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Tainted water confirmed to have seeped into sea from nuke plant | Kyodo News

Water with high levels of radiation has been confirmed to have seeped into the sea from the No. 2 reactor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, government officials said Saturday, raising wider fears of environmental contamination by the release of radioactivity.

The water has been leaking into the sea from a 20-centimeter crack detected at a pit in the reactor where power cables are stored, the government's nuclear safety agency said, adding that Tokyo Electric Power Co., known as TEPCO, is ready to encase the fracture in concrete.

The first detection of tainted water flowing out into the Pacific Ocean could force the government and the operator to limit further expansion of radioactive contamination, likely hampering efforts to restore the crippled cooling functions at the complex.

The government ''wants (the utility) to start the operation of covering the crack in concrete as soon as possible,'' said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 06:18:24 AM EST
Great.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 07:17:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would really be great were it to turn out that the major source of leaks into the ocean is from leaky pipes through an accessible crack in a reactor building. My fear remains that some radioactive water is leaking from the dry-well and/or the underlying structure and that it is from cracks under flooded and otherwise inaccessible locations.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:24:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it would be remarkably coincidental if it were to be somewhere we could reach, or an example of brilliant design if all the places where it could crack were accessible.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 11:07:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters - TEPCO poured concrete into the pit to stop the leak, but water prevented it from hardening and the leak had yet to be stopped, public broadcaster NHK said.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 01:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 02:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll have to type in a louder voice I cant hear that one.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 02:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Portland cement, major ingredient of concrete, hardens under water.  

So either the Reuters reporter screwed-up or TEPCO is lying.

(Again)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 02:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well usually my money would be on the reporter, but in this case things are getting just to regular.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 02:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Open Thread - 2nd April
There are cement admixtures that will harden despite being underwater. Normal cement will become too dispersed in an all water environment and won't harden at all. They can't just go to a cement plant and bring a batch of standard cement to fill this crack; they need a low w/c ratio (water/cement) mixture with a fast hardening agent, perhaps with large aggregate sizes so the cement will have something to 'catch' on in the crack.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 03:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Part of ordering a load of commercial use concrete is specifying what it is to be used for.  In turn the specification determines the composition of the mix.

And even if the composition is correct merely dumping a butt-load of concrete on a crack isn't sufficient.  There's all kinds of ancillary tasks and structures that have to be in place to ensure a proper pour.

I concede I should have used the word "incompetent" instead of "lying."  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 03:35:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking that with their usual perceived level of planning and performance, we will no doubt find in a couple of days that they just sent a guy to a builders merchants in Tokyo for a couple of bags of gravel and cement mix to throw into the pool.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 03:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK -  more than 6 hours later, the amount of water flowing into the pit was so large that the injected concrete had not solidified yet, allowing radioactive water to leak into the ocean. The power company will try other measures on Sunday morning to stop water from entering the pit. It will use a particular kind of polymer which will absorb the water.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 06:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the crack was reported as being 8cm wide. Some kind of hardware cloth should have been put in the bottom of the crack, if it is a bottom and not now just a gaping chasm. With all of the pumping of water to and fro between tanks, one would think they could find someplace to pump the water draining into this pit. This is pitiful.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 07:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the 8cm was the relic of my top of the head translation of 20cm into inches, minus the inches dimension. :-) More pitiful.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 07:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we keep having things fail,  and then they say, "We'll try something else tomorrow" does noone say "Is there a good reason why you dont take the plastic out now? and if not, why are you planning on sitting on your ass for the next eight hours"?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 08:01:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So they didn't put a supporting frame - one of those "ancillary tasks" I mentioned above - around the area of the pour and the pressure of the water caused a blow-out.

Now they have radioactive water all over the place and a bunch of radioactive concrete in the way of getting to the crack where the water is pouring out and generally cluttering the area.

This is madness.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:28:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WHat if the water is producing 1Sv/h of radiation?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 05:29:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Caveat:  I am not a Materials Engineer.

From here:

Concrete is a mixture of a binding agent (generally cement) to bond the other materials together :, fine aggregate (sand), coarse aggregate ( gravel/stones ), and water..  A typical composition is about 7-15% cement, 14-21% water and the rest aggregate.

Water Resistant Concrete    

    * Water Resistant concrete can either be water proofed or watertight. Waterproofed concrete is formed with a water resistant layer or surface whilst the mass of concrete being ordinary concrete. The water tight layer can be formed using a spray of lacquer, or applying a coat of asphalt or bitumen or using a wash of soda (water glass)
    * A watertight concrete can be produced by ensuring and dense product using tight quality control of the production process. The concrete so formed can be sufficiently water-tight to enable use for tanks retaining water

High density Concrete    

High density concrete for use as nuclear shield walls and ballast blocks and sea walls can be produced by using different materials for the aggregate.  Candidate materials include barytes, haematite, iron shot, steel shot and lead shot.

I can't find any information stating the concrete composition and construction of the buildings housing the reactors.  It is uncertain if the floor of the building was constructed with high density concrete or with low density concrete with a surface application to make it water tight.    

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:03:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When they say 20cm crack I wonder in what direction they're measuring the crack. 20cm in length underwater sounds hard to notice in a trench full of radioactive water and rubble, whereas 20 cm across hardly sounds like something which would seep

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 03:01:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
looking at the updated version of this story theres this quote at the end

TEPCO is considering using a large artificial floating island, a so-called ''megafloat,'' to store the tainted water, the agency said.

The utility expects the artificial floating island, which will be provided by the city of Shizuoka, can store about 10,000 tons of water, company officials said, while the amount of water detected in the plant has reached around 13,000 tons.

is the other 3000 tons going to fit in the pipes and tanks onsite?

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 06:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They need to bite the bullet and acquire some river barges outfitted for liquid transport. China may be the closest available supply, as they do lots of bulk transport by river. While they are at it they need to line up two old tankers into which the barges can offload contaminated water. They are failing to come up with storage that is adequate to what contaminated water currently exists but continuing to have to add freshwater that immediately becomes contaminated water if it doesn't evaporate. They need to get out in front of this. Again the response seems like that of the typical crowd in a bad horror movie -- frozen by fear.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 07:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the whole event has just stunk of that US saying A day late and a dollar short.

If you look at the cardinal virtues, one of them is Temperance, now this isn't the religious not drinking meaning, theres another meaning, doing things in the right proportion at the right time. and that is one that appears to be a consistent point of failure.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 08:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that looking desperate, hurried is frown upon in the Japanese culture. When shit hits a fan, you are supposed to rather swallow it whole than show sweat cleaning, to keep your status.

In his "Outliers", Gladwell describes a cultural reform at "Korean Air", that used to have a frightening safety record. What was changed is flight crews' tendency to show too much reverence to its senior officers, and communicate to them tentatively, indirectly, ambiguously.

by das monde on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:37:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes total sense. In trying to save face they are in the process of loosing their asses,  much of Honshu and, quite possibly, Tokyo. Would it be culturally acceptable for PM Kan to decapitate the management of TEPCO, declare them to have been an obstacle to handling the problem and then to proceed with alacrity? Surely this current inappropriate response is not how the Japanese reacted to bad news during WWII and earlier, is it?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 12:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would it be culturally acceptable for PM Kan to decapitate the management of TEPCO, declare them to have been an obstacle to handling the problem and then to proceed with alacrity?

I suspect this may have happened already.

However, suppose you're PM Kan and have removed the TEPCO management. Who do you put in charge of the operations since you yourself don't have the expertise? I would hope the higher-ranking technical people at TEPCO are already in charge of the operations.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 05:36:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect this may have happened already.

The Government may have effectively taken control, but what ever they have done does not seem to enable them to move with any alacrity. That is what they need. Perhaps "foreign pressure" will enable them to get ahead of the situation instead of engaging in a series of tentative half measures. Now is a time to err on the side of an overly robust response.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:30:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they have the expertise?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:45:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I can gather:  no.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they realise this, and who does?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know the answer to either question.

I don't know if there IS anybody living on this planet who has the expertise to come in and do a better job.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my problem with a lot of the second-guessing going on.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because people who can't manufacture it cannot fix it when it breaks.

Whether people who can manufacture it can fix it when it breaks remains an open question.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh c'mon.  It's not ALL bad.

The disaster released multitudes of radiation resistant bacteria into the environment.

So if worse comes to worse cockroaches will have something to eat.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they have the expertise?

They understand that they need to deal with contaminated water. If nothing else, there are large rubberized floating containers that could be used to shuttle contaminated water from the harbor, which a US destroyer can obviously enter, out to where a tanker could be anchored. This would provide interim storage in the range of 100,000 tons or more. With two such tankers available and some shore based storage facilities in which to offload the tankers, an operational capability adequate to at least the next month could be created. This is not nuclear engineering so much as logistics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 03:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Government may have effectively taken control

Some symbolic clarity would be welcome already. At least, the government could form a commission of non-TEPCO experts (local or international) that could have full access to developments, make their own assessments, have say in measure implementation, and would represent public concern.

So far it looks like TEPCO is enjoying fully the privilege of "managing" the situation, controlling the information and own responsibility scope, keeping others dependent. Corporate emperors...

by das monde on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the trouble with temperance is you have to go too far first to know what it is. eg:
the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. (william blake)

world is full of folk going too far right now, in every direction...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now would be a good time for some excess in the application of remedial measures at Fukushima.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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