AP: Nuclear fuel moved as it melted — Little known about location and condition of reactor cores — Limited info on spent fuel pools

Published: December 9th, 2011 at 9:33 pm ET


Japan PM: Crippled nuke plant stable by year’s end, AP, Dec. 9, 2011:

Government’s View

  • Work to stabilize [Fukushima] is on track and the gov’t plans to declare it stable by the end of the year as planned, the prime minister said
  • “We’re about ready to draw a conclusion,” Noda told a news conference Friday

Expert Views

  • Some nuclear experts, however, question that claim
  • The nuclear fuel moved as it melted
  • Its condition and locations are little known
  • [Quake] damage and radiation concerns have limited how much information can be obtained about spent fuel rods and reactor cores

Unfortunately, the second sentence of the AP article says:

Temperatures of the three melted reactor cores have fallen below the boiling point […] Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said

Perhaps the AP and the Prime Minister are referring to the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, as the melted cores are so radioactive and hot that no temperature measurement is able to be taken.

Published: December 9th, 2011 at 9:33 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. NY Times: Spent fuel pools in reactors “have lost their cooling systems” — Nuclear engineers now warning pools “could pose an even greater danger than the melted reactor cores” April 6, 2011
  2. Kyodo: “Potentially up to six spent-fuel pools in a degraded condition” -NRC transcript February 22, 2012
  3. “Highly radioactive water was later found leaking near ALL FOUR troubled reactor units” — From reactors or spent fuel pools? March 25, 2011
  4. NHK: Plant operators trying to find nuclear cores — All fuel has melted through, much of it into containment vessel… So where’s the rest? (VIDEO) December 10, 2011
  5. Nuclear Expert: “Rods in the spent fuel pool may have melted… breached during the explosions… and their contents may be in contact with groundwater” at Fukushima October 8, 2013

33 comments to AP: Nuclear fuel moved as it melted — Little known about location and condition of reactor cores — Limited info on spent fuel pools

  • exnavynuc exnavynuc

    Perhaps there is no more fuel in reactor vessels one, two and three, all leaked out. Good news is now the reactor vessels are in cold shutdown.

  • alexa

    This guys will call even the volcanic explosion soon to happen a cooling process a successfully one..

  • dosdos dosdos

    Noda is psychic and doesn’t need a thermometer to read the temperature of the core.

  • Bob Hardin Bob Hardin

    Doesn’t the oil exploration industry have devices that could locate the core?

    • bmurr bmurr

      they can use infrared satellite imagining i think. why dont they want thd cores i wonder. thats a lot of very expensive uranium and plutonium down there… i would expect their greed to drive them to a solution.

      • Fall out man!

        Ground penetrating radar gives a good picture of what’s under ground. Even if something is well on its way to China! That technology is used by archaeologists to find buried artifacts. It could certainly find a run away nuclear core.

        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          I’m not sure but I think the high radiation levels render current technology useless or rather limited as they also can not function in this highly radioactive environment.

          • americancommntr

            What they need is dispensable technology. I propose three possibilities:

            1) take basset hounds, german shepherds, or pointers, hounds, and train them to sniff out giant underground blobs of molten nuclear fuel. They could be gotten from the Humane Society for free, and put into an intensive training program. When the dog gets over the blob, it would point, bay, or viciously bark, depending on the species.

            2) fly in some of those truffle-hunting hogs from France, only convert them to corium-hunting.

            3) there are alot of Iranian government and military people wanting fissionable materials, they would probably look for free, if allowed to take some home.

            Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    • dosdos dosdos

      Maybe so, but at least he is the one commissioner who is pressing for reform of the nuclear industry. The other commissioners are trying to sweep the changes from the lessons learned at Fukushima under the rug to save the nuke industry some cash at the risk and expense of the American public.

  • exnavynuc exnavynuc

    reactor cores have control rods and fuel assemblies. All this stuff has melted and left the building. There is no core, just a very large moving mass of melted Ur,Pu,stainless steel, Zr, and other materials that made up the core. What is happening in Japan is several times worse then what happened at Chernobyl, and I do not believe that anyone really knows what to do. I do not believe that we have the technology to actually stop what is happining. This is why we should not have nuclear power anymore.

  • dpl dpl

    what ,you expected something different like a full blown inspection and a report or something from the NRC. not that they would ever show to us,
    it’s just my view of the world from the cheap seats.

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    It’s over 68 tons of nuclear fuel how does it just “go missing”? Luckily people in the hood rob the liquor store instead of nuclear power plants because when things go missing from the liquor store it’s on camera and the police know who took the booze. In the case of these reactors TEPCO knows exactly where those reactor pieces went. A lot went up into the air and vaporized when the initial explosions happened the rest fell into the cracks and fissures under the plant concentrating in “unknown locations” where fission events are happening and releasing constantly. Some of the fuel must have settled in the water close by to the plant and is working its way up through the seabed. The large clumps of molten fuel are somewhere below containment eating away at unknown ground elements. We know where those damn cores are…they’re everywhere all over the god damn globe. Coming soon to the polar ice shelves is a mass of radioactive water currents. I wonder how many whales will beach themselves from this. Point being that the AP needs to do a little investigation and it becomes clear that TEPCO knows just as any other nuclear engineers that those chunks of core are sitting right above the water table.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    …68 tons… corium is a lava ..and will seek and fill in all avaialable areas on its way down.
    …Tepco doesn’t know where the nuclear fuel went..they ought to try looking up their own….(you know whats)

  • Jebus Jebus

    And here’s what the sheeple see….

    Radioactive water leaks inside Japan plant


    TOKYO – Radioactive water leaked inside a nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan but did not escape into the environment, the government said Saturday.

    The leak Friday at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai plant occurred as Japan attempts to stabilize a tsunami-hit nuclear plant on its northeastern coast where three reactor cores melted and large amounts of radiation were released into the air and ocean….


  • Could it be that so little is KNOWN, because they DON’T WANT ANYONE TO KNOW?

    I mean, how HARD could it be, to drive a robot into areas or fly some drone to whatever they want to see and video that? How hard can it be to put meters right were radiation is escaping and measure ALL OF IT, live on video?

    The fact is, they DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO KNOW, or they know but are covering up what is happening, because if the world really knew what was happening, there would be a MASSIVE uprising and revolt against nuclear power worldwide.

    It is the corporate collusion between monopolies that drives the ignorance, denial and spin around these kinds of issues and accidents. It is corporate power that expresses itself directly in the form of ‘confusion’ or ‘little known’ or ‘concerns’, or ‘possibilities’, but rarely is anything harmful or dangerous discussed.

    The facts are often hidden, obscured, minimized, delayed, spun, twisted and massaged so much, that when they finally do come out, no one is paying attention, and even fewer care, because they are so busy watching their favorite show, movie star, dance competition, politician, murder mystery or soap opera. Corporations keep telling everyone; everything is safe, and normal, nearly to cold shut down, so keep watching the soaps and do not worry. Just smile and the radiation will not hurt you.

    Meanwhile, the whole planet could be in full fledged auto destruct mode, but no one even notices, until the TV melts or quits working due to high radiation levels.

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi AGreenRoad

      I agree they don’t want the cat out of the bag..I believe they know more than they are saying.
      They all have the high tech things to detect what is happening.
      This is called Protecting the Corporations, whatever it takes.

      Once it becomes clear to what has happened to the public, people will be furious that they were kept in the dark.
      If people aren’t to weak, there just might be MASSIVE uprising and revolt.

      This is one time they won’t be able to sweep it under the carpet, if people are dropping like fly’s.

    • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

      Hi AGR +10³

      I agree with you. Of course they know much, much more than they are willing to let us know.

      The soulless masters of misinformation are playing the deadliest game of poker ever played. Unfortunately they are holding the deck and dealing the cards and they know all the tricks in the book of deception.

      Even the really bad news we sometimes hear have passed through their censorship first. They of course know that they have to release some information from time to time, otherwise even the general public would begin to call their bluff. So they feed us a few cards from time to time, to let us believe that we have an idea of how things are.

      Realising that they are playing with a packed deck is the first step in getting a clear view of the situation.

      • WindorSolarPlease

        Hi Hemisfear311,

        Agree +100

        Great analogy of this, never thought of it as playing cards. It’s so true though.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      I agree with your post but would add that the high radiation levels render the current technology almost useless as they tend to cease functioning in the devils brew.

  • Scottie reports to the Star Trek Captain that the nuclear wessels are safely secured in the warp drive, and will be ready for ‘normal’ operation in only 5 hours.

    In 4 hours and 50 minutes they will be attacked by the Klingons. In 20 minutes the whole TV show will be over, and we will have to wait for the next episode to find out if the Klingons managed to weasel into the nuclear wessels and get them to melt down again.

    It is after all, a dirty Klingon trick that caused the Fukushima melt throughs.. Except for their attack, none of this would have happened. We can count on the Spock, Scottie and the rest of the crew of the Enterprise to save us all… After all, they do save planets every week, don’t they? No need to even read the news.. just wait for the wessels to melt through, and the Enterprise will save us all.

  • TepcoSievert TepcoSievert

    Nine month since March 11, nine month since “conception”, nine month dreadful pregnancy of the Beast … what Leviathan is preparing to rise from it?

    • Fall out man!

      Hi TepcoSievert,

      Tragically, we will now literally see the first Fukushima babies born. (and many still births of course). No doubt many deformed babies will be aborted before birth and many will be still born, but presumably there will be a spike up from now on in birth deformities.

      How much will be reported though and how much the statistics will be manipulated is hard to tell. After Chernobyl the soviets forcibly aborted large numbers of babies before birth. They actually had milk cans full of the bodies of aborted babies. Absolutely horrific slaughter.

      Eye witness account here…

      The question is, what will government and industry do to cover over the problem of deformities in Japan?

      Probably the simplest method is simply to rewrite the medical stats and reclassify death by cancer or deformity as death by something else. That was what was done in the case of Southern Utah after the USA did open air testing that contaminated Southern Utah in the 50’s. See Carole Gallagher’s master piece on the topic. Doctors simply wrote up cancer cases as death by any number of causes other than cancer. Of course its a great scam that people have been lead to believe that radiation causes cancer and not other diseases as well.

      Also, remember after major radiation releases (eg, Chernobyl) the US govt does large ‘revisions’ of birth statistics to cover over the fact that fewer babies are born after a nuclear disaster. This disaster has already caused a spike in still births…

      Given the infertility this will cause along with the still births and deformities, on wonders what will happen to Japan’s already low birth…

  • James2

    Just because they aren’t saying doesn’t mean they don’t know and we don’t know where the fuel is likely to be.

    They aren’t saying it’s out of the containment, because they probably don’t have any way of determining exactly whether it has or not. All the instrumentation burned up. They can’t get close enough to it to install any new instrumentation – so they will continue to speculate it’s near the edge of the containment because that’s the best case scenario for them.

    They know it likely left the building long ago, but they will be lynched if they say it.

  • oscar419

    Temperatures of the three melted reactor cores have fallen below the boiling point […] Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said

    I have been walking around my house chuckling at this statement, this right here is ludicrous

  • thelili

    I’m thinking they are lying for pure survival reasons right now. If citizens truly understand and internalize what kind of trouble they are in there would be chaos.

    These Japanese liars are making the Americans liars look like amateurs.

    • James2

      I agree with your first sentence, but I think the American liars are right up there.

      They’ve known the seriousness of this from March 14th and have actively covered it up.

  • micsam

    Good comments GR you left a hugh part of this madness unmentioned we keep these corps funded by paying utility bill and taxes and buying stuff get off the grid do something solar or wind geothermal or gas saving auto it may seem expensive now but to save the planet it is cheap. Don’t believe any of these nuclear people they all lie to protect their jobs and the nuclear mafia they have no ethics http://enenews.com/cbs-nuclear-whistleblower-says-the-books-are-being-cooked-you-can-see-a-fukushima-happening-here-in-the-u-s-they-wired-my-car-for-firebombing-video. Ann Harris

  • yellowrain

    looks like the temp are falling in japan. I think I can see steam on the tbs cam over # 4 pool. I may be seeing things. I hope when the steam starts showing people will realize these thing just keep spewing. Maybe this will help put more pressure on tepco. I believe reactor 1 could hit ground water in the near future. If it does is it possible everyone will evacuate never to return? then the rest of the reactors and pools will collapse like dominoes. there will be nowhere to hide in the northern hemisphere. I can’t even imagine what worse case scenario could be. The thought that the technology needed for some of the clean up doesn’t exist leaves little hope that this wont get a whole lot worse. I wonder if our elected officials even know what is going on. I ask friends what they think and they just look puzzled. what nuke :{

  • NeverAnyDanger

    There’s no way they don’t know what’s happening with the corium mess. The US was able to detect the real situation at Fukushima early and told US citizens to evacuate outside of a 50 mile radius. There have to be many people over there with knowledge enough to come up with likely scenarios. Tepco won’t say what they know about the lava until it blows up. After it blows up they’ll tell us where it was underground but will be “uncertain” about how much blew up and where it landed.

    There has to be some technology that can detect clumps of extremely hot material a few yards underground. After all they can locate lost hikers using infared (I think) equipment that can detect body heat.

    I’m surprised they’ve actually started to talk about it. Usually that comes right before something worse happens.

    Do we have any idea about what’s happened to the spent fuel pools? Would some of that have also burned into the ground? (At least the part that didn’t get blown sky high in March) That situation must be worse than the coruim mess since they haven’t mentioned it at all.