Reactor No. 1 core had total meltdown and uranium fuel may be outside containment building — Nuclear reaction could have restarted

Published: May 16th, 2011 at 9:49 am ET
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Meanwhile, the Disaster at Fukushima Continues, The Atlantic, May 16, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]

As Nature News’ Geoff Brumfiel reports, workers went into the unit recently “to recalibrate some of the sensors on the reactor.” Much to their surprise and dismay, they found that the core experienced a total meltdown. The zirconium alloy tubes that hold the uranium fuel pellets during normal operation all warped and the uranium is now lying at the bottom of the pressure vessel, or possibly even outside of it in the basement below or outside the concrete containment building. With all the fuel piled up at the bottom, there is some danger that the nuclear reaction could have restarted. As of now, engineers on the scene aren’t sure what happened.


Understanding the complete meltdown at Fukushima unit 1
, Nature.com, May 13, 2011:

[...] Reactor restart? [...]

Some have theorized that with all the fuel at the bottom of the vessel, unit 1 may have actually restarted its nuclear reactions. If that had happened, the fuel would be pumping out some portion of its normal 1380 megawatts of thermal power—probably enough to melt through the thick steal reactor pressure vessel. It would have dropped onto a concrete slab below (the basemat), where it would have hopefully been spread out, effectively diffusing the chain reaction. [...]

[A] note from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) quotes Banri Kaieda, the nation’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister, as saying that it is “a fact” that there were holes created by the meltdown. That would likely mean at least some of the uranium fuel is now lying on the basemat below, or perhaps even outside the concrete containment. [...]

Published: May 16th, 2011 at 9:49 am ET
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54 comments

Related Posts

  1. Report: If fuel melted through reactor, it would react with concrete floor of primary containment — Could add significantly to total radiation release May 23, 2011
  2. “Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima” — TEPCO worried fuel burned a hole through bottom of containment vessel May 12, 2011
  3. NRC on Fukushima: Fuel rods violently consumed by self-sustaining reaction — Molten core then “on the move” — Radiological impact is huge (VIDEO) December 21, 2011
  4. TEPCO official describes possible meltdown at No. 1 reactor: The “molten fuel accumulates like lava” April 21, 2011
  5. March 24, BBC: Neutrons are emitted during a “nuclear chain reaction” — March 20, Kyodo: “Nuclear chain reaction” feared at spent fuel pool March 24, 2011

54 comments to Reactor No. 1 core had total meltdown and uranium fuel may be outside containment building — Nuclear reaction could have restarted

  • “As of now, engineers on the scene aren’t sure what happened.”

    Feeling all warm n’ fuzzy now!


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  • SteveMT

    Reactors #2 and #3 have the same holes in the bottom. They had a total meltdown as well. What makes holes in the bottom of the reactor vessels? All of the reactors were exposed to the same quake and the same tsunami, so they all melted down in the same way and time frame. They must believe that we are idiots. Partial, piecemeal disclosures are not the way to tell people the truth. Why wait to tell us about the other reactors?


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  • Atlantis

    what is funny is that tepco communication is just a slow motion of the real thing.


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  • Notice that both of todays articles were from print media! Where is our vaunted electronic media during this slow motion disaster?? My congressional representative & both FL senators are also mute & non responsive to any enquiries. Stay herded all you sheep & stop your damn bleating!!


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    • Thereishope

      I am from the gov. and here to assist you. Please form a line. Stay clam, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Please follow the others into the large transport vehicle as you will be cargo, and placed in a safe containment area. Leave your belongings behind as we have food and fresh milk for all of your families. Please follow the red signs.
      Thank you for your cooperation.


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  • JC

    Total meltdown. Ok. So, in what is Fukushima different of Chernobyl?
    Good bye, Japan….


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  • rainyation

    i have this strange tune stuck in my head…
    a little sound bite by general larry platt who had his 15 minutes of fame on tv.

    core on the floor
    core on the floor
    quick shut the door cause
    the cores on the floor

    film at 11


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  • marsh

    They were telling us all the time that they are working to re-establish regular cooling.

    How stupid do they think we are?!


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  • Franky

    Nothing in the Main Stream Media today, the silence is criminal! Most people have no clue about the poison clouds in Japan and here in the USA. This speaks volumes about our media. Wake up people! The shit has hit the fan and our children will be first to get sick! Start writing to your representatives, start protesting! Do not stand by and die quietly! Apathy will kill us all.


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  • mark V

    Power plant mutating into powder plant. Forgive my silliness.


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  • marsh

    Appox. 400.000 cases of cancer expected in japan alone due to Fukushima.

    This is the point where it really gets serious.


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    • Moco

      But this has only just begun to really suck.
      No clean water, safe food will lead more deaths than cancer. Cancer 10 or 20 years from now might be the least of your worries.
      World wide food shortages. Japan is in for its life.
      Cancer increases could easily be 4,000,000 or more.


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    • radegan

      That estimate was based on early TEPCO information, I’ll bet that gets revised.


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  • Uh Oh

    I WONDER if they can get something or someone in a lead lined suit to cut those fuel rods into small manageable sizes and then encase each one some kind of coolant, perhaps liquid teflon?


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  • Franky

    Japan needs to ask for help from the international community. Would they rather let millions of their citizens die than show some humility?


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    • Cassie

      I just do not understand why there is no international help.
      This is a global problem and needs a global response.


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      • SteveMT

        It seems much more like an international coverup rather than providing help. The silence has been deafening, and all the more troubling about end game maneuvering, which seems to be none! Just go about your routine business oblivious to this poison, get horribly sick, and just die. Am I missing something?


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      • radegan

        Russians offered, it was refused. US Marine Radiation Team hung out at their hotel for a week and were never used, likely because TEPCO wanted to ‘discover’ the bad gauges on their own (after they sold their stock).

        See the Russians told them they’ve give them the helicopters and planes but the Japanese would need to pony up the volunteers. The problem is the lack of men in Japan, oh, they have little boys with balls, but no men. The Russians had volunteer helicopter pilots flying into certain death and had the balls to ORDER their armed forces into the fray and to die if necessary, as armed forces swear to do.


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        • Cassie

          I am going to keep saying this.
          This is a more serious international problem than OBL.
          Why isn’t the UN going in with military power and
          forcing a clean up with Russian and US expertise?

          Something about all of this stinks to high heaven.


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          • mothra

            There’s very little they can do, except watch 1,900 tons emit. It’s a cluster site uncontained multiple meltdown. Entombment still hasn’t worked at Chetnobyl for one reactor. Strategies from above: there isn’t enough money, labor and assets or enough tons of material. It will just melt into the floor and seep into the Pacific anyway. A tent would make the area unworkable and be too costly and fragile. The dry casks of spent fuel can be moved from the site, Areva can “reduce” the radioactivity in the contaminated water before release (like their leukemia La Hague water), they can slow the emission and fission by covering the melts with water, but ultimately 1,900 tons has to release to some degree before anything even mildly effective can be expected (low estimate is a decade). A lot of people will die and be effected from chronic low dose radionuclide exposure via multiple pathways worlwide that never rises to flawed intervention models set for economy and industry. At least 1.7 billion worldwide within 2-60 years conservatively. It will be difficult, as in the past events to link causation to Fukushima. The burden of proof is on the suffering families. There is profit in denial and they can’t do much anyway. The atypical pneumonias, eye irritations and gastroenteritis cases have already begun. In another year the live birth data will show. As the latency period matures the already eidemic related cancers, disorders and ailments will emerge. I don’t expect global coherence in the data, or public release of the information, but there will be studies denied by interested parties. We’re talking about our lives and environment vs. trillions annually in profit and taxpayer subsidy. It’s criminal.


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          • radegan

            Yes, it is criminal. They knew everything they’ve announced today – two months ago. The problem can be lessened with swift and massive action. The removal and binding of any radiation from the sea and air is a better outcome than just ‘watchful waiting’. It will take months to assemble the men, machines and material. Without the lies, that army would be ready now.


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        • pat b

          The russians at Chernpbyl were just like in K-19.
          They sent men into the heart of the reactor…


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        • Cassie

          Mothra:

          Thank you for your post.

          Perhaps they have known all along that there was nothing that could be done. So they just lie and spout happy talk.

          2 billion deaths. Amazing.
          We are paying a high price for our indifference to corporate greed and political corruption. Yes it is all criminal, but the crooks will walk as usual, and the people will take the brunt of it all.


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      • Franky

        it is the corporate-political power base in Japan. It is Greed! The greed will be the death of Japan. Japan’s government would rather let people die and protect their investments than help save their citizens. SHAMEFUL!


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  • Heart of the Rose

    Because Cassie:
    UN=NWO
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order_(political)
    No sense to keep asking.


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    • Cassie

      Tnx
      It is all beginning to sink in. :(
      C


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      • Heart of the Rose

        You’re welcome Cassie.. sorry we just don’t have a lot of time to spare.


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        • Cassie

          Pretty much looks like it is all over except the prayers.


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          • mark V

            No Cassie, it’s never too late. I feel guilty for being so selfish and givig so little love to people around me. I feel guilty for being ignorant and not adding my little bit in promoting things green, and green energy. No longer, I have added Enenews banner to top of my hobby site, I am asking my friends webmasters do the same. I am sure, world industries and scientists, once united, could still contain Fukushima. But we need to push.


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  • Jack

    Last night on the Inspector TV show, they did the infrastructure
    problems of Las Vegas. Lots of subsidence from ground water fall,
    and now they say they cannot use ground water because of the known
    widespread contamination from all the underground nuke tests.
    Meanwhile, not to be Critical of the Mass, but, butt…
    Movie recommendation:
    Mulholland Falls, with Nick Nolte… nuke test story subplot.
    also,
    Mulhullond Drive, with Naomi Watts ( a chilling, creepy, possibly
    nightmare-causing kind of movie).
    ….
    extreme measures…save the kids….??…Save your Soul?


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    • pat b

      Vegas gets it’s water from the Hoover dam.
      I’m not sure why they use any ground water.


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      • Jack

        Yes, the show pointed out that Lake Mead levels are 134 feet down
        from expected planned former levels. Ten years of drought. They used
        ground water in early years, and for industrial things.
        The show was about the soon-to-be uninhabitability of Las Vegas.
        The infrastructure is not maintained. Development has been about
        quick profits and not long-term sustainability ( that hated word).


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  • Saw this label in the produce & meat counter. “Irradiated For Your Protection”! Gives irony a whole new meaning!!


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  • Dr. Stranglelove

    Sayonara. So Sorry.


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  • Jonathan clowers

    There will be millions of cancers in japan. not thousands.


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