Former Senior Reactor Operator: You can get a recriticality in Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — “Never ending fountain of particulates and gas” (VIDEO)

Published: May 20th, 2012 at 5:54 am ET


Subscription Only? Interview with Chris Harris
Nutrimedical Report, Host Bill Deagle
May 18, 2012

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer

His extensive career in the industry spans over 3 decades, and special training in severe accidents and mitigation strategies. Chris now works in Maryland for a consultant firm.

In the case of Unit 4… you can get a recriticality.

Here’s how that happens. To prevent criticality, you are depending on spacing of spent fuel in the racks. If you damage [fuel racks] where you’ve got a reduced spacing between assemblies, you’ve eliminated a guard against spontaneous fission. There’s still neutron emitters and water in the area to moderate… You could actually get a criticality in the fuel pool.

That would be a never ending process threes no way to shut that down.

Some of the fuel doesn’t have control blades, a boiling water reactor has control blades not control rods, so some of them are unbladed. Those would be ones where you may get a fission… of course if you have a fission and you’re going to generate more fission products, there you have another never ending fountain of particulates and gas.

h/t Anonymous tip

Listen to the broadcast here

More reports by Harris here

Published: May 20th, 2012 at 5:54 am ET


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55 comments to Former Senior Reactor Operator: You can get a recriticality in Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — “Never ending fountain of particulates and gas” (VIDEO)

  • Misitu


    Thanks for explaining this so simply. Cannot think how I couldn't figure this out myself.

  • VyseLegendaire VyseLegendaire

    Don't worry folks. Eating hot dog buns is far more dangerous than nuclear fallout! Don't believe the hype, go back to sleep, etc etc….

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Unbelievable that any nuclear plant is allowed to exist. We must outlaw this technology. Now.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Never-ending"..those type words take my breath away.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Yes HeartotRose— Watching the web cams, knowing the tiny bit I know, and having my breath taken away; nonetheless "Never ending" seem to be accurate words. Sadness and heavy heart.

  • Cisco Cisco

    "Large Crack on South Wall of Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Number Four?" (Photo) May 20, 2012

    “We could have a disaster much worse, many times worse than Chernobyl.”

    Dr. Michio Kaku on the precarious state of the spent fuel rods in the severely damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor Unit Number Four building

    Recently, TEPCO released a petulant press release they plan to inspect the heavily damaged reactor Unit Number Four for signs of tilting. The press release coincided with photos published on the web purportedly showing a large crack running from the foundation to just below the fifth floor of the south wall of the Unit Number Four building where all the spent fuel rods on the site are stored, “open to the elements because a hydrogen explosion blew off the roof during the early days of the accident and sent the building into a list”….

    read more…

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    "a boiling water reactor has control blades not control rods" (from the article).

    Anyone know the implications of this? All previous discussion has been of "control rods", as far as I know.

  • TomSmall

    So he has told us some fuel rods, the "unbladed" ones, are the more dangerous. They should come out first.

    How? There must be a crane to access the pool, to select and grab one. A thought; cranes have a built-in radiation defense if their weights shield electronic components.

    The fuel rod is lifted out of SFP4 and into a pool (or "dry cask") waiting below it, on rails. The rail car takes it to the barge, and the barge takes it to the US Navy re-commissioned ship docked ("permanently docked") right offshore of Fukushima Daichi.

    The crane, the rail, the barge, are all remotely controlled.

    Picture the solution, picture the problem being solved.

    • Sickputer

      TS writes: "The fuel rod is lifted out of SFP4"

      SP: In a perfect world of unbroken, non-melted rods it might be possible assuming the new roof crane can be constructed on top of the as yet unbuilt exoskeleton. Could be 18 months to build those tools at current Tepco workforce levels.

      But I think they are stalling because they know even with a crane above the odds of grabbing massive chunks of melted and shattered rods (from the original fallen crane) it is going to be difficult to extract and safely relocate. They have a multi-decade long range plan in mind and in part based on extraction tools and techniques yet to be invented.

      There is no easy solution dealing with multiple meltdowns. I suspect Fukushima Daiichi emissions will get worse over the coming months and years.

  • Tepco Data Reveals Nuclear Meltdown In Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool

    "That chart shows a highly level of radioactive iodine 131 was released from the reactor 4 spent fuel pool, which means there was a nuclear meltdown in the pool.

    Last year TEPCO downplayed the detection of cesium in the fuel pool by claiming the cesium detected in reactor 4 was only 1/100th of the mount detected in reactor 1, 2 and 3 hence concluding the detected cesium was likely ‘blown’ into reactor 4 from the other reactors.

    However, TEPCO hid the fact they detected a massive release of iodine radiation – which is a clear sign of a nuclear meltdown – in reactor 4 spent fuel pools."

    • Posted by Alexander Higgins – May 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm –

      • Sickputer

        Wow.. Good catch! That kind of disinformation from Tepco is why the Japanese people are utterly doomed to death from internal and external radiation. Tepco lies about everything and their role in hiding facts needed for residents throughout Japan to take safety measures is a sign of corporate criminal behavior that I would label as murder.

        Government officials also are guilty of negligence that will result in the deaths of millions of Japanese and other humans across the globe. A downwinders class action lawsuit will some day be filed, but by that time Japan's economy will have collapsed. The importation of clean food, water, and fossil fuel will begin to take a financial toll. I give them five years maximum before the government is dissolved.

  • snowwy snowwy

    i am not a geologist but one of the stones looked a bit like natural uranium

  • andii

    Chris knows what he is talking about. Can he not go to Japan and sort out this never ending madness!? Like, now is good.(^^;)=3=3

  • This is the wierd reality. Where is the space(!) for other nuclear reactors in this world now? There are completely liquified cores out in the open at Fuku Daichi and this:
    And there are people out there in India who are actively in the process of taking it for granted that the nuclear protesters at Kudankulam,etc are suffering from mental disease and thus psychiatricks must be devised to make them believe that falsehood is real! It is totally anti Mahatma Gandhi stuff!
    To what defamatory insults are citizens being reduced to by modern civilization's ruling fascists!
    This is the political milieu in India which reminds me of the methods some governments adopt to brainwash agents.

    • richard richard

      The situation in India is a disturbing example of just overriding any level of sanity.

      Australia has said they will provide the uranium to India. Illegally at that (India is not a signatory to the NPT). I'll be taking every effort to stop that from Australia.

      Trade unions are banning their members from the entire nuclear process here in Oz. Let's support the trade unions in that effort.

      We must stop uranium mining around the world. Stop the fuel, stop the NPP.

      Also, watch over the protestors in India, they are a shining example of protesting, in the face of intense pressure and violence.

  • TomSmall

    The crane is very heavy-duty, it sits on the ground, or in a pit in the ground beside reactor 4, and later beside reactor 2. These are specially designed for the job, remote controlled, and with the electronic components shielded.

    The funding is from the entire nations of Japan, the US and Canada. The logistics are by water transport. The scale, of everything, is large.

    If the fuel rods are not intact, then the crane has tools on its tip to deal with that. If the melted fuel rods are crystalline, it can be cut with little circular saws and taken out in pieces. If they are the consistency of honey, they can be sucked out through straws. What do I know, maybe electro-magnets would be useful.

    One thing I know: There is a solution.

    Robots are part of the answer. That should appeal to the popular imagination, especially in Japan. Political leaders get to play the hero. The US Navy will like the idea too.

    A new alliance (lasting at least a century) of Japan, the US and Canada won't sound so bad to the Japanese once they realize the alternative is China. The wind blows both ways.

  • many moons

    this fellow explains the situation clearly. If the rods are separated from one another at a certain space we can control the amount of criticality, if not, if for some earth quake like event the rods are pushed together, there is no control then it's like dominos, they criticality will lead to an enormous release of energy.
    So in order not to have catostrophic events all this must be maintained for hundreds of years along with a constant energy providing constant cooling…unbelievable how educated people could imagine that this was a good thing???

  • Fred

    Why does enenews discredit itself with nuts like Bill Deagle? The reporting must always be based on SCIENCE and EVIDENCE, not agendas and delusions. Please investigate where these articles come from before ruining's fact-based reputation.

    Deagle is a nut….a "prophet"….praying to his god for doomsday.
    Just Google Dr Bill Deagle for the millions of others….

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Noted, and thanks. How about the credibility of the person being interviewed? Do you know anything about him? I can find nothing, unless he's one of these people (which seems unlikely):

      I'm hoping a questionable host might have interviewed a credible guest.

      • ENENews

        It is a nuclear expert speaking about Fukushima. Highly relevant.

        The first paragraph explains who this is:

        Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer

        "His extensive career in the industry spans over 3 decades, and special training in severe accidents and mitigation strategies. Chris now works in Maryland for a consultant firm."

        Harris is a contributor to and routinely writes technical articles available at link below.

        Was this not clear already? All this info is in the post above.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Fred, while I do not judge I also will not listen to Bill Deagle. To each their own. Perhaps Enenews is just searching for any info related to Fukushima and Bill's guest speaker Chris not Bill. JMHO

    • RutherfordsGhost

      I'm going to call you out here hldixon and ask you to put up – or shut up. Bio-superfood for radiation immunity?
      What a load of BOLLOCKS!

      [REMOVED: See rules. Final warning.]

      • arclight arclight

        ruthers me old mate.. appreciate the sentiment but this is the new improved polite enenews..

        move aside sir and allow me…

        kindly leave your spam at homepahldixon… we like tea and cheese and stuff here (when the iodine 131 has disappeared, takes 3 months)
        leafy veg can be a problem but mainly in hungaria in my experience..

        and have you run your biomulch through a spectrometer.. i dont see you supplying any charts eh? a bit isotopic is it????

        thank you for listening… 🙂

        see enenewsers.. thats how its done without using that overused (but in this case appropriate ) word bollocks.. though it is a personal fav of mine too!

        the bitch slap refernce is to harsh and denigrates women imo, though im no feminist meself! lol!

        point about reducing exposure was well made..

        as for the actual application of "tearing a new arsehole" … i couldnt bring myself to work out how that might work out! 😉

        by the way pahldixon i have a nice line in radioactive protection.. yak shirts.. these have been proven to work in even the most deep nuke craters in kazhkstan.. if you are intersted you might contact me with loads of cash.. many thanks for posting../polite lesson

        • Anthony Anthony

          On google – mostly in posts on blogs….

          About 37,200,000 results (0.30 seconds)



          More search tools
          Ad related to

          • Anthony Anthony

            OMG here is the WHOLE address!
            About 16,500,000 results (0.35 seconds)


            However on the first search, results were loaded with enenews articles.

            • Anthony Anthony

              From their site:

              **Because of his previous success with BAC and various cancers in many animal species, and with humans in smaller scale clinical studies, when disaster struck at Chernobyl, Ukraine, Mr. Michael Kiriac (the inventor of Biosuperfood) was able to work locally with adults and children from neighborhood schools who were suffering from radiation exposure. BAC was administered in therapeutic doses, and Mr. Kiriac, working with a small team, was able to closely monitor the regenerative power of BAC. Several health improvements were noted:

              • Leukemia and dangerously low white blood cell counts were significantly redressed in less then 20 days, leading to rapid improvements in the health of treated children compared to others who did not receive BAC
              • Regeneration of bone marrow, spinal fluids, blood, and liver
              • Reduction in urine radioactivity levels by more then 40% in less then 20 days
              • Many other virtual miracles were observed

              Given BAC, rapid healing occurred. In addition, the healing occurred during continuous presence of radiation as well as contaminated food and water sources."**

              If you read about the company and their stated history you may find something interesting about their posting after all.

              • arclight arclight

                @ anthony ..everyone loves a smart arse 🙂

                read up on mr kiriac here.. hes a local chernobyl lad apparently who applied the treatment to his daughters.. they are fine today.. he also was hanging with gorbachov..

                interesting isnt the word!!
                well sleuthed anthony..

                do i hear much choking on thier own words occouring ??

                preventative cancer treatment anyone??
                dont tell the national cancer institutes will you!

                no need for isotpic medicine…


                eat them words up!! lol!
                time for bed!!

    • Sam Sam

      If you back up your preposterous hyperbolic claim of radiation immunity
      by going to Japan to one of the cities nearby Fukushima where Japanese are
      living and suffering from radiation and live there with your biosuperfood for
      some time, then get medically tested at the end in one of those whole body
      radiation testers they have over there ($160) then you might have some
      please do not insult our intelligence here.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Hey Pahldixon. I believe in eating good food and using supplements. But claiming something can give you immunity from radiation goes a bit too far for me.

      Take that belly board and go surf some non-radioactive waves somewhere, if you can find any.

      I quit surfing San Onofre 30 years ago, when the water got warmer.

      • arclight arclight

        @ ruthers, sam and dharmsyd.. 🙂 umm and me as well 🙁

        nice vesion 😉

        • arclight arclight

          "…please do not insult our intelligence here…"

          ode for an edit button 🙁

          • dharmasyd dharmasyd

            Did not mean to insult anyone, let alone anyone's intelligence here. So, to make, as J. Joplin would implore, amends–I will be sending several dozen dark chocolate covered cherries, raspberries, and strawberries along with truffles, bordieux, and bon bons to be delivered by a Mercedes Benz UPS brown truck manana!

    • We must all begin (if not already) to live as if we have been contaminated, because we have been. i am all for knowledge of radiation exposure, prevention, protection and remediation

  • RutherfordsGhost

    I've had some experience measuring radionuclides within animals, and people.
    Many of these 'tonics' are more radioactive than the suspect food!
    I would prefer to discuss radiological decontamination scientifically, instead of directing readers towards charlatanisic 'cures' which don't usually work.
    There is plenty on blocking Iodine in the literature. Also Uranium, Plutonium, Strontium, Neptunium, Ruthenium, Polonium … I digress.
    Yes, many green leafy vegetables and fruits contain proteins and molecules which chelate certain isotopes – but don't touch others.
    If you wish to remove soluble Uranyl series ions for example, then use Citrate. However, once in the body, UO2 oxidises to the insoluble U3O8 (and during exposure to sunlight) along with many other species. Once inside the cell, and the body's connective tissues, the isotopes usually remain in insoluble forms, and will not move appreciably without a heavy prolonged dose of designer chelation drugs.
    Google Lead detox for a good read, and also remember that just because your blood levels are low, doesn't mean that its not packed into your other tissues at a much higher density. Try reading about Uranyl stains to see where it ends up in the cytosol.
    The only feasible solution is to avoid intakes of these nuclides for long-term health.

    As for the Polygon, it is a nice place to visit, but you had better come to Semipalatinsk prepared with knowledge, and not things that don't work.

    PS: Bollocks is an…

  • RutherfordsGhost

    A feminist Arcy?! Good Lord!
    I always thought I was a Lesbian trapped in a mans body!

  • Jebus Jebus

    Huh!, and here I thought that old man from kazhkstan, who took the reporter to the nuclear test site, in the video said, it was the vodka that protected him from the radiation.

    Jebus puts bottle of vodka back in cabinet and settles in to find a yak hair shirt on interwebs…