Nearly all fuel in Fukushima No. 1 reactor has melted, says TEPCO

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  • 13

    SenseNotSoCommon

    the most concrete evidence yet the fuel had dropped to the bottom of No. 1 reactor.

    to or through?

  • 0

    sensei258

    Is it like at Chernobyl, where all the fuel melted through the reactor, and is sitting in a deadly lump underneath. To look directly at it means certain death.

  • 10

    Commodore Shmidlap (Retired)

    Ah, "significant progress." That's some good stuff there, TEPCO. You guys are really on the ball!

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    sensei258 - almost, but where in Chernobyl they actually poured insane amount of concrete to stop the reaction, it is unknown if Tepco managed to actually stop the nuclear reaction or its ongoing...

  • 6

    onagagamo

    This was the plan all along.

  • -4

    KnowBetter

    Curious as to whether any space program would have equipment that could be used to view the damage. One would think that out in 'space' there would be far worse 'radiation' to deal with since stars are in themselves 'nuclear reactors' of ginormous proportions and 'leftover' old stars and Quasars can be just as bad or worse than a 'normally' functioning star but then what do I know, I'm not a rocket scientist. ;)

  • 6

    edojin

    The headline is scary, the story seems to indicate that a degree of calm is present ... but overall ... what the heck does all of this mean? We have a complete meltdown in reactor No. 1 and meltdowns in two other reactors. What does TEPCO expect will happen in such a messy situation? There are question marks all over the place.

    Will there be another big boom somewhere down the road? Will we be experiencing more radiation along the way? And three to four decades before something positive is supposed to happen (according to TEPCO) is a long way off.

    So we have question mark after question mark ... ?????

  • 7

    UK9393

    Those who knew, knew this from Day Zero, didn't believe for one moment that it hadn't done anything BUT melted through, no melt down but melt through, a Corium mass sat eating away at the concrete. From day dot the "melt down" has been a guise, a ruse, a deception.

  • 13

    Disillusioned

    And, who remembers the TEPCO CEO on the news stating that there was no meltdown?

    Yeah, they have made 'significant progress' in removing the solid fuel rods, which is a pretty straight forward deal, except for the debri. Their ice wall still hasn't had to contend with a summer and there are still countless employment scandals with a huge worker turnover. There are hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive waste building up from clean ups and being temporarily stored around the plant and throughout the exclusion zone and, there is still no permanent for storing it. Nearly 100,000 people are still living in billeted or temporary housing and very few have received compensation from the Government, who owns 51% of TEPCO. Significant progress my butt!

    Yes, Mr. Abe, it's all under control! - Or, should that be, under controlled?

  • -12

    Pandabelle

    And, who remembers the TEPCO CEO on the news stating that there was no meltdown?

    Sigh... Why do people keep trotting this out? it's so wrong.

    Edano said officials were acting on the assumption that a meltdown could be underway at Fukushima Daiichi's unit 3, and that it was "highly possible" a meltdown was underway at its unit 1 reactor, where an explosion destroyed a building a day earlier.

    From Washington Post, 13 March 2011. There was no direct information at the time regarding the state of the reactors yet all actions were taken under the assumption that a meltdown had occurred.

    This news is about the first direct view of the state of the reactor. It's been impossible to get equipment in there to evaluate. Nobody is claiming there was no meltdown. My goodness.

  • 10

    browny1

    Pandabelle- not that there wasn't anyone stating the possibility of a meltdown, but TEPCO officials DID state in early days there was no meltdown.

    I recall the statement clearly. I recall NHK clearly reporting such.

    Yes learned ones stated from the onset about the high likelihood of a meltdown happening "here & now".

    It took TEPCO much longer.

  • 6

    YongYang

    @Panbellend: We knew where the reactors were, mostly in the air as a plume blowing in the wind.

    Edna said there has been no radiant release and there will be no release of radiation. He also had the classic, there are no immediate detrimental health effects.

  • 1

    Alex80

    sensei258 - almost, but where in Chernobyl they actually poured insane amount of concrete to stop the reaction, it is unknown if Tepco managed to actually stop the nuclear reaction or its ongoing...

    You can't "stop" the reaction. Also at Chernobyl it is still ongoing. The old cover is collapsing, and this is creating the possibility for a new massive release of radiations around Europe and the world. For this reason they are building up a new cover, that should last for 100 years. It's very expensive, of course, and it's paid by Europe and other nations. But there are ongoing problems, also about money.

    http://www.dw.de/funding-woes-delay-new-chernobyl-cover/a-17997493

    You can be sure well' have new Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima in the next future. This is the human madness - using something that they can't control when something goes wrong.

  • -2

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Yes, evidently it has fallen to the floor. If it burns through the floor and gets into the ground, there will be a huge explosion, dwarfing the oxygen ignited explosions that broke the buildings apart. Also, I never hear the name "General Electric", the US company that designed and built the reactor (it is a GE "Mark 1" reactor). What role are they playing in all of this?

  • -3

    Alex80

    What role are they playing in all of this?

    I believe they are doing nothing, even though it's absurd, since they designed the reactor.

  • 8

    wipeout

    Sigh... Why do people keep trotting this out? it's so wrong.

    Well, Pandabelle, it might be because Shimizu-san didn't come out of this covered in glory. Rather than denying a meltdown at the time, he simply disappeared from view for two weeks, eventually re-emerging (April 7) and claiming exhaustion from overwork.

    A CEO of a large corporation should not pull a disappearing act when his company is undergoing a crisis that affects the entire country.

    Verdict: scumbag.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18550747

  • -8

    Mike O'Brien

    it is unknown if Tepco managed to actually stop the nuclear reaction or its ongoing

    Actually it is known that the nuclear reaction has stopped. If the reaction was ongoing then it would be generating I-131 if it has stopped then all the I-131 would be gone. Sampling of the water detects NO I-131 meaning NO nuclear reaction. The levels of Cs-134, cs-137 and a whole host of other nuclides also backup this conclusion.

    Will there be another big boom somewhere down the road?

    What do you think would cause another 'big boom'?

    We knew where the reactors were, mostly in the air as a plume blowing in the wind

    Hardly, most of the melted fuel is in a mass below the reactors.

  • -8

    Laguna

    Thanks, Pandabelle and Mike O'Brien. The situation is complicated enough without muddying it with comparisons to Chernobyl. As Wikipedia notes:

    ...reactor four suffered a catastrophic power increase, leading to explosions in its core. This dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere[25]:73 and ignited the combustible graphite moderator. The burning graphite moderator increased the emission of radioactive particles, carried by the smoke, as the reactor had not been encased by any kind of hard containment vessel.

    Fukushima was water-, not graphite-cooled; the reactor was encased in a concrete containment vessel; and indications are that no fuel itself has left these vessels.

    There is a very long road ahead, and panic won't make anything easier. Let's get our facts straight.

  • 4

    Aussieboy

    Don't worry it's all under control, just 3 or 4 decades to fix it, no worries!

  • 0

    100 CPM

    "Don't worry it's all under control, just 3 or 4 decades to fix it, no worries!"

    hmm, http://enenews.com/ http://netc.com/

  • 7

    Disillusioned

    Pandabelle - you were obviously not in Japan at the time of the tsunami or, if you were, you were not watching Iapanese TV. The CEO of TEPCO was adamant for nearly three weeks after the tsunami there was no meltdown. I also distinctly remember prime minister Kan screaming at the old goat to get some bloody answers.

    The tsunami was a disaster, but the cover ups, scandals and mismanagement of it are the catastrophe!

  • 7

    YongYang

    @Panbellend: TEPCO didn't even begin to admit the truth about the meltdowns --read melt throughs-- until the middle of May.

    @Mike: Reactors? WHAT reactors? Unit 1, 2 and 3 have nothing that resembles a reactor contained within their units anymore. There is no apparatus in which a nuclear-fission chain reaction can be sustained and controlled, for generating heat or producing useful radiation in those buildings.

  • 1

    Nancy Foust

    The article isn't clear about what actually was found. There is no fuel at all in the reactor vessel. No solid or melted fuel. So they ASSUME there is probably fuel in the containment vessel floor. But this is also at this point just speculation. They are going to start looking there next. There is considerable evidence that at least some of the melted fuel ended up in the torus tube and torus room. The torus room is the basement area that has pipe interfaces and other openings into other buildings and the ground. It is not part of the containment systems of the building.

    Saying all the fuel is melted is a gross understatement of what was actually found.

    If you look at all the reactor research and corium (melted fuel) research, what has happened is almost textbook. The fuel all melted due to lack of cooling, left the reactor vessel and likely all or part left the containment structure.

    They will be doing the muon scan at unit 2 next. It could be in worse shape that unit 1.

  • -1

    Robert Dykes

    They still have ZERO idea how to reach or even BEGIN to clean up the actual fuel. I am sure in the end they will just have to create a tomb around it like Chernobyl. They did the same with the small Idaho Falls accident. They just left it as, covered it, fenced it up, left it for all eternity. The scary thing is, no one is talking about, is the cost of tombing up Fukushima is going to cost far more than they have spent so far. The tomb at Chernobyl STILL isn't finished!!! Those working directly overhead I think are only allowed 30 minutes at a time or something crazy short like that.

  • -3

    jerseyboy

    New tests show almost all of the fuel inside one of the Fukushima nuclear plant’s reactors has melted, its operator said Thursday,

    The data, though largely expected,

    I guess this is progress, at least by TEPCO'S standards. They have now confirmed what U.S. and foreign experts have been saying fo four years.

  • 2

    liarsnfools

    I was in the Kansai on March 11, and unlike folks further east and north who were much closer and probably not watching television, I remember clearly that TEPCO was downplaying the danger including the meltdown. I remember very clearly the argument over whether to try to use sea water to cool down the reactors since the original pipes had ceased to work and whether Osaka could send a fire fighting ship to spray sea water. So do not believe anybody who tells you that TEPCO was forthcoming about whether or not there was a meltdown or virtually any other issue. TEPCO is almost synonymous with "liar" in my vocabulary list.

  • -7

    veejay

    it is interesting the way that anyone with anything intelligent or informed to say is derided. It just goes to show that the majority of people that post on this site are morons and conspiracy theorists. How does squealing in emergency help the situation especially when you have absolutely nothing to contribute to how the situation can be resolved. These are the kinds of people that fled like rats when the shit hit the fan instead of keeping a cool head.

  • 1

    Genki/Flash

    TEPCO, the board of directors should all be arrested for their stupidity! They dropped the ball since day one, and haven't told the truth about anything! One lie after another........

  • -1

    gokai_wo_maneku

    My goodness, for people who have no connection at all with the management of the situation, some people sure have strong opinions about what happened and what will be done about it.

  • 2

    Fadamor

    Also, I never hear the name "General Electric", the US company that designed and built the reactor (it is a GE "Mark 1" reactor). What role are they playing in all of this?

    I believe they are doing nothing, even though it's absurd, since they designed the reactor.

    They're doing nothing because they have no part in this. They designed the reactor and gave Japan's NRC a list of requirements that needed to be met by the host country in order to ensure safe operation of the reactor. After the earthquake and tsunami, those minimum requirements failed to be supplied by the host country and the reactor suffered a catastrophic failure as a result. This disaster was due to the failure of the infrastructure supporting the reactor (electrical power, cooling water piping,and as a result, insufficient cooling water), not a failure of the reactor itself.

  • -4

    Alex80

    @Fadamor: because you think we know everthing about GE. Sorry you can't read this article, for example.

    http://www.corriere.it/esteri/11marzo16/tecnico-ge-caretto_cd017160-4fe2-11e0-acff-d18cea4068c4.shtml

  • 1

    turbotsat

    Alex80: For this reason they are building up a new cover, that should last for 100 years. It's very expensive, of course, and it's paid by Europe and other nations.

    Hahahaha, 'buy us a new roof if you want our failed reactor to stop blowing radioactive dust over your countries.'

    @Alex80 (sorry, :), I am not picking you, answering two posts; it is just happenstance; your link didn't work, you need angle brackets around it if you don't want JT to mush the link up, or use the Link button):

    http://www.corriere.it/esteri/11marzo16/tecnico-ge-caretto_cd017160-4fe2-11e0-acff-d18cea4068c4.shtml

    Pagina non disponibile La pagina non è stata trovata. Potete cercarla nel motore di ricerca in alto, o tornare alla home page di Corriere.it .

  • 0

    kcjapan

    26 April 1986 Chernobyl

    Mar 16, 2015 · New Jersey, LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP.-- The Salem 1 nuclear reactor was taken off line this weekend after workers were unable to meet a repair deadline

    You can't hug your kids with nuclear arms. Unsafe, expensive, replaceable.

  • 1

    AnonymousNJ

    Mar 16, 2015 · New Jersey, LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP.-- The Salem 1 nuclear reactor was taken off line this weekend after workers were unable to meet a repair deadline

    You can't hug your kids with nuclear arms. Unsafe, expensive, replaceable.

    I live in the state that has that Salem 1 reactor. It gets turned off once in awhile whenever there is a problem, but unlike Japan, we don't have tsunamis. We get hurricanes with sea water that comes up when it's high tide. Yes. But, we survived Sandy. The reactor survived Sandy. However, we're a state that relies not just on nuclear energy, we're also solar obsessed (and minor wind farming love). We have have a lot of solar panels here.

  • -3

    Alex80

    @turbosat: sorry, I forgot to use the link button, but also using it, it says the article can't be found. Weird. If you are interested, try to google "«A Fukushima reattori General Electric Meno sicuri di altri impianti moderni», You will find it, and even though you can't speak Italian, I guess also by using Google translator you could understand something. Anyway, it was about some workers at GE who said that Fukushima reactors were less safe than others, even though, of course, GE denied it. We'll never know the truth. In my opinion, everyone involved in this mess is to blame, included who designed the reactors. It's absolutely absurd that the ones who designed the reactors are not able to be useful in such a disaster. After all, it's their creation. But this is the problem with nuclear power: human beings have not complete control over this technology, for this it shouldn't be used.

    The reactor survived Sandy.

    This doesn't mean it's safe. At Three Mile Island and Chernobyl there weren't tsunamis or hurricanes.

  • -3

    kcjapan

    Unsafe, expensive, replaceable.

    Atomic energy is an essential tool. Property applied and regulated, atomic energy and research is of some benefit.

    "The reactor survived Sandy." - comments

    And if it had not? Boston to Philadelphia would have been ground zero. Millions without food, water, medical care or governance. Atomic energy is useful. Japan has no business using it. Ask the Ukraine.

  • -1

    Alex80

    TEPCO is a disgrace, no doubts. But some people should simply accept the fact that nobody in the world can deal properly with this disaster. We don't have the proper technology yet. Also at Chernobyl, they aren't fixing the reatcor (it can't be fixed), they are only covering it AGAIN with a new roof.

  • 0

    AnonymousNJ

    This doesn't mean it's safe. At Three Mile Island and Chernobyl there weren't tsunamis or hurricanes.

    Correct. Those places didn't have tsunamis or hurricanes. What they had were human errors that led to their problems. Most nuclear reactors, in the States, are more modernized and better off than the oldest ones. It's just the one in my state that is exactly the same as Fukushima's, and a very old model to boot. Somehow, after all these years, those people over there in that facility have managed to learn and try their best to make sure the facility doesn't run into something as catastrophic as all these other nuclear fall outs. I'm not really fan of nuclear, because I'm 100% all for solar and water power. I don't really find atomic energy that good, so that's my opinion. I don't like coal either.

    I'll just say that we in NJ just make sure we learn from the past history's mistakes. Maybe, our Salem reactor will shut down for good one day? That's fine. We have multitudes of other energy sources in the States. Japan, on the other hand, needs to find a good energy source that can replace nuclear. TEPCO cannot be trusted, obviously.

  • 0

    Alex80

    I'll just say that we in NJ just make sure we learn from the past history's mistakes.

    Until there's a new mistake that nobody could predict, that could bring to a huge disaster. Because nuclear enery is never safe, a little distraction can be fatal.

  • 1

    kcjapan

    "Those places didn't have tsunamis or hurricanes. What they had were human errors that led to their problems" - comments

    In all honesty, no excuse will ever undo a nuclear error.

    It is time to accept the cost, maintenance and legacy of atomic is a disaster planted and harvested for the next 1,000 years. Atomic? Sure, in it's place, and it's time has passed.

  • -2

    liarsnfools

    Early on, TEPCO and its minions raised the canard about Fukushima being really a GE problem. I remember distinctly that it was pointed out that it was TEPCO which decided to site the water cooling system in a place that made it vulnerable to being knocked out by a tsunami. This prompted all utilities to begin reporting just how close to the shore their cooling systems are to the ocean. Not surprisingly, virtually every one is. Why do you think the people in Shiga and Kyoto continue to be so concerned about the reactors in Fukui, the prefecture with the largest concentration of nukes?

  • -5

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Fadamor is writing revisionist history. IT'S NOT GE'S FAULT, EVEN THOUGH THEY DESIGNED AND BUILT THE REACTOR! They also, with American contractor's, built the buildings and everything. Japanese did not participate in building the Daiichi (i.e, GE designed and built reactor). When Hitachi and Toshiba were building the second reactor, they requested design changes, for example, that the emergency power be moved above ground, but GE refused to allow any changes due to "safety concerns". So when the tsunami came, we can congratulate GE on their TOTAL lack of forsight. They didn't understand the concept of "TSUNAMI", evidently. And notice that the reactors built by Toshiba and Hitachi have performed somewhat better. That is why some rightists consider Fukushima to be the third atom bomb dropped by the US.

  • 0

    jerseyboy

    These are the kinds of people that fled like rats when the shit hit the fan instead of keeping a cool head.

    veejay -- Yup, and us "rats" were the ones who were smart enough about Japan to know that Fukushima was a disaster that was way beyond their capabilities, especially given the un-holy alliance between J-government/the LDP and big business, and that the country, especially the taxpayers, would be paying for this monumantal screw-up for decades. So, given the choice, we decided not to pay any more of our hard-earned money to support this comedy of errors. But, if you think you have a "cool head" because you like continuing to work for TEPCO's benefit, by all means, go for it.

  • -4

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Also, note that it was not the cooling system that failed. It was the backup power system that was placed underground, and which GE refused to change (it was underground because in the US they worry about tornados etc). And scipanthiest, there is plenty of blame to go around. Remember the GE3? They were the three nuclear engineers who refused to afirm the safety of the reactors, quit GE, and joined the anti-nuculear energy movement. Also, TEPCO should have retired the reactors a decade before the event, but the MONEY was just too good. It was a perfect storm of GE incompetence and TEPCO greed.

  • 4

    UK9393

    @5 times: What are you going on about? It was the cooling system that failed because it was already suffering from broken pipes and seeing as no electricity was running... it stopped, thus failed. QED.

    Japan.Inc was being (Not GE) --and has proven to be-- reckless, knew full well that the BWR1s were out of date, dangerous and lacking failsafes, had been told of previous mega-tsunamis, had evidence, didn't press TEPCO to do what it had to do, TEPCO complicit, golden parachutes, money with safety, any concern of citizens, last. Just as in the war, the elite, the political class, greedy, selfish and everything expendable except their profit. Disgusting. Amoral. Reprehensible. Now you are dismissed!

  • -4

    gokai_wo_maneku

    UK, gokai means "misunderstand" 誤解, not 五回. The cooling system was build by the US contractors. Anyway, I don't disagree with what you say there. But the same applies to GE. Ask the GE3.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    UK9393

    had been told of previous mega-tsunamis, had evidence, didn't press TEPCO to do what it had to do, TEPCO complicit

    Nope. Prevous tsunami research indicated a much smaller tsunami risk. TEPCO did, however, increase their tsunami defences after new Fukushima Prefectual studies increased the maximum tsunami risk from around 3 metres to 6 in the early 2000s.

  • -4

    Star-viking

    Really?

    Here's what research from Sugawara et al say:

    The magnitude of the Jogan earthquake (Mw= 8.4), which was derived from the tsunami deposit inland extent and numerical inundation modeling, was too small to predict the magnitude of the Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw= 9.0–9.1) and tsunami.

    The differences between the postulated Jogan and Tohoku-oki events are large; the magnitude of energy released by the Tohoku-oki earthquake is nearly 8–10 times larger than that by the Jogan earthquake. The fault slip, which in part determines earthquake magnitude, of the Jogan event was too small to predict that an earthquake with the magnitude of the Tohoku-oki event would occur.

    Sugawara was part of the team that identified the recurrent earthquake and tsunami events in that general area.

    Sawai et al say:

    Modeling inundation and subsidence, we estimated size of the Jogan earthquake as moment magnitude 8.4 or larger and a fault rupture area 200 km long. We did not consider a longer rupture, like the one in 2011, because coastal landform and absence of a volcanic ash layer make any Jogan layer difficult to identify along the Sanriku coast.

    Two scientific papers there which refute the myth that TEPCO knew there was a station-busting tsunmi risk.

  • 2

    UK9393

    @Viki:

    Nope?

    Really, that's it? "Nope"? Well, I better abounded my position, met with that robust and informed rebuttal! Anyway, unlike yourself, I'll let the experts in at this juncture:

    http://www.acamedia.info/sciences/JG/references/fas/fukushimarevisited.pdf

  • 4

    YongYang

    “Though global safety standards kept on improving, we wasted our time coming up with excuses for why Japan didn’t need to bother meeting them.” Madarame Haruki, Chairman, Nuclear Safety Commission, Diet testimony, 2/15/12

    QED.

  • -4

    Star-viking

    UK9393,

    Not Viki

    Really, that's it? "Nope"? Well, I better abounded my position, met with that robust and informed rebuttal! Anyway, unlike yourself, I'll let the experts in at this juncture:

    http://www.acamedia.info/sciences/JG/references/fas/fukushimarevisited.pdf

    Really? Experts who do not seem to know that the Sanriku Coast Tsunami Heights are caused by the steep and narrow inlets in that area. Experts who publish in an activist publication rater than a scientific journal?

    For real experts, see my post of 12:05 AM today. They did publish in scientific journals.

  • 4

    wipeout

    @Star Viking

    Nope. Prevous tsunami research indicated a much smaller tsunami risk. TEPCO did, however, increase their tsunami defences after new Fukushima Prefectual studies increased the maximum tsunami risk from around 3 metres to 6 in the early 2000s.

    It wasn't raised to 6. It was raised to 5.7.

  • -1

    Star-viking

    Thanks Wipeout, I was just going from memory there.

  • 3

    UK9393

    @ Viki: Let me help you: The problem with using site-specific information to determine the design basis is that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, and the Japanese islands were formed about 15 million years ago, so data from only the past several hundred years will probably not be fully representative. In the case of Fukushima, even in the 1960s, it should have been obvious to both the engineers and their geoscience consultants that if an earthquake about 10,000 km from Fukushima could generate a tsunami of several meters in height at Fukushima, a similar earthquake immediately offshore Fukushima could generate a much larger tsunami, but this possibility was not reflected in the design of the NPS.

    Based on global earthquake data from the past 100 years, some scientists proposed in the 1980s that Tohoku and Sumatra could have relatively large magnitude-8 earthquakes, but not magnitude-9 mega-earthquakes like the 1960 Chile earthquake. This hypothesis was widely accepted in Japan. However, the 2004 M9 quake in Sumatra and the discovery reported by a series of papers in the 1990s and in 2001 of sedimentary deposits from three mega-tsunamis in Tohoku in the past 3,000 years served to disprove the hypothesis that M9 earthquakes could not occur in Tohoku. This evidence was known to TEPCO and the regulators but was not acted on. What evidently happened was a classic case of “cognitive dissonance.” Once TEPCO and the regulators got locked in to one mindset, they proved unable to reopen their minds as new evidence emerged. As a result, they were woefully underprepared for the M9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011, with the disastrous consequences we now know all too well.

    Have an informed day.

  • 0

    UK9393

    For poof of negligence you just need to look at the aftermath. And 想定外で is an absolute redundant and obtuse ruse to play on the part of any facility that runs a NPS, and this is why common sense and reason dictates that any NPS should not be uranium fuel based; it's madness because catastrophes on this scale have and will happen. Not only that, it's by far the most subsidised and expensive and stupidest way to boil water and again, the consequences of disaster are just too high to pay. Sanity must prevail. If nuclear fission is going to be part of a govt's energy make up, then one word: Thorium. Unfortunately it doesn't make fissile materials for bombs though, does it.

  • 0

    turbotsat

    Star-Viking: Two scientific papers there which refute the myth that TEPCO knew there was a station-busting tsunmi risk.

    I don't get it. How does the mere existence of two low-ball papers "refute the myth that TEPCO knew there was a station-busting tsunmi risk"?

    http://www.salon.com/2011/05/27/as_japan_earthquake_tsunami_risk/

    2011/05/27 - ... In the nearly 10 years since the memo, advances in science have exposed the potential — and precedent — for huge tsunamis hitting Japan’s northeast coast. Several studies showed that the Jogan tsunami of 869 A.D. went far inland in the area near Fukushima Dai-ichi. Other studies showed that the fault that erupted so violently was “stuck” and could produce the kind of truly massive quake it did.

    Over the years, TEPCO never changed the maximum tsunami heights expected at Fukushima Dai-ichi. ...

    http://tinyurl.com/klvt4dw

    Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster, 2015/03/03, ISBN 978-1620970843

    ... TEPCO paid no attention to that prediction until 2008, when experts warned that the utility's tsunami assessments could have underestimated the potential size of earthquakes off the Fukushima coast. As a result, TEPCO conducted a calculation ... Based on this model, the utility now predicted a tsunami up to thirty-four feet (10.2 meters) high near the plant's seawater intake pumps. A wave that large could sweep inland and reach a run-up height of more than fifty-one feet (15.7 meters) around Units 1 through 4 at Fukushima Daiichi. But TEPCO did not consider these results realistic, maintaining that the undersea faults in the area were not the type capable of causing large tsunami-generating earthquakes.

    Reaching out even further back in seismic time, however, one potential counterexample stood out: the 869 A.D. Jogan earthquake and tsunami. The exact origin of the earthquake, believed to have been a magnitude 8.6, was unknown, but scientists had found evidence of geologic deposits from the tsunami well inland in areas not that frar north of Fukushim Daiiichi. .... Concerned, TEPCO ran another calculation assuming an earthquake as large as Jogan and found it might produce a tsunami as high as thirty feet. The utility then surveyed tsunami deposits around Fukushima Prefecture and located some just north of the Daiichi site, but it found their patterns to be inconsistent with its model. TEPCO's conclusion: further research was needed.

  • -3

    Star-viking

    Turbosat,

    you provide Salon and a book. My "lowball" papers are published in the peer-reviewed scientific journals Sedimentary Geology and Geophysical Research Letters, by researchers who are active in the field, and probably misquoted in your references. They state that the best predication of a recurring Jogon-style earthquake was between 8-10 times smaller than what actually occured.

    If you want to, you can look them up:

    "Assessing the magnitude of the 869 Jogan tsunami using sedimentary deposits: Prediction and consequence of the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami" Sugawara et al, Sedimentary Geology.

    Link: http://www.science.earthjay.com/instruction/CR_eureka/GEOL_15/lecture_26/sugawara_etal_2012_magnitude_869AD_jogan.pdf

    "Challenges of anticipating the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami using coastal geology" Sawai et al, Geophysical Research Letter.

    Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL053692/abstract

    UK9393,

    However, the 2004 M9 quake in Sumatra and the discovery reported by a series of papers in the 1990s and in 2001 of sedimentary deposits from three mega-tsunamis in Tohoku in the past 3,000 years served to disprove the hypothesis that M9 earthquakes could not occur in Tohoku.

    And as the papers I provided said - they could not have predicted a M9 quake for Tohoku. This was from some of the people who discovered the recurring tsunamis.

    Have an informed day.

  • 2

    UK9393

    @Viki:

    Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) officials rejected "unrealistic" estimates made in a 2008 internal report that the plant could be threatened by a tsunami of up to 10.2 metres, Kyodo news.

    “Though global safety standards kept on improving, we wasted our time coming up with excuses for why Japan didn’t need to bother meeting them.” Madarame Haruki, Chairman, Nuclear Safety Commission, Diet testimony, 2/15/12

    People who believe in facts and don't have a bruised ego, know which voice to believe.

  • -1

    Star-viking

    @9393

    I actually generlly agree with Madarame. As for your quote of Kyodo News, got a scientific or technical report.

    People who believe in facts and don't have a bruised ego, know which voice to believe.

    Well, for facts I prefer the sources, not the news agencies - who often jazz things up to keep their customers happy. That's why I post peer-reviewed scientific papers where possible. What did you think of them?

  • 3

    UK9393

    @Viki, this just seals your ideas with the last nail. Put it to bed, seriously. It's embarrassing. It's wrong because it has be proven as such and everyone in the nuclear industry who counts in Japan disagrees totally with your 'points'.

    Speaking at his Tokyo corporate headquarters , Naomi Hirose, president of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which runs the stricken Fukushima plant, said Britain's nuclear managers "should be prepared for the worst" in order to avoid repeating Japan's traumatic experience. "We tried to persuade people that nuclear power is 100% safe. That was easy for both sides. Our side explains how safe nuclear power is. The other side is the people who listen and for them it is easy to hear OK, it's safe, sure, why not?

    "But we have to explain, no matter how small a possibility, what if this [safety] barrier is broken? We have to prepare a plan if something happens … It is easy to say this is almost perfect so we don't have to worry about it. But we have to keep thinking: what if …"

    Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi facility on the coast about 124 miles (200km) north-east of Tokyo, comprising six nuclear reactors, was hit by a giant tsunami with waves peaking at 17 metres high caused by the Great East Japan earthquake on 11 March 2011. In what quickly became one of the world's worst nuclear disasters, operators lost control of the plant when the power supply, including emergency back-up, failed amid massive flooding. As cooling systems malfunctioned, reactors 1, 2 and 3 suffered meltdowns.

    Hirose said that although the situation facing Fukushima Daiichi on 11 March was exceptional, measures could have been adopted in advance that might have mitigated the impact of the disaster. Tepco was at fault for failing to take these steps, he said.

    "After I became president [in 2012], we formed a nuclear safety review committee. We focused mainly on what we could do, what we could learn. We had a lot of data by then. Three other reports, one from the Diet [Japan's parliament], one from government. We had a lot of information. Tepco's own report, too. We concluded that we should have avoided that catastrophic accident, and we could have. We could see what we should have done."

    Preventative measures included fitting waterproof seals on all the doors in the reactor building, or placing an electricity-generating turbine on the facility's roof, where the water might not have reached it. In addition, wrong assumptions were made, he said.

    "I don't know if I could have seen or thought this before the accident … Probably I assumed that people had discussed counter-measures to avoid a huge tsunami by something very special like a complete shutdown."

    It transpired that the huge cost and technical complexity of a multiple shutdown, in what was considered the unlikely event of an abnormally large tsunami, had led managers to discount such a scenario as implausible and inefficient, he said.

    "What happened at Fukushima was, yes, a warning to the world," he said. The resulting lesson was clear: "Try to examine all the possibilities, no matter how small they are, and don't think any single counter-measure is foolproof. Think about all different kinds of small counter-measures, not just one big solution. There's not one single answer.

    "We made a lot of excuses to ourselves … Looking back, seals on the doors, one little thing, could have saved everything."

  • -3

    Star-viking

    9393,

    As I said, I generally agree with Madarame. However, I don't agree with news reports having precidence of scientific reports - especially seeing how reporters mangle the science.

  • 1

    YongYang

    @Veejay: We left because we assessed the situation as dangerous. I took my young family out of Japan on March 14th, had left Tokyo to West Japan on the 12th, after Unit 1 exploded. Once Unit 3 went. Bye.

    We stayed out of Japan proper for 2 months, and have moved away from Kanto. Our choice, respect it. No one squealed. We respect yours, if you were even in Japan then and decided to stay wherever it is you live / exist.

  • -1

  • -2

    Mike O'Brien

    Well this is interesting!

    Yeah, and JT has an article about that topic where it can be discussed.

    TEPCO photos of NO fuel in the vessel......but no reason to panic

    No more reason than there was last month, or a year ago, or 2 years ago...

    This info was assumed to be so almost from the first day after the accident. Oh and if you actually look at those pictures they don't show the very bottom of the reactor vessel, so they show the fuel isn't where it was before the accident, they don't actually show conclusively that there is NO fuel in the vessel.

  • 0

    FizzBit

    Well this is interesting!

    Yeah, and JT has an article about that topic where it can be discussed.

    Hey Mike, look at the time stamps on the posts please.

    Mine - MAR. 25, 2015 - 12:11PM JST

    JT's - MAR. 25, 2015 - 06:20PM

    Is that the reason for the thumbs down?

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