Reactor Specialist on Unit 3: “I can’t tell you if it’s a hydrogen explosion or a nuclear explosion” (VIDEO)

Published: August 24th, 2012 at 12:25 am ET


Atomic Age Symposium II: Fukushima, May 5, 2012 – Session III Roundtable
Published: August 22, 2012
Published by: University of Chicago

Transcript Excerpts

At 1:46:05 in

Jeffrey Patterson, MD, Physicians for Social Responsibility board member:

This one [Unit 1 explosion] looks quite different from this one [Unit 3 explosion], and maybe we can discuss that in the panel a bit in terms of what that might mean. This one looks like a steam explosion, this one looks more like a much bigger explosion.

At 2:35:00 in

Hiroaki Koide, nuclear reactor specialist and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University’s Nuclear Research Institute:

You saw that picture of the explosion at Reactor No. 3 earlier, the truth of the matter is I can’t tell you if it’s a hydrogen explosion or a nuclear explosion.

Published: August 24th, 2012 at 12:25 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Engineer: 6 experts say nuclear explosion at reactor is possible — NRC: Fukushima Unit 3 explosion had 3 loud bangs, much larger than Unit 1 blast — Tokyo professor’s presentation adds question mark: “Hydrogen explosion of Reactor #3?” (VIDEO) December 28, 2013
  2. Tepco Official on Unit 3: “We donโ€™t know if it was really a hydrogen explosion” August 8, 2012
  3. Tepco: We don’t know if it was a hydrogen explosion at Unit 3 — Tell public it was though because “it’s a speed game” (VIDEO) October 8, 2012
  4. Real severe problem cooling Unit No. 3 reactor — Hydrogen explosion possible (VIDEO) May 13, 2011
  5. Asahi: Video shows Tepco’s hastiness when reporting Unit 3 as a hydrogen explosion — Cause “has yet to be determined” August 8, 2012

41 comments to Reactor Specialist on Unit 3: “I can’t tell you if it’s a hydrogen explosion or a nuclear explosion” (VIDEO)

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    Can't tell? What's wrong with you? Look at the hydrogen explosion at number 1, then go to youtube and look at the many "small" ground burst nuclear weapons tests, and then take a good look at that explosion at number 3 and if you can't see what type of explosion it is then you clearly need some kind of help.

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Haha..eatliesndie…Yeaaaa what eatliesndie said…lol…
      You tell them..
      Agree's with eatliesndie..

      Thanks eatliesndie

    • Yes, none of the it specialist. You can accurately determine whether or not this was the explosion of hydrogen, or nuclear explosion.But sa force, which do not want grant and lie next.

      Simply using a nuclear explosion and chemical compounds appear certain elements, characteristic of such an explosion. Simply determine whether they are there.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      How dangerous is this plutonium that was 'liberated' by FUKU? The God Pluto is on strike, until FUKU releases all plutoniums held captive as slaves inside reactors… Freedom to all plutoniums. Death to all slave holders… as strange as that sounds, this fiction may be more real than the reality presented by TEPCO.

      How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road

  • weeman

    I agree, hydrogen explosion caused shock wave that disturbed the fuel and caused a chain reaction, but I am no scientist.

    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      out of control chain reaction, hmmm….. I think that qualifies as a nuclear explosion doesn't it?

      • CB CB

        Sympathetic explosion? I dont think so but no expert. Need more duct tape, pumps, and plastic water feed tubes soon, winters comming fast. Please dont restart #3.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear spells doom, any way you look at it. The few crazies behind this failed technology need to be removed from it, and all nuclear power plants closed. In the world.

  • Lacsap Lacsap

    What about steam explosion? Remember the cooling systems failed..

    Melt-through of the reactor vessel may take from a few tens of minutes to several hours.

    The thermal hydraulics of corium-concrete interactions (CCI, or also MCCI, "molten core-concrete interactions") is sufficiently understood.[8] However the dynamics of the movement of corium in and outside of the reactor vessel is highly complex, and the number of possible scenarios is wide; slow drip of melt into an underlying water pool can result in complete quenching, while a fast contact of large mass of corium with water may result in a destructive steam explosion. Corium may be completely retained by the reactor vessel, or the reactor floor or some of the instrument penetration holes can be melted through.

    • Lacsap Lacsap

      So cooling stopped, reactor overheated, core melts in a couple of minutes (or hours) through the vessel and drops into the basements which had been flooded by the tsunami.. BAM

    • takedake

      I've been promoting Ian Goddard's steam explosion theory because it explains the way the reactor is leaking as well as the force and appearance of the explosion.

      But maybe it was a prompt criticality. In any case, it sure as HELL wasn't a hydrogen explosion. Of course the lying sack-o-shits in the Japanese government and at TEPCO will keep that meme going as long as they can.

      • Lacsap Lacsap

        I agree no hydrogen explosion at R3, it was a steam explosion.

        R3 had more nasty fuel which probably melts hotter then the normal fuel (MOX burns hotter) and so the whole core of R3 melted in no time through the vessel. If the fuel from R3 did not melt quicker / hotter because of its fuel, then it was just bad luck that in case of R3 the complete core left the vessel (or most of it).

        • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

          Hello All-I am far from an expert,but tend to agree with the "steam explosion" theory as well. In fact Jebus described the very same theory in detail many months ago here on ENE news with what he described as "the world's largest "steam hammer" ever to occur"…let's hope & pray none of the other puclear power companies(not a typo)try to "outdo" them?!! I think it also supports Arnie's recent assumption that the Plutonium detections were of raw,unburned,un-oxidized fuel rod assemblies. The "steam hammer" described would have resulted in that type of scenario with the ejection of materials-including that which was bulldozed over onsite. Take Care


    Finally a reactor unit #3 headline…
    Too bad plutonium doesn't fight fair… It brings BIG guns into the schoolyard and kills the whole crowd…
    Pu 239 deadliest substance known to man… Pu 238 is NOTHING compared to it…

    Where is all the plutonium 239 from reactor #3?

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      "here is all the plutonium 239 from reactor #3?"

      You can't have it. I have it all.

  • TerraHertz TerraHertz

    Hydrogen or nuclear explosion?

    It wasn't exactly either one. It was a hydrogen explosion initiating a series of three nuclear prompt criticality-pulsed steam explosions.
    I've previously posted this:

    But apparently that clear picture and video soundtrack isn't enough to convince some.
    So currently I'm working on an infographic to make it even plainer. It's a work for rare spare moments, and isn't finished. But here's a preview:

    It's a 6 MB image, which already makes the main point indisputably – the vertical explosion jet did NOT come from the reactor, it came from the SFP.

    There's a lot more to add to that graphic.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      The entire 100 ton Corium3 melted out the bottom of Building3. Your preview leaves little doubt, and is welcomed, TerraHertz.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      @Terrahertz..thanks for these.
      Very clear…
      The people need to learn to trust their own eyes again.

  • TerraHertz TerraHertz

    Oh btw. One error in that preview image is that there never were any Truss #1 and #7. Instead the roof structure rested directly on the South and North walls. So only truss # 2 (directly over the SFP) has actually 'vanished'. Pieces of it were probably in the nearby fallen rubble, but I haven't yet been able to identify them in photos I have. If anyone can spot them, please let me know: r3 (at)

    It's probably cut in two pieces, or at the least folded over.

  • dosdos dosdos

    The first explosion at Unit 3 was hydrogen. The one that followed a fraction of a second later was nuclear.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Simultaneously..kinda comes to mind…yep..
      Three different sounds were recorded during the explosion ..wasn't there rumor of GE building two layer beach bombs..or something?

  • TerraHertz TerraHertz

    Some other details.
    * All the MOX fuel in unit 3 was in the reactor core, none in the SFP (small mercies!)

    * The reactor core melted out the bottom of the pressure vessel, and is now in the ground below the drywell. But of course still venting into the drywell area.

    * The containment vessel is breached somewhere at the top dome or its attachment to the concrete body of the structure. There is continual venting of steam and radioactives from the drywell, via this breach. Visible as steam emerging from the area under the crane – still there in the recent video from a camera lowered by crane. In the days after the explosion of Unit three there was a great deal of steam emitted from this area.

    * TEPCO admits the operations floor of unit 3 is an extremely high radiation area. Not at all surprising considering it's ground zero for a core melt and outgassing, plus three sequential prompt criticalities in the SFP.

    Something else no one seems to mention. The stormwater channel carrying runnoff from the local valley goes underground to the sea, directly underneath the Fukushima Daichi reactor complex, and merges with the cooling water channels under the reactors. And since I don't see any coffer dam being built on that channel, there must STILL be water flowing through that (earthquake broken) channel to the sea. Mingled with contaminated groundwater from the core meltdowns etc.


    • Lacsap Lacsap

      My opinion: It is clear the basement and so drywell is full of water. The basements where first flooded by the tsunami. The water has cooled / is cooling the corium enough to not melt into the ground that is why they did not build a coffer dam, no need. The corium at R3 however was to much at ones when it fell into the flooded basement and created a steam explosion ( Tepco keeps pumping fresh water into the basement / reactor and flushes the old water into the ocean. This will go on for many many years, RIP pacific (and beyond).

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      No cofferdam being built. No wells to lower water table being drilled.
      Could be that they are running behind schedule a bit. The plan was to begin this work this month, in August. But they may have abandoned this plan altogether. There is just too much water to try to control. And the constant flow of groundwater is cooling Coriums1,2,&3, on its way to the Pacific. The entire Ocean and Biosphere is fast becomimg radioactive. ๐Ÿ™

  • Jebus Jebus

    The evidence that no MOX was in #3 SFP is clear, it was in the reactor, but my brain tells me that you can't have this:

    While leaving the #3 SFP still looking like this:

    A picture is worth a thousand words…

    • I don't believe that unit 3 spent fuel pool has much fuel intact and I wonder if the pool is intact at all…

      those videos could be from somewhere else

      Also, how do we really know that no mox was in the spent fuel pool #3?

      Apparently mox was used from 2010 onwards in that unit? I think that is what Sickputer found.

      If so, there would have been "used" mox generated and stored somewhere

      • Sickputer

        Maybe…but remember the cycles for fuel removal are about 18 months? I am thinking of the Duke Catawa fiasco for my guess. So if they loaded in 2010 it may not have been expired by March 2011.

        Chris or Pat could probably give better details.


      • Jebus Jebus

        majia, thank you for your tireless efforts in bringing the truth out.
        We really don't know for sure on any of this.
        But there is evidence supporting some facts.
        Here is the INPO report.

        If those truly are video's of SFP, I just can't believe that the horrendous explosion of #3 would have left the pool in any shape to make out standing spent fuel racks. They all would have been destroyed.
        So yes, if the main #3 explosion came from the #3 SFP, then it is destroyed beyond what the SKF videos showed…

        Just my honest opinion and no pro nuclear butts were hurt in the making of my posts…

        • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

          EXSKF videos prove conclusively that source of Building3 explosion was NOT SFP3.
          Many thanks, Jebus, for your link and posts on this very important topic.
          Congrats also to Admin.
          One thread today proves Building3 explosion was not from Reactor3.
          One thread today proves Building3 explosion was not from SFP3.
          Japan refuses help from Russians and Americans.
          Japan intends to destroy the evidence as they demolish and remove Building3.
          The question remains:
          What was the source for the nuclear explosion that destroyed Building3?

  • chrisk9

    What we know about unit #3 is that the control room (and seismic bunker) knew something was going very wrong and was prepared to act or evacuate the site. We know that many of their sensors was operating. They knew if the reactor was going critical, what temperatures were doing at different areas within the core, and knew at least some water levels. They also knew the pressure within the pressure vessel and drywell. I do not know if they had hydrogen readings of any sort, but I doubt it. We also know that the explosion lifted up the RPV and drywell heads and most have also lifted up the concrete shielding blocks on the 5th floor over the reactor.
    What does tell us about the explosion? The water level was already a problem, so that was not the source of their fears. Temperatures were already a problem, beyond the melting point of zirc, so that was not what was worrying them. Pressure readings were off the chart in all reactors, yet they were no ready to evacuate before unit one blew. So my best guess is that they saw the core becoming critical again. As the fuel melted and accumulated at the bottom of the vessel the chances for this to happen are much greater than when it is neatly arranged with control rods. Tell me if there are faults with my thinking.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      It might be that they were worried because most of their sensors showed "normal readings", when they knew that something very bad was going on inside Reactor3 in the days following 311. What could have made the operators in the Control Room worried? What could have caused the problems with their sensors? Stuxnet, perhaps? Someone that was there needs to step up and tell the public what they were so worried about. I sure hope they do it on ENEnews. Thanks to chrisk9 for bringing up a good point. Your thinking is correct, as usual.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    ..umm.. one of the control rooms looked like this.
    I've seen it posted as unit 3.

    • chrisk9

      The control rooms were a mess, but video's show them running most of the plant from their seismic bunker, and they apparently had the ability from there to monitor the plant.

  • Oom Werner P. Oom Werner P.

    The water mantle around the corium, which is now your coolant and ray attenuator and fire smothering mechanism, is currently hot from contaminants within. The super rate at which this happened in March 2011 caused a moderated criticality in the estimated range of 1/1000 s to 1/1000000 s when the water surrounding the corium at around it highest temperature, was separated from the core exposing it to many and various hydrogen isotopes under extreme pressure due to fission with oxygen generated from the separation of the water atom, therefore not being called a thermal explosion due to the little amount of water present at the time of explosion. A staggering 550 billionths of a second is all you need for one type of fission bomb implosion. This explosion was considered too slow for a nuclear explosion and yet completely caused by fission. This could possibly be called an attenuated nuclear explosion. Is this correct?