Sunday, December 22, 2013

A recent Fukushima release via ENFORMABLE; note the members of the Consortium.

Here is a recent release of early stuff, April 29, 2011 (from ENFORMABLE on December 16, 2013).  NOTE THAT THE CONSORTIUM INCLUDES General Electric Company.  I wonder if SANDIA was involved via DOE or NRC.

One essential function among five listed is:

Maintain reactors and spent fuel pools subcritical and adequately shielded.

Posted: 16 Dec 2013 01:39 PM PST
In April of 2011, a consortium of industrial and governmental organizations established to provide advice to Japan in its efforts to stabilize the conditions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, authored an analysis of Tokyo Electric’s roadmap to restore stability at the crippled facility. The consortium was made up of representatives from General Electric, Hitachi, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), Naval Reactors, United States Department of Energy / Nuclear Energy, and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The roadmap which had been released by TEPCO gave examples of the near-term actions that TEPCO deemed necessary to minimize radiation releases and reestablish safety.
The consortium established five essential functions necessary for achieving the near term goal for improving plant conditions.
The five essential functions are as follows:
  • Remove decay and chemical heat from reactors, containment, and spent fuel pools.
  • Maintain reactors and spent fuel pools subcritical and adequately shielded.
  • Ensure structural integrity for all units (e.g. containment and spent fuel pools).
  • Provide reliable indication of essential parameters.
  • Terminate (or render insignificant) uncontrolled radioactive releases.
The consortium was also very concerned about the spent fuel pools in nearly all of the units.  The consortium largely dismissed the thermographic work that TEPCO had carried out, because it only indicated the surface temperature of the first obstacle encountered, and did not indicate the actual spent fuel pool temperature.
At Unit 1, the consortium was concerned that water being sprayed on the spent fuel pool was not actually reaching the pool.  They advised that TEPCO investigate and confirm that the spent fuel in the spent fuel pool was being cooled.
In Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 4, the consortium felt that TEPCO should install independent redundant backup systems for cooling.
While the consortium expressed concern about the Unit 4 spent fuel pool, experts were also concerned about the structural integrity of the Unit 3 building after being ripped apart by the explosions.
The consortium analysis pointed out that TEPCO’s roadmap was glaringly silent on maintaining the fuel sub-critical.  Further, the experts even questioned TEPCO’s ability to detect and monitor inadvertent criticality.
After using sea water for emergency cooling in the reactors, experts felt that consideration should be given to biological growth which may occur in the reactor vessels, containments, and spent fuel pools.  This had been witnessed at Three Mile Island, where it had been learned that the growth of such life forms could reduce visibility in the waters at best, or even worse could affect coolability of the fuel by reducing flows or heat transfer coefficients from surfaces.
To view the TEPCO Roadmap follow the link below:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Spent Fuel Pool LOCAs and Censorship by NRC

Censorship continues.  NRC will not open up.  Here is my email to my Idaho Senator dated November 20, 2013:

Sent: 11/20/2013 1:34:10 P.M. Mountain Standard Time
Subj: The NRC lied to Senator Risch
Senator Risch:

On March 1, 2012, Buchanan of NRC wrote: The NRC has a long history of, and commitment to, transparency, participation, and collaboration in our regulatory activities.

I’ll concede that is likely that Buchanan’s letter is sufficiently weasel-worded so that lawyers at NRC could prove that nobody lied.

For years I have been trying to get details of NRC sponsored work at Sandia in the area of spent fuel pool fires.  NRC has stiff-armed my attempts.  It turns out that even GE and NEI have been stiff-armed; the following e-mail at NRC in the time frame of the shock of Fukushima  is revealing:

From: Zigh, Ghani
To: Gibson, Kathy; Scott, Michael
Sent: Wed Mar 16 14:01:31 2011
FW: Spent Fuel Experiments

What is our decision on sharing the BWR zirc fire data with GE and NEI.

They are classified as OUO documents.

 In order to keep this brief, I’ll go right to the bottom line.  I want to know what is going on and what has been going on and what will be going on.  There are or have been a lot of non-American participants who apparently have full access to this activity.  How in the world did American taxpayers get stuck in a situation that requires that the work be classified as OUO and that stiff-arms American taxpayers, while a league of foreigners not only has access to the work, but may control it?

Finally, I am an expert in these matters.  On Mayday, 2002, I sent PRM-50-76 to NRC, NRC denied it, and I am continuing to work in the field.  Fukushima on the Columbia would be no fun and the Columbia Generating Station is not worth the risk. 

Robert H. Leyse
222 Elkhorn Road
P. O. Box 2850
Sun Valley, ID 83353

I have not received any reply. I'll send further requests during early January 2014.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SANDIA Spent Fuel Pool Fires and the Need-to-Know

Here are interesting SANDIA documents in the area of spent fuel pool accidents.  These are heavily sanitized and I want the original reports.
Here is a GAO report that is not sanitized:
The above GAO report refers to access to classified reports as follows:
The draft report recommends that the NRC Chairman direct the agency staff to develop a mechanism that allows individuals with appropriate clearances and the need-to-know to easily identify and access classified studies and help ensure that institution knowledge is not lost.

So, if I want to find out what is going on at SANDIA and elsewhere I'll have to become  one of tthe "... individuals with appropriate clearances and the need-to-know ... ."