Japan Times: Unit 4 fuel pool continues to alarm scientists and gov’t officials around the world — ‘Intense criticism’ from some senior US officials

Published: September 7th, 2012 at 9:38 pm ET


Title: Global help urged to avert reactor 4 pool fire | The Online
Source: Japan Times
Date: Sep. 8, 2012

The risk of a fire starting in reactor 4’s spent-fuel pool at the Fukushima No. 1 plant continues to alarm scientists and government officials around the world, prompting a leading U.S. nuclear expert to urge Japan to tap global expertise to avert a catastrophe.


During a trip to Japan in late August and early September, [Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education nonprofit organization] met with Diet members, lawyers and citizens’ groups to discuss conditions at the wrecked power station and told an audience in Kyoto on Monday that fears over the spent-fuel pool in reactor 4 remain high.


concerns persist among experts worldwide that reactor 4’s pool is still at risk of boiling dry. If this were to occur, it would necessitate a massive and immediate evacuation of the surrounding area.


But the state of the fuel pool and the lack of preparations to deal with a possible fire has drawn intense criticism not just from experts like Gundersen but also from some senior officials in the U.S.


Published: September 7th, 2012 at 9:38 pm ET


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  2. NHK: Alarm goes off after accident at Fukushima Unit 4 fuel pool — Work suspended after crane trouble — “Workers have been monitoring radiation levels” (VIDEO) March 26, 2014
  3. Professor: Fukushima Unit No. 4 “an immediate problem” — Building is sinking, over 30 inches in places — Extraordinary possibility plant could be back at March 2011 if situation continues — Risk of fission accident in fuel pool (AUDIO) September 3, 2013
  4. Kyodo: No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool’s cooling system stopped after alarm sounds — Tepco: “Leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed” June 30, 2012
  5. Tepco on risk at Unit No. 4: Spent Fuel Pool can withstand up to a lower-6 intensity quake without collapsing May 11, 2012

47 comments to Japan Times: Unit 4 fuel pool continues to alarm scientists and gov’t officials around the world — ‘Intense criticism’ from some senior US officials

  • jackassrig

    "Global expertise." HAHAHA. You think there're worried. They should take a survey of enenews.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      The only 'intense criticism' US officials are giving the Japanese is why the hell they couldn't do a better job shutting up all the anti-nukes in their front yard? Why can't they shut down that damn ex-skf guy?

      They're telling them Japan needs their own DHS, so they can declare Martial Law and shoot them before they die of radiation sickness. Wait till the Japanese government orders 1,000,000,000 hollow point bullets:


      That's how it gets done in 'Merika!

      • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

        @Time is Short:

        Maybe they are not Americans? Hmmm. Maybe they are not even of this world? One thing is certain–they intend to use them.

        "That Government is best which governs least."

  • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

    Been lurkin for a long time…..

    my perspective!

    I grew up in the 80's

    If the radio went off for 10secs…. I would panic that the 4 minute warning had started,

    I would spend my days at school and at home in fear, reading all the facts about NUCLEAR. The uk's position (US missiles on our land) and the possible consequences of an all out attack.
    I remember the film 'Threads'


    and the US attempt…'The Day After'


    (and a load more films if anybody wants to ask)

    In this context…even the word 'nuclear' to a 15 yr old struck MASSIVE fear.

    The word 'nuclear' therefore invaded my life from a very early age!

    In 1986 (my penultimate year at high school) the chernobyl disaster took place. This wasn't a war. It wasn't the mass extinction event that I had fretted about. Yet here in the UK, because the word 'nuclear' back then caused an immediate reaction in the populous we were ALL highly concerned….and we watched the news like hawks!!!

    Only this year


    have the majority of sheep in the northern part of the uk been finally given a 'CLEAN' status (after 26 years!!!)

    What I cannot understand is the complete apathy in 2012!!

    If you watch this…..


    and look at the….THOUSANDS of men who risked there lives to avert a CATASROPHIC thermal explosion.

    How can the world not know (or care!) how…

    • I grew up in the 60's……showed us the Hiroshima movie in Grade 7 (12 or 13 yrs old..) we were all scared that there would be a nuclear war. Had a field trip to a nuclear plant in grade? 3 or 4

      Was supposed to be the best new next thing. Now I'm scared of the plants just like I was scared of the bombs. They still have the bombs. The apathy is because most people just don't want to deal with it. If your head is in the sand yer bum is in the air.

      God Bless All

    • or-well

      tooktheredpill, aww geez,
      the drills, the black and white TV films,
      always war somewhere on the news,
      those movies and promoted strategic MAD views,
      the sheer terror hearing the air-raid siren go off (for a test) –
      terrorism, raising generations of kids in fear of nuke-death –
      oh pleez leaders do what you want just keep us safe from THAT –
      rise up and burn, follow me it's your turn, look over there at some foreign square a missile parade, our truth their charade, –
      guts churning in fear and despair, hidey-hole of distraction don't come up for air until we say it's clear, 4 minutes to live, see what we have to give, ignore history, scientific mystery
      conveniently explained, exceptionalism for others derision,
      accept we offer you one false decision every 4 years, your tears
      our gain, stay back of the tape and out of the water,
      nothing to see but masses being slaughtered……………….
      everybody into the pool of collective consciousness, i dunno,
      maybe, we drown or we rule but can't we save babies?

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        or-well, when are you going to publish a book with these poems? You need to publish this. Seriously.

        Your destiny may be or-well is the Poet Laureate of the anti-nuclear movement.

        Saikado Hantai, and all elsewhere for that matter, or-well.


        • or-well

          URK! I take a quick look
          and somebodys talking about a book.
          Synchronicity and Universe in complicity!
          We need more folks to fight nuke adversity
          but making them pay could make it worse than we
          really want, so here's to free diversity
          and every approach it takes to unclog
          the drains corroding in nuclear bogs!
          Now or-well figures we should make a blog
          but Fingers thinks or-well's an attention hog
          an or-well thinks Finger's afraid of the slog,
          lost in a technophobic fog but Fingers says "Wrong!
          That's only part true, it just takes long
          when there's much to do, but it will happen
          in no small part, because of Enenews
          and all those who give heart-strength to us two."

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    There are dozens of reasons why nuclear plants should be shut down.. here are just two…

    Atucha Nuclear Reactor Taken Over By Terrorists; via A Green Road

    Fukushima Reactor 4; Global Life Extinction Event If It Collapses; via A Green Road

  • markww markww

    Well if the worlds leaders are scared have then come here . I already sent in how to fight a reactor fuel pool fire so NOT to worried now if they did not listen that is another matter the handwriting has been on the wall for months how as to how to fight a reactor fire so have them come here and we can help them. I even sent the material to Fairewinds group

    Mark Retired Fire captain

    • harengus_acidophilus

      "I already sent in how to fight a reactor fuel pool fire so NOT to worried now if they did not listen"

      Maybye… just maybye… it isn't that simple.

      Did you really want to say, you're the only one from 7,000,000,000 human beeings who has a "ready-to-fit" solution? Impressive…

      Sounds like an interesting education.

      But… you're not the leader of the world.
      Why, if you are so ingenious?



        @harengus_acidophilus: I'd trust a retired fire-fighter any day over the likes of what's been prancing-about as capable leaders.

        Granted, this ongoing catastrophe is far from simple. But maybe – just maybe – you've noticed by now, none of the so-called professionals are coming up with answers. If some guy (is this case markww) comes-forth with an idea, are you willing to trade the pride of a bunch of self-anointed professionals (who, you may have noticed, got us here!) for a working solution? True. Not every suggestion is going to be practical. I don't know one-way-or-another if his suggestions would be. What I do know is I want to hear from him and anyone else who has an idea.

        Speaking of geniuses. Don't confuse the fact that guys like markww are being ignored by those on high, with his not having a practical idea. He wouldn't be the first to be ignored by the status-Que, for fear of his being able to prove (once again) what utter assholes have made their way to the top of the decision-making pyramid. But then…you knew that…genius…

        • harengus_acidophilus

          Just to say:
          I don't like this roaring
          "I've got a simple solution"-style.

          Yes, of course, they called this "the american way of life".
          This is exactly the way to desaster we've experienced.

          We should do it better!



            couple of things, harengus_acidophilus: first off, sorry for my tone. I know (from your previous posts) you're one of the good guys. I just don't enjoy seeing someone who's trying his best being challenged when they're only trying to help. He could be off-the-wall for all I know, but that's not going to keep me from wanting to hear what he's got to offer. And my not understanding or accepting what he has to say may not fall on barren earth, elsewhere. There are lots of lurkers (spooks and god-only-knows-what-else) out here. Anyone of them might see what others dismiss and put wings on it. At this point, who knows what's gonna fly?

            So, peace to you and stay real…

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    "Intense criticism… from some senior officials in the U.S."

    Really? Something like a sternly-worded twitter?

    I will have to check the FEMA camps to see if anybody knows anything about this. Criticizing the government or the nuclear industry in America may be considered active support for terrorism. Those senior officials can be detained and questioned indefinitely. They must know *something*, especially if they have beards.


      again PavewayIII, I'm on the floor laughing! "…like a sternly-worded twitter?" is a winner!!!

      • omniversling

        i think that's a sternly worded 'tweet'

        tweet tweet tweet…like those little birds that circle around the heads of cartoon creatures when they've been hit on the head with an anvil dropped from a cliff…kinda like the planet and all her life-forms have been…

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          [face palm]

          Thanks, omniversling. Noted. I'm still transitioning from the old, diesel-powered version of the internet to the vacuum-tube version. We don't have no stinkin' high-tech 'tweeters' capability yet. What channel are they on?

  • dosdos dosdos

    I am reminded of one of the best pieces of cartoon humor I've seen, in the original George of the Jungle series, the episode of the essence of elephant juice. In the opening, George is waving hands and yelling "Steel tracks!" repeatedly to the commissioner who was riding by in the train. The commissioner replies, "Yes, George, the train runs on steel tracks.' The train derails forthwith, and George says, "That's what George said, 'Steal tracks.'"

    45 minutes later in the show, after a couple of secondary characters cartoons played, the show finds George and the commissioner in a dungeon, captured by the ants that were treated with essence of elephant juice, facing imminent death. George breaks into hysterical laughter, and the commissioner responds, "George, what could possibly be so funny?" George replies, "George make funny, 'steel tracks'."

    Not as funny this time around. Why is everything taking so long to reach daylight?


      @dosdos: "Why is everything taking so long to reach daylight?" Concurrent to complexity of a problem is the prerequisite time required in the development of its solution. Put in simpler terms: there is no more room for additional mistakes…

    • or-well

      dosdos, steal the tracks, yes, steal funding and participation,
      cash and non-consumerism, no donation, no political persuasion,
      no heroes, no enlistment, forego debt, "lifestyle enrichment",
      more flu days, computer glitchment, greet the neighbor not TV,
      Media boycott shivaree, local social excitation not distraction commodification…

      It's too big a list for me to mentally marshall right now.
      "Steal the tracks!" is a lever available to us all, in some degree. Thanks.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Government leaders need to grow some balls and do something, rather than sit back and offer criticism. I'm truly embarrassed for them.

  • Sol Man

    The problem, it seems, with he fuel pool 100' feet up in the air is that, like the inverted pendulum, as stated by a previous scientist: isn't the movement at the base magnified and delivered by harmonic oscillation to the load at the top, and it may with repeated tremors at the base be difficult to stop this movement? I wonder if design staffs considered harmonic oscillation when they designed these plants in this way locating them in seismic areas.
    I am neither a scientist, nor an engineer. Note my concern. Freely correct me; those with greater understanding.

    • weeman

      What about installing a mass dampenier, like they have in high rises, to counter the vibrations from earthquake.
      Question for the knowledgable, would absolute zero stop the release of radioactive isotopes. In other words can we freeze or at least slow down the release, how I don't know but any solution to this problem will have to be at the cutting edge of our combined knowledge.
      I know their is no solution at the present time, but their must be people out their thinking outside the box, cause if their is a solution it will come from the box.
      Let's hear your solutions or mitigation ideas, no matter how far fetched it is, the scientist don't have the answers maybe their is none.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "I wonder if design staffs considered harmonic oscillation when they designed these plants in this way locating them in seismic areas."

      Clearly, every significant safety feature, while possibly 'considered', was not implemented. On the contrary, we are seeing where every cost-saving corner could be cut, and it has now led to the beginning of the extinction of every living thing on this planet.

      The nuclear engineering schools/labs have had decades to figure out how to deal with these contingencies. Every idea has been a complete failure, after spending hundreds of billions of research dollars. There are no solutions, that is why everything is still stored either in pools or tanks, which are all either leaking or in danger of catching fire (or what's been dumped in the oceans).

      This is more than just another 'Fall of Civilization'. It is the end of a process created millennia ago by a force stronger than any of us can comprehend.

      • Sol Man

        Fascism has cultivated relationships that let the genie out of the bottle that will now have its way with the world.

      • weeman

        So do you give up or go down fighting, should we not be at least trying.
        First we must shut down all reactors of any kind including science and military, that's a step and hope it is not to late and in time we may know how to dispose.?
        We have the will do we have the balls, it's a no brainier to me.

  • chrisk9

    So was moving the two bundles just a PR event?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "some senior US officials" = Sen. Ron Wyden
    It would be interesting to see the list of the other US officials that are offering "intense criticism"

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      I beg to differ, but I'll let the readers decide if there are any crumbs of 'intense criticism' hidden ANYWHERE here:


      How much taxpayer money did Wyden burn through to take a field-trip to Fukushima and offer help? Doesn't he have a damn phone?

      Meanwhile, his constituents are bathing in radiation whose levels Wyden and cronies were and are ACTIVELY censoring from the public. An Oregon sixth-grader with an eBay account has better radionuclide monitoring capabilities than the government, and he probably won't censor the results.

      Why doesn't Wyden take a 'field trip' to his constituents in Corvollis


      or Portland


      and explain why his airfare that day was worth more than a parent knowing how much their kids are being irradiated from Fukushima? Those useless graphs are the best the EPA can do when it isn't cooking the data?

      How about Wyden offering international aid to the citizens of Oregon to build a useful, reliable radiation monitoring capability that the government can't censor? He could contract the sixth-grader for a few mil$.

      Japan does not need any of our backseat-driver engineers or whining senators – WE do. Well, except for the senator part.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And while the scientists are busy being alarmed…perhaps they can discover the true condition of Fukushima Npp.
    Not just four..but all the units..the collective emissions from all the units.
    They need to get a grip on how much material went X containment…and the implications there of.

    Now we wait..we wait for the supposed experts to figure it out.
    Most likely we will have to wait..while the are spellbound with data..
    As cescium snow gathers in their hair…they are awestruck by the thought of "accumulation".
    Then somewhere down the road..when those numbers no longer fit..then maybe..maybe then..it will occur to them that the situation is "on-going".

    I suppose we have a bit of time to wait…until they come around.


    SOS from Minamisoma..Pt.2


  • kalidances

    The day Fukushima explodes is the day every man, everywhere stops paying a government to run them. It's the day all debts are forgiven, all military action stopped, and everything grinds to a halt as it sinks in that the whole world is in dire trouble over ego and greed. Then that will be the day that everybody starts taking responsibility for what goes on in their neighborhoods. I am just so upset right now. There are no words for how sorry I am that this is going on. The day Fukushima explodes is the day that Obama steps down as the last president this nation will ever have. I suggest every country in the world follow our footsteps.

    • Michele

      Well spoken kalidances, unfortunately, the future that you predict is probably the truth. I have suspected that there is nothing that can be done to resolve Fukushima. And if the scientists are correct, Mt. Fuji has been impacted with more pressure than the last time it erupted. That 9.0 earthquake has repercussions that we are only just learning.

      "The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • truthseek truthseek

    Well said kalidances! Shockingly exact to my reasoning…

    I have been reading here for a long while, only occasionally post. There are already so many well healed / informed people posting knowledge I check in here and mostly lurk… in absolute horror, watching this mess unfold since day one.

    I remain informed and deeply concerned…
    this is IT… the tipping point for
    ALL life on planet earth.

    All bets are of IF? x x x

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      No, it was over when Fukushima blew on 3/11. The fall of SPF #4 would only increase the speed of our demise.

      Whether we breathe in 200 nanoparticles of lethal radionuclides, or 400, does it really matter? It only takes 1 to kill.

      The tipping point was on 3/11.

  • Michele

    Having read every comment, apparently we, the 99%, have realised that perhaps 5% (?) of us have grasped the reality of the dangers of the nuclear energy industry and the military industry which have been protected while the people are disposable. The people continue to be "protected" by keeping them ignorant of the any crisis; and they seem to be kept happily in the dark. And even the knowledge of the Fukushima meltdowns has resulted with some people defending nuclear energy. They appreciate their comfortable lives and there is no desire to return to a time when they would not be able to use all the gadgets that are dependent on electricity.

    What will happen when people have to face the reality that personally concerns themselves and their loved ones? I have followed the Japanese crisis from the beginning and attempted to inform people; but very few are responding. As TTRedPill acknowledged, we have been living in a culture of fear and there are so many things to fear. I am curious to see the response to the contaminated sinkhole of Louisiana, Bayou Corne. the people are discovering that their own government has "protected" them by keeping secret for a year what was underground; gas, oil and non-natural nuclear waste. Now the concern is that these toxins have leaked into wells and the main aquifer.

  • TheWorldIsFüküd

    I am grateful for the attention Arnie has brought to FUKU and SFP 4.

    However, what about SFP 1,2 & 3?

    We must focus on the WHOLE picture.

    What is the current state of the whole facility?

    What the hell is happening at R3? R3 was MOX fuel and completely rejected its entire core.

    R1 and R2 – your guess is as good as mine… R1 has had the curtain pulled over to blind the world..

    I'd love answers…

  • I think better men then myself have expressed my opinion better then I can, The World Is, but if you are looking for answers, you wont get them from TEPCO/GOV/FEDS. Quite simply they lie to us. We are living in a plutocracy, run by criminally insane power addicts.

    But when at a party the conversation gets too heavy I like to say "I believe….I believe….. I believe I'll have another beer".

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, there is a lot of money being spent on the pomp and circumstances called the American Election. What I find funny in a sad way is that people actually think it matters who gets elected as if something will actually change.

    How this relates to the topic at hand? Who ever will /did get elected didn't/won't dismantle the nuclear money pit and whoever will / did get elected answers not to we the people. So no matter what happens to the spent fuel pool at Fukushima you won't get an in depth analysis from Fox News.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Mark, I read your post just after reading a newsletter from Joel Bowman and the two themes resonate for me. He wrote:
      "In questions of political uncertainty, there is understandable, palpable, fear in the air. The mere suggestion that humans might be better off shedding our demonstrably-failed 6,000-year experiment with The State, for example, inspires, even in thoughtful, contemplative individuals, a deep and dark fear of the unknown.

      “Who will build the roads? Who will protect me from violent mobs? Who will guarantee my government-promised welfare? Who will educate our children?”

      We imagine similar anxieties must have gripped those arguing against setting free the slaves.

      “Who will plant the corn? Who will pick the cotton? How will we feed ourselves?” And perhaps, as an afterthought, “How will they feed themselves?”

      Of course, freedom is always the right answer…even if, and often times especially when, it implies an uncertain path ahead…"
      Meanwhile, here in Canada, today's headlines are all about our government beating the drums for war with Iran – a place that most Canadians couldn't find on a map, not unlike Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq (oops, we sat that one out), Korea, Vietnam (hey, we skipped that one too)… no doubt I'm forgetting some.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "Meanwhile, here in Canada, today's headlines are all about our government beating the drums for war with Iran – a place that most Canadians couldn't find on a map, not unlike Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq (oops, we sat that one out), Korea, Vietnam (hey, we skipped that one too)… no doubt I'm forgetting some."

    Fukushima has only increased the need for global eugenic programs to increase the pace of population reduction, in operation well before 3/11. There will be a great thinning of the herd before the rad sickness really kicks in in a few years.

  • Aigeezer, yeah I too am a fellow Canadian. So funny they are crying about Iran possibly getting the A-bomb while Pakistan and India became nuclear powers I believe due to Canada selling Candu reactors to them after they promised not to make weapons….Oh well Harper is good at following his orders from USA. I'm sure our army did an excellent job in Afghanistan, judging by all the "Afghan Grey" heroin flooding the streets of Vancouver. Whats really going on? Marc Emery languishes in an American jail for selling pot seeds but why don't they trace the serial numbers of all those Glocks they take from Vancouver gangsters and bust a few American gun smugglers?

    There is so much wrong and Fukushima is only part of the puzzle.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Agreed, Mark. Usually I am beyond cynicism with these themes but somehow they always feature a surprise or two.

      Among the fascinating photos in the Wiki entry on opium, one is captioned: "Afghanistan, Helmand province. A Marine greets local children working in the field of opium poppies near the base." (I'd love to know what he said in that greeting).

      There's a photo of a Bayer heroin bottle too, as a reminder that times and customs change according to the agenda of the leaders of the moment.


      I lived in and around Vancouver for 30 years. I miss the spectacular natural setting, the bustling Pacific Rim hub feeling, and the food but overall I'm really glad to be elsewhere now. Hehe – I think all Vancouverites should flee before the real estate bubble really bursts, let alone The Big One or Fukushima radiation or debris on Wreck Beach. To each his own – live and let live, but Harper, Baird and the gang have other plans for us it seems. 🙁

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      “Marc Emery languishes in an American jail for selling pot seeds but why don't they trace the serial numbers of all those Glocks they take from Vancouver gangsters and bust a few American gun smugglers?”

      The power elite uses us solely to make money.

      “I'm sure our army did an excellent job in Afghanistan, judging by all the "Afghan Grey" heroin flooding the streets of Vancouver.”

      Why are we in Afganistan?? Why did Richard Holbrooke say that we needed to get out of Afganistan just before he died at George Washington University Hospital after falling ill at the State Department? Oh, right, he was only joking…. they say.

      Why don’t the people just go deliberately to the polls and vote Third Party (any third party)? There is no point in voting at all unless you do. Just think of all the things BO just left out. Doesn’t that make you sick? I could go on, but, what’s the use?

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    In case you missed this Arnie Gundersen explains how an SPF fire can start and why there is much concern surrounding SPF 4 fire and SPF fires here in the US.http://youtu.be/ytzwU2WvvlU

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi moonshellblue

      Thank you for the link. Arnie Gundersen has done a lot in explaining things and he try's to find out what is happening.
      Makes me nervous for those, who go to Japan. It's the last place I would want to go.

  • VyseLegendaire VyseLegendaire

    More spin. No action, no leadership. Its 'Sayonara' if nothing is done about this folks.