Water Leak Found At Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant

Tyler Durden's picture

Just out from Reuters:


Onagawa is the plant which as we disclosed earlier experienced an almost critical power failure following today's new earthquake off the Sendai coast. One wonders just how much "undisclosed" news will start leaking. Surely just as the shut down of America is sending futures surging, this news should levitate the Nikkei by a few percent.

Below is a video of the latest tremor from NHK

h/t HedgedIn

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CaptFufflePants's picture

That plant is also only 20km from the epicenter of last nights 7.4 quake (well 7.1 USGS)


And now they say there may be nore than one leak.


Anotgher update, Tohoku Electric: Water leaks at Onagawa NPP from Reactor 1,2 spent fuel pools.



Vlad Tepid's picture

Not to hijack the thread but if you've been interested in the "map of radioactivity spreading over East Asian" that Tyler puts out, this will make you wet your pants.  It's a full timeline, worldwide. Just watch the spread...


BigJim's picture

That page might be quite scary if you could understand German.

sullymandias's picture

You should try the web browser named "Chrome". When I go to that page, it says at the top, "This page appears to be in German. Would you like me to translate it for you?"

TruthInSunshine's picture

If you read the New York Times article I link here (with excerpt), the radiation, as admitted on basis on anonymity by Japanese Official, the radiation at Fukushima Daiichi is so high that it is frying TEPCO's equipment preventing them from being able to get radiation readings.

The prior version of the article tonight also had the last sentence since removed, also, which stated that pieces of the core rod were being buried by bulldozers to keep people passing by "from being cooked" (see below; I provide links and Google still has cache results if you search using that last sentence).

This is a damn cover-up.


Powerful Aftershock Complicates Japan's Nuclear Efforts

While a spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric dismissed the analysis, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan agreed that it was possible that the core had leaked into the larger containment vessel.

The possibility raised new questions. The Nuclear Regulator Commission said that its speculation about the flow of core material out of the reactor vessel would explain high radiation readings in an area underneath, called the drywell.

But some of the radiation readings taken at Reactors Nos. 1 and 3 over the last week were nearly as high as or higher than the 3,300 rems per hour that the commission said it was trying to explain, so it would appear that the speculation would apply to them as well. At No. 2, extremely radioactive material continues to ooze out of the reactor pressure vessel, and the leak is likely to widen with time, a senior nuclear executive said.

“It’s a little like pulling a thread out of your tie,” said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect business connections in Japan. “Any breach gets bigger.”

Flashes of extremely intense radioactivity have become a serious problem, he said. Tokyo Electric’s difficulties in providing accurate information on radiation are not a result of software problems, as some Japanese officials have suggested, but stem from damage to measurement instruments caused by radiation because it exceeds the maximum dose that they are designed to measure, the executive said.

“It’s killing the measuring equipment,” he said. “They’re blaming it on software — it’s their meters getting cooked.”

Broken pieces of fuel rods have been found outside of Reactor No. 2, and are now being covered with bulldozers, he said. The broken pieces may be from rods in the spent-fuel pools that were flung out by hydrogen explosions.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Hong Kong, and Matthew L. Wald from Washington.


This had been in the original article (I can prove it), but has since been removed by the New York Times:


"They're running bulldozers around to bury the stuff so it doesn't cook people going by," he said.


It was the last sentence of the article as of 7:40 pm on April 7th and has been since removed.

Here is a link with the last sentence NOT since redacted:   

Why would the New York Times redact that last sentence?

If you google it ("They're running bulldozers around to bury the stuff so it doesn't cook people going by," he said.), it comes up in Google's cache results, still.

This is but one example:


CaptFufflePants's picture

Why would the New York Times redact that last sentence?


Because they probably got a call from their State Department friends and asked that it be removed on behalf of a request from someone "important"

Milstar's picture

American media generally does not withold information at request of the government, unless a life is directly at stake.  I'm guessing they could not confirm that last sentence and were called out on it.  The media will always run a juicy story if they can get it.

notexactlyhuman's picture

This is the NYT we're talking about, not Rolling Stone or Exiled.

mogul rider's picture

You're joking right? If not then transport back to Nibiru before the radiation gets you

CitizenPete's picture

I had the bottoms of my boots come apart once.  Very hot operating floor.

Element's picture

A major downplay TiS, yes, a cover up, no.

Frankly, I think the window of opportunity to stop SFP smokers is closing pretty fast now.

I don't like it, I sure don't want it, but it's going to have its way with eastern Asia.



samsara's picture

I still believe that one of those explosions we saw blow up,  also blew up one of those cooling swimming tanks full of rods all over the place.  One of those arial photograghs  sure looked like it showed rods laying on the roof for example.


Ident 7777 economy's picture

 One of those arial photograghs sure looked like it showed rods laying on the roof for example.

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What size are those rods?

About the diameter of - a garden rake?

And - what size were those 'rods' you saw?




samsara's picture

The prior version of the article tonight also had the last sentence since removed

That's why during the Bush years,  I got used to copying an article when I first saw it, to a word doc on my hard drive.  Especially pictures. 

Things change quickly in virtual space.


Raynja's picture

You know its a cover up because within a couple hours of this earthquake we were told an israeli attack on the gaza strip is imminent. Please do not look behind the curtain......

Global Hunter's picture

This spent fuel storage plant was running on backup power earlier today, I don't know the status of it now, I looked around and couldn't find anything.  It has 3,250 tons of spent nuclear fuel on site.


franzpick's picture

Mr. Market:  The podium is yours !

Hard1's picture

If there is a new radioactive leak, then there is a technical confirmation of the bullish signal. Dow 38,000 trillion (srry constant 2010 dollars)

FreeMoney Bernie's picture

Is that the new REM value of the DOW

Madhouse's picture

Truth be told... shifting weight of fresh water melt has ripple impact on this little blue ship we call Earth... can someone confirm spike in seismic activity... huge hurricanes suspected this fall in the southern US...

strenue's picture

Sorry - stupid iPhone- junked you in error

iDealMeat's picture

That's an ID 10T error..  re-junk and take it back..

Jim in MN's picture

A helpful ZHer posted a link to that NRC update on Fukushima Daiichi that caused all the ruckus the other day: http://bit.ly/eEDZn1

A wealth of information in there....notes on first read:

Spent fuel pool in Unit 1 said to be mostly over 12 years old, so little decay heat left.  If true, a good break as it pretty much takes one pool out of the picture.

Core slump and salt encrustation at all of the cores, 1-3.  They all melted at least partially.

Very hot temps in the reactor vessels.  NRC notes that these are probably 'metal readings' i.e. outside temps which lag internal temps considerably. 

All of cores 1-3 lack structural integrity to hold water more than halfway up, meaning the remnants of the fuel rods will keep sticking up out of the water.  Frankly I don't think there is any way to cool that down in that configuration, just balancing the water 'at their feet' against the exposed portion to maintain some kind of high-temp stasis.  Strange and not very stable situation.

The fuel rod partial exposure/partial immersion means that hydrogen will continue to be produced.  That's why they're interested in nitrogen purges at least periodically, and continued venting.  That's pretty hot radioactive venting.  I like this: "Avoid atmospheric thermal inversion (in the afternoon) when venting to minimize dose."

Similarly, fuel rod exposure in the cores means that a steady stream of fission gas is likely to continue--i.e. 'the plume'--along with a steady stream of radioactive water--i.e. 'the other plume'.

The pools in 2 and 3 apparently have water in them.  But they are still pretty hot--52 C in pool 2 or 125 F.  Pool 3 they say is low despite watering, no temp reported.  This is tricky, it's still unclear what fission gas emissions could be coming out, vs. water leaking vs. sort of OK.  They say pool 3 could also have ejected material. 

Pool 4 is also tough to figure.  They say the water is 'cool' but heating up fast.  Those rods were definitely damaged badly. 

It seems like the NRC team is good with reactors but not so detailed on the pools.  My question is, what the hell is all that steam if the pools are 'cool'?  Are the rods hot but the water is sufficient in volume that it's like the ocean-lava interactions we've all seen on TV from Hawaii?  The steam, in that case, is still carrying cesium etc.  I will research more on that point (emissions from pools with water) as even a well-managed pool has to filter the air and monitor the radiation levels in the water.  Without ventilation/filtering systems the pools could be participating in source term release--sorry, putting bad shit into the air.  Not sure how much though.

Finally, it's hard to imagine bringing the cores 'under control' in any serious way given the damage.  Status quo appears to be the best case here, and it's not at all OK from a public health standpoint.  More needs to be done on informing and advising the public.

Global Hunter's picture

Really appreciate your posts and I do like it when you put things like "putting bad shit into the air".  Helps me "get it".

Aristarchan's picture


Pools that become partially uncovered temporarily can create some flash vapor off the uncovered portions of the rods, if they have enough thermal energy left in them. Just a possibility.

Jim in MN's picture

Pretty much every shot I see of Unit 4's pool it looks like dry ice at a Def Leppard concert.  Water, OK, I believe them...but not a quiet swimming pool.

Aristarchan's picture

No, is is not the kiddie pool. The NRC is very worried about #4 pools...in fact, that seems to be their main worry at this time. Hopefully, the US military micro-robot they are planning to send in can get a better reading on the situation. In addition to being able to provide video, it is being equipped to record radiation quantity and types.

avonaltendorf's picture

#4 is also the only SFP they have access to.

Stormdancer's picture

In addition to the NRC report, Arnie Gundersen has linked to an AREVA report at his website.

I just finished the NRC report...working through the AREVA one now....and they're very different :).




It's been linked here already, but for anyone that missed it here's Arnie Gundersen's latest video.  Worth the time I believe...



worms eye view's picture

Thank you for this post and your other input on ZH.  It seems the info I get from ZH and your posts (among others) keeps at least some objective observations and commentary coming in the face of what seems to be media whitewash.

CitizenPete's picture

At least there was no massive tsunami ....

Global Hunter's picture

What are the blue lights from the 12 to 20 seconds mark?  It looks like Fukushima is about 60 kms or 35 miles south of Sendai but I don't know what direction that camera is pointed.

knukles's picture

Probably plasma arcing associated with conditions sililar to the neutron beams.  Common physical, visual maifestation of critical/semi-critical mass/energy decay/distribution.
If so, it's more simply described as a situation which you thought couldn't get worse, just got worser and is likely to go to hell, do not pass sanity, loose a bazillion people and a good chunk of the planet..... unfortuantely, answered in all sincerity. 

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Probably plasma arcing associated with conditions sililar to the neutron beams. Common physical, visual maifestation of critical/semi-critical mass/energy decay/distribution.

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I'm thinking that the camera taking that imagery wouldn't have been there to catch anything after that if what you purport were true ...

Jim in MN's picture

Arc from transformer failure.  See it all the time in videos of tornados in populated areas.  Quick example from YouTube, '34 kV switch failure'


They arc and blow pretty impressively at night.  That's why the power goes out, usually. 

Aristarchan's picture

I was in Iran in 1962 during the 7.1 earthquake there - oddly enough, sitting in a Pan American 707 on the tarmac waiting to take off - when the quake hit. Outside the airport was some 7200 volt lines that swung together and caused a series of brilliant blue flashes....right bofore everything went dark. That is what it looks like to me.

Sweet Chicken's picture

I agree with both of you that it was probably transformers or wires but that flash in the video is a few miles away and the flash is incredibly large. It must have been something big is all I'm saying.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Arc from transformer failure.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

More than likely those are actual lines arcing, as occurs after high and erratic winds, a car striking a power pole or, EQ activity, not actually "transformers"; when transformers 'go' you will also see the oil ignite, w/flames.

But, everybody says "transformers", because they do not understand that the 'arc' phenomenon can be so brilliant ... and the blue coming from Oxygen in the air; the oil won't be anywhere near as 'blue' during combustion ...


nonplused's picture

Maybe they can pour a giant concrete man made ski hill over the site and host the 2018 nuclear winter olympics?  Exposure readings on the hill should be no more than a snowborder recieves in a lifetime of broken wrist and hip x-rays. 

bud-wiser's picture

Which is better: to see the trigger being pulled, grab your suddenly aching chest, and drop dead?, or to stop in the middle of the street while gazing at the sky, grab your suddenly aching chest, and drop dead?

Incubus's picture

I'd probably want to die out in the ocean.  I imagine it's a nice way to die, once you've accepted your own fate: just let yourself be consumed by an endless blue.



DonutBoy's picture

I love ZH, but let's not refer to the shutdown of the government as the shutdown of America.  That's just offensive.

CitizenPete's picture

Instead, Let's refer to the shutdown of the guberment as the opening of America. 

Professor Hindsight's picture

As someone mentioned eariler Buy The Fucking Disaster.

CitizenPete's picture

The late-night Magnitude 7.4 aftershock off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture severed the submarine (read: under water) power cable that transmits electric power from Hokkaido Electric Power Company to Honshu (Japan's main island), according toYomiuri Shinbun (11:12AM JST 4/8/2011).

The cable spans 43 kilometers under the Tsugaru Strait, 300 meters from the surface of the ocean. The cable is 14 centimeters in diameter, and it has a capacity of 600,000 kilowatts.

Hokkaido Electric Power Company has been sending power through this cable facility to Honshu since the March 11 earthquake.

Over 3 million households in Tohoku are still without power due to the aftershock on April 7.

Element's picture

I'm glad you can speak nipponese in that link Pete

Jim in MN's picture

Allow me for a moment to speak for the people of northern Japan when I say: FUCK!

Global Hunter's picture

I take it then at least 1 plant and 1 storage facility are without power for the foreseeable future.