Fukushima reactor data

21/05/2011

Earthquake and Tsunami damage to Daiichi Fukushima 1 (Image Source: Digital Globe)

Bernard Sieker of Bielefield University has put together graphs of the just released TEPCO plant instrumentation data on the Fukushima Daiichi plant (1).

The operators TEPCO had apparently heavily instrumented the plant prior to the tsunami.

My thanks to his colleague Peter Ladkin in publishing this link on the York Safety Critical Mailing List. Aa Peter points out the data is instructive.

So class homework, put together an event timeline against the instrument data, extra points for pictures. 🙂

While this data will be invaluable for the subsequent Fukushima accident investigation over instrumenting a system can also be very helpful when operating outside the experience base.

If your plant instrument set (and the data it retrieves) is constrained to provide only those parameters necessary for control within the expected performance envelope you may find yourself in a spot of bother when trying to operate the system in a damaged or otherwise ‘ad hoc’ state.

For example during the 1979 Three Mile Island (TMI) reactor accident the operators could not directly determine what the pressure was in the reactor core because engineers had not anticipated that this would be needed. Nor could they directly determine core coolant levels (2).

Notes

1. The full link is http://nuxi.homeunix.org/Fukushima/Fukushima-Plots.pdf. Access may be a little slow.

2. As was recommended by the subsequent Kemeny commission report in it’s technical assessment.