Title: New Containment Flaw Identified in the BWR Mark 1
Source: Fairewinds Associates
Speaker: Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen
Date: Feb. 6, 2012
[...] I wanted to focus on what happened after the tsunami but before the explosions. [...]
Well at 2 in the morning, the pressure inside the containment [at Reactor No. 1] was almost 9 times higher, that means it was about 125 pounds per square inch. This containment was not designed for 125 pounds per square inch. To look a little further though, by 9:30 in the morning the pressure starts to drop and for the next 7 hours the pressure is much lower than it was at 2 in the morning. So the question is, how could it be that the pressure in the afternoon was lower than the pressure in the early morning? Remember, there is a violent chemical reaction going on inside the nuclear reactor where all sorts of hydrogen gas is being generated.
One possible reason for the lower containment pressure is that the containment vent was open. But that had not happened yet. So what made the pressure drop down? One possibility I believe to be the case, is something that happened 40 years ago at a plant called the Brunswick Plant in North Carolina. Now the nuclear industry in the U.S., the IAEA, the Japanese, are all aware of this, but they are all ignoring this test and pretending that it did not happen.
What happened 40 years ago was this: When a containment was pressurized, it was pressurized to just about 100 pounds [per square inch] and then something really strange and unexpected happened. The top, the head of the containment, began to lift off of the bottom of the containment. [...]
Let’s look at that table again from Fukushima. Where did Fukushima settle out at? Just about 100 pounds per square inch. What that tells me is that the head of the containment lifted up and gasses began to sneak out into the reactor building, which is that box that surrounds it, well before the containment vent was even opened.
[...] It seems to me that for 8 hours or more, the containment at Fukushima was basically ruptured, that the top had popped up, and gasses were sliding out, so that it could not go over 100 pounds per square inch.
And hydrogen gasses were leaking out of the containment and into the reactor building for a long period of time. After that, it only took a spark to blow the reactor building up. This is a really important distinction. The nuclear industry, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Japanese are saying that we can make the vent stronger so that this accident cannot happen. But if the nuclear head is lifting up, the vent is irrelevant. [...]
Read the full transcript here
h/t Anonymous tip
Published: February 9th, 2012 at 2:59 pm ET
- Gundersen: Unit 3 explosion “very similar” to what happened at Chernobyl — Pieces of nuclear fuel found offsite indicate fuel racks were lifted up (VIDEO) August 4, 2012
- Gov’t Nuke Experts: Top part of Reactor 1 containment may have opened up before first Fukushima explosion October 17, 2012
- Nuclear Engineer: New footage shows Reactor 1 has “ruptured” containment structure, most likely from the explosion — Water to cool “what’s left of core” flowing into environment (VIDEO) November 15, 2013
- Gundersen: The containment vessel exploded at Fukushima Reactor 2 — “There’s definitely a large crack” (AUDIO) March 11, 2013
- Gundersen: Image shows radioactive “thermal flare” was coming from Fukushima Reactor 3 — “Exactly where the containment should be” (VIDEO) March 25, 2013