Japan Nuclear Prof.: Fukushima plant now a ‘swamp of radioactive material’ — Can’t stop pumping in more water because they don’t know where melted fuel went — Build roof over entire site? — Asahi: Continued presence of water threatens construction of ice wall around reactors

Published: July 13th, 2014 at 9:15 pm ET
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135 comments


Interview with Professor Hiroaki Koide, Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute, translated by Fukushima Diary, July 13, 2014: Fukushima plant is now like a swamp of radioactive material due to the contaminated water [...] Tepco should quit cooling with water since one year ago. However from Tepco’s assumption, it is impossible to shift to air cooling because they can’t identify the exact locations of molten fuel.

More from interview with Professor Koide
, translated by Google: I think of that accident of Fukushima [...] the human race has been encountered for the first time [...] Rather than the cooling in the water, should switch as soon as possible to the cooling method of another I think. [...] I thought the most part rain is falling on the site [...] so, I cut off the rain. In other words, it is such as paving the entire site. I think I think in some cases, that I would build a roof on the entire site [...] in the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but is in a state such as the swamp of radioactivity [...]

Asahi Shimbun, July 9, 2014: 11,000 tons of contaminated water [are in] underground trenches connected to the No. 2 and No. 3 reactor turbine buildings. [...] contaminated water began seeping into them after the onset of the March 2011 nuclear crisis. If the contaminated water is not removed from the trenches, it could eventually leak out. The Nuclear Regulation Authority instructed TEPCO to promptly remove the water, calling it the “most serious source of concern.” [...] But TEPCO officials said the ice walls failed to form because of the constant flow of a maximum 2 milliliters of water per minute around the connecting points. Toyoshi Fuketa, an NRA commissioner, has instructed TEPCO to come up with steps to resolve the matter by the end of July, arguing that the frozen walls should be able to withstand certain levels of water flow under normal circumstances. The continued presence of water threatens to prevent the creation of outer frozen soil walls encircling the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors, which are a central part of TEPCO’s plans to reduce the amount of contaminated water at the plant.

Full interview with Prof. Koide available here (Japanese only)

Published: July 13th, 2014 at 9:15 pm ET
By

135 comments

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135 comments to Japan Nuclear Prof.: Fukushima plant now a ‘swamp of radioactive material’ — Can’t stop pumping in more water because they don’t know where melted fuel went — Build roof over entire site? — Asahi: Continued presence of water threatens construction of ice wall around reactors

  • mt1000

    live cams now very interesting with green (!) smoke spewing…
    lots on the cam thread
    http://enenews.com/forum-fukushima-webcam-discussion-thread-dec-26-1013-present

    Whatever is contaminated is making for crazy color effects, flying specs, colored smoke etc. etc. at the site.


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  • bo bo

    Professor Koide clearly states melt-through here – but I wonder where that graphic on this page pulled up from ( couldn't find on either link)?

    Just says 'contaminated water' ( against the yellow – type above just says: reactor building)

    Contaminated with what, exactly? Which reactor building?


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  • jump-ball jump-ball

    "BUILD A ROOF ON THE ENTIRE SITE" !?

    Well there's an idea whose time has come: maybe call it the NOVARKA ARCH2, and get 10-15 countries suffering measureable and otherwise endless contamination to contribute $800 MILLION to get it designed and started, and then get them to pay in another BILLION to cover cost overruns and design alterations, so that decontamination can be undertaken inside an enclosed structure.

    WHAT AN IDEA!


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    • We Not They Finally

      Well, the Russians did something like that at Chernobyl. But it was just one relatively small reactor compared to six big ones here, they got to it reasonably quick, it wasn't built on a aquifer or adjacent to the ocean, etc., etc. And still, it cost them dearly. Here the rest of the world does not even act like it CARES. And they don't seem to want the POPULACE to care, because then that could crash the phony bubble economy that will never be used for real human benefit anyway.

      Maybe Star Trek got it right about "Class M" planets. Maybe "M" is for Morons.


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  • Sickputer

    Good Fortune island is a few hundred acres larger than a section of land (640 acres) which is a square
    mile. About 840 acres total.

    The dimensions to cover the worst reactors 1-4 is a pretty sizable task. The NSC (New Safe Confinement) over at Chernobyl over Unit 4 is huge and costly. Begun in 2005 it will take 10 years to complete (next year). It spans nearly 3 football fields and is over a football field inside height.

    Cost: 2.1 Billion

    The problems in a dome at Fukushima is not necessarily the extra length and height for 4 reactors, but the footing for the structure. Can the mudstone subsurface support such a massive structure? Will they have $20 billion to construct it? They are currently spending one billion dollars every three years at Fukushima.
    Can they allow ten to twenty years to build this behemoth?

    Perhaps a burial with aggregate would serve the same purpose and be quicker. It may be more costly, but can they afford to delay? Not if they expect to host the 2020 Olympics. I think they could bury the island in three years at a huge cost. But it will seal the radiation hopefully. YMMV


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  • razzz razzz

    Nobody has a clue of what to do. Placing a dome over the site is throwing in the towel. Even pouring caps on the blown reactors does nothing to stop water erosion of the melts, wherever they are but certainly not contained even if using future caps or a dome.

    Continue removing spent fuel from all the Units that they can for now.


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    • Sickputer

      razzz typed these pixels of light: "Even pouring caps on the blown reactors does nothing to stop water erosion of the melts,"

      SP: It might if they also drain the lagoon and fill it in with aggregate. That does require a wall around the lagoon to pump out the water. Make the fill-in taller than a 50 foot tsnunami for the lagoon. and link it to a mountain of aggregate 500 foot high for the four reactors. It's a gamble, but they are losing everything now. They could save their country and the Pacific.


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      • We Not They Finally

        "Lagoon"? What are you talking about? There is no lagoon. Nothing even seems to be enclosed. How can you drain something which is not enclosed and also continually flooded with water? (Just asking….)


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    • BirdOfTheFeather BirdOfTheFeather

      LOL @ Japan Nuclear Prof.: Fukushima plant now a ‘swamp of radioactive material ,,, Maybe he can check with his buddies in the US and get some of that goood Green kitty litter and put on it !!! What a pack of dumb Assses


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  • Ontological Ontological

    We have all known this for 3 years.

    "Tepco should quit cooling with water since one year ago. However from Tepco’s assumption, it is impossible to shift to air cooling because they can’t identify the exact locations of molten fuel."

    Brilliant pixels of light here take the garbage out of the ocean, and air blast it into the atmosphere…Reflections on WIPP…

    I did sky color spectral analysis today, got some rather interesting results.

    http://i1273.photobucket.com/albums/y412/CesiumSky/Cesium%20Sky/CECSskydamage.jpg


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    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Yes, Onto, we have all known this for three years. TEPCO should have stopped the charade of watering them as soon as the coria left the buildings, which was in 2011.


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      • We Not They Finally

        The water seems to keep flooding on in, WHATEVER they do. It's not like it was a menu — pick one: cool by water, cool by air, cool by ice. They can't keep the water OUT; they can't expose the sunken coria to air; they can't lower the temperature due to red-hot radioactivity.

        The Professor probably wants to help. But this is just mental musing and probably of no help at all. Why doesn't he just outright CONDEMN this company TEPCO, and scream for international assistance of any kind? Like for evacuations, maybe? Do they want a future Japanese genome or not? Or is it all hand-wringing that we should have done this and we should try that? Tragic but hopeless.


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  • yeah, putting a dome over it all…. radioisotope activity would still continue


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  • davidh7426 davidh7426

    This wouldn't look out of place in one of the Borowitz Reports, satire in the New Yorker.

    And that Google Translates is a joke, I half expected it to end with "…and then we'll build a campfire, and sit around singing Kumbaya."


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  • OldFool

    Even a dome would probably not work. A more effective option (in theory) is to pave over the entire watershed (totally covering all the mountains that supply the ground water) with a waterproof coating. Unfortunately, that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, which cheapskate TEPCO will never spend. Lost of ground water might cause building subsidence, but that is another problem. The only practical, cost feasible option (proposed by Arnie G.) was the zeolite trench, but TEPCO would not even spend the money for that, and now it is probably too late. All the remaining options are going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but again, TEPCO will never spend the money. So nothing of any real effectiveness will be done. And of course the doomed people of the Tohoku will not be evacuated either, for the same financial reasons. In any case, the bottom line – the entire radioactive inventory of three reactors is going to leach into the Pacific over the next 130 years, increasing the ocean radiation levels each year.


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    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Why leach radiation for only 130 years? Why not thousands of years? You are right, it is unlikely anything effective will be done.


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      • OldFool

        The only computer simulation that appears to actually apply in the real world is the 20 year old German Rhine River nuclear reactor meltdown simulation that predicted it would take about 130+ years for the Sr-90 to leach out of a molten core. It assumed that the reactor was far away (don't remember but perhaps it was half a kilometer or was it one kilometer?) from the Rhine River, but it assumed that the ground water transport coefficients would be relatively fast to reach the Rhine. Their assumptions don't apply to the Fukushima scenario exactly, but appear to have roughly compensated each other to the point that for at least Sr-90 the increase in the leach rate is roughly following the predicted schedule. The most unexpected part of the simulation was that the cumulative Sr-90 radiation by humans drinking Rhine water was predicted to be 100 times more than the Cs-137 radiation cumulatively ingested. In other words, Sr-90 will be a major danger by water contamination, if their simulation was correct.


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    • We Not They Finally

      Meanwhile (sorry for the bad but obvious news,) if TEPCO even ADMITS that ANY remediation would be billions of dollars into a sinkhole, then their shares go south and they (even they) don't HAVE the money.

      But in the name of even minimal sanity, they need to call off the Olympics and put all of THAT money into re-locating humans elsewhere.

      If the word were being run by humanitarians instead of bankers. Oh, my God — what am I even saying?! [sarc]


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  • OldFool

    Actually, cutting off the flow of the ground water is probably just going to increase the infiltration of the seawater from the Pacific (possibly releasing all the currently clay-bound Cs-137 and Sr-90 stored in the fresh water zones), so all schemes to cut ground water flow may be pretty much self-defeating from a radiation release point of view. This is a problem with only extremely expensive solutions, if any remain feasible at all at any price.


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    • Arizonan Arizonan

      They should cut off the ground water from above, the seawater from below, their own cooling water, and the rainwater from above. That would stop the flow of radioactivity out to the world, even if they can't find the coria, I should think. Right?


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      • OldFool

        In theory it could be done. But cutting the water from all sources will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. TEPCO will never spend the money for this. For example, to isolate the site from sea water would require a harbor wall that is tsunami and earthquake proof ($$$$$), probably extending in an arc along the shore for tens of kilometers ($$$$$). It would need replaceable filters to catch the Cs-137 and Sr-90 and the other nasties before the water goes into the Pacific, if any practical filter technology can be found. Then consider the additional costs of blocking all the ground water flows and all the rainwater flows for the entire watershed….


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        • YukonRadiation YukonRadiation

          If it was not for the ocean covering the radiation we would be dead by now? or wishing we were. we could or could have done zeolite trench , Boron and lead covering plants but instead nothing? bummer dude! the green smoke is new and what could it be? can't wait for the next quake or storm, this must look like a glass globe being shaken by a little child?


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          • We Not They Finally

            "If it was not for the ocean covering the radiation we would be dead by now?" A little reality check here: The ocean also happens to cover PLANKTON, bottom of the food chain, but also major source of the world's OXYGEN supply. And this has not only been showered from radionuclides from the ocean but from the atmosphere. The plankton bio-accumulates and then that radioactivity bio-magnifies up the food chain. That's why so many marine species are already dying off!

            No less than Einstein once said that if you kill the ocean, humans are not far behind — maybe five years.

            So we're not dead today, but yes, we are on a clock. No more ocean, no more us.


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        • nedlifromvermont

          @Old Fool: I like it when you post here … the truth delivered gently, but forcefully … what an exhausting presence our current troll is … oh well, he's feeling the need to obfuscate …


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  • Shaker1

    Please, Obvious, understand that I had to login replying to an already posted comment because of a 404 message at login for a general comment.

    Yes, activity would still continue, but the whole point of use of radioactivity is some manner of containment, is it not? Limit of release should be the focus. There's really no stopping the activity now, or even before the accident in reality. Before the accident it was simply to some point contained.

    One thing that might come of actually considering some manner of cover is to remove as much other risk that exists at the site to at least less-exposed sites, meaning the SFP inventories, even down to doing something with those vent stacks. Whoever is deciding what must be done at the site has been behind since its inception, more or less nothing than reactive measures rather than attempts to be proactive, and with the current attitude it doesn't seem they'll ever catch up. It's been too long now to think that all these intelligent people can't get a grasp of the overall situation as it may have been even a year in. I'd like to see them seriously consider some manner of overall containment (but please, not one in which they cover it over and walk away; I don't think that's possible or smart) and even begin to prepare for such, as that perparation may be more than they seem to be doing now.


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    • Arizonan Arizonan

      TEPCO's game of whack-a-mole.


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    • We Not They Finally

      We don't even know if we know the truth about the SFP's. They may be approaching criticality, they may be empty, the fuel rods in them may have already been crushed. And the truth of that may be horrendously bad, yes, but still won't save us from the larger elephant in the room.


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    • Shaker… I'm confused by the placement of your comment to me… but, I think we need to consider deeply all best practice options, which cold include some sort of cover, not a shroud like Chernobyl got, I agree, it has to something that can be accessed… but, the critical problem, among others, is the material that has drilled into the earth… I don't think there's anything that can be done about that and it will

      continue to move through the fissure and chasms, into groundwater, perhaps even travel far through deep fissures and pop up in distant places.

      Research was done to see where Lake Tahoe connected up – a traceable dye of some sort was put into an area believed to lead out of the lake and the dye popped up somewhere around Clear Lake.

      Only thing I can think of that may work is a large break, as others have suggested – to stop the ocean from approaching the site, pump ocean water out, (if possible) build in earthquake strong infrastructure, infill and create the world's largest nuclear waste management site. It'd cost about as much as TEPCO has already spent or more, if it is possible, it seems like one of the few things that may work.

      But, I fear too much damage has already been done and there is no stopping the site from continuing to emit lethal doses even if the tank farm was under control and some kind of cover were implemented. So, migration and protection is required.


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  • Byrian420 Byrian420

    Please somebody help us oh wait I forgot radiation isn't bad for us so we can all smile now and go back to our happy lives. Ok somebody please wake me up from this nuclear hell cause I really don't think it's going to get better. I'm going to go cry now myself to sleep. goodnight and peace to everybody.


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  • Arizonan Arizonan

    The grief of it is unbearable, and has been so from the beginning. And will be so forever. Let us grieve, then openly, together, instead of crying by ourselves.


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  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    Yes, a lightweight dome roof can be built over the top of the circle-footing…
    Japan's engineering firms are very good at designing big domes.

    http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk209/DistantThunderbolt/Japan%20Reconstruction/Fshima7000circle1a_zpsf6b66b14.jpg

    NEXT STEP: Before the next phase of decon-demo; Bring in a big barge-crane, like the ones used to recover the sunken Korean ferry. Use the barge-crane to setup an aerial cable crane like the one used on Hoover Dam.

    http://www.fmmafco.com/hoover-dam-bypass-project

    A large aerial cable crane will expedite quickest demolition and wash-down decon-recycling of all the debris at the site.

    An onsite metals smelter with zero-emissions can be brought in.
    All the contaminated materials can be processed on-site.
    All the contaminated water in the impound-pool can be recycled for continuous cooling and washdown.

    All nuke-materials that can be dry-casked should be removed for permanent burial [not in a crappy place like WIPP]

    Use graphene filtered electro-activated borated water to best advantage. Water is a very good tool for this type of project.

    I'd like to see this site become an 800 acre pool of water under a dome roof, built behind a very massive circular seawall.

    I thing of Fshima as a "brownfield" reconstruction project..
    ..would TEPCO sell FDNPP to me for a dollar ??


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    • We Not They Finally

      This is just an ENGINEERING project? (Though you do seem to be a good engineer. I'm admittedly not.) Just send workers and cranes into areas that have ALWAYS been too hot to enter and with no access to the cores, and just do an ENGINEERING project? Isn't it about three years too late for that? You think this is just an ENGINEERING project? Respectfully.


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      • 21stCentury 21stCentury

        Yes, just an engineering project.
        It's trickier than salvaging a sunken shipload of military bombs..
        but it can be done, it's not impossible.

        TEPCO's efforts were done in a hurry and on the cheap.

        It takes massive equipment. Respect the neutrons.
        goog: boron neutron shielding

        The very large aerial cable cranes provide 200ton lift capacity over the entire site, and keeps shielding distance for the operators. Proper equipment & protocol will minimize exposure to ground-level workers.
        After the bigger breakwater is complete & sealed, the water level can be raised a few feet higher over the reactors.

        The sunken Costa-lotta Concordia cost $2billion to salvage.

        http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/07/14/costa-concordia-shipwreck-is-floating-again-as-crews-begin-2b-operation-to-tow-it-320-kilometres-to-a-scrapyard/

        ..this is chickenfeed compared to what it will cost to fix Fukushima. But money is only numbers on paper.

        Fshima is just a giant pile of contaminated scrapmetals.
        Everything that weighs less than 200tons needs to be yanked out of the way. In scrappers-lingo; it needs to be clamshelled.


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        • Shaker1

          21stCentury, I agree. They've never thought big enough by exponents. I was also speaking of something other than a concrete or asphalt cover. They're not even close by exponents to even attempt such a thing. And all that junk onsite? That stuff has created problems and will continue to do so without effort. They're like farmers, just pushing it to the untillable section of their land.

          I don't think that politically anyone in charge can get beyond the point that spending the money required to do even a half-assed job of this in a short time-period will bankrupt the country. What was left of the Soviet Union at least had the natural resources that they didn't have to buy elsewhere to recover from their expenditure. Japan has not. I'll admit to being rather ignorant of the intricasies of Japan's economy, but on the level from which I'm looking, almost all the real cash there is mark-up from manufacturing and export. Import in the raw materials, export the product. Some mark-up may be better than others, say chip manufacturing with its great capital expenditure up front as opposed to heavy equipment manufacturing where upfront capital and risk may not be so much, but it's raw materials, just from their sheer volume, are continuous and are subject to commodity prices and markets. Too bad they don't take a lesson from China and borrow 5 times over on the same billet of iron.


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      • Sol Man

        It is 70 +/- years too late.


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        • We Not They Finally

          Well, it's at least THREE-PLUS-YEARS too late anyway.

          Excuse my non-scientific assessment here, but logically, there are way more questions than answers. I cannot even get past, "Proper equipment and protocol will minimize exposure to ground-level workers." They have seemed to run out of MOST skilled workers due to already-massive radiation exposure, they don't seem to protect ANYONE, and as for heavy equipment, radiation corrupts and breaks metal. And "After the bigger breakwater is complete and sealed" is like a sci-fi film, since no one has been "sealing" much of anything to date.

          Oh, but if we just subtract that pesky factor of lethal radiation, we can do a big budget Hollywood film and say that this is doable? Just "yank anything less than 200 tons out of the way"? O.k. Write the script. Just don't expect it to ever be produced in real life.

          No, 21 Century, is it NOT "just an engineering project'! Good God!!


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    • why put a dome on it if there's no materials (especially lightweight ones) that prevent all rads from escaping?


      Report comment

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    Yes, a lightweight dome roof can be built over the top of the circle-footing…
    Japan's engineering firms are very good at designing big domes.

    http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk209/DistantThunderbolt/Japan%20Reconstruction/Fshima7000circle1a_zpsf6b66b14.jpg

    NEXT STEP: Before the next phase of decon-demo; Bring in a big barge-crane, like the ones used to recover the sunken Korean ferry. Use the barge-crane to setup an aerial cable crane like the one used on Hoover Dam.

    http://www.fmmafco.com/hoover-dam-bypass-project

    A large aerial cable crane will expedite quickest demolition and wash-down decon-recycling of all the debris at the site.

    An onsite metals smelter with zero-emissions can be brought in.
    All the contaminated materials can be processed on-site.
    All the contaminated water in the impound-pool can be recycled for continuous cooling and washdown.

    All nuke-materials that can be dry-casked should be removed for permanent burial [not in a crappy place like WIPP]

    Use graphene filtered electro-activated borated water to best advantage. Water is a very good tool for this type of project.

    I'd like to see this site become an 800 acre pool of water under a dome roof, built behind a very massive circular seawall.

    I think of Fshima as a "brownfield" reconstruction project..
    ..would TEPCO sell FDNPP to me for a dollar ??


    Report comment

  • 52Rockwell

    Please GodZilla ,come on now.I believe you are our last hope.


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  • razzz razzz

    The experts were and still are harping about how dangerous the spent fuel in pools is if it gets uncovered and starts melting down and releasing all the radionuclides contained therein but at the same time 3 reactor cores melted down and out. The only difference is the reactor core rods were not to the point of being entirely spent but what radioactive wastes that were already created in those cores, vaporized to a certain extent. You know, how much vaporized and how much remains? Probably worse than that, any fission that took place during the melts down, created more radioactive inventory that adds to the overall swamp mess besides any elements becoming energized and unstable via irradiation with rays, particles/neutrons.

    The workers can only exist onsite with full suits and masks. I think everyone overlooks how dangerous the melted reactors are. Certainly can't go anywhere near them or it is certain death.

    Are the melts better off underwater or would causing them to be high and dry be an advantage? Either in water or on dry land, they need to be contained in a pool or in a room or both. I don't see that happening. Mainly because they don't know where the melts are. If they did know where the melts are, they are to hot to work with. So hot, that disturbing them might lead to other consequences. Because they are not in a controlled environment any longer. Boron, lead, concrete, etc., can not be placed assuredly because the melts are in the wild.


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    • We Not They Finally

      Actually, what they do is just to focus on whatever they are not absolutely sure can-NOT be remediated. And since the melted-through cores are probably long since China-Syndrome-Plus, that leaves them with obsessing about the spent fuel pools.

      You gave your own answer: "the melts are in the wild." So let's move on to the spent fuel pools and make THEM the bogeyman.

      If you want a total risk assessment, you're out of luck.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    EVERLASTING NUCLEAR CONTAMINATION . . .

    The area will be contaminated for thousands of years. Same with Chernobyl.


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  • rogerthat

    ''If the contaminated water is not removed from the trenches, it could eventually leak out.''

    - you don't say. In the first world war, entire regiments were destroyed many, many times. The regiments were still fighting, with each new soldier filling the boots of dozens of dead. Read Goodbye To All That, by Robert Graves (1929). Common sense suggests that Fukushima's trenches leak like sieves and that the water in them has been flowing into the sea for three and a half years. The trenches are still full and the water is still radioactive but this is different water


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    • We Not They Finally

      Yeah, it makes you feel like even hammer and nails could not fix these people's brains. If there is any grey matter left, it's long since gushing out like a sieve. Sorry to be a little disgusting here, but "common sense" ( as you well put it) exited a long time ago.


      Report comment

  • Radio Radio

    A shout out for help to any soil engineers here on enenews. Can you answer this question? – What is wrong with just digging a trench along the foot of the hill to divert the rainwater away from the site then start reinforcing the ground in front of the trench as it dries by pumping in cement and resins and boron all around and underneath the site as much as they can? I don't see why this is such a difficult nut to crack? It is a massive water diversion and shoring up project. Perhaps the wrong team was called in – the tech innovators who came up with ice wall schemes instead of the earth movers who would have come up with trenching and rainwater diversion plans. If there is a good enough answer, we can type it up and send it back to the Asahi Shimbun for publication as a reader response. I'm completely serious. Someone here or friends of mine can translate it into Japanese, or we could send it to Fairewinds since Arnie thought something along the same lines and he has volunteer translators who are learning the nuclear lingo.


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    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      TEPCO was perhaps on the right track with the "Impermeable Wall" idea, Radio.
      The Impermeable Wall is a wall of interlocking sheet steel pilings driven 100' deep into an impermeable layer of rock that forms the lower limit of the aquifer.
      Such a technology can stop the flow of groundwater through the site.
      The problem was that TEPCO didn't design the Impermeable Wall as an Enclosure around Reactors1-4.
      Instead, they designed a U-shaped wall at the edge of the harbor.
      Water backed up behind the wall, of course, threatening to flood the reactor area.
      The project was abandoned, in favor of the Frozen Wall, which we now know is going to fail.

      If the Impermeable Wall was redesigned as an Enclosure around reactors1-4, it would work to contain corium debris under those reactor buildings.
      Build the uphill portion of the Impermeable Wall first, so as to avoid flooding the Reactors.
      Once the Enclosure is completed, the level of groundwater within the Enclosure can be controlled by adding a bit of water now and again.
      If the water heats up, due to the presence of corium, a heat sink loop can be built to cool the groundwater remaining within the Enclosure.
      The Underground Impermeable Wall Enclosure uses currently available technology, is cost-effective, and uses no energy to operate.
      Really quite a simple solution, don't you think? ;)


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      • We Not They Finally

        And the "lower limit of the aquifer" is in WHAT condition? Who could even check? Is there solid rock all straight across "the lower limit of the aquifer"? And how could they drill down a hundred feet ANYWHERE now on that site without getting fried? Much less completely surrounding (and I guess it would have to be complete, to prevent "bursting at the seams") reactors 1-4? They cannot even to seem to keep cranes from falling apart. Does this by now have any feasibility as a construction site AT ALL?

        (Just a few naive non-engineer's questions here.)


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        • We Not They Finally

          Really, PUN. You've been saying this for three years now. But there is no way for a layman to even "get it" without at least the above questions being addressed.


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          • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

            Fair enough, WNTF.
            This should answer your questions:
            Photo of workers standing all around while construction of the Impermeable Wall goes on in the background. Construction is between Reactors 1&2 at the harbor front.
            http://fredw-catharsisours.blogspot.com/2013/07/fukushima-updates-july-17-2013-cause.html
            Part of Impermeable Wall has already been constructed at Fukushima.
            Nobody got fried.

            The geology of Fukushima is well known. It is layers of mudrock, a coarse type of sandstone.
            There are two distinct permeable layers in the aquifer, separated by a less permeable layer.
            The bottom of the aquifer at about 96' is also a less permeable layer.
            The steel pilings of the Impermeable Wall were driven into the less permeable mudstone about a meter or so.
            There is a fault deeper down under the plant.
            But the mudstone that forms the lower boundary of the aquifer is an intact layer.
            http://www.fukushima-blog.com/article-the-geology-of-fukushima-88575278.html

            Get it now? ;)


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            • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

              TEPCO drawing of aquifer in more permeable rock layers.
              Note the separation by the middle less permeable rock layer.
              Note the deeper less permeable rock layer that forms the bottom limit of the aquifer.
              http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu12_e/images/120424e0201.pdf


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              • We Not They Finally

                O.k. For the sake of argument, what if, as you say, this wall was built between reactors 1 & 2 two years back? That would still be just a tiny part of the complete rectangle around the reactors. Why would conditions NOW support that if conditions THEN apparently did not? Whole areas of this site are apparently already completely unapproachable.

                If it was a great idea and a solution (and I don't know that one way or another, I just don't) then why did they stop? Maybe it could NOT be done in ongoing conditions of extreme radioactivity and extreme flooding? So if they had to stop THEN, how could it be feasible NOW? (Again, just asking….)


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                • Radio Radio

                  The ice wall was a political decision WNTF, not a best practice decision as far as i recall. And, at the time, they didn't want to saturate the hill that was holding the water tanks filled with waste water needing to be filtered. AND, the big one, they were in denial that things would be as bad as they are. They didn't lie to us as much as they lied to themselves. It's how the industry works. They thought the event was over, coriums were in their containers, there were no cracks letting groundwater into the aquifer, the "Decommissioning" would be under way efficiently and quickly – man over nature kinda thing. Not. Now, tried and true techology like steel impermeable walls, while admitting to defeat to a high tech rescue, are the real solutions all along.


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          • Radio Radio

            WNTF and PUN, it is the only real logical fix, so how could pUN's idea work? Dirst, i agree with you PUN, build the steel wall at the base of the hill. Pile drivers drive those sheets in. I've seen it done. For the flats that will start compressing as the water lessens? Pump a cement/boron/resin goo right along with the drill. Leave it all in place. Get a new drill. Next hole. same thing. Go diagonally, like fracking. In fact, use fracking technology and pump anything that can bear weight and has a low interactive potential with the radiation into each hole. The spacing could be figured out. If they can divert nearly an entire river in China to build the biggest dam in the world, someone can build this. The company who planned the ice wall is close friends with PM Abe. This is a business deal from a company that is not a nuke industry but an ally – Make Japan look good with new technology doing the impossible. And, WNTF and PUN, i agree, the ice wall will remain impossible. It's not gonna work. Get enough cement/boron/resin under the facility, at least under the reactors, and the enclosing can begin. It won't get all the rads, but, those can be captured and filtered. As Arnie say – "come back in 300 years if something has been invented.


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  • jec jec

    Reactor 3 emissions pollute more agriculture product.
    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140714_17.html
    Probably due to decontamination work? Or that is the story.


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Professor Hiroaki Koide:
    "Tepco should quit cooling with water…"
    "paving the entire site."

    Asahi Shimbun:
    "The continued presence of water threatens to prevent the creation of outer frozen soil walls encircling the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors, which are a central part of TEPCO’s plans to reduce the amount of contaminated water at the plant."

    These are some very good ideas, which have been put forward on ENEnews for three years now.
    Perhaps the tide will return, and in the end TEPCO will begin to do the right thing at Fukushima after all.
    On the other hand,
    We are now well over 3 years into this event without any effective action from TEPCO whatsoever.
    And there is no indication that there is much learning going on.


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    • bo bo

      Hi Pun, glad you agree, every time you said 'Japanese people don't know what they're doing' always thought 'but Professor Koide has good ideas!'
      A lot of your 'to do list' for TEPCO in the past has matched with his ideas.

      Problem is, anybody who is going to have good ideas is going to be anti-nuclear, so they get shut out of the discussion.

      Koide is assistant professor, and will forever be assistant, because of his clear position against nuclear power, they say.


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    • We Not They Finally

      Yes AND/BUT… Since water keeps furiously rushing into the site, how do you stop "cooling with water" for even a single day to make doing anything else feasible? Is there any answer there that would satisfy even a child? Me, I have no sophistication with engineering and have respect for people who do. Just want these ideas to MAKE SENSE and am struggling with that.


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  • jackassrig

    There are many good ideas out there but if it doesn't come from some goofy professor's orifice it wont get done.


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    • Shaker1

      jackassrig, that does seem to be a problem, that we've elevated scientists to a position on the order of gods, which then naturally become 'experts' in just about any field that appears related to their actual area of study. We should all be aware of ourselves, and I do believe that most scientists have that personal awareness also, that no one is intelligent about everything. Besides, this is technology, not science.

      Engineering has been around for millenia. Some might argue that science has been around that long also, but if one takes a look at say, the classical Greek, that science was 'natural philosophy'. All one needs to do is to look into the intricasies of a building like the Parthenon. I understand the need for specialists while I also know for myself I've run projects that if the run-of-the-mill brute warm body didn't offer their insight and it been taken, that those projects might never have gone as well as they might. I also had some failures that in retrospect may have gone much better if I could have opened my focus. But one thing that I definitely learned was that things don't get done talking about it. Sure, the conversation needs to be constant and intelligent (well, a little cussing doesn't hurt). Define a definite vision, commit to that vision, and once flowing, even with what might be mistakes or misdirections, it will get done. It may only just get so good and everyone might have to accept that. Perfection may be just luck at its best.


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      • Radio Radio

        Shaker1, perhaps the public push from the Japanese concerned about nuclear power and Fukushima needs to take on individual projects such as advocating for the old tech steel walls over ice walls. Then on to the next project. it worked for SFP4 with people from all quarters advocating that TEPCo must deal with it now rather than later, especially in light of possible future earthquakes. Had they not built the new structure, i think it would not have weathered this latest quake as well as it did for example. So, yes, not perfection, but, some remedial action. It becomes very easy to get spread too thin when confronting issues with such dire complexity. Your project management scenarios are insightful. From what i can recall of watching videos of TEPCo management and workers, the workers will not even consider offering an opinion – it appeared to all be from the top down, even if the top hadn't a clue, not unlike US factories in the last century. So, while it needs a mass appeal, the message needs to go to the very top perhaps.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Fukushima plant now a ‘swamp of radioactive material’

    Yes, yes ..it is.
    Did I mention .. subsidence?


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  • tsfw tsfw

    Oh yes build a roof so it can collapse over the whole site. Better yet call it the Radiadome, turn it into a tourist attraction, and use the profits to actually fix the problems. It will also help to solve the population crisis via Darwinism at it's best.

    I hate games. They need to tell it how it is and stop giving people false hope in the form of walls and roofs that are never going to happen.


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  • dan dan

    Awwww hell. What have we done……..If there any single aliens reading this, I'd just like to mention that I'm available for abduction and have the added attraction of carrying my own lube.
    Don't bother to drop me back…I'm yours.


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  • dan dan

    My avatar? Its a 4kg super aggressive tumour they cut out of me four weeks ago along with my left kidney.

    Note the size of the scissor handles to the left of it to gauge the size. The doc couldn't believe how fast it was growing. Two cms growth in the three weeks between initial scans and a five hour op to remove it.
    A nook flee or what?
    I wanted to take it home and grow it some legs and a tail so I could slap a lead on it and take it for walkies at the park.

    Fuku very much Ineptco.

    Maybe they could borrow Abes DUNCE HAT to cover the problem, its big enough huh.


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    • Sickputer

      Get yourself to a doctor who will give you Vitamin C IVs. They are scarce in America. Second option…make your own Liposomal Vitamin C. Take lots of it.

      Good luck Dan! Your attitude sounds great. We're pulling for you. :-)


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      • We Not They Finally

        Sickputer, that is a GREAT idea for Dan. We've been making liposomal C at home CHEAPLY for months now. It increases the absorbability of C (even in powdered capsules) from 20% to 80% or higher. Reason apparently is that cells are surrounded by a fat coating and the lecithin allows the C to penetrate into the cells, It's said to be on a par with intravenous C which can only be administered by injections and is expensive. We also got a friend of ours dealing with cancer onto it and she loves it. It just takes non-GMO lecithin granules and powered non-buffered C, three parts lecithin to one part C, blend, then put through an ultrasonic cleaner to mix more thoroughly. Lots of youtubes on how to do it. The ultra-sonic cleaner is a small hardware item, one time purchase for about $30. Good luck Dan! Do at least that much. Also look into AMLA, Indian gooseberry, which is outstandingly high in anti-oxidants.


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    • Looks like one huge MF tumor in the shape of a troll sleeping inside of a clear plastic bag..


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  • bo bo

    Tepco handout of detail of leak in pipe for SFP #6

    I couldn't find English

    http://t.co/TdlGSukZ6Z

    I have to go now but can break down if I have time later


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  • jackassrig

    To get an idea of the size of the undertaking to divert the ground water. the Corinth canal has walls of 300' and a water depth of 26' according to Wiki. I had the good fortune of seeing this canal and it is impressive. Financially it was a disaster. The canal was started by Nero and completed in 1891. I believe I read where the ground water at FUKU is 1500'. Add also the cost of lifting the water 1500', I'm not sure if there is enough assets in the world to complete such a gargantuan project.


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    • We Not They Finally

      PUN has always seemed to say that this would be easy. And he has engineeering background, which is great, but maybe yours is a more realistic assessment?


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    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      We are talking about the surface aquifer at the FDNPP, which ends at a less permeable rock layer at 96' deep at the harbor side. Add about 20' for the rear leg, behind Reactors 1-4, so a maximum of 120' to drive it into the less permeable mudrock layer that forms the lower limit of the surface aquifer.

      Why is an Impermeable Wall worth doing?
      There are 3 rogue nuclear reactors in the ground under the Fukushima ruins.
      The entire 257 tonnes of nuclear fuel from Reactors1-3 can be considered to be entirely out of containment.
      They are always "on", since there are no control rods or human operators.
      They have an operating temperature of 5,000C.
      Every day, 1,000 tonnes of water flow underneath the FDNPP buildings.
      Stop the flow of groundwater under the FDNPP ruins, and you will stop most of the ongoing contamination of the Pacific Ocean.
      The Pacific Ocean yields about half of the $45 billion world seafood industry.
      Destruction of this fishery will plunge the entire world into a recession, from which there will be no recovery.
      Failure to contain 3 nuclear cores will produce enough contamination to quickly reduce the human population of Earth to only a few million nutants within a generation or 2.
      Where is the corium, TEPCO?
      And what are you going to do about it?
      Worth building an Impermeable Wall Enclosure, you friggin' cheapskates? You betcha! ;)


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  • dan dan

    Thanks sickputer, I will.

    Here's a dumb idea….(I've had tons of time to dream up some really stupid ones lately….but in fairness I can't take all the creds though…there's all the meds to thank)

    OK.
    If they have to persist with an ice wall, why don't they give the whole thing a super-charged kick start by installing a whole lot of vertical pipes right the way along the wall, that end in a series of nozzles right down where the water won't freeze at the bottom of the trenches due to excess water flow……and fire high pressure liquid nitrogen down all the pipes all at once to snap freeze the water down there all along the wall therefore stopping the flow-through instantly and giving the existing refrigeration pipes a chance to take over and KEEP it cold. Monitor the base temp and repeat if necessary anywhere there's a trouble spot from time to time.

    I told you it was dumb. Let's just blame the meds.


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    • Sickputer

      The problem with any freezing process is not the design. It's the enormous heat they are discovering in the ground around Units 1-3. IMHO. It will be another ten years before the coria cool down enough for any cooling pipes to freeze water and soil. They are just pretty well screwed.

      Three runaway cores at one of the largest nuclear complexes ever built. Top ten in fuel tonnage. Probably the worst place in the world for a multiple meltdown when you factor in the proximity to Tokyo. Only an Indian Wells blowout would equal Fukushima. Why they haven't shut it down is a trillion dollar mystery.

      That New York extinction machine could be a 20 trillion dollar real estate loss. Loss of life from cancer and heart disease would be staggering. Trillions more for cleanup.

      Fukushima will easily approach a 10 trillion dollar loss in the coming years, maybe more. Remember they have to contain it for the eternity of the human existence. Which might not be as long as civilized man as already lived. About the only longterm solution for waste would be expel it into outer space. We went to the moon, but could we build a transport system cheaply enough to shoot waste to the cosmos? Doubtful, but not impossible.


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      • nedlifromvermont

        Indian Point …


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        • We Not They Finally

          Yeah, Indian Point, where there are apparently no better plans to evacuate New York City than there are to evacuate Tokyo. At least in the U.S., if it's ongoing and escalating radioactivity and you try to escape early on, it's a much larger nation than Japan land-mass-wise so people have more options.


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      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Sickputer said: "The problem with any freezing process is not the design. It's the enormous heat they are discovering in the ground around Units 1-3."

        +1,000 sickputer. You are right on the money on this. The water will never, EVER freeze, especially on the seaward leg of the Frozen Wall. There is also too much groundwater flow for the frozen Wall to work.

        The only solution is an Impermeable Wall Enclosure, filled with concrete.
        Even then, heat exchangers with a seawater heat sink will be needed to dissipate all the heat.
        The longer we wait, the sicker we will all get. ;)


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        • Shaker1

          Have you looked into their strategy with refrigerants? I agree with you that -30 potential refrigerants is a problem. Did you happen to see the diagram of how they set up freezing those trenches? Personally, I think it's silly. And much of it is about technique, pipe spacing in particular. In those trenches they could have inserted cooling coils directly into the water to help, then discontinue use when it's done.

          There are refrigerants with greater potential than -30. 21stCentury mention LNG, but I don't want to see anything like that around there. How about liquid nitrogen? The technology's been around for quite a while (on the order of decades) and long before the sophistication of which we're so proud and enamored. And, again, one thing that is in favor of a frozen wall is its ability to be easily reconfigured, both in depth and perimeter shape. It's just a matter of spending the money.

          Personally, PUN, I'd be perfectly happy with what you propose, and some manner of that even with an ice wall should be done inland from the reactors. I do believe that they can control the hydrology within the perimeter of a wall that is limited to the direct vicinity of the reactor buildings.

          As for what Kiode said, again, I'm not expert, but it's seemed to me that dumping water at what's there was to limit its mobility. I've asked, too, whether that's necessary at this point.


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      • We Not They Finally

        Shoot nuclear waste out into space? Yeah, then we could create "an exclusion zone." Any alien species who doesn't want the bejesus polluted and poisoned out of them can ostracize this insane planet forever.

        We don't even KNOW the unintended consequences for that! What about unshielded rays from The Sun beaming their way through that on the way to us? It's bad enough that the ozone layer has already been cracked by geoengineeering. We're being pounded with deadly UV-B radiation as is, and almost no one even talks about it. (Look up Dane Wigington. He does talk about it.)

        Leave space alone, Earthlings! Haven't you done enough damage HERE?


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    • West Aussie West Aussie

      All great ideas, Dan. Better than just saying it's too hard or just smiling and believing that everything will be fine.


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  • jec jec

    TBS webcam 1, view of Reactor 4, shows steam and fog and (can I say it? Gasp!) emissions coming out of the sea side of Reactor 4 building as a low level cloudy event. So its a REAL swamp now…!!!


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I don't think enough consideration is given the damage caused by the April 11 2011 earthquake.
    There were reports of serious groundwater motion.
    I think the tidy. .permeable and impermeable layers ..faults ..etc….are not as they were.
    I think the 'fill'..on which the plant is built..is causing..'puddling'..for lack of a better term.
    Temporarily detained providing for enhanced subsidence on it's way the ocean.

    …a child draws a small ditch from the seashore up to the sand..
    What happens..?
    It fills up..

    Can I call them morons ..now?

    7.1 Earthquake Fukushima Japan april 11 2011 TSUNAMI WARNING

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DU1IrUv3eI


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And ..gee..wouldn't you know ..the earthquake in the area over the weekend..was in the 'historical area'.
    Gee..

    VIDEO: Quake Rocks Japan — But No Tsunami

    http://www.tele-management.ca/tag/april-2011-miyagi-earthquake/


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  • Alan Reid Alan Reid

    You all have to stop thinking in costs a billions this and millions that and get to the real important cost measure… Fuku is going to cost Billions of lives. Chernobyl was laid waste by a nice and clean brand new 2 month old reactor. Japan and North America are sizzling through the melt down of 4 forty year old nuked up reactors full of used and new fuel, one with Plutonium MOX assembly's. Money is not important. The loss of an estimated 5 billion is the goal of the men behind this. Claims of cost are not grounded in reality. This event and the cost to biologic life is the new warfare against you. Money on this table is just pain silly. Screw up this test humanity and it's the big dirt nap for us 5 billion. Right now #1 need is to secure the Common Spent Fuel Storage Unit. This small and rad surrounded building is Humanity's doomsday device. It must be secured. Corium? Too late. You can only make it worse. The Whole Word is in the cross hairs of this one and working to fix this is not optional. Those men want you thinking money not LIFE as a cost.


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    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Many thanks for your insghtful post, Alan Reid.
      You are quite correct to say that the:
      "Money is not important."

      The survival of the human race is entirely worth whatever "money" is spent on it, at this point.
      The fact that the human race (TEP.gov) is so miserly calibrating its response to this event IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM.
      What are you going to sacrifice to avoid spending what you must to begin remediation of the Fukushima ELE, human race?
      Profits for one corporation: TEPCO? (Which is already bankrupt, by the way.)
      The GDP of one nation: Japan? ( Which has already been lost, by the way.)
      "The response to the Fukushima ELE is orders of magnitude less than it must be if the human race is to survive this disaster."
      That was said first by me, right here, and right now.

      Where is the damn corium, eh, TEPCO? ;)


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    • We Not They Finally

      Nice thoughts, Alan. Tell it to the bankers. And the whole nuclear industry was set up by greedy war-mongerers. Change the balance of power in place for well over a century and maybe we'll all line up behind YOU. But how and where is the world going that way?

      Meanwhile, no, we have no idea whether that SPF is #1 priority or not. We don't even know for sure what is IN the SPF's. Like reactor 5. Apparently a SPF and just heard about it for the first time the other day….

      BTW, there are A LOT of "doomsday devices" on those premises. Most of them already out of control. We got suckered into thinking that SFP #4 was the biggie, but honestly, we don't know. There is not even ongoing media coverage. We were supposed to think that and then, the next day, think something else, and so on. It's a real FUBAR.


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Lost your post, Century21, but I'd gladly give you the $1.00 from my own pocket to buy FDNPP. :)


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  • davidh7426 davidh7426

    Just when you think things couldn't get any worse for Japan…

    Abe goes and pokes the neighbouring nations in the eye with a pointy nuclear stick…

    "Japan plans to reopen nuclear reprocessing plant capable of 2,000 bombs a year"

    http://www.sott.net/article/281904-Japan-plans-to-reopen-nuclear-reprocessing-plant-capable-of-2000-bombs-a-year

    Just what the world needs another nuclear 'nutter' with delusions of power :(


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  • dunkilo

    Just what we need ! More nuke bombs…As our own govt. japans govt owned by ,ran by,bent over by the the 1% .It took me a while to come to this truth .Some 1%s are prob good people ….
    See another wave of radiation on NETC flowing down…WIPPY pop !
    FUKU,all the atom bomb test.Fuku is boiling ….Our govt is killing us,making us sick..They seam not to care.
    as a former nuke power supporter ,I see now all nuclear should be stopped now .The rich are getting richer,and most americans are TV brainwashed. those with a different view are dismissed.Most people cant stand to be alone with their thoughts,thinking of the bio-sphere never crosses their minds .
    Time is running out…..Pass the WIPPY pop!


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  • Alan Reid Alan Reid

    Shell games on-site with over 5400 tons of fuel Assembly units is doing the opposite of the proper thing. Moving those not damaged and burnt fuel cores in the common fuel storage unit some 50 meters from unit 4 away from this site is the only rational thing to do to prevent it all going up in very bad smoke. Someone wants this. If not then they would move it to a safer site to store and monitor whist they still could. They don't so…. any sane man will come to the conclusion that that killing generally is the reason and could be a tad angry about it once his fellows start to die en-course of the half a billion quest. Japan is compassed with nice heaps of super hot core parts all the isle round… hence the silliness of not seeing the danger as that a danger and not some nut conspiracy theory. All of those plants put onto the island of japan were meant to fail. It was just a matter of the first few going pop to shine a light. Sort of. If the common spent fuel storage unit behind the reactors is not moved soon it may become too late to work there and nasty Nasty is that road.


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  • dan dan

    If only we could go back and start over with this catastrophe. Imagine for a moment the Govts had been upfront with information from the get go, the brave and courageous of this world would have formed a million strong posse of first responders teeming and crawling over the site to dig that gundersen trench, shore up the buildings and move that common pool within weeks.
    I'm a less than average guy but I would have been proud to add my name to that list.


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  • dan dan

    Horme?….no. I'm almost virginal.


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  • Alan Reid Alan Reid

    Scary thing is during her rant on that Anne did not get struck by lightning. Knowing this one would do wisely to keep in mind the pot is being stirred by his hand and not doing evil harm and denouncing liar fools like Coulter. I have seen that video a few times and have heard that harpy's words coming out of many advocates of Nuke. Pride precedes a fall… And fall is used very loosely. Coulter's fall WILL be televised i think. :)


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  • Alan Reid Alan Reid

    Define the new fall: "Indian CEO CLUBBED TO DEATH" will do.


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  • Could also be the Carrington Event.. there won't be time enough to string them all up.. 400 nuclear plants and spent fuel pools will be keeping people busy..


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  • All I have to add is this, !is a great discussion thread! Lot's of good brainstorming going on and whole lot of smart.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    And be well….eat well, take your vities!


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  • 60srad

    I'm a newbie and thank you to the truth seekers among you and may all the trolls go back to watching Fox News or whatever..
    Re: Chernobyl–the Russians used thousands upon thousands of men to fight "The Battle of Chernobyl", including thousands who built an underground concrete floor under a corium!! And, right now Chernobyl is still worrisome.
    The idea of covering a never-ending irradiated swamp that has spread who knows where with variables leading to infinity is a sick, sick childish joke..
    I might add that I read(twice)"Too Hot TO Touch"–the Problem of High Level Nuclear Waste,2013, by William and Rosemary Alley. IMO we, as a species, are done. Fukushima is only the beginning.
    But as Albert Camus once uttered "in the face of the Absurd, one must act." So here we are. Thanks to the steady ones–you all know who you are.


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