Expert in 2010: Megathrust quake predicted to hit Fukushima around Nov. 2013… Recurrence interval of 75 years with last rupture Nov. 1938 — Planet’s most powerful type of seismic event

Published: October 30th, 2013 at 11:03 am ET


Wall St. Journal, October 30, 2013 (Emphasis Added): Tepco will remove about 1,300 spent fuel rods and 200 new fuel rods […] the 4 meter-long rods will be pulled out of the pool at a time, is considered unprecedented in its scale. Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has expressed concerns about the fragile state of the nuclear fuel left in three reactors and the spent fuel pool in the No.4 building. If improperly handled or destabilized by another major earthquake at the site, the fuel could discharge large amounts of radiation into the environment. […]

  • Kyodo, Oct. 2013: “Tepco plans to start removing nuclear fuel from the spent-fuel pool at the top of the reactor 4 building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant as early as Nov. 8, about a week earlier than scheduled
  • Euronews, June 2013: “The Japanese government along with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are aiming to speed up the removal of spent fuel rods”
  • NHK, Dec. 2012: “Due to concerns over the ability of the destroyed reactor building to withstand earthquake activity as well as emergency operations, TEPCO has decided to speed up operations one year ahead of schedule to remove the spent nuclear fuel”

Ravi V. S. Kanda, California Institute of Technology (Emphasis Added), May 28, 2010: Fukuyshima-oki — ruptures of 1938 […] In the megathrust interface off Fukushima, three large events – Mw7.4 (May, 1938), Mw 7.7 and Mw 7.8 (both in Nov 1938) — occurred in close succession. […] combining the moment release from these three events […] yields a […] moment-magnitude, Mw, of 8.1. […] Since there hasn’t been a Mw>7 earthquake off Fukushima since 1938, we assume a recurrence interval of ~ 75 yrs for a characteristic earth similar to the value assumed for the Tokachi-Oki region [Yamanaka and Kikuchi, 2003]. […]

Science Magazine, June 17, 2011: The only previously recorded large events offshore Fukushima and Ibaraki occurred as a sequence in 1938, which taken together correspond to about an Mw 8.1 event  […]  the slip budget on the megathrust and the surface velocity data suggest that an earthquake similar to the 2011 event is possible offshore Ibaraki and Fukushima […] area could experience much greater slip than has been documented for previous events, similar to what just occurred offshore Miyagi.

See also: [intlink id=”kyodo-m10-quake-possible-says-study-an-hour-of-shaking-tsunami-lasting-for-several-days” type=”post”]Kyodo: M10 quake possible, says study — An hour of shaking — Tsunami lasting for several days[/intlink]

Published: October 30th, 2013 at 11:03 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. Multiple assemblies ‘deformed’ in Fukushima Unit 4 pool — One “bent at a 90-degree angle” — Tepco: Mistake occurred when handling the fuel… 25 years ago November 13, 2013
  3. Accident in Reactor 3 fuel pool at Fukushima — Large piece of wreckage falls nearby spent uranium rods — M5 quake hits plant soon after — Official: “Unable to say” whether any are damaged (PHOTOS & VIDEO) August 29, 2014
  4. Fukushima author: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 boiled after powerful New Year’s quake, says plant worker January 8, 2012
  5. “Ability for Unit 4 to withstand another seismic event is rated at zero” -Nuclear Watchdog May 4, 2012

103 comments to Expert in 2010: Megathrust quake predicted to hit Fukushima around Nov. 2013… Recurrence interval of 75 years with last rupture Nov. 1938 — Planet’s most powerful type of seismic event

  • kintaman kintaman

    Tokyo 2020 Olympics! Japan #1! Reality be damned!

    • We Not They Finally

      Won't happen.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        Agree will not, can not happen.

      • kintaman kintaman

        The reality distortion field is strong with TEPCO and the JP authorities. It is powered with lots of money and the mass media. The people are stupid and believe everything they are told so life can go on undisturbed. No one wants to believe such a horrible truth is reality.

        • Oncewaslost Oncewaslost

          "Reality distortion field" I like that!

          Its a got a "Make it so #1" feel to it.

        • mhocker10

          I am a member of the FFAN on FaceBook, the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network. One of the members there, now a US citizen, but grew up in Japan. The statement he made makes a lot of sense.

          He said that Japan, as a culture, has been taught over the years that when a crisis occurs, to step back, remain silent and soldier on .. I was amazed at this way of thinking. And it is this way of thought that is killing a lot of the Japanese citizens slowly.

          There are now, though, more and more Japanese citizens breaking the silence but it seems to be falling on deaf ears

    • Abbass Abbass

      I don't think Tokyo will even be habitable by 2020.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        I don't think it is habitable now.

      • hogy

        It probably is not habitable now but my guess with Abbass is it will become a deserted island by 2020-25. Several online news outfits have articles on 'why did the Japanese stop having sex'?
        Those who know don't want to have kids. Obviously.

  • or-well

    Attn: WSJ; you're only off by about 100,000 RODS.
    I say "about" because strict accuracy doesn't seem to be your thing.

  • Japan Suffered 3 Mega Disasters, Now Suffering From 4th Mega Nuclear Disaster, USA Will Be Next; via @AGreenRoad

    Earthquake Resistance And Nuclear Power Plants; 100% Failure Rate So Far; via @AGreenRoad

  • We Not They Finally

    And what did they think that they JUST HAD? A 7.6 (apparently — as per Dutchsinse, the first reading) downgraded to a 6.8. We have not a clue that they are NOT talking about DAMAGE ALREADY DONE. Where are the reports of what the October 25th earthquake did? There aren't any. Instead, there is THIS. And then the panic to do the suicidal fuel removal.

  • weeman

    More likely that the reason for early removal of spent fuel from unit four, is the increase in radiation levels at plant and if it continues to rise they will have to abandon site?
    All indications point to continual rise in levels and one bad day is all it will take.
    I know of no earthquake that can be put on a time table, not to say that a earthquake is not due in region, educated guess?

    • fuganzi

      I know of an earthquake that was put on a timetable.

      Parkfield, CA – supposedly every 22 years, the San Andreas fault slips there, and there is a 6.0.

      However, the last one was due in 1993, and happened in 2004. That's about as good as it gets.

      This region is very heavily instrumented, and is used as a test-bed for earthquake prediction models.

      • mairs mairs

        That's the part of the San Andreas that moves relatively often instead of building up stress over many decades.

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        Speaking of making the list..
        I was looking at the recent vid clip of foreign of Eden Isles ,Louisiana.

        Gunboats Seen Patrolling in Eden Isles, Louisiana
        Oct 25 2013

        I thought a while..about where I had heard the name…

        These 1,429 US Towns Could Be Destroyed By Rising Sea Levels
        Aug 14 2013

        Eden Isles is on the elevation..(and the way things are going) it may one of the first.

        • @Anne

          Did you read solarhams data today?

          If you all want to talk and worry about earthquakes… The +3!5 60 hours are doing to be very, very interesting…


          • + 3!5 * next

            I am guessing that Japan has 60 hours until another+7 www takes place…

            It is in my opinion with 100% certainty that another +7 mag, will take place within 7 days, and 80% certainty that one will take place within 60hours.

            • norbu norbu

              Tacomagroove, thanks for insight, will be watching closely.

              • jump-ball jump-ball

                Monthly new moon is 4 days away, Sunday 11-3, the time when moon and sun are on the same side exerting maximum monthly pull on earth and its crustal plates. Perigee isn't until 11-6 and the 11-3 west coast high tides will only be 6.4 to 6.6 feet, so this new moon-perigee-high tide combination is not what gets my attention when perigee and new moon coincide producing 7 foot plus west coast tides.

                But Friday's Honshu 7.3 and the five plus-5 magnitude 'aftershocks' will have us sleeping with our boots on and with the car outside the garage over the next few days: earthquake 'expert' Jim Berkland often looks for major quakes in an EQ window 3-4 days before and after close new moon-perigee dates.

                Living just 11 miles from the long-locked up SoCal San Andreas fault in desert cities CA may make us a little hyper, but then if you're not looking for it, you won't see it coming…

                • moonshellblue moonshellblue

                  And three comet's two which are hyperbolic (Comet Ison and Lovejoy:) and one periodic comet Encke , all three are heading in the same patch of space not the same trajectory but still it is very rare. Perhaps that is why the sun has been waking up with M and X flares. Just another reason to wait to remove the spent fuel at Reactor four. IMHO

            • Tacomagroove,
              Good to see you here. I wish I had a way to contact you more directly…I wanted to get a copy of the math problem you did 2 years ago about how long it would take to evacuate Tokyo. It was stunning and needs to be shared. Please email me at

              Thank you
              Christina Consolo

          • Slingerss Slingerss

            I'll be watching closely too. Going to make the hair rise on the back of my neck, if your prediction does come true.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            TG, TY. I looked yesterday, but am still getting a slow start today. I will be looking in a while. Did you see all the info. don't panic wrote on the planets, etc. Nov. is the worst month to be moving damaged fuel rods. I'll look for the link.

    • Kassandra

      I agree with Weeman's explanation

      This is a desperate act.

  • Phil Shiffley Phil Shiffley

    Wouldn't that 9.0 that started this whole mess be considered the megaquake?

    • Only one section of the plate released. The next section over is also due to release, off of Tokyo, and it has more nuke plants.

      The whole island is covered with big earthquake faults. It was insanity to built any nuke plants on that island.

      Now Turkey is getting Japan to build them one.. Turkey is full of huge fault lines and has huge earthquakes too..

      Insanity exporting insanity, spreading it around, so everyone can experience a meltdown.

      Equal opportunity suffering and death for the next million years, served up on a MOX plutonium fuel platter.

      • mairs mairs

        Iran wants ten reactors, and they're also in a very highly seismically active region. I've read that it's the most active region in the world but haven't checked that out.

        • MichaelV MichaelV

          The Nankai megathrust earthquakes are great earthquakes that occur along the fault that forms the plate interface between the subducting Philippine Sea Plate and the overriding Amurian Plate (part of the Eurasian Plate), which dips beneath southwestern Honshu, Japan. All of these great earthquakes have given rise to damaging tsunami.

          • MichaelV MichaelV

            The megathrust dip increases from about 5° near the surface to 10° as it passes beneath the coast of Honshu. Analysis of seismic reflection data suggests that some of the displacement is carried by a splay fault dipping at about 25°.[3] This 'megasplay' fault system has caused an unusually thick section of fluid-rich sedimentary rocks to be deeply underthrust. The presence of this 'weak' zone may lead to shallow coseismic rupture along the megasplay faults during megathrust earthquakes, explaining the large tsunamis created by these events.[4]

            • Faults are like teeter totters…

              When a geo active fault releases pressure, a force is applied to the,opposing plates making them geo active. The 9.p was a geo active,area on an opposing fault of the area of concern.

  • or-well

    Are they really speeding it up?
    As of Dec 21, 2011, their plan was to begin spent fuel removal in 2013.

  • Speeding up? With what money and with which laborers?

    They are 4000 people short, and not putting in enough money to really do much of anything other than a baling wire and duct tape band aid approach.

    Instead of reducing pay and making slaves out of those that are left, they need to double or triple the pay and guarantee free healthcare for life, for anyone stepping up.

    TEPCO got 1.5 billion in bonds to clean up the mess. They need at least 500 BILLION, or 1 TRILLION.

    So far, they lack the will and motivation to even address reality.

    A day late, a Trillion dollars short, and totally in denial.

    Not a good combination with a life extinction event.

    • We Not They Finally

      What they seem to be "speeding up" is THE STORY. It gets frustrating figuring out what is being SAID. It's all STORIES. They are supposed to have this effect or that effect. Some of these stories may even be designed for "cushioning" effect. That something ghastly has ALREADY happened, but we're being "cushioned" to accept it and/or blame the wrong cause.

      At least in New York (we lived there at the time), we were just told to blame foreign terrorists. Now we are apparently being told to blame God. Apparently, he does this kind of thing every 75 years.

  • ftlt

    Well, I think, there are many other obvious reasons for the rush to address this problem, besides, the threat of a major earthquake..
    The earthquake threat just joins a long list IMO..

    I believe, the foremost reason for the current rush is that the deniers have awoken to the fact, they are incapable of taming and minimizing this monster unless they are proactive.. Sitting around waiting for it to go away or fix itself has failed… I'm afraid, it is – at some levels – this simple of a reason, why, their recent approach has changed..

    All one has to do is look at the current state of the planet to realize there are powers in this world, who are unwilling to admit to the catastrophe they have created and are making worse everyday for the entire planet … They will make any excuse to continue on with business as usual to make a profit whatever the costs…

    Not trying to poopoo the earthquake threat, here… But, let's keep it in perspective by trying to keep sight of and address the real problem and greatest threat – the abuse of wealth and power by the greedy few…

    • Socrates

      When playing the game of Monopoly, remember getting a Chance Card with Uranium Mine stock as a bonus? Now the elites need a Get-out-of Jail card. They have all the money so they can make up the rules as they go. Plus, they ARE the bank.

      One fact remains – you can't take it with you. How long can they survive underground in their bunkers? Coming out after 250,000 years will be hard to do. Who wants gold now, or nukes? They stole more than they could swim with. Climate change might stop, however. Small consolation when you have to live underground.

      I'm ready for the hemlock… On the Beach!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    They are speeding up the so-called decommissioning of Unit run a bluff as quickly as possible…

    • babbo dorian babbo dorian

      Yes , I think so.
      But speeding means having an objective date that because of something…. moved forward a week.
      I am sure we all will receive a bad surprise by those days.
      Good luck for everyone of us … we will need it.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    I M P O S S I B L E . T O . P U L L . T H I S . O F F

    They'll drop a rod and start the chain reaction.

    Northern Hemisphere will be even more cooked.

    • mhocker10

      I've been thinking the same thing, however, I am wondering if the dropped rod, "accidental" criticality, hasn't already been hashed out and planned.

      Drop a rod.. cause a criticality.. leave the site for good.

  • Cisco Cisco

    The reason for advancing the schedule seems fairly obvious. The site is becoming so highly radioactive that longer delays will decrease the time for human worker exposure. As radiation levels increase hour to hour, the site (at SFP#4) will be more contaminated (more radiated) by November 8th versus days earlier, or November 4th.

    • +1

      I agree.

      "Cumulative equivalent dose due to external whole-body exposure is normally reported to nuclear energy workers in regular dosimetry reports. In the US, three different effective doses are typically reported:"

      A. deep-dose equivalent, (DDE) which is properly a whole-body equivalent dose

      B. shallow dose equivalent, (SDE) which is actually the effective dose to the skin

      C. eye dose equivalent (not defined in the NRC glossary)

      _ 😉
      NOTE: See the chart under the 'Computation' heading that shows Weighting Factors for different body organs… such as, gonads, lings, breasts, colon, bladder, bone, and brain.

    • We Not They Finally

      It's appalling that they could trick anyone into getting close to that site NOW. After the killer typhoon and a 7.6 earthquake ON TOP OF what happened earlier? (It was apparently 7.6. USGS downgrades. Dutchsinse keeps track of that. So apparently does Alexander Backman on

  • fuganzi

    Removal of spent fuel from cooling pools, to dry-cask storage, is being stepped-up at nuke plants WORLDWIDE. Obviously, Fukushima is a special case.

    It's true that this is a very delicate, and risky operation, under the best of conditions. What they are attempting at Fukushima is extremely risky. But the risk of leaving the fuel rods in that pool is even worse. It is a better scenario to TRY to remove the fuel, and have a small accident during removal, than to wait for the next earthquake, and have the whole pool drain again.

    . . . though, the article I read on Patrick Henry's site seemed to indicate that most of the fuel at SP4 had possibly already burned, and that the release was covered-up.

    Personally, I like the idea that others here have mentioned about bringing in offshore barges to store and process the contaminated water (temporarily).

    I also like the idea of TEPCO building a large superstructure around the site of the four reactor buildings, and running a remote-controlled overhead crane over the entire superstructure, so that these buildings can be disassembled and cleaned-up. Eventually, (decades later) once the buildings and debris are removed, they can excavate under the buildings to see what happened to the reactor fuel.

    • We Not They Finally

      It's nice to dream, but the ideas that you "like" would have long since happened if they ever could or anyone had the will to do it. Those days are OVER. Sarcofagus (I think I've misspelled that)? Overhead crane? Dissembled? Cleaned-up? Can't/won't happen. It's no longer a menu of what we would "like" to see happen. It's not happening. It can't happen. Too late.

      • Bones Bones

        If nothing can be done what-so-ever and it's impossible to stop further releases and get this under some type of control, then why even bother posting or reading about it. That type of thinking would lead to nuking the site, leaving the site and SPF4 eventually falls, water leaks never end, etc. We have to stop this. There is no other option. A defeatist attitude leads to half-assed work and lack of concern. I also agree that it's good they are starting the removal process. The fuel did melt in the beginning, but because there are immense problems should everyone just give up? I don't mean to sound harsh, but if nothing can be done why care if they have done not much so far and why care if it falls because no one did anything because they thought nothing could be done. It makes it seem inevitable. We make our own destinies. Please take no offense to my opinion.

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          Bones you sound like a medical doctor trying to convince a stage 4 lung cancer patient that he/she has great hope of a very long fruitful life and that yes you can cure their cancer that has moved throughout their entire bodies.

          You are correct that we humans do make our own destiny. You are right now living through your very own "created by someone else" destiny! This is our destiny and unless all Nuclear Power Plants are shut down world wide now and immediately this destiny will repeat over and over and over again.

          You better get to shutting them all down and it not then your are correct and all this (banter) is all just a big waste of time!

          Might be a good time to meet with Spock and sit down and review the logical definition of insanity told to the world by the very creator of this our real world "right now" destiny..

          Sanity at some point must take a stand against insanity and if not now…when?

    • Sickputer

      fuganzi writes: "Removal of spent fuel from cooling pools, to dry-cask storage, is being stepped-up at nuke plants WORLDWIDE. Obviously, Fukushima is a special case."

      SP: I haven't read of any increased dry casking other than Germany and Switzerland. The nucleorats refuse to spend trillions of dollars to cask the millions of tons of spent fuel when their governments allow them to sit in much cheaper elevated or ground water ponds with very little containment defenses. The decisions are deferred to the unknown future. Bad planning, bad governments. Everyone suffers biologically including the investors who escape liability for accidents.

      Fukushima will not be the last major disaster with over 400 nuclear reactors active worldwide and scores more in construction phases. Do they have better spent fuel containments for the new plants? Doubtful.

  • Ron

    Tepco has 'decided to speed things up'. You mean they could have worked faster before but had decided NOT to? Why?

    I'm glad that they want to finally get the ball moving, but I'm worried about letting TEPCO do it. This should be something done by the best people from around the world, not by whatever misfit TEPCO can dig up for cheap.

    • We Not They Finally

      You think that TEPCO "finally wants to get the ball moving"? What in the past 2-1/2 years has led you to think that? And you think that even "the best people in the world" can get into that inferno by now? What do you do? Just "walk right in and the get the job done"? Like some frigging CONSTRUCTION SITE? What you are calling "misfits" are just poor duped men who are going to DIE. They're not throw-aways. They're humans. Sent in to DIE.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Nothing to see here.. move along..

    Dec 1: Fukushima Webcam Shows Possible Fire at Reactor
    Dec 1 2011

  • Seeker

    Yes, the info @ Patrick Henry's site seemed to indicate that most of the fuel at SP4 already burned, and that the release was covered-up.

    If this is true, we are being conned big time. Even Caldicott still believes that SP4 fuel is the biggest threat and will move to Australia depending…

    Doe anyone listen to Shimatsu on Mondays at I do not have the bandwidth.

    Also, I thought the type of fire that could happen could not be extinguished?

    Thanks in advance for helping my understanding.

    • mairs mairs

      I remember that Arnie at the time thought the water level was below the top of the assemblies, maybe two thirds down, because of the steaming as they pumped water into the pool.

      • Bones Bones

        Pictures from an American drone during the very initial stages showed that fuel was exposed in the SPF at unit 4. I tried looking for it online, but can't find it anymore. It seemed like a TMI situation. Also, tons of machinery have fallen into it and it's full of brand new mox fuel and probably the used rods. It was being refueled at the time. I'd have to look up the specific data on it as it's been so long I forget accurately. I don't want to state anything false.

    • babbo dorian babbo dorian

      Seeker, probably we must trust our common sense, of course, been informed mostly.
      I personaly think there is no more spent fuel in #4
      Just ser the building and think of the índice conditions of the sf.
      It simply does'nt make sense that something es in good condition inside but
      Your opinión is the best for you.
      Muy best whishes for you and yours.

  • Shaker1

    For us all, and whatever state what is there is in (I personally believe that there was extensive burning and have since the original fires) good luck to them. Better to try than to leave it to neglect to handle. Neglect hasn't worked out well so far for us, has it? Either way, if there's an accident, the situation at one point or another becomes practically the same.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Ah..yes..another damned if you do..damned if you don't moment.. sponsored by the nuclear industry.

  • pkjn

    Japan gov’t fails Fukushima children
    30 October 2013 Voice of Russia
    The damage inflicted by the Fukushima disaster could be far more severe than the Japanese authorities would like people to believe. The Japanese government raised the radiation limits for exposure at schools near the Fukushima plant to 20 millisieverts. A senior nuclear adviser to the government at the time abruptly resigned in protest saying the level was 20 times too high.
    Mayor of the city of Matsumoto located on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been calling for children’s relocation from the areas. Living in an area contaminated by radiation weakens children's immune system and severely harms their health.
    Japan's now defunct Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency originally hid important radiation data from the general public, to avoid causing panic. Radioactive materials continue leaking into the groundwater from the plant even though Fukushima’s operator.

  • Socrates

    Murphy's Law is about people and nature. Technology and consumption without wisdom bring the human race closer to extinction every day.

    Climate change will be one of the horses of the apocalypse along with nukes, fracking deepsea drilling, GMO, etc.

    The future looks bad for the environment. That does not bode well for the species since we are symbiotic.

    I think #4 SFP IS partially burned. What a tough.situation! They violated Murphy's Laws. Profit and power controlled the judgment.rather than.a realistic.risk assessment.

    • We Not They Finally

      You mean the "Murphy's Law" that whatever can go wrong will? Or that genocide regrettably turned into suicide? Now everyone politely bow and apologize.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    It was utter madness to build nuclear power plants on an earthquake-prone volcanic Island.

    Utter madness.

  • I am become death, killer of nuke
    please join me

  • Shaker1

    I generally don't take up an issue such as media competence and/or manipulation, reasoning that anyone who is of any measure intelligent will check facts, along with the personal dislike of seeming to call anyone stupid. (That the public, and myself, too, can be 'ignorant' in some instances as in ignore is another subject.) But why we even trust the WSJ for anything anymore is beyond me. They are supposed to be one of the flagships of journalism, but one wonders at times whether they're employing high school kids paying more attention to their hormonal urges than what is written rather than reasonably intelligent people who have a higher education. Editorially, the WSJ is no better.

    But I'm sure others here realize the numbers in this article and references to their description are laughable, at best. They allude to 1500 'rods'. Despite the esoteric nomenclature of the industry, they would be clear to the public if they referred to them as 'assemblies'. Each assembly consists or 62-62 actual tubes (what one might think of as a 'rod') of clad nuclear material. What Tepco has to my mind is 93000-94500 separate clad tubes, each of somewhat questionable geometry and integrity, of which that geometry and integrity can vary even within its assmebly, depending upon whether one thinks the pool dried or just a portion of it did. Big difference, huh?

    • mairs mairs

      Yes, that's a big difference. Careless journalism. Has the WSJ really been a flagship paper since Rupert Murdoch bought it?

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    OK.. question for the engineers out there. Without the use of computer guidance, knowledge of the location of the rods or a stable gantry, how are they supposed to remove even a single rod. Also From the descriptions I've read the liners are more than likely warped or damaged and there is a good chance that the rods are broken or badly cracked. The rod needs to be carefully slid out in a straight line. If the assemblies aren't straight, and they're using cranes that lift straight up, how do they expect to perform this? Do they have external tubes that the rods are pulled up into? Also what are they planning on putting the rods into and how do they get them there. I'm assuming they're not going have fuel rods hanging in mid air from a crane while hauling it across the grounds to a new location… considering TEPCO's track record maybe hoping would be a better word then assuming.

  • Nigwil

    bwoodfield; A recent Tepco diagram shows a chamber being lowered into the SFP below the operating water level. Chamber fills with water. Then from within the chamber they grapple the handle on an assembly and lift it up into the chamber, all underwater. Then they seal the bottom of the chamber and lift it out and lower it onto a truck outside, then take the water-filled chamber containing the assembly to (I assume) the already-full-enough spent fuel building where the assembly is put back underwater.

    Then repeat, until, keeping fingers crossed all the time.

    Goodness knows how they will manage it all remotely, because I imagine the rad levels within the enclosure on top of Unit 4 are beyond human endurance. (U1 and U2 in the same state.)

    • voltscommissar

      The chamber has to be a pressurisable tungsten casket to absorb gamma (except for the 202 cold new assemblies).

      If the unused cold assemblies are not obstructed by displaced spent ones, they will be removed first, and if accessible could have been removed months or years ago.

      Why now "in haste"? IMO in part because a critical threshold of decay heat has been crossed. A really hot fresh assembly cannot be put straight into a tungsten casket. Think about it. There has to be water in the casket, to transfer the heat to the tungsten, and through a very thick layer of tungsten to cooling fins on the outside. That water has to stay at a reasonable temperature and pressure and not boil, and stay below the reaction temperature at which zirconium reacts with water to produce hydrogen. So the tungsten casket has to be very resilent against leaks, because if it loses pressure, the zirconium cladding will start to react as water leaks out.

      Maybe the spent fuel assemblies have now reduced their decay rate to a certain number of kilowatts (thermal!) so that temperature of the internal water bath in the casket can be guaranteed to stay below 100 degrees C, thus making the move much safer than if they'd tried to do the job a year or two ago. Hopefully (!!) we can give TEPCO's best, most creative and innovative problem solvers some credit for trying to ignore their corporate overlords and tell the boss the truth about what must be attempted in the public interest.

  • RJ RJ

    It would be disgustingly ironic if all this "new" urgency on the fuel pool is to satisfy IOC.

  • nuknomore nuknomore

    Oh yeah..Just what they world needs… A 'rush' job emptying the fuel pool~! 🙁

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I don't know why they call it a fuel pool. It makes it sound like a swimming pool, or an idyllic pool created by a beautiful waterfall. They should really call it a lethal, deadly, suicide, death, extinction pit.

  • Shaker1

    bwoodfield, the idea would be to choose a reference point (hopefully one that doesn't move) and create a 3-d grid. One could pretty much map then all that's able to be accessed to measure. They could, also, at that point, be able to reassemble a new grid in case there's some global movement, as that from an earthquake might cause. I haven't looked into what they've got there, and I guess that I should, but nowadays it's not a difficult matter to define one's place in a given space. There are variables here, such as crane cable stretch, but, again, sensors and continuous feed-back loops at suitable locations would compensate. They've created the reference points in assembling the structure. If one looks at it, it can be likened to a gantry type milling machine. I've faith in the systems, what bothers me is how little information is available concerning what's inside the pool. I've seen hatrick penry's stuff, and I had gone through the FOIA documents when they were available. While I believe that there's much damage, heat, fire, and otherwise, it seems they've spent a lot of money just to create an illusion, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and hope for the best. It's kind of silly to do otherwise, don't you think?

  • yohananw

    Tepco 30-10-2013 Video explaining the extraction of the spent fuels from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi NPS

    Dear Subscriber,

    We have posted a video explaining the extraction of the spent fuels from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi NPS.

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    Is this narrative about reactor 4 meant to hide the smoke/reports of fire in the common spent fuel pool? The reports of fire are weeks old.

    After pure water posted this shot of the smoke from the common spent fuel pool they turned off the camera today.

    pure water
    October 30, 2013 at 2:13 am · Reply
    15.12 JST. White smoke on tbs on the left of the middle tower.

    Report comment

    pure water
    October 30, 2013 at 2:21 am · Reply

    Report comment

    October 30, 2013 at 4:55 am · Reply
    I saw the smoke on the image you posted.
    Did what I could to make it more visible.

    October 30, 2013 at 10:53 am · Reply


    i've edited the picture from jec/lw once again:

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Maybe they are going to create another earthquake with Japan's own HAARP facility or with their particle accelerator in Tokai or both. Then the disaster will be called "an act of nature". Some people think that Japan's particle accelerator caused the 9.0 earthquake. They may have known before 3/33/33 that Unit #3 couldn't handle the MOX fuel that they had added months before and that the reactor was failing.

    Like the Gulf oil spill created to cover up a huge spill just a mile or so away.

  • FXofTruth

    This is never going to end well for the World.
    The sins of the past are coming back with a vengeance.

    Pulling those cores out of that pool is like pulling the pin on a hand grenade. The Law of Averages dictates that there ALWAYS is an error rate doing this type of work ESPECIALLY under the conditions they have to work. No matter how careful the "manual" process of removal is…someone is going to do at least one thing wrong. All it takes is one bad rod extraction and its game over.

    Perfection is a wonderful dream. But 1,500 times to repeat a delicate process and expect never to encounter one miss-step? Someone needs to review the principles of the Law of Averages! Or, get sober and then come up with a more realistic plan!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I have a question..
    If in the process of producing nuclear fission..and the process of separating U-238 from U-235.
    This producing a fissionable substance that is chemically different from uranium…plutonium.

    I assume that these two substances are not supposed to mingle after creation..what do you think is the reaction of the mixing of the two?

  • Seeker

    I listened to Shimatsu at Rense last Mon and he TOTALLY believes the SPFs still at #4 story, as does Rense. He believes they will postpone yet again as the operation is simply not feasible.

    What a mystery that so many of the "good guys" including Arnie and Helen still believe the storyline when the FOIA docs are irrefutable (I read them).

    This really pisses me off, given the amount of fear those rods have caused for so long.