Nuclear Expert: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 likely to shatter or collapse onto its side in a M7.0 quake (AUDIO)

Published: April 11th, 2012 at 9:38 am ET


Title: Interview with Arnie Gundersen
Source: The Radio Ecoshock Show
Date: April 10, 2012

At 15:40 in

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates: In a severe earthquake M7.0 or better, it’s likely to break. Whether break means collapse and lay on its side like the leaning tower of Pisa, or the pool itself just shatters I don’t know […]

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  • [intlink id=”breaking-mainichi-expert-sr-writer-govt-sources-say-no-4-pool-a-grave-concern-storage-pool-barely-intact-we-have-no-time-to-humor-senseless-thinking-of-those-who-downplay-the-risks” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”important-video-year-asahi-tv-unbelievable-unit-4-pool-crack-leaks-during-quake-be-tokyo-japan-expert-doesnt-be-large-quake-already-shaken-many-times-serious-problem” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”watch-former-ambassador-warns-japan-diet-about-spent-fuel-pool-4-videos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”gundersen-3-fuel-pool-worse-4-mechanically-rubble-pool-rubble-gotten-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
Published: April 11th, 2012 at 9:38 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Tepco on risk at Unit No. 4: Spent Fuel Pool can withstand up to a lower-6 intensity quake without collapsing May 11, 2012
  2. Nuclear Expert: Fuel rods in Fukushima Unit 4 “may not be in their original position” — Concern over “way the spent fuel is sitting in pool” (AUDIO) November 1, 2013
  3. Fukushima author: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 boiled after powerful New Year’s quake, says plant worker January 8, 2012
  4. Tepco prepares to film Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — “You can vaguely discern the fuel rods” says worker February 10, 2012
  5. Gundersen: Major problem inside pool at Fukushima Unit 3 — Pieces of nuclear fuel rods were blown out during criticality explosion — Building could ‘shatter’ if another big quake hits (VIDEO) October 5, 2013

72 comments to Nuclear Expert: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 likely to shatter or collapse onto its side in a M7.0 quake (AUDIO)

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Fukushima Reactor 4; Life Extinction Event If It Collapses; via A Green Road Blog

    12 reasons why all nuclear power plants must be shut down; via A Green Road Blog

    Super Solar Storm To Hit Earth In 2013 'Carrington Effect'; Year Long Power Outage? via A Green Road Blog

    • DannieJ DannieJ

      Hey friend.

      I enjoy your blog, and you brought the solar flare problem to my attention.

      Thanks for that.

      • StillJill StillJill

        That's nice! Yes, AGreenRoad is waking up a lot of precious souls!

        • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

          Everyone is important.. Keep shining your lights.

          Everyone posting here and anywhere else deserves a lot of credit and kudos.

          Knowledge is the beginning of intelligence, which hopefully but not always leads to wisdom.

          We are a young civilization and have much to learn.

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          True – if Fuku was all over MSM like AGR's blog over this board, the whole world would've woken up by now!

          ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Jebus Jebus

            We are in a fight for our lives, our childrens lives and our grandchildrens lives! This is war…
            So, when you are locked up with your enemy, his hands around your throat, your hands around his, and you see him turning blue, the last thing you want to do, is let up your grip on his throat. If you do, it just might be the last thing you ever do…

          • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad


          • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad


            A very small seed can grow into a mighty Redwood Tree, which can produce a whole forest.

            Keep throwing out the seeds, keep on planting…

            You never know what that those seeds will sprout into…

            Focus on 7 future generations, not short term.

            They will thank you.

    • What-About-The-Kids

      Keep up the great work, AGreenRoad.

      I love your name, as it offers hope in your vision of a "green" road available for an awakened world to finally take…after our horrific mistaken detour on the dark and deadly road of nuclear. Kudos to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Radiation in the USA: Hold Obama Accountable (mirror): via @youtube
    This guy has the right idea!! Tweet President Obama continuously until he tells the truth about the Radiation from Japan!!

  • I wish enenews users could use the comments section for commenting on the topic or article instead of just leaving links that have no direct relation to the article or the users opinion of the article.

    If you want people to go to your blog or whatever then put the link in your profile so people can click on your name or avatar if they want to. ..or use the handy Off Topic or General Discussion thread. That works too.

    Anyway… I did read the article and listen and my comment would be that you should all read this and pass it on. Many good quotes in this article.

    Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow says, "Reactor 2 is an example of a technology which has no solution. Humans can't get near such high radioactivity. Even robot electronics fail in such circumstances. The Japanese require a technology that hasn't been invented yet. Should we even be using nuclear technology, if unsolvable accidents can happen?"

    from article:
    "…governments should be teaching everyone the basics of trying to avoid the worst exposure to radiation, in case Fukushima blows? We would all have to stay indoors, with the windows shut. You should buy a couple of HEPA air cleaners right now, I think. The economy would collapse. Do you have food stored for such an emergency? I hope so."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    In the meantime..melty melty ..slinky slinky…
    Structural disintegration.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    The "potential collapse of SFP #4" is only a media diversion from the totality of this disaster. It doesn't matter what happens to #4, the damage to existence is already done.

    The point now is to teach others how to live a full, rewarding life in the few years we have left.

    The people who created this mess, and those that spend their days covering it up, will have to answer to a Higher Authority. "If we're lucky".

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Unit3: There have been a variety of theories about the explosion at Unit3. The containment bolts stretched, or the yellow containment lid was blown up into the air, but landed right back in place when it fell. I am having trouble with all of these explanations. The possibility exists that the source of the Unit3 explosion was the SFP itself, rather than Reactor3. There was great heat, from highly radioactive spent fuel rods. The water had all boiled away. The rods had melted onto the floor of SFP3. Various isotopes may have separated into layers within the molten mass of spent fuel on the floor of SFP3, reaching critical mass. There was hydrogen present from zircaloy to enhance the explosion. There was a nuclear criticality on the floor of SFP3.

    The results of this scenerio fit with what happened: The roof and much of the spent fuel was blown up and out, landing all over the site, some of it landing up to 2 km away. The SFP3 walls were blown out. SFP3 was reduced to rubble. The yellow cap of Containment3 was left in place where it was. Doesn't this fits better with the fact that the top of Containment3 seems to be intact?

    So what happened to the fuel in Reactor3? The molten fuel burned through the bottom of Reactor3, and through the floor of Containment3, through the Base, and out through the basement. Corium3 is now many feet underground, burning into what passes for bedrock under the plant. It is at about the same depth as Corium1 &2.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road Blog

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      What do we do to stabilize this situation? Put in two steel cofferdams around Buildings 1 – 4, about 100' apart, deep into bedrock. Out far enough that workmen can work 'safely'. Dig out sand and rock between cofferdams, and fill with reinforced concrete. Build 100' thick walls to a sufficient height above the Reactor Buildings. Pour concrete into each of the 4 buildings. Fill the remaining interior of the cask with concrete. This needs to be an international effort, on a grand scale, to avoid a possible ELE should SFP4 collapse. Let's get busy, people!

      • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

        Some have said you cannot add much more concrete, due to the soil not supporting it.

        There is another way though.

        You can drive long metal stakes into the ground, every 4 square feet or whatever the engineers say will work, and then pour concrete on top of a web of these supporting underground metal columns.

        There is an answer for every problem.. except human extinction.

        The Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science; via A Green Road Blog

        • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

          AGreenRoad: The idea of steel cofferdam is to serve as a form for the concrete. The idea of the concrete is to contain the coriums. The idea of the cask above ground is to contain the ruined reactors and spent fuel pools. The bedrock there is shallow and weak. If the cask slowly breaks the bedrock up and slowly sinks into the ground, so much the better. In the long term, you will have to build an even larger building or cofferdam to try to keep coriums out of the Pacific Ocean, and to contain leaks in the cask. Many thanks for your comments! I for one like your blog, and welcome your posts here. I read and re-read many of your articles. Great job!

          • dosdos dosdos

            There are water tables below the reactors, and a great deal of radiation is escaping the plant that way. However you plan to encase it, the underside is the priority, and as of now, there is really no established means of creating a barrier beneath the plant. Until a way to do this is found and performed, pouring concrete from above is a very big mistake, as it would make it impossible to do anything about the leaks below.

          • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

            If the coriums are still there, they would have to be cooled. Corium melts through concrete and steel like a knife through soft butter.

            In Russia, they were building a massive basement underneath the reactor, filled with refrigerant tubes to keep the concrete frozen. I am not sure even this would work. They never completed it, because they figured out that the corium stopped flowing in the basements above where they did this work. The corium had mixed with boron, lead, sand and whatever else they dumped on the open reactor, which diluted it, slowed it down and cooled it off.

            I think this might be a strategy that would work at Fuku as well, but it may be way too late now that potentially multiple coriums have done their grand exit. Who knows how deep in the ground they are?

            What happens when you mix 5000 degree F. corium on one side of frozen concrete or steel?

            Does anyone know? I do not think even concrete would last long, and if the corium pierces the CFC tube, then it exits downwards, with no control.

            The problem is essentially, how to contain lava from a volcano, only it NEVER cools off.

            It would make for an interesting lab experiment.

            Lava is hard enough to contain. But lava that never cools is much much more difficult.

            • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

              Indeed..lava that never cools.

            • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

              GreenRoad: Liked your post! Nuke plants seem always to be built on water, the worst place to try to contain a meltdown! Basement idea won't work, where the water table is as high as it is at Fuku. Besides, a capitalist country, like the US or Japan, isn't prepared to call out the army and mobilize an adequate response. They are all about who is going to pay for what it would take to actually solve the problem. So TEPCO spent a year dinking around trying not to spend money, keeping thermometers working, and peering into reactor here and a containment there. No PLAN! NOTHING accomplished! The Japan government covering for TEPCO. Meanwhile, the coriums have accomplished burning down and down, the lava that never cools off. This us why I am saying WALL the coriums off from the Pacific Ocean, with a cofferdam deep into the ground. Mix boron into the cement. If cooling tubes are needed to freeze a corium heading towards the ocean, then build them into the cofferdam. Good idea! Get the picture?

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          If you were to build a dome with arches, say, like the kits sold for building berm houses, maybe you could build a gigantic dome structure over the thing. Possibly it wouldn't work, but arched domes and buttesses are phenomenally strong.

          I just visited a local community sponsored agriculture farm where the owner had just finished building an earth berm home. It had three large arches, over which the dome was constructed. He told me there was only 5" of concrete over the structure. Most of the area under the arches was glass, so it can be assumed the strength of the structure lay in the arch construction and the dome.

          The County inspected the structure and said it will withstand a very large earthquake. They were so impressed they asked to take photographs of it and write about it in their architectural newsletter or magazine.

          If it's not possible to build one giant dome, maybe many interconnected ones could be built in a ring, with something in between to reinforce the structure. If this could be made to hold water, it could contain the whole mess. The offices and control rooms could be placed inside the domes, or better yet, in separate domed structures.

          They need to be looking at alternatives to square boxes that don't withstand shear stress well.

          Maybe this idea wouldn't work at all, but they need to start thinking outside the box (literally) and looking for creative alternatives! And they need to do it SOON and not dilly-dally around as…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    You'd think there'd be help from other countries, but looks like everyone's staying away. Odd, to say the least.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      I'm just guessing, but I'd bet there are some deathly serious discussions taking place in the inner chambers, inside the halls of power, right now. They are probably trying to figure out how to tell the truth and move forward without damaging or destroying their precious political or corporate careers.

      They probably know "heads will roll" (figure of speech) and are trying to figure out what to do while doing damage control. Once they get the CMA, CYA figured out, we can expect some answers. But look for some major buck passing to occur.

  • WindorSolarPlease

    Since they are not reporting this like they should, I doubt they would tell us the extreme measures that everyone was helping to fix this. If this isn't so, then every Government better get their geniuses working on this.
    It's not a question if..It's a question of when it will happen.

    There is not a place for the public to go.
    This monster will laugh at the people in their basements with their food and water. You "might" last a little longer, but it will get you also.

    Limo's will not be picking us up, to go to an underground city. I tried reserving mine, and they acted dumb.

    Geiger Counters are already showing there is radiation.

    No Government can waste time in figuring this out, this is crunch time. All hands on deck, work this out together please.

    This is not the time to ignore the problem, it won't go away.

    There is no need for Countries to fight, this disaster alone, will do the work for you.

    Work together, full steam ahead, and spare no expense, before it gets to us all.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Dear WindSolarPlease, you are so right!
      But these are the ones in charge, look at their faces!

      (from the great artist who did the Simpsons mural)

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        It says:" I take the world for what it is – a comic where everyone plays his part"
        So true.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Wind Solar Please, maybe we should start sending our collective ideas (however good or not so good they may be) to Akio Matsumura, Arnie Gundersen, Robert Alvarez, and whoever will listen! Maybe they'll see something worthwhile and send it on to TPTB.

      What ideas do y'all have? I've read a lot of really great suggestions here. I vote we start sending them on for screening by the engineering and physics experts.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        The time for only listening to the people with the "titles" are past. I think we have a lot of collective genius here!

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      WindSolarPlease: 1000% agree! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Thank you for reading that. Hopefully someone who can do something, will read and agree with this also.

      I'm sorry I don't have any ideas how to fix this. I don't even have a magic wand.

      Best I can do is, get on my knees and pray, and that's not easy when your old.
      Matthew 18:20 KJV
      For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    I SO hope the next M 7 will release its deadly powers nowhere near Fuku / Rokkasho/ Oi / …..
    The last M 5 happened on April 3rd. The quake chart has been so uncomfortably low since then – like Ramaswami said: "queasy feeling".

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Two m8+ EQ today. Earthquakes begat more earthquakes, since releaving pressure in one place serves to INCREASE pressure elsewhere. Japan is due once again.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Hi philipupnorth, I was referring to EQs in / around Japan…I sure didn't miss the sumatra quakes today ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • kid42day kid42day

    If Spent Fuel Pool #4 goes, that is the end of the line. Game over. </life>

    We cannot allow this to happen. As Japanese diplomat Mr. Murata has said, there must be an international effort to save SFP 4. Please sign the following petition demanding that President Obama commission the Fukushima International Scientific Advisory Team, save Spent Fuel Pool #4 and stop Fukushima.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      THANK YOU! Am spreading word of this petition around. So far 2 friends/family members have said they'll sign the petition. Got to keep going on this! Appreciate your sharing this.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Probably a good time to revisit this article. There are some pretty telling statements here about the possible status of SPF 4 early on:

    Statements by NRC officials indicating the very high radiation levels were from spent fuel, NOT "fuel found inside an operating reactor." (Quote is from the article.)

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Heart of the Rose
    April 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm ยท Reply
    Repost: From the NRC FOIA documents.
    Pg 316 ..
    Line 15:
    NRC Chairman Jaczko: Yes. So ,again,just to repeat,we believe No.4 is dry,and we believe one of the other pools is structurally damaged.
    Libne 19:Chuck Casto: That's correct.
    Line 23:
    Chuck Casto: And we certainly know, I think we absolutely know that pool #4, though the walls have collapsed.

    Pg. 319:
    Line 1:
    NRC Chairman Jaczko: Okay.
    Line 2:
    Chuck Casto: โ€“on pool No. 4.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Heart: I continue to contend that these NRC references to SFP4 were meant to describe SFP3 instead. We have seen photos of SFP4 since, obviously intact except for the fires. Could have gone up like SFP3 did. But Casto's comments were without sleep and reflect the confusion of the moment. So don't believe what he is saying here.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Philipupnorth, you may be right. Chuck Casto did discuss #3 in one of the transcripts of discussions, and then talked about #4. So I'm not so sure he didn't mean #4, at least in part of his discussion.

        But if the #4 walls had collapsed (and earlier in that conversation I think Casto said they "may have collapsed") then it wouldn't have been able to hold water, right? So maybe he did mean #3 after all.

        One of the reasons I think he may have meant #4 (that it was in bad shape) is the #3 reactor hadn't exploded yet when the conversation above occurred.

        Please correct me if I'm mistaken. It is, IMHO, important we're able to establish a timeline for these events.

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            Am not sure what you're referring to on p. 503. It talks about #3 being dry on p. 503. Earlier bet. pp. 500-503 it talks about #3 and #4 possibly being able to hold water. Chuck Casto stated he thought at least one wall of #4 was gone.

            #3 exploded on March 13. So by the time the report was made (March 17) it had already gone ka-boom!

            philipupnorth, yes, you have a good point about their probably discussing #3 and not #4. Both were wrecks though by this time! According to Reuters, there was an explosion at #4 on 3/14. But that is the date of the article, Tokyo time.

            Both occurred before the 3/17 report.

            Does anyone know where there is a timeline? Thought I saw reference to this somewhere. Wow, this is distracting. Got to get to work!

        • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

          There is a conversation in which Casto actually corrected himself..I posted it..but as most …lost to the scroll.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Plainer english,….I've never heard,….have you Heart?

    Nope,….But,…there are those even here who WILL NOT accept THIS TRUTH. They have seen the same PICS,….even if you took them there,….."There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see".
    That's an implied ACT OF THE WILL. The willfull part of the brain,…yes, as Dr. Helen says,….the REPTILIAN part! ๐Ÿ™

    Next? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Is she the one that called us establishment?…lol.
    Collective narcissism is part of the problem.
    The reflection is just too pretty in the mirror.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Ohhh..but if one is all about it…you can more on to Pathological Narcissism
    This allows one to laugh in the face of those in danger.
    Lack of empathy…etc.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Pg.178. Line 18
    Jim Trapp: Unit 4 is in shambles.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    From the NRC FOIA documents…March 16 2011
    Pg 118.
    Line 14-15..
    Male Participant:….on what's the best step with regard to those pools.
    Steve Trautman: I mean I agree with you .Both the spent fuel pools and the reactors need to be dealt with.
    Line 19:
    Male Participant: It's not either /or here.
    Line 21:
    Male Participant: And it sounds like they have lost the integrity of the walls on the Unit 4 pool.
    Line 24:
    Steve Trautman: Yes.
    Line 25:
    Male Participant:
    So it is just fuel at this point.
    Line 2:
    Steve Trautman: Yes,Sir.

  • norbu norbu

    E.Q. in Mexico 7.0 – 5.9 off the coast of Oregon, busy day, we could here several loud boom sounds today, seems to be connected, something big comes our way, a very large quake maybe? In the mid-west they have been hearing same thing for a while.