Gundersen: Fukushima tanks releasing x-rays in very high quantities offsite — Exposure to people outside plant is very, very high from ‘Bremsstrahlung’ phenomenon — Hundreds of tanks could easily start leaking after quake (VIDEO)

Published: July 22nd, 2013 at 5:51 pm ET
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Title: Forty Good Years and One Bad Day
Source:  Fairewinds Energy Education
Date: July 18, 2013

At 11:00 in

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds’ chief engineer: The condition of the site right now is precarious. [...] there’s 3 problems with the site right now. The first is the enormous amount of water that’s stored on the site in hundreds of tanks. Tokyo Electric isn’t letting us know exactly what the radioactive material is in those sites but there’s so much radiation in those tanks, we do know that the exposure to people who are outside of the plant boundary is very, very high. That tells us – there’s this phenomenon called Bremsstrahlung and the decay of radioactive material in those tanks is releasing x-rays in very high quantities off site. That means that those tanks are extraordinarily radioactive and if there is an earthquake, none of them are seismically qualified. So we could easily have a situation where 700 tanks spring leaks, it runs across the surface of the site and into the Pacific Ocean. That’s more contamination in those tanks than has already been released into the Pacific Ocean. So number one is an earthquake destroying the tanks and causing them to leak.

Watch the video here

Published: July 22nd, 2013 at 5:51 pm ET
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31 comments to Gundersen: Fukushima tanks releasing x-rays in very high quantities offsite — Exposure to people outside plant is very, very high from ‘Bremsstrahlung’ phenomenon — Hundreds of tanks could easily start leaking after quake (VIDEO)

  • dosdos dosdos

    Bremsstrahlung is German for "braking radiation", an effect when the emissions (usually beta) collide with larger molecular objects (electrons, protons, etc), and release photons, giving everything in the area a glow, usually tending toward blue, but it can be any color. If you see a very strong glow, especially if you're in daylight, your days are probably numbered in two digits or less.


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    • frank74

      It´s all, like you see a nuclear Explosion. You can look to the Explosion and see the one and last time the Flash or you can turn around and see the one and last time your balls fly away. since the end of the middle Age we know – we ar living not on a platform. so nobody can escape form all. the quantity of release is in every case the same. if it is all releas on on day or in the next 40 jears. – so only scorpions and cockroachs will having birthdaypartys in 2060. And mutants- if there are any. And now you – Flash or balls. Sorry for my bad english.


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  • or-well

    Wait a minute.
    40 "good" years?
    What if the "bad day" had been Year One, Day One?
    (As it very well could have been)
    40 years of – insane site selection, inadequate design, negligently covered up deficiencies, dangerous mismanagement and fingers-crossed, buttcheeks-squeezed hoping-for-good luck is "good"?

    Glad you made the journey you've made Arnie. Keep walking. You've got a ways to go yet.

    Or have I missed him saying "Shut them ALL down now!"?


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    • mairs mairs

      He did say that in a way, back when all of this started. He said, and I'm paraphrasing as I don't have the original quote… that Fukushima is the bookend at the end of the days of nuclear power.


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    • We Not They Finally

      You shouldn't be hard on Arnie Gundersen. He is light years ahead of where he was and is now devoting tireless efforts to needed education. He is SO NEEDED. It's just his measured temperament that he says 40 good years, one bad day. He knows it can all go down in a day at any time!! Be glad that someone with this level of expertise is finally doing the right thing. Let more people with his level of experience do the same!


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      • or-well

        We Not They Finally,

        If you "know" me, you know I have stayed out the "Arnie debates" that have happened here many times.
        I acknowledge his journey, the need for "mainstream" educational voices and the need for different voices to reach different audiences.
        I will not attempt to mind-read or guess his inner motivations.

        But I wish he would not say stupid shit like "I realise now that nuclear can have forty great years and one bad day."

        WRONG Arnie! There are NO "great years" for nuclear!!!!!!!!!

        40 years of routine releases of radioactivity.
        40 years of regularity oversight by captured, corrupted agencies.
        40 years of excessively costly electricity.
        40 years of funding diverted from alternatives.
        40 years of damaging health consequence cover-ups.
        40 years of producing unmanageable waste.
        40 years of being a net energy consumer when the entire lifecycle is considered.
        That's WITHOUT "having a bad day".


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        • We Not They Finally

          Say, I agree with you totally! There isn't one minute of this that has not been WRONG. I've just listened to him a lot and don't think that he is dishonest, that's all. Like he'll say that if it's low risk but high consequence if something goes wrong, don't do it. We'd say don't do ANY of it, but he'll specify why it's so dangerous. And it took him a long time to basically land down AGAINST nuclear power plants. Because his mindset is technical. It's not my mindset or your mindset. But after many long years of seeing what seemed safe, and now clearly what is not, he is willing to EDUCATE and is genuinely alarmed about Fukushima.

          So me, I'll get exasperated even in parcing his differences between prompt criticality (which apparently means something like a bomb!) and moderated criticality! But I think that he makes his distinctions HONESTLY; and with his scientific knowledge, one learns a lot just to listen. I know that when he warns that something is REALLY BAD, then one can count on its being REALLY BAD, not just an estimate. And nuclear technology can be confusing. So anyone who can educate honestly, without being beholden to TEPCO or GE, it helps people. That's all.


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        • +1

          How about 865 BAD DAYS with NO END in sight!

          I wonder if Mr. Gundersen feels that those who perpetuate these DNA Destroying Death Machines are criminals? I know I do!

          2 years 4 months 12 days
          …accumulating/spreading!
          _____Since 311
          http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=march+11+2011

          The real question:

          ;) How long do we have before the masses catch wind of this and realize the true severity of this insidious global event?


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      • NoNukes NoNukes

        We Not They Finally,

        Gundersen's "Fourty great years" poisoned countless innocent children, cutting their lives short, or in the case of lucky kid just took out an organ or two, like me, growing up near nuclear just destroyed my thyroid by the time I was eight.
        Have you ever tried to be a child without a thyroid?

        Until Gundersen rips his own thyroid out of his throat and offfers it to a kid for a transplant, he can stick his 40 great years where the sun don't shine.


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        • Proton

          DING DING DING We have a winner folks!


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        • We Not They Finally

          Yeah, yeah, actually agree. Just listened to the link for the above article. He was talking to a former Japanese U.N. Ambassador and he made it sound like Fukushima is actually manageable — like with a zeolite trench around the complex for containment. But I've heard him talk with other people, like Helen Caldicott, where he said that they would have to do TWO HUNDRED YEARS of monitoring for any hope of containment at all.

          I guess what disturbed me the most in the above link is that there is zero mention of CORIUMS = the melt-THROUGHS, even though in other interviews he is clear that he knows that the nuclear fuel burned completely out of containment.

          I think maybe he's used to MANAGING things across the years, with everything being a technical problem and you have to manage it the best you can. He seems to duck in and out of denial since this CANNOT be managed. So sometimes he faces the core despair, sometimes he doesn't. But that part is humanly daunting for ANYONE these days. No suggests doing NOTHING, even though the reality may be that "it's over"!


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    That’s more contamination in those tanks than has already been released into the Pacific Ocean.

    I question this statement.


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  • hbjon hbjon

    Remember the criticalities that occurred when the cores melted? Fission stopped. Residual heat was left. The coolant evaporated. The cores melted. Tons of borated water were sprinkled on the mess. Well, the china syndrome is coming back to life and the curse of the Bremsstrahlung, (which doesn't effectively describe the situation) will continue to be a threat to on and off-site carbon based life forms whose activities unfortunately misled them to a geographical region that will be a toxic wasteland for (as far as we're concerned) eternity.


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    • Proton

      HBJ- Why do you think fission stopped?
      Was it the Tepco video of the spent fuel removal released a while ago? You know, the one where the workers are hand washing the fuel assemblies?


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      • hbjon hbjon

        Did I say fission stopped? Let me correct myself. Fission stopped momentarily. And when fission occurs under controlled circumstances, core temperatures remain relatively cool. What they have now under uncontrolled geometry, is a much hotter china syndrome. Yes, a very good idea is to wash the fuel assemblies before they rust. Perhaps use the sponges with the green abrasive back. All joking aside, the last video I personally viewed was the one where unit 3 turned itself into a mushroom cloud. Nice to see you guys still kicking around here. I hope your all doing well.


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    • We Not They Finally

      Yeah, this is "just" one more terrible threat. Like you're in a jungle with wild animals and you say the lion is the most dangerous, no, the cobra is the most dangerous, no, the cheetah is the most dangerous. There are no end of dangers here. This is just yet another one. I just question whether "fission stopped." They are apparently finding a lot of radionuclides now (like I-131) that only show up when fission re-commences. It's like re-runs of Rocky Horror Shows that keep re-playing again and again.

      Look, whether these particular storage tanks "leak" (gush, spew) in the event of an earthquake, hundreds of tons of contaminated water is gushing into the Pacific ANYWAY!


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  • Kassandra

    Fission is the only explanation I can think of for the spiking cesium:

    [Excerpted] Earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said groundwater samples taken at the battered plant showed that levels of cesium-134 had shot up more than 110 times in a few days.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/22/national/tepco-now-admits-radioactive-water-entering-the-sea-at-fukushima-no-1/#.Ue33xG0pg1d ]

    Hello! What does this really mean? How can background levels be spiking 110 times in a few days?

    Routine steam emissions have been seen on the cams, coming from buildings and the surrounding grounds.

    It doesn't look good.


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    • We Not They Finally

      Yeah, I think it's the cesium-134 specifically (which only later becomes cesium-137), that shows NEW fissioning. This is just not that easy to follow! Like I-131 shows NEW fissioning, and that has a half-life of just days, so we had hoped that radioactive iodine was just sort of "out of the way" after a while. Then it turns out that no, I-129 has a half-life of 15.7 MILLION YEARS!!

      It becomes outlandishly easy to fool a public which is kaboozled anyway. We(husband and I) try talking with people and emphasize the huge uncontrolled CORIUMS which they cannot even locate, much less contain. It sort of "says it."


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      • ion jean ion jean

        Also Strontium 89 is an indicator, Barium 140, and other shorter lived daughters. The other noble gases like radioactive Xenon and Krypton…problem is, as you pointed out earlier, RADNET is down and out and no other entity has the monitoring infrastructure needed so we must rely on low tech radiationnetwork.


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  • I'll explain this ONE MORE TIME… Fission goes on THE ENTIRE TIME. When you have water flowing through the CORE of a rod, it acts as a moderator. The water AROUND all the rods acted as a reflector. You MELTDOWN a core set of rods..? ALL YOU NOW HAVE IS WATER REFLECTOR !!! This causes more HEATING and more UN-MODERATED FISSION !!! With right concentrations.. like #3 pool with the Plutonium… you get super-critical EVENTS… BOOM !! You now have underground nuclear explosions happening.. see the wave-forms for the quakes.. they are not earthquakes! You have radioactive steam volcanoes now.. and for decades to come.


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  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    Another interesting read: http://www.osti.gov/bridge/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=1014855

    Indicates that water cooling has been shown to be ineffective in cooling corium. When the water interacts with the corium it develops a crust that adheres to the area around it, acting like a plug. The corium below this crust continues to uncontrollably react and work it's way down, leaving a cavity between it and the crust. Eventually the weight of the water causes the crust to fracture and allows water to come in contact with the hot corium again, generating another crust.

    I wonder if this is what we're now seeing with reactor #3. The corium crust has given way below the surface, come in contact with the hot corium somewhere below the building, and it's generating steam as the crust is forming.

    I'm also thinking about a "path of least resistance". What if as the corium melts down it creates a small hole to a softer material below. The corium would quickly flow through that hole, melting the area below it. Water causes a crust over the small hole, in effect sealing it behind the corium. OR if the corium flows one way and the water finds an easier route. They could pour all the water they want into the reactor, it never reaches the corium.


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  • Wynd Wynd

    Helen Caldicott
    Arnie Gundersen
    Chris Busby
    Conrad Miller

    and so many others,
    including those commenting

    my deepest thanks for all of them!


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