Photo showing decimated reactor building troubles me

  • #1
Look at this photo of the severe damage to one of the fukashima reactor buildings (I'm not sure which one) and tell me that the containment structure and/or reactor vessel have not been severely damaged? Judging from the photo, 3/4 of the reactor building has been obliterated. Nobody is saying anything about the condition of the reactor core of this unit. The other three reactor buildings appear to be in much better shape.

Apparently unit 4 is having the most trouble according to the news.

[PLAIN]http://www.panorama.com.ve/21-03-2011/avances/fotos/fukushima680.jpg [Broken]

They need to bury the reactors in boron, sand, and concrete immediately. Then build massive containment structures over the ruined reactors just like they did in Chernobyl. The Fukashima NPP and surrounding towns will have to be permanently abandoned.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I would say this picture is a poor representation of the condition of the reactor containment vessel. Yes the top of the building looks to have been blown off, but I'd say the RCV should have survived that. I would be more concerned about the spent fuel rods.

They need to bury the reactors in boron, sand, and concrete immediately. Then build massive containment structures over the ruined reactors just like they did in Chernobyl. The Fukashima NPP and surrounding towns will have to be permanently abandoned.
Why do you say this? Are you an expert in reactor design? Are you there with the current TEPCO workers attempting to completely end this incident
 
  • #3
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  • #4
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They need to bury the reactors in boron, sand, and concrete immediately.
I think this should have started already last week.
 
  • #5
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My concern is not for the portion of the building that is exposed and damaged, but for the structure beneath the core itself. I am sure that it is several feet thick of steel and concrete but is there any possibility of there being small breaks in the structure that could allow contaminated water to leak into the groundwater? If that is the case could capping the reactor in boron/concrete resolve this or would the leak need to be sealed from below?
 
  • #6
When you compare this technical diagram of the Fukashima reactor to the image in the OP, the reactor containment building should be visibly sticking out of the center of that obliterated reactor building. But it is not, meaning that it has been severely damaged or even destroyed.

The other three reactor buildings are in much better shape.

FukushimaReactorDiagram.jpg
 
  • #7
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When you compare this technical diagram of the Fukashima reactor to the image in the OP, the reactor containment building should be visibly sticking out of the center of that obliaterated reactor building. But it is not, meaning that it has been severely damaged or even destroyed.

The other three reactor buildings are in much better shape.

FukushimaReactorDiagram.jpg
Yes, but comparing it doesn't mean anything if you aren't on the ground to see for yourself.
The pictures do not give an actual portrayal of what has happened to the RPV. Everything you're saying is pure speculation.
 
  • #8
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Though encapsulation may be the end result, the primary goal is to get the status of the uranium and plutonium fuel settled. Once the fuel is no longer glowing, they can encapsulate One, Two and Three and possibly Four. The cement foundations of the building will act as partial filters for the heavier radioactive elements. The major concern right now as far as radioactive pollution of the environment is Cesium which is water soluble.
 
  • #9
Though encapsulation may be the end result, the primary goal is to get the status of the uranium and plutonium fuel settled. Once the fuel is no longer glowing, they can encapsulate One, Two and Three and possibly Four. The cement foundations of the building will act as partial filters for the heavier radioactive elements. The major concern right now as far as radioactive pollution of the environment is Cesium which is water soluble.
The burning spent fuel rods pose a much greater radiological hazard than even if the reactor melted down completely. Some 600,000 spent fuel rods are cleverly (sarcasm) placed at the top floor of the reactor buildings.
 
  • #10
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The burning spent fuel rods pose a much greater radiological hazard than even if the reactor melted down completely. Some 600,000 spent fuel rods are cleverly (sarcasm) placed at the top floor of the reactor buildings.
That storage area up there was originally intended to serve as temporary storage for New Rods before they are put in and for Old Rods right after they are taken out. After the old rods are given an opportunity to cool down from use, the are supposed to be taken to a site away from the reactors. The Japanese were not very prompt in doing so and got caught with too many rods on the top of their reactor buildings.
 
  • #11
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That storage area up there was originally intended to serve as temporary storage for New Rods before they are put in and for Old Rods right after they are taken out. After the old rods are given an opportunity to cool down from use, the are supposed to be taken to a site away from the reactors. The Japanese were not very prompt in doing so and got caught with too many rods on the top of their reactor buildings.
Joe while I'm not defending the storage issue it evolved from the idea of containment. The idea of maintaining an uninterrupted path that the spent fuel could moved from a reactor to storage with minimal radiological consequences. At the time of conception it was considered brilliant, if not substantially clever. It had its basis in functional(+) core load, unload. What didn't happen is resolution of stored rods that could be placed in dry containment (casks) or permanent storage.

Robert A. Heinlein envisioned a (dirty) war to prevent the extinction of' "our form of life on this planet (pre a-bomb)", but he saw the war of words and the apathy (both political and social) as the real enemy of resolution. It seems we do all need to get along in order to make concerted efforts to correct maintain and move on. Joe if you are truly a writer of our age you must acknowledge that the simple people who have made your convenience possible are the real issue.
 
  • #12
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With all of the violations of procedure that the Japanese have admitted to, does it surprise you that the "Plug did not fit?" When you run a tight ship, that kind of crap does not happen. All the mistakes that have obviously been made in Japan appear to me to be a failure to pay attention to detail. I don't know if Heinlein ever addressed that, but somebody in Japan should.
 
  • #13
I'm sorry, what exactly caused the reactor buildings to explode again?....
 
  • #14
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Hi Fishman,

1. The reactor building itself did not explode.
2. The weather shell above the top of the reactor building was blown out.
3. Theory is that this was due to a hydrogen explosion on the upper level.
 
  • #15
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1. The picture's contrast was turned way up (check the sky). That's unfortunate, we cannot tell whether the "smoke" is black, gray or white.
2. If any fuel is critical, it is because a substantial amount somehow collected somewhere, away from the control rods and/or boron-doped storage sleeves. To control it again one must get boron *inside* this mass, between the fuel bits. Boron on the outside has no effect at all. If the fuel is in a compact mass, I can't see how...
 
  • #16
Have any of the nuclear cores of Fukashima reactors 1-4 melted through the bottom of their reactor vessels?

I believe this has already happened to at least one reactor at the Fukashima NPP, and TEPCO is hiding it.

I hope it doesn't burn it's way through the containment vessel and drywell.
 
  • #17
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I believe TEPCO have lost containment in at least two of the three reactors,and now they are using the Pacific ocean for toxic waste disposal purposes.

If they did plug the leak where was the radioactive water going to go?How can you dispose of or contain that much highly radioactive water for months on end?Its not feasible.

Has anyone got a recent radionuclide reading from the seawater around Fukushima?

What about the radiation levels around the buildings?

The lack of data available to the public isnt because there isnt any.

I feel that we're getting the wool pulled over our eyes.
 
  • #18
I believe TEPCO have lost containment in at least two of the three reactors,and now they are using the Pacific ocean for toxic waste disposal purposes.

If they did plug the leak where was the radioactive water going to go?How can you dispose of or contain that much highly radioactive water for months on end?Its not feasible.

Has anyone got a recent radionuclide reading from the seawater around Fukushima?

What about the radiation levels around the buildings?

The lack of data available to the public isnt because there isnt any.

I feel that we're getting the wool pulled over our eyes.
Some TEPCO employees whom have threatened to tell the whole truth about the Fukashima disaster claim that "they fear for their safety." Probably in fear of violent retribution from the deeply corrupt TEPCO corporation.

Apparently TEPCO has a very long history of cutting corners in the design and construction of nuclear power plants, skipping inspections, threatening employees from speaking about amoral corporate practices, and even covering up serious accidents. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of how corrupt the Japanese nuclear energy industry is. I guess this greed and corruption has finally backfired on them.

Profits before health and safety.

I believe this disaster has been nothing but lies right from the very beginning. It is MUCH worse than the government and media says it is. The EPA has been caught lying about radiation levels over the pacific ocean, and even deactivating powerful and accurate radiation monitors in the mainland United States.

I hope the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or "TEPCO" faces corporate extinction over this catastrophe.
 
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  • #19
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Have any of the nuclear cores of Fukashima reactors 1-4 melted through the bottom of their reactor vessels?

I believe this has already happened to at least one reactor at the Fukashima NPP, and TEPCO is hiding it.

I hope it doesn't burn it's way through the containment vessel and drywell.
There have been many statements that allude to severe meltdown and other statements that imply only partial meltdowns.

I was absolutely positively convinced that Reactor Three had melted into the wetwell and that was what caused the massive explosion two weeks ago. There were even statements from TEPCO officials that seemed to confirm that to me. Statements like, "There is no way that we will be able to enter the reactor building to clean it up." helped me think that way.

Now, I am not so convinced, because the contamination readings that should have been there to indicate that was a corium explosion when it hit the water are simply not there to substantiate my initial impression. If I were to still believe that, then I would have to make the assumption that the radiation energy readings are all being faked. That is too much of a reach for me, so I have been posting less and less and observing more and more as people far smarter than me are trying to piece together the information and make sense out of it..
 
  • #20
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I wanted to write to Fairwind Associates and ask them to cover the following:

1: If the Spent Fuel Pools have Boron built into their structure could the melting of those rods after the water boiled out of them in the first few days have damaged the means by which the boron was held in place? If so, and the Boron was exposed, could the addition of water have washed the boron out of the tank and created those criticality spikes that have been reported?

2: As the news was reported, there were the flood of reports that the Japanese were flooding the reactors with sea water. Initially I did not see any mention of the addition of Boron. I asked about that on this board and had three messages pointed out to me that confirmed that Boron was injected into the reactors in question. One of the news releases said that the Boron was injected AFTER the sea water. That again suggests that by flooding the reactor with sea water they were flushing the boron out of the reactor (Creating a criticality situation and then adding boron). At the very least they were accelerating the melt down via their actions.

(Once the fuel rods melt, it is assumed that the Boron control rods would have melted, too and that the boron would go into solution in the reactor water where it still might scarf up fast neutrons to prevent criticality. Flush that water with sea water, and you dilute the amount of boron in the reactor. Add boric acid after the flush, and you are too late to have undone the damage that you did by adding the sea water.)

I still question how effective boron is when it is in solution and the uranium is in a puddle at the bottom of the reactor. Very little boron is in solution in close proximity to the uranium.
 
  • #21
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I wanted to write to Fairwind Associates and ask them to cover the following:

1: If the Spent Fuel Pools have Boron built into their structure could the melting of those rods after the water boiled out of them in the first few days have damaged the means by which the boron was held in place? If so, and the Boron was exposed, could the addition of water have washed the boron out of the tank and created those criticality spikes that have been reported?

2: As the news was reported, there were the flood of reports that the Japanese were flooding the reactors with sea water. Initially I did not see any mention of the addition of Boron. I asked about that on this board and had three messages pointed out to me that confirmed that Boron was injected into the reactors in question. One of the news releases said that the Boron was injected AFTER the sea water. That again suggests that by flooding the reactor with sea water they were flushing the boron out of the reactor (Creating a criticality situation and then adding boron). At the very least they were accelerating the melt down via their actions.

(Once the fuel rods melt, it is assumed that the Boron control rods would have melted, too and that the boron would go into solution in the reactor water where it still might scarf up fast neutrons to prevent criticality. Flush that water with sea water, and you dilute the amount of boron in the reactor. Add boric acid after the flush, and you are too late to have undone the damage that you did by adding the sea water.)

I still question how effective boron is when it is in solution and the uranium is in a puddle at the bottom of the reactor. Very little boron is in solution in close proximity to the uranium.
If the fuel melted it would come into contact with the borax mix either in the bottom of the core or in the primary containment which has been flooded in excess, to be sure; Shilo didn't hit the fan. That's why they pushed the pressure on external cooling. This leaves an environmental mess, but people live. Make sense?
 
  • #22
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If the fuel melted it would come into contact with the borax mix either in the bottom of the core or in the primary containment which has been flooded in excess, to be sure; Shilo didn't hit the fan. That's why they pushed the pressure on external cooling. This leaves an environmental mess, but people live. Make sense?
What borax mix in the bottom of the reactor? They flushed the reactor with sea water first.

If the boron is ineffective because it is not in proximity to the Uranium as I have posted, you can have brief criticality transients as I have posted.

If the boron has been flushed from the fuel pools, because the heat generated by the rods in some way removed the boron's cladding (or whatever it is positioned in), the douching of the pools would have washed the boron away. I suspect that they have "heated up' the Uranium by washing boron away. (i.e. there is a lot less in solution than there shoud be because they are not adding enough to replace that which was lost.) Think about it, those fire hoses spraying up into the air probably did not have boron solution in them.

The seawater they were adding to the reactor by their own admission did not have boron in it. They added "some" as an after thought based upon their own news release. In both cases they removed boron from proximity to the Uranium. And then they wonder why they have their blue glow in the sky above the reactors. Hummmmmmm????

Each time they pulled a stunt like that, they probably generated a blue glow somewhere. In addition to that, they were reheating the melted core so that it could possibly advance further through the reactor and the cement containment.
 
  • #23
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What borax mix in the bottom of the reactor? They flushed the reactor with sea water first.

If the boron is ineffective because it is not in proximity to the Uranium as I have posted, you can have brief criticality transients as I have posted.

If the boron has been flushed from the fuel pools, because the heat generated by the rods in some way removed the boron's cladding (or whatever it is positioned in), the douching of the pools would have washed the boron away. I suspect that they have "heated up' the Uranium by washing boron away. (i.e. there is a lot less in solution than there shoud be because they are not adding enough to replace that which was lost.) Think about it, those fire hoses spraying up into the air probably did not have boron solution in them.

The seawater they were adding to the reactor by their own admission did not have boron in it. They added "some" as an after thought based upon their own news release. In both cases they removed boron from proximity to the Uranium. And then they wonder why they have their blue glow in the sky above the reactors. Hummmmmmm????

Each time they pulled a stunt like that, they probably generated a blue glow somewhere. In addition to that, they were reheating the melted core so that it could possibly advance further through the reactor and the cement containment.
Joe would you add pure water without some form of moderator?
 
  • #24
Can they flood the core with liquid nitrogen?
 
  • #25
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Joe would you add pure water without some form of moderator?

Water is the moderator (in the technical term as it slows down the fast neutrons to slow neutrons. I think your question should have been, "would I add water without boron?"

Considering that adding water would dilute the boron in the reactor in a bleed and feed situation (especially in a reactor that has been breeched where it automatically bleeds by itself), doing so could cause a criticality transient. People could turn blue before your eyes.
Not a good idea unless you like high doses of radiation.
 

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