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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alien-IQ's picture

"We really urge some journalist to actually ask questions that have a semblance of relevance"

What do you think this is, the seventies?

traderjoe's picture

They're just getting around to figuring out some new equipment should be ordered? Huh.

OT: funny article in CNBS about gold, ending is amusing...

AUD's picture

Interesting interview at with a guy who was supposedly a nuclear engineer with the US Navy.

Worth a listen.

riffraffy's picture

So, they put the emergency pump order in---today?

With that sort of planning, not so hard to figure out how this clusterfuck was formed...

John Law Lives's picture

At this point you would think they have the sense to put in an order for 4 pumps.

ColonelCooper's picture

Maybe with the purchase of four pumps, they'll get a free rad meter and be able to tell us what the radiation level is.

dogismyth's picture

They are not westernized enough obviously.  They should have bundles of yens sitting around ready for shipment or handout.  Get Paul Bremer on the job and a good packaging company.

Herman Strandschnecke's picture

 They want to place a 747 on the beach on full throttle. That would suck in and blo a lot of water backwards?

RmcAZ's picture

They have been waiting for one to pop up on eBay... they aren't all that common.

max2205's picture

TPTB have ordered only sunshine and skittles on this subject.

bmusic's picture

So, rally tomorrow?

Aquiloaster's picture

Clearly. The more thorough-going the destruction, the bigger the [insert moronic spin statement such as "GDP hike" or "buying opportunity"] 

"Fortunately, the human toll is much worse than the economic toll."

-Larry Kudlow

Highrev's picture

Does Time Magazine have an asshole of the year award?

umop episdn's picture

The lies/misdirection/spin from all the MSM sources aren't helping an already bad situation. Blowback is a bitch, bitchez!

Threeggg's picture


Did you see TD's write-up about the volume ?

Where is the "Blowback" going to come from ??  Retail ? LOL their not in the market "Either" !

There will be no blowback, price discovery will be removed from every dictionary, for all future educational purpose.

NotApplicable's picture

I'm not so sure they'll remove it, but rather in pure Hegelian fashion, redefine it as the trigger for Marx's "inevitable collapse of Capitalism."

Price discovery will be lumped in with greed, while being painted as evil and/or savage. Just a little more collective guilt for posessing animal-spirits.

lizzy36's picture

Seriously we are T-2 weeks until this is supposed to be over and Japan will start rebuilding 80,000 houses.

Oddly, no anaylst spouting this shit, has "nuclear waste land" in their models. What were the odds?

Threeggg's picture

Just put 2" of clean topsoil on and "Problem Solved"

dogismyth's picture

Tranvestite Ann Coulter says radiation is good for you.  I guess she is speaking from experience looking at her.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

holy shite! is she trans? I thought there was something fishy about that "dame"...couldn't put my finger on (in) it

penisouraus erecti's picture

So....Ann is behind all this? Really? Wow, didn't realize she was even relevant anymore..........

SilverTech's picture

Ann Coulter is actually an alien. The first documented sighting was in the first season of Star Trek in an episode entitled "The Corbomite Maneuver".

"She" disappeared until reappearing decades later on the O'Reilly Factor wearing lipstick and a blond hairpiece reportedly stolen from the estate of the late Veronica Lake.

Coulter's sexual identity has long been in dispute. However, it's not clear that the question is meaningful since alien races seldom fit into terrestrial sexual categories.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Substantive, thoughtful, not a vindictive evaluation at all ...


SilverTech's picture

Well, what can you say about the interview? She spouts off about some research that she says exists, without giving any details for anybody to check her facts. She oversimplifies the dangers of radiation to the point that her words are meaningless but sound like they are based in fact.

Radiation is good for you. Yes, that's true. For example people need UV radiation to produce vitamin D. That doesn't mean that radioactive iodine or cesium is good for you. It doesn't mean that plutonium is good for you. She's might as well be an alien considering the relevance of her "facts" to human health.

You gotta admit, she does look like the Corbomite alien wearing a blond wig. Her personality is similar too. Or do you think I'm being cruel to poor little Ann when she's so sweet?

assumptionblindness's picture

Good point, Lizzy.

I wonder how many of those destroyed homes are located within 50-miles of the damaged nuclear power plant.  Who is going to want to rebuild in those areas?  Who is going to want to live there?  Maybe the analysts failed to notice that the Japanese people are just slightly terrified of radiation-related health risks.  Jeezus....

chump666's picture

yep...200 point drop on the dow once a the full meltdown takes place.  the dumbest sucker rally to date.  the whole market is trading the nuclear risk on/off.

It's all about Japan at the moment.

PeterSchump's picture

No, the DOW will drop 210 on a meltdown........minimum.

John Law Lives's picture

So much for Operation Extension Cord solving this mess.

Threeggg's picture

I predict a ramp on stocks as the pieces of this new pump are detailed and assembled...........

There will be news flashed "daily" about each component being added until full assembly. (a Faux News anchor will be at the assembly plant with updates every 15 minutes, only when the market is open for trading)

Then the shipping process ramp.........................

Biting your nails yet ?

Then the installation ramp-up, then the extension cord hook-up ramp and then........... Ahhhhh  fuck it  !!!


chump666's picture

market lost the plot on this relief rally.  once some independent news crew starts measuring radioactivity and everyone realizes that a partial to full meltdown is taking place everything will sell. 10 to 20 % drop...then maybe a dip buy. only if they stupid Japanese government decided to encase the whole thing in concrete.  which is inevitable.

I am buying on a lower  sell off, the dow hitting 12000 was laughable.

but then you have oil going up...and maybe a nut in Libya lightning up an oil feild.  volatility trades 

TruthInSunshine's picture

So much for Operation Extension Cord solving this mess.


Operation Extend & Pretend

Operation Hopium Rod

Operation Cesium Seasoning

Operation Glowing in the Wind

Operation Hot Rain

PhattyBuoy's picture

+ Cesium Seasoning ... is that mesquite flavored.

Piranhanoia's picture

As we watch and are amazed that the tectonic shift has been so complete that at least there are no severe aftershocks.  Hope some brilliant group is acting to close the leaks? No, not quite yet.

assumptionblindness's picture

Don't eat the spinach - check

Don't drink the milk - check

Don't eat the fish - check

Re-route power usage (blackouts) from millions of residents to be used by big industry - check

Prevent bank runs by claiming that ATMs aren't working - check

Pump hunderds of billions of dollars into stock and currency markets to avert a spectacular cliff dives - check

Repeatedly talk about 'stability', 'power to be connected soon', and other 'progress' related jargon - check

Pump concrete into damaged reactor buildings while waiting for water pump repairs - check - WHOA?!  WTF!? 

PhattyBuoy's picture

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

Wow ... beyond criminal.

#2 & #3 are in run-away meltdown ... if there is core collapse through control rod structure, into the bottom head (i.e. core has melted into the bottom of containment bulb), the water pump is irrelevant, and this goose is cooked.

I do not believe anyone on the planet has a fix for this.




RichardP's picture

But - if you were in charge, would you try at all to fix things?  Or would you take your worker-bees and walk away?

Screwloose's picture

I'm still waiting for TEPCO to come up with a plausible explanation for the sudden loss of reactor vessel pressure on reactor 2.

When the internal pressure drops from 300kPa to 076 kPa [less than atmospheric] then something very unusual has happened.  An "internal hydrogen explosion that cracked the torus" is so facile it's ludicrous.

Any explosion that raised the internal pressure sufficiently to exceed the elastic-failure point of the - inches thick - steel torus would have resulted in a pressure blast that would have lifted the whole building off the ground - yet unit 2 is the only undamaged building of the front four.

My working hypothesis is that the base of reactor 2 was penetrated by its molten fuel - the sudden 3 bar pressure release would have been quite impressive and was probably the reported "explosion."

The burning fuel may well have been expelled with such force that it was spray-dispersed all over the drywell.  If so; it is safely contained in the flooded containment building and, apart from collecting some dirty steam emissions, is very likely to be left there permanently.

Attaching AC power now is like the firemen getting their hose working - just after your blazing house has collapsed in a heap.



davepowers's picture

that sounds great, relatively speaking

Convolved Man's picture

Seal up reactor 2 containment building?!!!

Ahhh, man.  They've got the makings of a real-life BioShock game arena.  Laser tag and paint ball gun arenas will be nothing compared to a BioShock arena.

Check it out, live ammunition against radioactive zombies, mutated slithery sea shore creatures, rats and spiders the size of dire wolves.

It will be epic.


Of course, you will have to sign a release form.

patb's picture

I'm with you. 


Reactor 2 had an internal event in Primary containment that blew the stink out of it

Maybe the pumps are working but, there is nothing for them to pump to.

Life of Illusion's picture


Seal it up,,,no way cost to high for these corp /gov  of Japan.

Michio Kaku told them what to do a last week.

Mesquite's picture


A nuke station design without

secondary and tertiary backup

cooling systems..??

The achilles heel of any nuke g/s..

Ident 7777 economy's picture

WTF.. A nuke station design without

secondary and tertiary backup

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

That's your Leave it to Beaver / The Cleavers 1950's era design philosophy for ya ...




trav7777's picture

WTF were they supposed to do?

Japan is in blackouts due to this.

Germany is decommissioning all older BWRs as a result.  Where is the fucking electricity supposed to come from...Libya?

going to be some "Hudson" moments "WTF do we do now? We're SCREWED; game over man, game over"

People are acting as if all this stuff was somehow optional.  I'm sure when they put this plant together that nobody actually seriously envisioned it running for 40 years and having every last fuel rod sitting up in the temporary pond.

themosmitsos's picture

I'm very sad at ... what I'm reading, cuz I very much want to see and hear somethingg different, but


disabledvet's picture

In the time of chimpanzees I was monkey/Butane in my veins so i'm out to get the junkie/with the plastic eyeballs spraypaint the vegetables/dogfood stalls with the beefcake pantyhose/kill the headlights and put it in neutral/  stockcar flaming with a loser in the cruise control