Gundersen: Level 8 on INES Scale is needed for Fukushima-like disasters (VIDEO)

Published: August 30th, 2012 at 6:51 pm ET


Title: It Could Have Been Worse
Source: Fairewinds Energy Education
Date: Aug 30, 2012

At ~8:30 in

Arnie Gundersen:There is a citizen scientist in Pennsylvania who has suggested, and I think it is a great suggestion, that we add a level to the international nuclear scale to address the fact that when more than one nuclear plant is having an accident, the whole world needs to mobilize to solve the problem. I am sure you know that Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl were both considered Level 7 accidents which is the worst that could happen.


it was a multi-unit accident and it also affected many sites. Well, that affects how many resources are brought in from outside and that is why Scott Portzline’s recommendation that we add a level to the nuclear accident scale is so important. So Mr .Portzline is recommending, and I agree with him, that we really need one more rung on the international emergency scale. We need a Level 8.


the International Atomic Energy Agency needs to admit that there are circumstances beyond a Level 7, a Level 8, where international co-operation is critical.  If only the international community had had a Level 8 and recognized that it was not just a single plant or a single site that was in jeopardy, and that, in fact, 14 nuclear reactors at 4 different sites were in jeopardy.  The world might have been able to minimize the consequences at Fukushima Daiichi and minimize the exposure to the Japanese population if only the international community had acted faster.

Published: August 30th, 2012 at 6:51 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Host: Fukushima may be one of biggest events to ever affect us in modern times — Gundersen: It should be ‘Level 8’ on INES scale (AUDIO) January 10, 2014
  2. Fukushima should be ranked LEVEL 10 nuclear disaster (INES scale only goes up to 7) — Plant Worker: We caused the “worst kind” of accident (VIDEO) November 7, 2017
  3. Fukushima ranked Level 8 on newly proposed nuclear scale, above Chernobyl (VIDEO) August 13, 2012
  4. TV: Isn’t Fukushima Daiichi at least a 21 on International Nuclear Event Scale, equal to 3 Level 7’s? “Global catastrophe… Disaster of unimaginable proportions” (VIDEO) August 22, 2013
  5. New radioactive leak reported at Fukushima on Sunday — Previous leak admitted to be “far more toxic” than public told — Over 80 trillion becquerels flowed into Pacific, unspecified amount of “nuclear fuel material” — Already rated an INES ‘Level 3’ incident using the much lower incorrect figures April 13, 2014

40 comments to Gundersen: Level 8 on INES Scale is needed for Fukushima-like disasters (VIDEO)

  • CaptD CaptD

    I suggest these almost a year ago:
    –> 8 Core breach with MD w/ Local Cancers after mass evac.'s (for Decades).
    –> 9 Core breach with MD with immediate Local deaths + mass evac.' (Gen.'s).
    –> 10 Core breach with MD causing world wide death's!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Japan recently proved it doesn't need nuclear plants. And this shows that no country does.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    From the above link..
    Those pumps along the water provide cooling water to the diesels, just like the pump on the front of your engine on your car. Without those pumps operating, the diesels were doomed to fail anyway. It does not matter if those diesels were 100 feet in the air. The pumps along the water were destroyed. And that is the real root cause of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. We call that the loss of the ultimate heat sink. And the keyword there is ultimate. You need the ocean to pull the water out of the nuclear reactor to keep it cool. But that same water has to cool the diesels to make that happen. The diesels would not have worked even if they had not been flooded. Now this problem that we call the loss of the ultimate heat sink, did not just happen at Fukushima Daiichi I, II, III, and IV. All 6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi site experienced it, but also at the Fukushima Daini site, the Onagawa site, and the Tokai site. Between those 4 sites there are 14 nuclear reactors. They had 37 diesels. 9 of them failed because of the tsunami. Those are the ones at Fukushima Daiichi I, II, III and IV. But 15 others failed too.

    Mr. Gundersen is trying to say that of all these diesel pump failures at all the various sites..somehow became functional in time to prevent meltdowns at the rest of the sites…except Fukushima.?

    • patb2009

      I think what he means is that of 37 diesels at 14 different reactors, 24 failed entirely 13 survived and those surviving 13 were enough to prevent total catastrophe at Fukusima Daichi 5,6, Daini 1-4,
      Tokai 1-2 and Onogawa 1-2.

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        "What happened was the pumps along the ocean were destroyed, not just for Fukushima Daiichi I, II, III, and IV, but for every one of those sites at least one diesel was knocked out because it could not be cooled."

        And the remaining 13 deisel generators..managed to be in place..with cooling systems for them in place..and prevented meltdowns in the other reactors?

        • Sickputer

          If there are more meltdowns I would think after 17 months there would be some leak of the news. If they can keep such a secret in the Internet and cell phone era then the nucleocrats are the best liars since Stalin and Hitler.

          We will see if a Deep Throat spills the greatest secret of the 21st century.

  • throwing_stones

    The concept of "levels of severity" when used in reference to any nuclear accident seems utterly absurd. When things go wrong with reactors everything is fucked. There is no other way to put it. It seems like to me that when everything is fucked in any situation, but especially a multiple nuclear reactor meltdown, the nation that is facing catastrophe should immediately and instinctively reach out for all of the help that they can get. And it should be given without regard to monetary cost. That did not happen here. Levels of severity would not have changed that at all. It boils down to more mind games really.
    What happened with Arnie? Maybe he feels the truth is so bad that it really would cause social breakdown? Speculation, I know, but so is every single other piece of "news" or "expert opinion". Nobody knows what is happening in Fukushima, not even the people on site. Everything is fucked and nobody has any clue how to fix it, how to stop it, or how to control it. Scary shit. The scariest thing about this whole shitshow is that the average person has no idea that anything at all is going on in Japan unless they happened to catch the monthly,fifteen second "update" on the "news".
    The real question to me is, when will they just give up and start pretending that it really is fixed, or have they already? Nuclear power has definitely been Man's biggest failure. Silly idea really. At least for people who cannot control it. We may never get the chance to evolve…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    A different INES international response?
    I don't think so..
    The DOD, DOE, NRC,TEPCO..the Japanese government…all know the real ranking.
    Control and cover-up..would be the same or worse.
    The rest of the international community?..personas non grata.

    • patb2009

      Unless the IAEA sets the Level, it's not likely, that it will matter.

      Metropolitan Edison said TMI was INES 3, when it involved a Core melt and containment breach.

      TEPCO said it was INES 4 when they knew it was a triple meltdown.

      It was only the Russians who declared INES 7 and that was 72 hours after the plent blew


    how is it possible there are no international emergency response plans in place? Are we to think, radiation suddenly falls to the ground when it reaches the borders of another nation? Is it even possible that this deadly technology been around for decades-upon-decades and no one thought to formalize an international emergency response protocol? We're now supposed to accept that they somehow overlooked what's to be done, if something – does – go wrong? Is this even possible?

    From day one, damage control should have been at the forefront of every cooperative exchange in nuclear power technologies. Are we to accept that this total lack of planning was but another expense being passed-on to future generations? If there a statute-of-limitations on the prosecution of those who inadvertently cause the death of millions?

    My opinion has reached a new low for those who professed the right to saturate this planet with nuclear power technologies. The word 'scum' only begins to illustrate my feelings for them.

    Must stop now as there's nothing but seething rage running through my mind…

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Agreed AFTERSHOCK…If I was able I would have had military rolling in in tanks if needed. NO Options period.

      I too have so much rage. Not only can we Not count on our paid government employees to protect us or do what is necessary to reduce damage…there is Not one leader worldwide who has the … …to stand up to Tepco & Yakuza et al.


        @MaidenHeaven: it's evident (at least it should be to all by now) that we're on our own. Seeing how there are no rules in play, time's arrived when we – the people of the world – must dismiss all of those currently participating in our representative governments and get things under control, ourselves. Survival of the human species is at stake. Natural law has it that you do not have to ask for permission to exist. I was hoping that someone 'at the top' would come forward to get this under control. They are obvious incompetents and completely indifferent to the plight of the Japanese people and those beyond their borders. We've been left with no other option…

  • Break the SILENCE…

    14 Nuclear Plants in jeopardy!
    I consider myself to be somewhat informed on the topic of Fukushima Meltdowns yet it's taken MORE than 17 months for this point to be emphasized.

    Maybe we should create an open ended 'sliding' nuclear accident scale.

    I would make a scale from 0 to 100.


    100 – the planet implodes
    90 – all life ceases to exist

    ?? – [..We are somewhere in this range now..]

    60 – the melted core locations are unknown
    50 – there are multiple meltdowns
    40 – stopping radiation releases is not possible
    30 – genetic damage is imminent!
    20 – death rates increase
    15 – birth rates decrease
    10 – ecosystems destroyed, suffering begins
    5 – air, water, soil are contaminated worldwide
    0 – ZERO – radionuclide free resources (pre-1940 levels)

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    It IS a multi-unit accident, not "was a multi-unit accident." Radiation is spewing now.

    Fukushima radiation is now in the Southern Hemisphere.

    The entire planet is now at risk of having jellyfish babies for children and grandchildren, or not having children at all.

    Do the nuclear powers-that-be believe that there will be no repercussions for themselves?

    Whether it is called a 7, 8, or a 1,000,000,000, it won't change the fate of the jellyfish children.

    A friend sent this list of trending topics on Google Insights:

    "Rising searches

    1. partial molar pregnancy +850%
    2. toxemia in pregnancy +100%
    3. molar pregnancy +70%
    4. pupps pregnancy +70%
    5. piles in pregnancy +60%
    6. countdown to pregnancy +40%
    7. pregnancy timeline +40%
    8. signs of miscarriage +40%

    Lijon Eknilang of the Marshall Islands explains her experience with the effect of nuclear radiation…I have had miscarriages on seven occasions. On one of those occasions, the child I miscarried was severely deformed – it had only one eye…they give birth, not to children as we like to think of them, but to things we could only describe as "octopuses," "apples," "turtles"…

  • norbu norbu

    I am putting on boots because the bullsh#^ is getting deep.

  • Sickputer

    No sense beating up a good suggestion especially since the world's sheep are being told Chernobyl was much worse. So it would be a positive step to add a level indicating Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl.

    Having said that I feel that you can't help a country with leaders like Japan. Despite being an occupied country (or perhaps because they are one) the Japanese government is too arrogant to admit defeat (so far anyway).

    Like a sorry pathetic junkie the Japanese government has to hit rock bottom before they admit they are incapable of solving their problem without help. And I don't mean the kind of help they have received so far from their "friends". They need help proportional to the problem and the problem is huge.

    America, France, China, India, and Russia need to commit manpower and materials, no money from Japan requested..

    They have allowed Japan time to fix their own mess, but we see how that has worked out.

    If they don't come to Japan's aid then the jig is up…their own citizens will eventually learn the truth about Japan and nobody will want a nuclear plant within 5,000 miles.

    This scenario is certainly something that the Big Brothers know might happen, but they are going to milk the existing plants as long as they can. They quite possibly have written off Japan and her people and views them as expendable. The world economy will not implode if everyone dies in Japan. China and India would be happy to pick up the slack.

    Sayonara Japan..

  • patb2009

    I think we should just start Declaring Fukushima to be INES Level 8, and if we do it enough times,
    it will become reality

  • Sickputer

    Funny Pat…;-)

    The only thing funnier is Wikipedia's use of the word "mostly".

    "The Hanford Site is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex…

    If Fukushima gets an 88, then check back with me in 2040 when the Hanford Site dumps the nuclear turd in the Columbia River. Maybe they will dam the river.

  • fredlvie

    nobody needs the installation of a level-8 in ines scale…what we need is the SHUTDOWN of all nuclear powerplants in the world.


  • or-well

    The new nuke disaster scale:

    Level Flying All OK
    Level Banana All OK
    Level Hormesis You Should Be So Lucky
    Level Slime Mold Oops………………………..

    • or-well

      Every Nuke plant IS – "Level-Potential Maximum Disaster".
      EVERY release demands TRUTH informing and maximum response for genomic protection followed by closure.
      Scales serve to mask, deflect, obfuscate, confuse.
      No scale set by industry or regulators will suffice.
      There's ONE appropriate scale – Zero tolerance, No Nukes.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      or-well, I particularly liked this one! 🙂

      • or-well

        If I incite boredom, indifference or entertain,
        one reason I'm here is to try and repay
        what this place and people have done for me.

        I like to think I'd persist with absurdity
        even without appreciative wordity,
        providing slip-hazard like peel of banana
        a new-thought opening, if not today then manana,
        a small crack in the mirror, a sinkhole, a nudge,
        a small seismic tickle, a nice piece of fudge,
        a taste of perspective for one micro-second
        a looking away from the beckoning spectre,
        another button to push on the nuke-power ejector.
        It's a big challenge with so few skills –
        at best I can pass around right-colored pills,
        at worst I'll take some embarassing spills –
        but that's nothing compared to Nuclears' ills.
        All "regulars" know this is what I do
        (and compliments or-well would never eschew!)
        but for reaching those in the silent majority
        it takes more than rhyme to speak with authority.
        More power to those so ably informed –
        may sites like this be the new media norm!

  • or-well

    Needing a disaster scale,
    Arnie asked a smart old blue whale –
    "Since Humanitys' Dawn
    you've been Natures' pawn –
    now you're on the Extinction trail!"

    "Now don't go turning all pale,
    just because your life-ship has sailed –
    some are still manning pumps
    and trying to Nukes dump –
    get on board and help them to bail!"

  • CB CB

    Thoughts going out to all jelly babies, cancers, mutants, and unsuspecting, unwitting murdered. Peace.

  • Oom Werner P. Oom Werner P.

    With all respect, the current size of the evacuation zone does not match the INES 8 forecast. Evacuations should be done before hand and the size of the evacuation also be determined before hand. I heard a reporter ask – …how do you evacuate Tokyo… –
    The smaller the evacuation the bigger the disaster seems to be. With all respect.

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    Yes. And because it is possible to have a disaster even worse than Fukushima, I think it would be wise to increase the ratings to 10. What if all the reactors had exploded and the SFPs went kerfluey?! In a way, we lucked out.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      As Arnie says in the next article,
      …>>>"It could have been worse."<<<

    • Sickputer

      Dh sez.. "What if all the reactors had exploded and the SFPs went kerfluey?! In a way, we lucked out."

      SP: We're not home free yet. FNPP has a lot more surprises left to reveal. Maybe we have just been living in the eye of the hurricane for 17 months.


    @dharmasyd: I made-up an avatar-graphic for you. Setup a bogus email account somewhere and I'll forward it to you. It's already formatted for presentation on this site. When you get it, save the attached graphic to a safe spot on your hard-drive. From there, log-into your account settings, select avatar upload function and upload it to the enenews server. I advise against using avatars on other sites, as they can make cross-profiling that-much easier for creepers.

    You can reach me at:

    Hopefully, you'll remove the spam-blocks before attempting to use this email…

    Speaking of email. Anyone who wants to email me is welcome to do so. I don't always have the time to answer them. But it's a good thing to share low-level email addresses, in the event of this site going down. It's happened…

  • humptydumpty humptydumpty

    I don't see how a "Level 7" disaster designation with some kind of mandate for international response would have minimized the initial damage at Fukushima. That may have enabled a much better effort to contain the melted cores and to protect the citizens esp Japanese. It might have significantly reduced the release of radionuclides and hastened a decomissioning of the plants. It MIGHT have, but on the other hand it might NOT have made that much difference because the international experts would have been working under the authority of the Japanese government, which has been the crux of the problem all along.

    We have seen how the world (especially the U.S.) has responded to the Climate Change emergency — by doubling down on its fossil fuel consumption and refusing to implement any significant standard for reduction of CO2 emissions. Besides, all those expert scientists can only agree on the most conservative assessment of the timeline and risks, which has proved to be far off the mark.

    In the case of NPP, there is a conspiracy of silence because the whole power industry is owned by the MIC whose interest in maintaining high levels of government spending on nuclear WEAPONS totally negates safety concerns of the public. The very fact that Obama's 2014 budget includes $355 BILLON for upgrading the U.S. nukclear weapons arsenal, is proof that this is one of the top priorities and demonstrates the insanity of this monstrous business.

  • humptydumpty humptydumpty

    I suspect that ultimately there is NO WAY to protect the cooling pumps from serious damage from tsunamis and super-storms, especially considering how increasing seismic activity and rising sea levels will dramatically exacerbate the potential power of those storm conditions in the future. That is, if we even will HAVE much of a future, after what already has happened and continues to threaten all life. Man's vulnerable machines and systems, no matter how robustly they're built, can never be made immune to Nature's fury at its worst.

    I have the impression that AG thinks that, too, although his soft-spoken manner veils his sense of alarm and disgust. The notion that ever increasing levels of danger must be assigned to these doomsday machines, after so many huge destructive messes keep overshadowing the existing heightened response alarms, must compel any sane person to conclude there is no option but to SHUT THEM ALL DOWN NOW.

  • humptydumpty humptydumpty

    The inability of the International Criminal Court in the Hague to charge and indict GW Bush and Cheney and company with war crimes after they attacked Iraq with DU weapons (and so much more), shows that all-powerful governments are loathe to be subject to international laws.

    The issues of human rights need to be extended to those who are victims of nuclear disasters, and the original perpetrators — the corporations that have profited enormously by building these systems — should be held accountable for "accidents" which are really crimes against humanity and against the ecosystem.

    After all, Japan had numerous offers of assistance which they refused. Tepco consulted with the big cheese GE, but still they couldn't or wouldn't do much to mitigate the protracted disaster that got worse and worse. Oh, sure… GE offered to "rebuild" the "damaged" reactors. Thanks a bunch!