Japan Journalist: Situation at Fukushima Daiichi “way worse than officially announced” — Nuclear workers think Fukushima can’t be settled — “They have problems everywhere” (VIDEO)

Published: March 23rd, 2013 at 12:37 pm ET


Remarks at press conference by freelance journalist Rei Shiva [Shiba] translated by Fukushima Diary and uploaded today by IWJ:

(From the interview with the workers)

The common understanding of Fukushima workers is Fukushima can’t be settled anymore. […]

It’s not only the rat to have caused outage, but they have problems everywhere in the plant.

The actual situation is way worse than officially announced.

Full report here

See also: [intlink id=”yomiuri-seawater-and-sand-caused-fukushima-blackout-crucial-power-device-left-on-back-of-vehicle-exposed-to-the-elements-photo” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: March 23rd, 2013 at 12:37 pm ET


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38 comments to Japan Journalist: Situation at Fukushima Daiichi “way worse than officially announced” — Nuclear workers think Fukushima can’t be settled — “They have problems everywhere” (VIDEO)

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    This shouldn't surprise anyone. The massive structure being built at unit #4 is, IMHO, for cosmetic reasons only. It is really difficult to image any fuel rods that haven't degraded and that can still be taken out of the spent fuel pool. It looks like so much busy work to fool the world that something significant is being planned or worked on or is possible.

    • We Not They Finally

      That's what we commented on to ourselves. They are sending workers to their deaths, with low wages and massive ongoing contamination, for "busy work." But the only merciful course is still to get people OUT of there.

      • I believe that there is an effort to keep the entire site from becoming engulfed in outright nuclear fire.

        If that happens, the entire northern hemisphere and maybe planet earth itself is in trouble, depending upon how the nuclear dominoes fall.

        I agree that many workers lives are probably being endangered for cosmetic tasks, but I believe there are efforts to keep the fuel rods from burning altogether.

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    A solution to contaminated water at Fukushima…

    KULLUK is a Shell Oil offshore drilling rig that is currently being transported to Singapore from Alaska for repairs.

    The Kulluk should be used to reinject contaminated Fukushima water deep near the subduction zone offshore nearby.

    A deep well can be drilled and 2000 tons of graphene in aqueous suspension can be pumped down the well first, thus creating a nukewaste trap holding the radioactive particles in place.. the graphene will let the purified water escape leaving the nukewaste trapped 12,000 feet deep underground.


    Graphene is made out of Graphite, and Alaska has 280million tons of Graphite.

    Many injection wells can be drilled and we have plenty of graphene to use as nukewaste trap.
    All the runoff and groundwater flow can be suctioned off around the Daiichi plant and pipelined thru a ocean outfall pipe to the pump-barges anchored over the injection wells.
    This design is capable of moving a tremendous amount of washdown water.
    Relief wells can be drilled at a distance to release the purified water and test for badrad-bypass.

    A similar process is needed at Hanford.


    • Thad

      And the rig crews– sacrificed. And the rig — when finished sink here– Mariannas Trench

    • We Not They Finally

      This sounds drastic, and mankind's recent history with deep drilling has been POOR, and abysmally DANGEROUS: BP drilling right into the seabed; and reckless fracking all over the place. Now the maniacs in Japan are planning on drilling into the sea to DELIBERATELY RELEASE METHANE! But we are already so over the edge with "drastic," that if it makes any geologic sense at all, and the down-side is not further cataclysmic harm, it should be discussed. At least it might finally not be about private profit, but about public good.


        They need the energy. I'd rather they developed off-shore methane deposits than restart their nuclear power plants…

        • We Not They Finally

          Note: There is suspected to be a methane VOLCANO underneath the Gulf of Mexico. And BP's reckless drilling into the seabed still has unknown consequences, aside from the massive, ongoing, uncontrolled gushing of oil to this day. Let the Japanese start rubbing two sticks together for all that's worth. No more reckless experiments involving methane!! By the way, is there seriously something that wrong with THE SUN and THE WIND, or is the problem that they are just free?

  • patb2009

    instad of getting all the fuel out of the SFPs and collecting all the loose debris,
    they've been screwing around.

    they've shipped contaminated debris to be burned instead of leaving it in place,
    they've left the Fuel out in the air instead of getting it into casks, they've
    let the loose debris around the site, continue to emit instead of getting it into buckets and containers.

    instead of evacuating people, they've been letting women and children eat contaminated food.

    it's madness, folly and tragedy all in one

    • We Not They Finally

      Apt list. You just forgot to add in "criminality." That's why legal systems all over the world include "obstruction of justice," and "aiding and abetting" as crimes, and World War II made "collaborators" some of most despised humans. But when criminality is institutionalized, and the populace is even told that that's a GOOD thing you get Nazi Germany, corporate plutocracy, or THIS. The leaders of this parade are so psychotically self-protective, that it needs to be taken out of their hands. But put into WHOSE hands? Their high-power collaborators worldwide?

      • getoutwhileyoustillcan

        If this was just a technical problem, I think it could be solved. There are enough really gifted people on this planet, who would be highly motivated to figure out a way to clean up this mess. We need people in charge, whose only agenda is to make this happen. What we have now is eventually going to kill just about every living thing on the planet.

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    It's important to understand how graphene traps nuke particles..
    and understand geology enough to know that the rate of subduction and the convective cycling of magma exceeds the concentration and decay rate of nukewaste..

    It's a lot better solution than:
    just letting it sit there and fester and spew..
    shooting it into the sun with rockets..
    digging up half of Japan and giving it to North Korea or Mongolia..
    or shipping it all to Hanford.

    Nuke weenies don't seem to realize how much totally natural actinides are present in the topsoil in varying concentrations worldwide..
    yes, we evolved over millions of years cohabiting with sometimes dangerous concentrations of uranium-oxide and thorium.

    Waste management is always about engineering reduced risk..
    if you want ZERO-risk I suggest you get yourself a lot of morphine and start looking at another website for less stressful entertainment, be careful of your fragile health.

    The high level nukewaste can be annihilated with molten salt reactors, funny how it will still make zillions of gigawatts before it finishes it's total decay cycle..
    ..just don't build WAMSER's on the beach, or in an earthquake zone.


    Wamsers are best built in deep 3.2billion year old stable bedrock, better than Yucca Mtn.
    Wamsers are the best method I have seen so far for putting the Nuke-Devil back into the…

    • We Not They Finally

      Those of us already not (probably intelligently!) frozen in fear, read "Just don't build WAMSERS's on the beach or in an earthquake zone" and shudder, because it's JAPAN. But people do need to be doing this kind of THINKING internationally. So keep posting and maybe the rest of us will get a little better educated scientifically. Thank you.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Molton salt reactors just blow up. Look at Santa Susanna experimental reactor in 1959 in California. How about Monju in Japan? Look what using seawater has done to Fukushima Daiichi. They knew it would corrode everything when they used it. The tsunami corroded Tokai NPP and other experimental reactos and the nuclear reprocessing plant there, Onagawa NPP as well as Fukushima Daini's 4 nuclear reactors and Fukushima Daiichi's 6 nuclear reactors, and reactors, and Rokkasho reprocessing plant and Higashidori NPP.

      With the rising seas due to climate change from using fossil fuels and even more from nuclear reactors, look how mistaken it has been to put nuclear power plants next to the ocean. A ticking time bomb. What country has the money to decommission all these nuclear reactors? Especially while the elite take all the money to fiddle while the rest of the world sinks from the rising oceans.

      And meanwhile, the nuclear industry keeps making false promises on technology which is proven catastrophic. But the salespersons can't figure out how to replace their gigantic incomes earned by deception and fraud. Snakeoil salespersons to the bitter end.

      • We Not They Finally

        Oh…. Is the reactor that 21st Century suggested the same as the "sodium reactor" that blew up in California in 1959? That's worse than bad news. I thought he was suggesting some NEW technology.

  • I think a consensus is starting to emerge and it just doesn't look pretty.

    1. It can't be fixed.

    2. The rat is a red herring.

    3. Things are much worse than seen in print anywhere.

    4. See No. 1

    Honesty is probably impossible in face of truth's evident horribleness, therefore delusion is the only temporary escape.

    They can't fix the reactors therefore they try to "fix" the people instead.

    • We Not They Finally

      The rat was not just a red herring, but might have been a benchmark of national suicidal despair over there. Who makes world-saving equipment "makeshift," and then leaves it out in the open on the back of a truck? This has both KNOWLEDGE of and DENIAL of "It can't be fixed," written all over it.

      • If the site goes up in all out nuclear fire we are dead in the northern hemisphere.

        Efforts have to be made to keep the remaining enclosed fuel from igniting….

        • We Not They Finally

          But the corium is apparently NOT enclosed. That's the whole point — that it melted out of containment. And I guess no one has a clue if it is being cooled, since they say that they cannot even LOCATE where it is. But if someone can clarify the difference between that and "an all out nuclear fire" (if any difference),that would be helpful.

    • getoutwhileyoustillcan

      I'd change #1 to say "It won't be fixed, without a change in management."

      • We Not They Finally

        Russia dumped huge amounts of something, concrete, boron, or both, onto Chernobyl, but it still did HUGE contamination, not only in Russia but throughout Europe. They even put 500,000 men to work on "cleaning it up." And that was just ONE reactor and no more than half the size of a single reactor of the multiple reactors at Fukushima. Nor was it next to an ocean. The Japanese have obviously mis-managed everything, but I doubt that any government or agency from anywhere else is prepared to take on the responsibility and costs of "managing this better," even were it allowed and were it possible. Plus Michio Kaku has said that the situation of melt-THROUGHS (not just "melt-DOWNS") is unprecedented, and there are at least three in Fukushima. I honestly would rather NOT be with PU239 on this, but regretfully, I am.

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury


    After a thorough washdown, tucking the remaining wreckage into a tunnel underneath is an interesting idea.. but your tunnel machine is headed the wrong direction right now, sorry !!

    Yes, tunneling might do the trick if you could get it to swallow it down hard and deep in an instant.
    A thorough understanding of the geology there is important.
    Hopefully it won't trigger any more quakes causing further damage to the other nuke reactors on the east coast nearby..
    they should be dismantled first also.

    Megaproject engineers have many tricks…
    Aerial Cable Cranes, for example..

    Yes, much bigger machinery is needed to handle this mess.

    USA has plenty of practice making huge underground caverns with nukebombs, they have punched hundreds of holes in Nevada, which is easy to see in GoogleEarth.
    Some of the nuke-bombs detonate clean enough to allow human entry within a few weeks.

    3/10/11 there was about 2200 tons of fuel-rods at Fuku-Daichii.

    We would want to try to remove as many of the fuelrods as possible first and process them offsite in a WAMSER..
    then to a thorough washdown, disposing the radwater in graphene wells..
    then the remaining clutter can be dumped into the deep basement tunnel/cavern.

    …thankyou for taking an interest in my idea.

  • Mack Mack

    Lots of information here —>

    Dr. Saji, former Secretariat of Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission, wrote updates from March 24, 2011 to May 8, 2011

    If you want to learn a lot about what was going on in the beginning of the crisis, read the updates.


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    One nuclear plant ruining a whole country. And contaminating the planet. No more fresh air outside, thanks to nuclear.

  • I think that the workers saying that Fukushima can’t be settled are a small minority of overworked, stressed out, and traumatized laborers. No high-level TEPCO engineers in charge of finding new ways to do things would ever say anything like that. Right?

    Well, after reading this a few times I tried to recall what TEPCO recently announced they were going to start to do this year.

    And that would be the removal of the fuel rods from the spent fuel pools. A super-duper PLANET JUPITER key milestone that has got to be achieved in some way or another, come hell or high water.

    And that very critical project was to be started later this year and continue for the next five years or so until completion according to TEPCO. So, for sure, they have recently been working <b>quadruple overtime</b> on that specific project plan within the past two months or so and they are still not fully aware of what to do and how to do it?

    And as I wrote above no high-level engineers in charge would ever say anything like they cannot do something. That would be the equivalent of eating a sword directly with your stomach and intestines if you know what I mean here.

  • I just read this report from the <a href="http://tinyurl.com/cu7nz76">Department of Nuclear Engineering of the University of California, Berkeley</a> again:

    <cite>Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. It must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters. Despite the enormous destruction cased at the Da–Ichi site, dry casks holding a smaller amount of spent fuel appear to be unscathed.</cite>

    <cite>Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).</cite>

    • m a x l i

      What I read here is:


      Does not make sense! Can someone help? What's wrong?

      • m a x l i

        It does not make sense, unless Chernobyl was a very minor event and can be neglected against WeaponsTesting+Reprocessing.

        • guezilla

          It would be within expectations, though they should always stress the "estimated" part. As there's no precision calibrated measurement systems measuring the emissions from the start, and perhaps more importantly as in Fukushima's case, the end of the releases is impossible to define, there's no easy way to measure them. And of course it's apples and oranges here, the assumed releases from other sources to Fukushima's full inventory.

          I calculated a better number for the "fuel at risk" some months ago, but I'll just get lazy and see http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/03/how-much-fuel-is-at-risk-at-fukushima.html?rss=1 which says 1760 metric tons for Fukushima, 180 for Chernobyl and 30 for Three Mile Island.

          This is the amount of fuel involved, only a fraction which will be caesium, and only a fraction which may have been released in Chernobyl, about 6 tons of nuclear fuel and 59 – 111 PBq Cesium-137 for example. Alvarez's number for Fukushima total inventory above is 9900 PBq. http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernoten/facts.html states that atmospheric nuclear test releases (all isotopes) were 100 to 1000 times Chernobyl. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp157-c2.pdf cites this as 960 PBq nuclear testing and 40 PBq for Chernobyl. Chernobyl was just more localized in time and location.

          So if 9900 PBq = (960 PBq + 40 PBq + X) / 2 leaves pretty huge amount for reprocessing!

          • guezilla

            And just in case it was unclear, seeing as Alvarez (apparently, the quote is attributed to him) referenced NCRP estimates, http://www.ncrponline.org/Press_Rel/Reports/Rept_154_press_release.pdf seems to be the boilerplate to that.

            According to it, total Cesium-137 releases pre-Fukushima were 1000 PBq, of which 900 PBq are attributed to atmospheric nuclear testing, 60 PBq to Chernobyl and 40 PBq to nuclear fuel reprocessing.

            I seem to have made a slight reading-error in above post. The "long lived radioactivity" in Fukushima is given as 12000 PBq or 336 million Curies, of which 134 million Curies is Cs-137. This would give 4786 PBq of Cs-137 in Fukushima. The 9900 PBq is supposed to be NCRP's estimate of total releases pre-Fukushima, but as shown from the source NCRP's estimate is actually one tenth of that.

            So to try to put this all together, for Cs-137, with NCRP's values for pre-Fukushima releases:
            4800 PBq Fukushima total inventory = 80 * 60 PBq Chernobyl = 4,8 * (900 PBq atmospheric testing + 60 PBq Chernobyl + 40 PBq reprocessing)

            I haven't checked the Fukushima total inventory, it seems on the high side because according to those numbers Fukushima "only" had 10 times the fuel of Chernobyl. It's possible the error is on that side of the equation, and the "almost half" still holds true.

      • eatliesndie eatliesndie

        hmmm. I thought I could clarify for you, but now I think about it…? hmmm….

        • 85 x the amount of cs 137 released during the chernobly crisis; and or half of the amount of all cs137 produced in nuclear weapons testing-fuel reprocessing- and chernobyl combined.

      • m a x l i

        The equation can be transformed to:


  • AB AB


    Businessmen seeking to build Nuclear Power Plant already making offers to farmers for massive land grabs.
    Communications tycoon seen visiting the region as he gobbles up coastal real estate.
    Mexican Ex-presidents seen visiting the region.