Study shows deeper meltdown than thought at Fukushima nuclear reactor

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  • 5

    some14some

    They knew this from the beginning.

    we also knew from day one.

  • 4

    namabiru4me

    seems the details are slowly coming out... In 30+ years we may know the full story and how at risk and dangerous the situation really is / was.

  • 5

    YongYang

    And we KNOW it's not a meltdown but two MELT THROUGHS. The media here just seems to refuse to want to use the reality of what is happenING in Fukushima. Some of us called it from Day Zero.

  • 5

    6wings

    Next month's update, "Further investigation reveals previous studies to be false: fuel rods melted through containment vessel."

  • -8

    rainman1

    Correct Namabiru - In 30+ years we may, just may find out the full story. Until then, comments as above from some14some are worthless and pointless.

  • 4

    CrazyJoe

    I don't believe what TEPCO says anymore.

  • 10

    zichi

    TEPCO feels that the melted core material that exited the pressure vessel may in the worst case, or in other words if the worst postulated case exists, have eaten about 2/3 of the way into the bottom structure of the dry well.

    TEPCO does not feel the material could have gotten below the structure, or into the actual basement, or come in contact with the floor or the ground. The material is not in the earth below the plant.

    The corium has long escaped the Reactor Pressure Vessel AND the Containment Vessel of Reactor 1, and has eaten into the concrete pedestal to about 65-centimeter deep.

    For Reactors 2 and 3, TEPCO thinks that a good chunk of the corium dropped from the RPV onto the CV. No mention whether the corium there is eating into the concrete or not.

    At the thinnest part of the concrete, it is only 37 centimeters to the outer steel plate of the Containment Vessels. This is a very severe accident.

    TEPCO also estimates that in the worst cases for Reactors 2 and 3, 57% and 63% of the fuel have melted, respectively, and part of the fuel dropped onto the Containment Vessels.

    The Institute of Applied Energy says it could be 2 meters deep. The analysis done by the Institute of Applied Energy commissioned by the national government, 85% of fuel dropped to the Containment Vessel in Reactor 1, and 70% of fuel dropped to the Containment Vessels in Reactors 2 and 3.

    The researchers at the Institute pointed out the possibility of the damage to the stainless-steel shroud that surrounds the fuel core, and of the corium having eaten away the concrete floor of the Containment Vessel up to 2 meters deep. Because of that, they also said it was possible that the RPV got tilted.

    Three meltdowns and three melt-throughs.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tEoO0KGMPw0/TtZAbCsKWmI/AAAAAAAABTM/yz94OM1OnQw/s1600/MarkIdistancedrywellfloortograde.png

    TEPCO guilty of world's worst sea contamination

    http://youtu.be/jzw5YgUESiY

    On November 17, the architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, was interviewed in Japan. He warned that a “China Syndrome” situation is inevitable at the plant. Haruo said that considering eight months have passed since the tsunami and the crippling of the nuclear plant without any improvement in the condition of the reactors, it is likely melted fuel has escaped the container vessel and is now burning through the earth. On September 20, 2011, Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, estimated that material from the nuclear fuel rods may be twelve meters deep underground at reactors one and three.

    The atomic power plant continues to release very high levels of radiation. Fukushima Daiichi Radioactive Contamination Japan-Tokyo 28.11.2011/29.11.2011

    http://youtu.be/fv_ArStPN4w

  • 5

    Patrick Hattman

    "Radioactive debris from melted fuel rods may have seeped deeper into the floor of a Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear reactor than previously thought, to within a foot from breaching the crucial steel barrier, a new simulation showed Wednesday."

    They still aren't telling the whole story. There is no point in placing any trust in whatever TEPCO says.

  • 0

    tmarie

    Oh wait, what? It is worse than they thought? What a shock!!!!

    So, when are we actually going to get the truth? When are they going to stop trying to promote Fukushima food? When are they going to get those families out of there??

  • 1

    Cricky

    Best case SIMULATION, almost as good as the SIMULATION of truth released.

  • 0

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    measuring the temperature of empty cores is meaningless

    True.

    But one thing good about the cores melting through is that gravity will drag them down down down, and then they will not have to be cleaned up. Earth's core will take care of that for us. The fast they god down down down, the better off we are.

  • 1

    alladin

    They all knew this from the start and hid everything from everyone until now. Now that it`s in the open, what will they do to make things better for everyone in Japan!!!! Make more excuses and cover up more lies until they get caught!! They should realistically face their mistakes like a true person while scrapping all nuclear projects in Japan. They should compensate everyone in Japan for all of what they did and close down their company for good!! They are all liars, deceivers and a whole of criminals thats being protected by the Japanese government!! What a shame!!!! Because of them, no one can ever trust a Japanese person again!!!

  • 7

    zichi

    Radiation is being spread across the country, not just Fukushima. The Science Ministry have stated that 8% of the total land mass or 30,000 sq km are contaminated. In Fukushima, 4,322 rice farms have been banned from growing or selling rice.

  • -5

    WilliB

    We are talking about simulation here. Only some self-declared experts in the readers forum actually claim to know exactly what the cores look like.

  • 3

    gaijinTechie

    @mabodofulsspicy, you do realize that all nuclear power companies (save for one, obviously) have spent millions to prevent just that from happening, and why is that exactly? What happens when the very hot radioactive core reaches ground water depositories underground, and suddenly turns into steam with a volume requirement 100 times that of the space that it has? Can you say steamy BOOM?

    Nuclear industry knowledge of Tepco is decades behind those in western countries. Tepco didn't even know about prussian blue! Even I learned about it in high school, and that was TWO decades ago! Everybody BUT Tepco knew what happened and to what extend.

  • 4

    wanderlust

    More guesses from TEPCO.

    These simulations rely on data input, but most of the gauges in the reactors were destroyed, and direct visualization of the RV is not possible; carbon-based workers would not survive more than a few seconds of radiation that has at times measured 500 Seiverts/ hour in the basements. Robots are also useless, their camera CCDs are swamped by the gamma radiation, while the chips may also be fried.

    Validation of the simulation software/ programme is also required. Who knows quality of these simulations?

  • 3

    Elvensilvan

    But one thing good about the cores melting through is that gravity will drag them down down down, and then they will not have to be cleaned up. Earth's core will take care of that for us. The fast they god down down down, the better off we are.

    True, but then again, how about the radiation that these will spew out before they are in a "safe distance" from the surface?

    If the simulation proves to be true, then former director Yoshida should be compensated for his "pump seawater" emergency action. He has been reprimanded for doing so, and later was proven to be the correct action by experts. If he didn't pump seawater, then the melted materials might have gone deeper.

    But as the other posters have already mentioned, it might be impossible at this time to confirm the actual damage done by the meltdown. But I still believe there is a way to find out if the materials are still contained or not, I'm just hoping our "experts" (note: not politicians, but actual scientists) find a way soon.

  • 4

    rickyvee

    bottom line, how is this affecting my and my children's, (and my future grandchildren's) health? all this mumbo jumbo is meant to inform us but all it does is add to the confusion.

  • 4

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Anyone here still advocating nuclear energy as cheap and SAFE for Japan??

  • 0

    tokyokawasaki

    Study shows deeper meltdown than thought at Fukushima nuclear reactor

    A study? How about proof and evidence. All this guessing is not very reassuring is it?

  • 6

    globalwatcher

    Folks, I just want to let you know that this topic became a big nightly CBS news in US tonight. The food safety issue associated with this meltdown was well focused in the news. The world is watching to make sure TEPCO and Japanese government keep up with transparency as they promised.

  • -2

    theResident

    @Elbuda: Yes, If built and operated correctly, still safe and still cheap - no better alternatives in this country.

  • 0

    gyouza

    @NeverSubmit

    Edano should apologize. He seems strangely silent through all of this.

    He is not the cabinet secretary anymore and hence doesn't give briefings.

  • 2

    jforce

    Tmarie: Correct. Been saying that all along. Relocate, relocate, relocate. There is no sense in staying in those areas. Start over while you still can. Zichi: Yes, the real problem seems to be the spread of radiation and the lack - thereof - of containing the problem - being in foodstuff and such. Rickyvee: Couldn't agree more! Do I sell my land and get out? Or, tough it out under the umbrella of hope?

  • 2

    TakahiroDomingo

    two possibilities:

    a- still to this day (and forever) they are lying and hiding information

    b- they truly haven't the foggiest idea what the h3ll happened, nor the extent of still lurking damage and danger to us all

  • 1

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    Zichi. As always you are spot on!

    RickyVee. Exactly. The children. Our children. If I knew exactly what I was dealing with and what the future implications were, I'd feel better. As it is, I feel in the dark and I really don't like the feeling.

  • -6

    Antonios_M

    Some of the readers here criticize the J government for not revealing crucial informations about the meltdown during the first days of the nuclear crisis. Yes, you are right. Jgov indeed lied to all of us.

    However, just imagine the chaos that would follow having Edano declare something like a full meltdown few days after the earthquake and with international press already covering the crisis with sensationalized articles. It would have been a disaster.

    You should give credits to the Japanese people for acting rationally during the first days of the crisis. If this had happened anywhere else, i doubt that everything would have been so "normal" like it was here in cities with millions of people just few hundred kms away from Fukushima. Part of this behavior though was a result of these "shinpai shinaide" comments by Mr. Edano. Indeed, i was panicked because i was listening to global media but all the Japanese who listened to the government's announcements felt comfortable enough to go on with their daily routine (including my gf as well). I can't imagine what would have happened otherwise...

  • 0

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    Did Chernoble melt through the cement and go down into the ground?

    I am still Nuclear pro for Japan, but they need to bring in outside experts to examine all plants immediately and start protecting them.

  • 1

    gogogo

    Stupid shows Tepco still doesn't know what they are doing

  • 4

    MasterBape

    @ Antonios_M: I don't think covering up/providing false information does any good in the short or long terms. Don't build Japan up and congratulate them on being calm, whilst putting other nations down. People were calm because they believed in authority. Months later people are beginning to see the truth and feel hurt. The foreign press "sensationalised" things as you put it, but they were actually right at the time.

  • 4

    zichi

    The same situation with any major disaster, is truth and facts. We didn't ned any kind of info restrictions from the government or TEPCO. Shame on them!

  • 1

    tokyokawasaki

    Like I have said all along, the most dangerous thing to come out of Fukushima nuclear disaster has been the lies and cover-ups.

  • 3

    tmarie

    Folks, I just want to let you know that this topic became a big nightly CBS news in US tonight. The food safety issue associated with this meltdown was well focused in the news. The world is watching to make sure TEPCO and Japanese government keep up with transparency as they promised.

    Now the question is, does Japan continue to lie and cover it up, like usual, or will tey actually do something - like ban all food from the area?

    However, just imagine the chaos that would follow having Edano declare something like a full meltdown few days after the earthquake and with international press already covering the crisis with sensationalized articles. It would have been a disaster. It was and still IS a disaster. The articles weren't sensational. Did you read the above article? This isn't chicken little. The sky is falling and the Japanese government insists it isn't.

    **You should give credits to the Japanese people for acting rationally during the first days of the crisis. ** Perhaps if they knew the full extent of the problem, they wouldn't have. However, the government and TEPCO lied to them so they thought all was well. What isn't rational is continuing to raise children in the area, sell the food produced in the areas and spread the contaminated soil all over the place. If that is rational to you, I hate to think of what you see as being irrational.

  • 8

    zichi

    Masao Yoshida, the General Director or head of the atomic power plant resigned today because of being hospitalised with a serious illness. I guess he's still an employee of TEPCO to get sick leave?

    While some have commented, he made the right actions even against the orders of his bosses, by pumping sea water into the reactors and possibly preventing a worse nuclear disaster.

    He was part of the chain of command and it's shame on him, he didn't make the right actions prior to 3/11 which could have prevented the nuclear disaster from even happening.

  • 5

    citja

    People need to realize, there are places outside of Fukushima with higher levels of radiation than in Fukushima. It's becoming a national problem, not just a local prefecture one.

    Radiation from the atomic power plant has reached Okinawa.

  • 3

    Chris Catalano

    It is only the beginning of a nightmare that will have persistent, horrible effects for...uh, wait, PLUTONIUM IS FOREVER...

  • -1

    Nonanon

    @theResident:

    @Elbuda: Yes, If built and operated correctly, still safe and still cheap - no better alternatives in this country.

    I think Elbuda's point may have not been on the technology itself, but having it in Japan.. I don't think it's in the majority of this society to handle something as risky as this. They are recipe followers, not independent thinkers who look at something starting from the fundamentals. There are definitely some technical experts on the ground here, but they are not supported by corresponding level of expertise in their organizations (company, government, regulatory body, etc.).

    As for the technology in general - at least 3 major nuclear incidents in 3 decades. Human error/ stupidity cannot be eliminated. Many of the people with vested interested in the technology are not experts that can/ want to grasp/ address the risks adequately. Technical failures also cannot be eliminated, no matter the amount of back-ups/ redundancy put in place. This is why many areas/ businesses talk in terms of 6-sigma uptime of computer systems, etc. There is a 'proof' in fail-proof - proof that it will fail. Remember how once things were called 'water-proof'. Now with a culture of insurance claims, law-suits, etc. we now have 'water-resistant'. Unfortunately for Fukushima, their back-up generators weren't even resistant..

  • -1

    ExportExpert

    In truth the fuel melted through the bottom all the way and is now melting its way through the earths core eventually to emerge at what ever point is straight through the earth from Fukushima, which luckily might be just south of africa.

    As if tepco or the goverment are ever going to release what actually happened, forget about it, it's dissinformation the WHOLE lot of it !

  • 0

    Nonanon

    @Antonios_MD

    As I said before here and elsewhere, if you wait until a situation is obviously at dangerously critical levels to react, then it's likely too late for the majority to do anything about it. This is what happens in biology/ nature in major catastrophes: the majority of the population may get wiped out, but it is the lucky and the cautious that survive. I believe that without having better information available, it's better to play it safe. It's up to the individual to make the decision: to fight or fly; to flee or go down with the ship.

    I personally cannot see the inherent abhorrent bad of chaos that many seem to perceive as axiom. I would choose significant chaos over significant radiation. Life can go on in chaos. Humans are highly adaptable to changing social conditions, but the body takes much longer to adapt to changing physical conditions (i.e. radiation).

  • 1

    herefornow

    However, just imagine the chaos that would follow having Edano declare something like a full meltdown few days after the earthquake and with international press already covering the crisis with sensationalized articles.

    tmarie -- huh? It would appear that the international press was not producing "sensationalized articles" at all. In fact, the meltdown was as bad as some outside experts speculated it was, and shows how close TEPCO's/the government's delay in dumping water on the reactors -- you do remember that, right? -- came to causing a complete catastrophe. It would actually appear that the folks following the international press, and not the Japanese one being spoon-fed by Edano, had more accurate information on which to make decisions. And all those "flyjin" made potentially smart decisons and did not over-react to "sensational" coverage as many here on JT said.

  • 1

    wanderlust

    @"exportexpert" - In truth the fuel melted through the bottom all the way and is now melting its way through the earths core eventually to emerge at what ever point is straight through the earth from Fukushima, which luckily might be just south of africa.

    LOL - once it reaches the centre of the earth, if it even manages to get that far, it won't go anywhere else, other than being subject to dilution and circulation magma flows in the inner cores. Gravity at every point on this planet leads to the centre of the earth...

  • 0

    Tigerta9

    At least the guys calling any critical analysis of the disaster "demagoguery" have piped down - or have left Tokyo all together...

  • 1

    Utrack

    @ tmarie

    It was and still IS a disaster. The articles weren't sensational. Did you read the above article? This isn't chicken little. The sky is falling and the Japanese government insists it isn't.

    You said it, Exactly Right.

  • 4

    kurisupisu

    What is the future to be for Japan?

    Recently river water in parts of Tohoku has been found to contain alarmingly high levels of radioactivity! This water is headed to the sea where it may enter the sea and marine life with inpunity-then into us! Debris form affected areas is burned and the radioactive emissions end up in us too. We consume food that is contaminated and that excreta becomes a deadly substance-witness tonnes of radioactive sludge at effluent plants building up all around Japan.

    This is affecting the health of the people as well as its economy.

    This build up of contamination even has an effect on the production of new products.

    Refer to the decision that Mongolia has refused to import cars from Japan , (new vehicles) as recent shipments have found to have radioactive contamination above Mongolian legal limits, and we are seeing the start of a new trend. Watch the news for major companies to begin to close down plants in Japan and reopen them elsewhere. Already these closures are on the increase. Radioactive substances that are reacting out of containment cannot be stopped. These reactions will continue for many many years with the result that the contamination will do so too.

    The Russians capped the Chernobyl reactor weeks after the accident with a mountain of concrete and other substances.

    The Japanese have six reactors that are still not covered months after.......draw your own conclusions

  • 0

    moomoochoo

    The radioactive material might be headed for the center of the Earth, but I imagine that once it hits the water table it will end up in your drinking water, hot springs etc

  • 4

    Johannes Weber

    One good thing about this news is that we are not caught by surprise. They are revealing that they definitely know that they screwed up. Before that it was only a CONJECTURE, even though a very probable one. Since the entire security aspects of nuclear plants are based on simulations and estimates -necessarily since they can't experiment - you can take these results as RELIABLE information.

    It is almost impossible to protect the existing plants against these kinds of accidents as they are very fundamental problems with the construction. The first step would be a so-called "core-catcher" under the reactor core, which can withstand the heat from a core, which has melted through the second containment. However, this requires materials of the highest quality and the construction is difficult (as the construction of the new Finnish plant had clearly demonstrated).

    And it would costs huge amounts of money, which would make it turn out unprofitable in most cases. Better shut them down and use the money for something sensible.

  • 0

    kurisupisu

    As well as vertical movement there is bound to be lateral movement too. Workers at the plants have reported steam coming from the ground away from the plant al The soil beneath the plant will have a different consistency at different depths. The result is that the material will move in different directions. The China syndrome scenario is wrong! The radioactive fuel,the lower it goes is likely to meet higher temperatures (Pacific ring of fire etc)

    and then........?

  • 4

    zichi

    The plain fact is that 10% of the world's earthquakes happen in Japan and atomic reactors should never have been built in this country.

    Time for the government to review its nuclear energy policy and its future energy policy. All reactors older than 30 years should be shut out along with any in dangerous locations like Hamaoka. The country does not need 54 reactors, probably 15-20 would cover power needs until they too can be replaced with power by renewable energy.

    All of this should happen by 2020.

    TEPCO have no idea how it will remove the melted fuel or corium.

  • 3

    BlueWitch

    this is getting uglier and uglier...but the corrupted scum japanese government still refuses to tell the truth to the people....what else can we expect?

  • 2

    BlueWitch

    @tmarie

    Folks, I just want to let you know that this topic became a big nightly CBS news in US tonight. The food safety issue associated with this meltdown was well focused in the news. The world is watching to make sure TEPCO and Japanese government keep up with transparency as they promised.

    Now the question is, does Japan continue to lie and cover it up, like usual, or will tey actually do something - like ban all food from the area?

    However, just imagine the chaos that would follow having Edano declare something like a full meltdown few days after the earthquake and with international press already covering the crisis with sensationalized articles. It would have been a disaster.

    It was and still IS a disaster. The articles weren't sensational. Did you read the above article? This isn't chicken little. The sky is falling and the Japanese government insists it isn't.

    You should give credits to the Japanese people for acting rationally during the first days of the crisis.

    Perhaps if they knew the full extent of the problem, they wouldn't have. However, the government and TEPCO lied to them so they thought all was well. What isn't rational is continuing to raise children in the area, sell the food produced in the areas and spread the contaminated soil all over the place. If that is rational to you, I hate to think of what you see as being irrational.

    Well said, tmarie... Time for these LEMMINGS to take their heads out of their "arse" and realize what's really happening. Enough of so much useless shouganai and admit the TRUTH! The nuclear crisis is far from over. period. This is just beginning.

  • 0

    BlueWitch

    @herefornow

    However, just imagine the chaos that would follow having Edano declare something like a full meltdown few days after the earthquake and with international press already covering the crisis with sensationalized articles.

    tmarie -- huh? It would appear that the international press was not producing "sensationalized articles" at all. In fact, the meltdown was as bad as some outside experts speculated it was, and shows how close TEPCO's/the government's delay in dumping water on the reactors -- you do remember that, right? -- came to causing a complete catastrophe. It would actually appear that the folks following the international press, and not the Japanese one being spoon-fed by Edano, had more accurate information on which to make decisions. And all those "flyjin" made potentially smart decisons and did not over-react to "sensational" coverage as many here on JT said.

    herefornow, honey...tmarie was quoting someone else, please re-read her post again.. lol (^_~)

  • 6

    zichi

    In this post and from recent info from the past months, we have not learnt anything new about the nuclear disaster at the atomic power plant. Perviously, TEPCO had stated it believed that in reactors 1-3 there had been meltdowns and melt-throughs, which actually happened in something like the first 100 hours, following the time of the quake on 3/11.

    This past week, a TEPCO internal panel investigating the cause of the disaster, concluded it was caused by the tsunami and not by the quake. This is the spin, TEPCO have held since day one.

    I personally don't accept that. It's contrary to other evidence and facts which point to the power plant being badly damaged by the quake. Workers in the reactor buildings on 3/11 have reported seeing extensive damage, including reactor cooling pipes being ripped off the walls, twisted and broken. A loud explosion was heard inside No 2 reactor building, which might have been the suppression chamber being destroyed or damaged. A radiation alarm sounded 1.5 km from the reactors. All this happened before the tsunami struck.

    The plant was built to withstand a 7 point something quake, but on 3/11, the strength of the local quake was only 6 point something.

    The No 1 reactor was the first to lose its coolant but whatever happened inside No 2 reactor was bad enough that it needed the attention of the workers more than the No 1 reactor.

    If No 2 suppression chamber was damaged by the quake, then all suppression chambers on the other 48 reactors in the country are built to the same standards. That could be a major problem if another quake ever strikes another nuclear power plant.

  • 0

    BlueWitch

    Excellent post as usual, Zichi...Thank you for always keeping us informed.

  • 3

    zichi

    BlueWitch

    Thank you!

  • 0

    gonemad

    [Masao Yoshida] was part of the chain of command and it's shame on him, he didn't make the right actions prior to 3/11 which could have prevented the nuclear disaster from even happening.

    zichi, as we have learned in the meantime, there were too many issues with the plant and fixing them would have been impossible. He would have lost his job.

  • 6

    zichi

    gonemad,

    In the past I have refused to run any plant which I considered to be dangerous or in a dangerous state. I worked extensively has an engineer in the heavy chemical industry. I refused to put lives at risk just for the sake of profit for the company. I put my own job at risk every time. I upset the suits but in the end I never lost my job.

    More than two years ago NISA requested that TEPCO update the earthquake safety standards on 600 pieces of essential equipment, which it refused.

    If the atomic power plant was unsafe it should have been shut down instead of having its license extended last year?

  • 0

    tmarie

    Herefornow, go back and read - thank you Blue Witch for also pointing that out! Zichi, well said!

  • 0

    gonemad

    There are several simulations showing a complete melt-through should have happened already. It's probably a safe assumption that the TEPCO study worked with rather optimistic assumptions. But even if we take the TEPCO study as a basis, we can assume that within something like a couple of months latest, the core will reach the soil below the plant. I do not believe that there are any ways to stop the core from melting through. What I would like to see are simulations which determine the further spread of radiation under the specific soil and ground water conditions at Fukushima and what technical possibilities remain to contain some of it.

  • 5

    zichi

    Greenpeace International has harshly criticized the Japanese government for failing to produce accurate and updated reaction plans in the event of nuclear accidents. Nearly nine months after the Fukushima accident, the government’s plans are “completely inadequate”, the organization says.

  • 5

    zichi

    There is no way to stop the corium or melted fuel. It would require digging under the reactors and that is never going to happen.

    I would like to know why the radiation levels in reactor 1-3 are so high? More than 1 SIEVERT/h in No1-2, and more than 1.6 SIEVERTS/h in No3 reactor building?

  • 6

    zichi

    To recap,

    TEPCO have stated that the fuel in reactors 1-3 had meltdowns. In reactors 2&3, the melted fuel or corium is still on the base of the reactor vessels. In reactor 2, 57% of the fuel rods melted. In reactor 3, 63% of the fuel rods melted.

    In reactor 1, there was also a melt-through. The melted fuel burnt through the base of the reactor vessel. According to the Institute of Applied Energy, 85% of the melted fuel in reactor 1, dropped to the base of the containment vessel. According to TEPCO, it has eaten into the concrete pedestal to about 65-centimeter deep.

    The researchers at the Institute pointed out the possibility of the damage to the stainless-steel shroud that surrounds the fuel core, and of the corium having eaten away the concrete floor of the Containment Vessel up to 2 meters deep. Because of that, they also said it was possible that the RPV got tilted.

    On November 17, the architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, stated it is likely melted fuel has escaped the container vessel and is now burning through the earth. On September 20, 2011, Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, estimated that material from the nuclear fuel rods may be twelve meters deep underground at reactors one and three.

  • 1

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    Think we should Zichi up with his own radio station as he keeps us up with what is going on! Is there ever going to be an end to this situation or a time when it seriously is brought under control at least? What was it? The magic month January or something when all our prayers were to be answered!

  • 2

    Blair Herron

    Since May, Koide has been telling at the media that melted fuel has gone through containers and is on concrete foundations sinking into ground below. Underground dam has to be built right away. Or it will go down to the underground water, and eventually it will go out to the ocean. TEPCO is resisting because it costs 100 billion yen.

    http://video.fc2.com/content/20110617uMBUrp7w/

  • 5

    Antonios_M

    @ Masterbape, tmarie, nonanon

    Ok, so let's admit that J-gov did the wrong thing during the first days of the crisis and misinformed the people. What exactly do you expect it should have done? I hope you do realize that there are more than 40 million people living in Kanto area. The majority of them followed their daily routine precisely like nothing happened at all. (Well, except from the shortages in some supermarkets and Kombini stores, as well as the power blackouts). Other than that, the daily routine was 100% the same as before the earthquake.

    Now imagine J-gov saying something like "The situation is out of control and we don't know exactly what is going on! Probably a full meltdown, so get out of here". This is not a vast country like Russia where you could have large number of population moving from one place to another easily. This is Japan, one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Where exactly would everybody have gone? Or do you believe that the J-gov could have organized a massive evacuation of the Kanto area like it did in Fukushima?

    And let's imagine that the first who would have decided to quit their jobs and flee to the south were the airport workers. Yep, no flight available for abroad. Can you imagine the chaos that would follow? We tend to think that everything is in order and working, but thats not happening because of some kind of magic, but because civilized societies behave rationally and with a sense of duty and purpose. Having these gone, its very easily for everything to go bad. And believe me, when it does...it's really ugly.

    Having to choose between an 100% honest government and chaos, and a 20% honest government and order...i would go for the second any time. Everybody who chooses the first probably has no idea what a real "chaos" looks like. Besides, now that we know that things are not as the government was saying, we can freely choose to leave, can't we? This is not Soviet Russia where everything was covered under propaganda and censorship. We do have the means of information to know at least if someone is covering the truth deliberately.

  • 0

    herefornow

    Sorry, tmarie, my comment should have been directed at Antonio. Got confused because you used "bold" and not "quote".

  • -2

    herefornow

    Having to choose between an 100% honest government and chaos, and a 20% honest government and order...i would go for the second any time. Everybody who chooses the first probably has no idea what a real "chaos" looks like. Besides, now that we know that things are not as the government was saying, we can freely choose to leave, can't we?

    Antonios -- nonsense. That is simply rationailzing the government knowingly endangering the lives/health of hundreds of thousands of people because they feared "choas". What would have happened if it had melted down all the way through and there had been mass radioactive contamination? Would 20% honest still been good enough for you? The bottom line if the government and the agency had developed any kind of a crisis management plan beforehand, then releasing all the facts could have been handled properly. And people would have responded ratioanally. And, "choosing to leave" at this point is moot, since the truth is now eight months too late.

  • 2

    bajhista65

    To TEPCO officials , Department heads, Japanese Government. Medias, etc etc... just tell the real facts and truth there is nothing we can do about this meltdown or whatchamacallit. 10 years or 100 years to decontaminate affected areas doesn't matter at all now because "Genpatsu" have spread and keep on spreading. Fukushima prefecture and surrounding areas are damn contaminated. Included all farm produced and whatever. Period. Just report the truth and daily intervention of whoever is working at the plant to contain the radiations. Too many speculations, and so on and so forth will only add to more insecurities of people affected. The other big problem the Japan government is facing is what to do with the lives of those affected.

  • -1

    Star-viking

    zichiDec. 01, 2011 - 06:36PM JST

    The plant was built to withstand a 7 point something quake, but on 3/11, the strength of the local quake was only 6 point something.

    To measure the effects of a quake on a building the gal, a unit of acceleration, is used. This report (yup, from TEPCO) shows the ground accelerations being with the design ratings - though some are close to the limits

    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11040103-e.htm

    Where'd you get the info on the local magnitude? Aparently local magnitude saturates at M6.5 and so can't be used above that.

  • 0

    SaltAire

    "TEPCO and government officials are aiming to achieve “cold shutdown” by the end of the year ". Can someone please tell me what this means? Because it seems to me that since no-one knows for sure where these melted blobs actually are...and it's too "hot" to send in humans or robots to inspect...HOW do they achieve"cold shutdown"? Please...WHAT THE HELL is TEPCO talking about?

  • 0

    Antonios_M

    herefornow, please, keep in mind that i don't excuse the government for not predicting a catastrophe of that scale. Yes, they should have had a management plan in case of a nuclear crisis. They didn't and they are definitely to blame for letting the irresponsible TEPCO deal with the issue, while they should have invited the best of the best of nuclear experts in order to deal with the crisis more effectively. They shouldn't have let an old nuclear factory operate in such a seismically active region like the Tohoku region. Yes, there is corruption behind this decision and the need to protect corporations in order to save face. Yes, it was terrible! If you have read my comments during March, you would have noticed how much i criticized the J-gov for these decisions and the lack of crisis management plan.

    However, leaving the facts above aside....what would you expect the J-gov to have done? Saying something among the lines of "We don't know whats going on. The situation is uncontrolled and we don't have a plan. Run for your lives."??? Can you imagine what would have happened if only a glimpse of fear had spread to a country where the nuclear nightmare is still a part of the recent history? I don't want to imagine.

    When the earthquake happened i was not in Japan. I was probably one of the few gaijins who actually came to Japan instead of leaving few days after the earthquake. This was because i was planning to take my gf who is working in Narita airport and either take her out of the country with me or take her to her family in the south. I was panicked, read several articles about Tokyo becoming a "nuclear wasteland", i saw the shortages in food and water, i was even scared about going out. I wanted to leave, my gf chose to stay and therefore, we stayed. She didn't want to quit her job. At that time, i didn't care at all about job, sense of duty, etc....all i cared about was her safety. Apparently though, she didn't listen to me and she convinced me to stay. Initially, i was angry, upset, shocked...etc. Now, i am grateful for that choice. I know few people who chose to leave and they regretted it afterwards. Keep in mind that it was in our hands whether to stay or not. There were sources and information available from everywhere, radiation monitoring, etc. Nobody forced us to stay here.

    Yes, you can blame the J-gov for the way it dealt with the crisis, but not for trying to relax and comfort people.

  • -2

    Miyagidad

    Anyone surprised here has spent the last 8 months with their head in the sand - along with 99% of the population.

    Officials coming to Fukushima have made it perfectly clear that they deem the residents of the area as nothing more than animals, the situation with the reactors is unknowable, residents within the region should move their children as no one has any idea of how devastating the situation could be once highly volatile molten cores hit low temperature ground water pockets in enclosed space - explosive? toxic for sure.

  • 2

    nigelboy

    Actually Antonios_M, the government and the TEPCO officials already stated as early as March 14th that there was a high possibility of a meltdown. But a meltdown within the containment vessel versus a core melt through breaching the outer containment and into the ground are two different night and day scenarios. But the latter seemed unlikely simply because the water level after the injection of water into the inner core and the pressure within wasn't consistent with a melt through scenario.

    How much of fuel rod melted is not a simple calculation where you can figure this out with a simple calculator. It takes analyzing many sets of data at long periods in order to determine this.

  • 4

    zichi

    Since 3/11, the Fukushima atomic power plant has released about 1 million terabecquerels (1 million trillion) of radiation into the atmosphere. this contained about 30,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137, with a half life of 30 years.

    The power plant has released into the ocean about 27,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137.

    In the reactor buildings and turbine hall basements there are about 100,000 tons of waste water containing about 1 million terabecquerels of radiation.

    On site, there are about 2,000 tons of highly radioactive nuclear fuel which contains about 20 million trillion becquerels of radiation. Even if only 1% was to leak would be a huge amount.

    In 2009, TEPCO disregarded warning by two seismologists about the height of a tsunami which could hit the plant. Over the years, TEPCO has faked hundreds of repair records.

  • -4

    BlueWitch

    @almostshat

    Japan is a wonderful country. The people are politeness and kindness. The food is very good taste. And Japan has four seasons. Everything is perfect. Anyone who questions the safety of food, water, school lunches, the purity of the air we breathe or who spreads baseless rumours about radiation or the nuclear reactor problem (which is under control and will achieve cold shutdown by year end) is a monster, a cockroach. We do not wish to know all these disturbing lies that you spread. We want to carry on with our daily lives as we always have. Nothing must be allowed to change our unique culture and our sacred customs. Anyone who dares to criticize our harmonious society (usually ignorant gaijins) should fly away; we do not want you here. All you think about is your wife and children. We Japanese must share the pain. Let's burn the debris all over the country. Let's eat delicious Fukushima rice. Let's all clean up school playgrounds together. At this time of year, let's try not to think about the people up north who are suffering some inconveniencies, when we should be thinking about more important things like "lucky" bags. Let's sleepwalk into oblivion with a smile on our face and a joyful heart. Ganbare nihon!

    This post is 100% unbelievable. There is NO way a real Japanese person would post such lies and nonsense. I hope the moderator will do the right thing by removing this. It's extremely shameless and immoral.

  • 2

    kurisupisu

    @zichi

    I would imagine that the rising temperatures in reactors 1-3 would indicate that the nuclear fuel is becoming more active that is emitting more energy...........fissioning! (was it a rhetorical question?)

    @Bluewitch ; the above post is irony,almostshat is probably English or a Monty Phython lover.

    Things are so screwed up at the moment that I can't tell what is farce or reality......

  • 3

    wanderlust

    It' a good job Reactor 4 was off-line at the time. That's the one that was built with a faulty reactor vessel, due to a collapse during the process to remove welding stress. Built by Babcock-Hitachi at Kure-Hiroshima, it cost more than 250 million dollars and that last step of the process took more than 30 months to do. The vessel was misshapen. The vessel should have been scrapped under nuclear regulations, but it would have bankrupted the company, so the engineer Mitsuhiko Tanaka was paid 3 million yen back in 1974 to fix it, and received an award. TEPCO was not informed about it, as the rep sent to check it was wined and dined, golfed and hot-springed, but had no idea anyway about how it was made.

    According to USC experts, the vessels deformation could have led to local cracking in the welds. Thirty- seven years later, that reactor pressure vessel would have been the key defense protecting the core of Fukushima’s No. 4 reactor.

    After Chernobyl, Tanaka says he went to the Trade Ministry to report the cover-up he’d been involved in more than a decade earlier. The government refused to investigate and Hitachi denied his accusations, he said.

    “They said, if Hitachi says they didn’t do it, then there’s no problem,” Tanaka said. “Companies don’t always tell the truth.”

    Such is the integrity of the nuclear village...

  • -3

    Miyagidad

    kurisupisu

    I can't tell what is farce ---- everything coming out of TEPCO, TEPCO lawyers, Central Govt Officials, Academic experts touring Fukushima saying everything is okay, and anyone who says they know what is going on in inside those reactors

    or reality..

  • -1

    Miyagidad

    wanderlust

    Good information, I had heard of this before, but not in so much detail. The level of complicity is breathtaking, unless you have worked within the system here and then it seems just like business as usual. We could ease back and depend upon he good nature of the corporations and powers that be to do the right thing.

    I have already had a number of conversations with the pro-nuclear lobby on this, all maintaining that even with a disaster such as this factored in, nuclear energy is still the cheapest option - this is true when the govt/tepco are paying a cent on the dollar when it comes to compensation.

    2 million irradiated, the price of a child's health, elderly immolating themselves, organic farmers suicide, the phsycological scars of children and adults shunned as nuclear refugees, the shame felt by those who left, the broken communities, young women from Fukushima rejected by prospective partners, the guilt of farmers selling their produce --- the list goes on and on.

    But hey, we still get cheap electricity, no ---- nuclear energy is immoral, dirty, expensive and we can do better.

  • 0

    nigelboy

    2 million irradiated, the price of a child's health, elderly immolating themselves, organic farmers suicide, the phsycological scars of children and adults shunned as nuclear refugees, the shame felt by those who left, the broken communities, young women from Fukushima rejected by prospective partners, the guilt of farmers selling their produce --- the list goes on and on.

    All thanks to the fear mongering rants by the anti-nuclear mobs.

  • 0

    Utrack

    All thanks to the fear mongering rants by the anti-nuclear mobs.

    No it's all thanks to TEPCO and JGovt. for dribbling out information like it's somehow better this way. Like a Mass exodus would have hurt the economy. So it's best to keep the people calm and give a positive spin on things like a cold shutdown is imminent.

  • 2

    nigelboy

    No it's all thanks to TEPCO and JGovt. for dribbling out information like it's somehow better this way. Like a Mass exodus would have hurt the economy. So it's best to keep the people calm and give a positive spin on things like a cold shutdown is imminent.

    Yep. I'm all for Mass exodus of millions resulting in secondary disaster. (sarcasm)

  • 2

    Hide Suzuki

    @BlueWitch "This post is 100% unbelievable. There is NO way a real Japanese person would post such lies and nonsense. I hope the moderator will do the right thing by removing this."

    It is exaggerated just like most of your posts are mostly overly exaggerated. Japan is just like any other country, it has good and bad. It is not heaven like some anime fans like to believe, and it's not as bad as you like to claim.

  • -2

    Utrack

    Yep. I'm all for Mass exodus of millions resulting in secondary disaster. (sarcasm)

    But living in an environment of Nuclear Fallout is a Disaster too. Right. Especially in the area ground zero.

  • 2

    nigelboy

    But living in an environment of Nuclear Fallout is a Disaster too. Right. Especially in the area ground zero.

    As far as I know, nobody is living in ground zero unless of course you count the workers working there as "living" there.

  • 4

    zichi

    Star-viking,

    The peak acceleration measured at Fukushima Daiichi was 0.561g (550 gal) in the horizontal direction and 0.308g (302 gal) in the vertical direction at Unit 2. This exceeded the design basis acceleration of 0.447g (438 gal) in the horizontal direction. The design basis maximum acceleration was also exceeded in units 3 and 5. According to the government of Japan, the probability for exceeding the design basis acceleration was in the range of 10-4 to 10-6 per reactor-year. The design basis maximum acceleration in the vertical direction was not exceeded in any of the units.

    The March 11 earthquake exceeded the maximum acceleration value for units 2, 3, and 5 in the east-west direction, as measured from the reactor building base slab seismometers.

    The earthquake damaged breakers in the units 1 and 2 switchyard, causing a loss of off-site power to both units. A protective relay actuated, causing breakers in the Shin Fukushima Power Substation to open, resulting in a loss of off-site power to units 3 and 4 (the Unit 3 startup transformer was out of service for planned modification work before the earthquake). Units 5 and 6 lost power when a transmission line tower that carried both 66-kV lines (tower Number 27) collapsed. As a result, the earthquake caused a loss of all off-site power to units 1 through 6.

    From a report by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations

    Special Report on the Nuclear Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

    Nov. 2011.

    http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/safetyandsecurity/reports/special-report-on-the-nuclear-accident-at-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-station

    The force of the earthquake exceeded design limits under No 2 reactor. Many experts have stated they believe the No 2 suppression chamber was destroyed or badly damaged by the quake.

  • 0

    Blair Herron

    @star-viking

    zichiDec. 01, 2011 - 06:36PM JST The plant was built to withstand a 7 point something quake, but on 3/11, the strength of the local quake was only 6 point something. Where'd you get the info on the local magnitude? Aparently local magnitude saturates at M6.5 and so can't be used above that.

    I think zichi is talking about shindo, am I right? Shindo and magnitude are two different things.

  • 1

    zichi

    Blair Herron,

    I was talking about Shindo.

  • 2

    zichi

    More on this post from a pro nuke blog, but worth a read.

    <http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-containment-vessel-damage-at.html

  • 0

    Blair Herron

    @star-viking I am very sorry. I just read some of your previous posts. You sure know shindo/magnitude. I didn't mean to insult you. I thought you didn't know. Sorry...

  • 0

    ExportExpert

    wanderlust

    @"exportexpert" - In truth the fuel melted through the bottom all the way and is now melting its way through the earths core eventually to emerge at what ever point is straight through the earth from Fukushima, which luckily might be just south of africa.

    LOL - once it reaches the centre of the earth, if it even manages to get that far, it won't go anywhere else, other than being subject to dilution and circulation magma flows in the inner cores. Gravity at every point on this planet leads to the centre of the earth...

    Wanderlust that was said tongue in cheek by the way.

  • 2

    zichi

    Senior officials at TEPCO and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held a top secret discussion in 2002 about abandoning the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant project.

    TEPCO has decided to discontinue construction of the No. 1 reactor at its Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture, as it cannot secure sufficient funds due to compensation payments it is making in connection with the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

  • 2

    zichi

    Kyushu Electric Power Co. shut down the No. 1 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power plant for regular checks Thursday, leaving only nine of the nation's 54 commercial reactors in operation.

  • 1

    wanderlust

    @zichi - to follow up your post - Three months later, however, when TEPCO's cover-up of cracked equipment and other damage was exposed, Araki and Minami resigned. As a result, a second meeting to negotiate the details of the Rokkasho withdrawal never took place.

    Then TEPCO Chairman Araki, who is currently an advisor to the utility, refused to be interviewed about the case, saying that his "memories (about it) are vague." Former TEPCO President Minami said that he "has no recollection" of the 2002 meeting, but added, "We were talking with METI about whether to withdraw from the reprocessing project, and I discussed it with Araki and (then Vice President and current Chairman) Katsumata."

    Katsumata also refrained from saying whether the meeting had taken place, but said, "We had about five management meetings within our company about whether or not to go forth with reprocessing." Meanwhile, former METI official Hirose said, "I absolutely have no recollection."

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    Accept NO excuses from the elected official who cover up the tragedy. DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    zichiDec. 02, 2011 - 09:36AM JST

    Star-viking,

    The peak acceleration measured at Fukushima Daiichi was 0.561g (550 gal) in the horizontal direction and 0.308g (302 gal) in the vertical direction at Unit 2. This exceeded the design basis acceleration of 0.447g (438 gal) in the horizontal direction. The design basis maximum acceleration was also exceeded in units 3 and 5. According to the government of Japan, the probability for exceeding the design basis acceleration was in the range of 10-4 to 10-6 per reactor-year. The design basis maximum acceleration in the vertical direction was not exceeded in any of the units.

    http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/safetyandsecurity/reports/special-report-on-the-nuclear-accident-at-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-station

    Thanks for the update Zichi. I also see the report I linked at TEPCO is unavailable now...

    Blair Herron,

    I was talking about Shindo.

    Ah, you mentioned "7 point something" and "6 point something". That confused me - I'm used to Shindo being expressed as 6 light and 6 heavy, etc.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Blair HerronDec. 02, 2011 - 09:44PM JST

    @star-viking I am very sorry. I just read some of your previous posts. You sure know shindo/magnitude. I didn't mean to insult you. I thought you didn't know. Sorry...

    No Probs Blair, I was not insulted at all - in fact, thanks for bringing the matter up for clarification.

  • 0

    gonemad

    I also see the report I linked at TEPCO is unavailable now...

    Just add an 'l' at the end and it is still there...

    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11040103-e.html

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