Former UN Adviser: Many scientists are emphasizing precarious situation of Fukushima Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — If rods spill onto ground, it will force Tokyo and Yokohama to close

Published: October 27th, 2011 at 4:56 am ET


The Need for Independent Assessment of the Fourth Reactor, Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., October 25, 2011:

“In his recent blog, entitled “The Fourth Reactor and the Destiny of Japan”, Akio Matsumura correctly identifies the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 as the most serious potential threat for further massive radioactive releases from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

The Fourth Reactor and the Destiny of Japan, Akio Matsumura, September 29, 2011:

“I, along with many eminent scientists, are emphasizing the precarious situation of the fourth reactor that contains 1,535 nuclear fuel rods in the pool and is balanced on the second floor, outside of the reactor containment vessel. If the fuel rods spill onto the ground, disaster will ensue and force Tokyo and Yokohama to close, creating a gigantic evacuation zone. All scientists I have talked with say that if the structure collapses we will be in a situation well beyond where science has ever gone. The destiny of Japan will be changed and the disaster will certainly compromise the security of neighboring countries and the rest of the world in terms of health, migration and geopolitics. The Japanese government should immediately create an independent assessment team to determine the structural integrity of the spent fuel pool and its supporting structure. This is of the highest importance: the structure’s security is critical to the country’s future.”

h/t Anonymous tip

About Akio Matsumura

Throughout his long career at the United Nations and other organizations he has brought together the unlikeliest of people: Arafat and Rabin, Chinese government officials and the Dalai Lama, and many more.


Published: October 27th, 2011 at 4:56 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Damaged Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 had 204 unused fuel rods inserted before quake + Scientists say another 9.0 megaquake may hit at year’s end = “Fukushima is still on the edge” October 29, 2011
  2. TEPCO: Nuclear fuel rods in No. 4 spent fuel pool are “confirmed to be damaged” — First time damage revealed at any pool April 13, 2011
  3. Nuclear Expert: Fuel rods in Fukushima Unit 4 “may not be in their original position” — Concern over “way the spent fuel is sitting in pool” (AUDIO) November 1, 2013
  4. Ex-Fukushima Worker: High risk they’ll break fuel rods in Unit 4 pool — Gundersen: Moving fuel risks nuclear chain reaction; You can’t stop it, no control rods to control it August 14, 2013
  5. Former UN adviser: If No. 4 pool collapses I’ve been told “during 50 years continual, you cannot contain” (VIDEO) April 6, 2012

51 comments to Former UN Adviser: Many scientists are emphasizing precarious situation of Fukushima Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — If rods spill onto ground, it will force Tokyo and Yokohama to close

  • larry-andrew-nils

    ok, so if this happens it sounds as if it will be worse than what has been, or could have been released so far?… someone can correct me?…

    so if this happens, we will get another wave of METAL-TASTE in the air.

    get some sort of filter and even plastic and duct tape to make one room air-proof… you could pick up an oxygen bottle… wow, this is really getting serious.

    and i didn’t know it could get so much worse.


    i mean damn.

  • Human0815

    Still do not understand why this is impossible
    to remove the Fuel Rods, at least a few
    would be already a good way and minimize
    the dangers/ or the Radiation!

    Why this is not happen already?
    When they cant do even this how they
    want to continue?

    • They are not cooled down, it take years, then the can be taken out of the pool, otherwise the rods will melt quickly outside of the water, also I think the complete infrastructure of the buildings including cranes to lift them etc are destroyed.

      • even worse if they are already particulary melt, they cannot be seperated anymore. And radiation is to high for anybody to get close to this disaster area (except robots maybe).

        • aldo aldo

          How about they at least try to build a containment structure around the building? First drop a whole crapload of concrete for a base then drop a similar amount of stone for walls covered by covering of cement which could then be filled with a vast quantity of water if the fuel pool falls? It’d take a whole crapload of lead shielded helicopters to do it but maybe it could be done?

      • Human0815

        @ rdklein, some of the Fuel Rods are old
        and already cooled down, ready to move!

        And they should have the Technique to
        move them but they don’t!

        Instead they try to stabilize this Building
        and the Pool, but what are they waiting for?

  • jimbojamesiv

    I’m sorry, professor, but I believe this is cover for what has already happened.

    Whether or not more fuel spills onto the floor is not going to put the cat back into the bag. The situation is way beyond atrocious already, and a little more fuel on the floor–correct me if I’m wrong there have been three melt-downs, aka the fuel is sinking into the ground and has already hit the groundwater–is not the problem.

    To the contrary, the powers that be are making things worse by lying and pretending everything is okay–that JapanPowder website is truly horrific–and so when those who say we haven’t hit the worst patch yet, I say bullshit.

    True, we don’t have video of people instantly falling to the ground as their faces are melting off, but millions are already dead, and we just don’t know it, and what’s really galling is that governments, especially Japan, so-called experts and media, owned by corporations, are deliberately making matters worse, and they are thus intentionally killing people. We just don’t necessarily know who are their victims.

    As so many have said here so eloquently, send them to the Executioner. Perhaps the top US official in the nuclear regulatory agency should be the guinea pig along with the Chief Cabinet Secretary to the PM.

    • Steven Steven

      One reason this could be so serious is that the active fuel from R4 which has only had 7 months use is in that SFP, due to R4 being in shutdown for maintenance at the time of the earthquake/tsunami. In other words, they have a ‘hot’ load along with the spent fuel, one of the reasons they’ve had so much trouble keeping it cool.

      I’ve said this before, if the problem is structural they should be able to do a ‘bandaid’ fix by surrounding/filling the building with quarry rubble or similar. Damn thing can’t fall down if it’s half buried by a big pile of rocks. Rough as guts but it would do the job IMO.

  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    All we can do is scream and see
    massive changes will follow,slowly
    paths which whatever

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Rods still in the racks…after all the spewing we’ve seen from 4….? na
    A post facto statement.

    • I’m with Heart and Jim… on this one.

      I do not believe that the fuel in spent fuel pool 4 is intact and one wonders how much is left of the structure after the fires we witnessed this summer

  • dosdos dosdos

    The biggest problem is that the structure is so damaged that attempting to shore it up by any means could cause it to collapse. Catch 22….

  • reVivre

    Thanks for the hint to Akio Matsumuras articles
    it’s worth following the ‘related posts’

    “The Twenty Thousand Year Poison: Nuclear Safety and Our Long Future”
    “We have learned that even one mistake from any of the hundreds of nuclear power plants would cause a tremendous human and environmental loss for many years. Any loss incurred from nuclear war or a dirty bomb will be incalculable. We have to remember that our technology is powerless before the power of nature.”

    Mainichi Daily News: “Gov’t expects more than 30 years to decommission Fukushima nuclear reactors”
    “At the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, there are a total of 1,496 spent nuclear fuel rods in the No. 1 to 3 reactors, while there are 3,108 fuel rods in the spent nuclear fuel pools of the No. 1 to 4 reactors.”

    • Little Boy, the Hiroshima bomb had about 150 lbs of U235 and Fat Man, the Nagasaki bomb had 13.6 lbs of PU239 which makes for less than 170 lbs of nuclear material. Each one of the reactors at Fukushima have 20+ tons of nuclear material. That’s 40,000 lbs per reactor.That is a huge scale up.
      In addition, there is the spent fuel which is highly radio active.
      • Reactor No. 1: 50 tons of spent nuclear fuel
      • Reactor No. 2: 81 tons
      • Reactor No. 3: 88 tons
      • Reactor No. 4: 135 tons
      • Reactor No. 5: 142 tons
      • Reactor No. 6: 151 tons
      • Also, a separate ground-level fuel pool contains 1,097 tons of fuel; and some 70 tons of nuclear materials are kept on the grounds in dry storage.
      What we’re talking about here is thousands of times more nuclear material than the two bombs put together.
      The scale is mind boggling greater.

  • ocifferdave

    Do I recall correctly that Taco MaGroovey expounded in great length that “if this happens its the end of the world” back in Aprilish?

    I better flee the West Coast before this tumbles to the ground. When that does, the West Coast will be in chaos. Better to die a little more peacefully in NZ (the French allowing) in 20 to 40 yrs than in a double extreme nightmare on the West Coast–chaos and severe rapid radiation poisoning.

    • Ya OD! Get the f*ck outta there! Rads aside, when the folks find out it’s gonna be a wild ride in Cali. Even if popsci is trying to help keep a lid on this hot sucker

      • ocifferdave

        A more immediate escape route is go back to wife’s country in Central America.

        • James Tekton James Tekton

          Brother OD,

          You asked about ten year accumulations.

          Not sure how to answer that exactly other than it will continue to accumulate in unknown amounts and at unknown rates so it is really hard to even take a guess at how much will manifest in ten years.

          You could take say, an average of what is being detected out on the west coast, which for now we will say is around .400 micro-sieverts (uSv) and times that 365X24X10 to get around 35.04 Sieverts, or enough to flat out kill ya! This might not be right, and if anyone can correct me, please do.

          We may not even be here that long the way things are going. We are on an extinction level time line and it is not looking good for the boys and girls at home.

          My best advice to you is to get out as fast as you can and stop spinning your wheels. If you have a wife that is from South America, then please sell out and get out as fast as possible not only because of this radiation extinction level event, but also because here in america, it is a time like just before WW II in germany and guess who is the evil nazi empire this time? Everyone knows what happened to nazi germany after they went around the world killing off countries and people for their resources. The difference is now, this govt also kills off countries for the protection of the currency(god) of the private banksters cult(ratchilds&ratkefellers) that run the world and start these world wars for elitist profits and population control.

          So long story short, please move south and do it as soon as you can. When you establish yourself down there, maybe you can help some of us get out also. Make it your mission to help others get out as fast as possible. Now organizing the mass enenews family migration of aware souls to more healthy southerly regions!

          We pray for us all every day.

          • ocifferdave

            My thoughts are very similar to your thoughts. In fact, Honduras is the opposite when it comes to respecting their Constitution.
            I’m going to start prepping the house/property for sale (ie sell/haul off junk cars, garage sale, fix the place up), stuff that already needs to be done you know? And look at work options in Honduras.

          • ocifferdave

            I forgot to add–what and when was your first radiation reading on (an outside item) and what and when was your latest radiation reading on (the same outside item) with the same weather (ie either both right after rain or not after rain)? With two dates and amounts I can try and postulate an increase of radiation over time, multiply it by X to get a new radiation amount in the future based on the proven increase. You or anybody else have anything like that in the US?

          • If you get snow, you will have much more to worry about then me in Fl. !

          • HamburgGeiger

            James, you mixed microsievert and millisievert. Correct is, you`ll get 0,035 Sievert in 10 years.

        • jdstone1

          Occiferdave now your thinking save your own and your families ass. Making my move has been the best decision of my life and hey take out a big fat loan and don,t feel bad that you will not pay it back.

          Enjoy your life in the sun knowing in your mind that you yourself had the knowledge to evacuate on your own terms. Maybe there will be a scenario in the future where the government will be making your life decisions for you if the cat is let out of the bag.

          Fan out time is now pull the tent stakes and get going.

          • ocifferdave

            I might not remember correctly but didn’t you go to south america? What the heck to the locals think of Fukushima (hopefully they dont have a nuke plant in their country and thus not indoctrinated that nukes are good)?

          • jdstone1

            I am in the South Pacific unfortunately alot of individuals here have relatives or friends who work in Japan.

            My wife and I do as much consciousness raising as we can on the subject but as I say our job is to inform thats all we can do.

    • Novamind

      Your correct Tacos about “Game Over”

    • beamofthewave

      Well I am not leaving yet, I have work to do and dont want to give it up.

  • My thoughts have been that it already fell in Aug. With the slow reports of reactor news and what was really happening with them, I feel the gov. and Tempco would not want the world or it’s people to know that the other shoe had dropped !

    • arclight arclight

      yep! tepco dont want the goverment/officials to know either!

      “In the last weeks, I have been speaking constantly with Japanese government and party leaders on this urgent issue. Surprisingly, most of them were not aware of the dangerous situation.”

      saya quite alot that paragraph!!

  • markww markww

    I emailed Arnie Gundersen, this morning Central time as to possibly solving this problem, using some new techniques and a concrete cushion to hold the fuel pool area.


  • BeniJax

    I thought I was relatively buffered, because in Florida we get most of our weather from the Atlantic. I got my SOEKS radiation detector September 12. On that day background radiation was .07 microSV. The next week during a rain I measured .23 to .25 microSV, a clear jump. October 25, on a clear day, the background level was .15 microSV. It is still normal background radiation, and a low level at that, but it has doubled in six weeks. What are levels like on the West Coast?

  • jackassrig

    Radiation weakens the steel and concrete much like temperature. The damn thing will eventually crash to ground because the steel is loosing available stress to support the weight. We flubbed the dub.

  • jackassrig

    Also this spend fuel pond is located high in a weaken structure. Everey time Japan has an earthquake that pool is going to sway and sway. Now mind you this heavy beast is supported on a weaken structure and one day the frequencies of the earthquake are going to hit the natural frequency structure and down she’ll come.

  • Elenin Velikovsky Elenin Velikovsky

    makes me more strongly want to know what Cave Painters
    were hoping to communicate to the future? The Mayan/Olmec
    carvings and sculpture, intended for Us, Now? Atlantis, anyone?
    if it is as Final as it seems, for human/biological kind…
    do we have a duty to inform our possible billion-year-forward
    society as it crawls out of evolutionary slime, to be microchipped
    by Annunaki Overlords? Will the whole crust of Terra be turned
    under and melted and reformed into New Heaven/Earth?

    • americancommntr

      The alternative view:
      1) God created the heavens and the earth, and all in it
      2) This took place about 6,000 years ago
      3) Initially, everything was in a perfect state
      4) God gave man freedom of choice to walk with him or not
      5) Man chose to go his own way, and death and sin entered the world
      6) God promised he’d save and restore man
      7) God cursed creation for man’s good
      8) Things radically changed
      9) The earth soon became filled with violence and evil, and nearly all people had forgotten about God
      10) God destroyed the earth with a flood to preserve a godly line for the Savior to be born through, to keep his promise, when the line almost perished
      11) The geology got totally rearranged in mostly inconceivable ways.
      12) God created Israel for the Savior to be born through
      13) God gave Israel and man in general the Law, so man can see he can’t keep it, illustrating his true state before God
      14) “God With Us” was born into the world, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
      15) He sacrificed his life to pay for the sins of the world
      16) He changed the course of world history and taught how to live, and offered full, meaningful, and eternal life
      17) He calls out believers, the church, the invitation is to every man, woman, and child, to be saved
      18) He is returning soon for his ‘bride’ the church, and to judge the earth
      19) The world buys into the delusion mentioned in 2Peter3:4, uniformitarism and an old earth age, as well as the original evolutionary lie told the first woman, “Ye shall be as gods”..told by a rebel angelic being created by God”, and the whole lie of evolution, which in terms of information science alone is now KNOWN to be impossible.

      It will not be the ‘Annunaki’ returning. It will be the Creator returning. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…all thing were made by him…”

      • americancommntr

        And of course, leave it to Dufus (me) to forget one of the most important parts of the truth, a central and critical part for belief: “God With Us”, Jesus Christ, rose again from death, having laid his life down for us, he took it up again. One of the hardest things for people to believe, foolishness to the Jews, a stumbling block to the Greeks.

        How the smily face got into the comment while writing, I don’t know. It was not intended.

        • Bobby1

          The son of man is coming with great power and glory, he is nigh, at the doors. (Mk 13:26-29)

          I can’t sign on to your creed tho, I don’t believe in the offer at #16, and I believe in evolution #19, sorry.

  • TraderGreg

    I may be wrong, but I remember reading (3 months ago?) that they inserted support structure under SPF4 – metal rods or something like that.

    I like the idea of rubber base that someone mentioned before.Hey – they could put high rubber walls all over the place and fill it with water or boron.

    /sarc on
    Then let the water drip to Pacific so it can reach California
    /sarc off

  • thelili

    South America would be a good move to survive a little longer. Do remember the BP oil spill effects on the food and water there.

    There is no need to panic now.

    • jdstone1

      You are right no need to panic but all of us here have the ability to make educated adult decisions based upon the facts.