Highest Yet: Iodine-131 in No. 3 spent fuel pool at over 1,000,000 times normal — “Generated during nuclear fission” (VIDEO)

Published: May 10th, 2011 at 11:39 am ET
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Radiation high at No.3 reactor pool, NHK, May 10, 2011:

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has detected high levels of radioactive materials in the spent fuel pool of the No.3 reactor at the plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company examined a water sample from the pool on Sunday. The sample contained 140,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium-134 per cubic centimeter, 150,000 becquerels of cesium-137, and 11,000 becquerels of iodine-131. [...]

TEPCO says these substances may have come from damaged fuel rods in the reactor rather than the damaged spent fuel rods in the pool, because it has detected radioactive iodine, which has a short half-life. Radioactive substances such as iodine are generated during nuclear fission inside a reactor. [...]

Watch the video here.

Normal Iodine-131 level in a spent fuel pool is .01 Becquerel per cubic centimeter or less -Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2011

Iodine-131 can only come from nuclear fission, and because it has a short life, it disappears after about 80 days. In other words, the presence of iodine-131 suggests that the spent fuel has started its own chain reaction without any human intervention. -Arnold Gundersen, speaking about No. 4 spent fuel pool on April 15, 2011

Previous Highs fo Iodine-131:

  • No. 2 Spent Fuel Pool: 4,100 becquerels per cubic centimeter -April 19
  • No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool: 220 becquerels per cubic centimeter -April 14
Published: May 10th, 2011 at 11:39 am ET
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15 comments

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15 comments to Highest Yet: Iodine-131 in No. 3 spent fuel pool at over 1,000,000 times normal — “Generated during nuclear fission” (VIDEO)

  • DuckNCover

    So if it came from the fuel inside the reactor…how did it get out of that intact reactor and into the pool??? [News reporter questions 101]


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    • A life all its own….

      the presence of iodine-131 suggests that the spent fuel has started its own chain reaction without any human intervention. -Arnold Gundersen, speaking about No. 4 spent fuel pool on April 15, 2011

      the gift that keeps on giving – we bring good things to life….


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      • Dbug

        Although the iodine cannot be very old and would not have been from stable stored fuel, the high level of iodine alone should not be used to reach a conclusion. If it is coming from an ongoing reaction, the ratio of the iodine products to the cesium is at a maximum value. Due to the short half life for the iodine, the ratio falls fairly quickly for material that’s found away from the source. Also, presence of some other isotopes is a useful indicator, as some of those that are not water soluble are found at far lower relative levels if the material was carried there by steam escaping from the reactor.
        Some previously published leakage analysis could likely provide good baseline values.

        I don’t have numbers in front of me, but I’m pretty sure that the previous numbers I saw did not have the iodine so low compared to the cesium. If that is true, that would indicate that some time has passed since the reaction (and it was most likely from the reactor). I recall seeing that unit 3 wasn’t holding pressure, so it is almost certainly venting some steam.

        Analysis results need to be corrected for decay that occurs between the time of sample collection and the time of analysis. Hopefully they’ve done that.


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        • extra knight

          what you’re saying is you don’t know, and that probably arnie gundersen is correct. i agree, there is no way to explain away those astronomically high amouhts of iodine-131 in the spent fuel rod pools.


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        • Decker

          I think this is the first time they publish water samples results from the spent fuel pool at reactor number 3?


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  • Moco

    I really wonder how many of these workers, kamakazees, are doing very well.
    ANd you thought your job was bad…
    Corporate amerika should take a bow, for how fast and how well they have sucked the life out of everything truly good in this world.


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  • misitu

    Is this not consequent upon the criticality in the No 3 Fuel Pool?


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  • xdrfox

    Lots of material fell and may have damaged the casings, some may have been other fuel rods landing on them !


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  • norral

    not to worry. radiation is good for u. no problem not problems at all


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  • norral

    not a problem, not to worry, everything is all right . trust me , that glowing u are experiencing is NOT a problem


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