Expert who worked at Sandia Labs: “TEPCO data suggest that fission is ongoing… This is bad news” — “Truly scary” that nobody in Japan seems to know basics of reactor accident progression

Published: April 21st, 2011 at 7:15 pm ET
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84 comments


After 5 Halflives, I-131 Higher than Cs-134/137 Suggests Ongoing Criticalities, Gerson Lehrman Group, April 19, 2011:

… Japanese regulators NISA and MEXT seem oblivious of the mysterious fact that I-131 Bq “reactor density” is still often reported double the Cs-134/137 Bq. The TEPCO data suggest that fission is ongoing despite the reactor shutdowns. This is bad news. …

Everyone with just a very basic understanding of reactor safety should know that once a reactor is scrammed, U-235 is no longer fissioning, and I-131 has no parent which can be decaying to create it in an ongoing process… the water circulating in intact SNF pools should have absolutely no detectable I-131 in them. …

[I]t has been almost five full 8-day halflives for their I-131 to decay to stable xenon. At t=0, as we say, the Bq of I-131 and Cs-134 and Cs-137 would all be approximately equal, but, after five I-131 halflives, the “reactor density” radioactivity of I-131 should be only 1/2**5=~3% of what it was originally. Go look at all the data of relative radioactivity that TEPCO is reporting with dates of April 19, 2011 and you’ll see that instead of I-131 being below the levels of the two cesiums, I-131 is often twice as high as the two cesiums always reported.

The fact that nobody in Japan seems to know basics of reactor accident progression that I learned at Sandia Labs in early 1980s is truly scary, because it suggests they are playing with these broken/leaking reactors and SNF pools inside at least three buildings totally destroyed by steam explosions … as if the reactors and their SNF pools are broken toys that they’re using trial and error to try fixing.

Read the report here.

Published: April 21st, 2011 at 7:15 pm ET
By

84 comments

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84 comments to Expert who worked at Sandia Labs: “TEPCO data suggest that fission is ongoing… This is bad news” — “Truly scary” that nobody in Japan seems to know basics of reactor accident progression

  • Discordian

    Unbelievable. I think we’re screwed.

  • cossack55

    The errors are continous and increasing. The trials are just beginning.

    • Noah

      They make Homer Simpson look good.

      • Dbug

        Homer: Don’t worry Marge, I’ve got it all figured out.
        Margie: Dinner is almost ready. What are you doing?
        Homer: Well it’s full of hot water and Borax is such a great detergent, this turbine will make a great agitator. It’s a nuclear washing machine.
        Margie: Sounds great honey, so what’s the problem?
        Homer: The dryer is too hot.

  • xdrfox

    If you folks have a bucket list, I suggest one consider getting started on marking things off the list, while one still can !

    I am sure this will affect travel and price of it very soon also !

    • dan

      I’m stocking up on things like food that was harvested before the accident. And I started thinking about other consumables that might start getting contaminated. So I’m stocking up on stuff like toilet paper too:)

      • Noah

        Ditto here.

        Dan the thought of using radioactive toilet paper is horrifying.

        • Bluetek 25

          LOL! TP, garbadge bags, kitty litter, paper towels, all pre 3/11, inventoried and stock piled in the bunker!

          • Bob Hardin

            Congrats! The rest of us, who used to laugh at you nuke preparedness guys, will be out using radioactive leaves on our radioactive posteriors.

  • bluejayway

    doesn’t surprise me one bit, given the definite lack of accurate and reliable information about this ongoing disaster.

  • aquart

    Why does this feel so familiar? Oh, right. BP deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico WITH NO PLAN OR EVEN THE FAINTEST IDEA WHAT TO DO IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG.

    And good luck getting me to eat a Gulf shrimp now.

    Once again a government has placed corporate greed over the well-being of its people. But the people will pay and the corporation will skate.

    • xdrfox

      And get Corporate Welfare and Tax Credits !

    • At this point I think a big ole Crayfish fry would be on my Bucket list. I mean who gives a fuck we are pretty much limited to what we can and cant do. I for one and gonna eat cheese shrimp crayfish Chicken Gizzards <<< love them. And Drink did I mention DRINK lots of BEER since my list fell in the bottom of my Bucket of BEER. We cant stop it we cant change it we cant live very long with it. So go take out a huge loan on your house and PARTY like its 1994. Or live like SHEEPOLE

      • bluejayway

        i do hope you’re kidding, there are better and more nutritious things to eat. and count yourself as a card-carrying sheeple, immune to the immense suffering and the immorality of your food choices.

        • Bluetek 25

          What’s immoral about beer cheese and crayfish? I wasn’t in class that day.

        • Another left wing Nut job No I am not a SHEEPOLE IDIOT I am one of the ones you would have nightmares about. The definition of a VEGETARIAN<< In American Indian is PISS POOR HUNTER In today's world Lousy Shot. I love the good ole REDNECK Foods with COLD BEER. Friggn PETA IDIOTS it really stands for PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS . MURDER IS TASTY TASTY MURDER

  • xdrfox

    Many places in the U S is 500 times above normal.

    http://www.thealexjonesshow.com/

  • xdrfox

    Better get that water to boiling for them there Crayfish !

  • bluejayway

    the sheeple have spoken. sheesh.

  • xdrfox

    As Fukushima bill looms, nations weigh dilemma: nuclear plants viable only when uninsured
    BERLIN — From the U.S. to Japan, it’s illegal to drive a car without sufficient insurance, yet governments around the world choose to run over 440 nuclear power plants with hardly any coverage whatsoever.

    Japan’s Fukushima disaster, which will leave taxpayers there with a massive bill,
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/as-fukushima-bill-looms-nations-weigh-dilemma-nuclear-plants-viable-only-when-uninsured/2011/04/21/AFrwGDHE_story.html

  • More People Need to be Aware

    I think if the world public –some 6 BILLION people out there?!!– were fully informed about what is going on …or NOT going on…in this desperate effort, I think the overwhelming public pressure and scrutiny on TEPCO, Japan, and the U.S. would force them all to pull it together FAST!!

    Tell everyone you know about what is happening. Most people need to know more.
    Next I’m calling my Senators and local health departments!!

    • dan

      Personally, I think calling your senator is like calling BP about the gulf oil spill:) But I guess it can’t hurt to let them know that you know.

      • More People Need to be Aware

        My theory is that you can be very polite, annoying, AND keep it in the forefront of their minds!…We ALL have a duty to spread the word and do what we can.

        The bad actors who cause this stuff to happen count on Americans to be cowardly and complacent. Thus far, they have counted right! Most people are far too apathetic and have given up their rights. No need to get huffy with officials–just be a squeaky wheel…enough wheels will get results. Elections coming up…they will take notice. It works like subliminal advertising and a million paper cuts… 🙂

        • More People Need to be Aware

          We have a lot more power and in far greater numbers than most citizens realize!!! 🙂 We just have to exercise it. 🙂

        • Did we do this or did the Japs do it I would like to know SINCE WE are so COWARDLY. We as American are NOT COWARDS Not the ones I know and watch DIE FOR YOUR RIGHT TO SAY SO ASSHOLE.

        • Bob Hardin

          I think it’s too late. Japan is getting help and advice from some of the most capable scientists in the world. If anything could be done to stop this slow-motion disaster, it would already have been done. As far as other disasters go, there won’t be any. Fukushima will do the final job. The Christian nut-cases turned out to be right. This is the End Times.

      • Mothra

        So true. I get no response or these canned form letters that don’t address my point. Locally, municipally is a better avenue for your time and attention.

  • dan

    I think another term for apocalypse is the unveiling. And once this thing is really out it in the open, things could get very ugly.

  • Glowing potato

    They know exactly whats going on. They just don’t want the public to know the truth. There is a so called economic recovery going on that is more important than the public health and safety. Money always wins.

    • More People Need to be Aware

      They count on people blindly accepting this. We did and look where it put us. But, if everyone says, HEY! this isn’t right, sir. I have children who are being affected. This is very serious. ETC. It sinks in..like a million little paper cuts. Don’t give up before you try!! We can do the reverse PR trick, too!….

    • Bob Hardin

      If the truth were widely known, everyone would pull out all their money from the stock markets and bourses of the world and go on a spending spree, because why not? So yes, the capitalist economies would all collapse. All consumption and no investment. Industries would have to shut down, etc. The results would be horrendous. Meanwhile, the cancerous health consequences of Fukushima may not appear for ten or fifteen more years. So governments and the media downplay the whole thing out of a sense of “responsibility.” I’m not sure I agree with their judgment in this case.

  • soozla

    You can bet that the ones in Japan that understand reactor accident progression are not going to live to tell about it.
    The people concerned will be silenced.
    The complicity and criminal activity surrounding the cover up of the severity of this accident is very similar to the BP oil spill.
    And on the one year anniversary, we are given
    a dose of half-truths by the MSM.
    Very few continue to care.
    Hopefully this will not happen in this situation.
    Hopefully the world will wise up and take whatever care can be taken.
    Hopefully humanity will awake and save itself from mass destruction.
    Although I must say the situation already looks very bad.

  • appalled

    Is the GLG expert confused?, or am I confused?. “Everyone with just a very basic understanding of reactor safety should know that once a reactor is scrammed, U-235 is no longer fissioning,…”
    My understanding is that U-235 is fissioning all the time, even before it’s dug up. It’s the fission *chain reaction* that stops on shutdown, because the neutrons ejected by fissioning U-235 are absorbed by the neutron absorbing control rods rather than other U-235 nuclei. The large quantities of fissile material at the plant means you would expect to see lots of daughter products if the material was not contained as it normally is. Still it is evident transient criticalities are occurring, from the blue flashes and neutron beams, but the material this occurs in immediately disrupts and the chain reaction ceases, unlike atomic weapons that are built in such a way that a significant percentage of the material fissions before the bomb blows itself apart. This whole situation is so bad and unprecedented that it’s likely to generate a bit of confused thought, even in experts.

  • More People Need to be Aware

    It’s all just a MIND GAME…you play along, just play to counter them! But, you have to play. 😉 As we know, time is of the essence!!

  • xdrfox

    Kiev gets cash to construct new Chernobyl shell EU leaders and the G8 are meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, an event brought into sharper focus by the nuclear crisis at Fukushima in Japan.

    Europe backs a plan to construct a new shell over Chernobyl’s No.4 reactor, which exploded in 1986, to prevent radiation passing through the current makeshift covering.

    Hundreds of tonnes of radioactive material is still contained inside.

    The European Union has pledged an extra 110 million euros, meaning that 550 million of the 740 million euros the construction will cost has already been raised.

    The donor conference launches a week of commemorations in Ukraine marking the Soviet-era explosion, which sent a cloud of radioactivity over Belarus, Russia and into parts of northern Europe.

    The number of victims from the explosion stands at 31, but official figures on the total number of dead from radiation sickness remains a topic of intense debate.

    http://www.euronews.net/2011/04/19/kiev-gets-cash-to-construct-new-chernobyl-sarcophagus/

  • Ian

    I suspected from the start they had no idea what they were doing. The Japanese can copy something like a nuclear reactor but actually understanding how it works is another thing. This whole nightmare didn’t have to happen if the workers at the plant knew to get water for the spent fuel pools after the water pumps stopped working. Instead they waited after the water boiled off creating hydrogen explosions which further damaged the plants before they started pouring water over the spent fuel.

    • Bob Hardin

      Any bunch of people who could make my Honda Accord–which is not mere imitative technology–could figure out a how a nuclear plant works. There was irresponsibility at the highest levels of TEPCO. The CEO actually deserted and disappeared for the first few weeks of the disaster before checking himself into a hospital for “exhaustion.” The Japan government is just a rubber stamp for TEPCO, as the US government was for BP. The problem was lack of leadership, not lack of know-how.

  • xdrfox

    From Chernobyl to Japan: Treating Radiation Sickness with Rock Dust

    Many people today were not alive or do not remember the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. I remember it vividly. Just a few days after the disaster, I flew to Salzburg, Austria, to attend a banquet in honor of a very dear friend and mentor, the economic philosopher Leopold Kohr. He was receiving the keys to the city of Salzburg from the mayor and the pre-arranged banquet menu featured venison, mushrooms and berries— precisely the wild foods that had the greatest exposure to radioactive fallout. Years later I wrote a poem called The Chernobyl Feast which I read at a memorial service at Yale for Kohr.

    Each day Austrians checked the newspaper to read the radiation levels of every food in order to make a choice about what to eat. The government recommended…

    http://remineralize.org/site/pt/blog/magazine/from-chernobyl-to-japan-treating-radiation-sickness-with-rock-dust

  • xdrfox

    Video • 400000 to develop cancer in 200 km radius of Fukushima
    By Video News • April 13, 2011

    Engineers at Japan’s Fukushima plant continue work on emptying highly radioactive water from one of the nuclear reactors.
    http://greatest-blog.com/busby-400000-to-develop-cancer-in-200-km-radius-of-fukushima/

  • Cee

    It can’t end like this. Out with a whimper. Just like I said, the “elite” are not scared of us at all.

  • 67Mopar

    Finally, a no BS explanation of the current situation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vz3VkNZszQ&feature=related

  • 67Mopar

    Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks… Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpHrBawqQtQ

  • WindorSolarPlease

    I watched the news tonight..Nothing about this!!!!

    No one in my family believes that this will effect us, it’s to far away.

    The public needs official word in what is happening, what to expect, and how to prepare, and making data available.

  • Novamind

    Lets consider that it may be that our governments lack of responce is due to a larger soon to be here problem that they know about and we do not.

  • Novamind

    As for the Experts in Japan who know about this type of nuclear situation at hand-They have already left! or so it seems..

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Wonder if they asked Watson, the smartest computer?

      I am sure that people around the world who have this knowledge is looking at this, trying to figure this out.
      I just hope they have enough time to figure this out.

  • soozla

    @Warloc .Thanks for the great links.
    LOL–It’s just like Texas and the Old Three Hundred.
    Take what isn’t theirs.
    Committee of 300.
    Is that a magic number or something?
    Committee of 300..I’m the “Heart of the Rose”
    LOL

  • soozla

    Link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Three_Hundred
    This is a massive power grab.
    Pushback…
    Call them out for the thieves they are.
    PS. Also murderers.

  • soozla

    The Jesuits:
    Many of people try to speak about their involvement.
    http://www.rense.com/general73/ener.htm
    I’m sure AJ has had something to say about it.

  • Jack

    Maybe SkyNet has consolidated Cyber-Mastery
    over all networks, nodes, servers, databases, control grids,
    and security cameras and robots….
    There was an old “TV Movie of the Week” from about ’71,
    wherein the military computers link up and take management
    control over human problems, and quickly the population glut
    is seen as the main management challenge, if there be any
    future for any cultures at all on this here Terra planet.
    The computer begins to deploy WMD to reduce the population.

  • Jack

    All of the above, Mothra Lady….
    Then, of course there is Bruce Dern in “Silent Running”(rent it!),
    but, I wish i could find the info
    about this one tv movie, because it was quite prescient
    about surveillance cameras and motion sensors and infra beams
    as means of inputs to the Controlling Computer…
    Have you seen they have been running the whole Planet of the Apes
    series on cable? Talk about some social engineering propaganda!
    Charlton Heston was a sharp, important mind. How ’bout good old
    Soylent Green?

  • Jack

    … but it’s distressing, Mothra,
    Heinlein accepted all the American jingoistic, imperialism and
    criticized opponents of nukes most harshly.
    He wouldn’t have been able to process the reality, similar to our
    established elders failure to grasp- that Our Own Industrial Military
    criminals did 9/11 to us. He was pro-military, anti-communist,
    pro Space Program, and unfortunately, would have missed the
    TRUTH of the situation, just as many of our Elders in Powerful
    Places have followed the Satanic callousness toward the people.

  • Tricky Dick

    “They” know what they are doing. They just don’t give a damn about the cow herds…

  • Starwatcher

    Jack, the movie you were recalling is called “The Forbin Project.” And you are right – it did fortell what is happening little by little in our world. I recall it had a very bleak ending as well…