Nuclear Expert: Molten fuel may have flowed through cracks in foundations of Fukushima reactor buildings — No one’s been able to go under there and take samples

Published: September 11th, 2013 at 5:51 pm ET


Title: Fukushima: 300 tons of extremely contaminated water leaking into sea every day
Source: Voice of Russia
Date: Sept. 6, 2013

Arjun Makhijani, an electrical and nuclear engineer and President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research: […] The main problem, I think, is that ground water is contacting the molten fuel and becoming extremely contaminated, rain water also. And they don’t have enough treatment capacities which is why all these tanks have highly contaminated water. […]

The fuel is molten and the bottom of the reactor building is undoubtedly damaged. So that’s why the ground water flowing past the trenches and pipes and past the basement of the reactor building is getting into the reactor building where the molten fuel is. It may also be that the molten fuel is in the cracks of the foundation. We don’t have a very clear picture yet but of course no one has been able to go under the foundation and take samples. […]

More from Makhijani: [intlink id=”radio-fukushima-disaster-shockingly-not-stopping-even-the-emergency-is-not-over-much-more-radioactive-water-could-wind-up-in-the-oceans-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: September 11th, 2013 at 5:51 pm ET


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27 comments to Nuclear Expert: Molten fuel may have flowed through cracks in foundations of Fukushima reactor buildings — No one’s been able to go under there and take samples

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    As I'm sure many here will be thinking, or will, say, "No kidding? Seriously?"

  • Anthony Anthony

    99% of the headlines read **Expert** and **may have**.

    Expert of WHAT then?

    Here is my two cents, experts:

    **Experts may have killed and harmed countless people and animals.**

  • Anthony Anthony

    75% of the headlines read **Expert** and **may have**.

    Expert of WHAT then?

    Here is my two cents, experts:

    **Experts may have killed and harmed countless people and animals.**

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "Leaks" of water have become "cracks" in the foundation. Of course, the groundwater is really a river flowing under the plant, and the "crack" measures 6 meters in diameter.
    "…ground water is contacting the molten fuel and becoming extremely contaminated."
    The important admission here is that the molten fuel that is contaminating the groundwater is doing so under the plant buildings, in the ground. 😉

    • or-well

      It's not an admission. He's not in a position to admit anything.
      It's his opinion, speculation, contention.
      "The main problem, I think…'
      And he may very well be right and I'd sooner hear what he has to say than any TepKill Klown.
      But until Newspeak is fully implemented, words still have some meaning.
      Sorry PUN, this isn't really directed at you. I'm just fed up
      1. with inaccuracy
      2. things being repeated as if they were fact when they're opinion and theory and speculation.

      • We Not They Finally

        On the other hand, or-well, since the radiation levels have spiked thousands of times exponentially, and no one CAN go to the site and check, I'll take all the speculations I can get.

        I think that people with scientific expertise SHOULD be speculating about this, loudly and publicly. The pressure is needed! If there are five different possible explanations, I actually do want to know what they all are! Why are you "fed up" with that? Why aren't you encouraging it?

        • or-well

          WNTF, please don't put words in my mouth. That's not what I'm fed up with. Re-read my post.

          "I think that people with scientific expertise SHOULD be speculating about this, loudly and publicly."

          I agree completely. Too bad we mostly get to hear Nukists speculating on how safe it is, and presenting their speculations as fact.

          I repeat – words still have meaning. I see Orwellian reversal of word meaning going on in media more and more. I see people here repeating speculation as if it were fact.

          Just because some opinion or speculation agrees with one's own doesn't make it fact.

          Nukeworld is full of jargon. That's one of it's shields. BUT, that jargon has specific meanings. In many cases, communicating info accurately means using that jargon, unfortunately. It makes for a steep learning curve for everyone else.

          No one here knows where the coriums are. Arjun Makhijani doesn't know where the coriums are, so he can't "admit" they are anywhere. Read HIS words. He qualifies his remarks.

          One of the problems is interviews where words spoken in the flow of normal speech may lack the precision that the speaker would use in a written comment.

          There are enough facts about nuclear to kill it. We don't need opinion and speculation for that. The coriums could be exactly where TepKills models say they are and it wouldn't change that. There's enough known about Tepco to show they are unfit to manage this.

  • Any 'EXPERT' that does not DEMAND that Tepco share findings from ground penetrating radar is full of s#1t…you can not tell me they haven't done this. WHY IS NO ONE ASKING FOR IT?

    I can RENT ONE online. See limk I posted above. The LA SINKHOLE just had it done and they were able to view over 1000 ft down. Have a look:

    • We Not They Finally

      Excellent point. Don't know what it takes to get hold of that data. Or, for that matter, if severe radiation interferes with that process. (Don't know.)

  • nulearni these experts do not know each brand to save nuclear disaster. .. They are not experts, they said that everything is safe from failure. Now you should lose your expert status .. Is it really their knowledge is so small that they can not see what's underneath the reactor? Surely Excavation methods are now mechanical, used under roads around the world … Only Fukushima Shimi drilling horizontal tunnel testing than "Expert" imagination .. Really these experts have already moved away from Fukushima, because it's what they do and say is the horror of losers. Cases should take over hydrologists, geologists and other specialists. Atomic experts have already shown what they do..
    Their helplessness paralyzes me.


    Molten reactor fuel is not going to run along the ground for any great distance. It is simply so heavy and hot that it will quickly burn its way down. The cores of these reactors have to be at least 30 feet down by now and if they have penetrated (water) saturated soil their rate of descent will quicken. And it will emit large amounts of steam. You will notice steam coming from the reactors in lots of pictures but no one ever really mentions it or questions if it comes from the corium penetrating the groundwater.

  • nedlifromvermont

    yes, Feliks, that's about right … with the fascinating syntax and all … you are on the nulearni curve!! How are you liking this little science experiment , about now? Oh yeah, zero liability for accidental system failure accrues to reactor vendor GE!! Zing! Great gig, No? Who was the brainiac behind that "necessity"? Price-Anderson is n UNHOLY FRAUD!!! Sorry for the religious thingy … off-topic again!!!

    Nedli! Pipe Down!!

    Peace folks …

  • American Phoenix57

    I wish somebody would make a better version of this little number.

    "Dammit Jim I'm a Braniac not an artist".

  • American Phoenix57

    Brainiac* for the grammar nazis.

  • zardoz2012 zardoz2012

    The extent of the damage done will all be theory and speculation until people start dropping dead in the thousands and monsters are born.

    • We Not They Finally

      Well, "monsters" have been born in Fallujah, Iraq for some time now, just from the depleted uranium in U.S. weapons. And Helen Caldicott (who is obviously not just an anti-nuclear activist, but also a pediatrician) says there is 80% chance of birth defects there now. But who pays attention to the poor people of Fallujah?

      But regrettably, you are probably right. Right here all over America would be more difficult to cover up! We are likely in for a very rough ride.

      Also, go read the Hopis' "Red Road Prophecies." It is obviously about a radiation-ruined world with deformed children and suicidally-desperate people. Also "confusion between the sexes," which may relate to genetic damage, not social issues per se.

      The hope it offers is that some may know "secrets of the codes in the blood" (DNA) But that's also mixed in with "our brothers from the stars," so it is unclear where physical and metaphysical meet. Honestly, help from anywhere will be welcome!

  • SusanS

    ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢
    ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢

    We need a worldwide consortium made up of experts in the field to start brainstorming solutions to what is happening in Fukushima and what can be done to FIX it. We need them NOW. Each country will also need to commit funds to this effort, since it is and will continue to affect the entire planet. The consequences could be the extinction of all life on earth. It is past time to do this. Japan is calling for help and they can not handle it alone.

    ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢

    • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

      "Japan is calling for help"

      Yeah, that. They sorta changed their mind and instead decided to pass a law that says no one can talk about "state secrets" such as Fukushima, or even investigate them. A massive cover-up is not exactly, "calling for help", you know?

  • Sickputer

    My theory is that simple physics mixed with geology explains a lot for this EOJ (End of Japan) event.

    The ingredients: Mix floating foundations for 6 nuclear reactors sitting on mudstone subsurface and stir in a 9.0 earthquake that moved the eastern coast of Japan in some areas 8 feet horizontally and two feet vertically.

    Result? Broken main reactor building foundations, cracked fuel ponds and reactor vessels, and crushed switching conduits and cooling piping from the adjacent turbine buildings which are essential for fuel cooling.

    Since the earthquake-resistant floating pad concrete foundations were separate for both buildings it made for quite a racket as adjacent buildings at Units 1-4 crushed connections between the turbine building and the reactor building. I guess they didn't even consider to build both buildings on the same pad.

    The same Braniac nuclear plant architects also cut down the island cliff 15 feet making itt easy to unload plutonium MOX fuel from French ships also succeeded in making it a lead pipe cinch for a tsunami to wipe out the unprotected EDGs (Emergency Diesel Generators).

    And the last piece of the puzzle…geology. Why did they build on a mudstone/sandstone subsurface that was fissure-ridden with water aquifers instead of solid granite like most nuclear reactor complexes?

    Chalk it up to arrogance and greed. The result is everyone in the world is at risk from the poison unleashed for a million years at Fukushima Daiichi.

  • nedlifromvermont

    Hey Sickputer!!! Check your geology text book … don't think you'll find solid granite anywhere within 1,000 miles of Turkey Point, Homestead, South Florida … bedrock is non-existent down there … it's all sand and old coral formation for many hundreds of feet down … and Vermont Yankee is in the Connecticut River floodplain … there is igneous and metamorphic bedrock nearby, but the plant itself sits on clays and silts, with no obvious bedrock outcrops nearby … so solid granite bedrock does not underlie many, if not most, of the world's reactors … Cooper Nuclear and Fort Calhoun are built on river sediments … pound a pole in, we're good!!!

  • ftlt

    I thought it was the common thinking that runaway corium blobs eat their way through concrete… It does need to rely on cracks… Concrete only slows it down.. Concrete is not a permanent barrier … A 6" a day rate was quoted on here in the first weeks of this tragedy… Was this bogus???

    Strange what folks keep coming forward with to get into the media…