IEEE: Fukushima unprecedented in scope — Situation appeared utterly beyond human control — “Raging fire in a spent-fuel pond”… Yet claims only partial meltdowns?

Published: January 2nd, 2012 at 2:52 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
49 comments


The Biggest Energy Story of 2011, IEEE Spectrum, Jan. 2, 2012 [Emphasis Added]:

This one is not a tough call: The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe was hands-down the major energy event of 2011.

Two aspects of the disaster were particularly devastating. First, its unprecedented scope–three reactor partial meltdowns [IEEE's reporting contradicts the 'partial' assertion], two hydrogen explosions [Japan says three hydrogen explosions occurred at Units 1, 3, and 4 -- though some officials investigating the accident believe a nuclear explosion may have occurred at No. 3] that destroyed outer containment buildings, and a raging fire in a spent-fuel pond–all providing vivid television images of a situation utterly beyond human control. [...]

Read the report here

Published: January 2nd, 2012 at 2:52 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
49 comments

Related Posts

  1. Nuclear Expert: Fukushima spent fuel has 85 times more cesium than released at Chernobyl — “It would destroy the world environment and our civilization… an issue of human survival” -Former UN adviser April 6, 2012
  2. “Would be like Chernobyl on steroids” if spent fuel catches fire says nuclear engineer who works at identical plant — Each reactor holds 3,450 spent fuel assemblies March 15, 2011
  3. Fukushima fallout lingered just above ground to be inhaled — While Chernobyl particles appeared to be at higher elevations, or were rained onto surface without floating at low elevation (DIAGRAM) April 25, 2012
  4. AP: ‘Reconstructed’ gov’t minutes reveal “worse than Chernobyl” fears — Fukushima Daini’s 4 spent fuel pools mentioned March 9, 2012
  5. Kyoto U. expert: Melted fuel may have sunk into ground — “We are now head to head with a situation that mankind has never faced before” September 9, 2011

49 comments to IEEE: Fukushima unprecedented in scope — Situation appeared utterly beyond human control — “Raging fire in a spent-fuel pond”… Yet claims only partial meltdowns?

  • kintaman kintaman

    “appeared”???


    Report comment

    • Enenews Admin

      thanks for bringing that up kintaman

      the IEEE author wrote “providing vivid television images of a situation utterly beyond human control”

      the author’s statement seems to say that the images showed an out of control situation… not necessarily that the situation itself was out of control… just that the images showed it to be that way. hence “appeared” was added.

      if you have a question/comment like kintaman had, please ask it. accuracy is a top priority.


      Report comment

      • fredlvie

        ask? have.

        again and again and again a.s.o

        WHAT ABOUT NEUTRON RADIATION-VALUES AT FUKUSHIMA???

        (must be horrible)


        Report comment

        • Enenews Admin

          fredlvie, let’s keep this on topic
          i was more welcoming comments questioning the accuracy of the report being discussed, not so much news suggestions
          post more about the neutron values in the general discussion forum
          maybe others will add to it as well
          if there’s something to publish from that info we’ll take the next step


          Report comment

          • fredlvie

            nothing MORE than topic…
            nhk always had “not detected” in their fuku-news.the crux is:there MUST be neutron radiation.but no geigercounter can detect this.must be a special measurement equipment for detecting neutron radiationpls read in wikipedia about that.so you will understand that i am ON TOPIC.

            ;-)

            (but,for convenience,i will not further ask this question HERE.)

            and thanks for all the reportings you brought all the time to us.have a nice year 2012 however possible under THIS circumstances:-()


            Report comment

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        “Appeared” and most of the other verbs in the IEEE piece are in the past tense. I realize it’s a retrospective piece, but a reader might take it as “appeared out of control back in 2011 but now they have cold shutdown so let’s forget it and get ready for the Super Bowl”.

        I read IEEE Spectrum computing science material eagerly – I’m much more wary when they editorialize.

        http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/nuclear/iaeas-iran-report-represents-critical-inflection-point


        Report comment

  • arclight arclight

    “Despite all those benefits, the even more obvious risks of nuclear energy have come to dominate perceptions in the rich countries. As a result, it’s clear now that net nuclear generation will decrease in the coming decades as older reactors are taken out of service, and that on balance nuclear will not make a positive contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in North America, Europe, or Japan. Only in fast developing countries like China and India are nuclear prospects still positive.”

    ______________________________________________________________________

    * Though the corporate and official response to the Three Mile Island accident also was not ideal initially, as the crisis unfolded, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s top safety official, Harold Denton, made the best of a bad situation with candid status assessments. As required by Japanese law, the country’s nuclear regulator established a regional command center immediately after the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and the prime minister visited; yet the prime minister himself mistrusted what he was hearing from his nuclear safety advisers, and the advisers never established a credible public presence.”

    intersting observation that last…

    “Only in fast developing countries like China and India are nuclear prospects still positive.”

    hope not!


    Report comment

    • Harold Denton may have appeared to be a trustworthy figure – being always Johnny-on-the-spot to tut-tut Met-Ed/GPU whenever they got caught laying their buns off, but he wasn’t telling the truth either. NRC was materially involved in the coverup of release rates and doses, plume path and activity, and physically preventing the radiological protection recovery personnel from doing their job in an unprecedented situation.

      Just wanted to make that clear, historical accuracy and all that. World Nuclear Association director general John Ritch’s ‘report’ in Forbes India today underlines your last sentence admirably.


      Report comment

    • Ha! Never mind, arclight. I posted before opining the link, your qualification per TMI comes from the author at IEEE.

      My take on the Ritch article is here.


      Report comment

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Candid status assessments?


      Report comment

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    They forgot that it was 4 nuclear explosions including the spent fuel pool and 3 complete melt through events. These stupid media clowns still don’t understand that there is nothing partial about a nuclear fission explosion in all 3 reactors. The fuel rods were exposed long enough to explode up and down into the ground. There is no evidence that supports TEPCO’s claim that a “partial meltdown” happened. From what I saw there was no hydrogen explosions at all considering the flashes of bright EMP in the videos of every explosion from 3/11. Reporting debunked facts really grinds my gears.


    Report comment

  • Conclusion – Fukushima really blew up, launching TONS of Uranium and Plutonium into the atmosphere.

    HERE is all the supporting information.

    http://nukepimp.blogspot.com/2012/01/uranium-in-air.html


    Report comment

    • Kevin Kevin

      @ Stock

      From your link, conservative estimates of 640 pounds of areosolized plutonium.

      So a conservative suggest our environs have been contaminated with 64 times the amount of plutomium required to kill every body on earth.

      That is to say, properly distributed we could kill the planets populations 64 times, conservatively.

      And we several thousands years to spread it around and risk ingesting it.


      Report comment

      • I’ve heard, possibly from Arnie [maybe Helen Caldicott], that only 9 lbs can kill everyone on earth.

        So, it’s about 71 times the amount needed to kill everyone on earth.

        Luckily, we all suffer from acute congenital mortality syndrome anyway (ACMS?), so there is an ‘out’.


        Report comment

      • Some will sink into ocean, some will deposit in uninhabitated areas. Some will be re-released in dust storms and such.

        It sucks big time, I suspected this from long ago, but finally took the steps to calculate it, and back it up, and make sure I had the baseline correct.

        I have not studied the toxicity of plutonium myself, so cannot comment on that, but uranium sucks, and plutonium is worse.

        yeah that blowed up real good.


        Report comment

        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          Here is a study from Wikipeda”The “hot particle” theory in which a particle of plutonium dust radiates a localized spot of lung tissue has been tested and found false—such particles are more mobile than originally thought and toxicity is not measurably increased due to particulate form.[91]
          However, when inhaled, plutonium can pass into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, plutonium moves throughout the body and into the bones, liver, or other body organs. Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation and thus may cause cancer.[95]
          A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, the math shows that one pound of plutonium could kill no more than 2 million people by inhalation. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.[96]
          Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and “terminally ill” patients injected with Pu in 1945–46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed. These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results.[91] “There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940′s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them.”[96][97]
          Plutonium has a metallic taste.[98


          Report comment

          • Yeah, that’s more what I thought it would be by “gut”,

            Don’t focus just on Pu, think of the massive uranium that allowed the 3800% over base level of Gov published test data in Hawaii, and Hawaii is like 3850 miles from Japan.


            Report comment

          • Radio VicFromOregon

            moonshellblue, I’m thinking that your finding on wikipedia points to Arnie’s explanation that many people’s bodies will deal with radiation fallout and remove it like it would any other toxin, while others will be unable to mount a sufficient immune defense response. The trouble here is that the role of the body’s immune response to ionized radiation has not been researched adequately for any of us to make any completely accurate claim. However, I do think that studies on children, who are genetically active growth wise, do show a higher incidence than the general adult population. Also, since radiation doesn’t disperse evenly, it’s hard to tell precisely how much one person downwind got exposed to over another person who may be standing nearby. I also gotta figure that the terminally ill patients willing to be injected with Pu didn’t live the 30 years it would take to develop cancer, nor the slow increase in toxicity that could take years. Finally, the sad thing is that we all focus on cancer, which, from my reading, is the least likely of the diseases to develop that are caused by the immunological disruption from ionized radiation, Pu or otherwise. We miss the true impact of radiation fallout by focusing on the smallest incidence of illness rather than on the majority of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. that will result. I think that if this type of radiation was not all that toxic, we’d see an abundance of life as we know it in the environments where it exists. Instead, we see winners and losers biologically and a substantial loss of biodiversity in contaminated areas after an initial rise in death rates. Not all life as we know it will succumb and die from this disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. But, there will be large swaths of unnecessary suffering just so humans can turn on a lightbulb. And, as a cancer survivor, dealing with it ain’t no picnic, so I’d prefer a cleaner fuel.


            Report comment

            • Radio VicFromOregon

              I gotta figure out how to interact with wikipedia. Thanks for the link. It’d be great to be able to simply leave links on wikipedia that could help readers go deeper into the discussion like you’ve done here.


              Report comment

            • lam335 lam335

              re: “the terminally ill patients willing to be injected with Pu didn’t live the 30 years it would take to develop cancer, nor the slow increase in toxicity that could take years.”

              For the record, those patients were not “willing to be injected with Pu.” They were not even informed about the fact that they were. Scientists simply chose them to be guinea pigs, without obtaining any informed consent. One of the people injected was a four year-old boy. Another was a eighteen year-old woman (see p. 208 of link).
              http://library.lanl.gov/cgi-bin/getfile?00326640.pdf

              No matter how likely it may seem that a 4 year-old with cancer is going to die, how can you ever just write them off and believe it is justifiable to inject them with plutonium?

              These scientists thought they were gods. Their hubris transformed them into devils.


              Report comment

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              I have chronic Lyme disease, so I can speak to the seriousness of being immune compromised. Have had multiple secondary “opportunistic” infections since developing chronic Lyme.

              Many people in Japan are now developing cancers, anemia, Mycoplasma pneumoniae among other things. Immune suppression is a common thread in all these diseases.

              Yes, cancer is part of the picture, but IMHO, the immune suppression caused by radiation exposure is the 10 ton canary in the room with the little bitty kitty.


              Report comment

  • Jebus Jebus

    Fukushima In 40 Year Cold Shutdown

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Alan Gillis Reports Nine months after the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese Government claims that the 3 damaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi are in cold shutdown conditions. Yes, if you add “conditions” which they did. At best with all the jerry-rigging to cool down the melted reactor cores and melted spent fuel pond at Reactor 4, using a mile of rubber hose to patch in new pumps, also add Temporary to cold shutdown conditions and 40 years to dismantle the industrial carnage in the Japanese government’s new plan. That is if all goes well and new technologies are developed to safely remove melted cores and rods and dispose of them somehow somewhere.

    http://bigsciencenews.blogspot.com/2011/12/fukushima-in-40-year-cold-shutdown.html


    Report comment

  • kein kein

    BBC world tonite (10pm london time) report on fukishima.try BBC IPLAYER. start 28minutes in.listen and laugh (because what else you gonna do !)


    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    ..a fire ya say?…put out? ..how is that?


    Report comment

    • Jebus Jebus

      Easy to say HotR,

      I stopped putting wood into my woodstove, it burned out, therefore I can say that I put it out…

      Throw another spent fuel rod on the fire hiroshimo, we have 2200 more rods here before we can say, “We put it out”


      Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    … I know…it’s hard to bear the lies..


    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Fear drives cowards to be the best liars…
    And cowards they are…lethal cowards.


    Report comment

  • The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe was hands-down the major energy event of 2011. That is why the MSM’s silence is deafening. No expose in Science Illustrated etc etc. Times Man of the Year is the Protestor, but not much mentioned of Fukushima. Unpresedented triple meltdown given very little coverage. Coverup????


    Report comment

  • Jebus Jebus

    Nuclear Fantasy

    The executive director of Greenpeace International argues that the world needs less nuclear power, not more.
    DEC/JAN 2012

    For a source of electricity that contributes to about 3 percent of global energy consumption, we are having an awfully big debate. Charles D. Ferguson (“Think Again: Nuclear Power,” November 2011) and company seem to miss this point when they trot out a litany of lame claims about how nuclear energy is a climate-friendly panacea for energy security…

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/03/nuclear_fantasy


    Report comment

  • Jebus Jebus

    Nuclear Power Industry in Weakened State
    Falling natural gas prices, post-Fukushima concerns impact cost

    WASHINGTON—The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) removed a major obstacle to four new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina when it announced Dec. 22 that it had certified an amended version of Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design for use in the United States. The enhanced design will better enable nuclear power plants to withstand the impact of an aircraft.

    About a decade ago in 2001, the nuclear industry spoke of a “nuclear renaissance,” because of the appeal of low cost, clean, nuclear energy replacing fossil fuels and dependence on foreign oil. With the anticipated approval of new reactors in Georgia and South Carolina early in 2012, there is talk now of a “nuclear revival.”….

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/nuclear-power-industry-in-weakened-state-168618.html


    Report comment

  • kid42day kid42day

    Hello, everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster.

    So many articles in the mainstream-ish press are like this: written in past-tense as to convey a sense of the event having had happened, rather than continuing to unfold. It is specious reporting at best, and outright lying at worst. Regardless, Fukushima is certainly the biggest event of 2011, and perhaps the decade–perhaps ever, for that matter. It does seem to be completely out of human control, and may have been from the get go. I’m coming to learn from Fukushima that there is no “Plan B,” backup plan, contingency plan, or anything of the sort for when nuclear reactors melt down.

    http://californianuclearinitiative.com/


    Report comment

  • Jebus Jebus

    Even higher costs and more headaches ahead for nuclear power in 2012 Commentary Jan. 03, 2012 – 05:49AM JST

    With the Fukushima disaster, earthquake-related reactor shutdowns, further reactor project cost escalation, infighting at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and cheap natural gas, 2011 was a year the nuclear power industry would prefer to get behind it as quickly as possible.

    But, looking ahead, experts see continuing challenges that will make it extremely difficult for the nuclear power industry to expand in the U.S. beyond a small handful of reactor projects that government agencies decide to subsidize by forcing taxpayers to assume the risk for the reactors and mandating that ratepayers pay for construction in advance….

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/commentary/view/even-higher-costs-and-more-headaches-ahead-for-nuclear-power-in-2012


    Report comment