Strange: “Vertical earthquake” caused explosion at Reactor No. 1, says NRC report on Fukushima — Did not impact other units — Occurred March 12 at 1:36a ET

Published: March 7th, 2012 at 4:36 pm ET


Title: USNRC Emergency Operations Center Status Update
Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Date: March 12, 2011

As seen on: Enformable

Earthquake / Tsunami Status Update Compiled by Executive Briefing Team

Status of Japanese Facilities

(This information is compiled from available sources, including press releases by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)).

At 0136 EST on March 12, 2011, a “vertical earthquake” resulted in an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1.

Other units at Fukushima Daiichi and units at other sites were not impacted by this earthquake.

Explosion occurred at Unit 1 following 0136 EST (March 12, 2011) earthquake.

This explosion was due to hydrogen.

Read the report here

Published: March 7th, 2012 at 4:36 pm ET


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  4. Siemens Report: Reactor No. 4 spent fuel pool cracked from earthquake (FAIREWINDS VIDEO) May 23, 2011
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26 comments to Strange: “Vertical earthquake” caused explosion at Reactor No. 1, says NRC report on Fukushima — Did not impact other units — Occurred March 12 at 1:36a ET

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Earthquakes are supposed to occur, and always have. And always will. Man-made nuclear plants are not meant to be. They can, and do, explode.

  • roberto

    Earthquake Vertical R1: OK.
    Beaver dam collapsed, R2: Plausible.
    Poor digestion of beans, R3: Almost confirmed.
    Sparkling water spring too, R4: There are the technical requirements.
    Thanks, now the World knows.
    Grrr …

  • vivvi

    Gee, my bullpoop detector is maxing out. They couldn't tell the truth even if blind freddy could see it. Vertical earthquake? How about EXPLOSION causes vertical earthquake. And its a clever little earthquake that effected unit one, but no others. You would think that the smell of all their bullmanure would be making their environment too nasty to live in, eh. Next they will be blaming space aliens.

  • James2

    So the USNRC analysis says that a "strange" earthquake caused the reactor building to explode????

    I thought it was at all costs they didn't want to admit that .

    I hope every anti-nuker makes a copy of that statement and takes it to the license renewal hearings of their local nuke plant.

    How many of these "strange" earthquakes occur every year? vs. regular ones.

    How big was this "strange" earthquake? Do we need to shut down all our current reactors because of this "strange" EQ phenomenon?

    • Kevin Kevin

      This is a great point you make James2.

      The EQ cause, is "out of bounds"

      Dudes venturing way off the reserve here.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Sounds like it went straight up the reactor…. I ALMOST give up tying to keep up with these guys.

  • jec jec

    Huhhh..didnt we used to call those Nuclear Explosions? STRAIGHT UP earthquakes? New scientific name for WHOOPS.

    • jec jec

      So the Reactor 1 EQ..sent out materials straight up? In a kind of mushroom cloud..or black cloud..Gads the PR folks must be getting a million dollars a day…they have SUCH imagination….

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Getting paid so much money they must be able to afford all kinds of exotic drugs? Sounds like they're high. This is your brain on drugs.

  • dear jones

    Reactor 1 just want an excise jumping up and down

  • So, the fuel melting towards the center of the Earth is caused by a down earthquake maybe?

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      too funny

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad


      let's make some cesium flapjacks, what with all of these up and down earthquakes. We will not even have to mix the dough, as the up and down earthquakes will do it for us.


      Just set a metal mixing bowl on the ground near the FUKU plant.

      Pour in some (filtered) basement water

      Add white flour to make a proper mix, with a little boric acid to make it rise better.

      Let sit for a few days… will mix with an average of an earthquake a day; some up, some down, some horizontal.

      Presto; cesium flavored flapjacks all mixed up automatically.

      Now set a piece of metal over the hole where the corium is melting down into the ground, next to Unit #3, (where the steam/smoke) is coming out…

      Ladle the batter onto the metal plate, and let it sizzle.

      Flip over when bubbles appear.

      Let sit for a minute.

      Serve and Enjoy.

      Never mind the green tinge… These also glow in the dark…

      Ann Colter says more radiation is good for you, so this should make anyone eating them REALLY HEALTHY…


      Do not try this… it is likely something you will regret.

  • I can think of a situation where there would be an "up" quake affecting reactor one and no other… When the glob of molten fuel hits water.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    This is a conversation about reactor 1…
    Bryon McDermott:"There was, at the Unit 1 reactor,an explosion on sometime..(typo..i assume)that took off the core metal siding on the refueling floor level."
    Pg. 144 ..line 7

  • patb2009

    given this was collected from TEPCO statements and published media, i'm guessing it's a
    very poor mistranslation….

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      If so, maybe it was a drop quake. That's where one part of a fault slips upward or downward. Maybe part of the plant sits astride this type of fault (thrust fault).

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Vertical thrust fault, that is.

        Was the report originally translated from Japanese? If so, that might explain the terminology used.

        If it's from the NRC directly, it's pure hooey.

  • CaptD CaptD

    I think they were referring to the vertical displacement of the EQ being massive and well above the "design basis" for the reactor complex…

    Left unsaid is that that is really what started the leakage of radioactive material that then was accelerated by the lack of "makeup" cooling water…
    TEPCO and the entire nuclear industry will do anything to make the tsunami the cause and not the EQ, since EQ's and or Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  • shiverca shiverca

    Of Course!

    "Godzilla was breaking out of his Egg, just happened to be under the Nuke Plant that is now irradiating him and make him a Gigantic monster."


  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Steady on, folks. My BS sensors went off too, but digging around on the Net it seems the term "vertical earthquake" has been in use for a while. The earliest reference I noticed was from 1995.

    If I understand correctly, this is not an attempt to invent a new unique-to-Fukushima phenomenon. Apparently, seismology people are now more willing to factor vertical motions into their design plans than they did in the past where all the emphasis was on the horizontal movement. It seems that all earthquakes have a vertical component, and there are formulas for determining the vertical/horizontal ratio.

    I'm no seismologist, so feel free to correct me if you have better knowledge. At the moment though, I'm thinking this is not the nuke community pulling a fast one.

    That said, I'm not sure why the official document put the term "vertical earthquake" in scare quotes. My first fear was that it was one of their codes for something much more sinister.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      I've been thinking more about this. As I understand it, building designers have been paying more attention to the vertical component of earthquake motions, starting some time late in the 20th century. Apparently building codes in places like Vancouver BC (waiting for the Big One) have been adjusted accordingly, and some buildings have been retrofitted.

      If this is true… then all those 40-year old nuke plants possibly don't meet the newer codes. Their "earthquake-proofing" might be based largely or exclusively on horizontal shaking models.

      I'm just speculating, but if it could be confirmed, this would be yet another reason to – wait for it –


      • James2

        It's a good point. It's very possible this is what the problem was with N. Anna in August.

        The bottom line is that the statement indicates something they didn't expect – and since this is the organization that creates regulations for the design of reactors – it was surprising to seem them admit it.

        • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

          My limited understanding of earthquakes is that a vertical earthquake is one that is right underneath you.

          As you get further and further away, the waves coming at you are more and more horizontal and less vertical, until they are ONLY horizontal and none vertical.

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    When I read this yesterday, all I could think was more evidence that Arto Laurin's theory is correct.

    If you have not seen, it is worth a look.. the damaged mox rods from Europe are well documented at world nuclear too so now, we have a couple of things that substantiate his theory..