Saturday, May 4, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 3 Operating Floor Debris with 540 Millisieverts/Hr Radiation

I followed the link in the TEPCO (Nuclear) tweet from about an hour ago, and the landing page was the email notice to the media on May 4, 2013.

The notice says TEPCO happened on a piece of debris cleared from the Reactor 3 operating floor as it was being loaded on the special remote-controlled truck that carries highly radioactive debris. The piece was emitting 540 millisieverts/hour radiation.

Also in the notice (my translation),

At 1:45PM today [May 4], access was restricted around the truck that was carrying the debris.
There is no effect on the workers or the debris removal work.
There is no significant change in the monitoring post measurements.

In the most recent notice on the debris, about 30 minutes ago,


The high radiation debris that was in the remote-controlled truck has been moved to the temporary storage areas for highly radioactive debris, which is located on the south side of the Reactor 3 building.


Within 5 days or so, using the remote-controlled truck for the high radiation debris, we will move it to the Solid Waste Storage on the north side of the Anti-Seismic Building. We will pay attention to radiation exposure when we move the debris.

Moving the highly radioactive debris from one temporary storage to another. Then what? No end-state envisioned.

Has TEPCO been mapping the debris as they remove from the Reactor 3 operating floor, and recording the radioactivity of each pieces? Probably not. I wish they did. It might have given some clues on the explosion - how it happened, or what kind of explosion it was.


Anonymous said...

I doubt Tepco has any interest in finding out what happened, unless it helps them restart their npps,


pat said...

doesn't really matter, it's a fuel chunk.

Anonymous said...

Pat, how do you know that? If it was a fuel chunk, radiation is too low.

Atomfritz said...

Honestly, would one believe that Tepco did the cleanup of RB #3 top floor without scouting with a helicopter- or drone-based gamma camera first?
They definitely used gamma cameras a lot.
However, actual gamma camera images have been released only a few times, and only of lesser important places.

The few images that have been released are probably just a message to the nuclear insiders: "Yes, of course we have gamma cameras and we use them. We appreciate your understanding that we don't release the actual gamma images because they are just too scary."

As there is no detailed information released, my personal guess is that the junk collected from RB #3 top floor has been dropped into a truck, and later they measured 540mSv/h at the truck container surface.
Thus, it is highly unplausible that it would be from a fuel chunk, as anon 10:19 correctly states.
My personal guess is that it is debris from near the reactor lid where the highly-radioactive vapors that were emanating from #3 condensed.

The true value of LaPrimavera's discovery is that we now finally get a rough idea of the actual radiation on reactor #3's top floor, which has iirc never been released by Tepco. Over large areas, it will be at least around half a sievert, and probably much, much more near the reactor lid.

Anonymous said...

Here's something else they've shown us. Take a look at the pictures on page 2 of this set:

The overhead shot of the SPF3 - but look closer - look in the lower left hand corner of the picture dated 4-22-2013.

Look at the edge of a large empty hole in the center of the #3 building - mostly covered by the bridge crane - but clearly visible without debris off of it.

It's not a concrete containment cap. It's not a steel pressure dome. It's a hole. An empty hole. right where those things once were, but no longer are.

Proof positive from Tepco that the explosion of #3 was not a hydrogen blast; was not a spent fuel pool blast - but something much more significant. Got MOX anyone?

Take a look for yourself....

Atomfritz said...

anon 8:05,
please keep in mind that these low-resolution photos lack depth. Thus, one cannot tell from such photos whether there is a hole or just blackened debris.

When #3 was still steaming, there were observed for weeks two large plumes of fumes billowing from the floor at the sides of the reactor plug. (Or three, with two of them adjacent at close distance) (See here for a good illustration: )

Later photos show that the rubble around these steaming spots has been blackened. This is consistent with the assumption that this could have been caused by condensation of vaporized stuff and maybe precipitation of aeorsols also from inside the reactor.

And now, looking again at the spot you mention on the photo of April 22, 2013.
You see a steel truss that supposedly has been removed according to Tepco's statement. It is very near to the blackened area you mention. Thus it is well possible that it got contaminated by vapor condensation.
It is the piece of debris nearest to the reactor plug that has been removed up to now.
Tepco apparently worked their way through the debris starting with the least-contaminated stuff. This would be completely sensible, as they obviously needed to gain experience in this kind of demolition work.
Thus I suppose we have to expect _much_ higher radioactivity readings from the debris salvaged from the #3 floor in the future.

Anonymous said...

OMG! That is where the yellow cap should be. It WAS a nuclear explosion. They have been lying all along.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have Reactor 3's operating floor plan handy?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Atomfritz - you lose this argument.

You can plainly see what holes in the structure look like, and that's what this is - it's not soot, it's not a shadow.

The reactor #3 is gone. This is photographic proof.

Atomfritz said...

@ anon 2:00
The yellow rounded steel cap of the drywell/containment is below the concrete plug of the reactor. See figure 2e in the article I linked at.

I also believe that there was a nuclear excursion, however probably smaller than at Chernobyl. At Chernobyl the concrete plug of the reactor was pushed many meters high into the air, despite its weight of several hundred tonnes, and unfortunately landed tilted by 90 degrees, leaving the reactor burning in open air uncovered. And there was no steel pressure containment which possibly absorbed much of the explosion energy, preventing the concrete plug from flying away.

@ anon 2:41
See animation figure 3 in my link for a simple floor plan.

@ anon 5:51
There is no reason to assume that reactor 3 is uncovered. If it were, the scene would have been littered with fuel debris, and radiation would be far higher.

Anonymous said...

yes atomfritz, that's where the yellow rounded steel cap should be - but it is clearly not, since there's no concrete plug, and no yellow cap. There is a hole.

They are not visible in the hole, because they are gone. They blew off in the explosion on March 14th.

And to anon 6:34 - the scene WAS littered with fuel debris. They found fuel debris several kilometers from the plant. This is the point at which Tepco abandoned the facility as unrecoverable, however Kan ordered them to return. No one has been able to go near #3 in 2 years - why do you say the radiation would be "far higher".

Anonymous said...

I can confirm fuel debris was found SEVERAL KILOMETRES from the plant shortly after #3 exploded. A hole is a hole is a hole. Something used to be in that hole. It's not there now. This is very bad news, very bad.

Maimai Kapono said...

Tepco admitted a long time ago that there was fuel debris found far away from the site, and that they covered up the fuel debris with earth that was littering the site. It was in leaked information from a closed door meeting and I can't recall the date.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:39:

This news is not in itself very bad.

It just exposes the truth of what has been very bad for the past two years - and it means that nobody is going to fix Fukushima in this lifetime anyway.

It also exposes that we have been repeatedly lied to over an over again by greedy companies, greedy governments, corrupt scientists and engineers and an army of misinformationalists - including some of the most quoted anti-nuclear "experts" that aren't really anti nuclear and aren't really experts at all.

The truth that this photo of an empty reactor well tells us is that the MOX fuel blew a mere 9 months into its lifecycle and just 3 days after the earthquake/Tsunami.

It tells us that not only are nuclear reactors unsafe and unfixable when they melt down, but that it is insane to put plutonium laced MOX fuel in them.

For the Japanese, this is confirmation that the deep, deep economic and physical declination that your country is experiencing is not going to abate - it is going to accelerate.

This is proof that the even that everyone feared was happening, did indeed happen.

Anonymous said...

The concrete containment cap went sky high in the explosion. Plain to see in the videos. On return to earth, it most likely smashed into a million small pieces. After studying the TEPCO handout, I must concur. What you are looking at is an empty hole where a nuclear reactor should be. Yikes! This is a game changer.

Anonymous said...

The reactor well is to the left and up from that black spot.

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