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And Back To Fukushima, Where Fresh Steam Is Rising From Debris, Which "May Be An Explosion" Or It May Not

Tyler Durden's picture


This is just getting way too deja vu'ish. From Reuters: "White smoke or steam was rising from three reactors, Nos. 2, 3 and 4, at a quake-damaged nuclear plant in northeaster Japan, the nuclear safety agency said on Friday. It said it believed there was still water in the spent fuel pool at reactor No.3." But isn't the whole point of this exercise to get bloody water in the spent fuel pool? And then this: "Smoke or steam rising from the crippled No.2 reactor in northeastern Japan could be coming from the spent fuel pool or from an explosion in the suppression chamber, the nuclear safety agency said on Friday. It said it hoped to fix a power cable to two reactors on Friday and to two others by Sunday." Oh, it could be an explosion. Well, that's ok. It might not be... At least someone somewhere knows something. It sure as hell ain't the nuclear safety agency. But at least the Nikkei couldn't care less about its troubles as it wakes up with a St Paddy's day hangover: a few days of breathing room have been bought. As to how the can is kicked next week, that's a bridge Bernanke's glass house can worry about crossing on Monday.


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Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:29 | 1069481 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

I was suffering withdrawl symptoms - with the absence of GW this evening we need at least one post an hour on the Japan nuke situation

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:31 | 1069510 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Cooling the Nukes reminds me of the circus act in which the guy spins a bunch of plates on long polls. Very impressive, but you know those plates are not gonna stay up there forever. What do they do? Simply dump water on debris for 100 years?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:55 | 1069824 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

they can sump cement on it......encase the whole thing forever that probably coming via military

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:03 | 1069854 Mr. Mandelbrot
Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

The BBC just reported the Japanese are building a fleet of cement trucks out of diamonds . . .

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:26 | 1070292 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Perhaps Japan has actually fallen victim once again to a brawl between Mothra and Godzilla.  These historical documents that I tracked down at a research institute are eerily familiar to the recent scenes of chaos and destruction emanating from Japan.  Perhaps this is why the government there is being so obfuscatory and tight-lipped:

I am Chumbawamba.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:51 | 1070323 herewego...
herewego...'s picture

Just checking, is this how to hijack a thread?

Actual chap who actually does this sort of thing for a living:

Let me now talk about what would be a reasonable worst case scenario.  If the Japanese fail to keep the reactors cool and fail to keep the pressure in the containment vessels at an appropriate level, you can get this, you know, the dramatic word “meltdown”.  But what does that actually mean?  What a meltdown involves is the basic reactor core melts, and as it melts, nuclear material will fall through to the floor of the container. There it will react with concrete and other materials … that is likely… remember this is the reasonable worst case, we don’t think anything worse is going to happen.  In this reasonable worst case you get an explosion.  You get some radioactive material going up to about 500 metres up into the air.  Now, that’s really serious, but it’s serious again for the local area.  It’s not serious for elsewhere even if you get a combination of that explosion it would only have nuclear material going in to the air up to about 500 metres.  If you then couple that with the worst possible weather situation i.e. prevailing weather taking radioactive material in the direction of  Greater Tokyo and you had maybe rainfall which would bring the radioactive material down do we have a problem?  The answer is unequivocally no.   Absolutely no issue.  The problems are within 30 km of the reactor.  And to give you a flavour for that, when Chernobyl had a massive fire at the graphite core, material was going up not just 500 metres but to 30,000 feet.  It was lasting not for the odd hour or so but lasted months, and that was putting nuclear radioactive material up into the upper atmosphere for a very long period of time.  But even in the case of Chernobyl, the exclusion zone that they had was about 30 kilometres.   And in that exclusion zone, outside that, there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate people had problems from the radiation.  The problems with Chernobyl were people were continuing to drink the water, continuing to eat vegetables and so on and that was where the problems came from.  That’s not going to be the case here.  So what I would really re-emphasise is that this is very problematic for the area and the immediate vicinity and one has to have concerns for the people working there. Beyond that 20 or 30 kilometres, it’s really not an issue for health.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 03:33 | 1070358 Frank Redner
Frank Redner's picture

thank you.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:04 | 1070418 bingaling
bingaling's picture

You are full of shit . This map shows the radiation effects 100s of kilometers away from chernobyl YEARS after the accident .


And sir john bedwetter is just another gov't hack - he knows about as much as me when it comes to nuclear science .


From the map above we can conclude the worst case scenario is Tokyo is uninhabitable for the next 10 years


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 10:41 | 1071243 herewego...
herewego...'s picture

Dude, I'm quoting someone. Perhaps they are full of shit but your own link quotes him as Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government since 2008. 

Your map also shows the 30 km radius he talks about. And, I hate to repeat him, this is not Chernobyl - not a huge fire, you would've noticed.

Do you have any other actual evidence?

Next post is solid though.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:37 | 1070498 Reptil
Reptil's picture


There's a huge problem with nuclear power plants, and there's a coverup of the negative impact.

As for the longer term effects of the Chernobyl disaster, there were no significant studies conducted, as the AIEA continues to downplay it, and scientific research, which would upset the population is not supported by the governments in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraïne. So it remains an unknown. There is research that indicates there are more than 500.000 directly related deaths:

We knew this, of course, as sweeping ANYTHING negative under the rug was usual modus operandi for the Soviet governments. After the fall of the Soviet Union that scientific research wasn't possible, because government structures broke down. That the AIEA is engaged in "damage control" by withholding information that could be damaging to their interests must be clear.

Here's another example about how they just don't give a damn:

As for anyone wondering why people put up with it? It's because this information never reaches the mainstream, and in these countries, the state is about covering up mistakes, not empowering citizens. Ordinairy people know about Chernobyl, moved away from the wider area if they could, but it's not included in any government descision making process. It's something that's endured by a people that never knew democracy as we know it.

In the USA, things weren't much different. The people without any political clout had to endure:

The BIG problem of the nuclear industry is spent fuel. European countries ship it to Russia, where it's stored in huge, mostly unprotected facillities. The USA is storing it in special facillities, but the plan to put it inside a mountian met resistance, and is flawed, since there's a faultline underneath the location.

As for Fukushima, we don't know what's going on. Wind in the lower atmosphere and currents in the sea may spread the contamination over a wide area. When at 60 km WEST of the plant radiation levels are soaring, anyone with a brain can figure out it's not just the 30 km containment zone that's contaminated, it's far, far worse. So the official estimate of 30 km is based on HOT AIR.

So, concluding; the problem is still nuclear waste, and the indifference of government to protect the environment, and the health of it's citizens. Since the business of dumping it into the ocean was not an option for the japanese (since they depend on the ocean for their food), and TEPCO was running deficits, so they decided to store the spent fuel right on top of their power plants. Which now proved a fatal descision.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 10:19 | 1071161 herewego...
herewego...'s picture

Fantastic reply with a helluvalota info.

Hard to disagree with: "spent fuel rods stored close to reactors at Fukushima looked like an example of putting profit before safety"

I also disagree with the notion that rain cannot be radioactive and dangerous to longevity.

However, I do think that simple precautions over a short time span (avoiding rain, staying indoors) mitigate many of the carcinogenic effects from radioactive dust.

Moreover, now we are getting into areas where little study has been made (e.g. for the reasons you outlined).

I'd appreciate any further readings avail.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 11:11 | 1071432 herewego...
herewego...'s picture


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 11:09 | 1071444 herewego...
herewego...'s picture

Against your CNN ireport:The stories in this section are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. 

I'll raise you New York Times:

New Scientist:

site from MIT students:

MIT newsletter:

The register:

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:40 | 1070500 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Here's some information about how our world is corrupted:

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:34 | 1069948 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

BTFD and CTFN (cool the f-in nukes)

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:39 | 1069564 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Just the fun parts

Gundersen: For several reasons. One, you’ve got three reactors involved. Two, you’re already picking up radiation on aircraft carriers a hundred miles away at sea, on helicopters 60 miles to the north, and in town. So clearly, as these plants become more and more difficult to control, it becomes quite likely that a containment now will have a gross failure. And a gross failure will release enormous amounts of radiation quickly.

GlobalPost: The New York Times is reporting that radioactive releases could go on for weeks or months. How concerned should we be about that? At what point does a reactor like this becomes less menacing?

Gundersen: The chain reaction has stopped. That happened in two seconds. But the radioactive isotopes are still decaying away. They’ll decay for at least a year. So you have to release the pressure from that containment pretty much every day. With releasing the pressure will come releasing radioactive isotopes as well.

So yes, the Times is right that every plant — there are now three or four of them — will be opening up valves every day to make sure the pressure is down. And there will be releases from these plants for at least a year.

GlobalPost: How much of a health threat is that?

Gundersen: Within 90 days, the iodine health risks will disappear, because that will decay away. But the nasty isotopes — the cesium and strontium will remain for 30 years. And they’re volatile.

After Three Mile Island, strontium was detected 150 miles away from the reactor. That ends up in cow’s milk and doesn’t go away for 300 years. The releases from these plants will last for a year, and will contain elements that will remain in the environment for 300 years, even in the best case.

If we have a meltdown, it will be even worse than that.


Gundersen: We’re seeing iodine and cesium in the environment. That’s an indication that the containments are leaking. Exactly how much they’re leaking it’s hard to say.

I can’t understand how officials can say that the releases are low, when they don’t have any instruments that are working. Their batteries have failed, and when the batteries fail, all of the instruments stop working. So it’s hard to determine what the radiation levels are, and what the pressure levels are.

The Japanese and the nuclear industry are heavily, heavily financially invested in this. My experience is that, after Three Mile Island and after Chernobyl, everybody said there wasn’t a problem, until there was a problem. So I really don’t put much faith in official pronouncements the first week of an accident.

GlobalPost: So the people who have access to information have a self interest in making that information look as benign as possible?

Gundersen: Yes. On top of that, the officials don’t want to provoke a panic. So there’s a financial long term interest to try to minimize the impact. The flip side of that is that in the process you lose transparency. There is no transparency right now. We’re dealing with second hand information.

I understand from one source that the second unit cannot be vented, because the vent is jammed. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I have one source, and I like to have two. But this accident hasn’t played out yet. It could clearly get worse before it gets better.

GlobalPost: When you say the venting system is jammed, does that mean that pressure will keep building up until something catastrophic happens?

Gundersen: Yes.

GlobalPost: That sounds bad. There have been explosions at two of the buildings where the reactors are housed. You used to operate nuclear reactors. Would the control rooms be affected by these explosions? And how do they continue controlling the reactors under these circumstances?


Gundersen: Yes. The control rooms have become almost uninhabitable. The operators would have to be in Scott air packs, because the ventilation failed. Otherwise they would be breathing contaminated air. The control room is very close to these reactors. Probably 200 feet away. I doubt there’s much being done in the control rooms. They’re contaminated, and the air is unfit to breathe. It’s very difficult to get anything done if you’re wearing an air pack and a bubble suit.

GlobalPost: So how do they release the pressure? Are they sending people to the reactor to manually do these things?

Gundersen: They’ll send someone out to manually open a valve. And then that person will go back out to manually close a valve. In a high radiation field, there are only so many trips you can make before you’ve exceeded what they call emergency limits. So these people are picking up very large doses in very short periods of time. For their personal health, you can’t send them out again.

So they’re running through the available number of operators to do these high risk maneuvers.

GlobalPost: Is it highly skilled work?

Gundersen: Yes.



Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:47 | 1069605 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

GlobalPost: so is now the time to crack skulls and eat the goo inside?

Gundersen: Yes.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:57 | 1069629 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture


Tastes like chicken?

I need a(nother) green beer.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:50 | 1069617 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Good catch, Gully.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:07 | 1069648 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Well the interesting thing is Operation Extension Cord was directed at the reactor with the faulty vent. The one Gundersen says will explode if not vented.

Oh and the fact that all need venting daily for at least a year.

Fuck that is scary.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:11 | 1069680 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

Operation Extension Cord



you just cant make this shit up

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:02 | 1069855 stewie
stewie's picture


lol, no you can't.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:19 | 1070049 knukles
knukles's picture

Ah hah!  But unfortunately somebody did make it up.
Along with all the foreshadow and aplomb of giving to be troublesome nukes names such as Diablo Canyon, Millstone and Turkey Point.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 07:00 | 1070506 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

and fluffly...........!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:25 | 1069918 Hedge Jobs
Hedge Jobs's picture

Please dont mock the "operation extension cord" it is just as serious and well thought out as the "operation drop water into strong winds form helicopters" which spawned the brilliant "operation spray water from fire truck".





Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:14 | 1070175 UGrev
UGrev's picture

Next, they'll try bukkake to put it out.. 

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:35 | 1070208 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 05:47 | 1070452 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

That was really funny.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:50 | 1070237 MSimon
MSimon's picture

Come on. No one is that stupid.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:04 | 1070259 UGrev
UGrev's picture

You win.. :D

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:09 | 1070023 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

next up....Top Kill

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:26 | 1070059 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

Oh god, that is so apropos here, witty.

Well done.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 07:03 | 1070507 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

or the oh so effective 'junk shot'


or is that the same as bukake?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:52 | 1069626 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

So they’re running through the available number of operators to do these high risk maneuvers.

GlobalPost: Is it highly skilled work?

Gundersen: Yes.

This is obviously a paid shill!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could anyone say a thing like that about our fine nuclear power industry?????????????????????????///

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:03 | 1069657 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


I remember when there was a big Womens Lib brouhaha about females doing the dangerous nuke work. Radiation, pregnancy, Cancer chicks wanted the whole shebang.

Today that seems pretty fucking silly.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:19 | 1069901 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

No, I think cancer chicks are hot. Oh, you meant... sorrry. Nevermind.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 05:48 | 1070455 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Farrah Fawcett?

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 07:34 | 1070547 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Talk to a woman who was in college circa 1968-1976.  To some of them it is a current event.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:31 | 1069763 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

GlobalPost: Is it highly skilled work?

Gundersen: Yes.

Obviously a union guy trying to justify his position.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:04 | 1069858 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Obviously. Unions... so 90s

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:53 | 1070504 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Sorry, I thought the sarcasm was obvious.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:13 | 1069690 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

But the nasty isotopes — the cesium and strontium will remain for 30 years. And they’re volatile...


30 years is the half-life, not the whole life. Either the interviewee or the typist is an idiot.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:36 | 1069773 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

who the fuck cares, the yen is back above 81.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:44 | 1069796 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

Clearly time to pile into the yen everyday and on every dip.

Mean reversion in process. The deviation started in 1971 - definitely one of the cheapest assets available in the global marketplace !!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:19 | 1069894 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

The whole life is infinite. If you have a big enough sample, that is.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:25 | 1070062 knukles
knukles's picture

Government scientist in charge.  Not a typo, just fucking incompetence, which in and of it self has a half life half of the expected career life which is about equal to his remaining life which has been cut in half by the terminal radiation exposure which was not by half what they thought they'd get all of their life. 


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 07:04 | 1070509 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:23 | 1069734 SparkyvonBellagio
SparkyvonBellagio's picture

It's Time to Panic,,,,,, when any GOVT says it isn't-





What a Friggin ROUSE/PONZI press release by these idiots hour after hour.

They have NO CLUE how to handle this.

Be prepared.

Are all Japanese Goods Tainted / RADIOACTIVE NOW?

Your thoughts appreciated.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:12 | 1069881 Mr. Mandelbrot
Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

My new Sony Walkman is glowing . . .

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:28 | 1070066 reader2010
reader2010's picture

You mean iPad/iPhone?

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 08:15 | 1070643 Mr. Mandelbrot
Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

No, I meant Sony Walkman . . .

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:28 | 1069751 mmlevine
mmlevine's picture

Someone, anyone please help me understand.

Our man Gundersen says that the Japanese haven't a fucking clue what is going on in these reactors and for 300 years or so, cow's milk and plant life might be inedible.  But forget that - the G-7 agrees to intervene in (manipulate) the currency market and the Nikkei jumps 2.5% and the S&P up 10 pts? Seriously?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:33 | 1069942 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Yes. Excellent juxtapostion btw. And yes, seriously.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:13 | 1070030 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Yoooou forgot Libya!!       Milestones

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 05:15 | 1070405 malikai
malikai's picture

That's right. The only way to deal with a nuclear catastrophe is to manipulate FX markets. Its the only way, really.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:44 | 1069797 FilthyLucre
FilthyLucre's picture

Why this fixation on containment vessels? The spent fuel rod storage pools are where the problem lies. They each contain several cores worth of rods (first criticality ~1971 so 30-40 years/5-6 years of spent cores). Some of the rods such as in 4, 5 and 6 were very recently unloaded so are very hot. As is standard practise at this and it seems most every other old reactor the pools contain many more rods than they were designed for so the rods are densely packed. And it seems that exposing the top of the recently unloaded rods in densely packed storage is a sure fire way to cause a zirconium alloy fire.

And spent rods have a lot more nasty nucleotides such as Cs137, I131, Sr90 etc than do unused rods. These are the ones which get into the environment and easily into our bodies. Don't confuse this with fallout from bomb tests, sure there is Cs137 and Sr90 released from them, just look at the Sr90 numbers before and after atmospheric testing started. But the amount released from a nuclear reactor and spent fuel rods is much, much greater.

The NRC in its wisdom says the benefit of removing this dangerous material from storage ponds far exceeds the cost. The likelihood of draining of a pool is so remote as to make it next to impossible.

The Cs137 inventory of the spent rod storage pool at Fukushima is many times the amount that was released at Chernobyl.

Here is some light reading if you want to inform yourself about spent fuel rod pools:-


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:01 | 1069845 mmlevine
mmlevine's picture

Way above my level of comprehension.  But, can you do us all a favor and call TEPCO and help them out?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:45 | 1069975 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

TEPCO and the Japanese government may eventually choose to offer very large compensation packages for 2 or 3 minutes of labor.

How much is 1 trillion yen denominated in US dollars?


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:00 | 1070144 AndyR
AndyR's picture

After which QE?

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:38 | 1070219 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

one show...goodbye

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:11 | 1069874 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

After reading this from your link:

"U.S. nuclear-power plant operators have dealt with the lack of an off-
site destination for their accumulating spent fuel by packing as many fuel
assemblies as possible into their storage pools"

I do not have any more questions

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:03 | 1070011 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

Alvarez hit some issues head on.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 03:20 | 1070349 VinniPukh
VinniPukh's picture

I'm falling behind the curve here browsing for data & this is really starting to distract me from my paid work...but hey...

Here's a link from a French nooklar research body ( with some independent readings of isotopes floating around over there in Tokyo. Their source is the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute located in Setagaya borough of the city. Measurements taken hourly over a period beginning Tuesday, March 15 Wednesday through Thurs 17th.

The graph speaks for itself I think. Here's hoping they can water their plants!

& associated press release

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:23 | 1069910 Randall Cabot
Randall Cabot's picture

Manually opening and closing valves is highly skilled work? This guy just lost credibility with me.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:42 | 1069966 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

It's all about order. If you don't do it in the right order and in full coordination with the operator you're fucked. But no worries.


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 03:27 | 1070352 VinniPukh
VinniPukh's picture

can you define 'fucked'?...

is it a case of they have to restart some whole procedure over again? Or you run for the hills?

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 05:24 | 1070412 malikai
malikai's picture

In the case of a pressurized cylinder about as large the average 4 bedroom house, containing a mix of molten metals, fission products, steam, and hydrogen, you probably don't restart any procedure. I think you either do it right, or you are scattered all over the grounds. Probably a few bits of you end up on the hills, so there is no need to run for them.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:18 | 1070048 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

What valves? Any valves and coolant lines were likely destroyed several days ago.

This is "blitz work". These doomed TEPCO workers are struggling to string 2 1/2 inch fire hoses in a desperate and possibly futile attempt to prevent as many as half a dozen reactor cores from melting down. They probably can't get closer than 50 meters to what's left of the secondary containment buildings without absorbing a lethal dose.

Just put a fu*king bullet in my head before asking me to do this kind of work.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:28 | 1070296 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

Exactly ... if you are on site ... you are dead soon !!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:24 | 1069483 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 So much FAIL, so many Roentgens!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:25 | 1069488 The Count
The Count's picture

Pay attention now bitchez... 

Steam rising IS NOT A GOOD THING! This means they are just creating radioactive steam which is going somewhere. If the rods were under water there would be no steam, capice?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:33 | 1069529 FischerBlack
FischerBlack's picture

The rods can be under water and still heating the water enough to give off steam, or even boil it. It's winter still in the Northern Hemisphere and it's in the 30s in Fukushima right now. Steam isn't a disaster sign. In fact, given that we thought all the water was gone, steam is actually an improvement. There's a lot of bad shit to worry about right now, but whomping up the crazy doesn't really help with analysis of the admittedly thin news flow out of Japan.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:38 | 1069549 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

If you listen to Karl Denninger, he's say that steam is good... absorbing energy and proof there's water there.

Don't get me wrong, I like Karl. Its just that he should stick to mortgage fraud.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:55 | 1069632 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Karl. meh...

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:55 | 1069635 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Or it could usher us into the great era of Steampunk.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:22 | 1070188 UGrev
UGrev's picture

Did we really leave it? BWR baby.. BWR.. We just made steam look cool :)

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:09 | 1069672 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

It's all hot enough to dissociate water into oxygen and hygrogen. So smoke explosion, steam what's the difference.

Just over that Kyoto some US nuclear regulator says it will take weeks to cool it all down.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:48 | 1069606 Ras Bongo
Ras Bongo's picture

No man, you got it wrong. White smoke means they have elected a new pope.

Behold! the False Prophet is born!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:55 | 1069631 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Ras Bongo

I thought it meant the ransom had been delivered.

Oh fuck that was red.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:17 | 1069706 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Ras, perhaps you say that in jest. but equally perhapsy, you could be on to soemthing.

LAst year, just prior to GOM, Ellekkauuujafel was giving of it's white smoke and it sure as heck looked like the Pope was a doofer with a toofer. 

Now that pope story has been down too long. If they are going to get people in line and mmake them grab their heels, they'll have to gut religion. For the catholic world, that is easily enough done, since we all know that the Pope is of course nothing but God's chosen one here on earth and the vatican is as clean as a baby's bottom.

Perhaps massive vatican related exposure coming up, directly.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:59 | 1069842 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

My favorite part is that the current pope was in the Waffen SS. 

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:58 | 1070142 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Isn't that something LF? Just like people forgetting about Prescott Bush and the Naaaat zees.

Inconvenient truths.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:25 | 1069742 TWORIVER
TWORIVER's picture

or they are doing bong hits.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:28 | 1069493 defn8Dog
defn8Dog's picture

Tyler is no longer taking breaks.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:30 | 1069501 randocalrissian
randocalrissian's picture

Tyler bots abound, and you wondered why they weren't in the nuke plant.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:30 | 1069502 randocalrissian
randocalrissian's picture

Tyler bots abound, and you wondered why they weren't in the nuke plant.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:47 | 1069552 Cdad
Cdad's picture


Tyler...we know it is tough duty, but could you please just go over there to Fukushima and put some fucking water on those things already?  At least then we will know that if you cannot do it, it cannot be fucking done and we can just sell everything Japanese.

For fucks sake, who is orchestrating this black swan, chaos, clusterfuck?  And why do we even have an Atomic Energy Agency?

Fucking Tyler for president...of the fucking world!

'ts all I'm sayin'.


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:38 | 1070312 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Yes, the plants need watering, Tyler.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 04:29 | 1070382 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


i think tyler has all he can handle trying to counter ann coulter's disinfo campaign that ingesting potassium io. according to government guidelines may be unhealthy, according to the Surgeon General.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:44 | 1069584 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

his position was outsourced long ago.    on a long enough timeline..

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:15 | 1069880 Ted Celeste
Ted Celeste's picture

Now THAT is funny.  Thanks, man.


Back to reality, for anyone who wants to stock up but can't find what they want in local stores, consider:


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:29 | 1069499 randocalrissian
randocalrissian's picture

Either humanity is doomed, or the situation isn't all that bad... follow... the US/int'l community could just intervene, bring in a huge power line, hook it up and get that water flowing poste haste.  Couldn't they?  Japan cannot have any sovereign rights over this situation, that is just wrong.  And their stubborn refusal to ask for help is no excuse.  This is not a microwave that was just killed when someone put a ball of foil in on high for five minutes.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:30 | 1069503 metastar
metastar's picture

I thought I saw smoke rising from the FED. Have hot dollars been released into the atmosphere by a leak in the containment system? Dollars are contaminating the world causing pain and death.

The government isn't telling us the truth.

I think its going to blow!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:28 | 1069505 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

NEWS ADVISORY: 130 Tokyo firefighters sent to Fukushima nuke plant (09:56)

Not good.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:50 | 1069806 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

Reminds me of the Chernie "liquidators" (most of whhich liquidated themselves trying to shut it down). This cant be good.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:50 | 1069807 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

Reminds me of the Chernie "liquidators" (most of whhich liquidated themselves trying to shut it down). This cant be good.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:00 | 1069848 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:30 | 1069507 LostWages
LostWages's picture

Tepco will say it's just a blown fuse from plugging in the extension cord.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:32 | 1069512 macholatte
macholatte's picture

Side Bar:

US Cost of Living Hits Record, Passing Pre-Crisis High




Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:33 | 1069526 ss123
ss123's picture

$1.44 for ONE green bell pepper at Walmart.

Not a joke.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:37 | 1069547 Raymond K Hassel
Raymond K Hassel's picture

The radioactive ones are cheaper.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:39 | 1069563 ss123
ss123's picture

True. Plus they're bigger and have a nice bright green shine to them.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:40 | 1069569 Raymond K Hassel
Raymond K Hassel's picture

actually, they are shinier, but only when you turn out the lights. 

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:44 | 1069586 Professordoomfinger
Professordoomfinger's picture

I like to bury my peppers next to my beer and shiny stash.


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 05:54 | 1070483 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Don't forget that you also get 50 free seeds with your purchase.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:51 | 1069516 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

It's after market close in the U.S., so expect total chaos and crisis after crisis, until about 15 minutes before the U.S. market opens tomorrow, at which time they'll announce another major (but untrue) cure-all and miracle.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:45 | 1069798 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Operation Pooper Scooper.  They will bring in giant helicopters and attach cords to the reactor vessels and carry them to a nearby paper towel, which will be used to wipe them up.  They will then be placed in a giant trash can.  

Problem solved.  

Bam, markets up 20%.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:32 | 1069517 ss123
ss123's picture

Japan was like, so yesterday. Nukes are under control now that they've strung the extension cord.

All eyes on Libya and oil now.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:31 | 1069520 ThirdCoastSurfer
ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

There is an incredible amount of radiation in space and yet we can't seem to get someone who is willing to die anyway in one of those moon suits to get in there and see what the hell is really going on? 

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:32 | 1069528 umop episdn
umop episdn's picture

Reuters? I guess someone's brain exploded--maybe they were asked to keep track of too many lies. I'm sure they will be repeating whatever official lies they are told to repeat very soon.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:34 | 1069530 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

Me thinking, this is not that bad at all, well are we just starting another war?

So whats more important, oil or this little burn baby burn.

This is pathetic, i'm going outside to look for the big moon.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:34 | 1069531 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

oh i thought we were over that ,we have a war to talk about now:)

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:33 | 1069532 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

this should help ratchet up the futures another 10 points on the /ES...easily another 100 on the /YM because...well...just because.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:33 | 1069533 Putty
Putty's picture

I think we should call a timeout, or a do over.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:35 | 1069535 mynhair
mynhair's picture

I forgot, where is fuckoshima again?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:36 | 1069543 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

33 Liberty Street.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:39 | 1069568 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture


I need another green beer.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:36 | 1069545 Rich V
Rich V's picture




Since this mess will go on for weeks or months eventually the wind will blow toward Tokyo, how much $$$ will need to be injected to cool that melt down?

The world financial markets now are held in jeopardy by which way the wind is blowing in Japan.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:38 | 1069551 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

One thing we have not seen to date is any thermal imaging of the reactors. I wonder why not? Do you suppose the Japanese Defense Forces can't scrounge up a few thermal cameras or even borrow one from NHK? 

I suspect the Japanese population might freak if they saw the devils fire raging within the 4...oops....6 reactors at Fukushima. You might remember that they never showed the explosion of unit 4 and outright lied about it until Digital-Globe released images yesterday showing one very wrecked unit 4 where as the day before all TEPCO talked about was two holes in the roof.

This is all beginning to sound like an exceptionally bad B grade Sci Fi movie from the 50's without Godzilla for the comic relief.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:39 | 1069567 Element
Element's picture

The same reason lingerie is popular ... a bit of imagination ... makes a better ... er ... narrative.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:38 | 1069772 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Until the money shot.

Edit: I can't believe that was missed for a whole hour.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:44 | 1069581 RunningMan
RunningMan's picture

Thinking something similar except was expecting the US to release satellite thermal images. I expect this is how the USG is montoring the situation. I still don't understand why there wasn't just an immediate ask for assistance from the global community. Were they afraid we were going to steal all their money and valuables on the way out?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:19 | 1069715 Poundsand
Poundsand's picture

They have  them, which is why the US is saying that there is no water in the #4 pool.  Take a reading, do the math based on the heat signature.  Conclusion: No water! It's too damn hot for there to be any water! 

Even at 20 km, you won't be able to hide the heavy equipment when they bring it in to start building some type of containment structure.  At least the Russians knew what to do once they screwed the pooch.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:44 | 1069587 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Brother Cog,

I agree.  I think what we are looking at is exactly what the EU fuckwad said yesterday...a situation that is very much out of control.  As for meltdowns and radioactive fires and plutonium on the breeze...I expect these things have already in past fucking tense!

Did I not hear that ALL US military personnel were being evacuated?  Is that correct?  Think maybe that flyover today yielded some "bad data"?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:13 | 1069682 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The old standard always applies. Forget what they say, watch what they do and prepare accordingly. The cockroach bankers fleeing Tokyo was very enlightening.

Passengers setting off radiation detectors at Chicago was another big clue. You can bet Homeland Security has informed all airport's that will be receiving planes from Japan for the foreseeable future to shut those detectors off when those incoming planes disembark their radioactive but still ambulatory human cargo.

We don't wish to alarm the cattle when they're all gathered together in the airport pen. Best they find out about their exposure level when they're dispersed and isolated, meaning powerless other than to moo in complaint.

My only remaining question is when? When will the world's population decide they have had enough?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:37 | 1069707 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

"moooo" - translation - "very soon"

Are you sure that's your only question?  You seem to have many questions.

I need a(nother) green beer.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:38 | 1069782 tewkatz
tewkatz's picture

Also says a lot about heads (purposefully) in the sand that Tokyo is not screening their outgoing passengers for contamination...

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:53 | 1069802 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Anyone who knowingly or unknowingly removes radiation from Japanese soil is welcome to do so as far as TEPCO is concerned. The problem is that those 4 reactors are replacing it faster than the passengers can carry it out.

I can't wait until I pick up my weekly copy of Aviation Week and Space Technology and read how some JAL 777 is being refurbished and decontaminated because it kept setting off arrival gate radiation alarms and the FCC decided they needed to hide the problem by running the big Boeing through the local truck wash a few times.

Don't forget to wash behind the landing lights. A radiation free Boeing is a happy Boeing.....until it lands again at Tokyo. The good news is that in a few weeks they won't need runway lights because Tokyo will glow in the dark. I know this is gallows humor, but I'm furious and it isn't even my country that's being raped. I'm angry for humanity.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:22 | 1069900 Cdad
Cdad's picture

I am angry with you brother Cog.  I am tired of lies, theft, and incompetence...seemingly everywhere these days.

In the case of Fukushima, the preponderance of the accumulated evidence tells us that things have gone to hell there.  Reactors exploding, burning, radiation leaking to such an extend that engineers must leave, Geiger counters going off 30 kilometers away, passengers stepping off of aircraft lighting up detectors.  For God's sake, they admit that they cannot even get inside reactor #4. 

The Ministry of Truth [CNBC] chooses to write stories about a miracle extension cord.  The Japanese government suggest a nominal evacuation radius and tells its citizens stay calm...and in place...and indoors.  Before the tsunami death toll is in, the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street discounts the Japanese market 14% and then goes bullish on "reconstruction" as they flee the area.

And the futures least for a day, Japan is going to kick Bernanke's ass at currency devaluation?  Where ever the fuck am I?

We are doomed for reasons that have nothing to do with gamma rays.  The American train has long since left the tracks...and because corrupt bankers, imbecilic politicians, and a Marxist facilitating media have hijacked our nation.

I am a very angry man, Cog. 

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:21 | 1070184 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

You are a very angry Cog, man.

We are all cogs.


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:18 | 1070278 MSimon
MSimon's picture

Just another Cog in the machine. You have to admit though: a refrigerator is nicer than hauling bricks of ice. Generally.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 03:20 | 1070350 Dugald
Dugald's picture

And all of you, who play the market and giggle and brag over your shorts and couldn't be part of the financial criminality could you, gosh no; your hearts a lily white....!! Try to remember, what goes around, comes around.....

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 07:50 | 1070583 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"what goes around, comes around"

If you mean nuclear fallout, thanks for the warning.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:00 | 1069847 seek
seek's picture

Speaking of watching what they're doing, I made a sad discovery last night, to wit:

I have been closely watching the reported reading at

This one one of the official monitoring networks. It's regularly updated every 10 minutes; last night was I was refreshing the pages I noticed a typo in the time/date. Initially this page had all the appearances of an automated reporting network, but a typo in a timestamp is pretty much absolute proof of manual intervention.

So basically we now have shit data to work with, so outside of confirmed third-party reports things could be fine or glowing and we won't know for sure from reported results.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:04 | 1069857 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

okay, I'll bite.  So what gets snuck in while the detectors are shut off?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:45 | 1069592 macholatte
macholatte's picture


My guess is that the Fukushima campus has had more pictures taken of it than Playmate of the Year including all light & heat spectrums from helicopters and off-shore and space and USA and NATO and on and on.

My bet is that you are correct in that it's a real mess and people would crap their collective pants if the "truth" was known. 

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:59 | 1069601 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

There's plenty of thermal images.  The bullies don't want to share.

They are busy transporting PMs to their ranches in the southern hemisphere where there will be less radioactive fallout.

Godzilla's retainer expired long ago.  At least we have each other for comic relief.  LOL

I need a(nother) green beer.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:50 | 1069809 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

No doubt.  This will drive ya to drink.  Thought about AA?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:20 | 1069898 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

I've thought about it several times, usually when I'm shitfaced.  But then I get sober and I really don't need it anymore.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 00:24 | 1070060 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

That's the spirit!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:48 | 1069610 Raymond K Hassel
Raymond K Hassel's picture

I think its not because they can't scrounge up the equipment - this article would imply the technology is already in place

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:23 | 1069732 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

This video was posted by Tyler earlier today:

Play the video and note that from about 30 to 31 seconds you will see what appears to be shimmery glowing green splotches rising about a pile of rubble upon which sits a box and a curved bent beam on, what seems to be, a damaged floor in the number 3 reactor containment building.  These green splotches do not appear to be glint or reflections on the helicopter window or camera lens.

There are gases, minerals and metals which will fluoresce when exposed to X-rays.  As a matter of fact, uranium glass will fluoresce under ultraviolet light as shown at this link:

I know it's St. Patrick's day, but this does not look like a patch of four leaf clovers.

If there is indeed high intensity radiation bathing the structure, debris and smoke, what do you think this damaged building looks like at night?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 22:45 | 1069799 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

That green color appears to exactly match the green color of the spent fuel rod crane seen in the still photos released later.  I think it's what's left of the crane and/or mount.  It looks like the pool more or less collapsed through the floor onto the reactor, too, FWIW.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:42 | 1069971 Plumplechook
Plumplechook's picture

Here's a still photo of the damaged reactor 4 taken through the side of the blown-out walls:

The green thing is the crane directly above the spent fuel rod storage pool.   Its hard to imaging it is now capable of holding any water at all - the thing must be cracked to fuckery - look at the explosion damage on the side walls below the crane. So dropping water from helicopters or spraying it from fire trucks would seem like a futile gesture.

Trav7777 - what do you make of this picture?


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:20 | 1070180 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture


Looking at parts of the crane through smoke must result in the shimmering green splotches.  I too believe it is building #4 and not building #3 as I stated above.  The discontinuity of the video sequence caused me to miss the jump from #3 to #4.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:22 | 1070187 trav7777
trav7777's picture

if the crane were painted yellow, it would appear green as a result of light from the pond...shimmering would also be caused by water if there is any

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:17 | 1070181 trav7777
trav7777's picture

i actually see what looks like a pool of water below the green thing...I mean it looks to me like some kind of gantry or catwalk with a railing and then below that several meters looks like a pool of water.  This is the first I've seen of that photo and that is my honest impression.

It would actually be lit up by Cerenkov Radiation.  the water glows with this.

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 02:24 | 1070287 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

mmm hmmm

whatever helps you sleep at night

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:38 | 1070215 mt paul
mt paul's picture

the smoke in that picture

coming out of the cooling pond 

has a yellow tint to it...


 uranium oxidation byproduct ..?


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