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Japan declares 'nuclear emergency' after quake

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posted on May, 2 2011 @ 04:17 AM

In a news conference on May 1, TEPCO said the amount of water being pumped into the reactor's pressure vessel had been brought back down from 10 to 6 tons per hour.

As a result pressure inside the containment vessel rose to 1.4 times normal atmospheric pressure -- about the same level as before the amount of water was increased. Officials said the water level inside the reactor's pressure vessel remained almost unchanged

-- at about 1.6 meters above the top of the fuel rods --

(sic: this is incorrect the water level is 1.6 meters BELOW THE TOP of the rods original height )

when the amount of water was temporarily increased.

With water pumped into the pressure vessel leaking out, workers estimate that the water level inside the containment vessel stands at about 6 meters, but they do not know the exact level. More than 7,400 tons of water -- roughly the amount needed to fill the containment vessel -- has already been pumped into the reactor. Normally, this would have significantly increased the water level inside the pressure vessel. "We don't know why the water level isn't increasing,"

Because there is a giant gaping hole in it

a TEPCO representative said. "We've judged that 6 tons of water per hour is enough to cool the reactor down, so we want to continue to pump in water this way."

Translation " WE MUST continue pumping or this thing is going to pop like a raw egg in a microwave"
And I think I here another chorus of Zorgon's song : where is all the radioactive water going ?
Remember they are 'losing" 6 tons of water per hour, that is one hell of a leak , oddly the dry-well and torus are at exactly the same pressure 1.35MPa.

Interesting that they would include this in the same breath:

On May 1 TEPCO announced that it had pumped about 120 tons of water from the turbine building of the No. 6 reactor into a makeshift tank. The level of accumulated water, totaling roughly 4,900 tons, stands at about 2 meters.

NOTE: from the turbine building....why if the reactor is off and only the pool needs cooling is there water in the turbine building
edit on 2-5-2011 by Silverlok because: forgot the good bits

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 04:55 AM
Underground streams and groundwater? Reactor No. 6, workers Tuesday pumped 100 tons of water from the basement of the turbine building into the reactor's condenser unit. NISA said underground streams are a possible source. Before the crisis, streams beneath reactors No. 5 and 6 were pumped to divert water, a process that hasn't been conducted since the quake.


posted on May, 2 2011 @ 05:18 AM
Round and round on the TEPCO Merry go round...

leak at #2 fixed right? Intake for #2 all covered with steel plates and zeolite sandbags right?

Level now 3300 times limit at No. 2 reactor intake

The operator of the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant says it has detected higher levels of radioactive materials in seawater samples from near the water intake at one of the reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it detected 130 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per cubic centimeter in samples collected near the water intake for the Number 2 reactor on Saturday. The figure is 3,300 times the national limit and 30 percent higher than the level detected on Friday.

It's the same site where iodine-131 at a level 7.5 million times the limit was detected on April 2nd. TEPCO says it detected radioactive cesium-134 at 120 times the limit and cesium-137 at 81 times the limit at the same place on Saturday. But the readings taken for these 2 substances were down for the third straight day.

There was a 90 percent drop in levels of iodine and cesium to the south of water intakes for reactors 1 through to 4.

The level of highly radioactive water in the sea rose to three to four times the level of the previous day along the coast 10 kilometers south of the power plant.

TEPCO says it's continuing to monitor the level, though there has not been a fresh leak of highly contaminated water.

Monday, May 02, 2011 05:45 +0900 (JST)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 05:20 AM
Cesium found in sludge

Relatively high levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in the sludge from a waste water treatment plant in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

The prefectural government is tracking some of the sludge that has been shipped out of the prefecture to be used in making cement.

The prefecture's investigation found that the sludge contained 26,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.

The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 1,300 times the level before the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The prefecture says rain likely washed radioactive substances from the surface of the ground into the sewer, and they became concentrated through processing.

The sludge from the facility is transported out of the prefecture and used to produce cement.

The prefectural government will suspend the recycling and track the sludge that has been shipped since the accident to determine how it has been used.

The land and transport ministry says it will report the incident to the Nuclear Safety Agency, and coordinate with the Environment Ministry and other relevant organizations to find ways to process the sludge safely. The sludge must be kept at the facility until a solution is found.

The ministry says there is no precedent for this, but that it will decide soon what to do.

Sunday, May 01, 2011 23:20 +0900 (JST)

The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 1,300 times the level before the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

That is pretty hot sludge...

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 05:24 AM
Workers preparing to enter Reactor building #1

Work underway to filter air in reactor bldg

Workers have begun a plan to enter a building at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to install equipment that will help to cool down the reactor.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the plant, said on Monday that workers are preparing to install devices that will reduce the amount of radioactive materials inside the No.1 reactor building.

The equipment is designed to filter out 95 percent of the radioactive substances in the air coming through the ducts, when operated for 24 hours.

Four of the devices will be installed outside the reactor building door.

Workers will need a safe environment to install equipment to steadily cool the reactor. A water gauge will help TEPCO to determine the feasibility of its plan to cool the reactor's fuel rods by covering them with water.

Eight workers are set to enter the No.1 reactor building as early as Thursday. They will be the first to do so since a hydrogen explosion occurred one day after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

Monday, May 02, 2011 12:56 +0900 (JST)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 05:37 AM
Problems at another Japanese reactor:

URGENT: Radiation leaks from fuel rods suspected at Tsuruga plant: local gov't

FUKUI, Japan, May 2, Kyodo Leaks of radioactive materials from fuel rods have been suspected at a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, the Fukui prefectural government said Monday, citing a rise in density of the toxic substances in coolant water.


* Company says might close reactor for technical reasons

* Says no radiation leak

* Reactor is not in area affected by March 11 quake, tsunami (Adds detail, background)

TOKYO, May 2 (Reuters) - Electricity wholesaler Japan Atomic Power Co said on Monday it would consider shutting a reactor at its Tsuruga nuclear plant due to a technical problem, adding that there had been no radiation leak from the facility.

The plant is around 450 km (280 miles) west of Tokyo in Fukui prefecture, an area that was not affected by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11. The company said it had identified a possible leak of iodine from the 1,160-megawatt No.2 reactor's nuclear fuel assemblies into its coolant.

Reuters Africa
edit on 2-5-2011 by Moonbeams771 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 05:40 AM
Got a problem ,i got lost in the stream of information in this thread, Could someone tell me in short how bad things are right now ? i lost track at page 600'ish.

Like on scale 1/10 how bad is the situation now on worldscale ?

Thanks alot

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 06:26 AM

Originally posted by Cyanhide
Got a problem ,i got lost in the stream of information in this thread, Could someone tell me in short how bad things are right now ? i lost track at page 600'ish.

Like on scale 1/10 how bad is the situation now on worldscale ?

Thanks alot

No overall change at the plant since about page 600'ish! Just swings and roundabouts - one problem dealt with another equal problem found.

However, the cumulative effect is growing. Radiation levels have been consistent but long lived isotopes are building up. Airborne isotopes are still raining down across the world - especially the West Coast of the USA and again the long lived isotopes are building up especially in the soil and groundwater.

The problem is that TEPCO wont admit that their plant has failed and needs entombing - damage their bottom line, and leaves them looking very bad having pushed nuclear power as safe for the last few years. The Jap government are in a similar situation. So, they are still following the original plan to 'cool the reactors'!

edit on 2/5/11 by imlite because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 06:42 AM
Major Design flaws found after survey of other nuclear plants in Japan.

The plant at Tsuruga needs 3500 kilowatts to safely cool its reactors, but the backups can only deliver 1020 kilowatts, says Kyodo - and that can't be fixed til next March. The agency's sources says the power available will "only run measuring gauges and small-scale water injection devices". And at the Tomari power station, a 3,200 kilowatt backup generator cannot "achieve stable shutdown" of the reactors - and that won't be fixed until some time in the next two years.

Kyodo's story is appalling news for Japan. Nuclear power stations can never be switched off since residual heat from low level fission must continually be transported away from the core. The lack of backup power means further accidents are waiting to happen.

New Scientist

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 06:55 AM
Radiation leaks from fuel rods suspected at Tsuruga plant.

The information was leaked by a plant worker to local government officials.

Electricity wholesaler Japan Atomic Power Co said on Monday it would consider shutting a reactor at its Tsuruga nuclear plant due to a technical problem, adding that there had been no radiation leak from the facility.The company said it had identified a possible leak of iodine from the 1,160-megawatt No.2 reactor's nuclear fuel assemblies into its coolant.

reuters report

Tsuruga was the plant that had no realistic backup cooling available (previous post)

Wonder how many other plants are in trouble but nobodies leaked the information yet?

Sorry Moonbeams771 missed your post of this earlier.

edit on 2/5/11 by imlite because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 07:31 AM

Originally posted by Destinyone
reply to post by Chakotay

Thank You Chakotay. Your heads-up, put many questions to rest.


Hmm.. I'm not gonna speak about anyone specifically, but I was following a few people who had good technical opinions on Fukushima. At the beginning of April they stopped posting without warning or explanation. The ones that have reappeared have come back and have been quite supportive of the nuke industry.

I am sure there is a perfectly boring explanation, but I still feel a little puzzled.

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 08:02 AM
reply to post by Moonbeams771

If you read the linked thread carefully, I don't think you will be puzzled by what has kept one of our members occupied. Boring is not a word I would use to describe his need to spend focus on real world situations. No, I am not referring to the tornadoes, but rather why he has not been able to keep up with the Fukushima thread. I trust he also saw that like experts had emerged and the thread was in good hands. I wish he and his family well and trust if he or others have new insight to share they will.

I also fully believe we have contributors on here now that have greatly added to our level of understanding and, in fact, I am now seeing this ATS thread being used as a source and reference in other forums designed specifically for nuclear scientists and engineers. Our expert members have made this thread a source for other experts. It is not necessary to read the entire thread, merely the last few pages to understand how dangerous the current situation remains.

Also, the technical contributors have done a valiant job of sharing their analysis without concern for the "health" of the nuclear industry. I would agree there are one or two non-technical, non-contributing posters that appear supportive of the industry and continue to attempt to persuade people that the nuclear crisis is too difficult to follow. More head in the sand mentality. It is not that difficult to follow and much depends on it. The cover-up of the crisis and dangers is an industry driven offensive to preserve a very lucrative way of life. Right now the nuclear protectionists have an effective "no news" program working. We have to be vigilant that nuclear industry pr arms are plugging the holes in gutted news rooms everywhere. News outlets rely on experts because their staffs are gutted remnants of once great investigative news departments. News runs, with little deviation, from the press releases they are given. Few have the manpower to do their own in-depth investigations anymore.

I was away over the weekend to visit two of my children in college, but have caught up on my reading here in short order and continue to be impressed by the intelligence, understanding and keen insight of this ATS thread. My thanks to all.

So looks like they may not be able to stop #1 for long. I feel for the workers being sent in at ground level in reactor #1. Not sure why they are not looking further up where the leak likely is. Temperatures are rising in #3. The underground stream beneath #5 and #6 that in better days before March 11 was regularly diverted, appears to be an on-going groundwater problem. School children being put at risk. SPF in #4 is an accident waiting to happen. Effects of radiation being downplayed around the world. What a mess.
edit on 2-5-2011 by DancedWithWolves because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 08:18 AM
A few more details on the workers. Numbers may be deceiving since there is a difference between TEPCO employees and the contract workers they use from outside the country. They don't always count - in more ways than one. Contract employees are the first exposed to high radiation according to industry reports. The nuclear revolving door that no one want to come in through at Fukushima any more.

Workers at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant under huge psychological pressure

It is reported that 245 workers are working at the stricken nuclear plant and firefighters, police officers, and the military are also based in and around the site.

According to Tanigawa the workers do not have access to baths, fresh food, any privacy, and the long hours and work pressure is creating many negative side effects.

External pressure is also building up because many loved ones want the workers to return home. Also, some workers have lost family members and their homes and the siege like mentality must be building up.

Added to this is the fact that other workers do not want to replace them, therefore, it appears that everything depends on them and this is also leading to huge pressure.

One worker stated, in confidence, that “We are shocked by the high level of radiation….I work at the plant just because I want to save my hometown……We are the ones who have worked at the nuclear plant all this time. Who else would take the job now if we don’t?

In the coming weeks the natural temperature will increase and the hot and humid conditions will lead to further problems.

Golden Week may be a time for the majority of people to refresh themselves but for the workers at the stricken nuclear plant they will be battling away and doing their level best in order to salvage the stricken plant.

These brave souls need more support and living conditions need to improve and quickly because their share of the burden is too high.

Bold added


Dying for TEPCO

Rumor has it that many of the cleanup workers are burakumin. This cannot be verified, but it would be congruent with the logic of the nuclear industry and the difficult job situation of day laborers. Because of ostracism, some burakumin are also involved with yakuza. Therefore, it would not be surprising that yakuza-burakumin recruit other burakumin to go to Fukushima. Yakuza are active in recruiting day laborers of the yoseba: Sanya in Tokyo, Kotobukicho in Yokohama, and Kamagasaki in Osaka. People who live in precarious conditions are then exposed to high levels of radiation, doing the most dirty and dangerous jobs in the nuclear plants, then are sent back to the yoseba. Those who fall ill will not even appear in the statistics.1

Fukushima workers before the catastrophe

According to data published by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Industry (NISA), in 2009, there were 1108 regular employees (seisha’in 正社員) at Fukushima NP1. These were TEPCO employees, but may also include some employees from General Electric or Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi. But the vast majority of those working at Fukushima 1 were 9195 contract laborers (hiseisha’in 非正社員). These contract employees or temporary workers were provided by subcontracting companies: they range from rank and file workers who carry out the dirtiest and most dangerous tasks—the nuclear gypsies described in Horie Kunio’s 1979 book and Higuchi Kenji’s photographic reports—to highly qualified technicians who supervise maintenance operations. So even within this category, there is much discrepancy in working conditions, wages and welfare depending on position in the hierarchy of subcontracted tasks. What is clear is that the contract laborers are routinely exposed to the highest level of radiation: in 2009 according to NISA, of those who received a dose between 5 and 10 millisieverts (mSv), there were 671 contract laborers against 36 regular employees. Those who received between 10 and 15 mSv were comprised of 220 contract laborers and 2 regular workers, while 35 contract workers and no regular workers were exposed to a dose between 15 and 20 mSv.

Since contract laborers move from one nuclear plant to another, depending on the maintenance schedule of the various reactors, they lack access to their individual cumulative dose for one year or for many years. NISA compiles only the cumulative dose for each nuclear plant. The result is that the whole system is opaque, thus complicating the procedure for workers who need to apply for occupational hazards compensation.

edit on 2-5-2011 by DancedWithWolves because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by DancedWithWolves

Hi DancedWithWolves,

Let me just clarify, I was not speaking about anyone specific, I was just mentioning the fact that more than one person I had been following had vanished the same time (at the beginning of April) - and I still felt little puzzled about that. My "boring explanation" comment was in reference to this - I wasn't talking about the TheRedneck. I understand he's been through a difficult time (I did read his post) and I complete respect that and wish him all the best.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 09:37 AM

Originally posted by Silverlok
I think that the RPV At #3 (whatever is left of it) is still in the building . If the sensors on it can be trusted it has well below (1/10) normal air pressure. And the dry-well is at about air pressure , but the torus is at 1.7 atmospheres .

The 'bottom' of the RPV temp has been steadily rising and is currently 118C. So if all that can be trusted then it's a good bet the rpv is still in the drywell (somewhere) and hasn't moved far enough to dislodge the wires that connect the sensors , so it is plausible that the thing in Mosphet's post is the upper ring that serves as the floor of the pool when they flood the top of the drywell to open the core and changes rods

Snip to save space

edit on 2-5-2011 by Silverlok because: salt is good

118 degrees Celsius = 244.4 degrees Fahrenheit
(I don't automatically convert C very well in my head

Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 373.15 Kelvin under standard conditions at sea level (at one atmosphere of pressure). Read more:

(I really do disagree with the text from source of where I found this image btw, as the thermal image shows a heat bloom were the pool exists. Though I do think the author of it was right about journalists having no clue
) 1/04/fukushima-unit-3-al-fresco-journalists-dont-see-it-officials-downplay-it/

Using this as a rough estimate as to the height of the structure, I would agree that the torus is there.

But I strongly doubt the RPV is. Simply due to the thermal image not showing the heat source that would be evident if the RPV was still there, and the thermal image clearly showing a hot pool.

I'm curious as to what the temperature of the spent fuel pond is, and if we are not seeing signs of a leak from the pool. If the temperature at the base of the RPV ruins is within range of the Spent Fuel Pool temperature, then I suspect we have a leak in the pool. The fact that the temperature registered at the base of the ruins is 30 degrees above boiling, leads me to suspect its a water-heat transference.

Pressure in the Torus, I'm going to make a W-A-G, and say the torus is flooded, with the pressure rises being due to gas pockets near the sensors. IF the temperatures around or in the torus is hot enough to boil water. (Which begs the question, what is in the torus that could heat the water?)

Also if water has flooded the torus, and there is more water leaking above it, to add more depth / pressure; would this also not increase the pressure readings in the torus?

I keep coming up with more questions than answers.


posted on May, 2 2011 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by Cyanhide

Would it be more helpful to you if the information on this thread were organized chronologically and by subject?

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by Moshpet

I am fairly certain that the RPV is empty and has been for a while , having no cap ( by the way the top of the Cv /drywell sans cap is clearly visible in that link article pic) , and a large hole in the bottom , and even at that most of the core material was ejected and what was left was in the drywell and torus ( from earliest onset as the hydrogen product would have allowed / co-coincided with fissionable materials being transported as aerosols into the torus ), the size of the blast at 3 was almost certainly from the plutonium richer MOX which allowed lower melt temperatures and more heat production ( increasing the likely hood of rpv breach)

That's why the weird thermal 'residue' signatures ( the RPV kind of blocks some of the hotter material fallen inthe the dry-well under it )

This image is one of the first released from about 3-23 and you can see a hot pool and some small heat areas about where the RPV should be:

(#3 is in the bottom right hand corner )

Now those numbers of theirs are highly suspect but even using there scale you can see the 'pool' white off the scale , now here is the most recent (that I have ) thermal from 4-26:

(the temp table on the right is first column core second column pool )

We still have some residual heat signatures (under the arrow for 23C) for the dry-well /rpv area and once again it looks to me as if the pool is off the scale hot (but they say 50C /122F)

The angle and height on this photo is slightly different but it is evident that the pool shape has migrated and evolved a bit and seems to have a tentacle trailing towards the contaiment.

I think these buildings have a 'sweet spot' for the spent fuel pool which allows and aera between the drywell housing and the west wall to have some protection from the destruction and has allowed water to remain in whatever portion of the pool is there , but after all this time is is a good bet that most of the material from that pool has or is finding it's way into the basement where the torus is and is joining the material from the core that both leaked and was transported via aerosol to the water there .

The pressure in the Sc ( torus ) measure .179MPa which is 1.79 Bar and water boils at 115.17C ( 239.31F) at that pressure, so it is safe to hypothesize that the water is boiling in the basement as fast as it can and that some fissionable materials are in direct contact with the torus metal given the shape of the torus it is reasonable to assume that some steam/hydrogen is getting trapped in a pocket near the top as the water boils , and is releasing steam /peroxide/hcl though the path of least resistance which would be the RPV/CV (drywell) IF it in fact has a huge hole in the bottom and is now a thermal stack , or chimney basically ...

although it being completely gone is possible I just think the evidence from the sensors and the thermals point to a RPV that is a bit like a spent gun barrel with evaporative cooling happening as the higher pressure steam hits the 1 atmosphere lower pressure in the drywell conditions ...
edit on 2-5-2011 by Silverlok because: 3 and slash its a new punk band

edit on 2-5-2011 by Silverlok because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by Moonbeams771

Hi and sorry as my post was a reply to you it undoubtedly looks like all my comments were directed towards you. They were more general in nature for the on-going questions of, "Whatever happened to so and so." Yes, TheRedneck is missed, and I'm sure others, however we have some amazing experts that I'm sure make him feel like the ship is sailing along just fine under it's own power. Being a mod he would want to make sure we had the resources here to do a bang-up analysis job as the crisis continues and is likely proud of those who made their way to ATS.

As for those who were here early on and aren't posting, that's fairly common in any thread, large or small, simple or complex. A lot of people end up just reading, then starting new threads pulled from here to alert other members whenever there is breaking news as events continue to unfold. It works well to help folks not following daily know when there are major changes to report. The fact that ATS also created a forum for Japan helps people too. If they want to see all the topics that have been posted separately, each thread is noted in that forum.

Again, sorry if my response appeared aimed all at you. It was not just your comment that prompted my responses and I should have been more clear. My apologies and your contributions are much appreciated. Keep on keeping on.
I so appreciate all our posters here who give of their time and talents to help inform the many people who check in for the latest on the last post pages.


posted on May, 2 2011 @ 01:43 PM

Originally posted by Cyanhide
Like on scale 1/10 how bad is the situation now on worldscale ?

11 but they haven't realized that yet at TEPCO

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 01:48 PM

Originally posted by mrbillshow
Would it be more helpful to you if the information on this thread were organized chronologically and by subject?

Why bother except for historical reference? All that really matters is the CURRENT situation... and at the moment that isn't changing rapidly so it's easier to keep up. TEPCO is pouring water on it to cool it down and high radiation is hampering any attempts to restore the reactors. That was on the news last night... that was on the news a month ago

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