ABC Correspondent: Nobody knows where Fukushima’s melted cores are now, expert says — Tepco admitted fuel “is actually eating through the concrete… hopefully it’s not eating through any further” (AUDIO)

Published: November 4th, 2013 at 8:11 am ET


ABC’s Northeast Asia correspondent Mark Willacy interviewed on ‘The Book Club’, July 11, 2013 (At 23:00 in): I’m pretty sure even now, they’re struggling to understand what happened […] You’ve got a situation where I went to Tepco for this book and said, ‘I need to talk to one of your head honchos.’ They gave me one of their top guys and he’s not only a manager but a nuclear engineer, so he knows what he’s talking about. And I just said, ‘Do you know what the status of the reactors are?’ He said, ‘We think, in Reactor 1 the nuclear fuel’s burnt through the pressure vessel and its burning through the containment vessel. There’s about 7 meters of concrete there, it’s already burned through about 70 centimeters of that. We think we’ve cooled it enough so it’s no longer burning through […] He said at the end, ‘That’s all we can surmise for now.’

Full interview available here

Fukushima by Mark Willacy, book published July 1, 2013 (Excerpt): Even more than a year after admitting that reactors 1, 2 and 3 had suffered meltdowns, TEPCO couldn’t tell the public much more. […] The reactor cores melted down and nobody knows where the melted fuel is now,’ said nuclear-reactor engineer Hiroaki Koide from Kyoto University. ‘[…] because we do not know where the melted reactor cores are, we don’t know the full scale of the contamination of the environment.’ TEPCO admitted the reactor cores were in a parlous [i.e. dangerous] state […] ‘We can’t measure them or see them,’ said Junichi Matsumoto, now on TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Special Taskforce. ‘I think in Reactor 1 the fuel pierced through the pressure vessel and about 90 per cent of it remains at the bottom of the container. In Reactor 2 and Reactor 3, 60 to 70 per cent melted and spilt out from the pressure vessel to the lower parts of the containers. But I think the melted fuel has cooled and solidified, judging from the temperature or pressure inside the containers. It has eroded the concrete by several dozens of centimetres.’

ABC Australia, June 26, 2013 (At 3:15 in): Tepco, when I was talking to them for the book, admitted to me that the fuel in at least one of those reactors has melted through what is called the pressure vessel. It’s actually eating through the concrete underneath that pressure vessel, and that’s called the containment vessel — and it’s eating slowly through that concrete. Although Tepco is saying look we’ve cooled it, hopefully it’s not eating through any further. They really don’t know much more than that.

Full broadcast available here

Willacy’s final visit to the Fukushima hot-zone for ABC airs tomorrow. Watch a preview here: [intlink id=”tv-new-and-disturbing-development-after-fukushima-worrying-claims-of-cancer-cluster-emerging-specialists-deeply-concerned-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: November 4th, 2013 at 8:11 am ET


Related Posts

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52 comments to ABC Correspondent: Nobody knows where Fukushima’s melted cores are now, expert says — Tepco admitted fuel “is actually eating through the concrete… hopefully it’s not eating through any further” (AUDIO)

  • nedlifromvermont

    Kick the radioactive can down the road …

    You can't get a straight answer from pathological liars, and nuclear power is supported by these types, by definition …

    Or, to borrow a quote from the front piece of Michael Lewis' book, "The Big Short", a story about another set of pathological liars, the Wall Street finance guys who blew up to the tune of $2.5 Trillion with the subprime debt fiasco:

    "The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him." Leo Tolstoy, 1897.


  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    People trying to help.. then to piecemeal.. what TEPCO has to say and then serving the left-overs…is not helpful.
    Rude ..really.

  • Cisco Cisco

    Touché NFV


    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" …Sinclair

    All the best Moniz. Hope you inhaled deeply and enjoyed those prized Fuku vegies and beef.

  • Alpha1

    If we look at the base of the lies and what they where talking about here was within a couple weeks after plant breach. The cores have had over 2.6 years to continue. (22000+ will melt through 1 meter per hour of anything water will not cool it once it hits concrete as the core melt will feed off carbon so once it touches earth the reaction increases and feeds the center of heat.

    In other words it gets hotter and hotter not cooler, since these bums have only study and books and threat of no pay if they tell the truth. I just have told you the truth, the burn is now from our calculations over 5,586,923 feet into the ground the proverbial bottomless pit is now been opened and there is no way to stop the breach of 3 reactors.

    Do not believe them and betray your own heart and understanding, Radiation kills period there is no safe level and LEL ALARA for radiation workers is what they moved the acceptable too so they can watch population decrease. The one thing they do not think of is it is going to kill them and their genes 2..

    • Cisco Cisco

      "5,586,923 feet" divided 5,280 = 1058 miles???

      I don't think so, maybe a recalculation Alpha1?

      • flagit flagit

        i think his burn rate is too high. 7 hours/ft, not 1-1.

        his math is fine. its the exponents i question.

        by his math they are timing the removal of the spent fuel with the cores reaching….the earths core.

        if those are correct, we are a few scant weeks from………your guess is as good as mine.

    • soern

      @ Alpha 1
      You are right roughly.
      There are about 80 Kilometers for molten cores to reach magma at Daiichi. The cores grow hotter and hotter – agreed.
      When they meet magma, we will see a new vulcano erupt there, as the tubes cores melted are qite fine tubes for magma to come up.
      Don't know how you come to 5,586,923 feet, but i estimated about 8 Kilometers/Year, so maybe we meet midway and tomorrow Mt. Daiichi will erupt 🙂
      No Joke! – just hard to calculate WHEN it will happen,
      no doubt – IT WILL HAPPEN!

    • flagit flagit

      @alpha 1, @soern.

      armchair scientist here. been piecing my own calculation together.

      the study that states the burn rate for a core through concrete. thats a known exponent.

      In reality under a complete loss of coolant scenario the fast erosion phase of the concrete basement lasts for about an hour and progresses into about one meter depth, then slows to several centimeters per hour, and stops completely when the corium melt cools below the decomposition temperature of concrete (about 1100 °C). Complete melt-through can occur in several days even through several meters of concrete; the corium then penetrates several meters into the underlying soil, spreads around, cools and solidifies.[31]

      During the time of the Three Mile Island accident there was anti-nuclear advocacy suggesting that the molten core could perhaps literally reach China, of course this would not be the case and any material that makes it through the Earth's crust would settle at its buoyant level only reaching the core, to reach the other side would require defying gravity, however the partial meltdown created a molten core that got exactly 15 millimeters to "China" before the core froze at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel.[32]

      but, thats a little vague. i like this controlled experiment much better.

      there they estimate 12'/7 hours, not the 1'/1 hour as proposed in this previous article.

      • flagit flagit

        so now you have an approx burn-rate/hr.
        the number of feet to reach the earths outer core.
        the time said core has been haulin' ass straight to hell.

        something i just read insinuated that once the core starts to burn earth, the carbon released causes the core to heat exponentially.

        this insures all three cores will continue to sink in close proximity to each other. my angle here is that there are 3 bore holes, within a few piddly feet of the others, suggesting that there are no longer 3 holes, but the walls have collapsed, creating a much larger conduit. in theory.

        now, what happens when the cores hit the outer mantel? have you ever buried a firecracker or know someone in the blasting business? think back to the movie Armageddon, where billy bob is explaining the concept between setting a charge on the surface, vs drilling a hole and placing a charge.

        potential scenario.

        1) volcanic eruption spewing magma over parts of japan.

        2) a massive cavern is created by the blast, the island of japan sinks 30-60 feet. さようなら

        3) earth goes full-retard. blast invokes an outer mantel shift, kicking off a massive game of spin the bottle.

        4) no boom, no bang. mankind dies with without so much a whimper. 5.5 billion die to radioactive poisoning. the remaining 500k live in underground, Logans Run type cities for the next 3 million years while Agenda 21 slowly "re-wilds" the planet. (read it, no joke)

  • or-well

    Either somebody knows,
    or could, if they hunted,
    or nobody does,
    it's just theories flaunted,
    where corium goes
    when it feels unwanted.

    My name is nuclear fuel,
    I'm fiss-aholic,
    if I don't stay cool,
    my heat goes parabolic,
    I have a meltdown
    and go for a frolic.

    I have no remorse,
    the hangover's yours,
    it's over your heads
    like Damocles sword,
    you unbottled a genie,
    now here's your reward.

    On a bender or sober
    I threaten all nations,
    forget re-hab or decon
    or remediation,
    either loose or contained
    I kill for generations.

    Go feed your addiction
    to power consumption,
    One way or another
    I'll bring corruption,
    for nuclear never was a solution,
    just another way of annihilation.

  • vicky13 vicky13

    Just got this from Harvey Wasserman,,

    We'll present petitions at the UN Thursday, 11/7, around 1pm. If you're in NYC, stop by Dag Hammerskjold Plaza. A very low-friendly gathering to pass them in. All are welcome.

    Meanwhile, some pro-nuke climate scientists have prompted this:


  • ion jean ion jean

    Hopefully, when the coriums hit the earths core they will be consumed like a drop of rain into a puddle…we don't know, they don't know. We will survive but the purity of our genetic codes has been forever polluted by thieves of power overlords, which is why Oppenheimer quoted Shiva and became an enemy of the state, just like Ed Snowden. At least Oppie had a celebrity reputation which gave him clemency in the once free press that reflected public opinion.
    We have known the cores' on the floor since Jaczko said it was so…there's only one way for them to go, the question is: what lied below? A rumor of a centrifuge flies around the net. The rad levels soar with no credible explanations, the sea life shows great distress, the fuel rods need what? Moving?!!? At this point the whole thing cannot be buried cause its too wet to set! Fatal Mistakes

  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Watch , go the left side of page & RadChicks 7 part you tube videos, it has very good was of explaining what has happen to these cores, hope this helps!

  • Alpha1

    FYI Cisco it is that for every ton of carbon the cores eat it changes the temp by 22000 degrees of temp which changes it makes the cores movement from 3 meters per hour to a meter per minute!!!!

    I know you are not a nuclear engineer and know nothing about core breach other than propaganda. There is a know when you have worked on the evil machines and have been part of the cure and the fix.

    Here to help!!!!

    • Naha Johari


      So this TEPCO engineer told Mark Willacy a complete lie?

      "There’s about 7 meters of concrete there, it’s already burned through about 70 centimeters of that. We think we’ve cooled it enough so it’s no longer burning through […] He said at the end, ‘That’s all we can surmise for now.’"

      What the…

      • soern

        @Naha Johan
        that 7 meters of concrete was melted through within about 2 days maximum.
        Which was more than 2 years ago.
        Alpha 1 is right in one point:
        Cores don't cool down at all.
        They are fissionig which means working like radio active chain reaction, if you like.
        Surrounding earth/stone does work like insulation, so nothing to cool down the mess at all.
        Cores will meeet magma definetly not too long ahead.
        I'll keep watching.

        • Naha Johari

          soem, thanks. I'm just hanging around here observing fascinating debates between people who understand nuclear physics, biology, genomic mutations and geology. I hope to find answers to these 3 questions:

          1. If there are large radioactive corium masses (rather than the splat and vaporise scenario) burning through the earth, is there not a single satellite in orbit or other scanning tech that can locate them when umpteenth billions have been spent sending things to Mars to find… squat?

          2. So if these hot globs meet a magma vein, will it behave like an underground detonation of a tactical thermonuclear warhead, and if so will this stress out the regional crust plates, energise earthquakes and volcanoes, and spew out ELE radioactive ash clouds (if SFP4 is not already empty and ELE burns have not already happened in the last 2.5 years as some here maintain)?

          3. Could quakes encourage these hot globs to travel laterally or diagonally towards population centre aquifers such as Tokyo's, or is this impossible due to the globs' massive weight pulled vertically downwards by gravity?

          Thanks. Please pardon me if these are elementary concepts I slept through in school, or have been debated in other threads here.

          • soern

            Hello Naha Johari,
            well, i'm no scientist but can addd 1+1 so far 🙂
            To your questions.:
            1. If these big radio active masses are deep under surface
            of earth maybe sattelites can't detect the exact location
            as sattelites mostly are planned to do above surface jobs.
            Wether some international scientist got enough money to
            look deeper into Earth from soace, i'm not informed.
            Oceans are not publicly examinated from space up to now.
            2. It is not sure, cores meeting magma will detonate like a
            bomb then. It is unknown how the reaction will be.
            Most likely magma will press the cores back to surface
            through that coremade tubes first without an explosion
            at all. Following magma could build up a volcano over
            all that mess then. Likely all 4 blobs could union to 1
            blob if at same level under earth – gravity, but also
            3. Not much i guess, just like a jump, not more.
            Thx for att.

            • flagit flagit

              i mentioned on another thread the possibility of merged cores. they were not situated that far apart. no scientist here, but i just cant see them not hitting the outer core. its had to speculate where its an unprecedented event.

              wow, i just went full-sci-horror.

              once the merged cores hit magma, the pressure and magma send them straight back up the pipe, creating the worlds largest "super-gun", sending the core into orbit. literately, raining down death over the entire planet, meanwhile fulfilling the hopi indian prophecy of…


              "ooo, mommie, look at the pretty star" (cough cough)

              disclaimer: that is nothing more than the product of an overactive imagination.

          • fuganzi

            1. …is there not a single satellite in orbit or other scanning tech that can locate them?. . ..

            Not satellites, but there is such a thing as "ground penetrating radar" which theoretically could work.

            2. So if these hot globs meet a magma vein…

            2a. … will it behave like an underground detonation of a tactical thermonuclear warhead…

            Some people have speculated that bedrock or ground water would act as a neutron-reflector, causing a prompt criticality. I do not believe that a "perfect" nuclear detonation of 100 tons of material is possible. If this happens at all, MOST likely, it will be of the magnitude of Unit 3's detonation, only contained within the bedrock. It's possible this has already happened, because there has been weird seismic activity. Not much consequence to that. (other than radioactive releases).

            3. Could quakes encourage these hot globs to travel laterally or diagonally…

            Not in any significant amount.

    • dosdos dosdos

      Can you express that conversion of carbon in joules so that the temperature change can be validated? How can you express a temperature change if the mass of the core is unspecified? Where are these tons of carbon coming from? What scale of temperature are you using? Show us the math, give us some details. I have a masters in physics, I'll understand it.

      We're here to find the truth. If you can help, please do.

    • or-well

      Alpha1 says "Here to help!!!!"
      or-well says "Bullshit!"
      I don't care who yelps.
      It's keyboard fantasy physics
      from a troll or a goof,
      stupid misinfo,
      a crime by itself,
      too bad some will buy it
      and think it top shelf
      intel and apply it
      by links and re-posts,
      but that's how it goes
      with internet ghosts
      who use Fear, Uncertainty
      and also Doubt,
      to con the gullible,
      to twist and distort,
      and the lunatic fringe
      who rubbish spout,
      who just make stuff up
      and spread it around
      for who knows what reason
      besides being unsound.
      It's the Season of Madness
      and we're being drowned
      in the Ocean of Bullshit
      by Nukist KillClowns
      and Alpha1 types
      who serve their purposes well.

      Go ahead, flame me, I'm long past caring.
      Believe what you want.
      Do something or nothing.
      Call the bullshitters out,
      or fold while they're bluffing.
      Either way, we're getting a nuclear stuffing
      and it's going to be our genomic snuffing,
      but if you present Alpha1's "science"
      you'll be laughed off, because it's worth nothing.

    • Cisco Cisco

      OK Alpha1…so what's with your estimate that the coriums are over 1000 miles into the earth? Are we missing something here?

    • soern

      surface of sun has 5500C which is a lot.
      Corii in full action also have 5500°C which easily melts or vapours everything surrounding.
      No need for 22000 Degrees even if Farenheit.

    • fuganzi

      When corium gets to a certain temperature, the uranium will boil off.

      That temperature is 3818.0 degrees C.

      The vapor will permeate through cracks in the rock, and depending how far down it is, will deposit on the surfaces. There is no way that critical mass will be maintained under these conditions.

      This will happen when the corium reaches a certain depth in the Earth's mantle. This is anywhere from 5 to 80 km below the surface. (I don't know how deep that is in Fukushima – geologists please chime-in). Temperatures in the mantle are going to range from 500-900 at the upper boundary, and 4000 near the core. It will be much hotter in the presence of magma (which is pretty likely at shallower depths, given the geology of the region).

      Another likelyhood: as the corium burrows into concrete/bedrock, the materials below are vaporized, and the mechanical action of this gaseous release will "bubble" the molten corium, and bits and pieces of the corium will flow into voids and cracks in the surrounding rock, and cool.

      In the void created by the corium, it will be surrounded by molten/boiling rock. Because of the temperature difference (corium stays hot), there will likely be no material mixing (dilution) of the corium. But at Chernobyl, a great deal of mixing was observed. This cooled the molten mass.

      Molten rock should solidify above the corium, if it burrows.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Endoscope video of Containment Vessel at # 2 reactor.
    TEPCO discovers only a few inches of water, when they expected to find many feet.
    TEPCO discovers that the little remaining water wasn't boiling, but was still.
    TEPCO discovers wispy steam, not thick clouds ofsteam expected.
    Conclusion: the corium isn't present in Containment 2.
    Just a big hole made by corium as it leftthe building.
    Nor, is their corium in Unit1&3.

    Where is the damn corium, eh, TEPCO?

    • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

      Hi Philip

      A question that has been bugging me for a while….

      I am aware that they are struggling to use regular ccd based endoscope cameras (as shown by the amount of radioactive decay noise in this video which will pretty quickly destroy the chip in the camera)

      But why are they not using fibreoptic endoscopes…..

      Which could be bundled quite thickly and only have an glass optical lens on the end (which I would think would survive much longer) The quality would be slightly poorer but they should be able to get much deeper into the containment.

      The camera and electronics are located at the receiving end of the scope hence outside of the containment.

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Great suggestion, tooktheredpill.

        I believe they are using fibreoptic endoscopes. That radiation is intense, isn't it?

        • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

          The CPM on the vid above is insane.

          For anybody else out there who's interested I got this running on my mobile…

          It is a pretty basic rad monitor which works fairly well. It is absolutely useless in terms of small changes in background levels but if there was to be a big plume heading over it would show immediately giving a pretty good Early Warning Advantage. (Very ingenious using the ccd blips to calculate cpm) It does take a bit of fiddling to take background level into account but once set it works ok.

          You do have to completely cover your camera lens totally light tight so i'm using it on an old mobile at the moment. (couldn't cope without my camera! lol)

          (don't kno if anyone watches bionerd23 on youtube but she does a lot of experimentation explaining radiation for the layman and above vid is her experiment with the app which shows it's fairly accurate in comparison to a geiger tube)

  • weeman

    I would like to bring something to your attention, all of your calculations are based on the majority of the cores melting to the bottom of the reactor?, unfortunately we do not know how much of the cores were vaporized and escaped directly into the environment and therefore we have no idea the actual fuel load.
    Not that this is any better, in fact worse?
    I would have expected a large steam explosion when cores hit ground water and we all agree the water table is above the level of basement and tidal water also enters.
    I would like to know the temp in the bore wells and the temp of water in Harbour? Not published.

    • dosdos dosdos

      A steam explosion would have happened if the entire core hit a large volume of water all at once. In all likelihood, the core is all over the place, scattered by varying pathways during the melt, some settling in pipes, cracks, and pockets, scattered by the explosions, some vaporized, some blown over the landscape. The likelihood of finding a major blob of core is not probable.

      Scattered like this, the core would cool more quickly, as it has less to feed upon itself, less mass to sustain the heat in relation to what it contacts. Odds are, it was solidified within a few weeks, and it's everywhere in the complex. High, low, all through the works, beneath ground. Some is probably still hot enough to create water vapor, but I doubt that any is still molten.

      Remember the gamma cameras images from late 2011 that showed very hot pipes above ground? That was part of the core. All you need to find its presence is look at all the places where people can't enter without dying in a few minutes. That is where the core is, or part of it.

      • soern

        huge amounts of steam were released many many times on fuku live cams.
        Why not caused by corii crossing water leading layers?
        Big masses stick together – Gravity.
        I don't agree, molten cores having dipersed and therefore beeing divided and possibbly cooled down. Small sparkles – Yes, surely.
        But there i guess there are 4 big blobs melting down to magma.
        One is from SFP4.
        Dispersed theory is oK but not likely i think, more whishfull thinking which makes things even worse.
        MY wishfull thinking is, that molten cores meet magma and upcoming volcano covers everything including cores.
        Even here at enenews we get no clear informations and know not more than anybody. Just confusion:
        – Is there water in SFP4?
        – How long there was no water in SFP4?
        – How the cracks and holes of SFP4 were repaired?
        – how much of SFP4's content melted through all floors and
        – Where are the cores?
        – Melting temperatures of Cores, Steel Vessels, Stone?
        – Melting through Earth speed?

        Some summarizing enenews "facts" section is my suggestion.
        It should be easy to find and be the essential knowledge.

        • fuganzi

          We can circle-jerk about what happened to the cores for ever.

          The fact is: nobody can make any assumptions until we get some solid data. (And TEPCO may have that, and obviously won't want to share it if it's bad – they want everyone to think that everything's nice and tidy in the containment).

          It will be THOUSANDS of years before the fuel is cool enough to begin digging it out directly. In the TMI cleanup, they were able to use remotely-controlled robotic devices, but Fukushima is just way too hot, and not neatly contained in the pressure vessel.

          My idea for dealing with this would be to build a pair of rail-tracks on either side of the row of buildings, and roll-in a gigantic overhead crane along the rails. The crane and rail-dolly can be remote controlled. The crane will also need to be covered to contain any dust and releases. This crane can roll over the structures, one by one, dismantle the buildings, and remove fuel, and if-necessary, dig. But this will still take decades.

    • flatsville

      I've wondered if this isn't the case myself…cores mostly dispersed…otherwise it seems we should have had that – HYDROVOLCANIC EXPLOSION!!! – (some people were screaming about) by now.

  • Alpha1

    In response weeman remember what is being said and keep track here is the link the water is boiling in the man made harbor outside of the plant OCEAN water boils at 188 degrees…

    Take note of the past things and remember do not sut the door keep a record of the lies verses the truths…

    • dosdos dosdos

      The boiling point of water is raised by 0.5 degrees Celsius for water with 29.2 grams of salt dissolved in each kg of water.

      The boiling point of sea water is above 212°F, where exactly depending on the salinity.

    • weeman

      What is your source for a 188 dgrees of Harbour water, if you reviewed post you would have seen that I responded to this post, how do you get ocean water to boil if it is continually being cooled by the temp of ocean, yes the Harbour is warmer than surrounding ocean, hence fog., you don't think that corium is cool in two and a half years, it takes five just to cool used fuel rods.
      Would happy please take a thermometer to plant and give us temp of wells and Harbour.
      I am more prone to go with dodos explanation, sorry but discussion is all we have and that is not to say that any of us are right.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    R A D I A T I O N . R I S I N G . S P R E A D I N G

    Molten lava-like coriums are on the move, as proven by increasing radiation levels.

  • American Phoenix57

    The cores are melted like the one in Chernobyl. They burn down a ways then they cool. They remain unapproachable forever giving off 10,000 roentgens per hour. Look up Chernobyl elephants foot. Watch on YT.

    Alpha1 quit the hysterics or risk getting beat about the head with rolled up mouse pads.

    Entombment after removal of all above ground radioactive materials is our only hope. Hope we all stay healthy until then. Good Luck Japan.

    • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

      Not at all like Chernobyl.
      The core at Chernu was mixed with the thousands of tons of SAND that was surrounding the reactor core, which melted and combined with the core into a glass like substance.

      • American Phoenix57

        Fuku cores where surrounded by very thick concrete (which is a sand mixture) and 7 meters of concrete underneath. They too have melted and mixed with the SAND. They are not burning to the center of the earth. Get a grip.

        • soern

          not to the center of earth of course 🙂
          Don't forget, melted cores don't mix with anything.
          At Chernobil we had a graphite core.
          At Fukushima Daiichi we have MOX Cores.

          From my own experience:
          If you heat up concrete suddenly ie. with a tar burner,
          concrete will not even melt – just splattering away.
          No mixture.

  • razzz razzz

    Even if they knew exactly where the melts were, nothing they can do about it.

    Capping or putting a cover over the melts will do nothing to stop groundwater from flowing across them then into the Pacific Ocean. The situation is not like Chernobyl where a semi-airtight structure can be put in place to contain those melts and their radioactive dusts because they are sitting above ground in a concrete building. 25 years later and 2.5 billion dollars more.

    Daiichi's melts are suffering from water intrusions and so far the water can't be stopped. Daiichi's melted cores are where the cameras fail and nearby where the robots freeze up.

    • weeman

      The main difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima is water surrounds corium at Fukushima, the Russians took great care not to let the corium come in contact with water, it also cools faster in air than water and little ground water contamination.
      Off course every action has a reaction, at chernobyl it is airborne mostly and to a extent shielded by structure.

  • razzz razzz

    Chernobyl (April 26, 1986) vented 8 months to open air before the sarcophagus was finally completed.

    Daiichi might have mostly water acting as a shield, except the water can't be contained and flows freely to the Pacific. U3 can still vent to air. U1 at least has a tent, U2 still has its building intact and the one blown out panel is covered now. Above ground coverings don't stop the underground waters from carrying away radioactivity as readings have shown.

    Over at Wikipedia, good or bad that anyone can do updates to articles there, the Chernobyl writeup becomes more detailed (for now). The newer charts for radioactivity far and near are scary…
    "…xenon radioisotopes released during the event, indicate that the second explosion could have been a nuclear power transient; the result of the melting core material, in the absence of its cladding, water coolant and moderator, undergoing runaway prompt criticality similar to the explosion of a fizzled nuclear weapon…"
    "…By December 1986, a large concrete sarcophagus had been erected to seal off the reactor and its contents…"
    "…These scientists manually collected cold fuel rods, but great heat was still emanating from the core…"
    "…The concrete beneath the reactor was steaming hot, and was breached by solidified lava and spectacular unknown crystalline forms termed chernobylite…"

    Daiichi's conditions are better for water cooling the melts rather than them sitting in open air.