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Gundersen: Integrity of concrete at Fukushima plant studied — Salt water making it easier for fuel pools to crack? (AUDIO)

Published: December 31st, 2012 at 11:28 am ET
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Title: Can the Humans Find a Way to Store Nuclear Waste?
Source: Fairewinds Energy Education
Date: December 30, 2012
Description: Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen and CCTV’s Margaret Harrington discuss long term storage of nuclear waste in the US and throughout the world [...]

At 23:00 in

Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education: There’s a study out this week that talks about the integrity of the concrete onsite.

To put out the accident they didn’t have fresh water because the tsunami had destroyed all the fresh water, so they had to pump salt water into the nuclear reactor.

And now concrete and salt water don’t get along very well.

Look at the Burlington [VT] parking garage. When you have the salt from cars, pretty quickly [crapping?] out the concrete in the garages. Same thing in a fuel pool, where you’ve got salty water in contact with concrete.

So the big concern is that in the event of an earthquake the concrete will crack, the pool will drain. At which point the fuel will burn in air and it could mean cutting Japan in half for centuries.

Full broadcast here

Published: December 31st, 2012 at 11:28 am ET
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14 comments to Gundersen: Integrity of concrete at Fukushima plant studied — Salt water making it easier for fuel pools to crack? (AUDIO)

  • waterbug

    The fact that seawater was used condemned those reactor systems.
    The corrosion will be an ongoing problem.
    And who will go in there to work on those piping systems..?
    Robby robot..? I don't think so.

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  • The seawater was the 'quick fix' in an attempt to stave off an immediate greater threat at the time.
    (I get that.)

    However, in order to buy some time, (amount of time unknown, but we'll find out), the seawater was applied and still is.

    The facility is disintegrating onto itself.
    (IMO – personal observation)

    Slowly but surely the potential for greater catastrophic releases of radioactive contamination will come about. Again, my opinion.
    (There is 'no containment' to the fuel pool on Units 3 & 4, it's open air.)

    It's just a matter of time.

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  • patb2009

    the issue is radiation causes a certain amount of corrosion, impacted gamma rays or Alpha particles causing energy decay of materials (We see a good example in the chernobylite, decaying from alpha
    tracks, what was obsidian glass is now becoming dust), well we have lots of data on salt corrosion on materials and we have reasonable data on radiation damage of materials but we have zero data on radiation damage of salt corroded materials.

    i fear there is a synergistic effect either from the temperature or the alpha particles bombading steel and concrete.

    if so, the fukushima reactors may be decaying at accelerated rates.

    plus the structure was whacked by earthquakes, hit by a tsunamai, and then the TEPCO goons are
    stressing the structures.

    who knows what's going on, we need people to go in and really measure this.

    it's a lethal job.'s_Test

    the inability to send men to their death means, that millions will be sent to their death.

    The russians on the first hours of chernobyl sent the entire fire department to put out the fire,
    all those men died but they saved millions. How brave and how russian.

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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    The nuclear issue will be with us for just a weensy teensy bit o time… drink up, hearties. Make your fiat money off of dirty nuclear power now, while it is still worth something. Let your 100 future generations of children suffer the consequences and curse your memory for generations, if they even make it that long.

    93 Long life Radiation Contaminants, A Problem For Billions Of Years; via A Green Road

    Alpha Radiation Dangers; Polonium, Radon, Radium, Plutonium, Uranium; via A Green Road

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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    They should be studying the 'integrity' of the people running the nuclear industry.

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  • HoTaters HoTaters

    " … cutting Japan in half for centuries." And probably taking out Western North America, as well. Good bye blue sky, goodbye.

    The Pink Floyd video accompanying this song is at least partially anti-nuclear. Watch closely.

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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      And listen to the lyrics. Innocence lost.

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      • HoTaters HoTaters

        I post things like links to that video because it's the only means I have of describing how I feel. I have agonized over the Fuku mess, and what it has done to us all. Sorry if the images are visceral and disturbing; so is reality in many cases.

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        • Maggie123

          Powerful in its simplicity – HoTaters both lyrics and visually. Captures what many feel, even if not at every moment, and captures what many don't allow themselves to feel because – I often wonder – they (subconsciously) suspect such a reality but fear coming to terms with it. (Even though coming to terms with the potential is probably the only way to get our heads and hearts headed toward solution.)

          Thanks for sharing.

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  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Hi Chas Aha and others, yes, the plant seems to be disintegrating at an accelerated rate. Will we ever know how much the decision to pump in seawater figures into why this is happening? Likely not.

    Still, I just never understood why there weren't aerial "bombings" with cement and/or sand, boron done in the early days. Apparently Hilary Clinton authorized a shipment of boron to be sent to Japan, but what was the outcome?

    Many of us here have conjectured the problem was so monumental from the early days (March 15 or so) that there was already no way to stop what had been put into motion.

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  • Sickputer

    The sad truth is Japan is already cut in half, but they just won't admit it. There should be zero foodstuffs and drinking water allowed from central Japan (including Tokyo). It's a hot zone that should be designated as live there at your own risk, but no edible products can pass out of the area. High speed trains, planes and car traffic will be under army control.

    Many people outside the central zone already practice a voluntary boycott…one day it will become official policy. Abe's successor will lead his nucleocrats down south to the new capital city. Of course the country will be economically and morally bankrupt by that point in time.

    It's like watching a slow train wreck…that is accelerating.

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