Kyoto U. expert: Melted fuel may have sunk into ground — “We are now head to head with a situation that mankind has never faced before”

Published: September 9th, 2011 at 4:54 pm ET
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Nuclear fuel has possibly fallen into the ground — can’t imagine how melted fuel could be recovered

Radiation expert says outcome of nuke crisis hard to predict, warns of further dangers, Mainichi, September 9, 2011:

Hiroaki Koide, Nuclear safety expert at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute

[...] At the No. 1 reactor, there’s a chance that melted fuel has burned through the bottom of the pressure vessel, the containment vessel and the floor of the reactor building, and has sunk into the ground. [...]

It’s doubtful that there’s even a need to keep pouring water into the No.1 reactor, where nuclear fuel is suspected to have burned through the pressure vessel. [...]

Recovering the melted nuclear fuel is another huge challenge. I can’t even imagine how that could be done. When the Three Mile Island accident took place in 1972, the melted nuclear fuel had stayed within the pressure vessel, making defueling possible. With Fukushima, however, there is a possibility that nuclear fuel has fallen into the ground, in which case it will take 10 or 20 years to recover it. We are now head to head with a situation that mankind has never faced before. [...]

h/t Anonymous tip

Published: September 9th, 2011 at 4:54 pm ET
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67 comments

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67 comments to Kyoto U. expert: Melted fuel may have sunk into ground — “We are now head to head with a situation that mankind has never faced before”

  • Blown Camaro

    “10 to 20 years to recover it.” How do they put a timeline on something that has never been accomplished before? I am just curious.


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  • WindorSolarPlease

    In 10 to 20 years, how much damage can this cause.


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  • oscar419

    It is so sad what we have done to our home


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  • bmurr bmurr

    So since this began, every terrible assumption I have made has become a reality within months. The only prediction I have made yet that has not come to fruition is a nuclear guiser timed with the tides. How long before we see that?
    Wonderful to see millstone has shut down one of its units. Could this in any way be tied to the fact that they were running at about 50% and it took two weeks yo restore power after Irene?
    So tired of these clowns …


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  • TheMysticWizard1

    Long time reader, first post.

    Can’t believe how long it is taking them to “discover” and admit to things. I think readers here have known for quite a while the melted fuel or corium has melted through and out into the ground. So no mention of reactor 2 or 3 (if anything remained after it blew up) maybe that will be “discovered” next month.

    I also really don’t understand why TEPCO is still handling this. Some government should have stepped in by now to try and fix all this. Why do other countries continue to let TEPCO destroy our world. It is completely beyond me.

    We have no way to dispose of nuclear waste or control accidents like this yet we continue to build more plants. Sadly the human race will ultimately kill everything on this planet. It is just so sad. All that matters to these people is money, but what good is money if you don’t have a tomorrow to spend it?


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  • dpl dpl

    bollix
    10-20 years?
    they have no plan to fix this !


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  • markww markww

    When the fuel hits ground water will have one massive explosion and release of massive radiation


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  • arclight arclight

    interesting paragraph here

    “The use of water to cool down the reactors immediately after the crisis first began resulted in 110,000 cubic meters of radiation-tainted water. Some of that water is probably leaking through the cracks in the concrete reactor buildings produced by the March 11 quake. Contaminated water was found flowing through cracks near an intake canal, but I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I believe that contaminated water is still leaking underground, where we can’t see it. Because of this, I believe immediate action must be taken to build underground water barriers that would close off the nuclear power plant to the outside world and prevent radioactive materials from spreading. The important thing is to stop any further diffusion of radioactive materials.”

    still not being covered by main stream media then? not serious enough yet? havent got thier money out of nuclear yet? like the funding revenue do they? what about the alternative media, could ask the same questions really, couldnt i?


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  • James2

    Fuel may have gone into the ground? What was their first clue? The steam coming out of the giant fissure next to reactor #1 three months ago? How about the blue fireworks show every night, and the plume of radioactive steam.

    Of course it’s not all in the ground – that’s because at least some of it has exited the ground and now is covering the ENTIRE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE OF EARTH!!!~!

    There is something interesting going on – with all these “admissions” all the sudden from folks who’ve known this stuff all along. Now I’m getting nervous.

    Even the shills are silent now.

    Kenny boy – I know you’re out there – what’s up?


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    • arclight arclight

      @james2
      the real information… the thing thats not being said is the composition of the isotopes released….and being released…also, whats happening at the other plants that had releases and other problems? thats whats bothering me! the silence is too specific, even from the independant testers! and the prof aint taking isotopes, hes generalising!! most worrying!


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  • arclight arclight

    err talking not taking (freudian) :(


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  • Lacsap Lacsap

    I told ones or twice before.. Fukushima has three meltdowns and a meltdown cannot be stopped it just melts into the earth (after melting through the building and barriers) which takes many many years to end.


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  • dpl dpl

    It’s safe to tell you the truth now that you will no longer panic and cause financial loss for the corporations.


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  • arclight arclight

    think i will throw out this theory…
    sea water is high in flouride as is underground freshwater…if a corium or two meet these type of waters could plutonium hexaflouride gas be formed? and the same question for the uranium being converted into uranium hexaflouride gas? there are other isotpes that also react and form gases too! having these sort of gases around would be very bad! they are responsible for contamination in france, along the coast following the silt flow i presume.. :(


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    • arclight arclight

      just reported myself! lol


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    • Steven Steven

      I suspect you are at least on the right track arclight, although I am no expert on such matters. That said I think it’s a fact that every meltdown has the potential to produce new and unknowable byproducts and therefore consequences. That fact alone means there can be no meaningful comparison between Fuku and Chernobyl. There was no mixing of salt water with nuclear fuel at Chernobyl, and as I understand it the fuel types were different anyway.

      Life is like a box of chocolates…


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  • Bob Hardin Bob Hardin

    Be sure to read thewhole article. This guy (Dr. Koide) is good.


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  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    “May have sunken into the ground?” More CIA disinformation meme making! Of course and DUH! Of course, it’s sunk into the ground if the corium is still cyclically fissioning. It was out of the “house” or had “left the theatre” within the first couple days after the melt-thru’s, which occurred in the first couple hours or so for R1-R3 and using educated extrapolation by the radiation emissions estimates and the radioactivity measured in Sieverts per hour rising as expected for fully uncontained corium in a cyclic pattern being measured at least for Reactor 1 and probably for all of them, R1-R3 en toto, if not also for some portion of the enormous quantity of definitely damaged spent fuel in the CSFP. This CSFP damage is probably the most enormous source of radiation and the one event due to the enormous tonnage and hyper-radioactivities involved that TEPCO, Japan and the U.S. filthy leaderships want YOU to know the very least about. Most of the FukuDai blackout has been on two things, in my opinion, that could cause the most trouble for the despots ruining everything now and that’s the CSFP damage and the definite incineration of all kinds of levels, including high-level, radioactive waste, if not actual fuel rods. I’m sure there are layers and layers of other naughty behaviors by the failed corporativist fools involved in FukuDai (pron.”Fuck you, die”–from the billionaires to those of us who know what the fuck is going on, as well. The billionaires/current power…


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  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    Let their heads, the scum at the top at TEPCO and in the U.S./Japanese governments heads ROLL!!!


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  • arclight arclight

    agrred! he is a good guy but still not specific on this topic

    “If the fuel were to become overheated again and melt, coming into contact with water and trigger a steam explosion, more radioactive materials will be released.”

    he knows the breakdown of the signature of the isotopes and isotopic compounds… seems to me even the independant researchers have to draw the line somewhere though.


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  • arclight arclight

    http://enenews.com/nhk-special-researchers-find-radiation-levels-exceeding-contaminated-zone-chernobyl-called-red-forest-video

    the video on this link shows charts for the five main isotopes found but does not actually mention them all! and this was mid june..we presume another criticality from around then or later as we find iodine 131 now!

    we know there was
    plutonium
    strontium
    ceasium 134 and 137
    iodine 131

    at the very least. as far as i can make out! whats happened to these independant testers now?


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  • This is a press conference and they call for 2 million people to evacuate. All in English with mainstream reporters.

    http://australiancannonball.com/2011/09/09/fukushima-big-issue-1/


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    • arclight arclight

      wow! good to see these videos! really powerful message! thanks for the post ac!


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    • midwestern midwestern

      A farming family from the now radioactively contaminated Fukushima region along with one American and three leading anti-nuclear campaigners from Japan, will be in New York City on September 21 and 22. The group will deliver eye-witness accounts about the health impacts and continued contamination produced by the Fukushima-Daiichi reactor units that suffered catastrophic damage on March 11, 2011 and the similar risk of a Fukushima-type nuclear accident in the US.

      A public forum, open to the press, will be held on Thursday, September 22, from 12-2pm at the American Friends Service Committee’s Meetinghouse at 15 Rutherford Place, between 15th and 16th Streets, and 2nd and 3rd Avenues in New York City.

      http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2011/9/8/fukushima-eye-witnesses-and-activists-from-japan-to-speak-in.html


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    • Steven Steven

      Damn, they sent those samples to ACRO in France lol. France has 75% dependence on nuclear – the highest in the world. They might have a reason or two to soften the results, I would say.


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    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      @AustralianCannonball

      Thank you for posting these videos. I think this is the beginning of bringing the incident to the attention of the public in the U.S. Even though the MSM has been negligent, I don’t see how the public here can very well ignore this kind of publicity. Kudos to the Tokyo Press Club!! I wish them every success.


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  • roxy

    You know what I think don’t you?
    Wonder who would agree, it’s all up in the air,

    If haarp was used, like many suspect, and Japan payed all that yen to halt the attacks, maybe that government is afraid to broadcast the Fukushima catastrophe, in feat that Japan will cry fowl over these haarp attacks and cause a huge huge issue and war, followed by huge public outbursts of anger and deciept, since then “technology” and production has been halted in Japan just like they wanted in the first place, I won’t say anymore but could be onto something here, especially the way dutchsinxe seemed to persist with haarp and getting deeply involved and the way he was wiped out and taken down by “Feds”, such a touchy subject it seems, do you understand now?


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  • Take haarp out of the context; Haarp is only a rouse, to make otherwise intelligent conversation seem unpractical in the application and validation of credible sources.

    Acknowledge only the prime factors.


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  • While many attribute unknown factors to a crisis, in order to feel a sense of closure in a state of misinformation. One should be weary to use the factorization of IF.

    ‘IF’; is only, a way of altering the context of ‘What’.

    ‘WHAT’, is What ‘IF’, would have become; If; ‘if’ was not implied..

    Leading to a conclusion of the statement:

    “It is, what it is”


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  • icone

    I still keep an eye on this chart, especially since its being regularly updated again. 328 Sv/hr as of today.

    http://atmc.jp/plant/rad/?n=1

    I know “”defective meter” is clearly marked, and these readings have been a source of controversy for months, nevertheless I find the graph pretty interesting. Whatever the “defective” meter is actually reading, the frequency and intensity of the highest readings has been increasing for months.

    Looks A LOT like a sputtering re-criticalit to me,, which really isn’t that unlikely considering core melt-through and all.


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  • Lacsap Lacsap

    I created a video from rendering clouds (air) with World Wind NASA from 20-aug-2011 12:00 till 9-sep-2011 18:00. Position between Japan and USA.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5wf-zqHupk


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Lacsap–Very cool! This could be very helpful! Thanks


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  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Taking into account the Japanese standards of saving face and politeness, I think this assistant prof. is being very open.
    “As Tepco is responsable for dealing with the radioactive waste, all of it should be brought to their Tokyo headquarter” – that’s remarkable I think. Also remarkable that so far the original Japanese article has been recommended by four, not four hundred facebook users.


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  • One must work for the good of all life and must put up or shut up. Look at the way people are putting up their work at enenews and people are discussing them to the extent it is best possible to do so. If something is lacking the discussers try to get clarifications. It’s like money this haarp on which one has no control. Discussers are real when sincere and we can call a spade a spade. People try in many instances to get at the truth. I sometimes however feel people must work harder to verify references by studying them and coming back with questions. That even at enenews can and needs improvement. Fuzzy Fukushima data has added a lot to the investigative efforts needed to separate the rice from the chaff. It would be great if more at enenews looked at the data provided so far by themselves instead of relying on the word of others. For example what if the work on Chernobyl is not peer reviewed, it is for the readers to find out for themselves whether the work is to be trusted or not from their own background and experience.


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    • Steven Steven

      The world may have shrunk to a global village Ramaswami but we all walk it’s streets and chat with our neighbours using electronic gadgetry. That vital eyeball to eyeball gut feeling judgement is replaced (intentionally I believe) by rationalisation through analysis of data. Since we are not naturally very good at this we often fail and thus fall prey to advertising and PR strategies.

      Therefore I think every effort should be made to exercise the fundamental perception of right and wrong, call it intuition if you wish. If the blasted nuclear physicists had done so we would not be in the mess they have created for us with their fuzzy data and their myopic best case scenario fantasies.


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  • gonefission gonefission

    What if melted fuel strikes oil or a natural gas pocket in the earth? If it crossed some molten lava would that disperse it or react violently. I guess it wouldnt be very good outcome :-\

    So many questions that no one knows the answer to isnt very good for the mind lol


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    • arclight arclight

      more of a problem is rare earth metals and other things like flourides in nw pacific seawater reacting with the coriums.. heres a link to the rare earth compositions in the seas…go straight to the chart on page 4…

      http://www.diacritech.com/samples/interior_design/Technical-1color.pdf

      i believe that no survey has been done below 160 meters (i think that was the figure i saw) and it was solid mudstone (maybe with fractures in it from earthquakes)…the corium may have seperated into different chanels and therefore we are getting steam instead of explosions from smaller blobs/fingers of corium…personally i think this scenario might be better than a whole corium burning into the ground?

      heres a link to seawater/underground fresh water and flouride levels


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      • arclight arclight

        “Natural occurrence Many fluoride minerals are known, but of paramount commercial importance are fluorite and fluorapatite.[5] Fluoride is found naturally in low concentration in drinking water and foods. Waters from underground sources are more likely to have higher levels of fluoride, whereas the concentration in seawater averages 1.3 parts per million (ppm).[8] Fresh water supplies generally contain between 0.01–0.3 ppm, whereas the ocean contains between 1.2 and 1.5 ppm.[9”]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoride


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  • Grace Grace

    I have been a regular reader since mid-March. Thank you to you guys, who have stayed and insisted upon examining and re-examining this appalling horror; I have found myself caught in a strange dream.
    I asked my doctor about his view on safe exposures to man-made ionising radiation and he started to talk about referring me to a psychiatric unit, he said that it was not my concern and that to worry about these ‘conspiracy-theories’ peddled on the internet was a clear sign of mental instability, oh crikey, how quickly I shut up and bent my head. Bloody Hell, I am not mad (insane), I am angry, however I am not stupid.
    Please know that as you question, you raise the awareness of many good people, and this is a good thing.
    Are the politicians, corporate giants somehow immune to the effects of these damaging isotopes?
    Please take heart and know that you are loved :)


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    • Steven Steven

      Welcome Grace and thank you for the encouragement, some of us need a little from time to time. Do not for a second think that your concerns are in any way a sign of mental disturbance, other than such disturbance any human being (or animal for that matter) should rightly experience when threatened with such potentially devastating consequences. Neither are you amongst cranks or fools (generally speaking lol) here at ENENEWS, as you probably already realise.

      If by some miracle all this ‘blows over’ with no ill effect you will see an extremely joyous celebration here such as has never been seen before online. We will probably set up a video party and wear tinfoil hats, and curse each other fondly for being such worry warts.

      Personally I’m not stocking up on party favours just yet. Find yourself a new doctor. That one is nowhere near as smart as you, why let him mess with your health?

      Good luck.


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    • You are perfectly sane to be concerned about radiation in the environment. This is the response of someone who makes their money from the disease industry. Money is the biggest conspiracy on the planet. It corrupts the virtue of everyone who uses it. WHile it is true you can cause damage to your health by worrying about radiation, that fact should not be used to reduce your attention to the truth.
      It’s the truth that sets us free from illusion.
      Seek the truth. Speak the truth. Support the truth. That’s what we do here.

      See my resources on how to protect yourself from radiation. http://radhealth.nodes.org and http://stevemoyer.us/radhealth

      Blessings!

      STeve Moyer


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  • Rob1love

    Get the remote control diggers in and underpin it, catch it in a new containment and put it somewhere safe, sort it out you big dudes, it’s your planet as well


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