AP: “Hardly any cooling water inside one of the reactors” — Water level only 6% of estimate — Radiation at 10 times fatal dose

Published: March 27th, 2012 at 10:54 am ET


Title: New probe finds worse damage at Fukushima reactor
Source: The Associated Press
Date: 8:41 a.m. Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[Tepco …] found fatal radiation levels and hardly any cooling water inside one of the reactors, renewing concerns about the plant’s stability.

[Tepco …] detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the No. 2 reactor’s contain chamber, suggesting challenges ahead in shutting down the facility.

[…] containment vessel had cooling water up to only about 60 centimeters (2 feet) from the bottom, far below the 10 meters (yards) estimated when the government declared the plant’s stability in December. […]

Read the report here

Published: March 27th, 2012 at 10:54 am ET


Related Posts

  1. NYT: Fatal Radiation Level Found at Fukushima — “Exceeded” 10 sieverts per hour, measuring device was maxed out August 2, 2011
  2. UPI: Fukushima at risk of a new meltdown — Level of cooling water 29 feet lower than estimated March 30, 2012
  3. Kyodo: Sharp drop in water at Fukushima Reactors No. 1-3 — “Below level regarded as necessary to keep fuel inside cool” August 30, 2012
  4. Tepco backpedals on No. 2 water level: “Possibly” 2.8 meters of water inside reactor, had been claiming much higher — Now just “quite unlikely” fuel is exposed January 20, 2012
  5. NHK: Water level “far lower than previously thought” at Reactor No. 2 — Just two feet deep — Anticipated it was 5 times higher — Decommissioning reactor could be “much more difficult” (PHOTO) March 26, 2012

113 comments to AP: “Hardly any cooling water inside one of the reactors” — Water level only 6% of estimate — Radiation at 10 times fatal dose

  • Whoopie Whoopie


  • bleep_hits_blades

    As Japan goes, so goes the world?

    "I live in a nuclear wasted dump, the one called Planet Earth…"

  • bleep_hits_blades

    P.S. But I don't worry none about it, cuz the authorities tell us that radionuclide levels are 'within acceptable levels'…

  • Cindy

    Nothing has changed…It is no different now than it was in December …

    Declaring cold shutdown was strictly speaking a political ploy…

    I'd bet all 3 reactors are in a similar condition.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Yes, Cindy. The only difference is the wording is an admission the reactor isn't shut down! And it can be construed it means they're not saying the plant is in "cold shutdown" unless they're still trying to spin that fable.

      Am not happy to hear #2 is running dry. Arrgh. It never ends.

      "I have become" UN "comfortably numb."

  • The bad news here is VERY bad. Most folks here were already pretty sure that the containments and pressure vessels were melted and/or burst at the bottom. Knowing that the vessel at #2 is acknowledged by Tepco to be in the state that the tests showed is still disturbing. No water also means no workers can get close enough to fix the leaks…
    The good news here is that the truth is trickling out.

  • We've been lied to or those 'in charge' don't have clue. …or both. Obvious, even to a casual observer. However, most are simply not listening for whatever reason. (?)

    What should have been said is "We don't know, but we should ALL prepare for the worst." (that was easy) However, with this statement the Nuclear Power Industry would begin to crumble.

    Instead we get, "It's in 'cold shutdown' and there's nothing to worry about." (tons of lies and misdirection) Keep those nuclear wheels turning no matter what. That's their unspoken motto. With emphasis on 'no matter what'.

    The day will come, and we all know this, when the masses will realize just how they've been manipulated and they will finally understand the sinister reality of Nuclear Power, but by then, it may be too late.

    Don't wait for the current political powers to change position on Nuclear Power anytime soon. Their campaigns are highly financed by the power companies. One of Obama's primary contributors was Exelon Corporation. (power utility, Chicago)

  • lam335 lam335

    understatement of the millenium:

    "… suggesting challenges ahead in shutting down the facility…"

  • Sickputer

    Better get another tent top ready because Unit 2 is getting ready to experience an open air redesign.

    How do you spell B-O-O-M? TOKYO FLIGHT

    Got your water yet?

    • Cindy

      Its just going to spew and spew, for years to come, polluting the ocean and air and everything else… I don't think it will blow …

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        To top it all off TOP CENTER HP:
        Get Cancer From Japan and DIE.
        (no comments really wanted – i know everyone differs on this)

      • Sickputer

        I hope Unit 2 doesn't blow, but it is building hydrogen and they may have little options to address that issue because the place is a no man's land. Hang around five minutes and it may be fatal.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          If it was vented on the side (when the camera went in) won't that allow some of the trapped hydrogen to vent off? (Not that we want the sucker venting off, because who knows what else it' spewing, but what are the options?)

          • Time Is Short Time Is Short

            The problem is you can't vent hydrogen after a certain concentration. It combusts on exposure to oxygen. It's better to remove atmosphere from the container and hope there's no sparking.
            So seal the building, turn off all electricity, and turn off all the earthquakes. Oh, wait . . .

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        It can just sit there and sizzle, and do a great deal of harm to us all.

  • pure water

    If you want to see this reactor from yesterday:
    I feel sad… Are we, humans, so badly infected with greed, stupidity, neglect, irresponsibility, envy and pride to let this go on?! Aren`t we able to search for a solution?!

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      Well, that sure looks like unit 2 blowing.. pure water I feel sad to.. and as if the fall out wasn't bad enough trying to tell people is almost worse.. lonely sometimes..

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    TEPCO put the endoscope into Containment 2, rather than Reactor 2. This means that TEPCO knows that Corium 2 is ex-reactor, and wanted to see if any of it was still in Containment 2. 60cm of water wouldn't cover tons of Corium if it sat on the bottom of Containment 2. Also, the water is fairly still and clear. This means the water isn't being agitated or boiled by a nearby Corium. Thus, it is now clear that Corium 2 has left the building, which most ENEnews readers have thought to be the case for some time. the deadly radiation is residual. Why would there be any water at all in Containment 2, if there were a big hole in the bottom? Because they continue to pump water in to keep the radiation down and to cool the Corium. That water fills the hole through the bottom of Containment 2. This water is highly radioactive, and TEPCO can measure the radioactivity in the harbor to see where this water is entering the ocean. TEPCO, please quit polluting the Ocean in this useless way! Continuing to pump water into Containment 2 does no good. You are unable even to keep radiation down. Where is Corium 2 now? It has hit rock, and is probably following the slope of the rock. Since Containment 2 has little steam in the air, we can infer that Corium 2 is likely no longer even within the foundation of Building 2. Suppose the bedrock slopes towards the Ocean? Will TEPCO do nothing to try to contain Corium 2 before it gets to the water? If it is TEPCO's policy to do as little as possible to appear to handle this situation, then why is TEPCO still in charge?

    • TEPCO will be the scapegoat once it fully blows.

      It will most likely be stated that is was the 'corporations' fault from the beginning to THE END!

      Most of those truly responsible for these nuclear nightmares, (academic, military, political and corporate leaders), are long dead and those currently responsible will say, "Well, we didn't start it".

      • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

        ChasAha: You are right, TEPCO is supposed to be the fall guy here. But the Japanese Government has it all wrong. They should evacuate TOKYO, and surrender what was once Japan to UN management, and pray to the international community to come to Fuku to save us all. NOW!

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          I shudder to think what will happen or has happened to the Pacific Ocean. And as goes the Pacific, so goes every sea on the planet, eventually. This makes me SICK!

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          The Japanese and publications such as Bloomberg and the Financial Times of London have said Tepco and its "parent" banking company are "too big to fail." It's anyone's guess how far the Japanese and their government are willing to let this go for the sake of preserving a corporate conglomerate that is "too big to fail."

          Sadly, it's not just Tepco that's trying to "save face" for its directors. It's all the directors of the interlocking boards of directors with which Tepco is affiliated, all the bankers, lawyers, government officials, and so on.

          We're dealing with a corporate octopus that just doesn't want to let go, here.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      They put cement and I think it was boron on the ocean floor like that is going to help. I really don't know what the solution is but I agree that it is a waste of 9 tons of water per hour and that is just for reactor 2. I'm so very frustrated and saddened by this on going disaster and the fact that the US is considering building 2 Nuke Plants in Georgia which well be debated on Friday. We should be shutting them all down, not building more as we have so many spent fuel pools filled to the max and no where to put them. I just don't understand.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        moonshellblue, it's just beyond reason. The extent of the delusional thinking (i.e., it's "safe, clean, and green") staggers my imagination.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Great breakdown.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Thanks for the explanation.

    • InfoPest InfoPest

      More Video !! This is a longer video and near the end I think you see the water at the bottom.


      • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

        WOW! So THIS is what the inside of Pandora's Box looks like! Positively RELATIVISTIC! OK, Nuke Industry, way to go. Do you still think your pipes and cement can CONTAIN THIS?

        • Photos of leftover corium/fixture melt here –


          Notice the obvious oxidation (rust). And still molten parts. And drain holes. Wow.

          • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

            Strange Flashes Inside RPV#2 (49 minutes video from Enformable)

            At 44 minutes the camera has been pulled back up and is now sitting in the hole that was drilled through the rpv wall looking towards the inside of the rpv.

            Strange flashes can be seen against the sides of the hole infront of the camera.

            The camera is tilted, so down is in your upper left corner of your monitor.

            The way the flashes are reflected seems to indicate that the flashes are coming from below.

            At first I thought it was just steam condensating on the inside of the hole, but having watched it some more, I now think that it looks more like some sort of light flashing from below. Are we looking at light from ongoing criticalities?

  • Mothercares

    Whoopie, the plan is in the works, don't ya think? Why, would they not encase the reactors-like someone has already ask on another section. The doing nothing is what was wanted all along, if you even think about it more. How about the burning of radioactive debris-WHY, by God in Heaven, it shall come to pass those who believe will live forever and those that harmed the innocents, the Lord will not let pass and may there souls-if any is found be condemned for all eternity. I cannot change what has happen, I pray EVERYDAY, since I do not know what I can or cannot do. Sorry, I am off of my preacher stance.

  • shiverca shiverca

    All this because the freaking break wall was a few feet too short and their backup generators, fuel etc wasn't located at high ground in a safe enough place.

    All this horror for the people could have been avoided.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi shiverca, yes. One could scream all day long if one starts to really think about it. When it sort of sinks in….the "what if's"…

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff


      Here is my take on the failed backup systems.

      With so much heat exchange system plumbing sheared at the walls inside and out of the buildings, it would not have mattered if the diesels worked properly or for how long.
      Let alone the insanity of "hours" worth of battery backup.

      It was not like some fat, butt cracked plumber could show up with an arm load of 1" copper or 2" galvanized to patch around the breaks the way they can and do for commercial and residential water systems. The pipes for a NPP cooling system are no doubt at least large enough crawl inside of.
      Which means rather heavy.

      I used to know a guy who was a steam fitter and worked on the construction of the Trojan NPP out NW of Portland, OR back in the 70s. The cooling/steam system pipes he welded were large enough to walk inside of.
      He was straddling a chlorine gas filled pipe pipe that had been capped off with a bulging polyethylene tarp.
      Until some moron went up to the plastic, thought he would show off his baseball skills, and popped the poly bulge with a 2×4 and a nail sticking out the end of it.
      Needles to say, the steam fitter never worked again.
      Or did much of anything else either.

      Check out the size of the pipes at 4:12 and 4:43 in this video:

      So when these pipes sheared at the walls, they would have needed a crane to bring new material in to attempt any sort of repairs.

      Never mind that they had a few hours, at best, to pull off such a stunt. Fat chance.

      So they played Russian Roulette with an NPP and lost.
      As did all the rest of us on the planet.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      The "tsunami as cause" idea has generally been discredited, I believe. Most people outside the industry now seem to think the earthquake caused the initial problems. The tsunami didn't help, needless to say.


    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Shiverca, they should have known.

      Japan had two earthquakes which caused tsunami waves reaching 85 to 160 feet (or higher) between the 1860's and the 1930's. One of them occurred in the Kanto region.

      The Fukushima planners should have known, and planned accordingly.

      There is no excuse! The breakwaters, dolos, or whatever were something on the order of 100 feet too short to do any good, if they were looking at planning for a 1,000 year event!

      If you look up historical tsunamis in Japan online you can find this information. I posted it here sometime during the past six months. The post was intended to counter a bogus claim the tsunami in March, 2011 was a "1,000 year event" and that it was the largest tsunami in several hundred years. It was actually much LESS severe than others in relatively recent history.

      As some others have stated here (and I think there's a fair amount of expert opinion out there on this) the power failure and earthquake did the bulk of the damage BEFORE the tsunami hit. When the tsunami hit, it was like the death knell, because then the backup generators were flooded and wouldn't work.

      What we are seeing today is a result of stupdity, sheer stupidity. The designers of the Fukushima Daichi plant are without excuse.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        I hope my "stats" here are correct. I'd have to go back to the original post to say for sure. I sometimes get the height in meters vs. feet backward.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          From Wikipedia: in 1993, a 30 meter tsunami struck in Hokkaido. Roughly 100 feet in height.


          A quote:

          1896: Meiji Sanriku, Japan (明治三陸地震)
          Main article: 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake
          On 15 June 1896, at around 19:36 local time, a large undersea earthquake off the Sanriku coast of northeastern Honshū, Japan, triggered tsunami waves which struck the coast about half an hour later. Although the earthquake itself is not thought to have resulted in any fatalities, the waves, which reached a height of 100 feet (30 m), killed approximately 27,000 people. In 2005 the same general area was hit by the 2005 Sanriku Japan Earthquake, but with no major tsunami.


          1771 – Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Japan

          "An undersea earthquake of estimated magnitude 7.4 occurred near Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa, Japan on April 4, 1771 at about 8 A.M. The earthquake is not believed to have directly resulted in any deaths, but a resulting tsunami is thought to have killed about 12,000 people, (9313 on the Yaeyama Islands and 2548 on Miyako Islands according to one source. Estimates of the highest seawater runup on Ishigaki Island, range between 30 meters and 85.4 meters. The tsunami put an abrupt stop to population growth on the islands, and was followed by malaria epidemics and crop failures which decreased the population further. It was to be another 148 years before population returned to its pre-tsunami level."

          Did you get that? 85.4 meters at the highest!

          There is a tsunami recorded to have reached over 1500 feet (!!!!!) in height, but it apparently was not in Japan. See Wikipedia for that one.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    I worry for all those people in Japan who were talked into coming back to their communities and are confronted with these news. Will they ever be allowed to find peace?
    Let's hope they'll finally evacuate ALL before "unit 2's open air re-design" (thanks SP, you said it so well).

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    What they don't want to talk about is the condition of the switch gear rooms.
    A serious safety flaw..
    NRC commenting on Fort Calhoun
    Condition of switch gear rooms at Fukushima?
    Don't have credentials to open…ha..morons.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Blaming Tepco and their government is a waste because the problem is just too large. And too for any country, because no one can stop an out-of-control reactor.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      And that is the sad truth, no one can stop a meltdown once it has breached containment. Is this the end of Japan? I certainly hope not and wish some good news, some miracle would happen and end this ongoing disaster.

      • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

        Blue: "No one can stop a meltdown once it has breached containment". Corium 2 has probably breached Building 2. Still, I believe that the Fuku Coriums can be stopped before they get to the Pacific. What is necessary is to think BIG, PLAN BIG, and BUILD BIG. Secondary Containment around Fuku 1 — 4.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Fuku has now become a geological force of nature.

  • entropy

    Weve learned that radiations expands. 10x need to just spread 1x lethal dose and carbon units are….so go out and be nice to someone. Buy your dog a steak. Random acts of kindness may be all we have.

    Don't miss the donut by looking through the hole.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yes so true, I tend to lose my way of being after reading about this disaster. Thanks for helping me regain my focus.

  • iso-tope iso-tope

    Lets see… Since the beginning it has been the story of… the Japanese government and TEPCO covering everything up and looking out for their own ass verses what will come out.. it's only a matter of time.. they can't stop it. The world doesn't work that way any more. As much as they try to control the information with the "COLD SHUTDOWN. EVERY THINGS FINE.


    They have doing far more harm to the planet and crimes against their own people by trying to deny, make excuses, delete, censor, obscure or defer or detour.. They don't understand that once it's out, you can't put it back in…. They have no idea what they are doing at all… All they can do is try to be "secretive", until it gets worse and worse and worse…

    The clear fact is they have *NO* idea what they are doing. A power company that doesn't function or work in the industry. The time to react and contain it, and move heaven and earth to get the things, people and resources you need to fix this seems to be over.. 30 FT of water was supposed to be in the Containment Vessel (December) and it's 2FT (Now), leaking Tours? What a shocker…. How far down is the Corium?. They are only buying a short amount of time…

  • dear jones

    Japanese want to die that fine but they are affecting the rest of the world.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Dear Jones, I get the impression a lot of people in Japan would like to know the true extent of this holocaust and simply can't get access to information. Am not sure how the government and TPTB have done this, but am very sure they have done everything possible to make sure people stay as uniformed as possible.

      They did it in the U.S. during the Vietnam War. I traveled outside the U.S. and was SHOCKED by the news reports I heard in Europe. So I'm aware how effective dis-information campaigns and censorship can be.

      We have the Internet now, but I still believe a lot of Japanese are being kept in the dark against their will.

  • New Probe Finds Fatal Radiation Levels at Fukushima Reactor
    TOKYO (AP) — A new probe at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant has found fatal radiation levels and hardly any cooling water inside one of the reactors, renewing concerns about the plant's stability.

    The operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant says an endoscopic examination Tuesday detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the No. 2 reactor's contain chamber, suggesting challenges ahead in shutting
    … continue

    In this photo taken by an endoscope and released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), a white thermometer, right, is seen through the surface of water in the Unit 2 reactor's primary containment vessel at the the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai …


  • Wonder who/whoms owns the most stocks in Tepco !

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    To All ENEnewsers…I can't thank you enough for all this incredible, brilliant, rational, informative discussion. It's nice to have this jewel to contemplate while, even if we can't stop it, we watch our imminent demise! Thank you all, much love, and all the blessings we so need now!

  • mungo mungo

    it must be bad, even the bBc had it on the radio this morning, and they also mentioned it on their web page…