Brochure from France’s largest nuke company describes fuel melting in spent fuel pool at Fukushima — Concluded that TEPCO apparently had not released most information it held

Published: July 4th, 2011 at 1:38 pm ET


French nuclear power lobbyists used Fukushima smear campaign to promote own businesses, Mainichi, July 4, 2011:

Less than a month after the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, illustrated brochures elaborating on the process leading up to the hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant were distributed to members of the U.S. Congress and government officials in Washington.

The color-print, A-4 size brochures, later to be called the “Fukushima Files,” were handed out by lobbyists from France’s nuclear power giant Areva SA in early April.

The 33-page brochure underscored that General Electric Co. (GE)’s Mark I containment system was employed at the Fukushima plant, while containing speculation and describing fuel melting in the spent fuel storage pool, which never took place. On its last page, the brochure concluded that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) apparently had not released most of the information it held. […]

h/t Anonymous tip

Published: July 4th, 2011 at 1:38 pm ET


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66 comments to Brochure from France’s largest nuke company describes fuel melting in spent fuel pool at Fukushima — Concluded that TEPCO apparently had not released most information it held

  • risabee risabee

    “not released” — NO kidding?

    Someone has probably posted this, but it seems a good one to share with fence-sitters:

  • This news release by Mainichi is as much a public relations campaign as the “Fukushima files” produced by Areva.

    In particular, note the following excerpt: “while containing speculation and describing fuel melting in the spent fuel storage pool, which never took place.”

    Uh…I think fuel has melted in the fuel storage pools….

  • cossack55

    It appears the French were operating under the assumption that the US Congress could read/comprehend and that the Congress gives a shit.

  • CB CB

    I hope someone from Japan is on this site daily spreading the word, there still in the dark over there.


    [also links to article about cyanide coming from the hills above Los Alamos, used in fire retardants]

    “I am on record in 1957 as NOT being worried yet about fallout and stil being optimistic about the benefits of nuclear power.

    There is no way I can justify my failure to help sound an alarm over these activities many years sooner than I did.

    I feel that at least several hundred scientists trained in the biomedical aspect of atomic energy–myself definitely included–are candidates for Nuremberg-type trials for crimes against humanity through our gross negligence and irresponsibility.

    Now that we KNOW the hazard of low-dose radiation, the crime is not experimentation–it’s MURDER.”

    — John Gofman, ‘An Irreverent, Illustrated View of Nuclear Power’

  • FML

    I know things are crazy right now but I think everyone should enjoy Independence Day with their families. If anything, these recent events should have taught us that the time we have with our families is precious and limited.

    • ocifferdave

      Happy independence from nuclear day! someday…

    • arclight arclight

      i do hope you guys do have a good independence day! i know theres been hard times! but we can only take it day by day, so i hope this day is good for all my american brothers and sisters. in fact to the whole global community as well! god bless you all!

  • Jebus Jebus

    And in ten more years, this will be back in the news…

    The number one reactor at Fessenheim, France’s oldest nuclear plant, “is suitable to be used for 10 more years on condition that a certain number of instructions are respected,” Andre-Claude Lacoste, president of the nuclear safety agency ASN, told reporters.

    The conditions include reinforcing the reactor’s concrete foundation to ensure it is resistant to corium, a magma that forms when a reactor gets too hot.

    WTF?? They get too hot??

    • Misitu

      to Jebus: sooner than that, probably… change that to definitely, if the instructions aren’t respected.

      Huh! Tepco ignored the safety instructions when parking the live fuel out of No 4 in the spent fuel pool.

      Most nuclear “events” are from disrepect of instructions, so clearly just having the instructions is not adequate.

      And how are they supposed to reinforce the foundation against corium? Utter Piffle!

      I can only infer that some kind of intelligence is surgically removed from folk when they accept employment within, or related to, the nuclear power industry.

      • Newton


        “Tepco ignored the safety instructions when parking the live fuel out of No 4 in the spent fuel pool.”

        I’m curious. I don’t recall hearing this before. Do you have a link to support this statement?


      • dharmasyd dharmasyd


        It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.

        Arthur C. Clark

      • Jebus Jebus

        “curious response”

        • Misitu

          Re Jebus [@Misitu “curious response”]

          Not sure how to precisely follow up your generalised question here but I will try:

          My original was based on the fact that said French installation has permission for a 10 year life extension providing certain conditions are observed, sorry, respected. I do not accept that the negligence which appears rife in this industry will all respect for those conditions to be maintained, likewise I do not believe that the licensing authorities have enough teeth to enforce same, nor a long enough attention span to keep an eye on things.

          There is really no antidote to the terrifyingly unpredictable behaviour of a corium formation once we have a full scale loss of cooling incident and unmitigate fuel melt. Hence my belief is that “reinforcing the reactor’s concrete foundation to ensure it is resistant to corium” is at best a pipe dream and at worst a flagrant attempt at deception.

          Yes, reactors get too hot once cooling is lost. The Fukushima piping failed in the earthquake causing the loss of cooling. But it also failed because it had been left unmaintained for years. Furthermore it failed the earthquake event because the foundation and subsoil were unfit for purpose.

          All this material has been debated on energy news in the last few weeks. If you have trouble finding references other people have suggested using Google or other search engine with the search term followed by and I wish you luck otherwise I will have to go and find things for you myself.
          Following the above instructions with the search term “fukushima +”manual”” I found the following reference:
 which includes this post:

          May 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

          The GE operations manual states the fuel pool is never to be used for storage, only refueling. The lawyers covered their butt on that one.
          I have found a comment on this page too:

          Bob said…

          Hmmmm…maybe #4 was being used as a boneyard for lots of spent rods from the other reactors and has many more than was officially disclosed. Didnt the GE operating manual specifically state that spent rod containment pools were only to be used as a temporary storage site? Maybe these guys got complacent & piled a crapload of spent stuff in #4. Has anyone done an audit of similar GE units’ storage proceedures in the USA?

          I have to admit that the original reference to the GE Operations Manual was taken on trust. I am searching for corroboration right now and intend to report back after completing that search but prefer to have a incomplete but frank response in good time.

          I would however suggest in the meantime that it seems eminently reasonable that spent fuel pools, which were designed with a very limited capacity and are currently well beyond that, should not have habitually used for staging live fuel during maintenance of the main reactor, or at the very least should not have had to share the limited space with existing spent fuel rods which in this case seemed to have come from other units.

          You are welcome to challenge my lack of first level sources but in this case it seems blindingly obvious that the overstocking of mixed used and live fuel rods [including MOX from Unit 3 ??] was a short term cost cutting and SIMPLY LAZY expedient which contrary to all Health and Safety Common Sense poses a huge risk to all downwind life.

          As mentioned, I will seek further corroboration. Thanks for your useful questions.

          • Misitu

            “I do not accept that the negligence which appears rife in this industry will ALLOW respect for those conditions to be maintained,”

            sorry for typo

          • Misitu

            Previous incident, Wikipedia, George Galatis [extract]:
            “Every 18 months the Millstone 1 nuclear reactor was shut down so the fuel rods that make up its core could be replaced; the old rods, radioactive and burning hot, were moved into a 40-feet-deep body of water called the spent-fuel pool. One-third of the rods were moved into the pool under normal conditions. But in the 1990s Galatis realized that Millstone was routinely performing “full-core off-loads,” dumping all the hot fuel into the spent-fuel pool.[1] In addition, the Millstone 1 routine ignored the mandated 250 hour cool-down period before a full core off-load, and sometimes the fuel was moved just 65 hours after shutdown, a violation that melted the boots of one worker. By sidestepping the safety requirements in this way, Millstone saved about two weeks of downtime for each reactor refueling—during which Northeast Utilities had to pay $500,000 a day for replacement power”
            – which is what I read happened in FuDaiichi4 and am still seeking to verify.

          • Misitu

            I have located a GE BWR manual and also a Tepco Proposal Document

            which states among other things that “the government and electric power companies [should plan] to construct interim storage facilities for spent fuel by 2010.” – which was last year if memory serves.

          • Misitu

   = key facts about used fuel pools.

            Still going to keep looking but not any more tonight.


      • lokay5 lokay5

        “I can only infer that some kind of intelligence is surgically removed from folk when they accept employment within, or related to, the nuclear power industry.” Mitsu

        Yes, you’re right. I believe the surgery is called a “scruplesectomy”.

    • arclight arclight

      im going to do this repost again!! it really seems natural with your find…GE Nuclear Plant Inspector/Whistleblower Kei Sugaoko Speaks About Fukushima, GE & Obama
      think about its people like this whistleblower really tells you how badly these plants are mismanaged. never mind reactors being attacked by squirrels, crows, octupus swarms and all manner natural event, including of course man made mistakes or attacks…how safe do you really feel? huh! how obvious does it have to get before the media starts doing their job and desist from blindly supporting the nuclear lobbies in thier reflective countries and supporting thier insane gibberish?? all this for profit? the supporters of this madness should take stock of themselves. one day they will want to be able to look thier grandchildren in the eye as they hand over the inheritence, the planet earth! the air we breath the food we eat the water we drink…!!! the media need to support the societies that support them. they are failing terribly and as born out in the many links and comments here more people are stepping forward wanting the truth, not for reasons of fear but for reasions of solutions.. the world needs the data so that the world can make the changes and develop a cohesive support system to properly manage this disaster..we need truth and we need solutions… a global “we” of course!/rant

    • Mats

      That will costs 100 Mio €.

      And the last word is not spoken.–47081201.html

      Google translation:

      “This choice links the Nuclear Regulatory ASN to a number of conditions. The nuclear power plant was capable of so ASN-André-Claude Lacoste boss, another ten years to produce electricity. However, he added the extension on the condition that the base plate of the older of the two pressurized water reactors in Fessenheim is amplified subsequently. For this set, the inspectors of the ASN power company Electricite de France (EDF) have until June 2013.

      Additional security measures required by the Nuclear Regulatory for the emergency cooling system, the machine building and for the cooling pond. In addition to the nuclear power plant will be better protected against the effects of earthquakes. Just under a month, the ASN Fessenheim had in its annual report nor safety as satisfactory and rated on par with the average of the 58 French nuclear reactors.”

  • Rachel


    Concerning the french oldest nuclear plant Fessenheim, there is now a HOT arm wrestling between pro nuke areva/politics and the citizens.
    Fessenheim is located in the East of France on the crossroad with germany and Switzerland.

    • arclight arclight

      all my best wishes to the citizens. do you have any links to thier campaign? or news articles? many thanks!

  • James Tekton James Tekton

    Brothers, Sisters, good folks all over the World, yes! Happy Independence Day indeed. As well said, may we be radiation independant some day.

    Make the best of it now and provide the quality life you all deserve for being among the true elite of awakened souls.

    All Watchmen/women know, Vigilance is the energy that should never sleep.

    Here now we know why there is a serious defect of the EPA and this article sheds light on where the real priorities are for this cretin EPA administrator lisa jackson. No respect for someone who sends our tax dollars to china and other countries. China is getting ready to stomp our country into the ground. Are you ready to do the neutron dance?

    Watch for more interesting articles around the perfect storm of radiation poisoning coming later this PM. Time to go to a free BBQ and parade in small-town america. This could be the last round up on the 4th of July.

    May the Spirit of Goodness bless you ALL!

  • Jebus Jebus

    ha ha ha!

    leans over and messes up wastebasket…

    Will it end, the way we want it to…

  • alertsusa

    Our firm, AlertsUSA, Inc., has been compiling a comprehensive resource page on our website dealing with the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    While an ongoing effort and initially compiled for the edification and convenience of our customers/subscribers, we felt the Enenews community may find the content of some use.

    The Japan resource section is thick. Hopefully it will be of use to those on the ground.

    – S

  • Bob Hardin Bob Hardin

    From the article: “The color-print, A-4 size brochures, later to be called the “Fukushima Files,” were handed out by lobbyists from France’s nuclear power giant Areva SA in early April.”

    Areva was a major contributor to Obama’s campaign, according to Arne Gundersen, in an interview with Helen Caldicott.

  • CB CB

    The authorities undermining the peoples right to know, deliberately keeping them from the truth of the complete catastrophic consequences of the melt down is an Act of War against its people. Murder by the billions…with a B.

    • CB CB

      My low Q just dropped even lower after I read that.

    • arclight arclight

      A new generation of nuclear power stations should be built only with unprecedented scrutiny and transparency – and the same applies to all our energy options.
      hes not studied history then? power corrupts! always has done always will until we change the whole system to minimise this o so human behaviour!! its like hes bending the words to suite. very clinical and precise…the comment i snatched alludded to
      1. how long it would take to develop safer alternatives. he says 15 years. well he should drive to hamburgh instead of flying and he would have noticed a massive increase in wind turbines and if he read this blog he would know that germany is developing a world class intergrated safe power source. non nuclear, and this is the message we need to send to developing country, not morobots pifflings to edf.
      2.he thinks that nuclear should be with unprecedented scrutiny and transparency! doesnt he realise the true overall cost of the nuclear cycle at least in terms of money? you couldnt afford to run these places with unprecedented scrutiny and transparency…thats a joke!! isnt it???? morobot is in the funnies section of the guardian under sarcasm!! thats it.. i busted this story wide open ladies and gentlemen, morobot is now a comedian!! hes very good isnt he! good choice of career… better than working for edf after the anti nuclear movement have done with them he wouldnt have the same job security methinks..
      now for the other paragraphs…where do i start??? think i wont bother wasting my time on comedy. lots more serious things to be contemplating?? nice post risabee.. very funny 🙂

    • Steven Steven

      “Using a plant built 40 years ago to argue against 21st-century power stations is like using the Hindenburg disaster to contend that modern air travel is unsafe.”

      Indeed, no comparison. 36 died as a result of the Hindenburg fire, and the incident basically finished off the hydrogen airship. These days they lose several hundred souls with little more than a raised eyebrow.

  • lokay5 lokay5

    Perhaps if Monbot was covering the ongoing events at Fuku, FROM Fuku, he might have a different point of view…..

    He’s simply a fence-walking shill.

  • CB CB

    If you have not had the honor of listening to Dr. Helen Caldicott speak about radiation than here’s her at her best.

    • lokay5 lokay5

      I saw, and heard, Helen Caldecott at, of all places, on the UC Berkely campus, just a few blocks from Lawrence’s cyclotron, back in the ’70s. She’s definitely one of the most informed people on the planet regarding the dangers of nuclear energy, especially radiation-induced childhood leukemia.

    • Jebus Jebus

      Thank you.

    • Steven Steven

      She is a lioness. Standing ovation, well deserved. If it wasn’t for the uranium we export, I’d be proud to be Australian.

  • CB CB

    Wistle Blowers Wanted Here! Come on, log in and start speaking.

  • I’ve lost track of what’s new, what’s not — have we seen this NHK documentary? 200+ interviews, some not at all complimentary of TEPCO …

  • And Tepco’s latest on the radionuclides:

  • Cambie

    Sure, this is the way that Chernobyl was deamonized. It reflected very badly on the nuclear industry and could’nt be hidden, so the industry spun it to reflect badly on soviet technology instead. Many times we were told that such things could never happen with a western designed reactor. Then our shit blew up, and we can’t blame anyone else for Fukushima. Now it is our turn to get dumped on by someone else.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Melting is a bit of a mild word..isn’t it.
    The intense glowing and ossasional explosions of the spent fuel pools imply more than melting.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Wow..typos..typing on a tiny machine…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The fire is tearing up Native American lands.