Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where, Oh Where Could Those Pesky Reactor Cores Have Gone?

Instead of sitting your basement bunker worrying about imaginary zombie invasions...wake up and start worrying about the Yakuza managed day to day clean up of the Fukushima reactor. Oh where , Oh Where could those pesky rector cores have gone? America is already feeling the effects of their inability to implement practical cost efficient solutions to the groundwater radiation pollution problem. They turned down an international reality based inexpensive solution and installed their own which was almost 30 times as expensive and failed the first day it was put into operation. Sign every petition you can including this latest Moveon petition to urge that the world recognize that this is a planetary threat and needs to be managed by a planetary authority. The removal of the fuel rods was to have started last week, but we have been granted a grace period due to "technical" difficulties. I have been trying to write this post for a few weeks, but disorganized as it is, I haven't put enough into it! I can only communicate my feelings and what I've learned.....
The Fukushima animation below is TEPCO-produced, so beware the spin and the feel-good “nothing to see here” certainty.(Also beware the nice American offering guarantees at the end; he has the sound of a paid shill, who exist in great and secret numbers. I am beginning to research who he is, his connections, but if you get the goods on him first, please let me know in the comments. His name is Dr. Dale Klein, chairman of the “Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee.”)
But the video below will give you a great working view of what the site and the spent fuel containment pool looks like in a total fantasy pristine condition mode. I found it an invaluable aid to understanding other Fukushima discussions.
This is what TEPCO wants you to think about the spent fuel pool 
 Some notes on this official TEPCO video:
Early on you can see the orientation of the spent fuel pool relative to the building and the reactor. The room with the spent fuel is indeed high off the ground (about 100 feet) and filled with water.
▪ You can also see the mechanized operation of the cranes that move fuel rod “bundles” to containment casks, prior to the removal of the casks from the building.
▪ At 1:29 you can see a number of workers looking at a fuel rod “bundle.” This gives you a sense of the scale of each one. The individual rods themselves are, as Arnie Gundersen describes below, about the diameter of your finger, and about 12 feet long. The bundles appear to be either 9×9 or 8×8 packages of rods, again about 12 feet long.
▪ At 2:00 in the video, the crane hooks a bundle by a kind of handle. But look at the whole room. What’s shown is a water-filled space with multiple “racks,” each containing 30 bundles of rods. At least 15 “racks” are visible in the animation. If the room contains only these, that implies 450 bundles. It appears certain that the term “fuel rods” refers both to the bundles and as well as to the individual thin rods.

This is confirmed by the Gundersen video below, at about 7:05. The room at Reactor 4 must contain about 50 of these racks.
▪ There are perhaps 1500 bundles in the room, which implies over 1500 individual removal operations.
▪ At 2:30, the room is shown with a 5-by-9 array of these containers, each containing 30 bundles. That multiplies out to 1350 bundles or about the right number of spent fuel rods in the room. There are also about 200 unspent fuel rod bundles in the same chamber (Gundersen says 300 below).
▪ Note also how like a pack of cigarettes each “rack” or container of 30 bundles appears to be.
▪ And of course, according to the video, no worker will ever be harmed or put in danger anywhere on the site by any cleanup operation. That’s been proved a lie, but that’s a separate discussion.
A “crumpled pack of cigarette:
This is the problem today. There are about 1500 fuel rods [bundles] stored in that room [about 1300 spent and 200 "live"], packed together vertically in racks. Think of a pack of cigarettes standing upright with the top of the pack removed. Normally, the movement of fuel rods [bundles] is done by a computer-driven machine that reaches into the room from above and removes or replaces a fuel rod [bundle] by drawing it upward or lowering it downward.
The machine knows to the millimeter where each [bundle] is located. Also, the rods are undamaged — perfectly straight. The problem is that this pack of cigarettes is crumpled, and the process must done manually. Therefore, the likelihood that some of the fuel rods will break is hig
You can now see why that “pack of cigarettes” metaphor is accurate. The scene at 2:00 is a very close parallel to the above description (You can thank Arnie Gundersen here). You can also see why “crumpled pack of cigarettes” could easily describe the groups of fuel rods in their present condition.
Obviously, in the comforting TEPCO animation, none of the rods, bundles, or racks are crumpled, broken or distorted in any way.
What’s really going on with the spent fuel pool
For comparison, check out the real-life camera view inside the pool at 3:20 in the video below. It shows an underwater room filled with a number of tightly packed 3×10 racks, or “cigarette packs.” But notice the condition of the room — far from pristine.
Please do watch the whole thing. It shows Arnie Gundersen, an industry engineer and Fukushima critic, explaining what’s going on at Reactor 4, and what could go wrong, as far as he knew, as of the time he made the video, about a year ago.
Pay attention also as he discusses the importance of the presence of an unspent nuclear core in the spent fuel rod room.
Note that this video was uploaded in August 2012. Some information, such as the exact count of fuel rod bundles, could have been updated since then. Also, when he says “in early July” the water cooling system failed (8:10), he’s likely referring to July 2012.
Gundersen has since said that he’s very concerned that the fuel rods in the pool are damaged — per the “crumpled pack of cigarettes” comment — and that the odds of getting the rods out without them touching each other and starting a fire are fairly high (though he doesn’t put a number on it).
The absolute worst-case scenario, though, is still another earthquake of significant magnitude, and an accompanying tsunami. Just in the last two weeks, we’ve had multiple earthquakes in the area, though lower in magnitude than the 2011 earthquake, and no tsunamis. So far. Needless to say, after the record breaking typhoon which just hit the Philippines, there is another level of urgency in the fantasy based time frame of Tepco's attempt at feel good fiction.
I’ll stay on this story. We’re told that the period for TEPCO to test the removal of a containment cask (presumably empty) from the spent fuel pool — see the start of the first video for what that operation looks like — is no longer than two weeks, or sometime on or before November 22. Assuming that test goes successfully — or assuming we’re told the truth about whether it went successfully or not — the real work will then begin.
Please sign this petition and every petition you can to urge the world to step in and take the management of the Tepco Fukushima disaster out of the hands of a corrupt and inept corporate bureaucracy that has made the worst possible decisions from the onset! The Japanese Yakuza Mafia is very involved in the recruitment and management of the clean up operation. The world scientific community offered assistance at the onset of the disaster to prevent radioactive groundwater contamination with a few very common sense and low cost plans...the Japanese authorities turned a deaf ear and gave the contracts to their corporate buddies who installed a system at over 30 times the cost of the world community plan....The Japanese plan failed in less than 24 hours and that was over 2 years the world is feeling the effects as the radiation levels on Americas Pacific coast are reaching unacceptable levels. I have so much faith in human ingenuity to solve problems, but humans? corruption? Listen, you are being lied to over and over again by the authorities in charge...Nothing to look at here, move on.... If we remain so naive as to trust corporate profit driven corrupt bureaucracies to solve our problems, then we are truly , in the immortal words of Ed Grimly, DOOMED AS DOOMED CAN BE!

1 comment:

Ol'Buzzard said...

there are all sorts of apocalyptic scenarios among the public, including zombies...but this is real and has been played down for years. Maine Yankee, in Wiscasset, Maine has been shut down for years. The federal government was suppose to remove the spent fuel rods for storage but that hasn't happened. They are still being stored at the closed plant and the company has sued the government to recover storage cost. By the way, this is a coastal plant.
the Ol'Buzzard