WSJ: Temperature rising at No. 4 fuel pool — Safety limit to be exceeded Tuesday morning?

Published: June 30th, 2012 at 4:02 pm ET


Fukushima reactor cooling system suspended: Kyodo
Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch
June 30, 2012


The water temperature of the [No. 4] pool was 31 C at the time of the suspension at around 6.25 a.m. local time and no leakage of water with radioactive materials has been found, Tepco said.

The temperature of the pool rose 0.26 C per hour by late Saturday afternoon, according to the utility.

If Tepco continues to be unable to cool the pool, the temperature could reach 65 C, which is the upper limit designated in the safety regulations, on Tuesday morning.


Published: June 30th, 2012 at 4:02 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan Lawmaker: Coolant system at No. 4 fuel pool may take 3 days to fix — Temperature within a few degrees of safety limit by then June 6, 2012
  2. Kyodo: No. 4 fuel pool warms — Backup pump stopped Wednesday — Main pump stopped Tuesday — Tepco expects temperature to start falling June 6, 2012
  3. Temperature of No. 4 pool rising nearly twice as fast as rate reported by Tepco June 30, 2012
  4. Temperature rising in No. 4 spent fuel pool despite increased water injections (VIDEO) April 25, 2011
  5. Temperature spikes in No. 4 fuel pool after pump burns — Backup also breaks June 6, 2012

60 comments to WSJ: Temperature rising at No. 4 fuel pool — Safety limit to be exceeded Tuesday morning?

  • Is that an oxymoron… Safety limit when talking about nuke power?

  • norbu norbu

    Right, there is NO Safety Limit. That gives them time for vacation, Oh we have lot's of time, Tuesday is so far away, Let's start work Monday Night.

    • Ah, kinda like the serials on TV, like "Lost". Tune in next week to see if the human race will survive.

      • CB CB

        Yep, It's the end of the world, tonight at 11.

        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          No you guys. We have to make it to the 4th so we can cele- brate the USE (sic, not USA), the US Empire! — of which nukular (sic GWB)is such an important part.
          Someone pushed my snark button a few days ago, and I can't turn it off. Kinda like Tepco.

  • norbu norbu

    I will make popcorn at 10:45

  • Cisco Cisco

    OK…so what's really going on here, or what's the best guess. Does anyone believe that SFP has a functioning circulating cooling system left after the explosion, or is it a jerry rigged series of pipes held together with duct tape, etc? Or, is what's left, pipes into the pool and then a discharge into the containment building, and then on to the ground and into the ocean?

    • Hi Cisco

      I'd be interested in your reaction to this essay, written by a former general editor of the Japan Times Weekly

      • Cisco Cisco


        Thank you, I read it. Yoichi Shimatsu’s summary of the events sounds plausible. Some things we know; but, there is so much we don't.

        I know this…Conditions are rapidly deteriorating at Daiichi and given the amount of spent fuel and corium on-site, it’s only a matter of time until the “unimaginable” happens… a radiological firestorm in combination with total contamination of the Pacific Ocean (and other oceans to come) will result in a biological mass extinction event.

        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          Cisco…That's the way I see it also. The videos of the destruction derbies cannot be dismissed. Although I suppose the Pixar Animation Crew could be at work, but I doubt it.

      • Sickputer

        I have listened to Yoichi numerous times on the radio and he has been a longtime voice of accurate reporting of the nuclear crisis.

        However, I'm going to reserve judgment with his new theories until more evidence or witnesses step forward. The item I find hardest to accept is the helicopter runs of fuel rods to the river. Highly unlikely radiation-wise and we must ask: "If those highly radioactive material was possible to move by helicopter (highly unlikely) then why not make shorter runs to the ocean"?

        Second biggest objection to his comments is if Unit 4 did melt-through/sinkdown/collapse into the subsoil, why is the radiation emanating from that unit not comparable to 1,2, and 3? Remember we have seen many foreign non-workers and many workers inside the wreckage of 4. Would that be possible if the fuel was now all spread in the substructure as a full meltdown.

        I also don't find the tone itself of this article similar to the Yoichi reports I heard months ago. He was never one to offer theories of this magnitude without some eyewitness backup. Perhaps he has gone just a little too "Rense" on us.


    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yes, they did have a functioning circulation system or so tepco claimed thus highly questionable.

    • Bobby1

      My guess is the duct-taped jury-rigged mess known as SFP #4 is deteriorating quickly, in multiple ways, with fires, leaks, steam emissions. They are suddenly trying to do something about it, after criminally neglecting the situation for 15 months, but it's far too late.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        Agreed, it is a duct taped mess and I'm sure the workers don't stick around to make sure the tape is secure, so to speak, and who can blame them.

      • dharmasyd dharmasyd

        Bobby 1 & msb—to quote Nuck: "Yape."

  • lam335 lam335

    "…the temperature could reach 65 C, which is the upper limit designated in the safety regulations, on Tuesday morning"

    This is not a problem… The Japanese government will just raise the allowable limits on Monday afternoon. There is no reality independent of the one their regulators/legislators make up as they go along. No laws of physics/nature … just METI regulations …

    • lam335 lam335

      … and TEPCO lies ….

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Iam335…Sounds like the Japanese government is just like the US government. A member of the GWBush Admin told Ron Suskind (in an essay which was in the NYT magazine back then) that the only reality for the Administration was the Reality They Created. The Obama Admin seems to be proceeding with the same idiology.

      …and They All lie…

  • norbu norbu

    Did #4 sfp fall down? If so how can people work at the site?

  • lam335 lam335

    Just a thought:

    … if the water boils and thus expands, will that bulge in the wall be able to handle it?

  • Chelsea_

    So much for "COLD SHUTDOWN". Smh.

  • norbu norbu

    "cold shoulder" not "cold shutdown"

  • betterman

    Here's a question. What happens if this continues past Tuesday morning (Monday afternoon for folks in North America)?

  • norbu norbu

    How can there be a drop of temperature if #4 pool has fallen down?

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      It has not fallen, yet and I would not rely on Rense for an accurate assessment. JMHO

      • norbu norbu

        Thank you

      • I am cautious with Rense, or anyone else for that matter.

        However the author of the post at Rense, Yoichi Shimatsu, wrote an earlier essay on Japan's nuclear weapons program, which was published at Global Research.

        Although I'm not convinced Japan actually has built nuclear weapons (as compared with a just-in-time capacity), many of the facts found in the earlier essay by Shimatsu checked out as accurate.

        I'm really with Heart on this one as I've never believed any of the official pronouncements about unit 4.

        I don't know what is true, but I do know with some certainty that unit 4 did burn on and off over the last 15 months.

        Just last week Kondo, Japan's Atomic Energy Comm Chairman, acknowledged that there had been an explosion in unit 4

        Irrespective of the status of 4, some new crisis is clearly rising at the plant and the media are actually following it this time, which suggests the effects will be visible.

  • norbu norbu

    sorry, rise of temp?

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Surely TPTB are now pulling back from nuclear power? Not so.

    Something like 60 nuclear power plants are now under construction in various places in the world. Find this Japan update by Yoichi Shimatsu on

    Yoichi Shimatsu
    Japan Update
    Free MP3 – Listen

    • richard richard

      Hi bleep. No, they won't stop nukes, there's too much money involved. Corrupt at that. The dogs won't listen. Talking and protesting won't change a thing.

      We're talking about mega billions of dollars. Organized crime doesn't want to give up that golden goose.

      You watch, jap.giv will restart reactors, they will ignore the people's protest. Guaranteed. Too much money at stake. They don't want upset Australian mining magnates do they?

      It's going to take a lot more then current protest activity to force a change.

      An irony I foresee is that Japan will be invaded to save the nuke industry.

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    It seems a little odd to me. Which bit is broken? I mean, The cooling system is portable pumps on trucks with a cooling element in there somewhere. It doesn't add up.

    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      What do they need to fix it? New pump? new radiator? new pipes? what? It should be easy to replace any part since it's all makeshift anyway.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        A miracle or compassionate aliens.

        • eatliesndie eatliesndie

          This is so unfair. I just get a new computer and the world goes and ends. bah!

          • richard richard

            and now i know why i call her my 'last' girlfriend 🙁

            • Radio VicFromOregon

              The temperature had been rising two weeks ago when they had to shut down the cooling system to repair a leak. The water cooling circulation pipes are one of the weakest points because they shake loose easily, especially since they have been erected as temporary fixes. I believe repairing the recirculation pipe leak and restarting the cooling started to reduce the temperature in the pool. But, then the very recent earthquake a couple days ago may have loosened a pipe somewhere and it can take days to find these leaks. Or, the shaking (and the pool was shaken according to TEPCO who was crowing about how well it took the latest quake) may have jostled fuel rods into a new configuration (the ones already broken and laying down) so that a new recriticality could have begun. It only takes a centimeter or two of movement depending on how the displaced rods are laying in relation to others. The pool collapsing would be the worst case scenario and require personnel to abandon the entire plant. But, SFP 4, given the damage from quakes and fires, even if it manages not to topple at some future date, will be contending with recriticalities in the fuel rods and leaks in the recirculation cooling pipes until the rods are completely removed. How they are going to do that without starting recriticalities as they try ad pick up the cages of rods with broken rods scattered on top has yet to be determined.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      FukuDaichi sat on a cliff by the shore
      FukuDaichi had a great rumble and a great ocean roar
      Pieces broke here and parts broke there
      And all TEPCO's money
      And all TEPCO's men
      Couldn't put Fuku together again

      So they just let it poison us all….

  • bleep_hits_blades

    SFP 4 has been the most vulnerable part of the whole sorry place for a long time now. The containment has been damaged, sagging, bulging, etc. etc. etc. It is actually a minor miracle that it has held together as long as it has (if in fact it HAS held together – if we have not been lied to about it.)

    Re this latest problem for instance – mysterious heating – the plant mgt. & workers could know what the cause of this heating is but are just not disclosing it.

    What genuinely puzzles me – most of all – is that already the survival of the planet is seriously in jeopardy – just with what they have built/created/put in place as of right now, June 2012. I understand about greed, etc. — but at a certain point you would think that self-interest, if nothing else, would motivate the people, the decision-makers in govt. & the nuclear industry to WANT to pull back from it. Just like you'd want to pull your hand out of a hot flame or pull your child back from playing on the freeway. It's in the instinctive self-protective reflex/no brainer category – or seems so to me.

    I can't understand what is going on in their tiny little minds – to be pressing forward with restarting plants, building more plants, etc. It is no less than suicidal – for all life on the planet – and it doesn't take a big IQ to be able to see that.

    • NoMoreBlackout

      Why is Reactor #4 more important than the others ? Reactor 3 had the Mox and exploded is that not the worst and scariest reactor ? What i mean is we keep focusing on #4 like it's the End of the World but #1-3 already are gone. It's like they keep us focused on #4 but like i said is it because #4 has more SPF, it seems to me the damage is done, But if anyone can explain why #4 is the deathbed i want to know so i can figure this out. Maybe because of an explosion ?

      • I share these questions NoMoreBlackout

        A report on the fuel stored at the site titled:

        Integrity Inspection of Dry Storage Casks and Spent Fuels at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. 16 November 2010. Yumiko Kumano, Tokyo Electric Power Company

        This report breaks it all down.

        The common spent fuel contains 2X fuel of any other pool.

        Unit 3 core had mox. We don't know whether mox was in spfp 3. I'm convinced that the entirety of unit 3 burned and burned and burned after the massive explosion and over the summer of 2011.

        Why is 4 so bad? The common explanation is that so much fuel is in that pool and if it goes, the site will become uninhabitable and the entire remaining inventory will be compromised.

        I think it already is.

        So, is 4 a grand distraction or is it really the end all?

        • Jebus Jebus

          Al of the above. I see a big event already happened.

          You can't plan for the future, unless you know about the past…

        • bleep_hits_blades

          My understanding is that if 4 goes, it has a lot of spent fuel rods that will burn & it will be a massive poisoning of Japan/Tokyo, Hawaii, & the West Coast & on around the No. Hemisphere & into the Southern, at a rate 'they' are probably aware of but that they are keeping from us.

          It would up the ante, so to speak – magnify/increase the exposure of all of us, most especially those of us in the mentioned downwind areas. Beyond a doubt, by existing standards, it SHOULD require the evacuation of the mentioned areas – but of course evacuating that many people would be impossible; & of course these areas would be poisoned for decades, centuries to come.

          Actually, many of the aforementioned areas should by existing standards already have been evacuated.

          From what I have read, it's a pretty straightforward situation.

          The big 'unknown' is the degree to which our exposure has been misreported & ALREADY is bad enough that many areas – much or all of Tokyo for instance, & possibly HI (where I live) & portions of the West Coast should already have been evacuated.

          If the above is in error, please tell me, because like everyone else I'm trying to understand & get to the truth.

          As soon as I heard about it, one of my first thoughts was that I should hop on a plane & go to So. America. BUT – from what I've heard (info has been withheld of course) the So. Hemisphere is also getting nuked too, perhaps more rapidly than was expected.

          • bleep_hits_blades


            'Global catastrophe waiting to happen' – hundreds of tons of sf rods – 1535 nuc fuel assemblies – are (have long been 'permanently/temporarily' stored in an SF pool there) – 30 METERS ABOVE GROUND, 5 floors up,' in a shattered building, next to a damaged reactor' – catastrophic nuclear fire would result if they lose cooling. TEPCO admits that these fuel rods cannot be moved to a safer location because the necessary equipment is 'damaged beyond repair.' They plan to bring in a new crane and start the removal 'next year'.

            NOTE: Not mentioned in this report is something I have read elsewhere, which is that the whole area and the rods themselves are not only 'too hot to handle,' but too hot even to get close to – fatal exposure to radio-nuclides would result within minutes; also robots and other electronic equipment are 'fried' by so massive an exposure to a whole 'soup' of radio-nuclides, of which Cesium 137 is only one.

            Koide: The 'sickness of Japan: first we hide, then we postpone, then we assume no responsibility'.

            Murate – former Jap ambassador to Switzerland, says – Jap govt. & TEPCO ' lack both ability and intention to deal with this precarious situation. ' It would be the end of Japan and 'there is no one who denies that.'

            Go to link above for rest of article (short portion at end.)

      • sadtexan

        The spent fuel rods in #4 are being housed on the top floor of a damaged, listing building in an open vessel. On a compromised, understaffed site that is largely unprepared for future earthquakes. How's that?

  • nedlifromvermont

    No Bleep … but it takes courage to speak the truth …

    And those in charge do not have the mental freedom to have courage, for they have sold out their souls for the lie of "safe nukes." Their pay, their self-worth are tied up in perpetuating this myth; if they change their minds and open their hearts to the reality that nuke power is madness, they will have nothing left, no self-respect, no job … just a shattered belief system, with suicide perhaps the best option.

    So they perpetuate the madness, like a gambler trying to win back his losses … like an addict that must stoop to perform any disgraceful task, in order to get the relief of the oxycodone high.

    The people do not believe their nuclear masters will relent, and give up on the shattered nuclear dream; for as long as the plant hasn't melted down, the drug supply is secure, and they don't need to consider quitting the business of spreading cancer, leukemia, death and disease to the unsuspecting masses living around these poison factories.

    The people need to wake up and throw off this illegitimate yoke of nuclear nonsense. We need to step away from the TV and take back some control over our lives, our futures and the bodies of our children which are being invaded by nuclear's deadly toxins.

    But the government is not looking for the toxins, in a vain attempt to make the problem go away by ignoring it.

    They really think we're that stupid.

    Maybe they're right.

    I hope not.


  • Horseman of the Apocalypse Horseman of the Apocalypse

    I have been reading the comments from this community for some time now, and, admittedly, feel compelled to communicate my deepest regrets. In all honesty, the members of this community seem to be amongst the sanest and most intelligent humans. You have reacted with sensitivity, compassion and humour. All in all, you lack the malevolent mindlessness so typical of your brethren. If only the rest of the world showed your qualities, this would not have to be…
    Spaceman, don't forget to remember curved. Who was it that said? Oh, yes…

  • petate

    The data sets are indicating that prior to July 10th {ed note: error rate is 3 days plus or
    minus} the tone relative to the [ongoing Fukushima disaster] will change to one of [conflict] and [trouble] just as the [disaster] word shifts within the [public consciousness] over to [catastrophe], or [cataclysm].

    PD All the above material is copyrighted

  • mungo mungo

    new update from ex-skf about spf4 (UPDATE) TEPCO managed to bypass the UPS and restarted the cooling system at 3:07PM on July 1. At the time of the restart, the temperature of the water inside the Spent Fuel Pool was 42.9 degrees Celsius. TEPCO plans to replace the faulty UPS this week. (From the tweets of another independent journalist who receives TEPCO email.)