Fukushima Daiichi Worker: Contamination is still spreading around from plant — Significantly high levels may be spread during decommissioning work

Published: January 23rd, 2013 at 3:03 pm ET
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The above January 16, 2013 tweet from Happy11311 translated by Fukushima Diary:

Contamination is still spreading around from Fukushima plant. [...] One of the biggest risks is dismantling the stack, it may end up spreading significantly high level of the contamination again. [...]

“During fuel removal you have much more exposure [...] after 10 years when the debris removal starts, then the exposure to radiation must be serious, but no one talks about that.” -Mr. Yastel Yamada, a retired engineer and founder of the Fukushima Skilled Veterans Corps

See also: Japan Engineer: Radiation doses at Fukushima Daiichi to increase dramatically in several years – “But no one talks about that” (VIDEO)

Published: January 23rd, 2013 at 3:03 pm ET
By
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17 comments

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17 comments to Fukushima Daiichi Worker: Contamination is still spreading around from plant — Significantly high levels may be spread during decommissioning work

  • HoTaters

    OK, we already knew this. I guess now it's "official" ?


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  • jec jec

    So in TEN years when the decontamination efforts start it will be dangerous…thats only if they have any people left to work at the plant.In ten years the population of Japan will be in the NEGATIVE numbers. But wait..they have robots..right? Just will have no one to run them…..(sarcasm)


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  • We Not They Finally

    Dear jec: Actually do not even have robots! The radiation burns right through their circuitry. They are working on building radiation-resistant robots. Look — THEY CAN'T CLEAN THIS UP, folks. They can't do it. Even if they COULD do it, they would have to commit 300 years of future generations to "monitor" the clean-up. I doubt that the great-great-grandchildren of Japan will be rushing to volunteer — if they even get to be born with all the infertility caused by radiation; or, if born, they can manage to do so without genetic defects. It's tragic beyond tears, but the only operative word here is "denial."


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  • nuknomore nuknomore

    Why will they NOT bury this thing like the Russians did.. ?
    As time goes on, and they continue to prattle about, contaminating every thing on the planet in this totally fruitless effort..
    Why can they NOT bury this thing?


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    • richard richard

      what, and leave some poor sucker in the future to deal with the mess made today .. not very fair that, now is it?


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      • sunpower

        Aloha, Richard. The reality is the site can never be remediated and the melted fuel will never be pulled out of there. The only natural remedy is the one earth provided in the first place, burial underground. Yes super hot fuel will melt and vitrify into corium underground but that is a natural steady state preventing fission and further melt.
        IF people manage to survive the nuke era they will be faced with many reactor sites that will be hot. Would you rather have the sites safely buried or on the surface? Trying to cool fuel long term in water as Tepco does is not considered a viable long term solution to nukewaste.

        Isolating the radiation from biology is the first consideration. It cannot stay on the surface, and yes it can be dealt with by burial.


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        • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

          we've been over this many times, sunpower. Capping-off these facilities will not prevent them from leaching contaminants into the adjacent ocean waters. They must first stabilize the coreums (if possible) before anything else is attempted. Otherwise, you're only pushing-off the problem onto others…


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          • sunpower

            The supreme irony is that laving the site unburied is making a problem here and now that also impacts the future generations. Burial stops the spread from the point source-stopping it in the way it is being spread now at a high rate via the atmosphere, ocean and shine. I'm not as much concerned with leaching of vitrified corium compared to that. Vitrification is a known remedy for planned isolations.

            Maybe the leaching you are most worried about , would be much less if Tepco was not dumping water on the site and washing radiation out to sea industrially. With the water on hot stuff it makes for steam and vaporization of radiation. Burial does not need water. The coriums are as stabile as they are gonna get as pahoehoe flows.
            The best anyone in the industry has come up with for permanent storage these days is in situ dry casking. I do not see much difference between burial in situ in the ground. The best way to ameliorate the situation would be to grout in the reactors and toruses. If they can remove cool fuel and have a place for it and it will not spread radiation I would consider that but personally I think they do not have the means to do any of that and that the whole site ought to be buried. The Russians too could grout in their sarcophagus basement. Grout tends to flow into all the nooks and crannies and might just follow the coriums down the rabbit hole which I do not believe is very deep. Thanks for your ideas.


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        • richard richard

          Yes sunpower, I agree the site can't be remediated, but I like to force the paradox, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          But forestalling to future generations is so morally bankrupt, and it also defers prosecution.
          Neither of those are very good options.

          I'll continue reading your comment now.


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    • razzz razzz

      This why Fukushima Daiichi is so unmanageable, first the melted fuel is still to hot to bury, second they don't know where the melted cores are, third groundwater is reaching them which is a moderator and allows the melted blogs to fission but at the same time helps keep parts of the melted blob cool. And without containment, polluting the planet with more fallout is unavoidable.

      They need containment first, that will probably never happen so next they can only try to control the situation.


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      • sunpower

        I honestly do not see what evidence could support those assumptions, whereas, I see from the film shot by the Russians, the blobs are not refissioning, and they do not need to be cooled. Nobody on their crew remarked about thermal extremes in the rooms with the coriums…they were only remarking on the rad level. The main purpose of cooling pools is to prevent the fuel from melting in the first place. Once it melts and hits sand it vitrifies into the blobs. By that time the point of cooling the fuel to prevent melting, is moot. Burial is containment….without it the situation continues out of control. I am including grouting in with burial as a similar category of in situ containment in that it is mineral encapsulation of the fuel. I appreciate your ideas and efforts.


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        • hbjon hbjon

          I believe plans of future containment of the used and unused fuel most move foreward without delay. Though, without information on the location, size, temperature, and status of the blobs, how can we begin to move in any absolute direction? Do you wish to bury fissioning blobs of nuclear fuel there on the coast of Japan? Can the plan be modified in the future to accommodate new technology or information? I'm curious to know what the plan is. Hbjon2000@ yahoo. Thanks


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          • sunpower

            hb, I agree with you. Tepco must protect what they can this late in their predictable debacle. As for the physical situation at Daiichi, I do not believe the blobs are fissioning or that they will fission. Their stability in this regard is due to a glass matrix. I base my assumption on what was learned at Chernobyl that we can see in the site investigation by the Russian team.
            Now let's remember as I spin these ideas that although they may not resonate exactly with what you may have been led to believe, the concepts of vitrification and grouting are actually standard operating procedure and have been used many times. At Savannah in 2011 you will see they did some grouting. To me grouting is like burial or containment. Imagine a SFP where the fuel is cooled off enough already to dry cask the material. This would be preferable to water storage but is too expensive for the cheapskate utilities who continue to load the pools with their heads buried instead. But imagine a SFP like that which you decided would be the final in situ resting place of the material. So, you grout the whole SFP with the rods in their racks. The rods are not going to fission in concrete any more than in water. Water is actually a better moderator for fission. The SFP becomes a big blob of concrete and you play elsewhere. This is possible I think for SFP 4 IF the hotter fuel has already melted. Why hoist out stuff when it could be cast in stone? Something to consider maybe.


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  • sunpower

    Glad you asked, nuknomore, cuz it is so obvious the sick pukes COULD bury it where the sun don't shine and stop the spew, in just weeks. They have made the situation ten times worse by letting it spew all this time needlessly. Of course all they know now is what the sick sigma tea leaves tell them.

    It should be a no brainer, that they need to bury the plutonium that is uncovered all over the site. Burying the whole site is the only sensible and fast solution. But shovel ready plans to prevent further contamination would trigger more heartfelt, serious efforts by Japan to build a healthy future. That can only happen if Japan buries the unholy mess at all nuke sites.

    By the way the Russians did not bury their meltdown. Their actual nukular tradition is widespread dumping such as in Chelyabinsk and the Baltic. At Chernobyl, they put short timers on the roof tossing graphite off. They still proliferate today. At Chernobyl, their helicopter boron drops missed. After their funky reactor flipped its top, the sand insulation in the containment walls fell into the melted uranium fuel and turned it into corium. The corium has never to this day been moved from the basement floor. A sarcophagus was built, but was wide open until now. They spewed less than the Japanese because of less fuel involved.


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  • hbjon hbjon

    Presumably, there is ten bazillion pounds of fuel still sitting in various pools needing someone to do something with. I think we can assume the fuel is not standing anymore. You can't just bury that. It should be pulled apart and small pieces of the fuel should be contained separately in an environment that cannot gain access to the biosphere. Like in a fuel rod. But, most of this fuel has been irradiated, and the prevailing belief is that most of it is no longer contained in rods. The term, "uncontainable" comes to mind. But, fuel that in not irradiated probably should be pulled out of the wreckage. Me thinks.


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    • sunpower

      I guess I think this is fuzzy, hb my friend. I would agree if the unused or cooled off fuel rods are able to be removed and isolated without much more unnecessary exposure, OK, let's see the plan and we can consider it. But Tepco talks the talk while the site spews…for how long? How long are you willing to suffer and wait them out? The point about the fuel rods no longer being in the form of rods is interesting. It means the zirconium burned…which there is some evidence of, yes? But does it mean the pellets melted too? Yes? In that case if you want my response, please go back to my previous comments above for a remedy and why.

      Thanks hb, and let's keep your ideas in play with everyone's. My hope is, once the Japanese see how easy it is to bury bad ideas (like Rickover said in Congress) and protect themselves from inaction and misery, they could really turn their situation around. This whole cargo cult bullet train trip to hell with Mr. Obey and the new money for nothing except debt scheme is bound to end along with alot of the global imperial perks, and in the end people will come to value the simple truths like the value of a healthy body and normal background levels. Those crippled kids in Chernobyl Heart are going to be a tragedy and albatross just when Japan needs to gear down and get with a sustainable healthy new architecture, a holistic future.
      Only four hundred more to go shutting down worldwide. Can't afford to even operate em.


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