Fukushima Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants Fukushima part 2

russ_watters

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In other industries, it is common to issue press releases and even to hold news conferences when agreement is reached on a new industry standard....

I do not expect the US government to control the media, but I do expect the industry to speak up when there are major changes to process that may have major public impact.

I do not expect the US government to control the media, but I do expect the industry to speak up when there are major changes to process that may have major public impact. That is clearly not happening.
This is just plain wrong. Here's the link to the NRC's press releases:
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/

There's hundreds of them.
Just asserting such a commitment without ongoing supporting evidence....
This is is just plain wrong too -- again, I linked the NRC's webpage with a report of what they are doing. It's not fantasy. It's things that are actually happening.

You have this vision in your head of something that isn't real. You really need to stop treating it like it is and start paying attention to what is actually real.
 

etudiant

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Thank you, russ_waters, for your perspectives.
My concern is that the NRC press releases you so helpfully linked to do not even hint that there has been a substantial revision of emergency procedures.
It is all site specific small stuff, nothing addressing the larger picture.
Hiddencamper reports that there was a big effort of senior people to pull the new emergency procedures together, but there is not a trace of this development, not even an acknowledgement, in the NRC press releases.
That makes no sense to me and my comments reflect the frustration that generates.
 

Astronuc

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Thank you, russ_waters, for your perspectives.
My concern is that the NRC press releases you so helpfully linked to do not even hint that there has been a substantial revision of emergency procedures.
It is all site specific small stuff, nothing addressing the larger picture.
Hiddencamper reports that there was a big effort of senior people to pull the new emergency procedures together, but there is not a trace of this development, not even an acknowledgement, in the NRC press releases.
That makes no sense to me and my comments reflect the frustration that generates.
One can search the NRC website on topics such as Fukushima and find pages such as https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/japan-events.html, which describe the actions the NRC took following the accident.

With regard to revising the EPGs, NEI has such an article (18 November 2013)
http://www.neimagazine.com/features/featurerevising-bwr-emergency-procedures/

The NRC has a publication on the revised EPGs, but I'm having trouble with the link.
 

russ_watters

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My concern is that the NRC press releases you so helpfully linked to do not even hint that there has been a substantial revision of emergency procedures.
I don't even know how to address this. It's like I'm holding up a giant sign saying "YOU ARE HERE" and you are responding with "Where am I?"

I guess all I can say is you will never see that which you don't look at.

[edit: ehh, that's not true, I do have something to say:]

I'm not naive - in fact, I'm cynical. I do believe that most people form opinons based on what their chosen news source tells them to think and if their news source doesn't report on it, they don't even know about it much less have a serviceable opinion on it. But the fact of the matter is that the media doesn't care about boring things like safety protocols because safety protocols just aren't sexy. They don't sell newspapers/ad space. So when a plane almost crashes, it gets a full week of wall-to-wall news coverage, but 6 months from now when the reports come out about why and how to fix it, you won't see them unless you are paying attention or actively looking.

So if you want to have informed opinions, you will need to put some effort into it. And here's how I do it: I remember incidents and issues that pique my interest and I periodically check-up on them to see if the official reports have come out, and then I read the official reports, press releases, etc.

If we want to be informed we have to take responsibility for ourselves and make ourselves informed.

That's just the general principle though. In this case, you are denying the existence of information that you have been shown.
 
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etudiant

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Thank you, gmax137, for the excellent link. It provides much more focused data than the NRC news releases.
Indeed, there was no mention of the EPG Revision 4 in the NRC news releases that russ_waters so helpfully linked to.
I'd not know it ever was formulated if hiddencamper had not discussed it and pointed out that it materially changes the priorities..

I'm an interested citizen, not an industry specialist, so I rely on the industry spokespeople to supply material information.
Their selection criteria may want improving.
 

jim hardy

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Astronuc

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Thank you, gmax137, for the excellent link. It provides much more focused data than the NRC news releases.
Indeed, there was no mention of the EPG Revision 4 in the NRC news releases that russ_waters so helpfully linked to.
I'd not know it ever was formulated if hiddencamper had not discussed it and pointed out that it materially changes the priorities..

I'm an interested citizen, not an industry specialist, so I rely on the industry spokespeople to supply material information.
Their selection criteria may want improving.
jim hardy gave some good examples of the trade press. ANS Nuclear News requires a subscription, although one might be able to find some comment on the ANS website (www.ans.org) and they have something called ANS Nuclear Café (https://ansnuclearcafe.org/) on which one might find some discussion of current topics.

The NRC does not take out adds in newspapers or journal regarding rule-making. They do publicize meetings and requests for public comment. Otherwise, one has to search their website with keywords.

In 2010, NRC released - https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1025/ML102560007.pdf (a report from 1982) - Guidelines for the Preparation of Emergency Operating Procedures

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the Guidelines were revisited.

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) issued a report, NEI 14-01 [Revision 1], Emergency Response Procedures and Guidelines for Beyond Design Basis Events and Severe Accidents, February 2016. It's basically a summary of the industry's response to the NRC requirements for utilities to review their emergency procedures and responses. NEI 14-01 [Revision 0] - https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1424/ML14247A092.pdf - if interested.

On the regulatory side, there is the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
§ 50.34 Contents of applications; technical information.
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0034.html

See (f) Additional TMI-related requirements, and find (ii) Establish a program, to begin during construction and follow into operation, for integrating and expanding current efforts to improve plant procedures. The scope of the program shall include emergency procedures, reliability analyses, human factors engineering, crisis management, operator training, and coordination with INPO and other industry efforts. (Applicable to construction permit applicants only) (I.C.9)

§ 50.34a Design objectives for equipment to control releases of radioactive material in effluents—nuclear power reactors.
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0034a.html

10 CFR 50.54(q), requirements for following and maintaining in effect emergency plans
§ 50.54 Conditions of licenses.
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0054.html

Appendix E to Part 50—Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilization Facilities
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-appe.html

See more on CFR here - https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr

EPGs and related discussion is a whole topic for a separate thread.
 
The nrc is not supposed to be promoting the industry. That’s why it was formed and separated from the atomic energy commission.

The industry heavily tried to advertise the SAFER/FLEX program throug the nuclear energy institute. Sadly they weren’t very effective as their YouTube videos barely break 100 hits most of the time.

Revision 3 of the EPGs was issued in tandem with SAFER/FLEX for immediate response actions. Revision 4 is the major roll up that was issued June 1st this year (a few weeks ago). So there hasn’t even been much time to do anything about it.
 
Is there research on the plant response to Cs/Sr contamination from Fukushima?

Japanese being culturally inclined to be obsessed with details, I bet their scientists are examining every plant species growing in that region. Something good may come out of this: we may find plants which are extremely good at pulling Caesium from the soil. I also wonder whether removal of Cs can be improved by adding various salts to the soil.
 

Astronuc

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Is there research on the plant response to Cs/Sr contamination from Fukushima?

Japanese being culturally inclined to be obsessed with details, I bet their scientists are examining every plant species growing in that region. Something good may come out of this: we may find plants which are extremely good at pulling Caesium from the soil. I also wonder whether removal of Cs can be improved by adding various salts to the soil.
There are numerous open articles from Nature and PNAS on studies related to Fukushima contamination and particularly Cs.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08261-x
Temporal changes in the radiocesium distribution in forests over the five years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

One can search Nature using "Fukushima, cesium" and find numerous articles.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00380768.2014.954269
Distribution of radioactive cesium in soil and its uptake by herbaceous plants in temperate pastures with different management after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Station accident

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00380768.2014.1003191
Effect of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident on radiocesium distribution in tea fields in Saitama Prefecture: Intercultivar differences

http://www.pnas.org/content/114/42/11092
Unexpected source of Fukushima-derived radiocesium to the coastal ocean of Japan
 
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The major risk with seawater, is it will clog the bottom debris filters for the fuel and challenge core cooling. You need to raise level above the steam dryer skirt to allow for reverse circulation over the top of the core, bypassing the debris filters. If you are in a situation where you can’t raise level that high, you risk causing damage earlier and having molten salt now. So it’s not a simple “go put seawater in”, not to mention the increased potential to degrade and damage reactor internals and dry tubes, which leads to bottom head unisolable leakage.
Thank you very much on the comment on seawater injection! For the case of Fukushima Unit 3, would it make any difference to initiate seawater injection right after HPCI was manually shutdown (due to concerns for HPCI turbine damage)? Or was it actually too late because it could lead to even more serious situation that cause earlier core damage and molten salt?
 
Thank you very much on the comment on seawater injection! For the case of Fukushima Unit 3, would it make any difference to initiate seawater injection right after HPCI was manually shutdown (due to concerns for HPCI turbine damage)? Or was it actually too late because it could lead to even more serious situation that cause earlier core damage and molten salt?
We talked about this I’m the last emergency procedure committee meeting. At unit 3 they were trying to open safety relief valves to keep the reactor depressurized when HPCI finally stalled out and failed so they could inject seawater. They were trying! The srvs were not opening because battery voltage was too low. Later on, the HPCI auxiliary oil pump and booster pump tripped off, and after that happened, battery voltage rose up high enough to open the srvs, but the operators weren’t aware of that. After the core was uncovered, the automatic depressurization system opened srvs to blowdown the reactor, but the operators weren’t prepared to transition to low pressure feed for that as they weren’t expecting the blowdown.

In terms of the right thing to do today, and what we are doing with contingency 1 (alternate level control) in the emergency procedures, is we want the plants to prepare alternate / low pressure injection, even if it means sea water. Then you maintain pressure low, but not so low that rcic/HPCI can’t operate properly. When you you can no longer maintain level, you blowdown the reactor before level drops below the minimum pre depressurization reactor water level, which ensures the core is never uncovered so you don’t have to deal with quenching superheated fuel. Next You flood back up over the steam separator/dryer skirt for natural circulation and to ensure your raw water can get to the fuel if the lower inlet debris strainers block up.

The debris that goes into the vessel including the salt is a challenge only if you are on it for extended periods of time (corrodes the hell out of the fuel and core internals), or if you can’t get level high enough to bypass the debris strainers which may block cooling and natural circulation.

At the end of the day, you keep the core covered at all times, even if it means poor water quality. And you try to get clean water back ASAP. You’ll probably never restart the unit if you dump seawater in while it’s hot, but if you are in the situation where all you have is seawater, not putting it in will result in core damage and never restarting the unit. So the preference is to try and keep the core cooled or at least contained even if it’s seawater.
 
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So two important points: 1. maintain pressure level low enough for alternate water injection without disrupting RCIC/HPCI; 2. if depressurization had to be initiated, it should be ensured that core is not left uncovered. Again thanks very much for elaboration!
 
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Hi all, I trust everybody is doing well. A Happy New Year to you all!

It's been quite a while since I posted in here. I did continue to follow the Fukushima news, I wouldn't say with less interest, but it did seem like the amount of news on the subject has been decreasing. I didn't find anything that felt worth posting.

Now I found this in the 12/27/18 dated "Long- and mid-term roadmap update":
http://www.tepco.co.jp/decommission/information/committee/roadmap_progress/pdf/2018/d181227_08-j.pdf
(sorry, only Japanese for now)

Looks like a new investigation into the PCV of Unit 2 is being planned for end of February 2019. This time they want to actually "pinch" the sediment located in the previous investigations.

A few points from the PDF file linked:

Page numbered 1: Short recap regarding the results of previous investigation(s). Last time, a probe was lowered through the gaps in the grating (where grating panels are gone) and, while no great damage was observed on pre-existing metallic structures, a large amount of sand-like and gravel-like "sediment" was found piled up on the floor of the pedestal. At the surface of this sediment they found the tie-plate of a fuel bundle and other fallen objects.

Pages 2-4: The newly planned investigation aims to determine some of the properties of this sediment (hardness, brittleness) as they are important in view of the future extraction operations. They will use basically the same path and method as last time - modifying only the suspended unit, which will be brought in contact with the sediment in order to assess its properties. Of course images, film, and measurements will also be taken. The unit will be equipped with a set of "mechanical fingers" which will actually probe and "feel" the sediment. As before, an airtight boundary will be set so that no gas escapes from inside the PCV.

Page 5: The new investigation unit will be equipped with a thermometer and radiation meter, will be able to rotate to look around, will have lighting to facilitate viewing and, at the bottom, will feature two "fingers" which can be opened and closed while in contact with the sediment.

Page 6 shows the area intended to be studied (the blue-line pentagon). It's a very small alrea, 400x350mm or so.

Page 7 gives the schedule. The actual investigation is to start around mid-February.
 
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Removal of fuel at Fukushima's melted nuclear reactor begins

 

Astronuc

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Removal of fuel at Fukushima's melted nuclear reactor begins
Emphasis on the spent and fresh (Unused) fuel from the pool, not the damaged core.

"Tokyo Electric Power Co. said workers started removing the first of 566 used and unused fuel units stored in the pool at Unit 3. The fuel units in the pool located high up in reactor buildings are intact despite the disaster, but the pools are not enclosed, . . . "
 

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