NYTimes: Alarming reality at Fukushima Daiichi — Plant faced with new crisis — “Tepco is clearly just hanging on day by day”

Published: April 29th, 2013 at 10:43 pm ET
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Title: Radioactive Water Imperils Fukushima Plant
Source: NY Times
Author: MARTIN FACKLER (Makiko Inoue and Matthew L. Wald)
Date: April 29, 2013

Radioactive Water Imperils Fukushima Plant

[...] the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is faced with a new crisis: a flood of highly radioactive wastewater that workers are struggling to contain.

Groundwater is pouring into the plant’s ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute. It becomes highly contaminated there, before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system. [...]

That quandary along with an embarrassing string of mishaps — including a 29-hour power failure affecting another, less vital cooling system — have underscored an alarming reality: two years after the meltdowns, the plant remains vulnerable to the same sort of large earthquake and tsunami that set the original calamity in motion. [...]

“Tepco is clearly just hanging on day by day, with no time to think about tomorrow, much less next year,” said Tadashi Inoue, an expert in nuclear power who served on a committee that drew up the road map for cleaning up the plant. [...]

See also: NYTimes: Fukushima plant unstable says official, concern another accident can't be prevented -- "Vulnerable... Very dangerous"

Published: April 29th, 2013 at 10:43 pm ET
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75 comments

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75 comments to NYTimes: Alarming reality at Fukushima Daiichi — Plant faced with new crisis — “Tepco is clearly just hanging on day by day”

  • norbu norbu

    “Tepco is clearly just hanging on day by day, with no time to think about tomorrow, much less next year,” said Tadashi Inoue.
    They are not the only ones hanging on day by day, what about the rest of the world, people, animals, plants, trees…..
    N


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  • ftlt

    An international effort is needed … But, all the money has been stolen by Wall Street types and the banksters off and taken off shore or spent neoliberal resource wars… The public treasure is gone worldwide…

    Ya don't think the smellybucks will spend their own money on a clean up??… No way!!!..

    They can not steal anymore from working people worldwide…

    So where do the monies come from??? No where!!!

    Let it pollute is the obvious answer to the problem..


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    • ftlt

      Sorry for the lousy posting… My cursor is bouncing all over the place on here – eating text …

      The latest news on CO2 count is ready to go over 400PM this next month… Just great news… It is accelerating rapidly too as more and more coal is used worldwide.. .

      http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/co2_400/co2_800k_zoom.png


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      • markww markww

        plants and trees take in co-2 and make the oxygen you breath. If you check you will find that plants are thriving better than any other time in History. If you wipe out co-2 we all die cause plants and trees and flowers die off Mark


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        • ftlt

          Mark: No one is talking about wiping out CO2

          You need to read some different sources for your info on anthropogenic climate change..

          Rest assured, the denial press/pseudo science websites have the most dubious of info money can buy on this issue…


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    • HoTaters

      Oh, but they ARE stealing from you, in nanosecond increments. Wait until this hits the fan, the ICAP scandal:

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-financial-scandal-yet-20130425


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    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Just a thought, that what is needed here may be an international fund raising effirt to bail out Japan, and get this ruined nuke plant into some sort of safe condition. Think about this for a moment.

      It's like watching a man drown. There is much thrashing about, but little effective action. As the drowing man takes in more and more water, the thrashing is slowing down. We all know where this ends.

      TEPCO may as well fill the ruins with borated sand and concrete, and walk away.
      Peace to all.


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      • weeman

        PUN I am confused for months you have been telling everyone that the corium is miles underground, you know and I know if that is the case there is no fix and all the money in the world won't put it back into containment, that being the case the only option at this time is to fill with borated sand and concrete, so what made you change your tune.
        Yes tepco need to be replaced immediately and we need to know the full extent of the accident and then and only then can they come up with a plan, but nothing is going to happen in short order just look at Chernobyl the Russians gave it the old college try, more than I can say about the Japanese effort, pathetic.
        Don't forget that Japan has been in economic turmoil for 25 years and like any other island nation they are not self sufficient and have little or no natural resources and are at a disadvantage economically, they are broke.


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      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        They walked away two years ago. The work on-site is only for PR purposes.

        It's called "putting lipstick on a pig".


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    • pcjensen

      I am always curious when people use terms like neoliberal – exactly who/what types of people/groups are you referring to?

      It seems to me the global meltdown and perpetual wars don't from liberals and why are we still using those terms when all it does is fractionalize people when we all face the same lethal nuclear horror show – radiation does not care about left or right and we should not either at this time. Everybody is threatened equally. Except maybe those who live underground now and in the future.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Fukushima Daiichi is in trouble. Expect continued rise in radiation levels, as found in Tokyo.


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  • mairs mairs

    If San Onofre exploded would the US government just sit back and watch Southern California Edison try to contain it all by themselves? I can't imagine that they would do that. What is the Japanese government thinking????


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  • mairs mairs

    Nuclear industry people have swarmed all over the replies to that article, calling people ignorant and alarmist for daring to be extremely worried. I'm so tired of those sociopaths.


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  • We Not They Finally

    What page did they print this on? It was supposed to be on page ONE.


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  • Sickputer

    Many commentators have spoken of the cultural arrogance that grew out of the Japanese economic successes post-World War II. But since the bank failures in the 1990s I think it goes beyond just arrogance… Perhaps pent-up anger at the loss of former strongholds of consumer goods. The world wide economy has not been kind to the small island for the past 20 years. Japan still has great wealth like America, but the manufacturing edge has slipped enough to really set off the boardrooms in Tokyo.

    Rajeev Peshawaria writes:

    "The Japanese arrogance of the 80s is well known – as they became the economic powerhouse of the world, they thought they could do no wrong. So strong was the real estate boom in Japan, that at one time the Imperial palace was worth more than all of California. Even though post-war Japan was indeed an economic miracle that must be studied and respected, did the Japanese (and the rest of us) learn any lessons of humility during and after the lost decade that followed?"

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rajeevpeshawaria/2012/07/31/the-arrogance-of-growth/

    SP: What is scary is the company aura of arrogance in India and China could unleash far more deadly toxic disasters than Fukushima.


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    • We Not They Finally

      I wonder if the Japanese have learned any humility EVER. The Germans did. I mean, it is possible.


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      • Trawling4Trolls

        The only humility the Japanese demonstrate is that which they were taught. That if they do not become too self-expressive and cooperate with govt.-as-corporate fascism against the unions they will be allowed to flood the U.S. with their goods that the U.S. corporate fascists taught them to perfect. They learned that lesson well and stagflation is their reward.

        Corporate fascism as Sterility.


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    • nedlifromvermont

      that would be two 'lost decades' at this point, and counting …

      Isn't there an unused oil tanker or two out there, somewhere??

      peace …


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Would you buy a Chinese or Indian car? Washing machine? Medical equipment?

      "What is scary is the company aura of arrogance in India and China could unleash far more deadly toxic disasters than Fukushima."

      Imagine the quality of their NPP's.


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      • crystalwind crystalwind

        Too true. China–I don't see much protest there, let me know if you run into any. I do see news of people in India fighting nuclear power there. Fighting the government, of course, like everybody else. This is the Third World War…governments of the world against the people of the world.


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  • We Not They Finally

    What is interesting, however, is that this NYT article comes right on the heels of Prof. Stubbins' (from Purdue, hired by the IAEA, covered in ENE News)insane claim that Fukushima Daiichi handled the crisis "amazingly well" and "performed better than best expectations." Maybe every now and then, even MSM journalists do get p-o'ed –like they are supposed to!


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  • gnomesang gnomesang

    way to have our back NYT"s, how's that "environmental section" in your paper, oh yeah, never mind you stopped that…


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  • We Not They Finally

    FORTUNATELY (because they are needed!), this article smacks of whistle-blower. Tadashi INOUE is cited as source and served on a Japanese committee on how to FIX this. And a contributor is cited as Makiko INOUE (wife or other relative?) Hope this encourages other well-placed Japanese to come forward.


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  • We Not They Finally

    It is interesting to actually go to the article this is cited from. It is full of disclaimers that tell their own tales: Like "it's safer than it was at first" means it's getting more dangerous day by day; "they want to stop contaminated water from reaching the Pacific Ocean" means that it's already been contaminating the Pacific Ocean ongoing; "second worst nuclear accident ever" means that they clearly know that it is THE WORST; "the melted reactor cores… less dangerous than they once were" means that they cannot even locate where they are; etc., etc. Obviously, if there was no reason to alarm people, this would not be hitting the news AT ALL.


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  • razzz razzz

    EX-SKF is reporting monitoring wells show a 10 fold increase from radioactive water in readings compared to just two days ago around leaking holding ponds.

    I think the reading was from a southward positioned well, just like experts expected to find from any leaking as the nearest major underground flow was to the south.


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Exponential increases in radiation being emitted, rather than slowing down.

      There was some mention of this two years ago, but science seemed to indicate at least a leveling off.

      There goes that theory out the window.


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  • harengus_acidophilus

    Did they believe in their own lies?

    "[...] the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
    is faced with a new crisis:"

    What "new crisis"?
    It's the good old meltdown and it's circumstances.

    If anyone hopes the MSM will report now
    the whole facts about fukushima.
    They will … shattered in tiny little pieces
    to serve a digestible potion of "daily horror".
    Remember: fear is part of mass control.

    h.


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  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    " , before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system. [...]"
    Hahahaha….lol. wtf are they talking about – the water seeping in IS the cooling system!


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  • But fortunately, is slowly more and more people who can think the year ahead, and despite urywania these simple, sustainable energy generation are doing theirs. It's my idea developed further ..http://www.new4stroke.com/oil500w.wmv

    http://www.creative-science.org.uk/duck.html

    http://www.creative-science.org.uk/wavetanks.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bEfrtAOMuvk


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  • Sol Man

    The REASON that Itzik Fefer wrote on the cover page of the Black Book by the Jewish Black Book Committee: "The Globe is too Small to hold both Fascism and Humanity," is because he knew that the corporate/government relationship would create an atmosphere that was hazardous to all life here. Consider the nuclear disasters around the world which would have to include the d.u. dust spreading wars in various locations. Add the rest of the environmental crimes and it means a future that does not include humans, or the rest of life, for that matter. The greediest among us are included in this collective trajectory.


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  • nedlifromvermont

    "the world's second worst nuclear accident" from Mathew Wald … how quaint!

    "TEPCO is clearly in over their heads" … no kidding!!!

    All nuclear reactor operators are over their heads; nuclear power, like someone said, is like "summoning a demon. It's ridiculous."

    Someone tell the NYT to stop handling this story with (GE manufactured) kid gloves …

    peace all! …


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    • Sickputer

      Aside from the "second-worst" lie the article did have some pearls among swine:

      The return of the taboo S word:

      "But even they are not enough to handle the tons of strontium-laced water at the plant"

      The death trap acknowledgement (not even robots can repair the cracks and men will surely die thus spoiling their claims of "no deaths":

      "the only way to safely stop the inflow is by plugging the cracks in the damaged reactor buildings. It contends that no company in the world has the ability to do that because it would require entering the highly radioactive buildings and working in dangerously toxic water several feet deep."

      SP: The elephant in the room…"healthy" nuclear plants release tritium regularly:

      "Tritium, which can be harmful only if ingested, is regularly released into the environment by normally functioning nuclear plants, but even Tepco acknowledges that the water at Fukushima contains about 100 times the amount of tritium released in an average year by a healthy plant."

      SP: So are humans in America "healthy" drinking tritium-laced public water supplies?

      The world wonders…


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  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    The bankers & families that run the world just wipped out one bank in Cypurs & stole billions in deposits, these has not been the western MSM, but it will whaen they start in the USA & Canada! Theses are evil people & will not spend a dime to help Japan or the world!


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  • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist

    It's time to pump the torus rooms full of concrete to lessen the amount of ground water leaking into the building, and cooling water leaking out.

    Hell, I would fill the torus rooms and the primary containments to the brim with concrete and turn my efforts to stabilizing the cooling systems of the pressure vessels.


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  • Sickputer

    They can deliver concrete slurry with the big crane pumps right into Units 1-3. The question is will the walls support the weight? Perhaps the foam idea might need to be revisited.


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    • Jay

      SPuter , thank you for recaling the Foam suggestion specially since it can be cut , re-sprayed , while hard enough to walk on is also light , etc .

      But , but ,

      1) first explosion , Unit 1 , occured ON TOP of the roof ( see clear of debris shock-wave , compare to second explosion where the debris going up is plenty visible as it should when detonating INSIDE ) … can of worms , don't tell me that BS about hydrogen explosion in plain air at That intensity of blast on top of the roof – what concentrate the hydrogen gas in plain Winds on the roof at such levels to cause that massive detonation ? Magic ?

      2) the corium dissipated in month and today is long gone

      3) so , What gives that radiation that spoils the UNDERGROUND water ??? A nuclear stash 'of-the-record' in a deep basement ?

      If not , what other explanation can you think of ?

      The bottom line : the IMF is licking its chops in anticipation of a full-course Japanese 'meal' .


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      • Jay, I beg to differ re point 2. Where the corium is is undefinable. Armchair theorists can pontify all they want but Tepco brings forth no quantifiable data. Not that I believe Tepco has no educated guess…… Some believe it to be pancaked on concrete floor. Some believe it to be charging toward the earths core in nuclear fury. Chernoble meltdown was the elephant foot that no one expected. Believe however that the ruined containment buildings have cracks in them that groundwater flows in and out coming into contact with an area all pundits agree to be highly radioactive such that man and robot cannot go near. Therefore no fix of foundations.
        Go look on the internet and prove me wrong if you can or question my opinion.


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        • Jay

          Mark , I am driving at the dissipation of the coriums with net result in not having hot spots at over 1,000 C besides the hardening of walls behind the corium trajectory dissipation similar to what passing lava/magma does .

          Yes , we can draw a parallel betwen the spreading of lava/magma and that of corium , but only if in the scenario the lava/magma would be continiuosly replanish to mimick the self-heating nuclear reaction of the corium .

          The contact with ( cold ) water will accelerate the dissipation of any hot Liquid material and quicly reduce it to micro particles that a water stream can carry away ( imagine droping water on a red-hot plate and the explosive reaction ) .

          So when you put together all those dissipating factors that reduce the hot coriums to ( very warm ) microparticles that can be washed away , you see why I ended up with vanishing coriums in under one year .

          So that leaves the present and on-going cause of the irradiated ground water to other factors ( see the Hot Monkeys in the deep basement ) .
          Of course I am open to corrections .


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  • For all the usual positions mainstream takes such as still maintaining Fukushima Triple Meltdown Disaster to be second to Chernobyl, this is a scary article, third headline for world news of NYT, the last sentence saying. '
    "This all just goes to show that Tepco is in way over its head."
    Mainstream admits the strontium isn't being filtered and groundwater from the mountains is being polluted continuously. How green can nuclear go by chopping down a small forest in order to build more storage tanks filled with toxic water useless to many generations going forward.
    Would USA handle the situation differently? Was a subthread above. My Canadian perspective, for what its worth is offered. The USA can afford to act differently in terms of land available. USA has so much more land available that evacuation is viable, similar to Russia. I still think they would wait to the last minute and the US ARMY would oversee any nuclear disaster, rather then the shady ties between company and politician. Although the shady ties would be maintained with the Army overseeing operations. The same lies would happen with all spin to define limited liability.


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  • Sickputer

    Jay sez: "3) so , What gives that radiation that spoils the UNDERGROUND water ??? A nuclear stash 'of-the-record' in a deep basement ?
    If not , what other explanation can you think of ?"

    SP: The most commonly offered explanation is molten fuel splatter on the building walls, reactor vessel, and other building parts. How thick (unknown). how long will it leach? A long time.

    I wouldn't be surprised if your foam strategy gets deployed because frankly they are running out of time in their battle with the contaminated water. Maybd they are waiting for the big blob corium to get farther away. I don't think fissile fuel splatter will cool anytime soon so they can't expect a miracle there.

    Might be worth a try…what have they got to lose? Possibly sticky pumps and pipelines if the foam melts badly.


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    So all here agree that only corium splatter remains in Unit1,2,&3.
    Potent enough to drive all workers away.
    The corium, proper, is somewhere out of human control.
    There is nothing left,
    Except to decide,
    Whether to fill the ruins
    With concrete
    Or foam.


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    • Jay

      PUN , are you saying that you too believe in the deep basement Hot Monkeys causing the present extreme radiation ? Not in the defunct and cooler splatered/dissipated/washed away as microparticles coriums ?


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      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Sorry, Jay. Corium splatter alone can keep workers away from Unit1,2,&3 for years to come.
        No Hot Monkeys necessary.
        Becides, the basement of a NPP is just not the place for a weapons lab.
        It simply would not have been necessary.
        If Japan wants a nuclear weapons program, who is there to tell them no?
        Certainly not the respectful, obedient Japanese Sheeple.
        And certainly not the guilty Americans, who have murdered entire cities with nuclear bombs!


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        • Jay

          PUN , and for the record ,

          1) my point on the corium dispersion is based on the violent reaction betwen the corium and the moist soil and/or ground water , if it survives the numerous dispersion by dripping through the building cross-section obstacles .
          The reaction is similar to welding where you can see the tiny hot dropplets flying all over .
          This way the Super-Hot corium is reduced over time to very-warm/hot microparticles of corium that , in the presence of running (ground) water as reported in Fukushima , will behave like grains of sand : some are carryed away , some roll , some gets stuck in obstructions , but overall it gets highly dispersed ( remaining though radioactive hot droplets , that can get in fish gills … ) .

          2) as proven that the Japanese , like other groups , think highly of themselves and being above the rest of the Global Village Idiots , having also a decent Learning Curve , my point on a hiden nuclear programme is from a Japanese perspective : " Nuke me once , shame on me , nuke me twice , shame on you , and I would have to be a total idiot to let you nuke me for the third time ! " .

          So , PUN , how does a nuke-armed Kamikaze sounds to you ?

          Where is the Foam ??


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          • Jay

            But Why hide it ?

            Why do the Israeli hide their nuclear programme ?

            Because that is one option of basic Military strategy , to suprise the enemy ( ' By Deceit we fight ' is as old as the Trojan Horse ) , and that's besides the Japanese poli-ticians avoiding the public oppinion of " Don't Do to Others What You Don't Like Being Done ( Nuked ) to Ya' ! " and all those public Demonstrations , petitions and jazz that politicians don't need …

            Hence the Hot Monkeys in the wet basement …


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            • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

              there's a different reason Jay. Their status as a nuclear power is well known by all others, except the American people. This condition is 'mysteriously' overlooked by American MSM and colluding international agencies, like the IAEA. There are two reasons for this glaring omission: to maintain the myth of Israel's vulnerability and to forestall awareness of the double-standard; one which allows a violator of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to also influence through that same world body, who has access to this deadly technology…


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  • The corium is something no one can know about. Tepco remains tight lipped. We know Chernobyle corium is elephant shaped. Can that be compared to the three in Japan? I think some of it melted out but the groundwater and whatever cooling water cools the blob somewhat. But regardless of the mechanism, groundwater and cooling water get mixed up along with an assortment of radio isotopes which are continuously leaching into the sea. And mainstream admits they are in over their heads. All we can do is prey. Forget about Israel, the mideast is just another mess.
    This mess is called Fukushima


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