“The Mother Load”: Common Spent Fuel Pool just 50 meters away from No. 4 (VIDEO)

Published: April 19th, 2012 at 11:11 am ET


Title: Interview with Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear
Source: The Big Picture (RT)
Date: April 6, 2012

At ~35:00 in

Published: April 19th, 2012 at 11:11 am ET


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  2. Former Japan Ambassador Warns Gov’t Committee: “A global catastrophe like we have never before experienced” if No. 4 collapses — Common Spent Fuel Pool with 6,375 fuel rods in jeopardy — “Would affect us all for centuries” April 6, 2012
  3. COMMON spent fuel pool now being sprayed with water — Contains 6,375 spent fuel assemblies March 22, 2011
  4. 220 Million Bq/liter of Cesium now in No. 2 Spent Fuel Pool — SFP No. 1, 2, & 3 “clearly have significant spent fuel damage” (VIDEO) August 28, 2011
  5. Power supply to common spent fuel pool ‘stopped’ at 2:34 pm on April 17 — TEPCO ‘investigating the details of the cause’ April 17, 2011

71 comments to “The Mother Load”: Common Spent Fuel Pool just 50 meters away from No. 4 (VIDEO)

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    This is the Grandaddy of them all.

    It's a good thing they're flooding this pool with saltwater to keep everything cool, because there's no way things aren't f$%ked up in there.

    Oh, wait, saltwater and fuel rods don't mix . . .

    Quick, how soon can they get them into the ocean?

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


    By the time this posts you probably will have already caught it, but I believe the "Mother Load" referred to is a reference to the "Mother Lode" as in a gold mine (meaning an enormous amount, although I admit Mother's do carry a heavy load.) :>)

    The important part of the post has to do with our own spent fuel pools in America. That comment should be emblazoned on every movie marquee in America. It would seem the public has virtually no knowledge of what the nuclear power industry has done to America.

  • The word is getting out, soon the whole world will know there is nothing we can do about it, except prod Japan to build a pool around it then go from there !

  • jackassrig

    Did I miss the tent for this 3 ring circus. I don't see a tent or elephants.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    ..no elephants yet..but the lights are on!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Although.. I am not done searching the NRC FOIA documents..it seems most conversation about the CSFP have been redacted..
    Surely… they had to have talked it.

  • Centaur Centaur

    I become a big REUTERS fan these days 🙂 :/

    • StillJill StillJill

      @Centaur,…Yeah,…like (RT)Russian Television and Al Jazerra,…..who'd a thunk we'd get the best TRUTH there? I sure didn't! But, WE DO!

      You couldn't make this stuff up,…(No one would believe you!) 🙂

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Thank you so very much, TEPCO, for building not one but six nukes all in a row at Fuku! Bet you saved millions putting all these nukes side by side, so they could go boom, boom, boom together. When it became known that the plants were located over a very active fault, you saved millions of dollars by not hardening the reactors against strong earthquakes. When it became known that the tsunami protection at Fuku was inadequate, you saved millions of dollars by not improving the tsunami protection at the plant. 311 was a great disaster, an historic earthquake and tsumani. But Japan could have recovered from this natural disaster. Fuku, on the other hand, was entirely a manmade disaster, from which Japan cannot recover. All your fault, TEPCO. The blood of millions of cancer deaths is on your hands. Criminals.

  • NRC's Operation Center Fukushima Transcript Audio Clips March 16 2011

    PARAPHRASING: With Mark 1, with station blackout you are going to lose containment.. “there is no doubt about it.”

    Units 1 and 2 are "boiling down."

    Units 3 and 4 have "zirc water reactions"

    “No walls” on unit 4.

    RE UNIT 4: “The explosion leveled the walls, leveled the structure for the unit 4 spent fuel pool all the way down to the to the approximate level of the bottom of the fuel, so there is no water in there whatsoever”

    NEW SPEAKER PARAPHRASING SUMMARY OF WORST CASE SCENARIO: 3 reactors out of control and up to 6 spent fuel pools

    NEW SPEAKER SUMMARIZING WORST SCENARIO: 3 reactor "meltdowns" coupled with “up to 6 spent fuel pools in a degraded condition, possibly with spent fuel pool fires.”

    ANOTHER SPEAKER (PARAPHRASING WITH QUOTES): It "has progressed" to at least "2 reactors, multiple spent fuel pools and maybe 4 reactors and 4 spent fuel pools…."

    SPEAKER ASKING ABOUT UNIT 4 (Bill asking for clarification on Chuck’s interpretation of unit 4 spent fuel pool)

    ANSWER “our understanding of the unit 4 spent fuel pool is it has been destroyed on the side such that it will get no water above the bottom of the active fuel for in effect the sides of the reactor building are gone…the sides are gone…”

    PARAPHRASING: The worst one is unit 4


    • cont.

      RE UNIT 3 PARAPHRASING: When we showed up the metal water reaction going and units 1 and 2 were boiling.

      CHUCK: “we’ve just not seen any mitigation of any of the events and we would take all the spent fuel pools and all the reactors to the final conclusion because we’ve not seen any mitigation…”

      MAJIA HERE: What did not burn off in March 2011 burned in June, November, and Jan-March 2012

      See Nuckelchen's video captures as well.

      We are living through "the final conclusion"

      No one is going to make it explicit. We must infer it from the noise…

      • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


        I agree. As time went by, I watched the spikes in radiation here in the U.S.

        "What did not burn off in March 2011 burned in June, November, and Jan-March 2012"

        Exactly right Majia. Those were the spikes.

      • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

        Many here believe that this discussion about Unit4 having walls knocked down is in error. They were describing the situation at Unit3. ENEnews has shown videos of SFP3 and SFP4 both holding water. Can we please become guarded and selective with our use of the NRC transcripts?

        • blackrain66

          what you have seen is some video of a camera under water.
          does anyone have video of the camera actually aproaching said SFP?
          it would be more reassuring if these videos of SFP 3 + 4 were beyond doubt from those pools

          don't believe they are
          they're gone.

      • StillJill StillJill

        @majia–MAG-Freaking-NIFICENT! Magnificent!

      • Anthony Anthony

        Brilliant majia.

      • dharmasyd dharmasyd

        Yes @ majia…Your research, sorting and ordering of information and presentation are simply excellent, or in their excellent simplicity! Thanks, Hugs, Kisses!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Yikes, "What did not burn off in March 2011 burned in June, November, and Jan-March 2012".

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose


  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    To clarify… it burns all the time…with major criticalities

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      Heart, (or anyone) what do you make of the readings for Phoenix and Amarillo?


      Also, compare and contrast these with San Francisco, Olympia Washington and Fairbanks Alaska. Phoenix and Amarillo have been consistently hot for a long time. What is going on there?

      I also noted that several reporting stations dropped off the radar about mid-February. Example: Colorado Springs.

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        Hummm… remember..Palo Verde had an unusual event in Oct.2011..
        Who knows what is going on there.

        • Amarillo's readings may be from the nuclear facilities there.

          However, Phoenix's readings were low compared to other west coast cities with mountains to the east.

          Bakersfield CA, Fresno CA, and Yuma AZ were hit very hard and had rad levels literally off the charts.

          These cities have notoriously poor air quality because they are valley cities with mountains to the east of them and are hit with jet stream and other winds that move east

          I know Palo Verde vents and it continuously contaminates the Phoenix valley with tritium.

          However, I do not believe our Dec levels were from Palo Verde because they match up perfectly with spikes in California.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Denver was unreported for about 3 weeks. I think they were recalibrating the monitor so they would get lower readings.

  • Who would have thought that we would live to see this day.

    I think I'm becoming spiritual, after all.

    Not because I have any desire to save or redeem my own life.

    No. I think this is our final test.

    If we cooperate we can survive.

    However, our leaders are already planning for international and domestic wars.

    A reliable source recently described massive stockpiling of missiles by our government.

    Homeland security is militarizing our domestic policing.

    I doubt this nuclear nightmare could destroy us all if we cooperated.

    But we will not make it if we fight we fight one another in our despair…

  • weeman

    I don't care how much it costs, I will donate as all should, we must remove all SPent fuel that is dry cask ready from all spent fuel pools in all reactors in world or do not re license, should be removed from around reactors and stored on site away from reactors, to reduce collateral damage.
    You do not store TNT next to plastic explosives,
    insanity runs in the nuclear family as they keep it in the family.
    All executives families of tepco should be made to live by reactor if it is so safe, unfortunately they have left Japan

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


    "insanity runs in the nuclear family"

    What a great way to put it. We need that one on a t-shirt.

  • glowfus

    before the kissing of one's respective political icons feet commences, (commence with the feet kissing!) said groupies should consider de-contaminating their icons feet first.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Zirconium is the material in the Zircaloy cladding of nuclear fuel rods. This metal is so combustible that it is used in pyrotechnics! This metal burns more vigorously underwater than in air! When zirconium vapor mixes with cesium vapor, as it would in a nuke meltdown, or in a burning dewatered SFP, a highly explosive is created.
    What fools would make zirconium the cladding for all their fuel rods?

    • Some engineer sitting at his desk after a 3 martini lunch told his boss there was no problem using zirconium because it builds up a protective layer of crust, besides, it is the only thing known that withstands the heat and radiation.

      Under normal operating conditions, I have to wonder just how close it is to spontaneous combustion.

      • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

        Flap: A college buddy sent me engineer jokes all our adult lives. I guess nuclear engineers have no common sense at all!

        "Let's see, gotta design a strong but thin cladding for fuel rods. Zirconium is strong. Probably will work. Time for lunch."

        "Let's see, gotta keep spent rods submerged in water. I know, lets put the spent fuel pool above the reactor at the top of the building. Probably will work. Time to go home."

        "Containment don't work? Ler's stick a pressure relief valve right here! Miller time!"

        One big design flaw!

        • I worked as an engineering tech with a mechanical engineer that literally could not change the spark plugs on his own car. He designed machines so complex, nobody could operate them. My job was to remake them.

          I suppose we should be thankful the rods don't have magnesium cladding.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      That should be: "a highly explosive mixture is created"

  • SnorkY2K

    I made zircaloy-4 fuel rod components. We protected them from water as a safety precaution. We also kept them away from sparks and possible electrical contact. There were no incidents of spontaneous combustion and we had the most extreme method of forming available.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Snork Y2K, Can you explain what process or method is meant by: "we had the most extreme method of forming available"? And why would you use the most extreme method? What are the different methods and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each? If you could?

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Snork, zirconium fuel rods are stored in WATER in spent fuel pools. They are used in boiling WATER reactors. Glad you had no accidents. I think they burned nicely in SFP4 at Fuku. Still think zirconium is a good enough cladding for nuclear fuel?

      • SnorkY2K

        I was not involved in the coating process. They were using the zirconium alloy before I helped. I helped reduce another zirc problem with BWR reactors

  • charlesejohnson

    Just being picky – this is a great site and service to the world.

    "Mother Load" actually should be "Mother Lode".

  • CaptD CaptD

    My low cost solution for SFR and or radioactive material storage in the USA:

    Make use of our Military Testing Bases and or our MOA’s (Military Operation Area’s) out west, which are really huge tracts of land (think tens of thousands of acres) used ONLY by the military and already secured by them 24/7!

    Placing these very large (heavy) concrete casks in a poke-a-dot pattern will allow for at least 50 to 100 years of storage, safe from everything except a War, (in which case every reactor is just as vulnerable) and then revisit the storage problem then; at which time, probably a future solution will allow for an even better lower cost “final solution”…

    Because these casks would be very large and all look alike nobody would know what was in any one of them, which would be yet another level of security for the casks with higher levels of nuclear waste! An ideal outside coating for these casks would be similar to the spray-on "bed liner" used for pickup trucks that not only prevents rusting and or damage for the life of the vehicle but would also seal the casks to prevent leakage of any kind!


    • CaptD CaptD


      Hopefully these casts would be similar in size to a large shipping container so that existing material handling equipment could be used to load, unload and or move them about without "inventing" a mega hauler vehicle. By keeping the "footprint" of these casks similar to a large 40 foot container, the stacking and or placement of them might also be semi or fully automated which would not only save money but again keep the exact location of any specific cast secret! The monitoring of these casks 24/7/365 could even be done via satellite since these casks are similar in size to rocket launchers which are easily seen from space.

      In another 50 to 100 years, storage technology will be such that, yet another lower cost solution for all this waste will found, and then it can be considered verses continuing to using the above storage plan…

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Sure is great to have some men around the house. Their fix-it common sense has always been great. Keep at it, boys, because this seems like a challenge we haven't faced before. I wish you the best of luck in puzzle solving. Thanks.

  • problem using zirconium because it builds up a protective layer of crust,

    oh Lord LOL and then pumping in corrosive saltwater which continuously crushes the crust in the second of rebuilding …..
    1 bit of a mercurysalt could damage sqare meters of anodized aluminium with the same mechanism
    very special idea to pump saltwater in …

  • norbu norbu

    So if there is a chain reaction in all sfp's how long will we have before hell arrives…..

    • SnorkY2K

      I am not sure that "if" is still valid. Reaction does not have to go to unity to still be bad. Even a partial marginally sustained reaction is bad and we may have already experienced it. A reactor is not necessary for the reaction to occur and is actually supposed to be designed to limit the reaction. Once the fuel oozes out of the rods it is more like the natural reactors under Yellowstone park and Hawaii.

      The problem is the reliability of the information coming out. Why have we not invoked our treaty and taken control of Fukushima from Japan?

      • SnorkY2K

        I should have said reaction zones not reactors under Yellowstone as it is an area of reaction due to a large mass

  • Cisco Cisco

    What can you expect when the walls or the floor of SFP #4 are breached…
    Northern Hemisphere:
    Your chance of being irradiated from Fukushima (past, present, future) is extremely high/likely. And, as each day ticks bye, we get closer to a radiological firestorm that will make Chernobyl look pale as to what is unfolding. Those of us who will not be exposed to radionuclides will be the exceptions.

    You will inhale it, eat it, or have skin exposure. And, it will metastasize into a cancer sometime in your life. Your DNA will be corrupted; and, if you procreate, you will pass your damaged genes on to the next generation, and each generation thereafter.

    Thousands in Japan will die within days, weeks and months from radiation poisoning. Japan will have to consider a massive migration. Tokyo will not be spared…35 million alone.
    In the US:

    Radiation levels in the western US will be extreme as to cause some radiation poisoning in a small segment of the population. Food stuffs grown and produced in California will be too contaminated to pick, and/or consume. All products from Japan should be suspect as to their potential, to be radioactive.
    It’s not a question of if, just a matter of when.

    As Rachel Maddow characterized the possibility of a meltdown at SPF #4, we’d have to invent a way to control/fix it. There is no known solution.

    • entropy

      Have compassion for those of us in the northern hemisphere as you look on from your radicule free zone.
      Btw-are you on the moon? It is all painful and I'm sure many of us here have swallowed a fatal dose.

  • mungo mungo

    Four reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, including three whose nuclear fuel rods are now believed to be dangerous lumps of corium, were legally removed from the list of active reactors on April 19.