News reports discuss melted Fukushima fuel being underneath containment vessels

Published: March 6th, 2013 at 3:02 pm ET


The Independent, Mar. 6, 2013: Engineers can still only estimate the precise location of the nuclear fuel that melted through the containment vessels of three reactors.

The Commons (Vermont), Mar. 6, 2013: The reactors lost external power to cool their cores, and three have melted down, most likely beneath their containment vessels, although no one knows for sure, even two years later.

Huffington Post, Mar. 5, 2013: Fukushma Unit 1 began to meltdown as a result of the earthquake, before the tsunami hit and destroyed all backup power. The molten core of the reactor would melt through the reactor vessel and containment, crashing into the water below the reactor and sending radioactive steam surging out of the damaged building.

See also: [intlink id=”top-japan-official-very-strong-possibility-nuclear-fuel-containment-vessel-reactors-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: March 6th, 2013 at 3:02 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan Times: Melted fuel burned holes in Fukushima reactors — Explosions cracked containment vessels? March 8, 2013
  2. Reuters: Fukushima fuel melted through containment vessels and is “spewing radiation” — Nuke Expert: Fuel has “scattered all over the place” — Gov’t: Fuel may have burned out into environment — Tepco Official: Fuel could have flowed out “like lava in a volcano” (VIDEOS) March 15, 2016
  3. PBS: Engineers believe Fukushima’s nuclear fuel melted right through the containment vessels, where it’s contacting ground water — Expert: The fuel “melted down into ground” (VIDEO) March 1, 2014
  4. NHK: Officials admit it may be impossible to stop leaking at Fukushima reactors — Will be investigating ‘bottom of containment vessels’ for holes — Gov’t asking engineers from outside Japan for help with melted fuel (VIDEOS) April 30, 2014
  5. AFP: Fears that Fukushima melted reactor cores have “eaten through” concrete of containment vessels — Tepco plan claims fuel to be removed at same time as 2020 Olympics in Tokyo September 10, 2013

19 comments to News reports discuss melted Fukushima fuel being underneath containment vessels

  • TheMysticWizard1

    Surprised to see this info from some big new sources. Only took 2 years to get this nugget of truth.

  • Jay

    Forget about the sport of gueassing where the corium is , instead concentrate in Covering the whole plant to reduce radiation spread .
    I suggested an expending an dhardening Foam that can be sprayed in thick layers over the entire Fukushima and Chernobyl plants .
    It would be light yet strong enough to walk on , it can be cut and resprayed , etc . Water properties to be determined based on the area sprayed .

    Mix in micro pellets of polyethylene to reduce Radiation ( gamma rays ) :

    Involve DUPONT company , they are great at chemistry to design the foam .

    But don't expect me to forward this to TEPCO or anywhere else : I want to see it done by a native Japanese … show me !

    But " Time is Short " predicted than Nobody will forward the Foam idea … I concur .

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    ENEnewsers ran the numbers early on about the rate of penetration of concrete and steel by molten corium. Our best guess was that Corium1,2,&3 ate their way out of Buildings1,2,&3 in LESS THAN A WEEK after melt-downs began on 3/11/2011. We have been calling on TEPCO to use slantwise drilling rigs to locate the corium in the mudrock beneath Units1,2,&3. TEPCO and the Japanese Government continue to claim that Corium1,2,&3 is inside of Containment1,2,&3. Perhaps they will now come clean, and provide the public with a map of the location of Corium1,2,&3. The catastrophy of the radiocontamination of the entire Pacific Ocean by ground water passing the corium cannot begin to be addressed unless TEPCO admits that the corium is outside Reactor Building1,2,&3.

    • Jay

      Caution : just as the steam in New York caused a ground colapse , so the steam /hydrogen caused by ground water mixing with corium should cause underground erosion and a sink-hole during those two years , but it didn't …

      Cover the Plant to restrain radionuclidis from spreading , that's priority One ! After that , with much reduced radiation around the plant , they can start building a diverting casing wall for the ground water .

      Jeee Jay , drop some Color water in the upstream and see where is comes out ! Check also the Foam idea in above post too .

    • patb2009

      TEPCO tried to put in Muon cameras that they stopped, is a sign that they hated what they saw

  • PhilipUpNorth :

    One of the men who worked on the tracking of the coriums in the ground… before he quit in frustration over the mess, said publicly that #3's was down over 4km into the earth as of April 2012.

    The other two are not moving as fast and are not as hot due to less Plutonium being present in the mixture.

    That's the facts.

    Recovery of them…? Not likely !! Yes, they have much debris still down in there from its passage, but that's about it. Water was about the worst thing available to pour on the cores at post-meltdown.

    • weeman

      I have one question if the corium is 4 kilometers deep, if so the heat in the rock would be about a 1000 degrees?, would that not have a effect on corium, cause recriticality?, and since Japan is close to plate boundaries the temp of rock at that depth could be higher.
      Anybody thought about that.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    PattieB says: "One of the men who worked on the tracking of the coriums in the ground…said publicly that #3's was down over 4km into the earth as of April 2012." Would like a link on this published statement, please Pattie.

    4km is well below the depth that any further human mitigation is possible. So Unit3 Corium, with its high plutonium concentration, will just have to be sealed off from the surface. Cover the ground thereabouts with reinforced concrete with membrane roofing. It's just gone, as far as human beings are concerned. Unit3 did its damage to the ecosystem by blowing up in March, 2011. Now, it would appear, it is gone.

    It figures that Coriun1&2 would be cooler than Plutonium-Corium3. I suspect from the tremendous amounts of radioactive contamination in the ground water, and in the Pacific Ocean, that Corium1&2 remain near the surface, where ground water comes into contact with corium on its way into the ocean. Pattie, did this worker say where Corium1&2 are?

  • Philip… your not getting the point.

    We have a corium that hit the subduction zone, and went BANG!. Caused an earthquake, and opened more fissures… leading to situation we now have of radioactive out-gassing from fissures as far off-site as 60 km. The geological folks in Japan have repentantly stated that the plate that the Fukushima plants sits on is "Crumbling" and then refused to explain what they meant by that statement. The site now has 3 rather large fissures running through it… one of them runs right under the #5 reactor! It then goes down through the dry cask storage building… it ate more than half the cars that were in the parking-lot there of.
    Our new standard eruption events…:

    He made the statement on but it was a while back. Good luck with back-dated stuff… they are actively deleting stuff and changing even posted links.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    At TMI thirty percent of the melted core was dust thus I'm assuming TEPCO will find the same. Of course it will be many years before we can confirmed anything about the corium. Everything we read is purely educated guesses and conjecture based on past events, etc.

    • If the corium is dust then it is already in the ocean, me thinks.

      Remember when Arnie Gundersen went to Japan and at a hearing a representative from Tepco stated that there was no fuel left in 4?

      Who knows what percentage of fuel at the site was incinerated or otherwise degraded into dust and spread in the air and ocean…?

      Fukushima is a terrible tragedy for us all.

  • the coriums will never be gone.. and now can't be contained.

    the explosion of #3 that all witnessed was the PU-breeder rods in the pool going up. One min less than 24 hrs after that… the second explosion… was the corium blasting its way out the basement.

    The point I'm trying to make here, is that they have no common sense control over what they are doing there. The Soviets DID have a clue, and did what could be done… though now it seems that the sand-turned-glass encasement trick only lasts about 30 years before it turns to powder.

    Now lets move to Hanford. They are spending time building a glassification plant that will not work as a long-term solution like they have claimed… while more and more Plutonium leaks out of the tanks into the ground.

    At what point does all this nuclear BS have to stop?

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Fukushima's radiation is permeating the land, continuously. And spewing radiation into the air, it's happening right now.

  • pure water

    You can be absolutely sure that corium`s locations and movement are well known. TEPCO and a lot of governments just keep this information for themselves and the radiation for everybody:
    However, there are simple ways for both the advance of the corium and its physico-chemical characteristics, starting with a spectrography and aerial spectroscopy or satellite. There is also the possibility to survey using several frequencies as the infrared ranges.
    Very good reading on this sublect! Most of the old users have read it, and the rest have to.

  • Sol Man

    As PattieB has noted above at 3:56, the #3 corium was reported to be at 4km (2 mi.) depth in April, 2012. Who will say at what depth it is now? It would an impossible task to keep water from endlessly cascading down to that area vaporizing to fill the "tube" forever.
    The immediate area at these npp's may eventually be capped, but that still leaves this problem.

  • Wooster

    "the #3 corium was reported to be at 4km (2 mi.) depth in April, 2012."

    Does anyone have a link for that? I haven't heard that before.

    If that is the rate that the corium is descending into the earth then it should be at about 10km now? With the earth's crust only about 30km deep, its next port of call is the upper mantle.

  • truthseek truthseek

    Mad Max and the Thunderdome reality in the making…
    A world that I could not have ever possibly imagined,
    built right before our eyes one lie at a time.