NYTimes: Countries increasingly worried about Fukushima Unit 4 spent fuel — Experts: Concern over potential cracks in pool walls — Professors: “In deteriorating condition”; “This is a critical global issue”; “Could have fatal consequences for Japan”

Published: September 6th, 2013 at 3:14 am ET


New York Times, Sept. 3, 2013: […] thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place. […]

Xinhua, Sept. 4, 2013: […] Mitsuhei Murata, a former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland has officially called for the withdrawal of Tokyo’s Olympic bid, due to the worsening crisis at Fukushima, which experts believe is not limited to storage tanks, but also potential cracks in the walls of the spent nuclear fuel pools. […]

Telegraph, Sept. 4, 2013: […] Tom Snitch, a senior professor at the University of Maryland and with more than 30 years’ experience in nuclear issues, said  “[Japan officials] need to address the real problems, the spent fuel rods in Unit 4 and the leaking pressure vessels,” he said. “There has been too much work done wiping down walls and duct work in the reactors for any other reason then to do something. […] This is a critical global issue and Japan must step up.”

Japan Focus, Sept. 2, 2013: […]  from November, TEPCO plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4 fuel pool. […] The spent-fuel pool […] was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, and is in a deteriorating condition. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction. […] If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large fire. […] This is literally a matter of national security – another mistake by TEPCO could have incredibly costly, even fatal, consequences for Japan. […]

See also: [intlink id=”professor-fukushima-unit-4-immediate-problem-building-sinking-30-inches-places-extraordinary-possibility-plant-could-be-march-2011-resolved-risk-fission-accident-fuel-pool-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: September 6th, 2013 at 3:14 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Yale Professor: Fukushima Unit 4 pool in perilous condition — “All of humanity will be threatened for thousands of years” if not able to be kept cool — Danger of collapse during storm or while attempting removal of fuel rods September 20, 2013
  2. Former Ambassador to President Obama: Fukushima Unit 4 can cause “major global catastrophe” — This is the “most pressing global security issue” November 6, 2013
  3. Japan Professors: “Problem of such unprecedented magnitude” at Fukushima — International consequences — Fuel rods melted through reactor floors? September 23, 2013
  4. Nuclear Professors: Every engineer is really scared about fuel removal at Unit 4 — I advised gov’t to be ready to use explosives to collapse pool after 3/11 (VIDEOS) November 26, 2013
  5. NRC March Email: “The walls of the Unit 4 spent fuel pool have collapsed, and there is no water in there” January 11, 2012

76 comments to NYTimes: Countries increasingly worried about Fukushima Unit 4 spent fuel — Experts: Concern over potential cracks in pool walls — Professors: “In deteriorating condition”; “This is a critical global issue”; “Could have fatal consequences for Japan”

    • 21stCentury 21stCentury


      GRAPHENE can be used as "Stop Leak" in Spent Fuel Pool #4..

      GRAPHENE has interesting anti-corrosion properties..
      it can be used as an additive to water in boiler systems, the graphene flakes float in suspension and evenly coat the inside of the boiler system with a self-healing hi-strength boundary layer paint.

      GRAPHENE solution makes a good neutron moderator, and works well alloyed with borax. It helps to poison spontaneous fission of damaged fuel rods.

      GRAPHENE solution makes a good neutron detector, the electrical ohms detection between cathodic grid plates can provide vector imagery of micro-fissile targets in a cluttered pool.

      Alaska has a 280million ton GRAPHENE/graphite supply in a mining deposit available for use at Fukushima. This graphite mine can easily load the graphite ore onto tanker-barges as mining slurry in pipes running downhill from a convenient mountainside deposit. Located on a mountainside at Windy Cove, Imruk Basin.

      • scottyji scottyji

        Intriguing! Thanks for such a "solution oriented" post.

      • Don't know much about how useful graphine would be (but thanks for the lead, I'll go looking). But heavily borating the water in the SFPs would help keep spontaneous criticalities or possible sustained criticalities from happening during refueling. These are not explosions (there have been spontaneous criticalities at fuel fabricating and reprocessing plants, confined to the industrial equivalent of 55-gallon barrels). These have killed workers, but they are not nuclear explosions. More like Arnie's "shine" phenomenon. Sustained criticalities (moderated fission chain reaction) would also emit deadly gamma "shine," boil water like crazy, and maybe boil the pool dry faster than water can be replaced.

        Then you get the cladding fires. IMO the "worst case scenario," releasing 100% inventory of volatile fission products to the atmosphere. Atmospheric releases are more dangerous to land-dwellers than ocean releases, for whatever that's worth. I'm sure Charlie the Tuna disagrees…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Northern Hemisphere is where it goes, Plutonium and all. One speck of Plutonium kills.

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      "One speck of Plutonium kills." TheBigPicture
      Question: What is the human disease progression from one speck of Pu ingested into the stomach, or trapped in a lung?

      • bsgcic bsgcic

        Radiation Sickness leading to death. Plutonium injested in the body would be an extreme amount of radiation inside ones body. Look up radiation sickness on Wikipedia.org. It has a good overview.

        • bsgcic bsgcic

          Actually, re-reading your question, I think you were asking for more medical specifics which I do not know the answer too. I think (from seeing some of your other posts) that you already know about Radiation Sickness. I was just replying promptly because I had not seen anyone else try to address your question.

      • Lion76 Lion76

        I think it goes 1 mutated cell then another after another and then PROBLEM

        • mungo mungo

          from 8 years ago….. 2005

          Diane D'Arrigo, NIRS 301-270-6477 16
          Cindy Folkers, NIRS 301-270-6477 20

          All Levels of Radiation Confirmed to Cause Cancer.

          Washington, DC July 30, 2005 The National Academies of Science released an over 700-page report yesterday on the risks from ionizing radiation. The BEIR VII or seventh Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation report on "Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation" reconfirmed the previous knowledge that there is no safe level of exposure to radiation—that even very low doses can cause cancer. Risks from low dose radiation are equal or greater than previously thought. The committee reviewed some additional ways that radiation causes damage to cells.

          Among the reports conclusions are:

          There is no safe level or threshold of ionizing radiation exposure.

          Even exposure to background radiation causes some cancers. Additional exposures cause additional risks.

          Radiation causes other health effects such as heart disease and stroke, and further study is needed to predict the doses that result in these non-cancer health effects.

          It is possible that children born to parents that have been exposed to radiation could be affected by those exposures….

          • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

            Many thanks to above responders. Calling Anne!
            All ENEnewsers know about the "1/50,000g 'fatal dose' for Plutonium" thing.
            But what I was wondering about is the actual disease progression somebody with a Pu speck in their lung or gut would experience on their way to death. What diseases and disorders could somebody with an internal Pu fatal dose expect to experience? Could they expect to survive 20 years, 15 years, 10 years, 5? Anne, do you have any of your magical links to share, perhaps research on Pu poisoning?

      • jec jec

        Pu is larger particle, correct? How airborne has this poison become? Deadly yes! If plutonium can be localized or kept local, or is that even a possibility? Darn MOX fuel use by some very stupid people…

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    No way in hell will the 2020 Olympics be held in Tokyo. The city will be in shambles by then, over this country and possible humanity killing insane demonic technology.

    • lam335 lam335

      Gundersen keeps saying how TEPCO has been trying to fight Fukushima "on a budget" instead of throwing the kinds of resources at it that it truly requires. When you consider how much it would cost the Japanese government to host an Olympics, that money could be put to much better use if THEY would deal with Fukushima in the aggressive way that TEPCO is failing to do. It's an incomprehensibly short-sighted and misguided use of resources (another symptom of the denial–I fear terminal denial–that is plaguing too many in that nation and beyond).

      • Phil Shiffley Phil Shiffley

        When I connect the dots and project the lineage of the government officials' actions into the future I read their attitude as this: If the economy collapses because the money invested only saves lives instead of generating profits for certain groups of investors, that new lower grittier lifestyle isn't really worth living. We're trying to keep the global economy, in it's present hierarchy, together. That is all that matters.

  • ProfitOfDoom ProfitOfDoom

    Hello timemachine2020 … and if the 2020 Olympics were to be held in Tokyo … their Olympic slogan would be "Drink Beer and Smile" (per Japanese government instruction to avoid radiation sickness) … $$POD$$

  • ProfitOfDoom ProfitOfDoom

    "The 2020 Tokyo Smiling, Sloppy-Ass Drunk Olympics" … $$POD$$

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large fire." Japan Focus
    And there you have it, folks.

    All spent fuel assemblies have been corroded by seawater, and compromized by explosions, nuclear fires, dewatering of the pools, and falling debris. Removal of this fuel is going to prove to be highly problematic. Having some of the spent fuel assemblies break apart during handling is a certainty. (I hope the new #4 crane is remotely controlled). Perhaps most of the spent fuel assemblies can go right into dry cask storage.

    Enjoy your day. 😉

    • jec jec

      At Fukushima, TEPCO has been placing radioactive items (fuel cells/rods?) via crane in long tube like casks, placed for holding into water filled freight sized containers by the port, then placing on a barge for 'disposal' or dumping somewhere. Photos from some ENEWERS show these images clearly. Any have idea where the 'tubes' or casks went to? From barge to ??? Were they dumped into the ocean..??

    • jump-ball jump-ball

      "The process will begin in November and Tepco expects to take about a year removing the assemblies, spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters by e-mail. It’s just one installment in the decommissioning process for the plant forecast to take about 40 years and cost $11 billion.

      Each fuel rod assembly weighs about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and is 4.5 meters (15 feet) long. There are 1,331 of the spent fuel assemblies and a further 202 unused assemblies are also stored in the pool, Nagai said.

      The fuel assemblies have to be first pulled from the racks they are stored in, then inserted into a heavy steel chamber. This operation takes place under water before the chamber, which shields the radiation pulsating from the rods, can be removed from the pool and lowered to ground level.

      The chamber is then transported to the plant’s common storage pool in an undamaged building where the assemblies will be stored.

      “The problem with a fuel pool criticality is that you can’t stop it. There are no control rods to control it,” Gundersen said.


      • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

        JB, also adding to the suspense, this has never been attempted without computer assistance. All computers are off-line damaged- and cannot be replaced at Fuku Daiichi. Has to be done by humans…dressed in protective gear with limited vision, sense of touch etc.

    • Anthony Anthony

      I mean, picture it… they will need a heavy crane(s) and other equipment to get the rods right….. HOW is it that possible if the ground is already soggy , unstable and sinking etc? God I hope it DOES work. I guess it demands Die Trying.

  • bo bo

    oh yeah ? Thanks for noticing after 2.5 years, new york times.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I encourage the international community to question the condition of 4..
    TEPCO needs to admit what went so wrong it needed to be photo shopped.

    Tepco Releases Badly “Photoshop Altered” Image Of Reactor 4


    Questions need to be asked..such as how the crack occurred at the base of the reactor.


    Seems to me the only way that this could happen… is if the top of the building separated from the foundation..I assume during the fire/explosion.

    Video of smoke rising from Fukushima nuclear reactor, images of damage


    Heart of the Rose
    September 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    This is an older clip..
    Thank you..Nuckelchen.
    This was an active time period.
    Visuals..should assist in assessing the conditions of the reactors..including reactor 4.

    fukushima livestream june 2011


    • jec jec

      Dear @heart and @nuckelchen, all of the videos and stills collected since 3/11 show the disaster in all its "glory;" the hidden story which has been covered up by TEPCO and government. Yes, yes, I know we all say that, but the reason all our videos and photos get deleted –our timeline evidence destroyed, is the truth they show. Since we know the WORST of the video/photos were edited out, or could have been, we may only have the tip of the iceberg. Like the one that sank the Titantic–only this time its our lives on the vessel earth. Good job of videocording, Nuckelchen! Now we can look forward for the video expose/e-book..with all the evidence!! Will be a 'who dun it' non-fiction best seller!

      Bet TEPCO would PAY to keep you from writing this, Nuckelchen..want some help? I volunteer….e-publishing is so easy. Due to issues with 'tepco rights' to the webcam, just e-publish as on wikileaks….

  • SusanS

    ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢
    ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢


    ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢

  • W8R W8R

    They are not trying to remove "spent fuel" from # 4 fuel pool.
    They have only one target. And they let us see it! A freeze frame from the video of # 4 pool showed, amongst the broken and burned fuel racks, (which were redesigned to hold much more than their original design BTW )
    we were allowed to see another rack. This rack contained different rod assemblies. Very different. They were many suspect, pure Pu rods.
    Yep, they were breeding in #4. So they must remove that special fuel rack.
    So its not to save our asses, its to cover theirs.
    Must not let the world know that Fuku was a weapons lab..

  • W8R, not really. Its well documented that #4 spent fuel pool is in bad shape. You may be right but the bigger issue is trying to avoid a spent fuel fire. Tepco has been motivated to lie for many reasons. The bankers who lend them money, politicians, corrupt nuclear industry, USA and others strategic interests etc etc. Its no secret now that Tepco has been running the show like a cheap penny pinching Scrooge. Japan and the International community have been hoping it would go away and it hasn't. They have been slow too. So funny Obummer is trying to invade Syria with his War on Terrorism as Japan poisons the Pacific. Here at Enenews we are waging a war against Stupidity. Eco-terrorism if you threaten a food source like the Pacific. Perhaps the greatest ever crime against humanity and the world. I would like drone attacks on Tepco management and troops on the ground in Japan.

  • Songie Songie

    anybody know what day in november tepco will start this suicide task? spent fuel rods or pure PU….either way, I'm thinking it's a very good time to take a trip down south, of the equator…

  • allmymarbles

    No one wants to say it, but Japan is an ex-nation. It is part of a history book. It no longer exists. Any Japanese who can, would be wise to leave.

    • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

      I think the reason the truth about the severity of Fukushima is starting to be told in the MSM is because all the players divested themselves of stocks etc. and now they can let Japan free-fall like like the twin towers and building 7 on 9/11.

  • weeman

    For all we know they may well have started to remove spent fuel, tepco stated earlier that they would not inform us when fuel was to be removed from pool, you don't want terrorist to know when you are in a very precarious position or some lunatic.

  • FXofTruth

    I've been following this circus for over 2-1/2 years. This is the crisis that population reductionists have been asking Satan for!

    Billions of lives affected and shortened.
    100s of Millions will die within 5 years of exposure.
    Trillions of dollars made by building these plants.
    Billions of dollars wasted in cleaning up the poop from them.

    Within 10 years 2.5 Billion people will die.
    Within 20 years 2.5 more Billion will die.
    Within 30 years 2.8 more Billion will die.
    That will leave about 1.5 Billion left….just as they wanted.

    Why do you think Japan has dragged their feet? Why do you think RADIATION monitoring stations in the US were trucked away in mass? Why do you think TEPCO has been lying about EVERY DETAIL of this crisis from it's start? All part of a well executed plan.

  • ftlt

    FUFU = a gift that just keeps on giving…

  • NeverAnyDanger

    I think that people who are against nuclear should begin a campaign to state all the other health effects of radiation as well as cancer. There are many other health effects that can kill or reduce quality of life. In this generation and the next. People only think about cancer and it can be pushed to the back of their minds because it may not happen for 20 years.

    All the nuclear industry has to say is nobody has died because of Fukushima and ignore all other health effects as well as the loss of jobs, homes and land,pets and other animals as if this is of no consequence. As if the quality of life isn't important. All the health consequences should be named every time anyone talks about cancer. I doubt many people even know what they are because only cancer is mentioned and then minimized.

  • NeverAnyDanger

    The only reason the government is now making noises about taking over and doing the job right is because they want to have the Olympics and make lots of money off of it.

  • Sol Man

    With the length of the half-lives this event marks another facet of the genocide project to limit the full potential of humanity; the culling/death/disease wave will have a multi-generational effect that does not sort out of who to take and who to allow to stay.