Plant Chief: Fukushima 10 times worse than Chernobyl if containment vessel exploded

Published: December 11th, 2012 at 12:07 am ET
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Title: Book reveals human drama in Fukushima No. 1 crisis
Source: The Japan Times
Author: KAZUAKI NAGATA
Date:  Dec. 11, 2012
Emphasis Added

[...] Freelance journalist Ryusho Kadota, author of the book “Shi no Fuchi wo Mita Otoko: Yoshida Masao to Fukushima Daiichi Genpatsu no 500 Nichi” (“A Man Who was on the Brink of Death: Masao Yoshida and the Fukushima No. 1 Plant’s 500 Days”), managed to interview more than 90 people involved in the containment effort and their family members, Self-Defense Forces personnel and others. [...]

Initially, the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. tried to play down the magnitude of the crisis. But from the moment Yoshida learned that a monster tsunami had knocked out the emergency diesel generators needed to keep the reactor cores cool, there was only one thing on his mind — that the Fukushima crisis had the potential to be far worse than the Chernobyl disaster in the old Soviet Union.

“If you simply calculate it, you can see (the magnitude of the disaster) would be 10 times more serious than Chernobyl. We kept coping with the situation with that in our mind,” Yoshida is quoted in the book as saying.

If any one of the primary containment vessels had exploded, massive amounts of radioactive material would have been released, and all nine of the other reactors at No. 1 and the nearby Fukushima No. 2 plant would have been unapproachable, Yoshida said.

All 10 would have suffered meltdowns, contaminating the environment far more than the Chernobyl accident did, Yoshida said. [...]

Just focusing on Reactor No. 2′s containment vessel: NHK: "The unimaginable was happening" -- Workers say part of Reactor 2 containment vessel destroyed -- After alarming pressure readings, "we heard a loud bang... pressure is now zero" (VIDEO)

  • Alarming and no good news
  • Unidentified Tepco Employee: Total despair
  • Then at 6a March 15, an explosion
  • Check drywell and suppression chambers… What’s the pressure?
  • The pressure was zero
  • Front line workers thought part of the containment vessel had been destroyed
  • “We heard a loud bang”

Published: December 11th, 2012 at 12:07 am ET
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19 comments

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  1. Deceased Fukushima Chief: “I thought we were really dead” — Fear of “nuclear doom for eastern Japan” — “A total failure in which the fuel melts and breaches… containment vessel” September 1, 2014
  2. Gundersen: The containment vessel exploded at Fukushima Reactor 2 — “There’s definitely a large crack” (AUDIO) March 11, 2013
  3. Asahi: Fukushima chief Yoshida felt “explosion occurred in the containment vessel” at Reactor No. 2 — Yet none of 4 special investigations have explained why it will only hold 2 feet of water May 1, 2012
  4. Former chief of Fukushima nuclear plant dead from cancer at 58 years old — Tepco: Not related to radioactive exposure July 9, 2013
  5. Tepco’s Fukushima Footage: Top of containment vessel could be destroyed — Several executives bury faces in hands, others sigh after talk of damaged containment August 7, 2012

19 comments to Plant Chief: Fukushima 10 times worse than Chernobyl if containment vessel exploded

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Totally asinine having nuclear plants. The horrid man-developed technology is insanely dangerous. And the backup systems, a joke. And no antidote for a meltdown. Everyone suffers. And all for nothing.


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  • Jebus Jebus

    "If any one of the primary containment vessels had exploded, massive amounts of radioactive material would have been released"

    Whew! It's a good thing something like this didn't happen!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k3Ofs6R9cg


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    • Sickputer

      It's always useful to go back and read early news reports of the Unit 3 explosion just to see how Tepco slanted the news:

      "The blast actually lessened pressure building inside the troubled reactor, and officials said the all-important containment shell — thick concrete armor around the reactor — had not been damaged. In addition, officials said radiation levels remained within legal limits, though anyone left within 12 miles of the scene was ordered to remain indoors."

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42066534/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/t/japan-pm-radiation-leaking-damaged-plant/

      SP: Later the world would learn the concrete roof was totally destroyed and the winds shifted and blew MOX pollution to Tokyo. But by the time they released those facts, months had passed and the attention span of non-Japanese nations shifted to other news. Only the international bankers paid attention. And Enenewsers…


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    • DannieJ DannieJ

      I hear three blasts but I can only see one explosion. I keep hearing talk of impromptu criticallity in a fuel pool, but I can see the cloud emanating from the reactor itself.

      What does it mean?

      Bad editing or echo or what?


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      • razzz razzz

        The telephoto lens video was shot from a distance enough that probably a parabolic mike used to pickup the sound was far enough away to be a second or so delayed. So, the sound doesn't match the picture.

        There might even be 4 large bangs if you listen closely. The last one is probably the main trolley beams falling down as it has a nice metal ringing to it. Then there is the main explosion (hydrogen) and secondary explosions (a type of critically in the SFP?) and maybe a steam(s) explosion going on.

        As the fuel melts and drops to the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, the bottom of the vessel begins glowing red from the heat and the graphite seals begin to fail. All the while, off gassing including steam keeps building up faster than it can escape through cracks and broken pipes until it blows the weakened red hot bottom down and out of the vessel.

        Then out of the reactor pressure vessel the melted fuel is into the containment vessel floor where if there is any water, it immediately flashes to steam and over pressurizes the containment vessel to exploded through any weak spots again.

        All these explosions disturb and agitate the SFP.

        Unit 3 blew the containment equipment hatch door open, probably a hydrogen/steam build up blast (a clean burn and blast there).

        Unit 2 has a huge cracked containment, reported visually by workers.

        Maybe if the lids don't blow off and the fuel is on fire in open air, it is not considered a major containment failure.


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  • nedlifromvermont

    … just can't seem to help myself …

    … Thanks be to GE for this mayhem …

    … 'amok' fr. Malaya, "a psychic disturbance characterized by depression, followed by an overwhelming desire to murder" …

    … ergo: General Electric: A corporation run amok.

    Now that IS something good you brought to life, guys, … NOT.

    peace!


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  • markww markww

    EARTHQUAKES and Devastation

    Some interesting data as to earthquakes and a earthquake news web site that has videos on most earthquakes

    1. solar moon and sun cause earthquakes
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/05/0523_050523_moonquake_2.html

    2. Earthquake news http://earthquakenews.com/related/houston-attractions.htm?tkn=zNTM59VMFRgKEwiKoO_grreWAhUEd4MKHe0f#/videos

    Markww


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  • patb2009

    "“If you simply calculate it, you can see (the magnitude of the disaster) would be 10 times more serious than Chernobyl. We kept coping with the situation with that in our mind,” Yoshida is quoted in the book as saying."

    yet anyone on any site outside of Enenews, Ex-skf or Fuku-diary and a few other useful sites
    like enformable, lucaswhitefield, were denounced as doomsayers and apocaplyptic.

    I'll note TEPCO no longer denies that there were meltdowns in the three operating reactors.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    He said..if.
    This impies they haven't.
    If the containment vessels did not explode.. say the visual ones 1 and 3..then well..how come we saw all this stuff come blowing out..at great force leaving the the entire structure in shambles?


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  • ftlt

    It was super infuriating at the time, the way this was all underplayed… I had quite highly educated persons, whom I respect, in denial of what had occured – (as they were being fed bad info from the most sophisticated of sources regarding the extent of the damage at and the threat from Fukushima…

    Now that it is out of the public eye, the truth that cannot be suppressed is gradually being allowed out… Now that few are paying any attention to it…

    I ask at the store if some food – that might be Japanese – is from Japan and the staff ask me why is that important… They don't know what Fukushima was or is..

    The problem is "everyone" is thinking about something different now… The Superbowl or the latest Apple you just have to have

    The biggest problem we face, is how to stop getting folks from drinking mind-controlling the Kool-Aid and eating the mind-numbing Jell-O we are served all the time in the media…


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  • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

    Hi ftlt….
    "The biggest problem we face, is how to stop getting folks from drinking mind-controlling the Kool-Aid and eating the mind-numbing Jell-O we are served all the time in the media…"

    It's probly pissin into the wind, but I sing em a song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wvz3yBSEZI


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  • Sol Man

    Denial from the inability to face truth. The situation is so bad that many must repel truth.


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  • elipsett

    This book has now been translated into English, and will be on sale from October 15, 2014 via Amazon and other retailers, and major distributors. For more information, see the publisher's website at
    http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/e/catalog/jp0043cate.html


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    • VanneV VanneV

      Unfortunately, the author says that the tsunami was the problem, when we know that the earthquake destroyed the cooling systems. And it says that there were 3 hydrogen explosions, when unit 3 was a nuclear detonation, and unit 4 was also at least 3 explosions or one detonation and 2 explosions. And then:

      "…Despite further natural and manmade obstacles, the men and women at the plant succeeded in their efforts, gradually bringing the reactors under control, restoring power, and edging back, one inch at a time, from the very brink of disaster…."
      http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/e/catalog/jp0043cate.html

      It was not the brink of a disaster, but a disaster which is never ending and will get worse for the next 250,000 years. The reactors are not under control. The fuel left the containments and melted through the concrete below withing hours after the initial explosions and detonations.


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