*Yomiuri* Experts: Melted fuel may not be covered in water — Far shallower than assumed — Tepco still claiming Fukushima Daiichi in state of ‘cold shutdown’

Published: March 28th, 2012 at 12:05 am ET
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Title: Fukushima reactor water level shallower than thought
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Date: Mar. 28, 2012

The water level in the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is only about 60 centimeters deep, far shallower than previously assumed [...]

According to some experts, it is possible that nuclear fuel that melted through the reactor’s pressure vessel and accumulated on the bottom of the containment vessel in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami may not be completely covered in the water.

[...] The discovery of the unexpectedly shallow water level will not affect TEPCO’s judgment that the reactor is in a state of “cold shutdown.”

Read the report here

Published: March 28th, 2012 at 12:05 am ET
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34 comments

Related Posts

  1. NHK: Tepco “believes” Reactor No. 2 is in a state of cold shutdown (VIDEO) February 11, 2012
  2. NHK: Over half of fuel has melted out at Reactors No. 2 and 3, says Tepco’s assumed worst scenario (VIDEO) November 30, 2011
  3. Tepco backpedals on No. 2 water level: “Possibly” 2.8 meters of water inside reactor, had been claiming much higher — Now just “quite unlikely” fuel is exposed January 20, 2012
  4. Guardian on Cold Shutdown: Top official conceded they have ‘no idea’ about location of molten fuel, but ‘assume’ it is resting at bottom of containment vessels — Tepco: No. 2 temp “seems to be close to peaking out” February 8, 2012
  5. Steamy ‘Cold Shutdown’? Reactor 2 vessel full of moisture — Water dripping from roof January 19, 2012

34 comments to *Yomiuri* Experts: Melted fuel may not be covered in water — Far shallower than assumed — Tepco still claiming Fukushima Daiichi in state of ‘cold shutdown’

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Denial until the bitter end….wonder what the bloody pro-nukers make of this? Strange silence from their part??


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  • dodge

    Please don't confuse me with the facts. My mind is made up. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


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  • jec jec

    And the fatal amount of radiation being emitted from Reactor 2–is normal for all reactors in "cold shutdown"? Lets see…hum

    http://safetyfirst.nei.org/ask-an-expert/question-what-is-cold-shutdown/

    "In Fukushima Daiichi’s case, achieving the strict definition of “cold shutdown” is not possible because the RPVs have been breached." and "TEPCO understood this important nuance to achieving “cold shutdown” early on this year when it developed its initial recovery plans and developed a new term, “cold shutdown condition,” which applies to how they are bringing the reactors to stable condition. Their definition is as follows:

    Temperature of RPV bottom is, in general, below 100 degrees Celsius.
    Release of radioactive materials from PCV is under control and public radiation exposure by additional release is being significantly held down. (Not exceed 1 mSv/y at the site boundary as a target.)"

    And, gentle readers, note the "RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS FROM PCV IS UNDER CONTROL AND PUBLIC RADIATION EXPOSURE BY ADDITIONAL RELEASE IS BEING..HELD DOWN."
    COLD SHUTDOWN CONDITION – define, redefine, and ignore.


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    • pure water

      Well said, friend! Every journalist should do this, but few dare to state the facts and ask the questions. With this "cold shut down condition", accepted by the public as normal, we could have many more such "safe" and "normal" conditions. And the future generations will curse us for what is happening now!


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  • The Atomic Man

    This reactor was supposedly in the best shape right? Isn't that why they decided to endoscoper it?


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Yes, that's right!


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    • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

      We are only being fed information that they decide can be released. Never forget that. They are masters of disinformation and know how to redirect our attention to areas of releative uninportance. Now they are releasing a video of the inside of one of the reactor pressure vessels and we all flock to see the show. Just keep in the back of your mind this thought: What else are we not being shown.

      Footage from the control room shows us that they have dozens of cameras all around the site in high definition. Yet we are only allowed a scrummy outside camera with mostly nothing to see.

      We were told that they couldn't send in robots because the electronics couldn't handle the strong radiation. Now suddently a camera can work just fine in 73 Sieverts.

      The video of the inside of rpv#2 could be anything else than what we are being told. It could be the endoscopic footage of the coffee-machine in the Tepco HQ for all that I know.

      Let's not be nice dogs and eat whatever they hand out to us. Be ready to bite the hand that feed you bs.

      Open all on-site cameras for public view 24/7, as well as all the archieved clips. That would really be something.


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  • patb2009

    i'm guessing in unit 2 the corium is mostly burned out the bottom.

    That would explain the low water level


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    So, does it mean the tons of water they're furiously pumping into the reactor is just going out the bottom, into Japan?


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  • The Atomic Man

    Tepco needs to go asap. I bet the surrounding plants are the ones in a "cold shutdown" phase. This one went china syndrome in several reactors…


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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Supposedly as of December or January #3 was so hot they couldn't even go near it, and had abandoned all work on it. That came out right around the time the pipes started bursting which fed water to SPF #4. Maybe (if we're lucky) #5 and #6 are in "cold shutdown" although they appear to have had some problems, too.

      This just gets worser and worser. My brain's getting numb from all the bad news. I can hardly assimilate it anymore.


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      • HoTaters HoTaters

        BTW, the info. on #3 and #4 SPF came from an NHK televised news report, posted here.


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      • HoTaters HoTaters

        So let's see … can we connect the dots? No. 2 is too hot to work on now. No. 1 is not approachable because there are fatal levels of radiation around #2. No. 3 has been too hot to work on since December or January, and nothing has been said about its condition since then. The no. 4 SPF had little or no water in December and/or January, and nothing has been said about it.

        Are we to surmise then the whole plant is becoming so hot all work is being abandoned, one reactor at al time?

        Is this a slow process of attrition, leaving nothing to be done except to … abandon ship and let it all go? Let all the reactors and all the SPF's go? The common spent fuel pool, and #4, which has been in really bad condition since around 3/11? Remember, the NRC had to release a report under FOIA which said the walls of the SPF #4 appeared to be gone just after 3/11 initially occurred.

        Three melted down reactors, one vaporized fuel pool (#3), one fuel pool at least partially burned up (#4), and now it's not possible to work on any of the melted down reactors because they are too "hot" and lethal radiation levels prevent work?


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        • HoTaters HoTaters

          That is, the #4 SPF has been in bad shape since early on. 'Haven't read anything about the condition of the common spent fuel pool. That is (I think) located between reactors 5 and 6.

          Sorry if previous post created any confusion about the state of the common SPF.

          We're already hosed, but if the common SPF goes, we're so hosed it is beyond imagination.


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        • Arizonan Arizonan

          This seems like an accurate assessment and summary of where we are at with Fukushima right now. It is good to know we have always been and will continue to be in the dark about many things, that way we don't believe we know anything for sure. However, your connection of the dots looks right to me. I haven't read anything that contradicts this assessment, and I have read much that supports it.
          Thanks HoTaters


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  • ruth

    It's the china syndrome alright. Some is in the atmosphere, a lot in the ocean, and the rest maybe making it's way to the earth's core and what that will do to super charge the earth's core is a mystery.


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  • apeman2501

    I am really displeased at the plain ignorant stupidity of too many people. The 'elite' is no different in that they are setting off nukes (including Fukushima), oil wells, blowing up the WTCs, HAARP and lowfrequency sound wave attacks and other irresponsible dumass vandalism and murders. Too many yesmen for too many years. The Bush cabal ALL belongs in prison for this mess. Everybody should cut the cord on their CFRtv.


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    • many moons

      That would do it…it's a game changer…. If we all hopped on our bikes, pulled out the candles, walked to the store, opened a door and let the natural air come through…..then they would make up some law…you must buy a certain amount of energy each day …or die. The gloves would come off.


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  • Replacant Replacant

    Initially there were a few mentions that the radiation levels in the ocean around Fukushima weren't' going down as fast as expected when they "plugged all the leaks" of course the plugged it with paper, not kidding "Sawdust, newspapers and concrete had earlier been used by workers without success" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8431210/Japan-nuclear-crisis-Fukushima-radiation-leak-stopped.html

    So I've seen models of the radiation plum moving across the Pacific any real live monitoring? I have a friend with young children in Hawaii, as with anyone over there, what happens? Why no monitoring the Pacific Ocean and tracking the radiation levels? It seems reactor 2 is leaking more water than Tepco is telling, good news they dont have to add it to the huge tank farm of radioactive water they already have, bad news is the cooling water from the core maybe gushing into the ground and into the ocean, still, and has for a year!

    But wait there's more: "Radioactive bucky balls were formed as seawater was poured over the molten cores of the damaged reactors, turning water into peroxide – creating bucky ball broth which can exist independent of peroxide. Although uranium is heavier than water, uranyl filled, fused-ring bucky balls are lighter and more mobile in water. Thus they are able to quickly transport Fukushima contaminated ocean water all along the Pacific Rim and infuse the marine food chain. These hot particles are virtually indestructible, radiate and are potentially carcinogenic if inhaled."

    http://anngwyn.wisrville.org/2012/03/12/beware-the-bucky-balls/


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  • Cindy

    Don't forget they used colored bath salts to see where the leak was coming from, and then used material found in disposable diapers to plug it up with…

    Sounds funny, doesn't it … like Laurel & Hardy, or the Three Stooges….

    NOT !!


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    • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

      My definition of “Junk Shots”

      “Junk Shots” are the desperate attempts made by industry and government when all prior emergency planning failed to plan on what to do in the event of an unplanned for and significant leak.

      Examples 1: The “Great Flood of Chicago” In 1992 pilings being put into the Chicago River ruptured a tunnel along the Chicago River and flooded the basements of a significant portion of business district in downtown Chicago. Attempts to “plug” the hole included city workers collecting mattresses from around the city and dumping them into the river with other materials at the site of the breach in the tunnel. The thinking was that the pressure of the water would hold the mattresses against the opening blocking the flow of water. It did not work. Eventually after three days an alternative solution plugged the leak that involved drilling shafts into the tunnel.

      Example 2: In 2010 the British Petroleum company attempted to plug a significant leak of oil in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the rupture of a well that was being drilled by the Deep Water Horizon. A combination of items including shredded rubber from tires, a variety of balls and other items were “shot” into the system hoping that the leak would be stopped. Their effort failed but apparently this method has worked to plug oil leaks in Kuwait when multiple oil wells were set on fire by the exiting Iraqi army.

      continued…


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      • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

        …continued

        Example 3: In 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant leaked radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. “The [USA’s] NRC staff chafed at some unorthodox advice coming from an ad hoc group of scientists assembled by [USA’s] Energy Secretary Steven Chu… Another idea from the Chu group was to attempt a "junk shot" — a variation on what some engineers proposed to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — to plug leaks of radioactive water from Fukushima's nuclear reactors into the Pacific.
        When using a mixture of sawdust, newspapers and other junk failed, Tepco ultimately used a compound known as liquid glass.”
        Source: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120209a2.html


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  • mungo mungo

    notice the word "fatal"..

    The decommissioning process at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant faces a further obstacle after Tokyo Electric Power Co. said radiation readings in the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor were at FATAL levels on March 27.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201203280034


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  • Ariana

    That makes it sound like Tepco just happened to notice by accident that the radiation levels were fatal. Like they just stumbled on the information and decided that it was too dangerous. They have known this info the ENTIRE TIME. Why does this BS still shock me?!


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  • Ariana

    Oh, I LOVE this too: "It said readings were detected as high as 72.9 sieverts per hour, which would be fatal to humans in the event of a leak." IN THE EVENT OF A LEAK?! There has been a leak for over a frickin' year. The really messed up part is: Most people are too unaware (I'm being nice…) to realize this. They are actually fooling most of the world. Wow.


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    • many moons

      In defence of the naive….let's face it…most people don't want to deal with this…radiation. They want to believe everything is fine…it's easier that way. They don't want to know so that they don't have to do anything or change anything….and…they don't have to feel impotent. So tepco and bp and other calamity producing energy companies really don't have to go very far to fool anyone.
      I wonder if anyone could even distribute among the masses the facts of radiation danger…it's invisible, undetectable. Even Diane Sawyer would be unable to move the populations to defend themselves UNLESS there was mention of TERRORISM…then you would get peoples confused attention.


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      • Arizonan Arizonan

        Humans often adapt to circumstances over which they are powerless. We are good at adaptation – that's why we are here. Adaptation is why people around Chernobyl started eating mushrooms and blackberries again – not because they were willfully ignorant of the dangers, but because they could do nothing about the dangers and they were still hungry.

        I agree with earlier poster though – the only way we are going to have a revolution to bring back real justice to human affairs is to individually en masse decide to withdraw our support from the energy companies, even if it means walking and reading by candlelight. I'm in. I'm tired of the genocide. I don't want to participate in it every time I turn on my lights.


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  • CB CB

    AP ~ If the water is not covering the melted core,then the radiation is open to the (video) http://youtu.be/NCr2O2TsNZk?a)


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