Nuclear Engineer: Pyrophoric fire may have already occurred at Fukushima Unit 4 spent fuel pool — Explosion possibly due to rods not being covered with water (AUDIO)

Published: October 21st, 2013 at 6:33 pm ET


Title: Interview with Chris Harris
Source: Nutrimedical Report
Date: Oct. 17, 2013

At 23:00 in

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer: There’s a website I was looking at about, remember we talked a lot about the FOIAs, Freedom of Information Act responses, that were asked from the media and from the alternative media, back in the time frame of April of 2011, and see what was really going on, a lot of those were released. There’s a website named Hatrick Penry, I was looking at it this week, they just put out another blog, and I sent you a link to his website, what he did was he put a lot of those in order. Some of the things that we have done also, he had some good comments about it, I give credit where credit is due. And the pyrophoric fire on Unit 4 spent fuel pool, they may have actually had it. It’s not conclusive what was the cause of the explosion on Unit 4, it’s not conclusive where did the hydrogen come from, and would indicate that they did have uncovering of the fuel at one point. So there’s a lot of evidence in those FOIAs and it’s all strung together […]

At 31:30 in

Harris: That Hatrick Penry wordpress, like I said he did a pretty good job of stringing together a lot of the FOIA responses. There are a lot of emails back and forth, it actually shows how our Nuclear Regulatory Commission handled it. They were asking some good questions at the beginning, then somewhere along the way the communications broke down and they start to control information instead of letting it flow. And you can see how that played out and they didn’t really know what was going on. There was a lot of conjecture; there was a lot of information given out about Unit 4. That’s always been one of my biggest concerns, because that’s a lot of fresh fuel just sitting out in nowhere. That could have had a drained spent fuel pool, and we still didn’t know, so at that point — a pyrophoric fire, by the way to answer your question, put simply it’s a class D fire, a metal burning fire very difficult to extinguish… if you pour water on them they get hotter.

Full broadcast available here

Published: October 21st, 2013 at 6:33 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Gundersen: Pyrophoric fire if fuel rods in Unit 4 pool are not cooled — Potential contamination of entire northern hemisphere (VIDEO) May 21, 2012
  2. Gundersen: New data shows Fukushima exceeds Chernobyl… Plumes seen emanating from both the Unit 3 fuel pool & reactor — Nuke Engineer: Broken fuel rods are above all 3 melted down reactors — Gov’t Experts: Unit 3 explosion may have damaged spent fuel & released even more radioactive material (VIDEO) February 9, 2015
  3. 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
  4. Gov’t Experts: Fukushima fuel rods were melting 75 minutes after tsunami; Reactor core not covered with water 10 minutes after power blackout — Worker: Before explosion, Unit 1 “filled with what looked like steam or dust… a series of large bangs… noise never heard before” (VIDEO) August 16, 2014
  5. Gov’t Report: Criticality suspected to have occurred in Fukushima fuel pool — Nuclear chain reaction after massive explosion at Unit 3 compressed fuel together? Concerned about ‘substantial damage’ to fuel (VIDEO) July 4, 2014

110 comments to Nuclear Engineer: Pyrophoric fire may have already occurred at Fukushima Unit 4 spent fuel pool — Explosion possibly due to rods not being covered with water (AUDIO)

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "They were asking some good questions at the beginning, then somewhere along the way the communications broke down and they start to control information instead of letting it flow."

    That's when GE/.gov got involved.

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    I will tell you mr nuclear scientist so called experts. Hydrogen is produced from the zirconium hosing of the fuel rods being overheated from loss of coolant water. Period! When these fuel rods are exposed to air they overheat and ignite. When zirconium cladded rod housing burns it creates Hydrogen. Unvented hydrogen build up in contained areas create explosions, hence units 1 and 4. Unit 3 was not a hydrogen explosion. Unit 3 was a detonation. Fuel rods, core and its contents were spewed all over for miles upon detonation. Unit 3 has and had MOX plutonium laden fuel rods. Both fresh and spent. Kabloowey. Its all over the area on the ground, mostly covered up by bulldozers now, in the ocean and the aerosolized portion has circulated the northern hemisphere over a dozen times now. Next time, check with ENENEWS and get your facts straight before writing inaccurately. BOYCOTT TOKYO 2020!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mairs mairs

      Pieces of fuel falling into the ocean and becoming sources of radioactive contamination have NEVER been mentioned as a possibility by the press, and obviously if they've been found inland, they are also in the ocean. I can't believe how lazy the press is.

    • Sorry, beg to differ.

      the interaction of various types of ionizing radiation (α, β, and γ) with water produces molecular hydrogen. This reevaluation was further prompted by the current availability of large amounts of radiation sources contained in the fuel discharged from nuclear reactors. This spent fuel is usually stored in water pools, awaiting permanent disposal or reprocessing. The yield of hydrogen resulting from the irradiation of water with β and γ radiation is low (G-values = <1 molecule per 100 electronvolts of absorbed energy) but this is largely due to the rapid reassociation of the species arising during the initial radiolysis. If impurities are present or if physical conditions are created that prevent the establishment of a chemical equilibrium, the net production of hydrogen can be greatly enhanced.

      • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

        Mr Mark. You are obviously well versed and knowledgeable. What exactly are you saying. Unit 3 was not a detonation? or that the fuel rod fires did not create the hydrogen build up and explosions. What part of my dissertation do you disagree with?

      • Jebus Jebus

        Agreed Mark, Any electrolysis of H2O will output Hydrogen by default, as it catalyzes the oxygen from the water molecule.
        This is one of nature's primary molecular reactions.

    • Skip Intro Skip Intro

      I find Arnie Gundersen's theory on unit 3 most convincing. Basically the explosion occurred in the SFP, not the reactor. According to Arnie's analysis, a hydrogen explosion occurred, but this triggered compression of steam in the boiling SFP, which was able then to act as a moderator and lead to a criticality that caused the subsequent detonation(s). Since we have reports of fragments of fuel thrown some 30km, we know that the explosion had enough energy to throw stuff with an initial speed of >765m/s (2760km/h), much faster than the speed of sound.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        There were 2 explosions at unit 3, 24 hours apart. We've seen video of the first one. Where is the video of the 2nd explosion?

        Also in the video of the first explosion on Mar. 14, you can hear 3 separate explosions.

        It is convenient for the nuclear industry to say the reactor of unit 3 didn't explode, but it is entirely possible given the nuclear detonation on Mar. 14, with 3 separate explosions.

        Nuclear energy is extremely lethal under all circumstances, premeditated random murder [Dr. Gofman], and the possibility of 90 new reactors worldwide will only move up the time table of disasters every 10 years, to less time than that. Stripping money and life from the 99% is ghoulish and shameful, and is bringing about self destruction to the 1% .

        Shut down all nuclear reactors today. There are no atoms for peace, only toxic destruction and dirty bombs.

        • Skip Intro Skip Intro

          Good questions. Arnie seemed to think that the 3 detonations heard in the 3/14 blast were a series prompt criticalities in the unit 3 fuel pool. As bad as it would be for the plutonium cartel to admit the reactor blew, it seems like it would be even worse to admit that a typical SFP (or a MOX SFP) could cause a nuclear explosion. Of course all these theories suppose that unit 3 was just a normal BWR with MOX, rather than something else participating in covert weapons research.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Fear and Loathing on Fukushima Unit 4
    OPct 1 2013

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Oops..typo…Oct 1 2013..

  • weeman

    Why are there no pictures of the main events at unit four? More than one.
    What do you not want us to see, why does four have biggest blast radius.
    If no pictures exist, explain why, what interrupted the signals? EMP?

    • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

      Weeman good point. You can bet ur ass INEPTCO has some pictures we would like to see. I refuse to call them tepco anymore.

    • Arnie had youtube footage pulled for copyright reasons. This Hindu language footage is supposed to be unit four. I don't know myself can anybody confirm?

      • or-well

        Mark, wrong one. Doesn't matter. I already linked weeman to the one you mention, some time ago. It's really lousy quality video, but it IS video, allegedly of 4 blowing up. Who knows.
        Sometimes I say to myself who cares.
        We are not collectively moving ahead here, it seems.

        • Agreed. Fact there were explosions and a bunch of plutonium and other assorted radioactive particles dispersed into the air dusting Japan, the ocean and west coast. What more do you need to know? Oh yeah. All the experts predictably said no immediate danger. Radiation is bleeding into the Pacific and no doubt spreading through the air and they wont clean up the mess because they can't turn a profit that way so why waste the trillions needed. Other then that what more do you need to know? No need to be a nuclear scientist to understand this one. Classic human greed trumps need to lower cancer risk. End of story. Have a nice day.

      • so where is the #3 explosion if this is #4?

      • bsgcic bsgcic

        > "Arnie had youtube footage pulled for copyright reasons"

        My understanding is that the were not copyright issues or demands of that nature regarding the videos. Was there an article or other news stating that?

    • or-well

      weeman, what do you mean, biggest blast radius?
      Unit 3 was ripped apart to a far greater extent than Unit 4.
      As shitty as the vid I linked to you previously was, Unit 3's blast cloud was clearly bigger and darker colored.
      But so what.
      Let there be enough EMPs for all.
      It's all taking place on a backlot set of a Bollywood film studio anyway.

      • weeman

        The main goal is to stop nuclear power and to prove a nuclear detonation from SFP would be a nail in coffin.
        If you are diagnosed with cancer, don't you want to know what kind so you can address in a logical way, so what, come on you are more intelligent than that.
        Blast radius look at the high resolution photos, directly across from unit four is a switching station, check the damage, we have never seen photos of event, so how do we know.
        Thanks to all no malice intended, be well.

        • or-well

          weeman, I see more damage to structures adjacent to Unit 3 than I do to structures adjacent to Unit 4.

          The Common Spent Fuel Pool is partly opposite and offset, from Unit 4.

          Also note the damage to the building on the hill opposite Unit 1!

          Also interesting is the damage apparent on the backside of the building opposite Unit 3.

          How can WE tell what ground debris was deposited by the tsunami, what was direct blast damage from which blast, and what was damage caused by debris falling out of which blast cloud? We can't, and I doubt Tepco made any attempt at those determinations.

          As far as a nail in the coffin goes, the nuke industry will just say "circumstances unique to Fuku, can't happen here".
          We're not dealing with logic and reason. The whole nuclear power industry is much more like a cult built on a foundation of lies. The truth of the economics alone should be enough to kill it, even without the continuous string of radiological disasters that has occurred from the very beginning.

          The whole disaster is a bag of nails that should seal nuclear's coffin lid.

          • Japan Suffered 3 Mega Disasters, Now Suffering From 4th Mega Nuclear Disaster, USA Will Be Next; via @AGreenRoad

          • weeman

            Or well you were correct more damage unit three, got units mixed up sorry.
            As EMP I understand that no one can see a relationship with a nuclear detonation and a EMP, it was a long shot, it will not be brought up again.
            Be well.

            • or-well

              weeman, I WOULD expect an EMP pulse with a bomb-type explosion. If, in fact, there were "prompt un-moderated criticalities" there may also have been EMPs of lesser amplitude.
              I don't know enough about it to say.
              It does seem though, if there HAD been an EMP of sufficient strength to fry a camera at some distance,
              (which does not seem to have been the case)then it would have done damage to systems at the plant site beyond what did occur.

              • weeman

                Yes it would have a large radius, that would be the footprint that I am looking for?
                Just my imagination running away with me.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      This is a report. Hard to say which unit exploded in the video.


      “Japan is now in a state of panic as the nuclear threat continues to spread across Japan. The radiation levels have reportedly risen four-fold after a fresh explosion at nuclear reactor No4 at the Fukushima Nuclear plant. However, there is no confirmation on whether the nuclear reactor vessel has been damaged. “

      • We Not They Finally

        Every week, we're given new numbers to multiply last week's radiation by. So this week it's "4-fold." Seriously, it's immensely scary/crazy. And it's all a low-end guesstimate I would imagine.

  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

    Here are some Hi res pictures of Fuku Daiichi
    Once you view the pics, the true devastation becomes apparent, and you may wonder as I do what exactly the webcams are pointed at, because the place is crumbling.


      If you just look at the first of those pictures you will see that the explosion occurred BETWEEN reactors 3 and 4, not in either of the reactors. First, look at Reactor 4. See how the damage on the wall is pushed in towards the reactor?? and On reactor 3 the wall and roof are pushed in towards the center of that reactor?? The explosion took place OUTSIDE the reactors and it would have been on the roof of whatever that structure was between 3 and 4. It smells of deliberate terrorist sabotage.

      • Jebus Jebus

        That pile of dark is only the fallout of the #3 explosion.
        Take your ignorant crap elsewhere.
        Everyone knows that #3 reactor detonated.
        Whether #3 SFP was the fuse or not is irrelevant.
        #3 containment was breached by the core detonating.
        The nuclear industry would love for an outside influence to be true.
        Not even a good try there, RD8D.
        Maybe a refresher is what you need.

      • or-well

        RAY, your post smells of deliberate misinfo or idiocy.
        Ever bothered looking at "before" pics of the site?
        Oh frack it…people believe what they want…

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Aljazeera is saying that not only were there mox fuel rods in 3, but in 4 as well.

    • or-well

      Actually, Imad Khadduri does not mention mox fuel rods specifically.
      He refers to previously irradiated fuel as being a mix of uranium and plutonium which is true, it's what happens to used fuel.

      That said, can we say tepco didn't have mox in 4 before doing the shroud repairs? No, we can't.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    August 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm
    “It can be anticipated that lack of cooling water, fires, falling debris (from the explosions), salt water corrosion, and neglect have weakened a significant number of spent fuel assemblies in SFP1,3,&4. Some will be leakers, complicating CSFP and dry cask storage. Some may break during handling. A fuel assembly contains half a ton of fuel pellets. These are normally spaced apart in zircaloy tubes, allowing for cooling by water and steam. But in a "pile" on the floor of a SFP, the water turns into a reflector, and loses its ability to cool the pellets by removing the heat of fission. Melt-down and pooling of the molten pellets can be expected to occur during fuel removal. And many MOX, and perhaps PuBreeders, are in SFP3&4. This, in turn, seriously increases the heat in the pool, and demands on the pumps and cooling system components. The result will be a very slow fuel removal process. TEPCO should be developing strategies for cleaning up spilled fuel pellets. …”

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    August 15, 2013 at 9:36 am
    “Worst News: Unit 4 SFP contains a full load of MOX fuel, with much plutonium.
    “See the photo of SFP4, with the rack of MOX fuel on the lower left.
    “MOX fuel assemblies have a unique handle on top, different from uranium fuel visible in other racks.
    “TEPCO says:
    "’I got your billions of lethal doses of plutonium right here.’"

  • Jebus Jebus

    Here is another pile of steaming radioactive manure…

    IAEA team to Japan reports Fukushima findings


    The report…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Nuclear Regulation Authority: Fukushima Reactor No. 4 Suffered At Least 2 Major Explosions On 311
    “…On 8/30/2013, Nuclear Regulation Authority released their report about reactor4 investigation conducted from this July to August.
    “In this report, they concluded reactor4 experienced at least 2 strong explosions in 311.
    “According to their report, the ceiling and floor of S-W part of the 4th floor had a severe damage. Also, the floor of N-W part of the 3rd floor had a serious damage. The investigating team assumed there were 2 major explosion around these areas.
    “In addition to it, the 5th floor lost the walls on theS, E and W and the roof. There might have been another explosion there according to their report….”

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor No.4 Radiation Abnormally High, Government Asking US Military to Spray Water From Air
    March 15, 2011
    “From Asahi Shinbun (in Japanese, 3:02AM Japan Time, 3/16/2011):
    • “’Repair workers cannot enter the Reactor No.4, which had an explosion [now they are saying it was an explosion, not just fire] due to highly elevated radiation level.
    • “’There are two 8-meter square holes on the building's northwest wall. When TEPCO went inside the building to measure the radiation on the 4th floor, it measured 400 milli-sievert (400,000 micro-sievert).
    • “’The storage pool is located on the 5th floor, but they couldn't not proceed from the 4th floor as the radiation was too strong.
    • “’TEPCO confirmed that there was still water in the storage pool at noon (3/15/2011) through the hole on the side wall, but since then they haven't been able to confirm.
    • “’Not just inside the Reactor No.4 but also outside, they measured 100 milli-sievert radiation. TEPCO's emergency workers cannot work for more than 1 hour in that radiation level without endangering themselves.
    • “’The Japan's Self Defense Force is considering dropping water from the helicopter, though it is not clear how effective that would be. TEPCO announced on March 15 that it plans to ask the US military for assistance. If the US military agrees, the water dumping may start on March 16……

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    TEPCO Reports Explosion at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Did the Reactor 4 Fuel Pool Collapse?
    May 31, 2011
    How Reactor 4 at Fukushima I Nuke Plant "Exploded", According to TEPCO
    August 27, 2011
    “…Here's what TEPCO has put down in the plant status report (page 16). TEPCO does say "explosion" but that's decidedly not what was reported back then:
    • “’At approx. 6:00am, March 15, an explosive sound was heard and the damage in the 5th floor roof of Unit 4 reactor building was confirmed. At 9:38am, the fire near the northwest part of 4th floor of Unit 4 reactor building was confirmed. At approx. 11:00am, TEPCO employees confirmed that the fire was extinguished.
    • “’At approx. 5:45am on March 16, a TEPCO employee discovered a fire at the northwest corner of the reactor building. TEPCO immediately reported this incident to the fire department and the local government andn proceeded with the extinction of fire. At approx. 6:15am, TEPCO employee confirmed at the site that there were no sign of fire.’….”

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Racks of Nuke Fuel Rods Exposed to Air – Volatile Plutonium Escaping – Arnie Gundersen
    Uploaded by 58784677 on Apr 1, 2011

    Updates on Fukushima – 2nd update for 31-03-2011

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    “…On 15 March, an explosion damaged the fourth floor rooftop area of unit 4. Japan's nuclear safety agency NISA reported two large holes in a wall of the outer building of unit 4 after the explosion….”

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    They have MOX fuel stored in the Common Spent Fuel Pool. How can they possibly transfer damaged fuel rods from Unit #4 to the CSFP?
    Location Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6 Central Storage
    Reactor Fuel Assemblies 400 548 548 0 548 764 0
    Spent Fuel Assemblies 292 587 514 1331 946 876 6375[47]
    Fuel UO2 UO2 UO2/MOX UO2 UO2 UO2 UO2/MOX
    New Fuel Assemblies[48]
    100 28 52 204 48 64 N/A
    Book: Reactor No. 4 deformed in front of our eyes, says Fukushima worker — Walls morphed like special effects from movie — No large explosion, yet building destroyed
    April 16th, 2012

    • weeman

      Morphed strange word, maybe not a explosion but a implosion, may explain.
      Thanks Anne I will be studing post, thanks for the tireless work you perform.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Breaking: Spent fuel fire at reactor 4, hydrogen explosion & radiation release
    Mar. 14, 2011
    “The number 4 reactor was not operating at the time of the earthquake according to NHK. However, the loss of power that occurred when the tsunami wiped out the diesel generators caused the spent fuel pools to lose water circulation. Heat from the spent fuel would have eventually boiled off the water once circulation was lost. When spent fuel is uncovered it can heat up to such high temperatures that its zirconium alloy cladding catches fire. That appears to have taken place. Moreover these conditions apparently led to hydrogen generation which caused an explosion that destroyed the roof of the reactor 4 building.
    “Radiation levels of 400 milliseverts (reporting was previously in microseverts, one thousand times less) have been reported between reactors 3 and 4. The live NHK report stated that the hydrogen explosion and fire at reactor 4 may have been caused by burning of the zircalloy cladding of spent fuel rods in the damaged pool. Neutrons have been measured outside of the reactor indicating that water levels are low or the spent fuel has become uncovered. Neutrons are stopped rapidly by hydrogen in water, but will pass through heavier nuclei. Neutrons have a long path length in air.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    NRC March Email: “The walls of the Unit 4 spent fuel pool have collapsed, and there is no water in there”

    Spent Fuel Pool of reactor 4 Unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi 8 May 2011

  • MichaelV MichaelV

    CHECK this OUT…!

    The letter takes aim at Adinolfi, calling him a "sorcerer of the atomic industry" and criticising him for claiming in an interview that none of the deaths during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011 were due to nuclear incidents.

    "Adinolfi knows well that it is only a matter of time before a European Fukushima kills on our continent," the letter stated.

    • micky thered micky thered

      fukushima is going to bring out the worst in all of us before it's over. I 100% fundamentally disagree with violence and would never wish to condone it but…. it is the last resort of the people when faced with the violence from psychopaths hell bent on destroying us all. my sincerest best wishes for the future to all of you .

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      Ouch! This will necessarily get worse and these people need to just walk away from their Nuclear Industry careers…and they need to leave/exit now before anyone else gets hurt/injured by others.

      All these people are/have been playing within an uncontrollable growing nuclear approaching fire storm and many people will eventually get burned.

      Best they get out of harms way while they still can, as very large fire storm still approaches and still comith this way…

      • micky thered micky thered

        only the pen pushers and admin people need to walk away. the scientists and engineers must remain at their posts, who else will be able to safely shut these monsters down.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    July 18, 2013 at 9:11 am
    The source of Unit 3 explosion has been discussed endlessly on ENEnews. Hydrogen explosion? Steam explosion? SFP3 explosion? Explosion of unknown origin on one of the lower floors outside containment? One of the more interesting speculations comes from PattieB, which I'll repost:
    "February 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm
    "using the reactor to do ‘enrichment’ is why #3 had the criticality ‘EVENT’ that it had, different from #’s 1 & …
    #3 Had inner core of PU-239, ringed by moderation rods. (The long-ish rod segments that were to big/long to be urainium or even MOX rod segments… found all around plant & in remains of fuelpool of #3) around that ring was MOX rods, then more moderation, then lastly… the U-238 rod bundles. It is clear that it was doing erichment of P-239 back up to weapons grade specifications."…

  • razzz razzz

    U3's core already had a shroud replacement done and was loaded with MOX fuel so it is possible U4 had MOX fuel in its pool ready for loading into its core. On the 15th, U4 blew up during the dark of night so not much to see even if on cam, then a few different fires there afterwards. One doc says U3 blew a second time. When U2 blew, it cracked its foundation and was gushing radioactive water from a ducting passage into the harbor, all those events on the 15th. Wikipedia has a blow by blow.

    Arnie and others made their calls and pretty much got it right. Arnie already pointed out U4's pool video was plainly showing a low water level with racks exposed to open air and steam but he also pointed out U1 was fissioning off and on as seawater was added.

  • Mack Mack

    Just like the U.S. nuclear industry claims nuclear-energy is 20% of the U.S. energy mix (when only 8% of nuclear energy is consumed in the U.S.), is Japan doing the same thing —>

    " Nuclear Was One Quarter of Japan’s Power Supply, Not “One Third” "

    "One reason that the share of nuclear power has been inflated is due to calculations which fudge the math to show an exaggerated share for nuclear."

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      In the US nuclear supplies 20% of electricity, not of the whole amount of energy used by the US. Since solar with present technology can supply 300% of the whole world's entire energy needs, it is criminal to use nuclear energy.

      • Mack Mack

        Just FYI,

        The nuclear industry does not "supply" 20% of U.S. energy.

        It "supplies" 8% of U.S. energy.

        The nuclear industry will say we're "producing" 20% of energy (and not follow up with only 8% is consumed.)

        It's doublespeak and mixing words by the industry.

        How can someone supply 20% of anything if only 8% of it is used.

        If only 8% is used, then that's what they're supplying.

        And IF 20% were supplied, where is the other 12% going since only 8% is consumed?

        20% produced versus 8% consumed

        That means that almost 2.5 times of what nuclear "supplies" is wasted and unused.

        That means they produce 2.5 times the dangerous radioactive waste for making energy not used or "supplied."

        It would mean they are producing far higher than their demand.

        Overproducing versus consumption.


        "Another 8% comes from nuclear power plants."

        "Nuclear power provided about 8% of the energy used."

        Nuclear is 8% consumption

        Nuclear is 8% of U.S. Energy use

        • The "missing" 12% of generated electricity fed to the grid is consumed by the nukes themselves. It gets thrown to the grid so they can make the 20% claim, and it is the loss of this grid power that causes the need for 4 or 6 larger-than-locomotive emergency diesels to fire up just to keep the residual heat removal pumps going after scram, when the reactor is isolated.

          • weeman

            Excellent point, gold star for you.
            Probably if you shut down every second street light in America, you would safe eight per cent and no need for nuclear reactors, who walks the streets at night anyway,

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    UN Agency: Reactor 3 exploded a second time 24 hours later — Then wind and rain brought high levels of radiation over Tokyo, Sendai, Nagano

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Video of smoke rising from Fukushima nuclear reactor, images of damage.

    Smoke can be seen billowing from the north side of Unit :50..TEPCO is shown showing a huge hole in 4… in the same location.

    Video of smoke rising from Fukushima nuclear reactor, images of damage
    March 16 2011

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    PS..Check it frame by frame..

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Many comments and information here:
    3 recent studies report multiple fires at Fukushima Unit 4 — “Occurred in spent fuel cooling pool”

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Fukushima Reactor #4 Storage Room in Fire
    March 14 2011..

    At :56 sec..

    The Cabinet secretary elaborated.."Basically he said the fire was associated with the spent fuel storage areas.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Breaking: Spent fuel fire at reactor 4, hydrogen explosion & radiation release
    Mar 14, 2011 at 07:51 PM PDT

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Footage of explosion at Unit No. 4 said to exist (VIDEO)
    May 13th, 2012

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    October 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm
    JOHN MONAGER: Unit 1 and 2 is boiling
    8 down, and Unit 3 and 4 is having zirc/water reaction.
    9 They believe there is essentially no walls on Unit 3.
    10 The explosion — I'm sorry — Unit 4. The explosion
    11 leveled the walls, leveled the structure for the Unit
    12 4 spent-fuel pool all the way down to the approximate
    13 level of the bottom of the fuels. So, there's no
    14 water in there whatsoever.
    15 MALE PARTICIPANT: And no ability to
    16 retain water.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    October 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm
    How about when Tepco announced there was nothing left to burn in spent fuel pool 4:
    Gundersen v. Tepco: Watch audience uproar after official says “there’s nothing in the fuel pool to burn” (VIDEO)

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    October 16, 2013 at 11:30 pm
    There were likely other fires that occurred at spent fuel pool 4 between May 2011 and March 2012
    Here are some media reports from March 2011 on the status of the reactors

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    May 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm
    This is not new information
    We know from the NRC transcripts and reports in the news media that spent fuel pool #4 lost water and burned for at least awhile last March
    Furthermore, the IEAE reported it. [Please note that these links have since been taken down. How is that for transparency.]
    On the morning of Tue March 15, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a statement warning that the Japanese authorities had reported a fire in spent fuel pool #4.
    Here is a quote: "Japanese authorities also today informed the IAEA at 03:50 UTC that the spent fuel storage pond at the Unit 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was on fire and radioactivity was being released directly into the atmosphere." [end quote]
    At the time of these reports, dose rates of up to 400 millisievert per hour were reported at the site. Japanese authorities stated that the the fire in the pool was caused by a hydrogen explosion. (
    The fuel pool fire was reportedly extinguished later on March 15 (IAEA

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    May 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm
    However, Jim Riccio, a nuclear expert for Greenpeace, reported on March 16 to The Guardian that the spent fuel pool at unit 4 was still boiling: "The spent fuel pool in unit 4 is boiling, and once that starts you can't stop it… The threat is that if you boil off the water, the metal cladding on the fuel rods that is exposed to the air, and is volatile, will catch fire. That will propel the radiation even further"
    (cited in Goldenberg, 2011 3/16). Goldenberg, Suzanne. “Japan Nuclear Crisis: Fire in fuel pools 'would raise radiation exposure'. The guardian (2011, March 16):

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Testing of the new cranes at SFP4 is now complete. So here we go with the defueling of SFP4, scheduled to begin in November. TEPCO can hide these operations from site with their Unit4 cover, but they can't hide the increase in radiation that is likely to occur, as leakers break apart during handling.

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Cure for Fukushima Obsession:
      Have you been suffering from the endless pain of "Fukushima Obsession"? If so, a bit of Cosmic Womder may be just the thing to make you right.

      Visualise planet Earth, as a blue marble seen from the moon. Pull back, until you are seeing the Sun and inner planets as if from above. Pull back still further, until the 8 planets are visable, as they circle the Sun. Turn to the Galactic Center, for a view of the Milkey Way, noting the graceful curve of our particular Galactic Arm, as it sweeps out from the Galactic Center, to surround us with a thousand nearby stars. Turn again, as Hubble Space Telescope has done, until you are looking at one of the darkest areas in the vast sky. Look more deeply still, at the light from a thousand very distant galaxies. This light, from billions of stars, has taken millions of years to arrive here in the Milkey Way Galaxy.
      Now, take three long, slow breaths, as you contemplate this scene. Imagine being in an arm of one of those beautiful spiral galaxies, looking back at the dim smudge cast by the Milkey Way Galaxy.
      In the vastness of time and space, Fukushima doesn't even rise to the level of "inconsequential". 😉

      • 富岡_Blue_Heron Blue_Heron

        And as you, from your (imaginary) current time/space, gaze back upon… What, no Earth? No Milky Way? It was all just a *probabiliy*? I don't even really EXIST? Oh well, Fuku never happened…

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose… I hope the opposition doesn't pick up the wordage.
      Fukushima Obsession..oh..geeze…

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        What I'd like the see here.. is some clear definition between what some of us consider the true state of Unit 4..before we receive the script from TEPCO..and the cheerleaders(approved opposition) arrive to lead us down..the black dust covered road…waiting in suspense..for that which can not be done.

        • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

          PS..Some of us have an enlarged sense of time and space due to scientific training..and in the all and all.. isn't much..the screwing up of a little blue planet… out in the edges of the galaxy.

          But I'm afraid that there are say..the mothers in Fukushima..who don't/won't find it so "inconsequential'.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Just a curios note..
    Photo 15…a view of reactor 4 from 2002.
    How tidy…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    correction..the SFP of Unit 4..

  • jump-ball jump-ball

    OT, but earthquakes over mag 5 have to further weaken building 4, and if this recent one is a 'foreshock' in a sequence, I might order some more protection gear:

  • timex

    About unit 4, can someone explain where are the fuel rods in it ,and are they in top floor ?

    Becouse, i was just thinking the very shaky situation where earthquakes come and go very often there and was thinking could it be possible to do speacial operation to actually lift off the upper part of the building and transfer it to out of the coast to safer place ?

    Anyone have watch on TV those incredible moving operations, like huge bridges etc ? they do massive very hard and difficult moving operations ,and there are several companys out there in the world that are specialized to do those, i dont think the companys would risk their personel lifes by going there, but if they could give instructions via different communication devises and the Japanise would then do the actual job ? i dont trust Tepco thought so, dont know is there alternative for them…

    Just a thought….Unit 4 seem to be a timebomb..

    • razzz razzz

      Nice idea but it is probably not practical with the load being highly radioactive. One mistake would release the poisons, making the entire site unworkable and there is 6 fuel pools in the air to unload not counting the common fuel pool at ground level. In desperation, anything is possible. Yes, the fuel pool is now the top floor after they removed the damaged upper part of the building but now the new structure built to remove the fuel overhangs the Unit 4 building.

      It has been shown that the individual fuel rods themselves become brittle after being subjected to high heat out of water. But the individual fuel rods are contained in a square assembly (about 63 fuels rod per assembly in this case) and it is the assembly that is hooked onto and removed. Hard to tell what condition they are all in after being scorched. They did remove 2? unspent assemblies for inspection with a crane cable, that seemed to go well but on the other hand there might be some spent assemblies that burnt up and release their pellets that are laying on the bottom of the pool or might split open when disturbed with this new removal operation.

  • ftlt

    Sorry, but, can they not just look into the pool and tell if the rods had caught fire???

    It would seem to me they could – as most fires leave a visual reminder of the event…

    I'm not a nuclear scientist though… I guess, you have to be one to tell to look into an open clear water pool to see the evidence of a past fire in there…

  • Shaker1

    Long a lurker, and while wary of registering to sites, I really think that I've something to offer here, and it might be advantageous to some that I do. This post is one in particular.

    I have worked with Zirconium as a metal worker, basically in the chemical process industry, but actually the application is similar and one gathers insight into the nature of materials that seem to elude even those who read about it at places like Wikipedia. One should check sources there…

    Zirconium has been used for years not only in the nuclear industry, but in the electronics industry. Those little glowing things that one sees in a vacuum tube may be zirconium, or its close relative, hafnium, or a combination of both. The reason for it, and the reason they glow, is that they are 'getters', at elevated temperatures they are very efficient at scavaging oxygen that leaks in and help retain the vacuum, as well as keep oxygen from degrading other materials in the tube. Material oxides have different electrical properties and could compromise performance.

    Anyways, I've welded, formed, machined, even worked with tubes that were intended as fuel cladding. I've started (inadvertantly, and purposely to show the uninitiated) zirconium fires.

    Seems I'm running out of space, and will continue comment, because it's important that the source of hydrogen is understood.

  • Shaker1

    'Burning' is the common term that refers to heated oxidation. One should understand that almost all materials are subject to burning if the energy input is great enough and sustained enough. Steel burns (That's how torch cutting works, not melting the metal and blowing it out with the oxygen, but heating it to its reaction point and the 'blowing' is actually supplying enough oxygen. It 'explodes' out of the cut, if done properly.) and if one can accept that steel burns, one realizes that at the temperatures seen in the RPV without the water there will be some hydrogen generation. Kind of oxidation in steel is just not robust enough to continue to do so on its own as is zirconium (and other materials, say, the coating of simple matches).

    While the zirconium reaction is self-sustaining if enough of it is present even in open air, one should realize that uranium also burns (look at the process of DU weapons for an example). Those tubes are only on the order of .032 wall thickness, if I'm not mistaken, and the mass is orders less than the materials filling it. One also has to remember that zirconium is used as cladding because it is basically invisible to neutron flow. For the nuclear reaction, it isn't there, which is it's beauty, as well as it's ability to develop a fairly dense and chemically inert oxide film at low temperatures, thus limiting what might be it's chemical contribution to the feedwater.

  • Shaker1

    So, all I'm trying to say is that the generation of the quantities of hydrogen present, especially as the negative airflow to the building was obviously interrupted with power loss (they aren't air-tight) is even beyond that which zirconium or radioactive hydrolysis might contribute, in my mind. I haven't done any volume calculations for the quantity of zirconium, so you can't take my opinion without question. (That actually would be fairly easy, knowing the quatities of the rods, their length and diameter, but I thought it was a moot exercise after the explosions.) If the explosions were contained in the RPVs, I would suspect zirconium as the main culprit, as they are closed vessels and of limited volume. But the buildings? I've looked at some of the outputs of models such as Melcor, and I do wonder about them, informed as they are, concerning this.

    That said, you can bet that I've been really, really concerned about what's going to happen with the spent fuel pools.