Jeffrey LewisFEPC Info Sheet 4/8

Well, it looks like TEPCO may have turned a corner at Fukushima.  Ralph Vartabedian, who is one of the better  reporters on technical issues, writes in the Los Angeles Times that Administration officials on background have said that radiation levels and heat loads are dropping and suggesting reports that Unit 2 melted through appear premature.  (The story, by Matthew Wald and Andrew Pollack in the New York Times, is ambiguous about what precisely the NRC said.)

Cheryl Rofer has a nice commentary on the story at Phrone … Phrone … oh, well, you know.

Toshiba is, according to Ken Belson in the New York Times, now thinking about how to decommission the reactors on site for TEPCO, a process that will probably take years.

Anyway, your daily statement from our friends at the Federated Electric Power Companies of Japan, after the jump.

Update to Information Sheet Regarding the Tohoku Earthquake

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) Washington DC Office

As of 12:00PM (EST), April 8, 2011

  • Radiation Levels

o      The concentration of radioactive nuclides from the seawater sampled at the screen device (installed to remove waste before the intake of seawater) of Unit 2 and sampled near the seawater discharge point (south side) of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station were as follows:

 

Nuclides 

(half-life)

Concentration (Unit : Bq/cm3) Ratio
Sampled at the screen of Unit 2 at 7:45AM on April 7  (a) Sampled at south side discharge point at 2:00PM on April 7  (b) Maximum Permissible Water Concentration (c) a / c b / c
I-131 

(8 days)

2.5 x 103 1.7 x 100 4.0 x 10-2 63,000 43
Cs-134 

(2 years)

1.5 x 103 1.8 x 100 6.0 x 10-2 25,000 30
Cs-137 

(30 years)

1.5 x 103 1.8 x 100 9.0 x 10-2 17,000 20

 

o      At 7:00PM (JST) on April 8, radiation level at main gate (approximately 3,281 feet from Unit 2 reactor building) of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: 94 micro Sv/hour.

o      At 7:00PM on April 8, radiation level at west gate (approximately 3,609 feet from Unit 2 reactor building) of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: 53.4 micro Sv/hour.

o      Measurement results of environmental radioactivity level around Fukushima Nuclear Power Station announced at 7:00PM on April 8 are shown in the attached PDF file. English version is available at:    http://www.mext.go.jp/english/radioactivity_level/detail/1304082.htm

o      For comparison, a human receives 2,400 micro Sv per year from natural radiation in the form of sunlight, radon, and other sources. One chest CT scan generates 6,900 micro Sv per scan.

  • Plant Parameters
Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6
pressure inside the reactor core (gauge pressure, MPa) 0.395 -0.020 -0.004 0.003 0.005
4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

2:00PM

4/8 

2:00PM

pressure inside the primary containment vessel (absolute pressure, MPaabs) 0.185 0.100 0.1052
4/8 

13:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

water level inside the reactor core (meter) *1 -1.65 -1.5 -1.85 +1.644 +1.668
4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

2:00PM

4/8 

2:00PM

temperature of the reactor vessel measured at the water supply nozzle (degrees Fahrenheit) 475.9 

*2

286.2 191.8 

*2

4/8 

1:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

12:00PM

temperature of the spent fuel pool (degrees Fahrenheit) 127.4 94.5 86.9
4/8 

12:00PM

4/8 

2:00PM

4/8 

2:00PM

the temperature directly above the spent fuel pool by thermography measurement (degrees Fahrenheit) 73.4 132.8 114.8
4/8 

7:30AM

4/8 

7:30AM

4/8 

7:30AM

temperature directly above the primary containment vessel by thermography measurement (degrees Fahrenheit) 91.4 95
4/8 

7:30AM

4/8 

7:30AM

temperature directly above the second containment building  by thermography measurement (degrees Fahrenheit) 86
4/8 

7:30AM

Amount of water in total shot/injected to the spent fuel storage pool (tons) 90 299 – 314 5,048 1,531
as of 4/8 

7:00PM

as of 4/8 

7:00PM

as of 4/8 

7:00PM

as of 4/8 

7:00PM

*1: Minus figure means that water level is below the top of the fuel rods.

*2: This figure is under investigation.

  • Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 reactor

o      As of 6:00PM on April 8, injection of nitrogen gas into the primary containment vessel to prevent an explosion by accumulated hydrogen gas continues.

o      As of 6:00PM on April 8, the injection of freshwater into the reactor core continues.

  • Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 reactor

o      As of 6:00PM on April 8, the injection of freshwater into the reactor core continues.

  • Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 reactor

o      At 5:08PM on April 8, TEPCO began to shoot water aimed at the spent fuel pool, with a specialized vehicle normally used for pumping concrete.

o      As of 6:00PM on April 8, the injection of freshwater into the reactor core continues.

  • Fukushima Daiichi Common Spent Fuel Pool

o      At 7:20AM on April 8, the temperature of the spent fuel pool: 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Others <Influences of the aftershock occurred at 11:32PM on April 7>

  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

o      As of 4:00PM on April 8, no significant changes have been detected at monitoring posts at the site.

  • Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (Unit 1, 2, 3 & 4)

o      Plant operation was suspended at all units when the aftershock occurred.

o      As of 4:00PM on April 8, no significant changes have been detected at monitoring posts at the site.

  • Onagawa Nuclear Power Station (Unit 1,2 & 3)

o      Plant operation was suspended at all units when the aftershock occurred.

o      The spent fuel pool cooling system was suspended automatically but has been recovered immediately.

o      As of 4:00PM on April 8, no significant changes have been detected at monitoring posts at the site.

  • Higashidori Nuclear Power Station

o      Plant was under periodical maintenance when the aftershock occurred.

o      Immediately after the external power was lost, backup diesel generators turned on to supply electricity to maintain the cooling system of the spent fuel storage pool.

o      As of 4:00PM on April 8, no significant changes have been detected at monitoring posts at the site.

  • Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Station

o      Plant operation was suspended when the aftershock occurred.

o      As of 4:00PM on April 8, no abnormality has been reported.

  • Tomari Nuclear Power Station (Unit 1, 2 & 3)

o      All units were under normal operation when the aftershock occurred.

o      As of 4:00PM on April 8, all units are under normal operation.

  • Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and Accompanying Facilities

o      Immediately after the external power was lost, backup diesel generators turned on to supply electricity..

o      As of 5:00PM on April 8, power supply has been switched from backup power generation systems to the external power. It was confirmed that no fire, damage to equipment, injuries to personnel occurred. Radiation levels were measured at a normal level of safety.

Our official sources are:

  • Office of The Prime Minister of Japan
  • Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA)
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Press Releases
  • Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

 

Comments

  1. Anon (History)

    Why is Jaczko not so safety conscious with US plants?

    • genomega (History)

      Because the same thing could not happen at a US reactor and should have not happened there. In the US 55 reactors do not depend on outside power sources at all, they generate their own. This company was ordered years ago to build their seawalls higher and to harden their backup pumps and fuel tanks, neither was done. Fuel tanks in the US are in concrete bunkers, theirs out in the open barely above sea level and there are many other differences. This was a man made disaster period.

    • Anon (History)
    • FSB (History)

      Really genomega? Can’t happen in gold ol US of A?

      Well, according to foremost expert Lochbaum in sworn testimony before the senate: ” Today, tens of thousands of tons of irradiated fuel sits in spent fuel pools across America. At many sites, there is nearly ten times as much irradiated fuel in the spent fuel pools as in the reactor cores. The spent fuel pools are not cooled by an array of highly reliable emergency cooling systems capable of being powered from the grid, diesel generators, or batteries. Instead, the pools are cooled by one regular system sometimes backed up by an alternate makeup system.

      The spent fuel pools are not housed within robust concrete containment structures designed to protect the public from the radioactivity released from damaged irradiated fuel. Instead, the pools are often housed in buildings with sheet metal siding like that in a Sears storage shed. I have nothing against the quality or utility of Sears’ storage sheds, but they are not suitable for nuclear waste storage.

      The irrefutable bottom line is that we have utterly failed to properly manage the risk from irradiated fuel stored at our nation’s nuclear power plants. We can and must do better.”

      and:

      “If the past three decades have demonstrated anything, it’s that the NRC will likely come up with a solid action plan to address problems revealed at Fukushima, but will be glacially slow in implementing those identified safety upgrades. A comprehensive action plan does little to protect Americans until its goals are achieved. We urge the US Congress to force the NRC to not merely chart a course to a safer place, but actually reach that destination as soon as possible.”

      And maybe it is worth reading the NRC’s Inspector General’s report before mouthing off on how safe US Nuclear Plants are:

      http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/insp-gen/2011/oig-11-a-08.pdf

      And, btw, 11 US reactors have batteries designed to supply dc power for up to 8 hours should a power outage (station blackout SBO) occur.

      The Fukushima reactors were also equipped with 8-hour battery capacities and were insufficient to meet the challenge.

      Ninety-three US reactors are designed with batteries lasting half that long.

      How about we discuss facts on this blog, instead of fantasy?

  2. yousaf (History)
    • Eve (History)

      Thanks Yousaf!

    • Eve (History)

      Jim Smith’s article on Cs-137 is quite appropriate.

      The health risks article argues for the capture of baseline data. This is highly important for future studied and a scramble for this should be made.

      I wonder how many reactors have analysed the finer details, like the way in which the wind blows year round. If the wind had blown over a major metropolitan area, such as Tokyo, I think the situation would have had a completely different dramatic outcome. Has such a study ever been conducted in the States?

  3. bks (History)

    Baloney. Where’s the data?

    –bks

    • Anon (History)

      Could you clarify what you refer to?

    • bks (History)

      In J. Lewis’ intro he alludes to an article in the LA times and a blog, neither of which have a named source nor an ounce of data. Last I heard, TEPCO is building a seawall and radioactive measurements in the Pacific Ocean are rising.

      –bks

  4. Anon (History)

    I wish they would stop using the stupid false equivalence to things like CT scans and background radiation.

    It is anti-scientific. Where are the medical nuclear physicists on this issue?

    Most background radiation and medical imaging is in the form of X- and Gamma rays.

    The risk around a power plant would be from ingested or inhaled Cs or I, which then concentrates in specific tissue, delivering a MUCH higher dose _locally_ at that site, the Thyroid gland in particular.

    This clearly involves a much greater local risk to renegade cells being created, which is precisely how cancer starts. And fetuses and young children are at much greater risk.

    So comparing background radiation levels (or CT scans) to the risk of living near a power plant (or disaster) is just nonsense — much worse than apples and oranges, more like apples and artichokes.

    • Eve (History)

      You are right – this type of comparison is not correct, and it is very important to continue to refine our models based on empirical data. Where possible, we might benefit from new knowledge coming from genomic analysis – mutation screening in plants and animals. This data will give us precise data on how radiation absorbtion affects human, animal and plant DNA integrity. For instance, it is already known certain radionuclides and forms of radiation are much more efficient at causing double stranded breaks in particular genomes. In some cases it can be compared between being hit by a ping pong in a room versus a big mac truck. There is much more to be done on the biological front.

  5. FSB (History)

    Dude, we know you are in CA and not great with numbers, but, like OMG, it is 4/8 not 3/8…as in the title of your post. 😉

    • Jeffrey (History)

      I live in DC. You try running a blog, raising a kid and keeping your day job without making typos.

    • Charles (History)

      Jeffrey, I’m appalled at your lack of dedication. To hell with family, this is a BLOG!

  6. bks (History)

    Wait … I thought they stopped the leak.

    “Tokyo Electric Power Co. started Saturday to install enclosing materials in the sea to prevent a further spread of highly radioactive water that seeped from a crisis-hit nuclear power plant, while continuing other efforts to stabilize Japan’s worst nuclear crisis.”

    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/04/84290.html

    –bks

  7. Still Concerned (History)

    “Well, it looks like TEPCO may have turned a corner at Fukushima. Ralph Vartabedian, who is one of the better reporters on technical issues, writes in the Los Angeles Times that Administration officials on background have said that radiation levels and heat loads are dropping and suggesting reports that Unit 2 melted through appear premature.”

    It’s hard to square things are improving at Fukushima with today’s new stories at NKH or even with the figures you posted in the table showing the reactor stats from FECP for April 8th. In comparison with the values that you published for April 7th, temperature and pressure are still going up in Reactor 1. Copied from your tables here:

    pressure inside the primary containment vessel (absolute pressure, MPaabs) 0.185
    4/8
    13:00PM
    temperature of the reactor vessel measured at the water supply nozzle (degrees Fahrenheit) 475.9
    4/8
    1:00PM
    pressure inside the primary containment vessel (absolute pressure, MPaabs) 0.165
    4/7
    12:00PM
    temperature of the reactor vessel measured at the water supply nozzle (degrees Fahrenheit) 434.8
    4/7
    12:00PM

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/10_05.html

    Govt to release radiation guidelines for schools
    Japan’s education ministry will release radiation exposure safety guidelines for school children in the coming week.
    The ministry is drawing up the guidelines in response to a request from the Fukushima prefectural government, which hosts the disaster-stricken nuclear power plant.
    Officials say the guidelines are based on data collected through radiation level surveys at schools and soil samples taken from schoolyards.
    The guidelines will mandate that schools suspend classes, stop outdoor lessons, and ensure students wear face masks if radiation surpasses certain levels.
    The education ministry says it will seek technical advice from the Nuclear Safety Commission before finalizing the guidelines.
    The commission told reporters on Saturday that given the high radioactive readings registered in various locations, many schools in the affected areas would be asked to meet certain conditions before resuming lessons.
    Sunday, April 10, 2011 06:52 +0900 (JST)

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/10_03.html

    Radioactive water disposal delayed
    Work to dispose of highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is not proceeding smoothly as more time is needed for preparations.
    Heavily contaminated water in turbine buildings and a concrete tunnel is hampering work to restore cooling functions in the troubled reactors. The total amount of water in question is estimated at more than 50,000 tons.
    The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, plans to transfer the highly radioactive water to a nuclear waste processing facility and turbine condensers.
    The utility firm is now working to lay hoses between the turbine buildings and the facility.
    Holes have already been bored in the walls of the buildings, but work to install the hoses has yet to begin.
    In addition, the waste disposal facility needs to be closely checked before the procedure can begin.
    Meanwhile, the level of highly radioactive water filling the concrete tunnel of the No.2 reactor had reached 93 centimeters below the ground’s surface as of Saturday evening. That is a rise of 11 centimeters since the leakage of the water into the sea was stopped on Wednesday.
    Tokyo Electric plans to start moving the water in the tunnel into the reactor’s condenser as early as Sunday.
    Sunday, April 10, 2011 07:30 +0900 (JST)

    Here is recent JAIF data for more comparisons of rising pressure and temperature at Reactor 1:

    http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/
    2011-04-09
    Reactor Status and Major Events Update 76 – NPPs in Fukushima as of 18:00 April ・・・ PDFファイル(280KB)
    Major Data (Reactor 1)
    Reactor Water level (Apr. 08 12:00)
    (A) -1650mm (B) -1650mm
    Reactor pressure (Apr. 08 12:00)
    (A) 0.395MPaG, (B) 0.793MPaG
    CV pressure (Apr. 08 13:00)
    0.185MPaabs
    RPV temperature (Apr. 08 06:00)
    246.6°C at feed water line nozzle
    (to be confirmed)
    Thermography (Apr. 08 07:30)
    CV: 33°C, SFP: 23°C

    http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/
    2011-04-08
    Reactor Status and Major Events Update 74 – NPPs in Fukushima as of 20:00 April ・・・ PDFファイル(273KB)
    Major Data (Reactor 1)
    Reactor Water level (Apr. 08 06:00)
    (A) -1650mm (B) -1650mm
    Reactor pressure (Apr. 08 06:00)
    (A) 0.395MPaG, (B) 0.785MPaG
    CV pressure (Apr. 08 06:00)
    0.180MPaabs
    RPV temperature (Apr. 08 06:00)
    250.6°C at feed water line nozzle
    (to be confirmed)
    Thermography (Apr. 06 07:30)
    CV: 29°C, SFP: 24°C

    Many thanks for continuing to post about Fukushima on your blog.

    • Jim (History)

      The pressure increase at reactor 1 appears to correspond temporally with the injection of nitrogen. You can see a sudden jump at 4/7 @ 0600 and nitrogen injection commenced at 4/7 @ 0130. Prior to that pressure was fairly stable. Look at JAIF updates 69 and 70.

  8. Eve (History)

    Perhaps they have turned a corner with heat loads going down, but if they still have 92.5 uSv h-1 at 17 kms from the plant (according to a reporters dosimeter), this is troubling. More empirical evidence needed please!!!

  9. bks (History)

    What corner? Fire at reactor #4 and severity raised to 7 from 5. You youngsters have no stamina. Pay attention.

    –bks

    • Eve (History)

      Ah, that was a pothole. I had a look through the data from MEXT 7th April and at sample point 83 (35Km out) it’s 58.5 uSv h-1 and yesterday at the same time, same sample point, 53.2 uSv h-1. This is one of the peak areas seen going to the Northwest. So it seems fairly stable to me. So if they now say 10% of Chernobyl emissions, and from that say there was a 5 fold less Cs-137 emission than I-131, at what time out do would you envisage people repopulating that area? No time soon.

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