The cooling pump failure at Reactor 5 (yes, Reactor 5, a new one) seems to have been corrected by the installation of an additional pump. The failure raised temperatures from 68 to 93.6 degrees in the reactor and 41 to 46 degrees in the fuel pool. I suspect that these numbers are Celsius, not Fahrenheit, which puts the boiling point of water at 100, not 212. The explosion heard at about the same time came from rubble clearing equipment damaging a gas cylinder according to TEPCO.
And we all believe them, don’t we?
On the credibility front, Prime Minister Naoto Kan barely survived a no-confidence vote by making a pledge to resign “once certain progress” has been made.
Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who brokered the deal, said that Kan had agreed to go by the end of June, while Kan said at a press conference late Thursday that the work required him to stay at least through the end of the year.
Hatoyama shot back Friday morning, saying that Kan was a “con artist” if he tried to stay on.
“Right before the no-confidence vote, he says he will resign, and then once it’s voted down, he says he won’t. The prime minister should not be behaving like a con artist…If he is such a person, I should have supported the no-confidence vote,” Hatoyama told reporters Friday morning.
But there are more important things happening, like the imminent exhaustion of ALL the storage for the now highly radioactive water they’ve been pumping to prevent another out of control reaction.
Fukushima Radioactive Water May Breach Plant’s Storage Trenches in 5 Days
By Tsuyoshi Inajima, Bloomberg News
Jun 2, 2011 6:32 AM ET
Tepco has pumped millions of liters of cooling water into the three reactors that melted down. By May 18, almost 100,000 tons of radioactive water had leaked into the basements of reactor and turbine buildings, connecting tunnels and service trenches at the plant, according to Tepco’s estimates.
Water levels are between 27.7 centimeters (11 inches) below the top of a shaft leading to a trench connected to the No. 2 building and 23.9 centimeters below the ground at the No. 3 unit today, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at Tepco, said.
The levels were 64.1 centimeters for the No. 2 building and 45.6 for No. 3 on May 27, showing a rate of increase that will reach the lip of the trenches as early as June 6.
The rate of increase in water level quickened because of three days of rain from typhoon Songda that weakened as it swept past Japan earlier this week. Namie, a town near the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station, had 112 millimeters of rain on May 30, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The Associated Press is currently reporting that TEPCO is planning on removing 1,500 tons of water immediately, but you don’t have to be a math genius to compare 100,000 to 1,500 and reach the sure and certain conclusion that this represents 1.5%, literally a drop in the bucket.
Even this more optimistic piece from AFP says that only 2 or 3 of a planned 370 temporary storage tanks are expected to reach the site in the next few days with the rest taking as long as mid August to get there. And when they do the capacity will be a mere 40,000 tons which some quick and non-controversial arithmetic tells me leaves 60% still sloshing around.
They still keep pumping more too.
59% of Japanese are worried they have been exposed to radiation from the Fukushima disaster and at least 2 workers have exceeded their lifetime limits with an additional 40 being tested.