WSJ: Troubling questions raised by thermometer at No. 2 — No wonder things are breaking down at Fukushima after meltdowns, explosions, tsunami, quake (saltwater and boric acid, too)
Title: Faulty Thermometer Behind Temperature Rise at Fukushima Daiichi
Source: Wall Street Journal
Author: Phred Dvorak
Date: February 15, 2012, 10:59 AM JST
[…] a faulty thermometer at No. 2 raises troubling questions. With all the punishment Fukushima Daiichi’s equipment has gone through –- nuclear meltdowns and explosions, not to mention the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that started everything off – it’s no wonder things are breaking down.
But radiation levels are still so high around many of the reactors that the equipment can barely be checked, let alone replaced. […]
Tepco says it usually checks up on, and adjusts, such gauges every 13 months at routine inspections. But those won’t be possible at Fukushima Daiichi, where experts expect it’ll take six years just to plug leaks in the reactor buildings and 10 years before people can start the process of removing melted fuel. […]
Read the report here
Some rather disturbing blogging going on today. This report (translated by FukushimaDiary.com) by “The Minamisoma Blogger”, Numauchi Emiko:
Minamisoma blogger “The heating gauge is not broken at reactor2″
Professor Dapeng Zhao of Tohoku Univ: Fukushima I Nuke Plant Could Be Hit by Epicentral Earthquake
From Daily Mail (2/14/2012):
Stricken Fukushima nuclear plant at dire risk of massive new earthquake, scientists warn
By Damien Gayle
Scientists have issued a dire warning that the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is at risk of a massive new earthquake.
Research using data from more than 6,000 recent tremors has found that last March’s disaster has reactivated a seismic fault practically beneath the power station.
Now scientists are telling Japanese authorities to urgently shore up the damaged reactor in expectation of more massive ‘quakes.
Fukushima Daiichi was the scene of the worst nuclear disasters in history after it was damaged by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 9 earthquake and following tsunami.
But this tremor’s epicentre was about 100 miles from the site, off the coast of Japan, and a much closer one could occur in the future at Fukushima.
Dapeng Zhao, geophysics professor at Japan’s Tohoku University, said: ‘There are a few active faults in the nuclear power plant area, and our results show the existence of similar structural anomalies under both the Iwaki and the Fukushima Daiichi areas.
‘Given that a large earthquake occurred in Iwaki not long ago, we think it is possible for a similarly strong earthquake to happen in Fukushima.’
The April 11, 2011, magnitude 7 Iwaki earthquake was the strongest aftershock of the 11 March earthquake with an inland epicentre.
It occurred 37 miles south-west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, 124 miles from the March 11 epicentre.
The research, published in European Geosciences Union’s open-access Solid Earth journal, shows that the Iwaki earthquake was triggered by fluids moving upwards from the subducting Pacific plate to the crust.
The Pacific plate is moving beneath north-east Japan, which increases the temperature and pressure of the minerals in it.
This leads to the removal of water from minerals, generating fluids that are less dense than the surrounding rock. These fluids move up to the upper crust and may alter seismic faults.
Ping Tong, lead author of the paper, said: ‘Ascending fluids can reduce the friction of part of an active fault and so trigger it to cause a large earthquake.
‘This, together with the stress variations caused by the 11 March event, is what set off the Iwaki tremor.’
The number of tremors in Iwaki increased greatly after the March earthquake. The movements in the Earth’s crust induced by the event caused variations in the seismic pressure or stress of nearby faults.
Around Iwaki, Japan’s seismic network recorded over 24,000 tremors from March 11, 2011 to October 27, 2011, up from under 1,300 detected quakes in the nine years before, the scientists report.
The 6,000 of these earthquakes selected for the study were recorded by 132 seismographic stations in Japan from June 2002 to October 2011.
The researchers analysed these data to take pictures of the Earth’s interior, using a technique called seismic tomography.
Professor Zhao explained: ‘The method is a powerful tool to map out structural anomalies, such as ascending fluids, in the Earth’s crust and upper mantle using seismic waves.
‘It can be compared to a CT or CAT scan, which relies on X-rays to detect tumours or fractures inside the human body.’
While the scientists can’t predict when an earthquake in Fukushima Daiichi will occur, they state that the ascending fluids observed in the area indicate that such an event is likely to occur in the near future.
They warn that more attention should be paid to the site’s ability to withstand strong earthquakes, and reduce the risk of another nuclear disaster.
The scientists also note that the results may be useful for reviewing seismic safety in other nuclear facilities in Japan, such as nearby Fukushima Daini, Onagawa to the north of Fukushima, and Tōkai to the south.
The paper at Solid Earth Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union is here.
More on the roller-coaster temperatures at Daiichi:
Temperature at Reactor 2 RPV Thermocouple (69H1) Slowly Coming Down
It doesn’t look like the behavior of a thermocouple that has been broken, but what would I know?
In the meantime, the temperature at the CRD (control rod) Housing has been rising again. Again, instrument failure.
Article continues at:
91,600 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium from Sunflowers in Iitate-mura, Fukushima
So the sunflowers DID concentrate radioactive cesium in soil. It was not where the Japanese government wanted you to find.
According to one Iitate-mura villager, Mr. Itoh, who had his sunflowers tested, the radioactive cesium was IN THE ROOTS. He suspects that the government knew, and cherry-picked the data that seemingly supported the foregone conclusion that sunflowers do not work in decontaminating the soil.
Why? Because the government wants and needs to distribute big money to big businesses that closely work with the government in the “decontamination” bubble that they’ve created.
Article continues at:
Governor: Why no arrests over crisis?
Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda wants to see Tokyo Electric Power Co. held criminally responsible for the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
At a regular news conference, he sharply criticized the utility and questioned why nobody in Tepco has been arrested.
“Tepco has caused this big trouble to everyone under the sun and nobody has been arrested. I want to ask, ‘Doesn’t anyone (in Tepco) want to turn themselves in?’ ” Ueda said Monday.
He was asked for comments about Tepco raising electricity bills for big users like corporations by 10 to 20 percent in April.
“Some people would be arrested if gas tanks explode or a fire breaks out in a department store,” he said angrily, blaming Tepco for not taking full responsibility for the harm caused by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. “The procedure of raising power bills without fully explaining it is unacceptable. It is extremely cruel treatment of (big users) who have been forced up to now to cooperate in saving electricity.”
Industry minister Edano, Keidanren chief in battle over nationalization of TEPCO
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano has locked horns with Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Nippon Keidanren, over a proposal to inject public funds into Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) — a move that would effectively nationalize the troubled utility.
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