Fukushima Report: Fire created “8 square meter hole in the wall” at Unit No. 4 — Fuel pool only 15 degrees from boiling point by March 14, explosion next day

Published: March 16th, 2012 at 12:00 am ET


Title: Takahashi_FUKUSHIMA_REPORT, The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster: What Happened in March 2011
Source: World Federation of Science Journalists
Author: Mariko Takahashi, Asahi Shimbun, senior staff writer (science correspondent)
Date: 6-13-11

Fire at Shutdown Unit 4

The series of accidents continued. At Unit 4, which had been out of service for regular inspection at the time of the quake, an explosion was heard in the early morning on March 15, and at 9:38 a.m. a fire was reported. Flames broke out on the fourth level of the building; the fire died down on its own by 11:00 a.m. but it created a 8 square meter hole in the wall. Why would a fire break out at the shut down Unit 4? Presumably, it originated in the fuel storage pool.

The nuclear reactor buildings each contain a deep pool where the fuel rods are kept temporarily. All of the fuel rods in Unit 4 had been moved to this pool. Including spent fuel, the pool contained about 1,300 rods, the largest number at any of the six Fukushima No. 1 units. Spent fuel continues to generate decay heat, so a cooling system is ordinarily in operation to stabilize the temperature in the pool. Because of the electricity blackout, however, that system had ceased to function.

The water in the pool, which is usually 40 degrees, had risen to 85 degrees by the evening of the 14th. It is most likely that the water had evaporated, leaving the fuel rods exposed, and that the interaction of steam with the alloy covering the rods had been producing hydrogen. With hydrogen forming, conditions must have been ripe for either an explosion or fire. The level of radiation on the grounds of the power plant mounted sharply from the morning of March 15. The highest level was recorded on the inland side of Unit 3 soon after 10:00 a.m., reaching 400 millisieverts (mSv) per hour at its highest. That figure, if expressed by the microsievert unit used thus far, would be 400,000 μSv.

Read the report here

The author has an article today in Asahi’s AJW: Reality check on the consequences of Fukushima nuclear accident

Takahashi’s previous articles for Asahi have also reinforced the nuclear industry’s point of view:

Published: March 16th, 2012 at 12:00 am ET


Related Posts

  1. No. 4 spent fuel pool only 8 degrees below boiling point June 23, 2011
  2. Japan Gov’t Papers After 3/11: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 at boiling point — It is empty — Heat caused fire May 16, 2012
  3. Nuclear Expert: I believe entire No. 4 fuel pool had drained to point where boiling occurred — Footage shows top of fuel racks were exposed to air (VIDEO) May 13, 2012
  4. Nuclear engineer: Enormous amount of plutonium at No. 4 spent fuel pool in danger of catching fire; Pool is cracked and leaking (VIDEO) April 13, 2011
  5. Boiling Point: Reactor No. 4 spent fuel pool at 212 Fahrenheit March 24, 2011

36 comments to Fukushima Report: Fire created “8 square meter hole in the wall” at Unit No. 4 — Fuel pool only 15 degrees from boiling point by March 14, explosion next day

  • truthseek truthseek


  • norbu norbu

    right that's what I said

  • norbu norbu

    How can a fire create a 8 square meter hole?

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Easy if you have square head and square brain!

    • Sickputer

      NB typed these pixels of luminance: "March 16, 2012 at 12:14 am · Reply
      How can a fire create a 8 square meter hole?"

      The March 2011 reports said the 26-foot hole was blown out by the hydrogen explosion;

      "on Monday morning, a huge hydrogen explosion at reactor No. 3 blew a 26-ft. (8 m) hole in the side of the building containing reactor No. 4. The hydrogen, nuclear scientists say, almost certainly came from the spent fuel — "There is no other source for it,'' says UCS' Wright — and that in turn means the water level in the pool has sunk low enough to expose a "significant fraction of the fuel rods." The upshot is that the gaping hole in the secondary containment unit at reactor No. 4 means that radioactive gases — iodine-131 and cesium — from the spent fuel "will be vented directly to the outside," Wright says."


      • truthseek truthseek

        SickPuter, No disrespect meant or directed at you, or your (re)post. The comment makes NO SENSE at all… The hydrogen (we know nuclear) explosion in building 3 knocked a gaping hole in building 4. What contrived crap…

        The "upshot?" deadly radiation was vented directly to the outside???? How can that be even remotely good when any form of secondary containment has been demolished, NOT simply breached.

        What the FUKU? The entire GD roof is missing on buildings 1, 3 and 4. Reading this misleading article / topic made me angry this morning, the lying Sonny Me B!thches!

        • Sickputer

          No offense taken. I am sure there were observers (some injured) who were on the scene when these major events took place. We will get an eyewitness report one day.

          I was just thinking how we have heard Unit 4 blew from piped hydrogen gas from Unit 3 which always sounded like a fairy tale. Especially with the censorship on video of the Unit 4 explosion (or implosion).

          What if some big chunks of Unit 3 explosion debris flew into the wall at Unit 4 creating the big hole? I don't know…we will find out someday.

  • norbu norbu

    Those things are kinda thick right? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm I wonder…

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      The hole was created by aliens using moonbeams and pixie dust.

      At no time was any radiation released. No one was in any danger at any time. There was a minor fire due to some spilled pixie dust.

      Those who do not believe moonbeams and pixie dust created this hole are Communists and should be thrown out of the country.

      All is normal and nuclear power is 'safe' for aliens and humans.

      This is an official proclamation that substitutes for the earlier official proclamation.

      A calculation error was made in the previous attempt at explaining the hole. Please ignore earlier announcement of fire in spent fuel pool.

      • hbjon hbjon

        Exactly! And if you can't understand that your not smart. Just plain stupid. LOL. (This is the lock that makes the sheeple keep it in their little brain)

        • hbjon hbjon

          OH boy, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Brace yourselves, I just solved the puzzle with this last crucial piece of information. The hydrogen, which is actually 2H because of the fact that the coolant water is heavy water, fused into Lithium when the cladding disintegrated and the fuel went critical. Ladies and gentlemen. What we had there was a tiny little H bomb.

  • truthseek truthseek

    I was under the impression that the damn thing (SFP) was already ..g.o.n.e.. no surprise here. More surprised by the delay in truth [I know] ridiculous. I believe that the only thing to powderfy concrete… Blast it clean off the rebar is a NUCLEAR EXPLOSION. The utterly BS hydrogen story… Does not cut it…

  • norbu norbu

    Lets ask the the people who were in charge of security at the time. I.D.F.

  • charlie3

    Whatever and whoever caused it, here we are now with a problem -how do we go about fixing it?

    • Fall out man!

      Keep on telling the truth, keep on exposing the lies. Keep on pointing out the obvious, Nuclear Power is incompatible with life. It destroys the genome, even just from normally operating power plant emissions. The health cost from normally operating plants is unbearable, and even ignoring reduced fertility and permanent genetic damage, its uneconomic without subsidies. It must end. If we can communicate that against the billion dollar lies of the nuclear industry, then it can be shut down. Pretty simple and effective plan and I think the best we can do. Whether we can shut it down or not, its a worth cause to try, and there are some causes, even lost causes, that are so important, for our own peace of mind we must persist.

      • Fall out man!

        A few typos…

        Whether we can shut the industry down or not, its such an important fight that we must try. Sometimes we have to fight battles that are hard, even if they appear to be a lost cause. Sometimes you have to fight just for the peace of mind that comes from knowing you've done the right thing.

        Nuclear power damages the genome from normal emissions from normal operation. Most mutations are too small to be selected out by natural selection and just accumulate. Nuclear power brings all life on earth closer to extinction.

        The one weapon at our disposal in this battle for man's physical existence is the truth. Simply tell people exactly what nuclear power really does, what the real cost is. Expose the lies and liars around it. Of course, we are not paid to do that. Just ordinary people trying to do the right thing. As opposed to industry insiders paid to lie at any cost. In hell their lies will be like gravel in their mouths.

        Just keep telling the truth. I think that is a highly effective weapon, and does the world a great service.

  • Kevin Kevin

    I have noticed a disturbing trend.

    At the anniversary of this disaster the official story flooded the mainstream media with good news stories that it is all behind us and we have learned lessons. Cold shutdown achieved, no fatalaties, spent fuel pools are being cooled and the water being captured and stored. The overall tone is that we missed a unimaginable disaster due to the hard work and qucik reactions of the various response teams. Frontline even went as far to say that the helicopter drop of water on SFPs worked and saved the day and the world from certain disaster.

    Meanwhile the parallel, untold story available to those who dig deep, read sites like this and the resources linked here a disturbing trickle of information indicating a massive near inconceivable disaster is begining to emerge. A horrific tale confirming worst case scenarios with respect to the status of the reactors and fuel pools is becoming clearer. The indications of a massive impact on humanity and all living organisms near and far is slowly coming to light for those not in the fairy tale induced trance on the issue.

    This will continue as the official story trends further and further away from reality while the fairy tale winds its way down to a happy ending.

    An absolutely remarkable example of the power of propaganda. A case study for communicators in perception managment and a disaster of epic proportions receiving no equal or even remotely responsible response. Millions upon millions will die and the criminals will walk. A heartbreaking and deeply disturbing expose of what has become of humanity.

    • whathefuku

      I totally agree and what's even more disturbing for me is I've studied (since I was 13) the history of major nuclear disasters, I knew since the first day the reality of it and witnessing this complete departure of reality has completely thrown off my trust in pretty much everything, this is a clear sign of how we have lost control.

      • Kevin Kevin

        Yeah I hear whatthe, I will never forget the feeling of that day, when watching that explosion. It made 9/11 melt away into near irrelevancy. A tragic feeling of helplessness and an overwhelming sense of doom ensued.

    • Bobby1

      The lack of response by the medical establishment is the most disturbing aspect of this. Most people expect the government and corporations to lie. But people still trust doctors.

      Imagine if, instead of a radiation catastrophe, the world had a massive outbreak of the black plague. Governments would be talking about "safe" amounts of bubonic plague, how it is just like eating bananas. But doctors would be seeing patients who had the plague, were dying from it, and would say nothing to their patients or anyone else about it. Bizarre and unconscionable.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Kevin, Too true! "A Disturbing Trend" indeed. Meanwhile—
      "…a massive near inconceivable disaster is begining to emerge. A horrific tale…"

      And for those of us who have been following this and searching out the facts, it feels like living in a hall of mirrors echo chamber straight out of Alice in Wonderland as the 'normal ones' go about their business worrying about how to aford a new car, send the kids to college, get the latest bargains at the mall—mall-mall mall-mall-mall…as they wonder where that lump in the breast came from…never knowing something is about to happen until after.

    • Well said Kevin

      and Bobby1 I agree about the failure of the medical establishment.

      After speaking to my primary physician, allergist, and another specialist i have concluded that they truly know NEXT TO NOTHING about radiation.

      Their ignorance is amazing.

      Furthermore, I've found medical doctors, as a rule, lack detailed and nuanced understandings of current events.

      They are often very busy with their practices and don't have much time beyond work and their families.

      As a general rule, their 10 years plus of education was dominated by a medical model of disease that does not recognize the full scope and significance of environmental risks.

      For many of them, the model is: treat symptoms with drugs and do not ask too many questions about the why of disease beyond heredity and individual lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise and diet.

      A doctor recently told me vitamin D deficiency is epidemic in AZ. I asked why given we live in one of the sunniest places in the US.

      He wasn't interested in why, focusing only diagnosing and treating with supplements.

      This situation dominates much of our scientific inquiry as well.

      Positivism, reductionism, mechanism, and myopia.

      • Bobby1

        majia, this is true even of doctors who treat thyroid patients with iodine-131.

        They can't handle, prescribe, and shoot patients up with this stuff without knowing the dangers of iodine-131 and symptoms of exposure to it.

        Even then they don't tell their patients about it. Why can't they just say, "You ought to stop eating, drinking and breathing iodine-131"?

        Why do these people have a monopoly on prescribing medications? I can't see how they deserve this.

        • blackbeer blackbeer

          Those of us that have been around since the late 40's are survivors of a nuke war. It was called a cold war but, of course, it was nothing of the kind. Well over a thousand nukes were set off and any sign of ill effects were swept under the carpet of National Security. What we learn of this latest in a long line of "mishaps" will only be what we ourselves are able to dig out. We need to put an edge on our spades……..


  • ruth

    This is a confusing hypothesis. Where is the fourth level where the fire and 8 meter square hole occurred in relation to the spent fuel pool? Logistically this does not make sense. Is the hole in line with the spent fuel pool? It seems more likely that something fissionable blew up inside of the 4 reactor and blew out through the 3ft (?) thick wall than some reaction in the spent fuel pool caused a big square hole as it blew into reactor 4 from outside. I thought I read somewhere that these walls were 3 foot thick. They definitely were not particleboard.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Did you read this other fairy tale article the same author wrote?

      Reality check on the consequences of Fukushima nuclear accident

      “…As a result of measurements so far, the judgment was made that the radiation exposure level among residents was much smaller than for the Chernobyl accident.

      “In the Chernobyl accident, about 200 workers developed symptoms of acute radiation poisoning and 31 people are believed to have died as a result….”

  • Kevin Kevin

    A fire that burned for just over an hour burnt a whole of 8 square meters in a steel reinforced, prestressed concrete wall that ranged between 4 to 8 feet thick.

    Yeah right….. Thats one hell of a "fire"

    • ruth

      Thanks Kevin, steel reinforced and 4-8' thick concrete is closer to the mark than 3' ft concrete. Whoever is putting forward this hypothesis is either trying to obfuscate the truth or is simply an idiot or both.

      • Kevin Kevin

        Early on I made the comment that the walls had to be at least three feet thick. I stated that on my simple observations from the pictures we have all been pouring over.

        At one point I looked it up with a simple google search. And indeed the containment buildngs are made of steel reinforced, prestressed concrete and they range from 4- 8 feet thick.

    • NoNukes NoNukes

      Is this report out because everyone noticed a huge hole in the wall on the "Wheel of Fortune" video?


      Thank you for all of your work, and for all of the laughs that have helped preserve the small shreds of sanity I have left.

      I was thinking about this yesterday, when Whoopie asked about strategy, since I was re-reading that study about Americans sentiments about nuclear and it was clear that:

      if you tell Americans that something will kill them, they are so conditioned that they kind of shrug their shoulders, but

      if you tell them that something is going to COST THEM A LOT OF MONEY, they get really *angry*!

      No one wants their hard earned money going towards nuclear "clean-up."

      When the questions referred to the costs of nuclear, the negative responses went way up.

      I think that we have to emphasize with how nuclear is the real "death-tax," somehow communicate the huge price that Americans have to pay for the sham of nuclear.

      Can someone do the math on all of the costs? An estimate for every taxpayer? The real costs must be enormous!

      • blackbeer blackbeer

        Well lets see, the NRC figures a human life is worth what about 3.5 million dollars, power companies are only liable for the first what, 75 million dollars of the cost of a mishap, then the incentives to construct, ect, ect, I figure about a cazillion dollars will just about cover it…………..


  • jec jec

    Drip Drip Drip from TEPCO feeding newsmedia. They are slowly letting the story (with lots of revisions in their favor) out. Why? Well..wonder if the results of the radiation fallout are hitting the population. The contamination can not be hidden. AND now talk of criminal prosecution-TEPCO will want their "special version" story out to the people who will be judge and jury.

  • truthseek truthseek

    …THINK… of how many are complicate in this mess.
    from the smoldering top down, from left to right,
    foreground to background.