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Today’s Fukushima updates from Dr. Furitsu (March 17)

March 17, 2011

The following updates from Dr. Katsumi Furitsu have arrived since yesterday, when we posted an initial collection of her reports [A first-hand account of Japan’s nuclear crisis]. They are in chronological order as we received them.

Sent:   Wed 3/16/2011 8:56 PM EDT

Subject:   [IPPNWFORUM] They start dropping water…..

We are now watching on TV a helicopter which is measuring the radiation level over the plants.

The helicopter has just dropped water over the No. 3 reactor……..

The reporter saids: The CH 47 helicopter can carry 7.5 ton of water. Another helicopter is now heading to the site. (9:48 am)

The second one (or the same one? again) has just drop water….9:52 am

The third drop is over No. 4.

I will write further later…..



Sent:   Wed 3/16/2011 10:19 PM EDT

Subject:   [IPPNWFORUM] more information

Just before starting to drop water from the helicopter the government had a press conference.

The following is the information from the conference and the TV media (NHK) report showing the actual operation.

We saw white steam coming out after dropping water. You may see the video later or already seen? Not all the water could drop in pin-pont over the pond unfortunately.

# Reactor No. 3:

They will pour the spent fuel pool with water both by helicopters of the defense force and special cars with high pressure injection system of the riot police.

The helicopter, CH 47, can carry 7.5 ton of water. It dips up sea water nearby, flies to the reactor and drop the water over the pond of reactors. Before the operation, they measure radiation level and wind over a reactor and see the feasibility to work.
The defense force (DF) estimated that they have to repeat this procedure more than 100 times to fill a pond.

The reporter said that the maximum radiation limit for DF staff is set up 50 mSv with exception of life saving situation:100 mSV. (So, they seem to keep the present limit anyway….)

On the other hand, they are collecting 11 cars with special injector from all over Japan. All or some of them are now ready to go….they have already headed to the site from 20km zone. They will start to work after the operation of dropping water from helicopters so that (hopefully) the radiation level at the site would reduce to some extent. A car can carry 4 ton of water for each. They will stay about 50 m from the building (as the maximum injection length is 50m), but they estimated only one min. would be allowed for a staff before reaching the maximum exposure level.

They decided to start from the reactor No. 3 as it is more dangerous compared to No. 4. (You may remember that No.3 has the not spent fuel complex in the pool.) It is easier to drop water in the case of No. 3, as it has no ceiling anymore.

They have dropped water four times this morning from 9:48 to around 10:00 am. (So, the exposure dose might become up to 50 mSv for around 15 min inside the helicopter. This is only my guess.) They said that they put a lead plate on the floor of the helicopter and a staff on board is measuring radiation level during the operation. They put on protecting clothes.

#As for No. 4, they will not use helicopters, but only use the cars of the riot police, as a hole on the ceiling is far from the pool.  Fortunately (?) it already has a large hole (or holes?) (seeing from the picture, it is not a hole, almost whole side wall facing to the sea has completely fallen down) on the wall. So, they think that they can inject water from the side.

#The reactor No. 5 and 6:

The temperature of the water of spent fuel pons is increasing:

No. 5: 63 degree centigrade (5 degree increased compared to yesterday)

No. 6: 60 degree centigrade (4 degree increased compared to yesterday)

They are preparing to introduce electricity from outside of the plant site and try to recover the cooling system.

The facilities of pumping were destroyed by tsunami.

#The reactor No. 1 and 2 are stable anyway. They continue pouring sea water into the containments and core vessels.



Sent:   Wed 3/16/2011 10:46 PM EDT

Subject:   [IPPNWFORUM] some additional information

#The minister of defense ministry is now at the press conference:

some additional information:

The radiation level measured before the operation:

4.13 mSv/h at 1000 feet

87.7 mSv/h at 300 feet

They did not start the operation, but they decided to do this morning as the situation too critical to wait anymore.

The minister does not yet have the data after the droppings.

The US force will also join the operation later.



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