Mr. K. PERIASAMY is Director (Technical) of the Precision Equipments (CHENNAI) Pvt Ltd.

The Company manufactures Heat Exchangers and Pressure Vessels meant for nuclear power plants.

Due to the Earthquake with an intensity of 8.9 in Rictor scale, which was one order of magnitude higher than the Design basis of the Reactors, all the 11 Reactors which were in the vicinity, including the 3 operating at Fukushima site, promptly shut down as per design requirements.
Due to this earthquake, there was no damage whatsoever to any of the 11 Reactors, some of which were operating and some were under planned shut down. This establishes the fact that the Nuclear Reactors can be designed and operated safely for quake intensities as high as 8.9 with quakes in close vicinity, without any damage to any structure or equipments and piping.

The instruments and emergency power systems also performed to precision as per design requirements.

The cooling of the Reactors was instantly taken over by the emergency DG sets when the power grid collapsed due to the earth quake / tsunami.

But the subsequent tsunami which hit the Fukushima coast after about 45 minutes of the quake, flooded the DG sets which were kept at about 6 m elevation in tune with the design basis tsunami height of 5 m. But since the actual tsunami was about 15 m high, the DG sets were flooded. This was the root cause of the whole problem.

Editor’s Comments

In past months, Mr. Periaswamy has been commenting upon various articles on DiaNuke.org. We believe it would be good if such sustained dialogues could be continued further.

Some quick, non-exhaustive comments are given below:

Contrary to Mr. Periaswamy’s belief, the Fukushima reactors were knocked down substantially by the earthquake itself and started leaking radiation even before Tsunami arrived.  Unfortunately, the NPCIL’s post-Fukushima safety report also harps on this selective reading of events in Fukushima when it was clear as early as mid-May 2011.

The radioactive level in the sea water discharged from the Reactors is very low???  At least one billion becquerels of radiation is leaking everyday and it is already worse than Chernobyl.

Evacuation was handled properly? The Fukushima Mayor himself has slammed his government for the callousness. The government even withheld radiation and weather data, endangering people’s lives.

Core cooling established within days??? There is a difference between elecricity reaching the control rooms are core cooling being achieved. Experts are still debating what would be defined as a cold shut down in Fukushima when the core is damaged so much, inaccessible, and spent fuel ponds have been burning openly for weeks.

Adequate care has been taken for isolating contaminated food from market? See here, its July 2011 !

We request our official experts to look beyond TEPCo and IAEA information feeds and see the vast amount of research that has already come out. Please see the NIRS reports, the PSR report on health risks from Fukushima, the World Watch Institute’s report on Nuclear Power in a Post-Fukushima World,  the IPPNW’s Report.

In the context of Koodankulam, the nuclear establishment has been totally avoiding any response to the questions raised by the post-Fukushima safety evaluation of the Russian agencies themselves in which they have severely questioned the VVER design’s safety.

Readers can find useful articles on Fukushima-related archive of DiaNuke.org HERE.

Since there were no portable DG sets near the plant site with Plug suitable for the emergency power Socket at the plant, there was inordinate delay in resuming the Reactor core cooling, which is very critical in the initial few hours.

This resulted in the partial damage to the fuel in all the three Reactors and there was Hydrogen generation due to the hot Zircolloy clad reaction with water. This Hydrogen which was to have been recombined and released in small quantities as and when they are generated as per the design basis were not released for reasons not yet identified.

This resulted in accumulation of Hydrogen at the top of the building outside the Reactor vessels. When the concentration of Hydrogen reached the threshold level, auto ignition of Hydrogen took place releasing the accumulated steam which contained radioactive substances into the air.

Subsequently, external cooling was done using sea water. This sea water coming out of the core had some radioactive substances like Cesium. But since the fuel is not leacheable with sea water, the radioactive level in the sea water discharged from the Reactors was very low. Part of this water got into the trench and leaked / over flowed back to the sea.

The air borne radioactive particles, which contained mostly Iodine and Cesium settled down mostly in the 30 KM vicinity, with traces carried away as far away as 150 KMs.

The people in the vicinity were promptly evacuated when it was clear that the emergency core cooling could not be restored and the external cooling method was also not effective during the initial stages. It is only the general public and media perception taht the authorities delayed the evacuation. By delaying the evacuation delibeately, what are they going to gain ? No one wants to think rationaly.

The core cooling systems in all the 3 affected Reactors were completely restored within few days and the radioactive discharge to the environment completely stopped.

As of now, the removal of radioactive substances ( mostly Cesium ) from the contaminated sea water which has been accumulated within the Reactors is in progress using a makeshift treatment plant.

Though one can detect the presence of Cesium in soil in about 10 KM radius even today, the concentration levels are very low for it to cause any health hazards. The Iodine which contributed to the major quantity of radiation discharge into the atmosphere is almost non existent now due to its half life of just 8 days as against 30 years for Cesium.

The only problem to be tackled today is to ensure that the Cesium contaminated food products do not get into the market. Adequate care has been taken in this direction.

It shall be clearly understood that the Cesium particles are spread out here and there and they are not present uniformly every where.

The radiation exposure to the human beings due to the presence of Cesium particles here and there is not at all a cause for concern. This shall be clearly understood by the people.

The radiation at a distance few meters away from the Cesium particle is almost nil. Hence, presuming that all the time the total radioactivity of the Cesium particle is attacking all the people in the vicinity uniformly, and estimating the probability of cancer based on this misconception is total absurdity.

The Reactors are expected to be made accessible for the assessment of the extent of core damage in the next few months.

After this, the method of removal and disposal of the damaged fuel will be done. It is not an insurmountable task given the advanced remote controlled Robots available today. Very soon it is going to be done in Chernobyl also.

The general public, about 50,000 of them who are yet to be relocated back around the plant site, can be rest assured that majority of them, baring few thousands who were within say 5 KM will be allowed to go back to their home.

The long term consequences of this accident are almost negligible. This is coraborated by the much lower cancer incidences in Hiroshima / Nagasaki and the Chernobyl compared to that postulated and feared earlier.

The quantity of radioactive substances, especially the problematic Cesium, is also much less in the Fukushima accident compared to the Horoshima / Nagasaki and Chernobyl.

So, the Readers may take a fresh look at the entire events keeping aside the perception based risks widely spread out by the media. People may recollect the media hype created at the time when the steam cloud which was moving out of the Reactors were dubbed as “radiation clouds” and it was expected to contaminate USA, China, Russia, India and every where !

No one really wants to know what happened to that “radiation cloud” and how many people were killed !.

In the whole process NOT A SINGLE soul has died due to this nuclear related accident. .

(However, Readers may note, at least 15,813 people were killed as a result of the earthquake and tsunami while 3,971 others remain still missing).

The media always writes about the death toll of the stunami while writing about the Fukushima accident. It is a deliberate move to malign the nuclear industry.

The Readers must distinguish between the tsunami effect and the nuclear accident.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Are Regulators And The Nuclear Industry Applying The Valuable Lessons Learned From Fukushima?: Arnold Gundersen (Fairewinds Associates)

 
 
  • [email protected]

    1. The Earth Quake did not harm the Reactors or the Piping in any way. There need be any confusion on this since,

    a) If there had been any damage to any part of the Reactor or Piping, the pressure will immediately drop. On the contrary, the pressure was rising and it ultimately resulted in escape of steam from the Reactors.

    b) Almost all references cited below corroborate the fact that there was no damage to the Reactors due to Earthquake :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fukushima_I_Uni
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2
    http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/timeline-even
    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/anatomy_of_a_nuclear
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/11/fukushim… 2011_n_834585.html

    Even the reference cited by the Editor ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-19/fukushim… ) says “Japan’s Fukushima Reactor may have leaked Radiation before Tsunami”.

    Please note, it was only “may” and till date it is not confirmed. But almost everyone has confirmed it to be wrong. It is not just IAEA Report alone.

    Also, it is not just one Reactor. There are 11 Reactors in that region. All of them have withstood the earthquake which had ground acceleration about 15 times higher than the design basis.

    Another aspect which we shall understand about is the design basis. For anything and everything there has to be some Basis and the experts in the concerned field decide that basis. All of us have a genuine doubt that what happens when natural calamities exceed these design basis values. To take care of these aspects only Fail safe concepts, Redundancies and Emergency Procedures are incorporated.

    These aspects evolve based on past experiences and extrapolations / simulations / pooling of knowledge base from different countries, as the technology matures.

    There are substantially different design concepts between the First Generation Reactors (like Three Mile Island) and the Third Generation Reactors( like Kudankulam). The major improvements being, the passive core cooling system, isolation of individual Reactors, insulation of emergency systems from natural calamities, increase in number of independent redundancies, etc.

    2. Regarding the radioactivity level of Sea Water discharged from the Reactors, what I mean by Radioactive Level is the “CONCENTRATION LEVEL”. It does not talk about the quantity of radiation. The quantity of radiation can be obtained by multiplying the Radiation Level with the total quantity of water discharged.

    But the Editor talks about “One Billion Becquerel’s of radiation is leaking everyday ……………….” And he quotes the following reference:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/video/asia-pacific/2

    In this reference, it is said “Experts say that the total radiation leaked will eventually exceed the amounts released from the Chernobyl disaster that the Ukraine in April 1986”.

    In another Report (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-10-29/news/30336431_1_evacuation-zone-fukushima-industrial-safety-agency )

    it is mentioned that,

    “ Last summer, the Japanese government estimated that the March 11 Fukushima accident released 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium. Terabecquerels are a radiation measurement. The new report from Stohl and co-authors estimates about 36,000 terabecquerels through April 20. That's about 42 percent of the estimated release from Chernobyl, the report says”

    Now, this is where the problem lies. Who are these “Experts”? From which data they arrived at this “one Billion Becquerel’s radiation”? Where it is leaking? Into the Air or Water or Soil?

    What I was referring to when I said, “Low Level” is that, the total contaminated Sea Water that leaked into the sea between April 1 – 6 was about 520 m3 and it had about 0.2 Curie per litre. If you are comfortable with Bq, it is 0.740 Billion Bq per Litre! It is not “One Billion Bq per day” as reported by you! It is much more than that!

    But the total radioactivity released from all the 3 Reactors put together is only about 15% of what was released in Chernobyl. Moreover, since timely distribution of Iodine tablet had been done for all children, the thyroid cancer issue among children is almost negligible.

    Secondly it must be understood that was in case of Chernobyl where the Reactor core was a combustible material (Graphite), it burned in the open thereby dispersing the radioactive materials into the Air, Chernobyl being inland, everything settled in landmass. Whereas, in Fukushima most of the airborne activity and contaminated water discharge was into the sea ( almost 80%). Hence, the health implications are much less here. The effect of sea discharge on marine life or the probability of the radioactivity getting into the food chain are highly exaggerated, given the fact that there is natural turbulence in the sea and it gets dispersed almost instantly. The concentration becomes negligible within no time.

    For more details, please have a look at the following Link :
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2011/10/2

    Please have a look at the following Link for the Radiation levels at various Fukushima locations :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FukushimaOutlyi
    Also, please have a look at the following Link for a comprehensive analysis of various emissions :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_fr

    Though it is only a wikipedia Link, which anyone can write / edit, please corroborate all the data through the Links provided then there and check yourself before accepting any conclusion is drawn.

    If there is any mistake in the data provided above, I would like someone to verify and confirm this point.

    3. Well, regarding the timely information from TEPCO / Government, you and me can always say something and get away with it, since we are not accountable to the people. But TEPCO and Government are accountable to every word they utter. Even while the Fukushima Nuclear accident was unfolding with the situation changing every hour in the various Reactors, the damage all around the plant, and in the towns nearby, due to tsunami was even more alarming and devastating.

    Despite this double blow, the employees displayed their sense of duty by closely monitoring the situation with whatever actions that could be taken, given the total chaos happening outside the plant. Has any of the media appreciated how the employees stuck around the plant even though many of their Kith & Kin and friends would have been affected by tsunami?

    When it was clear that 12 out of 13 DG Sets were out of order and the Emergency Batteries also ran out of power, TEPCO promptly initiated evacuation within 3 KM radius (http://www.oecd-nea.org/press/2011/NEWS-04.html) and this happened within about 10 hours of tsunami. Subsequently when the pressure of the Reactor was building up, they increased the evacuation zone to 20 KM. This was done the second day. Please note, this was done before the Hydrogen explosion took place.

    What better could have been done?

    As we all expect, it is not possible to give running commentary in the name of timely dissemination of information in a complex emergency situation like this. Today, we can give expert opinion that it could have been done this way and that way. Given the limited data, limited resource options, certain unfortunate and unexpected things happening (like the mismatch between the Power Socket available at the plant and the Plug of the portable DG Set brought from outside), the decisions of engineers at the plant have to be understood in the right perspective.

    4. In the context of my statement that core cooling established within days, the Editor says, “There is a difference between electricity reaching the control rooms are (and) core cooling being achieved”. Further, the Editor states that “Experts are still debating what would be defined as a cold shut down …”

    Let the “Experts” keep debating! After all even today there are “Experts” debating Three Mile Island accident. There are “Experts” debating till date, whether the Man on the Moon was real or just animation by Scientists! There are no bar on Experts who predicted that AIDS Virus and Anthrox virus have no cure and that is going to kill millions and millions and that could be end of the humanity !

    There is no bar on the debate by these “Experts “.

    But the point what I had conveyed by saying “Core cooling systems were established within few days” is that, enough water was circulated inside the Reactors that there was no more boiling and escape of radioactivity to air. But, please note, at the same time there was contaminated water which was getting accumulated inside the Reactor building. I had also mentioned about this water leakage for sometime.

    With regard to the cold shut down, I had made no reference in my Article. Readers may read other related articles and get enlightened on this topic.

    5. Regarding the actions taken by the Government in controlling the spread of contaminated food, please have a look at the following links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_fr

    Yes, we all know, always there are people who ignore the Government guidelines. There could be improper flow of right information; there could be some error in screening, etc. But it is improper to suspect the genunity and timely actions by Government like this.

    Please note, the most harmful radioactive element which can go into the body and create trouble is Cs-137, which is having a half life of 30 years. But the Biological half life of Cs-137 is only 70 days. Which means, the Cs-137 if it goes into the body, about half of it will come out within 70 days, another 25% in another 70 days, 12.5% in another 70 days, etc due to excretions.

    Which means, the extent of radiation is only for those days for which it is within the body. It is not for the 30 years as assumed by every one.

    Please note, this is applicable for the animals which consume the radioactive substances also. In fact, the quantity of Cs-137 getting into the flesh beyond the Food track (and to some extent Bone), by the consumption of radioactive substances is very limited. This is all common sense.

    6. Regarding the call for the official experts to look beyond TEPCO and IAEA information, it is most welcome. Let them go through all the postings of all the Anti Nuke forums right from TMI to Fukushima once again and come to the conclusion as to whether what had been assumed / predicted / feared / suspected were true. They will also realize how absurd the statements like “Some experts explained …….”, “Some experts fear that ……….” , “There are Reports which contradict Government …….”, etc.

    7. Readers can find “useful” articles on Fukushima related archive of DiaNuke.org. HERE.

    What is meant by “Useful”? Useful for the people or useful for the media or useful for the AntiNuke argument? It is not clear.

    If the Readers go through the Links given “HERE”, you will come across statements like “Some experts believe …………………..”, “however the Scientific community does not agree with the assessment of IAEA or TEPCO”, “some Reports predict that millions will die of cancer”, etc. etc.

    Any one can write such postings in a free world. But the Readers should be wise enough and understand the fact that those who work in specific areas can only be experts and others can only be arm-chair experts! How many of the Reporters are accountable for what they write?

    8. I have some genuine doubts. Can someone clarify?

    a) When it was clearly known that a tsunami of about 15m was imminent to hit the Fukushima Nuclear Plant as per a report published on 7th March, i.e 4 days before the ill fated day, why the Mayor of Fukushima did not do anything to warn the people or relocate the people or take protective measures against tsunami?

    It could have saved the lives of 15000 people who have died due to tsunami.

    Instead, he is slamming his Government for its callousness in evacuating the people after the Nuclear Reactor incident. It is not clear.

    b) When the experts of “DiaNuke” and similar such organizations are quite sure that,

    1) Earthquake of intensities greater than 6 in Rictor scale (for which Kudankulam NPP has been designed is going to hit Kudankulam or nearby area, say within 100 KM radius, why no Government building or Private building or several large hazardous industries are not designed for such an intensity? Why these experts are not taken seriously? Why these industries are not closed? The life of the people working and living there are not as equal as that of Kudankulam people?

    2) Definitely a tsunami of height more than 7m (for which Kudamkulam NPP is designed for) will hit the Kudankulam area some day, why the few lakhs people who are living along the east coast with elevations well below even 5 m of MSL are still allowed to live? Is it not a deliberate attempt on the part of Government to suppress the “expert” opinion?

    3) Tsunamis can hit anytime anywhere without any warning. We have seen tsunami hitting almost the entire Tamilnadu coast and killing more than 5000 people. But still people are allowed to live and use the Beaches as usual without any protection or any control. How the Government and people are ignorant and why there is no warning from any of the media or our “Experts”? Whereas Kudankulam did not see any damage during the last tsunami. Still due considerations have been given for the effect of tsunami.

    c) Germany has,

    1) Per capita power consumption as high as 7149 units

    2) Has population density of just 229

    3) Population growth rate is almost Nil.

    But still they want to run the 9 Nuclear Reactors, most of it are very old, some of which are close to 30 years. These are First Generation Reactors with no passive cooling arrangement and less number of safety features. They will close only after 2022. What a shame on Germans ! What a callous attitude towards safety of their people!

    But, we Indians are very clever. We want to close the Brand new, Third Generation Reactors, come what may and hell with the relationship between Energy, GDP, Standard of living, etc. For us, “perceived risk” based on our Non-Nuclear experts opinion is more important than people dieing before our eyes due to malnourishment, health care, etc which are all directly linked to the per capita energy usage.

    We will wait for Solar PV Cells to improve the standard of living of our teaming millions. If it does not happen, we can always put the blame on the Government and relax. We can come back to the streets with Banners saying, “ What a Shame.. Even after 60 years of Independence we have malnourished children, No proper Schools, No proper Roads, etc, etc."

    No politician can ever dare to say that since you did not want Nuclear Power, You did not want Coal power plant, You did not want Steel plant, etc.

    Neither the Media is going to say that by ignorance, we supported those people and we are sorry for it !

    Also, never in their lifetime, neither the agitating Leaders nor the Media Reporters are going to become Scientists / Engineers or Politicians, who are answerable to people!

    Note : In my Bio-Data sent to the Editor, it was mentioned that, “The Company manufactures Heat Exchangers for Refineries, Fertilizer Industries, Coal / Nuclear /Solar Power Plants”. But the Editor in his wisdom thought it fit to highlight “Nuclear” only.

    Long live the Neutrality of information sharing by media!

  • A.Bhujanga Rao

    Experts are defined under sections 45 and 51 of the indian evidence act.but the indian gullible people are blindly believing in unqualified people as experts and are being cheated to the extent of their loosing their right to life and livelihood.the anti-nuclear activists attempt to appeal to Dr.M.R..srinivasan is like the sheep arguing with the wolf which was drinking water from a higher elevation point of a stream and accusing the sheep that is polluting its drinking water with an ulterior motive to kill the sheep for its food.When the sheep replies that it is drinking watwer from a lower reach of the stream and that water from an upper to lower level and hence it cannot pollute the water being taken by the wolf,the wolf argues that the mother of the sheep is doing the mischief and so saying the wolf jumps over the sheep and kills it.similarly Dr.M.R.Srinivasan fully knows that nuclear power is very risky and that there are several alternatives to nuclear power.Srinivasan knows that Jayalalitha is planning to supply huge stockes of lignite coal from Neyveli in her state to produce power in Uttar pradesh and Orissa and the same can be used in kudankulam plant.But she will not get High level corruption money from lignite as from Nuclear power plants and hence she is sacrificing the lives of millions of people from tamilnadu and Kerala in case an accident occurs at kudankulam due to human failures in operating the reactors which are new in technology and of a very large size.The problem arose because the the anti-nuclear activists all over the country are not united to fight against Nuclear plants,the silent killers.the activists are too egoistic as they feel that unless their names are projected as the saviours of people they cannot get sound sleep and so they do not work whole heatedly to educate people on scientific lines to enlist their cooperation in all villages and cities of the state and thereby they make some innocent people as the scape goats to achieve their limited objectives.today,in National politics,the political leaders say they are opposed to congress due its corrupt rule and yet they do not put up a united fight to remove congress party and that is how they indirectly support the mis-rule of congress in the centre and the states.In case of kudankulam,the people of Tamilnadu are kept in darkness about the hazards of Nuclear plant at kudankulam and the courts have not been approached with regard to violations made by the state and central
    Governments for establishment and operation of the kudankulam reactors.Even Jesus Christ trvelled all over the villages and towns in many countries to spread the truth about GOD and his messageand made many
    disciples.In case of kudankulam,without proper work,one cannot expect just results for the benefit of mankind.This lesson must be learnt by the activists fighting against nuclear plants planned in other states

    • [email protected]

      1) “Experts are defined under sections 45 and 51 of the indian evidence act.but the indian gullible people are blindly believing in unqualified people as experts and are being cheated to the extent of their loosing their right to life and livelihood ”

      It is not clear.

      If you really mean that Dr.M.R.Srinivasan is a not nuclear expert, you must be insane.

      2) “Srinivasan knows that Jayalalitha is planning to supply huge stockes of lignite coal from Neyveli in her state to produce power in Uttar pradesh and Orissa and the same can be used in kudankulam plant.But she will not get High level corruption money from lignite as from Nuclear power plants and hence she is sacrificing the lives of millions of people from tamilnadu and Kerala in case an accident occurs at kudankulam due to human failures in operating the reactors which are new in technology and of a very large size.”

      Very interesting !

      So, we are going to sell Lignite to UP & Odhissa and JJ is going to make money in that deal !!

      What an absurd thinking. We are buying millions of tons of Coal from Odissa / MP / WB. How can we afford to sell Lignite to Odhissa ? Why will they buy Lignite at high prices after selling their Coal >

      You have confirmed that you are not a sane person.

      So, I stop at this.