Official: Fukushima fuel melted “on unprecedented scale” — French Gov’t: Parts of the coriums have been dispersed — AP: It’s location and condition are unknown

Published: December 17th, 2013 at 10:18 am ET


NHK WORLD, Dec. 17, 2013: […] The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning [established by Japan’s government] […] held a session in Tokyo on Tuesday […] They are seeking technologies to examine the condition of the melted fuel […] They are also looking for possible ways to remove fuel debris […] The institute’s managing director, Kazuhiro Suzuki, said the fuel melted on an unprecedented scale but that he believes there are numerous technologies in the world that can be applied to this work. […]

AP, Dec. 15, 2013: Japan is incapable of safely decommissioning the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant alone and must stitch together an international team for the massive undertaking, experts say, but has made only halting progress […]  there is the daunting challenge of taking out cores that suffered meltdown, which is the most dangerous type of nuclear power accident. Their exact location within the reactor units isn’t known and needs to be ascertained so their condition can be analyzed. […] The lack of experts is worse at the regulatory level. The tally is zero. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has no one devoted to decommissioning, said spokesman Juntaro Yamada […]

IRSN (France), August 2013: […] since the accident, the water used to cool […] degraded nuclear fuel. It picks up radioactivity, particularly by leaching of the most mobile elements still contained in the corium. In this respect, although uranium and transuranian elements have very limited solubility, certain fission or activation products are more easily dispersible in water (caesium, strontium, antimony […]

See also: [intlink id=”french-nuclear-experts-corium-pierce-steel-liners-fukushima-reactors-deep-erode-concrete-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: December 17th, 2013 at 10:18 am ET


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  2. Asahi: Locations and condition of melted Fukushima fuel unknown — Mainichi: 450 tons of scattered radioactive rods… unknown where holes in reactors are… plans may be delayed June 11, 2013
  3. Gundersen: “Nuclear core has disintegrated” at Fukushima Unit 3 — Japan Energy Expert: Location of melted fuel for 3 reactors is unknown, this has never happened anywhere before (VIDEO) February 28, 2014
  4. Japan Times: “Deadly” radiation levels detected outside Fukushima containment vessel — “Details behind situation are unknown” — Officials unable to grasp location of melted nuclear fuel — “Impossible” to plan for decommissioning October 30, 2015
  5. Japan TV: ‘State’ of Fukushima melted fuel unknown — Asahi: They “still do not know exactly what is going on inside” — U.S. NRC: Increased radioactive leaks at plant are “traveling underground to sea” (VIDEO) January 13, 2014

85 comments to Official: Fukushima fuel melted “on unprecedented scale” — French Gov’t: Parts of the coriums have been dispersed — AP: It’s location and condition are unknown

  • Go Flying

    One might imagine that NHK would grow sick of the stink from endlessly brown-nosing the JP govt….

  • Nick

    Corium might be everywhere.

    How do you decommission that?

    Oh yeah, pass secrecy law.

  • Proton

    OMG This is what happens when I'm late on my antimony payment?

    • Proton

      Sooner or later our plutonium payments are due… Hope everybody's been saving up. 🙁

      • We Not They Finally

        Unfortunately, that "payment" will be showing up in massive epidemics of lung cancer. That's where plutonium "hot spot" particles tend to lodge. They become "internal emitters" and cancer is just a matter of time.

        (I'd just delete the happy-face symbol. REALLY….)

  • mesa777

    I facts are true its not a good situation! Would love to read the technical data on what the French government has in regards to the coriums!

  • mesa777

    If we have a "dispersed" corium this is going to be bad!!!

  • weeman

    How much of the corium was vapiourized and deposited directly to the environment, what is you estimate, mine one third of all three cores.
    Let's hope I am wrong?

  • Nick

    The scale of Fukushima is beyond human comprehension.

    At TMI, parts of the melted core "dusted" off the surface, micro-size bits flitting up and away with the wind.

    I'm sure Fukushima's missing coriums are doing the same. Pzzzt. Pfftttt! Zasssrt! poof!

    Snap Crackle and Pop goes the fission products.

    • tsfw tsfw

      I still don't understand why there is no mention of Canada. They appear to also export shellfish to China, and there is no way they are worried about this 'toxin' within the confines of Alaska and Washington and not the area in between. It makes me wonder if China isn't just using a convenient situation to play out some other game they have with the US. To me, omitting Canada in this, is a piece of the puzzle.

      • We Not They Finally

        That's interesting. Where poisoned food intersects with poisoned politics. If the Chinese just wanted to protect China's food supply, then why not boycott Canada too?

  • Tiza Tiza

    Well, I had to look up corium, but before I did look it up, I knew that it just didn't sound too good. Here's a partial definition from Wiki:

    "Corium, also called fuel containing material (FCM) or lava-like fuel containing material (LFCM), is a lava-like molten mixture of portions of nuclear reactor core, formed during a nuclear meltdown, the most severe class of a nuclear reactor accident.

    It consists of nuclear fuel, fission products, control rods, structural materials from the affected parts of the reactor, products of their chemical reaction with air, water and steam, and, in case the reactor vessel is breached, molten concrete from the floor of the reactor room."

    • Shaker1

      Sometimes the language is only representative of how poorly we deal with complexitites. It's simple to name something, give it some reference for all to fixate upon and use that word for recognition of that 'thing', but the word hardly approaches what that 'thing' actually is.

      Well, I suppose the word is sufficient to elicit a personal response. I do wish they'd be a bit more fixated upon containing 'it' and the obvious products in these moments than what 'it' might be and how they're going to deal with 'it'. Seems at this point it's thinking and defining oneself to death.

    • razzz razzz

      Tiza: That is the sterile version of some types of corium. They need to come up with a new name when seawater is used to cool and mixes with the melts.

      • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

        "They need to come up with a new name when seawater is used to cool and mixes with the melts."

        Since it's actually a sub-type, I favor keeping corium in the name, but adding a descriptor to show that it's not the nice, clean, well-behaved textbook example that simply pools & cools at the bottom of the intact containment vessel.

        How about,
        "Hail-Mary Corium"?

    • bo bo

      Hi tiza… here is a photo of corium of chernobyl

      Have no idea who was able to take that photo (and how?)but it exists.
      I still can't wrap my head around it but it did help me when I got the visual.

  • Socrates

    Japan has launched the largest single radiological assault in world history through the Fukushima meltdowns and fires and explosions at spent fuel pools where one of the largest stockpiles of fuel was stored five stories above the reactors.

    There is no solution to this slow-motion train wreck and the radio biological disaster that will continue to unfold in this and across all subsequent generations.

    Governments can do little to protect their citizens. Any efforts to reveal the truth would destroy the fragile economies already weakened by fraud. One – half of Americans are near, at , or below the poverty line with more brutal austerity on the way.

    It takes more courage than our leaders have to admit the gravity of this threat to the ecosystem that supports life on this planet.

    The nuclear industry and defense activities have greatly increased background radiation for what they call defense and cheap electricity.

    Fukushima, TMI, and Chernobyl are only the tip of the iceberg. There are no viable solutions to the nuclear waste problem.

    We face increased mortality and morbidity in the USA with losses in food, fish and shell fish, tuna, dairy.

    • mesa777

      I agree with you on this 150% !!! There are no viable solutions at this time in which we have technology for. The only option at this point is for human kind to move off of the planet for good, but this technology is probably a couple hundred of years away…

      • We Not They Finally

        We actually are not given a crap's worth idea of what technology is out there to get off the planet! That's in the hands of secret cabals and fabulously wealthy private interests. There is just no way that that is a sure thing for even them.

        There was just a ridiculous special called “Evacuate Earth” on t.v., where scientists said that the best shot is 88 years in transport, grandchildren (can people even procreate in conditions of space?) landing down, carrying refrigerated bacteria “to make life possible on the new planet.” Plus having no idea of what CONDITIONS may be in “the new home” – like maybe 200 MPH winds.

        But one thing we were told we don't have to worry about: There will be nuclear generators on board, so for the whole 88 years, we'll have “safe” energy.

        Good God, who produces this crap?? We (us two) will take our chances with whatever happens after this life. We mourn what is happening now, but we believe that the soul survives and that this is hardly the only place to be.

      • J.

        I believe that if a functional global government — United Nations instead of UnTied Nations — existed, a solution funded by multiple donors could mitigate the worst of Fukushima. The UN is an abysmal failure, and Fukushima proves it.

    • Angela_R

      I guess that is a concise snippet of the 'truth' Socrates, but how many can deal with it? How many could confront further 'truths'? Nobody appears to be enquiring re Monju, or any of the other troubled reactors throughout the world.

      No doubt many can see that fear, lies and greed have lead the world to this point; that fear was induced and taught and the slow crawl to freedom was waylaid.

      What they failed to grasp is that creativity and problem solving, expire in such an atmosphere. Neither zombied man, nor mechanised lifelike robots can replace.

      For some forty years I have interpreted Daniel's "disgusting thing causing desolation' as nuclear.

      Yes there is hope. For me, what now rings are the words written long ago "Unless those days are cut short…."

  • Markgm

    There are too many coping problems and cognitive dissonance.

    I think love when turning away from fear is love without courage. I don't think there is as much of that kind of courage once the fear within is overcome. The peace within those who have overcome their fear astonishes the timid.

    America has all-too-much made a habit out of running to safety in order to have love. It is time to face – not the fearful without, but the fear within. On this matter, and so many other things.

    • We Not They Finally

      That's very well spoken. Denial does not overcome fear, just wallpapers it. Standing in the face of it is VERY hard, especially when the usual paradigm of "it always eventually gets better" is knocked away.

      Love and compassion IN THE FACE OF that will be extraordinary. But there are humans with that capacity and it's a great goal-marker for us all.

      • Markgm

        It seems that all humans have the capacity to face the fear within. The case in point to me is when someone finds out they're going to die. I watched both of my parents go through stages of finding out they were going to die and then going through that process. Look at war-torn countries, and the incredible spirit that shines forth – even in children.

        When I was a child, all I needed was my mother's love. I could have died in her arms. As an adult, I think it means being the "parent"; of finding that love (with courage) as an individual, and of being the source of it.

  • Markgm

    Isn't Japan the world's leader in robotics? Isn't that what is needed to dig and apply concrete and sand, and to do any of that…?

  • Nick

    We have reached a point in history in which the future has been ripped away from us all.

    Nobody. I mean nobody on this planet can escape the tick of time that Fukushima has altered forever.

    Sure, some folks will go shopping. Others will purchase yachts. Some will continue to acquire all manner of weapons. But nobody will honestly be able to act in a post-Fukushima world and not on some level, mourn the future that has slipped away.

    No government on earth will speak the truth to it's citizens. It is up to us all to do that for each other.

    As we sink into the abyss, it'd be nice if we cut each other some slack and held a helping hand whenever and wherever it is needed.

    The ship maybe going down but we can still love and laugh our way towards hell.

    Thanks nuclear. Thanks for the memories.

    • Angela_R

      Nick – "As we sink into the abyss, it'd be nice if we cut each other some slack and held a helping hand whenever and wherever it is needed."

      Some elevators are going up Nick, helping hands supply buoyancy and in air pockets people can possibly loosen gravity. The ship might be sinking but the spirit may yet soar.

    • We Not They Finally

      Thank you for that, Nick. We can still have our HUMANITY. And our compassion.

    • soern

      We can't tell our own children, "there is no future" without destroying their trust in human living – right?
      It is a real Taboo.
      How could a government tell its people "ok, we're finished – there is no future for us all" ? Probably not.
      Children could listen.

      We know there is almost no imaginable future for us all after beeing radiated, poisoned and without secure food and water.
      So what?
      Some will have a chance if prepared.
      At first teach your children middle age skills as firemaking, simple tools making etc. and be shure, they will have no electricity after civilisation will be gone.
      Many will die probably somewhat earlier.
      Meanwhile educate your children properly for their harsh future and try to be happy.
      We can talk about but we can't change it.

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Try explaining this situation to any of the 98 percent of those in denial. Your friends, neighbors, family…. They either think your are an extreme environmental nut or that you are fear mongering. Probably for the best. If the masses really knew what we know, there would be mass chaos and upheaval. There are times I wish I did not know. I find myself glancing at the public devouring their crab and seafood that I miss so much, and being sad that I can't join in the yum. Oh well, guess I can use my scuba gear to breath on when our air runs out………… The suffering and pain that will be reality in the near future for the young and infantile is horrifying. Japanese nuclear will be the end of us all. Africans and South Americans are all that will be left in 50 yrs. Been a fun ride. Best wishes. Try and forget for a bit around Christmas. If not for yourself, then for your family. Fukushima is forever! 🙁

    • rakingmuck

      Nick and timemachine2020

      You have both summed up the reality, the sadness and the hostility one faces from even close friends when trying to describe Fukushima in efforts to protect them. I have but one thing to add. As all of my family and friends will no longer listen to me "go on" about "this" any longer, there is a loneliness setting in I have never experienced at a time of immense sorrow for what has been lost as well as fear for what is to come. I have been able to handle "the truth" pretty well over the last 2.8 years. I find myself now without any emotional support except here and Twitter and that is making my own personal journey through this more, not less, difficult. That is the one thing I did not foresee. Thanks for listening.

      • We Not They Finally

        We've seen you post on this before (like about your L.A. friend eating seafood) and feel very sorry for what you are going through. Just remember that your strength and foresight are HONORED. There is so much more in this universe than just what we see, taste, touch. Always remember that even in the tides of disaster, where you have been willing to stand is HONORED.

        Talk as much as you can to people who DO relate, even if they are strangers. Many of us find ourselves in elements that do not relate to where we are. But that's not everybody — not hardly.

      • J.

        The situation is extremely serious, but I do not believe that it is hopeless, for a simple reason: that belief is self-fulfilling.

        There is certain to be a handful of very bright nuclear researchers trying to mitigate the disaster.

      • Ana Ana

        Yup – I am in the same boat. My friends and family with one exception (and he worked in nuc's in the Navy) no longer want to hear anything I say about Fukushima or radiation. They all still eat fish and shellfish and tell me that I am a drama queen. I come here for information and just to be around others that think it is all real. I am still writing letters and talking to strangers about all of this but feel very low and truly fear that what has happened is an ELE event.
        Ana in Sacramento

        • Its Curtains

          Me also, my wife understands the totality of this horrible situation but doesn't want to talk about it. We have two little boys and it's destroying me(and her, I can see it in her face and how she acts)inside to think what most likely will happen to them. I can deal with my own mortality but not theirs. Nobody else listens…I was with my mother last month and was giving her some more info on Fukushima, she then angrily burst out "Don't ever speak to me about this again" then left the room. I've fallen into a deep, endless depression.

  • OldFool

    "International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning. They are seeking technologies to examine the condition of the melted fuel. They are also looking for possible ways to remove fuel debris. The institute’s managing director, Kazuhiro Suzuki…"
    I checked their website and looked for some way to send an email message to them – I actually had some honest to God practical and useful technology to share with them. But they make it impossible for any foreigner to give them any information. They have created a completely closed system. How will they ever solve any problem if they make it impossible for any outsider to help them? with Fools like these, Japan is truly doomed.

  • Jim

    Canada – piece of cake – we turned off our monitors at the time of the meltdown, and despite melting starfish, bleeding herring and salmon, plus salmon that are not pink – no problem – fisheries scientists are gagged….in fact all our government scientists are. We now get occasional readings from all over the country. And the polar bears and sea lions are WAY up in Alaska. I don't think there's a bang, and with the date being less than useless (as in totally false from Japan, most here just check the tiny amount of data we have and thing CA and AL must be cursed. (sarc)

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Hey, all you nuclear designers out there, it looks to me like you need to design these nuclear plants like they do race cars. Just go ahead and design them to dissipate energy by falling into a million parts. It is going to happen anyway.

    You need to get some big corporate sponsors and paint the plants like the race cars too. I'm sure you could get some big nuclear medicine companies onboard. GE is a given. Metal detector companies would jump at it, as you could have a hunt for the corium.

    Seriously. Are you guys taking steroids?

  • We Not They Finally

    "Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has no one devoted to decommissioning, said spokesman Juntaro Yamada." Quote from above.

    At least at the start, we were given the insanely low-ball estimate of "forty years to de-commission."

    We want it "de-commissioned," of course. But even that is just a smokescreen. They CAN'T. We may well be stuck with this monstrosity "forever, or until the end of the world, whichever comes first."

    So, come to think of it, "forty years" may be looking optimistic at this point…

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    All these great science fiction movies like "I Am Legend" need to be written now that we know it's radiation, not viruses that turn men to zombies.

    In that movie, "I Am Legend," I like the hand grenade solution. That zombie leader must have been and infected nuclear engineer. Too bad someone didn't think of that one before he got infected.

    I guess I thought that because there are so many similarities between the nuclear guys and the zombies. They only come out in the dark.

    There is this one scene were the "Last man on Earth" goes into a building to retrieve his dog. He comes across a group of zombies huddled together. It looks like they are having a really heavy brainstorming session. I bet if we could look back at the IAEA's development meetings on Fukushima, we would see pretty much exactly the same visual image.

  • Sol Man

    We all wish that the situation were not as it is. The invisible people had no input in the acceptance of this technology.
    Gross Extermination.

  • Folks, leaving the planet is not an option.

    But as an additional approach, beyond just typing on some friendly minded blogs, here is your chance to speak directly to the NRC on the nuke waste issue. I want 200 people to drop a comment.


    At the bottom is a copy of my letter. Feel free to cut and paste excerpts from it if you wish. But don't send the same letter, the reviewers are hip to that type of "easy spam blast" and it discredits the original source.

  • Nick

    There will be no happy ending to the nuclear fairy tale.

    Fission dreams

    eternal nightmares

    Sometimes I get the feeling that our very brainwaves are altered by ionizing radiation.

    Anyone else got that fuel flea feeling?

  • humptydumpty humptydumpty

    BTW, my advice on posting links to avoid: I discovered that if you simply copy-paste a URL from the URL field in your Browser, you may end up with an invisible /br (line break) at the end. To avoid this, after pasting click in the link and try deleting the last few characters, and if you see spaces disappearing you know you've eliminated the invisible code.

  • Starbird Starbird

    Yes, Corium everywhere Nick, and the corium that leaked out of the north side of R4 building onto the ground will finally have to be acknowledged. The true events surrounding the fire and explosion in R4 on March 15 are about to come out.
    We're fuked…

    • Ana Ana

      Wow the site you posted on SPF 4 is very interesting. The pictures and thermographic images show that something major melted down in the SPF. As if killing us all with Reactors 1, 2 and 3 was not enough.
      Ana in Sacramento

  • safelyiniowa safelyiniowa

    Keep in mind that as isotopes decay they change to different elements. With different chemical properties. Some, like I 131 are water soluble. Metals can form salts. The powdered fuel inside the pellets can easily spread like any other dust. We now know that corium is in a duct leading to exhaust stack. The rate of 25 Sievert/hour can only come from corium.

  • soundmind

    It simply amazes me with the magnitude of this nuclear disgrace/ineptitude the lack of coverage and sources for the non-pc literate people of north america to acquire adequate knowledge of their impending death and demise. I speak with people daily that say, "I didn't know that." ?!?
    Then they ask, "what are they doing about it?" Sadly, I have to reply, "nothing, nothing at all, there's nothing that can be done until you're well done." Where is Wyatt Earp now that we need him?

  • soundmind

    a nuclear reactor in meltdown is like an illegitimate child. You got to learn to love it and you'll probably pay support for the rest of your life.

  • shamwow shamwow

    Reminds me of Leonard Cohen song "Everybody knows"

    "Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows that the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died"


  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

    News Flash: Elvis (coriums) has left the building….in fact Elvis left the building in 3/2011….

  • whiteaglesoaring

    Fukushima reactors were not designed to withstand Israeli sabotage by security contractor, Magna BSP, who left one week before the meltdown. With access to the infrastructure they had motive, means, and opportunity to install the stuxnet virus and a gun-type mini-nuke disguised as a monitor inside the containment building. Neither the earthquake nor the tsunami blocked the Siemens SCADA valves that supplied cooling water for the reactors. The blasts a few days later were NOT caused by hydrogen gas. 4-8' thick walls do not get crushed by such an explosion and vent towers were still in place and functional.

  • rakingmuck

    Suggested this yesterday and was so quickly dismissed i did not even defend myself. Glad I still have an open mind. Just saying.

  • pjrsullivan

    The free energy available from high speed earth motion was proven as early as 1871 when Henry Paine operated a table saw in his Newark, New Jersey laboratory using free energy.

    More recently, Edwin Gray (1925-1989), operated an electric motor using cold electricity that produced 278 times over unity. Free energy is a proven technology now as it was in 1871. Numerous designers and developers have demonstrated free energy in a variety of machines. If this is true, then how did the nuclear technology of planetary destruction get loose into our world? Why are we allowing the nuclear industry to poison us right on out of the habitat? Must we be facing lung cancer for merely breathing our air? How did such a technology of genocide ever take hold here?

    The theoretical aspects of free energy have been somewhat of a mystery. Here is a page that gives an explanation of velocity power and how we can harness clean earth motion to operate all of our machinery.

    As to how nuclear technology has been able to harm so many of us, can we consider that the authority to issue our money is held in private hands? Does that not help to explain how such a dastardly technology as nuclear has been forced on to us here? When will the people take control of the authority to issue our money? When will we remove the nuclear menace from our world?

  • Kat Kat

    Does anyone know what is going on with the live cam discussion thread? It is completely gone. It just says "no related posts" and I even went back a week and cannot find anything….hope it's just a glitch :/

  • name999 name999

    raking muck…the youtube of Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan was amazing. Lawsuits by thousands of Japanese people from Fukushima. Powerful brave people taking action…inspiring…