Former Fukushima Daiichi Worker: ‘I believe the country will be evacuated if No. 4 fuel pool collapses’ — ‘Should be hundreds or thousands of people working furiously every day’

Published: May 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 pm ET


Chris Canine has 15 years experience as a Health Physics Technician, Chemist and Radiation Safety Instructor. He has worked at over 20 plants throughout the United States, Japan and Mexico — including Fukushima #1 and #2 in the late 1970’s.

On May 15, 2012 he wrote:

There are several reasons why I believe the country will be evacuated if the #4 SFP collapses. The amount of radioactive material in the fuel pool dwarfs the total amount at Chernobyl by a factor of 5 to 10. Chernobyl’s core was still mostly contained in a building (although heavily damaged), and most of the radioactive material melted downward and became lava like. If #4 SFP collapses it will be lying on the completely open ground, probably going critical on and off in portions of the pile for years. The dose rate from this pile will make dropping sand or anything from the air much more lethal than anything at Chernobyl. And probably impossible. The entire site at Fukushima will be uninhabitable and unworkable because of the dose rate coming from this pile of fuel. That means there will be no control of the other fuel pools, and we could lose control of them.

Nuclear experts will soft sell the ramifications because that is how the industry works. When the experts “have concerns” about the situation at #4 that means they are pooping their pants. My experience at Fukushima was 30 years ago. I worked in the industry for about 15 years as a health physics technician. I was also referred to as a “nuclear gypsy” because I traveled from plant to plant working outages. That meant I was always in the middle of the hottest jobs in the heart of the plant. The engineers will talk about this part or that part of a plant, but I have been all those places wearing full gear.

He later noted: “No reasonable person with my type experience would question my conclusion if any of the fuel pools collapse. There should be hundreds or thousands of people working furiously every day to get the buildings fortified and the fuel moved.”

Published: May 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 pm ET


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  3. Fukushima author: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 boiled after powerful New Year’s quake, says plant worker January 8, 2012
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45 comments to Former Fukushima Daiichi Worker: ‘I believe the country will be evacuated if No. 4 fuel pool collapses’ — ‘Should be hundreds or thousands of people working furiously every day’

  • Wow!!! "…the experts …are pooping their pants."

    Even a child can understand that one.

    For older adults I would say it… 'depends'.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Many thanks to Chris Canine for calling on to multiply their efforts by a factor of 10 or 100! The response to the Fuku Disaster thus far has been predicated on expending as little MONEY as possible on a cleanup task that will not return a dollar to TEPCO's bottom line. This is why no for-profit utility can be entrusted with a nuclear power plant. Because they will ALWAYS SACRIFICE PUBLIC SAFETY IN ORDER TO MAXIMIZE THEIR PROFITS, just as TEPCO did. Hey, TEPCO, if your apparent inaction ends up costing the lives of millions of Japanese, Canadians, and Americans, and plunging the world economy into depression, will you continue to think it's just about the money?

    • It's the power they worship, not the money. There are a million ways to corner markets and make billions (and money was never anything real in the first place, just chips on the table), nukes are just another game of roulette. The darkness holds their minds, their hearts, their very souls – and they will sacrifice themselves along with the rest of us if they believe it serves the beast.

      No, they will not evacuate Japan.

      • hbjon hbjon

        I have to disagree with you on this Joy because of the simple conflict of interests between spending money to initiate the correct response, and protecting the investments in the company and industry. Why is it so hard to understand? The rats were (and still are) jumping ship. First, the stakes and interests needed to be unwound from complex derivatives. What insurance company is financially responsible?

        • I don't understand what you disagree with, hbjon. TEPCO and the mob (and all puppets of either in the Japanese government) have done essentially nothing for more than 14 months about the situation at Daiichi. If they had it to do over again, they probably wouldn't have evacuated anybody outside 3 kilometers. Their control of the press is almost absolute, we'd never hear anything about the sick and dying outside that distance any more than we're hearing about it (in mainstream sources) outside 30 kilometers. And some are actually encouraging evacuees to return home.

          Our Navy tried to help right away – they found the facility basically abandoned, a monstrous fallout plume heading toward the US (then they got sent to the other side of Honshu). Had Areva not jumped to the fore to do something about the water, TEPCO wouldn't ever have done anything about it but let 'er leak. They've not really tried to do much of anything – Now that Areva's not lead on that, the plastic feedwater piping is barely held with duct tape and tie wire. This ain't Apollo-13, there's more than 3 humans at risk… duct tape and tie wire won't fix it.

          Whatever money gets shifted around isn't going to do anything about the situation at Daiichi, and it won't evacuate Japan. It's going into pockets, and will continue to do so even if the whole world were throwing money at it. Soon those pockets will be in Bolivia or Peru or Argentina, the people are on their own.

          • StPaulScout StPaulScout

            And Bolivia, Peru or Argentina won't be anywhere near far enough away. Once the oceans are dead, everything else will die too……

  • arclight arclight

    he later noted: “No reasonable person with my type experience would question my conclusion if any of the fuel pools collapse. There should be hundreds or thousands of people working furiously every day to get the buildings fortified and the fuel moved.”

    get the children away from there now!!

    free the fukushima 350,000 now!!

    shame on you tecoguvmedia

    • arclight arclight

      pray for japan

      bit religious but a beautiful song for a beautiful people

      love light and peace

    • I had an embarrassing question, but almost too afraid to ask it:

      Are there any workers at Fukushima right now?

      I know there is work going on over by the water there, but what about the reactor buildings themselves?

      I've only seen tanuki and that robotic hummingbird, but no humans. It would comfort me somewhat to see an actual worker, even if he is giving the finger to the camera.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Japanese Air to be at Least 300 times Worse than Chernobyl (Chris Busby)3/5

    Fukushima Radiation 1,000 Times H-Bomb Peak

    Fukushima "A Disaster beyond imagining" – Prof. Chris Busby

  • arclight arclight

    This video shows radiation levels on May 29th 2011, in Fukushima city (Japan) about 60-65 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors.
    Measurements are made by a CRIIRAD scientist (Bruno. Chareyron, engineer in nuclear physics) during a meeting between CRIIRAD and Japanese citizens : M. Wataru Iwata (co-founder of Project 47 and CRMS) and persons in charge of the network "Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation", including M. Nagate (ex-representative), Mrs Marumori (now Executive Director of CRMS) and Mrs Sato. CRIIRAD is sharing its experience of independent radiation monitoring with the Fukushima citizens.



    35,00 children with nodules on their thyroids, they will not deal with the nodules as per good practice.. they will wait for the cancers to develop and treat the cancers!!

    after chernobyl there was an instant peak of thyroid issues and then a drop… the steady increase in thyroid began just a few years later…

    if the fuel pool 4 drops then how will the human impact be handled.. the same way as the original disaster i suppose

    • Jake E

      Holy mother of God!! They got 132,000 CPM in Fuku city where people actually live. And here I am complaining about CPMs going up from 10 to 50 CPM in Seattle! Add the countless hot particles we inhale and eat. Thanks for the safe energy, you nuke industry. We all see how safe it is. Let's give you even more tax payer money and take it away from renewables.

      • @jake E.

        Actually were getting pummeled here in Washington. With highs of 120cpm and more, on various dates in both 2011 and 2012.

        I am from Tacoma. Hence the name.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Blah, blah, blah. Who can prove #4 SFP is still there?

    Answer: No one.

    • Centaur Centaur

      The positive answer may not be a "100% certainty thingy"… but a 99%+ one… at least as far as i can see and reason. Simply because the opposite wouldn't have gone unnoticed for sure. Chris wrote earlier on that topic:

      "[…] To those of you who believe that one of the fuel pools has been moved or no longer exists, that is not possible. When the NRC a year ago said the fuel pool is "gone" , they probably meant it was no longer operational.

      For the pool to have been destroyed (fallen down ect) no work on site would be possible because of deadly dose rates. No fuel has been removed from any fuel pool for the same reason. One fuel bundle has a dose rate in the area of several hundred thousand REM. (I have taken underwater dose rates). Fuel fragments were ejected from one or more pools, but those deadly little pieces of fuel are nothing dose wise compared to a bundle.

      There is no way to remove any fuel now because there are no fuel bridges, and dose rates are way to high. If one fuel bundle were to be removed, or somehow fall out of the pool, all work on site would end, and the evacuation zone would have to be increased. If the fuel pool collapses Japan would be evacuated forever."

      See here:


    • Jake E

      A good way to learn if something really bad happened is to closely watch Nikkei stock index, follow the big money in other words. When sfp4 collapses, everybody in the know will start selling and shorting Japanese stocks (everybody’s stocks for that matter, but especially theirs). Their stock market will go down very quickly, just like it did in March 2011. So, if you are in doubt, just watch the market, make that quote one of your homepages in your internet browser. execs will dump their own company stock to get rich, this would be a no brainer.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    #Fukushima: BREAKING NEWS! Severe nuclear reactor accidents likely every 10 to 20 years, European study suggests

  • BUT ———————— The reality is far worse than this scientific review

    They are assuming that nuke accidents will continue to be proportional during the past design life stage as opposed to the during design life phase.

    Reactors are designed for 30 to 40 years of life. Almost all plants out there are now in the 30 and up category.

    Any pro nuker who can't see that accidents will increase greatly, either lies or knows nothing of reality. We know they lie through their teeth. Anything to protect their precious pension from the nuke industry. Instead we should retrain them in solar.

    Think if your car is designed for 100,000 miles. What are the odds of problems going up after 100,000 miles? Are the odds of problems going up still alot even if you take it in for an annual inspection? OF COURSE! Inspections cannot put quality into a machine. And adding a few new parts can't either, anyone who has every lived in the real world knows that even though you just spent $3000 replacing a series of 5 breakdowns in your car, the thinking that "what else can go wrong, I should be all set for a few years" —well that thinking is just completely wrong. Of course, plenty more can go wrong.

    So get set for a good size nuke meltdown every 3 to 5 years. Until we so poisoned that we can barely even fight back against the evil nukers. Get set for this unless we win NOW. Protest. Write letter…

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      f311wd added this too stock:
      "And the odds of catastrophic failure rise as machinery ages unless there is basically a complete refresh of equipment every 5 years. Working for the Government [as a contractor] we studied sustainment tails. When I studied Project management there was exactly one footnote on sustainment. These people study risk but what they learn explains why they think that nuclear energy is worth investing in — they've shifted all the risk to the publc.

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        I just finished watching Kevin Blanch's latest too.
        He's right. Now is the time to move on Washington, with Jaczko out. LISTEN
        YOU WILL CATCH MY (his) DRIFT.

        • arclight arclight

          nightmare time whoopie because max kaiser has asked everyone in washington to go to athens.. the front line

          its about time you americans got involved in euro politics because you missed this one

          Nationalist foreign volunteers
          "Volunteer troops from other countries fought with the Nationalists but only a few as national units. Among the latter were Eoin O'Duffy's 700 strong Irish Brigade and the 500 strong French Jeanne D'Arc company of the Spanish Foreign Legion, formed mostly from members of the far-right Croix de Feu. Approximately 8,000 Portuguese, known as Viriatos, fought for Franco although never as a national unit. Another 1,000 volunteers from countries as diverse as Spanish Guinea, Brazil, Norway, Belgium, the UK, and Australia fought in the Nationalist ranks.[77] In 1937 General Franco turned down separate offers of national legions from Belgium, Greece, and exiled White Russians made by foreign sympathisers."

          no americans?
          just saying..

          off to athens with you all.. will see u there… bring your own placards (same rules in the spanish civil occupy movement) 🙂

          lets get them nuke bankers!!

          (message to police handler.. i am only joking 😉 )

          • arclight arclight

            and make sure you fight on the right side !!

            "Eoin O'Duffy (Irish: Eoin Ó Dubhthaigh; 30 October 1892 – 30 November 1944) was in succession a Teachta Dála (TD), the Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the second Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, leader of the Army Comrades Association and then the first leader of Fine Gael (1933–34), before leading the Irish Brigade to fight for Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. He once proclaimed himself the "third most important man in Europe" after Adolf Hitler and fellow fascist Benito Mussolini."

            oops! a few irish fought on the other side too

            in ireland we call it "hedging" ( 🙂 ) our bets 😉

            • Whoopie Whoopie

              Arc, I posted that and left. Wowzer that's some powerful stuff right there. Thanks for the Info.

            • Lyle Burkhead

              I am not sure what this has to do with Fukushima, but I just have to ask: what is the right side?

  • "Intangible risk management identifies a new type of a risk that has a 100% probability of occurring but is ignored by the organization due to a lack of identification ability."
    – from wiki

    I was personal friends with one of the head directors for the Space Shuttle program back in 1983. We were discussing ‘risk management’. He told me how every single nut and bolt that went into the shuttle was tested far beyond it’s maximum safety design.

    However, it was predicted, or should I say the risk management people said, that it was ‘highly likely’, that they would lose 1 shuttle out of 72 flight missions. In retrospect they were pretty close. Of the 5 active shuttles that flew a total of 135 missions, 2 were lost. (Challenger STS-52 and Columbia STS-107)

    I wonder WHAT IS the REAL RISK assessment of older Nuclear plants having a catastrophic failure? I would ‘bet’ it’s more than 1 in 72. (we know it’s 1 in something?) Especially if you calculate in tsunamis, earthquakes, power grid malfunctions, tornadoes, faulty designs, poor construction, human error, waste storage, aging infrastructure, greed, space debris, asteroids, unprotected fuel pools and terrorists. And/Or any combination or combinations of the above.

  • jackassrig

    Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. Murphy. It is total arrogance to think mortals can design a complicated machine 100% reliable. The more complicated a machine is the more likely it will fail.

  • kid42day kid42day

    The answe, ChasAha, is that, on a long enough timeline, the chances of catastrophe are 1:1. And the probability of a hit rises as long as these reactors continue to operate.

    • Sharp2197 Sharp2197 motto:
      On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

  • NOTE: company is cancelling a contract to buy fro this clunker nuke plant (where incidentally the employees were busted pounding beers at lunchtime) in order to produce lower cost electricity at newly installed clean emission coal plants.

    Note to self, "too cheap to meter:" hahahahhahhahhahahahhahahahhahahhahahha!page=1&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

    Earlier this year, the Madison utility announced it would no longer buy electricity from Kewaunee when its power purchase agreement expires next year. The savings will be used to offset higher costs ratepayers would have seen as WP&L adds environmental controls at coal-fired power plants.

    Prowling the world for news that matters, Nuke Pro

  • norbu norbu

    I have been looking of and on all day to see live cam, nothing? gray screen? anyone know what's up?

    • Convection typically. But I am under the impression you meant the tbs cam; Which is more often than not being obstructed by cloud cover (as it is high in altitude).

      If you were mentioning the Tepco cam. It is convection.
      However every time I have checked the tepco camera today, I was able to see the reactors. So IF I am wrong about the post being in reference to the tbs cam. I apologize and suggest that you try another link for the tepco cam. ?

  • norbu norbu

    off and on

  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    Japan's already bankrupt

    1-2 years needs the money from the Deviraten and equipment
    until they have moved unobtrusively.
    The financial collapse is, but shortly before.
    the debt is rising rapidly and the economic decline will be.
    Japan's already bankrupt and beyond redemption, on the motion, they go …
    No money means the world will have to pay, either way