Nov. 3 — “A rare type of radioactive decay, not a renewed chain reaction, appears to have produced the radioactive xenon gas,” reports CNN.
According to the report, on Thursday Tepco said “it believed the gases were produced by ‘spontaneous fission’ of uranium, since the shorter-lived isotope persisted after the use of boric acid”.
Gary Was, a nuclear engineering professor at the University of Michigan, told CNN that ‘spontaneous’ fission occurs when an element like uranium splits on its own, though it’s an “improbable phenomenon”.
Professor Was noted that the detection of xenon happened less than a week after Japan began taking new gas samples from the reactors.
It is highly coincidental that so soon after the sampling began an “improbable phenomenon” like ‘spontaneous’ fission would occur.
Additional recent reports of fission at [catlist name=reactor-no-2 numberposts=5 orderby=date order=desc date=yes comments=yes catlink=yes excludeposts=18705]
Published: November 4th, 2011 at 12:31 am ET
- Boric acid apparently not working to stop chain fission reactions because Xenon is still being detected — Tepco says this is reason why they claim ‘spontaneous’ fission, not sustained criticality November 3, 2011
- NHK: Curium-242 and -244 to blame for ‘spontaneous’ nuclear fission at Reactor No. 2, not uranium -Tepco November 3, 2011
- Tepco blames ‘spontaneous’ and ‘natural’ nuclear fission for radioactive xenon… What about the 14,000% increase in Krypton-85? November 3, 2011
- Kyoto Nuke Expert: This amount of xenon would not be detected unless melted fuel had “fission chain reaction” — Xe-133, -135 usually not present, even during operation of reactors November 2, 2011
- Busby: On-going fission is occurring at Fukushima — Either a recent “enriched uranium fission” or an “explosive criticality” November 6, 2011