Kyodo: Tepco finds 35-ton machine fallen in No. 3 fuel pool — Appears to have dropped on nuclear fuel racks (VIDEO)

Published: April 13th, 2012 at 10:44 am ET


Title: TEPCO finds 35-ton machine fallen in Fukushima No. 3 spent fuel pool
Source: Kyodo
Date: April 13

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Friday found that a 35-ton machine had dropped inside the spent fuel pool of the No. 3 unit, possibly because of a hydrogen explosion that occurred in the early stage of plant’s nuclear accident last year. […]

One photo showed part of the machine, originally located above the pool and used to insert and remove fuel, appeared to have dropped onto the nuclear fuel storage racks.

h/t Whoopie

Read the report here

See also: Tepco Press Conference: New photos released of debris inside SFP No. 3 (PHOTOS)

Published: April 13th, 2012 at 10:44 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Asahi: New photos show extensive damage at No. 3 fuel pool — 35-ton machine that appears to be on fuel racks is a crane April 14, 2012
  2. Japan Times Headline: Machine fell into MOX spent-fuel pool -Tepco — “Highly dangerous mixed oxide fuel” April 14, 2012
  3. Confirmed: 35-ton machine “sitting on top of the spent fuel rack in the pool” of Reactor No. 3 — Extent of damage not yet known (VIDEOS) April 17, 2012
  4. Gundersen: Damage to Fukushima Unit 3 fuel racks could be from prompt moderated criticality, not objects falling in pool — What does Tepco know that they haven’t yet shown photos of? December 21, 2012
  5. Kyodo: Steel beam removed from Fukushima plant’s No. 3 pool after falling on fuel racks — Another steel beam found soon after (PHOTOS) December 20, 2012

70 comments to Kyodo: Tepco finds 35-ton machine fallen in No. 3 fuel pool — Appears to have dropped on nuclear fuel racks (VIDEO)

  • I can not find the video that someone posted of this yesterday that Fairwinds produced ! Someone remener who/where posted !

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    This deserves to be made into a song…..

    Alpha Radiation Dangers; Polonium, Radon, Radium, Plutonium, Uranium….

    How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road Blog

  • A 35 ton machine is not exactly tiny. How is it they are just discovering it is not above the rods now after over a year?

    As I understand it, fuel rods are quite fragile according to some of the operators who have spoken out. It would be prudent to asses the possible outcome of hundreds, if not thousands, of crushed rods in the pool.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Roger, Houston, we have a problem!

      • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

        Flapdoodle and HoTaters: Damn straight, we have a problem! But I can loan TEPCO my dust pan and broom. Perhaps they can dewater SFP3, and get one of their foreign subcontract workers to just sweep up the fuel pellets on the floor of SFP3. Put them in a bucket or something.

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      I thought there was a discussion last year about this very crane – the question of where was it, meaning, it wasn't obviously visible anymore, and someone thinking it had dropped into the fuel pool. I think TEPCO is just now responding publicly to the crane in the pool because someone, somewhere has put pressure on TEPCO behind the scenes. Open support for the public face and not to subtle threats behind closed doors. Someone has TEPCO's nuts in a vice and the squeeze is on. Otherwise, i don't think TEPCO would reveal anything, anytime about anything. Look at the US nuclear leaks. Not a word for 30 years or more in most cases! I don't think this slow leak of information is to get the public ready or distract us. I think the powers that be are doing what powers that be do to those within their ranks that have gone too far or whose incompetence threatens to take everyone down with them. They are very privately policing their own.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Does it take 13 months to 'see' a 35 ton machine in a spent fuel pool? Hydrogen explosion,….Oh Brother! 🙁

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Am not sure they have been able to get close enough to see some of what's going on there. It has been intensely hot since it exploded last March. Some of the reports said #3 was too hot to approach.

      One has to wonder why none of the videos showed the damage being reported here.

      BTW, are we sure they're not talking about #4? Didn't the crane fall into the #4 pool? ('Haven't watched the video yet, maybe that will make it clear they're really talking about #3 here).

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        One of the things that may have impeded their seeing it (if it's true they couldn't see it) is there were roof girders lying all over the top of the SPF. That showed up in one of the videos narrated in English. If I can find it I'll post. It DOES seem really odd it would take so long to figure this out!

      • snowwy snowwy

        i think it did not take year or more… i remember that when they showed the first drone pictures above the reactors that they talked about cranes having fallen into the pool and onto the fuel…

        this might just be the drip feeding agenda once again tepco style "we admit to something much later in order to give something or anything and are able to hide much worse for a while longer"… when the while has passed they find a way to play it down once more. all in the name of keep people quiet and the nuclear industry from breaking.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Thanks Flapdoodle! I thought I was CRAZY! (Well,….never mind!) 🙂


      Is it me or is this day starting out to be a nightmare? I've seen a few Friday-the-13ths, but this one's becoming the scariest yet!

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    One rumor is that they first discovered blue/green cheese on the moon, because scientists in Japan are now looking for new places to relocate everyone from Tokyo (only 33 million people are living in equivalent of a toxic nuclear dump, according to Arnie Gunderson)

    The moon reflected the green color of this huge crane that fell into #3 spent fuel pool. That is how they 'discovered' it.

    Once all people from Tokyo are relocated to the moon, they will explore ways to send a robot back to Earth to see what is beneath the fallen crane.

    Did they show pictures of the whooping cranes by any chance? Now THAT would be entertainment.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Radioactive Smoke/Steam Coming Of Ground At Fukushima 2.28.2012; via A Green Road Blog

      Fukushima Lies Movie Part I and II; via A Green Road Blog; via A Green Road Blog

      What really happened at Fukushima? via A Green Road Blog

      How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road Blog

      Is Fukushima really in cold shutdown? via A Green Road Blog

      Ex Fukushima Engineer Confesses; No Cold Shutdown, Warned of Tsunami 20 Yrs Ago

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Good morning AGR, have you seen the data on previous tsuamis in the Tohoku region, and other regions of Japan? Really amazing. Was reading about tsunamis a week or so ago, and read of one that was over 1400 feet tall. I think it was somewhere near Indonesia. Check this out:

        "On the night of July 9, 1958 an earthquake along the Fairweather Fault in the Alaska Panhandle loosened about 40 million cubic yards (30.6 million cubic meters) of rock high above the northeastern shore of Lituya Bay. This mass of rock plunged from an altitude of approximately 3000 feet (914 meters) down into the waters of Gilbert Inlet (see map below). The impact generated a local tsunami that crashed against the southwest shoreline of Gilbert Inlet. The wave hit with such power that it swept completely over the spur of land that separates Gilbert Inlet from the main body of Lituya Bay. The wave then contiuned down the entire length of Lituya Bay, over La Chaussee Spit and into the Gulf of Alaska. The force of the wave removed all trees and vegetation from elevations as high as 1720 feet (524 meters) above sea level. Millions of trees were uprooted and swept away by the wave. This is the highest wave that has ever been known."

        Very good reason NOT to put nuclear reactors anywhere near a tsunami-prone area! The tsunami from the Sumatra quake of 2004 traveled more than 30 km inland, in some areas along a river in Thailand.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          "In the name of energy, we give our problems to the sea. They'll be back for you and me, in our haste, we forget, leaving all mistakes behind. Out of sight is out of mind, ah, disposable mankind, what a mess."

          Nik Kershaw, from the song, "Roses"

        • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

          Agreed, that is bad, and huge tsunamis can happen… However, it is child's play compared to;

          Super Solar Storm To Hit Earth In 2013 'Carrington Effect'; Year Long Power Outage? via A Green Road Blog

          • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

            CIA Remote Viewers Predict Solar “Kill Shot” Coming To Earth Soon; via A Green Road Blog

            Personally, I hope this guy is seeing something from another dimension, much as other 'seers' have been seeing things much like him, and predicting they would happen back 10 years ago. (Scallion and several other remote viewers even made maps that predicted things like California sinking into ocean, by the year 2000.

            These global calamities did not happen, so my theory is that they are seeing things in the unconscious of all humanity, or in another dimension, or maybe 50,000 to 1,000,000 years in the future, when a huge meteor hits Earth… as they do on a VERY infrequent basis.

            If true, no one needs to worry about it, because no one will make it through this alive…

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            Yes, it is pretty humbling to consider this may happen. And Congress failed to pass a law that would have mandated backup for all the U.S. reactors, so they'd have some measure of fail-safe (at least for awhile) if the power grid were to go down.

            I'd bet (if I were the betting type) some of the experts who understand what may happen if SPF #4 falls, and if a Carrington type event occurs, are pooing their collective pants right now. I'm betting they're all terrified if all of this is finally starting to sink in.

            But then again, denial is a powerful thing, especially if you're a psychopath and a pathological liar. I think many of these are (unfortunately) in positions of power & calling the shots.

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              Of course if they wake up that would be assuming the defect in their reptilian brain (as Dr. Caldicott states) would have to suddenly start functioning properly. Probably not likely to happen!


    Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth and taste.

    This is one that my family will not be able to conquer with their money and gold and diamonds. Soon, there will be things "mirabile dictu" for you to witness. Can you handle the truth?


      sounds like fun Rothschild! But you'd be advised to put these revelations within the Off Topic forum. From there, you'll be able to rant to your hearts content…

    • Spectrometising

      Look, it doesn't matter who's child you are, all that is of importance here is to pertain to the subject matter. As for gold and so forth, it only has value on planets with clean air, water, at least more than a few species.

    • CB CB

      If you need some grey poupon then this is not the site for you. How do you measure your wealth? We have witnessed the gates of hell, folks here fully qualified to answer your dumb questions. The truth is you don't have a choice. What a bullshit name you have given yourself.

    • Careful guys. This is a diversion by any name.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Spoken like a true psychopathic misanthrope.

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    Just a note here….The video and story line seem seem skewed.

    In this video that xdrfox found for us
    Uploaded by 58784677 on Apr 1, 2011
    Updates on Fukushima – 2nd update for 31-03-2011

    The upper right corner of the video is also dated March 31 2011

    So the idea that TEPCO is just now announcing that they have found the crane in the SFP seems very odd.

    Is too much happening too fast to be able to keep track of it all?

    As Arnie says in the video, there is NO water left in #3 SFP!!

    I am confused as to how 12 month old info is now considered "news".

    Unless it is a variant of Mark Twains…..
    If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.

    • fireguyjeff,
      Think the video in headliner and article are from April last year ! There is NO YEAR DATE on the news page there !
      So it happens as a birthday that wasn't but turned into joyful un birthday, this news was not headlined back then and shows an very empty fuel pool and crushed rods that poisoned us all that during that time may have passed buy many or were never seen for then getting caught up !
      We know now the fuel pools in videos we saw may not be the ones they said they were a month in ! Are they now or is the fuel pool still empty ? Burning on occasion with water being poured on with boron ?

  • glowfus

    check the box which most closely resembles what you see; 1) reactor building vaporized, check. 2) there is a 35 ton crane lying on the sfp, check. 3) there is plutonium in lithuania,,check, 4) milk in california is 200% over max allowed limits,,check. 5) massive earthquakes are shaking near the blown out reactors,,check. 6) officials are starting to come out of the nuclear closet,,check.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    glowfus 🙂 X10
    Certainly this genie is out of the bottle, and refuses to be put back in.
    Perhaps Fuku will be swallowed up by the subduction.
    Perhaps Fuku coriums "lava that will never cool" are already causing some of the shallow quakes.
    Perhaps a volcano will overlay Fukuwith lava that will actually cool.

  • weeman

    Good morning America you've been radiated
    Don't you know me, im the grime repear
    I'm the plume from Fukushima
    And I will be in New Orleans
    Before the day is through

  • Spectrometising

    Similar thread at PhysOrg. Pics & more stuff/analysis.

    A video showing a/the trolley. Possibly from unit 3?

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Here's a video showing damage to the reactors from last Spring. Done by Japanese Defense Forces, flying in a helicopter. Pretty good footage showing massive destruction at the plant.

    The professor interviewed here confirms the crane for moving the fuel "has dropped in." (Professor Naoto Sekimura of Tokyo University)

    From the video — it is possible the fuel rods have been damaged and radioactive material has been released … and that likelihood cannot be denied. The caption says the crane likely crushed spent fuel rods at SPF#3.

    If the diagrams are done right, why on earth would they have designed it so the SPF's are right next to the reactors? Dumb and dumber!

    Then the video goes to Reactor #4 where it is clear the wall from top to bottom has collapsed on one side of the reactor. It appears the crane has also fallen here. It would be the large green object lying on the lower right side of the frame at about 2:10 – 2:13 in the video. The narrator states the lid "has been opened" as Reactor #4 was being inspected at the time of the accident. (Supposedly there was no fuel inside this reactor.)

    The way this is worded (paragraph above) begs the question whether or not there really was fuel in #4. The narrator discusses the hydrogen explosion. If no fuel in the reactor, then the hydrogen explosion originated in SPF #4.

    The crane falling at #3 WAS known a…

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      So apparently #4 had no fuel in it, but if so the hydrogen explosion came from SPF #4. If this occurred and the crane also fell at #3, could both hydrogen explosions be linked to the cranes having crushed the fuel? And could these hydrogen explosions occur if there was water in SPF #3 or SPF #4?

      The other possibility is there really was fuel in #4 and an explosion blew the lid off (or skewed it so that it's open). But that's not what they have been telling us, so far.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        JoyB, Mark, or anyone else, would you please chime in on what you think may have caused the "hydrogen explosions" and could this have anything to do with the cranes having fallen on top of the SPF's ?

        I guess this creates a gigantic mess in terms of trying to remove any spent fuel from #3 or #4 SPF. What do you do with the crane, or the damaged fuel underneath?

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Thanks to xdrfox & link to Arnie G's video above, a "zircalloy water reaction" occurred. The zircalloy cladding & boron compounds (boron damping reactions and preventing uncontrolled fissioning) were damaged. Ka-boom!

        • Hi, HoTaters. I'm not an engineer or explosives expert, so my take on these explosions is no better than anybody else's. My meltdown experience doesn't include ANY spent fuel pool issues.

          Based on a few 'known' physics things, I can opine. First, in order for there to have been significant hydrogen production in the SFPs, those SFPs would have to have been low enough on water for the zircalloy-steam reaction required. And that would have been a black smoke fire bad enough to have been readily noticed BEFORE the buildings blew. Sure, some hydrogen is produced by pure radiolysis (splitting of water molecules by intense radiation), but if the spent fuel assemblies were covered by water beforehand there would only have been steam.

          Unit 1's explosion did appear to be hydrogen based, trajectory like a 'bubble' all around. I'd suspect originating in the core THEN involving built-up hydrogen in the Rx building from leakage around the head. Unit 2's explosion was in the drywell-to-torus conduit, a steam explosion from corium encountering water. It blew out at ground level, lifted the roof but set it right back down again. Unit 3's explosion looked to be ignited by prompt criticality and fueled by dirty steam when corium hit water in the containment. Which I suspect is broken badly all around. Suspect the crane falling into the pool caused it to fall – maybe about 10 feet – and lose most of its water. Hence the fire that lasted for several days….

          • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

            Rhetorical question.

            What is to say that there would have to be black smoke??

            Complete combustion (unlikely) of hydrogen in the presence of air (78% nitrogen, 22% Oxygen, approx) would produce heat, water or hydrogen peroxide.

            A really efficient hydrogen based explosion or fire would not produce much if any visible smoke.

            Unless the oxides of zircaloy make black smoke?
            Could be a possibility, since the process conditions are obviously less than ideal in the reactor mess.

            I am mainly curious about why "black smoke" is supposed to happen.

            Comments anyone?

        • Unit 4's a bit of a mystery. I think they've been lying since Day-1, all the core hadn't yet been moved, wetwell flooded, crane atop the reactor. I do not think they will ever be able to remove spent fuel from #3 or #4. In fact, I don't think there's any hope of fuel transfer in any of the pools or reactors. None of it's holding water.

          • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

            NRC FOIA DOC
            PG.5… Line 18..a discussion of a zirc fire in SFP 4

            • Thanks, Heart. #4 SFP did burn for a little while too, AFTER its explosion. Though I seem to recall the #3 pool being the one that put out the most dirty smoke for the longest. Both were leaking very badly, they hadn't yet come up with a way to pour more water on than was leaking out.

              Still, if you look back at the pre-Fuku NRC analysis of possible problems with equipment falling into SFPs (found not likely enough to have to do anything about preventing because it would cost too much), a mere couple of hundred pounds' worth of junk was seen to cause considerable damage to brittle assemblies. 35 tons' worth would have crushed all it landed on, and released a heckuva lot of hot fuel. The assembly tops might still be square, but below that there's A Big Ugly Mess.

              That Big Ugly Mess could contribute lots of hydrogen via radiolysis even without zircalloy oxidation. There was little to none of that at TMI2 because the core was never substantially uncovered. Still, the radiolysis was capable of building up enough hydrogen to blow containment atmosphere to 32+ psi. As I recall, most of the zircalloy from the affected portion of the core melted to become part of the corium. In fact, it melts at a lower temperature, so led the way.

              • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

                Unit 3.SFP How exactly did TEPCO go in and take new pictures..when the robots keep blinking out..and there a reports that 1 and 3..are too hot to work on at the present time?
                Unit 4: A 35 ton machine falls on it and technical integrity is maintained?
                Yes ..below the assemblies..the corium has "assembled".

                • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

                  It's like looking at a styrofoam cup..staring at the lid..while scalding hot coffee is leaking through the bottom.

                • Hmmm… Perhaps this is a 'new' drone pic. But probably just one from last March they just now let loose of. Haven't we known the crane was in the fuel pool all along (following the blow-out)?

              • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

                Fuel assemblies and fuel rods, like the nuke plants they fuel, are examples of pissed poor engineering. I supposed you have to be mad or challenged to get into the nuke engineering field, anyway. First, don't put your little pellets of poison into fragile, combustible carriers. Little thumb-width tubes made of flamable zircaloy just ain't the way to go. Second, do NOT put the sfp 100' up in air at the top of the building. Instead, move fuel assemblies in a shielded carrier, allowing movement of fuel assembly in air, to and from a sfp built at ground level, preferably not in the reactor building. Remove the carrier once the fuel is in place. Third, put a "No Idiots Allowed" sign on the control room door so the night shift guys don't blow the reactor running a test (as happened in Chernobyl).

                All nukes must be shut down immediately, while a host of deadly serious design flaws are studied. Nukes should stay shut down unless they can be rennovated to operate safely. Since they are NEVER going to be safe, why not shut them all down right now, forever? Go wind, solar, wave, and tide power.

              • JoyB,
                If they were hitting them with sea water that could have produced the dirty steam and hydrogen peroxide !

  • Happy Friday the 13th everyone!!
    Jason's got noting on the horror that is known as "Fukushima"

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Hi LindaLu, today I'm really glad I'm not superstitious or I'd really have the creepy-crawlies!

      • Indeed! We had quite the thunder storm last night, didn't we? That's quite a rareity in our neck of the woods!!

      • Meh. I've always liked Friday the 13th. In fact, we chose to get married (more than 40 years ago) on a Friday the 13th! Always been a lucky day for us…

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Please save us from ourselves. Aliens we are at the mercy of TEPCO and the military industrial complex they have created this mess please read the posts on Enenews. Please Aliens help us and take away all the nukes. Thank you for your time concerning this dire matter.

  • I did a simulation using toothpicks and brick… Yep, crushed fuel rods.

    • snowwy snowwy

      i think your test can be invalidated as the tooth picks have got too much elasticity in comparison to the fuel rods. try again taking the graphite inner out of pencils. but i guess we do not have to be nuclear scientists to safely assume that if a 30 ton crane falls onto the fuel rods which we have been told on many occasions are fragile and it takes experts to even move them without damaging them, then we can probably deduce that the fuel rods are damaged.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Survey on the inside of Unit 3 Spent Fuel Pool for Removal of Debris , Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (PDF: 37.6KB)

  • FaraFola

    Why Tepco can't admit, that it was a Nuclear Explosion. Event happened, why bother to find a cause.

    #3 is also too hot to get near, as you can see, it's fully gone

  • W8R W8R