 4 men took 17 days and according to TEPCO each worker would have been exposed to 3 milliverts.

I think if i'm reading it right, steel plates were placed on the first floor to help prevent the high levels of radiation from the reactor building basement, which would be contaminated waste water and maybe even the corium or melted fuels?

I think the radiation level in No2 reactor building is above 500 microsieverts/hour and in some spots even above 1000 microsieverts/hour.

The article does not tell us how long the men worked each day or each shift.

Now TEPCO plans to do the same in No1 and No3 reactor, except I think the radiation level in No3 is probably off the scale since there are fuel rods mixed in with the debris from the explosions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The insertion was planned for the 19th, yesterday. They completed the drilling job in one day, on the 17th Jan.

I am still searching for the actual article I read, but can't find it for the life of me! Grrr.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good illustration here of how the men must have worked in a moveable portacabin... http://www.imart.co.jp/houshasen-level-jyouhou.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I need to correct part of my last comment. Sorry, I'm in bed with the flu?

So the teams 10 x 4 men took 17 days and according to TEPCO each worker would have been exposed to 3 milliverts.

This is incorrect. The teams, 10 x 4 men worked just one day to drill the hole.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LOL, everything is under control...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You've got to love them for trying, haven't you?

To paraphrase TEPCO: "Well all the highly radioactive fuel's gone missing, but hey - the temperature's stable and we can't see any major damage in there."

Imaginary reporter (because no one really challenges these guys): "So if there's no major damage, where has all the fuel gone?"

TEPCO: "eeehhhh?"

Tragedy and farce. Two sides of the same coin.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Modern medical endoscopes use CCD chips on the end to record images, and are easily fried by radiation, which shows up as white spots. Fibre-optic endoscopes in patients were phased out in the 90s...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the point here is 'where are the fuel rods?!' this has been the centre of debate for a long time and has been postulated that most of the fuel is probably at concrete level now.. Which is melt through which leads to China Syndrome which really cannot be cold shutdown. They are putting spin on this by showing people some new device to deflect attention from what isn't visible. Just like they admitted this week that the small pools of radioactive water are actually all the trenches full of radioactive water. The fact is that the public has also reached saturation point and that suits Tepco and the government just fine. Current conjecture by those who are paying attention to the tepco 'news' is that the presumed water which they admitted dropped dramatically in the Izu quake and coincided with an equally dramatic cesium spike in Tohoku and Kanto is maybe not even there, reading between the lines.. Meaning that the fuel rods ( at concrete level at worst or containment shield level at best) is completely exposed. I was in Iwate being covered in snow on that day and I shudder to think. Anyway I have booked a flight out with my family and will be glad to only have to worry about Australian taxes from May. After 16 years I don't feel that risking my family's safety and paying through the nose for Tepco's blunders to boot is necessary anymore.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To tie a couple of news stories together, it probably was an Olympus endoscope.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In fact Reuters says it indeed was an Olympus endoscope. Why would someone vote this to be Bad?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Steam...that's produced at temperatures of 100C and above..."cold shutdown"...you figure it out.

Steam is only produced at temperatures above 100°C?!? OMG! I've been boiling myself alive everytime I take a shower!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Should be easy to find the corium. Turn off the endoscope's light and "follow the glow".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fadamor: Steam is only produced at temperatures above 100°C?!? OMG! I've been boiling myself alive everytime I take a shower!!!

Just in case you're not joking, steam is invisible which is a major reason why it's so dangerous. The white cloud we all call steam is just water vapor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Darren, we're off too. See you at Narita. Just one more biggish quake/tsunami near Fuk-u-shima, and its back to square one big time. Too risky to keep your kids here, waiting for it to happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just in case you're not joking, steam is invisible which is a major reason why it's so dangerous. The white cloud we all call steam is just water vapor.

Don't tell me, tell the author. "Invisible" steam isn't going to blur a camera picture. And you said it yourself: "we all call (it) steam". If everybody is using the term, then it belongs in the definition, ね?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This alleged steam is causing a lot of heartache, but it's so simple, really. Assuming that there's still water in the bottom of the RPV, or in its outside containment if the RPV has been melted through, there presumably can't be a great deal wrong with the temperature measurements.

As some commenters have said, in your shower you get what we like to call steam, but which is condensed water vapour drops. It's just like clouds in the sky which can be below zero at consider-able elevations in the atmosphere.

If you put water in a cubicle and close the door, then take the temperature up to, say 40 deg.C for an hour or two for the atmosphere in the cubicle to reach its maximum humidity, open the door and walk in wearing a pair of spectacles. Instantly they will mist up as the water vapour condenses on the colder glass. So, it's no different introducing a cold endoscope into the much warmer and humid RPV atmosphere. Of course, they don't think, do they? They should have warmed up the endoscope first to about 45 deg.C before inserting it!. So, now try entering that cubicle after having warmed up your spectacles and see the difference!

If I may be permitted to digress - very naughty of me, I know, but still on the subject of so-called "steam": in the South African, and other, press, in which there are articles about airborne pollution and carbon dioxide - our favoured "greenhouse" gas - very often to illustrate the point about that airborne pollution, photos are shown of coal fired power stations, but only of the cooling towers with immense volumes of white "smoke" being emitted from them, as though that white "smoke" is gross pollution. Such photos look very dramatic, but it's all humbug. That white "cloud" is a cloud of pure condensed water droplets!!!

So, if your own Japanese newspapers try the same trick, I trust that readers will not be taken in by such humbug!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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