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Japan's Damaged Reactor Has High Radiation, No Water

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the prefers-diet-coke dept.

Japan 282

mdsolar passes along this quote from an Associated Press report: "One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant's stability. A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor's containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity. The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades."

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All that radiation! For decades! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493229)

The birth of Godzilla is near!

Re:All that radiation! For decades! (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493581)

Alert BOC

Re:All that radiation! For decades! (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493947)

Actually they have just had to ban fishing [nhk.or.jp] due to high levels of radiation in the animals.

Remember Japan? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493951)

Yeah, it was kinda neat.

Too bad it's gone.

Re:Remember Japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494103)

...Its still there.
Seriously, its not like they haven't been nuked twice before this!

Re:Remember Japan? (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494543)

A few people think that the Japanese may have finally learned their lesson, of course that's probably just going to mean higher seawalls for the rest of us.

INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (-1, Flamebait)

RanBato (214181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493235)

Pure fear mongering. Another black eye for /.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493257)

With the radioactive materials melting their way through the bottom of the vessel, just a matter of time before they hit the water table and blow sky high. Their data was bad regarding the water levels, what makes you think that any of their data is to be trusted? Here's to hoping people like you continue to post about how awesome nuke power is while you're busy shitting out your insides from exposure. :-D

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (4, Informative)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493287)

even TEPCO can manage a thermometer.

50 degrees is a bit too cool to melt through feet of concrete.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493645)

Surprising the probes made it anywhere, the Russians used robots to probe Chernobyl, and aide the clean up, but the radiation was so high it destroyed the electronics, admittedly todays equipment is though out and designed for this. So either this is media or Japan anti-nuclear hype, or Tepco still has no idea what is going on.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494315)

This slow release of news is just salamitaktik to reduce public outcry. Tepco have known from the start that the reactors melted down and breached containment.

Of course, as usual with reputation engineering, it's only made things much worse.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (4, Interesting)

Frangible (881728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493697)

Yeah, but how sure are we their readings are accurate, either way?

First, high radiation messes up electronics. I have a tennis-ball sized chunk of natural thorium ore (thorite), that was just lying on the ground in Colorado. Put it near a digital camera, you get a lot of static (~52 uSv/h of gamma alone on a PM1703 if anyone was curious).

So, you've got radiation levels over 1,500,000 times more than my little rock that causes obvious interference, and non-redundant electronics on a prototype probe someone slapped together with minimal testing. I doubt it was all radiation-hardened sapphire circuitry.

I'd just be wary of drawing too many conclusions from a single measurement from a single probe in such an environment. There's a lot of things that can cause imperfect results, even not in nuclear reactors.

High radiation just does weird stuff. At Chernobyl they had to dive into the water to release a valve (suicide mission, obviously). As I recall the first team couldn't even find it, because ultra-intense alpha radiation had turned the water into H2O2 and it oxidized their suits, skin, and equipment too quickly.

I doubt it's hot enough to melt through the concrete, but just sayin'.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (4, Informative)

DollarOfReactivity (1040610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494041)

While it's true that radiation will mess with electronics, measuring things like temperature can be done reliably even in the core of an operating power reactor, which is a much harsher radiation environment than this. For instance, an off-the-shelf type-K thermocouple will last a year or two in-core before transmutation causes serious problems.

In this case, the trick is to keep the circuitry out of that kind of radiation but wires, high voltage, and most metals and ceramics will be fine for a while. A good fiber-optic scope will last maybe an hour before becoming too opaque, and you can keep the CCD etc. well away.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494081)

While the equipment may not be hardened the results from electrical interference in the analogue to digital stage would show quite obviously if something is affected or not. You said it yourself you got "static". You didn't get a white picture, or a black picture, or a strange blue bias, you got electrically wildly changing signals.

When they do radiography inspection work at the industrial plant I work at you can straight away tell when an instrument is affected. It's not slightly wrong, it's not confusing, it's WOAH that is reading incredibly off and spiking in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways it must be broken.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494105)

Wow, this post is full of misinformation.

First off, the people who design radhard electronics know about the effects of radiation on both the electronics, antennas, and instruments. I know this because my company does this, and we don't suck at it (because we know our shit).

You are correct when you say to not completely trust the conclusions from a single measurement, but you have to start somewhere. This is the information we have at hand, and while we should be cognizant of the fact that we don't have complete information about the situation, we may need to act even though we don't have complete knowledge. This sucks, but it's one of those unavoidable facts of life sometimes.

Lastly, nobody at Chernobyl had to dive into water to release a valve. That would be the absolute worst possible design a reactor could be, and the Russians were smarter than that. On top of that, even when not in meltdown, the water in a plant is going to be incredibly warm - close to boiling if not actually boiling, so it should not be possible to do anything in that environment. You probably couldn't open your eyes or do anything useful because of the intense pain of being boiled alive. This situation never happened, and you are probably confusing the name of Chernobyl with what happened at Three Mile Island (which was nowhere near as dramatic as diving into a reactor).

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494643)

I'm not too familiar with the equipment at issue, but aside from temperatures, excessive radiation also does cause some crystallographic defects which causes embrittlement of steel and so on, so all of this is relative to the amount of fuel for the reaction, &c. Just a modest response to all you "it'll not exceed our safety design, never-never for certain, so go to sleep now little ones..." types.
I have heard that the quantity of fuel up for further mishap is quite substantial, but who knows with all the smoke-and-mirrors which outcome is most likely this time.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494263)

First, high radiation messes up electronics

Thermocouples, not so much.
I don't know what they used but it's expected that such a thing would be taken into account.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493333)

I doubt you will find anyone claiming that nuclear power is absolutely safe.
Sadly, however, there are still to few alternatives for it, so it's not really possibly to do without.

Current options I see :
- pollute our planet continuously with fossil fuels
- pollute our planet periodically ( but very badly ) with nuclear disasters
- learn to live without electricity ( or at least much less electricity )
- ???

The advantage of a horrible disaster, is that it wakes people up : nuclear power is dangerous, we need to keep looking for alternatives.

THERE IS NO GEOTHERMAL (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493651)

Do not look at enhanced geothermal systems. They do not exist! Continue to argue the relative merits of nuclear and coal. Geothermal is not the cheap, clean, safe renewable locally sourced baseload power you are looking for.

Re:THERE IS NO GEOTHERMAL (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494049)

Why not look at it? [thinkgeoenergy.com]
It is being developed and will come along. Like any new tech, it takes time to develop.

Re:THERE IS NO GEOTHERMAL (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494271)

Iceland and NZ have it. For other places drillling deep holes (and fracking - some geothermal uses it too) is either very expensive or never been done to the sort of depths required, but don't call it impossible just because it's not happening now in your own back yard.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494661)

there are still too few alternatives for it, so it's not really possibly to do without.

Atta boy, think small.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (5, Insightful)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493389)

Well once you create the technology to run the wolds power plants off kittens and sunshine I'll be first in line to protest the nuke plants but till then I'd rather have a nuclear powerplant close to me then a coal plant.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493657)

Kittens: Force them to run in a hamster wheel until they die of exhaustion. Burn the corpses in a modified thermal power plant.
Sunshine: Molten salt towers for large scale operations, PV panels for small scale operations.

All kidding aside: I agree with your point wholehartedly. Gimme nukes until fusion is feasible.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494283)

Give you nukes until nukes are feasible?

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494559)

You are right.
s/nukes/fission

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494621)

False dichotomy. Japan could easily replace all of its nuclear and some of its other generator capacity with geothermal, for example.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493533)

Wait, hit the water table, then blow sky high? Why?

As concerns go, that's a bit high on the hyperbole.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493583)

With the radioactive materials melting their way through the bottom of the vessel, just a matter of time before they hit the water table and blow sky high. Their data was bad regarding the water levels, what makes you think that any of their data is to be trusted? Here's to hoping people like you continue to post about how awesome nuke power is while you're busy shitting out your insides from exposure. :-D

Sorry, I'm too busy shitting out my insides from the chemo I had to take for the cancer caused by my years working in the coal mines. It all looks the same from where I'm standing.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493963)

Unlike chernobyl, this isn't a graphite fire kept burning by the heat generated by the radioactive uranium. so while it is very 'hot', it is not going to melt through anything..

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494751)

With the radioactive materials melting their way through the bottom of the vessel,

Well, given what the article says, that is very, very far from likely.

The biggest concern I had as this disaster unfolded was things kept happening that we completely did not expect. This not only showed we were poorly prepared, it showed that our understanding of the situation was severely flawed. It's human nature to look for evidence that confirms our belief, but an objective observer would conclude our belief is simply wrong.

And now we find out that the radiation levels are much higher than expected and there's only 6% of the cooling water level we thought there was. Does it prove something horrible is going to happen? No. It proves we have no freakin' idea of what's going on.

TFA (-1, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493265)

Mentions a new leak of radiation into the ocean as well. You know, burning fossil fuels actually reduces radiation exposure. Maybe this nuclear stuff is just kind of stupid. http://slashdot.org/journal/279815/fossil-fuel-use-cuts-bodys-internal-radiation-burden [slashdot.org]

Re:TFA (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493309)

Wow, talk about retarded statements. That must top the cake!

It is like looking at a nuclear reactor and saying it reduces your exposure to U-238 by transmuting it into other isotopes. And guess what - I would be just as correct as your bullshit you have just posted!

Yeah, let's look at C12/C14 atmospheric levels, and proof that we are fucking up the planet for centuries with that (via AGW), but ignore all the radon, heavy metals, carcinogens, thorium, uranium whole crapton of other shit being emitted. Yes, must be quite as correct as stating that Fukushima helped to reduce our exposure to the evil U-238 and U-235. Bravo!

If you represent the modern environmental movement, then I fear we are fucked.

How's that (-1, Flamebait)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493353)

Kool-aid taste? You sure have gulped it.

Re:How's that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493673)

Wait, slow down now. You, via link, are stating that by pumping the atmosphere with carcinogens it is thus not in our food and therefore is reducing our risk of cancer. Simultaneously you state that 'this nuclear stuff is just kind of stupid'. Yes, I agree. Something is just kind of stupid around here.

You know, that kind of nuclear energy that we refuse to let update to the latest safety standards. That same nuclear industry that has massively heavy regulation on what it does with it's waste, as opposed to coal which is allowed to pump some into atmosphere and then sell the rest to concrete and fertilizer manufacturers. Then again I doubt you chose to be aware of that. Yeah, you are right. That is pretty stupid.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (0)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494711)

...Why yes, I guess the Nuclear industry does regulate the hell out of itself, to enforce it's monopoly. (Bombed Iran lately?) I'd say it works about as well as the FDA protects us from the Pharms.
You guys been drinkin' the Kool-Aid for a while.

Re:How's that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494013)

Kool-aid taste? You sure have gulped it.

Meanwhile your shirt and neckbeard are all crusty from the gallons of tree-hugger jizz you've eagerly swallowed you hippie cumdumpster.

Re:How's that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494111)

Kool-aid taste? You sure have gulped it.

Meanwhile your shirt and neckbeard are all crusty from the gallons of tree-hugger jizz you've eagerly swallowed you hippie cumdumpster.

Gee, what an anonymously cowardly thing to say. You must be an anus stretching, closet hiding, stable loitering goat fucker. You're fucking pathetic.

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494143)

Wow, talk about retarded statements. That must top the cake!

It is like looking at a nuclear reactor and saying it reduces your exposure to U-238 by transmuting it into other isotopes. And guess what - I would be just as correct as your bullshit you have just posted!

Yeah, let's look at C12/C14 atmospheric levels, and proof that we are fucking up the planet for centuries with that (via AGW), but ignore all the radon, heavy metals, carcinogens, thorium, uranium whole crapton of other shit being emitted. Yes, must be quite as correct as stating that Fukushima helped to reduce our exposure to the evil U-238 and U-235. Bravo!

If you represent the modern environmental movement, then I fear we are fucked.

Well why don't you go over to fuku and help with the clean-up. Seems to me if you'd have bothered reading what the guy had to say instead of judging it with your own prejudices you may have learned that it's because the carbon released is ancient. because the carbon in our bodies are being replaced he is saying that the radioactive isotopes are also cycled out of the body.

but as usual the nuke crowd gets to push around it's bullshit - says a lot that an idiot got modded up, but the information gets modded down.

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494407)

It is not the carbon he is talking about, but all the other elements in coal. Coal is not pure carbon and burning it releases the other elements into atmosphere: "radon, heavy metals, carcinogens, thorium, uranium whole crapton of other shit being emitted."

Properly working nuclear power plant releases only water steam and heat into atmosphere.
Properly working coal power plant releases all kinds of nasty stuff into atmosphere.

Annually, exploding nuclear power plants still release less radioactive isotopes than what properly working fossil fuel power plants do. It's just that emissions from fossil fuels are spread out evenly across the planet, it's easier to forget and pretend they are not there.

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494177)

Well said, i love the way people say 'oh it x's fault the environment is messed up' , when actually there are many reasons why the environment is a mess. From plastic waste floating in massive islands out in the oceans, to toxic mudslides in Europe, to Stored nuclear waste.
There are hundreds of points of harmful waste production.
Until all of them are measured and controlled we will never be able to start sorting out the mess. The only reason we/goverments are intreasted in CO2, U-238 ect is because they are cheap to measure and easy to TAX. And it makes a great spin-able bullet point during elections. It give's naive people a warm felling that they are doing something, even if they also know that deep down its really not doing anything.

Re:TFA (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494563)

If you represent the modern environmental movement, then I fear we are fucked.

He isn't, and don't turn him into a straw man by trying to associate him with the mainstream environmental movement.

Re:TFA (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493507)

well, mentions an 80 litre leak. not exactly INES 7 kind of thing.

Re:TFA (5, Informative)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493585)

I see your nuclear reactor failure and raise you some coal seam fires [wikipedia.org] .

Re:TFA (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494075)

which burn regardless of what man does. And many of those were NOT caused by mining. IOW, it is a naturally occurring.

Re:natural coal seam fires (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494735)

Wait, so that make it alright to dig up all the rest and burn it?

Re:TFA (1, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494287)

Pulling out a 2 after an Ace has been played is not very impressive.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (3, Interesting)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493435)

FUD? watch this video (and lots of similar ones on YouTube) this is children's playground just outside of Tokyo, nowhere near Fuckupshima, months after the disaster.. the geiger shows 6.4 micro sieverts/h while the normal background level is in 0.1-0.3 range
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOIDFh3wPXY [youtube.com]

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493613)

Yes, if they live on that playground, they will receive nearly as much radiation in a year as a resident of Denver.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493661)

And that's just solar / cosmic irradiation due to the altitude and therefore doesn't even count the exposure from natural concentrations of uranium (and therefore radon). Denver also so happens to be quite the hot spot for that, more so than any other large city/metro.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493957)

that's weird, because all the searching i've done after reading your comment has consistently shown that denver averages at or below 1 micro sievert/hour. so you're only off by a margin of six. if you can find anywhere whatsoever showing a dose in or around denver that's above 5 usv/hr, i'd be incredibly interested!

not to mention the radiation in denver will only be external, and not the much, much, much more dangerous internal emitters that damage the body directly instead of (mostly) dead skin. such as all the plutonium, uranium, americium, cesium and strontium that's turning up in japan's food supply. also there's the iodine that wafted over the whole country, and now 30% of children tested around the plant have unexpected, unusual lumps on their thyroids.

but whatever, they're japanese, so it really doesn't matter anyway.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494695)

Try Ramsar in Iran, which has naturally occuring high background radiation levels:
http://www.ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/ramsar-natural-radioactivity/ramsar.html [ecolo.org]

There are also other places like Guarapari in Brazil, and Kerala in India that have naturally high background radiation levels.

Also, high altitude flight (airliners) can expose passengers and aircrew to up to 4 uSv/hr...

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493987)

The legal limit in Japan was 1 millisieverts/year for children, but they raised it to 20 after the accident. Most people still go by 1msv/year, obviously. 6us/h is therefore pretty high for an area like an open playground so far away from the source.

There was a program on the BBC about children living near the exclusion zone. They were measuring 0.8msv/h in the street. Fortunately schools had been decontaminated.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494199)

And I'll bet they would have found Mother Nature to be in violation of their arbitrary limit had anyone bothered to go around measuring beforehand.

Denver gets about 52mSv/year and yet it's not some zombie ridden hellhole or even a cancer hotspot. So on the basis of a great many years of empirical evidence, 52mSv/year isn't a problem.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494479)

for god's sake get your facts straight. you're saying every resident in denver would be ineligible to work in a nuclear plant - usa workers can't average over 20 msv a year over a 5 year period, with 50 msv being the most they're allowed in a year (in case of emergency).

the actual background dose in denver is around 2 to 3 msv per year depending on location. in particularly radon-plagued areas, it can be up to 10. even then it works out to be 1.4 usv/hour, and your initial post stated that denver received over 6.4. you clearly haven't bothered to research this at all.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494481)

You need to differentiate between internal and external exposure. Bragging random bullshit about nuclear energy is not going to help it.

Japan has LOW background radioactivity. (2)

aepervius (535155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493921)

Go in basal, granite mountain, like near limoge in France (massif central) and you get 5 to 10 times as much background radioactivity as in japan. Other country may even have more. That said I would like to see the calibration of that dosimeter. Color me skeptical , as in my life I had dosimeter go haywire on me.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (4, Informative)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493591)

A better reference than TFA, the report from TEPCO: "Reference Result of the dose measurement in the second investigation inside of Primary Containment Vessels, Unit 2, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant" [tepco.co.jp] with the precise location of measurements and the last report (Mar 27,2012) from TEPCO regarding Unit 2 of Fukushima Daiichi: [tepco.co.jp]
 

- At 10:10 am on March 26, 2011, we started injecting freshwater to the reactor and are now injecting fresh water by a motor driven pump powered by the off-site transmission line.
- At 2:59 pm on September 14, 2011, in addition to water injection from feed water system, we started water injection from piping of core spray system to the reactor.
The current water injection amount from the reactor feed water system is approx. 2.7 m3/h and that from the core spray system is approx. 6m3/h.
- At 5:21 pm on May 31, 2011, we started cyclic cooling for the water in the spent fuel pool by an alternative cooling equipment of the Fuel Pool Cooling and Filtering System.
- At 8:06 pm on June 28, 2011, we started injecting nitrogen gas into the Primary Containment Vessel.
- At 6:00 pm on October 28, 2011, a full operation of the PCV gas control system started.
- From 9:40 am to 12:30 pm on March 26, the water level and water temperature inside the PCV of Unit 2 was investigated with the industrial endoscope. As a result, the water level was confirmed to be 60 cm from the bottom of the PCV and the water temperature was confirmed to be in the range of approx. 48.5 to 50.0 .
- At 12:10 pm on March 27, the amount of injected nitrogen into the PCV was adjusted from 0 Nm3/h to approx. 5 Nm3/h as the internal investigation of the Unit 2 PCV was finished.
- At 10:46 am on December 1, 2011, we started the nitrogen injection to the Reactor Pressure Vessel.
- At 11:50 am on January 19, 2012, we started the operation of the spent fuel pool desalting facility.

TEPCO should be blamed for their negligence in not raising the height of the seawalls and leaving two big nuclear power stations at the mercy of a tsunami, the executives that didn't do it are 1 year late to jail, but after march their engineers have dealt with the nuclear emergency as good as possible.

Re:INSIDE THE CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493855)

While everyone is blaming TEPCO because they are owners, the real cause of this negligence is the Japanese government, Japanese culture and Japanese lack of regulation. TEPCO's actions suck, but they were within guidelines.

There should be regulation that reactor building should be watertight (or made watertight at a push of a button) and cooling equipment should be in water tight spaces. The only exception is passively-safe reactors where the only requirement is integrity of the reactor building.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passively_safe [wikipedia.org]

Of course now they have had a wake-up call. We'll see if they learn from it or wreck their economy and spend $400-$500B/decade importing fossil fuels (at current prices, never mind prices 10 years from now).

They will never tell it straight to your face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493241)

Be assured that it will be worse than what they tell you.

job security (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493255)

n/t

This cannot be! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493269)

The Slashdot propaganda tells us that nuclear power is safe. Perfectly safe!

Re:This cannot be! (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493343)

The Slashdot propaganda tells us that nuclear power is safe. Perfectly safe!

Slashdot propaganda is highly questionable. I prefer to get my information from an impartial and trusted source, the Key Atomic Benefits Office Of Mankind.

Re:This cannot be! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493595)

NUKE.jp is COMING SOON!

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493291)

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside Lindsay Lohan, and came to the exact same conclusions before the tip of the tool corroded.

If only it were contained... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493307)

Holy shit! Those radiation levels would be high enough to kill a guy. If only they were isolated inside some kind of containment unit where they would pose little hazard to the public.

Re:If only it were contained... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493383)

1) Which is why no radiation escaped, right?
2) Can I count on you to reliably oppose any reactor design that doesn't have a pressuretight containment structure beyond the reactor vessel itself?

So...How long until (0)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493321)

How long until we're taking tours of Japan's exclusion zone? Chernobyl's getting old and busted.

Re:So...How long until (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494267)

But that is the interest of Chernobyl, seeing the decay of the city as it breaks apart.
The memorial at the reactor is more interesting then seeing the reactor itself.

No Problem (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493339)

According to some [slashdot.org] , it's easy to deal with [slashdot.org] . Just grind it up, extract the valuable radioisotopes, and Bob's your uncle!

"metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation" (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493391)

"metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation"

No pics? Booo.

~space (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493403)

a process expected to last decades

Japan does not have so much habitable areas. Considering that a plant failure condemns 1000 km, how many accidents are needed to have the Japanese move to Korea/Australia? In other words, how many nuclear accidents do we need to realize that alternative solutions have to be seriously considered, everywhere?

Re:~space (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493411)

(the square symbol was filtered out - it was originally 1000 km2)

Re:~space (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493453)

They didn't do too bad with cleaning up Hiroshima and Nagasaki...

Re:~space (5, Interesting)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493887)

A fission nuclear bomb consumes a large part of its fissile fuel for its explosion. And it contains a small amount of it, to begin with. When a nuclear reactor blows up, it is usually a non-nuclear explosion (steam release, graphite fire) that spreads unspent nuclear fuel all over an area. They're two different phenomena.

Re:~space (3, Informative)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494553)

A fission nuclear bomb consumes a large part of its fissile fuel for its explosion

Not really, Fat Man converted about 20% of it's Pu load into energy; also of lot of radioactive elements were probably produced by the encasing during the explosion.

And it contains a small amount of it, to begin with

That's most certainly the point. Fat Man contained 6kg of plutonium. Tepco estimates that about 68 tons of fuel [enenews.com] melted in Fukushima reactor no 1 alone.

Re:~space (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493459)

Considering that was only ~.25% of land, I think they'll be alright on the "running out of land from nuclear reactor fallout" for the foreseeable future.

How rare/minor do these accidents have to be before alarmists stop condemning all nuclear activity? Condemn OLD nuclear plants that are no longer safe, sure. Quit trying to stop new plants and technology, that's why the old ones are still running in many cases.

Booga booga, radiation!

Re:~space (1, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493961)

Quit trying to stop new plants and technology,

no need to do that: they are stopping themselves, by being prohibitively expensive. solar and wind are rapidly gaining economic feasibility.

Re:~space (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494095)

It isn't the safety of the plants they are worried about, it's the safety of the people operating them. Nuclear plants require correct operation and minimum levels of investment to be safe. Governments also tend to fail at monitoring and enforcing the rules.

Re:~space (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494575)

that's why the old ones are still running in many cases.

I don't believe that, and I think you are deluding yourself at best, dishonest at worst. The reason if much more probably because it's more profitable to let things go this way.

Re:~space (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493639)

The contaminated area has a radius of less than 100km and Japan has enough habitable areas - actually all of Japan is habitable. the mountain ranges are - even in the low altitude valleys - nearly empty. There are huge areas covered by rice fields.

Re:~space (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494059)

The contaminated area has a radius of less than 100km

That makes 30,000 km2, even worse than what the 1000km2 of my post

Re:~space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493743)

There's still lots of space deep underground [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_underground [wikipedia.org] ]

Re:~space (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494099)

378, based on the figure of Japan having 377940km^2 of surface area.

I think they'll be just fine.

Re:~space (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494733)

a process expected to last decades

Japan does not have so much habitable areas. Considering that a plant failure condemns 1000 km, how many accidents are needed to have the Japanese move to Korea/Australia?

i reckon it all depends if the Japanese are able to live at/under sea or not. If they do, it will take longer.

Cost per kwatt/h? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493423)

I wonder what the average cost of the electricity produced over the life of the plant is now after the tangible costs of clean up are added - not even getting into the collateral radiation damage when cancer rates "mysteriously" rise.

That has always been the problem (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493669)

What are the long term costs of anything? But that goes for all other industries just as much. Lets not forget the Santorum frot after the BP oil disaster. What are the long term costs of that? Coal isn't clean either and all that dust is another long term hassle. Will the tar sands really be cleaned up by mining it or will it create an even worse environmental area. What are the costs of mining the minerals needed for solar plants? Just how many birds are killed by wind farms. Just how sustainable is a hydro plant when a river fills it with silth and the fish can no longer migrate?

Every advocate of any scheme will ignore long term risks on his own pet scheme and highlight them for the rest. Up to you to make sense of it all. Good luck.

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If only Japan knew... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493599)

That nuclear radiation was bad for their people.

It's a shame that they didn't learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Re:If only Japan knew... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494113)

They did learn. The reason why Japan went into WWII was because they imported large amounts of energy that was easily blockaded. So, they wanted to make certain that they would never again have to suffer such issues. Nukes, done right, is a moderately cheap form of energy. Of course, the 1st gen plants from the 60's are probably not the ideal systems.

"News"? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493863)

Or, they could just wait for most active products of fission to hit their half lives enough times for radiation to go down to far more tolerable levels, and then decommission the plant.

Like they do in the West even now.

Subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39494161)

Yet, throughout the world support for nuclear is stable or growing. Also, the majority of core material melted through to the bottom of the containment vessel so it is being cooled. If it wasn't, we'd know about it, there'd be no hiding that. Several decades of decommissioning ... nothing unusual there regardless of the state of the plant when it was set for decommissioning.

Nuclear Free (-1, Flamebait)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494457)

I won't matter if I present a rational argument here I'll still be modded a troll because Slashdot is where the Nuklear Cowboys riiide. People who want to be Nuclear Free are derided as 'Anti'. Facts are dealt with ad-hominem attacks and evidence based arguments are dealt with ignorance. The Nuclear Cowboys don't have the mental capacity to asses the facts rationally and instead rely on dogmatic skepticism and the assurance that they a mentally superior because they rely on the social proof of being modded up to re-assure their own internal belief systems. Bring on the AC losers.

Reality is irrelevant, these Nuklear Cowboys have a reality distortion field that comes from years subjected to professional propaganda and spin doctoring. Fukushima proves every day what a industry full of cowboys can achieve. Want a reliable nuclear industry fanbois then take responsibility for the failures instead of making excuses for them. Even presented with this sobering situation the bullshit flows as freely as the kool aid.

The wonderful, amazing and ultimately pointless technology of the Nuclear Industry is the most massive failure modern man has produced, that's reality!

Re:Nuclear Free (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494573)

So make those responsible take responsibility for the disasters. If a nuclear plant is run unsafely, make the executives and shareholders responsible for any accidents. If people die, then put them in prison etc.

Just don't put all nuclear plants in one basket. After all, if one car blows up we don't have protests trying to ban all cars.

Re:Nuclear Free (4, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494675)

What pisses me off the most is the people who wring their hands and say we should end Nuclear Power based on a first generation commercial design 20 years past it's design life in the most seismically active place in the world on the coast of the country that has such bad Tsunamis that they actually got the world to use their language in naming it. At the same time there have been near zero coverage of the tens of thousands of people and billions of dollars in property destroyed by the quake and Tsunami.

This is all a result of preventing the industry from advancing. Imagine if we were stuck with first generation airplanes? Sure there were accidents as the technology developed and many were killed on the planes and on the ground. But the only way to get better is to do it. We could be sitting here with near limitless energy and zero CO2 emissions if breeders were pursued.

Damn the arrogance, damn the arrogants (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494587)

Okay, some cards on the table here. I work for a nuclear industry company. I'm not a nuclear anything -- just an IT guy -- but I have seen and learned a lot over the past few years about the nuclear industry and about the Japanese nuclear industry and the Japanese business mindsets and more.

I know the kind of hard-mindedness behind what has led up to Fukushima and what has PERSISTED it. It's the persistence that really gets under my U.S. American skin. In the U.S., we KNOW when we've made mistakes and we learn from them quickly, readily and even hungrily. Sure, we have our share of arrogant assholes too, but it's not our "culture" to be that way. Watching the Japanese in action routinely fills me with a sense of "WTF?!"

Fortunately, not all Japanese are alike. Some think in far better ways. But unfortunately, there are too many arrogant assholes who are still trying to keep it covered up and glossed over and they simply don't want to talk about it. The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) situation uses Japanese nuclear equipment and it has recently been determined that there is a design flaw in it leading to the problems they are experiencing over there. (BTW, does it help to know that the gear in Fukushima is mostly Westinghouse? I suppose not as the problems come from poor disaster planning, maintenance and other factors of implementation... the gear itself was just fine.)

@MrKaos

Sorry bud, but you're just wrong. Nuclear is the best thing we've got for energy. The problems you are identifying is jackasses who don't respect the danger and manage it properly. Do you also think that fire is a bad idea as well? After all, it also has incredible destructive potential but can be perfectly safe when managed properly. Nuclear incidents are rare. Extremely rare. The problem is people who don't understand running and funding these things thinking they can save a few bucks (or yen) here and there or make bad decisions because they have a business partner who could benefit from using one thing over another and so on and on. It's the PEOPLE, MrKaos, which is the problem... and actually, a relatively small number of people at that. I find most people in the nuclear industry to be quite competent and capable. But there are arrogant jackasses everywhere thinking "I could save $1 million by cutting back on...." The problems here are the same as the ones found in the BP oil catastrophe. THE SAME.

Re:Damn the arrogance, damn the arrogants (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494725)

It's not arrogance, it's face. Under really bad and embarrassing situations it probably looks the same from the outside but it's not.

In America we're totally fucked, too, just look at the facts. There was a news item recently that the heads of American nuclear plants never saved enough money for their decommission. That means we face that potentially weird but real science fictile future where the countryside is dotted with highly radioactive no-go zones. Or there'll be a Nuclear Bailout and those idiots will go home hands clean while the government picks up the tab for twenty years of free dismantling.

But what is ANY American saying about that right now?

And you want to shift bullshit over to the Japanese side of the table.

THEY'RE saving face.

WE'RE arrogant.

Las Vegas Event Planning (-1, Offtopic)

madonahills (2605325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494649)

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High in lies, low in content (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494655)

Whoever submitted this story didn't even read the content of the link s/he provided. There is enough water, although less than thought and it is sufficient to cool the reactor. It is certainly a deliberate lie to claim there was no water.

I also cannot imagine anybody thought that standing right next to the core of a nuclear reactor within the containment was anything less than deadly or that anybody should be concerned about this, the area being, as it was, on the inside of an over 1m thick concrete shell.

Calling all would-be hard sci-fi authors (2)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39494691)

This isn't an actual commercial solicitation leading up to any kind of authorship. Unless you count authoring a comment (below).

Q: What in your estimation is the worst-case scenario involving critical mass left uncooled and resting on a surface attached to the ground?

Allow me to instigate some imaginings:

* Melting through to the center of the earth, causing a singularity

* Turning into a carrot

Please respond, I'm really concerned about what this lump of actively fissile material is apt to accomplish.

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