Nuclear specialist: Corium hitting water table is “big concern” — Once fuel hits groundwater the concern is “it just blows right up” (VIDEO)

Published: December 7th, 2011 at 1:31 pm ET


Hartmann: Fukushima…Has the China Syndrome now officially begun?, Big Picture hosted by Thom Hartmann, Dec 6, 2011:

Paul Gunter, director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear: Gunter specializes in reactor hazards and security of operating reactors; prevention of new reactor construction; regulatory oversight; climate change; the nuclear power-nuclear weapons connection; organizing and movement-building; radiation impacts on health; and wildlife impacts.

Host: […] The architect of Reactor No. 3 at Fukushima spoke out recently criticizing Tepco saying their explanations don’t make sense. And he claimes that it’s inevitable that nuclear fuel has leaked into the groundwater which means China Syndrome is upon us, or could be […] Based on what the architect said, have we officially reached the edge of the China Syndrome stage at Fukushima?

Gunter: […] The former president of Saga university, this info is also corroborated by an earlier report from September by an assistant professor at the Kyoto Research Reactor Institute who said reactors 1 and 3 already had a melt-through and that by his projection the corium had moved 10-12 meters into the ground already […]

Highly radioactive fuel and steel and its just burning down […]

Even in Tepco’s simulation, they admitted corium has burned through 2/3s of floor […]

Tepco’s credibility is less than zero right now […]

At 5:00 in

Host: What happens when that corium hits the water table?

Gunther: This is a big concern […]

Red hot radioactive material is melting down […]

Once it hits this groundwater source the concern is that there will be thsi large steam generation and then simultaneously — if its hot enough — it will make hydrgoen gas, oxygen, becomes a very explosive and pressurized environment and it just blows right up […]

h/t Goddard’s Journal

Published: December 7th, 2011 at 1:31 pm ET


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50 comments to Nuclear specialist: Corium hitting water table is “big concern” — Once fuel hits groundwater the concern is “it just blows right up” (VIDEO)

  • James2

    I think it’s a little bit of a scare tactic to say it will explode when it hits the water.

    It’s possible – but it’s also possible it won’t.

    Given we know that it’s been out of the building for quite sometime, and we haven’t had a nuclear blast – I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.

    In fact, if too many people fall into the trap of saying “it’s gonna blow” and it never does – then you give folks ammunition to say “see they were just overstating it”

    Nobody knows what will happen now – it’s never been studied – it’s never happened before and there is no accurately predicting it.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter


      • Fukushima I Nuke Plant: 220 Tonnes, not 45, of Strontium-Contaminated Water?

        If you look at the photos released so far by TEPCO (see my posts here and here) while being told only 45 tonnes of treated water leaked from the evaporative condensation apparatus (desalination) at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and that only 150 liters (about 40 gallons) of it leaked into the ocean, and wonder “45 tonnes? 150 liters? The numbers look too low”, you may be right.

        The amount of water leaked from the …

    • farawayfan farawayfan

      Yes, it’s distinctly possible the blob coming out gets diverted into many small channels through the soil, and thus hits groundwater in smaller quantities, resulting in large fog releases, but no explosion. Nobody knows what really happens when a melt-out occurs on reclaimed land next to an ocean. But we’re about to find out.

    • enemoe

      James2, that’s one of the most sane comments I have read on here in a long time!

    • Captain Quark Captain Quark

      The voice of reason? @ enenews? pshaw! hear hear!

    • stock

      Indeed, it could just steam away.

    • Steven Steven

      Very true James2, the key issue seems to be that whatever happens the coriums are going to do their radioactive dance until the stuff loses potency, so either way it’s very bad. Why some folks feel they need another explosion to elevate this to a catastrophic event is beyond me, it already is catastrophic – and we already had several explosions.

      That said, any explosion under or near those buildings could trigger a secondary event in a SPF, so add another ‘very’ to the ‘bad’ for that scenario, I guess.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I think when people assume that escaping another explosion means we are escaping the worst, they are fooling themselves. This is already so bad and there have to be many more reactors in Japan and elsewhere spewing radiation in the environment that the judgement UNSAFE and ELE at any level from here on out has to be labeled on the IAEA and the nuclear industry. The scares about Iran and WWIII are scare tactics to make people think that nuclear weapons are necessary. All nuclear needs to be renounced and any proposed nuclear power plant has to be seen as INTOLERABLE PROLIFERATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I like you all to watch this very well done documentary about the Chernobyl disaster. I have linked to this before, but I think that it’s more important now than ever. This will give you an better understanding when you see how the Russians dug under the reactor to prevent the corium from getting to the water table.

      ☢ The Battle of Chernobyl – Best Documentary of the Nuclear Disaster of Chernobyl ☢

      And yes there is an danger of explosion still at Chernobyl that could render most of Europe.. Well It would not be a good day if you get me.

  • I remind you that humans are only a tiny minority in this galaxy.

    • James2

      So true – with 70 Billion Trillion star systems, there’s bound to be a few million civilizations who’ve been through this before – perhaps we could ring them up and see how to deal with it – or not…

      • farawayfan farawayfan

        I don’t know about life in the universe, but I will say we could use the help right now. On the other hand, if we are the only civilization in existence, it magnifies the incredible crimes being perpetrated.

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          As a species, we are the most arrogant, egotistical species this planet has ever seen!! WE WILL BE OUR OWN DEMISE.

        • James2

          We may kill ourselves off, but if we do we were a very dumb species.

          To go from creating language 25,000 years ago, to creating writing 5,000 years ago, to extinction today would be an incredibly short span – given the dinosaurs lived on earth for something like 200 million years.

          Earth and the rest of the galaxy will outlive us – in a speck of time – 3 million years or so, there will no longer be any evidence of our existence and don’t worry, and some other living thing will rise to take our places.

      • many moons

        Maybe they are planning a visit….we can ask them where we went wrong.

    • Captain Quark Captain Quark

      Can we get a percentage on that statement Mr Spock?

  • dpl dpl

    time to ditch nuclear power the most expense way to kill people ever devised.

    • farawayfan farawayfan

      The more people it kills the lower the per person cost is. Eventually may be the cheapest way to kill ever invented. Most expensive way to boil water, though….

  • On the other hand, it is more than just a little criminal to behave as if NOTHING IS HAPPENING, and that everything is just ‘normal’, while this could be the end of humanity, IF IT DOES BLOW.

    Not doing anything, not talking about it, not asking for help, not preventing this melt through and not acting to keep the out of control nuclear fuel from hitting the groundwater is beyond words to describe… unfathomable, unbelievable…

    It would be like Satan himself saying; YEA, Lets punish them all, kill everyone and everything.. and then LAUGHING about it.

    How could it be any worse? I cannot think of any scenario worse than this one, except maybe that Satan announces what is about to happen to the world, and gets everyone into the fear mode, while getting everyone a little more pain with a pitchfork, before they die from radiation poisoning.

    • James2

      It may not be criminal in Japan to cover things up. – unethical to the nth degree – yes.

      it’s definitely criminal in the US for the NRC or anyone in the Federal Government to be covering anything up. It’s written directly into the federal regulations that it is a federal crime for any nuclear accidents to be covered up.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that we will never find out if it’s the end of humanity. You know – humanity will end sometime – it could be now – or it could be later.

    • ion jean ion jean

      We speculate on the Japan Syndrome as corium exploding or not when it hits groundwater while not adding in the reality of the fire blobs burning in rainbow coLors every night and gaseous emissions of every shape and size being captured on the live webcam…plus this is a Kyoto Research professor.

      I surrendered a long time ago to the fact that the Japanese build the best cars on the road, so I’m gonna put my quarter on this one.

      Given the decades of deceit perpetrated by govts of the US UK Canada Russia China France Japan et al in ALL matters Nuclear, I am starting to believe humanity needs a mega catastrophe to put a real END to all forms of Nuclear Power. Just like a holocaust brought on in war by other humans, this holocaust of high technology will be found just as unacceptable by humanity.

      The only thing standing in the way now is not lack of evidence, just a lack of public awareness.

      As for the groundwater explosions, hydrogen and radioisotopes in continuing criticality equals one big blast (the oxide molecules from the water are bound with plutonium, and as far as i have heard, tritium is the isotope called heavy water when binding with hydrogen also called tritiated water)

      I know i’ve just scratched the surface of radiochemistry…

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Look – “Women in Nuclear” donated to the Tepco workers 500.000 Yen in refreshments. See Tepcos thank you-letter here (dated September 2), saying reactors are in stable conditions.
    What a laugh.!/photo.php?fbid=10150386638500755&id=187676005754&__user=100000472879670

    • many moons

      It’s amazing how greed can cloud common sense. They obviouly haven’t seen the children of radiation, Chernobyl, Iraq, Russia..

  • TraderGreg

    They constantly cool the corium with water – right?
    We did have this discussion before – no volcanic explosion, because it is already immersed in water. However, however, if it is in water at all times and is getting very hot then where is the steam? Maybe they use something different than water to cool?

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Good question TGreg. I dont have a clue.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      They say they are cooling the corium, but are they realy? I don’t know. Is it possible that as the corium sinks, things colapse into the hole it makes and block the water from reaching it? Could be, I don’t know that either. All we know is that 4 reactors and four spent fuel pools are in deep shit, number 3 has exploded. This we know for sure, We also know TEPCO has not always told the truth. This can only lead to very healthy speculation on our part as to the verasity of what TEPCO states.

    • farawayfan farawayfan

      Or it’s possible the surface area contacting the water on the superior edge of a concrete-sunken blob is being cooled to a corium crust and the remaining 90-99% of the corium is still an ultra-heated, uncontrolled mess melting downward. You keep saying cooling like they have a structured core with a controlled cooling system. They have blobs of hot radioactive meltdown that they can’t even locate! No core structure. No cooling. No control.

      They’re measuring temps in reactors at points that are no longer relevant. Tepcam, until they started nighttime lighting, clearly showed vapor emissions when conditions of humidity and temp were right, emissions distinct from fog.

      Etc etc.

    • many moons

      Doesn’t have something to do with being contained. Perhaps the steam and gases can escape. Underground they can collect in the proper proportions for an explosive enviroment…like in Arnie’s plastic bottle.

  • WindorSolarPlease

    Since this is all uncharted territory.

    I think we are all guessing on what can happen.

    Fact is, this is not good for any of us.

    The question is, what are their plans to stop this?

    They put it here, now they need to figure this out.

    They Put The Horse Before The Cart.

    I blame this on the owners of the Corporation, and the ones who are in Official Power, that allowed these things to be built.

    Wonder if they are working along side the hero’s who are fighting this monster, or cozy in a safe place, sad about losing profits?

    End Nuclear Power

  • James2

    They have done a ton of work at Fukushima. I applaud the brave workers

    But it was obvious on March 14th that there was no stopping it.

    Thats why tepco wanted to pull off site that day – but the PM wouldn’t let them.

  • dka

    Some Scientists say that it will blow. It does seem quite easy to test in lab. Create a mini corium and let it dig in soil until it reaches water. In fact, if some scientist think that there are some chnces that it will not blow, I would really want to test it before telling everyone that it Might not blow. This should be tested in lab asap, not very smart to hold a discussion about this without a test result. I suspect those who say that it will blow base their understanding upon some hard fact knowledge and those who say that it might not blow are clueless since those who say that it will blow have little doubt and those who are not sure, are not sure.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      I’m pretty sure no one in their right mind would purposely ‘make corium’. It melted out of the reator containment vesels, what would you propose they ‘make’ it in for this test. Also, it requires a massive amount of fuel, like what is in a reactor. No, I think we will have to wait and see what happens with this ‘experiment’ in Fukushima.

      • StPaulScout StPaulScout

        Now if they could do a computer simulation…….

        • dka

          scientists can built scale down models of their larger real size counter parts. 100,000x or 100,000,000x time smaller (to the size of a half a finger nail). At some point, they should be able to built a manageable size one. Instead of telling people that it might explode, they would know in advance and it could save many lives. Of course, it might not be possible to make “corium”. But I think that it should be possible since it requires to mix different materials and heat them up and let them melt and undergo continued fission, giving them and preparing to right soil under it, similar to fukushima.
          Simulation though, might still let some scientists claim that the risk of explosion is not proven. A scale down model is the real thing, but in a manageable size, as is often done in engineering school for example.

    • Mene Mene

      Greetings! I’ve been lurking here since Fuku happened. Thought I’d jump in there for a quick question, then get back to lurking 🙂

      Is it possible the Corium will not blow for the simple reason that, as it makes its way into the earth at 5,000°, quite a lot of the non-corium earth ahead of it will be heated well in advance? Wouldn’t this boil off most of not all water, perhaps even creating a form of igneous rock that might very well contain the corium blob even as lava is contained within lava tubes?

      Back to lurking. But not before I thank everyone here for tis wonderful source of *perpsective* on what is a very frightening event.

      Mene Mene

      • Mack Mack

        @Mene Mene — Good smart question. Don’t know the answer but wanted to say welcome and join in the conversation more often! Oh, and pax vobiscum.

  • Cindy

    I forgot the link, but a major river in Japan was polluted with billions of becquerels of cesium, and all the other isotopes, from runoff, where is all that water going ? and could it be that this river is the contaminated ground water they’ve been takling about ??

  • James Tekton James Tekton

    Hello all,

    He said, “pins and needles.”

    We say…one day at a time.

    May it be suggested that folks live in the fullness of every moment. In the fullness of every breath.

    Yesterday, I was outside measuring the counts after a clearing and warming from the small amount of snow we had. It is about the same, 50-60 CPM.

    Just surveying the garden and then suddenly, I looked up to see a great American Bald Eagle swoop down and land on a tree next to the river about 75 feet away from where I was standing. I just froze and watched in amazement.

    She was huge with a four foot wing span. Perfect with a white tail and black body. A little bigger and way taller than a turkey sitting so regally in the tree.

    My breath was taken away as I was spinning off into a gratitude energy. Humbled in realization of what greatness I am witness to in this beautiful symbolic bird. She exists beyond the knowledge of what is happening in the radioactive environment. She looks for fish on the river and continues to exhibit her magnificent ways.

    Another sign on the road for the wayward traveling shaman who sees everything as having a message for you if you listen. The greatness of America(country) is still strong in the face of the environment(people) slowly decaying. I realize that this is the Law. Everything is in a state of decay, and now this is being sped up by the continuing horrendous inexcusable world’s largest disastrous catastrophic event in japan that is being COVERED UP.

    We may all go away sooner than expected, but the Eagle will go about her day, fishing, flying high, being the standard making sure all at that etheric level is balanced and true.

    I continue to be grateful for every day’s blessings that I am gifted with. I pray for us all to awaken and stop the madness, and that we can properly focus our world-wide resources to not go to starting more wars for rothschids zionist isreel, but instead will go about solving this Extinction Level Event in…

    • James Tekton James Tekton


      I continue to be grateful for every day’s blessings that I am gifted with. I pray for us all to awaken and stop the madness, and that we can properly focus our world-wide resources to not go to starting more wars for rothschids zionist isreel, but instead will go about solving this Extinction Level Event in japan.

      How about you?

    • ‘…the Eagle will go about her day, fishing, flying high, being…” – Tekton

      The innocent creatures of this planet and their unnecessary suffering and uncertain future existence due to human arrogance always fills my heart with tears.

  • thelili

    I think the nice man in the video is trying to send a message but doesn’t want to disclose the unethical shit Tepco has done.