Gundersen: Japan is sitting on a ticking time bomb — “We’re all in a situation of having to pray there’s not an earthquake”

Published: May 19th, 2012 at 11:20 am ET


Fukushima Reactor 4 poses massive global risk
CTV News
Andy Johnson
Saturday May. 19, 2012 7:06 AM ET

[…] experts are warning that Japan isn’t out of the woods yet and the worst nuclear storm the world has ever seen could be just one earthquake away from reality.

The troubled Reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is at the centre of this potential catastrophe. […]

A magnitude 7 or 7.5 earthquake would likely fracture that pool, and disaster would ensue, says Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer with Fairewinds Energy Education who has visited the site. […]

Essentially, he said, Japan is sitting on a ticking time bomb. […]

“This is a ‘now’ problem, this is not a ‘let’s-wait-until-we-get-the-cash-flow-from-the-Japanese-government’ problem. The consequences of a 7 or 7.5 earthquake don’t happen every day, but we know it happened last year so you have to anticipate that it will happen,” Gundersen said. […]

“We’re all in a situation of having to pray there’s not an earthquake. And there’s the other half of that, which is pray to God but row toward shore. And Tokyo’s not really rowing toward shore right now,” Gundersen said.

Published: May 19th, 2012 at 11:20 am ET


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33 comments to Gundersen: Japan is sitting on a ticking time bomb — “We’re all in a situation of having to pray there’s not an earthquake”

  • Bobby1

    It is clear that fuel pool #4 is already falling apart, burning, overflowing, cracking or something, based on the steam and smoke observed on the webcam thread. We might not have to wait for a major earthquake, it looks like this is happening now in slow motion.

  • snowwy snowwy

    "The troubled Reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant"

    oh it's a little troubled is it?

    always annoyed me how a destroyed nuclear power plant can be "troubled". I think that the politicians are a little troubled about how to wrap the whole thing into words, so it does not sound all that bad…

    … name it and shame it….

    Fukushima Nucler power plant is wrecked, ruined, damaged and awaiting decommission.

    • many moons

      Right on Snowwy…the media down plays at every turn….the black powder, the yellow powder…how bout the radioactive powder.
      The other day I heard Diane Sawyer refering to the troubled reactors as "a partial meltdown" She must know the truth but THEY own her mind, her lips, her voice…we need people who have a heart and soul to lead…are there any candidates?

      • Bubbha

        We need someone to break it to them yes. I am noticing that my intelligent friends do not even grasp the situation. My one friend says she wants no stress. Like ants seeing the shadow but not grasping that it is a giant shoe coming down. I think everyone has been lulled into a 'cant be disturbed' routine. Probably even Diane Sawyer.

        • many moons

          Last night I was talking to an RN and I asked her if she had heard anything about Fukushima, and she responded,no, but if I can't change it I don't want to hear about it either. I was about to discuss that she could become an anti-nuclear advocate and vote that way but I heard to doors on her ears slam shut and decided not to waste my time.
          Even her curiosity didn't get the better of her…we sat in silence.

          • tomarsandbeyond tomarsandbeyond

            Its one of those things that in retrospect 20 years from now, will be inescapable and in everyone's face. Maybe even good for business for RN's (if that RN is still with us then). Every hospital and doctor's office will probably at that point be assessing radiation exposure and symptoms as part of the standard workup like blood pressure is. To some extent this RN and people like that might realize on some level how big this is and are not ready to process it yet.
            Personally I see that future as something like the AIDS epidemic, making millions of people sick. And it will go on and on and not really be preventable. Everyone will lose a neighbor or friend to it. And that's only if the fuel pools aren't incinerated. Then it would be worse.

          • Time Is Short Time Is Short

            There is a global unconscious attempt, what Jung called the "collective unconscious", to blot this out. The people in charge are just trying to reinforce this denial.

            At the cellular level, which has its' own intelligence, each one knows the end is coming, and there's nothing to be done about it.

            This is more than fear. It's never happened before. In every catastrophe this planet has ever had, at the cellular level there was an awareness that some would survive. This time around, there will be no survival, except for some rad eating bacteria and a spider or two.

            You can follow this up the food chain, and unconsciously, far deeper than the subconscious, most people don't want to hear it.

            It will be in their face soon enough.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    About this whole EQ question…they all mean the pool couldn't stand a M 7 EQ right underneath it, right? If a M 7 happened, let's say, 200 miles away and at greater depth, probably nothing too bad would happen, right?
    I know there are zillions of variables determining the damage done, but –
    I'd like to see a map with a circle around Fuku on it that says "under most unfavorable conditions, a M7 outside this circle couldn't do any harm".

    Yeah, I know. Then it wouldn't collapse from an EQ, but burn down, because some totally different "unexpected event" would've stopped the cooling system.
    /rant off

    • GeoHarvey

      I believe you are right about the earthquakes. The 3-11 earthquake was M9, but at Fukushima Daiichi, it was less than M7. A lot has to do with the types of ground motion, which is related to the types of rocks in the crust at the site. A lot has to do with depth. And there are no doubt a bunch of things I never heard of.

      • The real scare is the potential for another tsunami in my eyes…

        What would happen to the on site temporary cooling efforts?

        If they are dealt another hand of 3-11 proportion. I assume all bets are off.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    The root of the problem is nuclear technology, which must be outlawed, worldwide.

  • Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick

    7.0 within 4 days; (my 2 cents).

    • Gotham

      This is getting to be a long drum roll…

    • Sam Sam

      So…….as we all wait for the 7.0 within 4 days
      or whenever, are you planning a great Feast
      for all to come to in Tacoma to celebrate the
      end of days. I remember reading you are a
      wedding planner. How about a big staged
      wedding for all to come to and get
      married in masse. We could donate in
      advance. (somewhat in jest) life has be be
      lived fully each moment now. Any new news up
      there about the radiological load in the
      lovely Salmon? I see PortBlog is now testing
      food . Great service. Donate to help him.

      • I am an event planner.

        Not a wedding planner.

        I am not accepting donations. ( I do agree Donate to potrblog if you care too).

        I am also planning my own evacuation currently from the west coast to the east coast. As the situation has escalated to a point where I fear the worst is "soon" to come. Very soon indeed…

        I will stay until the reactor 4 collapses; But after that. I doubt your jest will gain value of my attention.
        Not to say you were rude but I spite your comment… I am quite certain that you will soon be living in the world I have described throughout these hard months. All along I have been preparing to make the transition…

        I only advise you ask your self…
        What if

        • Sam Sam

          I do, every day. I am always acutely aware of the
          terminal danger this is going to bring. I asked
          some 40 years ago a friend who does ceramics,
          what he would be doing in the last moments
          if he know a nuclear war was to happen, he
          said, I will be on my wheel throwing pots.
          Each of us will find our path.
          thank you for everything you have written.
          sorry for the jest.

          • Its ok.

            I am very concerned is all.

            very very very concerned.

          • Sam Sam

            I also ask myself each day where I would re-locate to if
            I could. Yes the radiological clouds to come may be so
            deadly that no place on WestCoast may be safe and yet
            the Jet Stream does not stop at the Continental Divide or
            at the Sierra Nevada or the Cascade Range. Where it
            rains there will be the fallout '. Going East
            may bring a little time and perhaps some more protection;
            Going to Southern Hemisphere will bring more time yet……?
            Time to relocate in my estimation would be now before the
            events while there are still seats on airplanes and before the
            jet stream becomes more of a flowing nuclear river. Injesting nano
            particles while flying at 35,000 with cabin pressure to 6000
            would not be wise either. I too am very concerned with no
            good answers.

          • dharmasyd dharmasyd

            No problem with your "jest," or as I would prefer to call it, "Gallows Humor." So long as we remain aware of the truth, as is obvious you do, Sam, then go ahead with all the humor you can find. We may as well laugh as we try to find the best way/ways to cope.

            I think we can apply Elizabeth Kubler Ross's Stages of Grief as we face the possibility/probability of our collective death. Most people seem to remain in the first stage, Denial. Many here at ene shift between Anger, Bargaining with Thanatos, Acceptance, and a stage which Ross never admitted in so far as she was dealing with individual death, I suggest the possible stage of a healing, a cure, a solution. It's possible, but, imo, not likely.

            As for myself, I'm old. I'll be 80 at my next birthday. I've lived my life; it has been full. I have come to terms with, and accepted my individual death.

            But my thoughts sadden when I contemplate the collective end of our branch of evolution, the end of our species which will take down many other species with us. I am at peace with my personal death, but I am not at peace with the larger death, the end of this evolutionary branch and all the wonderful animals too… ~~thank you for reading~~

        • milk and cheese milk and cheese

          Why wait 'until Unit 4 collapses'? I read statements by Helen Caldicott and Arnold Gundersen's that they will evacuate their families 'if'. This actually is a grain of hope…it means that there is a chance that it might not.
          But everything we are reading seems to point in the other direction.
          And the East Coast may not have it significantly better. Everyone is complaining of 'allergies' here–even people who have never had allergies before. I've had it too. Had the windows open so I could hear the birds. Silly me.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    There is a way through…but it is up to each of us.

    How To Prevent Any New Nuclear Power Plants From Being Built, Get Rid Of the Old Ones, And Switch To 100% Renewables; via A Green Road

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    I check the Hi-Net EQ site very often, which one smart enenewser posted here months back. The site shows ALL Japan EQs, also the very small ones.
    I just compared the "24 hours" timeframe to the "7 days" timeframe.
    During the past 7 days, earthquakes wandered up the edge of the tectonic plate in the Pacific ocean, to cumulate in the cluster of M5's we're seeing now. Looks like they're being "stuck" there.
    If you switch between page 1 and 2, you see what I mean. Like pearls on a necklace.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    @thanks for the link ..B and B.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    @ B and B ..have you seen this site?..
    It takes a little while to load..tweets concerning earthquakes ..etc.

  • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

    @B&B, Thank you for hypocenter maps! Posted your Hi-net links on 'earthboppin' site for review. I'm speculating only that the circle you point out looks like a potential 'mogi' to me, possibly indicating more movement along the trench in that wide area? The area indeed looks 'stuck.' The entire Sanriku Coast (Aamori to Sendai) is certainly capable of more large quakes:

    The last Miyagi earthquake occurred in 1978 (Wiki):

    "The 1978 Miyagi earthquake (1978年宮城県沖地震 1978 nen Miyagi-ken-oki jishin?) occurred at 17:14 local time (08:14 UTC) on 12 June. It had a magnitude of 7.7,[1] JMA magnitude 7.4,[2] and triggered a small tsunami. The earthquake reached a maximum intensity of Shindo 5 in Sendai and caused 28 deaths and 1,325 injuries."

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi bluerthanblue, glad you found the link helpful. I love that page, as so many "longer term" informations are visible.
      Kudos again to the enenewser who posted it first (I wish it had been me, lol).

  • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

    Also, the 1978 quake caused a load of landslides. Let's pray for this NOT to happen again to Northern Honshu before solutions can be found to shore up fuel pools and buildings, remove remaining fuel, and stop/mitigate radiated water from further egress into the ocean. This is a tall order, one where all needs will be probably not be resolved but we must try.
    Globalists need to get off their behinds and HELP THE JAPANESE! All the grand puppet masters must heed this urgent call to rise to this occasion to perform the necessary miracle(s) or fade into a radioactive oblivion with the rest of us, in the very near future. That's my take anyway. Off soapbox now. If things get worse I might have to wear a sandwich board- 🙂