Fukushima reactors to be entombed like Chernobyl? Officials may say “We’re just going to fill it with concrete and walk away” (VIDEO)

Published: May 21st, 2012 at 12:11 pm ET


Arnold Gundersen with a new report on the Fukushima meltdowns and their worldwide implications
IF YOU LOVE THIS PLANET, A Weekly Radio Program with Dr. Helen Caldicott
May 18, 2012

This week Dr Caldicott welcomes back nuclear engineer Arnold Gundersen for yet another update on the stricken Fukushima plant which suffered multiple nuclear meltdowns in 2011. As background, read the May 5 article Thousands March as Japan Shuts off Nuclear Power, for Now: Japan goes nuke free for first time in four decades amidst pressure to restart and the April 7 article Fukushima Reactor 4: Life On Planet Earth in the Balance. They discuss the vulnerabilities of each of the four damaged reactors including the worldwide implications if much more radiation is released, and the psychological effects on the Japanese of the disaster. They also talk about California’s two nuclear power plants, both right on the coastline and on or very close to major earthquake faults. A meltdown at San Onofre, north of San Diego, would contaminate Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, and render a huge part of the state uninhabitable.

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Chief Nuclear Engineer: The long-term future for what to do with the melted down reactors… I don’t think there’s a person on the planet that will well you how to get that nuclear fuel out.

And we may do a Chernobyl.

We may say we’ll remove the building as best we can, but oh, that nuclear fuel in the basement? We’re just going to fill it with concrete and walk away.

Download the broadcast here

Published: May 21st, 2012 at 12:11 pm ET


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  1. Gundersen: “I think people are beginning to think maybe we can never dismantle these plants, maybe we just fill them with concrete and walk away” (VIDEO) June 18, 2012
  2. Gundersen: Fill Fukushima reactors with cement and come back in 100 years — It’s too radioactive (VIDEO) October 3, 2012
  3. “Too many holes” in Fukushima reactors? May have to fill up suppression chambers with cement -Tepco March 8, 2013
  4. Gundersen: Nuclear fuel has been moved by groundwater at Fukushima Daiichi — It’s time to walk away from plant for next 100 years once there’s an underground sarcophagus — Much more difficult to contain than Chernobyl (VIDEO) December 29, 2013
  5. Nuclear Engineer: All 3 Fukushima reactors had enormous amounts of plutonium inside before melting down (VIDEO) November 14, 2011

8 comments to Fukushima reactors to be entombed like Chernobyl? Officials may say “We’re just going to fill it with concrete and walk away” (VIDEO)

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Arnie must be talking about NPPs not built on sand. This was already discussed about Fukushima, and the weight of the encasing would send the whole complex sliding into the sea. I would think San Onofre would have the same problem if something went wrong there.

    Now, maybe someone wants Fukushima to slide into the sea. It would get it out of the air and the local geologic formation, but what about the oceans and the rain cycles?

    Different avenue, same final conclusion. Oh, well. Next.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      TimeIsShort: The foundation for sarcophagus around Unite 1,2,3,&4 must be over 100' deep and over 100' wide between two steel cofferdams with reinforced concrete between them. The entire building would remain stable because lateral forces would be countered by the rock pushing back on the structure. You could build a world trade center sized building safely on such a foundation.

      BTW, Arnie's view of SFP fires has moderated somewhat, although he refers to "a fire that water can't put out". Another interesting comment from the interview: Coriums can't reach criticality, because there isn't enough water to moderate the neutrons sufficiently.

      Governments who are unwilling to protect the people by monitoring radiation in the food supply under these circumstances are criminal.

  • I would like to fill the officials with concrete and just walk away.

  • weeman

    Present tech all we can do is entomb, should not screw with what you can not control, we are all idiots

  • glowfus

    are they going to cover the missing fuel cores with concrete before or after they find them? since they are measuring the temperature, and water levels of the the missing cores it stands to reason concrete should be considered.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      glowfus: At Chernobyl, they built the Sarcophagus over the reactor building. But they did not fill the reactor building itself with concrete. So, they can still send people into the plant's basements. Strange that they wouldn't fill the building with sand or concrete. At the very least, I want to see about 100' of concrete below ground level completely surrounding Buildings 1,2,3,&4. Probably 100' of concrete above the roofline of Buildings 1,2,3,&4. I might leave the Coriums alone, rather than pour cement on them and disturb them.