“Big Problem”: Cracked floors in Fukushima reactors leaking into groundwater that’s rising and rising and rising due to Tepco wall — “Can no longer be stopped from getting in ocean” — “Worse than that… buildings now on mushy land” (AUDIO)

Published: August 28th, 2013 at 2:48 pm ET


Title: Breaking News: Entergy pulling the plug on Vermont Yankee
Source: Fairewinds Energy Education
Host: Nathaniel White-Joyal
Date: Aug 27, 2013

At 11:30 in

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer: The big problem is the nuclear reactors themselves have cracked floors. The buildings in those reactor buildings have cracked floors. And groundwater is getting into those buildings, and becoming contaminated, and then leaking out. So, in addition to what’s in those tanks, the physical plant itself is contaminating the groundwater as well.

So what Tepco tried to do is to build a wall along the water. They injected basically a concrete type of a compound and made the ground less porous. That’s not a good idea — it’s a poor idea — because what happened is the mountain that’s behind Fukushima continues to pour the water into the ground. Now it’s got no place to go. So now the groundwater’s rising and rising and rising and likely over-topping this wall, certainly going around it on the sides. So we’ve got radioactive water that can no longer be stopped from getting in the ocean.

It’s worse than that though. The radioactive water has made the site seismic response different. The buildings that were on dry land are now on mushy land. So that if there were to be another earthquake, the seismic response of these buildings — which was already marginal — is further compromised because the ground that they are now on is wet soggy soil, when before it had been firm.

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Published: August 28th, 2013 at 2:48 pm ET


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33 comments to “Big Problem”: Cracked floors in Fukushima reactors leaking into groundwater that’s rising and rising and rising due to Tepco wall — “Can no longer be stopped from getting in ocean” — “Worse than that… buildings now on mushy land” (AUDIO)

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    Has a Darwin Award ever been given to a company?

  • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

    Hi all,

    Don't know if anyone's mentioned it on here yet but


    Typhoon Kong-Rey is heading up just past Taiwan at the moment and is predicted to pass straight out over Fukushima on Sunday. A few people on here have already mentioned the consequences of the typhoon season considering the ground is already saturated and groundwater is only 10" from the surface but this is also heading directly over.

    Unless it loses momentum before getting there this could dump unknown quantities of water over the site. Weather reporting is already warning of severe mudslides throughout Japan….

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear industry had their chance in '79, but obviously didn't see the movie "China Syndrome". The movie centers around meltdowns that breach containment, which is happening in real life, right now.

    • We Not They Finally

      Yeah, that came out just before Three Mile Island. And everyone said, isn't it amazing, life mimicking art.

      Unfortunately, they didn't LEARN anything….

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    MYTH: Groundwater flows into Reactor Basements, becomes contaminated, then flows out and into the sea.
    REALITY: Groundwater flows around UNDERGROUND CORIUM, below the REACTOR BUILDINGS, and into the sea.
    REALITY: 300 tonnes of water is pumped into Containments1-3 daily, and is lost as it pours through big holes in the bottom of the containment vessels on its way to hell-and-gone.

    We KNOW this by the rads in the water.
    We know the water contacted nuclear fuel.
    This is FACT.
    TEP.Gov talks about a little bit of water flowing INTO and OUT OF the basements of reactor buildings.
    But there is very high contamination in the whole lot of water that flows UNDER the reactor buildings every day.
    Oh, no, TEP.gov doesn't want to talk about this.
    Only about the drips of contaminated groundwater that dribble out of the basement. 😉

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yes and the deeper they dig the higher the rads. Duh and TEPCO can't seem to figure it out. I shouldn't be so cynical but the handling of this global catastrophe is beyond abysmal. IMHO

    • We Not They Finally

      PUN, exactly so! It's what MOST needs to be repeated here.

  • weeman

    You must increase the footprint of the building, install air bags, cover with concrete and attach to building, float the building,. Nobody said it would be easy.
    If the ground is so mushy and if the corium is beneath the building, collapse is imminent as it will flow into hole?

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Exactly, that is what I'm waiting for the horrific news that one of the buildings has collapsed. I currently keep an eye on the jet stream and after the collapse it will become a daily necessity as we try to adapt to our new radioactive reality. Please TEPCO prove me wrong.

      • flatsville

        They have a water-logged site and a tropical storm headed their way. This will be a nerve-wracking weekend.

        • Sixela Sixela

          Even worse for me. I'll be in CA this time next weekend, just in time for the latest radioactive cloud. Everyone else will be jubilant, and I will be skin scratching like a crackhead. :-/

    • 21stCentury 21stCentury

      yes weeman, I have studied/built inflatable buildings for use in mining projects and pipeline projects…

      When placing inflatable structures over complex messes like Fuku it's easiest to begin with a big bunch of arch-tubes. Each inflato-tube-noodle can be gathered to the others with fabric ribbons interweaved thru the cluster-tunnel.

      I was one of the guys who contacted TEPCO in 2011 and suggested they use a tent system to cover the whole complex for establishing air-control. But, it looks like they fell short of completion. I give them credit for trying despite the ridicule the tent got here in enenews.

      Total site air-control and water-control is always hi-priority on any jobsite.

      Once fully erected/inflated the tube-tunnel roof tubes can be filled with foamcrete and externally sprayed with cement.

      Lightweight AAC-cement block&panel is good too.

      Air temp&humidity control is a complex but manageable task.

      –Nobody said it would be easy.–
      and complicated with several SFP's
      The ground might get too mushy to operate truck-cranes..
      a very large aerial cable crane is needed..

      aerial crane stretched between upland pylons and big crane barge..

      • weeman

        Unfortunately tepco has no imagination and as Einstein said without imagination you can not see what does not exist.
        These days it's all secrecy and no privacy. Rolling stones.
        Keep that fertile mind of yours in top gear 21st century.

  • Sickputer

    Tepco concreted the floor of the lagoon in the first year post-311. This may have altered tidal flow into channels of sandstone under the island complex.

    Worth mentioning: the enormous amount of fuel rods that dropped to the ground from the reactor explosions, especially the dangerous MOX rods from Unit 3. They bulldozed the area flat (apparently with remote-operated bulldozers) and then laid steel plates everywhere on the ground around Units 1-3. The radiation rises and human work is very dangerous in those areas. Visitors are driven past those building very fast, no side trips to Units 1-3.

    Fuel rods under the steel plates are very long-lived (thousands of years) and leech radiation into groundwater that rises or rainfall that hits (new typhoon apparently headed for Daiichi soon).

    Many obstacles at Daiichi and two things are clear:
    The insanity of placing nuclear complexes close to aquifers, rivers, and oceans; and the insanity of placing multiple units within walking distance of each other.

    One bad reactor hampers repair efforts for the rest because of the close proximity. At Fukushima there are four very damaged reactors. Their intense radiation may lead to human on-site abandonment of repair efforts and if that happens the other two reactors (5 and 6) as well as the gargantuous Common Spent Fuel Pond could also unload their massive fuel radiation. Hopefully they haven't already burned up or melted out also.
    We have heard rumors about the CSFP.

  • dosdos dosdos

    The IAEA is upset with Japan for issuing a Level 3 event, calling it a matter of inconsistency, fearing that it will give people the wrong idea……

    • dosdos dosdos

      Now the NRA says that it was hasty in setting the INES level at 3, since TEPCO seems to have overstated the problem, and is considering scaling it back to a Level 1.

      I tell you, one clown for another.

    • We Not They Finally

      dosdos, the IAEA needs to be put on suicide watch along with TEPCO. I mean, we're watching, we're waiting, we're watching, we're waiting…. No one seems to be figuring out how to do the right thing.

  • We Not They Finally

    So TEPCO's picks one thing to do and it's something that makes things worse. Joy…..

  • nedlifromvermont

    I tell you again!!! They read the diagram upside down! They thought the sea was the mountain, the way the guy drew it (was very confusing) so they built the wall between the reactors and the sea, instead of between the sea and the mountain …

    Was no more big mistake than Marshall Ney, not marching "towards the sound of the guns …" Waterloo, Belgium, 1815 …….

    peace, all!

  • Urban27

    Is this not possible even for a Child to forsee. When you dam up water it tends to rise..
    Either the level of engeneering or the level of jurnalism is not sufficient. Or maybe both.

  • Urban27

    Just trying to stop water leaking. It is like the any Child can figure it out – Water will rise when you dam it up.

  • razzz razzz

    IAEA needs a new Level Alert System using numbers, alphabet for sub headers and roman numerals for footnotes to totally confuse the situation out of existence.

    Any materials or elements (like water or earth) coming in contact with Daiichi radiation becomes irradiated and has to be dealt with as radioactive contaminated waste like dangerous trash.

    Unit 2 is basically intact but so radioactive inside the building that going in and jumping on the fuel handling machine to begin removing SFP rods is a death wish. The entire inside of the building has to be decontaminated first and that is after they stop or isolated the continuous radioactive venting from the melted core there.

    Decontaminating the inside consists of scrubbing or coating or sealing or covering floors walls and ceilings. Equipment with nooks and crannies is next to impossible to deal with and initially everything has to be done with robots.

    That will work as soon as they find out where Unit 2's core melted to and isolated it from the working environment probably with lead and concrete.

    TEPCO has a filtering system in place at Unit 2 where the one blowout panel left the building to self vent and not blow up like 1&2&4. They must know exactly what all the radionuclides and gases are venting from the busted containment. Must be to scary to report the monitoring data.

  • razzz razzz


  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Easy money in the eyes of the nuke pushers