NYT: Experts suspect melted fuel may be threatening groundwater — “Battle of epic proportions” says Koide — Concerns over recriticality

Published: December 16th, 2011 at 11:14 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
18 comments


Japan’s Prime Minister Declares Fukushima Plant Stable – NYTimes.com

  • Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan has declared an end to the [...] nuclear crisis

The Experts

  • Many experts still doubt the [...[ plant is [...] stable
  • [Many experts] worry that officials are declaring victory only to appease public anger over the accident
  • [Tepco] has acknowledged that the uranium fuel in three reactors has likely melted through their containments

Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute

  • “There is absolutely no cold shutdown”
  • “It is a term that has been trotted out to give the impression we are reaching some sort of closure”
  • “We still face a long battle of epic proportions, and by the time it is really over, most of us will be long dead”

Melted Fuel Threatens Groundwater

  • Some experts, including Koide suspect the fuel could be threatening groundwater

Recriticality

  • Experts have also expressed concern over signs of sporadic “recriticality” of the fuel
  • [Meaning] nuclear fission resumes in melted nuclear fuel lying on the floor of a storage pool or reactor core

Closing quote from Prime Minister

  • Not all of our battles are over
  • But we will fight to the end
  • It is a challenge for Japan, a challenge for humanity
Published: December 16th, 2011 at 11:14 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
18 comments

Related Posts

  1. Nuclear Experts: Portion of Fukushima’s molten fuel believed to have “moved into earth” — Melted cores contacting groundwater may be cause of recent spike in radiation levels -CTV August 24, 2013
  2. “Ultimate, worst-case scenario” underway at Fukushima? New York Times: Experts suspect intense contamination is seeping out from under melted-down reactors and into Pacific — Will surpass even the leaks from disaster’s early days August 24, 2013
  3. Nuclear Expert: “Rods in the spent fuel pool may have melted… breached during the explosions… and their contents may be in contact with groundwater” at Fukushima October 8, 2013
  4. Japan Journalist: Melted nuclear fuel sank into the ground under Fukushima reactors — Irradiated groundwater is flowing into ocean through sea-bottom springs, it’s too late to do anything about this (PHOTO) October 22, 2013
  5. Japan TV: It gets worse every minute at Fukushima plant, groundwater mixing with melted fuel — Gundersen: There’s no end in sight because the nuclear core is in contact with groundwater (VIDEO) January 17, 2014

18 comments to NYT: Experts suspect melted fuel may be threatening groundwater — “Battle of epic proportions” says Koide — Concerns over recriticality

  • We still face a long battle of epic proportions, and by the time it is really over, most of us will be long dead”

    and

    It is a challenge for Japan, a challenge for humanity

    same applies to financial meltdown. time to get things done instead of blablaing for years.


    Report comment

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Uh…what the hell is that, rising up from the light?
    http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/f1-np/camera/index-j.html
    THAT IS SMOKE – no doubt in my mind.


    Report comment

  • hbjon hbjon

    I was just studying the periodic table. xenon and zirconium can be fission biproducts as well as Krypton and Barium. Could the zircalloy cladding cause more xenon than krypton to be produced by the criticallity? Open air criticallity may produce more Krypton according to this phenomenon. Both decay into unpleasant substances.


    Report comment

  • jec jec

    The “smoke” rising near the worklight on Reactor 3 and 4..has been there since the light was installed. So not new, but Nuckelchen did capture “white” blobs risihg in that smoke in a video, look up further in this blog area. Good capture of the situation. No idea what significacne it is..Epid battle, yes..and the forces of the dark side are currently ahead…


    Report comment

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    New Tweet: Fukushima: Turning Point for Communicat­ions in Japan
    http://www­.edelman.c­om/speak_u­p/blog/arc­hives/2011­/12/fukush­ima_turni.­html
    What is not world class is the country’s institutio­nal approach to communicat­ions. That much was evident in the aftermath of the disaster, when mainstream media, business and government failed to keep pace with events and lost the confidence of the people.


    Report comment

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dearest Whoopie: The link above is not functioning. Could you check it and post again. Thank you. It would make my day to see some improvement in the collective consciousness in Japan about the situation, some more necessary and strident challenges to the bungling authorities would be great. Thank you.


      Report comment

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    This stuff is painful:

    “Closing quote from Prime Minister
    Not all of our battles are over
    But we will fight to the end
    It is a challenge for Japan, a challenge for humanity”

    For example:

    Which battles are not over? When will they be over? Who or what are you battling? You will fight to the end of what? (us, the planet, the money, your term in office?…) How will you recognize “the end”? What (exactly) is a challenge for Japan? If it is a challenge for humanity, why do you keep so many secrets?… and on and on.

    Photo Op stuff. Yuck.


    Report comment

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    A 1 million year battle against radiation? Count me in I can’t wait to see all the havoc these out of control reactors cause. The former prime minister seems not to understand that this won’t just shut down 10% of Japan for 40 year it will shut it down for the half-life of Uranium.


    Report comment

  • someone

    The goverment might be right this time.
    If situation cannot get any worst, then indeed it’s somehow “stable”.
    For example, medical condition of a dead patient is also “stable”.
    Maybe this is what they are trying to tell?


    Report comment

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    So happy that magic fairies have keep fuel from ground water so far, and it is only now threatening. Stay strong, Tinkerbell! We are clapping, we are clapping.


    Report comment

  • dpl dpl

    “experts” claim worlds largest ecological disaster in history MAY threaten groundwater. DUH,anyone with a pulse could have figured that one out.
    Never admit more than your willing to accept responsibility for.


    Report comment

  • Captain Quark Captain Quark

    But wait, I’m confused…. CNN reports that temperatures are below boiling point, and other more reliable sources state the core has slipped from their sweaty hands……please explain..


    Report comment

  • Replacant Replacant

    I guess because the only people currently dropping from the radiation are the workers hidden away by the hospital anyone else will drop slowly, so hurray it’s all over. This is so ridiculous that with Spent pool3 destroyed, spent fuel pool 4 falling apart, massive ground water & ocean contamination & they are about to release more (more than they have spilled from all the leaks) that the site is stable?!?! Maybe it won’t blow up again but the contamination is so massive that the human and environmental toll is going overwelm us all.


    Report comment

  • howardtlewisiii

    This facility was a threat to ground water when the fuel first came on the property. Now, the fuel is radioactively contaminating everything within reach causing birth defects, cancers, and death.
    The U.S. government is an out of control gangster and Japan likewise has fallen victim. it is up to the American people to grow up and help. they are not much good these days.


    Report comment