Japan Journalist: Melted nuclear fuel sank into the ground under Fukushima reactors — Irradiated groundwater is flowing into ocean through sea-bottom springs, it’s too late to do anything about this (PHOTO)

Published: October 22nd, 2013 at 9:04 pm ET


Kyunghyang Shinmun (Major daily newspaper in South Korea –Source), Oct. 21, 2013: Japan‘s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, promoting Tokyo as the site for the 2020 Summer Olympics, said to the International Olympic Committee: “Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you, the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.” […] To [journalist Hirose Takashi], Abe‘s words were a bald-faced lie. And he decided to make this lie known to the world, especially the world of sports. He has written A Letter to All Young Athletes Who Dream of Coming to Tokyo in 2020, and to Their Coaches and Parents: Some Facts You Should Know. […] to conceal from them the truth about Tokyo today is not merely unkind; it is criminal. […]

Excerpts from Hirose’s letter: […] Inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors #1 – #3 the pipes (which had circulated cooling water) are broken, which caused a meltdown. This means the nuclear fuel overheated, melted, and continued to melt anything it touched. Thus it melted through the bottom of the reactor, and then through the concrete floor of the building, and sank into the ground. […] for two and a half years TEPCO workers have been desperately pouring water into the reactor, but it is not known whether the water is actually reaching the melted fuel. […] Only the fact that irradiated water is leaking onto the surface of the ground around the reactor is reported. But deep under the surface the ground water is also being irradiated, and the ground water flows out to sea and mixes with the seawater through sea-bottom springs. It is too late to do anything about this. […] It’s a sad story, but this is the present situation of Japan and of Tokyo. I had loved the Japanese food and this land until the Fukushima accident occurred.

See also: [intlink id=”japan-journalist-plutonium-and-uranium-escaped-from-fukushima-reactors-as-a-gas-temperature-was-9000of-cant-be-detected-by-a-geiger-counter-children-must-be-evacuated-yet-nothing-is-done-t” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: October 22nd, 2013 at 9:04 pm ET


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39 comments to Japan Journalist: Melted nuclear fuel sank into the ground under Fukushima reactors — Irradiated groundwater is flowing into ocean through sea-bottom springs, it’s too late to do anything about this (PHOTO)

  • Sickputer

    Nice terminology… "Sea-bottom springs".

    Too late is probably right. Not a single leader in the major governing bodies of the world care to spend trillions on this lost cause. They will ignore it as long as possible, hoping for the miracle that will never arrive.

    Sadness in Japan…

  • own_quality

    The greatest experiment on all of mankind has begun.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    It will be between a million years and forever before the are around Fukushima will be inhabitable. They should evacuated all of Japan, the West Coast of North America, and parts of Asia.

    Fukushima radiation cleanup well behind schedule
    “With Japan's admission that the radiation cleanup near the Fukushima nuclear plant is behind schedule, it's unclear when evacuees from the area will be able to return. One worker clearing radioactive soil tells Seth Doane it's a futile task.”

    • or-well

      Under what global regime would that evacuation have occurred?
      What about the people who didn't want to go?
      These evacuation/relocation "should-haves" of numbers like that are not anywhere near actual reality-based.
      It's so easy to say should have.
      All of America's nuclear clunkers should be shut down – a much easier task, one would think, than relocating hundreds of millions of people, yet, it doesn't seem to be going very well.
      To end nuclear, people will have to confront reality.

      • J.

        Thank you for the common sense observation. It is nearly impossible to evacuate even the Tokyo metropolitan area, even assuming everyone were willing. I doubt most would consider it. The country? It's beyond absurd.

        As for the author's contention that the fuel is underground: I don't understand how he's so sure. I can't dispute the laim, but it doesn't correspond with the enormous quantities of irradiated water in the tanks. Those can't be coming from coriums cooled deep underground. It makes no sense to me.

        • Sickputer

          J. typed some pixels of light:

          "It is nearly impossible to evacuate even the Tokyo metropolitan area, even assuming everyone were willing. I doubt most would consider it. The country? It's beyond absurd"

          SP: Certainly relocating 125 million people from a large island sounds ludicrous. The problem is the deadly toxins are mostly invisible and reside haphazardly across the country. So there is no sense of urgency except for the people who are experiencing nosebleeds, thyroid cancers, and other visible medical symptoms of radiation poison.

          Now if the entire country was being slowly covered with ten feet of volcanic lava or was sinking an inch a week into the ocean? Would that evoke the age-old human instinct of flight versus flight? Probably many would flee, but not all. Witness old Harry Truman at Mount St. Helens. Statistics from ordered evacuations reveal 5% will never leave.

          J. also writes: "but it doesn't correspond with the enormous quantities of irradiated water in the tanks. Those can't be coming from coriums cooled deep underground."

          That tank water is coming from the SARRY water filtration system to cool the reactor buildings. Cooling water leaks from the buildings constantly. The kamikaze filter workers work with giant sludge canisters of very toxic radiation waste they have been filtering for nearly two years. They have rows and rows of those large canisters onsite and they rival virtually any deposit at Hanford Site.

          • We Not They Finally

            SP. I'm on your side regarding evacuation.

            J., the lovely "alternatives" that have been chosen over evacuation are millions of parents lied to about the health of their children, the country's genome being destroyed with succeeding generations PROGRESSIVELY WORSE, doctors forced to lie, and public repression of life-and-death information.

            CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

            It would be helpful if you would re-consider the comment about evacuation being "beyond absurd." What's beyond CRIMINAL is what they already HAVE been doing.

            Though I'm not a fan of the U.S. response either. Not hardly. It progresses more slowly here, but we still seem to be headed for a bad place.

      • We Not They Finally

        or-well, yes of course it should all be shut down in the U.S. But in Japan, THEY CAN'T DO THAT. They obviously do not even know how. It's past the point of no return. All they can really do to save their very lives, is to flee.

        There have been lawsuits brought in Japan to get evacuation of the children that were thrown out of court. There have also been orders for governors of prefectures to NOT accept refugees from affected prefectures. Doctors get dismissed if they mention radiation to patients.

        So it's not just about what is hard to do. What already HAS been done is distressingly inhumane.

        • or-well

          WNTF, actually, in Japan, they ARE all shut down. Now to keep them shut down and get them all decommissioned! No restarts!

          I agree with whoever said let's use relocation instead of evacuation, as the later implies a return within the lifetime of an evacuee.

          In Japan, there are clearly zones of greater contamination than others that are not being acknowledged for the health-damaging consequences of continuing to live there.

          You reinforce my point with what you mention in your second-to-last paragraph.

          So correct – it is not just about what is hard to do. The administrative, political, economic, educational and nuclear-cabal machinations are part of the reality that must be dealt with.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Of course, they maybe couldn't have evacuated everyone, But they could have told everyone that they advise evacuation if they value their lives. This way, they have just told lies which will kill off everyone. The accident was bad enough. But to not pass out potassium iodide, and pretend everything is all right is criminal. It used to be that genocide and crimes against humanity were punishable in a court of justice. Where is morality and justice now?

        Of course, we know why they would rather everyone will die. If they had advised evacuation, they couldn't sell the rest of the world on nuclear energy. They would lose their contracts. Some day their children and grandchildren will hate them. But then, maybe they don't have any children.

        Well, with the ocean dead, the plankton is dead, and we will have less oxygen. I guess better to die of suffocation than cancer.

      • scottyji scottyji

        Yes…good thinking.
        There will always be a trade-off between the economic benefits of industry – any industry – and human health risks. And the money will usually do the talking and shout the loudest in such debates. Individuals' lives will be shortened and lost…"collateral damage" so to speak.
        Governments' "interests" – perpetuating themselves and keeping the people on the consumptive hampster wheel – will rarely be the same as an individual's interest in maintaining good health and long life.

      • scottyji scottyji

        >To end nuclear, people will have to confront reality.
        Au contraire mon frere!
        People need to confront their utilities, their governments, and their own life style.

    • demise demise

      Evacuation of Tokyo, parts of Japan and the NA West Coast would be such s financial shock, that the world would be fall into a deep depression. Note that by that time the Pacific Ocean ecosystem will also be seriously damaged which id just the cherry on top.

      Also note that this is coming very quickly. Within a year the dominoes will start falling. Get away now if you can from the west coast. The US government is already quietly preparing for the eastward exodus. The police militarization and millions of extra bullets bought are just the tip of the iceberg of the preparations underway.

  • MichaelV MichaelV

    …These press releases and headlines have served to detract attention away from the CORE issues…

    Now, we're getting somewhere…
    Tell us where you THINK the cores are located…
    … Tell us what you THINK of putting a mound of dirt under and up to SFP 4

    Either THINK…or THWIM, but don't drown us with indecision.

    • We Not They Finally

      Not really. This seems to be a pretty outspoken brave journalist. He's not in charge of anything technical, but he is doing a real service informing the Olympic athletes not to come. So I say, good for him!

      I do agree, though, we don't hear the word "corium" much. It's avoidance, evasion and lies.

      • MichaelV MichaelV

        I do agree; it's good investigative journalism and I commend his bravery.
        Sometimes the releases lack substance, but I think we may be getting somewhere overall.

  • weeman

    He may very well be right, but we're is the data to back up his claims? Is he privy to information?

    • We Not They Finally

      Even the generalities cited are NOT openly done in Japan. I say, just let him do the best he can. It's a service.

  • dosdos dosdos

    Keep in mind that each of the three coriums is not one single glob in a single location. Some parts of them are no doubt still above ground, scattered through pipes, and some have snaked their way below ground, finding cracks and cubby holes and filling them to solidify, while the rest flowed on by. The coriums are more like a splattering, root like trails of pockets. It's all over and under the reactor builings.

  • razzz razzz

    They could at least evacuate women and children from known hot spots around Japan. That would be the human thing to do. Having doctors lie about patient's conditions accomplishes what?

    • We Not They Finally

      Exactly. But a lawsuit to evacuate the children was apparently thrown out of court without even being tried. It has to be terrifying to just stay and watch your kids get sicker. And forcing doctors to lie to patients is just abominable.

      There are some upset Japanese doctors going to Arnie Gundersen now. We need to keep an eye on that. The more whistleblowers, the better.

    • Phil Shiffley Phil Shiffley

      "Having doctors lie about patient's conditions accomplishes what?"

      Well, when this accelerates and the S really HTF, the dwindling supply of safer food, drink and shelter won't have the stampede of demand from ignorant masses. They're making sure they have less competition for when push comes to shove.

  • rogerthat

    Well, we know where most of the fuel rods in reactor 3 went; they ended up scattered over a 30km radius around the plant. Watch the video of the reactor 3 detonation (actually, there were three blasts at number 3 in very quick succession, one of which presumably was the spent fuel pool). There may be lots of corium still left, in the building and in the ground below. No 2 went downwards, which is why that building is still intact and still very hot (radioactive). So presume most of No 2 is in the ground below. No 1 exploded, and let's assume (because no-one is telling) that half went up and half went down. No 4 spent fuel pool, which contained the unused reactor 4 core and thousands of spent fuel rods and is the current bogeyman, is in my opinion mostly already in the atmosphere. The NRC documents and emails in HatrickPenry's brilliant piece of work of a few weeks ago tell you all you need to know about number 4. To wit, zirc fire, catastrophe. It was so hot that workers were evacuated to a half-mile radius, the ground nearby was littered with pieces of fuel rod, plans to drop water on it ran into the problem that radiation levels above the plant were lethal, and it was without water for two weeks while debris was removed and the bits of fuel rod were bulldozed over. Look at the NRC transcripts. Tepco's explanation about what happened reads like a script for an episode of Dr Who, the Timelord, who travels back in time to change events and save the world.

  • rogerthat

    … and that, in my humble, bumbling and uninformed opinion, is why there was and is no global rush to the rescue; most of the fuel was gone from reactors 1,2,3 and 4 in the first week of the disaster, into the ocean or into the air or on to the surrounding countryside. So what's the point of telling people the worst has happened, that a few thousand hiroshimas worth of radiation is coming their way? Can't be fixed, what's still there can't be stopped, and it doesnt matter anyway, the damage is done. Kan says if the worst had happened (SFP zirc fire), 50 million people would have had to be evacuated. Gunderson says if the worst happens, people should evacuate the northern hemisphere. Well, imho, the worst did happen. Read the transcripts, make up your own mind. Look at what Chuck Casto, the NRC chief of region three, had to say at the time. Ask yourself why Tepco refuses to make the video of the 4SFP explosion public, or even to make it available to the NRC. And ask yourself, if you were the commander in chief, and the NRC told you about a seminal event at SFP4, and its consequences, what you would ask: ''Can anything be done'' springs to mind. And what you might then say: ''Make it go away'' springs to mind. If I were busy trying to dig america and the world out of the GFC, not to mention get re-elected, that's what I would say. So it remains Tepco's and Japan's problem until this day, and if they say SFP4 is still there, everything's hunky dory, why argue?

  • rogerthat

    This issue is easily put to rest by TPTB. All they have to do is tell people the truth, and answer the growing list of questions about what happened, what is still happening, and what will continue to happen until the end of time. "No immediate health effects'' doesn't cut it.

  • Mack Mack

    Meanwhile, ONE brave woman "filed a protest Wednesday against a decision by Tokyo prosecutors not to indict former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co."

    The Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office had decided not to indict any of the accused Tepco employees in a lawsuit filed by 14,716 people.


  • razzz razzz

    There is still plenty of melted fuel and pieces of fuel to deal with onsite.

    Remember they concreted over the bottom of the man made harbor after Unit 3 blew debris into it and they bulldozed other debris into the harbor, all radioactive.

    Unit 2 didn't blow its roof because a blowout panel blew out first and allow steam and hydrogen to escape and not build up inside the building. All the other Units had their blowout panels welded shut because TEPCO didn't want anyone scared if they were ever pictured open. Unit 2 hadn't been done yet.

    Blowout panels are meant to open up ex. during tornadoes to insure the integrity of the units because parts of the Units are airtight (airlocks) to hold negative pressure to keep any possible contamination from escaping and be sent through sensors and filters first before being exhausted outside.

    All (3) Units blew down because that is the weak point in this design with control rods being fed in from the bottom (besides leaky caps and seals). Units 1 & 4 would have survived like 2 if their blowout panels functioned. Not sure if anything would have prevented Unit 3 from its destruction.

  • sangell

    In a nation of 125 million some portion will develop genetic mutations that will propel them to radiological invincibility. Eating radioactive food for example could enable people to digest previously undigestable protein as they might be able to break apart foods at the atomic level as their digestive tract fires off radionuclides at cellulose fibers or even mineral dust.

  • ruppert

    As long as Japan refuses to be fully honest about what they know happened, it leaves the rest of the world playing a "Where's Waldo" game about where the corium is and forces us to waste precious time trying to figure out possible solutions to mitigate the effects.

    Not presenting the facts pretty much shows they feel that nothing can be done. Any sane country that was seriously wanting to rectify the situation would put all the known facts on the table when asking for asking for outside help.

    They know where the corium is (and isn't) and have just been running out the clock so they can say "There's nothing we can do". Judging from the lack of action of the rest of the world, I think they feel the same way and were hoping the outcome would be less than feared.

    Many of Japan's people are sacredly connected with their country and many couldn't even imagine life anywhere else so many will choose to die there. It's nothing short of criminal to not give the people the facts or lie about what is really happening so they can decide for themselves.

    I think they chose not to evacuate the more vulnerable for fear of a stampede out of the country by the less connected countrymen.

    The whole Olympics farce is beyond surreal. The Olympics committee can't be that stupid. Maybe they are just playing along as they know there will not be a 2020 Olympics for some reason.

    • scottyji scottyji

      No government will EVER be "fully honest". C'mon!
      Governments' "interests" – perpetuating themselves and keeping the people on the consumptive hamster wheel – will rarely be the same as an individual's interest in maintaining good health and long life.

  • rogerthat

    Thanks Razzz, most informative, that sounds about right to me; i've been following fukushima from day one, a few hours a day my usual dose ha ha. my guesstimate half of reactor 1 airborne, sfp1 mostly still there; reactor 2 some airborne, mostly still there in the ground, sfp2 mostly still there; reactor 3 mostly airborne (80pc?), sfp3 mostly airborne. sfp4 is the biggie, and how do you tell what's still there if no-one's allowed to look? but my guess at least 70pc gone. i saw a picture a year or so ago on this site of what looked like corium flowing out the side of the building about 10 feet above the ground, from a hole that Tepco later painted out on some doctored pictures. But my point is, add up the airborne cores and you get roughly 200 tonnes of core ejected, some of which fell to earth in pieces but intact (not vaporised). Plus a great number of spent fuel rods. So let's say half Fukushima 1 to 4 gone, half still there? I don't know, I'm asking, what sort of estimates are out there? Everything that's still there, in plant or in the ground or in solution, will eventually end up in the Pacific some time way in the future. And I am sure that, some time way in the future, all the radiation in nuclear plants and their spent fuel pools all over the world is going to end up running loose over a very strange dead planet. There's just no way of avoiding it. US spent fuel pools are very, very large. How can they possibly be very, very safe?

    • razzz razzz

      rogerthat: Guessing doesn't help matters. I'm sure somewhere that some government scientists have estimated how much of the melted cores have left the site and how much remains but either they are not sure or not saying. 25+ years later, no will state for sure how much of the core was ejected and/or vaporized at Chernobyl. Expect the same for Daiichi.

  • yellowroz

    The Washington Post has been fairly (some would say suspiciously) silent on this matter, but yesterday's story covered most of this "house of horrors" and the slide show graphic is very helpful – http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/preventing-radioactive-leaks-at-fukushima-daiichi/511/ – though as a schematic is it way neater than IRL.

  • THE DAY is coming sooner than later when the whole world will have to deal with this tragedy. I have watched the situation at Da Ichi deteriorate daily for two and a half years. TEPCO, Japan and the whole world has essentially developed and maintained a delusional mode about this catastrophe. Now that all the "cats" have been let out of the bag, trying to put them back in, will prove to be a formidable task, indeed.

  • FXofTruth

    We have 5 fact that are rock solid –

    1. The lies will never end.

    2. The Pacific Ocean is in the process of going extinct of
    all sea life because it is being abused to cool melted cores
    that will never stop wanting to explode.

    3. Mankind and Nature are slowly being erased from the Planet.

    4. Nothing can stop plutonium once it ignites. Nothing can
    make it "go out."

    5. TEPCO executives should be on trial for high crimes against
    humanity and nature. They should be stripped of their wealth
    all their property confiscated and distributed to the
    victims of their "profits first" decisions.