Nuclear Engineer: Borated rubber between fuel is damaged in Unit 4 pool; Increased risk of criticality — The Economist: Rods can explode if they collide — Tepco VP: Recriticality ‘highly improbable’ (VIDEO)

Published: November 14th, 2013 at 1:27 pm ET


Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer, Nutrimedical Report, Nov. 7, 2013 (at 33:30 in): The borated rubber has been degraded. […] The better the shutdown margin, the better off you are. Now with the borated rubber — it has been admitted, Tepco said it’s been damaged — that was adding shutdown margin and now it’s reduced. And when you get down to no shutdown margin, you’ve got a criticality event.

Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, KZYX, Sept. 9, 2013: Tokyo Electric has admitted that the boron between these fuel cells — there’s a boron wafer in between the fuel to prevent something called an inadvertent criticality, you can have a nuclear chain reaction in the fuel pool, and that’s not a good thing — but they’ve admitted that all the boron has disintegrated. So the only thing preventing a chain reaction from occurring […] in the fuel racks themselves, is the fact they put all sorts of boron in the water. But if the rods get too close to each other, they can still fire up again and create a chain reaction in the nuclear fuel pool.

The Economist, Nov. 14, 2013: Engineers will have to take out each fuel assembly one by one without mishap, and overcome the risks of fire, earthquake and the pool boiling dry. The fuel rods can ignite if they lose coolant, or explode if they collide.

Japan Times, Nov. 14, 2013: Another risk is dropping the assemblies and damaging them. “It is imperative not to drop the assemblies when removing and after removing them from the racks,” said Hisashi Ninokata, a nuclear expert and professor at Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy. “In the worst-case scenario, dropping a cask is conceivable. […]” said Masayuki Ono, a Tepco spokesman. […] Asked if it’s possible for the spent fuel to achieve recriticality, Zengo Aizawa, vice president of Tepco overseeing the Fukushima crisis, said this is highly improbable since the removal process basically deals with one assembly at a time, and the utility has confirmed that one assembly alone cannot cause a nuclear chain reaction.

Full Nov. 7 interview with Harris here

Published: November 14th, 2013 at 1:27 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Ex-Fukushima Daiichi engineer as ‘cold shutdown’ declared: Fuel rods still active and alive — Most worried about recriticality — Tepco must measure neutrons near core (VIDEO) April 12, 2012
  2. Source: First try to remove spent fuel from Unit 4 could be next week — Nuclear Engineer: Everyone’s nervous about pulling out used rods that are corroding; Will zircoloy tubes break and spill fuel pellets, leading to a criticality? (AUDIO) November 23, 2013
  3. Gundersen: 200 brand new fuel bundles in Fukushima Unit 4 pool are most at risk to start nuclear chain reaction — If too close together during removal, there will be a criticality — “They have to be very, very cautious” (AUDIO) September 27, 2013
  4. Nuclear Engineer: New cover on Unit 4 can trap hydrogen gas during criticality in fuel pool — Blast would be close to a nuclear explosion, from a practical standpoint (AUDIO) November 22, 2013
  5. Nuclear Expert: “There may be an accident of criticality” during fuel removal at Fukushima Unit 4 — TV: Rods could crumble, frightening Tepco in charge of potential catastrophe (VIDEOS) November 9, 2013

108 comments to Nuclear Engineer: Borated rubber between fuel is damaged in Unit 4 pool; Increased risk of criticality — The Economist: Rods can explode if they collide — Tepco VP: Recriticality ‘highly improbable’ (VIDEO)

  • weeman

    Now what? Nano technology to rebuild boron wafers, got to come up with a spacer somehow or it is in the hands of probability were it always has been, if you get my drift.
    Have you tried JELLO boron mix, that should not be to expensive and in your budget range.

  • pkjn

    59 Total Thyroid Tumors In Fukushima Children
    November 13th, 2013 SimplyInfo
    New data has been released from the government study of thyroid abnormalities and cancer in Fukushima children. Of those screened 59 have been found to have tumors. The health survey examined 289,960 children total.
    This becomes 1 cancer per 5000 people. This is far higher than the pre-disaster levels. This raises big questions about the claims that these are increased just due to more screening. The more these numbers grow the harder it is to dismiss the findings are some version of normal.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Soon there will be 5900 thyroid cancers, since all you have to do is give it (Radiation Contamination) some time…

    33% of all people now living in Japan will die from cancer! That is not diagnosed with cancer… that is death from cancer! 🙁

  • m a x l i

    "33%"…"will die from cancer"? Where have you got that number from? If it is your own wild guess, you should better label it as such. People might confuse speculation with backed up facts. How many percent have been dying from cancer in Japan or elsewhere before Fukushima, by the way, if anyone can help me?

    • m a x l i

      Question was meant to be directed at obewan.

      • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

        I have posted the link here many times and you should have paid attention… 🙁

        • m a x l i

          Sorry for my lack of attention. I am not able to read everything anyone ever said here. Nor am I able to remember everything I ever read. I still hope you can make it easier for me (and anyone else interested.) Or do I need to go back to 3/11/2011 and start reading?

          • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

            maxli amber has the proper link below.. 🙂 Sorry did not mean to be rude. Forgive me. 🙂

            My bookmarks are a mess and one of these days I will take the time to organize them.. 🙂

            I get frustrated when things change and or disappear on the net.. 🙁

            • Songie Songie

              obewan: this link you provide, from the japan cancer society, talks about cancer as "accounting for one in every three deaths."

              that is VERY, VERY different from "33% of all people now living in japan will die of cancer," as you stated above.

              I would humbly suggest that all of us here on ENENEWS, esp as this site seems to be reaching more and more people, refrain from wild, baseless claims….

              thnks peace

              • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                Not sure you understood the link. If 100 people die today in japan 33% will die from cancer and that is what the link says I think.

                So, every time 3 people die in Japan 1 of those deaths will be from cancer. Its a repetitive number I believe. I am I missing something?

                • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                  songie, I will await your reply… 🙂

                  For every 3 people that die in Japan 1 will die from cancer?

                  For every 30 people that die in Japan 10 will die from cancer?

                  It all has a nice pattern to it…don't you think?

                  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                    Songie, you did say this correct? An apology is/would be in order… don't you think ? 🙂

                    "obewan: this link you provide, from the japan cancer society, talks about cancer as "accounting for one in every three deaths."

                    that is VERY, VERY different from "33% of all people now living in japan will die of cancer," as you stated above.

                    I would humbly suggest that all of us here on ENENEWS, esp as this site seems to be reaching more and more people, refrain from wild, baseless claims…."

                    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                      Math is some times presented in confusing ways with a/on purpose… 🙂 1 into 3 is 33% 🙁

                      Bad and sad for the Japanese people that is for sure… 🙁

                    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                      Now songie, lets extrapolate out those current cancer death rate numbers based on the current cancer rates that are projected to increase 75% for/in all existing cancer rates by 2030.

                      So, can we say a 75% increase in cancer deaths too? Maybe?
                      Let see 33 x 75% = 24.75 more or 33+increase 24.75=57.75%

                      Which may mean for every 100 people dying in Japan in 2030
                      58 each may die from cancer or about 58% of the population.

                      Do you now see the real size of the potential "cancer plague/ problem" now moving/growing across the entire world?

                    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                      Now, I guess you could envision that for every 3 people that die a 4th person dies from cancer and that might bring the numbers down from 33% to 25%, but all these numbers are very bad numbers anyway you look at it, since most of all the other deaths are also caused by Nuclear Technology damage to the biological body too! 🙁

                    • Gradius

                      No way is 33%. It will be over 50% for sure.

                    • We Not They Finally

                      I'm with Gradius on this one. Unless something kills people before cancer gets to them — some other radiation-induced illness. Ongoing, exponentially worse exposure, doesn't spare anything in its path. Not everyone dies right away, of course. But this level of escalating radiation is beyond insane.

                      That all these nuclear materials were put on that ALWAYS unsafe site (earthquake fault, aquifer, porous soil, on the ocean) in the first place, is mind-boggling. That no one is in prison over it is infuriating. But ultimately, it will just be heart-breaking.

                • Songie Songie

                  Obe, in your post that I originally commented on, you said,

                  "33% of all people now living in Japan will die from cancer."

                  I will read through your subsequent reply posts to me in the morning. not feeling well at present.

                  and is there an easy way to keep track of all these dialogues on diff articles?


            • m a x l i

              @obewan, no reason to forgive you. You are pissed and you should be.

              I didn't understand Songie's objection at first. It looked to me as if she/he wants to claim that 1 in 3 is something different than 33%. Of course, that's the same (approximately). After reading your linked site, I think that Songie is actually making a good point. There, something is said about the recent past, namely 2010. You are making predictions about the future. According to you, the rate of cancers in all death will stay the same in the future.

              Here's a question to think about for obewan or anyone who wants to answer it:

              Let's assume in 2010 33% of all deaths in Japan were caused by cancer, like the article linked by obewan states.

              Further, let's assume 3 different scenarios how the statistics will have changed at any point in the near future.

              A: 50% of all death will be caused by cancer.

              B: The rate remains the same like in 2010, that is 33%.

              C: 20% of all death will be caused by cancer.

              Which scenario indicates a more severe Fukushima catastrophe, which a 'less catastrophic' catastrophe? Is the number in any scenario suitable as proof, that there was no real catastrophe or even that a bit of radiation is good for us?

              I will be back in a few hours, when I hopefully find the time.

              • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                Maxli, It is your brain trust, the smart people, that have stated a 75% increase in cancer rates by 2030 and why they (your governments) want to change the definitions of cancer so badly. There are now people all over the world dying from cancers in all forms and I have left links to many healthy people who also now have the disease.

                This is now to be considered a "cancer epidemic" of massive proportions still growing worldwide. We are now talking many many millions of people that have died as guinea pigs for a Nuclear Technology that has no benefit to any biological life in any of its present forms of use and/or applications including any waste generated.

                Only a dense, stupid, uneducated species would continue the pursuit and use of such manmade poison applications when clean energy sources exist and sit all over the planet for free with out generating poisons.

                There is/are no benefits for the use of this Nuclear Technology anywhere on this planet ..simple really.

                If someone can show me a benefit to/for biological life (which we Humans are) anywhere on the planet, I will listen to such arguments.

                • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                  When my son was very young and he was learning to walk I repeatedly told him to stay away from the wood stove and I told him it was very, very hot.

                  One day, when I turned my head, the little guy touched the wood stove and he started to cry in pain since he burned himself 🙁 He was in a learning curve and learned that day what the truth was. The burning wood stove is very hot and yes it burns with great pain… 🙁

                  He never ever touched that stove surface again when/while it was hot and burning..

                  My son learns faster than any of our planet's greatest scientists… 🙂

                • m a x l i

                  The first sentence I do not understand (my brain trust?, my governments?), but I assume it's not important. And all the rest…well, in case you thought I would disagree with anything and you could have a fight: It's not your lucky day, because I agree.

                  And the devout followers of the cult of the nuclearists will never learn what your son learnt at young age in an instant. They want to touch again and again and think it will not burn next time.

                  I guess you know what the definition of insanity is: Doing exactly the same thing again and again and each time expecting a different outcome.

              • m a x l i

                Wow, that doesn't sound right. "No NEED to forgive you" is more what I meant, I think. Whenever things I say don't make sense, the reason could be: Me no English!

                • weeman

                  This is a international issue, race, color and religion no bearing, all welcome.

                  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                    This is definitely not a race issue, since we are all one and it's purely a border less issue and we must all work together to eliminate this growing "Nuclear Plague" from this Earth. 🙂

                    Based on Mack's links this "Nuclear Cancer Plaque" is now growing exponentially!

                    Any country pursing this Nuclear Technology are fools in the making.. 🙁

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Instead of emptying SFP5&6, and the CSFP, TEPCO seems to be at a loss to explain higher radiation readings in groundwater and surface water runnoff at the plant:

    "Huge drains run through the plant area. For some reason, the contamination level is higher upstream of the tank areas.

    "The drains start at a water reservoir, which has been there since before 311.

    "Tepco doesn’t give any details / explanation about this reservoir. The contamination level of the water is not announced either."

    (During defueling, criticalities are a certainty during defueling at SFP4.)

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      My spouse keeps talking about the removal of fuel from reactors 5 and 6 , which I think Tepco has started, and the CSFP to reduce the risk before attempting fuel removal at reactor 4. I know they are hot but so is reactor 4 and much more dangerous. Why don't they remove the fuel at these sites as it would be good practice. I know four is subsiding and there is concern of another quake but really they could have started this a long time ago as I'm sure some of the fuel in the CSFP has been setting there for a long time. I don't understand the futile attempts at decontamination, etc. If only there were an international committee to guide Japan through this process.

      • We Not They Finally

        I doubt that they BELIEVE they are "decontaminating" at all. But they surely are being paid per worker per project. And any "international committee" seems to be completely corrupt too.

        Most of humanity has always wanted a better world for their children. Now they'll be lucky to HAVE children, and maybe those children won't be lucky at all. It's a fiercesome reality.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    It came from this english link that has since been censored by our Government and/or the Japanese government. Link always worked until seen here several times. It specifically stated that 33% of all people living in Japan now die from cancer. Di you really think you would ever hear/learn the truth from those that control you and your brain?

    No longer in English? 🙂

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Japan already had a bleak future, obewanspeaks & maxli, even before 3/11/2011:
      (Look at the population projection graph.)
      You cannot sustain a modern capitalist economy without population growth.
      Japan is so doomed by their declining population, and by their failure to welcome immigrants, refugees, and guests to their nation. And by their failure to respond adequately to the Fukushima Disaster. So it goes…

      • J.

        I think the idea that population growth is needed for economic improvement — growth can be a misnomer too — is wrong. Robotics changes the equation. Quality of life can improve as population reduces. Overpopulation is likely to be a far greater drag on prosperity.

        The huge problem for Japan is, as you know well, the nuclear disaster. That alone is horrendous.

      • We Not They Finally

        Bizarrely, that all becomes a moot point. At this rate, they are headed towards population zero.

    • amberlight amberlight

      obewan, this is the link that now functions:

      (For some reason the webmaster saw fit to change /english/ to /en/)

      However, the site (at least the English portion of it) doesn't state the statistical change since 2011 or make any reference to nuclear radiation, much less Fukushima. For the purposes of this discussion board the Japan Cancer Society web site is useless. Maybe someone who reads kanji can find more relevant information.

      • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

        Excellent and thank you amberlight! 🙂 and 1 in 3 people = 33% 🙁

        • Songie Songie

          i still think they are saying something diff than you. not 1 in 3 people will die, but rather, for every three deaths, ONE of those deaths is from cancer…..but please tell me if I am missing something here…

          • Ontological Ontological

            Due to a hot particle, I have already gone through, and survived near stage 4 skull cancer, the results were not AMA approved due to the immunofluorescence procedure that was done of course were not published. Mindless that disclaimer is but what can anyone do? Trust me they know this is coming they are all geared up for it, and YES the future cancer rate WILL go through the roof!

            I agree with other posts out here, let us NOT play with the prediction numbers they are not up for dispute, everyone on Earth is at risk as a result of this ELE event! Radiation is mutating oil eating bacteria in the ocean, and it will go after ANY oils from fats animals/people/life. I fear this plague will be/is the worst one humanity and most life on Earth will ever endure. Cancer will get all of us eventually with so much PU in our air/water.

            • We Not They Finally

              I second your sad motion, Ontological. It's pointless to argue about percentages. That nation is doomed; and since it is NOT contained (not hardly!), so may go the rest of the world as well.

              • Songie Songie

                WNTF, Obe, maxli, et al…all these numbers are making my brain hurt, and I do agree with WNTF that it is "pointless to argue about percentages."

                I stand by my initial statement, but I don't see that it really matters…..and I certainly don't want to bring contention or argument to this forum…..

                …now going out for a walk with my geiger counter…..

                peace to all…

    • Jebus Jebus

      Japan’s fertility rate logs 16-year high, hitting 1.41
      Jun 6, 2013

      Cancer remained the biggest cause of death for the 32nd year, claiming 360,790 lives, followed by 198,622 deaths caused by cardiac disease, 123,818 due to pneumonia and 121,505 due to vascular brain disease.

      And when did Japan start becoming a nuclear dependent nation?

  • This is important, I found this video after it had been "disappeared".

    It shows video of testing by Argonne National Lab that a standard nuclear reactor can blow sky high in a type of nuclear explosion.

    14 minutes into the video is the biggest bang

    This proves that Fuku 3 can and did blow up in a nuclear explosion, and that is the only way the force could be created to get underneath the nuclear fuels to launch them and aerosolized them into the atmosphere. Which is proven in the second link from EPA data that I data mined.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, it is now a very bleak future and only after we detonated to large Nuclear Weapons on their islands and then proceeded to install 54 Nuclear Reactors that all leak Radiation Contamination. It appears the Bombs were not enough and we had to destroy these peoples entire gene pool.

    Sadly the gene pool plague will now move directly into the USA, Canada and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere over time.. 🙁

    WE are all in the process of being exterminated and there is no other way to evaluate the consequences of our current and past actions.. 🙁

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    Obewanspeaks…to me, the 33% seems low for the US and maybe high for pre-fuk Japan. We should note that the death rate by cancer would be MUCH higher in the US if we didn't spend so much $$$ ridding it from our bodies. I myself have had a bout with it, and it was cut out. I would bet it will get me at some point.

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      33% means, when 9 people enter a room all with healthy lifestyles..3 of them will die from cancer. 🙁

      In 1900 if 100 people walked into a room.. 1 would die from cancer! 🙂

      Cancer is the new world plague specifically caused by this current Nuclear Technology!

      50% of all people now living on this Earth will be diagnosed with a form of cancer before they die..

      Meaning 10 people walk in a room with healthy lifestyles 5 will be diagnosed with cancer.

      Projections are for a 75% increase in cancer rates by 2030 of that current 50% rate we now have.

      So simple math is 50 x 75% = 37.5 or 50 +37.5 =87.5% of all people living/born too/in the world by 2030 will be diagnosed with a form of cancer… 🙁

      I hope this clears things up in simple math term and we humans have made a huge mistake with this Nuclear Technology path and it (the energy signature) is not a good promoting healing energy and its the exact opposite and why this fission process is not used to promote life anywhere on this planet.

      It only kills, maims, scrambles genetic codes and disrupts the biological life process.. 🙁

      Shut these Nuclear Rattle Traps down worldwide now! 🙂 We cant fix what we have broken… 🙁

      • babbo dorian babbo dorian

        Considering that the 10 most profitable businesses in USA are laboratories,,,,,, owned by the same people that owns GE, etc ,,,,,
        Sounds good to promote their killing plants while investing in lab's now that quiet all the world will need expensive treatment and medicines while not covered by any insurer…
        I think es somehow good to know the real enemy,
        Best whishes…

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          Best wishes to you too!

          I am laughing my head off right now, as I hear this Obamacare going on line and they are all talking about being over weight, body mass, diet, smoking, your fat and all of our personal bad habits are what is causing all these steady rise in cancers. 🙂

          Not one mention of the massive amount of "Nuclear Poison" now circulating the globe.. 🙁

          The game to control your human mind and your wallet goes on… 🙁

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        There is no doubt in my mind that radiation contamination caused my condition. The more I research various ailments caused by nuclear accidents the more convinced I am that I contracted MS from exposure during the TMI accident. I've known so many people in my area who have died from various rare cancers and some still living with bizarre illnesses and they were all exposed to the wicked plume spewed by TMI. An evil industry. Speaking of evil I saw the Bayou Corne sinkhole gobble more trees, and continue to Burp. Strange days indeed.

        • Winterborn

          I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetic in May of 1986 after an odd 'flu like' illness. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on March 28, 2011 after a severe issue with double vision and nausea put me into an emergency room. Living in Arizona during both of these. Not saying there's a correlation but there it is, the two long term diseases I have occurred after both Chernobyl and Fukushima. Does make me wonder.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    North America will also be hit hard by TEPCO incompetence and bumbling at Fukushime.
    Here it comes, California!

    Planning a vacation in Hawaii, you say?;)

    • Patrick-Henry Patrick-Henry

      Thanks for throwing that up PhilipUpNorth.

      Washingtonsblog is an outstanding source of information of all kinds. One of my personal favorites.

    • Ontological Ontological

      I have seen many posts that seem to say that all from the west coast will be the new zombie apocalypse, and come east in hungry droves. I moved OUT of the North East because of coal, paper, and deforestation from acid rain 20 years ago. There is nothing there in the NE that has not been poisoned by mercury and dioxins etc. LONG ago! Enter Corexit and I refuse to return to the east. So…..Let's get this lie straight, fact is NO ONE is safe from this NOWHERE on EARTH! Were ALL people of EARTH and we better join forces soon to end the evil corporate destruction of LIFE on EARTH! Hellooooo down there in your Elite hide holes, guess what all you idiot Elite Richie's; YOUR next! BP sent this new oil eater life form so deep it will appear EVERYWHERE!

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    oops.. "two" large Nuclear Weapons on their islands

  • Patrick-Henry Patrick-Henry

    And we all trust TEPCO so much…of course there won't be an recriticality…they would never mislead us…

    BTW…the whole DAMN thing is CRITICAL…


  • Max1 Max1

    "Everything is within limits…"

    Still using the line, I see.

  • razzz razzz

    I keep saying to jack the fuel pools down to ground level. I don't care if they had to build a forklift the size of godzilla and only moved the pool an inch an hour in any direction, if that's what it takes. How you do it is only a minor detail. Did you see that plasma cutter cut through U4's yellow containment cap? Like cutting paper with scissors after the crane lowered it to the ground. That is how you cut the pool free from the unit.

    This way you don't have to worry about removing any fuel for the time being and can worry about it later. See the monstrosity of a cantilevered building they built over Unit 4 to remove fuel? Jacking U4's fuel pool down would have been over with by now.

    Unit 3's pool will only be able to be lowered down and away, working in that pool is not possible.

  • It seems the more fuel is removed the better the scenario. Hope there are secret American advisors. Guessing inbedding of US Nuclear officials is probable. Really they should be moving to dry cask whatever fuel is elegible in the "common" spent fuel pool. Remember that is where the recovered spent fuel from #4 pool is heading.

    I wonder how much fuel is eligible for dry casking?

    "The 2008 NRC guideline calls for fuels to have spent at least five years in a storage pool before being moved to dry casks." See


    • razzz razzz

      I don't think the common pool is in any great condition either. Its roof was gone for a long time, where did it go? Another hydrogen explosion there too? I am all for moving fuel to dry cask storage but the condition of the pools makes it hard for removal, it is not a sure thing.

  • vicky13 vicky13

    New one from Arne and Fairwinds just received in my inbox,,

  • Nick

    It has just dawned on me what the ACA is all about. By mandating health insurance everyone can be tracked by data miners who look for disease trends.

    When the nasties from Fukushima wash over the USA, everyone who goes to the doctor for a check-up for an irregular heartbeat can be instantly accessed by a programmer monitoring the trends. That way we can tell where the hotspots are in this country.

    Man, I feel so much better.


    This is no joke folks. It is way past time for us all to get the truth about what's in store for our collective futures. I am not okay with ENE-news being one of the few sane places to go everyday.

    What we are facing is something that will impact ALL of us for the rest of time.

    We deserve the truth.

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    "Asked if it’s possible for the spent fuel to achieve recriticality, Zengo Aizawa, vice president of Tepco overseeing the Fukushima crisis, said this is highly improbable since the removal process basically deals with one assembly at a time, and the utility has confirmed that one assembly alone cannot cause a nuclear chain reaction."

    No you fool! One fuel assembly can start a nuclear event and it happened in the United States today. It can happen. That is why removal of fuel could instantly turn the planet into an ashen wasteland. Play with fire. Get burned.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, you are very wise and with any scientific experiment you will need to log all the information.

    Problem is that this ACA information will grow exponentially and none of the gathered information that is logged will be good news for humankind.. 🙁

    You/we/all have all been turned into money pit asset to be gouged at will.. 🙁

    The "Civil Law Collective" originally caused the problem and they will now reap trillions from you/we/all from what they have originally created via the promotion of Nuclear Technology applications 🙁

  • Wyakin Wyakin

    Tepco will borate the SPF water with the planeloads of boron being shipped to Japan from France and the US, which will effectively limit visibility in the SFP.

    Then the workers who are afraid to wash their hands after using the toilet (“Worker’s Fear for their Own Safety”) will need to get up close to the SFP or don the radioactive repelling underwear to get close enough to see where to attach the grappling hook to the fuel assembly handle.

    Glad to see Gunderson officially speaking out. 11/14 “Remove Tepco before Removing Fuel” (v13 link above). As many have discussed here, the approach Tepco is using is full of major assumptions about what will go right and understates what is likely to go wrong.

    The Tepco team seems to forget small, strange accidents have unintended consequences around complex technologies, and there is a lot that can go wrong here.

    Gunderson: Tepco does not have the resources to pull this off. They are too small. This is a $500 billion cleanup project. It’s time for the Japanese government to step in and take control. The Japanense government is on the hook.

    Yes, Arnie, could never have been stated more clearly. I hope all the important people are listening.

  • VoIPEng VoIPEng

    I'm not sure if anyone has seen this:

    Could all of this simply be a PR stunt in place of another event that has already taken place?

  • Wyakin Wyakin

    About 51 min. into the interview Canuck1 references above, Gunderson begins to discuss zirc fires in SFPs, their pyrophoric characteristics, the chemicals which can be used for fire suppression.

    “Tepco has chosen not to have chemicals on site as a just in case…”[a zirc fire occurs]. He describes an interview with a Tepco panel of 5 engineers “a year ago” in which they state there is nothing in the pools to burn. He refers them to the Sandia labs study showing nuclear spent fuel zircoly rods do catch fire when exposed to air.

    Note to Tepco-in addition to substantial Boron stores, you may want to keep the required extinguishing agents to fight a zircoly fire. Something tells me you may need a few planeloads of this as well.

  • VoIPEng VoIPEng

    So basically…the worst has already happened and they are now trying to cover it up. Goes right along with the lies they have been spewing since the beginning doesn't it? Does it really shock anyone?

  • Jebus Jebus

    What Are Statins? How Statins Work And The Side Effects Of Statins

    Research over the last few years has uncovered other benefits linked to statins, apart from cardiovascular ones. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic carried out a study that found that statins may reduce people's risk of developing esophageal cancer (cancer of the gullet).

    New guidelines could have far more Americans taking statin drugs for cholesterol

    Anyone else see a correlation to radionuclides in food and the new "guidelines"?

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Better sign up for that free health care right away! 🙂

  • VoIPEng VoIPEng

    I think this is the most effort we have seen TEPCO go through to lie. Actually building things around an empty SPF4 and going through the motions as to remove fuel rods that burned up long ago. Wow. This tops all.

  • VoIPEng VoIPEng

    Obewanspeaks: I saw one of your other posts and agree ALL of these dagger throwing monsters need to be shut down across the entire planet and NEVER even think about building another. Heck, we can't even control the ones we have already. It is a runaway train lacking an Engineer that can drive it. We created a technology that we not only can't control, operate, store waste safely AND it kills us. Shut them all down NOW.

  • Ontological Ontological

    Getting gray on topic I know sorry, but storage is what these assemblies will need eventually. I shudder to think of the whereabouts these new unstable casks of Fuku fuel will one day be sent. They will have to use the same roads everyone else there uses also to dispose of all their tons of casks, not to forget that 10+ Sievert/hour vent tower. One report said there is damaged fuel in SFP#4 that has been there since 1982. This is not unusual in the USA at Vermont Yankee there is the entire fuel history of that single reactor use in overcrowded pools dating from 1972. The reactor site was granted a 60 year decommissioning parameter that allows this fuel to have sat there for up to 100 years. Again in the USA it seems Southern Nevada may be the unlucky new host of tons of spent fuel casks they plan to burry in the sands of the Nevada Nuclear Test site. I guess the logic is what the heck it's already nuked. Well yes but this means anyone who lives near the main roads there are at risk of exposure. It also seems they are considering inviting other countries to barter for storage fees. If this is the magical answer as to where all this nuclear waste should be stored; then it is insanity at its finest. They closed the deep storage facility inside Yucca Mountain for this stroke of genius.

  • ToBeExpected ToBeExpected

    The ‘paradise beaches’ of the islands of Hawaii, will, very soon, no longer be ‘paradise beaches’, with all the tons and tons of possibly contaminated debris coming over from Japan much faster than envisaged – maybe then, being that the US president and his family like to holiday there, maybe then, the folks in power in the US, will stand up and take serious notice and then cease to put their heads in the sand… just maybe ….

    debris hitting Hawaii

  • Socrates

    "Borated" – of or pertaining to "Borat"- a character played by Sasha Baron Cohen.

    The Borated rubber failed. Yes, it all makes sense now…. the entire world depends on the Theater of the Absurd.

    You risk everything by placing all of your eggs in one basket and find the most seismically active place on earth and then wait for disaster to happen. You use unsafe, antiquated hardware, mix in MOX.

    Too bad this isn't a comedy and is just a comedy of errors with such tragic results.

  • Wyakin Wyakin

    VoIP-re. the implications of the Gunderson quote @7:55.Based on AG's steadfast representation that fuel is in SPF4, more likely the engineers were either ignorant of the fire potential of zircoly or knew of the fire potential/actual SFP fires and were stating the company propaganda to reassure the public.

    Hatrick Penry’s work has been well discussed here, as well as speculation and accounts from various sources. I think it is a fair assessment to say there isn’t a consensus on the actual state of SPF4.

    The two opposing views expressed- it was completely destroyed and the majority of its contents burned (SPF4 fuel recovery is a show), or the fuel pool is intact and while some fuel is damaged it is mostly intact. The critique of the former is that some of the initial crisis mode NRC correspondence (HP references) was based on what many believe is faulty information, and radiation readings do not seem to support a full SPF4 fire scenario. Workers would not be able to work around the SFP if such an event had occurred.

    Since there really hasn’t been much in the way of credible independent physical verification and Tepco withholds or distorts information being released, I would recommend researching all the theses and draw your own independent conclusion.

    Removing Tepco from FU may also have the dual benefit of getting qualified expertise and significantly, independent facts about what is or isn’t in the pool.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I think there is more then 2 views. There is another view that thinks that there is still fuel there but it has sustained huge damage and the fuel racks have been damaged by two or three explosions and at least 2 fires and more criticalities and at least 31 inches of subsistance from multiple earthquakes and too much groundwater especially after the sea wall construction and the list of the building which started in 2011. It is possible that the outer new wall is there partially to hide the subsistance and the mushy clay.

  • Wyakin Wyakin

    SFP4 has been subjected to earthquakes, fires, criticalities, explosions, debris and foundation subsidence. Personally, I think the evidence suggests there has been damage to a large number of the assemblies. I don’t think anyone can produce evidence with a high level of certainty either way, and it is possible we may never know. But remediation of the FU site to the extent possible and the cessation of nuclear power should remain key objectives.


  • VoIPEng VoIPEng

    Good points Wyakin. I drew my conclusion based on the actual email dialog from, that to me reflected key Nuclear Top Personnel discussion the state of SPF4.

  • Socrates

    Arnie weighed in on the fact that water levels are very difficult to measure in spent fuel pools. In fact, it takes several types of instrumentation to confirm water levels in a spent fuel pool. The operator must then make an interpretation of the data. Boiling water levels are especially difficult to measure. This difficulty leads to faulty interpretations as to those levels.

    I can well understand that there was panic.

    Maybe someone could post Arnie's discussion on this topic.

  • pattersonp

    I remember watching video from SPF4 from the early days when it was bubbling away, when the T-HAWK camera was remotely being used to navigate the buildings.

    I find it hard to believe that fuel racks can take a literal rumbling boil, chain reactions in the reactor core itself, heat, steam production, and even being 'created' in the first place… But they cannot be tapped together?

    I still do not understand how 2 fuel bundles of the same fuel can become critical together. Nuclear reactions require catalysts. Is it possible these bundles are not all the same fuel? I know there is SPENT fuel in some, and then UNUSED fuel in some others. Is the worry here that the spent will touch the un-used? I Understand the whole exposure to air part, and the fact they have to be submerged… but this 'chain reaction' without the boron cladding makes no sense with that I just said above.

  • razzz razzz

    I had a hard time following the Chris Harris link so found the same one mentioned here and the link starts around 32 minutes in but you can move the slider to anywhere you want.

  • Kashiko Kashiko

    I'd like to add something to the cancer discussion. Japan has always shown a lowish cancer rate when compared to the rest of the world. Many people have claimed it was the Japanese diet or green tea or whatever. Actually the reason is very different. I know many doctors here and they have told me that dying of cancer here carries a stigma attached to it, so many doctors are reluctant to put it on the death certificate and will instead write something else (heart or pulmonary failure). I know it's getting better now but view the figures with a pinch of salt.

    • We Not They Finally

      That's VERY interesting. What else don't they report? One also wonders if the reluctance to look at cancer was because that was the fate of so many Hiroshima survivors? Perhaps? Japan also seems to have a tradition of ostracizing its own. Yeah, there is much reason to be suspicious of their records.

      Of course, in the U.S., it is apparently difficult to obtain cancer stats downwind of nuclear plants! And now the National Cancer Institute (part of the federal NIH) wants to "redefine cancer." Apparently, unless you are terminally ill, it's not "cancer" anymore. It's an indolent epithelial growth or some such. It can be googled and it's horrifying. They call it "over-diagnosing cancer." A few months back, Fox News had "experts" on, claiming that "cancer is being over-diagnosed." That was infuriating, but I thought it was just Fox news. Apparently not so at all.

      • Kashiko Kashiko

        That's interesting too. Moving the line. Another thing… i have an official document sent to doctors 2 years ago that forbade the doctors to give out iodine tablets to children without express permission from the Japanese government. Since when did a government know more about health than a doctor?

  • gmathol

    What we see/experience in Japan Fukushima is a new kind of insanity! Blue clad lepraucan are trying to fix the not fixable.

    Even if the blow up Japan or poison the living space of billions – what can we do?

  • rogerthat

    My questions on sfp4 remain:
    1. Where is the video of the initial explosion that wrecked the building?
    2. Where is the picture of what looked like molten corium flowing out of the side of the building – this as i remember was later photoshopped out.
    3. According to the NRC, 4 was so hot that ALL workers within half a mile were for a time evacuated. So why was it so radioactive?
    4 Is it credible that a spent fuel pool containing a full, new reactor core as a single unit as well as thousands of other ''spent'' assemblies could explode, wrecking the building and emitting huge amounts of radiation and presumably generating heat in the thousands of degrees, and still contain water?
    5. If it did contain water, where did it come from? Who pumped it in, when did they pump it in, and how? We know it didnt come from helicopters – the stuff they dropped vaporised long before it reached the plant.
    6 If it contained no water, and emitted no steam for two weeks, is one entitled to presume that the age of miracles has returned?

    • Kashiko Kashiko

      I'd like to see the answers to your questions too

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      As I remember the molten corium was from reactor #3.

      You have good questions, but without links your questions look like they may be based on hearsay.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Also we have seen video of unit 3 detonating. Yet it is still too radioactive for anyone to enter the building. We have seen video of Chernobyl exploding. It is also extremely radioactive. The explosions do not get rid of all the nuclear fuel in a building.

      I haven't seen anyone enter Unit #4 without radiation protective gear.

  • AllenH AllenH

    You know what's very frustrating for me ? Everybody I know is just carrying on like nothing is happening. Even bringing up the subject just gets met with a halt, and a change of subject. Not because the don't want to know, it is just of no concern. Its mass madness. And it makes me feel like I am the tin foil hat wearing person.

  • Kashiko Kashiko

    Yes the Japanese are trying to ignore it. Some Japanese here I know absolutely refuse to talk about it at all. It's very sad. I want to get my wife and sons back to England. We all have British passports except my Japanese wife and getting her a visa is nigh on impossible. Ahhh governments. they are so wonderful.

    • AllenH AllenH

      I left Edinburgh with my girlfriend, who is Bulgarian. We moved to Vienna, Austria is a country without nuclear plants, but we are still surrounded by them. OPEC and the UN (Useless Nations) are in the city. But in reality their is no escape.
      When Fuku gets so hot nobody will be able to get close to it, it will give a huge final explosion. And Fuku-Dianni 6 miles away will also need to be evacuated as Fukushima will kill people within hours, and the dominoes will fall. And so will we all. Nuclear power was a game of Russian roulette, and the players are running out.
      Good luck on your move Kashiko,I know the U.K. right now is better than Japan, but dont get stuck on that island if SHTF.

  • Styxhexenhammer666 Styxhexenhammer666

    Murphy's Law comes to mind when this issue is discussed.

  • Socrates

    This is a nuclear shell game where it is impossible to know where the pea is hidden. The sleigh of hand is accomplished by withholding crucial evidence…

    We know that one wrong move could set off a nuclear tinderbox, yet waiting involves the risk of earthquake and the action of groundwater and "cooling" water on the mudstone "bedrock."

    This "crisis" will continue in a chronic mode for the remainder of our lifetimes and that of our great-grandchildren, should they survive. This realization will eventually sink in – the future looks dim for the Pacific Ocean's ability to provide food.

    Einstein said that when the oceans could not provide food and oxygen exchange, and when bee populations collapsed, mankind's days sod be numbered. We have arrived at that day!

    The corporate state that we call democracy does not want us to see that the little frightened man behind the curtain has no clothes. Going underground will not escape the man-made holocaust; neither will data-gathering by the NSA protect anyone from radiation and fallout.

    Nuclear waste is more of a threat in the final analysis because few are actually crazy enough to end all life on purpose. Being killed by accident is the same thing in the end… You are just as dead.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    .. 🙂 We agree..

  • pjrsullivan

    Happened to notice this post. Here's an excerpt:
    "Nuclear waste is more of a threat in the final analysis because few are actually crazy enough to end all life on purpose. Being killed by accident is the same thing in the end… You are just as dead."

    For the last two years now I have been reporting that they are crazy enough to end all life on purpose. In fact, that was the plan from long before the invention of nuclear weapons.

    They have gotten their nuclear blast weapons taken away from them when they shot them at us. The only weapon of mass destruction left to them now is nuclear waste to poison us with. Are they not doing a splendid job of it?

    Here's some links that help explain it all:


  • Naha Johari

    TEPCO's amazing press conference claims, blogged by Iori Mochizuki:

    "According to Tepco, the maximum output of the spent fuel stored in reactor4 pool is only 1 kw, which can only work a hair dryer. They stated even if they drop a fuel out of the cask, it wouldn’t cause the further radioactive release."

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Arnie Gundersen shows why Tepco will fail if they attempt to transfer the fuel out of sfp4

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