Michio Kaku: “The Chernobyl core is still melting into the earth” — May yet hit groundwater and create steam explosion (VIDEO)

Published: May 14th, 2012 at 10:49 pm ET


Michio Kaku: “Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives By the Year 2100”
Feb. 23, 2012
Audio Credit: KPFA’s Flashpoints, May 9, 2012 broadcast

More from Kaku:

  • [intlink id=”kaku-on-spent-fuel-pool-no-4-people-dont-realize-its-on-a-knifes-edge-near-the-tipping-point-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

  • [intlink id=”physicist-unit-2-completely-liquified-100-liquification-of-uranium-core-weve-never-seen-this-before-in-the-history-of-nuclear-power-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

  • [intlink id=”professor-shocked-core-completely-liquified-left-hook-remaining-collapsed-core-chernobyl-partial-meltdown-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

At 30:30 in

You know the Chernobyl core is still melting into the earth? It’s still melting into the earth.

It’s a never ending nightmare.

Eventually they’re going to have to put concrete under the melted core to prevent it from hitting groundwater and creating perhaps a steam explosion.

Listen to the broadcast here

Published: May 14th, 2012 at 10:49 pm ET


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  3. Kaku: Human civilization may destroy itself, “I mean, look at Fukushima” — Liquefication of 3 nuclear reactor cores… First time any core ever liquefied — It’s still out of control, 3/11 disaster could start all over again (VIDEO) September 29, 2013
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79 comments to Michio Kaku: “The Chernobyl core is still melting into the earth” — May yet hit groundwater and create steam explosion (VIDEO)

  • BeniJax

    I'm not sure, I have seen lots of solidified corium pics from Chernobyl, seems pretty unlikely there's been a reliquification.

  • ageezerofgiza

    I don't understand how this statement reconciles with the "elephant's foot" picture, which shows the gelled corium. Also, in the Chernobyl video, Gorbachev and others talk about how the gelling of the core "saved Europe", because they stopped it before it hit the groundwater.

    How can the core still be going down???

    • ENENews

      Good points Beni and AGoG

      Perhaps there is a mixture of solidified and molten fuel? You'd think Prof. Kaku would be sure of something before repeating in front of so many people.


      Kaku is an American theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York of City University of New York, a co-founder of string field theory […] Kaku graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1968 and was first in his physics class. He attended the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in 1972.

      • ageezerofgiza

        Fair enough, but I would like to hear what the people building the Novarka think about it. Wouldn't they have done tests? There will be thousands of people working right above it soon.

      • ageezerofgiza

        Whilst Kaku is a true expert, and very entertaining, I also think he sometimes says the things that TPTB "allow" or "want" him to say.

    • The elephant's foot extends 3 meters (9 feet) into the granite, and is technically still molten. But it isn't still actively melting and incorporating the granite – it's not hot enough for that by virtue of the granite it has already melted and incorporated. The exposed surface develops a crust, and alpha disintegrations throw out fine dust. The crust cracks and pieces fall off. The interior is still considerably hot and technically molten (in slow motion), so new surface is presented over time undergoes the same process.

      At least, I don't see how Chernobyl's biggest corium flow could still be more than 1200º, which it would have to be to actively melt the granite it's in contact with.

      • HamburgGeiger

        I read somewhere that chernobyls corium changes over time because of the continuing activity. New (again more active) substances can develop out of others that made less problems so far. As I understood it, this thing can go crazy again anytime. And we have to live with that for thousands of years to come.

        They saved Europe? Yes, at least for the moment. But this radioactive shit has to be judged in a much bigger timescale then just one or two human generations. It is never ending nightmare, but unfortunately not enough to hinder us from doing fuku.

  • bincbom

    Yeah, you can be pretty sure that Prof. Kaku knows what he's talking about when it comes to nuclear reactors!

  • Jebus Jebus

    How many look at that and immediately discredit all that he says?
    live or memorex?

  • Arizonan Arizonan

    I would tend to trust just about anything Kaku said – he has enormous integrity and top of the charts genius. However, is it at all possible that he is human, and accidentally said Chernobyl when he actually meant Fukushima? Also, I thought they had already built a concrete barrier underneath Chernobyl, and I too saw the photo of the elephant's foot solidified core in the basement – *although the onlookers seemed a little nonchalant, considering* – anyway, I would be interested in hearing more about this from Prof Kaku. Did he mis-speak or did he just say the Chernobyl core is still melting into the earth and mean that? I'll post his reply if I hear back.

    • ageezerofgiza

      They started to build one and imported many miners to tunnel underneath to do it. But they found it was unnecessary because the core had gelled. It's stated clearly, with diagrams, in the Chernobyl documentary. The elephant's foot of "gell" appears to being coming out of a large diameter pipe or duct.

      Whilst I bow to JoyB's superior knowledge, I can't reconcile what I saw as the elephant's foot with the statement of "melting / 3 metres into the granite". Are we talking about the same thing?

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Melted or not, nobody can near enough to see. Thats how messed up things are, in Russia, and Japan. And (fill in the next country with a nuclear catastrophe here).

  • Sickputer

    Yes, Dr. Kaku has ticked off a few scientists in other science fields before with blunders. Example: he made some dubious assertions and ticked off biologists:


    Dr. Kaku is an engaging speaker, but he is a theoretical physicist, not trained in nuclear science.

    My impression of his radio interview was he does not know the terminology for common NPP items. He refers to rods assemblies as rods and doesn't know the difference apparently. At least that was my impression.

    He's a smart guy, but he may be better as a futurist. I am a historian and his Chernobyl statements sound very misleading. Yes there is still a danger at Unit 4 in Chernobyl and that is why there is a huge new concrete dome being prepared to slide on rails and cover the old leaking dome. But I seriously doubt the Chernobyl Unit 4 corium is still drilling on down. Sorry Kaku, you had me going there for a while. Better stick to the theoretical stuff.

    • ENENews

      Hey SP

      He appears to be a trained nuclear scientist of some sort.

      Kaku "attended the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in 1972" -Wikipedia

      ABC News says "nuclear expert" Michio Kaku

      Maybe a reporter/enenewser has time to intelligently question Kaku about it in a mini-interview and we can do a post about it.

      • Max1 Max1

        Maybe a reporter/enenewser has time to intelligently question Kaku about it in a mini-interview and we can do a post about it.
        This means someone has an interview up their sleeve…
        … Good Job!

      • Sickputer

        Thanks… good background info, but his PhD is not in nuclear physics.

        His PhD is in general physics in 1972 at the University of California at Berkeley through the DOE supervised Radiation Laboratory. Lots of different PhD fields awarded there to graduate students including biology among others.

        The Radiation Laboratory is definitely prestigious with 12 Nobel Prize winners including Sec. Of Energy Steven Chu.

        "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, scientific research centers run by the Univ. of California, located in Berkeley, Calif., and Livermore, Calif., respectively. They are named for their founder, physicist Ernest O. Lawrence
        , who organized the Berkeley laboratory in the early 1930s and the Livermore laboratory in 1952. They are administered by the Univ. of California with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. Formerly these two laboratories were run as a single research center known as the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley and Livermore."


        SP: His training there should have taught him many fuel rods are in an assembly. 😉

  • Max1 Max1

    TV: No chance of removing melted nuclear fuel from reactor at Chernobyl — 100s of times above airborne radiation limit while digging nearby (VIDEO)

    Well… It's still too hot to handle, that's for sure.

  • Max1 Max1

    FROM: European Chernobyl Network

    Without these Liquidators, Europe would have been a nuclear graveyard. A second and far more massive explosion was only averted by the Liquidators who went in to drain off the water from under the reactor core. Had the molten core come into contact with the water it would have created a nuclear explosion of massive proportions which would have caused a ‘nuclear winter’ across Europe.

    Of the 860,000 men and women who were drafted in as Liquidators over a period of several years following the disaster, it is estimated that over 200,000 have since died prematurely due to their exposure to high levels of radiation. Those that are still alive today are taking medication to try to combat the effects of the radiation doses they received.

    • Max1 Max1

      You know, just tossing this out there.
      That dam TEPCO is building at Fuku…
      … It can be drained to minimize water seepage inland, too. YES?

      • Sickputer

        Not quite sure what you mean as to draining the dam. The type proposed at Fukushima is a barrier dam, sometimes called a cofferdam or caisson. It consists of steel pilings and/or sheets driven into the ground.

        If I remember correctly the cofferdam design Tepco is proposing is to prevent leakage to the seaward side of the reactors. A better design was proposed by Arnie Gundersen shortly after the initial disaster and when the meltdowns became known. He proposed a circular design around the entire reactors that had meltdowns. The result would look a little like this:


        Yes, there can be radioactive fluid infiltration inland over time, but the ocean contamination is in full progress so that's where Tepco proposes to build an underground barrier. It remains to be seen if a barrier can be effective considering how deep the nuclear coriums may have already sunk into the subsurface.

        • Max1 Max1

          And aren't coffer dams built to create barriers that can be drained?

          What I'm suggesting is that TEPCO may want to think about mitigating water flow inland from the ocean if they're gonna head off any water/corium combustion underground… Just thinking about options.

          • Sickputer

            Max1 sez: And aren't coffer dams built to create barriers that can be drained?

            SP: Sure, but here is the rub. They aren't able to store the radioactive drain water so far…they gave up after about 1,000 storage tanks and said the hell with it.

            So where do you put toxic water you contain if it is 250,000 year hot? It's an issue they have no answer for and they aren't trying to build a circular cofferdam anyway so they have zero chance of containment. Foolish plans in desperate times and doomed to failure. The radioactive water is all going in the ocean and will leak into the ocean forever.

            So do we want it slow and rough or fast and tough? Let it slowly drain forever into the ocean from fissures or blow the whole island into the ocean with shaped explosive charges and try to drain it like Spiderman 2? Well we know they are too afraid to try an explosive option because there are lots of unknowns.

            So we will be stuck forever with at the very least 3 reactors cores in the ground leeching into the sea. Perhaps they will dodge the bullet with the wrecked buildings and get the above ground fuel removed to casks when it cools down in a couple of years.

            Maybe…but remember the fuel still above ground (versus the triplet coriums)is probably now melted into irregular shapes and not the the tidy original shape condusive to cask entombment. So the Chernobyl option of about 4 domed covers looms in the future of this nation. Enormous expense looms for Japan.

  • cyc

    I think this might be a lapsus? There are other problems with Chernobyl core, not melting … water can now get through core mixed with sand ("lava") and radioactive particles are "washed" with water.
    Fukushima on the other hand … is another story. That thing still melts for sure. 🙂

  • Replacant Replacant

    not sure about Chernobyl still melting maybe like how glass is still technically liquid, but the fear about Chernobyl was the chance water would hit the fuel and cause a reaction that could another massive release. It is "stable" and not as much of a threat, but cannot be cleaned up.

    Fukushima on the other hand is still completely out of and 3 reactors and 4 pools of radioactive hell. I really would like to know what the images of the yellow cake core samples from late last year were all about. How deep and did that really mean they know how far the cores are and will not tell anyone? http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/01/breaking-news-whistle-blower-talks-container-vessel-is-melting-like-honeycomb/

  • Gaffney

    Only 50% of the fuel is in the glass form of the elephants foot which is only a little bit of the fuel. The other 50% is still molten and even the fuel in the glass form isn't safe. They found that some of it is going a bit soft and absorbing water. It's unlikely that the glass corium would fully melt again but it's a possibility. I wouldn't be scared of the corium hitting ground water now even if it does melt there is still a lot of basements the corium would have to go through and they can take action to stop it.

    • I am petrified. How many basements will be needed over decades and centuries? Not reassuring to me at all.

      50% molten after 30 years. So will it be 10% molten in 200 years? I don't know. But I would say it's safe to assume it will be something… and that's not good.

      The truth is the 'experts' are either guessing at the long range 'situation' or they do know the 'reality', but it's so bad they aren't ever going to tell you. So either way you'll never really know.

      • americancommntr

        200 years? Won't be that much time:

        "The Lord’s prophecy concerning the duration of Jerusalem’s captivity bears another look as well. Jerusalem either ceased to exist or was under Gentile authority from Roman times until June of 1967, when for the first time the Star of David flew over a unified city. This marked the end of Gentile Dominion, and a return to Israel as the focus of Biblical Prophecy, a clear sign that we’re fast approaching the End of the Age." from http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/the-end-times-according-to-jesus-part-1/

        And from Wikipedia: During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel, while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it. Currently, Israel's Basic Law refers to Jerusalem as the country's "undivided capital"."

        The Tribulation is coming soon. And if even if not, there'd be a Carrington Class flare before 200 years was up anyway.

  • hanaloa hanaloa

    Hi, Anne,
    Iʻm not sure about the Illuminati thing, but I do have concerns about his agenda, especially after seeing the video about type 1,2 and 3 civilizations…and even more suspicious to me is the fact that heʻs Fox Newsʻ go-to science guy…also, isnʻt he johnny-come-lately w/ the liquid core thing? It worries me that the MSM is preparing the masses for the inevitable melt-down of TEPCOʻs fantasy cold-shutdown.

    • el

      –what is it about the "illuminati" that you are unsure of?

      You havent educated yourself on it yet i guess….

      • hanaloa hanaloa

        How condescending, el…perhaps some sourced information/evidence would help your assertion…I do believe in a global consPIRACY by the elite, but I have yet to see/hear credible evidence of a modern Illuminati…and whether the Old Money gangs are joined by secret societies or the G20, the rest of us are in this together as we have more in common than not…

        Although I may disagree with Anne as to the veracity of the Illuninatiʻs existence, I respect her work to educate and inform…she gives me links and sources from which I can form my own opinions…

        if you seek change, el, wouldnʻt it make sense to make alliances with people like myself who already question the status quo…telling me "You havent educated yourself on it yet i guess…" without any references or sources is not the best way to rally me to your POV.

        • el

          I dont have to provide links, your playing the victim. You have the power to search it out. I fact, Id love it if youd prove me wrong on your own. The effect is much more rewarding.

          Condescending? I understand. We are spoonfed to be told everything, not to seek out knowledge.

          Annes links are sufficient. No need to spam the same info again.

          I hope that you would make up your own mind.

  • glowfus

    well, at least they know/admit where that puny little chernobly core is. i wonder where those huge fuku cores are? anyone see 180 tons of uranium lava call "(1)800 eat my fuku."

    • americancommntr

      I will re-post from memory, with augmentation:

      "Three steaming molten blobs of corium were just sighted outside a small town in Argentina. The extremely radioactive masses briefly bobbed to the surface, then began slowly descending back down the holes they created, accelerating as they went. Angry townspeople called Tepco and demanded the company stop the nuclear devastating yo-yo's, which have contaminated all the GM soybeans for many kilometers around. TEPCO officials denied having any nuclear yo-yo's, at least in Argentina."

  • el

    yeak! In light of Fuku-

    its just little ol Chernoble.

    A constant re definition of Grammar is the Sophists greatest technique.

  • Holland Holland

    New Dangers Arise at Chernobyl

    “Chernobyl is still one of the most dangerous nuclear facilities in the world,” Arthur Denisnko, energy expert at the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine told IPS. “The existing confinement is unstable and was built 25 years ago in a rush. If the structure collapses, radioactive dust would be released.

    “The sarcophagous is welcome, but officials who say that this will solve the problem are not telling the truth: It will remain dangerous as long as there are 185 tons of nuclear fuel in it, fuel that is not contained in rods but is melted and spread out,” says Denisenko.

    Today there is no technology to remove it, but this fuel can reach the underground water and eventually Ukraine’s main rivers,” he says.”


    • el

      I guess its a positive thing that Fuku drew attention to Cherny.

    • Sickputer

      Good catch Holland! The worm turns again for the flamboyant Doctor, but I still wish he would get his statements straight and differentiate between rods (12-foot skinny uranium-pellet tubes) and fuel assemblies (bundles of 63 rods as found in Boiling Water Reactors).

      94,500 uranium fuel rods is a lot scarier than 1,500.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        “A modern BWR fuel assembly comprises 74 to 100 fuel rods, and there are up to approximately 800 assemblies in a reactor core, holding up to approximately 140 tons[vague] of uranium. The number of fuel assemblies in a specific reactor is based on considerations of desired reactor power output, reactor core size and reactor power density.”

        “In modern BWR fuel bundles, there are either 91, 92, or 96 fuel rods per assembly depending on the manufacturer. A range between 368 assemblies for the smallest and 800 assemblies for the largest U.S. BWR forms the reactor core. Each BWR fuel rod is back filled with helium to a pressure of about three atmospheres (300 kPa).”

  • sonnen.blum.239 sonnen.blum.239

    the kicker is that "there is no technology" to deal with the removal or the containment. the kicker is that it is with us for the long term. Short term solutions are never solutions except when happenstance creates a coincidence. As a human, our race is not that lucky. Not now at least. Forget the conspiracies; let's just present the facts. Facts are arguable. Opinions are not worthy of the time. And feelings, well feelings are not arguable. Loss of life, environment, and sanity all make me quite sad. We were a promising lot.

  • doctorwhowhatwhere doctorwhowhatwhere

    The Chernobyl "elephant's foot" comprises only two metric tons of corium — there was a minimum of 200 tons of corium at the time of the meltdown. Where the bulk of the corium is, and in what condition (cold and static or hot and moving), is anyone's guess.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Reactor vessel breaching

      "In absence of adequate cooling, the inside of the reactor overheats, deforms as the portions undergo thermal expansion, then structurally fails once the temperature reaches the melting point of the structural materials. The melt then accumulates on the bottom of the reactor vessel. In case of adequate cooling of the corium melt, it can solidify and the spread of damage is limited to the reactor. However, corium may melt through the reactor vessel and flow out or be ejected as a molten stream by the pressure inside the reactor. The reactor failure may be caused by overheating of its bottom by the corium melt, resulting first in creep failure and then in breach of the vessel. High level of cooling water above the corium layer may allow reaching a thermal equilibrium below the metal creep temperature, without reactor vessel failure.[5]

      If the vessel is sufficiently cooled, a crust between the melt and the reactor wall can form. The layer of molten steel on top of the oxide creates a zone of increased heat transfer to the reactor wall;[1] this condition, known as "heat knife", exacerbates probability of formation of a localized weakening of the side of the reactor vessel and subsequent corium leak.

      In case of high pressure inside the reactor vessel, breaching of its bottom may result in high-pressure blowout of the corium mass. In the first phase, only the melt itself is ejected; later a depression forms in the center of the hole and gas…

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        (cont)…is discharged together with the melt, resulting in rapid decrease of pressure inside the reactor; the high temperature of the melt also causes rapid erosion and enlargement of the vessel breach. If a hole is in the center of the bottom, nearly all corium can be ejected. A hole in the side of the vessel may lead to only partial ejection of corium, retaining its portion inside the reactor.[6] Melt-through of the reactor vessel may take from few tens of minutes to several hours.

        After breaching the reactor vessel, the conditions in the reactor cavity below the core govern the production of gases. If water is present, steam and hydrogen are generated; dry concrete results in production of carbon dioxide and smaller amount of steam

        • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

          I posted this ..as I found it a fairly clear description of the activity of the corium.
          One of the major differences in Chernobyl and Fukushima..is the burning SFPs at Fukushima and corium production.

          • doctorwhowhatwhere doctorwhowhatwhere

            No argument about the general characteristics of corium expulsion. But even a blowout of corium early in the initial containment failure wouldn't reasonably result in all but several metric tons of corium being expelled into the surrounding countryside. And if that much of the corium had been expelled in that manner, contamination would have been several orders of magnitude worse than it was… a fairly horrifying notion at best.

            • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

              True… I would think that the materials remaining after the explosions..the "subsidence" would be the majorative.

  • sunpower

    Kaku has no clue what he is talking about as he does not base his statement on anything he could prove. He has not been inside the Chernobyl sarcophagus, not even on a tour like the Nova camera crew, and he has not seen the elephants' feet sitting on top of the concrete slab floor of the basement under the reactor, which is completely empty of fuel. The corium is not melting, it is plain to see, sitting there in the basement, as solidified pahoehoe.
    What this issue is about is first, the gullibility of most people unable to do basic physical analysis on their own, resulting in their dependency on so called experts, the technicians of the technocracy that created the problem. The gullible do not see any reason to doubt the people leading them astray. The obvious reason Kaku says this now is to get all of us away from solving the problem of nuclear reactor meltdown, which would mean burial and finis for the industry.
    The second issue is why so few of us have even done the due diligence of watching the Nova documentary, and fewer still who were able to draw the same obvious conclusion that the Russian worker did after seeing the elephants' feet. It is true that vitrification of molten fuel rods saved Europe a much worse fate. So far no other outcome of melted fuel besides corium has ever been found. Kaku is pulling this spin job on us in order to keep the truth and final accounting from happening. Wake up.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Also how does he know that reactor 2 is 100 percent liquid? I mean it probably is but there are so many uncertainties concerning this ongoing disaster and unchartered territory. We can only make assumptions. IMHO

  • sunpower

    Two metric tons of a material that is nearly twice as heavy as lead would be a much smaller mass than what is shown in the videos. The video does not show steaming and fuming of any other molten fuel in the basement. Why people still believe that corium is still molten, when they can see from the Chernobyl documentary it is solidified, is a revelation of the really shaky basis they have for forming their beliefs. I have found it alot easier in life to base opinion of verifiable fact. What is obvious from the outcome of Chernobyl is that corium vitrification stops the melted fuel from burning through everything in a China Syndrome hypothesis. It is only a hypothesis as no proof of China Syndrome can be pointed to by Kaku or anyone else.
    For those who still don't get it, check it out-


  • doctorwhowhatwhere doctorwhowhatwhere

    Quite awake here. Again, the elephant foot formation in the basement of Chernobyl's reactor building accounts for only about two metric tons of corium. There were hundreds of tons of corium in the reactor vessel at the time of the meltdown.

    I don't tend to have much respect for Kaku and his posturing, but the location of the missing hundreds of tons of corium from Chernobyl still hasn't been reliably defined.

  • doctorwhowhatwhere doctorwhowhatwhere

    sunpower, I agree that what's visible as the elephant's foot is cool enough. But it doesn't account for the greater mass of the original corium.

    • doctorwhowhatwhere doctorwhowhatwhere

      I will be quite relieved, though, if hundreds of tons of corium being expelled into the surrounding countryside left us with as relatively "little" death and environmental contamination as Chernobyl has. Not that a million deaths are a little thing, nor the contamination of a vast area small — but I'd expect worse from hundreds of tons of widely splattered corium.

  • RutherfordsGhost

    Porkies here there and everywhere.
    Monitoring the Chernobyl site would reveal emissions of fission products indicative of activity – or increased activity, associated with warming of the Corium deposits.
    So far, no evidence has been released.
    Secondly, there is technology to clean up Chernobyl.
    Time, patience, money, heavy machinery, industrial chemical reprocessing equipment, and mining equipment – and most importantly – Human Lives.
    The Soviet Union stabilised Chernobyl very quickly in a super human effort. The logical thing to do, is wait 200-300 years before organising a final clean up on site – as it isn't going anywhere fast – except for those materials slowly leaching into the environment.
    Japan has done nothing. Criticalities are ongoing. The Japanese seem incapable of implementing any solution.

    PS: If you think Chernobyl is bad – visit Mayak.

    • Hogweed

      Actually evidence has been released of at least one incident at Chernobyl when neutron detectors indicated a near criticality situation at Chernobyl


      Chernobyl recriticality
      It was recently reported that detectors inside of the leaking sarcophagus at Chernobyl
      recorded a 60-fold increase in the neutron counting rate in 1990 following a two week
      period of heavy rainfalll6. The rate stayed high for several days. The large increase in rate
      implies that the system was either very near criticality or it had in fact reached criticality. It
      was assumed that this event was caused by water leaking into the system. We showed17 12
      that criticality reached initially this way has negative feedback so that the system is self-
      controlling. The monitoring scientists were greatly concerned about this problem and so
      finally a brave scientist17 raced inside the sarcophagus and poured a solution of gadolinium
      inside and the neutron rate subsided as a result of this action. Periodically gadolinium
      solution has been sprayed around inside of the sarcophagus since.

      If they left Chernobyl alone now it would probably go critical again.

      • Hogweed



        Criticality or near criticality
        The increase of neutron rate by a factor of 60 is a strong indication that <b>near-criticality or
        criticality was reached in 1990</b>. The neutron multiplication is given by 1/(l-k& and the
        ratio of initial to final multiplication is (l-kf)/(1-ki). If there were no multiplication at a l
        initially (ki = 0), to achieve an increase in neutron rate by a factor of 60 would require kf =
        0.983. It is unlikely that the true kf could have risen from zero to 0.983 simply by the
        addition of the water. It is much more likely that the bff the fuel in the rubble was near
        0.9. In that case to reach a multiplication by 60, kf must reach 0.9983. So <b>the system was
        almost certainly very near criticality. I'm sure that the scientists on the site were aware of
        this and that this concern prompted the remedial action involving the gadolinium.</b>

  • sonnen.blum.239 sonnen.blum.239


    I am thankful for those who take the time to post here and to consider that Cherny has been encapsulated and is still leaking, and at what huge cost of human lives. Therefore i conclude humanity does not have the technology, the capability, or the will to deal with the nuclear waste, these disasters, and the profit making motives of governments and the nuclear industry interests.

    To encapsulate Fuku will leave the same legacy. And the same error.

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  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Just a thought on the headline: "May yet hit groundwater and create steam explosion ". The theory that a corium in contact with groundwater will produce a gigantic steam explosion, cause nuclear winter, etc. has IMO been shown by Fuku to be a myth. Coriums 1,2,&3 have been immersed in water nearly from the beginning of the Fuku nightmare. TEPCO poured millions of gallons of seawater into the meltdowns. I remember seeing photos of flooded basements, which the coriums passed through on their way out of the buildings. The water/sea level is very high underground. All we have gotten thus far is night fog and black dust deposited inland. It has been suggested that the Unit3 explosion ocurred when the corium dropped from a dewatered reactor into water in the bottom of Containment3. There is good reason to believe that the source of the explosion of Unit3 originated in SFP3, rather than in Reactor3. Since Unit3 remains too hot to work in, it will be many years before a Unit3 steam explosion can be confirmed. Corium and water seem to play quite well together, producing lots of sizzle and cesium dust, but no massive explosions.

    • Spectrometising

      Yes philipupnorth, i am with you, it is a myth in my opinion.

      In general, even the most brilliant scientists are complete ignoarmusses when faced with questions not directly in their field. This includes Michio. A plumber can often have a better handle on a question.

      What needs to be explained is how the corium can maintain its pristine purity whilst melting through all that rock and so on.

      Unless it purifies itself as it melts like a noble element, never mixing with the 'other' unclean elements which might dilute its chemical nobility so that it is no longer concentrated 100% kosher unadulterated corium.

      Unlike a snail, it leaves no trail behind so that it maintains its integrity and mass bordering on a criticality. No part of it is left behind in this mythical scenario.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Spectro, How does a corium flow?

    • Spectrometising

      Thanks for the opportunity philip, as usual 🙂

      If it is like the mythical China Syndrome corium, then it would flow much like one of those blobs in a lava lamp.

      The lava in the lamp does not mix with the solution it is in.

      It is very noble and will not mix with the liquid solution in which it bobbles up and down in.

      The corium would need to flow like this for it not to be entirely fictitious.

      • Spectrometising

        Anything less than mythical ultra nuclear nobility would dilute the corium and spread the heat out bringing it to a grinding halt.

  • Spectrometising

    As for Arnie, has anyone ever heard him cover the steady corrosion of PWR's (Pressurised water reactors) from Boric acid, to the tune of 75% corrosion of 75mm bolts and so forth??

    If so, please let us/me know when he gets time to cover this aspect if has not allready.

    Here are my recent thoughts on the matter and a link below.


    Small excerpt.
    "(3) At San Onofre Unit 2, boric acid solution corroded nearly through the
    bolts holding the valve packing follow plate in the shutdown cooling
    system isolation valve. During an attempt to operate the valve, the
    bolts failed and the valve packing follow plate became dislodged
    causing leakage of approximately 18,000 gallons of reactor coolant into
    the containment. (IE Information Notice No. 86-108, Supplement 2) "

    I hope Arnie gets time to talk about Boric acid corrosion in PWR's.