Gov’t Doc.: Re-criticality a threat at Fukushima; Concern melted fuel to change it’s form — M.I.T. Q&A: Coolability of the molten corium is questionable (VIDEO)

Published: December 4th, 2013 at 8:40 pm ET


Mid -and -Long -Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4 (pg. 115), June 27, 2013: Development of technologies for controlling fuel debris criticality –> Purpose: In future, we will develop the technologies for monitoring and evaluation of sub-criticality in order to prevent re-criticality even in the case when the form of the fuel debris or the water volume changes in association with the fuel removal work etc. […] Criticality evaluation […] Conduct an analysis assuming the status of fuel debris and the plant after a severe accident, and review the scenario involving a criticality. […] formulate measures to mitigate the influence of radiation exposure in the case of a criticality. […] Liquid waste treatment and subcriticality control technology for cooling equipment […] Considering the possibility that fuel debris may flow out, accumulate in the liquid waste treatment equipment as well as the cooling equipment and lead to criticality, monitoring of subcriticality is required.  […] Mid- to long-term cultivation of human resources […] we will need more persons with expertise on basic nuclear core physics and criticality control, we will consider cooperative frameworks which will promote education and research in universities. Further, we will make efforts toward the development of the ability of young engineers, and secure the human resources required for ensured implementation and improvement of long-term debris criticality control.

Q&A with Lake Barrett, former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official and now an adviser to Tepco, March 30, 2011 (at 1:08:00 in): Mike [Podolsky?]: A few days ago I received an update from Japan talking about the measurements. The temperature outside the vessel was almost 300*C. The pressure inside the vessel was about 3 atmospheres. Which means that the temperature inside was much higher. The coolability of molten corium is questionable […] We should make a really organized effort to understand and look into long-term consequences, because it’s not clear that everything will go away in a smooth manner.

Watch the Q&A here (at 1:08:00 in)

Published: December 4th, 2013 at 8:40 pm ET


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  2. Nuclear Professor: Centuries before attempting any work on Fukushima molten fuel? — Concern over “potential phase separations” in corium November 13, 2013
  3. Nuclear Engineer: Every expert I talked to this week is very concerned about a criticality event during fuel removal at Unit 4 — “There’s good potential for a criticality” (AUDIO) November 21, 2013
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132 comments to Gov’t Doc.: Re-criticality a threat at Fukushima; Concern melted fuel to change it’s form — M.I.T. Q&A: Coolability of the molten corium is questionable (VIDEO)

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    "Q&A with Lake Barrett, former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official and now an adviser to Tepco, March 30, 2011 (at 1:08:00 in): Mike [Podolsky?]: A few days ago I received an update from Japan talking about the measurements. The temperature outside the vessel was almost 300*C. The pressure inside the vessel was about 3 atmospheres. Which means that the temperature inside was much higher. The coolability of molten corium is questionable […] We should make a really organized effort to understand and look into long-term consequences, because it’s not clear that everything will go away in a smooth manner."

    Not clear that everything will go away in a smooth manner? What on earth is THAT supposed to mean?

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Coolability questionable? (Cool-ability? Is that like a Lewis Carroll kind of word, a "gimble in the wabe" type of concept?

      Maybe while they're busy gimbling in the wabe, they expect to turn around and Poof! Fukushima Daichi will just go away. In a smooth manner.

    • Gradius

      "In the future"… WHAT FUTURE ?!?

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      This actually is one of the more, or one of the most important news items on enenews. If they can't cool the corium, then it will reach criticality again and explode. I wish that commentators who don't understand the science would take their jokes to the off-topic section of the forum. Of course, if those commentators are really pro-nuclear and want to divert the subject matter and make this website look unscientific, then they are doing a good job.

      I am referring to the comments below. This situation is very sad and we don't need such silly jokes. We need scientists focused on solutions. It is a waste of time for scientists or people trying to become informed to have to read through off-topic jokes.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        And some of the comments above.

        • SadieDog

          Wow Anne, I am sorry you feel that way. I love this site. I learn a lot. The fact that people here have real life discussions is one of the things that makes it so special, in my opinion. I plead guilty to the occasional joke or pun, but Anne, if we couldn't laugh sometimes we would surely go mad. Laughter heals. I can't say I'm gonna change the way I post here, so you may want to just skip over SadieDog posts from now on.

          • mungo mungo

            +1 sadiedog

            • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

              Mine wasn't a joke at all..
     an important word in the industry that I work in..And it's boring and sad to have to use the term in reference to nuclear.. day after day.
              Sometimes truth is told under the guise of humor.

              I'm sure ..Anne can think of other reasons to be annoyed with this site.

              • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

                Or perhaps..she's just being uncool.

                • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

                  To the readers: Be cool, don't panic..

                  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

                    Cool, capiche?

                    • weeman

                      I must admit it is beyond my comprehension and did not post and I am still tring to make sense of it, but it is not to my liking.
                      The outlandish conspiracy theories that are the post, I don't like and gives the enemy a way to discredit the good work at this site, keep them off topic, please. With luv and gratitude.

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    "…look into long-term consequences, because it’s not clear that everything will go away in a smooth manner."

    Plain as day…the definitive avoidance of reality, thinking that
    any of this could "go away".

    The love of my life is Native American.
    She educated me about the history of the English language.
    By default it is a language of deception, though most people
    are not aware of the fact.

    "…we will make efforts toward the development of the ability of young engineers, and secure the human resources required for ensured implementation and improvement of long-term debris criticality control."
    Like Nixon offering "An honorable end to the VietNam war".
    Few people remembered the "honorable" part, which was the expectation.
    The actual quote is as ill defined as possible, by design.

    "We will make efforts"??????
    "I swear honey, I will make every effort to not cheat on you again".

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Further, we will make efforts toward the development of the ability of young engineers, and secure the human resources required for ensured implementation and improvement of long-term debris criticality control."

    What is long term debris criticality control?
    Debris from what?

    • harengus_acidophilus

      The hope for future buisiness.

      "What is long term debris criticality control?"

      A nightmare for the workers,
      but a good deal for their boss.


  • Mack Mack


    "Unprocessed radioactive waste in Tokai could explode if safeties fail"

    "Stockpiles of unprocessed plutonium solutions and liquid waste at a nuclear reprocessing facility in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, could boil and spew radioactive substances or cause hydrogen explosions if safety devices were to fail, the Nuclear Regulation Authority says."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Are they saying this will happen again..or they need young people to watch this unfold unto infinitum?
    Debris criticality control?.. the corium will achieve criticality..when the physical conditions provide for it..
    Or as Arnie says..'Nuclear fuel does what nuclear fuel does.[paraphrase].

    • Bones Bones

      Sounds to me an almost indentured servitude of young nuclear scientists being shoved into highly toxic environments. Perhaps though, it will back-fire on them and allow kids to see first hand how horrible it is in exact juxtaposition to the Japanese/Nuclear indoctrination and enlistment of their bodies. Passing the buck to future generations. Sorry guys! You're screwed, but we had a great time. Lates!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Conduct an analysis assuming the status of fuel debris and the plant after a severe accident, and review the scenario involving a criticality."

    Blah blah blah blah…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "it’s not clear that everything will go away in a smooth manner"

  • Gasser Gasser

    Mid and long term roadmap> [ we will need more persons with expertise on basic nuclear core physics and criticality control ]

    Sorry but it’s to little to late…will future DNA damaged baby's be teachable and have the appendages to perform what’s needed to shut down and decommission 440+ reactors…will anyone be born normal much less alive in the next 20 years?

    • Gradius

      If they dump all that crap to Ocean then we will 5~6 years max, after that (if anyone is still alive) you'll ASK to be dead (trust me!).

      • PurpleRain PurpleRain

        Why trust you? Do you have some info or facts that others here don't? In other words, I think the situation is dire enough without having to really say any more unless you have further info to prove your timeframe.

  • "In future, we will develop the technologies for monitoring and evaluation…"
    – Roadmap ?

    This means they can't even evaluate how bad it is, until some unknown time in the future.

    "…formulate measures to mitigate the influence of radiation exposure in the case of a criticality."

    Shouldn't these plans already be in place?

  • Kashiko Kashiko

    Their 'Roadmap' is like these car GPS's that dump you in a river or on a railway track. Listening to them is soooo… tedious

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Tedious..yes..really..time consuming.
    When there is little time to spare.

    They aren't look for a solve here.
    They are just destroying evidence..trying to rescue any salvageable materials.. using a criminal faction to send people to their deaths.

    They are so caught up in their mind games..and the trip they are having trying to lay their mind games on others.

    There is little time for inflection or reflection..
    Making it difficult to work toward a plan to deal with this in a more humane manner. daily here the same old lies..
    When their are other things to do.
    Like say..the refinement of one's character.
    (things like that important… in 'these times').

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose typo land..
    Sleep well.. Enenews…
    Sleep well earned..

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    F I R S T . T H I N G S . F I R S T

    Nothing constructive will happen as long as nuclear power is allowed.

  • SadieDog

    This is Neil Young. A musical interlude for ENENEWS'ers. I've been hearing' it in my head. Very poignant, in my opinion.

  • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

    "-Long -Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4"

    Pretty sure they are all decommissioned already. Anything post 3/11 is a matter of decontaminating, not removing from service. Language matters.

    • SadieDog

      Yep, like are we screwed or up the creek without a paddle.

      • SadieDog

        Sorry y'all, I am in a good mood tonite. I wish I could share it with all of you. The day I lose the ability to laugh is the day I snort a 1/4 oz. piece of lead.

  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

    The Chinese are catching on to FUKU

    "Published on Nov 4, 2013

    Worried Chinese shoppers stripped stores of salt in cities across China on Thursday in the false belief it can guard against radiation exposure even though any fallout from a crippled Japanese nuclear power plant is very unlikely to reach China.
    The panic shopping was triggered by rumors that iodised salt can help ward off radiation poisoning part of the swirl of misinformation crisscrossing the region in the wake of Japan s nuclear emergency.
    People are buying the salt for three reasons many think the iodized salt will protect them from radiation others think that radiological contamination of the ocean will polluted salt supplies and many think the price of salt will go up and are buying it on speculation.
    Already some are selling bags of salt for five times the price it was a day or two ago. Supermarkets and groceries in many cities across the country have run out of salt in the last few days as a wave of panic buying spread across provinces from eastern Zhejiang province to southern Guangdong to western Sichuan. The rumours have flown widely. Text messages on mobile phones have circulated about nuclear plumes spreading from Japan throughout Asia."

    • PurpleRain PurpleRain

      I shared this video about the salt run on Facebook, but I find it interesting that twitter will not allow me to share it. Anyone else experience this?

      • Kashiko Kashiko

        PurpleRain (Maybe black rain is better….only joking)Yes, and several good blogs seem to have disappeared too. One Dutch? guy from here Van something. Who was measuring radiation levels in seaweed has gone.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        PurpleRain, would you please elaborate? Go you mean sea salt? Got about 10 pounds of it as soon as 3/12 happened. Figured if a big plume came along, it would be hard to get uncontaminated salt. Are we talking about the same thing?

  • Bowtieman Bowtieman

    It's already being dumped into the ocean….. Where are they going to send it to anyway…

  • Jebus Jebus

    If it does, maybe we'll get another one of these pretty little graphs, in a couple of years…

    Government research shows Fukushima radiation spike over southwestern British Columbia in 2011

    A study by several researchers, including Health Canada monitoring specialist Ian Hoffman, reveals a sharp spike in radiation over southwest B.C. on March 20, 2011.

  • Scaredy Cat Scaredy Cat

    Okay, so, I've been reading and learning here since the first week and have yet to comment because, well, I'm a scaredy cat. But I can't take it anymore. Been hoping somebody saw what I saw. It has always been my belief that the elusive corium or coria (from one or several reactors) melted down after the earthquake and was spread far and wide by the tsunami. I watched on live television as the wall of water pushed inland and, many times, everything the water touched burst into flames on contact. I assumed at the time that the flames were from downed power lines or gas explosions in the homes. In hindsight, and knowing what I know now, could the coria have been carried by the water and spread onto land with some of it deposited, and some carried back out to sea? The flames seemed so instantaneous when the water hit any flammable structure that it didn't make sense to me at the time. I was just fascinated that things were incinerated on contact. I have video somewhere and will search for that, but I figured one of you many marvelous people may come up with it more quickly than I. Just food for thought from a dedicated follower of ENENews.

    Many of you feel like friends to me, albeit it's been one-sided. Sorry to have lurked so long and for withholding this potentially helpful theory.

    Glad to be among you.

    • SadieDog

      Speak up. Welcome!

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      It is my understanding that the earthquake broke the cooling pipes. Then there was the tsunami ( sort of remember 45 minutes later). But the fuel takes a while to heat up. So it wasn
      t until the next day before the first explosion. So the coria wouldn't wash out with the tsunami. You can get a time line on wikipedia. I will look it up.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Timeline of the Fukushima nuclear accidents

        Timeline of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

        I don't think you can wash away a corium under any circumstances. Because the corium is so hot it does travel down through the earth, and because of the lack of bedrock beneath Fukushima and because it is so close to the ocean and was built with the basements even below sea level, it is believed by many to have already reached the ocean and is emitting radiation. But I don't think it is being broken up by the ocean.

        There are other on this site more knowledgeable than I am. I am just commenting to attract the attention of other to your question.

        • Scaredy Cat Scaredy Cat

          Thanks Anne. I respect your opinions very much.

          I wonder what made homes and debris burst into flames on contact, with water? I just Googled "tsunami flaming water" and there are pics and videos of the phenomenon to which I am referring. It was mighty weird watching it happen. Could it be fuel that was ejected skyward, or were the explosions too long after? I will check the timelines.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            Click on arrows:
            “Many combustible substances (substances that will burn) are lighter (less dense) than water and will float – paper, wood and gasoline are a few examples. When ignited (set on fire), these substances will continue to float, and so will the fire. “

            • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

              There are lots of things I don't know. I just search on the internet for explanations of others.

              “One thing to realize is that a normal gas line filled with natural gas is above the upper explosive limit, because not enough oxygen is present to support combustion. When the line is cut or damaged, however, oxygen can be introduced from the surrounding air, which can contribute to a fire or explosion.

              “If the house was serviced by gas and the furnace was on, then gas was already flowing into the house. However, instead of having pure natural gas carefully combined with air in the furnace, you might instead get an explosive mixture coming into the house which, as soon as it contacts a spark or heat source, explodes–possibly even inside the gas supply line.”

              • HoTaters HoTaters

                Yes, RE: natural gas fires, it happened a lot in the Marina District in San Francisco, during the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. Lots of fires caused by broken natural gas lines & combustion occurring. Remember sitting in a house in the Mission District (on a hill) and watching the flames from the fire, all along the northern side of San Francisco.

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              Some solvents will spontaneously combust when exposed to air. Many other things will, too.

              Here's a link to a table showing temperatures at which many substances will spontaneously ignite or "autoignite":


          • NoNukes NoNukes

            Welcome, Scaredy Cat! 🙂 I hope that you find the images, that sounds important.

            • Scaredy Cat Scaredy Cat

              Hey NoNukes! I posted a couple of pics on the General Forum. Will look for the video. That was what impressed me most at the time. It was a strange phenomenon.

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      @Scaredy Cat:
      Welcome aboard!

      As a design engineer (30+ years now) I can say with confidence
      that there were no coriums in the buildings during the tsunami.
      Hot (temp) fuel rods?

      Coriums forming were days later, roughly.

      The tsunami happened about 60 min after the quake.
      Before the tsunami, things were already quite FUBAR.

      The major effect of the tsunami was to knock out the back up generators.

      I will offer the argument that the back up systems were a moot point after the actual quake since so much to the cooling systems plumbing were ripped up/out so quickly anyway. Huge pipes were ripped out of the walls and flanges were thrashed beyond repair. The cooling system damage would have required many days if not weeks/months to fix even if the melt downs never happened.

      Strange how the media keeps blaming the NPP failures on the tsunami, when it was the quake that did the damage they had little hope of recovering from.

      Recall that TEPCO is a NPP operator.
      Like a bus driver.
      They are not trained/prepared on how to fix anything that is seriously broken.

      I have personally known guys who have been part of building and operating NPPs. There stories are best summed up as Beavis and Butthead team up with the Three Stooges to come fix your clogged toilet. No they won't get it fixed, and yes, the problem will be much worse after they leave than before they arrived.
      And you will still be billed for their expertise.

      • Scaredy Cat Scaredy Cat

        Too funny! (And thanks for the welcome : )

        Could the rods have been hot enough to start fires? Pieces of rods scattered into debris carried by water?

        • razzz razzz

          Scaredy Ca: You seem to be in the wrong frame of mind. While anything is possible, the simplest conclusions are usually correct. Not necessary to focus on events with low probabilities.

          • Scaredy Cat Scaredy Cat

            That's cool. It's just something I was curious about and have gotten excellent feedback. You learn something new every day!

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Scaredy Cat,

      Which Forum did you post to? Tried to find the pics and cannot find them. Thanks.

      • Scaredy Cat Scaredy Cat

        Hi Ho,

        It was the General Discussion Forum, Dec. 4, starting at 11:49 pm, follow up comment at 12:52 am. I'm hoping I'll have time tomorrow to look for video of the phenomenon I witnessed.

    • vicky13 vicky13

      Welcome to the group Scaredy Cat!!

  • SadieDog

    There are some really smart, caring people here. Like someone said the other day, it is like no other place. I can ask questions, give answers, opinions or share info or a song. I haven't been posting long but I don't bother anywhere else.

    • SadieDog

      Thank you for being there ENENEWS !

      • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

        +1 SadieDog thx to Enenews. I used to have a golden retriever named Sadie- and I called her Sadie Dog.

        It made me happy when I saw your username….

        Welcome Scaredy Cat!

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        SadieDog, I hope you didn't think I had any ill will toward you, when I questioned one of your posts recently. I think the comment was the corium probably wouldn't get washed away for a very, very long time. Not meant as a challenge.

        And agree, keeping one's sense of humor is essential, especially in times like these.

        • SadieDog

          @ HoTaters – I don't remember your comment,I think I said Japan wanted them washed out and somebody said it wouldn't happen for a long time? Either way… I haven't felt any ill will since I've been here. I don't know everything and am always happy to learn. Feel free to correct me anytime and thanks.

  • ftlt

    Here is something recently published from Yale and The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist On Nuclear Denial a packed 10 pages of magazine PDF

    Encouraging to see this out

  • The Giant - Humbled The Giant - Humbled

    Greetings, this is my first posting here, the topic is one that I find frightening, of great concern, and necessary to discuss. I recently shared some of the materials I found here with my former team at the Hospital and was appalled to find that not a single one of these highly educated people had even an inkling of what was happening. Of course denial was the immediate response, then an hour ago, a text message….."what were those website addresses, again?" It isn't much, but I've been talking to everyone I can about these issues. I had invited my partner to bring her little ones up from Aotearoa, but, we have decided that I'll take mine and go there. Hard for me, with my people indigenous to northern montana for thousands of years, but the Maori like me and so……………

    • SadieDog

      I would like to welcome you as I was welcomed. Greetings, humble giant

    • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

      Welcome -The Giant-Humbled

      I think you are making a smart move, as the Southern Hemisphere is safer than here, but eventually this invisible death will be everywhere.

      There are many good resources on Enenews…keep spreading the word.

      Peace to you and yours-

    • Kassandra


      Academics are just as blind.

      Please keep up your good work where ever you abide.

    • NoNukes NoNukes

      Welcome, The Giant – Humbled! I am so sorry for the high price that must be paid to get your little ones to a safer place. You shouldn't have to pay it. I am glad for the little ones that you are.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Are you still in New Zealand? Or relocated to Montana? I'm a big Tim Finn fan, by the way.

    • vicky13 vicky13

      Welcome to the group Giant!!

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      Giant you understand now the battles that we here are waging. Education is only as good as what is offered/taught and the Nuclear Nightmare unfolding was never offered/taught to those minds that they could control…welcome!

      Thank you for joining the fight for spreading/teaching/sharing true enlightenment! 🙂

  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Eyes wide shut, now please try to get love ones, friends, co workers, your doctor, nurses to open their eyes because one is a lonely number!

    All of in our power to be eyes are a threat to them, now I said & I do believe they will try to make look like fools or worse. Lives depend on the brightest minds saying no to the elites & working to come up with a solution. The question is, are the soulutions locked away behind some government secret door to only be used when the population is down to the number they desire? No one knows, but it could be possible, right?

    Just think of the children & it keeps me awake at night! How does the Power to Be Sleep?
    All of you on enenews are great, thank you for being here. Good eveing.

  • razzz razzz

    Lake Barret: One of the more accomplished nuclear apologist. When the news focuses on the negatives of nuclear power then the media is bad. When the media reports the nuclear industry talking points then the media is good. The standard, take a bad situation and make it positive. I,Cs,Sr releases only cause collateral damage and can be overlooked as political.

    Barret (a dinosaur) is also throwing in the towel now. Wanted containment and a closed loop cooling back since day one of the accident along with tenting to filter off gassing, 2 1/2+ years later, he has none of that. Have to do what you have to do to keep the nuclear industry viable and on point, Pacific as a dumping ground will be the name of the game. The melts are lost and he has no answer for it.

    Asking to recruit fresh minds for old, reoccurring and unresolvable problems is a waste of resources, draining away from other needed projects like flexible electrical grids, renewable energies, etc.

  • jcfougere jcfougere

    I know this has been answered and is somewhere on the site, but could someone please tell me the estimated time it would take an atmospheric release (SFP4 Collapse etc) to reach the West coast of North America? How long we have to evacuate should the worst happen?

    • Speedy

      Not long, I believe the balloon bombs they sent over were here in 5 days….

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      Japan is about 4850 miles from Portland.
      So even at 50mph, it will take 4 days to get here.
      The critical variable here is how high up the fallout goes in terms of catching the winds (assumption..tropospheric).
      The higher up it gets, the faster, yet I would not expect an SFP release to get very high up, i.e. 10s of miles up.
      So a week is a good estimate. But certainly not months.

      Not sure what NatGeo was assuming…their estimate seems a bit short to me from a practical point…60 hours means 80mph!

      Bottom line is that we have already been hammered badly here on the west coast US.

      My take is that you would be on your own in terms of interpreting what you find here vs MSM for making a decision.

      By the time that Ken and Barbie get any clue that it might be a good idea to go southern hemisphere, things will have already shut down in terms of travel.

      Unless of course one was deemed "valuable" to a foreign country (very educated/useful/smart), and you could speak the language, and have money, etc.

      Note also that Fuku has proven that the air currents between hemispheres are not nearly as isolated as had been assumed in the past, hence, just a matter of time before there is no where to go.

      I highly recommend you watch both versions (1959 and 2000) of "On The Beach" to get calibrated on the idea of an escape plan, if it can be called such.

      • jcfougere jcfougere

        Thanks for that Fireguyjeff, I definitely won't be taking my news from MSM.

        It's very disheartening to know that if SHTF more than it already has, the entire globe will be covered in this stuff..

        Another reason I'm going to move South is that I feel like it's a better place to weather the peak oil storm, financial crash, all the other things that are headed our way in the near future. There also aren't any local nuke plants down there, but I guess that's not much of an advantage anymore :/

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Some of the air in the upper air currents can reach the West Coast of North America in 24-36 hours. We've noted it takes 3-5 days for plumes from Fukushima to reach here after an event such as earthquake, fire at the plant, etc. That is based on readings from NETC. Kassandra and some others (myself included) have made a lot of posts re: that.

      Will try to post the link stating the air can reach here in 24-36 hours. Am thinking maybe Anne posted that one. Not sure. It could have been someone else.

      There was discussion of this subject in the past week, after Tepco removed fuel assemblies from SFP #4.

      • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

        Ho Taters:
        Well, maybe we are splitting hairs here.
        A day and a half vs a week is all about the same when we are dealing with something this important in terms of "the big picture".

        I would be the last to argue that Fuku spewage couldn't get to the west coast in 36 hours….it just seems so quick considering the distance.

        I watch storm fronts here all the time and it can take days for them to move just a few hundred mile vs 1000s.

        My thoughts were that there would need to be a mechanism/process for getting the Fuku crap up high enough to get the faster winds.
        Without major explosions, I struggle to explain a fast trip of a day or two.

        Chernobyl fallout took about 4 days to get to the NE US.

        Studies done (9 months + 4 days) {+/- a few weeks window} on birth defects in Boston, NYC, Montreal and Toronto came in very close to each other.

        Bottom line was that birth defects essentially doubled for all 4 cities.

  • Speedy

    I wonder how much Japan plans on spending to put on the 2020 Olympics. Do you think that money could be spent in better ways? How many other countries would match that amount to help with this mess? Maybe all that would be attending should use their money to try and save this place we call earth….just thinking out loud..

    • We Not They Finally

      It's inconceivable that the 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo. They shouldn't be spending a dime on it.

      • Kashiko Kashiko

        They're good at wasting money' I've seen a lot wasted here in the last 12 years. It's why their national debt is so bad

      • Speedy

        If you check the Olympics web's on..If that is true, Japan will be starting to build arenas, housing, outside sports complexes, etc..that all takes planing and time..My point was they should not start anything, they should pull their name and make it known they are investing those funds into attempting to fix the mess. I sent off an email while on the Olympics site questioning how they could even consider going through with the plans for 2020…probably a waste of time..

        • Kashiko Kashiko

          The Japanese will win every medal because no other countries athletes will go (If their heads are screwed on properly)

  • Socrates

    Franz Kafka had a character in his novel The Penal Colony who was obsessed with a machine. A movie with Orson Wells attempted to portray this character – who reminds me of Lake Barrett. Times change and young men do not want to.cling to a repressive past idea. The older man who cannot change wants these young men to throw themselves into a pit.

    In the end, the machine malfunctions and kills the obsessed character. Old nuclear engineers have confided in me that they could not shift gears and go to medical school.for example because they have families to support. Plus, their obsession with an archaic idea limits their mental flexibility. Obsolete dangerous technology should be abandoned, not foisted on younger, more enlightened men and women.. (Men are more likely to become obsessed with nuclear energy and weapons but that is another matter).

    If society does not move on, it won't.

    • Wyakin Wyakin

      My friend-good analogy and reflections. As you suggest, society should move on.

      There are many linkages between this notion and the idea that discipline is not to stop the mind in just one place. Based on your prior writings, you know there is no place to put the mind.

      As the Takuan Soho eloquently states, “when the mind is biased in one place, and lacking in another it is called “one sided mind.”
      We all have these and similar biases.

      Unfortunately the bias of many, including all nuclear engineers and their supporting corporations, is to assume that nuclear power and its effects are benign and perhaps inconsequential.

      We know this is far from the deadly reality. Peace.

  • Nick

    Some humans seem to think that Fukushima is not a problem for the simple reason that their simple minds cannot even begin to grasp what has happened or will happen, or for that matter what IS happening at the site.

    We are lulled by a sense of normalcy when we talk about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    Japan does not, not for one minute want the rest of the planet to know the truth.

    We must go shopping!

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Now that we've had an accident we said was impossible, let's think about developing technologies we can use. And just in case there is another accident. But the odds of that happening again are almost infintesmaly small. (sarc)

  • Sam

    If the corium is in contact with the water underground, there is little anyone can do except to divert the water coming in from the mountains….and that is an extremely difficult problem to crack.