Tokyo Reporter: Unit 4 like a “battlefield after being bombed” — Questions Tepco’s promise that it will be OK during big quake

Published: May 28th, 2012 at 3:53 am ET


Subscription Only: Rubble hinders decommissioning work at Fukushima No. 4 reactor
AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
May 28, 2012

Mountains of rubble stand in the way of decommissioning the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, part of an unprecedented challenge facing Japan to decommission four crippled reactors.


A reporter from the Tokyo Shimbun described the scene on the fourth floor as looking like that of a “battlefield after being bombed.”


“Pipes were severely bent,” the reporter said. “Steel frames were also twisted and rusted. It was hard for me to believe such a thick wall was blown off over a wide area.”


The reporter said he was not entirely reassured by the utility’s promise that the structure will be sturdy enough to remain unscathed in another big quake despite no major, visible damage to the wall near the pool.

“TEPCO said that the pool can withstand a temblor equivalent to the quake last year, but I was not convinced of that,” the reporter said.


Published: May 28th, 2012 at 3:53 am ET


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  1. Tokyo Shimbun Reporter: “The water looked too stagnant to see the fuel rods seven meters beneath” May 28, 2012
  2. Yomiuri Reporter: Fuel rods were not visible when looking under sheet covering Unit 4 pool May 28, 2012
  3. NHK: Fuel removal process underway at Unit 4 (VIDEOS) July 18, 2012
  4. Senator on National TV: I’m so concerned about Unit 4 fuel pool — Tepco’s plan must be sped up — “It’s very clear there are substantial health questions that have to be addressed now” (VIDEO) April 17, 2012
  5. Reporter: What plans do you have in case Unit 4 pool does come down? — Gov’t official ‘evaded or wouldn’t answer’ -Wall St. Journal May 21, 2012

32 comments to Tokyo Reporter: Unit 4 like a “battlefield after being bombed” — Questions Tepco’s promise that it will be OK during big quake

  • MikeyM

    If I may mention something off topic, that poses more of an immediate threat to the health and well-being of all U.S. citizens.
    The monetary system is heading for the mother of all financial collapses. It is a certainty and inevitable.
    I would advise anyone living in high density urban areas to have plans in place, to seek alternative shelter with friends or relatives if possible in small towns or country areas.
    Hyperinflation, riots and armed gangs will kill you a damn site faster then any radiation wafting over from Japan. has several daily updates.

    • Its all part of the same greed causing these problems.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I am posting some information on LaRouche in the off-topic forum where these comments belong.

    • Spectrometising

      MikeM: So the financial system is another that prints glutinous obesity out of thin air on steroids and is now in an intimate embrace with the printing of nuclear power out of thin air on steroids.

      So indeed all systems currently printing out of thin air and compounding interest in spent credit default swap pools of debt, and other pools of debt that have Bin Laden with spent nuclear fuel resemble as though they are exploding from satiety..

      Looks like it to me too.

  • Information continues to come out, in drips and waves. The insanity of keeping this fuel unsecured and hidden in the smoke of lies and mirrors involves deception. The truth must be told.

    'a Battle field after being bombed' describes this so well.

    But the bombs continue to fall, ever so silently. This ongoing nuclear war on our planet must cease.
    Or we as a species will not survive.
    No where on this planet is safe.

    No where.

    The gates of hell are open.
    The devils are all here….

  • The most damning evidence against nuke is that in the multiple explosions, there were tens of tons of uranium and at least 400 pounds to maybe tons of plutonium aerosolized. As shown by peer reviewed EPA data of those heavy metals in air filter samples. They jacked up to 2600% to 3400% over baseline levels as late as Early April 2011. Much of it fell out of the sky into the ocean, but much did not, and was measured in Guam, Saipan, Honolulu, Kauai, and California.

    Nuke is poisoning us, again and again. 50% to 66% of us will get cancer, it didn't used to be this way.

    Here is the evidence, and calculations, the entire design basis of the assertions of the EPA data.

  • 9t9s 9t9s

    Radioactivity is too hot (even for robots) near the fuel pools to do the necessary repair and containment work.

    There is a solution.
    It is a shame it is not already in progress; a year has already passed.

    There is advanced technology to fabricate underground tunnels, used extensively by western militaries to build 'bunkers' in the contingency of nuclear war, as well as oil pipelines and for other reasons.

    How far under the surface is safe from the radiation of the Fukushima site?
    Military experts will know the answer by heart.

    30 feet?
    60 feet?
    At the optimal depth, fabricate and tunnel to positions under each spent fuel pool location.

    Under each pool, prepare cavern spaces to house enough concrete for containment.

    Build an underground pipeline, situated above the cavern space, to pump liquid concrete. Once the pools are lowered, or intentionally collapsed into the cavern casings, immediately pump the necessary concrete through the pipe and fill the hole.

    This will not solve everything, but it will fix the dramatic emergency situation of the spent fuel pools and provide much needed time, to work out and resolve next steps.

  • jackassrig

    Here we go bring in the ole military. They did so well in Iraq. Did you ever try to dig a tunnel in Houston. The ole water table is about 30 feet down. Fuku is a bog. It's next to the sea and TEPCO has been dumping water in there for over a year.

    • 9t9s 9t9s

      I was not aware that the Japanese military went to Iraq.

      "Fuku is a bog."
      That seems to be a poor place to pour the foundation for a nuclear power plant.
      Do you have any proof of that?

      • patb2009

        The Japanese military gets it's but kicked quite routinely, by the Americans, by the Mongols,
        and by 300 foot tall radioactive fire breathing lizards and Alien spaceships.

        Nice fellas, but, not the best.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    "There is also major differences in soil structure between Chernobyl and Fukushima. Ukraine is a semi-arid steppe with a water table at considerable depth below the reactor. Fukushima No.1 rests on landfill comprising loose rock and sand over the natural seabed and is positioned only a couple of meters above the high tide mark. Water seepage and earthquake-caused liquefaction have seriously disturbed this rather weak soil structure."

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      The above article mentions and details borax as being a solution for the FUKU crisis…

      It sounds like a great solution.. Any thoughts?

      • Sickputer

        Borax usage:

        They have been using boron injections since day 3 of the crisis (I am guessing the US cargo planes brought supplies in within a few days.

        But they need massive amounts of borax from Death Valley, more ship than the D-Day invasion.

        Who will pay a trillion dollars for that armada? Nobody. Who will pay ten trillion dollars to build the cofferdams, fly the planes over the reactors and dump the borax? Nobody. They prefer to hope for a miracle.

        Part of the reluctance to commit World War III type monies and resources is the perception issue. Since the threat currently doesn't burn openly and only has hydrovolcanic radioactive steam which can be explained as "fog" the nuclear industry doesn't want the public pronouncement it is an eminent extinction level threat. Because if people know a 20 trillion dollar effort is needed to cap Fukushima then the 100 trillion dollars invested in the world's reactor becomes at risk by a shutdown similar to Germany. The bankers will vote it down because they have more love of money than they do for public health.

        There is a solution for Fukushima, but it will not be funded or mobilized.

        • richard richard

          that's it sickp – they know the giga massive cleanup bill… and anyone with that sort of money isn't willing to simply throw it away.. trillions, with no hope of return on that money.

          tepgov can get credit for duct tape and conduit, that seems about the extent of their funding. how many hundereds of years is this going to go on for ?

          the future's looking great, we all go broke, and/or die from radiation poisoning. there will never be a balancing of this injustice and compensation.

          or, maybe i'm simply wrong. the reactors will all be cleaned up by the end of the year, no earthquake will come along, and everyone lives happily ever after, with smiles on their faces.

    • 9t9s 9t9s

      Thanks for the lead.
      Rense: sometimes a good source, sometimes has flat out disinformation posted. Often somewhere in the middle.
      I am going to do some research on this option.

      Obviously, tunneling under is a basic concept to be expanded on, if nothing else, it allows workers to come in closer porximity to the site, shielded by terra firma.

      As far as water under the surface, many pipelines have been built deep under water, and many oil pipelines are large enough to drive heavy equipment through.

      I do not believe the operation would be trite and simple, however, it would appear to be a viable option in the face of radioactivity on the surface which is so hot, that even robots can not function.

      Pouring borax may be part of a total solution.


      • Sickputer

        Just a few feet of topsoil separates the reactor foundations from a half mile thick layer of sandstone (aka mudstone or hardened volcanic lavastone). Miles of granite lie beneath that layer.

        There are known and unknown fissures in the sandstone, some occurring over centuries of earth shifts from earthquakes, some from water seepage erosion, and some sandstone splits from three runaway nuclear cores. Tunneling and cofferdam work will have to be employed at some stage if they are seriously interested in a final solution. But the Japanese currently don't have the desire or resources to try operations on that massive scale. They have delayed so long it is probably to late to save Japan from becoming a vast dead zone.

        It might to possible to save the world after the Japanese throw in the towel and leave Fukushima Daiichi. But the final solution method will be as dangerous as the raging fuel rods. They will blow the island into the Pacific Ocean when all else fails. There won't be any Web cams televising that last ditch event. Or maybe they will televise it to get everyone vested in the last hope of saving mankind. I guess the proper day to blow the island is December 23, 2012.

        • 9t9s 9t9s

          A tight, intelligent, awake team (and I mean awake in a very specific sense).
          Full transparency, public disclosure and regularly broadcasted updates online.

          With a few hundred billion dollars operating capital, I can lead and accomplish the task myself, and deliver some mighty good karma to the billionaire/trillionaire(s) who select to fully and unabashidly finance the operation.

  • Doesn't steel weaken when exposed to high radiation? Will that affect what is left of the framework?

  • The ongoing bombardment of radiation has to be affecting both the steel in the structure and the concrete.
    The building has visibly deteriorated since the first pictures were posted after the earthquake and explosions.

    Combined with the corrosive effect of saltwater, the outcome cannot be good.

    This is my main concern as the crisis continues to unfold.

  • I could not find any good links that combined concrete+saltwater+corrosion+rebar+radiation, but did find some discussing what happens to bridges and roadways from saltwater melt.
    All dated, and none looked like good news.

    And to think of the horror of this structure collapsing from another earthquake…..