February 10th, 2012. At one month or almost of the first “birthday” of the beginning of the catastrophe of Fukushima (March 11th, 2011), the power station knows a blow of heat. And even if the operator had proclaimed with in mid-December his… cold stop! The corium remembers thus for submission to all those which would like to forget it well. Not, it will not cool as quickly as one would like. In fact, since February 2nd, the engine n°2 recorded fluctuations of temperature. As then announced it operator TEPCO, a “tendency to the increase in the temperature at the base of the tank was detected”. It reached 70°C, if one believes of them measurements of the sensors which must function under somewhat chaotic conditions. That is to say 25 degrees more than what post of other sensors, elsewhere in the tank.
What could well occur in this large tank from steel which permanently receives water intended to cool fuel melted, to evacuate its residual power? (1) Changes of pipes carried out by TEPCO obviously disturbed the food then the circulation of water (2), and certain zones would then have started again to heat. Paradox… It is because the weather was particularly cold these last weeks with Fukushima which the problem arose. Water cold and broke drains (there would have been 28 escapes) which it was necessary to replace with polyethylene pipes…
On February 7th, to avoid very taken again “criticality” - in other words very taken again nuclear reaction, TEPCO announced to have injected boron (in the form of boric acid), element known to absorb the neutrons and to have increased the flow of water. This acid makes it possible to minimize the nuclear risk of reaction (that the neutrons maintain).
This Thursday, February 9, rebelote. The flow of water still was increased, and increased to 13.6 m3 per hour, the temperature not being really gone down - it was still of 66.8°C, at 11:00 of the morning local, according to the operator. For all those which would doubt it - thinking that the catastrophe is finished - proof is made that the molten hearts of Fukushima (2) must be supervised like milk on fire. The residual power is there for years… And the unit remains difficult to approach due to radioactivity. During this time, work of Pénélope, it is necessary to continue to decontaminate tens of thousands of m3 of water which one injects day after days, month after month, and which takes care in radioactive elements.
1) It would be of 700 kw, according to an official statement on the subject of the IRSN http://www.irsn.fr/FR/Actualites_presse/Actualites/Pages/20120208_f...
3) Without forgetting worn fuels to maintain under water, at low temperature, in the swimming pools.
*translated by Systran-make sure to read the comments if you translate from the main page