UC Berkeley Nuclear Professor: May be impossible to get Fukushima melted fuel — Work at site to go on for ‘thousands of years’ if not removed (AUDIO)

Published: September 3rd, 2013 at 3:07 pm ET


Title: Radiation And Risks At Fukushima
Source: On Point with Tom Ashbrook (NPR)
Date: Sept. 3, 2013

At 17:00 in

Per Peterson, chair of the department of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley:The primary containment vessel, it’s being left submerged in salty water and is corroding. So by not making prudent decisions today about what water must be discharged and what water can be safely discharged and instead just storing it all, the risk is it will make it in the longer term much less likely that it will be possible to get the damaged fuel out. And so by misdirecting a lot of the effort to do things that don’t reduce risk significantly, they’re creating in Japan a much larger probability that in the end it will not be possible to get the damaged fuel out, and they will have to manage those plants at that site for millennia going into the future.

Tom Ashbrook, Host: Millennia, that means thousands of years.  […]

Peterson: You want to be trying to flush out all of that salt that was injected into these reactors, which right now is contributing to the corrosion of these primary containment vessels, that if they don’t survive it will become challenging or impossible to get the damaged fuel out.

Full broadcast available here

Published: September 3rd, 2013 at 3:07 pm ET


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56 comments to UC Berkeley Nuclear Professor: May be impossible to get Fukushima melted fuel — Work at site to go on for ‘thousands of years’ if not removed (AUDIO)

  • norbu norbu

    "Containment vessels may not survive" They survived? witch ones? How do you know this? Have you been there? Inside #1,2,3,4? Do tell, Per Peterson, Yoichi Funabashi, David McNeill, Ken Buesseler. Where are the Coriums?

  • weeman

    He is worried about salt water corroding structure, I would be more concerned about the bombardment of structure by neutrons for a thousand years, miniature sandblasting and it's effects on steel are documented.
    If Fukushima NP stood till the end of the century, it would be a miracle.

  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

    Just an opinion…." what water must be discharged and what water can be safely discharged and instead just storing it all" appears to be the typical doublespeak for "when the pools fall in the Pacific it will be for the best. "

    • We Not They Finally

      Why don't they just wade through the water and say, you go here, you go there? [sarc] I mean, there is NO water there that they have a "safe" solution for!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Problem is, there's no antidote for this out-of-control fission. Smartest nuclear scientist in the world can't make one. And this risk has been with us since the 40's. Major gamble of all life.

  • razzz razzz

    Yeah, he wishes there was melted fuel left. Only melted blobs in various forms slowly becoming part of the earth's landscape.

    Whomever was suggesting to reverse the process by gathering up all the uranium and putting it back in the ground and de-concentrating it to its natural state, the way it was before man started concentrating it for better fission reaction, doesn't account for all the man made daughter products produced from decay chain reactions including plutonium that has taken place.

    There was little, close to none, of plutonium found in nature until man started splitting the atom. Now there is tons of it.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    At least somebody over at Berkeley has finally awoken to the magnitude of the world's worst nightmare which he admitted will only grow worse over thousands of years.

    Now will they help us shut them all down and be willing to lose all their Nuclear Cabal funding?

    • norbu norbu

      obewanspeaks +1 No More Nukes!

    • We Not They Finally

      obewan, that's right about Berkeley. Hopefully this guy wanted to say even more but was constrained. Universities these days are very corrupted by grant money, but sometimes scientists have some integrity to override that. Let's hope so.

      • mairs mairs

        Eric Norman, nuclear engineering professor, Berkeley, said the leak was not a concern.

        "The Pacific Ocean is an enormous place," said Norman, who found radiation from Fukushima in California rainwater, milk, and plants soon after the earthquake and tsunami. "There's a lot of material between us and Japan. NO matter what happens in Fukushima, it's not going to be a problem over here."

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          Norman should probably lose his job, but then that action would only exist in a real world scenario, but would not inside our created Land of OZ. He will certainly keep his job and those big paychecks coming in for sure..

        • Au Au

          Eric Normon and the nuclear engineering program students in Berkeley are already driving to the campus in radioactive fog and/or rain on certain days. It's getting worse. I wonder if their funders will move this program off campus, to another state, farther inland? I wonder if they wished they had chosen a different field to work in…seeing what has happened and all. Maybe he will try to help from the inside.

  • Boys and their dangerous toys…

    Those boys should be playing with wood campfires and canoes, not matches, flare guns and oceans of gasoline.

    • RichardPerry

      Can you answer this?
      Russia spent huge amount of money on Cher.. breaking up the country, USA is only country with enough money to solve 3/11, will it be to much for them. The USA may end up bankrupted by the time they finish or give up. This 3/11 cost financially and health wise is going to be very very high and its effects will go on for centuries. Has anyone figured out the saturation point of the pacific if the radiated water can not be stooped and how long till it does?
      When or if fuel sinks into the earth there will be great pressure on the fuel, what effect will this have, will it go critical and blow up or will it keep increasing the amount of radiation as it goes deeper or some thing else? There must be some thing bad or Russia would have let the fuel sink into the earth.

  • Is it too late to put these dangerous toys away?

    Where are those parents when you need them?


  • Maybe if one or more of the governments of the world formally asked for help from the W56 delegation…

    Free Full Length Movie; UFO Delegation (W56) Contacts And Befriends Italian Group; via @AGreenRoad

    Kind of like Mickie asking help of the wizard…

    Time to put the toys away boys, and get back to school.

    Maybe a good time to eat some humble pie?

    What could it hurt?

    Who knows, maybe they will answer…

  • We Not They Finally

    I think Prof. Peterson was trying to tell us that we're screwed. He took twists and turns in saying it, but that the bottom line is that we need "prudent decisions [[all choices being dreadful, understand!] about what to do with the water" means that we are screwed. Not just Japan. Us.

    Someone get a better read on this??

    • micky thered micky thered

      yes, he's twisting like a rattlesnake to avoid talking about the fact that the coriums have left the building. the last paragraph implies that the fuel is still in the pcv. does anyone here believe that? the only water that can be safely discharged is water that's non-radioactive, anything else is a danger. please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

      • Gasser Gasser

        Professor Peterson sez, in his silent high paid alter ego> shit I wish I knew what I was talking about! these enenews'ers are smarter than all us academics, damn computers for dummy's are going to be our demise.

        When I see "Expert, Professor, Scientist, Clergy, Doctor, MSM Journalist, Supreme Court Judges, Army Generals, TEPCO", (you can see where I'm going with this) any of those bad boys/girls that cheated their way through College that has an opinion about anything, I get worried because their the ones that come up with these death and destruction ideas/devices for a paycheck that totally tax enslaves everyone into paying untold Trillion$ for their potential ELE corporate/military complex experimental curiosity…meanwhile dirty air and drinking water abound, there's a lot more I could say but enenews would run out of bandwidth. Aloha.

  • mopar69 mopar69

    Hello guys and gals. My first post here. Wow, this "interview" might just as well have been released by TEPCO PR. I can't begin to list all of the contrary info is presented here. did they not the "meltdown" memo? On the bright side, this site and forum (have been following for a long time) is truly amazing. Now let's roll up our sleeves and get that "remaining fuel" out of those intact reactors!

    • We Not They Finally

      Welcome, and glad to see you posting. However, the "remaining fuel" scenario is like a Hail Mary on a football field that is cluttered with debris and fog. The fuel in reactors 1 & 3 totally melted-through, and whatever is left in reactor 2 is so hot, that no one human has been able to get anywhere near it at all!

      They're worried about SFP 4 because it has "the equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs" with what is still inside, but that won't retrieve the THREE THOUSAND BILLION lethal doses of plutonium that already went sky high with the original explosion of MOX fuel, according to Dr. Paolo Scampa on agreenroadblog.

      But you are totally correct that melt-downs, much less melt-THROUGHS (out of containment, way more serious even) rarely get mentioned in the articles posted — it's the commentaries that are so educational.

      Well, buckle your seat belt, mopar69! We'll all in for a bumpy ride.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Its never to late to leave the sandbox!

    Its Ok to throw some dangerous toys away!

    It would be the correct choice/right thing to do!

    Throw them all away and shut them all down!

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    Sounds to me like he wants to dump radioactive water into the ocean.
    Peterson is chair of the department of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley. Is it possible he doesnt know the containment is breached a long time ago?

    • We Not They Finally

      Chances are that that is actually NOT possible. But Berkeley seems to be so horrendously corrupted by now, that maybe he went just as far as he thought he could. Not an excuse, but the scientists really do need to be coaxed out. Do they even care about science any more, or is it all just about grant money?

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    These two idiot think the cores are still in primary containment. God damned fools. God damned liars.

  • I remember when this first happened.

    We were told 'cold shutdown' would be achieved soon and there was no immediate concern.

    Then it was going to be several years for 'stuff' to cool down.
    Then 10 years.
    Then it was a couple of decades.
    Then it was 40 years.
    Then it was 100 years.
    Now it's thousands of years.
    (what's the cost of that?)

    Anybody see a pattern here.

    Peterson's primary remarks were that most of the issues at Fukushima were political in nature. In the beginning and now.
    That dumping the water into the ocean is no big deal. [paraphrased]

    The interviewer asked them all several times to comment on what would happen if there was another earthquake and it all went into the ocean. They would not or could not directly answer the question. 😉

  • "Containment vessels might not survive." These people are evil. ..Berkely professor..geeez. I wouldn't want to learn a damned thing from him. The fuel melted through the vessels in to the concrete and the earth probably in days. Why do they keep putting bullshit out like this ?

  • mairs mairs

    This one's the worst I've heard:

    Eric Norman, nuclear engineering professor at Berkeley:

    "There's a lot of material between us and Japan. NO matter what happens in Fukushima, it's not going to be a problem over here."

    He told this to Snopes, and they bought it.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Steve, pretty sure the entire world now runs on an ever increasing steady supply of hot steamy bullshit and the sad thing is that we sheep/cattle out here always want to hear and/or eat more…

    Big plans are in the works…

  • dosdos dosdos

    Okay, let's say that we survive the winter with #4 being defueled.

    And they start freezing the ground. This has been done on a smaller scale, and it worked. But it worked on dry terrain. It hasn't ever been tested on an underground river before. And remind me, ice floats in water, doesn't it?

    Make an ice ring around the reactors atop an underground river, let an earthquake come along….. hmmmm.

  • rockyourworld

    they wont be freezing anything, 4 hours at fukushima will kill you. cant be done, all idle chatter.

  • Recent Report by Yoichi Shimatsu…Radio Interview Aug 26th


    Transcript http://wyynd.tripod.com/Shimatsu.txt

    Secret Facilities, Thousands Dead…

    • Excellent read (transcript). Don't skip it.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      TY, Wynd.

      “there are undergound nuclear seperation/enrichment labs …
      that are hidden away undergound, it's a huge site, and some of them have been excavated and some of them have not been
      excavated …i don't think this one has been, it must have survived, it must have had a lot of internal damage,
      no one can go down, but it's not in a state of total collapse as some other places are, so that's pouring out very highly
      enriched uranium and plutonium directly into the sea and he [prof] says it's thousands of times more radioactive than
      the ground water
      if you've got that much wargrade material that's stored in a destroyed lab that may have been involved in seperation that
      people cannot get into now that they are desperately trying to dig out…

      there are thousands of workers, you've got to understand, there's thousands and thousands of workers,
      highway six is packed with cars buses trucks coming in and out of the plant
      and yet around the reactor you're lucky to see one or two guys,
      what are those thousands of workers doing inside the plant, you know there's a huge mystery here,
      after they dealt with other secret sites they moved them to fukushima two , they moved them up north,
      that's how secret this work is that's going on, there's a massive amount of work going on at fukushima that has nothing
      to do with the decommissioning of the reactor, thousands of men are engaged in a
      super secret project

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        trying to dig out equipment, trying to dig out massive contamination, there's been trucks going out of there just
        endlessly with high level nuclear waste on both trucks and trains…
        a massive secret
        and this is what the professor is referring to when he says there's another source of high level radiation going out
        into the pacific basically unfettered , it's not leaking out, it's pouring out, it's draining out..”

  • rockyourworld

    one person in an aol political chat room caught my rant and asked what is a fukushima? after i told them they posted "that's japan's problem" guess the news blackouts for 2 years is working!

  • The information about the real activities resulting in soaring radiation levels has been available since apr of 2011 as readable here in this article by Shimatsu…
    The underground nuclear weapons refinement facilities are leaking pure uranium and plutonium into the environment…

    Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
    US – Japan security treaty fatally delayed nuclear worker's fight against meltdown
    by Yoichi Shimatsu Apr 12 2011

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Any attempt is better than no attempt at this point in time.

  • pkjn

    Readings at Tokyo Electric Fukushima plant showed radiation as high as 2,200 mSv
    TOKYO | Tue Sep 3, 2013
    (Reuters) – Radiation readings around tanks holding contaminated water at the crippled Tokyo Electric Fukushima plant have spiked more than 20 percent to their highest level, Japan's nuclear regulator said, again raising questions about the clean-up of the worst atomic disaster in 27 years.
    Readings at Tokyo Electric Fukushima plant showed radiation as high as 2,200 mSv, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said, up from 1,800 mSv at the weekend. Exposure to radiation of those levels would be enough to kill an unprotected person within hours.

  • ftlt

    The ice barrier is a ugly joke of an 1/2 billion dollar effort at a multi-trillion dollar problem…

    This is a 1000 year problem… Fufu is not the first and it won't be the last…. 100s more failures are on the way… Through war natural disasters, climate change and the systems old age – it is just a matter of time… The failure rate most likely will accelerate as well…

    DING DONG!!!! It tolls for thee…

    Nuclear WOW!!! DING DONG!!!

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    And since tanks corrode, don't human beings corrode also. So Professor Peterson, do you really believe humans, homo-not-so-sapiens, us, will be around for … "millennia going into the future."? … to tend these corroding plants.

    This is an invitation to come out, descend from your ivory tower, AND GET REAL!

  • mopar69 mopar69

    On the subject of possible enrichment, Stuxnet and man made tsunami:https://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/was-fukushima-stuxnet-attack/

    Not that I believe all the information, some compelling findings none the less.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Oh..the hubris of the human race..
    Work on it for a thousand years…?
    Look what we have indebted future civilizations to…by dealing with a lethal substance that has to be maintained FOREVER..in an ever changing world.
    How is this going to be explained a thousand years from now.

    But most of all..how is the geological condition going to maintain for thousands of years..when drastic changes are occurring NOW?

    I don't have a lot of patience with..theory.
    So much blah..blah blah..about a thousand years from now.
    Will the life forms on the planet survive that long?

    I encourage all long term planners…and wistful hopefuls to stow their 'pipe dreams'.
    Including those that believe that space travel is going to save the human race..
    Yes..there might be a few..of the 'privileged' ..the military, the wealthy, etc…that might manage to dangle in artificially controlled environments in space..perhaps get a few message to those that choose to live like vermin under ground.
    The rest of civilization…the rest of time… will be spent under the effects of this accident.

    Humans have forgotten the sacred promise to leave the Earth as they found it.
    A mortal mistake.

  • NeverAnyDanger

    'NO matter what happens in Fukushima, it's not going to be a problem over here'

    Oh well then, what do we care? I guess we – or the rest of the world – doesn't have to care until it happens in your own country. As if our ecosystem is separate from Japan. And he's a professsor?

    But Berkeley is where Lawrence Livermore is so everybody has a big zipper on their mouth.

    Japan's going to go down the tubes just like Russia did. The IRSN did a study and found that the cost of a nuclear disaster in France would be over three times their GDP. The study was hidden but finally leaked.France would cease to exist.


    I hope the US doesn't start pouring money into the Fukushima hole.