Anonymous ex-Fukushima engineer: “Fuel pellets could have been carried to different parts of plant” — TEPCO won’t deny that “fuel may have burrowed into ground” -NYT

Published: November 2nd, 2011 at 5:51 pm ET
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36 comments


Nov. 2 — “Some of the fuel has escaped the vessel, experts believe, and is in spaces underneath, where there is no way to use control rods to interrupt the flow of neutrons,” reports the New York Times.

The Times reporters interviewed Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto Universityโ€™s Research Reactor Institute:

  • “Mr. Koide holds that the nuclear fuel at the three reactors probably melted through containments and into the ground, raising the possibility of contaminated groundwater.”
  • “If much of the fuel was indeed in the ground early in the crisis, the โ€œfeed and bleedโ€ strategy […] would not have done anything to reduce danger from fuel already in the soil…”

According to the Times, “Tokyo Electric does not deny the possibility that the fuel may have burrowed into the ground, but its officials say that ‘most’ of the fuel likely remains within the reactor, albeit slumped at the bottom in a molten mass.”

The Times reported on another interview about the location of the fuel, this one with “a former nuclear engineer with three decades of experience at a major engineering firm… who has worked at all three nuclear power complexes operated by Tokyo Electric” who spoke on the condition of anonymity:

  • “His main concern was that officials could not pinpoint the exact location of the nuclear fuel โ€” which would greatly complicate the cleanup.”
  • “He said that tiny fuel pellets could have been carried to different parts of the plant, like the spaces under the reactor during attempts to vent them in the early days. That would explain several cases of lethally high radiation readings found outside the reactor cores.”
  • “If the fuel has been dispersed more widely, then we are far from any stable shutdown.”

For more information on the melt-through see: [intlink id=”media-guide-happens-next-fukushimas-triple-meltdownsmelt-throughsmelt-outs-videos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: November 2nd, 2011 at 5:51 pm ET
By

36 comments

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36 comments to Anonymous ex-Fukushima engineer: “Fuel pellets could have been carried to different parts of plant” — TEPCO won’t deny that “fuel may have burrowed into ground” -NYT

  • lam335 lam335

    I don’t suppose there’s any possibility that a “fuel pellet” could have been blown all the way to a sidewalk near a Tokyo supermarket?

    Is that any less plausible than mysterious old radium bottles being buried in random places all across the country?

  • thelili

    The interesting thing is going to be when these Ex-Fukushima guys realize that all of the hush money in the world isn’t going to save them or their families-under any circumstances.

    Then they are going to start singing like birds.

  • These little tidbits of info are sweet – like radioactive icing on a corium chocolate cake.

    There are more rads coming everyone… more intermittent pukings of radiation. Are you going to let your fight or flight mechanism be activated by a Geiger counter? Or are you going to let TEPCO keep shoving their spent fuel rods up your $$$?

    [MODERATOR: BEKRL.ORG AD REMOVED – PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ADVERTISING ON THIS WEBSITE]

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    I think maybe they put the banana in the bottle and carried it outside the supermarket.. see? ..it really came from inside the supermarket..

  • StillJill StillJill

    And Bekrl,..you are selling them,…how convenient!
    There appear to be a goodly number who are either disabled, retired, unemployed,..or under-employed.

  • thelili

    Hey Bekrl why don’t you donate a few counters?

  • theonlyjesse

    I see now why Whoopie gets so frustrated, I’m arguing with some propagandists on IAEA’s facebook page.
    Claims that more deaths have come from abortions during nuclear accidents than from radiation. wtf?

  • StillJill StillJill

    Awe Jeeze,…you’ve got to be kidding me theonlyjesse–Talk about trying to distract you by pulling most ANYONE off of topic!

    Mind over matter-“We” no longer mind, that they don’t matter!

    • theonlyjesse

      Same guy also claims people fleeing Japan recieved higher radiation doses from Cosmic radiation than had they simply stayed there.
      I can’t decide if I was more or less frustrated while I was quietly observing for several months.

      Pretty frustrated atm. lol

  • lam335 lam335

    They keep saying there was no rise in pressure in the RPV, but if the thing already has holes in it (i.e., if at least some of its fuel has already melted through it), would there really be significant pressure in it?

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    OMG! Just this morning the 700 club was going on about a new blood test that can detect down syndrome… they were outraged cause it would lead to more abortions… wtf? theme day?

    • americancommntr

      You know, if there was another great awakening, like say the Welsh Revival was, but here in the US, alot of the problems we have would go away as people personally yielded their lives to God, and He worked in their lives to change them. Including, there would not need to be an NRC, because nobody would think nuclear plants moral and safe, and they’d be shut down. Free energy technologies would be freed from suppression, also.

      And alot of people would go to Heaven when they die, rather than Hades, and later on Hell.

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    p.s. just in case… not a fan of 700 club, but sometimes can’t get the channel changed in time.

    • theonlyjesse

      Lmao, half of my 40 TV channels are 24/7 Christian networks, I’m very familiar with not being able to change it in time. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    @theonlyjesse.. was gonna help, but can not bring myself to like IAEA so I can reply.. sorry!

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    I would have used my real name, but do not want to be one of the some odd thousands that like the IAEA..I personally hate the IAEA… and it would be just like the propaganda machine to use all those “fans” as testament to how wonderful they are..
    I tag my photos of the genetic malformations of my fuscias as nuclear energy ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I will go do some tagging ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    ok..I feel better now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Grace Grace

    I too do not like the iaea, but i ‘like’ them as an expediency. Even if we wake up only a few, there will come a tipping point and we have a voice there, a voice that they have to respond to, if I were fearful, I might register a new facebook identity, yet I am not afraid. I am who I am, except here, where I am my dog. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • theonlyjesse

      I agree. that’s why I still have IAEA’s updates on my news feed, there’s not many better places to see what the industry is saying!

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    from the nyt article via http://news.lucaswhitefieldhixson.com/
    Even in their most dire assessments, some experts had not expected even bursts of re-criticality to occur, because it was unlikely that the fuel would melt in just the right way โ€” and that another ingredient, water, would be present in just the right amounts โ€” to allow for any nuclear reaction.

    If episodes of fission at Fukushima were confirmed, Mr. Koide said, โ€œour entire understanding of nuclear safety would be turned on its head.โ€

    bunch o homers

    • theonlyjesse

      I actually laughed out louuuuddd at that.
      Shouldn’t their reassessment of nuclear “safety” have changed, Ohhhh I don’t know, back in let’s say, March?

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    apparently a censure has been issued…

    http://enformable.com/2011/11/edano-censured-nisa-for-failing-to-promptly-report-data-intermittent-criticalities-have-long-been-suspected/

    really..is that the most..the best you can do? big whoopie! (no offense Whoopie :))

    again…bunch o homers

  • Undertow

    Can someone point to a link that explains why the explosion would occur. Having read up on the Manhattan Project I know they went to great lengths to ensure a fast chain reaction would occur. Why would the mass dropping into water cause a chain reaction to occur?

    And on the order of megatons..?? As a fission-only explosion? That level of power has only been achieved so far with fusion boosting.

    Someone with knowledge explain. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stlouieishot

    well what you would have if it exploded would be a prompt criticality just like the reactor at chernobyl when it exploded. to achieve a nuclear detonation you need enough fissile material in a close enough proximity. there are 50 tons of nuclear fuel, either uranium or a combination uf uranium plutonium. the fuel is undergoing a nuclear chain reaction. if you hit water and cause a steam explosion which can be just as powerfull as a conventional explosive which could crush the fuel and cause a nuclear explosion in the traditional sense. since a typical non thermal (non fusion) weapon contains like around 200- 300 kilos of fissile material , imagine one that has 50 tons of fuel avaliable. or it could even possibly ignite a fusion explosion if the fuel is currently sitting in just the right shape.

    i find it highly unlikely for it to happen though. you would have to have an extraordinary series of events and circumstances for that to take place, but it is theoretically possible, especially in R3 with the MOX fuel.

    most likely what will happen in the event of a steam explosion is fuel and other contamination will be scattered to the winds, which is just about as bad.

    either one of these 2 scenarios is what the russians were so afraid of happening if the fuel hit the water table under the building.

  • Undertow

    Perfect. Thanks!

    I imagine they don’t seriously fear this possibility or they would be scrambling for preventative measures like the Soviets did. I watched the Chernobyl documentary (Battle of Chernobyl) and was impressed with the lengths they went to, especially regarding digging out a tunnel and cooling room under the reactor.

    If they seriously fear this possibility then there needs to be a massive intervention, from international groups if needed. The results would be beyond comprehension, especially in that region, and especially depending on which way the winds blow.