Unexplained: Tepco “could not measure” amount of radiation released when Unit 4 exploded

Published: May 25th, 2012 at 1:51 am ET


TEPCO puts radiation release early in Fukushima crisis at 900,000 TBq
May 25, 2012

An estimated 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere in March last year alone due to the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday. 


TEPCO said that 4,600 TBq of radioactive substances were emitted when an explosion occurred at the No. 1 reactor building on March 12, and 1,060 TBq when an explosion occurred at the No. 3 reactor on March 14.

It could not measure the amount released when an explosion occurred at the No. 4 unit on March 15, where all of the reactor’s nuclear fuel was stored in the spent fuel pool.


Published: May 25th, 2012 at 1:51 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Tepco requests media not film Unit 4 operation — Checking if fuel was affected by UNIT 3 explosion — 2nd assembly to be removed Thursday (PHOTO) July 18, 2012
  2. Ex-Toshiba Nuclear Engineer: How much did fire and high temperatures at Unit 4 affect building’s stability? — Tepco has never released confirmable data (VIDEO) May 30, 2012
  3. NHK: Fuel removal process underway at Unit 4 (VIDEOS) July 18, 2012
  4. Tepco: Dozen pieces of rubble found in fuel rod assembly removed from Fukushima No. 4 unit August 28, 2012
  5. New Tepco Report: Unit 4 had ‘major impulsive sound’ then damage to roof on March 14, 2011 — Fire seen hours later, then again next day June 20, 2012

42 comments to Unexplained: Tepco “could not measure” amount of radiation released when Unit 4 exploded

  • Toadmac

    Could it be possible unit 4 or other spent fuel pools/buildings has already collapsed after the recent earthquakes?
    My recent rain samples.
    Everyone with a counter start your engines and flood the Internet with any unusual findings in recent days.

    • Thanks for sharing that.

    • Max1 Max1


      How close are you to a uranium mine?
      Do we know what particles these are that are decaying?
      Have you always been testing, even prior to 3/11/11 for comparative samples?

      • Toadmac

        There are two about 1000km+ away to the north west in south Australia. I am not aware of any down the eastern side of Australia (the path the rain took to get to Melbourne)
        Particles are unknown? There are three primary types of radiation being detected in my sample: Alpha, Beta, Gamma. Mostly Alpha & Beta which are easily blocked but are the most harmful to living tissue.
        Started testing about 6 weeks after the earthquake and there were no scary high readings till about September.
        Hopefully within the next couple of weeks, I can post some videos that will use my counter against a new friends counter. His is a relatively good one compared to my out dated Pripyat. I am hopping this will give all my other videos more credibility to there accuracy. I also have friends that are committed and working hard to get an up and running do it yourself isotope analyser. This if it works will be the end of the debate. There will be no hiding what it is we have falling all around us. I really do hope they succeed!

        • What-About-The-Kids

          Thanks, ToadMac! We look forward to reading your findings on the Radiation Monitoring forum!

    • jec jec

      Fukushima Australia Fallout! In the rain clouds. Youtube footage shows the material (rain water) wiped from a car–and its radioactive. Uranium mine? Particles (HEY –not as important as the fact there is FALLOUT!), and on the testing sequences, again, its fallout, its dangerous to health. And yes, in a perfect scientific effort"comparative samples" are great especially if you are 1. doing a scientific research paper, 2. getting funding for the said paper and 3. have the time to take for comparitive analysis. This is significant radiation fallout, there should have been LOTS of data available from government monitoring stations. Where is the government in providing them? In this case, its the WAKEUP call, not the call for comparative samples!

      Sorry to be rough on the scientific method, or to become irritated by an effort which seems to downplay video evidence until further "proof". But there is not time now to "play" scientist. That was last year…

      • patb2009

        be careful, right after rain storms, you get radon washout.

        • Toadmac

          What I have found since I started testing is that this is true to a certain extent. I have had readings here in Melbourne during light showers of over 4 uSv/h? This is a mystery to all the qualified persons I have spoken to directly. The main answers I receive are:
          1:Its fake, you are contaminating the sample (I have offered for them to debunk it on video with no reply).
          2:Unusual high radon washout (no facts or analysis data provided).
          3:Your counter is obviously faulty (I test my counter on a regular basis against two different and known test bed samples)
          The other 3 are: Fake,fake & fake!

      • tomarsandbeyond tomarsandbeyond

        We can't rely on the governments or gov't funded scientists to do this. The more amateur scientists doing this the better. Sure it's not real precise but if we get hundreds of people doing like potrblog does we might see patterns emerge. Meanwhile we all need to push our representatives to put resources into professional monitoring with better equipment (or to release the info they are getting but not telling us).

    • MikeyM

      Just taken a reading of the rain happening up here in Brisbane 25th May 2012. Nothing anywhere near what you appear to be getting in Melbourne. Which area of Melbourne are you in ?
      I would have thought that here up north would have showed up first.
      Might I suggest testing a sample of tap water as well.

      • Toadmac

        I took my counter to work today thinking I would scare some sense into some of my work mates. Much to my surprise the highest reading I got was 0.39 uSv/h. Disappointing but good at the same time.
        A tip for you: Test,test and test again! I have found it can travel in waves with dips, peaks and troughs. When I do a test run I do about one test every 20 mins.
        Keep on testing friend!! Video anything out of the usual. The first time you get a really high reading, your heart will pound and you will realise your efforts are not in vane.

        • Spectrometising

          ToadMacI too did some testing using my real test rig. Water from the recent rain was heavy, it comes of the roof and part of it goes into the 150+ Kilos of Lead shield where it flows through a plastic container within (Flow cell.) and back out so that fresh rain water is constantly being tested,
          Like yourself, the reading was low compared to some peaky peaks at other times.
          I am with you Toadmac…"test,test and test again" (preferably from exactly the same location down to the meter as background can vary a lot depending on location and surrounding building materials for instance.
          I am building up a considerable data base and can start looking for anomalies in the gamma spectrum's i am resolving as a high Radon reading will also hide other contaminants and render them less visible.

          In my case, i leave the remaining water in the test rig for a few hours to see what is left after the the Radon progeny decays and this is when it is time to look for the other nukes.

          Something to consider is that if one hypothetical gram of Radon progeny is in a sample, and one gram of Cs137, the Radon progeny is thousands of times more active due to short half life and the gram of Cs137 will be invisible dues to 30year halflife.

          This makes life difficult when detection is required for other progeny. High Radon activity is no indication that the other dangerous isotopes are not present, and thus it is no cause for assuming they are not there.

          The second test hours later is…

          • Spectrometising

            Another example is i had a sample sent from Japan and the Cs137 was invisible because the Cs134 has a 2 year half life and much more active. 16 times more active and so the Cs137 is almost invisible in the gamma spectrum. 🙂

            I get a little frustrated with all this talk of cs137 when the present signature Fukushima isotope is Cs134.

            Like saying, "don't worry all you conspiracy theorists, there is no Cs137, what you are all getting as a reading is only Cs134. There is no problem, it is only…
            Hope you can see what i mean about half life and hidden isotopes.

            In actual fact when i looked at my Japanese sample reading it takes a keen eye to see any Cs137, and all i was looking at is a difference of 16X shorter half life.

            If all radionuclide's had the same half life, they would all be equally radioactive and easier to see. They would not cover each others tracks.

            The axiom is the shorter the half life, the higher the activity.

            • Spectrometising

              The second test hours later is… essential

              second typo
              There is no problem, it is only…Cs134,

              • Spectrometising

                From TEPCO…."It could not measure the amount released when an explosion occurred at the No. 4 unit on March 15, where all of the reactor's nuclear fuel was stored in the spent fuel pool."

                TEPCO "could not measure" seems to be correct.

                Then they should at least "measure" the inventory. I agree with TEPCO and speculation is speculation until other assessment methods can be invented. Factors for invention of a new method could include an assessment of what is still left.

                • Spectrometising

                  Please read my comments with the knowledge that i am an amateur and am doing my best to understand this, before merely adding water. 🙂
                  Still very rough around the edges.

    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Toadmac: So much for moving to the Southern Hemisphere!

      • Toadmac

        I still think its less contaminated the further south you go. There are videos on youtube where people doing tests on rain in the Northern parts of USA and Canada. Some of the ones I consider credible show readings 12x higher than the highest readings I have ever had.

  • Sam Sam

    Coming to some conclusions re; Unit 4
    1. they measured it and it was way off the charts. fire in the SFP.
    2. Tepco has the readings but will not release them
    3. Something catastrophic happened in the SFP and they will not
    4.Could not measure as their gauges blew up as well.
    5. no one could get close to measure

    6. more lies and why now?

  • TalonThorn

    Oh, so now they are admitting there was an explosion at reactor 4?

  • Max1 Max1

    The hydrogen…
    … Spill over from R3?

    Or was it from SFP4 boil out?

    Answers matter…
    … TEPCO said spill over, so I'm hedging at least a boil out occurred. If that happened there was a lot released.

    • jec jec

      @max1 Didnt a comment on Reactor 4 indicate TEPCO did not see an "explosion," however everything looked "melted" from ?? (HEAT?). And the author of the article or comment sounded confused as to what had happened in SFP 4? Looking back at lots and lots of comments/blogs to see what the exact wording was.n Part of it probably said "help TEPCO save face.."

  • Sam Sam

    Tepco could never say that massive amounts of radioactive
    substances were released from Unit 4.in the explosion. If they did say that
    then the would be telling us they know exactly what happened
    at Unit 4. So they save face by telling us they could not measure
    the radiation from the explosion
    There is a growing alarm world wide of a catastrophic event where wave after wave of
    massive deadly radioactive gas clouds ( from SFP4 collapsing )
    bringing deathly amounts of fall out within 48 hrs slamming into the
    West Coast of America and Canada and then making its way around the world in

    Tepco owes the World the truth about Unit 4.


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Tepco is biased and will say anything. The U.S. government knows what happened, and knows whats going on, but refuses to say anything. So, we need someone reliable to assess the situation and report on it.

  • Looks like things are worse than we thought. But, we've heard that before:

    Scientists Warn of Increased Nuclear Radiation Risks
    Released: 5/24/2012 5:00 AM EDT

    • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

      Thanks Pu239, that's out of Santa Rosa, California, about 45 minutes from my house. I saved it to show to friends and family in that area. The lies are continuing with no end in sight. Makes one think the worst while always hoping for the best!

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Source:  http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/default.aspx?id=29666&terms=Fukushima%20accident

    "A hardened emergency response centre on site was unable to be used in grappling with the situation due to radioactive contamination.

    "At the time of the accident, in addition to a large number of used fuel assemblies, unit 4's pond also held a full core load of 548 fuel assemblies while the reactor was undergoing maintenance, these having been removed at the end of November. 

    "After the hydrogen explosion in unit 4 early on Tuesday 15 March, Tepco was told to implement injection of water to unit 4 pond which had a particularly high heat load (3 MW) from 1331 used fuel assemblies in it, so it was the main focus of concern. It needed the addition of about 100 m3/day to replenish it after circulation ceased."

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Review of what we know about SFP4, all events well covered on ENEnews:
    1. The hot fuel load had been removed from Reactor4 in November, 2010, when Fuku4 was taken down for service.
    2. SFP4 became over-heated with the addition of the hot fuel load from the reactor.
    3. An auxiliary pump was placed below SFP4 to increase water circulation to cool SFP4.
    4. After the 311 EQ, this pump sprang a leak, draining SFP4.
    5. Building4 was blown up during the night of 3/15/2011.
    6. Zirconium fires continued off and on for some days.
    7. High radiation readings at the main gate subsided after seawater refilled SFP4.
    8. TEPCO lowered robot into SFP4 to take videos.
    9. TEPCO lowered video camera into Rector4. My suspicion is that they wanted to see if Reactor4 could be loaded with control rods and the hot fuel load, in order to secure the hot fuel load in event of a dewatering or collapse of SFP4. Reactor4 is probably too damaged for this to work, and the effort appears to have been abandoned.
    10. TEPCO announced a plan to build a steel and concrete frame around the building to support the building. A crane for removing fuel assemblies from SFP4 to Common SFP would be installed on the frame.
    11. It is widely thought that a significant EQ might collapse or dewater SFP4, causing an ELE that would wipe out the human and animal population on Earth.
    Have I missed anything important?

    • Plan Nine

      Well, you might file it all under "absolute power corrupts absolutely" and cross-file it to "a species capable of causing its extinction will inevitably do so", along with these tidbits:

      America has already forgotten the San Onofre beach rocks that caught fire last week in a woman's pants, causing third degree burns.

      The IAEA has just found, in Iran, traces of more highly enriched uranium than they find acceptable.

      The failure of SPF4 is capable of causing an ELE – and the Common SPF is far larger still – but the IAEA never seemed to have a problem with this.

      Teabaggers are convinced that the UN is planning an invasion of America.

      Good night and good luck!

  • mungo mungo

    that sums it up…. have you seen this..
    West side of the reactor4 building bulged


  • BoxTop

    Hi Everyone!
    Long time lurker here, thought I'd dip my foot in the melted fuel pool and test the water. On second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea!
    So first off, I miss the resident poet. Was it Orwell? He was fantastic!
    Second, big shout out to JoyB. She's my favorite poster here by a country mile. I won't name names but there are plenty more of you I've grown quite fond of over the last year.

    Like Richard, I've spent a life time worrying about nuclear war and meltdowns, especially as a child. Unlike Richard, I don't harbor psychotic fantasies of physical violence against the perps. Tacoma, do you wear a tin foil hat? You have quite a big following here! Owner/administrator, three thumbs up!

    SFP4 is terrifying, it seems mainstream folk are finally catching on. Japan is a relatively small island- if that single pool goes down, the "shyshine" (what a horrific term, thanks a lot Arnie!) could cause the domino effect many of you speak about. Are people really just going to stay in Japan? It's not like a hurricane or other natural disaster where you can stay inside and weather the storm.

    I just can't understand the general lack of action. Not only from the Japanese but from the rest of the world. My guess is the global economy is cracked and listing just like SFP4, and in imminent danger of collapse. Seems everyone is holding their breath trying to wish it away rather than being responsible for toppling them over.

  • CB CB

    West side of the reactor4 building bulged
    Fukushima Diary Below

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    @CB..I saw this on Fukushima Diary ..Tepco said the sway is within legal limits..65 mm.
    Then I took a visual step back..and looked at the overall condition..and had to laugh (yep..in the way I do).
    AND… I concluded that…Unit 4..could not pass building inspection in my small town.

  • mark_eric

    I miss Oe-well too! Does anyone know what happened to him?

    • What-About-The-Kids

      I miss his genius poetry too! I'm hoping he got a book contract and is working so diligently on the book, he has no time to post here, for now. But I do hope he pops his head in here again soon.

      Or-Well, are you out there?

      Dr. Fox? StillJill? and others we no longer see…?

  • mark_eric

    That was supposed to be Or-well, not Oe-well.

  • Longjohn119

    Actually they couldn't measure any of the other three reactors either, it blew out all the radiation detectors, everything is just an estimate

    They can estimate 1-3 because they pretty much know how much fuel was in there and how much melted. There is really know known tested way to measure the release from the #4 SFP until they pull the rods and check the damage ….

    It'll be years before they can get anything close to an accurate estimate