Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Nuclear Industry Safety Concept: Containment of Fukushima Daiichi Facility

Hello Readers,

Today I wanted to share some trends I foresee besides potentially creative approaches in order to contain the nuclear fallout from the Japanese "Fukushima Daiichi" facility.

(Do note: I am not an engineer nor related to any field of the nuclear power industry. I am a futurist and envisioneer as a hobbyist so my suggestions are only that at best.)

First off, the horror that is unfolding before the world community from the after effects of the Japanese earthquake Tsunami are apparent from mother nature herself. However now we're witnessing the man made disaster as a cascading effect not only for the Japanese, but potentially the radiological fallout world-wide.

Those 330 brave souls as the "Fukushima Daiichi" nuclear facility workers in my opinion have sacrificed their health viability for the long-term. In order to save their countrymen from perils that are even worse if these damage control measures were not instituted by them. If they're health lasts more than a decade without cancers and other forms of radiological poisoning I would be genuinely surprised.

I highly recommend that either TEPCO the utility company responsible for the facility. Or the Japanese government set up a healthcare fund for these 330 plus workers. Because one day Japanese citizens will remember them as their national heroes who sacrificed their lives and future for them. Similar as to how we Americans revere the "911 Victims" as national heroes. These Fukushima Daiichi facility workers will fall under the same historical limelight. As these 330 plus facility workers begin dying. I would hope that the Japanese government set up a fund similar to the 911 American victims fund for their surviving heirs. Be they spouses and especially children to receive akin to a hazard pay life insurance for the sacrifice endured.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility consists of 6 reactor units. Reactors 1 through 4 are the highly unstable ones, where reactors 5 and 6 are mostly stable. The reason why reactors 5 and 6 are mostly stable is because before the earthquake these reactors were brought down for maintenance. Reactor 4 was in the mid way process of being brought offline when the earthquake and subsequent tsunami occurred. Reactors 1 through 3 are the most dicey to date and reactor 2 the most suspect. Each reactor has a trench tunnel system underneath for accessibility and such needs. Reactor 2 trench tunnel system somewhere along the line has developed a crack. Where coolant water is leaking out. The reason why the workers haven't been able to close the leak. Is because these trench tunnels are highly radioactive due to being so close to the reactor units. The workers did try pouring concrete to seal the leak, but it failed. Last I heard is they would try some sort of polymer material as a band aid instead.

As of the last couple of days April 4 & April 5th the facility workers have been dumping several tons of low level radioactive water into the ocean. So as to create capacity in their external storage tanks for the very high level radioactive water instead.

These are my suggestions as follows:

That the U.S. government loan the Japanese government military drones to monitor the direct aerial portion above the Fukushima Daiichi facility. Besides the current usage of satellite Imaging being employed. The American military drones can be outfitted with radiological sensor packages. Including aerial imaging be it night vision, still cameras, or live camera feeds as the drones fly over like high altitude vultures. This will avoid the need to jeopardize human piloted aircraft from radiological exposure above "Fukushima Daiichi".

My next suggestion is we've heard for the last 30 years or so of Japan's technological robotic wonders. My question is why haven't these robotic units that are pertinent to aiding the workers inaccessible area's of the facility been deployed?

I remember a few years back that "Honda" had a bi-pedal human operated robotic unit capable of mimicking human movement. By taking all these capable units by they "Honda" or other developers of robotics and sticking them into the radiological hazardous quarters of the facility. Loaded up with radiological sensors and other tools be they automated or human operated. Will minimize the need of endangering human lives within Fukushima Daiichi problematic areas, such as those trench tunnel lines under each reactor. The robotic engineers and designers can treat the facility as a live experiment hotbed. Much like America treats its military theaters of operations as experiments for technology in development.

This robotic unit suggestion is such a "No Brainer". I hope something like it is already being utilized for the workers.

My last suggestion is the most industrious taking a lot of engineering prowess to pull off. Right outside the "Fukushima Daiichi" facility along the coast their is a Harbor with an inlet with barrier jetty walls. My idea is to seal the opening of this harbor out at sea and divide it into two channel pools. One channel pool is where the facility workers will continue to dump radioactive water by the tons. Where a waiting empty super oil tanker ship will suck it up like a straw. Instead of dumping radioactive contaminated water into the ocean any further by jeopardizing the ocean eco-systems for the decades to come. The stored contaminated radioactive water upon these oil tankers can be taken elsewhere for processing its cargo holds.

The second channel pool from the now sealed off harbor will act as an intake pool of water to be sprayed onto the reactors. Since the facility workers have been spraying seawater and piped (trucked) in freshwater for all of the 6 reactor units. To maintain them cool and hopefully stable from melting down any further. As the intake channel pool reservoir seawater begins to become depleted. Another ship floating outside of the jetty sea barrier walls will siphon fresh seawater and deposit it into this intake pool. A third ship will also be a floating power plant station to the "Fukushima Daiichi" facility. Since the facility is having power generation difficulties because of being completely offline and now fully legally decommissioned.

These 3 ships will act as a stop gap measure until a permanent solution is put into place. Which is shipping in 3 Oil Rig Platforms" to be erected outside the sealed off harbor of the "Fukushima Daiichi" nuclear power plant. Each of these oil rig platforms will be configured to take over the roles of those 3 floating ships. One oil rig platform to become a permanent power generation plant. Another rig platform is be a pumping seawater station into the intake channel pool. This pumping station will also utilize desalination capabilities into the channel pool. Albeit there doesn't need to be 100% desalinated portable drinking water. Perhaps something more like 35% to 75% desalinated water will do instead. The reason why desalinated water will help. Is because when the initial seawater was sprayed into all of the reactors to keep them cool. It was a very desperate act that damaged the nuclear reactors that are only used to freshwater. The third and final oil rig platform will continue to extract the dumped radioactive water from the facility. Into awaiting emptied oil tanker ships for reprocessing at another location.

As the TEPCO utility company is more likely to be nationalized by the Japanese governement. Akin to a bailout and in order to manage this crisis better from their vantage point. Where eventually they may find a new owner and operator for the utility company. The current TEPCO President a "Mr. Masataka Shimizu" shortly after the news was getting bad. Had an incident of high blood pressure and checked himself into a hospital. My take is he did this as a strategic move to avoid the political heat coming down on his neck.

There has been rumors calling for "Mr. Masataka Shimizu" to be charged criminally for manslaughter. Because for the last decade or so the "Fukushima Daiichi" nuclear power facility has been falsifying its safety records to the governmental regulators. I say if the TEPCO is going to be nationalized by the Japanese government. They might as well extend those manslaughter charges beyond the President of TEPCO to include the entire board of directors as well. Since i'm guessing the TEPCO President had the consent of his actions however clandestine from the TEPCO board of directors.

Meanwhile the Japanese government is having their own version of a Meltdown due to political infighting. For the past 6 or so years there have nearly been that same number of revolving Prime Ministers in office. I suspect the current Prime Minister will also be forced out of office in kind. Although the Japanese people need stability right now from their elected and appointed officials now more than ever. Even if its just a symbolic brave face in these hard times facing their very noble nation.

May God keep them safe and filled with a fearless courage. Amen.