Nuclear Expert: “There may be an accident of criticality” during fuel removal at Fukushima Unit 4 — TV: Rods could crumble, frightening Tepco in charge of potential catastrophe (VIDEOS)

Published: November 9th, 2013 at 12:10 pm ET


AFP, Nov. 7, 2013: Experts warn that any slip-ups could quickly cause the situation to deteriorate. Even minor mishaps will create considerable delays to the already long and complicated decommissioning. If the rods are exposed to the air they would release radiation and could heat up, a process that if left unchecked could lead to a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. TEPCO says that is unlikely, but sceptics say that with so many unknowns in the novel operation, there is potential for a catastrophe. […] “Any trouble in this operation will considerably affect the timetable for the entire project,” he said. “This is an operation TEPCO cannot afford to bungle.” Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute in Kyoto, said success was far from guaranteed. “It is not easy work,” he said. The comments reflect an increasingly widespread view that the giant utility is not capable of dealing with the mess its nuclear plant has created.

The Real News, Nov. 8, 2013 — Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Ph.D. in engineering (specialization: nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley (at 2:30 in): The spent fuel may be difficult to dislodge because it’s no longer in its proper original position. The fuel rods may break, and the fuel may wind up at the bottom of the reactor in the spent fuel pool. There may be an accident of criticality. I haven’t examined their plans in detail, but I do think it is very essential to remove this spent fuel, because in my judgment, the bigger danger is leaving it there and waiting for the earthquake to happen.

Watch the extended interview with Arjun Makhijani here

RT, Nov.7, 2013 — Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear: The fuel itself could be bent, it could be damaged, it could be corroded. They used salt water at one point to cool the nuclear waste in this pool, which could have corroded the assemblies. They could break apart; they could crumble when they go to try to remove them. Even the director of the nuclear regulation authority of Japan has warned that this process should not be rushed; they should not try to force these assemblies out of their storage channels. But they have to get them out before a bigger earthquake takes the building down, the cooling water would drain away, and the waste with them will catch on fire. There is no radiological containment around the pool and if this waste would catch fire it could be 10 times worse than Chernobyl. That’s how much radioactivity is stored in that pool. Just in terms of the radioactive cesium content. […]  It’s absurd that Tokyo Electric is in charge of this globally significant extracting of the fuel from the pool. If something goes wrong, this could be a global catastrophe that dwarfs what has happened on Fukushima Daiichi thus far. Tokyo Electric has shown its true colors time and time again, its incompetence and its dishonesty, so it’s very frightening that Tokyo Electric is in charge of this.

Watch the interview with Kevin Kamps here

Published: November 9th, 2013 at 12:10 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Pro-Nuclear Engineer: Potential for “a very, very serious accident” when unloading Fukushima Unit 4; “The thing that keeps me up late at night” — Expert: Concern over “positioning of fuel rods” in pool — Tepco: It’s not ‘particularly dangerous’ November 8, 2013
  2. Top Nuclear Official: “Very large risk potential” when attempting fuel removal at Fukushima Unit 4 pool — CNN: Debris in rods may damage Tepco’s efforts (VIDEO) November 7, 2013
  3. Expert: “Potential Global Catastrophe” from Fukushima Unit 2 highly radioactive fuel… Reactor could be destroyed, “making Tokyo area uninhabitable”… This is “most dreaded” scenario — Already “partially liquefying” below reactors February 12, 2017
  4. Tepco Adviser: “Everyone in the world” will be safer if fuel rods transferred from Fukushima Unit 4 — WSJ: Global concern over removal process (VIDEO) November 18, 2013
  5. Tepco: Plutonium is in Unit 4 fuel, it can be leaking out from holes and cracks in rods — Former Fukushima Engineer: State of plant is “hopeless”; Unit 4 vulnerable, “very dangerous” November 21, 2013

54 comments to Nuclear Expert: “There may be an accident of criticality” during fuel removal at Fukushima Unit 4 — TV: Rods could crumble, frightening Tepco in charge of potential catastrophe (VIDEOS)

  • Canuck1

    Ask anyone at a coffee shop, your friends, facebook, the grocer..anyone..They will look at you with a blank stare and say..Whats that? They can't even pronounce FUKUSHIMA..

    • digitalaardvarks digitalaardvarks

      makes it even more surreal, unreal. huh? did u do your xmas shopping yet blah blah. it's getting so i don't want to talk to anyone anymore. if i tell them they could go ballistic on me, get very depressed and blame it on me.

      • weeman

        I have done my Xmas shopping, everyone is getting iodine pills.

        • Songie Songie

          LOL, weeman…..yes, iodine pills, and zeolite, and Vit C, and for those extra special someones…their very own geiger counter..ha, ha, ha, ha

          • Gradius

            It would be really funny if NOT were true.

            • unincredulous unincredulous

              Yes, I have bought a couple of bottles of KI SHIELD, nascent iodine, zeolite in the last few weeks. If I could just find the gift wrapped bulk containers, everyone would hate me this Christmas. (Buzz kill)

              Now I know how those mentioned in the bible who warned the Egyptians that the black plague was coming felt.

              Paint your doorways with the blood of the lamb, everybody! Shut up!

              Get your zeolite here! Shut up! Iodine! Shut up! Marijuana for radiation sickness! Shut up, already.

              • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                .. 🙂 Paint brushes, torches, pitch forks and what ever it takes.

                Coast to coast finally has an intelligent fellow on talking about shutting down the Nuclear Power Industry. How long does it take for humans to see the bright lights! 🙁

                Shut these Nuclear bad boys and girls down worldwide and do it right now!

      • unincredulous unincredulous

        Kill the messenger syndrome.

    • SS4U SS4U

      yes the media blackout has been reasonably sucessful..except this is too big to hide.

      • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

        Except it's not just the media! The USA arguably has the most advanced remote radiation capabilities in history, thanks to the Cold War and the advance of the Nuclear State. Yet, in 2011 the public monitoring stations were shut down and since then air, food, soil and freshwater monitoring has been virtually non-existent as far as the public -or media- is concerned. I have no doubt that those systems were running yet the parents of all those California infants never received warning or Iodine in the week after 3/11.

        Corporate media these days only regurgitates that which is fed to them by a short list of sources.

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      Here is the world's future: Repeat!

      Looks like I will need to drag this link around with me for a couple of days

      Here is they, they are seen at the bottom of this link, they are the ones in control of your slice of world and these groups can be found all over the world…everywhere!

      OK so here is all of our futures in real time simply fast forwarded, if we continue down/on this Nuclear Technology path/direction.

      This link is not up for interpretation and/or debate or banter and this is all of our futures.

      Study it and look at it and then cry for your fellow man and then all life that still resides on this planet!

      You need to contact "they" and "bitch slap" each one of them until they shut down this technology!

      • ftlt

        Obe: That is a couple decades old news…

        Right by you and me, the Farralon Islands had huge amounts nuclear material dumped there up until 1970…

        It has been done all over the world..

        How many military ships and planes have been lost in the depths of the oceans that were carrying nuclear materials over the years.. Dozens, I would think…

        Read about the USA bomber fleets losses – incredible stuff (WIKI is scrubbed)… This one is not on it and it happened – Travis Airforce Base in Fairfield and it is yet contaminated – houses are built on the crash site in 1950 of an exploded B29 bomber that was carrying 2 (??) at least one nuclear weapon/s) that was/were never recovered… Luckily, they were just blown apart and did not have a nuclear explosion…

        It is not just nuclear material that is dumped either… The ocean has always been and yet is man's cesspool..

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          ftit, where did the accident on or near Travis AFB occur? Lived there for almost 3 years (near downtown). The place felt so toxic it was unbelievable.

          Supposedly there was a top secret bioweapons facility in the hills near Vacaville. Super-potent fungi were tested there. Lethal stuff. The hills are supposedly still contaminated.

          The place just always felt unclean to me, in some vague, non-definable way.

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            This crash?


            The article says the plane crashed near the main gate, which would be near Peabody Road.

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              According to this, the bomb casing and not the nuclear material was on board the plane which crashed:


            • ftlt

              Ho: The book that brought it to my attention was a book on the bomb and the USA air force – Name escapes me.. A great and scary read – well documented by a ligament author – I'll try and find it for you and post it up.. Not Rense/Jones stuff..

              The book clearly maintains – there were at least 1 or 2 bomb on board – they were being transported to Japan to be in place for the Korean War…

              I think, what you are finding is scubbed stuff – The crash made the local news papers as the explosion was heard over 50 miles in all directions…

              Not good press for the Air Force to have spread plutonium around a relativity highly populated and then food producing area..

              The book is very good at describing the efforts by the military to cover up their dozens of nuclear crash sites and 100s of near disasters…

              The B29 was fraught with engine problems and it was carrying nukes everywhere then… outrageous

              I work on base laying underground pipe there in the mid 70s.. Eating the dust all day in that windy place (now maybe to discover yet nuclear polluted place)…

              While working there, we had a young equipment operator who was detained for 6 hours for driving down the wrong road to dump some spoil early one morning near some secret ordinance bunkers (that weren't supposed to be there).. He was return to us shaken without his vehicle by a squad of armed guards… He quit!!! HAHAHAHA.. We had been wondering where he was most of the day..

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          Very sad…we humans must be a mammalian cancer virus! 🙁

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        I read a novel about Italy that was about a lot of toxic material dumped in Italy by the US military.

  • Gradius

    If you tell them 1% of true we are reading from MONTHS, and not that blackout media, they will look at you like you were "nuts".

  • We Not They Finally

    Granted,Canuck. The crime of no coverage. But also we've had a different experience. If you start by telling people that we are being flooded with radiation, people do tend to respond. Many people sense there is something terribly wrong anyway. This gives them a focus. Something that is personally and immediately threatening — which it is!

  • weeman

    It is not frightening that tepco is in charge, it is ludicrous.
    Nuts, out to lunch, not right, give me a break, not amused, a wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse, no way get a grip, you are kidding me on,
    say it ain't so.

    • or-well

      Tepco, 5 bottles short of a 6-pack, not the sharpest knives in the drawer, a lot of ants short of a picnic and many slices short of a loaf. Pile on! 🙂

      Well, on-topic, any informed enenewser could have given those interviews. Neither one had any new insights.

      Earthquake risk alone makes it essential to decommision all Japanese reactors.

  • Alpha1

    Once again as to the documents sent out from the IAEA to the NRC with the response from the NRC shows that the spent fuel from SFP 4 released 100% of the fuel into the atmosphere by the 20th of March 2011. What you have been seeing in the news is the collection pool not unit 4SFP.

    Since there is little that is really going on they are using this incredible story and drawn out play and can use it to say wow we fucked up again and show they burned the SFP up. They did indeed this is all a charade don't play into it. It has been done for over 2 years now. Why do you think the radiation levels are climbing in this country higher by the day.

    Set forth in the manner to slow the roll of the propaganda and hype smoke and mirrors. Time to start already reacting to the fact that the west coast needs to be evacuated.

  • weeman

    So all the best engineers in the world have been asked to come up with solutions and this is the only way, you can't reinforce building, can't lower pool intact? No they have not and have not been provided with any data to analyze.
    All I know is the USA better have there b-51 bombers locked and loaded with boron etc and on full alert, carpet bomb area with boron etc. do you have a better idea if that SFP goes critical, I don't. Nod nod wink wink, say no more. Might as well ask the Russians and Chinese to help to, this is war, WW3 the invisible enemy and you all just volunteered.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    I think the plant is on it's way to going up. Criticality, nuclear chain reaction, whatever you wanna call it, it's gonna do what it's gonna do.

    • Cisco Cisco

      Possible's that set the stage for the biggest fire in the history of our mankind…pick one
      1. TEPCO's latest and greatest tank farm is built on a hill. Consider a landslide or the blow out of one tank.
      2. Most of the site in the critical areas is near a state of near liquefaction. Consider a landslide or a quick sand effect.
      3. The site is fast approaching such high levels of radiation that workers will be forced to evacuate. No workers, no cooling.
      4. A criticality of the coriums or what's left in reactors 1, 2 or 3.
      5. A criticality of any of the SFP's and currently #4
      6. The next earthquake
      7. The next storm event
      8. The first mistake the crane operator makes in SFP 4

      The sites integrity is a house of cards, exactly as are TEPCO's and their conspirators' disclosures.

      It's an ELE, either 10-12 years out, or 20-30 years…you pick it.

    • babbo dorian babbo dorian

      So it will, no doubt at all,
      Many of us consider november the date when nucleorats will do their mayor move…. there's no sfp,''. That's a depictable jocke,,,
      They will make something terrible to justify that all pollution released by now and increasing every day is because of human failure or nature or both but……
      It is going to be according to the stage they have been announcing with their "good scientists" team, …. alarming in an event already occurred,,, ele because sfp4 blasted..
      Camera in site out of time,,,, googlemaps with a photoshop of fukushima plant, Abe prohibiting disclosures of this kind of topics, gobernor visiting an incredible building #4, and now scaring all the world en this….
      Good luck…. de will need it

  • norbu norbu

    There is no stopping it now. A runaway train down hill with no brakes. No one wants to here about it. I still press on telling everyone I can even if they don't want to here it. The first bundle they remove could be the last. Will they even tell us when they start?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I wonder why these rods are so special..when for months and for years to come they have/will be tossing them into the sea.

    Is Tepco Dumping Fuel Rods in the Ocean 1/3 ?.wmv

    Is Tepco Dumping Fuel Rods in the Ocean 2/3 ?.wmv

    Is Tepco Dumping Fuel Rods in the Ocean 3/3 ?.wmv

    TEPCO is about to begin the process of damaged fuel rods.
    Does anyone really think they give a damn about the amount of radiation they will release in the process?

    • lsmiaka

      That's from 3 months after the accident. Was anyone even able to enter the site at that point? I'm not sure logistically how possible that would have been at that point.

  • razzz razzz

    I thought Arnie G. had foreseen all these spent fuel problems and already warned about them. What has changed to have awakened all the sleeping experts?

    Pull the unused fuel out first. If there is a problem during that operation then start worrying.

  • Ontological Ontological

    March 15th 2011 a blogger had said something about a mushroom cloud having happened over Fukushima that morning after a report of a second explosion just occurring. I dug until I found images of the event, and I knew it was a very dirty nuclear explosion, and that an ELE may be in the process of rearing its ugly head in that moment of detonation. Thanks ENENEWS for giving me my freedom back from having to search for all the FUKU news you bring to us.

  • Alpha1

    OOK they built a crane area and spent money, show me on piece of concrete that has burn on it from the blast that happened show me any sign of a hydrogen explosion that the unit had and show me the smoke marks in the building anywhere I dare you because you can't.

    In hydrogen explosion the heat of the blast would have melted some of the concrete in the SFP4 there is nothing like that just a show. If you think that they are showing anything but the collection pool that is a mirror of the SFP's your kidding yourself. the radiation you have now is from the unit 4 going off and you are too stupid to get it and the reason it is getting worse by the day accumulation dumb ass!!!!!

    • babbo dorian babbo dorian

      Think the same Alpha1.
      From my stand point of view, all this increíble show of lustrous premises muy led to pone of two:
      1.-Tepco makes a wonderfull job and we can have olympic games now.
      2.-Blast the site and— nothing additional happens and all radiation is explained with this event or,,,, (hopefully no) justify something that es occurring anyway….
      My guessing: number 1,,,, but not sure … must wait.
      Best of luck for all,

  • sunpower

    Yep, Alpha they seem to have a new crane in a spic and span new building! How did they ever do all that heavy renovation under the circumstances? Has anyone seen this new rig being staged outside? The new crane rig alone is a major heavy lift up there requiring the biggest kine cranes, construction tower cranes or maxed out telescoping booms. I confess I have not been paying that much attention to the equipment and activities there. Anyone know?
    Why exactly did they need a new crane? An explosion! But they say it was an immaculate conception type explosion–no zirc fire in SFP4 as reported by NRC observers originally. Yes, hydrogen without a fire or melt! Dontcha just know it! OK….
    The fuel in the clear unit four pool in the tour space looks like the earthquake, explosion, and settling had no effect on it. Funny, I thought the whole building was hit hard and in shambles. Just about every other building with hot fuel in that row was devastated.
    At this point I do not have the answers to that.
    One clue something is not right though is that Tepco prevented media on the site tour from photographing anything except the crane set piece at a pool inside a building. No independent media video confirms this was even the right building or at Daiichi. We know who owns MSM. I wonder what Tepco are so afraid of with free videography if they are not running some kind of deception on the public. But who knows?

    • babbo dorian babbo dorian

      Of course, it's needed to be more than uninformed and never use the brain to think that all this stage is real…..
      Is realy depictable how those guys must laugh on the people that eats all their lies, and smile.
      Just must see previous photos and vídeos…. just that and…. think….
      Best of luck sunpower,

      • sunpower

        Tanx, Babbo.
        Call me a complete moron, but I just flashed on the fact that Tepco has now admitted openly since two days ago they have been running a mockup of SFP4 AND training amateurs to pull their rods. BINGO! Now it is not news that we are in the age of universal deception (Orwell). Tepco has lied from day one about the situation at Daiichi. I knew sooner or later we would get some info to break the weird juju hanging over SFP4 which was reported to be a catastrophe by NRC. I think the mockups and amateur workers vindicates Hatrick Penry to the max. Just for Tepco to reveal they have a mockup of SFP4 is a crucial bit of info. And training amateurs means what exactly? This operation has been touted by the controlled opposition as the most dangerous nukular event of the modern era hundreds of times worse than Hiroshima…and what, now Tepco is gonna train amateurs to do it?
        Does anyone think maybe the amateurs are crisis actors who will do a show in a studio? Can you imagine Robbie Porker getting in character to yank out a copper radiator core with his bare hands…cutting to Harvey Wasserman having a conniption and Onnie once again describing his long career diving in the industry's SFPs for pennies…anything to keep it covered up like they have since the beginning about what really happened at Fuku Daiichi.
        It's maybe gonna be another one of those 'moon landings' where the merkin flag waves in the 'lunar wind' I guess? Ah dunno.

        • babbo dorian babbo dorian

          From my point of view, sunpower, in november we will see the objectives of the ruling elite, GE, monsanto, bank of América, etc
          If they are aimed to a continuum … decieving, covering, etc or, (hopefully no) to a disaster, fukushima, war and economics, ….
          My best whishes for you and yours sunpower,

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    TEPCO can't put together.. a tin can.

    Fukushima's Water Tanks Flawed Because Of Hasty Construction, Workers Say
    Nov 8 2013

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I though TEPCO guaranteed no earthquakes would occur?

    Strong quake hits Japan, shakes Fukushima

    PS.TEPCO will never admit to any effects from an earthquake.
    The workers will die among the rubble first.

  • dave14139

    How about some straight talk about spent fuel pool 3 which is now apparently empty.

    • sunpower

      Well, assuming you have seen the video of the overhead shots of unit three….

      You can see the hole in the roof over the SFP not the reactor.

      You can see there is water still apparently in the SFP.

      You can see heat signature of radioactivity under that area.

      What do I think? I wish I knew the answer to this puzzle and so many others at Daiichi. Right now I would not rule out photo shopping at some point or other fun and games. I originally believed the explosion was in the RPV but since have agreed the SFP probably being heavily reinforced concrete could direct upward such a steam explosion, and the hole is over that spot. So how water gets in there would be funny, unless the thing was patched, grouted, and refilled…or photoshopped. But is it dry or what? You tell me…

  • own_quality

    I saw steam in the SFP area on multiple occasions after the reactor exploded and destroyed most of the building. Apparently the SFP did survive – amazing at it might seem when you look at the damage.

    I have seen no pictures of 3 since then, but I believe they have somehow managed to construct some sort of structure around the wreckage.

  • Sam

    The reactor 4 was disabled for maintenance when the tsunami hit. So if you saw steam in or around that building after 3 exploded it had to be because of an SFP4 fire that caused the pool water to go beyond boiling point. This could have easily happened when the circulation system was destroyed. Which means at least some of the fuel rods have been damaged by fire, earthquake, the reactor 3 blast and the hydrogen explosion in 4 itself.
    So if the pool is still intact – which I seriously doubt – they are going to have one hell of a time moving the fuel rods out of 4.
    My guess is that the pool has been destroyed already by the 9.0 earthquake and the reactor 3 fission explosion that must have sent a huge shock wave all around. When the SFP 4 collapsed, they probably dumped concrete, sand, boron etc on it immediately to contain the damage.
    So the crane is really meant to complete the sarcophagus work that started in mid March 2011. This is my guess.
    If this is true then we need not worry about SFP 3 & 4, the really problem (due to corium from the melt through at 1,2,3) is the ongoing rapid radioactive pollution of the Pacific through the ground water flowing into the ocean.

  • rakingmuck

    This is either bizarre timing or a good coincidence but over at some people are discussing all the shaking going on at Fukushima due to HARRP and new storms in and around Philippines. Concern over rod removal during shaking. Will not be surprised if there is announcement of delay sometime soon. Real soon.