March 14th, 2011 – Frustrating but we have little factual info as an agency

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From: Feintuch, Karl
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 2:40 PM
To: Pascarelli, Robert
Cc: Beltz, Terry; Tam, Peter; Wengert, Thomas; Chawla, Mahesh
Subject: FW: Japanese event

FYI – Latest information from Region 3. Highlight is mine. .Lv

Karl

From: Riemer, Kennethf .15
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 2:02 PM
To: Scarbeary, April; Ramirez, Frances; Ruiz, Robert; Haeg, Lucas; Murray, Robert; Thomas, Christopher; Voss, Patricia;
Shah, Nirodh; Feintuch, Karl
Cc: Riemer, Kenneth
Subject: Japanese event

Just a quick update based on what we’ve heard so far. Just a couple of caveats and general info:

  • As Nick indicated in his e-mail, if you get any requests for info or status, forward them to the HOO. That way the agency will have one voice.
  • It’s frustrating, but we have very little factual info as an agency. What we’ve been getting has been through the State Dept.
  • The Japanese regulatory body is very mature, sophisticated and technically competent, as is the Japanese industry so the NRC is being very careful to not interfere or imply that they are not equipped to handle the reactor events.
  • The NRC has sent 2 people over with the potential to send some more.
  • The plants appear to have survived the earthquake pretty well, but lost the EDG fuel oil supplies (therefore complete station blackout situation) when the tsunami hit. EDG fuel oil tanks were above ground design.
  • Repeat of first bullet – if you get any inquiries, send them to the HOO

The site has 6 reactors; three were operating and the other three were shut down for maintenance at the time of the earthquake.

For the operating units:

Unit 1: similar design to Dresden with iso-condenser. core damage is likely. Core coverage is uncertain.

Injecting borated sea water to the core, but have now lost that capability. Hydrogen explosion and have lost secondary containment, but believe primary containment is intact. Venting fission product daughters off-site, but prevailing winds are out to sea.

Unit 2: similar design to Quad Cities/Duane Arnold. in the best (very relative term) shape of the three previously operating reactors. Were operating on RCIC but that is now lost. Primary and secondary containment believed intact, however anticipate that a hydrogen explosion is imminent.

Unit 3: similar design to Quad Cities/Duane Arnold . Hydrogen explosion yesterday with breach of secondary containment. Injecting seawater into the core

Boiling in the spent fuel pools – feeding as able with seawater.

I’ll provide more tomorrow if we get it.

Ken

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