Gundersen: I’m sure there’s a lot of damaged nuclear fuel in Fukushima spent fuel pools — The tubes are cracked — May be completely severed (VIDEO)

Published: December 10th, 2012 at 7:44 pm ET
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Fairewinds Podcast, Dec. 9, 2012:

At ~20:00 in

Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education: We know though that the fuel is damaged. And the reason we know that is that the radioactivity in the fuel pool water is extraordinarily high and it hasn’t really come down over the last 18 months.

Originally, people thought that maybe it was deposition from the explosions and it settled on the water, but they’ve been running these fuel pool cooling systems now for months and months and months and we still see high levels of radiation in the spent fuel pools.

So that tells me that the fuel bundles themselves have been damaged either by the earthquake, or the explosion, or by a prompt moderated criticality, or by the aftershocks.

Host: So there’s exposed fuel in the pool right now?

Gundersen: If you think of this thing like long tubes of spaghetti, tubes of zircoloy, those tubes are cracked…. The fuel rods, the individual fuel rods are cracked, from either the seismic motion, or the explosion, or the rattling of the building from the explosion. They may be completely severed, but there’s certainly cracks, we call it a weeper. Depending on the length of the crack, the bigger the weep.

I’m sure you’re going to find when they start pulling that spent fuel that they’ll have a lot of weepers, a lot of damaged fuel.

And it’s compounded because it’s not clean water, its salt water. This stuff was never designed to be in salt water so you have hot warm zircoloy in boron and salt water and there’s all sorts of chemical reactions going.

Full broadcast here

Published: December 10th, 2012 at 7:44 pm ET
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10 comments

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10 comments to Gundersen: I’m sure there’s a lot of damaged nuclear fuel in Fukushima spent fuel pools — The tubes are cracked — May be completely severed (VIDEO)

  • nedlifromvermont

    no problem, Arnie!!!

    I'm sure world class industrial giant and Fukushima reactor vendor, General Electric, has lots of answers for how to dry cask cracked fuel assemblies, all spelled out in their Reactor Disaster Management playbook … which you helped to write … right???

    I mean General Electric has been all over this disaster (abandoned farms, animals, pet dogs!!!) from day one, right???

    Didn't they swoop right in and get the pro-reactor mayors to start burning the radioactive debris all over the country, so no meaningful epidemiological survey could point to the General Electric (under-)designed reactors and containments as causing the massive increases in soft and hard cancers, birth defects, leukemias, etc., which we are bound to see/are already seeing …

    Hence the charge of Jeffrey Immelt recreating, recapitulating Josef Mengele …

    And the U.S. Sheeple sleep on, breathing in the nano particles, storing plutonium, obligingly, in their testes …

    And Jeffrey Immelt struts the stage, advertising airplane engines and wind turbines, technology which keeps beer cold; but nowhere mentioning how his company has ruined an entire country …

    And precious Allison McFarlane, our new non-regulator-in-chief
    does nothing about spent fuel stored at sea level (Turkey Point et al) in an era of rapidly increasing sea level rise … !!!

    How STUPID is that, Allison???

    … ???? Allison ????? Jeffrey ?????

    … peace …


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    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      As a female, I am loathe to condemn other females. But facts are facts. It is still far more difficult for a woman to gain and maintain status than a man. Therefore, you can depend on a woman to exhibit even less courage and integrity than her male counterpart. That isn't saying much, but she is even less likely to stand up to the desires of "the Establishment." Sne has a nice smile though. I guess that is what they want.

      Therefore, if the situation is tricky-sensitive, appoint a female.


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      • I think Mary Schapiro and Elizabeth Warren demonstrate that women sometimes do stand up, although they typically sacrifice their careers for doing so.

        Why is Gundersen repeating this fact, which he has long stressed?

        Is it a reminder to the clueless or a veiled message?

        I think it is way obvious that fuel in the spent fuel pools is damaged.

        What I want to know is the following:

        Why did Tepco move the cam so that unit 1 is no longer visible?

        What happened on Dec 9? Nuckelchen's video looked like a fire.

        ML (see radiation monitoring lab) has picked up 102 cpm in Oregon on southern edge of jet stream recently. Is this from Fukushima?

        Has something undesirable happened since the 7.3 earthquake to unit 1?


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      • aigeezer aigeezer

        dharmasyd, "as an X, I am loathe to condemn other Xs" is not your usual style. Are you sure that's your position? It certainly gets strange if you fill in various words for X.

        As a human being, I am…. Such generalizations are unhelpful – generally speaking. I generally love your posts though. Seriously! ;-)


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "And Jeffrey Immelt struts the stage, advertising airplane engines and wind turbines, technology which keeps beer cold; but nowhere mentioning how his company has ruined an entire country …"

      Are you talking about the new converted-to-Chinese-communism-totalitarian-government-wannabe Jeffery Immelt?

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/immelt-communist-china-works_665280.html

      This would certainly stop any investigations into GE's complicity with the end of all living life on this planet.


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  • Sickputer

    An out-of-control nuclear megaplex like Fukushima resembles a massive train wreck that never stops. It just keeps smashing new trains into the pileup. Things slow down for a few days or weeks and then wham! Another train wrecks again.

    Gundersen is just reminding us that this train wreck is never going to get cleaned up for hundreds of years.


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    New Jersey is just now showing 73cpm of radiation. http://radiationnetwork.com/. This station is one of five locations in the US above 50cpm. This is getting close to the Alert Level, of 100 cpm. Accumulation of Fuku Fallout may keep push station readings steadily up. Bioaccumulation will pass these elevated fallout levels up the food chain, onto our plates, and into our bodies. The recent September 7X spike in radioactive Iodine in sewage sludge in two locations across Japan indicate that new criticalities are occuring in the corium under Buildings1,2,&3.


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    TEPCO will find many broken spent fuel assemblies in SFPs, and many spent fuel assemblies will spill fuel pellets as they are removed. They must learn to handle spilled fuel pellets without causing criticalities.

    TEPCO may find that the underground corium makes it impossible to build the Crane Support Structure to empty SFP4. They may be forced to modify a marine boat lift for use as a mobile crane support structure.
    http://marinetravelift.com/product_details.aspx?id=hoist
    A mobile crane could be moved from building to building to remove spent fuel.
    Here's hoping that TEPCO is up to the challenges ahead.
    Many thanks, Admin., for starting this thread.
    How about a thread in support of releasing what TEPCO knows about the present location of Corium1,2,&3?


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  • truthseek truthseek

    We each know we will never see resolution of this in our lifetimes,
    yet it will be the matter which will resolves many lifetimes.

    I have not post here lately, much lurking… at the same headlines,
    things which we collectively have long held as (unfortunate) truths.
    Each headline and every valued expression only serves to support
    many of our worst fears, as none of this was in our play books
    and no one really has a concise approach to elimination of
    a very real threat to all life forms of this planet.

    This is .bad., we know it already… articles like this
    give us a frame to shape our thoughts around together.
    I am most thankful / grateful for this community!


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  • truthseek truthseek

    It sure seem like noting has been or is being done,
    because it …is so bad… they can not do anything…
    Like a big heap of unexpected fireworks igniting
    and all going off… you stand back and watch
    avoid being killed.


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