‘Mysterious’ steam at Fukushima Unit 3 — NPR: “Fuel could have shifted… or worse restarted nuclear reactions” — Tepco: “We still don’t know for sure the cause” (AUDIO)

Published: July 25th, 2013 at 6:50 pm ET


AFP, July 25, 2013: […] mysterious steam continued to rise from a broken unit. […] steam that began appearing last week near the badly-wrecked Reactor 3 was still in evidence, the company said, admitting it was still no closer to identifying the reason for the vapour. “Workers could still see the steam rising from the area as of 1:00 pm (0400 GMT),” a TEPCO spokesman told AFP. The company’s best guess so far is that accumulated rainwater was being heated in some way. But, said the spokesman: “We still don’t know for sure what the cause is.” […]

Steam seen at Fukushima Unit 3 on July 18

NPR, July 25, 2013: Steam And Groundwater Raise Concern At Japanese Nuclear Plant […] The steam was first seen at the unit 3 reactor late last week, and it’s continued on-and-off ever since. […] many were startled by the fresh video. They had reason for concern: […] Some fuel could have shifted and created an unexpected hot spot, or worse restarted nuclear reactions. But both scenarios appear unlikely. [… TEPCO]  has been monitoring temperatures, pressures and radiation levels, and has seen little change since the steam started rising. Instead, they’re pointing the finger at rainwater, which may be turning to steam as it strikes the hot outer shell of the reactor vessel. […]

NPR’s broadcast available here

Published: July 25th, 2013 at 6:50 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. AFP: ‘Fukushima reactor site engulfed by steam’ — Kyodo: ‘Something like steam’ coming from unknown source at Unit No. 3 — Tepco: ‘Continuously wafting through the air’ — Work to remove rubble suspended July 23, 2013
  2. NRC comments on steam at Fukushima Unit 3 — Gundersen: Plutonium could be causing fissions, heating up melted fuel (AUDIO) January 10, 2014
  3. Tepco: “Significant density” of Alpha radiation leaking from Unit 3 at Fukushima — Steam seen at reactor building “likely to be leaked” from containment vessel August 14, 2013
  4. Nuclear Expert: “Pretty good volume of steam” came from Fukushima Unit 3 — “Something is hot down there” — “The reactor core is going to do what it’s going to do” — Not much can be done besides monitor its ‘progress’ (AUDIO) October 3, 2013
  5. Alarm as steam rises from Fukushima No. 3 reactor — Concern about uncontrolled chain reaction — Contains highly lethal MOX fuel — Tepco: “We don’t believe an emergency situation is breaking out” (VIDEO) July 18, 2013

66 comments to ‘Mysterious’ steam at Fukushima Unit 3 — NPR: “Fuel could have shifted… or worse restarted nuclear reactions” — Tepco: “We still don’t know for sure the cause” (AUDIO)

  • Proton

    NPR knows better than tepco? %^#$^@#$@!!

    They were smart enough to fire Neal Conan after he bashed the 9/11 "truther" that called during his last episode of Talk of the Nation…

    • Proton

      But why won't they ever talk about all that plutonium that went sky high from unit #3?

      Why won't they talk about the damning evidence of huge cover-up in the NRC comm transcripts?

      Why is tepco still in charge of the mess there?

      • We Not They Finally

        Yes, why IS tepco still in charge of the mess there? Just because they will lose money if they screw up the PR? All this is, is PR. Bad PR, yes. Facts barely seem to enter in.

        • irhologram

          Wasn't it Anne who posted what world entities were actually in charge through a sort of chain of command? I wish I could remember that post, but it seemed to clearly show that Tepco is not the bottom line. I think we should keep that in mind.

            • nedlifromvermont

              Glad to see he refers to our likes as "chaps and chapesses" … so very British … "we need to show the safety of nuclear" … "that the radiation releases have been contained …" … oh blimey, have another cup o' tea … anyone up for some bell ringing?

              A LIE told with a British accent is still a LIE even if you black out the name of the lying co-conspirators …

              "We need to occupy this ground and hold it" is precisely the mode of thinking of all these psychopathic nuclearists who are running the show …

              How much clearer could it be? This industry is run and sold to us and force fed to us by a looney band of psychopaths, some of whom have a natty British accent, oh dear.

              It just wouldn't do to have our nuclear power plants shut down by an unwashed mob of unruly chaps and chapesses, now would it, love?

              Caw blimey, cut their balls off and leave 'em!


          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            I think TEPCO is now owned by the Japanese government. I suspect that the IAEA has no wonderful solution for the Fukushima meltdown. Aren't the workers controlled by the Yakuza?

            • nedlifromvermont

              I agree, I think now more than sixty per cent …

              I agree, sadly, no wonderful solution or otherwise … for the Fukushima meltdown …

              Yes I believe they are, in fact … the workers, working for the Yakuza …

              Where, in Hell, do you suspect, GE is, in all of this????

              jus' wonderin' …

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          Doesn't TEPCO still have an academic chair at MIT?

          • nedlifromvermont

            I dunno.

            Charlie (Chuck) Forsberg (MIT Prof. of Nuclear Fuel Cycle) might know …

            My son just graduated from there …

            … went to work at FB …

            … says I "might need to get a FB page" … …

            … I dunno …

            … kinda like the anonymity of my enenewser buddies …

            … might have to have an "adult conversation about the gigantic fraud which is the nuclear power industry …"

            … …

            … screw the SAC non-gigantic-fraud-distraction-story-du-jour …

            nuclear nutjobs … you are soooooo predictable !!!!

            Josef Goebbels to the Max!!!!

            p.s luv the irony …

            Go Titanic!!!!

          • irhologram

            What I directly know about that is that on March 12, I was in the pharmacy line at CVS, trying to buy iodine pills (they had never heard of such a thing)…behind the wife of an MIT scientist who had just flown off to Japan with an advisory team. I doubt they went to "observe."

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          I suspect no one else wants responsibility for Fukushima. TEPCO is a convenient scapegoat logo for the nuclear industry.

          • Time Is Short Time Is Short


          • nedlifromvermont

            General Electric bears TOTAL responsibility for Fukushima! … my sainted great grandfather's company! I believe that Charles Albert Coffin would have opposed and likely killed off (stupid) nuclear power. He died in 1926 … before Rutherford was through, and before Hahn and Meitner had posited the uranium chain reaction …

            I am named "Ned" for Coffin's son who died childless!

            Harvard class of 1897? or so?

            I suspect Ned Coffin would have opposed the development of nuclear power in his lifetime, had he survived a bout of peritonitis, in Kansas City, in 1915, or so,??? family history is an uncertain thing …

            … … …

            daughter going to Harvard …

            class of 2017 … …

            Do we care about the future??? ??? ???

            The Nuclearists sure don't seem to !!!!!!

            … jus' sayin'

            … … peace all!

    • How To Stop The 3 Out Of Control Coriums Under Fukushima, Plus Petition; via @AGreenRoad

  • domjox domjox

    so their finally admitting in their strange sort of way, that the fuel has BOTH shifted and is having recriticalites

  • We Not They Finally

    From RAIN? Like it's never rained before? This is the first time?

  • Jebus Jebus

    "But why won't they ever talk about all that plutonium that went sky high from unit #3?"

    Here's someone who speaks coherently and appears to be sane, talking about the MOX mixture in #3…

    Mox fuel-corium-plutonium in Fukushima Daiichi

    1. The issue of MOX
    According to the excellent article by Andrea Fradin "[Revelations] Areva reactor in the heart of Fukushima," a spokeswoman for Areva in March confirmed the involvement of the French company in Fukushima plant, stating that "the Unit 3 was operating with 30% MOX "(1).
    But if we stick to the raw data on fuel Tepco plant accident, there was, at the time of the earthquake of March 11, 2011, 548 assemblies in the heart of the reactor 3. And 30% of 548, this is 164 MOX assemblies.
    However, according to Bertrand Barré, scientific advisor to Areva, "the reactor 3 of the Fukushima plant contains only 32 MOX assemblies."
    First, the term "only" is unfortunate in the context of the current disaster, vis-à-vis all those infected in Japan. For assemblies of approximately 32 172 kg, it's still 5.5 tons of fuel the most dangerous in the world, as containing more than 300 kg of plutonium. Its toxicity is extreme, since its lethal dose is of the order of micrograms. 300 kg is therefore equivalent to 300 billion lethal doses.

    • Jebus Jebus

      But assemblies 164 is another measure that corresponds to 28 tons of MOX, containing nearly 1700 kilograms of plutonium!
      So who is right? Areva taken aback by OWNI questioned the day after the disaster or Areva with a clear head can not say anything because it is the maximum amount for which the Unit 3 of Fukushima Daiichi is registered with the IAEA?

      You can also ask the question another way: who says wrong?


    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Plutonium and Uranium will cause fissioning and they all know there is no way to stop this in the amounts that were dispersed and remain at the site. It's a devil's brew and I truly think it has been fissioning since the start. I don't think there is any way to stop this reaction even with borated water as some of the corium has probably found a crevice and is churning away. I hope I'm wrong and this is just a broken wire or some other simplistic reason for the increase of isotopes and steam. What a nightmare.

  • We Not They Finally

    Why would Areva say anything more truthful than TEPCO? They've been polluting the English Channel ongoing, and they do "fuel re-processing" for other countries, like Russia. They are totally "part of the problem."

  • lickerface lickerface

    This whole problem is good to show to those pro-nukers. If this is such a safe technology, why do scientists say "mysterious", "could be", "don't know", "unknown",….? This technology was NEVER fully understood. The ramifications were never completely made apparent. It's a too-big-to-handle technology which brings great yields at the potential price of mankind.

  • I don't know all the details but it has rained before over two and a half years so why now with the steam? Blaming the steam on rainwater sounds lame to me.
    As far as Tepco being in control and the above discussion, it has been nationalized for over a year now so its really in government control.
    See http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/09/us-tepco-idUSBRE8480Z220120509

    So blaming TEPCO for leaking radiation into the Pacific and everything else that has happened within say the last year is disingenuous. The Japanese government has access to all the answers and effectively is in charge of the purse strings. The real question is why are the international experts including Russian and American army scientists not criticizing the obvious bungling, deceit and slip shod fixes that has punctuated the clean up and remediation of this unprecedented triple melt through disaster. Finally, given the close ties to USA including American troops stationed on Japan, what does Obama know that he isn't telling?

  • nedlifromvermont

    Obama knows that he is nothing more than a colored lackey to the real General-in-Charge … and that would be General Electric, contractor to the Manhattan Project, fuel peddler to unnecessary, poison-factory-death-machines we call nuclear reactors, and that if he goes anti-nuke it'll be showtime for him, (a la John F. Kennedy, with the kill shot from in front, on some grassy knoll, so that his brain matter will be splattered to the rear and out the back of the head) and pro-nuker, Hillary Fuelrodham Clinton will take up the slack and give the nuke boys anything they want …

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Every president is just a puppet to the shadow rulers.

      Alluding to Pres. Obama's skin color is both juvenile and sick and simply denigrates you and everyone in the world and also denigrates everything you say.

      • gr81 gr81

        The only comment which is sick is yours anne in suggesting that nedifromvermont is stating anything other than FACT!

        • Jebus Jebus

          Racism is a fact that destroys humanity…

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          If a person keeps separating out people because they are a certain race or any other group, not only is that person not free to care about a whole group of people and a slave to hatred, pretty soon that person's group will also be included as a group for the target of the elite.

          Hitler killed not only Jews, but Christians, and anyone else who opposed him. Scapegoating is the poison of the elite to divide people and to rule them unconditionally and to treat them in an inhumane way.

        • We Not They Finally

          gr81, you and Nedli would have a grand time with Paula Deen in her next really really really Southern bar-b-que. Go! We won't miss you.

      • We Not They Finally

        Nedli, "colored" lackey? Where ARE you? Where do you live? Mid 19th century? You need to apologize to ALL READERS. We have problems with Obama too (really!) but calling him "colored"? Why don't you join Paula Deen and take that show on the road. Shame on you!! Shame on you big-time!!

      • nedlifromvermont

        I'm sorry Anne, I truly am … my emotions got the better of me again … it's just that I'm trying to get the comment picked up by a wider audience … and I'll take your advice and leave the skin color thing out of my comments … the white men from GE, MIT, and US Army who pushed this nuclear thing through are the real criminals … very few people of color involved …

        Sorry to all! Unnecessary slur!

        • irhologram

          Nedi. Oh, that's OK. You were just using racial slurs for PR and self promotion. Hey, if you can't wake 'em up with straight talk, hate will win them over. Wha??? What audience are you trying to build readership in? I'm sincerely curious about how these dialogue boxes would build a following for you. I'm very interested in blogging myself, and its an honest question: how would blogging here could be an advantage, if noticed by others…. Enquiring minds want to know. Lol

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          Again, calling them white men is again here a racial slur. Could you please leave skin color out of it?

          No one is saying that GE had nothing to do with building nuclear power plants. But the Manhattan Project included Bechtel and Dupont. And why leave out Westinghouse which has in the past and is currently building nuclear power plants in the US and abroad. Why not stick to the AP1000 currently being built in the US by Westinghouse. The Russians used many scientists to build their nuclear program from around the world including the Germans and the Japanese. The Japanese are currently running the nuclear industry in the US. I myself in my Nuclear Engineering free online class had the opportunity to witness first hand the deceit and autocratic silencing of the truth by a senior nuclear engineer at Westinghouse whose grandfather is Japanese and the harassment and silencing of the truth by Americans who are also in the employ of the Univ. of Pittsburgh in league with Westinghouse, but not Japanese.

          The Manhattan Project was conceived and drew on the intelligence of scientists of many nations.

          It is the deceit of the nuclear industry, the Fascist structure of the nuclear industry which relies on government money to sustain their industry. For all 104 nuclear power plants in the US the nuclear owners have a combined total of 12 or 12 and a half billion dollars to cover accidents.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            The Fukushima disaster is costing 500 billion dollars at least. But again the US taxpayer will pay trillions of dollars more with their lives and money because untold huge amounts of radiation is coming over here whether by sea or air or rainfall or snowfall or all the radioactive contaminated goods and food being allowed to be exported to the US and elsewhere in the world.

            Chernobyl bankrupted the Soviet Union. Fukushima and the US nuclear industry is bankrupting not only Japan, but also the US.

            The so-called studies of radiation illness in Ramsar, Iran is from an area with 2 reactors and a nuclear weapons plant. It received radioactive fallout from Chernobyl and other accidents and nuclear testing from the Soviet Union. Their cancer rates are the highest in the world, and the women get cancer 10 years younger than the rest of the world. They have many unstable and aberrant chromosomes and infertility. Iran is also destroying its country and people with nuclear radiation.

            The effects of chronic low-dose radiation is much higher than the linear no threshold model. There is no such thing as radiation hormesis. Radiation is killing the whole planet.

            And the US government no longer has any money for clean up or storing nuclear waste.

            Tons of Krypton-85 is released in the atmosphere by reprocessing nuclear waste (The Petkau Effect). We are destroying our air, land, and water at an exponential rate.

          • nedlifromvermont

            white men is also a racial slur … okay, got it …

            also got the bit about Westinghouse, Dupont etc. …

            The GE thing is personal, since my great granddad started the company, with JP Morgan backing … CA Coffin was my father's mother's father … and they were warned by their own engineers (Dale Bridenbaugh (sp?) not to proceed with the Mark line of BWR's, so their culpability is immense …

            left some people out for brevity …

            The Price-Anderson Act liability cap is the ultimate scam …

            love your posts, Anne … keep up the monitoring and good work …

            I'll probably offend again, tho' I'll try to be careful …

            peace …

            • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

              @nedi. Thank you for your apology. I apologize too. I also enjoy your posts. And I don't disagree with most of your perceptions. Many people in the world are not concerned with race. And most people will refuse to read a post once that card is played.

              The US and Germany in the past used race to subjugate people and to turn people against each other. INHO, we need to include everyone in the human family. Everyone shares in today's suffering. Everyone will suffer equally if the world runs completely out of water or oxygen.

              IMHO, Obama is one of the elite, and he has their backing and shares their goals. He was carefully interviewed by the Bilderberg organization as well as the US Mafia. He is certainly unabashedly pro-nuclear and as such, IMHO, shouldn't have become president.

              I support Dr. Jill Stein for being completely willing to shut down all nuclear power plants.

              • nedlifromvermont

                thanks, Anne and I, too, will support Jill Stein …

                nuclear power is the most obvious villain …

                together, I think we can take it down.

                All the best with your personal challenges.

                Thanks for the gentle but helpful scolding!

                Later …

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Actually, Hillary was anti-Nuke when she ran for president in 2008. She won the nomination in the votes of the primaries being anti-Nuke, but the party Democrats gave the nomination to Obama. We can criticize the only candidate among the Democrats and Republicans who was anti-Nuke, but it seems rather self-defeating if you are anti-Nuke.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Hillary was also the only candidate who tried as senator of New York to get all ingredients listed on labels of pesticides and herbicides.

        • nedlifromvermont

          p.s. … at least I'm making Anthony Wiener and Elliot Spitzer look good …

          @WNTF Sorry for the racial slur … won't happen again … actually I live in Vermont which is 99.5% white, so i get a little careless …

          peace all!

          • or-well

            nedlifromvermont, I, for one, appreciate your apology.

            There have been too many here over the years who have indulged in personal insult and character attack directed toward commenters over matters of opinion or even simple misunderstanding without ever apologising.

            It saddens me because it discourages participation by those who are less confident or less capable in their online communicative abilities or are of a more reticent nature.

            I was called to account for an "age-ist" remark, and I gladly revised my comment to a more appropriate focus, as you have done with your careless remark.

            It's a difficult medium in which to communicate well at the best of times, and the topics here tend to require a degree of clarity, precision and knowledge greater than many. I believe it would stand us all in good stead to exercise care in communicating.

            Having said that, I reserve the right to be as vile and insulting towards pro-nuclearists as I wish. I'll leave the reasoned dialogue to others with more patience and charitable feelings.

            • nedlifromvermont

              Thanks, or-well …

              as for irhologram … not sure where you are coming from … please see or-well comment above for more info on the matter!!

              somebody in marketing once said any news coverage is good …

              I'm not going to try and defend myself on this matter …

              pleace …

              • irhologram

                I come from: Direct. I, too, appreciate your apology. but, as i said, i was also interested in knowing HOW these posts would be helpful to you. I said I was serious and i was serious. Please tell me the advantage to your blogging efforts by being noticed here. I mean no disdain or sarcasm. I would like to know, personally, for my own efforts. You mentioned you were colorful in order to "get picked up by a wider audience." Maybe you just thought more people here would relate to more "expressive" language? Maybe that's it. I was sincerely curious you may have meant you were developing something. As I said. If not, OK. The only caveat I was adding to The acceptance of your apology is the motive you gave: To be accepted more widely. I am truly sorry that this conversation happened, but I think it was instructive for me in reviewing some of my own motives. I work on myself every day. I'm sure you do, too. Peace.

                • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

                  It's possible that some posters have as their first priority a political agenda, and criticizing nuclear power is simply the card played to be included on this particular website.

                  While life is racing towards complete annihilation on a ruined planet….

  • That NPR report included the mandatory mention that Chernobyl was worse. This is because one meltdown is always worse than three meltdowns, as long as it's in Russia.

    • We Not They Finally

      I don't think that Russia was the linchpin there one way or another. It's just that Fukushima seems to be so exponentially WORSE than Chernobyl, that saying the reverse is used to defuse reality. Well, reality will win, tragic though that may be.

    • NPR and PBS are some of the best and most loybal mouthpieces for the nuclear industry that exist.

      Does anyone know why?

  • The Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science; via @AGreenRoad

  • BirdOfTheFeather BirdOfTheFeather

    They have a Satellite parked right over top of the place ,, They know exatly whats causing the steam

  • To me the photo above looks like a joke.

    Compared to what I've personally witnessed (via TEPCO web cam) and documented here in the enenews comments forum for some time now, along with many others, there are far greater emissions than what this photo might suggest.

    If you want to know what it really looks like on a bad night or day there just look at the web cam forum archives. 😉

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    We're all being held hostage by the corium with no end in sight.

    • Sol Man

      True, no end=forever. Nukecrats have delivered quite a problem to the world. Very sad for all, now and future.

    • We Not They Finally

      TBP, we really like your posts. Like whatever happens, ten or twelve words from you seems to sum it up. Hang in there.

  • Cori -um , what you been up to lately?

    My, you look HOT!

    Way beyond dreamy, practically STEAMY!

  • ftlt

    Wonder what is going through the minds of the reporters when they attend Tepco news conferences???

    It is amazing that reporters have become trained parrots collecting a paycheck in today's media regardless of the topic..

    From Snowden and Manning to the war and wall street banksterism… They report what they are told to report – or lose their jobs or worse go to jail…

    This site and others like it are so important… Even if the facts are not always spot on… The important thing here is questions are being asked and even demanded

  • PragmaticBeliever

    It´s just swamp gas….

    Nothing to see here… move along… move along…

    Great. Rain… of course… Rain that evaporate itself magically.

    Into a destroyed reactor with 1.5 TONS of nuclear material…

    So, if it becomes critical, and someway explodes AGAIN, what is TEPCO going to say? That a rat blows itself having eaten C4?

  • I was thinking a slurry of boron, Vegemite, Pu-240, and SAND.. to seal around it.. and use some liquid OTHER than WATER to get it down the hole.. Adapt a oil-drill rigs UAV for land..? Need to get a pipe into it to do such…? Use a silicate type fluid.. to seal the sides of the hole as well..? It's my best guess as to how to do some remediation on these things. We can't stop it fully anymore.

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    On top of #4? Again…wtf? Where, in the fuel pool or?

    • By the look..? @j@ It's the core.! So, what.. they take the remaining breeders and other remaining rods out of #3 pool and drop them in the new "HIDDEN" core of #4 for burn-off..!?

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    Better tell my kids to stay out of the rain. Sounds logical. The only other body of water large enough, and out of site, would be the ocean. Better there, then there. Time to let everyone know that hand held radiation detectors will not pick up Plutonim!