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)

Published: April 30th, 2014 at 11:43 am ET


NHK WORLD, Apr. 26, 2014: Detailed containment vessel probe to begin soon […] to learn more details to assist with the retrieval of melted fuel. The operator plans to fill the containment vessels of reactors 1, 2 and 3 with water. […] Earlier in April at the No. 3 reactor, remote-controlled cameras detected water pooled below a metal scaffold inside an adjoining room. […] One area of interest is the section that connects the adjoining room with the containment vessel. The operator believes contaminated water came into the room through this connection. […] The probe into reactor 1 will focus on checking the bottom of the containment vessel. The reactor 2 probe will center on the donut-shaped suppression chamber at the bottom of the containment vessel. >> Watch the broadcast here

NHK WORLD, Apr. 25, 2014 (h/t MissingSky101, MsMilkytheClown1): A Japanese government institute is asking engineers from Japan and abroad for their input on removing melted fuel from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The current plan is to fill the reactor containment vessels with water […] During a seminar in Tokyo on Friday, officials from the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, or IRID, told engineers that this method may not be feasible [emphasis added]. They said surveys of the containment vessels found that it may be difficult to locate and plug leaks. […]

NHK Transcript, Apr. 25, 2014: The removal of the fuel is the biggest challenge […] They’re calling on the engineers to study ways to block radiation without using water.

See also: [intlink id=”japan-nuclear-experts-footage-major-problem-fukushima-unit-1-cesium-release-continue-next-5-decades-tepco-knew-broken-stop-dark-about-other-2-units-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

And: [intlink id=”uc-berkeley-nuclear-professor-work-to-go-on-for-thousands-of-years-at-fukushima-site-could-be-impossible-to-remove-melted-fuel-containment-vessels-may-not-survive-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Watch the NHK broadcast here

Published: April 30th, 2014 at 11:43 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan Official: Fuel from Fukushima reactors is “melting down daily” — AP: No way of confirming melted fuel is at bottom of containment vessels — Tepco Adviser: “Schedule for decommissioning the plant is pure supposition” — The Economist: This is ‘Mission Impossible’ (VIDEO) February 8, 2015
  2. 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
  3. Japan Times: Melted fuel burned holes in Fukushima reactors — Explosions cracked containment vessels? March 8, 2013
  4. 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
  5. News reports discuss melted Fukushima fuel being underneath containment vessels March 6, 2013

60 comments to 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)

  • jec jec

    hum..current plan is to FILL containment vessels with water…thought that was what they were doing.

    Guess they can plug the holes by pouring in concrete..of course the melted corium is just a few KM lower….(sarcasm).Talk about shutting the barn door after the horse has gotten out….

  • "It may be impossible"

    Er… okay… Well, it was sure nice talking to you. Anyway, I gotta go, otherwise I'll be late for shopping and miss tonight's football game.

  • Well at least they are asking for help with ideas rather then claiming everything is just peachy. I suppose baby steps is better then no steps at this point. It seems like Japan is getting hungry enough to ask for a big piece of that humble pie we are all offering.

  • Ontological Ontological

    3+ years later is a bit too late for this. They want money is all, ideas now are a day late and a dollar shy. Cold shut down? Right Clean Energy. Check.

  • dosdos dosdos

    What an idea! Plug all the holes, then add more weight the design was meant to hold, and that is before the meltdown. Brilliant. Not just a few holes, wreck the remaining containment with a total collapse so there are no barriers at all. Then it will be easy to get at. I am humbled before such genius.

  • Nick

    " However configured, the UHS is
    supposed to provide all of the nuclear power reactor’s cooling water and makeup water needs for the first
    30 days of an accident."

    "When a lake, river, or oceans serves as the UHS, the water needed by the ESW system during an accident
    are in the 10,000 to 30,000 gallons per minute range"

    Multiply x 3 (not counting fuel pool needs)= 30-100,00 gpm

    We are 3 years into the Fukushima Fiasco.

    No way are the missing cores getting adequate cooling water, they must be hissing and fizzing.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Good find, Nick. And on a side note,

      "1 An exception to the rule is the Palo Verde nuclear plant. Built in the arid region west of Phoenix, Arizona, cooling water is brought to the facility."

      Now IMO that's an accident waiting to happen w/o any way to mitigate its effects.

  • melting mermaid melting mermaid

    We just need trillions of dollars and millions of lives. No problem. When do we start.

  • Carrington Event. NASA video explains how we were 2 days away from a world wide emergency that would have 100 nuclear plants melting down….in 2012. They say the one 2 years ago could have been even bigger than the Carrington Event. Fortunately it missed the earth but nailed Stereo A sun observer satellite

    Nuke Pro has been promoting the idea that we have to harden our electrical grid, or risk the annihilation of the human species. Yes, it really is that bad. And get rid of nuke.

    • norbu norbu

      Stock, yes it missed us by a inch. I have been watching the sun for years in detail. One of those, Carrington event's and it's over quickly. Keep promoting goodness…thanks stock

    • melting mermaid melting mermaid

      We're sorry Stock, but we can't do that and cut costs and maximize profits and still get that Christmas bonus, besides the Koch brothers just bought the sun so they could corner the solar market. No more free sunshine and Carrington events are now trade secrets of Westinghouse.

      • Exactly, my estimates are $2B to make grid A LOT more safe, or we have a 1 to 4% chance per year of Carrington Mad MAx scenario

    • We Not They Finally

      When the Carrington Event happened mid-19th century, telegraph wires were knocked out. That was all there was, so that was "it." Now it may be like the world goes DOA if the same thing happens again.

      I imagine that NOTHING is being done about this. Like nothing is being done about possible asteroid deflection, a runner-up for what might kill us all. Interesting is that Neil Degrasse Tyson, head of the NY Planetarium, says that the technology is THERE, just not a penny devoted to implementing it. He also once said that any benevolent alien would just pass us by over how we are caring for the Earth. No wonder.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        WNTF, you are right, NOTHING is being done about the Carrington Effect and possible asteroid strikes.

        There was discussion here in 2011 about Congress' having killed legislation aimed at strengthening the grid. Wish I could access those comments now.

        4% per year odds of a Carrington type event is a 1/25 possibility, annually. I'd say those are bad odds.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          4% being the "worst case scenario" and if it happens, it would be the occurrence of a "statistical outlier" event. But we already know the "outlier events" occur. Fukushima is a good example of this …

          We also know statistical outlier events occur because, despite the "odds" people can and do hit the lotto. They also score (a very few of them who aren't cheating) some massive wins at casinos. The appeal of "hitting it big" or beating the odds is what keeps the casinos in business.

          I'd say nuclear physicists and engineers (some of them anyway) are a lot like addictive gamblers.

          "I'm jonesin' for my fix, man. I'm pimpin' for Plutonium, and I don't care what you say or do."

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    ~~~Build a Bigger Breakwater NOW Please~~~

    Stock sez: "Harden the electrical grid"
    —ok, we can do that

    Underground superconductors have much less inductive coupling to external fields of ionization.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Thank you for posting the link on superconductors. The math is way over my head, but glad to see there is progress being made on this front.

  • IMO – The biggest challenge is getting people to believe that they have any kind of a reliable plan.

    What has happened (x3) was the biggest fear of all nuclear engineers.
    Ask yourself… Why is that? 😉

    Another challenge is getting people to ignore or stay oblivious to the fact that this ongoing catastrophic devastating event is and will be directly affecting all of us.

    3 years, 1 month, 19 days since 311.

    1146 days ago.
    163 weeks, 5 days

    Ongoing x 3 +

  • ftlt

    Gee Whiz! It must be really bad there then

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    TEPCO is actually going to begin a process which will end with the public knowing the true location of the Corium1-3.
    Hint: They will have to look below the containment vessels and torus basements.
    Containment Vessels1-3 cannot hold water, since there are quite large holes in the bottom where 100 tonnes of molten corium exited.

    "Follow, follow, follow the yellow lava tube." 😉

  • Video of hanford truck driver, his life changed for the worse in twenty minutes after driving on to the site. He wasnt properly warned that there was an accident, they just told him "come as late as possible" He was delivering fuel and they needed it.

    The spill happened at 2AM. Notice WIPP happened at 11:30 PM on Valentines. What the hell are they doing at those hours? That is the 800 lb Gorilla in the room methinks…..

    Poteet describes living his life now as recluse because of his health issues following exposure to chemical vapors. He wears sunglasses because he has vision loss in his right eye and is sensitive to light. He has sharp pains in his head and they cause him to often twitch. He says medication prevents him from collapsing in pain due to severe nerve damage in his brain.

    But the most painful part of Poteet's story to hear is his fear of not being around to watch his grandson grow up. Poteet takes care of his grandson. He worries he might collapse one day and not wake up.

  • corium pudding corium pudding

    We all know this is a joke, but if TEPCO can at least identify one of the corium hell-blobs then at least we know more than we did before.

  • Nick

    Take a minute to peruse these updates. Check out some of the diagrams TEPCO submitted. Like this:

    Is it just me, or are these updates somewhat deceptive?

  • Nick

    There's a hole in the reactors dear TEPCO, dear TEPCO.

    With what shall we fix them dear Public, dear Public?

    With some veracity and common sense dear TEPCO, dear TEPCO.

    Common sense we can do. What be veracity?

    Dear TEPCO, the holes in your stories are bigger than those in your reactors.

    Dear Public, dear Public, we know not where our coolant waters go.

    Dear TEPCO, dear TEPCO, there are holes in your reactors, your reactors, are filled with holes.

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Sure sounds like a ransom payment to me. Kidnapped the planet. Put the money in a bag. unmarked bills. Oh, and throw in a ding dong.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Sellafield signs cooperation agreement with Fukushima
    April 30 2014

    UK nuclear fuel cycle and R&D site Sellafied has signed a cooperation agreement with Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Company (FDEC).

    The 'operator to operator' co-operation agreement will see the two companies share knowledge, experience and skills on an on-going basis. This is the first time that any UK nuclear site operator has signed such an agreement with an international customer, according to Copeland member of Parliament Jamie Reed, who posted news on his website on 29 April.

    Sellafield?.. more camaraderie among bandits and thieves.

    AGreenRoad – Dr. Busby Interviewed About Sellafield – A Plutonium Disaster
    Oct 17 2013

    • Nemo Me Impune Lacessit Stax

      Good old Windscale,still an absolute joke.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Stax, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you or anyone else, for that matter. And I didn't mean to offend you by misuse of your surname. We have readers here from the U.S., U.K, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. We don't all spell "gray" as "gray" or "grey."

        As for my saying certain comments made me feel like reporting them as user policy violations, I think maybe you haven't read a lot of the comments which come to mind for me. This has been an ongoing problem for about six months. I finally decided to say something about it & was trying to be tactful.

        I find the personal attacks to be offensive and unnecessary.

  • rogerthat

    A mother was bathin' her baby one night
    The youngest of ten, a poor little mite
    The mother was fat and the baby was fin
    T'was nawt but a skellington wrapped up in skin

    The mother turned round for the soap from the rack
    She weren't gone a minute, but when she got back
    Her baby had gone, and in anguish she cried
    "Oh, where is my baby?", and the angels replied

    Your baby has gorn dahn the plug'ole
    Your baby has gorn dahn the plug
    The poor little thing was so skinny and thin
    He shoulda been bathed in a jug

    Your baby is perfik'ly happy
    He won't need no bathin' no more
    He's workin' his way through the sewers
    Not lost, just gone on before

    Your baby has gorn dahn the drainpipe
    And the chlorine is bad for his eyes
    He's havin' a swim, and it's healthy for him
    He needed the exercise

    Don't worry 'baht 'im, just be 'appy
    For I know he is suff'rin' no pain
    Your baby has gorn dahn the plug'ole
    Let's hope he don't stop up the drain

    – London music hall song

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    Daiichi is merely a tiny speck on this planet.

    The decision can be made to fix it.

    • We Not They Finally

      No, it can't. No, it isn't. No, they can't. Your heart is in the right place, but it's a big no-no-no all 'round.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Sometimes I get the perception you always have to be "right." Why can't there be a gray area or grey area as they say in the U.K.?

        Sorry, but sometimes the statements come off as being self righteous or condemning of others and it (to me) borders on the kind of comment I want to report.

        Some of these comments or "judgments" of others sound very, very hostile.

        Would you please take the harshness down a notch?

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          My comment is not meant to offend or attack you. Were you aware others perceive some of the comments in this manner? Please do some introspection and ask youself if it's always necessary to be "right" about everything.

          • Nemo Me Impune Lacessit Stax

            Gray is my clan name,Grey is a hue,surely the above post is between TBP and WNTF,and you felt like reporting it!

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              Gray is American English for the color gray. The color is spelled grey in England and the U.K.

              That aside (please look up the U.S. and U.K. spellings of this word, as I did and also found reference to the spelling of Gray.

              I'm speaking up because I'm tired of reading WNTF's attacks on other posters here. I'm putting him or her on notice that I find the comments to be in violation of user policy.

              OK? I just spelled it out for you. It's my business, too, when I'm innocently reading along and suddenly come on these almost vicious attacks of other people's positions.

              If you're not clear on the user policies Admin has put in place here, they are posted at the bottom of the sign in page. I am within my rights to put this person on notice, although now it's has been made more direct and less tactful than I had planned, since you have also made it your business to question my motives.

              Please don't interfere where it doesn't concern you. The use of gray and grey had nothing at all to do with your name. It was only a reference to color and colloquial usages of the word (color).

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              Would you feel better if I reported it? How about I decide when and if I want to do that?

  • humptydumpty humptydumpty

    The Rising Cost of Decommissioning a Nuclear Power Plant —

    And rising, and rising…

    And that doesn't even begin account for the "peripheral" damage to life and the habitability of the earth.

    • Good find I reported on NRC blog talking about the $130M or less that plants are required to keep on hand.

    • dodge

      I used to say back in high school. "He who rides tiger is afraid to dismount", always thought it applied to our pranks that we didn't know how to get out of. Today it sums up our addiction to nuclear power quite well. We still promote it as cheap – clean – affordable, but it is very expensive, dirty (threatens earths survival), and both so addictive and expensive that we can't quit.

  • mt1000

    you take a giant amount of ice and put it in the damaged vessel and crack the frozen substance … oh, wait, that's how to take gum out of hair ….

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    NHK WORLD, Apr. 26, 2014: "Detailed containment vessel probe to begin soon […] to learn more details to assist with the retrieval of melted fuel. "

    'Bout freakin' time.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Analysis: why is there talk of filling the containment vessels with water? We know there is no present capability of doing this. How will this be accomplished, grasshopper? I do not know, O wise one.

    'Guess i need to watch the video, even though I'm expecting it to be a bunch of hooey.

    NHK Transcript, Apr. 25, 2014: "The removal of the fuel is the biggest challenge […] They’re calling on the engineers to study ways to block radiation without using water."

    Grasshopper, what is being discussed above is also known as "alchemy."

  • usgeigercounter usgeigercounter

    There is no way to stop this catastrophic accident. Just check your seafood before consuming!