“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

Published: March 5th, 2012 at 6:36 am ET


Title: Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima Transcripts
Date: March 17, 2011
Emphasis Added

Page 72

MR. CASTO: […]


And so our dilemma here is — the challenge that we have is to try to keep the spent fuel pools in a coolable geometry, but yet reduce dose to the workers.

Now, whether that’s the HUMVEEs, you know, or some other mobile — or build a shield, build a building, or some kind of shield out there that you can work behind to install the equipment, or dump lead on the top of the refuel floor, whatever you’ve got to do to drop dose so that — they’re lust [sic] not willing to


Now, what they’re doing is they have bulldozers — I mean, the dose sounds like not as much a shine from the building as when the building blew up. There is spent fuel and pellets and whatever all over the place around the plant. So they are taking the bulldozers through and pushing the rubble in piles, and they are saying that’s cutting the dose down, you know, 60, 70 percent. So they are trying to — in these areas where the piping runs would go, they are trying to clean it up. But, I mean, the dose is still going to be, you know, incredible. […]

“Chuck Casto, a veteran U.S. nuclear regulator, arrived in Japan on March 16, 2011, to figure out what was going on at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and help Japan fix its problems” –WSJ

h/t Enformable

See also:

[catlist name=nuclear-fuel-on-the-ground numberposts=-1 orderby=date order=desc date=yes comments=no catlink=no excludeposts=27142,27146,27638]

Published: March 5th, 2012 at 6:36 am ET


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59 comments to “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

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Bulldozers – there we go!
    Like Occupy NY "bulldozed into the Hudson", here we have "pellets bulldozed to crumbs, spread evenly all over the place"….
    "dump lead on top of the refuel floor" sounds like a professional idea as well.
    Boy, what a mess. They don't have the slightest clue what to do.

  • would like to see a photo of some pellets around to believe it.
    in case there are pics, no worries for structural integrity of the plant as it is no longer holding anything that matters.

  • Cindy

    this must be from the #3 spent fuel pool that went up, all over the place …

    This explains why it is missing …

  • Atomfritz Atomfritz

    My personal guess is that some dirt got sloshed out from SFP #3 when the rubble fell into it. It might also have originated from #4, as the videos of SFP #4 only cover a little part of the pool, but the comparably low radiation on unit #4 seems contradictory to that.

    Either way, it was definitely only a little bit of junk (compared to Chernobyl).
    I don't believe they had the leisure to take photos of that dirt, as priority was to free some passageway for the emergency workers with the bulldozers.
    On the other hand, it's well possible that possibly existing recordings of the video-controlled bulldozers are still withhold from the public.

    And, there was much confusion even in the closed shop of the international nuclear mafia, so they might have initially overestimated the spread of the ejecta.

    We'll know more as soon as gamma camera recordings get published (if at all).

    • truthseek truthseek

      – – bias – –

      Busy deflecting Fritz!?

      Hugely – magnanimously
      greater than Chernobyl…
      beyond question…

    • Wish someone would find a film movie camera and go in different ares and film, … radiation will show up on the processed film as it did during the Chernobyl filming's in some areas !

    • BillyRaz

      only a little bit of junk (compared to Chernobyl).

      Hmmm really care to back up that claim?

      • Atomfritz Atomfritz

        Yes, of course.

        I really recommend everybody to read Grigori Medvedev's "Chernobyl Notebook".
        Here the link.


        Fuel and graphite blocks were scattered all around Reactor 4.
        The radiation was at some places more than 500 Roentgen (more than 5 Sievert).
        Some liquidators even had to pick the nuclear fuel by hand and throw it back into the open reactor.

        The Japanese were lucky up to now.
        But this can change quickly if a spent fuel pool collapses or dries out otherwise.

        • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

          First of all, Chernobyl did not have MOX fuel. Second, the MOX fuel was blown out of #3; 1-3 miles around the plant, including the OCEAN.

          About 500 pounds of plutonium was spread in the form of nano dust globally, compared to little or none from Chernobyl.

          Much of the radiation from the fuel rods is under water, but it is contaminating the WHOLE OCEAN, FOREVER. Chernobyl has NONE of this. Currents going by Fukushima will take this radioactivity all across the globe, FOREVER.

          Chernobyl got shut off quickly with 500,000 liquidators digging under and building a cover over it, plus dumping moderators on top of the corium.

          Fukushima has multiple spent fuel pools and reactors STILL FISSIONING, and LEAKING radiation into OPEN AIR. By comparison, Chernobyl was covered up and corium solidified, covered up many months ago. They are doing NOTHING at FUKU, by comparison.

          At FUKU, they do not know where the multiple corium blobs are. They are covering that up, plus denying ALL radiation coming from the plant, by claiming 'cold shutdown'. Chernobyl scientists found out fairly quickly where the melted corium went and what state it was in. They at least cared. At FUKU, they do not seem to even care.

          At FUKU, They are also NOT REPORTING TOTAL RADIATION RELEASED from nuclear explosion, ongoing leaks into groundwater, land, ocean, and air. There are NO METERS downwind, and NONE on vent stacks.

          They are also not reporting steam/smoke events, liquid corium leaking out of buildings, nor the radiation associated with those events.

          All claims about minimal radiation from fuel rods thrown out of the #3 nuclear explosion and the lack of harm from those fuel rods I look at with suspicion, and I feel sorry for the scientists issuing these reports.

          How can ANYONE scientific claim fuel rods in open air or water pose little or no harm to anyone? I guess faux scientists can, and there seem to be plenty of them around.

          • Dr. Awesome Dr. Awesome

            Dr. AGreenRoad +100
            Totally agree. You hit the nail on the head.

            Dr. AtomFritz,
            With all due respect, you are totally incorrect.
            Fukushima beats Chernobyl, 1st round knockout. No contest.

            The reality of the true HORROR that is Fukushima is difficult to fathom.

            • Atomfritz Atomfritz

              AGreenRoad and Dr.Awesome,

              I feel sad at the ignorance your posts reveal.

              I'll try to comment some of your most wrong statements even if I believe it has no use making you to look closer and find out yourself.

              "About 500 pounds of plutonium was spread in the form of nano dust globally, compared to little or none from Chernobyl."
              You actually reverse the facts.
              Chernobyl core burnt for days in the open, fueled by many tons of graphite. Much more Plutonium nano dust was produced in Chernobyl this way.
              Major source of plutonium dust at Fuku probably was the SFP 4 drying out. Luckily it didn't catch fire. If it did, the outcome would have completely different.

              "…dumping moderators on top of the corium."
              This all had no use as the corium already was on its way through the basements, so the boron dropping was stopped soon.

              "At FUKU, They are also NOT REPORTING TOTAL RADIATION RELEASED from…"
              You do know that all this release statements are, can only be rough estimates with a very big error margin?

              "All claims about minimal radiation from fuel rods thrown out of the #3 nuclear explosion…"
              You are aware that it makes much difference whether there are a few kilograms lying around or several tonnes?
              The danger from these ejecta are negligible compared with what happens if any spent fuel pool collapses, runs dry or even catches fire.

              "At FUKU, they do not know where the multiple corium blobs are."
              This actually doesn't matter much as long as they are contained in the buildings.

              Yes, they don't know and it's hard to make any valid estimate.

              Fukushima has the potential to become more devastating in the long run than Chernobyl if this inadequate response doesn't improve.

              I agree with you that the response of the Soviets to their accident was way more responsible and caring than the Japanese no-reactions.

              The Japanese have been lucky up to now but…

  • chrisk9

    That's a great quote and explains many things

    " And, there was much confusion even in the closed shop of the international nuclear mafia, so they might have initially overestimated the spread of the ejecta."

    The international nuclear mafia don't really have a lot of answers, and that includes Tepco. This entire situation really was never expected and goes into so many territories none of them ever imagined or prepared for.

  • The gamma camera pics MUST show fuel pellet deposition on the ground: the whole reason for the msm mentioning this topic is the existence of aerial survey footage taken by the U.S. If no evidence existed the news story never would have happened, the emails above never would have been sent, they never would have tried brainstorming all the "Mickey mouse" solutions to bring the onsite dose levels down…
    When it comes to the nuclear industry, getting them to admit actual problems is hard enough that thinking they panicked about a problem that never even happened makes no sense. Of course there are pellets everywhere… what else were they covering by using remote controlled earth movers and lead- lined trucks?

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      If gamma pics existed for the site and it showed NO fuel pellet radiation anywhere, the authorities more than likely would have released them to the media and did a dog and pony show. See how clean and safe the site is? No radiation anywhere… everything is squeaky clean.

      It tells me something when they do NOT release something, as much as if they do.

  • truthseek truthseek

    Building 3 in total disrepair and collapse
    belching it's life robbing death all about
    complex and planet.

    This comes as …NO SURPRISE…

  • Bobby1,
    before we had the option to refresh to see latest poster's comments, now they can escape us never to be known who commented unless opening and scrolling the page ! I don't like the scrolling comment board, do you ?

    • Bobby1

      I don't like it at all, xdrfox. The version of latest comments that was here just before this latest change was the best.

    • or-well

      I feel sick. Maybe it's the news.
      It's harder to follow threads this way.
      I agree with Bobby1, that last one was good.

      • Last one rocked. Poster name with beginning of comment and story it is linked to. Great for referencing. Super enjoyed seeing avatars linked to recent comments for a second there. Scrolling would be less botersome with old elements back in place.

      • StillJill StillJill

        Maybe it's the fast scrolling,….I feel nauseous. (Oh that's right,…I'm always nauseous these days!).

        I don't like it either,…but then again, I hate change!

        Ate some cesium by accident last night,…..and then again two days ago. Have not slept since! (This is what IT did to me in November/December when I almost croaked!

        Must redouble efforts! Bumping Apple pectin as soon as the 5#'s arrive!

        Stay safe my buddies! 🙂

        • A relaxing hot baking soda bath to you SJ. This is constant now, remediating this sh*t out of our/loved ones bodies.

          • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

            My friend, the herbalist Michael Dickens, recommended and practiced baking soda baths for high radiation days back in the 1970's. But this is a whole level of magnitude different, these days. I hope it still does some good. One-half box per hot bath, as i recall.

          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            Hey chemfood, did you know baking soda is radioactive? No joke. I saw the "Günther Jauch" talkshow yesterday, and an astronaut tested a bag of baking soda with a Geiger counter. The thing went nuts.
            He did that to show "radioactivity is natural and not harmful".

            • aigeezer aigeezer

              Interesting, B&B. I just tried putting my PRM-8000 next to an opened box of baking soda. There was no detectable difference in the rate of clicks – it certainly didn't "go nuts".

              I Googled "baking soda radiation" and found nothing to suggest it is radioactive, although there were a lot of home remedy suggestions to use it for various ailments.

              My test was just for a minute or so. It's possible that there would be a statistical difference from background if I left it there for a day or so, but I figured "go nuts" would be fairly obvious. Also, my box of baking soda had been left opened in the fridge for a while as a deodorizer, and it was not full. Perhaps that is relevant.

              Can you find any other information to confirm or disconfirm the story?

            • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

              I also tested two different brands of baking soda just now. I bought them at two different stores at two different times.

              I opened both boxes and put my Geiger meter close to baking soda, with no package in the way, with direct exposure to detector tube.

              Average background was from .07 to .10 on the wall inside the house.

              Readings from one box was .10, over ten minute period.

              Readings from second box was .14 maximum, down to .10, over ten minute period.

              No going crazy, no flashing lights, no warning sirens.

              I am wondering what this guy was testing? Did he substitute radium powder for baking soda, or sprinkle in some cesium, before the test began, perhaps?

              • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

                I could find NO reference online to baking soda being radioactive or in any way dangerous.

                All of the items I found (over 2 million) say something along the lines of the following;

                Treatment for Radiation Exposure and Toxicity
                Apr 21, 2011
                Baking soda is used to clean uranium contaminated soil. Sodium bicarb binds to uranium. It is recommended by the US Army for radiation .

                • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

                  What was the focus of this show? Was it all about trotting out experts who claimed Fukushima was in cold shutdown, and how radiation cannot hurt you?

                  Based on what you said, I would expect nothing less than a banana, cosmic ray, Xray, plane ride, and now baking soda dog and pony show, to downplay the harm of all FUKU radiation and make people feel safe.

                  It is all about appearance, not REALITY.

                  That show you mentioned is why I bought a radiation meter.


                  What is the lesson? BUY A RADIATION METER.

            • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

              Maybe this was 'special' baking soda gathered from around a US nuclear bomb test site? That would make sense, since it absorbs uranium, and uranium is radioactive.

            • BreadAndButter,
              It absorbs odor, maybe it absorbs radiation too ! ?

              : | Think ?

              • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

                Hi all, it was a small bag of "Pottasche", German baking soda. The talkshow was about "Can we live without nuclear power?" blah blah.
                That physicist astronaut was clearly bought for the show. He also put the counter on himself and on the show host to show how radioactive we are.
                I'll try to find the show online and post the link here later (while at work, lol).

                • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

                  Morning all, here's the link:

                  At 25:00 in, the host presents Ulrich Walter, scientist and former astronaut.
                  At 26 in, he switches on the counter and starts scanning people…level shown is around 6-7, he says around 7.5 is normal.
                  He says the radioactivity in our bodies is caused by the potassium we ingest, and one substance which has lots of it is baking soda (potash). GC shows level of 30ish.

                  Then he goes on and on about nothing to worry folks until you reach a level of 100 in your body, as from that level it might(!) increase cancer levels by 1-2 percent….blahdiblah.

                  At 30:30 in, he tests a piece of ugly fluorescent green kitchenware, and at 31:00 he shows the small potash bag to the camera.

                  "Günther Jauch" is a very respected talkshow, and i don't see why they would give such a sockpuppet so much room. i'll send them a mail.

                  Btw, the granny siiting right to the host is Gudrun Pausewang, who published the novel "The Cloud", describing the effects of a nuclear accident in Germany. Worth a read for kids from 14 onwards….


                • or-well

                  B&B HELP! Something not right. How can baking soda which is sodium carbonate be the same as potash which is potassium carbonate?

                  NaHCO3 vs K2CO3.

                  This TV show sounds confusing.
                  In Germany, is potash sold as baking soda?
                  Is it just a name, is it actually potash or just called Pottasche and really baking soda?

                  Was the astronaut pulling a trick calling pottasche baking soda?

                  I'm no chemist. All I know is that potash is not baking soda, and baking soda is not potash.
                  At least, chemically.

                • aigeezer aigeezer

                  or-well is on to something, but apparently "potash" covers various chemicals containing potassium, including potassium chloride.


                  I think KCl may be what the astronaut/shill was exploiting.

                  According to Wikipedia "KCl is useful as a beta radiation source for calibration of radiation monitoring equipment, because natural potassium contains 0.0118% of the isotope 40K. One kilogram of KCl yields 16350 becquerels of radiation consisting of 89.28% beta and 10.72% gamma with 1.46083 MeV."

                  Also (for gruesome trivia buffs) "The lethal effects of potassium chloride overdoses have led to its use in lethal injection, as the third of a three-drug combination. Additionally, KCl is used (albeit rarely) in fetal intracardiac injections in second- and third-trimester induced abortions.[10][11] Jack Kevorkian's thanatron machine injected a lethal dose of potassium chloride into the patient, which caused the heart to stop functioning, after a sodium thiopental-induced coma was achieved. A similar device, the German 'Perfusor', also uses potassium chloride as a suicide aid"


                • or-well

                  aig I found that baking powder in German can be
                  but I didn't find pottasche.
                  I think spaceman was scamming.
                  Where's all the "Reply" buttons?

                • aigeezer aigeezer

                  The physicist astronaut Ulrich Walter did a post-doc at the Argonne National Lab in Chicago.

                  Early in its history, the laboratory was part of the Manhattan Project, which built the first atomic bomb.


                  Small world, eh?

                • aigeezer aigeezer

                  Reply buttons disappear when a thread gets wide – the indenting would look goofy after a while.

                • aigeezer aigeezer

                  Hmmn – I shouldn't have focused exclusively on KCl. The source of the radiation is just the K (think bananas), so any potassium compound might do the trick, including or-well's K2CO3.

                • or-well

                  aig "small world" eggs-zackly!
                  I forgot this was already replies to replies to replies. Haha! Our sentences would be one word wide. I need more coffee.
                  ps jackal tracking badge of merit "in the mail".

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        • Atomfritz Atomfritz

          Well done, doesn't need Javascript, too!

  • jec jec

    THE DATE? MARCH 2011–Thats a year ago they knew all this. Its not just disposable workers..its a disposable population!

    No wonder they didnt pass out KI..they already had decided to draw a line for the "haves..and have nots".

    • jec,
      Most of gov. and high ups were centered on self preservation, just concerned with themselves and how to withdraw from the whole spectrum of pre Fuka without money and properties becoming worthless in milliseconds after one word of truth and panic they would becoming just another penniless person of the masses and chaos would reign !

    • StillJill StillJill

      Not to disagree with you jec,…to add. I think they didn't just draw the line (between have, and have nots),…I think the line just got visible! 🙁

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The NRC and others begin to set up industry response…
    107..lines 11-17
    108..lines 22-25
    109..lines 1-2

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Can you post the wording that applies? Or send it to me and I will post it in a blog and then link to it here.

      It is a lot of work, more than most people are willing to do, to go and dig into this.

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    "The dose is going to be incredible"(?)-for the workers,the Japanese public and a few days after whatever releases expected + that from any "missteps" that I must assume can be expected under extreme conditions & mediocre at best work crew because by the time anybody would learn the layout of the place and the cobbled together hoses,pumps,filter units,connections needing to be checked after every seismic event that are prone to coming apart or leaking and spreading/adding to contaminated water onsite or de-watering SFP's and all the things unique to the fragile and "playing it by ear" state of the post 3/11/11 Fuku-D1 NPP but instead have to leave after getting who knows how many(?) "lifetimes" worth of radiation in a few short weeks(or days?)of arriving & getting blasted with radiation for the duration of their ill-fated stays!(?) God forbid an earthquake occurs while very sensitive ops are underway!!??!~Just a wild guess but I'm betting that the delicate and most precarious phases of the operation hold the entire future of nuclear in the balance as well considering there are MANY,MANY more people slowly waking up to the existence of the issue who would finally be screaming for the end of Big Nuke & The Little Pukes should TEPCO fail(again) and R4 or the CSFP go belly-up and Downwinder's thousands of miles across the globe CONFIRMED & undeniable mass accounts of radiation sickness & serious health issues & deaths occur that TPTB can't slither away from!(?) 😐 ~**