Tepco finds 920 millisieverts per hour in Fukushima Unit 1 torus room — Gundersen: “There are fuel fragments outside the containment”

Published: February 20th, 2013 at 10:16 pm ET


Investigation of Unit 1 Torus Room at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Day 1)
Tokyo Electric Power Company
February 20, 2013

In response to news of Tepco finding radiation levels of 920 millisieverts per hour in the Unit 1 torus room, nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen writes to ENENews, “There are fuel fragments outside the containment.”

Interview with Gundersen discussing fuel fragments being outside Unit 1’s containment here

Published: February 20th, 2013 at 10:16 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Nuclear Engineer: Proof that fuel fragments were “sneezed” out of Unit 1 Fukushima Reactor and into Torus February 26, 2013
  2. “Pile of sediments” filmed at Fukushima Unit 1 — Tepco taking sample from corner of torus room (VIDEO & PHOTOS) February 22, 2013
  3. Up to 1,000,000 sieverts per hour outside Fukushima Unit 1 containment vessel — Still too hot to attempt measuring other areas (PHOTO & VIDEO) October 16, 2012
  4. Fukushima workers drill new hole in Unit 2 torus — Tepco to check for melted nuclear fuel (PHOTO) January 28, 2013
  5. Gundersen on Plutonium: I believe fragments of nuclear fuel are in the ocean — From explosions at Unit 3 AND Unit 1 (VIDEO) May 21, 2012

85 comments to Tepco finds 920 millisieverts per hour in Fukushima Unit 1 torus room — Gundersen: “There are fuel fragments outside the containment”

  • WindorSolarPlease

    Yep along with the fragments is the radiation, and it's blowing here, there, and everywhere.
    The jet stream is no longer our friend.

  • We Not They Finally

    Before Fukushima, the maximum YEARLY dose per child was one millisievert per YEAR. Afterwards, they increased that to TWENTY millisieverts per year, however damaging that would be to children. OBVIOUSLY, it's been way higher. Like this. The above. 920 millisieverts per HOUR.

    • fierodough

      I remember 20 millisieverts /year used to be the max for nuclear power plant personnel. Now it's safe for children?? 🙁

      • patb2009

        and 100 Bq/KG used to be the limit at which low level waste needed to be containerized, stored in
        dry areas and put into 50 year holding facilities.

        Now it's food.

        • We Not They Finally

          You're correct. Arnie Gundersen went to Tokyo (about 150 miles away), took five soil samples at random, tested them and said that they would all be considered nuclear waste in the U.S. and have to be stored away from human contact. But in Japan, it's food. This culture seems to be so obsessed with "saving face," that that's all that's left. They "put up a good face" while the whole Japnese genome is dying.

  • https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yx3c80dtkpyi0gp/I3-C703cLa

    see what's going on here now.. Bakersfield, CA is getting 7 Sv/hr

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      This figure is both inaccurate and impossible outside of a reactor core. You must mean millisieverts (mSv). Your photos are numerous, and the one I found of Bakersfield was from 2011, and it was in CPM, Counts Per Minute, not sieverts (Sv).

      • Jebus Jebus

        Don't know what she meant, but it should probably be microsieverts or 7μSv per hour.
        Even 7 milliseverts per hour would probably get noticed by more than just one…

  • J.

    R.e. "see what's going on here now.. Bakersfield, CA is getting 7 Sv/hr"

    The link shows many photographs. Can you please indicate which one is relevant?

    • each one has location and date on it.

      • Wreedles Wreedles

        Your answer is flip and unhelpful.

        I looked through all 263 slides in your link, and nowhere did I find evidence to support your assertion that 'Bakersfield, CA is getting 7 Sv/hr.'

        The strangeness of the mashup of slides aside, I am forced to draw the conclusion that you are either:

        1) Unqualified to analyze the data provided by the RadNet site.
        2) Unwell.
        3) Deliberately trying to mislead people here at Enenews.

        To the rest of my fellow enenewsies, I invite you to draw your own conclusions

        • probie probie

          Thanks, I'm glad you see this and I already have drawn my own conclusion. I've only read 4 of this person's posts over the last couple of months and all were flat out wrong. Can't say anything in regards to the others but I personally don't care. One I went to the trouble to correct recently, which was totally disregarded, and then I saw the same posted as fact again a few days later in which others had to correct yet again (and I don't look much). Now make it 5/5 completely wrong. While the main articles on this site have, according to my knowledge, been proven valid by being consistently backed up with primary sources (which I greatly appreciate), one must always be careful of opinions posted that contain no substantiating evidence or that which is readily searchable. Good catch and considering this, I hope others take notice too. At 7 Sv/hr air readings, anyone in Bakersfield near that monitor would be, well..baked by now. Besides, that graph they post does not show dose nor can 50-some count gross beta, which it is right now, be translated even remotely close to 7 Sv/hr. Maybe in the rain after the event at one point it could have reached that level shockingly striking that one monitor? But it certainly is not now and the graphs show that, both accessed from the EPA AND this person's "slide".

          8 Sv/hr is a fatal dose and here's an example of what 10 Sv/hr does:

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          693 is the Gross Beta Count Rate for Bakersfield, CA on Feb. 17, 2013.


        • aigeezer aigeezer

          Wreedles and probie, you're not alone. I share your conclusions. History may not repeat exactly, but it rhymes.


          After that wild goose chase back in mid-January I posted "I'll withdraw from here until the PattieB era plays itself out", and I have not posted here since other than to refute a couple of residual calumnies.

          Ultimately, Admin decides the kind of site he/she wants to host and the site will find its audience. We'll see where it goes in the long run. I have no appetite for a "Paranoids Anonymous" meeting place, so if that's where it's going then I will opt out.

          It's hard figuring how to play it, other than a default "don't give them an audience" posture. Should you warn newbies or let them find out for themselves? Should you challenge each piece of nonsense at the source or ignore it?… As you know, it's much easier to generate the noise than to refute it (263 slides!). Who needs the hassle?

          I'll lurk here a while longer and see how it goes. My inner cultural anthropologist is curious as to who will prevail and how, but I'm much more interested in getting the nuke industry shut down than in extracting occasional signal from incessant white noise.

          Thanks for your posts!

          • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

            Or, from now on, when PB offers up 100 pictures as proof of her latest outrageous claim, why don't we all simply hit Report Comment, and urge Admin. to delete her comment?

          • Wreedles Wreedles

            Aha! Thank you for sharing a link to this past discussion; I found its contents most illuminative.

            Based on the historical evidence drawn from this site, I think it's safe to assume my points 1) and 2) are accurate. Point 3) is irrelevant; done deliberately or not, this poster’s wild assertions diminish the site’s credibility, and as aigeezer correctly points out, it’s so much easier to generate the noise than it is to refute it.

            PhilipUpNorth, I like your suggestion. I personally think this site is too important to allow one poster to poison the pool by peeing in it. I will, going forward, follow this suggestion.

            Aigeezer, for the record, I greatly admire and respect anyone who would actually use the word ‘calumny’ in a sentence.

            Thank you all for the feedback and the thoughtful input.

  • Sickputer

    Not only fuel fragments, but probably 95% of the 140 tons of fissile fuel formerly in the Unit 1 steel vessel has long ago flown the coop. Through the pressure vessel, through the containment vessel, and down through the concrete foundation.

    The water they keep pouring into the building is leaking out steadily… It just won't hold water. The water level in the basement is impossible to keep more than 9 feet of water despite injecting 25,000 gallons of water a day. They can't fix the leaks in the building foundation because the radiation is too high for humans to fix it.

    Remember red slag rolling down the pipe? That was Unit 1. Things did not go well inside that unit when the power was lost and the heat exchanger pipes were severed by the earthquake. Firehoses into the Unit did not deter a melt-through and melt-out. Remember Tepco is still holding onto a pipe dream theory that the fuel is still up in the steel vessel! Insanity.. With the leaks we know that could not be true. The majority of the corium is probably far into the ground now. Possibly moved with gravity down a mudstone fissure towards the sea.

    For a debunking of the advocates of the intact reactor vessel theory (pumped up also by the master submariner Atomic Rod.. 😉 check out the comments by a poster named Joieau at this link:

    The fun begins at comment 22 of the 71:


    • Sickputer

      This is one of my favorite parts of that Rod Adams versus Joieau exchange:

      Adams: "It has always seemed far fetched to me to think that material from a nuclear reactor that melted several hours after fission has stopped contains the power density necessary to melt through carbon steel pressure vessels that are 6-12 inches thick. My basis for making that statement comes from having spent several sleepless nights in a drydock watching people with specially designed torches cutting into submarine hulls to provide maintenance access. I also had the opportunity… to be the guy responsible for signing the requisition chits for the pallets full of gases used to power those torches."

      Joieau: "Torching through a submarine hull to provide maintenance access to the reactor compartment is entirely irrelevant to anything having to do with the reactor vessel itself, so this is an apples/oranges analogy that makes no sense whatsoever. A sub hull is NOT a reactor vessel, period."

      Adams: "Melting thick steel is not a job for a mass of metal that is only being heated by radioactive decay whose heat production is falling rapidly."

      Joieau: "I'd like to see Adams' explanation for how 'impossible' it is for 140 tons' worth of irradiated nuclear fuel to melt entirely from decay heat when there is no coolant and no heat exchange. That would shake 6 decades of nuclear physics/ engineering knowledge and experience to the core (pun intended)."

  • fierodough

    I'm a bit confused… I would be expecting the higher radiation readings to be either much above the suppression chamber or closer to the bottom of the water. It seems the peak radiation is right at the water line.. What can we conclude from this? I don't think fuel fragments float right? And the suppression chamber is somewhat distanced from the reactor core. (It's the doughnut that circles the bottom of the outside bottom of the containment vessel).

    I'm trying to gather meaningful logical data as to the location and condition of the core based on the readings but I can't come up with any theories as it makes little sense… The only hypothesis I can come up with is the suppression chamber has been breached at or near the water level and is venting near where they took the readings. Had it been close to the corium, O would expect readings of 10Sv /h +

    Apparently reactor #1 is the reactor that got the "hottest" during the catastrophe. (I intentinaly avoided the word accident here…)

    • patb2009

      my take is that corium "Spattered" into the S/C,

      so it's sitting on the walls and floor of the S/C

      you drop the sensor, as you get closer to the S/C it gets more intense,

      then you hit the water line and the shielding of the water stops Alpha/Beta/Gamma

      so as you pass closest to the S/C it peaks, then you hit water it starts to decay and as
      you get deeper you move further away from the S/C and the water shields you more.

    • We Not They Finally

      You're looking for "logical meaningful data" in this? There's nothing logical or meaningful in anything TEPCO has said. The only thing logical or meningful would be "Run for your lives!" This was AT LEAST three total meltdowns, reactors 1, 2, and 3; reactor 4 is about to topple but we've probably been lied to about its condition since it looks unable to stably house anything anyway; and we are never told anything about reactors 5 and 6, which might not have been dormant at the time at all. And if reactor 1 was "the hottest," then what about reactor 2, where seven minutes inside the thing can kill you?

  • japan guinea pig

    The hidden story.This issue about TEPCO and Fukushima is bad enough,however the under reported story right now is that the Japanese government is moving Iradiated Debris (Known as "Gareki" in Japan) all around the country (by road,rail and ship)to local incinerators (designed for household garbage)and burning it in heavily populated areas as of February 1st and for the next 2 years !!.The most resent area to accept this Iradiated debris is Osaka city,probably the 2nd most populated city in Japan.The thing is most people dont know about it.International scientist such as Arnie Gundersun( USA),Dr Helen Caldicott( Australia)and Prof Chris Busby (UK) have given warnings that this action will be very detremental to the people of those areas and the world,but to no avail.The japanese Gov are going ahead with this plan and are burning this stuff as I type, this email.In December 2012("months ago) a Prof Masaki Shimoji of Hannan university was arrested and detained for weeks (and not charged )for trying to inform people of this….its becoming like China !!!.Im writing this so that more people will know whats going on in Japan right now.The Media are hardly reporting it.What im saying is If there is even the slightest risk to the public why are they doing this ??.Check out prof Chris Busby on Youtube on a video entitled "The real reason why Fukushima Debris is being burnt all over Japan" HEEELP !!!

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Thank you, I have seen Prof Busby's video on why radioactive debris is being burned all over Japan. I wish I knew what we the international grassroots community COULD do to help you. Does the prime minister's office have a fax number? If so, can you tell us what it is? Maybe we can initiate an international faxing campaign…

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Workers entered Reactor Building1 to do a quick walkthrough. Here is the video.
    Small concrete debris was continuously underfoot throughout the Building, from the earthquake, or, more probably, from the explosion. Sheetmetal from ductwork had been blown down, partially blocking the passage in many places. My conclusion is that the blast went throughout the building. You can hear the venting of air under pressure from time to time, but there seems to be no sign of flooded hallways, and no water underfoot. There is no sign of fire anywhere to be seen.

    Somewhere, deep under Building1 in the sandstone, lies the guts of Reactor1. As the corium pooled on the concrete base of the Containment Vessel, some may have dripped, or been blown by the explosion, into the down pipes connecting the Concainment to the Torus. The 2,000+ degree lava quickly burned through the steel of the pipes, and dripped onto the floor of the Torus Basement. Hence the high radiation readings. Over the week after 3/11, the nuclear lava burned through the bottom of the Containment Base, and ate its way into the fill and mudrock below the plant. Corium1 is now cooled by the flow of ground water, which steams continuously. IMHO, it is this steam, from corium and ground water, welling up from deep underground, that we hear escaping from the broken plumbing during the video of the walkthrough.

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Should read "Containment". 🙂

    • Sickputer

      +311 PuN

      That's my belief also about the ex-vessel, ex-building escape by a large chunk of the molten fissile fuel. Confirmation may take a few years (or more) or they may already have proof, but suppress the information as it would be toxic news for the industry in many countries (China, Russia, and India excepted as their governments are currently incapable of ethical reform).

      Radiation readings inside are atypical (I wouldn't say confusing because we have a very good theory on why the norm is upside down) because there are pockets of splattered fuel left behind from the explosion and subsequent meltdown migration.

      Little surprise the three unit buildings won't hold water after the earthquake shifted the ground 50 meters at epicenter and up to 5 meters laterally at Fukushima Daiichi:


      "Fukushima Earthquake Moved Seafloor Half a Football Field"

      "So if the Okhotsk plate shifted 50 meters at the trench, what happened at Japan’s eastern shore? According to Fujiwara, data from various Japanese agencies and universities shows that the seafloor at the Tohoku shore moved 5 meters seaward."

      SP: The earthquake produced idea conditions for a triple unit meltdown, melt-through, and melt-out on March 11, 2011. It was the perfect storm proving mankind can't control nuclear power plants. The industry will dissemble for years, but nucleocrats, and intelligentsia now know the…

      • Sickputer


        Typo correction: The earthquake produced ideal conditions for a triple unit meltdown, melt-through, and melt-out on March 11, 2011.

    • weeman

      Good video, questions, I agree that it is high pressure air we hear if it was steam the humidity would be at 100% and walls and floors would be wet? And I would presume that if it was steam it would be highly radioactive.
      What is the source of high pressure air, is it the corium residual heat creating a high pressure.
      I noted that all the ductwork was damaged, looks to me as if the hydrogen built up in ductwork and exploded in ducts, I also noted that that at floor level little damage and majority of damage is in ceiling areas, hydrogen is lighter than air hence accumulation on ceiling.
      Did you note the amount of asbestos mag block scattered around, very dangerious stuff hope that is hepa
      filters and not charcoal filter.
      Very brave men but curiosity killed the cat be careful, play your part and get out.
      I am no brain surgeon just looking for answers any input is welcome good or bad.

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Great questions, weeman!
        1. The high pressure air (I never see a hint of steam in the air as they move past the venting noise), is created when ground water comes into contact with corium far below. As the steam expands upwards, it contacts cool sediments that the corium left in its wake as it sank through the mudrock. Most of the material is pulverized sandstone, which melted below the corium, and solidified above the corium as it sank. Steam condenses on this sediment, leaving only compressed air to work its way back up into the building, to hiss as it is vented through breaks in the plumbing.
        2. Scattered ductwork is what you would expect to see if, after the power went out, these ducts became filled with hydrogen, which pushed its way throughout the building using the ductwork as a pathway. When ignition occurred, the ducts propagated the explosion throughout the building. Good analysis.
        3. The asbestos blocks were clearly blown out of position by the hydrogen explosion. But asbestos is the least of the problems of these workers. On their way out, you can hear the continuous alarms from their geiger counters/dosimeters going off. Very brave men, indeed.
        A question: Think TEPCO will be able to "decommission" this NPP?

        • weeman

          No not in the foreseeable future, maybe 1000 years for complete decommissioning.
          Must continue to mitigate as best they can.

  • irhologram

    The wounds suffered by the survivors and shown by the bodies of the dead are of a shocking description. In some cases the flesh is torn in shreds, exposing the bones beneath; in others the eyes are forced from their sockets; in others the victim looks as though he has been plunged into boiling water and almost every body shows purple spots as if it had been forcibly pelted with fragments of stone and iron.

    –An unsigned description of the 1896 tsunami that hit north-Eastern Japan with a 110-foot wall of water, killing more than 28,000.

    Tsunami? Nuclearear disaster? Why WHO could have predicted THAT?

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Corium Exhaustion: At some point, unless it is able to sustain fission continuously, the corium will eventually cool down, and quit digging itself deeper into the sandstone. The temperature of the corium, which was above 2,000 degrees inside the Containment after dripping from the ruined reactor, would be expected to fall steadily as decay heat dissipated. The work of melting concrete and rock, would take many megawats of energy out of the corium. At some depth, at some point in time, the corium would have come to a stop, having exhausted itself. The corium would develop a cool exterior crust, and will remain in place, cooled by the continuous flow of ground water.

    The problem now is to determine the present depth of Corium1,2,&3. How deep did it get before exhausting itself? Where is Corium1,2,&3 right now? Has it stopped moving? Can we drill wells on the uphill and downhill side of the corium, to inject water on the uphill side, and recover water on the downhill side of the corium, keeping it cool and stable? Can we build a cofferdam around the corium to contain it? Can we devise a strategy to keep heavily contaminated ground water from continuously entering the Pacific Ocean?

    This is certain: So long as TEP.gov clings to the myth that Corium1,2,&3 never left Containment1,2,&3, no solution is possible.
    Meanwhile, the Pacific Ocean is becoming increasingly contaminated.

    • weeman

      PUN I appreciate your input on this site and value your opinions.
      Everyone is dreaming of a coffer dam to be built of concrete etc, will take years and put many in grave danger, if water is a good insulator of radioactivity then ice must be as good or better, why has nobody thought about building a dam by freezing the ground around the plant, if the ground is Murdock and landfill, bedrock can not be to deep?, yes what do do with all excess water? Will always be a problem no matter what and yes it would not completely stop flow of contaminants to ocean only reduce.
      Time is the enemy, let's get at it.

    • I keep telling you folks..! Once you have a melt-down? You don't have control rods to slow reactions! This isn't "Decay Heat" as without control-rods you have continual fission until the entire fuel had transmuted into decay products!

      WAKE UP!

      • Without control rods… adding water to the corium DOES NOT COOL IT! It does the opposite! WATER is a VALID working REFLECTOR! Such that adding water NOW…? Causes FISSION to INCREASE.. Get it sorted in your minds!

        THIS is why @ Chernobyl… THE DENIED WATER to the corium mass… so it would COOL!

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          Yep. This effect can be seen in your kitchen and is only magnified with the temperatures nuke fuel gets to. Heat a pan over the stove, please do not use teflon coated pans for this, you could poison yourself. once the pan is hot, 400 or so degrees, put in a few drops of water. They will skitter around not actually making contact. They can't contact the surface of the pan due to a steam barrier. The steam barrier insulates the pan from the water and then what you are saying is in the case of the corium, the water also acts like an insulating layer outside of that.

          Pattie, do you think using in situ vitrification to seal off the supply of ground water reaching the corium? I have seen where they can drive a pile into the ground to the desired depth and then using very high current, turning the surrounding soil into glass. Do you think that process could be used to isolate the coriums from the ground water? Assuming that they know where they are and can get down there.

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          Ahem! OK, Pattie, lets take one step back.
          Water is a MODERATOR, slowing the neutrons down enough, so that each neutron may cause another atom to fission, thus sustaining the criticality. But this only happens in nuclear fuel immediately adjacent to water, and adjacent to more nuclear fuel, so that the neutrons can pass from fuel through water, to slow down enough, to enter more fuel and be able to cause sustainable fission, as it does in a Reactor with Fuel Assemblies.
          What we have here are 3 Rogue Nuclear Reactors, in nature, and way out of control. Granted that the 3 Rogue Nuclear Reactors in the mudrock underneath Reactor Buildings1,2,&3 do not have control rods, a closed loop heat sink, carefully designed fuel assemblies, zirconium cladding, pressure and temperature guages, plumbing, pumps, cooling water, or human controllers. But, neither do they any longer have water evenly distributed throughout the fuel, as is the case when the fuel is IN a Reactor. Instead, what you have is a big blob of 150 tons of nuclear fuel, mixed with another 150 tons of zirconium, steel, cement, and sandstone. In the middle, the corium is by now at a temperature of 1,500 degrees F. At the outer crust, the temperature might be as low as 250 or 300 degrees F. At the outer edges, corium has formed a cool crust that is less then 50% nuclear fuel, and more than 50% sandstone, along with other impurities. Only this crust is in contact with the ground water.

            • Wrong! Water only slows down what doesn't get used to continue fission heating.. so as not to degrade your metallic container. Water at the corium temp… upwards of 5,000 degrees is a gas… if not split to oxygen / hydrogen and rapidly escaping UP!. Contamination of the "Glob, is only part that cools in any way at all… and in doing so, insulates the core and holds heat IN… but the same contaminated stuff gets left on sides of the hole it's making as it goes deeper. The problem is with water and sand, they reflect neutrons BACK into the center of the glob and cause the fission to increase.
              If the coreium hits bedrock, with enough Pu-239-241 with it, and gets water bath, it will again go super-critical. Pu-239 takes 10.6 kilo, Pu-241 it takes just 5.2 kilo gathered with reflector. The #1 core won't have enough Pu isotopes to go super-critical. #2 is now in question, as such rods are now vid-recored as sitting in its spent pool…??? The #3 corium has now had 2 super-crit events.. one that forced-exit out the bottom, and second kilometers down that caused quake and rad-steam eruption event. The pool rods of 3 make total now of 3 super criticality events that have been confirmed. Like I said, I have inside informant, and yes they are tracking the corium in the earth… what they tell the press is just cover stories… but the whole reflector / moderation shite is nuke shill work at it's best.. water is a neutron REFLECTOR and only a mild moderation medium.

              • fuganzi

                I tend to disagree with this view; this scenario is unprecedented, and ALL of this is completely theoretical.

                The only time we've seen this before is Chernobyl. And they stopped that core with liquid nitrogen.

                This core – well, there was a big explosion, AFTER it became liquid. How much of it remains in the same location? How much has evaporated or burned-off? It's melting everything around it, and all that stuff is mixing in, and contaminating what there is, (poisoning the nuclear chain reactions) – and I doubt that it's all concentrated in one location anymore; (which works against criticality).

                I think that as time goes on. . . yes, there will be a lot more contamination released into the environment, but I also believe that the danger of explosions, and increased heat (etc) goes down over time.

                It is the second law of thermodynamics.

      • weeman

        I want to stop the flow of contaminated water into ocean by building a ice dam around the property, not surrounding the corium.

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    "…The temperature of the corium, which was above 2,000 degrees inside the Containment after dripping from the ruined reactor…"

    Did you have a specific reason for using 2,000 (Celsius?) Philip? I have no idea myself, but would think a completely unmoderated reaction would result in much higher temperatures.

    That would be significant to me because it determines how much of the metal vaporizes vs. sits in the molten pool. This was one of the miscalculations at TMI at the time. PattiB, does that sound right? They originally didn't think it got hot enough to melt much of the core and based released figures on a fraction of that vaporizing.

    When they finally got to the core years later, they found that half of it was 'missing' – either the temperatures were well beyond what they figured, or the core vaporized faster than they expected at lower temperatures. As I understood the cleanup process, they didn't find nearly that much in containment – a good portion of the core vaporized, some was caught in containment, but some was released. Vaporized core is obviously a little more radioactive than the few curies of tritium and iodine they claimed escaped.

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      "Did you have a specific reason for using 2,000 (Celsius?) Philip?"

      "Quote by Kutt
      What temperature (in Fahrenheit) does molten corium burn at?
      Anything hot enough to burn through thick layers of steel and concrete must be insanely hot.
      Why would one expect corium to burn?
      UO2 melts around 2800°C. Steel melts at around 1450-1500°C. Iron oxide has a melting temperature of
      1377 °C. Corium would probably be somewhere in between. Metals may flow below melting temperature.
      Some folks assume 3000°C, and others state 3000 K. The latter would be a better upper limit.
      The situation is complicated with eutectic reactions.
      And of course, it depends on the presence of coolant (water) and the pressure, which would provide some means of heat transfer."

      PUN: I have seen estimates of corium temperature in the 3,000-3,500 degree C temperature range. Personally, I use the figure of 2,000 to 2,500 degrees C for corium lava. Not because anyone has ever actually measured the temperature of corium fuel after a complete meltdown. But because I recognise that during a meltdown, when corium approaches temperatures close to those on the surface of the sun, that the corium is melting all surfaces it contacts, including steel, concrete, and stone. I have repeatedly asked the participants of physicsforums to get involved in this discussion. But these people are more interested in maintaining their positions within the…

      • the core approaches sun-level temps.. the math folks worked it out based on heating while enclosed you get with space shuttle re-entry… plasma-wake… the outer layer runs about 3,500 or so, but the core where non-restrained fission, and no cooling channels exist… up past the 5,000 mark. You don't get moderation with water without such passages that are formed in rods.
        And while water is a mild moderation medium.. its roll as reflector is the more important one in reactors and making them work.

      • guezilla

        Actually they have measured corium after complete meltdown, but only on a small case of course. As posted on this forum before:
        "2300C is the melting point [of nuclear fuel], more or less. At that point it starts to flow, so the geometry is lost… but it's going to pool somewhere, and the heating can continue.

        Single fuel rod test reached over 3000C (about 4500F) with ease and a commercial reactor with 5,000 times higher volume and higher burnup would likely reach even higher."

        The question of the melting point alone is actually a complicated matter. Most sources seem to assume structural failure occurs somewhere beyond 2000C after which it will melt one way or another.

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Thanks, all. I'm not so much interested in when the core melts as when it boils. The paper you linked, guezilla, suggests all the cesium and less volatile components are released by the time the core pools.

          And even though the UO2-ZrO2 melt pool itself eventually stayed just over the melting point of 2270 C, the temperature had to pass 2700 C at some point to melt the Zr02 cladding. They figure it went past 3000 C. Tungsten inclusions meant that the tungsten reached its melting point of 3410 C.

          That was in a one-hour PWR fuel bundle meltdown that was force cooled with steam. I understand that there would have been no water or steam or anything cooling the Fukushima cores right after the explosions. A considerable amount of the core inventory may have never made it to the melt pool and vaporized instead.

          I'm less worried about a glowing blob of corium (or three) than what has already been released into the atmosphere. This is something they should be able to determine now – well, last year – based on the deposits in containment or venting paths.

          Did the melt pool leave containment? I don't care because I'm not breathing that and it will eventually be located. I know *some* of the core inventory vaporized and left containment and I am breathing that. I won't be around twenty-five years from now when they finally release the numbers.

          • Jebus Jebus

            BING goes the truth…

            Thats the "mystery" of #1.

            Here's the "mystery" of #3.


            It's worth watching again, to remember what has happened.

            #2?, SFP's, ya, plural. Ask yourself what really happened.

            Add it up, do the math, any which way you look at it.

            The result always equals the sum of the parts.

          • fuganzi

            Yeah, THIS is the real, big big issue.

            I don't think that meltdowns happen and proceed the way people believe they do. What happens to the container? The concrete? The bedrock? that stuff melts, and of course, vaporizes, but not all at once, and you will end up with an uneven, separated, impure blob of slag, which is not the ideal condition for sustaining a nuclear reaction. (especially if the mass was previously melted, then blasted into bits by a huge hydrogen explosion).

            The big worry is what got into the atmosphere, and is going to be poisoning all life on earth for the next 100 years. (not too particularly worried about the heavier elements, but the lighter ones with the short half-lives, your cesiums, your strontiums. . . iodine, of course, but that's not as ongoing – Japan's going to probably become the world-experts in treating thyroid conditions over the next 10 years. . . out of necessity)

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yes 30 percent of the core at TMI was dust as we were only thirty minutes away from a total meltdown but a lot of it was dust and rubble which they swept up and there is a video on Youtube which shows how they cleaned up the mess quite informative. If anyone is interested I will post it.

  • you don't get much beyond the 5,000 mark due to such heat causing expansion… this like the fission super-critical distance limits as it moves your reacting molecules away from each other. The sun has enormous gravity to stop such expanding.. but here on earth, you get what would look like the thing is a chest that is breathing! This was filmed @ Chernobyl as theirs cooled… at least before the camera took so many rads that it died! 🙂

    • slinky

      Yikes- gross beta count at over 1000 in Bakersfield. These charts are rather difficult for lay people to make sense out of. What is the ramification of this for anyone considering moving to the West Coast in this area? The radiation network is still showing most graphs in the 20-40 CPM range. Is this because of the typical trick of keeping the Geiger several feet off the ground and no significant beta or alpha radiation is detected? What is the current hazard due to alpha particles or beta emissions in the continental USA and particularly the west coast right now?

      • probie probie

        Please post evidence of trickery if you're going to defame fellow citizens and a reputable website who provide you with this information for free please. Better yet, buy a gc yourself and get informed. There is nothing unsound or tricky about readings from several feet up. You are being tricked, just not by radiation network. I suggest, instead of looking at this person's often erroneous and misleading posts, you do a search on the EPA's website yourself. Bakersfield is currently at about 50 gross beta at the moment with the highest reading this week around 520 or so.

        • slinky

          Well Christopher Busby in a debate was asked a question from a Chernobyl researcher about the logic of keeping the Geiger counters up off the ground, because they don't pick any Alpha Emitters or Beta emitters unless they are currently in fallout from a recent blast or stirred up somehow. And once they have hit the ground, are not easily detected. He said this was to lesson the impression and record keeping of long-term cumulative fallout, which I would imagine it does, does it not?

          • NoNukes NoNukes


            I like your name, and I would say that no one should move to the United States, it all seems to be contaminated. I know people across the country with all kinds of sudden, nasty health problems, brain lesions on the East Coast, bleeding from the rectum on the West Coast, etc.

            Thanks for the reminder about Busby's talk, it does make a lot of sense.

            • We Not They Finally

              Official Coverup Obscures
              The Collapse Of Reactor 4
              See The Video Of What Is Being Demolished
              At Fuksuhima Daiichi Here
              By Yoichi Shimatsu
              Exclusive To Rense.com

              A security camera inside the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant reveals the final steps in the demolition of a ferroconcrete structure. A mobile crane-mounted plasma torch cuts through the skeletal remnant of a three-story building, methodically cleaving the few remaining support beams, releasing dust clouds of burnt slake lime.

              Though the digital mosaic is often blurry, it's clear that only one side of the structure is left standing, indicating that the three other walls had been either removed earlier at nighttime or collapsed in the Richter 5+ earthquakes that struck northeast Japan between June 17 and June 22.

              The obvious conclusion could be drawn from the scene, which still goes unreported by the media, but once again as throughout this crisis I have always wished to be pleasantly wrong rather than painfully correct. In response to my skeptical query, Japanese activists responded: "It was definitely the No 4 reactor. We have not heard anything else about it. It (the demolition) was done on the day when the nation was focused on the government decision to raise the consumer tax."

              The demolition of Reactor 4 – yet to be officially announced by TEPCO or the Economy Ministry – has been overlooked by the mass media and even the anti-nuclear movement, which are preoccupied by the…

          • razzz razzz

            The long lived isotopes are decaying slowly and you need to sample the soil in a spectrometer and that could take a week to find all the decaying products.

            What is troublesome is that kids not being very tall play in and on dirt stirring it up airborne maybe inhaling particles. Having hot particles on your skin may not be a problem but inside a body it is a different story.

            And since fallout can be really spotty, the nuclear industry can hide behind low readings when they should be double checking other sources like plants, animals and human readings. Japan is trying to avoid detailed studies even cleaning up around detectors to skew their readings, no high readings is no reason for concern to test further.

          • fuganzi

            If you've ever been to bakersfield, you know that stuff gets "stirred-up" a lot. 🙂

        • redwing redwing

          Defame fellow citizens? OMG!

          • NoNukes NoNukes

            …as probie goes on to defame a fellow citizen calling them erroneous and misleading with no links after demanding that someone else not defame a fellow citizen without links…

            I can't believe that has been 20+ years since "Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury" came out…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Iz2kJeuRs Another world, but I remember, "Television, the drug of the nation, breeding ignorance and feeding radiation…"

            • probie probie

              Wow..impatient much? I just did… and btw, still waiting for proof for such claims in the first place. They made the claim something a graph shows differently, made another claim people are tricking in their monitor placement, and the other person claimed a death dose calculation based on a 50-some beta count – all without evidence. The burden is on them. Simple logic.

        • all of the charts have dates listed on them probie. and I have a few longer-term back-dated graphs, and don't see how this fact make what I have posted in ANY WAY something to consider "Trickery" and the "death does" Was for Bakersfield, and it IS.. with more than 70 deaths this week of sudden-death or cancer-related causation, add 6000 children "Down with THE FLUE" and they are running our of meds to treat them. This is one single town. It's not just the beta that is elevated, but more than x6 the levels of gamma rads.

      • Sickputer

        EPA's RadNet monitors (aka SadNet) are a big joke. The data is not trustworthy. I documented and have proof of one important unit falsifying data after the August 22, 2011 earthquake in Virginia (posting low value results 3 hours before the actual time…must be psychic I guess).

        The units themselves are mostly on roofs of federal buildings which was a favorite Japanese technique early into the Fukushima mess. Some American units are portable deployable.

        Despite a large budget awarded to a Bush supporter, the units actually are checked by "volunteers" and the operational status of the entire network is abysmal. Politics seems to have a big influence in how many big city units just happen to mysteriously stay out of service for years at a time. There certainly decent monitors owned and operated by the feds at Homeland Security, the armed forces, and at nuclear plants, but you can bet the family farm those radiation detections are off limits to the public.

        Big Brother loves you though. 😉

        • I also posted a page with the "Bug" they put into the polling mech as Java routine… it's attached to the date. I by-pass that and hit equipment directly.. so now I've made such a nuisance of myself, they shutting-off whole ranges, and even some more entire stations. 🙂

          I don't have an account with them… Sickputer

          What I'm getting is valid.. and I've now not just pointed, but sprayed the elephant in the room PINK.. and NEON! and giving photos out.. ;-P

          They not happy with me right now…

      • NoNukes NoNukes

        Thanks, PattieB. Do you, or does anyone here know whether the deposition of fallout from the Northern Hemisphere is ultimately higher at the equator, or deeper into the Southern Hemisphere?

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        693, Gross Beta Count Rate for Bakersfield, CA on Feb. 17, 2013.


        • Yes anne… funny thing… the EPA lists 100 as action-mitigation levels. That's why they put a java script "Hook" in the poll attached to the date. The state installed monitors in fire stations and the like, never go past the "100" action level due to this little bug. Exclude the dates in your poll selection, and set first axis to end date time… get a true reading.

          Downloading the data-set puts it in format that end-user can change, and doesn't stand up as evidence… I concluded that this is done deliberately. Screen captures are the only way to prove it's valid data on their own systems.

    • crystalwind crystalwind

      That was Dec. 2011. Unless you're looking at something else?

  • i thought the xenon 133 came from Oi but i am open to suggestions?

    Japan detects xenon 133 in air – Blames North Korea but could the source be a bit closer to home?

    Feb. 22, 2013 – 07:05AM JST

    Japan Today

    Xenon-133 is released into the air not just by an atomic explosion but also from nuclear power plants and medical institutions.


  • some areas I have all-way back to 3/11 others.. what they didn't delete from the actual equipment.

    the quip about erroneous postings..? If the stuff I'm posted is so wrong..? Then why does Tepco and others try so hard to prove me wrong?
    Not that they get far with that…
    What I post is the facts.. and if you can't see that by now, after every thing over two years I've said has come-out true…?

    Go re-join the sheep, smile.. and keep thinking I'm a crank… eat some fish from out the Pacific, and drink CA milk.. and finish-out your short life. You'll not be missed.

    • Bunch of other stuff they would not wish folks to know.. I'm still adding to this pile.


    • Songie Songie

      I certainly am not qualified to sort through all the science presented here or to take sides in this debate. But I do read most all of the ENE articles and many of the comments posted here to try to gain some understanding of this crisis and to determine how it impacts my life.

      However, PattieB, these rude comments of yours

      "Go re-join the sheep, smile.. and keep thinking I'm a crank… eat some fish from out the Pacific, and drink CA milk.. and finish-out your short life. You'll not be missed."

      seriously diminish my respect for anything you may say. I see that you are frustrated by thinking other people are not believing you. But resorting to personal attacks does not help your case. If you care so little for those who disagree with you or who question you, why do you even bother posting anything at all? This reflects badly on the whole site and community.

      Please clean it up and play nice. Thank-you.

      • Songie… true enough words spoken.. but even the best of us reach end-of-string moments, now and again.
        I have remained mostly civil all my time here. Lately, however… stuff that's been going down has me swearing!
        Yes… I do make some "Out-there" type claims. As Anne will tell you, I always have hard facts and data to back them up, and yes… it's generally so bad news that it makes folks lose heart over this entire mess!
        I have sources on the ground there. And it so happens that they are tracking the corium in the ground. and one was 4.6 kilometers down back in April of last year.. so the whole "Containment" of the coriums issue… just…!!!!!!

  • razzz razzz

    Looks like they are beginning to find pieces of the melted core flow and admit to it. Now asking for help for ways to remove it. Glad it is underwater or at least some of it anyway.

    Everything that is irradiated will radiated anything it comes in contact with. Dumping sand on everything makes for more radiation waste removal, it is more of a last ditch attempt to deal with run away melted fuel. Better to keep it in water and stop the leaks, like fuel rods later on the blob pieces can be air cooled when contained…if the buildings can remain standing that long.

    • What about the problem of contaminated water storage?

      The water in the pools must be filtered correct?

      that water cannot be allowed to become too radioactive, correct?

      I think that is a HUGE problem.

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    ….what a bloody mess….

  • Gmouse

    brutally honest fired reaction to circumstance & censure is commendable.not agitating.a healthy response. thanks PB. PC.NOT.MEi.sometimes vent…This "bake sale" not too "nice", is it??

    • Songie Songie

      just save your rage for TPTB, not each other…..we'll all need to help and rely on each other very soon now….

  • No.. and I'm sitting next to a duplicate of the fuku #1 rad-box! It's spewing so bad that even the EPA had to shut-down the monitor for entire Boston area.! It's had a multitude of problems… just one being the same valve that wouldn't open to vent the core of #1 reactor @ Fuku… not that it would have saved the plant, but still.
    I'm being hosed with a mini-fuku here. Then add-in all the additional fallout from Japan… 🙁