Fukushima Workers: Smoke was pouring out of Unit 1 before tsunami hit — “No doubt” quake crippled reactors — Could torpedo Japan’s attempts to restart nuclear plants (VIDEO)

Published: March 9th, 2013 at 12:22 pm ET


Title: Fukushima plant ‘set to collapse’ from another quake or tsunami
Source:  The Australian
Authors: Rick Wallace and Tomohiko Suzuki
Date: March 9, 2013

[…] Several of the workers also said the plant’s No 1 reactor was critically damaged by the quake even before the tsunami hit – a revelation that, if proven, would torpedo Japan’s attempts to swiftly restart its 50 stalled nuclear reactors. […]

Mr Watanabe said although TEPCO was denying it, he had to admit the plant was damaged by the quake.

“If you ask me officially, it was the tsunami. But as an engineer and someone with a conscience, I can say there’s no doubt the reactors were damaged by the quake,” he said.

Another worker, who was on site when the quake struck, Kazuki Sasaki, said he could see white smoke pouring out of reactor No 1 well before the tsunami arrived. […]

Japan’s nuclear industry is desperate to avoid admitting the quake crippled the reactor as it would necessitate tough new measures to strengthen the remaining plants. […]

Watch: [intlink id=”host-fukushima-daiichi-fire-before-tsunami-hit-audio-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: March 9th, 2013 at 12:22 pm ET


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40 comments to Fukushima Workers: Smoke was pouring out of Unit 1 before tsunami hit — “No doubt” quake crippled reactors — Could torpedo Japan’s attempts to restart nuclear plants (VIDEO)

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Via Nuckelchen..March 14 2012

    2011/3/11 tsunami-impact-video tepco fukushima daiichi


    Nichts hat uneledigt verlassen..mein Freund.

  • weeman

    You can not design a reactor to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 7 or higher, by your own design but you continue to operate them in areas were such events are probable and you play a game of probability much like Russian roulette, not right.
    How do you get away with storing spent fuel in SFP right next to a nuclear reactor, to me that is completely ludicrous, you do not store explosives next to production, as general bradley sais NUTS and into the bargin it is in a uncontained building, we're is the logic, we're did it go, is it stored in the torus?

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    “’One worker, a maintenance engineer in his late twenties who was at the Fukushima complex on March 11, recalls hissing and leaking pipes. “I personally saw pipes that came apart and I assume that there were many more that had been broken throughout the plant. There’s no doubt that the earthquake did a lot of damage inside the plant,” he said. There were definitely leaking pipes, but we don’t know which pipes ¬ that has to be investigated. I also saw that part of the wall of the turbine building for Unit 1 had come away. That crack might have affected the reactor ” ‘ (15).

    “In addition to the accumulation of evidence that the earthquake itself was a primary cause of the meltdowns (16; 17)–something the industry does not want to admit–there are other inherent flaws in the way nuclear power plants are built and operate. Gundersen points out that the service pumps failed because they were flooded by the tidal wave on 311. These pumps send water from the ocean to cool the back up diesel generators (18). Gundersen (at 19:00 mark in audio): ‘There could have been 14 meltdowns and not three. If you look at the data, there were six units at Fukushima Daiichi [power station no. 1], there are four at Fukushima Daini [station no. 2], three at Onagawa and one at Tokai. The net affect is that there were 37 diesel generators between those plants. 24 of those diesels were knocked out by the tsunami. You need the diesels to cool the plant.’

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      This occurred because at FNPP no. 1 the tsunami flooded the actual diesel generators, but at the other plants the “tsunami knocked out the cooling water to the diesels, something called service water. So, Japan narrowly missed 14 meltdowns and not three because the cooling water to 24 of the 37 diesels was destroyed.’

      “This bears repetition: JAPAN NARROWLY MISSED 14 NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS

      “Furthermore, it was sheer luck that there were not eight meltdowns, for another totally different, random, reason: ‘The plant manager at Fukushima Daini, which is six miles away from Daiichi, is quoted as saying that if the tidal wave happened on a Saturday his four units would have melted down too. He had a thousand people on site because it was a Friday, but if it happened on a weekend there would have been a skeleton crew there. The roads had been destroyed so nobody could have gotten in to help, and we would have had Fukushima Daiichi and Daini in meltdown conditions. What happened was almost unimaginably unimaginable.’

      “To repeat: had the earthquake happened on a Saturday or Sunday there would have been eight instead of merely three meltdowns– you can’t make this stuff up, folks….”

      • weeman

        Owe what a tangled web we weave and into the bargin the web is being corrupted by radiation, mankind out off control, he has lost his or hers grip on reality, shame we had such great potential.

  • ruppert

    I will play devil's advocate here and ask if anybody knows what the magnitude of the earthquake was to the reactor as I thought I read that the epicenter was off shore. It's a moot point as they had no business putting anything that potentially dangerous in that seismic environment. It's very surreal and criminal that fifty some odd reactors would be placed with that much seismic activity but any location always has something. My biggest fear would be an EMP being detonated over the U.S. and all our nuclear plants doing a "Fukushima".


    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Earthquake Details
      • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
      • Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:24 UTC
      • Friday, March 11, 2011 at 02:46:24 PM at epicenter
      • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

      38.297°N, 142.372°E
      30 km (18.6 miles) set by location program
      129 km (80 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
      177 km (109 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
      177 km (109 miles) ENE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
      373 km (231 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan


      excellent thoughts ruppert. I think the rational was based on localized construction of the facility, relative to serviced population and rarely (if ever) on the safety of the populace. What remained outside the scope of their slide rule economics was projected worse-case losses. What seems surreal and criminal is the emerging reality that these people made these decisions (and continue to do so) knowing little of the realities of our natural world. You could liken the mindset as being that of a high-altitude bombardier; seeing the target only (project criteria) and disregarding the real-world consequences of the payload release button…

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Unit #3 had already reached the age to be decommissioned. Not only did they extend the license, they added MOX fuel to a reactor which had never been built for MOX fuel. And they had falsified many, many safety reports over the years.

      Also it was built on porous sandstone, not bedrock. The demise of Fukushima had been predicted for years.

      • AntonButler

        Thanks for the info.
        Do you have access to the witness statements about falsification of safety reports?
        I would like to send this evidence to our Mr Cameron.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          AntonButler, I'm still looking for another citation about the scheduled decommisioning of Unit #3, before they added MOX fuel. The reactor was 40 years old just before March 11, 2011.

          TEPCO Has Scandal-Plagued Past


          Fukushima Engineer Says He Helped Cover Up Flaw at Dai-Ichi Reactor No. 4

          GE Nuclear Plant Inspector/Whistleblower Kei Sugaoko Speaks About Fukushima

          Japan’s Nuclear Scandals and the Fukushima Disaster

          • AntonButler

            Thank you, I will be trying to produce something
            intelligible for our present leader and his team.
            I think "the battle for chernobyl" is excellent evidence also.

            • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

              AntonButler, You probably know all this already. It is very sad.

              Int J Health Serv. 2010;40(4):679-98.
              Health consequences of Chernobyl: the New York Academy of Sciences publishes an antidote to the nuclear establishment's pseudo-science.
              Katz AR.
              Chernobyl Radiation Killed Nearly One Million People: New Book
              “NEW YORK, New York, April 26, 2010 (ENS) – Nearly one million people around the world died from exposure to radiation released by the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl reactor, finds a new book from the New York Academy of Sciences published today on the 24th anniversary of the meltdown at the Soviet facility.
              “The book, ‘Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,’ was compiled by authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus.
              “The authors examined more than 5,000 published articles and studies, most written in Slavic languages and never before available in English.
              “The authors said, ‘For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’…”

              • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

                Here is the book online:
                , "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment," was compiled by authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus

              • AntonButler

                Yes I have read some this book in the NY Annals of Science, 2009.
                J. Goffman did excellent work also, as you know.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          AntonButler, here is info. about the geology of Fukushima

          [Geology of Fukushima]
          “I have talked with some of my colleagues (geology professors) today, and some of them knew for many years/decades that the bed rock of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuke Power Plant is soft sedimentary rock. They do not know why government (both national and local/prefectural) approved for the construction of the plant on such a bad spot, and can only think of*unethical acts of polititians and the industry.*Also,*my colleagues warn that the type of bed rock, which geologists identify,*and the strength/suitability of the*bed rock, which soil/geo-engineers determine, is different, even though I would*still support that*young sedimentary rocks below the Fukushima Daiichi Nuke Plant is NOT*suitable for constructing buildings that have to endure earthquakes. ”

          The Geology of Fukushima

          Faults unconsidered in the seismic design of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear … Map of Outer sea from Shioyazaki” (Geological Survey Japan, 2001)

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          AntonButler, I must have been thinking of Unit 1 at Fukushima Daiichi. Still, these old reactors were never designed to hold MOX fuel.

          “…’We’re talking about a technology that can have 40 great years and one bad day. Pickering A is as old as Fukushima 1,’ he said, adding the Fukushima reactor hit the 40-year mark one month before the accident.
          “’Fukushima 1 failed because of its age,’ and not because of the earthquake or resulting tsunami, Mr. Gundersen said….”

          Unit Type[24]
          Start construction[25]
          First criticality[25]
          Commercial operation[25]
          Decommissioned Electric power[25]
          Reactor supplier[24]
          Fukushima I – 1[4]
          Mark I July 25, 1967 October 10, 1970 March 26, 1971 April 20, 2012 460 MW General Electric

          Fukushima I – 2[4]
          BWR-4 Mark I June 9, 1969 May 10, 1973 July 18, 1974 April 19, 2012 784 MW General Electric Ebasco Kajima LEU

          Fukushima I – 3[4]
          BWR-4 Mark I December 28, 1970 September 6, 1974 March 27, 1976 April 19, 2012 784 MW Toshiba
          Toshiba Kajima LEU/MOX[9]

          Fukushima I – 4[4]
          BWR-4 Mark I February 12, 1973 January 28, 1978 October 12, 1978 April 19, 2012 784 MW Hitachi
          Hitachi Kajima

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          Anton Butler,
          “…MOX fuel contains pellets made of a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxides. The plutonium content ranges from 3 to 12%, depending on the fuel design…”

          “In Germany, this came with a change of law and the cancellation of several post-baseload reprocessing contracts, and in Belgium it was decided that no future contracts would be signed while the use of MOX was to be strictly limited to the plutonium recovered under baseload contracts. These are of course hopeful signs….
          “Using MOX fuel
          “LWRs are designed for the use of enriched uranium fuel. MOX fuel behaviour should therefore be as equal to UOX fuel behaviour as possible. The reason why the fissile plutonium content in MOX is closely linked to the enrichment of the UOX lies in the fact that a nuclear reactor with local differences in power (essentially: in neutron flux) is likely to become unstable.
          “For plutonium the delayed neutron fraction is almost a factor of three smaller than for uranium, increasing demands on the control system. Furthermore, the reactivity of the fissile plutonium isotopes has a positive temperature coefficient, meaning that an increase in temperature (caused by "too much" fission) tends to increase the fission rate even further. A divergent chain reaction would so accelerate itself. With uranium fuel, the opposite is true.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            “Additionally, due to the higher capture to fission ratio, the neutron flux in a MOX element will be smaller. This means that while control rods should ideally have a better response when using MOX, their efficiency will be lower instead. It is clear that this decreases safety margins and this explains why the portion of MOX elements in an LWR is limited by the number of control rods. Since MOX use is only temporary for many utilities, an upgrade of the control system will be too expensive to be worth while. They already have to put up with a more expensive, less efficient fuel and additional costs because the reactor must be shut down when demands are too low instead of operating on low power in such periods….
            “Not only will an incident be more likely to occur, it would also be more likely to have serious consequences. This is due to the presence of much more plutonium in the fuel and, after a certain period of usage, of more other transuranics. In terms of radiotoxity there isn't much difference really between plutonium and, for example, neptunium or curium. If an accident like a fire would occur in an LWR with MOX resulting in a dust cloud, the contamination of the surrounding land would be more severe and longer lasting than in the case of an equivalent incident in an LWR with only UOX. There would be a much higher risk of people becoming sick because of inhalation of such radioactive particles….”

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Engineers Knew Fukushima Might Be Unsafe, But Covered It Up …
      And Now the Extreme Vulnerabilty of NEW U.S. Plants Is Being Covered Up

      “Preface: The current nuclear reactor design was chosen – not because it was safe – but because it worked on navy submarines. And governments have been covering up nuclear meltdowns for 50 years.
      “BBC reporter Greg Palast reports – based on a first-hand interview of a senior engineer for the corporation which built the Fukushima nuclear plants, and a review of engineers’ field diaries – that the engineers who built the Fukushima nuclear plants knew their design would fail in an earthquake:
      “The plant was riddled with problems that, no way on earth, could stand an earth- quake. The team of engineers sent in to inspect found that most of these components could ‘completely and utterly fail’ during an earthquake….”

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        A detailed list of the people most responsible for the disaster that is Fukushima:


        Immelt is only the latest in a long line of GE CEO's.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          The problem of nuclear is so much bigger than one company. GE had nothing to do with Chernobyl. The US developed the atmoic bomb in response to the research being done in Germany and Japan at the time, and the Russians in response to everyone else. The governments of all those countries were responsible. Dupont was the contractor for the Hanford site. The University of Chicago and Lawrence Livermore laboratories, and Oak Ridge and Los Alamos. The governments were responsible and they supported the scientists because during WWII the whole world was at war. The US was attacked by both Germany and Japan. And the atomic bomb was developed to defend the US against a bomb being developed both in Germany and Japan. Westinhouse built some of the early reactors and is now owned by Toshiba. Both reactors in units #3 and 4 at Fukushima was built by the Japanese. GE isn't blameless, but there is the whole MIC in many different companies who wanted nuclear energy. GE's division is now GE-Hitachi, and in Japan, Hitachi-GE. The people in the 40s and 50s are mostly, if not entirely, dead. The failed safety inspections in Japan are Japan's fault. The push to build more reactors in the world by the Chinese, Japanese, and Russians are all their fault. GE has never built a Russian reactor. The Chinese now build all their own reactors. The Japanese have a huge scientific literature by Japanese scientists on nuclear energy.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            I'm sure that they are not giving anyone any credit for their research.

            Monju is a failure wholly engineered by the Japanese.

            If a GE reactor melts down in the US, this will be the responsibility for everyone who did not work to decommission these plants.

            The Santa Susanna meltdown is the responsibility of Rockwell International.

            • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

              The NRC and the earlier Atomic Energy Commission will be responsible for any accidents. Since these people are appointed by the US government, those who vote for their US governments will also be responsible.

              GE has nothing to do with French reactors and all their mistakes.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            TYPO; The MIC in many different countries…

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          "The SL-1, or Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a United States Army experimental nuclear power reactor which underwent a steam explosion and meltdown on January 3, 1961, killing its three operators. The direct cause was the improper withdrawal of the central control rod, responsible for absorbing neutrons in the reactor .core…."

          1961 Nuclear Reactor Meltdown : The SL-1 Accident – United States Army Docu

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          GE had nothing to do with Three Mile Island.

          Architect(s) Unit 1: Gilbert Associates
          Unit 2: Burns & Roe
          Constructor(s) United Engineers and Constructors

          Reactor information
          Reactor type(s) PWR

          Reactor supplier(s) Babcock & Wilcox

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          How about the Savannah River site? Westinghouse is owned by the Toshiba. AREVA is owned by the French:

          "2003: In January, Westinghouse Savannah River Company completed transferring the last of F Canyon’s radioactive material to H Tank Farm. DWPF began radioactive operations with its second melter, installed during a shutdown. The last depleted uranium metal was shipped from M Area for disposition at Envirocare of Utah….
          "Work continued on design of the MOX fuel fabrication facility by a company now known as Shaw AREVA MOX Services….”

      • nedlifromvermont

        thank you Anne for your dogged research … … now, I believe we are getting somewhere …

        whom are we protecting with our ignorance and gullibility … and vulnerability to radiation …

        who was it inside GE in the 50's … the sixties … the seventies … who just smiled and said to their detractors … "This nuclear thing … we're just gonna' push it through …. "

        why does no one step up from GE to admit the obvious …

        are they going to have a Gallileo moment?

        peace …

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Japan's Fukushima long ranked most hazardous plant

      “It ranked as one of the most dangerous plants in the world for radiation exposure years before it was destroyed by meltdowns and explosions…. ”

    • Yep or a Carrington event could have nearly the same effect, and its "all natural"


  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    Every time a few dozen people are murdered by firearms there is a public out cry, but these bastards are killing millions and hardly a peep.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Reactors blow and melt for all sorts of reasons: human error, design flaws, quakes, etc. It can happen anytime, as proven by Three Mile island, Chernobyl, San Onofre, Fukushima, and others.

    Proof that man cannot reliably control nuclear fission.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Fatal Fallout; Dr Gary Null Exposes Dangers Of Nuclear Power; via A Green Road

    Lists of 100+ Worst Nuclear Disasters And Radioactivity Release Incidents; via A Green Road