From ENE News, January 3, 2015
Reuters, Dec 30, 2014: Ukraine denies radioactive leak on Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant — Ukrainian authorities denied on Tuesday a report in pro-Kremlin media… Life News newswire published documents which it said came from Ukraine’s emergencies ministry and showed that a leak at the power plant had led to a spike in radiation over the past two days exceeding permitted norms by 16 times… “there have been no accidents,” said an energy ministry official. The officials could not comment if documents published by Life News were authentic. Reuters was not able to verify the documents…
TeleSUR (TV network funded by Argentina, Bolivia, etc), Dec 30, 2014: Alleged Radioactive Leak at Biggest Nuclear Plant in Europe — Ukrainian authorities deny any increase radioactive levels… Reuters [has not] been able so far to independently verify the documents [which] stated that the radiation levels had significantly raised – over 16 times the permitted limit – one day after the incident… Another unit had also been switched off [at the] end November after a short circuit, leading to an intervention from the [IAEA]. Ukrainian authorities waited five days to disclose the information…
PressTV, Dec 31, 2014: A new report reveals that radiation from Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant has exceeded the norm by 16 times. According to a leaked document by Ukraine’s State Service for Emergency Situations, Ukrainian nuclear scientists misinformed the public and the media about the real state of affairs.
PressTV, Dec 31, 2014: Radioactive leak alleged at Ukraine nuclear plant… amid an official denial. The leak at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Power Plant was reported Tuesday by Russia-based LifeNews… a 24-hour television channel and news website.
Life News, Dec 30, 2014 (Google Translation): State Service for Emergency Situations… Dec 28… radiation background 4.90 mSv/yr… 16.3 times higher than the acceptable norm… Dec 29… 5.05 mSv/yr.
ZIK (Western Information Agency), Dec 31, 2014: Radiation leak at Zaporizhya NPP – another Moscow’s stunt… According to Putin’s docile mouthpiece, Lifenews Russia Today, the Ukrainian government is keeping the actual radiation level secret… Experts say the Moscow-generated stunt… was caused by the signing by Ukraine of a sales contract with Westinghouse…
TASS (Russian News Agency), Dec 30, 2014: Experts fear the sharp switch from Russian-to US-produced nuclear fuel as it… could threaten safety both at the domestic level and in Europe as well, the Russian Foreign Ministry said… “Consequences of possible accidents and meltdowns will be in the full responsibility of the Ukrainian authorities and US suppliers.”
Press Release, Dec 30, 2014: Westinghouse… agreed to significantly increase fuel deliveries to Ukrainian nuclear power plants… “secure nuclear fuel supplies for Ukraine’s reactor fleet.”
This blogger (?) Ruptly notes:
‘Workers at the plant were reportedly trying to replace Russian fuel rods with US ones when the leak occurred.’
Not sure where his/her source is.
But the raw footage here is interesting too.
From Russiya Vesna, Dec. 28, 2014
According to information provided by the main power plants operator of Ukraine «NAEK Energoatom» emergency situation developed at about 05:59 a.m. on December 28.
Nuclear power unit 6 of Zaporozhye A-plant was isolated from running system by protective gear to prevent generating unit internal breaks. Reactor unit equipment is running at 40% capacity now. Safety trip reasons have not been disclosed yet to avoid panic.
According to Russian Spring sources rescue service units and the military are arriving to the crash site. Road access is blocked. At the present moment there are five running power units with total capacity of 4530 megawatt.
Let us recall that one month ago, November 28, another emergency shutdown on Zaporozhye A-plant took place: it was power unit 3 with capacity of 1000 megawatt. «The unit was easily shifted into cold position. There were no radiological consequences», — they said then at Energoatom.
That malfunction was the fourth emergency shutdown of power unit 3 at the most heavily loaded and exhausted A-plants of Ukraine. There are three power plants running in Ukraine now with 16 power units four of which are idle at the moment.
Zaporozhye A-plant is the biggest power plant in Europe according to installed nuclear capacity. Its six power units ВВЭР-1000 were constructed under soviet В-320 project. The first power unit was launched in December 1984, the sixth — in October 1995.
In the end of November due to emergency there was a power system deficiency in Ukraine which led to electric supply shortage in Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Kharkov.
Power unit 3 of Zaporohzye A-plant was relaunched on December 5.
Sat, 03 Jan 2015
Over the last week, more publications, including Zero Hedge, have started reporting on a still developing nuclear problem at the largest nuclear plant in Europe. This news has been widely circulated in Eastern Europe over the last few weeks.
The problem in Ukraine has been and remains verification: Ukrainian sources have not been forthcoming. When this first occurred I was contacted through a second party and told directly after the officially reported transformer incident that a radiation spike was observed in Crimea, which is 140km away from the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
The spike was small against background radiation but noticeable on a geiger counter. I was also given hacked files of the emergency conversation that happened at the plant that day. They are included at the bottom of the article. The proximity to what is coming to light means they cannot be ignored.
Understanding Geiger Counters
The first thing most people don’t realize is that geiger counters are location sensitive. They are calibrated against the background radiation for a specific location. This means that if you take a geiger counter and move just a mile away, the background radiation itself could be different and the measurement inaccurate. Known background radiation is the Zero point on a calibrated geiger counter.
Second and as important is that all sensitive measurement tools need to be calibrated and certified to be useful. Sensitive tools go out of calibration by themselves over time. After Fukushima, a new normal needs to be considered.
What this means to Europe is the possibility of a larger than Fukushima event opening up in its own backyard, without anyone getting a handle on it – quite literally. Depending on which way the wind blows, without verification they are leaving their own countries futures in the hands of Ukrainian nationalists who are in the midst of trying to perpetrate a genocide in Donbas.
Ukraine reported an non-nuclear ‘incident’: a transformer short circuiting, while the term ‘accident’ is used for radiological issues. This report was carried across the nuclear industry forums that talked about it. The case was closed.
As reported at Zero Hedge– we reported of the odd coincidence of a 2nd emergency shutdown at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear reactor – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – following our earlier fears of disinformation. Today, we learn of a leaked report sourced from three different places – unconfirmed for now but which RT is trying to verify – that Ukrainian nuclear scientists misled the public and a radioactive leak has been detected – and citing the country’s emergency services claim that levels of radiation are 16.3 times the legally permitted norm.
What does 16.3 times the allowable norm mean? In a pre-Fukushima world, if any nuclear plant in the US were to report 1 times the allowable radiation/ steam contamination release, every major publication in the country would be focused on that event.
Allowable release at nuclear power plants falls under a Zero tolerance policy. At the Zaporozhye power plant, background radiation before the event registered at 10-12 counts per minute on a geiger counter. At 50 counts it does not cause an alarm but is something to monitor.
The threshold for alarm is 100 counts and radiological personal protective gear might be warranted. Zaporozhye is well beyond that threshold now.
Post Fukushima Norms
At 16.3 X the allowable count, the measurement is not 16.3 cpm (counts per minute) X 10-12cpm (known background) at Zaporozhye. The key to understanding this is knowing what the highest allowable radiation exposure(milli-rems, milli- seiverts, counts per minute) figure is in Ukraine. Ukraine is working with the MAX allowable figure, not the normal one. The terminology used and lack of measurement is the surest indicator of there being a problem.
Background to RAD work
First things first, I AM not a nuclear engineer, or nuclear scientist. These are the industry people that need to weigh in. However I used to have locked high rad clearance and what that means essentially is I know a bit more than the average person about what the slight of hand in the official figures could mean. As an example from Fukushima’s #3 sister plant I did some work at over 10 years ago, a few times I went into situations that because of the stage in the refueling, dose was very high.
Each assignment or job starts with a detailed briefing which includes where not to go in a room or what to touch. It included how long a person could be there before they had to leave or where to stand away from the work if there were any complications in order to lower the radioactive dose. This attention to safety is the norm in nuclear plants, not the exception.
Personnel are monitored by an HP (Health Physics) and Nuclear Hygienist that make sure they do not get into trouble. They monitor personal dosimetery (measuring personal radioactive dose and exposure) as well as local radiation levels.
The Hand can be Quicker that the Eye
I will recount one of several situations that stand out in my mind which make it impossible to believe Ukraine’s 16.3 X Allowable (legal) limit without independent verification. In certain rare situations the Allowable limit is a sliding scale. The one thing the world learned post Fukushima is that the Allowable limits can change hour to hour, day to day.
Exposure = Dose + Time
During a refueling at Fukushima #3 sister plant I was asked to go into a really high radiation location because I had the skill sets to get the job done quickly. I went into the containment area and the HP was there waiting. I took 2 steps beyond the HP and my dosimeter alarmed. He evacuated me and they raised the alarm level on my dosimeter a little. This was the new norm for me from that point.
I returned to the work area and went past the HP a 2nd time. I didn’t make it any further. The alarm sounded and I was told to leave. Again they raised the alarm level to my new norm. Simply put my norm was anything that allowed me to do what I needed to get done.
This happened a third time. On my way out I told the HP to call ahead and make sure it was sufficient for the work at hand this time. I was getting dosed every time I went in and the more time I spent going in and out the more radiation I would be hit with.
The point is that after a few tries, the new norm or allowable limit was established so I could do my work without interruptions.
While this sliding scale is necessary once in a while in a closely monitored and controlled situation it is perverse to impose it on an unknowing world such as was done with the lies before and after the Fukushima event. The new radiological norm for a post Fukushima world was illegal before the meltdown happened.
What We Know about Zaporozhye
We now know that radiation was released and reports of a steam blow-off are starting to surface. Unfortunately this is in line with information I was given about a fire in the cooling system and a contaminated side steam pipe burst inside the containment (their word is sarcophagus). People who have left the area have reported that iodine tablets are being handed out to people who live close to the plant. We know that the plant shut down all social media for plant workers so they would not talk about the incident. This was a highly unusual move for a transformer problem.
A second reactor(#6) has been shutdown at the same plant and restarted on December 28th. This linked document shows that unit #6 is still down on December 29th. A third at South Ukraine Nuclear Power plant which has been testing Westinghouse fuel assemblies is in an abnormally long shutdown. Normal is 30-40 days. This is planned to be 120 days. This is also not the first time this year that Zaporozhye had unscheduled shutdowns.
In the spring Pravy Sektor tried unsuccessfully to storm nuclear power plants three times. Later the government of Ukraine ordered that they guard nuclear material, nuclear facilities, and even nuclear waste using, meaning that the Poroshenko government put the terrorists that tried to take nuclear plants by force in charge.
The Worst Possible Problem with the Information about Zaporozhye
This copy of a leaked letter from Westinghouse speaks of even larger problems at an undisclosed reactor in Ukraine on December 6th. It has not been reported until now.
Shortly after Unit #3 was reported as a non-nuclear incident, an anonymous bomb threat was given about Chernobyl. In the same time frame I was given the following files of a conversation hacked by an Anonymous style group called cyber-militia(КиберОполчение).
I really hate using the term false flag event. Given the nature of the leaked conversation below, an anonymous bomb threat would give Kiev cover in the event that they lost control over the reactor. The conversation unfortunately provides context to what we are now learning about the problem reactors and specifically a contaminated steam release. By including that text here, hopefully the issues at the plant can be identified by reliable and qualified sources. Ukraine has none.
The original text that made me aware of the files are from twitter- @VexhilvyStrimer after November 28th.
Zaporozhye Leaked Accident Conversation-
The following leaked conversations that took place during the Zaporozhye incident are between Tyshenko (General Director of Nuclear Power Plant) and Torbayevsky ( Head of Emergency Readiness).
Tyshenko 8:12 PM- Vasili what the hell is going on over there?
8:24- Tyshenko- Why aren’t you answering?
8:58- Torbayevsky- Vacheslav Alexaivich, forgive me for not answering. We have an emergency. The Third Unit shut down. I am already there. Ignatchencho is with me. Krasnogorov is coming.
Tyshenko- Fuck! Why the hell didn’t you tell me immediately? Do you understand the danger this will mean for us? We will be thrown in prison, you as well. Leaving now, will be there in ½ hour.
Torbayevsky- Need to contact Chech specialists from Skoda. Its their equipment.
Tyshenko and Krasnogorov, head engineer at plant ZGD
20:34 Tyshenko- Fiador, how are things?
Krasnagorov- Things are not good. The casket on the upper unit cannot take the pressure. Seems we screwed around with this improper material long enough.
Tyshenko- Don’t whine. You need to understand that no one asked me about any of it.
Krasnagorov- Even back then I was saying that this is not going to end well. We needed to do testing first. Its not just the caskets that are the problem. Its with the fuel as well.
Tyshenko- I said don’t whine! These are the orders the ministry gave. They warmed their hands on it already (they made their money) and let this fuck them now (let them deal with the fallout).
7:48 Tyshenko and Stefansky (Assistant Plant manager)
Stefansky- Vacheslav Alexaivich as soon as you left, journalists flooded us. They are hanging out at the security checkpoint. What do I say to them?
Tyshenko 8:01 am- Listen, I am fucking barely able to stay on my feet (tired). Can’t you come up with something? Say that it is an electrical short circuit or some other shit like that, but about the reactor not a word! Blab, and I will turn you inside out (skin you)! Thats it, out, I’m getting a few hours sleep and will be back.
8:53 Tyshenko and Torbayevsky
Torbayevsky- Vacheslav Alexaivich, we have a leak.
Tyshenko- Fuck! Where are you?
Torbayevsky- I’m at the station with the personnel, trying to fix it, but its a dead number (no use).9:31 am Tyshenko- Ok, I called to the top. We need to be quiet now or we’ll be sent to Donbass as volunteers. Do You understand?
12:17 Tyshenko- Vasili, I’ve been called to Kiev immediately. Figure this out without me.
Torbayevsky- What do we do with the personnel? We need to evacuate people, radiation is off the charts! And locals need to be warned. We already started dumping into the water supply from the cooling system. Very soon we will have a second Chernobyl.
Tyshenko- Don’t panic! We were told to be quiet. We’ll be quiet!
Torbayevsky- Vacheslav Alexaivich! Do you understand we can no longer keep silent? This is a catastrophe! Here in a 100 kilometer radius, nothing will be left alive! Fucking sky is already glowing! (inside joke about radiation)
Tyshenko- Listen! I am flying to Kiev. Wait for a call. For now don’t answer any questions and don’t talk to anyone.
Comment: See also: Radioactive leak detected at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant