Nuclear Engineer: Fuel assembly damaged at Fukushima Unit 4 — It’s bent in shape of banana — Unknown if pellets poured into pool during removal — Tepco stopped English translations (AUDIO)

Published: December 19th, 2013 at 8:00 pm ET


Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer, Nutrimedical Report, Dec. 19, 2013 (at 28:15 in): 88 fuel assemblies removed, of them 22 are the new ones that have not been irradiated yet, 66 spent fuel ones — and today a damaged fuel assembly was discovered and pulled out. I sent you a Tepco announcement, and it’s in Japanese […] they’re also not putting out any English translations of it, they stopped doing that. […] It describes not a straight-as-an-arrow fuel assembly as normally you’d see, but it describes one that’s banana-shaped. They did pull it out and took that risk, pulled it out – I don’t know if it’s been pouring pellets in the bottom or not – I suspect they got it out, but you can see its bent. They showed you a description of what it looks like. They didn’t show actual footage of it yet. And now we’re getting into some of the more difficult, the more nitty gritty stuff, where you can start having an effect like we’ve already described previously on your program. Getting the low lying fruit, we’re probably coming close to the end of it.

Full interview available here at 28:15 in (right-click and ‘save as’)

Published: December 19th, 2013 at 8:00 pm ET


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52 comments to Nuclear Engineer: Fuel assembly damaged at Fukushima Unit 4 — It’s bent in shape of banana — Unknown if pellets poured into pool during removal — Tepco stopped English translations (AUDIO)

  • Styxhexenhammer666 Styxhexenhammer666

    I'm sure there are also cucumber, zucchini, and phallus shaped assemblies too.

    It's only a matter of time before one or more leak pellets everywhere, making the area uninhabitably radioactive.

    • Where are those darn radioactive bananas.. Sun God RA is hungry. Many must be sacrificed to appease the Sun God RA and his consort Diation.


      @Styxhexenhammer666: spilling the contents of a rod into the bottom of the pool, does not mean the randomly placed pellets will go critical. It's likely previous damage to the containment pool has already resulted in ruptured fuel rods. The biggest problem if this has (or does) occurred, will be in the periodic removal of these scattered pellets as they continue the fuel rod removal process.

      Worse case predictions will possibly occur, if the rod assemblies and support scaffolding are further warped and mushed into one-another. The rods that contact each other will superheat and eventually induce a meltdown of the adjacent assemblies and support scaffolding. At that point, your worst fears are likely to be realized…

      • Without video or pictures, who knows WHAT they are pulling out of there? It could be rabbits, rats or bananas for all we know.

        Maybe they are pulling out empty fuel assemblies with NO RODS left inside of them…

  • Ontological Ontological

    Well now that nasty ugly banana they have said this radiation was from has finally been found. (extreme sarcasm) TEPCO has openly admitted to international crimes many times now. HOW THE HELL MUCH LONGER ARE WE GONNA JUST SIT HERE ON OUR HANDS!? We are acting like school children at a play. Most of us out there don't even have a clue as to when to clap cuz there is no illuminated applause sign I guess. Were too stupid as a race to know the show is over however. What a tank of Oscar fish we have become. And now all the goldfish in the feeder tank are dead/poisoned, and the Human feeding us has a bad case of cancer, and is in the hospital having surgery, and probably won't live much longer.


      @Ontological: love that "…school children at a play." thing. Wonderful prose…but be gentle…brutal truth is hard on some…

    • We Not They Finally

      Ontological, you've been through a lot health-wise, so over-the-top cynicism is easier to take hold. I relate. But maybe we have to stand together and support each other more to at least make the medical trials a little more bearable and keep the love-side of our humanity open. Us, we just had a friend diagnosed with either TWO separate simultaneous cancers, or it metastasized before it was even discovered.

      It's a frightening new world out there. But yes, it would definitely help if people were crying out. In some more ordinary situation of being attacked directly with weapons, we could cry out directly to the attackers. Here we cry out to the air, to the sea, to the soil, as they are suddenly less nurturing and we have no access to perpetrators thousands of miles away.

      Never thought I'd see this in my lifetime. Am way past "It's not America anymore." It's not the world anymore.

    • Darn, we missed ANOTHER illuminated applause sign…

      Will someone please tell us the next time one lights up?

  • KidIcarus KidIcarus


    Any Arrested Development fans here?


  • thatmonk thatmonk

    Bananas? I guess they really are "monkeying" around over there!

    What else can you do but humor when your planet has incurable cancer??

  • Starbird Starbird

    The fire and explosion on 3/15 that destroyed the north end of Reactor 4 worries me more than the sfp. Photos in this report show what looks like corium pouring out of the wall from the remains of the equipment pool.

    • What do you think took out that corner of the building? Could the spent fuel pool releasing hydrogen, which then exploded, have done that?

      • Starbird Starbird

        The explosion in the North end of R4 wasn't hydrogen. The FOIA docs say it occurred after a 9 hour fire! This explosion was caused by hot fuel stored in the shallow equipment pool. That fuel later poured out of the north wall of R4 as lava and be seen in the photos in this report.

        • Thanks… wow… oh wow…

          The deeper into the rabbit holes we go, the deeper the doo doo…

          • Starbird Starbird

            You bet it does! I'm glad the penny FINALLY dropped! Folks, this whole spent fuel bullshit is a diversion! MASSIVE COVERUP… Tepco's 'hydrogen explosion' at R4 was a fuel explosion from hot(probably mox) fuel stored in the EQUIPMENT POOL. This exploded after burning for 9 hours and thanks to a NE wind, blew fallout over Japan southwest of the site. THEY KNOW THIS… THEY ARE COVERING IT UP…

            • ManWithThePlan ManWithThePlan

              It would be nice if more Japanese were posting their radiation monitoring online.

              My own fantasy is to send an army of small drones with radiation-monitoring equipment to Fukushima and the surrounding prefectures to test the site. Drones should be small enough to be largely ignored by radar, and by the human eye (high altitude+relatively small construction). It would, of course, be more beneficial if people inside Japan were doing this, as the range of these things is still somewhat problematic, and you get best results within a 1-2Km radius as I understand.

            • ManWithThePlan ManWithThePlan

              Just had a look at the site; the info is nice and detailed; well set-out too. There seems to be information from a variety of sources – makes for captivating reading to say the least…

        • How does a fire then cause an explosion?

          Experts claim that a melted down, on fire fuel pool cannot explode…

          • Angela_R

            If I recall correctly, I think that there is plutonium in MOX fuel

          • Starbird Starbird

            Hatrick Penry's FOIA docs outline the events on 3/15. NRC officials said the fire was a "seminal event" All this confusion about what pool caught fire is because the docs mislabelled the equipment pool as the sfp. Look at the drawings at the bottom of this report the highlighted pool is the shallow equipment pool with its bottom level with the top of the reactor. The sfp is much deeper, and not shown in the drawing. This is why Penry got confused. The Docs are right – there was a fire, but it was in the north end of the building not the sfp.

            • Starbird Starbird

              The timeline for 3/15:
              R4 catches fire at 06:20
              Explosion at R4 at 11:20
              Fire put out at 16:44
              Mass rads evac at 18:01
              Workers had to leave because the corium pouring out the right side of the building forced everyone away from R4

            • Starbird Starbird

              Correction: Explosion occurred 5 hours after fire started at R4 not 9 as previously stated.
              Also – it's kind of ironic that the photo Penry posted in this report actually shows the corium flowing from the North end of R4!!!
              (also notice the wind carrying the black smoke back over Japan)

  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Drity Harry is my man or John Wayne, no screwing around no matter their status, the higher up they are the smaller they really are when it comes down to who knew what & why they refused to put a million man army into the beast to try to stop it! But they did not & now what may come is what we would have never dreamed of in our life time or our grabd kids life times! ELE & no way to stop it!

  • dosdos dosdos

    You can't fool me. Come on, we all know bananas contain P40. Doesn't matter if they're six inches or fifteen feet long. Bananas are bananas. P40 is P40. To think that bananas contain uranium and plutonium is simply bananas.

  • name999 name999

    p-40…is that Potassium? Bananas??? Time to relax and have some fun…but what is p-40?

    • dosdos dosdos

      P40 was used to describe potassium 40, the primary isotope in nature. (Actually, it should be noted as K40 to match the periodic table. But P40 was used as emphasis, part of the humor.)

      Anywhere you have potassium, you're going to have isotopes. Bananas are rich in potassium and are recommended by many doctors. There is also potassium chloride, the salt substitute for those with sodium health issues, like edema, congestive heart failure, etc. These sources are fairly radioactive, but potassium goes into the body and comes right back out. It's radiation is weak and not that harmful compared to fission products that are more powerful in decay and retentive in the body.

      Yet many will hold up the modest banana as being as dangerous as radiation from nuclear plants. I classify them as members of The Church of the Holy Banana. Bananas, air plane rides, xrays and CAT scans, are a few of their their holy relics.

  • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

    I guess the deniers were right: You really do get more radiation from a banana.

    • Invest in bananas, it will be the next renewable fuel for nuclear reactors.. lots and lots of 'free' radiation, enough to power nuclear reactors for millions of years… 🙂

  • Nick

    Fission for dreams

    that become

    eternal nightmares.

  • TEPCO has gone fission.. no one knows when they will be back..

    • Most people when they go fission, they will tell whoppers aabout how BIG the fission was.. but not the nuclear industry. They do the opposite.

      When they come back from fission, they will always tell a whopper of a story about how puny, how small and how insignificant their fission was..

  • Maybe there is a lot of 'shrinkage' when it comes to all things nuclear and male bananas…Maybe it is getting colder out there for the nuclear industry..

    Nuclear Energy Use In USA Only 8% And Dropping – Renewable Energy Use at 9% And Rising; via @AGreenRoad

  • Shaker1

    The obvious thing here is that sometime, somehow, whatever one believes about the SFPs or the condition of the whatever rods and debris from the rods is onsite, it has to be moved to a less exposed place. Even, and maybe especially, the damaged ones. Japan should actually be dismantling the common SFP, too, and confronting that problem also.

    I honestly think that criticism of pulling the new rods first is irresponsible. One might find it personally soothing, but it accomplishes nothing. Ever run a large project? One begins with the simple and moves to the more complex. The learning process of the simple facilitates success of the complex. The greatest ideas begin simply, and usually as visualizations, usually intuitive analogue and metaphor.

    Again, I think that site should look like an ant hill that a starling has attacked. While I personally feel that Japan is missing a great opportunity here, economically as well as spiritually, just about anything they do that confronts the problems I will support. Get on with it.

  • Angela_R

    was anything left intact; how many explosions were there; see photo (March 2011) of damage.

    • Angela_R

      and the fuel pool with the rods in it was on the roof of Unit 4!

      From the photo, can anyone see them?

      • Starbird Starbird

        Thanks Angela, I'm seeing those photos with new eyes – the corium pouring out of the north end of R4 is easily visible and when looking closely at R3, you can see that the greatest damage was,,, over the equipment pool area not the reactor!
        The Reactor and the sfp are still steaming, meaning they still have water in them. The massive explosion in R3 would not have left any water to steam…

    • ManWithThePlan ManWithThePlan

      Thank you for the photos!! This is the first time I'm seeing the full extent of the damage (with drone footage to boot). Especially the image with the four reactors side by side – this really opened my eyes. Until now, I've had to rely on descriptions and cropped photos showing abstract piping.

      Damn, unit 3 looks absolutely fuked!

      Where's Fukuppy when you need him?

    • jec jec

      Look at all the firefighters and trucks there pumping water on the reactors in those photographs. Anyone know what happened to those valiant volunteers? Am sure they are not living now…but no word from Japan on any illnesses..Just Saying.

  • Angela_R

    Starbird, I'm about to post them on the latest enenews sites.

  • Starbird Starbird

    This story in the LA times from 4/6/11 quoted an NRC report that says pellets scattered BETWEEN BUILDINGS from explosion in R4 sfp. The sfp is on the south end of the bld – there is no way pellets from the sfp could be between blds. Again this is mislabelling the equipment pool as the sfp. Only the equipment pool on the north end could have exploded and deposited pellets between buildings R4 and R3. They then bulldozed these pellets DIRECTLY INTO THE GROUND.This must be the source of the incredible radiation found in the wells.

    "The report also suggests that a fourth explosion at the site in the early days after the quake may have occurred in the spent fuel pool at reactor No. 4 and may have scattered some pieces of uranium pellets around the site between the buildings. Workers may have bulldozed dirt over the radioactive pieces in an attempt to contain the radiation, the report said.",0,6240900.story

    • jec jec

      If the 'wells' were open holes in the ground..what do you want to bet the debris was bulldozed into it? Just a thought. Or ioto those trenches heading to the ocean….

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Those tractors and bulldozers will be "for sale" on the open market soon..

    • ftlt

      The place is a "no go zone" for the rest of human time..

      It is only a question of how big it -the no go zone – will eventually become now… Most of Northern Japan to include Tokyo???

  • jec jec

    Monday, December 23rd, 2013 the next report on the fuel rod removal from TEPCO at:

    Some "lovely" video there,but the orange cables/hoses dont match the ones seen in early Reactor 4 footage. So happy Mr. Lake Barrett will be responsible if anyone needs to take legal action regards this fuel removal process….hes clearly IDed in the videos!! By name.