- "There is spent fuel and pellets and whatever all over the place around the plant" -NRC's Top Man in Japan -- Trying to clean it up, but dose still going to be incredible
- Top US nuke official in Japan: Take it slow "without just running the military in there to kill people" for us to feel better -- Wait so it's "without a lot of loss of life" -- 300 millisieverts per hour OUTSIDE reactors before bulldozing 'rubble'
Title: Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima Transcripts
Date: March 17, 2011
MALE PARTICIPANT: Well, Chuck, we don’t we got the best we could. We received this unsolicited document titled from the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, FEPC, Washington, D.C. Office. And it has a — whether it’s valid or not, we don’t know, but it has detailed rad measurements associated with each of the reactors and buildings. And we have taken that text, to the best of our ability overlaid it on a map of the site, and we just finished that about 10 minutes ago. And we’re going to discuss it with the ET and get it to you.
MR. CASTO: What’s the bottom line? What’s it saying? What’s it telling us?
MALE PARTICIPANT: It’s telling you you’ve got 40 rem, 10 rem, you know, I –
MALE PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible.)
MR. HESTA: I’ll tell you, between the buildings it looks like [...] We’ve got between 30 and 40 rem between the buildings, 30 rem between Units 2 and 3, 40 rem between Units 3 and 4. We’ve got what appears to be a 10 rem per hour line along the roadway that is just west of the unit, I’m guessing. We have –
MR. CASTO: Okay. So — I mean, in a sense it goes back to John’s argument. This stuff is spread everywhere.
MR. HESTA: Yeah. I mean, that’s not from contaminated steel inside –
MALE PARTICIPANT: Well, it could be.
MALE PARTICIPANT: This could be reinforcement.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Remember, that was a plume that –
MALE PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible.)
MALE PARTICIPANT: John, the first 40 rem numbers we saw were well before the explosion in Unit 4, and the supposition at the time was that this was — was shine from green pools (phonetic).
MALE PARTICIPANT: And it’s – okay. Yeah. But when they tell you the dose decreases 70 percent when they bulldoze the crap out of the way, but –
MALE PARTICIPANT: Well –
MALE PARTICIPANT: — well, there could be some gross deposition to the west of the plant. There was a plume that migrated that way over the past two days, so there could be some gross deposition.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Deposition, but you’re talking between two units.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Yeah.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Aren’t you?
MALE PARTICIPANT: That deposition is a little bit downwind?
MALE PARTICIPANT: No, that probably — that’s probably a contribution of ground shine between the two units.
MALE PARTICIPANT: So in terms — so — not to play devil’s advocate here, but you had a pool that was probably fully drained, fuel that’s several thousand degrees, a massive explosion, and we think nothing is happening to the rods or the pellets in that explosion.
MALE PARTICIPANT: No, we aren’t saying that. But it’s just where it is. You can get dose outside from deposition, you could get dose outside from shine, or a contribution –
MALE PARTICIPANT: Right.
MALE PARTICIPANT: — of both. You could get dose outside from spreading material, whether it’s fuel pellets or other stuff. And you can get –
MALE PARTICIPANT: I also remember that there’s other stuff stored in the spent fuel pool.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Right.
MALE PARTICIPANT: The old days of cobalt roller balls from the control rod blades, you (inaudible) and stored in buckets.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Right. Fission products that collect along the wall inside the reactor building, blowing outside the reactor building, anything is possible. A 40 rem dose on a smear is something you can’t find in a operating powerplant, or you used to in the spent fuel, so –
MALE PARTICIPANT: The question is, though, you know, I mean, is the point of the discussion to say we think all the fuel is still in the reactor? Or it’s –
MALE PARTICIPANT: I don’t think it matters. I mean, that’s –
MALE PARTICIPANT: The purpose of this exercise is just to give them an idea for them to strategically lay the pipe. I mean, that’s the — so I don’t think it’s really — we really need to dicker over whether it’s fuel pellets or whatever the source is. The purpose is to give them an idea of the best route to lay the piping.
JACK: Yes, Mike, I don’t know that we’ve had anybody say that the fuel is covered with water. What I can tell you is there’s clear evidence of a very significant hydrogen explosion. The only source of hydrogen that could feed that explosion is the spent fuel pool, so there must have been very, very high temperature zirconium interacting with water. There is no visible vapors emanating from Unit 4 spent fuel pool area, which would be indicative of no water. It could also be indicative of a fully cooled core. That does not there is no source of cooling water going into the spent fuel pool, so to have a very significant hydrogen explosion, and then to think about the fuel being covered, those are kind of non sequitur concepts.
We do know that there were parts of debris, that the areas of debris around Unit 4 after the explosion which were contributing to very significantly high dose rates, and I understand that bulldozers were used to bulldoze that debris under some soil shielding, and the dose rates went down dramatically. That would be an indication that were fragments of fuel since there’s no other source of substantial radioactive material which would have been involved in that explosion.
So, there’s indication of a very significant hydrogen explosion. I want to make sure that it’s clear that we don’t know this. We are just interpreting this from the visual evidence that we have, as well as the radiological measurements. There’s evidence of a very significant hydrogen explosion. There’s evidence of fuel or some very highly radioactive material outside of the building after that explosion. And there’s no evidence of water vapor, which would tell us that the spent fuel pool is dry.
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Published: March 5th, 2012 at 1:24 pm ET
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