Over Easy: Fukushima Update
Well, a lot has been happening at Ol’ Fuku (gotta love that abbreviation).
Reactor #1 is still generally unapproachable for any length of time. The plan is to begin debris removal in late 2015. The location and status of the corium is unknown for sure, but the last set of radiation readings indicate to me that most of the corium is in the torus.
Reactor #2 is unapproachable currently. The last set of radiation readings indicated to me that most of the corium is still in the building, mostly in the reactor pedestal. Here’s a story from the workers mouths at the time of the accident. Gives you an idea of how close things came to being worse. There are currently no real plans to deal with #2 and it may be the worst one to deal with. The radiation is so intense there that it even kills robots.
They are clearing debris from Reactor #3. TEPCO is admitting that the #3 meltdown was way worse than originally admitted, ALL the fuel liquified. They are still pretending that the corium is in the building and not under the concrete they placed on the bottom of Fuku bay. The good news is that since most of the corium appears to have left the building, #3 can be worked by remote control cranes. Photos from the activity appear to show the #3 reactor plug intact. If that’s correct, the “different” explosion from #3 may have come from either the SFP or the equipment pool OR there’s a blowout hole int the reactor that they haven’t found or admitted to yet.
Reactor #4 SFP rod removal continues slightly ahead of schedule. They are not releasing any information I can find about damaged fuel bundles, but there have to be some and they’re no doubt saving any problematic ones for last. All in all, #4 continues to be in the best shape and the easiest to clean up.
However, the big news now is the Typhoon that has hit Fuku. Apparently, the eye went right over the plant. And it’s still beating on the area. It APPEARS that the typhoon will not be strong enough to do major damage at Fuku, but what it is doing is flushing all the radio actives loose on the ground into the Pacific. A cynic might think this is what TEPCO has been waiting for, and anything flushed doesn’t need cleaned up. But the heavy rains will certainly flush a LOT of hot stuff into the ocean, even if all the tanks hold, and it doesn’t reach the reactor basements which are FULL of VERY hot water. Tritium numbers are already up and our West coast should be expecting a new blast of radiation in a few days.
Boxturtle (Amazing how companies believe in climate change when talking about nuclear power)