Kyodo: “If we find where the molten nuclear fuel is located, it will give us a clue” says researcher — Detectors to locate corium already placed near Reactors 1 and 2 in May by Los Alamos Lab

Published: October 18th, 2012 at 10:24 am ET


Title: Cosmic rays eyed to locate nuke fuel melt
Source: Kyodo
Date: Oct. 18, 2012

Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a method to use cosmic rays to locate molten nuclear fuel within the crippled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the U.S. institute said Wednesday.


A team from the New Mexico-based laboratory visited the Fukushima plant in May and confirmed they were able to place the detectors […] near the damaged reactors 1 and 2.


The newly devised method will allow images to be taken of the nuclear materials inside the reactors based on the scattering of muons.


“If we find where the molten nuclear fuel is located, it will give us a clue to understand what happened inside the reactors and help accelerate the decommissioning work,” [Haruo Miyadera, a member of the research team] said.


Results are fast: “At one hour the difference in scattering between the images with and without the core is visible”

Published: October 18th, 2012 at 10:24 am ET


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15 comments to Kyodo: “If we find where the molten nuclear fuel is located, it will give us a clue” says researcher — Detectors to locate corium already placed near Reactors 1 and 2 in May by Los Alamos Lab

  • arclight arclight


    and documenting ians latest blog

    On 2012/01/12, at 11:50, Noam Chomsky wrote:

    It is a privilege to be able to lend personal support to the Fukushima Evacuate Children Lawsuit.
    There is no better measure of the moral health of a society than how it treats the most vulnerable people within it, and none or more vulnerable, or more precious, than children who are the victims of unconscionable actions.
    For Japan, and for all of us, this is a test that we must not fail.

  • patb2009

    funny this was not discussed 18 months ago.

    • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

      Exactly. And what have those detectors been doing for the last 5 months? Decommissioning makes it sound easy.

    • melodiousthunkk

      I agree. How was this not revealed…in May?!? I shudder to think about what else is known but not publicized.

    • lam335 lam335

      Maybe that is because back then, when attention was still being paid to Fuku, they were trying to get people to believe that a full melt-through had not happened. They were trying to say that it was just a partial melt-down.

      That spin no longer works for the few who have been paying attention. Meanwhile, the attention of the media (and most other people) has shifted away from Fuku, so now they can publicly say things about technologies to locate the missing, melted-through fuel, and very few will actually notice.

      Just a hypothesis.

      • guezilla

        Based on the short blurbs that have been released on this technology, it looks like they need to get the detection plates so the uranium is between them.
        This would be all fine and dandy if there still was a core to put between them, but as the endoscopic examinations have already revealed, there isn't one in the above-ground parts of either unit 1 or 2. As such I believe this technology will be of limited use, and on top of that, TEPCO has probably been yelling at them "Look harder, your tech isn't working, the core must still be there".
        On the last article on this it was also mentioned strong radiation will interfere with the measurements, hence it may have to wait for the radiation to go down, like everything else there. With the half-lifes of many of the more important isotopes, that would likely be tens of years (at the very least). 30 years half-life for caesium-137, they've got better chances waiting for the radiation to dilute into the groundwater than any sizable decrease from half-life.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "use cosmic rays to locate molten nuclear fuel WITHIN the crippled REACTORS" presumes that there is molten nuclear fuel within the crippled reactors to find. This is a complete myth, and only wastes time, as TEP.Gov.LosAlamos pretend to keep busy, and pretend to have a plan. Perhaps we are playing a game. "See, here is the core, right where we thought it would be. Too much radiation, so let's just fill the reactor with borated cement and walk away." Announce to the public that the plants are "decommissioned".

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Take core samples with a slant drill under Buildings1,2,&3. Retrieve the cores using robots. Run a detector along the core until the radiation detector pegs out when it reaches corium. Use simple geometry to build a map of the corium, as it has spread out in the mudrock under the plant. TEPCO, quit playing games!

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    This story reminds me too much of focusing on what kind of car hit some one and killed them.

    Seems a bit short sighted to think that finding out where the core is will matter in any way.

    So much radioactive material has already been released that "where" any remaining corium is seems a bit of a distraction.

  • dosdos dosdos

    The big problem is that the corium for each unit is scattered about, not in one big lump. It will make it difficult to pinpoint all the locations where it exists, no matter what technique they use.

    Cosmic rays are ultra-high frequency EMF, they are not stopped by a planetary mass, though they lose some energy in the process. However, the muons are not so penetrating. With a chaotic environment like Daiichi, it will be difficult to get a clear pattern as they are discussing.

    They may not be able to pinpoint they corium, but they might be able to say if it's in containment or not, which is a start.

  • Sickputer

    It's been nearly 6 months since they placed the detectors and they release no data. I believe they already know the buildings are empty except for splatters and charred debris. These Dr. Frankenstein sandwich x-ray machine can't find the coriums in the ground so they are practically worthless. A few merchant ships full of borax would have much more useful.

  • lam335 lam335

    This other story is posted at the end of the article linked here:

    Debris disposal

    SHIZUOKA — Shizuoka Prefecture plans to dispose of around 23,500 tons of combustible debris generated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Iwate Prefecture by March 2014, with four Shizuoka municipalities starting to receive shipments Thursday.

    The four cities are Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Susono and Shimada. Shimada had started accepting Iwate debris in May, but had to suspend the operation due to technical problems.

    While work was suspended, the three other municipalities decided to join Shimada in disposing of Iwate debris.

  • Sickputer

    Oh boy… What a toxic job windfall for the city fathers. Everyone in the world has to breathe the poisonous shit belching out of the incinerator. Radiation like any smart alien ungodly substance is merely concentrated into sludge and air releases.

    Those vaunted 99% incinerator filters catch 60% of the radioactive poison. The rest flies across Japan with 60% landing in drinking water sources, homes, schools, and farms in Japan. The rest travels into the ocean, seas, and other countries.

    One day they will regret those jobs and yakuza bribes. Not even one dead child is worth this government genocidal activity. The naked apes in power in Japan are homicidal monsters.

  • 12 Methods That TEPCO Could Use To Find Lost Coriums At Fukushima – Could It Be That TEPCO Already Knows?