Crippled Cooling Pump At Reactor #2 Puts Entire Power Restoration Plan At Risk

Tyler Durden's picture

Today the majority of the world was celebrating the fact that TEPCO managed to restore the power supply to the radioactive power plant. And in an attempt to present the next straw man nuclear experts the world over began to focus on such secondary aspects of the explosion as rain and sea water concentrations of radioactivity, ignoring on purpose the elephant in the room. In the same time, those whose attention span is just a little longer than the average headline, put two and two together and realized that the key problem at hand has not been fixed at all. Not even close. According to New York Daily News: "Cooling pumps at one of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors are damaged
beyond repair and will need to be replaced, officials learned Monday. The revelation dashed hopes for a quick resolution to the ongoing nuclear catastrophe at the leaking Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. An emergency order has been placed for new pumps for Unit 2 at the
plant, but it's unclear how quickly they would arrive, officials said."
And as readers will recall, and as the below satellite photo will confirm, reactor 2 is the only one of the critical 4 which did not in fact suffer massive explosive damage. So if that one is beyond repair, what happens to the other three? And just what will this much praised power supply at Fukushima actually be connected to? We really urge some journalist to actually ask questions that have a semblance of relevance at the next TEPCO presser, instead of continuing to fill the air with the same kind of fluff that accompanies every single Obama press conference.

This was the earlier attempt by Reuters at redirecting the public attention to the modest far more trivial matters than melting cores:

The reconnection of power at the earthquake-damaged reactors in Japan is a big step in managing the nuclear crisis, experts said on Monday, but concerns about radiation in the air, seawater and food showed the dangers are far from over.

Um, no. Concerns about the core issue at crisis management most certainly remain, as all those behind operation Extension Cord finally realize there is nothing to connect the power to.

More from New York Daily News:

Engineers have worked around the clock to restore power to the facility, but damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami means it may take weeks to repair the required systems, officials warn.

"We have experienced a very huge disaster that has caused very large damage at a nuclear power generation plant on a scale that we had not expected," said Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Although some headway was made toward bringing less-affected reactors on-line, conditions at the plant remained volatile.

Workers were temporarily evacuated Monday after plumes of mysterious gray smoke rose from a leaking reactor.

Officials said there was no sign of an explosion and that they had not detected any rise in radiation levels.

Meanwhile, officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission upgraded their assessment of the situation at the plant, saying it appeared the reactor cores at the most damaged facilities remained contained.

"I would say optimistically that things appear to be on the verge of stabilizing," said Bill Borchardt, the NRC's executive director for operations.

Any why the hell not. If Borcahrdt is wrong, thousands of others' lives are at stake, not his own... And just consider the boost to Mr. Borchardt's nuclear power-themed stock portfolio in the meantime. Of course, if and when the NRC executive is proven wrong, he can just blame it all on misleading and incomplete information out of Japan. Afterall, when is the last time anyone in modern western civilization actually took responsibility for their own actions?

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mdwagner's picture

I wonder if Godzilla will be real with all of the mutations from radiation?

snakeboat's picture

I've been waiting for Gozdirra to raise his head, well played!

the mad hatter's picture

Does it matter? SPX 6666 here we come!

avonaltendorf's picture

World media large and small, mainstream and niche, everybody on earth (except ZH and the skeletons on site) says that Fukushima is no longer a threat, completely under control. Gonna be a hell of a shock when it goes from bad to worse.

slewie the pi-rat's picture


nah.  why should the facts make any more difference later?  "authorities, who have now fled to argentina, have declared victory and have placed Lindy English @ the site to apply the powercord to Osama bin Laden's ballz if shows up to steal the radioactivity for terrorism."

williambanzai7's picture

To fill the order, GE Mumbai will have to design the pumps and then have them made in China in factories supervised by Japanese engineers.

dogismyth's picture

I have to this all by design?  The entire disaster?  How long did it take to get electricity up and running to the pumps?  And now they may have to order a new pump???  You mean they didn't order it ahead of time JUST IN CASE they needed it?

Someone had a vendetta for Japan for whatever nefarious reasons.  This is absurdity to the nth degree.  We can target Gaddafi's shower from 700 miles away with a tomahawk yet we can't provide a generator during a disaster?

buzzsaw99's picture

It's a bitch waiting for ups ground to bring the damn backup cooling pump. Waiting...

Harlequin001's picture

The only place we have unlimited capabilities is in the movies.

In the real world miracles take a little while longer...

ibjamming's picture

Beautiful comment...and so descriptive of most peoples thinking.  Many have NO grasp of the realities of real life.


Id fight Gandhi's picture

I don't think the pumps being damaged beyond repair and the cooling system damaged is a surprise.

People need hope in crisis so any small step in the right direction feels better and lifts spirits. Wall St reads the headlines, shots some nose candy and runs with it.

This is going to be a long drawn out problem and nobody has the guts to say it.

Btw spending is way down all over Japan. People are shopping for iPads and clothes.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

I have to this all by design? The entire disaster?  

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In play EXACTLY per the GANTT chart timeline so far ...



Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

"Someone had a vendetta for Japan for whatever nefarious reasons. "

The answer to your question can be found by tracing back and finding who the earliest buyers of US debt was.

Do they expect to be paid back?

Confucious 222's picture

Uh oh, more bad news... there are special gaskets on each end of those pumps, and you can't re-use old ones, and the place that makes them is closed because they sent everybody home because the banks couldn't get their payroll computer back online because of power outage.

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Henry-san

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. From what I understand, the water pump from a 57 Chevy will work just fine. Let's pop down to Cuba and pick up a replacement. They have plenty of old Detroit iron running the streets.

slewie the pi-rat's picture


but...the pumps keep them from overheating!  i looked at a schematic of this GE coffee pot for boiling water with clean, safe nuclear energy, and, unless i miss my guess,  the valve that needed to be vented, manually, is over 6 1/2 feet in diameter. 

big coffee pots!

Mentaliusanything's picture

Or you could all sing that childhood verse. Billy Banzai would have fun altering the verse to suit this complete fairytale we are being asked.

here's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.
With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?
With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, a straw.
The straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long,
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it.
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?
With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, an axe.
The axe is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The axe is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.
Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, sharpen it.
With what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, with what?
With a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, a stone.
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.
Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it.
With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I wet, dear Liza, with what?
With water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With water, dear Henry, dear Henry, water.
In what shall I carry it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
In what shall I carry it, dear Liza, in what?
In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, bucket.
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Muir's picture


Jonathan E.: Don't try to frighten me, you don't know how. Now I am going to Tokyo and you are not.


10kby2k's picture

Wire service said the containment vessels were not damaged. So, they order all new pumps and appuratus and install and then they can stabilize temperature. If that works....what about the rest of the plant? they rebuild it? they then encase it? In the meantime (weeks was said), are they subject to meltdown?

Is this:

1. A crisis of possible historioc proportion

2. A matter of how much radiation will escape before they can encase the re-actors (localized damage)

3. An attempt to save the reactor and bring it back online?







RichardP's picture

1.  Depends on whether the plutonium gets out on a larger scale.

2.  Yes - but not localized damage if the amount is substantial and the wind picks it up.  Or if contaminated water continues to run into the sea.

3.  A TEPCO official was quoted elsewhere as saying that they will dismantle the plant when they can stabilize things enough to do that.

bob_dabolina's picture

Cooling pumps at one of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors are damaged beyond repair and will need to be replaced, officials learned Monday


No shit. Any dipshit could have figured that out just looking at the photo. What gave it away? Was it the fact that the building is completely destroyed?


williambanzai7's picture

When you look at all the photos you have to ask yourself what kind of dipshit morons said that the blasts were superficial.

bob_dabolina's picture

Where are the updated photos of reactor 5/6? The ones that are in perfect shape.

...for real though, I am laughing. Look at the photo above in TD's article. They are just figuring out NOWWWW that the pumps were fucked up? I guess the giant green crane that landed on the containment vessel was enough for them to believe an extension cord had a solid chance at fixing this? lol

gdogus erectus's picture

LOL - no shit.  (shaking head)

The Profit Prophet's picture

Time for operation sump pump.....they must have a large aquarium in Tokyo that people will no longer be's time to eat the killer whales and dolphins before they get too hot, and put those pumps to work saving Japan!!!!

T.E.I.N. everyone!

RichardP's picture

They are just figuring out NOWWWW that the pumps were fucked up?

I'm sure they assumed something.  But to make a statement requires proof.  Scientific method and all.  Rather than speculating, they waited to make certain that the pumps didn't work.

They will need electricity for things other than pumps.  So they needed to pull the electrical line whether the pumps work or not.

RacerX's picture

Fwiw I think the UNITS themselves are seriously damaged. They can scalp pump parts off other reactors.. but looking at the heat signatures, it sure looks like there are a few piles of really hot things strewn about that building. Combine that with the "steam release" (see: Explosion) and I'd put money on the reactor unit itself being kablooied.

Broder_Tuck's picture

I'm relieved to see another person react to that. The power cord surely must have some magic properties since it obviously can turn back time and make these piles of garbage somehow useful to electrify. And how about the little detail conserning the appearently non-existent back-up pumps. Is it for real that they in ONE WEEK have not ordered spare pumps for the plant already? They should be standing there on site, at hand, as soon as they can confirm that the old pumps are broken. And while I'm at it, does someone have som info on the layouts of plant 1, 2,3 & 4 regarding the placement of the SFP's? Me thinks it's slightly important to please in the name of God clarify if the spent fuel pools in plant 3 exists in the first place.

Have anyone noticed the sad St. Bernard dog on the symbol for Tokyo Rescue on the uniform of the firefighter interviewed in the NHK-studio? Almost to much to take, this toy-centered polite culture struggling with trying to comprahend what happened to them is simply heart-wrenching. And the toy-cars on the studio table... I´m not sure why I find them so disturbing.

Herman Strandschnecke's picture

Yeah, I saw that Fire Chief on NHK. It was surreal him pushing that toy fire engine around with a cute doggy shirt sleeve patch. It's kind like they aren't allowing the truth to set in.

Very sad. Pathetic in fact.

Yits and the Yimrum's picture

how do you rebuild these cooling systems, electrical systems and control systems with the radiation levels such as they are?

trained technicians and trade workers are not martyrs; and they need scores of martyrs to work in this Death Valley

go figure?

Broder_Tuck's picture

Try the documentary Battle of Chernobyl (on you tube, google video) for some hints. 2500 liquidators/biorobots only for cleaning the roof. Thats a start, but totally 600.000 people sacrificed their health in cleaning up that site. I have no doubt Japan also have many brave citizens, however the leadership is non-existent. If there is a credible leadership, people will sign up. How are these people supposed to understand the situations if all they are getting is a fucking cartoon of happy happy joy joy? They even botched the led-wrapping on the fire truck. Unlike in Chernobyl. Maybe ad-hoc solutions and going into fast thinking crisis mode was more natural for the sovjet citizen? Since their whole society had been faling several decades...Compare that to Just-In-Time Japan... Maybe their leaders need their disasters to be more sequential and to came with an instruction manual?

chubbar's picture

What you say is true but look at all the "face" they are saving! You can't put a price tag on that! (sarc off)

Da55id's picture

the replacement pumps should not have been on site - otherwise they would have been destroyed already. They should have been at a location uncorrelated topographically, geologically and hydrologically. That way these crucial spare parts would have been out of harm's way during the earthquake/tsunami, and thus remain available in an emergency. Takes foresight though...

Broder_Tuck's picture

The foresight of a guldfish in this case.

- Tsunamis around the ring of fire, who would have thunked?

- Back-up generators in the basement, proof of madness on a cosmic scale.


Great Chtulhu will be pleased though, his diciples are doing his bidding well...

Ident 7777 economy's picture

- Back-up generators in the basement, proof of madness on a cosmic scale.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Assumes facts not in evidence; whereas, it would apear the diesel fuel tanks may have been swept away.





God, I love an informed public ...


Diogenes's picture

How many reactors are there, and how many spent fuel storage ponds? And they don't have even ONE spare pump in a warehouse someplace? Hard to believe.

Poundsand's picture

To make it looonnnngggg and drawn out, they first had to run the wire for electricity.  Now the pumps are bad.  The world can cheer again when they get the pumps there, just to find out there are no pipes to attach them to.  Look at the photos - the pipes are shot to hell outside the plant, there is no way those things are good inside the plant. 

Odd Ball's picture

The curse of linear thinking.  The disaster management types are especially susceptible.  Orders for every conceivable spare part should have been placed a week ago.  Memo to GE, don't wait till they ask you for the next part - air them all in now.

MSimon's picture

It will have little effect on delivery times. i.e. 6 months or 6 months + 10 days.


And then there is the leetle problem of installing the pumps in a high rad environment with the rest of the plumbing in an unsatisfactory condition.

PY-129-20's picture

But...but...but Doctor Kawashima (yep, the Nintendo-Kawashima) said he would eat the radiated spinach and drink the radiated milk and nobody should be worried at all.

And Tepco was at +17 % today - so, as I said, every other energy company should have a meltdown, because this seems to be good and bullish.

StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, irradiated milk and spinach -- add some three-eyed fish for a well-balanced meal:

LOL! :>D

VyseLegendaire's picture

To answer the last question, not since.....well, fuck.  Never?

Josh Randall's picture

There will be another Tsunami -- of more dead bodies, sad times ahead, this Island of Dr. Moreau is just starting to decline