NRC FOIA: No one thought such massive & destructive hydrogen explosions could occur before Fukushima — So was it simply hydrogen then?

Published: January 17th, 2012 at 5:47 pm ET


Title: NRC likely never postulated H2 explosions size & destructive force at Fukushima
Source: Enformable
Date: January 17, 2012

From: Salley, MarkHenry
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 6:29 PM
To: Coe, Doug
Cc: Correia, Richard
Subject: Additional RES areas post Fukushirna Dai ichi


Per your request from this morning’s meeting, Re: Brian’s request for Additional Areas of Research post-Fukushima Dai ichi; four jump to mind:

1. Look at Emergency H2 venting. Prior to this event, I do not believe any of us would have postulated the size & destructive force of the H2 explosions inside the structure.


Read the report here

See also:

  • [intlink id=”nrc-foia-wtf-when-no-1-blew-up-it-looked-like-a-containment-building-disappearing-in-an-explosive-cloud-mar-12-email” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”mag-curium-and-plutonium-outside-fukushima-plant-sign-of-nuclear-explosion-at-reactor-no-3-broken-spent-nuclear-fuel-rods-may-have-been-scattered-around” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”japan-nuke-inspector-nuclear-explosion-fukushima-3-black-smoke-mushroom-cloud-hydrogen-explosion-produce-black-smoke” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”alert-japan-expert-nuclear-explosion-reactor-3-believe-fuel-rods-blown-spent-fuel-pool” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]


Published: January 17th, 2012 at 5:47 pm ET


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24 comments to NRC FOIA: No one thought such massive & destructive hydrogen explosions could occur before Fukushima — So was it simply hydrogen then?

  • Mack Mack

    Of all industries, Nuclear is the one industry that should not be on a learning curve.

  • steve from virginia

    They were hydrogen explosions with accompanying steam explosions. Melted fuel hit the water in all three reactors (and probably the fourth spent fuel pool).

    Fuel leaked out of pressure vessels into containment then into suppression pools.

  • Alice Alice

    This doesn’t bode well.

    Okay, calling all pro-nukes! Please go to Fukushima to help out ASAP. A little hydrogen explosion can’t hurt you.

    Let’s see you walk the talk.

  • bleep_hits_blades

    There were both hydrogen and nuclear explosions, weren’t there?

    I thought that was pretty well established, and this ‘whoda thunk it’ blurb is just disinfo…

  • ZombiePlanet ZombiePlanet

    Gee whiz…
    Looks like no body “thought” is the operative, in their statements.
    Implies a lack of critical thinking on who’s part?

    Dummy is as dummy does. Ka-Boom

    [NRC] … “no dummies here, just paid political/industry hacks.”

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  • NW

    7 year old came to the conclusion we shouldnt have sea salt any more because of Fukushima in the ocean.

    I didnt even think of that!

  • dosdos dosdos

    I still feel from looking frame by frame at the video that the #3 explosion was three explosions, two hydrogen explosions and a nuclear. There were two puffs of white, typical of water condensation in a hydrogen flash burn, one setting off the other in the other half of the structure. Then there was ‘big and dirty’ that hoisted all that fuel.

    So how would a hydrogen explosion trigger a nuclear detonation in less than a second, when all previous conventional industrial knowledge said that a detonation was not something that would happen?

    Let’s start with the fact that conventional knowledge is based upon low grade uranium fuel. There have been uranium meltdowns that produced molten cores, and they didn’t detonate.

    The one trigger that would move as quickly from the structure space to the molten core is a shock wave from the hydrogen explosion, the initial compression wave from the flash explosion’s expansion. The convention wisdom says that liquidized uranium doesn’t detonate from compression waves. It shouldn’t have been nuclear by conventional wisdom of the industry.

    But, #3 was running MOX. The corium pools were layers of molten metal, the heaviest atomic weight on the bottom, the lightest on the top. Nothing new, other meltdowns did the same, uranium and daughter layers above. No explosion.

    MOX operates using plutonium as the exciter, the generator of neutrons for the criticality in normal usage. The plutonium in close proximity to uranium creates a steady fission state. In a MOX meltdown, you have the uranium and the plutonium layers touching, doing a little exciting, creating sporadic fission, but the interaction is not that fierce.

    Now, you have a molten layer of plutonium and a molten layer of uranium held together by gravity in a perfectly straight plane. Send a shock wave from an explosion through these two layers, mixing them together with an instant blending, you get one heck of an excitement. You get as a result the…

    • dosdos dosdos

      [cont.] You get as a result the ‘big and dirty’.

      Naturally, if anyone in the industry has realized this, they certainly aren’t blowing any whistles.

      Conventional wisdom must now come to the realization that MOX can detonate in a meltdown.

      • I would be absolutely SHOCKED if they come out with this in the mass media, history books and wikipedia for example.

        I think that this one point will be desperately covered up, denied, spun, minimized, and so twisted into logic pretzels of how and why it DID NOT happen, that no amount of truth serum is going to work..

        The denial of your truth is as deep as the sun is hot.

        The industry just does not want to go there..

        They would have to admit to a global life extinction event, due to the 600 or so pounds of plutonium released via ‘hot ca, ca, ca, cancer causing particles’ into the lungs of everyone on the planet.

        Theoretically, it only takes 200 pounds of vaporized plutonium to kill everyone on the planet.. We do not want that getting out, now do we?

        Especially not since MOX reactors are the hottest fad on the nuclear circuit right now…

        You would spoil all of those toys for all of those nuclear boys.

        Now what would those boys play with, if they could no longer have MOX toys?

    • Can I use your post in a blog and possibly a book later on?

      I think you nailed it…

  • atoms4peace1

    There was no nuclear explosion, no nuclear criticality. It was hydrogen and hydrogen alone.

    • Fudo

      @ atoms4peace1, There’s a difference between having an intelligent differing opinion and behaving like an ignorant troll.

      If you really are a nuclear engineer then you know that MOX rods bring the system closer to prompt-criticality than UOX rods and that the shutdown margin and stability of the cores are significantly lowered. You also would know that the radiotoxicity of the MOX fuel assembly is roughly one order of magnitude higher than the radiotoxicity of the UOX fuel assemblies, so in the event of a major accident, the long term risk to human health is greatly amplified.

      But you state in your other comments that there was no risk to human health from Fukushima and that these were merely hydrogen explosions.

      The reactor 3 explosion was completely inconsistent with a hydrogen explosion and plutonium core fragments were found over a mile away from the plant.

      The facts don’t support your argument.

      The large amount of radioactive material the government has been measuring in the plume path and 5 kilometer height of the radioactive release (which are all documented) don’t support your argument either.

  • stopnp stopnp

    At times like this I just wish that there is a big father. A big angry dad. Who would come slap the crap out of these pro nuke morons.

    They are ruining the world. The innocence of the fifty’s was beautiful. It isnt the fifty’s anymore. There is no excuse for their behavior. All of that money will mean nothing when they cant spend it due to radiation sickness or cancer.

    How can they lie to themselves? They’re so sick. Nothing like having the crazy people run the insane asylum


    Analysis of #3 Explosion

    Destroyed Spent Fuel Pool SFP3 of Reactor Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi 8 May 2011