Fukushima documents discuss “fuel that is severely damaged” inside cooling pool — Illustrations of “deformed or leaking fuels” (PHOTO)

Published: October 26th, 2013 at 9:36 am ET


Research and Development Road Map for Decommissioning Units 1-4 at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, July 30, 2012: Removing fuel from spent fuel pools is possible […] However, the spent fuel has been exposed to seawater and maybe deformed or damaged […] it is assumed that most of the fuel is intact […] As fuel assemblies in spent fuel pools were exposed to seawater and possibly damaged, assessment of the impact of safe and long-term storage is required. […] Fuel assemblies (Units 2-4) stored in spent fuel pools were exposed to seawater, and those at Units 1, 3, and 4 are possibly damaged due to falling debris. […] Investigating the impact of spent fuel that was damaged or exposed to seawater on the chemical treatment, waste treatment, and product collection processes. […] Future processing and storage methods for spent fuel removed from the spent fuel pools will be decided on the basis of assessment of its long-term soundness and the results of research and development […]

Examination of Methods for Processing Damaged Fuel, etc. Removed from the Spent Fuel Pool, Page 22: Fuel in the nuclear reactor building pool is thought to be contaminated with saline from seawater, and part of the fuel may even be damaged or leaking due to the collapse of concrete fragments. […] Specific actions 1. Study of past cases related to damaged fuel, etc. […] 2. Examination of the impacts of damaged fuel, etc. […] The impacts of impurities (saline from seawater, etc.) absorbed to damaged fuel […] 3. Examination regarding the handling of damaged fuel • For fuel that is severely damaged and cannot be handled by existing reprocessing facilities, methods for their acceptance, storage, and shear treatment will be examined […]

See also: [intlink id=”nuclear-expert-rods-spent-fuel-pool-melted-breached-during-explosions-contents-be-contact-groundwater-fukushima” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: October 26th, 2013 at 9:36 am ET


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46 comments to Fukushima documents discuss “fuel that is severely damaged” inside cooling pool — Illustrations of “deformed or leaking fuels” (PHOTO)

  • MichaelV MichaelV

    The good news here is that Arnie Gundersen was right on the money. I feel better now knowing that there is a plan, and the Japanese seem confident of some success.

    • We Not They Finally

      That's totally sarc, yes? It all stills sounds like maybe at some future point, we'll at least assess whether it is possible for us to un-kill the world. No rush or anything…

      • MichaelV MichaelV

        They will remove what they can now if possible, and bury the rest in a slurry mix of boron, silica, lead, carbon, all atop the mound of fill dirt…?

  • SS4U SS4U

    Future processing and storage methods for spent fuel removed from the spent fuel pools will be decided on the basis of assessment of its long-term soundness and the results of research and development […]

    more smoke and mirrors and still no solution.

  • charlie3

    TEPCO have failed spectacularly at every single thing that they have done, no matter how minor. I have no faith in their ability to extract the fuel from SP4, which is an incredibly difficult task and a source of acute immediate peril for the whole planet.
    I wish that I could share your optimism.

  • The picture in Enenews's summary is from the docstoc document. This 92 page document is a provisional translation from Japanese.

    The blue arrows in the picture are incorrect. The sequence is,
    -upper left
    -lower left
    -lower right
    -upper right

    With this adjustment, the picture now makes sense.

    • jec jec

      Note the critical detail of "place in vessel"…THATS the dangerous part I believe..a simple picture of damaged rods..and then those rods suddenly and magically in a container..right, got it..(sarcasm).

    • We Not They Finally

      Either that, or it's a grade-schooler's plan on how to pack a school lunch. If we could just find the sandwich and the apple and the cookie, we would put it in a paper bag, and then into a knapsack, then store the knapsack in the coat closet. Well, that's IF we can even find the apple and the sandwich and the cookie. If the rats didn't chew through the paper bag or the rain turn the lunch into mush or if the coat closet hasn't already fallen apart and washed into the bay.

      What bother even publishing this? To infuriate people?

  • PurpleRain PurpleRain

    I have a sense that many great minds are at work on this (probably on their own and somewhat independently) and probably from many different countries too, and this does give some hope. However, charlie3 is right. TEPCO is not competent enough to be in charge of all of this mess. It must be taken over by some new body of scientists/nuke folks/governments or whatever to handle all of this from start to end. The only way that I will have any faith is if Arnie Gundersen personally works side by side with them — although not on-site, obviously. But I almost believe that any plans put together should have his okay or approval regarding the process that will take place. (Guess Mr. Gundersen has earned my trust).

  • ShutItAllDown

    I don't think anything is going to improve until:

    1. A group of world leaders get in front of cameras and admit just how bad things are.

    2. A bunch of scientists and engineers that were ditched from nuclear corps and universities for telling the truth, are put in charge of the shutdown.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "it is assumed that most of the fuel is intact"

    Wrong assumptive..IMHO

    • Oncewaslost Oncewaslost

      Hey Heart long time no chit chat…

      I was normally known here as Kevin till I was tossed for being to hard on Uncle Arnie.

      Anywhoo….. I concur with your always brief but poignant commentary.

      I cannot see them pulling a single rod out after two years of salt water, massive corrosion one tug and they are done.

  • ftlt

    Gee Whiz what a surprise

  • jec jec

    THEN where do they store the fuel containers? Are they going to be on land storage??…or dumped offshore from barges? Noted the number of barges with fuel containers processed from Fukushima at the harbor..even to photographs of robots to pull out rods from water storage. So where are the fuel rods after they are containerized..going to be stored? They will need monitoring…or do I have that wrong?

  • sangell

    I let my nephew and his friends take my boat out a couple of months ago. They forgot to retract the ladder on the swim platform after it had been immersed in salt water. When I saw it the lower portion had salt crystals all over it and the lower portion would not telescope back into the upper portion and fit under the swim platform as it was designed to when not in use. I had to spend an hour cleaning the salt crystals off to get it retract. I assume the same thing has happened to those fuel rod in their racks in the SFP. They are not just going to slide out when they try and remove them ( and they can't scrape the salt crystals off and put some vegetable oil on them to help them slide either as I did). If they have been bent or distorted by falling debris or due to being rattled around during seismic events it will be even more difficult to extract them if not impossible.

  • razzz razzz

    Someone was asking about the ice wall, here's a .pdf document showing the vision. No that it makes any sense (pg.14).

    Can't find the 'Mid and long Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of' in the wild, have to pay to see it.

    The other doc for long term decommissioning is a R&D mission because of all the problems involved in dealing with highly radioactive debris removal (melted cores).

    The biggest problem is stopping the saltwater intrusions from corroding the concrete and metal so there is something left to work on in the decades to come. Maybe that is why a seaside chemical seawall is being built first, to block out the saltwater. Later the ice wall is to join the chemical wall to form a perimeter wall.

    After that, everything hinges on the fixing the leaks in the containments so they can hold water right up to the top of the lids. Without shielding water, no work can be preformed.

    The fuel pools, no matter what the troubles, seems like child's play compared to the melts removal.

    Then it is play hide the salami for hundred of years as you move used fuel and melted core pieces around trying to store them safely. Even spent fuel casks can only last about 80 years before having to transfer the contents to new ones (so I read).

    Nuclear power to expensive to deal with, to dangerous to risk.

  • Socrates

    My Daiwa fishing reel corroded from sea water. I just tossed it out. This never happened to my fresh water fishing gear.

    When you consider the chemical reactions, the heat, and the radiation, the metal is compromised and the the fact that many rods are deformed, some even vaporized, you have a situation that is well beyond current metallurgical engineering capabilities.

    It would be impossible to improvise a three-hour opera at the performance. This job is impossible without changing the laws of physics and chemistry. Yet, like an abscessed tooth, it has to be extracted one way or the other.

    The fate of the world is in the hands of TEPCO.

  • hatrick penry

    The so-called 'experts' were singing a different story before I published 'Fear and Loathing on Fukushima Unit 4' found here:

    In case you forgot the prepared, orchestrated propaganda of RT, Arnie Gundersen and InfoWars on Unit 4 let me remind you:

    Also let me remind you that Arnie "I have read the NRC FOIA documents but won't discuss the cover-up within" Gundershill of Scarewinds is NOT the leader of the true Anti-Nuclear movement….Kevin Blanch is AND he talks about Plume-Gate.
    Arnie, Alex Jones, RT and other 'alternative' media outlets won't.

    Search 'controlled opposition' on my website and please read if you do not understand how they operate….hatrickpenryunbound.com

    I want to thank all the REAL anti-nuclear activists that have taken the time to read and understand Plume-Gate, the 'silver bullet' to shut down nuclear power and the world's largest PROVABLE cover-up with 1.3 million estimated US fatalities by the year 2030.

    peace to all~HP

    • Socrates

      If he won't discuss those documents, that speaks volumes. After all, he is an expert witness and those documents are a public record. I find that to be way more than strange. It speaks volumes about bias or some other reason a person might have. That subject might be "off limits if your contentions are correct."

    • Oncewaslost Oncewaslost

      Plume gate, as you call it, was broken here on ENENEWS, days after the recordings were released from the NRC in a thread that was over three hundred comments long…. WE tried then to get it out, many people here made the effort.

    • sunpower

      Tony, I's like to thank you for the work you have done on this.
      Not only is the turnaround about a dry SFP4 by NRC in the FOIA docs, very interesting, but did everyone catch that NRC was also talking sense at first about dumping on sand or grout slurry, and not spreading contamination with seawater? But they stopped that kind of talk too, of course.
      The "dry pool zirc fire" reports sound much more plausible than Tepco's "mostly intact fuel assemblies" dreamline, to me. Anyway, unless the upcoming stupid pet tricks are staged, we shall see what's what with the fuel in there.
      Nukular Michiu Kaku also changed his original media story about recommending sand and boron to "Sea water saved northern Japan".

  • Ontological Ontological

    Plutonium half life of 24 thousand years aprox. is horrible enough on its own. Enter the daughter isotopes it produces U 238 with a half life of 704 million years, and U 235 with a half life of 4.47 billion years. Our Sun will have gone red stage, and swollen large enough to have consumed the Earth by then! So yes it is definite that the effects of this catastrophe will go far beyond our tiny Earthling existence in the grand scheme of the Universe. It is my personal dream to use rail gun tech to launch these fuel rods in metal dry casks, or the baskets they plan to place the broken rods in, and send them out for safe storage in the shadows of certain larger asteroids, or out in the icy realms of the gas giant planets. Then one day when our plasma fusion technology is perfected; use the plutonium to build truly safe thermo couple power plants for automatic, robotic ion/electron wind probe ships designed to prospect the mineral rich asteroids, and outer solar system moons for high tech materials we Humans can use in the future. Alas will mankind survive? This of course would require full planetary co-operation. These days with the carefully programed and paid off muclearcrat shills protecting corrupted governments, this is highly unlikely! Even though the benefits of doing this would be millions of good jobs, and high tech positions, and a decent space program involving all of Earth's most brilliant people, and not just the Elite.

  • Jebus Jebus

    This was Arnie's view on data from the SFP's on August 26 2011.


    IMHO, #3 released 100% of the reactor and the SFP in the explosion event and subsequent days after.

    Thats MOX folks…

    • Socrates

      Unit 3 reactor and spent fuel pool BOTH went skyward with the big detonation, according to Arnie's video. I remember that he had mispoken himself about the sodium rather than the cloride causing the sulfur. He corrected himself in the video you posted.

      At that time SFP #4 allegedly, at least, was in better shape, according to readings at the time – provided by TEPCO. Those readings were discussed in the video.

      Much MOX fuel must have vaporized on the Ides of March, 2011. The status of SFP rods remain in doubt, except that they are damaged.

      If SFP #3 went up, which I am sure some did, that alone would have aerosolized, while #3 reactor core's contents were blown sky high. I am sure that hot particles are in my lungs.

      The world's economy could crash out if the third largest economy (Japan's) is facing massive contamination. Chunks of plutonium lying around!

      The US has Hanford and others, so we are giving the Fukushima disaster "professional courtesy by keeping quiet.

      Overall, we are toast. My lab guy committed suicide after taking fingernail samples of a child who was exposed in Japan for a year and one-half after the 3-11. He found uranium at high levels. I also take note of the sudden unplanned exodus of certain high level officials and their families to the Southern Hemisphere.

      We are being lied to to protect the guilty – a wink and a nod. I could taste the stuff on the West Coast. It isn't in cold shutdown at all.

      • Jebus Jebus

        The noble gas plume, with a sprinkle of plutonium, can't be denied…

        Metallic taste in mouth now being reported in Japan and US west coast — Telltale sign of radiation exposure (VIDEO)


      • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

        Socrates, care to tell us about this tragic story; "My lab guy committed suicide"

        • Socrates


          Sure. I had several professional consultants. For example, a toxicologist, an epidemiologist, a few physicians, and a lab expert. Arnie and others provide nuclear engineering insight.

          My lab expert helped a family to return to the US from Japan. They worried about levels of radiation in their young child. Unfortunately lab results confirmed their worst fears by analyzing levels of uranium in the child's fingernails. The lab expert became depressed. I was notified that he ended his life.

          I have supported epidemiological studies to assess the effects of routine operations of NPP in California. We have reactors that have had periods of shutdown and reopening where incident rates of signatures disease statistics can be compared, notably childhood leukemia. From Chernobyl studies, we know exactly what to look for. These studies used existing government data. You may Google Joseph Mangano's studies and PubMed.

          SONGS was closed in part based on 60 or more European studies. Germany, too. The closer you live to a NPP, the more likely you will sicken.

          All of this is very depressing. I try to deal with issues philosophically to fight another day. I was exposed in Nevada in the 40s and 50s as a child.

          • Naha Johari

            Socrates, that's a really sad story. You really are on the frontline with yourself at risk from childhood exposure. Depressing, but we cannot look away. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Nigwil

    From my understanding of Arnie's position; Unit 3's reactor didn't explode, its internal over-pressure due to melt down lifted the primary containment cap and vented hydrogen into the secondary 'containment' (the tin-shed building).

    I've analysed the sound of the explosion from the video and there are three distinct explosions:
    Starting with a slightly soft-starting Bang! <1.9 seconds later> a really sharp Crack! with the highest sound level of the three then <2 seconds later> Another Crack! which was mixed up with the chaos of the earlier blasts and sound level almost as high as the second. Then starting 3 seconds after that is the sound of all the rubble that had been thrown up into the air crashing back down to earth, back into the building, and the SFP and all around.

    The hydrogen exploded (as it did in 1, 3 and 4) and that explosion jiggled the spent fuel some of which got too close together and created two prompt criticality events within the SFP. Those criticalities wrecked the SFP and blew spent fuel out and all over the place.

    In the mean time reactor 3 with its leaking lid and stretched hold-downbolts just quietly went on loosing its coolant, and eventually melted down and out without much more fuss. Any hydrogen (mixed of course with melting fuel products) vented direct to our air supply via steam and gas through holes in the bottom of the containment and drifted out of the wrecked reactor building towards Tokyo and Washington. Like…

  • Jebus Jebus

    It looks like it exploded to me.


    Straight up, like a cannon barrel.
    Doesn't matter what it sounded like.
    Don't know what broke first.
    Doesn't matter how the debris landed.
    Too many variables to track.
    It blew up like a verticle cannon.
    Boom. Then the fuel pool burned.
    Look at the cryptome pics…

    • Oncewaslost Oncewaslost

      It stuns me that over two years later this page is still debating the explosion at reactor three. I spent an inordinate amount of time here and in many other venues searching for answers in those days. It is apparent to me that they have never come clean on three.

      No doubt that pool went up big time, and the reactor likely as well.

      ITs criminal what has happened here, and shameful that they just plain lie and deceive.

      What about yesterday? How is SFP 4? And whatever is left of three managing after that shake up? "No damage" yeah just like SFP 3 and the reactor was fine after the big EQ.

  • rogerthat

    from memory: zirc fire in sfp4 on march 15 (reported to IAEA by Tepco, exhaustively discussed by NRC in the ensuing days), first water added march 28 (reported by Tepco, discussed in the NRC transcripts and emails). Now i'm just an old geezer with an old geezer's memory, so maybe i have it arse about face. But how does a spent fuel pool containing an almost new reactor core (100 tonnes or so) survive for 13 days without water being added? The NRC asked Tepco whether the core had been inserted into the pool as a single unit, and was told it had. So this doesnt add up. The NRC said there was no steam coming out of sfp4 for days and days. How did the pool stay cool enough to emit no steam – maybe it was full of very heavy water, ha ha. Now we have pictures of a pool that still exists, (and was not, as the NRC believed for two weeks, obliterated in the blast that wrecked the reactor 4 building). The pool is full of water, with debris on top of the rods. Let's hope we live in the age of miracles and this is true … any opinions? Once again, hats off to hatrickpenry, and won't someone nominate him for a Pulitzer.

  • Gayla Gayla

    from fukushimafaq.info — August 27, 2013. Video summary of the Fukushima situation from Thom Harvey's EcoReview. http://vimeo.com/73322328 Topics covered: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Meltdown: What has happened, is happening, and likely will happen, and what options there are to remedy this cataclysmic event. Guests: David Pu’u – CDO Blue Ocean Sciences; Eddie Leung – CEO of Secured Environment; Dr. Andrea Neal CEO – Ocean Lovers Collective; Phone Guest Arnie Gundersen – Chief Scientist Fairewinds Energy Education.

  • Fukushima: Questions and Answers
    Q : Why after the accident, all the reactors were not entombed?
    A : Because of the pools fully loaded. There where hope to remove them before entombing the rest.
    Q : Why the pools are not still emptied?
    A: Because ceils and even the cranes had collapsed on them and made it difficult to do it.
    Q: Why does the Pool number 4 in worst state them the others?
    A: Because it was loaded with new, therefore hot rods. The core was emptied and the rods were on the pool, which dried and caught fire, probably melted trough the pool floor after the earthquake and tsunami, destabilized the structure that was not prepared for such a fire.
    Q: So how TEPCO is going to fix this? Are they going to empty that pool?
    A: Difficult to say so! Even the cranes in operation on the site are remotely controlled. Yet with the new structure they built on top of number 4, they will probably have more radioactivity trapped in. It will require a hell of precision to extract these rods which are certainly in a bad shape, and of cause, remotely! Technically impossible, but what choice do they have left if not try…

  • Q: So success is not at sight?
    A: they are very aware of failure. The structure they have built is not unnecessary anyway. It is most probably a beginning of a sarcophagus, and in case things go wrong, they have less than 25% to complete before it start spewing unsupported radiations. They can still also berry the pool with cement since they built an access to it. So the structure is totally independent to the pool, showing that a certainly collapse of that pool will not affect that structure, and still give access to do all the entombing work to contain it.
    New technologies are the most wanted to limit Fukushima consequences.

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      "Success" at what?,They've been largely successful re; their "mission to contain the truth from public knowledge. They've been very successful re;rewarding themselves with huge management bonuses at the taxpayers/ratepayers expense despite the fact that ANY other industrial "accident" with dire consequences for all life forms and valuable lands & bodies of water holding priceless,irreplaceable natural resources in the path of the non-stop,ongoing releases of the most toxic compounds known to mankind would leave the guilty parties held accountable for the resulting damages which in the case of Fukushima/311 ELE CANNOT be measured-especially with regard to placing a "price tag" in $$ on innocent victims suffering & loss of lives! 🙁 They've had ZERO success at mitigating or even slowing the pace of contamination or remediation of radiation damage to the regions of Japan and the Pacific coastal regions where the toxic compounds are deposited & create hotspots WITHOUT any measurable "success" of ANY KIND at stopping the cumulative damages despite acknowledging that "something bad is happening" to the ecosystems and species that are sickened,dying off in regions displaying the symptoms of their big FUKuP and all they do is feign scratching their heads and claiming "they don't know what it could possibly be"(?)!! Anyone with just a 2-digit IQ & ANY common-sense can figure out that the only "success" TPTB enjoy re;311 is POPULATION CONTROL!!! 😐

      • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

        Johnny Blade~ Exactly! 🙂

        We are in the middle of a manmade (not of this Earth) "Radioactive Shit Storm" with no end in sight!

        It will/must get much worse for all life still left and/or still residing on this Planet! 🙁

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        A sarcophagus is NOT even feasible,nor does ANY existing or suggested structures CURRENTLY planned or even considered hold ANY value towards stopping or containing the ongoing releases to date. Some of the proposed containment & entombment ideas forwarded by people OTHER than those actually working there or coming up with plans TEPCO & the govt. of Japan on the shoestring budget may have limited potential for some measures of success-but not at the current level of haste & concern displayed by those responsible who wouldn't give up their paychecks or management bonuses or the required level of spending & the huge sums of money necessary to implement anything that "might" work. IMO(and many others)TEPCO EO's & TPTB won't even make anything close to the selfless costs & efforts or personal sacrifices needed until they see their spouses or children die or have their arms or legs fall off as a result of THEIR actions/accidents,etc. first!! Unfortunately for the rest of us including their own families(which I intentionally do not call their "loved ones" since loving anyone besides themselves & the portraits of dead Presidents,etc. on currency is all they can muster)-they will never allow the rest of their victims to even LIVE,much less "succeed" and by the time they figure out THEY are FUKuD along with the rest of Earthly life-it will be(probably is)too damned late!! 🙁 TEPCO & Big Nuke's new motto="A day late & a dollar short" 😐 …

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          Yep! 🙂

          • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

            Hi obewan;Thanks for concurring with me on the thread. I'm often criticized for being so "doom & gloomy" by people I know over my responses & follow up actions to the unprecedented 311 event even though 99.9% of them know NOTHING about the event or what it means for them & WON'T listen to or research & educate themselves further about ANY issue that imposes on their cozy world & their perception of the harsh realities they face or soon WILL! I've all but lost the last vestiges of the "sliver of hope" I HAD that the nuclear problem(s) might be resolved(in time)and all of the other crap that humanity faces in our endeavor to survive & progress as a species(along with all of the other species we impact negatively)& persevere instead of the self-annihilation currently underway! 🙁 It's become painfully obvious that nothing short of a huge miracle can stave off the extinction of ourselves and everything the "humanoid sub-species"AKA the "1%" have subjected us to now(?)!! 😐 I hate to throw in the towel but what is left re;"human intervention or measures" that could fix what the 99% of US have ALLOWED the foul 1% have FUKuD-up??!!" For the record I have children & family,friends & CARE about them and all of the decent folks caught up in this nuclear nitemare come true and feel even worse that my logic has brought me to the point that I've pretty much given up on any "man-made" miracles allowing all of them(& you)to live long,healthy lives now 🙁 ….

            • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

              Johnny, I always enjoy your posts!

              It is not doom and gloom to deal inside somebody else's created for you reality concerning this ongoing situation utilizing your keen sense of the truth and added personal perceptions.

              This will necessarily get far worse than the entire world could ever imagine and it has only begun since 2.5 years is really nothing when a species is dealing with spewing poisons that will last thousands of years… 🙁

              Sequestered was the key line concerning radiation contamination, and yes, we have unleashed/opened Pandoras Box and there will be no good future outcomes. 🙁