BBC: People taken from movie theater by police, forced to go in reactor and deal with burning fuel rods — TV: Military picked men off street to battle meltdown — Women, minorities, homeless, and prisoners used by nuclear industry for most dangerous work (VIDEO)

Published: July 3rd, 2015 at 9:57 am ET


BBC, ‘Windscale – Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster’ (emphasis added) — Tom Tuohy, deputy manager at Windscale plutonium production plant (at 8:00 in): “We were trying to push the burning fuel into the back of the reactor.” — But the heat had melted the cartridges, so they were stuck in the core… Radiation was so intense they could only work a few hours. They were running out of firefighters. — Neville Ramsden, Windscale health physicist: “The police from the [plutonium] factory had turned up looking for volunteers and they brought a bus. They decided the best way to get the volunteers was to go up to the cinema, and ‘volunteer’ the back 2 rows at the show to go… push the fuel rods out of the reactor.”

Yorkshire Television, ‘Children of Chernobyl’ (at 4:00 in): “When the robots broke down because of the extreme radioactivity, men were sent in to cleanup the site. They were not volunteers. They were picked up off the streets and press ganged [i.e. taken by force] onto the roof… In 90 seconds, they received their permissible lifetime dose of radiation. The men were sent home and forgotten… They do not figure in any official casualty lists.”

Prof. Kate Brown, C-SPAN (at 35:00 in): “When there was an accident [at Hanford], when there was some dangerous ground that needed to be worked… they sent in these temporary workers, prisoners from the camps nearby… minority laborers… basically ‘jumpers’ to work in dangerous ground, unmonitored… and they’d leave with the many possible radioactive isotopes they had ingested… without any epidemiological trace… The plutonium cities presented a picture of healthy pink populations, this was a mirage.”

Prof. Brown (at 42:30 in): “That job [of refining plutonium] was often given to women… it’s one of the dirtiest jobs. At Dupont… they’d write the Army Corps, ‘Maybe since we’re going to make this super-poisonous product, we shouldn’t hire women who were younger than the menopausal age. What about fertility problems? What about mutants and monsters in offspring?’ They were real nervous about it… they knew a great deal, and they were worried.”

DC Bureau: When the enormous problem of high-level nuclear waste became apparent… White workers ordered African Americans to deal with this deadly mess, and disposal involved dumping plutonium straight into the soil…. [Mr. Lindsay] was recruited from his job as a segregated school principal to commute several hours from Greenwood, South Carolina… like thousands of other African American workers, was given the most dangerous jobs and ordered to throw his dosimeter in a bucket before going into high risk areas.

Reuters: Police say Japanese gangsters rounded up homeless men to clean up Fukushima radiation… “Many homeless people are just put into dormitories [and] left with no pay at all.”

Anand Grover, United Nations Special Rapporteur (at 15:30 in): “These [Fukushima] workers told me, ‘Do you know we’re actually living in a shanty town?’… Literally on the pavement in Tokyo… They told me that people come take them.”

Channel 4, ‘Nuclear Ginza’ (1995)Prof. Kenji Higuchi (at 2:00 in): “The scenes I saw, the stories I heard, I found them difficult to believe at first… Workers go near the reactor and get exposed… Many of them become ill sometimes die… [They’re] picked off the street in the slumsI found so many… who didn’t know what had happened to them, or if they did, too frightened to speak… all their stories were the same… People simply don’t believe this could happen in a country like Japan… It’s as if they’re the living dead.”

Watch: Windscale | Chernobyl | Hanford | Japan Pre-Fukushima | Fukushima

Published: July 3rd, 2015 at 9:57 am ET


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359 comments to BBC: People taken from movie theater by police, forced to go in reactor and deal with burning fuel rods — TV: Military picked men off street to battle meltdown — Women, minorities, homeless, and prisoners used by nuclear industry for most dangerous work (VIDEO)

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Cross section of dry cask:
    The inner part is a metal transport cask.
    The outer portion is poured, reinforced concrete.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    At FDNPP, the Dry Casks would look like these, once encased in concrete.

  • AirSepTech AirSepTech

    Great stuff PUN.

    Something close to home, to damn close is my feeling.

    Palo Verdi Dry Storage:


    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Yes, Air. Love the overhead shot of the Dry Storage Yard.
      Why hasn't the CSFP and SFP5-6 dry cask storage begun?

      • AirSepTech AirSepTech

        I truly have nothing,,,except money? it's not even that,,,why???????

        I can only guess, they think it makes them look bad?

        Reflects bad on the cabal?

        It must be something I am too stupid to see. 🙁 frustrating

        There has to be PLENTY of cooled fuel. It is in harms way, from many sources, more than even 4+ years ago. At least back then, it wasn't all surrounded by a blown-up-to-hell facility.

        I will buy you a sixpack of your favorite beverage if you can convince me that there is some logical reason. 🙂

        • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

          their dry casks start to fail at 50 years, prolonging the cleanup-storage conundrum, whereas letting it wash into the Pacific solves the responsibility forever. After all, our best and brightest scientists ASSURE us it dilutes to safe levels withing a short distance. Indeed they scoff at you if you believe otherwise, calling it fear porn.

          BTW, I think the old dry casks are sitting derelict by the ocean and weve never seen the new ones…the ones they HAD TO HAVE USED for the 1000 fuel assemblies to make room in the common pool for SFP4 contents.

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          Logical Reason No. 1:
          M O N E Y.
          Tepco is trying to save money in so many ways.
          Subcontracted workers, including what can only be called "slaves", so they don't have to pay nucler professionals.
          Buy used bolted together (read "leaky") storage for contaminated water, to avoid paying for welded tanks.
          Designing half of an underground impermeable wall, in a U-shape that only served to back up groundwater and threaten to flood the reactors. (This wall should have been designed to fully enclose Reactors1-4.)
          No mitigation of the contamination of the Pacific Ocean from the underground river flowing under the reactor ruins.
          No attempt to locate the missing melted cores from 3 reactors.
          No attempt to mitigate airborne emissions.
          No attempt to pump out and treat the contaminated water in torus basements, and the generator building basements.
          No locks built to block contaminated water from flowing out of the harbor into the Pacific Ocean.
          Every attempt to try to get evacuees back into their contaminated homes, so they won't have to pay.
          AirSepTech: Make mine a sixpack of Glenfiddich Scotch! Lol. 🙂

          • AirSepTech AirSepTech

            Holy Crap PUN, I'll have to grab another expat contract for that!!

            Guess we're on the same page,,,,MONEY. 🙁

            I can't say how many times I have been screwed over, knock down dragouts over it, parts, safety, training. Hated it.

            Cheap is the corporate mandate, but their is always enough for a Gulfstream.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    We have discussed 2 modest innovations, which we recommend for consideration by Japan and Tepco.
    1. The design and construction of a U-shaped Mobile Crane Support Machine to allow defueling of SFP1,2,&3 by remote control, without building permanent crane support structures, similar to that build over Unit 4 SFP. The Machine's design would be based on mobile ship lifters currently in wide use in ports throughout the world.
    2. Design of a portable metal Transport Cask, coupled with a poured-in-place Concrete Cask, to allow fuel assemblies from SFP1-3 to be put directly into dry cask storage. The Transport Cask would have a spigot to allow water to drain back into the SFP when raised. A Concrete Cask would be poured over the Transport Cask, in place, in the Dry Cask Storage Yard.
    Our conclusion is that these two innovations can both lower costs, and shorten the time to completion of SFP1-3 Defueling Phase of the Fukushima Decommissioning.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Readers should review the following summary of Fukushima spent fuel by, who has a great grasp of the situation. 🙂
    Each cask contains 37-52 fuel assemblies, depending on the design.
    They can cost up to $3 million each.
    They are only rated for a life of 20 years.
    As Codeshutdown says above, they can begin to deterioriate in 50 years.
    The Spent Fuel Dry Cask Storage Building at Fukushima has the capacity to store 20 casks.
    The long range plan calls for outdoor Dry Cask Storage Yards with a capacity of 240 dry casks, if memory serves.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    SimplyInfo to the rescue, once more! 😉

    240 dry casks are required for the new and spent fuel assemblies at Fukushima.
    The drawing if a Tepco illustration of the outdoor dry cask storage yards for Fukushima.

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      So they need to put 720 million dollars into a 20 year solution. Thats what happens when you dont listen to the common objection; "but theres no storage solution!"

      They already moved 1070 assemblies requiring about 20 casks before starting the de-fueling of unit 4. If we could see a photo of that and multiply the size by 10 we could get an idea

      They use the word hope a lot in the de-fueling plan. Hope and Faith are what you have when you dont have what you are hoping for. Our only hope is for the entire fascist house of cards to fall…if only faith were the key

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    My concern is that Fukushima is getting more and more contaminated over time, as Tepco drags its feet decommissioning the site.
    Best get the spent fuel out of the ruins of Units1-3, while the getting is good.
    That also goes for SFP5&6, and the Common SFP.
    Get these fuel assemblies into dry cask storage as soon as possible.
    A 3 year delay to even begin to defuel SFP3, as propsed by Tepco, is ,very simply, unacceptable.
    "Git 'er Done!" 😉
    Or, get out of the way, Tepco!

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    I wonder, can you dry cask destroyed fuel assemblies? What do they do with it? We can assume, given the paucity of transparent verified information, that much of the spent fuel is damaged. 33 to 60% by some estimates, and some of that would be from SFP4 since it was detected half way around the world.

    "All Cs-136 measurements besides Tepco’s indicate a significant cesium release from the spent fuel pools. Since the assumptions were conservative, a range of 33%-60% of the cesium was observed to come from the pools."

  • razzz razzz

    Overall what I was pointing out, that Unit 3's pool and pool's content is so badly damaged along with the melted core irradiating everything in sight including next door Unit 4 and passage by Unit 3 has to be a walkway with sides lined by steel plates that there is no way TEPCO can make their timetable for unloading Unit 3's pool.

    I mentioned dry cask storage only to point how long the spent fuel rods in their assemblies have been sitting and cooling. But with Unit 3's ceiling junk and everything inside the pool, there has to be some damaged fuel rods. What do you do with loose or exposed fuel pellets? Vacuum them up? Put them one by one back in a new fuel rod casing? Gonna need a special canister/cask to house mangled assemblies.

    As pointed out, you can't dry cask them dump some concrete over them and call it all good. Radiation doesn't go away anytime soon. The dry casks have to be emptied (every 20 to 50 years per whatever the manufacture recommends) and the fuel assemblies placed in new dry casks for another round of safe(?) storage due to forever radiation from the spent fuel.

    As far as I have read, all the reactors and their spent fuel pools had seawater injected for cooling during the calamity. Unit 5's pool was gaining spent fuel from emptying 4's pool as the common poll was full up.

    Again, under normal circumstances all construction or de-construction of the site could be dealt with except when it comes to radiation.

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