TEPCO can't identify flammable gas in pipe at Fukushima nuclear reactor

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  • 2

    PrettyPrettyGood

    Really?? First Hydrogen...then "unidentified flammable gas." Here comes the slow leak...literally and figuratively!

    I don't know whether it's the translation or simply the ineptness of TEPCO's PR people, but they really come off sounding less-than-clueless in their statements. Bizarre, stupefying, and pretty amazing.

  • 1

    Utrack

    PrettyPrettyGood said everything I wanted to say about this mysteriously unidentifiable gas that was tested by TEPCO in the pipes and classified as hydrogen for the past two days.

  • 0

    sf2k

    baa booom . You know it's coming.

  • 0

    some14some

    Bizarre, stupefying, and pretty amazing.

    'Scary' to sum up.

  • 1

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    And the big 'It's unlikely.....' statements. How many of those have we heard the last 6 months?

  • 1

    Farmboy

    Oh okay, but I want a commission: http://www.ahurascientific.com/chemical-explosives-id/products/trudefenderftg/index.php

    This supposedly identifies gases quickly and accurately, and is easy to operate. It looks expensive, though.

  • 1

    badmigraine

    I suppose they have to pretend it's not hydrogen because hydrogen would mean something is not as as cooled down as they had been claiming? Is that it?

  • 0

    Utrack

    The company has been injecting nitrogen into the reactor so that the level of oxygen inside becomes low enough to prevent blasts.

    Hasn't TEPCO been injecting Nitrogen into the reactors since May to because of the presence of hydrogen?

    Maybe with all the H-2-O, in, under and around the reactors the nitrogen they were putting into the reactors was not enough.

  • 0

    Utrack

    TEPCO workers have began injecting nitrogen into the containment vessel in April.

    My bad it's April not May.

  • 0

    zichi

    TEPCO does not know what is happening inside reactors 1-3 even from the instrumentation. It's guess work, all the time. The reactors are damaged, the structures weakened from the earthquake and explosions. If they had any doubts they could just take a sample of the gas and analysis it.

    Until all the nuke fuels and the meltdown material is removed from the site, which will take many years, the plant will remain highly dangerous to the 'n' degree.

    I have the most concern about reactor No3 and the No3 spend fuel pool.

  • 0

    herefornow

    Simply amazing. Six months after the disaster and they still don't have the technology in place to identify this gas. The inmates are truly running the asylum.

  • 0

    zichi

    The latest videos of reactors 2 and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant show steam rising from the locations where the reactors are located.

    The video of reactor 3 was taken on August 24, and the video of reactor 2 was taken on September 17 when the company sampled the air using the remote-control crane; a video camera was attached to the boom.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    Wait until a big off shore wind comes and blow it up.

  • 0

    zichi

    Those latest videos can be watched on YouTube.

    No3 reactor http://www.youtube.com/user/AtomicPowerReview#p/a/u/0/YQWT538Hn9Q

    No2 reactor http://www.youtube.com/user/AtomicPowerReview#p/a/u/1/VoS7nbgboag

  • 0

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    Thanks Zichi. I'll take a look. Has it been picked up by the mainstream media here?

  • 1

    PrettyPrettyGood

    And the big 'It's unlikely.....' statements. How many of those have we heard the last 6 months?

    Let me translate based on the behavior I've seen:

    "Actually, this is the scenario that we're prepping for, but we won't discuss it unless it happens...and not until long time after it does."

  • 0

    zichi

    Has it been picked up by the mainstream media here?

    I don't know?

  • 2

    CrazyJoe

    What TEPCO really is saying is there's no danger of an explosion until it explodes.

  • -1

    BlueWitch

    INCOMPETENCE @ its finest!!

  • 0

    PrettyPrettyGood

    The latest videos of reactors 2 and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant show steam rising from the locations where the reactors are located.

    zichi, thanks for these...fascinating. So what's your estimate? Is that bad...or...really, really bad?

  • -1

    Jared Norman

    Its probably really bad explosives mixed with nukes do not go well together we already no this.

  • 1

    zichi

    So what's your estimate? Is that bad...or...really, really bad?

    Provided you accept that I am no expert on nuke power stations but since 3/11 I certainly know more about them than before. I'm an ex electrical engineer, but for many years I've been an artist-painter, I have extensive industrial experience in the heavy chemical industry and power generation.

    The situation at the plant will remain highly dangerous until all the nuke fuel is removed from the site, which will be many years in the future. TEPCO have not removed the dry caskets with spent fuel from a storage down on the dock. The common fuel pool is almost full of spent fuel. The cooling pools 1-4 are also full. The meltdowns in reactors 1-3.

    The problems have compounded by gross errors and judgements since the very first hour of the disaster.

    Progress has been much slower than I would have hoped for. Another disaster could strike the plant, hell yes!

  • 0

    zichi

    The only voting down of comments should be the ones by TEPCO?

  • 0

    Serrano

    What happened to the French nuclear experts? I could have sworn I saw Sarkozy promising French nuclear experts would help to solve this problem on TV about 6 months ago ...

  • 0

    zichi

    In Tokyo, there's an international team of nuclear experts trying to work out how to end the disaster? I think they are working on the end game?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    “It is likely that we will continue the survey the gas..."

    So they can't even decide to continue to do something on their own?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Anyway, TEPCO can't identify the large obstruction up their butts as their heads, so why should this 'unidentifiable gas' be a surprise?

  • 0

    Charles M Burns

    Unidentifiable gas? no problem, TEPCO couldn't identify radiation either. I like their consistency.

  • 0

    Kapuna

    Are there no chemists in Japan that can analyze a sample?

  • 0

    zichi

    They could even just install an instrument in the pipeline which measures the hydrogen content.

  • 1

    kurisupisu

    Probably CH4 out of the behinds of the Tepco management...........

  • -1

    Jared Norman

    the french are probably on vacation, its that time of the year. i have nuclear experience it dangerous until a cold shut down is achieved after that its just maintenance

  • 0

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    TEPCO can't identify flammable gas in pipe at Fukushima nuclear reactor

    Or locate their backsides with both hands and a map.

    Surely this article would be more concise if we tried to identify something TEPCO CAN do? Every time I read more about this farce, I'm reminded of Ed Harris in Apollo 13: "Right, let's start again. What do we have on the ship that works?"

  • -1

    Jared Norman

    its not easy to install an instrument on that pipeline

  • 0

    Arthur Dumbolov

    New chemical element?

  • 1

    gogogo

    Tepco can't do pretty much of anything

  • 0

    Alex80

    It's such a mess! And the international community remains to look at it. This is not just a japanese problem, it's a global problem! If the things get worse, the contamination could start to spread around the globe in a dangerous way (even if all the governments would say that it is at "safe level"). I'm speechless...

  • 0

    warnerbro

    I need to find this news in the original Japanese. "a 100% flammable gas" could mean one molecule of hydrogen, which would be 100% flammable. Or do they mean 100% of the substance in the pipe is a flammable gas? That sounds extremely bad, to understate the matter considerably. How do they know it's flammable if they don't know what it is? Did someone take a cigarette break? If it's in the pipe it could also be in the reactors in large amounts. Isn't fission still going on in the melted fuel? What I've read is that the water cools the outside but fission is still happening on the inside. Are they going to vent this? Venting worked so well last time...If so, they'll release it with a wave of radiation some night when they hope the wind is going to blow to the north or east, but what happens when the gas hits the O2 outside?

  • 1

    zichi

    Jared Norman,

    its not easy to install an instrument on that pipeline

    oh! but it is!

  • 0

    electric2004

    For installing an instrument, one needs an access port. If there is one, installing is easy. As other readers commented, hydrogen detectors are easily available.

    However, if there is no access port, then drilling a hole in such a pipe with a probably explosive gas inside is not a good idea, as drilling might lead to sparks, and when the inside gas is mixed with air outside and a spark appears: kaboom!

  • 0

    zichi

    Judging from a diagram issued by TEPCO, there are two locations for installing an instrument.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wnYZwAgUwDA/Tnw17v2wz9I/AAAAAAAACFM/i0l_Do-ttRU/s1600/fukushimareactor1hydrogen.JPG

  • -1

    Jared Norman

    You have to measure radiation and be in a cold shutdown first, then you can install.

  • 0

    zichi

    You have to measure radiation and be in a cold shutdown first, then you can install.

    Why? Measuring the radiation would have doing to do with installing an instrument to measure hydrogen?

  • 0

    PrettyPrettyGood

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFLipZWlpOs&feature=player_embedded

    Don't mean to spam, but has everyone seen this?

  • 0

    zichi

    On July 16, TEPCO stated that reactors 1-3 had been filled with nitrogen, but from this post that would not be the case. Are they tripping up over their own lies?

  • 0

    zichi

    Comment on the YouTube video, the The China Syndrome has been proven to be impossible, but some people keep pushing it. Wish they hadn't made that Hollywood movie.

  • 0

    SquidBert

    @zichi.

    While I agree that the China Syndrome, as it to my understanding occurs in the movie (which I haven't seen) is impossible (i.e. core melts its way trough the earth) I still believe that the scenario discussed in the posted youtube video (i.e core melts trough containment vessel and into the ground where it hits the ground water table) is a possibility.

  • 0

    zichi

    SquidBert,

    TEPCO have stated the reactors are built on bedrock?

  • 0

    SquidBert

    @Zichi,

    I put very little faith in what TEPCO is saying (and I think the same is true for you). The bedrock that they are speaking of is probably under a thick layer porous aquifer other ways I don't think they would be having the problems of ground water seeping into the power plant.

    Also some sources state that melted corium can reach 3000, degrees Celsius, and even at 2000 degrees it would be more than enough to melt trough common types of rock found in the area.

  • 0

    zichi

    SquidBert,

    Yes, I have little faith in TEPCO when it comes to telling the the truth. If the temperature of the corium is hot enough to melt rock, then also the outer containment vessel of the reactors would have also melted. I can't find any maps or plans, other than a blueprint, which just shows the reactor building.

    At the moment I would be more concerned about the corium getting into the sea since I believe some of it is in the basement of No1 building.

  • 0

    zichi

    TEPCO's plan for removing fuel, represented to the Atomic Energy Commission, Aug, 31.

    -Removing 1,496 fuel assemblies from reactors 1/2/3. -Trial and error methods. -Remove radioactivity from inside the reactor buildings, using robots and remote control equipement. -Repairs leaks to prevent water leaking into the turbine building and other places. -Fill the containment and pressure vessels with water. -Begin removing 3,108 nuclear fuel assemblies from storage pools of the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors in about three years. -Overhead cranes and fuel replacement systems will be installed at storage pools of the No. 1, 3 and 4 reactors. -Fuel removed from storage pools will be kept at a common-use pool near the No. 4 reactor building. -Within three years containers will be installed to cover the damaged reactor buildings. -Within three years after Step 2 is completed, containers will be installed to cover the damaged reactor buildings. -It will be extremely difficult to collect damaged fuel scattered in and outside the reactors. It will be no less easy to remove radioactivity and repair damages because various parts of the plant are contaminated with high levels of radioactivity.

    work flow chart for removing fuel from reactors which will take about 10 years before the work even starts.

    http://dwqovw6qi0vie.cloudfront.net/article-imgs/en/2011/09/01/AJ201109018578/AJ201109018728.jpg

  • 0

    zichi

    Before deciding to cut a pipe from No1 reactor it was checked for hydrogen content with a portable measuring instrument. The indication was less than 1% so TEPCO announced no danger, but the reading was off the scale so a worker decided to check it again with another instrument but with a larger scale. That showed the hydrogen was greater than 4% with a possibility for an explosion. TEPCO announced that the gas from the reactor was probably 100% hydrogen.

    TEPCO then announced, it didn't know what the gas was?

    On Sunday,the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency ordered TEPCO to check reactors 2&3 for hydrogen content, to avoid further explosions.

  • 0

    Farmboy

    TEPCO then announced, it didn't know what the gas was?

    Zichi, Yes, that's what I don't get. If this is the same problem as that shown on the diagram you posted on another thread (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wnYZwAgUwDA/Tnw17v2wz9I/AAAAAAAACFM/i0l_Do-ttRU/s1600/fukushimareactor1hydrogen.JPG), they said clearly the gas was hydrogen, so what is this about?

  • 0

    zichi

    Farmboy,

    just another Fan Dance by TEPCO. Probably they realised what they had said without linking fear of explosions to the hydrogen?

  • 0

    Farmboy

    Probably they realised what they had said without linking fear of explosions to the hydrogen?

    Could be. Even from a PR standpoint, they think in mysterious ways.

  • 0

    Utrack

    Hydrogen check ordered at No.2, 3 reactors

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/26_02.html

    Excerpt: The utility says it will measure the levels of hydrogen at the No.1 reactor before injecting nitrogen and taking other measures to prevent another explosion.

    The firm is expected to take similar measures if hydrogen is detected at the No.2 and No.3 reactors as well

  • 1

    zichi

    TEPCO intended to cut the pipe without first finding out what was inside the pipe. A translated TWEET from a plant worker.

    "I'm so glad that we didn't cut the pipe. It may sound incredible but there was no measurement [of flammable gas] scheduled in the initial work plan. But they decided to measure one day before they were going to cut the pipe. Close call. There is no instrument that can measure hydrogen alone, at Fuku I. It will come on September 28, so the measurement may be done on either September 28 or 29. The result seems obvious, but..."

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