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plus I suppose other 'puddles' inside the buildings

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:08:25 PM EST
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Take the dimensions lowest levels of the reactor and turbine buildings. Compute the footprint in square meters and multiply by 2 meters to get a first order approximation of the worst case volume of radioactive water. A significant portion of the interior volume will be concrete walls, etc.

Some of this ain't rocket science. Does TEPCO know how deep water was when the three waders got their feet burned? Do they know the depths of the water in those same areas are today? What is the rate of rise, by facility? Would that someone had the wit to ask those questions at a news briefing. Once asked they can't claim it never occurred to them to keep track, at least going forward. If they did this they would have an idea of the volume of storage they need.

It would probably be possible to lease, certainly possible to buy, an old oil tanker to anchor close by and shuttle barges back and forth. They might need two so they could shuttle them back and forth to an oil terminal where the contents could be pumped into an empty shore based oil storage tank. It may be that this would never occur to TEPCO because they don't own such ships or tanks -- an analog of the "not invented here" syndrome. I don't get the feeling that ANYONE is aggressively pursuing all necessary measures and this is starting to become maddening and could become catastrophic.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:25:00 PM EST
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#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactors 2, 4 Also Have Water Puddles | EX-SKF

A bit more details from Asahi Shinbun about the depth of the radioactive water. It's not "puddles" any more, though TEPCO and the government have been calling it "puddle". They should have called it for what it is, a flood:

Maximum depth of radioactive water in each reactor:

Reactor 1: 40 centimeters (1.3 feet)

Reactor 2: 1 meter (3.28 feet)

Reactor 3: 1.5 meters (4.92 feet)

Reactor 4: 80 centimeters (2.62 feet)

The red dot apparently is where the workers became irradiated

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And TEPCO or the Japanese Government need to deal with this aggressively and immediately or all three reactors that were active at the time of the quake could soon be flooded to the extent that further remediation is no longer possible.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could freeze the water with liquid nitrogen...

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:27:20 AM EST
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Did you know that's what was done to enhance the earth structurally underneath Chernobyl? Mining equipment was used to pump liquid nitrogen to keep the earth at -100C, if i recall.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:51:22 AM EST
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No, they built a big hole for the giant freezer, but the giant freezer was never installed - possibly on the grounds of utter impracticality.

So they filled the hole with concrete instead.

Is anyone at Fukushima wondering what's happening under the reactors?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:08:39 AM EST
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Sorry, have read too much already, thought i'd read that they had gone so far as to inject it.

i should stick to windmills, that i know.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:22:57 AM EST
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IIRCC, in the EE Times article linked to by ceebs I read that the Soviets brought in coal miners to dig beneath the Chernobyl plant and install a large, thick concrete "core catcher". If they used that term it might be one of the earliest instance. This is probably infeasible at Fukushima due to the water table from the adjacent ocean.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking they could pour the nitrogen into the water in the turbine buildings. This would freeze it instantly and hopefully the freeze would propagate back through the piping and into the reactor...

Of course, this needs to be done with care. You might get a "steam explosion" in the nitrogen by putting nitrogen at 200C below zero in contact with hor water...

Also, if you froze one end of the pipes solid, water coming out of the reactor at pressure might burst the pipes at the other end and cause another spill. In this case it's a good thing that they have reduced the water input to just the amount necessary to compensate for vaporization in the reactor. Excess water had been flooding the turbine rooms previously.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:38:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emphasis on old oil tanker since it would have to be scrapped.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:28:33 AM EST
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The tanker market is extremely oversupplied at the moment. Finding a spare vessel should be no problem at all. And even if you bought a brand new one, the cost should be small compared to what dealing with the rest of this mess will cost.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:17:57 PM EST
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